Animal Stories - Hahn's Macaw
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The Hahn's Macaw is the smallest of all the Macaw Parrots, and is one of the best talkers!
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Got our Hahns from a breeder when it was 5 months old. The breeder told us she hadn't handled 'Dublin' for quite some time (her larger Macaws were her 'babies'). We bought Dublin anyway and hoped she would come around for us. We still have a horrible time getting her to come out of the cage and don't want to upset her. Any suggestions would be sooooo appreciated. She doesn't do 'step up' but will come close to get treats. We love her already but would like to be able to hold and pet her and be closer. Thanks for any info. Donna
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Charlie Roche -
If the breeder can't handle the bird, then the breeder shouldn't be selling the bird. That was an excuse for either not hand feeding as she should have, or not hand feeding at all or just neglect after weaning. Given that, your little guy is young and people shy/hand shy and you have to start at the beginning. Because he wasn't handled, he doesn't know that humans are great companions and love him. Yes, feed him treats with your hand, talk to him. Put him on the floor on a towel and play with him, with treats or little toys or they usually like small stuffed animals. Go slow. After a few days pick him up right in the towel and just put him in your lap. Continue the feeding and playing or just gently pet him. If this takes a few weeks - it does. Remember you have a fella with a 60 year life expectancy so no hurry. The idea is to get him not afraid of your hands, then enjoy being around your hands and then with the towel into your lap. He will train you from there. You will also be able to start teaching him to step up.
Hi! Thanks again! I have her out right now -- but once again it was a hassle. Once she is out she seems to enjoy it so I don't understand why she won't come out on her own. Have tried leaving food and treats just outside her cage -- just seems like she's afraid. I talk to her all the time and reward her for any little bit she gives me. I can now put my finger right up to her but she still won't 'step up'. Any suggestions on that? I feel so bad for her but am trying everyday to get closer and closer. Every place I read about birds it says that 'step up' is the first command learned. Do you still think I can eventually get her to 'step up' and let me hold her without her being afraid? Thanks again for all your help. Donna
Hi -- thanks for the info on our Hahns 'Dublin' but am still having such a hard time getting her out of her cage. Have been trying to get her to 'step up' onto a perch but she is terrified of coming out of her cage. She gets near the end of the perch but runs back into the cage. Got her out a couple of times and was able to play with her on a towel on the floor but I HATE to get her sooooo upset getting her out. I've tried holding the perch with one hand and a treat for her in the other but she gets sooo spooked if I start to take the perch out and scrambles for the nearest bar she can hold onto. I sit with her, talk to her and try to let her know how much I love her. I've had her for a month now (supposedly she's 6 months old now) and don't know if it's normal for her to still be so scared. I would definitely appreciate any info on how to get her out of the cage without spooking her -- and if I should still get her out no matter what. Thanks so much for any input. Donna
Charlie Roche -
It isn't normal. She was stuffed in a cage or breeder box and not let out for probably weeks at a time and she is cage bound. She is afraid. Her whole life she has been enclosed in little walls. She is young and I am pretty sure this is reversible. Leave the cage door open and put food and water just inside the cage door. Then place the food and water just outside the cage door - then a little further. The more she is out, the more she is going to get used to being out. Try and look at it as if you were locked in a closet for months and months and fed there but not talked to and then someone let the door open. You would be afraid of the scary big world out there.
Charlie Roche -
Yes, I am confident that you will be able to get her so she is not so afraid and will 'step up'. Let's say every time you go through a door - a gun goes off. It would scare you and eventually you just would not want to come out. Sure would be grateful when you are out but terrified of coming out - I mean who knows when the bullet will hit you. I think the breeder just grabbed this little guy and tube fed (force fed) and ignored any kind of pet, talk, hug, touch etc. Another thought - what happens if you just totally remove the cage? I realize you can't do that permanently but can it be done for a day -
Step up. While the little guy is sitting on your lap or in a towel just slide your whole hand under his belly. Just leave your hand there and make sure he is relaxed. Pet the top of his head with your other hand. Laugh, talk etc. Then say 'up' and just lift him from underneath maybe 1/2 inch - sorta like a game. Do this as play. Eventually just lift him 'up' with your hand, holding on to his foot with your thumb. You cradle a baby lifting it up - so you are going to cradle the little bird as you pickit 'UP' slowly.
