How To Introduce Gliders To Each Other

Introducing gliders to each other is not as easy as just putting them together. Some introductions are very easy, others not so easy and some go terribly bad.

Here are some of the things that can go wrong:

1. A glider could die from fighting with a newly introduced glider.

2. A glider could get seriously injured and require medical treatment.

3. A young female glider could (not always) get raped by a sexually mature male.

4. A bonded glider doesn't always teach the other to bond to you. The bonded glider may dump you for its new mate.

5. A separate cage will be needed and sometimes separate rooms to insure safety. This would be extreme cases.

6. They may never get along. Some gliders love being the only one. Your glider may be set in their ways and resent an intruder.

When introducing gliders, keep this thought in mind - You picked their friend for them, how would you react if your parents did that for you, and you didn't like the person?

Some things you DON'T want to do:

1. Do not just throw them into an existing cage and hope they get along. Be sure you have kept them quarantined for 2 weeks prior to any new introductions, or have a thorough exam done by a vet, including a fecal (and testing for Giardia).

2. Do NOT allow them to fight it out.

3. Never place a baby in with an adult.

4. Never place an immature female with a sexually mature male.

5. Do not think getting another glider will calm an aggressive glider.

6. Placing an unneutered/intact adult male in with another adult male could cause fighting and/or stress in the cage. It is recommended that both be neutered before introductions.

Introducing two intact male joeys usually works if you are planning on neutering them later or splitting them up to pair with breeding females.

There are things you can try, but none come with an guarantee.

You already know they will fight, don't try putting them together till you see some signs of them at least tolerating each other because one may KILL the other. It is not worth the life of a glider to find out these things can and MAY happen.

There are several ways to introduce two or more gliders to each other to form a colony. Most start with swapping pouches. This gets gliders used to the otherís scent. After a couple of weeks of this you can also swap cages for a week to be extra safe.

Introductions should be done in a neutral place that doesnít smell like either glider, such as the bathtub, and they should be done in the morning when the gliders want to sleep.

Once they have both gone into the same pouch, if they are not in a bonding pouch, place them into a bonding pouch and wear them the rest of the day. Deep clean the cage, clean fleece, scrub the wheel and cage. The goal is there should be nothing that smells like either glider in the cage. It prevents them from arguing over what is one or the other gliders stuff.

When you put fleece in the cage, put two pouches in for two gliders, three for three and so on. That way if they do not want to share a pouch, they donít have to share a pouch.

If during introductions, the gliders ball up, it is important to separate them. Sometimes they are inflicting damage to each other, sometimes they are not. You never want to take that chance. Sometimes they will be noisy and sometimes they will be silent, but they should always be separated as soon as possible. Be careful that you do not take a serious bite.

Joeys are usually easier to introduce. Some people donít even swap pouches. They just put them in a clean cage with clean fleece, and because they have been taken from their parents, they want someone to be with as they are alone and scared.

Another method I have done for introducing a breeding pair is to cage them side by side, and when the female is in heat let him near her. If she tolerates him marking her through the cage bars, allow them into a clean cage.

They usually donít get any mating done this first time, but they sure mark each other up while she is in heat.

One thing that I think is very important is to watch them for the next couple of days for fighting. I like to do introductions on Friday or Saturday mornings, then I have all weekend to keep an eye on them.
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Kimberley
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