Modifying flight suit

I know that harnesses aren’t recommended for birds as small as budgies, but that they do make flight suits for budgies. It’s also been said that these flight suits aren’t as safe to take the birds outside in. I was wondering, why exactly is that? The designs I’ve looked at for the most common flight suits all have velcro as the fastener. I wouldn’t be comfortable taking my two flighty budgies out with nothing more than lycra and velcro holding them into a flight suit and leash. Would it be possible to alter a flight suit to include some sort of clip over the velcro of the flight suit? Or is there another reason why the flight suit isn’t suitable for outdoor adventures?

For a little budgie, velcro would be like reinforced steel clasps or something. You have to realize the relative strength it takes to undo the velcro. Perhaps a budgie could chew through all that but it would take all day or a week. So by the time it’s ready to come apart, you’d have known it for a while. Not a point I’d worry about so much on a bird that size.

Michael wrote:For a little budgie, velcro would be like reinforced steel clasps or something. You have to realize the relative strength it takes to undo the velcro. Perhaps a budgie could chew through all that but it would take all day or a week. So by the time it’s ready to come apart, you’d have known it for a while. Not a point I’d worry about so much on a bird that size.If it’s not the velcro, I guess I’m not really understanding why they’re considered so unsafe for outdoor use. I’ve been considering getting two primarily for use at the vet’s office so she finally stops insisting I clip them because they’re so flighty. But I don’t really want to risk them getting away, either.

Funny thing, I was actually reading up on flighsuits for widdle birds earlier. Still not sure why it’s unsafe.

GlassOnion wrote:Funny thing, I was actually reading up on flighsuits for widdle birds earlier. Still not sure why it’s unsafe.Yeah, I don’t get it either. I was thinking it could be because velcro is more easily opened than a normal clasp, but what Michael said makes sense. The budgie would have to have super bird strength to open it. Some sites have said it’s because of the tension put on a body that small, but I guess I don’t understand where all of that tension would be coming from if the budgie is the only thing affecting it.

I think most complaints are that the bird is wrapped in a fabric so it can’t naturally breath and get the same benefits as being outside in the open (or at least harness). The other big thing is that the bird sits in its own poop (even if it’s absorbent and all that). I think it’s that people disagree with a bird being clothed like that moreso than the risk of escape.As for escape, some risk exists with all restraint systems. So I don’t think people should take parrots outside on harnesses unless they are clipped or flight trained. If it’s clipped and the harness breaks, you’re back to a clipped parrot that most likely won’t fly off but the tiny risk is resumed. The owner will surely have enough time to fix the harness, get a hold of the bird, etc. If the bird is flighted, I sure hope the owner has flight trained the bird to recall because once the harness is off, it’s outdoor freeflighted. I think of the harness as insurance, not restraint. I try to give my birds as much freedom on the harness and teach them to stay close/recall rather than relying on the restraint to stop them. It’s only to protect against the event of a fly off because I’m in a busy city.

I don’t really like the idea of a bird sitting in it’s own poop either, but there’s no one that makes a harness for a bird so small. I also kind of find the appearance of a flight suit kind of ridiculous, but if it works to prevent a bird from flying off, I’m willing to try it. Given that I know the budgies wouldn’t come back to me were they to escape, I don’t think I’d really trust taking them out in them without some form of carrier. One of them alone is too fast to catch, both together would be a nightmare. I really am only considering it because I think it’s probably the best way to get the vet to stop badgering me about clipping their wings. No Name bolted out of the carrier when I took him to the vet and it took about ten minutes for him to calm down enough for me to grab him so she could examine him. I have a feeling if either were to get startled like that in an indoor setting, having them tethered into some kind of harness or flight suit would make managing them much easier. That said, when I took Cheney Bird out the other day, something startled him into flying from my shoulder. Luckily, he’s clipped and was on a leash so he didn’t get very far. But I totally understand the need for a recall now. He tends to “pss pss pss” as our contact call and he started doing that immediately as soon as he realized he was on the ground and not my shoulder.

An escaped budgie outdoors is pretty doomed and practically impossible to recover.If your biggest concern is the case of the vet, there’s a much simpler solution than a flight suit kind of deal. Simply use a small carrier with a small or adjustable door. Open the door just enough to reach your hand in without the bird escaping and grab it.

Michael wrote:Open the door just enough to reach your hand in without the bird escaping and grab it.Oh, she did that. I specifically warned her that he’s flighted and will fly, but she opened the carrier just enough to get her hand in. As soon as she got his hand around him, he wiggled his way out of her hand and was off to the races. The door on the carrier is a zipper mesh door, so we only opened it up enough to get a hand in. Then came the speech about how clipping is safer, which I don’t really believe.

Maybe a light clip won’t hurt. Just clipping a few feathers on each side to still allow flight, but a little less wild…