Lorikeet Love

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Out of all my birds, the Lories/lorikeets are by far my favorite. They are very energetic and keep me on my toes however they also make me worry a lot. I’m always wondering if they are healthy, if I left the nectar too long, if I’ve given them enough fruits, etc… The list of worry goes on and on. Through all those worried thoughts are smiles, laughters and sometimes tears.

Building a relationship with Kodak, our Black lory was by far the hardest thing I had to do. He would screech, lung to bite me and I was ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED of his bite. All I remember thinking is maybe I met my match, he is the bird that’s going to show me I suck at bird ownership. He is going to be my “fearful” bird. Kodak is quite the opposite. I kept trying to teach him to step up, turn around, station and I thought this parrot is just not getting it and I was losing my patience until one day it just happened. He stepped up and our bond has just blossomed ever since.

Rasta, Green-naped Lorikeet

Rasta went from being a bird that didn’t really care for us to being almost caught up to Grayson, our African Grey’s training level.  He has impressed me beyond words. His vocabulary is strong and clear. He is energetic and enthusiastic about training and interacting but yet he also wants to have things under his control. Rasta went from not interacting with my son to only wanting to interact with him. An absolute 360 degree turn around but one that I welcomed and encouraged. Rasta is the only bird in the house that prefers my son but I’m happy about it because my son now considers Rasta to be his. They do a lot together, play around in the bed, watch tv, play video games even when my son is doing homework Rasta is right by his side. My son can get Rasta to step up from anywhere. For me? Not so much.

I absolutely have nothing bad to say about Lories/Lorikeets. I haven’t met one that I didn’t adore. I would be happy with a houseful of Lories but I can imagine it would get quite noisy and I have enough noise to last me a lifetime hahaha. With all that being said though, they definitely aren’t for everybody especially the green-napes. I have heard so many complaints about them, it saddens my heart because it really comes down to patience and understandings. I’ve had people offer to surrender their green-napes to me and I’ve had to turn them down as I just don’t have the living space unfortunately. These guys can be very nippy and very demanding if you are a passive individual so you need to know the type of person you are before getting one.

Parenting Parrots

Info on Green-Naped Lorikeets

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I’ve now shared my home with a Green-Naped Lorikeet for 3 years and let me tell you… It’s been an interesting 3 years. Green-Naped Lorikeets are a part of the Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies. So often times, people will say rainbow and they will be referring to the green-naped or they could be referring to one of the other lories that also fall under a rainbow ex. Swainson lorikeet.

As you can see from the image above a Green-naped lorikeet is not very big often around 28 cm in length. The body is mostly dark green with the exception of the head, chest and a bit of yellow streaks through the legs. The head is a beautiful dark blue and the chest is red with blue-black stripes. The beak is a bright orange but when they are young their beaks are black. As they get older the beak changes from black to orange. Their eyes are a reddish-brown color and their feet are grey. Also let’s not forget that their nape is a lime greenish-yellow color. Other subspecies that fall under the “rainbow” family may look very similar but there will be differences for example: the chest is red but doesn’t have the blue-black stripes, that is NOT a Green-naped.

Green-napes are one of the easiest lorikeets to find to be able to share your home with but that doesn’t make them easy to care . They are very similar to Indian Ringnecks in the sense that they require DAILY Interactions or else they will revert back to an “untamed, wild” state. It’s amazing how widespread these parrots are but yet I can’t find solid information on them. I find that these birds are AMAZING talkers, I put them in the top 10 alongside Quakers. I have yet to meet a green-naped that doesn’t talk. Ours specifically dances and jumps up and down with us, plays “peek-a-boo”, plays with my son by turning over and chasing his fingers to wrestle. He likes to be involved and not stuck in a cage. He greets us with “good morning”s and how are you’s and says good night when it’s lights out.


Let’s quickly discuss their diet. My diet care for my lories is not looked upon as the greatest variety because I refuse to provide an assortment of veggies just so they can have a ‘variety’. Unfortunately after losing birds you become more and more strict with what you allow. For me the risk to my lorikeet’s life isn’t worth it for me to provide a low sugar content diet. Green -Naped Lorikeets in the wild eat mostly nectar, pollen, unriped grass and weed seeds along with soft fruits (Matthew Vriends, Lories and Lorikeets, 1993). I try to mimic that as much as possible although I have yet to find and try unriped grass and weed seeds.

