Creating a Colony (Two Trios)

Posted By: StitchsMom

Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/15/12 01:52 AM

dance I officially have a colony of six! dance

I had two trios. One was a male/female/female (Trio 1) and one was a Male/male/female (Trio 2). Let's meet the gliders, shall we?

Trio 1:
Lafayette (neutered male-3yrs) - He is dominant, but sweet. He takes good care of his girls, but has a gentle demeanor about him.

Coraline (female-3yrs) - She is a shy girl, but very good. She can be skittish at times, but is anything but a mean gliders. She never bites and loves her family.

Keeper aka Moon (female-10months) - She is my little explorer. She can be "spazzy" but she is a very loving glider that adores cuddles and love.

Trio 2:
Gizmo (neutered male-14yrs) - He is my old man at approximately 14 years old. He has always been super sweet with people but he is protective of his family. Prior to his neuter, the one time he ever bit me was after I handled an intact male from another cage. I had no idea how he would act as a older glider with a history of being aggressive toward other males.

Sprocket (female-12yrs - She is my old lady at around 12 years old. She is a shy girl that is full of love. She has never particularly cared for change, but adjusts eventually so long as she has her family around to support her.

VanGogh (neutered male-5yrs) - He is a sweetie pie! He is my somewhat special needs boy in that he has some missing fingers and is missing an ear. He hears fine and gets around fine despite his handicap.

I wanted to blend these two for almost a year now. I'm just such a chicken. For months, I swapped pouches between the cages. Then, a couple months ago, I started just swapping the entire cage. I would put one trio in the other trio's cage and then do the same with the other.

Today, I did my first face-to-face intros. I chose the two I thought would get along best, Keeper and VanGogh. They hit it off right away! So, feeling encouraged, I brought out Gizmo to meet Keeper. That went great too! They acted like old friends. So, I decided to challenge myself and brought out Lafayette to meet Gizmo. I was prepared for the worst as I watched the two boys greet one another. Within moments, they were chirping and grooming and loving each other!!!

At that point, I tossed rules to the wind and just let all six out in the tub with me to see how it went. It was a love fest!!!! :lshower: I can't believe how easy it was. I can't believe how sweet they ALL were with each other. I'm astounded at how quickly they just accepted each other as one big family. Coraline was actually the last to come around and even she couldn't resist diving into the cuddle puddle with five other gliders.

It went so well that I went ahead and setup their colony cage tonight and got them all in there together. There hasn't been one crab or hiss out of any of them. I adore seeing them playing together and grooming one another. It's just amazing to watch. I actually teared up!

Unfortunately, I did not have my camera handy so I couldn't get any pics of them all together. Don't worry! I will get some eventually and I can't wait to share!

For now, I'm just elated that I HAVE A COLONY!!!! clap
Posted By: Drea

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/15/12 02:25 AM

I am SO happy for you.
It's my dream to eventually have a big colony.
I'm so glad it went well and they're all in love, that's an awful lot of gliders to get along so well <3
Posted By: xsweettartx

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/15/12 02:43 AM

I hope to have something like this at some point. It's really great that they just all accepted each other!
Posted By: xSwtxSugaX

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/15/12 02:51 AM

Yay!! Congrats Jenny! How exciting! We want pics very very soon!! smile
Posted By: StitchsMom

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/15/12 03:11 AM

I'm dying to get pics, but it's playtime and they will NOT hold still. rofl I'm going to try to get a pic in the morning. I'm crossing my fingers that all six cram into one pouch. heart

I think the year of pouch/cage swapping helped a lot. These guys have been neighbors for more than three years. Of course, it helped tremendously that my boys are fixed and I know them well. I could predict which gliders may be troublemakers.

