do mini macaws make good pets?

Are Hahn’s Macaws Good Pets?

Also known as the mini macaw or red-shouldered macaw, Hahn’s macaws (Diopsittaca Nobilis) are a popular avian pet. Their lime-green plumage and red shoulder coloration make them one of the most distinctive breeds.

When properly trained, Hahn’s macaws make loving, affectionate pets. They’re sweet-natured and gentle, and love being cuddled. If they’re handled from a young age, they become bonded to the entire family, not just one person. However, they can be nippy when they’re first weaned. They’re also loud and scream whenever they feel scared.

Because Hahn macaws are one of the smaller parrot species, they don’t take up much room. They’re also relatively easy to care for, although they require lots of mental enrichment to prevent them from getting bored.

How Long Do Hahn’s Macaws Live?

In captivity, Hahn’s macaws live for 20-30 years with the right care. This is a significantly longer lifespan than the average pet.

Hahn’s macaws also form strong bonds with their owners. As a result, they become depressed after being rehomed and sometimes struggle to bond with a new family.

How Big Do Hahn’s Macaws Get?

According to the American Federation of Aviculture, Hahn’s macaws are the smallest species of all true macaws. As adults, they reach between 12 to 14 inches in size and between 140 to 165 g in weight. Their relatively small size makes them one of the better parrot species for apartments and condos.

How Much Are Hahn’s Macaws?

Hahn’s macaws are one of the more affordable parrots, especially when compared to African greys and larger macaws. Expect to pay anything between $600 to $1,400 for a healthy Hahn’s macaw. The price depends on:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Genetics
  • Unique marks or features
  • Possible hereditary diseases
  • The breeder

However, always make sure you get your parrot from a reputable, licensed breeder. Even though the price will be higher compared to a pet store, the benefit is that you’ll reduce the risk of health problems or genetic defects.

You’ll also need to bear in mind the cost of your parrot’s long-term care. While purchasing a Hahn’s macaw is a one-off payment, you’ll need to factor in the price of:

  • Toys
  • Cage
  • Substrate
  • Veterinary care
  • Accidental damage to the home

Similarly, some parrots are prone to health conditions, like bumblefoot and fatty liver disease. As a result, treatment will incur unexpected – and potentially high – costs.

Do Mini Macaws Make Good Pets?

Hahn’s macaws are packed with personality. They’re also much easier to care for than other parrots, especially larger macaws.

However, as with any parrots, there are several Hahn’s macaw pros and cons to consider. For example, on the negative side, Hahn’s macaws are:

  • Loud: They’re prone to screaming and are noisy when they want to be.
  • Nippy: Especially when they’re young. Although, you can train this out of them.
  • Self-mutilate: If they’re bored, they pluck out their feathers.

However, there are also many positives to owning a Hahn’s macaw. For example, they are:

  • Loving: They bond with their owners and enjoy spending time with them.
  • Intelligent: They can learn words and phrases with training.
  • Good with children: They’re one of the friendliest parrot species.
  • Fun: They provide hours of entertainment.

Hahn’s macaws have specific care requirements, including:

  • A healthy diet incorporating pellets, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Out-of-cage exercise time.
  • Mental enrichment.
  • Quality time with their owners.
  • Regular training.

Are Hahn’s Macaws Good Beginner Pets?

While Hahn’s macaws aren’t as easy to look after as budgies and cockatiels, they make an easier pet than African greys and conures. However, that doesn’t mean they’re easy to care for.

They require consistent training to root out nippiness and self-mutilating behaviors. You’ll also need to spend time teaching them to vocalize if you want a talking parrot.

Similarly, they don’t like being alone for long periods of time. If you spend lots of time away from the house, your parrot will get lonely and bored.

That being said, Hahn’s macaws are small and don’t take up too much room. They also form strong bonds with their owners, making them much easier to train than stubborn birds.

Hahn’s macaws are ideal for owners who have basic parrot care skills and are looking to take a step up from a smaller bird.

what do hahn’s macaws eat?

When Do Hahn’s Macaws Start Talking?

Hahn’s macaws don’t have a talking ability of their own. How much they learn and say depends on the training their owners provide. In the wild, most macaws learn vocalizations from their parents. As a result, owners must adopt this role, providing the parrot with the motivation to talk.

