Greetings!
In 2-3 weeks a baby lovebird will be ready for me to pick up and take home from a local breeder. I'm very excited and have her/his cage and toys all ready and waiting, I've also read as much as I can find on the subject of lovebirds on the net as well as 'The Lovebird Handbook.' I'd like to think I'm well prepared for my new pet, however as all birds are different I thought I'd come here and ask anyone who wishes to share, to reply with any advice or fav lovebird stories.

Many Thanks!
Wendy
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Greetings! In 2-3 weeks a baby lovebird will be ready for me to pick up and take home from a ... here and ask anyone who wishes to share, to reply with any advice or fav lovebird stories. Many Thanks! Wendy

"Can be" a GREAT pet, BUT!!
They can be very aggressive little devils as they mature. They tend to be fearless and will often take on other birds 4 times their size. If the bird is young and tame when you get it you are off to a good start. As the bird gets older it will "test" the limits. They make a very active very interesting pet though. If kept alone it will need plenty of time with you, often just being next to you or on your shoulder is fine, and make sure it has a large enough cage to get around and plenty of toys for when it's in the cage.
Have fun!!

If at first you don't succeed blame someone else and seek counseling.
Greetings! In 2-3 weeks a baby lovebird will be ready for me to pick up and take home from a ... thought I'd come here and ask anyone who wishes to share, to reply with any advice or fav lovebird stories.

Kale. Always keep kale in stock - they adore it and putting some on the palm of your hand is a great way to convince them that hands aren't evil. Broccoli is mine's second favourite.
Try to feed him a huge variety of food. Young lovebirds are normally taught by their father what can and can't be eaten. Unless they experience a lot of foods when young they can become shy of new food.

They adore shredding things. There are some "toys" that in the UK are called pinatas (as in Mexican). They are palm leaves and coconut fibres all wrapped around and tied up. Dismantling them is apparently almost as much fun as "helping" me with the crossword. My lovebirds don't seem to enjoy toy toys, only things they can get their beaks into. In my experience, you can waste a lot of money buying toys you think they'll enjoy and they'll end up shredding up paper instead - sort of like children preferring the cardboard box to the expensive present.
Buttons. Be very careful about wearing anything with buttons around him. He will probably enjoy de-buttoning clothes almost as much as shredding paper. Most of my T-shirts are missing some or all of their buttons and I have to keep my proper shirts well away from them.

Without re-opening the "clip/don't clip" war, it's probably a good idea to teach the youngster about windows and mirrors. Just let them sit on you close to a window and see that you can tap it i.e. that there's something there.
On the subject of "wars", there is seed v pellet. I'd recommend seed + lots of fruit and vegetables. Cue "pellets are scientifically balanced" response.
When the youngster calls to you, say something back. It's unlikely (but not impossible) that he'l learn to talk, but it will make him much happier. If you start thinking you can almost understand them - join the club.

When a young bird moves home, it is possible for them to regress, so that even if the baby has weaned he may revert to wanting at least some handfeeding. It may be a good idea to prepare yourself just in case.

Don't touch his feet unless he is very friendly to you. When lovebirds fight, one of the main targets are the toes and he's liable to misinterpret your actions. OTOH one of mine adores having his toes stroked, much more than having his neck scratched.
Don't grab him. If you do need to take hold of him, then keep on talking to him and do it very gently. Grabbing a bird is something a predator does in nature and will convince him that "hands are evil". Some people suggest using a towel, but I think it just makes them more scared.

Don't kiss him on the beak. It can make him ill and is liable to confuse him about his relationship with you. I'm not joking :-)

Be prepared for emergencies. Have the number of an avian vet (or several) and find out the times they are open. It's a good idea to take him in for a checkup within the first few days. Have some styptic powder in case your bird cuts himself - they can bleed a lot in a short time.

