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Old 08-14-2009, 11:13 AM   #15
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Probably the minority opinion….

My wife and I have two Macaws. A huge Greenwing and a Hahns. We love them like our own children. The Hahns will put up with riding -- the Greenwing thinks it is one of the coolest things in the world to do. We have owned these guys for 18 years, raised the GW from an egg and had an aviary 7 years prior to that. That said, I am no expert but will offer an opinion. Take it or leave it.

We will not travel with our birds.

They are way too high maintenance. I won’t keep them cooped up in a hot car/trailer when we take side trips which severely limits us (and them).

Most people don’t know how to act around birds. They have some sort of cartoon (tweety bird) view of them. Putting them outside in cages invites children’s/adult hands to poke/grab at them – you can’t watch them every second of every day. Birds who don’t know people, especially ones who are wildly grabbing at a “cute birdie”, will draw blood.

It also makes them a target for theft. Our aviary was broken into many years ago. The criminal broke up a few very rare breeding sets, managed to kill every bird he grabbed (they were VERY aggressive since they were defending their sitting hens) and lost a lot of his own blood in the process. If this happened in a public campground - you should have a good lawyer on retainer.

In the event your baby becomes ill, you will need an avian vet. Right now, the last avian vet in the whole state of Kentucky (who was pretty limited) moved to another state. We now have to take our Macaws over two hours to get care. Imagine having an emergency at 2 in the AM trying to find a competent Avian vet in a strange town!

Finally, I would not dream of travelling with flighted birds. One gust of wind or getting spooked by the neighbor’s dog and he will be gone. Remember, we provide a lot for our pets but, we also take a lot away from them. By being brought up in a home, my birds were never taught to navigate, fly under stress, forage for food, sleep away from predators or even how to get down from a high tree branch. Once my Greenwing grew just a few too many feathers and got away from me, he almost made it to the interstate a half mile away (I don’t think he has ever seen a semi truck or understands what it could do to him) but fortunately he flew INTO a tree and dropped to a very high limb at our local police station. He was scared to death, kept calling for me and had absolutely no idea how to get down. I had to find a very tall ladder and do a bit of climbing to carry him down. The amusing part of that story was the Homicide team was outside and watched the whole thing. I would hate to see yours become startled in a wooded area and shoot out your door. It has happened to friends of ours and it heartbreaking.

We hire a “bird – sitter” when we travel.

Your Mileage May Vary. Whatever you do, best of luck to you!
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Old 08-15-2009, 03:24 PM   #16
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She would never go outside without her cage, and she never goes out where we are at now; she's fully flighted, but a 100% indoor birdy. Keeping her cool while traveling, etc does pose a problem. The big ones like the macaws kinda scare me.... my lil' lovebird can bite pretty hard, and I would not relish one from a giant! She has a favorite bell, which she knocked down yesterday; 1.) she understands I am helping put her bell back up, but 2.) I am invading her territory and touching her beloved bell. So what does she do? Perch on my shirt, and bites my chest! I pry her off, and she latches onto my thumb! We are in the kitchen, so I stick her under running water to make her release. She looks shocked, and sulks the rest of the day. I'm telling ya' sometimes she's bucking for a new home, and I'm not sure she will travel well in an even smaller space, with her very possesive nature.

Jane
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:39 AM   #17
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Just like having a two year old in the house. My experience is the bigger they are, the gentler they are. The green-wing is a big playful baby (like a baby great dane). He reminds me of John Beloushi in Animal House. Complete wild and trusting abandon. That said - they live/think in terms of absolute patterns and can mentally overload pretty easily. Your birds bell fell - it broke a pattern and upset its world - your messing with its possession further put it up and over and made it jealous to boot. With our birds, since they live in the moment, they wold have gone into attack mode as well. They would also have felt really bad about it after the event.

The water faucet was a great idea! They are so surprised they will snap back to reality. Mine is obsessed with socks. He will get into my sock drawer, steal them and chew up anything around the drawer. Sometimes he will try to shoot past me to get to my stash. He looks at me and communicates very clearly - "I know it wrong, you know its wrong, we both know its going to happen so just relax!" He will get a time out in his cage but eventually - it happens. Its so cute it almost offsets how angry I am.

Gotta love them!
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:21 AM   #18
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With mine, the big obsession is paper.... lovebirds love to shred, and stuff the strips into their tail feathers. Soooo, it's hide the mail, lock up the books, especially anything you really want, because it's assured she will zero right in. But at bill time, we have a nice arrangement; she leaves the bills alonw while I write checks, and she gets the envelopes. Afterwards, she does her job, and shreds my credit card numbers!

