The Pampered Glider 

Where every glider deserves to be a star!   

Australian Wombaroo Diet

 

Feeding Guidelines for Sugar Gliders

These guidelines largely rely on using Wombaroo High Protein Supplement™ (HPS™) to provide the essential protein, fatty acids, vitamins & minerals in the diet.

The addition of other nutritional supplements or high energy foods is not recommended as this can severely affect the balance of nutrients in the diet. However there is plenty of scope for variation within the food types presented in the diet as outlined in the accompanying notes.

The diet is based on a 130g adult animal at maintenance (basal metabolic rate1,2 × 2.5) with a calculated energy requirement of approximately 113 kJ/day.

Approximate feed proportions of diet are:

 

Daily Feed amount per animal

Proportion of diet (as fed basis)

Fruit & Vegetables
(supplemented with HPS™ powder)

 

20g diced Fruit & Veg with 2 tsp. of Wombaroo HPS™ Solution* poured over it.

See addendum tables on page -4- for approximate portions of specific fruits & vegetables

90%

Small Carnivore Food™

 

2g (1 level teaspoon) of prepared Wombaroo Small Carnivore Food™ made up as a moist crumble

Note: Until this food item is available in the States,   1 tsp. of Yogurt (any flavour) should be substituted

7%

Live Food

1g mealworms, crickets or other invertebrates

3%

 * Wombaroo HPS Solution is made by suspending ¼ cup HPS™ powder (25g) into ⅓ cup warm water (75ml) and mixing well.

Approximate analysis of the above diet (dry basis):

Energy

 

17.5MJ/kg

Protein

 

20.0%

Fat

 

11.0%

Calcium

 

0.50%

Phosphorus (available)

 

0.34%

Ca/P ratio

1.5

 

For breeding or growing animals increase the amount of Wombaroo HPS™ or Small Carnivore Food™ by 50%.

 

Notes:

Fruit & Vegetables with HPS Solution (90% of diet)

These are offered as a major carbohydrate (energy) source in the diet. Sugar Gliders are able to readily digest both simple sugars and complex carbohydrates4. Fruits tend to be more palatable than vegetables due to higher sugar content. We generally feed about 75% fruit and 25% vegetables but this can vary based on seasonal availability and animal preference. A large variety of fresh fruits may be accepted including (and not limited to) berries, apple, pear, citrus, stone fruits, rockmelon (cantaloupe) with seeds, paw paw (papaya) with seeds. Likewise an assortment of vegetables may be offered including (and not limited to) cucumber with seeds, sweet potato and grated carrot. As long as these foods are supplemented with the recommended amount of Wombaroo High Protein Supplement (HPS) then all essential nutrients are properly balanced. There is little need to be concerned about the calcium to phosphorus ratio of individual food items as this is balanced out by the addition of the HPS.

See addendum tables on page -4- for approximate portions of specific individual fruits & vegetables.

 

Small Carnivore Food & Live Food (up to 10% of diet)

Wombaroo Small Carnivore Food™ is used as a live food (insect) replacement. Effectively our suggested diet can use either Small Carnivore Food or “Live Food” or a combination of both. The Small Carnivore Food™ has the advantage that it is fully balanced with vitamins & minerals, whereas insects are generally deficient in calcium. However live insects are a natural part of a Sugar Glider’s diet and are a favoured food which offer behavioural enrichment. When feeding insects it is important to offer a variety as feeding one type alone may be nutritionally deficient. The larval stage of insects (e.g. mealworms, fly pupae) tend to be higher in fat, so should only be used as a treat. Adult stage insects (e.g. crickets, moths, cockroaches) have a higher protein content and therefore provide a better source of nutrition in a captive diet. In all cases feeder insects can be fortified by growing them on a nutritional substrate such as Passwell Insect Booster. It is interesting to note that sugar gliders also feed on spiders in the wild. Spiders contain elevated levels of the sulphonic amino acid taurine, which may be particularly beneficial in the growth and development of young gliders. Both Wombaroo HPS™ and Small Carnivore Food™ contain added levels of taurine.

 

Blossoms & Foliage

It is also recommended to provide as much native (Australian) blossom and foliage as possible (e.g. eucalypt, acacia, callistemon, grevillea, banksia). Larger branches of eucalypt are also beneficial to stimulate natural foraging behaviour such as chewing of bark.

 

Pollen

Pollen from native plants is a natural part of the diet and is often consumed by gliders in conjunction with nectar3. However most commercial forms of pollen (ie Bee Pollen) are harvested from bees and are not nutritionally equivalent to the native plant pollen consumed by gliders (bee pollens are large agglomerations of pollen grains bound together with carbohydrates). As a result, bee pollen is significantly less digestible and offers little additional nutritional value to captive gliders already being fed a balanced diet. The range of amino acids, vitamins and minerals found in plant pollen are also contained in Wombaroo HPS™, so we believe the addition of pollen to this diet is unnecessary.

