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Got my first lovebird, looking for advice

Discussion in 'Lovebird Lane' started by cathodoer, 7/10/17.

  1. cathodoer

    cathodoer Sitting on the front steps

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    Last thursday I got my very first lovebird, a hand-reared blue peach-face (I think!). I have experience with budgies and cockatiels but I'm very new to owning a lovebird and I'd like some advice.

    So far it seems to have settled in well, it's playing with its toys, chirping away, eating and drinking, all well, I'm just not sure about some of its behaviour. It chirps away very loud all day long, is this normal? A healthy sign? I'm fine with the noise, I'm used to my other birds, I just want to know if it is a sign of illness or not. I've noticed it quiets down a bit when I sit next to it, but I'm not sure if this is out of comfort or fear.

    Since this little one is hand reared I'm not having much trouble with it, it's not scared of people and is fine getting covered at night and seems OK when I slowly put my hand on the bars, even nibbled some millet a couple days go through the bars! But I want to know, how soon should I start putting my hand in the cage? I haven't done so yet but should I start now, or is it too early? Do I put my hand in on its own or maybe hold some millet? Or do I try to get it to step onto a stick or something before attempting with my hands? I really don't want to frighten it, it's such a sweetheart. I just want it to know my hands are nothing to fear.

    Oh, I haven't let it out of the cage yet as I wanted my other birds to get used to its presence as well as let it settle, but I know they're a very energetic species and I'd like for it to stretch its wings soon. When should I let it out? When it's used to my hands and steps up maybe? I know teaching that can take a while though but I suppose it's early days yet!!

    Thanks so much for any help
     
  2. LunaLovebird

    LunaLovebird Rollerblading along the road Avenue Spotlight Award Shutterbugs' Best

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    Squawking is normal. He/she's probably flock calling. :) You'll learn what the different noises mean and when to be worried with time.

    Generally, I would try not to put your hand in unless you have to. You'll know if your bird isn't happy about it. I would use a stick for now regardless, until you have a solid routine and your lovebird is well and truly settled into your flock.

    As for letting him / her out - you should have quarantined the new bird away from your existing flock for at least 4/6 weeks in case of disease. Regardless, if he/she is fairly settled and not showing signs of being too scared, you can let it out to flap around. If he/she is food motivated and you can't get it to step up on a stick, you can coax it back in with millet or just wait until it's hungry. That's what I do with my hand shy lovie. It's also probably better for you to try and earn trust outside of the cage, where he might feel a bit cornered.

    Be mindful of the other birds and landing on each other's cages though. Lovebirds are feisty, and some can be quite cage territorial.
     
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  3. cathodoer

    cathodoer Sitting on the front steps

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    Thank you so much for the advice! I'm glad the noise is normal, I was worried it might be stress. Flock calling would make sense, it was with its siblings before it came to me.

    I've heard they're territorial so not putting my hand in would make sense, it's just what I did for my budgies and cockatiel. I'm surprised I wasn't bit when I had to put it in its cage at first!! I would have quarantined it but sadly I just have nowhere I can do that, our home is rather small and most of it is taken over by our cats and our dog, all of which have a taste for birds :sad1: The best I can do is separate them through cages in my room.

    I'll let the little one out soon then! I normally would assume it's best to tame them down before letting them out but who knows how long that could take :0 I'll definitely keep an eye on all of them and make sure nobody oversteps the cage boundaries. Thank you again :p
     
  4. metalstitcher

    metalstitcher Rollerblading along the road

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    They love to talk all day lol. They have a lot to say and want to tell everyone about everything lol. They do like to nip when someone gets to close to their cage if they don't want you near like @LunaLovebird said. My husband knows this very well but he messes with Gracie any way because he's a butt. Nutri-berries work really good for treats too if you have them. I would sit next to him/her and talk to them let them get use to you being around. Taking treats from your hand through the bars at first. Maybe give them a scratch if they let you. After a bit they will get use to your hands and you can start moving on to having them step up slowly on a perch.
     
