Lovebirds make wonderful pets if you’re interested in welcoming a winged creature to your home. Featuring vibrant green, yellow and red feathers, these gorgeous birds are well suited to living with humans and can actually live for up to 20 years under the right conditions. Weighing anywhere from 1½–2 ounces and generally growing to a maximum of 7 inches, lovebirds are a great option if you’re interested in animal companionship but have limited space at home. If you’ve decided to adopt a pair of these beautiful creatures, you’re probably wondering what you need to have ready to go for the day your new friends comes home. Below you’ll find information about the essential products you’ll need to keep your new pet happy and healthy.
Top 9 Essential Lovebird Supplies
Your new companion is going to need an appropriate place to live. You’ll need to provide a habitat that’s at least 24” W x 19” L x 24” H, and that’s the bare minimum for one lovebird. Remember that most experts recommend keeping these social and active birds in pairs to provide companionship and socialization opportunities. You’ll also want to make sure the bars on the cage aren’t any smaller than ⅜ inches apart to prevent your new friends from getting trapped. As these birds are native to tropical areas such as Madagascar, it’s crucial to ensure the temperature in your space doesn’t drop much below 65° F to ensure your pet remains comfortable. If you have enough room in your home, it’s usually best to opt for a living space for your birds that provides enough room for flight, like the A&E Cage Company Elegant Style Flight Bird Cage.
2. Food and Water Dishes
You’ll actually need at least three dishes to get started: one for fresh food, another for pellets and a third for water—all of which need to be physically accessible from inside your pet’s cage so your bird can eat and drink when you’re not around. You’ll need one set of dishes for each bird in the space, so that means a total of six dishes if you have two birds. Birds forced to share food and water dishes often begin to compete for access to food, which sets up an unhealthy environment that sometimes results in stressed out and unhappy animals. Options such as the JW Pet InSight Clean Cup Bird Feed & Water Cup attach securely to the cage and even have handy plastic guards to prevent your bird from scattering food bits and pellets outside of the cage.
Birds love to splash and play in water. There’s a reason gardens all over the world have gorgeous birdbaths to entice our winged friends to drop by! Some birds are fine with a bowl filled with around 1–2 inches of water. Lovebirds don’t tend to use the water to bathe, but they love to dip their heads in for fun. And they absolutely need moisture on their feathers to keep their plumage soft and vibrant. Look for products like the Lixit Quick Lock Small & Medium Bird Bath that attach securely to your pet’s cage and provide plenty of room to play and splash. If you opt for a commercial birdbath, make sure it’s made of super sturdy materials because these birds are serious about their playtime! And don’t forget to ensure the product you select is easy to remove from the cage so you can clean it regularly.
4. Bird Food
You’ll need to have high-quality bird food at home and ready to go when your pet arrives. Birds require a diet full of specific nutrients, and many owners find that using commercial food is the best way to ensure their pet gets the proper nutrition. (It’ll also be easier and more convenient for you). You’ll also want to supplement whatever commercial bird food you choose with yummy lovebird-friendly treats such as fresh fruit, vegetables, and specially fortified birdseed. You’ll want to avoid giving your bird avocados, fruit pits, and fruit seeds because they’re poisonous to lovebirds. And you won’t have to worry about supplementation if you select a high-quality option such as Kaytee Egg-Cite! Forti-Diet Pro Health Conure & Lovebird Food, which provides all the nutrition your bird needs to thrive.
5. Treats and Millet Spray
Just like you, lovebirds need dietary variety to thrive. These gorgeous birds enjoy seeds in addition to fresh fruit and veggie treats, and millet sprays are high on the list of must-have goodies. Because the seeds are still enclosed in the spray, your pet will need to engage in its natural seed extracting behavior to get to the millet seeds,and most of these gorgeous birds can’t get enough when it comes to seeds. With options like the Kaytee Natural Spray Millet Bird Treats, you can either give your bird a spray and let them hold it with their toes and pluck away at the seeds. Or you can hang it from your pet’s cage if your bird doesn’t seem to enjoy holding onto its snacks. But remember to limit your bird’s intake of seeds to no more than 10% of what they eat in a day.
Like all living creatures, lovebirds need mental stimulation to thrive. They tend to enjoy foraging in the wild and do well when you set up their habitat to provide opportunities to engage in this natural behavior. Most lovebirds can’t get enough of toys that allow them to chew, which makes sense as it’s a deeply ingrained behavior for these creatures. Providing a variety of toys for your bird to gnaw on will promote your pet’s happiness, and it can go a long way when it comes to stress management. Birds that spend extended periods alone often suffer from stress and engage in harmful activities such as feather picking. Look for choices like the Planet Pleasures Octopus Piñata Bird Toy, made with bird-friendly materials and different textures to keep your bird entertained and engaged.
Your new buddy will need several comfortable places to hang out. You’ll need perches with a diameter of approximately ½ inch. Aim to provide at least three perches per bird in your habitat. And remember, lovebirds love variety, so try to include perches with different surfaces to ensure your winged friend has many choices. Avoid sandpaper-covered perches; they often irritate your bird’s sensitive feet. But try to include at least one concrete perch because it’ll go a long way towards keeping your bird’s nails manageable. There are tons of perches available, including ropes, sticks, and dowels, so it should be relatively easy to find an option your pet enjoys. And you can even find products such as the Bird Life Parakeet & Small Bird Perch that are made with crushed seashells to provide essential nutrients like calcium and iodine.
8. UV Lighting
Birds need vitamin D to absorb calcium, but lovebirds only make the nutrient when exposed to the sun. There’s a good chance your bird will begin to experience issues such as weakened bones, deconditioned muscles, and skin irritation if they don’t get enough vitamin D. Unfortunately, setting your pet’s cage by a window won’t help—most windows filter out precisely the UV rays your bird needs to activate Vitamin D production. Although it’s possible to give your pet a vitamin supplement to ensure they get the vitamins and minerals they need, it’s generally better to provide exposure to UV rays so your bird can produce the required amount of this vitamin naturally. A UV light like the Zoo Med Avian Sun Compact Fluorescent Bird Lamp will give your winged companion the next best thing to natural sunlight.
9. Cage Liner
The best way to maintain a clean cage is to change your pet’s cage lining evert day to keep things fresh. It’ll also help prevent the nasty bacteria from building up. An absorbent product such as Vitakraft’s Super-Absorbent Bird Cage Liners can do wonders when it comes to keeping unpleasant smells at bay. You’ll still need to clean your pet’s cage regularly, but with one of these helpful products, the process will be faster and much easier than if you use newspaper. Vitakraft’s absorbent liners sop up liquid waste, reducing the amount of time you have to spend cleaning your pet’s cage. Just roll the liner up, throw it away, and you’re done.
Lovebirds are super intelligent, beautiful, fun and loyal—that’s to say, they make amazing pets. While determining precisely what your avian baby will need to stay happy and healthy can take a bit of time and effort in the beginning, don’t fret! It’ll be well worth it after you develop that special bond with your new pet.
Featured Image Credit: Chichkanova Anastasiia, Shutterstock