Breeding Sugar Gliders is a huge commitment and should not be taken lightly. It is very time consuming and you need to be very involved to ensure that all joeys, moms, and dads are healthy and happy! It is not an easy matter of just placing a male and female together and waiting for the joeys to come. Gliders all have unique social bonds and you must follow the proper steps when introducing a breeding pair, consistently monitor your colony to prevent fights, and separate gliders to a new colony when appropriate.
Responsible sugar glider ownership means...
- Supplying a proper enclosure with space for a family of gliders.
- Proper diet = healthy gliders with healthy joeys.
- Stress free environment (Gliders will often kill their babies if they feel the environment is stressful.)
- 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, seizures, etc.)
- All males who are non-lineage and housed together with females should be neutered! If you don’t neuter your male(s), you WILL be welcoming one or more joeys into your home! Despite what some people claim, you CANNOT spay females so make sure to neuter your males.
- You MUST have a sugar glider savvy vet.
- If you are breeding, it is your responsibility to find proper homes for all joeys and educating your buyers on sugar glider needs!
- Check your breeders often to ensure all are well (no injuries, parents are taking care of their babies, everyone is eating).
Below are a list of facts that all breeders should know:
- Sugar gliders are very prolific, and can get pregnant again 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 a time, but it has occurred rarely that they have 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. Their eyes will open at 7-10 days OOP.
- Mom will make a hissing, rattlesnake-like sound to shake them off the teat so that she can start regulating feedings AND so she can 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. Do not separate joeys less than 8 weeks old from their parents.
More topics that will be covered relating to breeding:
Joey development stages, Hand-Supplementing Joeys, Genetics, and Injuries from Breeding.
We hope that this sheds some light on Sugar Glider Breeding! Please contact us at TPG if you have any additional questions!