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Sugar Gliders Galore

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Mature sugar gliders have healthy mating habits, and they typically breed in captivity. Most stay in mated pairs while a few mate with more than one other sugar glider. When they become parents, they love and care for their young (joeys). It is important to maintain a safe and clean environment for a breeding pair of sugar gliders.  Healthy nutrition and environment are key to encouraging the breeding process. Sexual maturation of the sugar glider can occurr as early as 4 months.  To determine the sex of your adult sugar glider, observe the abdomen. Male sugar gliders have a small fur-covered scrotum, while females have a small slit-like opening.  Most breeding sugar gliders are permanently housed together.  When a successful fertilization occurs after mating, it takes only 14-16 days for the female to produce an underdeveloped joey.  Similar to kangaroos, the joey will make its way to the mothers pouch and attach to a nipple. They remain attached for up to seven weeks. If a joey detaches during this crucial stage in development, it is unlikely that they can reattach, and the mother will reject them. It is very important to leave the mother alone during the first stages of pouch development in order to prevent detachment. The female with continue to play during the pouch cycle, and you can handle her after the first stages are over. Just take extra care and be gentle. When you believe that a mother sugar glider is going to have a baby, increase both the food supply and calcium supplements. During the joey’s development, the female will swell in the pouch area with the side of the joey(s) about the size of a walnut. Most sugar gliders give birth in pairs, but it is not uncommon to see only one joey. More than two at a time is extremely rare. Around 10 weeks, joeys will briefly emerge from the pouch to try food. Both the female and the male parents care for the joey. The male protects them from predators, and is equally involved in caring for the baby. After two weeks out of the pouch, you can begin to handle the young sugar glider for short periods of time. Although sugar gliders make good parents, they still have natural animal instincts that you need to keep in mind. Some immature females or a pair that is breeding for the first time may eat their young. They also tend to eat still born or deformed young in order to keep only the healthy joeys. This is because they will be competing for the food supply, and they have the natural inclination toward survival of the fittest. Rarely, a sugar glider who has been introduced to a high protein diet might confuse their young for food. If your sugar gliders are continually having still born or deformed young, or if they are repeatedly eating their young, consider having the male neutered.