The Lovebirds

The Lovebirds
Perfect Pairs

Monday, April 30, 2007

What are Opaline Lovebirds?

This is a type of mutation performed on peach-faced lovebirds. Becky Anderson of the Royal Rose Aviary in Upper Michigan first performed mutation among peach faced lovebirds in 1997. This is termed as "Patterned mutation".

The resultant are-
  • Seagreen opaline
  • Normal green opaline
  • Green opaline split to orange face

The opaline lovebirds possess redistribution of pigment in the feathers. In case of peach faced lovebirds due to mutation there is melanin distribution in the tail and on the back of the head. Psittacin is enhanced and increased. Due to this, the red color of the face is increased and also increase of red color in tail and also the yellow color would be spread to the rump region to produce a new mutan variety- Opaline peach face lovebirds.

Price of Opaline Lovebirds

Most of the breedsers are performing this mutation. Generally the opaline lovebirds fetch good revenue for the breeders who are selling lovebirds. Normally the cost of peach faced lovebird is $50 whereas the Opaline peach faced lovebirds are costing about $275 (hens) to $400 (cocks).

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lovebirds in Your Garden

Lovebirds are also ideal subjects for the garden. They need a secluded shelter in which to roost. Newly imported birds must spend their first winter in a minimum of 15 degrees celcius (59 F). In the summer, it is best to have nest boxes, where it is moister. In the winter, they should be placed in the shelter.

You can keep several pairs in a wooden aviary, as long as they are all placed in it together. Later, remove any surplus males or females. Two birds occupying a nest box are not necessarily a breeding pair; sometimes two males, or two females, pair up. As a rule, any superfluous birds sleep alone in a box. You can close up all the entrance holes in the dark, and in the morning discover where the isolated birds are. Of course, you must have enough boxes, all hung at the same height.

From four to six eggs are usual, incubated by the female for twenty-one to twenty-five days, depending on the species. The young leave the nest after four to six weeks and are fed, mainly by the male, for a further two weeks. Once they are independent, remove them, because they will cause problems when the parents breed again and maybe attacked by them.

Young birds mature at around ten months. You will always have more females than males. If you are keeping species together, hybridizing may occur. This is not recommended.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Significant Zoonotic Diseases of Lovebirds

Do you know your lovebirds may carry zoonotic diseases? What is Zoonotic disease? It is nothing but a disease that may get transmitted from an animal or bird to a human being. e.g. Anthrax

I am threatening you... Just you should be very careful while handling lovebirds. the significant zoonotic diseases of lovebirds are-

It is a bacterial disease caused by Salmonella sp. The victims may show stomach pain, fever and diarrhea that start 1 to 3 days after they get infected.


Campylobacter sp., a bacteria causing this infectious disease. The infected person will exhibit symptoms of fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, cramping and diarrhea. Sometimes blood in the diarrhea also being appreciated. The fever may long last for 2 to 5 days.


The causative organism is Chlamydia psittaci. The mode of transmission to human being is through breathing the organism when the dried feces, respiratory secretion, or urine of infected birds is aerosolized. The symptoms and signs of psittacosis in the affected individual are fever, abnormal intolerance to light, sweating, headache, nausea, vomiting and weakness or fatigue.


The causative organism is Mycobacterium avium. Patients with underlying lung disease or immunosuppression may develop progressive lung disease due to this organism and may require immediate attention from the physician. The affected individual will exhibit symptoms of tuberculosis including coughing, fever, emaciation and muscle weakness or fatigue.


Toxoplasma gondii may infect the owners of the lovebirds. There is possibility of abortion in the pregnant woman due to this infection. Hence care should be taken while handling the lovebirds especially with pregnant women.

New castle disease

The main caustive agent for this disease is Paramyxovirus, called PMV-1. The disease is transmitted from the infected bird through all secretions. Healthy people who are exposed to New castle disease may develop mild signs of infection (malaise) or conjunctivitis.


The mode of transmission from lovebirds is mainly through biting or scratching. The bacteria Pasteurella sp. is sole responsible for this infection. When people's respiratory tract gets infected, they may develop a severe pneumonia. Conjuctivitis is also noticed among the pet owners who exposed their eyes to the infection.

Although these diseases affect the humans from the lovebirds, you can prevent the occurrence of these Zoonotic disease in lovebirds by maintaining the flock hale and healthy.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Significant Diseases in Lovebirds

As a lovebird's owner, you should know about the most frequent conditions seen in your pet bird. An introduction to pet psittacine diseases with regard to keeping lovebirds as pets will be discussed in this post. In addition to this, some typical symptoms noticed in the lovebird's disease are also highlighted.


It is a metabolic disorder characterized by deposition of urates and uric acid crystals in visceral organs or tissues. Articular gout is regarded as chronic form. Visceral gout is regarded as acute form. Signs are not specific in visceral gout but in articular gout a typical tophi with whitish yellow centers can be seen around the joints, ligaments and tendons.


It is a parasitic disease caused by plasmodium sp. Affected birds reveal absence of normal behavioral activities, anemic signs, edema of eyelids and emaciation. It is a significant to mention that sudden death is commonly encountered in affected bird.


