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#897374 - 01/25/10 01:55 AM Do breeding females really need more protein?
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19739
Loc: in my happy place
It's time to start a new discussion - Suz has two posts that I think are a great place to start;
Originally Posted By: Suz
There used to be a theory that it was important to increase the protein & calcium levels in a breeding mother's diet to help with milk production. That is a MYTH! Please take a few moments to read this so you can feed your breeding gliders properly.
The old-school theory behind increasing protein levels was because in the wild, a glider's breeding season is when protein is more plentiful. However, in captivity, if feeding your gliders a "proven diet" then the nutritional ratios of protein, calcium and other nutrients are in balance year-round, so increasing just the protein and calcium is not necessary.
In captivity, gliders will breed year-round for two reasons: constancy in diet and constancy in climate.
So, then, what do you need to do to help ensure milk production in your breeding gliders? First, make sure your gliders are already on a Proven Diet. Then, simply increase the overall portions of all dietary components. This includes the "nectar" (BML, Ensure, HPW, etc.), the fruits and the vegetables.
For example, if feeding the Back to Basics BML diet:
* For a non-breeding pair of gliders, you would normally give 2 Tbsp. BML nectar, 2 Tbsp. vegetables and 2 Tbsp. of fruits to your gliders each evening.
* For a breeding pair, you would increase the portions and give 3 Tbsp. BML nectar, 3 Tbsp. vegetables and 3 Tbsp. of fruits to your gliders each evening.
I hope this helps to clarify some of the confusion about how to feed breeding gliders.

Originally Posted By: Suz
The Myth
Quite frequently, it is recommended that people "increase the protein and calcium" offered to a breeding glider to "help with milk production". This is actually a myth (of unknown origin) that has been passed on throughout the years... I believe that it started when there weren't many options for "balanced diets" out there. Now that we have good, proven diets, the "extra protein and calcium" would actually throw off all of the carefully calculated ratios shakehead
So, What is The Truth?
Make sure that your glider is on one of the "proven diets" and then give her "extra" of everything each and every night. In other words, just increase the overall portions of ALL components of the diet so that there is ample for the mother to eat. This will keep all the nutrients and minerals in balance but will allow her the extra food she needs to be able to produce ample milk for her joeys. thumb

For more information about "proven diets" and nutrient balances, please see my page about Feeding Your Joeys and Adult Gliders.

On the other hand, giving breeding females more protein was a very common practice when I started breeding and it was something that I did throughout the time that my females were pregnant and nursing and out of 15 joeys that I had born here, all 15 survived and were 100% fed and raised by mom (and dad) with no intervention from me at all). And with my youngest breeding female, she nursed/took care of 4 joeys for ~5 weeks (twins were born when her OOP joeys didn't even have their eyes open yet).

I am not saying that I disagree with Suz' comments, it is just what I did and what the results were (whether directly related, I have no way of knowing). So what are everyone's thoughts on this?

If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

#897386 - 01/25/10 03:06 AM Re: Do breeding females really need more protein? [Re: sugarlope]

I think it is a good idea to increase ALL of their food when breeding or nursing. I think that if the mother is needing more of a certain nutrient that she will eat more of whatever food contains that nutrient.
If she needs more protien then she will eat more of the foods that contain
protien. If she needs more calcium then she will eat more of the foods that contain calcium etc.

I can tell when my breeding or nursing females are needing more of a certain nutrient because they will eat more of the food containing it. Also, if they are needing more protien it's almost like they crave it. They will refuse mealies and begg for yoggies and yogurt if they are needing more calcium. They do the same for the protien.

I give them more of everything. I also sprinkle brisky's booster milk on their food about every couple of days.

These are just my opinions on this subject. I don't think any one way is wrong as long as they are getting a good proven diet. Everyone has their own way of doing things.

#897398 - 01/25/10 06:21 AM Re: Do breeding females really need more protein? [Re: ]
Trigger Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 10/07/07
Posts: 3970
Loc: Spring, Texas
Here's my personal experience with Ivy. My first 2 sets of joeys she had I had doubled the powder for her HPW along with giving extra portions and never had a problem at all.

On her 3rd set of joeys I decided that with all the "myth busting" I would give her the same HPW as I gave all the crew still increasing her portions like I had before.

By the time the joeys were about 3-4 weeks OOP my poor Ivy looked terrible. I was talking to Peggy on the phone about how bad her furr looked and how thin she was. Started troubleshooting with the biggest monkey in the mess= ME, what had I done, changed her food from breeder to normal HPW.

I immediately mixed up her breeder batch and within a couple weeks she was significantly better.

With this 4th set of joeys I of course used her breeder HPW and she has done awesome again.

I will always increase my protein along with my portions because I have seen a big difference here. I learned my lesson, unfortunately at Ivy's expense. I'm just glad I caught it and made changes before she was really harmed or something happened to her joeys.
»-(¯`v´¯)-»MO MONEY!»-(¯`v´¯)-»
kids Chance, Dylan, John, & Kayla
Skittles, Snupi, Snuki, Lucy, Shanu, Caspian, Ivy, Kalysta, Kaliya, Santee, Cheyenne, Apache, Comanche, Twirpy, Meribelle, Santeria, Shyamalan, Sebastian, Zoey, Naira & Katsu

#897407 - 01/25/10 07:24 AM Re: Do breeding females really need more protein? [Re: Trigger]
JillMarie Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 7748
Loc: New Jersey
ok, here's my 2 cents worth:

In the wild breeding seasons and success always coincide with food supplies. less food means less offspring, and some animals will not breed if the conditions are not right.

so now what happens when an animal is in captivity? IF they are getting an ample diet they will/can breed year round. But is this healthy to do? Perhaps a change in diet and break from breeding is a healthy thing??? Perhaps a "breeding" diet year round but NOT letting them breed is harmful???

