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  1. No haven't been yet as he's only just started stranding up and preening his fluff and new feathers , he's not able to walk about much or do anything yet. I was going to leave it another week or so before starting with soft stuff. I was quite surprised at hs weight gain, he is having the kaytee baby macaw formula, not sure if that makes a dinference compared to other brands. Have you experienced poor feeding responses with our birds? Do you think it could be that he is satisfied nutritionally and therefore does not demand food as one would expect?
  2. Hi fannyann, thanks for your reply, I have had this happen with syringe and spoon feeding, normally I have the food at 40degrees , maybe a fraction less as it coolswhile i feed but nevertheless very warm. I haven't been measuring the amount I feed him this time as he's having the spoon but the crop is maybe 80%full on each feed so I don't overdo it. Aspiration was my main concern with this problem but the only thing i Can come up with is that the chick is simply not hungry and I am over feeding him. I have read in Barrett Watsons book that young birds can be on as few as 2 feeds per day from 4 weeks but I'm a bit loathed to take this advice as it seems too few ? At the moment. He is around 890 grams which seems to be within normal ranges from the books I have?
  3. I wonder if someone more experienced could help me with a bit of advice as someone who only has a little bit of experience. I have handreared a few macaws, blue and yellows and greenwing hybrids , but I often have the same problem occurring ( though not with every bird). Currently I am handrearing a hybrid macaw from the egg . He has been getting on well for the first 4-5 weeks with a strong feeding response from from the start. However now he has reached 5.5 weeks his feeding response pumping has diminished to almost nothing and will only 'drink' the formula as it does into his mouth, often spitting a fair bit back out. I have him at the moment on 4 feeds a day between 8 and midnight and each time I am filling his crop and feeding again when it is almost empty, otherwise he is growing well and alert etc feathers coming in nicely. I have had a few other macaws do this in the past though all have been healthy and weaned ok at he right times etc etc. and have been otherwise trouble free - the only issue seems to be the poor feeding response. I thought that all babies should have a very strong feeding response and especially macaws. The food is at the correct temperature and I have had this happen with both spoon and syringe feeding. Can anyone offer any suggestions why this might happen or if you have experienced this and what you may have done about it? Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated
  4. Hi there, I am wondering if someone on here can give me some advice as books and websites I have been reading seem to skirt around questions that an experienced person could answer in a few lines. I have hand reared quite a few birds hatched and part reared by the parents but I am a complete newbie at artificial incubation. I want to try incubating eggs from a pair of macaws who don't look after the eggs. I will only be doing macaw eggs with a vague possibility of amazons if really necessary. I have to buy incubator and brooder. Do I need a hatcher or can an incubator/brooder be turned to this use? I want to start out with the right good quality stuff that will last but I also want to be economical about it since will be only incubating a very small number of eggs. Does anyone have any suggestions of products they have used which they can recommend or point me in the direction of any literature that could help? As a starting point I was looking at the brinsea octagon 20 incubator but any advice would be very greatly appreciated. Dean
  5. I have trained several macaws for free flight but I am far away in east anglia. However , I can offer some advice if required. Jesses are not necessary for a parrot and I have never heard of anyone using them. You an control the bird on your hand by holding the feet firmly but gently - with your thumb over the main part of the foot. This should be enough to stop the bird is appearing if spooked. However even if spooked a trained free flyer should know where he or she lives so you are highly unlikely to loose them
  6. YEs sorry, I meant that as an indication of being underweight not over. PLump on breast = more muscle than anything else but this is also the quickest thing physically noticed if a bird looses weight. and not weighed.
  7. I'm another one who said never. Though my birds are easily handleable and I can feel their breast muscle at will. Generally though I would have thought that most bird owners with a little experience would be able to tell at a glance if their bird was fluffed up/fat/ill or whatever. The only thing is I find I have to impress on new owners to keep a careful eye on their new babies weight, not necessarily by weighing but by feeling just to ensure that there are no problems in the first 'stressful' few days after a baby goes home, to make sure he is eating enough etc - none ever had a problem but no point in taking chances. But that might be useful aid to people who free fly parrots. Though I am not sure how someone standing in a field swinging a banana on a lure might work. Yes as far as free flying parrots go, macaws which I free fly are weight managed. Certainly not to the degree that birds of prey are, but food motivation is a part of it. Dot Schwarz wrote a few decent articles about free flying in the magazines. However I also ensure that parrots are fully acclimatised to their surroundings so they can find their way home if they stray. (That's the good thing, parrots normally have to come home for food, birds of prey can find their food ANYWHERE!). They are also magnetised towards their friends in aviaries who are not being free flown so the fliers don't really ever go far. Normally 10% -15% weight off the absolute max a bird ever weighs is what is advocated by american 'supertrainer' steve martin his stuff is worth looking at if you want to free fly birds outside!
  8. He's a Blue and gold x harlequin so I'm not exactly sure what colour he is going to turn out ! By the looks of the first feathers he might be bluish green on top and orangy around the neck, but as for the belly that's anyone's guess. He'll be looking for a new home eventually , but for now hes quite happy to carry on with various combinations of eating and sleeping like a starfish!
  9. Er, not exactly! Baby Macaw hatched 30th June!
  10. Lysine (don't know if that is the correct spelling) deficiency is a prime cause of yellow feathers appearing in the plumage. I have heard of it before in senegal parrots and I believe there was an article including details of this in 'Parrots' magazine quite a few years ago. It is easily corrected by adding small amounts of animal protein into the diet, this will also provide extra nutrients not present in vitamin supplements which will aid feather growth and regeneration. I would use small amounts of scrambled egg a couple of times a week and other animal protein a few times a month. It could just be the process of aging though. Good luck! be interesting to hear your results after a few months !
  11. Hi alexa, I joined the discussion late but im sure i'm not the only one wondering how you got on? I would also have gone for the ten year old partly because the bird is already used to an owner who is gone part of the day and also because he has apparently successfully adjusted to pet life with no major behavioural issues which is always a big plus. Young macaws can be difficult when going through 'terrible twos' although they do come out OK in the end with alot of work and patience. I have often thought to myself, 'why didn't I just start with an older bird!!!. Anyway on the scale of things 10 years old is technically still pretty young! good luck!
  12. Hi there, I am an experienced handrearer and have experience with Amazons, Greys, Macaws and Galahs. I am happy to offer help to breeders or handrear babies myself here. Feel free to PM for details or call 07817 467422 Suffolk.
  13. Hi All!! Can someone tell me, is there much nutritional difference between soaked and sprouted sunflower? I know sprouted is much better than normal dry seed but what about soaked? is this much more beneficial than dry seed - say if soaked for 24 hrs until the seed swells up inside the husk? any input would be great!?
  14. Like marion and others - I think giving seed (or whatever) available all the time can allow a bird to be picky. My birds have 2 meal times, both aviary macaws and inside birds have the same feeding schedule. in the morning they have on alternate days, a handful of different fruit, or pulses + Avimix etc then in the eveings alternate between nuts, a seed mix, and pellets, I also chuck in 'bits and bobs' at this time as well like cheese, toast, meat and other stuff. They have the evening food available for about 3 hours and lights off at 10 and any left over food taken away and bits swept up to keep rats and mice at bay. I find this works well and by giving the favorite food late in the day encourages them to eat a good amount of the less favorite food. I also think it gives the bird something to look forward to by giving meal times and changing the dinners that he or she gets! It seems to make them sample more things and be non-fussy eaters. Since if they don't eat what they are offered they don't get anything else before the next mealtime.
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