Monday, March 22, 2010

Love Birds, Bird Babies; People and Babies

By Eduardo Gonzalez

Your Love Birds’ eggs are starting to hatch. What do you do? First, have enough food ready for parents to give to their newborns. Second, stand back and let them take over.

Love Birds with newly hatched chicks get nervous if their humans hover around, so reduce stress by giving them space; but be available for emergencies.

Feeding Babies
Both Love Birds feed the babies. The male eats the food, regurgitates it semi digested, then the female gets it and does the same. Then she gives it to the newborns. The male Love Bird may soon tire and lose weight, but eventually he feeds the babies himself without the female’s help.
Our lesson: Baby nurturing by both spouses should be shared, especially if both spouses are working. Cooperation and understanding can really be stretched when you have a child. But choose to be on the same side in caring for your child. Don’t blame each other, and appreciate each other’s strengths. Parenting is not always easy but it can bring you closer together. My wife and I chose what we liked doing for our daughter when she was born, but oftentimes one of us felt shortchanged. Love gets you through the rough spots.

How to reduce Love Bird stress:
1. Keep a Steady Food Supply. Give a variety of foods that are easily digestible and tender, but don’t leave the food in the cage longer than an hour after it’s consumed.
Our lesson: True, food grows on trees but realistically we get ours from the supermarket. Try to plan your family according to your pocketbook. Easier said than done, but forethought--not afterthought—has worked for many families. Otherwise, commit to placing family wellbeing as a priority. Get jobs and keep them.

2. Give fresh food in the morning before work. Replace leftovers with millets, pellets, veggies (sunflower sprouts, broccoli flowers cut in small pieces), and quality seed mixes. After work, give new food.
Our lesson: A baby’s first seven years are its blueprint years. So add nurturing during feeding times such as a loving touch and a happy voice.

3. Give cuttlebone and two bowls of water. Love Birds drop pellets in one bowl to make soup. The other water bowl should be placed away from the food to prevent bacterial infections. Change the bowls within an hour or two for the same reason.
Our lesson: This is a time to examine your baby’s habits, as it will never come back again. Memorize your baby’s smile, and talk to your baby even if they don’t understand you. Play with your baby.

4. Constant Clean Water. Water bowls must be clean all day and night so the Love Birds can refresh themselves from constantly caring for their young.
Our lesson: Not every part of caring for your baby is fun. I hated changing diapers and am thankful my wife didn’t mind taking charge of it. That’s why parents have to determine job sharing tasks early in the game. And when you feel shortchanged, swallow it. The baby is more important than what you feel. You are parents. Learn the job.

5. Emergency Feeding. Even before the eggs hatch, consult a specialist for emergencies. Sometimes older birds get irritated and attack the young ones. If this happens, the Love Birds may be too stressed, and may need to be separated from the young for awhile. In such case, the human must be patient and feed the babies every 15-30 minutes all day for a day-old birdie. Even Love Birds have their moments.
Our lesson: My wife did all the reading up on baby books while she was pregnant. I got the consequence for that. For so long I envied the fact that our baby was closer to her. But my time came when our child turned older. My wife didn’t like playing games with our child at the end of the day. So I played with her—yes, even jackstones, but we also grew to play Scrabble, Game of the Generals and other games as time passed. So things won’t always be equal all the time, but things do balance up over time if you work at it.

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