We are caring for a 4 month old lovebird that is a Christmas present (surprise for the wife, but husband knows and approves). We picked her up (we don’t actually know if it’s a female, but we want to use a pronoun). We have an appropriate cage, food and water bowls on the bottom of the cage, because that’s what she’s used to, and hanging cups with fruit and her feed to get her used to them. one hanging toy for small parrots, and perches. She is active and exploring her cage. She was on that toy in a heartbeat, even though the breeder didn’t have any toys in with her. This will be her first night without her two siblings. The breeder said to give her something warm to snuggle in tonight (a soft cotton undershirt is what we are planning on). She looks fully feathered, but so little. Should we put up a heat lamp? Or, should I see if she looks cold first? I know how to tell from raising chickens. Any other ideas? Her new owner is experienced with birds, but we need to keep this little one comfy until Tuesday. Any help would be much appreciated. Right now, she’s in our bedroom with the door closed to keep kitties out. It’s warmer up there and the house is about 68 degrees, normally. Tonight, we plan to put her cage in the large closet to keep her safe from cats.
If she is fully feathered, she’ll be fine inside the house away from drafts. If she looks cold, covering the cage will help. I agree with the closet overnight if you have cats – plus you’ll be more likely to get enough sleep if she’s not up with the sun. Lovebirds can be LOUD.
Don’t give her anything fabric that you are attached to. Everything in beak range will get perforated and shredded.
I hand-fed a baby lovebird (liquid formula in a syringe) ages ago. A blue black-masked one: Bandit the Masked Lovebird. No heat lamp, he was fine inside the house. What color is this one?
I think the standard color. I’ll try to get a picture.
The hubby was so happy we were getting his wife this bird. She has really missed having one and a hand reared lovebird was perfect. Until it wasn’t. She just took in house cats. Now, she doesn’t want a bird.
I have chickens. Not house birds. Ugh! I knew better than to get a pet for someone, but this is my SO’s family and I went by their recommendation instead of listening to my own rule.
We will decide if we are keeping the bird or finding her a new home. We’re giving it a few more days. The woman might change her mind.
In the meantime, I’m trying to handle the little thing daily to keep her friendly. Today, she seemed to like being rubbed on the back of her neck. She will get on my hand and seems eager to come out, but can spook easily and flap to the floor. Better today, though.
I have a couple of friends in mind for this little bird. One is a retiree who doesn’t like to travel and dislikes having dogs and cats in the house. She seems to be a bird person. I’ll find out. Someone is going to have a happy Christmas.
I need to find a nice place for this little one before our son gets too attached! If anyone knows anyone down this way, please PM me.
One more question about these little birds. If we keep her, which our son is campaigning hard for, is there a cage that makes them safe from cats? The one she’s in now is plastic and flimsy, so she is in our room during the day with the door closed to keep kitties away. At night, we put it in the walk in closet and shut the door so the cats can come in and sleep on the bed.
The cats can’t really get through the wire, but the risk is that they tip the cage over and it comes apart.
Also… that beak is sharp – I recall my cat put her paws up on the cage to look exactly once. The bird chomped on a paw pad that stuck through the cage wire and the cat never did that again!
I’d get the biggest cage that makes sense for your space, since she’ll spend a lot of time in it and they are busy little things! Toys take up a lot of space.
If I were getting another I’d probably get something like this one, but find a model with sliding or swing-out doors for the food and water bowls.
That way you don’t have to open the big door to reach in for the bowls (less chance of escape) and non-bird-people can feed for you if needed. (Did I mention that beak is sharp?!)
That’s a safe looking one! Thank you for the link. There is still a chance the wife might take the bird home when she stops by to visit tomorrow. I’m hoping so.
Well, we can’t keep the little bird. Her quality of life with this many cats would not be good enough. Sure, we can buy a great cage, but if she can’t get more than 15 minutes per day outside of it, she’ll probably pluck out her feathers, or show stress in other ways. I’m taking an ad to the local pet store today. We’ll keep handling her daily. She likes to be rubbed behind her head, so she is friendly. Our son will be disappointed, but learning that you always have to do what’s best for the animals, even if it isn’t with you, is a lesson we’ve always taught him. He’ll understand.
Will the breeder not take it back to rehome it that way?
It was a long drive to pick the bird up. We’re screening people better than she did. They have to give us the name of their bird vet and their experience with birds.
Awww… it looks like you have a black masked one! (Mine was the blue mutation of that – black head, then white neck and blue body.) They are cute. But loud. And I don’t miss the puncture wounds.
Perfect match! Our Godchildren’s mom had parrots for years. She missed them. The little bird was the perfect gift for the family. Her new name is Mango.