Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Tag Archives: run-around

Evening shenanigans

Perhaps it is something in the water… or maybe a full moon… or more probably it is plain & simple budgie naughtiness!

The recent routine has mostly been the following:

  • Morning – out & about for a fly
  • Afternoon – locked in for siesta
  • Evening – out & about for a fly & daily bottom paper clean

Now, each evening the same thing happens when I let them out – the toyboys want to swap partners!

The puddings are still adamant they do not want to swap partners.

Both boys hit on their mate’s pudding at the same time & it makes it difficult to decide which pudding to rescue first.  Raspy is usually the first to fly to escape Cagney’s advances.  She usually lands on the floor at some point as Cagney has far more energy than her.  I show her the open Ferplast cage door & she readily runs in to shelter from the storm that is Cagney.

Meanwhile, Bezukhov is being highly arrogant & hitting on flock boss Atilla.  Once Raspy has been locked up in the Ferplast, Cagney, after trying to flirt with her through the bars, goes to Atilla but Bezukhov chases him away.  If he exits the Manor to chase Cagney away then I quickly lock Atilla up alone.  After a short time, I let Cagney in to be with Atilla & then Bezukhov wants to go into the Ferplast to be with Raspy.  I let them chill out for a bit with their correct partners before releasing them again.

This evening was slightly different in that Atilla landed on the floor trying to get away from Bezukhov.  In fact, Raspy had already landed on the floor.  The toyboys were on the floor also, still pursuing their wrong partner.  They were all on the floor!  Such confusion!

This time I managed to get both Raspy & Atilla into the Ferplast.  (Raspy quite likes the chill out zone but Atilla was a bit put out to be away from her Manor).  The boys camped outside the Ferplast, waiting not-very-patiently to be let in or for the girls to be let out….

One potato, two potato…

three potato, four…

If you know the rhyme it will give you some idea of Raspy’s tactic to get out of Mr Vet’s grasp! 

Yes, there has been yet another visit from Mr Vet.  This time, his usual Lovely Assistant was not available, so he brought Lovely Assistant Numero Two (LAN2).

My main concerns this time were that:

  1. Atilla’s fatty lump appeared to have spawned another lump further down in her “undercarriage” area, &
  2. Raspy now weighs the same as her sister (she has always been less).

Atilla & Raspy bonding

In preparation for the visit, I locked the toyboys in the Ferplast when they had both gone in to nibble at the iodine block, even though there is a block in the Manor.   This left the puddings alone in the Manor.  I noticed that Raspy immediately went to Atilla’s perch to sit near her.  She was bashing Atilla’s mirror but I suspect that was her way of being affectionate without losing face (see video below).

I gave them some dill soaked in camomile tea in the hope it would help to keep them calm.  They were happy chomping away together.  They were happy until Mr Vet & LAN2 arrived….

Cagney & Atilla after their misting

Normally, if I put my hand in the cage, both girls are happy to jump on, if only to bite me, chew my sleeve or cadge a lift to another perch.  With Mr Vet there, they did not even entertain the idea of sitting on my finger.  I even showed them their favourite toy, the camera, to tempt them but no, they were not going to be fooled.  Unfortunately, that meant Mr Vet went in with his cloth…..

Raspy came out first & was flying all around the room.  We left her, to focus on Atilla, who also bombed out the Manor.  She landed on the floor & LAN2 quickly bundled her up.

Atilla was vocal about the indignity of being held.  Mr Vet had a listen to her heart & breathing & gave her a prod & a poke.

His verdict on the lump situation is that the bottom lump is actually part of the initial chest lump that has slipped down as it is not attached to anything.  He reckoned she was in better overall condition than last time.  Her heart was strong & her breathing fine.

Though I am still concerned about her lump, I am well aware that he could have said a whole lot worse so I feel some relief.

Raspy preening Bezukhov

Raspy was next.  She managed to fly behind the curtain where Mr Vet gathered her up in his cloth.  Raspy was about 10 times more vocal than Atilla.  I think Mr Vet & LAN2 were a bit surprised at the ferocity of her protest.  Raspy proceeded to squirm & that is when Mr Vet started the one potato, two potato actions with his hands, as he tried to keep hold of her!  She had her toenails trimmed but kept holding onto the clipper with the foot that was free.  Mr Vet gave her a prod & poke also.

