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Thread: Adopting a friend for my Lovebird?

  1. #1
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    Adopting a friend for my Lovebird?

    Hi,

    I'm new to this forum, so hello all!

    I figured I'd better describe the situation, and my lovebird's personality to start with.

    I've been caring for a wonderful lovebird named Bubba for about 2 years now (they were 6 when I took them in). It was a complicated and unexpected situation - they'd been given away to a relative of mine who did not have the ability to care for them, so I took them in. What I know about their life before I took over their care, is that they used to have a friend who died not long prior. Their previous human would get angry when they made noise, and had barely any contact with the birds. I believe Bubba was more noisy after the loss, which was why they were given away. The cage seemed way too small, especially for two lovebirds.

    Bubba has been getting progressively more comfortable with me, but you can tell they haven't had much positive interactions with people in the past. They will fly to my finger when they feel like it now (and sometimes when I ask), get clingy when I've been outta the room for a while, but they're scared of fingers moving towards them in any way unless I'm holding treats. They'll step up onto a stick happily, and fairly enjoy the bedtime 'cage time' ritual.
    I had to grab them suddenly once, and they held a grudge for a week - biting me whenever I went to change the food. They will sit happily on my finger and relax with me, but I can't touch or handle them at all. They also get defensive of their perches - especially flat or new ones, as I think they feel more vulnerable. The feathers at their nape stand up, and they will charge and bite.

    I feel like Bubba is missing out on certain kinds of affection and interaction they'd have had when they lived with another bird, and I'm doubtful I can provide a complete alternative. And now I'm in a position where I can provide the space and time for a new lovebird. I have an old rat cage which is about the size of Bubba's (Bubba's is a Rainforest La Paz, and the spare would be a Liberta Explorer Second Edition), so I'd plan to use that for the introductions stage. Possibly finding a way to attatch the two to extend the cage in the end.

    Currently bubba isn't DNA sexed, so the plan would be to take them to the vets to have that done, along with a check up, and then attempt to find a suitable partner. But before I put Bubba through the stress of the sexing, I just wanted to check with people who might have experience with these things. Is this a good idea? Do you think Bubba will take well enough to a new partner? Is there anything to watch out for when chosing someone, and what can I do to make introductions go smoothly?
    Side note: does anyone know of a decent means of finding a single lovebird in need of a home in the UK? Currently it seems that most rescue places I can see don't really have lovebirds. I was considering adopting from an individual looking to rehome, but obviously it would be harder to get a sense of compatibility.

    Look forward to hearing people's thoughts,

    Skye

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    Re: Adopting a friend for my Lovebird?

    If the birds seem to like each other, they will get along well. If not, probably not. Sort of like people, But if they do get along, it is wonderful to have a friend or partner of their same species. I do not hear about Lovebirds in Rescues or Shelters often either. However, some rescues do have them at times. But the rescue may not be convienent for you to get to. Just keep asking.

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    Re: Adopting a friend for my Lovebird?

    Quote Originally Posted by Birdmanca View Post
    If the birds seem to like each other, they will get along well. If not, probably not. Sort of like people, But if they do get along, it is wonderful to have a friend or partner of their same species. I do not hear about Lovebirds in Rescues or Shelters often either. However, some rescues do have them at times. But the rescue may not be convienent for you to get to. Just keep asking.
    Yeah, I figured something like that. From my description, do you reckon Bubba would do okay with a new bird? They do exhibit some elements of being territorial, but idk if it's just about past trauma with human hands.
    It's my feeling too, that if Bubba gets a compatible companion it would be super enriching for them, so I really wanna give it a shot if I can.
    Also, how would a pair of 2 males compare to 2 females in terms of ease of introduction? And what difference would age differences make to the introduction/relationship? I expect the new lovie would be younger than Bubba, but maybe not.

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    Re: Adopting a friend for my Lovebird?

    Hi, and welcome to the community. I admire you completely for bringing Bubba into your life. I have never homed lovebirds, and cannot say for sure whether another lovebird would be a welcome addition to Bubba's life, so will leave that topic for other lovebird owners.

    However, I will share my thoughts about parrots in general, that are caged birds. Sometimes birds that have not had the best interaction with a prior owner are prone to being territorial and dominant over other birds, especially new babies or very young birds.

    I would suggest you call an Avian vet in your area, see if they know any rescues or breeders in your area, and present this question to both the breeder, if you find one, the rescue folks, or the vet.

    Even if you could never put them in the sane cage, and put each cage side by side, I really feel Bubba would really like having a bird friend next to him. Getting a bird that is about 2-3 years old, would be great because they are more mature and adult in behavior.

    We will welcome updates, and I hope you can work this out so Bubba can have a new pal!
    Last edited by maxollie; 12-19-2017 at 09:10 AM.

