Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: moult

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

Head rub

Lennie found that rubbing his head on the frame of the open door helped give him some relief from some pin feathers….

 

 

Indoor Bath

Perry & Lennie have been choosing to stay in their cage.  This may be because they have been moulting (again!) which can make them a little lethargic.  Or it could be because they both have problems flying.  But I think the main reason is that their primary purpose for coming out was to see Dalai & now I imagine they ask themselves, why bother if he is not around?

I have been lenient on this front as I miss Dalai too.

However, with their moulting and constant preening, I felt they were missing out on having a bath.  The Thomas Bath is situated on the far side of Dalai’s cage.  Whilst they might occasionally pop into Dalai’s cage to avoid the cleaner (me) for a few minutes, they are nowhere near venturing on top of the cage.  Anyway, I thought I would bring the bath to them & perhaps hold it up near their door.

When I showed them the bath, Lennie looked particularly excited.  He was normally the one having lots of baths, whereas Perry was happy with one in a blue moon.  Because of Lennie’s look of interest, I decided to rig the bath up on their main door so that when it closed the bath would be between two perches.  This done, I was pleased to see they were not startled to see an indoor bath but, in fact, were rather pleased.

Indoor bath

 

I took the videos below. Unfortunately the cage bars are in the way, but you can get an idea of how it unfolded.  Surprisingly, Perry was the first to jump in so I guess his blue moon was long overdue.

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Perry & Lennie after their bath

 

 

Dalai’s last week (1 of 2)

As previously posted, we lost our dear Dalai on the morning of Wednesday, February 26th.

Dalai preening

I have mentioned before that Dalai had been moulting.  He had the usual moult in October time & recovered well from that.  His next moult was over Christmas which was unexpected.  This was followed by another one in February, also unexpected.  It is thought these successive moults may have weakened his system in some way.

Each time, he was a bit grumpy but that was normal behaviour for him.  When he seemed particularly fed up (not bothering to come out when I unlocked him in the mornings) I would feed him a bobble of millet or six.

On Friday 21st, I he spent a large part of the day in Perry & Lennie’s cage, returning to his own quite late.  I recall thinking that the expression in his eyes did not look quite right, he looked tired.  The following day he barely ate.  On reflection, he must have reduced his food intake in the week prior, but this was difficult to gauge given they share all the seed pots.  His daytime sleeping was interspersed with manic moments of activity (walking upside down across the ceiling of his cage).  I worried that he would not survive the night & kept checking at intervals.

Dalai preening

Leading up to this, his poops were fewer, but bigger, but I was not overly concerned as this change had happened during his previous moults so I assumed the change was temporary.

Because it was the weekend, our usual vet was not available so I spent a frantic time trying to find an exotic vet working the weekend.  We ended up going to the Veterinary Hospital on the Sunday to see a vet with an ‘interest in birds’.  I knew Dalai would have lost weight & because, by now, he was not eating at all, I wanted access to a feeding formula.  On Sunday, the hospital has a process similar to A&E triage, which meant Dalai may be in the waiting room for hours.  I said I did not want this as it would be stressful for him.  They would not release any feeding formula to me without a consultation but agreed to let us wait in a private room to reduce stress.  As it happens, we were seen as soon as we arrived.

As expected, Dalai had lost weight & on her scales weighed 35g.  The vet said he was dehydrated & to orally administer Critical Care, dissolved in water, for a few days before considering a feeding formula.  It was an expensive visit for what seemed like little support & care. Read more of this post

Love Your Pet Day, 2020

Today is ‘Love Your Pet Day’.  Of course every day is ‘Love Your Pet Day’.

My three feathery companions are all well.  They are moulting again (how is that possible?!)  Dalai has been extra grumpy because of that.  Perry is in good spirits despite his ever-growing lump.  Lennie is coping with his difficulty in flying by eating, but he has not thought that strategy through!

