What do sugar gliders eat?

November 26, 2008 by Riley Kyrsten  
Filed under Food & Diet

Sugar gliders eat a varied diet in the wild and feed through out their own territory. In Australia although common along the eastern coast they are rarely seen. Their natural diet consists of insects, native fruit, flowers, and sap.

Gliders are “sap suckers” by nature and cannot be sustained by dry foods and off-the-shelf food pellets that are designed for other small animals such as hamsters. Sap suckers chew their food to extract the liquids and then most often spit out the remains. A simple way to look at it is that they need squishy, wet, naturally sweet, and quickly perishable foods.

Diets will often include protein from meat, vegetables, fruit, other foraging foods, and the occasional nut for a treat. Their nightly diet should consist of around 50% protein, 25% fruit and 25% veggies. They are essentially lactose intolerant, but still need calcium. A lot of owners will add calcium to their food. You do not necessarily need to do that as long as you are feeding them a healthy diet. To that end, a diet should be low in salt, anything with added preservatives or chemicals, and fat. It is wise to use natural whole foods. Packaged baby food can be a good source if you would like it already prepared, otherwise, collecting fruits and vegetables at your neighborhood grocery or natural grocery store will become a weekly ceremony. It is also wise to give them a varied selection of food at every feeding. Do not always give them their favorites or too much of one thing because this could lead to vitamin deficiency.

A good practice is to feed your sugar gliders every night just after they wake up and just before you go to bed. This allows you to spend a little time with them and hand feed them a few treats such as pecans or yogurt. I suggest removing all food in the morning after they go to sleep, it is bad for them to nibble on wet foods after they are a day old, and gliders are notorious for littering in the the areas with half-eaten food. Make sure to remove all the bits and pieces every morning so they do not rot and smell and so they wont end up eating something rotten.

You should prepare all food so that it is in small size chunks so your gliders can easily grasp it in their hands. For instance, you can serve corn kernels shaved off of the cob. Another good idea is to freeze fruits, veggies, and even completely prepared meals. You can defrost the meal during the day in the fridge or you can simply put the frozen meal or items in the cage before bed and they will thaw out during the night as the glider is active and feeding. This will make feeding time a lot easier and less work by spending one day a week preparing their food and freezing it.

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One Response to “What do sugar gliders eat?”
  1. What a cute photo! And a great idea for feeding. I’ll have to try that corn with my glider.

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