Many parrot owners are concerned about their pet's diet, cage and toys. However, a proper amount of sleep is also an integral part of keeping your pet happy and healthy.
Avian vets agree that most pet birds need between 10-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep nightly. Making sure that your bird gets an adequate amount of sleep will make for a friendlier, happier, healthier pet.
"Parrots of the World" by Fern Van Sant, DVM is a helpful resource for determining the amount of sleep each particular species needs. Van Sant references the proximity of a particular species habitat to the equator making it possible to determine how many hours of daylight and sleep the bird needs. Van Sant identifies that birds are particularly sensitive to photo-periods. Regulating the daily rhythms of your bird's natural habitat to your household schedule will require planning and bird sleep supplies.
Some parrots are light sleepers. Your bird needs a quiet and dark room. With excellent hearing and vision, birds are easily awakened wtih the opening and closing of doors, televisions and light from windows.
A number of our customers have reported that our Wingabago Bird Carrier makes an ideal sleep cage for their parrot. Like a large sleep tent, it provides a sense of privacy and security to the sleeping beauty. Plus, the dense material filters out nighttime noise. Used with a comfy, cotton perch, it is like a bedroom for your bird
Birds require a dark, quiet environment free from LED lighting for a good night’s sleep. Some people get a sleep cage to specifically insure that their bird receives a good night’s sleep. When Peachy contracted Mega Bacteria in 2013, we converted a Wingabago Bird Carrier into a sleep cage with a Snuggle Up Bird Warmer Heater. We kept the sleep cage nearby in a walk-in closet so that we could offer assistance if needed, but he was warm and sheltered from light and noise.
Cage covers are a multi-use night-time accessory. Not only do they assist in blocking out light, cage covers are helpful in keeping dust and dander inside the cage and in keeping pet birds quiet in the morning after the sun rises. You can purchase a cover made especially for the brand and model of bird cage you have. These bird cage covers often have helpful features such as Velcro closures and roll up openings.
You can also make your own bird cage covers, if you are crafty. Purchase untreated material that is easy to wash. Pre-shrink the material before sewing the bird cage cover. You can check on the internet for ideas and patterns.
Blankets and sheets that contain flame retardant chemicals should be not be used as bird cage covers.
Bird beds are another popular and useful night-time accessory that helps a bird to sleep well. Parrot Bird Snuggle Huts allow your parrot to retreat inside for seclusion during the day and provide a dark, cozy place for your bird to sleep at night. Being prey animals, parrots are particularly prone to a need for privacy and security during sleeping hours. Furthermore, Bird Snuggle Huts simulate nest cavities that many species of parrots use in the wild. Having a place to hide from new and scary things will make for a calmer, more secure pet. There are several styles of sleep tents on the market. Bird upplies.com carries safe, brand name parrot supplies from Multi-pet International and a cozy tent called the Pet Tent.
Since birds have excellent hearing making them light sleepers. And, being animals of prey, they are easily startled by unexpected night sounds. Parrots that are frequently startled awake may develop night frights and or become phobic. Filter out all noise from your parrots sleep environment. Place the bird cage away from the T.V. or main living area of the home, noisy dogs, or other startling night-time disturbances. White noise may offer a filter but most birds can hear right through it. It’s best to find a dark, quiet location for your bird to sleep in.
Finally, a comfortable bird perch placed in a high corner of the sleeping cage can be likened to the perfect mattress! A textured bird perch made from natural materials is ideal. Cholla wood, Booda Cotton Rope Perches and Sandy Perches are great choices because they provide texture for digging claws into. Each has enough texture to allow your bird's feed to easily grab on. Avoid using slippery manzanita bird perches or smooth pine dowel bird perches as the highest perch in the cage unless they are scored with sand paper or a razor. Don't place the sleeping perch above your bird's water or food bowls unless you like to wash dishes!