A reasonable size of breeding cage is 2.5 feet x 1.5 feet x 1.5 feet. One can hang the breeding box outside the cage or install inside depending upon the shed.
In Pakistan breeding boxes are normally made of wood. One can easily have it from bird shop in different shapes and sizes. Any box that you think your lovebird is comfortable with can be used.
Nesting material is usually subject to human preference rather than what the birds like and they don’t mind what they get.
Material that is green and contains some moisture will enhance the eggs’ hatchability. Palm fronds and the stalks of seeding grasses such as oats or Japanese millet are suitable and although kikuyu is frowned upon by many, I find that a few thick green pieces given during incubation will add some moisture to the nest.
The leaves (green & dried) of the Grass or nesting material available on bird shops can be used. This material is very tough and makes for a good standing nest that does not easily flatten. Try tying together several of the long leaves and hang them from the wire. You’ll soon have birds climbing all over them eager to strip them for carrying to the nest.
Providing you have a true pair nest building should take place within a couple of weeks of introducing nest boxes into the aviary.
In Pakistan normally breeding season begins in October and end in March as this is usually cooler weather. Rest of the 6 months is rest period for birds and owners as well.
Providing you have a true pair nest building should take place within a couple of weeks of introducing nest boxes into the aviary, although some pairs seem to need the stimulation of other pairs around them with young before they get started.
Number of eggs laid varies from 2 to 7 per nest laid every other day. Incubation usually takes about 22 days and starts from 2nd or 3rd egg laid. A check of the nest one week after last egg laid should reveal eggs that are fertile as being cloudy/dark pink in colour when held up to the light.
If you can see the yolk floating around inside then there could be a number of reasons for the egg’s infertility. Two hens will often act as a pair – build a nest and lay eggs etc., or if this is the first mating of either bird then they might need more practice before they get their act together.
It would seem that lack of moisture in the nest chamber results in young that are fully formed but fail to break free from the shell when the time comes.
I have always provided my birds with a large water dish (glazed terracotta is easy to clean) and only once have I had a problem and I suspect it was a genetic problem with a particular pair.
Hen birds with access to large, open water dishes will often wet themselves before returning to the nest, hence maintaining the moisture content in the nest material.
I’m not sure that the stipulation that nest material provided must be green (fresh) because most grasses and palm leaves are well and truly dried out by the time the eggs should hatch.
Another reason is the dirty nest boxes. I insist on changing the nesting material after every clutch clean the box with antiseptic and refill the nesting material. It will curb the growth of bacteria and other infection that cause dead in the shell.