If your birds appear to get along in every other respect (he
feeds the female, they sit close together, they appear to
prepare the nest together), then this could just be a bad
habit. A friend of mine had a male that was this way, too.
The problem was that he was a single bird until well after
he was 1 year old, so once sexual maturity hit, he would rid
himself of his frustrations on the perch. After a female
was introduced, they got along great, but he would mate with
the perch instead of her. She had a clutch of infertile
eggs due to this, just as yours sound as though they had.
My friend asked around to a number of reputable breeders in
the ALBS, and one suggested that when she set them up for
breeding, she should remove all the perches in the cage.
That way, the male doesn't have his first choice for this
behavior, and hopefully will figure out where to turn next.
So he did! She is handfeeding three babies from this pair
now. Might I suggest you removing perches from the cage
when you set them up to breed again?
After the eggs were laid, the perches were returned to the
cage. I'm not sure what she will do next time she sets them
up for breeding (they'll be on rest for a while now). Maybe
she won't need to pull the perches out next time, since he
now understands how to successfully breed? I don't know. I
guess she'll cross that bridge when she gets there.
On 2/12/06, Evelyn wrote:
> I have a pair of lovebirds who have never had fertile
> eggs. The male would rather play "cowboy" on his perch.
> They make wonderful foster parents, however. I was just
> wondering if there is a possibility that the male would
> take a different hen... or is this habit incurable?