Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Heatwave

We are having a mini-heatwave in the UK. ¬†I know it is a heatwave because I have dug the fan out of the cupboard. ūüôā

Four hot birdies

 

Manor repurposed

As previously posted, the Manor is no more.  However, parts of the Manor have been salvaged, so it still lives on, in a somewhat limited & modified form.

The loft area

The former loft area, the dome-shaped part of the manor, that was typically the bedtime area, has been retained.  It was given a thorough clean & the lock on the top removed due to ingrained rust that could not be removed.  To join the two pieces together, I used cable ties & string.  To keep the shape, I trimmed some plastic perches (I knew I was keeping them for something!) & wedged them across the bottom at both ends.  These two changes produced a very sturdy structure, which can now be placed on top of a Villa & used as a playgym & general hang-out area.

 

The bottom grid

The Manor is made of substantially heavier material than the Villa. ¬†This meant that the newly fashioned dome lay quite heavy on the thinner bars of the Villa. ¬†Enter the bottom grid of the Manor. ¬†The Villa is slightly shorter in length & wider in depth than the Manor so the bottom grid fits very neatly & securely across the top of a Villa, with a tiny overhang on one side (assuming the other side is flush to the edge) ¬†Because the grid is resting on the two side edges of the Villa, essentially the frame of the cage, it is supported well. ¬†The addition of pegs along the back of the Villa (which are holding up the back cover anyway) ensure it does not slip & for the ‘belt & braces’ effect, ties on each corner further secure it.

The Tunnel

The repurposed loft area is now known as the Tunnel, mainly because you can go all the way through it & out the other end. ¬†The Tunnel is fairly heavy so it does not lend itself to much movement when placed on the bottom grid of the Manor, on top of the Villa (keep up!) ¬† However, for extra security, I placed a couple of ‘thingamajigs’ (the pink plastic connectors of a ladder, seen in this post here) at the back of the bottom grid to be used as stoppers to prevent the Tunnel from slipping backwards. ¬†A peg at the front stops it from slipping forward. ¬†The Tunnel is removed each evening, by simply lifting it up, & placing it on my coffee table; this makes it easier for me to put their bedtime cover over the Villa, with the added bonus that I can easily clean the Tunnel & any perches & toys that are attached.

The Tunnel in position

 

Landing Platform

The Manor landing platform, a location of much activity in the past, has also been repurposed.  I decided to position it on the side of the Villa.  Once again, because it is quite heavy, I needed a strong way to secure it.  The D-rings used for the large Manor seed pots were screwed on to provide a base to rest the landing platform on.  A perch from the far edge of the platform running underneath to the Villa secures the right level & further ties ensure no slippage.

 

End Result

I am pleased to report that all the above changes have been accepted by all Villa occupants, most probably because of the familiarity of the parts used.

Welcome back to the bits of the Manor!

 

 

All 5 of us

A rare photo of all 5 together…..

All 5 together

 

From left to right: Bezukhov, Lennie, Perry, Dalai & Tweety Pie.

 

 

An Alarming Feather

When cleaning the bottom of Perry & Lennie’s cage, I found a feather with the end of the shaft caked in blood. ¬†As you can see from the photos, it looked pretty horrible:

Bloody feather

Close-up of bloody feather

 

My instinct is¬†that it was Lennie’s feather, though¬†I briefly wondered if it was Bezukhov’s feather that had floated across to their cage. ¬†I spent the next hour or so watching the two of them & waiting for them to raise their wings so I could see if there was any problem, but all was well. ¬†It seems strange that such a scary looking feather should not leave a trace of where it came from; it looks like it was violently wrenched from a wing.

Oh well…. another worrying day when sharing your¬†life with¬†birds….!

Lennie preening

 

 

…Hello New Villa!

After much thought, I decided to replace the Manor with another Villa (Liberta Oregon flight cage).

Though I wanted something with the same space as the Manor, I also wanted something that was not so tall & heavy. ¬†‘Heavy’ in a cage is a good thing as it indicates strength & durability, but over time I was finding it awkward & on the occasions when I dropped the bottom grid on my foot, painful!

The existing Silver Villa ticks quite a few boxes (not all РI doubt there is a cage in existence that has no bad points!)  Apart from needing to be a reasonable size, the other main thing it had to have was an adequately big central door, to enable easier catching of an occupant.  So, another Villa was chosen.  There are added bonuses: in the short term it would have a low scariness level in regards to introduction; in the long term having two homes that were essentially the same may help with any territorial issues.

The change warranted a clear plan of action.

  • Step 1: Assemble the New Villa.
  • Step 2: Remove Manor from the room. ¬†Move Perry & Lennie, still living in their quarantine cage, from the left side of the Silver Villa to the right side, essentially where the Manor was, although alongside rather than facing the Villa. ¬†The playgym reinstated in its proper place, left of Silver Villa.
  • Step 3: Dress the New Villa, using some Manor furniture/accessories to aid with acceptance.
  • Step 4: Move Perry & Lennie, in their quarantine cage to the other side of the room. ¬†Bring in the New Villa & position in area they vacated, next to the Silver Villa.
  • Step 5: Let them all out & hope that Perry & Lennie will move into the New Villa.

