Q:

How do you take care of African lovebirds?

A:

Quick Answer

African lovebirds require a seed and fruit or pellet-based diet, a cage large enough for them to fly inside, toys and perches to keep them stimulated, and companionship from an attentive owner or another lovebird. Lovebirds are active, loud and playful, with many of the same care needs as larger parrots.

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Full Answer

African lovebirds are small parrots native to Africa and Madagascar. They're called lovebirds because they form very strong bonds. Although lovebirds are very sociable, keeping them in large groups or near other species of birds can lead to aggression. They can be very territorial, especially during mating season, and attack birds other than their mates if caged together. For these reasons, owners often keep lovebirds in single cages or as pairs.

Lovebirds are also very loud and active, and they should have cages at least 3 by 2 feet in size so they can fly from perch to perch. They also require toys, especially chew toys. A lack of stimulation can make them aggressive and destructive.

Like other parrots, lovebirds eat nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables in the wild. In captivity, they can live on a pellet-based diet or on fresh food and seed mixes designed for cockatiels. Seed mixes for outdoor bird feeders are inappropriate for African lovebirds, as these don't fulfill their nutritional needs.

The hard beaks of African lovebirds require constant wear, so they must have items in their cages to chew on, such as cuttlefish bones, to prevent deformities or overgrowth. Veterinarians can trim beaks that fail to wear down sufficiently.

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