The perks of hippie-town living

By Mir
July 17, 2011

Last night we went out for frozen yogurt after dinner, and after enjoying our treat we exited the shop only to discover a couple sitting at a table out front enjoying their dessert… with a large macaw.

The bird had his own seat. He was munching on a raspberry, and a small crowd had amassed to admire him.

When the raspberry was dropped, the woman of the couple handed over a piece of kiwi from her cup. The bird happily munched on that, as the man began to detail all of the foods the bird really enjoys. He listed several fruits, corn, and then said “But his favorite is roast chicken.”

“That’s just not right,” I blurted out. Oh no, he assured me, he LOVES it! “But that’s cannibalism,” I protested, somewhat weakly. Who am I to dictate what these people feed their bird?

Also: There’s a macaw enjoying dessert at a little table outside the yogurt shop, and the thing that’s weird is that he eats chicken? … right.


  1. Amanda

    We recently went to a cousin’s hobby farm. My 4yo went out to help collect eggs and came back in excitedly claiming he had ‘fed’ the chickens. Cousin then explained that the chickens swarm them when they collect the eggs…hoping they will drop one…because chickens LOVE to eat their own eggs.

    Apparently my 4yo had (intentionally, as instructed) thrown an egg on the ground for the chickens to eat.


    Luckily, I guess the chickens haven’t figured out for themselves that they could peck the shells and eat the eggs without human help.

  2. Angela

    I was just reading the 1960 book Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and the Big Red Hen and was slightly horrified to read that the girls fed the baby chicks some hard-boiled eggs!

  3. Joshilyn


    Karen feeds her parrots on SCRAMBLED EGG;it gives me the complete wig.

    That’s not just cannibalism. That’s BABY Cannibalism. *shudder*

  4. Megan

    Um – but… hawks? They eat pigeons and other birds? Right?? I mean, theoretically cannibalism is eating one’s own species…

    Dang! My inner pedant broke free from the deep dark dungeon I normally keep it in! Terribly sorry.

    In reparation – we have a parrot man nearby who takes his seven birds on outings on his recumbent bike which has been fitted with a whole forest of parrot-perches. He goes slowly and the whole thing has the effect of an avian royal procession!

    For the record – egg-eating chickens is a bit off-putting, although I know it happens!

  5. Roberta

    I don’t know, it’s not like parrots and chickens are particularly closely related, even, right? I don’t feel like a cannibal when I eat other mammals.

  6. Anthony from CharismaticKid

    Hahhahaah that was a ridiculous story. I had to double check to make sure you weren’t vacationing in a third world country.

    Where do you live??

  7. Jessica

    I don’t know about the cannibalism thing, but … well, aren’t these animals herbivores? I thought they ate plants and plant parts. I just get weirded out by people feeding exotic “pets” weird foods… I just don’t think that the macaw would be able to find roasted chicken for his natural diet.

  8. Walkingborder (Karen)

    At first I agreed with you, then someone pointed out hawks eating other bird than I realized: some bugs eat other bugs, so… Granted the other examples are natural occurrences in nature and the macaw eating chicken is human encouraged. So I don’t know.

  9. meghann

    I once got weirded out because sparrows were eating dog food. Beef based dog food. Something tells me that in the wild, you don’t see flocks of sparrows taking down a cow.

  10. Stephanie

    My cockatoo LOVED chicken. She really enjoyed eating the marrow out of the bone. Think of it this way…man is a mammal but (some) eats other mammals. Same thing with birds. They are avian, but differing species. So, see…it’s not just a “human” thing to eat the flesh of another creature. lol And, to answer some of the other posters…it’s not unnatural for a bird to eat many of the things they are fed and, while, in the wild, the “meat” isn’t cooked, it most certainly can be found.

  11. addy

    Ummm just ick. OK just ICK!

  12. Sherry

    Do not watch David Attenborough’s “The Life of Birds”. That freaked me out. Birds are very much predators. One swooped down and snatched a monkey right out of a tree. A trio of parrots took turns digging out a burrow in the side of a hill until they could get in far enough to pull the baby birds out to eat them. Makes me think twice about cute, little birdies.

  13. Daisy

    Many birds are omnivores, including chickens. Madison, WI is much like this. I’ve seen people “walking their macaws” and other exotic pets in Madison. Right now Madison is attracting aging hippies and folk singers like Arlo Guthrie. The protests in the capitol go on and on, as the macaws enjoy the fresh air on the edge of Lake Mendota.

  14. Leanne

    I had a cockatiel once that loved chicken. And egg. And only the orange rings from Kellogs Froot Loops.

    We thought it a little odd that it liked chicken. We didn’t worry so much about egg, because really, it’s just albumen and a food sac.

  15. StephLove

    I’ve had that same thought, watching pigeons peck at chicken bones people have left on the street.

  16. Brenda

    I don’t think I would have been able to get past the fact that the bird was sitting at the table – a public table. Not at their very own house where they can have all the pet germs they want on their very own eating surface, but at a public place. ICK!

  17. elz

    Birds eating birds is just wrong. That’s for vultures and hawks, not parrots. G-ross. Also, totally weird. Really.

  18. The Domestic Goddess

    I just think it’s weird that it east kiwi. Kiwi is gross…

  19. MichaelB

    I learned many years ago… Well many, many, many years ago that Canadian Geese like chicken too… Actually I’m not sure that there’s anything that Canadian Geese won’t eat short of people – well people that are moving that is….

  20. Brigitte

    Megan’s inner-pedant beat out my inner-pedant. I’m sure the chickens next door would eat birds if they could catch them, they certainly have no problem with frogs and salamanders.

    But now I’ll disappear into my imaginings of Meghann’s flocks of sparrows taking down cattle . . .

  21. Aubri

    So… I used to have a parrot, and he loved chicken too. It squicked me out, but the vet gently reminded me that in the WILD most parrots eat carrion. And… still ew, but it gave him protein.

  22. Katie in MA

    But…but…it IS weird!

  23. Tricia

    Yeah… My chickens love scrambled eggs more than just about anything. They’re pretty partial to diced cooked chicken too. It’s cannibalism at it’s finest.

  24. Teresa

    Chickens are about as closely related to macaws as we are to pigs. Just putting that out there.

  25. Teresa

    Because if birds eating birds is wrong than mammals eating mammals is wrong. And we all know thats SOOOO right. Btw this is actually based in science, I’m not pulling it out of nowhere. The closest taxonomic classification of both of these instances is the Class. Chickens and Macaws are both in the Aves class, then they diverge. Humans and Pigs are both in the Mammalia Class, then we diverge.

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