Transport to surgery

Parrots can be transported in many ways depending on the species, their age and their socialisation.  The effect of the stress of travel will vary depending on how socialised the bird is to human contact and how ill they are, often if very ill they don’t appear to care where they are. Some birds appear to enjoy traveling especially those closely bonded to their owners. The aim should always be to minimise stress.

The ideal transport container should be

  • Escape proof
  • Made of materials the bird cannot easily destroy
  • Have a large opening so the bird can be easily restrained and removed.
  • Allow the veterinarian to observe the bird before restraint
  • Have good ventilation (risk of greenhouse in hot weather)
  • Provide a degree of visual security for the bird (allow them to feel they cannot be seen)
  • Have a perch or something the bird can grip during transport to avoid sliding around.
  • Spill proof food and water containers
  • Of a size that does not damage tail feathers.



Containers with some of the sides partially occluded provide a degree of visual security for the bird. Good ventilation will help avoid big fluctuations in temperature and containers must be protected from direct sunlight especially if they have glass or perspex walls that could act as a greenhouse. Also make sure that the transport containers are not placed where the birds could be subjected to engine fumes or other noxious gases. Also keep away from any loud noises that may startle the birds. If the container is to be reused it should be easily cleaned and disinfected before being used for other birds. Plastic is the best material as it is impervious to water, easily cleaned, disinfected and dried. All transport containers used must be secure. In contrast some birds are happiest when they can see out the car windows and watch everything go by.

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