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The Finster Log
Archive — May 2005
Why Yes, I Would Like A Cracker
Posted on: 05/30/05, 13:28:43 | | link
Crackers are now on the list of "human" foods that Peanut really really
likes to eat. Which means he will climb all over me and threaten to jump into the bowl, onto the plate, or onto the sandwich to share. This list includes, with most popular at the top:
- sunflower seeds
- sandwich bread with sunflower or sesame seeds in it
You can click here to see a bigger version
of the cracker extravaganza.
She's Not Dead Yet
Posted on: 05/28/05, 19:14:00 | | link
Goober had her last dose of antibiotics on Friday. It was the easiest course of antibiotics I've ever given a bird — which is both good and bad. I only had to give her one dose of medicine a day, instead of two: much easier for both of us. Since she isn't getting around very well, she was easy to catch (bad for her, easier for me), and since she was easy to catch (again: bad) she got to stay in the Finsterium the whole time (Good!).
She's doing better than she was when I was afraid she was fading
— she can almost always fly straight from the floor up to a perch or a nest box, and there was only that one night that she needed help getting into bed. But she's still not quite right. Her poops don't look good, she doesn't move around or land very gracefully, and she still spends a lot of time resting on her tummy in the heat lamp. Her mysterious toes haven't lost any more circulation, but they're probably not helping her get around much.
Still, she is the sweetest thing. I'm glad to have her around for awhile longer. So is Earl Grey, who — despite the fact that I had Goober out of the cage for only a couple of minutes a day to give her the antibiotcs — would drop right down to the floor to sing his Hunka Hunka Burning Love song, and dance his Hunka Hunka Burning Love dance for her when I put her back home.
We'll All Sleep Well Tonight
Posted on: 05/26/05, 18:43:26 | | link
Every now and then I get 25 pounds of the KG Finch mix from Herman Brothers Pet Products
. Having learned that — given the chance — Peanut will turn into Mr. Quality Control and demand to sample a seed or two from each tub, I keep him safely in his cage while I transfer the seeds from a big bag to an endless supply of plastic containers.
Although I've never had bug problems from Herman Brothers, it's a good idea to store large quantities of tasty seeds in the freezer. That way, if there are any moths or moth larvae in the batch, they'll stay dormant until you take the tub out. And, there won't be much time for them to make trouble by the time the birds go through the tub.
We all sleep better when the freezer is 1/3 full of tasty, tasty seeds.
All's Well That Ends Well
Posted on: 05/23/05, 18:53:57 | | link
Goober has been fading. Although her toes haven't gotten any worse (which suggests the hot rock had something to do with loss of circulation, after all), the tips are still dead, she's still not processing food well, and now she's having a hard time using her right leg. She spends a lot of time eating, drinking, and napping on the floor in the light. She makes it up to a nest box a couple of times a day, but it's never easy: she flutters and climbs up to one of the higher perches, and then flies to the nest box from there.
I'm a big proponent of quality of life, but getting that shot of quick poison is very hard. Nobody is ready for that yet. Still, it's hard to know, it's hard to watch.
This evening Goober made it up to her usual nest box a couple of times, but she kept dropping down for another snack. When the lights went out, she ended up stuck on top of the wrong nest box. After a lot of fluttering on her part, and quite a bit of hand-wringing on my part, she made it on top of the proper nest box — which made Frank VERY unhappy, since that's his sleeping spot. Some fighting ensued, and Goober ended up on the floor again.
So Bruce, Bird Catcher extraordinaire, reached into the Finsterium, caught Goober, and tried to put her into the nest box. Unfortunately, what with the crazy flapping of all the Finsters, she ended up on a perch. At that point, Earl Grey and a Spice finch came out of the nest box — yes, that was a Spice finch coming out of the nest box with Earl Grey. !!! So then Bruce, Bird Catcher extraordinaire, gently plucked Goober off the perch, and gently popped her into the proper nest box. After a few more minutes of Finster rustling, things seem to have calmed down. Mostly.
My job was to watch to make sure none of the crazy flapping Finsters found their way out of the cage. I think we're clear. Hopefully the birds will get used to a human in their space at night, if Goober needs another hand getting to bed.
Perch Guilt Subsides
Posted on: 05/23/05, 18:12:58 | | link
Two months after the introduction of the new perch
— and of course right when it needs to be taken out and cleaned — Frank has finally decided the new design isn't so Evil, after all. He's been on the perch many times, of course. But today I spotted him on the thick part at the end, in his old Favorite Spot. Better yet, he was singing his lovely Hunka Hunka Burning Love song! It doesn't get much better than that!
Goober's Mysterious Toes
Posted on: 05/18/05, 18:17:04 | | link
Goober's toes aren't in good shape: the middle and inner toe on both feet have lost circulation at their tips. Although the rest of her isn't in great shape, either, there seems to be no good reason for her toes to lose blood flow. She may have kidney issues, or liver issues, but the only connection the vet could think of would be a tumor on her liver that is constricting blood flow — a perfectly placed tumor that is affecting both feet in perfect symmetry. That would be surprising.