My recommendation for a pet owner considering a Green-naped Lorikeet is simple. As long as your not a “push-over” then you may be able to handle one of these birds but keep in mind they are the “ADHD” birds of the parrot world. They are similar to Caiques but more active and they can be very stubborn and come across mean if they feel they can have power over you. When considering a lorikeet, you need to be mindful that they are completely DIFFERENT than other parrots. My training with them has to be more upbeat and short, quick sessions as they get bored very easily. A lot of people struggle with training them because they have adapted themselves to training other parrots and think the same can be done with a lorikeet. I say NOPE, try again!

Lorikeets do have a watery form to their poop at times but I find that they do also have a bit of formed substance in it… The good thing is if you clean the poop as soon as it happens it just wipes right off, if you don’t you might have a bit of scrubbing to do but no more than any other bird poop. They can shoot their poop everywhere so it’s important to have a consistent daily or every other day cleaning routine or protect your walls and floors with some other material that is easy to wipe or just pick up and throw out. I used to use shower curtains from the dollar store, now I just scrub daily…

Overall I love having a Green-naped lorikeet and I wouldn’t change my “Rasta” for the world.

Parenting Parrots

Kodak Goes to the Vet

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On April 27th, 2018 I brought Kodak to the vet to get his wellness check done and have a physical. He passed everything with flying colors and I was a happy mommy. Well if you read my sneezing post that was about him. I didn’t want to but I had to bring him to the vet because I didn’t want to risk losing him after the year that I had with losing birds. So to be on the safe side, I ran to the vet.

She looked him over, opened his wings, looked into his eyes, into his mouth, felt his vent basically did another physical and couldn’t find an issue with him at all. So she prescribed Rheumocam 1.5ml every 12 hours. Rheumocam is an anti-inflammatory drug which I believe is usually used for dogs but I guess can be used for any animal. The issue here is that she couldn’t find any evidence of an infection or issue but felt that just in case he came in contact with an irritant that he may be allergic to, we should use this Rheumocam. We could also be in the very early stages of an infection but she didn’t want to treat for an infection when he didn’t have one. So even though he wasn’t showing any proof of an inflamed throat or anything, she felt this may help open up any issues he may be having and stop the sneezing. I don’t like giving drugs period but I have seen a decrease in his sneezing already even though we haven’t made it to 48 hours since seeing the vet yet.

I think the issue is Grayson. My spray bottle broke and I haven’t gone to the dollar store to buy another one so Grayson is very dusty. The reason I say it’s Grayson because I moved Kodak but Rasta is now where Kodak was and I hear Rasta doing some sneezing (now he could just be mimicking Kodak). I’m going to put Grayson in the shower even though he hates that because my shower perch is missing a suction cup so he has to go in the actual tub which he is not a fan of. But I’m hoping Rasta stops and Kodak is good and this scare of SNEEZING will be a thing of the past.

Sorry, I never expected this post to be this long but the real reason I wanted to write it is because in April I spent 353 CAD dollars for Kodak, this most recent visit on July 10th, 2018 cost me $170 CAD and let’s not forget Kodak plus shipping was almost 1200 CAD dollars. In less than a year that’s $1,723 CAD and that’s not including his toys or food. I can’t stress enough how much birds can cost and how they are not cheap. I was always working before so I never watched my money as much as I am now and with currently 5 parrots, I’m now seeing the financial burden that parrots can put on your pocket but I love them so much, I’m willing to be broke for them (well I make my sacrifices for them). However, I would be lying if I didn’t say I hope I don’t have to go back to the vet until next year when Kodak needs his checkup. I seriously wished pet insurance included parrots I would DEFINITELY buy it.

Parenting Parrots

 

All Parrots are Different Species!

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All dogs are from the same species but different breeds.

All cats are from the same species but different breeds.

All birds are from different species.

See, I can read a book about dogs or cats and apply the information to any dog or cat I may own but I can’t do that for parrots. Every time I get a different parrot, I have to research all over again and buy books on that specific bird because I know each bird has different needs. This is why I love to have the variety of parrots that I do because each brings something different to the flock.

