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"Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked

Posted By: sugarglidersuz

"Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/16/08 09:43 AM

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.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/16/08 10:02 AM

This was actually recommened for my rescues that came in with joeys in pouch.

As the joeys got bigger and taking alot from mom, there was nothing left on the plate each night and I was worried she wasn't getting enough.

I feed HPW and my vet said to not increase the protein but to increase the amount I was giving her. I did and she is eating it all too, there is only a tiny amount left in the morning.

So basically she is able to eat her fill without having protien overload.
Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/16/08 10:31 AM

Tammy, thanks for your input and backup on this. I'm glad to hear that your vet recommended the proper feeding method needed for your glider's milk production thumb
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/16/08 11:15 AM

Thank you Suz! Both of my Mama's are expecting, so I HAVE been giving extra protein....
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/16/08 11:40 AM

The way it was explained to me by my vet is that if they are on a complete and balanced diet, there is no reason I would have to change it, only the amount of it.

A complete diet is just that complete. The amount of the diet needs to be increased. The mommys need more intake of it to ensure adequate milk production.

Made sense when he explained it to me having breast fed two children. I ate a complete and balanced diet and that didn't change only the portions did.

And fresh water is always essential but her need for that has increased too. I have I put a water bottle right outside her pouch, she is drinking alot more. All she has to do is poke her head right outside her front door and have a drink anytime she wants it and she takes full advantage of it. smile
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/16/08 12:23 PM

that's exactly what our vet said
Posted By: krysKritters

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/16/08 01:00 PM

Ditto. agree


off_topic Suz, I have 2 more joey stats for you study... I will try to get them in tonight.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/16/08 01:05 PM

I heard this, and not sure if there's any correlation or not:

I gave my girl a pinkie mouse, just to see if she'd eat it (only the bottom half, yuck!!) Then a breeder told me not to feed them because it COULD be a contributor to cannibalizm. Said that a lot of the joeys she's seen cannibalized, the mother was fed pinkie mice, and when the babies came along, since they resembled them, that could have been one reason for cannibalizing.

In a way it makes sense, but in another one, you kind of wonder. Any ideas on this one?

BTW, my Dobber has 2 IP, and I've just increased what I give her as well, no more pinkie mice for us!!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/16/08 01:06 PM

So, does this mean that with feeding the HPW diet, you don't increase the HPW powder to half a cup?
And since we are one the subject of diet, on the HPW diet, do you add vitamins to anything??? Or is it just as the diet link suggests, without supplementing?
Posted By: glidergrl1513

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/16/08 01:37 PM

Originally Posted By: bingos_mom
I heard this, and not sure if there's any correlation or not:

I gave my girl a pinkie mouse, just to see if she'd eat it (only the bottom half, yuck!!) Then a breeder told me not to feed them because it COULD be a contributor to cannibalizm. Said that a lot of the joeys she's seen cannibalized, the mother was fed pinkie mice, and when the babies came along, since they resembled them, that could have been one reason for cannibalizing.

In a way it makes sense, but in another one, you kind of wonder. Any ideas on this one?

BTW, my Dobber has 2 IP, and I've just increased what I give her as well, no more pinkie mice for us!!


That's another myth as well. Gliders are intelligent animals; they know the difference between a rodent and their own joey.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/16/08 01:56 PM

Originally Posted By: ltlrdangel
So, does this mean that with feeding the HPW diet, you don't increase the HPW powder to half a cup?
And since we are one the subject of diet, on the HPW diet, do you add vitamins to anything??? Or is it just as the diet link suggests, without supplementing?


My vet suggested not to increase the amount of the powder, just increase the portion amount, but you should always check with your vet regarding any changes to diet and see what he or she recommends.

The HPW is complete as it is, all the necessary vitamins and minerals that a glider requires is there. You do not add any supplements to it.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/16/08 05:45 PM

That is what I was thinking. My gliders are beginning to get a little fluffier than before, now that I have switched them to HPW. I have had them on the 1/2 cup batch because of what the recipe says. I was planning to do regular batches once this one was used.
Thanks!
Posted By: BeckiT

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/16/08 05:52 PM

my vet said it's ok to up the powder when mom has joeys ip/nursing, but I had the same issue with mine getting fluffy on the 1/2 cup, but the 1/4 cup batch Willow was loosing weight, so we found a happy medium and use 1/3rd of a cup instead while Willow had joeys.
Posted By: Guerita135

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/16/08 05:53 PM

Well, this would certainly explain why breeders who feed HPW have such "fluffy" breeding pairs. :\

I was thinking about this as well because my male glider has the "fluffiness" gene(all his relatives seem to be extremely overweight) and was warned to watch his diet. Since I feed HPW I was scared that once I changed to the breeding formula then he'd get really fat. frown

This definately makes alot of sense and I think I will just feed a double portion of HPW when my girl gets preggers.

