Lovebirds are popular pets. They have become more and more common in households because they are fun, interactive, and easy to care for. However, getting lovebirds from a breeder can be a minefield. A common problem cropping up more and more is lovebirds being sold in pairs are actually siblings. That’s a problem because lovebird siblings will mate regardless of being siblings. This is as nature intended, however, it’s not always a good thing when you’re looking for the best bird stock for breeding. When siblings mate it can cause a slew of genetic issues, just like it would in any species.
One of the simplest ways to avoid this issue is to buy pairs of birds that are unrelated from different breeder stocks.
Otherwise, if you really want to purchase siblings, it’s important that the birds are at least separated into different cages. This will prevent them from mating and creating potentially damaged offspring.
So with all that being said
Will Sibling Lovebirds Mate?
Well, they don’t call them lovebirds for nothin’. Yes, lovebirds will mate with their own siblings in a passionate flurry of flying feathers and comedic censoring bars. The issue with this is genetic integrity and not a moral one! Birds don’t have morals, they just do what their biological imperative is to do. Eat, sleep, poop, make babies and glorify their creator!
How to tell if your birds are siblings?
This is a pretty tough one. There are a lot of reasons why you might not know which birds might be siblings. Whether they were born in a large communal cage, or you got them from shady breeders.
There are some things you can do to determine this, however.
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If you don’t want to get in between love…birds.. you don’t have to. There are alternatives.
You can replace their inbred eggs with fake eggs, and allow them to stay in the same cage. You can also discourage them from breeding via a variety of methods, which this article doesn’t get into.
But bottom line is, Unless you are an experienced breeder with a large history of all your bird’s genealogy and a wide enough selection for selective breeding, It’s definitely advised you do not allow your sibling lovebirds to procreate.
What if you are an experienced breeder with a large history of all your bird’s genealogy and a wide enough selection for selective breeding? Well then, by all means, go ahead. You might even be able to find a forum or two of similar experts.
A bit of good news
What if my birds are already inbred, or I want to keep the eggs? That’s a risk if your willing to take it. Not all sibling pairs will produce bad offspring. It’s just a chance that there won’t be enough genetic differences that might cause problems. We’re really talking about a lot of random chance here.
It’s unlikely they will have life-crippling disabilities, like 7 legs. But there is a chance of genetic defects that will make them sterile or shorten their lifespan.