Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: separation

Update on Perry’s health

In my last post on this subject (click here) I reported about Perry’s ‘turns’.  We have had further developments.

On the 4th July, Perry had, what I would describe as a ‘Twitchfest’.  He twitched, though not violently, off & on all day, but settled by bedtime.  I was on edge the whole time, anticipating that he would get worse.

Perry

Perry’s next, more significant, episode was on Saturday, the 22nd August.  At around 11am, he began twitching, & a couple of those were major enough to propel him off the perch.  At one point, he was hanging from the perch by one foot.  He seemed okay after about 15 minutes.  However, about two & a half hours later, the twitches began again, but this time they were throwing him off the perch, on average every 30 seconds (sometimes the frequency between was longer, sometimes shorter).  Lennie was sensible & went into Dalai’s cage, so I locked him in there for the duration.

For about an hour the twitches continued, at varying levels of intensity.  Each time his movement was from his left to the right, so I could predict where he would go/land.  Sometimes he would have a few minutes where he was just twitching & able to stay on the perch.  He pooped throughout, but a watery substance.  Through it all, he did not make a sound.  He was completely aware & scared as he clearly did not know what was happening to him.  The times he landed on the bottom of the cage he immediately made his way back up.  By 3pm they were subsiding & he was able to preen & behave a bit more normally, by which time, Lennie joined him again.

Things had settled down by the Monday, but nevertheless, I spoke to the vet, & she suggested adding calcium to their water as they were both still moulting.

New cage set up L to R: hospitalisation cage, ‘home’, Dalai’s cage

The next episode was Saturday the 12th September (I am starting to dread Saturdays!). He seemed extra quiet that morning & when I offered him a spinach leaf, he had to turn his head at a strange angle to eat it.  This alerted me & I decided to dust off the quarantine cage & prepare it for possible hospitalisation purposes.  Later that day, he spasmed, fell to the cage floor & was rolling around.  I carefully picked him up & put him in the spare cage.  He came out of the spasm & I placed him on a perch, where he was very still.  His balance was very off & he fell off the perch a few times but at least did not have far to fall in the newly set up cage, & the bottom has extra padding.  Occasionally, he would turn his head from side to side & his eyes were flickering.

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Separation

It was with a heavy heart that I decided to split up my flock.

After the mayhem that I last reported on, I decided they needed some cooling off, some downtime, some peace.  Oh wait…. that may have been me that needed those things…..  Actually, I felt their behaviour left me with little choice.  So, Cagney & Bezukhov have been temporarily moved to my bedroom, leaving Phineas & Thomas in the lounge.  In a way this is reverting back to an earlier stage of quarantine.

The logic of this new arrangement is to see if Phineas & Thomas can get on together & then I can perhaps introduce them to Cagney & Bezukhov (again) as mates.  Perhaps this will make a difference?  Only time will tell.

Fortunately, the toyboys have settled well in the bedroom.  They were out & comfortably flying around the room quickly.  Because of a lack of landing areas they do a lap or two & return to the manor each time.   Surprisingly, so far I have only found one tiny toyboy poop on my pillow.  I would prefer a mint but I am not complaining….

Day one of only Phineas & Thomas in the lounge resulted in Phineas knocking about the room all day by himself whilst Thomas chose to stay in the Ferplast.  Here is Phineas having a shout & I suspect ordering Thomas to come out & join him:

However, come late afternoon, Thomas emerged.  Phineas got very excited to have some company:

Thomas was only interested in having a bath though:

However, after he had dunked himself in the water, he seemed happier to socialise: 

During the evening they settled on the playgym together.  Unfortunately, they both seemed to have forgotten where their homes were, so as it got quite late, I had to grab them & pop them in their respective cages.

Thomas & Phineas snoozing on the playgym

Thomas & Phineas snoozing on the playgym

That was the routine for the next 3 days… Phineas came out & had to entertain himself until around 5pm, when Thomas came out, had a bath & was then ready for socialising.

So far, so good.  All is calm

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.

