What is it about the lovebird that makes many people fall in love with this curious bird? Her beauty? The simplicity of their care? Or maybe it’s how sociable he is with human beings?
- 1 Types of lovebird
- 2 What is an lovebird?
- 3 How does an agaporni usually behave?
- 4 How long does an agaporni live?
- 5 How do I know if an agaporni is male or female?
- 6 How can you get the trust of a lovebird?
- 7 Is it advisable to let the lovebird out of its cage?
- 8 The cage, what does it have to be like?
- 9 What is there to put in the cage of the lovebird?
- 10 How do you clean the cage and the lovebird?
- 11 Where should the cage be placed?
- 12 What do lovebird eat?
- 13 What disease can a lovebird have?
- 14 What steps do I have to follow to train a lovebird?
- 15 What do you need to know about the breeding of the lovebird?
- 16 What else do you need to know to take good care of your lovebird?
Types of lovebird
What is an lovebird?
Agapornis roseicollis belongs to the Psittaculidae family, originating in Africa, of which they are distant relatives. Some call them “inseparable” birds. In fact, its own name comes from the new Greek word agape, which means love or affects, and ornis, which means bird.
Since the male and the female are inseparable, spend a lot of time together, arrange each other’s feathers or huddle together, it is a name that suits them very well.
Its shape is quite peculiar. These are small parrots, with a total of 9 species, whose size is between 13 and 16 cm, depending on the species. Its feathers are very colorful and stand out for their short tail.
How does an agaporni usually behave?
The agaporni are usually quite reliable animals with the human being, although much more so with their own species and other birds. As a general rule it is not usually a violent animal or that usually attack, unless it feels very threatened. There are a number of clues to help you understand the bird’s state of mind.
- Cheerful: If the agaporni is happy, it will be active, will snoop around and comb its feathers, and will make sounds. He won’t stop still for a moment, which will show his good humour.
- Don’t worry: In this case the bird will stretch its legs and pose with its feathers hollowed out. It is also common for them to show a quiet state when their head is back while they are on their hanger.
- Sad: It is normal for the lovebird to be in motion. However, if the bird does not move or does not seem as sociable as other times, it will be because it is sad, because it wants to get out of its cage or feels alone in it.
- Sociable: The lovebird is a very sociable animal. With other birds you can see when they feed each other, put the two together on the stick or keep making sounds at each other.
- Aggressive: It is not common enough to see an aggressive lovebird, but if it is, it will start flapping its wings with constant, threatening noises, throwing itself at them with pickets or scratching with its legs. An example of how they can be like this is because they believe their young are in danger.
How long does an agaporni live?
That’s a good question. The truth is that the life expectancy of these birds does not vary according to the species, but they all tend to live more or less the same way. It is also one of the longest-lived bird species.
The average life span is about 12 years, but with good care, these birds can live up to 15 years without problems as long as they have been well fed and the owner has given them the proper care. This is not difficult, as the animal only requires about 20 minutes of attention per day.
How do I know if an agaporni is male or female?
Everyone says it’s best to look at the bird’s genitals when you’re wondering how to tell if an inseparable is male and female, since the bones of the male’s pelvis are closer together while those of the female are separated and rounded, allowing it to lay eggs. But there are other guidelines to help you know the sex of the bird.
For example, unlike other species, females are often larger than males, due to the hard task of laying eggs. Females usually have a rounded head and larger beak, while males have a more uniform head and a smaller beak. Females tend to be more aggressive and territorial with other birds than males.
How can you get the trust of a lovebird?
Many will watch videos on the Internet where owners will quietly carry their lovebird on their shoulder or in their hand. This is not something you get overnight. It takes a lot of work and patience for the bird to gain confidence with its owner.
At first it’s best to keep a little distance. The bird being locked in a cage, without any freedom, will feel a little sad. You’ll also find yourself in an unfamiliar environment, which will make you a little nervous. So, during the first few days, avoid touching it or trying to catch it at all costs.
A couple of days later is when you have to start trying to gain the bird’s trust. The best way to do this is to place the cage in a room where there is a lot of social life, such as a living room or a dining room. Little by little you have to get close to the cage and say its name, so that it gets used to the word. But if you notice that the animal avoids contact, it is best to leave it alone. Little by little the animal will come closer to the owner to recognize him. But he won’t be ready to be touched yet.
