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Tiny Home Living. Can it mix well with small birds?

Caroline__

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Me and my mother have been talking about tiny home living for a while now. It would be a tiny home on wheels. Custom built, so we are getting built in PROPER sized bird cages if we go with a tiny home. Now thing tiny home would be on the larger side of tiny homes. So its not a tiny tiny home.


Do you or anyone you know have experience traveling with birds? Ranging from RV living to Tiny House?

I have a few questions if you have or know someone who has!

The birds in question if it would help at all. 1 Male Cockatiel and 1 Female lovebird.

1. Would they be able to live happily with us? They spend a lot of time out of cage. It's mainly used for sleeping, going out & small breaks for both us humans and birds while eating and things like that.
2. Taveling with them? Is it safe for them to be in the trailer while it's being towed by our truck? Since they are already in cages.
3. Or would it be safer to bring them in travel sized cages and place them in the backseat of the truck?

I also have a cat and dog. So caging the cat while our house is in tow and in the backseat plus the dog and the two travel cages might not all fit back there. So it would be Ideal if the birds could stay in the built in cages. I just want to make sure that's safe as I know you aren't supposed to leave roaming animals in trailers while in tow. But our birds would be caged and not freely flying around the house while its moving.
 

Destiny

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1. Birds are adaptable. They can be happy in all kinds of homes, big or small. Although I'm not sure how you will be able to keep cat, dog, and two birds apart in a tiny house.

2./3. The biggest issue I can see is that if they are in the trailer and you are in the car pulling the trailer, you will not be able to know if they are okay in their cages. One of the birds could panic when the house starts moving and either injure itself or get stuck somehow and need help. If you aren't able to see them from the car, you wouldn't know that there as a problem until you stopped. The cages will "secure" the birds, but they can't keep them completely safe during travel, especially with how much they will be tossing around back there.

One possible solution would be to setup a camera to monitor the bird cages - many baby monitors have wireless cameras and microphones nowadays and they don't cost that much. They even make cameras specifically for monitoring pets! But obviously, any suitable camera would do the job. Then whoever isn't driving could monitor the birds remotely and make sure that they are handling the drive and not stressed or in need of assistance.

Another other thing to consider is temperature. RVs and trailers can get very hot or very cold while moving around, since the heater and air conditioner may need to be turned off to make them travel-safe. This is especially true if you are pulling a trailer for a long time during summer/winter. Again, you can potentially work around this using remote sensors. Just be aware that remote sensors can fail or be inaccurate, so be sure to also do manual checks as often as possible. Don't trust the cameras and thermometers to tell you the whole story. There might be something wrong that they can't detect - like a gas line break or unsecured item that has fallen just off-screen. Events like that are rare, but they can happen and might only be noticed if you go into the trailer yourself to check on your birds.
 
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Destiny

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One last thing to consider, regarding animals in trailers while towing, is the risk of motor vehicle accident. If you are in a crash, the tiny house could flip over or worse, with your birds inside. Obviously your tow vehicle might also be damaged in a serious accident, but cars and trucks are designed to protect the occupants during a crash better than houses.

The safest choice would be to keep all of your animals in the tow-vehicle with you under direct supervision and separately caged or harnessed.
 

Ripshod

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The safest choice would be to keep all of your animals in the tow-vehicle with you under direct supervision and separately caged or harnessed.
I fully support this. Aside from the reasons already mentioned my major concern here is the exhaust fumes from the towing vehicle getting into the trailer if you go with that option.
 

Kassiani

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I think this is a wonderful idea!! I'd love to see pictures of your set-up if that is what you decide to do.
 

Pat H

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GREAT to see this Q-- something I have wondered about in the past.. [there was an earlier thread regarding this subject maybe 2-3 wks ago]...
Wondered about the heat/ cold issue in an enclosed camper. Like @Destiny said... probably best to have them in the car w/ you...

I know when I've been traveling, not wanting to leave the birds in a hot car, and take them into a restaurant [in a covered carrier], I am discrete, sitting in a spot far from the kitchen and leave them on the floor [which can get drafty tho]. Only had to manage a medium sized bird at that point, so don't know how I'd do that w/ our Umbrella C. The Health Department can CLOSE THE RESTAURANT DOWN if they find out, so it was definately taking a chance at everyones discretion.

