Severe Macaws as Pets
The Severe Macaw, also known as the Chestnut Fronted Macaw, one of the most prolific species of Macaw today. They should be easy to find if you want one as a pet.
This species grows to 18-20 inches (head to tail tip) and can live up to 80 years in captivity, although average is less than 40 years. Consider how long the bird lives and the length of the commitment before purchasing this bird.
Like most other macaws, the Severe Macaw is mostly green. It has patches of red and blue on its wings.
There is a chestnut brown patch just above the beak, and this is where it gets the name Chestnut-fronted Macaw. Their beak is black. The periophthalmic ring around its eye has small black feathers.
Native to northern South America from Panama to Brazil and Bolivia, the Severe Macaw can be somewhat nippy. This behavior can be changed with proper training and time spent with the owner. They learn to speak relatively easily and should be able to learn a reasonable number of words and phrases.
Macaw enthusiasts may recommend this species of macaw for those interested in obtaining a bird as a pet. These birds are more easily trained than their larger cousins like the Scarlet Macaw or Military Macaw, but they have a similar loud voice which some find annoying. Do not get Severe Macaw as pets if you live in an apartment complex.
Although the Severe Macaw is not one of the larger macaws, an aviary approximately 12 feet long would be adequate for them to be able to fly freely and exercise their wings. If you are willing and able to allow your macaw time outside its cage, a smaller cage may be used. In any case, the cage needs to be long enough that the bird does not hit its head on the top or scrape its tail along the bottom no matter where in the cage they are.
Provide a cage that keeps an average temperature instead of swinging wildly from one extreme to another. It should be kept off the floor, well-lit, and out of any drafts. It is best to supply the largest cage you can afford. There should be a minimum of two perches, at least 9” long in different diameters to help prevent arthritis in their feet.
Clean the cage regularly and use an appropriate substrate in the bottom of the cage. Place food and water containers far away from the perches to avoid contamination. It would also be good to provide a shallow bowl of water for the Severe Macaw to bathe in, which would also be changed daily.
Severe Macaws needs a lower-fat diet than some of the larger macaws and parrots. Their diet should consist of at least 60% commercially prepared natural pellets. Give them fresh fruits and vegetables such as apples, berries, pears, grapes, broccoli, and carrots to keep them from getting bored with their food. Do not feed the macaw avocados, chocolate, caffeine, or alcohol as they are known to cause medical problems.
Your new feathered pet is a social animal and needs to spend quality, physical time with you daily. They are naturally curious and intelligent. Provide them with toys that are safe for them to chew on. A chew proof ladder could be added since macaws love to climb and swing. You can also provide some ropes for them to swing and chew on. Be prepared to replace the toys, however; they go through them quickly.
Allowing your Severe Macaw time to spend out of its cage with the family is very important. This quality time may help avoid some behaviors that are not acceptable such as screaming or biting. Of course, if these behaviors do make onto the scene, proper patient training is your best bet to stop them before they become ingrained habits.
The Severe Macaw can be an affectionate bird, but they can become aggressive nearing mating season. They may not like being held as much as some of their cousins, but this outgoing bird is a delightful pet. The more time you spend with it, the more delightful it will become. For more information on training sign up for our free newsletter.