 

Iron Storage Disease

Excessive dietary iron can induce Iron Storage Disease (ISD), which is the accumulation of iron in body organs and tissues. In prolonged cases ISD can lead to organ failure and death. Some nectarivorous and frugivorous species are prone to ISD, and these species normally have low levels of iron in their natural diet. Although iron storage disease has not been widely reported in sugar gliders, evidence of tissue iron deposition has been seen in gliders at necropsy4. Many commercial human foods (eg baby foods) and supplements are fortified with iron and these should be avoided when feeding sugar gliders. Some commonly fed glider “recipes” may contain excessive iron content4. Wombaroo High Protein Supplement™ contains less than 40ppm Iron and thus provides safe levels of iron in the diet. Note: Dark green vegetables - such as spinach, broccoli and collard greens - have high iron content and therefore should be avoided.

 

References

1.      Dawson TJ, Hulbert AJ (1970). Standard metabolism, body temperature, and surface areas of Australian marsupials. Am J Phys 1970;218:1233–8.

2.      Nagy KA, Suckling GC (1985). Field energetics and water balance of sugar gliders, Petaurus breviceps (Marsupialia: Petauridae). Aust J Zool;33:683–91.

3.      Smith AP. (1982) Diet and feeding strategies of the marsupial sugar glider in temperate Australia. J Anim Ecol;51:149–66.

4.      Dierenfeld E.S. (2009) Feeding Behaviour and Nutrition of the Sugar Glider (Petaurus breviceps). The veterinary clinics of North America Exotic animal practice Volume: 12, Issue: 2, Publisher: Elsevier Ltd, Pages: 209-15, xiii-viii.

Note: This Australian Wombaroo Diet has been provided by Wombaroo Food Products.


The following tables are approximate portions. Actual weight of fruits and vegetables can vary depending on the variety, size, etc. These tables are meant to be used as a guideline in feeding your sugar gliders. For the most accuracy, you should weigh the portions each evening as you are preparing your gliders’ meal.

Fresh Fruits:

Blueberries

~ 12

½” berries

Blackberries

~ 4

1” berries

Raspberries

~ 4

1” berries

Apple

~ ¾” wedge

mid-sized, gliders prefer Gala, Fuji or Honeycrisp

Pear

~ ¾” wedge

mid-sized

Orange

~ 1½ wedges

mid-sized, peeled

Apricot

~ 1½” wedge

pit removed

Peach, Nectarine

~ ¾” wedge

pit removed

Cantaloupe

~ 1” cube

no need to remove seeds

Watermelon

~ 1” cube

no need to remove seeds

Papaya

~ 1” cube

no need to remove seeds

 

Vegetables:

Cucumber

~ ½” slice

no need to remove seeds

Sweet Potato (fresh)

~ 1½” cube

peeled, raw

Sweet Potato (fries)

~ 14 fries

from freezer section of store: thawed, uncooked

Carrot

~ 2” cutting

serve grated or diced

Asparagus (fresh)

~ 2 stalks

¼” diameter stalks, serve uncooked

Avocado

~ 1” cube

peeled

Celery

~ 4” cutting

serve whole or diced

Note: Portions shown above are measured as if you are feeding just that individual item for the evening. If you choose to serve a variety, then the portions should be adjusted accordingly. For example, if you choose to serve blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and carrot one evening, the portions would be approximately 3 blueberries, 1 blackberry, 1 raspberry and ½” cutting of carrot.

Original HPW

High Protein Wombaroo Diet

 2 cups warm water

1 ½ cup honey (never feed raw honey.)

1 tablespoon Australian Bee Pollen

¼ High Protein Wombaroo

3 eggs scrambled

 Cook eggs, set aside.

In medium bowl mix together warm water and honey until honey is dissolved. Add in High Protein Wombaroo and mix well.

In blender, mix eggs and bee pollen and ¼ cup of Wombaroo mix. Blend for aprox 2 minutes.

Add remaining mixture and blend and additional 3 minutes.

Pour in a freezer-safe bowl with an air tight lid.

Mixture, when frozen will be the consistency of ice cream and very east to serve.

                                                    Each glider will be served the following

1 teaspoon High Protein Wombaroo

1 tablespoon fruits

1 tablespoon vegetables

Meal worms

Gliderade nectar is offered twice a week.

 

You can get your meal worms from www.grubco.com

You can get your gliderade from www.suzsugargliders.com