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She is so adorable, I'm glad you were able to take her in for the visit and her infection was quickly treated. This is a great example of how to be prepared for unexpected illnesses and I'm glad that you also put that bit in about finishing a round of antibiotics completely ;)

I'm actually an immunologist so it's for sure something that should be emphasized in ANY medical situation, not just for birds.

Luxie is doing great trying new foods!

(PS from Korea sweet potatoes with purple skin and yellow flesh are the best so sorry :ROFLMAO:)
 

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Great wet Luxie picture. Thanks for sharing your experience with her illness, it is a perfect example of how important it is to see a vet at the first sign of illness and to have funds put aside to cover the expense. If you had not taken her to the vet when you did, things may have gotten much worse and made the recovery longer and more difficult, and could have possibly required hospitalization, so glad she is back to her normal self. Love the yellow bird, yellow plate, yellow food picture :D
 

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Luxie (“LOOX-ee”), F, hatched 9/7/2021
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Discussion Starter · #103 ·
I'm actually an immunologist so it's for sure something that should be emphasized in ANY medical situation, not just for birds.
Yes! I actually had a longer soapbox-speech drafted—we humans need to finish our medications too! Even if we’re feeling better. My parents were both in the medical field, so I’ve had such things drilled into me.

(PS from Korea sweet potatoes with purple skin and yellow flesh are the best so sorry :ROFLMAO:)
I know the ones you’re talking about! They are pretty great :) Sadly these that I made had brown skin :(
 

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Luxie (“LOOX-ee”), F, hatched 9/7/2021
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Discussion Starter · #106 ·
I don’t know about you all, but it’s been a hard summer, for me—like, generally, not specifically in relation to Luxie. Though her getting sick is a straw in the pile on the camel’s back, so-to-speak. Related: you know Seasonal Affective Disorder that some people get in wintertime? Apparently, there’s a summer version :oops:

Bird Beak Feather Wing Parrot

”It okay dadther, i loves you and the millets you give me whether you are sad in summer or not”

But I am on the upswing (probably in part because we’re moving into fall), and with that comes me doing some fall cleaning, baking (having an actual working oven helps too), and taking stock of some long-term goals for Luxie’s health.

Bookcase Shelf Book Wood Shelving

Got a grape-branch perch recently for Luxie from an Etsy sale. She‘ll sit on it occasionally, but not much right now. Maybe if I find a way to get a toy near one of those branches…

Specifically, I’ve noticed that Luxie hasn’t been eating her pellets anymore. Historically, when she’s hungry but out of seeds, she’s made her way to the pellet bowl and eaten from there, but she’s stopped doing that. I was preparing some food for her the other day, and when I smelled the pellets, they smelled—rancid. If you’ve ever had grains go bad, you know the smell I’m talking about. Luxie seems to have known they had gone bad long before I noticed.

Here’s the thing—Harrison’s used to have a suggestion on their website to mix Red Palm Oil with their pellets. I did this with my first batch, and all seemed fine. When I got my second bag, I needed to look up the ratio of palm-oil-to-pellets that I had used. I found at that point that Harrison’s had removed the suggestion from their website, as far as I can tell. I did manage to find an archived version of the suggestion, and mixed up the pellets again. Luxie was exceptionally interested in eating them when they were fresh, so I think the palm oil was doing its appealing job. However, at this point, I don’t quite know whether it was the palm oil or it was the pellets themselves that went bad, and my confidence in the mixture has waned with this recent pellet rancidness plus the disappearance of the suggestion from the Harrison’s website.

So this is the thing that’s been weighing on me of late about what to do next. Order more Harrison’s and do smaller batches of the palm oil mixing? Skip the palm oil entirely? Or try a different kind of pellets?

Comfort Textile Knee Thigh Finger

Comfort Human body Thigh Wood Knee

Me contemplating pellets. Luxie stretching.

I ultimately decided to give a new kind of pellets a try, since I was worried she wouldn’t eat plain Harrison’s due to previous experience with those that had gone bad, and I have to do a cross-country Harrison’s order if I am going to get new pellets. Instead, I decided to see how she liked the Zupreem fruit-blend pellets that many here on the forums have had success with. I like many here are not keen on the sugar content I’ve heard they have, but it also seems like there is a greater number of positives than negatives for them.

When I got Luxie, the pet store had given me a sample of the Zupreem, and they were the budgie-sized ones (“for Small Birds”). BUT Luxie never touched them. They’re too big. I’ve seen on the forum the Canary-sized (so “for Extra Small Birds” size) ones work much better for budgies. According to this week’s experience, this is absolutely true. Luxie was eating the Zupreem within one meal, and I see her back at the pellet bowl regularly now. Her poop has turned significantly browner, more than I’ve seen even with the Harrison’s, which is also a good sign in that it means she is actually eating enough pellets to make a nutritional impact.

Food Ingredient Seasoning Tandoori masala Spice

Note the corn that has been dropped into the pellet bowl. She loves to eat her corn “take-out” style, carrying it with her all over and dropping them frequently anywhere but on the plate.

