Macaws need very large and very strong cages. These can be expensive, but anything smaller or weaker simply cannot do. They are big animals who need room to exercise and play. And if you get something cheap, their strong jaws will destroy it within months.
Smaller macaw varieties can fit in the cages sold for Amazon parrots. These are usually 24 x 36 x 48 inches. The larger varieties should have cages at least 36 x 48 x 60. However, if you plan to keep your birds caged for most of the day, you need even bigger cages.
You should look for a durable material like stainless steel. The cage should also have a lock well out of the reach of the birds—macaws are the Houdinis of the animal kingdom! Some stores sell bird-proof locks, and these are well worth the investment.
The cage should have at least two horizontal bars so the parrots can climb up and down. Include three perches, spaced well apart so they can fly or hop from one to the other without tripping over or trampling on their feathers. Make sure the perches are thick enough for the bird to sit on them without their claws turning inward. You can find many branches in your own backyard, but disinfect them before use by roasting in an oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or soaking in a bleach solution.
Don’t place the cage near corridors or other high-traffic areas, or any rooms where you and your family are likely to make noise at night. Macaws require 12 hours of sleep a day, and should have absolute silence after 6 or 7 pm.
Many cages come with removable trays, making it much easier to throw away droppings or spilled food or water. Fill these with clear newsprint or toilet paper. Newsprint can stain the feathers. Be sure to change the lining everyday, and to give the cage a thorough washing every week.
Cages should never be placed in the kitchen, since the heat and the gases omitted by Teflon pans can make macaws sick. They can also get seriously injured if ever they accidentally escape and decide to check out the stove!
Also avoid placing the cages in direct sunlight. Instead, pick a corner in a bright room where they can enjoy the view but can still escape to a “shady spot” if they feel too warm.
Many parrot experts recommend placing one side of the cage against a wall, since this helps the creatures feel more secure.