New to having a lorie and need help please!


New member
Nov 24, 2018
4 cockatiels and a rescue scaley breasted lorikeet
Hey everyone!

Okay, so I am completely new to having a lorie and I need some serious help/advice.
I currently have a 3-4 week old rescue scaley breasted (it was only taken from the area it was found in, as it was being attacked by a group of magpies and butcher birds)
Anyway, the first 2 days of having it, it was really loud and just would not sit still, now over the past 2 days it has become quieter and is sleeping a lot (it cuddles up to me a lot too), it seems to being eating less food but it does eat more frequently. On two occasions i have noticed it vomiting/regurgitating up water after it drinks a lot. I have no idea what is normal behavior and what is not, so I'm hoping someone could tell me if It sounds like there is cause for alarm or not.
Also, I am feeding it wet lorikeet mix, as well as mashed up fresh fruit, as well as providing fresh water, all of which are refreshed a few times a day, does this seem okay/right to be doing?

On a side note, I do take the baby outside in its cage to try and get it to call out to its parents to come and feed it, and they have come but they wont feed it. Could that mean the baby is potentially ill?

Thank you in advance for any help and advice.
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Thank you for saving this little guy from being pecked to bits by the local butcherbirds etc! Mother Nature being who she is, sometimes baby birds are kicked out of the nest for varying reasons, either disease or insufficient resources to feed all the chicks, or the baby may have gone exploring prematurely and simply fallen out of the nest. Depending on local laws in your State you may need a permit if you intend to keep this baby as a pet.

It doesn’t sound to me like you’re doing much wrong but I would advise you to take this baby to a certified avian vet to assess any its condition and/or injury it may have sustained. Vomiting/regurgitating food is not such a good sign so I think it really does require some professional attention and advice, which although I’ve had a pet lorikeet before, I am not qualified to give you and if it was me I’d be getting it the little guy to a bird vet asap.

I wish you both all the best!
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Normally I would not take a baby bird from the area where its nest is located, but seeing as death was a certainty if I left it, I couldn't bring myself to leave it to the fate of nature, especially seeing how much it was fighting for its life. I think it could possibly have been blown out of the nest as we had very bad wind earlier that day, but of course, It could have very easily been any of the other reasons you have stated.
I have already gotten the all clear to keep it, of course, I do prefer to rescue and release, but I have been told by a vet assistance that they can bond and become hard to release due to not knowing how to survive on their own. So I guess I will have to wait and see.

I did have a vet assistance check the wee one out yesterday and she said it looked completely healthy and fine, but I think I will definitely take it to a specialist birdie vet just for a second opinion, as I would rather be safe than sorry.

Thank you heaps for your help/advice, I truly appreciate it!
Great! I only have experience with the captive-bred purple-crowned variety so it’s good to know you’re getting professional advice - even they can have health issues although my boy Sludge hardly had a sick day in his life other than the day he tangled with an angry broody cockatiel!

Pet lorikeets eat a combination of wet & dry mix, the dry mix is safer to feed all day as the wet mix tends to ferment quickly and go bad after a few hours during the day so you’ll want to get a dry nectar mix too, and plenty of fresh water. They will also eat greens like celery and bok choy. Lorikeets are great pets, they are fun-loving and love to climb and wrestle and play.

I hope everything checks out well for you and your little guy at the vet!
It's only 3-4 weeks old? Is that correct, or am I reading that wrong? Does it have all of it's feathers yet, or only down? The reason I'm asking is that being that young, if he doesn't have all of his mature feathers yet, and just down, then he will very easily and quickly develop a Fungal Infection in his GI Tract if he isn't kept in a ambient temperature of around 85 degrees, like in a Brooder...And I'm not up on hand-feeding a baby Lorikeet, but my guess is that you also have to heat what you're feeding it as well, because again they very easily develop GI Fungal Infections if what they eat isn't between the proper temps (for regular hand-feeding formula it's between 104-110 degrees F)...So if he's vomiting, he may very well have a Fungal infection if he's not being kept at a high enough ambient temp, and what you're feeding him isn't hot enough...

Also, I don't know what breeders feed baby Lorikeets when they hand-raise them, but I'm thinking that they have to be fed something more than fruit and wet Lorikeet food, as they are growing/developing, especially at that young of an age, and if you compare it to regular parrot hand-feeding formula, the hand-feeding formula is absolutely loaded with protein, fat, calories, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc...If you fed a non-Lorikeet baby parrot crushed-up adult parrot pellets as it's "formula" they would die pretty quickly because they don't have near the calories/nutrition that such a young baby needs to properly grow/develop and survive...

