The little ladies, Tika & Astrid are home! It was a long day but of the 5 1/2 hours it took to get home they only crabbed about a total of 30 minutes (over different times).
Once home we put the bonding pouch (which Paul held the whole time in the car) inside the cage and let them come out on their own. It took Tika (I'm guessing - still trying to figure out who is who - haha) less than five minutes to come out of the pouch to explore (and I think look for cage escape vulnerabilities - heehee). Astrid took a bit longer but did eventually come out and explore with her sister. They have been out exploring, eating and drinking ever since. Tika (I think) has been doing pretty good at learning how to run on the wheel. She is definitely getting the hang of it. ;-)
Here are a couple of pictures of shortly after they started both exploring. . . enjoy!
So last night Tika got the hang of the wheel, she was in there most of her playtime. I think we saw a little food aggression, Astrid was eating a square pc of sweet potato from the Harvest Salad and Tika came over and tried to take it right out of her hands. Astrid wasn't having any of that - haha. In the end, I think Tika only managed to secure about 1/3 of the pc. (Even though there was plenty of food - including another pc of sweet potato - just steps away.)
Later we watched them wrestle/roll together. Actually, Tika was trying to get back into the wheel and Astrid kept jumping on her when she did. It was like, Try - Jump on - Roll around ("TSK! TSK!") - Try - Jump on - Roll around ("TSK! TSK!") - repeat about 5 times. Then Tika was finally like, "Awe forget it." She stopped trying to get in the wheel for a while - haha.
When I came into the room this morning, Astrid was in the sleeping pouch and Tika was in the pile of two clothing items that we have on the floor (I got that idea from this awesome forum). She is not directly on the grate, she is in between the two clothes. Haha. I'm hoping that's ok after 10 months of sleeping in the same pouch.
Overall, we are blessed and surprised that they SEEM to take to their new home so well. I do have A LOT of stuff in there for them to play on and with. And a LOT more underneath for toy swapping later. I'm thinking that "dainty" is not used often in the Glider world, but they kept the place pretty clean . . . so far. Haha! No noise at all last night, except when they were "TSK"-ing to each other. Oh and this morning I was wiping out the poop tray and since Tika is so close to the grate she crabbed - thinking I was making too much noise before she was fully asleep. Oops!
Going to start the "Glider Diary" now to keep track of their "going ons" -
One thing I would say is fighting over a piece of food is not usually food aggression. It is just normal glider behavior. Either that or I have weird gliders. Food aggression is driving other gliders away from food dishes and guarding them. Squabbling over choice food bit and especially treats is normal. If my gliders did not go for treats others were eating I would worry they were sick. I try to give treats at the same time so everyone gets a chance to eat most of theirs before someone (usually Dobby) finishes first and decides someone else needs a lesson in sharing.
It looks sometimes like one likes to let the other one do the work. For example, yesterday Tika let Astrid do the work to take the food from the foraging toy. Once she got the food out of the toy, Tika bounded from the wheel, took it and ran away. So Astrid went and got another one, didn't seem to bother her, she is so used to it. They are both eating, so that's good. We have two dishes and they both eat from each one. Whenever we give a treat, they both get one - - -always. Everything is done in "two's" - haha! :D
Our only question now is,...... when do we know it is ok to take them out into the rest of the apartment?! My idea is to glider proof the bedroom 100%, and then let them wander around there. There is no access to the kitchen in there. We would like to eventually put some shelves on the wall that they can practice gliding from. We watched a YouTube video last night where the guy just has his glider out and is practicing with him/her. On the high shelf, glide off to the human. On the high shelf, glide off to the human. That looked awesome! I know we are a ways from that though. . .
Only you will know for sure... But give it a little more time...
Make sure you have a smelly pouch handy too. The will usually go back to it when they get stressed.
My very first incident with trust was a hard pill to swallow... Fiona liked to take rides and explore the bedroom. But she would stay on my shoulder. So, I decided to take her for a ride to the kitchen for some mealworms... It was a big mistake. I opened the fridge door and when the light came on inside, she leapt off me and hit the wall, slid down, and sat there for a second. She looked at me and looked at the nice dark space next to fridge... I had a OMG moment... So, I started talking to her calmly, slowly bent over and reached my arm out palm down, and prayed she would choose me over the dark cozy hole... I lost 10 years off my life in that 5 seconds, a small part of me even died... But I got lucky. She chose me!!!! I had become her "safe place". We weren't 100% bonded at the time, but I did feel a great victory that day!!! After that, we would play little games for treats... She would jump to me, and get a treat. Sometimes she'd get it right away, sometimes I'd count to 10... I could go on, but I will tell you a couple of weeks later we went back to the fridge, and I reminded her what happened last time. I had hubby next to me just in case. She saw what I was about to do and she leaned against my neck, pooped down my shirt as she wrapped her tail around my neck, but was just fine when the light came on... Ok end of story... bonding came real easy after that... But, I wouldn't recommend this at all!
Make sure you are their safe place, or their cage is near... They aren't normally like hamsters or gerbils that run away, they go back to their safe place... For our other glider Dot, her cage is her safe place, not us - unless she can't smell her cage.(like at the vet's office)...
Thank you sooo much for sharing that story. That is one of the scenarios that I have nightmares about. We are very careful when we transfer from the sleeping pouch to the bonding pouch. Other than that they are either in the tent or their house.
We did have one scare so far though.... I was in the kitchen and all of a sudden heard Paul say, "She's out!! She's out!!". Took me a second but then I ran over there (which was not that far - haha) and was able to take her off of Paul and put her in their house. We were told to keep moving if they get out and jump on you. Paul was also panicking so he was constantly moving as a default.
I am very excited to try the bedroom idea! I was thinking of moving their house into the bedroom, opening the door, and seeing what happens. Tika is adventurous - she will eventually explore, I am sure. Astrid, on the other hand, may just stay in their house. Or do you take them out in their pouch (like for tent time) and then just open the pouch and let them go, leaving their house in the other room?
It's really all about smell/scent. A strange room would stress them and may cause panic if they don't smell something familiar.
We didn't turn them both loose in a room for about 9 months. But Dot had major trust issues. It took that long for her to tolerate us, let alone the thought of opening the door to a perfectly sturdy cage and turning a wild pit bull loose and the fear of having to catch said pit bull and suffer bites and crabbing from her " I'm not gonna stop till I kill you" aditude. She bites through fleece, towels, jeans....
So it's really how your gliders are reacting to you.
Be sure to never leave them unattended, do some baby proofing, learn to feel them get ready to jump off you, keep treats handy in case they won't go back to their pouch or cage and last but not least, have a towel or light blanket handy in case they panic and run. It's easier/safer to catch them that way, and it keeps your hands from traumatizing them.
If their cage is there, you can "herd " them to it. I always give a treat once the door is secure.
We have been very blessed that both Tika & Astrid don't bite. They may nip if they want you to stop doing something. They have never bitten down enough to draw blood, attack or lunge. I attribute that to the awesome and excellent way Peggy took care of them before we were able to bring them home. Them biting us is not a fear. Whew!
We will FULLY glider proof the bedroom before we try anything. That may take a few weeks but will let everyone know how it goes...
Last night for tent time they were having a lot of fun jumping on the humans (the most jumping action to date), humans to the mesh, humans to the humans, humans to the hanging thing I put in there. We feel like they already need more room. . . So will be working on the bedroom proofing starting today.