 

The 11th March was the day scheduled for Step 2. ¬† After capturing what turned out to be Bezukhov’s last meal in the Manor, it was removed from the room & the layout changed. ¬†All went to plan.

 

Bezukhov is no fan of changes but he did welcome back his old friend the playgym.  Surprisingly, the playgym was new to Dalai but it did not take him long to join Bezukhov there.  By the following day, Perry & Lennie also visited the playgym.

Here is the animated version of Bezukhov’s reunion with the playgym & Dalai’s initial encounter:

 

After over a week of dressing the New Villa, the 20th March ushered in Step 4 of the plan. ¬†Trying to make the changes as¬†discreetly as I could, I carefully moved the New Villa right next to the Silver Villa, all the while gauging Bezukhov’s reaction, hoping he would not be scared. ¬†Fortunately, he did not seem too put out with the new construction next door. ¬†I moved the lamp from Perry & Lennie’s quarantine cage to the New Villa.

The New Villa

You will see that the New Villa is a darker colour than the Silver Villa. ¬†It was described as ‘grey’¬†so I expected it to be the same as the Silver Villa. ¬†It is actually closer in colour to the black bars of the quarantine cage. ¬†Putting aside my general irritation that it is not the same colour (!) I¬†worried that it may hamper acceptance.

 

For Step 5, when they were all let out, they naturally pretended the New Villa did not exist.  To encourage Perry & Lennie to spend the night in the New Villa, I bribed them with red millet.  It worked.  Here they are tucking in:

 

I hope they will all be happy with the New Villa.

 

 

Goodbye Manor….

For various reasons, I decided it was time to replace the Manor (Montana San Remo).  I had considered replacing it like-for-like but in the end, with great regret, thought it best to let it go completely.

Atilla & Raspy on the Manor door

The Manor is tied up with so many memories.  First & foremost, it makes me think of Atilla & Raspy because they were its first occupants.  The sisters were happy there.  They certainly claimed it for their own & micro-supervised any changes to the layout.  Cleaning of their domain was also scrupulously observed, to the point where they would, dare I say, hinder progress!

After having the Manor all to themselves for over a year, Atilla & Raspy graciously allowed two toyboys to share. In a sense, these were the golden years – two happy couples (Atilla/Cagney & Raspy/Bezukhov); two loyal sisters (Atilla & Raspy); two great buddies (Cagney & Bezukhov).

Of course nothing stays the same.  The Manor was witness to our first tragic event Рthe loss of Raspy.  Not too long after, the Manor was rearranged to accommodate an increasingly ailing Atilla.  Being the leader, the Manor was very much her territory & I feel she would have defended it, & its occupants, to the end.  When it sadly came, the end was peaceful, but the Manor lost another legend.

Cagney & Bezukhov continued on in the Manor, leaderless.  In fact, the Manor never saw another leader.  We were, of course, joined by the adorably, irascible Phineas.  Famously, Phineas never slept overnight in the Manor because the toyboys did not want to share their bedtime with him, so Phinny had his own sleeping quarters.  When Thomas joined us, he moved in with Phineas, rather than with the toyboys in the Manor.

Loft area

So, despite the changes to the flock, Cagney & Bezukhov retained sole residency of the Manor.  Time marches on though & changes continued.  The next significant change, in terms of the Manor, was the loss of Cagney.  Despite living in the Manor for 5 years, Bezukhov, without his best buddy, was uncomfortable sleeping there alone.  There was a trial run of Phineas joining Bezukhov in the Manor at bedtime but it just did not work.  Bezukhov was left with no alternative Рhe moved into the Ferplast with Phineas.

Bezukhov & Phineas did temporarily return to the Manor when the Ferplast was replaced with the scary new Silver Villa, but once the Silver Villa was accepted, the Manor was abandoned once again & reverted to being a daytime play area only.

The Golden Age of the Manor was over.

It is with regret I let the Manor go, but I thank it unreservedly for all the pleasure & comfort it has given.  Though it is no longer here, memories of the Manor will never fade.

Goodbye Manor.

 

 

Two weeks in the life of a blood feather

Bezukhov has been going through another moult.  This time his head feathers have been completely overhauled.

Here he is at the beginning, looking fine, even though he had lost 3 spot feathers in one go:

This slideshow shows progress over the two weeks:

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Buckets of rain

Such a lot of rain! ¬†Bezukhov & Lennie surveyed it all…

 

 

Remembering Thomas on his adoption day

Thomas came into our home on this day, 3 years ago.  He was very handsome & loved by all.  Here he is, having a chat with the perch:

 

Always in our thoughts.

‚ô•‚ô•‚ô•

rememberingthomas

A sweetheart….

They are all sweethearts (when they are not causing trouble) but for the purposes of this post, I am singling out Lennie Dennie, because he posed for some very nice photos in front of the red mirror.

Lennie in front of the red mirror

A sweetheart