Hints for breeders
We have been told that lovebirds can live as long
as 10 to 13 years depending on their diet and their environment.
Lovebirds like to have a nest box which encourages them to start building a nest. Lovebirds like to have nesting materials to
build their nest. They require a nest box that is large enough for them to enter safely with out losing their nesting materials.
The hen usually puts the material in her tail feathers and carries it into the nest. This can be paper or any commercial nest material.
The first egg is laid within 10 days after mating. The lovebirds eggs are laid in the nest every other day.
The hen usually starts to brood (sit on the eggs)after the second egg is laid. It takes up to 10 days for them to be laid.
Most time the eggs are laid at night. The brooding takes 22 to 25 days.
Two female Lovebirds can lay up to 10 infertile eggs. This is a sure way to tell you have two hens.
If you have a pair of lovebirds, you may have 5 or 6 eggs in the nest. However, in many cases, not all survive, it is just a part of nature.
You can candle the eggs in about 10 days to make sure they are fertile. This is done very simply by cutting a hole in a piec
of cardboard and holding a flashlight and the egg up to the light. If a membrane is seen in the egg then it is fertile.
If the egg is clear then it is not fertile. Another good thing is to soak the egg in water one week before it hatches.
Do this by placing the eggs in shallow dish of warm water for about 5 seconds. If the egg is not fertile it does not means
the birds are infertile, sometimes the pair are not ready (too young or too old) or they could not be in the best physical condition.
The female needs to be in the proper cycle for the breeding process. Most lovebirds make good foster parents.
It is very difficult to be 100% sure of the sex of a baby lovebird. There are some techniques you can use.
Try feeling the little bones near the pelvis of the bird, the male bones are very close together and the hen bones are farther apart.
Hens normally make strips of paper around 7 months old or so.
I spent many hours with my birds. I observe them from the time that they are hatched until they are weaned at 10 weeks old.
Because I hand-feed them up to 10 weeks we notice that they are just beginning to develop little traits.
Each birdie has its own little personality. Some are outgoing and love to spent time with you, while others are timid and like to be in their cage.
This is when they learn to develop activities that may or may not be acceptable.
I spend considerable time training them to do little things that will make them more adorable pets.
Breeding lovebirds can be a lot of fun. It can be educational, challenging, emotionally fulfilling, and addictive. It can also be
tiring, frustrating and heartbreaking. There are lots of good and bad reasons to get into lovebird breeding. Some good reasons are that
you're fascinated by birds and you want to learn more, you like losing sleep, and you have lots of extra money that you're dying to spend
on bird food, cages, cleaning supplies, and vet bills. If you're looking to get into lovebird breeding to make money, I can't help you.
Few lovebird breeders are able to break even on their birds, much less turn a profit. And even fewer than that can make a living at it.
But if you still think breeding lovebirds might be for you, try to plan ahead. How seriously do you want to get into this?
Do you want to have only one or two pairs, or do you want a larger aviary? If your birds do start to hatch chicks, what
will you do with them? Do you have the time to hand-feed the chicks, or will you let the parents raise them?
Are you going to sell the chicks, and if so, where and how? Almost any experienced breeder will tell you that it is much more
difficult to sell birds than it is to raise them.
Make a plan for yourself and your birds. You can always change the plan if you need to, but it really helps to know what your
goals and limitations are. How many total birds do you want to have? Are there specific colours that you want to produce?
What birds will you need to do what you want to do, and where will you get them? Will you have any unrelated offspring to breed
into a second or third generation? How much will it cost to feed the birds you expect to have, and how many chicks
will you have to sell at what price to pay for that?
I always advise new breeders to start small. It is MUCH easier to increase the size of your aviary than it is to make it smaller.
Starting small gives you a chance to really learn about the birds, learn what to look for, and learn what you really want.
It is so easy to get overwhelmed very quickly. Many breeders burn out on the hobby within a few years because they lost control
of the size of their aviary, and it became too much work and stopped being fun.
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