It’s not easy to breed birds. You need time, money, the help of a dedicated and skilled avian veterinarian, and space for the nesting box and the newly hatched parrots! However, the rewards are great—especially when breeding endangered species like macaws. It can be very fulfilling to know that you are doing your part to help increase the numbers of these beautiful birds
Macaws Breeding-Getting started
You need healthy parents to get healthy hatchlings! Sometimes you can buy adult breeding pairs, though it’s much better to raise them yourself. They will be comfortable around you, and the process of taking care of them will prepare you for the many months you will spend “mothering” the new chicks.
Breeding pairs will need to get used to their new home before they can even begin mating or building a nest. They must feel “safe” and this includes keeping them well fed, giving them plenty of space, and making sure everything is clean.
Next, you must decide when to initiate the breeding. Most experts say that spring and early summer are ideal, especially if it’s the pair’s first time to mate. However, veteran breeders will often have more than one clutch a year. You can help stimulate reproduction by introducing high fat seeds (like walnuts or sunflower seeds) during breeding season.
Macaws can get really noisy during breeding season, so make sure that the nesting boxes are placed away from the neighbors. You may also need to separate different pairs since males can get territorial. Unlike other birds you will not see many cases of mates attacking each other.
Macaws Breeding-Setting up a nest box
Your nest box must at least be 24 inches x 24 inches x 36 inches. It’s better if it is wider than it is shorter, just to give the macaws room to move around. However, if you will get a vertical box, the smallest must be at least 12 inches by 12 inches by 36 inches.
Macaws love to chew so choose a sturdy wood and provide them with enough nesting material. They usually like pine shavings, though some pet stores will sell other types so you can offer your birds enough choices.
Macaws Breeding-Taking care of the hatchlings
You can expect 2 to 4 eggs per clutch. The incubation period will last a little over 3 weeks. Once the eggs have hatched, be sure to pass by the nesting box at least twice a day to see if the chicks have been properly fed, especially if the breeding pair is young and inexperienced. Be sure to provide abundant amounts of food and water.