Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lovebird Diet and Grooming

Lovebirds are some of the best birds to have as pets. One of the smallest in the parrot family but do not let the size fool you. Lovebirds have big bird attitudes and playfulness. Many times when we visit our local pet shop we leave with bird, cage and a bag of seeds. General lovebird care is much more in depth than most usually realize. With a bit of time and an open heart we will explore things today with some ideas as well that might help keep you and your bird healthy, happy and forever friends.


The first thing to consider in taking care of your lovebird is diet. In the wild, lovebirds eat a large variety of foods including vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, and sometimes even worms and carrion. So in keeping with their preferred natural diet you would try and mimic those things at home. Now we all realize that in the wild birds normally get tons more exercises than they do in the cage so the amount of high-fat foods we feed need to be limited. An all anything diet needs to be avoided at all costs. In the past everyone pretty much thought that a bag of seed was needed to keep birds happy.

This is a dangerous way of thinking. All seed diets can lead to obesity, high cholesterol, and multiple nutritional deficits and can cause your bird to be less resistant to disease and even cancer! A well rounded diet is needed for to keep your lovebird healthy and happy. Feed a diet of fresh vegetables, pellets, nuts, and grains, proteins, such as eggs or cooked meat and pastas, cooked, everyday. Fruits should be reserved for treats once or twice a week. Seeds are necessary for nutrients in their diets so you should feed seeds daily but in small amounts.

Your lovebird can eat pretty much everything you do with the exception of avocado, rhubarb, chocolate, caffeine or raw milk products. There are some lively debates about what not to feed your birds. A standard rule would be if it's bad for you, it's bad for them. Many lovebird owners cook for their birds and I cook for mine. Birdie bread is a great way to hide vegetables that some of the more stubborn birds will not touch. There are plenty of birdie bread recipes out there, check them out! 


Cage size is very important. Your lovebird needs to be able to stretch and flap his wings without hitting the sides of the cage or any toys. There are many cages out there and it's always best to get the largest cage you can afford for your bird. There are things to consider as well such as bar spacing. Bar spacing is very important because bar spacing to wide may cause injury to your bird as their heads can get stuck in between the bars. Birds love to climb so it makes sense that horizontal cage bars are the most desirable for the cage. Preferable at least two walls should be horizontal to allow play, climbing and hanging time for your bird. Perches are the next thing in line with the cage designs. Many cages come with wooden dowels as perches. Natural wood perches are great and it's important to remember that your bird will need different size perches to provide foot exercise and prevent foot sores or arthritis in your pet bird.

A full-spectrum light above the cage will provide Vitamin D which is filtered out by window glass. Make sure the bird can’t reach electrical cords. Birds enjoy a window view but make sure the area doesn’t overheat and that there's no draft. Check by holding a candle steady to see if the flame flickers. Birds must be able to self-regulate temperatures by moving away from heat and the sun. Birds need 10 -12 hours of rest daily. Consider a cage cover.
Grooming is essential to your bird’s health. Birds have dander, it looks like little white dust specs on your clothes and this dander/dust isn't removed when your lovebird preens his feathers. That why providing a bathing dish or misting your bird is necessary. Your lovebird should everyday have a water source other than their drinking water to bath in. Many birds adore their bath times and will have so much fun splashing around and making a big ole wet mess for you to clean up. Misting is another option for bathing your bird. Spritz them with water in a fine mist and watch the fun begin. Those birds that like to mist might also enjoy showering with you.

There are company's that make shower perches; they are affordable and easy to use. We have birds that just love to shower with us. They perch and when we are done with our showers I change the shower head setting to fine mist. It's a great fun time after that and it's a wonderful excuse to spend more time with your birds. Nails, wings and sometimes beaks all need to be trimmed from time to time. This is best accomplished by taking your bird to your avian vet or your local pet shop. Birds have blood supplies in their toe nails and wings and can bleed to death fairly quickly if one of them is nicked and not taking care of immediately. Do not attempt to cut your birds nails, wings or beaks unless you have been taught by a professional.

Keep wings and nails clipped to avoid accidents. Flour can stop bleeding. Don’t take birds outside unless caged and supervised. Lovebirds are hardy but all birds hide signs of illness. Learn what normal droppings look like so you can spot abnormalities. A sick bird doesn’t eat well, may not drink, may appear fluffed or show respiratory symptoms, or will sit on two feet or on the cage floor. Prompt vet care is essential. Provide warmth for ailing birds and during vet trips. Bring a recent dropping for the vet. During molts, provide stress food and extra protein. Offer favorite foods, Ike spray millet, when a bird is under the weather. Avoid spray products near birds, like hair spray, perfume, cleaning products, air fresheners or anything with fumes: nail polish, potpourri, scented candles. If in doubt, ventilate and move the bird temporarily. Be vigilant during holidays about non-stick bakeware, aerosol products and supervision around visitors. Make sure the bird gets its rest. Invest in a recent book about lovebirds or smaller parrots In general which has a good section on first aid.


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Apsara Sisodia said...

Nice information, You people must also consult the ideas like the Pet Grooming Tips to maintain good health for long without any worries and tensions as they can help you in keeping your pets health in all the weather.

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