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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-11-2004, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Okay tons of questions now!

Well reading this forum and looking at the beautiful birds and hearing your stories i can say...i'm hooked?

Even though i am scared of birds, it seems if you get them young, or even better yet, hand feed them..they act like your children and bond with you. I am guessing even though our birds are young, they get scared and bite because they haven't bonded with anyone yet.

Anyways, this is obviously a far off project as of now i live in an apartment and it is unreasonable to have a large parrot that will be loud and tick of the neighbors

So here are my questions:

I think i saw someone on here say they got a baby bird as an egg and raised them from then on. I would like to try and hand feed my own baby bird, is this at all possible? I know many breeders do -not- sell baby birds needing to be hand fed, and i understand. But i thought i saw someone around here who has been hand feeding and someone who had gotten their bird as an egg!

Second question. I've looked through all the macaws and the like, and i seem to be leaning towards a Galah Cockatoo and a Scarlet macaw. Does anyone own either and how are their temperments?

What about grit? I know they sell it, and i've seen customers buy it, but i have yet to see anyone mention grit on here. Do bigger birds need grit?

Does anyone have the proper way to clip wings on like a website? Anything?

People who have macaws or any big parrot for that matter, post what you feed! I was planning on the zupreme diet, as i know seed isn't that good of a diet. However i read that the Galah Cockatoos should be fed parakeet seed only. Hmm, i will need to research more on that.

How do you give your birds a bath? Shower, misting or a bird bath?

How much (roughly) does it cost to DNAsex a bird? I know thats the only way to be -sure- if it is male or female.

I have read the toxins and the like, can anyone post a website with more information on disease such as sour crop, or feather plucking, etc?

Thanks, there will probably be more questions. Also, has anyone seen these design cages? www.cagesbydesign.com

They are HUGE and look nice for a bird. I would get a cage like that for my bird
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-11-2004, 09:13 PM
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Alright girlie, I'll try my hand at some of your questions (whew, I was tired just reading it! just kidding!) And you're right, it's easy to get hooked on birds!

I have a Harelquin Macaw (cross between a B&G & a Greenwing). IMO, he has the best of both breeds - very comical & very cuddly. He's literally like having a 2 yr old around all the time.

I hand fed Toby since he was 2 months old. It's not recommended that someone who's never hand fed a bird before, much less a large parrot, take on the challenge. Most reputable breeders won't sell a macaw until they are weened. It was ALOT of work and stressful. BUT I do feel that Toby & I have a special bond because of it. On the other hand, you do not need to hand feed to have that special bond with a macaw. That didn't make much sense did it? (I believe Critter is the one that hand fed from an egg) There was another thread on handfeeding, I'll try to find it for you.

I don't know much about the Galahs. They are very expensive in the US. I fell in love with one last year but I can't have a Too with my macaw. Jackie may know more about them.

Can I ask why you are leaning towards a Scarlet? What about that type did you like? What I know about their temprements is that they tend to be a little more high strung & sensitive, even more nippy - they are pinchers. They're generally not recommended for the first time parrot owner. Don't get me wrong, they are a great breed - but you will need to be on your toes with any kind of macaw. They really are a lot of work - I'm not just saying that. It's nothing like having a dog. Toby's more work than all 3 of my dogs put together!

I can find you a wing clipping website but I would recommend taking your bird to the vet or a groomer to learn how to do it. It's not that hard but you'll need to know exactly what to do and it's much easier to learn when you watch someone do it. IMO.

I take a shower with Toby about every other day. In the summer it's usually every day. He has a shower perch on the wall of the shower and I have a detachable shower head. He LOVES his showers and acts like a crazy burd. We had to teach him about the shower though - it used to send him in to major panic attacks. Some people mist/spray (usually smaller birds) or use a sink, etc. It depends on the kind of bird and the bird itself. Showers/bathes are very important though to keep them in good feather.

DNA testing costs about $20-30 I believe. It's not that expensive and it's the only way to know for sure the sex of your bird.

I just posted an article on feather plucking - click here.
Here is an article on sour crop (I worried alot about that when hand feeding)
Sourcrop 2

As far as diet, for a macaw you will need to feed a lot of fruit & veggies along with pastas, sweet taters, etc. Toby is given seed & pellets (free fed which not all macaws can handle because some are seed junkies). And TONS of nuts. I literally have to make him breakfast & dinner every night. Hmpf. There are tons of healthy people foods that we can feed our birds which helps. Most macaws will gobble up a fresh cooked sweet tater likes it's going out of style!

I have an Island cage and we love it. It's top quality and more expensive than most but well worth the money if you're going to get a macaw. They can tear their cages to pieces and it's not worth getting a cheap one because you many end up having to replace it. Here's where we bought ours: Feather Fantasy
We have the Grand Cayman.

I think I got all your questions...let me know if I missed something. I hope some others will respond too....Especially about the cockatoo. I love the rosebreasted Toos and would be green with jealousy if that's what you end up getting!!

