Are Macaws High Maintenance?


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Macaws are very high-maintenance birds. If you are looking to get one for yourself, then you better be prepared for the humongous task.

If you are a first-timer, you may want to avoid it and start with a less demanding bird type.

There are no less than 17 species of beautiful macaws. Their color ranges from green to red and green, red and yellow, blue, and blue and gold.

Some macaws are large, whereas some have been termed the mini version. 

They are natives of central and southern American rainforests. Macaws are expensive to take care of because of the following reasons.

Space Requirements

Macaws are very loud birds that are capable of screaming as loud as 105 decibels.

This is one of the reasons why they can’t be kept in smaller houses or apartments.

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Their noise can easily upset neighbors if they are too close to your premises.

Also, because they can scream at any time of the day or night, you should make sure that your house is big enough to keep you as far away as possible from the noise, whenever you need silence.

In this case, you may need to make sure your bedroom is as far away as possible from the bird’s cage, so they don’t disturb your beauty sleep.

Not only do the macaw bird keepers require bigger dwellings, but the parrot itself also requires a huge cage to allow the bigger species to extend its wings fully without touching the cage’s sides. 

Their wingspan is 3 to 3 ½ feet. The cage should also provide enough room to allow the parrot to move between two perches and explore freely.

This will ensure you raise a healthy and happy macaw.

macaw facts
There are 17 Species of Macaw

Attention Seeking

What attracts many pet seekers to this parrot is its high level of intelligence, which is thought to be equal to that of children aged between 3 and 8 years.

They are very playful, and they can even tease people.

Macaws tend to behave like little children, throwing tantrums when they get bored or are just trying to attract your attention.

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They require constant entertainment; therefore, you will have to buy them different kinds of stimulating toys to keep them busy. They also love chewing, so you have to get them plenty of chewy toys.

Macaws are extremely social, and they need not only your attention but they should also be allowed to mingle with many people.

These include your family, friends and younger children, or even other pets.

Socialization helps the macaw familiarise itself with different people and situations such that it will not become scared when meeting new people.

Lack of attention which causes boredom, will lead to lashing out, which may induce destructive behaviors.

Having a macaw as a pet means you do not have the luxury of a week-long vacation without it, nor can you spend long hours away from your buddy. 

Given their exceptionally long lifespan, which averages 50 years, you need to be geared for a lifelong relationship with your playful pal.

Dietary Requirements

The macaws require a lot of energy; therefore, they need a bit more food than the average bird, which is a bit more costly.

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They need clean food daily, including formulated diets that are pelletized or extruded, seeds, and parrot mixes.

These parrots must have variety in their diet for psychological enrichment, as they can get bored with a lack of diversity.

Just avoid feeding it with avocado as it may be toxic to them.

They also need additional proteins such as sprouted legumes and cooked chicken. 

Also, consider offering treats, such as macadamias and walnuts. Remember to give clean drinking water to your macaw daily.

Variety is the spice of life, this is not only true for humans, but it also applies to the very demanding macaws who need to be kept happy all the time.

Grooming and Upkeep

Your macaw will need regular visits to the vet, be prepared to dig deeper into your pocket because you will require the services of a specialist avian vet, not just any vet.

Besides requiring a massive cage, as already stated, macaw cages need to be very strong and durable. 

The birds are powerful chewers and can easily damage the cage if it’s made of a weak material.

Macaws are also highly skilled in opening cage doors; it’s best to make sure the cage has escape-proof latches or locks that are far from its reach.

Most macaw owners forget one important personal hygiene aspect: giving a regular bath to their pet. 

Macaws need to shower to maintain good plumage and skin condition. Use a handheld shower sprayer or a fine spraying hose head and lukewarm water.

You should keep the macaw’s wings trim to prevent flight, or you will lose your pet should it fly through an open window or door.

Clip about ten feathers closest to the tip of the wing and leave enough to allow the bird to fly to the floor.

The beak also needs to be clipped if it’s overgrown or deformed to help keep your bird’s beak in shape. 

You can choose your beak grooming items from various mineral or lava blocks available at your pet store.

Your macaw’s nails will also need to be trimmed if they become too long.

Alternatively, you can purchase a concrete type of perch to help keep the nails trim; pet shops sell a variety of these.

The cage requires daily cleaning of the water and food serving dishes. All perches and dirty toys must be washed whenever they are dirty, at least weekly, so should the floor. 

An aviary should be thoroughly hosed down and disinfected yearly, and old dishes, toys, and perches must be replaced.

Never use plastic within your macaw’s cage because your bird may chew on it, causing damage to the plastic, and it can also be a hazard when consumed.


Macaws are playful and very entertaining when kept well and provided with a stimulating environment.

Just keep in mind that macaws are not a mere toy for your pleasure; they are a huge responsibility requiring a lot of your dedication.

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