Bought a sugar glider! need help!! - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Bought a sugar glider! need help!!

Hello,

My name is Alex, I had just recently bought a sugar glider from a guy who sells and trades exotic animals. The Sugar Glider is just a little under a year old. Before me, he was in a little bird cage with just a hammock hanging and thats really about it. I just recently bought him a MUCH bigger cage for him. I have a question on taming him though. From the info i gathered, and what i have seen from his behavior is he has not had much human contact. You can stick your hand in the cage, and he just kind of ignores your hand. Also if I try to hold him, ill hold out my hand and he will climb onto my hand. He always seems to sniff my hand, and then he will bite and latch on to me. I have to shake him off to get him off of me. I was wondering what was the best solution to taming him so he can be a bit more friendly.

Thanks

Alex
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 11:17 PM
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Aw kudos to you for getting the glider into a much more comfortable living situation.

Older gliders do usually take more time to tame, especially if they haven't had much human interaction when they where younger - but it's not imposable!

I wouldn't force any interactions. Don't try to grab him to pick him up - let him come to you. You can try putting some licky treats on your hand for him - something like fruit baby food or apple sauce. Licking small amounts of that type of stuff off your hand will help him to associate you with pleasant things. You can also give him treats - most gliders will go crazy over meal worms.

Do you have a bonding pouch? During the day when you're hanging out around the house, you can put him in a bonding pouch and carry it near your body. If he'll let you, once in awhile you can reach in and gently pet him. A bonding pouch is similar to the types of pouches you'd use inside the cage, except for that they zipper shut so the glider can't escape.

You can also get a piece of extra fleece and rub it against your skin or wear it against your body for a few hours, then put it inside the cage with the glider. It will help him get use to your smell.

Tent time is a fun way to bond with them as well - pretty much you just get a small one or two person pop up tent, and fill it with fun toys and things to explore. Bring your glider into the tent and let him play and explore, and just sit in there with him. He'll probably eventually use you as a jungle gym haha. Don't try to pick him up at first, but as he gets more and more use to you he should become less afraid of you.

Remember that gliders are so small, and he's in a completely new environment where a giant creature (you!) keeps sticking it's hand in his environment...it will take him some time to learn that you're not going to hurt him.

Are you planning on getting him a buddy? Gliders are highly social and almost always do best in at least pairs. Also, on more than one occasion, I've seen adding a second glider help the first glider become more friendly. They are more comfortable with a buddy and if the second glider is friendly, they can help teach the less friendly glider to learn to trust humans.

Good luck with your little guy! Did you give him a name yet?


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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awesome thank you so much! that helped me out a lot!

looks like i have a lot more to buy for this little guy. (just spent $150 on cage and toys for him.)

I did name him, his name is Roscoe

So i should just refrain from putting my hand in there then? just to get him used to the enviroment and stuff? I did try putting food in my hand and letting him try and eat it... He just bit my finger instead.

Also, the guy i bought it from said that he tried putting a female in there, and i guess this guy killed her? I'm not sure if the guy who had sold it to me, had any idea what he was doing, i have looked online and read some of the process of finding them a companion.

I am wanting to find him a buddy, I was hoping to wait untill he stopped biting me, I was hoping to get a little baby girl, (so i have better luck of her not biting me.) and because I would like to breed them as well, and maybe try selling to a few interested. (just a little plan, who knows if i follow through or not)

and another question. How do i get him from his cage to his tent? he is a fiesty little fella and doesn't play nice.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 08:16 AM
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It's possible that if he did just throw them together without an introduction that the male may have killed the female. The males can be very aggressive when they mate -- it would be best to neuter hima nd try him with another neutered male or female after very SLOW introductions.

If he's an adult male, you can't put a baby girl in with him, unfortunately, he needs another, grown, glider.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 09:20 AM
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What kind of background do you have on this guy? I wouldn't breed him if you don't have extensive background on his family history. Most good sugar glider breeders wouldn't ever breed a glider without a known lineage, and most people who know what to look for in a good breeder will not buy a baby glider from a breeder without a lineage.

I'd have to agree with Jennicat, I'd also suggest you neuter him and try properly introducing either another neutered male or a adult female - especially so if you don't know his family history.

Yeah I'd give him some time to get use to his new home before you go crazy trying to tame him. It's important that he feels comfortable with his surroundings.

To get him in the tent, you can try to convince him to go into a pouch and then use the pouch to transport him from the cage to the tent. That way you don't have to directly pick him up and risk getting bitten.


