What to feed baby lorikeets

and-lorikeets-feeding | VCA Animal Hospital

General Information 

Our knowledge of bird nutrition is constantly evolving, both from heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition and from increased research into birds’ different needs. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. Different species of birds often require different foods. Lories and lorikeets are also known as "brush tongued parrots" because of their unique tongues which are adapted for their highly specialized dietary needs. Lories and lorikeets eat a high-moisture-containing diet and have relatively short digestive tracts when compared with other parrots. This combination makes for a very quick transit time of food through the gastrointestinal tract which is why lories and lorikeets eat often and produce frequent and very loose droppings.

What should my lory or lorikeet eat? 

Too often, owners assume they are feeding a proper diet to their birds when, in fact, they are not.  Poor nutrition is a common cause of many health problems in birds. Lories and lorikeets have highly specialized dietary needs. Before you consider having one as a pet, you should be familiar with their nutritional requirements so that your bird can be healthy and thrive.

What do lories and lorikeets eat in the wild?

Lories and lorikeets eat nectar and pollens in the wild. They also consume soft foods like fruits, berries, blossoms, and buds. They are not really seed-eaters in the wild. 

What should I feed my lory or lorikeet? 

There are a number of excellent commercially available nectar and pollen substitutes available for feeding lories and lorikeets. Feeding these diets can be complicated, as their high sugar content makes them susceptible to rapid spoilage once mixed with water. These products should be mixed fresh in small quantities with each feeding and offered at least twice daily. If lories and lorikeets eat spoiled food, they can be prone to developing gastrointestinal tract infections with yeast and bacteria. Lories and lorikeets can also be successfully maintained on several commercially available brands of pelleted diets. They tend to have firmer stools when eating a pelleted diet.

"Feeding nectar and pollen substitutes can be complicated, as their high sugar content makes them susceptible to rapid spoilage once mixed with water." 

Fruits and Vegetables 

A large variety of diced fruits (see list below) should be cut up in pieces and offered every day along with nectar substitute or pellets. Fruits and vegetables should be offered in a separate dish from nectar and pellets and should not be left to sit out for more than a couple of hours due to the risk of spoilage. If your bird selects one type of fruit preferentially, reduce its volume or stop feeding it temporarily to promote consumption of other foods.

Small pieces of sliced, shredded, or finely diced vegetables may also be offered but should make up only a small portion of a lory or lorikeet's diet. Pale vegetables, with a high water composition (i.e., iceberg or head lettuce, celery), have very little nutritional value and should not be offered. Avocado is potentially toxic to birds and should never be offered. All fruits and vegetables must be washed thoroughly to remove chemicals before they are given, and if organic produce is available, it is preferable. Consult your veterinarian if you encounter any problems with diet or the health of your bird.

 "Avocado is potentially toxic to birds and should never be offered." 


Fresh clean water must be available at all times. If the quality of your tap water is poor, consider using bottled water. Food and water dishes should be cleaned every day with hot, soapy water, and rinsed thoroughly before use. Lories and lorikeets often use their water dishes to bathe in. Water dishes must be refilled often to keep them clean.

What about other foods?

As a rule, nearly any wholesome, nutritious food that you and your family eat, can also be offered to your bird but in very small quantities.  Junk food, including chocolate, caffeinated products, alcoholic beverages, and foods high in salt or fat should not be offered.

Does my bird need extra vitamins, minerals or amino acids?

In general, birds eating 75-80% of their diet in the form of nectar, pollen, or pellets, do not need supplements. Specific vitamin or mineral supplements may be more important at various times during a bird's life (e.g., egg laying requires calcium supplementation). Your veterinarian can help you assess your bird's diet and its particular needs.

Does my bird need gravel or grit? 

Controversy exists over the need for gravel. Previously, it was believed that grit was necessary for the mechanical breakdown of food in the gizzard to aid in digestion. This is true for birds that ingest seeds whole, shell and all. However, many birds remove the shell before ingesting the seed kernel. Birds that eat this way, do fine without grit in their diet. Some birds will, in fact, have digestive problems if grit is overeaten.

What pointers should I remember about feeding my lory or lorikeet?

  • Always monitor the amount of food eaten every day by each bird, especially if birds are housed together.
  • Never leave nectar or pollen substitutes out for a long time due to risk of spoilage.
  • Offer fresh water every day.
  • Offer fresh fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Clean all food and water dishes daily.

Some suggested food items include: 

Lorikeet and Lori Care Sheet

For the first 3 days- do not over stress your new baby lorikeet but talk to him or her gently and give them a chance to get used to the new environment.


