Raising Lovebirds is a fun experience and a hobby for most bird breeders. If you are planning to breed lovebirds you have two options, you can raise them in small cages with individual pairs or you can put all your lovebirds in a single large cage or aviary and raise them collectively with multiple pairs and you can call this a colony environment for breeding. lovebirds.
I have been raising lovebirds since my childhood when I was a kid going to school. I first bought lovebirds when I was in the eighth grade and that was a couple of Fischer lovebirds. I have the experience of having lovebirds both in individual pairs in individual cages and in small colonies of four pairs. By far I can say that the breeding results I got in colonies were much better than in individual cages.
The results of rearing in individual cages, as well as in aviaries, depend mainly on the type of species you are raising. The most common types of lovebirds, such as Fischer’s lovebirds, peach-faced lovebirds, and masked lovebirds, reproduce best when kept and raised in colony settings. This refers to their natural breeding instinct in the wild and this behavior is replicated in captivity.
Other species of lovebirds such as the Madagascar lovebirds, which I have no experience of breeding anyway, reproduce best when kept in individual pairs. Therefore, you must be very sure which species of lovebird you want to keep and select the type of cage accordingly. In addition, the number of pairs you want to keep is also a determining factor in selecting the type of cage to buy or build yourself.
I have the experience of raising lovebirds in different sizes of aviary. The first colony I built for my Fischer lovebirds was a 4 square foot colony and I kept four breeding pairs in that cage. Breeding results were excellent with four pairs and each pair was raising 4-5 chicks in each clutch. But that size of the aviary had its drawbacks because it was difficult for me to inspect my birds because the height of the cage was too short.
I am now using 4’x6’x7 ‘tall aviaries with ten or more pairs in a single large flight. Large cage sizes with more birds give them the feeling of security and a stress-free environment and the best 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 will focus on the brood.
The environment and location of the colony is very important for its long-term health and reproduction. Make sure the aviary is located in a well-ventilated area where there is plenty of air going in and out of the colony. Do not place your lovebird colony in a place where there is excess heat and direct sunlight in the aviary, especially in South Asian countries where the summer gets too hot.
The colony must be well covered with a roof so that rainwater does not enter their breeding boxes or pots because there is a risk that the chicks will get wet with rainwater. The roof should be sloped so that rainwater does not accumulate on top of the roof and consequently enter the interior of the cage. I have made water wells at the base of the colonies to drain the water in case rainwater enters the sides inside the breeding colonies.
Wire mesh with a gap of no more than 1/2 inch is ideal for lovebirds. The wire must be strong enough so that lovebirds don’t cut it and fly away because they have very strong beaks and can cut wires that are not strong enough. Wire mesh is preferred over bars because they can easily climb on it. Darker colored cages provide a better view of the birds indoors.
Make sure you build an aviary that can be easily cleaned. I have made double doors in all my colonies, the smallest to place food and water dishes and the largest to clean the cage and inspection. Colonies with more birds should be cleaned frequently at least once a week so that no bacterial or viral infection develops in your birds.
I cover all my colonies with a green cloth so that direct sunlight does not enter inside the colonies in the hot summer season. It also helps to lower the temperature in the surrounding areas of the colonies and protects my birds from extra heat during the day. It provides a greater sense of protection and security to my birds against predators such as eagles and cats. It also protects the colonies from winds and heavy rains.
The sticks that you put inside the cages should be of different sizes and shapes to keep their feet in good shape. The sticks should be considerably thick so that you can hold them firmly while seated. If you can, put natural tree branches in the aviary because they are of different diameters and are good for your feet. They also provide a natural living environment for their lovebirds. Place food and water dishes away from perches so they are not contaminated with bird droppings.
The cage must be constructed of iron, steel, or similar material and must not be constructed of soft wood. Lovebirds have very sharp beaks and have a habit of gnawing on anything in the cage. They can easily chew on cages made of wood and similar material and you run the risk of your birds chewing on the cage and flying away in no time.
I made all my colonies with angle iron and with separate frames for each side. I fixed them together with solder points, which gives them extra strength and they won’t budge. All my cages have three sides of wire mesh and one side is attached to the wall. I can easily detach the frames and move the cages to another location anytime I want. Also, transporting the cage is easy because each frame is separate.
If you want to breed lovebirds in a colony setting, first decide the number of birds and the species of lovebirds you want to keep. Then select the cage size according to your specific requirements. And finally decide the location of the colony so that your lovebirds can live happily and reproduce at their full potential.