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