A delicate matter

As Phineas has got over his moult, his “urges” have returned.  I am in a privileged position in that Phinny likes to jiggy-jiggy with my hand.  Privileged because he chooses me but also privileged as it means I can monitor his “deposits”.

For the curious amongst you, here is what a budgie "deposit" looks like.

For the curious amongst you, here is what a budgie “deposit” looks like.

These have been fine for some time but in recent weeks I have noticed a varying amount of blood in them.  Sometimes it is a tiny amount, barely visible & other times it looks almost all red.  It has been a bit concerning even though Phineas has been fine in every other way.

So, a vet trip was on the cards.  This happened two days ago when I took him to the exotic vet.

Mr EV examined him & confirmed there were no suspicious lumps or bumps in that area.  He said there was a very, very slight inflammation, most probably due to “over-activity”.  He asked lots of questions about his general well-being & I got the impression that the blood in semen requires other symptoms to be regarded as a potential problem.  There are apparently options such as sterilisation (:0) & hormone injections (:0) but Mr EV felt these were not applicable in this instance.

I felt some relief after the visit, particularly as there were no lumps.  Budgies are so susceptible to tumours & growths that confirmation there was nothing wrong in that area was welcome.

Reunited

Reunited

Phineas was a good boy throughout the ordeal.  I could not help but compare his stay in the travel cage with that of the puddings.  The girls were always very put out & found it totally unacceptable.  After the initial surprise, Phineas seemed far more adaptable & accommodating of “his lot”.  He even preened in the car on the way to the vet.  Of course his return was very noisy, with him & the toyboys shouting out.  I popped the travel cage on the coffee table whilst I let the toyboys out & they immediately flew over to him, no doubt to hear what adventure he had been on.

Strangely, Phineas could not for the life of him find the open door of the travel cage!  Rather than grab him again, I unclipped the cage & moved it on its side so he could exit from the bottom.  Silly boy!

He has since had a good talking to & I have told him to “tie a knot in it”.  However, I fear he was not listening to me….

Mr Jiggy-Jiggy himself

Mr Jiggy-Jiggy himself

Tuesday avian vet visit

Atilla appeared to spend the night fairly comfortably, but by now her poops have turned quite green.

The travel cage was prepared with towels on the bottom & also a heat mat to keep her warm during the trip.  I waited until Cagney had fed Atilla breakfast before attempting to remove her.  It was easy to get Atilla into the small cage as she was still weak.  Naturally, the toyboys, shot out the cage as I moved Atilla.  They swooped over the travel cage & kept landing on it to talk to their leader.

The problem now was to get the toyboys back in the Manor so my assistant (my mum) was able to come with me to the vet, rather than toyboy-sit.  I took Atilla into the bedroom.  Fortunately, I received a text message from King Monty (over on the FeatheredFiends blog) who ordered the toyboys back into the Manor.  Millet helped too.

So, off we went to see Mr Avian Vet.  To say I was concerned is an understatement.

The diagnosis?  The hernia is, as expected, beginning to cause complications.  She has an infection to be treated with antibiotics.  She was given an injection with a strong solution of antibiotics & also something to remove fluid from the lump/hernia.

The prognosis?  The injection would make her sleepy for a few hours but then she should begin to pick up & start to eat again.  Unfortunately, even if/when she recovers from the infection, another will most probably occur…. so it is just a case of making sure she is comfortable…

No matter….. I was bringing my darling girl home where she belongs, at the Manor, with infatuated Cagney, with adoring Bezukhov & her relieved mama.

When we got home, Cagney was on the platform perch (closest to the lounge door) shouting (almost screaming) with a crazed look in his eyes.  His wings were shaking.  He was distressed.  We put Atilla in the travel cage on the poang chair & both toyboys just leapt about the Manor trying to get out.

Atilla sitting on the Poang chair

Atilla was still sleepy.  I was very tempted to let the boys out but at the same time, wanted Atilla to rest.  In the end, the boys settled down a little (as long as I did not excite them by standing up or walking) so I left Atilla to sleep on the poang with the electric blanket over her.

