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Old 09-20-2012, 01:50 PM
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sleep cage question & moving to colder climate question

Couple questions for everyone. Sunshine is in a cage in the living room, I cover it at about 7 at night, she calls for a few min then settles down and we dont hear a peep from her till the am when we wake up. Question is, do you think she is getting enough sleep? The tv is on in the room until about 10 at night, she doesnt stir at all at night, and doesnt nap durimg the day. Everywhere I read talks about 12 hours of dark (which she gets) but doesnt say anything about noise. Soooo sleep cage in spare room or not? Also if I do a sleep cage what should be put in it? Just sleep perch? Food? Water? Toys?

Next, we are moving from sunny San Diego to cold wet Whidbey Island Washington, anything special i need to do to help with the weather change? We will be moving around christmas, so dead of winter. Since we obviously wont be able to go outside into the sun everyday like here, should I get a lamp for her? (lol me too) if so, do i need special expensive bird lamp or a regular lamp with special bulbs?
Thanks in advance for your help I really think I might just love all of you for all your great help, stories, and pictures!
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Rio ~ Yellow Sided Green Cheek Conure~ RIP
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:44 PM
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Re: sleep cage question & moving to colder climate question

I honestly don't believe that parrots require 12 hours of complete darkness year-round. I feel as if this may potentially lead to hormonal problems throughout the year... however, this is based on my own experience. My parrots get between 9 and 14 hours of sleep, depending upon the time of year. The temperature in the room also varies according to the seasons. My egg-laying hens do not lay in the winter, but they do during the other seasons, mostly in spring and summer.

If a parrot is tired, they'll nap during the day. If they are grumpy during the day, especially in the morning, it might not hurt to use a quieter room or extend the amount of sleep they are getting.


As far as a sleeping cage goes, I only use perches... some people add in dishes and toys, but as I see it, it's a place for the bird to sleep... not eat and play. Some birds may require a snack in the middle of the night?


As far as moving, it probably wont be a big issue as long as the house is warmed up some when you bring her in and she's kept warm for most of the trip. Short amounts of cold shouldn't harm her!

You can buy ceramic heat bulbs (require a special lamp, you could probably get at a hard ware store), heating perches, or even heating panels if you feel they are necessary. I've never been to Washington so I don't know what it's like, although I haven't provided my birds any extra warmth during the winter, since they typically do just fine with their feathers. It was a rare thing when I provided extra heat, and most of the birds ignored it.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:53 PM
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Re: sleep cage question & moving to colder climate question

I think most of them are comfortable at normal room temperature. I don't overly heat my home because how expensive it can be, but i keep it at maybe 67 in the winter. Georgie never needed anything special, nor did Pepito (canary). I did have full spectrum lighting for Georgie, but no heat lamp. I never covered her cage and she slept on her sleeping perch in her regular cage. There was a smaller perch up in the corner in the back with a pacifier toy and that was where she slept just fine.

I think your bird will make the transition well. You may just want some lighting/artificial sunlight if the bird can't go outside in the sun much.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:02 PM
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Re: sleep cage question & moving to colder climate question

You know what parrots acclimatize exactly the same as we do. A parrot's body heat is much higher than us humans as well. When a parrot is hot it will pant to help stay cool & if cold they will fluff up their feathers to trap heat generated from their body. I think your little guy is already happy with the arrangement you have so why change.

My parrots go to bed when the sun goes down & are awake when the sun comes up. I would say that my parrots are all happy with that arrangement.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:43 PM
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Re: sleep cage question & moving to colder climate question

We have a smaller sleep cage in the bedroom and a large day cage in the living room. I do put a small dish of nuts and dried fruit and a small dish of water in her sleep cage. There is just a sleep perch relatively low in the cage. She goes to bed when the sun goes down and gets up around 8:00. She also takes a nap around 1:00 pm. She 17 years old.

I lived in Alaska about 20 years ago. I put grow lights in all the lamps and turned them all on in the morning when the sun would normally come up and off when we went to bed. In Fairbanks we only had about 4 hours of daylight during December. It seemed to help. I didn't have birds there.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:12 PM
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Re: sleep cage question & moving to colder climate question

Whidbey is cool and dark that time of year, of course, but not so wet as you would expect, due to the Olympics draining the clouds as they lift over. You may have a problem inside with lack of moisture, so be sure you have a source, like in the heating system or a small fountain. You can get a digital thermometer with humidity indicator, which would be good to have before you go, so you can compare what you and the bird are getting before the move and after.

A vet suggested a heating pad in the bottom of the night cage when Chewbaca was sick and we were on the road. The new ones I found all shut off after a couple of hours, so I found an old one that doesn't. Covering it with a trash bag and laying it in the bottom of the night cage was effective. Vet suggested 75-90 at night, which I measured with an IR thermometer.

Watch out for eagles up there.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:09 AM
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Re: sleep cage question & moving to colder climate question

I agree that moisture or lack of it will be a problem. We had a humidifier running all winter. Running heating will dry out the air and will have an affect on the bird.
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:37 AM
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Re: sleep cage question & moving to colder climate question

First just want to say have fun on Whidbey! I just moved from Olympia, WA.
Watch the humidity depending on the type of heating you have. With baseboard heaters, we had no lack of humidity (and plenty of mold!). The birds do just fine in the winter, including the day my fiance sprayed chemicals in the house and we spent the whole day with all the windows open and fans going with snow on the ground. I think we were colder in our blankets then my birds with their feathers- lucky things.
I did the opposite move- moving in the dead of summer from WA to FL. I was so scared of my animals overheating in the car (I moved with my herd of guinea pigs too). I would have loved to move in Dec!
My birds also sleep with TV on for a few hours after they go to sleep, they seem fine with it.

If you are interested, I know a very nice breeder on Bainbridge Island who also sells a WIDE variety of toys and food. Walking into her toy barn is very dangerous for your wallet, there is sooo much awesomeness!
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