Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: Perry

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!

 

 

 

Further fresh grass deliveries

After the first delivery, more & more came!  All gratefully appreciated by Perry, Lennie & Moriarty!

 

~

 

 

Thank you, rosebudgie!!

 

Moriarty Milestones: Wild Grass

It is very possible that prior to Moriarty coming here, he had not had wild, seeded grass.

When the first grass of the season came through my letterbox, courtesy of very kind & generous follower, rosebudgie, my first thought was “wow, what an amazing surprise”, followed quickly by, “I wonder what Moriarty will make of this?”

 

Lennie wasted no time & tucked in immediately.  Perry was a bit reticent, like he had forgotten what fresh grass was, but this did not last long & he too, tucked in.  This left Moriarty, a bit bemused, wondering what his two friends were doing!  He circled around for a bit but eventually curiosity got the better of him & he tried it.  Unsurprisingly, he found he liked it.  Then he was running around like a demented fly, trying to eat all pieces that were pegged up!

 

Thank you, rosebudgie.  The fresh grass is much appreciated, especially by newcomer to the experience, Moriarty!

 

 

Favourite head rubbing perch

Perry often rubs his head on the ‘triangle’ perch.  He steps down into it & rubs his head on a knobbly bit:

 

One time he fell asleep mid rub:

Perry

 

Shift in flock relations

My last post on relations within the flock was awhile ago (click here).  Since that post at the end of December, things have moved on.

Perry appeared disinterested in a possible new friendship with Moriarty & I put that down to him just simply not wanting a new friend, or perhaps him not feeling too well.  However, something changed mid-January.  It is likely Perry began feeling better from all the ‘abscess‘ health drama that happened at the end of December/beginning of January.  It also indicates he was not feeling right in the lead up, hence shunning Moriarty in those early days.

Either way, on the 17th January 2021, Perry began to flirt with Moriarty through the bars!

This was an unexpected development!  Whilst I was pleased to see Perry engaging with Moriarty, it unfortunately meant Lennie taking a step back from his friendship with Moriarty, which was a shame as it had been developing well.  It also meant Lennie was effectively rejected, which is never a nice thing!!

Moriarty & Perry’s bond grew over the days to the point that each morning, when I unlocked Perry, he was straight over to Moriarty’s cage to say hello.  The first time, he overestimated his flying ability & landed on the floor, so from then on I gave him a little help to get over there.  His activity levels definitely increased!

The next step was Perry & Moriarty meeting without bars between them.  This happened with just the two of them, in Dalai’s cage, on the 30th January.  This meeting was highly animated with Moriarty even putting his foot up on Perry’s chest a few times!  You would think they were long, lost friends just reunited!

This friendship has continued & currently all three are together during the day, but still back in their respective cages at night – I think Perry & Lennie still appreciate that rest from young Moriarty.  Though the stronger friendship now appears to be between Perry & Moriarty, when Perry is resting, Moriarty is happy to interact & play with Lennie.  If Lennie is also resting, as a very last resort, Moriarty will turn to me for entertainment!

Some videos:

Perry & Lennie visiting Moriarty

 

Moriarty visiting Perry & Lennie

 

Eating together (almost) harmoniously

Bizarre drama

Nine days ago, on the 26th February, the lower, scabby part of Perry’s lump fell away.

He had been fiddling with it all day.  It was far more noticeable than before & looked pretty bad.  I started ringing for vet availability as I had a feeling something was going to happen, perhaps more bleeding.  I had the cornflour at the ready.

In the evening, part of the scab began to prise away.  At this point, Perry was relentless & totally focused with ‘sorting it out’.  I watched with horror as I saw this black thing dangling between his legs, catching on the perch & getting in the way of his movements.  The expression on Lennie’s face most probably mirrored my own as he stared incredulously at what was unfolding before him.

Perry carried on & within about 15 minutes, the whole thing fell off!

Fortunately, it was completely dry, with no blood or gunk.  It was a clean break & clearly the natural time for it to separate with Perry’s body.

It measured 1.2 cm wide x 2.3 cm long x 1.0 cm deep.

Perry was fine afterwards.

After a chat with the vet on the phone, when she said it was very bizarre, we agreed there was nothing to do at this point, but once again, to wait & see.  The lump itself is obviously still there, & it is possible another blister may form, so we are still on the roller-coaster.

