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    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th, 2015 10:01pm (Feb 10th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Thought I'd open a thread devoted to Iden's training and Tex's taming.

    Iden's recall is excellent. He has the typical bunny temperament of being a bit stubborn and doing things in his own time, but now when I click my fingers within 5 seconds he'll be there sniffing for his reward!

    He's still completely litter box trained, I've only had to sweep out his new home once since getting it as all his poops and pee is in his tray!

    He accepts fuss much more readily now and we're steadily working towards grooming.

    The new trick I'm working on with Iden is getting him to stand on his back legs...I only had the first 10 second training session today, but this has to be the cutest trick ever! :smile: We only did it four times, but within that he was already understanding what I wanted him to do and began associating my hand signal with standing on his back legs.

    He can be a little sod at times though! He loves throwing his carrier around and tipping his water bowl over! Hopefully we've fixed that as I bought a screw on water bowl that actually attaches to the bars, so *fingers crossed* we'll have no more pools of water everywhere!!! :smile:

    I'll try get some new pics or a video up soon! For now here's a really old pic of Iden covered in shavings...little pest tore a hole in the bag and shavings rained down on him :rolling:
      christmas3.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th, 2015 11:08am (Feb 11th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I'm still not happy with Tex's name. Hmmm...
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th, 2015 11:17am (Feb 11th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I like T names, fairly unusual ones. So far my possibles are:

    Tag
    Theon (Theo)
    Theodore (Theo)
    Tallon (Tal)
    Talbot (Tal)
    Thor
    Tycho (Ty)
    Tobias (Toby)
    And for some inexplicable reason I also like the names Finn & Zane :)

    Hopefully he won't be too confused, as I've mostly been saying hello to him and avoiding using his name as I felt it didn't quite fit. Now I just have to choose one that will, or at stick with one I'm not 100% on :smile: ...you know I haven't had this trouble with names since we adopted our first guinea pigs, they were a pain to name too!

    I'm gonna go ask him, see what he reacts to!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th, 2015 11:51am (Feb 11th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Looks like it's Zane! :tooth:

    I'm sticking with this one; no matter what!
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th, 2015 7:33pm (Feb 11th 2015)
     
    Is it worth giving Iden an empty water bowl to throw around?!

    I like Zane - I slightly preferred Finn, but wasn't keen on the 'T' names. They just didn't sound right!
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th, 2015 7:39pm (Feb 11th 2015)
     
    Did he react to the name Zane, Red? I let Poe name himself the day after I got him. I was reading a Douglas Adams book "Last Chance To See" out loud to my daughter on the phone, I think that's what the name of the book was..when he heard the name Kakapo (the flightless parrot from New Zealand) He said it, "KAKAPO". So we settle on that name.
    Over the years he has changed it to several other things too..Poe, Kakababy, Kakapooh bear, baby birdie, and a few others I can't remember right now. Most of the time he calls himself Poe. Birds are like little children, they learn the most the first year or two of their lives.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th, 2015 12:08am (Feb 12th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Haha I have no idea Kate! At the moment Iden has his carrier (which he loves to chuck around *sigh*), his food bowl, a cardboard toy and a ping pong ball to lob around. I need to buy him another wicker ball, he loves chucking them all over the place but shreds them to nothing within a few days!

    I think I agree Kate, as much as I loved the T names for the 'tiel, I said to Lyle I wasn't sure if they suited him...

    Lynn, yes, Zane was the only name he reacted to! When I said it he whistled back (not a panicked screech!) and looked interested for the first time. None of the other names he reacted to. Poe is so sweet, I hope Zane can become as settled and happy as Poe is :smile:

    And a photo of Zane too; he's been very vocal today and exploring all over the place.

     photo mess1_zpsbdd91eec.jpg

     photo mess2_zps88776055.jpg

    And Iden looking miffed about the new water bowl :tooth:
      mess8.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th, 2015 4:34pm (Feb 12th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I got a video of Iden!

    This was his second training session; as you can see he was already offering the behaviour willingly, and looking adorable in the process! He's a real clever clogs when he puts his mind to it :smile:

    (please excuse the recycling in the background and Zoey's jealous noises!)



    I was using tiny pieces of dried apple as a treat. It works really well as you can cut them very small, Iden finds them very reinforcing, and they're soft and quick for him to eat!

    We're also in the process of trying to change Zane's food. Literally every pet shop around us only sells an all-seed diet for Cockatiels (and even then it's just two different seeds). The only other food they have is for much larger parrots.

