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Diets Page

Diets / Ingredients / Controversy / Dietary Links

There has been a lot of concern regarding diets, are we feeding our gliders the right things? Is it healthy for them? Well, this issue may be debated for many more years to come. What we have done is compiled, as complete a list as possible, for the different commercial feeds on the market that is in use, as well as the Leadbeaters Diet that is used in Australia. We have also compiled a list of ingredients for each feed as we get it. Not, that the ingredients mean much to most of us, but they can be taken to your vet as to what you are actually feeding them. If you do know of anything, we may have missed, feel free to let us know. Each Link will take you to a place that you can order the commercial feed, The Leadbeaters recipe is also the ingredients.



*NOTE* If you just acquired a glider or are thinking of getting one, Find out what the breeder or the last owner was feeding it. Whether it is healthy or not, continue feeding the same diet to them, adding the diet you wish to switch to in the cage with it. Gliders do not handle stress well at all. A total change of diets is very stressful on a glider. IF you do decide to switch diets , do it gradually, to avoid any added stress.

There are many different diets and just as many controversial issues regarding their diet. If you wish to use one of these diet plans, consult with the person who has the diet plan. These diets have been used for years by long time breeders. Don't deviate from what they suggest regarding their ENTIRE diet.

(BML)Bourbon's Modified Leadbeaters


Caroline MacPherson's Simplified Diet Plan

Cynthia's Diet Plan

Gliders Diets in captivity in Australia.


Their  basic captive diet is believed to consists of fresh fruits and vegetables and proteins, which also include live bugs. the percentage is  be at least  33% proteins 67% fresh fruits and vegetables. not to exceed 50% proteins

ATTENTION Pre-set Diet users, that DO NOT feed a commercial diet, as a sole diet....CAUTION::: If you use any of these diets, and you feed other things with it sure you maintain the balance of at least 33% proteins 67% fruits and veggies.
     If you use My Modified Leadbeaters Recipe(BML), the fruit juice with added yogurt is highly recommended.  The High Protein baby cereal is not available here in the states, therefore; I have already added an extra jar of Chicken, to accommodate the missing proteins in my recipe.
     Some people are feeding added fruits and veggies with Briskys Accufeed but not adding extra protein to balance it out.
     The balance used to be 25/75 however, I have been told that in actuality it should be 33/67, so my next example will be based on the low side of what many are doing now.
     IF you add lets say 10 % more fruits and veggies and no added proteins, with the any of the preset diets , you have changed the low balance from 25/75  to 15/85 and the protein level is far too low to be healthy.  The results of this could lead to deaths, loss of joeys still in the pouch, and serious illness.
     ANY modifications made in ANY recipe should be balanced with added proteins as well as the fruits and veggies.

Check out the different "pre-set" feeds like


  "Mazuri Omnivore feed"   "Zupreem Omnivore Feed"    "Briskys"  and the "make at home feed" of "Leadbeaters"  The Leadbeaters is Ruth's modified version of the "Taronga Zoo Diet " Which can be found on Ruth's Page

There are other things that are used for supplements like
"Gliderade"   " Glider Booster"  "Nutri-Glider"  "Nekton-Lory" and "Lory Life Nectar"

     The multitude of fruits and vegetables that are out on the market. Try it see if they like it. Chicken or turkey is suggested for the proteins. Be sure the pieces are cut up about the size of your nail on your pinkie finger. We have found it is easier to eat for them and they waste very little when they take their food and run with it.

Things I have found that are definitely no-no foods are..

NO Chocolate - It causes a toxic chemical reaction in most animals
NO Cheese - May cause intestinal stoppage or "binding" leading to constipation
NO Iceberg lettuce - Non nutritional
NO Fats - you will want to watch the fat content
NO Refined sugar - pure sugar is too much for them
NO Fried Foods - again because of the grease and fat content

Items that should be watched closely and limited in their diets are :

salts, preservatives, additives, phosphorus, any foods that high in fats,



Mazuri Omnivore Zoo   , Zupreem Omnivore , Briskys AccuFeed

Glider Chow  , Gliderade

If ever in doubt, that a controversial topic is not good for your glider, the best rule of thumb is..
IF in doubt.. DON'T



The controversy of a glider being lactose intolerant has been an issue for a very long time. Many times Sugar Gliders have been compared to their marsupial relatives as to their intolerance to lactose. Caroline MacPherson has done a wonderful study on the controversial subject of Are Sugar Gliders Lactose Intolerant?


