Sunday, September 25, 2016

Birds doing well

Manzi and Maui are doing well. Maui has really surprised me. She's perked up back to her normal state (like she was over a year ago). She's gotten so feisty again that she's begun to challenge Manzi quite a bit and put him back in his place. A few days ago she bit his foot and chased him off when he was following her!

We have a new dog, Ella. She is not very interested in the birds. As expected, Maui absolutely hates her. Despite Maui feeling better, she's still not up for chasing after the dog. Instead, she just threatens her if the dog gets too close to her cage. I have had to save Ella from a nasty nose bite a few times already. Ella doesn't realize that Maui's beak can do serious damage. Ella is still just a puppy though. She is a Old English Sheepdog cross and supposedly has a very low prey drive, so she should be little threat to the birds. Despite that, I keep a very close eye on them if they are ever out together. Manzi on the other hand is pretty curious about Ella. He will get close to her to check her out, but luckily he does have some hesitations and stays somewhat cautious. After first he didn't want to go the ground when we brought Ella home, but he's already lost that fear and is fine flying down the hall (the one he likes to protect). Ella isn't allowed down the hall though and if Manzi isn't down the hall, he's out of Ella's reach. So for the most part, Ella just ignores Manzi.

Here's a photo of Ella and Hercules:

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Birds and Baby are Safe (from each other)

Our baby can now crawl and she is fascinated by the birds. She constantly goes over to their cage, pulls herself up to standing and reaches for the birds. Manzi and Maui usually stay away from her, but if Maui is at the bottom of her cage working on her boxes, then she puffs up and aggressively tries to bite the baby.

This could result in a very bad situation all around. We have been blockading the cage, but that has been stressing out Manzi quite a bit. Maui seems to care less and still does her own thing, but Manzi will stay at the top, far corner as far away from the blockade as possible. Finally yesterday we bought some plexiglass and covered the bottom couple of feet of the cage with it. We attached it to the outside of the cage, so the birds can still climb around without problems. It took a $20 tool from harbor freight, $50 worth of plexiglass, and about an hour of time.

Our little girl can no longer put her fingers in the cage and the birds no longer have the ability to teach the fingers the power of a beak.

The birds did not appear to be bothered at all by the plexiglass. It is very clear so I don't think they even see much of it. Maui didn't like my husband attaching the zip ties, reaching inside her cage and she ran after him trying to keep his fingers away!

Maui has been doing great this week. She's hanging upside down as I'm typing this. She has been tearing up her cardboard vigorously and is standing nice and straight when perched.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Copying the baby

I was worried that the birds would copy our baby's cries. They never copied anything until recently. In general, they don't pay her much attention at all. But these last couple of months she began to notice them more and more. Last week, our girl who previously only made one sound, began to make a higher pitch "chirp" whenever she saw the birds. She began to try imitating them. She only made that noise when she saw them. Within two days of our girl doing chirps every time she saw the birds, the both Maui and Manzi began to imitate her "chirps". So the birds imitated our daughter's imitation of them. It is hilarious because now they make that noise when ever they see her. So that encourages her to make the noise even more.

I bought some new toys and toy parts to make toys for the birds. Manzi was particularly interested in this loofah-like toy. So interested in it that within a few minutes he began regurgitating for it (a common breeding behavior). Usually Maui is the only one that encourages her toys to scratch her neck, but with Manzi's new toy, he would take the bell in his foot and help it to scratch his neck.

Maui did not like her new toys as much. She loves yucca wood, but she ignored the rest of them.

Hercules is gaining weight fast. Here is a picture of him:
Those are the legs of a table that he is under, not a chair (just for some size comparison). He now weighs 45 lbs!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Visit from brother

My brother visited from out of town. He took a couple photos of the birds and wanted me to put them up on the blog.

Here is Manzi:

This is Maui on her food dish. You can see a recently chewed box at the bottom of her cage:

I think both birds are wondering what he is doing. I'm surprised they didn't really fluff up when he was taking photos. I had him and his wife give the birds treats. They are pretty good about doing their tricks for all visitors now.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Crazy Manzi

I was traveling again last week for work. When I got back, I let the birds out and Manzi immediately began flapping like crazy on his cage. Then he proceeded to fly around for the rest of the evening. While I'm away, he is not let out of his cage, so he has a lot of built-up energy. It was a bit of a rough weekend with him. I feel bad for him being locked up while I'm away, but I also get tired of him flying around getting into constant trouble.

