Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Tag Archives: cage

Sentry Duty

How lucky I am to have Bezukhov in the flock.  His level-headedness & responsible manner are a great boon, especially considering the other flock members are the flirty Cagney & the incorrigible Phineas.

What recent event has reminded me of Bezukhov’s value?  The roof latch of the Manor had been opened.

Again.

I have posted previously about this problem: A Bid For Freedom & Brainstorming Session.  This time though, Bezukhov saw the potential for mutiny & clearly wanted to keep the status quo.  He resolved this by standing guard over the opened latch.

 

It is possible he had been there awhile by the time I discovered this anomaly as he looked quite sleepy.  He certainly was behaving above & beyond the call of duty.

~

I survived evil

The day started off in a normal way.  Both Toyboys & Phineas were out & about whilst I cleaned their cages.  Bezukhov went to the window perch & sat watching some wood pigeons eating bread that a neighbour had put out.  Phineas joined him at the window to watch the pigeon banquet.  Cagney watched all proceedings from the top of the manor.  All was good in the world.

Then.

All hell broke loose!

Three large seagulls swooped & dived past the window!  They were after the pigeons’ bread.  We do not normally get seagulls ’round these parts.  They looked ginormous, especially when they flew close to the window.

everystockphoto-seagull_271152_lAs soon as the seagulls made their scary appearance, Bezukhov & Phineas shot back to the manor in a millisecond.  I was transfixed by the beauty of these birds flying in our ‘back yard’.  When I turned to check my boys were okay, I saw Cagney & Bezukhov on top of the manor, but where was Phineas?  (I hate these moments!)

He was not on the manor.  He was not in the manor.  He was not in the ferplast.   Maybe, in his panic, he had fallen down the back of the manor.  I peered past the covers thinking he may be lodged between the manor & the wall but I had been cleaning the cage so it was pulled out from the wall.  Phineas had slipped all the way down & was on the shelf underneath.  There is a large box on that shelf & he was behind it, in the far corner.  Not looking very happy to say the least.

(BTW, why, when a bird is ‘lost’, the bird in question & the others, all go silent & give you no indication of his/her whereabouts?!)

I put a long perch down the side towards Phinny so he could climb on & get out but he is not used to ‘stepping up’ in this way so just looked at it like mad.  I then wheeled the manor out a bit more so I could reach in with my arm & offer him my flat palm.  He was still in a state of anxiety & did not step on so I pushed up against his belly to encourage him, which worked.  A few seconds later he was deposited on the perch on the outside of the ferplast, looking no worse for wear, though still confused.

(Click on photos to enlarge)

It took all of them about half an hour to recover from the appearance of the seagulls.

I thought the title of this post was a little dramatic but Phineas insisted it was accurate… so who am I argue?

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Eagle-eyed

Every day I change the paper at the bottom of their cages.  I usually put down 7 sheets of newspaper & then each day remove the top sheet leaving a nice clean sheet ready for fresh poops. Because I also like to clean other bits of the cage, I tend to do this at some point during the day when the cage is vacated.

This particular day was no different… or so I thought.   Phineas was out & about, busy keeping his eye on his beloved Cagney in the Manor.  I removed the top sheet in his cage as usual.  Wiped a couple of perches & adjusted a toy, then went about my usual business.

Not long after, Phineas wanted to regurgitate to my finger so he jumped on the perch on the outside of his cage & proceeded to regurgitate to my readily available finger.  So far so good.  Then he glanced in the cage.  Oh my!  He did a double take!  What is THAT?!!!!  He looked unnerved & flew off!  It was then that I noticed the rather scary looking paper on the bottom of his cage!

Perhaps he would not want to return to his cage?!  To make sure there would not be a problem I removed the offending paper & slid it under another sheet.  I was curious though.  Did Phinny really looked shocked or did I exaggerate his reaction in my mind?  A couple of days later, when the scary sheet of paper came to the top again, I decided to leave it there & see what happened.

Well….. Phinny reacted the same way!!!  It made sense really.  I mean, I do not think that even I would like to share a cage with something so scary, even if it was made out of paper.  This time I got rid of that sheet of paper completely.

 

 

 

Mystery poop

Some things are just meant to baffle.  I have given up trying to solve this mystery.

I had been out at work all day.  That morning, all I had done was uncover Cagney & Bezukhov in the Manor & Phineas in the NF (New Ferplast).  Their food & water was replenished.  All was as it should be.  I went out to earn some money in order to keep them in the manner (Manor?) they are accustomed to.

On my return, some 10 hours later, the first thing I spotted was a poop on the roof of Phinny’s cage.  It was on the plastic frame circling the roof area.  You can see its location in this photo:

Mystery poop: How did it get there?

Mystery poop: How did it get there?

 

How did it get there?  They were all locked in.  I would have noticed it in the morning before I went out, as I have a finely tuned poop-eye that zooms in on poops that are in places they should not be, or poops in places I do not want them to stay for too long.

How did it get there?

How did it get there?

And even, how did it get there?!

 

Perch positioning

It is important to carefully consider positioning of perches & swings in the cage.  I have made a mistake with positioning of a perch in Phinny’s cage.  Most mornings, I am presented with the following:

Poopy perch

Poopy perch

Phinny usually sleeps overnight on the ttmss swing.  As it is just him sitting on it, it dips down quite a bit on one side & it is that angle that often results in a poopy perch below.  Sometimes the ttmss swing shifts along the bars a fraction & that means the poops miss the perch & land on the cage floor, where they are meant to be.

Some more tweaking is necessary for an optimum poop-free perch position.

An Upgrade, a Move & some Tweaking

Cagney & Bezukhov live in the Manor.  They were originally quarantined in the old Ferplast (OF).  Phineas lives in the folding cage, where he was quarantined too.  Thomas was quarantined in the OF but then went to live with Phineas in the folding cage.

The OF, when not in use, has often been a chilling out cage.  However, I wanted to phase it out as there was some damage to the bars in places & I did not feel it was safe any more.

Enter the new Ferplast (NF).

The NF is basically the upgraded version of the OF, with a few design changes.  (The jury is still out on whether those changes are “improvements”).  My plan was for Phineas & Thomas to move into the NF as it is much bigger than the folding cage.  I felt that Thomas would appreciate the extra space to get away from Phineas at times.

Due to Thomas being unwell, I put off moving him & Phineas into their new home until he was feeling better, but the NF was set up & moved into the room, as the replacement chill-out cage.  Phineas did go in there briefly but otherwise it was completely ignored, most certainly by the scaredy-cat Toyboys because of its different colour (e.g., black bars instead of white).

Sadly, Thomas is now no longer with us.  I went ahead with the move anyway as the NF was ready & waiting.

Moving day was last week.  Read more of this post

Travel cage carrier bag

With the recent flurry of vet visits for Thomas, I have come to appreciate the fabric carrier bag I made for the travel cage.

Hospital/Travel Cage

Hospital/Travel Cage

One of my worries is that the clips holding the cage to the base, either do not work, or are not clipped properly.  This would result in the base just falling off & the consequence, particularly if outside, potentially catastrophic.  When using the travel cage (demonstrated by Raspy on this post), I have always held it by the base & never by the top handle alone.

Getting the cage to the vet usually means holding it up by my chest (as I am supporting the cage base) but having to put it down on the floor at times to lock/unlock the front door & the car door etc.  As it has felt awkward lifting the cage from the floor by the base, I decided a new method was needed.

Enter cheap charity shop t-shirt.

From looking around the internet for ideas, I found the solution.  Any existing bag I had was just not wide enough at the bottom for the travel cage, even though the cage is really rather small.  So, for a few pence, I bought an extra-large, stretchy man’s t-shirt from a charity shop & set about turning it into a cage carrier bag.

All you need to do is simply: Read more of this post

Getting closer?

After about a week of Phineas & Thomas having the lounge to themselves (see Separation post), I was stunned to see Phineas preening Thomas!  They were both sat on the window perch.  I looked up from the laptop where I was working & could not believe my eyes.  I grabbed the camera & quickly started filming:

My little grey man was grown up enough to interpret that Thomas wanted his chops preened.  A little later, they were on the playgym & I saw Phineas preening Thomas again.  Out came the camera:

Who knew that Phineas had it in him?!

What is more, that same day, Thomas found his way into Phinny’s cage!  I think Phineas was a little surprised to see Thomas sat there on his perch & then Thomas eating his seed, but he took it in his stride.

Was Thomas going to stay overnight in Phinny’s home? Read more of this post

A straw & the door

Now that Phineas & Thomas have the lounge to themselves (see Separation post) I thought it would be nice if they could eventually share a cage.  This would get the number of cages in use down from three to two.  As I have concerns about some of the bars on the Ferplast, I am keen to phase this cage out.  This means attempting to get Thomas to share the folding cage with Phineas.

Knowing that it took Thomas 3 weeks to emerge from the Ferplast, I suspected that he may have a problem with small doors.  The folding cage has a large door on the front which has a small door within it.  Phineas is happy using the small door, though I do recall he initially used to go back & forth in front of it some time before he worked out it was the path to Cagney.  For Thomas, I decided to make use of the larger door, but when it is open, it sticks up above the main cage, which has always put me off.  Some thinking was needed.

A-ha!  A jumbo drinking straw was what I needed.  I got a green one & slit it along the edge & simply slid it along the top of the door.  Now it was more like an actual perch, rather than something that got in the way of flying.  The door itself is held up with pegs (what would I do without pegs?!)  I put a rope perch from the outside snaking sneakily to the inside.

Now to watch & wait!

Brainstorming session

Further to my previous post on the toyboys bid for freedom, I report that they have not given up on staging a daring escape bid.

The toyboys thought they were having a secret meeting but I overheard a heated discussion & had to investigate.  I found both Cagney & Bezukhov studying the roof latch on the Manor.

It seems that Cagney thought the best solution to unlock it would be to give the latch a good eyeballing.  Bezukhov was most unimpressed with this idea & thought a more practical approach of sliding it across would be more effective.  Fortunately, they did not manage to come to an agreement so the escape plan was called off…

Temporarily, I have to assume….