Photo by Dave Location: Augusta, GA Pictured: Jamieleigh & Rosie with parrot aviaries in the background
I'm kind of a neat freak. I know I've mentioned it in the past. I have my house in Florida professionally cleaned. I used to have it cleaned by a company called Merry Maids, but then I talked to my brother in law who told me he had convinced his cleaning company to also clean his cages for him too! I was amazed! So I went back to my cleaning company and asked them if they'd be willing, even if I had to pay extra for it. My bro told me how the people for him literally washed down the cages, changed the paper, everything! But Merry Maids refused, saying they couldn't be touching feces from animals and such things. I was so disappointed.
Then I found the Cleaning Authority, which is what Chet was using and I hired them and fired MM! It took some talking into... and telling them how my brother in law was having them do it at his house already. So they finally agreed with some extra bills negotiated.
But for a little extra they thoroughly clean the bird room (200 square feet), change the bird cages (newspaper) and wash down every cage and piece that goes with it by taking it outside and hosing and scrubbing, drying and putting it back. It is the most amazing thing ever!
And when you get used to that and then go on the road and do it all yourself, well...
I offered Rosie, a 13 year old (daughter of the elephant trainer) $20/week to clean the bird's travel cages twice a week. The first time is when they arrive in a new city (normally the day after), and the second time is on our load out day right before a drive. Usually the in between time is the birds either just sleeping at night in the cages, or if the weather sucks they stay in the trailer. But normally I can get them out in the aviaries and only back inside to sleep.
Since Rosie really wants a new phone, this is her ticket to her goal while also making things feel better on me. She has already learned a lot about the birds while spending time with me and loves to be there when we're flying them. She has also talked about wanting one of her own so this is a chance to see what it's REALLY like to care for a pet parrot (or 8...)
Hiring help can be amazing. Just make sure they know what to do, and more importantly what NOT to do around your birds, and what they can and can't use. It gives you more time to spend with them, and makes having them as companions a lot more fun! Everyone has a price, and maybe there's someone who can't get enough baby sitting jobs and would be willing to take some grunt work off your back. Just a thought if you can find someone willing and who cares, like I did.
Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.