Early on, I bought Echo a carrier so that I could take him to vet appointments and such. I realized though that if I was to take him to my parents’ house, he would need a home base to sit in and perch on. Regular cages that would fit his size were too expensive at the time, so I decided to improvise.
I went to PetSmart not long after this decision and had a brilliant idea to look at some portable dog crates. You know, something not too big that he can get through but small enough to carry him in it. I picked up one of the small dog crates, one meant for those toy type dogs that aren’t more than 15 lbs, and stored it in the trunk of my car.
The real test came later. Mom and Dad wanted to see the bird, so I packed him in the carrier and headed to their house. When I got there, I left him in the carrier while I grabbed the dog crate out of the trunk and set it up. I put some newspaper in the bottom so it wouldn’t get dirty and hung a towel over the back for a little bit of protection for him. With a little coaxing I got him inside and let him explore.
Not long after I put him in there, I hear my dad call to me, “He’s trying to escape.” I looked at him and sure enough, Echo was sticking his head through the crate’s bars. He was spinning his head around trying to see if he could squeeze out, thankfully to no avail. I gently poked at him to see if he would retreat, which he did, but it didn’t last. He kept at it the entire time he was in there. At certain points, he had his head all the way out to the base of his neck. I put the towel further up to try to stop the behavior but it didn’t work either. I quickly determined that this crate wasn’t going to work and I needed a proper travel cage for him.
(For a video of this behavior, click here.)
With some monetary assistance, I was able to purchase a nice travel cage for him of decent size and sturdy bar weight. My folks let me leave it at their house, since that’s where I seemed to need it the most. Thankfully, Echo likes it too now that it’s decorated with toys. As for the dog crate, I cleaned it out and donated it to the local humane society. Definitely a lesson learned. Sometimes it’s worth it to re-purpose items meant for other animals, but not when it’s meant for containing a rambunctious parrot.