Another point no one has brought up--- is the water! Can't be in an open bowl while trailer is moving. And if you get them used to those 'tube waterers' [like Rabbits, etc use]... a friend found out the HARD WAY that doesn't always work-- his birds would make soup out of their water in a bowl, so he thought he'd solved the problem going to a tube waterer... Birds plugged it up stuffing food into it [habits are SO HARD to break]... he didn't realize it and they died-- no water, tho the tube was full! :sad13:
 

Zara

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Hankmacaw

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I'm sorry, but my experience doesn't bear a comparison with what you are planning. I have a motor home specifically because I would not consider putting my birds in a towable, where I wouldn't have access to them all of the time. Another consideration is that you can run the heat or the a/c while driving a motorhome. Last but not least, 23 years ago when I got my birds I decided not to have any dogs or cats due to the dangers involved with mixing dogs, cats and birds.

I traveled six months of every year with my two GW macaws, in the motorhome, with no incidences with my two birds. Much of our camping was boondocking - parking without hookups. They loved to travel.
 

Alien J

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Wow, where to start? First of all, I believe it is illegal for a human to ride in a vehicle (or a fifth wheel, or a tiny house) as it is being towed. A tiny house would not come with seat belts and everyone must be seat belted when the car is in motion.

I was a full-time RV'er in a 25 ft RV with myself, my fiance, and our two dogs. That was a pretty cramped situation. Then we got TD, the cockatiel. We certainly hadn't planned on getting a bird. His was a life or death situation. We took him in when he was just 19 days old.

I don't even know where to begin explaining all the difficulties and extra work it is to have a bird in a camper. Our lives basically revolve around TD. It's a constant battle with temperature. With giving him out of cage time. With trying not to drive after dark. With me not having had a table for three and a half years! You see, we got a 33' RV when TD was about a year and a half. He had been in a cage that, while adequate, was really far too small for a bird who is in his cage most of the time, so I got him the biggest cage I could when we got the bigger RV that would fit on my table. That's where he lived for the past two and a half years. Which leaves me without a table. It also leaves him right next to the stove. There's nowhere in an RV (or a tiny house) that you can be that isn't just a few steps away from anybody else in the RV. So needless to say, he's very spoiled and goes a little nuts if I'm not within his field of vision.

There's nothing worse than being broke down 2 inches off the highway, with traffic whizzing all around you, in a southern California summer, with temperatures over 100 degrees, when you have a bird and two dogs with you. Sadly, I've been there several times. The AC doesn't work when you are broke down! I remember one heat wave (over 110 everyday for a week) when my fiance and I spent from sun up to sun down misting TD every five minutes to keep him from heat stress.

If the weather is bad and your dog and cat must be indoors, there's no out of cage for your birds. Is your cat an indoor/outdoor cat? Used to coming and going as it pleases? That wont be a possibility if your birds are flying freely in the house. Can you have a double door system installed in the tiny house?

I'm certainly not saying it can't be done. I'm living proof that it can be done and so is TD. A lot of people told me that there was no way he would survive living in an RV (if he even survived the trauma he had been through in his first 19 days of life). Well, it's been almost 4 years and he wakes up every morning singing Andy Griffith, so, yes, it's possible.

Think about these things and the things the others have brought up. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask.
 
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kayosa

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I do believe a big difference between a trailer and a proper tiny home is insulation. Like a house, a tiny home should have 2x4 studs holding it up, and r-11 or better insulation in the walls. heat and cold will be much more manageable if it is a proper walled house. Will it have wood or metal stud/frame?
Do get double paned windows, as single pane don’t resist cold/heat as well.
talk to who is designing your tiny home, ask about where insulation is used, is it in the walls, ceiling, and floor? What weight class will the finished tiny home be? Will you need a commercial license to pull said tiny home?

I would put your birds in a travel cage when in motion. But beyond that, it’s possible. You’ll have to be careful about the doors being opened while the birds are nearby.
 

Lady Jane

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What are the appeals of living tiny?
 

Destiny

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Regarding the differences between tiny homes and trailers, it is worth mentioning that tiny homes are not the best choice, if you plan on moving around frequently.

