Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: ferplast

Tales from Quarantine (1 of 8)

Moriarty coped with quarantine (Oct/Nov 2020) well but it was clear he needed lots of attention.

When his previous owners brought him in, & the cover was raised, there he was, swinging away, seemingly not bothered about the move.  That first sight of him made me think he would take most things in his stride.  As for the elephant in the room…. yes, he has a similar colouring to our dearly departed Bezukhov but in real life perhaps a greener shade.

Moriarty’s foot

His cage originally had 3 cement perches & a cement platform perch, along with a wooden perch & a wooden platform perch.  I replaced the cement perches with a variety of wooden ones (there is nothing wrong with cement perches but ideally they should not be the main perches & not used as a roosting perch).  I did notice a small red/orange spot on the underside of one foot which might have been the start of an irritation – it disappeared quickly.  You will see from the photo posted here that the toenail on his short, forward toe angles inwards.  The odd angle has not caused any noticeable problems.

As far as toys, he had a lovely swing with colourful, wooden beads, a mirror, a chewy toy with a bell at the bottom.  I should note that the swing has two bells at the bottom – it was quickly apparent that he loves shiny things!  I added some more toys, such as the rings, the disco ball (ultra shiny!) & a paper rope toy, along with some dried grass for further stimulation.

 

He was not scared of hands so though not tame, was not worried about me entering his cage to make all these changes.  In fact, he had quite a bite on him but I think that may have lessened with the introduction of more toys to keep his beak busy!

The seed situation was curious as he had one of those gravity seed fountains mounted in one of the cage gaps for the incorporated seed bowls.  Though he would perch on it, I never once saw him eat a seed from it!  He had millet, so was not starving but at times when there was no millet, he still did not eat the seed.  (It had an area underneath that collected the husks so I could see if he ate any).  Given his love of shiny things, I put in a stainless steel bowl with seed & he immediately took to eating from that.  Knowing he was eating the seed mix, I could start rationing the millet!

 

I also put in a water bottle along side his water fountain in the hope he would use it.  During quarantine he never quite understood it was for drinking water, but was fascinated watching the bubbles go up the bottle as I pressed the water end.  He also got quite attached to the shiny spout, often having long chats with it!

 

 

Remembering Raspy: Lost video

Some time ago, I used the webcam a lot to watch my feathery friends whilst I was in the office.  I would just check in for a few seconds, at intervals, to make sure all looked normal.  This was invaluable on the occasion Raspy became ill.

Raspy’s illness & subsequent sad, untimely passing, is well documented on this blog (click here) so I will not repeat the details on this post.  I will just say that on Monday 21st November, 2011, I kept an eye on the webcam as Raspy had been having problems with passing eggs.  During the day she was fine; she was in the Ferplast with her beloved Bezukhov, & was lively & happy.  When I arrived home & found her struggling, I could pin point that the problem had begun within the last hour.

It was a relief to know she had not been in pain all day.

Later on, I saved a video of part of what was streamed that day, on the host website.  At the time, I believe the videos were too large to download to my hard drive.  In time, the host website shutdown.  They had sent an email warning of the shutdown & how to retrieve videos, but (annoyingly) I did not read it until it was too late.  The website closed down & my video was lost.  I felt sad as it was the last video of a happy Raspy.

Then we come to one day after the 8th anniversary of Raspy’s passing (24th November 2019), when I was browsing the internet & amazingly, came across the video!  It was on another website.  The video was almost 2 hours long, but I managed to quickly download it to my hard drive & then upload to YouTube (how technology changes!)

I present it to you here.  Quality is bad & it is very long (!) but I wanted to dedicate a post to something I thought I had lost.  Even though Raspy died just two days after this video, I feel happy watching it & seeing the good spirits that both she & Bezukhov were in.

 

Still in our thoughts.

Love you always my dear Raspy and my dear Bezukhov.

 

Repurposing a door

As previously posted, Perry & Lennie had found the way to come out.  Over the following days I noticed they had some difficulty in using the small doorway of the quarantine cage.  That particular cage has doors that slide upwards.  Being a hoarder (!) I remembered I kept the little doors from the old Ferplast.  I used one of these to fashion a small landing platform.  I prized open the hooks enough to slide through the bars & used a rope perch to balance it on, held firm with some paper rope.  It seemed to work well…..

 

 

Interestingly, if Perry came out without Lennie noticing (he may have been chewing on a toy or something), then Lennie seemed to not know how to then come out.  After this happened a few times, I noticed that when on the threshold of the doorway, Perry would wait until Lennie was paying attention, & then fly out, knowing that Lennie would follow him.  Smart or what?

 

 

The Silver Villa

Previously, I alluded to Bezukhov & Phineas having a new home.   The new home (in waiting) is the Liberta Oregon cage.

