The loris are very pretty birds with colorful plumage, a true painter’s palette, which can be raised in aviaries, but only if the breeding practices concerning them are respected. Let’s get to know these Australian birds and see what they need to live happily and healthily in captivity.
Lori: main characteristics
Lorises and lorikeets are birds native to Australia and New Zealand. They belong to the family Psittacidae and the subfamily Loriinae. Generally, these two terms are used to designate subspecies according to the length of their tail. Thus, those with a long cone-shaped tail are called lorikeets and those with a short, rounded tail, loriis. It is also sometimes possible to distinguish one from the other by their calls. Note that lorises are able to imitate the songs of many birds in their environment.
Lorises are stocky birds whose size is between 20 and 32 cm while lorikeets are slender but do not exceed 25 cm. There are no real rules to distinguish males from females since only a few subspecies show noticeable differences such as a straight tail in males and a trapezoid tail in females, but this destiny does not seem at all unanimous.
Lori : feeding
The diet of lorises is varied since it is at the same time granivorous, frugivorous, insectivorous and nectarivorous. This bird feeds on seeds, fruit seeds, ripe fruit juice, insects but also nectar and pollen that it collects from flowers with its tongue very similar to a brush.
The food of the Loris in captivity must be constituted :
Always clean water,
Nectar either in a mixture or in powder form,
A semi-liquid homemade pâtée made from e.g. apple, pollen, semolina or rice, dates, powdered or fresh milk, flours (soybean, oatmeal) cooked in milk, a dash of honey, a little fruit compote or even a little vegetable soup if you want to reduce the proportion of milk.
It is also possible to buy Loris specific food in some pet shops and specialists.
Tips for raising Lorises in the best conditions
These birds need a room that is easy to clean because they make their environment very dirty, especially because of their liquid droppings. Breeders opt for tiled floors and walls. But in addition to the room, two aviaries must be provided.
To raise lorises, it is necessary to have a large indoor aviary of at least 100 cm in length for the height and 80 cm in width for a couple. It is very important that this aviary is raised from the ground by at least 90 cm. Another outdoor aviary, also raised, but larger than the first one is also necessary. Its dimensions can be about 200 cm high and long and 80 cm wide. Ideally, Loris should be able to move from one aviary to the other, at least when the outside temperature allows it. They must evolve in an environment (inside or outside) of at least 15°C. It is therefore essential, in our latitudes, to provide a small heating for the room.
These birds must have at their disposal all year round – because they sleep there – a nest with a bottom pierced with holes, with a flight hole of 10 cm in diameter and whose ideal dimensions are 40 cm high and 25 x 25 cm. A litter of wood shavings is perfect for the nest. It should be changed regularly. As for the bottom of the aviaries, it must be covered with sand in a sufficient layer, to be changed every 8 to 12 months.
Lorises like to bathe every day. Therefore, a small bathtub is installed for them. And the rest of the equipment of the aviary consists of high perches, drinkers, two feeders in order to be able to separate the different types of food.
They are very lively birds, cheerful, with a strong character, and are very interested in everything around them. Observers, curious, they give high-pitched cries to greet their breeder once they have become accustomed to him. It is fundamental that hygiene is irreproachable, in the aviaries as well as in the premises, but also in the nest, as well as in the accessories. However, there is no guarantee that the breeder will succeed in breeding his lorises in captivity.