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Posted by Breeder on 2/11/07
(4) Comments

    On 2/10/07, Cheryl Westervelt wrote:
    > My new 8 month old lovebird couple laid eggs about 8 wks
    > ago. Only one hatchling survived, it's about 6 wks old
    > now. I haven't been able to develop a relationship with
    > it's parents but I have started to with the baby. Anyway,
    > about 2 wks ago I placed the hatchling in it's own open
    > cage that is within the much larger parent lovebirds
    > cage. All seemed to be going well until a few days ago
    > when I noticed both parents visiting the hatchling. One
    > seems to feed the hatchling, however the other seemed to
    > be nipping at the hatchling's body seemingly CAUSING IT
    > PAIN (a distinct difference in the sound of its chirps
    > from gentle when it's being fed, to frantic when it's
    > being nipped at. Today, I noticed around the hatchling's
    > neck seemed raw and also a new feather was plucked out
    > from it. The the nipping behavior normal! Please HELP!

    This posting is so full of discrepancies so I'll just address
    what you wrote.

    Eight month old lovebirds are entirely too young to breed.
    The hen should be at least 14-18 months old and if you have
    to use a young male, he should be at least a year.

    Lovebirds take 23 days to hatch so your math is off as to the
    age of your baby.

    Why you would put a cage within a cage and have the parent's
    have access to what's inside is beyond me. Since you didn't
    hand feed the baby I'm assuming the parents fed it out.

    They are picking at this youngster because they want to go
    back to nest and they want the baby gone.

    Make sure your birds have a good calcium source since that is
    what makes eggs. Young birds, such as yours, are too young
    to breed and if the calcium is not supplemented it will come
    from the bones of the female, which is not good especially at
    her age. She stands a good chance of becoming egg bound.

    Make sure the parent birds have plenty of soft foods such as
    boiled eggs, or commercial egg food. They also need plenty
    of calcium rich vegetables such as broccoli and dark greens.

    I would suggest removing the nest box and stopping further
    breeding at this point and wait until they are older.
    Please read up on the responsibilities of breeding and make
    sure you are better prepared to handle situations that will
    arise in the future.

    A chat board is not the place to come AFTER the fact.