Posted by: Trobairitz
I've decided this journal is probably a more productive way to vent my flailing (but ultimately probably NBD) concerns, rather than constantly posting on my first thread.
Food is proving so difficult for so many reasons. I still have an ant problem (although I am moving soon, so hopefully they won't follow me) which means any food not sealed up attracts them, so any supper or anything for Ginny can't be left alone for 5 minutes or the ants will make it their supper. :/
Ginny is also either a picky eater, or I'm terrible at food for her, or something.
Veggies we have tried so far: (Frozen) carrots, peas, green beans, and corn, (fresh) celery, cucumber, sugar snap peas, avocado. Trying fresh broccoli tonight, and after that I'm going to retry the frozen mixed veggies. Maybe if I steam them first?
Fruits we have tried so far: (fresh) apples, mangoes, strawberries, red and green grapes.
Treats we have tried so far: peach yogurt, Happyyogi strawberry yogurt treats, Kaytee mixed berry yogurt chips, medium mealworms, apple juice.
Of those, she eats sugar snap peas, and at least nibbles on cucumber and avocado, but won't touch the rest of the veggies. She likes apples, mangoes, and grapes (green more than red, which is interesting), but not strawberries. And she will halfheartedly lick at the Happyyogi and the Kaytee yogurt chips and the mealworms if they're right in front of her nose, but for the most part she is totally uninterested in them. She LOVES peach yogurt (unless it's in frozen form, which I tried for homemade yoggies), and she adores apple sauce so much she will spend more time trying to get the last little bit of juice out of a juicebox than she does playing with all of the rest of her toys during tent time, if I let her.
It worries me that she doesn't like mealies or yoggies, since those seem to be every other suggie's favorite thing. And it is very inconvenient for multiple reasons that the treats she does like aren't solid. Maybe I could try dried fruit, but some people say dried fruit is bad because it is so low in moisture which is the opposite of what a sap sucker needs in food.
And what about foraging? That's kind of a behavior/food thing, but I see people talking about the time their suggies spend foraging and I don't know how to give her that stimulation. She has a hanging basket lined with fleece and full of fleece strips in her cage, as well as a basket resting on the cage floor that's full of pompoms and a few other balls, and I put little dinosaurs and puzzles and other small toys in there, changing it up every few days. I also sometimes put her fruit from her dinner (if it's reasonably solid) in one or the other, and also sometimes I'll put a treat in (usually a little yogurt in a plastic cup, since she doesn't like any more solid toys). I also move her food dish around, but she usually sees where I put it, since I give her supper after tent time, so I don't think that really does much good. I usually give her 3-4 pellets during the day in case she wakes up and wants a snack, and sometimes I'll put them inside two plastic shot glasses, so she has to take one out of the other to get to them. But is this what foraging is? Should I be doing something else?
I try to give her a new food consistently for 3-4 days when I first introduce it, but some foods (for example, avocado) seem like they can't possibly stay fresh that long. My sliced avocado was brown and unpleasant looking withing a few hours--which might be why she didn't finish it, if the green pieces in her bowl had gone brown and gross by the middle of the night. A ziplock of sliced mango turns into a questionable mush within 2-3 days, which is not great for if I want to give her mango one night and then other things for at least a few days to keep her from getting bored. Other fruits and veggies aren't quite as bad, but they still turn way too quickly. I try to buy things I like, too, so that I can eat the rest of it before it goes bad, but if I stuck to just things I like she wouldn't get enough variety.
(plus, the more things she tries and dislikes, the fewer fruits and veggies that overlap between the "things I like" and "things sugar gliders can safely eat and Ginny won't refuse to eat" lists)
(And then there are the foods that I don't know if they're safe or not. Apparently grapes are bad? But it's the skins, and she doesn't eat the skins, and she LOVES grapes. And Highland Sugar Gliders says dark greens like kale and spinach are bad, but other lists say they're fine?)
I think I'll try putting her on one of the salad mixes from the Critterlove page (probably the second one, it looks simplest) to try to solve the "food going bad too fast" problem, but even if/when I can get amounts measured in tablespoons/cups/etc I worry. What if she won't eat it? Some of the ingredients I've already tried and she doesn't like them.
I also can't tell if she's the right weight or not. I need to get a scale, but there don't seem to be any guides on what she should look/feel like in terms of weight, which is weird because from what I've read, ideal weight varies depending on the glider's overall size. She doesn't look skinny (I think?) and her patagium isn't thickened at all. When I hold her, I can easily feel the bones of her ribcage, shoulder blades, hipbones, etc, but her tummy also seems nicely full. I think she's ok? But with how she doesn't eat her supper, I worry she might be too thin.
At least she loves her critterlove complete. She's more excited about drinking it than about eating her fruit!
Of course now I'm also worried that that could be a sign something is wrong with her...