Joeys Galore

I have so many pictures of my joeys. Well, this post will only be just pictures. So, enjoy!

Tonight will be Jodi and Jerry’s last night with me. Tomorrow they will be going home to Eric (Jerry) and to Ched (Jodi).

Here is Jodi. She has grown quite alot. She acts just like her mom. Crabby girl hahaha.

Then next is Jeremy. I think my last post I mis-spelled his name as Jerry LOL..Sometimes I get confused. Oh well….. he became quite a handsome boy. Very adventurous. He now follows his sister’s crabbiness but it will subside once he goes to his new home. He kinda followed and copied his sister. Look at his picture below. This is how a 2 month old OOP joey should look like next to a 50 cent coin.

Then next we have Keera’s 2 naughty joeys. Koda and Kristy. Koda will be going to Stenn, Kristy will be going to Shigure. They are still very dependent on mom, as you can see with the pics. They got that babyish blur face that every loves about joeys.

Here is Kristy cuddling againts the pink fleece.

Kristy in my palm.

Koda hanging on hehehe….

Koda on Keera’s back.

The joeys torturing their mom hahahah.

Then next we have Arizona. She belongs to Eugene. Arizona hates the camera, she was basically attacking and pouncing on my lens. But taking pics of her, she poses naturally. Awww…..

This is Arizona’s kungfu pose LOL.

Then comes Peanut and Butter. They are growing strong. Peanut will be going to Shigure and Butter to Sharon. Butter is pretty fiesty, she won’t sit still for the camera. Peanut is more calm. But then joeys will always be joeys. They are just so active.

Butter giving me the ” I surrender!” look…. funny girl.

Peanut has a very “koala” face.

Coming up, we have Baron and Cuppy. They will be going to Chong Hau (Baron) and Amir (Cuppy). These 2 cheeky fellas, very attached to Jen, their mom. Very hard to get them to pose.

The top one is Baron, the bottom one is Cuppy.

Baron

Cuppy.

Then some new joeys. 2 sets of joeys, both sets OOP on the same date! 26 July 2011.

This 2, a male and female, are by Ginger and Pepper. I adopted Ginger and Pepper in…. I think…. end of 2009? She had a joey once, but she rejected it and I couldn’t rescue it in time. That was last year. This time, she is more confident so her joeys are healthy and she seems happy too. The girl is Magic, going to Abdul Fareeq and the boy, Max will be going to Aqidah.

Then this here is from Sugus and Gizmo, 2 girls that also OOP on 26 July 2011. So happy that they will be going to the same home to Rabiatul and her sister. The baby girls are called Emma and Emmy.

Anyway, it took me awhile to update due to a very hectic day today. So hope you guys enjoy them.

Edited: So sorry…. I got confused with some joeys. Shigure is getting Kristy. Luoyun will be getting Kailey. My apologies as I got too many names to remember, too many joeys at one time.

Stud service

Just saw my friend’s blog, TruLuvRabbitry and he posted an article on stud service. This reminded me that today, many people have been requesting for female or male sugar gliders for stud service or borrow breeding. Le me remind you that for sugar gliders, stud service is something cruel and shouldn’t be done. Why? I will list down the reasons….

Image from www.sugarglider.com

Stud service is normally provided for animals that mate on site when the female is on heat. This is a very common practice among dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, cows, goats…. basically animals that can do their mating business fast with a guarantee result.

With sugar gliders, it is different. For the female sugar glider, you won’t know when she comes on heat because she doesn’t bleed or go through a menstruation cycle like dogs. They do not call for their mates like cats, they do not give off a foul odour like hamsters. Breeding them takes time. From my experience, gliders do not mate at once even when the female is ready or the male is extremely horny.

Gliders will mate if they have bonded together. Look at dogs and cats, they do not need to bond with their mate, they will just hump and get the job done with. For gliders, they need to like each other. Once they are bonded, then will they only start to mate. But how long would that be? It could take from anywhere between 1 month to 1 year….. are you willing to separate from your pet for such a long time all because you wanna gain a joey from the so called “stud service” or “mating service”? And once you separate the gliders, the male or female may start to go into depression, the worst case would be dying from depression because of separation.

Again, people also have forgotten a very crucial point, gliders can fall into depression. Say once the female and male has mated, then that means it was a successful mating….. then what now? The owner of the male takes the male back? Then the female takes care of the joeys? Sugar gliders can fall into a depression, basically the females would be upset from losing it’s partner and it can self mutilate it’s tail or leg or kill or reject the joeys once they are born. Are you willing to risk this?

