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What time should I cover my pet bird’s cage? 

If you are thinking about getting a pet bird, or even if you have a pet bird already, there is a lot to know about how to care for them to ensure that they have a happy and healthy life. One of these things is covering your bird’s cage daily. You may be wondering, what time should I cover my pet bird’s cage? And why is this practice important? Read on to find out when and why you should cover your bird’s cage. 

What time should I cover my pet bird’s cage? 

You should cover your bird’s cage every night around sunset. Keep it covered for at least 10 hours, however a full 12 hours is ideal. Doing this can help keep your bird happy by providing darkness, quiet and privacy to facilitate healthy sleep.

Why should I cover my pet bird’s cage?

There are a few benefits to covering your feathered friend’s cage. The first benefit is that it helps your bird get proper sleep. Like humans, birds also need uninterrupted sleep. And they need quite a lot of it! Veterinarians suggest that a healthy bird needs between 10 and 12 hours of sleep per night, plus several naps during the day! Covering the cage to provide some privacy and some darkness at night is a great way to ensure that your bird can sleep.

Covering your bird’s cage also gives birds a chance to have some “down time” without the distraction of lights or people or other pets around. This helps them sleep, of course, but also helps them stick to a routine. Birds can be very sensitive and prone to anxiety, so this is all great for ensuring they stay happy and healthy!

If you live somewhere cold or in a house that is particularly drafty, covering your bird’s cage might help to keep them warmer. If your bird is too cold, it is unlikely to get much sleep! 

What should I cover my pet bird’s cage with?

You should cover your bird’s cage with a lighter, breathable material. This can be something as simple as a cotton sheet, curtain or blanket, however you can also purchase a cage cover designed specifically for this purpose. It’s important to block out most of the light while also allowing for airflow, so this is why something light and breathable is better. 

If you can, it is best to leave one side of your bird’s cage uncovered to help increase airflow. If your bird’s cage is next to a wall, consider leaving the side of the cage against the wall uncovered as this will also help to maintain privacy. 

Do you always have to cover a bird’s cage?

Not necessarily, but this will depend on your bird and its living situation. In fact, some birds do not like to be covered. For some birds, covering their cage can cause them to be scared, anxious and nervous. If your bird becomes scared or stressed about being in a covered cage, then it is likely that it will not be able to sleep well. In this case, keeping them covered can actually be dangerous to their health if they cannot get proper sleep. If you are just starting to cover your bird’s cage, be sure to pay close attention to their behaviors and how they react before carrying on with this routine every night. 

If you are lucky enough to have a spare room that you can keep dark and quiet every night for 12 hours, then you probably don’t need to cover their cage. So long as your pet bird has a dark and quiet place to sleep, they should be able to sleep!

blue cage budgies

Should you cover your bird’s cage during the day?

It is not recommended to cover birds during the day. Birds are very perceptive and often very social, so covering them throughout the day when there are people around or other stimuli present can make them feel isolated, under-stimulated and anxious. Especially if you cover your bird at night, covering them during the day can disrupt their routine and natural sleep cycle, which over time can cause health problems for your pet. 

Do birds like being covered at night?

This is really different between individuals. Some birds might enjoy the peace and darkness from being covered at night to help them maintain a regular sleeping schedule. But for some birds, for whatever reason, being covered may make them angry or scared. Some birds that don’t like to be covered may begin to act strange and hang upside down. In more serious cases, some birds may begin to attempt to tear their cage cover apart. 

If your bird begins to show signs of stress or begins to tear its cover apart, be sure to remove the cover asap! If your bird begins to tear the cover into tiny shreds, there is a chance it could accidentally swallow some unsafe materials from the cover.    


For most birds, covering their cage at night for 10-12 hours is a great way to help make sure they get that much needed time of uninterrupted peace and quiet to get some sleep. Birds need a lot of sleep, and without a full night’s rest, they can develop health or behavioral issues. That being said, not all birds will enjoy a cover over their cage.

If you are curious about covering your bird at night, be sure to use a breathable, lightweight fabric that allows for airflow. The best time to put it on the cage is when it begins to get dark outside to mimic the natural cycle of the sun. Be sure to monitor your bird after introducing a cover over its cage, as using them isn’t suitable for all birds.