Monday, January 16, 2006

That's what I'm talkin about!

I'm already getting shit on controlling EC's food. The very first thing I said when I saw her was, "you're just a little smidge of a thing." I insisted, despite the 'rents claims to the contrary, that EC was genuinely smaller than the original Diva was. The lowest I ever took So's weight was 64 grams and at the end I was flying her at 68 grams. I finally managed to weigh EC yesterday evening and she was 60g and 64g this morning.

I reported this on CPG's and my email list today and have already been accused of practically starving her.

Am I ever going to get to be someone who doesn't get picked on for controlling my bird's food intake? Please? I thought since EC was an adult that the detractors would leave me alone this time but no. Sigh.

EC seems fairly happy. Apparently I forgot to lock her cage last night 'cause this morning she let herself out and when I was letting the dogs out I heard "thwap thwap thwap thwap thwap" and all the sudden had a little, green bat tangled in my hair. Fortunately I heard her coming before I opened the back door and I am somewhat pleased that she was coming to me rather than attempting an out and out escape. When I weighed her she didn't want to step up off the scale so I walked out of the room and again, she followed me so I let her hang out for a little bit this morning. She put herself back in her cage though. I don't think she knows how not to be in a cage. So was raised getting to hang out in a house whenever anyone was home while EC was pretty much always in a cage. I even let EC take a shower with me this morning. The Diva was obsessed with bathing and dunked herself in her water bowl routinely but EC has not taken a bath all week which is some slight cause for concern and she does not appear to like being misted in the slightest.

Sorry, it's all about the bird lately, innit? And I still need to get around to doing mdmh's meme. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.


Anonymous Ms. A.R. said...

I can understand how rewarding desired behaviors with food works, but I must admit I've wondered all along why it matters that you would control a bird's weight. I would think you'd want the bird to produce the desired behaviors no matter what she weighs. Certainly there must be an optimal weight range for health and performance, but other than putting a cap on weight for health, I can't say I've understood why the tight limits were required. (I also don't have access to the info people share on your lists, or with The Bird Man's instruction, so I just assumed there is a LOT I don't know about the subject.)

I think it's unfortunate that quite so many people seem to only be able to feel good about themselves by making others feel worse. The choices we have are to either ignore the 'nay-sayers' or just use their input as data by which to fine-tune our own positions, as appropriate, whatever the subject. Otherwise, it can just be too hurtful. If others offer you something useful, use it. Something intelligent -- learn from it. If it's just stark criticism, meant to cause bad feelings -- try to toss it out like the garbage it is. Much easier said than done, but I think it's a worthwhile endeavor.

1:40 AM  
Anonymous Ms. A.R. said...

BTW -- the pic of the white dog is adorable, and makes me LOL. It's like she flies even when the disc doesn't! If it wouldn't present a safety hazard during her aerobatics, I think a SuperDog cape would look great on her. :^)

8:59 AM  
Blogger mdmhvonpa said...

A little smidge of at thing, eh? Owners are so much like their pets. ;)

9:19 AM  
Blogger Contentious Chic said...

With a dog you have a lot more leeway, they need a lot of calories plus they are domesticated animals who have an ingrained pattern to interact with humans. Parrots are wild birds and this kind of parrot, a very small conure, only requires about a 1/2 a tablespoon of seed mix a day to meet their caloric needs. Birds spook at just about everything - they're prey animals and VERY aware of it. Height represents safety to them.

When you take a parrot outside you are asking the bird to go against every natural response it has and to fly to you. In order to accomplish that you need to know that the bird desperately needs what you have so you figure out at what weight you get the best responses from the bird - too low and the bird will be frantic and can't think, too high and the bird doesn't have to have what you've got for him. Then you create a longstanding pattern of fly to me and you're safe: I will provide you with shelter, safety and food.

That's what really made it so awful that So was killed while doing what she was supposed to be doing. I will always hate that her last action was doing what I asked her, that she trusted me enough to do that and yet I could not protect her.

I'm trying to look past the hurtfulness of the words to see if there is value to them especially since they are coming from a master falconer that I do respect.

The little white dog HATES being dressed up! I honestly think she would refuse to even play frisbee if I made her wear a cape, lol! I love that she was obviously still trying to get the disc even though she was a good foot above it :-)

9:23 AM  
Blogger Contentious Chic said...

ha ha ha mdmh! I'm hardly a little smidge of a thing!!!

9:24 AM  
Blogger Sally said...

How on earth do you weigh a bird?

I got the postcard, btw. Thanks!
Do you have a cafepress store or did you just have those cards made for yourself?

I have set up a cafepress store and intend to add more to it. The fish collage is available there as a set of cards. Will add more items later.

5:32 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

Thanks for explaining in more detail about the weight control. I had an idea it was something like that, but then again... oh hell, I didn't want to ask a possibly dumb question! Not that it turned out to be dumb, but still. With my luck.. hehe

Sally, postal scales weigh down to grams, or at least I'd think they should. If not, any digital scale would do. There's also 28.8 grams to an ounce if you ever wondered.

3:45 AM  
Blogger Contentious Chic said...

I do have a cafepress store but really at the moment is it just junk that I want - that's where the postcards came from though and I just ordered some fish postcards from your store :-)

An Ohaus triple beam balance is what BTD recommends for bird weighing.

8:47 AM  

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