Budgies are smart and highly emotional creatures, meaning they get stressed easily.
So, owners have to take extra steps to ensure their budgies feel comfortable, especially at night. If your budgie has trouble sleeping, you may be wondering if covering the cage will be beneficial.
Budgies don’t need to have their cage covered at night, but it sometimes helps them relax.
Budgies are cavity nesters that like sleeping in covered nests. Covering the cage can make your budgie feel safer in the dark, prevent night frights, and establish a healthy sleeping schedule.
Not all budgies enjoy having their cage covered, even if they have trouble sleeping.
Do Budgies Sleep in the Dark?
According to PLOS Biology, the structure of a budgie’s sleep pattern is similar to that of mammals. Budgies need 10-12 hours of sleep each night.
Budgies are diurnal creatures, which means they’re active during the day and fall asleep at night.
The room shouldn’t always be completely dark since some budgies experience night frights when in a completely dark room. A small night light is recommended if complete darkness stresses your budgie out, but the room shouldn’t be entirely illuminated.
Budgies are cavity nesters, meaning they like finding holes to build their nests and sleep in. This is why sleeping in relative darkness enables captive budgies to sleep better.
Do You Need to Cover a Parakeet Cage at Night?
Covering your budgie’s cage at night is only necessary if its sleep improves.
Many budgies dislike sleeping in a covered cage, so don’t feel like you have to cover it if your budgie protests. If your budgie doesn’t mind it being covered, you can make covering the cage a nightly routine.
There are many reasons why you should use a cage cover, such as:
New Bedtime Routine
Covering the cage is a great way to help establish a bedtime routine.
Budgies imported from a country with a different time zone benefit from a cage cover. It helps reset their internal clock until they get used to the new time zone.
Likewise, if they were raised in a house where they were allowed to sleep later, the cage cover helps train them for a different sleep schedule.
Cage covers can be used when seasonal changes affect the budgie’s internal clock. A budgie’s behavior is affected by the amount of daylight they’re exposed to.
If you notice that your budgie has trouble sleeping during certain months of the year, a cage cover is a good way to re-establish its nighttime routine.
Budgie Gets Scared at Night
Budgies can get very scared when it’s time to go to sleep. This can be either because they get nervous when away from their owner or because they don’t like the room they sleep in.
A cage cover can help your budgie feel safer by simulating a nest the budgie would have in the wild. An enclosed space enables the budgie to feel protected from the outside world so that it can sleep in peace.
Budgie And Owner Have Different Sleep Schedules
If your budgie sleeps in your room, this can be a problem if you don’t go to bed at the same time. Light from your TV, computer, or lamp can disrupt your budgie’s sleep.
Covering the cage is recommended if this is the case. However, cage covers aren’t always enough to block out sound, so be mindful of the noise you make as your budgie rests.
Although budgies have feathers, they can still get cold. They can’t warm themselves up with blankets, so you can use a cage cover if you want to keep the cold out.
If you choose a cage cover that can keep the cold out, ensure that it isn’t too heavy. You don’t want to stop the airflow around your budgie’s cage completely.
If you decide to use a heavy blanket, don’t cover the cage completely.
What Time Should I Cover My Budgie’s Cage?
You should cover your budgie’s cage when it’s about to go to sleep.
If you cover it during the day, it blocks the budgie’s view of the room. Budgies like to look around and take in their environment during the day, so don’t leave the cage cover on while the budgie is awake.
Female budgies feel encouraged to mate when they think they’ve found a suitable nest for the eggs. The security of the cage cover (plus the time of year, proximity to other budgies, and certain cage substrate) can stimulate a desire to mate.
What Should I Cover My Budgie Cage With?
You can cover your budgie’s cage with a cage cover designed for birds or a simple blanket. Many cage covers will fit your budgie’s cage perfectly.
If you choose to use a homemade cover, use one that is made with a breathable material. You should also ensure that the homemade cover doesn’t touch the ground.
If someone steps on it, be it a person or pet, it could topple the cage and hurt the budgie.
How Should I Cover My Budgie’s Cage?
How you choose to cover your budgie’s cage depends on which setup your budgie prefers. Still, there are things you should keep in mind to make your budgie comfortable with its cover, such as:
Wash the Cover
You should wash the cage cover every few weeks. It’ll get dirty with use, and encapsulating your bird with a dirty cover isn’t healthy. Dust, feces, and feathers stick to the surface of the cover.
It creates a foul smell, but it could trigger your allergies.
Don’t Use Detergent
Don’t use cleaning products with strong odors when you wash the cover.
At night, your budgie will be surrounded by the cover and will have to breathe in chemicals. Budgies have sensitive respiratory systems, so strong scents from cleaning products irritate their senses.
Instead, use soap made from natural ingredients.
Partially Cover the Cage
You don’t need to completely cover your budgie’s cage.
Budgies like sleeping in the dark, but complete darkness may distress some birds. Their eyesight isn’t very good at night, so as they fall asleep, they may feel uncomfortable with being unable to see well.
Instead, partially cover the cage so that the front is exposed. Turn on a dim night light to illuminate the cage from the side or back.
This way, the budgie will feel protected while still seeing part of the room.
Keep the Cage Away from Walls
Unless the cage cover is airtight, your budgie will not suffocate under the cover. However, you’ll still want air to circulate in the cage, so don’t keep the cage against the wall while the cover is on.
Even if you expose one side, that’s still only one way for air to flow in and out of the cage. By leaving space between the cage and any obstacles, air circulation around the cage improves significantly.
Keep the Cage Away from Heaters
Don’t keep the cage near a heating source while it’s covered. Depending on the material it’s made from, the cover could warm up and trap heat around the budgie as it sleeps.
If you aren’t careful, your budgie could overheat. If it’s cold, cover the cage, but keep it away from the heater. If the room is warm and there isn’t a draft, no extra steps need to be taken.
You don’t need to put a cage cover on your budgie’s enclosure. However, there are benefits, depending on the budgie. It’s recommended if your budgie experiences night frights.