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

February 19th, 2016 | by LubosTomiska
Interview with Psittacus Catalonia: Our aim is to produce nectar which prevents liquid feces of lories. PART I
Breeding
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Read also the second part of this interview:

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

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Balanced and complex nutrition is a necessary condition of successful breeding in all animals. Therefore we are glad that a few weeks ago the avicultural association Loriidae contacted us and sent us an interesting contribution for our website – interview with a Spanish producer of avian food – Psittacus Catalonia. This company was established in 1998. The original aim was to breed African Grey Parrots for the pet market. A few years later, they started with production of several avian feeds. Their activities include intensive research of parrot nutritional requirements.

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Psittacus Catalonia is well known for its bird food for African Grey Parrots. Today, your range of products is much broader. Why have you decided to extend your specialization?

Our business is split to two parts. The base is breeding of African Greys and development of diet for this species. However, our activities involve research of other parrot species nutritional requirements as well. Recently, we have started also with small finches.

As we have received many inquiries from our customers who breed lories we decided to focus on this group of parrots. We built a special research center for this project and bought a few species which are now the subject of our research.

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Are there any products you can offer to loribreeders at this moment?

For adult lories we offer two products – gel and nectar. In 2013, we also started with producing of diet for lory chicks which is divided to three products:

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a) crop milk – this is suitable for chicks which are less than 7 days old
b) neonatal frugivorous parrots – from the age of one week to the stage when feather pins start emerging
c) lory puree – feathering period until the end of weaning

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What does it mean “crop milk”?

It has nothing to do with milk, of course. However, we didn’t find any better words and this set phrase describes well that our product tries to substitute parent crop content which is passed to chicks when feeding.

In our research we found out that at very early stage of chick development parents feed their babies with something what doesn’t look like they ate before. When the adult bird eats food it gets very deep to its digestive system and then goes up and down. During this process some nutrients are separated, there is also intensive enzymatic activity and everything is under very low pH. The result is very concentrated substance, easy to digest. It has very different composition and consistency to food we offer to parents. Because of this significant transformation we decided to call our product “crop milk”.

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Frugivorous Psittacine CROP MILK

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So when I hand feed my lory chicks with this product they grow better then?

In our experiments, the weight of three days old chicks became double and at the age of six days it was triple. The growth of chicks within the first week of development is really fast on this diet.

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There are two products whose name contains “crop milk” – Psittacine crop milk and Psittacine frugivorous crop milk. Which one is better for lories?

The latter product contains more carbohydrates and therefore is more suitable for lories. The first one lacks carbohydrates.

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Do you believe that this diet might be used also for such delicate parrots like fig parrots which are well known for difficult hand rearing?

We are sure about that.

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You have mentioned a breeding center which you established for research of lories. What species do you keep there?

At this moment we have four species there. Red-flanked Lorikeets (Charmosyna placentis), Musk lorikeet (Glossopsitta concinna), Rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglosus moluccanus) and Cardinal Lory (Chalcopsitta cardinalis).

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Lory Nectar

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What can you tell us about the diet for adult lories?

We believe that with our diet the plumage of lories is in better condition. Our aim was to develop lory food which leads to thicker feces of birds. Liquid droppings are the reason why many people stop their breeding. This is huge limiting factor which we wanted to prevent.

Besides that we have also observed behavior, nail overgrowing, color of the beak etc. during the research period.

The diet should also enable parents to feed their chicks properly. As mentioned above, babies should increase their weight twice within the first three days of development and three times after the sixth day.

As we have only a few pairs in our research center all our results are retested in larger collections. We provide the diet to private breeders who can confirm its efficiency.

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Lory Gel

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You call one of the products “gel”? Why?

As I mentioned above our aim was to develop diet which will prevent liquid feces in lories. This product has gel consistency and therefore birds produce thick feces then. We also believe that it’s even better to feed lories with dry nectar and put a bowl with water into the cage so they can consume as much water as they need. Thus we don’t force them to drink so much of liquids. The gel product should provide appropriate amount of proteins to birds. The nectar is right opposite which should substitute the natural nectar.
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READ THE SECOND PART OF THIS INTERVIEW ON THE NEXT FRIDAY!!!

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Author: Loriidae (Ramses Baez)

Title photo: Blue-streaked Lory (c) Lubomir Tomiska

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