Skip to main content

Caring for Newborn Lovebirds

Sakina loves birds and has had pet parrots and budgies. Now she has two lovebirds, one of which is a peach-faced male she hand-raised.

Photo by Isaac Benhesed on Unsplash

Photo by Isaac Benhesed on Unsplash

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

How Do I Know When Lovebird Eggs Are Going to Hatch?

Lovebirds lay a lot of eggs after mating, but not all of them will hatch into chicks. Generally, out of ten, one or two eggs will hatch. 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.

How do you know if a lovebird egg is going to hatch?

  • You'll see changes in egg color.
  • The mother bird will incubate the egg.
  • You'll notice nesting behavior.
  • The mother bird may become more aggressive.
  • The father lovebird will feed the mother.

Each of these signs is described fully below.

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.

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.

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.

4. Aggression

A mother lovebird tends to be aggressive, especially when we touch her cage. She worries 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 or 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.

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.

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Pethelpful

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

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

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!

Caring for a Baby Lovebird

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

What a Baby Lovebird Needs

  • Support
  • Food
  • Warmth
  • Cleanliness
  • Sleep

1. How to Support a Baby Lovebird

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.

2. Food a Baby Lovebird Needs

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.

3. Keep the Baby Lovebird Warm

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.

4. Keep the Cage Clean

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.

How to Care 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.

You Can Do It

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!

My Lovebirds Playing Chase

Additional Reading

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: My lovebird does not take care of her newborns so they die. This is the third one. Can I take the newborn out and feed it myself? Does it need a cage?

Answer: You can definitely feed the newborn yourself. You don't need a cage, you can place the chick in a brooder filled with dried grass. That will help in keeping it warm.

Question: Can I feed the baby lovebirds by hand and put them back in the nest? Will the parents continue to feed them? Will the parents reject them?

Answer: No, they won't reject them. It's best to feed them once they are at least two weeks old. It is easier to hold and handle them then.

Question: My lovebird is not feeding her newborn hatchlings. Is it ok to put them in a nest box with my other female lovebird and her babies?

Answer: I'm not sure if the other female lovebird will accept the newborn chicks. Try putting them near her. If she doesn't feed them, you need to feed them yourself.

Question: I have three baby lovebirds in the nest. If I take the oldest chick out to start hand-feeding, will the parents still feed the other babies?

Answer: Yes, you can take out the oldest chick and hand-feed him/her. The parents will continue to feed the other babies.

Question: My lovebirds don’t feed the baby after hatching. When & how much should I start feeding my lovebird's hatchling after the next one hatches?

Answer: Please feed a thin formula feed to the chick, 4-5 times a day with a small plastic syringe.

Question: My lovebirds have laid three eggs and one has hatched so far. I haven’t seen the parents feed it. Should I wait and see or feed it myself, if so with what?

Answer: Please feed the chick immediately. You can buy a formula feed for lovebirds from a local pet store. Add lukewarm water to a little formula and make a slightly watery paste. You have to feed this to the chick using a syringe. You can view my article about hand-raising a baby lovebird.

Question: Why is my handfed baby lovebird smacking his tongue on his beak? What does that mean?

Answer: That means the chick (even if he grows up) is rolling his tongue. Birds generally do so when they are ready to sleep and it is a sign of contentment.

Question: My lovebird sits on top of the baby, not next to it. Is that safe?

Answer: It isn't entirely safe, please look into the matter. If the baby is injured in some way, please separate it and keep it in a brooder and hand-feed it yourself.

Question: My lovebirds laid 6 eggs and 2 of them hatched and I took great care of them. Suddenly, one day when I was not at home, both the baby lovebirds were swallowed by a snake. My question is: can I wash the other eggs before they hatch? Will it be a problem?

Answer: That's really sad. I don't think you should wash them.