After a while she came to a little.  I poked in some millet but she was not interested.  A little later, I poked in some broccoli & this was more to her liking & to my delight she scoffed it down.  (See video below).  After this, I decided to let the boys out.  They flew straight over to her & Cagney was squeezing his beak through the bars.  Atilla reached out to him.  I opened the travel cage door & Cagney perched on my finger, halfway in (he doesn’t like small spaces!) & fed Atilla.  I think he fed her about half a ton of seed.  And she readily took it.  She then managed to get on my finger & wanted to come out, so I took her to the Manor.

Atilla remained sleepy for the rest of the afternoon & evening.  Every so often she would wake to be fed & maybe have a brief preen.  I could only hope the next day would see an improvement…

Follow-up vet visit

Last October, I took Atilla to see Mr Avian Vet.  He suggested we have a follow up appointment  two months later to check Atilla’s progress.  Atilla was not well in December, with her infection & also the moult, so I left it until now, today in fact, to visit the vet.

Clinging to Atilla's cage

As per usual procedures, I got Atilla into the nicely spruced up travel cage the night before, to ensure we could leave for the vet in good time the next morning.  It was relatively easy getting her in the travel cage – I waited until she was laying across my hand to chew on the chair & then I cupped my other hand over her & quickly ushered her into the cage.

She was not happy about it.  The toyboys were not happy either.  For the rest of the evening they both clung to the side of the travel cage to be with Atilla.  I wondered if they would go back to the Manor for bed.  They finally went back for bedtime seed & were not impressed when I locked them in.  Cagney, in particular was running around trying to get to his girl.

Bedtime without Atilla

I put Atilla’s cage close to the Manor so overnight toyboys & Atilla could see each other.The next morning I left them both covered up a bit longer than usual to try & minimize stress but when I started bundling Atilla up, the toyboys began to shout.

After scraping ice off the car, myself & Atilla were on our way to the vet.  It is about a 40-45 minute drive to the Avian vet.  Atilla coped well & I think she even munched on a little millet during the journey.

Mr Avian Vet gave Atilla the usual prod & poke.  He said that the hernia has got larger & the undercarriage lump is probably about 50% hernia, 50% fat.  An operation is out of the question as she would not survive it.  Basically, I need to keep a close eye on her & watch out for difficulties in breathing, pooping & perching.  Of course, keeping a “close eye” on Atilla will not be difficult for me as it is part of my routine anyway….

Atilla's not far away

Once again, Atilla was bundled up & we made our way home.  This time Atilla managed a few chirps & it may well have been my imagination but I’m sure she was getting louder & chirpier the closer we got to home!

By the time I got her in through the front door, there were chirps all round, from Atilla & the toyboys.  Needless to say, the first thing I did was get Atilla into the lounge, unbundle her & let Cagney & Bezukhov out.  As soon as I opened the Manor, both boys slammed straight into the side of the travel cage & almost knocked it over in their haste to see Atilla.  Atilla, was also very quick off the mark when I opened up the travel cage & immediately flew to the Manor.  She then did her tour of inspection to make sure everything was how she had left it. Canoodling & smooching could then commence, although in this case it was mainly the two boys trying to kiss her at the same time.  They were overjoyed to have their leader back!  

The Leader

For the rest of the day, they shadowed her every move.  🙂

Two poorly puddings (2 of 3)

Whilst Raspy was resting, I was able to turn my attention to the others.  Atilla did not seem her usual self…  In fact, she dozed on my shoulder for about half an hour which was unusual as normally she would use the opportunity to chew my jumper or my hair or ear.  When I changed their bottom paper, I found that Atilla’s poop was far from normal…. very green & watery.  If you can imagine a mushy pea soup, then you will get the picture…

So now I have two poorly puddings….  As the evening wore on, I could see that Atilla really wanted some peace & quiet, so quickly cleaned up the travel/hospital cage (again) & put her in there.  After much faffing around, I managed to persuade the toyboys to spend the night together in the Manor, whilst Raspy rested in the Ferplast & Atilla was in the hospital cage.  Naturally, I checked on both puddings through the night….

