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Food greed & Painful grooming - please help #1422929
12/04/20 02:12 AM
12/04/20 02:12 AM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 12
Massachusetts, United States
Kevin1989 Offline OP
New Member
Kevin1989  Offline OP
New Member

Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 12
Massachusetts, United States
Hey everyone, its been a hot second since I've been on here and could really used some advice on a few things

I have a pair of sibling girls; Zoey and Lily, who just recently turned 6 years old this Oct. I love and spoil them to bits as best I'm able to and they've taken to returning their affection by cleaning / grooming me. Specifically almost anywhere they can reach on my face. I don't mind it in the slightest and would allow them to do it as long as they want; but the trouble is that the gentle licking gradually turns to light nips, then to teeth dragging and full on biting. I don't think I need to go in depth on how painful it is because you likely understand. Its gotten out of hand though and they've drawn blood. It's similar in when they want to bath other parts of me like my fingers.

Its extremely frustrating because I understand they're just trying to show their affection for me (I hope), which makes it all the more upsetting when I have to abruptly stop them because of how badly it hurts. I don't ever yell, I don't act violent or threatening in any way when it happens. I just get up and coax them back into their enclosure, often having to bribe them with a treat so they will let go / get off of me. The last thing that I want is for them to think that I don't want their affection or for them to be afraid of me. I WANT to spend time with them and let them play but this makes it so hard for that to be possible every single time.. I seriously worry that it's had a negative effect on their bonding with me

Second behavioral concern;

Zoey has gotten very greedy / dominant when it comes to feeding time. She always pokes her head put first to go for the food bowl as soon as I open the enclosure to put it in. Then Lily eventually follows out. But the second Lily starts making her way over to eat, Zoey will turn her head to Lily and hiss repeatedly, like an inhale or exhaled puff sound. Lily turns around 100% of the time as soon as she does it and won't try to eat until Zoey has finished

Fast forward... their one shared food bowl is now split between 4 smaller bowls and scattered around the enclosure. (The thing is monstrous by the way, 72 cubic feet in the main section so there is NO shortage of getting space from one another) - but even still, Zoey still manages to bully Lily and has taken to finding where all of the bowls are in a given night and then patrolling between them all as she's eating. She still hisses when Lily tries for any of them. Lily no longer even tries anymore and will just jump right onto me when I put the bowls in at night and doesn't want to go back until she knows its safe to.
(I'm attaching photos of their enclosure to give an idea of how persistent Zoey is in keeping Lily from going to any of the food bowls)

[img]https://ibb.co/ysp0xss[/img] [img]https://ibb.co/mzzKGbQ[/img]

This is honestly breaking my heart to watch happen, I've tried everything I can think of outside of completely separating them; I dread that thought but I feel like it's what I may have to give into doing for their own good

Anything that anyone can offer as insight; please. I could seriously use some guidance right now. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this

Last edited by Kevin1989; 12/04/20 02:16 AM.

:grey: Zoey

:grey: Lily
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Re: Food greed & Painful grooming - please help [Re: Kevin1989] #1422935
12/05/20 09:13 AM
12/05/20 09:13 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,178
SW Missouri
Ladymagyver Offline
Moderator
Ladymagyver  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,178
SW Missouri
Hi and welcome back!

That is a huge cage and I'm surprised you're having this issue. Zoey may need to be in time out for awhile, but it will only be a temporary fix. Food aggression is very difficult to overcome.

What diet are you feeding?

Can you feed Lily outside of the cage?

What type of sleeping pouches do you use?

Are the food dishes in line of sight to each other?
(You may want to hide them from each other)


Dawn

Be patient,
and
Trust your journey....

Grace :bb:

Stewie :rtmo:




Fiona and Dot :rbridge: Love and miss you both!

Re: Food greed & Painful grooming - please help [Re: Kevin1989] #1422937
12/05/20 03:56 PM
12/05/20 03:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 13,796
Wisconsin
Feather Offline
Administrator
Feather  Offline
Administrator

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 13,796
Wisconsin
I would put food dishes on different levels, makes it harder for her to patrol if they are on different levels.


Kimberley
Feathers-Sweetie, Mister Peanut & Big Mack
Fur-Guinan, Mr. Spock, T'Mir, Cho, Toothless, Maverick & Maharet :bb: T'Pol, Elizabeth & Curzon :wfb: TY, TJ, Light Fury, Madison & T'Pring :rtmo:
Forever in my heart, Gizmo, Tucker, Khayman and the rest of my babies over the :rbridge:

Re: Food greed & Painful grooming - please help [Re: Kevin1989] #1422940
12/06/20 02:14 AM
12/06/20 02:14 AM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,462
Belleville, IL
Hutch Offline
Glider Slave
Hutch  Offline
Glider Slave

Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,462
Belleville, IL
Regardless of the fact that they are given more than enough food across several dishes & there are two to three pouches at any given time, my four like to stick together. Arthur occasionally gets food or pouch protective, much to the others' consternation. I can call out his name & frequently he'll stop. If not, I'll remove him for a bit to give the others a chance to settle down. If the behavior continues for a couple of nights, my solution is to separate him. I'll start with just a night, then if he goes back to the bad behavior immediately, I'll do it again but for two nights (& so on).

It might also help to 'reset' the cage, clean everything so it seems all new to the colony. It was the only thing that worked one time he was being particularly ornery.


- Hutch

:plat: Arthur :wfb: Gwynevere :bb: Merlin :grey: Morgana

The epic saga begins here!
Re: Food greed & Painful grooming - please help [Re: Kevin1989] #1422944
12/06/20 09:56 AM
12/06/20 09:56 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,178
SW Missouri
Ladymagyver Offline
Moderator
Ladymagyver  Offline
Moderator

Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,178
SW Missouri
:agreed: with Hutch has said.

Sometimes you have to mix it up, and catch the culprit at his/her nastiness pretty quick and teach them to "unlearn" that habit.


Dawn

Be patient,
and
Trust your journey....

Grace :bb:

Stewie :rtmo:




Fiona and Dot :rbridge: Love and miss you both!

Re: Food greed & Painful grooming - please help [Re: Kevin1989] #1423178
01/26/21 12:12 AM
01/26/21 12:12 AM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 12
Massachusetts, United States
Kevin1989 Offline OP
New Member
Kevin1989  Offline OP
New Member

Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 12
Massachusetts, United States
So sorry for the time lapse; covid has made for some difficult times of late and i kept putting off answering / updating here

To answer your questions.. Their diet is a nightly thawed ice-cube of the critter love complete formula along with thawed mixed fruits and vegies. they mostly love peas, green beans, corn, bok choy, gala apple, cantaloupe, peppers & carrots - all diced up and spread between 4 small bowls, then the complete in its own bowl, flavored pellet/kibble in its own and a 7th bowl for water. ive tried many times using a water bottle but they dont seem to know what to do with it. The 4 fruit & veggie bowls i always spready far out in random places both high and low around the enclosure to mix things up. they tend to always be out of sight from one-another.

**An Update** - i've come to just let Lily jump out onto me when i put the bowls in if theyre awake, keeping one of the fruit & veggie bowls with me so that she can eat while sitting on me and away from Zoey; who still seems to want to go between all of the bowls between every few bits she eats. i have been doing this on and off since my OP and have been more recently been trying to let her try eating in the enclosure again... but its as if nothing has changed sadly.

They have a few home-made pouches in their enclosure, but this blue one in the attached photo is their favorite and they sleep together 100% of the time

The food issue I can at least see a potential light at the end of the tunnel.. however the nipping and biting during their run-around and play time has been increasingly frustrating to say in the least. It's mostly Lily doing it and i try very hard not to jerk myself back when she does and am never violent towards them, but it doesnt ever seem to stop. i can only distract them with a treat so often

Attached Files
20210125_225849.jpg (26 downloads)

:grey: Zoey

:grey: Lily
Re: Food greed & Painful grooming - please help [Re: Kevin1989] #1423180
01/26/21 01:25 AM
01/26/21 01:25 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 13,796
Wisconsin
Feather Offline
Administrator
Feather  Offline
Administrator

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 13,796
Wisconsin
Try hissing at her when she nips you. That is how gliders show their displeasure to each other.

