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Thread: Uncontrollable Macaw Regurgitation

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    Uncontrollable Macaw Regurgitation

    I've read all the posts and tried everything. My macaw is now in the uncontrollable bad habit stage of this regurgitating problem. He (or she) will do it from the time the sun comes up until the cage is covered at night. He has a huge (mega huge) cage and I've changed his toys, moved things around, taken away, added etc. He does this regardless if I'm in the room or not. My breakfast nook is his area. He has 4 huge windows on 2 sides of his gate. Plenty of fresh water and good food. He regurgitates over everything. His cage, branches, toys. side of his food dish, his water lick spout. Daily I have to wash all of this down. Do you know how hard it is to clean a beak and feet on a bird that doesn't want to be cleaned? It's been going on like this for a year now. Vet is no help. He's 27 years old and this is the first time that he is actually driving me insane. Any suggestions?

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    Re: Uncontrollable Macaw Regurgitation

    Hi, and welcome to the community. Regurgitating is really about having a mate and being hormonal. Even though he is 27 years old Nature is telling him to have a mate. More than likely he considers you to be his mate, so, he is doing this in attraction for you.

    Weather does have an affect on hormones, and I feel that in the last year or so the whole USA seems to be in a period of a warmer climate. This too, could be having an affect on him.

    Do you feed him soft foods? They do tend to uptake the hormones. Does he get at least 10 hours of sleep at night? Increasing sleep hours will sometimes help as well.

    I would say if he or she were to have a mate that would likely take care of the problem, but then you would need to deal with mating, laying eggs, and baby chicks!

    I have to say you are one awesome caregiver to have kept him alive for all those years. It is no wonder he loves you!!
    Last edited by maxollie; 03-30-2017 at 01:34 PM.

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    Re: Uncontrollable Macaw Regurgitation

    I really cannot say how to stop this constant regurgitation and can only imagine how messy it has to be having to deal with it day after day. Do you ever let him out of his cage and put him somewhere else to change things up? Does he get to go outside every now and then? The real sun might do him wonders. Really I am thinking he is madly in love with you and just cannot help himself from feeding you. Its a hard one to fix and I know my lovebird would "feed" my daughter all the time but he did seem to have times he was not at all interested in feeding her so I am surprised your Macaw has done it constantly. I feel bad for you because I know how sad and sickening it was for our lovebird to constantly feed my daughter but if you cannot get your bird a mate these things do happen but usually only when they come into season and are feeling that need to mate. Your boy must really love you! I would think after all these years of no eggs he is perhaps really a boy because if it was that much in love with life to regurgitate that much he must be in love with someone in your house. 12 hours of darkness does help. My sisters Cockatoo gets all horny and feeds everything certain times of the year and if he is covered for 12 hours in a dark room it does help him to slow it down a little bit.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Uncontrollable Macaw Regurgitation

    Hi everyone! Thanks for writing back. I really appreciate it. In all honesty, I've only been covering him for the last year since he's been doing this. Never had a problem before that. Now at 9:30pm he gets his light black sheet over his cage (tied down since he likes to pull it off and watch it drop) and 2 thick cotton painter canvases to really darken the upper 2/3rds of his cage. I'll start tonight going from 10 hours to 12. He used to have a cage mate, a rescued sulphur crested cockatoo that adored him. But she passed of old age 17 years ago. We didn't want another bird after that because he was heart broken and it took him about a year to get over her not being around. He comes out of his cage daily. I don't take him outside anymore because of where we are, even though we have dogs, there are always cats lurking and we have birds of prey that would have no problem going after him. They aren't afraid of people! When he starts bobbing his head, I tell him no firmly. He just ignores it. I know he loves me. Technically, it should be my husband that should be the love of his life but I'm always with him. If he sees me and he's with my husband, he'll bite him. Not nibble. Bite. I just need a break from washing down the toys, perches and cage from his regurgitating mess daily. You would think 5 birds lived with him with what he does.

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    Re: Uncontrollable Macaw Regurgitation

    I am sorry you lost your Cockatoo and your poor Macaw must miss his friend lots. I hope covering him up and giving him a good nights sleep will calm his raging hormones. It is the perfect time for them to be hormonal and I sure know both my sisters birds, a Amazon and a Cockatoo are both very hormonal right now. They both seem to lose there cool and bite people when they are hormonal except my sister the Cockatoo loves her and wants to feed her just like your Macaw.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Uncontrollable Macaw Regurgitation

    Thank you Boomer Girl. I really think this goes beyond breeding season and love. I left my camera to record him while I was out of the house. All he did was regurgitate for 3 straight hours. I'm covering him for the 12 hours. For the first hour under black out, all he does is regurgitate. When I get home, this stuff is caked all over his beak, neck, crop and feet. It's so difficult to clean him. I really think this is getting into a bad habit/compulsive disorder. I'm really at my wits end. This is now going on for a full year. How do I make it stop?

