suddenly food protective?

Posted By: Anonymous

suddenly food protective? - 09/03/10 01:51 PM

Hi all:)
I have a family of three - mom and dad are about 2 1/2 yrs old, baby boy is 8 mo. old - I've had them for about a year. (Both Dad and Son are neutered)
The last few days I've noticed when I feed them that Dad does not want anyone else near the food. He hisses/crabs and chases them up the cage. (large cage, 5' high). So last night I added another "diner" in hopes that adding another food station would solve the problem. Well it didn't - Dad did not want Mom or Son anywhere near the bottom of the cage. They will get nose to nose but they haven't hurt each other yet. I don't have any shelves up high to put a diner up there.

They are on HPW, fruit and veggie smoothies - normally fed the suggested amount (3tlbsp fruit/ 3tlbsp veg/ 4 1/2 tsp of HPW total) But last night when I added the additional food bowl I threw in another cube (2 tlbsp) of fruit - and there is no leftovers at all this morning. They are healthy, have seen a vet, are in good weight -

I've read a lot on here for the last year, don't know what else I can do. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I appologize for the lengthy post - but I know by now what questions will be asked so I tried to give all the info:)

Posted By: DCMuffin

Re: suddenly food protective? - 09/03/10 01:58 PM

Hi Renee! There are a few things you can do. You can build a shelf to put in the cage...that would certainly work. Or, you could find a hanging foraging dish or container to use for another food dish. I don't have food protective gliders, but I will frequently hang a large foraging dish (it's the size of a cereal bowl) somewhere from the top of the cage and they love it! Or, you can hang bird food dishes from the side of the can find these at any local pet store!
Posted By: Trigger

Re: suddenly food protective? - 09/03/10 02:08 PM

I would suggest several foraging food areas all around the cage(top to bottom). Maybe if dad is busy hunting all over for food he will let the others hunt as well.

Also change things up with the presentation so dad is kept busier trying to get to his food.

I have heard of people using multiple kitchens in different locations to keep the aggressor from seeing the cagemates eating in a different kitchen.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: suddenly food protective? - 09/03/10 02:21 PM

Those are great ideas - but i have one problem. The top of the cage is flat metal - like a roof - so I haven't figured out how to hang anything directly from the top. If I figure out how to build a shelf how do I keep the diner from being knocked off?
In regards to the bird food dishes for the side of the cage, how bad will the mess be? Is there anyway to contain it like the diner set up? Food is blended, so at least they can't carry the food away with them lol.

Trigger, that's what I always read on here too - but as i said, last night he didn't want anyone near either food station lol -

I alway swore Men have "their time of the month" too lol!! What's up with the change in behavior?
Posted By: Trigger

Re: suddenly food protective? - 09/03/10 02:36 PM

You would need to add a lip to the front of your shelf to avoid diner being knocked down but it is easy to make them, you can follow Suz directions here and modify a bit to add the lip.

You will need them in seperate locations so dad can't see the others going to the other diner.

Some gliders do exhibit oddball behavior every now and then for no apparent reason. Let's just hope his grumpy phase passes and in the mean time you can find a solution to deal with it when he is being a grumpy ol' man.
Posted By: DCMuffin

Re: suddenly food protective? - 09/03/10 02:48 PM

There are several bird food dishes that have "backsplashes" on them, for lack of a better word. I think you'd have no trouble finding something like that.

I agree with could modify the shelf a bit so nothing falls off - that wouldn't be too difficult!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: suddenly food protective? - 09/03/10 04:02 PM

I had a HUGE problem with food aggression with Brando and it got so bad I actually had to take him out of the cage to let the others eat (even with all the great suggestions you received above)......some research here revealed that if you put the food in the cage BEFORE dad wakes up and do it CONSISTENTLY for about 2 weeks you can curb this behavior......Now I am religious about getting dinner on the table before Brando wakes up and I don't have any problems with him.....the important part of this is that it did in fact take almost two weeks of having the food there when he woke up before his behavior stopped
Posted By: Trigger

Re: suddenly food protective? - 09/03/10 04:56 PM

Never had any problem here but I have always put dinner in early and cages that are out for play that night always get treats during, so wonder if you have stumbled on to something there Roya.