As far as the food aggression goes, have you tried putting the dishes on different levels of the cage. She will get sick of patrolling the dishes if she has to work.


Kimberley
Feathers-Sweetie, Mister Peanut & Big Mack
Fur-Guinan, Mr. Spock, T'Mir, Cho, Toothless, Maverick & Maharet :bb: T'Pol, Elizabeth & Curzon :wfb: TY, TJ, Light Fury, Madison & T'Pring :rtmo:
Forever in my heart, Gizmo, Tucker, Khayman and the rest of my babies over the :rbridge:

Re: Food greed & Painful grooming - please help [Re: Kevin1989] #1423182
01/26/21 10:14 AM
01/26/21 10:14 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,178
SW Missouri
Ladymagyver Offline
Moderator
Ladymagyver  Offline
Moderator

Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,178
SW Missouri
Be careful about offering food as a deterrent to biting you. A toy or fleece is better. They may learn that bites mean food, and continue to bite.

You can offer a fist or knuckle where your skin is tight. They will still bite, but they can't really get a hold of you. You can "tsk, shht, or Sssst" them when they bite. They will ignore it at first, but figure out what you don't like. I firm loud "NO!" after this noise will reenforce it as it gets their attention. Then no treats till next time.


Dawn

Be patient,
and
Trust your journey....

Grace :bb:

Stewie :rtmo:




Fiona and Dot :rbridge: Love and miss you both!

Re: Food greed & Painful grooming - please help [Re: Kevin1989] #1423188
01/26/21 11:26 PM
01/26/21 11:26 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,462
Belleville, IL
Hutch Offline
Glider Slave
Hutch  Offline
Glider Slave

Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,462
Belleville, IL
I agree with the hissing & tasking, it helps a lot. When mine get too aggressive with their cleaning, I pick them up & move them away from the spot that has captured their attention. Only occasionally are they so fixated that they go right back, in which case I try toys or tease them with a treat to distract them. I don't just hand it over though, I make a game of it until they forget about the freckle, bump, or whatever attached part they set upon grooming away.

Sorry to hear the cage placement isn't helping you. What you're doing is good, but have you considered removing Zoey to let Lily have her fill in the cage since Zoey is causing the problem? My concern reading this is by rescuing Lily & having her eat elsewhere you're teaching Zoey that she's succeeding in defending her food. I am not sure there is a "right" answer, but offering food for thought... uh, no pun intended.

I like the pouch's coloration!


- Hutch

:plat: Arthur :wfb: Gwynevere :bb: Merlin :grey: Morgana

The epic saga begins here!
Re: Food greed & Painful grooming - please help [Re: Kevin1989] #1423382
03/30/21 02:03 PM
03/30/21 02:03 PM
Joined: Mar 2021
Posts: 15
Grand Island
G
GliderParent Offline
New Member
GliderParent  Offline
New Member
G

Joined: Mar 2021
Posts: 15
Grand Island
With the biting, Lily could be doing it because she is hungry, but when mine do it I hiss, blow at them, or tell them no, and they normally stop, my baby Smokey was the one doing it to me all the time, but after i kept doing that she finally stopped, and she only bites when she is stressed, doesn't like something, or when I have to clip her nails. And with the food aggression, my babies do the exact same, Bella will try to eat and Smokey will yell at her, so we have a xs carrier kennel, and what I do is I separate them only during feeding times, Smokey will go in the kennel with her food, and Bella will go in the cage with her food, and when they are done eating I put them back together. I hope this helps!


Kadence


Love

Bella :grey:

And Smokey :bb:

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