New guy with a few questions! :)

Posted By: Kevin1989

New guy with a few questions! :) - 11/18/14 01:05 AM

Hello everyone! First time glider parent here; I've read about how helpful this place can be so here I am!

I'll be taking home my two little girls (sisters) from a breeder (they are USDA licensed) in a couple of weeks while they spend more time with their parents; and of course have a few questions for all you experts that I could use a hand with. I've wanted gliders for a few years now but it was only recently that I got the final itch for them that I made it happen. That and they only became legalized to own just this year in my state... (Massachusetts) needless to say that gave me plenty of time to do my homework on them. Even so, I've still got my fair share to learn!

Temperature; New England is fair less comfortable than their native home of Australia.. The breeder recommended that I keep their room about 65-70 degrees. (Does that sound right to you?) my room can get a little nippy in the winter and I've heard heat lamps were a preferred choice over rocks.. If that is true than what type of bulb would be best for them? Nothing bright obviously with their delicate eyes.. So some sort of a red bulb? What wattage?

Their nails; I purchased a wodent wheel from the breeder (below)

The breeder told me that a very fine grit of sandpaper could be inserted into my wheel for them to run on which would help file their nails down. I've heard this to be a popular method however it never sat right with me and I do NOT want ANY harm to come of my girls from them running on sandpaper. Clipping them is dangerous and using a normal file on them I feel would stress them out. - is this sandpaper method actually safe? If so what grit number do others use? If not than what is the best and SAFEST method for taking care of their nails?

I decided to build rather than buy an enclosure for them because every enclosure I found appeared to be just so small especially for what they were priced! I found an excellent example here on this forum I believe and did my best to use that design but on a slightly larger scale. (Pictures below) using pvc and garden mesh netting

Still a work in progress.. Once finished ill trim all of the zip ties down. Its current measurements are 5 feet tall, 4 1/4 feet wide, 3 1/4 feet deep. After adding the legs it will be roughly 5 1/2 - 6 feet tall. I intend to close off a smaller portion for them while they are still young. Its rather bare looking right now still missing a few sides and no toys or pouches yet.. I will post more of the finished product when its ready if interested.
My question here being how long should they be kept in a smaller enclosure until they're ready for a larger living space?

Their food bowls; I'm working to have the bowls I just purchased stay in a fixed spot so that my gliders can't push them around or knock them over. Once that is settled they will each be for water / dry food (breeder providing) / mixed bits of fruits and Vegetables. What does everyone feed their gliders as a good source of protein?

Lastly for now; toys. What are glider favorites in terms of play time? So far I have a wheel, some baby plastic chain links, some sort of ball with large holes to climb in and out of and a lot hammocks / pouches. I would like to have rope or something stretching across the enclosure and a large branch of some sort going from the bottom to the top but I'm not sure where to go with that. My breeder recommended a spider plant so I am looking into that.

That is all I can think of at the moment, any input at all I'd greatly appreciate from anyone here. Thank you all so much for reading; I look forward to reading your responses!

- Kevin

My girls as of 4 weeks OOP
Posted By: CandyOtte

Re: New guy with a few questions! :) - 11/18/14 05:12 AM

Welcome to Glider Central and to glider parenthood.

If the temperature in the room is comfortable for you - it will be find for your gliders. If it is a little cool a few pieces of fleece (3-4 inch squares) to tuck in their pouch for additional warmth will do the trick. You can use these 'blankies' to get them used to your scent as well. Just tuck them in your clothes or sleep with them in your pillow case over night to get your scent on the blankies.

If the room gets too cool during the winter you can use a space heater with a thermostat to bring the temperature of the entire room up to a comfortable level rather than trying to heat just the cage area. Heat lamps may not be safe for use close to the plastic cage mesh.

The Wodent Wheel is not one I would choose for my gliders. The solid track keeps glider pee and pooh inside the wheel and all over the gliders as they run. If it does not have a shield to cover the fixed axle it can be very dangerous for gliders. The fixed axle becomes sticky and can do severe damage to a glider tail that gets stuck in to the axle as the glider runs.

Take the Wodent Wheel apart every few days and scrub it thoroughly. I would not put the sand paper in the wheel for more than a day or two at a time. Running directly on the sand paper may injure the pads of your glider's paws in addition to filing the nails. It really is not difficult to trim just the tips of their nails once they get used to you and to being handled.

