Discussion of Quiz Answers

Question 1.
The best diet for a lovebird is a varied one. It should include seed, pellets, treats and veggies. Veggies are important because they are a natural source of vitamins and minerals. Good choices include broccoli, collard greens, shredded fresh carrot, string beans, peas, sugar snap peas, steamed fresh corn on or off the cob (corn needs to be cooked) and kale. Spinach, parsley and chard can be used occasionally but should only be offered in limited amounts, as these are high in oxalic acid and will bind calcium. If fresh vegetables are not available or hard to find, frozen vegetables can be used. Just be aware that frozen vegetables will begin to spoil approximately 4 hours after serving and uneaten amounts should be removed at this time. The answer to this question is 3.

Question 2.
A proper wing clip for a lovebird is both wings, 6-8 flight feathers on each wing. The purpose of clipping feathers is to limit flight, not eliminate it! Even with flight feathers trimmed, your lovebird should still be able to glide to the ground for a landing rather than to fall with a "splat." Clipping all feathers on both wings takes away all flight ability and the possibility of injury when your lovebird attempts to fly is great. Clipping only the flight feathers on one wing will put your lovebird constantly off balance. The answer to this question is 3.

Question 3.
Lovebirds usually molt twice per year. The first molt takes place at just about 4 months. With the Peachface species, this is when the adult coloring becomes visible. With Fischer's and Mask Lovebirds, the change isn't quite as striking. While all species change coloring at 4 months, the final coloring isn't completely visible until the second molt is finished about 8 months later. The answer to this question is 2.

Question 4.
Lovebirds do not need grit added to their diet. Lovebirds are hookbills and they shell all seed/food. The addition of grit is unnecessary to aid digestion. If a lot of grit is ingested, it can impact the crop and cause death. The answer to this question is 3.

Question 5.
Of the toy choices listed, swings are the safest. Rope toys can be viewed as nesting material by hens, chewed apart and carried into the nestbox. If left in the box, chicks that hatch can accidentally get the rope fibers wrapped around toes/feet/legs or other places. If the rope is ingested, it can cause an infection in the crop and even death. Additionally, lovebirds love to chew. Rope toys can become frayed if not checked frequently and your bird can become entangled in the loose fibers. Long cardboard tubes can be a lot of fun for lovebirds, but if two enter the tube, one from each end, they could get caught inside, with neither realizing that one has to back up to get out again. Cardboard tubes should be cut into sections too short for 2 birds to use at the same time. The answer to this question is 2.

Question 6.
Kwik Stop, while readily available at most pet shops, actually stings when applied to a bleeding area. Since the bleeding area is already injured, adding more pain is just additional trauma. Depending on the severity of the injury, ice is a poor choice because loss of blood can put a bird into shock. The last thing you want to do to a bird in shock is cool its body temperature. Corn starch/flour are items that most of us have on hand and they serve well to help clotting. Gentle pressure is standard first aid procedure and it works as well with birds as it does with humans. The answer to this question is 3.

Question 7.
Surprisingly enough, most birds require 10 or more hours of sleep. Some need more. The answer to this question is 3.

Question 8.
Whenever you suspect that your lovebird (or any bird for that matter) is sick, you need to keep your bird warm and call your avian vet immediately! The condition of a sick bird can deteriorate very quickly. Time is precious and your bird's life could depend on how quickly it gets medical help. Friends can't help you make the right decision because they can't see what's going on. Waiting could cost the bird its life. I always keep my avian vet's phone number, plus the number of an emergency clinic, near my phone so that I don't have to go looking when I need it. The answer to this question is 1.

Question 9.
Round cages are unsuitable for all birds. Due to the placement of their eyes, birds see "round" as a solid wall with no corners to hide. Lovebirds tend to fly horizontally, so rectangular and tall is a poor choice. Square and large (or rectangular and long) is the proper choice. Lovebirds are very active and need lots of play room. Proper bar spacing is 1/2" or 5/8". The answer to this question is 2.

Question 10.
Lovebirds should only be housed with another lovebird. They are too aggressive for parakeets and cockatiels. You may find a parakeet companion dead or a cockatiel companion seriously injured because they were kept with a lovebird. Even introducing a new lovebird to an existing one can be tricky. If you buy 2 lovebirds at the same time, putting them together in the same cage at the same time is usually O.K. However, if you already own a lovebird, introducing a companion will take some work. Two males will generally be fine if kept together. Introducing them will be relatively easy. If you have an older male and want to get him a companion, you can get a female the same age or younger and he will normally accept either. The problems start when your existing lovebird is a hen. While some hens will accept another female companion, most won't. If you give her a male the same age, she should be fine with that. If the male is young/immature, chances are that she won't accept him because he can't satisfy her needs. Whenever you get a new lovebird, you need to quarantine the new bird for a minimum of 30 days. 60 days is better. Many avian vets recommend 90 days. After quarantine, both birds should be placed in separate cages until they get to know each other. Once this happens, you can put them both in a 3rd, neutral cage or you can let the hen go into the male's cage. Hens are territorial and may not let another lovebird go into HER cage! The answer to this question is 2.

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