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#1247462 - 04/11/12 02:43 AM Pellet food broken down
ZombieJesus
Unregistered


I realize that there are a lot of users against pellet foods but can anyone give me educated reasoning behind this? Is it not true that as sugar gliders become more popular there would be more of a demand for a pelleted food and with the right science behind it a legitimate pellet food could be designed? I've been reading multiple forums for a few hours and mostly what it has come down to is most people just discrediting the vets and websites promoting these pellet foods. If i designed an exotic pet food I would probably advertise it as well. Is there really no other veterinarians besides dr. brust willing to stand up and make a well put together video to combat his claims? I just see any animal as having basic nutritional needs, and I don't see why with the right education, time, money, and proper lab that a legitimate pellet food could not be made. Most of what I have red has said that a glider's diet should consist of %50 percent protein, 25% fruits, 25% veggies, supplemented by vitamins. Is that not how most of these pelleted diets are constructed? From a chemistry stand point I wouldn't see a gut loaded cricket or mealworm having any different of a protein structure in it from what they would be using in their foods. I guess I am just looking for a more educated argument for these home made foods than just discrediting people because of hear say or throwing around the word mill breeder and getting people angry. Any takers?

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#1247463 - 04/11/12 05:22 AM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: ]
Countryncrafty Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 02/21/12
Posts: 248
Loc: Texas
Before I knew better I bought a bag of pelleted feed. Let me get some more sleep (woke up to get hubby off to work) then I'll see if I can find it & give you the nutritional breakdown. No, I do not/I refuse to feed it, but I still have it cause I spent $20 on it & maybe I will find another use for it.
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#1247490 - 04/11/12 08:26 AM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: ]
etrnalsunshinee Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 07/25/09
Posts: 1714
Loc: New Jersey
I do not whatsoever believe the nutritional value of pelleted food is always bad. In my opinion, the reason the glider community advises against it is because of they type of food gliders eat in the wild. They are sap suckers, so they aren't accustomed to digesting the meaty parts of foods. Even with their fruits and veggies we will often see them chew until they've eaten all the juices out of the food and then spit out most of the substance pieces. If pellets have no "sap" and they spit out most of the nutritional value, how are they supposed to get the nutrients they need? This is why many of us prepare out wet foods at home, there's not much to spit out and they get the most out of their diet smile
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#1247495 - 04/11/12 08:41 AM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: etrnalsunshinee]
yiyo Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 06/08/11
Posts: 7560
Loc: Long Island, NY
Originally Posted By: etrnalsunshinee
I do not whatsoever believe the nutritional value of pelleted food is always bad. In my opinion, the reason the glider community advises against it is because of they type of food gliders eat in the wild. They are sap suckers, so they aren't accustomed to digesting the meaty parts of foods. Even with their fruits and veggies we will often see them chew until they've eaten all the juices out of the food and then spit out most of the substance pieces. If pellets have no "sap" and they spit out most of the nutritional value, how are they supposed to get the nutrients they need? This is why many of us prepare out wet foods at home, there's not much to spit out and they get the most out of their diet smile


:agreed:

Keep in mind also that there are different quality pellet foods. When people speak badly about pellets it's usually the lower quality extrusion process pellets.

In general, you'll find most people won't say that pellets are "bad" per se; they've just chosen something that they believe to be *better*
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"Moving on is a simple thing, what it leaves behind is hard."

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#1247497 - 04/11/12 08:48 AM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: ]
DCMuffin Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/21/10
Posts: 28206
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro Area
You may want to contact Val (Jackie_Chans_Mom). The SUGAR Group has some interesting information on pellet food and the effects on gliders.
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#1247718 - 04/11/12 08:38 PM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: ]
ZombieJesus
Unregistered


Alright useful information. So say the pellets have the values needed but suggies like the wet food better; what if you mashed the pellets in with some pure nectar? like made a soup out of it? I have noticed that mine seem to break the pellets up and leave the half eaten pellets laying in the dish. I guess I havent watched them that closely when they are eating to see how much they are spitting out. This is pretty interesting. I was just denied adopting a couple sisters because I use pellet food supplemented with glider aid, nutra glider, and alternating between one fresh fruit or veggie a day.

