In their native habitat, Lovebirds eat millet and sorghum. In captivity, we struggle to get Lovebirds, other members of the parrot family, as well as finches and canaries as close to nature’s diet as possible. Our Cockatiel and Lovebird eat mash made of brown rice and other grains, as well as Nekton vitamins, fresh corn and carrots.
Pookie The Cockatiel prefers junk food, if he can get it, which is almost never. His preferred junk food is potato chips, but he’s been kept away from that stuff, and is 21 years old as of October 12, 2012.
Zephy, our slate gray Lovebird, likes rice and spaghetti, as this picture shows. Pookie is very non-chalant about his comings and goings, and is literally a ninja bird, if he chooses to be still and invisible.
Zephy, on the other hand is right out there, declaring her desires about everything, including dinner.
A Lovebird in her [almost] native habitat raiding the fruits of a spaghetti dinner
Some people think birds only build nests, have babies, fly around, and eat. But there is much more to us than that. Pookie The Cockatiel and I like to survey our holdings. We see enough of the house, so we like to see our yard especially who is skulking through it.
Dad snapped the following when we were surveying our kingdom, kicking out large birds — yes I can do that with my cry — and just enjoying things in general.
Small parrots surveying their holdings.
A few weeks ago, Pookie started limping, favoring his left foot. (For those interested, this is a nice comparison between human and avian anatomy.) He went out to Dr. Bill to get checked out. At first Dr. Bill thought Pookie might have broken his ankle, but it seems like it might have been a small fracture.
What hurt Pookie the most was cutting off his band without anesthetizing him. Bird surgery is usually avoided unless it is life or death. It hurt Pookie to put a heavy-duty cutter between his leg and the band, but no one can safely cut the band off any other way without risk of cutting the leg.
Pookie’s limp is improving; he did not need a cast; and he is on canine pain killer/anti-inflammatory medicine, one drop a day. The medicine is called Metacam, and he can stay on it indefinitely, as long as he doesn’t start barking.
One of the things we needed to do was soften up Pookie’s perches. He took to one perch being wrapped as shown below, but rejected most of it. However, we tried our best.
Perch Bandaged To Make It Soft For Feet
This is one place I found that carries this wrap: http://www.amazon.com/Gifted-Horse-Vet-Wrap/dp/B0002V47L0 but your veterinarian probably carries or can order it.
As you can see, things are back to normal.
Pookie During His Ankle Crisis
Pookie turns 20 in another month. I’d say he doesn’t look a day over 5. Who could tell? Only Dad knows for sure.
I have lived with Pookie the ‘Tiel almost my entire life. He is a character. He is also quite a bold explorer and goes anywhere there is paper. I cannot tell if he is interested in paper because it is nesting material or that he just likes paper.
One of Pookie’s pastimes is to explorer the printer. He never gets to do this unsupervised. Dad and Mrs. H. don’t want accidents.
I cannot figure out if he thinks it’s a nest, or because paper comes out of it. He seems intrigued by the noises.
Pookie Waiting for Print Job
Pookie Posturing His Image On All-In-One Printer
<Disclaimer: This post is a “parrot”dy and does not recommend giving pain reliever for humans to birds. We recommend you contact your veterinarian if your bird appears to be in pain.>
Cockatiels love to play and investigate, but it takes all a ‘Tiel can give to keep up with a Lovebird. Lovebirds also love to play and play hard. So, after a day of play, this ‘Tiel goes for real pain relief:
But just make sure you are there to help if there is a bird-proof cap.