How to Care for a Lovebird

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Caring for a lovebird is not as difficult as you might think. However, there are certain guidelines for housing, feeding, and medical care that is essential for a healthy bird.

Lovebirds make wonderful pets for anyone

who is a bird lover and also for those who do not have the time it takes to care for a more demanding pet? Lovebirds are intelligent and beautiful birds. According to Louise Bauck BSc, DVM, MVSc, who has written the website article "Lovebird Care Sheet", lovebirds are easy to care for, and they do not get many of the illnesses that other birds do. When choosing a lovebird for a pet, the same article suggests looking for a bird that has been hand-raised. If the bird has been hand-raised, it will be very friendly and affectionate. Also, if you are unable to give the lovebird lots of social attention, "Lovebird Care Sheet" suggests getting more than one bird.

When choosing a cage for your bird, "Lovebird Care Sheet" says to make sure the bars are not too far apart for a young bird. The cage should have a flat bottom without wires or bars because they could pose a hazard to the bird's feet. "Lovebird Care Sheet" provides suggestions for cage accessories. Perches of varying diameters should be made available in order to give the birds feet the exercise they require. Natural branches such as beech, alder, citrus, apple, and eucalyptus make great perches for a lovebird's cage. Lovebirds like to have toys for their entertainment. Toys with mirrors or bells are great choices. It is also mentioned that lovebirds enjoy bathing. A small saucer of water can be provided at the bottom of the cage once a week. Be sure to keep the cage out of drafty areas, especially while the lovebird is enjoying a bath.

The same article recommends feeding lovebirds a diet including greens, vegetables, and fruits, in addition to commercially formulated foods, especially for lovebirds. The fruits and vegetables should be chopped into small pieces and either combined with their regular diet or served in a separate cup. "Lovebird Care Sheet," says food for a young bird should be placed in cups on the floor of the cage until they are able to locate food cups on upper levels. The cups should be washed and filled with fresh food and water each day. A mineral block and a cuttlebone containing grit should be provided for extra nutrition and to help keep the beak trimmed.

"Introduction to Love Birds", written by Roland G. Dubuc, says a healthy lovebird is attentive, active, glossy, and appears to be well-fed. It goes on to say, the bird's eyes should appear clear and healthy, and its vent and the feathers surrounding the vent should be free from matter. If a lovebird fluffs out its feathers, keeps its eyes closed for long periods of time, or sits with its head down or under a wing, the bird is seriously ill and may not be able to be saved. "Introduction to Love Birds" recommends keeping a new lovebird separate from other pet birds for at least thirty days.

The new bird needs to be observed for any signs of sickness or disease. A bird that appears to be ill should be kept warm in a quiet area away from other birds, according to "Introduction to Love Birds". Also, the lovebird's favorite foods, seeds, honey with water, and warm, thin oatmeal should be provided for sustenance until a veterinarian can be consulted. If your lovebird stops eating or shows any signs of illness, seek medical help as soon as possible. Consult a professional who specializes in the care of birds if one is available in your area.

"Lovebird Care Sheet" suggests taking a new bird for a veterinary check-up within the first week of bringing it home. It says that an upper respiratory infection called chlamydiosis, which can affect humans, can be transferred from lovebirds, and it is suggested that this rare but potential problem is discussed with a veterinarian.   

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