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Hand Raising A Baby Lovebird: A Personal Experience

Updated on February 24, 2017
SakinaNasir53 profile image

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

Hand raising a baby lovebird is a huge responsibility. It is just like raising a child. Given proper care and attention, hand raised birds make the most loyal and loving pets one could ever find. It is like having a constant companion with you everyday. In this article, I have written about the following main topics, under which several pictures, videos and callout capsules are included. Read on below to find all about hand raising your baby pet:

  • Steps on Feeding a Lovebird
  • Preparing the Formula
  • How to Feed the Baby?
  • What to do After Feeding?
  • Baby Lovebirds' Growth Progression (Week 3-6)
  • What do Weaned Lovebirds eat?
  • Important Points to Remember
  • 10 Unique Facts About Mumu

Adorable Isn't he?

Mumu is my baby lovebird. He is waiting to be fed.
Mumu is my baby lovebird. He is waiting to be fed. | Source

Steps on Feeding a Lovebird

To be honest, I was literally scared to touch my baby pet named Mumu. We had bought him from a pet shop on 12 March 2016. I had never raised a baby bird before therefore, I was rendered clueless. The internet proved to be an immense help, guiding me in my worried state. Nevertheless, I gathered courage and decided to feed him. I opened the brooder and gently lifted the sleepy baby out. He was clearly surprised and lunged forward to bite me. I stifled a laugh at his trivial attempt to scare me off. Eventually I started feeding him.

Be very gentle while holding your baby bird.

Preparing the Formula

You will need boiled water, baby bird food powder, a syringe and feeding spoon (when your baby gets older).

  1. Boiling the water is essential to kill germs that could harm your baby bird.
  2. Mix a little amount of powder and water till the consistency is fine (neither too thick nor too watery).There shouldn't be any lumps in the formula.
  3. Fill the syringe between 6-8 ml. Check the temperature of the formula on your palm. (Caution: high temperature formula could burn your baby's throat).
  4. Feed this amount of formula every 3 to 4 hours depending upon your baby's need. Check your baby's crop (area around the stomach, check image below).

What is a Crop?

The picture shows the full crop of my baby lovebird Mumu. See the bulging crop in this image. It indicates that your baby doesn't require anymore feeding.
The picture shows the full crop of my baby lovebird Mumu. See the bulging crop in this image. It indicates that your baby doesn't require anymore feeding. | Source

How to Know Your Baby Needs Feeding?

If the crop is bulging it means your baby is full; if it's flat it means your baby is hungry.

How to Feed the Baby?

You need to be very gentle while feeding your baby bird. The technique is simple but it should be done with utmost care and caution.

  1. Feed your baby when he/she is the most hungry. You will know this when you show him/ her the syringe. He/she will make crying sounds and jump forward eagerly.
  2. The head your baby bird should be tilted upwards.
  3. Gently place the tip of the syringe in your baby's beak and start feeding. If done properly you will see your bird swallowing food. While swallowing your bird will bob his head or show body movement. Do not rush...always feed slowly.
  4. Check the crop; if it is bulged, you should stop feeding your bird. You will also notice two bubble like formations at your baby's back. Do not feed after this.

Warning ⚠

Never feed your baby bird with his/her head bent downwards. It could lead to choking and even death in some cases.

Correct Way of Feeding your Baby Bird

Source

What to do After Feeding?

  1. Clean your bird's beak with a clean towel.
  2. Put your bird to sleep by gently caressing his/her feathers.
  3. Give your bird plenty of rest.

Caution ⚠

Do not play with baby birds.They are too young and do not have that much energy. Give them plenty of rest, without any disturbance.

Put your baby bird to sleep gently.
Put your baby bird to sleep gently. | Source

How Baby Lovebirds are Hand Feeded?

Baby Lovebirds' Growth Progression

It is important to note growth progressions of your baby bird. It helps to understand feather growth and your bird's health. Given below are details and pictures of the growth progression of my pet Mumu.

Week 3

Mumu was a little baby with minimal feathers. His tail was blue in color and like a set of plastic darts. His stomach was bare and his skin was showing. His back just had a line of feathers. Inside his wings, the skin was featherless but there were slits from which his wings would grow.

