Have Eclectus…. Will Travel (Preparing To Anyway)
Its that time of year again, planning vacations and your feathered, furred or scaled companions don’t want to be left out. I am not necessarily an expert, but I have traveled with our Ekkie, dog and box turtle for over eighteen years. I have also gathered information from several people that have traveled successfully with their Eclectus. Thanks to several long terms friends, Kathy (Reggie) and Darla (Shiori).
First, the stuff that will make your trip easier. A good sized travel cage with grate and indestructible poly tray. Our’s is 30” x 18” x 22”. It folds up real nice and small too. Then we had an idea. We purchased another and fit them together in a T-shape, making the cage double the size. One end opens so you can fit the door directly to the other cage, works like a charm. It fits in the top bunk of our fifth wheel trailer perfectly. Our parrot heartily approved, as she could still watch out the window. We purchased this from Windy City Parrot.Com http://www.windycityparrot.com/Evac-Travel_c_638.html. It seems to suit her needs. You will need to purchase this travel cage approximately 2 months before you plan to leave, giving you time to set it up with the toys and food bowls. Then leave it on the floor or somewhere your parrot has access to, with the door open so your parrot can explore it. That way your Eclectus can get used to it and the cage wouldn’t be new or scary when you leave. I did that same thing with our birds Birdie Tote which is no longer sold, but you can get a Celltei Pak-o-Bird Travel Carrier which is nearly like it and is also available from Amazon.com We purchased the medium size for Taco, she is quite comfortable in it. I just love it! It’s light weight and can be worn as a back pack!
We plan to pack the travel cage and use it for over nights and spending some time during the day in at our destination. We also have a table top play stand that my husband, Bruce, made that fits perfectly on top the travel cage. Just to be on the safe side, my hubby also built a portable perch (T-stand) with a cup. He used an inexpensive camera tri-pod and attached a ¾” tree branch to the top. This we plan to use at those times we want Taco to stay put and behave. (Ha, like that will happen) Its about 4 ½ feet to 5 feet tall. The stand folds to eighteen inches The Birdie Tote is set up in the back seat of our truck for nap times and travel. The Tote hooks to the seat belts and creates a safe travel environment but not too restrictive.
Our Eclecuts is trained to wear flightsuits and leash on when not in the Tote and when we stop and get out of
the truck. If your bird is not flightsuit trained, make sure he/she is safely tucked into a cage when the doors are opened. That way he/she will always be under control and safe from slamming doors, and unexpected flight. Our bird is also micro chipped. A vet visit to get a health certificate is always a must, especially when traveling over state lines.
Now food…… We will pack dry Eclectus Custom seed mix with us, prepare her several types of soft food in frozen form and store it in the trailer’s freezer. Before we traveled via RV, we used dry ice in a cooler to keep food frozen. We will also pack some of her soft food mix in dry form, should the frozen food not stay frozen for the time period we will be gone. Also be prepared to purchase lots of fruits and veggies on the way.
In the Birdie Tote inside the truck, we keep her Eclectus mix in her bowl and juicy fruit or water in her water bowl. If you use water, make sure to check the bowl when you stop, as the water can spill out of the bowl when you are moving.
Our Eclectus is a seasoned traveler, she readily eats and drinks in the truck while stopped or moving. It was always a standing joke among friends, that she was the only parrot that gained weight on vacation. We attempt to keep her normal feeding schedule, but she is flexible at home and so don’t anticipate any problems in that area. We always scout out pet friendly campgrounds (We have other pets that travel with us), if you are traveling by car, make sure you have a list of pet friendly motels along the way.
After taking all these precautions to keep your parrot safe and happy during the trip, you are now ready to drive off into the sunset and enjoy a wonderful vacation!