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Thread: Lovebird died suddenly

  1. #1
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    Lovebird died suddenly

    Hi, everyone,
    Iím new to this site and this is my first post. I had a lovebird (Lollie) that we got when she was nine weeks old and lived to be 15 years old. She died last Thanksgiving due to a seizure. In August, we got a new lovebird (Tiki) who I was told was 2-4 months old at the time I bought him. Tiki seemed normal and happy on Monday of this week; I said goodnight and covered his cage Monday night as usual. The next morning I found him lying dead at the bottom of the cage. We had our vet do a simple necropsy and he didnít notice anything obvious, other than part of Tikiís liver had some necrosis. The vet couldnít say definitively if that had anything to do with Tikiís sudden death. Iím still in shock. I canít imagine that anything in the house was responsible, since Lollie lived so long without issues. Could two birds be affected so differently by the same environment?

    Tikiís cage was pulled away from the wall (most certainly by one of my two cats) on the morning that I found him, so I initially thought the cats had somehow got to him, but there was no trauma to his body. And once I calmed down I was rational enough to know that the cats canít get their paws between the bars of the cage. It is a very safe and sturdy cage with a double-locking door. Is it possible that she was frightened to death by the cats? Iíve not noticed the cage away from the wall before that morning, so Iím not sure if the cats were pulling at it prior to or after Tiki died. They would have been able to see him at the bottom of the cage, but he never hung out there normally. When he went to bed he was curled up on top of his happy hut near the top of the cage as usual.

    Any thoughts? Iím just broken hearted over this. I of course want to get another bird but now Iím afraid.

  2. #2
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    Re: Lovebird died suddenly

    I am so sorry you have lost your new baby lovebird. Having had Lollie for all those years, I know this has to have been either an accident, or perhaps something genetically wrong with the baby. I once had a baby budgie who was swinging on his swing, and suddenly fell backwards and landed on the cage floor and died immediately. He had a heart attack. He too, was very young. Were there any feathers in the cage, or any evidence he may have been frightened? What diet was he eating?

    I do not think it was your fault at all. I lean toward something genetic, especially since he was so very young to have liver issues. I feel the best decision for you would be to get another lovebird. I will say, if it were me, I would keep cats away from any birds, and in a different room at all times, because birds are by Nature, always on the alert for predators in the wild. Having the cats out of the bird's room, will give the bird less stress, especially in the first few months, when the bird is getting used to his or her surroundings.

    If you feed pellets I would suggest also feeding a good quality seed with them. 80% seed and 20% pellets, in my view are a good mix. I am of the belief, that pellets are composed of dry foods, and they tend to make the droppings very dry. Any bird who eats pellets, needs to drink lots of water, and usually small birds do not drink a lot of water. Also, seeds are from nature. And have good moisture in them. Whereas pellets are man made.

    I am sending you hugs! When you feel ready, get another lovebird. They are very special, and getting another one will help your broken heart.

    Fly high and free sweet baby Lovebird!! Over the rainbow bridge! Please know we are here for you, as you mourn the loss of your baby.
    Last edited by maxollie; 11-21-2019 at 11:40 AM.

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    Re: Lovebird died suddenly

    I am so sad and sorry that your new baby lovebird died suddently like this . I will say that I do not think it was the cats because even if the cats did poke it with one of their claws or even got some cat saliva on his feathers this would not kill a bird overnight. I takes days for them die of infections from saliva and scratches. My daughters conure was scratched by her roommates cat and she rushed in to our vet and the vet told her it does take days for the infection to kill them. It could have been its liver but honestly you will never really know. It is super sad it was such a young bird but it wasnt your fault at all. I can only imagine the grief and shock you went through finding your sweet lovebird dead and I am sorry this happened to him.

    Fly free sweet little Tiki...
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Lovebird died suddenly

    Thank you both for your replies. Tiki was on a seed diet and got fresh (tap) water every day. I never tried pellets with him or with Lollie. Iím sure I will end up getting another lovebird, and when I do, is there a brand of pellet that you recommend mixing with seeds? Lollie was never interested in eating any fruits or veggies, and we never got that far with Tiki; he was still getting used to us and was very skittish. Tiki was eating a cockatiel seed mix that I bought at Target. I just bought a brand new bag of lovebird mix from PetSmart the evening before he died. Would you suggest that I scrub Tikiís cage and toys before getting another bird? We bought this cage new when we got Tiki because we had gotten rid of the old cage after Lollie died. The toys are Lollieís hand me downs but we did buy Tiki a new happy hut of his own. Funny, he never went inside it, he just liked sleeping on top.

    As far as the cats, we keep the bird in the living room so Iím not sure I can keep them out of the room, but Iím thinking about getting an ultrasonic repellent to keep near the cage to keep the cats at a distance. Any experience with those? Thereís no risk to a bird with one of those Iím thinking?

    I did realize today that the drip liner in my oven contains Teflon. Tikiís lungs were clear according to the vet who did his necropsy, nonetheless that liner is now gone and Iím getting a foil pan to use in its place. The cage isnít near the kitchen but Iím not taking chances with another bird.

    It really was a shock finding poor Tiki at the bottom of his cage. Despite his skittishness, he really was a sweetie who chirped happily throughout the days. Oh...and one of you asked...there were no feathers or anything in his cage to indicate that heíd been frightened. Everything looked the same as when I put him to bed, other than the cage being away from the wall. Oh...and Iím also thinking about putting bricks or something else heavy in front of the wheels closest to the wall so the cats canít pull at it.

    Anything else you might suggest?

