Hahn's Macaw Diet

Written by nicole galipeau
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Hahn's Macaw Diet
Variety is the spice of life when it comes to feeding your parrot. (fruit image by Daniel Gustavsson from Fotolia.com)

The smallest of the mini-macaws, the Hahn's macaw is a predominately green bird averaging only 12 or 14 inches. They are friendly, inquisitive and playful, much like their larger cousins, but their diminutive size requires a more specialised diet. As with any parrot, variety is the most important aspect of Hahn's macaws' overall diet, and they should be offered a selection of foods to choose from every day.

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Staple Diet

The base of the Hahn's macaw's diet should consist of roughly 20 to 40 per cent quality fortified seed or pellets. Pelleted diets make the best staple food source, as they provide the macaw with a completely balanced nutrition source in each bite. And remember that while mixed quality seeds are often labelled "fortified" or "balanced nutrition," this is assuming the bird eats an equal amount of all of the seed ingredients---something your bird will rarely do. Almost all parrots pick out their favourite seed bits and scatter the rest around the cage.

Fresh Foods

Fresh foods should make up close to half of your bird's diet and can include vegetables, fruits, nuts, sprouts and legumes. Fresh foods should be chosen for high nutritional value, which generally means the darker in colour, the better. Darker, leafy greens such as spinach and kale are favourites, as are carrots, broccoli apples, bananas, peppers, squashes and alfalfa sprouts. You can also include seeds (both fresh and dry), nuts and dry fruit in your Hahn's macaw's die. Look for natural, preservative-free foods whenever possible.

Hahn's Macaw Diet
Broccoli and spinach are rich in vitamins, minerals, and calcium. (broccoli image by ewa kubicka from Fotolia.com)

Treats

Parrots love treats, and Hahn's macaws are no exception. Pinecones can be smeared in peanut butter and rolled in seed for a fun and entertaining treat, and commercially available bird treats are easy to find in an assortment of colours, shapes and textures. Treats should be given sparingly and should make up no more than 5 to 10 per cent of your macaw's overall diet.

Things to Avoid

Never allow your Hahn's macaw access to dairy products, caffeine, avocado or chocolate. These substances can be very harmful, if not fatal, to most birds. Some researchers also recommend that parrots be kept away from iron-fortified products such as cereals and bread, as birds are susceptible to iron overdosing.

Hahn's Macaw Diet
Like dogs, birds lack the enzyme to properly break down chocolate. (Chocolate image by Sergey Yakovenko from Fotolia.com)

Other Considerations

Breeding hens require not only additional amounts of food to support themselves as they prepare to lay, but should be offered additional calcium supplements or calcium-rich food such as crushed eggshell or cuttlebone. Sick birds might do better if allowed access to warm, soft foods such as cooked lentils or mashed, cooked veggies. When your Hahn's macaw moults, you can offer him more protein-rich items, like scrambled eggs, while he rebuilds his feathers.

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