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Old 09-18-2018, 10:22 AM   #1
adrien
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Default advice? he hates coming out!

so i have a very diva-like robrovski. i've had him for about 3 months now, and although it's POSSIBLE to handle him, i've found that usually it just stresses him out, and he hates it. more specifically, he hates coming out of his cage at all. (oh yeah, cleaning day is a WHOLE THING)

however, he seems to be bored because he's been chewing on the bars of his cage since i stopped taking him out. i have given him both two storebought and one homemade chew toy, buried things for him to forage as well as tissue paper, and he has a well-loved silent spinner.

in addition, he seems to be sensitive to sand baths, so i can't keep sand in his cage without him getting pink eye, but he is quite fluffy and he definitely needs sand baths...

i would just put things in and supervise, but any time anything is introduced to his environment, he is terrified of it, and will hide for hours or go pout.

what do i do!? how do i keep him happy and glossy? i love him dearly, but he is such a diva compared to my teddy bear, and i don't know how to keep him happy ):
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Old 09-18-2018, 11:36 AM   #2
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: advice? he hates coming out!

Our Robo is similar - I haven't had the time to put into intensively trying to tame either. But he is happy left alone in his cage - he just runs and hides if a hand appears (or anything moves). It is frustrating because when he did have some out of cage time he loved it - it was just getting him out! Freaked him out. I think it's a case of time, patience and a bit of effort sometimes and leaving them to themselves other times. Ours will sit and listen if I talk to him - I think that's as close as he'll get to interaction.

They vary in personality and previous life experiences but generally robos are timid and scared and also very fast! If he is bar biting that is a shame - ours doesn't do that - he did it for a couple of days in the summer when it was very hot.

If you think he likes being out could you rig up a long tube from the cage to a playpen area so he comes out himself? Depends on the cage - not sure I could do that actually.

Cleaning and changing things can stress them and lead to bar biting so don't over clean - weekly cleans aren't necessary - you can go weeks with a robo - they pee such tiny amounts and I reckon most of it evaporates.

Sorry he reacts to sand. They don't really need it and will groom themselves.
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:39 PM   #3
cypher
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Default Re: advice? he hates coming out!

Do you have a photo of your cage set up? I was just wondering if there might be somethings that could help make it more interesting for him without scaring him too much but it's hard to know really without seeing it.
It can be difficult, it's not that unusual for some to not want out of cage time but I can understand how frustrating it must be if he seems to be getting bored.
Which sand have you been using? If he reacts even to good sand that would be a shame as it is quite important for them to have it, robos probably more than the other dwarf species, it might be worth trying something different.
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Old 09-18-2018, 02:32 PM   #4
adrien
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Default Re: advice? he hates coming out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cypher View Post
Do you have a photo of your cage set up? I was just wondering if there might be somethings that could help make it more interesting for him without scaring him too much but it's hard to know really without seeing it.
It can be difficult, it's not that unusual for some to not want out of cage time but I can understand how frustrating it must be if he seems to be getting bored.
Which sand have you been using? If he reacts even to good sand that would be a shame as it is quite important for them to have it, robos probably more than the other dwarf species, it might be worth trying something different.


This is the best picture I can find of his setup, and it's actually out of date. The box in the back has been replaced with a snak shack log. His ceramic cup barely visible in bottom left. Castle barely visible bottom right.

I have versele-laga chinchilla bathing sand. I think some people have suggested playground sand because of the dustiness of chinchilla sand, but I hesitate to try it since he's already had pink eye twice

I know he LOVES sand, and it keeps him in really good condition, so I would hate to have to take it away from him, but when I tried putting some in in a little container to take out later, he freaked out and ran away.

He's very particular, and I just want to do right by him ughhhh.
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Old 09-18-2018, 11:42 PM   #5
cypher
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Default Re: advice? he hates coming out!

