Breeding lovebirds in a colony
Breeding lovebirds is a fun experience as well as a hobby for most bird keepers. If you are planning to breed lovebirds then you have two choices, you can either keep them in small cages with separate pairs or you can put all your lovebirds in one big cage or aviary and breed them collectively with several pairs and you can call this lovebird breeding colony.
I have been raising lovebirds since my childhood when I was going to school. I first bought lovebirds when I was in eighth grade and they were a pair of Fischer lovebirds. I have experience in raising lovebirds both as single pairs in separate cages and in small colonies of four pairs. So far I can say that the breeding results I achieved in colonies were much better than single cells.
Breeding results in individual cages, as well as in aviaries, depend mostly on the type of species you are breeding. The most common types of lovebirds such as Fischer’s lovebirds, peach-faced lovebirds, and masked lovebirds breed better when bred and raised in colonies. This refers to their natural instinct to breed in the wild, and this behavior is replicated in captivity.
Other types of lovebirds, such as Madagascar lovebirds, which I have no experience breeding anyway, are better for breeding when kept in single pairs. So you should be very sure which type of lovebirds you want to keep and choose the type of cage accordingly. Also, how many pairs you want to keep is also a determining factor in choosing the type of cage you should buy or build yourself.
I have experience in keeping lovebirds in different sizes of aviaries. The first colony I built for my Fischer lovebirds was a 4 foot square colony and I kept four breeding pairs in that cage. Breeding results were excellent with four pairs and each pair reared 4-5 chicks in each clutch. But this size of the aviary had its drawbacks because it was difficult for me to check my birds because the height of the cage was too small.
I now use a 4’x6’x7′ tall aviary with ten or more pairs in one large flight. Large cage sizes with more birds give them a sense of security and a stress-free environment and the better breeding results you get. What I realize now is that the depth and height of the aviary is more important than the front of the colony. The deeper the cage, the more they focus on breeding.
The environment and location of the colony are very important to their long-term health and reproduction. Make sure the aviary is located in a well-ventilated area where there is plenty of air moving in and out of the colony. Do not put your lovebird colony in a place where there is excess heat and direct sunlight on the aviary, especially in South Asian countries where the summer gets too hot.
The colony should be well covered with a roof so that rainwater does not enter their brooder boxes or pots because you may risk the chicks getting wet in the rainwater. The roof must be sloped so that rainwater does not accumulate on the top of the roof and therefore enter the cage. I made water holes at the base of the colonies to drain the water in case rain water got inside the breeding colonies from the side.
Wire mesh with a spacing of no more than 1/2 inch is ideal for lovebirds. The wire must be strong enough so that lovebirds do not cut it and fly away, because they have very strong beaks and can cut through cables that are not strong enough. Wire netting is preferable to bars because it allows them to climb easily. Darker colored cages give a better view of the birds inside.
Make sure you build an aviary that is easy to clean. I have made double doors on all my colonies, the smaller one is for food and water dishes and the bigger one is for cleaning the cage and inspection. Colonies with more birds in them should be cleaned frequently at least once a week to prevent bacterial and viral infections from developing in your birds.
I cover all my colonies with a green cloth so that direct sunlight does not enter the colonies during the hot summer season. It also helps lower the temperature around the colonies and protects my birds from extra heat during the day. It provides an increased sense of protection and security for my birds from predators such as eagles and cats. It also protects the colonies from winds and heavy rains.
The sticks you place in the cages should be of different sizes and shapes to keep their legs in good shape. The sticks should be quite thick so that they can be firmly gripped while sitting. If you can, put natural tree branches in the aviary because they are of different diameters and are good for their feet. In addition, they provide a natural living environment for your beloved birds. Place food and water dishes away from perches so they don’t become contaminated with bird droppings.
The cage must be made of iron, steel or similar material and must not be made of soft wood. Lovebirds have very sharp beaks and have a habit of biting anything inside the cage. They can easily chew through cages made of wood and similar material, and you run the risk of your birds chewing through the cage and flying away in no time.
I made all my colonies with winkel and with separate frames for each country. I attached them with welds, which gives them extra strength and they don’t move. All my cages are on three sides of wire mesh and one side is fixed to the wall. I can easily detach the frames and move the cells to another location whenever I want. Also, transporting the cage is easy because each frame is separate.
If you want to breed lovebirds in a colony, first decide the number of birds and the types of lovebirds you want to keep. Then select the cell size according to your specific requirements. Finally, decide on the location of the colony so that your lovebirds can live happily and breed to their maximum potential.
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