Moving House with Your Bird Tuesday 31 July 2018 @ 00:00
We’ve come to the end of our advice series on moving house with pets. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been asking all of our community members a final question: What’s the one piece of advice you’d give someone moving house with a bird?
We’ve already talked about the best tips for moving house with a dog, but a bird is obviously a very different animal. So what do we need to do?
Lost Pet Finders’ Guide to Moving House with a Bird
COVER THE CAGE. Chances are, your bird isn’t overly accustomed to spending time in moving vehicles. They already have wings, why would they need a car? Try to reduce stress by keeping their cage covered while in transit, so they don’t need to worry about why the world is moving by so quickly.
As Sharon Williams (TAS) explains, “Ensure they are used to travelling and pop them in a small travel cage, I keep mine half covered when travelling so if they want a dark area of the cage they have it, you can also buy travel backpacks for birds.”
Kate Burrell (NZ) also recommends this: “Cover the Cage when moving it in Car and make sure Cage is Secure and most of water dish empty...keep away from cats & dogs....”
KEEP IT LOCKED. Birds can be devilishly intelligent animals, and the last thing you need when you’re driving to your new home is a bird flying all over the car! Lock the cage to save yourself the drama.
“Tie all doors shut on the cage and ensure the cage is securely attached to its base.” - Susan Roberts (SA)
Jill Larche Large (NZ) adds: “Padlock the door and cover the cage… secure the cage with the seat belt” – that bird’s not going anywhere!
INVEST IN A DECENT TRAVEL CAGE. Don’t attempt to shove your entire aviary in the car! This will just take up valuable packing space, and your bird will be just as safe and happy in a travel cage.
“Put the bird in a small cage and make sure they are familiar with the cage. Also talk (whistle) to the bird while traveling, they need to feel safe and have water and food. Our take cockatiel travelled from SA to ACT with two dogs and was fine. We also got her out to stretch her wings and she was happy to come out.” - Sue Parker Walton (ACT)
Bird lover Shannon Murphy (WA) says, “With a bird make sure you always have another cage ready for transport and have their other cage ready at the new home”
Your bird’s travel cage should be both comfortable and secure, and you need to be able to rely on it not to let your bird escape.
Most importantly of all, your bird needs to feel safe when inside, so they can travel without stress. It’s worth putting some thought into the type of travel cage you want to go for, as a decent one will last for your bird’s lifetime. Examples of good cages include the Pawhut Stainless Steel Travel Cage, Celltei Pak-o-Bird and A&E Cage Company Soft Sided Travel Carrier.
COVER THE WINDOWS. Once you and your bird arrive in your new home, it may take them some time to get used to the new surroundings. The first few times you let your bird out in your new house, make sure all of the windows are closed and covered to prevent panics and escapes.
Jessica Silva (NZ) knows all too well how important this is: “Give them familiar food and water dishes, and plenty of treats to teach them that this change is a good thing. Cover any windows in the first few times they're out and about with you in the house if they're tame birds. Prevents accidents if they get a fright.”
“General advice is:
1. PLACE A LOCK ON YOUR BIRD CAGE OR AVIARY.
2. DOUBLE CHECK ALL WINDOWS AND DOORS ARE SHUT, BEFORE YOU RELEASE YOUR BIRD IN THE HOUSE, SO YOUR BIRD DOES NOT FLY OUT.” – Cher N Char (QLD)
PACK IN A DIFFERENT ROOM TO YOUR BIRD. If your bird sees you moving around all your stuff, chances are this will confuse and worry them. Add to this the loud and peculiar noises that moving house can entail, and it’s best to just leave them in peace!
Daniela (NSW) found this out the hard way: “Changes to a bird's immediate environment can make them stressed and cause them to pull feathers. This happened to my baby. We discovered it was the organizing and collecting of items around her that made her anxious. Best advice is to pack your boxes and dismantle your furniture in a different room from your bird so they're removed from all the loud noises, excessive movements and sudden changes.”
SET UP THEIR SPOT. Once you’ve established your bird’s new personal space – complete with their old cage, favourite snacks and toys – it’ll be much easier for them to get settled in.
“my male tiel has always been a good traveller and good with visiting others. so all i had to do was setup his spot in the new house, while he was in his travel cage, and just popped him in his mansion."