Lovebird Care Sheet
Lovebirds are the smallest of the parrot species so are ideal for people that have little room but want a bird with a big personality. They live up to 20 years so are a big commitment. It is fine to keep a single lovebird as long as it receives a lot of attention from you, if you are away from the house for long periods (for example when you're at work) it's probably a good idea to buy a pair so they can keep each other company. When choosing your bird/s ensure they have been hand raised otherwise they are unlikely to be very tame and may nip when handled. Lovebirds will enjoy having a bath - a shallow bowl of water will be fine for this. They will also enjoy a mist of water being sprayed onto their feathers, this will help them to keep their feathers in good condition and keep them cool in hot weather.
A cage 2ft cubed is big enough for a single bird, although it is best to buy the biggest you can afford. Ensure the cage bars are close together as large gaps will make your bird able to injure itself by getting it's head or feet stuck, or it might even escape! Lovebirds do not need to be keep amazingly warm but ensure they in an environment where they do not have to deal with temperatures near freezing. It is a good idea to provide at least 2 perches, try to have different sizes/textures as this will help to keep feet healthy. If your bird is kept near a kitchen be VERY careful if you have teflon (non-stick) pans as when these are heated they let off fumes which can kill birds. Also try to keep the cage out of drafts and direct sunlight
Lovebirds need a seed mix or pellet mix that is designed to meet their nutritional needs; food designed for cockatiels is fine. Seed mix for wild birds is not suitable as it doesn't contain all the nutrition that lovebirds require. Their diet should be supplemented with some fresh fruit, vegetables and the some mealworms every so often as a source of protein. Lovebirds (like most birds) can be very picky when it comes to new foods, for this reason they should be introduced as young as possible. Persevere with new foods as a varied diet will ensure a healthy bird. Fresh water needs to provided daily. Cuttlebones and mineral stones are a great way to provide minerals such as calcium and also allow your bird to keep its beak in tip top condition.
Here are some ideas for supplements and treats for you lovebird/s:
Grapes Spinach peppers Lettuce mixed veggies
apple Carrots Corn on the cob Peas
Sweet potato Sprouting seeds Millet Spray Broccoli berrys
Cuttlebones Mineral stone Mealworms
Lovebirds love chewing and so when buying toys it is important to avoid giving them anything they could choke on - for this reason plastic/acrylic toys and probably best avoided. Also make sure there are no clips etc that your bird could get its beak or feed trapped in. Great materials for toys are wood, sisal and leather, here are some ideas for items that your lovebird/s may enjoy:
Toys made from natural loofah
There are many 'shredder' toys which your lovebird will enjoy made from palm leaves.
Cardboard tubes for shredding
Dry pasta shapes
The most likely health problems with lovebirds are mental health issues. A bird that is in a small cage, without enough toys or one that does not receive enough attention from its owner is likely to be loud, to bite, and to pull out its feathers. The easiest way to avoid these problems is to provide the biggest cage you can, provide toys which are swapped around often and let your bird out to interact with you everyday. A happy bird is also less likely to develop physical health problems. The advantage with an intelligent birds strong personality is that it may show you illness before any other symptoms develop - keeping an eye on weight is also a good idea as significant weight loss is often the first sign of an underlying problem.
General health checks should be performed everyday - check that eyes and nostrils are clear and that tail feathers are clean. Also keep an eye on droppings - constipation can be remedied by providing more fruit and and diarrhea may be a sign that you bird is eating too much. If symptoms persist for more than a few days it is worth taking your bird to the vet as it may be caused by parasites or something more serious.
Chlamydiosis can be diagnosed from the nasal discharge, lethargy appetite and fluffed feathers. If you see these symptoms, especially fluffed feathers get your bird to a vet as soon as possible.
Safe Fruits and Vegetables for Birds
Make sure that all apple, orange and other seeds are removed before letting your birds eat the fresh foods. And make sure you wash all fruits and vegetable thoroughly. It's always best to go organic for your parrots to stay away from pesticides.
Healthy and Safe Vegetables for Birds
Beans, cooked only
Corn (milky & soft)
Green Beans (cooked only)
Pumpkin (and seeds)
Radish Red Beet (fresh)
Again, make sure vegetables are washed and preferably organic. The chemicals they feed the plants will harm you and your birds.