    One pet shop did have some bags of Kaytee Exact, but he said his parrot didn't like it :sad: We bought a small bag to try Zane with. It has pretty good reviews online so hopefully he'll actually eat it! :smile:

    Pics: 1st is Iden's treats, 2nd is Zane's new mix of food.
      ct7.jpg
      ct6.jpg
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th, 2015 7:27pm (Feb 12th 2015)
     
    Red, if you soak some of the Parrot food things in water, smaller birds will sometimes eat it..I know my little Markie bird liked it that way. Birds also like to have little pieces of fruit and veggies that you are eating..Poe wants meat (some big birds are meat eaters. Poe loves fried chicken and steak.)
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th, 2015 10:08pm (Feb 12th 2015)
     
    I saw a picture on line of piggies eating veggies that had been threaded onto a piece of string and then strung up for the piggies to stretch up and eat.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th, 2015 6:31pm (Feb 15th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Oh, thanks for the tip Lynn! Lyle said he saw Zane chewing on a piece of the parrot food today, so I hope he is actually eating it. In four days we'll give him a bowl of just the pellet food (at the moment we're doing 50/50 so he doesn't get an upset stomach) and see if he eats any then. Then we can save the seeds for treats and training!

    That's a cool idea for Iden, Kate!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th, 2015 4:06pm (Feb 16th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Video of Twoli (definitely haven't changed his name. Nope. Not me!*) - pronounced Too-li - playing with one of his toys. We also gave him a seed stick today that he's had a right good go at too. I do think he's settling in slowly but surely!



    (tried to get Youtube to stabilise the video...it didn't at all, so just ignore the jitters!)

    * He makes a "liiiii" sound twice, so I came up with the nickname 'Twoli'...and then it kind of stuck! :bigsmile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th, 2015 6:21pm (Feb 17th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Bought Twoli some new toys today, which he regarded with great suspicion. He's fallen madly in love with one (a plastic set of keys that only cost £1.99!) but has yet to go near the other.

    I hope he uses it, it's a line of cardboard boxes with bird-safe materials hidden inside...Twoli's own gifts to open! I'm not sure he's strong enough to tear the cardboard though, they'll probably remain untouched and just get covered in RP!! :tooth:
      barrel6.jpg
      barrel2.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd, 2015 5:27pm (Feb 23rd 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Bought Twoli a puzzle feeder today, it was only a couple of quid but it's really cool!

    It's very similar to a Kong Wobbler for dogs, in that it's a hollow egg shape with a hole in the front, you fill it with treats and the bird has to tip it forwards so the treats fall out the hole!

    Seeing as Twoli is mainly on a pellet diet, he doesn't get too many seeds. So when he saw a puzzle feeder full to the brim with seeds he was very excited! :smile:

    Here's a video of him figuring out what to do



    And a pic of the cutie :smile:
      two.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd, 2015 5:28pm (Feb 23rd 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    He's getting much braver, and sat on his food bowl whilst I posted treats through the bars of the cage to him today! :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd, 2015 7:29pm (Feb 23rd 2015)
     
    Red, another tip...look at toys for small dogs or puppies, when you want to buy him a new play thing..they make some cute toys that birds like too. Just check them over for parts that could break easily.:face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th, 2015 8:54pm (Feb 27th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    You can see Twoli's pretty colours here :)
      pig.jpg
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th, 2015 12:16am (Feb 28th 2015)
     
    Twoli is a very pretty bird, Red. Have you tried to get him to get on you hand yet?
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMar 4th, 2015 1:16pm (Mar 4th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Not yet, I want to train him to step on a perch first so he learns the "step up" command, then try with my finger. At the moment we're still at the 'getting him used to my hand when it's outside the cage' phase. He almosttakes seeds from my hand now, but freaks out at the last second! He does sit at his food bowl whilst I post seeds through into his bowl for him though :smile:

    Iden having a meal:
      baby1.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMar 13th, 2015 6:44pm (Mar 13th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Iden got a new toy today, apparently there's tasty corn treats inside! He went for it straight away (despite just being given a bowl of food and fresh veggies) and was ragging it about all over the place...don't think he was too impressed with me taking photos though! :rolling:
      cute4.jpg
      cute5.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 13th, 2015 7:36pm (Mar 13th 2015)
     
    Posted By: Reddon't think he was too impressed with me taking photos though!

