Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Tag Archives: moulting

Head rub

Lennie found that rubbing his head on the frame of the open door helped give him some relief from some pin feathers….

 

 

Indoor Bath

Perry & Lennie have been choosing to stay in their cage.  This may be because they have been moulting (again!) which can make them a little lethargic.  Or it could be because they both have problems flying.  But I think the main reason is that their primary purpose for coming out was to see Dalai & now I imagine they ask themselves, why bother if he is not around?

I have been lenient on this front as I miss Dalai too.

However, with their moulting and constant preening, I felt they were missing out on having a bath.  The Thomas Bath is situated on the far side of Dalai’s cage.  Whilst they might occasionally pop into Dalai’s cage to avoid the cleaner (me) for a few minutes, they are nowhere near venturing on top of the cage.  Anyway, I thought I would bring the bath to them & perhaps hold it up near their door.

When I showed them the bath, Lennie looked particularly excited.  He was normally the one having lots of baths, whereas Perry was happy with one in a blue moon.  Because of Lennie’s look of interest, I decided to rig the bath up on their main door so that when it closed the bath would be between two perches.  This done, I was pleased to see they were not startled to see an indoor bath but, in fact, were rather pleased.

Indoor bath

 

I took the videos below. Unfortunately the cage bars are in the way, but you can get an idea of how it unfolded.  Surprisingly, Perry was the first to jump in so I guess his blue moon was long overdue.

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Perry & Lennie after their bath

 

 

Dalai’s last week (1 of 2)

As previously posted, we lost our dear Dalai on the morning of Wednesday, February 26th.

Dalai preening

I have mentioned before that Dalai had been moulting.  He had the usual moult in October time & recovered well from that.  His next moult was over Christmas which was unexpected.  This was followed by another one in February, also unexpected.  It is thought these successive moults may have weakened his system in some way.

Each time, he was a bit grumpy but that was normal behaviour for him.  When he seemed particularly fed up (not bothering to come out when I unlocked him in the mornings) I would feed him a bobble of millet or six.

On Friday 21st, I he spent a large part of the day in Perry & Lennie’s cage, returning to his own quite late.  I recall thinking that the expression in his eyes did not look quite right, he looked tired.  The following day he barely ate.  On reflection, he must have reduced his food intake in the week prior, but this was difficult to gauge given they share all the seed pots.  His daytime sleeping was interspersed with manic moments of activity (walking upside down across the ceiling of his cage).  I worried that he would not survive the night & kept checking at intervals.

Dalai preening

Leading up to this, his poops were fewer, but bigger, but I was not overly concerned as this change had happened during his previous moults so I assumed the change was temporary.

Because it was the weekend, our usual vet was not available so I spent a frantic time trying to find an exotic vet working the weekend.  We ended up going to the Veterinary Hospital on the Sunday to see a vet with an ‘interest in birds’.  I knew Dalai would have lost weight & because, by now, he was not eating at all, I wanted access to a feeding formula.  On Sunday, the hospital has a process similar to A&E triage, which meant Dalai may be in the waiting room for hours.  I said I did not want this as it would be stressful for him.  They would not release any feeding formula to me without a consultation but agreed to let us wait in a private room to reduce stress.  As it happens, we were seen as soon as we arrived.

As expected, Dalai had lost weight & on her scales weighed 35g.  The vet said he was dehydrated & to orally administer Critical Care, dissolved in water, for a few days before considering a feeding formula.  It was an expensive visit for what seemed like little support & care. Read more of this post

Love Your Pet Day, 2020

Today is ‘Love Your Pet Day’.  Of course every day is ‘Love Your Pet Day’.

My three feathery companions are all well.  They are moulting again (how is that possible?!)  Dalai has been extra grumpy because of that.  Perry is in good spirits despite his ever-growing lump.  Lennie is coping with his difficulty in flying by eating, but he has not thought that strategy through!

There is no discrimination on “Love Your Pet Day” as I also think of those long gone: our dear Raspy, her sister Atilla, handsome Thomas, incorrigible Phineas, cheeky Cagney & lastly, dear Bezukhov.  Today has been so rainy & Bezukhov loved to watch the rain…

Bezukhov

Severe moult, long beak and a strange growth

As you know, from my earlier post (click here: Three near-flightless birds), we are having a pretty bad moult season.  Since that post, Lennie has lost more flight feathers resulting in one wing being, well…. not much use as a wing.

It has not stopped him from feeding Dalai:

 

To add to that, Dalai decided to grow his beak…

 

…that the vet trimmed down yesterday.  She also investigated a strange thing beside his beak that I had noticed a few weeks ago. At first I thought it was a stuck seed, then I wondered if it was a strange feather. The vet confirmed it was fleshy & attached to him, similar to a skin tag.  She whipped it off pretty smartly.  Hopefully, whatever it was, it will not grow back.