Cage– Choose a cage which is the biggest possible as this not only will make your lorikeet happier but will make your lorikeet a better pet as lorikeets placed in a small cage tend to be hard to train and become aggressive.  Remember they need sufficient room for their toys and swings and a place to have a good flap of the wings.

Toys– Essential for these intelligent birds these birds make full use of all kinds of toys including foot toys, hanging toys, natural chew toys, luffa toys, plastic toys and so on.  Why are environmental enrichment toys so important?  It actually and literally keeps birds happy and stops aggression if you are wanting a friendly happy pet instead of an aggressive monster it is essential to raise your bird properly while the birds young and the brain is developing.

Swings– Great for these active birds as they have fun with swings it is also a form of exercise as they use muscles they normally wouldn’t use when standing on a still perch.


Some important tips for first time owners of baby Hand raised lorikeets.

Lite and mice spray– wait a week before spraying your new lorikeet with mite and lice spray, continue to spray your birds every 3 months for the remainder of the birds life.

Worming– Never worm a baby lorikeet right away, wait till they are at least 12 weeks old before worming and do not worm a bird until they have had 2 weeks to get used to their new environment.  If you already have birds, worm them all at the same time.

Clean environment- This is very important for baby lorikeets as they have an undeveloped immune system and can become ill

Wet mix– Do not let wet mix spoil- change every 4 hours in hot weather as baby lorikeets are very delicate to bacteria as they have un developed immune systems.


Diet for Lorikeets

For the Health, vitality and longevity of pet lories lorikeets it is important to feed them a well researched quality lorikeet nectar supplement.  There are many brands of lorikeet food many have good ingredient while leaving some to be questionable.  If you are unsure talk to your local bird experts as they will have seen the breeding results in feeding good quality foods.  Unlike other parrots Lorikeets feed on nectar from flowers as they main part of their diet in the wild.

Many diseases found in captive lorikeets can be avoided with the correct diet and feeding practices.

Lorikeet wet mix– this wet mix is essential for Baby lorikeets we recommend feeding baby lories a mix of lorikeet wet mix and hand rearing formula.  This mix should be fed as a poor-able mixture resembling milk.  Do not let the wet mix spoil especially in summer you will need to be vigilant as spoil t food can cause a bacterial infection which can cause sudden death.  Wet mix is important and should be fed to lorikeets through the remainder of the birds life, after a lorikeet is 8 weeks old it may be weaned onto Lorikeet dry mix which is easier to feed and can be left out all day.  Some great wet mixes include Sheps wet mix, Passwell Lorikeet food, Wombaroo lorikeet food, avione rearing and conditioning food, attraction lorikeet food, vetafarm lorikeet food and Elliots Lorikeet.

Lorikeet Dry food– This should be on offer at all times and must be replaced freshly on a daily basis.  Some Mixes we have trialed with our birds which we recommend are Sheps Lori Dry, Passwell lorikeet food, Attraction lorikeet food, and avione lorikeet rearing and conditioning.  You may have noticed that some of these were mentioned above this is because these foods mentioned twice can be used as a wet mix or a dry mix.

Vitamin supplement– Added via the water supply some Lorikeets are sensitive to high levels of vitamins so i would not over dose them but add to water maybe 2 times a week.  Because of the reason that some lories are sensitive to High levels of vitamins only add vitamins to a lorikeets diet that has no vitamins added to the formula already.  Sheps wet and sheps Dry have been specifically designed not to have vitamins added for this reason.  Do not add Vitamins to the other Brands of lorikeet food mentioned above.

Fruits– pears, apples, citrus, watermelon, stone fruit, kiwi fruit, strawberries,rockmelon, banana, star fruit, pomegranate and grapes in moderation.

Vegetables and greens– Silver beet, sweet potato, carrot, green beans, peas, corn, capsicum, endive, broccoli

Calcium– Do not feed your lorikeet grit as a calcium source but instead add a calcium source to the water or supply calcium bells or a calcium perch.

Vitamin D supplement–   This is essential for all birds to absorb calcium this supplement is not necessary if your bird gets over 3 hours of unfiltered sunlight a week.  FYI sun through a window is filtered and they are enable to receive the necessary vitamin D

Iodine– many Lorikeets are iodine deficient

Water– always have a fresh supply of water and be careful as sometimes they can bath in their water bowl on a hot day and die of dehydration due to a lack of water.


Wild flowers– Be very careful in Baby Lorikeets clippings from plants as they have not built their immune systems yet and can be highly susceptible to bacteria’s spread from wild birds. Do not feed baby Lorikeets wild flowers until they are 6 months old.  When feeding lorikeets flowers stick with native Australian trees.

