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#837899 - 09/14/09 11:33 AM Squeezing to stop crabbing?

As many of you may know, I seem to have gotten my glider from a non respectable company- obviously without prior knowledge of such.

Anyway, I was instructed to gently but firmly press on the glider with both hands, if the glider is crabbing alot when in the pouch. I was told that this mimicks being in a mothers pouch and that the glider will feel safe when he is constricted into that tight space.

I am trying my hardest the last few days to get the most info as possible and the best info as possible. I want to make sure that I'm doing the right thing and taking good care of my babies.

I have not taken them out of their cage yet, They have been home since sat night. When I did have them in the pouch for the few hours after I bought them, the compression thing did help them, they stopped crabbing almost immediately.


#837906 - 09/14/09 11:50 AM Re: Squeezing to stop crabbing? [Re: ]

Please do not squeeze them at all. You could hurt or even kill a little one.

#837911 - 09/14/09 12:19 PM Re: Squeezing to stop crabbing? [Re: ]
victoriarose1982 Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 2135
Loc: Seattle, Washginton, USA
Ok if this infor came from (PPP) Perfect Pocket Pets please dont take this to heart but ignore everything they have been telling you. It is not worth putting your babies life in jeperody you never squeeze your babies they have fragile bodies.

I would suggest you check out the bonding methods here on the website. My first suggestion is at like you just got them. Leave them alone for 3-7 days so they get use to the new enviorment new smells, new sounds, and new GIANTS! Remember you are alot bigger then they are. The size of a predator. Then start talking to them through the cage and giving them treats.

After that they will let you know when they are ready for the next step. Which would be putting your hand in the pouch and getting kisses (currently at this stage with one of mine and its taken 4 weeks but its worth it.) Then start putting them in the pouch carry them around for a few hours the first couple of days then start extending it.

I am sure someone else with more advice will come around. Just please stop the squeezing its not good for them.
Home to now 13 lovely greys!2 mos, and 1 plat mo.:grey: Link, Zelda, Coffee, Crash, Sif, Lily, Thor, Loki, Damiana, Sammy, and Pollux :plat:
and a loving husband

Glide free Hope, Cayden, and Zoey

#837912 - 09/14/09 12:31 PM Re: Squeezing to stop crabbing? [Re: victoriarose1982]

I definitely would not "squeeze" them at all. I do however place my flat hand against the outside of the bonding pouch, or my bra, and hug them close. You don't need to apply pressure. Kind of like holding a baby close to you to sooth them. I also talk softly and coo to them and they always settle right down. (PPP) Perfect Pocket Pets website does tell you to squash them but it could hurt them. Just sooth them and coo or click. Welcome to GC. This is a great place for help

#837920 - 09/14/09 01:03 PM Re: Squeezing to stop crabbing? [Re: ]
BindiAndScrubbie Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/20/08
Posts: 1837
Loc: Florida
This is what I did when mine were worked wonders. I was told by (PPP) Perfect Pocket Pets to squeeze them too. But my idea of giving them a squeeze was as stated above. I gentle and light press into my body...never an actual 'squeeze' like (PPP) Perfect Pocket Pets tells you to do.

Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy - Anne Frank

#837921 - 09/14/09 01:05 PM Re: Squeezing to stop crabbing? [Re: BindiAndScrubbie]

I to with a flat hand, gently press them against my body. They always stop crabbing.

#837939 - 09/14/09 01:28 PM Re: Squeezing to stop crabbing? [Re: ]

I was also told to do the same by the breeder. I decided not to do it because I didn't want to hurt my baby. I also just "hug" her and it works. =]

#837971 - 09/14/09 02:36 PM Re: Squeezing to stop crabbing? [Re: ]

thanks! i also thought squeezing was harsh, i have been doing like you all say and pretty much "hugging" them. again i havent had them out of the cage yet.

I was told on day 3 to take them out and just carry them around in the pouch, nothing more.

should i do this?

or should i wait until they come to me willingly when i put my hand in the cage?