I'm also not out of the woods yet. I'm not naive enough to think that. I'm feeling confident enough to leave them together in one cage after an exhausting play time, but I'm still going to keep a close eye for awhile until I feel 100% comfortable. Things seem to be going great so far though! They keep taking turns having grooming sessions with each other. It's really, really cute. grin
Posted By: Drea

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/15/12 03:41 AM

I love that you profiled them like that, I kept referring to it as I read about who you introduced first, and the different combinations.
I think it would be a super interesting topic in glider talk for us to all profile our gliders.
I'm going to start it and see where it goes <3
The idea is totally thanks to you though...
Posted By: Sweet As Suggies

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/15/12 04:16 AM

I'm so happy to read this! :thumb2:

I thought I did well introducing just two gliders together... :yes:

You tearing up while watching your babies actually made me smile because it's something I would do, and I love knowing others are just as crazy about their little ones.

Congratulations on the merge :ghug:
Posted By: IslandGliders

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/15/12 11:29 AM

Congrats! That is wonderful, and amazing to read!
Posted By: SugarGliderLove

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/15/12 01:11 PM

Contrats. I know how happy you are thats how I felt when my quad became a quad.
Posted By: DCMuffin

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/15/12 01:27 PM

Well it's about TIME! rofl

I'm SO happy for you, Jenny. I know this is what you've wanted so clap !!! Can't wait to see pictures.
Posted By: Terry

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/15/12 01:44 PM

Congratulations!!! I'm so happy for you and for all of the gliders!
Posted By: StitchsMom

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/15/12 06:02 PM

Thanks everyone! I'm very, very excited about this. I'm ecstatic that it's working out so far.

As of this morning, two girls from one trio (Coraline and Keeper) are in one pouch and the rest of the gang (Lafayette, Gizmo, Sprocket, and VanGogh) are all in another pouch. Everything is peaceful so that's good.

I did witness a small spat between VanGogh and Keeper when Keeper tried to climb into the pouch he was in. It wasn't bad enough to separate them or anything, but it was something I decided to note.

I can't wait for play time tonight! dance
Posted By: tab

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/15/12 06:11 PM

Congrats. I dream of having a pet colony too. I can't wait.
Posted By: TChaney

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/15/12 08:19 PM

I have 9 babies and I would like to eventually get them all in one cage, but I am so chicken of introducing them to each other. I have 5 in one cage, 2 in another cage, and 2 in another cage. What is the best way to introcue them to eac other?
Posted By: ssuver

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/15/12 09:11 PM

It sounds like it is going well! But... We are still waiting on pics.
Posted By: Kathryn

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/15/12 09:22 PM

Congratulations! I'm super jealous, I want a big colony like that one day. smile
Posted By: yiyo

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/16/12 05:44 PM

That's awesome!
Posted By: mmatt

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/16/12 06:02 PM

Yay! Congrats, glad it's going well
Posted By: Wisteria11

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/17/12 11:39 PM

Congrats on everything!
Posted By: Wisteria11

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/17/12 11:41 PM

i hope all goes well for you aswell goodluck!
Posted By: StitchsMom

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/18/12 12:29 AM

I promise I'm trying to get pics. I figured it would be easy. I'd just catch them all in the pouch. Well, this is all they would give me. Silly gliders! shakehead

So far, everything seems to be going pretty smoothly. VanGogh and Keeper are still working out some issues. I can tell she wants to do the right thing, but he wants to be dominant and she doesn't submit. That leads to little spats between the two. Maybe it's because she is my young one in the cage and she just doesn't know exactly how to handle him yet or maybe she just isn't one to roll over easy. dunno I do know that nothing has happened that has been so terrible that I felt anyone needed to be separated. They have a lot of space with extra pouches so if VanGogh wants his space, Keeper just gives it to him.

Other than that, everyone gets along like long lost friends. I truly believe that in time, these two will figure things out. I find it ironic that they were the first two I introduced because they are so easy going. They got along famously then! Now that everyone is actually living the colony life, I think it's a matter of sorting out their places with each other.
Posted By: StitchsMom

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/18/12 05:43 PM

This one is a little better than the blur of fur in the last pic. rofl
Posted By: yiyo

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/18/12 05:47 PM

Awe! They look so cute!
Posted By: Owndbymyfurballs

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/18/12 07:05 PM

Too cute! I miss having a colony of six! I hope to get there again someday. (Mine was a family colony though. I had mom, dad (neutered), two sons (neutered), and two daughters.)
Posted By: xSwtxSugaX

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/19/12 05:59 PM

AWWW!! So cute Jenny!

