Kiwi the Hahns Macaw
by Daryl Gagliano
Balancing and Chewing
Our Chewer and Acrobat: Kiwi, our Hahns Macaw
Kiwi, our baby Hahns Macaw is our little love. He will be a year old in November (the date on the pic is wrong). Since he is still a baby, his personality is still forming, as are those red shoulder patches that are just starting to appear!
Kiwi talks up a storm, and is very sweet and patient with Gracie (our Cherry Headed Conure), who tries to be the boss. I have heard that Hahns can be quite domineering as they mature, but I cannot confirm this, as he is still too young.
One thing that we try to do in an attempt to minimize problems as he matures, is to expand his world as much as possible. We take him on lots of outings, and encourage him to meet new people. We give him lots of physical affection (at least the amount that he will accept), since he is not as cuddly as Gracie is, but he is still affectionate. We also offer choices when we can.
I am discovering that by NOT getting into a power struggle with Kiwi, he complies with my requests 99% of the time. For example, sometimes he will not want to step up to a perch or play stand, preferring instead to stay with me, and when I can honor this, I do. I will often hear him imitate me when he doesn't know I'm listening, mimicking my words, "Step up!.. No??...Okay", in the absolutely sweetest, most endearing voice!
Perhaps it's all relative, but we do not consider Kiwi to be loud at all - certainly nothing like a cockatoo or a large macaw. While Kiwi's vocal abilities certainly match or exceed the capacity of our Conures, he does not use loud calls anywhere near to the degree that they do. He really only does this when he is greeting or calling us.
A word of caution with Hahns: many have excellent verbal memories, and Kiwi was blessed with this trait. After hearing a certain expletive spoken in his presence, he will repeat this phrase in the mix of his vocalizations and gibberish in the clearest speech ever!!
Kiwi is a chewer!! He will chew everything he can get his little beak on. He also is a climber, an explorer and a little acrobat. We’ve purchased a cage the size for a large Macaw (but with smaller bar spacing), so that Kiwi has enough room to play. He shares this cage with Gracie, and they preen, play, snuggle, and sometimes scrap together.
Kiwi loves to eat, and will eat veggies, grains, beans, fruit, nuts, pellets and seed. He also wants us to share our own food with him if we are eating in front of him or we are having “flock breakfast”. Whenever we want him to eat something new, all we need to do is hand feed it to him (which he absolutely loves, grunting to indicate when he wants more) and/or model that the food is yummy to eat, and he will almost always try it.
We are hoping that by providing a consistent routine, lots of socialization, choices, and our love and attention, we will be able to weather Kiwi’s hormonal changes as he matures, in as smooth a way as possible.
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