    He's a celeb now - he has to get used to the paparazzi.
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeMar 14th, 2015 5:54pm (Mar 14th 2015)
     
    He'll get use to being in the public eye and grow to love it...maybe not so much as Zoey does.:face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMar 15th, 2015 6:56pm (Mar 15th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    :rolling: Yes, I think Zoey's infatuation for the camera will be hard to beat...!
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeMar 18th, 2015 5:36pm (Mar 18th 2015)
     
    I've never had a critter who liked to have their picture taken, but my daughter had a cat that would come running to get her picture taken every time she saw Melissa get her camera out.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMar 25th, 2015 8:19pm (Mar 25th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    hahahaha! With Zoey it definitely goes back to her puppyhood, when everytime I took a photo of her (to get her used to the click noise and the flash) she got a treat :smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd, 2015 10:51pm (Apr 3rd 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    We gave Iden a cat litter tray with a blanket in, for somewhere comfy to lounge (he uses his litter tray an awful lot! :fierce: ) We were going to get him a small dog bed, but I didn't want him chewing it, so we tried a towel. He hasn't nibbled it at all! But he LOVES lounging in it :bigsmile:

    He's getting much better at being out of his main house, too. He loves it in his run and is getting better behaved on the couch, learning he's not supposed to jump off :rolling:
      l4d2.jpg
      l4d3.jpg
      l4d9.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeApr 4th, 2015 4:37pm (Apr 4th 2015)
     
    So good that Iden's found something comfy! My two sleep in a litter tray full of hay at night, for reasons best known to themselves. And during the day the hens lay their eggs in it!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeApr 4th, 2015 10:52pm (Apr 4th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I was really worried about him either peeing on or chewing a dog bed. I thought at least with a blanket you can wash it or throw it away, but he hasn't done either! Next week we'll replace it with one of the dog's much larger, thicker blankets :smile:

    I thought about filling a litter box with hay for him to relax on, but we've used hay for his litter box a few times so I'm 99% sure he'd toilet in it!
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeApr 6th, 2015 8:29pm (Apr 6th 2015) edited
     
    I always used cat litter for my bunnies potty and blankets for him to sleep on. He never wet his bed.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeApr 9th, 2015 6:22pm (Apr 9th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    That's reassuring to hear Lynn!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMay 7th, 2015 2:55am (May 7th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Here are two snaps from Iden having his daily playpen time...they're not very good, because taking photos of a black rabbit is bl**dy hard!! :rolling:

    I tried so hard to get a good photo of him standing on command, and managed to chop most of him off...at least I got his goofy expression though! :tooth:
      gifts5.jpg
      gifts11.jpg
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeMay 7th, 2015 5:57pm (May 7th 2015)
     
    The picture of Iden standing is sooooooo cute!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMay 7th, 2015 8:44pm (May 7th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Thanks :tooth: He really is a pain to photograph without flash as he is all black...makes me glad neither of our pups have black fur!
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMay 8th, 2015 9:05pm (May 8th 2015)
     
    Cutie pie!!!
    My friend has a pair of rabbits that she needs to rehome (she has split with her partner and has nowhere to keep them - her mom won't let her bring them home and her ex won't keep them), however one has a condition that means his teeth have to be filed regularly under anaesthetic, so the average person isn't going to want them, but if he doesn't have them done it will kill him so she's keen to find the right home and be honest about all this. Any idea of any good forums she could look at for help on rehoming them?
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMay 9th, 2015 6:11pm (May 9th 2015)
     
    If she just googles 'rabbit rehoming' followed by her local city/town she should find quite a few results pop up - I daresay they can help. I have found a few of my rabbits that way and always found the people incredibly helpful and knowledgeable.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMay 9th, 2015 6:15pm (May 9th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I don't really know any rabbit forums, although I have read quite a few posts on rabbit rehome and it seems good. Petforums also has a rabbit section, and I think it's pretty good...their dog section used to be bit iffy training-wise but I think even that's improving.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMay 10th, 2015 9:00pm (May 10th 2015)
     
    Thanks, I'll suggest that. She doesn't think anyone will want a rabbit with health problems like his as it can be quite expensive, but unless she tries she'll never know!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMay 11th, 2015 2:02am (May 11th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Tell her to check with any local rescues. If she's really lucky, they might take the bunny in and help whoever adopts him pay for all / some of the future costs. I know of a rescues that have done that with old animals or those with life-long medical issues. Usually it's with dogs, but I've known a few that have done it with cats, rabbits and even rats too.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMay 11th, 2015 6:26pm (May 11th 2015)
     
    She did say she'd help with vet bills if it meant getting the right home.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMay 11th, 2015 9:45pm (May 11th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Wow that's really good of her! Good luck to her for finding her bun a new home :)
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMay 12th, 2015 6:58pm (May 12th 2015)
     