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 09:30 AM
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Also you need to realize that breeding gliders is HARD. It seems easy and like a way to make some extra money, but they have a lot of very special needs. My rescue took in a group of five gliders that were mixed sex. One of the three females was pregnant with twin joeys. A week after they were OOP, she dumped both of them onto the ground.

For the next four weeks I was up every hour on the hour, around the clock, handfeeding joeys. One still failed to thrive and died. The remaining glider required round the clock care until she was finally old enough to go to her new home.

Not to mention that not knowing the background and lineage significantly increases the risk of sick and malformed joeys. If you don't sell the babies, do you have room to keep them in a separate cage? And to neuter any males that result so they don't interbreed with their siblings? Do you have a glider savvy vet? If you end up with 3 females do you realize you're required to register with the USDA as a breeding facility and be inspected regularly?

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, i figured it would he hard to breed them.

I see where your going at with not putting a baby female in with him, and that sounds about right to him. I wasn't aware of the dangers. Thats why i looked for a forum as soon as i got him, so i could be a lot more educated with him.

I wasn't aware of knowing a background was so important. I have no idea about this guy besides he killed a female and he has never bitten the guy. (the guy also wore gloves to handle him.)

What should i know when i get my next sugar glider? what kind of background?

thanks for answering all these questions btw. I really am trying to make this sugar glider as happy as he can be.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 04:23 PM
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Well if you buy from a breeder, I would look for breeders who have lineages (basically a family tree) on their gliders and are breeding for a low inbreeding percentage. And of course you'll want a breeder who spends a lot of time socializing the joeys and cares for them well.

If you are looking for a glider just as a pet, you can start by looking in rescues. If you're not going to breed and pass on the animals genes, things like lineage aren't as important, and there are sadly plenty of gliders in rescues needing new homes.

I believe having a background on any animal you plan to breed is very very important. You'd especially want to know if that glider could possibly be carrying genes that could cause genetic defects in it's babies, and of course knowing where your glider came from would help you be able to avoid breeding animals that may actually be related.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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yeah, i guess i should start looking. Hopefully this will make Roscoe a little bit nicer. I'm not srue why, but when i stick my hand in there, he bites me, but when my dad puts his hand in there, he climbs right to him. I don't think he likes me, and im the one feeding and housing him.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2011, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Today, while Roscoe was eating, i was petting him. He hate for a solid half hour eating little sugar glider pellets i bought him. He didn't nip and me or anything... Were we bonding? is this a good start? Or does every sugar glider do that when they are occupied with food?
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2011, 08:49 PM
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It sounds like he is making progress. Food can be a great motivator!

What diet do you have him on?


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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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umm, i bout soem pellets that it says to give him an ounce every day. Its called Vita exotics? I dunno, i sprinkle some of that in his food, and ill give him some fruit, I've mixed it up everyday, today he had 2 slices of kiwi, and a chopped up strawberry. But ill feed him orange, banana, strawberry, grapes, and kiwi. He also drinks A LOT of water... i have a little guini pig thing that he drinks out of. I have to tap it in order for him to get water out of it, but he spends maybe 10 minutes licking out of it. is that normal?

I think tomorrow im gonna put him in a tent, and let him jump around. Going to buy one tomorrow after work!!
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Dont mind my terrible spelling either lol O.o sorry about that.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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*-*-*-*-*UPDATE*-*-*-*


Today, he was sitting in the corner of the cage, just staring outside of the cage. I felt so bad for him, because you could just tell he wanted out. so i decided to take him out. I opened the door, and let him crawl out of the cage, where he climbed all around the cage. My cage is on the dresser so he couldnt jump down, atleast he was scared too. After a few minutes of trying to get him to climb on me, he jumped at the wall, and landed on the floor. He scurryed a little, and i trapped him and grabbed him. HE DIDN'T BITE!! so i put him on me, where he crawled around my back, arms, neck and head, for a solid 2 hours. He licked my ear a few times. My brother and sister saw this and decided to join in, so he crawled on them a little with out biting. I couldn't how ever get him to come to me. i would have to take him off, or put my hand in his little path. *question* Should i have him climbing on other people? since he doesn't know who i am?

anyways, after that, he jumped back to his cage and proceeded to eat a little. i left him alone, and i came back a half hour later, he was curled up in a little ball. I had replaced his little blanket thing with another one that had smelt like me. he wouldn't sleep in it so i had to give back his old blanket and now he is asleep. any ideas why?
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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his old blanket came with him from his last owner. It wasn't in his cage, but it was from his owner.
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