Need help with baby lovebirds

freshprincess87

New member
Dec 30, 2016
27
1
Australia
Parrots
8 little lovebirds
Hello everyone,

I am new to this forum, although I have read through the threads a fair bit the past few weeks.

My partner and I have owned our baby lovebirds for about a month and a half now. Three (two green ones (Ashu and Asha) and the blue one with white/grey head (Ashi)) were purchased from a breeder. The blue one with a black head (Koko) was purchased at a pet shop. A bit of a short back story on them, Koko the blue black masked was purchased a few days after the other three. The two blue ones have bonded with each other, possibly because they were the only ones who knew how to fly at first therefore spent a lot of time together outside of their cages. Ashu the older green just recently learnt how to fly properly about two weeks ago, after trying a few times and being unsuccessful. Asha, baby green, has yet to learn how to fly, and when he (or she) tries, she basically flies to the ground all the time (has no height), but lately has been able to run faster than before when on the floor. They are not tame as they are all aviary bred, but they are starting to learn for example when its time to go back into the cage for dinner time and so on but they are still afraid of us a bit, but it is slowly getting better to the point where we can be close to the cage and they don't go rushing to the top of it. We were told at first that all three from the breeder were related to each other, but now we are being told Ashi (blue) isn't related to them, so it seems the two greens are siblings, and the two blues are unrelated to anyone.


1) How old do you think the lovebirds are by looking at them roughly? Could they be younger or older than the 3.5 months?

2) I was told that the three from the breeder were masked lovebirds, but now I am thinking they are fishers from all the research I have done online and photos I have seen, what do you think? Or are they possibly hybrids between the two?

3) This is the most important question I have, the youngest baby green Asha, recently has started growing a feather on the left side, that pokes out from the body. He (or she) pulls it out eventually as we find it at the bottom of the cage, however this has happened three times in the past week now and they seem to occur in the same place on the left. I will also mention with the flight feathers, they seem to be grown on the right side, but on the left side not, or if it is, it is growing very slowly. What could this feather be? And why hasn't his left flight feathers grown in yet? Before the feather poking out, the only concern I had was not being able to fly yet like the others.

I would like to also note we have been to the vet twice, to two different ones (the first time wasn't about the feathers poking out, rather it was because we were concerned about why he couldn't fly yet like his sibling). The 1st vet did a very quick examination, and said there is signs of injury on his wings, but that he will be fine and will develop well. The 2nd vet did a more thorough examination of the wings, and mentioned that they did look uneven in development and that she could possibly feel a cyst and that it was either a genetic disorder that occurred while still in the egg or a virus. But said it couldn't be determined accurately unless tests were done, but told us if he is only a pet bird and if we are not planning to breed, then to not worry about the tests and he will be fine as a pet. And this is our case as they are our pets, not intended for breeding. In my area the vets seem to specialise more in cats and dogs, I could not even see food for birds at the first vet, at the 2nd vet there was a bit of bird food for sale, and this vet did seem a little bit more knowledgeable than the first.

4) Asha does not like the blue black masked one at all. If Koko comes near, she will attempt to bite to make her go away. Ashu the elder green usually accepts the Koko when flying around the lounge room playing, but once back in the cages, defends her sibling as they are bonded to each other. Will the baby ever accept the black masked? When I observe them its almost as if Koko wants to be friends with everyone, but Asha doesnt want her friendship.

5) Sometimes late at night, I still hear one of the birds moving or climbing around the cage, is this normal? Do they sometimes go and drink some water then go back to sleep, or have a small snack from their bowls and back to sleep?

Apologies for my long novel of a post, I am just very concerned especially regarding the baby. They are our family now and we don't want anything to happen to them.

I have tried to attach photos to my post as well, they appear at the bottom as thumbnails. the three photos with only one green lovebird, is baby Asha, showing the feather sticking out in two of them and the flight feathers not being even. Single blue photo is of Ashi (with grey/white head), photo with the three of them has Ashu (green who knows how to fly), Ashi, and Koko (black masked).


Thank you everyone and I really hope to hear from anybody soon.:rainbow1:
 

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ParrotLover2001

New member
Dec 20, 2016
931
7
In my parents house
Parrots
A cockatiel, a bourke, and three budgies
1, I can't tell age.

2, the green birds, the might be masked crossed to fischer because their heads aren't jet black. The blue one with the white/grey head is a Fischer masked hybrid.

3, do you have a picture of the Feather its self?

4, I'm having the same problem with my lovebird, she doesn't like my other birds. Over time your lovebird might accept the other bird, but it really depends on the bird.

5, my birds do it, so it's probably normal. My birds eat then go back to sleep. So maybe your bird's are just getting a midnight snack, or a quick drink.

I can't see the Feather clearly in the photos. Have you talked to a vet about it? Just, don't go back to the first vet.

Sent from my SM-T230NU
 
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freshprincess87

New member
Dec 30, 2016
27
1
Australia
Parrots
8 little lovebirds
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Hi Parrotlover2001,

Thanks so much for the quick reply.

Apologies for the photos, I don't know why they are unclear and why they are rotated a different way, they only changed rotations when I uploaded them on here. I took a photo of the feathers that were pulled out this week, and have attached it to this post. Altogether its four feathers. The feather that was poking out yesterday was found on the floor. but I do not think he pulled it out, I think it fell out when he was running around.

