For budgies, the hours dedicated to rest (night and day) are essential. Therefore, it is necessary to respect their biological rhythm and not to invade their space. They need the time to recharge the energies they have consumed during their activities, which means at least 12 hours per night. But do they need darkness to sleep?
The Circadian Clock Of Budgies
In order to sleep peacefully, budgies need a dark and silent environment. This means that it is not appropriate to keep them with us until late at night in a room where there are activities and noise. For example, even if the cage is covered with a thin sheet, the television on or constant chatting on the phone will not let our budgies sleep.
It is crucial for a budgie to be able to rest in peace. Our pets need at least 10-12 hours of sleep. In the evening, it is recommendable to put them in a dark and uncrowded place in the house where they will not be disturbed. You can partially cover the cage (perhaps with a towel and leaving the lower part uncovered to circulate the air) to ensure a more restorative nap.
Does Your Budgie Sleep All The Time?
Our feathered pets may look like they are sleeping all the time. However, we need to specify that most behaviors have motivations. Each budgie has a personality, yet the sleeping itself could be a teller for a situation that needs our attention. As owners know, budgies are very sensible pets. During the day, depending on the living conditions, they produce a substance called cortisol, or the stress hormone.
Typical situations that cause stress and stressful conditions may be people who upset them, too small cages, or outside noises. They also can’t stand fireworks and car horns. Cortisol is disposed of only with sleep. So, if the budgie sleeps badly, or doesn’t sleep for the necessary amount of time, it will display nervous behavior. Thus, it is better to let our budgies rest without disturbing them.
Could The Budgie Be Sleeping Because Of A Health Issue?
Continuous sleep may be a symptom of health problems, so you want to check with your veterinarian whenever you see a visible change of behavior in your pets. For example, a budgie that sleeps most of the day and can’t properly stand on the porch shows a clear sign that something is not right. If the budgie rocks and spreads its wings in the evening, it could be a hypoglycemia problem.
Unfortunately, we need to understand that budgies are very delicate animals. Because of their accelerated metabolism, they can get hypoglycemia quickly. If they do not feed regularly, they will have serious problems. When in doubt, we need to consult a professional as soon as possible, while trying to put food and water wherever it is more accessible to the budgie.
What Does Sleep Deficiency Look Like In A Budgie?
Lack of sleep is a factor that can lead to episodes of aggression. During restful sleep, the budgie remains vertical. Unlike what you may find on the net, they never sleep hanging like a bat (upside down), nor does it sleep hanging on the bars of the cage: these are all symptoms of stress. They want to be comfortable whenever they want to sleep, just like us.
Once the budgie relaxes and is getting ready for the night (a gradual lowering of the light intensity is recommendable), it chooses a place that is suitable on a perch. There it roosts, clenching the legs to the perch to stay stable and hides the little head between the wings: this position is the most natural in many birds.
If you have several pets that live in the same cage/aviary, you will have repeatedly heard them warning their neighbors. When each budgie is still not calm and has not chosen its place, they act dominantly. If the owner does not provide separation, small territorial skirmishes will probably follow.
What Do Budgies Need To Sleep Well?
The shift from day to night must occur as naturally as possible. If night accidents happen or if the budgie accidentally awakened, it is good to turn on a small light so that it can see what surrounds him/her and, if you talk to him/her in a sweet voice, it will be easier for him/her to find the lost tranquility and resume the rest. Budgies are diurnal animals. Therefore, they do not see in the dark.
Any noise (like the close buzzing of a mosquito) can make them wake up immediately, warn them, and make them run blindly from one side of the cage to the other. Thus, they also risk getting hurt by injuring themselves with objects inside the cage or with the bars themselves. Owners must pay close attention to the type of environment in which they rest.
How Can Anyone Know Their Budgies Enjoy Their Sleeping Routine?
When the budgies get ready for sleep, it is possible to hear, at times, a particular sound, similar to a repeated squeak or clicking sound. The upper part of the beak rubs against the tip of the tongue. The lower part bangs against the upper part as the budgie move them side to side with a quick movement of the jaw.
Surely even the most attentive of you will have noticed this behavior in their pets and have asked themselves some questions. Some say it serves the budgie to relax (a bit like an auto-lullaby or purring of cats). Others think it is a signal to neighbors to indicate its intention to fall asleep. Others say it serves to control the filing of the beak. However, they are only hypotheses. Soon after this behavior, the budgie quickly falls asleep.
To Sum It All Up
Darkness is not everything a budgie needs to sleep. Pets need a quiet place and a natural transition from the day to the night. They like to eat frequently, and they can develop problems if they don’t feed appropriately. A lack of proper feeding or sleep can induce some health problems. You should seek reliable advice from your veterinary whenever you see a change in their behavior. Never wait to check with a professional, as their little bodies have accelerated metabolism, and the problem may develop more quickly than in humans.