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Alfie's backpack adventures

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So I bought a new carrier for Alfie back in June. He hates getting in his kings travel cage and it's fairly heavy and difficult to move around if you want to travel further than the car/house/aviary. So I bought him a backpack style carrier which he was VERY curious about. I kept rewarding him with a treat any time he went near it, but he didn't actually need much encouragement. I have managed to take him for a walk in it too and I'm hoping I'll be able to take him for more walks once the weather figures out what the heck it's doing.¬†ūüėā

So I figured I'd start a thread and show off some photos of Alfie enjoying his carrier. I used it to get him out to the aviary once and took him for one walk (so far). If I take him to the vet then I'll revert back to the kings cage. Similarly, if I'm going to my parents house or anywhere where he needs to remain caged (and not walking) then I'll use the kings cage, as I don't want him to chew his way out of his backpack.

My only complaint is the thickness of the perch- it's really thin... probably to accommodate several different bird species. I'm going to attempt to wrap it with rope and also attach something to grab hold off whilst we are moving so he can steady himself whilst on the move.

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Packed and ready to go!

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Trip out to the aviary (see what I mean about the thin perch?)

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First time I got him in it with the door closed- ready for his first walk.

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Just hanging around! I stopped mid-walk to check on him and hung the back on a tree branch. Food and water had been spilled because he kept trying to find things to hold whilst moving around.

He seemed to be ok on his walk. My housemate came with me to keep an eye on Alfie and we kept chatting to him. He made a few beeps and whistles which is a good sign. A lady went past with a baby and he whistled to them as they passed so she pointed him out to the baby and said hello.

So all in all, this has probably been my most successful purchase ever! Alfie took to it like a fish to water. Hopefully we will get to go on a few more adventures!

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Posted (edited)

LOVE THIS!!!!  :)

Now my Snickers would freak the freak out if I took him out of his usual environment.  I've moved twice in the 22 years I've had him, and he acted like each new house was a threatening demon!  I can't even move furniture around or buy a new throw pillow without causing him great distress, seriously.  (Multi-re-homed parrots like my CAG with (apparently) bad past experiences is just so heart breaking).

So happy for Alfie!!!  New adventures await!!!  :)  You are an amazing person, seriously -- best of luck and fun with this!

Edited by LNCAG
We need a 'love' or 'adore' reaction!!!! 'Like' seems so lame for Alfie right now. lol
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It1s good to travel around with your Grey.

Corky has traveled all across the U.S. with us. She has traveled in our SUVs, cares, Trucks and our motor homes.

She has also stayed in hotels, motels the homes of friends and family.

It was nothing for us to pick up and go some place with Corky in tow.

On one of our trips to W.V. in our motor home to see my wife brother we were coming up to toll both on the P.A. turn pike I herd the flap, flap of  her wings and she landed on my shoulder as I was paying the toll she leaned forward and called the man taking the money a DORK.

We had just bought her a new travel cage and she watched me put it together. Well she disassembled the top part  of her cage and removed the top  and got out.

So much for letting her watch me put things together'

She has a mechanical aptitude

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I have a similar backpack for Timber. I bought it for the same reasons, but he has never taken to it. It sure is convenient for trips to the vet etc., but when I try to take him outside for outings he doesn't appreciate it. Good for you and Alfie on your success! :)

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I would love to take Alfie on a trip away but I've never had much success with finding bird/pet friendly accommodation before.

In the meantime, I'm hoping to get him out for some more walks before the weather gets too cold for it. (That's if I could have some sunshine when I'm actually at home and not at work of course!) I'd like to try and take him to some places where more people are around as well, but I'm not sure where I can and can't take him in terms of actually going in to places. I think I'd also want to secure the backpack with some padlocks in case someone decides to try and open it to let him out. (I don't trust people!)

Did the man mind being called a dork by a Corky?! Haha. Bet it was a bit of a shock to find out she had escaped though! (Though you do have to admire her intelligence for doing so!)

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How friendly IS Alfie?  Anyone (besides me) opening my Snicker's door (carrier/cage - anything) would receive some serious ripped-up hand damage for their effort. Maybe even lose a finger if they tried to force him out of his safe haven. 

But, if yours is friendly -- definitely a lock is a good idea!

