Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: Quarantine

Blue Birds

Please welcome the new additions to our little flock!

Blue birds

Blue birds

 

These two beautiful blue birds came into our home on the 14th of November, at approximately 8 weeks old.  Last week, after just under 4 weeks quarantine, they were wheeled in to the same room as Bezukhov & Dalai.  I am giving them time to acclimatise to their new surroundings before letting them out.  Bezukhov & Dalai are also adjusting to having new blood in their midst!

I am enjoying getting to know their personalities & have yet to decide on names.  My hope is that all 4 will be happy together. 🙂

 

Twenty-five days in isolation

Dalai on day 2

Dalai on day 2

Dalai resting

Dalai resting

Dalai likes the honey stick

Dalai likes the honey stick

Dalai discovers his swing

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:

 

 

Introducing little Dalai

Since Cagney’s passing in September, it has been on my mind to increase the flock.

Enter little Dalai.

Little Dalai

Little Dalai

 

He was re-homed 4 weeks today on the 14th March.  As with re-homes, little is known of his background.  He was approx. 5 months old & was originally with a hen who had died leaving him on his own, hence, I guess, the need to re-home.  His owner had named him Rama.  I decided to rechristen the little one, but wanted to retain his roots & came up with Dalai Rama.

He was housed in a round cage that I did not want so he was transferred to my travel cage.  Once home, I quickly finalised the set up of his quarantine cage (folding cage) – I had waited until I saw him in case that helped decide what toys to put in.  As he was younger than I imagined, I chose toys that I thought would be more suitable for a youngster.  Once all was set up, I managed to transfer him from the travel cage to his new home (at least for the next 4 weeks) & left him to settle.

With luck, Bezukhov & Phineas will welcome him!

 

Parcel for Mr Thomas!

The wild grass season is with us again. 🙂

Fairy godmother follower Rosebudgie has been out in the countryside & picked a lovely bunch of seeded grass for our new boy Thomas.

This was duly shared amongst Cagney, Bezukhov & Phineas whilst Thomas suspiciously looked at sprigs whilst in quarantine.  The toyboys have, of course, sampled the delights of wild grass before & wasted no time tucking into Thomas’s parcel.  Phineas has most probably never seen this seeded grass before.  Initially he was very suspicious & skirted around it.  He was not scared of it as the toyboys were eating it but it must have looked a bit odd to him.  Eventually, he plucked up courage to try some & surprise, surprise, loved it!

Thank you rosebudgie!

Staggered introduction

When Thomas arrived he had to go through the obligatory quarantine period, in another room from the others.

He seemed to adapt well (better than Phineas did) but did get obsessed with looking out of the window.  One thing is for sure, his eyesight is very good. 🙂

When it came to introducing him to the others, I decided to go for a staggered introduction by wheeling Phineas in to him first.

I felt a bit mean wheeling Phineas out of the lounge away from the toyboys.  There was lots of shouting going on.  Although the toyboys are not particularly bonded with Phineas, they still clearly see him as a mate as they were quite vocal about him disappearing.

So, Thomas was introduced to my little grey man.  Their cages were put side-by-side.  Initially, both were a little shocked, but they gradually relaxed & became more comfortable.  Over those few days, they showed some interest in each other & would sit close to the other one but to be honest, both were probably still more interested in looking out of the window.  There was a lot of talk between them but I sensed they were both having different conversations at the same time.

Was the staggered introduction the right thing to do?  I am not sure.  Hindsight tells me I should have perhaps persevered with this arrangement a little longer than I did.

Even numbers again!

Odd numbers are not good.  There was only one thing for it……

Please give a warm welcome to young Thomas… 🙂

Thomas Perrywinkle

Thomas Perrywinkle

Our new little friend arrived Saturday 27th April.  His kind owner sadly had to re-home him quickly due to allergies.  Tommy, as he was named, was bought from a pet shop & was thought to be about 4 months old.

He is a normal blue (cobalt?) but there is nothing normal about his colour – in real life he is a stunning, bright shade.  Absolutely gorgeous.

He has, of course, been in quarantine & has adapted well.  He comes across as quite a cool dude.  He is obsessed with looking out of the window.  It has been like a big TV screen for him.  I feared that he would become goggle-eyed.

The plan was for Phineas to join Thomas towards the end of quarantine in the hope that they would form a bond, & then join the toyboys.  Life is never straightforward though.  Stay tuned to find out how “introductions” progress.

Introduction: Stage 8, the final stage

Previously I posted on stage 7.

Stage 8:  Patience.

20130113_124434_sh21It is coming up to 3 months since Phineas was introduced to Cagney & Bezukhov.  This particular introduction has been a perfect example of not rushing things!  We are still taking it slowly.  My actions on what to do & when have largely been dictated by the boys themselves.  I am keen for them all to live happily together even if they do not become bosom buddies.  However, they all appear to actually like each other & any upset is either due to “over-friendliness” or a slight confusion over boundaries.

There has been a tiny, tiny, tiny amount of progress in that Phineas is managing to take his eye off Cagney for more than a few seconds at a time.  This opens up a new world for him, not least another friend in Bezukhov & another friend in me (or my hand as that is currently his preferred jiggy-jiggy location, & my thumb as that is his preferred object to regurgitate to).

So, the Introduction is on-going.  I have chosen “Patience” as the name of stage 8, the final stage, as this seems to perfectly encapsulate what is needed.  And, if truth be told, it is highly possible there will not actually be an end date for the use of Patience.

Introduction: Stage 7

Phineas monitoring the toyboys from the landing platform

Phineas monitoring the toyboys from the landing platform

Previously I posted on stage 6.

Stage 7: Establishing a routine.

