Letters to Alex

Dear Alex,

I am debating the purchase of a hyacinth macaw. I would like to hear from
anyone who has one or has experienced them regarding their dispositions,
personalities, loudness compared to other macaws, problems that you have
encountered (health, behavior or otherwise), cost of maintaining them, and
whatever else you feel like telling me! I would like to know as much as
possible before i take the plunge. I know very well how much it costs to
purchase one to begin with, and also how much it would be to get a cage
suitable for their strength and size, but IS IT WORTH IT???

I need information. Please feel free to give me all you've got!
Signed Erin

Dear Erin,

Buying ANY bird is a big decision. First thing to remember is, "A parrot is Forever!!!!"
Next thing is that they can live as long as you. Which brings me to point 3.
How would you like to live in a cage for 70 years? Remember these are not convicts. They are
part of your FAMILY.
None of my birds have ever been caged. They have their own room, which by
the way, is always a mess!
A full grown Hyacinth is about 40+ inches head to tail, and has a wing span
of almost 5 feet.  There isn't a cage big enough to humanely hold them
unless we're talking about an outside flight the size of a room. This takes
us back to item 3. Imagine spending your whole life in a 3x2x4 foot cage sitting on a perch.
My birds pretty much have the run of the house and it is not unusal to find
them in bed with me in the morning if I happen to sleep in to long. They
come lookling for me and they love getting under the covers and being cute.
Hyacinths have a great disposition and are very loving and my favorite of
all the macaws.
Food is not too much of a problem.  Every morning they get lots of fruit,
unsalted peanuts, macadamia nuts in shell, some walnuts, 2 slices of wheat
bread and KAYTEE Parrot Chunky. They eat out of cast iron frying pan, which
is the only thing I have found that they can't break or throw. Water bowls
are HEAVY duty stainless steel. Ceramic bowls are out cause the birds eat
them or break them and forget plastic altogether. A hyacinth can eat
anything. Furniture, silverware, shoes, window frames, your glasses,
computer keyboards, the list goes on and is endless.
AND yes they are LOUD when they want to be.  I have a neighbor that has a
bunch of macaws that lives about a 1/4 mile from me and when I have the
birds outside they love to scream at each other. That should give you an
idea of how loud they are. Yes, they hear each other just fine!
And you will find your free time and vacations revolve around the birds.
Very few pet sitters will do birds, most are afraid of them, which the birds
take advantage of also.
Remember, "Parrots are forever"
It takes special people to live with the big birds or any birds for that
matter. Notice I didn't say own!
It is a life time commitment. They are your part of your family, forever.

Good luck,
Alex's dad