    Took Fred rabbit to the vet today; cost me nigh on 40 quid for him to have a good old grope and an ex-lax injection!
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMay 14th, 2015 8:51pm (May 14th 2015)
     
    I wonder how much vet work is the very simple examine and discharge, or simple painkillers / laxative / antibiotics. I don't think I've had a vet bill for less than £50 in all the times I've had to take my lot!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMay 14th, 2015 9:18pm (May 14th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    One time we took Kasper to the vet because he was being sick in the morning, practically every day. The vet gave Kasper three injections, costing us around £18 each (not including the check-up cost itself). When we asked what they were for one was an anti-biotic, one was anti-nausea and the other the vet didn't know what it was!!!
    :gasp:
    What's even worse is that we now know Kasper's morning vomiting of bile were 'hunger pukes' (this was when he was about 10 months old and very skinny). We later posted on a forum exactly what we had told the vet: it only happened very early in the morning, it was just foamy bile, and it happened quite a few days in a row. People immediately suggested we feed him as soon as he woke up...worked like a charm :smile:

    Of course the vet didn't have a clue. When the vet gave Kasper anti-nausea jabs and advised starving him for 24 hours, it just made it worse!
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeMay 15th, 2015 4:00am (May 15th 2015)
     
    Some Vets don't know their butt from a hole in the ground and make things worse..and charge you a small fortune for their bad advise. Too bad there isn't a site where you could go and see what other people think of a Vet before you make an appointment with them. They do have a few sites like that over here...but that wouldn't help you much in the UK.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMay 17th, 2015 7:13pm (May 17th 2015)
     
    A rat forum I used to be on did just that - people could list their vet and say if they were good. Problem is you have to be very careful about criticism as it could potentially leave you open to legal action, so comments had to be very factual and we tended to go for 'positives' only - if the vet wasn't listed it said as much as if it was.

    Some seem to be better with some animals than others. Not happy with mine at the moment - see 'worst thing' thread!
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMay 17th, 2015 7:26pm (May 17th 2015)
     
    Sorry, I mean 'rant' thread!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMay 17th, 2015 8:47pm (May 17th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Some vets have their own site where you can leave reviews (but often refuse to put up the negative ones, of course). If you search a vet on google often you can write a review, and they will put up good and bad. I left a really negative review for the vet in Yorkshire, the one that pinned Kasper down after me saying he needed to be gentle, and didn't give us any pain meds / aftercare advice after Zoey's spay...

    They really needed a bad review, as all the other dog owners in that area I spoke to (asking which vet they recommended) said that he was the greatest vet ever. We only saw him three times with the dogs, but the only good thing I ever saw him do was let Zoey lick his face when she was a baby!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd, 2015 9:32pm (Jun 23rd 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Video of Twoli in his new cage. You can see how his confidence has grown in the months we've had him, he will follow you around when you talk to him and HE WILL TAKE MEALWORMS FROM MY HAND!! :bigsmile:



    If you had told me he would take food from my hand when we first brought him home, I wouldn't have believed it. It seems like such a little thing, but me and Lyle were as happy as a kid on Christmas... ^__^
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd, 2015 10:32pm (Jun 23rd 2015)
     
    It's a wonderful feeling to see the confidence of a pet grow and them learning to trust you. It's amazing that he's come so far already after his start in life. Well done!!
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeJun 27th, 2015 7:01pm (Jun 27th 2015)
     
    Wow Red, you have come such a LONG way with him..Taking food from your hand is a MAJOR thing!!:thumbup:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJun 27th, 2015 7:14pm (Jun 27th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Thanks you two! :bigsmile: I honestly couldn't believe it, I've been practicing for months and months to feed him from my hand. Every time he has watched curiously, then backed away, sometimes hissing a little. Then one day he just took it, and nine times out of ten since then he takes it :smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJun 28th, 2015 8:58pm (Jun 28th 2015)
     
    Does he like his new cage?
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJun 30th, 2015 12:35am (Jun 30th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Yes, but I think we need to add more perches. I left space so he could fly...he flaps and jumps at best, and usually falls. He tends to get around by climbing the bars, so I think extra perches would help.

    Several times a day he hangs upside down off a perch, flapping madly because he's lost his balance. Then he makes noise because he's scared himself. He has always done this. He is special :rolling:

    He also hates UK sirens. If sirens go past our house or if they are on TV, he gets upset. He doesn't mind American sirens though. Yet again, he is special.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJun 30th, 2015 5:10pm (Jun 30th 2015)
     
    Glad I'm not the only one who has special needs animals!:face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJul 1st, 2015 8:14pm (Jul 1st 2015) edited
     
    I am currently sitting in the garden to protect a stupid pigeon! There are 3 cats out here and one in the doorway all trying to judge if they can get it before it sees them. Ting Tong is determined - the others seem to think it's far too hot!

