Benefits of Sleep for your Parrot

I never realized how important sleep was for our parrots until we adopted our Severe Macaw Buddy in 2003.  We adopted Buddy from a family that kept his bird cage in a bay window…..the bay window faced the street outside.  So each night car headlights would wake Buddy up and he would not get the proper sleep needed.

One of the reasons the previous owner was willing to adopt Buddy out was that he was “lungy” and biting members of her family.  Within a couple of months of Buddy’s arrival in our home and sleeping in our “bird room” with our other feathered kids we could see a definite change in his behavior.  His biting and “lunginess” all decreased because he was able to receive proper sleep each night.  Our bird room has “Black out” shades plus all our birds receive at least 12 hours of sleep each night.

Here is a quote recently from one of our customers about her African Grey Kenzi.  Kenzi was plucking and she could not figure out why.  She had Kenzi checked out by an Avian Vet and everything was fine.  This what she had to say:

“I moved the Sugar Gliders OUT of the critter room so all that’s in there are the 2 birds and Angie (bearded dragon who doesn’t make much of a sound and is NOT nocturnal as the gliders were). I think moving the gliders was the key here! They ARE nocturnal, thus interrupting Kenzi’s sleep and therefore stressing her out.”

Most all parrots are native to regions that are tropical in nature which are all located near the equator.  Being located near the equator means there is as much light as darkness each day on a consistent basis throughout the year. (12 hours of light….12 hours of darkness)  With this being the case, our birds need a minimum of 12 hours of sleep each night for optimum physical and emotional health.

One of the most important factors why darkness and sleep is critical to your feathered friend’s health is that during the “light hours” they are on the lookout for predators……thus during the “night hours” they can get their proper rest and is when they feel the safest from predators as their predators are sleeping also.  If your feathered friend constantly hears noises at night and their sleep is interrupted they do not feel relaxed and this can affect their immune system, can result in low energy levels and can also result in negative behaviors such as feather plucking, screaming and aggressiveness.

To help with your bird’s sleep……place your bird’s cage in a room away from activity……especially nighttime activity, if needed use a second sleeping cage in a quiet dark room of the house, use heavy duty dark curtains or black out shades to block any night time lights (from cars etc.) and don’t forget to use a cage cover.

Ann Zych – FunTime Birdy

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