The controversy of the use of cat food, is said to cause intestinal blockages in Sugar Gliders. This controversy is based on a research project done by the University of Michigan. The reports of that research , I can not find. If anyone does find it please let us know so we can post it here. Many long time breeders still use cat food to this day, and have great success, however; NONE of them use it as a sole diet, and NONE of them use anything but an expensive, good balanced food. They will never advocate the use of a cheap brand of Cat food to be placed in any of their gliders cages. Many of their responses to the controversy were pretty much the same. They too wish to see the report. They want to know what cat food was used, and what was given with it. ANY dry food that is offered, could cause intestinal blockages if there isn't enough moisture offered in the diet, and have plenty of Good, clean FRESH water available. If you wish to use it, consult with a long time breeder that has used it for years. Don't deviate from what they suggest regarding their ENTIRE diet.
I have also been told by Cynthia, that her vet also said it may cause Renal (Kidney) Failure.


Tofu/Soy Substitutions


I have read many a post, as well as seen in a few books where people want  to turn their gliders into vegans to match their beliefs.  Where others want viable substitutions to the proteins in their diet. Now the question comes up, is Soy a suitable substitution? Here are a couple of links below that discuss this. Again this is a controversy hence why it is here, you have to make your judgments on researching both the pros and the cons of whether or not it is. These articles were written the first in March of 1999 the second in May of 2000.

An article from Natural Health talks about the darksides of soy products

An article from Nexus fNexus is Based in Australia however; from the third annual soy symposium regarding the tragedy and the hype of soy products.


There are many controversies in the diets, let me see if I can clear that up a little.
here is a post I made regarding the controversies of the diets. I am modifying it for this page.  her vet had offered Diet 1 of the Australian diets eliminating all fruits and veggies, she had inquired about the differences between that and the Bourbon's Modified Leadbeaters
     As I have said, the diets issues are controversial and will be for a very long time, as for as the difference between Bourbon's Modified Leadbeaters and the Taronga Zoo Diet is not really that different, you see the original Leadbeaters is only PART of
the Taronga Zoo diet plan.
     The Zoo fare that your vet was referring to is the insectivore part of the diet, and the extra proteins.
     I have talked to Caroline MacPherson regarding her diet plan.. (she is the published author that uses cat food) and she does use cat food, however she only uses a tiny bit of it, and would never advocate it as a sole diet. Nor will she advocate the use of cheap cat food..
      On this page I have stated that many breeders have agreed that the 25/75 figures were far too low in proteins.. But that is where the confusion and controversies come in. You see Caroline also doesn't feed live insects. So yes, she does need to supplement that with the catfood and yogurt. In my Leadbeaters I do have the insects.
     The Taronga Zoo diet was the FIRST diet that Ruth was able to get for us here in the states directly from Australia and I do believe the only one we have recieved from there. But there are things there, that also can not be found here, and you run into the day old chicks, (where we added the chicken to ours to make up for that.
     The high protein Baby cereal that is listed in the original Leadbeaters was 10 grams of protein, due to something with the wheat flour that was being used it can no longer be sold in the US. What we have now is a Leadbeaters diet that is short 8 to 9 Grams of protein. so that had to be added somewhere..somehow so those of us in the states can offer a balance. which is where the second jar of chicken came in.
     As for the vits and mineral supplements, that is where the fruits and veggies come in..
     The diet plan that the vet is suggesting (Diet 1) also is on the lower end of the calcium scale. The vits and mineral supplements needs also the calcium extras, which is where the other part of the Taronga Zoo diet comes into play. It has a lot of high calcium low phosphorus foods.
    In the Taronga Zoo diet they also list the insectivore feed; whereas we feed live insects, as that is more like the wild. they also feed maggots (fly pupae), and I don't know about most of you, but that is not my choice of feeding.
     The only other difference in the Bourbons Modified Leadbeaters, is the mixed fruit juice with yogurt. and looking at the ingredients of the Taronga Zoo diet, there is many fruits, the addition of the yogurt was for the extra protein and calcium, as well as the good/bad bacteria..
     I hope this helps clear up some of the controversies between the different diets.  Please have your vet check out this diets page. Check the Taronga Zoo diet as well as the original Leadbeaters..(It is listed under Ruths Modified TARONGA ZOO DIET. That is what was received from Australia as a package unit. To only offer part of that diet leaves things out..

Other Great Links



Calcium:Phosphorus levels - vegetables

Calcium:Phosphorus levels - fruit

USDA Nutrient DataBase for Research

Nutrition Analysis Tool 2.0

Naturally Occurring Toxins

Bug Analysis - Grubco's- *Please note, this is the analysis of THEIR feeds,
they may add supplements to them..

We do not endorse any one feed on this page. These links are here for the sole purpose of making it easier for someone to find it if they are looking for it.

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