I think we need to do a better job at giving him "safe" places where he is allowed to fly and destroy. I will order many more toys tonight and buy an extra play stand for him. Then I can outfit his stands with toys that hopefully peak his interest.

Maui is doing better today. She did enjoy getting her scratches when I got back. She has still been maintaining her weight and she is even standing up since I've been back. While I was away, I video chatted and saw the birds. One day she was a bit hunched, but then perked back up the next day.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Update on Maui

Maui's having her good days and her bad days. She is still having more good days than bad days, so that is positive. On her good days, she can climb around her cage and even go to the bottom and work on shredding her boxes. On her bad days, she just hangs onto her perch all day with her head drooping down. Those days, I bring her water every couple of hours.

She is getting slower and slower climbing around her cage. She now has a pretty pronounced limp in her right leg. She stopped preening her tail and in general doesn't preen much anymore, so her feathers are getting quite ruffled. She's not plucking, but not taking the care that she used to. Despite all that, Maui is maintaining her weight. As long as I bring her food on her bad days, she'll eat just fine. She's a bit thin, but no serious weight loss. Her being thin has been a gradual thing over the last couple years. She is about 20 grams below what she weighed 7 years ago when I first acquired her. So that's not too bad.

Manzi seems to know she's struggling. They used to beak spar nearly every day, but now Manzi leaves her alone and she doesn't antagonize him either. They will still whistle together, but Maui doesn't have the energy to fight with him and Manzi knows it and respects her space.

Maui is my little geriatric Grey. She's still very loving and loves getting her neck and head scratches. She doesn't chase around my husband anymore, but she doesn't have the energy. Now she is just happy to sit on my lap while we're watching a movie and get scratches. She'll enjoy this for as long as I am willing to scratch her.

Manzi is doing really well. He's adjusting to his new space and not getting into too much trouble. I want to buy some new perches so he has more safe places to land around the house. Also, with our little girl getting more mobile, it will be nicer to keep him higher up and out of her reach.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Maui's aging :(

Maui hasn't been doing well lately. Last month, she began to really slow down. I noticed that she was climbing around her cage quite slowly. A few days later, she could hardly stand up and by the end of the day, she couldn't stand. It was terrifying to see her on her perch, with her wings resting on the perch and her head dangling down as she was unable to hold it up. Surprisingly, Maui maintained her weight. I just had to hand feed her and bring her water every two hours or so. She stayed really chirpy and making noise until this day as well. I rushed her off to a nearby avian veterinarian. They took a blood sample and x-rays and ran all kinds of tests. In general, the outlook is pretty gloomy. She doesn't have anything that really stood out to cause her sudden downturn. Instead, everything just looked bad. She has arthritis in both her knees and hips, which is probably making it difficult to stand. She has chronic lung issues, which has weakened her lungs over the years. Her heart, spleen and kidneys are enlarged. Nothing showed up wrong with the blood tests. The vet said she is on the thin side. I have been weighing her religiously for years now. I have noticed that she's dropped about 30 grams, but that was over the course of the last 1.5 years. I try giving her extra treats, but nothing seems to get her weight up. Instead, I figure this is just a new normal for her. The vet sent me home with pain medication and vitamins for her. I thought she wasn't going to make it, but within another couple days, Maui perked back up. She's back to standing and climbing around her cage, albeit slowly. She still has days where I see her slumped over more so than normal, but nothing as bad as that first day. The vet wanted to take biopsies of her lungs and so on, but I called it quits with that. Maui really struggled at the vets. She's way more sensitive than she used to be and she screamed almost the entire time there. Then when I got home, she napped the entire rest of the day. Also, if she is in bad shape, I think biopsies are too intrusive and more than she'd be able to handle. After talking with the vet about this, she did agree. I want Maui to be happy and healthy, but I don't want her on a whole bunch of medication that may not even be helping her. For now, Maui is doing okay again, but she has her good days and her bad days.

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