Pellet diet bad?

Posted By: Anonymous

Pellet diet bad? - 02/11/11 10:32 AM

Yes I am very sorry for bringing up this gossip but this is a real question. I am considering a sugar glider as a pet and found these "great" videos on youtube by asgv explaing sugar gliders. Well then I dig deeper and finding people saying a lot of nasty things about them and how they are mill breeders etc... I have no idea if these claims are true or false so I would like some honest input. Do I follow their advice or do I look elsewhere? my main concern is with the diet. ASGV claims that pellets are good for a glider and should be about 75% of their diet. I would like some honest and knowledgeable people to give me details on the diets they use and their opinion on pellet based diets. I am also interested on how long your sugar gliders have been around. Seems that no one really KNOWS they are doing their pet good until it passes away and you can say if it had a long or short life. Thank you for taking the time

(Edit)- I see that this website has linked me to many peoples thoughts on asgv ranging from great to mill breeder. Please do not post rumors or hunches, Only want whats best for the animal. Don't want to make it sick from over complicated diets and don't want to stave it with paper pellets.

Posted By: JillMarie

Re: Pellet diet bad? - 02/11/11 11:13 AM

HI and :welcome: to GC

I will refrain from voicing my opinion on ASGV or mill breeders and only focus on your pellet and diet questions.

I will start out by saying diets are probably the biggest area of disagreement in the glider community. That being said...
I personally do not think that pellets are bad if used as PART of a diet. I do not feel as though ANY pellet out there offers a complete and balanced diet. Even if it did, wold you want to eat the same thing everyday? No. A diet that offers many forms and textures is fun and exciting isnt it? The same is true for animal diets.

Offering a range of foods is healthy for body and the mind of your pet, especially one who will live in a cage most of its life.

I personally feel that a glider diet that uses pellets as a small part of the diet is fine, as long as there are fruits and veggies offered. Add to that some insects, yummy treats, and perhaps a homemade "nectar". Now as for homemade "nectars" there are a couple to choose from such as BML and HPW, and variations of it.

The problem with pellets is you may throw off the nutritional balance of a diet by adding them in. Some diets were made to use very specific "side dishes" such as the BML diet. Click the word DIETS to be brought to more info. Each glider diet needs to have certain nutrients carefully balanced for optimum health. Unless you know the ratio of the pellet, you may do more harm than good. But as I said, as a small part of a balanced diet is fine (in my opinion)

As for how long have I had gliders? 2 1/2 years. I have tried quite a few different pellets. Some they like, some they dont like. Even the best diet is no good if the gliders refuse to eat it.

I am also moving this to the diets section for you smile
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: Pellet diet bad? - 02/11/11 06:48 PM

There are many, many, many diets and many, many pellets out there for gliders. Several diets use pellets as part of their regular diet. There are pros and cons to feeding pellets (there are pros and cons to all diets). Find something you are comfortable/happy feeding and that your gliders will eat.
Posted By: jtech2009

Re: Pellet diet bad? - 02/12/11 04:35 AM

Originally Posted By: OsirisFox
I am also interested on how long your sugar gliders have been around. Seems that no one really KNOWS they are doing their pet good until it passes away and you can say if it had a long or short life. Thank you for taking the time

I am SO glad you started this topic! New forum member here too! We just got our gliders 2 weeks ago, and I have been reading tons of information about diets, housing, enrichment, etc. We have already purchased a tent and some toys for their cage. We are having a ball with our 2 babies!

I am totally willing to make a home-prepared diet for our gliders. I already home cook part of our 4 dogs' diets, but dog diets aren't that complicated, and there is a large body of knowledge about what dogs thrive on. Glider diets seem much harder to replicate in captivity, and it sounds like they haven't been kept long enough as pets to really know which diets work best. From reading the forums, there also seems to be a lot of switching of diets after using one for some time.

What I know so far is that I don't want to feed our gliders an all pellet diet. What I don't know is which home-prepared diet to pick! I would really like to know how long forum members' gliders have lived and which diet were they feeding them? Did they eat the same diet their whole lives, or did you switch at some point? I'm really hoping more people will respond to this topic!

Thanks so much! Nice to be here. We have a boy named Neeko and a girl named Dixie.
Posted By: Dancing

Re: Pellet diet bad? - 02/12/11 04:53 AM

Pellets as a treat or a daytime snack, depending on the quality of the pellets, I feel is ok and often give them to my gliders for snacks.

I feed Reep's Diet and have for over 6 1/2 years now. My oldest gliders is well over 13 yrs old (possibly over 14 years) and his mate is over 11, close to 12 years old. I currently have 39 gliders total.

I have had about 300 gliders through my home over the years as an owner, hobby breeder and rescuer. I would NEVER feed the diet that ASGV recommends. I've had too many rescues come to me on that type of diet suffering from malnutrition, severely stained and stinking like there was no tomorrow.

I believe there are many good diets out there but a diet that is pellets with a slice of apple is NOT one of them.
Posted By: JillMarie

Re: Pellet diet bad? - 02/12/11 09:04 AM

Originally Posted By: Dancing

I believe there are many good diets out there but a diet that is pellets with a slice of apple is NOT one of them.

Totally agree with this statement! Pellets can be a SMALL part of the diet. And a diet consisting of pellets and an apple definitely is NOT a complete well balanced diet.
Posted By: snowbabygliders

Re: Pellet diet bad? - 02/12/11 10:04 AM

Originally Posted By: JillMarie
Originally Posted By: Dancing

I believe there are many good diets out there but a diet that is pellets with a slice of apple is NOT one of them.

