This is the diet I currently feed my gliders. I began making changes to my diet based on a few things happening in my home and a few of my personal beliefs. The basis for these changes included the following:
1) The number of gliders in various stages of healing
2) The fact that Dr. Walsh has advised and encouraged me to feed green foods for their many health benefits.
3) My personal belief that providing a wide variety of textures, tastes and food locations is more important than balancing a Ca:P ratio. Now, don't hear what I am not saying. I do believe that the Ca:P ratio is important, but I think that many times I see people sacrifice variety of texture and/or flavor because they are so very focused on having a perfect ratio. I do not balance my ratio every day. I don't balance it ever. That ratio is the same ratio recommended for many, many species, including humans. BUT, I don't balance it for myself either. I believe that it is important to feed a HEALTHY diet, but I will not overthink it or sacrifice the enrichment of a good meal with good variety in an effort to meet a ratio. Plus, I am lazy and don't want to do the math. I admit it. I have seen many gliders get very well from very bad conditions on this diet, and I feed it under my vet's supervision. That is what matters most to me - the outcome. I also do not think that we REALLY know what a glider's nutritional requirements are. Therefore, the only way to know we are for sure meeting them some of the time is to feed the widest variety of foods possible.
4) I believe that meal times should be an experience - not just about eating and getting nutrients. Part of this experience should be VARIETY - It is my personal belief that a glider should not come out of a pouch and know right where his food is and what it will taste like. Each day should be a different experience, not the same thing over and over. For people prone to depression or other emotional disorders, eating the same thing every day would not promote emotional health. I believe the same is true for gliders.
SO, I will do my best to describe my diet, but to be honest with you, I make every batch differently. One batch makes roughly 70 servings (give or take).
Here are the key ingredients (these are the ingredients present in every batch):
1 1/2 cup Knudsen MEGA GREEN juice http://www.rwknudsenfamily.com/products/simply_nutritious/mega_green
(this juice includes spirulina, barley grass, wheat grass and other beneficial green foods)
1/4 cup organic apple sauce
1/4 cup collard greens
1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts or 1 tablespoon dried alfalfa leaf
3/4 cup any other juice (I use a variety of organic fruit juices, but most of the time Just Pomegranate by Knudson)
1/2 Tablespoon bee pollen
1 hardboiled egg - no shell
1 Tablespoon flax seed oil
1/2 teaspoon milk thistle (this was at the advice of Dr. Walsh as well - given that I have several gliders with some liver issues. You may omit the milk thistle if you like.)
IN ADDITION TO THESE INGREDIENTS, add 2 or 3 of the following to each batch
. Again, I make each batch differently, so I vary what I put into each batch. None of these ingredients should be used in EVERY batch made.
This should not be stressful. Varying your glider's diet should be a fun and enriching experience.
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/8 teaspoon liquid vitamin E
1/2 cup kale
1 crushed/pulverized SamE tablet
1 additional teaspoon of barley grass powder
1/2 cup fruit puree or a different flavor fruit juice
1/4 cup chopped okra
1 Tablespoon ground chia seed OR chia oil
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon wheat germ
1/8 teaspoon Primal Defense - powdered form
1 Tablespoon raw or manuka honey
1 Tablespoon Wombaroo High Protein Supplement powder
1 teaspoon Calcium Carbonate powder
1 Tablespoon acacia powder
1 Tablespoon yucca powder
1 teaspoon red palm oil
Throw it in a blender and mix it all thoroughly, Then freeze.
* I purchase every one of these things at my local health food store. - one stop shopping.
For nursing moms, I add one extra egg or use High protein wombaroo powder as suggested in the additional ingredients.
Because the ingredients in this diet vary, I do not have a Ca:P ratio for the mix. One must make sure to balance the fruits and veggies and to choose them wisely.
Because of the amount of fruit juice/applesauce, I decrease the amount of fruit given each night.
So, each glider gets 1 1/2 teaspoons of this mix (1/2 Tablespoon, or 1 Tablespoon for each pair)
1/2 Tablespoon (1 1/2 teaspoons) of fresh fruit
1 1/2 Tablespoons of veggies (basically, I just fill the TBSP to overflowing and give them that).
I offer a wide variety of fruits and veggies EACH night - I chop into a very large bowl at least 6 different veggies and 3 different fruits each night and mix them up (fruit in one bowl, veggies in another). Most days, they get 8-10 different veggies. I cut them into tiny pieces that Jackie Chan and Riddick can hold with one hand, and since doing that have found that they get a wide variety in one tablespoon if the pieces are small. I sometimes offer organic juice (or homemade juice) instead of fruit or part of their veggies (my gliders love carrot juice). I use a wide variety of foods. We only avoid those that are unsafe. All others are fair game.
Then, every 4th day or so, I don't give the mix and give scrambled eggs, shrimp, or chicken instead. This is just for variety
and is not necessary. You can feed the mix every night if you wish.
2-3X per week I give a hard pellet food (dog kibble, cat food, or happy glider pellets) IN ADDITION TO this diet. They get 2-3 pieces per glider placed in the cage.
For treats, I give dried papaya, yogies, pine nuts, mealies, wax worms, walnut pieces, pecan pieces or pecans in the shell, almond pieces, honey nut cheerios, baby puff treats, yogurt dipped nuts, and unsalted sunflower seeds in the shell. I greet each and every glider every morning and offer one or more of the above. I do not give meal worms every day - I rotate them with the above things. Gliders also get treats during nail clipping, during tent time, when I take them out for bonding, if they go out with me and meet other people, after/during each vet visit and pretty much any time they give me the cute little pleading eyes. I am not a treat miser - I am generous with my treats and with my love.
This diet is not just about the food they eat, but about the experience of eating. I routinely hide foods all over the cage and/or change the location that they eat in the cage. I offer different textures, different size bites, different colors and a variety of different tastes in one meal. I believe that gliders enjoy being able to take their food to a different place in the cage and eat it, while others enjoy sitting at the dish and eating, so I do not recommend feeding this diet as a pureed diet. Eating should be an experience that stimulates their taste buds as well as thier intellect (by encouraging foraging and hunting for food) and their emotions - making it an enjoyable and unique experience each night.
My gliders LOVE this diet and have far more energy than they did before. Dr. Walsh has been very pleased with the health of my gliders (as have I) in the time I have been feeding this dite. I love that it is full of healthy, organic things and not so much supplementation.
*** edited12/10/10 to more accurately reflect current diet choices ***