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Bonding and age difference?

ChocolatPocky

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I recently got a 5 month old chin, Gusgus! (named after the fat Cinderella mouse)

Should I wait until he's a bit older before trying to bond him with my 4-5 year old chin? Once I put Gusgus into his cage across the room from Mr. B's cage, Mr. B got pretty antsy and I'm worried things would be unequal between them. Gusgus is still young and can hardly jump onto any platforms or chew sticks as efficiently as Mr. B can. I'm a bit worried Mr. B might bully him?
 

Amethyst

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I like to wait until they are close to similar size, or at least close to full grown when pairing a kit with an adult. If you just got Gusgus it's best to wait 30 days before doing intros anyway just to allow him to settle in and for any illness to show up before putting them together. By the time the 30 days is over he will be 6 months and a bit bigger, most are close to full size by 6 months.
 

ChocolatPocky

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Its been a few weeks since I got Gusgus, so I picked him up in a little box and brought him a few inches away from Mr. B's cage. (Mr. B's cage is up on a cart so it's higher up off the ground than Gusgus' Critter Nation, they can't really see each other from within their own cages) They are aware that there's another chinchilla around tho, I've swapped toys and they can smell each other.

Upon seeing Gusgus, Mr. B made no noises and at first he would hide in his hut, but eventually came out and stuck his nose out between the bars and was very curious/trying to get closer. Gusgus made no noises either. Just popped his head up to look a bit and then would duck back down.

I guess that's a pretty good interaction so far? They don't seem to be aggressive to each other.
I think I'm gonna move Gusgus up to the 2nd level of the CN cage so him and Mr B can see each other better when I move the cages closer.
 
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ChocolatPocky

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I brought Gusgus up close to Mr. B's cage (but not close enough to touch) two times, and each time Mr. B immediately became aggressive and was definitely not happy to see Gusgus! Gusgus was kind of scared I guess, he was trying to climb around in my arms.

Because of the immediate aggression, would it not be safe to use the squish method with the two? I don't want Gusgus to get hurt.
 

LillyChu

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I suggest keeping their cages next to each other, once things settle down you can try the method of putting them together in a carrier. Just remember it can take several months for them to be ok with each other and once you do the carrier method, they might "fight" but as long as there is no harsh fighting like biting or drawing blood, leave them in, they will eventually settle down. Yes, I hate doing it aswell, but it works really good and maybe while they are in there, you can clean the main cage, make sure to also clean the bars etc so it's a neutral space, don't put any hides in it for about a week once you put them together in the cage after the carrier situation settled down. After that week slowly introduce some toys and eventually when all seems to be ok you can put a hide back, if things are still fine feel free to put everything back into the cage.
 

Amethyst

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I brought Gusgus up close to Mr. B's cage (but not close enough to touch) two times, and each time Mr. B immediately became aggressive and was definitely not happy to see Gusgus! Gusgus was kind of scared I guess, he was trying to climb around in my arms.

Because of the immediate aggression, would it not be safe to use the squish method with the two? I don't want Gusgus to get hurt.
Putting chins up to each other's cages is a bad idea, chins are territorial, so it's not a good indicator. Think of it like a neighbor coming up to your house and peaking in your windows, even if you have seen them around before you will likely not react nicely to that behavior. Intros should be done in as neutral a location as possible, so neither owns claim to the area. Ideally use a room or area that neither has played in yet, or at the very least use the play area but wash it to remove as much scent as possible and use new toys that neither has used yet. Also put out the dust bath so they can bathe together and also some food and hay so they can eat together and get more use to doing things together.

Personally I don't advise the squish/smooth method period, I think it's cruel (just my personal opinion, I know some think it's the best thing ever), you basically have to squeeze them both in a carrier small enough that they can't move (otherwise they could kill each other) and hope it traumatizes them enough that they bond over the shared experience, like a couple of people trapped in a tiny closet. You would also need to watch them 100% of the time to pull them out in case they do fight before it becomes too much of a blood bath if the carrier is not small enough to prevent them moving and fighting.
 

ChocolatPocky

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Ahh my main concern is that they might fight during the smoosh method. It is what the breeder and other breeders in the region recommend. There are pros and cons to bonding quickly and slowly, so I had to consider those. I am open to trying to do some slow method bonding and see if that goes well.

Hmm maybe I can have them meet in the bathroom with a dustbath. The small room they are currently in might be seen as Mr. B's territory, so it might not be neutral. I'm still hesitant to just let them free roam around each other though buuut I'll just be super careful!
 

ChocolatPocky

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Soooo I tried some slow method bonding! I don't trust either of them to free roam around each other yet, so I placed Gusgus in a small cage, partially covered it with a cloth, and placed it in a bathtub. Neither chins have been in this bathtub before. Then I brought Mr. B in to free roam in the tub around the cage.

When Mr. B and Gusgus sniffed each other through the bars, Mr. B lunged! Definitely trying to bite Gusgus, who was just being kind of shy/curious.

Is this a bad sign or do you think Mr. B will eventually get used to Gusgus? :/
 

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