Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: Dalai

Heatwave

We are having a mini-heatwave in the UK. ¬†I know it is a heatwave because I have dug the fan out of the cupboard. ūüôā

Four hot birdies

 

All 5 of us

A rare photo of all 5 together…..

All 5 together

 

From left to right: Bezukhov, Lennie, Perry, Dalai & Tweety Pie.

 

 

…Hello New Villa!

After much thought, I decided to replace the Manor with another Villa (Liberta Oregon flight cage).

Though I wanted something with the same space as the Manor, I also wanted something that was not so tall & heavy. ¬†‘Heavy’ in a cage is a good thing as it indicates strength & durability, but over time I was finding it awkward & on the occasions when I dropped the bottom grid on my foot, painful!

The existing Silver Villa ticks quite a few boxes (not all РI doubt there is a cage in existence that has no bad points!)  Apart from needing to be a reasonable size, the other main thing it had to have was an adequately big central door, to enable easier catching of an occupant.  So, another Villa was chosen.  There are added bonuses: in the short term it would have a low scariness level in regards to introduction; in the long term having two homes that were essentially the same may help with any territorial issues.

The change warranted a clear plan of action.

  • Step 1: Assemble the New Villa.
  • Step 2: Remove Manor from the room. ¬†Move Perry & Lennie, still living in their quarantine cage, from the left side of the Silver Villa to the right side, essentially where the Manor was, although alongside rather than facing the Villa. ¬†The playgym reinstated in its proper place, left of Silver Villa.
  • Step 3: Dress the New Villa, using some Manor furniture/accessories to aid with acceptance.
  • Step 4: Move Perry & Lennie, in their quarantine cage to the other side of the room. ¬†Bring in the New Villa & position in area they vacated, next to the Silver Villa.
  • Step 5: Let them all out & hope that Perry & Lennie will move into the New Villa.

 

The 11th March was the day scheduled for Step 2. ¬† After capturing what turned out to be Bezukhov’s last meal in the Manor, it was removed from the room & the layout changed. ¬†All went to plan.

 

Bezukhov is no fan of changes but he did welcome back his old friend the playgym.  Surprisingly, the playgym was new to Dalai but it did not take him long to join Bezukhov there.  By the following day, Perry & Lennie also visited the playgym.

Here is the animated version of Bezukhov’s reunion with the playgym & Dalai’s initial encounter:

 

After over a week of dressing the New Villa, the 20th March ushered in Step 4 of the plan. ¬†Trying to make the changes as¬†discreetly as I could, I carefully moved the New Villa right next to the Silver Villa, all the while gauging Bezukhov’s reaction, hoping he would not be scared. ¬†Fortunately, he did not seem too put out with the new construction next door. ¬†I moved the lamp from Perry & Lennie’s quarantine cage to the New Villa.

The New Villa

You will see that the New Villa is a darker colour than the Silver Villa. ¬†It was described as ‘grey’¬†so I expected it to be the same as the Silver Villa. ¬†It is actually closer in colour to the black bars of the quarantine cage. ¬†Putting aside my general irritation that it is not the same colour (!) I¬†worried that it may hamper acceptance.

 

For Step 5, when they were all let out, they naturally pretended the New Villa did not exist.  To encourage Perry & Lennie to spend the night in the New Villa, I bribed them with red millet.  It worked.  Here they are tucking in:

 

I hope they will all be happy with the New Villa.

 

 

A long-drawn-out moult

It was not that long ago (December/January) when Dalai had a problem with uneven wings, due to moulting out some flight feathers.  Less than two months later he is going through another moult which has been going on for several weeks.  He only needs to have a shake & feathers fall off him.  Now he has pin feathers on his head.  He has been quite grumpy.

 

Blue newbies – the first 3 weeks

So, how have Perry & Lennie integrated with the existing flock of Bezukhov & Dalai?

The first few weeks of them being out was fraught with tension!

The two camps

They were very much in two separate camps, two tribes. ¬†The key problem was, I think, that they just did not seem to¬†‘talk’ to each other. ¬†Every so often, Bezukhov would attempt to communicate with Perry & Lennie through the bars¬†but they¬†would just jump up to the bars & stare at him. ¬†Being sensitive this would unnerve¬†him so he would retreat to gather his confidence again.¬†When out, if¬†they approached Bezukhov they would just look at him (again, no chat) & he would not¬†know how to deal with that, so off he would fly. ¬†However, they would¬†fly after him, which made him¬†feel like he was being chased, which upset him!

Dalai wanted nothing to do with them. ¬†He could be quite ‘jabby’ with his beak & it is fortunate the new boys are¬†quick to get out of his way, otherwise there may have been injuries!

Lennie watching Dalai & Bezukhov

To try & lessen the tension I would try different combinations of who was out, but because of Dalai being quite snarly, he was usually locked in, often with a cover over the cage to protect any dangling toes!

Dalai confirmed that¬†he is¬†very capable of looking after himself. ¬†I had seen him peck at Perry/Lennie in the face if they came too close & jump at them & knock them off the perch. ¬† One time, on the landing platform, he pulled on Perry’s tail so that Perry was gradually sliding back towards Dalai, no doubt to get a thump, but fortunately I distracted Dalai before any actual harm was done.