Honestly, as a breeder, if he is that young and he's not being kept in a Brooder (handmade Brooders are fine as long as they are kept at the correct temp) so he's as warm as he would be with his parents laying on him and from the warmth of his siblings, and his food/formula is not warm enough, and he's vomiting, that's a very bad sign...

I'd be finding a CAV in your area that knows what is normally fed to hand-raised baby Lorikeets...and I'm almost certain about the ambient and formula temps...At 3-4 weeks old he would hardly have all of his down (which means he needs to be kept at an ambient temp around 95 degrees F), and then when all of his down does come in but he doesn't yet have his mature feathers he must be at 85 degrees F until all of his mature feathers come in...They can die from "exposure", but usually they die first from a GI Fungal Infection if their ambient/formula temps are off....I'll admit I know nothing about hand-raising/feeding a Lorikeet, but the same principles are going to apply, the only thing different would be WHAT you feed them...
Also, I'm not surprised his parents will not come near to feed him...He may be ill, as already described above, but the main reason that they aren't coming near to feed him is that he's not in their "nest", and they are wild birds, so they are probably just not comfortable coming near...They will reject their babies if they are sick (or purposely injure/kill them themselves), but I wouldn't expect wild parrots/birds to come-in and feed one of their chicks even if it was perfectly healthy, simply because they are wild...Though I wish they would, because I can't imagine that feeding a baby that young mashed-up fruit and wet Lorikeet food is going to sustain him or allow him to properly develop...However, right now I'd be more concerned about him vomiting due to the temperature issues...

I bred/hand-raised parrots for 20 years, and I've had babies develop GI Fungal Infections even though they were kept in a real Brooder set at the proper ambient temperature for their age/feather cover, and even though they were fed proper baby bird hand-feeding formula that was always between 104-110 degrees F (one degree lower they get Fungal Infections, one degree higher they get horrible Crop burns that become infected and require surgery)...I also always added a Probiotic supplement that also contained Digestive Enzymes, along with some Papaya supplement to their hand-feeding formula, and I kept a digital thermometer with a probe in the formula at all times...And still they occasionally would develop a bit of a Fungal Infection in their Crops/Intestinal Tract...The first signs/symptoms of which are usually a sudden loss of appetite, then you notice that their Crop isn't emptying correctly (or at all), then they start vomiting everything they eat because they are suffering from "Slow-Crop", where their Crop doesn't empty at the rate it should due to the Yeast inside it, or even "Crop-Stasis", where their Crop doesn't empty at all if the Yeast/Fungi is very bad...

If you smell the baby's open beak/mouth, sometimes you can actually smell the Yeast in their Crop, it is a very distinct, sour smell that you don't forget once you smell it.

Are you watching his Crop to see if it's emptying properly between feedings? His Crop needs to be almost empty before you feed him again during the day, and then overnight the Crop should completely empty, so first thing in the morning it there should be nothing in his Crop at all...It's okay if there is just a bit of food in his Crop between his daytime feedings, but not much...If his Crop isn't emptying properly then that's a sure sign that he's got a Fungal/Yeast Infection...

I can't tell you how to treat it because I don't know if that is different in a Lorikeet or not. Honestly, if it's bad enough then you need to take him to a CAV anyway because he'll need a prescription Anti-Fungal med, which is typically liquid and you add the correct dosage to the hand-feeding formula (or whatever you're feeding them)...If it's just started and you catch it early enough you can treat it with Probiotics and Apple Cider Vinegar, but if he's already vomiting you're past that, and again, I know nothing about a Lorikeet and what they can and cannot ingest, like Apple Cider Vinegar-it works wonders, but I don't know if a Lorikeet can have it??? Also, believe it or not, dissolving a regular Alka-Seltzer tablet into water/fruit juice and giving them that instead of their formula for one feeding also helps quite a bit...but again, I know nothing about Lorikeets and what is safe and not safe for them...

If you have any questions about anything, like how to set-up a proper Brooder for him to live in, just ask/PM me...Also, I forgot to ask, what are you using to feed him with? An oral syringe/eye-dropper? If he's really only 3-4 weeks old and you don't know how to properly feed him, it's extremely easy to aspirate food/formula into his lungs, and this will cause an infection/Pneumonia...So if you don't know proper hand-feeding technique then again, just ask...I don't know if you have bird-breeding/hand-feeding/hand-raising experience or not, so if you do then please just ignore all of this...I just want to be sure...

