31 March, 2015

As Arthur Schopenhauer said “Compassion for animals is so closely connected with goodness of character that we can safely say that who is cruel to animals can not be a good person.”

The best way not to be cruel to animals is to know them well before purchasing them. Whatever the pet we have chosen, we have to inform well in advance of their care and needs to avoid mistakes we might regret later.

Like all animal lovers, more and more people decide to enlarge their “family” with a new acquisition. If you’ve decided to choose a Lovebird, check these 10 advice beforehand!


1.- You really like them.

We all know cases of animal as gifts, especially for Christmas, without knowing with certainty if the animal would please the person who will be receiving it. We must avoid gifts to children with animal basically because after, the parents will have to take care of the animals and might not like them as much as the children! Before purchasing a lovebird, you must be sure that it is something you really like and you should talk to people who know about them and would inform you about their needs.


2.- Dispongo de un lugar para ellos.


A lovebird should not be forgotten in a corner of a room. Nor in a place where there is no direct sunlight. Make sure you have a terrace, patio or roof where the animal will get hours of sun outdoors, but at the same time will have the possibility to escape from strong rain and wind.

If you keep the bird indoors, you should make sure there is enough sunlight and fresh air.


3.- Where to purchase a Lovebird?


There are many reasons why you ALWAYS HAVE TO purchase your Lovebird to a good reputation lovebird breeder.

In shops, they will never tell you about essential information such as sex, age, exact mutation and mutations he can transmit from his genotype. Always choose a Breeder and don’t forget to ask him all this information.

Never accept a bird with wings cut. It is a mutilated animal that has certainly been stressed by irresponsible “breeder”. If you do not want your animal to fly it is better not to acquire a bird.


4.- Our Agapornis need care, time and dedication.

Like all living beings, Lovebirds need care, but two points are essential to them: food and hygiene.

The food for Lovebird is so important that quality of life of your pet will depend on it.

Our small psittacines will eat a mixture of seeds and drink water but it is not enough to feed them well. They will also need quality seeds, fruit, vegetables, calcium pieces, and if possible, extruded food and minerals. It is very important to change frequently the water they will use it as a way to soften and refresh their food, and the water will become dirty sooner than expected.

The hygiene should also be a constant factor :  we must clean their cage every time it gets dirty and when excrements have not dried yet. Lovebirds love bathing in hot water, even in winter.

You should also use a healing cream for possible injuries, soluble vitamins when they get weak and insecticide for both, animals and their cage.

It’s a bit materialistic to talk about money when we refer to our pets, but … yes, they cost money, and they will cost more!


5.-Better two than only one



Lovebirds are before all breeding animals. Tiredless. All the breeders have met with the problem that our couples have not yet finished to breed that they are starting again. They are happy breeding and they like to live in couples, aware of each other. It might be the reason why we like them so much but we should offer them periods to rest, especially in summer.


At first, when we buy our single bird, “nothing happens” but we’ll see how slowly his/her character is changing due to his/her need to having a partner.


If, you constantly care and pay attention to your pet, the problem will decrease but we know that we will never be able to give him/her the necessary time. We can avoid this problem if we form a couple that will get the necessary activity and interactions for his/her wellbeing.



6.- The sex of our Lovebirds


Many people say they don’t want to breed when they buy their first Lovebird but it is not easy because of the strong instinct of these animals.


Even if we get couples of the same sex, 2 males or 2 females, the reproduction instinct will appear, as female might lay eggs constantly and males change their character or get stressed.


I always advise forming couples with one male and one female. If the breeder, you have chosen, gives you the couple and tells you they have been sexed by touching pelvis or with pendule, you should look for another breeder.   The only way you can make sure of the sex is an easy DNA test, quick and cheap. You should always ask the breeder for DNA certificates when you buy a couple.



7.- Same species and compatible mutations.

Most of the time, by ignorance or because we are not thinking of breeding, we have couples with different species. . This is a very undesirable issue because it will be destroying the typical characteristics of each species and may give way to sterile chicks.

Once we ensure that our future couple will be composed of male and female of the same species, we just have to avoid the following crosses . On the one hand it is not convenient to have couples in which both members have darkness factors as they can get  bad quality feathers. For  species such as personatas or fischeris, this point is more important. For Roseicollis, less but it is always better to avoid it.    On the other hand we must also prevent the couple is composed of two “Inos”, ie two birds with red eyes. This is a real problem that will end in death of chicks before hatching their eggs, in the first days of their lives, and weakness when they fly for those who will survive in the first days.


8.- Prepare their home.

Before taking them home we must have a cage prepared so that they can rest and relax as soon as possible after this change of  environment.

We must avoid  feeders adapted to canary cages whith a hole to get the food as they prefer open feeders, for easy access to their food.

Even if we would like to give them the best, we shouldn’t fill the cage with toys as it can disturb them when they fly and we should avoid plastic hangers and replace them with branches.


9.- Do not expect them to breen as soon as they arrive.

The rush is a great enemy for new breeders

Experimented breeders know that the best way to avoid reproduction is by change birds from places, cages or environment. So, if your bird has just arrived, do not expect he/she will be breeding shortly. Relax and it will come.


10.- Get information about what you need

Inform your needs.

You’ve done the first step by reading this article but you still have much to learn. Keep on looking for information about cares, needs and remember this nice quote from Anatole France : Until you have not loved an animal, a part of your soul will be still asleep”

If you  agree with all these points, go on! If you think you are not prepared, you have to know that many lovebirds are already badly treated. Try to avoid it!

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