Rearing Tips
  • Always monitor the amount of food eaten every day by each bird
  • Offer fresh water every day
  • Offer fresh food every day
  • Offer fresh fruits and vegetables every day
  • Clean all food and water dishes daily
  • ‘No’ to a food item one day does not mean ‘no’ forever – KEEP TRYING

Health Requirements:

To breed sucessfully, each breeding Lovebird should be healthy, normal, and between one and five years of age.

Nesting Requirements:

Lovebirds need a nest box in which to lay their eggs. The proper size for a Lovebird is about 12″x12″x12″, with an entrance hole of about 3 inches in diameter. Proper nesting material, such as shredded paper, should also be provided.

Nutritional Requirements:

Like all hookbills, Lovebirds should be fed a varied diet consisting of seeds, pellets, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Breeding age hens should be placed on a calcium supplement to counteract the nutrients that they lose during egg-laying.

Egg Laying:

Female Lovebirds will lay their eggs between 5 – 12 days after mating. Many will lay an egg every other day until they have all been laid. Each clutch usually contains between 3 and 7 eggs.

Incubation Time:

On average, Lovebirds incubate their eggs for about 23 days. This can vary by a couple of days in either direction. When attempting to calculate future hatch dates, always count forward from the day that you notice the hen begin to sit on the eggs. Sometimes they won’t sit until all the eggs of a clutch have been laid, and they all need equal incubation time!

Hatchling Care and Weaning:

Most breeders will allow the hen to feed the babies from hatching to the age of 2 or 3 weeks. From there, they will pull the babies out of the nest and place them in a brooder for handfeeding. Most Lovebirds need to be handfed until they are between 6 and 8 weeks old, when you can begin to wean them onto millet, soft pellets, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Question: Should you Breed your Pet Bird?

Answer: Many pet bird owners, at least once or twice, entertain ideas of allowing their pets to have a family. While having a nest full of adorable chirping babies may seem like a great idea at times, owners should know what they’re getting into when they choose to breed their birds, and should take several key issues into consideration before rushing out to buy their bird a mate.

Being a successful bird breeder requires four key components:

  • Time
  • Money
  • Knowledge
  • Dedication

If you can’t provide all of that and more, then it’s best to refrain from breeding. Do you have money set aside to use in case of an emergency? Do you know what to do if your hen becomes egg bound? Can you hand feed a tiny baby bird with a syringe, on a schedule, without giving him crop burn or worse? When you choose to breed birds, you are essentially taking responsibility for the lives of the hen and any potential babies. If all four of those key breeding components aren’t in place, the result can be deadly.

A big issue to take into consideration is your relationship with your pet bird. Many times a bird who takes a mate becomes less interested in his “human flock”. Are you willing to risk giving up your bond with your bird to raise a clutch of babies? Many bird owners find that for them, the answer is a resounding NO.

Another issue to ponder is whether or not you have the space to accommodate a breeding operation. Supplies you will need include nest boxes, extra cages, an incubator and a brooder, just to name a few. If you don’t have the room to house these items, breeding is pretty much out of the question.

While just these points may seem overwhelming, the truth is that we haven’t even scratched the surface of everything that it takes to be a good bird breeder. For this reason, most bird owners decide that it’s best to leave breeding to the professionals and just enjoy their pet’s companionship.

However, if you think you have what it takes to be a breeder, and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices, the best thing to do is talk your decision over with your avian vet before beginning the process. He or she will be able to offer valuable advice, and will make sure that your birds are in proper breeding condition.

Question: What Is Egg Binding?

Answer: The terms “egg bound” and “egg binding” refer to a condition in which a female bird has trouble laying an egg. Egg binding can be caused by several factors including malnutrition, an inadequate environment, lack of exercise, and genetic predisposition.

While a bird of any species can be affected, there are a few types of birds that seems to be prone to egg binding, most notably Cockatiels, Parakeets (Budgies), and Lovebirds.

Egg binding is a serious problem that requires swift medical attention. Left untreated, an egg bound hen can suffer nerve damage, shock, paralysis, and even death.

Common symptoms of egg binding include rapid breathing, swelling, constipation, fluffed up feathers, and straining. Egg bound hens may also be unable to perch, and may take to sitting in the bottom of their cages.

If you notice your bird exhibit any of these signs, you should contact your avian veterinarian immediately for an exam. As with other avian illnesses, time is of the essence. The quicker that an egg bound bird receives medical attention, the better her chances of recovery and survival.

Your Bird Laid an Egg. Will it Hatch?

I found an egg in my bird’s cage. Why did she lay it, what should I do with it, and is it going to hatch?

Answer: If you have a female bird, nature requires her to lay an egg every now and then. In fact, if breeding age hens don’t lay eggs regularly, they are at risk for egg binding, a potentially fatal health condition.

Unless the hen has been exposed to a male bird in the time leading up to when the eggs were laid, the egg will not be fertile. In this case, most bird owners remove the egg from the cage and throw it away, and most of the time the hens go back to their normal routines.

If there is a chance that the egg is fertile, and you want to raise the baby, you should candle the egg to see if it was indeed fertilized. If it was, you will need to either give it back to the mother for incubation or place it into an incubator if the hen will not sit on it.