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Weaning your baby Lovebirds

         You actually start the weaning process as soon as you see the baby picking at it's or others feet. Once the baby starts to move around in the brooder and starts to pick at things it's time to put human foods on the brooder bottom.
         The bottom covering and the food must be changed at each feeding. The soft foods will spoil due to the heating pad still being on and the brooder bottom being warm. I feed everything my adult birds get during the day. In the mornings I put in the vegetable mix, which is frozen (defrosted) corn and peas mixed with grated fresh vegetables. Three different type of anything I have in my refrigerator at the time.
         At the afternoon feeding I give them corn bread or some sort of bread product and little chunks of greens. In the evening I give them millet and ground up pellets.
         They usually start picking at their feet when they are about 3 weeks of age. At this time they will not eat any of the food you've put in there but they will play with it. They will

learn very soon that it is food. When they do start eating it they will start to refuse the formula and you will feel food in the crop.
         When the babies are on 4 feeding a day I feed at 8, 1, 6, and 11. Once they have been eating 8cc 4 times a day for a few days, I reduce the 1:00pm feeding by 1cc per day. This is the feeding that will be to cut out. When on a regular bases I see them nibbling on food. This is why I feel that every breeder should have a scale. You must weigh your babies each morning when they are empty. If they have lost weight DON'T REDUCE that day. Doing this it will take about a week to 10 days to get them down to 3 feedings a day.
         I then do the same thing but the feeding that I do the reducing on this time is the afternoon feeding. Again you never reduce the amount you're feeding if they have lost weight. Reduce it by 1cc if they maintain weight and 2cc if they gain. By this age there will be times that they will not except the full amount that you want to feed them. I offer it three times. If they don't want it then they miss that feeding. What I mean by offering it 3 times is when they turn their head and squirm I don't force them to eat. I let them explore the counter top while I feed another baby. I then offer it to them again if they refuse again I feed another baby then try again. If they refuse this time they go back into their container.
         Once the birds are fully feathered I put them in a cage with no grate on the bottom. I wait a few days to put that in so they get used to the cage. When I put the grate in I cover half of it with paper so they can go back to secure footing while learning to walk on the grate. Paper usually only has to be put down for a day or two. Food is served in dishes on the bottom of the cage and hanging near perches. At this time I also start offering them formula from a spoon or my fingertip. Once they are used to eating this then I wean them to eat it on their own from a dish. I mix it much thicker for this. Once they have learned that the formula is served this way and they go to the dish right away when I put it in the cage, I start giving them soaked pellets. They learn how to eat them soft first and then by the time they are climbing to the perches they will recognize the pellets in the dishes as food.
         By 5 weeks they are usually down to 2 feedings a day. Now I start moving the food from the floor of the cage to the dishes by the perches and the morning feeding is the one that I reduce. The last feeding to go is the night feeding. Sometimes a bird will want formula every other day.
         A bird should never be release to go to it's new owner till it has maintained or gained weight for at least 4 days after you have stopped feeding it formula.          I hope this has helped you. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me,.

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