Hi! This is going to be a longer post, because I believe some background is necessary for you guys to give proper advice.
I have posted a couple of times before about how I rescued 4 gliders from a friend who could no longer care for them. Unfortunately, he had been caring for them with instructions he got from their previous owner, who was not very knowledgeable.
There are two females and two males. They are all brothers and sisters. The original owner still has their father, and the mother passed away, probably due to dietary deficiencies, since they were bred back to back and on a pellet only diet
When I agreed to rescue these four I was told that the males were not sexually mature yet. I agreed to take them, planning on letting them acclimate to new surroundings, then getting them neutered before they became mature.
When I went to pick them up it was very clear that they were already sexually mature, they both had very prominent bald spots and scent glands on their chests, and their testicles had descended. I took them anyway, knowing that there was a possibility that the females had already been impregnated.
I immediately separated the boys from the girls when I got them home, and got the boys neutered soon after. They are all back together now after the ten day waiting period after they were neutered.
Last week I noticed a marble sized bump on one side of Mary's pouch, and I knew we had a baby on the way. Then a couple nights ago I noticed two slightly smaller bumps on Coconut. So it seems we are going to have a few joeys soon, as long as everything goes well.
I have been doing all the research I can, and I know that there is a high chance that they will be rejected if there are defects the gliders know about, since they are inbred. I obviously will be keeping these joeys if they survive, I will not risk even giving away an unhealthy glider. I am trying to find a jeweler's scale to weigh them once they are out of pouch (any suggestions would be nice). I have read about joey development, and I think I have a fairly good understanding of what to expect.
There are a few questions I have not been able to find the answers too. First of all, I feed BML. I have read something about a "joey BML", but that seems to be for rejected joeys. So my question is, do I have to feed them anything special when they are getting weaned, or do I just kind of let the parents handle it if they seem to be taking care of them?
As you may have noticed, I have two males and two females, meaning there are two potential fathers, and I have no idea which combination of potential parents made which joeys, so I cannot separate them. Any advice on how to deal with that? It looks like my only option may be to keep them all together and watch very closely.
Third, and I think last question (for now), I use sleeping pouches
, and I have moved their pouch lower in the cage to prevent a long drop if the joeys were to fall. I have read that some people don't think pouches
are great for breeding, since they don't have a solid floor and the joeys may get trapped under the adults. With having four adults together already, I was a little worried about that. Should I switch to a nest box for awhile, or should the pouch be ok?
Thank you for reading all of that, and thanks in advance for your advice