He said he could not feel any lumps.  Like Atilla, her heartbeat & breathing were good.

So, job done & Mr Vet & LAN2 departed, leaving the puddings to recover in the Manor.  When I saw they were both preening, I thought about letting the toyboys back out.

I do not exaggerate when I say that within less than a minute of being let out, Cagney had his leg over Atilla!  He loves that girl!  Bezukhov was covering Raspy with kisses also.  They had only been apart for 2 hours at most.

When they had got their “greetings” over with, I got out the rest of the camomile-tea-soaked dill & gave them a misting.  All had a romp in the dill, apart from Raspy who watched, but she did give Bezuky’s head a good preen afterwards (see video below).

Raspy & Atilla alone in the Manor:


Raspy preening Bezuky (Atilla was “helping” me film, hence camera shake): 

Another prod and poke

Mr Vet & his Lovely Assistant visited yesterday.

Atilla has given me cause for concern as she has been losing feathers on her belly/chest area.  She has been looking rather tatty.  That is unusual for Atilla as she is normally the most well-groomed of them all (when Cagney has not been climbing all over her).

Prior to the visit, I lured the toyboys into the Ferplast with spinach & locked them in to lessen chaos.  As usual, there was the usual scenario of Mr Vet chasing Atilla around the Manor.  She slipped out the front cage door & slid across the floor.  Mr Vet’s Lovely Assistant quickly scooped Atilla up.  The catching process was as fraught as before but a lot quicker.

Mr Vet gave Atilla a good prod & poke.  He asked lots of questions about her eating, pooping & if she was still vocal.  At that point she started growling at him & I said, there’s your answer….

The diagnosis is that Atilla has a fatty lump on her chest.  Mr Vet said it is soft & he could move it around a bit.  He did not consider it serious…. BUT he did say I should check if she loses weight or loses her appetite.

When Mr Vet & his Lovely Assistant departed, I let the girls chill a little longer before letting the toyboys out.  Cagney & Bezukhov find it difficult being parted from their girls, even with them being just inches away.  As soon as I opened the Ferplast door, both boys shot out to be with their puddings.  It is very touching to see them be so affectionate & want to feed & preen them.

Here is (not so) bad boy Cagney giving Atilla a much needed head preen after her manhandling by Mr Vet:

I don’t want to go to bed yet, mum!

The puddings are usually quite good at going to bed of a night.  They welcome the quiet time & the chance to chill out on their bedtime swings & reflect on the day.

The toyboys are another matter… they are real live wires & even when all the signs point to bedtime, they often try to squeeze in extra playtime.

Here is Bezukhov trying to take the cover off….. 

Feng shuing the Manor

New arrangement

This weekend I spent some time rearranging some of the furniture in the Manor.  This is to help the puddings’ feet (see previous post on the vet visit).

Strangely, in the last few days, Atilla has spent less time on her ttmss swing & more on the wider perch in the far corner.  I am not sure if this is because she heard what Mr Vet said, or if her feet are more uncomfortable & she is making her own decision about where to sit.

Anyway, the main change I planned was to temporarily remove the ttmss swing! [Shock! Horror!]  Timing was critical if I wanted to keep my fingers intact.  Surprisingly, I managed to quietly remove it when Atilla was otherwise engaged on the Ferplast.  I felt quite pleased with myself!

Raspy eating grass

Atilla eating grass

Another wider wooden perch has been placed where the ttmss swing was & to make the transition easier, the triple mirror hangs beside it.

The swinging perch has also been moved from the loft area.  The perches on this are quite thin & Raspy spends a lot of time on it.  There is now a short, wide perch in its place.  So, at bedtime, there are now 3 swings & a perch to fight over.

Toyboys found the grass

Toyboys eating grass

In theory, the changes should not have taken long, however it took me about 2 hours to complete the job.  This is because both Atilla & Raspy wanted to chew my sleeves & my top at the same time.  Raspy also likes to “help” whenever I am unscrewing a perch.  In the end, it was getting a bit silly so I decided a distraction was called for.

