Lovebirds usually come up in discussions concerning the best birds to raise as pets. Beautiful and intelligent, they have been beloved pets for hundreds of years. What do you need to do if you’re planning on raising a pair? Find out all you need to know about Lovebirds here.
Lovebirds | Beloved Pets For Centuries
They may be one of the smallest members of the Parrot family, but they’re filled with a lot of character. Aside from being beautiful and intelligent, they’re also quite active and playful. However, don’t expect them to mimic human words and voices, even though they’re part of the Parrot family. If they do decide to mimic sounds, it would be humming and household sounds like doorbells ringing.
They can get too feisty if not trained at a young age. Since their very territorial, they can get jealous and aggressive quite easily. Females are said to be more prone to this behavior, according to scientists.
Size & Color
Lovebirds come in many colors, but they’re usually about five to six inches in length. That’s a little bigger than a budgie. Also, there are nine species of lovebirds, although not all of them can be kept as pets. This makes the color combination endless!
Picking Out Healthy Lovebirds
It’s better to look for a young lovebird to raise. This way, you can help them curb their aggressive behavior early on. If you can, find a hand-raised fledgling for easier training on your part. Hand-reared birds become more responsive to humans, compared to those that aren’t.
If you’re getting a pair from a pet store, however, make sure you pick out birds that have smooth, unruffled feathers. Eyes should be clear and alert, with no mucus leaking from the nose or beak.
Lovebirds can live up to 15 years with proper care and diet. You also have to remember that they mate for life. Monogamy is essential for their social interactions. This is one of the reasons why lovebirds that lose their mates exhibit erratic behavior, similar to depression.
Food & Diet
Feed your lovebirds a variety of food for better nutrition. They should not be eating seeds alone. In fact, seeds should only make up 25% of the total diet. You can feed them berries, maize, millet and fruits, for a wider variety of nutrients.
Being very active, lovebirds should have a wide area to fly and jump around in. If you can, get a huge cage, then that would be excellent. But if not, you should have a cage that is at least, 2 feet wide, 2 feet long and 2 feet tall. Since they’re small, the cage should have horizontal bars that are 1/2 inches apart, to allow the birds to hold on to them, as they flit around in the cage. It’s also advisable to put in different sized perches made of wood for them to hold on to.
Lovebirds create homes in holes. So you can put a little birdhouse with a circular opening inside the cage for them to make their nest in.
You don’t have to break the bank for a pair of lovebirds. The hand-raised kind can range from $40-$130. Parent-fed chicks, however, are generally less expensive.
There are nine species of lovebirds, eight of which can be found in the African continent. The grey-haired lovebird, on the other hand, resides in Madagascar. They have been around a lot longer than anyone imagined. Fossils have been found in South Africa dating as far back as 1.9 million years ago.
When they’re separated from each other for long periods of time, they feed each other by passing food to their mates through their beaks, much like how couples feed each other during dates. According to scientists, they do this to re-establish their bond with each other. Doesn’t this sound like happy couples when they eat together?
Learn how to set up your Lovebird’s cage with this video.
Lovebirds are the most popular avian pets in the world, but you still have to understand their behavior and needs, before owning a pair. It would be heartbreaking if you abandon your birds because your were shocked the first time they showed aggression. It’s also important to look for an Avian vet near your area as well.
Do you have your own lovebirds already? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.