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Hello all!

Postby Diom » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:15 am

Hi there, I'm Diom, mom of two lovebirds.

These are Apple (fischeri, male) and Blueberry (Personata [Black Mask], female).
Image
Apple's age is unknown, we (being me and my partner) got him this year july from the petstore. He is clipped and not ringed. We're very anxiously waiting for his second molt (not implying he has had one already, since we don't know, but in size he looks like an adult lovebird) so he can get his flight feathers back so he can fly with Blueberry.
Blueberry is female, ringed, fully flighted and is approximately 6-7 months of age as of now (she has been ringed since april, according to the breeder). She came to me in August with a beak deformation, but that has settled nearly immediately after staying with me. No clue why it settled, but obviously I'm happy for her. :hatched:

I have read a big part of the forums before actually registering, taking tips about letting them experience the full sun cycle from dawn to dusk and slowly adjusting their diet (as they refused any food but seed mixes and spray millet, like with other people on here) and currently they accept carrots, broccoli, dandelion leafs and madarin oranges as well. Still have to introduce them to the famous "gloop" once I find a store that sells whole grains without additives.

Now, both Apple and Blueberry are extremely nippy and aggressive with anything and everything, sometimes even eachother, so I'm wondering how long they will keep on being hormonal after changing up their lifestyle slowly (I haven't gone from only seeds to fruits, veggies and greens during the day and seeds for dinner immediately, I added small pieces of veggies to the seeds increasingly over the span of 2 weeks. Also I adjusted them to the lightcycle over the span of a week, putting them to bed 20 mins earlier at a time.)
Also, what are the chances of them to become tame at all at their age? The person I usually ask for advice told me they are irredeemable, however I did read several times that with proper feeding, sleeping and training they are able to be tamed even at an adult age, is there any evidence for either of the sides?

Thanks for having me :)
Last edited by Diom on Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Diom
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 4
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Hello all!

Postby Pajarita » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:54 am

Hi, Diom, Apple and Blueberry [LOVE the names!!!!].

First of all, there is no way that Blueberry is hormonal because, if she was born in April, she is not yet a sexually mature adult, she is still a juvenile (they mature at ten months of age] so she is not producing any sexual hormones yet. Because you don't know Apple's age and it could be a year old for all you know, it could be already producing sexual hormones but they hardly ever show any real breeding behaviors when so young so I would not worry about that at all.
I don't know if the store and breeder had Apple and Blueberry DNA'd but I seriously doubt it so, if it was you that had it done, you can skip this part but, if you are going by what they tell you, I would strongly suggest you get it done because you can put a male and female together and you can put two males together but you cannot put two females in the same cage because, if you do, sooner or later, one of them will be hurt or killed by the other one. You will find people who tell you that they have two females housed together and that they are fine but you have no idea the number of times I have read about situations like this not ending happily. The reason I am saying this is that you say they bicker a lot and, in my personal experience, this never happens with males and females. Also, females are the nippy and aggressive and you report that they both are so they might both be female...

As to the diet, in my experience and opinion, lovies are excellent eaters. They love all leafy greens and all fruits and some veggies, too [corn on the cob, carrot, sweet and spicy peppers, sweet potato, squash, cucumbers, sweet peas, etc]. As to the grains, you can order them online. That's what I used to do back when there was no Whole Foods and the supermarkets did not have anything organic or healthy. Try Barry Farms in Ohio, that's what I used to use. But Amazon has everything and then some so you can also go there. Lovies love grains just as much as they love seeds so you will find they go for the gloop with no problem [just put it on a white paper plate at the bottom of the cage because they are partial ground foragers and doing this makes the whole foraging experience more natural - parrots are not instinctual feeders but they do react better and faster when offered more natural conditions so ground foragers will more readily eat from the ground while canopy feeders prefer heights for their food].

As to the person who told you they are irredeemable... well, I disagree. I don't believe there is such a thing as an irredeemable animal. The final result will never be the same as you would get with a hand-fed companion species of parrot but all parrots are highly social and they are all highly intelligent so with patience and persistence, one can achieve wonders so just don't rush things, take it slowly and you will see. I've never tried to tame or train any of my birds but they all end up doing very well with me, thank you very much! I had a flock of over 30 lovebirds when I had the rescue. All of them came from different places and had lived under different conditions and, even though all I did was feed them and talk to them, they all ended up trusting me and I would like to think that they also liked me because they would perch on my head, my shoulder, get into my pockets and sleeves, took treats from my hand, and even perched on them when I was feeding them - and all this without me doing anything at all!. Liz, one of our oldest members here, has a small flock of rescued cockatiels, most of them neglected and probably even abused in their former life because there are handicapped ones and, if you read her updates, you will see that they all ended up liking her and even kissing her!

