Last Updated on by Catherine Tobsing
I have a 5 yr old Catalina Macaw that I have had since he was 6-1/2 weeks old. At 6 months old, he broke the bars of his first cage, then we got him a big “Kings Corner” Cage, and it didn’t take him long to learn how to open the latch on the door, so we have been duct-taping that for quite some time now.
Then, he learned how to maneuver his tongue just enough to get the circle to spin so that the flat/solid food doors would open, then he would push the dish out with his head and get out of his cage, go around and undo all the other doors and then walk around the top of the cage-like he was saying “ha ha ha I got out…”
The only toy that ever lasted is a simple metal swing that used to be covered with rope and toys and such, he destroyed those in minutes and kept the metal ring as a swing/massager for his wings and such.
ALL other toys he will either get through in an hour TOPS (and those are the really good ones that say they are “parrot proof” or “macaw proof”), the only other toys that stick around are the ones with hardwood pieces, for which he takes a little off the edge occasionally and then loses interest.
I have yet to find a B.E. that holds his attention for a relatively long time and I was hoping you could help me with this, maybe come up with something, or recommend your best??
Preferably NON-food related, as he is already about 100g overweight, he is fully flighted, and can still fly, but I’ve already lost him once, so I’m a little hesitant to let him try flying outside again (even if it is on a harness and a really long leash meant for that.
Alright, that’s all I have to say, please help if you can! Or direct me to someone you think may be able to.
Thanks! – Stephanie
Hi Stephanie – Thanx for the email
Unfortunately, birds will be birds and your Catalina is behaving quite normally. That said I have a few solutions I can offer up. First duct tape is a bad idea. It has an adhesive that can snag feathers. Wings can be broken in an attempt to escape the adhesion.
Safety tip: Should your bird get ensnared in adhesive – duct tape, scotch tape, flytrap, rodent trap – personal lubricant or cooking/olive oil is your friend. Oil will instantly break an adhesive bond.
The benefit to personal lubricant is you don’t have to traumatize the bird a second time when you clean off the oil
As for chewing up toys – if your bird was in the wild he’d fly 50 or 60 miles a day stopping as many as 30 times to “forage” for food. He’d use his beak to scrape under rocks and rotted old trees seeking food. He’s just acting out what nature is telling him to do naturally.
They don’t have to be big, fancy, or colorful, He just wants to chew. Please watch my video to show you how to make big bird toys in under 5 minutes
How to make big bird toys fast and cheap ~ Video
Because he’s a chewer I wouldn’t let him fly outside with a line – he’d chomp it off. You can do things like chasing him around a blanket on the ground or up a flight of stairs for exercise.
You can also hold him by his feet and move him up & down. He’ll flap his wings in response which is another great exercise.