How many lovebirds should I start with?
We recommend that you start with a single pair and then gradually increase the number of birds. Check first how much time and money you have to invest in caring for the parents and feeding the young birds to see if you are willing to continue breeding lovebirds. Remember that Lovebirds are quite noisy birds, which obviously gets worse as the number of birds increases and may annoy some neighbors. Another important factor to consider is whether you can get good homes for all the chicks.
What should the cage for breeding lovebirds be like?
Before acquiring your pair of lovebirds, you should have a large bird cage with enough space for the birds to fly without colliding with any objects. In addition, there should be room to install a nest for lovebirds, different perches or branches and some bird toys, very necessary to make the life of your lovebirds a little more interesting. If they have enough space, the inseparable ones will not be stressed and will perform their task as parents much better.
How to differentiate between male and female lovebirds?
Lovebirds are ready to breed when they reach one year of age. Some may be sexually mature a little earlier, but it is advisable to wait until they are at least one year old. Males and females are virtually indistinguishable from each other physically, but you can identify them fairly well by their behavior. Mature females can carry nest building material under their wings without dropping it, while males are capable of regurgitating food as a sign of affection. Do not rely on naturally occurring pairs, they may be same-sex birds.
How are the nests for breeding lovebirds?
Clean and disinfect the nest thoroughly before placing it in the bird cage. There are many types of nests made especially for lovebirds. The ones for budgerigars are too small and when the chicks grow up they are too tight and get dirty very quickly. As soft material for the nest you can use small twigs, torn sheets of paper, hay, leaves, non-toxic wood shavings and even absorbent bedding for rodents. It is good to put a layer of soft, absorbent material at the bottom of the nest to keep the eggs stable and to absorb the waste from the chicks. This material should be large to prevent the little ones from swallowing it.
How do lovebirds reproduce?
The male lovebird begins to court the female by feeding her. Mating then occurs and 3-10 days later the female lays the first egg. She will then continue to lay one or more eggs per day for a total of 4-6 eggs. Lovebird chicks hatch between 22-25 days and can take up to 24 hours to hatch. During these hours the chicks finish absorbing important nutrients from the yolk, so we recommend that you remain calm and do not intervene in the process.
What do I have to do when the lovebird chicks are born?
The parents will be responsible for feeding and grooming the chicks. It is very important that you offer them an abundant amount of brood paste rich in good quality protein. You can also add some chopped hard-boiled egg, including part of the shell as a source of calcium. Make sure there is always fresh, clean water in the cage, so that both adult and newly hatched lovebirds stay well hydrated. Remember to keep the cage cleaner than ever, but try to clean it without disturbing the tranquility of the inseparable family.
When can I catch lovebird chicks?
It is very important that you do not open the nest prematurely, unless absolutely necessary. When the chicks have reached 2 weeks of age, you can start to catch them to feed and tame them. With this technique you will obtain birds that are very docile and accustomed to contact with people. Some breeders hold the lovebird chicks for about 30 minutes a day to pet them, but leave the feeding to the parents. At 8 weeks the little lovebirds can become independent from their parents, they feed themselves and you have to start offering them a diet as varied as possible, so that they get used to try different foods.