Now, please don't take this the wrong way because it's not a criticism but simply a suggestion: if I were you, I would say I have a Fischer and a Black Mask because although most people would recognize the Fischeri name, very few will recognize the Personata.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13422
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: Hello all!

Postby Diom » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:44 am

Thanks for the reply!

It helps that you clarified that they only start being hormonal after 10 months, in various other places I had read that they are full adults after 6 months, so obviously I was a bit worried now that Blueberry reached that stage.

I indeed did not get them sexed by any vets, because I went with the breeder's words for Blueberry and then noticed that she has a much wider stance than Apple does, so I concluded that Apple is most likely a male. I'll definitely get them sexed asap to avoid any fatal conflict between the two in case they are both female.

For the food I'll definitely try Amazon, as I am not US based and shipping from Ohio will probably cost me a fortune. Thanks a bunch for that tip - I absolutely forgot that Amazon is an option for this at all. :D

I'll definitely check out Liz's updates on the tiels for some success stories - I'm glad to hear that they are indeed still able to become friendly and happy birds!

I also edited my post to say Black Mask as well as Personata, for clarity, as you mentioned. Personally my first language isn't english, so I tend to use latin names more often in order to communicate with other bird owners in my area. ;)
Diom
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 4
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Hello all!

Postby liz » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:10 am

Give them perches at face level so they think you are at their level.

I use stirofom plates for wet foods so it does not soak in. They also like to chew up the plate when their bellys are full.

Please excuse my spelling. I never learned to spell and at 68 I don't think I ever will.
User avatar
liz
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 6903
Location: Hernando FL
Number of Birds Owned: 11
Types of Birds Owned: DYH Amazon Rainbow
BF Amazon Myrtle
Cockatiels: Shadow Tammy Tommy Flutter Phoenix Jackie Andy Gimpy Louise
Flight: Yes

Re: Hello all!

Postby Pajarita » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:19 am

Ahhh, yes, the old 'the pelvis opening is wider in females' myth... I am sorry but that simply does not work. You need to get them DNA'd because, as I said, two females don't work out and I've found lovies to be particularly difficult to sex. I can do it with canary babies and have a certain degree of accuracy with other monomorphic species like amazons, quakers, cockatiels and some conures but I am not good at all with lovies.

English is also not my first language and I also tend to use latin words a lot so I understand completely where you are coming from. I also knew which species you were referring to when you said Personata but that's because I am always doing research and have a good memory [so far! I would assume that it will start to fail as I get older...]

I only use paper plates, I don't like to put anything made out of plastic in the birds' cages because they chew it and, as we all know, plastic is a carcinogenic. Liz, paper plates are cheaper and healthier for them and it doesn't matter if they chew it or if the food soaks it because you will end up throwing it out, anyway.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13422
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: Hello all!

Postby Diom » Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:23 pm

Give them perches at face level so they think you are at their level.

The top perch in their cage is at eye level when sitting (which I am doing most of the day as I work an office job from home as of currently). Or do you mean eye level when standing as well?

Please excuse my spelling. I never learned to spell and at 68 I don't think I ever will.

There's absolutely no need to worry about that, I can understand what you mean perfectly fine after all. :D

Ahhh, yes, the old 'the pelvis opening is wider in females' myth

Yes... Until now every lovie owner (including breeders) that I have met in real life swear by it, still, so I hoped there was some credibility to it.

You need to get them DNA'd

Excited for this part. Have to get in touch with the aviary vet first, obviously, so I'll have to wait until Monday for that... (so far away, an entire day, oh no! ;) )

paper plates are cheaper and healthier for them and it doesn't matter if they chew it or if the food soaks it because you will end up throwing it out, anyway.