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#1247721 - 04/11/12 08:42 PM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: ]
GliderNursery Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/14/07
Posts: 20049
Loc: North Central Ohio
Originally Posted By: ZombieJesus
Is there really no other veterinarians besides dr. brust willing to stand up and make a well put together video to combat his claims?

I'm sure if other veterinarians were paid they could take the time out of their busy schedules to do multiple videos as well. And I'm sure their information would be a lot better than the mill broker propoganda he spews out.

I used to feed pellets when I first got gliders. I can give you my personal experience, which was enough for me to decide that pellets aren't good for them. My gliders would pick up a pellet and chew on it, they would try to suck the moisture out like they do any food they eat. When that didn't work, they would throw it down and try again. This of course would occur after they had eaten their fruits/veggies.

What I would find in the morning was a lot of shredded pellets. They never really consumed them at all. If they aren't going to eat it, it's not good for them.

I then went to BML and have successfully fed it ever since.

Glider need a nectar based protein. This is either the BML, PP, or one of the HPW diets. Then add the appropriate fruits/veggies.

Gliders don't "eat" hard stuff in nature, so I don't see why we want to force that to them in captivity. I would rather see us create something that is in a more natural form for them.

That's my personal opinion anyway. smile
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Don't sacrifice quality information for convenient information.


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#1247749 - 04/11/12 09:56 PM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: ]
SugarGliderLove Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 853
Loc: US
Ever since I got my first glider in 2005 we have fed BML and I wouldn't ever think about feeding them pellets. I have thought of getting a dehydrator and make a dried fruit mix to have in their cage during the day for snacking.

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#1247751 - 04/11/12 10:00 PM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: ]
Annie Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 02/25/12
Posts: 241
Loc: Missouri, USA
I think this would follow the argument of real food vs. processed food. Processed food isn't good for anyone or anything! Pellets are processed an insane amount and you never know what toxic/cheap filler the companies will throw in there to pinch pennies. It's best to know exactly what you're feeding your babies.
_________________________
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#1247760 - 04/11/12 10:58 PM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: Countryncrafty]
JeremysDad Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 09/06/10
Posts: 311
Loc: Raymond, NH, USA
Originally Posted By: Countryncrafty
Before I knew better I bought a bag of pelleted feed. Let me get some more sleep (woke up to get hubby off to work) then I'll see if I can find it & give you the nutritional breakdown. No, I do not/I refuse to feed it, but I still have it cause I spent $20 on it & maybe I will find another use for it.


squirrels...
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#1247774 - 04/12/12 03:12 AM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: ]
JillMarie Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 7748
Loc: New Jersey
I dont necessarily think all pellets are "bad" and do at times give them.
I do prefer the homemade diets and fresh foods over pellets the same way I prefer raw diets for cats and dogs and have tried to cut out "processed" foods from my own and family's diets.

As for wild gliders, I would love to see that "sap sucker" label done away with as they really are not a sap sucker.
They do consume huge amounts of sap, but do eat other foods in the wild, such as small birds, eggs, lizards, nuts, seeds and anything else they can catch. The label sap sucker gives an impression of not chewing anything or not eating anything solid and this just isnt true.

To even get at the sap in trees they rip and tear at the bark until it "bleeds" then they lap it up. However, if they go back later and the sap has dried hard or even just chewy, they still munch it up.

As for the pellets... again, for me its just a personal choice. I would like to see a "better" pellet option to keep around for emergencies and traveling. I also like to toss crunchy foods in the cage once in a while like a high quality cat or dog food kibble piece.

Sometimes my gliders will eat a pellet food when offered and sometimes they wont touch it.

