Ask Lafeber


December 30, 2021

Baby Lovebird

My 4 weeks old Lovebird babies reluctant to take the hand feed formula. If I forced to feed it, the babies vomit out the formula. What shall I do now?


Hi Joy,

You should never try to force feed a chick. It can get food in the lungs and it will die. Hopefully these chicks didn’t inhale any food, but if they show any signs of breathing issues, take them to an emergency vet or you will lose them. Sadly most will not recover from aspirating food.

Why are they refusing the formula? Did you just now take them from the parents to try to hand feed them? If so, try giving them back to the parents to see if the parents will still feed them. Four weeks is too old to try to start handfeeding – they will reject it and fight with you and only sometimes will they learn to accept it. You can try offering some solid foods to see if they will self feed. Offer some thick formula in a dish, some cooked brown rice with mixed veggies, seed, pellets, spray millet, water and multi grain bread. Also some cooked eggs. They might be hungry enough to try these foods. If they get hungry enough, they might let you hand feed them. Do not force them, and just give one drop at a time if that is what you have to do. They can starve to death within a day without being fed, so you need to keep trying without forcing them. You can try to take them to a Vet to be tube fed if you can’t get food into them.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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