Moriarty coped with quarantine (Oct/Nov 2020) well but it was clear he needed lots of attention.
When his previous owners brought him in, & the cover was raised, there he was, swinging away, seemingly not bothered about the move. That first sight of him made me think he would take most things in his stride. As for the elephant in the room…. yes, he has a similar colouring to our dearly departed Bezukhov but in real life perhaps a greener shade.
His cage originally had 3 cement perches & a cement platform perch, along with a wooden perch & a wooden platform perch. I replaced the cement perches with a variety of wooden ones (there is nothing wrong with cement perches but ideally they should not be the main perches & not used as a roosting perch). I did notice a small red/orange spot on the underside of one foot which might have been the start of an irritation – it disappeared quickly. You will see from the photo posted here that the toenail on his short, forward toe angles inwards. The odd angle has not caused any noticeable problems.
As far as toys, he had a lovely swing with colourful, wooden beads, a mirror, a chewy toy with a bell at the bottom. I should note that the swing has two bells at the bottom – it was quickly apparent that he loves shiny things! I added some more toys, such as the rings, the disco ball (ultra shiny!) & a paper rope toy, along with some dried grass for further stimulation.
He was not scared of hands so though not tame, was not worried about me entering his cage to make all these changes. In fact, he had quite a bite on him but I think that may have lessened with the introduction of more toys to keep his beak busy!
The seed situation was curious as he had one of those gravity seed fountains mounted in one of the cage gaps for the incorporated seed bowls. Though he would perch on it, I never once saw him eat a seed from it! He had millet, so was not starving but at times when there was no millet, he still did not eat the seed. (It had an area underneath that collected the husks so I could see if he ate any). Given his love of shiny things, I put in a stainless steel bowl with seed & he immediately took to eating from that. Knowing he was eating the seed mix, I could start rationing the millet!
I also put in a water bottle along side his water fountain in the hope he would use it. During quarantine he never quite understood it was for drinking water, but was fascinated watching the bubbles go up the bottle as I pressed the water end. He also got quite attached to the shiny spout, often having long chats with it!
Spearmint Perry & Lennie Denisov came to our home on the 14th of November 2016. They had been in a busy cage of about 10-12 budgies. Though I specifically got two so they had company during quarantine, I thought it still might take some time for them to adjust to the quieter surroundings. I hoped they would also become friends during quarantine.
They were indeed very quiet that first evening; both sat together on the perch in the corner. Fortunately, the perch they chose to sit on had the millet spray by it, so they were able to eat something without having to be particularly brave.
It did not take long for Perry & Lennie to relax into their new cage. They were relatively quiet at first, but tucked into the millet quickly & had a tentative explore of their new home. I initially put seed in a dish on the floor of the cage as that was how they were used to feeding. I was happy they were eating but it was quite a few days before I actually saw them drink.
Arrival in the travel cage
Lennie & Perry
Lennie & Perry
Lennie eating millet
Gradually, they started checking out different things. They found the little white dish with tonic seed. They found the central chewy toy which provided (& still provides!) hours of beak action. That particular toy was a success – the raffia could be chewed & pulled out, the paper string could be chewed & the little knots untied & beads could be played with (before they fell off!) & wooden blocks could be climbed.
Perry drinking water
The mess at bottom of cage
Perry & Lennie
Lennie chewing chewy toy
It took them a bit longer to work out how to use the swing, but once they did, they used to sleep together on it of a night.
The chewy toy is still the favoured toy to sleep behind.
When Cagney hurt his leg before Christmas I removed the round swing from the Manor loft area to encourage him to rest his foot more. In its place I put a short but wide perch. I left the older, more threadbare chewy toy in its original place but moved the newer one across to the new perch.
When it came to bedtime & Cagney & Bezukhov made their way to the loft area to sleep, they each positioned themselves directly behind a chewy toy, as can be evidenced in these photos:
The chewy toy is also an ideal place to hide behind:
Strangely, they do not appear to be chewing either of the chewy toys much. Perhaps they understand that once chewed the toys will be gone forever? (They do not know that I have spare one!) Or perhaps they realise that the more they chew the less effective the toy is as a hiding place?
Not so long ago, I wrote about Cagney & Bezukhov’s favourite chewy toy that has become threadbare. I have been adjusting the remaining stringy bits to provide maximum illusion of bulk but it was starting to look rather ridiculous when one or other of them attempted to “hide” behind it. I decided it was time to upgrade! Unfortunately, I could not remember where I bought the original one so I had a major internet search ahead of me.
The new one had to be the same as the existing one, albeit in its original form. There are many chewy toys around, made out of similar materials but I inspected the photo of each contender closely as I knew the slightest deviation from the original could mean yet another toy to go in the Rejected Toys box.
Fortunately, I found them! I was so pleased, I bought two! One for current chew & one for future chew.
The new chewy toy has been placed where the threadbare one usually is & the threadbare one has been moved along the perch a bit. I thought that if they were quite close together, Cagney & Bezukhov could each sleep behind one, even if one would be more hidden than the other.
I should perhaps add that the preferred bedtime sleeping spot is ‘behind the chewy toy’ & there is still a rota of sorts on whose turn it is. (Cagney probably sleeps behind it an average of 7 out of 10 times). Having two chewy toys may reduce the nightly bedtime faffing routine.
You can see in the last photo that a section of the new chewy toy has already been chewed off, exposing the knot & the first in-between piece of red string.
Cagney & Bezukhov’s favourite chewy toy is now a bit threadbare. It has faithfully been a place to sleep & snooze behind for some time. The toyboys take turns to sleep behind it of a night, although the rota, to my eye, is somewhat random.
Sadly, the chewy toy is now not so good for hiding behind. Not that this stops them. I think they think it has magical qualities & the position behind it is a safe one, regardless of the state of the toy itself.
Compare the above photos to this photo on a previous post from around 6 months ago.