Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Tag Archives: cleaning

Raised Bottom (Part One)

I had been thinking about it for awhile but last week I finally raised Perry & Lennie’s “bottom”.

Their flight cage is a good size but it has a big drop if anyone falls.  The cage bottom has been padded to cushion any fall, & perches arranged to allow an easy ascent.

However, recently I noticed Perry fell off the perch as he reached around to clean his bottom (I seem to be talking about bottoms a lot in this post!)  His various lumps & bumps have made it difficult for him to balance at times.  He has also wobbled quite a bit when cleaning his bottom, but managed to right himself before falling.  Lennie has also fallen on occasion.  It made sense to me that it would be more comfortable for them if there was not so far to fall.

Perry & Lennie’s temporary home

It was quite a big operation.  They had to move into the quarantine/folding cage whilst I made the changes.  I set it up as near as possible to what they were used to & anticipated they would be in there for up to 2 weeks as I worked out how to raise the floor.

I did plan to swap out Moriarty’s cage with Perry & Lennie’s clean cage & convert Moriarty’s cage, but decided at the last minute to just clean Moriarty’s cage & furniture all at once as I thought there might be some objection as the cages are different colours (grey/silver & black) & we know how finicky they can be about such things!  This meant that Perry & Lennie were an extra day in the quarantine cage.

After I cleaned Moriarty’s cage (& added extra padding on the bottom) I had to work quicker than I planned on the conversion as Perry & Lennie were not coping well in the quarantine cage.  Perry had the advantage of spending most of the day in with Moriarty (after an age trying to get him out through the strange door!), so Lennie was the most unsettled.

Though I had run through the conversion idea in my head many times, I could not be sure how it would turn out until I actually tried it.  Firstly, I decided to split the cage at the halfway level.  The bars split into three sections at that level which suggested three sets of cardboard could be slotted through.  I did not have cardboard long enough so tied pieces together with string.  It had to be flexible to get in & out through the door.

The cardboard would lay on a crisscross of string.  This proved to be quite difficult as I had to research some different knots in order to keep some decent tension.  I ended up with making a loop mid-way in the piece of string in order to thread the string through it & tie tight enough.  I kept testing it by throwing a tailor’s ham on (weighs about 450g) to simulate a fall!  There was also a slight gap at the front & back so an extra piece of cardboard was added.  At the front, at the gap when the main door is open, I added a ridge for a little safety.  All exposed edges of cardboard were covered with parcel tape.

 

Finally, I added some padding (not as much as before given there is less of a fall), a piece of oilcloth, then the bottom liners.  All furniture was placed back in exactly the same place!  (To help with furniture/toy placement I made a note of location according to bars & also took photos.)  You will notice in the last photo below there is an extra perch in the lower section that was just the right shape to provide a little extra support.

 

So, how did they receive it?  That will be in the next post!

 

 

Bye, Bye, Dustbuster

The day had to come.  It could not be avoided.  My trusty & loyal handheld vacuum cleaner stopped working.

Dustbuster

 

For those in bird-keeping circles, you will know the importance of having a handy & quick way of hoovering up seed, husks, feathers, poop & dander!  Not to mention remains of chewing sessions on various materials.

So, bye-bye to my dustbuster that I purchased in 2011.  It had faithfully cleaned up after all birds on this blog: Atilla, Raspy, Cagney, Bezukhov, Phineas, Thomas, Dalai, Perry, Lennie & Moriarty.

 

It has already been replaced by a newer model that I hope will also give many years of service.

 

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.

 

 

 

Sitting Target

Well I wasn’t sitting…… but I was a target.

There I was, routinely cleaning the bottom of the manor, bent over at their main door, concentrating on what I was doing, when I felt a soft, warm thud on my arm…….

Yes, Atilla had gone onto the landing platform overhead & very kindly pooped onto my arm.

Thank you dear.

Could have been worse…. could have been in my hair.

Remembering Raspy: Helping out

Whilst rearranging the furniture in the Manor the other day, I recalled how Raspy would always want to “help“.

She was fascinated with how perches were connected to the Manor bars & if I started to unscrew something she was there in seconds, either perched on my fingers doing the twirling or on the perch I was attempting to remove.

When I cleaned the Manor bars with a cloth, both Raspy & Atilla would be wanting to chew it as I moved it up & down, left & right.  Atilla still likes to do this.

When changing the Manor bottom papers, my head would be in their large front door, wiping around & cleaning.  Raspy was always first to position herself so she could pull at & chew my hair.  She would also climb onto my back as I was bent over.

It would take forever to clean or change anything!

The puddings have always taken personal interest in every change, however small, that I have made to their environment.  In contrast, I have noticed that the toyboys leave me to the cleaning & rearranging & do not interfere at all.  In fact, they will often go off & sit on the window perch & wait for the maid to finish.  If Atilla is not out busy chewing the chair, then she will stay put in the Manor to check progress & occasionally sit on the outside perch where she is able to reach across & pull my hair & then remind me of her ‘helpful’ little sister….

Slummin’ it

Confession time!  I forgot to buy the usual broadsheet for their bottom paper so Atilla, Cagney & Bezukhov have the indignity of the tabloids

Normally, I cut up The Telegraph, for the simple reason it is the newspaper that best fits the Manor floor.  However, they are currently having to survive with The Daily Mail.

To ease things for them (Atilla, in particular), I have promised I will not take photographs or video of the Manor floor until the more upmarket broadsheet has been reinstated….