Caring for Lories and Lorikeets
While most birds have basically the same basic care requirements, lories and lorikeets are quite unique. The thing that sets them apart from other birds is their brush-like tongue. This tongue is designed to collect nectar from plants, while most parrots have a tongue that is perfectly suited to manipulating seeds. Because these birds require a unique diet, lories need very different care than other parrots.
The first thing you should consider when you are caring for lories or lorikeets is your bird’s diet. These birds cannot survive on a seed diet. However, feeding fresh nectar can be so messy and time consuming. While this used to be the only solution for people who kept lories and lorikeets, today there are easier diet alternatives. A pelleted lory diet contains all of the nutrients your bird will need. Dry nectar also provides a less messy alternative to fresh nectar, although your birds may not enjoy it quite as much. Adding applesauce, fresh fruit and vegetables and occasional servings of fresh nectar can make your lories much happier and healthier.
If you feed your lory or lorikeet a liquid nectar diet, you may think that fresh water isn’t very important. However, fresh water is a must for all birds. Imagine how you’d feel if you only drank sweet fruit juice all the time.
The next thing to consider as you prepare to keep lories or lorikeets is the cage. Although many people claim that the new diets make lories as easy to care for as other birds, they are still a bit messier. A standard cage has so many bars and little grooves that cleaning bits of fruit or runny bird droppings from the cage can be a nightmare. Instead of a standard cage, you may want to consider shopping for an acrylic birdcage. These cages are made from acrylic panels with air holes in them and can be cleaned completely in just a few minutes. If you do use a standard cage, add a plastic cage barrier to help you keep the wall behind the cage clean.
Perhaps as a result of all the fresh fruits, vegetables or nectar in their diets, lories and lorikeets tend to become quite smelly if their cages aren’t changed regularly. You should plan to change papers or litter and wash out all dishes on a daily basis. The entire cage should be washed down weekly. If you stop cleaning the cage regularly, you could make your bird quite sick. All of the little pieces of fruit and vegetables that he tossed around as he was eating will become moldy. If he eats them, he could develop a bacterial infection.
Finally, just as with other birds, you should be prepared to spend time working with lories and lorikeets to keep them sweet and tame. These birds have a naturally sweet and cuddly nature and love to groom their owners, but if you never handle your lory, he could become shy and afraid of being touched.