Some may say I’m wrong because maybe they have tried this mating service before and it worked for them. Well, bravo to you then. I certainly would never want to stress out my gliders. When bringing up joeys, the male and female has to be together. The male helps to babysit and keep the joeys warm as well as keep the female company. They need each other. By separating and introducing new male or females everytime you want to breed your single glider, it would just be too stressful and certainly unhealthy. Sugar gliders do not mate for life, but they do need a companion for life so….. cherish their lives, don’t think about your wants and desires. If you want another joey, just save up on some money and buy one, or get another adult if you want to breed your current glider.

A slow loris is not a sugar glider

Recently a suggie group in facebook had members that started to want to get a slow loris as a pet. They said it looks cute, furry, with big round eyes and moves so slow that it appears comical and adorable.

Humans, we just love to take any animal as a pet huh? I like all sorts of animals, I onced worked at Sunway Interactive Wildlife Zoo and had the chance of introducing the slow loris to people. Yes, indeed they are very cute but we must understand, not all animals can be taken as pets. The slow loris is a protected animal, it requires a license under Perhilitan in Malaysia. Anyone caught with a slow loris without a license can be fined up to RM200,000 or even jailed for a short period.

Do they make good pets? No…. a BIG no…. I have heard about slow lorises biting their owners, and the bite is not something like a glider. It is very painful, 10 times more painful than a glider. To me, a slow loris is not an exotic pet, to me, it is more of a wild animal which belongs in the wild or the zoo. Some may say, sugar gliders are also wild and belong in the wild…. yes, that may be true but sugar gliders have been in the pet trade for more than 20 years, already there are products, food source and even books writted about sugar gliders as pets. There are none on slow lorises as pets.

Don’t believe that they are a protected species? Check this out …. Slow Loris in the news

Facts about the slow loris:

  • They are nocturnal
  • Omnivores with their diet mainly on insects and snails besides fruits.
  • They mark their territory with urine. Believe me, it is super stinky as I had to work near slow lorises when I was at the zoo.
  • They have venom glands at their elbows. It won’t kill you but give you an extremely painful bite. Yes, some people practice pulling its teeth out but that is just plain cruelty. Would you like me to pull out all your teeth but your molars so you can at least still chew some food? No rite?
  • They are an endangered species.
  • They have strong arms that can move at lightning speed if they need to catch their prey but they generally move slowly most of the time.
  • They can live for 20 years. Are you sure you can give that kind of commitment when you can’t even commit to a glider for 10 years?

It’s just sad to see that people these days do not think about the concequences of getting wild animals as pets. I like snakes, but I settled for a corn snake instead of a cobra coz a cobra could kill me. It’s also a snake but I rather be safe then get killed by one. So stick to safe pets. Sugar gliders are safe to keep in Malaysia, does not require any permits or special licenses yet and they are fairly easy to keep if you have done your research. Let Wild animals, especially endangered ones like the slow loris stay wild.

Another tip about commercial sellers

I think in my last post about the difference between a homebreeder and commercial sellers or agents, I forgot to add some important information. So here they are:

Homebreeder:

  1. A homebreeder would use original joey pictures for sale.
  2. A homebreeder would not separate the joeys from their parents and chuck them all in one cage.
  3. A homebreeder never sells you a pair at the same time. Homebreeders do not have the sufficient breeding stock to give you a male and female pair at the same time. If this happens and from a homebreeder, it could be brother and sister.
  4. A homebreeder would never boast about his or her gliders come from imported line unless he or she has a certificate to prove such a matter.
  5. Homebreeders never off their joeys in a package deal. Why? Because we homebreeders are not in the pet supply business. Sometimes I may have 1 or 2 extra cages for sale but that is it. I never offer in a package like buy 2 joeys, get free cage and toy and bottle, etc…

 

Commercial Sellers:

  1. They would sell many joeys at once. All in the same cage, eating mostly apples or papaya or banana.
  2. Commercial sellers would never be able to tell you much about joey behaviour like how it barks and cries at night, how it would react to interaction. They would just say, “super tame” or “sangat jinak dan manja”.
  3. Offer a pair of joeys with all sorts of packages. Even weird food stuff and vitamins.
  4. Commercial sellers would always sell you a male and female pair. They do not care if the joeys are brother and sister.
  5. Commercial sellers sometimes would say their joeys are 100% from Australia. There is no such thing as importing joeys from Australia, the sugar glider trade in Australia is an illegal and banned pet trade.
  6. Commercial sellers would sell their joeys underaged or sometimes small sized joeys with so-called bushy tails.
  7. Apparently one commercial seller is selling joeys base on how bushy their tails are. The fluffier and bushier, the more expensive. The underage and thinner looking tails go cheaper.