#837977 - 09/14/09 02:52 PM Re: Squeezing to stop crabbing? [Re: ]
LSardou Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/01/06
Posts: 21060
Loc: Kansas
Putting a time limit on them is not such a good approach. Every glider is different. Some adjust quicker than other where as some it can take several days to weeks for them to realize that they are not in danger.
The best way to determine if they are ready for you to handle them is to hold the back of your hand up towards their feet. If they want to be on you they will work their way into it. Never try to force them against their will (except for capturing, or during a medical emergency).
Here is a wonderful write up by KattyM that covers tons of things that will help with taking care of your new little ones.
Originally Posted By: KattyM
Welcome to GliderCENTRAL! wave I encourage you to register (if not yet done) so you can take full advantage of the board (posting in all the forums). It’s fast, and it’s free! wink

Gigantic kudos for doing your research in advance. thumb I’m not sure what your current research has revealed, so what I’ll add could very well be redundant. Read through the posts in the major forums under Glider Care: Health, diet, bonding, Housing—those are the biggies to know about. Especially pay attention to the “stickies” at the top of each forum. If you want to know what the major cons are, especially read through the Health & Hygiene and Real Stories forums. Also, from a couple of other sites, here are helpful pages with links and tips:

Are Sugar Gliders Right For You?
A Simple List of Answers for the Glider Newbie! (FAQ)
Where do I Start to Research?

The first thing to know is that sugar gliders are a long-term commitment; they can live 15 years in captivity. They are colony critters and do best with a same-species companion they can cuddle in the pouch with and play with at night. They bond very deeply to one another and to their “slaves” (that’s you wink ), and it can be quite traumatic to have this bond broken. Here are a couple of articles you might enjoy:

Does Suncoast Sugar Gliders Sell Single Sugar Gliders?
Will a sugar glider die if left alone?

Getting them at the same time from the same breeder (e.g., siblings) saves you from getting duplicates (cage, toys, pouches, wheels, etc.), having to quarantine the newbie (and read this: Quarantine does no good unless...), taking him or her (and your current, if not yet done) to a glider-knowledgeable vet, and following proper introductions:

Introducing 2 Gliders
How do I go about introducing new sugar gliders?
Extreme Introductions

If you get a boy or boys, it’s helpful to have him/them neutered while at the vet’s office. Neutered boys are less aggressive, making for sweeter gliders. Of course, you need to wait for signs of sexual maturity (dropped poms, “bald” spot on forehead). wink

Sugar gliders can be quite expensive to care for. Glider ownership is not to be taken lightly, and they may not be the perfect pet for you. If, after all of your research, you decide to make this lifelong commitment, there are several places to look for your gliders. Places not to buy are flea markets, trade shows, and malls. You’ll want a reputable USDA-licensed breeder. As a starting place, look through the Breeder Database, Rescues Database, and Glider Ads.

[color:#FF0000]Diet is one of the most controversial, yet most important considerations. Check out the diet page and Suz’s site: Feeding Your Joeys & Adult Gliders. Captive gliders have specialized dietary needs with the proper blend of nutrients (with protein, fruits, veggies, vitamins, and calcium). For some of the diets, you should be able to find all of the ingredients in a grocery store and pet store. Other diets will require you to shop online, which means you need to not only think ahead in buying supplies, but in mixing and having their meals ready in advance. You will want to find one that will suit your lifestyle and your gliders’ preferences. You’ll want to follow whatever diet you choose, as outlined. Don’t mix and match the various plans or ingredients or you’ll throw off the overall calcium to phosphorus (Ca:P) ratios, as well as introduce other unhealthy imbalances.

Gliders are sap suckers, which means they’ll take the food, suck out the juices and nutrients, and then spit out the remains (often in crescent moon-shaped pieces). Here’s a link with info on glider kitchens. Putting their dishes in these kitchens will greatly contain the mess. wink

Under Diet & Nutrition, you’ll find several great stickies:

Critters Your Gliders Should Not Eat,
How to reduce Aflatoxin in Nuts, and
Dangers of Onion, Garlic, Lima Beans & Soy.

And here is a SunCoast article with more info: What NOT to Feed? There are definitely some foods you should avoid or feed only in moderation. There are also great threads under Diet & Nutrition 101 covering various diets and other diet-related topics.

