Lovebirds are curious, energetic and charming birds originating from Africa. Keeping a lovebird socialised is a serious commitment and they require a lot of daily interaction. It is recommended to keep lovebirds in pairs. Varieties include eye ring, fischer’s, black masked and peachface lovebirds.
Shopping list for your new lovebird:
- Appropriately sized cage
- High quality lovebird seed
- Millet spray
- Cuttlebone/millet holder
- Cage litter or paper
- Food and water dishes
- Variety of perches
- Variety of toys
- Bird bath
- Mister spray bottle
- Grooming supplies
- Play gym
Because all lovebirds are potential carriers of infectious diseases, such as Chlamydiosis, always wash your hands before and after handling your lovebirds and the content of its cage. This helps to prevent the spread of diseases.
A well balanced lovebird diet should consist of a good quality seed mix and fresh fruit and vegetables. Lovebirds should also have constant access to clean, fresh water.
Lovebirds should not be fed fruit seeds chocolate, alcohol or caffeine as these can cause serious medical conditions.
It is important to remember when feeding your lovebird that they should have constant access to fresh food and water. When feeding your lovebird fresh fruit and vegetables, any uneaten food should be discarded within a few hours. Treats should not exceed 10% of your budgies diet.
Lovebirds acclimate well to average household temperatures that do not exceed 27˚C. A lovebird’s home should be placed off the floor in an area that is well lit and away from drafts. We recommend providing your lovebird with the biggest cage possible, this gives them room to fly and stretch.
Perches should be at least 4” long and ½” in diameter. A variety of different perches in different sizes is advisable so they can exercise their feet and help prevent arthritis.
Placing a metal grate over their droppings tray will help keep your budgie away from droppings. Line the tray with cage paper for easier cleaning. Avoid contamination by not placing food and water containers under perches.
Lovebirds can be kept alone or kept in pairs if you cannot dedicate enough interaction time with them, daily interaction with humans is extremely important. Different types of birds shouldn’t be housed together.
Single lovebirds bond best with their owners, but keep them in pairs if you cannot devote enough time to them on a daily basis. Lovebirds love to chew! So make sure they have enough toys to chew on. They can be quite territorial, have a unique chatter and a naturally loud call. Provide them with foraging toys to provide them with important mental stimulation.
Cages and perches should be cleaned and disinfected regularly. Cage liners should be replaced at least once a week. Toys, perches and dishes should be replaced when they are worn or damaged and introduce new toys into the cage regularly. Make sure all cage accessories and toys do not contain lead, zinc or lead based paints as these can cause medical issues if your bird ingests them.
Do not use too many cleaning agents around your bird as the fumes can be harmful to them.
Grooming and Hygiene
Lovebirds love to take baths. At least twice a week, provide them with clean, fresh lukewarm water. Remove this water from their cage when they are done. Alternatively, use a spray bottle to spray your lovebird with lukewarm water. Clipping your birds’ flight feathers is not necessary, but when it is done correctly it can help them prevent injury or escape. Consult your vet to see what is best for your bird. Their nails should be trimmed by a qualified professional in order to prevent injury.
Signs of a Healthy Animal
An active bird is a happy bird; they should be alert and sociable. A good sign of a healthy lovebird is seeing them regularly eating and drinking. Their nostrils and eyes should be dry and bright and their beaks, legs and feet appear normal. Their feathers should be clean, smooth and well groomed and their bottom should be clean and dry.
Common Health Issues
|HEALTH ISSUE||SYMPTOMS OR CAUSES||SUGGESTED ACTION|
|Chlamydiosis||Appetite loss, fluffed feathers, nasal discharge, green stools||Seek immediate veterinary attention|
|Diarrhoea||Faecal portion of stool is not formed. Multiple causes from diet change to internal parasites||Consult with your vet and ensure a proper diet|
|Feather Plucking||Bird plucks own feathers: may be due to boredom, poor diet and other illnesses||Consult with your vet and relieve boredom with new toys or new space|
|Avian pox||Lesions in the mouth, scabs on eyes and face||Seek immediate medical attention from your vet|
|Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease||Abnormal feather colour, feather loss, beak deformities||Seek immediate medical attention from your vet|
- Beak swelling or accumulations
- Fluffed, plucked or soiled feathers
- Sitting on the cage floor
- Wheezing or coughing
- Runny or discoloured stools
- Eye or nasal discharge
- Red or swollen eyes
- Loss of appetite
If you see any of the signs in your bird, then please seek professional advice.