Hahn’s macaws can turn into expert talkers with regular and consistent training by the time they’re 2-3 years old. How early they start talking depends on the macaw’s personality.

You can train Hahn’s macaws to talk using the following methods:

  • Repetition. Repeat words and phrases around your parrot, allowing the bird to mimic them.
  • Association. This is similar to positive reinforcement. Teach your parrot words and phrases by associating them with a tasty snack.
  • Spontaneous speech. Turn on the TV and radio, and congregate with other members of the household around your parrot, letting it listen to the words you’re saying naturally.

Not all macaws will understand to mimic your speech, so it takes time, effort, and dedication to get your Hahn’s macaw to a place where it understands enough about words to emulate them. 

Are Hahn’s Macaws Loud?

Hahn’s macaws are known for being noisy parrots. In the wild, they live in flocks for protection against predators and to forage for food together. They communicate with each other through various vocalizations, which need to be loud enough to be heard in the noisy rainforests they’re native to.

As a result, Hahn’s macaws are equally as loud in captivity and require training to quieten them down.

Do Hahn’s Macaws Scream?

Hahn’s macaws scream in the wild to warn their flock mates of incoming danger. They also sing and squawk. As a result, captive Hahn’s macaws scream whenever they feel threatened. This could be because of people or other animals in the household. However, they also scream because they’re:

  • Suffering from a health condition
  • Suffering from a nutritional deficiency.
  • Stressed.
  • Bored or lonely.
  • Jealous of another family member or pet.
  • Trying to get your attention.

Sometimes, Hahn’s macaws need mental stimulation to prevent them from screaming.

How To Look After A Hahn’s Macaw?

To determine whether a Hahn’s macaw is the right pet for you and to provide it with a happy, healthy home, you’ll need to know how to care for one. This includes what to feed it and how to provide an appropriate cage setup. Luckily, we’ve got all you need to know below.

What Do Hahn’s Macaws Eat?

Hahn’s macaws aren’t known to be fussy eaters. However, as described by the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, many parrot owners don’t know how to feed their bird in a healthy way, leading to:

  • Health disorders
  • Behavioral issues
  • Physical discomfort
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Death

That’s why owners must provide their birds with highly-digestible foods. The following diet is suitable for Hahn’s macaws:

Pellets

Pellets should make up around 75 to 80% of your Hahn’s diet. Commercial avian pellets are a balanced, complete food that contains all the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that Hahn’s macaws need to stay healthy, including:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fiber

However, some pellet mixes contain artificial colors that add no nutritional value. When looking for a pellet mix for your Hahn’s macaw, study the ingredients list to ensure there are no hidden nasties that could make your parrot unwell.

Seeds

In the wild, seeds make up a significant part of a Hahn’s macaw’s diet. Hahn’s macaws would be happy to eat nothing but seeds, but if they did, they’d be vulnerable to a range of vitamin deficiencies.

That being said, Hahn’s macaws can have a small selection of seeds as a daily treat. They particularly love spray millet and sprouted sunflower seeds. The latter is much healthier than dried sunflower seeds, as they’re fresher and packed with more nutrients.

Nuts

Hahn’s macaws have strong beaks, so they enjoy cracking nuts open and eating what’s inside. Like seeds, nuts are high in fat, so you should only provide them as a treat.

However, all macaws require higher levels of fat than other parrot species. That’s because it provides them with the energy they need to remain healthy. So, when choosing nuts, opt for varieties that are rich in oil.

Too many nuts are similar to junk food, as they don’t contain many nutrients. Similarly, slow-paced captive parrots gain weight too quickly if they eat too many. Suitable nuts for Hahn’s macaws include:

  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Monkey nuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts

Because Hahn’s macaws are small, they can have 1-2 nuts a day. Any more is too much. Also, all nuts should be unsalted and human-grade. Animal-grade nuts are of lower quality and are more likely to develop mold.

Vegetables

Vegetables are an essential part of a Hahn’s macaw’s diet. According to VCA Hospitals, vegetables should make up 20-25% of a macaw’s diet, as they provide essential nutrients that they can’t get from other foods.

Hahn’s macaws particularly love corn on the cob. Not only is it delicious and packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but the core provides mental enrichment. That’s because the parrot enjoys twisting and pecking the cob.

