Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: ferplast

Evening shenanigans

Perhaps it is something in the water… or maybe a full moon… or more probably it is plain & simple budgie naughtiness!

The recent routine has mostly been the following:

  • Morning – out & about for a fly
  • Afternoon – locked in for siesta
  • Evening – out & about for a fly & daily bottom paper clean

Now, each evening the same thing happens when I let them out – the toyboys want to swap partners!

The puddings are still adamant they do not want to swap partners.

Both boys hit on their mate’s pudding at the same time & it makes it difficult to decide which pudding to rescue first.  Raspy is usually the first to fly to escape Cagney’s advances.  She usually lands on the floor at some point as Cagney has far more energy than her.  I show her the open Ferplast cage door & she readily runs in to shelter from the storm that is Cagney.

Meanwhile, Bezukhov is being highly arrogant & hitting on flock boss Atilla.  Once Raspy has been locked up in the Ferplast, Cagney, after trying to flirt with her through the bars, goes to Atilla but Bezukhov chases him away.  If he exits the Manor to chase Cagney away then I quickly lock Atilla up alone.  After a short time, I let Cagney in to be with Atilla & then Bezukhov wants to go into the Ferplast to be with Raspy.  I let them chill out for a bit with their correct partners before releasing them again.

This evening was slightly different in that Atilla landed on the floor trying to get away from Bezukhov.  In fact, Raspy had already landed on the floor.  The toyboys were on the floor also, still pursuing their wrong partner.  They were all on the floor!  Such confusion!

This time I managed to get both Raspy & Atilla into the Ferplast.  (Raspy quite likes the chill out zone but Atilla was a bit put out to be away from her Manor).  The boys camped outside the Ferplast, waiting not-very-patiently to be let in or for the girls to be let out….

An unbalanced but brave girl

Last Thursday morning, I noticed that Raspy was wobbling.  She would sit on my finger & her grip was fine but I could feel her body swaying like she was trying to keep her balance.  She was flying well but when landing, her balance was clearly not right.  I also noticed that when she stretched out her wing she did not lift her foot at the same time.  Hmm….. not good.

She seemed to be struggling to avoid Cagney’s advances so I separated her into the Ferplast with Bezukhov, & only let her out to stretch her wings when Cagney was locked in the Manor.   She was trying to carry on as normal & at one point, sat on the swing, preening, bent double with one foot up….. but still wobbling…  She fell off the perch at one stage & that was too much…..

A vet visit was on the cards….

I managed to get her booked in at the vets for the next day.  Normally I go for the convenience of a home visit but this time the wait would have been too long, plus because Raspy was stumbling around on top of the Ferplast, it was easy to gather her up & pop her in the travel cage.

During the evening I let her out for a fly but she was still much the same.  At intervals, I let Bezuky go into the travel cage to give her some regurgitated food or for her to give him a preen, but Raspy spent the night alone in the travel cage.

The next morning, Raspy had to be very brave, as I covered the cage up & took her out to the car for the drive to the vets.  Once in the car, I opened the cover a little so she could get her bearings. She was very quiet but coped well.

At the vets we waited patiently for our turn.  Mr Vet came out to the waiting room & saw the little covered cage & the first thing he asked, through gritted teeth, was, “Are the two of them in there?“.  I think he was relieved to be dealing with just one pudding!

In the consultation room, Raspy put up a good fight!  She squirmed & twisted & turned & managed to bite Mr Vet so that he winced & said, “That was hard!”  There’s something a little comical about a grown man wincing over a bite from such a tiny creature…. & a girl at that! He gave her the cloth to bite on to save his fingers & then gave her the customary prod & poke.

His verdict?

Mr Vet believes she has some fatty tissue around her lower belly that has moved & unsettled nerves near her leg/s.  He prescribed rest & relaxation for a few days.

A couple of other things were fortunately ruled out.  She does not have a respiratory problem or a problem with her central nervous system, both of which could cause balance issues.

So, we were free to go… once my wallet was a little lighter.

