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Many bird owners worry about their pets diet, cage and toys. However, getting enough bird sleep is also an integral part of keeping your pet happy, healthy and fun to be around.
Maintaining your pet bird on a proper sleep schedule will make for a friendlier, healthier pet. In this blog post I'll discuss some important sleep aids that can help your bird get a safe, quality nights sleep.
Bird owners often have confusion on how to handle their birds’ sleep needs. A lot of people don’t understand that birds actually require up to ten to twelve hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. After all, our birds are coming from tropical locations near the equator where there is very little time difference between daylight hours and dark hours.
If you want to help your bird sleep through the night, one of the best things you can do is provide her with a dark, quiet place where she can sleep uninterrupted for 10-12 hours.
A wild bird would typically go to rest at dusk and wake up at dawn. In the Tropics, that’d be 12 full hours.
If you’re like most of us, you work all day long. You get up early to get ready for work and set up your pets for the day. You get home in the evening and have several different chores to do. If you want to make sure your bird gets the sleep it needs, simply sit down and create a schedule.
For instance, when I was working away from home, I'd get up around 5:30 am, shower, and then get dressed for my day before waking my birds up at 7 am to start their day. Then, I'd turn their lights out at 7 pm.
People often ask if a bird really needs a blanket to sleep in. While a bird might love to cuddle up with a soft, cuddly blanket, it isn’t required. Bird feathers actually act as an animal’s natural insulation, keeping it warm.
Blankets and "bird snugglies" can actually be a danger to your bird. For one thing, birds like to chew on the soft fabric, and they frequently end up swallowing strings that become lodged in their crop. If this happens to your bird, it will need an expensive surgery to recover.
And, secondly, birds perceive blankets and sleep tents as nesting material.
Just the thought of them being available starts making your bird go into hyper-hormonal overdrive all year long, exposing him to chronic health issues that could even cause him to die.
Should you be concerned about your bird getting chilled at night, go for a Bird Cage Snuggle-Up or ThermoPerch instead. These gadgets will keep it snug and warm safely all night long.
Most birds sleep standing up. Our parrots have zygodactyl feet. This is just a fancy way of saying that parrots have two toes that point forward and two that point backward. In other words, their feet are very strong. Another Interesting fact about your bird's feet is that they have a locking mechanism in their toe joints so that, in essence, their toes are locked around the perch.
Most birds can sit in safety for the whole night. Younger birds may need support to keep them from falling off the perch during the night. In that case, just lower the sleeping perch closer to the cage floor. If you have a bird with deformed or injured feet, you may want to do the same thing. This helps minimize the risk of an injury occurring should your bird fall off the perch during the night.
The perch is made from all-natural hardwood and has adjustable heights. However, some birds with problems with their feet may prefer a platform style perch.
👍 Bird cage cover: A bird cage cover helps ensure that your bird gets total darkness and that the noise is muffled when it has to go to sleep earlier than you do. Make sure there are no loose strings on your birdcage cover that your bird may be able to swallow.
👍 Heated perches:Modern temperature-regulated heated birdbaths are a great investment. They work great in the winter, never getting any hotter than 107 degrees, and I consider them to be an absolute must-have item in every bird owner's first aid kit.
👍 Full day and night bird light:Bird lights help your pet establish normal circadian rhythms, so it can sleep better at night. They're also super important in ensuring that your bird is getting adequate vitamin D throughout the day. Some birds that have "night terrors" may benefit from a bird light that's all-day and all-night long.
👍 Bird sleep cage:Bird sleep cages come in handy for a number of situations. They help birds that experience night terrors feel safer and they’re especially helpful for birds that have separation anxiety. We use a clear plastic bird carrier like the one pictured below. That way, if we get up later than usual or have company over in the evenings, we can put the bird in the sleep cage and take him to a quiet space in a home where the bird can get uninterrupted sleep.uninterrupted sleep.
👎🏻 Bird Snugglie:At first, a cozy bird snugglie might seem like a nice little place for your bird to sleep in.
But the truth is they’re deadly! Birds chew on them, expose thread and string, and then swallow string and fibers. These fibers become lodged in their crop taking up space so that your bird doesn't have room in the crop for their food!
Just as bad, some birds have been known to get their toes or even their neck wrapped around loose string and experience injury or die.
And, other birds view a bird snugglie as a nest! Then, the bird becomes chronically hormonal which can have deadly consequences.
👎🏻 Nest box:Using any type of small enclosed device that looks like a nest box isn't necessary for your normal pet bird. These items are only to be used by breeding pairs. When we offer our bird's anything that looks like a nest box, we put them in a chronically hormonal state which can lead to death.
Bottom line: for a good night's sleep for your bird, the most critical factors are how long it sleeps and whether or not she gets 12 uninterrupted hours every single night. Your bird doesn't need a cute bird snuggly.
Diane Burroughs, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist trained in ABA therapy techniques. She specializes in avian anxiety disorders and is certified in Nutrition For Mental Health. Diane has written a number of bird behavior books and she offers behavior consultations. She's developed a range of UnRuffledRx Science-backed Parrot Wellness Supplies.
Diane's products have been featured in the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery and at Exoticscon, a conference for exotic pet veterinarians. Her bird collars & supplements are stocked in avian vet clinics and bird stores throughout the US. With over 30 years in the field of behavior, Diane has created thousands of successful individualized behavior plans that help pets thrive.
TAGS: #BirdSleep #BirdSleepCage #BirdSnugglie
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