Register Register New Posts Active Topics | Search Search | FAQ FAQ

GliderGossip GliderGossip
Sugar Gliders
Healesville Sanctuary Sugar Glider Diet: Nutritional Analysis
Healesville Sanctuary Sugar Glider Diet: Nutritional Analysis
Food, Diet
Sep 22 2007
01:57:24 PM
Healesville Sanctuary Sugar Glider Diet: Nutritional Analysis

This analysis is in the same format as previous publications. It includes the daily prescription plus normalized amounts of all of the supplements in order to show the nutritional value of an average "serving" based on a seven day cycle.

If you want the source spreadsheets that show the individual analysis for each ingredient, email us at

Default, miscellaneous
Sep 22 2007
09:19:11 PM
blockamon Starting Member 7 Posts

Did you manage to get info on the blossoms they feed at Heallesville, or are they not included in the numbers? Just curious.

Thanks for another great work-up.

Default, miscellaneous
Sep 22 2007
11:16:04 PM
Eric C Retired GliderMap Gliderpedia Editor Visit Eric C's Photo Album Eric C's Journal TX, USA 2321 Posts
I'm interested too. perhaps you can upload the file somewhere
Default, miscellaneous
Sep 23 2007
03:42:03 PM
LuckyGlider Zippy Glidershorts GliderMap Visit LuckyGlider's Photo Album LuckyGlider's Journal TX, USA 5266 Posts
Brian, the blossums recipe calls for "Acacia, eucalypts, other blossoms as available" so it does not sound very strict to me considering all of the species that could be used. You will see below what assumptions I have made.

Also, Jett is reviewing the spreadsheets I sent her and we will probably publish even more versions based on other assumptions. This is just the first whack...

Here are the assumptions. I used two multi-tabbed excel spreadsheets - one for the nectar and one for the other ingredients. What you see above is a roll-up of everything. If you want the source files, just email me at


1. The ingredients used were found on page 22 and in the appendix of the 178-page document entitled "Healesville Sanctuary Diets" dated August, 2006.

2. In the nectarmix.xls spreadsheet, rice cereal is being used for the cereal component, Calcivet for the calcium/D3/mg component, Soluvet for the multi-vitamin, regular filtered (US, not AU) clover honey, and three eggs. The nectar amount was calculated first at the 2 liter (batch) level and then broken down to the individual 3ml serving level.

3. For "Dog Chow / Advance" I am using Using Eukanuba Adult chow (lamb rice) this has virtually the same nutritive value as the other Eukanuba Adult formulas.

4. For fruit component, Papaya is being used.

5. Nectar - a separate spreadsheet was used to calculate the Nectar and those values were then rolled into the main spreadsheet.

6. For the fly pupae I am using statistics from Oregon Feeder Insects based on pupae I have ordered from them. The species is Musca domestica (common housefly).

7. Corn assumption is regular white corn.

8. Sprouts, using nutritive value of mung bean sprouts as the baseline - one of the sprouts used in the appendix.

9. Mealworms based on the assumption that 2 mealworms weigh .28 grams

10. Pollen. Using Jarrah Tree pollen granuels as the basis. 1,200 granules per tablespoon. All nutritive calculations based on 5 granuels per week the sum of which was divided by 7 to normalize the amount over one week.

11. Sultanas "3 sultanas - 3-4 times per week" (using 10 count divided by seven to get a normalized serving amount)

12. Sunflower Seeds - using 15 seeds per gram average / two seeds = 0.13333 g

13. For "Pet Health Food" using Ecopet. Company confirmed "one cube" is taken from regular roles. Using 1 gram serving divided by 7 to normalize over one week

14. "1 almond - once per week" (Per Week Amount averaged over 7 days to get "serving")

15. Insects - 3-4 times per week (e.g., moths) (USING 4 @ .5 g - 4 divided by 7 days as "serving") Based on larvae of Silk Moths (Bombyx Mori).

16. Blossums "Acacia, eucalypts, other blossoms as available." Using Corymbia calophylla (Marri)@ 27.8 % crude protein and Acacia stereophylla (wodgil) @ 25.9 % crude protein for an average of 26.85% crude protein. Using Jarrah as basis for non-protein, non-carb components.

17. Most sources for common household foods were derived from Other sources are various and include the distributor or manufacturer data published with product literature (ecopet, eukanuba, calcivet, soulivet, etc.)

Default, miscellaneous
Sep 23 2007
07:07:19 PM
Jett Face Hugger GliderMap Gliderpedia Editor Visit Jett's Photo Album Jett's Journal Australia 681 Posts
Just with a quick look at the Australian ingredients that I use I can see quite difference calculations. I still believe your calculations of the bee pollen to be incorrect.

Pollen. Using Jarrah Tree pollen granules as the basis. 1,200 granules per tablespoon. All nutritive calculations based on 5 granules per week the sum of which was divided by 7 to normalize the amount over one week.

They mean mean pollen as a small piece not as a measure as you have used.
I know there is some dispute about this but I can confirm this with someone from the sanctuary if you wish. The diet calls for 5 grains of pollen and does not mention granules like you have assumed.
I can also see ingredients that is not listed on any of the products that I use.

The Sanctuary has a great track record with the health of there gliders which may be contributed to a number of things but diet would have to be one of them.

Default, miscellaneous
Sep 24 2007
08:06:28 PM
LuckyGlider Zippy Glidershorts GliderMap Visit LuckyGlider's Photo Album LuckyGlider's Journal TX, USA 5266 Posts
Jett, I'm confident that subsequent versions of the analysis will satisfy you once your assumptions are plugged in. Please note that I have made no judgements or conclusions in this post regarding the efficacy of the diet.