Three Weeks Old Baby Lovebird

Peach faced baby lovebird sleeping in a brooder.
Peach faced baby lovebird sleeping in a brooder. | Source

Week 3, Day 4

Tail endings were prominent and had a mixture of colors. More feathers started appearing at the back and on his wings. His wings were growing.

Three Weeks Four Days Old Baby Lovebird

Three and a half weeks pied peach faced baby lovebird.
Three and a half weeks pied peach faced baby lovebird. | Source

Week 4

His size had increased. His wings were almost fully feathered. Tail was growing longer and tail endings were taking the shape of leaves. But his cheeks and head still had some spots left to be covered.

Four Weeks Old Baby Lovebird

Beautiful pied peach faced baby lovebird.
Beautiful pied peach faced baby lovebird. | Source

Week 4, Day 5

He was almost completely feathered at this stage. He looked like an adorable little fur ball. He was onto becoming fledged (having wing feathers that are large enough for flight; able to fly).

Four Weeks Five Days Old Baby Lovebird

Cute peach faced baby lovebird sleeping.
Cute peach faced baby lovebird sleeping. | Source

Week 5, Day 3

He was fully feathered and his beak was properly formed. Tail and wing feathers were finely developed.

Five Weeks Three Days Old Baby Lovebird

Cute peach faced baby lovebird Mumu sleeping on my leg.
Cute peach faced baby lovebird Mumu sleeping on my leg. | Source

Week 6, Day 2

Fully grown and fledged.

Six Weeks Two Days Old Baby Lovebird

Beautiful peach faced lovebird sitting on a perch.
Beautiful peach faced lovebird sitting on a perch. | Source

Growth Progression of a Baby Lovebird since Day 1

What do Weaned Lovebirds Eat?

You discover that your baby lovebird is weaned (accustomed to managing without something which they have become dependent on) from hand feeding formula. What should you do?

Here is the answer:

Offer seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables everyday. Corn is especially important in their diet. Your baby can eat almost anything you can.

A lovebird's favorite fresh food list includes:

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Grapes
  • Mangoes
  • Plums
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Beans
  • Pasta

Remember how you care for your bird will determine how healthy and loyal he/she will turn out be. Lovebirds are playful and sociable. Give them loads of attention and love them for who they are.

Warning ⚠

Never feed your bird chocolate, alcohol, avocado, oily food, milk products, concentrated salt or sugar. These foods are life threatening. Never leave food in cages that could spoil, go sour, rot or breed mold and bacteria.

Baby Lovebirds can be Scared of Food too!

Once you feel that your baby needs weaning, introduce new foods to him/her. Feed corn, bananas and seeds. Your pet may be scared and cry (make small short sounds) as a result. He/She may fluff out their feathers and try to attack the new food. Show the new foods daily and attempt to feed them. They will reject it initially. Continue trying to feed them, till their fear is removed. This happened in my case and can happen in yours too.

Baby Lovebirds may Bite in Their Defense!

Baby love birds are not mean, rather they may be frightened. They use aggression as their defense. Never hit or yell at your bird they have feelings which get hurt too. Always talk calmly and ignore bad behavior in case there is.

Important Points to Remember

It is very important to remember these points for the safety and well-being of your lovebird.

  • Leave fresh water for your lovebird. It only takes a second to change water.
  • Keep perches and dishes scrubbed clean as birds nibble on everything. Be sure to rinse very well after using detergent or disinfectant.
  • Never use Lysol, etc. It is difficult to get all the residue washed off.
  • Take your bird outside with you if the weather is pleasant.
  • Supervise your bird with children or strangers.
  • Supervise all animals when they are around your bird.
  • Do provide a cage large enough so that your bird has MORE than enough room to move and flap its wings.
  • Provide different and stimulating toys for your bird to chew.
  • Do not cook with Teflon; when overheated, the gas emitted could be fatal to your bird.
  • Do not smoke around your bird. Nicotine is deadly to birds.
  • Do not cook with a bird on your shoulder. Kitchens can be very dangerous.
  • Do not let your bird chew on surfaces or plants that can be fatal or toxic if ingested. Be aware of lead and zinc toxicity.
  • Do not purchase toys for your bird that have dog leash type clips or jingle type bells. (Toes can be caught easily).
  • Do not bring any other bird that has not been tested first by an avian veterinarian into contact with your bird.
  • Do not assume that a bird is 100% healthy because it has never been "sick".

