This Best Pets Lover article aims to offer you a basic guide on caring for lovebirds and everything you need to know about these precious roommates. If you want to know in-depth about the diseases that can affect them, or advice for their breeding, do not miss the specific posts on the web.
On this occasion, we will focus on the explanations of the basic care of the lovebird as the bird that it is, placing special emphasis on mistakes that we all make when welcoming any bird into our home, and that we should avoid providing a comfortable and long life for our companions.
The arrival of the lovebird: let’s avoid papillons
The popularity of lovebirds means that it is not uncommon for an acquaintance to offer us a papillary chick and, initially, we are tempted to accept it. In general, lovebirds are dedicated parents and do not refuse to feed their young, but there is an unfounded belief that gives a sweeter and more manageable character to chickens raised “by hand” by their owners.
We should avoid hosting lovebirds intentionally separated from their parents to feed them with porridge. We tend to make mistakes too often, such as crop burns by providing the mixture at a temperature that we consider appropriate, but it is not. Sometimes, we are not sure if the crop from the previous intake had already been emptied, or it is difficult for us to maintain the appropriate temperature.
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If we manage to overcome this critical phase, we are left with the dreaded problem of imprinting, our lovebird will not feel identified as a bird, nor as a human, which can lead to behavioral problems in the medium-term future, even more so if it is going to be alone.
The ideal is to welcome lovebirds that are already eating by themselves and have been properly socialized with their parents and siblings. There may be exceptional cases of death of the parents, only then would it be justified to dedicate oneself to the delicate task of raising the brood.
Accommodation: never in the kitchen
Although it may seem obvious, in many homes we actually see the enclosure in the kitchen. No bird should be housed in the smokiest, hot, and steamy place in the house. Birds are extremely sensitive to inhaled toxins, and the kitchen is the focus of combustion, gases, and temperature changes in any home.
We must look for a place without drafts, with natural light for enough hours a day (if possible), and quiet. Definitely, in many houses, there will be battles for that optimal corner, yet our lovebirds will express gratitude toward us for being situated in something almost identical.
What if I don’t have rooms with natural light?
If there is no natural light in our house, and we do not have the possibility of taking them out on a terrace for a few hours a day, then we should assess the possibility of exposing them to short periods of ultraviolet light. There are specific lamps in pet stores, ultraviolet rays are necessary for everything: mood, calcium metabolism, behavior… Whether it’s a few minutes every day, every two, or every three days, it will always be better than nothing and we will offer the basic care that the lovebird needs.
If the chosen place is going to have more than 12 hours of artificial light a day, we must bear in mind that respecting their hours of rest is essential, so we must make a cover for the cage that provides them with darkness. And remember to put it on at the same time!
Would a canary cage do?
Although we are thinking of recycling some spacious cages that we have from previous birds, lovebirds are psittacines, not passerines. That is to say, they climb, they help themselves with their beak to climb, and they cannot do that with vertical bars.
The cage, in addition to being spacious and with enough environmental enrichment such as toys, swings, and even a mirror, even if they are not going to be alone, must have horizontal bars. We must introduce bars at different heights as innkeepers, and we can look for pieces of wood imitating tree branches, but without treating them with chemical products against moths, and without varnish.
Special care must be taken with the chrome of the bars, its beak will be constantly passing over them, and the paint or dye can lead to poisoning. On the other hand, it is advisable to leave a small “bathroom” area, where we will place a bowl of water for cleaning. Due to the contamination that the water can suffer when defecating on it, it is advisable to leave it for a while every morning, or every two days, and remove it afterward. Many lovebirds seem always ready to dive, and others hardly feel the need to romp in the water, but we must offer it to them.
The base of the cage must be cleaned daily, let’s remember how important cleaning and disinfection are in the prevention of both intestinal and respiratory diseases. Not only the accumulated feces can be a source of problems, but also the remains of food, seed husks, feathers from the molt…
Lovebird feeding: a bit of everything
Generally, lovebirds, parakeets, and different birds have been taken care of with a combination of various seeds, yet there are options, either as a supplement or as a substitute.