We seem to have a routine of some sorts.  A strange one at that.

In the morning, I pull the cover back on Phinny’s cage first, so he can see the toyboys in the Manor.  There is usually a lot of chat between them all.  I then let the toyboys out to have a fly & mooch about.  Often, Cagney’s first port of call is to go over & say hello to Phineas.  Sometimes Bezukhov goes over too, but Phineas usually does a lot of wing flapping when he does.  Just when I deduce that the wing-flapping means he is not keen on Bezukhov, Phinny then wing-flaps at Cagney….. & then at me…. & then just for the hell of it….

The toyboys have their quality time together.  I think they appreciate this as once I let Phineas out he tends to curtail their activities.

Of course, Phineas needs his out of cage time too & he gets this later in the morning.  He knows where his door is now & is out as soon as I open it, & proceeds immediately to the Manor.

There may be some flying about by all of them, usually Phineas chasing Cagney & Bezukhov flying alongside.  The toyboys then retire into the Manor loft area.  Phineas then goes on prowling duty.  He paces back & forth over the Manor roof, watching the boys & getting excited when they say something or move a feather.  Strangely, he does not go into the Manor.

Phineas inside the Manor. :-O

Phineas inside the Manor. :-O

Well, he has recently gone into the Manor but his visits are generally very brief.  A quick in & out.

The toyboys appear relatively safe in the Manor, even with the landing platform down & the main front door open.  They also seem safe when sitting on the swinging perch (with mirror) that I sometimes hang from the landing platform.  In this situation, instead of sitting above them on the Manor roof, Phinny will sit on the landing platform above them.

Phinny still needs help to go back in his own cage (i.e., I am grabbing him).  If left to him I think he would be a permanent fixture on the Manor roof.

If truth be told, I was hoping they would all live harmoniously in the Manor together.  This may still happen but for the time being I am letting them work out their own schedules & procedures.


There is no off switch!!!

I can confirm that Phineas has no off switch!  He is a budgie dynamo.  I am considering renaming him “Duracell”.  [If you do not understand the significance of this, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duracell_Bunny.]

Phineas is currently obsessed with Cagney.  He is Cagney’s shadow, whether Cagney likes it or not.  Cagney, though he appears a little overwhelmed by the attention, does lead Phineas on at times.

Bezukhov is still very much on the outside looking in at all the shenanigans.  I keep telling him we are playing the long game…. Phinny’s obsession is bound to wear out, that is if Cagney does not wear out first.

However, I thought the novelty would have worn off days ago….. but no, Phinny is still VERY excitable!  He also appears to have lots of hormones raging around, judging by his behaviour at times so it is possible we will have to wait for him to age before he starts to calm down. 😀

At times, Cagney gets visibly worn out so I help him into the Manor & shut it up.  At this point, Bezukhov will also join him.  This leaves Phineas prowling around on the Manor roof.  Sometimes, usually when the toyboys are dozing, Phinny will calm down & almost lay down on the Manor roof to rest himself but still with his eye on his two friends.  If I get the timing right, Phinny will allow me to ruffle his cheek feathers for a few seconds.  🙂

Phineas never shows any sign of returning to his own cage so each time I have to grab him & put him back myself.  He does not appear to hold this grabbing against me.  For the time being I am keeping the Manor a “safe haven” for the toyboys.

Introduction: Stages 6a, 6b, 6c

Previously I posted on stages 4-5.

Stage 6 can be summarised as “Chaos” but I have broken this down into more manageable sections:

Stage 6a: Finding the door.

This stage is the nerve-wracking time when the Meetee’s cage door is opened for entrance into the shared flying space.  Phineas has had some difficulty finding the door, even though there were conveniently placed perches both inside & outside.  He has spent many an hour manically pacing up & down, right past the open door, not noticing (or choosing not to notice??) it was open.  The only way to encourage him out was to use a Meeter as bait, in this case, Cagney.

Cagney would sit on the perch outside the door (or the plant pot stand, tactically positioned in full view of the open door) & eventually there would be some beak-fencing until Phineas finally stumbled out into the big, wide space of the lounge.  Then onto the next part….

Stage 6b: Mad flying.

In Phinny’s case, his flying was not really “mad”.  He was actually quite controlled from the beginning.  The madness aspect was really where he was working out where to fly & more importantly, where to land.  His flying was pretty good & he stayed at mid-level rather than landing up at the ceiling.  He also managed a bit of hovering that proved useful when working out where to land.  Of course it was handy for him to follow the toyboys.  He mastered landing on the Manor quite quickly, followed by his cage & the playgym.  He has struggled with landing on the window perches, managing to do it today for the first time, after a rather acrobatic near miss where he landed but failed to apply the breaks & was left hanging upside down, though only for a few seconds before he flew off again.  Once this stage was sufficiently broken he could concentrate on the next part….

Stage 6c: Catching up with the Meeters.

In Phinny’s case, “the Meeters” means Cagney.  He appears to have a soft spot for Cagney although this is probably because Cagney has been the most sociable.  Bezukhov has been far more cautious.  The simple way to catch up with Cagney is to fly to him.  The problem is that Cagney keeps flying away.  Cue mad chasing around the room.  Bezukhov tends to fly with Cagney so there are 3 of them tearing around at the same time, with Phinny supplying some creative landings like forward rolls across the Manor landing platform landing on the inside perch.

At intervals, they are all so worn out that they briefly call a truce to catch their breath.  At this point, I have managed to get Phineas back into his cage, or have locked the toyboys in the manor, to give them all time to rest & reflect on what has happened.  (Well, perhaps Bezukhov would do some “reflecting”….)

To be continued…..

Phineas finding the door:

Flying about: