I'm going to list the diet at first, and then explain each part and offer suggestions on [:"red"]where to find the components[/] IF anyone wants to.
Per glider, per night:
a) 1 tbs original Leadbeater's Nectar Mix
b) 1 tbs insectivore semi-soft pellet staple
c) 2 insects
d) 1 tsp fruits (dusted)
f) Access to flowers & gum branches during tent time
g) Other: 2 foodstuffs I use in addition to my wilder program, but under special circumstances. Ahh, the benefits of "captivation".
[b]a) Leadbeaters Nectar Mix.
(Makes 1 ice tray w/ a 2 tbsp serving frozen in each cube).
2/3 cup warm water
2/3 cup honey
1 hard boiled egg, WITHOUT shell
2 tbs baby cereal
1 tsp Vionate
1/2 tsp Rep-cal w/out Phos or D3
Mix egg until homogenized. Mix water & honey together. While mixing, add slowly to egg: water/honey, then supplement powders, then cereal, blending each addition until smooth.Can be served right away or frozen for up to 1 month in an air tight container. I use tupperware fresh & pure ice trays
w/lids. [:"red"](ebay, secondhand stores, tupperware parties, yard sales)[/] Recipe can be increased to feed more gliders or fill more trays, just be sure to multiply ALL ingredients by the same factor. [:"red"]I get all ingredients from the grocery store, except the vit/min, which are available at PetCo/PetSmart and Suncoast and many others online.[/]b)Pellet
:In the cage all the time (I remove fresh stuff in the morning). They mostley eat this during the day or after they eat their nectar, so I can tell they like that better, but they DO eat it.Zookeeper's Secret
from [:"red"]Suncoast[/] or Insectivore-fare
from [:"red"]Reliable Protein Products[/], they're the same thing. Proper hedgehog diets
[:"red"]from many pet stores[/] can also be used if the others are not available but must be softened with water or dilute juice. Hedgehogs are insectivores too.c) Insects
:I use gut-loaded mealies & crickets, and wild caught moths. In the winter I let the mealies morph into "Darth Vader" beetles, to limit saturated fat, and add variety and hard exoskeleton. Bugs are fed during tent time, and gliders "hunt" them <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/evil.gif" alt="" />. I facilitate to make sure everybody gets 2. Can also just be passed directly to gliders through bars of cage when tent time not available but then you have to touch them, or use tweezers. [:"red"]I get the mealies from PetCo, and the moths with my Bugnapper
from ZooMed and a butterfly net.[/]d) Treat
:Pretty much any common grocery store fruit (which includes corn, peas, and green beans) and a few vegetables (yams, sweet potatoes, carrots). I use frozen, WASHED fresh, and some baby foods without additives. I limit their citrus, as the acid can cause loose stools. Fruits are fed as treats,and so constitute only 10% of their total dietary intake.Variety is important, but I feed the same kind of fruit mix over each 3 day period, as I've found they won't try new things unless their current favorites are gone for more than a day. Their fruit is alternately dusted with bee pollen and acacia gum powder.[:"red"](available in many health food stores, kalyx.com, and GC user BigErn!)[/] Colonies with pregnant females get Possum Milk Replacer
from [:"red"]Wombaroo[/] added as a third "dust".e) Water
:filtered w/a Pur
unit, is available at all times, and the bottle is cleaned every other day. They get most of their fluid from their food, but they sometimes need water, my nursing females especially seem to drink more.f) "Foraging"
:Where: I have a new "Glidarium' my husband <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thinkerg.gif" alt="" />built, it's 4' wide on each side and 6' tall, made of pvc and nylon net, hangs from the ceiling, folds up easily for underbed storage, and the supplies cost only $20 (he's a keeper!). It's a lot more roomy than my old kmart tent, and so allows me to set a camp chair in there and watch them hunt & glide for bugs & blossoms. It's also see-through, so people can sit and watch from outside of the tent, which is lots of fun and makes us feel less "cut-off". It's also way less hot in there. I just love it...picture soon.
What: I bring whole branches into the tent; both natural blooming flowers and branches we've made with gum holes filled with pollen-studded acacia gum for the gliders to attack during tent time. They chew the gummy branches, and tear the flowers apart to get to the nectar & pollen, but they eat very little of the foliage itself. I have my vet's approval to use species in these genera: Eucalyptus, Corymbia, Banksia, Acacia, Melalueca, Callistemon, Hibiscus, Lonicera(honeysuckle), Compositae(daisy), Malva (lavender) and Fuschia
. The first 6 are native to Australia, and are [:"red"]available at many nurseries, Australiaplants.com, and J.L. Hudson, the Seedsman in CA. The others are easy to find at most nurseries (even Walmart & Home Depot)[/], and grow well as house plants for those folks that live places with rough winters.g)Other
: Low fat, vanilla yogurt is used as a licky treat for new glider bonding (joeys, rescues). Raw, unsalted sunflower seed (kernals, NO SHELLS) are added as a treat or as a supplement for underweight/injured gliders, because they contain polyunsaturated plant-based fats are much less damaging than saturated, animal-based fats can be to hearts/health, and contain beneficial Omega fatty acids that aid in healing and cell memebrane health.Enrichment
Photoperiod: I have a timer to turn the regular lights off after dark and turn on RED fluorescents. They don't notice them (flashlights covered with red plastic are what biologists use to observe them in the wild!) and this allows them to have some semblance of seasonal light/dark cycles.
Temperature: We have a climate similar to coastal NE Australia, and so let the temperatures change somewhat with the seasons as well, of course within safe upper and lower limits (our heater and air conditioner make sure it's never less than 50*F or more than 85*F). Gliders in the wild tolereate a wide range of temps over the year; you can go to these links at the Weather Channel online: Sydney yearly averages
, and Melbourne yearly averages
and you'll get the idea of what they deal with...they're active at night, when it's NOT hot, and just sleep during the day when it is, and on average it's not more than 80 degrees even in the summer, and goes into the 40's in their winter.
Sound: We always have the radio, tv or CD on, so they get used to background noise and don't startle (like the sounds of birds & animals that go on all day and night in the forest) at human sounds. We also like to play CD's of nightime jungle sounds while we have tent time, but that's just 'cause it's more fun for us humans! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif" alt="" /> NOTE: Please read my opening post before responding, so we can stay on the REAL topic here, <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thanx.gif" alt="" />