Morning came & Raspy was no better.  She was not worse, but not better either.  Atilla’s poop was still dreadful.  Better call the vet….  I managed to book her in with Mr Exotic Vet (back from his holiday) for that afternoon.

As the day progressed, it seemed that Raspy got worse & was straining but nothing, not even poop, was coming out.  About an hour before the vet appointment, she fell off the perch.  She got back up again, but by this time I was really worried about her.  I put her in the hospital cage with her sister so I could take them both to Mr Vet.

By the time I got to Mr Vet, I was all choked up at having two poorly girls.  I filled him in on what had happened to Raspy since he had last seen her on the Friday.  He checked her over & could not feel an egg.  He also checked to see if there was any obstruction in her vent area as she had not been pooping & said all was fine there.  He suggested I take her home & give her some painkillers as she was most probably still uncomfortable & sore from the operation.

He checked Atilla over & said she had an infection, probably brought on by the stress of seeing her sister ill.  He gave her antibiotics to clear the infection up.

We got home around 16:30.  I could hear both toyboys shouting from my front door.  As soon as I brought the girls into the lounge, they calmed down a little.  I immediately put Raspy in the Ferplast for more rest, however, she seemed worse….

Worrying weekend

Worrying weekend” is an understatement.

On Friday morning I uncovered the Puddings & Toyboys & found Raspy attempting to push an egg out.  (Egg No.1 arrived on Monday). She would push then rest, push then rest, almost like she was having contractions.  I was not too concerned at that point although I did recall Atilla popping out a couple of her eggs with relative ease back in January.  I put Raspy into the Ferplast so she could lay the egg without distractions from the toyboys.

After about half an hour Raspy was still pushing & I could see an egg shape. Things did not seem right to me.  I now put her in the travel cage.  I rang the vets for advice & was told he would ring back when he was free.  After about half an hour she stopped pushing but there was still no sign of the egg.  I rang the vets & Mr Exotic Vet answered.  He suggested I give her another one & a half hours & to ring again.  That would bring us to midday.

At midday, the situation was the same.  Raspy had stopped pushing but I was convinced the egg was still there.  How long is it supposed to take to pass an egg??  For the third time I rang the vets, & was told to bring her in as soon as possible.

As she was already in the travel cage, I quickly bundled her up & took her out to the car for the short trip to the vets.

On arrival, we were seen virtually immediately.  As Mr Vet put his hand in the cage, Raspy made her feelings very clear, very loudly.  She did her usual wriggling act but Mr Vet coped well & examined her.

He said she looked in good conditions & was not showing any signs of distress. The egg was quite high up. She was not egg-bound. He was going to give her a hormone injection but did not think she needed it. Her vent area was inflamed. It is possible the egg will be absorbed by her body. He reckoned that she would either lay the egg, or it would be absorbed, within a day.  I was to contact him if she becomes distressed – excessive tail bobbing, droopy wings, not perching etc. 

I told him I had planned to get a nest box as the previous few days she had been going mad trying to find somewhere to nest.  Mr Vet encouraged me to do this.

So, consultation over & we made our way out.  Raspy did indeed seem relatively okay & was preening in the car on the way home.

In the travel cage prior to vet visit

In all that time she had not eaten anything but Bezukhov was feeding her so I knew she was not hungry.  I dipped spinach leaves in the water with calcivet & she drank from those several times.  She had not pooped.

In the evening, she started pushing again for about half an hour but then gave up.

That night both Raspy & Bezukhov slept in the Ferplast.  I checked on Raspy at intervals through the night.  She sat in the same place & seemed ok, no excessive tail bobbing or anything.  On the Saturday morning she was bright eyed, jumping around & even wanted to come out the cage & have a fly but in-between those times, she was dozing all fluffed up, like she really needed the rest.

She had managed to poop a few times that morning, so at least something was getting through. Her vent area was not right & was still red & inflamed looking.

Poor girl. I spent the whole day watching her & taking the cue from her as to what she wanted to do, come out for a fly or whatever. I made sure that only Bezukhov was out when she was out as Cagney can stress her sometimes.