Charlie Roche -
Hey great - Dublin got out and went on top of her cage - that is a start. Yep, sounds older and definitely not treated very well. But you know now she will come out of her cage so just let her go in and out as she wishes. Talk to her, feed her little pieces of your food with your hand - she will come to you. It just takes time.
Thank you so much for all your input. I was thinking the same thing about the age. The breeder said that she thought 'Dublin' was a female and she wanted to keep the 'male' for breeding. Now I am beginning to think 'Dublin' IS older and was not a good breeding hahns. Is there a way a vet can tell the age? She came out and went to the top of her cage to get some food in her 'play' area and got back into her cage after about 1/2 hour. I put some food right outside her door on a chair but she didn't go for that. Also -- think I might have scared her in the beginning trying to get her out of the cage (the 'breeder' said to get her out no matter what). I will continue to keep trying as I am beginning to think she might have been abused by the breeder. Thanks again for all your help. Donna
Charlie Roche -
I don't know for a fact but the behavior of Dublin is way unusual. If I had to guess, I would think you have more of an older bird - possibly not hand fed. This breeder should have been able to handle her own babies and you should have been able to handle the baby easily. That's done so we just go from there. Up until maybe 30 years ago, most pet birds were 'wild caught' and imported. They were caught in the forest and brought to the United States. They made wonderful loving companions. So just recently people have the luxury of having a hand fed, tame baby. Now I know your bird was not wild caught as not allowed anymore but I do believe you are having problems. If it is possible to have a wild caught full size macaw as an affectionate loving pet - then your Dublin will come around. It is just a little more difficult. It takes time. Dublin is probably sensing some of your anxiety as well - birds are great at that. I go back to put the food outside the cage and let him come out to eat. He is not going to starve - they don't eat sometimes for a day but he will come out to eat. Just leave the cage door open. Try putting a perch (a screw on perch) and possibly a screw on food bowl on the outside of the cage. What happens when you take him out and he 'runs'? Go by him and sit down. Just go get him and pick him up again or try putting him on the bed with you. Get creative but youneed to get him out of the cage and into your lap or laying down next to you or laying on your chest or by you in the bed - something to start connecting. He is going to live a long time and you have lots of time - you do not have to go fast. This is going to take a few weeks - maybe longer but you will have a wonderful companion.
Hi -- it's me again -- and losing confidence fast as far as our little hahns 'Dublin' will ever be a bird that wants to come out of her cage, sit on our shoulders, and just 'not run away' when she thinks we want her out of the cage. Tried putting her food just outside of her cage (even with a few treats) and waiting to see if she comes out. Nothing! Then I feel sorry and put the food back in thinking I don't want to starve her. Just how long can the food be out of reach? I do believe she has come a long way since I first got her but I really want her to just come out to me and that doesn't seem to be happening. Tried putting a towel on my lap to have her 'step up' but she 'runs' for anything she can climb up on. You've been great -- any other suggestions? Do you still think she'll overcome her fear? Thanks for ANY input.
Charlie Roche -
Hey you have Dublin 'stepping up' ... You may not realize it but you have him 'stepping up' When he flies down and then gets on your hand - he is 'stepping up'
Honest. Now every time he gets up on your hand say 'UP' and what a good bird etc make over him and be fun and funny. Let Dublin get used to that and used to being on your hand to get to your shoulder (which is way normal behavior). Birds always want to be on highest point. Now, after you believe he is pretty used to (accostumed) to you saying 'UP' and talking, dancing, being funny etc. when he gets on your hand, hold his foot with your thrumb to keep him from going up your arm and onto your shoulder. If you think he is going to bite just twist your arm slightly or just let your thumb up. But the idea is for you to have control viz holding his foot with your thumb. Not hard - just a light hold usually works and also makes them feel secure. You did it congratulations - now just keep on going. You are getting it. Parrots train their humans quite well - we just got to pay attention.
Hi! Dublin (our Hahns Macaw) is starting to come out of her cage. Still takes quite a bit of coaxing and she still doesn't 'trust' our hand/fingers. After she 'flies' down to the floor, she will climb up my arm to my shoulder (most of the time) and I think she is getting more and more comfortable. She is also starting to talk quite a bit. I still would love to have her come right out and 'step up' on my finger but I guess that will take a while longer. Took all of your suggestions and they worked more than anything else I tried. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Will keep you posted on Dublins progress. Donna
Can anyone tell me can a macaw have mushrooms?? We just bought our hahns 'Henry' and is three months old and is sexed a male. I just want to make sure we are not feeding him something he should not have.
