Mabel has the teeniest, tiniest bit of a runny nose! I'm trying not to worry too much and will see how it is in a couple hours. We tried a new kind of litter and it's dustier than usual, I just changed their litter box a few hours ago and it's near the bottom of the bag so maybe dust is irritating her. The hay was from near the bottom of the container too and was rather fine so maybe it's dust from that. It looked a tiny bit green and had a hay particle stuck in the discharge but the green could be from hay dust. Trying not to worry!!
Helen, Ned is so mad at me! He's a really darling bunny but does not take kindly to being medicated and wants nothing to do with me. I tasted the Baytril and even diluted with grenadine it is NASTY and bitter. Poor guy. Didn't taste the Panacur but he doesn't resist it as much. After he gets his medicine, I make sure to snuggle him for a few minutes and then give him a couple of treats.
Overall, he seems the same as he was a few days ago. His head is tilted some and turned to the right some but he can control it. It's most obvious when he's resting. His balance is a bit wonky still. The good thing at least is that he hasn't gotten any worse, right? I'm really glad his eyes aren't going crazy anymore and he seems a lot more comfortable than he was on Sunday!
Yay Susan, you saw Kerensa's pictures! You would love her. She's a little dream bunny. Not as cuddly or lovey or food obsessed as Tallulah but definitely a great little girl who I'm glad to have. She especially likes Paul, she sits on his lap while he's on the computer and he pets her and they look like Dr Evil and the white cat! So funny Everyone who comes to our house loves Kerensa and wants to steal her because she's so cute and little and soft and sweet! Though of course now everyone squeals over the babies instead... Poor Kerensa has been unthroned! I tell her that soon the babies will be bigger than her and she will get all the visitors' attention again Seriously, she's a year old now and looks exactly the same as she did when she was 10 weeks old. She weighs a bit more but is still only like a pound and a half.
Gotta go kiss my Kerensa because she's so lovable! Her nickname is Wenna, I know it's stupid but it's what I call her most of the time. I had all these cute nicknames in mind for her but she ended up being Wen or Wenna or sometimes Wennie.
I love all my babies but lops ARE the best A mini rex lop would be pretty amazing too. Maybe I should try to make my own breed...
I know this is a little thing in the long run, but I am annoyed! Last year, Paul bought me a Flip video camera for my birthday. I used it to film bunnies mainly and then to film the wedding. The battery is supposed to last 2 hours but it only lasted about 30 minutes. Thankfully it covered the entire ceremony but it crapped out during the speeches which is rather annoying. The battery won't even charge anymore so a couple weeks ago I ordered a new one. It arrived yesterday, left it charging overnight, and it still says low battery! What a waste of money, both for the new battery and the darned camera. I want to film the bunnies! Especially Neddie and the babies while they're still little
Oh yeah, I should say that Mabel's runny nose is gone. She only had it for a little while and there was no sign of it a couple hours later. Whenever I go say hi to her I check and her nose looks fine, so hopefully it was a one time thing!
This is a blog primarily about my bunnies, but our cockatiels are part of our family too so I want to write about them.
Does anyone remember the baby birds we had last summer? I wrote about them some in the intro post on the first page and shared the link to the very long thread on the Let Your Hare Down forum. To keep it short, our cockatiels had 2 clutches of babies and all the babies died except 1. I fought to keep every single one alive and they lived between 10 days and 14 weeks. The illness they had was SO weird that no one knew exactly what was causing their problem but with the help of a couple vets and a very experienced breeder, we concluded there's some sort of genetic issue. Needless to say, we cannot allow Arthur and Poppet to have more babies.
Most unfortunately, we have come to the conclusion that we need to rehome one of the birds. They are VERY tenacious in their desire to have babies. We can "abort" the chicks by boiling the eggs shortly after they're laid, but that doesn't stop Poppet from being obsessed with them and continuing to lay. It is extremely unhealthy and stressful for her. We've found that the ONLY way to keep her from laying is to keep the cage covered all but 1 hour each day. If they get more light than that, they start on the baby train again.