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    Re: Lovebird died suddenly

    Yes, I do think you should clean the cage before using it again. I use a mix of apple cider vinegar and warm water. Also, if it were me, I would not get a happy hut. They tend to make a bird hormonal, and even though you will have just one bird, the huts will change their personality, in that they are thinking more about mating, and if a female, laying eggs. Single hens without a mate, can definitely lay eggs, and the perfect place will be the happy hut. If possible, you never want to have to deal with a hen laying eggs. And males can get quite aggressive when they are into hormones. Biting is quite common for hormonal birds. The hut will also increase the males hormone activity.

    Personally, I would use the lovebird seed mix, and no pellets. That is my preference. It is always up to the caregiver to decide what to feed their birds.

    We will watch for updates.
    Last edited by maxollie; 11-22-2019 at 11:14 AM.

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    Re: Lovebird died suddenly

    Thanks for the info on happy huts. We had one for Lollie, however she did lay a number of eggs of the years so thatís good to know. Are there other alternatives to give the bird a place to sleep or will any special sleeping place affect their hormones?

    Also I see advertisements for breeders on this site. Are they recommended by the site? One I looked at had very good prices for hand-raised lovebirds.

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    Re: Lovebird died suddenly

    This is a very credible forum. I would think the breeders you found would be safe to contact, if you decide to do so.

    There are happy huts available that are not made of the soft cloth, that may be appropriate. I have seen some that are in the shape of a coconut, that are two piece, top and bottom, tied with hemp rope. It is the soft cloth that seems to uptake the hormones. Since you have had experience with the huts, you may decide to use them anyway, that is your decision.

    I think many birds sleep on perches at night. It was just some info I decided to share, concerning hormones.

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    Re: Lovebird died suddenly

    Took me forever to post this picture because I always used Tinypic for pictures here but had to figure out how to use Tailfeathers to do it. This is a box I built for Boomer when he was alive and he loved it. It is made out of a kids sidewalk chalk box. At night we would put a folded up 100% cloth diaper in it for him to sleep on and he would actually almost lay down in it. I sanded all the tiny pieces of jagged plastic off on the box and also when I glued down the wood to the box I made sure no tiny pieces of the hot glue was left so he couldnt chew it off and swallow it. I am very paranoid about birds eating bad things because to this day I blame myself for Boomers stomach issues because I still wonder if he possibly ate something that cut his crop causing him to eventually get Avian Gastric Yeast. But I am a paranoid person so I am overly cautious always in my life. It is tied to the top and side of the cage with small pieces of leather ties. Boomer loved rubbing his head on the clothes pins on the top and the side of it. He had this box for 13 years and he loved it forever. He would run in it and do a little happy dance and roll every time he got put into his cage. Sorry about my mush talk but this picture does remind me of just how sweet and happy he was. We now live with Tikki, my daughters conure close by and he has a happy hut thing that we made out a old Pajama top that funny enough he sleeps on the outside of it with his body weight caving down the side of it. Birds are so funny!! We also put a nice platform perch in the corner of Tikkis cage that he sits on during the day lots and I heard lots of birds like them to sleep on but not Tikki, he lays on his happy huts wall... he is so silly.

    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

  9. #9
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    Re: Lovebird died suddenly

    Aww...what a sweet baby!! <3

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    Re: Lovebird died suddenly

    He truly was a sweetheart who loved all of us. He also loved that silly box more then any of us.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Lovebird died suddenly

    Could also have been sick and just passes away. No clues were visable when you checked his cage. Just that it is around time happening as itwas 15 years ago. Might as well go ahead and get another bird to love at your home.

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    Re: Lovebird died suddenly

    Hi, everyone, I appreciate all of your words of comfort and advice. Iíve decided I will get another lovebird, but Iíll wait until after Christmas.

    Do any of you have any opinions about the ultrasonic deterrents to keep my cats at a distance from the birdcage? Have you ever tried them, or have any concerns about them?

  13. #13
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    Re: Lovebird died suddenly

    I have seen them advertised. My thought is to call an Avian vet, and ask the customer service the question. Do vets recommend them? Are they safe? Hopefully you can get an answer that way. I have insect problems inside my home most of the year, and they do have electric repellers. But I am afraid of them around my bird, so do not use them.

    There is a brand of pellets called TOPS organic, that are used often, and also Harrison's are often recommended by avian vets.

    I am so happy for you that you plan on getting another lovebird after Xmas. That will help your mourning the loss of your baby. We will watch for your updates.
    Last edited by maxollie; 11-27-2019 at 09:50 AM.

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    Re: Lovebird died suddenly

    The breeder Iíve been emailing with suggested I might want to try a Parrotlet over another lovebird. He said a parrotlet would make a better pet because ďlovebirds can be quite fragile.Ē Also, this breeder offers a three-year guarantee on parrotlets compared to no guarantee on lovebirds at all. Any thoughts on that? I really donít know anything about parrotlets compared to lovebirds.

  15. #15
    Tailfeather
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    Re: Lovebird died suddenly

    I found the following website that gives a great critique of the parrotlet. It sounds to me like they require lots of attention, 3-4 hours a day, or they become destructive. (Using words I read there). They do have a very long life, it says, if cared for properly, possible 20-30 years!

    I just searched ....info on parrotlets. Only read this site, but there are others.

    If it were me, I would want to go with the familiar lovebird, since you have experienced having them for many years. I would suggest you set up an appointment to visit this breeder, and look around his or her aviary. Is it clean? Do the birds look healthy and are they active, and eating and drinking?

    I feel like you just had a horrible experience with the baby that died, that was an isolated incident, and hopefully, that would not happen soon again, or often\ever!!

    Here is the website address: The Spruce Pets.com /facts-about-parrotlets-390924

    Please keep us posted. Good luck in finding your sweet baby bird.

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