Finding A Multi-Purpose Bird Carrier
by Phil Samuelson
No responsible pet bird owner should be without an appropriate bird carrier for each bird in the home. A carrier is a critical item to have on hand in case your bird has a medical emergency, requires a quick trip to the veterinarian or if you need to evacuate due to a natural disaster. Your bird carrier can also double as a sleep cage. And it is great for vacation purposes, to0. Find a Carrier that can serve several uses - Travel - Evacuation - Sleep - Hospital Cage.
Choosing A Multi-Use Bird Carrier
Think about what uses you may have for a bird carrier given your bird species, travel requirements, evacuation needs and your household. For instance, we use Wingabago Bird Carriers with most of our flock. We've had to use this carrier as a hospital cage twice and evacuate due to Colorado fires twice. One of our birds, in particular adopted his Wingabago Bird Carrier as a sleep cage after an extended illness and two summers that required fire evacuation.
The Wingabago Bird Carrier has served us for the following needs:
- General car and plane trips
- Parrot evacuation and a short term "parrot hotel"
- A bird hospital cage
- Bird Sleep Cage
- Simply getting outside to enjoy the sun
- Simple Hiking In A Stroller (The Large Wingabago Fits In A Snap And Go Baby Stroller - Available At Most Second Hand Baby Accessory Stores)
Where To Find A Multi-Use Bird Carrier
The choices of pet bird carriers available to bird owners these days are numerous--and many of them are quite good. Many of these manufactured cages are ideal for medium- to large-sized parrots like African greys, Pionus, Amazons, conures, mini macaws and small cockatoos. Large macaws pose special challenges when selecting travel cages because their long tails quickly become frayed and broken when they rub against cage walls or bars.
What To Look For In A Travel Cage
A travel cage should be lightweight and easy to lift and clean. The cage should have adequate ventilation, but keep drafts to a minimum. The construction should be durable to eliminate any chance of the pet becoming crushed by accident.
Some well-designed travel cages are constructed of thick polycarbonate with numerous holes in the surface and a wire mesh door. This type of material and design provides the necessary ventilation, while also retaining some warmth. Transparent polycarbonate allows for easy viewing of the bird, and also allows the bird to observe its surroundings. Often these types of travel cages come with a "privacy cover" that sits snuggly (on some models this cover is an option and costs extra). Partially or completely covering the cage will help calm a nervous bird .
Fit The Bird Carrier To Your Bird And Travel Needs
Every bird carrier needs a good perch. A natural wood perch with a variable diameter will suit many species of birds. It may be best to purchase your bird carrier from a customer service friendly company that will match the perch size to your bird species. A T-perch with a similar diameter bolted to the top of the cage will allow the owner to let her pet out to perch and exercise its wings. This exterior perch also serves another purpose. In addition to being a comfortable, elevated place to perch, the cage-top perch also works well as a handle when transporting the carrier.
Some portable bird carriers are made backpack style and have straps that fit comfortably around an owner's shoulders. These carriers are available in a variety of sizes and designs and are usually constructed of durable nylon and stainless steel mesh. These carrier may work well for non-chewing nervous birds since you can "close the curtains" when the bird becomes stressed and raise them as your bird gains confidence in its travel experiences.
- Diane Burroughs, LCSW