Raspy seemed less stressed on the trip back, almost like she knew she was on her way home. 🙂

Once I put her travel cage back on top of the Ferplast, all the chirping & shouting immediately started.  I did not waste any time…  I got her into the Ferplast, then I opened up the Manor.  Cagney immediately flew to the window perch (as usual) but Bezukhov flew straight to the Ferplast where I let him in so he could give his girlfriend a big welcome home kiss!

In fact, it was not long before both couples were having celebratory boogie-woogie-ing!

Since then, I have let them have flight time all together – Cagney has not been harassing Raspy too much – but have separated the couples at locking up times.

A few days later, I am pleased to say that Raspy does not seem as bad as she was. 🙂

One potato, two potato…

three potato, four…

If you know the rhyme it will give you some idea of Raspy’s tactic to get out of Mr Vet’s grasp! 

Yes, there has been yet another visit from Mr Vet.  This time, his usual Lovely Assistant was not available, so he brought Lovely Assistant Numero Two (LAN2).

My main concerns this time were that:

  1. Atilla’s fatty lump appeared to have spawned another lump further down in her “undercarriage” area, &
  2. Raspy now weighs the same as her sister (she has always been less).

Atilla & Raspy bonding

In preparation for the visit, I locked the toyboys in the Ferplast when they had both gone in to nibble at the iodine block, even though there is a block in the Manor.   This left the puddings alone in the Manor.  I noticed that Raspy immediately went to Atilla’s perch to sit near her.  She was bashing Atilla’s mirror but I suspect that was her way of being affectionate without losing face (see video below).

I gave them some dill soaked in camomile tea in the hope it would help to keep them calm.  They were happy chomping away together.  They were happy until Mr Vet & LAN2 arrived….

Cagney & Atilla after their misting

Normally, if I put my hand in the cage, both girls are happy to jump on, if only to bite me, chew my sleeve or cadge a lift to another perch.  With Mr Vet there, they did not even entertain the idea of sitting on my finger.  I even showed them their favourite toy, the camera, to tempt them but no, they were not going to be fooled.  Unfortunately, that meant Mr Vet went in with his cloth…..

Raspy came out first & was flying all around the room.  We left her, to focus on Atilla, who also bombed out the Manor.  She landed on the floor & LAN2 quickly bundled her up.

Atilla was vocal about the indignity of being held.  Mr Vet had a listen to her heart & breathing & gave her a prod & a poke.

His verdict on the lump situation is that the bottom lump is actually part of the initial chest lump that has slipped down as it is not attached to anything.  He reckoned she was in better overall condition than last time.  Her heart was strong & her breathing fine.

Though I am still concerned about her lump, I am well aware that he could have said a whole lot worse so I feel some relief.

Raspy preening Bezukhov

Raspy was next.  She managed to fly behind the curtain where Mr Vet gathered her up in his cloth.  Raspy was about 10 times more vocal than Atilla.  I think Mr Vet & LAN2 were a bit surprised at the ferocity of her protest.  Raspy proceeded to squirm & that is when Mr Vet started the one potato, two potato actions with his hands, as he tried to keep hold of her!  She had her toenails trimmed but kept holding onto the clipper with the foot that was free.  Mr Vet gave her a prod & poke also.

He said he could not feel any lumps.  Like Atilla, her heartbeat & breathing were good.

So, job done & Mr Vet & LAN2 departed, leaving the puddings to recover in the Manor.  When I saw they were both preening, I thought about letting the toyboys back out.

I do not exaggerate when I say that within less than a minute of being let out, Cagney had his leg over Atilla!  He loves that girl!  Bezukhov was covering Raspy with kisses also.  They had only been apart for 2 hours at most.

When they had got their “greetings” over with, I got out the rest of the camomile-tea-soaked dill & gave them a misting.  All had a romp in the dill, apart from Raspy who watched, but she did give Bezuky’s head a good preen afterwards (see video below).