Saturday evening, I decided to attach the nest box to the Ferplast.  Raspy ignored it – I do not think she was in the mood to explore.  However, beady-eyed Atilla spied it but that is another post!

Sunday was much the same as Saturday but Raspy was more of her old self.  She was still having extended resting times but also managed to fly around a bit.  I let all Puddings & Toyboys out together & Cagney (surprisingly) behaved himself!

In the evening Raspy even managed to eat some seed.

I can only assume the troublesome egg has been absorbed.  However, is there another egg to come???

Looking brighter

Bangs & boogie-woogie

The last couple of evenings have been hectic.  I feel I know what it must be like to run a creche. 

The good news is that puddings & toyboys have not been bothered by any loud bangs from fireworks.

The bad news is that the toyboys are naughty boys!  Cagney is obviously the most naughty, but Bezukhov has not been far behind.  Cagney has been relentlessly pursuing Raspy for a kiss & has even jumped on her back (how disrespectful!)  Raspy is NOT succumbing to his “charms”. 

Last night Raspy was in & out the Ferplast & I was up & down opening & closing the Ferplast cage door, either to lock her in or let her out when she wanted to stretch her wings.  Surprisingly, for most of her time in the Ferplast, Bezukhov kept her company. Bezukhov was pestering Raspy more than usual, but that’s allowed as he is her boyfriend but she still “squiggled” at him to get out of her face… off her tail… & off her back….

Cagney appeared a little lonely not having his mate to run around with, but it was his own fault for not leaving Raspy alone!  He still gave attention to Atilla but even there he was naughty, force-feeding her regurgitated seed that landed up all down her face, neck & back.  He’s been such a handful!

Several times, yesterday evening, Bezukhov & Raspy boogie-woogied in the comfort & relative privacy of the locked Ferplast.  That incensed Cagney as he desperately wanted to join in.  At one point, when Cagney was chasing Raspy around the Manor, I managed to grab him & lock him in the Ferplast on his own.  There was a collective sigh of relief in the Manor.  I did not have the heart to lock him up for long though, as he was pacing/flying & squarking like mad.  As soon as I let him loose again, he made a beeline for Raspy.

The end result was bedtime in separate cages: Atilla & Cagney in the Manor & Raspy & Bezukhov tucked up in the Ferplast.


Evening shenanigans

Perhaps it is something in the water… or maybe a full moon… or more probably it is plain & simple budgie naughtiness!

The recent routine has mostly been the following:

  • Morning – out & about for a fly
  • Afternoon – locked in for siesta
  • Evening – out & about for a fly & daily bottom paper clean

Now, each evening the same thing happens when I let them out – the toyboys want to swap partners!

The puddings are still adamant they do not want to swap partners.

Both boys hit on their mate’s pudding at the same time & it makes it difficult to decide which pudding to rescue first.  Raspy is usually the first to fly to escape Cagney’s advances.  She usually lands on the floor at some point as Cagney has far more energy than her.  I show her the open Ferplast cage door & she readily runs in to shelter from the storm that is Cagney.

Meanwhile, Bezukhov is being highly arrogant & hitting on flock boss Atilla.  Once Raspy has been locked up in the Ferplast, Cagney, after trying to flirt with her through the bars, goes to Atilla but Bezukhov chases him away.  If he exits the Manor to chase Cagney away then I quickly lock Atilla up alone.  After a short time, I let Cagney in to be with Atilla & then Bezukhov wants to go into the Ferplast to be with Raspy.  I let them chill out for a bit with their correct partners before releasing them again.

This evening was slightly different in that Atilla landed on the floor trying to get away from Bezukhov.  In fact, Raspy had already landed on the floor.  The toyboys were on the floor also, still pursuing their wrong partner.  They were all on the floor!  Such confusion!

This time I managed to get both Raspy & Atilla into the Ferplast.  (Raspy quite likes the chill out zone but Atilla was a bit put out to be away from her Manor).  The boys camped outside the Ferplast, waiting not-very-patiently to be let in or for the girls to be let out….