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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
 
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1st time owner of Rainbow Lorikeet

I brought home a rainbow lorikeet today; he's around 30 days old and I was wondering if you can help me with what his most basic needs are for the time being.

I know how to feed him; I'm more concerned about how warm he should be (are air-conditioned rooms bad?), how often I can take him out to play with him.. basically how else (other than diet) to keep him at his healthiest?

He is also chirping a lot.. are there any ways to get him to quiet down or is that just something that they do? The noise doesn't bother me, but I'm just worried that there is something he needs that I'm not providing him with. Thanks!

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 10:39 AM


 
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30 days is a month old.... that seems young to me, but i dont know much at all on lorikeets. i know most small birds wean at 8 weeks, not 4 weeks...?



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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 11:03 AM
 
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He's clearly not weaned, so you're feeding him lorikeet hand feeding formula, yes?

Past that, he needs to be kept warm as he probably doesn't have all his feathers. In a small cage with a towel and maybe a small stuffed animal he can snuggle with to keep warm



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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you. Yes, I'm handfeeding him formula. How warm and insulated do down feathers keep their birds?
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 07:25 PM


 
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Lories do make sounds often. Of course, I'm not hearing him so I don't really have any way to know how often he is chirping, but they do enjoy hearing themselves chatter.


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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 07:34 PM


 
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Hi Tiffany. Lorikeets are one of the easiest birds to hand raise and wean. He will need to be kept fairly warm still at the moment. I use a plastic terrarium with sterile pine shavings in the bottom about 1 1/2 inches thick and a bath towel doubled up over the top to keep the heat in. He should feel warm at all times. I don't have a thermometer in the brooder with them so I don't know the exact temperature. Best not to be in an air conditioned room. As for the constant chirping. This is something peculiar to baby Lorikeets. They can be full to bursting and they will chirp in their sleep. Even adults will often make noises in their sleep. I think it is one thing that endears them to me. Another thing about Lorikeets is that they can be weaned at a younger age than seed eating birds. You really need to have a food thermometer to test the temperature of his food. I used to use a crop needle (I was usually feeding alot of birds at the time so it was necessary). When I slowed down the number of birds I was hand raising I switched to a spoon. I found that lorikeets if you try to feed them at the recommended temperature of 40C the are sluggish feeders but increase the temperature of the food and when it is right for them they will gulp it down. I found at least 45C was better. Some like it a bit hotter than that. When I am starting to wean them I get a small container (usually glazed ceramic) and make the food up to the required temperature and I just push their beaks into it a bit like when you are teaching a puppy or kitten to drink. I fill the container right to the very top (a bit messy but it works) and push their beak in, they will lap up a bit with their tongue and usually put their head up again, I then just repeat the procedure. I usually do this at least once a day and the other feeds as normal with the spoon. Each time you do it they will increase the amount they are eating on their own until you just put the container in and they will eat themselves. I usually do this when they are about 2/3 feathered. This is the time I play with them more as they are not getting as much handling as they do when you are feeding them by spoon. When they are nearly fully feathered they go out into a nappy cage and I introduce dry lorikeet mix and water along with the wet mix that they get. They will start exploring and start eating dry and water themselves.

A soft toy is a good idea at this stage that your bird is now as they will snuggle up to it and it wll help keep him warm. Once they are well feathered you can dispense with the toy.

Hope this helps.

Meant to add that I use the same food they would eat as an adult to hand raise them with. I make my own and have done for 11 years, I also sell it to other breeders and owners here in Australia. My mix can be used either wet or dry so they get the same nutrients whichever way you choose to feed them.

Last edited by Kate; 06-19-2011 at 07:36 PM.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 05:22 AM



 
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Firstly, welcome to the forum

Secondly congratulations on your birds!

Thirdly, ask as many questions as you like about them ^^

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
 
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Hi Tiffany. Lorikeets are one of the easiest birds to hand raise and wean. He will need to be kept fairly warm still at the moment. I use a plastic terrarium with sterile pine shavings in the bottom about 1 1/2 inches thick and a bath towel doubled up over the top to keep the heat in. He should feel warm at all times. I don't have a thermometer in the brooder with them so I don't know the exact temperature. Best not to be in an air conditioned room. As for the constant chirping. This is something peculiar to baby Lorikeets. They can be full to bursting and they will chirp in their sleep. Even adults will often make noises in their sleep. I think it is one thing that endears them to me. Another thing about Lorikeets is that they can be weaned at a younger age than seed eating birds. You really need to have a food thermometer to test the temperature of his food. I used to use a crop needle (I was usually feeding alot of birds at the time so it was necessary). When I slowed down the number of birds I was hand raising I switched to a spoon. I found that lorikeets if you try to feed them at the recommended temperature of 40C the are sluggish feeders but increase the temperature of the food and when it is right for them they will gulp it down. I found at least 45C was better. Some like it a bit hotter than that. When I am starting to wean them I get a small container (usually glazed ceramic) and make the food up to the required temperature and I just push their beaks into it a bit like when you are teaching a puppy or kitten to drink. I fill the container right to the very top (a bit messy but it works) and push their beak in, they will lap up a bit with their tongue and usually put their head up again, I then just repeat the procedure. I usually do this at least once a day and the other feeds as normal with the spoon. Each time you do it they will increase the amount they are eating on their own until you just put the container in and they will eat themselves. I usually do this when they are about 2/3 feathered. This is the time I play with them more as they are not getting as much handling as they do when you are feeding them by spoon. When they are nearly fully feathered they go out into a nappy cage and I introduce dry lorikeet mix and water along with the wet mix that they get. They will start exploring and start eating dry and water themselves.

