Moving in itself is a challenging process, but it simply gets that much more complicated when you have pet birds. Birds are delicate creatures, each one different from the next, and require extra TLC when it comes time to move houses. Thankfully, with a little bit of planning, moving with your birds can be a seamless process. Here are all the key tips you’ll need for moving with birds to a new home.
Jump Ahead To:
Before The Move
Making sure your little feathered friends are prepared for the move starts long before moving day arrives. This means ticking off a number of tasks from your list, from purchasing a carrier to heading to the vet. So here’s a rundown of things that you’ve got to keep prepared before the moving day:
Purchase A Carrier: Purchasing a carrier is non-negotiable, as birds cannot be loose in the car during a move even if they are comfortable being outside the cage at home. In a car and new space, it’s simply too dangerous, hence getting a carrier is ideal. When choosing a carrier, make sure to pick one that is spacious enough for your bird to spread its wings and move around comfortably, but not so large that it becomes difficult to carry it.
Get Your Bird Accustomed To The Carrier: If your bird is not used to being in a carrier, it’s important to start getting them acclimated to it well before moving day. Place the carrier in different parts of the house, and put treats or toys inside so your bird will start to see it as a fun place. You can also try a reward mechanism where you praise your bird and offer it a treat every time it draws near to or enters the carrier.
Get Your Bird Accustomed To Cars: The next step is to make sure your bird feels secure inside a moving car. Take your bird for short rides in your car in the weeks leading up to moving, gradually increasing the length of the ride. This will help your bird feel more comfortable when it comes time for the move. Make sure you also look out for signs of motion sickness in your bird, such as excessive panting, drooping wings or tail, or closed eyes.
Head To The Vet: Before moving, it’s always a good idea to take your bird to the vet for a check-up. This will ensure that your bird is healthy enough for the move and that any necessary medications or vaccinations are up-to-date. This step is especially important if you’re moving long distances, as your bird will need a health certificate in order to fly. Your vet will also be able to provide you with any necessary medications or advice specific to your bird’s needs for the move.
Pack Your Bird’s Belongings: Just as you would with your own belongings, start by packing up your bird’s things well in advance of moving day. This includes their cage, toys, food and water dishes, and any other perches or accessories. Make sure to pack everything carefully and label each box accordingly. Leave out a few essential items that it would need up until moving day, but make sure you carry these along with you and not forget them behind.
Clean The Cage & Accessories: As you’re packing up your bird’s things, take the opportunity to give their cage and all accessories a good clean. This will help reduce the risk of infection or disease in the few days after the move since your bird is sure to still be stressed and at a higher risk of falling sick.
Find A Vet Near Your New Home: If you’re moving to a new city or state, make sure to research vets in the area and have their contact information handy in case of an emergency.
Prep Their Travel Carrier: If you’re moving long distance, make sure to prep your bird’s travel carrier well in advance of moving day. This includes everything from giving them plenty of toys and perches to making sure the carrier is properly ventilated.
When moving, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect your pet birds. This includes ensuring their food and water are always clean and accessible, keeping them calm and hydrated during the move, and making sure their travel carrier is properly prepared. Although moving with birds can be stressful, there are a few things you can do during the move itself to help make things go as smoothly as possible.
Monitor The Weather: One of the biggest dangers during a move is extreme weather conditions, whether it’s hot or cold. Make sure to keep an eye on the weather forecast during your move and take appropriate precautions if necessary. You don’t want severe cold or heat making things worse for your feathered pal!
Keep Your Bird Calm: In general, it’s best to keep your bird as calm as possible during the moving process. This means avoiding sudden movements or loud noises, and keeping them in their carrier whenever possible. If your bird starts to get agitated, try soothing them with a calming song or quiet conversation. Stay by their side, and at no point should they be left all alone.
Make Sure Their Food & Water Are Clean: Another key thing to remember is to make sure your bird’s food and water are always clean and accessible. During the move, place their food and water dishes in a safe, secure place where they can’t be knocked over.
Keep Them Hydrated: In addition to food and water, it’s important to keep your bird hydrated during a move. Make sure to offer them fresh water and check for any signs of dehydration. If your bird isn’t drinking enough water due to the stress, try to gently coax them to when you halt somewhere. Or, offer them some fruit pieces.
