Lovebirds and parrotlets are small parrots. Lovebirds are from Africa, while parrotlets are from South America, and Mexico. They are easy to keep as pets and are very easy to raise for breeding. Here is some information to help you care for your lovebirds, and parrotlets.
Lovebirds and parrotlets need a cage which has at least two places to perch, with room to fly from one to the other. A cage with a horizontal measurement of 24 inches to 30 inches is appropriate. Anything less than 18 inches would be too small. Perches need to be different sizes which will give your birds feet exercise. I usually also put natural sticks from the outside in my cages. The parrots love to chew and climb on them. Just make sure you wash the branches free of any pesticides.
It is convenient to have two sets of food and water dishes so that they can be alternated and washed each day. Water must be changed and the dish washed every day. Food dishes can stay longer, with food added each day if preferred, but food dishes do need to be completely emptied, washed, and refilled at every 3-5 days. Caution -- food dishes sometimes look full, but only have seed hulls and waste in them, with no good food for the bird! All lovebirds and parrotlets love fresh vegtebles and fruits. Make sure if you give fresh food to your lovebird not to leave it in the cage to long or they may spoil.
Lovebirds need activity in the cage to stay healthy. Swings, ladders, and interlocked bamboo rings are favorites. The 6 inch cockatiel swings are the best size for lovebirds. Parakeet swings work great for parrotlets. Pet departments or stores have many choices in toys for pet birds. Avoid small toys designed for parakeets and budgies. Lovebirds and parrotlets have very strong beaks for chewing and can break these items. Toys designed for cockatiels and small parrots are the right size for lovebirds and parrotlets. Lovebirds and Parrotlets are very smart and can open their doors. I use clips to keep them closed.
Lovebirds and parrotlets need the same size food as cockatiels and other small parrots. If you plan to feed your birds a seed mix, choose one which contains nutritional supplements to assure a "total diet" to keep birds healthy. Other less expensive seed mixes, or seeds sold for wild birds will not have all the nutrients your bird needs, although they can also be used if you provide lots of fresh foods. Note --pellet diets like Kaytee Exact or Pretty Bird or Lafabre, are nutritionally complete and very good for birds, though some birds will be slow to accept them. Birds that are used to seeds will need to be given adequate time to adjust and learn to eat a pellet-only diet. I feed seed, pellets, and fresh fruit and vegetables to all my birds.
Try to give fresh foods at least 3 or 4 times a week. Our birds love apples, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, parsley, and green beans, egg yolk. You can try other vegetables and fruits, too. Lettuce is okay, but it doesnít have much nutritional value. In the summer we sometimes give dandelion and clover (flowers and greens) from the yard. Make sure to wash off any pesticides or chemicals which could hurt the bird. Our birds also like corn tortillas (not salted tortilla chips) and whole grain breads. Donít feed anything with high fat, salt, or sugar content, like donuts, cake, or cookies. Caution -- remember to remove any uneaten fresh food from the cage before it spoils. Remember: NO CHOCOLATE!!
Try to keep cuttlebone in the cage all the time to provide calcium for the bird. Millet sprays, sometimes called "seed trees" are a good treat. Lovebirds and parrotlets do not need grit in their diet like finches do. I also provide all my birds with a mineral block.
Lovebirds are very easy to care for and will be healthy if kept in a clean environment. Lovebirds and parrotlets should not be exposed to freezing conditions.
Lovebirds like to bathe frequently. The will bathe in their water dishes if the dishes are large enough. I always train my birds to use a bottle to drink from, but they still like a dish kept in their cage. To train your bird to drink from a bottle, just hang it in front of their beak by their perch in the cage, or above the water dish. Lovebirds and parrotlets are parrots, and it doesnít take long with their curiosity to figure it out. Just make sure you provide them with a dish of water daily as a back up. They also like to be sprayed with water mist once in a while. This helps keep their feathers in good condition.
CAUTION! -- If your bird is to be kept in or near the kitchen be very careful not to over heat Teflon pans or appliances. When Teflon gets too hot it gives off fumes which are toxic to birds! The bird may die with respiratory distress. Teflon coated irons and other items can also be very dangerous. Also, if you have a fireplace, please remember to keep your flu open wide enough to allow the smoke to go out the chimney. Wood burning smells and smoke are toxic to ALL birds.
If your bird seems sick, or has been injured, seek the help of a qualified avian veterinarian. Most veterinarians see very few birds, and have little experience diagnosing and treating them. It is best to find a good vet before any problems arise, so that you will know who to go to if there is an emergency.