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How to Take Care of a Macaw

Learn how to take care of a macaw in this Howcast video featuring veterinarian Laurie Hess.


Dr. Laurie Hess: Macaws are amazing birds. They're probably the largest species of bird that we treat. They come in all different colors. They're beautiful and the blue and gold macaw is probably the most common macaw that we see, a very familiar looking parrot, and then there's the hyacinth macaw, a very royal blue-colored macaw, probably the largest macaw that we see. They're fairly rare. Macaws are amazing, but they require a lot of space. Remember a macaws stretches out and their wing span is several feet wide.

They need to be able to have at least that much space, if not double that space in their cage to be safe at home in a cage and protected against banging their wings and damaging their feathers. Their beaks are very, very strong. They can actually break bones with their beaks. So you really have to think about whether you have the kind of environment to have a macaw.

You know, they can be destructive. They can be very, very loud when they scream. So they're great animals if you have the space and the time. Anything else we want to mention about macaw, Kara?

Sarah Inglis: I think that if you're prepared to have a two-year-old toddler for approximately 30 to 40 years that chews on windowsills and screams really loud, you might be ready to have a macaw.

Laurie: That about sums it up. No, macaws are great. Listen, we love them, but they're not right for everybody. I mean with little babies or people that are elderly and maybe don't move as fast, you know macaws are big and strong and loud and terrific birds. They're beautiful birds, but they're not really the best pet for everybody. So you just need to think about it and learn about the macaw before you rush out and get one.

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