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Mate problems

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Mate problems

Postby Izzy » Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:52 pm

Im not one to go on places and ask questions but im really stumped on whats going with my lovebirds
Im just going to give a little summary of before the incident.
-I have two lovebirds and i bought them together when they were still being syringed fed 3x a day, and they were super loving up until i left on a 3 day trip. I came back and they had gotten very aggressive out of nowhere.
-Anyways, my brother had also bought two lovebirds the same age as mine and a parrotlet. When we pit the lovebirds together they all got along really well for a while but then started to get a bit aggressive towards each other so we stopped putting them together.
- His female lovebird one night escaped her cage and somehow found her way to the parrotlets cage and brutally killed her. Two weeks later that same female lovebird suddenly died with no warning.
-It’s been a year now and everything was going fine until i had to leave for a 2 week trip. I had left my birds with my parents who are experienced with them. I had told them and my brother to not mix my birds with his because of their fighting. Although i told them, my brother still went and put his male bird with mine. When put together his male lovebird has an odd attraction to my male lovebird, and they become mean to my female.
-I was unaware of them being put together until today when i received a call saying that his male lovebird had brutally killed my female lovebird. She was found with all her feathers of her head missing and her beak almost off.
-its very sad and my heart broke in pieces because she was my first and her birthday was just last week. Im very confused on what is going on with my brothers lovebirds and why they keep killing. The only reason i could think is that mine or my brothers “male lovebird” is actually a female and got territorial over my female and killed her
- Can anyone help me with this becAuse honestly im at a loss for words and i dont even know who to ask or what to research. Please help me!
Izzy
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 4
Number of Birds Owned: 4
Types of Birds Owned: Lovebirds and Cockatiels
Flight: Yes

Re: Mate problems

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:51 am

First of all, please accept my condolences for your loss. It always hurts when one of our birds dies but, when it's something that could have been prevented, I think it hurts even more.

Now, lovebirds are more pair oriented than flock oriented. This does not mean they cannot live in flock because they do - and very happily and without aggression, I might add (I had a floc of over 30 of them). But the conditions need to be perfect. What does 'perfect conditions' mean? Well, it means that you need to know the genders (and you can only do this through DNA or, in the case of a female, if it lays eggs) mostly because females, the dominant gender, will fight with each other (and even kill), the pairs need to be mate-bonded to each other (and it doesn't matter if it's a male/female pair or two males but it doesn't work with two females), they have to be kept at a strict solar schedule with full exposure to dawn and dusk (ESSENTIAL to prevent them from becoming overly-hormonal which, in turn, makes them VERY aggressive), they need to get the right kind of diet (cannot free-feed protein food!) and the housing needs to be adequate (because crowding = aggression).

You can't just put one lovebird in the same cage with another lovebird without making sure they are of the right gender or before they get to know one another (this needs to be done gradually and under supervision). They are fine when they are babies and even when they are juveniles and young adults but, by the second year, you have problems.

So, what you need to do is re-evaluate the conditions: are they kept at a human light schedule (lights on before sunrise and after sunset) or a solar one? Are they getting the right diet (gloop or produce for breakfast and budgie seeds for dinner)? Are the pairs of the right gender? Is the housing large enough to accomodate more than two birds (mind you, my parrotlet pair is in a flight cage that is 36 x 36 x 22 because small aviary species are very flighty and need A LOT of room)?
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15508
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Mate problems

