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  1. #1
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    4 wk old Lovebird?

    Hi, I have been searching for some time for a bird to adopt, I was looking for a very friendly hand raised bird, so I posted a wanted ad and a lady emailed me and told me that she has baby lovebirds that are almost 4 weeks old, she said I can have one now if I am willing to hand feed it. She has not yet hand-fed these babies, they are still with the parents. She said I should keep the baby in a plastic holding container with a lid on it and airholes, and a blanket & paper towels lining it, and feed the baby 3-4 times a day with the hand feed formula mixed to the right consistency/temperature. Years ago I used to help hand feed baby conures the hand-feed formula with a syringe so I have some knowledge/experience with hand feeding and I have done a TON of research the past few days on raising baby lovebirds - but what I am worried about mostly is temperature. I'm pretty sure a baby bird should not be kept in a plastic holding container with just a blanket. It is used to huddling with the other baby birds for warmth. Basically what I am asking, is this even a good idea for me to take this baby, and if so - what would be the best way to keep him warm? a heat lamp with a red bulb? I feel fairly confident with the hand feeding - I know how to do it, the right temperature and consistency of the formula, the right pace to feed them at, etc. I am just wondering overall if this would be okay for me to do? I am very good with animals and have hand raised baby kittens, bunnies, and rats - but never took on fully hand raising a baby bird. Please any advice and opinions would be great - this is something I really want to do, but I want to do the right thing. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: 4 wk old Lovebird?

    well 4 weeks is a little old to pull a baby from the nest. it may not take to the formula and there for starve to death. I pull mine at two weeks old after three weeks its a little iffy. so I would not take that lovebird until it is weaned by its parents or ask if she has one between 2 and 3 weeks old.

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    Re: 4 wk old Lovebird?

    I was thinking the same thing from what I have researched online. I asked her about this just now via email (about difficulty handfeeding at 4 wks old) and she said:

    "I have two previous batches this year, one from different parents. I took all away at 5 weeks. My uncle has taken one of the earlier batch and the baby is so bonded with them and is very healthy. I talked to a professional lovebird breeder prior to doing this to be sure that they would be ok this way. Basically, you hold the baby and force the food into their beak. I will show you. If they are hungry, they will let you feed them. If they are not, you won't be able to get their beak open."

    I am just wondering though - I have read and watched a lot of videos with hand-feeding baby birds and it doesn't say to FORCE feed them, but to offer them the syringe and they will accept it and begin eating at their own pace?

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    Re: 4 wk old Lovebird?

    well I do not like force feeding but if you want to do it all the best. its better if they are younger and they just ecept it with in a day or two. If you really want to try I would get the baby at night and not feed it till morning. that way its crop will be empty and it will be hungry enough to eat.

  5. #5
    Peter & I are Hormonal maya_exquisite's Avatar
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    Re: 4 wk old Lovebird?

    I can only share my own experience here...

    Back when I used to breed, I actually took my babies out at four weeks to hand feed. I did this with every clutch (except for one clutch where I had to remove the babies once the last egg hatched because mommy was pecking at them - Mika was one of them). Each one fed fine and did really well. I've definitely never had to FORCE food into their mouth!! If they're hungry, they're hungry. If they're not, they're not.

  6. #6
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    Re: 4 wk old Lovebird?

    Dear Maya_exq,

    How did you get these beautiful colors on Mika and Kano?

  7. #7
    Peter & I are Hormonal maya_exquisite's Avatar
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    Re: 4 wk old Lovebird?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Sparrow View Post
    Dear Maya_exq,

    How did you get these beautiful colors on Mika and Kano?
    I spraypainted them!

    Well, Kano is just a regular ol' Creamino. I don't know if he's split for anything because he was a rescue and I don't know what his parents are. Well, mom had to be Ino and dad had to at least be split to Ino (I don't remember if he can be split or has to be visual) since you need the Ino gene from both parents to get a visual male and the mom has to show the Ino coloring.

    Mika's dad was a Creamino and mom was a DF Dutch Blue. I don't know if the parents were split for anything... but both had to have the Edged Dilute recessive gene because Mika is a Dutch Blue Edged Dilute. I think Mika's colors are so fantastic, and no matter what photo I take - natural light or otherwise - it never truly captures his exact colors!!
    Last edited by maya_exquisite; 12-24-2008 at 04:39 PM.

  8. #8
    First Clutch Hatching... Albe's Avatar
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    Re: 4 wk old Lovebird?

    If you have never hand fed before I would strongly recomend not getting one. Selling unweaned babies is very irresponsible. Many different things can go wrong, sour crop, burnt crop ect. If you feed them the wrong temperature food they can (most likely will) die. They have a breathing tube and an eating tube in their throats, if you accidently get it in the breathing one they choke to death. I had to pull my budgies for hand feeding at 4 weeks because they mother wouldn't feed them, they would not eat, no matter what I did. Force feeding may sound easy enough, but really you cannot open their beaks if they dont want you to. I tried to force feed my budgie every hour, but I could not get her beak open once, even with multiple people holding her and prying it open. She was hungry, and very very stuborn, she died after a few days. I felt SO horrible, even though I tried so hard to get some food into her. I hope nothing like this happens to you or any of those baby lovies.


  9. #9
    Caique Crazy! Tailfeather BareFootAviary's Avatar
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    Re: 4 wk old Lovebird?

    I agree with Mell. This breeder sounds extremely irresponsible. A good breeder would never sell an unweaned baby to anyone but another experience breeder/handfeeder.
    "I'd rather be the one in love than to be loved and never even known."

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  10. #10
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    Re: 4 wk old Lovebird?

    They're adorable!

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    Re: 4 wk old Lovebird?

    I decided not to adopt a bird from that breeder as I agree - she would have to be irresponsible to adopt out un-weaned babies to someone she doesn't even know, I know I wouldn't do that unless I knew the baby was going to an experienced hand feeder. Instead I spoke to a good local bird breeder and she has 3 week old lovebird babies that she is hand feeding - she is letting me come over as often as I want to help her hand-feed the babies, so I get to personally learn how to hand-feed and raise babies. I will be adopting a bird from her

  12. #12
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    Re: 4 wk old Lovebird?

    Excellent choice.

    Welcome to TF.

  13. #13
    Peter & I are Hormonal maya_exquisite's Avatar
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    Re: 4 wk old Lovebird?

    Oooooh, can't wait to see pictures!! As the breeder lets you help her hand feed, you should ask her to take pictures of you hand feeding the baby so you can have those memories on paper!!

  14. #14
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    Re: 4 wk old Lovebird?

    I agree with everything said here. Selling unweaned is just asking for trouble, there are so many ways to do it wrong.

    I also used to pull my babies at 21 days to handfeed, it generally isn't much of a problem, but I certainly wouldn't have sold to someone who had never hand fed!

    That is awesome that you get to learn to hand feed! It is really fun (and messy) and a great bonding a learning experience! I hope you get to take pictures!

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