In contrast, Bezukhov avoids confrontation.  He is certainly capable of standing up for himself (see this post) but it really is a last resort.

So, both tribes were/are very different.  To be fair to Dalai, he may have been a little under the weather due to moulting.  Both he & Bezukhov may have been intimidated by how fast & quick the blue newbies are.  On the other side, Perry & Lennie are two young boys, very enthusiastic & wanting to chew, touch & investigate everything!  They have not helped matters by flying directly at someone, including me Рthere have been several occasion when I got a face full of feathers & claws!  They seemed to have difficulty landing on a perch beside Bezukhov or Dalai & not on top of them.  These actions were not endearing them to their elders!

Newbies watching Dalai & Bezukhov in the Villa

Even after about 3 weeks of trying to get them together, there still did not appear to be any common ground.

If Bezukhov was in the Villa & Dalai in the manor when the newbies came out, Dalai would try to get to the villa to be with Bezukhov.  This would look like a game of Bulldogs, where Dalai would attempt to get past Perry & Lennie without them touching him.  The newbies would usually be on the landing platform facing Dalai in the manor. He would make a run for it & I would be ready to close the door behind him when he got inside the villa.  It could take up to 4 or 5 attempts before he was successful.

Dalai even went though a phase of¬†having a tantrum each morning, that I am convinced was directed at the newbies. ¬†I am sure he was saying, “Jeez, are you two STILL here?“.

 

 

Above was a video of Dalai having a morning tantrum.  Below is a video of Perry & Lennie spending time in the Villa whilst Bezukhov & Dalai were locked in the Manor:

 

 

Happy 1st Adoption-day, Dalai!!!

Has it really only been one year since Dalai joined us?

Dalai came into our home on the 14th March 2016.  He was, we believe, around 5 months old at the time, putting his birthday (or hatchday) at sometime in October.  As we do not know the exact date that he came into this world, we celebrate the date he came into our lives.

I feel like Dalai has been here for much longer than one year.  I guess it is partly because there have been so many changes.  Dalai is independent & strong-minded & has coped with all that has happened, from initially being a newbie himself, losing his friend Phineas, dealing with Bezukhov when he was sick, & now having two new blue boys on the block.

Dalai

Dalai

Happy adoption-day, darling Dalai.

We love you lots!

‚ô•‚ô•‚ô•

 

 

Evil stink eye

If this isn’t an evil stink eye, I don’t know what is…..

Dalai giving Perry the evil stink eye

Dalai giving Perry the evil stink eye

 

 

Blue newbies – new surroundings & new friends?

When Perry & Lennie arrived, they spent a few weeks in quarantine (click here to read that post).  On the 9th December 2016, they were wheeled into the lounge, to the opposite side of the room from their new friends (hopefully), Bezukhov & Dalai.

After some initial surprised chirping, Bezukhov & Dalai quickly reverted to ‘indifference’.

Perry was so shocked, he started panting & was rooted to the spot.  Lennie took the changes in his stride.  As you can see from the video below, Lennie attempted to calm Perry by chewing his toes:

 

After a short time, Perry began to loosen up & they both started to settle into their new surroundings:

 

From the photos below, you can see Perry & Lennie’s new position & also how Bezukhov & Dalai carried on as normal!

 

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Uneven wings

Last month, Dalai moulted out quite a few wing feathers.  The only problem was that they were from his left wing only.  His flying was compromised; he was landing in unplanned places.  However, he soon worked out where the problem lay & adjusted his flight.  He seemed to fly with more of a wobble, but had more control over where he was going.

Here he is on the 20th December:

Dalai

Dalai

 

Fortunately, just a few weeks later, his wing feathers have grown back & normal flying has been resumed.

Dalai

Dalai

 

 

2016 Review ‚Äď A year of changes

Compared to other years, 2016 saw many changes in the flock.

The year began with just Bezukhov & Phineas, having lost Cagney a few months before. ¬†Bezukhov & Phineas were unlikely friends, given their history; Phineas originally disliked Bezukhov because he was jealous he was Cagney’s buddy. ¬†Probably due to Bezukhov’s patience & tolerance, he & Phineas gradually developed a good friendship.

In March,¬†they were joined by Dalai. ¬†We now had three very different personalities in the flock: Bezukhov the easy-going one, Phineas the ‘full-on’ one & Dalai the independent one. ¬†They all found their own place in the flock & things were ticking over nicely. ¬†Then we lost Phineas.

Bezukhov & Dalai struck up a friendship that I think had its grounds in both thinking Phineas was a little bit annoying.  With Phineas gone, they both gradually settled into a comfortable routine which I then upset by introducing two new & young blue birds to the flock.  At the time of writing, flock dynamics are still being sorted out.

So, we start 2017 in a very different place to when we started 2016.   We look forward to all the new (hopefully happy) happenings & challenges ahead of us, but will still occasionally stop & remember the memorable moments & marvellous characters that have brought us to this point.

Happy New Year.