Yes we did go to the vet twice, but this is all the information they gave us, I wish there was a proper avian vet nearby, there are many people breeding birds around here but I don't think they care too much about them its all "business" to them and they seem more concerned about producing beautiful colours more than anything. They don't seem knowledgeable and I don't think they realise they are possibly producing a lot of hybrids. The 1st vet was in the same suburb which is why we went there the first time, the 2nd vet is a bit further away at least 20 minutes drive (we live rurally also so 20 minutes is long).

I have also tried to upload a clearer picture of the baby's wing feathers, if I am correct, that should be the black feathers, when I compare to the other three birds, they all have the black feathers coming out from both sides of the body, and they all can fly, but the baby, if you are able to see in the picture, only has the black feathers grown on the right side but not on the left.

I have some more questions, if thats ok.

1. How can you tell the blue is a hybrid? There is a website called African Lovebird Society in Australia that shows photos, and I was so sure that the blue one looked like a normal fischers. Is it do do with the neck colouring? Before realising he was potentially a fischers, I was thinking he was a violet masked, as the other blue masked one is more of an aqua colour compared to him. (apologies I keep referring to them as males, we actually don't know their sexes, but from behaviour, we are thinking the baby green and possible blue hybrid were female due to their more dominant aggressive behaviour, and that the other green and blue masked were male, as they are not as aggressive and generally do not fight back as much).

2. Any advice on changing their diets, especially onto pellets? We provide a small parrot seed mix to them, which actually has pellet in it, but I don't think they are eating the pellets, rather I think they are only picking out the seeds they like, and I think they are the millet seeds and the sunflower seeds. We put spinach as well each day and they tend to go and play with the spinach and I think they are eating it as well, not a lot though. Beforehand we were able to handled the two green ones some fruits, not a lot, but at least they were getting the juices from them, and now we are only able to do this with the baby, since the other green can fly and won't be handled.

3. Are there any providers of food or seed mixes in the USA, that are specifically for lovebirds, that can ship to Australia?

4. Another thing is when we let them out of their cages each day, they do not eat or drink while they are out of the cage (possibly because they think once they are back in the cage they won't be let out again?), we have to keep getting them back inside and ensure they eat and drink a little at least then let them out again to play, is this a good process? We have started to gather them back into their cages, and ensure they eat then let them out again, to try to get their trust that they will be let out again as long as they eat and drink.

4. Does a DNA test hurt the birds? How can it be done on untamed birds who fly away when your near?

5. Would also appreciate if you are able to see the feathers clearer, what your opinion is on them.

We may possibly go to the vet again, if we notice any unusual behaviour regarding the baby green bird.

I have attached to this post, pictures of the feathers that were pulled out by the green bird, a photo that hopefully shows the uneven growth of the flight feathers, and here are some links to the seed mixes that we provide to the birds, as there seems to be a limit to photos being able to be uploaded here:

TRILL | Small Parrot Mix with Fruit & Nuts
TRILL | MIX-IN Vegie Mix
TRILL | Millet Sprays
Vetafarm ? Designed by Vets?Perfect for Pets
Vetafarm ? Designed by Vets?Perfect for Pets
Nature's Best - Peckish Bird
( from this selection we have used the small parrot mix)
https://shop.coles.com.au/a/a-nsw-m...nchies-bird-seed-treat-parrot-peachface?col=1


Thanks again and also I welcome any feedback from everyone on the forum, and hope to hear from you soon.:rainbow1:
 

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ParrotLover2001

New member
Dec 20, 2016
931
7
In my parents house
Parrots
A cockatiel, a bourke, and three budgies
1, because the head isn't jet black, and fischers don't have black heads.

2, try mixing more pellets then seed. If that doesn't work there are probably other threads you can read about this topic.

3, I'm not sure. I know there are lovebird mixes, but I'm not if they ship out to the USA.

4, my birds are the same way. I leave the cage door open so they can go back in if they are hungry or thirsty.

5, DNA tests can be done on untamed birds. It's like getting a vaccine, so it doesn't hurt much.

6, yes, those flight feathers are uneven, and those feathers that were pulled out look like flight feathers. If they were sticking out, then there is a problem with how the Feather is growing in. It isn't growing in the way it should, so the bird pulls it because it is probably uncomfortable.


Sent from my SM-T230NU
 
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freshprincess87

New member
Dec 30, 2016
27
1
Australia
Parrots
8 little lovebirds
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  • #5
Thanks Parrotlover2001 for your quick responses, especially over all these public holidays. I also thought it was the flight feathers as well, and on the left side they never seemed to grow at all, and on the right side they have grown, so when he flies he just flies to the ground.

I have tried every google search possible, and cannot find the solution, all other forum posts on numerous forums, are about flight feathers not growing back evenly, AFTER a wing clip, but this is a baby 3.5 month old who has never had anything clipped, and just never seems to develop the flight feathers on the left side, but instead only gets the poking out feathers.

We are taking him to the vet again tomorrow (a different one again), as we are a little concerned, when they are all outside of the cage, he is more quiet lately and doesnt play with his toys as much as the others and doesnt chirp as much either (we created a jungle gym for them to play with outside of the cage). We were worried all day yesterday, because of this, but in the evening when we got them all back into the cage, we put them a seed mix that we used to put for them before but stopped (The peckish brand from my above post, my partner mistakenly thought they didn't like it, but it turns out they like this seed mix the most), and they were really happy eating including the baby, and making their happy / content chirping noises, but today outside of the he was quiet and not playing again. We really hope there is nothing wrong, he is a part of our family, and is bonded to the other green one too.
 

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