If you google the topic of parrot ownership it tells you to find the best bird for you and your lifestyle because each bird has different needs. For example an African Grey parrot needs to spend a lot of time out of its cage (some pamphlets say 4 hours a day) while a lovebird would be content with a little bit of time out (1 hour maybe less). So if you are barely home, you would automatically look towards getting a lovebird.  When I was looking to get an African grey everyone was advising me against it because I was working full-time and they said I would never be able to manage having a grey. Well not to brag but Grayson is now 5 years old and very active, not a screamer, talks a lot, does tricks and does not pluck! Gives me kisses and overall I can say a happy parrot. Stereotypes are put on birds just as they are put on humans. Take all the information in but truly decide for yourself and don’t let anyone else make that decision for you.

I can take care of an African Grey parrot with no issues however because birds are different species, this does not mean I would be good at taking care of other type of birds. I suck at taking care of Linnies. I bought two linnies from a breeder who was downsizing his stock and they died after I took them to P.J pets for a wing and nails trim. I thought the guy gave me sick birds however I did a necropsy and it came back saying Stress. I thought what?!?! I’ve been around lots of birds and never had an issue… Well for me, small birds are not my thing. I’m managing to take care of the lovebird but Linnies, Parrotlets and budgies I stay away from. Even the lovebird, I’m hesitant on keeping because I lost her parents so obviously I wasn’t good at taking care of them either.

I think it is very important for people to realize that birds are DIFFERENT SPECIES NOT JUST DIFFERENT BREEDS. So do not pick a bird because oh it has pretty colors, really see if they match you and your lifestyle.

What type of bird matches you? There may be multiple… For me…

I’m an African Grey type of gal because he needs time out of the cage but doesn’t want to spend all that time cuddling. A hug and kiss here and there is cool. Doing training is cool. He likes to chill close to you but doesn’t have to be all over you, that is totally just like me.
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I’m also a black capped conure type of gal because she knows what she wants, how to warn you about what she doesn’t like. Very expressive like me hahaha. My issue with my black capped conure is she loves to be on you 24/7, for me that’s a con because I need to be able to move around as my household is very hectic. However her and I have come to an understanding so we are definitely getting better as she will just chill on my shoulder as long as she knows I will be moving around at the same time.
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I’m also a quaker type of gal because piper LOVES music and his own space just like me.

I love my Indian Ringnecks’ independence but I miss their “need” for me so I’m not sure if I can call myself an Indian Ringneck type of gal as yet… Only more time will tell (but I have 2 of them now so I must be, right? lol)
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I DEFINITELY AM A LORY/LORIKEET TYPE OF GAL! I’m absolutely in love with their personalities, although opposite of me, they keep me on my toes and remind me of my son in a way.


Anyways, what I’m trying to say is PLEASE do your research before selecting your parrot. A lot of people don’t and this is how these beautiful animals ends up in shelters.

Parenting Parrots

A Lorikeet Dry Mix

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I found this recipe in the lorikeet group on Facebook and thought it would be great to share for those who want to try their hands at making their own lorikeet mix. My hands aren’t this talented unfortunately so I can’t tell you how your feathered friends would like it at the moment but hopefully one day I’ll be able to try (it does seem pretty simple enough):

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Parenting Parrots

In the beginning of my Lory/Lorikeet Adventure

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Lories/lorikeets can be one of the most frustrating birds to own, hardest to train and quick to use their beak however they can also be the most entertaining, trusting and loveable bird you will ever meet.

When I got my first set of lorikeets I was overly excited. There isn’t a lot of data out there on them but there are a few books and some information on the internet that you can try. I thought I was ready but nothing prepared me for the struggles of the months ahead and I was almost ready to give up. I’m writing this post because I was inspired by an email question I received earlier this week asking for help with a female’s rainbow lorikeet.  I want to help other lorikeet owners out there that might be experiencing the same thing so I’m going to be doing a whole lorikeet set on them and this is the perfect time to do it as I have a brand new lory and a year old rainbow/green naped lorikeet. Both are in the process of training, obviously the green naped is a little more further in his training sessions but not too late to document. If you are a lorikeet owner that needs help please follow me here but also subscribe to our YouTube channel

