So, I have had my babies for a few months now and each night am kept up by this earth shatteringly loud noice that their wheel causes. The wheel also keeps them from socializing with us when they are out and we're up because they'll hide in the corner behind the wheel so we can't interact with them. So last night I was rearranging their cage to see if there was a spot I could put their wheel that wouldn't let them hide as much, but my efforts were in vain. Everywhere I put it created a new spot where we couldn't reach them. By the end of my rearranging their cage I had decided to leave the wheel out of it (at least for a night or two). Needless to say, I slept uninterrupted like a log, but I'm wondering how detrimental taking their wheel away (at least for a short time) would be for them.
I want to find a quieter option that doesn't take up a lot of floor space in their cage. Any suggestions?
What kind of wheel do you have? I find that my gliders when they have a lot of extra energy, love to run on their wheel.
It is important to have a "glider safe" wheel. Otherwise their tail might get caught. We have a Velociraptor wheel which is very quiet. At most we hear them jumping in it. It comes with the option of a stand or cage mount. I opted for cage mount and built a stand out of pvc pipe for options on placement and ease of taking out for tent time.
This isn't a great picture of the cage however if you notice the wheel is about 7 inches off the floor, and I have a toybox in the corner. So it kinda shows location.
This pic also shows the wheel itself mostly. It is important that their wheels don't have an axle inside to wheel area as their tails can easily get pinched, and they could loose fur, or suffer from a broken tail, or even loose their tail.
Gliders don't really run on the wheels, they jump so it's important the wheels are big enough. Also width is important too, because sometimes their buddies like to jump in and hang on for a free ride. I wish I bought mine with a wider track as Dot wants to ride and makes Fiona do all the work.
I agree with Ladymagyver about the type wheel and proper placement. You need to watch out for dangers even with a safe sugar glider wheel when it comes to placing too close to cage walls or other obstructions due to the fact sometimes gliders will hang out on the rim and they need clearance to not bump their precious heads.
You didn't specify what wheel you have, if you already have one of the glider safe wheels, please replace it back into the cage. If you have joeys and they're still small consider getting a travel size, glider safe wheel, it's a little smaller, but my adults use one when on vacation or traveling and I have had it in their cage along with a regular size wheel, they use both wheels, their choice. Using a smaller wheel for now may help you have better or easier access to them, and it wouldn't hurt to keep as a spare when you give them a full size wheel later on.
Lack of interaction due to them hiding behind their wheel isn't really a fair reason to take it from them. It is okay for short periods to not have a wheel as long as you have many other toys for them to play with, but not for too long (more on interaction below). As for sound, between the cage and wheels that I use I don't really hear a lot of noise. If I'm awake, I can hear the pitter-patter of their feet in the wheel and the movement of the wheel spinning slightly. This noise doesn't prevent me from sleeping nor does is wake me (I actually enjoy the sound, but then it doesn't disrupt my sleep either). It might be your type cage or your type wheel, but another possibility is if you're using a floor stand, it may not be stabilized well enough. Try using reusable zip ties or baby links to secure it in place. Dallie (from Fast Track, the wheels I have) sells these clips that would be easy to use to secure the floor stands in place, I'm hoping to get some one day (not sure on size), but the baby links and reusable zip ties I've used work fine too.
As for interacting with your suggies to bond, try daytime-pouch time. While they sleep in their pouch, remove them from the cage, pouch and all. Speak softly or even sing softly if you like to while approaching and moving them, move slowly. Take them to an area you feel is safe and secure and just hold the pouch on your lap, have treats ready to offer when they pop their heads out. Gently rub and massage them from outside the pouch as you speak or sing softly or you can just sit quietly. Don't forget to use slow easy movements around them, especially in the beginning to not startle them. After several sessions, work on placing your hand, in fist form into the pouch, and gradually work up to petting and even cupping them inside their pouch. This will help them learn to trust you. After you've gotten to this point, you may take them to a secure area (glider proofed bathroom or tents are usually used) for out of cage play at night time or early morning. You won't need to worry about them hiding from you so much after a while.
Wish you luck, please update on your bonding progress.
Thanks for all the advice everyone! Having the wheel out really has helped with them not hiding behind it and they seem to play more with there other toys now.
I have been trying daytime pouch time, but as my other post says the boy will constantly crab the minute I touch his pouch, he does it so often and for random reasons that i can't pin down what i'm doing wrong
Absolutely Terry. He's getting a little better as time goes. I'm starting to really understand that with older gliders it takes more time and patience. He's a little over a year I believe and sometimes the progress is so miniscule that I don't noticed it's been made unless I think about it as being over the course of the time I've had them.
It may be a good idea to still offer him his wheel for exercise in some way. Do you have the floor stand mounted wheel or a cage mount wheel? The floor stand mounts are a bit more versatile, because you can use them for out of cage play as well, and also would be easier to place in the cage for a few nights throughout the week, giving him a change in activities.
If you only have the cage mount, then consider replacing the wheel after you've made a bit more progress with them.
Last year I made two, cross country moves, first one in February and the last in November. For the first several months after moving the first time, I hadn't figured out a way to do out of cage play and it made a difference on my trio's attitude towards me. I could still trim their nails (well the girls) the same without problem, but they became more skittish and less eager to come out of cage on me after some time. We eventually figured out a way to play, it wasn't as often as they had prior, but it was some. After I moved back and it did take a couple of months to get settled in enough to restart out of cage play, I've been getting it in usually three times a week, some weeks it's only been a couple, but usually three since about January, and I'm seeing a big difference in their attitude towards me again, but a better one. I have to have their cage placed near my door and it's opposite my closet, and sometimes as move passed or around in that area they get startled and will run towards back of cage and hide. I repositioned the cage so it's not quite as close to the path, and that has helped a bit with that as well.