Lowering the Raised Bottom

Phase II of the raising of the cage floor was undertaken on the 20th July.  As previously posted (click here), I thought the raised floor could be improved by lowering it a section.

This time I mostly used mini bungee cords, with string to cover a few gaps.  This lattice work was covered with pieces of cardboard connected with foldback clips.  I reused the piece of cardboard providing a rim across the front.  As before, the padding, oil cloth & cage liners were then placed on top.  An extra rope perch was added to bridge the gap between the new bottom & the existing low perch.

 

The changes were accepted immediately.  This time, Lennie was the first to test out the new floor’s bounce-ability!  It works a lot better this way so I think I will stop fiddling with it now!

 

 

Pear-shaped Perry

On the 2nd August, we had another vet visit.

Perry last had his beak trimmed on the 2nd March & it had been gradually growing since then, though at a slower rate than before.  I could have waited a little longer before getting it trimmed but Perry had a bad night on the 28th July due to his ‘turns’, so I booked the vet visit earlier than planned.

She trimmed his beak & toenails.  His weight is stable at 56g.  His original, hard lump has grown a little, though fortunately it is still growing outwards.  He has more fat on his belly & the vet described him as being ‘more pear shaped’.

Without doing any tests, we can only speculate as to the cause of Perry’s seizures, but the vet does not think they are caused by the lumps.  Working on the idea that his liver may not be processing toxins efficiently, we continue to give them Milk Thistle in water.  Because the last episode of Perry’s seizures was more intense than previously, the vet also prescribed an additional supplement, Nutramarin+, a powder to be sprinkled on seed.

I have mixed the Nutramarin+ with some seed that I offer by hand.  So far, Perry has rejected that seed, picking one or two up, then dropping them.  I will persevere for a bit longer before consigning it to the ‘Medicine Refusal Box’!

Pear-shaped Perry

 

A Bad Night

Perry

Perry has continued to have seizures.  😦

Since my last update on these at the end of last year (click here to read that post) he had another turn on the morning of the 28th January.  There was then over a four month gap before I witnessed any more, giving me some false hope.  They resumed in June, on the 10th, 22nd, 23rd, then the 28th July (all, interestingly, around 10pm-midnight).

The seizures are distressing to see & can encompass one or a few of the following: twitching, jerking, rolling around, trembling, quivering/vibrating wings, making a metallic sound, disorientation.  Mostly, he will either have just one, then recover, or at worst, one or two within 2 hours.  However the last time, on the 28th July, they were more intense & frequent.  He had one at midnight, then again at 1am.  I stayed up until about 3am, then retired to bed thinking he will be alright, but when I checked on him at 5am, he was sitting on the bottom perch, & had clearly had another turn in that gap.  He had another half an hour later, where he was turning in tight, clockwise circles on the floor, then the last at around 7am when he held onto the perch but was tipped precariously backwards, until he fell.  It took him all day to recover – he was very still & only ate a little.

I thought it best to get him checked by the vet (in the next post).

 

Raised Bottom (Part Two)

I previously detailed how I split Perry & Lennie’s flight cage to raise the floor (click here to read that post).

When it was time for the swap to take place.  Perry was in with Moriarty, so I caught Lennie & popped him in the ‘new’ cage.  After the initial upset over being caught, he seemed relieved to be back in familiar surroundings again, despite the floor being raised.

The quarantine cage was removed & the half & half cage placed back in its original position.  Moriarty was keen to visit Lennie (he had not been able to do this whilst he was in the quarantine cage) but did a double-take on clocking the raised floor & backed off.  He kept coming back though & finally braved going over the threshold to greet his friend.  When it came towards bedtime, Perry returned home as he usually would.  All seemed to be back to normal again after nearly a week of upset!

Lennie & Moriarty in the ‘raised bottom’ cage

 

Ironically, the first to fall & test the new floor was Moriarty!

Whilst doing the conversion I had some better ideas but because I needed to work quick to minimize Perry & Lennie’s stay in the quarantine cage I decided to leave them for phase II.  The next phase is to actually lower the floor down to the next section (I think this will be a better compromise) & to use bungee cords instead of string.

The lower half of the cage is not expected to be used so is currently kept bare.  This arrangement, so far, seems to suit us better.

Video of Lennie & Moriarty chilling in the new set up:

 

 

Raised Bottom (Part One)

I had been thinking about it for awhile but last week I finally raised Perry & Lennie’s “bottom”.

Their flight cage is a good size but it has a big drop if anyone falls.  The cage bottom has been padded to cushion any fall, & perches arranged to allow an easy ascent.

However, recently I noticed Perry fell off the perch as he reached around to clean his bottom (I seem to be talking about bottoms a lot in this post!)  His various lumps & bumps have made it difficult for him to balance at times.  He has also wobbled quite a bit when cleaning his bottom, but managed to right himself before falling.  Lennie has also fallen on occasion.  It made sense to me that it would be more comfortable for them if there was not so far to fall.

Perry & Lennie’s temporary home

It was quite a big operation.  They had to move into the quarantine/folding cage whilst I made the changes.  I set it up as near as possible to what they were used to & anticipated they would be in there for up to 2 weeks as I worked out how to raise the floor.

I did plan to swap out Moriarty’s cage with Perry & Lennie’s clean cage & convert Moriarty’s cage, but decided at the last minute to just clean Moriarty’s cage & furniture all at once as I thought there might be some objection as the cages are different colours (grey/silver & black) & we know how finicky they can be about such things!  This meant that Perry & Lennie were an extra day in the quarantine cage.

After I cleaned Moriarty’s cage (& added extra padding on the bottom) I had to work quicker than I planned on the conversion as Perry & Lennie were not coping well in the quarantine cage.  Perry had the advantage of spending most of the day in with Moriarty (after an age trying to get him out through the strange door!), so Lennie was the most unsettled.

Though I had run through the conversion idea in my head many times, I could not be sure how it would turn out until I actually tried it.  Firstly, I decided to split the cage at the halfway level.  The bars split into three sections at that level which suggested three sets of cardboard could be slotted through.  I did not have cardboard long enough so tied pieces together with string.  It had to be flexible to get in & out through the door.

The cardboard would lay on a crisscross of string.  This proved to be quite difficult as I had to research some different knots in order to keep some decent tension.  I ended up with making a loop mid-way in the piece of string in order to thread the string through it & tie tight enough.  I kept testing it by throwing a tailor’s ham on (weighs about 450g) to simulate a fall!  There was also a slight gap at the front & back so an extra piece of cardboard was added.  At the front, at the gap when the main door is open, I added a ridge for a little safety.  All exposed edges of cardboard were covered with parcel tape.

 

Finally, I added some padding (not as much as before given there is less of a fall), a piece of oilcloth, then the bottom liners.  All furniture was placed back in exactly the same place!  (To help with furniture/toy placement I made a note of location according to bars & also took photos.)  You will notice in the last photo below there is an extra perch in the lower section that was just the right shape to provide a little extra support.

 

So, how did they receive it?  That will be in the next post!