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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband put a deposit down on a baby handfed/tame Rainbow Lorikeet today. I have read a bit so I know how loud, messy (yes even the crazy 2-3 foot shooting poo) :eek: and energetic they are. The basics about diet too.

I'm excited but nervous as well. I only have experience with lovebirds, budgies and red rumps. This is all new to me...and I want to be as prepared as possible!

Any advice or useful tips? Food suggestions? We will order from anywhere if needed.
 

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Hi Jay-Dee. I have bred and kept Lorikeets for many years now. I even make my own food for them, I have been making this since 1999 and have had good success with it, and also sell it locally.

Lorikeets are funny birds and not everyone can handle them. You already know about the shooting poo, and 2-3 feet is modest. They can shoot it directly up in the air too. They also love to bath and pretty much everything in a 6ft radius is going to get sprayed as well. I recommend putting plastic sheeting up on any wall behind them and also on the floor. It will be much easier to clean the plastic instead of the wall. Also when you own a lorikeet at some stage you are going to lose blood. They are not being vicious, but their beaks are very sharp and what they consider to be a love pinch will probably make you bleed. This usually only happens if you say don't feed them on time (they love routine) or if they get over excited. They do play rough with each other and will want to do the same with you.

But having said that, they are great birds. I just love them. They are total clowns and will have you laughing at their antics. They can also be super affectionate. Watch out for that long tongue getting shoved down your ear, it really tickles. Just have a look at some pictures of a lorikeets tongue when it is unfurled, it is about 1 inch long with little hairs on the end, this is what they use for sucking up the nectar and pollen from their wild diet.

Toys don't need to be expensive for them. The cardboard centre from a toilet roll with have them playing for hours and is cheap to replace. They will shove it on their head and run around the cage with it. They will try to stand on it and roll it like a log. And they love a swing. Also they like to sleep in something, so either give them one of those bird hammock things that you can buy. Can't think of the name for them but they are shaped like a triangle and they can climb inside it. Or give it a nest box to sleep in. If it is a male egg laying will not be a problem, but it is not usually a big problem with them anyway.

Make sure you get a good quality lorikeet mix. Personally I like one that can be fed either wet or dry, but if you are going to feed a dry mix only make sure it is a complete and not just a supplement. Over here we have one brand that has a wet and a dry mix, you give the wet once or twice a day and only enough to last for a couple of hours and have the dry in the cage all the time, that way if you cannot give them their wet mix one day they will not go hungry. The problem with that is that the dry mix doesn't have as many ingredients in it and also has some cheap fillers in it. Nothing that will hurt the bird but it just bulks the dry mix out. If you are going to feed dry get a good quality wet mix and just don't wet it. The bird can do that itself by dipping its beak in its water. And the wet mix should not be watery when it is made up. It should be more the consistency of slightly runny yoghurt. They also love their fruit and vegetables. They are not particularly fond of stone fruit like peaches. I found they can take pears or leave them. But they like Watermelon (sparingly because of the water content and never feed the white part or skin), Cantaloupe (what we call Rockmelon or Honeydew Melon), Pumpkin, Bell Peppers (Capsicum over here), Chilli, Apple, Mango, Kiwi fruit, greens, sweet corn, grapes and if you can get them to eat them bananas. It is not necessary to chop the fruit and veges up. Part of their enjoyment is chomping into a larger piece.

Hope that gives you some ideas. But I am happy to answer any other questions you may have.
 

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Wet mix, Dry mix are the basics.
You can find receipes online for making these and also things you can add to improve them.
Fruit.

As for behavior 120% as long as they are awake. This can be 12/ 14 hrs a day.
Intense is a way to think of them.

Pooh. This can depend on the bird in question. Yes they are runny and yes they can tend to aim at you.
But I have had the odd one that has been very good with where they pooh and that was great as easy to keep up with cleaning. Cleaning is a very often thing. They do make a mess very quickly. So twice a day can become the norm.
But if you are willing to put the time in they can become super mates.
Please do not try this. it took a fair bit of time and a very strong trust.

Zammy and a mother can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow thank you to both of you! Great info! The plastic sheet idea is also a great idea haha. I have also been told that they cannot be around other birds as they will seriously injure and/or kill the any other bird. I am concerned about my little budgies and red rump.
 

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I never owned a lorikeet but I imagine they would be somewhere up in the Electus noise level. My best suggestion would be to pay A LOT of attention to it to keep it from calling out too much. I rescued a macaw about 6 years ago and had him for 5 years. When I first got him his beak was so long that he couldn't put his head down or close it or it would puncture his throat. His nails were overgrown just as bad as well. Well he had absolutely no attention being stuck in a cold dark garage. At first he was very noisy but then after gaining his trust he quieted down because he knew he had a family. This doesn't mean he never screamed, he usually did around 5 or 6 pm but definitely not as much as when I first took him home. I believe the more "annoying" calling or screaming is when they are bored/want attention/or lacking something. Birds can be loud and most birds that are given up or resold I've noticed have been ignored and just want attention. Obviously you're a great birdie momma so all I would suggest is to give a good deal of out of cage playtime and keep his/her cage somewhere everyone is, like a living area.

