Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: food

Bye, Bye, Dustbuster

The day had to come.  It could not be avoided.  My trusty & loyal handheld vacuum cleaner stopped working.

Dustbuster

 

For those in bird-keeping circles, you will know the importance of having a handy & quick way of hoovering up seed, husks, feathers, poop & dander!  Not to mention remains of chewing sessions on various materials.

So, bye-bye to my dustbuster that I purchased in 2011.  It had faithfully cleaned up after all birds on this blog: Atilla, Raspy, Cagney, Bezukhov, Phineas, Thomas, Dalai, Perry, Lennie & Moriarty.

 

It has already been replaced by a newer model that I hope will also give many years of service.

 

System for emergency seed supplies

Expanding on my previous post regarding emergency evacuation procedures (click here), I have given some thought to emergency food supplies.

I worked out roughly how much seed is consumed by (currently) 3 birds & bought about 9-12 months worth.  These are stored & used on a rota system to ensure no seed goes past a certain date.

Emergency seed supplies

 

Seed is stored in a cool, dark & dry place.

This system has been in place since last summer & is working well.  I tend to mix two seed mixes, so have two containers on the go.  The same containers are used for long-term storage also, so I can easily move them around.

Who’s been eating all the seed?

 

Preparation for emergency evacuation of your birds (Update)

I thought it was worth revisiting my original ‘Emergency Evacuation‘ post from 2018.

The flock is different from then, which I felt required an update in our personal procedures.  The first major adjustment is that instead of placing them all in the travel cage, I thought it would be best to put each bird in their own (small) carrier.  This cuts out any worry about possible tensions with them all being together in a confined space.  Plus, it means that once in, the door does not need to be opened again, removing the worry about getting one in without letting whoever is already in, out.  There is also the issue that some cage doors cannot be opened easily with one hand so with individual carriers, I can have the door already open, waiting for the occupant.

The three carriers are kept in a sturdy bag, stored on the shelf under their cage.

The carriers are obviously too small for them to be kept in for any length of time, so I would also take the folding cage with me (folds completely flat).

The contents of the emergency canvas bag have not changed, but the bag is now a small backpack & the location is now on a shelf by the front door (only exit).

I am hoping that having planned for the worst, the worst will not happen!


Original Post

Being a paranoid parront, I would like to post advice on how to quickly & safely evacuate your birds/pets in an emergency.

There is already plenty of good advice already written on the internet, so I will post some links. From what I have read, the key is PREPARATION because if there was a real emergency you would likely be stressed yourself & less likely to think straight, so anything that helps you (& your birds) through the ordeal can only be of benefit.

The following link is well written & has some good ideas. Their main ‘trick’ is use of a pillowcase to catch up birds & also keep them safe: www.birdtricks.com/blog/how-to-evacuate-parrots-when-you-only-have-seconds/ (updated).

This link also has some good points: www.beautyofbirds.com/evacuation.html

Personally, my plan would be to get my flock into the small travel/hospital cage (I also have an even smaller carrier if I have time to consider separating them). I have prepared a canvas bag that has in it: food (seed & millet); seed pots & water bottles; reminder note & headlamp.  The reminder note is so I can grab any medication that may be in the fridge.  Every time I receive a new order of seed or millet, I refresh what is in the emergency bag & date it.  At the same time I check the headlamp still works in case the batteries need changing.  A point to note is that I have chosen a canvas bag with long handles so if need be I can hang it around my neck if I need my hands!  The emergency bag is kept on the shelf underneath the Silver Villa.

 

The travel/hospital cage is kept underneath the playgym so that is also in close proximity.  I actually decided to keep it close in case Bezukhov has a major seizure, however even if this were not the case, it would still be handy to keep there for other emergency reasons.

For some reason I cannot remember (!) I have two pillowcases draped over the back of my futon that is directly in front of the new Villa, so they are handy if needed.  Alternatively, they could be folded up & kept with the spare/emergency cage.

My mother lives nearby so if need be, I can walk to hers & deposit the flock there for safety.

If anyone else has any other advice/tips/tricks/ideas then feel free to share here!

Perry, Lennie (hidden at back), Dalai & Bezukhov

 

A touch of the “Bezukhov’s”?

We have had some drama here, courtesy of Lennie.

Lennie with pin feathers

On Friday 20th August, I noticed Lennie was not eating the evening millet.  Normally they have red millet but I was unable to buy any online so got some nice, fresh-looking ‘normal’ millet from a local pet shop.  I wondered if Lennie just did not like the change in colour, however when I offered a bobble of red millet (leftover bits in the bag) he refused it.  I thought that as he was moulting he was probably just ‘under the weather’.

As the weekend progressed, his poops turned a deep green, with a bluish tinge.  This can indicate lack of food.  I was offering all sorts of food but he just was not eating anything, in fact he was physically moving away.  Either that, or he was so sleepy he did not even notice me waving a basil leaf, piece of celery or broccoli in front of him.  Occasionally he would go to the seed pot & rummage around but he was not eating, he would just pick up a seed & drop it.  I got an appointment with the vet on the Monday afternoon (23rd).

This was a trip to the clinic, so Lennie had to endure the travel cage & a taxi ride which fortunately was pretty quick at around 30 mins, but we had to allow extra time in case of traffic.  (It would have been an arduous trip on public transport via three buses).

When we arrived, I said to the vet, who knows us well (!), “I think he has a touch of the Bezukhov’s“, in reference to dear Bezukhov’s Extreme Moult Experience when he was moulting & also not eating.  The vet took Lennie into the consulting room for examination (I was not allowed in).  His weight was 53g, which, on the face of it, is actually not too terrible, but it was an astonishing 20g weight loss from his last weigh-in.  He has a fatty lump covering his front but the vet could feel his keel bone behind it & could tell he had lost considerable weight.  His temperature was normal & his heart sounded fine.  Read more of this post

Seed Change

The supplier I normally buy Dalai, Perry & Lennie’s seed from, put up their prices.  Significantly!  This led me to source another brand with a view to mixing them & thereby reducing the cost but still retaining quality.  This approach also ensures that we are never dependent on one brand.

