Many bird owners are concerned about their pet's diet, cage and toys. However, bird sleep is also an integral part of keeping your pet happy, healthy, and fun to be around. After all, are you fun to be around when you're tired?
Making sure that your bird gets the proper amount of sleep will make for a friendlier, healthier pet. Imagine how cranky you are when you don't get enough sleep. Birds need more sleep than we do. The average pet bird needs about 10-12 hours of quiet, uninterrupted sleep a night.
First of all, it is important to learn how much sleep your bird species actually needs. It is commonly advised that birds receive between 10-12 hours of quiet, darkness per night. However, the real trick is to maintain the bird's natural cycle of darkness and daylight from the area of the world that the species originates. The book "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. Cage covers are a multi-purpose nighttime accessory. Not only do they assist in blocking out light, they are helpful in keeping dust and dander in the cage and in keeping pet birds quiet in the morning. Choose a cover made especially for the brand of cage you wish to use it on, especially if you have a chewer! Blankets and sheets that contain flame retardant chemicals should be avoided.
Bird Snuggle Huts are another popular and useful night-time accessory. Bird Beds 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, safety and security during sleeping hours. Bird beds help provide for these needs. Furthermore, bird beds 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. Find a Bird Snuggle Hut here.
Since birds have excellent hearing, they can easily become awakened and anxious from unsettling sounds and noises that occur during bird sleep hours. Parrots startled awake from sleep may develop night frights or become phobic. White noise has been found to be a helpful way to filter out noise from the television, household members arriving home after your parrot’s bedtime, barking dogs, and other disturbing nighttime noises. White noise offers a soothing sound for sleepers within its earshot. We've seen White Noise devices at Bed, Bath & Beyond.
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.
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 you to dig its feed into the perch. 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 wood grinder. Don't place the sleeping perch above your bird's water or food bowls unless you like to wash dishes!
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