There will come a time when the animal will not be frightened to see its owner approach the cage. In that case, try to start feeding him directly by holding his hand, keeping him in bed at all times. At first the animal may hesitate to approach, but gradually it will do so. You may not get it the first time, but you’ll get it the first time.
Once you get her to eat her snacks out of your hand, it’s time to start trying to get the lovebird up on her finger. To do this, you have to lightly touch his abdomen, giving him a slight push to encourage him to climb up. You may be able to get off right away, so leave it at that time and try it again the next day. You will soon get used to getting on your finger, and then it will be time to take it out of the cage with great care. It is important that the room is closed, as it is not uncommon for the bird to try to explore its surroundings.
Is it advisable to let the lovebird out of its cage?
As with parakeets, there is no problem in letting the lovebird out of the cage to have fun flying around the house. But this should only be done when the bird has gained some confidence with its owner and with the rest of the people in the house.
You can let him fly around the house, but only if all the windows are closed, although at first it is best to close the door of the room where the cage is located to avoid problems. When the bird gets tired of exploring, it will return to its cage itself. And if you don’t, just put some of your favorite snacks on it and you’re done.
You don’t have to worry about the furniture hitting you, as this is common when you don’t know the room you’re in.
The cage, what does it have to be like?
The cage, the home of your lovebird, can’t be anyhow. You have to buy a cage that is of good quality, after all, it will be where the bird lives throughout its life.
Let’s start with size. It is often said that “the bigger the better”, but there is no reason to “go to the bigger” either. For a couple, for example, the cage would have to be 1 meter long, 0.5 meters wide and 0.5 meters high. So for the case in which you are going to have only one cage it has to be 0.5 meters long and 0.47 meters high and 0.47 meters wide. But the best thing is that it is designed for two birds, because this way the lovebird has enough space to fly. In addition, the cages always have toys and other entertainments inside, so they end up becoming small.
The shape of the cage is as important as the size. It should not be round, as this causes them insecurity as they do not have a reference point with which to feel at ease, since all the points in the cage are the same. Nor does it have to be a cage in the shape of a small house, since most of them are made of plastic, which makes it impossible for them to climb up the walls. So, the best option is a rectangular cage with horizontal bars so that they can be grabbed with the legs or the beaks. The distance between the bars should not be more than 1.5 cm, thus preventing them from sticking their heads between them and dying by suffocation.
At least the cage must have two doors, one for water and food, and the other for a nest outside if it is to be used for breeding or for the bird to go out and stretch its wings whenever it wishes. The feeders are best filled from the outside, because if they are filled from the inside they can be given an escape route from the cage. With water it would be the same, buying a plastic tube for the animal to drink with, especially in summer.
There is much debate about the bottom grid in lovebird cages. It is true that if it does not exist, it is easier to clean, but it also makes these animals eat food that has fallen on the ground, which may be contaminated by their feces, which is not recommended.
Something that makes it easy to clean, such as newspaper or kitchen paper, should be placed in the bottom of the cage along with special soil for poultry or ground corn. Never use cat litter, as its absorption power could dry the bird’s crop or use scented paper.
What is there to put in the cage of the lovebird?
As a general rule, when you buy a cage for lovebird you already have some plastic hangers included. Not that they are bad for them, but they don’t benefit from it either, because they can’t file their nails with plastic. The ones that are not recommended, even if they insist on tents, are the limpid hangers, since they are rough and can damage your legs.
It is best to use natural branch perches. Nowadays you can find a wide variety of these hangers in the shops, or make them in a homemade way. They are not harmful to birds and can be filed without problems in them, and can jump from one branch to another and thus do a little exercise in the cage.
The biggest mistake most first time owners make is to fill the cage with a lot of toys, which actually means that the animals have very little room to move around in as the cage ends up being too crowded. That’s why you only have to buy them a couple of toys, like a rope or a swing. Unlike other birds you can put a mirror on them, but it is not beneficial for the bird, as they are attracted to themselves when they believe they really have a partner in the cage and will not want to separate from it.
How do you clean the cage and the lovebird?
Lovebird are very clean birds, and you can see how they are grooming their wings every now and then. After all, they’re pretty flirtatious. That’s why they like to live in cages that are very clean.
Once a week the cage, including the bars and toys, should be completely disinfected using a cloth (exclusively for this task) with warm water and a little diluted bleach. Then it should be rinsed to avoid any debris and dried with a cloth or towel.
As for the bird, it is normal to clean its feathers by itself, but you can put a large cup, or a large bowl, with water for a bath and it will wash itself. He doesn’t really like it when humans clean him up, so it’s best to let him do it himself.
