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Bird Travel: Packing Your Bird's Food and Water

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
Safe & Satisfying Avian Outdoor Adventures 
How to Enjoy Travel With Your Bird 
Is Your Bird Meant to Travel? 

A stress-free trip takes planning. Plan the basics, like food and water, and there will be less for you to think about and more time to enjoy travel with your bird.

Summer is the time of year many bird owners travel with their birds. Feeding your bird properly is one of the easiest and most important stress relievers you can provide on a road trip. It can make the difference between a pleasant trip and a panicked vacation.

Golden Sunburst MilletWhile some species, such as canaries and finches, may be stressed by traveling, others, like those in the parrot family, are more likely to enjoy it. Of course, there are always exceptions. Before going on a long trip, take small trips first to acclimate your bird to the car and see if it will be enjoyable. For many birds, travel is interesting. It keeps their active minds entertained. Best of all, travel lets them be with their favorite person all day.

Don't be lax and feed your bird the wrong foods just because you're "on vacation." Remember, foods full of fats and sugars - such as fast foods - are unhealthy for your avian friend. Proper nutrition is also important for managing travel stress.

Food Tip - Carrying food on the go

  • Use a cooler with plenty of ice for fresh foods.
  • Store foods in nonbreakable plastic containers or tight closing plastic bags.
  • While traveling, take advantage of the fresh-from-the-garden vegetables of the season. Vegetables contain essential vitamins and minerals as well as fiber. Make sure to rinse well before feeding.

3 ways to carry water

  1. Carry a portable water filter. Water filters can get rid of heavy metals and other elements.
  2. Boil water from home and store in air-tight bottles.
  3. Use commercial bottled water (remember to get your bird used to the taste of commercial waters before your trip).

Just before the car ride, avoid overfeeding your bird. For entertainment and for a low-fat treat, secure spray millet, such as Golden Sunburst Millet, in holders. If this is a new treat for your bird, be sure to offer it to your bird several days prior to the trip to get his digestive system used to it. As always, your bird needs his regular daily food to be the main portion of his diet. In addition,

  • Food cups should be deep and secured to the cage or crate.
  • Have one dish for pellets or seeds and one for fresh vegetables or fruits.
  • To hydrate your bird, attach a Bird Water Bottle for less mess. Make sure your bird knows how to use a water bottle before starting on your trip.
  • For nutrition and hydration, offer your bird bits of juicy, fresh fruits.
  • Use a Seed Guard, or similar item to reduce seed mess from the cage onto the car floor.

Remember that birds crave routine, even on the go. The closer you can stick to your usual feeding schedule, the better. Many birds will not eat inside a moving vehicle, and are more apt to eat when they are settled and not stressed.


Feeders & Waterers

Feeders & Waterers

Travel Cages

Travel Cages

Treat Holders

Treat Holders

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