Welcome to Hand Reared Cage and Hand Reared Exotic Birds Lisburn County Antrim. The LoveBird
Lovebirds are among the most fascinating birds. The many species and mutations mean that there are literally thousands of different lovebirds in the world. They are a joy to watch, fun to play with, and relatively easy to breed. Contrary to popular belief, lovebirds need not be kept in pairs. A single lovebird makes a wonderful pet, and a faithful friend.
The name 'lovebird' was given to these little parrots because of the affection shown between paired birds. Sometimes this bonding lasts until the death of one of the birds. This affection is not usually shown towards others but instead severe fighting occurs.
Lovebirds are one of the most popular pet birds today. They belong to the genus Agapornis, which consists of nine species. There are four species that are referred to as the 'white eye-ringed group' because of the naked white patches about the eyes. Some consider nigrigenis, lilianae, fischeri, and personata to be one species consisting of four subspecies.
Lovebirds are among the smallest birds of the parrot family and their area of distribution is Africa and Madagascar. For the most part, they are hardy birds with a stocky build and a short tail. Body length is usualy five to six inches and they live for over ten years.
The basic plumage colour of Lovebirds in green, but there are many mutations that occur in captive breeding programs making them available in an array of colour. Three of the nine species show sexual dimorphism.
There are many reasons for the popularity of this little bird. One reason is its small size, thus requiring less space than a larger parrot. Another reason is affordability. Some variables affect the cost of the bird, such as colour and whether or not the bird is hand-raised. If you wish to have a tame companion, a hand-raised bird is recommended. Lovebirds have no exceptional dietary or care needs as compared with other birds and are extremely attractive. They are also active breeders and make great aviary birds.
Their expressive and curious personalities are sure to charm anyone.
Prior to the purchase, the first thing you may want to deterime is the type of lovebird you want. This is important for breeding purposes, but may be less imporant when purchasing a pet. There are three species which are commonly available:
the Peach-faced Lovebird
the Masked Lovebird and
the Fischer's Loverbird
A reason for their increased availability is that they are easy to breed. These would be the choice for one looking to breed lovebirds for the first time.
Various other types:
American Pied Light Green Peach-faced Lovebird
American White Peach-faced Lovebird
Blue Masked Lovebird
Cinnamon Blue Peach-faced Lovebird
Cinnamon Blue Peach-faced Lovebird
Cinnamon Fischer's Lovebird
Lutino Nyasa Lovebird
Lutino Peach-faced Lovebird
Orange Peach-faced Lovebird
Pied Dutch Blue Peach-faced Lovebird
Pied Peach-faced Lovebird
Silver Cherry Peach-faced Lovebird
Yellow Fischer's Lovebird
Yellow Peach-faced Lovebird
Cost may also be a factor in your selection. Certain colour-bred mutations will cost more. If you want a tame pet, it is best to purchase a hand-raised chick that is already used to human touch and companionship. These birds will be more expensive but will be worth the cost.
When making a selection you will want to choose a healthy subject, therefore, check signs for any possible sickness. It is not only important to check the bird, but also the place in which you will be purchasing the bird. Is it clean and well kept? Is the seller knowledgeable about the stock and their care?
Are Lovebirds For You?
You must be someone who is totally committed to lovebirds. You must feel that you want to spend time with them and take good care of them. Having a lovebird as a pet is more than a hobby; it is like being the parent of an eternal three-year-old. If you put a lot of effort into making your lovebird's life comfortable and happy, she will reward you with unconditional love and years of fun.
Lovebirds are a great intermediate-level bird, because they are more challenging to take care of than budgies, but easier to care for than large parrots. Buyers would profit from first gaining experience by taking care of budgies or canaries before buying a lovebird. However, lovebirds are suitable pets even for people who have never had a pet bird before. If you are dedicated and informed about how to best take care of lovebirds, then you will surely be successful.
The Pros and Cons of Pet Lovebirds
They are small and require relatively little space.
They are affordable and easy to breed.
They are attractively coloured and undemanding with diet and care.
They are not as messy as large parrots.
They are small, active, happy birds who love to play and snuggle with you.
They can be very tame, affectionate, cuddly birds.
They are smart and full of personality.
They can learn some tricks.
They can double as paper shredders.
They can be noisy and have loud, shrill voices, but they are not as loud as bigger parrots.
They are messier than birds such as budgies, and chew up your paperwork into tiny strips.
They can be quarrelsome with other birds.
They will not sing nicely like a canary, and very few lovebirds can learn human speech.
They can bite hard.
The Costs of Owning a Lovebird
You have to spend money in order to take good care of your lovebird. However, taking care of lovebirds is not as expensive as taking care of larger parrots. If you decide to buy between one to four lovebirds, you can start with small investment of several hundred dollars to buy the birds, a cage, and food.
Buying a lovebird and an adequate cage are basically one-time purchases. Lovebirds are not expensive in comparison to other parrots. Lovebirds that come from local pet stores or breeders can range in price from £30 to £150 Can. (£20 to £130) for the more common species and mutations.
This price of a lovebird varies according to the quality of the birds, the rareness of the mutation, and whether the bird is hand-fed or parent-fed. Parent-fed Lovebirds are generally less expensive. Rarer species and mutations will cost quite a bit more.
Lovebird food is not very expensive. You will have to spend about £30 a month on quality brands of bird seed and treats. (Refer to Lovebird Food and Nutrition). In addition, you will have to feed your lovebird fresh fruit, vegetables and grains, but these foods can be morsels of your daily diet.
Lovebird supplies are also not a big investment. Toys, perches and other supplies are mainly one-time purchases, but you will have to replace old or improper supplies. You should buy your lovebird new toys every once in while.
Medical bills can become very high, even though lovebirds are relatively sturdy birds. Melody's egg binding once resulted in a bill of nearly £1000! Some people argue that buying a new bird is cheaper and easier than spending hundreds of dollars on medical bills, but you have to look at your situation. As the "animal guardian" to your lovebird, you have a moral obligation to save her life and make her as comfortable as possible. Like a child, your bird depends on you for medical aid and comfort.
Overall, money is not a big issue when you are thinking of having a lovebird as a pet. Spending time with your bird is just as important as providing the basic necessities of food, shelter and medical aid for your bird.