Monday, January 04, 2016

Traveling with your Feathered Friends.

Over the last few months we have added not 1, but 5 new birds to our homestead. Actually, 6, but one little parakeet was too sick and sadly didn't make it despite our best efforts. I know in time we will load up the birds, along with the dogs for a vacation or road trip. It will happen, we love travel. While we could leave them at home entrusted to the wonderful people who tend our homestead while we are away, we know will will take at least one trip with them. A little back story on the birds? Callie was previously called Polly, she is a parrot of unknown type. She spent most of the summer living in a small cage on someones porch until she was gifted to us. Tweedle (the parakeet) and her partner are who didn't make it joined the family the next week when I saw them being offered on a buy/sale/trade page. I knew some of the people making offers on the birds, and I knew they wouldn't end up in good homes. So I took them. Then the Wanderer's mother and I found Harrison a Green Cheek Conure on It was love at first sight. I ended up driving 3 hours the next day to bring him home. He meows, gives kisses, and fake snores. He is quite the comical bird. A week before Christmas we traveled to a near by city to finish Christmas shopping. While at a pet store we saw 2 beautiful blue parakeets. The new parakeets have yet to be named, I am currently leaning toward March and Alice.

So how do you travel with a bird?
First you need the right carrier.
Harrison, the sweet little Green Cheek I drove to Cincinnati for came with two cages, one was a large cage for use in the home and the other was a small, no frills wire travel cage. Its functional, but not pretty, and I have doubts about it holding up to much travel.

The Parrot Travel Carrier is in the running to be our pick, its lightweight, cute, has a perch, but most importantly the floor is Velcro'd on making it easy to remove and clean. Birds poop, a lot, and its very important to keep a clean cage. The shoulder strap has good padding which should make it easy to carry.

We wont be able to travel with all of our birds in the same travel carrier, we know this. The Parakeets can travel together, but will need to be
separated from Callie and Harrison who will need cages of their own. In comes collapsible cages. The fold flat for easy storage and transport. Could you use a collapsible dog kennel? Maybe, but the bars on dog kennels tend to be wider than those one bird cages. A bird could easily attempt to wiggle out of the cage and get hurt in the process.

Flight time is important to birds, they need to be able to exercise and stretch their wings. This can be difficult if not impossible in smaller travel cages. Leashes and harnesses, even flight suits can be bought for your feathered friends to make flight safe. We have not began the process of teaching our birds to fly on leashes. It is something we plan on doing at some point in the future. Most leash systems come with a small band that you wrap around the birds leg then clip the leash too, or you can clip the leash directly to your birds ID band if he is already banded. Harness systems go on much like dog harnesses. There is of course some debate about which is the safest method.

In parting I will leave you with a picture of Miss Callie perched on my nail polish rack watching me get ready to go out.