Paper plates are hardly obtainable outside of the barbeque season here, apparently. I went to the store to fetch some, but they had everything in stock as plastic or aluminium, not paper. Maybe better luck in a store that's not a grocery store (although I did see them there... during summer.)
Are pieces of cardboard also safe to use as a "plate" or should that be avoided as well? Unprinted parts, of course.

Update about the gloop: I found an organic mix of red rice, black rice, spelt, barley, wheat, buckwheat and oats. Also some organic quinoa and bulgur. It happened to be a new arrival in the isle for organic foods, so lucky me! I'll cook some up tomorrow and see how they like it. (I will probably have to mix in some seeds to make sure they consider eating it at all, however. In dutch we have the lovely saying of "wat de boer niet kent, dat eet hij niet" (a farmer only eats familiar foods) and it seems to resonate with these little ones a lot, for the better or the worse, haha. :D
Diom
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 4
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Hello all!

Postby Pajarita » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:54 am

Yes, cardboard works just fine. For the large species, I sometimes use magazines or catalogs that have not been read instead of plates and, what I do is, every day, I pull the one or two top pages that got dirty and use them again. Any kind of thick paper product will work - even brown paper bags [I don't know what they use in your country for groceries at the supermarket but, here, you have the choice of plastic or paper bags that are made out of a thick, brown, paper].

When Liz said 'at your eye level' she meant when you are standing up [little birds don't like to have a giant alien looming over them while they are in a cage and cannot get out]. My small species have very large cages - the budgies have one that goes almost from the floor to about 6 ft [about 1.8 m] and the parrotlets and the small conures cages are on stands and the tops are also at about 6 ft.

Great on the grain mix discovery! :thumbsup: Make sure it has nothing but grains because, usually, people products have additives or salt.

I don't know how it works in your country but, here, you can do the DNA test via mail. You download the forms online and send them back with a couple of chest feathers. It's fast, easy and inexpensive. I sometimes use blood instead of a feather but I never make the vet draw blood just for that, I just do it when they are getting their first physical and, as this requires bloodwork, I just ask the vet to draw a few more drops and put them in the little vial they send you [if you do blood, you have to request the 'kit' first]
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13422
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: Hello all!

Postby Diom » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:08 pm

Another update on the gloop: They're loving it, on the first day I had to mix some seed in, but on day two they digged in right away without lure, seed or anything. It's so lovely to see them nibble away on peas as well, almost looks like they're trying to imitate having a clown's nose, haha!

The DIY kits (sending feathers) specify that you have to pull the bird's feathers out, not just use the ones that they lose either way, so I'm a little concerned about the pain from that? Also they request 7 chest feathers, is that normal?
I really don't want my lovies to go through a more traumatic experience than necessary, especially considering the fact that they still aren't used to being handled in first place...
Diom
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 4
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Hello all!

Postby liz » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:34 am

When I ran out of Styrofoam plates, I used table plates. I guess I will do that from now on. I don't want their gloop on paper. I use a large tray for their seed at night. They like to scratch through it like chickens.
User avatar
liz
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 6903
Location: Hernando FL
Number of Birds Owned: 11
Types of Birds Owned: DYH Amazon Rainbow
BF Amazon Myrtle
Cockatiels: Shadow Tammy Tommy Flutter Phoenix Jackie Andy Gimpy Louise
Flight: Yes

Re: Hello all!

Postby Pajarita » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:51 am

Yes, in my personal experience, all birds love gloop but the small aviary species are particularly easy to switch to it because they are all partial ground foragers and granivores so gloop, which is made out of whole grains, spread out on a flat surface at the bottom of the cage is their cup of tea. Have you added fresh corn kernels to it? If you haven't, do it and you'll see -they will go first for the corn every time :D Right now my gloop has chopped broccoli, peas, corn, carrots [diced] and butternut squash [diced] which I get frozen and allow to thaw [freezing 'breaks' the walls of the cells so although the veggies are not cooked, they end up much softer after they thaw making easy for the little ones to eat them]. It also has sweet potatoes or yams which I cook either in the oven or in the microwave [in a Potato Express bag] with the skin on and peel after it cools. And giant white hominy corn [aka mote] but these grains might be too big for your little ones. This meal, in itself, offers a large range of vitamins and minerals but, when you feed it along raw produce, it becomes a perfectly balanced diet for them because the raw produce might not be as nutritious as the raw but the raw provides the phytonutrients they need for good health.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13422
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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