Any help you can share would be appreciated.
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Charlie Roche -
Ovviously, your little macaw can eat anything that is a high quality see/nut/pellet mix for macaws. Additionally, he can eat anything that is nutricious that humans eat except no avocado. Chocolate and wine are not nutricious. I have fed mine meatloaf with mushrooms in it but realize some mushrooms are toxic to both humans and birds. I don't know how to tell the difference so unless you know - I wouldn't do it. Here is a list of things
which lists foods ok for macaws and those not suggested such as salty or sugar. Hope it helps.
I have my hahns macaws sitting on eggs right now, I'm all excited about that. They have had a couple of clutches before I got them and had three eggs out of each clutch hatch. So right now I noticed three eggs and have left them alone so they can do their thing, and I monitor the eggs only when they are out of the box eating. They are great little birds... I really enjoy my Hanzel and Gretel.
thomas mc manus
Hi could you tell me if hahns macaws roost in the box or is it a sign they are going to go down ?? thank you
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Charlie Roche -
Not sure what you mean by your question. Yes, sometimes a macaw will roost or sleep in their nest box. More the smaller macaws than the larger ones. I don't know what you mean
'to go down?.
Clarice Brough -
I kept and bred their close relative, the Severe Macaw, for many years. They always roosted in their nest box at night, so I imagine the Hahns may also.
It's good you're keeping an eye on your Hahns behavior. When I noticed something like a change in roosting habits, I would also keep a close watch for other indications of illness. Check out the list of potential signs in the article above, it can help!
I've bred these lovely noisey nosey birds for the past ten years. I couldnt say if they roost in the nest box at night but they were always around the box. the male used to sit on the perch and the female sat on the top. One or the other used to go into the box during the day. Once eggs had been laid the male sat by the entrance to the nest and she sat very well. I've recently lost my male and I'm looking for another must be 5 years old plus. with a dna cert and close rung if you know of anyone will buy of them and let them have 1st baby off the 1st clutch
Danny Cookiemunchin Davies
Hi we have had our bird for a little over a month now we have recently found out it's not a green amazon like the prev owners said it's a hahns macaw she's starting to pluck her chest feather out we are thinking it's due to stress or no partner so we are looking for either a friend (male) or to breed her she's 2years old and is looking mature from the signals she's showing in the cage I'm from n/wales deeside area so if anyone could help us out please let me know.
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Charlie Roche -
Feather plucking has to be one of the hardest things to figure out. They say it is normally brought on by stress which can happen during a move. Lots of toys, paper to rip up, rolls of paper to pull down and frequent bathing might help. I had one that plucked and I finally set up a TV by her cage so she could watch cartoons. Each thing helped but nothing I did stopped her from plucking totally - even a mate. I wish you luck and a solution and please let us know how you and your little one do. Many would love to find a solution or assitance with a feather plucking situation. Hopefully it is just the move and more frequent bathing and stuff to shred up and tear apart with some extra attention will do the trick. Two years old is still a young macaw.
Anastasia King -
Mates tend to make macaws anti-social, so before you go off and mate her, Try to examine her diet, as pellet diets are healthier than seed diets, and many seeds in seed diets tend to be fatty and should only be used as a treat. Also, if she's in molting season, she could just be very itchy( my macaw plucks and tears at her feathers) try giving her a bath, and seeing if that doesn't help.
Willie is a Hahns macaw I adopted from a shelter about 3 years ago. He is much nippier than my other birds (everything from budgies to a U2), but also probably the most intelligent of the bunch. He definitely has the most personality, which makes me love him in spite of the occasional bite. I think his previous owner was afraid of him and let him get away with too much. I'm working on that. Willie responds to affection and together time much more than to food. He says "Willie" and "Come on" and "What a good boy!" and "Be a good boy" and "Bad boy" and whispers "Go to sleep" when you whisper to him. He also laughs whenever he hears others laugh--even if it's on tv. And he makes the greatest kissing noise, especially when you kiss him on top of his sweet little head. He thinks he's a gangsta bird; he'll say, "Hey, Willie, Willie" in a low growling voice--LOL. He enjoys burrowing inside my shirt and sticking his head out of the collar. Willie is tone deaf when it comes to singing--he'll try to sing along with you, but everything comes out on one note. But he does love to dance, especially to The Killers and (LOL again) the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas albums. He is aggressive towards the other birds, so I need to watch him during outside play time. They've all learned (the hard way) to stay away from him when he comes near. One thing I really like about Willie is that he will travel in the car and visit and seems to enjoy it. When I go to relatives homes, he'll come out of his carrier and sit on my shoulder quietly the whole time. (I give him a sip of water and a snack.) He is really Mr. Personality.