Where should the cage be placed?
Is it difficult to find the perfect location for an lovebird cage? Well, it can be quite a headache. Because it must be located in a place where there is no draught, that is, it must not be near doors or windows or balconies, as many people mistakenly do.
The best place to put the cage is in a place where two parts of the cage are attached to the wall, which will give the bird a sense of security, free of smoke and lights that can directly reach it.
What do lovebird eat?
The feeding of the inseparable papilleros is quite important, since they tend to get fat if they do not come out of their cage to stretch their wings. That’s why your diet has to be made up of a balanced diet.
It is normal for lovebird to eat a mixture that is composed of different types of seeds of a medium size, in which there are no seeds or fats that can fatten the animal. These are on the market, and the ideal composition is: 40% canaryseed, 12% yellow millet together with 12% white millet, 8% safflower, 4% buckwheat, 6% buckwheat, 6% cane, 2% peeled oats, 6% red millet, 6% linseed and 4% blackcurrant.
However, lovebird can take other types of food, this is essential to ensure good health. Therefore, something extra that can be given is a feed specially designed for them, which will provide them with many nutrients that will help them to be healthy. They may not want to eat it at first, but in time they will accept it as just another meal.
It is recommended that a couple of days a week in the diet have some fruits and vegetables so that your body can receive vegetables. Among the most recommended are strawberries, oranges, apples, pears, grapefruit, mandarins, papaya, garlic, lettuce, corn and green beans. All well chopped to make it much easier for them to eat.
However, they have a number of forbidden foods because they can be deadly to them, such as avocado, potatoes, pumpkin, meat, coffee, parsley, alcoholic and carbonated drinks, chocolate, sweets or salty foods. Nor should they be given milk instead of water to drink, as this can cause serious digestive problems.
To ensure that the bird is healthy, especially during the breeding season, it is best to give it some vitamins. These can be supplied through water, in small doses so that the animal does not detect them and does not make them “ascos”. There are many brands specially designed for these birds, so you have to go to them.
You have to think that when they are young, the young can’t eat the same as their parents. In these cases you have to look for breeding pastes, especially designed for the smallest of the cage. Many studies have shown that pups that feed on this type of pasta grow much better. Many varieties can be found in the markets, which have been manufactured in collaboration between the major brands and professional breeders.
What disease can a lovebird have?
Lovebird are not free of disease. Some can be fatal, but others, if caught early, can be cured in a few days.
- Respiratory akariasis: The bird breathes tired, has a scratchy throat and feathers. It is usually due to mites that nest in the mucous membranes of the throat. It can be easily cured with antibiotics.
- Cold: The common cold will make it difficult for you to breathe, it will emit mucus through your nostrils and you will have feathers that are cloudy. If you have a cold, it is because you are in a draughty area.
- Asthma: You will breathe fatigued and feel down. This is because you are in an area of the house with too much moisture or there are bacteria or fungi in your food. It is best to mix antibiotics with food to help you recover.
- Dysentery: You will start to release soft stools, your movements will be rough, but your movements will be brisk, but you may be reluctant and they may peck at you aggressively in the most severe cases. It can be produced by eating foods that are spoiled or an excess of overripe fruits or vegetables.
- Coccidiosis: The most common symptom is that your stool has blood in it from parasites that have spread to you. In these cases, the cage and the food must be disinfected before you eat it.
- Colibacillosis: They are not hungry and usually spend the day sleeping and anything is bad for them. It can be a life-threatening disease, so start giving antibiotics as soon as possible.
- Enteritis: You will not have an appetite because of intestinal inflammation, but you will be very thirsty. You will have parasites in your body due to eating bad food or emotional stress. Antibiotics should be given with the water to help you expel them.
- Abnormal moult: You will suddenly begin to have plucked body parts, with a distorted, clumsy plumage. In these cases, you should give her foods with lots of vitamins. It is often common because you feel lonely or have lost your partner.
- External parasites: Mites, lice or other parasites will be seen by the feathers. In these cases, the cage should be cleaned well and given a place to clean the bird.
- Pneumonia: You will have difficulty breathing because of mucus in your nostrils. Like the cold, it is caused by having the cage located in an area with strong air currents. Antibiotics and vitamins should be given to help you recover.
- Psittacosis: It is a rare disease nowadays, of viral origin, but sometimes it occurs. It has no cure and is deadly to humans as well. The bird will be nervous, very sleepy, will not comment, will not drink and will have strong attacks of diarrhea.
