The pretty birds originate from New Guinea, are 19cm long and have a mass of 55-65g.
Although most descriptions of birds give details of what is different about males and females of parrot, parakeet and lorikeet species, we wish to inform beginners that it is best to have all hookbilled birds, and that includes Lories and Lorikeets, clinically sexed. So even if the book tells you that a male Goldie’s has a larger head and bill and that he is heavier in build and has more red on top of his head, this is not an absolute measure. Have your birds DNA or surgically sexed and no time will be wasted. Only once you have mature birds in your aviary and you get to know them really well will you possibly be able to see the slight difference between sexes. Fortunately the birds themselves have no problem in knowing who is what!
According to what I have read, I would not suggest that you put a group of males and females in a cage to let them choose their own mates. Colony breeding, although there have been some reports of success with these birds, all too often results in dead birds, so it is also not suggested as a rule for Goldie’s. Put one male and one female of similar age in a cage. Ours are in suspended cages of 1,8m long x 90cm x 90cm. We give them a little lovebird type nest box which they accept quite readily. The base of the box is 17,5cm x 20cm (outside measurements) and it is made from 1,5cm thick pine wood. We put 3cm – 5cm of clean untreated wood shavings in as nesting material.
Nest boxes that have been used successfully are horizontal nest boxes, vertical nest boxes, some only 23cm, others 40cm high, the former with a base of 11cm x 11cm and the latter 15cm x 20cm, and small natural nest logs. If you want to, you could offer your Goldie’s one or two different types of nest boxes and let them chose which one they prefer.
Goldie’s are very popular for their quiet nature, their beauty and for the fact that they breed freely. I see them advertised locally for an affordable price which is good for these little birds that are so little trouble.
They do not have any special requirements, and can therefore be classed as suitable for beginners and those who live in town because they are not noisy and do not require large aviaries. Make them happy by giving them fruit tree branches with young leaves on them, and some flowers like hibiscus, honeysuckle and nasturtium. It is sad to see pretty exotic birds in bare aviaries. The branches will not only enhance their environment, but give them something to do. Do not fill the cage too much, because these birds like to crawl around with their heads held low, almost horizontal to their bodies, and they flit about from perch to perch.
FEEDING LORYS AND LORIKEETS WITH AVI-PLUS
It is recommended that breeding pairs be given Avi-Plus Parrot/Parakeet soaked wet with Avi-Plus Special Lorikeet Nectar (about one tablespoon per pair per day) in one dish, and the Avi-Plus Special Lorikeet Nectar only in a second dish (about 200ml per pair per day). The Parrot/Parakeet may also contain some finely chopped fresh fruit and vegetables.
The reason for providing the Avi-Plus Parrot/Parakeet is that it is an easy way of giving extra protein to baby Lorikeets (who are being fed by their parents) in the first 2 weeks of their life. The manufacturer had to design a diet that was the most user friendly for bird keepers who have a variety of small and large species of Lorys and Lorikeets. While Avi-Plus Special Lorikeet Nectar is a complete diet for certain species like the Charmosyna, it needs to be supplemented during the breeding season for the bigger species. If the Avi-Plus
Parrot/Parakeet is not given, the babies of most species of Lorys will grow at a slower rate. At present we are trying our Avi-Plus Egg Food for extra protein in the place of Avi-Plus Parrot/Parakeet. We feed it dry in a separate dish and allow the birds to eat it as they need. All our Lorys and Lorikeets get two dishes of food so they can adjust their diets according to their requirements.
The easiest thing to do is to provide the Avi-Plus Parrot/Parakeet in a separate bowl and allow the birds to eat from it as they choose. On the experimental farm the Lorys and Lorikeets can breed at any time of the year, so they get two dishes of food every day. They eat from them according to their needs. If the seasons are more marked in your area, you could leave off the Avi-Plus Parrot/Parakeet in the non-breeding season. Although not all our Lorys & Lorikeets need to have any more food other then the nectar, we give them the second dish anyway, and we do find they eat from it in the breeding season. Because we have to rely on staff to do the feeding, we make things as simple as possible!
We always have two sets of dishes for Lorys and Lorikeets. Because it is possible that the food may get sour in very hot weather, we throw away uneaten food at lunchtime, use clean dishes (that have been soaked in a Jik and water solution) and dish up fresh food. The first set of dishes is then washed and left to soak in the Jik solution till the next morning.
When handrearing baby Goldie’s, it is recommended that you use 50% Avi-Plus Handrearing Parrot and 50% Avi-Plus Special Lorikeet Nectar, for the reason given above. Should you have to handrear from the egg, use Avi-Plus Premium for the first week to 10 days.
Clutches consist of 2 eggs, and the birds can start laying at an age of 18 month0s to 2 years. Incubation lasts 22-24 days. Newly hatched chicks weigh some 4g. Ring at 14 days of age with a 4.5 –5mm closed ring.
Expect nest material to get quite wet because of the liquid diet of these birds. We suggest you make regular nest inspections so your birds get used to it, and then, whenever necessary, take handfuls of the soiled shavings out and replace with clean, dry shavings.
After you have taken out your babies to ring them, make sure the parents feed them again. On occasion, breeders have experienced that parents have stopped feeding their chicks after they have been removed for ringing or for a change of nesting material. The same may happen with eggs. if you find the hen does not go back into the nest to sit on her eggs, try putting infertile eggs or dummy eggs under the hen. If they are warm some time later, you can replace her own eggs under her again.
References: Low, Rosemary, Hancock House Encyclopedia of the Lories, Hancock House, USA, 1998
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