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#7652 - 06/26/03 11:42 AM Wondering about exercise-free roam and health
Lucy Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/14/01
Posts: 7354
Loc: Lexington, KY
I've been wondering lately about the relationship between free-roam exercise for gliders and health. Here's what prompted my question.

I have one cage of gliders that get out for a play session at night for about 2 hours. We all know this is important, but if truth be known, I'll bet a number of us can't do this daily. I've noticed lately that they just plain seem healthier than my other gliders. We spend a lot of time correlating diet and health, but I'm wondering about the effects of exercise as gliders know it -- hopping, jumping, scampering, gliding -- things they can't do well in their cage -- have on their overall health.

After Gladys died, I started doing the same with Reepicheep. I noticed immediately that a) he started eating well again, b) he started clicking again, and c) he looks healthier. The only difference is the play time.

There are numerous correlaries possible to explain any of this -- diet, of course, health, stress, etc. But I wonder if we downplay the importance of this time in our gliders' day, and if we have any antecdotal evidence of health and activity or type of activity.

Just curious. Any thoughts?
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#7653 - 06/26/03 11:48 AM Re: Wondering about exercise-free roam and health [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have two girls, one is allowed free roam of the house, because she is tame and very willing to return to a person. My other girl is allowed out in her hamster ball, until she finds her way to the bathroom, and then we allow her out in to the bathroom with the older girl for free play. These times always tend to fluctuate but I would say that they are both benefiting from their free time. When I first received my girls the younger one, not tame, was biting at her tail, and had very little sheen to her coat, some was due to her diet, but the real difference began when she was allowed to roam the house in her ball. I know that her hamster ball is not the ideal for her, but it allows her the safety that she feels she needs from us right now, and as I said as soon as she goes in to the bathroom I let her out to play freely.

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#7654 - 06/26/03 12:23 PM Re: Wondering about exercise-free roam and health [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


By bringing our gliders into our homes we have caused them to become more sedentary...simply by limited cage space. As much as many of us would like enormous cages for our gliders, it isn't very realistic for most, therefore I think "playtime" becomes increasingly important.

Precious is out for playtime 2-3 hours, 6 days a week. She is on BML, a diet that I feel provides her with the nutrition she requires. She is (according to my vet when she had her 6 month check up before baby Sissy came home) a picture of health...bright eyes, well developed musculature, and a dense, glossy coat.

I am not going to stop giving her long playtimes to see if she becomes LESS healthy, but I don't doubt for an instant that she would do so.




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#7655 - 06/26/03 12:44 PM Re: Wondering about exercise-free roam and health [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I try to take Erwin and Brisbee out as much as possible and I do see that they are of course happier out of their cage although their cage is quite large hehe.

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#7656 - 06/26/03 12:58 PM Re: Wondering about exercise-free roam and health [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Well, activity is vital for calcium absorbtion and building and maintaining bone density. I wouldn't doubt that your observations are correct. Of course, this goes for all of us humans too.

Amanda

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#7657 - 06/26/03 01:39 PM Re: Wondering about exercise-free roam and health [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I used to keep my babies in a large cage, but a year ago we converted our second bedroom into a large cage perse. We coated the ceiling with PVC coated wire, glider proofed the room and have several trees and toys/sleeping areas hanging from the ceiling.
Comparing them now to then, they seem alot happier,active and healthy since they are able to glide and explore a larger area.

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#7658 - 06/26/03 02:24 PM Re: Wondering about exercise-free roam and health [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Bugsy used to be allowed free roam of the house for hours daily. When I got Rachel I had to stop the free roam because he was not very nice to her and he would always find his way to her cage. He's good with her now! I have the tent and then I let them run in my bedroom after tent time. Rachel NEVER wants to go back to the cage and Bugsy is back to the familiar friendly, loving, clicking, glider he always was. He was becoming a bit sedentary and heavy without the free time. Rachel is becoming increasingly secure with my presence and doing very well indeed. I have to believe that free time to run, jump, glide (she is starting!! yeah!!) is invaluable in overall health. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/littleglider.gif" alt="" />

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#7659 - 06/26/03 05:08 PM Re: Wondering about exercise-free roam and health [Re: ]
Lucy Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/14/01
Posts: 7354
Loc: Lexington, KY
cappy, I really appreciate your response. That's the kind of thing I'm looking for. Obviously, play time is good for their happiness and well-being. I'm just wondering about SPECIFIC health benefits. You may have provided the answer I was looking for...at least one of them!

More observations?
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#7660 - 06/26/03 07:11 PM Re: Wondering about exercise-free roam and health [Re: ]
Karin Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/06/01
Posts: 11583
Loc: Sycamore Illinois
Wow, Lucy, you were reading my mind! I have been thinking about this for a long time now. My glider's love their playtime so much, and it's very obvious too. They know when it's playtime, and when I am just visiting them at the cage (their behavior). I have missed playtime I think once...last year's SGGA, honest. I can even tell you if I cut playtime short, they know...and their behavior shows it too (ears hang low). I really believe sometimes out of cage playtime is severely underestimated...JMO.

Karin
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#7661 - 06/26/03 10:13 PM Re: Wondering about exercise-free roam and health [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


YES YES YES I believe that playtime is very important for the health and well being of the glider and their owner. For one playtime could be the first time we notice something not right about the glider. I know my gliders, if they are acting odd during playtime that could be a clue to something wrong, or preg or have joey, ect. . .
Because I have a BIG cage for my gliders, I noticed that its not the space as much as it is something different and being with me. The love gliding to me. When I am not in the playroom, they go sit on a shelf and hide.

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#7662 - 06/27/03 01:55 PM Re: Wondering about exercise-free roam and health [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thank you Lucy!

I think large cages are important, but even if your SG's aren't bonded to you, time spent outside of the cage is important to their health. It sounds like most peoples' gliders are more active outside their cages. Think of your gliders as five year olds. Yes, they are active inside the house, but have you heard people complain when their kids get "cooped up inside". From what I heard it can cause children and parents to be near-insanity. When they are outside, they really tire themselves out. I already mentioned calcium absorbtion and bone density as benefits to activity, but another obvious one is muscle tone and strength. Those gliders that spend hours playing out of their cages every day are the triatheletes of the glider world. They have stronger bones and stronger muscles. Muscle mass contributes to a higher metabolism, so these gliders might even be eating more and therefore getting the most out of their complete diets. My two gliders aren't comlpetely bonded to me, and their cage is 3' wide, 2' deep and 5' high, so you would think that they are pretty well off. Still, I know their out-of-cage time is vital to their health.

Amanda

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