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Old 07-20-2012, 01:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How do I start bonding while he's quilling?

I was cleaning Dumbledore's cage yesterday and noticed a few quills. Today, I found another 10 or so in his cage. I got him a week ago today, and he's 8 weeks 2 days old, so I believe he is quilling. I haven't had him very long, so even though I've been spending time with him everyday, he still mostly stays balled up and huffs, I can't tell whether it's because he's grumpy or still doesn't trust me.
Should I be cutting down my time with him? I usually take him out in his snuggle bag and watch a movie with him in my lap for a few hours, since this seems to stress him out the least. He doesn't huff in the bag, but I don't know if he falls asleep, or is just sitting in a nervous ball.

He doesn't really let me handle him, so I can't really tell if he has balding patches or any new quills coming in. I gave him a foot bath tonight, and offered him a cricket, but he didn't touch it, even though the breeder fed them to him before his move. I will try a mealworm tomorrow.

How can I make him most comfortable if it's quilling, and how can I tell if it's not? I started adding a few drops of flaxseed oil into his food tonight, just in case, but I don't want to give him a bath if he doesn't need it.
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do I start bonding while he's quilling?

I would still get him out nightly, like what you've been doing. It'll continue the process of getting him used to you and being handled, and continue to familiarize him with your scent. If you can peek into the bag at all, you might be able to see whether he's still tense/nervous or if he's dropped off to sleep. You could also try having him out of the bag, in your lap, but under a blanket. You might be able to tell better that way if he's sniffing/still awake, or if he's curled up to sleep.

It probably is quilling, with a bit of still getting used to you and his new home. For quilling, you can give him an oatmeal bath to help soften his skin and soothe it a bit. You just don't want to do it often, since water also dries their skin out. Maybe once a week at most, just while he's quilling. Also try to avoid touching his back too much - it'll be pretty sore from the new quills poking through and a lot of quilling babies don't want to be touched because of it.

Just hang in there with him! Quilling sucks, but it only lasts a few weeks for most, so it'll be over soon for both of you. Hopefully he'll calm down at the end of it and be more used to you and his new home. Keep trying the treats, they make a great bonding tool. Good luck! (And I love his name! )
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