Hello, nice to meet you all! I've been reading this forum for a while now but this is my first post.
I am the lucky owner of two hybrid lovebirds, Zsa Zsa (female) and Albin (male). We rescued them from a very abusive enviroment in November last year. I won't go into too much detail as I'm sure some people will find it upsetting but they were being starved and neglected - we also suspect they were physically hurt as well. Albin has a plucking problem and was practically bald when he arrived and he has only just started to recover. He has three tail feathers that he is very proud of!
Through a lot of care and love both birds have started to get over their bad start and act more like normal birds - playing, eating proper food etc. They are in no way tame yet but they aren't afraid of us anymore so we are working on getting them to take food from our hands etc.
The problem is that over the past couple of months Zsa Zsa has starting getting quite aggressive towards Albin. She has always been Top Dog which is fine but she has started pecking at his tail when she wants him to move - as he still hasn't got all of his feathers her beak catches the skin easily and she has been making him bleed. He is obviously very upset by this and clings to the top of the cage, silently staring into the distance. It's horrible to see.
When she's not bullying him they are very much bonded. They have mated in the past, but no eggs yet (we won't be breeding them, assuming they are even fertile). My head tells me to seperate them but they are so in love 99% of the time and he is especially clingy with her. There are the usual cost and space considerations too as they're used to being in a lovely big cage.
This is what we have tried to stop her pecking him:
- more out of the cage time (they never bicker out of the cage)
- more and varied toys
- removed the toys she was getting nesty/possessive over
- moving toys around so they don't get bored
- saying "no" and clapping (not very hard) when she starts to go for him
- different food, cutting down on seed etc
Nothing seems to have worked. She pecked him again this morning and there was blood on the cage floor. It's so upsetting to see - we just want them to be happy. Zsa Zsa has never chased him into a corner or tried to do anything but peck his tail but I'm just dreading coming home one day and seeing that he's bled to death on the floor of the cage.
Please, any advice anyone has would be so much appreciated. We knew they would be a big commitment and possibly have special needs due to their bad start but it's breaking our hearts to see him so upset.
Thanks a lot for getting to the end of this essay!