Hopefully I just read you post wrong and he's actually not only 3-4 weeks old...Also, I know he's not your "pet" and that you didn't plan on having him/caring for him, so I'm not at all trying to be critical, I think it's awesome that you're willing to help a baby bird in-need, most people wouldn't care enough to even move him off of the street, and a lot would just kill him...It's just that when you said he was only "3-4 weeks old" and then you said what you're feeding him, and then you said he's "vomiting" and not eating as much/as frequently, and I didn't hear anything about keeping him in a Brooder and I heard what you're feeding him, I wanted to try to help...
I agree with Ellen, he was loud at first because she was hungry and healthy, now he is fading. Temp is so important, gotta keep them warm, gotta feed warm, gotta keep everything thing clean and fresh made. Thanks for working in saving this little one!! Yes try and get to avain vet, and contact a breeder , though Ellen can help you a lot!!
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Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to write out such detailed advice (i skimmed through because I'm not in the mood to read properly today). Your help and advice was sincerely appreciated.

**ALSO I forgot to edit the age of the bird as I was distracted whilst typing and typed the wrong thing sorry for the confusion, it was actually meant to be 6-8weeks as a rough estimate**
I have successfully raised and released baby birds in the past, (they come visit me from time to time), I have however not had experience with parrot types at such a young age so it was unfamiliar to me dealing with one and I was not prepared for it. But I can feel better in saying that I did manage to do things right in terms of, monitoring temperature, feeding warm (not hot) food, keeping the little one in as clean conditions as i could (proves a challenge for such a messy bird breed lol,) etc
But Sadly it passed away before we made it to the vet, It showed the severe signs of polyomavirus in its final hours, and it broke my heart watching it fall asleep forever. As much as I know I was not its cause of death, I still feel that I failed it and wish I had known sooner so I could have done more to save it.

Apologies on any spelling mistakes.

And once again, thank you to you kind people whom offered your advice.
Thank you for taking the time to type this despite your grief.
It is always heartbreaking to lose one - at least you tried, hard!
Some diseases cannot be stopped, no matter how hard you try, pray, wish etc..
I'm sorry the little one passed-away, but honestly that was almost a foregone conclusion, as at that young an age, once they vomit and their appetites start to go, there is little you can do...If nothing else you learned some valuable information about keeping/hand-feeding such a young bird, so you'll be better prepared if you're ever in this position again...Thank you for trying your best, it's much appreciated, as most people wouldn't even attempt to help a little baby bird in this situation.

And to anyone else reading this, I cannot stress enough how important both the ambient temperature a baby bird is kept in full-time and the temperature of the hand-feeding formula/mash you're feeding them is...And I'm talking EXACT TEMPERATURES. I've had this conversation with other people who have made the very bad decision to allow their pet birds to breed and then allow the eggs to hatch, and then something happens and the parents don't feed/care for the babies as was planned, and then the owner has had to take-over raising and feeding an extremely young, unweaned, unfeathered baby bird...And they NEVER take me seriously when I tell them that neither the ambient temperature in the Brooder/Homemade Brooder nor the temperature of the hand-feeding formula can be off even 1 DEGREE in either direction, or the baby will likely develop a horrible Fungal/Yeast infection and die (or if the formula or the Brooder are even 1 degree too hot, the baby will die of heat-stroke/dehydration or the formula will cause a horrible Crop-burn that will quickly kill them from the infection that rapidly sets-in)...I'm the Medical-Liaison at the Avian/Reptile Rescue that I work for, and I've actually had brand-new volunteers with little to no experience or education in hand-raising/hand-feeding baby birds "roll their eyes" at me when I explain to them that they must keep the candy/cooking thermometer inside of the formula the entire time they are feeding the babies, and if the formula temperature is higher than 110 degrees F they must wait until it's at 110, and if/when the formula drops below 104 degrees F and they aren't done feeding that they must heat more water up and mix it into the formula, and possibly add more formula powder if the consistency is too runny after adding the water...They just want to throw the formula into the microwave, and they don't listen about "hot spots" in the formula, and it never fails that they cause some kind of injury/illness/death because they don't take it seriously. So if anyone is reading this because they are are hand-feeding/caring for a baby bird, please be very thorough in your research, and be very exact in your ambient and formula temperatures at all times, because it will not end well if you're not...
I’m so sorry the little one didn’t make it. I once tried to rescue a young galah from similar circumstances in a local park only for him to die before I could get him to the vet that very same day. There are many diseases endemic in wild lorikeet populations here and it’s impossible to know how long your little guy may have already been ill and Nature has some fairly brutal ways of eliminating them from the population. It’s a real pity because scalies are tremendous little birds (I almost bought one myself a few months ago!)

Again I’m sorry for your loss, but thank you for trying.

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