I think it’s important for bird shops and rescues that have caged birds, that those cages be showplaces. They need to be set up the way the proprietor would like to see those birds cared for. They should be clean and neat with fresh paper, clean water, various sized perches and interesting toys. The food should be a variety of items, fresh and attractive. It’s a way of saying, This is the way this bird should be cared for. This is what we do and how we expect our birds to live at your home.
Cockatiel foraging trays at Best Friends
The finest example of this that I have ever personally seen of this “setting an example business” was at Best Friends Animal Society’s Parrot Garden. Good God, those cages were clean! The floor was immaculate, the kitchen spotless and the bathrooms were tidy and very clean. I know because I actually cleaned one. In Kanab, this is difficult because the amount of red dust that gets into everything is amazing. But they manage just fine.
I’d rather be doing this…
Cleaning cages is not on my top-ten list of fun things to do. I find it tedious and boring. Which is why I came up with putting the papers on top of the grates, something that makes things infinitely easier at cleaning time. But I live on the 5th floor of a condo, so pressure washing or using a hose out in the back yard is out of the question.
Jackie and I at Best Friends Parrot Garden
But I have a really good idea that I haven’t tried yet. Bill has a pickup truck. And there is a carwash down the street. I once hauled 2 oriental rugs down to the carwash to clean them. I did some research on how rugs are cleaned in India and just followed their process at one of those carwash stalls they had. It worked like a charm and I even used that strong suction wet-vac they had available to suck the water out of them. When I got the rugs home, I propped them up on the front porch in the sun and fresh air draped over a couple of play gyms and they dried overnight. It was slick!
I found this African Carwash Here!
So I’m thinking of taking the cages one by one to the carwash in the back of Bill’s truck and running the truck through the drive through carwash with the cage in the back of the pickup. That way, I could get a really good and thorough pressure wash going on them for a really thorough “spring cleaning.”
Just think, really strong jets of hot, sudsy water and those long curtain-like things scrubbing them. My thought is, if it can get the road grime off of a car, wouldn’t it work great on a bird cage? Why not?
A Pensive Parker
And with the sun and the wind blowing on it in the back of the truck on the way back home, the cage might be almost dry by the time I get home. I’m always big on making things easier….
If I get around to it, I’ll be sure to make a video of the process. And if anyone tries it before I get to it, let me know how it went.
My mind…it’s a very twisted place at times….
April 15, 2012 at 10:08 am
Ok, I think it is a very good idea… I only question a few things…
Is this an automated wash or a hand spray wash? I have always been told only soap and water for the cages to clean them. I know the auto ones use chemicals in their soap so I would be a bit skeptical for that. Also, I know in our area that the auto ones use wax. Not sure about FL. If we are talking hand spray you can get around all that of course.
Personally I think the idea is ingeniouse (sp?) Just wondering about thoes few things. =)
April 15, 2012 at 10:18 am
I have no clue about chemicals in the soap, but I thought it was essentially a good idea. I’m sure with a really good rinsing, it wouldn’t matter. I suppose I could always ask to go through a second time with no soap to get a good rinse! It’s just one of those wonky ideas I had…
April 15, 2012 at 10:53 am
This is an excellent idea and proves that great minds think alike. A few months ago I strongly hinted to my college-age college student friend that she could make a lotta money steam cleaning bird cages. She wasn’t all that enthused, I’m afraid, but I think there’s a market for this. I also see great franchise opportunities! In the mean time I’m going to have a chat with the folks who clean our trash receptacles with steam and non-toxic chemicals.
April 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm
I used to work in a restaurant where we cleaned the screens from the exhaust system over our pizza oven every week by hauling them to the car wash 2 blocks away which was a hand operated pressure spray. Worked great and the high pressure spray gets into all the corner crevices. Since I live in an apartment with no pickup and think my cages are bigger than the door opening I went out and bought a steam cleaner
April 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm
What kind of steam cleaners do y’all use? The one’s I’ve researched on amazon.com either don’t work, leak too much, don’t get hot enough, or fizzle out within 3 minutes.
April 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm
If you have been to Best Friends, perhaps you can educate them about their total misinformation regarding smuggling/importation of birds into the US and also their misinformation about re-homing of birds in the US. Apparently someone on their staff is finding information that doesn’t really exist in recent memory re smuggling…their data refers to the early 1990s…long gone! And, as regards re-homing of parrots, it seems that back in the nineties Dr. Brian Speer requested that the re-homing organizations do a little surveying to provide some actual data. To my knowledge that has not happened except for ONE survey which did not indicate re-homing was the issue that it was touted to be.