Lovebirds Health Problems


Lovebirds Health Problems

Lovebirds Health Problems

There are a variety of diseases to which lovebirds are susceptible but, generally, if kept under suitable conditions, they rarely fall ill and may live for ten years or more. If an individual is thought to be unwell, it should be transferred to a warm environment. A hospital cage, with a heater or an infra-red lamp, can be used to maintain this temperature and then following recovery, the bird should be gradually re-acclimatized.

A sick lovebird will often appear dull, and fluffed-up, as well as losing its appetite. Dark brown seed kernels in the food-pot are a sign that all is not well, since the bird is dehusking but not actually eating its seed. Weight loss, termed 'going light', can be detected by distinct hollows on either side of the breastbone in birds which have been unwell for a while.

Cuts and Bleeding

Bleeding will usually occur if a claw has been trimmed too short; for this reason, the blood supply, visible as a thin red streak in the claw, must always be clearly located before nipping off the end of the overgrown nail.

The beak receives a partial blood supply, and there is again a risk of hemorrhage if it is not cut back carefully. Some comparison with a normal beak is useful, before actually carrying out the procedure, with a strong pair of scissors or bone clippers. In cases where bleeding is a problem, the application of a styptic pencil or a cold solution of putash alum, to the wound, should stem the blood loss.


This is a potentially fatal disorder, requiring rapid treatment. It results from an egg becoming lodged in part of the reproductive tract, so it is only seen in hens which have been showing signs of breeding behavior. A shortage of calcium, chilling and immaturity of the bird concerned are all possible causes of this condition.

Eye disorders

These are often first noticed when a reddening and swelling closes the eye. If both eyes are affected, this could be a sign of a general infection.

Feather Disease

French molt is becoming a major problem in certain breeding establishments, affecting young birds around fledging time. They lose some or all of their flight and tail feathers, and are thus known as runners. The cause of French molt is currently unknown, but experimentally excess vitamin E has been shown to lead to an increased incidence.


Red mite is a relatively common parasite, living in dark areas, such as nest-boxes, and coming out to feed on the birds blood. This can cause anemia, especially in young birds, and an overall loss condition.

Respiratory Problems

There are many possible causes for breathing disorders. Labored breathing can be recognized by irregular, exaggerated tail movements.


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