Are Sugar Gliders difficult to breed? Not at all, mainly because they spend most of their infancy in their mother's pouch.
The whole group can be left together during the pregnancy and birthing. The mother seems to lose interest after giving birth, you may need to step in to feed and raise by hand until the little one is stable.
Overview of the birthing process
Most gliders will begin breeding at about 8–12 months in females, and 12–15 months in males. Mothers have usually one to two babies (joeys) at a time, twice per year. Sugar gliders are very easily bred in captivity, the gestation period is as follows:
GESTATION: 15 -17 DAYS
IN-POUCH: 70 – 74 DAYS
WEANING: 110 – 120 DAYS
After the gestation period, the baby glider(s) crawl to the mother's pouch and attach themselves to a nipple. This is where the baby stays for the next 10-12 weeks until they emerge from the pouch at 4 months of age, referred to as Out Of Pouch (OOP). At this point they are ready to be weaned onto a solid diet.
Sugar Gliders will mate year round, provided they have enough protein. They usually have 2 babies at a time, 4 to 6 babies a year, if weanlings are removed after independent.
The male may remain with the female throughout the entire birthing process, but it is best to simply leave the mother alone during this period. When they are out of the pouch, covered with fur, have their eyes open and have been eating solid food for 3-4 weeks they are 75% grown, independent and ready to ween. At this time, they can be gently handled for short periods of time. Just be sure that they are getting plenty of fruit & protein and are handled gently. Be sure not to remove them from the pouch before this time because once they are removed from the nipple, they cannot reattach themselves. When they are weaned, they should be gently handled frequently and gently, if they are to be pets.
How do I feed the newborns?
The newborns should be eating semi-solid foods such as low-fat fruit yogurts and baby foods until they are around 3 months old, when they can start gradually recieving solid foods. See our Sugar Glider Food department for suggestions.
When should they be removed from the parents?
Usually between 2.5 to 3 months of age is the best time. The change in the colony size affects the babies and the parents, so they may be stressed for a few days after the break-up. Females usually are aggressive toward female babies after they are older than 3 months, but males are usually ignored.
Do I need a license to breed Sugar Gliders?
In 2007 the USDA lightened their requirements for USDA licensure. The old rules required that anyone breeding and selling sugar gliders must be licensed. The new rules allow up to three breeding females without licensure. In my opinion this has had a huge impact, not so much in the amount of Sugar Gliders being sold, but more the amount of Sugar Gliders being sold by unlicensed and many times inexperienced people that pass along misinformation.
Sugar Glider nursing supplies are listed in the Nursing Baby Supplies department.
If you wish to breed more than 3 females, write to either:
USDA Animal Care Sector Supervisor
P.O. Box 6258
Ft. Worth, TX 76115-6258
USDA Animal Care Sector Supervisor
2568-A Riva Road, Suite 302
Annapolis, MD 21401-7400
and ask for information on how to get licensed to raise and sell exotics.
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Please Note: Exotic Nutrition is not able to provide specific health and care guidelines on an individual basis. Please contact an accredited veterinarian if you have a pet emergency.