Little Bubba is growing up!

My weekly updates on Bubba. Today he is 38 days OOP, weighing at 40g. A good weight for a 5 week OOP joey. So far he is starting to venture out of his sleeping pouch more often, exploring the whole cage. He is not so clingy to his mom now, so less piggy back rides. Little Bubba is still on his mom’s milk, not taking any solids yet. I’m expecting him to start tasting solid food and GliderSLURP after he is 6 weeks OOP.

Here are some gorgeous pictures of Bubba. He has really grown very well, bigger than my handphone already.

At 5 weeks OOP, Little Bubba is starting to show his fluffy tail. He is a very handsome little joey that loves to sit on the highest point of anything, particularly my head. Bubba will be joining TJ and Sara’s Gadget and QiQi, the 2 other older joeys.

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BoBo will have a happy home

A big thank you to everyone who had view BoBo’s adoption post. I’m happy that Eka and her sister would like to adopt him. Now I can rest easily, knowing that BoBo would get a good and happy home.

Anyway, BoBo will be neutered before he goes to Eka and her sis. I will be making an appointment with Dr Jenny from Hands and Paws clinic.

Bonding

Sugar gliders are social creatures. Most of us get gliders because of their loyalty to their owners, being one of the best pocket pets around. Now gliders do not just stick like glue to you on the first day. You need to start a close friendship with your glider or joey. You need to get your glider or joey to get familiar with your voice, touch, scent and handling. All this is done through bonding and it takes time.

Honestly speaking, joeys are easier to bond with than adult gliders. In Malaysia, adult gliders that are available at pet shops in a price range between RM120 to Rm180 are WILD adult gliders. This is the same with suppliers, selling Wild sugar gliders for around RM60 to RM80. Yes, to a student or anyone who thinks spending RM300 is a waste since an adult is so cheap, these impulse buyers tend to regret later. I have heard of people releasing their adult gliders into our jungles just because it bites, smells, doesn’t like to be held and would not stay in their hands for a second. Gosh, they are so clueless. Impulse buyers with no research. The poor gliders would then starve and suffer in our local jungles for they can’t find their proper food, and they would most probably end up as dinner to our civet cats living in the wild. A pity….

Bonding

Don’t you wish your glider can sleep in your shirt pocket like the one is this picture?

The key to a close glider and owner bond is “The more time you spend with your glider, the closer the bond”. This is very true as I have personally experience gliders living in my room and being on me for most of the time during the day and gliders living out of my room and having only 2 to 3 hours with me. The gliders that are normally with me have a closeness that I can hardly explain. They trust me and come up to me eagerly. Anyway, here are some tips on bonding with a new joey. It applies to adults as well, just that adults take a slightly longer time to bond.

Like I said before, it doesn’t take overnight. Bonding means building a solid relation with your glider. It would take about 1 to 2 months for them to become really bonded to you. If you are the kind of person who spends very little time with your gliders, then the bonding process takes longer, maybe 6 months.