Could some cases stem from the gliders getting up and not finding food upon wake up?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: suddenly food protective? - 09/03/10 05:21 PM

Now, regardless of what time I put the food in there they all immediatly wake up to eat (say, if i'm going out and I feed them between 7 & 8pm but it's still frozen) - So I guess what I'm asking is it okay that they all get up together? I'll try it tonight, but should I worry about feeding them too early - know what I mean?
Posted By: Trigger

Re: suddenly food protective? - 09/03/10 05:31 PM

That really depends on the schedule you try to keep your gliders on, mine all get up between 6 and 7pm because they are used to that being when momma starts tent time. Also means momma BETTER have their dinner on the table before 6

They will adjust to an earlier wake up time if you are waking them, by food in your guys' case.

I would watch and if dad is a snot you may have to do what Roya says and try removing dad for some play time(and give him some treats) while the others have dinner.

That way you know they get something to eat too.
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: suddenly food protective? - 09/04/10 12:51 AM

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.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: suddenly food protective? - 09/04/10 01:53 PM

Well, last night I put the food in a 1/2 hour earlier and they all ate fine. Of course they woke up immediatly but no problems. I'm not saying problem resolved as one day doesn't cut it for me -
Now Gretchen, I do have a question - I don't want to have overweight gliders and mine will eat everything and anything - so I have never ever had leftovers. The other night I had added an additional cube, that's 2 tablespoons extra and still, no leftovers. So with that in mind in terms of giving them extra, how much is too much?

I'm telling ya, they can eat like a horse lol!!
Posted By: Dancing

Re: suddenly food protective? - 09/04/10 02:15 PM

Seasonal eating is very common in many gliders. Gliders will eat more getting ready for winter. They will eat and store extra in their chest (getting glider boobs). This doesn't mean they are fat.

Most wild animals will "store up for winter". It is a "feast or famine" response that is still part of their wild instincts. Even if they have food all year long (provided by us) their instincts tell them that winter will be "lean" times so they will start eating more to "bank" against the famine.

If you can, increase the foods that are higher in protiens and lower in calories. But be careful to maintain the ratios of their diet.

Many of my gliders do this. They eat more and gain some weight starting about this time of the year and then about January or Febuary, they start to slack off on food and start to loose weight. This weight gain/loss is NOT drastic or fast. Drastic and fast weight gain/loss could be cause for concern and a vet visit.

Posted By: suggiemom1980

Re: suddenly food protective? - 09/04/10 03:45 PM

You could also try putting several dishes out with a few snacks in them during the day. I give mine Zookeeper's Secret in the morning when I remove their dinner dishes. It's a soft moist pellet and makes for a tasty, nutritious snack. I put two pellets in for each glider. That way, he will realize there is going to be food available, 24/7. BTW, mine very rarely eat any of the pellets and when they do, it's just one or two. Mine aren't overweight from having it either. I do give one more food dish than gliders. EX: In a cage of three, they get four dishes.
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: suddenly food protective? - 09/05/10 01:56 AM

The difference I notice (with most of mine) is that they will eat all of their food, but leave some of the half moon/chewed up/sucked juices out pieces of food. If their appetite has increased, they don't leave anything, they literally lick the bowl clean. If I notice this increase in appetite for two days in a row, I start adding food or they will start fighting.

You of course have to monitor their weight, using a scale will be the most helpful, if they are suddenly putting on a lot of weight, you may need to cut back a little. thumb
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: suddenly food protective? - 09/05/10 03:39 PM

You guys have all been so helpful - I love this site!!!
So last night they got 4 extra tablespoons of fruits/veg - still, zero leftovers lol. Dad was a little cranky, but not nearly as bad. I hate to give them more than that as it will be almost double what their diet actually calls for -
should i really keep increasing the food until i see some leftovers?
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: suddenly food protective? - 09/05/10 10:18 PM

I wouldn't give any more than that, no. Make sure you keep getting food in before they wake up, though. Knowing that food will always be there when they are hungry makes a difference. thumb
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