    Update: it just flew away. TT looks disappointed, but his previous 2 efforts to catch it were no where near so he should be grateful it's spared him the embarrassment!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJul 1st, 2015 10:24pm (Jul 1st 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Oh no, a lot of my animals have special needs CC. Mae now thinks the corner of her cage is her wheel. Her wheel got clogged up with bathing dust and wouldn't turn anymore, so now she runs against the curved plastic of her cage and truly thinks that's a wheel. Despite me moving where her dust bath is and Lyle fixing her wheel, she prefers the plastic :sarcastic:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJul 1st, 2015 10:25pm (Jul 1st 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I'd imagine it was similar to watching Kasper and Zoey try and catch flies Kate...sometimes, rarely, they do something really impressive. Most times however they fail miserably :tooth:

    Kasper does redeem himself for catching a pigeon out of midair once though :smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJul 1st, 2015 10:58pm (Jul 1st 2015)
     
    The chickens were chasing flies today. Hilarious...:)
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJul 2nd, 2015 9:01pm (Jul 2nd 2015)
     
    That would be so funny to see CC - wonder what their 'hit' rate is!!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJul 3rd, 2015 2:06am (Jul 3rd 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Oh god CC M, T &P used to do that and would actually run into the chicken wire of the coop, bushes and walls because they were so focused on them :rolling:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJul 3rd, 2015 6:10pm (Jul 3rd 2015)
     
    Locky fell over her own feet and Nugget accidentally pecked Butter. Fish has escaped unscathed. So far...
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJul 4th, 2015 9:33pm (Jul 4th 2015)
     
    Didn't realise fly-chasing was such a dangerous sport!!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 5th, 2016 10:12am (Jan 5th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Quick post - supposed to be walking Kasper!

    Just want to post a video of Rufio, our 4 month old guinea pig. Over the past few days I have been training him using positive reinforcement to not only accept handling but to enjoy it, and his confidence has rocketed.

    Anyone who has had guinea pigs knows that (especially when new) they are incredibly flight and scared of humans. Whilst Rufio is happy once out of the cage and can have minimal handling and eat treats, being caught is an altogether different story and in the cage he is very scared of hands. I had already gotten to the point where I can call him over and hand feed him, so the next step was stroking.

    In just a few days I taught him to come when called, step up on the door, and be happy with petting. After this he gets a chunk of cucumber as a treat :smile:



    I am amazed with this. I can't wait to start building his confidence out the cage and start teaching him tricks! When I was video chatting with my parents I showed them Rufio doing this, and they loved it...hopefully my dad will see this :smile:

    (I will update later about other pet training)
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJan 5th, 2016 5:54pm (Jan 5th 2016)
     
    What a clever lad - and clever you for training him! He's such handsome chap too...:face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJan 5th, 2016 6:38pm (Jan 5th 2016)
     
    Well done! You must have incredible patience. I think I'll try to do something with Tabby at some point - I just need to make some time!
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeJan 5th, 2016 7:59pm (Jan 5th 2016)
     
    That is sooooo cool, Red!!!!:clap:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 6th, 2016 10:42pm (Jan 6th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Thanks everyone! He's been so quick to train so far - I think because he's a breeder piggy he already had that bit of extra confidence and I really do think he'll fly through training.

    Tonight we were able to bring two new family members into the house, we have been waiting until Zoey found a home as we didn't want any extra stress...we've had this phenomenal cage sitting empty for a while!!

     photo cage7_zpswtxxxccn.jpg

     photo cage12_zpsufh9q5mm.jpg

    Big cage huh?!

    And tonight we brought two adorable little chins home! Say hello to Chilli and Bandoose :heart:

     photo chins2_zpsqwmscyiz.jpg

    They are two female chinchillas and are 7 years old. Their owner has had them since they were babies and given them a really good life - they lived in a cage about the same size as this in their last home too! They've been very much loved and were being rehomed with a very cheap adoption fee...then when their owner brought them to us (no petrol fee asked!) he said he didn't want any money for them!! He had just wanted to find them a really good home and he was happy we were that :smile:

    We have named them Chilli (Chilli is the timid one who is slow to warm up) and Bandoose haha!

    Bandoose on the left, Chilli on the right

     photo chins3_zpsrqr0cslp.jpg

    They were holed up on a level for about five minutes then Bandoose was already exploring, jumping on the cat tree and other levels. Chilli stayed still and sad for another five or ten minutes then even she was up and about!

