Last Updated on: 2nd October 2023, 09:37 pm
Baby parrots (chicks) sleep 12-14 hours a day, while adult parrots sleep 10-12 hours a day. It isn’t always in one session because some chicks take naps during the day.
Parrot chicks spend longer in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, a deeper stage of sleep.
Chicks sleep for as long as needed, so the number of hours they rest varies. This longer sleeping session enables chicks to grow and keeps them healthy during these vital stages of development.
Whether a chick takes naps comes down to the energy it expends and its sleep preferences.
If a baby parrot sleeps more than expected, sickness or exhaustion could be the explanation. This is most likely to be the case with hand-reared chicks.
Also, environmental disturbances, crop burn, and night fright can cause tiredness and sleep deprivation.
How Do Baby Parrots Sleep?
Baby parrots spend more time in REM sleep. According to the National Audubon Society, birds share the same sleeping cycles as mammals, which include the following 2 stages:
- Non-rapid eye movement sleep (non-REM).
- Rapid eye movement sleep (REM).
The only difference is that the cycles are shorter. Non-REM sleep averages around 2 and a half minutes, while REM sleep lasts around 9 seconds in parrots.
Baby parrots also sleep with half their brain awake, known as unihemispheric slow-wave sleep.
This is essential for their safety, allowing them to wake up whenever there’s a threat. Parrots adjust how much their brains are asleep by varying how much they open and close their eyes.
Newly weaned baby parrots prefer to stay close to the ground while they sleep. After a few weeks, their sleeping position will resemble adult parrots.
Parrots don’t lose muscle tone while they sleep, so they rest in the following ways:
Sleeping on One Foot
This is where the parrot tucks one foot into its feathers before it enters a deep sleep. The other foot holds onto a branch or perch to secure itself.
Head Tucked Into Body
Baby parrots that frequently nap like to rotate their heads and tuck them against their back. They use both legs to stand and remain partly alert.
Baby parrots getting used to new sleeping positions nap while leaning forward on their perch. In many cases, they land at the bottom of the cage.
Lying on Back
Some parrot species fall asleep lying on their backs.
Baby parrots aren’t as wary of predators and other dangers as adults, so they’re more comfortable falling asleep this way. They also tire more easily, and laying on their backs conserves energy.
Why Is My Baby Parrot Sleeping So Much?
Baby parrots sleep more because they’re growing and developing. They need to conserve energy, and sleeping is the best option. However, a baby parrot shouldn’t be asleep all day, every day.
Sleeping can be mistaken for roosting. Roosting looks like sleeping, but it happens when parrots get into a comfortable sleeping position before dozing off.
The most likely causes of a baby parrot sleeping a lot include the following:
Baby parrots are more vulnerable to health conditions because their immune systems are weaker. Also, inexperienced handlers may have poor feeding and handling techniques.
Exhaustion can be blamed for a parrot’s sleeping behavior, but this is normal.
As they’re learning and discovering so much, it’s natural for them to tire more easily. Baby parrots develop at different rates and have varying sleep requirements.
Why Isn’t My Baby Parrot Sleeping Enough?
If a baby parrot seems overly tired or struggles to carry out basic tasks and activities, it’s likely not getting enough sleep. This can have long-term health consequences.
These issues are most likely caused by the following:
Environmental disturbances can make it hard for a parrot to sleep. Factors include:
- The TV or radio is on too loud or too late.
- Your family’s up too late, making excessive amounts of noise.
- There are artificial or LED lights shining on the parrot’s cage.
- It’s constantly startled by noisy pets.
These things can prevent a parrot from getting the rest it needs. A lack of sleep will inevitably affect the parrot’s growth and development in the long term.
Baby parrots are at risk of night frights because they’re experiencing things they don’t understand.
Night frights are caused by the following:
- Predatory animals, like cats and dogs.
- Crying babies.
- Car headlights when they pass the window.
- Insects that fly in and around the cage.
Night terrors can be terrifying for baby parrots. The bird could fall off its perch and endure serious injury if scared. Covering the cage with a sheet or blanket reduces light exposure but not noise.
Crop burn occurs when an owner hand-feeds a baby parrot formula that’s too hot. This commonly happens when the foods are microwaved and develop hotspots due to improper mixing.
Not only can this burn the crop, but it also affects its ability to empty itself, resulting in sour crop. The discomfort makes it extremely difficult for baby parrots to fall asleep.
Why Is My Baby Parrot Making Noise While Sleeping?
Many baby parrots make noises while sleeping. While inexperienced owners may be concerned that this signifies a problem, it’s normal. You may hear the following sounds while parrots sleep:
- Beak grinding.
The Guardian reported that baby birds practice songs while they sleep by replaying them in their heads.
Researchers recorded the brain activity of birds and found that they flickered when they heard songs the previous day. This explains why some birds are more prone to making noises in their sleep than others.
Don’t be alarmed if a baby parrot sleeps a lot, as this is normal. However, pay attention to the behavior and mannerisms, as excessive sleep can be due to a health or environmental issue.
For further information, read our guide to caring for baby parrots.