Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: Moriarty

First wild seeded grass of 2022

A surprise parcel arrived last week containing a lovely bunch of fresh, seeded grass.

 

I wondered how Perry, Lennie & Moriarty would receive the grass – sometimes, after the long, winter gap, they are initially wary but I have been giving them dried grass so they tucked in without any hesitation.

Many thanks to follower rosebudgie who sent the very welcome parcel!

 

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It has already been replaced by a newer model that I hope will also give many years of service.

 

Soft Bottom

For some time now, because of various illnesses & special needs within the flock, I have padded the cage bottoms.

When Moriarty arrived, he came with the Ferplast Canto cage.  Though he has officially moved into Dalai’s cage, he still has an attachment to his previous cage & is in & out of it during the day.

The folding cage was around for some time as an emergency hospital cage for Perry.  As that cage can be folded & stored easily, I have converted Moriarty’s Canto into emergency hospital quarters instead.  Part of the refurbishment involved padding the bottom.  Quite by chance, I came across two unused cushions that I could roll up & squeeze through the small doors.  These, wrapped in pillow cases, provide a lovely, thick, soft bottom.  I topped this with a piece of oilcloth & initially with newspaper but now with kitchen towel.

Fortunately, Perry has only spent small amounts of time in there (aside from the odd moment he voluntarily goes in for a change of scenery).

 

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?

 

Another Blue Moon Bather

It appears that Moriarty, similar to Perry, is a ‘blue moon bather‘.  He is happy to have a bath but only now & then, when the moon is blue.

He has no problem with dancing around the edge of the bath & perhaps even putting a toenail in but it is rare for him to actually dunk himself in.  I dusted off the spray bottle thinking that he may prefer a shower but he seemed to think it was some alien being.  Neither Perry or Lennie like spray baths – they had the option when I used to give them to Bezukhov & Dalai, but were not interested.

Lennie likes bathing often, so Moriarty does have a role model.  Here is a slideshow showing photos of him skirting around The Thomas Bath:

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Happy 1 Year Adoption-day, Moriarty!

Can you believe it has been one whole year since Morty Moriarty came into our home?!  That time has flown by so fast, yet strangely, it feels like Moriarty has been here forever.

He has brought much needed energy & is an absolute Sweetpie (when he is not being ‘challenging’!)

 

Happy adoption-day, Moriarty!

We love you lots!

 

Lennie Milestone: On my finger!

Some of my recent posts have been about milestones Moriarty has achieved as he settles in. But milestones do not need to be about the young or those in new, developing situations, they can also apply to the old, or those in well-established routines.

Take Lennie, for example.  From some point early on (post-quarantine days) he decided he needed to be wary of me.  He will always give me a wide berth – sometimes very wide!  His only slight exception will be if millet is involved.  Ordinarily, this would be a great training tool but since Lennie is very overweight, I decided it best not to encourage more millet-eating just so I could get near him.

So, you can imagine my surprise when, on the 1st of May, he voluntarily landed on my finger!

Alas, it was not a new-found acceptance of me but a need to not miss anything with Perry & Moriarty!

Lennie

 

Perry & Moriarty were on my hand, in front of Moriarty’s cage, flirting & running up & down my arm.  My other hand was beside them (between them & the cage).  Their flirting intensified & Lennie made his way over to the top of Moriarty’s cage to investigate.  I could see he desperately wanted to join Perry & Moriarty but was holding back as they were on me!  Nevertheless, I kept my free hand out, positioned where he could easily fly down to it, thinking he will never come, but he wanted to join in the fun so much that he actually flew down onto my finger!  He was not there long as he realised pretty quickly that this was an out-of-the-ordinary event & he did not want me to get the wrong impression!

Still, it was a nice feeling & nice to know that even when habits & routines are well-established, an occasional leap into unknown territory is possible!

