“I HAVE A PICKY GLIDER WHAT CAN I DO?”
I see it said all the time and I get at least 4 emails per week with the same concern.
"My glider will not eat its fruits and vegetables, do you have any advice?"
Since I find myself typing this out several times a week I thought I would just make it into an info page so people could have access to it. This has helped many people and hopefully it will help you as well. However, do keep in mind, you not only have to read the advice given, you have to apply it and stick to it.
Sugar gliders have routines. They follow these routines consistently. Many times we think it is just that they are tired of what we are feeding them or they do not like the things we offer. I do not believe this to be true. You see, I have fed pretty much the same things for over 10 years. I have never experienced a “picky glider”. Even a couple rescues that came in to me a few years back and the owner said “she tried everything” but her glider just would not eat many fruits and vegetables. These same gliders had absolutely no issues eating at my home.
There are different things that will affect the way and amount your sugar gliders eat.
1) Weather Patterns
2) Moon Cycles
3) Heat Cycles
5) Overfeeding and/or too many treats offered
The best way to figure out what and how your sugar glider eats is rather simple.
First, get a journal and a pen. Start writing EVERY SINGLE THING you feed them from the time YOU wake up until the time you go to bed. Yes, I want you to measure it all.
Often times one of the easiest problems to solve is by measuring the food. Many people think they just are not feeding enough to their little ones so they keep adding more. Please keep in mind, the sugar gliders stomach is only about the size of your thumb nail. They also don’t just sit and eat everything in one sitting, they will wake up, eat a bit and then go play or take a nap and do it all over again until the sun comes up in the morning. It is Americans culture to overfeed everyone and everything.
Go out and purchase a Tupperware container to hold all your fruits and vegetables in. Be sure it is airtight and freezer safe.
Purchase 4-6 different types of vegetables and 1-2 fruits (vegetables are much more important than fruit) or if you are feeding one of the Critter Love® staples, you should follow one of the vegetable and fruit mixtures I have listed on my website on this page: Salad Mixtures
Cut them up into bite size pieces and place them ALL (fruits and vegetables together) in the Tupperware container. Yes, this WILL make quite a bit of food. That’s what you want. After you have them all in the container, take a big spoon and mix them around like you would do a salad. You do NOT want to blend them in the blender. Place the lid on securely and put in freezer for 3-4 hours. Take it out and with your spoon, mix it all around again. This will keep your foods from freezing into one big block.
You will be scooping out 24 grams of this mixture per night, per glider along with their staple (main protein vitamin/calcium source).
Write down how much you fed and how much was eaten. If it appears that none of the fruits and vegetables were eaten, please check those items. Often times the sugar glider, especially the younger ones, will eat the inside of the vegetable and leave the outside, making it look like they did not eat at all.
Do NOT feed ANY OTHER FOODS with their dinner. If you are going to offer treats only offer 2-3 SMALL treats per glider in the MORNING so you do not ruin their appetites at night.
Continue feeding ONLY this mixture along with their staple every single night for the next 30 days. While you are doing that, each day write down amounts given and eaten as stated above.
You will soon see a pattern with your gliders. One night they will eat all of their green beans and their corn and not touch their carrots or apples. The next night they will eat the carrots and apples and not touch their green beans. They will always eat their corn because that is like candy to them…LOL!
As you are making notes of what was eaten, also make notes of the weather, the moon phase, if you notice breeding going on or a female in heat. You will soon see one night they will pick through this, the next night they will pick through that, another night they will eat like they are starving and clean their plates, another night they won’t touch anything.
Pretty soon, you will see, your gliders were never really ‘picky’ they are just on a certain type of routine. They do not become bored with their food. They just know what they need and when they need it.
Follow this system for an entire month and you will soon see and know what is going on around you just by the way your glider is eating their meal.
If you notice your glider is not eating anything at all, no staple, no fruits no vegetables, please keep an eye on their weight. If it appears the glider is beginning to lose weight (always weigh in grams) take them into the vet for a wellness check.
Also, please keep in mind that the amounts we are always told to feed our gliders (1 Tablespoon of Staple 1 Tablespoon of mixed fruit 1 Tablespoon of mixed vegetables) is a normal size serving for an ADULT sugar glider. Joeys may not eat all of the foods offered to them.
One more thing, this is speaking about gliders being picky eating their FRUITS AND VEGETABLES, if your glider is not eating its staple portion of the diet but eating the other foods offered, please consider changing the staple portion.
**"If you feed the BML diet, and plan to use this mixture method, only use the specific list of fruits and vegetables approved for that diet. Critter Love® does not recommend changing the written diet plan."
Now, stop stressing and relax. Enjoy your gliders. That is why you got them in the first place.