- Bites: If there are many mosquitoes in the house, it is not uncommon for the bird to have some bites. In these cases, some protectors should be placed in the cage to prevent the passage of mosquitoes. If the bird has been bitten, a special ointment should be applied to the affected area.
- Salmonellosis: Although it will look thin, your belly will be very swollen, your breathing will be laborious, you will be very thirsty, but you will not feel like eating. Antibiotics and type B vitamins should be given with food.
What steps do I have to follow to train a lovebird?
Some rightly call the lovebird a “feathered puppy”. It’s no surprise, since these animals are quite clever and can be trained, with enough constancy in training, so that they can learn a few tricks or two to teach guests.
No, he won’t speak as well as other parrots, but it is possible that when you call him, he may even come to you, take away the pencil you’re writing with or drink water from one of the glasses on the table. Even to go up to the head to peck it affectionately (some people feed them directly from it).
- The training of this bird should begin at an early age, when they are about two months or three months old. It’s the stage where you’re most ready to learn something new. But there are some things to consider:
- Although you may be very interested in learning new tricks, it is possible that the bird will end up getting bored of doing the same thing over and over again, so if you notice that you have lost interest in the exercise, it is best to leave it alone.
- Each day you have to dedicate a couple of sessions to your training, with a lot of patience, because at the beginning it will be difficult for you to pay attention to it.
You should reward him whenever he’s done something right with a snack or his favorite food. But to make it more “special,” it has to be something you eat only once in a while. A treat that you give him a couple of times a week at the most, which will make him work twice as hard to eat it.
When you start training, the room you are training in should be closed to prevent you from escaping through the window or door.
You don’t have to force him to do what he doesn’t want to do. Even if you already have a bond with your landlord, you may be a little reluctant to try something new no matter how much you notice it.
You may be pecked during the first few days of training. In this case you have to say no’ and put him back in the cage, so that he learns that this is not something he can do whenever he wants.
Normally, this bird is taught the trick to climb on its finger or go to eat by the hand. At first, this should be done inside the cage, but when the bird already has some confidence and can be taken off the owner’s finger, you can begin to prove that the owner comes to hear the name. At first you have to be close to the cage, and then, little by little, extend the distance, so that you get used to going as soon as you hear your name. If he succeeds, he must be rewarded with the candy he likes the most.
Among other things, he can be taught to go to the table to eat with the rest of the family or with the guests, even to do some small trick to catch the attention of those in the house. Under no circumstances should it be taken by force, since this makes him lose confidence. If he starts to fly over the room, he must be allowed to return to his cage.
What do you need to know about the breeding of the lovebird?
Although it is normal for these birds to make their own nests, an artificial nest can be placed for them to live in, made of wood or backpacking nests. In addition, these nests must be large, as they have between four and six eggs at each clutch.
There is no need to be frightened if you notice that the female becomes more aggressive, because when they are in heat, it is normal. She will want to be in the nest and it will be the male who feeds her by regurgitating the food in her beak. A way to demonstrate the love that is processed. They should not be forced into breeding, but rather nature should take its course.
Since the female is so weak during the breeding season, it is necessary to feed her a food that has calcium, a piece of fruit, or give her some vitamins with this mineral in the water to strengthen her.
After mating, the female will enter the nest and never come out again. It will lay an egg one day and not another, and can reach up to 6 eggs. Once the chicks are in place, it takes about 24 days of incubation for the chicks to hatch and another month and a half for the chicks to be independent enough to have their own module in the cage.
What else do you need to know to take good care of your lovebird?
Considering how to take care of your lovebird, do you want some final advice?
- It’s important not to overdo it with sweets, as they get fat easily. You have to get them used to the fact that a kiss, a caress or a praise can also be a reward.
- When trying to train him it is important that the training does not exceed 20 minutes, so that he does not run out. If you practice 20 minutes a day, you’ll be happy with the owner.
- It’s possible that if you try to feed him by the hand, he’ll peck at you at first. In this case, do not move your hand away, as you will understand that your beak is your weapon and could use it to attack.
- When establishing a bond with the bird, how to touch it, you have to be calm, as they detect nervousness and this also makes them nervous.
- Never shout at a lovebird or hurt him, as this generates fear and mistrust.
- You should spend at least 22 hours in your cage, so you won’t get too used to the outside. It’s okay to let it come out, but just to eat out of your hand or to show it to friends when you’re trained.