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Old 01-17-2013, 01:23 AM
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Hand taming birds without hand feeding?

Hello everyone, new to the forum and hoping to get a few questions answered about lovebird breeding. I recently bought 2 pairs of lovebirds. One pair produces dutch blue babies only, the other produces yellow/pied and olive coloured babies.

They have been bred before (dutch blue pair twice and pied/olive coloured pair 3 times). I am not planning to breed them for at least 2 months. Since I haven't bred lovebirds or even had them ever for that matter, I'd like to let them raise the babies on their own the first time. I have hand fed baby pigeons but that was only when necessary (parent stopped feeding or parent got lost in a race or caught by a hawk) but hand feeding lovebirds might be a whole different thing.

Will the babies be hand tame enough if I let their parents raise them from day 1 to weaning if I handle them on a daily basis after the age of 3 weeks, for half an hour each day? Or is that not enough to hand tame them?

If I do hand feed the babies, how many times a day do I have to feed them if I start feeding them at 3 weeks old? The thing is I have university classes and work, so is handfeeding something that can be done so I have 1 feeding at 5 am, 1 feeding at 3 pm, 1 at 6, 1 at 9? (If there are 4 feedings) Or is the gap between 5 am and 3 pm too much? What if I get them to think the 5 am feeding is their last feeding of the day (evening feeding) and get someone to darken their room up during the morning hours and at 3 pm I "wake them up" and give them their morning feeding?

We use that altering of the day method with racing pigeons (to get them not to molt or to molt) I don't know if its something that could be done with baby lovebirds?


The babies would have a light on for them to make it look like day light.

If the babies can get hand tame by not hand feeding, thats my favorite option. But if they don't become that hand tame, I'll have to figure it out around my schedule. (Train family members, etc) Weekends aren't a problem, and weekdays after 3 PM aren't a problem.

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Old 01-17-2013, 03:06 PM
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Re: Hand taming birds without hand feeding?

What you should be doing is looking at co-parenting. Yes, it's possible, but you may get mixed results of tameness with the chicks, and you may need to separate the chicks from the parents once they are weaned and continue working with them to keep them tame.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:53 PM
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Re: Hand taming birds without hand feeding?

Is there any stage (how many weeks old?) where the babies only need to be fed 3 times? Evening feeding (after 3 PM) is not a problem for me. It is the morning feedings that I won't be around for. I could feed them before going to work at around 5:30 AM but thats the only time in the morning I could feed them, unless I get someone else to feed them at around 10 or so.

If no, then I will probably just let the parents feed the babies, and interact with the babies for an hour a day and hope to have them pretty tame?
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:54 AM
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Re: Hand taming birds without hand feeding?

Like Monica says, co-parenting can work as many have done it!

BUT here's my problem, what's the reasoning behind wanting to raise chicks? There's many different probabilities of things that could happen during the process and you may need to step in to care for them as young as the day they hatch. Then whose going to be there to feed them when your not around? Cause they will require hourly feedings for the first 3 days of their life, then every 2 hrs, then so fourth so on. It is a VERY tiring process that I personally don't look forward to but have done it. Think again before you proceed!!!!
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:38 AM
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Re: Hand taming birds without hand feeding?

I prefer a bird that was co parented over hand fed.
I believe a bird is a bird and should be raised by a bird.
We as humans can handle them and help them know we are their friends but only a parrot can be a mom to a parrot.

*kinda like leaving your baby to be cared for by a bear -- we wouldn't do it although baby cub bears grow up just fine being raised by a momma bear*

Quote: Originally Posted by MikeyTN View Post
Like Monica says, co-parenting can work as many have done it!

BUT here's my problem, what's the reasoning behind wanting to raise chicks? There's many different probabilities of things that could happen during the process and you may need to step in to care for them as young as the day they hatch. Then whose going to be there to feed them when your not around? Cause they will require hourly feedings for the first 3 days of their life, then every 2 hrs, then so fourth so on. It is a VERY tiring process that I personally don't look forward to but have done it. Think again before you proceed!!!!
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