 

 

Three in one

Last Friday (12th) we had a visit from the vet, to check over all three, Dalai, Perry & Lennie.  I had/have concerns about all of them for various reasons, one of which may be my paranoia!

At the time the vet came, Lennie was locked in by himself so we decided he would be first up.  I had concerns that he was having trouble flying –  only that morning he had attempted a lap of the room & landed in the plant pot!  The vet checked over his wings & found some missing flight feathers on both wings.  She said his heart sounded fine, which suggested the flying problem was a result of moulted-out feathers, which should be resolved when they have all grown back in again.  The only problem with this is that I find that when a bird has a few crash landings, their confidence can be dented & they are put off flying again, which in turn makes the problem worse.  Hopefully Lennie gets over this & is flying well soon.

The big shock with Lennie is that the vet weighed him & said he was 64g!!!  She did not seem concerned as she said he was clearly not overweight but did have a full gizzard.  There is a slight chance there may be a mass behind the gizzard, so I am to keep my eye on him.

 

Perry was up next.  The last time the vet visited, she identified a lump, which has since been growing.  Sometimes, at certain angles & when he is fluffed up, the lump is not noticeable at all.  However, it is definitely there, defined & dense.  It currently appears to be isolated, i.e., not attached to anything major.  Certainly, it is not imposing on Perry’s health or behaviour yet, but at sometime in the future I may need to get a sample from it in order to work out possible treatment.  Perry weighed a very respectable 55g, lump & all.

Perry contemplating eating some vegetables

 

Dalai was last.  He has been very much under the weather & his poops had changed.  He did have a very dodgy poop that was ringed with red, but I only found one of those (believe me, I was checking ALL of them after that discovery!) & the vet said he may have strained when passing that particular one.  The day before the vet came out, Dalai dropped a mountain of feathers overnight, which then made it clear that a lot of my concerns were most probably because he was moulting (again!).  Additionally, he has developed a dark mark on his beak.  I was not aware of him having bumped/crashed into anything for it be a bruise.  The vet thought it was either a blood blister or just a pigmentation change.  Dalai’s weight was also respectable, coming in at 45g.

Dalai

 

So, for a change, the vet did not leave me with any medication.  It took Dalai, Perry & Lennie awhile to recover from all the prodding & poking & it took me awhile to recover from the news of Lennie’s weight… in fact, if truth be told, my jaw is still on the floor over it!

 

 

Seasonally Confused

When I mentioned to the vet that the birds were moulting again, she said they were clearly ‘seasonally confused‘.  What a good & descriptive phrase!  It may well apply to humans too, particularly in the UK, with our extremely changeable weather!

Here, we have had a series of mini-moults.  It is never long before there is another flurry of feathers.  Right now though, they are going through a ‘proper’ moult, with tails lost, wing feathers lost & pinny heads.  Not to mention a bit of grumpiness.

However, despite looking like he has been pulled through a hedge backwards, Lennie is the one who tends to stay upbeat through it all, possibly irritating both Dalai & Perry more than he usually does!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday vet visits

The last two Fridays, the vet has visited.

Dalai has not been himself, so on Friday 26th October, I called the vet in.

After the obligatory chase around the Silver Villa, the vet examined Dalai.  He was very keen to bite her & also attempted to bite her stethoscope.  Nevertheless, she managed to ascertain that his heart rate was fine & his temperature was also fine.  He weighed a healthy 45g.

Dalai

A few days previously, I had noticed some strange dark marks on his toenails, which I pointed out to her.  She noticed a red mark on the bottom of his beak, the part underneath that the top hooked part covers.  She seemed to think the two things might be related.  She asked if he had been in a fight but I said Perry or Lennie would not dare to upset him.  The marks on his toenails looked like bruising to her.  At best, the bruising would disappear within a couple of weeks & all will be well.  (Afterwards, I recalled that about a week previously, he had gone into the wall & landed on the floor, possibly due to a feather working its way loose).

Since that visit, he started moulting his little feathers & has been extra grumpy & also sleepy.

On the Wednesday morning (31st), I noticed some deposits of vomit.  Dalai was particularly under the weather & sleepy this day.  I kept him locked in by himself for most of the day & at intervals offered him millet, seed & baby corn, of which he appeared to enjoy the corn most.  His poops were rather sludgy & not to his normal standard.

