New Platform Perch for Moriarty

When Moriarty arrived, he came with a corner platform perch in his cage.  Though he has since moved into Dalai’s old cage (the Silver Villa), he still spends time in his old cage every day.

Moriarty napping on his old perch

The platform perch in there is one of his favourite spots, especially for a nap.

He had chewed down the rim at the part where he rests his head, which in itself is not a problem, but a little further along, a nail of unspecified metal was exposed.  I thought, it is time for a new, safe perch.  I did some research to find a perch of the same, or nearly the same dimensions, & ordered a custom made one from The Natural Bird Product Company (https://www.naturalbirdco.co.uk) who craft natural perches & toys by hand in the UK.

It arrived on the 2nd July.  It took me a while to get around to installing it as although the new platform perch slotted through the small Ferplast Canto door, the old one did not.  I thought it might come out through the bottom tray but that area is heavily padded so it was actually easier to take the top off the base & get the perch out that way.  It was a good opportunity to give the cage a thorough clean too.

The only worry about acceptance was that the new perch is slightly shorter than the old one.  Stupidly, I forgot about one side being 1 cm shorter, & installed it with the short side along the front.  There was about 1.5 cm difference with the old perch along that edge.  Moriarty took to the new platform perch quickly, but for general purposes only…

Moriarty on the new platform perch

He struggled to find his old napping position on the severely shortened length, often looking like he was going to tip off the edge…

He resorted to napping in different places…

Seeing his struggle, I remembered the new platform perch had a longer side, so I flipped it around & for good measure, also threaded through a wooden slat (0.6 cm thickness), bringing the perch closer in length to the old one.

Moriarty napping comfortably on his new perch

Balance in Moriarty’s universe was restored.  He was back napping comfortably on the platform perch in no time!

Another notable date

Blue-moon bather, Moriarty shocked us all on the 6th August 2022.  He had another bath… within only 65 days of his last one!

I managed to take a few quick photos of the exciting event.

It just shows you that with the right timing, anything is possible!


Lowering the Raised Bottom

Phase II of the raising of the cage floor was undertaken on the 20th July.  As previously posted (click here), I thought the raised floor could be improved by lowering it a section.

This time I mostly used mini bungee cords, with string to cover a few gaps.  This lattice work was covered with pieces of cardboard connected with foldback clips.  I reused the piece of cardboard providing a rim across the front.  As before, the padding, oil cloth & cage liners were then placed on top.  An extra rope perch was added to bridge the gap between the new bottom & the existing low perch.

 

The changes were accepted immediately.  This time, Lennie was the first to test out the new floor’s bounce-ability!  It works a lot better this way so I think I will stop fiddling with it now!

 

 

Raised Bottom (Part Two)

I previously detailed how I split Perry & Lennie’s flight cage to raise the floor (click here to read that post).

When it was time for the swap to take place.  Perry was in with Moriarty, so I caught Lennie & popped him in the ‘new’ cage.  After the initial upset over being caught, he seemed relieved to be back in familiar surroundings again, despite the floor being raised.

The quarantine cage was removed & the half & half cage placed back in its original position.  Moriarty was keen to visit Lennie (he had not been able to do this whilst he was in the quarantine cage) but did a double-take on clocking the raised floor & backed off.  He kept coming back though & finally braved going over the threshold to greet his friend.  When it came towards bedtime, Perry returned home as he usually would.  All seemed to be back to normal again after nearly a week of upset!

Lennie & Moriarty in the ‘raised bottom’ cage

 

Ironically, the first to fall & test the new floor was Moriarty!

Whilst doing the conversion I had some better ideas but because I needed to work quick to minimize Perry & Lennie’s stay in the quarantine cage I decided to leave them for phase II.  The next phase is to actually lower the floor down to the next section (I think this will be a better compromise) & to use bungee cords instead of string.

The lower half of the cage is not expected to be used so is currently kept bare.  This arrangement, so far, seems to suit us better.

Video of Lennie & Moriarty chilling in the new set up:

 

 

Raised Bottom (Part One)

I had been thinking about it for awhile but last week I finally raised Perry & Lennie’s “bottom”.