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    Re: Adopting a friend for my Lovebird?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxollie View Post
    Hi, and welcome to the community. I admire you completely for bringing Bubba into your life. I have never homed lovebirds, and cannot say for sure whether another lovebird would be a welcome addition to Bubba's life, so will leave that topic for other lovebird owners.

    However, I will share my thoughts about parrots in general, that are caged birds. Sometimes birds that have not had the best interaction with a prior owner are prone to being territorial and dominant over other birds, especially new babies or very young birds.

    I would suggest you call an Avian vet in your area, see if they know any rescues or breeders in your area, and present this question to both the breeder, if you find one, the rescue folks, or the vet.

    Even if you could never put them in the sane cage, and put each cage side by side, I really feel Bubba would really like having a bird friend next to him. Getting a bird that is about 2-3 years old, would be great because they are more mature and adult in behavior.

    We will welcome updates, and I hope you can work this out so Bubba can have a new pal!
    Thanks for the input
    Yeah, I was concerned previous interactions with humans might cause that kind of territorial/defensive behaviour with another bird, though a little more hopeful given they previously did have a partner. It'd likely be just depending on how they get on. It's helpful to know that it's likely to be worse with a younger bird. It's another reason for wanting someone more mature for Bubs. I'm going to be seeing a vet for the sexing and a checkup soon, so I'll see what she thinks, and there's a rescue I'm planning to contact too.

    That's true, and I hadn't really thought of that, but even if they can't live together they could still enjoy eachother's company! Possibly even enjoying out of cage time together too. I feel like Bubba would love someone to talk to who speaks their own language. I play bird songs for them in the day time which they really enjoy. Lovebird sounds work them up a little too much though. I think a lovebird who can actually talk back would be great all by itself, let alone other contact.

    I'm excited to move forward with this, and am reassured by people seeming to think it's a good idea. I was worried it'd be something that could potentially cause more stress than enjoyment - I know that can be the case for cats at least.

    I'll definitely keep you updated! I plan to have Bubba sexed shortly after christmas, and move from there.

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    Re: Adopting a friend for my Lovebird?

    I realised I never updated this post - just wanted to say that I did end up adopting a friend for Bubba. I got Bubs sexed as male, and so started looking for a single male lovebird who wouldn't be too young. Then Bubba developed a respiratory infection, and I wanted to get that 100% resolved before adopting anyone. Then June last year I adopted Pip, a two year old male lovebird who had recently lost his mate.
    I had no idea how it would go, and had a whole cage set up prepared to keep them separate (indefinitely if needed). They started talking pretty quickly, but Bubba was cage territorial; out of the cage, Bubba would follow Pip about a lot (Pip couldn't go very far with clipped wings, and I had to help). I took them both to the vet for a check up after about a week together - on the way there I needed to put them in separate carriers, but on the way back Bubba was happily preening Pip.
    They were moved in together after 3 weeks of gentle trials and a lot of out of cage time together. They couldn't be happier! Pretty much joined at the hip, and they both team up in preening me and demanding baths, toys, treats and bed time. Pip's a bit of a weirdo, and took a long time to adjust to growing in his wing feathers and having more autonomy again - Pip had a lot of learned helplessness before, but that's really improved!
    Bubba has learned from Pip and will step onto my hand a lot more easily now, and Pip has learned from Bubba and won't be scared of my hands when offered treats. They are more interested in each other than me most of the time, and Bubba seems so much happier than before. I'm so glad I took the risk and adopted Pip, there's nothing quite like knowing Bubba has someone of the same species, and to watch them playing, preening and chatting (though I'm not so fond of watching them regurgitating for each other. ugh.)

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    Re: Adopting a friend for my Lovebird?

    Hi, Skyler, and welcome back!! Congrats on bringing Pip into your home to be Bubba's friend. Wow! They sure teamed up for the best! I love how well they get along together, and I am so happy for you that you adopted Pip, and the three of you are best friends forever! Thanks for sharing the news with us. We will welcome your updates anytime! I admire you completely for adopting Pip to be Bubba's friend!!
    ,

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    Re: Adopting a friend for my Lovebird?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxollie View Post
    Hi, Skyler, and welcome back!! Congrats on bringing Pip into your home to be Bubba's friend. Wow! They sure teamed up for the best! I love how well they get along together, and I am so happy for you that you adopted Pip, and the three of you are best friends forever! Thanks for sharing the news with us. We will welcome your updates anytime! I admire you completely for adopting Pip to be Bubba's friend!!
    ,
    Thanks! They make a great team, and are quite joined at the hip.

    Here's a picture of the two of them I just took (Bubba on the left, Pip on the right), for anyone interested (you'd think they were literally joined at the hip from this one)!

    Last edited by Rackabello; 09-12-2020 at 07:31 AM. Reason: add image

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