Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Post without much point

Previously, I was planning to do this post on the budgie/tiel flight cage move and renovation, complete with pictures. I could still do that, minus the pictures. However, being a stubborn person, I am going to refuse to do that post until the camera decides to start working again, and finally puts the pictures on the computer instead of pretending they have disappeared. I am not fooled at all by that sly little message that pops up, "No pictures/videos found." They are still on there, who does this camera think it is kidding?!

Anyway, the Aussie birds recently had their flight cage moved from the bird room to the sun porch. I still have a sleep cage for them in the bird room, so they can come in at night. They really seem to enjoy the new space, especially with all the (bird safe) plants around!

I did have the sliding glass door behind the cage open yesterday (it has a screen), which was a big mistake, as I had known deep down it likely was. The fumes outside may be barely noticeable to others, but they are very bad for me. I think the horrible reaction I had will keep those doors closed for a while!

Also, to give this post some point, despite the title, Claudia laid yet another egg yesterday afternoon! She was a day late on this, and had a bit more trouble with this one. After over an hour of her straining and moaning, I put her in a warm water bath. That seemed to help some, and two hours later she laid it! Still, after three eggs, she has another one in her. When is she planning to stop?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas, with another egg laid!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, or any other holiday they celebrate at this time of year.

And as the title implies, Claudia laid her second egg this evening. I was worried she was going to have trouble with this one, since I thought she should have laid it yesterday, and she was very swollen today, and acting very sick. But after several warm "tail end" soaks, she laid it safely this evening, at about the same time as the first one. Hopefully, this is the last egg, and her interest in parenthood soon passes.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Claudia's egg!

Claudia laid her egg last night, around 8:30. I am certainly very, very, happy, every egg laid with no complications makes me feel a little better.

Claudia slept with her egg all night, and was still sitting on it this morning. She seemed so proud of her egg. She did not like the cardboard box I gave her, except to chew it to pieces. She has never been very nesty, even throughout this. She does seem to like her little fleece blanket hut, though. I have a towel going down the side of the cage I am taking the pics from, so it is fairly private.

Poor little Chester, he is very nervous about all this
egg laying business his girlfriend is busy with!

This morning, when I fed the birds breakfast, Claudia was still sitting on her egg. However, when I went back into the room several hours later, she was up on the door perch, playing, and had kicked the egg across the cage, and flung mash all over it! She is still very swollen, so there is at least one more egg coming. I don't think ekkies usually lay much more than two eggs, perhaps three, so that should be about it. Hopefully they are laid just as easily!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Rice Cake Pizza!

This recipe was a huge hit with the birds! All organic, and very simple to make as a special meal for them. In fact, I think it would taste rather good if you want to share it with your birds! I can't guarantee this, though, since I am allergic to some of the ingredients, so don't take my word for it.

I think they are a great way to sneak in food your birds will not normally eat. On top of a rice cake and held together pretty well with the cheese, they usually eat everything on it, down to the last crumb!

Rice Cake Pizzas
- brown rice cakes
-fruit only jam (I used apple butter, made only from cooked apples)
-shredded carrot
-chopped celery
-flax seed
-favorite seed/nut of your bird, I used pine nuts and sesame seeds
-shredded cheese, with no dyes, optional (I only give my birds cheese once in a blue moon, and on something like this, a very little goes a long way)
-toppings: cinnamon, herbs, spices, or vitamins your bird needs, I used spirulina on the one for my budgies

Spread the rice cakes with a very small amount of jam, and add the celery, carrots, and cheese. Heat in the oven or microwave until the cheese is melted, and finish by adding the nuts/seeds, and any other toppings your bird likes.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Who decided this was ok?!

Not on birds, but very shocking. I thought most had moved on from the idea of dumping any kind of waste into lakes? Apparently, I was wrong.

Claudia is "with egg"!

I noticed 3 days ago that she seemed heavier and a bit swollen. She is very obviously about ready to lay an egg! I was slightly worried that she had not laid it already, but I asked the ekkie list I am on this morning, and was told that 7-8 days between when you notice an egg forming and when it is laid is normal. I suppose I am too used to teils, that lay in shorter intervals! I also was directed to this great article, which I thought was really interesting.

I am rather paranoid about egg laying complications, thanks to my experience with my dear Cone, so I admit I am prone to worrying there is a problem before there actual is. I do try to stay calm around the birds, since they would not understand at all why I was wringing my hands and frowning! I can just imagine Claudia, giving me her, "Ok, what is wrong? You humans really involve so much care, your brains just aren't so big," look.

Hopefully, she will lay this egg just fine, and any others she may be planning to lay afterwards. I gave her a cardboard box on the floor of her cage yesterday, just in case she might have felt like holding the egg in until she found a place to lay it. She has been very busy in there, tearing it up to her satisfaction. She is such a motherly bird (or you could just say she knows she is a bird), I think she is very excited about starting a family. Unfortunately for that ambition, mean old me is going to take the eggs away and replace them with wooden ones. Nothing against breeders, but I know of enough rescue birds that need homes, without letting my birds breed. Plus, Claudia is a hybrid, RS/Vos, and Chester is a SI, so any baby of theirs would be a real mix! And I really can not support breeding in any way of hybrids. Nothing personal, Claudia, really!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ava, post Surgery

Sorry for not posting this earlier, but things got a bit busy this week!

