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Exactly how much sunshine and how to manage heat

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Exactly how much sunshine and how to manage heat

Postby myster_pda » Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:53 am

Hi,

I've read about on this topic, including Michael's article. Few questions:

1. How does Michael know that 15 mins/week are enough? The amounts I found vary wildly.
2. How concerned should we be with too much sun? If the above figure is right, am I leaving him for too long? We don't get much sun in our home so it's just a few hours per day, next to the window. I usually leave him there for the whole session.
3. Does UV pass through windows meshes (screens)?
4. How to manage heat? I have a parrotlet and he seems to like the sun. I leave him on the balcony with the sun hitting part of his cage, though the window mesh and, now that trees are green again, some leaf shade. I've never seen him panting or anything but summer is coming.
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Re: Exactly how much sunshine and how to manage heat

Postby liz » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:00 am

I don't have the answer to that. All I can do is tell you about mine.

I have a big window sill in the Cockatiel room. It is their room and they only use cages to perch in or play with toys. They can sit in the sun all they want. My son has replaced the screen with cage wire so all the sun can get through. Being loose they can move away from the window.

My Amazons have been loose. They got less natural light because they were always busy destroying the inside of my house. For the last 5 months they have been confined in a bathroom with a little window and enjoyed the window. My son put a big cage outside the window so they could get out and sit in the son. I don't know what the neighbors think with a child yelling "HELLOOO" all the time.

The big black cage outside the window looks pretty junky but it is only temporary. It has worked so well that we are designing a sun room for outside their windows. So many have done this in so many ways that we see things that will work for us. Instead of just screen we will use cage wire to let more sunshine in and not the preditors.
I also plan to screen in the back deck. They would get a little of the morning sun through the screen while I am there. They will also get the breeze that blows through.

If you have a balcony, it seems you could put him out their with half the cage shaded with leafy plants. He would have a breeze and the plants as well as shade will give a cooling affect. I would like to have a balcony like that for my babies.
I would put a thermometer on the shaded side of the cage and not leave him out at 80 degrees. I would not leave him out more than two hours because the sun shifts and could put him in danger. You also need to make sure you spend a lot of one on one time with him too.

So I have told you what I am doing and what I plan to do for my babies. I have also given you some suggestions. You can use them to bounce your ideas off and maybe come up with something better for your bird.
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Re: Exactly how much sunshine and how to manage heat

Postby Michael » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:13 am

myster_pda wrote:1. How does Michael know that 15 mins/week are enough? The amounts I found vary wildly.


It's what a breeder told me and something I've tried to stick with when I can and the birds seem to do well. It's a minimum, a starting point.

myster_pda wrote:2. How concerned should we be with too much sun? If the above figure is right, am I leaving him for too long? We don't get much sun in our home so it's just a few hours per day, next to the window. I usually leave him there for the whole session.


Too much is when the bird has had enough, they should have the choice to get out of it. In an aviary, provide shady sports. On your shoulder (with harness), allow them to hide in the shadow of your head. So, basically I try to get them in direct sunlight for 15 minutes straight. Then beyond that, it's just outdoor fun time and not about sun any more. Keep in mind it takes much longer if it's a little cloudy, sun is setting, or it just isn't intense for some reason.

myster_pda wrote:3. Does UV pass through windows meshes (screens)?


No. Or even if it does, the intensity wouldn't ever be sufficient. This kind of light is just for fun. Keeps the room lit, maybe a more natural color temperature. But it doesn't serve the same purpose as being outside.

myster_pda wrote:4. How to manage heat? I have a parrotlet and he seems to like the sun. I leave him on the balcony with the sun hitting part of his cage, though the window mesh and, now that trees are green again, some leaf shade. I've never seen him panting or anything but summer is coming.


When it's hot, I spray down the birds because water absorbs heat really well. If it's over 100, gotta rethink taking them out at all.
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Re: Exactly how much sunshine and how to manage heat

Postby Pajarita » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:29 pm

Humans need 20 minutes a day of direct sunlight to produce enough vit D3 but I've never found a single study with birds so I assume that the 15 minutes a week is something the breeder pulled out of his hat. In any case, I would not rely on this little amount of sunshine for the vit D3.

I also would not expose a bird to direct sunlight unless it's early in the morning or late in the afternoon and I would provide shade even then. Most parrots are canopy dwellers so they never really get any direct sunlight unless they are flying over the canopy. Parrotlets live in subtropical or tropical forests so I doubt they get much direct sun...

Some UV does go through the screens and, although Michael is correct in that the UV would not be sufficient for enough Vit D3 production, I still leave the windows open for the birds and they do love to sit on the sills when the sun hits it.

I don't allow the temperature in my birdroom to get very high (never higher than 80). I don't use AC in it but I create a draft by using two window fans, one on the top part sucking the hot air out and one on the other window's bottom part bringing air in - these two fans with another one that oscillates keeps the entire room cool.
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Re: Exactly how much sunshine and how to manage heat

Postby myster_pda » Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:01 am

Thank you, everyone. I'm going to get a smaller cage, which I am guessing suits this purpose better than a travel box-type cage, and take him outside, despite our varied worries about doing so.

Parrotlets also live in shrublands so maybe they don't live that much in the shadows as other amazonians.
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Re: Exactly how much sunshine and how to manage heat

Postby Pajarita » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:33 am

I don't know about a plet getting direct sun exposure because they are perching in a shrub instead of a tree, they are so little that they can easily completely hide inside a bush or shrub :lol: Mine like to sit in the sunshine but they only get it for about three hours early in the am so it's not hot at all...
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Re: Exactly how much sunshine and how to manage heat

Postby myster_pda » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:30 am

There's not much UV in sun rays until around 10 AM, depending on your location of course.
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Re: Exactly how much sunshine and how to manage heat

Postby Pajarita » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:59 am

Yes, the higher the sun is, the more UV but, for humans, in the summer, 5 to 10 minutes a day mid-morning or mid-afternoon is good for enough vit D3 production while, in the winter, you need 10 to 30 minutes at noon -again, there are no studies done on parrots.

The thing is that no bird keeper should rely in direct sunlight or UV lamps for vit D3 production - it's too iffy, too risky and too difficult. A good avian calcium supplement -which already contains vit D3- is the best way to do it -not pellets, mind you! I don't believe in feeding them D3 every single day...
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