Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Wild grass x 5 + millet x 1

Follower rosebudgie & her sharing sausages have been busy parcelling up goodies.

The postman has been busy delivering goodies.

Bezukhov, Phineas & Dalai have been busy eating the goodies that have been sent:


Thank you, rosebudgie & the Sharing Sausages!!!


An air bath

Dalai tried to have a bath in his water pot.  He only really succeeded in bathing in air.  Nevertheless, I was impressed with his attempt.



Phineas introduces himself to Dalai

Two weeks after Bezukhov introduced himself to Dalai, Phineas also introduced himself.

Though Bezukhov would visit Dalai, the novelty seemed to wear off after a few days.  Nevertheless, Dalai seemed much happier to be around his own kind & would busy himself in his cage & if Bezukhov visited he would go over & have a chat with him.

The only time Dalai appeared troubled was after 8pm in the evening when he would have a brief restless phase.  I sensed that at bedtime he wanted to be either with the others or closer to them.

Around two weeks later, when I thought it was time to encourage Dalai to come out of the cage, I decided to move his cage where the play gym was, beside the Silver Villa.  This way, when he finally came out, he would not have as far to go to be near the others.

His close proximity finally piqued Phinny’s interest & he introduced himself!

Surprisingly, though Dalai presented his toes through the bars, Phineas was not tempted to bite them.  This was surely a good sign!

Then Bezukhov joined him:


Non-specific seed

When Dalai came to us, he brought his own seed in case he did not like ours.

His seed looks different to ours; the over all colouring looks more yellow, though we can see lots of similar seeds.  Over time, I have gradually added more of our seed to his non-specific seed mix, so that by the time we have run out of non-specific seed, he will be happy to eat our seed.

Although it is normal for seed mixes to have some shell in them, I was surprised to see these tiny, perfectly proportioned shells in the non-specific seed mix:



Bezukhov introduces himself to Dalai

The next task was for Dalai to get to know Bezukhov & Phineas through the cage bars.

To help this process along, I positioned a perch on the outside of Dalai’s cage, for visitors.  I also tweaked the perch arrangement inside his cage to make it easier for him to come up to the bars & meet his new (hopefully) friends.  Unfortunately, Dalai was unnerved by the changes in his furniture & confined himself to the far corner.  Fortunately, that corner had millet & water.

For two days I watched for Bezukhov & Phineas to make their move, but very little was happening.  The nearest Bezukhov got was to the window perch.  Perhaps Bezukhov needed a little coaxing; he can be shy, plus he is used to being Cagney‘s wingman in such situations.  On one of his visits to the window perch, I encouraged him to get on my finger & I slowly moved him closer to Dalai’s cage.  Bezukhov found some courage & jumped on the perch to check out Dalai!  You can see this early encounter in the video below.  You can also see that he seemed to take comfort that my finger was close by as a safe place to retreat to when he felt unsure.  Dalai’s jump towards him was clearly too much too soon & Bezukhov flew off!

It was the beginning of several visits.



The Four Corners

After Dalai’s 25 days in quarantine, I brought him into the lounge to be with Bezukhov & Phineas (8th April).  I decided to position his cage at the opposite side of the room to them, mostly because there was more room for me to carry on with the taming process.

All parties were shell-shocked.

The silence was eventually broken by some tentative tweeting.  Bezukhov & Phineas seemed almost united in their joint confusion.  Gradually they went about their usual business, which in Phinny’s case included a quick hand jive.

Dalai also began to mooch about his cage & behave as normal.  Here here is, settling into his new location:


Here are a surprised Bezukhov & Phineas:


With Dalai in one corner of the room, Bezukhov in the other corner on the playgym, Phineas in the third corner in the Manor & myself in the final corner working, I noticed we managed to independently cover the whole room.  Three lively but unreciprocated conversations were going on (possibly four if you include me talking to myself!)


A Taming Tool

Three years ago I posted on the joys of curly paper (click here).   The latest recruit is Dalai.  He loves curly paper!


He quickly makes short work of what I peg up for him.  The floor underneath him is littered with chewed up bits.  I thought that curly paper may be the thing that helps with taming.  (I say ‘taming’ but I really mean getting Dalai to not be scared of my hand.)

As soon as my hand goes into the cage, Dalai usually retreats to behind a mirror, whether it is his red mirror or the mirror on the swing.  Food did not seem to entice him out.  Curly paper has.  I hold up a strip & let it wave & wobble & gradually his curiosity gets the better of him & he stretches out to chew it.  As he tears off the paper, he has to get nearer my fingers.  After a few days of doing this, he got to within about 3 inches of my fingers which was a breakthrough, given that he would usually hide.  With a little more patience, he tentatively touched the tip of my finger with his beak!

We are now at the stage where he nibbles the tips of my two fingers that are holding what is left of the curly paper.  He still does this from the safety of the swing.

I want him to associate nice things with my hand/fingers.  I did not think that curly paper would be my ally in this task!


Battle for the bath

Bezukhov & Phineas both wanted a bath…. at the same time:


Bezukhov tried his best, but Phinny won that particular battle.


Remembering Thomas on his adoption day

Thomas came into our home on this day, 3 years ago.  He made a big impression even though his stay was short.  We remember him with fondness.




Always in our thoughts.



Twenty-five days in isolation

Dalai on day 2

Dalai on day 2

Dalai resting

Dalai resting

Dalai likes the honey stick

Dalai likes the honey stick

Dalai discovers his swing

Dalai discovers his swing

As soon as he arrived, on the 14th March, little Dalai was promptly put into quarantine, i.e. my bedroom!

He looked young & healthy, but quarantine is important.  The theory behind doing quarantine is that the stress of the move & change of environment may trigger an underlying illness, that may endanger the rest of the flock.  The standard time for quarantine in this situation is 4 weeks.  We managed 3.6 weeks.

Quarantine is usually a good time to spend taming your bird or building a bond, without distractions.

Though Dalai was clearly uneasy about the changes, it did not take too long for him to tolerate my hands moving around the cage, changing seed/water & cleaning things.  He always took himself to the opposite side to where I was working.  It took him longer to get used to me sliding the bottom tray out to change the paper & he seemed surprised that this strange event happened every day!

I spent time with my hand in the cage & gradually moved it towards him but he indicated he was not comfortable with that.  Even if I held something tasty like millet.

During quarantine, Dalai developed his own eating routine which I found difficult to cope with at first – he tended not to eat until around 5 pm, at which point he could spend over 20 minutes eating seed without pausing once.

His previous owner had given me some seed that he had been feeding him.  I started mixing my own with this to transition him over.  He liked millet, especially a new spray & not a half-eaten one.  Because of the long hours of not eating, I bought him honey sticks that I remembered he had in his previous home, in the hope of enticing him to eat during the day.  He liked those too.

The last time I had bought a honey stick was probably when my girls, Atilla & Raspy, were still around.  I noticed some odd coloured poops from Dalai & after some panic, decided these were caused by the quite garishly coloured honey sticks (the egg one is bright yellow!)

Those days in isolation, with just me for company, must have been difficult & strange for Dalai.  He coped well though & found interest in the cage; his red mirror, the chewy toy, & after 3 weeks, the swing.  He also took an interest in activity he could see outside the window.  He was fairly quiet but did have the odd loud tantrum so I knew there was nothing wrong with his voice.

He also showed signs of being a clever boy as he was drinking water from the hamster-style water bottle as well as the open dish.

Here is a video of my little man during quarantine – eating, tweeting & noticing activity outside the window:




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