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  Wellis am Auto Sometimes it is necessary to transport budgerigars over short or even longer distances, e.g. when moving house or for holidays. Budgies are not as sensitive as many other bird species and normally bear a journey by car without getting into trouble. However, some rules should be observed when transporting birds by car.


Considerations before transport
Small cage with passengers To minimize the risk of injuries, the cage for the transport should be small. In a big cage birds can move much more than in a small one. Therefore the risk that they hurt themselves when they run scared and start fluttering is much higher in a big cage. In addition it is more difficult to catch them when immediately treatment of wounds is necessary. The photo in this paragraph shows a small cage, which is particularly suitable for the transport of several birds. But for everyday life this cage is much too small and not appropriate. By the way, this photo is from an emergency transport when it was necessary to transport more birds than usual at the same time. Normally not more than six birds should be kept in such a cage and only for a few hours.

No wings, swaying branches, sharp objects and ladders should be placed into the transport cage. One or two securely fixed bars that provide save foothold are absolutely sufficient. In the case of a sudden stop all swinging objects pose a thread; feeding dishes can hurtle through the cage and in the worst case injure the birds. Therefore remove feeding dishes and toys.

The cage's bottom should be covered with an old newspaper or with paper towels. Sand and other litter are not suitable for a transport cage. The birds can disperse sand and dust when they flutter in panic in the cage. In the worst case something can get into the driver's eyes, which can cause serious accidents. Newspaper or paper towels are the safest options.

Cage on the front passenger's seat The cage has to be placed in the car in such a way that it can be fixed with the safety belt. If the safety belt is not long enough other securing measures have to be taken. A cord for example can help to fix the cage to the seat.

Take some haemostatic batting or medicine> with you. Unfortunately it can happen from time to time that birds are injured during a transport, e.g. when they are scared or in panic and uncontrollably flutter through the cage. If a bird is bleeding and it does not stop by itself, the wound should be treated with a haemostatic medicine as soon as possible.

During the transport

  • In summer: The car should be cooled by air-condition or ventilation, but avoid draft.

  • In winter: Temperature should not be too low. Especially at the beginning of a journey it can be very cold in the car. Therefore the car should be warmed in advance or the cage should be protected against the cold with thick blankets.

  • Allow rests for drinking and feeding once in a while. Most birds are not able to eat and drink while the car is moving. I never put a drinking dish in the transport cage because it will leak whenever the car makes a turn. Instead my birds get water during regular driving pauses about every two hours. For this purpose I have a bottle with water ready and fill the drinking dish only for the time of the break. Before I continue I pour the water away. Take enough water to have reserves in the case you are caught up in a traffic jam.

  • Cover the cage with a cloth to protect the birds against the sun. Although the side should be covered so that the birds are not scared by trucks that suddenly appear and at a high speed in their visual field.

  • Take some calming and relaxing music with you. It can help to soothe scared birds. My birds love to listen to music by Enya or classical stuff.

Translation of this chapter (German - English):
Heike Wanner

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