Caring for Newborn Lovebirds

Updated on December 4, 2017
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Sakina loves birds. She had 2 IRN parrots and 2 budgies. Now she has 2 lovebirds, one of which is a peach-faced male hand-raised by her.

Introduction

A newborn baby lovebird is a wonderful bundle of joy. Its birth is both a happy moment for the owner and for its parents. In this article, we will take a look at the signs of hatching in lovebird eggs, how to care for newborn babies, and how to care for the parents as well.

Signs of Hatching in Lovebirds

Lovebirds lay a lot of eggs after mating, but not all of them will hatch into chicks. Generally, one or two eggs will hatch out of ten eggs. Sometimes, none of the eggs will hatch! At times, it may happen that one chick may be hatched after a mother lovebird lays around 40-50 eggs. This happened in my case with my female lovebird, Lulu.

Let us look at the signs of hatching in lovebirds:

  • Changes in Egg Color
  • Incubation
  • Nesting Behavior
  • Aggression
  • Regurgitation

1. Changes in Egg Color

The white color of the eggs changes from a light gray to a dark gray. This indicates that a baby is growing inside the egg.

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Lovebird eggs, light gray in color after some days of incubation.Lovebird eggs, turning darker at the end of incubation.
Lovebird eggs, light gray in color after some days of incubation.
Lovebird eggs, light gray in color after some days of incubation. | Source
Lovebird eggs, turning darker at the end of incubation.
Lovebird eggs, turning darker at the end of incubation. | Source

2. Incubation

If any of the eggs laid by the mother lovebird contain babies, she will sit on them (incubate) continuously without much break. She will appear fluffy and slightly bigger than her normal self. This way, she provides the necessary heat for a chick's growth. This is another obvious sign that a chick may hatch after this period.

Lovebird, Lulu incubating her eggs.
Lovebird, Lulu incubating her eggs. | Source

3. Nesting Behavior

While sitting on her eggs, the mother lovebird will shred paper that you provide for the nesting. This behavior will increase significantly during incubation (nesting behavior). This way she builds a nest for her upcoming babies, which is another sign of hatching.

Lovebirds playing with paper.
Lovebirds playing with paper. | Source

4. Aggression

A mother lovebird tends to be aggressive, especially when we touch her cage. They feel that we may try to harm her eggs. She may try to bite the male lovebird, too. At this stage, try your best to give her space and don't do anything which annoys/angers her.

Lovebirds may get cautious (when their chick is born) when we come closer to their cage.
Lovebirds may get cautious (when their chick is born) when we come closer to their cage. | Source

5. Regurgitation

The mother lovebird sits on her eggs and doesn't eat. The male lovebird feeds her (regurgitation) every few hours and this is an obvious sign of an egg hatching.

My lovebird. Mumu feeding his mate, Lulu by regurgitation.
My lovebird. Mumu feeding his mate, Lulu by regurgitation. | Source

Newborn Baby Lovebird

The first sign of a chick hatching will be its cry. It will make small crying sounds every now and then. I still remember how my lovebirds, Mumu and Lulu, had their first chick hatched. It was born earlier this year on the 13th of January.

Mumu had chirped continuously from his cage, but we didn't know why. We had assumed that maybe he was simply chirping. When I opened his cage covers, I noticed a newborn baby kicking its legs in the air!

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Newborn lovebird chick.My lovebirds, Mumu and Lulu preening (cleaning) their chick's feathers.
Newborn lovebird chick.
Newborn lovebird chick. | Source
My lovebirds, Mumu and Lulu preening (cleaning) their chick's feathers.
My lovebirds, Mumu and Lulu preening (cleaning) their chick's feathers. | Source

Caring for Baby Lovebirds

Baby lovebirds are tiny and delicate and require lots of care. It is really important to follow these points I've mentioned below so that your baby lovebird gets cared for properly:

  • Support
  • Food
  • Warmth
  • Cleanliness
  • Sleep

1. Support

Make sure that the baby lovebird is placed in the nest box. It should be kept between two unhatched eggs for support. This way if the baby rolls around, it will stay remain in the same position.

Lovebird eggs in a nest box. When a chick is born, place it between two eggs for support.
Lovebird eggs in a nest box. When a chick is born, place it between two eggs for support. | Source

2. Food

Make sure that the baby is being properly fed by the female lovebird; you will notice her feeding the baby. She will bring up food in her beak and feed it to her chick.

Be sure to provide fresh water, healthy foods like corn, spinach, seeds, apple, banana, and crushed egg shells to both the parent lovebirds.

In some cases, it's possible that a female lovebird won't feed the chick properly. In such situations, you should gently take the baby in their hands and try to feed it a little lovebird formula.

You can feed the chick by using a syringe. It might reject the food from you in the beginning, but do try until it accepts the formula. Do make sure that the formula is thin, without lumps, and slightly warm. Avoid crop burn by making sure the formula is just below body temperature—a thermometer can be used.

3. Warmth

Warmth is something that is necessary for a chick's growth. Along with healthy food, it also needs warmth and proper sleep to stay healthy.

Cover your lovebirds' cage even during summers. You can use light pillow covers to do this. In winters, make sure to put baby blankets around the cage so that the chick as well as its parents, stay warm.

If your area has extreme winters, make sure to cover your lovebirds' cage with heavier blankets to provide extra warmth.

Warmth is essential for a lovebird chick's growth. Also, it is important to keep your pets warm during winter.
Warmth is essential for a lovebird chick's growth. Also, it is important to keep your pets warm during winter. | Source

4. Cleanliness

Your lovebirds' cage should be cleaned daily, along with the seeds and water bowls, too. Fresh food should be provided whenever required and no food should be kept in the cage for more than two hours.

Towels, papers, and magazines can be used to put over the base of the cage. Besides helping in keeping the cage warm, female lovebirds require papers for shredding and playing.

Clean the dried grass inside the nest box whenever you feel wetness. Ensure the grass is never wet or else the baby might get sick.

5. Sleep

Newborn baby lovebirds are really tiny and require lots of sleep. Ensure that the chick is getting proper and peaceful sleep at all times.

Caring for Parent Lovebirds

  • Make sure they are well fed.
  • Fresh water and healthy foods should be made available at all times.
  • Seed and water bowls should be cleaned properly.
  • The cage's base should be covered with paper.
  • Make sure your lovebirds are not bored or frustrated. It's important to give them attention too.
  • Let your pets out for playing and make sure they are happy.
  • Ensure that your lovebirds are getting peaceful and uninterrupted sleep for at least 12 hours.

My Lovebirds Playing Chase

Conclusion

Hand-raising newborn lovebirds is a difficult task, but with proper care and attention, they can grow into loving and healthy pets. My lovebirds' chick didn't survive for long, but I'm happy that I got the opportunity to raise my male lovebird, Mumu.

Happy hand-raising!

© 2017 Sakina Nasir

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