What is exposed here is only an example of feeding, and may vary according to the preferences of the lovebird or the availability of products:
- Seed mixture: there are many on the market, based on millet, flaxseed, hempseed, sunflower seeds… They have the disadvantage that they allow the bird to choose, and the most appetizing is always the fattest. Surely we will notice from the first day what he likes and what he leaves. To avoid deficiencies related more to this selection than to the lack of nutrients in the food we provide, it is advisable to alternate them with other foods, or separate the seeds and offer them every day. E.g.: one-day sunflower seeds, another day millet…
- Extruded feed: some years ago bird food was introduced in the market with the same presentation as dog and cat feed (pellets). It has the advantage of being somewhat cleaner, less wasteful, and more balanced in terms of nutrient supply (obviously, formulation errors are inevitable in any product, but they rarely occur). The downside is that they find it less palatable. For this reason, it is best to offer it, for example, twice a week as a single food. Both the feed and the seeds should be offered two or three times a day and removed when they have finished eating, or they will dirty and throw away what they are not going to eat.
- Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables should be incorporated into the diet regularly but without abusing them, remember that their high water and fiber content, and how appetizing they are, can cause excessive intake and gastrointestinal disorders, such as diarrhea. We can make small cubes in a “Macedonia” plan of three or four chosen products, and schedule a few days a week to offer them to them. On the days that it is going to be offered, breakfast will be fruit and vegetables, removing the remains after a while.
Can I give all kinds of fruits and vegetables?
There are two prohibited foods: avocado and chocolate. The rest, according to the preferences of the owner and lovebirds. Cooked broccoli, celery, carrot, apple, strawberry…, even cooked pasta, are allowed in measured amounts and without abusing anything. Some owners supply panizo to their lovebirds from time to time, but it is not as easy to obtain as everything else and it is somewhat expensive.
And should I give vitamin supplements to my lovebird?
In principle, if no disease requires the administration of a certain amount of vitamins as treatment, a varied diet covers all the needs of our lovebirds.
It should be noted that these birds in captivity do a little exercise (practically nothing), but if we allow it, they will eat as if they had flown several kilometers an hour. Controlling the intake of especially fatty foods, and providing distractions that make them move or, if possible, facilitate aviaries with metal mesh, would be a perfect combination.
On account of permitting them to fly uninhibitedly around the house to work out, we should give close consideration to homegrown mishaps.
Beak and nails: when to trim
Improper wear leads to overgrowth of the beak and nails. In the case of nails, it can make it difficult for the bird to stay on the porch, and in the case of beak overgrowth, it can cause problems eating food.
Waxes, cuttlefish bones, stale bread, and other usual resources do not always work, and it may be necessary to go to our veterinarian to do a beak filing. Since it is performed under general anesthesia or adequate sedation, special attention should be paid to preventing it from growing excessively to reduce the number of filings necessary throughout its life. Some birds tolerate filing without anesthesia or sedation, but these are very specific cases of trained animals that are very used to handling.
Nails are somewhat less complex and we can get a cat’s nail clipper or try to keep them at an appropriate length in our own home. Of course, it is necessary to hold the lovebird correctly to avoid accidental traumatism or cutting of the phalanges and cut through the non-vascularized part of the nail, that is, the white part, in a similar way to how it would be cut in a cat.
If our lovebird is ringed, we will take advantage of this moment to check the area of the leg where the ring is located, making sure that it does not compress the tissue, and that there are no scratches or injuries. If you notice changes in the color of the leg, lack of support, or discomfort (the leg itches…), it is necessary to go to the veterinarian as soon as possible to cut it and avoid further problems.
The lovebird company
Sometimes we have several lovebirds together, and several other species of birds (amazons, lorises, lovebirds…). Coexistence is not always peaceful, and aggressions are quite frequent between birds, you just have to think of the fights between sparrows that can be seen on any sidewalk during spring.
We must be very careful and house problematic individuals separately, which requires a lot of observation. Many lovebirds suffer beak amputations, which do not always grow back, because they are living with larger birds, or not very friendly conspecifics. Despite their nickname, sometimes it is necessary to separate them for their good.