Incidentally, I got no response from Healesville on my direct and indirect communications. I have sent emails myself and Karen M. has also sent them in my behalf to a Healesville vet and others and all have gone unanswered. These were simple, respectfully worded questions to clarify ingredients. There is also the possibility that the emails bounced or were caught in a spam filter.

Regardless, I am humble enough to realize that as an amatuer, my inquiries carry little weight and I'm sure they have more pressing duties to attend to.

Ko made a comment several weeks ago that Healesville would not be compelled to prove anything to me or anyone else by publishing a nutritive analyis on the glider diet. That they had no incentive to do so. That comment was helpful in correctly modeling my expectations.

Nonetheless, in taking an "unauthorized" whack at this, I thought it prudent to detail my assumptions and try to triangulate from other sources. So, I asked others in our community what they knew about the ingredients. I even posted here an open question about the dog chow two weeks ago and no one replied. Undaunted, I sought additional sources.

I was also informed by Karen M. after her discussions with Healesville vets over the years, that the dog chow is Eukanuba Adult. I learned from Pet Health Food that ecopet is used in the supplements (one cube out of their rolled product), etc. etc. So I don't know if you are using whatever you are using because you are accustomed to doing so or by dint of what Healeville explicitly says to you but does not put in writing. The glider diet sheet seems hardly explicit to me and therefore open to interpretation. Of course, more explicit clarifications would be helpful in future analyses if you could share them.

I also contacted vendors who supply zoos with some of the ingredients including suppliers of feeder insects, etc. The Soluvet and Calcivet were easy enough to work up numbers for because they are published by their makers.

Regarding the pollen, I finally deferred to what Ko said - and in absence of anyone else's arguments on the subject. So when you say "the diet calls for 5 grains of pollen and does not mention granuels like you have assumed" I now refer you to what Ko told me, and she was adamant and authoritative in her delivery - so the assumption you attribute to me is actually not mine at all - although out of respect for Ko's apparent authority on the subject, I ultimatlely deferred to her guidance. Ironically, even though I had doubts in the end I took her guidance.

In fact, I first assumed "grains" as in the unit of measurement called "grains" (that is 1 grain = 0.06479891 grams). After all that is the actual word in the diet sheet. And secondly, I assumed "grams" like the other possum diet sheets adjacent to the glider sheet say - in the same big document. "Wrong" said Ko to both of my assumptions. She went on to give the guidance that it was the actual little tiny weenie granuels. In fact I asked her if she knew how many granuels it took to fill a tablespoon and she said no she had never counted that many. So that dialog serves to demonstrate that I understood the meaning of her guidance on the subject. I then went on to measuring out an entire pound of Jarrah pollen into cups and then counted the number of granuels per tablespoon to calculate the difference between volume and mass correctly. It took hours to count those stupid things, so I surely hope Ko's guidance was correct.

So as you can see, I decided it would be better to simply calculate the pollen based on what Ko said. I thought it would be ill-advised to dismiss her guidance and I certainly did not want such dismissal to cast a pall on the research. So my current calculations on the pollen are indeed based on counting out five grains (read granuels) which is the meaning I very clearly dervied from what Ko said. Now with your comment we have come full circle it appears....

Maybe the two of you can agree on this and tell me what you both agree to or perhaps even better - as you suggest - get it from Healesville. Believe me, I was still shaking my head after doing the analysis on 5 tiny weenie granuels, because the nutritive values are so low as to be trace. It was counter-intuitive (to this amatuer anyway) that a nutritionist would deem it necessary to prescribe such a small amount. Is it possible that one of my original assumptions (grains as in the unit of measurement or the more controversial grams/misprint idea) are not too far-fetched after all?

To avoid doubt on other ingredients, I have listed my chief assumptions here in this post, so if you are using different ingredients and would like a second analysis done based on what you are using that's fine. My first chief assumption is that I am referring to page 22 of the big 178 page document dated August of 2006 including the "nectar" ingredients referred to in the appendix of that same document. If you are referring to an older, or newer document, then I can see how there may be a difference.

At any rate all you have to do is ask if I could substitute X for Y in a second analysis. No big deal. I'd be happy to do that. Alternately, since I sent you all of my source spreadsheets, you are free to do another analysis based on your own assumptions and modifications.

This reminds me of an old saying a wise person once said:

"Ain't nuthin happens til somebody does sumpthin'."

Thanks for your input and further guidance. Cheers, Ed

[Edit 9/25/07 10:49 AM - Jett has kindly offered to share the ingredients from the labels of the cereal and chow that she is using. We should be able to re-cast a new version in a few weeks after some other priorities are attended to. If anyone else is using this diet and would like an analysis based on different ingredients, please let me know]

Edited by - LuckyGlider on Sep 25 2007 12:50:15 PM
Default, miscellaneous
Oct 03 2007
06:16:44 PM
LuckyGlider Zippy Glidershorts GliderMap Visit LuckyGlider's Photo Album LuckyGlider's Journal TX, USA 5266 Posts
blockamon found a sub-microgram-range math error in my calculation of the D3 here in this version.

It should be closer to 0.11 micrograms of D3 per serving!

We both used the exact same methodolgoy in getting to the number, but I made the math error on the soluvet. I confirmed the error and sent the source spreadsheets to him to check on any other errors. Let's hear it for peer review!

I made a notation on the error in my spreadsheets so it can be updated for the next version.

Thanks Brian!
 Look what I found on Ebay
Healesville Sanctuary Sugar Glider Diet: Nutritional Analysis

GliderGossip GliderGossip
Sugar Gliders
Healesville Sanctuary Sugar Glider Diet: Nutritional Analysis