The reason I decided to buy (yet) another cage is because since Cagney’s sad passing, Bezukhov has moved into the Ferplast with Phineas.  As much as I like many aspects of the Ferplast Piano 6 cage (& it has been popular with all who have lived in it) it is an awful cage for catching a bird – as detailed in my post ‘Medication & the Ferplast‘.

Ideally, they would have both lived in the Manor but it seems it is not suitable for bedtime.  I suspect this is because at bedtime, they need to sleep at the highest spot & in the Manor this means the loft area (domed part).  The loft area itself is quite small, compared to the rest of the cage & I believe this makes it difficult to share with Phineas.  In the old days, the loft area comfortably housed Atilla, Raspy, Cagney & Bezukhov at bedtime so it must be the combination of the size & Phineas.

So, assuming the Manor will no longer be used for bedtime by Bezukhov & Phineas, & Bezukhov’s medication regime is long-term, I felt that a new cage to replace the Ferplast was the way forward.

Liberta Oregon bird cage

Liberta Oregon bird cage

After much deliberation, I chose the Liberta Oregon cage.  A pet shop about 40 minutes drive away actually had it on display so, unusually, I was able to see it ‘in the flesh’ before buying.  On the shop floor I also simulated chasing Bezukhov around it!  It has a flat top, so no confined dome area to cause problems at bedtime & more importantly, has a large front door to facilitate a more evenly matched chase.  As with all cages there are some design issues but I will address these another time.  For now, it had what I was looking for.

So, cage bought, delivered & assembled.  It was introduced to Bezukhov & Phineas on the 16th October.  I decided to ‘go for it’ & when they were both out of the Ferplast, I did a straight swap; new one in, old one out.  I arranged the furniture in the new one as near enough to the Ferplast as possible.

Predictably, they gave the new cage a wide berth.  The manor was now the place to be.  However, I took the opportunity whilst Phinny was jiggling away on my hand, to gradually move my hand (& him) into the Silver Villa.  He was too wrapped up in his jiggying to notice, but when he finished the job, he found he was in his new home.  What to do?  Find a way out of course!  On his way out, he found some millet by the door so had to stop & eat that, as witnessed in this video:

 

Read more of this post

Mystery poop

Some things are just meant to baffle.  I have given up trying to solve this mystery.

I had been out at work all day.  That morning, all I had done was uncover Cagney & Bezukhov in the Manor & Phineas in the NF (New Ferplast).  Their food & water was replenished.  All was as it should be.  I went out to earn some money in order to keep them in the manner (Manor?) they are accustomed to.

On my return, some 10 hours later, the first thing I spotted was a poop on the roof of Phinny’s cage.  It was on the plastic frame circling the roof area.  You can see its location in this photo:

Mystery poop: How did it get there?

Mystery poop: How did it get there?

 

How did it get there?  They were all locked in.  I would have noticed it in the morning before I went out, as I have a finely tuned poop-eye that zooms in on poops that are in places they should not be, or poops in places I do not want them to stay for too long.

How did it get there?

How did it get there?

And even, how did it get there?!

 

An Upgrade, a Move & some Tweaking

Cagney & Bezukhov live in the Manor.  They were originally quarantined in the old Ferplast (OF).  Phineas lives in the folding cage, where he was quarantined too.  Thomas was quarantined in the OF but then went to live with Phineas in the folding cage.

The OF, when not in use, has often been a chilling out cage.  However, I wanted to phase it out as there was some damage to the bars in places & I did not feel it was safe any more.

Enter the new Ferplast (NF).

The NF is basically the upgraded version of the OF, with a few design changes.  (The jury is still out on whether those changes are “improvements”).  My plan was for Phineas & Thomas to move into the NF as it is much bigger than the folding cage.  I felt that Thomas would appreciate the extra space to get away from Phineas at times.

Due to Thomas being unwell, I put off moving him & Phineas into their new home until he was feeling better, but the NF was set up & moved into the room, as the replacement chill-out cage.  Phineas did go in there briefly but otherwise it was completely ignored, most certainly by the scaredy-cat Toyboys because of its different colour (e.g., black bars instead of white).

Sadly, Thomas is now no longer with us.  I went ahead with the move anyway as the NF was ready & waiting.

Moving day was last week.  Read more of this post

A mad day of fighting and flirting

Who knew that flirting could cause such mayhem.  Indeed, cause such fighting… 😦

They were all out.  Cagney & Bezukhov were chasing Thomas, wanting to flirt with him.  Phineas chased Thomas to fight with him.  Thomas wanted a little flirt with Cagney but Bezukhov wanted to flirt too & of course Phineas was incensed that Thomas appeared to be taking Cagney away from him.

