Lovebirds are small parrots from west Africa.
They are easy to keep as pets and are very easy
to raise for breeding. Here is some information
to help you care for your lovebird.
Lovebirds need a cage which has at least two
places to perch, with room to fly from one to the
other. A cage with a horizontal measurement of 24
inches to 30 inches is appropriate. Anything less
than 18 inches would be too small and
restrictive. Perches need to be a size which is
comfortable for the birds feet, not too small or
It is convenient
to have two sets of food and water dishes so that
they can be alternated and washed each day. Water
must be changed and the dish washed every day.
Food dishes can stay longer, with food added each
day if preferred, but food dishes do need to be
completely emptied, washed, and refilled at least
once a week. Caution -- food dishes sometimes
look full, but only have seed hulls and waste in
them, with no good food for the bird!
activity in the cage to stay healthy. Swings,
ladders, and interlocked bamboo rings are
favorites. The 6 inch cockatiel swings are the
best size for lovebirds. Pet departments or
stores have many choices in toys for pet birds.
Avoid small toys designed for parakeets and
budgies. Lovebirds have very strong beaks for
chewing and can break these items. Toys designed
for cockatiels and small parrots are the right
size for lovebirds.
Lovebirds need the same size food as cockatiels
and other small parrots. If you plan to feed your
birds a seed mix, choose one which contains
nutritional supplements to assure a "total
diet" to keep birds healthy. Other less
expensive seed mixes, or seeds sold for wild
birds will not have all the nutrients your bird
needs, although they can also be used if you
provide lots of fresh foods. Note --pellet diets
like Kaytee Exact or Pretty Bird are
nutritionally complete and very good for birds,
though some birds will be slow to accept them.
Birds that are used to seeds will need to be
given adequate time to adjust and learn to eat a
Try to give fresh
foods at least 3 or 4 times a week. Our birds
love apples, broccoli, cabbage, kale, carrots,
parsley, and spinach. You can try other
vegetables and fruits, too. Lettuce is okay, but
it doesnt have much nutritional value. In
the summer we sometimes give dandelion and clover
(flowers and greens) from the yard. Make sure to
wash off any pesticides or chemicals which could
hurt the bird. Our birds also like corn tortillas
(not salted tortilla chips) and whole grain
breads. Dont feed anything with high fat,
salt, or sugar content, like donuts, cake, or
cookies. Caution -- remember to remove any
uneaten fresh food from the cage before it
Try to keep
cuttlebone in the cage all the time to provide
calcium for the bird. Millet sprays, sometimes
called "seed trees" are a good treat.
Lovebirds are very hardy and do not need to be
kept particularly warm all the time, but should
not be exposed to freezing conditions.
Lovebirds like to
bathe frequently. The will bathe in their water
dishes if the dishes are large enough. If not you
can sit a shallow dish of water in the cage
occasionally for their use. They also like to be
sprayed with water mist once in a while. This
helps keep their feathers in good condition.
CAUTION! -- If your bird is to be
kept in or near the kitchen be very careful not
to over heat Teflon pans or appliances. When
Teflon gets too hot it gives off fumes which are
toxic to birds! The bird may die with respiratory
distress. Teflon coated irons and other items can
also be very dangerous.
If your bird seems sick, or has been injured,
seek the help of a qualified avian veterinarian.
Most veterinarians see very few birds, and have
little experience diagnosing and treating them.
Ask for recommendations from your local bird club
or pet store. It is best to find a good vet
before any problems arise, so that you will know
who to go to if there is an emergency.
Take your time when shopping for a bird cage. Shop around your local pet store or search for bird cages online.