Ava's surgery went fine. She got a full check-up and bloodwork before being put under anesthesia, and everything came back absolutely fine, so they went ahead with the surgery. I suppose this means that whatever is bothering Peter is most likely not contagious, as wouldn't she in the stress of this limpoma have gotten it, too? I suppose this means, also, that I really was just worrying too much when I thought she was showing signs of whatever is bothering Peter. Nothing like knowing your birds are ok to make you feel better!

Ava goes back in two weeks to get her stitches removed, earlier if there is any problem. I have not seen any sign of her picking at it, or her bleeding so far, so I think that is ok. The vet did not think her limpoma looked at all dangerous, just like a basic benign limpoma, really. However, he did say that since it grew so fast (just 1 month to grow to the size of my finger nail) that it could grow back. If that is the case, since you do not want to continue removing one limpoma after another, she would likely have to have her wing amputated. Not fun! I know birds can adjust to that fine, but I hope this was just a one time issue, and it resolves itself.

Ava is doing very well, eating playing, sleeping, and looking for attention. She is just such an enjoyable bird to be with!

You can barely see the line of bare feathers from the surgery. I am
not sure why they pulled out the ones on the top, as Ava had
already plucked the under part of her wing clean.

She is slightly messy in these pics,
apparently applesauce was made to be tossed!
That and her molt, of course, which always gives
my birds a slightly ratty appearance.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bad Luck for Budgies

Ava seemed to start showing similar symptoms to Peter's last week. I immediately separated her out, and put her on some immune boosting things, as well as a high fiber (on the off chance this does turn out to be diabetes, I have wondered about that) easily digested diet, similar to what I did/am doing with Peter. I also called the vet, and since she also has the limpoma that may as well be removed as long as we are going in (as long as he deems her healthy enough), they made the appointment for tomorrow, as that is his surgery day.

I could perhaps be imagining that she is showing the early symptoms of whatever is bothering Peter. I am, after all, looking for any sign someone else has the same problem and that it is contagious. She is nowhere near as bad, and she does have a massive limpoma on her wing that could easily be the only thing that is bothering her. Still, it is much better safe than sorry.

Hopefully the vet visit will go well.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Candles at the Holidays

A bit of a reminder to be careful with any scent you have in the house. It is always so sad at this time of year, every day I see so many more stories on forums, bird lists, etc., of birds dying due to PTFE in ovens, cooking bags (everything form microwave meals to popcorn bags), cookware, since we do so much more cooking this time of year, or dying of some new cleaner or scented gift of any kind.

Another danger to be careful of is heaters, if you use any kind of gas heater, stove, or fireplace of any kind, be sure there is plenty of ventilation, and do not have your birds near the heat source. If it is gas, then buying a Carbon Monoxide detector would be a good investment, after all, that is dangerous to the whole family, and much lower levels can kill birds (and harm humans, really, I had no idea until I looked it up!)

Just look at the following email I received:


I just got off the phone with my friend Donna at Birdstuff, and she
wanted me to help alert all parrot people I know of yet another
preventable pet parrot loss one of her favorite clients just
experienced. Her friend had put out her beautiful, fragrant holiday
candles on display to enjoy for the first time last night and hours
later her son's baby cockatiel died. Then this morning her 7 month
old Caique passed away at the vet.

The candles were Glade brand, and another mass produced, with wire in
the wicks. The wire is made of lead. On examination, the vet said
they died as a direct result of the candle fumes. Everything about
them was healthy and normal, but the erosive damage the pleasant
candle fumes do to the birds lung tissue caused them to literally
drown in their own fluids. It's a horrible, completely preventable
way to die and Donna wants us all to be advocates for our helpless birdies.

Just another reminder this and anytime of year to put all non-stick
cookware, fabric protectors, new carpet, air fresheners, plug ins,
potpourri, cooking bags, spray disinfectants, self cleaning ovens,
coffee makers, curling irons....on the list of hazards for our
parrots along with these fragrant, and lead wicked, and non fragrant
candles. Who knows where they were made and what exactly is in them!

Sue Bendheim
Lily Sanctuary Adoption Coordinator


Here is a link to "Bird Safe" candles, namely, %100 beeswax candles, no chemicals, fragrances, or dyes, with %100 cotton wicks. I still would not burn them near your bird, keep them in a closed room, as the particles emitted by anything burning are very small, and can lodge themselves in your bird's lungs.

And, in case you want to read some more about the chemicals unbelievably considered to be relatively "safe" for people try this article.

Really eye-opening. I think our birds are doing us a huge favor, forcing us to get rid of so many chemicals, with their unknown effects on our overall, short and long term, health. After all, the life span in the U.S has started to go down for the first time in a long time, which is shocking with all our medicine, anyone wonder why?