Good luck and post pictures!!!! :D
 

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Obviously Jay-Dee you would not house a lorikeet in the same cage with other species of birds. And I don't believe a bird should have out of cage time without supervision. I had multiple species housed in my bird room including lorikeets and cockatiels and my lorikeets never injured any of them. I know they are much larger than a budgie but cockatiels are more placid than a budgie. The other birds are usually sensible enough not to get close to the side of the cage where a lorikeet could get at them. Red Rumps are very aggressive birds especially when breeding. They may seem very quiet but they can hold their own. I have them wild around me and also rainbow lorikeets and they nest in the same trees. They just seem to leave each other alone. I had a male Red Rump here that tried to mate with a pretty large Modena Pigeon, that was about 4 times the size of the Red Rump. The only time you could have a problem would be through jealousy. Just make sure you give the lorikeet plenty of attention and keep him entertained when out.
 

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I work with lorikeets, from yellow streaked to Swainsons. So I will probably just echo what others have said. They are noisy, (I usually wear ear defenders - but this is for 30 or so!) but this is usually the Duivenbodes/yellow streaked which make all the noise. They are quite in your face and have no concept of personal space. Saying that, they are great fun. We have a few handreared ones and they are cool, even if a bit crazy! They're given nekton lory, which is changed twice a day, they all love it. It is a bit expensive but there are some real horrible ones out there which if you look at the ingredients you wonder why they bother putting half of them in. Fresh fruit everyday is also a must. A lot of lory chicks have been reared on Nekton. Of course, you can make your own but Nekton is one of the best out there.
 

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We had a Rainbow Lorikeet for a whort while. He turned up in a friends garden and they couldn't find his owners so we took him on until he was rehomed. He was tame, and a great mimic! He could do both a cell phone or a normal phone sound, and for a bit he fooled us all! He said hello when anyone knocked on the door, or the bench etc also. He loved plastic bags (yes, I know, not a good idea and not a deliberate toy)! If he was out of his cage and there was a bag on the ground it was his. He would rustle it then look around and charge anyone in the room who got too close - which was usually anywhere in the same room. After a couple of 'brave' people tried to stand their ground and had nipped toes, it was quite humorous watching the grown men running in terror from him and of course we all learned not to let him have anything that rustled.

He was great fun and was missed once he went, but he was happier with another rainbow as a mate as he had not been taught any form of gentleness and was quite aggressive to people.

I have often thought of getting a hand raised one myself, but the rest ofhte family don't like the noise or mess...
 

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Toni believe it or not he probably thought they were playing with him. People often think that lorikeet play is aggression. But they do play very roughly with other lorikeets or humans if hand raised. They have the best domestic fights of any of the birds, or humans for that matter, one minute they will be fighting and the next they will be kissing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I love it! Haha poop flight suit! Lol I have to look into that! You are all awesome and I don't feel as worried as before. Our baby will be hand fed and tame. We won't get him/her until the beginning of November so we have time to get a suitable food, cage, and such. What brand of food should we look at or avoid?
 

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Unfortunately I don't know what brands are available in Canada. I know of Nekton, but personally I don't like it. It is very expensive and it is too watery for their wet mix for my liking and will cause very runny poop. One of our experts here says that if the bird is not digesting its food properly its poops will be very runny. The firmer (if a lorikeet can have firm poo) the poo the more nutrient the bird is digesting.

This is a formula that you may be able to make yourself. It is an adaption of a couple of formulas readily available in books on the subject. Unfortunately I cannot give you my formula as it is secret, a couple of manufacturers have tried to steal my formula for themselves.

2 cups of Baby Rice Cereal (preferably not the high protein)
2 cups of Baby Cereal that is a mixture of grains and fruit flavoured. Over here we can get a Mixed and Banana, Rice Cereal with apple and Pear and apple. So for the 4 cups you could use a mixture of the different Milupa Cereals like the Mixed Cereals with Fruit and Vegetables. Or the Heinz Cereals, go easy on the ones with Oatmeal and Soy. Some oatmeal can be used but I only use that in winter as it helps to heat the blood and then it is a smaller than the other cereals.
1/2 cup Fine Semolina
1/2 cup Dextrose Powder (powdered glucose)
1/2 cup Raw sugar
1/2 cup crushed biscuits (cookies for the States) These are plain type biscuits like a milk arrowroot. Mr Christie's Arrowroot would be perfect or McVities Digestives.
1/4 cup skim milk powder
1/4 cup whole egg powder. Or you could hard boil eggs and then mash them extremely finely and only add a small amount when you give them the mix. The whole egg powder can just be added to the total mix. Hard boiled eggs in excess will need refrigeration.
2 tablespoons malt powder and if you can get it the same of dried brewers yeast (great for fertility and the central nervous system and the immune system). If you can't get it you can leave it out.
2 heaped teaspoons Calcium Carbonate powder.