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I don't know because he doesn't socialise with many people other than me or my housemate. All my friends and family are too wary of him to get to know him properly.¬†ūüôĄ I think he would probably lash out if someone did try to let him out, but I wouldn't want to risk it either way. They could theoretically pull the zip and let him make his own way out. I think it would also give me some peace of mind anyway.

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11 hours ago, SRSeedBurners said:

That doesn't look like a Pak-o-Bird.   What carrier is it?

It's one from a website called northern parrots which is a UK based company:
https://www.northernparrots.com/parrot-backpack-carrier-prod831300a/

I'm not sure it's quite as good as a pak-o-bird but they are trickier to get hold of over here. I have since located a website which will sell them - so if Alfie does start to put any holes in his current one then I'll get an upgrade to the reinforced pak-o-bird carrier.

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I bought the African Grey specific pak-o-bird and GreycieMae destroyed the insides including chewing a hole in the stainless screen mesh.   Also their zippers wear out after a little while and I can't find anyone that will put on a new heavier duty zipper.   I'd save your money.

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I spend enough time getting Snickers in his cage or carrier for the vet -- totally envious of you guys who manage a backpack!!!  :)

Too cute to see though!  :)

I so wish Snickers would welcome such outdoor adventures....

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1 hour ago, SRSeedBurners said:

I bought the African Grey specific pak-o-bird and GreycieMae destroyed the insides including chewing a hole in the stainless screen mesh.   Also their zippers wear out after a little while and I can't find anyone that will put on a new heavier duty zipper.   I'd save your money.

In which case then I'll just replace like for like as and when needed. It's a cheaper alternative and seems to do the job well.

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1 hour ago, LNCAG said:

I spend enough time getting Snickers in his cage or carrier for the vet -- totally envious of you guys who manage a backpack!!!  :)

Too cute to see though!  :)

I so wish Snickers would welcome such outdoor adventures....

I thought it would take me forever to get Alfie interested in his back pack because of the all the troubles I normally have convincing him to go in his travel cage. I was really surprised when he showed so much interest.

I haven't been able to get him outside for a little while because the weather has just been rubbish. It's always sunny when I'm stuck at work and when I'm at home it's too cold, raining or REALLY windy. We also seem to have multiple seasons in one day quite a lot so you never know what the weather is going to do from hour to hour. Very annoying!

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We finally had one day of decent weather this week so I dashed home from work and went for a walk with Alfie in his backpack. My housemate came too to make sure Alfie was doing ok during the walk.

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I tied a cardboard bangle toy to each side of the perch and that seemed to give him a foothold that helped steady himself.

He seemed quite happy throughout the walk - he even tried to join in with our conversations by mumbling incoherently in my housemates voice. He even asked for head scritches from my housemate a few times, which meant Alfie pressing his head up against the mesh and my housemate trying to scritch him through it. 

My only problem now is to sort out the water bowl and food bowls. They go into a little fabric pouch which then uses velcro to attach to the carrier, but Alfie can easily pull these off and throw food everywhere. I'm then left with a food bowl rolling around the carrier. The water bowl doesn't hold much water and even when I half fill it I still end up tipping it everywhere when I walk. So I need to try and find a way to supply water which doesn't tip everywhere. I did debate about a rabbit water bottle with the stainless steel ball-bearing but I'm not sure if that would work so well with birds?

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Love the pictures, the outing, the adventure of it all  -- just love it all!   :)

I think he looks very curious and happy!

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It`s great when the outings re enjoyed by all.

New sights and fresh  air too.

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I wouldn't worry too much about the food and water if the trips are relatively short. When I take Timber to the Avian vet (1.75 hours each way) he doesn't eat or drink anything. I asked the vet since I was a little concerned about it (it seems like he is eating or drinking often at home) and he said they usually wouldn't want food or water if in a different situation or environment and it was nothing to worry about.

