Frequently many people have asked me just how to speed up the bonding process. There are a few ways so here they are:
- When you first get your joey, never chase it around the cage. It is best to take the joey when it is in it’s sleeping pouch. You do not put your hand in it. What you do is take out the pouch with the joey in, and gently ease him out from the outside. Putting your hand into the pouch causes a predator reaction, which means your joey would act on instinct to bite you to protect itself.
- Make sure your cage has the bare essenstials. To bond properly, especially with joeys that are not handle friendly, it is best to limit the cage accessories. What I normally do is just have the sleeping pouch, a few climbing materials, the water bottle and food bowl. Do not use hamster houses or bird houses or even coconuts because a joey is normally scared of its new owner. To the joey’s point of view, you are a stranger so the joey would try its best to hide from you. I know many gliders would hide out in the Wodent Wheel as well. If this happens, take out the wheel to make bonding easier. When you try to get a joey or glider out of a small place, you tend to make alot of noise by tapping the object the joey is in and also making alot of movement. This panics the joey, making it even more scared and angry. This would just prolong the bonding process.
- Leave a worn shirt or used blanket on the cage. If you do not mind, take an old tshirt, wear it for 2 nights, then take a pair of scissors and cut them into squares. You make scent blankets for your suggie. Then place these squares in your joey’s sleeping pouch. After you have washed them, just take the cut up cloth and put it on your bed. Sleep on them or put them under your shirt so that you can renew your scent. Your joey would be able to catch your scent by having this lil scent blanket and gets familiar to your smell.
- Handle your joey. You have to handle your joey. Hold it in your hands and let it walk from 1 hand to the other. Sort of like a threadmill. This is for the joey to understand that your hands are strong and stable and it should be trusting your touch. This sort of training would get the joey to like your hands.
- Handfeeding. If possible, hand feed treats to your joeys. Normally well developed and proper aged joeys would eat by themselves but by handfeeding a bit, your joey would learn that you are the giver of good things. It will trust you more. You can use a spoon or your fingers or palm of your hand.
- Carry your joey in the bonding pouch during the day. Normally in the day time a glider would be sleeping. During this time it is best to carry it in a bonding pouch to speed up the bonding process. When it is in the pouch around your neck, it would be sleeping but it would also be able to hear your voice, smell your scent, listen to your heartbeat, get used to your touch. In a way, it is comforting for the joey. Some people resort to bra bonding(ladies thing) which I often do and my joeys bond with me very well. But one bad habit, if you do bra bonding, the glider would have a bad habit of wanting to go into your shirt. Anyway, when carrying in a bonding pouch, keep touching the pouch and talk to your joey. This would normally come with all sorts of crabbing from the joey when you first start but after awhile, it would get used to you and not crab anymore.
These are just a few tips. It may differ from one person to the other but these tips are what I normally advice to people. If you have any problems or need further explanation, can always drop me a comment. Or if you have a tip of your own, please comment and I would even put it up in the article so that others could learn.