That is a fairly basic mix that you could make and feed either wet or dry. Store in a dark cool dry place, not in the fridge. It sounds very sweet but remember in the wild their diet would be flower pollen and nectar, mainly nectar which is very sweet.

I usually only feed dry as in the summer the heat could feasibly sour the wet mix.

Offer fresh fruit and vegetables daily. Not too much just enough for the bird to eat in around 1 hour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Has anyone heard of the brand "Quiko" Lori food (wet or dry mixes)? If so what do you think? We have been trying to find a good brand/product here in Canada. Is it better to have a dry/wet mix combination or is separate mixes better? Also I feed Harrison's Bird food to my other birds and their site says you can feed it to Lorikeets too. All of course supplemented with fresh greens/veggies/fruits etc.
 

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Much better to have a combination mix as they are complete formula. With separate mixes the dry is usually only there if you can't feed a wet for one reason or another and the dry is not a complete diet.

Do not believe manufacturers that say you can feed a seed eaters diet to a lorikeet it is wrong. Lorikeets do not have the ability to digest whole seeds and it will damage their liver and pellets to me are a problem. A lorikeets tongue is different to seed eating parrots. It looks normal until they unfurl it (it is about 1 inch long unfurled) and on the end there are tiny little hair like filaments. These are designed to go down into a flower and suck and lap up the nectar at the bottom of the flower. Pellets and whole seeds will damage those little hairs and the bird will not be able to eat or drink properly. Lorikeets also suck up their water like drinking out of a straw.

Looked up Quiko Lori Food and it appears to be only a supplement and not a complete diet. I found this web site doing a search for Lori foods available in Canada. You might find it interesting reading. Don't know if they can ship to Canada but may be worth checking into. Just steer clear of anything pelletized. Don't like it at all for any type of bird. What this site has to say about soy and soy based diets is very true which is another reason I don't like pellets as they usually contain soy meal in them.

http://www.loryfood.com/about-us.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Much better to have a combination mix as they are complete formula. With separate mixes the dry is usually only there if you can't feed a wet for one reason or another and the dry is not a complete diet.

Do not believe manufacturers that say you can feed a seed eaters diet to a lorikeet it is wrong. Lorikeets do not have the ability to digest whole seeds and it will damage their liver and pellets to me are a problem. A lorikeets tongue is different to seed eating parrots. It looks normal until they unfurl it (it is about 1 inch long unfurled) and on the end there are tiny little hair like filaments. These are designed to go down into a flower and suck and lap up the nectar at the bottom of the flower. Pellets and whole seeds will damage those little hairs and the bird will not be able to eat or drink properly. Lorikeets also suck up their water like drinking out of a straw.

Looked up Quiko Lori Food and it appears to be only a supplement and not a complete diet. I found this web site doing a search for Lori foods available in Canada. You might find it interesting reading. Don't know if they can ship to Canada but may be worth checking into. Just steer clear of anything pelletized. Don't like it at all for any type of bird. What this site has to say about soy and soy based diets is very true which is another reason I don't like pellets as they usually contain soy meal in them.

http://www.loryfood.com/about-us.html
I will definitely read and see if they will ship to Canada. Harrison's makes a powder (mash) as well. I have been feeding it for a while to my other birds, and I've seen a wonderful improvement with them too, of course they also get a wide variety of other things like millet, a small amount of seed, lots of greens/veggies etc. My red rump will actually eat the pellet over the seeds. I have attach a picture of the ingredients.

Regardless I agree the Lorikeets are not like my other birds and need a special diet.
 

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It is in the high range of protein for the minimum range, too high for my liking. And there is are too many artificial vitamins and minerals as well as soy meal and a bit high in fat and no sweetness, remember in the wild lorikeets eat flower pollen and nectar which are pretty high in natural sugar, after all bees make honey out of pollen. It is the sugar rush that makes lorikeets such idiots. There are many more natural foods that can be dehydrated and ground up to give the birds a more natural supply of vitamins and minerals. Remember a good mix should not be high in iron or Vitamin A.
 

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Toni believe it or not he probably thought they were playing with him. People often think that lorikeet play is aggression. But they do play very roughly with other lorikeets or humans if hand raised. They have the best domestic fights of any of the birds, or humans for that matter, one minute they will be fighting and the next they will be kissing.
It may have been play, but to my eyes there was definite aggression. Something in his body language was different from what I expect with play. The bag was his and he was quite happy unless you approached and then you bled.
 

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Then it may have been sex motivated or territorial motivated.

Your right about the don't bite the hand that feeds you Jay-Dee, if I feed my lorikeets out of their correct order then I lose blood, hand raised or not.
 
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