For the interested among you, here are some gory photos:

 

Perry must feel so much better for not carrying that lump of dried blood & dead tissue around.

Perry

Wait & See

When I last posted on Perry’s health (click here) I said that we were waiting to see our usual vet.  She visited on the 14th January.  After a thorough examination, the conclusion was ‘wait & see‘.

She said the following:

  • The ball of dead tissue that fell off (15th December) left a crater, which has a lining of dead tissue. (The dead tissue is where there is an absence of blood vessels which can happen as a lump grows). This can be surgically removed but it is unknown how deep it is etc.  It is normal for the dead tissue to expand & is not necessarily a bad thing. The tissue around it looks healthy which suggests it may be healthy underneath too. The best case scenario is that when ready, it will just fall away.
  • The lower wound appears to show that bleeding from the abscess/cyst/blood blister was from two areas.  There is a ‘cavern’ between them that looks like a scab.  As with the upper wound, it is hoped his body will push out the remaining blood clot when appropriate.
  • The lower part of the lump is hard & still intact & brushing against his leg, hence his mobility issues.
  • It is still unknown what is happening inside/below the lump so there could still be unforeseen complications.
  • There was no obvious reason why he would bleed again, especially given his last bleed was on the 1st January.
  • It could take Perry up to 3 weeks to recover from the significant blood loss.

There was a lot of information so my interpretation is probably not spot on, but I think I got the gist of it!

One thing I am sure of is that the vet weighed him & he was a huge 65g!  That may be all the extra millet I have been giving him.  As he is still stable & appears in good spirits, I have already begun to cut back on the millet!

Perry

 

 

Holiday Emergency

Normally, at the beginning of a new year, I like to do a review of the previous year.  However, the last few weeks have been a little torturous & we are still in uncharted waters, so instead of a review, I will bring you up-to-date with Perry’s health.

I had previously reported (click here) that on the 15th of December, part of Perry’s lump had shrivelled & fallen off.  All was relatively stable until the 26th December, when there was some overnight blood loss.

There was no sign of blood on either Perry or Lennie.  In fact, they both looked fine.  But where did it come from?  There was no sign of a blood feather.  The blood looked like it dripped rather than sprayed.  I wondered if perhaps Perry had been picking at his lump (it was going black again).  There was some evidence of blood on a small feather under his tail so perhaps it was linked to a feather?  But Perry has a lot of white feathers & there was no sign of blood anywhere else on him.  Nothing on perches or cage bars either.  He was a bit quiet but was eating & drinking.

Three days later, the 30th December, was a bad day.  Perry bled three times.  The first time I noticed his foot & leg, the side of the lump, were bloody & there was blood on a perch, but nothing on the floor.  I assumed he had picked at the lump.  I had to go out & on my return there was more blood.  A lot.  There was a big clump on the perch & a large patch below it.  Perry was all bloody near his lump & it looked like blood had congealed on his feathers & formed clumps.  Again, he was quiet but had a drink, some fennel & a little seed.  Later on, I noticed what was the third & final bleed that day.

I had agonised over whether to take him to a vet but felt any major upheaval (transferring him to the travel cage & the journey to the vet etc.) could have a fatal outcome, so decided against that.  I recognised that no action could also have a similar outcome, but I thought we would ride out the night together.

 

Perry survived the night.  He seemed relatively stable & had not bled any more.  I decided to take him to the vet that morning, the 31st December.

The vet visit was wrapped up in mad rules which caused further (unnecessary) distress, but we got through it & I was relieved to get Perry back home again.  The vet seemed to suggest that the lump was actually an abscess (on reflection, it is possible she could have said ‘cyst’ but I struggle to understand when people are wearing a mask).  She cleaned the area as much as possible – a proper clean would mean putting him under anaesthetic.  She said there was still some dead tissue left in a crater/hole but she did not want to stress him or cause him any pain by removing that part.  She plucked the feathers, so there was a round, pink area.

