Pet birds are creatures of habit, and moving them to a new home will be a very stressful experience for them. When under stress, birds’ immunity will drop and they will become susceptible to disease and illness. It is very important that you take steps to ensure the move is as stress-free as possible for your bird. Here are the steps you need to take to move your pet bird safely.
1. Get all vet papers
Make sure to schedule a vet trip well before moving day (you are going to have a lot of other things to do too!). Your bird will need a complete checkup before moving. Also do any grooming which is necessary because you don’t want to stress your bird out further by taking it to get groomed right after the move. Have your vet give you all of your bird’s medical records and make sure you have the vet’s contact info handy.
2. Research state laws for bird transportation
If you are moving out of state, check to see what the current laws are about bird transportation. There may be quarantine in effect.
3. Get the right cage
Ideally, you should use a cage which your bird is already familiar with. This will help reduce some of the stress of the move. If you must buy a new travel cage for your bird, make sure your bird has time to get used to it first, such as by putting your bird in the cage for short periods of time.
4. Drive somewhere with your bird
You probably don’t drive places very often with your bird. When you do take your bird for a drive, it is usually to someplace stressful for the bird – like the vet or groomer so birds tend to associate driving with stress. If you are moving a long distance, prepare your bird for the long trip by taking several shorter trips. Go someplace fun with your bird (like the pet store or to a park) so your bird gets used to driving.
5. Pack for your bird
The common moving advice is that you need to pack everything you will need for the next 3 days in your new home. This applies to birds as well. Pack any favorite toys, food bowls, water bottles, and treats. Also make sure you have enough food on hand for at least a week or more. Your brand of bird food might not be available in the new destination, and switching food will just add to the stress of the move.
6. Keeping your bird safe and calm during the drive
Protect your bird from the elements by placing a sheet or towel over the cage. However, do not completely cover the cage. The darkness could cause the bird to fall and hurt itself. Also, the bird should be able to see you.
Bird cages should be secured in the car with a seat-belt. Never put the bird in the front seat because the passenger air back could harm it in an accident. Never leave birds in the car unattended! Cars can overheat quickly, or get cold very quickly. If you have to stop for meals, get drive-through or have someone stay in the car while the others get food. Most importantly, never take your bird out of the cage until you are at an enclosed destination.