Breeding Sugar Gliders
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, but the male kicks right in and does most of the feeding from then on.
Overview of the birthing process
Most Sugar Gliders will begin breeding somewhere between 7 months to a year, with some waiting until they are 13 to 14 months old. They 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 gestation period is short - about 16 days.
Once birthed they are carried in the maternal pouch for 2.5 to 3 months. 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 3/4 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:
US Dept. of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Regulatory Enforcement and Animal Care Central Sector
P.O. Box 6258
Ft. Worth, TX 76115-6258
US Dept. of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Regulatory Enforcement and 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.
Back to Sugar Glider information.