Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: seed

Sensitive and Complicated

It was one week ago, with a sense of jà vu, that I noticed Bezukhov’s poops did not look right.  They were sludgy & dark green.

Bezukhov on the window perch

Bezukhov on the window perch

Bezukhov on top of the manor

Bezukhov on top of the manor

Bezukhov eating pellets

Bezukhov eating pellets

Instinct told me this was Bezukhov’s reaction to losing Phineas because the poops reminded me of just over a year ago, when we lost Cagney, & Bezukhov stopped eating (click here for post).

I knew Bezukhov was upset by the change in routine, actually, the change in everything, as evidenced by not going into the Villa (Phinny’s domain).  He would go in briefly for water or to chew on the iodine block, but not sit in there.  Also, overnight sleeping has switched, at Bezukhov’s insistence, from the Villa to the Manor.

In the days leading up to the discovery, I had noticed Bezukhov was eating more pellets (in dishes on top of the Villa) but it was not until I saw the dodgy poops that I realised he was barely eating his normal seed mix.  Behaviour-wise, Bezukhov became very loud.  He was constantly shouting & often looking out of the window.  Normally he would shout at things outside but each time I looked I could not see anything; he was just shouting for shouting’s sake.  Sometimes he would go to one of the five seed pots but would only eat one seed before looking distracted & moving on.

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The little red seed pot

Last year, when Bezukhov lost weight, I encouraged him to eat by following him around & offering food at every opportunity.  One of the things I used was the little red seed pot.

Little red seed pots

Little red seed pots

The little pot is the bottom of a fountain seed feeder.  I like the little pot because it is… well… it is little (!) & shallow.  It is handy for putting small amounts of food in, like chopped vegetables.  I have used them a lot in the past but not so much now as the bars of the Manor are too widely spaced and the Silver Villa has vertical bars.

During the drive to help Bezukhov put weight back on, I would also offer food to Phineas (hence two little red seed pots) in the hope that Bezukhov’s flock mentality would kick in & he would eat too.  All this worked in the sense that Bezukhov regained his lost weight but it had the unfortunate consequence of Phineas becoming overweight!  At this point I scaled down use of the little red seed pots.  I would only offer it to Bezukhov (usually when Phineas was otherwise engaged).

Over time, the little red seed pot has become Bezukhov’s pot.  His weight is no longer an issue but I still offer it to him when it looks like he wants to eat in peace.  It is ‘our thing’.  When Bezukhov wants to eat from it, he usually goes to the top of the Villa door & looks down at my (empty) hands.  At which point I get the seed pot & hold it up to him for some one-on-one bonding time.

The only recent change has been Dalai’s presence.  Though Dalai is not tame, he is curious.  He has noticed this little red seed pot ritual & approached recently when he saw Bezukhov eating from it.  I have encouraged Dalai’s curiosity as any way to get him closer to my hand & to see that I am not a threat, is welcome.  Twice now, Dalai has been brave enough to eat from the little pot (with me holding it!)  Bezukhov still gets his opportunity to eat from it & I do not see that ritual changing any time soon.

Who knew that a little red seed pot could be so pivotal, significant & useful?

Bezukhov

Bezukhov

 

Non-specific seed

When Dalai came to us, he brought his own seed in case he did not like ours.

His seed looks different to ours; the over all colouring looks more yellow, though we can see lots of similar seeds.  Over time, I have gradually added more of our seed to his non-specific seed mix, so that by the time we have run out of non-specific seed, he will be happy to eat our seed.

Although it is normal for seed mixes to have some shell in them, I was surprised to see these tiny, perfectly proportioned shells in the non-specific seed mix:

 

 

The Silver Villa

Previously, I alluded to Bezukhov & Phineas having a new home.   The new home (in waiting) is the Liberta Oregon cage.

The reason I decided to buy (yet) another cage is because since Cagney’s sad passing, Bezukhov has moved into the Ferplast with Phineas.  As much as I like many aspects of the Ferplast Piano 6 cage (& it has been popular with all who have lived in it) it is an awful cage for catching a bird – as detailed in my post ‘Medication & the Ferplast‘.

Ideally, they would have both lived in the Manor but it seems it is not suitable for bedtime.  I suspect this is because at bedtime, they need to sleep at the highest spot & in the Manor this means the loft area (domed part).  The loft area itself is quite small, compared to the rest of the cage & I believe this makes it difficult to share with Phineas.  In the old days, the loft area comfortably housed Atilla, Raspy, Cagney & Bezukhov at bedtime so it must be the combination of the size & Phineas.

So, assuming the Manor will no longer be used for bedtime by Bezukhov & Phineas, & Bezukhov’s medication regime is long-term, I felt that a new cage to replace the Ferplast was the way forward.

Liberta Oregon bird cage

Liberta Oregon bird cage

After much deliberation, I chose the Liberta Oregon cage.  A pet shop about 40 minutes drive away actually had it on display so, unusually, I was able to see it ‘in the flesh’ before buying.  On the shop floor I also simulated chasing Bezukhov around it!  It has a flat top, so no confined dome area to cause problems at bedtime & more importantly, has a large front door to facilitate a more evenly matched chase.  As with all cages there are some design issues but I will address these another time.  For now, it had what I was looking for.

So, cage bought, delivered & assembled.  It was introduced to Bezukhov & Phineas on the 16th October.  I decided to ‘go for it’ & when they were both out of the Ferplast, I did a straight swap; new one in, old one out.  I arranged the furniture in the new one as near enough to the Ferplast as possible.

