Don't hesitate to send me bird-related questions or comments! Any non-bird queries should be sent to my 'main' blog, When-Worlds-Collide96___________________________________________________________ Mistreatment of parrots stops here.
After 15 sessions of harness training with DIY harnesses the first time putting on the Mini Wings Parrotlet Harness went rather smoothly. After coming out of the package the harness was stiff, making it rather uncomfortable for Zeeby. As a result she did try to pick at it a few times and attempted to manipulate the clasp with her beak, after all of that there is no damage done to the harness (not even a dent in the material) and she never managed to get the clasp open.
It’s hard to tell how the harness fits at this time because it is so stiff but overall it looks like a perfect fit for her I don’t think it would fit Mia without being a bit snug (Mia’s a bit wider than Zee). There’s no way to adjust the width of the harness so if your bird is a bit more plump or thinner than the average parrotlet you may run in to some problems.
Some close-ups of the clasp.
My initial thought was that the clasp would be easily opened by a birdy beak, after letting her chew at it she never once managed to even slightly open the clasp let alone remove it. The harness stayed put the entire time it was on, with very little shifting during flight, walking, and chewing.
The harness is not sewn together it’s either glued or melted but I can’t tell. After me tugging, bending and Zeeby chewing at joints in the harness there is no evidence of fraying or loosening. It is quite strong considering it’s size, it certainly exceeded my expectations as I expected it to fall apart upon inspection but there is no damage anywhere.
I think it is possible that this harness might fit a budgie but it may be loose in some areas, risking a foot sliding through the bottom loop. Lengthwise the harness would be fine, if your budgie is wider than average I would guess this would fit but again, it may be loose around the waist. As for lovebirds there is no way this harness would fit, it’s way too snug for a lovebird to wear, I doubt you could even get the clasp done up. When the harness is on Zeeby I can barely slide my index fingertip under it to do up the clasp, which means it fits her just perfectly- anything larger she would certainly be able to slide a foot under it and wiggle out.
Just some front and back views if you were curious. The bottom loop slides through the piece that runs down the back, it takes a little manipulation, once done up there is no shifting of the material. The only complaint I have is it becomes a little difficult to get a fully flighted wing through the loop, you do end up bending the feathers and using a little more force than you would think to get it through the small hole (unlike the aviator which allows you to make the hole large enough to pull the wing through without bending the primaries). Once you get the first wing through the rest goes on fairly easy, it may also become easier once my harness loosens up a bit after being packaged for so long!
On to the leash, it’s a nice size for walking around outside, if you planned on outdoor flight you would need to either make your own or see if an aviator flight leash could be modified to fit. Attaching the leash is extremely easy due to the added mini rings on the body of the harness, I find that quite helpful considering trying to attach things on such a tiny body, it was nice to have this be so simple to do.
The leash, not including rings or clasps is about 85cm long and is not elastic in any way, this was a concern for me because I wasn’t certain what would happen if Zeeby took off (how hard would the impact be, resulting injuries, flight restrictions). Fortunately I am able to tell you all about that since Zeeby startled at the leash behind her and took off while I was downstairs, I had the ring around my finger so we were able to unintentionally test out the results from taking off with the harness.
The harness does not have any give to it but there the impact was not jerky in any way. The result is more comparable to you running and then ending up on a perfectly timed treadmill, no jerky transition you just keep going but you don’t move anywhere. She was able to maintain perfect control when she reached the end of the leash, keep flying nowhere until I called her in which she then turned around and returned to me without any problems.
Overall I am pretty happy with the harness, from what I’ve seen it is durable enough for it’s purpose (I wouldn’t risk letting them chew on it for no reason, it will wear out eventually of course), the leash is the perfect length for walks and does not result in jerks or crashes when they reach the end of the leash. It fits nicely for the average sized parrotlet, the clasps are durable enough to fight against beaks and the key ring on the leash is a very valuable touch making it a lot safer to just clip the harness to your jeans loop, wallet, or stick it around your finger with less risk of dropping the harness and losing your bird.
I look forwards to more training with this harness and expect to be testing it outdoors after further flight testing and once Zeeby’s comfort level is where I want it to be!
If there’s anything I’ve missed or different angles of the harness you would like to see, feel free to send me an ask!
My harness has not actually arrived yet!
I’ve been looking up harness designs and making them out of string so I could start harness training without the risk of breaking the new harness. It should be arriving today so when it gets here I’ll be running some tests on it, checking the joints, material strength, clips, and checking over the whole thing.
I’ll be sure to post a review of it once it arrives, the one I’ve ordered is the mini wings parrotlet harness, since it’s parrotlet specific my guess would be that it does not fit budgies (it doesn’t appear to be super adjustable from anything I’ve found online) but I will be sure to let your know once Zeeby has tried it on (no guarantees when that will be, I’m hoping all will run smoothly tonight but it may take a couple days depending on how she reacts to it).
I know there are budgie-specific harnesses, I remember seeing them when I was looking for a parrotlet one but I haven’t a clue about their security.
Unfortunately when it comes down to birds this small many companies don’t bother making harnesses, the parts are harder to put together so flight suits become the preferred option. Any harness I’d found has been full of clasps which is why I went with the mini wings harness, I think it will mostly depend on how comfortable you are with doing up a bunch of small clasps and how stressful that is for your bird.
You could always do what I did, make one out of string to see how your bird takes to it that way if you get one with a lot of clasps they won’t be as freaked out.
But anyways, I will be sure to post a review of it when it arrives and I’ll do a full run through of the harness in a couple days or weeks after I’ve done a bunch of tests on it with and without a bird. Hopefully it will all run smoothly, I’ll be sure to keep you posted!
edit: here’s the diy harness I was using for the majority of trianing I just made it much smaller.
That’s so great! Sounds like you’ve got one special companion!