Its about time we got these pics!!

So happy for you and your little colony! :lshower:
Posted By: MoonFruit

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/19/12 06:02 PM

Aaaaaw! I can't wait until my suggies are this cute together.
Posted By: StitchsMom

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/25/12 12:23 AM

Just a little update:

For a few days, I kept finding Keeper (and another glider, but which one varied) in a pouch on their own. Then, for a few days, I kept finding Keeper in a pouch alone while the other five were in a pouch together. It was kind of breaking my heart. I even considered pulling her out with her mom or dad and putting them in a separate cage, but I decided to let them continue working on their dynamic.

I'm glad I did! Today, for the first time since the new colony came together, I found all SIX babies in one pouch together! dance WOO-HOO!!!

Warning, this pic is terrible, but I wanted to document the moment! You'll have to trust me that all six are in this cuddle puddle. wink

Posted By: kikimeeko13

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/25/12 12:28 AM

Posted By: Drea

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/25/12 12:41 AM

I think you should totally bring the term "cuddle puddle" into popularity as I love it. Also, congrats! So happy for you and your fuzz balls!
Posted By: Sweet As Suggies

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/25/12 03:16 AM

Good job! See...even your example shows sometimes we need to have even more patience :ghug:
Posted By: GliderNursery

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/27/12 04:34 PM

Posted By: hwh4ev

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 10/29/12 05:08 PM

congrats. on this big undertaking jenny.
i was very happy to read this and find out it worked out well.
i want to take my one pair that is no longer breeding and introduce them to my other pair that never bred(sterile).

i am going to start with the pouch swapping, etc. as soon
as their last joeys are gone.

i am assuming that your trios once bred. this is what give me some hope that i can get my pairs together.

nancy in detroit
Posted By: Meg_n_Von

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 11/07/12 03:48 AM

Uber congrats, Jenny! This is exactly what I want to do when I retire my breeding pairs. You've given me great hope! mlove
Posted By: StitchsMom

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 11/08/12 11:20 PM

Yes. This was me combining two retired breeding pairs and each one had one offspring with them because I always keep the last joey from my pairs. One trio, my older trio, had been retired for several years. The other, I retired right around this time last year.

I'm still adjusting to play time with six gliders. The tent just doesn't do it for this colony so they get full run of the glider room to play. They just all seem to shoot off different directions. crazy I always feel like one is missing even though the room is safe. It's hard to explain. I'm sure I'll get used to it in time. I know that they love it so that's really all that matters. grin
Posted By: StitchsMom

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 11/10/12 09:07 PM

I've got more good news!

So, all six have been using one large pouch for awhile now. It's awesome to open it up and peek in at all six cuddled up together. That's not the good news though. wink

The good news is that last night, I went in to feed them and only four could be found. They came right out to get dinner. I started looking around and found VanGogh climbing out of the family pouch a bit late for dinner. I was only missing Keeper. It was her and VanGogh that were the last to get along. So, I checked everywhere else before checking the family pouch. Not only was Keeper in there, meaning those two troublemakers had been sneaking in some alone time, but VanGogh was back in the pouch too...with some food! He brought her food!

I know he got this habit from his Daddy, Gizmo. Giz does this for Sprocket all the time. It's just something he has always done for her. I had never seen VanGogh do the same...until he decided to snuggle up to Keeper! :lshower:

So, it looks like those two have finally settled their differences. It actually looks to me like they have grown quite close which just warms my heart. I'm feeling more and more confident that this colony is going to work out just fine. grin
Posted By: SugarGliderLove

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 12/01/12 02:04 AM

that is great to hear that everyone is getting along and loving up on each other. I was nervious like you were when I first put my quad together.
Posted By: StitchsMom

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 12/02/12 02:28 AM

The colony is doing great! I'm so glad things seem to be working out with them. I really need to get some good pics of them. I'll have to dig out the ol' camera. grin
Posted By: NatalieFuzzbutt

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 12/03/12 09:07 PM

Way to go!! That is impressive!! Gives me hope!!
Posted By: StitchsMom

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 01/23/13 08:23 PM

I thought I'd do an update on my colony now that they have settled into a routine together.

