Parrot bedtime advice sought
Posted: 06 September 2011 12:38 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I have a 3-year-old Meyers parrot (Tunie) that is generally well behaved EXCEPT when it
comes time to bedtime. He settles onto a hanging perch in the middle of the room
(about six feet from his cage) and begins grinding his beak shortly before
sundown. Around 8-8:30 p.m. I approach him to put him in his cage for the night.
He does everything he can to resist me until I have to forcibly remove him from
the perch (even then he clings tightly with feet and beak). Sometimes he bites,
growls, and flies away. Once I get him in the cage and cover it he’s OK, but he
absolutely HATES being put there at night. I’m mystified as to why.

He is out all day and generally doesn’t like spending time in his cage except to
eat, although there seldom is reason for me to put him there except at bedtime.
The cage he sleeps in is in a quiet upstairs room where I keep my home office
during working hours. It has a big window that lets in natural light; when the
lights are off at night it’s dark. He never is shut in the cage during the day,
he goes in only to eat and sometimes just hang out. It contains multiple perches,
food/water bowls and toys. He doesn’t have regular cage hours except bedtime, 8:30
p.m.-8:30 a.m. The nighttime cage cover is light and lets natural light through
in the morning. I think it’s a good sleep environment for him, but like I said
he resists going in at night. That’s why I’m asking if I should just leave him
on the hanging perch he seems to prefer and turn out the lights, or continue to
force him to sleep in his cage.

Again, my question is: should I let him sleep on his “chosen” roosting perch and just
turn out the light in his room and close the door? Or, is it important for him
to sleep in a covered cage at night? Also, why does he resist bedtime in his
cage so strongly? 

Any insight and advice will be appreciated!


Posted: 06 September 2011 10:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Joined  2011-02-11

I’m not an expert, and so I don’t think I can address all the questions you have, however I noticed that my parrotlet reacts similarly in that situation. My parrotlet is out most of the time when I’m home, however if I’m engaged in some activity and can’t supervise her (I can’t trust her NOT to chew on wall paint, electric cords, etc.) then I have a large daytime cage that she stays in. There have only been a few instances in which I came home a little late and she was already sleeping in her day cage since the sun went down and, when she’s settled, she nips me when I try to invite her out to bring her to her sleep cage in another room. I always figured this is because she’s already resting and doesn’t want to be bothered or can’t see me very well when it’s already dark. However, most days she’s on my shoulder and as the sun goes down she’ll show signs of sleepiness like grinding her beak and snuggling into my hair, and it’s around that time that I set her into her sleep cage. So she doesn’t protest as long as I notice all the signs that she’s ready to sleep and take care of her right then and there rather than disturb her when she’s already fast asleep.

Posted: 14 September 2011 01:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I think your bird wants to go to bed earlier than 8:00 & here’s why.  They start getting ready for bed (going to roost in the wild) when the sun is still up.  They can be loud then but then settle down, chitter chatter, eat & drink & generally zone out over a few hours.  When he starts grinding his beak he’s already getting settled in for the night, so if you can put him in his sleep cage before that starts, in a quiet, dark room I think he will be much happier about it.  I would NEVER force him to leave his perch when he’s clamped on it like you describe unless the house is on fire.  No lie. 

Here’s what I do:  I set the alarm on my iPhone for 7:30PM with the quacking alarm sound & when CoCo hears that she starts stretching & eating pellets & getting a drink of water & getting ready to be picked up for the ride to her sleep cage.  She literally hops onto her sleep perch & then gets down & chews on a few things & then goes back to her perch for the night.  I close the blinds & the door & do not disturb her.  How did I figure this out? She taught me, of course—LOL I used to make her stay up later, didn’t have a sleep cage, made way too much noise after she was in bed, & was just generally having her live in an unnatural situation & wondered why certain behaviors were happening that I didn’t like.  Well, duh!  So after paying more attention to her behavior, reading & talking about it with caique friends I changed my ways & life got so much better for both of us.  It’s getting darker earlier now, so I’m going to change the alarm to 7:00 pretty soon & just generally putting her to bed just before it gets dark, is that twilight? 

Anyway, I think if you experiment with bedtimes & observe behavior you will come up with the right solution for you & your bird.  Good luck!

Ingrid & CoCo grin


Ingrid, CoCo & JuJuBe