Saturday, March 27, 2010

What African Love Birds Need

By Eduardo Gonzalez

The African Love Birds may be the tiniest birds in the parrot family, but don’t be fooled--they can be fierce.  For example, there are different species of African Love Birds--most common among them are the Fischer’s and Masked Love Birds.  NEVER breed them together.  They will attack or kill one another.  They are very assertive.
Buying African Love Birds
Make sure you buy tamed Love Birds.  If they are always biting or look scared, these are red flags.  Maybe they can still be tamed, but more often not--especially if they were fed using syringes.  Love Birds are tamed when their humans handle their birds regularly and feed them by hand.
Tips on Caring for Your Birds:
1.  Cage.  The right size for Love Birds is normally at least two feet long and 18 inches wide and high.  They need space to play in as they are very active and need to keep in shape.  Also, leave bars they can climb on.
2.    2.  Food.  Pellets of cockatiels and parakeets will do if they are small.  Also, tiny seed mixes given to hook bill parrots are good.  Add veggies, sprouts, grain, corn and small amounts of fruits.  These birds can be hardheaded when introducing new food, but eventually they will eat it anyway.  Add cuttlebone for calcium.
3.   3.   Wellness.  Although Love Birds are powerful and sturdy, never place their cage near the window--the wind can eventually harm their health.  Also, bring them out of their cages regularly so they can exercise by flapping their wings.  If bored and disgusted, they will pluck out their feathers.
1.    4.   Sounds Love Birds make quick chirps to get the attention of their owners—the sounds they make in the wild.  When bored, their sounds will be more harsh.
2.    5.   Rest.  Love Birds need at least 10 hours of sleep at night.  They need a complete absence of noise.
3.    6.   Nips.  Do not encourage nips from your Love Birds.  In weeks to a month a nip can become a painful bite.
4.  7.   Gender characteristics.  Males scrape their perches and regurgitate.  Females are possessive and protect their turf.

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