Raspy & Atilla alone in the Manor:


Raspy preening Bezuky (Atilla was “helping” me film, hence camera shake): 

Musical cages

Since posting about the toyboys attempting to swap puddings, there have been further incidents.  Twice I have separated the couples, letting Raspy & Bezukhov sleep overnight in the Ferplast.  Last night was one such occasion.  It was all getting a bit frantic.  In the end, I took Raspy to the open Ferplast door & she could not get in there quick enough!  She had no intention of coming out either! 

Meanwhile, Bezukhov was flirting with Atilla, not even noticing that his girl was now in the Ferplast, with Cagney trying to squeeze his beak through to give her a kiss.  At one point, I locked Atilla in the  Manor on her own.  Then I let Cagney in with her.  Eventually, Bezukhov decided he wanted to be with Raspy so I let him into the Ferplast.  By this time, it was bedtime & both couples settled down quickly.

This morning, all was fine when I let them out all together. 

The Ferplast has turned into an essential get-away-from-it-all home!

Swapping puddings?

Occasionally, the toyboys confuse things. 

We know that Bezukhov & Raspy love each other.  We know that Cagney & Atilla love each other.  There are times Bezukhov cannot resist having a flirt with Atilla & this riles Cagney.  We also know Cagney likes to chase Raspy for a kiss despite Bezukhov flapping his wings in warning.  Neither pudding is interested in the potential change in partner so nothing comes of it, though I do expect one or other toyboy to be sporting a black eye one day….

However, there are the exceptions & these are when both boys do not seem to mind swapping puddings…..  The problem is, the girls do not want to swap!  It’s like the boys have thrown their keys in the dish but the girls are not picking up…  The girls can get a bit stressed in such a situation because they do not even have their boyfriend to help fight their corner because he is too busy trying to get off with her sister.  It’s all very fraught. 

This evening, Raspy seemed to be at a slight disadvantage as I think she has hurt her wing a little (she can still fly).  After about an hour of trying to diffuse the situation, I introduced Raspy to the Ferplast & she readily went in.  Cagney was prowling around on top of the cage so I put the cover over it.  After a short time, Bezukhov was looking for Raspy so I opened the Ferplast door & he went in to be with her. 

Calm has finally returned.  Raspy has tried out all perches/swings in the Ferplast but I think she may settle on one of the swings for the night.  Bezukhov still has not decided where to sleep but he has been stretching his wings so I am sure he will settle soon.  In the Manor, Atilla is still wrestling with the mirror but that is normal (for the last week at least) & Cagney is already perched on top of a swing. 

I will keep the two couples separated for a day as I will not have time to keep an eye on them tomorrow.  Hopefully Raspy’s wing will also be better too.

Another prod and poke

Mr Vet & his Lovely Assistant visited yesterday.

Atilla has given me cause for concern as she has been losing feathers on her belly/chest area.  She has been looking rather tatty.  That is unusual for Atilla as she is normally the most well-groomed of them all (when Cagney has not been climbing all over her).

Prior to the visit, I lured the toyboys into the Ferplast with spinach & locked them in to lessen chaos.  As usual, there was the usual scenario of Mr Vet chasing Atilla around the Manor.  She slipped out the front cage door & slid across the floor.  Mr Vet’s Lovely Assistant quickly scooped Atilla up.  The catching process was as fraught as before but a lot quicker.

Mr Vet gave Atilla a good prod & poke.  He asked lots of questions about her eating, pooping & if she was still vocal.  At that point she started growling at him & I said, there’s your answer….

The diagnosis is that Atilla has a fatty lump on her chest.  Mr Vet said it is soft & he could move it around a bit.  He did not consider it serious…. BUT he did say I should check if she loses weight or loses her appetite.

When Mr Vet & his Lovely Assistant departed, I let the girls chill a little longer before letting the toyboys out.  Cagney & Bezukhov find it difficult being parted from their girls, even with them being just inches away.  As soon as I opened the Ferplast door, both boys shot out to be with their puddings.  It is very touching to see them be so affectionate & want to feed & preen them.

Here is (not so) bad boy Cagney giving Atilla a much needed head preen after her manhandling by Mr Vet:

Play jumper

The girls still enjoy rummaging in my sleeve.

