Loriinae Exotics - Environmental Enrichment

Enclosures & Cages

Choosing the proper type of enclosure to house your lories is an extremely important aspect of lory ownership. Lories are incredibly active birds and thus require a larger cage than most other parrots of similar size. Lories will use the entire cage; they will hop, fly and climb on the bottom, top and all the sides. For this reason, a long and wide cage will be utilized more efficiently than a tall one.

Enclosures for Pet Lories

For the pet lory owner, keeping a lory indoors and containing the associated mess can be a challenge. However, with a few modifications from traditional parrot keeping, it can be done.

The size of the cage chosen is very important. It needs to be large enough to allow the bird plenty of space for climbing and playing, but it also needs to be of a size that allows the owner to easily clean and disinfect the cage on a regular basis. The most common type of enclosure used to house a pet lory is a large parrot cage with acrylic or plastic panels attached to the back and sides. This style of cage gives the bird plenty of space and most of the large parrot cages have wheels so they can be wheeled outside and hosed down.

Another popular option for caging lories indoors is using acrylic cages. Acrylic cages come in a variety of styles, sizes and prices that can fit most situations.

Some lory owners have used their imaginations and have found some very user friendly caging solutions, such as rabbit and ferret cages. These cages usually have large, deep plastic bases that catch the majority of the mess and are usually longer and wider than tall so the droppings tend to stay in the cage and not around it. They are lightweight, making them easy to clean and are fairly affordable.

Enclosures for Breeding Lories

There are basically two types of enclosures used to house a breeding pair of lories: a traditional aviary and a suspended flight. The traditional aviary is designed to allow the keeper to walk inside the enclosure and provides plenty of flight space for it inhabitants. While, the traditional aviaries do have some advantages they are expensive and immobile.  The suspended aviary is an all wire box made from welded wire. These cages can be made in almost any design and are relatively inexpensive and quite portable. This is the option of caging that we have chosen to use for our birds.

We use four different sized cages for our birds. The larger species of lories (i.e. Chalcopsitta and Lorius species) are housed in cages that are 36" wide x 36" tall x 96" deep. The "Rainbow" Lorikeets and similar sized species are housed in cages that are 24" wide x 36" tall x 72" deep. The smaller species, such as Goldie's Lorikeets, are housed in cages measuring 24" wide x 24" tall x 48" deep or 24" cube cages. The birds that are breeding in the 24" cube cages are routinely flocked in much larger flight cages when they are not breeding. This allows them to receive plenty of exercise during their "off season". All the cages are suspended from the ceiling, leaving the bottom of the cages 4 feet off the ground. Each cage has an all-wire basket-style feeding station attached to the bottom of the front of the cage, which contains three stainless steel dishes. We prefer to place the dishes at the bottom of the cages so that any discarded food will likely drop through the bottom of the cage instead of staying inside. Also, placing the feeding station on the outside of the cage allows for easy access when cleaning.

All of our lories are housed outdoors inside a 960 square foot "open-air" style aviary. Two of the walls and the roof is made from corrugated metal. The other two sides are open and covered in galvanized weld wire. This style of aviary allows the birds to experience the sun and wind, but protects them from wild bird droppings and predators. During warm weather, this is all the shelter that is needed. During winter months, the two wire sides are covered with 6 mil polyethylene plastic sheeting, which provides shelter from wind. The polyethylene sheets also act as a greenhouse, keeping the heat inside. Winters in Houston are rarely cold enough to require additional protection, but heat lamps can be easily attached above each cage or an electric or propane heater can be added when needed.