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Old 5th December 2007, 08:14 AM   #1
GK is offline GK  Australia
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Default African Love Birds.

Iím finishing off an aviary that Iíve been building for a while now as an extension to my veranda, which Iím planning to populate soon. I originally had my heart set on buying a few breeding pairs of African Lovebirds, but now Iím not so sure. It has recently occurred to me that African Lovebirds, being parrots and therefore gnawers, might try to chew their way out of the aviary, since it is made of wood. That really wouldnít be a good conclusion to all my bother.
If there was enough meat on an African Lovebird to make a decent soup I would just buy a pair just to try and see how they go, but there isnít, so Iíll ask here if anyone has experience with these birds and their propensity to gnawing.
Are they likely to not chew the cage to bits or would I be better off with a few Diamond Doves, Canaries and Zebra Finches?

Cheers,
Glen
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Old 5th December 2007, 12:49 PM   #2
jlsem is offline jlsem  United States
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Very nice work, Glen. Maybe there is some kind of treatment for the wood that will prevent gnawing. You could ask the local zoo.

John

P.S. Vultures would be cool, but the novelty would probably wear off in a short time.
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Old 5th December 2007, 02:38 PM   #3
Nordic is offline Nordic  South Africa
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They'd certainly gnaw on perches etc... doubt they will break out though... their beaks are not that big... I hate the little critters though... been bitten by them at nearly every opportunity in life...
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Old 6th December 2007, 01:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by jlsem
Very nice work, Glen. Maybe there is some kind of treatment for the wood that will prevent gnawing. You could ask the local zoo.

John

P.S. Vultures would be cool, but the novelty would probably wear off in a short time.

Thanks. Dunno about vultures though. Maybe something that can mimic the human voice, so can teach it to squawk obscenities.
I once heard a story (BS, most likely) about a crow taught to say "show us yer ***s" whenever it saw a young woman.
I think I'll just ask a bird breeder and see what they say Lovebird gnawing.



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Originally posted by Nordic
... I hate the little critters though... been bitten by them at nearly every opportunity in life...

LOL.
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Old 27th December 2007, 12:47 AM   #5
OzMikeH is offline OzMikeH  Australia
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Nice work on the aviary Glen. Is it jarrah? It would be too hard for most birds to chew. Put plenty of softer wood perches in so they have something that is easier than the cage to chew. Whatever they do they arent going to get through a large piece of wood overnight, screwing a piece of tin over any favourite spots should be enough. Unless you're buying tame, hand raised birds with clipped wings I suggest you add a double door so they don't get out. A couple of hooks for a curtain to be hung over the door (if it opens inwards) will work quite well instead.

Fully believe the thing about the crow. We had a tame cockatiel who, when introduced to a new cat, asked "Is he a good boy?" before approaching it. That was the only time he ever used that exact phrase. A university in the US had an African Grey who could pick out or identify the correct coloured shape on command (as in blue square). I've seen a video of an Eclectus singing you aint nothin but a hound dog the whole way through.
So "show us your ...." is actually pretty easy to teach a tame bird.
I'm trying to teach ours "gee, your breath stinks" when people peer into his cage. His latest thing is barking to upset the dog next door.

If you get fruit or nectar eating parrots they don't bite very hard, seed eaters (budgies, cockatiels) can bite extremely hard. Our Eclectus can get his beak around a broom handle but he has never hurt anyone. Never had lovebirds but Lorikeets are great fun to watch and play with. they have a lot of personality and love to hang off you as you go about the house.
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Old 28th December 2007, 06:54 AM   #6
Nordic is offline Nordic  South Africa
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There was also an article in BBC news this year about a burglar who stole a parrot only to be caught because the parrot shouted that it was being stolen or something to that effect...
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Old 30th December 2007, 11:54 AM   #7
GK is offline GK  Australia
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Quote:
Originally posted by OzMikeH
Nice work on the aviary Glen. Is it jarrah? It would be too hard for most birds to chew. Put plenty of softer wood perches in so they have something that is easier than the cage to chew. Whatever they do they arent going to get through a large piece of wood overnight, screwing a piece of tin over any favourite spots should be enough. Unless you're buying tame, hand raised birds with clipped wings I suggest you add a double door so they don't get out. A couple of hooks for a curtain to be hung over the door (if it opens inwards) will work quite well instead.

