bird talk with Dr Ed Layt
Have bird will travel
very day in Australia, birds and their owners travel by car, air and rail to holidays or new homes. While it is a time of great excitement for their owners, birds are usually very stressed and need to be protected to prevent outbreaks of disease or social upsets. Birds are creatures of habit, and are masters of pretending that all is well, but they are easily stressed if taken out of their comfort zone where they know they are safe, to a new life of initial uncertainty regarding food, predators and shelter. To help reduce your bird’s stress when travelling, try to follow these tips: • always have plenty of room in the cage as cramped conditions • leads to self trauma and Dr Edward Layt has been sometimes attacking a Brisbane vet since others in the same cage 1978. He is based at Wishart Road Greencross • allocate only one bird Veterinary Surgery. Visit per cage if possible www.greencrossvet.com.au. • ensure there is adequate shelter or cover the cage • don’t sedate or tranquilise birds before travel • ensure there is adequate food and a piece of fruit available to the bird throughout the trip (most birds can go six to 12 hours without water — as long as moisture as in fruit — is available, except on very hot days) • be aware that water will likely spill all over the cage during travel, so be sure to take adequate precautions.
Boarding your bird If you need to leave your bird while you are away, keep in mind the comments above about birds being stressed when out of their comfort zone. The following list is the best way to approach bird care for holidays. • if you are away for two days or less, leave the bird at home, half cover the cage, and provide enough food and water for three days, in multiple containers
• if away for longer, ask a friend or neighbour to care for the bird in your own home by visiting to feed, water and clean the cage, or contact a home pet-care service • if having someone visit is not possible, get a friend or neighbour to care for your bird in a quiet room in their home, keeping pets and children away from your bird • consider a bird boarding facility which is a growing service. Contact your local avian specialist, vet or bird club for advice if you do not know of a service in your area. Many dog and cat boarding facilities will also board birds. Remember that many of these boarding facilities are fully booked for Easter and Christmas a year in advance, so be sure to get in early. By taking these steps you can go away and enjoy your holidays knowing that your bird is safe and well cared for. ®
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