Sunday, June 11, 2017

Prey Animals

I've been getting asked a lot lately, about how people can get their chins to come around.  The best advice?  Give them time.

With as curious and cute as they are, it's easy to forget that they are prey animals.  At the end of the day, we're a lot bigger (and potentially, a lot scarier) than we realize.  Time (and bribing with treats, if the chins are old enough) really does work wonders.

Over time, the chins learn who cares for them.  They come to realize, hey, this person feeds me, and waters me, and gives me treats, and cleans my cage... and perhaps more importantly... they haven't eaten me yet... and they get used to us.  That's why you hear us, and other breeders / rescues, suggest that the new homes let their chins settle in.... so they have a chance to get used to what's around them, before more is thrown at them.

Case in point.  I purchased a breeder (well, several, but this one in particular) from a breeder who was selling out.  Put him in a pair with one of my nicest females.  Yeah... she beat the absolute crap out of him.  I noticed that she'd gone all ape-shit when he was about 5 minutes from dying.  He had all sorts of wounds on his nose and back of his neck, he was wheezing, he was bloody all over, his eyes were crusted shut and were tore up... you get the idea.  For about 2 months I had to pull him out of the cage everyday, twice a day.  He had to have his eyes opened up, and vetericyn put in them.  He wouldn't eat, so he got a few syringes of yogurt daily.  He got a water bowl in his cage, as it seemed to hurt him to lift his head, and so he wasn't drinking out of the bottle.  Now, mind you, this chin was already not crazy about me, before I had to burrito him every day and open his eyes and syringe feed him yogurt (which I don't recommend, this is an unusual situation).    He got to the point where if I even opened up the cage door, he would throw a hissy fit and start barking and kacking and making all sorts of unhappy noises at me.  Not my biggest fan.  Long story short, he's back to doing fine (though I'm hesitant to try another female).  The reason I mention this, though, is because now that he's able to eat on his own and I don't have to constantly pester him (and both eyes are open and clear, and everything's pretty much healed now), I've been trying to win him over.  I got in red clover flowers as a new herb the other day, and I gave him one from my hand.  He gets oats moreso than other chins (they were used in conjunction with the yogurt, before he'd officially switched back to pellets), and little treats and snacks and good pieces of hay and whatnot... because I know, with enough buttering up, he will come around, and eventually he'll see me as something other than the lady that burrito'd him for all that time to mess with his eyes and give him meds.  He may never think I'm the greatest, after all of that, but I know he'll dislike me less.

Long story short... there's no magic solution as far as getting a chin to like you, interact with you, or what have you.  It just takes time, and bribery (let's be honest, none of us are above treat bribery).

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