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Joey growth up to 9 weeks IP

The joey will be ready to leave the pouch sometime between eight to nine weeks in pouch. There are two methods to determining the offical out of pouch date:

  1. Observation method: Breeder determines the joey to be out of pouch (OOP) when it is detached from the mother’s teat and no longer fits inside mom’s pouch.
  2. Eye-opening method: Breeder counts back 10 days from when the joey opens its eyes. Many breeders consider this the most reliable method.

Since it is possible for a mother to have joeys at different stages of development, twin joeys may not be OOP on the same day. You may hear the mother start to sing to her joey around this time. The singing encourages the joey to detach from the nipple. Once fully out of pouch, the new joey will nurse by sticking its head into the mother’s pouch.

The mother may leave the joey alone in the nest with the father to keep it warm or allow it to hang under her abdomen as she moves around the cage. Some parents will leave the joey alone in the nest while both parents are eating or playing. This is normal and the parents should return when the joey cries for them. Most sugar gliders are great parents, but watch for signs of joey rejection.

It is possible to start handling the joey for about two to five minutes at a time. If possible, hold the joey where the mother glider can watch you to prevent stress. Weigh the joey with a gram specific scale as soon as possible. By monitoring the joey's weight, you will be able to identify potential problems faster.


  • Size - approximately 10-18 grams
  • Fur - Smooth fine fur upon coming out of pouch. The abdomen area, patagium, and legs may not be covered with fur and remain pink. A standard joey’s tail will appear smooth and black or solid gray.
  • Development:
    • Ears are beginning to pop out
    • The joey is still stimulated by the parents to eliminate waste
    • Eyes remain closed
    • You can now sex the joey
    • Joey becomes vocal
  • Mobility - Stays in nest

Photos of mother sugar gliders and joeys up to nine weeks in pouch

Gray joeys in pouch at about 7 - 7.5 weeks - Some sugar glider moms will air their babies out as they get closer to being out of pouch. If they detached now, they would be considered premature.

Gray joeys in pouch about 7 - 7.5 weeks - Mom is airing them out.

White tip still attached at 9 weeks in pouch. This little guy is maturing slower than most.

White face detached after 8 weeks of being in pouch (1 day out of pouch). Notice this sugar glider is not shiny and has fur covering his entire back. Legs are still pink in some places, but fine fur is starting to cover them.

White face detached after 8 weeks of being in pouch (1 day out of pouch). This is the same joey as above, notice whiskers are fully formed and eyes lids are still fused.

Gray detached after 8 weeks of being in pouch (1 day out of pouch).

Gray male joey out of pouch 1 day - The "wart" where you would expect a belly button signals a male. These joeys detached a couple of days early as you can see the shiny and transparent skin of the joey's underside. Both brother and sister have a full belly of milk.

Gray female joey out of pouch 1 day - The "U" shaped slit signals a female. This is the sister to the joey above.

Last modified: July 24 2018