Personality change for Perry?

In recent months, Perry’s behaviour has changed somewhat.

Just little things… but things he either did not do before or did not do often.

Here are some of the things I have noticed:

◈ The main thing is that Perry wants to fly more.  His flying is not too good – probably more due to lack of exercise/practice/motivation than any physical reason.  Whilst I appreciate the extra activity is a good thing, his flying can be erratic.  At times he does not plan in advance where he is going, but just suddenly sets off in a mad flurry.  I have caught him many times before he has landed on the floor (he loses height) or somewhere undesirable (his maneuvering skills are not great).

Budgies Perry and Moriarty playing on top of cage
Moriarty & Perry playing on top of the cage

◈ Linked to the above, is Perry’s increased desire to be out & about with Moriarty.  He wants to be on top of the cage & tries to keep up with Moriarty (no one can!)  Whenever he is out, I supervise the whole time, helping him to get where he wants to be & making sure he is safe.

◈ Perry has been climbing the bars of the cage.  I cannot recall the last time he ever did this voluntarily!  Normally, this kind of activity would be too much of an effort, but a few occasions I have seen him climb the bars on the side of Moriarty’s cage.  He seems eager to get a better view when Moriarty is in his old cage, though it seems odd because Moriarty is backwards & forwards between the cages so there is no need to obsess over getting closer to him.

◈ On the occasion that Perry falls to the floor, he would usually step up onto my hand without hesitation.  Quite a few times now, he appears to not want my help to get to a higher perch.  (Or has he forgotten that stepping up will get him back to where he wants to be?)

Budgie preening
Perry preening on perch he has never sat on before

◈ They can be creatures of habit, having favourite perching spots, favourite toys etc., but lately I have noticed Perry changing where he sits, or taking a slightly different path to get somewhere.  They are subtle changes, but noticeable.  Sometimes, on these differing paths, Perry looks like he is working something out for the first time.  For example, to go into his cage, the traditional route is to jump onto the seed pot from the door platform, turn around, then jump up onto the ‘triangle’ perch.  Several times now, he has sat on the door platform, head peering into the cage, seemingly trying to work out a route in.

◈ Some mornings, Perry is desperate to go in & visit Moriarty.  The usual routine is that I uncover them, then let Moriarty out first & whilst he is interacting with Perry & Lennie through the bars of their cage, I give his cage a quick clean.  Once done, I lift up the side door to let Perry come through to sit in Moriarty’s cage.  Usually Perry would be patient, waiting for the cue, before making his way over to the door, but recently he has been almost manic to get out, to the point that I let him go into Moriarty’s cage earlier than usual before he does himself an injury.

My first thought about these changes was that perhaps Perry had lost weight & found it easier to be more active (particularly the climbing & flying) but the last time the vet weighed him, his weight was stable.  My following thought was that perhaps these little changes are a result of the ongoing seizures he unfortunately suffers from – perhaps they rewire his brain in some way?

Whatever the reason, he is still the same Perry… but with some added twists & turns.

Budgie
Perry

 

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

At 11pm on Saturday the 3rd of September, I peeked under their covers, as was routine, to check all was okay before dropping the big cover down further.  Perry & Lennie’s cage liner on the bottom had been changed about 2 hours earlier, so I was surprised it did not look clean.  When I looked closer, I realised it was blood.

Everywhere.

I spotted Lennie’s tail feather laying across the seed pot.  He had lost his other one a couple of days earlier, which seemed odd to me as it had only just grown in.  He had lost both tail feathers just weeks ago (click here to read that post) so I was not expecting the new ones to drop so quickly.  I assumed this was a blood feather problem.  Had the bleeding stopped or was it ongoing?  I took the cage liner away to reveal the clean one underneath so it would be easier to check.

blood splattered bottom cage liner
Blood splattered cage liner
Lennie’s fallen tail feathers

Then I saw a big clot drop.  I knew I had to take immediate action.

Three pet carrier cages
Carrier cages

Under the flight cage, I have three small travel cages for emergency evacuation (one each in red, white & blue).  The one on top just happened to be the red one.  Cornflour was put into a wide container.  I caught Lennie & basically covered his lower section in the cornflour, not really knowing where the site of the bleed was, & then placed him in the travel cage with a cover over.

After a few minutes I checked to see if he was still bleeding.  It was difficult to judge how much blood had dropped because the base of the travel cage was red, but I could see blood mingled in with the white cornflour that had fallen off him.  I doused Lennie again in cornflour & put him back.  He was still bleeding so I carried on dunking him in the cornflour (literally, I dunked him in & ‘bathed’ him).  I discarded the red travel cage & alternated between the white & blue one.  That way, I could wipe around the one not in use, so each time he was placed into a clean one, making it easier to judge blood loss.

Continue reading “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning”

New Platform Perch for Moriarty

When Moriarty arrived, he came with a corner platform perch in his cage.  Though he has since moved into Dalai’s old cage (the Silver Villa), he still spends time in his old cage every day.

Moriarty napping on his old perch

The platform perch in there is one of his favourite spots, especially for a nap.

He had chewed down the rim at the part where he rests his head, which in itself is not a problem, but a little further along, a nail of unspecified metal was exposed.  I thought, it is time for a new, safe perch.  I did some research to find a perch of the same, or nearly the same dimensions, & ordered a custom made one from The Natural Bird Product Company (https://www.naturalbirdco.co.uk) who craft natural perches & toys by hand in the UK.

It arrived on the 2nd July.  It took me a while to get around to installing it as although the new platform perch slotted through the small Ferplast Canto door, the old one did not.  I thought it might come out through the bottom tray but that area is heavily padded so it was actually easier to take the top off the base & get the perch out that way.  It was a good opportunity to give the cage a thorough clean too.

The only worry about acceptance was that the new perch is slightly shorter than the old one.  Stupidly, I forgot about one side being 1 cm shorter, & installed it with the short side along the front.  There was about 1.5 cm difference with the old perch along that edge.  Moriarty took to the new platform perch quickly, but for general purposes only…

Moriarty on the new platform perch

He struggled to find his old napping position on the severely shortened length, often looking like he was going to tip off the edge…

He resorted to napping in different places…

Seeing his struggle, I remembered the new platform perch had a longer side, so I flipped it around & for good measure, also threaded through a wooden slat (0.6 cm thickness), bringing the perch closer in length to the old one.

Moriarty napping comfortably on his new perch

Balance in Moriarty’s universe was restored.  He was back napping comfortably on the platform perch in no time!

Lowering the Raised Bottom

Phase II of the raising of the cage floor was undertaken on the 20th July.  As previously posted (click here), I thought the raised floor could be improved by lowering it a section.

This time I mostly used mini bungee cords, with string to cover a few gaps.  This lattice work was covered with pieces of cardboard connected with foldback clips.  I reused the piece of cardboard providing a rim across the front.  As before, the padding, oil cloth & cage liners were then placed on top.  An extra rope perch was added to bridge the gap between the new bottom & the existing low perch.

 

The changes were accepted immediately.  This time, Lennie was the first to test out the new floor’s bounce-ability!  It works a lot better this way so I think I will stop fiddling with it now!