What is sweeter than candy and a Valentine’s heart full of love? The answer to my riddle; a lovebird which could be the perfect gift for a loved one on Valentine’s Day. If the love of your life has been contemplating a bird as a pet, it would certainly be a gift of love. A pet for a gift should not be a surprise but something planned, prepared for, which then becomes a romantic outing together to find the perfect lovebird.
Then come the tender days of watching your lovebird adjust to his or her new surroundings. A toast of sparkling wine, champagne, bubbly grape or cider listening to mellow music to sooth your souls which also helps your new lovebird adapt to his or her new family and environment.
People have long been fascinated with lovebirds manifested in poetry, sonnets, art, melody, song, and legend. The lovebird needs are the same as people, love sweet love.
Lovebirds mate for life. They form a strong bond with their mate. In the wild they are never far from each other. The question seems to come up when purchasing a lovebird as a pet. Should we buy two?
“Lovebirds are great little birds,” said Eric Antheunisse owner of Cedar Hill Birds (www.cedarhillbirds.com lovebird breeder). “Except when they are bought in pairs they will go wild on you quickly.” A pair of lovebirds would bond to each other, instead of their human parent. Eric further explained that a hand fed baby bought as a single bird will bond to you. Lovebird breeders www.cedarhillbirds.com - I am a customer at Cedar Hills but am not an affiliate.
Lovebirds are very active birds needing swings, a variety of perches and toys to play with. The lovebird will need plenty of attention since you now are his or her lifelong companion. Perches and swings made for cockatiels are the proper size for lovebirds. Remember to have perches of varying diameters for healthy feet. The same size is not healthy. The lovebird will love to perch on branches from safe trees, trees that are not poisonous or have been sprayed with insecticide or other toxins.
Cages should be safe, have a secure lock, and have bars with no more than ½-inch spaces. Birds should always have a rectangular or square cage never round. A round cage can result in a screeching bird with behavioral problems. Always think of yourself living in a cage the rest of your life, bigger is always better. The birdcage should never be higher than your chin.
Feed the lovebird a combination of cockatiel seed and a feed mix intended for a small parrot. They also love millet sprays. Try to find fresh ones. Some seed should be sprouted for the nutrients and for variety, like the fresh food they would normally find in the wild. They feed on a variety of seeds not just the dried seeds like found in the store. Proper nutrition will help the lovebird reach their attainable lifespan of 15 to 20 years. It is not rare to hear of lovebirds reaching greater ages.
Sprout seeds by placing them between two damp paper towels. Keep unused sprouted seed in the refrigerator. The lovebird must be fed a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Never feed foods with caffeine, avocado, chocolate, greasy foods, or food with sugar. Many people feed their bird children the same thing they eat, which is fine as long as we eat a healthy diet. Perhaps we can learn from the birds.
Always make sure the bird has fresh water in a clean dish. More than one dish should be on hand so that the water and food dishes can be cleaned and sanitized. Fresh food should be removed after an hour or so.
The lovebird will need added calcium. Use a cuttlebone. If you use liquid supplements in the drinking water clean and sanitize the dish after a couple of hours. Bacteria can build up quickly in water with vitamin supplements. Supplements should not be necessary if the bird is getting a healthy diet.
Lovebirds love and need baths. Offer a water dish for bathing, removing it after they bathe. They also like to be sprayed. Don’t spray directly at the lovebird but over the bird letting the water spray over him or her. Plan the lovebird’s bath or shower early in the day so that the bird has time to dry before the cool of night. Keep the bird wet or otherwise away from air conditioner outlets or cool drafts.
Have a Happy Valentine's Day! If you decide on a lovebird I hope it is a match made in heaven.
Lovebirds (Barron's Complete Pet Owner's Manuals) Michele Earle-Bridges
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