  • When you have brought home your joey or glider, place it in it’s cage and let it settle itself for about 2 days. Sometimes I advice people to give 24 hours but the best is actually 48 hours of rest from the stress of the new move. A new glider or joey needs time to settle, get used to it’s new environment and feel comfortable. Best is to just provide a sleeping pouch and some ropes to climb on in the cage for the 1st few days. Do not put a wheel inside first as the joey or glider may stay in it to feel safe and won’t venture out.
  • Place some of your worn tshirts on the cage and also inside it’s sleeping pouch. What I normally would do is keep a few old shirts on stand by. Wear them for a night or 2 to transfer my smell onto the shirts. Then I take 1 shirt and cut into a few pieces of scrap cloth. This pieces of cut up tshirt would go into the bonding pouch and sleeping pouch. My scent would be with them during their sleep. With the other shirts, I keep them aside and use them to partially cover the cage. This also makes the cage smell a bit like me and the gliders would then learn to feel comfortable around my smell.
  • No make sure you do not wear any perfume or deodorant. Some gliders would lick some of the residue if they are curious and it can be harmful. Anyway, you also do not want your smell to be overpowered by something sweet smelling as it can interfere with the bonding process.
  • Get a bonding pouch. You can easily purchase a bonding pouch either from Pet Shack or SuggieStuff. This is one of the essential things that you must have before getting a joey. A bonding pouch is a fleece pouch that you can hang around your neck. You can bring your joey anywhere during the day when it is asleep inside a bonding pouch. Some people may say that you do not need to bring your glider or joey everywhere you go but trust me, if you do it, you create a better bond and it shortens the bonding time too. New joeys and gliders would at first feel stressed and fidgety in a bonding pouch, but with time, they would adapt to the idea. Pouch bonding gets your joey or glider to familiarize with different sounds and smells, movement from your body as well as recognizing your scent.
  • Ladies, you can do another way of bonding which is called “Bra Bonding”. This is where you place your joey in your bra during the day. I have used this method before and it creates a bad habit, your glider would then like to enter your shirt or anyone’s shirt to find a snug place to sleep in. But do not worry, guys and girls, you can also do bonding by having your joey or glider sleep in the pocket of a shirt. Only do this when you are in your home or room because most shirt pockets have no zipper, and if a joey or glider jumps out in a public place, then that would just create panic and trouble.
  • No new joeys and gliders can easily get freaked out by fast movements, so slow down yourself when you are with your joey or glider. Never move your arms fast or grab them fast as this would trigger their instinct to either sprint away to hide or attack back by biting and clawing.
  • Gliders recognize voices, so talk to your joey or glider everyday.
  • Never chase your new glider or joey when it is inside it’s cage. This would just make the bonding process longer. Tempt your glider by offering food. Mealworms, dried fruits or a bit of fruit preserve on your finger works wonders. Also, remember to train your glider to accept your hand. Whenever you have time, place your hand into their cage, pet them or hand feed them. This creates better bonding.
  • For playtime, use a small room that is glider safe or purchase a camping tent. I normally use my own bed room for bonding and play time but a tent is better. A glider would have little space to escape and hide, a tent would also have less distractions so a glider would learn to trust and bond easier.
  • Important, never put your hand into your glider’s bonding pouch or sleeping pouch. This can cause panic to your gliders as they feel like they are being attacked. Coax your glider or joey out slowly by using a treat, or just use your hands to nudge them out from the outside of the pouch. I always explain to people that they should slowly push a glider out of the pouch by using the same method when they are trying to squeeze toothpaste. Of course they have to do it gently and slowly.

Some gliders can become pouch protective, so to overcome that, coax your glider with treats. When your glider is in it’s pouch, talk to it and use your hands to touch it from outside the pouch. Normally with new gliders, this would cause a lot of crabbing but once gliders are used to this routine, they would not be pouch protective later.

It is rewarding to have a bonded glider. So take your time to train and bond with your glider. Remember, the longer time you spend with your gliders, the better the bond.

Picture credits go to Andrew and Connie for the first 2 pictures. The last goes to KJ. Thanks

Dairy products

Sorry guys, I have been busy for the past couple of days. So here is the article on dairy products that I promised to do earlier.

Sugar gliders has to have a diet that has about 75% fruits and veggie, and another 25% of protein. Now, we can actually include dairy products to our gliders diet but we must be extra careful with what we feed to our gliders.

Eggs

High in protein, vitamins and minerals which is beneficial for gliders. Some people would advice you to just feed the egg white but they are wrong. The egg has to go as it is if we want our gliders to get the nutritious goodness of eggs. The best way is not hard boiled eggs but actually lightly scrambled eggs. Use a non-stick frying pan with no added oil.

