Ask Lafeber


September 22, 2022

Featherless baby lovebirds

I have four six week old lovebirds the first hatched grew normal with beautiful feathers the other three are pretty much featherless and half the size. I’ve tried to look on line for answers but haven’t had any luck. Could it be from not giving the adult birds proper nutrition before eggs were formed . I make sure now they have vitamins in their water and fresh fruits and vegetables. Is there anything I can give babies to help get their feathers to grow . Thank you


Hi Diane,

If this was a first clutch, it could be that the parents really favored the oldest. However, I think that might be a longshot. Another possibility would be the parents plucking the feathers out, but again, not likely because of the size difference. I am concerned that this may be viral – a virus the parents carry that they have passed on to the chicks. There are at least a couple of viruses that are more common in lovebirds that could explain their appearance. I would recommend taking the chicks and probably the parents to an experienced avian vet to discuss testing them for viruses or other possible causes. Diet alone is not a likely cause, since the one chick is healthy. But with a virus, it can happen for one or more chicks to look health and the others not.

Take care,


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