Do not feed – Seed, lettuce, avocado, cocoa, milk or alcohole.


Training– visit our bird training page



Loris | Science and life

A kaleidoscope of colors: a flock of mountain multicolored lorikeets.

Multicolored lorikeets in nature.

Pair of red lorises.

Yellow-backed Loris.

One of many subspecies of the multicolored lorikeet.

Home bred multicolor lorikeet chicks.

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In the family of parrots, ornithologists distinguish the subfamily Loriidae, or brush-tongues. Unlike other parrots, which have a smooth skin of the tongue, the end and top of the tongue are covered with a kind of brush made of leathery outgrowths in Loris. With their help, these amazing birds eat liquid, viscous food: lick tree sap, drink flower nectar and tropical fruit juice. The beak of the Lorias is similar to the beak of the seed-eating parrots familiar to us, but in reality it is much weaker. Such a parrot sits on the inflorescence of a plant, mercilessly bites the flower and licks off the sweet liquid, while being covered with pollen from head to toe. In Australia, New Guinea, and numerous Pacific islands, the trees and shrubs on which lorises feast are strewn with flowers, and parrots are not able to spoil everything. Along with insects, they contribute to the pollination of plants. Scientists suggest that birds and plants adapted to each other for about thirty million years, eventually forming strong mutually beneficial ties.

In addition to berries, fruits and nectar, lorises diversify their menu with juicy flower petals, young leaves, and sometimes small insects, such as soft hairless caterpillars.

Acquaintance with some lorises

According to some data, there are 58, according to others - 70 species of Lori parrots, which are part of 11 (or 16) genera. These birds are from 18 to 40 centimeters in length. Smaller species with elongated, wedge-shaped tails are commonly referred to as lorikeets. They are excellent flyers. Parrots of the genus Lorius are distinguished by short and wide rounded tails and prefer to stay in the thick of tree branches. Representatives of the genera Eos and Pseudeos have tails of an intermediate shape.

The Dutch word "lorie" means "clown", and these parrots are called that for a reason. The birds are painted wonderfully bright and juicy, as if dressed up for a carnival. Oddly enough, such a catchy coloring masks a parrot feeding among leaves and flowers. Differently colored areas of plumage seem to divide the body into fragments.

The most terrible enemy for feathered "clowns" are snakes, in particular large tree pythons, which react not so much to the colors of the surrounding world as to the movement and smell of a potential victim.

Most often found in home zoos is the multicolored or rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus), an inhabitant of many-tiered tropical and eucalyptus forests. Ornithologists count 21-22 subspecies of this bird. The territory of its distribution is vast: the north and east of Australia, the Moluccas, part of the Sunda Islands, the islands of New Guinea, New Caledonia, the New Hebrides and Bismarck archipelagos. The subspecies differ in the coloration of individual parts of the plumage. The iris of the eyes is red, in the female it is lighter, with an orange tint. The length of the birds is 26-33 centimeters.

Of all the subspecies of the multicolored lorikeet, two usually enter Europe. The first has a dark blue head, a yellow neck stripe, a red chest field, the feathers of which have black and blue edging, a greenish belly, plumage of the undertail and lower legs yellow with green stripes. This parrot lives in the New Hebrides archipelago.

The second subspecies, the mountain multicolored lorikeet, is distinguished by a blue color of the belly, a greenish-yellow neck stripe, pure green lower legs and undertail, a red chest field, the sides of which are orange. Its area of ​​​​distribution is the east of Australia and Tasmania.

No less famous, but more rare parrots - broad-tailed lorises . There are eight types. We will only mention the yellow-backed, purple-capped and ladies'. The first lives on the northern and middle Moluccas, the second - on the south, the third - on New Guinea and nearby small islands. They are about the size of a jackdaw, that is, about 30 centimeters in length. The beaks are orange-red, around the eyes there is a narrow gray ring of bare skin. These amazingly beautiful birds look like this. Yellow-backed Loris (Lorius garrula). The main color of the plumage is bright red. Legs are green. There is a triangular yellow spot on the upper back. The wings are olive green, their folds are yellow. The end of the tail is green with a purple tint. Purple-capped Loris (L. domicella) also mostly red. A yellow stripe runs across the goiter. The top of the head is black with a purple tint. The plumage of the lower legs is blue. The wings are olive green, blue on the folds. The end of the tail is blackish. Lady Lori (L. Lori). There is a black cap on the head. The sides of the head, nape, throat, sides of the body, lower back and upper tail coverts are red. The upper back, crop, chest, belly and undertail coverts are blue. The red plumage of the head, throat and occiput is separated from the red plumage of the sides of the body by a blue transverse stripe running from the craw to the upper back. The wings are green on top. The tail is red, at the end is dark blue.

