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New bird advice? :)

Newbie1000

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Hi everyone!! I’m looking for any advice you guys could give me! I just received a beautiful Fischer’s lovebird yesterday and although I’ve done some research, I’m still a bit lost on how to give him the best life possible.

To start, this little guy is a few years old, I’m not sure how old (the person who gave him to me didn’t know). I’m already the THIRD owner of this little guy and proud to say the last. He’s in a cage that a lot of people would say is decent but I’m not buying it; it’s probably around the minimum requirements for a lovebird cage. However, I have a 31”x20.5”x53” cage coming just for him! He is also molting right now so I can understand if he doesn’t want to even attempt being friendly lol. He’s been molting for about a month now (according to the last owner.) How long does molting typically last in lovebirds?

What would be the best way to have this sweet baby bond, or at least feel more at home? I know we definitely need to pour some good TLC into him because neither of his 2 previous owners had time to actually be with him and bond. I’m prepared for time and patience, but after that I don’t know what I should be prepared for. Would letting him out of his cage to free fly be helpful for him and maybe help him trust us a bit more? Or would it be more stressful and hard to get him back in the cage afterwards.

I don’t want to scar this poor boy anymore than he might already have been. Any comments or suggestions are very much appreciated!! Thanks in advance :)
 

Leih

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Hi there, congrats on your new lovebird, and thank you for taking him in and being so considerate of his well-being! The cage you have coming sounds excellent.

Lovebirds usually molt 2x a year and it can go on for awhile. They'll seem to stop and then start again. As long as he has no bare patches, should be normal.

Has he been seen by a vet just for a bill of health?

For now, just sitting near him and talking softly to him and letting him get settled is plenty. I don't think my lovebird wanted much to do with anything for a couple weeks. I read to her and gave her some treats to help her associate me with good things. If you have plenty of time one day you could just let his cage open (assuming he's in a secure room away from other animals) and let him explore on his own. He may not want to come out for awhile. To get him back in you could put some millet in his cage to encourage him to go in on his own. My lovebird wasn't interested in any treats for weeks, and I didn't actually let her out until she was more settled in, but I don't think she'd have come out if she was too scared.

Is he clipped? (I hope not, but won't be surprised if his previous humans had him clipped.) Most of us here advocate against clipping, flying is literally in their DNA. A clipped bird is often more scared since they can't get away easily.

Have you had birds before? My lovebird is my first, but I have 4 birds now. She was terrified of me, but she is my little buddy now, so with patience you'll get there. Do you have perches and toys etc all ready for him?
 

Leih

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Ps, we love pictures! :)
 

Newbie1000

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Thanks for the reply!!
To start of he is actually not clipped! My parents mentioned getting him clipped and without even researching the topic I told them it’s ridiculous.. they’re birds why should they not be able to fly?! Anyways... not doing that lol!

Today is only day 2 of having him so this upcoming week I will be looking into a travel cage/bag for him and looking for a vet to take him to!

Honestly yesterday he was obviously stressed but the progress I’ve seen in one day is amazing. Today he’s more social, engaging with me. He loves to make this one specific whistle and say “pretty bird” which is adorable and my new favorite thing to hear! I can’t wait to see the progress he will make after actually being here for a few months!

My family had a bird before but this is our first lovebird! My moms in love but I’m not sure he feels the same considering he bit her and she bled, she still loves him!!

I’m free all day on Tuesday I can let him out of his cage in my room and lock my dogs out just so he can get some flying and energy out of him! Thanks so much for your reply. Here’s some pics of him (and one bad pic of his molting for reference)!! His name is Mango :)
 

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DoubleTake

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Cute bird, but sorry to say he is not a fischer, he is a hybrid. Looks like he could be a peach faced mixed with a black mask, could possibly have a little fischers in him but who knows at this point. Regardless, he can and hopefully make a great companion pet. Thank you for making this his forever home. All that being said, it has only been two days so I am sure you know there will be an adjustment period. I would just keep talking to him and spending time with him directly and indirectly. Let him engage you if he is brave/curious enough and go on about your daily life. Lovebirds are very social creatures and I am sure he will want to be part of the "flock". This doesnt necessarily mean he will like to be pet/cuddle but he may. Since he is already responding/engaging with you , you are off to a great start. Just keep up with what you are doing and I am sure he will warm up to you. Loki was terrified of me me but she was a baby, I just had her in my living room where I spend most of my days and handling her 5-10 mins at a time. Eventually it got to a point where she would flutter over to me to hang out.
 