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Rasta has become more friendly with other birds

So when I first got my lorikeets they were babies right from the breeder and it was a brother and a sister, Rasta and Marley. Rasta was calm, cool and collected but Marley was a “I’m not having it type of gal”. I went on bird forums, Facebook, everywhere I could think of for help because the breeder told me to keep them in the same cage but I was getting nipped left, right and center anytime I tried to interact with any of them. The bird forums told me to separate them so I did. It got a bit better but Marley seemed to control Rasta  meaning I would be dealing with Rasta and Marley would  be in her cage, telling him what to do. For an example: Rasta is training with no problem, all of a sudden we would hear Marley make a noise and the next interaction with Rasta, he would try to bite! WHAT?! WHAT HAPPENED?!? The only change was Marley had spoken hahahaha.

Marley was more manageable too but she was definitely more independent and wanted her own way. We were able to start training her but she wanted her brother at all times. So that’s when I made the hardest decision, to separate them permanently. I’m not saying you can’t have brothers and sisters together just that it is a harder challenge especially if they are bonded. So I ended up re-homing Marley. The change within Rasta was almost immediate but for the following weeks I missed Marley.

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Training Rasta

At this point though is when I got to truly know, understand and fall in love with the lorikeet species and I wouldn’t turn back. Look out for part 2 tomorrow on How I started training Rasta, with what training tools and to show you what worked and what didn’t. To stay up to date on this process, please click on that follow button so you too can have a fun, friendly rainbow/ green naped lorikeet like me!

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Rasta, Green naped Lorikeet

Parenting Parrots

 

Top 5 Things you should know about the Lorikeet Parrot

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Here is my list for the Top 5 things you need to know when having a Lorikeet as an owner lol.

1) Lorikeets make an EXCELLENT alarm
They are easily awoken and they wait until they sense danger and will send out a high pitch squeal to alarm the rest of the household. Even when they’re in their own world of playing, they can make noise. It’s amazing to watch them roll around on their backs with a ball in their mouth but yet they are still able to make lots of sounds.

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2) Lorikeets need to play
This is very important as Lorikeets are extremely intelligent and can get bored very easily. They have a very high energy level and needs constant supervision. Whether it is two or more lories playing, a lory playing with the toy in their cage or a lorikeet playing with you… Playing needs to be included someway, somehow.

3) Loud Volume
The noise level isn’t so bad if you can tolerate a loud pitch every now and then. With that being said, they are the most vocal and the highest pitch parrots I have EVER owned. But my green naped talks my head off lol and I can always see him listening so intensively to every word I say.

4) Specialized Diet
It’s true, they do require a specialized diet but to be honest it was hard at first but now after having them for a year, it’s almost (ALMOST LOL) like 2nd nature. They eat fruits and veggies along with wet and dry nectar.

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My 1 yr old Rasta!

5) Lorikeets have watery poop
This is just a given since their specialized diet is in a liquid form versus the pellet food that is for other birds. I don’t find this to be a negative though. Yes, they squirt their poop all over (YUCK) so it messes up your walls, floors, EVERYWHERE! But it’s a simple wipe off unlike other parrots’ poop that gets hard and you have to scrub it off with some elbow grease. Now the downfall can be if you don’t clean it daily (like a quick wipe off every day) then it can be more difficult to clean but at that point, I put the cage in the shower under hot water pressure and the cage usually washes right off without any more effort from me.

BONUS) LoriBites/ Nips are normal
This is not to say your bird should be biting you all the time however Lorikeets tend to nip/bite more than other parrots(I’m a bit on the fence about this one especially since I wrote a bite is YOUR fault). They might bite out of displeasure, out of frustration or because they are overly stimulated. Most times they are really excited and that’s why it happens once they have a bond with you, it isn’t to hurt you. The bite is not always a bad thing coming from a lorikeet, it just sucks for the person who is receiving the bite because of their narrow beak, they can draw blood pretty easily. My green naped uses his mouth on me a lot but most times it’s just exploring. I can tell the difference between him BITING and him playing with his beak on me. If you are a new lorikeet owner with time you will be able to tell the difference too.

