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Macaws are big, beautiful, and loving birds, but they can also be expensive, stubborn, and messy. According to pet expert Marc Morrone, before you bring a macaw into your home, you should carefully consider these pros and cons, as well as the fact that, with a life span of 50 to 60 years when well cared for, a macaw can be a lifelong companion -- and a lifelong responsibility.

If you choose to purchase a macaw, Marc recommends that you do a lot of research first and find a reputable breeder. Make sure you select the right breed for you; scarlet macaws are the most common type and are suited to conventional homes, while hyacinth macaws are larger, need larger cages, and require more intensive care.

A balanced diet is crucial, as well as a colorful variety of chewable toys. And above all, make sure that you have a local veterinarian with experience treating exotic birds.

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