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Leih

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Cute bird, but sorry to say he is not a fischer, he is a hybrid. Looks like he could be a peach faced mixed with a black mask, could possibly have a little fischers in him but who knows at this point. Regardless, he can and hopefully make a great companion pet. Thank you for making this his forever home. All that being said, it has only been two days so I am sure you know there will be an adjustment period. I would just keep talking to him and spending time with him directly and indirectly. Let him engage you if he is brave/curious enough and go on about your daily life. Lovebirds are very social creatures and I am sure he will want to be part of the "flock". This doesnt necessarily mean he will like to be pet/cuddle but he may. Since he is already responding/engaging with you , you are off to a great start. Just keep up with what you are doing and I am sure he will warm up to you. Loki was terrified of me me but she was a baby, I just had her in my living room where I spend most of my days and handling her 5-10 mins at a time. Eventually it got to a point where she would flutter over to me to hang out.
I was wondering if maybe a hybrid!
 

Newbie1000

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Cute bird, but sorry to say he is not a fischer, he is a hybrid. Looks like he could be a peach faced mixed with a black mask, could possibly have a little fischers in him but who knows at this point. Regardless, he can and hopefully make a great companion pet. Thank you for making this his forever home. All that being said, it has only been two days so I am sure you know there will be an adjustment period. I would just keep talking to him and spending time with him directly and indirectly. Let him engage you if he is brave/curious enough and go on about your daily life. Lovebirds are very social creatures and I am sure he will want to be part of the "flock". This doesnt necessarily mean he will like to be pet/cuddle but he may. Since he is already responding/engaging with you , you are off to a great start. Just keep up with what you are doing and I am sure he will warm up to you. Loki was terrified of me me but she was a baby, I just had her in my living room where I spend most of my days and handling her 5-10 mins at a time. Eventually it got to a point where she would flutter over to me to hang out.
Thanks for the info on what he might be species-wise! I can’t wait to see how he adjusts and eventually update everyone on how he’s doing :)
 

DoubleTake

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Him being a hybrid, if you were thinking of breeding I highly suggest you avoid it with Mango. As far as the duration of a molt. For a proper complete molt it should take roughly 1 to 2 months. Diet will come into play here as well as a poor diet may cause an incomplete molt. Also I am sure he will love his new cage upgrade. Is the 53" the inside height of the cage or is that the height of the cage with stand? Either way it is a good size, I was just curious.
 

Newbie1000

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That’s fine I wasn’t really planning on making him! The 53” is the overall height and the height of the cage itself is 42” if I remember correctly! Is there anything special I should be giving him in his diet while he’s molting?
 

Zara

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Welcome to the Avenue Edina! :starshower1:

Leih and Brian have left excellent comments here. And from what you are saying, you are doing all the right things. Just keep going, it is only day 2 and you have seen progress.... imagine in 2 months :)

The pictures on the light fixings were taken a while ago? The pictures of your little Mango in the white cage don´t look like an average moult. When a lovebird moults, they get a little scruffy, and lot of pin feathers appear but they do not lose all of their feathers like those pictures. The only time a lovebird has only down feathers is when they are a chick. So this is something you will want to talk with your vet about.
 

Newbie1000

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Welcome to the Avenue Edina! :starshower1:

Leih and Brian have left excellent comments here. And from what you are saying, you are doing all the right things. Just keep going, it is only day 2 and you have seen progress.... imagine in 2 months :)

The pictures on the light fixings were taken a while ago? The pictures of your little Mango in the white cage don´t look like an average moult. When a lovebird moults, they get a little scruffy, and lot of pin feathers appear but they do not lose all of their feathers like those pictures. The only time a lovebird has only down feathers is when they are a chick. So this is something you will want to talk with your vet about.
That’s very interesting, thank you so much! And yes those pictures were taken by the last owner about a month ago! So to make sure I understand correctly, you think the owners were wrong in saying he’s a few years old? And he’s more probably around a few months old? I can’t wait to get him to a vet!
 