Fully believe the thing about the crow. We had a tame cockatiel who, when introduced to a new cat, asked "Is he a good boy?" before approaching it. That was the only time he ever used that exact phrase. A university in the US had an African Grey who could pick out or identify the correct coloured shape on command (as in blue square). I've seen a video of an Eclectus singing you aint nothin but a hound dog the whole way through.
So "show us your ...." is actually pretty easy to teach a tame bird.
I'm trying to teach ours "gee, your breath stinks" when people peer into his cage. His latest thing is barking to upset the dog next door.

If you get fruit or nectar eating parrots they don't bite very hard, seed eaters (budgies, cockatiels) can bite extremely hard. Our Eclectus can get his beak around a broom handle but he has never hurt anyone. Never had lovebirds but Lorikeets are great fun to watch and play with. they have a lot of personality and love to hang off you as you go about the house.

Gíday Mike.

I built the aviary out of Permapine which is quite soft. When I was sawing the stuff it was still moist inside and oozing the copper arsenate solution. I guess it wonít start to rot for quite some time.
I was exaggerating a bit about the birds eating their way to freedom; I donít really expect that to happen, I am just a little concerned that the buggers will make a mess of my handiwork. They would probably die of arsenic poisoning before that got through the woodwork anyway.
WRT to the crow story I was a bit sceptical because the claim was that the bird could differentiate between male and female humans (it was also, allegedly, trained to tell the blokes to f%# off!).
Scepticism aside, crows are pretty smart though. I do a lot of outback driving and the crows seem to be the most adaptable when it comes to avoiding traffic. If a solitary crow is pecking at a road kill in the middle of the tarmac, probably 2 times out of 3, it will just leisurely walk off to the side of the road when it sees you coming and patiently wait for you to pass. They can obviously figure out that the vehicle is just going to continue in the direction of the bitumen.
Iíve never seen another species act this way. Flocking birds such cockatoos just lift off in all directions and wedgetail eagles almost invariably fly straight into your windscreen.
As for my aviary, I was contemplating just going to go for an assortment of doves and canaries with a few quails running around the bottom, but Iím told that nectar eating parrots donít have the gnawing tendencies that a species like the African lovebird is apparently renowned for. I think that some rainbow or red-collared lorikeets might be an option.
My parents bought me some quails for a Christmas present which are currently living (with the exception of the one that broke loose and got caught by their cat) in their aviary.
BTW, it sounds like you are seriously into parrot keeping there. Cockatiels are as common as Zebra finches, but I think Iíve only ever seen an exotic species like the Eclectus in a zoo.

Cheers,
Glen
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Old 1st January 2008, 09:33 AM   #8
OzMikeH is offline OzMikeH  Australia
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We had a small colony of zebra finches, they were fun to watch. A predator somehow managed to tip over the cage but we still see a few of them in the garden occasionally. We had a breeding pair of Burke's parrots but some disease took them one at a time, then our cockatiel got it as well. All of that within a year, not a good run. We kept everything sterilised and well separated for a while after that.
We only have the Eclectus and the Rainbow lorikeet now.
There's a couple of Eclectus in our town and a couple of people breeding them in Perth, They make good pets but are very shy. A hand raised one will sell for about the same price as a good quality dog. They make smaller poo than a dog, don't dig holes, are just as smart and live for twice as long.

Lorikeets are entertaining birds, they play and wrestle a lot.
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Old 21st January 2008, 02:42 AM   #9
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
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All those interesting birds down under and you want lovebirds?
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Old 21st January 2008, 11:37 PM   #10
GK is offline GK  Australia
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ron E
All those interesting birds down under and you want lovebirds?

Yeah, but I already tried catching one of the non-feathered variety and locking her up so she couldnít escape and I got into trouble.
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