With all this being said… I love having a green naped lorikeet and I can’t wait to see what else we do together and what else he may teach me or I him…

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Rainbow Lorikeet aka Green Naped

Parenting Parrots!

What to feed a Lorikeet?

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Marlee and Rasta go through nectar pretty fast so I’ve been trying to find a way to make it last longer. So what can you feed a lorikeet?

img_7321 I always buy the big bag of Harrison’s potency fine so I decided to try that with them. On the bag it says mix the Harrison’s with 2 TBS water and 1/2 tsp corn syrup for lories. The first time I tried it with them, I mixed it with some nectar however I haven’t used it with nectar again.

I like it but I find that it firms up their poop and since they should have watery poop, I was a little hesitant about continuing its usage. What I found was by letting the Harrison’s soak in the mixture before giving it to the lories, made it come out like a mash and therefore their poop was still watery just a little more visible. I can live with that.

So I put 3 tsp of Harrison’s potency fine in their food bowls.

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3 tsp of Harrison’s potency fine

Then I put 1/2 tsp of corn syrup on top.

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1/2 tsp corn syrup

Added 2 Tbs of hot water.

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2 tbs hot water

Let it soak for about 3 – 5 mins and stir.

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Soaking

What I have been doing is giving them mango chunks in the morning for breakfast (they say a fruit on an empty stomach keeps cancer at bay – now that saying is for humans… Not sure if it works for birds but I do it anyways.)
Then for training, I use nectar. If I am giving them a morning training then it’s nectar for training and for their breakfast and then fruit for dinner. But I try to give them the fruit for breakfast and give them an afternoon training with nectar as their treat. Whatever nectar is left over goes in their cages with them and then I do the Harrison’s mix for dinner and nectar for their evening training.

I want to get them accepting more veggies so I may have to rotate the Harrison’s and veggies every other day….

IF you have a lorikeet, tell me if you have tried Harrison’s and whats your opinion or what other foods do you give them besides the nectar and flowers.

***UPDATE*** I have now made more lorikeet friends and got a few books on them so I have discontinued any further use with Harrison’s for my lorikeet. As lorikeets have an iron storage issue and Harrison’s unfortunately does not cater to that.

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Parenting Parrots

How to Treat your Parrots to a Healthy Snack

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Good Morning!

Today I decided to have something quick for breakfast as I’m running out the door to do laundry. I live in an apartment where we are not allowed to have washers and dryers in our unit, so I have to take the elevator all the way down to the ground level to share a washer and dryer with the other tenants of this building. I HATE IT BECAUSE I CANT TAKE ANY PARROTS WITH ME!!! 😦 Well I guess I could but don’t want to risk people complaining and maybe the bird getting in their way. Anyhow back to the topic at hand….

BREAKFAST!!!

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Being on maternity leave has really left my fridge empty. HAHAHA after 10 months with living off of 55% of my income, I am ready to get back to filling my fridge again but I will miss my kiddies and parrids (parrot kids) so much. This is a bitter sweet moment!! Today we are having a whole wheat slice of bread with jam! THAT’s it!

Something so simple and I can share it with my parrids.

A slice of lightly toasted whole wheat bread with jam spread on top, cut into four sections. I give one section to each bird. I do two slices because I have 7 birds. All the birds can eat this, even my lorikeets!

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Rasta enjoying his jam

So I’m not quite sure how the calories in a slice of toasted whole wheat bread may affect a parrot’s health however it has 75 calories but if you’re only giving a parrot a quarter section, I don’t think you should have to worry at all (for those that may be concerned).

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Parenting Parrots!

 

The Hard-boiled Egg

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I eat it, the kids eat it, so why wouldn’t the birds eat it?

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Put on a pot to boil. Once the water starts boiling, you put in the egg. I boil the egg for 10 minutes when I’m making it for the parrots. Take it out, let it cool and then SMASH IT!!! Don’t remove the shell, you just mash it all up together. My birds eat this all up.

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You can feed eggs to your parrots twice a week (no more than twice in one week) however I only feed it once a week. I’m not sure why but I have never done it more than once.

The benefits of eggs for your parrots are:
It helps their bones, beaks and feathers while also improving their eye vision

Parenting Parrots!