Totally agree with this statement! Pellets can be a SMALL part of the diet. And a diet consisting of pellets and an apple definitely is NOT a complete well balanced diet.
agree thumb
Posted By: SerenityKris

Re: Pellet diet bad? - 02/12/11 10:57 AM

From my experiences - sugar gliders can 'survive' on most anything. I've seen gliders that were fed nothing but 'crickets', nothing but 'ferret food', nothing but 'trail mix' and nothing but 'leftover table scraps'. I'm sure a lot of the rescues out there have a ton of stories that are a lot worse than I've seen.

They all 'survived' but they did not FLOURISH.

I tried a few kinds of pellets. They just don't like them. I tried BML and they got tired of it after only a few months and started refusing to eat it. I tried HPW and I could see and SMELL an improvement - and they didn't get tired of it.

Even now - they get tired of a fruit if I feed it too many nights in a row.

Can you imagine eating the same thing every single day for the rest of your life? What if they made nutritionally perfect 'little brown pellets' for people. Would you eat it? If they made a 'perfect nutritious blend' of brown pellet for children would you give it to your children?

I sure wouldn't. I like variety! I like food! (And the size of my tummy proves it!)

By the way... Those videos make these diets sound complicated, time consuming, and expensive.

They aren't any of those things. I spend half an hour making a batch of HPW and it lasts for about a month. I spend 3 minutes at night cutting up fruits and/or veggies. Sometimes I puree the fruits (melons, sweet potatoes, anything that's gonna go bad soon) and I freeze them in ice cube trays. It takes all of 10 minutes to cut them, blend them, pour them, and then later to pop them out into a ziploc baggie.

I spend no more than 5 minutes on an average night, and no more than 30 minutues a week preparing sugar glider food. You'd spend that much time going to the store to buy sugar glider pellets once a week.

The powder for HPW lasts a long time if you're only feeding a few, and the bee pollen - it only takes a tablespoon per batch so it lasts a long time too. Eggs and honey? Pretty inexpensive. In the long run I'd guess pellets are more expensive than all that.

It's trial and error. I know my suggies. I can tell when something makes them happier and healthier. I can tell when they don't like something. If they ever get bored with the HPW and stop eating it - I'll switch again.

All in all - you just use your best judgement and get to know your gliders so you can SEE if something is doing them good or not. That's the best way I can put it. When you know your suggies you can TELL if a diet is not good for them! They smell different - they act different - they LOOK different. Their tummies start to look a little less white and you realize *something* is amiss. Their fur starts looking a little less full and looks a little oily. Their eyes aren't quite as shiny. They don't act as inquisitive and playful. To me - those are signs that I'm doing something wrong and to figure out what that is ASAP!

I'm not saying there isn't a good pellet out there. I'm sure there is somewhere - and I'm sure lots of gliders are out there surviving and sometimes thriving on these pellets. (Though you won't find many fans of pellet diets on this board.)

In the end it's a personal decision that only you can make. As a sugar glider owner you are responsible for another life (or lives). In the end you do what you feel is for the good of the glider. Just pay attention to them and learn to tell if it's not working. People will tell you that one diet is better than another, but we all have different experiences and when it's all said and done we're all doing what we feel is best for them.

Good luck no matter what diet you decide to go with!

(Sorry I'm rambling. I'm delirious for lack of sleep. Been up all night watching a glider that got neutered today!)
Posted By: jimbo

Re: Pellet diet bad? - 02/12/11 03:46 PM

There was a very detailed discussion about pellets recently, perhaps it would help to review this:

Pelleted food??

There is a huge difference between the formulation of different pelleted foods.

Many use grains as the main ingredient, which is not balanced for gliders, and would have to be heavily supplemented. This is the "pellets as snack" approach.

If the pellets have been designed as a balanced sugar glider diet with animal protein as the main ingredient, then they can be a larger part of the diet. This is the "pellets as staple food" approach used by zoos and other professional habitats.

But in the end, as was said above, it's about what the glider *eats*, not what is offered. You can offer a perfectly balanced diet but the glider may eat only "favorites", resulting in an unbalanced diet. Or the glider may not like any of it.

Whatever approaches you try, give each a good shot, at least several days. Just because they "won't eat" for a day or two doesn't always mean they "hate" the diet.

Posted By: Bourbon

Re: Pellet diet bad? - 02/13/11 07:31 AM

as Jimbo had stated, the different pelleted diets are designed to be fed different ways. is a "pelleted diet" bad for your glider??

well, I am one that was guilty for the longest time thinking so , in fact the diet that was giving the most problem many years ago, although maybe the problems are fixed, I still will not sway my thinking on. and there are a few others out there as well, however; there are many gliders being fed pelleted diets that are thriving on them and has for many years.

the biggest problem with all diets is feeding them as intended by the designers. mixing, modifying, and just plain assuming if they eat it, it is good for them.

there are several known diets by many different names, some are just remakes of a diet and renamed to be sold by another. a great example of this is in the archives here from many years ago when the one pelleted diet i vaguely mentioned above, because of the problems authorized another to sell and remake their formula under a different name. one is highly accepted, another may not be..

some long time breeders still offer a pelleted food with their regular diet, and many owners, myself included have some form of pelleted diet in their freezer in case of emergencies.

Carolyn mcphersons diet as well as many of the UK group feed cat food as a staple as PART of their diet with great success.

as a rescue home, I have seen the results of bad diets, but I also have seen gliders survive for many years and thrive on peanut butter and applesauce (highly not recommended), those gliders seem to have a strong will to live.

as Jimbo stated use what works for you, don't allow the hype and the fears, speak for your glider. Your glider will know what is best for them, if you and your vet listen to them, their health, their body language as well as the overall appearance.

good luck with what ever you do decided to do.
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