MOVING DAY FOR THE MACAWS
Helping to run this club, I get so many calls concerning placement of birds. A few months ago, I received a call from a breeder who wanted to place 5 pairs of breeding macaws. Lifestyles had changed and I was entrusted to find the best homes possible for these guys.
This would take some thought. Breeders are not always friendly or the prettiest looking with their plucked bodies. Chances are they will never become pet birds again and they would have to go to those who have a good idea on how to take care of any possible clutches that are hatched.
These birds also came in large chain link housing units, so space would be a consideration. I sent out several inquiries and made an announcement at the monthly meeting, and surprisingly there were several people who showed an interest in these birds.
First and foremost, was that the birds would go to a good home. Next to be considered was if and when they had babies, would the potential owners be able to hand feed, from day one if necessary? Some of these birds will feed the babies for up to 3 weeks, while others will not feed at all. Another pair will feed only 3 babies, but not the 4th. I was lucky that some those who offered to house these birds had previous breeding knowledge and were experienced handfeeders.
The next step was to arrange a time for all 5 owners and the breeder to get together to dismantle the cages and pack up the birds. I knew that this would be quite a challenge. Pam, Dee, Carol, Tee, Dennis & myself, Krissy & JR picked a Sunday morning to take on this endeavor. Tee even came down just to help out after working all night. We had all been instructed to bring our own wrenches and after introductions were given, we all got to work.
Taking apart 5 large cages was no easy task. First we had to capture these macaws. And it was not as easy as saying 'UP.' The leather gloves came out and the men involved had the fun of capturing the birds and placing them in the carriers. Then it was up to the women to start the dismantling. These were really sturdy cages, made of sections of chain link fence. They gave the birds plenty of room to climb around, are relatively inexpensive. I had never thought of this idea before, but it has given me ideas for future remodeling.
Since there was a lot of dust involved, we all took advantage of the dust masks offered to us. We really had a fun time, working together. Just goes to show you that with a common bond and the best interest of the birds involved, a job as hard as this was easily and quickly accomplished. Some of the members were able to load up the cages in their own vehicles, but 50 gallon drums for nest boxes do take up quite a bit of room we rented a U-Haul for the day to load up parts and pieces.
After socializing for a while and admiring the home & pets of the donators, we all left with our beloved birds. Pam, Krissy & Jr went their separate ways. Rey, Dee, Dennis & I then went over to help Carol scrub down her cage. She thought she would be able to put it up by herself. Ha! Well, she could have but the hard part was dragging the sections into the house and it was a real pain to hold up those heavy pieces and bolt them together. While Dennis & Rey wrapped up the job at Carol's, Dee helped me scrub up my sections. Then it occurred to me. This is a job for the power washer. I spent several hours cleaning every nook & cranny then Dennis helped me set the cage set up.
It was 2AM before the birds were finally settled. But it was definitely worth it. My scarlets are pretty friendly. I can hand feed them without fear of having my arm ripped off. . My guys needed names so I asked Lauren M. to pick the names. We're all very excited about our potential babies and will assist each other with the handfeeding process when the time comes. We have incubators and brooders amongst us and are all looking forward to the day when the first eggs hatch. I've had several members place their orders already.
Hopefully, the birds will adjust quickly to their surroundings and continue their egg laying soon.
UPDATE: As of this writing, the scarlets are sitting on 2 eggs. Let's hope they're fertile. There is one anxious family in PA who will be the 1st to purchase a baby. Although I have privately adopted the birds, all proceeds will be donated to the Parrot Haven to help with the extension expenses.