It is also a parasitic condition. Red tinged diarrhea is common in affected birds. Weight loss associated with chronic diarrhea may suggest the disease of many birds is housed together.

Egg Drop Syndrome

Usually seen in unmated birds. Any debilitating condition-weather infections, metabolic, nutritional-especially hypocalcemia could cause egg retention. Since a bird producing eggs require increased calories, provisions of good quality diet in adequate is must in them.

Ranikhet Disease

Affected birds reveal yellowish or hemorrhagic diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, and Dyspnea (difficult in breathing). Since Central Nervous System is commonly affected, incordination / hyper-excitability is noticed in addition of jerking of head, torticollis, tremors, nodding, and bilateral paralysis of limbs.

Feather Loss

Hypothyroidism and hyperadrenalism are often associated. Hypothyroidism in pet pittacines is associated with excess fat deposition over legs and abdomen. Affected birds have delayed moult and diffused loss of contour feather and hypercholesteremia along with hypoalbuminaemia will be seen.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

How to Care Lovebirds?

Do you know all the wild birds will mask signs of sickness as a way of existing? So, once your lovebird exhibits signs of ill health such as sitting at the cage floor, mucus from nostrils and soiled vent. You ought to take care your lovebirds at this situation.

You should consult an avian vet immediately. The healthy lovebirds should have smooth feathers, clear bright eyes, normal stools, clear bright eyes, a healthy appetite, eating throughout the day, normal level of activity and a clean vent.

Wings Trimming

Next step in caring lovebirds involve trimming of the wings. If you are an experienced bird handler, you may use wing-clipping scissors that are designed specifically for this application. Or trimming process should be performed by an avian vet to prevent any problems.

Nail trimming

Most of the lovebird owners may ask how to care my lovebird's nail. In wild, the lovebirds will trim their nails and beak with rough branches of trees. In the captive conditions, you should provide cuttle bones and bird perches of a variety of textures in order to keep its beak and toe nails in good shape. Too long nails may be trimmed with the help of bird clippers. Be careful while trimming the nails as you severe up to the vein.

Cage care for lovebirds

Weekly cleaning of birdcages should be advocated regularly. Washing the birdcage with birdcage cleaners also being advised. A mixture should be prepared by mixing 1 gallon of water and ¾ cup bleach to disinfect the cage. Replace the good old cage parts made up of wood or wooden toys and perches as they may get dirt with droppings.

Caring lovebirds involves allowing them to let out of their cage daily as they have a exhaust their excess energy by flying. The lovebirds should be allowed to fly after closing all windows and also switch off the ceiling fans. Even you can use a bird leash to have more control over the birds while it is flying.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Breeding Lovebirds- a Daunting Task?

So, you want to breed your lovebirds. Breeding lovebirds is not a daunting task. As you know very well that lovebirds are the smallest parrots in the world, breeding the lovebirds require little patience and dedication.

Providing healthy diet comprising of greens will improve their breeding efficiency. Breeding lovebirds require more animal proteins in their diet. In the wild, they will eat the worms in the green plants. As a lovebird breeder, you can provide ant eggs, various flies and insect that normally found on green leaves, crickets, maggots and mealworms before laying eggs.

Some of the owners are feeding their lovebirds only with grains and pellets, which made their lovebirds poor breeders. The breeding area should be about 60 degrees F with 60% humidity.

Nest Boxes

Nest boxes used for parakeets are more than sufficient. You can easily get these standard parakeet boxes from departmental stores. Don't forget to provide nesting materials such as pine shaving, willow branches, palm fronds, and newspaper in the nest box.

The first egg can be obtained after 10 days of mating. If your lovebird is a determined one, it will build nest 4 to 5 days prior to egg laying. The lovebird will lay 4-6 eggs within 10 days from the start of first egg. You can candle the eggs after 6-7 days to determine its fertility. The fertile eggs will show dark spot surrounded by blood vessels once you hold the eggs gently near a bright light. The eggs will hatch out within 21 to 26 days of brooding.

Maintaining Baby Lovebirds

Maintenance of hatched chicks is an important step in breeding lovebirds. Once the first chick comes out of the egg, provide the parents with lot of good foods. The breeding diet includes fruits, greens, egg, corn and other preferred foods. Food and fresh water should be made available at all the times in the cage.

Lovebird babies should be watched carefully for its health as well as the parental care of the adult ones. Periodically check the lovebird's babies for their feeding behavior. Sometimes you need to handfed a baby lovebird.

Weaning of Lovebird Babies

Weaning should be performed for further breeding of the lovebirds. The baby birds should be separated from the parents after 10-14 days old. But they do require hand feeding. If you haven't weaned them, the parents will wean the young ones after 5 to 6 weeks.

The father helps the baby to learn how to eat the regular foods. If you want to hand feed your baby chicks, I will help you a lot by discussing that topic somewhere else in this blog.

Your lovebirds baby should be provided with varied feedstuffs for its well being. Breeding of lovebirds not only stops at the level of hatching but it will long last till the baby lovebird matures. Hence millets, pellets, seed, fresh fruits and vegetables (small pieces) and soft food play an important role for early maturity for the young one.