Dalai on day 2
Dalai likes the honey stick
Dalai discovers his swing
As soon as he arrived, on the 14th March, little Dalai was promptly put into quarantine, i.e. my bedroom!
He looked young & healthy, but quarantine is important. The theory behind doing quarantine is that the stress of the move & change of environment may trigger an underlying illness, that may endanger the rest of the flock. The standard time for quarantine in this situation is 4 weeks. We managed 3.6 weeks.
Quarantine is usually a good time to spend taming your bird or building a bond, without distractions.
Though Dalai was clearly uneasy about the changes, it did not take too long for him to tolerate my hands moving around the cage, changing seed/water & cleaning things. He always took himself to the opposite side to where I was working. It took him longer to get used to me sliding the bottom tray out to change the paper & he seemed surprised that this strange event happened every day!
I spent time with my hand in the cage & gradually moved it towards him but he indicated he was not comfortable with that. Even if I held something tasty like millet.
During quarantine, Dalai developed his own eating routine which I found difficult to cope with at first – he tended not to eat until around 5 pm, at which point he could spend over 20 minutes eating seed without pausing once.
His previous owner had given me some seed that he had been feeding him. I started mixing my own with this to transition him over. He liked millet, especially a new spray & not a half-eaten one. Because of the long hours of not eating, I bought him honey sticks that I remembered he had in his previous home, in the hope of enticing him to eat during the day. He liked those too.
The last time I had bought a honey stick was probably when my girls, Atilla & Raspy, were still around. I noticed some odd coloured poops from Dalai & after some panic, decided these were caused by the quite garishly coloured honey sticks (the egg one is bright yellow!)
Those days in isolation, with just me for company, must have been difficult & strange for Dalai. He coped well though & found interest in the cage; his red mirror, the chewy toy, & after 3 weeks, the swing. He also took an interest in activity he could see outside the window. He was fairly quiet but did have the odd loud tantrum so I knew there was nothing wrong with his voice.
He also showed signs of being a clever boy as he was drinking water from the hamster-style water bottle as well as the open dish.
Here is a video of my little man during quarantine – eating, tweeting & noticing activity outside the window: