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Thread: How to put weight on a young bird?

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    How to put weight on a young bird?

    So I brought home a young peach faced lovebird last night. Eight weeks old tomorrow and still taking two feeds of formula a day. Was kept with a sibling and a lori in the same cage. Given access to lorikeet feed, sunflower and dried fruit chews that are lori treats. I've thickened up the formula to a better consistency for its age rather than what I was told to give it. It has access to "budgie mix" seed. Mainly millet with a little bit of wheat. Seems to be cracking seed OK. Sadly the little thing is underweight. Keelbone is very noticeable when holding the bird to feed it. I was thinking of adding a midday feed of egg and biscuit to help it (sorry gender unknown) put weight on but I don't really want to take back to having 3 feed a day. Anyone have any suggestions?

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    Re: How to put weight on a young bird?

    Hi Chris, and welcome to the community. Congrats on bringing home your new baby lovebird. What formula are you feeding? Is it canned powdered formula? I believe you should add a small third feeding about an hour or so before bedtime, which will give him or her some great nourishment for overnight. I feel it is very important to continue with the handfeeding and formula, and other than budgie seeds and millet seeds I would not feed the egg or biscuit just yet. He or she is still very young. Here in America most breeders and pet shops don't sell baby birds until they are about 12 weeks old. You can introduce those foods and others later on after he is older.

    The nutrients in canned powdered formula are full of great vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that will give him or her a great start. I would continue with the 3rd daily formula for 3-4 more weeks, and then slowly take that one away. You can feed the millet seeds and budgie seeds in a food cup, and also, if you prefer add a few of both seeds to his handfeeding formula. You also can begin giving him or her some finally chopped up leaf lettuce, cilantro, perhaps some very tiny pieces of fresh or thawed veggies that are finally chopped.

    Here is an example of what I would do each day:

    First feeding of the day feed just formula. And have the food cup with the seeds always in the cage so he can eat out of it whenever he wants to do so throughout the day. And also feed the chopped veggies in a separate cup or on a plate placed on cage floor. Do not leave them longer than a couple of hours because you do not want them to go rancid. Noon or second feeding add a few of the seeds to the formula, and feed. And then the night feeding before bedtime I would feed just formula.

    You can use your own ideas, this is just a basic schedule for you to consider. The formula is very important for a good start. We will welcome your updates and questions if any. I hope this info will be of help to you.
    Last edited by maxollie; 06-12-2021 at 11:03 AM.

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    Re: How to put weight on a young bird?

    I am using the formula that was given to me by the guy I bought the bird from which is Wombaroo. The gent I bought the bird from had bought a couple of young lovebirds to hand rear and then discovered he didn't have enough time to do it so sold them on. The little guy has taken to the seed like a duck to water and is having a good time chowing down. The most petite eater I have ever seen with a parrot. Literally picks up a single millet seed at a time to eat. My Quaker just about dives in his bowl to eat and I swear my Kakariki swim in theirs. The past 24hrs have made a big difference with energy levels and quality of droppings so I'm hopeful the little guy will come good.

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    Tailfeather
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    Re: How to put weight on a young bird?

    That's awesome, Chris. You have vast experience with birds, so I know you will succeed with him. He is doing great. Forums are great and we all like to read suggestions. But in the end it is your plan for his nurture that is most important. Please stop back often and let us know how he is doing. And after he has settled in well, post some pics! I have never had a lovebird, but I sure have read all about them here on the forum and they are truly full of energy and very intelligent. We will welcome your updates anytime! Good luck!

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    Re: How to put weight on a young bird?

    And that sounds like a great baby bird food!

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    Re: How to put weight on a young bird?

    Well it seems the little one has plans of her own. Now that she has discovered the art of seed cracking formula is being refused. She's still skinny but now that she is eating on her own more she should fill out. I'll try for pictures but she isn't the most cooperative girl.

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    Re: How to put weight on a young bird?

    I am happy your little girl has figured out that seeds are good food and is happily eating her seeds now. I know my lovebird Boomer loved to chow down on his seeds and really loved to get spray millet as his treat once a day. He would eat it all day long if I did not just give him a little cut off chunk of spray millet. He also loved eating good for him healthy people food and some not so healthy but he just couldnt be controlled to not want to eat things we were eating. We let him steal a piece or two of our foods we were eating when we knew it was OK for him to eat it. He just loved stealing our foods off our plate so we sort of made things that we knew were bird safe and let him eat it. Eggs in the morning were stolen and so was our cereal. Dinner was a birds delight and we always made sure little Boomer had his own little dish of food set aside for him to eat with us. Yes, we had what we lovingly called "flock meals" with our bird "son" Boomer and he loved eating good for him people food. It was our way to get him to eat good foods and not just his bird seed and it kept him at a good weight. Spray millet is not as bad as some think so we gave it to him often as a supplement to his diet.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: How to put weight on a young bird?

    Managed to get a passable photo. Only way I can get one is when she is in her cage otherwise she vanishes inside my top to snuggle into my neck.

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    Re: How to put weight on a young bird?

    Awww!!! She is just precious and beautiful. Thank you for sharing her picture with us. We will welcome your updates any time. And Deanna, thanks for sharing info about Boomer! I totally agree to allow him different kinds of seeds, the millet. and fresh veggies and fruits along with his seeds. Variety is a real plus, and she will soon gain some weight eating those items. And also, weight is part of DNA, and inherited from the parents, and some birds are naturally thin, and can eat tons of food, and not gain any weight or very little weight.
    Last edited by maxollie; 06-16-2021 at 09:42 AM.

  10. #10
    Tailfeather boomer girl's Avatar
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    Re: How to put weight on a young bird?

    Ahh, thanks for sharing the picture of your sweet girl with us. She is beautiful!!
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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