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Postby Liverpool1 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:13 pm

Good evening to one and all and hello
I did as of yesterday become the proud owner of two what I presume to be fishers lovebirds
I will try and put a picture of the pair if I can technology is not my best subjects if you get my drift ,
My reasons for getting the birds was and is mainly for pleasure at present , as you can imagine they are still very much adjusting to their new surroundings in my lounge the cage is in my opinion large enough for them to exercise inside it only for obvious reasons ,
I have set the cage up with them in mind and not myself and they have even now at this early stage
Shown me so to speak one or two little ideosincracies that they have as individuals ,
I have placed perches fresh willow dried and de barked , so they do not soil the seed or water pots
Allowed as much room in the cage for the birds to exercise as ther is ,
The cage is fed by natural light from a double glazed window with no draughts , given its Autumn the sunlight is much lower and not as intense ,
Cuttle fish bone and iodine blocks have been blitzed into power in seperate feeder bowls
A mixed variation of seeds including hemp seed is availible to them and fresh fruit and veg chopped up as from tomorrow will also be availible , dried egg shells blitzed into near powder form too
As for the birds themselves and their past history ,
None what so ever ,
Whilst they are obviously nervous at the moment they are feeding drinking and exploring the cage
And are watching and listening to everything , as for myself I am doing the same and tailoring my movements so not to make them more nervous or stressed ,
My question is , am I doing anything wrong at present , is there anything else I can do to give them confidence in what I am doing at present I do talk to them and whistle especially when I walk in and out of the room or coming in from being outside so they hopefully will know it's me
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 1
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Fischers
Flight: Yes

Re: Hello

Postby Pajarita » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:25 am

Hi, Liverpool and welcome to the forum! First of all, you need to tell us their names because we like to find out as much as possible about our new friends. Second, do you know the genders? Because the thing with lovebirds [regardless of the actual species] is that you can put a male and a female together or two males but you cannot house two females together because they will fight and, eventually, one of them will be hurt badly or killed by the other. Female lovies can be very aggressive and they don't like other females in their 'nest'. So I would strongly recommend you make sure you have the right combination before you go any further -and don't be fooled by the fact that they seem to get along real well because scared birds will always behave perfectly and sexually immature birds don't have the aggression yet but will get it when they mature].

Now, as to whether what you are doing is good or not. Hemp seeds are not good for them this time of the year, they are way too high in protein and although you can get away with giving them a tiny bit of them during the breeding season [spring], lovebirds need to eat very low protein or their livers and kidneys get destroyed and they will die before their time. I no longer keep lovebirds but have a pair of parrotlets [which are the South American counterparts of the African lovebirds] and years ago, I had a large flock of lovebirds [more than 30] so I have a bit of experience on them and what I would recommend for them is gloop [or a similar whole grain based dish] accompanied by a piece of fruit and/or veggie and a leafy green [they love their greens!].

Cuttlebone is great but don't grind it into a powder, put it as it is between the bars and they will bite pieces off it. No iodine block, please. There is no need to supplement it [they get enough from food] and giving them more than they need will mess up their thyroid. What you do need is a good quality multivitamin/mineral supplement that you can add either to their soft food [gloop or similar] or their water [get the powder that is soluble in water, don't get the drops, they are not as efficient] because even when you feed a perfect diet, you need to supplement the Vit D3 or they would not be able to absorb the calcium in the cuttlebone and food. I use a powder one that I mix in the water for the little ones and in the food for the large ones. I give them a daily dosage twice a week - which is much less than it's recommended but my birds eat a very good diet and derive most of their needs from it so I only need to supplement the D3 which I do via this multivitamin and some extra D3 during the breeding season. And, please, do not give them eggshells. I know that a lot of people recommend it but what they don't realize is that eggshells are full of the same bad things they feed the hens that lay them so unless you are getting your eggs from pastured hens fed a complete vegetarian, organic diet with no antibiotics or hormones, you are not doing them any favor by giving them the shells - plus, you are already supplying a source of calcium with the cuttlebone.

A word of caution about their diet: if you free-feed any protein food [seeds, pellets, nutriberries, avicakes, etc], you will never get them to eat enough produce no matter how much you try. It won't happen because they are hard-wired to crave protein and will always fill themselves up with it - it's the way nature evolved them because protein is needed for life and procreation but it's not found in rich, abundant sources very often in the wild. Not free-feeding protein will also allow you to use what we call 'high value item' [which is always a protein food like a small sprig of millet or a sunflower seed, for example] to train them - and to get them back into their cages after they come out to fly [if you feed gloop in the morning and for all day picking and seeds at night, you can let them out 2 hours before sunset and, when you put the seed mix dinner in their cage, they will go back into it on their own].

Now, housing. You don't say how large the cage is but they need to be able to actually fly in it [and that means 6 or more complete flaps of the wings] and it needs to be placed or to be high enough on its own that their roosting perch [the one they use for sleeping which is usually one that is placed high up at the back of the cage] is at your eye level when you are standing up [so you wouldn't 'loom' over them]. You did great on putting natural tree branches as perches and in taking the bark off because willow bark is very high in salicylates [aspirin] but, in the future, I would recommend you use a less problematic wood and leave the bark because it serves two purposes: entertainment [they love to peel it off] and to keep their nails trim and their beaks clean. Here is a list of safe woods for you to use as reference: The placement in front of a big window is perfect but make sure the back is against a wall or, if this is not possible, drape a large material on the back to make a 'fake wall' [this makes them feel safe and reduces stress].

As to what you are doing: talking and whistling to them is exactly the right thing to do. Let me know if there is anything you don't understand or if you have any questions about what I wrote.
Norwegian Blue
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17446
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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