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First time moms

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First time moms

Post by Admin/arthur on Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:14 pm

A guideline that I use with handling moms and babies together. So the baby feels secure and learns my scent and to be calm around me.




FIRST TIME MOMS:
It has been a while since I had a first time mom that wasn’t born here and that I didn’t have the baby and mom trust of holding together. The first thing I would make sure of is that your expectant mom has extra protein. If you give 3-5 mealies or crickets then I would increase it to 5-8 for the female everyday. Also when my females have babies I count the babies in the pouch as a quarter to a half a glider in figuring the extra food amount. So if I give 6-8 crickets to a male and female glider then I would figure another
2-4 for the babies. If I gave a tablespoon of bml then I would give 1 and ½ tablespoon so there is plenty of food and food for the babies nursing and that the babies are not taking the nutrients from mom and then mom would loose weight or her shinny smooth coat of fur would fade from over breeding or lose the babies in pouch from inadequate diet. All food I increase ¼ to ½ more than the amount I give to the non breeding adults. The second thing I did is tighten the bond between me and the glider family(mom and dad) so that they are very comfortable with me handling them both and carrying them around in the pouch.
See handling http://moms and babies. This is very important that your glider isn’t stressed with you handling them or holding them and babies, you have to make sure your bond is secure so they won’t abandon the babies, if you decide to hold mom and joeys instead of taking them from mom for a couple of minutes everyday for bonding. You have to decide what is right for you and your sugar glider when having babies and which way would be less stressful for the joeys parents. For me it is holding mom and the babies. Third be prepared for the worst a joey rejection: in saying this be aware of signs that may be a rejection but do not let it worry you and then your stress may be picked up by the gliders.
SIGNS OF REJECTION: baby having bite marks on face or body, baby outside of sleeping nest and crying and parents don’t pay any attention, if parents are watching it could be baby just fell off and needs help(can try and put baby back on mom or in nest, if mom pushes or kicks at baby when you put it on her belly then she is rejecting the joey), I had one joey that two days in a row it was left out at 7a.m., when I get up, but parents would look at me and then look at baby. We picked baby up, and had to open moms pouch so it could get it’s head in it and then we never saw the baby until it came out of it’s nest box on it’s own. This is where knowing the type of bond you have with your sugar glider is essential in making a determination of what is going on(did it fall off, do they need help in feeding, is it being rejected). That’s enough of being negative and there are other sites that can help with hand rearing baby joeys. Another thing to watch is that joeys are growing and getting bigger everyday or so. Some people weigh their babies but since I don’t take babies from mom I don’t weigh them. I recently tried weighing Miss Butters(first time mom, but she was born here) babies after we got home(one of her babies came oop in my t-shirt pocket pouch at animal show). She came out of pocket(for a rest from babies after we got home) and went up on my shoulder and so I reached in pocket and I carried babies to the scale. The babies and mom had been in and out of pocket all day being showed off so she was tired and babies had my smell. I didn’t think she would mine. Anyway I put one of babies on a paper towel on scale and it started squawk crying and butters came running down my arm and into the scale and stood over her babies(I had put second one in quickly for total weight) and looked side to side and back and forth as to say who hurt my babies. I picked her and babies up and put them back in their box. I felt so bad that I put butters through that stress of thinking her babies were being hurt. What I do is listen and if I hear baby crying then I would step in and see if baby just got left by mom or is mom not feeding the baby. The baby should cry if not getting enough milk or if something else is wrong. This is just the way we do things with our adults and babies.
Another words if you hear baby crying(squawk call) then something is wrong and they need your immediate attention to figure the problem out. The squawk call is a distress call from baby to mom. Another thing that I have noticed with some of my moms is in early development of babies in the pouch that they are a little put offish. If they don’t come to me right away when I walk in cage then usually I know they have babies on the way. After a 1-3 weeks they are back to normal as they jump on me or greet me at the front of their cage. I am not sure why they do this but it may have something to do with that I use to feel their bellies at early stage of development. Maybe they didn’t like me doing it so they stay away at this time and are back to normal at later development of joeys. I personally don’t check for babies anymore while they are in the pouch, but if you do feel for babies be very careful. I do flip them over(gently) and look for lumps and if I am holding mom on my hand my thumb can accidentally gently brush against her belly and usually you can feel a lump or two without being intrusive to her. You can pet her belly lightly or under chin if she will lay on her back for you, but I don’t massage her belly feeling for babies(had some trouble when I did this). In other words keep everything as normal as possible and if she shuns you for a short period of time(make sure she is eating and going to bathroom the same) while she has babies in pouch is ok and she should come around with bribes and on her own terms. CAUTION: any change in behavior can be a sign of illness so you have to make determination is it the babies or an illness. Not all of my female sugar gliders do this behavior a lot of them there is no change from day one of baby in the pouch and they jump on me as usual