If we are going to introduce a new specimen in our house, we have to make sure that there is mutual acceptance and give an adaptation period, that is, allow them to see and hear each other, but with separation in the cage, for example.
Other lovebird care
Next, we are going to mention some extra care that our lovebirds could appreciate:
- Spray: a spray with water during the molting season allows them, on the one hand, to clean themselves (interesting if we have a case of lovebirds that are not inclined to bathing), and on the other, to mitigate the negative action of the “dust” generated by the molt. This dust is a mixture of epithelial cells and the barrel of the ancient pen, and it is not highly recommended that they or we inhale it constantly.
- Sexing them if the breed does not allow to distinguish between males and females could be interesting even if they are going to be alone, to rule out pathologies later, such as egg retention. Our vet will remove a portion of epithelial cells attached to a pen, and we’ll get the lab results in just a few days. Resorting to DNA is usually necessary for lovebirds, except in some specific varieties in which males and females present sexual dimorphism.
- Pay special attention to laying problems in females, which can become chronic, such as stuck eggs, dystocia, and coelomates due to egg yolk… It is highly advisable, once identified as a female, to go to our veterinarian for guidance on how to identify these problems and what solutions are there to prevent subcutaneous hormone implants, eg).
Lovebirds, also known as lovebirds, are endearing birds and we enjoy just seeing their dazzling and colorful plumage. Hearing them sing, playing with each other, passing food, or pampering each other, are some of the classic sights that characterize this very sociable bird.
If you have a couple of lovebirds and you are considering breeding them to enjoy more members in your home, you have come to the right place. In this Best Pets Lover article, we will explain the process of breeding lovebirds, giving you some advice about the right time for breeding and others.
Do not forget that raising birds is a responsibility, so you should consider beforehand if you will be able to take care of the new tenants both financially and for space and care. It is important!
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The pair of lovebirds
Unlike what happens with other species of birds, choosing a partner correctly is complicated, not if we do not know how to correctly sex the specimens. In the species of lovebird can or pullrius we find a real obstacle when it comes to differentiating between male and female.
The gray lovebirds are distinguished because the females are green unlike the male, which has a white head and a white feather on the wing where the rest of the plumage is green. The pullarius lovebirds are distinguished by the color of the inside of the wing, which is black in males and green in females.
For the rest of the lovebird species, we are going to have to observe the behavior and not the physical aspect. It turns out that even if two of them form a couple, it does not mean that they are of the opposite sex. So, this is not the behavior to take into account, but if we give them material to make a nest and one of them transports it between his wings without it falling off, normally we will be dealing with a female while the male will be in charge of regurgitating the food and will not carry out practically any work on the construction of the nest.
Without a doubt, the best option is to go to a professional or an amateur with the appropriate knowledge who knows how to correctly distinguish and sex the lovebirds.
What species of lovebirds can be crossed?
There are nine species of lovebirds and all can interbreed with each other to obtain offspring, however, certain crosses will result in sterile offspring. What are these crosses?
In the different races of lovebirds, we find a peculiarity in the area of the eyes: some have a very marked ring of white skin (periophthalmic ring) while others have a much less marked ring that is simply a layer of very fine feathers that protect their eyes. eyes. We must cross the species that have this particular trait in common.
Lovebirds with periophthalmic ring:
Lovebirds without periophthalmic ring:
The breeding cage and feeding
For the breeding to take place, your birds must feel comfortable and prepared, for this reason, it will be essential to pay attention to creating an environment conducive to it.
Unlike other birds that are comfortable in a smaller cage, lovebirds will need a large cage to move freely and without stress. Remove the toys that can distract them and leave in the breeding cage plenty of fresh water, quality food, a cuttlefish bone, and an extra: breeding paste for lovebirds. This extra food will be very useful for the mother, who will suffer significant nutritional wear. You can also get vitamins to improve your health.
If we have other lovebirds in addition to the couple, it is advisable to separate them before breeding since they could disturb and interrupt the process.
When our lovebirds have been receiving this extra food for a week, we can already place the nest. The ideal for the breeding of the lovebird is the square and large nest, with a hole at the entrance, which we should not touch once it is inside the cage. In addition, we will incorporate material so that they can create a comfortable and comfortable nest (very important to avoid malformations in the chicks). Get coconut or goat hair available at any pet store.