Zara

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So to make sure I understand correctly, you think the owners were wrong in saying he’s a few years old? And he’s more probably around a few months old? I can’t wait to get him to a vet!
No. I am saying he is likely not moulting, it looks more like plucking (self mutilating).

Chicks start off covered in down, then their feathers emerge. After months of having all their feathers grown, they will moult, but won´t lose all their feathers. Then they will do this a few times a year onwards. We only usually see visibly their moult during the first as their colour can change slightly so we may see patches. In an older bird, you barely notice a moult except for all the feathers all over the floor and the pinnies appearing.
So, as you see your bird on the light fixing, he has his full coat of feathers. He is an adult bird.
Sorry I wasn´t so clear in my last message.
 
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Newbie1000

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No. I am saying he is likely not moulting, it looks more like plucking (self mutilating).

Chicks start off covered in down, then their feathers emerge. After months of having all their feathers grown, they will moult, but won´t lose all their feathers. Then they will do this a few times a year onwards. We only usually see visibly their moult during the first as their colour can change slightly so we may see patches. In an older bird, you barely notice a moult except for all the feathers all over the floor and the pinnies appearing.
So, as you see your bird on the light fixing, he has his full coat of feathers. He is an adult bird.
Sorry I wasn´t so clear in my last message.
It’s okay thanks for clarifying! I was worried he might be plucking honestly. I noticed this morning a few feathers growing back on his chest/belly area. Is there anything I can do to help him? Or will he stop on his own once he settles in with us and sees that we’re not going to throw him away to another family like his other owners did?
thanks again so much everyone for all the advice and help!!
 

Zara

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For now, you can offer a shallow dish of room temp water. That way he can choose to bathe which will help combat any itches.
I can also see those feathers growing on the picture. Check back in a few days and see if they are still there. You can also check the drop tray (under the cage) for any plucked feathers (they will look different to a normal shed feather usually).

Or will he stop on his own once he settles in with us and sees that we’re not going to throw him away to another family like his other owners did?
This would be best case scenario. Unfortunately plucking isn´t black and white, and sometimes even a bird in a ¨happy home¨ will pluck.
I´m sure your vet will have a lot to say, so don´t hold back asking questions :)
 

Newbie1000

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For now, you can offer a shallow dish of room temp water. That way he can choose to bathe which will help combat any itches.
I can also see those feathers growing on the picture. Check back in a few days and see if they are still there. You can also check the drop tray (under the cage) for any plucked feathers (they will look different to a normal shed feather usually).


This would be best case scenario. Unfortunately plucking isn´t black and white, and sometimes even a bird in a ¨happy home¨ will pluck.
I´m sure your vet will have a lot to say, so don´t hold back asking questions :)
Thank you so so so much!! He does have a little bowl full of water that he likes to bathe in and then shake dry afterwards lol. I will definitely update this thread in the future on his condition! :)
 

Newbie1000

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Hi everyone!! I’m a bit concerned that Mango isn’t eating any fresh fruits/veggies. What’s the best way to introduce them to him? He ate a small amount of a sliced apple my mom gave him and I put a small amount of fruits and greens in a bowl for him but he ignored them completely. I threw away the food because I don’t want it to rot or get bad and make him sick.

Since he’s still new he will not eat anything from our hands, he’ll just run to a different side of the cage. I put once blackberry in his seed dish that way he has to see it because all he eats are his seeds. But of course he ignored it and ate around it. I want him to get all the nutrition and food he needs and now I’m especially worried he might have only been given fresh food as treats rather than an actual meal. Thanks again!!
 

Zara

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I like to offer veggies in the morning. I will remove dry food bowls and put in the fresh breakfast. Leave for 15-20 minutes. If they don´t eat, swap the bowls back. Do this daily.
Offering variety is good. So, different veggies, presented in different ways. Maybe mashed, or processed, or chopped finely, or chopped in chunks. Some like large pieces on skewers.
A good tip is to sprinkle with millet or quinoa. I also like to bury one or two sunflower seeds in there for my picky eaters.

You may end up wasting a lot, so only offer a couple of teaspoons worth of veggies until he starts eating them.

You can also sit and eat next to the cage. Sit and eat some veggies, then offer it to him.

This is a great link: My Chop "Recipe"
Lot´s of help with whch foods to use, and how to store it when you make bulk, and also more tips :)
 
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