Saturday, August 3, 2013

New poll: budgies on a roadtrip?

Photo © Rahoul Narain on Flickr

I've come up with this new question for no other reason than that I'm considering driving 3000 km with my budgies next summer.

I know this sounds crazy, right?

Anyway, you can only select TWO possible answers in this poll. It doesn't really matter whether you have actually been on the road with your birds or not - I would like to know your honest opinion too. Do you think it's perfectly possible or not?

I have a bit of road experience with my birds. I've driven them to the vet and back a few times, which is 10 minutes by car. I drove 50 km on the highway with Pixie and Leo on the evening that I bought them. They usually get alert, but not really stressed, and it definitely helps to cover their cage a bit.

I can argument that long-distance driving with budgies would be okay under certain circumstances, such as:

  • when the cage is partially (so that the birds get enough oxygen) covered, in order to keep the stress level low and the sun out of their eyes
  • when you take enough breaks to check on their food/water trays and illness symptoms
  • when you know a bit about first-aid for birds
  • when the temperature in the car is not too warm and the airco doesn't run on high
  • when you're making an overnight stop, make sure they allow pets on your room (they should not be left alone somewhere)
  • the size of the travel cage should not be too small and toys should be put down during the ride to avoid accidents
  • no loud, thumping music - choose a relaxing cd instead
On the other hand, I would really like to hear if anyone has had a negative experience with this? All reactions are welcome! :-)


  1. I don't see the poll questions so can't choose one of the two answers. i can tell you we've traveled thousands of miles with our birds, and you can do a few things to help them take it in stride. Some even love it!

    One is to shade them as you say, but they do usually like to look out the window, and will eat better if they have light, so play with the shading cloth, etc, and make sure it's only shading them from direct sun.

    Never leave them unattended in the car. I live in the desert, where a car can quickly get so hot inside that it would kill the birds, and leaving a window open invites other kinds of problems.

    Some high-water veggies like organic celery leaves with a bit of stem, are nice, especially if a bird has trouble drinking in a moving car. Treat sticks are nice for the car, as are toys that don't swing or cause too much noise. Shredding toys are good. Hanging a bell or some beads on the side of the cage is usually fine, just not swinging from the roof of the cage.

    Swings can be tolerated by agile budgies in a moving car, even fun, but take some test drives for short distances. Setting perches and swings at angles so the birds can change position is good. It's tiring to be facing the same way the whole ride. Seatbelts can often be rigged to hold travel cages in place.

    Rough roads are very tiring. If the trip is long and/or roads rough, you may not be able to go as long without rest breaks. We found that the birds really hated traveling after dark, but on occasion it could not be helped for that last hour or two, so we had a flashlight on back there with them, pointed at something other than the birds themselves so it did not blind them of course. This helped a lot, but aim to be at your night stop before dark, and to start out the next day after sunup. They really do not take the jostling as well in the dark.

    We had some that absolutely loved car travel and seeing the scenery whip by.

    As you said, take breaks.

    You made other good points too. We found that small pets in a cage didn't trigger most motel's ire. I think they are more worried about dogs and cats that may be loose in the room and do real damage. Of course, a larger parrot could do real damage, too! Budgies...not so much. We were super careful about getting the birds out in a motel, usually didn't do it at all, but the threat was escapes or accidents to the birds.

  2. We travel with our birds no longer than three hours. And, we can't bring them during night. If we do, they attempt to fly in the travel cage, which is dangerous.

  3. I´ve never really had Sydney with me in the car before, only to the vets (10 mins) I think somewhere in the middle really, I mean its should be okay to have them in the car, but max 2-3 hours. I don´t know.... :-)

    Mia ;-)

  4. We do travel with our budgies in our car for 6-7 hrs drive we keep checking food and water trays and they seem to enjoy the ride!!! I have never seen them afraid or anything!! Yes I cover their cage half way after sunset to let them sleep easily!! They keep chirping and playing with us in side the cage while riding!!!!

  5. The first budgie I had, I insisted on taking him everywhere with me, even to the grocery store (at that time there weren't travel cages, so he went in a tiny hamster cage)! We would also take him on long car rides (say, an hour and a half) for vacations, so he travelled about quite a lot. Probably the longest trip he went on was in a camper van for around a couple weeks or so. He did just fine and actually lived quite a long time (almost 10 years), so no ill side-effects. Since him, I've always found that my budgies have really loved car rides. I have no idea why! Maybe cuz their little bells and mirrors are swinging around and bumping them so seem more "alive"? I don't know! They always enjoy it and sing and chirp the whole time. I just make sure to bring their blanket and cover their cage half way so they can only see out one side of the cage. I think it's less overwhelming that way.

  6. In my opinion: I think it should be avoided AND it depends on the bird. My male would do fine until evening but my female wouldn't handle it well at all. She does that heavy breathing thing when we take our 25 minute drive to the vet. Also- my birds will chirp when we ride but I think chirping is sometimes a nervous release and way of coping and not necessarily a "this is fun" response. I'm still learning budgie behavior so I could be wrong about this. It seems to me that, typically, budgies want to be in a place they feel is familiar and SAFE. But they're also hearty creatures and bounce back really well.

  7. It totally depends on the bird I think...
    My little Rain is honestly more outgoing than my dog. He loves car rides and loves chirping along to whats on the radio while watching the scenery go by. He did especially well on our recent trip to California. He loved looking out the window and even had his own inflight movie on my iPad mini he could watch from his swing. Nobody even knew he was on the plane.

    Although recently since coming to CA he has been wanting to go out with me everywhere I go. I worry about taking him out sometimes since I don't want him to catch cold at night or anything. he loves being outside with me though. Never a dull moment with him.

  8. When I travel with my budgie Casper he is out of his cage and just sits on my shoulder and talks along to the music the whole way :) he loves it :)

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  10. Hi i just want to ask i want to také my pepa to different country what i have to do ?we will travel with a car about 20 hours

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  12. My bird Fred loves going in the car. He swings, talks and dare I say it still actively displays his randy budgie syndrome. Longest I have had him in my car is 1.5 hours but we are going on a two day trip soon. He loves being in the car with the roof up and the roof down. LOVES the car.

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  14. my Budgie loves to go in a car Her name is Sam she turned 2 years old today I think that it depends on your bird to