Their flight cage is a good size but it has a big drop if anyone falls.  The cage bottom has been padded to cushion any fall, & perches arranged to allow an easy ascent.

However, recently I noticed Perry fell off the perch as he reached around to clean his bottom (I seem to be talking about bottoms a lot in this post!)  His various lumps & bumps have made it difficult for him to balance at times.  He has also wobbled quite a bit when cleaning his bottom, but managed to right himself before falling.  Lennie has also fallen on occasion.  It made sense to me that it would be more comfortable for them if there was not so far to fall.

Perry & Lennie’s temporary home

It was quite a big operation.  They had to move into the quarantine/folding cage whilst I made the changes.  I set it up as near as possible to what they were used to & anticipated they would be in there for up to 2 weeks as I worked out how to raise the floor.

I did plan to swap out Moriarty’s cage with Perry & Lennie’s clean cage & convert Moriarty’s cage, but decided at the last minute to just clean Moriarty’s cage & furniture all at once as I thought there might be some objection as the cages are different colours (grey/silver & black) & we know how finicky they can be about such things!  This meant that Perry & Lennie were an extra day in the quarantine cage.

After I cleaned Moriarty’s cage (& added extra padding on the bottom) I had to work quicker than I planned on the conversion as Perry & Lennie were not coping well in the quarantine cage.  Perry had the advantage of spending most of the day in with Moriarty (after an age trying to get him out through the strange door!), so Lennie was the most unsettled.

Though I had run through the conversion idea in my head many times, I could not be sure how it would turn out until I actually tried it.  Firstly, I decided to split the cage at the halfway level.  The bars split into three sections at that level which suggested three sets of cardboard could be slotted through.  I did not have cardboard long enough so tied pieces together with string.  It had to be flexible to get in & out through the door.

The cardboard would lay on a crisscross of string.  This proved to be quite difficult as I had to research some different knots in order to keep some decent tension.  I ended up with making a loop mid-way in the piece of string in order to thread the string through it & tie tight enough.  I kept testing it by throwing a tailor’s ham on (weighs about 450g) to simulate a fall!  There was also a slight gap at the front & back so an extra piece of cardboard was added.  At the front, at the gap when the main door is open, I added a ridge for a little safety.  All exposed edges of cardboard were covered with parcel tape.

 

Finally, I added some padding (not as much as before given there is less of a fall), a piece of oilcloth, then the bottom liners.  All furniture was placed back in exactly the same place!  (To help with furniture/toy placement I made a note of location according to bars & also took photos.)  You will notice in the last photo below there is an extra perch in the lower section that was just the right shape to provide a little extra support.

 

So, how did they receive it?  That will be in the next post!

 

 

Morning Moriarty

How I love to see Moriarty greet me in the morning.

When he hears me enter the room, if it is not too early, he will jump to the mid-height perch at the front of the cage and peer under the cover at me.  I open the blinds, lift the covers a bit, then put my face up to him to say ‘Good Morning, Sweet Pie’…. taking care not to get my nostrils in biting distance!

Morning Moriarty
Morning Moriarty

 

A Rare bath

Remember this date, 2nd June 2022.  Why?  Moriarty had a bath!  It has been so long that I cannot remember when his last bath was.

I offered Perry some water.  Usually I offer the bath water (clean, not water that Lennie has bathed in!) but if I am giving him supplements I put the water in a small, transparent water pot, which was the case this time.  Moriarty seemed keen to have a bath in it but I did not want him to bathe in supplements, plus it was only big enough to fit his belly in.  So, I quickly got the bath.  I have done this before when he has shown interest in bathing in the water pot but he has declined the proper bath, but this time, he jumped straight in.

It was surprising as the Thomas Bath had been on the cage door all morning & Moriarty had passed it many times.  Still, who knows how a budgie mind works.  What was important was that he finally had a bath!  What a fun one it was!  Lots of fluffing up, splashing & going around in circles!

Sorry – no photos as I was holding the bath, but here are some aftermath photos when he went back to his original cage to have a preen:

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).