So You Think You Are Prepared!
by Richard Ingram


Let me take you on a wee journey, literally, and see how many of you can relate. It all starts with an advert, birds for sale, and goes from there. After seeing the advert and making the call you've got your new birds, only they are at the other end of the state. Here in Tassie the distance isn't as great as many of our mainland cousins but it's still a considerable effort, so it makes sense to combine the pick up with another activity and in my case it was a business trip.

Prior to going I did all the preparation, got the carry box, gave it a spruce up, got the seed and water containers, even remembered the cotton wool balls for the water dish. Just as I planned the journey I also thought through the logistics of the pick up time, to ensure that on arrival home I had time to settle them in the quarantine cage, which of course was all prepared in a quiet, warm, suitably lit location to ease the birds into their new home. All good and well you say, so what?

Well, after two days of demanding meetings and negotiations I returned to the hotel at 6pm a little jaded, but excited that I would be picking up my new birds in the morning. It was at this point I realised my carry box was still sitting on the bench at home.....s&%$#! My initial reaction was stuff it, I'll buy one somewhere in the morning but the last thing I needed was another carry box. The journey home was going to be 4hrs at best so I needed more than just a box. With a bit of Boy Scout creativity I decided to build my own and  I wanted to share the experience.


Firstly, it's a strange city, nearly 6.30pm, I need materials. There are few things in life you can count on these days but Bunnings and Chickenfeed (Solly's, Reject Shop etc on mainland) are everywhere and usually open late. Now the immediate temptation was to just go to Bunnings and buy the tools and materials to do it properly. However this is extreme, costly and where's the fun? I challenged myself to find the cheapest and best solution.


Tools, had to be Chickenfeed for the box cutter and cable ties (also seed if you are desperate). Next to Bunnings for the all important box. They have a wide variety of sizes usually stored at the door and because it's hardware, they are usually sturdy boxes. Major pluses are that you also get to choose and best of all they are free! The only other item required was the plastic 'gutter guard', black mesh, small squares, perfect for a carry box.
Finally I stopped in at the 24hr supermarket and got my cotton wool balls and my seed. I will comment here that the journey was going to be stressful enough for the birds without subjecting them to poor quality seed so it's worth the extra effort and expense. The whole cost of materials was $6.80, plus $2.50 for the seed on special. I cheated with the water dish, it was a sauce container for my takeaway dinner but a plastic water cup will do, available from most office buildings and hotel lobby's.


The assembly was relatively straight forward and hotels are also good for scissors and tape if you ask nicely but it's best to do this after depositing your building supplies in the room and definitely before you 'borrow' that branch from the shrubbery at the entrance....had to have a perch! Fortunately hotel staff must see a lot of strange things because apart from the initial strange look nobody questioned my strange assembly of materials or the branch (with leaves of course)!

                Assembly was straight forward but my hints are:

Always put a lip up at the bottom of the box to keep seed in

Tape is quicker for attaching the gutter guard but cable ties are stronger

Cable ties can also be used for a handle on the door and to secure it

For the indulgent you can also make a carry handle on top of the box

Cable ties are best for water containers, tape gets wet and loses grip

Use scissors/knife to make holes for cable ties, saves fingers (doh!)


While I hope this never happens to you I want it to be known that a budget carry box is at your finger tips just about anywhere and I'm proud to say it worked!!!

The Finished Product!!