[Gpdd] Health: Teaching my babies to take stuff from a spoon

ME buddies at buddies.org
Thu Sep 21 12:44:06 EDT 2017

My little babies I got in April aren’t so little anymore.  They’re growing up so fast … they’re close to full grown.  And they’ve both gotten the trust thing down pretty well.  Of course, they both take food from my hand now … been doing that for awhile.  Now they both let me put a hand in front and in back of them and pick them up without them running off (I do this quite slowly, so they know what’s happening, just bringing my hands together, and they put their front paws on my front hand as I scoop up their rear) … though they both like to sometimes jump over my front hand, but they stop and look up at me as if to tell me they’re pleased with themselves  (Daisy does this sometimes as well, but not that often).  They haven’t gotten to the level as Daisy, as they do still sometimes get startled and run off, but I just restart the whole process when they’re ready.

So, with that, today I saw if they’re reading to eat from a spoon.  I teach them this, just in case I need to hand feed them at some point.  On cue, as soon as I introduced the spoon, Daisy went at it.  That got Sapphire interested … she’s always interested because she’s always looking for food … but at first, she just sniffed at it and since it smelled foreign, she lost interest.  But since Daisy kept going at it, she eventually decided to try a bit.  I think a little bit got into her mouth, but not much.  Pearl had no interest.  These are both normal initial responses (first time I introduced it to Daisy, she had no interest in it) … I just put it away and I’ll introduce it again tomorrow.  Usually within a few days, they’re going at it like old pros.  Sometimes, though, like with Daisy, it takes months before they try it, but eventually they all do.  I think it might take Pearl months … she isn’t food-driven … she’s recently decided she really likes human attention, though, and loves getting scratched on her head and under her chin.

After they get the hang of eating from a spoon, I teach them to take it from a syringe using the same procedure.  Always in their enclosure, never restraining them.  Since they don’t need hand feeding, everything is stress-free and voluntary.  Then, when they do need hand feeding or medication, the procedure isn’t foreign to them and they’re more accepting of it, even when the meds aren’t quite so tasty (though when they really don’t like the medication, I often need to restrain them, but some of them only need the restraint the first few times and just accept they have to take the icky stuff before they get some tasty stuff) or even when they really don’t feel like eating.

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