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are lovebirds better in pairs?

Is It Better To Have One or Two Lovebirds?

(Last Updated On: January 13, 2023)

Lovebirds are a beautiful and intelligent parrot species, which is probably why they’re among the most popular parrots to keep as pets. There are a lot of misconceptions about lovebirds and their behavior, their personalities, and what it’s like to keep them as pets.

One of the assumptions often made about lovebirds is that they must always be kept in pairs. While this can be true, there’s more to this situation than most people realize.

Whether it’s better to have one or two lovebirds depends on whether you want a parrot that bonds with you and becomes a loyal companion. Inevitably, two lovebirds are going to bond with each other.

Are Lovebirds Better in Pairs?

Lovebirds get their name based on the intense attention and bonding they give their mate. They’re most often shown in pairs, which is how the assumption was made that two lovebirds must be kept together.

Lovebirds are very social and seek attention. Whether it’s better to have one lovebird or two depends on how much time you have to lavish on them and how much you want to bond with them.

Can Lovebirds Survive on Their Own?

While it’s usually recommended that lovebirds be kept in pairs, it doesn’t mean they can’t be happy in a cage alone. Also, a single lovebird will be less expensive.

However, when you have only one lovebird, its happiness and willingness to survive entirely depend on how much attention you give it.

If you have time to spend with your lovebird and fulfill its need to be social, receive attention, and give attention, then your lovebird will be happy.

Giving your lovebird the social interaction it requires will develop a strong loyalty to you. The bond it develops with you is taking the place of the bond it would have developed with another lovebird, and it’ll expect to receive the same type of love it gives you.

According to the Manual of Exotic Pet Practice, lovebirds don’t need to be kept in pairs. A single lovebird must be handled and given attention daily for it to maintain its companionship qualities.

Single, hand-raised lovebirds make very good companion animals.

should I get one or two lovebirds?

Two Lovebirds vs One Lovebird

The Manual of Exotic Pet Practice also says that lovebirds kept in pairs will make very poor companions for their owner.

When lovebirds have a mate, they strongly bond with their mate. That bond between the two lovebirds leaves little room for a bond to develop between the lovebirds and their owner.

If lovebirds are given a choice between interacting with another lovebird or a human, they’ll always choose the other lovebird.

If the idea behind getting a lovebird is so that you’ll have a companion to interact with, you should only get one lovebird. If you get two lovebirds, you’ll share a different relationship.

Two Lovebirds Mating

If you choose to have a pair of lovebirds, you need to be prepared for them to mate. You’ll have to plan what to do if your two lovebirds suddenly multiply.

To avoid the possibility of mating, you could choose two males instead of a female and a male.

Male-male lovebird pairings do well when paired together. However, two females don’t usually thrive as they tend to be more territorial and aggressive.

Depression

Lovebirds can become depressed if they get stressed or become too lonely. If you only have one lovebird, the chances of it becoming depressed are much greater than if you have two lovebirds.

Since lovebirds require a lot of attention and social interaction, they’ll become withdrawn due to loneliness if you can’t give them enough time. You may also notice your lovebird showing aggression, such as biting or feather plucking.

Other things that can cause your lovebird to become depressed include:

  • Change in cage position or location
  • Boredom
  • Loss of a favorite toy
  • Illness
  • Not being let out of the cage enough

If your lovebird becomes depressed and that depression isn’t resolved, it can lead to self-destructive behaviors. It can also lead to health issues, such as a lowered immune response.

Signs your lovebird may be depressed can include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Aggression
  • Feather plucking
  • Becoming louder or quieter than normal
  • Developing stress bars on its feathers
  • Irritability
  • Increased constant head bobbing
  • Change in droppings
  • Fluffed-up feathers

So, do things that’ll cheer it up and make it happier, such as:

  • Cleaning its cage
  • Interacting with it more often
  • Providing new toys for mental stimulation
  • Give it one-on-one time with you
  • Let it out of its cage to fly around and spend time with you

If you try these things and your lovebird still seems unhappy, you can take it to the vet for a checkup and advice or consider getting it a companion.

If you have to go the route of getting your lovebird a companion, don’t feel like you failed your lovebird. Failing would mean not doing anything and letting your lovebird be sad and lonely.

can you put different types of lovebirds together?

Can You Put Different Types of Lovebirds Together?

Keeping different types of lovebirds in a cage together usually doesn’t pose a problem unless they’re both females. Females are more aggressive than males and have been known to fight to the death.

According to the American Federation of Aviculture, the main issue with lovebirds getting aggressive is when a female lovebird tries to protect her nesting box.

Female lovebirds have also been known to get aggressive with their owner when they try to handle them during mating season or come too close to their nest box.

If your lovebird suddenly starts biting you or another lovebird, it’s showing its aggressive side.

Mating Between Different Types of Lovebirds

If you choose to pair up different types of lovebirds, be prepared for them to mate. Mating between different lovebirds (known as hybrid breeding) is common.

While it’s okay for two lovebirds to breed, the hybrid lovebirds created should be kept separate.

Breeding two hybrid lovebirds can lead to deformations and genetic problems in their offspring. Any offspring created by hybrid lovebirds should be euthanized.