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David Boyd
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Yo, what's good everybody?

I was looking into a Blue and Gold macaw,
And I know there are some exotic bird owners here reading this and I have a couple of questions. What should I expect from a bird this size? Also training-wise, what's the best way to learn how to raise them properly?
Peace
David Boyd

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BalukMagic
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Instead of coming here, I'd suggest you go to a bird forum, and ask. Makes much more sense. Also. There are some great websites and books on this topic. Look em up! Smile
RJE
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Check with the Womach's. They are probably the best qualified to give advice on the topic of exotics and magic.

All the best,

Rob
RobertBloor
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Definitely talk to Dave Womach.

My best advice to you, as a parrot owner myself...unless you are ready to make a personal lifetime commitment to a parrot, DON'T.

They're not props. They don't do tricks. They'd don't do things on command.

They scream. They bite. They chew everything. Them poop everywhere.

And that's when they're well behaved and doing their natural behaviors. God help you if you get one and don't treat it right. Then you'll learn what "acting up" means to a parrot.

Now that said...
If you've read this far, I don't want to discourage you. They're great animals and wonderful companions. But before you actually make the investment to a parrot do some research. In fact, do a LOT of research.

Find a local aviary where they'll let you handle parrots...all types.

Talk to breeders, avian vets, and those who own them as companions.

Educate yourself. You'll be doing yourself and the parrot an incredible favor.

If after all of that, you get a bird, there is ALWAYS a chance it won't ever "perform" as you'd hope.

But that's why you invest in one for that companionship and not for business.

Good luck bud and feel free to ask any and every question both here and at bird forums. (Bird forums will give you priceless info!)

And definitely get with Womach. He knows birds very well.

Robert
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,"
-The Declaration of Independence
David Boyd
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Thank you all for that info.. Its good to hear different views on the topic...


Peace
David Boyd
Peace
David Boyd

www.myspace.com/harlemmagic
sperris
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Basically you need to ask yourself truely WHY are you wanting to invest in this animal. Is it for the show, as a companion, or what? You must also make sure your family is prepared to assist you in raising this animal. You should also talk to Steve or Maria August. If you're buying this animal just because you've seen others and want to put it in the act then perhaps that is not the right reason to own one.

My bird was FIRST and foremost a companion for me with no long term intent to put him into my act. It was only when he showed and proved that he would be good on stage did I begin to CONSIDER putting him in my act. This was a process of almost two years of taking him to gigs to get him used to being in that environment and being backstage. From then I would actually perch him on the backs of chairs in my show and just let him sit there. Only so he could get used to being in front of an audience. I never forced him into a show and never will. You can ask anyone backstage in the shows I have worked. Yes, there are nights where I can tell he is acting funny and may not be in show mode, so I'll leave him out of the act for that night.

Please, please, please read up on it as much as possible and yes go to bird forums, as far as performing with them I have heard so many horror stories of a particular dove magician (among many others) - who I won't name here - who claims to have a good reputation but anybody I've known to have worked with him...including myself have witnessed the constant screaming and chewing his parrot does to not only himself but his props etc. It by no means makes him look professional and sadly he is the butt of many backstage jokes us bird magicians get. Even worse you can't help but feel depressed for this poor animal who is forced into this amature-esque magic act because without the bird the magician has no ending. You need to look at your act/show and search deep inside and come to the conclusion of is this a worthy investiment which will bring up the quality of my show or is there another area where this investiment will be better spent.

Maybe I said to much but I strongly feel it is something that needs to be said and understood especially by younger magicians too who wish to persue this area of performing.
DANSPERRY.COM
David Boyd
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Thanks Dan ,

I absolutely agree. I love birds and I really wasn't Intrested in the bird just for performing.

It's something that I have wanted as a pet for a long time and all this info is really helpful and I appreciate it!

Thanks again feel free to send me a pm if you have more info !



Peace David
Peace
David Boyd

www.myspace.com/harlemmagic
RobertBloor
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David,

The other advice I might give...if you've never owned a parrot before, a macaw could proove to be a VERY difficult choice. Of course it can be done. But like we said - research a lot!

And keep in mind pricing.

You can't buy a $1,600.00 macaw for $1,600.00.

You'll need cage, food, perches of various sizes, toys etc. And when I say toys - go to PetsMart. Look at the LARGE macaw toys. They start out at about $30 per toy. You'll need dozens and dozens. They shred them like toothpicks.

Don't forget vet visits etc.

And when I mentioned cage - a good macaw cage can cost another $2,000 easily. (think stainless steel and think big. No...BIGGER.)

I too was on the hunt for a blue & gold. Spent a year researching and discovering all different types of parrots.

In the end it wasn't a b&g that got me - a cute little blue fronted Amazon chose me. Everyone at the pet shop said this bird was "horrible", a "biter" and "screamer."

She chose me and she's been a happy delightful ball of feathers ever since.

Good luck!
Robert
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,"
-The Declaration of Independence
DaveWomach
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They are a life time investment, and as Dan mentioned, they don't always want to do the show and you can't make them. Also take into consideration what traveling will be like for your bird. My umbrella cockatoo got lost on the way back from Hank Lee's convention. The airlines found him within a day and returned him to me, but he associated getting lost with me. I worked with him for a year to try to get him back into the show, and he just wouldn't do it. There's a lot more to birds then most people realize.

My brother and I just produced a DVD on "Crappy Pet Shops". If you're interested in more info about it, PM me. It's an invalueable tool when searching for a parrot. We went undercover and video taped crappy pet shops, and put them out in the public's eye. All the negative things that shops to are exposed on the DVD. We also interviewed an amazing pet shop near Seattle, Washington.

Make sure that you are investing into a companion, not a prop.