Postby Izzy » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:47 pm

Thank you for replying!
And yes I miss her dearly and I’m very upset I didn’t get to see her before she passed. I had just gotten off a cruise and I was on my way home when i received the call. It hurt most knowing that a few days ago, last year was her 1st bday and i was going to get her some new toys and treats as soon as i got back, and i didn't get to.
I was kinda worried no one would answer me at all but im glad someone did!
-When i first bought my lovebirds I had originally asked for two males, the man i bought them from checked the underside by feeling their pelvic bones. He would say that if it felt like the pelvic had like a gap or felt open??? It meant it was a female because that's where the egg would pass through. And a closer pelvic??? Meant it was a male. I don’t know if thats true or not but i Trusted him because he raises many many birds. He told me they were both male but to make sure, i should come back when they have grown a bit more. Which i did and when he re-checked them, he said one of them was actually a female.
-As for living arrangements for them, i bought a cage that is big enough to hold up to 4 lovebirds. I don’t know the exact measurements but i can find out once I'm home. But big enough to when they grow up they can have plenty of space.
- i live in a small apartment, with a big window. Every morning when i wake up I immediately open the blinds a bit to let sun enter. Their cage was placed nearish to the window but not directly in sunlight. And at night when i would go to bed, i was told to cover the cage with a thin blanket so it would resemble “night time”. ( I was told this because I don’t sleep in complete darkness. I have Christmas lights all around my wall, and that it would interfere with their sleep times or something ).
- Their food is a mixture of things, its a special diet mix that the bird man would make that all birds can enjoy. I can see what he puts in it next time i pick some up.
- Everyday when i get home i open their cage so they can have some time out. They would go on the top of the cage and chill out on the perches i have on top. Sometimes they would fly around but always managed to get back on their cage.
I hope maybe some of this information helped in possibly figuring out what was going on!
Izzy
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 4
Number of Birds Owned: 4
Types of Birds Owned: Lovebirds and Cockatiels
Flight: Yes

Re: Mate problems

Postby Pajarita » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:43 am

Well, my dear, the hard truth is that nobody can tell the gender of a lovebird by feeling its pelvis (and the breeder proved it by admitting the original sexing was wrong - now, if the original assessment was wrong, why would one believe that the second was 100% correct?). Breeders are not bird lovers, if they were, they would not breed them for the pet trade (where they inevitably suffer) and sell them to whoever has the money for it without even trying to make sure they end up in a good home - would they? Breeders want to sell the babies and, like any salesman, they would tell you what they think you want to hear. They are also not really concerned about giving them the care that would ensure a long life because, usually, they 'retire' their breeders after a few years (because they are already half-depleted) so they don't feed right, they feed to make them hormonal so they can get more clutches. Parrolets can NOT be free=fed seeds. Period. It's not that seeds are bad for them, they are not. It's that seeds to parrotlets is like fried food for us - you can eat a little but if all you eat is fried food every day, all day long, you are not going to stay healthy for very long.

As to the light schedule, the trick is NOT to turn on any artificial light on until the sun is completely out and there are rays already shining into the room and to turn them off when the sun is halfway down to the horizon because they need to have, at least, 1.5 hours of exposure to the different light that happens at dawn and dusk. Without exposure to this 'special' light, they cannot set their 'internal clock' - this is not my opinion, it's a scientific fact (research avian photoperiodism, avian endocrine system and avian reproductive system) so, although covering the cage with a black out material is the right thing to do, it needs to be done before the first light breaks in the sky (this time of the year, the latest you can do it is at 5:30 am) and cannot be covered until the night falls naturally and the bird is already asleep (without any artificial lights in the room, of course - this time of the year, I draw the blinds at 8:30 pm). The actual time the lights come on or off depends on the season with the summer having very long days and the winter having very short ones - which our pet birds need to follow the same as the birds out in the trees and the chickens do.

Please have your bird DNAd so you know the gender and make sure the new mate you get for him/her (please adopt, don't buy from a breeder) is of the opposite gender unless you have a male, in which case you could get another male although this would not be my choice. I actually strive to find mates for all my aviary species and, for the companion species, at the very least, another bird of the same species. But, for lovebirds, I would always find a mate. There is a very good reason why these birds are called lovebirds in English and inseparables in Spanish, French and Italian and it's because both nouns describe them to a T. They really and truly love each other very deeply and they are ALWAYS together! They eat, drink, fly together, they kiss and preen each other all the time and, when they sleep, they actually lean on each other so their bodies are always touching... Sheesh, people could learn a thing or two about love from these little birds! And there is NEVER any aggression between them - NEVER EVER! Males are incredibly solicitous of their females and very, very tender.

So, review the diet because free-feeding seeds will end up killing your birds (fatty liver disease, kidney malfunction, obesity, cardio-vascular problems) and, before that, they will have vitamin/mineral deficiencies (I feed gloop and produce for breakfast and, for dinner, one tablespoon of budgie seed for two birds but I also give them a good multivitamin/mineral supplement two or three times a week) and rethink the light schedule because it seems to me that they are following a human light schedule (light when you get up and off when you go to bed) instead of a bird one.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15508
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes


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