When you want to keep a bird as a pet, you’ll often ask yourself what bird is the best one to have. Currently, hundreds of birds can be domesticated, and each species comes with its own positives and negatives.
For example, parrots can make a wonderful pet but they are also high maintenance and can often cost a lot of money. If you want to keep a bird as a pet, then there are no better species than the humble lovebird.
Lovebirds are colourful and vibrant birds that are known for their outgoing nature and dedication to their owners. Although lovebirds are a wonderful pet to own, they can come with their disadvantages.
Not only can lovebirds be jealous and temperamental, but they have also been known to get a little nippy when heated or distressed. And sometimes a bitey bird is the last thing you want perching on your shoulder or flying around your home.
But why do lovebirds bite and how can you stop them from biting you? All the answers you seek can be found down below, where we have compiled together all the information you need concerning lovebirds and their biting habits.
By following this guide, you can help to keep your lovebirds feeling calm and comfortable, ensuring that they never bite you or your loved ones again.
Why Is My Lovebird So Aggressive?
Being bitten by your new lovebird can be a disheartening experience, especially when you consider their traditional docile nature. But just because your lovebird has bitten you, doesn’t mean you are the reason for its distress.
Unfortunately, birds who bite their owners are often acting out of fear or trauma, which may have been caused by a previous human influence in their life – such as a breeder or store owner.
Studies have shown that lovebirds that are adopted from pet stores are more likely to be nippy, which can prove frustrating when you bring them into your home.
Lovebirds are fragile creatures both physically and mentally, and they can be easily traumatized during their time at the pet store. This trauma can stem from the store mishandling the birds, or even from customers mistreating them in their cages.
Because of this treatment, lovebirds will begin to associate humans with fear and pain, which can make them aggressive when confronted by a new owner who just wishes to hold them.
Why Do My Lovebirds Bite?
Beyond fear and trauma, there are some other reasons why a lovebird could be prone to biting. Our first reason comes down to something very basic, and that is the gender of the lovebird you own.
Studies have shown that owners of female lovebirds are more likely to experience aggressive behaviour from their small and vibrant pets. The reason for this female aggression could be attributed to the lovebird’s hormonal changes.
When a female lovebird reaches sexual maturity she will begin to crave male attention during the breeding season. When her needs are not met, she may begin biting or lashing out in frustration.
Another reason that could explain your lovebird’s aggressive behaviour is the way they were raised during captivity. When you purchase a lovebird, oftentimes the bird will have been hand-reared by a breeder or carer, which helps the bird to trust humans and associate them with care and safety.
However, if your lovebird has been reared by their parents, then chances are they have never experienced extended periods of human contact. Lovebirds who have been raised by their parents are more likely to act aggressively towards their owners – as they could perceive you as a potential threat or danger.
How Do You Stop My Lovebird From Biting Me?
If you have purchased a new lovebird who is acting aggressively towards you and your family, then you may feel that the only options are to live with it or give the bird away. But this is not the case!
There are a variety of methods that can be used to tame your unruly lovebird – and we have outlined each of them down below.
By following these methods you can start forming a bond with your lovebird that will make it feel comfortable and accepted in its new home.
- Step One: Small Interactions
The most effective way to discourage your lovebird from biting or aggressive behaviour, is to start tackling the problem with small and friendly interactions. Regardless of the cause for your lovebird’s aggression, this method will help to build its trust in you and its new environment.
Take the bird out of its cage and allow it some time to roam around the house under your supervision. You can even sing to the bird or talk to it, to make it feel secure and comfortable in your presence.
- Step Two: Keep It Entertained
Lovebirds are wonderful creatures who enjoy being doted on and having plenty to do. If your lovebird is not receiving the right amount of entertainment during the day, this could make it frustrated and aggressive.
To keep your bird entertained you can add toys to its cage, play music or even let it watch some television. A lovebird that feels spoiled and pampered is often a happy and loving one.
- Step Three: Don’t Force It
When caring for animals, you should never force them to do something that they don’t want to do. And the same mantra goes for lovebirds! This includes forcing it to play inside its cage or making them fly outside for some exercise.
If you force your lovebird to participate in activities that it isn’t interested in doing, then you could risk making the bird stressed and frustrated, which could lead to aggression and biting.
- Step Four: Body Language
You should always understand your lovebird and its body language, as this will help to reduce the risk of scaring your bird and making it bite. If you go to take your bird out of its cage and it raises its feathers, then it feels threatened and will probably lash out at you.
If the lovebird squawks or moves away from your hand, then you shouldn’t force any contact. Establishing trust takes time and the bird will begin to trust you the more you treat it with respect.
Why Does My Lovebird Bite His Feet?
If your lovebird has started biting its feet, then this could be cause for concern. When a lovebird begins to exhibit strange behaviour such as self-mutilation, then this could mean they are suffering from a condition or disease.
Down below we have highlighted the most common infections found in lovebirds and how you can treat them.
- Bumblefoot – This is a bacterial infection that can be found in most tropical bird species, such as parrots and lovebirds. The infection will often register itself in the form of sores on your lovebird’s feet. You can reduce the risk of your lovebird getting this infection by regularly cleaning its cage, assuring it was a decent perch and feeding it a balanced diet.
- Dermatitis – This is a common skin allergy often found in species of parrot, and it involves the feet of your bird becoming dry, itchy and swollen. When left untreated, the skin can begin to deteriorate, resulting in large and painful blisters that will begin to ooze. This can be very painful for your lovebirds and should be avoided at all costs. Lovebirds can be allergic to substances such as soap, nicotine, perfume and hand lotion. So try and keep these away from your lovebird!
- Arthritis – Unfortunately, arthritis is just as common among birds as it is among humans. If your lovebird is suffering from arthritis then they could be in a lot of pain, which could make them grouchy and aggressive. Arthritis can be treated with the help of veterinary treatment, but you can also help by purchasing your lovebird a softer perch and by helping them more around the house.