Caring for Newborn Lovebirds
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
My Lovebirds Playing Chase
- Hand Raising a Baby Lovebird: A Personal Experience
This article is about hand raising a baby lovebird. Based on my personal experience I have shared tips and suggestions. Hand-raised birds are the most loving and loyal pets one could ever find.
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
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?
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.Helpful 29
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?
Yes, you can take it with a spoon and transfer it to the nest box.Helpful 6
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?
Yes, you can take out the oldest chick and hand-feed him/her. The parents will continue to feed the other babies.Helpful 6
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?
That's really sad. I don't think you should wash them.Helpful 3
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?
You can buy a brooder for your baby lovebird. That will be enough to keep it warm.Helpful 1
© 2017 Sakina Nasir