What should you expect from your lovebird?

Lovebirds are relatively nondestructive birds that can make entertaining companions for families. They are mischievous birds that like to hide, such as under paper, in shirt pockets or in long hair. They are generally poor talkers, but they can easily learn tricks. A single lovebird in the home can be relatively quiet and may be affectionate, although some adult birds may be nippy. In a colony situation, however, lovebirds do not live up to their name, as they are territorial and may kill new additions or weak birds that behave erratically (including youngsters).

What do lovebirds do all day?

Although lovebirds can be appreciated as a single pet, they are very sociable and enjoy the company of another lovebird. The pair can spend hours preening each other and chatting. Lovebirds can also be easily amused with simple toys. Because they love to chew, any toy must be free of toxic metals, hooks, sharp objects or small, easily consumed components. Providing chew toys or fresh-cut branches from nontoxic trees is recommended for lovebirds. Check with local authorities for recommendations of safe trees.

Are lovebirds tame?

Young, hand-raised lovebirds are calm and adapt readily to new surroundings and handling procedures. They should be exposed early in life to novel situations (car travel, veterinarian visits, and multiple visitors in the household, other household pets) so that they are well adjusted to these events. Parent-raised birds are difficult to tame.

Why should the wings be clipped?

Lovebirds that are allowed unrestricted freedom in the home can encounter numerous physical dangers or toxins; therefore, wing clipping is recommended. The goal of clipping the wings is not to make the bird incapable of flight, but to prevent it from developing rapid and sustained flight and to prevent escape. Maintenance trimming is required eight to twelve weeks after the start of a molt cycle.

How can you keep your lovebird healthy, happy and safe?

  • Give lots of attention.
  • Feed a fresh, high quality, toxin-free pelleted diet.
  • Limit supplementation to small amounts of chopped, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables.
  • Do not feed grit, as it is not necessary with a formulated diet
  • Provide clean, fresh, uncontaminated water.
  • Remove and replace food and water containers twice daily to maximize activity in a healthy bird.
  • Provide opportunity for bath, showering, or misting.

Housing for your lovebird should:

  • Be as large as possible.
  • Be clean, secure, safe, and easy to service.
  • Be constructed of durable, nontoxic materials.
  • Contain variable-sized perches made of clean, nontoxic, pesticide-free branches.
  • Have food and water containers placed at opposite ends of the enclosure.
  • Avoid having perches located directly over food and water containers.
  • Contain toys and accessories that are moved around occasionally to prevent boredom and aggression.
  • Offer occasional opportunity for protected outdoor exposure to fresh air, sunlight, and exercise.

Things you must keep away from your lovebird:

  • Ceiling fans
  • Hot cooking oil
  • Teflon coated items
  • Leg chains
  • Sandpaper-covered perches
  • Tobacco and cigarette smoke
  • Chocolate, avocado, salt, alcohol
  • Toxic houseplants
  • Pesticides
  • Toxic fumes
  • Easily dismantled toys
  • Dogs, cats, ferrets, and young children
  • Cedar, redwood, and pressure-treated wood shavings
  • Sources of lead or zinc

For more information visit: Association of Avian Veterinarians