African Lovebirds

Agapornis

African lovebirds are the most dearly looking small parrots with bright and beautiful color combinations and short tail. Many kinds of African Lovebirds are available in Pakistan and are being bred locally
They are very good as tame birds is kept as a single bird, but a couple may cause troubles.
I feel that whenever a visitor comes to see the birds, he finds the lovebirds more attractive due to sharp colors.

 Lovebirds Species

Lovebirds or Agapornis refer to a family of nine known species:
Fischer's Lovebirds(Agapornis fischeri)
Masked Lovebirds(Agapornis personata)
Peachfaced Lovebirds(Agapornis roseicollis)
Abyssinian Lovebirds(Agapornis taranta)
Black-Cheek Lovebirds(Agapornis nigrigensis)
Nayasa Lovebirds(Agapornis lilianae)
Red faced Lovebirds(Agapornis pullaria)
Madagascar Lovebirds(Agapornis cana)
Swinderen's Lovebirds(Agapornis swinderiana)
A detailed information on lovebirds can be seen of African Lovebird Soci Website
Fischer's Lovebirds
The Fischer are green colored lovebirds with blue or violet rump and a few tail feathers. They have a bright red bill , and gray feet. The forehead is orange with slightly paler shade on the cheeks and
Fischer's love to make nest out of anything they thing in the cage so plenty of nest building material should be supplied at the start of the breeding season.
Masked Lovebirds
Masked lovebirds are called so as they have a mask of black feathers on their head. They have a ring around the eyes too. The normal Masked lovebird has green colored body except for the mask, red bill and grayish feet. A yellow collar around the chest and back that is wider on the chest and narrower on the back. There are many mutations including blue, cobalt, mauve, olive etc. Blue has a slightly pinkish bill instead of red.
Peach faced Lovebirds
Peach faced lovebirds have bright green color and fresh blue rump. T
These lovebirds also love to build a nest before settling down but do not carry the grass in the beaks but instead carry them under the wings.
There are many mutations known of these lovebirds. More information can be gathered from the website of African Lovebird Society.
Abyssinian Lovebirds
These are dimorphic as the males have red colored forehead and some red coloring around the eyes too. But the female lacks the red coloration on the forehead or around the eyes.
Black Cheeked Lovebirds
Black cheeks love birds are smaller then the other kinds of lovebirds, They have black cheeks and green body  color with shades of olive on back of the head. The bill is red and feet are grey. This kind of lovebirds is considered as endangered.
Nayasa Lovebirds
They have a green body with red bill and white ringed eyes and look like Peachfaced or Fischer's lovebirds.
Red Faced Lovebirds
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Madagascar Lovebirds
They are dimorphic too, male having a grey mask, just like the black mask in masked lovebirds. The bill is light colored and feet are light grey. The female, on the other hand, is completely green.
Swinderen's Lovebirds
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Sexing Lovebirds

Lovebirds cannot be distinguished  as male and female with just a look (except for Abyssinian, Madagascar and red faced love bird which are dimorphic) but I have observed some differences that usually give me correct results.
The head of male is flat on the top and slightly bigger then the females while the females have slightly heavy body then  the males.
The females have a little bit of a bigger size of feet as if swollen as compared to the males who have thinner feet and sits on perches with slightly more distance between the legs.
The Pelvic bone opening some times proves to be very misleading as sometimes.

Breeding Lovebirds

Some aviculturists have this point of view that the LBs breed well in separate cages as pairs instead of colony. Well there is positive and negative side to every aspect.
In colony breeding the advantage is that they consume lesser space and more breed . Colony breeding needs less maintenance time. The disadvantage is this system is that if your are breeding for mutations then it is much difficult to keep the males confined to their own females only. Another problem is the aggressive behavior of non-breeding pairs or aggressive pairs towards new chicks that come out of nest for first time.
In separate cage, pair breeding system, mutations are easily developed as you can keep track of parenting and offsprings without any confusion. The main problem with this system is the space consumed and too much time required to take good care of each pair separately.
Changing weathers and rate of humidity is also a very important aspect in case you want to get the best result out of your pairs.
The hens lay 4 to 6 egg in a clutch and incubate for 19 to 21 days approx. The eggs may be unfertile if the hens are in stress in some way but in average colony breeding, you may get one unfertile egg from each pair in each clutch. In case of changing weather, like unexpectedly high or low temperatures that are not normal to the season or below or above average level of humidity may cause the chicks to die in the egg shells without hatching so you have to take really good care of your lovies if you don't want any of such problems in your way.
Lovebirds love to make nests so do provide them some dry and fresh grass that is suitable for making a nest.
Lovebirds cannot be awarded as best parents but neither they are worse parents. They are average parents in sense of taking care of the babies.
for more on nest boxes and breeding

Baby Lovebirds

Baby lovebirds also have a great effect of weather and other changes on their health. Don't forget to band the babies in about 2 weeks. The chicks have black on their beaks which clears off very soon.
If your lovebirds are not getting settled then the best way to colonize them is to let all the babies grow together in a colony which gives them a habit of being more friendlier to their neighbors. If the diet of the babies is just according to their requirement, they show an excellent physique and beautiful colors even when young. 

Lovebirds Diet

Lovebirds like to eat seed mix and it is the most suitable diet for them but th
My Lovebirds like diced sugar cane and soaked bean sprouts and chick peas too.
for more on diet

Lovebirds Health

Lovebirds are very sensitive to their surroundings. Cleanliness is a must for them as they easily get attacked by germs and diseases.
Fruits, vegetables and soaked beans should be removed from the cage after maximum of 2 to 3 hours. As long as these will stay inside the cage, bacteria will keep of dividing into more and more so do take care of cleanliness.
Water should be changed every day and the water dish should be washed and cleaned properly everyday.
Spray them with dettol frequently and treat them with worms. Vitamins and calcium should be a constant supply for them and for love birds especially, never, never, never introduce a new bird in the colony unless you have kept it in quarantine for at least two weeks.
Wash the new bird with dettol before including it in colony and treat it for worms too.

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