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 New suggie owner! Need some encouragement please:)

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hayhay97 Posted - Jan 08 2017 : 09:58:55 AM
Hey everyone! I'm a new suggie mom and just got my babies yesterday, one boy and one girl 12 weeks oop from a breeder who said she handled them daily. At the pick up, the breeder had them in a pouch and had a piece of fleece with their mamas scent on it in the pouch with them. She opened the pouch to show me the babies and they were crabbing like I know this is normal and I was prepared since I know they're terrified. But it still intimidated me lol! I pet the female on the head and she just looked at me...didnt crab or anything while I was petting her. Anyways, she gives me the pouch and me and my boyfriend begin the 3 hour drive home. They would crab very bad anytime we moved the pouch but would calm down almost immediately after petting the outside of the pouch and speaking to them softly. Me and my boyfriend tried to keep talking the whole way home so they would get used to our voices. Once we got home, I laid their pouch in the cage and left them alone for a while. A few hours later they started moving so I held a yoggie at the entrance of the pouch and the male slowly eased his head out but wouldn't take the treat from me so I put it down and he grabbed it and snuggled back into the pouch. After a few minutes I removed the piece of fleece inside their pouch (which caused a lot of crabbing lol) and he slowly came out, followed by his sister who seemed a little more skittish than him. They explored their new cage, the whole time me and my boyfriend were sitting there watching them. They didn't crab at our prescence outside of the pouch, they didn't even crab when I opened the cage to place their food in. However I am TERRIFIED of them...anytime I get close to them my heart starts beating so fast lol...I know that I'm going to get bitten because they're scared and they aren't bonded to me yet but geez I'm a nervous wreck lol. My boyfriend tried to feed the female a treat with his hand inside the cage, and he sorta cornered her so she crabbed and lunged. My boyfriend jerked away, which I know is a no no since it reinforces that if they do this we will move our hand. Now I'm terrified to do anything with them! I've read some conflicting information that when you first bring your suggies home you should leave them alone for a few days..then others say that as soon as they got them they put them down their shirt to bond. How do they do that? I'm afraid to even touch mine! Right now they're in their pouch asleep, they don't crab when they hear my voice or when I opened the cage to clean their food out. They also didn't crab when I tucked a piece of fleece I slept with last night in their pouch this morning (the fleece with their mamas scent is in their pouch as well) I think maybe that's a good sign? Should I remove the fleece with their mothers scent and just have the one with my scent in there? They will crab like crazy if I remove that fleece I'm afraid. I've thought about letting them get a few hours of undisturbed sleep today and then later this evening taking out the sleeping pouch and tucking it in my shirt. I have researched for months before getting them and I still feel like I'm going to be hopeless trying to bond with them because I'm just so intimidated by them..did anyone else feel this way? How did you overcome it? I want some sweet, loving suggies and I know they will be I just need some encouragement:) thank you guys so much! I apologize for such a long post, reading this forum has been a great help !
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hayhay97 Posted - Jan 11 2017 : 06:44:04 PM
Thanks, Leela! Everyone has been so helpful! So I'll def wait on the tent time...I have the pouch on me right now...but my hand is over the opening so they can't get out. I'm really scared they'll get away from me. Should I leave it open so they can crawl around in my shirt when they wake up?
Leela Posted - Jan 11 2017 : 07:17:53 AM

should I maybe start tent time soon? And when can I start getting them out of their pouch and sticking them in my shirt? I don't want to move too fast and stress them out but I also feel like I'm kinda at a standstill because all I really do is feed them treats at night and I've been taking their sleeping pouch out during the day and placing it in my shirt.

Tent time, give it another week or so of doing what your doing. Your no where near a stand still yet, your just barely establishing your routine with them. They are still adjusting, and learning their new routine and what your all about. You are still learning what is working and what is not, what gives you positive responses and what gives you negative responses... don't rush take your time and learn who they are.

Another week, then tent time. Tent time is ALL about them getting to know you on their terms, letting them explore you, your body, your movements, your rhythm, At first they may not do much but stay in the pouch so don't get discouraged. Keep the lights off or very dim and let them roam as they wish.

Keep putting their pouch under your shirt. Is the pouch open or zipped when you put it under your shirt? IF it's open, eventually they will come out of the pouch and into your shirt on their own, there is no need to "Put them" there. Your in the very beginning stage of bonding, if you "put them in your shirt" without their pouch they may not stay in your shirt. If they come out and jump off you then you gotta retrieve them, which may not be easy at this stage.

I usually put their pouch right in my bra and go about my day, gradually they come out of their pouch and free roam in my shirt. I have one girl that abandoned her pouch the first week and dove into my sweatshirt she will stay there from early morning till late at night. Others took longer and 2 don't like to be in my shirt at all, 2 will sometimes but only for short amounts of time.

