Breeding Sugar Gliders is a huge commitment and should not be taken lightly. It is time consuming, and you need to be very involved to ensure the joeys, moms, and dads are healthy and happy. It is not an easy matter of placing a male and female together and waiting for the joeys to come.
Responsible sugar glider ownership means...
- Giving a proper enclosure for a family of gliders.
- Proper diet = healthy gliders who have healthy joeys.
- Environment is stress free, gliders will often kill their babies if they feel it is a stressful environment.
- Neutering all unlineaged males who will be housed with females. If you don’t, you will definitely be welcoming one or more bundles of joy into your home! Despite what some people claim, you CANNOT spay females.
- You MUST have a sugar glider savvy vet.
- It’s important to not breed rescue gliders or gliders without lineage because you risk genetic deformities which can take many shapes (joey rejection and cannibalization, missing eyes, limbs, poor immune system, etc.)
- Finding proper homes for all joeys and educating buyers on sugar gliders.
- Checking your breeders often to ensure all are well (no injuries, babies are being taken care of, everyone has eaten).
Below are a list of facts that all breeders should know:
- Sugar gliders are very prolific, and can get pregnant as soon as their joeys are OOP (out of pouch).
- Females have a pouch and 2 uterus & Males have a bifurcated penis (two pronged).
- When a female comes into heat (every 28 days) they will mate.
- The female will be pregnant for 16 days. After those 16 days she will give birth and she will make a “lickey trail” out of saliva up to her pouch so the tiny joey (size of a grain of rice) will crawl up the trail and settle in her pouch.
- Females usually give birth to 1 or 2 joeys at once, but it has rarely occurred that there have been 3.
- Joeys will attach to a nipple in the pouch and the nipple will swell until the joey is securely latched on.
- Joeys will incubate in their Mother’s pouches for about 9-10 weeks. They are considered out of pouch (OOP) when they fully detach from Mom’s teat. At 7-10 days their eyes will open
- Mom will make a hissing, rattlesnake-like sound to shake them off the teat so that she can start regulating feedings AND go out of the pouch to exercise and eat
- Dad will keep the joeys warm while Mom goes out of the pouch. Dad is a very important part of raising the joeys so never, ever separate a breeding couple with young joeys unless it is medically necessary per your veterinarian.
- At 4-6 weeks old they will start sampling adult food & exploring out of their sleeping pouch
- Joeys are ready to go to their new homes between 8-10 weeks of age
Topics that will be covered in the next few weeks relating to breeding: joey development, hand-supplementing joeys, genetics, and injuries from breeding.
We hope that this sheds some light on Sugar Glider Breeding! Please let us know if you have any additional questions!