If you want to try your hand at calculating your own glider-safe diet, or even if you just want to look up the various nutrients in what you’re currently feeding, here’s a great tool: USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Remember that there is more to a glider-safe diet than a proper Ca:P ratio (roughly 2:1). Will you be offering foods too high in iron, tannins, oxalates, vitamin C (just to name a few); foods that can cause gas or diarrhea or constipation; foods that are dangerous or toxic? Personally, I’m too lazy (and brain dead) to learn all I would need to learn, and I appreciate those who have blazed the trail and done all the work for me. smile

As far as a cage, the bigger the better. The absolute minimum size for a single glider is 3'x2.5'x3' (taller is better than wider). For two or more gliders, you'll want a larger cage (you can double the height). When you consider a glider’s natural range is several miles, you can imagine how the largest cage possible would best suit their needs. smile If you’re thinking of upgrading later, wait and buy the larger cage now. It will save you money in the long run. It has to have pvc- or powder-coated (no galvanized!) wire, with bar spacing no wider than 1/2". Pay attention to the door size so you can easily clean and get your goodies (like a wheel) in. You’ll need to keep the cage, toys, and pouches clean, as well as provide fresh food and water each day. I recommend at least two water bottles, in the event one leaks dry or malfunctions. If your gliders aren’t chewers, and you prefer, many folks use reptariums. They come in various sizes, there are vendors who make goodies for them, and they’re easy to toss in the wash to clean. As far as cleaning, remove dishes and old food each morning and provide fresh each night. Rotate cleaning the cage, pouches, toys, wheels; don’t clean everything at once or your gliders will go into overdrive remarking everything with their lovely scent. tounge

In addition to what’s in our Cage Information subforum, here are some links with cage ideas and cages:

Outrageous Sugar Glider Cages
Exel Large Bird cage <30" wide x 18" deep x 56" Tall, overall height 72—$220, free shipping>
Sugar Glider Cage: Deluxe Rectangular <24” X 28” x 66”, $333.62, $6 shipping>
Sugar Glider Cage: Deluxe Hexagonal <27” x 36” x 68”, $362.83, $6 shipping>
Avian Adventures Multi Vista Stackers for Multiple Birds <24" x 24" x 71" tall, $413, free shipping>

I’ve got both the hex and Exel cages. The next ones I buy will probably be the Avian Adventures because you can just add on to the one cage rather than buy a new one when you want to expand. wink

You can check out the Glider Things section for all kinds of glider goodies. Once you’ve been bitten with glideritis, you’ll find yourself budgeting for toys. Many baby toys are safe for gliders, so you can also find a lot of goodies in the baby section at places like Walmart. Be careful of cat toys, as they may contain catnip (even if not labeled as such). The Barrel of Monkeys toy is a favorite of many gliders. A glider-safe wheel is a necessity. Some wheels have inserts that will help keep the nails trimmed. Those inserts don’t seem to work for me. You’ll want to make sure you do keep the nails trimmed periodically so they don’t get caught and struggle to get free (and get hurt).

Nail trimming has got to be one of the most odious tasks (for both the glider and the slave). Here are some nice sites with tips and pictures on trimming nails. You want to remove just the very tip. Have styptic powder or flour on hand, just in case you cut too close. Do it during the daytime while they are the sleepiest.

Trimming Your Glider’s Nails
Trimming Sugar Glider Nails
Nail Trimming Video

You’ll also want a good supply of pouches (both sleeping and bonding). You can look through the Glider Things forum for pouches from a variety of vendors. Mine prefer the kind with windows and zippers; others are okay with drawstring instead of zippers. I wouldn’t recommend Velcro; your glider’s tail could get stuck on the velcro itself, making it quite scary for your glider as you try and free him or her. Be sure you check your pouches daily for loose strings. Gliders can get their nails, toes, and fingers stuck in those, struggle, twist, and seriously injure themselves. frown If you decorate your cage with fake vines, be sure they don’t have wires in them. Here’s a sticky in one of our forums with Hazardous toys or toy parts list. You can also make fleece ropes and vines. Fortunately, there are also generous folks who have shared ideas for making your own pouches, as well as other goodies.