As for vets, cant and wont speak for them. Companies that make the pellet food just may not see the demand yet to pay for more research and testing for a "better" pellet. Even cat food companies that have been around forever have changed recipes, and thats for pets that have been kept for YEARS longer than gliders, and look how long it took them to get off the ground.
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^website link wink

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#1247831 - 04/12/12 09:32 AM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: ]
jimbo Offline
Joey Member

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 137
Loc: FL
I too would like to see this whole "sap sucker" idea get the boot, it's very misleading, especially when we know (as pointed out above) that sap is but one part of the diet. Have you seen the My glider just ate a mouse!! post? Try telling that Mouse gliders are sap suckers...

When gliders are used to being fed a wet mix, it's not unusual for them to think of pellets as "toys" and chuck them around. When high grade pellets are fed as a normal and expected part of the diet, they eat (and swallow) them.

Many people have bad experiences with pellets because they feed poor quality pellets. This goes way back to very old diets that used cat / dog food as part of the offering.

However, in zoos it is common and expected to provide gliders a pelleted diet that is available at all times. I hardly think the animal nutritionists at zoos would feed something to their animals that is bad for them. Are the anti-pellet folks really saying these people are uneducated and we know better than they do? That seems really unlikely.

There are in fact high quality pellet foods produced for sugar gliders. The choice there, like other dietary choices, can boil down to personal opinions and beliefs. Are you OK with feeding a pellet based on soy or other vegetable protein? Or would you prefer to avoid soy, and keep the grains to a minimum by using a pellet based on animal protein?

This same kind of "grain" discussion is going on in the dog world right now, and the "raw" discussion has been going on for some time. What concerns animal nutritionists is most any raw diet is going to lack essential nutrients and needs to be supplemented according to the profile of the specific animal. So now you are back to using an "un-natural" supplement to achieve the right nutritional balance.

I'm sure the discussion will go on and people will continue to defend their personal preferences, hopefully based on knowledge of the animal and experience.
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SunCoast Sugar Gliders
http://www.sugar-gliders.com/

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#1247945 - 04/12/12 04:41 PM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: ]
Bourbon Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 04/01/99
Posts: 5333
Loc: Bee-Bopping round SnakePit USA
ZombieJesus, a few things here I want to address..

1... there are many many many people on all the forums as well as many off the forums, that feed or offer pellets as part of their regular diet. Some people just don't own what they do.. they want everyone to think they are doing the right thing... fact is.. they MAY be doing the right thing..

2. there is a thread here, by someone named Marz, from Australia, she does some wildlife rehab work.. but is very close to many of the rescues and sanctuaries in Australia.. and she told me that the fruits and veggies actually should be a very small part of the diet, and she suggested to me the pelleted foods should be much higher..

3. I seen a reference to the extrusion process, which is just another way of cooking without actually cooking it.. it is heated to a certain temp based on friction..and actually protects some of the properties of the vits and minerals that ordinary cooking may remove or change. Exotic nutrition slams the extrusion process to promote their own pelleted diet that is cooked.. Pet pro happy glider is an extruded product, which rarely is spoken about when referencing pelleted diet but is fed by many, myself included.

4. I think the "pelleted" is frowned upon , just as you stated because it has become associated with very large breeder/brokers.. and the hatred for the person trickles down to the diets they feed.

5. rescuers, myself included.. came to associate the diets with which breeder produced the gliders we got into rescue, so it was very easy for us to blame the diet, rather than blame the people that owned the glider. I was just talking about this the other day.. the differences between the mill breeders and brokers based on their practices and feed choices. example.. I got a mess of gliders into rescue, they looked awful, I know the breeder they originated from because the males were not neutered, and based on their diet.. but they were not the breeders gliders anymore.. they belonged to a private owner.. and that owner needs to assume responsibility for providing a clean healthy environment, as a rescuer, I see more times than not the issues with the gliders are not just the diets,, when we as rescuers get gliders in, many times their housing is nasty, their pouches have holes in them, the cages have never been cleaned. all things are changed by rescuers.. not just the diets,.. so even with Val's study regarding pelleted diets, I have to be a bit skeptical because there are so many variables to consider.

