What Is a Sugar Glider?
A sugar glider is a small nocturnal member of the marsupial family, though they are often mistaken for rodents. Other marsupial mammals include kangaroos and koala bears (they also have a pouch for their babies to grow)! They live to 10-12 years and grow a body length of ~12-15cm, with the tail being about as long as the body. Sugar "glider" comes from the distinctive flap of skin between their legs that allows them to glide from branch to branch in the wild.
Sugar gliders require a barred cage with a bar space being no smaller than half an inch. They are extremely active animals and need lots of room to jump around and play. If you are housing one sugar glider, a 20" x 20" x 36" would be the smallest it could live comfortably. We recommend that sugar gliders should be kept in pairs. For two or more sugar gliders, Pisces recommends: Critter Nation 2 Level Cage (model 162). Always provide toys, ropes and hammocks for your sugar gliders to play and sleep.
Sugar gliders are nocturnal, so wet feeding should be done at nighttime. Sugar gliders are so active, they can actually consume their own body weight in food every day! Fresh water should be available at all times from a dish or bottle. 1 heaping tablespoon of fresh fruit/veggie mix should be given with the modified leadbeater diet .
Modified leadbeaters Diet
*Blend ingredients together into a paste with no chunks
- 150ml warm water
- 150ml honey
- 1 hard boiled egg with shell
- Half of Gerber dried cereal/oatmeal
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1 tablespoon calcium powder (no phosphorus) RepCal
- 1/2 tablespoon herpavite
- 25g high protein baby cereal OR 1 jar baby food (chicken/turkey)
In the morning, Take out any uneaten leadbeaters and replace with fresh pellets. Commercial sugar glider pellets can remain in the cage all day. Ensure all food has a 2:1 calcium to phosphorus level to prevent hind leg paralysis. Lori nectar should be offered every other day in a bottle.
As mentioned above, sugar gliders are a very social creature and will be much happier in pairs. If handled regularly, sugar gliders can and will be extremely friendly to humans. "Crabbing" is a distinct unpleasant sound sugar gliders make when they are scared or feel threatened, and it is perfectly normal. Sugar gliders are arboreal, they like to climb and jump form place to place, not run around. Often, exotic animals are considered unhandleable and difficult to care for. Sugar gliders make great, active pets and are very easy to keep one fathered in to a schedule.