If your bird ever looks ill then it will be feeling very poorly. (They try to put on a brave face as sick birds are easy prey in the wild.) Take it to a vet ASAP. Don't be tempted to ask on here about what might be wrong with it :-)
Lovebirds get a lot of information from their beaks and tongues. Just as baby humans put things in their mouths, a lovebird will try to "beak" lots of things, including parts of you. There is a big difference between beaking and biting. If a lovebird wants to bite you, then you will be missing a chunk of flesh.
Hair. They enjoy playing with hair. If you use hair products e.g. hair spray or dye, then I've heard it's a good idea to stop them learning they can play with hair.
Be very careful if you get any other birds. A lovebird is quite capable (and very happy) to use his acrobatic flying and strong beak to maim or kill a much larger bird.
Finally, enjoy his company. They are great fun and can be very loving companions. I spent this evening watching TV with two snuggled up in my T-shirt after they got tired out doing vertical spins on my fingers:-)
Many Thanks! Wendy

Alan
Greetings! In 2-3 weeks a baby lovebird will be ready for me to pick up and take home from a ... here and ask anyone who wishes to share, to reply with any advice or fav lovebird stories. Many Thanks! Wendy

I have a lone Nyasa lovebird (Peaches) about 7 months old now. She has so much fun with the toys in her cage. She adores ringing bells and pulling at the rope toys and grabbing onto and nibbling anything wood or leather.

She loves kale, as Alan suggested. She also loves slices of Gala apples (lesser so Granny Smiths, and she won't touch a red apple of any kind). She also loves to nibble on carrots. It's important to continue to interact with a lovebird, so that it bonds with you. Again, as Alan suggested, when the bird calls out, respond, reply. Keep the bird interested and let the bird know you are interested in what he/she has to "say".

I swear Peaches is trying to say "Peaches", even though they aren't known to be great talkers. So when she calls out "PeeeChez" I reply back "Peaches!" in the same tone and she repeats it, then starts whistling. I whistle back. She's a funny little bird. I can walk over and start talking soothingly to her and she'll slowly close her eyes and tuck her head back. It's almost like I'm hypnotizing her.
A friend of mine who owned a petshop which specialized in birds suggested this as a treat: Boil some green lentils in water until just tender. Stir in some frozen mixed veggies which include corn kernels, peas, carrots, until the veggies are tender. Let this mixture cool, then feed in a treat cup. She swears the lovebirds in the shop went NUTS over this mixture. Also, for the "shredding" thing, she suggested spreading an old fashioned (that is, no metal parts) wooden clothespin in peanut butter and then rolling it in seeds, clipping it to a bar of the cage and watch the bird go to town.
They are such pretty and fun little parrots. Good luck and have a good time with your new one Emotion: smile
Jill and Peaches
Greetings! In 2-3 weeks a baby lovebird will be ready for me to pick up and take home from a ... here and ask anyone who wishes to share, to reply with any advice or fav lovebird stories. Many Thanks! Wendy

First of all, Hurray to you for doing your research and getting all the things you need BEFORE you get the bird! Already you are off to a good start. Others have already made some great suggestions, I'd like to add to them.#1 is find out exactly what the breeder weaned him or her onto and feed him that for the first week or so, even if it isn't a good long term diet. When I was working at the store I found that most newly weaned birds could either adjust to a new diet or a new home, but not both at once. You can always change his diet later once he's settled in, but starvation will kill a bird very quickly. Always make sure that a newly weaned small bird has millet spray and use a shallow dish at the bottom of the cage (placed so the bird can't poop on it from a perch) in addition to a normal food dish for the first couple of weeks.

For a long term diet I recommend going by thirds, that is one third fresh food (kale, cooked lentils and grains, carrots, other veggies and fruits, etc), one third pellets, and one third seeds. The easiest way to feed it is the cooked stuff for an hour or two in the morning (uncooked veggies and greens can be left in all day), pellets during the day, and seed when you get home. Baby birds should have pellets and seeds mixed together all day to encourage them to eat.

Pellets probably aren't strictly necessary, but I like to use them as a dietary supplement to cover for anything I missed in their fresh foods. Pellets, despite what the manufacturers say, should not be fed as the majority of the diet, in fact no one food should be. Variety=good.
#2 Go get a new bird checkup with an avian vet as soon as you get your bird. If there is anything wrong with your new baby you'll know at once, and will be able to tell the breeder (its hard for a breeder or store to wiggle out of responsibility for selling a sick bird when the vet checked it before it even came home first). If there isn't anything wrong (and an ethical breeder will never knowingly sell a sick bird) then it gives the vet a chance to make some baseline measurements (weight, etc) of what your bird looks like when it's healthy. This will also help you establish a good working relationship with the vet, if you don't have an avian vet already.

