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    Pakenham Upper

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  1. Just as a tip, I have been in the situation you are in with not having lots of money for vet bills but if you have a decent relationship with your vet you can often find ways to work around this. In college I put a small amount into an account with the vet each week whether or not I had anyone seeing them. It built me a healthy little float over time and even when I came in for something I just continued paying that small amount each week till it was paid off, if the float didn't already cover it. Some vets are also willing to do payment plans... I had 3 dogs need emergency care for a week at the same time the other year after a toxin was ingested (someone threw a bag of mouldy McDonalds which blew into our yard...) and of course this was after-hours and on holiday. X_X The bill was hefty as you can imagine. I paid off a good chunk of it from my vet fund float and we were allowed to pay the rest off weekly as they know I'm good for it.
  2. Honestly I'd give them the most generously sized cage you can possibly afford... budgies might be small but they are active birds and will use up the whole extent of the cage you give them. I have one budgie in a small aviary sized cage - 100cm (3.28ft) wide by 175cm (5.74ft) tall and he makes full use. Pet shops will certainly sell the smaller cages, just as they will sell tiny little rabbit cages and rodent cages which are not really super appropriate either. They're cheap and there is a market for them unfortunately. The animals certainly can live in those size cages but they live much healthier and longer lives if they're able to be active (better for heart, bones, mental health etc) as well as having enough room to put in environmental enrichment for them to explore. Bear in mind too if you've got multiples in the same cage, it's not just a space per bird but also extra space to get out of each others face and to avoid stress from impacting. If you're breeding but not keeping the chicks, you will still have a full house with the breeding birds and adults plus newly fledged chicks who aren't yet ready to leave to new homes or the shop you mention as well for at least a few weeks as you want the babies to be eating well and established before moving them on.
  3. Robyn do you know whom you'd check with? I have checked on the shire council page for the beaches where I'd usually see them and haven't been able to find anything related to the matter and google reveals nothing specific about beach collecting either. I expect it's not a query they have come up too often - just us mad bird people! lol I don't think I've ever seen a ranger either, so it'd be hard to ask them directly. They are huge though, so they must come from some very healthy cuttlefish originally... way bigger than the ones I see in the petshops and such by at least double if not triple! I'll let everyone know how I go.
  4. I figured since I have posted a few times now I should probably introduce myself. I'm in outer Melbourne but originally from the US. I've had birds most of my life, bred budgies for awhile and had various budgies, finches, cockatiels and conures, along with senegals. I'm an animal trainer and enjoy training all sorts of animals from big to small. After some years without parrots (just doves, finches as aviary birds and poultry since moving to Aus) I've recently gotten myself a young budgie whom we've named Roy Rodgers. He's a cheeky, acrobatic fellow currently coming along nicely in hand taming. So that's me in a nutshell. I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone here! Here are a few photos of the little lad, just because he's cute... And a funny one after an enthusiastic bath...
  5. I'll leave others to address cages and breeding issues but what I'm doing at the moment with some success to introduce fresh foods is to offer small bundles of herbs and safe grasses, greens etc as items to destroy and shred. While initially they were used as little more than chew toys or being moved around to get the cage to how he wants it, he's slowly transitioning to, "Ohhh... and it's edible!" in little nibbles. I am placing the herbs and grasses around the foodbowl, alongside perches as if they were hideyspots and 'bush' like perching areas - basically mimicking as much as possible a natural setting which might make them enticing to chew on. While he does have seed in a dish, he has a number of gumnuts he's got to shove out of the way along with bits of fresh food which he inevitably gets a small taste of when shoving aside. I think it's very much harder when the birds have come from a source where they predominantly ate seeds because their parents have not taught them at early ages that food can come in many different ways or in the way of fresh food specifically. I've been lucky in that my other parrots were weaned onto a variety of fresh foods so I've never had to deal with this before. Hopefully persistence prevails though!
  6. Hi Pebble, I'm very sorry to hear about your losses. I'm not sure it'd be anything you're really doing wrong unfortunately, it could be just a run of bad luck or it could be underlying illnesses coming to the fore. Unfortunately birds being prey animals tend to hide their illness in the early stages, a preservation reflex as birds which are obviously ill are victim both of predators and of other birds. So they will generally only show it in the later stages when the problem is rather critical or the bird is moribund and near death. If you definitely see them unwell, in my experience unless you're an old hand and know how to definitively diagnose the exact issue and treat as a vet and have those supplies on hand, it's time to make a swift trip to the avian specialist vet. Hard poo pasted to the vent could indicate a few things and would ime be more of a symptom of a wider problem than the whole problem itself. It is usually resulting from diarrhea or high excretion of urates but that could be caused by any number of things from stress, change in feeding routines, a bacterial infection, liver or kidney being compromised, some parasites, spoiled foodstuffs etc. It's really hard to say and some of those causes could be quite serious even with vet intervention, while others quite mild and self resolving with minimal home support. Dehydration might have played a factor if the paste was due to Garlic having diarrhea. Giving extra water, electrolyte solutions or sugarless juices/cordials as some people do can be a stop gap but if the bird is dehydrated often they cannot absorb enough through oral means because of how the gut works at this point. A lactated ringer solution may be required. Also by the time most birds are presenting as ill you may be looking at being clinically anorexic... because they are quite small and illness and stress increases the metabolic rate, it can happen quite quickly. While it's not a nice thing to think about, if you have any further budgies pass away it might be an idea to get them to your avian vet for necropsy (birdy autopsy) to see if they can determine the cause of death and shed any light on what might be going on. Your vet would be able to tell you what to do with the bird in that case before bringing it in and they will be able to wrap up your little one respectfully afterwards so they can be safely returned for burial or cremation if you wish as well. Here is hoping that all your other feathered friends all live very long, healthy lives and you never have to worry about this anymore though! It is very hard to loose them I know and the hard part about loving animals.
  7. Awesome! We'll be spoiled for choice then.
  8. Thanks everyone! That makes naming him lots easier! Being a bit of a fan of the old Westerns, he'll be Roy Rogers then. I've had and bred English budgies some years ago but always kept cobalt and green with nothing more fancy than a cinnamon, so I've never had to deal with a pied!
  9. Sure thing, Budgie Lover... the little poser doesn't mind a few more shots I'm sure. Do these shots work a bit better for you or would a close up be better?
  10. Coming from a cold wintery area in the US all our cuttlebone was shop purchased with the birds I had growing up since no self respecting cuttlefish would have been anywhere near us outside a zoo maybe. Now I am in Australia and we have cuttlefish bones washing up on shore in ample quantities. When I'm walking dogs I could easily pick up a lifetime supply for one little budgie and then some. Would some of those be safe to give or do they require any special treatment to be made safe before giving to birds? (ie let them sunbleach for a time or pop them in an oven at a certain temp to nuke any bacteria or such that might be in the sand?
  11. Hello everyone, After not having birds for many years after leaving the US and moving to Australia, I've gotten myself a little budgie the other week and am very much enjoying having a busy little clown of a bird around again. The breeder felt mine was probably male but from behaviour "he" strikes me more as a girl. We're trying to figure out a name but of course in part that will depend upon if she is a she or a he! The colour from what I have gathered looking online is a yellowface type two grey recessive pied if that helps? (And if I'm wrong, would someone mind telling me the proper colour if possible?) Thanks in advance for all your help!
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