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Kelnivale 07-19-2017 09:32 AM

Taking Your Parrot Places
I've heard of people taking their conures and cockatiels to the store, the bank, public transit, etc. I have a couple of questions about that.

1) Noise. Is this not an issue? I can imagine a conure scream in a bank or on a bus would be pretty startling.

2) Poop. I've heard of flightsuits, but for those just using Aviators, are you constantly cleaning up after them when out and about?

3) Biting. Do you let strangers interact with your bird and is biting a concern?

Scott 07-19-2017 10:12 AM

Re: Taking Your Parrot Places
Welcome to the forums, thanks for joining!!

I don't take my birds out of the house... except for the vet. Many members do, and can relate experiences and cautions.

Some examples:

Kelnivale 07-19-2017 10:25 AM

Re: Taking Your Parrot Places
Thank you! :)

I really enjoyed those stories. I don't yet have a bird, but I would ideally like to get one who can safely travel with me like that. So I am here gathering info.

Kiwibird 07-19-2017 11:12 AM

Re: Taking Your Parrot Places
1. My amazon is a pretty quiet guy overall, and even quieter in public. Being outside their comfort zone/territory makes most parrots not want to draw too much attention to themselves. I mean, you never know if a tiger or anaconda is lurking nearby while out with your human:rolleyes: Kiwi loves the car, bus, train... He just loves being in anything that moves and makes all kind of interesting and hilarious squeals of joy!

2. I use a pak-o-bird when we go out, but my bird is also potty trained. It is possible to potty train a bird and IMO I don't get why more people don't It's no more difficult than housebreaking any other pet. Focus on elimination communication (i.e. them letting you know when they have to go and setting up designated areas) rather than training them to hold it and only go on command (which can lead to serious medical issues).

3. NO! Stranger can say hello and talk to Kiwi, but no touching. He's an animal, he can inflict hard bites and I don't want to be sued or have him taken away and killed by animal control like they will dogs who bite because he bit some idiot and they complained he was a 'vicious animal'. Again, I use the pak-o-bird when we go out, which completely eliminates the risk of him biting someone yet still allows people to say hello and interact SAFELY with him.

These are pricey, but one of the best investments a bird owner can make when it comes to taking their birds out with them. Safe, secure and eliminate most issues of taking a parrot into public. The small "birdie go go" pack may be suitable for your needs with a bird the size of a conure:
(I believe a sun is a small conure, but you can look around at larger sizes if needed)

SilverSage 07-19-2017 11:32 AM

Re: Taking Your Parrot Places
1) occasionally we have a noise issue. When we do, we go outside and calm down. It's usually Kaleo being overstimulated or Glorie being a diva.

2) I use flight suits if I'm going to be out alone. If I'm going out with my husband or a freind, I give them a ziplock of baby wipes and we literally watch each other's backs; for poop! And my birds are small so yes they poop every 5-15 minutes. I minimize this by feeding meals instead of free feeding and taking the bird out BEFORE a meal instead of AFTER.

3) it depends on the bird. Glorie, my cockatiel, loves attention and I can hand her to anyone. I literally call her my imaginary bird because she has NEVER bitten anyone. Ever. I can hand her a child even and my only concern is being sure the child doesn't hurt her.

Nohea, one of my Ringneck, is similar but she chews harder. I use discretion.

Kaleo, another of my Ringnecks, doesn't bite people but she does try to get back to the safety of my shoulder, so I only let people pet her, not hold her.

Titan, one of my GCCs, will take the finger off a stranger if they spoil her, so I just tell people no, she prefers to stay on my shoulder.

Bottom line it depends on the bird, situation, and the stranger. Ultimately it is MY job to keep MY birds safe; no one is going to do it for me.

I have made children cry when I took my bird back because they wouldn't stop squeezing her. I have had adults get quite cross when I have physically pushed their hand away as they reached for a shy bird on my shoulder. I have had to learn to establish my course of action ahead of time and not hesitate to act upon it if necessary.