A soft toy is a good idea at this stage that your bird is now as they will snuggle up to it and it wll help keep him warm. Once they are well feathered you can dispense with the toy.

Hope this helps.

Meant to add that I use the same food they would eat as an adult to hand raise them with. I make my own and have done for 11 years, I also sell it to other breeders and owners here in Australia. My mix can be used either wet or dry so they get the same nutrients whichever way you choose to feed them.

That was a wonderful post! Thanks so much - it definitely helped and it put my mind at ease..

Nibbles is a very eager eater at 40 degrees.. while he's waiting for me to refill his spoon, he likes to stick his head in the bowl and start lapping up the formula! He does little sneezes afterwards for a few seconds.. that's normal, right? The breeder told me to feed him every 6 hours, but his crop is empty by 4 and he's hungry for more.. should there be a period of time to wait? As in, does his crop need to be empty for a little bit to give him some rest, or is it fine for him to eat as soon as it's empty? Also, I read to never feed while there's still food in his crop - obviously, this isn't a problem, but why is it not good to do so?

If he's eager to start lapping up by himself now, does that I mean I should start weaning him? I'm a little worried about the weaning process because I don't really trust the shops (and their advice) in Taiwan.. I tend to question whether or not they really know what they're doing, but their birds seem to be doing fine. Mainly, I don't trust the formulas that they make.. I might have to go find some imported mixes. Any thoughts?

He's starting to flap his wings quite a bit and I'm wondering when to switch him to a cage, and what kind of cage to use? Right now, he's in a medium-seized cardboard box with a little cardboard box inside that contains newspaper shreds; this way, he has room to walk around and still has a space to keep warm in. I cover them both with a towel to make sure he's adequately warm - but Taiwan is so hot anyways, I'm actually more scared of him getting heatstroke.

Lastly, here is a picture of one of his droppings.. does it look okay? There's no white part to it and it doesn't hold any definition, both of which would lead me to believe that it's not okay.. but he is a baby bird in a new location and maybe he's just a little stressed right now? Or maybe it has to do with the formula?
IMG_1510.JPG

Man, I really wish I had more experience with birds so I could have actual experience with what's normal and not, rather than just knowing all this stuff I've read up on >.< I really appreciate the help! Thanks!!
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
 
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Toys

Oh yes, I forgot to ask. What about toys? Is he too young for them right now? If not, what toys are most suitable for a little bird his age?
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 12:01 PM
 
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Aww, he's adorable!! Lorikeet's poop is very runny, so I wouldn't worry about a lack of definition, especially since he's on formula which is very watery. You can move him to a cage at his age, with one low perch just an inch or so off the ground, but you'll want to keep a towel on the bottom for his feet. That way he can start learning to perch. You can give him toys at his age too, maybe a small foot toy and something shiny he can play with Just make sure they're sturdy, with no little parts that can come off because he may pump on them for food



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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 01:17 PM


 
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I would also like to say welcome to the forum and that Nibbles is so cute!!!



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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Jenny! I know Lorikeet's droppings are more runny, but I thought it was because of the high liquid content in their diet.. I didn't know that it was the same for baby birds, too. It's good to know that this is normal though! I was worried for a while.

This is probably a stupid question, but what exactly are foot toys? I bought him a colorful weaved ball with a bell inside, but it smells really plastic-y/chemical-y.. do you think that it'll be a problem? What about popscicle sticks? Is he old enough to do anything with them yet?
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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I would also like to say welcome to the forum and that Nibbles is so cute!!!
Thanks!!
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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Firstly, welcome to the forum

Secondly congratulations on your birds!

Thirdly, ask as many questions as you like about them ^^
Thank you! Oh, trust me, you'll be getting a slew of questions from me
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 01:52 PM
 
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Foot toys are a small toy a bird can hold in their foot and play with. That little ball sounds like a lot of fun I would wash it really good, maybe give it a rinse with hot water and white vinegar if you have some. It's a great way to disinfect things you give your bird and is 100% safe. Most chemical cleaners are toxic to birds, especially bleach, so you have to be careful.



