Sugar Glider food is a hot topic in glider husbandry and for sugar glider enthusiasts. It becomes a mind-boggling question to ask: "What do you feed sugar gliders?". Fortunately, self-proclaimed glider experts and vets trained in exotic nutrition seem to agree that gliders need a diet that mimics that of a wild sugar gliders and they need variety. To make these requirements possible there are a few popular artificial nectar replacements that offer sugar gliders all the nutrients they need by mimicking the natural diet while incorporating variety. My personal favorite is Lucky Glider Suggie Soup.
Lucky Glider Suggie Soup didn't seem all that appealing to me at first. It required insects, to feed different side items regularly, it sounded messy to make, and I had to buy some odd ingredients. I felt like my pets were supposed to be fun for me and not a drag so I went for products that were easy to use and said things like "vet approved", "nutritionally complete", "tested and approved", etc. Eventually I found out these little phrases are what we would call marketing strategies and carry no merit no matter who is pushing these products. Shortly after I noticed that my gliders really didn't seem to eat as much food as they use to and they were beginning to get a cinnamon color to them instead of being silvery grey. I went online looked up the crazy concoctions forum people raved about, bumped around with a few mixtures, then came back to Lucky Glider Suggie Soup. Right away it was obvious that my girls could stand to eat Suggie Soup for more than 1-2 weeks. After a few months of feeding it my vet, DVM Contos, told me: "Your gliders are the healthiest I have ever seen, it is remarkable". That really put a smile on my face especially since I knew she had worked with gliders before. It is recommended to show a nutritional analysis of a nectar replacement to your exotic vet before feeding it but I didn't know so I shared that with her later which also impressed her.
The creators of Suggie Soup run the non-profit Lucky Glider Rescue and Sanctuary in Van Alstyne, Texas. Their vet worked with the organization to create a suitable diet for all sugar gliders in 2007 and they have been using it ever since to recover the hundreds of sick, injured, and neglected gliders that come through their doors and to maintain healthy gliders. The LGRS Suggie Soup is surely one if the only nectar replacements that was originally published with a nutrition analysis: LGRS Suggie Soup Nutrition Analysis
On top of that they are one of the rare few of diet creators that has stuck around the glider forums to answer any questions:LGRS Suggie Soup Background Information
Incredibly, it doesn't stop there. They are also among the handful of rescues geared towards sugar gliders:Map of Sugar Glider Rescues
and as a non-profit they depend on donations, visit their webpage to learn more: luckyglider.org
. The organization helps out tremendously by hosting an Open House
regularly that shows prospective owners what sugar gliders are all about, old timers what LGRS is like, and overall glider fun the whole night. In addition they have a series of youtube videos
that are very informative such as "Mill Breeder Lies", "Free Range Glider Rules", or "Sugar Glider Nail Trimming" just to name a few.
It was easy for me to fall in love with Lucky Glider Rescue and Sanctuary but I had to learn a few tricks before I felt the same about the soup. Making it can be messy especially if you choose to do fresh puree. A trick I have picked up is to set up shop to puree the papaya and mangoes one day and freeze the fruit in 2 cup increments. Then use the premade puree when making the soup. Another trick, if you are able to find 100% papaya/mango juice is to only use juice. How easy is it to measure 5 liquids, 1 egg, and a few powders
? Not hard at all and it is summer fast and it doesn't smell at all like other diets do, some even say they have a little before putting the fly pupae in! For more instruction on how to prepare the soup see: Making LGRS Suggie Soup
One of the favorite things about the soup for me is that it is extremely versatile. It is possible to make the soup with High Protein Wombaroo instead of Trader Darwins Soy, with double mango no papaya or vice versa, with dehydrated crickets rather than fly pupae, or incorporating green machine juice the list goes on which is great because this diet calls for variety on the side and allows for it in the staple. The more options are possible the happier you and your gliders are!
The girls and I couldn't be happier with our Suggie Soup
and we are thankful that Lucky Glider Rescue and Sanctuary shared the recipe with the community.