Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: feathers

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:

 

 

 

Toggling a Tail

Like normal budgies, Perry has two tails.  Normally they are the same colour but Perry is the first budgie I have had whose tail feathers are different colours.  He has a white tail & a dark blue tail.  He toggles them so each day is a surprise.

Here he is displaying his blue tail:

Perry’s blue tail

Perry displaying his white tail:

Perry’s white tail

 

Sometimes he manages to display both at the same time:

Perry’s two-tone tail

 

An Alarming Feather

When cleaning the bottom of Perry & Lennie’s cage, I found a feather with the end of the shaft caked in blood.  As you can see from the photos, it looked pretty horrible:

Bloody feather

Close-up of bloody feather

 

My instinct is that it was Lennie’s feather, though I briefly wondered if it was Bezukhov’s feather that had floated across to their cage.  I spent the next hour or so watching the two of them & waiting for them to raise their wings so I could see if there was any problem, but all was well.  It seems strange that such a scary looking feather should not leave a trace of where it came from; it looks like it was violently wrenched from a wing.

Oh well…. another worrying day when sharing your life with birds….!

Lennie preening

 

 

Two weeks in the life of a blood feather

Bezukhov has been going through another moult.  This time his head feathers have been completely overhauled.

Here he is at the beginning, looking fine, even though he had lost 3 spot feathers in one go:

This slideshow shows progress over the two weeks:

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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.

 

Dalai’s dander

During their moult, feather dust & dander is more noticeable.  Sometimes, Bezukhov & Dalai sit on the perch preening & you can see it drift down & settle below them.  I have singled out Dalai in this post simply because the dander he leaves behind on the ttmss swing in the Manor is particularly noticeable because of the dark colour of the perch.

Bezukhov very rarely sits on that swing which is why I know the dander pictured is Dalai’s.  Bezukhov prefers the counterpart (hot pink) swing in the Villa.

 

Dalai’s first misting

Yesterday, Dalai had his first misting.

Since his arrival, Dalai has witnessed several mistings.  Both Bezukhov & Phineas have demonstrated the art of prancing about in some wet leaves whilst I spray water over them.  Dalai would usually take himself off to the Villa & leave them to it.  I was not too concerned because he does take regular baths in the Thomas Bath.

Several factors may have influenced Dalai to try out a misting: they are both going through what seems like a never-ending moult, Bezukhov was very keen to throw himself into the celery leaves, & the sun was shining brightly though it is now clearly winter.  Whatever the reason, after he watched Bezukhov have a go, he decided to join in.  I think he enjoyed it.

Dalai investigating the celery leaves:

 

Dalai & Bezukhov preening afterwards:

(Click on photos to enlarge)

A Short Tale

This is a short tale about a short tail.

Once upon a time (about a week ago), handsome Prince Bezukhov had two tail feathers.  However, Bezukhov was moulting & the tail feathers worried about their future.  They were right to worry because one day, Bezukhov’s friend Dalai “helped” him remove one.  The tail feather was sad at the bottom of the cage.  Some days later, the remaining tail feather dropped out & was reunited with the first one who was now living on the coffee table.  They resignedly watched as new tail feathers started to grow in their place.  The prince will soon look handsome again as his odd, short tail morphs into lovely long tail feathers.  The end.

 

 

Relapse

An unwell Bezukhov

An unwell Bezukhov

One day feather loss

One day feather loss

Medication

Medication

We have had a difficult time with Bezukhov.  After I posted that Bezukhov had become unwell (click here to read that post), the hopeful signs of improvement stopped.  On the 29th September, Bezukhov began a heavy moult.  Almost overnight there were feathers everywhere.  He lost mountains of small fluffy feathers, several larger feathers, including flight feathers & a tail feather.  At the same time, his poops got worse again.  He also stopped eating.

He was extremely lethargic & I was sufficiently worried to call in Ms Independent Vet (IV) who visited on the 30th September.

Once again, she suspected the problems were a continuation of stress from losing his friend Phineas, but now with the added complication of going into a heavy moult.  She weighed him & he was only 44g, so a loss of approximately 14g in 9 days.  His temperature was very high, but otherwise she could not find anything else obviously wrong.  She gave him an injection of anti-inflammatory to help bring down his temperature & also antibiotics to guard against infections whilst his immune system was low.  I was to orally give him the anti-inflammatory (Loxicom) twice a day for the next 3 days & antibiotics (Baytril) once a day for the next 7 days.  She also advised that I steam/nebulise him with F10 as she thought his breathing was a bit laboured.  She also gave me Emeraid, so I could syringe feed him to get his weight back up.

Of course giving Bezukhov medicine is a challenge.  Despite being unwell he still managed to do his very best to avoid taking anything orally.

I was marginally better at giving Bezukhov the medicine than the Emeraid.  Some birds will apparently eat Emeraid when offered as it is a nice smelling (& probably nice tasting) porridge-like substance.  I did offer him some on my finger but he refused so I was left with having to syringe feed him.  I tried my very, very best to give him the food but he pulled out all the stops & thwarted me at every twist & turn.  I managed to get a few drops inside him now & then.  Ms IV advised that I give him the Emeraid morning & evening but because I could hardly get any inside him, I added another battle session in the middle of the day.

Despite my best efforts, Bezukhov got worse.

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Under wing feathers

Bezukhov has been showing off his under wing feathers.  Dalai joined in but I think he needs more practice in the art of showing off the feathers under his wings.