    They don't mind the dogs at all (they lived with dogs previously), although Kasper & Rey haven't noticed them yet! They've been stayed mainly on the middle levels and can jump from one to the other directly upwards and jump the gap between the two plastic levels. They love the hay toys already :smile:

    I didn't take too many photos initially, just a few within the first five minutes - Chilli on the left, Bandoose exploring!

     photo chins1_zpsfz1izevj.jpg

    And they came with a metal Chinchilla wheel and a glass water bottle, also free. I looked up Chinchilla wheels and couldn't find one like this, but the one I did find cost £95!!

     photo chins4_zpsds3wqegu.jpg
    Another fuzzbutt to work with and gain their trust :)

    We (Lyle especially) has wanted chinchillas for a long time, and we are smitten with them already...I didn't even mind when they woke me up from my nap making an insane noise, even though I've had a migraine these past two days :rolling:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJan 6th, 2016 11:23pm (Jan 6th 2016)
     
    They have outstanding fur-unbelievably soft. The lady in our local garden centre has a 16 year old chin.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 7th, 2016 1:43am (Jan 7th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I'm really hoping that Bandoose, who is the friendlier one, will at least allow me to stroke her when she's having free time...I've only held a chinchilla once and I couldn't believe how soft the fur is. From what I have read it's quite rare to have a cuddly chinchilla, it's more their personalities vary drastically and you have to accept however they are...some will always hate handling whereas others may grow to appreciate it on their terms. I'm hopeful with treats and confidence building Bandoose at least will let me love on her
    :)

    I've never been much of a fan of chins and never even considered them as pets until about six months ago when we spoke to the owner of a chin at a petting farm. Lyle always talked about wanting chinchillas so we looked into adopting some as Christmas gifts...we have had these two home for about five hours and I am so smitten with them.

    Even Chilli has really come out of her shell - in fact she was the first to explore the lower level, she loves the cat tree! They didn't cower or flee when I took the bowl from their cage to fill, and Bandoose even came up to the side of the cage as I was opening the door.

    They've already had some nibbles on their chew toys, they really like the little wooden Christmas tree and the jingley ball! I want to add another level closer to the chinchilla cube at some point, and we need to figure out a way to get their wheel in without taking the cage apart :rolling:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJan 7th, 2016 6:59pm (Jan 7th 2016)
     
    I looove chins - especially the way you go to pick up a big fat animal only to find a little skinny thing in your hands with the most incredibly soft fur coat on. Enjoy them, you two!
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeJan 7th, 2016 7:16pm (Jan 7th 2016)
     
    Oooooh, I LOVE CHINS!!! They are soooo darling!!! I've only gotten to hold one once, but their fur is so incredibly soft. (envy, envy, envy):heart: :heart::heartsabove:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 7th, 2016 9:32pm (Jan 7th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    They're such characters! I've only held a chinchilla once too :smile: It's amazing how huge they look, yet they're still really agile...they can bounce from one level to another and even climb vertically up cage bars. Crazy! Chilli loves the cat tree and slept most the day in the cave part (Chilli has a really curly tail, like a pigs!) and Bandoose has just discovered the chinchilla cube and is tucked up in there.

    They are so fun to watch, far better than TV :tooth: they're so much more active than I thought they would be. When you go by their cage and talk to them they both come to investigate, and they haven't been bothered by the dogs or Kasper's barking yet. Kasper hasn't batted an eye at them but I'm not sure Raiden has noticed them yet...I wonder what he'll make of 'em!

    Will post some pics...

    Here's Chilli venturing to the lower level for the first time yesterday...if you compare the photo of Bandoose above, then look at Chilli's curled tail, you will see it's a good way to tell them apart! :smile:

     photo chins5_zpstno3p3qv.jpg
    Chilli really likes the cat toy :)

     photo chins7_zpsdukumznh.jpg

    Bandoose on the highest level

     photo chins6_zpsa1ikg2sm.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 7th, 2016 9:36pm (Jan 7th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Bandoose is now ON TOP OF the chinchilla cube!! How did she get up there? How will she get down?! :rolling:
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeJan 8th, 2016 6:07am (Jan 8th 2016)
     
    Oh, I want to hold one!! :face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorneil
    • CommentTimeJan 8th, 2016 1:24pm (Jan 8th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Loving the video of Rufio :) Need regular updates, it would make a fantastic youtube channel!