Thanks Suz!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/17/08 06:08 PM

Thanks Becki, think I will try the 1/3 cup next batch and see how it works.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/17/08 06:09 PM

Thank you as well, Suz!!
Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/21/08 10:22 AM

That is interesting about the HPW... since I don't feed that to my gliders, I didn't even think about that aspect of HPW. Thanks for the information about how you have adjusted it Becki thumb
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/21/08 12:00 PM

Suz, what do you feed if you don't mind sharing? I feed HPW but have not noticed the decresed smell everyone else talks about! My little guy is also neutered...only 3 weeks ago and it seems he is still marking things up! Little turkey! Thanks for all the info on this subject! My sons Bella has a joey in the pouch and we were just reading about it on your web site last night! It is so confusing so read so much information here about uping protien and such from different people and then see an expert like yourself say it is not necessary...we all want to do what is best for our little fuzz butts!
Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/22/08 10:26 AM

I feed my gliders the Back to Basics BML. I started them on it about 3 years ago after my Pika came down with HLP. I have had no diet-related problems whatsoever with my gliders since I started them on the BML thumb I do have to admit that I changed up how I offer it to them though... my gliders would only eat the fruit when both fruit & veggies were offered, so now I alternate nights: one night fruit, the next veggies, and so on. Since switching to BML I have not had any issues with joey rejection or with milk production either smile

I believe that the "extra protein" myth started back before balanced "proven" diets were readily available and utilized. The continued confusion about this myth is exactly why I started this thread...

HTH
Posted By: krysKritters

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/22/08 10:55 AM

Interesting, I feed BML also but I have 1 "fluffy glider and the rest of them are small... Stitch is so tiny. Maybe I should give her some of that recipe to help fatten her up roflmao
Seriously, My Piper is small, especially when she has joeys. (Which is why I had Leo neutered.)
I always increase her portions and I noticed she eats more often, so I put the BML in earlier and an extra small tsp of BML in the early morning. This way she could snack longer on fresh food. The vet agreed that was the best way.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/22/08 11:49 AM

Thank You Suz. I tried BML and then switched to HPW when I got Duke becuase that is what he was on. I have not noticed any reduction in smell in my female since switching, maybe an increase in a musty smell. It is interesting to read about the 2 diets here...some who switch from one to the other see a big difference...people switch both ways and believe strongly in both diets. It is a tough decision. We all want what is best for our babies!
Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/22/08 07:16 PM

Honestly, I've never tried the HPW diet with my gliders... Before BML, they were on a variation of Caroline MacPherson's Diet (without cat food)... regulating the Ca:Ph ratios and keeping the rest of their diet in balance was very difficult and very hit or miss shakehead I love the ease of BML and have never had any trouble with getting them to eat it as long as I mix the ingredients in the proper order wink
Posted By: Marz

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/22/08 07:43 PM

Originally Posted By: sugarglidersuz

I believe that the "extra protein" myth started back before balanced "proven" diets were readily available and utilized. The continued confusion about this myth is exactly why I started this thread...

HTH


There could be an answer here whilst people feel it is important to feed extra protein to a pregnant/feeding sugar glider and it all comes down to gliders in the wild.

According to scientific research, diet influences various aspects of reproduction in wild gliders. For instance, a low protein diet of say the Greater Glider that solely eats eucalyptus leaves has shown that has a single offspring, long lactation periods and slower growth rate of the young compared to other species of gliders who have a higher protein diet.

In the wild, the timing of the breeding is linked to the time of the year, when additional protein is available to assist lactation. Sugar gliders in the wild breed in spring and early Summer which coincides with the abundance of protein rich insect prey. Also the Greater Glider, which I mentioned was on a low protein diet, also breeds at the time when the eucalyptus leaves offer their richest protein levels.

Also in the wild, breeding success in gliders varies from location to location as well as year to year. Breeding can be impaired by drought when food is in limited supply, and it can be influenced by the different tree species and nutrients available in those trees.

Obviously protein is important in the wild as the gliders have to make use of the times when it's available etc. Now in captivity, this is totally different. The diet day in day out does not change and enough protein is on offer as from what I have seen, gliders will breed all year round in USA. Therefore the assumption is that the gliders are actually receiving enough protein so their system is allowing them to breed year round. Do they need any more protein? If their diet is allowing to breed okay, then you would assume what they are already getting in the way of their diet would be enough. I could see increased protein would be an advantage when a glider is poorish condition or it's conceived very young and it's own body is still growing. However in this case, extra calcium and vitamins as well as protein would be advantageous.
Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: "Extra Protein for Breeders" Myth Debunked - 04/23/08 09:33 AM

Thank you for your input and knowledgable information on this subject Marz. Everything you've said makes total sense!
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