Luxie also seems to really like the sweet potato “dig sites” I make for her. I press corn, Harrison’s mash, pellets (now Zupreem), and seeds into the sweet potato and specifically mix it so she’s got to dig for the seeds. I saw a mention on a casual bird group that budgies specifically can enjoy digging; it makes me think of some forum members having forage boxes, or bead/toy boxes for their budgies to dig through. (I did make a little button pile for Luxie to play with recently, but she had zero interest.)

Food Ingredient Dishware Tableware Cuisine



With regards to the sprouted seeds themselves, I’ve also recently tried letting them soak two days instead of one. Luxie seems to eat them more thoroughly if I do that—she seems to really like chewing on the wild rice in particular, and it gets softer and kind of “bursts” more if it is soaked for two days. She also seems more interested in the lentils if they’re soaked longer. I wonder if I should try cooking the lentils instead.

Next on the agenda: Quinoa. Maybe after this week’s heat wave, though 😑 I also have in the queue trying the Twin Beaks Aviary Herb Salad mentioned in many places here on the forum.

Bird Beak Parrot Pet supply Bird supply

Luxie proudly showing off her “morning poop.” “Here’s what I think about your heat, summer”
 

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Love the updates about Luxie! It’s funny that they always know something is off with the pellets before we do; I had a similar experience with Mallorn re. nutritional content of pellets (during the pandemic shortages, we had to buy a random pellet brand and she started acting weird and foraging for droppings because they had a different nutritional profile than the ZuPreem).

I feel the same way about summer as you do. The heat affects me a lot and I think partially because I become reticent to go outdoors which I think is why some people have SAD during winter (lack of going outdoors, lack of sun, etc). Funnily enough I have these same symptoms during the summer because I have a really high sensitivity to heat and get absolutely miserable. I didn’t realize how much it was affecting me actually until a few days ago, the weather got somewhat more cool and I noticed an immediate mood change when I went outside. Interesting timing with this post, haha, I was recently thinking the same thing myself. Hang in there, fall is coming soon~

Luxie sounds like she’s doing great. Can’t wait to hear more!
 

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Thank you for the updates! I always love when you post pictures and tell us about Luxie's latest adventures.

Your concern about the pellets/palm oil situation is due to the palm oil going rancid while on the pellets.
To alleviate this problem, when you mix up the batch, use only as much as you think Luxie will eat in one day.
Either refrigerate the remaining pellet/palm oil mixture or divide it into portions which can be used in one day, place them in ice cube trays and freeze them.
You can then thaw one portion on the counter on the day you want to feed it to Luxie.
 

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Luxie (“LOOX-ee”), F, hatched 9/7/2021
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Discussion Starter · #109 ·
Love the updates about Luxie! It’s funny that they always know something is off with the pellets before we do; I had a similar experience with Mallorn re. nutritional content of pellets (during the pandemic shortages, we had to buy a random pellet brand and she started acting weird and foraging for droppings because they had a different nutritional profile than the ZuPreem).
Oh wow, now that you mention different foraging activities, I realize Luxie’s stopped “getting into everything” since I got her the new pellets instead of playing—she was going after dried droppings before the new pellets, too. I just thought she was being an ornery bird, so I was doing my best to be patient with her, but now she’s back to playing with toys and seems a lot more content. Thank you for sharing about Mallorn’s experience!

I feel the same way about summer as you do. The heat affects me a lot and I think partially because I become reticent to go outdoors which I think is why some people have SAD during winter (lack of going outdoors, lack of sun, etc). Funnily enough I have these same symptoms during the summer because I have a really high sensitivity to heat and get absolutely miserable. I didn’t realize how much it was affecting me actually until a few days ago, the weather got somewhat more cool and I noticed an immediate mood change when I went outside. Interesting timing with this post, haha, I was recently thinking the same thing myself. Hang in there, fall is coming soon~
From my research so far, it sounds like Summer SADs is still a bit more of a mystery than Winter SADs. One theory is that for some people there is such a thing as too MUCH sun, and that it messes with our circadian rhythm. Another theory is in fact the heat—it’s possible that for some people, heat contributes to feeling low/depressed/sad. I’m way sensitive to heat, too. It makes me feel just awful, so I also stay indoors all the time in summer, and I really struggle to exercise during summer months. One of the suggestions for treatment is actually AC! I’ve lived in places without AC in the buildings for the past four years, and my summer symptoms have been much worse, as I think back on it. I’ve used a portable AC unit for the bedroom because otherwise I couldn’t sleep, but when I let myself get another unit for the rest of the apartment recently, my mood improved noticeably. …I think there are probably more factors to my mood and situation than just this, but every little bit of improvement helps! Oh goodness, I can’t wait for fall 🍁 While I’m not glad we’re suffering, I am grateful to hear I’m not alone in struggling with summer heat.
 