I also have strategies for making each interaction as pleasant as possible. For example I warn ladies wearing wedding bands "Glorie loves bling and she will try to remove your diamonds; you might want to use your other hand" or "Nohea loves to hang out with strangers but she isn't really into being petted." Or when a child really wants to touch the bird but is also afraid to, I suggest they pet the tip of the tail. I do this because a nervous child is often very forceful with their petting just because of nerves.

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SilverSage 07-19-2017 11:33 AM

Re: Taking Your Parrot Places
Oh, I forgot to mention; I only take my birds inside pet friendly establishments, I don't use public transportation, and we do t do thick crowds where trampling is likely.

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Sunnyclover 07-19-2017 03:31 PM

Re: Taking Your Parrot Places
I take Ollie out to lunch, to the grocery store, to the dentist and on vacation (he's been to the Washington and Lincoln Memorials recently). Grocery store if it's a big chain no one says anything and with restaurants I always ask 1st. I take him in a Pack'o'bird also but he's potty trained and is often just on a harness. I give him an opportunity to go potty every 15 to 20 mins and we usually don't have an accidental. If we're inside I just pop him on his Pack'o'bird and give him his potty phrase and signal and he will usually go if he has to. If we're outside I just pop him on the edge of a bench or tree branch and he'll go! He's truly wonderful and it's great to take your bird out! Also I should add that's he's rather quiet for a sun conure which makes it easier because people sometimes dont even know he's there.

Kelnivale 07-19-2017 05:03 PM

Re: Taking Your Parrot Places
@Kiwibird Thank you, I've heard of the Pak-O-Bird and the Birdie Go Go, and I definitely intend to pick one of them up once I figure out what kind of bird I'm getting. I know they're pricey but I think you're right that they're a good investment. As for the bite risk, I like that the backpack types of things prevent that, although ideally I would like to harness train my bird as well, so may need to be diligent about keeping random fingers away. It is a concern of mine that a kid would try to pet and get bit, for sure.

@Silversage It's helpful to hear the comparison between going out with a 'tiel or with a GCC. Aside from the greater bite/noise risk with the GCC, which would you say is a better travel buddy overall? I know it depends a lot on the individual birds, but just from your experience?

@Sunnyclover Would LOVE to potty train my bird! That sounds so convenient for both of us. I'll search the forums for some information on how to go about doing that once I get a bird.

SilverSage 07-19-2017 05:16 PM

Re: Taking Your Parrot Places
It really isn't the difference in species at all; it's the difference in individual birds. My dearly departed Cache was a gcc and she had no qualms laying on her back in the hands of strangers and FALLING ASLEEP. It was actually her that I had to take away from the squeezing kids.

Any species pet parrot when properly raised, trained, and socialized can be a fantastic adventure buddy :) it's a matter of choosing the right species and individual for your lifestyle (which can be harder than it sounds) and properly socializing and training them.

Make no mistake; wearing a harness is a TRAINED BEHAVIOR. Try to rush it and your bird will be traumatized and your dream of galavanting around town with a bird on your shoulder will be ruined.

If you plan to adopt and adult, I suggest looking for one who is already comfy having his body and wings handled. If you plan to buy a baby, it's wise to choose one that was trained to wear a harness out of the nest.

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Inger 07-19-2017 05:22 PM

Re: Taking Your Parrot Places

Originally Posted by SilverSage (Post 662372)

I have had adults get quite cross when I have physically pushed their hand away as they reached for a shy bird on my shoulder. I have had to learn to establish my course of action ahead of time and not hesitate to act upon it if necessary.

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Sorry to hijack this thread but WHY do people think it's okay to do that? It makes me SO angry. In addition to my bird, I have two Chihuahuas that are fearful of strangers. A (relatively speaking) giant hand coming directly at their head WILL result in a bite. And it's always adults. Children seem to instinctively know better. And then they get all offended when I grab their hand and say "He's not friendly." I'm tempted to let them take the bite, but I don't want my dogs upset to the point they think that's necessary. [emoji36]

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