    Good to see the Chins feeling at home too...
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 10th, 2016 6:33am (Jan 10th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I really want to get him out in the living room in a large pen dad, but I keep falling asleep in the evenings when I have time to do it, and I can't do it now because I don't think sleeping Lyle would appreciate guinea pig feet scampering all over him as he sleeps...that and I don't want him rolling over and squishing Rufio :rolling:

    Chinny pics...Bandoose was the first to venture into the chinchilla cube

     photo bravechin_zpsv0spdawv.jpg

    I added a flattened log tunnel to make a bridge over the two levels, and it should also be a tempting 'chew me, not the plastic!" too :smile:

     photo bravechin1_zpsmj8lygz1.jpg

    Seriously, look at this cuteness, it's unreal!!

     photo bravechin2_zpsiermcac1.jpg

    Current cage layout...I added another plastic level next to the highest wooden one, to make hammock / cube access easier, and they also have their wheel on the bottom level near the cat tree now too. They love the wheel, in short bursts, but of course they both want to use it at the same time :sarcastic: there haven't been any major squabbles though...they don't interact with each other too much, but when they do it's positive 99% of the time; snuggles, grooming each other etc.

     photo bravechin3_zpsurotsicw.jpg

    Such as this ;)

     photo bravechin4_zpskiev7oxz.jpg
    And look who is reliably taking treats from my hand :) She even took a few chinchilla pellets (which they seem to hate!) but mostly it was dried herbs and flowers

     photo bravechin5_zpsbjpkbr1j.jpg

    Even Chilli took a dried flower from me, and I think she would have taken more if she'd been in an easier position instead of balanced on top of the cube :tooth: This is pretty good progress to say they've only been here a few days though
    :)
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJan 10th, 2016 2:49pm (Jan 10th 2016)
     
    Posted By: Red I don't think sleeping Lyle would appreciate guinea pig feet scampering all over him as he sleeps...>


    Good God, that boy is soooooooooooooooooo unreasonable...!! :rolling:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 11th, 2016 8:51am (Jan 11th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I know right?! He already gets annoyed when I wake him up at 5am to make me ice cream sundaes, such a misery... :rolling:

    (actually that's a lie, he's the happiest sleeper / waker ever!)
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeJan 11th, 2016 8:39pm (Jan 11th 2016)
     
    Red, you found a treasure, when you met Lyle. They don't make them like that very often. Give him a big hug and a thank you, for me and tell him I appreciate how he takes such good care of you. You deserve the best and you certainly found that in Lyle.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJan 12th, 2016 8:50pm (Jan 12th 2016)
     
    Ditto on that Lynn. xx
    The chin on top of the hammock - ultimate cuteness!!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 13th, 2016 12:13am (Jan 13th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I think you both made Lyle blush :tooth:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 15th, 2016 8:08pm (Jan 15th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    We used clean out to practice our training :)

     photo piggytraining_zpssmfyqdbk.jpg

    I'm building up the amount of time I'm stroking him for, up to about 30 seconds now :smile:

     photo piggyclean3_zpsbvt6cidr.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJan 15th, 2016 9:49pm (Jan 15th 2016)
     
    He's so sweet Red - he looks like a toy on these pictures! It's great to see them grow in confidence.
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeJan 16th, 2016 1:30pm (Jan 16th 2016)
     
    I love guinea pigs we had them when I was little and then my boys had them as children lovely little chappies.... wheek wheek.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 17th, 2016 4:38pm (Jan 17th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I think it's the Teddy fur Kate, he's so damn cute :bigsmile:

    NN we really like piggles too. They tend to be such characters and are so easy to snuggle! I like bunnies too but they obviously require a LOT more room and there's more chance of them being nippy!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 19th, 2016 2:41pm (Jan 19th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Bandoose is getting really good; she comes almost every time when I make the treat noise and confidently takes food from my hand. She's even confident enough to come up to the open cage door and take food from there now ^__^

     photo chintraining1_zpsol1vbhvk.jpg

     photo chintraining_zps6q5erhi8.jpg

    Chilli on the other hand is my shy girl. If I go to her with treats, through the bars of the cage, she takes them about 50% of the time. She *wants* to come see whatever I'm doing, when I'm in the cage, but she prefers watching from afar. Bandoose is the opposite, always getting underfoot, hankering for treats, and thinking about jumping out the cage door :rolling:

    Did the first clean out today (only took 20 minutes, but it wasn't a thorough one) and Bandoose was such a pain as I was tying new toys up everywhere and filling the hay toys haha

     photo chintraining2_zpslzztlqhs.jpg

    Chin on a wheel!!!

     photo chintraining3_zpskupexrsa.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJan 19th, 2016 6:28pm (Jan 19th 2016)
     
    My nephew and his missus have had to rehome their boy chins - they were freaked out by the arrival of my great niece and started to go bald!:face-sad: But the girl chin is perfectly happy - even happier now the boys have gone...
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJan 20th, 2016 7:59pm (Jan 20th 2016)
     
    Lucky girl chin, if only I could get rid of the males from this house my life would be much quieter and easier!! :rolling: (I'll hang on to the boy cats, just the humans that need to leave me in peace!!)
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th, 2016 8:59pm (Feb 16th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Haven't updated for a few weeks and the chins are so different!