So here are some guides. I hope you guys take a good read and spread it to your friends. I have seen too many that have fallen victim to commercial sellers and many innocent joeys living unhealthy lives, some never even live up to a year. So just beware.

Why do I like sugar gliders?

Last month I was in The Star newspaper, well, I was interviewed about why I keep exotic pets. It was an article on female reptile hobbyist, hahaha…. so the reporter threw me this question, why do you like reptiles? So now I ask myself, why do I like sugar gliders?

I think I was born with a soft spot for animals. When I was 2 years old, my grandma gave me a pair of rabbits. I grew up with pets around me. At first it was the usual domestic pets like hamsters, rabbits, dogs and cats…. but then my interest grew. I wanted to be different, at first it was merely being a kid who was greedy, who wanted an unique pet but then it grew into passion. Friends sort of introduced me to the wild side…. I started of course with tarantulas, frogs, snakes, geckos…. I still have these at home as pets but when one day, back in 2005, my friends Connie and Andrew came over and placed a joey in my hands, I was smitten by those huge eyes, cute leathery ears and pink nose. All those caught me by my heart. Was it love at first sight? I still have no idea.

I started out with Kiah I, she was my first glider but I lost her back in 2006 after an accident. Back then in 2005, there was no one to guide me on caring for glider. There were no vets, not many pet shops carried them too. I was so lost. Research helped but the care people give in the US is slightly different, especially the food. My friends and I kept on experimenting till we finally found the best formula, that was how GliderSLURP came about and till today, it is still very successful. Ok, back to the point, I like sugar gliders because they are totally different from any other animal that I have ever kept. These little marsupials are special. Firstly, very smart, bonds well with their owners, is easy to carry around and my one favourite reason, keeping them is a challenge to me. Everyday, I see them as a challenge. They give me a reason to continue sharing information, having this blog up. They give me the drive to help new people who are lost. Back then I had no one to turn to, now, people at least have someone to seek for advice.

I’m not a professional. No way. I just am very passionate about sugar gliders. I studied about their care from numerous blogs, web articles and websites. It so happens that this is my interest. My parents thought that I wasn’t serious but after they had read my blog and noticed that I spend alot of time with random people, guiding these people on how to care for their gliders, only then did they realize that my interest for sugar gliders was deep.

This hobby has given me a purpose I guess. Yes, sometimes it is stressful but I just love sugar gliders. It is amazing to see and have such a small animal, developing a bond with you and is able to recognize you as a friend than a predator. To me, they are a challenge. That’s my reason why I like sugar gliders.

Homebreeders

I have seen many ads in online classifieds with underage sugar gliders everywhere. The sellers would advertise with the words “Homebred joeys” or “homebreeders”. But are they really homebreeders?

I’m a homebreeder and from what I can see these sellers have 100s of joeys for sale whole year around. A homebreeder normally breed their gliders as a hobby. I have 30 gliders, but then only 10 pairs are breeding and they do not breed frequently because they breed when the time is right. So how on earth do these people have more than 20 joeys each month to sell? This is just a thought for you guys to ponder on.

Many have cheated. On the internet, anyone can sell anything. People these days are very gulible. They would believe what a seller says. “Oh, don’t worry, my joeys are just 2 months old. No problem wan, can eat alreadi”…… Common thing to hear these days.

Do take note of these so called homebreeders. How to know if the person is a homebreeder?

Ask questions. What does he feed his gliders? How long is the gestation period? How long do joeys live in the pouch and how long do they stay out of the pouch? When was the joey weaned? When was it’s OOP date? How many pairs does he have that breeds? What cages does he use? Question on glider sickness, calcium intake, what foods should be given and what should not be given. Normally a true hobbyist would be able to answer all of the questions. I sometimes get confuse with my joeys OOP dates especially when I have so many joeys that OOP during the same month, but I keep a logbook so I would know when and also who has booked them.

Homebreeders are also very concern about their buyers. I would ask alot of questions about the buyer, exchange long emails and answer questions thrown at me. A normal seller would push all these aside of answer in very short answers or give very weird answers.

Anyway, judge them yourself. If possible, view pictures of the joeys. If the joey is an underage joey, then it is definitely from just a commercial seller.

Oh yah, homebreeders also do not put several joeys in 1 cage. I do not take all my joeys and put them in 1 cage or container because it would mean getting the joeys mixed up and stressed up as well.

So becareful when choosing a breeder……

Is papaya safe for sugar gliders?

