Also referred to as a parakeet, budgies make great pets for most families. These quirky little birds have great personalities and often become bonafide members of the family in a very short period of time. Napping is quite common for these little guys, but there are limits.
If your pet is sleeping for long periods during the day, this could be symptomatic of a bigger issue such as illness or problems sleeping at night. Here’s what you need to know about avian sleep patterns and when you should become concerned about your budgie’s health.
Like most people you probably know, budgies often need mid-afternoon naps to stay healthy and happy. However, if you notice your bird is sleeping more than normal or is acting out of character, it is a good idea to contact your trusted veterinarian.
Why Budgies Sleep During the Day
There are numerous reasons as to why your pet budgie is sleeping during the day and not all of them are bad. The first could just be that they are tired and need a little bit of a nap, kind of like the rest of us.
These sleep periods usually last between thirty and forty-five minutes and generally follow bouts of active play or flight. Remember, these birds are just like us in that they need a bit of a rest after they’ve done a lot of physical activity.
It can also mean that the bird isn’t getting enough sleep at night, so you might have to move them to a more quiet location or invest in a quality cage cover that allows them to get rest at a more appropriate time.
But if the time spent is longer or seems to be out of character for your pet, it is time to start looking into other possible options. Illness and depression are all possible causes. And so is a change in diet causing digestive distress or mineral imbalance. These are both common reasons why a budgie might sleep during the day.
If you notice your bird is acting out of character or fluffing up to sleep inside his or her cage in for extra long stretches in the middle of the day, it would be a good idea to talk with a veterinarian who specializes in avian care before the problem worsens.
When to Be Concerned That Your Bird is Sleeping
Most pet birds nap off and on throughout the day, which is completely normal for pets of nearly every species. If you’re noticing that your parakeet is spending a large amount of the day sleeping, this could be a symptom of another health or routine issue.
However, it is important to note that most budgies sleep between ten and twelve hours a day in total. Your pet’s sleep pattern could be slightly more or less.
But, if you’re noticing that the pattern seems off, there might be another issue to be concerned about. The first thing to look out for is whether or not your budgie is sleeping well at night.
If they are, then you’ll want to look for other health problems that might be causing them to need more sleep during the day. If not, look into a quieter cage placement, a good quality cover, and plenty of comfortable and sturdy perches from an optimum night of rest.
If you’ve tried all of these tricks and your budgie is still sleeping most of the day, it is time to consider that there might be a greater health problem. In this case, look for symptoms such as refusal to eat or drink, extra runny poop, or general lethargy.
These can all be symptoms of both depression and other health problems that need veterinary intervention.
Early Signs of Disease in Budgies
Budgies are notoriously susceptible to various diseases, such as fatty liver disease. One of the key symptoms of a health problem is that your bird tends to sleep more during the day than they’re awake. If this is happening, there’s a good chance that they are experiencing poor health related to the disease.
Fatty liver disease generally happens in obese birds that don’t receive proper diets and/or do not get an appropriate amount of physical exercise on a regular basis. The easiest way to improve this is to switch to a diet that is full of fresh produce including leafy green vegetables.
You can also opt for a high-quality parakeet mix, which is designed to include all essential nutrients for optimum health. And ensure your budgie gets plenty of time outside of the cage to play, fly, or roam around. Checking your bird’s weight regularly using a special bird scale or a digital food scale is also important.
If you’ve made these types of changes and you’re still noticing that your parakeet is sleeping a lot during the day, make note of other issues they might be having.
Feather loss is also another key indicator of disease issues and should be addressed by your veterinarian. And an overall change in temperament or moodiness can definitely signify some sort of hidden illness that could prove to be fatal if left untreated.
Improving Your Parakeet’s Diet for Better Sleep Quality
The easiest way to help prevent illness and improve sleep quality is by changing your budgie’s diet. Did you know that what your budgie eats has a direct affect on how long they can live? Birds that eat a seed exclusive diet often only make it to five to seven years old, but those that eat leafy green vegetables can make it to over twenty-five years as captive pets. Wow!
Furthermore, human foods like bread and crackers can be severely detrimental to your bird’s health, which can often lead to illness. And, as we’ve established above, this can eventually lead to your budgie sleeping all day. Instead, look for items that are specifically designed for parakeets.
You can also discuss this with your veterinarian to get recommendations for an optimum diet or find out what supplements might be best for your pet.
If your pet has developed some bad habits when it comes to diet, now is a good time to make a switch. Start by slowly introducing better options while taking away seed treats and other items that are less healthier.
Find organic produce at your local grocery market and start adding that during normal meal times. After a few weeks, your bird should start to feel better and have more energy, which will keep them from having to sleep during the day as often.
Other Important Information to Know About Budgies
Of course, diet and sleep are just the start of what it takes to own and care for a budgie. In addition to proper food choices, your cage and toy options can make a difference in their overall health and the number of hours they sleep per day.
Exercise is important for birds. If your parakeet is able, allow them out for fifteen minutes several times a day to get the opportunity to fly around. This is great physical exercise and gives them the ability to truly stay healthy in a natural and safe manner.
If flight isn’t an option, purchase the largest cage you can afford to maintain. Buy plenty of fun toys like ladders, perches, and ropes to make routine play tons of fun.
Not only will this provide a better quality of life for your pet, but the additional physical exercise is also great for keeping them healthy. And don’t forget the mirrors!
A little up and down bouncy action while looking at their reflection is like a Zumba class for us humans and definitely warrants a good nap afterward.