colours combined with clownish characters have made Dusky Lory Parrots
popular aviary occupants for many years. Their loud and lively greetings
also add flamboyance to them as they strut around in outdoor flights.
What has stopped people keeping them as pets?
In the wild, lories feed on a very wide variety of foods. Flowers
are their favourites. They use their brush like tongue to gather
pollen. It is also long and perfect for reaching into flowers for
nectar. Fruit and berries are high on their list of most favourite
foods and they will also eat a few insects.
In aviculture, many foods have been fed to lories. They have been
fed mashed potatoes, milk and sunflower seeds to name just a few.
diet of lories has been the reason people have not kept lories as
pets. Even now, each breeder has his own preferred diet. The diets
vary greatly and this has caused confusion. Most diets are based
around a nectar substitute. It is now possible to buy powdered diets
to which water is added. These are preferable to some of the home-made
mixes as they have been formulated to cater for the lories' calcium,
vitamin, mineral requirements. Some breeders are trying different
diets for their lories, with dry food being used more often. This
is particularly done in hot countries where the nectar substitutes
will go bad in the heat. Breeders that advocate dry-based diets
also recommend more fruit. Some vegetables will also be offered,
for example peas and sweet corn. A dry diet is far less worrying
for the pet owner or breeder because it is quite safe to offer it
while you are not at home.
fruit and vegetables can be given when you are around, to monitor
the freshness. Lories being fed a nectar substitute are far from
ideal as house pets. The resulting droppings can be squirted by
the birds - not very suitable for walls and carpets! The nectar
needs changing two to four times daily to ensure it is safe to eat
- impossible for most owners with busy work schedules away from
fed on a dry-based diet and correctly hand-reared, do make excellent
pets. They are still a little messier than a seed eating parrot
(their droppings are looser, and they are messy eaters) although
most of it will be confined to the cage. Perching and cage bars
will need regular cleaning.
Due to their untidy eating they will enjoy regular bathing or spraying
with tepid water to keep their vivid feathers in top condition.
Hand-reared lories are clowns, mimics and a joy to know. They
have great talking potential when compared with similar sized parrots.