Territorial

Are sugar gliders territorial?

Yups, they are. Although they are social colony animals, sugar gliders actually have a strong family bond. That is why they have scent glands. The dominant males and females would use their scent glands on their chest and anus to mark their trees and surroundings to make themselves known to other sugar gliders that the territory has already been taken.

Many people never realise just how territorial a glider can be. When I have new comers, especially males from boarding or new additions to my glider family, my males would make a fuss over it. They will start to wipe their bottoms around the cage, smearing their oily sticky musk all over the cage bars. Then they pee on their sleeping pouches. And they will crab at the new comer’s cage if it is too near. Fiesty fellas I would say. They are indeed territorial.

Females can be tricky. Some females are very timid and do not mind a new companion. But some females can be absolutely dominant just like a male. Like Reanne’s Billie, a female…. that generally hates me for some reason, and she marks like a male. I find males accept females into their colony quite easily, but some will squabble and bully. Like a few years ago, how I tried introducing Kinta to Kiah and Kimba. Kimba is my manly male, who is very dominant. What he did was pushed Kinta around and even pulled off a few patches of fur. But he didn’t bite her or give her any bodily harm, just pushed her around so that Kinta would understand that Kimba is the man of the house. He wouldn’t even share his food bowl with her. He was just that dominant.

That’s one of the reasons why we should do proper introductions. I too have done many mistakes that I sometimes regret, so never assume that gliders can be friendly with each other just coz they are social.

The Big Question… Should I breed?

Well, I guess this question always pops up. I know many have been wondering,  why I do not really talk much about it. One big reason is that breeding is not easy and to avoid impulse breeders, I decided to let people contact me directly and ask for advice rather than let my blog become a guide for breeding.

First, ask yourself…. Why breed? Are you looking to improve pet gliders in Malaysia? Are you breeding for money? Or just because you are keeping a pair so you feel you should breed?

My aim when I started breeding was because there were not many, or should I say, almost not a single proper sugar glider breeder. A few years ago, everyone was getting their joeys from suppliers, including me when I got my 1st joey, Kiah. I was stupid, acted on impulse but I made sure I did everything I can to bring up my joey. It was tough work because it was very rare even to have sugar gliders back then. I didn’t have any guidance from any keepers nor oversea breeders. I also find it sad that many US breeders don’t really reply their emails when someone sends them queries. When I notice that there was a need to have good breeders around and to educate people, I decided to put my heart and soul into this hobby. I think people thoght I was weird and a loner because all I could talk and think about were gliders. Now, one can find a few good breeders in Malaysia. You just have to open your eyes and listen.

If you are breeding to improve the quality of pet gliders, then bravo to you. When breeding, you will face alot of ups and downs, basically you need lots of capital to start with. I don’t really keep account records of what I bought over the years, but I actually spent a rough figure of RM10k on my gliders, from purchasing them to getting their accessories. This is not including food and supplements.  Each glider was bought for around RM250 to RM350 each. I don’t go scouting for agents selling breeding wild adults that go for RM60 to RM100 each. Then when you breed, you have to make sure the gliders are of sound body and mind. I have a few gliders that are naturally crabby, but they never attack me and have great health. Some have awesome disposition that actually get passed on to their offspring, which is what I am looking for. When you breed for the purpose of improvement, then it really requires alot of time, money, scarifices and losses. I kinda breed for hobby and improvement.

There are people breeding their gliders for money. Come on, don’t treat them as objects. Yes, one can make easy money if they have 200 gliders and breed them non-stop and feed them crappy rubbish food. Don’t go into that level. It is too low. I never see animals as an object for money. To me it is wrong. Some may fire me back, saying I charge a joey between RM300 to RM350. Yes, I do set a high price but I do have reasons. When the price is high, I scare away the impulse buyers.

Don’t be one of those breeders that think since they have a pair, their gliders should breed. Understand this, the female glider can breed 2 to 4 times a year, and they continously breed till they are 6 to 8 years old. That’s a long time for the gliders to continue breeding non-stop. So with this, what is your aim? To produce cheap joeys? To gain a little side pocket money? I know some people who practice this kind of breeding, and they sell their joeys to any tom, dick and harry.

ONE IMPORTANT NOTE: Sugar Gliders are not like humans, where we enjoy sex and want to have children to build a family. Animals basically breed to repopulate, they do not care about mom or dad or brother or sister or aunt and uncles…. They breed from instinct and the need to repopulate, never to have a family and never for security purposes. So we must understand this, if we neuter our male gliders, we won’t harm them and in fact, just make them happier and less stressful with their lives.

If you want to breed, think twice and think about what are your aims. If you plan to be one of those who would want to see their gliders have joeys for 1 time, then make sure you are responsible. Neuter your male adult gliders and joeys to make sure no further breedings and no inbreedings occur. Practice responsible pet ownership. Breeding pets is never about profits. You will never make a profit from breeding pets that you love.

To spend or not to spend…. that is the question….

Today I decided to talk a little about spending…..