Teaching a Lovebird Tricks (Shaking Hands with Mumu)

Baby Mumu Learning how to Follow Commands!

Have you ever raised a baby bird?

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10 Unique Facts About Mumu

  1. He was unusually fast in running since the beginning.
  2. He used to walk backwards to pass poop.
  3. He used to follow us whenever we were going away.
  4. His heart-warming way of snuggling to my stomach when he felt sleepy.
  5. He understood commands even though he was so little.
  6. He used to chatter a lot making different sounds. Currently he has the rare ability to say 2-3 words.
  7. He imitates kissing sounds even before we kiss him. Adorable!
  8. He mimics our actions. If we hold a mobile phone he jumps on the screen imitating to use it himself. Yeah, we love his silly antics.
  9. He has an obsession towards the metal Gold. He holds the record of breaking two chains and one ring! (It's a pun.)
  10. He is very curious and loves to explore his surroundings. There is this cute question mark look on his face whenever he sees something new.

Happy Hand Raising!

Cute Lovebird Wearing a Hat!

Peach faced baby lovebird wearing a cute hat.
Peach faced baby lovebird wearing a cute hat. | Source

© 2016 Sakina Nasir

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    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
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      Sakina Nasir 2 months ago from Kuwait

      Hi Normunds! That's a good thing. Do you find the eggs changing color from white to a light gray? If the mother lovebird is sitting on the eggs regularly, there is no need for an ultra-red lamp. Thank you for asking this question. Please let me know the progress. Good luck! :)

    • profile image

      Normunds 2 months ago

      Hello, I also have two love bird ! Mom sit on the eggs ! Is there a need for an ultra-red lamp for heat?

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
      Author

      Sakina Nasir 3 months ago from Kuwait

      Thank you so much Mrs. Jean Kanoff! :) I'm happy I could be of help to your friend. Lovebird babies are really sweet and require patience, love and care to raise into amazing pets. They're just like human babies. Please let me know the progress of your friend's pets. :) Mumu is doing great and so is his mate, Lulu. :) Thank you for asking. Have a nice day!

    • profile image

      Mrs. Jean Kanoff 4 months ago

      Ps, I couldn't have put this together any better and I'm sure this will help my new friend,

      Also it has refreshed my mind if what it was like to have babie birds.

    • profile image

      Mrs. Jean Kanoff 4 months ago

      Thank you so much for your insight and information, i sent this to a lady who has a pair of love birds and they have a baby, I remember all this great worktat went into loveing our lovebirds, you put it all together awesomely.

      Thank you again and I hope you and mumu are doing great.

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
      Author

      Sakina Nasir 9 months ago from Kuwait

      @carolynkaye

      That's sweet! Cockatiels are pretty gentle and quiet birds. I had the pleasure of petting a male cockatiel once. They are very sweet. Lovebirds are great too but they can be very naughty at times. They are playful spirits and love to try out new things. :) Thanks for sharing my article with your sister.

    • carolynkaye profile image

      carolynkaye 9 months ago from USA

      My niece is raising baby cockatiels now and also likes Lovebirds, so I told her about your article.

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
      Author

      Sakina Nasir 9 months ago from Kuwait

      @carolynkaye

      Thank you so much! I am so glad you could find my article helpful. Do you have baby lovebirds at home?

    • carolynkaye profile image

      carolynkaye 9 months ago from USA

      Great article about baby Lovebirds, Sakina. There's so much helpful info here. Thanks for sharing.

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
      Author

      Sakina Nasir 10 months ago from Kuwait

      @SA Williams

      Thanks a lot for stopping by and reading my work. I will give your compliments to Mumu. LOL. My lovebirds react the same way when they hear sparrows or pegions chirping.