Pale vegetables, such as lettuce and celery, offer little nutritional value, so you might want to avoid those. Also, you must wash all vegetables before feeding them to your parrot. This is to remove all pesticides.

Fruits

While fruits are another good source of nutrients that parrots can’t get from other food sources, they’re high in naturally-occurring sugars. If you feed your Hahn’s macaw too much fruit, it’s at risk of obesity and other weight-related health conditions.

are hahn's macaws one person birds?

What Foods Are Bad For Hahn’s Macaws?

Some foods are toxic to all parrots, including Hahn’s macaws. You should never feed your parrot the following foods:

  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Fried food
  • Avocado
  • Human junk food

Similarly, there are some foods that some parrot owners are wary of. That’s because they’re potentially harmful to parrots, especially if they’re not prepared appropriately. These foods include:

  • Honey
  • Milk
  • Peanuts (raw/unroasted)
  • Cheese

You might want to stay away from these foods, particularly if your parrot has a sensitive stomach.

How Much Should I Feel My Hahn’s Macaw?

Depending on whether your Hahn’s macaw is on the smaller or larger size, it’ll eat between 1/2 to 3/4 cup of pellets and 1/2 to 3/4 cup of fruits and vegetables each day. You can feed your parrot twice a day – but some can have a smaller portion at midday if they’re hungry enough.

To know for sure, observe your parrot’s eating habits. If it eats all its food in one go, add another small portion at midday. However, if your parrot gains weight, it’s being greedy and you’ll need to reduce its intake.

Hahn’s Macaw Cage Setup

Getting the right cage setup for a Hahn’s macaw is crucial. If the cage is too small, the parrot will feel cramped and stressed. Similarly, it needs to feel safe and secure. Follow these steps to get the ideal set up for your parrot:

What’s The Ideal Hahn Macaw Cage Size?

Because of their small size, Hahn’s macaws don’t need a large cage. That being said, bigger is always better, so choose the largest cage your home allows.

The minimum size a Hahn’s macaw’s cage should be is 34” wide, 24” deep, and 36” tall. This gives them enough room to spread their wings and hop around.

Again, because Hahn’s macaws are a small parrot, the ideal bar spacing is between 3/4 to 1 inch. This prevents them from escaping through the gaps.

Bear in mind that Hahn’s macaws are strong birds, so choose a robust powder-coated cage made from a non-corrosive material such as steel, brass, or chrome. They also prefer horizontal bars that they can grip and climb. Other things to consider include:

  • Cage quality. Hahn’s macaws need a cage with thick bars that they can’t bend.
  • Perches. Make sure the cage is big enough to allow for three perches of various sizes.
  • Trays and gates. Try to find a cage with removable items so that you can clean and sanitize them easily.

Similarly, make sure the cage has enough space for:

  • Toys
  • Food
  • Water
  • A nesting box

Hahn’s Macaw Personality

Hahn’s macaws are sociable and charming, making them popular pets. With the right care and affection, they provide hours of entertainment and develop a unique personality, making them one of the most fun parrots you could buy.

However, because they enjoy company so much, they need constant enrichment and stimulation, making them relatively high maintenance birds.

Are Hahn’s Macaws One Person Birds?

Hahn’s macaws can become “one person birds” if they’re not socialized from a young age. They must also be continuously handled as an adult by all family members to prevent them from becoming jealous of other people. This also prevents aggression.

Are Hahn’s Macaws Cuddly?

When Hahn’s macaws build a bond with their family, they love being scratched and cuddled and become highly affectionate. Not all Hahn’s macaws are born this way – it takes a lot of time and effort to gain their trust. That’s why they only make a good pet for families who have plenty of time to give.

Are Hahn’s Macaws Nippy?

Baby Hahn’s macaws can be a bit nippy after they’ve been weaned. In the worst cases, they draw blood with their sharp beaks.

Again, if they’re not correctly handled and trained, they can carry this behavior through adulthood, which becomes difficult to control.

Whenever your bird goes to bite your hand, pull it away and say “No!” firmly. Similarly, distract it from your hand with toys and its favorite treats. Never punish your bird or shout at it, as you’ll cause it to become frightened of you.

Hahn’s Parrot Care Information

Now that you understand what it takes to keep a Hahn’s macaw as a pet, there are certain things you need to know to provide the optimum environment for your pet.