All these parrots are especially demanding on feeding and very thermophilic. But with proper, caring care, they live a long time, becoming strongly attached to a person. When kept alone, even adult birds caught in nature are easily tamed. With the ability to imitate human speech, they surpass not only other types of lorises and lorikeets, but also most large and medium parrots (with the exception of the Jaco and some Amazons). Red Loris (Eos bornea) - amazingly beautiful, bright bird. It lives in the Moluccas and the Kai Islands. This is an elegant, slender parrot of a brilliant red color (the feathers of the body are white at the base). The primary flight feathers of the wing are black with red "mirrors", and the secondary ones are red with black tips. Large coverts of the wing (in the back) - blue with black. The undertail and the stripe from it to the legs are black and blue. Brown eyes are surrounded by a strip of bluish-gray skin. The beak is dark orange in males and light orange in females. In the latter, the head is slightly smaller, more rounded and neat in shape. The length of the birds is about 30 centimeters. The scientific name (Eos) was given to the parrot in honor of the ancient Greek goddess of the dawn, Eos (aka Aurora). Dark Loris (Pseudeos fuscata) widely distributed in New Guinea. This parrot was sold at the Moscow Bird Market in July this year. The main color of the plumage is olive-brown, the bird is very beautiful. The beak is reddish-orange. There is a large straw-yellow spot on the crown. Around the neck there is a yellow-orange ribbon, along the chest there is a second such ribbon, but darker, more orange. The abdomen and thighs are red. The undertail is blue. In the mid-80s, in one of the enclosures of the Moscow Zoo, a dark loris lived, which "made friends" (or rather, formed a pair) with a red-headed aratinga - a completely unrelated parrot brought from South America. These loners were pushed to rapprochement by the extreme sociability inherent in any kind of parrot. The birds spent all the time together, snuggled up and affectionately touched each other's feathers. They just ate from different feeders: the aratinga gnawed the grains, and the loris lapped up a sweet mixture of honey and compote.

Sweet-toothed and slutty

It is unlikely that anyone will remain indifferent when looking at loris parrots. But in our country, as in many others, these beautiful birds are rare inhabitants of domestic zoos. They do not tolerate long-term transportation due to feeding difficulties and a faster metabolism than other parrots. The widespread distribution of lorikeets and lorises among hobbyists is hampered by two more circumstances. One is that lorises, like all birds that eat soft and wet food, have liquid droppings. The parrot quickly stains the bottom of the cage, the grate, the perch, and sometimes the wall of the room closest to its dwelling. And not only excrement, but also splashes of food. It is better to cover a metal or easy-to-clean plastic cage tray with paper, pressing it on top with a coarse mesh (without it, the parrot will quickly tear the paper to shreds). This bedding needs to be changed daily. Some loris owners put a layer of large sawdust on the pallet.

Another negative circumstance: most lorises and lorikeets, if something bothers them, make loud and shrill raspy calls, which only the most patient bird lovers can endure.

The main component of the diet of red, broad-tailed and dark lorises is liquid porridge such as "Baby Papa", "Baby Mix", "Frutolino", consisting of semolina, fruits, vitamins, wheat or rice flour in the form of flakes. It does not require boiling, just diluted with hot water. A little sugar (preferably fruit), honey, fruit and carrot juices, rosehip syrup, any homemade jams (especially red and black currants rubbed with sugar) are added to the gruel. You can also add calcium gluconate and glycerophosphate powder here, and once a week - one or two drops of water-soluble multivitamins for birds. Condensed milk should not be included in the mixture, otherwise it will quickly turn sour.

To protect the birds from indigestion during the hot season, it is recommended to give liquid feed in small portions two to three times a day.

Loris eat well apples, pears, grapes, bananas, grapefruits, any garden berries. They can be offered pieces of boiled chicken, dried white bread dipped in sweet tea or honey solution, and soft food for insectivorous birds (grated carrots with finely chopped boiled egg and crushed white crackers). In spring, parrots are given branches of flowering willow and fruit trees with opened buds, the first rosettes of dandelion, and in summer they are given sweet heads of flowering clover and mosquito. Loris have to be accustomed to soaked grains of wheat and corn for quite a long time.

Multicolored lorikeets quickly get used to grain food (sunflower, oats, oatmeal, white canary seed), which eventually becomes the main diet. But they, like all brush-tongued parrots, need to be given cereals, honey, fruits, juices.