Getting a macaw is a huge undertaking so I'm glad to see you're getting all your facts and doing the research!
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-11-2004, 09:35 PM
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I've got a female young cockatiel that I got from a rescue shelter and believe it or not she is the most friendliest bird I have ever come across. She has never bitten and when she wants out of her cage she paces back and forth. I don't think she realizes she's a bird because I will notice her following me around the house if I have her out of her cage. I spent at least two hours with her to make sure she had a good temperament and also to find out if we would click. You never really know unless you spend time with them. I give her the Kaytee brand of food called Exact Original along with the millet sprays, of course. I give her a bath at least once every two weeks. What I do is put a small amount of water in my sink and just let her splash around. For a larger bird they have shower perches that you can buy and just let them have there bath in the shower. I don't cut the wings myself because I'm afraid I will get the "blood wings", so I have a local feed store that I take her to for wing trimming as well as to trim her nails. That cage you found is really awesome looking, but also a pricey one at that. I have my cockatiel in a midwest 2020 cage and stand that I got for around $120. http://futurepets.cc/CHINCHILLA_CAGES.HTM I have a thread on here with the subject of Lovebirds (I think). I was looking into getting one, but with the help of those birdie people on here I decided against it and located this cockatiel named Elvis.

Here are some website for ya.

http://ottweet.com/index.html#Head (this one is a neat website make sure and roll over the feathers for a pop-up)
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-11-2004, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info!

The one and only reason i leaned towards a scarlet macaw was the color only. The site didn't really tell me much on the temperment, so i didn't know. Jodi what do you think would be a good bird for me? I love the temperement (from what the breeder explained, playful, cuddly, loving, comical) of the Galah too, thats why i picked that one. But as i read that website it seems that the Galah likes to be independent. Kinda contradicting. Hrm. I know every bird varies, but still. So the Galah might be put on hold until i become far more experianced. But i would like a comical, playful and very friendly macaw.

I understand what you mean by the whole risk of handfeeding. Birds are far more complicated to hand feed than kittens. I hand fed a litter of 4 kittens since birth (they still had their little cords and everything) so i know how much time and patience it takes, but then again a kitten doesn't have a crop

The only question unanswered was how about grit? They don't need it right?

As far as clipping of wings, i work in a pet store, so i have seen people do it before. And i have done it myself before. I just want a guide to show my boyfriend. I've also clipped birdies nails, along with other things nails.

Thanks for your help guys! Any books you'd like to recommend?
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-11-2004, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Well brenda that website you gave me has giving me a striking intrest in an Eclectus. Quite, good talkers, and friendly. Sounds like my type of bird!
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-11-2004, 10:27 PM
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Macaws don't need grit. Here is a good link: Grit
I don't know any macaw owners that feed grit.

Well, cockatoos (the Galah) and macaws can be quite different. Even the different species of macaws can be quite different. If you're looking for playful, cuddly, comical, etc...I would say a B&G or a Greenwing. Even a Harlequin (of course!)... And let me just say, I don't support hybridization but if a hybrid is already hatched and needs a home then I think people should most definitely give them a home.

B&G's are quite the characters - great birds. More people have B&G's than any other kind of macaw. Greenwings are big ol cuddlers but they will need to have a good supply of toys/wood to keep their beaks busy. All of this is generalizations of course and JMO.

If I could get another macaw (besides a Hy of course) I would get a Greenwing. People sometimes call them the "gentle giants" (but they also call Hy's that!!). They are very big and love to chew and play with their toys but sweet little guys at the same time. GW's & B&G's both have great temprements and make great additions to the family. (Which is why I like the Harlequins)

They both REQUIRE your attention though. They will not let you get away with just putting them on their cage and ignoring them. They will want to be a part of everything in your life.

Toby is a pretty good talker and amazes us all the time with his intelligence. He's a big ol clown and even calls himself "crazy bird". LOL We have "Toby time" every night and if he doesn't get it for some reason....he'll hold a grudge and require even more attention the next day. He's got us figured out and wrapped around his finger (toe??). But he's really well behaved so we let him get away with it.

Don't forget about the little guys too. The Hahns have the attitudes of the big guys in a little body. Dani (Boo) has a hahns that loves to cuddle with her every night. I also know another Hahns that is a plucker even though she is in a good home. Go figure.

Here is a picture of Toby and Eephus (we birdsat SharonM's Eephus)

And here's Toby giving me a big ol kiss...

Last edited by JGawana; 01-11-2004 at 10:29 PM.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-11-2004, 10:36 PM
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I thought I recognized Euphus! Jodi, was it you or Sharon that has that pic of one of your birds in the shower singing? I know I could go look, but I'm being lazy and just thought of it might want to let her see that pic too it's too funny.

Raiquee, I went back into that website cause it was just neat the way it was set up and I too liked the Eclectus. I thought of you living in an apt when I read the detail page about the quietness. Not to mention they are both beautiful colors especially the Scarlet one. Hey, maybe that's why we have a Scarlette as a username on here!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-11-2004, 10:45 PM
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That's Sharon's bird singin in the shower. Here's the thead: Eephus

And just an FYI... I think you know this but you can't really have a macaw in an apartment. They're too loud for an apt.