Dave
RobertBloor
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On Dave's comment of crappy pet shops - my amazon came from PetCo. Now they've since stopped selling large parrots due to domestic terrorism.

That said - PetCo was a rathole place and I'm glad I rescued her from that place. In the future, I would never buy from any petshop or big box retailer. They just don't have a handle on how to deal with these birds.

What you can buy at a PetCo or Petsmart is a copy of BirdTalk magazine. You'll find ads for hundreds of breeders in the back. People who actually understand these animals and care about the species.

Again - best of luck!

Robert
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,"
-The Declaration of Independence
Chezaday
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Ah .. the bird thing, one of my previous girlfriends suggested that we get a bird for the act. Little did I know I would wind up with the bird when we broke up. She's a piece of work .. and too unpredictable for my act.

Jenna shares her room here at Chezaday Manor with two Burmese pythons .. perfectly normal over here.

Steve
DaveWomach
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Quote:
On 2006-12-18 01:50, Chezaday wrote:
Ah .. the bird thing, one of my previous girlfriends suggested that we get a bird for the act. Little did I know I would wind up with the bird when we broke up. She's a piece of work .. and too unpredictable for my act.


But what about the bird? Did it make it into the act? lol...
bwarren3
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David,
If you're on the East Coast, look into Phoenix Landing Bird Rescue. You can foster the bird of your choice for 6 months and if things work out then you just adopt the bird. Comes with a cage but you have to attend one of their mandatory educational classes which are fantastic.

I bought my B&G and Merlin is my baby, but she also does do tricks but first she is part of our family. We also bought an African Congo Grey which is my wife's baby, she talks all day long especially to my wife which she dearly loves. I also bought direct from a breeder friend of mine a Bolivian Scarlet macaw and Rainbow is only 10 months old but already is turning into my wife's baby also.

We decided to "rescue" our Sulfur crested cockatoo, Sophie. She is a hoot. What a character. She comes up with tricks to do basically all by herself just for the reactions she gets. Sophie keeps us in stitches but she also has a huge potential for introducing into the act like Merlin. They are all fully flighted and it's a gorgeous sight to watch them fly all around the house from room to room doing 360's.

We have an 80 x 80 double macaw cage that goes almost all the way up to the ceiling of our bird room. The 2 macaws play constantly on the top, the sides, the back, inside each other's cage all of the time. This cage is probably the largest double cage that they make. I don't plan on clipping Sophie's wings, plan on letting them grow out and helping her learn how to fly like the others.

I'm giving you all of this background so you can see it is a huge commitment on your part. For me, these 4 are all I can personally handle. We try to give them quality one on one time every day plus they all love to play in the shower and after that they get to warm up to their own heat lamps that are outside their cages. Dave & Chet Womach are incredible educational sources.

We saw Joseph Gabriel when we were in Las Vegas a couple of months ago. Definitely one of the best bird acts that I've ever seen, produces for his finale 2 macaws. If you ever get a chance to see The Amazing Puck and Hoppy his Cockatoo perform watch Puck, great show.

I had always wanted a large parrot especially a Blue & Gold. Merlin is everything that I could ever have asked for plus more. Merlin never ceases to amaze me, constantly wants to learn and the more time we spend teaching her different things the more she responds. Sophie watched me add another feeder to her cage and figured out how to not only unscrew the wing nut but the entire assembly, crash right to the bottom of the cage!!!

The she figured out how to reach out through the bars with her foot and flip the handle until she could maneuver it open then crawl out through the feeder flap at the ends of the cage and then go sit on top of her cage waiting for my wife to come home so she could pop up and say Hi, Hello!!! That is until Mr. Masterlock came along and ended that. They are very smart.

If I can answer any of your questions just PM me any time.

Bill
David Boyd
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I do live on the East Coast. I'm going to definitely PM you!

Yeah I’ve had some experiences Like that. My best friend has a Camelot macaw and an umbrella cockatoo... They used to open their cages too until he fixed it with some locks as well, ha-ha. But I'll definitely check out the bird rescue!

Feel free to PM me Bill.

Peace
David
Peace
David Boyd

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Stevenleeaugust
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Quote:
On 2006-12-17 16:22, David Boyd wrote:
....What should I expect from a bird this size? ...


I would say expect nothing.

There are never any guarantees with animals. I have seen parrots that walk into their prop and think its playtime and others that fight like its pure torture. It’s a 60-80 year commitment even if it goes bad.

I rarely use my cockatoos in my act anymore, maybe once or twice a year for corporate events. I prefer using my snakes. Back when I performed in reviews I had two cockatoos and one macaw. Each bird alternated nights so that each bird only worked once every three days.

Sadly, at 11 years old our Blue and Gold developed cancer and died within a couple of days. Just like that. Very sad. She was a rescue as were all my birds.
Regards
Steve
David Boyd
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Yeah, I remember your segment on Secrets of Animal Magic. How are the reptiles doing? Smile
Peace
David Boyd

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Stevenleeaugust
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Reptiles are all doing great. Thanks.
TheGiz
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I have 5 parrots and have wished to use them for magic, but they just don't have the disposition. Each one is uniquely wired not to perform. I still like the birds, but realize they will never make it to the stage. Fortunately my wife loves them for what they are. . . entertaining & beautiful creatures, not props or furniture.
http://blackbeltmagician.com

"And it's a good thing I only use my power for good!!!"
MDS
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I agree with the comments posted above! It is a really large commitment and you must be totally prepared for it. Like most exotic bird owners, boy do I have some stories about having exotic birds and traveling with them.

Matt
Matthew David Stanley,
Comedy Magician
matthew@matthewdavidstanley.com
www.matthewdavidstanley.com
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