After The Move
It may take you a while to adjust to your new home, but at least the stressful part is over once you’ve reached it. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for your birds. They’re in a completely new and strange location, they can sense the chaos of the move, and there are probably boxes stacked around them. Birds are intuitive creatures, and all these factors mean it can take them much longer to get settled.
Keep An Eye On Them: As your birds slowly adjust to their new surroundings, keep an eye on them and make sure they’re not displaying any signs of stress. This may include refusing to eat or drink, shedding feathers, becoming more vocal than usual, or staying in one spot for extended periods of time.
Be Patient: It’s important to remember that moving with birds can be a slow and difficult process. Be patient as they explore their new home and give them plenty of time to get comfortable.
Offer Them New Toys & Perches: One way to help speed up the adjustment process is by offering your birds new toys and perches in their cage. This will give them something new to explore and help distract them from any remaining moving stress.
Make Sure They Get Enough Exercise: Finally, make sure your birds are getting enough exercise. This is especially important in the early weeks after moving, when they may be a little more skittish than usual. A good way to ensure they’re getting enough exercise is to take them outside on a harness or leave them to fly around and explore in a safe room (under supervision, of course).
One important factor that you mustn’t forget to account for is how your bird is going to move from the old home to the new one. This is going to vary depending on the distance of the move and whether you’re moving locally or long distance.
Local Move: If you’re moving locally, the best option is to transport your bird in their cage in your own car. This way, you can keep an eye on them and make sure they’re comfortable at all times. This will minimize their exposure to stress and make sure they arrive safely at your new home.
Long Distance Move: If you’re moving long-distance, you’ll need to fly with your bird. Besides moving with your birds by car and flight, you can also have them shipped via a reliable animal transport company. This can be pricey, but it’s the safest way to ensure your bird arrives at your new home healthy and happy.
Another important step related to the type of move is knowing just how to manage with a bird during transit, whether that’s by car or plane.
Moving With A Bird By Car
If you’re moving with your bird by car, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, make sure the cage is secure and won’t tip over. You should also cover the cage with a cloth to help reduce stress. And finally, make sure to stop frequently so your bird can stretch their wings and use the bathroom.
When it comes to flying with your bird, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, make sure to book a direct flight to minimize stress, and definitely fly during the day as night flights can stress birds out. Your carrier may also have to be airline-approved, and you may require certain documents in order to fly with your bird. Make sure you get those details in place.
In some cases, airlines may require you to have your bird on a harness. A good harness should have a sturdy strap that goes around your bird’s chest and a clip that attaches to the carrier. It’s also important to make sure the harness fits your bird correctly and isn’t too tight or loose. Ensure your bird gets used to their harness just as you’d make sure they’re comfortable with the carrier. Finally, remember to bring along all the necessary supplies, including food, water, and toys.
By following these tips, you can help make moving with your pet birds as smooth and stress-free as possible. Remember to research your new area ahead of time to find veterinarians and bird-friendly parks, keep an eye on the weather, and be patient as your birds adjust to their new surroundings. And we can’t stress on this enough but don’t forget to pack their favorite toys and perches.
FAQs On Moving With Birds To A New Home
How Long Does It Take A Bird To Adjust To A New Home?
This will vary depending on the bird’s personality and whether they generally feel stressed with accepting any change. Some birds may take a few days to adjust, while others may take weeks or even months. Be patient and give your bird plenty of time to get comfortable in its new surroundings.
Do Birds Get Stressed When Moving?
Yes, birds can get stressed when moving to a new home. This is why it’s important to take things slowly and give them plenty of time to adjust. Try to keep their routine as normal as possible, and make sure they have a safe place to hide if they feel overwhelmed.
How Do You Calm A Stressed Bird?
There are a few things you can do to help calm a stressed bird. First, make sure they have a quiet place to rest and hide if they need it. You can also try talking to them in a soothing voice, offering them treats or playing calming music. Finally, avoid moving too quickly or making sudden noises, as this can further stress the bird.
Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.