Mini Macaw poops down the front bars of his cage - Help?

by Amy
(NJ)


We have a very nice Hahn's Macaw, whom we would like to have around for a long time. Our problem with him is that he clings to the front cage bars, and if he's there for a while, he poops down the bars. Sometimes I can't get to it right away and it hardens on the bars, and the base of the bars.

I do a thorough cleaning once a week anyway, but scrubbing this poop off is taking me too long. We have put him in a larger cage, and he does get time out of the cage to play, be held, and flap his wings. I thought if he had more room in his cage, he'd stop hanging out and pooping in the front part of his cage.

Can anyone offer some advice as to how to change this habit? He has been disease tested, vet checked, gram stained, etc. I don't think it has to do with his health. Please help!

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Jan 31, 2012
Mini Macaw poops down the front bars of his cage - Help?
by: Linda

Your bird is a Macaw, and this is what Macaws do. I'm sorry to inform you, but there is NO changing this as Macaws like to hang on the bars, and one of their favorite activities is learning to point and shoot their poop on whoever or whatever happens to be in the way. Since your bird is so small, he probably won't be able to do the "point and shoot" routine and be glad about that.

All I can advise is to get to the poop soon as you can because otherwise it sounds like he's all Macaw all the time.

If you see any of the poop sticking to his butt or it is very runny, then he is sick and needs to be diagnosed and treated by an Avian Vet ONLY. If he has an infection, it would make this worse, so keep an eye on him. Other signs of illness are lack of energy, appetite slows down and sometimes they become irritable because they feel bad. Birds hide their illnesses because in the wild, a sick or injured bird is a dead bird. Either the flock drives them out or kills them on the spot because sick and injured birds bring predators down on the entire flock. Parrots are wild, exotic animals and much of their behavior is dictated by this fact.

The other problem, with parrots, is in the wild, they do climb on bars, so they have to adapt their behavior when in captivity. This includes any and all parrots whether handfed or not because their inborn behavior is inborn. So, hanging on the bars is a captive activity and pooping where they stand is a natural function.

Please either arrange your time around his habits which all told are not so bad if he is such a joy in all other ways. Macaws are Macaws and even the little ones are still Macaws.

Thanks for writing,
Linda

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