Basic data on food intake, nutrient digestibility and energy requirements of lorikeets

Source: Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, volume 91, issue 5-6, 2007
Although knowledge of the nutrient requirements of pet birds has increased a lot over the last few years, basic data on food and water intake and the energy requirements of nectarivorous species, such as lorikeets, are scarce.
Thus, the aim of this study was to try to generate some of these data for lorikeets kept at maintenance. Determination of the daily maintenance energy requirement enables calculation of the daily ration and thus, the appropriate nutrient concentrations in order to maintain body weight. Investigations were carried out with six Goldie's lorikeets (GL; Trichoglossus goldiei: 40–50 g BW; 1–4 years) and six rainbow lorikeets (RL; Trichoglossus haematodus haematodus: 120–140 g BW; 1–12 years). Three of the most commonly used diets/foods (commercial 'lory soup'/apples/pollen: crude ash – 52.9/17.8/18.8; crude protein – 178/32.5/191; crude fat – 52.8/0.89/73.1; crude fibre – 17.9/40.5/30.4; starch – 139/not detectable/127; sugar – 522/859/418 g/kg DM; ME – 13.9/14.6/10.9 MJ/kg DM) were individually offered ad libitum. The measured dry matter (DM) intake (g/100 g BW) corresponded well to the values reported for granivorous bird species of similar body mass. Both lorikeet species achieved an apparent digestibility of organic matter of more than 90% for apples, approximately 82% for 'lory soup' and approximately 55% for pollen. The water content of the food affected the DM content of the excreta; 8% when fed 'lory soup', 2% for apples and approximately 30% when fed pollen. Regression analysis of body weight change relative to energy intake demonstrated constant body mass (assuming no change in body composition) when the daily energy intakes were 860 (GL) or 650 (RL) kJ ME/kg BW0.75.

Title: Basic data on food intake, nutrient digestibility and energy requirements of lorikeets

Authors: P. Wolf, A.-C. Häbich, M. Bürkle and J. Kamphues