Perry was understandably traumatised after the ordeal but I kept him quiet & covered in his own cage (Lennie was fortunately temporarily in Dalai’s cage).  It took Perry some time to feel like eating & drinking.  I checked on him overnight & was hopeful he was stable, however the following day, the 1st January, he had another bleed.  This time the blood loss happened as I was looking at him, so I immediately grabbed him & smothered his ‘lump’ with cornflour (I had all the emergency items handy).  I put him in a small carrier for a few minutes then checked him again.  I saw an area of fresh blood so put more cornflour on.  Whilst doing this, I noticed a round black area that must have been the dead tissue the vet mentioned – it was above where the bleeding was.  As I already had F10 disinfectant lined up, I swabbed it.

 

The cornflour stopped the bleeding & at the time of writing he has had no further bleeding.  We are hoping to see our usual vet as soon as she is available, but until then, we continue to do our best.  During all this trauma I have discovered that when Perry did not feel up to eating seed, he could usually manage some fennel.  It is always handy to know what food/vegetable your pet favours when they are not well.

We have had an unpleasant start to the New Year & there is still huge uncertainty around Perry’s condition.  However, against all odds (significant blood loss & severely limited veterinary services due to holidays etc.), Perry continues to eat & drink & I am eternally grateful we have got this far.

Perry

 

 

Operation Getting the Flock Together

Since presenting Moriarty to Perry & Lennie on the 8th November, we have embarked on a gradual introduction programme.

The first priority is to ensure that Perry feels safe & protected.  His health issues have highlighted extra vulnerability in particular with limited mobility.  I decided at the outset to ensure his cage is a safe haven & therefore to not allow entry to Moriarty.

Of course preparation is key.  Before letting Moriarty out, I needed a way to encourage him to go back in!  I had noticed that Moriarty does not eat much during the day & although he likes millet, could leave a fresh piece untouched all day until evening time.  It seems millet would not be an adequate enticer.  Enter the green peg!  Yes, he seems attached to a green peg.  This would be my means of control!  With that decided, after giving Moriarty a week to acclimatise to his new surroundings, I let him out on the 15th of November.  Perry & Lennie were locked in.

Moriarty strolled out onto the door platform to greet the green peg.  He was immediately intrigued by the curtains just by his cage & stepped up on my finger where I could take him closer whereby he had a good chat.  He returned to the peg on the door platform.  He then plucked up courage to have a fly!  He did several laps of the room & then landed on Dalai’s cage.  He again returned to the green peg.  I ushered him inside so we could all recover!  Perry & Lennie were a bit shell-shocked at suddenly seeing this mad green thing zooming around the room!

First time out:

 

Unfortunately, because I was closely monitoring Moriarty’s adventures, there are few photos/videos.  Plus, the days have been so dark, photos look pretty bad!

We proceeded with short outings, building up to 30 mins to an hour (depending on when he would voluntarily go back inside his cage).  These would happen up to three times a day.

I will detail some of the outings in further posts.

We have got to a point where Moriarty regularly visits Perry & Lennie.  Perry finds it stressful when Moriarty is prowling around on top of their cage so I put a line of curly paper along a perch that Perry usually sits on.  Moriarty is indifferent to curly paper, though he likes crinkle paper.  For a time, he avoided the curly paper meaning Perry was comfortable beneath.  It was not long before he started chewing it though, so I switched to a covered strip of lino which, so far, he has not paid attention to.

Once secure in knowing Moriarty was not crawling about above him, Perry could relax & have a grumble, a snooze or a preen.  Sadly, he has chosen not to interact with Moriarty & I think his general well-being has coloured that decision because under normal circumstances I am sure he would have been very welcoming.  Fortunately he is not jealous that Lennie is pursuing a friendship with Moriarty.

 

Lennie & Moriarty have lots of beak taps & flirty moments through the bars.  When Moriarty is locked in, Lennie now regularly visits him.  Admittedly, millet played a part in prizing him out initially, but gradually he has become more confident & routinely goes over to Moriarty’s cage & sits on the visitor’s perch.

On the 11th of December, we had another milestone where Lennie & Moriarty met ‘in person’, i.e., without cage bars between them!  That will be detailed in another post!

I am very proud of Moriarty.  He has an easy confidence that helps enormously when he is negotiating new surroundings.  I am also very proud of Lennie.  He has summoned courage to come back out of his cage & to jump & leap ‘into the unknown’ (as far as he is concerned).  Though Perry appears to have opted out of a new friendship, he has graciously allowed Lennie to forge ahead without displaying anything negative, such as jealousy, to hold him back.

I have three very different, but amazing boys!