Lory and Lorikeet Diet

Lories and Lorikeets diet

There is already plenty of reference material on what lories are designed to feed on. They have developed a very specialised digestive system to feed mainly on flower nectar and pollen and lories in captivity require a diet that is similar. Fruit is also a large part of a lories diet and this along with various greens and vegatables can make a near complete diet.

Commercial feeds

There are commercially available dry and wet lorie mixes which advertise as a complete diet. These generally are very good although on reading the ingredients of one wet mix I was disappointed to see 'animal protein' as an ingredient. The renderings from pigs,sheep or cows is not what I wanted to be feeding my lories as I was pretty sure lories did not eat these animals in the wild.
However, the main problem we have with these commercial wet and dry mixes is the cost. It is very possible to make equally effective mixes at a fraction of the cost by purchasing the raw materials in bulk and making up quantities of the mix as required. This is certainly well worthwhile where there are more than just a few lories to feed.

A very common lory feed is Complan, this is a powder mix that is combined with milk to form a nutritious drink (for humans) containing lots of good ingredients and fortified with vitamins. Because of the milk content this mix will 'go off' pretty quickly in warm weather or warm indoors. An 'off' Complan mix smells awful and the thought of a lory drinking this, with the possibility of horrible bacteria, is enough to make me sick, let alone the lory.
We do not feed our lories with this type of food which can spoil too quickly although an occasional Complan meal is still in the lory menu.

What we feed our Lories

Most of our lory diet is based on fruit and vegtables with additional supplements of a dry mix made to the receipe given below, hot and cold fruit and vegatable drinks ususally fortified with glucose and vitamins.
Fresh water is available for drinking.
Fruit can be very seasonal, apples are always available and pears, nashi and citrus almost all of the year. Water melon, kiwis, plums, cherries, guava and many berry fruits are only available when in season. We provide all of these when available but apples, pears and nashi are amongst the lories favourite fruit and are just about always available.
Vegatables can also be very seasonal. Silverbeet, lettuce and especially corn on the cob (uncooked) is very popular. Most of our lories seem to really enjoy corn. Other vegatables such as peas and green beans add further variety to the diet.
Fruit mix drinks, served either hot or cold. Usually blended whole fruit, some fruit juice, honey or sugar, hot or cold water, cereal such as WeetBix or Corn flakes and perhaps bird vitamin supplements. Liquid drinks make a welcome change from solid food and on a cold day the warm to hot liquid will be consumed with great excitement - lots of noisy clicking and buzzing from some birds.

Treats and sweets

Occasional treats are relished by lories. So long as it is not done to excess they will derive great pleasure from something totally different and usually sweet.
Some of the treats we use are:
Bread with honey or jam. Honey on white sliced bread will soak in and make a sticky solid treat that lories will nibble and squeeze. Jam will be enthusiastically extracted from between slices of bread then the bread will be squeezed and chewed. Lories seem to much prefer plain white bread or light light brown bread. Other types with seeds, raisins, nuts etc., are not so popular.
Light maple syrup, the runny type. We found that the real syrup (as opposed to the synthetic type) is a real treat. Our lories appear to prefer this to honey and will eagerly clean it from fingers.
Biscuits, especially wine or hard malt types, these would seem to be too hard for lories but they chip away at them with great enjoyment turning them into dust which is consumed. the biscuits will totally disappear.


Dry mix - this will make 2 litres

2 cups farex
2 cups rice flour
2 cups biscuit food
1 cup glucose
1 teaspoon vitamins

1 tablespoon of kelp granules
1 tablespoon of brewers yeast
half cup of pollen granules
Mix together and store in a air tight container
This will make enough dry mix to last about five days for over twenty birds.
Plenty of clean drinking water is essential when this mix is served.

Wet fruit mix

2 apples (a green apple and a red apple)
2 pears or nashi pears
1 kiwifruit/persimmon/several grapes etc..
(Basically any mix of fruit can be used).
2 tablespoons of honey
2 Weetbix 3 hard biscuits (wine or malt types or mix) 1 dessertsoon of kelp granules
1 dessertspoon of brewers yeast (pasteurised)
1 dessertspoon of pollen granules
place in a blender and make up to 1.5 litres with boiling water
Blend until a nice runny goo consistency then add cold water to make up to 2 litres.
This will make enough liquid fruit mix for over 20 birds, served warm on a cold day and the birds will really enjoy it.
Scale down ingredients for fewer birds. A serving size for two larger lories would be about 0.15 litre and for smaller birds about 0.1 litre

Page owner: <dgd@kcbbs.gen.nz>
Last modified: 12 July 2000.