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Tinkerbell Legacy - Living with a flying parrot

Plan A - Pink ribbons everywhere

An Anonymous guest asked
"What is milli and suri? I have a feeling its insects right?"

Here are some nomenclature used.

The nomenclature.

MM - mixed mash , from YSM 60%, Claus (food for insectivore birds)
20% and Sinlin 20% (local commercial food for shama)

YSM - Yingshiong Mash (67 % high proteien cat food, 33% mash based on
Tinkerbell mash. Read "making of Yingshiong mash"

suri - surinam cockroaches. I created name change to suri as I have
phobia of cockroaches and needed to take that word out'.
Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"

milli - s tiny mealworm like worm, 1 regular mealworm = 30 milli by
weight. The milli appeared as an irritant in the suri culture. When
I realised how much YS love the milli, and how small they were, I
love the milli. Can you imagine cutting suri or crickets into itsy
bits with itcky goo leaking out? I did that and ARGH!!!

read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""

I woke up again to the singing of YS. I paid close attention to his singing as a check on his mental state of health just in case http://www.honoluluzoo.org/white-rumped_shama.htm got the numbers wrong.

If YS stopped singing, I would swarm him with suris, millis , crickets and MM until his weight go up again. In fact, a few times I had second thoughts about the dieting and then, he sang and sang and I decided to stick to his dieting as he obviously did not seemed to be suffering.

At 930 am, his MM was weighed to be 37.9 gm. .3 gm less than evening before.

At his cue, he flew in from the fan perch onto the scale to tip it at 31.5 gm to get his click and couple of millis. I got him to step up on my finger to get more millis before I threw him back to the fan. Otherwise , I could not get to weighing the fresh MM for him. I weighed in fresh MM at 38.5 gm.

Then a thought struck me from what I wrote yesterday. MM is dry mash and high protein , high carbo and energy with natural vitamins , calcium etc etc. I created it to be the basis of a balance diet for YS. If he did not play ball with me and not get his treats, he would not be in danger of starving as the MM would always be provided. But since he was doing so well, flying to me, to shoulder etc etc, he got treats. Even the small millis add to his weight when I was trying to get it down.

The mash I created for the millis, suris and crickets was based on Tinkerbell's mash , better than what most people fed their birds. The mash was so good that the millis were breeding, the suris were breeding and crickets were all breeding. So you can say I should feed the suris and millis less. So they lived in plastic box with plastic walls that they should not get out of into the apartment. Since they are all well fed, they remained contently in the peatmoss. BUT if I do not feed the suris and millis, they might get hungry enough to breakout! And if I feed the suris and millis and crickets to YS, that would blow apart my attempt to get his weight down.

Then I thought what if I do not give the high protein carbo energy MM to YS. After all, since the suris, crickets are feed on such good food, not just their gut, but suris and crickets and millis should have enough goodies in their flesh to compensate the temporary stoppage of MM.

And thus, I set aside the MM bowl and covered it. I could feed more suris and millis and crickets instead.

I also cut more of the thin pink ribbons I planned to use as harness on YS. Unfortunately, YS did not seem to play games the way Tinkerbell played with me. I could not play peekaboo with YS like I played with Tink, and the introduction of ribbons to Tink in games.

So with those thin pink ribbons, I tied them to all the perches that YS used. I tied pink ribbons to the fingers of both hands. I tied pink ribbons to the ear piece of my spectacles so it hung down to my shoulder. I tied pink ribbons to the target stick. Whether he liked it or not, YS was going to see lots of pink ribbons everwhere the next few days.

We went through the exercises with pink ribbons fluttering from my fingers. He flew to me as cued to stand on finger dangling with pink ribbons. When the milli box was offered to him, the pink ribbon coiled on, outside and within the box. He picked his millis from in between pink ribbons.

And since he had no MM, I could do more training with him.

From the short recalls, to medium recalls to far recalls, he came to fingers with pink ribbons, stood on shoulder with pink ribbons. He must be wondering why all the pink ribbons. Long recalls also had pink ribbons. Pink ribbons in the hall, and PC room. No escape for him from pink ribbons.

He came to recalls along the corridor. He refused to do that for milli. And with no MM in his diet, I had no qualms to wave suris to get him to come to me. He recalled to me for his suris, eaten with pink ribbons waved at him.

At 12 pm, YS was at 32.2 gm.

I ran out of suris and had to harvest more suris and zapped 3 crickets. But since YS made sneak attacks into the smb2 and made away with big gravid succulent suris, 4 of them, I got annoyed and hold back on the cricket.

At 230 pm, after his success raids, YS was at 32.6 gm. But again, much of the suri, crickets and millis would be indigestable chitin (that he would regurgitate) and water. So that weight did not signify too much.

At 4 pm, YS weight was at 32.0 gm.

A fair bit more of exercises were done. So by 530pm, YS was at 32.3 gm.

With recalls to me, so I could dangle pink ribbons around him, his weight by 620 was at 32.3 gm. I relented to give him a cricket to take him to 32.6 gm.

I weighed fresh MM at 28.3 gm

Then I thought perhaps I hold that back. I know I said when he did not get breakfast, he did not perform too well. But perhaps things changed.

I wanted very much for him to turn corners and fly to me on recall sight unseen. Do consider the grand prize for him. The flight area that he considered as home is already so much bigger than most aviary. The entire apartment is so much bigger than the flight area. But what of the outside? if he could play hide and seek with me, that would be part of the key to him flying in the great outside. That kind of reward has its kind of price.

He would never be in danger of starving. Enough of you guys reading this will screama and shout at me. The weighing scale never lie. And you know I got loads of suris and millis that I am afraid of overwhelming me.

And YS was singing in the morning, in the afternoon. He sang in his flight area, he sang in the living room , and he sang in the PC room. He sand loudly in territorial display voice, and he sang quietly experimenting with new vocalization.

I will try to take him down to 31.0 gm. This further lowering of his weight is like an ice breaker, like a boot camp that he is temporary in. Once he passed that milestone and he knew that can be done, his weight will be allowed up again. Perhaps by being that little bit hungrier, he might be induced to fly to me around the corner. And the wearing of harness , so that he knew that can be wore, might required him to be that little bit more ready to bear with me.

As of now at time of writing, I have not decided if I put that MM bowl in his cage. I probably will not.

We will see how it be like tomorrow.


Note: Normal weight range of shama is 28 - 32 grams
from the information below .



If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.

Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust


or to WWF or other conservation bodies of your choice

MM - mixed mash , from YSM 60%, Claus (food for insectivore birds)
20% and Sinlin 20% (local commercial food for shama)

YSM - Read "making of Yingshiong mash"

suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"

milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""

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