Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Eugene, OR Leaning in for a goodbye kiss: Galah "Bondi"
While touring with Ringling I got the privilege of working with an amazing veterinary technician by the name of Jessica. She was only with us for a few months, but my birds absolutely fell in love with her and she was amazing with them. I was so sad to see her leave the tour recently to go back home to Knoxville, but I know I will be seeing her again in the future. She's amazing at what she does and goes far and beyond what her job ever required of her. If you are interested in working with animals as a vet tech, consider school (college) studying animal science as school gets you a long way, alongside hands on experience, for getting a job working with animals whether with a vet, or at a zoo, or at a place like Ringling where you work with all sorts of different animals and are more or less "on call". Where someone sees an animal, they see you too! Volunteering at animal shelters and rescues can help you gain one on one experience working with different animals, as well as understudying vets and animal trainers to learn the do's and don't's of traveling and looking after animals properly. When Jessica left she told me, "I want you to know, I'm going to get a bird when I go home! It's going to be a rose breasted cockatoo!" and even though I know Jessica is capable of having a cockatoo as a pet, Dave and I immediately jumped in with, "Well make sure you...! And don't forget that...! And never let them...!" So I thought I'd write a post about it, as I saw a post on malnutrition in Aussie parrots anyways, that only verified our outbursts. The main things with the rose breasted cockatoos (if I stay away from behavior issues...) is their diet... they can't have a bunch of fats! And because they develop fatty tumors so easily, they need to be given less fatty foods and MORE exercise (this means via FLIGHT, not walking around or being dropped up and down on your arm to be forced to flap) So... keep your rosie fully flighted and train it to recall, so all is done safely, and feed it lots of fruits and veggies (low on the fat products) keep the nuts and seeds as treats since you'll be doing training anyway. And! Get your birds lots of sunlight. Remember, birds in the wild live outside... they get lots of sunshine and all living creatures need sunlight, and not just through a window. Get an outdoor aviary.
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.