Split-Caging, Take 2

02 May
Smurf (left) and Toby (right) meet each other for the first time.

Smurf (left) and Toby (right)
meet each other for the first time.

Yesterday was a big day for split-cage introductions. It was two weeks since we started swapping Hallie & Cassie around again. (They had been living in a permanent split, because we’d had trouble introducing them when they were younger.) It was also two weeks since we’d split-caged Smurf and Bach.

At first, I thought Hallie and Cassie’s intro would be a success. Within the first five seconds, Cassie had her nose down on the ground, and Hallie was grooming her thoroughly. Neither one was fluffed up or seemed remotely threatened. The grooming lasted a good three or four minutes. A very good sign!

About fifteen minutes in, though, I moved my arm, they got spooked, and the next thing I knew, they were in the air, squabbling. I had my gloves on and separated them. No one got so much as a scratch, thank goodness. I gave them a break and tried again in a bit, but they were still wound up.

I’m very encouraged by how great things started. And how I’ve seen them grooming through the divider after splitting them back up again. So I do plan to try this pairing again.

In other news, we had to abandon plans to pair up Smurf and Bach. They never did settle down. Bach was still attacking the divider, and they’d both gotten so high-strung that I couldn’t even handle them anymore. Then during the week, Smurf got a scratch across his nose. So I split them up.

Since splitting them up, they’ve both gotten calmer and easier to handle. Yesterday, I put Smurf in a split-cage with Toby. This is going much better than the attempt to pair Smurf and Bach. No aggression at all. Smurf is scent-marking things, but that’s to be expected this early on. They’re both calm and easy to handle, and they hang out next to the divider, snacking on food.

My only concern is that Toby is quite old (3 years, 8 months this week), and I don’t want Smurf to be alone again soon. However, Toby’s in excellent health as far as I can tell, so hopefully he’ll continue to do well. :)

Wish us luck. The boys have two weeks of split-caging ahead!


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  1. Linette

    May 2, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Those darn boys, good for the girls :)

    Stuart and Biscuit got into a squabble last night resulting in a bite on Stuarts foot. I treated w/antibiotics and now they are best friends again. Sometimes I just cant figure them out.-Boys!

    • admin

      May 2, 2010 at 7:16 pm

      Oh no, sorry to hear that Stuart and Biscuit squabbled. Were you there when it happened? How old are they now? I’m glad to hear that they’re getting along again now. Sounds like you’re going to have to keep a close eye on them for a while while they deal with whatever dominance issue is going on? Glad to hear that things have calmed down!

  2. Linette

    May 2, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    no, I didnt see or hear anything unusual that evening. I was home. I just noticed that Stewie wasnt in the nest and looked a little depressed. I checked him over to find the underside of his hind foot skun up. Not 100% sure it was Biscuit. Unless he got caught on the wheel. He doesnt go on the wheel much. I think its a little odd that the underside was hurt. They turned 2 last Feb. The more I think about it, the more I think something happened w/the wheel, When they have a disagreement Stewie squeaks and Biscuit runs around and none of that went on. Better check the wheel. Thanks for your concern :)