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July 16, 2011

sugar glider ' care (NUTRITION)

Sugar Glider Nutrition

By now you've probably read all kinds of articles on feeding sugar gliders and may even feel a little overwhelmed by the variety of opinions and suggestions that you see.  Let's simplify the whole feeding issue.  This is SunCoast Sugar Gliders feeding plan easy as food groups 1- 2 - 3.

1) Feed your glider a portion of fresh fruits or vegetables.  We feed them a single fruit or veggie each day and vary the choice each day.  For example, tonight may be apples, tomorrow pears, the next day sweet potatoes, the following day cantaloupe, etc. 

2) Feed your glider an almost equal portion of protein.  We are strong advocates of sugar gliders getting at least 50% protein in their diets.  We use the following for protein sources and vary them each night: Chicken or turkey baby food, mealworms, crickets, boiled eggs (plain or mixed with a protein cereal and a dab of honey or apple juice).  We also alternate yogurt (with fruit) as part of this category as they babies seem to do very well with yogurt.

Food groups one and two should be fed in the evening with any uneaten foods removed in the morning to prevent spoilage.

3) Feed your glider some source of dry food that will be left in the cage for twenty four hours.  We use a combination of dry foods and mix them in a coffee grinder until the babies have developed a taste for them.  The glider should be getting most of its nutrition from the previous two categories, but they will eat more some days than others and the dry food is a great supplement for them to snack on. 
We use Wholesome Balance Chicken and Brown Rice Blend and berries & bugs.  Fresh portions of the staple food should be left in the cage 24 hours a day.  Sometimes sugar gliders will soil the staple food and the food should be changed out when that happens.  Never give your glider an inexpensive dry cat food as it could cause intestinal blockage or urinary tract problems.
Be sure that your glider is eating some from each group 1 & 2.  If they don't eat a lot of group 3, it is not a cause for concern as they are filling up on the fresh, healthy foods found in the first two categories.  If your glider seems to be eating all of its fruit and barely eating from the protein sources, then skip the fruit one or two nights a week to force them to consume more protein.  Some gliders can be picky eaters and only pick out the things they like best, so observation is key to maintaining your gliders' healthy diet. 
There are certainly other diet plans available such as Leadbeater's mix or the Taronga Zoo Diet.  You will want to keep your glider on a diet similar to ours when you get it, and if you choose to use a different formula, then make the change gradually. 
Last, but not least, you will want to supplement your gliders' vitamin and mineral intake.  We use Vionate and Rep-Cal daily and sprinkle it on the serving of fruit or veggies.  You may also administer vitamins and minerals by adding to a small serving of apple juice or nectar.  You never want to mix vitamins with the glider water supply as this can create growth in the water bottle that may not be healthy.

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