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Some possibly weird questions from a probably (fingers cross

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Some possibly weird questions from a probably (fingers cross

Postby Animallover_84 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:19 am

Hello everybody!

Some questions from a "newbie" :D

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.


/Animallover_84
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Re: Some possibly weird questions from a probably (fingers cross

Postby Michael » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:49 am

Animallover_84 wrote:Hello everybody!

Some questions from a "newbie" :D

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?


Both! You cover the cage to simulate night and you have a night light to simulate moonlight so if the parrot needs to move around the cage it could see a little bit. Leave a little bit uncovered so some light gets in f on the night light.
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Re: Some possibly weird questions from a probably (fingers cross

Postby Pajarita » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:31 am

Then main thing you need to keep in mind is that birds are photoperiodic - long word that means they regulate their endocrine system [the one that marks the 'periods' or seasons like breeding, molting] by the amount of light [photo] they are exposed to. So they not only need to be exposed to daylight but -and this is ESSENTIAL- also to dawn and dusk [because the different light that happens at twilight is what turns 'on' or 'off' their 'internal clock']. So the covering or not covering of the cage depends entirely of where they are and what exposure to light they get. Let me explain. The birds that live in the birdroom don't live in cages and don't get covered or anything because this room is on the second floor with windows to the backyard and the side of the house so there are no street lamp lights shining into the room through the windows. The birds that are now living in cages in the living room and dining room [they will be moved to rooms on the third floor so they can also live cage-free] do get covered because all the cages are next to windows that get light from the street lamps or garden lights from the neighbors and even a very small amount of artificial light can mess up their endocrine system [there are lots and lots of scientific studies that prove this] so I wait until it's night and they are all roosting and cover their cages with opaque materials so no light shines into them. I do not believe in leaving any artificial light on during the night. Moon light is one thing and artificial light is something completely different. Their endocrine system does not react to moon light [basically because it's very low reflected light as the moon does not produce any light itself] but it does react to artificial light.

As to 'night terrors'... well, I've only had this happened to me once in all the years I've kept parrots [26 years and counting]. When I first moved back to the city [I used to live in a five acre property in the middle of an old forest], my cockatiels started having night terrors and I couldn't figure out why until I slept in the birdoom one night to see what was going on and discovered that there was a street lamp at the corner that was shining just the tiniest amount of light into their cage through a side window. Once I put black-out curtains on this window, the night terrors stopped completely. And no, red 'night' lights don't work either because, in reality, red light transposes tissue faster than blue light so their deep brain photo receptors [cells that 'sense' light deep in their brains] still register exposure to light and react to it.
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Re: Some possibly weird questions from a probably (fingers cross

Postby liz » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:54 am

I have never been a normal person. I open my eyes in my sleep and look without waking up. I have to have a night light. If I do have a night light then I will just roll over and go back to a deep sleep. If it is black in my room I will wake up because I don't see anything. I believe in night lights.
I don't cover my birds so the cockatiels get some light from the street light at the neighbors.

I had a dark room for Rainbow until I realized he was eating in the middle of the night. He managed to remember where the food was and climbed to it. After that I gave him a night light.
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Re: Some possibly weird questions from a probably (fingers cross

Postby Pajarita » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:11 am

You can't compare people to birds, Liz. A human has only photoreceptors in the eyes so, when you close them, that's the end of your brain registering you being exposed to light. But birds are different. They have photoreceptors in the eyes, same as all mammals, but they also have photoreceptors inside their heads, deep in their brains and, because they are so very important to their wellbeing [a healthy endocrine system means a good immune system, good appetite, good sleep, good mood, etc], nature gave them skull bones that are so thin that lights goes right through them and reaches these deep-brain photoreceptors [see studies below]. We have lots and lots of studies that show that birds exposed to artificial light during the night have a screwed up endocrine system

The first three are about the deep-brain photoreceptors and their role in breeding cycles:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 8014004614
https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... physiology
https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(14)00603-4.pdf

These are about how the avian endocrine system goes out of whack when exposed to artificial light:
https://ithacavoice.com/2017/10/artific ... udy-finds/
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10. ... lCode=jbra
http://cescos.fau.edu/observatory/lightpol-Birds.html
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 212206.htm

As you can see, this is not a matter of personal opinion, it's a scientific fact.
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