There are safer wheels available for gliders you might want to consider.

Stealth Wheel
Fast Track Wheel
Raptor Wheel
Custom Cruiser Wheel

The Wodent Wheel can be removed from the stand and put on the floor of the cage for a really fun ball pit for your gliders.

Pellet food should not be a major part of your glider's diet. Most do not provide adequate nutrients for gliders. There is a recent discussion in the Diet and Nutrition section on the pros and cons of pellet foods.

There are a number of widely used feeding plans that have a recipe for a nectar like staple food that will provide the protein, vitamins and calcium your glider needs. These staples are fed with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables each night to complete the feeding.

I have links to a number of the widely used glider feeding plans on my web page to help you locate the information. My own GliderKids feeding plan is one of the options you may want to consider.

Please ask questions if you need help choosing a feeding plan for your new gliders.

Your cage looks like is is shaping up nicely. You may want to keep your gliders in a smaller cage until they are comfortable enough to come to your hands for treats. It will be difficult to coax them out of the cage for play time with you if there are areas they can retreat to that are totally out of your reach. Taking them out of the cage before they wake up while they are still in their sleeping pouch will be the best way for you to get them out of the cage for a while.

You may want to make a cover for the furniture that is close to the cage to keep bits of food and glider waste off of the surface. You will also want a washable surface rather than carpet under the cage.
Posted By: yiyo

Re: New guy with a few questions! :) - 11/18/14 12:57 PM

wave Welcome to GC!

You've gotten great advice above from Candy.

A couple things I want to add. If you're going to use the Wodent Wheel, I'd personally recommend clean it every single day. I used to use one and it gets incredibly nasty in only a day. Keeping it clean will also minimize the chance of injury.

Here's a nail trimming video to give you an idea of how it can be done quite easily: Nail Trimming

If you want something specific made for your cage dimensions, there are many vendors that would be willing to custom make something for you. I can personally recommend JillMarie. Her things are great quality and she's awesome to work with. You can find her profile by clicking HERE .

As for the food bowls staying in the same spot - I wouldn't worry too much about that. They'll need to be taken out each day and cleaned so securing them permanently isn't really an option. You also may want to look into some foraging toys to encourage their natural foraging instinct so they can 'hunt' around the cage for some of their food as well.
Posted By: Feather

Re: New guy with a few questions! :) - 11/18/14 02:02 PM

You have been giving some good advice so far.

Wodent wheels are very dangerous for gliders. They have been known to deglove the tail, then you have to get the tail amputated. Not fun!

If you click on the word diet it will take you to the diets and you can see which one would work for you and your gliders.

Your cage is awesome, they are going to have so much fun in that. You can get fisher price toys at thrift stores for them to play in on the floor of the cage. Stuff like little plastic barns, castles, ships......

Welcome to Glider Central.
Posted By: Ladymagyver

Re: New guy with a few questions! :) - 11/18/14 02:30 PM

Welcome! I'm new too, but I wanted to share my experience with a wheel for my babies. I shopped and looked at all the wheels available, and ended up buying the velociraptor wheel with the nail trimmers. Love it! When the weather was warmer, I could take it outside with the cage and hose it down with the cage. I'm all about efficiency. I bought the one with the mounting on the cage, and later built a stand which I like better. I can take it out and use it in tent or bathroom time. My girls love it! Easy to clean, it can be submersed in water, and you can go to the hardware store and buy the 320 grit wet dry sandpaper for replacements. The sandpaper is installed to the outside of the mesh of the wheel so the nails are mostly in contact with the paper. Also, the sandpaper is only in two places on the wheel, so sometimes they can jump over it. More fun of course. I have been watching these posts, and don't feel that you need to return the wodent wheel, or wasted your money. Just take it off the stand, lay it on it's side holes up, fill with toys, and fleece scraps, pompoms, cut straws, barrel of monkeys, army men, dinosaurs, and let it be their toy pit. Just be sure to take it out and wash it regularly. Gliders love to hide and think they are hidden. jump I am excited about your enthusiasm! jump :welcome2: to the world of fuzzbutts mlove
Posted By: Kevin1989