We cannot just separate Arthur and Poppet because they get extremely upset if they're even in side by side cages and Arthur shrieks incessantly. This is something we've been through with him twice before when his mates died, he basically screamed until we got a new bird because he hates being alone and separated from his love.
So what we are going to do is rehome Poppet and adopt a MALE cockatiel from a rescue here in town to be Arthur's new buddy. Unfortunately, we cannot just get a new bird and keep Poppet. If they know the other bird is in the house, they will shriek for each other and Arthur would not bond with his new friend. We decided to rehome Arthur instead of Poppet because she's younger (3 vs 13) and friendlier. Plus I've had Arthur half my life and cannot part with him.
I have never, ever rehomed a pet before and feel like a gigantic jerk doing it, but it's what is best for them.
This afternoon we visited the animal rescue and the lady who runs it wants us to swap Poppet for another bird, but we want to find her a new home ourselves. The rescue was a little scary. The birds are all loose in an aviary which sounds like fun, but there were multiple species all flying around together (a big no no), including an enormous macaw that could kill a cockatiel with one bite. It was also overcrowded and dirty and we don't want to subject Poppet to such a place. I'm actually worried about adopting a bird from there in case it brings some illness home to Arthur and Phoenix but it seems wrong to buy a bird from Petco (who knows what the breeding facilities are like anyway!) when there are birds at the rescue that need homes. Also the lady at the rescue said we could keep the new bird for 2 weeks to see if it will bond with Arthur and then try a different bird if it doesn't work. What we will most likely do is keep Phoenix upstairs for the first month so at least he will be in a different room from the new bird if there are any problems with illness. We can't just have Arthur and Phoenix be buddies because they hate each other even though they're father and son. Phoenix was basically raised alone since all of his siblings died and he hated Izzy and Nico. He's very much a people oriented bird.
We're going to wait to do the bird switch until September. For one thing, I'm going to be out of town for almost 2 weeks and I want to be present to supervise the interactions between Arthur and his new buddy. Also, Neddie is sick and we have the new babies to think about. I'm sure that this whole ordeal will involve a lot of shrieking on Arthur's part (he is loud!) and I don't want to stress Ned when he's sick already and the babies are delicate too.
Just wanted to share what's going on with my bunny friends. I hope you all aren't too critical of me for this. There's nothing else to do in the situation Arthur and Poppet weren't supposed to breed at all- I'd always read and heard that they wouldn't do it unless they had a nest box. We had Poppet for 2 years before they had babies and with his previous female mate, we he had them together for 3 years and they didn't try to have babies until we gave them a nest box.
I hope you don't mind me sharing my thoughts on this....
I remember all the heartache you went through with losing all but one of the babies - and how hard it was for you. I think that separating Poppet and Arthur is great (as long as Arthur doesn't mourn too much for another mate right off).
If I were you - I would definitely be rehoming Poppet myself. I wouldn't want her to go to that rescue - I would hope I could find her a better place to go.
I'm also not sure that I could get a bird from there. I'm all for supporting rescues - but you don't know what you could bring into your own home and herd (bunnies included) from that rescue. To me - it isn't worth the risk.
I know this is hard for you - you love all of your animals and you're such great "parents" aka "slaves" to them.
Thanks for the support, Peg! It is very hard, I feel like a terrible pet mom for rehoming her. I think a lot of times people say they want to rehome animals "for their own good" but it's really for selfish reasons (or seems to me to be so). But in this instance, keeping both birds and having them covered 23 hours a day just so I can avoid rehoming Poppet seems by far to be the worse option.
The good news is that my mother-in-law is considering adopting her. She has a parakeet. She isn't the most knowledgeable about birds but takes great care of her parakeet and asks me with any questions she has. Plus, I would know exactly who Poppet was with and how she was doing and would get to visit her too! We really hope she'll decide to take Poppet because we think she would love having her too. Her parakeet is not tame and she always says she misses having a friendly bird around. Poppet is the least tame of our 3 tiels but is actually the sweetest one and never bites or anything. I think she would quickly become a great pet if she was kept without another cockatiel and had an owner interested in becoming her friend.