Ekkies are a great bird too. I thought I had read they are an independant type. Critter has an ekkie and knows much more about them than I do. They are totally different then a macaw (personalities) - I know that much.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-11-2004, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah i know i can't have a macaw in an apartment, heck i wouldn't bring a quaker in the apartment! I know better

You all have gotten me infected with the bird disease. Toby is beautiful Jodi! I wish i had a birdie to kiss! If i tried that at work i would sure get my lower lip ripped off Oh well i have my chillas and my kittens to kiss. They love the kisses!

I am intrigued and scared of these birds yet. Before i get one, i plan on visiting a few people who have the larger macaws and such, and see how the interact with the family, see how they act at playtime, see the caging requirements and such. I also plan on getting over my fear of them, and going to visit the breeder before putting any money down and just holding the birds for hours.

This is an animal that could live with me until i am 80! So i definatly plan to find a cuddly one that i will cherish forever.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 12:42 AM
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I just came across this ad.

630382- Bird:Grand Eclectus
Deltona,FL (386)574-1736 or (386)717-9710 Kati [email protected] 01-07-2004
Name: Rosie
Delete Hi,We Have A 6month Old Female Grand Eclectus.We Are Asking $800 or $900 w/cage.Moving Must Sell.Call or E-Mail for more info.Thank you.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 01:45 AM
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oh Raiquee you are so much braver than me!!! I'm going to have to deal with birds soon I know but right now the answer is no!!lol And to be honest birds are just way too noisy for me!!! I like my quiet times too much to deal with a bird!! hopefully one day I'll be game enough to pet and hold other peoples birds!

Too lazy to even think of a siggy
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Ohhh~ talking about noise. What do you guys do at night? Do you cover the cages? Do they quiet down when its bed time?
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 08:54 AM
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Most people cover their cages.

I crate Toby at night. He sleeps in an extra large dog crate. It has a pillow with a towel on it. He hold his potty all night so there's no mess. The reasoning behind it is that in the wild birds do not spend all day on their feet, they spend a lot of time flying and therefore their feet get rest. Our domesticated birds are usually clipped and spend all their time perching. This is not natural. To give my bird time off his feet, he sleeps on his pillow. He actually roosts on his breast in the crate. In the wild they also roost in the crock of a tree branch to sleep. So all I'm doing is really giving him some time off his feet. I also keep his crate in a room away from all the noise (phone, TV, talking, etc) of the house. Macaws need a good 10 hours of sleep every night and this way he is in a quiet, dark room and is able to rest undisturbed.

Some people also use birdie beds which are also a great idea. You can buy birdie beds for smaller birds but for the bigger parrots you will need to make one. They are really easy to make.

Here is a website explaining in more detail the idea of crating & birdie beds: Macaw Dreams - Crating

Toby doesn't make a sound after I put him to bed. Macaws tend to get loud at sunrise and sunset. Toby only gets loud at sunset. Macaws can definitely be loud - some more than others. But he's not loud all the time only once or twice all day and it doesn't last very long. He spends a lot of time babbling and talking (even to himself!). He does get more vocal if it rains - go figure or when I crank the music.

Some macaws are screamers but if you get them as a chick and know how to keep their behavior under control that shouldn't be a problem. That is mostly seen in older birds that are re-homed. Sharon is having to work on behavior modification because she got Eephus as an older bird (Eef was in a small cage and had lost his original owner, etc). It's a lot of work but well worth it in the end. Sharon knows more about that subject!
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Raiquee
You all have gotten me infected with the bird disease.
Don't feel bad...there are a lot of people infected!! ROTFL
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Oh thats so cute how they roost! i never knew that!

Today on animal planet, i was watching a pet story and they had a cockatoo who was bought by an unexperianced pet owner and put in with a male to breed. Well the male cockatoo ripped off the females upper beak completly! For 5 years she never had an upper beak. Finally she got rescued and they made a plastic beak for her, and she has these two surgical steel bumbells going through her nasal passages so they don't collapse. I was such a good story to see her well again, and it ended happily with her being able to preen other birds. How happy is that?

They also explained that cockatoos tend to forget they are birds and get very emotional. Hence leading them to screaming and other such behavior.

I know teflon is posionous to birds, so what do you guys use? I know there is stainless steel of course, is there any non-stick surfaces not made with teflon?

Thanks for answering ALL my questions, i still have a ton to learn however. I go into work today and they let us "check out" books to read and learn from. So i think i will grab a few macaw and cockatoo books and read them tomorrow on my off day Of course i will keep checking back in with you guys as well.

Oh! Also, what do you guys think of those gravel perches? They come in funky colors and are HUGE and heavy and are rough to help a bit with grinding down nails. Do any of you use them? Are they okay?
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