Re: New guy with a few questions! :) - 11/18/14 10:46 PM

Hello, thank you everyone for responding so soon and all of your warm welcomes!

i have to say im shocked by all of the horrifying facts and stories behind the wodent wheel. i did a little more digging after reading what you all said and i will most definitely NOT be keeping that.. i still have time for a full return thankfully. i looked through all of the links CandyOtte provided and im leaning towards the raptor series, not sure which quite yet.

i hadnt considered the mesh netting on my enclosure in terms of having a heat lamp, kind of feel dumb now that you mention it haha. i have a dehumidifier that does a decent job of keeping the room warm so ill keep that running with tons of extra bedding for them during the winter.

@ Yiyo thanks for that video! it paints a much more clear picture for me i didnt know how others trimmed their nails. im still looking into a way for them to forage for their treats.

i keep reading about people getting their toys from dollar stores and such so i will certainly have to do that. then i saw how people were making ball pits and i love that idea! ill have to get a bowl of some sort and fill it with ping pong balls and those colorful cotton balls from a fabric store. the idea seems really neat im sure they would love it!

320 grit wet dry sandpaper.. ill keep that in mind. im hoping to get a wheel model that includes the nail trimming kit so it will be good to have the spares.

the dieting im still doing an immense amount of reading up on from around this forum, im sure there are more than a few recipes here that they would love. again thanks very much CandyOtte & Feather for providing those feeding plan links!

their enclosure is a massive project and im very pleased with it thus far. ill have to make a temporary smaller section cornered off for while theyre still joeys. how long would you all recommend i keep them in a smaller enclosure before i introduce them to the really big one?
Posted By: Feather

Re: New guy with a few questions! :) - 11/18/14 10:52 PM

Seeing as your just starting bonding with them. I would wait until they are a little bonded with you. You do not want to chase them around that big cage to catch them.

Chasing them to catch them can ruin their trust in you. How much smaller are you talking? Half the cage?
Posted By: Kevin1989

Re: New guy with a few questions! :) - 11/18/14 11:13 PM

that makes sense. im planning to section off a front corner of the top half.. for convenient reach. so i guess 1/8th of the cage. the full size is roughly 5' x 4' x 3' (rounding down) - it will still be a large section but very small compared to the full enclosure.
Posted By: Feather

Re: New guy with a few questions! :) - 11/19/14 01:10 AM

Posted By: 6ftGlider

Re: New guy with a few questions! :) - 11/19/14 09:29 PM

Welcome to Glider Central! Your cage looks awesome and your babies are cute. smile
Posted By: Kevin1989

Re: New guy with a few questions! :) - 11/20/14 01:02 AM

Thank you! im going out of my mind counting the days until im able to bring them home with me from the breeder haha. i hope they will like their new home..
Posted By: Kevin1989

Re: New guy with a few questions! :) - 11/20/14 07:23 AM

On the subject of cage accessories.. what does everyone here use as their preferred SAFE water bottle? ive seen a few posts where people mentioned this "lixit" bottle and wanted a solid opinion from someone with experience before making any purchase -

i read a post where someones joey died because their tongue got caught in the button of a regular water bottle... really becoming (more) paranoid about each item i put in my girls enclosure with them. i know you all get that

on a lighter note; after sifting through Candy's wheel links, ive decided that i will order a Raptor Mod + trimming kit for my girls in place of that wodent wheel im returning smile
Posted By: GliderNursery

Re: New guy with a few questions! :) - 11/20/14 02:05 PM

I'd go with a Lixit glass water bottle, I prefer glass over plastic. Another good option are the water silos. Those are plastic, but very nice to use and extremely easy to clean.
Posted By: Kevin1989

Re: New guy with a few questions! :) - 11/20/14 07:00 PM

excellent! i will place an order for that right now then. its always worth paying a little extra for whatever is safest for our babies. thank you for your insight!
Posted By: CandyOtte

Re: New guy with a few questions! :) - 11/20/14 07:12 PM

I prefer the lixit bottle sold at many pet stores in the bird section. It has a wide mouth for easy cleaning with a baby bottle brush. It is a 5 ounce bottle which is plenty large enough for my glider colonies. It attaches to the cage with a bracket that makes it easy to remove and replace.

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