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I moved 250 miles with all my parrots in their kitty carriers lined up in the back seat of my car (not to mention the cats in their carriers on car floor with a fish in tupperware wedged tightly between their carriers).  My dog rode shotgun. Trip took nearly 6 hours (I followed the moving truck/lorry).  For the parrots, I basically rolled up a hand towel and duct taped it (safely so no toes got stuck!) to bottom of each carrier so they could 'perch' on rolled towels until we got to my new home.  Their cages were packed last on moving truck/lorry but still, it took a while to get the cages all set back up inside new home.  I had given my parrots each some grapes in their carriers to eat for the journey, but only one ate hers.  So I borrowed a large mug from a neighbor and poured them some water (brought from old city -- didn't want to upset their crops with strange new water yet) and each parrot drank and drank from that mug, they were so thirsty and I felt so guilty.  I was trying to take turns, give each a couple swallows and then offer to next parrot (they were still in their carriers at this point) and Snickers figured out quickly to simply grab mug rim with his foot and hold tightly so that he could drink his fill.  He had so little faith I was coming back to him for multiple turns at water drinking.  I think between them, I had to tilt the mug a LOT -- they drank half a mug of water between them.

Not recommending parrots go that many hours without access to water (and honestly, I had thought the grapes would provide enough sustenance and fluid enough for them to last the journey). 

I would NOT worry about water for a short hike!!! 

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When I go to the avian vet, I always take a bottle of water and a small bowl. I try to get Timber to drink before heading back, but it's always a no-go. After 6 hours he might though!

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Yeah, my Chessi (tibetan spaniel -- RB 2012) she would gladly drink on the road while traveling.  My cats were too upset by the trip to do anything but meow for 6 hours straight (but their carrier doors did have 'clip on dual-dishes' with some water and food -- untouched, of course).  :(

But to be honest, there was no way in hell I was going to open a parrot carrier's door while traveling to offer them water!  I couldn't have reached them without having the back car door open -- and losing a flyaway parrot on the interstate was NOT happening on my watch!  I honestly thought grapes were perfect solution -- it was food and was super juicy.  I even cut Kodak's (cockatiel) grapes in half to assist him.  Sami (macaw) was the only one to eat her grapes during the whole journey -- she was easy-going and took everything in stride.  

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Ah ok- perhaps I won't worry so much about it then. I'm mostly going to be taking him on walks in it for now so we won't ever be out for that long.

If I'm going anywhere in the car then I put him in his kings travel cage, as that's sturdier. If he's sat still then he's more likely to start chewing the back pack. The kings cage also has fixed bowls with small hinged doors so it's easier to put food and water.in and less likely to spill.

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That's what I do:  pak-o-bird for short constant moving trips, King's cage for long hauls.   I don't feed/water in the soft carrier because it makes a huge mess on the fabric.   By the way: the Kings Cage carrier is the bombdiggity!    I have the small (no feeders) and the next size up with the feeders.  They are such good carriers.  The medium sized one slides together, no bolts screws etc  I can't believe what a nice carrier it is.

Edited by SRSeedBurners
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Agreed- I love the kings cage. I have the medium one with the bowls. It's incredibly sturdy and I love that it just slots together. It's so easy to clean as well. My only grumble is the plastic bowls that came with it. Alfie managed to crack one quite easily but fortunately the place I got it from (northern parrots) sent me out a replacement for free. (I was willing to pay for it, so kudos to them for excellent customer service!) I always prefer metals bowls over plastic ones. However, he hasn't cracked one since so it is a very minor grumble.

I would actually consider a kings cage but I don't think they do anything as big as what Alfie has now. He is in the Liberta enterprise cage (1st edition) and it is the biggest cage I've ever found (other than an aviary). I don't think kings do anything that size. I would also probably have to remortgage my house to afford it if they did, as their stuff can be pretty pricey compared to others. But if the build quality of the travel cage is anything to go by, it would probably be worth it!

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I didn't know travel cages even existed for parrots -- I've always used a kitty carrier. 

I bought 2 Kings cage back in 1997 -- back when they came with stainless steel bowls.  Ridiculous if they come with plastic bowls now. :(  Anyway, I can certainly attest, having owned two, that they hold up well!  Or at least the older style ones do. When freshly wiped down, mine still looks like new (but never for long--lol).  Snickers is in his same Kings cage I bought for him in 1997.  I love that the Kings cage top opens up for a play area.  But they sure are heavy to move -- thankfully they come with wheels!  :)  I'm told I got one too tall for my CAG, but I think Snickers enjoys his vertical space (it's 6+ feet tall, and 27 inches wide, 24 inches deep).  

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