Macaw Food – Everything an Owner Should Know
Finding or making the proper macaw food for your pet is one of the most important things you can do for your pet bird. While wild macaws can survive well off of various nuts, berries, and seeds outdoors, domesticated birds have special dietary needs, and thus special macaw food is generally suggested by veterinarians.
Choosing the Right Macaw Food
While you may be tempted to simply go out and buy some seed, special care has to be taken. Macaws should have a healthy mix of special macaw pellets, seed, fruit, and nuts. Since these birds are indoors, they are completely dependent upon you to fulfill their dietary needs to ensure a long and healthy life. It falls on you, then, to make sure that they are not fed too much of one type of food that may contain too much fat or not enough nutrients.
Pellets should be the staple food for your macaw. Your bird may be hesitant to eat it at first, but don’t give up; persistence will pay off. Begin by mixing a few pellets in a small amount of seeds. The seeds will be very appealing to your macaw, and it will eat the pellets as well. You can gradually change the ratio of seeds and pellets, slowly reducing the seeds and increasing the amount of pellets.
While they may seem odd and unnatural, you should keep in mind that these pellets are specially formulated for domestic bird health, and will ensure that your macaw is able to remain healthy and happy for a much longer time than if it were to simply live off of fruits and berries.
When feeding your macaw pellets, you should know that this food can also be supplemented with fresh fruit as well. If you feed your macaw a half cup of pellets daily, you should match the same amount of fruits as well. Just be sure that the pellets and fruit are kept in completely separate dishes, as well as water.
Not all fruits and greens are good for your macaw. Avocado needs to be avoided completely, since it is incredibly toxic to birds. Apples are okay, but the seeds can make your bird very sick as well, so be sure to completely remove the seeds from any apple slices you place in the dish.
Commonly favored fruits among macaws are mangoes, papayas, bananas, cherries, strawberries, and even oranges. These are all safe for your macaw to eat, but you may wish to invest in organic varieties, since the pesticides in some produce can make your bird a bit sick as well. At the very least, scrub the fruit thoroughly.
Macaws absolutely love nuts. While you may be tempted to feed them to your bird frequently, this is a bad idea. Nuts are fine in the wild because macaws can fly and get a great deal of exercise. Domesticated macaws, however, should not have that much fat in their systems. Use almonds, macadamia nuts, and walnuts should instead be used as special treats or mini desserts at the end of the day. Some owners like to use them as rewards for learning or performing tricks.
Fruit spoils quickly, and even the pellets will eventually spoil and attract germs and bacteria. Because of this, it is exceedingly important that you wash out each dish or bowl on a daily basis. This will prevent your macaw from contracting several different types of infections that commonly occur due to dirty dishes and cages. Your macaw is a part of the family and should be treated carefully and with respect and love, so make sure you afford him this courtesy.