Yogurt

Yogurt has good bacteria that helps with digestion, is loaded with calcium and vitamins. We must not feed the wrong type of yogurt. The best would actually be homemade yogurt. I have seen those instant mixes or ingredients to make yogurt sold at certain stores in Kuala Lumpur. Just keep a look out if you want to have a go at making your very own homemade yogurt. Avoid artificial sweeteners as those can give health problems and cancer to our pets. Simple sugar is ok. I normally use Marigold and Nestle’ yogurt, always get low-fat yogurt as the small amounts of fat in yogurt is beneficial to gliders. If you do not have a budget, try spending on the imported good stuff from Cold Storage. You can even give your gliders a few drops of Vitagen. Remember to limit the intake, a teaspoon of yogurt or a few drops of Vitagen twice a week.

Cheese

Some websites suggest feeding cheese to gliders. In my opinion, we should not. Why? Cheese is actually quite high in salt as during the cheese making process, it is soaked in brine(salty water solution). Anyway, there are websites that mention cheese causing intestinal blockage and even constipation.

Milk

Now gliders are not really lactose tolerant. They can take yogurt cause the lactose in yogurt is a more digestible form. Never ever give raw cow’s milk as unpasteurized milk can contain bad bacteria like tuberculosis bacilli or Salmonella. Gliders cannot tolerate lactose from cow’s milk and goat’s milk so we should avoid feeding these milk to our gliders. We are responsible for their health and life, so we should take important measures and research about food products that are safe for gliders.

Sugar gliders can tolerate very low amounts of lactose. Puppy replacement milk like Esbilac, which is not available here has only 3.5% of lactose, so this replacement milk is suitable for gliders. Since in Malaysia we cannot get hold of Esbilac, the best replacement milk would be Pets Own Lactose free milk or Just Born puppy milk. Never use kitten replacement milk as cats have a higher lactose percentage, about 6.5%

Picture from http://www.connex.com.au/

Picture from http://www.cherrybrook.com

Anyway, we must remember, everything should be in moderation. Never go overboard, especially with milk base products as it can cause diarrhea if taken too much. This is the same with fruit juices.

An update on a Little Bubba

Well, it is actually Baby Ringo, his future owners have named him Bubba. So now I call him Little Bubba. This is to update on how he has grown from his 7th day as an Out Of Pouch(OOP) joey to a 31 day old joey.

1 week OOP

2 weeks OOP

3 weeks OOP

4 weeks OOP

Little Bubba has not tried solid food yet. At 4 weeks old, he still clings on to his mom, Naya. He is still on milk and still loves to sit and hide in his sleeping pouch as it is secure, comfy and cosy. Daddy Pama keeps watch over him.

Here are pictures of Little Bubba with his mom. Look at how he clings on to her back. 8 week old joeys rarely cling like this. As he is only 4 weeks OOP, he still is insecure, needs his mother’s warmth and milk. Naya would teach Bubba how to eat, relieve himself as well as teach him how to be a glider.

Here are some pictures of Little Bubba being his cute little self.

TJ and Sara, hope you love your Little Bubba’s photos.

Calcium is important

Rep Cal Calcium.

Picture from http://www.sugar-gliders.com

I realise that quite a number of breeders and sellers never advice their customers on calcium intake for gliders. Now joeys would need lots of food that is high in calcium in order to grow properly. Gliders need calcium to avoid brittle bones and also a condition called Hind Leg Paralysis. I will explain further.

Most fruits that are readily available has a higher phosphorus ratio compared to calcium. Corn and banana are very high in phosphorus, so this is why I have mentioned in the diet post about limiting or avoiding corn and banana. Anyway, we must always remember that gliders need a calcium ratio of 2 and phosphorus ratio of 1….. Because a lot of fruits and veggies have low calcium ratio, we need to supplement with a calcium supplement. People who have been purchasing my GliderSLURP! need not to worry about lack of calcium as I have included calcium and vitamins and other minerals into the supplement mix.

The brand that we normally recommend is Rep Cal, which is not available in Malaysia but it can be ordered. If you wish to have one, contact me. Rep Cal is pure calcium with no added phosphorus, and we choose the green label as it has no added Vitamin D3. Why is that? Well, pure calcium has a longer shelf life than those with added vitamins. Gliders can get Vitamin D3 from food consumption such as eggs. Loaded with Vitamin D3.