That symmetry also makes other possible explanations hard to prove. The only new item in Goober's life (that I can think of) is the hot rock. The vet wasn't completely convinced the extra heat could be the culprit, and if it were, you'd think both entire feet would be affected, not just a few toes. Still, despite Goober's Love Of The Rock, and despite the fact that Nutmeg discovered its warm goodness today (good for her! but let's hope she's not sick, too), I took it out of the Finsterium. I just don't want to take any chances with those delicate toes. Besides, now I can give it a proper cleaning.
There's not much to do for Goober's other ailments. I'd guessed that already, which is why I hadn't taken her to the vet sooner. There's nothing to do to help a tiny bird with kidney problems, and I already started giving her milk thistle, in case she was having liver problems. She's on a course of antibiotics — not because we really think it'll do anything, but because it won't hurt. Besides, you never know about mysterious toes.
And those toes? Well, they might fall off, and other disgustulating things like that. Poor little toes.
You can click here for a bigger version of the photo
Note To Earl Grey
Posted on: 05/17/05, 14:25:33 | | link
Thank you for sitting on the hot rock with Goober this afternoon. I'm sure she likes the company.
(But please don't you get sick, too.)
Note To Goober
Posted on: 05/17/05, 09:43:59 | | link
I know you're not feeling well, so it's fine if you want to spend most of the day sitting on the hot rock and eating millet spray. And if you need to rest on your tummy on the hot rock, I'll try not to get too worried, even though resting on your tummy means you're feeling worse than I'd hoped.
But please: don't take a nap in the tasty seed dish. It freaks me out!
Maybe She's Just Old And Fat, And Has Cold Toes
Posted on: 05/16/05, 16:30:44 | | link
If you'll recall, when Ovaltine spent the last of his days on the floor, Goober spent quite a bit of time down there, as well
. I couldn't decide if she liked to spend time with him, if she liked the millet spray all around him, or if she liked to keep her toes warm on the heated rock. At the time, I called it the draw of companionship, since I think it was nice for Ovaltine to have a Floor Buddy. But now I think it might have been the heated rock that kept her occupied, since she's spending a good part of her days sitting on it.
I try not to get too sad about it, since she's still eating and such. She's still alive
, after all. But I do wish she were feeling better.
One good thing that's come of it is that because it's awkward to move the rock to clean out the poop paper while kneeling on the floor, I've started opening the big door to the Finsterium. Good for my knees, I should say. Those smart little Finsters have figured out that inside
the Finsterium is the place to stay; none of the new birds have flown out so far! I've been careful, of course, opening the door as little as possible. But still, no escapees so far.
Keep your fingers
That's Interesting! X2!
Posted on: 05/12/05, 14:00:26 | | link
First, although Goober is still spending time warming her toes on the heat rock, I think she's feeling a little better. This may just be wishful thinking, but I did see her fly from the floor to a nest box much more gracefully than she managed yesterday, so I'll take that as a good sign.
Peanut, in the meantime, is fascinated by the heat rock's electrical cord hanging out of the Finsterium door. Partly because the outside front of the Finsterium is his playgym, so anything new is both fascinating and HIS. And partly because he can climb down it to check out the things we store under the cage. You should have heard the squeaking and chortling!
The second interesting thing of the day is that Frank just sang his Hunka Hunka Burning Love song to Nutmeg. I kid you not!
He sang the song while he steadily hopped on the perch closer and closer to a nearly naked Spice finch that I'm pretty sure was Nutmeg. Inter-species hanky panky is endlessly interesting, don't you think?
Queen Of The Rock
Posted on: 05/11/05, 15:12:44 | | link
Goober remains unwell today. The heat lamp is on, and I added the lizard heating rock to the cage. Here she is, being Queen Of The Rock. You can click here to see a bigger version
of Goober on the rock.
One minute she'll be standing on the rock keeping her feet warm and basking in the light, the next minute she'll be snacking on tasty seeds, and the next she'll fly from the floor straight up to a nest box. The first makes be a bit nervous, although of course that's what the heat is there
for. The last makes me feel much better, although unfortunately she isn't quite as capable of doing this as she normally is.
Goober definintely isn't feeling quite right. And neither am I.
(No apologies for the poop. It happens.)
Lovely Little Goober Girl
Posted on: 05/10/05, 14:49:11 | | link
I think I've mentioned that Goober has become quite tame around me. She sits calmly in a nest box even if I have the big door to the Finsterium wide open and all the other Finsters are flapping around like crazy. She flies down to the bottom of the cage even before I've finished putting new snacks in. Once she even pecked at my finger while I was giving the birds fresh water. So I took advantage of her familiarity by taking a photograph of her on the floor of the cage, door open. Sweet thing. You can click here to see a big version
of the photo.
Goober has been experiencing her recurring ailment: she seems a bit lethargic, eats a lot, doesn't seem to process food well. Since nothing I've done in the past seems to directly correlate to her getting better, I'm not taking the drastic route of catching her to take her to the vet, or giving her a course of antibiotics. Instead, I'm putting milk thistle in the water dish in the evening, and calcium in the water a little more often than usual, and making sure she has plenty of tasty seeds to eat. She gave me a terrible scare this afternoon, though: She took a bath and got herself so wet she couldn't fly up to a perch. Poor wet rat! So I put the heat lamp on to help her dry out.
May 6, 2005, 10:21 am
Posted on: 05/06/05, 14:22:00 | | link
For no apparent reason....