Copulation and laying
Lovebirds reach sexual maturity at one year of age. We must wait until then to carry out our purpose. In addition, we will avoid making them breed in times of intense heat, preferring autumn and spring for our purpose.
Courtship and copulation can last up to 20 days, although usually, about 10 will suffice. The male will begin to court the female by feeding her and offering her food with his beak. Then they will carry out the mating that will last a maximum of ten days until the female has her first egg.
From the beginning of the courtship, you must provide privacy to your lovebirds. Disturbing them can lead to the interruption of the breeding process. You must not touch the nest in any case, you can only get close to change water and food.
Depending on the specific species of lovebird, they will lay between 3 and 6 eggs. The number of offspring can also vary due to other factors such as the age of both parents, their experience, or their diet.
Birth of the young lovebirds
Incubation and the time, until the young are born, is about 25 days. When the first egg begins to break, it can take up to 24 hours for the baby to finally come out. When the little ones are born, they must be left alone during the first fortnight where their parents will feed them without problems and where we will not have to intervene.
After 15 days, the lovebird chicks begin to be more developed and are no longer excessively fragile, however, they are still very sensitive animals that need the warmth of their parents at all times.
If we want to get our lovebirds used to being handled, we can start interacting with them (with great care) from 20 or 25 days of age. It is the perfect time to create a bond with them and make them lose their fear of human beings. It is also the correct period to start training your lovebirds.
Separation of parents and offspring
From 2 months of age, the offspring are ready to be separated from their parents. Do not forget that, even if you have a large cage, you will need at least a small aviator to house the whole family.
Take good care of your lovebirds and do not forget to offer enrichment in their environment so that they can enjoy a full life. All this experience will surely help you to point out the benefits of having birds, very sensitive and beautiful animals.
Most common diseases of lovebirds
Do you have a lovebird or are you thinking of hosting one? So, to take care of it in the best possible way, you must inform yourself as much as possible about the care it needs as well as possible health problems it may suffer from so that you can more easily detect when you should go to the vet as soon as possible. . This small bird from the psittacine or parrot family is increasingly popular in homes and, therefore, it is our responsibility to update all aspects of its health, basic needs and learn as much as possible about its species.
Thus, in this Best Pets Lover article, you will find everything you need about the most common diseases of lovebirds but, even if you know more details about this, you must take it to an exotics vet if you see any sign of change in its appearance or behavior.
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Conjunctivitis is an inflammation that occurs in the inner membrane of the eyelids and can sometimes lead to an infection. It can happen due to a small trauma, drafts, a cold, allergies, infections, or the use of strong products to clean the cage. The symptoms that will indicate that you have conjunctivitis are:
- Closed eyes
- Irritation of the eyelid membrane
- Inflammation of the eyelids
Thus, if you see his eyes swollen, red, with mucus, or closed, you should go to the exotic specialist. The treatment if there is an infection is based on an antibiotic administered directly into the eyes or through food or water, which the veterinarian will prescribe and can also prescribe as prevention in case of injury or blow.
In addition, with sterile gauze, you can clean his eyes with physiological serum or cold chamomile infusion. To avoid this health problem we must avoid currents and maintain good hygiene and healthy life.
It is a condition that affects the bird’s respiratory tract and is caused by mites ( Stermostomade tracheacukum ) that reproduce and live in the mucous membranes of the throat. The symptoms that make it easier for us to detect it are the following:
- Labored breathing
- Throat scratching sound
- Irritated throat
- Constantly cupped feathers
The vet will possibly prescribe a miticide, usually a spray, and may also advise an antibiotic. The best way to prevent this problem is to always maintain impeccable hygiene for both our birds and their habitat and environment. Accumulated feces, food that has passed or has begun to rot, fallen feathers, etc., should always be removed without allowing an unhealthy environment to be created.
cold and pneumonia
Air currents and sudden temperature changes can cause our exotic birds to end up having colds or colds and, if we do not treat them in time, it can lead to aggravated respiratory problems. For example, another common respiratory condition that occurs for these same reasons and is also due to colds is pneumonia. The easiest symptoms to detect to go to the specialist as soon as possible are the following:
- Labored breathing
- Accumulated mucus in the nostrils
- Cupped feathers
- Peeling the skin of the eyelids
- Lack of appetite
A few respiratory circumstances are as a matter of fact among the most widely recognized sicknesses in homegrown birds. Thus, in this case, the veterinarian will surely prescribe antibiotics and clean the nostrils with gauze and physiological serum and vitamin complexes. The best thing to avoid these conditions is to help you maintain good hygiene, a healthy life, a suitable temperature, and no drafts.