Jane
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:20 PM   #19
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Conure on the Road

Been following this thread for a while so I guess I’ll toss in a few observations.
Sue’s Green Cheek conure Sammy picked her out at the breeder in April. Since then she(?) has been out 2 weekends camping and spent a week at the WBCCI International in Madison. The bird has adapted very well to traveling.
The vet didn’t recommend boarding such a young bird and finding someone to watch her at home is difficult. That experience didn’t go over with either the bird or the sitter. I think they know when someone doesn’t like them.
So on the road we go. We have a smaller cage we keep for the trailer but put her favorite toys and sleep tent in it in order to maintain some familiarity.
I’m still working on a good way to transport the bird. The trailer cage is too big to keep stabile and the small transport cage Sue takes to go to the vet just pisses the bird off. Would something 12x16 work better?
Sammy does like to be up high enough to see outside while we drive. A cage this size can be secured to the center console in the truck and provide some view outside.
At International we ran across a woman who traveled with a pair of birds with no problems to speak of. During the Vintage open house I brought the cage outside under the awning. She’s a good conversation starter. I could keep an eye on her and the visitors.
2 more trips scheduled this season so we’ll see how thing work out.

Tom.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:59 PM   #20
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Ah, she's cute! Still just a lil' baby!

Jane
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Old 08-25-2009, 06:31 PM   #21
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Wow, someone else with a cage free bird in their Airstream. Tweet, the yellow missile, was given to us about 5 years ago. He or she always sang a little. Now that Tweet owns the entire airspace in the Safari, he/she rules the trailer. We more or less full time (6 nights a week), he/she awakens about 5:30AM, lands on the pillow next to my head and starts screaming some canary alarm type sounds. I usually roll over and tell him to go away. It isn't until I get up and hit the shower that he returns to the kitchen faucet where he waits until I begin to shave. When I start shaving he flys to the retention bar inside the medicine cabinet where he carefully observes my technique. Should I close the cabinet door, he lands on top of my head for the duration. I never thought some little animal with a brain smaller than a pea could have such a wonderful personality. He/she really came into his own after all of my immediate family members passed away and we found ourselves alone in the aluminum tube. (Even Mandy our wonderful little dog, died this year.) This bird is great. He also mimics my cell phone ring. He has it down! I have found myself looking for the instrument to answer before I realize he got me again! The only time he is caged is when I cook my meals. As soon as I start for the stove, he flys to his cage and I put the lid on. I never knew little things are so much fun. He brings this old guy a lot of joy!
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:29 PM   #22
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I don't own a bird, but I met a lady at the Indiana Dunes SP that had 8 dogs, 1 cat, and 30, yes 30 birds in her motorhome. Her plates on the MH were "The Ark". She was all the way from Montana, I think it was. It takes all kinds to make the world go round!
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Old 08-26-2009, 04:59 PM   #23
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I have had canaries, but none has been as friendly and social as yours! Very handsome lil' bird! guess free flighted in a trailer is do-able. I had a pair that laid eggs last year, never thought they would hatch, but I was wrong.... 4 babies. Kept one, she's a beauty, and dad is still hanging in there.

Jane
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:20 AM   #24
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Good info. I am considering moving full time into a parked airstream with my critters. Mostly because I am losing my house and am going to have to rent, otherwise. That said, I have 2 dogs (Toy Fox Terrier & Rat Terrier), 3 cats & 3 birds. A lot of critters! Also, my main concern there is my mini macaw named Ralph. He is a rescue (all my animals are, except one bird) and he is a plucker. He isn't bad with noise, but he is still a parrot. All my family can talk about is me getting "rid of" some animals. I have been unemployed for a bit, dealing with some medical/depression/narcolepsy/ADHD/anxiety fun stuff... anyways, NO WAY. My pets are why I am even still HERE. My 17 year old cat and 12 year old dog and 18 year old parrot are not going anywhere I don't! I am almost 38 and a single female. I have a close friend with beautiful property (including all hookups except sewer) on the side of her house on 2.5 acres in Tucson. I am in Phoenix currently. I just got a contract to hire job and am still in my house for a while yet, so trying to rent rooms and save cash. My other two birds are an Alexandrine parakeet, Ruby and a Blue Crown Conure, Pookie.
Ideally I would go vintage and get a stripped travel trailer, I think about 25 feet minimum and ideally a 30-35 footer looks good to me. I am a little handy and very thrifty and between as-is cabinets from Ikea (which would be a cheap and easy way to do your built in bird cage idea) and some other ideas I know I could build out a trailer that would be awesome for me. Of course, this takes cash. I can get financing and buy new/late model as another option. Of course, I like the expensive stuff that's about $50-$60k from what I have seen. Just wondering if anyone has any input. I am younger and like the idea of simplifying and being about to easily relocate. I am happy to see people doing well with parrots/birds traveling. That is awesome.
I used to have a lovebird like Loki, my ex has her now. She did best being paired with a boyfriend and put in an aviary. I would definitely recommend telling her who is boss and stopping a lot of behavior now. I had to do this with Ralph at one point. In fact, I HAVE to have a separate room for him because he is TOO demanding otherwise and drives me crazy. I actually want to convert a bedroom into a bird room, with the cages and a daybed. He has free reign of that room, while the other two usually stay caged. I switch and let them out, too. He has a perch and a mirror in there and NPR (they are well informed jazz listening birds). I find limiting my time with him actually results in him being better behaved and happier (boundaries, I guess). Also, putting them to bed is important. I would suggest all that, regardless of mobile living. Lovebirds can be difficult to handle and catch like you describe, I would be VERY afraid of him getting out. I would limit his free flight to a room or install a second door area, maybe mesh screen that comes down like you see at a zoo when you go into an aviary. Something very discouraging. I would highly recommend a green cheek conure, blue crown, Alexandrine (not a snuggly bird though) or a Timeneh African Grey. Quakers also are super cool birds.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:02 AM   #25
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Traveling with birds: temperature issues