As Phineas was actually out to fight & not flirt, I grabbed him first & put him back in his cage.  This should ease things.  However, without Phineas, it seemed Cagney & Bezukhov were more likely to fight with each other, over Thomas.  It was just chaotic, as can be seen from this shameful video:

As it was easier to catch Cagney & Bezukhov, (Thomas is still suspicious of my hands) I managed to grab Cagney & put him in Thomas’s cage, (the Ferplast has small doors so it was easier to keep him in).  I then grabbed Bezukhov & put him in with Cagney.  The two of them carried on fighting for a few moments, rolling around the floor, but as they were now separated from Thomas, quickly ran out of steam & finally managed to compose themselves.

This left Thomas out on his own.

Peace reigned, albeit temporarily.  He briefly went in the Manor for seed, but otherwise, settled first on Phinny’s cage for a preen, then on the Ferplast.

After a few hours I quietly opened the Ferplast door.  Bezukhov came out first.  He had a blast with Thomas.  They were running around & flirting & getting on very well together:

At an opportune moment I managed to lock Bezukhov in the Manor & then Cagney came out of the Ferplast.  Thomas, was more than happy to have a flirt with him:

Again, at an opportune moment, I managed to also lock Cagney in the Manor with Bezukhov.  This left Thomas free to go back to his own home.  Alone.

In the odd calm moment, I could not help but be reminded of one of my earlier post “Who’s chasing me??“.  With all the shenanigans, still no one was chasing Phineas….

At the end of that day I was left confused about the best thing to do next….

It was a one-off

It appears that the spontaneous sleepover that I previously reported on, was a one-off.  Unfortunately, soon after, I had to be out most of the day so had to go back to the usual 3 cage bedtime routine as I did not trust having them all in the same cage overnight AND during the day.

So, Thomas returned to his own home. Phineas returned to his own home & Cagney & Bezukhov returned to the Manor.  That is a simple enough arrangement, however, Cagney & Bezukhov decided to throw a spanner in the works & at bedtime decide to perch on pegs hanging off Thomas’s cage. I have to wait until they are so tired that they will not protest when I take them back to their own home. They will not go back themselves because if one goes back for food, he thinks the other is flirting with Thomas & we cannot have that.

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Switching cages

Since young Thomas has emerged from the Ferplast, we have been playing a rather complicated game of musical cages.

Initially, I let Thomas roam about on his own, without the others to distract him.  He generally settled on either the Manor where the toyboys tried to woo him or on Phinny’s cage where Phinny generally ignored him.

After awhile, I let Phineas out.  He seemed a bit put out that Cagney was showing interest in this new, young whippersnapper.  Whilst he was civil to Thomas, once any serious flirting got underway between Thomas & Cagney through the cage bars, he was not quite so magnanimous.

Letting out Cagney & Bezukhov & therefore having all 4 out at the same time proved a little chaotic.  Thomas, being new to being out, was getting stressed at all the comings & goings.  He tried to eat seed in the Manor but Cagney kept trying to kiss him.  Not to mention Phineas trying to stop Cagney from kissing Thomas.  At one point, Thomas was in the Manor alone, so I quickly locked him in to give him time to collect his thoughts & also to eat some seed in peace.

After that episode, I tried letting Thomas, Cagney & Bezukhov out, but not Phineas.  Phinny would go crazy in his cage watching Cagney flirt with Thomas.

Another time, Cagney & Bezukhov were in the Ferplast with Thomas but when Thomas came out I locked both Cagney & Bezukhov in, once again, to give Thomas some breathing space.

Like I say, it has all been rather complicated.  There must be a formula for success that is already in existence.  I need to do some research….

Tempting Thomas out

The Ferplast is a very nice cage.  A good size & roomy; especially for just one bird, in this case, Thomas.

It is possible it is too nice as it has taken Thomas 3 weeks to leave it & venture into the big, wide world (lounge).

We have, of course, been trying to tempt Thomas to come out.  Food was the obvious choice: millet and/or fresh seeded grass.  Many times Thomas sat in the open doorway eating his treat.  Many times Thomas sat on the open door itself, eating his treat, but still turned his back & retreated to the safety of the Ferplast.

It is possible he was intimidated by the others & in fact Cagney & Bezukhov were very quick to go in to visit Thomas rather than wait for him to come out.  This meant a lot of the enticing was done whilst the others were locked up.  I particularly wanted him to come out on his own as I feared the others would be too excited & chase him, making Thomas panic & possibly crash land somewhere & either hurt himself or put himself off of coming out again!

To see him finally choose to come out was a lovely moment.

He proved himself to be quite the thinker, taking his time before moving forward with his next step/jump/fly.  He carefully climbed from his open doorway to the top of his cage.  Then he jumped across to Phinny’s cage & slowly & cautiously made his way across.  After some deliberation, he then made his final leap onto the Manor & greeted Cagney & Bezukhov.