L: New seed, R: Original seed

To make sure they approved of the new seed I had selected, I put some in a separate seed pot.  In Dalai’s cage it was in the small treat pot, & in Perry & Lennie’s cage it was in the seed pot at the back.  The new seed looks pretty much like the old seed, but with less red millet (see side photo).  I then just had to monitor their preference.

Dalai seemed non-committal in that he ate from both the seed pots, with no obvious preference.

Perry appeared to prefer the new brand, eating quite a lot of it, even with the old/current brand available next to him.

Though Lennie ate the new brand, he seemed to steer more towards the original brand.

Conclusion?  Budgies are individuals with their own likes & dislikes!  Dalai, Perry & Lennie are generally okay with the new brand.

A couple of days later I forgot I had separated the different seed brands & mixed them, so the experiment had to end!  So currently, they are eating a mixture of the brands although still a majority of the original one.

Evidence they are eating the new seed:

 

 

Peeling a pea

Does anyone else peel peas for their birds?

Dalai & Perry like sugar snap peas (Lennie not so much) but tend to ignore them if they are not peeled.  They also eat more when I present a peeled portion of pea on my finger.

 

I have been reflecting on those who were here before.  Cagney loved a pea.  He would expertly hull the pea & eat the treasure inside.  Phineas also loved a pea but would eat the casing too.  He would chomp down & it was all gone in a second.  Some earlier posts on peas are here:

Pea preference

Peas, peas and more peas

 

Social media, feasting and a prize!

I joined Instagram recently (@onesweetiepea) & took part in the Instagram challenge #12daysoffolksy.

Folksy is the home of British Craft, where you will find thousands of beautifully designed creations – all made by clever hands crafting away across the UK.  They set up an Instagram challenge to help promote Folksy, promote its sellers (& others!) & to have a bit of fun!

I am a new Folksy seller & you can imagine that some of my items are inspired by birds or bird-related (link to my shop is at the bottom of this page).  Naturally, I used some of the chosen themes to ‘promote’ my birds!  Day 10 was ‘Feast’, so I posted a picture of Dalai, Perry & Lennie feasting on red millet:

Dalai, Lennie & Blurry Perry

 

I was delighted to find that they won a prize for the best animal-themed post for Day 10!  They had more red millet to celebrate!

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have recognised the above photo from a previous post in 2017.  (Click here to see that post).  The slight sadness in this is that the red millet was in celebration of Bezukhov’s 7th birthday & you can see him in the photos in the original post.  So, I feel he deserves a mention too, given that had he not had a 7th birthday, they would not have had that millet & therefore the photos would not have been taken & the prize not won!  So we give big thanks to our dearest, departed friend, Bezukhov.

You can also see in the photo that Dalai had his troublesome feather!

 

Time for Thyme?

I understand that Thyme can be popular with budgies.  Not here.  Granted they have only encountered it the once.  Surprisingly Dalai was the brave one & actually touched it.  The others gave it a wide berth which Dalai also did after touching it!

Dalai & Thyme

 

 

Preparation for emergency evacuation of your birds

Being a paranoid parront, I would like to post advice on how to quickly & safely evacuate your birds/pets in an emergency.

There is already plenty of good advice already written on the internet, so I will post some links. From what I have read, the key is PREPARATION because if there was a real emergency you would likely be stressed yourself & less likely to think straight, so anything that helps you (& your birds) through the ordeal can only be of benefit.

The following link is well written & has some good ideas. Their main ‘trick’ is use of a pillowcase to catch up birds & also keep them safe: www.birdtricks.com/blog/how-to-evacuate-parrots-when-you-only-have-seconds/

This link also has some good points: www.beautyofbirds.com/evacuation.html

Personally, my plan would be to get my flock into the small travel/hospital cage (I also have an even smaller carrier if I have time to consider separating them). I have prepared a canvas bag that has in it: food (seed & millet); seed pots & water bottles; reminder note & headlamp.  The reminder note is so I can grab any medication that may be in the fridge.  Every time I receive a new order of seed or millet, I refresh what is in the emergency bag & date it.  At the same time I check the headlamp still works in case the batteries need changing.  A point to note is that I have chosen a canvas bag with long handles so if need be I can hang it around my neck if I need my hands!  The emergency bag is kept on the shelf underneath the Silver Villa.

 

The travel/hospital cage is kept underneath the playgym so that is also in close proximity.  I actually decided to keep it close in case Bezukhov has a major seizure, however even if this were not the case, it would still be handy to keep there for other emergency reasons.

For some reason I cannot remember (!) I have two pillowcases draped over the back of my futon that is directly in front of the new Villa, so they are handy if needed.  Alternatively, they could be folded up & kept with the spare/emergency cage.

My mother lives nearby so if need be, I can walk to hers & deposit the flock there for safety.

If anyone else has any other advice/tips/tricks/ideas then feel free to share here!

Perry, Lennie (hidden at back), Dalai & Bezukhov

 

An out-of-season treat… again!

About 3 weeks ago, we received a very welcome parcel of wild, seeded grass (click here for post).  This was a major surprise as it was out-of-season.  A few days ago, we received an even bigger surprise in the post – more wild grass!  Although the parcel was addressed to Dr Phinny Fog he very graciously shared the contents with Bezukhov.  Given that winter is virtually upon us, that must surely be the last of the grass?

 

Thank you, rosebudgie & the Sharing Sausages!