Sugar Gliders are small possums which have a skin membrane between their limbs that allows them to glide. They have an omnivorous diet which includes plant exudates like sap, gum, nectar & pollen. They also feed on insects and insect secretions (eg lerp, manna). In captivity, gliders are often fed large amounts of fruits & vegetables that may be deficient in essential protein, vitamins & minerals. To provide a balanced diet, these foods can be supplemented with Wombaroo High Protein Supplement or Small Carnivore Food. See under resources for feeding guidelines for captive Sugar Gliders. Being marsupials, Sugar Gliders are born extremely undeveloped and kept in the mother's pouch during early development. The young exit the pouch once fully-furred and continue to consume mother's milk until weaning on to solid foods. We recommend to use Wombaroo Possum Milk Replacer to hand rear young Sugar Gliders. Two different stages of Possum Milk Replacer are available to cater for the different nutritional needs of the developing joey.
Possum Milk Replacer >0.8
Possum Milk Replacer >0.8 is a nutritionally balanced milk substitute for possum & glider joeys with greater than 80% of their pouch life completed.
Joeys at this stage have short to dense fur, with eyes fully opened and ears erect. Joeys spend some time out of the pouch and may consume some solid food. Faeces are soft to firm dark pellets.
- Specifically formulated to match the composition of late lactation possum milk.
- High energy (fat content) milk, to cater for the increased activity levels of emergent joeys.
- High in protein to coincide with peak growth rate.
“We have used and recommended the Wombaroo Possum Milk replacers for Brushtails, Squirrels and Sugar Gliders in Townsville extensively. Handling, mentoring & supervising about 250-300 animals a year. We would recommend the milks to all the members of the care group that we trained.” Eleanor & Jim Pollock (BVSc OAM).
Whole milk solids (low lactose), whey protein, casein, glucose, vegetable oils, omega-3 & 6 fatty acids (including DHA, EPA & Arachidonic Acid), maltodextrin, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, C, D3, E, K, biotin, choline, inositol, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, zinc, iron, manganese, copper, iodine, selenium.
Powder Milk when reconstituted Protein 32% 80g/Litre Fat 33% 87g/Litre Carbohydrate 26% 65g/Litre Ash 5.0% 12g/Litre Calcium 1.3% 3.3g/Litre Metabolisable Energy (ME) 22 MJ/kg 5600 kJ/Litre
250g, 1.25kg & 5kg.
Possum milk composition changes significantly as the joey ages. Possum Milk Replacer >0.8 is specially formulated for late lactation, when joeys are emerging from the pouch and becoming more active.
Joeys can be aged by their physical characteristics (hair growth, body length measurements etc.) as outlined in the Wombaroo Marsupial Milk Feeding Guidelines. Body weight is not a good indicator of age because this can vary greatly with body condition and level of dehydration.
Success in hand-rearing pouch-bound possum joeys greatly improves if they receive Impact Colostrum Supplement when in care. However, Impact may also be of benefit to older, out-of-pouch joeys with a compromised immune system. Refer to Directions for Marsupials under the Impact feeding guidelines.
Making up Milk
To make 100mL of milk: Mix 25g of powder (3½ scoops) to 80ml of warm water.
To make 1 litre of milk: Mix 250g of powder with 800ml of warm water.
Add about half the water to the powder first and mix to a paste. Then make up with remaining water and mix thoroughly. Water is preboiled to ensure that it is sterilised. If the water is too hot it can cause the milk to curdle. If it is too cold then it will be difficult to disperse the powder. Wombaroo contains elevated protein and fat levels, so the milk needs to be well mixed to prevent it from separating out. An electric whisk can be used for mixing larger quantities. Milk can be stored in the fridge for a day or can be frozen for up to 2 weeks. It may be useful to store frozen milk in small portions (eg ice cube trays), so that the required daily feed volumes can be easily thawed out. Re-mix well after thawing. Once thawed out, discard any unused milk, and wash feeding utensils thoroughly.
Warm milk to about 30°C and feed using a bottle and teat. A Wombaroo SD or LD teat is recommended for the larger out-of-pouch possums or gliders. A Wombaroo C teat or Wombaroo P teat may be used for smaller species. A syringe or eye dropper may be required for pygmy possums or small gliders. Feed around 4 times per day for joeys with an Age Factor >0.8, reducing this to twice a day after full pouch emergence, when sufficient solid food is being consumed. As the young progress they can be taught to lap from a shallow bowl, and may be offered a single feed at night, in conjunction with solid food. If the joey shows signs of dehydration (eg during hot weather), give extra drinks of water between feeds. Joeys can dehydrate rapidly if not maintained under optimum husbandry conditions. Water should always be available ad lib once joeys begin to emerge from the pouch and become more active. Joeys should also have ad lib access to fresh browse and natural solid foods at this stage. Consult your veterinarian or experienced carer for further information about husbandry and feeding of young possums.
Different species of possums and gliders grow at different rates. Refer to the Wombaroo growth charts for guidelines for various species. Weigh joeys regularly to verify weight gains and determine the volume of milk to feed. Overfeeding milk can cause diarrhoea so feed the suggested volumes in our tables.
Once a possum leaves the pouch it begins to eat more solid food and becomes less reliant on milk. The amount of milk fed until fully-weaned will depend on the quantity and nutritional value of other food eaten. Possum joeys should be weaned at about 1.3 times the joey's pouch life. For example a Common Brushtail has a pouch life of 150 days, so can be weaned by 195 days. Possums and gliders should be weaned on to solid foods that form part of the natural diet of the adult of the species. Wombaroo High Protein Supplement should be used as nutritional supplement if feeding fruit and vegetables. Wombaroo Small Carnivore Food can be used as a supplement for insectivorous species and Wombaroo Lorikeet & Honyeater Food can be supplemented to nectar feeders.
10 2.6 50 9 160 21 375 39 12 3.0 60 10 180 23 400 41 14 3.4 70 11 200 25 425 43 16 3.7 80 12 250 29 450 45 18 4.1 90 14 275 31 475 47 20 4.4 100 15 300 33 500 49 30 6.0 120 17 325 35 525 53 40 7.5 140 19 350 38 600 56