There is no discrimination on “Love Your Pet Day” as I also think of those long gone: our dear Raspy, her sister Atilla, handsome Thomas, incorrigible Phineas, cheeky Cagney & lastly, dear Bezukhov.  Today has been so rainy & Bezukhov loved to watch the rain…

Bezukhov

Severe moult, long beak and a strange growth

As you know, from my earlier post (click here: Three near-flightless birds), we are having a pretty bad moult season.  Since that post, Lennie has lost more flight feathers resulting in one wing being, well…. not much use as a wing.

It has not stopped him from feeding Dalai:

 

To add to that, Dalai decided to grow his beak…

 

…that the vet trimmed down yesterday.  She also investigated a strange thing beside his beak that I had noticed a few weeks ago. At first I thought it was a stuck seed, then I wondered if it was a strange feather. The vet confirmed it was fleshy & attached to him, similar to a skin tag.  She whipped it off pretty smartly.  Hopefully, whatever it was, it will not grow back.

 

 

Three near-flightless birds

It is moulting time again.

 

Dalai has been hit hard by it.  Often he has a mini-moult before the main moult, lulling me into a false sense of security, thinking he has been let off lightly.  He lost a few feathers earlier then stopped losing them, so I thought his moult was over, then overnight he lost 3 flight feathers & his main moult began.  Flight feather loss has been severe enough to stop him from flying.  To say he is grumpy about this would be an understatement!  You can see from the photos below that he has one wing significantly shorter than the other.

Lennie has had flight problems since his last moult & though those flight feathers grew back, he has since lost some more, so is still struggling to fly.  As with Dalai, he has one wing significantly shorter than the other.  If only they could work as a pair – they would probably get combined decent flight!

 

Perry preening

Perry has lost flight feathers too though his loss is less severe.  However, the combination of some feather loss & his growing lump, also results in poor flying ability.

For some days, both Dalai & Perry have stayed in their respective homes, with just Lennie dashing between them, either sitting with Perry, or sitting with Dalai (at a safe distance from his moody beak jabbing).

So, there you have it…. three budgies, all with flight problems.  Hopefully both Dalai & Lennie’s wings will grow back quickly.  I am still hopeful that Perry’s lump will just stop growing!

Three in one

Last Friday (12th) we had a visit from the vet, to check over all three, Dalai, Perry & Lennie.  I had/have concerns about all of them for various reasons, one of which may be my paranoia!

At the time the vet came, Lennie was locked in by himself so we decided he would be first up.  I had concerns that he was having trouble flying –  only that morning he had attempted a lap of the room & landed in the plant pot!  The vet checked over his wings & found some missing flight feathers on both wings.  She said his heart sounded fine, which suggested the flying problem was a result of moulted-out feathers, which should be resolved when they have all grown back in again.  The only problem with this is that I find that when a bird has a few crash landings, their confidence can be dented & they are put off flying again, which in turn makes the problem worse.  Hopefully Lennie gets over this & is flying well soon.

The big shock with Lennie is that the vet weighed him & said he was 64g!!!  She did not seem concerned as she said he was clearly not overweight but did have a full gizzard.  There is a slight chance there may be a mass behind the gizzard, so I am to keep my eye on him.

 

Perry was up next.  The last time the vet visited, she identified a lump, which has since been growing.  Sometimes, at certain angles & when he is fluffed up, the lump is not noticeable at all.  However, it is definitely there, defined & dense.  It currently appears to be isolated, i.e., not attached to anything major.  Certainly, it is not imposing on Perry’s health or behaviour yet, but at sometime in the future I may need to get a sample from it in order to work out possible treatment.  Perry weighed a very respectable 55g, lump & all.

Perry contemplating eating some vegetables

 

Dalai was last.  He has been very much under the weather & his poops had changed.  He did have a very dodgy poop that was ringed with red, but I only found one of those (believe me, I was checking ALL of them after that discovery!) & the vet said he may have strained when passing that particular one.  The day before the vet came out, Dalai dropped a mountain of feathers overnight, which then made it clear that a lot of my concerns were most probably because he was moulting (again!).  Additionally, he has developed a dark mark on his beak.  I was not aware of him having bumped/crashed into anything for it be a bruise.  The vet thought it was either a blood blister or just a pigmentation change.  Dalai’s weight was also respectable, coming in at 45g.

