Nobody knows just how golden silence really is until they’ve owned a cockatoo. If your cockatoo robs you of your precious beauty sleep with his constant chatter or earsplitting screeches, it’s time to develop a game plan that will help you to reclaim the night.
Establish a sleep schedule. Your feathered friend needs between 10 and 12 hours of sleep every night. Set up a sleep schedule for your bird that will be easy for you to maintain so that he can adjust to waking up and going to bed at about the same time each day. Your boisterous birdie is far less likely to be rowdy at night if he is used to sleeping through it.
Provide your cockatoo with his own sleeping quarters. If possible, set up a second, smaller sleeping cage for your bird in a quiet, dark room. When it is time for your feathered friend to go to bed, move him into his sleeping cage for the night. If a second cage is not available, move his regular cage into another room where it is dark and quiet. Separate sleeping quarters for your cockatoo will encourage him to stay quiet and help both of you sleep better at night.
Turn out the lights in your cockatoo’s cage by draping a cage cover over it. Your feathered friend will soon learn to associate the cover as a sign that it’s time for bed and he’ll know to start settling down. The darker your bird’s cage is at night, the more likely he is to stay quiet and sleep soundly.
- Your cockatoo needs his beauty sleep as much as you do and also benefits from a quiet environment. Since they are prey animals in the wild, cockatoos are programmed to stir easily, so noisy nighttime environments disrupt their sleep patterns and can lead them to develop a variety of bad habits including excessive screeching. Lack of sleep can even put your feathered friend’s health at risk. If you don’t have the space to give your cockatoo his own sleeping quarters, move him to the quietest area of the house and keep his cage covered during set sleep times.
- Use cage covers only as sleep aids during scheduled sleep times. While some frustrated parrot owners rely on cage covers as a time out tool for bad behavior, leaving your bird’s cage covered for too long can backfire and cause him to develop even more unwanted behavior problems.
Kristina Barroso is a full-time teacher who has been freelance writing since 1991. She published her first book, a break-up survival guide, in 2007 and specializes in a variety of topics including, but not limited to, relationships and issues in education. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Florida International University.