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    Re: Uncontrollable Macaw Regurgitation

    This is not right at all. Has he been tested for illness? Could it be some sort of issue in his crop? I would not think this is a happy thing to regurgitate like that. I have no idea other then perhaps a crop ulcer or something going on between his crop and beak. I would be tempted to have his crop X-rayed just to make sure everything in that area is OK.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Uncontrollable Macaw Regurgitation

    I want to thank all of you for your help. I've been covering him (total black out) since it was first suggested. He actually gets vocal around 7:45pm every night if he doesn't see me coming with the covers. He has finally stopped regurgitating about 2 weeks ago! Hallelujah! The cover for the 12 hours is working! Thank you!!!!!!!!!

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    Re: Uncontrollable Macaw Regurgitation

    Thanks for letting us know the GREAT news!!! Poor birds crop had to have been irritated by all that regurgitation.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Uncontrollable Macaw Regurgitation

    He didn't care. His new thing now is screaming at the top of his lungs between 5:45pm (almost exactly) and 8pm every evening. Like clockwork. But I'll take that over the regurgitation any day. Not having to take the care apart every day to hose it down along with perches and toys - it's a relief.

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    Re: Uncontrollable Macaw Regurgitation

    One of our old neighbors Macaw used to do evening calls as well. They were very loud and I couldn't even imagine how loud it would be right next to the bird.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Uncontrollable Macaw Regurgitation

    I guess I spoke too soon. He started back in the with regurgitating 3 days ago. I just can't win.

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    Re: Uncontrollable Macaw Regurgitation

    I have no advice but do feel very sorry for you. Silly big bird loves you way too much and just wants to feed you over and over again. My lovebird would go through his stages of regurgitating on and humping everything he could find for a month, then searching for the perfect nest spot and then turn back normal for a few months. Then do it all over again. Thank goodness his regurgitating was tiny compared to your Macaws. I really do feel for you.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Uncontrollable Macaw Regurgitation

    I haven't been going to his cage at all trying to get him to finally bond with my husband. You would think after 27 1/2 years, there would be some love there. Nope. He uncovers the cage, feeds him, waters him, spritzes him, plays with him but it doesn't make a difference. I thought it was finally working. Now I am back pulling his cage apart daily and pressure washing it. Honestly I can't do this anymore. I think losing his cage roomie (sulphur crested cockatoo that spoiled him) kind of did him in. I'm sure if he got another roomie he would be better. However, I'm not getting another bird. I think it might be time to see if I can find him another bird friendly home that will love him as he is and slowly introduce him to another large bird to eventually love and play with. I'm always the one that tells people just be patient and things will work out. I've been practicing what I preach. I've never raised my voice at him or yelled. I keep calm. But after working all day, I want to chill and unwind and not have to change and start pulling the entire cage, perches and toys apart to either pressure wash or wash. I love him, don't get me wrong. I never would have let my husband get him in '89 right after we got married if I didn't see something in this bird that made me smile. That is especially true when he hears a phone do a classic ring. He has perfectly mimicked my mother-in-law saying "Hello" +"It's the phone for you!" and a few other phrases. Sometimes he does it, sometimes you can see the wheels in his head turning and thinking about it. I'm sure it's hard on him but I don't think I can do this anymore. If someone wants to know why my husband doesn't do it...you know how kids wants animals and promise they will take care of them and they never do. Yeah, after 3 months, that is what happened. Sorry if I'm slightly venting.

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    Re: Uncontrollable Macaw Regurgitation

    I am sorry Karen and I can understand your feelings you are having now. If there is a bird rescue in your area (a good one) I think they might be a good place for him to go. Or if you can find someone with another big bird that is looking for a friend for it that would work as well. It has to be hard on both of you to go through this and your poor Macaw has to be going crazy himself not having a true mate after his friend died. It will be a very sad thing for both of you to be separated but it might be the best thing for both of you. It has to be so awful having to clean his cage day after day and knowing you tried everything I think people will understand why you want to give him up.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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