Breeder Standards

The Global Animal Partnership has created a 5 step rating system. Their focus is on livestock. But it can easily be adapted for pets. Here is the basic breakdown:

Step 1: No crates, cages, or overcrowding - as sugar gliders need to be kept in a cage for their safety since we cannot be keeping an eye on them 100% of the time, this will have to be adapted. A good adaption is to have it simply be 'No Overcrowding.'

Step 2: Enriched Environment - often this is simple to provide: foraging toys, vines, safe exercise wheels, a variety of toys, multiple sleeping pouches or boxes, adequate cage size...etc

Step 3: Enhanced Outdoor access - for sugar gliders this will also have to be modified. This could count as: out of cage time, tent time, or a sugar glider room and in some cases an outdoor aviary for warmer climates. This should also include interactions with human colony members.

Step 4: Pasture centered - now this will be the difficult one to modify. Use this to grade socialization and interaction. During out of cage time are the gliders reclusive, skittish, and rigid or are they adventuress, curious, and comfortable?

Step 5: Animal centered; all physical alterations prohibited - this should be a given but too many breeders snip the tails of sugar gliders, tattoo, or tag ears. Note: this is does not include neutering but would include spaying.

Step 5+: Animal centered; entire life at the same breeder - Not always possible, but try to keep breeding pairs stable for their entire life this should include never separating breeders from one another, removing joeys only at adoptable age; approximately 8 weeks out of pouch, ensure that joey's will have a cagemate, and retiring breeders after recurrence of cannibalism.

Any and all adjustments, opinions, suggestions, thoughts, etc are welcome. The more standard we can create a grading process, the better for the sugar gliders and their caregivers world wide.

Last Edited August 14, 2012