· Genus: Agapornis
· Scientific Name: Agapornis fisheri, Agapornis parsonata
· Adult bird Size: 6 to 7 inches
· Average Clutch Size: 4 to 6 eggs
· Incubation period: Almost 25 days
· Lifespan: 15 to 20 years
Lovebirds are one of the small types of parrots. Their charming beauty attracts everyone to them because of their shiny feathers and wonderful colors. They are very affectionate with humans.
There are nine species of lovebird and are all belong to the genus Agapornis. They belong to the order of Psittaciformes. The most common species which are kept as pets are Fisher’s lovebird, Peach-faced lovebird, blue masked, and a black-masked lovebird. In Wild, lovebirds live in small flocks and make their nests in trees, rocks, and shrubs.
While nowadays many breeders working on them to produce good quality and a rare lovebird. Therefore, the cost of these rare birds is high and every bird lover can’t afford them. Some rare lovebirds are opaline, par-blue, green opaline, creamino, and pale-fellow lovebirds.
Lovebirds in Captivity:
They are one step higher than budgerigar parrots. They are very good for keeping them as pet birds. They don’t require much care like other small pet birds. Lovebird is a very fascinating pet bird and a part of a family.
You don’t need to keep them in a pair. You can keep a single bird if you want but he will require more attention and care. They are very human-friendly and playful birds. These birds are available in a variety of colors you can select anyone to keep him as a pet as well as you can train him it depends on your choice.
The minimum recommended cage size for lovebirds is two feet (2ft long *2ft wide *2ft tall) for one pair. However, we always advise providing a large length cage as much you can. It helps to keep birds healthy and strong.
The bar spacing should be less than a half-inch. Natural branches and rough-surfaced perches of different diameters (less than 1 inch) should be installed to keep your bird’s feet healthy, strong, and clean. Must wash the water and food pots weekly.
Lovebirds Gender Identification:
Sex Identification in lovebirds is very difficult. In some species of lovebirds males and females look alike. Therefore, the only sure method of identifying gender is DNA testing. Some experts can determine their sex by feeling beneath the body. If the pelvic bone points are nearer then the bird is male, If these bones are further away, then this bird will be female.
When a female reaches have the maturity, then she will show signs like ripping up the paper and padding it into its feather. Normally, the size of the female is larger than male. The tail shape of the female is in U form While the tail of the male is in V form.
In captivity, you should need to give nutritional food to your birds. Normally, lovebird food consists of seeds, millets, fresh fruits, and vegetables. You can also give pelleted food to your bird.
Provide mixed seeds and millets-based diet to birds. On the daily basis, you need to serve different fruits and vegetable, wash and dry it before giving to the birds. Fruits like apples, guava, banana, and mangoes are the favorite food of lovebirds. Provide fresh and soft-corn must in a week.
Lovebirds breeding months from October to April. The breeding box should be installed 15days before breeding season. For Breeding, their age should be around about 10 to 12 months, but they have also the ability to breed in 8 months. The take of the breed at an early age is totally a waste and maybe risky.
At an early age, the bird is not fully adult. There they have to face some breeding issues like egg binding, infertility, and soft or raw eggs (reasons read here). To avoid these difficulties please pair up the birds when their age is 8 months. Then after 2 to 3 months give them a breeding box. When they become a couple they will feed on each other.
Before breeding season pair you should setup pair in portion or single cages. The breeding results of a single pair per cage are very good. If you are keeping normal species birds then you can keep them in the aviary. Females lay 4 to 6 eggs in a clutch. Both parents incubate their eggs and feed their chicks after hatching. After 7 to 8 weeks chicks are ready to leave their nests but they are not properly self-feed yet.
Box size & Nesting:
Lovebird lay their eggs in Breeding-box. They like horizontal nest boxes hence recommended nest box size is 12 inches in length, 6 inches in width, and height. You can use the wood shave as nesting material. You have to need to change nesting material weekly on breeding days if chicks are in it. After every clutch clean the breeding box and keep it in direct sunlight before reinstalling.
Egg Laying and Incubation:
These parrots lay eggs after 7 to 10 days of mating. Each clutch contains 5 to 7 Eggs. Most females lay eggs every other day. Don’t disturb them on eggs laying days.
The incubation time of lovebird eggs is 23 to 25days. Note the date, when the female lays the first egg.
Chicks Handfeed Age:
They are good for hand taming, and you can train easily than other normal-sized birds. They are human-friendly birds. It will be a good choice if you want to tame it.
When the babies are two weeks old, you can pick up them for hand-feeding. In hand-feed use a good quality formula. Handfeed quantity depends on the age of the chick. There is more information on “How to hand-feed a bird”.
Image thanks to Michael Wilcox on Unsplash