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Charlie Roche -
I am not sure but I think all Hahns macaws are pips. They have a unique peronality and I truly believe they "KNOW" they are KING and all else are their subjects. I think they love but are definitely on their own terms. You seem to have a great relationship with yours and I am happy for you. I think it takes a special person to understand a Hahns.
We, too, have a wonderful red-shouldered macaw--named Kiwi (why is Kiwi such a popular name for a mini-macaw?). She is 5 years old, but we have not had her sexed as yet--no real need to know. She talks quite a bit and knows when to use certain words at the right times. She has definite preferences for members of the family--an established flock hierarchy, in her mind. She is free-flighted in our home, but sleeps in her cage. She comes when she is called and prefers affection to food as a reward. My wife was a cat person and I was a dog person, so we went many years with no pets. When our daughter wanted a pet, a friend had a bird, so we chose the bird route as something different. Kiwi is a wonderful pet, very affectionate and talkative but will play with her toys when asked. Kiwi is quick to learn new tasks and has quite a good memory over time. She can be a bit trying sometimes when you are doing something with your hands and she wants attention, she can get nippy with you. All in all, we think she is the ideal family pet. Even goes on our boat with us for summer cruises!
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Charlie Roche -
You just have to love a macaw. Yes, they get bossy sometimes as they want their own way. However, we humans get in our moods too. There are just those "I do have a headache day" or the "overwhelming moment" but the macaw has all the personality, love and moods of a very intelligent human - least if they are my children.
I want to mate my Hahn's Macaw. I am in the New Orleans area, I have a female, and she is currently sitting on two unfertilized eggs. ~Brad
I have had my Hahn's Macaw for just over a year now. I got him from a friend who is a bird breeder and I finished his hand feeding, so "he" is my baby. Kiwi also loves my 8 year old daughter and gives us both lots of kisses. He likes my husband but would rather spend his time with me. He is so very lovable, I did not realize how sweet and docile these birds were. We also have a green-cheeked conure, Mango and while she is also sweet, she does not like to cuddle or kiss too much and although she loves my husband, does not like other men who visit. She is famous for trying to attack my brother. Mango also does not care for Kiwi, I am sure since she was the first bird in the house and feels it is hers. While Mango is quite a loud bird, Kiwi is the exact opposite. He is so very quiet and can easily entertain himself in his cage with his toys. He only occasionally yells out if the house gets too quiet and he is not sure we are here. Kiwi can say Mango Tango,step up, Hi Bob, night night, Sydney Boo-Boo, and he mimicks my laugh. He also says ummmm whenever I am eating. I would highly recommend a Hahn's Macaw to anyone looking for big personality in a small bird. As far as biting, he will occasionally nip my daughter's hand as a warning if she is annoying him but he does not bite anyone else in the family.
I'm Ina Kelly in Cali and Kiwi Kelly is our baby since me & my husband don't have kids yet. She is quite a hand full but so much fun. I miss her even when I'm at work. We have had Kiwi since she was a baby, she is 6 years old now. We had her sexed, she is definitely a girl. She is a quiet bird relatively, unless she hears me blowing my nose in the bedroom before we get her (her cage is always covered dark overnight), or if we grind coffee. She laughs when we both laugh, fact which makes us laungh even more. She is quite feisty, bites us not too hard, but a bit. Kiwi says "step up", mimics kissing when I kiss her beak or feet, definitely mimics my every sound in the shower, just learned about 2 years ago to say "good" very well when we give her OJ or cran, and loves a good bark. Her favorites are to sit upside down inside my husband's Tshirt when it gets dark, dance and rock her head when I dance with her to good music or eat ice cream ocasionally as fast as she can, when she is allowed. She is the most rewarding pet ever, we have had a few, but a pet that you need to devote yourself to, since all s/he has is the joy of seeing you, her owner, when you come home. We feel bad we cannot get her a partner so we try to spend every time we're home with her, she is never in her cage then. And when we come home, she screams since she alreay learned the sounds of our cars, she loves us! And we love her!