and even claim(mark-dance) on me. PROBABLY the most important thing to remember to do with first time sugar glider moms and dads is being normal. In other words don’t do anything different with feeding time, handling time, and playtime(unless they dictate it). I would make sure that in sleeping nest you always leave a piece of scented material with their scent on it. To me this gives them a sense of security(home) as everything isn’t brand new like when you first got your sugar glider, after you wash their pouch and cage. Don’t be nervous just be normal and confident that everything will work out fine, like when you bonded to your baby you knew you could do it and mom should have no problem as sugar gliders have been having babies on their own without our help for many, many years. Just be a part of it, if mom trusts you and enjoy this wonderful experience and don’t stress the mom or yourself with worry. Also as you are waiting for babies to come out of pouch DO NOT continually check on her as she is sleeping. If you handle her once during the day as normal then only handle once when babies are in pouch. This constant checking(I know it’s hard not to as you want to see the babies) on her out of the normal could stress her as she isn’t use to this routine. EXAMPLE: I went into Miss butters box and on her belly was a big white glider(this is odd as we do not have colored gliders). We thought maybe albino? So I started(she was due oop) checking everyday and sometimes two or three times a day. Well after 3-4 days of this behavior Peanut(her mom) started giving me a grunt crab(not normal). I had to step back and realize what I was doing, stressing moms or bothering them too much. After not going in box for couple of days or just normal once a day she stopped with the grunt at me and we were back to what is normal for us. You have to know what is normal behavior that you do with your sugar glider and what they will tolerate from us. The normal routine between you and your gliders is the schedule you set before and hopefully will stay on after mom has babies in the pouch. In other words what you do from day one as your normal routine keep it the same even when she is carrying joeys in pouch. One other thing and it may be the most important of all. DO NOT allow other people to look in on your joey and mom in their nest! If family is use to going with you then it might be alright to show off in strange environment if you did it before with them and they are relaxed. The most trouble,(I lost one a year or so ago because I believe I showed 2-3week oop baby to a stranger in their box-nest) when they stop their breeding or a baby loss in the pouch is when I break their trust and bring a stranger into their private living quarters(their nest box). I have gliders that stopped breeding because of breaking their trust of showing off to strangers their babies as these people are not their family or colony members. I don’t know why they don’t touch the babies but I believe it is a different routine in their environment may be the reason or it may be the sub-species of possible sugar/squirrel glider. What ever is the reason don’t show mom and dad off in their environment to anybody that is not accepted in their family from day one. In our house I am the only one that handles babies and mom from the box, Paulette is accepted if I hand babies or mom to her or for her to take pictures of babies and moms, as I hold them. Even then they sometimes give her a funny look and I have to re-assure the mom and/or let them smell Paulette as (she helps feed) they know her smell. One other thing that I do when holding mom and baby or first time mom is when I put mom and babies back in their box and give their treat(always give a treat after holding as a reward) is I sometimes lay my hand in box for babies to crawl on me and smell me in their home(nest). If mom or dad doesn’t mind and are busy eating snacks then I slip my hand down in box and babies seem to come over and investigate this new thing in their territory. Some times they are a little apprehensive at first but if they watch me pet mom and she doesn’t mind then they will usually come and smell me or climb across my hand. This is after I have held mom and baby for a week or two and eyes are fully opened and babies are starting to walk around and investigating their nest. I let the babies initiate the contact and I don’t force my hand on the babies because it would scare them more and since they are curious anyway they usually in time wander over to my hand. They also can taste nip the hand as it is something new to them in their house, especially if it is time to start tasting food at about three to four weeks oop. When you either take baby from mom and dad or pick mom and baby up you need to let the parent(s) smell you and see that your intentions are honorable. In other words let them know that it is you a part of their family and you mean them no harm. Also I always talk to them or make my “noise” as I am going into their cage so they know it is not a stranger or something out of the ordinary when I open or bump their cage or pick their nest box up or open the lid on their box. I am talking quietly to them from the time I unlatch their cage to the time I open their box and while I am picking them up. In between talking I make my “kissy” noise(recognition) and it seems to work as most of the time they never crab at me. The reason I do the noise is the goal you want is for your adults not to crab at you and hopefully your babies won’t pick up on crabbing(being scared) at you for disturbing them or picking them up. To sum everything up keep same schedule, do the same rituals, be aware of problems that may arise but don’t let it affect you or be nervous, don’t show mom or babies off at home and if you show parents off at strange environment only if you carry sugar gliders with you(be very careful if you do this that mom and dad are very comfortable with you-bonded), increase food amounts, let them know you are coming in their house when you visit, and above all enjoy and love your babies with mom and dads approval.
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Arthur Gibbons
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Admin/arthur
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