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Age and behaviour of new lovebird

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Age and behaviour of new lovebird

Postby KiwiofKnudsen » Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:53 am

Hello, we have become bird ‘parents’ for the first time Friday I.e. 2 days ago.
Kiwi is a lovely peachfaced lovebird and we are very happy to have him ( don’t actually know the gender) as part of our family.
As we have never had a bird before I have a few questions.
1. He was purchased from a petshop without being given much information about him. We were told that he is 11 weeks old, how can I know if this is correct?
2. Kiwi has been exploring his cage happily yesterday but didn’t eat at all, he did drink water.
Today he has been eating twice ( it’s 2 pm now) and after each meal he retreats to its ‘hiding place’ and stays there for more than an hour, sleeping/resting.
Is this normal for a lovebird?
I look forward to hearing from someone as I feel a bird should be more active than this.
Thank you
Sophie
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KiwiofKnudsen
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 2
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Peachfaced Lovebird
Flight: Yes

Re: Age and behaviour of new lovebird

Postby Pajarita » Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:13 am

Hi, Sophie and Kiwi! Welcome to the forum! Now, that is a VERY young baby you have there! I had two sets of babies born in my birdroom (by accident as I do not believe in breeding parrots for the pet trade), one of them were lovebirds and the babies never even came out of the nest until they were three months old so, if your bird is 11 weeks old (you can't tell a bird's age with any accuracy but going by the black on the beak, 11 weeks sounds too generous because it still has A LOT of black on it. But, regardless of whether he/she is 11 weeks or 8 weeks, you need to handfeed that baby because contrary to what the petstore is telling you, it couldn't possibly be already weaned. So, please, get yourself some baby bird formula and a syringe and handfeed it twice a day PLUS you need to offer two different kinds of soft food as well as soft seeds (like millet, for example). It's a baby and cannot eat adult food yet. Soft foods are just that, food that is soft and easy to digest (think a human toddler), it could be gloop, Irish oatmeal, regular oatmeal, polenta, pastina or couscouse cooked and then mixed with baby jar food (the pureed kind) made out of fruits and veggies. Serve it lukewarm fresh twice a day. Also offer soft fruits and veggies and greens (lovies LOVE greens). Don't delay, a baby needs to eat several times a day and he has already gone without for days. Oh, and give it something he can hide inside (like a little box or a birdy hut), babies that are all alone (something that NEVER EVER happens in nature) are very scared. Spend as much time as you can with him (put him in the cup of your hand or on your lap and cover him with your hand) because he needs a lot of mothering - just like any other baby of any other species.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 16669
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Age and behaviour of new lovebird

Postby KiwiofKnudsen » Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:21 am

Hi Pajarita, thank you for your quick reply!
Kiwi has been eating seeds several times today and now we have just made some baby food for him (Oats and fruit purée). He is definitely not tame and gets very nervous when we try to approach him with our hands. I am assuming it will take days to get him used to physical contact with a person?
He has two hiding places, a coconut and a fleece type sleeve which he likes to hide in constantly. He is very chirpy now.
My daughter is sitting with him constantly, she has been reading out loud to him for a good hour and half today, made him fall asleep.
I hope he will feel loved and be comfortable with us.
Thank you
Sophie
KiwiofKnudsen
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 2
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Peachfaced Lovebird
Flight: Yes

Re: Age and behaviour of new lovebird

Postby Pajarita » Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:59 am

Ah, good. No, he won't become tame in days, weeks and maybe not even months. Lovebirds are not a companion species of parrot, they are aviary. Let me explain. ALL parrot species are highly social so they not only like but need 24/7/365 company. It's the way nature made them. But, within this 'highly social' classification, there are differences in the degree the bird will bond to a human. Companion species can have a content life with a human as long as they are hand-fed (and thus, imprinted to humans) and receive the proper care and company they need. But aviary species, even the ones that were handfed (which this bird might very well not be -the opposite of hand-fed is called 'parent-raised' and it means that the bird parents fed the baby and not humans), will not be content with a human after they become sexually mature. The hand-fed ones are OK with people while they are babies but, as soon as they become adults, they can only be happy when they have the company of their own species - it's as simple as that and there is nothing anybody can do about this. Of course, neither the breeders nor the petstores tell you this because, to them, the bird's happiness or even health is not an issue, they just want to sell so they can make money. Oh, they will tell you that they all love birds and would not be in the business if they didn't but, in reality, if you think about it, the fact that they ARE in the business is a clear indication that they are not bird lovers -if they were, they would not sell the babies to whoever has the money, would they? Merchants don't love the merchandise they sell.

Make sure he is extra warm because babies need a lot of warmth. But don't use a lamp (they are dangerous to their eyes and the heat they produce does not diffuse correctly - use a heating pad (the kind that does not turn off automatically after a couple of hours) at the bottom of the cage and a thermometer halfway up the height of the cage making sure the temperature in it is a constant 85 degrees (you might have to put some sort of material on half the top and the sides so as to retain the heat inside the cage).

Be careful not to feed it human cereals, they are all made for human nutrition that requires a high amount of iron while birds need VERY little and, if you give them too much, it ends up stored in the liver and ends up causing a disease called hemochromatosis which has no cure and no treatment for birds.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 16669
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes


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