Question: My lovebird has a clutch of 6 eggs. The last one was laid almost 5 weeks ago and it doesn’t look like they are going to hatch. My female lovebird doesn’t seem to be losing interest in the nest though. She is still spending most of her time inside the nest. Should I just take away the nest box and the eggs? Will this stress her out?

Answer: Just remove the eggs or future ones if they don't hatch within 25 days of laying. Please keep the nest box.

Question: Can I move an egg that was just laid on the bottom of the cage into a nest? Will mama lovebird take care of it?

Answer: Yes, you can take it with a spoon and transfer it to the nest box.

Question: What should you feed a newborn lovebird who has fallen from a tree?

Answer: You can give the newborn lovebird formula feed. It will be available at a local pet store.

Question: We just bought a one-month-old, blue lovebird. I'm in Taiwan and I don't have the things needed for warmth. I use a heater, is that okay?

Answer: You can buy a brooder for your baby lovebird. That will be enough to keep it warm.

Question: I have separated the father, and yes, the baby did pass. But another lovebird has hatched, and the mother seems to be protecting it. If I keep food and water in close reach to her, she won't need his help, right? I don't want him attacking the new babies. Do I remove the dead one? Also, I do not want to incubate them because I am not a professional breeder or anything.

Answer: You don't need to be a professional to do this. Yes, if the food and water are close by, the mother lovebird will find it easier. I hope she doesn't get agitated without the male's company. Please remove the dead lovebird.

Question: I just noticed that my lovebird laid an egg, but it's been a couple of days, and there's only one. Should I be worried that there are no other eggs?

Answer: A female lovebird lays an egg every alternate day (a clutch of 4-6 eggs). Do you see the bottom of your lovebird bulged? That means she is pregnant, but can't lay the egg. If this is so, please give her crushed egg shells and place her in warm water.

Question: My baby lovebirds are hit by their mother. The babies are bleeding. What should I do?

Answer: That's a serious issue. Separate the chicks from the mother lovebird immediately. Apply turmeric powder on the wounds, and give the chicks plenty of rest. Hand feed them if they are younger than 1.5 months of age.

Question: My lovebird hatched five eggs, but only one survived. I keep the birds outside, with temperatures of 18°C at night and 30°C in the day. The place is shady.

The female stays in most of the time. I noticed the little one is breeding fast. Is this normal? Now I have moved the cage inside and temperature is 25°C. The chick is two weeks old and no feathers yet. Any tips are welcome.

Answer: The lovebird chick will have at least some feathers, is it totally skin? And yes, they do grow up quickly. Where do you keep the chick? This is important to consider.

Question: My Lovebird laid four eggs. Two of them hatched and one died. Can I take it out the nesting box?

Answer: Yes, the unhatched eggs must be removed.

Question: Why did my male lovebird throw an egg from the nest?

Answer: The egg might have been touched by someone, or the lovebird might think it's contaminated.

Question: I have 3 lovebird chicks and each bird was born at an interval of 2 days. The first chick is now 2 weeks old which is comparatively bigger than the other two. Does this mean the parents are not feeding the other two lovebirds properly?

Answer: Growth differs in each lovebird. But if this is the case, you need to hold the other two lovebirds and feed them.

Question: One of my neighbors will be giving me two baby lovebirds sometime soon. I am planning on hand-feeding and training them. I was wondering how I would keep the babies warm, since their parents will not be there to sit with them. Will the pillows and blankets be enough to keep these babies warm?

Answer: A brooder is enough to keep two babies warm. You can see a brooder's picture online or view my article, "Hand-Raising a Baby Lovebird: A Personal Experience" for more information. A brooder must be filled with dried grass, and the chicks can be placed on it.

Question: Can I touch young lovebirds with bare hands?

Answer: Yes, you can, but please make sure your hands are clean.

Question: Can I hatch my lovebird's rejected egg?

Answer: Yes, you can. Buy an incubator and place the egg inside it. It will hatch once it has been provided with continuous heat.

Question: What should I do if the mother of the budgie bird is not feeding her 1-day old baby and throwing her out of the nest? How should I feed the baby?