6. I have personally seen many gliders who are fed pelleted diets, that are very happy, very healthy, their coats are beautiful and the gliders bonded.. not to say the pellets they used was the best, but to say they took care of their gliders and provided them with clean healthy environments as well as clean water and a staple diet,.. notice I said staple diet not the best diet.. (ask me I will tell you the bml is the best) LOL

7. as for the money put into the research and production of the pelleted diets.. all I am going to say, is if a company's income depends on a healthy diet, they will reinvest that money to TRY to provide the best for their animals. They need to for return sales. just some food for thought (a pun intended) Marshalls is the largest breeder of ferrets some call him a mill breeder...but they also have some of the best products and diets for ferrets (according to the various forums I have been on for ferrets) could be because he has the extra money to go the extra mile, could be because his money depends on return customers.. could be that he has had many a ferret to test, retest, and test again..

8. although I feed a little pet pro with my diet at times or in place of it.. I probably wouldn't sell a joey to someone that feeds it as a regular diet, simply because I do believe the sappy mixture is an important part of their dietary needs. but that is just my opinion.. you will find many breeders like that, not just with the pellets, but i won't move any of my joeys to someone that feeds the blended diet briskys, or exotic nutrition..either.. as a breeder I feed the BML, because I believe it to be the best for my babies, and there are a couple other diets out there that I support, but my list is pretty small..I want my babies to have the best as I think it is..being a breeder I can make that decision, if someone don't like it, they don't need my gliders. There are plenty of breeders out there..They can find another breeder that supports the diets that they feed

9. people don't have the nutritional breakdown for the pelleted diets, most of the time, people pull out an ingredient or two and that is what they hold onto..

10. as stated above.. if you want to feed a pelleted diet, then do it, you will find a breeder that has no problems with it... Good luck on your quest...
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SGGA

CustomCruiser

BML

Sugar Glider Genetic Project

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#1248003 - 04/12/12 08:25 PM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: ]
Dee Offline
Joey Member

Registered: 07/26/10
Posts: 157
Loc: WA
I do feed pellets, my vet recommended Leadbeaters Insectivore diet. There are also only a few brands of insectivore pellets recommended when using this diet. With that said these pellets are not given to the gliders whole. They are mixed into the Leadbeaters portion of the diet which most would consider the "nectar" portion.

Bourbon mentioned:
2. there is a thread here, by someone named Marz, from Australia, she does some wildlife rehab work.. but is very close to many of the rescues and sanctuaries in Australia.. and she told me that the fruits and veggies actually should be a very small part of the diet, and she suggested to me the pelleted foods should be much higher.. My vet also agrees with this thinking and feels all the fruits and veggies are more for the owners feelings than the gliders.


There has been talk of gliders getting obstructed because of pellets. With that said I don't know if anyone is aware of what the said pellet is and how it was provided to the gliders.

I hope you find the best diet for you and your gliders.
_________________________
Dee

Wife for 17 years
Mom to two awesome boys two pitbull mixes Allie & Bailey

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#1248007 - 04/12/12 08:35 PM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: ]
Bourbon Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 04/01/99
Posts: 5333
Loc: Bee-Bopping round SnakePit USA
dee, what I have found in the past as was noted above.. that the gliders actually scrape at the harder pellets, break in half the smaller ones. the importance of having a fresh water supply, and watery fruits are essential when feeding any pellets.. some pellets are softer than others. I used to suggest soaking them in apple juice. but for as much as people speak of the pellets, you will still find yet others feed nuts, seeds, monkey biscuits etc..
_________________________
Baybe,My Roots

SGGA

CustomCruiser

BML

Sugar Glider Genetic Project

321-331-1608

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#1248269 - 04/13/12 06:23 PM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: jimbo]
GliderNursery Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/14/07
Posts: 20049
Loc: North Central Ohio
Originally Posted By: jimbo
There are in fact high quality pellet foods produced for sugar gliders.


First, I'm going to qualify the comments I'm going to make by saying that even with our home made diets, there is no research readily available to "know" they are truly balanced, or what a glider truly needs. We "do know" that some of these diets have been fed for many years and gliders have thrived.