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Luxie (“LOOX-ee”), F, hatched 9/7/2021
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Discussion Starter · #110 ·
Your concern about the pellets/palm oil situation is due to the palm oil going rancid while on the pellets.
To alleviate this problem, when you mix up the batch, use only as much as you think Luxie will eat in one day.
Either refrigerate the remaining pellet/palm oil mixture or divide it into portions which can be used in one day, place them in ice cube trays and freeze them.
You can then thaw one portion on the counter on the day you want to feed it to Luxie.
Thank you for the insight into the situation! I was wondering if it might be the palm oil going bad. I will definitely not mix up a whole bag‘s worth of mixture ever again (or at least not without having enough ice cube trays available for the freezing). Not the most costly mistake I’ve ever made, but I still regret losing the rest of that bag o’ pellets 😭 Learning journey, this.
 

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Oh wow, now that you mention different foraging activities, I realize Luxie’s stopped “getting into everything” since I got her the new pellets instead of playing—she was going after dried droppings before the new pellets, too. I just thought she was being an ornery bird, so I was doing my best to be patient with her, but now she’s back to playing with toys and seems a lot more content. Thank you for sharing about Mallorn’s experience!



From my research so far, it sounds like Summer SADs is still a bit more of a mystery than Winter SADs. One theory is that for some people there is such a thing as too MUCH sun, and that it messes with our circadian rhythm. Another theory is in fact the heat—it’s possible that for some people, heat contributes to feeling low/depressed/sad. I’m way sensitive to heat, too. It makes me feel just awful, so I also stay indoors all the time in summer, and I really struggle to exercise during summer months. One of the suggestions for treatment is actually AC! I’ve lived in places without AC in the buildings for the past four years, and my summer symptoms have been much worse, as I think back on it. I’ve used a portable AC unit for the bedroom because otherwise I couldn’t sleep, but when I let myself get another unit for the rest of the apartment recently, my mood improved noticeably. …I think there are probably more factors to my mood and situation than just this, but every little bit of improvement helps! Oh goodness, I can’t wait for fall 🍁 While I’m not glad we’re suffering, I am grateful to hear I’m not alone in struggling with summer heat.
I hate the summer heat and the awful humidity also and stay inside in the AC unless I have to go out, I love the fall also but it seems that here in the Midwest the summer is lasting way beyond what it used to.
 

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Luxie (“LOOX-ee”), F, hatched 9/7/2021
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Discussion Starter · #112 ·
I hate the summer heat and the awful humidity also and stay inside in the AC unless I have to go out, I love the fall also but it seems that here in the Midwest the summer is lasting way beyond what it used to.
The summers really are worse than they used to be :( And Midwest humidity is wretched. Climate change/crisis weighs heavily on my mind these days 😭
 

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Luxie (“LOOX-ee”), F, hatched 9/7/2021
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Discussion Starter · #116 · (Edited)
You say this like it’s a bad thing 😁
Tell you what, we’ll trade you. You can have the extra summer days, and we’ll take some of your crisp fall and sleep-in-snow-covered winter days.

In the meantime, the anti-summer convention will now adjourn to a session of intense air-conditioned cooling therapy ❄❄❄.

Or bird bath, depending on attendee preference.

Bird Parrot Beak Sleeve Feather
 

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Luxie (“LOOX-ee”), F, hatched 9/7/2021
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Discussion Starter · #118 ·
I meant to post a few weeks ago when Luxie had her first hatch-day, but had so much going on I never got to it. So happy belated one-year-old-hatch-day!

Food Ingredient Fines herbes Leaf vegetable Natural foods

Bird Water Beak Pet supply Parrot

Bird Parrot Beak Pet supply Bird supply


Nothing major to report, though you can see her cere has turned back to the light color (just a teeny bit of the brown flakiness left in the center) and she is well into her autumn molt.

Feather Plant Flowering plant Vegetable Ingredient

I collect her feathers, as I saw someone on the forums suggest making ornaments out of them by filling a clear glass ball with them. I love them all, but these two-toned ones are so cool! She loves chewing on the fallen feather quills—she seems to really like long thin things to chew on, so I‘ve looked for toys lately that have thin twiggy-type construction or are made of the rattan like the little colored balls she tosses around.

The big news is that I finally got up the courage and energy to try quinoa (and out of an abundance of caution I washed the living daylights out of it):

Food Ingredient Recipe Tableware Mixture


…she seems to really like it! Next step is more green in the chop. I hang leaves of various kinds daily around her cage, though it seems like some days she’s just not interested in them (currently she has been documented to eat bok choy, kale, romaine, and will “tolerate” red-leaf lettuce. I know the romaine doesn’t have much to offer her, but she enjoys playing with it like a toy so much. I think she likes spinach but I’ve been avoiding that because of how too much of it isn’t good for her. She gets basil when the plant can spare a leaf.). Still no luck with peppers or peas (from the freezer, at least). I just got some sugar-snap peas, and I did get her to play with one for a while, so I might try to dice those up. I was thinking she might like wheatgrass since she seems to like thinner leaf-like greens, so maybe I’ll try that. I should try and get broccoli back into rotation, and maybe I’ll try cucumber or zucchini or asparagus next. I’ve also pulled back just a little on her seeds, as I’ve observed that she is now appropriately going for the pellet bowls when she is still hungry. Her poop is a nice light brown color, now.

Bird Beak Parrot Bookcase Yellow

Pinfeather central! And she still won’t let me near them. To each their own, I suppose!
 
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