    • simplehappylife profile image

      sannwi 10 months ago

      I loved this ❤ Mumu is so cute and sweet! LOL...I played the videos and all of my dogs started going nuts, barking and running around the house :)

    • Ashish Dadgaa profile image

      Ashi 13 months ago

      Al right :)

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
      Author

      Sakina Nasir 13 months ago from Kuwait

      Yeah, I will write it soon... :)

    • Ashish Dadgaa profile image

      Ashi 13 months ago

      Oh wow that's awesome :)

      I am eagerly waiting for it :)

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
      Author

      Sakina Nasir 13 months ago from Kuwait

      Thank you so much Ashish! :)

      Yeah, I am planning to write another hub; you will get to see more photos of Mumu in there. ☺

    • Ashish Dadgaa profile image

      Ashi 13 months ago

      Haha..wow that's awesome. I would love to see more photos of Mumu :) :) Please with me :)

      I really admire the way you are taking care of this lovely birds. You are so beautiful, soul. :)

      Bless you my dear :)

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
      Author

      Sakina Nasir 13 months ago from Kuwait

      Thank you so much! This means a lot. Mumu is a like a baby to me. ☺ God bless you too. ☺

    • Ashish Dadgaa profile image

      Ashi 13 months ago

      Dear Dr. Sakina ;)

      You are such a beautiful soul. I can't believe you are raising a baby lovebird by yourself. That is soo beautiful task to do that. I am sure you will be God for Mu mu. You will be so blessed to such unique work and on top of that, you are sharing your experience with everyone. I am soo pleased to see that you have given step by step guide for their food and preparation and stuff.

      You are sooooo skilled lady.

      May God bless you give you lots of success in your life :)

      Bless and regards,

      Ashish

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
      Author

      Sakina Nasir 14 months ago from Kuwait

      Thank u so much !

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
      Author

      Sakina Nasir 14 months ago from Kuwait

      Thank you so much Hamza

    • profile image

      Hamza 14 months ago

      Great work.. I am not so fond of keeping birds at home as a pet but after reading this i really appreciate the things you have done and the article is amazing and it will definitely help the people who finds difficulties in handling the baby bird.

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
      Author

      Sakina Nasir 14 months ago from Kuwait

      Thank you Mohammad

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
      Author

      Sakina Nasir 14 months ago from Kuwait

      Thank u so much everyone!

    • profile image

      Ashly 14 months ago

      Wow! You just made me want to purchase a new baby bird!

      Keep up the good work.

    • profile image

      Khalid Lodhi 14 months ago

      Well done, Sakina. I appreciate your research and the way you have presented the whole thing. I wish I would have read your article when I raised and kept a parrot baby in my childhood !

    • profile image

      Suraksha 14 months ago

      A very good article and how you hAve cared for it

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
      Author

      Sakina Nasir 14 months ago from Kuwait

      Thank you so much

    • profile image

      Hatim 14 months ago

      Extremely wonderful. Well done and good luck for ur next hub.

    • profile image

      Abdul Lathif 14 months ago

      Birds are angel,we should love them

      They are unique. Good work sakina. All the best for ur future

    • profile image

      Tasnim 14 months ago

      Extremely delighted to learn about lovebirds and their nature.keep up the good work

    • profile image

      Tasneem 14 months ago

      Very interesting story sakina keep it up.

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
      Author

      Sakina Nasir 14 months ago from Kuwait

      Thank u so much all of you. This means a lot to me.

    • profile image

      Nasir 14 months ago

      A very good Article.

      Sup

    • profile image

      Tasnim 14 months ago

      Extremely delighted to learn about lovebirds and their nature.keep up the good work

    • profile image

      Tasnim 14 months ago

      Extremely delighted to know about lovebirds and there nature,a very valuable information. Keep it up

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
      Author

      Sakina Nasir 14 months ago from Kuwait

      Thank you Maryam and Murtaza for your comments. I would also like to say that birds have complete freedom in my house.

    • profile image

      Murtaza 14 months ago

      Hello everyone i believe that every bird have own life and nobody have rights to kept and block freedom

    • profile image

      Maryam 14 months ago

      Good work keep it up