It’s a lonely Valentine but Lovebird chicks are well

Tyler and Mark Gribben provide a perch for the love birds �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1506-301EB
Tyler and Mark Gribben provide a perch for the love birds �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1506-301EB

While it’s a sad Valentine’s day for the Banbridge Love Bird who recently lost her partner in the January storms, the good news is that after weeks of intensive hand feeding, the baby chicks he left behind are doing well.

The little Lovebird cock, who had just become a dad to four chicks, went missing from his Oak Grove home when his outside flight door blew open in bad weather, and while owner Mark Gribben did everything he could to find him, he sadly did not turn up.

The distressed mummy lovebird then abandoned the chicks, leaving Mark in the role of new dad handfeeding the chicks every two hours.

“The wee babies are doing really well and have all survived ok,” said Mark, “but it’s just disappointing there was nothing more on the male.”

“The first baby hatched on the December 30 and the smallest one on January 2, so they are all around six weeks old now.

“Three turned out the same as the dad - normal Peach Faced lovebirds and one is like the Mum - a Lutino (yellow).”

Mark is pleased that the chicks are now eating millet for themselves, although they still get a morning and night feed of formula. “They are in a cage now with lots of food choices such as seed, fruit and veg to get them weaned. They are also flying, but they have remained totally tame and will fly and sit with anyone” said Mark. Mark has been really encouraged by the number of people watching his Facebook updates to see how the chicks are progressing. He’s also thankful to fellow parakeet breeders in the town, Desmond Graham and Shane Bell, who helped him out.

“Desmond kindly brought up a brooder at really short notice and Shane supplied me with the chick’s new cage and stand.”

“I’m loving it now they are out of the woods. Even the wee tiny one is taking off on its own now, but it’s the yellow one that really stands out.”