Thursday, January 8, 2009

It could have ended in disaster

On Saturday, it was a normal day, head out in the morning to do shopping that needs to get done before the shops close at midday, then spend the rest of the day around home.

While having lunch and watching some (taped) telly in the afternoon, I heard the Cockatiels playing with their toys in their cages, rattling bells, and chewing things, only one of them sounded like they were doing something different to the usual. When I checked on them, there was Squeak with toy in beak walking up and down his perch, I thought he was just being a bit more aggressive with it than usual until I realised he had it stuck!!!

So with both hands in the cage one trying to hold him still and stop him from trying to fly around the cage and the other trying to undo the clasp to take the toy out of the cage, then came the task of trying to hold him still, work out what had happened and how to get him free. It tuns out that the little dangly bit in the bell has a split in the side of the hole at the top which allows it to fit into the bell bit itself. Squeak had found this little split and worked it open with his beak trying to dis-attach it from the main bit of the bell, but in doing so it got stuck on his bottom beak so it ended up looking like he had a pierced beak (with some very funky jewelry). With him and the toy out of the cage I held him against my chest and tried to pull the piece off of his beak but it had a tight grip, and I was really quite scared of hurting him even more. I knew all that had to be done was to make the split in the metal bigger so his beak could slide out but with one hand full with a panicking bird I just didn't have enough hands.

After a few stressful minutes for everyone DP came to the rescue with a little multi tool thing and with pliers twisted the little piece of metal to open up the split and allow it to come off his beak. Free of the beak jewelry, Squeak was not too happy with the whole ordeal and proceeded to bite me, which I was actually happy about, because it meant that his beak still worked, and he hadn't done too much damage, probably the only time he wasn't told off for being aggressive and biting!!

So after that we had cuddles and kept an eye on him. He was a bit sleepy, which was understandable after that bit of stress, and kept sticking his tongue out the side of his beak like he had bitten it and it now hurt (like us humans would do running our tongue against our teeth). Back in his cage I gave him a millet spray to make sure he could eat OK and he was straight into it, so I was a little less worried about him. Now he seems fine, whistling his own combination of whistles, doing his "hops" around the cage, and squeaking back at us, when we call to them.

We have now taken the little dangly bits out of the bells, they are only a simple cut out shape and made of fairly soft metal (Spooki had already opened one of them up and removed it from the toy, but she is much stronger, and seems to destroy everything) and who know what would have happened if we weren't at home when it happened.

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