On this day in 2008, dear Raspy hatched. Less than 8 weeks later she came into our home, along with her sister Atilla.
Here is a video of the two girls ‘negotiating’ over the playgym wheel:
Always in our thoughts.
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 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!
After much thought, I decided to replace the Manor with another Villa (Liberta Oregon flight cage).
Though I wanted something with the same space as the Manor, I also wanted something that was not so tall & heavy. ‘Heavy’ in a cage is a good thing as it indicates strength & durability, but over time I was finding it awkward & on the occasions when I dropped the bottom grid on my foot, painful!
The existing Silver Villa ticks quite a few boxes (not all – I doubt there is a cage in existence that has no bad points!) Apart from needing to be a reasonable size, the other main thing it had to have was an adequately big central door, to enable easier catching of an occupant. So, another Villa was chosen. There are added bonuses: in the short term it would have a low scariness level in regards to introduction; in the long term having two homes that were essentially the same may help with any territorial issues.
The change warranted a clear plan of action.
The 11th March was the day scheduled for Step 2. After capturing what turned out to be Bezukhov’s last meal in the Manor, it was removed from the room & the layout changed. All went to plan.
Bezukhov is no fan of changes but he did welcome back his old friend the playgym. Surprisingly, the playgym was new to Dalai but it did not take him long to join Bezukhov there. By the following day, Perry & Lennie also visited the playgym.
Here is the animated version of Bezukhov’s reunion with the playgym & Dalai’s initial encounter:
After over a week of dressing the New Villa, the 20th March ushered in Step 4 of the plan. Trying to make the changes as discreetly as I could, I carefully moved the New Villa right next to the Silver Villa, all the while gauging Bezukhov’s reaction, hoping he would not be scared. Fortunately, he did not seem too put out with the new construction next door. I moved the lamp from Perry & Lennie’s quarantine cage to the New Villa.
You will see that the New Villa is a darker colour than the Silver Villa. It was described as ‘grey’ so I expected it to be the same as the Silver Villa. It is actually closer in colour to the black bars of the quarantine cage. Putting aside my general irritation that it is not the same colour (!) I worried that it may hamper acceptance.
For Step 5, when they were all let out, they naturally pretended the New Villa did not exist. To encourage Perry & Lennie to spend the night in the New Villa, I bribed them with red millet. It worked. Here they are tucking in:
I hope they will all be happy with the New Villa.
When Dalai came in from quarantine, his cage was placed where the playgym usually stands. The playgym was relegated to the other side of the room. Although it was just below one of their flight paths, they chose to ignore it & it gathered dust.
As it has been months since Dalai has been in his quarantine cage, I decided to move it out & reinstate the playgym to its original position. Before doing this, I spruced up the playgym – the dust was removed, Tweety Pie was cleaned up & I put lots of inviting, curly, chewy paper over it. I did not expect Bezukhov to descend on the playgym immediately as he is wary of change. Dalai had never known the playgym to be in the “new” location so I was not expecting him to blaze a trail to it.
It was not a surprise to me to find it would take 2 weeks for it to be used. Bezukhov landed on there, though I think he was spooked by something & landed there by accident. He stayed there for a bit though & had quite a chat in his old haunting place. Dalai seemed intrigued & flew by a couple of times but did not quite pluck up the courage to land.
Unfortunately, 3 weeks after Bezukhov visited the playgym, he has not been back. Tweety Pie must be feeling quite neglected.
Cagney & Bezukhov live in the Manor. They were originally quarantined in the old Ferplast (OF). Phineas lives in the folding cage, where he was quarantined too. Thomas was quarantined in the OF but then went to live with Phineas in the folding cage.
The OF, when not in use, has often been a chilling out cage. However, I wanted to phase it out as there was some damage to the bars in places & I did not feel it was safe any more.
Enter the new Ferplast (NF).
The NF is basically the upgraded version of the OF, with a few design changes. (The jury is still out on whether those changes are “improvements”). My plan was for Phineas & Thomas to move into the NF as it is much bigger than the folding cage. I felt that Thomas would appreciate the extra space to get away from Phineas at times.
Due to Thomas being unwell, I put off moving him & Phineas into their new home until he was feeling better, but the NF was set up & moved into the room, as the replacement chill-out cage. Phineas did go in there briefly but otherwise it was completely ignored, most certainly by the scaredy-cat Toyboys because of its different colour (e.g., black bars instead of white).
Sadly, Thomas is now no longer with us. I went ahead with the move anyway as the NF was ready & waiting.
Moving day was last week. Continue reading “An Upgrade, a Move & some Tweaking”
The play gym has been on walkabout in recent months. When Thomas, in the third cage, arrived in the lounge, the play gym had to be relocated in my bedroom. There was a few weeks when the toyboys stayed in my bedroom & that time the play gym returned to the lounge. On the toyboys return to the lounge the play gym was once again relegated to my bedroom.
It seemed a shame to not be using it, so I removed the top from the base & placed it on top of the ferplast. Naturally it was ignored for a few days but then Cagney sat on it & the floodgates were open & now it is a regular haunt for all of them during their out-of-cage time.
(The base is still in my bedroom though!)
It is possible that the presence of Phineas has upset the toyboys’ bedtime routine. The other night they did not go to bed until half past midnight! And that was only because I prompted them.
For some strange reason, during the evening, they kept dozing somewhere other than the Manor. This made it impossible to close them up at normal bedtime. Normally if I approach them outside the cage nearing bedtime they would take the hint & start stretching wings & then retire to bed, perhaps having some more seed before the cover goes over.
This particular time they both settled on the swings on the playgym. By “settled”, I mean head-under-wing-fast-asleep settled. My little hints & prompts were making no difference to them. Finally, at 00:30, I decided enough was enough & they would have to go to bed as I was tired & I wanted to go to bed myself!
But still no movement.
This called for drastic measures. Bezukhov was on the nearest swing. I very carefully unhooked the swing from the playgym & transported him, still on the swing, across the room, over the spare cage (with a sleeping Phineas) & into the Manor where he stepped up & I placed him on the bedtime perch.
Cagney was on the swing that was behind Bezukhov’s swing. He was sleepy but had noticed his mate had gone back to the Manor. With a little persuasion I got him to step up & I transported him across the room, over the spare cage & into the Manor, where he joined Bezukhov. I covered them up & wished them sweet dreams & then retired to bed myself….
Atilla had a fly today. First time in ages.
She was sat on the top, bedtime perch this morning & had a little seed that I offered her. Then she started looking like she wanted to go somewhere….. she jumped onto the landing platform & without hesitation launched herself off across the room. She did not get far, but I was there to pick her up. She seemed to want to go to the playgym so I placed her there. She settled for a good few minutes. Cagney was not far behind & regurgitated some seed for her which she readily took.
After a little rest, she looked like she wanted to return home. She got on my hand but I was evidently too slow taking her over to the Manor as she decided to fly back herself but landed by the side. I helped her into the Manor where she had a good, long rest after her exertions.