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There are many different diets available for your sugar glider, each diet has it's ups and downs. It really is controversial as to what the best diet is for a sugar glider in captivity. Although any diet you choose, keep the following in mind:

  • A healthy diet is VERY important, serious health conditions will arise if your glider is not feed properly.
  • Keep a positive calcium to phosphorous ratio, use calcium supplements that are non-phosphorous.
  • A sugar gliders diet should consist of a protein source, vitamins, fruits and vegetables.
  • Use vitamin supplements when necessary, but don't over do it, too many vitamins can be just as harmful as not enough.
  • Start out by feeding about 3-4 tablespoons of food per night, per glider. If they eat it all the first night add a little more the next night until they leave only a little bit. Remember a sugar gliders stomach is about the same size of your thumbnail, and only holds less than a tablespoon of food/water.
  • Often times breeders will offer pregnant or lactating mothers extra protein. Before doing this, be sure it fits into your current diet plan.
  • Never add vitamins to your gliders water.
  • Always follow the directions of your chosen diet.
  • Fresh water and a high quality staple food must be available at all times.
  • Feed you glider a varied diet within your chosen diet plan. This will prevent food boredom, and ensures a balanced diet. Example, feed various fruits, juices, vegetables, etc.
  • Cat food or pellet base diets are not recommended. Sugar gliders are sap suckers, by feeding large amounts of hard food can lead to an infection in the jaw known as “lumpy jaw”.
  • Do not mix diets. Each diet is balanced with the right amount of vitamins and minerals. Mixing diets can affect these balances resulting in either too much, or not enough of something.
  • Give the diet a chance before deciding your gliders don't like it. Sugar Gliders can be like 2 year olds, and have similar eating patterns. One week they will go without touching any fruit, the next that is all they will eat.
Here Are A few examples of what other sugar glider owners are feeding their gliders:

Back to Basics BML / Judie's Modified Leadbeaters / Darcy's Diet
The ExoticDiet / PML Diet

 

Back to Basics Leadbeaters Diet Plan

The Modified Leadbeaters Diet Plan below, is one of the oldest and most proven diets currently in use. Please do not modify this diet in any way. Note that the Back to Basics plan has a specific list of fruits and veggies to be fed, as well as a time that mealworms should be fed.   

Presentation: Start out by feeding (per 1 glider):

  • 1 Tablespoon of the BML mix
  • 1 Tablespoon of fruits (apples, grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, melon, frozen pitted cherries and blueberries)
  • 1 Tablespoon of veggies (corn, peas, carrots and green beans)
  • Feed 10-12 small, 7-10 medium, or 3-5 large mealworms in the morning.
If they eat it all the first night add a little more the next night until they leave only a little bit.

Back to Basics BML Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Honey (Do not use honey comb, raw or unfiltered)
  • 4 oz bottle of premixed Gerber juice with yogurt, (comes in mixed fruit or banana found near the baby food isle) Some places this product can’t be found, in that case, mix in 2 oz of plain yogurt and 2 oz of mixed fruit juice.(100% juice no additives)
  • 1/4 cup Wheat Germ
  • 1 Teaspoon of vitamin supplement (Rep-Cal HERPTIVITE is recommended)
  • 2 teaspoons Calcium Supplement non-phosphorus with Vit. D3 (Rep-Cal)
  • 2 2 1/2 oz jar of Chicken baby food
  • 1 Egg boiled or scrambled (no shell)
  • 1/4 cup of apple juice
  • 1/2 cup of dry baby cereal
     

Directions: Put honey, egg, Gerber juice into the blender, blend until ingredients are mixed well. Add the rest of the ingredients, blend well for 5 mins. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze immediately.

* It will freeze to the same consistency as ice cream. 1 cube is about 2 tablespoons, this recipe should feed one glider for about a month.

 

Modified Leadbeaters Diet Plan (Judie's Version)

Judies Modified Leadbeaters Diet Plan below was modified by a long time and respected breeder due to some of her gliders rejecting the basic mixture. Please follow this diet plan exactly. Avoid supplementing or modifying ingredients. Please note that there is not a specific list of fruits/veggies with this diet as their is with the Back to Basics BML plan. Variety is important, but do not overfeed items high in phosphorous such as corn. 

Presentation: Start out by feeding (per 1 glider):

  • 1 Tablespoon of the BML mix
  • 1 Tablespoon of fruits
  • 1 Tablespoon of veggies
  • Feed 10-12 small, 7-10 medium, or 3-5 large mealworms
    Other insects gliders enjoy are crickets, june bugs, moths, and grasshoppers. Never feed roaches, lightening bugs, or any bug caught outside or in an area where it could have insecticide on it
If they eat it all the first night add a little more the next night until they leave only a little bit.

BML Ingredients: (a.k.a. Judie’s Version)

  • 1/2 cup Honey (Do Not Use honeycomb, raw or unfiltered honey)
  • 1 Egg Hard Boiled w/shell (if your blender doesn't break the shell down, don't use it)
  • 1 oz of Apple Juice (100% juice- no additives)
  • 1 oz of CranApple or CranCherry Juice
  • 4 oz bottle of premixed Gerber juice with yogurt, (comes in mixed fruit or banana found near the baby food isle) Some places this product can’t be found, in that case, mix in 2 oz of plain yogurt and 2 oz of mixed fruit juice.(100% juice no additives)
  • 1 Teaspoon of vitamin supplement (Rep-Cal HERPTIVITE is recommended)
  • 2 teaspoons Calcium Supplement non-phosphorus with Vit. D3 (Rep-Cal)
  • 2 2 1/2 oz jar of Chicken baby food
  • 1 Small Jar of Stage 2 Sweet Potato
  • 1/4 cup Wheat Germ
  • 1/2 cup dry baby cereal (Mixed or Oatmeal)

Directions: Put honey, egg (with shell on) and apple juice into the blender, blend until ingredients are mixed well. Next, add the chicken baby food, and sweet potato, blend. Add the fruit juice, yogurt juice, and vitamin supplement, blend well. Add the wheat germ and baby cereal, blend well. Pour into ice cube trays, or in a bowl and freeze.

