Ask Lafeber

Question:

June 23, 2021

Scared lovebirds


Hi! I have 4 lovebirds, 2 of which are the most recent additions. their names are Pepsi and sprite. they came for a not-so-nice breeding situation, and a cage that was 5 by 10 by 12 cm (yes, cm not inch) without perches because “they kept chewing the wood”. they have gotten used to their big cage, new friends and eating their veggies. but are terrified of me, anything moving, and toys. are there any things or other tips I could use to help them feel more comfortable, teach them to play with toys, and get them comfortable around humans? I’ve had them for over 4 months now.


Answer:

Hi Phancy,

This pair just needs more time. They are not likely to ever be tame, and they may always be wary of people but given time they should get less scared. Talk to them and reassure them when you are around them. Never reach for them – they are prey animals and are scared of being grabbed since that’s what a predator would do. If you have all four birds in the same cage, do not ever give them nests or breeding boxes. You can only have one pair in the cage for breeding, and lovebirds get very aggressive towards other lovebirds when they are breeding. The new pair will learn from the other pair – if they see them playing with toys, they will learn that toys are fun and nothing to be scared of. Likewise they will learn to trust you if they see that the other birds trust you. Mainly be patient with them and don’t expect too much, too soon. Probably the most you can ever expect is for them to not panic when you are around. They may never trust new people.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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