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Old 05-25-2011, 07:43 AM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 20,646,136 times
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ok so my sever macaw has a feather issue...
his tail is a MESS, no matter how much i bethe him and how much he bathes himself he doesnt realy preen his tail...

and its just ragged,
firstly let me say i cant get him a bigger cage, its impossible, the cage hes in right now is 5 1/2 ft tall INSIDE, by 3ft deep and 4ft long, its designed for a much larger macaw than mine, and he can eaisly enjoy most of the cage without his tail touching any of the walls...
but he insists on climbing the walls no matter how i arrange his toys no matter what i put in there, no matter how much hes out, his tail just gets destroyed...

hes only 10 months old and still somewhat clumsy, and he hasnt yet moutled any of his tail feathers.
hes on a varied diet of pellet, nuts, seeds and fresh fruits, veggies, sprouted seeds and whatever we had for dinner (minus anything birdy dangeorus).

how often do macaws moult their tail feathers, firstly and secondly, will he become more aware of his tail as he gets older?

right now its realy tatty and even threadbear in some spots and he cant realy use it as an effective flight tool (hes fully flighted but doesnt fly well, he can comfortably make it from his cage the aprox 15ft and round a slight corner to the couch and his playstand in the kitchen ect, but hes not exactly what youd call gracefull and i dont know if thats due to his age or due to his tail not being in tip top shape.

ive worked with parrots for years before getting him, but ive never had a macaw before (worked with them) but they were all rescues housed in an vaiary and all clipped , and of course greys and amazons dont have the super long tails like macaws do.

the rest of his feathers look great though he doesnt spend much time preening himself, its just his tail looks sooo rough and m wondering if theres anything i can do beyond wait for his moult and hope he becomes better aware of what hes rubbing his tail against.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:16 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,124 posts, read 20,225,810 times
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I've never had a macaw, but cockatiels have the same tail issue when they're younger and then outgrow it. Cockatiels usually outgrow it after their first molt at six months...since a macaw has a longer life span, maybe they take longer to mature.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:16 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
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oh good, i hope its the same for jack jack...
its distressing, hes such a beautiful bird and i do everythin i can to privide him with what he needs and as much space as humanly possible (hes hardly ever shut in his cage)
but one look at his tail and it seriously looks like hes neglected JUSt on the tail...i feel like such a bad human birdy care giver
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Old 05-28-2011, 06:13 AM
 
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Question Cage Size...

Is Jack Jacks' cage large enough for him to move around and carry-on w/out damaging his tail? Seems to be the biggest issue for damaging a birds tail.
Koale
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:48 AM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 20,646,136 times
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well lets see, jack jack is an 18" sever macaw (mini macaw) and his cage is 5 1/2 ft tall INSIDE, by 3ft deep and 4ft long and origioanlly marketed as a cage for a greenwing macaw lol.
while its not the south american jungle...i dont think they make cages much bigger than that for residental use...lol.

plus hes only in his cage overnight and for about 3 hours a day if i go out...

however, while the cage is huge, he spends alot of time playing on the bars of his cage which is whats destroying his cage, i try and keep his toys all central so hell play on them in the middle of the cage where he can spread his wings fully, and move around without catching his tail, but he still seems to find more plaeasure dropping his foot toys then playing fetch by jumping down, picking it up and climbing the walls of the cage to the highest point just so he can do it again and laugh

hes such a nut!

belive me though, cage size was definatly a concern when i got him, i worked with parrots in a zoo situation and used to work in a petstore that specilized in exotic birds and ive seen the results of being crammed into a tiny cage, so i whent as big as i could for jack jacks cage, when i got the cage i was 350lbs and i could climb n the cage, stand up comfortably and turn around with my elbows pointed out with no problem...thats how i knew it would be an ok size lol

i know size can be difficult to visual so heres jack jack in his cage
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Old 05-28-2011, 09:35 AM
 
8,680 posts, read 13,234,842 times
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My Green Cheek Conure's tail is a mess 9 months of the year. With him, it's that he likes to dance. He goes back and forth kind of diagonally and bumps his tail feathers. If your bird is a climber or very active, there might not be much you can do about it.
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Old 05-28-2011, 04:44 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
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at least im reassured that other people do have this similar issue lol and that its not that im just a bad birdy momma lol.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:13 AM
 
Location: the AZ desert
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Once feathers are fully formed, they are actually dead. (That is why there is no longer a blood supply in the quill or middle shaft, as there is when it's a young, growing pin feather.) The feathery sides are made up of barbs and the barbs are made up of smaller barbs. These barbs are what keeps the feathers "zipped" together.

During a moult, the primary (wing) feathers are usually the first to fall out, followed by the secondary flight feathers, then tail feathers, then contour feathers.

If your macaw's other feathers look healthy, I would attribute his raggy tail simply to hard playing - since his cage is certainly large enough. OTOH, if his other feathers are dull or off-color, have stress bars or are broken, I strongly recommend an urgent visit to an avian vet to rule out diseases such as PBFD (Psittacine Beak & Feather Disease). Once diseases are ruled out you can look into other causes, such a room that is too dry, poor nutrition and under exposure to full spectrum lighting. (Please do not read "poor nutrition" as a suggesting you are improperly feeding your bird. You may indeed be serving healthy, well balanced birdy nutrition, however, just as most human children, parrots tend to go for the "goodies" and ignore or throw the healthier food.)

If your bird is healthy, after he moults and new tail feathers grown in, he should be back to looking beautiful - at least until he plays hard again.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:24 AM
 
Location: North Western NJ
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his other feathers are pristine
(depiste his dislike for bathtime lol)
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:39 PM
 
Location: the AZ desert
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It sure sounds like you're doing everything right. My suggestion is to sit back, enjoy your little boy's antics and try not to think about how his tail looks.
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