What Temperature Do Hahn’s Parrots Like?

Hahn’s macaws regulate their body temperature with their down feathers, fluffing them up to insulate the heat. As a result, they cope with a wide range of temperatures.

Hahn’s macaws are comfortable at temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they can withstand temperatures between 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you suspect your parrot is either too hot or cold, pay attention to its feet. If the feet feel at extreme ends of the temperature scale, you’ll need to amend your parrot’s conditions.

Do Hahn’s Macaws Need A Companion?

Hahn’s macaws are flock birds, so they enjoy the company of other parrots. However, once the parrot has bonded to its caregivers, introducing a new companion may cause your Hahn’s macaw to become jealous and aggressive.

If you want a friend for your parrot, it’s best to get them at the same time while they’re both young and raised in the same cage.

That’s not to say it’s not possible to introduce a companion later on down the line – you’ll just need to separate them for a while and introduce them gradually. Also, bear in mind that not all parrots are compatible living with each other.

However, because Hahn’s macaws are such affectionate pets, you might want to enjoy your bird for yourself. Introducing another parrot into the household can sometimes affect the bond you have, as its attention is diverted elsewhere. This is especially the case with mated birds.

Do Hahn’s Macaws Molt?

Hahn’s macaws usually molt only once a year, but it can occur more frequently. It’s easily confused with feather plucking, as feathers randomly appear at the bottom of the cage.

Molting is completely normal and an essential part of feather maintenance. Feathers are made of keratin, meaning they undergo plenty of wear and day through day-to-day living. The molting process removes worn, damaged feathers, allowing new ones to grow.

Wild Hahn’s macaws are more prone to molting, as are parrots that live outside.

are hahn's macaws cuddly?

How Much Sleep Do Hahn’s Parrots Need?

In the rainforest where wild Hahn’s macaws live, day and night are both 12 hours long. Parrots go to sleep just before sunset and wake at dawn, sleeping for around 10-12 hours a day. Not all parrots sleep straight through the night, but they wake periodically to see what’s going on.

As a result, your parrot needs the same amount of sleep in captivity. To help your Hahn macaw go to sleep, turn off all noise-making devices and place a blanket or sheet over the cage to create complete darkness.

Health Problems For Hahn’s Macaws

Hahn’s macaws are generally healthy birds that don’t often require much veterinary care. However, if you’re planning to get one as a pet, there are a few common health conditions you need to know about first. These include:

Feather Plucking

As described by the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, wild parrots spend up to 70% of their time exploring and foraging. As a result, they get bored quickly and suffer from a lack of mental stimulation. This causes self-destructive behaviors, such as feather plucking and mutilation.

To combat this, provide plenty of games and toys to stimulate your parrot’s senses. Similarly, provide plenty of out-of-cage exercise time to prevent them from becoming agitated and restless.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Like most parrots, Hahn’s macaws are prone to vitamin A and calcium deficiencies. This is because they’re fed an inadequate diet that’s high in seeds and nuts but low in pellets and vegetables. As a result, the parrot suffers from a range of health conditions, including:

  • Fatty liver disease
  • Poor feather quality
  • Nasal discharge
  • Swelling
  • Conjunctivitis
  • White oral plaques

Improving the diet to contain more nutrients prevents these conditions from forming.

Macaw Wasting Syndrome

Officially known as proventricular dilation disease, macaw wasting syndrome occurs when birds encounter oral fecal contamination.

The condition affects the nerves supplying the parrot’s gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms include:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Regurgitation
  • Undigested seeds in the bird’s feces
  • Progressive weight loss
  • Depression
  • The loss of bodily functions
  • Head tremors

Unfortunately, there’s no treatment for macaw wasting syndrome, so make sure you purchase a healthy bird from a reputable breeder.

Psittacosis

Also known as parrot fever, psittacosis is a common avian bacterial infection affecting Hahn’s macaws. They don’t always show symptoms, so it’s difficult to diagnose. However, when symptoms develop, they include:

  • Discharge from the eyes or nose
  • Diarrhea
  • Green feces 
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Drowsiness

Thankfully, parrot fever is easily treatable with antibiotics. However, in rare cases, it can also affect humans.  

While Hahn’s macaws require a high level of care, they make easier pets to look after than other parrot species. With the right training and socialization, you’ll have a happy, healthy companion.