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Whether you are moving to a new home or are looking to get a new cage for your parrot, you will want to ensure the transition is smooth and stress-free for both you AND your pet.
Luckily, we have some experience with both of these scenarios and want to give you some tips so that you and your bird can celebrate the new environments without any hassles or headaches.
Moving a Parrot Into a New Home: What You Should Know
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 40 million Americans move into new homes each year. If you own a parrot and plan on relocating in the upcoming months, you should take some extra precautions to ensure your feathered friend is safe, comfortable, and happy.
Moving can be a stressful time for both people and their pets. Failing to make a seamless transition into a new home could result in anxiety, depression, and a variety of health ailments in your pet parrot, especially after long travels.
So how do you get started?
Scout Out the New Home
If possible, take your parrot over to the new home several weeks before you move. This will give your parrot the opportunity to see, smell, and experience their future home up close and personal.
Parrots are inquisitive creatures that love to explore their surroundings, so chances are they will want to walk and/or fly around the new home as they check it out and familiarize themselves to the new scenery.
Of course, you should make sure there are no open doors or windows before taking your parrot into your future home. It's also a good idea to keep your parrot confined to a harness as a safety precaution.
Set Up Your Parrot's Cage
When moving into a new home, consider setting up your parrot's cage in your bedroom where they can see you. Far too many owners nonchalantly place their parrot's cage in the middle of a large wall of boxes, restricting their view.
This often leads to anxiety and stress, both of which are behavioral characteristics that you want to avoid!
Placing your parrot's cage in your bedroom, however, should calm their nerves by allowing them to see you. You can always move your parrot's cage to a different location once you get settled in, but consider keeping it in or near your bedroom at first.
Provide a Healthy, Loving Environment
Moving into a new home is the perfect time to go through your belongings to get rid of any unnecessary items while keeping the essentials. As an avid pet bird owner, this is a great time to reconsider and improve your bird's environment.
Clean-outs are particularly useful in the kitchen, where you might storing potentially harmful pots and pans. We encourage you to throw out any items containing Teflon. We talk about the dangers of cooking with Teflon-coated pans in greater detail here, but the bottom line is that cooking in these pans releases gases that are particularly toxic to birds and parrots.
If you happen to stumble across any Teflon cookware when unpacking, go ahead and toss it in the trash can. While Teflon is safer for humans, the fumes it releases during cooking are highly poisonous to parrots. Even small, trace amounts can prove deadly.
Tips for Transitioning Your Parrot Into a New Cage
By nature, parrots are habitual creatures that become attached to their surroundings. After living in a cage for a while, it will become a comfortable environment that represents their home. Trying to move a parrot from their current home into a new cage may stress and even frighten them.
While this usually won’t cause any serious health issues, no owner wants to see their beloved parrot in a frightened state.
Thankfully, there are certain steps you can take to make your parrot's transition into a new cage smoother and more enjoyable; here’s how:
Know Your Bird
Before we start, it’s important to note that some parrots may take to a new cage just fine. You can open the door to their new cage and watch them willingly fly in without hesitation. Once inside, they will act like everything is fine and continue to go about their normal daily routine in their new cage. Easy, right?
However, more often than not, parrots will require a bit of coercing to enter an unfamiliar cage. After all, it could be some secret death trap! (at least they may think so) Knowing your bird's personality will help you immensely in identifying how well they are liking their new enclosure.
Place the Two Cages Side-by-Side
Instead of abruptly forcing your parrot to enter their new cage, you should simply place it next to their current cage for 5-10 days. This will allow them to grow used to it without entering it. You don’t even have to place them inside the new cage just yet, but instead let your parrot view it from the comfort of their current home.
After a week or so has passed, your parrot should feel less threatened by this foreign object. This familiarity will make it tremendously easier for you to move them.
See if Your Parrot Will Enter
The next step is to open both the old and new cage doors to see if your parrot will fly in. Depending on your parrot’s attitude, this may or may not work. Don’t get discouraged if your parrot isn’t flying into their new home yet, as there are a couple other things you can do to encourage them.
For starters, make sure the new cage has plenty of familiar toys and perches inside. If your parrot enjoys a certain bell or stuffed toy, place it inside their new cage! This will create a familiar atmosphere that your parrot is already used to seeing.
Treats, Treats, and More Treats!
Another tip I’ve learned that’s helpful for moving a parrot into a new cage is to place some of their favorite treats inside it.
If your parrot loves treats as much as mine does, chances are they will have no problem entering their new home. Once inside, you should reward them with praise, petting, and maybe even a few extra treats :)
Make Their New Environment a Happy New Home
Now you are armed with helpful information to make a smooth transition to get your parrot settled into a new environment. If you follow these steps, your bird might start to love their new cage even more than the old one!
Thanks for reading and we wish you and your parrots the best of luck with transitioning to new and exciting places!