With that being said, what are the "high quality pellets"? (And I'm not specifically asking jimbo, I'm asking everyone here.) Even I have told members that feeding a high quality pellet for a treat or daytime snack is ok. But I don't know which is high quality.

And, to my knowledge, since there has been no research to state what a sugar gliders daily nutritional needs are, how do we know these so-called high quality pellets are good or not? And yes, that statement can be said for all diets, not just pellets. And that is the reason I only recommend the time-tested diets, because that is all we have to go from.

So, how would I know any pellet is high-quality or good for my gliders whether for a day time snack or as a staple?
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Shelly

Don't sacrifice quality information for convenient information.


Glider Nursery

Sugar Glider Foundation



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#1248450 - 04/14/12 12:26 AM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: Bourbon]
Marz Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 708
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Originally Posted By: Bourbon



2. there is a thread here, by someone named Marz, from Australia, she does some wildlife rehab work.. but is very close to many of the rescues and sanctuaries in Australia.. and she told me that the fruits and veggies actually should be a very small part of the diet, and she suggested to me the pelleted foods should be much higher..



Not sure what thread this is in reference too but this is a incorrect in some ways.

Wildlife vets here believe that an all rounded diet is the best diet...not one top heavy in anything.

For instance a diet should NOT consist mostly of nectar mix or dry food etc but in essence a combination of all facets in moderation. Too much of any one can manifest in different health issues. It's being practical and finding the balance which works.

As for fruit/veg,,,,,Vegetables are an equal and important part of my diet so that bit is wrong....it's fruits that should be a much smaller part of the diet IF an artificial nectar mix is being fed. Many people have said that their gliders don't eat as much fruit when on a nectar heavy diet:= that's because they get enough sugars in their nectar mix. Even though my gliders get less nectar mix nightly than the average US glider (my honey content is WAY less too), they rarely touch fruit of any sort.

Now as for pellets...same principle. Nothing wrong with dry food as long as it doesn't make up major part of the diet. I feed each glider a couple small pieces of high quality dog kibble that does not contain corn or dubious fillers. Same as there is poor quality dog or cat kibble, there is poor quality pellets too. It's a case of finding one with good content and only make it a part of the diet, not the majority of one.

Each night my gliders get an artificial nectar mix, a home made meatloaf, some dry foods and a very good variety of vegetables. They are all very fat and healthy.

Bottom line -I definitely do not endorse a pellet heavy diet of any type.

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#1248499 - 04/14/12 11:00 AM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: ]
josefine Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 2713
Loc: Perry, Iowa
Marz,you are over your PM's.
I wanted to ask what your'home made meatloaf'consists of, & what artificial nectar mix are you giving them?
Is your daily meal plan somewhere in this forum?,where I could look into it,& then you wouldn't have to repeat yourself to me.
I am always desperately looking for meals that my gliders will eat,b/c,for the most part,they eat very little,if anything,of what I feed them,of fruits &/or veggies. frown
I even cut back on the size of the meals,being suggested that I am giving them too much,& they still barely eat that! frown
2 ice cubes of foods made into smoothies,& 1 ice cube of hpw mixture for 4 gliders.
They eat enough to maintain their weight,but I don't know how,b/c I'm still tossing alot the next morning.
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#1248505 - 04/14/12 11:11 AM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: ]
Dee Offline
Joey Member

Registered: 07/26/10
Posts: 157
Loc: WA
Not to get into a battle over pellets or the quality of pellets. But my vet recommends Reliable Protein Products or Mazuri Sugar Glider. I personally use the Mazuri since I am able to get them from a local feed store and not pay online shipping costs which is about a difference of $50. The feed store special orders them in for me so they aren't just sitting around in the store.
_________________________
Dee

Wife for 17 years
Mom to two awesome boys two pitbull mixes Allie & Bailey

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#1248513 - 04/14/12 12:46 PM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: ]
Bourbon Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 04/01/99
Posts: 5333
Loc: Bee-Bopping round SnakePit USA
Marz, I meant just what you said... many people are so worried their glides are not eating their fruits and veggies, and with the current plans we have.. the fruits and veggies should be less.. and with people afraid to feed the pellets.. there are many out there that is not feeding them at all..

