Interview with Psittacus Catalonia: Egg protein is the best we can use for lories. PART II

February 26th, 2016 | by LubosTomiska
Interview with Psittacus Catalonia: Egg protein is the best we can use for lories. PART II
Breeding
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Read also the first part of this interview:

Interview with Psittacus Catalonia: Our aim is to produce nectar which prevents liquid feces of lories. PART I

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You present the Psittacus nectar as a substitute of fruits. How did you come up with this idea?

To produce something which may substitute fruits was our original idea. Initially, we fed this product to many parrot species (not only lories) and found out that their condition and behaviour changed rapidly in a positive way. Shortly after, we realized that dry and gel nectar may become the base of diet for lories as the combination of both products satisfies needs of different lory and lorikeet species. The proportion of gel and dry nectar is different for each genera.

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Is your nectar usable also for hummingbirds?

Partly, yes. However, hummingbirds have slightly different nutritional requirements than lories. They need more simple sugars and less fruits.

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You don’t mention any recommendation about dosage of nectar for lories. How much of the powder should we use in 100ml of water.

That’s because we recommend using of dry products, without any water added. Only hand feeding formula should be liquid and we also prefer adding water to gel when chicks are weaning. During the breeding season when parents are feeding their chicks it’s also good to provide wet product „Neonatal frugivorous parrots“.

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When giving both gel and dry nectar can lories prefer just one of the products and therefore start loosing their weight?

According to results of our experiments lories have significant ability to select food on the basis of their nutritional needs. They can especially control the level of protein in this way. For example, lories eat insects mostly in breeding season but don’t consume it much off the season. Therefore we believe that these birds eat both dry and gel nectar according to their current nutritional requirements.

READ  A Guide to Incubation and Hand raising Lories. PART I

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Most of commercial nectars have more proteins than lories actually need. Why does your product contains 16%?

Our gel nectar contains 16%, dry nectar 6%. However, the number itself doesn’t say anything. We need to know how much protein do they actually consume and how much can they digest. The protein requirements of lories are dependent on their energy needs. As soon as lories receive sufficient amount of energy (protein) they will stop eating. Temperature plays an important role in this regard. If you keep your lories at 10°C then they need significantly more energy than those kept at 30°C.

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Health Incubation Handraising Lories Lorikeets

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The same is about vitamin A. The high percentage of vitamin A in commerial diets leads to liver damage and causes various diseases including defects of plumage. What is your opinion about this?

You are right. We should tend to decrease vitamin A in diets for lories. Naturally, vitamin A doesn’t exist but animals consume it in form of provitamin A (e.g. beta-carotene). These provitamins are consequently transformed to vitamins (in case of provitamin A to retinol). It’s very easy to overdose vitamin A and then we talk about hypervitaminosis. What we do is to provide a restricted amount of retinol and more beta-carotene so lories can naturally create the vitamin.

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What’s the difference between retinol, beta-carotene and vitamin A.

Vitamin A activity is the sum of retinol and all post beta-carotene products activity.

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What do you think about using of plant proteins? Is it good for lories?

In broad terms we don’t talk about protein requirements but about aminoacids requirements. These have to be in the appropriate ratio so the metabolism can produce particular proteins at the moment of need.

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If I should choose one best source of aminoacids then it would be an egg. It’s the best quality protein. Therefore we use dehydrated egg powder for lories.

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Purple-bellied Lory (Lorius hypoinochrous) (c) Lubomir Tomiska

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The milk protein is also usable but it has to be pure protein only without any supplements. Parrots are not able to digest lactose and therefore it shouldn’t be contained in the diet. In our nectar there are no animal proteins, only plant. We use mentioned eggs and soya.

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Many breeders use pollen as a component of both commercial and homemade diets. It’s also contained in your nectar. There are studies which show poor digestion of pollen. What do you think about that?

We use pollen only in gel nectar, not in dry one. It’s well known that pollen is not easy to digest. Remember we were talking about the right amount of protein in diet. When you give a lot of pollen then the total amount of protein is high but the birds can’t digest it so it‘s useless. However, we found out that lories love the taste of pollen. Nectar composition is very important, of course. But the birds have to consume the diet first! So we add pollen because birds like it more then.

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Some breeders grind pollen because they believe this will increase the protein absorption. What do you think?

Pollen particles are microscopic. Therefore I don’t believe you can destroy it with a grinder.

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It has been suggested that nutritional requirements of lories differ between breeding and non-breeding season. How does your diet reflect this fact?

As above mentioned, lories can adjust consumption of particular nutrients according to their needs. We believe that using of gel nectar, dry nectar and „Neonatal frugivorous parrots“ during the breeding season will satisfy their needs over the whole year.

READ  One of the largest parrot breeders of Amazon parrot species, Jan Nedelnik, talks about his bird collection

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(c) Psittacus Catalonia

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In total, Loriidae family counts over 60 species. Do you believe that two products can be enough to feed them all appropriately?

It’s still the same answer. Important is the ratio of both products which can be adjusted by us as well as by choice of birds. We admitt that there are some exceptional species which need more than that but we are still at the beginning. As the time goes, we hope to get some feedback from breeders so the appropriate diet can be produced for all the species. We can start producing more products.

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Your diet is quite expensive, why is that?

That’s because components are expensive. These are dried herbs (like hibiscus), papaya powder etc.

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author: Loriidae (Ramses Baez)

Title photo: (c) Lubomir Tomiska

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