Every glider is different and has different comfort zones, you are going to learn what your gliders comfort zones are

hayhay97 Posted - Jan 10 2017 : 11:49:33 PM
Thanks everyone for the wonderful advice and encouragement! I'm so happy I found this site everyone is so helpful and nice:) an update on how things are going: so far my babies only crab when I move their pouch while they're sleeping, but calm down very quickly with some light pressure and soothing words:) and they've been eating treats from my fingers between the cage bars! My male even licked some honey off my finger, but I don't think my female is that comfortable with me yet! I also fed them some mealworms from inside the cage with some tweezers, just because I reallly can't stand bugs lol

A few questions...I've been placing fleece kept in my bra into their pouch at night every night just like you suggested, Leela:)They seem more comfortable with me for sure...they'll come up to the front of the cage sometimes if I'm standing there. But anyways my question is, should I maybe start tent time soon? And when can I start getting them out of their pouch and sticking them in my shirt? I don't want to move too fast and stress them out but I also feel like I'm kinda at a standstill because all I really do is feed them treats at night and I've been taking their sleeping pouch out during the day and placing it in my shirt. I'll rub the pouch and talk to them. They only crab when I do this when i first take their pouch out of the cage so I guess it doesn't stress them out too much. Any tips on how I should proceed ? Thanks everyone:)
Tiakristin3 Posted - Jan 09 2017 : 02:27:37 AM
Thanks Leela! It was her yearly exam so she's doing well
TJones09 Posted - Jan 08 2017 : 09:12:40 PM
Yup, agree with Leela.

Also, about the bite and jerking away. That I believe is also a misconception, here's why:

1. In respect of all things living, glider deserve due respect of their boundaries. As their boundaries grow wider and more accepting of you, you will not get bit as much, as often, or as hard most likely. The time it takes is up to them, really.

2. Biting hurts! No one likes it, and it's okay if they know that it works to move your hand away, that's how it should be, it's their defense against you.

3. Showing your gliders that you respect their boundaries or limits, helps them learn that you can be trusted. In time, they'll learn soon enough that your hand means them no harm and they will not bite, see reasons #s 1 & 2 for clarification if needed.

That being said, as my own personal opinion, I have always jerked my hand away, moved my head to prevent biting, and basically gave the attacking suggie the space they demanded and I have built a fairly good relationship with my trio despite that, so proof that you have to take the bite is not fact right there.

No worries on being scared, I was terrified of my Lulu, she was, as Leela put it "demon spawn" when I first homed her, she was around one yr old. After I understood it was her fear, I changed my approach, and although still respected her space, we developed a mutual trust in each other. I wish it was still deeper, and that's part on me and part her personality, but we're good, and I'm good with that.

So hope you're feeling more encouraged & less alone. We are always here for you if you need us.
Leela Posted - Jan 08 2017 : 07:13:51 PM
to funny @ the vet, hope your birds ok
Tiakristin3 Posted - Jan 08 2017 : 06:51:14 PM
As Leela mentioned, you are not alone. I was at the vet the other day with my pet parrot. The vet was extremely relieved that I had a bird, saying "oh thank goodness...I have 2 gliders in the other room I can't even go near!"
When I got my first glider, she was terrified. Little did she know (or maybe she did know) that I was probably more terrified. Everything is scary....lunging, crabbing, biting, etc. It got to the point of wondering if I should keep her because she seemed so miserable. I was told to keep at takes patience. I made mistakes of course. But over time, we built up mutual trust and became inseparable. It's so worth it! Keep doing what you're doing. You obviously have a lot of love to give and have demonstrated great devotion. You will find your way and I'm sure you will have a great relationship and many years of joy together. Enjoy your babies!
hayhay97 Posted - Jan 08 2017 : 12:20:03 PM
You're not repeating yourself at all you've helped me a ton! I appreciate it so much, you've really eased my mind. I'll be sure to message you if I have any questions if that's ok:) thank you so much again, I'm going to check out that website right now!
Leela Posted - Jan 08 2017 : 12:01:33 PM
God I seem to be repeating myself a lot lol I don't usually do that... Today is cage cleaning day so my writing is as scattered as my living room
Leela Posted - Jan 08 2017 : 11:56:55 AM
you are very welcome expectations are the fastest way to become disappointed You're gonna do great !! You might benefit from other forums. One of my favorite education, no drama groups is abc 123. The admin are all veteran owners, Bourbon is one of them. It's a safe place to ask questions and get informed, current information. Scroll through and read previous posts and questions there is a ton of good, current information in there.
hayhay97 Posted - Jan 08 2017 : 11:48:55 AM
Thank you so much, I feel a lot better:) I'm going to take it really slow, I believe just like Bourben said I had expectations of what I wanted my gliders to do, I wanted them to become bonded to me quickly. And that's just not possible in most cases. Thank you for all your help!! Talking to you has really eased my mind!
Leela Posted - Jan 08 2017 : 11:28:01 AM
you are most certainly not alone lol. I'm glad it helped

Don't try to compete with what other people do, you can't. And you have no idea how long those people have had gliders...

