macaw that doesn't eat much

by Lynn
(Waldorf, Md.)

On June 19th,2011, I purchased a blue throated macaw from a breeder in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. She is 3yrs. old and had 1 previous owner. The owner had her 3 years and returned her to the breeder due to a job loss and a move to a studio apartment. The bird has a great personality and is very lovable. She has become quite spoiled in the week and 2 days i have had her.

She has become more interested in being out of the cage and spending time w/us more than eating. She gets a variety of fresh and cooked fruits and vegs. daily - 2 times a day as well as human meals (low fat) and a variety of seeds and nuts raisins, and one of her favs. monkey biscuits w/a touch of jiff peanut butter mixed in. She likes when I give her fruit out of my hand.!? I think I have spoiled her. So far, I don't notice any change in her socialism etc. It doesn't seem to phase her yet... so far... Please help! Lynn

.... p.s her stool appears normal... what to do??? ... i also have acquired some pesky fruit flies that seem to gather recently around her fruit bowl... i think they eat more than she does?!... any suggestions?

Comments for macaw that doesn't eat much

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May 07, 2012
Oven Fresh Bites
by: Avian Nutritionist

Hi Lynn and Dr. B.

I am the avian nutritionist that has worked with Caitec on the creation of Oven Fresh Bites. I believe that it is one of the best, most nutritionally balanced feeds on the market today.

We formulated using metabolizable energy, crude protein, crude fiber, moisture, fat, several specific amino acids, calcium, available phosphorus, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and sodium. Next we implemented nutritional strategies that would maximize ingredient digestibility and gut health. For example, we include larger particles or structural components that would be retained in the gizzard for an increased period of time as well as initiate anti-peristaltic contractions both that would expose feed (including any potential pathogens) to HCL in the proventriculus for greater periods of time than normal. This improves opportunities for pre-digestion as well as bactericidal HCl opportunities. Another example would be the use of a proprietary blend of herbs and spices. My University Lab tests found this blend promotes digestive function similar to sub- therapeutic antibiotics when birds are challenged with bacterial pathogens.

Jul 07, 2011
Thank-You Dr. B...
by: Lynn

Once again thanks for taking the time to share your valuable information. Your comments and concerns with all the details have been extremely helpful. I am sure that "Cheyenne" will be much happier!... 'Til next time...Lynn (Waldorf, Md.)

Jul 07, 2011
Macaw diet questions
by: The Avian Vet

1. Caitec brand - "Oven Fresh Bites - Natural Baked Diet Pellets"

Dr B Seems to have good ingredients, although the manufacturer is not an avian nutritionist nor did they work with on in the development of this product. I do not recommend it as a diet, but birds like it and it can be fed as a treat. I have had feedback in that it causes birds' droppings to have a bad odor.

Harrison's is the best you can feed. IT should be 80% of the diet and treats should not be more than 20%. Any food not a pellet is a treat.

2. Lafeber's brand - "Tropical Fruit Nutriberries"

Dr B Excellent treat!

3. Boca Nut Blend

Dr B Good treat.

4. Monkey Biscuits ( which I soak in warm water, squeeze out the excess and add about a half of tsp. of Jiff Peanut Butter)

Dr B I do not recommend feeding Monkey biscuits. There are many bird treats that are made for birds that are safer and better. Monkey biscuits are made for monkeys and their nutritional needs are vastly different than birds. In addition, the quality control is different for bird food because there are bacteria that are allowed on monkey food that could cause serious disease on birds. The peanut butter is ok as a treat.

5. Various kinds of the Krazy Corn Mixes which I prepare fresh and freeze

Dr B Excellent treat,

6. Fresh and Cooked Fruits and Vegetables x2 daily

Dr B The most nutritious treats. Although raw has more nutrient content. Be careful feeding too many treats because they will fill up on these and not eat their balanced complete pellet diet.

---
These are the brands that I purchased and was wondering if they were as good as the Harrison's or Roudybush brand? What do you think?

Dr B No, nothing is as good as Harrison?s. Roudybush is an acceptable alternative, but not even close to Harrison?s in quality.

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My other question that has surfaced is that my husband and I, found some drift wood at the edge of the shore where we were vacationing and we brought it home to make some nice homemade perches for her. My next door neighbor is a vet tech. and had some concerns that her feet should not be perched on driftwood for health reasons... do you know anything in reguards to this? Thanks for your help and advice

Dr B I do not recommend that wood from the wild be used for bird perches. Not because it is bad for the feet, because it is not, but because of the possibility of toxins (we do not know what this wood has been exposed to) and because of the chance of disease and parasites. Since wood is porous it cannot be disinfected. I would not use it, but it would be great to mount some some epiphytes to like orchids, bromeliads or stag horn ferns.


Jul 06, 2011
Nutrition and Health Concerns
by: Lynn

Thank-you for your comments and suggestions... I was wondering if you know anything w/ reference to this type of food that the breeder sold me when I bought the bird

1. Caitec brand - "Oven Fresh Bites - Natural Baked Diet Pellets"

2. Lafeber's brand - "Tropical Fruit Nutriberries"

3. Boca Nut Blend
4. Monkey Biscuits ( which I soak in warm water, squeeze out the excess and add about a half of tsp. of Jiff Peanut Butter)

5. Various kinds of the Krazy Corn Mixes which I prepare fresh and freeze

6. Fresh and Cooked Fruits and Vegetables x2 daily


These are the brands that I purchased and was wondering if they were as good as the Harrison's or Roudybush brand? What do you think?

My other question that has surfaced is that my husband and I, found some drift wood at the edge of the shore where we were vacationing and we brought it home to make some nice homemade perches
for her. My next door neighbor is a vet tech. and had some concerns that her feet should not be perched on driftwood for health reasons... do you know anything in reguards to this? Thanks for your help and advice... Lynn









Jun 28, 2011
Macaw health problems
by: The Avian Vet

The first issue to address is her diet. It is a poor diet. I agree that she should be given the foods you mention, but these are only treats and should make up no more than 20% of her diet. The other 80% should be a good quality pellet such as Harrison's or Roudybush. Pellets are the only way to guarantee that she has a complete balanced diet.

Second, it sounds like you have answered your own question, at least in part: she is spoiled and she is desiring attention more than food. This needs to stop before it is too late. She should spend time in her cage, preferably more time in than out. She should become accustomed to eating in her cage and feeling comfortable and secure there. This will help her. Put her on a routine she can count on. Have pellets in the cage at all times. Feed her treats 2-3 times daily. Wait to feed treats in the morning until later so she has time to eat pellets. Take her out and feed her treats such as fresh fruits or vegetables or whatever. Keep her out for some time. Then put her back in the cage so she can rest and drink water.

She should feel comfortable and safe in her cage and play and forage inn there even when you are home. Later take her out again. Try to maintain a schedule.

As for the fruit flies, you may be leaving the food in the cage too long. Fresh or wet foods should only be left in the cage for no more than 2 hours. When you remove the food, then change the paper in the bottom to prevent the fruit flies from eating there. You can use a fruit fly trap to help get rid of them. If she is not drinking from a water bottle, you need to switch her. Bottles are more sanitary and need only be changed once every 24 hours. Bowls need to be washed every 3-4 hours to prevent bacteria from growing in the water.

Dr B

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