Suz’s No Sew Accessories
Critterhill’s Sugar Glider Links

Most importantly, sugar gliders are considered exotics. This means one of the biggest considerations for you is finding a glider-knowledgeable vet (although, in an emergency, any vet will do). Print out this sticky, Vet Consult #’s to take to your vet, especially if he or she is not comfortable treating sugar gliders. You can check out the Vet Directory as a starting point to see if there are any in your area. (Also check out Lovable Pocket Pets’ Vets and Atnetworld Veterinarians Directory.) Call around and ask some basic questions (e.g., how much experience do they have with sugar gliders? how much does a wellness exam cost? what about emergency visits? how much are basic tests?). Gliders can hide their illnesses very well; it’s a survival tactic in the wild because the weak are easy prey. This means that you may not notice symptoms until it is almost too late, and oftentimes, you will be making emergency visits. Being nocturnal, that’s when you'll notice behavior changes and other indications of a possible problem (after hours). It’s always wise to have a glider fund set aside for just such events; $500 minimum (per glider) is a good amount to always have on hand. Once you get your babies (if you do), you’ll want to take them in for an initial wellness check to establish a baseline of health and a relationship with your vet. Some vets are less inclined to see gliders in an emergency (should one arise) if they haven’t seen them before.

Be sure to check out the stickies in the Health & Hygiene forum, especially:

Body Language of a Sick glider
Wellness/Emergency Exams/Necropsies/Syringe Meds
Will your Glider Self Mutilate/ Bourbon& Ecollar

Here’s our page with bonding links, if you haven’t found it yet. And here’s a great sticky: Into the bonding pit. The key will be to go at their pace, not yours. They will need to get used to you—your scent, your voice, your movements. Being separated from their families and moving to a new home where everything is unfamiliar can be quite stressful. It’s best to start bonding with the noninvasive techniques. Wear fleece scraps and then put the “blankies” in their pouch to sleep with. Sit by their cage and talk to them, or read a book out loud. After they’ve gotten used to your scent and voice and don’t crab or try to bite when you approach them, take them out during the day while they’re sleeping and wear them in a bonding pouch. They will need to learn to trust you, and associate you with good things. Be prepared to have lots of time, patience, and love (and treats) on hand to form a lasting bond with your babies. Tent time always helps with the bonding process. Here’s a good link on that: Critter Hill tent time. You can pick up a nice tent at places like Walmart or Target or a sporting goods store for around $20-$30. Here’s an alternative for folks with less flexible joints. Different vendors have these pop-up showers (e.g., Sportman’s Guide, or a KMart’s double shower).

The key is lots of time and patience and love. That said, here is a newsletter from SunCoast, Are You a Glider Whisperer? While gliders do operate on a trust and fear basis (not love and hate), you do need to let them know you’re the boss, so to speak, by being calm and assertive. Giving them an indefinite amount of time to adjust tells them they can crab at you and keep you away indefinitely. smile

Some breeders will work with you to begin the bonding process in advance. You can send scented fleece scraps in baggies to the breeder to put in the joeys’ pouch before they come home to you. You might end up with sweet, bonded “pocket pals” or bra babies (ones who are quite comfy sleeping in your bra during the day). I wear two camisoles with built-in bralettes and mine all rest between the two layers of fabric. It’s a great way to bond! Or, you may start out with fearful, crabby biters. Here are a couple of links to help understand their behavior:

Some Stuff about Gliders and Biting
Do Sugar Gliders Bite?
Trust and Bonding Info: Biting
Stress in Sugar Gliders
Behavioral Disorders

You’ll also want to glider proof your rooms, just in case your sugar babies escape from the cage. Here is a good link to get you started on that: Glider Proofing Your Home. You will want to specifically glider proof your bathroom: e.g., safely store all chemicals; look for and seal all openings (e.g., into the walls); always leave the toilet seat down, and put a toilet ladder in there, just in case. Many a glider drowning has been prevented by using toilet ladders (see Suz’s site).

You’ll find lots of help on this board. Just remember, there are no dumb questions. laugh Feel free to post whatever questions you might have in the most appropriate forum(s). We’re all here to help! smile


#837978 - 09/14/09 02:53 PM Re: Squeezing to stop crabbing? [Re: ]

I've never heard of that before - but if was (PPP) Perfect Pocket Pets - HA -I'd believe anything -

To get Junior to stop crabbing I would put his bonding pouch down my top and just walk around with it down there - every once in a while I'd pat the pouch to let him know "mommy" was there - And when we go out I have a very large pouch with a hard bottom to it and I put him in it and it looks like a pocket book with a screen front - which I face backwards so when we go into a restaurant he is as quiet as a mouse -

Take your time and your kids will come around

owned by

#838044 - 09/14/09 04:59 PM Re: Squeezing to stop crabbing? [Re: ]

This is a technique mostly employed by Slaughterhouses,
They have a machine that does this to cows to calm them.

It's also used on human people with aspergers syndrom.

