Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: Dalai

It’s complicated

So, where are we now with flock friendships & relationships?  It has been over 6 months since Perry & Lennie joined Bezukhov & Dalai.  I would like to say that things have settled down & they are all living nicely together…. but although all is well, the two camps (blue & green) still sleep separately, & time out together is still supervised.

The reasons for the lack of integration are many & varied, hence the simplified description of “It’s complicated“!

However, I will attempt to list the ‘fault lines’:

  • Ages

An obvious cause of friction is that Perry & Lennie are young & Bezukhov & Dalai are older.  Yes, Dalai is not much older than Perry & Lennie, but they still have that childlike, exuberant way about them that Dalai has grown out of.  Lennie is also like the Duracell Bunny – he can just keep going.  Perry likes to chill out & will take a nap occasionally during the day, but Lennie is currently happy to keep going.

  • Immaturity

Lennie is clearly more immature than Perry even though they are the same age.  Because of his babyish behaviour, he can come across a bit mad & crazy.  To Bezukhov’s distaste, Lennie’s behaviour can also be unpredictable.

  • Social Skills

Continuing on from the above two points, Lennie also appears to have social skills that are a bit wanting.  He will directly fly into another’s face.  Lennie also performs the ‘bottom wipe’, which is a new maneuvre (to me) whereby he flies so close over one of them that he all but wipes his bottom on their head!  He also will fly to land on the perch where another is sat, not alongside, but the very same spot.  He does not understand about personal space!  Another of his ‘lovable’ quirks is that he will grab a piece of food out of the other one’s beak!

  • Friendliness

So as not to make it sound like Lennie is the problem (!), Perry also does not help things because he is happy to be friends & flirt with all, which in itself is a lovely thing, but it can, & does, cause jealousies!

  • Unfriendliness

Dalai is also not exempt from being part of the problem.  He is still ‘jabby’ with his beak & does not suffer fools gladly.

 

Good-hearted Bezukhov is the best behaved.  He does not court trouble.  He does not welcome chaos or anarchy.  He appreciates others’ boundaries.  And yet, out of the four, Bezukhov comes off worse (hence my supervising whilst they are all out together).  I am not sure why that is the case, but can only repeat….. it’s complicated!

 

A troublesome feather

For about 3 days last month, Dalai had a very troublesome feather.

It is likely that the wing feather suffered a break in the shaft, near the base.  How the break happened, I do not know.  All I know is that Dalai spent the best part of 3 days trying to sort it out.  The feather clearly was not ready to be pulled out (I had the flour ready to stem any blood loss!) & was not ready to fall out.  The only option left was to break it in two.  Because of the break, the feather would dangle lower than the others.  Dalai spent simply ages gnawing it & as he progressed, the feather became more & more vulnerable & more & more prone to sticking out at strange angles.  Finally on the third day, he managed to release it.  He must have been so pleased to get rid of that troublesome feather.

Here is the offending feather:

 

 

 

Bath from below

I got some unusual photos of Dalai having a bath.  I was sitting below where the Thomas Bath is positioned & just happened to have the camera handy to take some pictures from underneath!

 

A few days later Lennie obliged with some similar photos:

 

 

The tunnel and the landing platform

I posted before that I had repurposed pieces of the Manor.  The loft area was transformed into a Tunnel & the landing platform is still a platform.

Both changes/additions were received well & accepted quickly by all.  Dalai was the only one who had initial reservations about the Tunnel but that only lasted a couple of days.

 

As before, I can use the repurposed Manor platform for placing dishes of food & also wet leaves for a misting.  I did not plan for the supporting perch underneath to be used as a perch, but Perry & Lennie discovered it quickly & like it!

 

(Click on pictures to enlarge) 

 

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. 🙂

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 – I 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 – there 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!