How to prepare your bird travel crate for air transport
Our birds are part of our families too! They have a very special bond with their families and need that connection. Traveling with your birds can be quite stressful on your bird and you. Import and Export requirements vary and some countries don’t even allow the import of birds. Our focus today is going to be how to prepare your travel kennel. You can’t just put your bird in regular plastic kennel without some modifications, otherwise, they could get bored and chew through it. We all know how strong and persistent our birds can be!
First you will need to obtain a plastic kennel that is appropriate for your bird. Make sure that they have at least 4-5 inches of clearance from the top of their head to the top of the kennel. The kennel will need to have a solid service bottom and top, no wheels, be bolted together (no snapping mechanisms), have ventilation on the top half of all 4 sides, and have a metal latching door. You will have to install a perch for them to grip, so they need to have enough head clearance when sitting on this perch.
Once you have your kennel you will have to retrofit it. We found that using a 1/4 or 1/2 inch wire mesh works best to cover all the openings. You will want to do this from the outside and secure with either metal zipties or plastic that your bird can’t reach. You can purchase both at most home stores or online.
You will have to apply this same mesh over your door, but make sure to apply it on the inside and bend all the edges to the outside so there are no sharp edges that could harm your bird. You will cut the metal mesh larger than the door and bend (use gloves so your hands don’t get torn up). The corners will require multiple adjustments and cuts with wire cutters.
Once you have covered all the surfaces with the metal mesh, you will want to cover them with duct tape and some burlap cloth. This is to prevent them snagging or getting stuck on anything, yet allow airflow but not visibility, reducing stress for your bird.
A bird perch must be installed in your kennel. You need to place the perch high enough off the ground that your bird can’t get stuck, but still has enough head clearance. You will drill an appropriate size hole from the outside, the perch does not need to be bolted from both sides and can be smaller than the width of the kennel. Place a large washer on the inside and outside to help stabilize the perch.
Items you will need to create your bird travel crate:
Work gloves, wire mesh, wire cutters, perch, 2 washers, metal bowls or bird crocks (2), duct tape, metal zip ties, dog pee pads or newspaper, burlap and/or mosquito netting (required for rabies free countries), and a drill.
Now, as always, if this seems too overwhelming for you, we can always do this for you, just shoot us a request or give us a call!