Moving with Birds
Moving with birds can be quite a challenge. If you have a feathered friend, follow these tips if you’re preparing for a move.
Before you start the moving process, visit your vet. You will need to obtain certain documents for the move. If you are moving to a new state, you may need new documents or vaccines. You should also discuss with your vet the best ways to keep your bird safe and healthy during the relocation process. This may include stress-reducing and immunity boosting vitamins, probiotics or other supplements in your bird’s diet that you can include in your bird’s diet for a couple of weeks before you move. You may also want to ask about ways to quickly adjust your pet to their new surroundings.
Traveling in a car
The first thing you should do when traveling by car is to make the cage safe for travel. Remove any toys or swings in addition to the water and food receptacles. There shouldn’t be anything that can accidentally fall or shift inside the cage and hurt your bird. Use tie wraps on all the sides and the door of the cage as extra protection to secure the cage to the backseat. Never place a cage over a box or some other item, as the cage can easily fall over.
You want your bird to be comfortable when you’re traveling to your new abode. Cover the cage with a lightweight cloth or blanket to provide your security. You may also want to consider using glare guards to protect your bird from direct sunlight. Leave air-conditioning running, as birds are sensitive to temperature changes. Juicy fruit and vegetables keep your bird hydrated throughout the journey. If you are traveling a long distance, plan stops to give your bird proper food and water. Additionally, if you have to stay in a hotel, make sure you can bring your pet to the hotel with you.
Traveling by plane
If you need to travel by plane, you will need a hard-plastic kennel cab. Look for one that is designed to prevent risks during flight and turbulence. The perch should be installed near the bottom, so no injury will be caused if the bird falls from the perch. The carrier should also not be large enough that your bird would try to fly, as this can cause injury. Encourage your bird to sleep in the carrier a few times before the flight so they get accustomed to it. This will reduce their anxiety levels throughout the journey.
Line the bottom of the carrier with paper and seed to provide bedding and food for the duration of the flight. Just as if you were traveling by car, juicy fruit can be placed in the carrier for a source of food and hydration. When flying, label the carrier appropriately and choose a direct flight, avoiding weekend days and major holidays, as these flights are typically more crowded. Insurance may also be necessary when traveling by plane with your bird.
When in your new home, place your bird’s cage in a room away from the noise of unloading and unpacking. If your bird is plucking at their feathers more than usual, visit the vet as the bird may still be on a stress overload from the move.