Recently this topic came up in a facebook group on sugar gliders Malaysia. I have been doing some research, particularly research on moms to be websites and baby websites. Then I found something interesting.

The question, is papaya dangerous to feed to your sugar gliders that are pregnant or have joeys in pouch?

Actually, there is no danger.

According to this :

Papaya serves as a natural way to soothe the heartburn experienced during pregnancy. The papaya enzyme that helps soothe indigestion is called papain, or vegetable pepsin. Papain is found in the fruit’s latex and leaves. A fully ripe papaya is not considered dangerous; however, a papaya that is the least bit unripe contains a latex substance that is believed to trigger uterine contractions and may lead to early labor or miscarriage. Researchers have noted that unripe papaya latex acts like prostaglandin and oxytocin, which the body makes to start labor. Synthetic prostaglandin and oxytocin are commonly used to start or strengthen labor contractions.

It is harmful to feed an unripe papaya, a green or half green papaya. If you are feeding a fully ripe papaya then it is ok. A sugar glider’s gestation or pregnancy is only 15 to 18 days, then the joey climbes into the mother’s pouch. So how would you know if your glider is pregnant? I won’t if I’m pregnant if my pregnancy is only 2 months, I would have to take a pregnancy test to know. A sugar glider’s pregnancy goes undected until the joeys go into the pouch. So, there is no risk feeding papaya to your sugar glider. I have been feeding papaya to my sugar gliders for such a long time, and they breed well with rarely any complications. The joeys turn out healthy and strong.

There are websites that say if you are pregnant, just avoid papaya altogether. Well, it is the green papaya that contains the latex, not the ripe ones. Papaya is rich in calcium, so do not leave this out in your glider’s diet. Again, always remember to feed other fruits as well. Sugar gliders should have at least 3 different types of fruits for each meal. A variety keeps them healthy.

How to speed up bonding

Frequently many people have asked me just how to speed up the bonding process. There are a few ways so here they are:

  1. When you first get your joey, never chase it around the cage. It is best to take the joey when it is in it’s sleeping pouch. You do not put your hand in it. What you do is take out the pouch with the joey in, and gently ease him out from the outside. Putting your hand into the pouch causes a predator reaction, which means your joey would act on instinct to bite you to protect itself.
  2. Make sure your cage has the bare essenstials. To bond properly, especially with joeys that are not handle friendly, it is best to limit the cage accessories. What I normally do is just have the sleeping pouch, a few climbing materials, the water bottle and food bowl. Do not use hamster houses or bird houses or even coconuts because a joey is normally scared of its new owner. To  the joey’s point of view, you are a stranger so the joey would try its best to hide from you. I know many gliders would hide out in the Wodent Wheel as well. If this happens, take out the wheel to make bonding easier. When you try to get a joey or glider out of a small place, you tend to make alot of noise by tapping the object the joey is in and also making alot of movement. This panics the joey, making it even more scared and angry. This would just prolong the bonding process.
  3. Leave a worn shirt or used blanket on the cage. If you do not mind, take an old tshirt, wear it for 2 nights, then take a pair of scissors and cut them into squares. You make scent blankets for your suggie. Then place these squares in your joey’s sleeping pouch. After you have washed them, just take the cut up cloth and put it on your bed. Sleep on them or put them under your shirt so that you can renew your scent. Your joey would be able to catch your scent by having this lil scent blanket and gets familiar to your smell.
  4. Handle your joey. You have to handle your joey. Hold it in your hands and let it walk from 1 hand to the other. Sort of like a threadmill. This is for the joey to understand that your hands are strong and stable and it should be trusting your touch. This sort of training would get the joey to like your hands.
  5. Handfeeding. If possible, hand feed treats to your joeys. Normally well developed and proper aged joeys would eat by themselves but by handfeeding a bit, your joey would learn that you are the giver of good things. It will trust you more. You can use a spoon or your fingers or palm of your hand.
  6. Carry your joey in the bonding pouch during the day. Normally in the day time a glider would be sleeping. During this time it is best to carry it in a bonding pouch to speed up the bonding process. When it is in the pouch around your neck, it would be sleeping but it would also be able to hear your voice, smell your scent, listen to your heartbeat, get used to your touch. In a way, it is comforting for the joey. Some people resort to bra bonding(ladies thing) which I often do and my joeys bond with me very well. But one bad habit, if you do bra bonding, the glider would have a bad habit of wanting to go into your shirt. Anyway, when carrying in a bonding pouch, keep touching the pouch and talk to your joey. This would normally come with all sorts of crabbing from the joey when you first start but after awhile, it would get used to you and not crab anymore.