Diarrhea in lovebirds is mainly due to the type of feeding or the state of the food, but it can be due to malfunctioning of the intestine, parasitic, viral, bacterial, fungal, etc. Many times it is a symptom of a major health problem, so you should go to the exotics vet as soon as possible. Some of the most frequent microorganisms that cause diarrhea in these exotic birds are Coccidiosis, Colibacillosis, Enteritis, and Dysentery.
Symptoms that indicate this problem are:
- Much more stool than usual.
- Yellowish and greenish stools and much more liquid than usual.
- Cloaca is dirty, wet, inflamed, and reddened.
Apart from thoroughly cleaning the cage, the veterinarian will decide which treatment is the most appropriate depending on what he sees as the origin of diarrhea. Something that we can do both to prevent this problem and to reinforce the treatment is to try to maintain good hygiene, avoid drafts and sudden changes in temperature and wash and dry the fruit and vegetables that we offer very well.
Due to an inadequate or insufficient diet, especially if it lacks the necessary amount of fruits and vegetables, the lovebird may have difficulty expelling feces or even retain them for too long. Thus, we must give him vitamins, enough fresh water, and more fruits and vegetables if we observe the following symptoms :
- Trouble passing stool
- Continuous Tail Flicks
- Generalized tremor
- Swollen belly
The best way to forestall it is by guaranteeing a right eating routine, clean water, and sufficient room to practice well, in this way guaranteeing every one of the vital supplements and ideal processing.
Another disease of the lovebirds is abnormal molting, that is, a change of main and secondary feathers outside the usual molting season, summer. It can be caused by stress, lack of vitamins, inadequate nutrition, or poor hygiene. But, if we always have our inseparable in a space that is at a warm temperature as if it were summer, this may be the reason why it suffers from an abnormal change of plumage.
Both to prevent and treat this problem we must adjust the temperature, so that the heat is not excessive, disinfect the environment and provide a complete diet with the necessary nutrients or control a nutrient complex in the water.
Other common conditions in lovebirds
In addition to the main conditions mentioned, other diseases affect the inseparable that we must take into account:
- Internal parasites: intestinal verminous or intestinal worms. Parasites can be seen in feces in advanced cases, labored breathing and an open beak, and much lighter colored legs indicating anemia, temporary paralysis, and tremors. To prevent it, it is advisable to use dewormers suitable for lovebirds under the guidance of a veterinarian.
- Egg retention occurs when the female has great difficulty expelling the egg and it gets stuck. When this happens, the female stays in the nest for a long time, her cloaca is swollen and bulging, she also does not stop pushing repeatedly, she is exhausted and her feathers are disordered. It is ideal to go to the fascinating expert at the earliest opportunity.
- Psittacosis: if you are wondering what diseases lovebirds transmit to people, you should know that psittacosis is one of them since it is a zoonosis, so there is a risk that it could pass from these animals to humans. Its origin is viral ( Miyagawanella psittaci ) and the main symptoms are nervous instability, great thirst, drowsiness, loss of appetite, and, occasionally, diarrhea. There is no treatment and it is hard for a lovebird to make due.
- Salmonellosis: is another zoonosis that is caused by a bacterial infection that causes symptoms such as general weight loss but a swollen belly, labored breathing, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and great thirst. The veterinarian can prescribe isolation, warm temperature, tranquility, broad-spectrum antibiotics, B vitamins, disinfection of the cage, and accessories.
This article is merely informative, at BestPetslover.com we do not have the authority to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if it presents any type of condition or discomfort.