I used to feel that way about seeing pictures of people with sleeping gliders in there hands.

Until I realized it probably took about 2000 pictures to get that ONE pic of the glider in the hand, and it might of taken that person 2 hours for that glider to be a sleep good enough to take that ONE picture. That's two hours of sitting like a statue almost afraid to breathe for fear of waking the glider lol. I know this now because I've done it myself and that is how I've had to do it lol.

One picture does not show all the time and effort it took to get that one picture. Same with holding crabby babies, it takes time and practice and confidence.

I won't lie, I still jump a lil when a glider crabs I have 9 gliders and it's been a long time since they've been crabby. But when I handle someone else's glider and it crabs I get startled lol It's a natural reaction to have. Some people seem to have the magic touch and can calm a glider very quickly, those people have years of experience and probably have handled hundreds of gliders.

The lady in the video I posted is my mentor. She is known in the community as the glider whisperer. She can reach in ANY bonding bag and calm the crabbiest of gliders before she even takes them out of the pouch lol Me? not so much lol as I said it still startles me for a minute, then I have to compose myself and apply what I know.

I do not try to compete with her or compare what I do with what she does. She has 20 yrs experience and has handled thousands of gliders, I don't have that. All I can do is draw on my own experience, and apply the things she has taught me to gain more experience, so that is what I do.

your relationship with your new babies is unique to you and your gliders, don't ever try to compare it to anyone else's. That will be the fasted way to become disappointed. Everyone's situation, experience, individual gliders, environment, lifestyle, routine..... everything, is different and unique to THAT person and their gliders. What I do with my gliders, may not work for you and yours.

Advice, you will get loads of advice on do's n don'ts. Your job is going to be finding out what works for you and your gliders and what doesn't. To do that, you have to get to know your gliders and be open to trying different things. Take the advice that is offered, but don't be afraid to tweak it and make it work for your gliders.

Treats, you can give them treats over the next few days, talk them when you approach the cage so they know your coming. They may crab when the cage shakes or the door is open, or even seeing your shadow approaching... it's normal. Try to do treats at the same time every day, get them established on a routine. Then in 2 or 3 days that will be when you start taking them out of the cage. They thrive on routine like toddlers.

hayhay97 Posted - Jan 08 2017 : 11:09:22 AM
Thank you so much for your reply! This has definitely eased my mind knowing I'm not the only one who was a nervous wreck at first lol it's kind of discouraging when I read or see videos of people picking them up when they're crabbing like that, then calming them down by placing them in their shirt or balling them up in their hands....Im like "should I be doing that?!" The crabbing is just so intimidating haha! I'm going to take your advice and leave them alone for a few more days. Should I try to feed them treats through the cage bars or just leave them alone completely? When will I know if I should take it to the next step and start bonding? Thanks in advance:)
Leela Posted - Jan 08 2017 : 10:53:46 AM
Good morning and congrats on your new babies

First, breathe.... it's ok.

There is a ton of conflicting information out there on almost all glider topics. Whether to leave them alone for a few days or not is one of them, because really it depends on the individual gliders. I have some that I have left alone for a week or so, so they could get acclimated with their new environment and some I handled a lot the first day that didn't need any adjustment time.

In your case, I would let them get settled in for a couple days before you do any more hands on other than putting food in and taking it out.

One of the biggest misconceptions is young joeys are easier. Sometimes they are, most often they aren't. Keep in mind everything those babies have ever known has changed. Their parents are no longer there, the cage is new, the accessories are new, the house is new, smells are new, humans are new, food is new EVERYTHING is new and different and scary.

The joeys may have been absolute sweet hearts, at the breeders house, and the demon spawn for the new owner. Changes in attitude and behavior from a breeders house to their new home is not uncommon. It works the opposite way too, a glider might have been the demon spawn for it's previous owner, and a total snuggle bug for the new owner. The same is true for any age glider, not just joeys.

Confidence, you need to be confident when interacting with them. I know you probably just can't decide to be confident, it takes time to grow. The more confident you become when interacting with them the more confident they will become IN YOU. You are scared of them, they are equally if not more scared of you.

Don't feel alone, almost all new owners go through what you are going through. I did it took me over a year to successfully trim nails because I was intimidated and nervous. It's normal, and you and your gliders will grow through it together THAT is what bonding is all about. Learning to have trust in each other.

Your gonna do fine , your gonna make mistakes, your gonna have set backs, your going to be frustrated, your going to gain 1 step and go back 4, your going to have progress, your going to have successes your going to hit mile stones...... we all go through this, it is all normal and part of the process, part of bonding, part of building a long term friendship.

When your frustrated, stop, breathe, relax then try again. When your glider is frustrated, stop, breathe, relax then try again.

Leave the fleece from their parents in with them, and take 2 new fleece squares and wear it for a few days and have your partner wear the other one for a few days at the same time, then put those new pieces in with the babies with their other piece from the parents

There is an awesome video that will also help