Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Tag Archives: moulting

Extreme Moult Experience

So, right on schedule, we had the annual Extreme Moult Experience.

This is the 3rd year running this has happened.  It began when Bezukhov suffered this affliction in October 2015 (click here to read that story).  Last year, Bezukhov upped the stakes by introducing compulsory crop-feeding to keep him going (click here to read that story).  This year, Bezukhov pulled out all the stops & managed to scare us all.

Not counting the final follow-up visit, we had clocked up 16 vet visits/crop feeds in 14 days.   In total, there were 17 vet visits in 17 days which clearly averages as 1 visit a day.  Astounding statistics.

On the 19th September, Bezukhov dropped many large feathers, including his remaining tail feather.  His smaller, fluffier feathers were also beginning to fall off him.  When offered millet, he declined.  His poops were also going a dark green colour.  It was time to call in the vet.  When the vet examined him on the 20th, she said his head was inflamed where pin feathers (not yet noticeable) were about to come through.  Instead of sensibly gradually moulting out his feathers, he decided to drop them all at the same time & grow new ones.  His body was clearly not able to cope with this, hence his lack of appetite (& subsequent dramatic weight loss) & extreme lethargy.

 

Knowing the pattern from previous years, although his weight was initially healthy at 50g, the vet began with a crop feed in an attempt to ‘get ahead of the game’.  You can see from the table below, that things did not go as well as we had hoped.

 

The main complication this time was that Bezukhov was repeatedly vomiting.  He had a crop wash on the 26th September to rule out reasons other than an extreme moult.  This came back clear, but we were still left with the vomiting problem.  It was thought it might have been a side affect to the antibiotics, in which case we would have to wait a few days until after the last dose to see if this was the case.  His weight continued to fall, despite having crop feeds.

Thursday the 28th September was the worse day of all.  He looked terrible & I feared he would not last the night…. but last the night he did & his further loss of 2g, to a critically low (for Bezukhov) 38g, explained his worsening state.  It was at this point we increased the crop feeding to twice a day.  On the Friday, he thankfully vomited less & from the Saturday all but stopped.  This was indeed a good sign & we hoped it would be the turning point, which indeed, it was.

You can see from the table above, that Bezukhov’s last weight was 41g that he had kept stable for a few days.  He still needs to put on weight but is now in much better spirits & eating by himself so we are hopeful that he will be his slightly tubby self soon.

 

 

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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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A long-drawn-out moult

It was not that long ago (December/January) when Dalai had a problem with uneven wings, due to moulting out some flight feathers.  Less than two months later he is going through another moult which has been going on for several weeks.  He only needs to have a shake & feathers fall off him.  Now he has pin feathers on his head.  He has been quite grumpy.

 

Dalai’s dander

During their moult, feather dust & dander is more noticeable.  Sometimes, Bezukhov & Dalai sit on the perch preening & you can see it drift down & settle below them.  I have singled out Dalai in this post simply because the dander he leaves behind on the ttmss swing in the Manor is particularly noticeable because of the dark colour of the perch.

Bezukhov very rarely sits on that swing which is why I know the dander pictured is Dalai’s.  Bezukhov prefers the counterpart (hot pink) swing in the Villa.

 

Dalai’s first misting

Yesterday, Dalai had his first misting.

Since his arrival, Dalai has witnessed several mistings.  Both Bezukhov & Phineas have demonstrated the art of prancing about in some wet leaves whilst I spray water over them.  Dalai would usually take himself off to the Villa & leave them to it.  I was not too concerned because he does take regular baths in the Thomas Bath.

Several factors may have influenced Dalai to try out a misting: they are both going through what seems like a never-ending moult, Bezukhov was very keen to throw himself into the celery leaves, & the sun was shining brightly though it is now clearly winter.  Whatever the reason, after he watched Bezukhov have a go, he decided to join in.  I think he enjoyed it.

Dalai investigating the celery leaves:

 

Dalai & Bezukhov preening afterwards:

(Click on photos to enlarge)

A Short Tale

This is a short tale about a short tail.

Once upon a time (about a week ago), handsome Prince Bezukhov had two tail feathers.  However, Bezukhov was moulting & the tail feathers worried about their future.  They were right to worry because one day, Bezukhov’s friend Dalai “helped” him remove one.  The tail feather was sad at the bottom of the cage.  Some days later, the remaining tail feather dropped out & was reunited with the first one who was now living on the coffee table.  They resignedly watched as new tail feathers started to grow in their place.  The prince will soon look handsome again as his odd, short tail morphs into lovely long tail feathers.  The end.

 

 

Pins, poop & preening

Bezukhov is getting better.  He is eating a reasonable amount each day.  His poops are looking fine.  He is chatting again with Dalai & has even engaged in the odd flirting session here & there.  He is still moulting though, so looks a bit rough & still likes to have a sleep during the day.

Dalai is also moulting.

 

During the last week, I have noticed Dalai preen Bezukhov’s cheek feathers.  I have only witnessed it happen about 3 times & each time was very brief but I did manage to get one little session on film:

Despite the rather brusque ending, I think Bezukhov appreciated the attention.

 

After the last few weeks, it gives me great pleasure to see Bezukhov tucking into his seed:

 

Poops are looking good too:

 

 

A big Softy

I have reported before that Phineas likes me to ruffle his feathers.  This stopped when he came out of his moult.  Every now & then I would test if a feather ruffle was acceptable &, though he would not bite my finger like before, he would gently move out of the way.  However, he is moulting again.  Feather ruffling is back on the agenda!  As witnessed by these videos:

 

 

It seems that, at heart, he is a big softy!

 

 

 

 

Zero by Ten

Last month I reported that Phineas likes to have two hand jives by ten o’clock.  He had begun to moult & had reduced his two jives to one.  However, his moult has gradually got heavier & now there are zero jives by ten o’clock.  Despite this departure from normal routine, he does managed to fit in a jiggy at some point in the day, whether it is the afternoon or early evening.

Here is the man in all his jiggying glory:

 

 

 

Two month hiatus

Phineas is randy again.

Phineas

Phineas

Towards the end of October, Phineas lost the urge to do the jiggy-jiggy hand jive.  Along with this, he also stopped regurgitating.  This coincided with his moult.  Last year, the hiatus lasted around 5-6 weeks.  This time it lasted just over two months.  He broke it on the 28th December with a jiggy-jiggy that he progressed, with a flourish, to the final deposit stage.  Since then, he has begun regurgitating again & is demanding more of my attention.

Phineas is back to his version of ‘normal’.  It is early stages but this appears to mean that ruffling of cheek feathers is now not acceptable.  When he started letting me ruffle his feathers, I looked for an opportunity to do this each day & so we developed a routine.  Now, when I try to do this he does not respond – he just moves his head away.  It is entirely possible I may have to wait until his big moult next September/October before feather ruffling will happen again!