Yes, everything needs money. There is no free meal in this world unless you meet one of the rare kind ones that offer you something for no charge. I of course have met a few but they are my good friends who I trust and since they trust me, we tend to give each other stuff. Anyway, put that aside first. What I would highlight is that good things are not always cheap.

It is tempting to get a joey. And when you see someone offering cute cute baby 2 month OOP joey for RM200 or less, you are bound to be jumping for joy, kicking your heals and shouting Yahoo! at the top of your lungs because you have found something cheap. Now read my advice and reasons carefully, and I hope whoever is reading this would understand.

Normally when a seller or so called breeder is offering joeys for RM200, it is either he is just looking for a quick sale because joeys require lots of time to take care…. or he is looking for sale quantity, as this is normally what suppliers and middleman sellers look for. The more they sell, the faster their turnover comes and of course more money to get new stock for selling and so on. Think about it, these people normally are just greedy for money. They are doing it as a business. They not only sell gliders but other things like snakes, reptiles, other small mammals. They are businessmen looking for any buyers to fill up their rice bowls. To make themselves look good and to tempt you into buying a joey, they will of course tell you all sorts of stories and offer you a cage, catfood that they call glider food and coconut shell and even some yucky low quality spray shampoo. They won’t mention about other things, all they will say ” It is easy, like hamster. Eat and sleep only. No need worry, very cute wan….”

When you want something, you need the cash. Don’t be blinded and go for cheap gliders, you will end up with a cheap but unhealthy underage joey. Why spend on something that is unhealthy and then spend more on making it healthy? I find that insane. Furthermore, the joeys from suppliers are normally malnourished because they feed the parents apples and catfood, so whatever they eat goes into their milk and the joeys drink their mom’s milk… so how?

Spend a little bit more to gain yourself a healthy pet.

How to locate a good breeder? Firstly, a good breeder would never ever put different joeys in the same cage. I would never separate my joeys from their parents and put them in a single cage. It stresses them out. Secondly, a good breeder never tries to change topic about their gliders. A good breeder would sit down with you and explain everything he or she knows about gliders. A good breeder would interrogate you and ask you questions. A good breeder would recommend neutering the males once they come of age and never recommend breeding. A good breeder will have knowledge on diet and not just answer you apples and catfood. A good breeder would not be afraid to handle their own joeys and not afraid to teach you how to handle. A good breeder would never push you into buying a glider or joey.

A healthy and properly bred joey would normally cost around RM300, more or less.

The cage, minimum is around RM100, the bigger of course would be more expensive.

Food, well, if we say HPW or GliderSlurp, Gliderade and Acacia Gum and Calcium, roughly put aside RM70 to Rm80 for it. The wheel around RM100, more or less around there depends on where you get it from. Sleeping pouch and bonding pouch around RM50 or more.

That’s your basic cost of around RM700 for everything plus 1 joey. But the start up cost is always high, then monthly you will only be spending around RM30 to RM40, depending on what you are feeding your glider. It’s hard for me to give an exact monthly cost since I have more than 20 gliders, so my monthly cost is high and I don’t really take into count because what I can buy, I will get for them.

A glider is a huge commitment. It requires time and of course money. So if a person can’t fork out money to upkeep a glider, then do think twice and either save your money or get some other pet.

Saving is good, especially for students. So don’t say cause you are a student, you can’t afford. You actually can afford if you save up. Don’t go wasting money on movie tickets, alcohol, DVDs and CDs and on junkfood…. coz if I can do it, you can too.

PS: I still am a university college student.

Pet Playground Online

I know it has been awhile since I updated. Anyway, here is another website that offer some pretty neat stuff for all sorts of pets through online sales. And even boarding. Just sharing a bit. Apparently their glider stuff are coming up.

I saw cages for sale, good price too.

Pet Playground is a dynamic company engaging in pet care and accessories. We are committed to provide the best service and product to all pets and their owners. As we are a pet owner as well, we know how and what pet owners need. Pet Playground is a one stop center for pet owners. We provide pet hotel, grooming, and necessities such as food, cages, toys, beds, shirts and many other products. Our cageless pet hotel is one of the newest concepts in town. Your pets will no longer confine is small cages. At Pet Playground, your pets will have lots of room to run and play with love and care from us. Best of all, you can even bring your own food, toys, and bed so that they can enjoy their stay here with minimal stress. We also provide your pets with daily walk to ensure they get adequate exercise they need. You may visit us at www.petplaygroundonline.com to know more about us.

Be right back

Hi everyone

Sorry but I have been real busy with assignments and exams. Anyway, I will be back on 11 April 2010 so stay tuned. Just a little update:

4 male joeys will be available in 1 more month. Very adorable, I have yet to name them or update their OOP date.

I also got 2 pairs of adults for adoption. Please email me at crazymouse.yoong@gmail.com and tell me why do you deserve to adopt my gliders.

That’s all for now.

Oh Yah…. forgot this info as well.

I will be doing Sugar Glider consultation for free at Pet Epicure every Sunday from 1pm to 4pm. Free grooming services done by me. This is only on SUNDAYS…..