The idea is that the equal pressure on both sides will calm the person or animal, which generally it does, but this poses some risk when being used with animals as small as Gliders.

I have used this method on large animals, and people,
But would not suggest it for Gliders.

"Hugging" would be more appropriate, within reason.

#838046 - 09/14/09 05:03 PM Re: Squeezing to stop crabbing? [Re: ]

Originally Posted By: RomeoNJuliet
thanks! i also thought squeezing was harsh, i have been doing like you all say and pretty much "hugging" them. again i havent had them out of the cage yet.

I was told on day 3 to take them out and just carry them around in the pouch, nothing more.

should i do this?

or should i wait until they come to me willingly when i put my hand in the cage?

I always tell people to wait a few days before taking their new gliders out, especially if they have just been moved into a new home.

The first three days I drape my dirty shirt laundry over the cage, and softly talk to them for a few minutes in the dark each night, possibly followed by a barrage of meal worms.

After that, I start carrying their pouch in a Glider safe room or area, and allow them to explore the immediate surroundings of their pouch if willing.

As the days increase as does the time they spend with me, walking, playing, sleeping, etc.

Once they learn they can come out of the pouch and truck around on you, it gets alot more fun.

#838048 - 09/14/09 05:12 PM Re: Squeezing to stop crabbing? [Re: ]

Wow, I thought I was doing something original frown LOL When I have Donna in the bonding pouch she often crabs. I gently cup her through the pouch, very very lightly pressing on her, just so she knows I am there. But I don't SQUEEZE her. It works like a charm though thumb

#838049 - 09/14/09 05:14 PM Re: Squeezing to stop crabbing? [Re: ]
Kiiru Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 2969
Loc: Syracuse, NY
Woot! Another New Yorker! Welcome. smile

I personally wouldn't do it even if it really does calm them down. They're delicate animals and all it takes is a light squeeze with them in the wrong position in the pouch to do some damage. frown Plus, if you were scared or upset and yelling and screaming to get someone away (ex: a creepy stranger that's following you) from you, I doubt you'd be calm with them going ahead and giving you a light squeeze. 0.0 It's the same for them. I could see it working as a comforting method though after they're bonded to you. But for right're a big scary stranger. roflmao

Good luck with the lil one! laugh
2 doves,1 dog,and 5 gliders...
* Yin and Yang
* Razzle, Tictac, and Kitkat - "The trio"

#838093 - 09/14/09 06:33 PM Re: Squeezing to stop crabbing? [Re: Kiiru]

I think there is an apporach there that maybe got lost in translation. I was told a longggg time ago that when you have a new joey and it is crabbing excesively to place 2 fingers on the top of their head, and not push smash, crunch or squeeze just let them feel your fingers there, it was suppose to represent how their momma would covet them to show them they are protecting them in a time of fear. I do have to say it has always seemed to comfort my joeys, calm them down and maybe even relax them a little when they are litle taken away from momma and are scared, or even when new people come over to hold them.

#838098 - 09/14/09 06:40 PM Re: Squeezing to stop crabbing? [Re: BindiAndScrubbie]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
Originally Posted By: BindiAndScrubbie
This is what I did when mine were worked wonders.... I gentle and light press into my body...never an actual 'squeeze' like PPP tells you to do.

I have always done this as well. I would never personally use the word 'squeeze' but I would cup my hand around them and VERY gently hold them against my body. This let them know that I had heard them and it was all ok. (They usually were upset because I had accidentally turned to fast or something and it had woken them up). If they crab any time they are in pouch, they are likely not used to being in the pouch and that should be addressed first (work them up to you moving around while carrying them).
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

#838134 - 09/14/09 08:28 PM Re: Squeezing to stop crabbing? [Re: sugarlope]

thanks for all the advice!

How do I know when they are ready to be put into the pouch?

As of today - Day 2- I can put my hand in the cage without them crabbing, at times they will go to the back of the cage, other times they will just stare at my finger. I tried giving them some sweet treats today, also 50/50 on the interest- sometimes they came and licked it other times ran away and once they crabbed at it lol.

should i wait until they come to me on their own? or is that too late?

my boyfriend is anxious to take them out tomorrow and put them in the bonding pouch for a little while. obviously "(PPP) Perfect Pocket Pets" told us to do this on day 3 so his heart has been set on taking them out tomorrow.


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