Tag Archives: sprouts
Your first time with a lovebird and you have no idea what you need? There are basics of course, food, water, shelter, then there are toys and some miscellaneous other things you’ll need.
Food, the best thing you can do for your lovebird is to provide a varied diet. The worst thing you can do is provide a seed only diet as this diet does lead to liver problems. A lovebirds diet should consist of several things including seeds, a good pellet, fresh foods, and live foods. When selecting seeds and pellets keep in mind the small beak, the pellet size I get is ‘crumble’ and to the left is a photo of the seed mix I use. Live foods are going to be things like sprouts or edible plants, my lovebirds will decimate a large sunflower seed head in no time, every last bit and wheatberry sprouts (photo on the right) they cannot seem to deny themselves. The only thing that keeps them from their sprouts is baby greens, they love their baby spring greens like crazy. Those would be fresh foods and I chopped mine. Other healthy fresh foods for your lovebirds are red bell peppers, any chili pepper, kale, collard and turnip greens, broccoli, wild and brown rice, whole oats, mung beans, sweet potato, squash, and carrots. Avoid processed foods like ‘pearled barley’ or white rice as they have already lost too many nutrients, instead find whole barely or brown and wild rice (I get a great mix of this at Sprouts and lovebirds love these sprouted!). Fruits are good but in high in sugar so should not be used in any great proportions; guava, papaya, and citrus are good ones to use.Also planning a post on phobias…if your lovebird has phobias, there is help!
Some foods to avoid are
Chocolate isn’t digested by bird. The darker the chocolate the more toxic.
Caffeine is also metabolized differently.
Avocado some are also toxic to birds with the skin and pit being the most toxic parts
Onions are known for causing hemolytic anemia in dogs… there is not enough research in feeding it to birds. But it should still be avoided
Salt will cause an increase in water consumption which could be difficult on a birds kidneys
Alcohol should also be avoided.
Apple seeds contain cyanide, remove them before you give them to your birds
Mushrooms have a potential of being toxic as well and cause stomach upset.
Dairy is not digested in birds because they don’t have the necessary enzymes to process it.
Dried beans. cooked beans are fine but raw beans contain a poison called hemaglutin which is very toxic to birds. To avoid exposure, make sure to thoroughly cook any beans that you choose to
Tomato leaves, vines and stems. Any plant from the nightshade family, potatoes, peppers, eggplant. The fruits of the plants are fine to feed, just not the green parts.
Raw Peanuts in Shell-Peanuts in a shell can harbor fungus, aspergillosis. Really not a safe food to feed your birds.
Spinach-should be fed in moderation due to the oxalic acid inhibits calcuim absorption
If in doubt about whether a food is safe or not….please take a minute to try to find out, there are many forums on the internet that discuss food toxicity on a regular basis and it just takes a quick search to find info on anything.
Your lovebird needs you to check his food on a daily basis, it may seem like the food is undisturbed but underneath will all be hulls and dust, don’t rely on a visual inspection that your lovebird has plenty of food. It goes without saying to make sure the food is also clean and dry =) Lovebirds are messy! So plan on covered food dishes.
Clean, filtered water at least daily, more often if needed. And if your lovebirds water dish is large enough for it to take a bath in at it’s leisure, it will not go unappreciated. If it isn’t big enough for that, you are going to need to provide a dish for bathing at the very least -twice per week, lovebirds love to bathe and I have some that do it daily.
Shelter, a cage. A ‘long’ cage is far more important than a tall cage for a lovebird. If you’re getting a pet lovebird and you’re shopping for it’s permanent cage, buy the largest cage you can afford, the best lovebird cage is one like this -click the pic to purchase from BirdsComfort. Remember, lovebirds are messy! So get a skirt if available or make one if you can.
Cover the cage at night, doesn’t have to be fancy, doesn’t have to be pretty, but the dark is a scary place and covering the cage will keep your lovebird from having frights in the nights. Your lovebird does not need a sleepy tent/hut! In fact, unless you know for certain you have a male, I warn you not to get one. An article on female lovebirds is a whole other post, though =)
A cuttle bone, don’t fuss about it, don’t get the mineral blocks, just get the cuttle bone.
Natural perches in different sizes are the best! Avoid perches with sand paper or concrete as they are hard on those little feet. Different sizes help to exercise the feet and a natural perch will naturally wear down nails. I never clip toenails and you shouldn’t either. Baby toenails are always sort of sharp…..don’t worry about that, that’s just because they’re new =)
Toys! Lovebirds need toys, lots of them, and you should change them out often (it helps with boredom and phobias). When buying toys look for things with small parts. IMO it’s nearly impossible to get good lovebird toys from a brick and mortar store, shop online for best selection. Better yet, shop for toy parts and make your own. They love popsicle sticks, pony beads, straws, sea grass, corn husks, it all needs to be things that fit in their mouth, and if they can destroy it? Then that rocks. Toys with even remotely large parts are not going to be loved much and what’s the point in that? The best toy I ever made? A small piece of wood with a hole in it with cotton rope strung through it and pony beads strung on it. Do make sure you use bird safe materials for your toys and always exercise caution to make sure they aren’t deathtraps…..feet and claws can get caught in just about anything and leave a lovebird hanging for it’s dear life, more than one has lost it’s life waiting to be noticed like that =(
A swing…..every lovebird needs a swing, it just does, and the first time you see your lovebird swinging to high heaven on their swing, you’ll know why I say that.
I’m sure I left some things out but these are the biggies. mostly you need to know lovebirds have BIG personalities, so be ready for that and be ready to be tested, but they are so much fun =)
The babies are chomping on millet spray, baby spring greens, sprouts, and testing out pellets and seeds. Learning to chew and doing some serious wing flapping, this is the best age =) Still don’t mind some snuggling.