Another brand that is ok for glider is called Repti Cal, which is a product by Aristopet. This is also a good product. It has Vitamin D3 added so the shelf life is limited to 3 years from manufacturing date. Phosphorus free and is a form of pure calcium, this is good for gliders. It is roughly around RM28 to RM32, depending on pet shops.

Repti Cal

Picture from https://my.bizshop.com.au

– Hind Leg Paralysis –

Now this is a serious condition. When a glider has little calcium in their diet, the body would get the calcium it needs from the only source it knows….. the bones. When the calcium is drawn out of the bones, it cause the bones to become brittle and weak. Normally signs of hind leg paralysis at the early stages are when a glider has weak back legs. Sometimes the back legs would tremble too. When it gets serious, the glider normally would not be able to move it’s back legs and would be trying to drag itself around.

I know some people who have called me and asked me why their gliders died. I have gotten answers like the breeder told them to feed only apples and dry dog food or just jar babyfood. Now jar babyfood is just as bad because it is high in Vitamin C, which can prevent the absorption of calcium. Now this is the main problem, little calcium and the joeys die from weak bones. Now calcium deficiency can cause Pneumonia because the bones decalcify, causing the ribcage and muscles to work properly, resulting in moisture collecting in the lungs. Lack of calcium can also cause the spinal cord to collapse, and this is the worst thing to happen for the glider would need to be put down since the glider could not move anymore (full paralysis).

Of course, do not over do with the calcium supplements. Too much calcium is quite bad as it can cause kidney stones, crystals in the urine and calcium deposits on the joints, muscles and organs.

All a glider needs is a very very small minute pinch of calcium a day. Just take a pinch of the calcium powder using your thumb and fore finger. Then divide half of that pinch. You will get a rough amount for 1 glider.

Online Classifieds

Hi to all,

I know I have not been posting any new articles later, well, it is due to my Internet connection being down. Today I am back on track so I will post a few articles coz I have missed so many days.

Anyway, I am feeling concerned over a few matters.

Online classifieds. I know many people do like to browse online classifieds like Adpost, 88DB, Mudah, Pick and Post and other sites. Sometimes we come upon deals that are so hard to resist because they offer cheap prices that are way cheaper than any pet shop. Sometimes, cheaper than hobbyist breeders. My BIGGEST concern would be where these people are trying to sell glider joeys that are underage. Recently 1 ad had pictures of joeys that looked like they just opened their eyes, meaning 2 weeks OOP….. but then the ad states that it is 2 months OOP. What crap is that? A friend checked the date of the picture taken, and it was taken a few days before the ad was posted. So the seller really cannot lie by saying that he/she took the pics weeks ago. Another BIG concern is that the same person was selling the female with the joeys at first, but what happened to the female? Died? Sold? How can the joeys survive properly?

I also just realize this….. a few classified sellers have been associating my name with theirs, saying that I know them or they know me, just to get people to believe that their joeys are healthy. Anyone who has come across this, please leave a comment. I feel worried and uneasy. Some would either use my name, Hun or use my online username, crazymouse_yyh. Please beware with such sellers using my name.

Some sellers would even say they would teach you how to nurse the joey with milk. Why? Their answer is that joeys around 3 to 4 weeks old are easier to bond because they are clingy. What the….. that is TOTALLY WRONG!!! Here is the answer to why joeys around 4 weeks old are clingy. Joeys by instinct cling on to their mothers as they are out of pouch. They have this reflex to cling to be safe and secure. Baby Ringo from my breedings clings on to my finger whenever I hold him. Soon he will stop clinging and start to explore me when he grows older and more independent. 8 week OOP joeys are fully weaned from their moms. They have developed personalities, have curiosity on their side, become adventurous…. they won’t have a strong urge to cling to fingers. On your shirt, yes cause they climb and use their claws to grip your shirt. So a seller or breeder tells you that you should get a joey that is 4 weeks OOP and nurse it yourself with milk, please walk away and say BYE to the seller.

