Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: preen

Returning the favour

Just a few days after I found Phineas preening Thomas, Thomas kindly returned the favour!

Thomas preening Phinny

Thomas preening Phinny

Although he is not being chased, for once, it seems, someone is at least being affectionate with Phineas. 🙂

Toenails (part 1)

Toenails have been the focus of attention recently.

Short toenails

Short toenails

Firstly, Cagney’s toenails have been getting a little out of hand.  In short, they have got long & curly.  He gets them caught in all manner of things, even his favourite chewy toy.   Given that I have difficulty catching him, not just because he is small & fast but because he is quite fragile looking & I am worried I will hurt him, I decided to call in reinforcements… the vet.

Sleepy Cagney

Sleepy Cagney

Mr Exotic Vet visited today.  After a bit of a chase around the Manor, he managed to catch Cagney & deftly trimmed his toenails, conveniently trimming off the part of the nails that were embedded in the cloth he used to catch him.  When he finished, he returned him to the Manor but was surprised when Cagney did not get off his hand.  Even more surprised when Cagney sat there & started preening!  Well, Mr EV had other appointments to go to so could not stand there whilst Cagney preened (as I would have!) so pointed him in the direction of several perches, which Cagney promptly ignored, until he was virtually shoved onto the rope perch in the loft area, next to Bezukhov.

He had also given Cagney a prod & a poke & declared him well.   Though Mr EV did not examine Bezukhov, just by sight he thought he looked well too.

Me? Tatty?!

Me? Tatty?!

I then turned Mr EV’s attention to Phineas to check one of his toenails.  Two days ago, there was an incident (post to come) resulting in some spilt blood.  Fortunately, despite dried blood still on the toenail, there was no lasting damage.

Am I not a beautiful blue?!

Am I not a beautiful blue?!

Though Phineas has been in fine form, I have noticed his tail feathers & some wing feathers constantly look tatty.  His forehead also looks very bare (post to come), I hoped just through severe, localised moulting.  Mr EV decided to grab Phinny to investigate further.  He said the wing/tail feathers were of poor quality but could not see any evidence of mites which was a relief.  Personally, I feel that Phinny’s feather quality has improved since he arrived, through better nutrition, but clearly there is still a way to go.

Mr EV & his assistant also had a look at Thomas & came to the unanimous conclusion that he was a gorgeous shade of blue. 🙂

After the visit & things had calmed down, I let the toyboys out.  They flew over to sit on Thomas’s cage but promptly fell asleep after all the excitement.

They all livened up later on, particularly when Phineas also came out to play, but that is another story…

Sleepy Bezukhov

Sleepy Bezukhov

Love is….

……. preening each other:

……. preening together:

…… cuddling up at bedtime:


Flapping about & getting wet

During the recent hot weather I gave Atilla & the toyboys a few mistings to cool them down.  Atilla will only turn down a misting if the water temperature is not quite to her liking.  The boys are more unpredictable.  Sometimes they join in & have a roll about in whatever leaves there are but other times they will get a single drop of water on them & start preening excessively like they have actually got wet.

I love to watch Atilla flapping about under the water & prancing about in the leaves.  It is difficult to film as I am spraying the water with one hand & have the camera in the other hand.  It is worth the effort though.  Here is Atilla having a flap & getting thoroughly drenched….


(Click on pictures to enlarge)

Bedtime preening

Atilla has got into the habit of preening Cagney’s head at bedtime.  She is very thorough.  In fact, she is so thorough that I think it is a bit of an ordeal for him, so the last couple of nights he has opted out by sleeping on the peg. 

Here is some dark & grainy evidence of Atilla’s thoroughness & Cagney’s meekness…..

Under Pressure

It has been two weeks since Cagney bruised his right leg.  The exotic vet visit was brought forward a day which suited us better.  Cagney was still not using his right leg although he was now stretching it out behind him when stretching his wing out which he was not doing before.

The added problem now was the pressure sore on his left foot as a result of not being able to rest it due to the gammy right leg.  This was getting him down somewhat.  When resting, he would hold his right foot up but slump to the left in a way that I assume he could take pressure off the left foot sore.  He looked rather sorry for himself.  He did not seem to be feeding Atilla as often but would go to her regularly for head preens, like he needed some extra comfort & tender loving care.  Atilla, even though still weak, would always give him a thorough head preen, complete with pulling out feathers that Cagney would want to check before she flung away.

After a bit of a chase, Mr EV was able to examine Cagney & confirmed he had a superficial pressure sore.  He said to give him antibiotics for the next five days to prevent infection.  He agreed that he was slowly regaining use of his right leg.

Mr EV also checked out Atilla & said she was looking better than when he last saw her.  That day was indeed an “up” day for her, where she was accepting seed from me & actually three times that day went down to get seed herself. 🙂  Mr EV advised that on her “down” days to give her some painkiller/anti-inflammatory medication.

