Ask Lafeber

Question:

June 1, 2022

Lovebird


I don’t know cause they know which is which and momma see someone coming they run to their nest box. I’m always home it’s a huge cage. I think I’m gonna try it. Neither of these females go out of their way to attack. Only when you get close to opening of box. The first time both were more protective but more relax. I know you say no but as long as I am home watching it should be fine. All I have to do is separate again.


Answer:

Hi Melinda,

It’s not just about the possible fighting, but about the poor male trying to help two hens. Both parents help with the eggs and chicks and one male can’t be a mate to two females. You need to think about what is best for the birds. Unfortunately the one hen is now a single bird, so she doesn’t need a nest box anymore and she shouldn’t  be trying to care for eggs alone, or with another hen’s mate. You have to understand that breeding and nesting take a toll on both the male and female. This is why they only breed one time a year in the wild. In captivity, it is important that we look out for the health of our pet birds. You are responsible. If a bird loses a mate in the wild, they find a new mate. They don’t share a mate – ever. You also need to prevent them from breeding over and over again. You should only allow them to have two clutches a year, with a 6 month rest in between the clutches. Once chicks are weaned, the nest box should be removed for 6 months to give the pair time to recover. It takes a lot out of the female, especially. Each egg takes calcium and protein from her system and is physically exhausting to lay it. If you do not limit the clutches, the hen will eventually die from over breeding. This doesn’t happen in the wild because the season changes and that signals the end of breeding season. In captivity, it is the owner’s responsibility to prevent a pair from over breeding.

Thanks for the update,

Brenda

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