Trailers and RVs are designed as vehicles first and shelter second. Tiny houses are, in some cases, just a small house slapped on to a trailer frame. Which means that they tend to be quite vulnerable to travel damage. Pipes, insulation, even the walls themselves, can suffer from the sudden bumps and steady vibration of being hauled long distances. Some tiny homebuilders are more aware of these problems and do their best to make smart design choices, so the house will survive the road. But a lot of tiny homes are just not designed to be moved constantly. They will last a lot longer if you leave them in one spot or only move them a few times a year at most. Basically, ever time you move your tiny house, you are adding significant wear and tear to the structure, which is cumulative and shortens its "lifespan". It won't last for decades, like a stationary house. It won't even last as long as a good quality trailer.

Here is an article that goes into more detail:


If you want to travel from place to place routinely, a fifth wheel or RV is a great option. If you want to live in one spot, but with the option to take your house with you if you decide to move somewhere else in a few years, a tiny house is great. Just don't get fooled into thinking a tiny house has the same mobility and roadworthiness as an RV or trailer. They are not the same.
 

Shezbug

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Excuse my ignorance... @Destiny what is meant when you mentioned a fifth wheel?
 

Destiny

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It is a style of trailer. I believe the name refers to the type of coupling used to attach the trailer to the tow vehicle - usually a specially equipped pickup truck.

1805664096_f1c9262718_o-attr-larry-_-teddy-7pw1mv.jpg
 

Shezbug

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Pat H

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I do believe a big difference between a trailer and a proper tiny home is insulation. Like a house, a tiny home should have 2x4 studs holding it up, and r-11 or better insulation in the walls. heat and cold will be much more manageable if it is a proper walled house. Will it have wood or metal stud/frame?
Do get double paned windows, as single pane don’t resist cold/heat as well.
talk to who is designing your tiny home, ask about where insulation is used, is it in the walls, ceiling, and floor? What weight class will the finished tiny home be? Will you need a commercial license to pull said tiny home?

I would put your birds in a travel cage when in motion. But beyond that, it’s possible. You’ll have to be careful about the doors being opened while the birds are nearby.
Sounds pretty heavy to pull around. Might sound silly, but if there's not too much roof weight bearing-- maybe PVC stud walls? They're making pretty sturdy styrofoam now too. Don't laugh too hard! :angelic:
 

kayosa

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Sounds pretty heavy to pull around. Might sound silly, but if there's not too much roof weight bearing-- maybe PVC stud walls? They're making pretty sturdy styrofoam now too. Don't laugh too hard! :angelic:
I had to google that, I haven’t heard of pvc studs before. I haven’t worked with pvc studs so I’m not sure how load bearing it is, or how easily they are to bend/break when it comes to lateral force(ie, wind and travel). I’m a carpenter, now I’m curious to see if pvc makes to the commercial world now, or if it’s a fad.
 

Gigibirds

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Hi! We went on a road trip once in an RV, and I took my parakeet. She did just fine! As long as you give your birds big enough cages, they should be perfectly happy! Just make sure that you cover them well at night if it gets too cold, and try to make sure that they don't get too hot during the day! I will say, however, that my parrotlet refuses to eat in the car. Even when it's a longggg car drive, and she gets hungry, and even though she's in her cage, she just won't eat! I would take your birds on a test-drive, because it could be so dangerous for them if they won't eat in the car! Basically though it depends on the bird, but it's completely doable! Have a great day, and good luck with this!!
 

Caroline__

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Thank you all for all your replies!! Will defiantly be looking into everything! We have thought about an RV as well but it's hard to customize them I've come to find by reading. Wondering where you could even build the cages in with the styles we found.
If we went with the tiny house we would make sure it's obviously fully insulated and has the proper windows.

We still have a lot of research to do and this wouldn't be happening for a few years anyways. But I love to get an early start to figure everything out before hand


For anyone interested it would be a fifth wheel towable home much like a rv trailer I would think on the outside and where it counts in everything else to be a perfectly suitable full time living/travel situation. Just fully customized to feel more like a house then a camping rv on the inside. We were kind of thinking one like this with all of the obvious customizable changes we would need. It is the 37' inch one with the Two Main floor queen bedroom & Queen bed loft. The one that is which is the preview one.
 
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Shezbug

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Ohhh you’re brave! Have you lived in a set up similar to this before with your mother?
 
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