Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Flight Suits: part two

What do we know so far?

Flight suits are soft, stretchy, reusable pet bird diapers. Almost any kind of parrot can wear them outside the cage to prevent embarassing "poop accidents" in the house.

Budgies, on the other hand, hate these flight suits. They will bite if you try to put it on and even if you succeed, they will be chewing on it when you're not looking.

But is it really necessary? Budgie droppings are so small that you barely notice them.

Image © Talk Budgies Forum
So what's the point?

No point in putting on these things as long as your budgie is flying freely inside the house.
But if you combine a flight suit with a so-called bird leash, you can apparently take your budgie for a walk outside, as shown neatly on the image below.

Image © Avian Fashions

Reliable or not?

I'm sorry to burst the bubble already, but the flight suit in combination with the bird leash is considered unreliable by quite a few people.  Domestic budgies have never been out in the open, so their first contact with the outside world might come as a shock. They might panic and have a bone-breaking accident if the leash pulls them back too firmly. Many people are also scared their budgie will escape, because they are so small and acrobatic. They might escape in the open air and get caught by a predator.

Image © Cartoonstock

Don't get me wrong: budgies are destined to be airborne creatures and they belong outdoors. But they can't handle the chilly temperatures from the Western world, that's also why they migrate in Australia.
Another good argument against bird leashes is that you may injury your budgie while you put it on. I just can't imagine small birds being comfortable on a leash.

Both sides of the story

The minority of people say that their birds love to go on walks with the leash on. Avian Fashions has a category with testimonials from happy owners, but as you can see, most of these birds are either cockatiels or parrots.

Personally, I admit that the idea of taking our budgies outside sounds very tempting. I want to show them some real nature, let them fly around in the garden and bathe in the sunshine. But I think it's too early. Flight suits are a relatively new concept (they've only been around for about ten years), and I think they could use some more improvement and safety before I would even consider buying one. Who knows what the future will bring us?

Image © Avian Fashions

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