As with any parrot, they will learn to eat the right diet as long as the owner doesn’t give up too soon. I know it is easy to give in when they beg for what they prefer. But if we only feed their favorite things, our birds wouldn’t live for very long. We would all love to eat our favorite junk food all the time, but we know better! LOL
Lories & Lorikeets eat a mainly moist diet in the wild, so it isn’t surprising they are not wanting to try dry foods. You should never offer any seeds. Their digestive system is not intended to digest seeds and grains. Some information does say a small amount is OK, but I would avoid whole seeds entirely and only feed something like whole grain bread very sparingly. In the wild, they eat flowers, including the nectar and pollen, some insects and wild fruits & berries. If you notice the brushes on the end of their tongue, this is their special tool for feeding on nectar and pollen.
In captivity, it is best to feed them a commercial diet that is formulated for Lory/Lorikeets, as 80% of their daily diet. Most may only be labeled as Lory food, but the difference between a Lory and Lorikeet is the length and shape of the tail – the diet needs are the same. I would recommend doing a Google search for Lory food or Lory pellet food. There are pellets, ground diets, gels, powders and liquid diets and supplements for Lories. I do not recommend diets with artificial colors or other artificial ingredients if you can avoid it. Beware of anything labeled as “species-specific” because there haven’t actually been any species-specific studies to back claims of those diets. Any of the dry diets can be moistened with water or natural fruit juice. While Lories do eat more sugars than other parrots, it is best to avoid refined sugars, and their diet should not be made up entirely of fruit sugars. Pellets made for other parrots are not recommended because of the iron content, and Lories are prone to Iron Storage Disease.
In addition to the commercial Lory diet, you can offer fruits, veggies, healthy human foods, and fresh flowers as 20% of their diet. Most produce sections at the grocery store have edible flowers. African violets, aster, bottlebrush, carnations, chrysanthemum, daisies, gardenias, gladiolus, hibiscus, honeysuckle, impatiens, lilac, magnolias, marigolds, nasturtium, pansies, petunias, roses, sunflowers, and violets are all safe for birds. Crape Myrtle is something they really enjoy – you can give them the flowered branches. However, if you offer any that are growing outdoors, you need to know that the plant or tree was never sprayed for pests or treated with any chemicals. Crape Myrtles are fairly easy to grow, so you might find an organic nursery that sells them as well as other bird-safe flowers. There are many website that list safe and unsafe flowers, so you can do a search for those just to be safe and make sure you are identifying the flowers correctly. Note that in some cases, part of a plant is safe while other parts can be toxic.
All four of my Lories lived into their late 30’s on the above diet, and that was well past the projected life span for captive lories. Their favorite delicacy/treat was carrots, sweet potatoes or yams, slow cooked until they were the consistency of a paste. As for introducing the foods, you can mix them with the foods they do like, and just give them time to learn to eat new foods. Finely chop their apples and corn and mix the dry diet with them so that they taste the dry diet while trying to eat what they think they want. Soon they will become more adventurous and before you know it, they will be eating a balanced diet!
Thank you for asking Lafeber,