This is what I do for my flock. I have a timer on the lights that turn off the lights at 5:30pm the blinds are open to let the natural light in, so that they get the sun going down. At 7:00pm I go in and close the blinds and put up a piece of plywood that blocks the window all the way. I also walk up to each cage and tell them go night. Andy is always at his corner ready for bed so I just say good night. Andy is at the front of the cage waiting for his beak rub. At 7:30am the lights turn on. Now I thought about this, am I doing things right or is covering the window going over bored. So for three nights I didn’t cover the window but I still closed the blinds and then I just walked out with out saying good night. All three nights the flock was still up at 8:30pm so I went in and covered the window and told them good night. and within 30 seconds they were quite and did not hear them all night. So 1. covering the window does help and 2. saying goodnight to them helps. They are so use to this routine that then need me to do the same ting ever night. I know that I only did it for three night bout to me it shows that once they get use to a routine they don’t like it when you change it. and also with the lights from the strip and the street light just make it harder for them to relax. Well just something I thought I would share.
Also I was thinking of this do they really sleep for 12 hrs. or do they just need that long of darkness? once in awhile when I am in bed I will hear someone give out a chirp at 2am or so.
Great, great post Tman! I love it when people give specific examples of their personal experience that proves one of the tenets I promote in birdkeeping truly works. In this case it’s that routines are VERY important to captive birds. Now, as to your question, no, they do not need to sleep 12 hours all year round. If you do this, you are not keeping them at a solar schedule but at a 12D/12L schedule which has been proven over and over doesn’t work to keep them from producing sexual hormones. My birds sleep as many hours as there is night so, in the summer, they sleep much less than 12 hours and, in the winter, more. Right now I am turning on the overhead lights at 8 am and off at 5 pm.
Pajarita my question is this do they really sleep the whole time at night, or do they just relax. You see sometimes in the middle of the night I hear one of them give out a chirp not a scream just a call. Just one time not much but they do call once in awhile in the middle of the night. They have me on schedule LOL. Once I feed them their morning meal at around 12:00pm they will call out wanting their fruit. They let me know when they are ready for their fruit. and I go fix it for them and they are quite once more. Then at around 4:00pm they will call out for their evening meal. You see I sleep during the day and work at night. Also just so you know every time I get up with them I spend time with them I just don’t feed them and go back to bed. So my body has adjusted to this routine as well. LOL.
I think they kind of like half wake up, turn around and go back to sleep, just like people do. But birds also have the ability to sleep with half a brain (something we can’t do -we are predators, they are prey) so there is always a part of their brain that is active and paying attention to what is going on around them because, after all, there are predators that hunt at night. They’ve studied flocks and found out that the more able-bodied of them take turns sleeping on the perimeter of the group and that these individuals sleep with only half their brain so they can instantly wake up and call the alarm if there is danger to the flock - they do the same thing when they are feeding on the ground, the ones in the inside just lower their heads and eat and eat while the ones on the outside peck at the ground, lift their head and look around, peck at the ground, lift their heads and look around and so on until the flock takes flight. Amazing and fascinating animals birds are, aren’t they?