The invalids:

Limpalong Cagney, sleepy Atilla & the Vet

Electric blanket on the Manor

The day after the Avian Vet visit, Atilla was still very sleepy & weak, in fact most of the time she could hardly open her eyes.  I kept her warm in the Manor under the electric blanket.  Her lump had got smaller due to the injection to reduce the excess fluid.  It now hung down flatly rather than being big & round.

Cagney carried on feeding her.  She did not accept any food/seed from me.  I boiled up an egg & mixed in pellets that I had crushed to a powder, crushed seaweed, a pinch of Guardian Angel & broccoli & sprinkled a few drops of water that had the antibiotic in.  I hoped this concoction would provide Atilla with more vitamins & hopefully more energy.

Cagney eating egg mixture

Despite Cagney gamely keeping up with feeding Atilla, his foot was no better so I decided to call out Mr Exotic Vet for the next day.

Come bedtime, Atilla made her way to the peg & after a little rest there, decided she wanted to sleep on the swing Bezukhov was on (the boys were sleeping on the two front swings).  It is possible that she did not even know he was there as she was still barely opening her eyes, but either way, she jumped on it & landed beside a surprised Bezukhov.  I offered my finger to Bezukhov who, still in shock, readily agreed to settle on the back swing.

Cagney feeding Atilla

The following morning, I found Atilla had made her way to the ttmss swing & was sitting there quite comfortably.  I handed up the water pot & she slurped from it.  She also climbed on my finger & walked up my arm, outside the Manor.  I moved near the plant pot stand & she jumped on it!  I think she appreciated the change of scenery.  She sat there for awhile, being fed by Cagney.  Bezukhov sat with them… all three on the plant pot stand.

Atilla's outing on the plant pot stand

When Mr EV & his assistant arrived, Atilla was back in the Manor & the toyboys were having a fly around the lounge.  Naturally, Cagney did not want to be caught & flew off whenever Mr EV approached.  Funnily enough, Bezukhov flew everywhere that Cagney did even though we were not after him.  Cagney got a little tired & eventually he was caught when he flew into the Manor to hide.

Mr EV confirmed that Cagney’s leg was bruised.  He cut his toenails as some of them were quite long & we assume he must have caught one, causing the bruising on his leg.  We were to allow more time for his leg to heal.

Cagney preening a sleepy Atilla

Atilla was still weak so Mr EV had a look at her.  He managed to prise off two large crusty poops on her lump that must have felt uncomfortable.  I explained all that had happened with Mr AV.  Mr EV said he would ring Mr AV & find out if there was any other medication to help Atilla.

It felt reassuring knowing that two vets would be discussing how to make my precious Atilla comfortable.

After Mr EV departed, I left them all locked in the Manor to calm down & rest.

Result of poop clearing

At bedtime, Atilla made her way to the peg & after a brief doze, launched herself at Cagney’s swing.  For a few moments, they were sat side-by-side, Cagney looking a bit shocked at her supposed decision to share the swing.  Then Atilla launched herself at the back swing where she settled for the night.

The elephant in the room

…. or rather, the lump in the room…

Since I reported on Atilla’s last visit to Mr Avian Vet, I have not mentioned her fatty lump & hernia problem.  This has not been intentional.  It is just that she is still a busy madam & gives me lots to focus on other than the lump.

Unfortunately her “undercarriage” lump is gradually getting bigger.  It can be seen in some of the photos in other posts.  It is big, soft & wobbly.  The far side of it has fluffy feathers on as she cannot reach there to preen.  However, I have seen Cagney preen her lump!  He did not plan to, but was climbing up the cage bars & Atilla was on the peg above him & as he reached her he looked up & was faced with her fluffy lump.  He immediately started to gently preen it & Atilla did not mind in the slightest. 

The lump is starting to upset her balance a little but she still gets around as much as before.  She attempts a big fly at least once a day but always lands on the floor.  I have now set up a “stairway” from the floor to the Manor if she should find herself stranded & I am not around to help her up.  I do supervise their out of cage time but may go out the room for just a few minutes.  One time recently I returned & she was on the floor by the Manor, unable to work out how to get home & that is what made me think of constructing the stairway.  At least she has the option for independence although I suspect she will prefer to wait for my hand lift service.

So, apart from the lump getting bigger, there is no other health impact so far….  Atilla is still busy, bright-eyed & the boss.

Smile & say cheese…. pleeease?

Question: How hard can it be to get a photo of Bezukhov, complete with his head?

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Answer: VERY hard!

Curly wurly toenail

Raspy spends a lot of time preening, cleaning & sorting out her feet.  There could be chaos around but she will be lost in a world of budgie tootsies.  I can see why she cares so much for her feet as they are rather beautiful. 

If you look closely at the above photo you will see that Raspy has a curly back toenail.