The distraction was a small bunch of seeded grass, picked from my parents’ garden the previous day.  This was the first grass of the year & indeed the first time I have ever given the toyboys grass.  It is said never to work with children or animals.  It should really be, never work with budgies.  The distraction only worked for Raspy.  She was a clever girl & noticed the grass as soon as I brought it out & obviously remembered how tasty it was.  Ideally for her, the toyboys had no interest in it & Atilla was too busy burrowing into my sleeve.  Raspy was able to eat the grass at leisure.

The others cottoned onto the grass later on, when the Manor refurbishment had been completed.

Here is Raspy enjoying the grass before the others interrupted:

Poor thumb

Poor thumb the day after

In the meantime, I thought I would take some photos of the first grass of the season but Atilla made it clear to me that I am not allowed to hold the camera & if I do, my thumb will “get it”.  Sure enough, my thumb “got it”.  It had escaped a mauling from removing the ttmss swing but got caught with the camera!

Mission accomplished: Nasty man dispatched

Today Mr Vet visited.

As usual, I have had concerns about Atilla’s health, so to play safe I booked Mr Vet.  To minimize chaos I thought it best to separate puddings & toyboys.  When I let them out this morning, I removed all seed & food from the Manor & play gym area but filled up the seed pots in the Ferplast.  The plan was for the toyboys to eventually go into the Ferplast for food & I would then be able to temporarily lock them in.  In the end, I pegged up some spinach & Cagney (not one to miss out on some fresh veg) was in the Ferplast in two ticks, chomping away.  At that point, Bezukhov was on my hand, preening, so I slowly moved him into the Ferplast & hey presto! was able to lock them in!

They soon realised they were locked in though & all thoughts of tasty spinach disappeared whilst they jumped about, shouting for their puddings.  The puddings however, were chilled out & both settled down to eat a long, leisurely, late breakfast together.  They then sat side-by-side preening.  The toyboys calmed down after a while but got agitated each time the puddings moved or chirped.

Shaking that man out of my feathers...

The puddings were suspicious as soon as Mr Vet & Mr Vet’s Lovely Assistant came into the room.  Raspy was the first to be seen.  Whilst Mr Vet was chasing her around the Manor she managed to slip out the big front cage door & landed on the futon.  Fortunately, Mr Vet gathered her up before she was able to go anywhere else. 

Next up was Atilla… For an overweight bird who gets out of breath easily, she can still give as good as she gets.  Her mission was to cause as much trouble as possible.  As with Raspy, she was chased around the Manor.  Mr Vet caught her but for some reason (a bite?) had to let go.  (Raspy in the meantime had retired to the playgym.)

Mission accomplished: Nasty man dispatched.

There was another chase around the Manor but this time Atilla slipped out (like Raspy did) only her tactic was to HIDE.  First port of call was behind the Ferplast…. then behind the playgym… then behind the radio…. then behind the television….  However, Mr Vet’s Lovely Assistant managed to scoop her up from behind the television & held her close to try & calm her down.  They needed to check both her feet.  Mr Vet said several times to her, “No, we’ve seen that one, we need the other foot….”  She was clearly still trying to make as much mischief as possible, even when being held down by Mr Vet & Mr Vet’s Lovely Assistant.

The bad news is that the puddings have pressure sores on their feet.

Dreaming of my girl, Raspy...

The good news is that on a scale of 1-4, their sores do not even register 1.  The other good news is that changing & moving perches around should be all that is needed to make a difference.

After Mr Vet & Mr Vet’s Lovely Assistant departed, I partially covered over the Puddings to help them calm down & recover.  When all seemed well, it was time, after a whole 3 hours apart, to let the puddings & toyboys get together again.

How much longer do I have to wait for my girl & for some fresh spinach?

I am not exaggerating when I say that within 60 seconds of the toyboys being let out, Cagney was having his wicked way with Atilla! After the “business”, the two couples indulged in lots of smooching, snogging, flirting & preening.

During all the lovey-doveyness, I’m sure Atilla & Raspy told their boyfriends of their derring-do & showed them their new, trendy, short toenails.