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Food greed & Painful grooming - please help #1422929
12/04/20 01:12 AM
12/04/20 01:12 AM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 11
Massachusetts, United States
Kevin1989 Offline OP
New Member
Kevin1989  Offline OP
New Member

Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 11
Massachusetts, United States
Hey everyone, its been a hot second since I've been on here and could really used some advice on a few things

I have a pair of sibling girls; Zoey and Lily, who just recently turned 6 years old this Oct. I love and spoil them to bits as best I'm able to and they've taken to returning their affection by cleaning / grooming me. Specifically almost anywhere they can reach on my face. I don't mind it in the slightest and would allow them to do it as long as they want; but the trouble is that the gentle licking gradually turns to light nips, then to teeth dragging and full on biting. I don't think I need to go in depth on how painful it is because you likely understand. Its gotten out of hand though and they've drawn blood. It's similar in when they want to bath other parts of me like my fingers.

Its extremely frustrating because I understand they're just trying to show their affection for me (I hope), which makes it all the more upsetting when I have to abruptly stop them because of how badly it hurts. I don't ever yell, I don't act violent or threatening in any way when it happens. I just get up and coax them back into their enclosure, often having to bribe them with a treat so they will let go / get off of me. The last thing that I want is for them to think that I don't want their affection or for them to be afraid of me. I WANT to spend time with them and let them play but this makes it so hard for that to be possible every single time.. I seriously worry that it's had a negative effect on their bonding with me

Second behavioral concern;

Zoey has gotten very greedy / dominant when it comes to feeding time. She always pokes her head put first to go for the food bowl as soon as I open the enclosure to put it in. Then Lily eventually follows out. But the second Lily starts making her way over to eat, Zoey will turn her head to Lily and hiss repeatedly, like an inhale or exhaled puff sound. Lily turns around 100% of the time as soon as she does it and won't try to eat until Zoey has finished

Fast forward... their one shared food bowl is now split between 4 smaller bowls and scattered around the enclosure. (The thing is monstrous by the way, 72 cubic feet in the main section so there is NO shortage of getting space from one another) - but even still, Zoey still manages to bully Lily and has taken to finding where all of the bowls are in a given night and then patrolling between them all as she's eating. She still hisses when Lily tries for any of them. Lily no longer even tries anymore and will just jump right onto me when I put the bowls in at night and doesn't want to go back until she knows its safe to.
(I'm attaching photos of their enclosure to give an idea of how persistent Zoey is in keeping Lily from going to any of the food bowls)

[img]https://ibb.co/ysp0xss[/img] [img]https://ibb.co/mzzKGbQ[/img]

This is honestly breaking my heart to watch happen, I've tried everything I can think of outside of completely separating them; I dread that thought but I feel like it's what I may have to give into doing for their own good

Anything that anyone can offer as insight; please. I could seriously use some guidance right now. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this

Last edited by Kevin1989; 12/04/20 01:16 AM.

:grey: Zoey

:grey: Lily
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Re: Food greed & Painful grooming - please help [Re: Kevin1989] #1422935
12/05/20 08:13 AM
12/05/20 08:13 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,113
SW Missouri
Ladymagyver Offline
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Ladymagyver  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,113
SW Missouri
Hi and welcome back!

That is a huge cage and I'm surprised you're having this issue. Zoey may need to be in time out for awhile, but it will only be a temporary fix. Food aggression is very difficult to overcome.

What diet are you feeding?

Can you feed Lily outside of the cage?

What type of sleeping pouches do you use?

Are the food dishes in line of sight to each other?
(You may want to hide them from each other)


Dawn

https://www.facebook.com/uptilldawngliders/

Be patient,
and
Trust your journey....

Grace :bb:

Stewie :rtmo:




Fiona and Dot :rbridge: Love and miss you both!

Re: Food greed & Painful grooming - please help [Re: Kevin1989] #1422937
12/05/20 02:56 PM
12/05/20 02:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 13,717
Wisconsin
Feather Offline
Administrator
Feather  Offline
Administrator

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 13,717
Wisconsin
I would put food dishes on different levels, makes it harder for her to patrol if they are on different levels.


Kimberley
Feathers-Sweetie, Mister Peanut & Big Mack
Fur-Guinan, Mr. Spock, T'Mir, Cho, Toothless, Maverick & Maharet :bb: T'Pol, Elizabeth & Curzon :wfb: TY, TJ, Light Fury, Madison & T'Pring :rtmo:
Forever in my heart, Gizmo, Tucker, Khayman and the rest of my babies over the :rbridge:

Re: Food greed & Painful grooming - please help [Re: Kevin1989] #1422940
12/06/20 01:14 AM
12/06/20 01:14 AM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,457
Belleville, IL
Hutch Offline
Glider Slave
Hutch  Offline
Glider Slave

Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,457
Belleville, IL
Regardless of the fact that they are given more than enough food across several dishes & there are two to three pouches at any given time, my four like to stick together. Arthur occasionally gets food or pouch protective, much to the others' consternation. I can call out his name & frequently he'll stop. If not, I'll remove him for a bit to give the others a chance to settle down. If the behavior continues for a couple of nights, my solution is to separate him. I'll start with just a night, then if he goes back to the bad behavior immediately, I'll do it again but for two nights (& so on).

It might also help to 'reset' the cage, clean everything so it seems all new to the colony. It was the only thing that worked one time he was being particularly ornery.


- Hutch

:plat: Arthur :wfb: Gwynevere :bb: Merlin :grey: Morgana

The epic saga begins here!
Re: Food greed & Painful grooming - please help [Re: Kevin1989] #1422944
12/06/20 08:56 AM
12/06/20 08:56 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,113
SW Missouri
Ladymagyver Offline
Moderator
Ladymagyver  Offline
Moderator

Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,113
SW Missouri
:agreed: with Hutch has said.

Sometimes you have to mix it up, and catch the culprit at his/her nastiness pretty quick and teach them to "unlearn" that habit.


Dawn

https://www.facebook.com/uptilldawngliders/

Be patient,
and
Trust your journey....

Grace :bb:

Stewie :rtmo:




Fiona and Dot :rbridge: Love and miss you both!


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