so...
"the fruits and veggies actually should be a very small part of the diet, and she suggested to me the pelleted foods should be much higher.."

but i can see now... that .. the way I phrased it, may seem like the pellets should be the main staple and that is not what I meant to convey..

maybe i think every one should crawl into my head... and understand me when.. i am not clear.. as to what my intentions truly are.. LOL
_________________________
Baybe,My Roots

SGGA

CustomCruiser

BML

Sugar Glider Genetic Project

321-331-1608

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#1248515 - 04/14/12 01:00 PM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: ]
jimbo Offline
Joey Member

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 137
Loc: FL
Glider diet *has* been researched by professionals in the animal nutrition area, though interpreting it can be difficult and people tend to find faults in it that support their own cause, whatever that may be.

For example, during the discussion with Mr Rich from Wombaroo, one post here: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet (Part One) (see bottom of post) lists four studies by professional animal nutritionists in his explanation of the approach Wombaroo takes to glider nutrition.

Some of the studies are old, some are partly on wild gliders, some of the studies are small, etc. etc. Pick your criticism, but I find it kind of strange folks who lack scientific training would feel justified criticizing studies created by people with the proper training to do this kind of work. The fact the study gets published means it was "peer reviewed", meaning a bunch of other scientists with the proper background reviewed the material and found it to be worthy.

It's probably also worth saying at this point that vets and animal nutritionists are different professions with different skill sets. Given a choice between what a vet says is a good diet, and what a nutritionist says is a good diet, it seems like the nutritionist would be the way to go.

But, while the statement "no studies have been done" is not correct, there is something to be said about hands on experience with diets, as Bourbon said above. If a diet has been around for 10 years, people get good results, and the diet does not directly defy what is generally known about animal nutrition, then it's hard to argue with.

Which leads us, seems to me, to the "tinkering" place, where people then take the foundation of a good diet and start messing around with it, because of personal preferences, because their gliders don't "like it” (um, do you feed your kids candy all the time because they like it?), because they want the diet to fit what they already buy for family, etc.

One of the best examples of this I think is the "day old chick" component of the original Taronga Zoo diet, which includes the original Leadbeater's Mix.

Seems to me it's pretty hard to argue with a diet developed in a native zoo that has been taking care of gliders for years, especially when there is ongoing research by PhD students on the diet and health outcome of the gliders. Given the source, I find it hard to argue against this general approach as the best diet for gliders.

But then again, there's that "day old chick" problem - how many domestic households are going to feed a day old chick to their gliders once a week? How about fly pupae?

So what happens?

Domestic keepers asked around and substituted boiled chicken for day old chick.

And that's how these diets evolve.

I think the real question is this: what happens after 15 years of this evolution, when people keep substituting and substituting until the diets don't look anything like the originals? For example, the commonly used phrase "gliders are sap suckers" to defend certain diet and feeding approaches.

Folks, gliders do eat sap as a portion of the diet, when it’s is available. But these are the same animals that eat baby birds in the wild, were fed day old chicks in the zoo (makes sense if they eat baby birds, right?), and domestically eat mice if one wanders into their cage. Sap suckers? How did animal protein move from being a "staple" in the diet to a "treat"? Gliders are insectivores or omnivores, depending on who you ask. They’re clearly interested in eating a whole lot of different things. They’re not “sapivores”.

By the way, the Taronga Zoo diet includes "dog kibble", and offering pelleted food is a standard practice in zoos, for a couple of reasons. Primarily, it’s because the food doesn’t spoil, so the animals can eat when they are hungry and not rely on some human to come around with the day old chick or the fly pupae. Gliders are free feeders and don’t have a “dinnertime” unless you teach them there’s only one time each day they can eat. Older gliders may not get up much during the day, but young gliders and especially breeding gliders will eat during the day as long as food is available.

