How to Care for Your Hyacinth Macaw
The Hyacinth Macaw is the largest and is recognized as the largest parrot in the world. They are highly intelligent and generally even-tempered birds that can make a good pet for an experienced bird owner. These birds can be loud and nippy and require a commitment of both time and energy from the prospective macaw owner.
1 – Providing the Right Living Conditions for your Hyacinth Macaw
Prepare a large cage. The hyacinth macaw requires a large cage, with a minimum of 42 inches deep, 42 inches wide, and 72 inches tall. The hyacinth macaw needs a lot of room to climb, forage, and move around. Even with the larger cage, the blue macaw will need a good deal of time to fly outside the cage.
Use a stainless steel cage. The macaw will easily break a standard cage 8-gauge wire with his beak. Instead, use a stainless steel wire that will not rust, bend or chip. This is the most expensive type of cage. As the hyacinth macaw will climb on and chew the bars of its cage, you’ll want to make sure it’s not ingesting any paint.
Position your cage well. The hyacinth macaw is a very social bird whose cage should be centered in an area of the home where it can feel part of the family. While the macaw can tolerate a wide variety of temperatures, it’s sensitive to drafts. Make sure the cage is placed in an area free of drafts.
Provide perches. Perches made of the branches of fruit trees are an idea since your bird can safely chew them as well as perch on them. Each perch should have an area that’s about 1 inch in diameter. You’ll need to be prepared to replace these branches regularly.
Feeding Your Hyacinth Macaw
Provide appropriate food. The hyacinth macaw requires a diet unlike that of other parrots. In the wild, it eats two varieties of palm nuts which it finds undigested in cattle dung. To mimic this diet, you can substitute Brazil nuts, almonds, macadamias, coconut, pistachios, and cashews.
Pellet diets are not appropriate for the hyacinth macaw because the high protein content can result in kidney problems for the bird.
Macadamia nuts, high in fat, are a favorite of the blue macaw. You can also pour macadamia oil over pieces of bread for a treat. Filberts (hazelnuts) and brazil nuts are also good choices.
Smell or taste the nuts before you give them to your bird to make sure they aren’t rancid.
Supplement your macaw’s diet with raw vegetables and fruits. Vegetables and fruits comprise a small part of the hyacinth macaw’s diet, compared with other parrots. However, your macaw can eat nearly anything you might, so share your groceries with him. Fresh pieces of kale, cantaloupe, cucumber, for example, make for tasty snacks. Don’t give your bird food that’s moldy, or uncooked meats.
Fresh fruit pits (such as cherry, apricot, peach, or plum) are poisonous to the hyacinth macaw. Never give your bird avocado, as this is toxic to parrots.
Wash all fresh food well before feeding it to your hyacinth macaw to rid it of any pesticides or fungicides.
Provide fresh water. Change the water in your bird’s water dish at least once per day. Your hyacinth macaw should have access to fresh, clean water at all times. Clean the water bowl with hot, soapy water every time you change the water so that you’re not pouring clean water into a dirty dish. Make sure you’re cleaning inside the bowl’s ridges, rims, and corners, checking it for any residue or slime.
Bottled water, spring water, or fresh well water is the best choice for blue hyacinths.
Parrots will use the same water for drinking and bathing, and many birds dunk their food in their water.