When kept in cramped cages, lorises usually do not descend to the floor, they take food from the perch or hanging on the grate. In more spacious dwellings, they descend to the floor, but reluctantly. Given this, the feeder is best placed near the perch.

The well-being of a bird largely depends on the size of its home and how it is equipped. The ability to climb a variety of perches, ladders and trapezes is even more important for these parrots than the ability to fly. In cramped conditions, lorises and lorikeets feel oppressed.

Life in the wild and in an aviary

In their behavior and way of life, lorises are in general similar to granivorous parrots of the same size. They live in pairs or flocks in forested areas. Deftly climb the branches, using both paws and beak. They nest in hollows of tall trees. Most species have only two eggs in a clutch.

All lorises love to swim. If it is not possible to provide them with a suitable swimsuit, you can gradually accustom the birds to spraying from a spray bottle.

Brush-tongued parrots living in spacious rooms can breed if they are well cared for and fed. In the USA and countries of Western Europe, their breeding has already been mastered. The easiest way to get offspring is from a multi-colored lorikeet: it is enough to provide a couple with a large cage measuring 150 x 70 x 70 centimeters. The nesting house is made of boards or plywood, its height is 45-50, the bottom area is 30 x 30, and the diameter of the notch is 8-10 centimeters. Lorikeets and lorises are more willing to populate nest boxes from a hollow tree trunk. At the bottom of the nesting place, a 5-7 cm layer of peat mixed with sawdust is poured. Birds love to spend the night in the house, so it needs to be cleaned more often.

The female lorikeet incubates the eggs for 23-25 ​​days. Parents feed the chicks for 7-8 weeks, after which they leave the nest, and after another 2-3 weeks they begin to eat on their own.

Young lorikeets have a shorter tail than their parents and the beak is not pure red. Multicolored lorikeets born in captivity are easily tamed and well trained to "speak". In this they differ from adults caught in nature. Unfortunately, it is adult lorikeets that can be purchased at the Bird Market. They are kept in pairs or groups. The nature of these birds is calm, so they get along well with cockatiels and budgerigars.

Lori: what to feed? | Tail News

Lori parrots have an amazing contrasting coloration and lively temperament. It is simply impossible not to fall in love with these birds! However, before buying a pet, you should carefully read the features of caring for him. Loris are unique exotic birds, the content of which differs from that of other parrots. One of the key differences concerns the diet. Let's talk about feeding loris in our article.

Under natural habitat conditions, the basis of the diet of most birds is cereals. Large exotic parrots, such as cockatoos, macaws, gray African parrots, feed mainly on fruits and tree bark. The diet of the loris is even more amazing. In nature, these beauties are fed by nectar, pollen of flowers, berries, fruits, inflorescences, i.e. mostly soft and liquid foods. The physiology of loris is fully adapted to such nutrition. Interestingly, the Lori language is very similar to the cat's. It is just as rough and also resembles a brush, which allows the parrot to easily lick liquid food from the surface. The beak of a loris is also not designed for coarse grain. It is long, pointed and smooth, without protrusions. With it, the parrot takes pieces of fruit and squeezes juice out of them.

The type of food leaves its mark on the digestive system of the parrot. The muscular ventricle of granivorous parrots helps to digest roughage, but in lorises it is atrophied. Therefore, it is impossible to feed loris with grain feed. Cleaned, steamed grain should be no more than 10% of the total diet, and even then not for all varieties.

How to feed loris at home?

When kept in captivity, in order for the lory to be healthy and happy, its diet should be as close as possible to the natural, i.e. contain less protein, fat and fiber and more simple carbohydrates than other parrot foods.

Many owners prepare nectars for loris on their own. But such food is not standardized, and any mistake can lead to broken stools and other problems. So, due to an unsuitable diet, a beak may grow strongly in a loris, or a parrot begins to pluck itself. In order not to risk the health of the bird, it is better to choose ready-made balanced feeds specifically for this variety.

Before choosing food for loris, carefully study its composition. The optimal composition for this type of parrot is: 11% protein, 3% fat, fructose as a source of carbohydrates (as in nature) and wheat gluten as protein sources. A weighty advantage will be the inclusion in the composition of nutraceuticals. They regulate the balance of vitamins and minerals in the body, support immunity and contribute to the proper functioning of body systems.

On the Russian market, balanced food for loris is represented by the Micropills Lori line. It fully meets the needs of the bird and is packaged in a sealed bag in a modified atmosphere to preserve its beneficial properties.

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