Here's a question for our Lovebird parrot blog:
Hi, Great site, it is really helpful. However, I'm still having some trouble with what to do with my soon to be baby lovebirds. My two pet lovebirds have 5 eggs and should start hatching within a couple of days now. I have gathered so much information on handfeeding that I'm totally confused! I am planning on selling the babies when they are old enough so I won't be keeping them to breed. What do you think is the safest and best thing to do for the babies? Handfeed or let the Hen raise them? If I do decide to let the parents raise them themselves, when will they be weaned for me to take them out and sell them?
Thanks for any advice!! Erin.
Erin: Hello. Thank you for writing and I hope I can answer your questions. I have had lovebirds, but have never bred them, so I did some research and found out the following. Most clutches contain four to six eggs and if the eggs are fertile, they should hatch in 22 to 25 days, depending on the species of lovebird you have.
Most lovebirds are excellent parents and will raise their young without incidence. You should supply the parent birds with a special diet at this time, in addition to their regular diet. You can offer them soaked or sprouted seed, spray millet, egg feed and commercial supplements. You can consult with your veterinarian or local pet store to see what they recommend.
Hand fed birds are very affectionate and tame to the person who fed them, but if they are parent raised and you handle them when they leave the nest at six weeks of age , they will usually be just as tame. At six weeks of age the baby lovebirds will be ready to leave the nest. The male lovebird will teach the young to eat regular food, but keep supplying the special food until the babies are completely independent. Once they are, which takes about two more weeks, the babies can be removed and put in a separate cage. They are now ready to go to new homes.
Your female lovebird will often start laying a second set of eggs. Two broods is all I would allow them to have per year, to conserve the adult's strength and health.
Regarding your guestion about hand-feeding, I will tell you it is very demanding and time-consuming. It can bring wonderful results, but the babies must be fed day and night with feedings every 2 to 3 hours. If you have never hand-fed a baby bird, please contact a veterinarian or experienced breeder, so they can explain what exactly to do. Their are many commercial baby bird hand-feeding formulas available and they usually have information included.
I wish you much success with your lovebirds and the babies. Thanks for joining our Lovebird parrot BLOG.