Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: chewing

Tales from Quarantine – Dried Grass (5 of 8)

During quarantine, I introduced Moriarty to dried grass.  It was one of the few things that kept him quiet for a few minutes!

 

Me? Quiet?

 

 

 

Lennie’s feather problem

During the vet visit on the 16th June for Perry’s ‘turns’ (click here to read), I also asked the vet to check Lennie’s wing feathers.

The last time the vet checked his wing feathers was a year ago when he was already having problems flying.  At the time, it was thought a severe moult had caused the problems.  Since then, Lennie has grown wing feathers back again but also lost some, never getting to a point that he could fly properly.  The feathers he dropped also looked of poor quality.  In addition, we had the ‘crime scene‘ with a suspected broken blood feather.  It seemed appropriate to ask the vet to take another look.

Prior to her physical examination of him, I showed her many of the feathers he had lost.  She identified stress bars & also evidence of chewing.  Stress bars were not too surprising as Lennie is a bit of a worrywart.  The chewing was more concerning & raised lots of questions, primarily, was he chewing because there was something wrong with the feather or was he chewing on a healthy feather & if so, why?

On examining Lennie, apart from his strange feathers & whopping weight (a staggering 73g!) he appeared healthy.  She took some sample feathers for him to be tested for Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) which fortunately came back negative.

When the vet returned the following day to check on Perry, as a precaution, she gave them both treatment for (feather) mites, which I followed up on the 13th July.

 

Without further tests, it is difficult to establish the root cause of Lennie’s feather problem.  It is possible he has a psychological issue given he suffers from stress & anxiety.  Even if his feather problem is resolved, his weight gain will not help with his flying ability.  So, this continues to be a problem to monitor…

 


Sample of feathers:

 

Remembering Atilla on her birthday

Happy birthday my beautiful girl.

Here is a video of Atilla chewing my jumper, from about 8 years ago.  Her boyfriend, Cagney, makes an appearance.

 

Always in our thoughts.

xxx

20120723_173036a

Tail pulling

Both Bezukhov & Dalai have bent & chewed tails.

My first thought was that Phineas was the culprit, mainly because his is the only tail that is still straight.  Also, if a tail is waved in front of Phinny then he will tug it, to the point that whoever’s tail it is will almost unbalance & fall off the perch.  It seemed the likely scenario.

However, over time I have witnessed another culprit…. Dalai!  One time, when Bezukhov was minding his own business, I saw Dalai on the ttmss swing below him, purposefully swinging across & grabbing his tail.  The striking thing was that this was done in the name of play.  Bizarrely, Bezukhov appeared to just go along with it & did not seem to mind Dalai grabbing his tail & almost hanging off him.

On another occasion, Phineas was on the landing platform & was tucking into a slice of apple that I was holding.  Dalai noticed this but was torn between wanting to eat the apple too (flock mentality) & not wanting to eat it because I was holding it (not tame) so in the end, pulled Phinny’s tail as if to physically drag Phinny away so no one could eat the apple!  This took Phinny by surprise but he was too big to budge so Dalai gave up.

 

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!

 

Blue seed?

Phineas still regurgitates to my finger, or thumb, a lot.  Many times a day, every day.

Recently he made some changes & regurgitated blue seed:

Blue regurgitated seed

Blue regurgitated seed

~

“What’s going on here?”, I wondered!

A little investigation revealed he had been chewing on the blue munch ball of the chewy toy arrangement on top of the Manor.

Phineas chewing the blue munch ball

Phineas chewing the blue munch ball

~

With inedible things, I often tell them to chew & spit but clearly Phinny had not been listening to me & had been ingesting instead of spitting it out.  He moved onto the red munch ball after that so you can imagine how colourful his regurgitated seed looked then. 🙂

~

 

 

Chewy toy x 2.5

New chewy toys

New chewy toys

Not so long ago, I wrote about Cagney & Bezukhov’s favourite chewy toy that has become threadbare.  I have been adjusting the remaining stringy bits to provide maximum illusion of bulk but it was starting to look rather ridiculous when one or other of them attempted to “hide” behind it.  I decided it was time to upgrade!  Unfortunately, I could not remember where I bought the original one so I had a major internet search ahead of me.

The new one had to be the same as the existing one, albeit in its original form.  There are many chewy toys around, made out of similar materials but I inspected the photo of each contender closely as I knew the slightest deviation from the original could  mean yet another toy to go in the Rejected Toys box.

Fortunately, I found them!  I was so pleased, I bought two!  One for current chew & one for future chew.

The new chewy toy has been placed where the threadbare one usually is & the threadbare one has been moved along the perch a bit.  I thought that if they were quite close together, Cagney & Bezukhov could each sleep behind one, even if one would be more hidden than the other.

I should perhaps add that the preferred bedtime sleeping spot is ‘behind the chewy toy’ & there is still a rota of sorts on whose turn it is.  (Cagney probably sleeps behind it an average of 7 out of 10 times).  Having two chewy toys may reduce the nightly bedtime faffing routine.

 

Bezukhov & Cagney sleeping behind chewy toys

Bezukhov & Cagney sleeping behind chewy toys

Phineas modelling chewy toys

Phineas modelling chewy toys

You can see in the last photo that a section of the new chewy toy has already been chewed off, exposing the knot & the first in-between piece of red string.

Threadbare chewy toy

Cagney & Bezukhov’s favourite chewy toy is now a bit threadbare.  It has faithfully been a place to sleep & snooze behind for some time.  The toyboys take turns to sleep behind it of a night, although the rota, to my eye, is somewhat random.

Sadly, the chewy toy is now not so good for hiding behind.  Not that this stops them.  I think they think it has magical qualities & the position behind it is a safe one, regardless of the state of the toy itself.

Compare the above photos to this photo on a previous post from around 6 months ago.

Best spot in the manor

Cagney preening behind the chewy toy.

Cagney preening behind the chewy toy.

There are usually positions in the cage that are favourites. 

Atilla always claimed the spot with the best vantage point for overseeing all that was going on in the room.

The toyboys current favourite spot is behind a chewy toy on the rope perch in the loft area.

During the day one or other of them will often be found sat behind it.  During the night, one or other is usually behind it.  Cagney is behind it about 9 times out of 10, but sometimes he shifts over & allows Bezukhov to sleep there.

It is a chewy toy so does get chewed.  It fell down the other week as they had chewed through the stringy bit holding it up.  I gave it a quick repair & popped it back.  It is slightly shorter than before, but still warrants best position in the Manor.

Remembering my girls: Lollipop sticks

Who knew that simple wooden lollipop sticks would be so popular?  Both Atilla & Raspy were great fans of them.  For most of their lives they would be happy to chew away until just a tiny splinter remained.  Forget about expensive toys…. just give them a wooden stick!  It could keep them quiet for ages.

They were introduced to the sticks when young but used to play with them more than chew.  Hours would go by with them just hanging on them, doing the splits, grabbing one away from the other & of course having a nibble.

Here are some videos of them:

The chick-like nibble would soon turn into full blown adult hen destruction & the sticks would not last long.  No matter… I always made sure I had them in stock. 🙂