Friday, January 09, 2009

Lulu Update

This week has been pretty much dominated by Lulu ;-)

We're slowly starting to get into a routine of her cage cleaning and her feeding and letting her out to fly and play at roughly the same kinds of times each day. Lulu had until today been quite strong willed when it comes to going back IN her cage - she's not daft, and although she'll step up onto your hand in seconds to come OUT, she plays up something chronic when it's time to go back in. Not surprising, I suppose. Plus she's a baby still, only three months, so she's exerting her independence. Yesterday we bought a new spray bottle (like you spray flowers with) to give Lulu a daily "shower" of warm water which is supposed to help her keep her feathers in tip top condition. She liked it yesterday. Today she objected strongly, lol. She has a mind of her own.

We'd also been worrying a little over Lulu's diet. She loves her seed mix, but it's nowhere near sufficient in itself for a parrot's diet, and she won't touch the "complete" pellets the breeder said she loved. We'd been preparing three lots of lovely, varied fresh fruit and vegetable and pulse and cereal mixes for her each day, but she was leaving them largely untouched and just eating the seeds.

Early this evening we had a bit of a breakthrough, though. By being extremely patient and just sitting watching the TV and talking to her while she was out on top of her cage, I eventually managed to persuade Lulu to fly to my hand by calling her and waggling her favourite toy. Once on my hand, with lots of praise and neck scratches, she allowed herself to settle in my lap and completely demolished huge chunks of carrot, apple and cauliflower off a plate. She then flew back to her cage and I thought I'd had it, lol - but as soon as I called her name and waggled her toy again, she flew back to my hand, paused for a tickle, then flew a large circle round back to the top of the cage....then within seconds, back to my hand, tickle, nibble toy, back to cage...back to hand, nibble toy, tickle, back to cage - four or five times in total, and once play time was over, she flew to my hand and allowed me to pop her back in her cage, for a reward of half an apple wedged for her in the bars next to her favourite perch.

Just now, she's out of her cage again, on Jon's shoulder as he's watching football in the dark. She did have a crash landing at the back of the settee and was hanging upside down from the back of it (!) but she let herself be rescued without a fuss and was making her excited noises again within seconds when she was fussed over and calmed down.

So, I think she's starting to get the hang of this.... and so are we ;-)

Lulu's very affectionate towards Emily when she's in her cage, coming running to see her and have her head scratched through the bars. She won't fly to Emily's hand yet, but it's early days - I think that might just be because Emily a) doesn't have *quite* as much patience yet and b) her hand might be slightly wobblier than ours are. But she's getting there.

It feels like such a huge privilege to have her fly to you. :-)))

Lulu aside, we have briefly done a few bits of maths this week, mostly revision of fractions. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we had Lulu downstairs with us during the afternoon in her travel cage, but yesterday we didn't do that and today we were out at Jacki's all day, so Jon had Lulu out on and off all day with him. A new play stand arrived for her today with lots of perches and places to hang toys - I'm hoping that once she's used to that, she will be able to play out of her cage but on that for extended periods of time, in which case we can have her loose down in the dining room with us. We shall see. :-))

Not much textbook education going on at the moment, but we're all learning a lot about birds!

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