Answer: You can make a very thin formula feed for the chick. Please feed the chick slowly and in a gap of 2 hours.

Question: Our lovebird has eggs, but all them did not hatch. Only two babies came out, and the mother is hitting the baby's head. She is not feeding it and is pushing it down. What should I do?

Answer: Is there a wound on the chick's head? If this is the case, remove the chicks and place them in a brooder; they will be safe there. How old do the chicks look? Try feeding them yourself.

Question: My lovebirds somehow broke their eggs. They had three eggs, then two of them broke. I inspected one of the eggs and saw a baby inside covered in yellow goo. Is there a chance those eggs can survive? One of them just broke a few minutes ago.

Answer: If the chick is alive, you will see movement. If the egg broke before it was time for it to hatch, then the chick won't survive. If possible, you can incubate the eggs yourself (since your lovebirds are breaking the eggs).

Question: Help! The first egg has hatched, but the male began nibbling on the legs, so I thought he was just cleaning it, but I noticed that the legs were red and swollen. He dragged the baby out of the nest and left it. The female didn't look concerned, and they stepped on it on their way in and out of the box. We took both birds out and with a stick, we nudged the baby back in, but the mother doesn't seem to be doing much about it. And the baby does not seem to be squirming nor breathing. What do I do?

Answer: If the baby lovebird doesn't show any movement, it means it's dead. If this is the case (with the parent lovebirds), please keep the eggs in an incubator (they will be safe) and hand-feed the hatchlings.

Question: How and when did you start the weaning process for a lovebird chick?

Answer: I started the weaning process when my lovebird was 1.5 months old. I started placing bits of fruits (banana, apple, grapes - no seeds) near him a couple of times every day. He was scared and made little crying sounds but I continued to place fruits, eventually seeds and veggies (boiled - spinach leaves, corn, chickpeas) in front of him. Eventually, he started eating them on his own. This is a good stage to introduce drinking water to your bird too.

Question: This is the second time my lovebird eggs hatched. But the chicks die within 2 days. What should I do?

Answer: Survival is difficult. Please don't get disheartened.

Question: My two newborn lovebirds fell down from the nest. I put them back in the nest using a coconut husk. The mother bird had killed them the next day. Why?

Answer: It might happens at times that the female lovebird gets aggressive and tend to harm/neglect the lovebirds. Please separate the chicks the next time they hatch and handfeed them yourself.

Question: Can I hand feed newborn lovebirds?

Answer: You can definitely hand feed them. But an age of around 3 weeks in an lovebird makes it easier to handle them.

Question: Why does my male lovebird feed the five-week-old baby lovebirds?

Answer: It's generally the case. Mother lovebirds take care of the chicks initially, then as they mature, the father lovebird feeds them.

Question: A couple of my friend's baby birds died. She thinks she may have done something wrong. But after reading this, I don't think she did. Why do you suppose they died?

Answer: Survival is difficult and death is common in young birds. It's really sad to see this but that's the way it is.

Question: I am living in UAE. My lovebirds are out in the balcony, so what kind of cloth should I cover them with? What kind of seeds should I give them? Can I give them boiled egg shells?

Answer: Please make sure they are not under direct sunlight. Bring them inside, cover them up with a light cotton cloth in summer and a baby blanket in winter. The seeds for lovebirds are available in a local pet store. Yes, you can give tem boiled egg shells (crushed into small bits).

Question: The chick has fallen down from the box and the female lovebird is not allowing it back up. What should I do? Can the baby grow outside of the box, in the cage?

Answer: Please shift the baby in a brooder. It will stay warm and safe there. Place a towel at the bottom of the brooder and fill it halfway with dry grass. Then, place the baby on it.

Question: My baby lovebirds are about 7 weeks old. They're trying to leave the nest, but the parents won’t let them. It’s like they're trying to protect them but it is making them fearful. Can I put them into their own cage?