Pellets also provide consistency in the diet, so if for some reason a glider is not getting the nutrients they need for what is available to eat (example: food stealing), they can always find these nutrients. Also, the pellets simply provide variety, and healthy alternative to whatever else is usually offered.

Which brings us to the idea of pellets as THE diet. Feeding pellets only, or “with a slice of apple for moisture”, is not a good idea either, for some of the same reasons mentioned above. Even if the “perfect pellet” existed, it would still be a bad idea to feed only pellets. Captive animals need stimulation, what they call in the zoos “enrichment”, and one of the best ways to provide enrichment is through diet. If you’ve ever seen a glider go for a mealie or a cricket, you know what I’m talking about – the excitement, the shear delight, the fun of it. Food as happiness, not just “staying alive” or surviving. Just because the glider doesn’t die when on a diet does not mean it’s a “good” diet.

So, on to specific pellets. I suppose one way to look at it is if it’s used in a zoo to feed gliders, and you believe the nutritionists in zoos are not in favor of abusing the animals they care for, that might be a good place to start. Reliable Protein and Mazuri mentioned above are zoo standards. Exotic Nutrition offers quite a few, and SunCoast offers two that are also used in zoos.

You can buy various brands at the big pet stores. Assuming those pet food companies are not trying to harm their customer’s pets, there must be some science behind those, I’d guess.

Then, comes down to what I mentioned in my first post above, personal preferences or beliefs, and many of these choices parallel the diet discussions in other animals and even humans. First up, do you want the pellet to have a lot of “fillers”, like corn? Or do you want the pellet to be mostly meat, animal protein? All the animal nutrition people we have worked with over the past 12 years say avoid the fillers, go for the animal protein. So both pellets we offer, one moist, the other hard, are based on animal protein.

Next, some people have a problem with pets consuming “meat by products”, as do some humans. The moist food SunCoast offers is made with pork byproducts, the hard food with human grade chicken. You decide.

Do you care about soy as a food, the potential for estrogen-related problems? Some people don’t want their pets eating soy, because they don’t want to eat it either. Decide.

Just to be clear, any of the pellet foods mentioned above that are routinely used in zoos are probably OK to use with your glider – the real issue is the nutrition they deliver, not what they are made from. For example, there are those that argue in the human world that vegetable protein in better for you, and for animals, than animal protein, even though vegetable protein lacks certain amino acids. So be it, if that is what you believe.

In the end, whether you feed a pellet or not is more of a lifestyle choice. If you have the time and resources to be very attentive and preparing a wide variety of fresh foods for your glider, and making sure they always have food that’s not spoiled to eat when they are hungry, then sure, do that. Some people do that for their dogs and cats. Great.

But please don’t go around shouting “pellets are bad” because it’s simply not true, unless:

1. People who do research on animal nutrition are in the habit of lying about what’s good and not good for the animals, including pellets for sugar gliders

2. Some of the most caring animal husbandry folks in the world, the people taking care of animals in zoos, are in the habit of routinely and intentionally hurting the animals they are responsible for, including feeding pellets to sugar gliders

Sorry for the length of this, wanted to have the whole story in one place for reference.
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Jimbo, Webmaster
SunCoast Sugar Gliders
http://www.sugar-gliders.com/

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#1248553 - 04/14/12 07:14 PM Re: Pellet food broken down [Re: ]
MamaBird Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 01/27/12
Posts: 508
Loc: Georgia
Just wanted to say thank you for this thread. I realize I'm still probably considered a newish owner, and I don't post much, ESPECIALLY about diet since it can get so heated, but I'm enjoying the info in this thread.
Oh, and Bourbon? Can I PLEASE get in your head for a bit?!!! I could learn so much from you!! I personally feed HPW Plus, and offer Zoo Keepers for a pellet. I'm happy with it, and my gliders are too. Thanks again for the information and viewpoints.
_________________________
Mama to
The Trio: Riddick, Rafiki and Baby
The Family Colony: Khaleesi, Drogo, Toby and Jamie
The Boys: Joby, Tyrion and Momo


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