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Some possibly weird questions from a probably (fingers crossed) soon to be parrot owner (caique)

Discussion in 'Behavior Byway' started by Animallover_84, 9/4/18.

  1. Animallover_84

    Animallover_84 Sitting on the front steps

    Hello everybody!

    Not sure where I should post these questions… so I decided to try here, and if you feel that they ended up in the wrong part of the forum, please feel free to move my thread elsewhere.

    1) To cover the cage or not to cover the cage? I´m confused regarding this subject because some people say that you should cover the cage to avoid having a bird that panics during the night and flies around the cage in great risk of getting hurt. While others claim that you should not cover the cage because the bird will panic and fly around and get hurt…? They say you should provide the bird with a nightlight instead. What if you cover the cage and keep a nightlight close by to light up the cage slightly? Or is it better to just not cover the cage at all?

    The main reason for the confused questions is that I´m a “night owl” and that it´s very important for parrots to get 12 hours of UNDISTURBED sleep (at least that´s my understanding, correct me if I’m wrong) and it seems easier to provide that if you cover the cage…or I´m I wrong? If I keep the lights on (without covering the cage) my guess is that the bird will not sleep…so what´s the best way to provide the parrot with a good night’s sleep? Do you cover or not cover? A part from me being up late at night, I´ve also got other animals that will most likely be awake longer than the parrot likes to be; and my guess is that this can keep the parrot from getting enough undisturbed sleep (unless the parrot´s cages is covered of course?).

    2) First day/day’s home – specifically I´m wondering about the first few hours when you bring the parrot home for the first time, and the following day or two. I´m feeling unsecure regarding which approach is the best. I´ve seen Youtubers that´s (very knowledgeable regarding parrots in general and parrot training) claiming their way is the best for very convincing reasons. The problem I have with this, is that their methods are completely clashing; two very different approaches to the same “problem”. Some claim that you should immediately put the parrot in it´s cage and leave it alone (for how long differs) and some claim equally convinced that the best way is to start interacting with the parrot right away, feeding it nice food/treats, letting it be near you and watch you during the day etc.

    Thoughts? Since a parrot is so intelligent I would feel bad leaving it in the cage (at least for any length of time) but which approach do you feel is the “correct” one, the least stressful one and the one that provides the best foundation for a good relationship between parrot and owner? Does the method change due to different circumstances; such as the time the parrot arrives (for example if it arrives close to its bedtime), the species of parrot etc.?

    Obviously, I wouldn´t want to make a mess of things one way or the other…like making it feel unwelcome, sadder and more abandoned (which it probably already feels, considering it has just left it´s familiar surroundings at its previous home or at the breeder) or stress it out and make it feel extra nervous…none of which feels like the best start of a new relationship? Little help here would be nice. I feel so confused…and scared I might go about it the wrong way and make the parrot scared of me and/or mad at me.

  2. Tiel Feathers

    Tiel Feathers Cruising the avenue Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

    Real Name:
    I think both of these things depend on the bird. If the bird is frightful when you bring it home, let it stay in his/her cage for a few hours or sevreal days until he is more comfortable and relaxed. I’ve had birds come out within an hour, but for some a day or so was more appropriate. While your bird is adjusting, you can keep three sides of the cage covered so he feels secure.

    My tiels sleep in a partially closed closet in a very dark room with a tiny night light, and they never get night frights. I like not having to worry about anything scaring or desturbing them, or what time they wake up. I think they get better rest in there too.
    sunnysmom likes this.
  3. Linearis

    Linearis Walking the driveway

    Unless your bird is in a separate room where you can keep the room dark for 10-12 hours then I think you should cover. That way if you are on computer or something it'll block the light a bit (still better to have it facing away from cage, least in my case. Stuck my head under covers to test darkness and it's only adequately dark when I turn my laptop screen away lol xD; )... You should still keep things quiet though. I left my bird alone for the first two days but there were exceptions... Like I still gave her treats and food, and I read outloud because I had to read a novel in mandarin. I did this because even though she had already been hand-tamed, in her cage she would move away from my hand so I tried to not try to touch her, except when she was having trouble getting around her cage (I would just let her climb onto my finger and then place her where she seemed to wanna go and then leave her alone). She was a bit clumsy when I first got her so... But if your bird is super friendly right away then sure take it out. o_O I waited till my bird asked to be taken out (it was pretty obvious when it happened lol).
  4. Mizzely

    Mizzely Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Vendor

    Northern Michigan
    Real Name:
    The Real Truth: Sleep Needs in Parrots – Pamela Clark, CPBC

    I do cover because I am usually up late and if I am up and around the birds want to be too. If I cover them they at least sleep. However, it is not all quiet sleep! And they do nap during the day even with activity around them.

    In regards to first days, it is so very individual. Jingo wanted to be out immediately so we let him, but Bobber took a couple weeks of hanging out in his cage before he would come out at all. I try to let them sit in the cage and observe for the first day or two just because I have found it easier for them to associate the cage with "home" and "safety" by doing that. It is easier to get them to go home when they know where it is vs letting the cage open immediately before they have figured that out.

    For fearful birds I also cover part of the cage with a blanket for the first day or more so that they have a place to retreat to out of sight if they want to. This also helps establish an area of safety for them. To add to that, I don't reach in to a bird's cage and ask them to step up or try to grab them. I open the door and let them make the decision. Sometimes it is 5 seconds before they are out, other times its a few hours, and then others it is a couple of weeks! (like Bobber was).

    Best thing is to follow the bird's cues.
    cnyguy, tka and Tiel Feathers like this.
  5. sunnysmom

    sunnysmom Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

    Real Name:
    Both of my birds preferred to be covered at night. Neither slept (sleep) if left uncovered. I always leave a bit of a gap so they have some light. Much depends on the bird but if you're going to up late, covering is probably better for the bird to get sleep. As for the first day home, it really depends on the bird and his/her comfort level. My cockatoo was out playing the second we brought him home. My cockatiel wouldn't leave his cage for about 3 weeks. You just need to try to move at the bird's pace.
    Tiel Feathers likes this.
  6. Pipsqueak

    Pipsqueak Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

    I have sleeping cages for my birds and they go to bed in the guest room every evening. That works for us and gives them uninterrupted sleep.
  7. Dona

    Dona Rollerblading along the road I Can't Stop Posting!

    Real Name:
    I do not cover my linnie. At bed, she is in a room that has 2 open areas that lead to the family room and the kitchen. So she can hear us and has some light even after I dim her lights at 7:30 now. Then I turn the lights completely off when we go to our bedroom to watch TV at 9. Just for your info, I wake her up at 7. I can hear her moving around, quietly chirping and she is raring to go at that point. In the past I have covered every bird I've ever had, but my breeder said he prefers not to cover and it has worked out well. I've never heard her thrash around at night.

    When I brought her home in April, my breeder suggested that I keep her in the cage one day. She adjusted super well, eating almost immediately and moving around and checking things out. The following day I brought her out and gave her a tour of our condo. She has happily come out every day since then.

    Best of luck with your new baby. :)
  8. finchly

    finchly Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

    SW Florida
    Real Name:
    I don’t cover mine. I keep a night light on for them.

    Two of mine sleep in the office, and I never sleep so sometimes i go in there and do computer work. They wake up, see me, and go back to sleep. It doesn’t bother them. I don’t turn any lights on.

    We used to have birds right by the TV and they put themselves to bed no matter what we were doing.

    Just go by the bird for the cage time. I have had them so friendly they didn’t want to go in, and some so nervous they stayed in the cage for three weeks.

    Congrats! I hope to see your new baby soon!

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