Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: millet

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

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!

 

Lennie’s call for millet

Lennie can be a bit skittish & wary of me.  He does like millet though.  He really likes it.

This is handy for taming purposes, but my initial motivation for giving Lennie personal attention with millet, was to distract him from interrupting Dalai & Perry from their kissy-kissy sessions.

Lennie

I started off just holding a bobble of millet up to him, but now he will fly (more of a jump with the aid of wings) to my hand.  He has developed a ‘Millet Cry’ (see video below).  It feels like a form of communication.  He watches where I am & shouts, “I want millet…. NOW!”  Sometimes I hear the battle cry when in the kitchen & when I come out I see him on the triangle platform perch, facing the kitchen door – so he knows where I am even when I am not in the room.

Some would perhaps not want to encourage such bossy behaviour but I like to reward him for wanting to interact with me, even though I know it is the millet he really wants to interact with!

I put a millet bobble (or even loose millet seeds) in my hand & hold it out to him.  He will munch his way through those seeds & then inch down my arm as he knows I have another millet bobble in my other hand, behind my back, waiting to give to him after he has finished the first lot of millet.

This routine may happen 2 or 3 times in a row.  Whilst we are engaging in our millet game, Dalai & Perry take the opportunity to have a little flirt together.  It is not long before Lennie gets jealous & abandons the millet in order to disrupt Dalai & Perry.  Abandoning the millet is not an easy decision for him as he gives a few strangled chirps, whilst trying to get as many seeds into his beak as possible, then dashes into the Silver Villa to make sure he is not missing anything!

 

Moult and Millet

Further to my previous post on their spring moult, Dalai has really been stringing his out.  Granted he did have a break in the middle, but maybe if he had not, he would have got over it all much quicker!

He seems less grumpy now though not quite back to his usual socialising levels.  His flying has improved with him feeling confident enough to make wider & wider laps of the room.  That said, only a few days ago he dropped yet another flight feather; he had just had a fly then went back into the Villa & had a mad moment where we all looked at him wondering what was going on, but it turned out the feather was loose & he was just jiggling about to release it.

 

To celebrate leaving the bulk of the spring moult behind, I cracked open the millet.  I usually only sneak a millet bobble to individuals at odd moments, so they were a bit surprised to see a few two-inch sprays dotted about.  They soon got over the shock & all tucked in.

 

 

Birthday millet

This post is a bit late, but I wanted to share photos of the millet party on Bezukhov’s birthday in June.  I think they all enjoyed it:

 

 

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:

 

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My poor pin-headed girl

Raspy’s head is covered in pin feathers.  She looks uncomfortable.  She looks rough!  The good news is that her poops are returning to normal & she seems a little more herself.  However, she was looking a bit miserable this evening so I sneaked a little millet to her whilst she was “in bed” on her swing…..

(Click on photos to enlarge)