I recently took a poll on Facebook and Yahoo, asking people what attracted them to parrots. Most who responded fell in love with parrots because of their intelligence or because their first bird showered them with affection. One person said, “I would not love my hyacinth macaw less if she were 2 inches tall.”
Of course, large macaws are not 2 inches tall. They are big birds with big needs. Caring for them and understanding them can be a demanding undertaking that requires thought and sometimes a little imagination. Here are 15 things every macaw needs:
Five Dietary Needs
1. Extra Fat: Macaws need more fat in their diets than most other parrots, and hyacinth macaws need the most fat of all the macaws. Fully flighted birds housed in outdoor flights generally need more fat than wing-feather trimmed, indoor pet birds. However, many people have taken this to an extreme, believing that all macaws need macadamia nuts in their diet, but this depends on the macaw species.
Macadamia nuts are a good substitute for the nuts hyacinth macaws eat in the wild. Other macaws do not need nearly as much fat, and many pet macaws are overweight. Blue-and-gold macaws are especially prone to obesity compared to other species of macaws.
**For the full article, pick up the April 2012 issue of BIRD TALK at your local retailer or by purchasing a PDF download here.**
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