These are just a few tips. It may differ from one person to the other but these tips are what I normally advice to people. If you have any problems or need further explanation, can always drop me a comment. Or if you have a tip of your own, please comment and I would even put it up in the article so that others could learn.

Travelling with your glider

When it comes to short travels, like going back to your hometown or kampung, if you are not taking a plane or public transportation, it is best to bring your gliders with you. Even if it is a short vacation and you are staying in a hotel, it is still safe to bring because gliders are pretty small and they do not make very loud noises like dogs would. So you can safely and carefully travel with your gliders. But what sort of cage? Should you be bringing your 3ft cage with you? How about food? How about toys and the Wodent Wheel?

When travelling short term, like say less than 2 weeks, you can happily bring your gliders along with you. Pack a travel pack for your gliders and also a good portable cage that you can easily dismantle and travel with. I honestly rarely travel on vacation so there hasn’t been a need for me to bring my gliders along, and with 30 gliders it would be too stressful for me hahaha….

Anyway, here is a list of things to bring:

  • Carry your gliders in their bonding pouch. They would feel safer in their pouch.
  • Bring some snacks. An apple or pear or some cut up fruits in a little container would do the trick. You can bring their favourite insects as well.
  • Other snacks include yogurt drops, dried fruit pieces (Make sure it is organic and preservative free) and pellets if your glider eats them.
  • Water bottle. Gliders should always have their water bottle available for them. And during long travels, our suggies can get dehydrated so always offer them a bottle cap of water once a while.
  • Wet wipes. This is to clean up any poop or pee on them and also on you.
  • A few hanging bird toys. Get those with bells or with colourful attachments.
  • Food bowls for their food.
  • Some fleece pieces for blankets. Air conditioning in hotels can be cold for them.
  • Their sleeping pouch.
  • A packet of instant food like HPW Diet Ready. All you need is warm water to make this HPW for your gliders.

Then you need a first aid kit in your pack.

  • Have a syringe ready. This is for cases where your glider may suddenly need you to syringe feed.
  • A bottle of Gatorade. This is in case your glider gets dehydrated and needs vitamins and minerals to hydrate the body.
  • A little calcium supplement. This is to sprinkle on the food if you are just feeding fruits.
  • Some cotton. This is for cases where you need to clean your glider’s delicate eyes or face. Tissue can be rough and damage the eyes.

Now how big should the cage be? Well, it can be up to you. Some people would get the collapsible cage like the ExoTerra Eplorarium. Some would get simple small bird cages. Do not get the tiny ones. Even a hamster cage is ok too. Here are some examples:

This is the typical 1.5ft cage. I would recommend this, I think shops are selling this now for around RM60 to RM75. This is half the size of the usual 3ft cage.

 

 

This is the standard small bird cage. Slightly smaller than the 1.5ft kind. As long it is more than 30cm in length, it would be ok for a 2 week stay.

An Explorarium is great. A little costly but it is portable. But beware, if your glider is a chewer, it may be able to chew itself out. The mesh is a thin nylon mesh, not a good travel cage for destructive and chewing gliders.

Never EVER EVER get this cage. It is too small. I know some sellers are selling sugar gliders along with this cage as a “free” cage or package deal. This is even too small for hamsters! I know it is cute but never ever buy this. Your glider would suffer.

Hamster cages like this is ok, not the best choice but still ok. Get the most basic hamster cage, without the tubes and holes on the side. A plain cage with a platform is good enough.

If you have some money to spend, another good travel cage would be a doggy or cat travel backpack. I know, you may be wondering “Hun! You’ve gotta be joking right?”…. Hahaha…. no I am not joking. I have seen one of my friends with this bag and she bought it to carry her 4 gliders. I checked the bag myself, and it is really safe. The mesh is not the soft nylon but the solid kind that can withstand cat calws. And it is easy to carry around, just like a backpack. Large enough too for 2 gliders to stay for 2 weeks. Just that for cleaning, you need to put some fleece blankets and paper towels in to absorb pee.

Of course, always check if the bags have secure zippers, no holes and openings and no loose strings or threads in it before you purchase.

Alright, this is all just a basic guide. Just remember, when you travel locally, just make sure you have packed your glider stuff properly. And do not leave your gliders unattended in the hotel room. Coz most hotels do not allow pets, so…. play smart….. keep their cage hidden in the wardrobe when you are not around. Still, the best way to travel with your glider is to travel during the day, not the evening or night. When they are asleep, they are less stressed.