Dalai

 

So, for a change, the vet did not leave me with any medication.  It took Dalai, Perry & Lennie awhile to recover from all the prodding & poking & it took me awhile to recover from the news of Lennie’s weight… in fact, if truth be told, my jaw is still on the floor over it!

 

 

Seasonally Confused

When I mentioned to the vet that the birds were moulting again, she said they were clearly ‘seasonally confused‘.  What a good & descriptive phrase!  It may well apply to humans too, particularly in the UK, with our extremely changeable weather!

Here, we have had a series of mini-moults.  It is never long before there is another flurry of feathers.  Right now though, they are going through a ‘proper’ moult, with tails lost, wing feathers lost & pinny heads.  Not to mention a bit of grumpiness.

However, despite looking like he has been pulled through a hedge backwards, Lennie is the one who tends to stay upbeat through it all, possibly irritating both Dalai & Perry more than he usually does!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update on Dalai: 45 days

The last time I posted on Dalai’s health (click here), I stated that we had commenced the 45 day treatment for Chlamydiosis.  This ran from the 1st December 2018 to 14th January 2019.  Treatment was the medicine Ornicure, in water for all three: Dalai, Perry & Lennie.

The medicine was made up 1 litre at a time & kept for 7 days in the fridge.  Apart from ensuring the light-sensitive medicine & solution was measured & stored correctly, administration was really no problem at all.  They all drank the water without any qualms.

The difficulty was all the cleaning that had to be done.  The infectious element is shed in cycles so it is important to have an effective cleaning routine.  Given that they have an awful lot of ‘furniture’, I decided to clean most of it once & then store it away & return it at the end of the treatment.  This has meant we have been living a minimalist lifestyle!

In week one, the playgym took 3 days to dismantle & clean & at the time of writing, has not yet been returned.  As I bagged up newly disinfected items, I marvelled at how many pegs they have & how many beads!

Temporarily, I replaced some wooden perches & the rope perches with easy-to-clean plastic perches.  I replaced their chewy toys with plastic toys.  As paper is easy to replace, I used a lot of crinkle paper & curly paper on the toys to generate interest.

They all continued to moult – each losing a tail feather during December.  Intermittently, Dalai would tail bob, so on those occasions I would nebulise him in the travel cage with F10.

 

A few days after treatment was completed, I arranged another visit from the vet (17th January).  I still had some concerns about intermittent tail bobbing.  The vet checked Dalai over.  His weight was either 45 or 46g.  The vet said that last time she was starting to feel his keel bone so it was good he was back to a healthy weight.  His temperature was also normal, compared to last time when it was slightly raised.  His toenails were fine (no problematic bruising) but were a little long, so they were clipped.  She detected a slight clicking which suggested there was still a lingering respiratory issue.  If linked to the Chlamydia, she said it may take a little longer after the end of treatment for it to clear up.  Because the vet thought Dalai was in otherwise good health & in good spirits, she suggested I continue to nebulise him with F10, as & when the tail bobbing is apparent, but to continue a few days after he improves.

Dalai’s poops 17/1

Dalai’s poops have improved over time.  The initial worrying green colour that prompted the vet to suggest treatment for Chlamydia, has gone.  Of course we still do not know if they had or have Chlamydia, but either way, they all now appear well & happy.

Just so Perry & Lennie were not feeling left out with all the attention the vet was giving Dalai, they both had their toenails trimmed.  Perry, in particular, had a very long toenail that I was concerned about.  Lennie was a very difficult patient & it took the vet & the nurse ages to trim his toenails!

Over the next few weeks I will continue to bring back more of their toys & also the playgym.  I am sure it will not be long before we are completely cluttered again!

Dalai