#3, If you can make sure everyone in the house handles the bird on a regular basis, this will help prevent from becoming too bonded (and therefore overly protective) of one person. Lovebirds can be down right evil when it comes to protecting someone they think of as their mate, or protecting their breeding territory (ie cage). LOTS of out-of-cage time, as much as you can do, is the best way to prevent this.
#4 Here's how to make a GREAT (and cheap!) play perch for your new buddy. Go to a craft store and buy a cheap basket with a shallow bottom. Make sure that the basket you buy has no paint or varnish on it or any nails or staples. I usually get mine from Cost Plus. Wrap the handle with sisal rope and line the bottom with paper towels. When wrapping the handle you can add metal or plastic rings (make sure the ring is solid and not something like a key ring) from which to hang toys off of.

I find my birds LOVE these even better then the expensive playstands I bought for them, and the best part is when they get too chewed up and start looking ratty you can just throw them away and not worry about how much it cost you. This play perch is light enough to carry anywhere with you around the house, or on road trips, etc. Total cost is usually $5-$10US as opposed to $30-$50 a normal small 'table-top' perch costs, and they seem to hold up nearly as well.

A play perch confines most of the mess your little buddy makes into one easily cleaned spot, and still allows you to have him outside of the cage.

Good luck with your new buddy!
Gloria
She's a funny little bird. I can walk over and start talking soothinglyto her and she'll slowly close her eyes and tuck her head back. It's almost like I'm hypnotizing her.

You do have to watch out for that. Mine would literally fall asleep so deeply in my hand that when I tried to put her back at night, she'd nearly fall off the perch! Even though she was a very healthy bird, she would apparently be pretty much sawing logs, as far as birds go, and I had to make sure the feet had hold of the perch before letting go. Kinda weird, because most of the time they naturally grip the surface.
One other thing, give her a Pop Tarts or tissue box, paper-clipped or somehow (strongly) attached to the cage bars. If you use paper clips, just make sure the points are on the outside. Your bird will love going in and out, scratching and tearing it up. Just throw it away after a day or so, because they poop a lot in there.
Wow!! Thank you so much for all the great advice and suggestions!! In the past I've had 2 parakeets, so technically this is not my first bird to share a home with, however other than my beta fish(Sushi) and visits from my boyfriends dog(Nacho) the lovebird will be the only animal in the house. As of now, I am leaning towards wing clipping and giving her a diet of seed, pellets and fresh veggies/fruits. I'll of course ask the breeder what she is doing for the birds now and how she has raised other birds in the past and kinda make final decisions from there.
What are your recommendations for the first week a new bird is in your home? do you suggest letting the bird have some time to himself in his cage to get used to his new house. Or should you start interacting and leaving the cage open immediantly?
Thanks for the advice about mirrors, and also for the tip about birds reverting to handfeed possibly at first. I'll make sure to ask my breeder the appropriate questions as she is hand feeding them. Oh and I'll look for one of those pinata toys too!!
Thanks again!! Great Advice!!
Thanks Gloria!
That is a good idea for a play perch!! I know just the place nearby to get a basket like you mentioned too!! Also there is a large vet near my house in Houston, TX where I've heard they actually have a whole avian program, I need to stop by after work sometime to check it out to be certain if it's where I want to take my bird.

Things just got busy at work.. I'll write more in a bit..

Thanks Again!!
What are your recommendations for the first week a new bird is in your home? do you suggest letting the ... she is hand feeding them. Oh and I'll look for one of those pinata toys too!! Thanks again!! Great Advice!!

Even tame birds that are all over you at the store or breeder will often be quiet and subdued when first brought "home". It's all new to them. They are all different though. See how it reacts, if it acts scared, best is to keep the cage out of the "traffic area" so the bird can see what's going on. Spend lot's of time going to it, talking to it, offer treats, and play it by ear, and see how the bird reacts. Some take right off in a new house, some need a few days to get used to it.
Watch out for the Dog when it comes over. They carry a bacteria in their saliva that's toxic to birds. Also as the bird gets older it may well attack the dog, causing a problem. Love Birds often are lion hearted little guys. A dog that gets bit, may snap at the bird.
Enjoy the new guy, thay are a ton of fun!!!

If at first you don't succeed blame someone else and seek counseling.
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