Bra fakta rik text om suga glidern och hur de ska skötas. Skrivet på Eng utav Redrum.
|I have two sugar gliders, Petaurus Vrevicets, |
one male and one female.
They came to me in Easter 2002,
when they where about three months old.
The male is called Ufo and the
female has not got a name yet.
The Sugar glider as a pet
Sugar gliders are tiny marsupials, members of the opossum family. They are found wild in Indonesia, New Guinea, New Zealand, and Australia. They got their name because they are really fond of sweet foods (nectars, tree sap) and can glide between the treetops. If high enough, a sugar glider can glide as far as 45 meters (150 ft).
UFO hanging upside down, holding a little baby in his paws.
Habits:They are nocturnal and often live in groups of 20 to 40. Adult gliders weigh about 120 - 135 g. The body is approximately 12-16 centimeters (5 - 6 inches) long and the tail is about the length of the body, or a little longer. Their tails are used for balance and steering when gliding. Gliders can live 10 to 15 years if well cared for. Their fur is very soft, similar to a chinchilla's.
Bonding:Sugar gliders are social animals and need lots of attention, at least a couple of hours every day if you have a single glider. Bored gliders can die from depression. So if you don't have a lot of spare time, get two or more! Handle them often in their youth and you will have really friendly and cuddly pets. They readily adapt to your daytime activities. The first month you should spend the majority of your time with them, then you will make strong bonds. If it's warm outside you can bring them outside under your shirt or around your neck in a little "pouch", made from a soft and breathing material. By keeping your glider in the pocket, it hears the sound of your heart and your voice, and most importantly, smells your natural body smell. In the beginning, the babies are scared and will probably try to nip at you and crab at you the first days, but it is really unusual that they break the skin, even if they are really mad.
UFO and his babe checking out their new house together.
Diet:Sugar gliders are omnivores. In the wild, a glider's diet consists of fruit, tree sap, nectars, insects, bird eggs, and even small lizards or rodents. They should be fed about 1/4 to 1/2 cup (each) of food once a day. Feed in the evening and always remove uneaten food in the morning. If its nothing left in the morning you probably aren't giving them enough food.
Their diet should consist of 20% - 30% fruits, 40% vegetables, 25% to 50% protein such as insects (crickets is best but mealworms is better than nothing), tofu, cooked chicken, hardboiled eggs, baby chicks or mice), and 15% breads and cereals. Gliders are high-energy creatures and need lots of carbohydrates which breads and cereals can provide. Give mostly food that is low in fat, sugar and phosphorus. (If you are breeding them, too much fat in the mother's diet can cause white spots on the baby's eyes.) Only give seeds and nuts for treats. Give no-fat plain unsweetened yogurt.
Vitamins: Twice a week you should provide them with vitamin D3, calcium and vitamin E. If you feed a lot of fruits and vegetables, it's especially important with calcium. Give them for example Rep-Cal (supplement for reptiles), it contains both calcium and vitamin D3 and it's also phosphorus-free (phosphorus will deplete calcium). Mix a small amount of powder with some yogurt, baby food or honey. You can also feed the supplement to the insects.
Some foods that are not so good:
- Cat, dog or ferret food
- Foods with a lot of refined sugar.
- Corn (very high in phosphorus).
- Citrus fruits (can cause diarrhea).
- Canned fruits (too much sugar).
- Food with onion in it.
- Destilled water.
Nowadays they live in this terrarium instead of a cage. This terrarium is 200 cm long, 80 cm high and 65 cm deep.
Sounds:They make a wide range of sounds such as chirping, barking, chattering, crabbing and other odd sounds that are hard to describe. The noise called "crabbing" is used when they get scared or disturbed. The barking is usually heard when they are playing with eachother or want some attention from you. They also have a hissing sound. I don't know what it means but I think it's a warning sound.
Cage:It would be best to get the tallest cage possible, at least one meter (3 feet.) An aquarium is not a suitable cage. If you are going to buy a cage make sure the hole spacing is not to big, a cage suitable for small birds often have the right size between the bars. Clean the cage once a week or so. If you have a male, be careful not to clean too often, it will result in the males scent marking more. I have read that a mixture of baking soda and water sprayed on the cage and rinsed off helps control odor best.
Here is a list of things that you should have in your cage:
- Nestbox or pouch. Gliders need a secure place to sleep. A nestbox is best if you have several gliders or are breeding them. If you get a nestbox it would be best to get a plastic or plexi-glass box. They are easier to clean from glider's pee. In the bottom you should put some kind of liner such as aspen bedding, tissues or a piece of fleece. Also give them a bonding pouch.
Ufo looking out from his nest.
- Branches. For example eucalyptus. If you use live tree branches make sure they are non-toxic and have not been sprayed with pesticides.
- Food dishes and water bottle that attach to the side. Use ceramic or stainless steel dishes. Plastic dishes scratch easily and can harbour harmful bacteria. Change water every day.
- Toys. Bird toys such as swings, rings, ladders, and mirrors help entertain gliders. Be sure to rotate toys to keep gliders from losing interest.
- Bedding. On the floor of the cage you can put for example aspen shavings. Do not use newspaper, cedar, or pine, these can be toxic to small animals.
Breeding: When reaching maturity the gliders will soon start to mate. After only 16 days the babies, which are called joeys, will be born. The sugar gliders are born really small and undeveloped. They usually give birth to 1-3 babies, weighing only 0,19 grammes. After their birth they crawl to the mother's pouch and stay attach to a nipple for roughly one week. After that they sometimes show up. The joey is still blind for a couple of weeks and need at least two more months before it leaves the pouch. They will stay with their parents a little longer and often take a ride on their mother when she is going to explore the surroundings. When not with the mother they usually stay with their father in the nest.
Ufo out climbing on me.
Artikeln är skriven utav: Marie Westergren (redrum)