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#221914 - 02/21/07 06:34 AM The Healesville Sanctuary Diet

I posted this diet quite some time ago but with some of the posts I thought it might be time to post it agian. The High protein baby cereal is not as high here in Australian. Honey is not as sweet as US honey. The sultanas are just like raisens. The rest of the diet is pretty straight forward. The local vet suggested to us to add as many insects as we can to the diet for added protein and calcium.
this diet has been used at The Healesville Sanctuary (A Native Animal Zoo)since the early 1960's.

Helesville Sanctuary diet


Daily diet per animal:
1 Dog chow/Advance.
6g Fruit, chopped (1 tablespoon)
3ml Nectar mix.
1g fly pupae(1/4 teaspoon)
5g corn
2g Sprouted seed (mung beans, alfalfa etc.)
2 mealworms.

5 pollen grains-once per week(bee pollen grains available at Health food shops)
3 sultanas-3-4 times per week
2 sunflower seeds-once per week
1g Pet health food(small cube)-once per week.
I use an all natural no added preservatives chicken loaf for dogs and freeze it.
1 almond-once per week
Insects-3-4 times per week (moths crickets etc.)
Acacia, eucalypts. other blossoms as avavilable.

Nectar Mix:
2 litre formular:
700ml of Australian Honey,
1 litre Hot water,
3 eggs(hard boiled no shell)
Soluvet 20 ml(liquid vitamin for birds)
Calicivet 20ml.
250ml cold water
High Protein Baby cereal 70g

Blend together hard boiled egg, Soluvet, calcivet and cold water. Once blended add mix to honey and water, together with High protein Baby Cereal. They love the nectar mix.

You will notice their is no yoghurt or fruit juices in this diet. Yoghurt is not recommended by our vets as they believe it upsets the natural bacteria already in the gliders gut that help them break down their food.

#221917 - 02/21/07 07:00 AM Re: The Healesville Sanctuary Diet [Re: ]

I just thought I would add this information given to me from another member on GC. This information speaks for itself and has research backing it up not just opinion.
It was taken from a site that tells how to read pet food labels.

Yoghurt is sometimes used for therapy of chronic diarrhoea in the mistaken belief that the bacteria contained in yoghurt (Lactobacillus acidophilius or Lactobacillus bulgaricus) will colonise the bowel and displace unfavourable bacteria.

Yoghurt has bacteriocidal properties in vitro (test tube) but not in vivo (in the body). Orally administered bacteria in yoghurt does not displace resident or pathogenic bacterial populations in normal or diseased intestines of any animal. The bacteria in yoghurt are generally acid labile (destroyed by the stomach acid), limiting the numbers surviving passage through the stomach. (Research originally published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice Vol. 35).

I know many glider owners believe yoghurt has saved their sick gliders but this is still open to debate. Does yoghurt cause adverse health poblems in long time use? Many Gliders end up with liver and kidney damage that have been fed yoghurt fo many years. The vets here that work with gliders believe that yoghurt is not beneficial but can cause harm. Make your own decision on this. I know it was intoduced to the American diet to try to give more calcium after numerous cases of Hind Leg Paralyisis.

#221930 - 02/21/07 07:40 AM Re: The Healesville Sanctuary Diet [Re: ]

I'm on the fence with this one Jett, I know it helped a joey that I was hand rearing, I saw it with my own eyes and it truly truly helped her. She's a big bouncy girl now smile

What is it in the yogurt that the vets believe causes liver and kidney damage? Could these problems not be down to over supplementation in the diet and that yogurt was just a part of that diet?

Oops, that was completely off topic! Maybe you should start a new thread for yogurt.

The diet is interesting, yet another diet that challenges (careful Marie) popular diet choices.

Edited by moorie999 (02/21/07 07:43 AM)

#222009 - 02/21/07 10:32 AM Re: The Healesville Sanctuary Diet [Re: ]

Thanks for posting this, Jett. Lorna had given me a copy of it a couple of months ago, and I looked for some of the ingredients. The ingredients I had trouble with were of course the "high protien baby food" (nothing goes by that name here, so I'm not sure what to look for. How much protien does it have?) the Soluvet and Calcivet (I think we may have found a website that sells them, but it was a bird website and I think it was overseas as well). Also, the Pet Health Food was an Aussie product I believe. I did buy a type of dog food that comes in a roll and it's kinda soft. It's all organic ingredients as well, but I have no idea how it compares to either the Pet Health Food or the Advance dog food. I only fed it a few times because since I couldn't put together most of the stuff from the Healesville diet, I decided to try Priscilla's (The Pet Glider) and I like that a lot.

The difficulty of obtaining the ingredients in the U.S. is the reason Bourbon came up with BML and also the reason Pockets came up with the PML. I've heard that the Wombaroo High Protein Supplement replaces the high prot. baby food, but I'm not sure if it is an exact match. Besides, as it turns out, my gliders are not able to tolerate the WHPS in their diet.

this diet has been used at The Healesville Sanctuary (A Native Animal Zoo)since the early 1960's.

Are you sure it's been the same for that long? I only ask because when I talked to Pockets, I think she said that they have changed it many times over the years. She lives here in the U.S. but I think she knows some people associated with Healesville. I could be wrong. Maybe she was talking about someone else in Australia, but I thought we were talking about Healesville when she said that. Maybe she'll come on and clear it up later, not that it matters that much. I was just curious.

#222189 - 02/21/07 03:20 PM Re: The Healesville Sanctuary Diet [Re: ]
Marz Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 708
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Peeperkeeper. The leadbetters nectar mix itself has been associated with the Healesville Sanctuary since the 60's and I thinb k is may be what Jett is referring to.
There have been minor changes but it has stayed very closely to the original nectar formula. Sustagen was originally used instead the vitamins they now recommend. This change has been only in the last couple of years and was done by Dr Debra McDonald @ Healesville Sanctuary who also specialises in avian nutrition. Calcivet and Soluvet on their packaging says birds and small animals so it's sold as a bird vitamin but is also recommended for small animals.

Now the rest of the diet has developed too after further research since the 60's. The Healesville Santcuary also uses Eukanuba chow and that is made in the US.

I have been told that the protein in the regular Heinz baby cereal in US is actually higher than the High protein cereal here! Can anyone else verify? Can someone post the nutritional info off a cereal packet there so we can compare?

The pet health recommended is a chicken based, organic roll/loaf as you say. Only a small piece is fed out.

There have been subtle researched changes over the years as new research vets embrace it and update it to current standards but the actual leadbetters mix has only changed in regards to the sustagen and vitamins. All other ingredients are the same.

I have been in discussion with vets who now also recommend more green vegetables (snow peas, salad greens (not regular lettuce),alfalfa, snow pea sprouts, mung beans, etc etc along the lines of more leafy greens to bring the gliders back into a "back to basics" diet because in the wild they actually eat a lot more vegetation than is given in captivity. More insects are recommended too. It should be interesting to see if Healesville doesn't follow this trend too on their official diet sheet as these vets have also worked at Healesville Sanctary before going into private practices.They already recommend sprouts on the diet sheet.

I have followed the more vegetable route, and my guys who previously ate all the fruit, have now a preference for their vegetables first.

Hope this helps a bit.

#222562 - 02/21/07 11:59 PM Re: The Healesville Sanctuary Diet [Re: Marz]

Yes that does help a lot!

I have a question about the fly larvae. Do they morph unexpectedly into flies, or does it take a while and go through an "alien" stage like the mealies? I'm having a hard time imagining bringing maggots into my home, especially if it will increase the fly population around here, but I do want to introduce more insects to my gliders' diet.


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