I have had many animals, farming and pets both, as well as worked on thoroughbred breeding farms and such, and breeding females are always given a bit extra. Even humans when "bred" usually have an increased interest in foods and certain nutrients.

so what are my final thoughts on this? IF IT WAS ME...I would try to mimic what happens in the wild. some protein is good year round, but when breeding I would increase the amounts of protein and all foods for the female specifically so as not to drain her body further.

and she would definitely get a break in between.

Just my opinion. Not saying if right or wrong, just what I would do, and have done in the past with my own animals (not gliders specifically)
:grey: Bosom Buddy Creations:grey:
^website link wink

Remember that God Loves You!

#897412 - 01/25/10 07:36 AM Re: Do breeding females really need more protein? [Re: JillMarie]
Srlb Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 16758
Loc: St. Johns, Florida
I have to say I DO think gliders need more protein when nursing.

One in the wild, gliders do NOT breed year round, because they do not have the amount of protein they have during breeding season. This is not because we know it to be a fact they dont *breed* year round in the wild. Maybe they DO breed year round, but because of the lack of proteins, they are unable to produce the milk supply, therefore they pull joeys? Just a thought...

There have also been a time when I also chose to go with just the *regular* batch and my joeys were smaller than when I increased the amount.

I also go by what my veterinarian tells me. And he also said it is important for ANY animal to have increased protein during pregnancy and lactation periods.

There is another person who has told me that when she wants her mommas to have a break in breeding she will remove part of their protein source they are accustomed to giving. This has stopped her momma from breeding and as soon as she started giving that protein source back, her gliders now all have joeys in pouch again.

I say YES, breeding females DO need more protein.
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#897451 - 01/25/10 09:25 AM Re: Do breeding females really need more protein? [Re: Srlb]

I forgot to add that I DO increase the amount of HPW powder when I make it for my breeding or nursing females. I also think they need more protien. But I think they will eat more of whatever nutrient their body is needing at the time.

Even if I'm wrong and they don't require more I don't think giving it will hurt them.

Who came up with saying it was a myth? I'm just curious where that came from...

#897470 - 01/25/10 10:18 AM Re: Do breeding females really need more protein? [Re: Srlb]
jacknsally Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 03/30/05
Posts: 3224
Loc: North Fort Worth - TX
Originally Posted By: Srlb

I say YES, breeding females DO need more protein.

Need more in what way? Is it to increase the amount of the protein that goes into the mixture or just to offer more of the complete protein mixture.
~Always on my mind & in my heart Jack, Sally & Serenity~

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#897497 - 01/25/10 11:19 AM Re: Do breeding females really need more protein? [Re: Srlb]
BCChins Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 3089
Loc: Central Connecticut
Originally Posted By: Srlb

There is another person who has told me that when she wants her mommas to have a break in breeding she will remove part of their protein source they are accustomed to giving. This has stopped her momma from breeding and as soon as she started giving that protein source back, her gliders now all have joeys in pouch again.

Peggy what is your feeling on this? Do you think it a good thing to do if it slows down a pair who have Joey's back to back? Do you think it works? And what is your vets thoughts on this?
Have a Good Day
Brenda &
Mr. Magoo

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#897503 - 01/25/10 11:32 AM Re: Do breeding females really need more protein? [Re: jacknsally]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
When a human is pregnant, people say she is "eating for two". That means her nutritional requirements are for two. But often women learn the hard way that it is mom that wanted that ice cream (not the baby) and mom has to live with (and fight off) the "baby fat" long after birth.

With a pregnant glider, she is eating for two, three, four and maybe even 5.

I increase portions, not alter the recipe. But I don't double everything that goes on their plate. If they are eating all the "mix" I increase it. If they are eating all the fruit, I increase that. Same with vegies. I do offer yogurt more often. I also will include more (diluted) juices for them to drink in addition to their water. It takes fluid to make fluid (milk).
How much I feed each pregnant pair may vary depending on what that pair is showing they need.
Judge not until you have walked in their shoes and lived their lives. What you see online is only part of the story.

I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance

The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.

#1138596 - 07/01/11 12:08 AM Re: Do breeding females really need more protein? [Re: sugarlope]
Marsupial_Mayhem Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 07/24/04
Posts: 1527
Loc: Lake Havasu City, AZ
I just saw this post and had to add my two sense.

I recently took in a 3 year old pair from another breeder who had to cut back on some of the glider she had.

One of the females was very small and she was not producing enough milk to sustain her last couple of joeys.

When I got her, she was very small. The former owner said she didn't give supplements. We are both on the same diet, HPW.

I do add supplements to my nursing females. I do it because I believe it is right for them.

Now, the female got bulked up a little on glider crack, and I am giving Briskee Milk Booster (a little sprinkled on the food each night) to her.

Not only has she put on a little weight (not fat, she looks healthy now), but she has two joeys. Not one, and both are fat, and doing really well.

I believe the things I have done helped her to have this litter and not to loose them.

My vet also agrees with what I do, much for the same reasons Peggy stated. I have given supplements to my breeding gliders for many years, and none are unhealthy or unfit. They are all in great shape.

Edited by Marsupial_Mayhem (07/01/11 12:11 AM)
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