It's fairly obvious that Lafayette and Gizmo are co-alphas of the cage. It makes sense to me because they were both the alpha males of their previous trios. It's neat though to see a senior glider, Giz, and a younger male, Lafayette (La-La) work together to run the colony. I never expected to see that. I thought one or the other, not both. Of course, my gliders are weirdos like me.

They even share duties. La-La does the more time consuming and difficult tasks such as waking up first to make sure the cage is safe for his family, spending time every single night checking on each and every other glider periodically, responding to crabs or cries, etc. Giz does the easier stuff like guarding the family in the pouch during naptime ( wink ), grooming the family, and his famous habit of bringing food to other gliders in the cage.

VanGogh would be the beta if glider colonies have betas ( dunno ). For example, if the colony is out playing and I introduce a new toy, Giz and La-La are the first to check it out. After they decide it's safe, VanGogh will explore it next before any of the girls will even move toward it. VanGogh actually seems to have gotten a bit more confident in his new colony. He used to be rather shy and a bit withdrawn. Now, he's much more like his father (Gizmo) when he was in his prime.

The girls have formed a pretty solid unit as far as I can tell. They tend to stick together most of the time. They all come out out to eat after the boys. They wait in the pouch until all three boys have given the all clear then all kind of trickle out together. Keeper is the boldest but Coraline is the dumbest so it's 50/50 as to which one will come out first. rofl Okay, she isn't dumb. She's just...spacey. I don't know how to put it. If one of my gliders was going to get into trouble, it would be her. shakehead She will leap wildly around the glider room with no regard for where she is going or how high she is leaping from. It freaks me out sometimes! I throw blankets down on the floor just in case she decides to take a leap of faith during playtime. Crazy girl...

The only real exception is Sprocket. She is my senior female. While she does still explore during playtime and run in her wheel for awhile here and there, she is really slowing down. frown I know that it's just how it is with older gliders, but she's been a part of my life for so many years and it breaks my heart. The good news is the two younger girls really watch out for her. One of them is always with her anymore. If she doesn't want to come out and play, one of the girls will go into a pouch with her to snuggle her. They treat her like she's their mother. They are so sweet together.

I'm very confident that this colony will continue to thrive. These gliders were all very sweet tempered prior to the merge so I think that helped a lot and will continue to come into play. Sure, they will have their spats, but I think they all truly love each other and are very happy to have so many gliders in their family. heart
Posted By: yiyo

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 01/23/13 08:27 PM

Awe! They all sound lovely heart
Posted By: Sweet As Suggies

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 01/24/13 01:15 AM

This was great to read through, and I love how you told of personalities during various activities clap It's great they are doing so well, and I'm super happy for your success :thumb2:
Posted By: StowawayGliders

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 01/24/13 04:07 AM

I love this story, it gives me hope that someday I can do this with my gliders. And I love the cuddle puddles. smile
Posted By: GidgetsMom

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 01/24/13 05:02 PM

This is such a great story! I loved reading the entire thread! And I'm so happy things have worked out so well. heart
Posted By: StitchsMom

Re: Creating a Colony (Two Trios) - 01/25/13 02:40 AM

Thank you!

This was a huge adventure and I'm so pleased that they all seem to have put their lives as trios behind them. Honestly, at this point, I would feel like I was being cruel if I were to split them back up into their respective trios. That's how bonded they already seem to be. :lshower:

I'm also pleased that my older guys, Gizmo and Sprocket, will now be able to retire with a large family. As much as I hate to talk about it, I was concerned about when one or both passes away. How would Giz react to losing the love of his life and having no more female in his life? How would VanGogh do without his parents around? I didn't want anyone to be left feeling alone. I know that no glider will replace a mate for these two seniors, but I think having a large family to lean on when the time comes will really, really help. heart
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