Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Tag Archives: fingers

Guarding the Hand

As mentioned previously, since Cagney’s passing, Phineas has barely missed a beat regarding his daily regurgitating & hand-jive activities.

My right hand is the preferred location for jiggy-jiggy, as are the fingers & thumb.  Phineas is under the impression that because he is attached to my right hand/fingers & thumb, that everyone else is interested too.  This means he has to protect my hand from possible invaders.

Over time, he has become slightly less territorial over my fingers; he can regurgitate with someone sitting in the background without having to keep stopping to warn off that other presence.  My hand, with the associated activity of the hand jive is a different matter though.  When he is ‘in the mood’, he has to make sure no one comes within a certain radius of my hand.  The more ‘in the mood’ he gets, the more protective & territorial he gets.  Because of this tendency to aggression I usually engineer a hand jiggy-jiggy session in the cage.  This has two benefits.  The first is that he is more likely to finish ‘the job’ without having to keep stopping to warn off others.  The second is that whoever shows an interest is less likely to be thumped.

Sometimes, when Phineas is extra-hyper, & slamming against the side of the cage to warn off would-be competition, I cover the cage over so he can concentrate on the deed.




Unfortunately, we now have an added complication in that Bezukhov has moved in with Phineas, albeit just being overnight stays.  I dare not allow relations with my hand whilst Bezukhov is in the same, confined vicinity.  This means that when Phineas wants to boogie-woogie, this either has to be done outside the cage, with Bezukhov locked in, or in the cage, with Bezukhov locked out!  Usually Phineas wants rumpy-pumpy first thing in the morning after a long, jiggy-free night.  Like I say… it is an added complication…


A change is as good as a rest

20140610_115614_sh21Phineas is still very much into doing the hand jive.  He will jiggy-jiggy at least once a day & would most probably be happy fitting more sessions in if he could.  I had previously posted that he was right-handed/winged/clawed so the majority of his jiggling takes place on my right hand & the left hand is only used in emergencies.

So, Phineas is very much a creature of habit.  However, in the last few weeks he has been experimenting!  He still favours my right hand but he sometimes attempts to change position.

The normal position is that he rubs his bottom along my ring finger.  He clutches onto the bottom of my ring finger with his right foot & his left foot holds onto my index finger.  All very good… apart from when his right foot clenches so hard that blood supply is almost stopped to my ring finger….

The new position entails rubbing his bottom along the outside of my little finger.  It feels very strange to me so it must have a great novelty factor for Phinny!  In this position, his feet flounder a bit as they naturally gravitate to my palm, so their positions can vary.  Sometimes, he starts off in the normal position, then moves to the little finger position & if he cannot get purchase quick enough, will revert to the normal position to ‘finish the job’.

However, there have been a few occasions when he has managed to complete the job in the new position.  To prove this, I present a photo of evidence, showing his deposit left on my little finger.  In the normal position it is left on the side of my ring finger.

Experimental deposit position

Experimental deposit position

BTW, who knew, when I started this blog, that I would be writing about these kind of things!  Thanks a bunch, Phineas!



VeGducating Thomas: Apple

Continuing in the VeGducating Thomas series, I am happy to report that Thomas is also partial to a little apple.  In fact he likes apple so much that when he sees me approach with a slice between my fingers, he actually approaches me.  He is still not tame & generally does not like my hands but when I have food he tends to make an exception & will happily munch direct from my fingers.

fresh_apple-133886-everystockphotoSadly, I have no pictures as evidence, usually because I am holding the apple.  I tend not to peg the slices up as they go brown so quickly.

All my boys love apple so I make sure they all have some.  Phineas, particularly, will really gorge on it.

Unconventional taming method

Phineas has always been a bit wary & suspicious of me.  If I was very careful & very slow, he would eat millet from my hand… sometimes.  Since joining the toyboys in the same room he has relaxed a lot more.  When I put my finger between the bars of the cage he stopped running away & gradually plucked up courage to peck.  He found he really liked biting & chewing this soft, wriggly thing!

I decided to work on his liking for chewing fingers as the millet did not seem enough to tempt him.  I started putting my hand in the cage & twiddling my fingers enticingly.  He soon discovered that a hand can be fun – fingers to chew & bite, fingernails to talk to & a nice bouncy surface.  We would have bonding, biting sessions!

I would not recommend this method to others but it works quite well for me as my leathery fingers have already been toughened up by Pudding bites.  😀

Here is Phinny in action:

Remembering Raspy: Biting

When Raspy was in the mood, she had a killer bite. 

During her “teens” she went through a biting phase.  When I say “biting” I mean the kind that really hurts!  It can break skin, or if it does not, it will leave a dent & this can also happen through clothing.  I tried several methods to stop her from biting:

Raise finger & tap bird on the beak & say “No” firmly

  • To Raspy, a raised finger just meant an opportunity to bite was being handed to her on a plate.

Make hand/wrist go floppy so bird falls off

  • Raspy just clung on, with her beak digging deeper into my finger…

Gently blow on the back of bird’s head

  • The first time I did this Raspy did not react.  Perhaps I was not blowing hard enough or near enough?   I pursed my lips & moved in to blow on the back of her head again when Madam Raspy turned & bit me on the lip!  Yes, drawing blood!

Put the bird back in the cage, i.e., stop interacting with the bird

  • I would do this, but Raspy would just come out the cage a few seconds later & pick up where she left off.

Be firm

  • One time I was getting annoyed with her for biting so much so I shouted, “THAT’S IT, I AM NOT PLAYING WITH YOU ANYMORE!”  I then left her at the cage & stomped off back to my computer.  As soon as I sat down, she flew directly to me, landed on my head, stopped for a few seconds, then flew back to the cage.  If that was not Raspy having the last word then I’ll eat a pot of avian seaweed!  That was the first & last time she ever did that.  I cannot say it was the last time she was biting though!

In the end, I gave up trying to be the boss of Raspy & decided to be grateful she wanted to be close enough to me to bite. From then on, when she was in a biting mood I would start twiddling my fingers & then it turned into a game, albeit a slightly painful one for me!

Here are a couple of my favourite videos of Raspy in biting mood….She looks really happy to me!