Will feeding this kind of diet help overly hormonal lovebirds?

by Michelle
(Maryland, USA)

I've done most everything that I can to avoid hormonal surges in my two lovebird hens but at certain times of the year, even with limiting their daylight hours, not letting them have many seed or nut treats, keeping them separate, and not letting them have anything to shred or nest in, their hormones surge out of control to the point that they've had high bile acids because of it. Would feeding a low fat, low protein pellet (like 3.5% fat and 10% protein) at those times help to abate their tendency to get overly hormonal? These aren't breeding birds, they're pets.

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Jan 16, 2010
Hormonal lovebirds
by: The Avian Vet

Changing their diet is not going to help and fat content has nothing to do with it. Your birds need to be fed a pellet diet; 80% should be pellets, 20% treats.

The unfortunate part of this is that your birds are completely normal. I have never met a female lovebird that did not behave in this way. In fact, this is the precise reason I stopped breeding and selling lovebirds over 10 years ago. Some times of the year the behaviors are not as bad as other times, but there is no way to change it.

We can give hormone injections, but they do not always work and they are expensive ? about $100.00 per injection, and given as often as necessary, weekly up to 4 times per year, depending on the individual bird.

Dr B

Jan 15, 2010
They also get vet checks ups annually or more often
by: Michelle

Of which includes blood work.

Jan 15, 2010
They're already on Harrisons
by: Michelle

They're on Harrisons right now. They've been for years. I was advised against the palm oil since it would be too rich and cause their bodies to think that they're in a time of excess food which would trigger breeding hormones.

Jan 15, 2010
help overly hormonal lovebirds?
by: Linda

Well, feeding the right kind of pellets can help. All birds who have reached puberty and beyond do become somewhat hormonal usually in the Spring around March/April after they've molted and grown in new feathers for the Spring and Summer. So, that is something that will always happen.

Your birds' nutrition is off balance, and this is why they are so bad. Tracie has several kinds of organic pellets out here, and the one we use with our Amazons is Harrisons. They make it in a size suited for your birds, plus they have a very tasty Birdy Bread Mix as well. If buying the Bread mix, please also buy Sunshine Factor's organic Red Palm Oil to put in it. It stores in freezer for up to 6 months and in refrigerator for up to a week.

The organic pelleted diets cost a little more than the ones full of dyes, preservatives and other chemicals, plus all the ingredients are certified organic so you know your birds are not getting pesticide and/or fertilizer residue with their meals. The costs are out-weighed by the benefits of healthy birds with good skin tone and feather production. With your two small ones, it shouldn't be much of an expense anyway.

Changing to the pellets is a process, and the end result is to get them off seeds and onto real nutrition, and that takes time to show up in bodily functions. Before you start this change, please take both to an Avian Vet to make sure they are not suffering from a physical problem here like some kind of infection/parasite.

Here is a link about how to change over to the pellets written by an Avian Vet.

Switching Birds to Pellets article.

Your goal here is to have healthy birds whose health can be maintained by using a high quality pellet. Check out what Tracie has and go from there. The Avian Vet visit is also a must if they have not been seen in the last year.


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