We should stop supporting these unethical sellers. Start getting quality joeys from responsible sellers who know about gliders. I can tell you guys, not many breeders know the origins of gliders and also the proper food and cages for gliders. Get yourself ready with the knowledge so that you would know which seller is a true glider lover and which is a businessman who just want to sell for a livelihood.

Handsome BoBo needs a new home.

This is BoBo, a male sugar glider that needs a new home. He is one of the first few joeys that I sold about 1.3 years ago. BoBo is 1.5 years old and needs a new home as his current owner has not been able to provide him with the attention a glider should need. Therefore she is giving him up for a better home.

BoBo is semi-tame and has lived alone since he was a joey. He would need a loving home with people who have the commitment and time to re-bond and tame him. This would be a challenge for newbies so preferably someone with some experience in handling gliders. BoBo is a very energetic male, hyper most of the time and he has been on a diet of fruits, mealworms and GliderSLURP!

There is a small fee of RM80 as a token. BoBo can be neutered with an additional RM140 as that is the vet bill.

I hope someone would be able to give him a new home soon. If you are interested, please leave a comment. Thanks.

Home made treats

Someone has been searching for home made glider treats. Well, you can do simple treats and freeze it but you should never give pure ice cubes. Gliders should eat defrosted food, no ice cold solid freezing cubes for them.

Anyway, here are 2 little home made treats that you can make:

Chicken Pop

– 1 piece of cooked chicken breast meat. About your palm size.

– a handful of fruits (whatever that is suitable and in season)

– 1/2 cup of low fat yogurt

– a little bit of water or fruit juice

Take all of the ingredients but the water/juice and process it in a food processor or blender. If the mixture is too thick, add some water or juice.

Pour mixture into an ice cube tray and store. It can keep for up to a month in the freezer. Remember to defrost the Chicken Pop ice cube before serving.

Jelly Cube

– 2 jars of Heinz Gel baby food. It appears to look like jelly

– 1 teaspoon of St Dalfour natural fruit jam – not marmalades

– 1 apple, cored and peeled

– some blueberries

First, empty 2 jars of the Gel baby food, the 1 teaspoon of jam and the apple in a blender. Processed till smooth and fine. Take an ice cube tray and pour the mixture into the tray. In each cube, place 1 blueberry inside. Freeze it.

It is normal for the mixture to separate into bits and look watery coz it is natural with no wheat or rice fillers. Healthy treats for your sugar gliders. Enjoy making these treats!

Watch out! Not all types of food are suitable for gliders…

We have an abundant of food available to us. So maybe some of you guys may think that a glider can take many things. Well, not every type of food is suitable. Here is a list of food that can cause death and damage to a glider:

Chocolate – Don’t give anything containing chocolate, even cereal or cocoa drinks.

Onions – Anything laced with fresh onions, cooked onions or onion powder and flavourings is bad.

Garlic – Never give. Same like onions. Causes anemia. Same with chives or any onion and garlic family.

Lima Beans – Toxic!

Soya Beans/Tofu – High in phytic acid. Known to cause health problems to animals.

Grapes – it is proven to be toxic to dogs and certain animals. Do be safe, do not feed. The seeds are toxic.

Bird seeds – It can cause intestinal blockage, which would need surgery. Also it is loaded with fat.

Fruit seeds – Toxic! Only fruits like kiwi, dragon fruit, strawberries and blue berries have edible seeds.

Coffee or caffeine products – Bad! Could cause blood and heart problems.

Alcohol – Toxic to the blood.

Refined sugar – Too high in calories, may cause health problems and breeding problems.

Soda or soft drinks – High in sugar and can cause bloat.

Canned or processed fruits – Too high in sugar.

Cheese – May cause constipation. Gliders are also lactose intolerant.

Avocado – High in fat and toxins (cardiac glycosides)

Salt – Just plain bad, can increase blood pressure and cause heart problems.

Milk – Gliders are lactose intolerant, it may cause diarrhea. Use only Lactose Free Milk.

The above are through my findings and researched from the Internet. You can Google to learn more.