Meet Sabrina!

April 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

The birds and I made a trip up to my mother’s house in mid-March, and she surprised all of us with a beautiful, new budgie friend!  Although her original name was Sebastian, as we thought she was a he, we have renamed her Sabrina as we are fairly certain that she’s a little girl.  She is an absolutely precious violet budgie– for those of you more mutation-inclined, a single factor violet over cobalt opaline spangle.  She has the most unusual and beautiful markings– all either pale lilac or white, with no black at all.  I am just in love!  My mother quarantined her and even took her to the vet and had all of the necessary tests done during her new bird exam.  Sabrina is 100% healthy!

Sabrina is so, so beautiful and very feisty!  She is also a serious chewer.  She’s been going to town on all of her toys and perches, and now all of Charles as well.  Unfortunately, her wings are clipped right now but I am letting them grow out.  She was hatched on January 13, 2011, so she should hit her big six month molt in June.  She probably won’t regrow all of her flight feathers then, but hopefully enough that she can at least get some lift.

Charles and Sabrina's first meeting

She and Charles finally met on March 22.  It was definitely not love at first sight like it was with Theodore, but they were civil and getting along okay under close supervision.  Although Sabrina would chase Charles around and follow him from perch to perch, when Charles would finally give in and go up to her to try and chat, she would lunge at him.  He’d run away, and she’d begin the chase all over again.  Thus, they were kept in separate cages as this game became quite exhausting for poor Charles.

Sabrina and Charles sharing some out of cage time together

Keeping them in separate cages was a great idea.  This gave them time to get used to each other’s presence without being able to harass each other or fight over food.  They had daily out of cage time together, however, to get to know each other, and I found that they were much more civil when they were together out of cage, if they had spend the rest of the day in separate cages apart.  In the photo above, you’ll see that Charles has even been nice enough to share his Oliver’s Garden Crawler and Oddball with Sabrina.  I absolutely love all of Oliver’s Garden’s products– they are so beautiful, and so well-made!  The company was nice enough to custom tweak these two products and the budgies could not be happier with them.

Sabrina and Charles

Although it has only been a month since the two have met, their relationship drastically improves everyday.  Today, I allow them to share the same cage at night when they roost as well as on the weekends when I am home.  They are much more civil and loving towards each other, and Sabrina no longer chases Charles.  The only thing that causes minor squabbles between the two of them is sharing food.  Thus I have set up many stations around the cage with multiple bowls, so that they do not have to push and shove, but can eat side by side in peace without actually having to share.

Charles and Sabrina eating some Avian Organics Quick Serve

As you can see above, they are much happier when they each have their own food bowl.  They are chowing down on their delicious nightly dinner of a cooked meal.  That night, it was the Avian Organics Quick Serve.  I was ready for them to reject it, at first, like they do every meal that they have for the first three times before they are willing to give it a try, but they dove right in!  In fact, it was difficult to keep myself from diving right in.  This cooked meal smells so incredibly delicious that I don’t think any parrot could resist it.  It is a must-try in my opinion and as you can see, both Charles and Sabrina give it two tails up!  We love Avian Organics for making excellent, high quality, and 100% organic meals with no synthetic vitamins or ingredients, without compromising on taste.

I love my little budgies and I am so happy that they are getting along better now.  I am a strong believer that budgies (and most birds, really, but especially budgies) do much better with same-species companionship.  Since Charles is often a very hands-off bird, I cannot help him out with certain things like preening his itchy pin feathers.  Sabrina has made a world of difference in his life.  I’ll leave you with this one last video of Sabrina preening Charles’s lovely spotted collar, and him returning the favor.

[This entry has been imported, with major updates added, from my previous blog.]

Charles’s Beak Accident

April 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

On January 26, 2011, Charles and Lola had an accident.  Lola flew to his cage and Charles was tapping and preening her beak through the bars.  I think she went to preen his back and grabbed too hard for him given the size difference– luckily I was right there and grabbed her immediately and put her back in her cage.  By the time I turned around, Charles was bleeding everywhere.  I immediately rushed him to the vet and thankfully they were able to see him right away.  They put some pain medication on his beak and checked him out: his lower beak is basically snapped right in half.  They said that it looked a lot worse than it was– it’s like a fingernail and cuticles basically; they bleed a lot when you break/rip them but they do grow back.  Unfortunately, Charles’s beak was split so far down that it will never be normal again.  It has grown back for the most part, but there is still a crack down the middle.

At first, he was unable to eat due to the pain and strangeness of this “new” beak.  He had to stay at the hospital for a few days overnight on several medications as well as to receive tube feeding.  The vet said that he’d been an incredibly good boy.  No screaming at all and no fussing when he had to be handled.

Charles during one of my visits to him at the vet

The photo above was from his second day at the vet– I visited him for about one and a half hours.  He was really excited to see me, which made me happy.  He stepped right up and I spoke softly to him for a while, and brought him two of his favorite toys.  He took a brief nap on my finger as well.  About 40 minutes in, he started to chirp softly which was a very good sign.  It made me smile and he got excited and did a lap around the room!!  I think he was trying to tell me that he was going to be okay, I hope.  He came right back to me and then took a nice, long nap, tucked into his back.  It was very sweet.  I felt much more relieved.  He made a noble attempt to eat some millet as well, but he couldn’t quite bite it.

After a few days, Charles came home, and was medicated for two weeks via syringe.  It was a definite struggle, and he was not very happy with me, but we got through it.  He did require a second overnight stay at the vet when the dead part of his lower mandible fell off and caused some bleeding, but thankfully it was only one night and he made a swift recovery.

Today, Charles is doing better than ever.  Although his lower beak will be forever split down the middle, he does not let it slow him down one bit.  He eats, plays, and lives normally 🙂  About once every two months or so, we will have to have his upper mandible trimmed as it now overgrows a bit, but we did our first beak trim in early April and it went very smoothly.  Otherwise, you’d never, ever be able to tell, not by looking at him nor by his behaviors.  I’m very proud of my big boy and so happy that he made such a full recovery!

[This entry has been imported, with some edits, from my previous blog.]

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