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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 07:25 PM


 
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Tiffany I usually only feed my guys a maximum of 3 times a day. But the do get really full. The crop needs to completely empty at least once a day which is usually overnight so that they are empty in the morning. You could try getting his food to 45C and you will probably find he will eat more at each feed. I usually have to stop mine from eating when I think they are really full as they will just keep eating. I found that feeding at 40C they would only eat a certain amount and then want more in a few hours, but when I increased the temperature they ate far better and emptied slower. You need to let their crop empty at least once a day to make sure it is working properly. If their crop slows or stops they can get sour crop and will actually starve as there looks like they are full and don't need feeding but the food is just staying there and not going down into their intestines for digestion.

The little sneezes means he is eating too quickly so I would not worry too much about it.

I use a 2ft exercise cage usually for weaning with the low perch and I put newspaper on the wire grate of the cage which can be changed easily and thrown away. That way he can walk more easily until he gets used to walking on the wire, it also helps soak up the mess they usually make when feeding themselves. Being hot weather he should be able to go into a cage now at least during the day and at night when it is cooler he can go back into his box. He is quite well feathered for his age, I suspect he may be a bit older than you were told. Not much but a bit, possibly closer to 5 weeks. He has really amazing colour, such deep red on the breast. The breast colour of Rainbows is individual to the bird. I have had them with only a little red and mainly yellow right up to full red like that.

The flapping is exercising his wings and gaining strength in them in preparation to learn to fly. It is quite normal. I have had them in the brooder flapping away like mad with the shavings going everywhere.

His droppings are quite fine for a lorikeet. There droppings are always wet like that. They will never for a dropping like a seed eating bird. They also should never be fed seed as they cannot digest it properly and it can cause health problems down the track. They should only get their lorikeet food and fruit and vegetables. Mine always love apple and they like silverbeat (spinach), capsicum (bell pepper), celery particularly the leaves, kiwi fruit, passionfruit, mango, rock melon (cantaloupe) and honey dew melon (the greeny coloured cantaloupe), small amounts of water melon as it has lots of water in it and will make their droppings runnier, never give the skin just the red flesh, pumpkin, you don't need to remove the seeds or the skin, and corn on the cob is another favourite. The earlier you can start them on fruit etc. the more they are likely to take to them.

On hot days they can frighten you in the brooder as they will often sleep flat on the fronts with the wings spread out. When I first started hand raising them I used to panic and think that they had died, but it is just a way they often sleep.

They will often destroy any toy you give them, they are pretty rough with them. One of the cheapest and easiest toys I find to give them is the cardboard centre from the roll of toilet paper. They can rip them up and are cheap and easy to replace. I have had them running around the cage with one on their head, falling over their water dish or feed dish, running into the side of the cage, it is really funny. I don't know if you have been warned but they love to bath. When they bath usually everything in a radius of 6 feet gets wet too. They will really drench themselves. In Australia we have great differences in temperature between summer and winter. It can get over 40c in summer and below zero in winter. I have even seen my guys outside break ice on the top of their water container to have a bath in winter. In summer they usually bath at least once a day and in winter maybe only every 2 days.
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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If Nibbles is eating fine at 40C, should I still try increasing the temperature to 45? Also, when can I start letting him try fruits and vegetables?

The person who I got Nibbles from couldn't give me a ratio for water to formula.. I've been using my eye but I've also read that older birds should be fed a thicker formula. If he is around 5 weeks like you said, then 1) what should the ratio be and 2) it is definitely time to start weaning him, right?

Thanks so much for your help, Kate!

Another thing: What should I be preparing myself (and Nibbles) for when he does start to fly?
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 09:57 PM
 
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You can probably start offering him fruits and vegetables soon, maybe at 6 weeks? As for flying, be ready for a very clumsy baby Maybe dedicate a room to practice flying and make it as bird safe as you can - no ceiling fans on, no water or other hazards he can land in, no big windows/mirrors he can fly into, etc. If you have windows, close a curtain or pin something over them because they often can't tell at first that they can't fly through. He will be clumsy until he learns how to fly properly and land properly. First flights are usually a bit of a panicked circle lap around the room It's so fun to watch them learn, they seem to love it but be scared at the same time



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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2011, 03:38 AM


 
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You could just try increasing the temperature slightly and see if he prefers that to 40C. When you start putting him in the cage during the day you can start him with fruit then. Just smallish pieces to start with, usually apple is a good starter. I mix my formula to about the consistency of runny porridge or thickish yoghurt. Sometimes it is a bit of trial and error. Try it a bit thicker, if he accepts that you can then try a bit thicker, if he doesn't like it that thick you can always thin it down a bit. Sometimes it is a bit of trial and error as each bird is different in it's likes and dislikes.

Jenny answered your question about flying quite well. But you may find he may not fly alot if he is heavily bonded to you. But as I said they are all little individuals.
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 07:02 PM
 
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Welcome TycLiu, congrats on your new Lorikeet.



Kate, excellent posts. It is wonderful to have your experience here.




Last edited by Bobioden; 07-26-2011 at 02:48 PM.
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