Lennie

 

Reusable cage bottom liners

For a long time I have used newspaper to line the bottom of cages.  In recent years I have stopped buying newspapers & also not had easy access to free newspapers, so then started buying packs of ‘chip paper’ or packing paper.  This paper was particularly nice as the light, plain colour made it easy to check poop quality.

However, as I was using up the last pack I questioned if there was another cheaper way to line the bottom of their cages.

Lennie, Perry & Moriarty

I remembered I had an old shower curtain that was washable.  I cut up a trial piece & was pleasantly surprised with how it worked.  It is a light colour with faded swirls, so poop (& blood that it later had to cope with) is easily seen.  I thought it might be a bit slippery if Perry fell down on it but it seemed ok & no more slippery than anything else.  I cut up the rest of the curtain & got 6 ‘bottoms’ out of whole thing.  After some washing (either hand or machine) the edges started to fray so I hemmed them.

Having 6 means that I can have 4 in use, one drying & one to be (hand) washed.  When I take the last one away, I have 4 clean ones to put in (1 dirty one & 1 drying).

I bought another cheap, washable shower curtain & made another 6 for Dalai’s cage.

They lay nicely on top of the padding (fleece & towels) & are easy to roll up when you take them out.  Then I can scrape the poop off into a bag & put it in soak ready for a quick hand wash.  They dry very quickly.  And, as alluded to above, blood washes out well!

 

 

 

Moriarty Milestones: Window Perch

It took time, but finally, on the 5th April, Moriarty braved the window perch!

Due to Perry & Lennie’s current lack of flying ability, the window perches have been out-of-bounds for well over a year (certainly Dalai was the last to use them).  This has meant that Moriarty had to find his own way to the window perches, without anyone setting an example.

I would try & encourage him onto them when he was sat on my finger & a couple of times he would touch them & once even put his foot on one, but needed a bit more courage to take that next step.  On the occasion I had Perry on my finger, I would take him over, hoping he would remember the old days when he liked to sit on the window perch but if I got too close he got a bit worried so I would withdraw.

Moriarty regularly sits on the back of my chair & looks out of the window from there.  It was from that location that he took the brave leap to the window perch.  Unfortunately he was not there long enough for me to record the historic occasion!  However, since then, the window perch is now a regular haunt for him.  I am pleased about that because it provides more stimulation, from watching birds, squirrels, wind through the trees, rain, people passing through or children playing games.

 

 

The Koothrapalli Effect

Moriarty & Lennie

Moriarty & Lennie

Moriarty & Lennie

For those familiar with the US TV show The Big Bang Theory, they will know what I mean by the Koothrapalli Effect.  In summary, one of the show’s characters, Raj Koothrapalli, had an inability to speak to or around unrelated women – a medical condition known as selective mutism.

So, why am I bringing this up here?  Lennie has been suffering the Koothrapalli Effect with regards to Moriarty!  This was very frustrating, especially in the early days.  Moriarty would be tweeting & chirping through the bars & although Lennie was showing a response (feathers raised, eyes dilated, beak tapping etc.) he was mute!  It must have been off-putting for Moriarty, especially because at the time Perry was not interacting with him.  Sometimes, Lennie would chirp but he would turn or move away from Moriarty before making a sound!

It was interesting that for a time, Moriarty got into the habit of walking about or sitting on top of the cage, above where Lennie was, & would listen to all of Lennie’s chat, knowing that if he descended down the side to be in front of him, Lennie would go silent.

Fortunately, over time Lennie has loosened up.  It began with the odd chirp inadvertently escaping whilst Moriarty was close (Moriarty would be so excited when that happened!)  Now, you would not think there had ever been a problem!

I am including some videos below to show the various interactions, silent & otherwise.

 

Silent Lennie:

 

Chatty Moriarty, grumbling Perry & silent Lennie:

 

Lennie still mute even when actually going over to visit Moriarty:

 

Moriarty circling above a chatty Lennie:

 

Silent interaction:

 

Mutism?  What mutism?