    Both chins take food from my hand, through the cage bars and when my hand is in the cage with them. They will happily hang about as I tidy around them, pick things up from next to them etc - even Chilli is unfazed! They have no stress when I clean them out and, the biggest news, Bandoose can be fussed!! :bigsmile:

     photo chintraining_zpsikpyqhss.jpg

    It may have taken a month, but I am far happier with a pet that comes and asks to be stroked, and is happy whilst you stroke them, rather than flood and force the pet to be touched and merely have them tolerate it :heart:

    I did my first big BIG clean of the chins today (scrubbing the bottom with pet safe spray and vinegar) - they have such little smell! I rearranged a few things, but nothing exciting...the wheel is on the top level now - extreme wheeling!

     photo cleanchins2_zpsmqrie1u3.jpg

    And they prefer peeing on substrate, so I added a kitty litter box...it'd be way easier to clean if they only peed in there!

     photo cleanchins3_zpss34io3ws.jpg

    HI GIRLS!

     photo cleanchins1_zpsnf3tkqhy.jpg

    I'm still really loving the cage they have. It's such an amazing cage to say we only paid £80 for it - the Thickets cage (that Effie is in) would have cost £90 if we hadn't got it for free second hand, and as a cage the Thickets sucks!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th, 2016 5:43pm (Feb 18th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    The chins love the new nest box they got from Effie, it acts as a cool bridge and food stand! Bandoose on top eating, Chilli in the box

     photo dusty_zpsetrh3omd.jpg

    Hey Chilli girl!

     photo chilli_zpsfq8p2gpk.jpg

    Bandoose wanted to see if I was bringing treats, or letting them out to play...no? Oh okay, back to the food then :rolling:

     photo bandoose_zps3r7lyqm4.jpg

    Dust bathing day! (also the top level is bigger now!)

     photo dusty2_zpsywyfi9d1.jpg

    And...a sideways chinchilla looks funny :tooth: :rofl:

     photo dusty3_zpsksvwrytr.jpg
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th, 2016 8:19pm (Feb 18th 2016)
     
    They are just the cutest makes me want one so much. Thanks for sharing the lovely pictures of them xx
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th, 2016 11:28am (Feb 19th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Thanks NN :) I think they're almost a bit cat-like in their personality...sort of independent, but wants fuss when they want it. Bandoose wants fuss quite a bit (unless there is food or somewhere to explore...or she is bored!) whereas Chilli is still too nervy for strokes. With chinchillas you have to accept them for who they are...some may never want fuss, whereas others may be total lap chins!!! :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st, 2016 10:14pm (Feb 21st 2016)
     
    They look so silky soft. You certainly have made them a beautiful palace to live in xx
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 22nd, 2016 9:24am (Feb 22nd 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    They feel very soft, it's like silkier cotton candy. You touch their fur and it just drifts under your fingers :smile: Thank you! I try real hard to make my pets fun & interesting places to live, and part of what I love about pet ownership is designing the cage!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 22nd, 2016 5:52pm (Feb 22nd 2016)
     
    Frustrated architect... :face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 22nd, 2016 9:53pm (Feb 22nd 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I used to want to be an architect as a really small child :)
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 22nd, 2016 9:59pm (Feb 22nd 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    This is scaredy pants Chilli girl taking popcorn from me :bigsmile:

     photo chintoy6_zpsihsasm0i.jpg
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd, 2016 1:23pm (Feb 23rd 2016)
     
    Ohhh my look at those whiskers she is such a delight xx You are so teasing me Red xx
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd, 2016 5:06pm (Feb 23rd 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Chilli is our nervy girl NN, Bandoose is fantastic though very confident, she has been venturing out a little, climbing into the hay bowl as I hold it and happily gets fuss off Lyle too now :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd, 2016 7:02pm (Feb 23rd 2016)
     
    They are quite big I only seen smaller ones in the pet shops and they are always asleep, not that I blame them their housing is so dull and boring poor things