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Weaning process Lovebird and cage time?


Strolling the yard
Quebec, Canada
Real Name
Hi everyone!

I have some questions for you! I already posted similar questions in the Loverbird Lane but I have more questions and it might make more sense to post it here to get more answers related to weaning!
A couple days before Christmas I got a new lovebird and it wasn't completely weaned yet. The owner gave us directive on how to feed her and how to finish the weaning process for the little 6.5 weeks bird. We were looking forward to this challenge as we were gonna be on holidays for a while so it was a good moment for us to do this.

I think the stress due to the change of the new home first made Skittles regress in a way as she started to beg for formula 3 times a day instead of 2. I followed the advice of some people and gave her food when she begged. I also introduced her to other type of food like veggies and she eats a bit of brocoli. After a week or so she started begging for two times a day instead. We would try showing her her dish of pellets and seeds when she started being hungry as we wanted her to go for that kind of food instead. She eventually started eating pellets and seeds and begging less for formula. So after 2 weeks we were able to go to once a day instead of 2. She is now still on once a day and some days she begs for 2 so we give her some. She doesnt eat a lot in her cage. We thought it might be because she was out too often and did not know where to find food in her cage so we made her spend more time in her cage in the morning or day. At first this only made her beg when she got out of her cage so we were once again at 2 feedings a day. But then she started eating a bit of seeds in her cage and we were relieved to know that she was eating and knew where to find food! Now we don't want her to eat only seeds to we are thinking of removing the seeds so that she can focus on the pellets so my first question is would that be ok?

Should we also keep on making her spend more time in her cage or is it ok for her to be free during the day and spend time with us? My boyrfriend works night shifts and me day shifts so its really easy to get her out in the morning when one of us wake up and to only put her back in her cage when we go to sleep but considering that she is not fully weaned yet I want to make sure of what is best for her to help her wean. I am wondering as she seems to be more territorial with her cage and we would like to avoid that kind of behavior. She will open her beak and hiss when we approach our hands near the cage. She only seem to have a problem with our hands though as she will step up on my arm if I stay Step Up and she likes to cuddle in my neck. If I touch my face though my fingers can easily be nipped. As she is a female and I previously had a male, I'm wondering if this could be just a personality difference. Or if its only related to her age. She is now 9 weeks, close to 10. I remember going through a similar phase with Buck my previous lovebird but he was less aggressive and not as fast :p.

I also want to know if I should keep on feeding her formula when she begs? The breeder I got her from suggested making the formula more clear when she begs. Is that a good option? the last thing we want to do is have to put her back in her cage when she screams for food as we don't want her to think we are punishing her for screaming, but sometimes her crop is clearly full and it seems just going in the kitchen can trigger her to start screaming for food.

On some days, my boyfriend and I have similar schedules and both of us leave early in the morning to come back home around 4-5 pm. I was wondering if during those days I should take her out in the morning and feed her to make sure she ate during the day or if I should take the opportunity to leave her in her cage all day so that she can find food in her cage by herself?

Her weight did not change since we got her. It has been stable all along.

Thank you for all your help in advance! Any tip on how to finish properly the weaning process is welcome!

As its our first time we think we might not be strong enough and too scared to have her starve which we want to make sure doesnt happen! So if we are too soft don't hesitate to let us know! I know that every bird is different and that the weaning process can take longer. I'm in no hurry to finish this, I just want to make sure I'm doing everything ok so that she grows up properly and so that she doesnt become dependent to the formula or to us. :)

Thanks all for your help again!


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On some days, my boyfriend and I have similar schedules and both of us leave early in the morning to come back home around 4-5 pm. I was wondering if during those days I should take her out in the morning and feed her to make sure she ate during the day
Just make sure there are various foods available to her. Weigh daily. She will find it.

She should really have lost a little weight since you got her as you are reducing formula feeds.

Remember, right after her formula she will be more open to explore new foods :)

It is fine for you to spend time with your bird, try to keep it constant for example if in the future you can only spend 2 hours with her then only spend that with her now. Also keep food bowls nearby so she can eat if she gets hungry. I like to make sure my birds are always caged in the early afternoon as that is when they nap.