The good thing at least is that in spite of Arthur's intense separation anxiety and mourning when he loses a friend (he actually almost starved himself to death when his first mate died), he bonds to new birds very quickly. With both Luca (his second mate) and Poppet, all we did is introduce him to them and it was love at first sight as far as he was concerned!
There aren't really a lot of options for getting cockatiels here. When Luca died, I placed ads on Craigslist for an entire month looking for one without success, then we finally broke down and bought Poppet from Petco. I don't like supporting Petco's sale of animals, but Arthur was mighty unhappy. The birds at Petco here are not tame AT ALL (they're parent raised- terrible for pets) and we got lucky with Poppet. She had an injured leg and was handled a lot so was actually pretty tame. There aren't any breeders either and we are the biggest town within 350 miles. I'm actually willing to bet that most of the cockatiels at the rescue (I saw at least 6) started out at Petco.
You're definitely right, I don't want to infect Arthur or Phoenix with anything. I did briefly consider getting a nice tiel from a breeder when we're in Seattle in August, but the problem with that is we won't know for sure if Arthur would like him (there's always a chance) and it sure would be a pain to pay for the bird, pay for the $50 vet visit, pay $100 to fly him home with us... then have Arthur hate him!
Ali, I didn't even get to see the birds in person. She didn't bring me into the aviary. The aviary is part of a very large pet rescue (they have tons of dogs, cats, etc) and is a sunroom attached to a house. She let us look in from the outside. I don't know if she's the one who cares for the birds (there's more than one volunteer that works there) but she didn't know anything at all about birds, I was educating her about them.
The more I think about it, the worse of an idea it seems to get a bird from them. If we didn't have any other birds, it would be one thing... but I don't want to bring home some kind of illness. We didn't see the kitties really up close but we saw some of the dogs and the building they were in was quite stinky and dirty. I read some reviews of the rescue online and they were not very favorable either, one of them commented that it seemed almost more like a hoarding situation than a rescue which is what I'd kind of thought too. OF COURSE I want to help an animal but what about my birdies I already have and their health?
The lady however was very friendly and likeable and clearly loved the animals we saw her interact with. She appeared to be the only person there at the time and it seemed like a TON of work for 1 person since there were so many animals.
I will have to think about it more. Maybe a male tiel will pop up on Craigslist in the next month and the owner will be willing to work with me.
Definitely. It will work around in the end though. Who knows, maybe once Arthur is alone, he will be desperate enough for companionship that he'll like Phoenix. I'm skeptical about Phoenix liking him back, but it could happen. Ideally, we would rehome Poppet and bring home a new bird very soon after to limit Arthur's distress at being alone, but maybe we'll see if he'll like The Poofmeister at all first. That in and of itself is a tough choice because we really wanted to keep Phoenix alone. He is our little man and very people oriented. Doesn't even like other birds, which is common in tiels that love people. If he moved in with Arthur, he would almost undoubtedly transfer his love to Arthur (which is as it should be) but would then not really give a darn about us anymore. That's just how tiels are. After Michaela died, Arthur hyper bonded to me (to an unhealthy degree), but once we brought home Luca, he didn't want anything really to do with me anymore. Maybe it's selfish to want to keep him for ourselves... I raised him from when he was tiny and put tons of work into him so am a little reluctant to just forfeit the bond we have, even if is selfish.
On another topic, Ali, could you change Mabel's name in the description of my thread? It says Mathilde but we decided to go with Mabel. Her full name is Mabel Celeste Hopp but I've been calling her Macie the past few days as a nickname (MAbel CEleste), love it for her I call her Macie (unless she's being naughty or I'm trying to get her attention, then she's Mabel Celeste!), Paul calls her Mabel, everyone's happy. For newer members, there used to be a girl who posted her frequently and had the most adorable, gorgeous Holland Lop named Macey that Paul and I were crazy about. So the name Macie has great associations for us and is kinda in honor of that dear bunny.