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Monday, April 16, 2007
Abyssinian Lovebirds

By Blake Ma
Blake enjoys working with lovebirds and has a passion for exhibiting and breeding them

Click image to enlarge
Diary of a Show Bird, By Blake Ma
Female Abyssinian lovebird on March 10,2007.
Diary of a Show Bird, By Blake Ma
Female Abyssinian lovebird on March 10,2007.

The Abyssinian lovebird is a newer addition to my aviary, and I only have one at the moment. This species of lovebird is considered one of the rarer species, as are the black cheeks, nyasa, red-faced, Madagascar and black-collared lovebirds. This particular species is sexually dimorphic, meaning that there are visual differences between males and females after molting. Babies are a bright, beautiful green and you will not be able to tell the sex until the red pin feathers on the male’s forehead begin to come in. The female’s forehead is all green, while the males have red on the head.

Abyssinians can be particular about certain things. They like their food separated into different containers. In addition to food being separated, this species needs a daily serving of figs. Some people offer mission figs, while others give fig paste as a part of Abyssinian lovebird’s diet. I also have a separate container of large gray-striped sunflower seeds. Make sure you don’t give the wrong type of sunflower seeds, as there are other types that are not suitable for them in heavy consumption. I have four dishes in my Abby’s cage; one for her daily fig; one for sunflower seeds; one for cockatiel seed and one for Roudybush or Zupreem pellets.  A couple times a week, I give my Abby a couple of pieces of apple, which she’ll chow down right away.

I hope to produce some of my own Abyssinian babies in the future. I will be getting a male for this hen sometime this year. In general, it seems that Abyssinian hens do better at shows than males because, with males, you need to make sure that the red on their forehead has an even line that is not broken or uneven. As these are one of the rarer lovebird species, Abby’s can be more difficult to breed. I’ve heard of people who can’t get their Abbysinians to reproduce and heard of others having success with different methods, such as using a multiple chamber nest box. 

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Reader Comments
They look like little Eclectus
Jessica, Toronto, ON
Posted: 1/30/2009 8:22:02 PM
Very interesting! I didn't know that there are actually lovies you can sex by appearance. Hope you can find a mate for your little girl that she likes.
Valerie, Dayton, OH
Posted: 7/28/2008 8:35:06 PM
My abys are really great. They love blackberries/strawberries/carrots. They do well with breading but they did need to settle in. In the beginning my hen would not go into the nest box. My nest box was L shaped to the right (like a backwards L) and I found out when I let her explore a little that she would go in to the nest box that was shaped to the left. Once I switched nest boxes she has given me several clutches.
Christie Chaplin, Hollywood, SC
Posted: 2/6/2008 7:53:45 PM
Gorgeous Bird!
Shawn, Smyrna, GA
Posted: 4/18/2007 8:52:04 AM
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