Predictably, they gave the new cage a wide berth.  The manor was now the place to be.  However, I took the opportunity whilst Phinny was jiggling away on my hand, to gradually move my hand (& him) into the Silver Villa.  He was too wrapped up in his jiggying to notice, but when he finished the job, he found he was in his new home.  What to do?  Find a way out of course!  On his way out, he found some millet by the door so had to stop & eat that, as witnessed in this video:

 

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Three day eating log

After the vet visit, our overriding concern was for Bezukhov to 1) not lose more weight, & 2) put weight on.

Bezukhov not looking well

Bezukhov not looking well

On our return, Bezukhov ate a reasonable amount in the Manor that evening.  The next morning he barely touched his food & worryingly, neither did Phineas.  I held up food to them but they just did not want it.  I suspected that Phinny was now picking up on Bezukhov’s stress, hence his loss of appetite too.  Though they had started eating seed in the new cage (as well as the Manor) the previous day, I made the executive decision to remove the new cage & reinstate the Ferplast (originally replaced due to the medication problems).  I hoped the chopping & changing would not set them back further.  I began the eating log primarily for Bezukhov but obviously keeping an eye on Phineas to note unusual behaviour.

Wednesday, 21st October 2015

Barely ate in the morning.  Moved new cage out & Ferplast back around 13:30.

  • 14:30

Tried to vomit but nothing came out.

  • 15:30
  • 17:00
  • 17:40
  • 17:52
  • 18:17
  • 19:00

 

Thursday, 22nd October 2015

Throughout the day I checked to see if he would eat vegetables.  He had a tiny bit of carrot, some apple & broccoli.  He did not want cucumber.

  • 08:26
  • 09:30
  • 10:40
  • 12:00
  • 13:27

Threw up a bit of apple on window perch.

  • 14:50

Another two vomiting episodes although nothing was thrown up.  He attempted to carry on eating through the 2nd one.

  • 15:30
  • 16:40
  • 17:07
  • 17:15
  • 17:50
  • 18:20
  • 18:40
  • 19:40

Poop note: I only noticed 3 solid-ish poops from Bezukhov during the day but overnight poops 22nd/23rd were much better.

 

Friday, 23rd October 2015

  • Overnight poops looking better

    Overnight poops 22nd/23rd looking better

    09:50

  • 10:50
  • 11:08

Every-other-morning medication at 12:00, though started the chase around 11:30.

  • 12:40
  • 13:40 (very small amount)
  • 15:00 (pellets)
  • 15:15
  • 15:50
  • 16:50
  • 17:15
  • 18:00
  • 19:00

 

Two beaks & seven seed pots

Yes, 7 seed pots for 2 beaks.

There were 3 seed pots in the West Wing of the Manor but Phineas still managed to dominate them all, meaning it was difficult for Bezukhov to eat at the same time.  I decided to rearrange the seed pots so that there are now 2 seed pots on either side of the Manor.  So far, the 2 seed pots in the East Wing have been ignored by both Bezukhov & Phineas.

Bezukhov has preferred eating in the Ferplast where the 2 seed pots are separated by the door.  I assume this gives some protection & time to eat a few seeds before Phinny comes along.  Since Bezukhov now routinely eats his bedtime seed in the Ferplast & also has been sleeping overnight in there, meaning he will be eating breakfast in there too, I decided to add another seed pot.  The third seed pot is now in the corner on the far right, with the right hand door between it & the middle seed pot.  Phineas usually only goes to that area to drink water, so it has now become Bezukhov’s favourite seed pot out of all 7!

Bezukhov & Phineas eating in separate cages

Bezukhov & Phineas eating in separate cages

 

Blue seed?

Phineas still regurgitates to my finger, or thumb, a lot.  Many times a day, every day.

Recently he made some changes & regurgitated blue seed:

Blue regurgitated seed

Blue regurgitated seed

~

“What’s going on here?”, I wondered!

A little investigation revealed he had been chewing on the blue munch ball of the chewy toy arrangement on top of the Manor.

Phineas chewing the blue munch ball

Phineas chewing the blue munch ball

~

With inedible things, I often tell them to chew & spit but clearly Phinny had not been listening to me & had been ingesting instead of spitting it out.  He moved onto the red munch ball after that so you can imagine how colourful his regurgitated seed looked then. 🙂

~

 

 

Side step speed footwork

Phineas still likes to regurgitate to my finger or thumb.  There are several locations where he prefers this activity to happen.  One location is on the open door of the Ferplast.  This flat area showcases nicely his habit of interspersing regurgitation with side step speed footwork.

 

 

2½ hours in the life of…

hours in the life of Phineas.

20141124_130943_sh21

As told through the medium of

photo…..

regurgitated seed…. &

regurgitated celery:

(Click on photos to enlarge)

 

 

 

Bubble, bubble toil and trouble

All the bubbles that Phineas has been blowing recently has put the following words from Shakespeare’s Macbeth in my mind:

Double, double toil and trouble

In my head the witches chant now goes something like this:

Bubble, bubble toil and trouble;
Head bop, and beak that bubbles.
~
Leaf of spinach and finger of vet,
Shredded broccoli and red millet,
De-hulled oats and stalk of celery,
Egg boiled hard and seed of canary,
In the crop, churn and toss,
A bob of head and foamy froth,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

(Apologies to Mr Shakespeare!)

And here, a special treat for you all, is a video of Phineas blowing a bubble or two.  (The first bubble appears at around 42 seconds in).

For reference, here are the original, inspiring words of Shakespeare:

ALL
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Second Witch
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.