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  5. Joshie

    Joshie Sitting on the front steps

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    Congrats on your lovebird! I have 3 blue peach-face and they are amazing. The great thing about lovebirds is that they very clearly tell you what they want and when they're ready for it. Spend time talking to him or her. Lovebirds love attention and interaction. You can take cues by how it reacts as to what to do for next steps. If the baby comes toward the front of the cage when it sees you, then try something more. My youngest never needed a stick as they always stepped up and flew onto me. My older two are more independent STILL sometimes would rather I use a perch to move them. Hand feeding treats is a fabulous way to establish a bond. Always take your cues from your bird because everyone's timeline is different.
     
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  6. cathodoer

    cathodoer Sitting on the front steps

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    Thank you all so much for the replies, I appreciate it! I've been keeping my baby company since I got it but every day it seems to get a bit more scared of me. It won't accept any treats from me, not even millet or, admittedly, not even the not-too-healthy snacks I eat! I know it can take a long time but does anyone have any advice here? I'm not sure if I should be putting my hand in the cage to offer treats or not but it won't take them through the bars either.. Baby gets antsy when I open the cage door.

    I'm not sure how else to get it used to my hands, I've not touched it yet and I don't wanna chase the it through it's cage to get it to step up or to give scritches, Ill only scare it :unsure1:
     
  7. Anfsurfer

    Anfsurfer Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    Congratulations Cathodoer on your first Lovie. yes, they're very vocal and chirpy! So sounds like a healthy little one. :)

    Any name yet?

    As far as your Lovebirds mutation, there is no BLUE mutation in Peachfaced lovebirds. Only GREEN and PARBLUE. Most people in the US incorrectly call PARBLUES, BLUE. That was all fine and dandy but those people never thought about the day when a natural genetic BLUE is discovered. In recent years, the phenotype BLUE came into existence, and it's being identified around the world with an asterisk (*BLUE). The states are the main culprit of calling PARBLUES, BLUE. So instead of finally getting onboard with correct genetic identification, they have named the phenotype TRUE BLUE. Which it's not. lol Your bird could be *BLUE, but I'm sure the breeder would have identified them to you as *BLUE or TRUE BLUE, and you would have paid a hefty price for him/her. :)
     
  8. cathodoer

    cathodoer Sitting on the front steps

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    Thank you, I'm really excited about it! Someone suggested to me the name Stormy and I think I might go with that, it feels right!

    Oh wow I definitely know nothing about the mutations then, I was just googling all the things I could think of and find and went with what looked right! I might be completely wrong then. Do you think you (or anyone else) could tell me what colour mutation and/or species this is? Here's a couple pictures of my baby!

    2017-07-10 00.09.26-1.png 2017-07-10 00.09.26.png
     
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  9. LunaLovebird

    LunaLovebird Rollerblading along the road Avenue Spotlight Award Shutterbugs' Best

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    He looks like my girl when she was a baby. She's a violet peach faced lovebird. :)

    IMG_0218.JPG
     
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  10. cathodoer

    cathodoer Sitting on the front steps

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    Oh my gosh they're like long lost twins! Your girl is so cute, she looks so cozy. Thank you, I'll keep that mutation name in mind!
     
  11. ergunm

    ergunm Sitting on the front steps

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    Here is my boy, they look very similar. How old is he/she?

    He/she might be still adapting to new home and cage. As long as he/she is eating and drinking it is ok. Mine was also afraid of hands first days but was happy to stay on our shoulders or arms. after a while he got used to eat from hands and comfortable to perch on my fingers. Give it more time.


    IMG_1961.JPG
     
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  12. fluffypoptarts

    fluffypoptarts Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    What about letting your birdy come to you? I've found with the skittish ones that leaving the door open and being otherwise occupied a few feet away tempts them out. Only thing would be getting yours back in if he's too frightened.
     
  13. cathodoer

    cathodoer Sitting on the front steps

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    He/she was hatched March 16th making it just over 17 weeks/4 months old! It's drinking and eating fine (after the initial hissy fit of kicking most of its food out of its bowl because it didn't seem to like it!) so I'm glad about that.

    I did let birdy out for the first time yesterday but he took no interest in me, was more interested in stretching his wings and bothering my cockatiel by walking all over his cage. I'm worried he is going to bond to my cockatiel so I'm not sure what to do about that, maybe cover my cockatiels cage? (one sided that is, my cockatiel doesn't really care for other birds) He went back in his cage fine, just by his own accord.
     
  14. Anfsurfer

    Anfsurfer Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    Your bird needs to be a little bit older to identify more clearly. But he/she is sure cute!!! :)
     
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  15. Joshie

    Joshie Sitting on the front steps

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    How would you describe the birds in my photo on the left. My other blue looks like a sky...She is white with powder blue. She was sold to me as a "blue pied". I just loved her and never thought about correct identification.
     
  16. Anfsurfer

    Anfsurfer Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    The picture is too small to identify their mutations Joshie. I recommend posting pics in a new thread and asking for identification.

    Calling a Peachfaced "Violet" is the same as calling a Parblue, Blue. I'm sorry, but I'm just trying to be informative here. lol Maybe I'm going overboard.
    The Violet mutation is not a color. It alters the color. So to properly identify a birds mutation, you would state how many factors of Violet the bird has (It can inherit up to 1 from each parent), and to what color base (Green or Parblue [Aqua, Aqua-Turquoise, Turquoise, Turquoise-*Blue, *Blue]). Visually, there are so many different colors of Peachfaced, but they are created by mutations to those two series of colors.
     
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  17. cathodoer

    cathodoer Sitting on the front steps

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    Still having trouble with getting my baby to trust me.. every day he seems to get more scared of me and clings to the back of the cage right up in the corner, generally won't come near any treats I offer him.. I know it's very early days still but he seems oddly frightened for a hand reared baby, is this normal? Can anyone suggest what I should do? I obviously can't offer him treats or get him to step up onto a stick if he's wedged into the upper left cage corner, he'll think I'm gonna hurt him :( I don't know what to do.. I already spend hours a day next to his cage with him.

    He's getting more used to me putting my hand in the cage but as soon as it's near him he's off. He'll rarely scream from frantic fear but he's clearly scared of what I'm doing :( I even got him some nutriberries and he likes them but he'll only eat them if they're in his bowl, he has no interest and will run off if they're from my hand.
     
  18. fluffypoptarts

    fluffypoptarts Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    I agree with providing a barrier/cover on your cockatiel's cage if only to protect everyone's feet!

    Have you tried seeing if your baby will step up on a stick once *outside* the cage? That would at least give you a way to pick him up without hands (if he's open to it), including inside the cage if he takes to it. But honestly, let him come out on his own by leaving the door open and staying nearby. I would keep giving him out time and trying to have positive interactions. (My bird that was super frightened as a baby that took forever to trust and bond to me was hand-raised, by the way. So they can be like that if they've not been handled enough, if they have a skittish temperament, or both. Now he whispers, "Baby!" to me when he's feeling really loving, lol.)
     
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  19. JaclynBin

    JaclynBin Sprinting down the street

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    I would say maybe lay off trying to get near them with hands for a while since they're clearly pretty afraid. Taming is always going to be a balancing act of having mostly positive interactions with your bird so that they think well of you, mingled with a few uncomfortable baby steps towards getting your bird accustomed to interacting with you in a more hands on way.

    Start off with smaller more distant forms of interaction - setup up a schedule where you can shake your bag of nutriberries to indicate it's treat time, put one in their bowl and step back to where they're confortable. After some repetition over the course of days/weeks/however long it takes, theyll connect the trigger to positive outcomes and should become more excited and maybe come to the front of the cage for treats. That's when I'd start trying to stay closer to the cage while they eat their treat - working up towards holding the treat while they eat it.

    Overall, there are many ways of interacting with your bird in a hands off way, while they're growing accustomed to you. In fact, I was able to train one of mine to do tricks before I was able to get him to confortable step up. Stay optimistic and be patient, rushing things will do more harm than good. :)
     

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