Bullying over food?

Posted By: Anonymous

Bullying over food? - 05/25/10 07:15 PM

Hi, I have two femals gliders, both about a year old. They have been together since we got them when they were around 8 weeks old. We've had little instances of bullying in the past, the larger one stealing food, not letting the smaller one play with toys, etc. Recently the larger one seems to be extremely territorial over any food in the cage. It started with just the fruits and veggies and is now sometimes extending to the pellets. She sits by the treats and hisses. The smaller one doesn't even try to eat most of the time, but if she walks by or doesn't run away the larger one might lunge and do a little crabbing sound. I've also noticed that the hiss-crab-lunge is just happening randomly when they are in the cage at night and I don't think it is over food. I've never seen the big one hurt the little one, just scare her.

We've tried multiple feeding stations, giving extra/fewer treats (the pellets are always in the cage), and putting the little one back first to eat before the big one comes home for the night. I'm not sure why the food situation has suddenly become an issue after a year of living together and sharing food all the time. Also, I'm not sure why minor occasional bullying has become a nightly event - and is it something to worry about, or just some weird glider playing?

Posted By: sugarlope

Re: Bullying over food? - 05/25/10 07:20 PM

Some gliders eat more or less seasonally. Before they started fighting, did you notice less food left over in their bowls in the morning? Usually when this behavior starts suddenly, it is because one of them is hoarding food. Understand, me saying this does not mean that I think there was any risk of them going hungry - you and I both know they have plenty of food, but some gliders are very sensitive to the amount that is left. Once they start hoarding, they actually do feel hungry because they were so busy guarding the food, they likely didn't get their fill.

Anyway, if this is the case, there are several things you can do to help alleviate the problem.

-Make sure that their food bowls are in the cage before they wake up, every night. This will help them learn that no matter when they are hungry, food will always be available.

-Start giving them extra food - a lot of extra food for a little while, so they learn that there is such an abundance they will never go hungry.

-Use multiple feeding stations (at different heights if possible). If there are multiple and hoarder cannot see all of the food dishes, they cannot possibly guard them all.

-Use glider kitchens for every feeding station. Again, if the hoarder cannot see when another glider is eating from one of the other stations, they cannot guard them.

-Realize that this problem is not going to resolve itself overnight. The longer the chasing or aggressive behavior has gone on, the longer it will take to for them to settle down. It can take several days to several weeks.

I understand that you think it may not be about food - but it very well could be. When there is a food aggressive glider, they commonly fight on and off all night, so it could still be about food. dunno When feeding a fresh and pellet diet, some gliders get very aggressive about the fresh food because it is different than the pellet. (I have had this experience in the past). Make sure to have the fresh food in their cage before they wake up.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Bullying over food? - 05/25/10 07:47 PM

Thank you! The problem just started recently and I was wondering if maybe they were just hungrier in the spring or something because they usually don't even eat all of their treats.

I'm afraid that I might have caused this as I started hiding their fresh food throughout their cage because the vet mentioned that they like to forrage. Maybe not knowing how much fresh food there would be led to hoarding? Also, ant season is here and I was taking any leftover fresh stuff out of the cage first thing in the morning.

I feel so bad for our little glider who is being bullied. She isn't particularly interested in food, definitely not a treat stealer, and she is getting chased and bullied every night. She seems to really fight going back to the cage lately. We have a double-wide cage that has a divider that we can put in, but we did that one night and it seemed to freak them both out.

Thank you for the advice!
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: Bullying over food? - 05/25/10 07:58 PM

With some gliders, if they notice there is less left in their bowls, they tend to worry that they are running out. You might try hiding bits of dried fruit in the cage, although I wouldn't do any of that again until this resolves.

Some gliders are very fussy about certain foods, too. When I had a trio, I could never use foragers for mealworms because they caused fights. In fact, I couldn't even feed the gliders mealworms together, or even feed mealworms while any of them were in their cage. If I fed a mealworm while they were in their cage, everyone worried so much over the possibility of one being somewhere (because they still smelled it) that they would fight all night. This is the same cage that has gliders with food aggression, so foragers are not for all gliders.

As long as the gliders have settled for the morning, you should be fine taking food out in the morning, I do this also without problems. I would continue to leave pellets and fresh water in their cage so they always have something to eat, but try to make sure to get the fresh food into their cage before they wake up for the night. thumb
Posted By: cinnamonstix

Re: Bullying over food? - 05/25/10 07:59 PM

Listen to Grethen's advice. It is good. I have a very fluffy guy....he is an alpha male with an anxiety disorder. I got him down to an outstanding weight and he looked amazing. About this time he started being VERY food agressive. All my hard work was ruined because he started hoarding. I guess he likes being a chunky monky. He now is the size of the BF's fist again...he is fat and happy, so long as he is overfed. If not he will try to beat the holy heck out of his wife....and she is this dainty little sweetheart that would not hurt anyone. They really do balance one another. One of my cages starts having food agression and it will pass on to the other cages. If one starts fighting it is monkey see monkey do around here, so I have to do everything I can to prevent it.

Usha77 (Brenda) was here not long ago and she says to me "OMG How much do you feed your gliders!" lol. Well I have to overfeed everyone cause if one starts crabbing over food it turns into a bad domino reaction. I think they are all just too darn spoiled.....but like that will change.....ha ha not likely.
Posted By: Donnarae

Re: Bullying over food? - 05/27/10 03:28 AM

I have a fat/thin couple also. He's definitely fluffy, almost 200 grams. She's about 103 grams. I don't want to cut back on the food too bad in case she doesn't get her share. They never seem to fight over food, and if I keep him out of the cage and give her a chance at the dish first, she paces and waits by the door until he comes home. They are very close. I feel terrible about his weight, and I know he can't be healthy with all that extra fat. Whaddayado???
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Bullying over food? - 05/27/10 04:54 AM

Originally Posted By: sugarlope

-Make sure that their food bowls are in the cage before they wake up, every night. This will help them learn that no matter when they are hungry, food will always be available.

When feeding a fresh and pellet diet, some gliders get very aggressive about the fresh food because it is different than the pellet. (I have had this experience in the past). Make sure to have the fresh food in their cage before they wake up.

I couldn't agree more....we had food aggression come on suddenly here and although we tried everything listed above....this is the only thing that solved the took about 2 weeks and now I am religious about having "dinner on the table" by the time Brando wakes up
Posted By: suggiemom1980

Re: Bullying over food? - 05/27/10 07:32 PM

Jasper is 138 grams and his wifey Sarah, is a petite 72 grams. But when it comes to mealtime, she eats first and he knows it. It's kinda funny to watch. She'll be eating while he sits back and waits. If he's eating and she decided she wants to eat, she cuffs him on the ear and he backs away. I've tried all the other stuff, multiple dishes, multiple kitchens, dinner before they woke up, extra food....nothing worked. She is bound and determined, she is the boss of the food. Since he's obviously not losing weight and both are healthy, I just let him be henpecked

P.S. I did have a pair of gliders where it was vital the food be there when the male woke up. If it was there, he was fine and happily shared with his wife. But if it wasn't there when he woke up, he refused to let her eat out of HIS dish. I'd have to put another dish of food in. It didn't matter if the dish was right next to his. As long as he had HIS dish, he was fine.
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