The other day, for an experiment, I threw my jumper on top of the Ferplast to see what they would make of it.  After an initial bout of shyness, the new “play” jumper was investigated by all.

However, it did not take long for Raspy to claim the play jumper as her own.

Here she is checking out the sleeve with Bezukhov guarding her back:

Then she checks out the other side but disappears & confuses Bezukhov who is supposed to be guarding her back but has lost her:

And then another rummage…

I noticed she was getting a bit “territorial” (in other words, turning into a bully) so in the end I removed my jumper & threw it on the chair.  She followed it there…

Chilling out in the Ferplast

The last two weeks, Bezukhov has spent a lot of time in the Ferplast. 

Both Cagney & Atilla go in the Ferplast but they tend to be brief visits.  When Bezukhov has been going in recently, he spends quite some time there, almost like he is chilling out & taking a break from the rest of the world (lounge).  He often confides deeply with the peg & also has long (meaningful I am sure!) chats with the mirror on the swing, as you can see in this video:

Mission accomplished: Nasty man dispatched

Today Mr Vet visited.

As usual, I have had concerns about Atilla’s health, so to play safe I booked Mr Vet.  To minimize chaos I thought it best to separate puddings & toyboys.  When I let them out this morning, I removed all seed & food from the Manor & play gym area but filled up the seed pots in the Ferplast.  The plan was for the toyboys to eventually go into the Ferplast for food & I would then be able to temporarily lock them in.  In the end, I pegged up some spinach & Cagney (not one to miss out on some fresh veg) was in the Ferplast in two ticks, chomping away.  At that point, Bezukhov was on my hand, preening, so I slowly moved him into the Ferplast & hey presto! was able to lock them in!

They soon realised they were locked in though & all thoughts of tasty spinach disappeared whilst they jumped about, shouting for their puddings.  The puddings however, were chilled out & both settled down to eat a long, leisurely, late breakfast together.  They then sat side-by-side preening.  The toyboys calmed down after a while but got agitated each time the puddings moved or chirped.

Shaking that man out of my feathers...

The puddings were suspicious as soon as Mr Vet & Mr Vet’s Lovely Assistant came into the room.  Raspy was the first to be seen.  Whilst Mr Vet was chasing her around the Manor she managed to slip out the big front cage door & landed on the futon.  Fortunately, Mr Vet gathered her up before she was able to go anywhere else. 

Next up was Atilla… For an overweight bird who gets out of breath easily, she can still give as good as she gets.  Her mission was to cause as much trouble as possible.  As with Raspy, she was chased around the Manor.  Mr Vet caught her but for some reason (a bite?) had to let go.  (Raspy in the meantime had retired to the playgym.)

Mission accomplished: Nasty man dispatched.

There was another chase around the Manor but this time Atilla slipped out (like Raspy did) only her tactic was to HIDE.  First port of call was behind the Ferplast…. then behind the playgym… then behind the radio…. then behind the television….  However, Mr Vet’s Lovely Assistant managed to scoop her up from behind the television & held her close to try & calm her down.  They needed to check both her feet.  Mr Vet said several times to her, “No, we’ve seen that one, we need the other foot….”  She was clearly still trying to make as much mischief as possible, even when being held down by Mr Vet & Mr Vet’s Lovely Assistant.

The bad news is that the puddings have pressure sores on their feet.

Dreaming of my girl, Raspy...

The good news is that on a scale of 1-4, their sores do not even register 1.  The other good news is that changing & moving perches around should be all that is needed to make a difference.

After Mr Vet & Mr Vet’s Lovely Assistant departed, I partially covered over the Puddings to help them calm down & recover.  When all seemed well, it was time, after a whole 3 hours apart, to let the puddings & toyboys get together again.

How much longer do I have to wait for my girl & for some fresh spinach?

I am not exaggerating when I say that within 60 seconds of the toyboys being let out, Cagney was having his wicked way with Atilla! After the “business”, the two couples indulged in lots of smooching, snogging, flirting & preening.

During all the lovey-doveyness, I’m sure Atilla & Raspy told their boyfriends of their derring-do & showed them their new, trendy, short toenails.