That sand isn't the best, I'm not sure what country you're in? If you're in the UK then the tiny friends farm sand (available from pet shops & various places online is the best) if not then play sand (dried in the oven) would certainly be worth a go, neither would be that dusty & shouldn't cause a problem.
If you put something like a tray of sand in & he runs away just leave it & give it time, they can sometimes get a bit freaked out but will adjust to things in a few days, sometimes over night while it's quiet & they can explore peacefully, if you're too quick to remove things again they don't get the chance to get used to them.
I'm not sure which cage that is but if possible make the substrate as deep as you can so he can dig & burrow, if you have space something like a cork log (needs to be frozen for about a week before use) would be fun for him.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: advice? he hates coming out!

I was going to say the same - put more substrate in - to the top of the cage base (it might spill out a bit but shouldn't be too much. Robos love digging tunnels! That should keep him happy. How does he get up onto the orange shelf? Or is there a ramp out of sight as well? If the cage is quite tall he might feel a bit exposed (and also have falls risks) so adding more substrate will lessen the height as well.

It might be that the cage is a bit small. Our robo is in an 80 x 50cm cage (floor space) and I wouldn't go any smaller than 70cm by 40cm really as they are very active. Also can he get into the wheel easily? (Looks quite high above the substrate but maybe he can climb in ok). I think he'll be happier with more substrate. You could even put some cardboard strips inside the bars in one corner/end and have it deep at one end.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: advice? he hates coming out!

Also check the water bottle heigh and make sure he can reach it ok - better a bit low than a bit high. If the bottle won't go any lower then raising the substrate will help with that issue too. I wouldn't bother with sand to be honest if he's had some issues.
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Old 09-19-2018, 06:51 PM   #8
adrien
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Default Re: advice? he hates coming out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
I was going to say the same - put more substrate in - to the top of the cage base (it might spill out a bit but shouldn't be too much. Robos love digging tunnels! That should keep him happy. How does he get up onto the orange shelf? Or is there a ramp out of sight as well? If the cage is quite tall he might feel a bit exposed (and also have falls risks) so adding more substrate will lessen the height as well.

It might be that the cage is a bit small. Our robo is in an 80 x 50cm cage (floor space) and I wouldn't go any smaller than 70cm by 40cm really as they are very active. Also can he get into the wheel easily? (Looks quite high above the substrate but maybe he can climb in ok). I think he'll be happier with more substrate. You could even put some cardboard strips inside the bars in one corner/end and have it deep at one end.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cypher View Post
That sand isn't the best, I'm not sure what country you're in? If you're in the UK then the tiny friends farm sand (available from pet shops & various places online is the best) if not then play sand (dried in the oven) would certainly be worth a go, neither would be that dusty & shouldn't cause a problem.
If you put something like a tray of sand in & he runs away just leave it & give it time, they can sometimes get a bit freaked out but will adjust to things in a few days, sometimes over night while it's quiet & they can explore peacefully, if you're too quick to remove things again they don't get the chance to get used to them.
I'm not sure which cage that is but if possible make the substrate as deep as you can so he can dig & burrow, if you have space something like a cork log (needs to be frozen for about a week before use) would be fun for him.
hi! he's able to reach everything totally fine. that was very important to me, especially since i got him during the summer and wanted him to be able to reach the water. he likes to climb up to the top shelf, run around, and climb back down. there used to be a tunnel, but he literally never used it, so i took it out.

he does have fun digging, already! (base is filled about halfway), so i'll add some more bedding for him.

i'm in canada, and the brand of sand i have is the nicest one they offer on my area, and it seems he's quite sensitive. luckily, i talked to a vet since he had an irritated/crusty eye, and she told me to actually take the sand out and replace it with rice, so i'm going to be doing that as soon as i have the energy.

i also found that putting his home on the bedside table instead of the desk has helped a TON with the bar chewing, so i think partly he was just lonely. which i guess makes sense... he started acting up when he started coming out less.

thank you both for your help!!!
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sand, cage, hates, baths, coming, things, happy, fluffy, well-loved, put, sensitive, spinner, addition, supervise, pink, silent, eye, time, teddy, pout, glossy, love, diva, dearly, bear

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