Hello,

What methods do any of you long-distance or full-timers use when faced with hot and cold temps outside while traveling? What about ventilation? I use an extra CO monitor (Kidde) that has a digital readout, but it doesn't adjust the alarm threshold (that I'm aware of, anyway). And what about the "bounce" effect inside the Airstream while pulling? Anyone use a wireless camera to monitor the inside of the Airstream while traveling?

Thanks!

Anne
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:45 AM   #26
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this is a bit late to follow up on this thread but we just got back from 7500 miles / 1 month on the road with our 4 parrots.

they have their wings trimmed so they are not fully flighted. they are also not caged.

we have travel cages for emergencies. they ride in the car with us while traveling. when it's hot and we are out and about and the birds are in the trailer we leave the a/c on. we haven't had really *cold* temps, but at night in yellowstone and further north it got into the high 30's and low 40's, so we ran the electric space heater at nite.

i turn off the propane when we leave the birds in the trailer alone.

At home our birds are not caged. they are used to traveling and they each have their own spot in the car, and will not get out of the car when we stop for gas, etc.

when we are at campsites, they site nicely where we put them - travel perches or table or back of the chair.

they are for the most part, potty trained (they tell us when they have to poop and/or wait til we ask if they have to go ) - except one - who sits on her travel perch on top of the console between the front seats and has newspaper below her...

i had concerns about the one oldest who we had recently adopted. but the vet said it would be more stressful to be away from her 'flock' (us and other 3 birds) then to travel. so we took her. the first week she was stressed. after that, she was fine - and now shes less uptight and easier to get along with and less fussy than before we left on the trip.

on a separate note, trimming wings vs fully flighted is an issue within itself. We trim the first 4 flight feathers only - this way they don't 'crash and burn', they can fly about 10 ft down or horizontally , just not UP.

2 of our birds get bossy when fully flighted, and the risk of a wind taking them when outside is just not worth it. i would say very few people should have fully flighted birds - if they know and answer 100% of the time to a 'recall' command, then perhaps - but i have heard too many horror stories of lost birds and devastated owners.

we have had a few close calls when just one flight feather grew out and we didn't trim right away, and my birds are my babies. they wouldn't survive on their own.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:29 PM   #27
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We’ve returned from our annual Spring Gathering and apart from the usual Rally activities we had more than the usual "flock" of participants.
When the campground host saw Sammy, our Green Cheek Conure, he said there was a grey parrot in the MOHO 2 sites over.
They are Flea Market venders and travel with their African Grey. He stayed inside the rig the whole time despite the perfect weather.
The second day I saw a splash of yellow atop a woman’s shoulder as they were pulling in with a big old 5th wheel. I wasn’t long before we heard the shriek of a bird.
This couple had brought along their Sun Conure and 6 grandkids.
The next day the two birds were in our trailer eating blueberries and showing off their tricks.
Of the 13 rigs in the park that weekend the pet count was; dogs 4, birds 3. A respectable showing from the Avian team.
Sam traveled 1300 miles and 6 outings last year. We’re doing Alumapalooza next weekend, and taking at least another 4 trips this year. Sam is at home in the Airstream as he is at the house.
Now, if I can only get him to say "Camping".

Tom and Sue
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