* It will freeze to the same consistency as ice cream. 1 cube is about 2 tablespoons, this recipe should feed one glider for about a month.

Darcy's Diet (Ensure)

Presentation: Feed about a tablespoon of protein source per glider. Such as insects, mealworms, chicken or duck meat, crickets, wax worms, or egg. Also feed nightly chopped fruits and vegetables. Use various fruits & veggies, emphasis on variety and moderation. (No large amounts of any one thing.)

Daily Staple: Zookeeper’s Secret is offered daily as a staple.

Enrichment Supplement: Nekton brand nectar is offered nightly. A multivitamin and protein supplement originally developed for birds. It has a calcium phosphorus ratio of 1:1, therefore it can not be relied upon for a calcium supplement. (similar to glider-aid)

Daily Vitamin/Mineral Supplement: Mix one can of Ensure (8 ozs) with 380 mg (3/8 teaspoons) calcium carbonate (human grade, available at most pharmacies)

2-3 tablespoons Ensure* supplement (NEVER CHOCOLATE) with calcium per glider in a bowl. (If you try putting it in a bottle the calcium will clog the tube.).

Optional: 1/4 tsp acacia gum

This diet is especially useful for gliders who are malnutrition or recovering from illness. It is based on using Ensure plus calcium as the nutritional supplement.

*Sustagen is the European equivalent

The Sugar Glider Exotic Diet (The Pet Glider Diet)

Ingredients:

  • 25 oz unsweetened applesauce

  • 4 oz Dannon non-fat plain yogurt

  • 3 oz concentrated calcium fortified orange juice, no water added

  • 3/4 c Old Fashioned Oats (NO QUICK COOKING OATS)

  • 1 T fresh ground flax seed or wheat germ, refrigerated

Directions: In a large bowl, mix the applesauce, oats, yogurt, wheat germ and orange juice. Divide into three equal portions. To portion one, add: 3 small or medium eggs, scrambled. To portion two, add: 3/4 lb unseasoned, unsalted, broiled shredded chicken. Leave the third portion plain for the nights you feed mealworms or yogurt.

Freeze flat in quart size freezer bags (1/2" or less thick).

In a separate bowl, chop up:
3/4 cups various fruits
3/4 cups various vegetables
You may also choose to use pre-cute frozen fruits or vegetables.
Combine and freeze in bags.

Presentation:

  • Offer the basic mixture fresh the first two nights, then freeze the remaining following the directions above.
  • Break off a frozen piece of the basic mix. Pull out the chopped fruits and vegetables from your freezer, trying to keep it one part fruits to one part vegetables.
  • If you choose to use pre-cut frozen fruits and vegetables, do not use vegetables which have a high ratio of corn.
  • Feed at least 4-6 fresh fruits and veggies each day; don’t feed the same combination of this mixture three days in a row.
  • Offer UNSEASONED, UNSALTED broiled chicken (1 tsp per glider), eggs, or mealworms (3-6 giant) four or five nights out of the week for extra protein. If your glider has a tendency to be overweight, offer less mealworms. Mealworms are high in fat, so only offer them three times per week.
  • Offer fresh water at all times, and Gatorade may be given 3-4 times a week. Use fruit flavored Gatorade, and mix the granular kind to you glider’s tastes. The flavored fruit mix encourages your glider to drink more liquid. It contains electrolytes, and also contains some sucrose, a nectar substitute, both very important to them.
  • Always sprinkle vitamins, on top, never mix them in and never freeze them. If you sprinkle them on top the gliders will eat them first with some food because they taste good.
PML Diet
Mix Ingredients:
  • 1 & 3/4 cup of water (bottled preferred)
  • 1 & 3/4 cup - of honey (honey amount can be lessoned to 1 & 1/2 cup if using Australian honey)
  • 2 boiled shelled eggs
  • 1 ounce (30 grams) - of Wombaroo High Protein Supplement

According to Pockets: “I change my amount of Wombaroo HPS I offer according to season - but you do not have to. I use 1 less egg in my PML than is recommended in Oz, as my research has shown a problem with captive possums - possible cholesterol problems from providing to many egg yolks resulting in fatty tumors.”

Instructions:
  • Warm water for 2 minutes in microwave before mixing in the honey (do not make water hot as it can destroy the vitamins in the WHPS). Mix until dissolved
  • Place eggs and warm blended honey/water into blender, blend 1 minute
  • Add 1 ounce (30 grams) of Wombaroo High Protein Supplement & blend again for 1 minute
  • Place in freezer-safe dish & freeze.
Presentation:
  • Pockets Modified Leadbeater's (PML) mix nightly; 1 glider portion is 3/4 -1 tbs
  • 1 tablespoon insectivore fare per glider (zookeeper secret)
  • 1-2 tablespoons fruit/veggie mix per glider
  • Tiny portion of Neocalglucon weekly (a type of calcium)

*Note Please talk to your vet before starting your sugar gliders on any diet.

~Pet Sugar Gliders~

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