Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: moult

Two weeks in the life of a blood feather

Bezukhov has been going through another moult.  This time his head feathers have been completely overhauled.

Here he is at the beginning, looking fine, even though he had lost 3 spot feathers in one go:

This slideshow shows progress over the two weeks:

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A long-drawn-out moult

It was not that long ago (December/January) when Dalai had a problem with uneven wings, due to moulting out some flight feathers.  Less than two months later he is going through another moult which has been going on for several weeks.  He only needs to have a shake & feathers fall off him.  Now he has pin feathers on his head.  He has been quite grumpy.

 

Dalai’s dander

During their moult, feather dust & dander is more noticeable.  Sometimes, Bezukhov & Dalai sit on the perch preening & you can see it drift down & settle below them.  I have singled out Dalai in this post simply because the dander he leaves behind on the ttmss swing in the Manor is particularly noticeable because of the dark colour of the perch.

Bezukhov very rarely sits on that swing which is why I know the dander pictured is Dalai’s.  Bezukhov prefers the counterpart (hot pink) swing in the Villa.

 

Dalai’s first misting

Yesterday, Dalai had his first misting.

Since his arrival, Dalai has witnessed several mistings.  Both Bezukhov & Phineas have demonstrated the art of prancing about in some wet leaves whilst I spray water over them.  Dalai would usually take himself off to the Villa & leave them to it.  I was not too concerned because he does take regular baths in the Thomas Bath.

Several factors may have influenced Dalai to try out a misting: they are both going through what seems like a never-ending moult, Bezukhov was very keen to throw himself into the celery leaves, & the sun was shining brightly though it is now clearly winter.  Whatever the reason, after he watched Bezukhov have a go, he decided to join in.  I think he enjoyed it.

Dalai investigating the celery leaves:

 

Dalai & Bezukhov preening afterwards:

(Click on photos to enlarge)

A Short Tale

This is a short tale about a short tail.

Once upon a time (about a week ago), handsome Prince Bezukhov had two tail feathers.  However, Bezukhov was moulting & the tail feathers worried about their future.  They were right to worry because one day, Bezukhov’s friend Dalai “helped” him remove one.  The tail feather was sad at the bottom of the cage.  Some days later, the remaining tail feather dropped out & was reunited with the first one who was now living on the coffee table.  They resignedly watched as new tail feathers started to grow in their place.  The prince will soon look handsome again as his odd, short tail morphs into lovely long tail feathers.  The end.

 

 

Pins, poop & preening

Bezukhov is getting better.  He is eating a reasonable amount each day.  His poops are looking fine.  He is chatting again with Dalai & has even engaged in the odd flirting session here & there.  He is still moulting though, so looks a bit rough & still likes to have a sleep during the day.

Dalai is also moulting.

 

During the last week, I have noticed Dalai preen Bezukhov’s cheek feathers.  I have only witnessed it happen about 3 times & each time was very brief but I did manage to get one little session on film:

Despite the rather brusque ending, I think Bezukhov appreciated the attention.

 

After the last few weeks, it gives me great pleasure to see Bezukhov tucking into his seed:

 

Poops are looking good too:

 

 

Relapse

An unwell Bezukhov

An unwell Bezukhov

One day feather loss

One day feather loss

Medication

Medication

We have had a difficult time with Bezukhov.  After I posted that Bezukhov had become unwell (click here to read that post), the hopeful signs of improvement stopped.  On the 29th September, Bezukhov began a heavy moult.  Almost overnight there were feathers everywhere.  He lost mountains of small fluffy feathers, several larger feathers, including flight feathers & a tail feather.  At the same time, his poops got worse again.  He also stopped eating.

He was extremely lethargic & I was sufficiently worried to call in Ms Independent Vet (IV) who visited on the 30th September.

Once again, she suspected the problems were a continuation of stress from losing his friend Phineas, but now with the added complication of going into a heavy moult.  She weighed him & he was only 44g, so a loss of approximately 14g in 9 days.  His temperature was very high, but otherwise she could not find anything else obviously wrong.  She gave him an injection of anti-inflammatory to help bring down his temperature & also antibiotics to guard against infections whilst his immune system was low.  I was to orally give him the anti-inflammatory (Loxicom) twice a day for the next 3 days & antibiotics (Baytril) once a day for the next 7 days.  She also advised that I steam/nebulise him with F10 as she thought his breathing was a bit laboured.  She also gave me Emeraid, so I could syringe feed him to get his weight back up.

Of course giving Bezukhov medicine is a challenge.  Despite being unwell he still managed to do his very best to avoid taking anything orally.

I was marginally better at giving Bezukhov the medicine than the Emeraid.  Some birds will apparently eat Emeraid when offered as it is a nice smelling (& probably nice tasting) porridge-like substance.  I did offer him some on my finger but he refused so I was left with having to syringe feed him.  I tried my very, very best to give him the food but he pulled out all the stops & thwarted me at every twist & turn.  I managed to get a few drops inside him now & then.  Ms IV advised that I give him the Emeraid morning & evening but because I could hardly get any inside him, I added another battle session in the middle of the day.

Despite my best efforts, Bezukhov got worse.

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Reduced medication update

In December, when I last spoke to Ms Exotic Hospital Vet (EHV), it was agreed to reduce Bezukhov’s medication, to be reviewed the end of January.

Bezukhov

Bezukhov

This new regime began on the 12th December.  He was now to have medication every third day, rather than second day.  The amount of Destolit to stay the same but I reduced the amount of Lactulose.  Unfortunately, after two reduced dosages, in the evening of the 17th December Bezukhov had an ‘episode‘.  He was on my finger at the time & had just finished eating seed.  Phineas went to peck at him & Bezukhov pulled his head back to avoid him but this prompted a reflex type spasm for a brief moment.

He was due medication the next morning so I reverted back to the normal dose whilst I contacted Ms EHV.  She suspected the ‘episode’ was a one-off rather than related to the reduced medication so suggested I carry on with the new regime.  So, three days later I went back to the new regime.  On the 1st January, I stopped giving him Lactulose completely, so now it was just Destolit (for his gallbladder) every third day.

Yesterday, I spoke to Ms EHV to review how things were.  He has not had any more ‘episodes’ since the 17th December & apart from having another moult, seems in otherwise good health.  She suggested we stop the Destolit too, in other words, no medication.  Scary!

However, because he is currently going through a moult, we agreed to stop the medication when he is back to his normal self.  When this happens I will be monitoring him more closely than ever!

 

 

 

 

 

Whole again

A few months back I reported that during the tussle of catching Bezukhov for his every-other-morning medication, his tail snapped (click here).  A few weeks ago, I came across a strange looking feather on the floor.  It took a few seconds for me to realise it was the stumpy part of his tail that was left behind.  I reunited it with the upper part of the tail that snapped off.

 

 

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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