On 1/10/08, Darcie wrote:
> I recently acquired a pair of Greenwing Macaws. They are
> breeder birds, and not at all used to humans holding them.
> Though the female has calmed down to not lunge at me
> evertime I come near the cage and she is actually letting
> me scratch her head when I put her plate of "freshies" as
> she calls them in her and her mate's cage.
> Apparently though...I didn't take off their nest box quick
> enough and now I have a clutch of 2 eggs. The lady I got
> them from came over to take a look at them and she brought
> a machine that detects heartbeats within the egg? I
> thought it was weird, but she told me that they are
> I'm not one to kill something, Even if it is an unborn
> little birdie. My hen is still sitting on them and acting
> very proud of herself, and her mate is bringing her the
> freshies straight to her door.
> Though...I've been told she will feed them, but I'm not
> interested in having any more macaws. I have briefly
> handfed before and I know about burning their crop, or
> infections, but..when should I take the babies from their
> mother? And where do I get the bands to put on their legs
> to prove they were hatched here in the US?
> If there is a breeder out there that could give me a
> little help on getting started I would really appreciate
> it. I'm not looking to do this again and their nest box is
> coming off after these hatch...but....what exactly do I
> need to make sure I help to raise some healthy chicks??
I'm not sure what you mean by "briefly handfed before," but
you either are familiar or you're not. Not to sound harsh,
but hand feeding is for the experienced.
At this point you should be giving the pair lots of fresh
foods which would consist of fresh vegetables, cooked bean
mix, hard-cooked eggs (shell and all), etc. You want them to
have all the necessary foods for themselves as well as be
accustomed to these foods to feed their chicks. You would
want to include higher calcium foods such as broccoli, kale,
Disturb them as little as possible so as to not make them
You can order bands for your chicks from L&M leg bands.
There are other companies out there, but this is who I use.
You can pull the babies for hand feeding at about 3 weeks of
age or a wee bit sooner if you like.
You'll need a brooder to keep them warm, and of course, a
good hand feeding mix. I use Kaytee Exxact.
Temperature of the hand feeding formula is probably one of
the biggest issues you'll face. I like around 108 degrees.
Too cool and you invite crop stasis and infection. Too hot
and you'll be off to the vet with burned crop. Use a
If this seems more than you are willing to take on you might
consider selling the chicks out of the nest to an experienced
hand feeder. Just a suggestion.