There was little change over the next two days.  There was one moment on the Thursday evening when he was heaving & vomited but only one or two seeds came out.  The next day, Friday 2nd November, I called the vet out again.  She came in the afternoon, but that morning, I found that Dalai really fancied broccoli, so I held it up to him several times & he ate quite a lot.  He also came out a couple of times & unusually, went into Perry & Lennie’s cage, where he ate some of their seed.  He was back in his own home by the time the vet arrived.

Dalai was active enough to fly out the cage whilst the vet was trying to catch him.  Unfortunately (for him) he landed back on the side of the cage near me, so I managed to catch him.  His temperature was higher than the previous Friday but still in the normal range.  He had lost some weight, probably about 2 grams.  His poops were awful & he appeared to have a slight tail bob.  The vet prescribed antibiotics (Enrobactin) in the water for the next 10 days.  She also wondered if he has chlamydia.  The trauma from when he got his bruising may have triggered it.  Poop needs to be collected over the next 7-10 days for a test, if I choose to go ahead with it.

In the meantime, I continue to monitor Dalai.

 

Final review of Bezukhov’s health issues

Followers of this blog will know that my dear Bezukhov had various health issues over the years.  I thought a final review would be appropriate.


The first major health challenge began in mid-2014 when Bezukhov started to have ‘Vacant Episodes’.

These ‘episodes’ were handled in a variety of ways, detailed in the many posts over the years.  When they appeared to stabilise, the vet & I decided to cease all medication (early part of 2016) with the proviso to only administer medicine in an extreme circumstance.

I have previously posted lists of his episodes to date, with the last post being in December 2015 (click here to view).  For completeness, I have updated the list & here it is:

 

As I logged each episode, I spent much time trying to find a pattern as that may give a clue as to the cause.  All I know is that he seemed to have a spike in May/April time & the winter months were more stable.

Without knowing the real cause it is difficult to treat.  However, I believe it may have been a liver problem & early medication was focused on that & ongoing supplements (milk thistle & Aloe Vera Detox) continued to target this.  Given that we were unable to stop the episodes completely, we aimed to get them to a manageable/stable level & to reduce ‘cluster’ episodes, i.e., multiple ones in a short space of time.

The worst day was “Black Wednesday”, the 22nd of April 2015, when he had 4 in one day, 3 of which were within 90 minutes.  You can see the days where he had multiple episodes in the list above (figures in brackets).  The chart below shows an overview by month & year:

 

I greatly feared that Bezukhov’s end would be by a seizure & desperately hoped he would not suffer a prolonged one.


In the last few years, Bezukhov introduced a new health problem – his very own Extreme Moult Experience.  Though it is not uncommon for birds to have a severe moult, I was aware that Bezukhov’s first extreme moult happened not long after we lost his best buddy Cagney.  Was it a coincidence that his next two extreme moults happened around Cagney’s anniversary?  Bezukhov was a very sensitive bird which is why I wondered if there was a connection.

Fortunately, he tended not to have episodes during the Extreme Moult Experiences, which is just as well as I was already worried enough.  I feared during these experiences that he would just starve himself to death & I desperately hoped his end would not be that way.


In the end, it was something entirely different that took him.  A tumour.

The vet thought it was aggressive & grew very quickly (they can double in size each day), using up his body’s energy.  She suspects that the mass started on the outside of the small intestine & probably started growing inwards, explaining the initial lack of droppings & then the very dark ones later on that eventually contained fresh blood as the mass expanded.


Bezukhov was a fighter.  As you can see from what I have written above, he fought through many health problems.  The vet, who had looked after him from 2014, said that Bezukhov was possibly the most determined bird she had ever met.

Bezukhov was sensitive too & reacted emotionally to his surroundings, but he pushed on through all the changes & traumas in his life, possibly the most significant being the loss of his best buddy Cagney, with such grace & dignity.

He truly was remarkable.  I am grateful to have been a part of his life & feel honoured that he chose to trust me.

 

 

Moult and Millet

Further to my previous post on their spring moult, Dalai has really been stringing his out.  Granted he did have a break in the middle, but maybe if he had not, he would have got over it all much quicker!

He seems less grumpy now though not quite back to his usual socialising levels.  His flying has improved with him feeling confident enough to make wider & wider laps of the room.  That said, only a few days ago he dropped yet another flight feather; he had just had a fly then went back into the Villa & had a mad moment where we all looked at him wondering what was going on, but it turned out the feather was loose & he was just jiggling about to release it.

 

To celebrate leaving the bulk of the spring moult behind, I cracked open the millet.  I usually only sneak a millet bobble to individuals at odd moments, so they were a bit surprised to see a few two-inch sprays dotted about.  They soon got over the shock & all tucked in.