When I saw the avian FlightSuit™ I thought it was nice but wondered if it was really practical. However, I now think that this is a unique and well designed product that many pet bird owners will find very interesting.
About the Avian FlightSuit™
The Avian FlightSuit™ is also well known as a "bird diaper" which is one of the primary purposes of the product. The suit is like a little jumper that has elastic straps that fit over the wings, a tail hole, and a Velcro™ fastening that runs down the back.
Looking at the product it is kind of hard to picture how it will actually fit on a bird but a quick look at the manufacturer's web site shows how the FlightSuit™ fits quite well and is not cumbersome to the bird at all. The FlightSuit™ bird diaper comes in 14 sizes from petite for parrotlets and other very small birds up to colossal for large macaws. The diaper function comes from the deep pouch that fits neatly under the vent and catches waste while keeping it away from the body. The FlightSuit™ can be worn as is but optional disposable liners can be used to increase the absorbency and effectiveness of using it as a diaper.
The diaper function of the FlightSuit™ will appeal to owners who have birds that spend a lot of time out of the cage. The diaper can save a lot of cleaning of clothes and furniture. The web site for the FlightSuits™ points out that even owners of potty trained parrots will still find the FlightSuit™ useful as it can extend the time that the bird can spend away from its potty area.
The "poop pouch" is deep so it should keep the bird quite clean as long as the suit is not left on for extended periods of time or the liner is changed every few hours.
Getting Your Bird to Wear A FlightSuit™
This is not a product that you can bring home and start using without some training and conditioning.
Some bird owners may find it difficult to get their bird into a FlightSuit™ at first although most birds that are hand tamed will usually accept it with some conditioning. Well thought out steps for getting the bird accustomed to the suit are included in the packaging. Some birds may want to chew on the FlightSuit™ (especially the elastics that fit over the wings) for which the manufacturer suggests using a bird-safe bitter tasting spray. Birds wearing a FlightSuit™ should always be supervised.
Using the FlightSuit™ as a Harness and Leash
The FlightSuit™ is more than just a diaper. Leashes can be purchased separately and used in conjunction with the FlightSuit™ (think of the FlightSuit™ as a harness to which the leash attaches). 20 inch leashes ("lanyards") as well as 4 foot leashes ("anchor lines") are available. The leashes hook onto a Velcro™ tab that is simply sandwiched between the FlightSuit™ closure to attach the leash (see the photo diagram of how the leash attaches here). The leash and FlightSuit™ combination provides convenient restraint for outings. I would probably be hesitant to rely on the FlightSuit™ and leash for outdoor restraint of a bird with unclipped wings, however.
I don't have a bird to try this product on personally, so my comments are based solely on research and examining the product. Nevertheless, I think the FlightSuit™ is a well designed, well made product that would be a good investment for many bird owners. Friends with a Senegal parrot named Kendra tested the FlightSuit™ for me and the resulting comments can be read here. Judging from the testimonials at the FlightQuarters web site there are many satisfied owners and their birds using FlightSuits™.
Edited by Adrienne Kruzer, RVT