Last Updated on June 17, 2022 by Ali Shahid
Lovebirds’ weaning is a natural part of their lifecycle. During this period, the babies don’t want to eat hand-fed baby formula, or they will eat less than they normally do.
Despite it being a natural process (a sign of weaning), new parents and breeders become concerned. They will therefore try to do things that are safe from their point of view, but in reality, harm the baby lovebirds.
They can force-feed the babies or starve them, believing that they would eat themselves. To be honest, I made the same mistakes myself when I was a complete newbie in this field.
However, I quickly came to learn the most effective ways to wean a baby lovebird from Avian specialists as a part of my training.
Based on my successful experience, I suggest feeding the baby chicks small amounts of formula throughout the day to prevent them from starving.
I believe that if you let me guide you through this article, I will make it a memory you will cherish forever.
How to Wean A Baby Lovebird
You should continue to feed your lovebird formula according to his regular schedule, only giving him as much as he is willing to consume. Do not force-feed him if he is not eating. The first thing he does with the food is to play with it, but he eventually eats it.
When it comes to formula, follow his lead, and gradually add more food. The formula will eventually no longer be appealing to him, which will result in him only eating solid food.
The weaning process for some lovebirds can take about three weeks, while the process for others can take five weeks or more. To make sure that the chicks don’t become too thin, you can use a small scale to check their weight regularly.
Weight loss shouldn’t exceed five to seven grams. A breeder should contact their veterinarian immediately if a bird appears lethargic or completely refuses to hand feed formula. Other ailments may be present.
It is possible for a chick to not eat because of a sour crop or a bacterial infection. Please don’t starve your lovebird as this will not result in solid food. I will recommend you consult your veterinarian if your lovebird loses more than about seven grams in weight.
Provide a Variety of Food During Weaning
Baby birds who have all their feathers out and start exploring their brooders are usually close to weaning. At this point, they are also ready to get introduced to new foods.
It is important to feed the animals fresh food items every day, such as vegetables, fruits, pellets, and seeds. The more variety of foods they are exposed to as young birds, the more likely they are to enjoy a variety of foods as adults.
The birds might not be interested in a while in taking food from the brooder at first, but eventually, they will become curious. As they nibble on the new food, eventually they will eat it fully.
Continual exposure will enable the bird to become confident and adaptable as an adult. You can introduce pellets to a lovebird’s food dish or water bowl by placing a bowl near it. The bird will start tasting the pellets once it becomes curious.
It is also helpful to include softer foods. Apples, pears, and mangoes are all excellent choices. Vegetables such as carrots, zucchini, or squash can be incorporated during noon. The birds may prefer to be given a later meal of millet, pellets, corn, brown rice, or lentils.
For your pet to stay healthy, variety is key to getting all the necessary nutrients. After introducing food, it’s essential to remove it within three hours.
Leaving it in any longer will cause the food to become rancid. A different texture, color, and taste must also be included in each food item.
Monitor baby lovebird after weaning
After the lovebird baby has been weaned, it is very important not to sell it too soon. It is important to keep the lovebird for a few days to ensure that it is eating on its own when it first begins to do so.
After being fully weaned, the birds should be spooned, or syringe fed regularly. It is recommended that the new owner perform this task a few times a week to ensure that the newborn does not become ill or require medication.
It is also a great idea to give your adult birds a commercial hand feeding formula as this is a great way to provide them with additional nutrients.
When does a Lovebird Finally Wean?
It generally takes around eight weeks to wean a lovebird. However, there have been cases where babies have been weaned after as long as ten weeks.
It is a fact that each lovebird is different, and each bird weans at a different time. It is important to know that lovebirds who are kept separately from other birds are likely to take longer to wean themselves.
In this scenario, patience is key and the lovebird must be allowed to wean itself when it’s ready.
Some Important Considerations While Weaning Lovebirds
As they start to eat on their own, you can gauge when to begin reducing the number of daily feeds based on the chicks’ crop. I do not follow a strict diet plan. I feed when I see the chicks’ crop has nearly run empty.
To prevent spoiled food, crop reservoirs should be emptied once a day (usually overnight). During the daytime, however, I make sure that the baby gets adequate nutrition – in other words, that there is not an empty crop.
Chicks’ digestion speed is influenced by several factors, including the temperature and nutritional content of the baby formula, as well as how active they are. These variables are not considered when following a strict schedule.
After the chicks are able to eat by themselves, their crops are fuller for longer periods, and I can delay feedings until eventually, they stop eating altogether. For as long as the chick wants to be handfed, I will continue to do so.
Breeders typically force-wean chicks in many cases because they must do so. As I have seen in their nurseries, they have dozens of chicks at a time and it is really hard to keep an eye on them all.
Taking care of each chick individually is not possible or practical. No matter if it begs for food or not, they stop feeding the chick. Some babies grow up fast, while others are needier and won’t thrive in an environment like that.
Sort of the “survival of the fittest. Watching wild birds, you’ll see that parental care continues even after the young have left the nest. In my opinion, this is a step necessary to produce well-adjusted companion birds.
Warm handfeeding formula continues to be a favorite among birds of all ages. When you need to administer medication or supplement with vitamins and minerals, maintaining the habit of regularly handfeeding your birds will come in handy.
Personally, I enjoy feeding my birds. Every time they see a feeding spoon or syringe, their excitement is even more heartwarming.
Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.