Adult Flyer Diet

Joan
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Adult Flyer Diet

Postby Joan » Sat Sep 04, 2004 1:30 pm

Adult Diet
It's easy to take care of the nutritional requirements of the Flying squirrel. They will eat almost anything. In-the-shell pine nuts,pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, pecans, walnuts, acorns and hickory nuts are all recommended when available. Give the flyer fresh fruit and berries, blossoms and seeds from sugar maple trees, honeysuckle and white clover flowers. Add fresh cultivated mushroom, broccoli, fresh or dried ear of corn and now and then a bit of unsweetened cereal, such as Cheerios. Sweet potatoes have the correct CA/p ratio and are very nutritious. Just keep the diet varied and they will get everything they need. They eat very little so what they are fed is very important.

In addition to the fresh fruits and vegetables, the flying squirrel diet can consist of a high quality wild bird/rodent food/that is a mix of seeds, nuts (in-the-shell) and fruit. They prefer larger seeds to smaller ones.

Dennis Q reports that WalMart carries the Morning Song bird and critter food called "Pumpkin Delight" and "Chuckanut".The mixes have pumpkin seeds, shelled corn and black sunflower seeds in it. He uses this as a base feed by combining and adding:
An equal amount of striped sunflower seeds,
Uncooked macaroni or egg noodles and/or
Small amounts of leftover dry breakfast cereal like raisin bran, Cheerios, Special K, Granola, etc.,
and
Some raw peanuts in the shell.
Mix well and serve with veggies, fruits, and hard shelled nuts
His flyers also get insects. Meal worms, wax worms, crickets,grasshoppers, moths, cicadas, etc.. In the summer, it's catch of the day.

Judy C says WalMart sells two other wild bird foods her flyers like, made by 3-D Pet Products. One is "Krunchy Nut" and the other is "Nut N' Berry. "They are very similar - both have sunflower kernels, shelled peanuts,"tree nuts" (may contain pistachios, almonds, walnuts, pecans or filberts), hulled pumpkin seeds and dried raisins. In addition, the Nut'nBerry has sunflower seeds, safflower seeds and dried cranberries. She keeps one of these in the cage at all times, as a staple food and she usually add some Sunflower seeds to it.

If you choose to use bird seed, a variety of nuts, such as walnuts,almonds, etc., along with fresh fruits and vegetable should be just fine, though the nuts are very high in fat.

Moca offers a varied diet(fresh fruits, veggies, semi-wild roses, wild strawberries, that are in season) PLUS a Marmoset diet from Primate Store. She mixes the ingredients of one can with raw oatmeal, soy nuts, other nuts and seeds and small mealworms or wax worms then cooks a few minutes and places portions in ice cube trays for freezing. Her Nugget gets two very small balls of this at night rolled in sesame seeds and sesame Tahini.

Flying squirrels like to eat meal or wax worms. Giant Mealworms are treated with a growth hormone that stops them from turning into the adult beetle. This hormone causes the worms to grow to two to three times their normal size. We do NOT recommend that you use Giant Mealworms to feed your flyer, but they are great for fishing bait. Most flyers love almost any insect. They are part of the natural diet. They are crazy about moths.
GRUBCO NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS http://www.grubco.com/Nutritional_Information.cfm

Additional protein can be added to the diet with small amounts of boiled chicken or hard boiled egg whites. Some people also offer a treat of soy milk like Silk.

Flying squirrels don't make very loud noises unless they are cracking nuts in the middle of the night. Make sure flyers have wood and nuts in their cage to gnaw on. This helps decrease the size of the incisors.

The Southern Flying Squirrel is commonly known to experience calcium deficiency because of its fragile bone structure and it's nocturnal nature. Providing the animal with sufficient amounts of calcium and vitamin D3 and foods enriched with these is critical to their well-being and can prevent this deficiency. Seizures are one of symptoms of calcium deficiency. And with calcium deficiency it may not be a lack of calcium itself, but the Vitamin D3 needed to process it .Phosphorous is another thing needed for the nervous system to function properly. The calcium to phosphorous ratio needed is 2:1. Sweet potatoes (have the correct CA/p ratio and very nutritious)

Too much orange juice or citrus fruit could cause diarrhea in some squirrels; it might not have this effect in others. The other is the added Vitamin D & calcium in some OJs. Too much Vitamin D can causecalcium reabsorption which is the opposite effect of what it normallydoes. So, too much Vitamin D has somewhat the same effect as not havingenough by taking calcium from the body. Just keep in mind too much ofany one thing is not good. What is a tiny amount to a human can be alot to critters the size of a flyer.

Understanding the Calcium-Phosphorus Ratio
Many different minerals and other nutrients have interactions between them that affect their availability or absorption in the body---for example, between copper and zinc, calcium and vitamin D, iron and manganese. One of the most important, and often overlooked, of these interactions are between calcium and phosphorus. A saying in animal science, is "as goes phosphorus, so goes calcium". What this means is that for every gram of phosphorus ingested in the diet, the body must match that with another gram of calcium before the phosphorus can be absorbed through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream. If the required calcium is not available from the diet, the body will obtain it from wherever it can---such as from the storage depots in the bones.It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that in any horse performing stressful exercise (as well as remodeling bone in response to conditioning), you do NOT want calcium being removed from and decreasing bone integrity. This is where the whole idea of calcium-phosphorus ratios comes in. The purpose of calculating such a ratio is to make sure that for every gram of phosphorus you're feeding, you're feeding AT LEAST an equal amount of calcium (a 1:1 ratio or better), so that calcium isn't being continually mobilized from bones. Most nutritionists recommend that the ideal levels are somewhere between 1.2-2 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus.

Article on Phosphorus:
http://www.healthy.net/scr/article.asp?ID=2061


Article on Calcium:
http://www.healthy.net/scr/article.asp?ID=2019


Good sources of calcium:
Kale, collard greens, broccoli and spinach (dark green veggies are great!!) and Dannon yogurt, instant oatmeal, soy beans, tofu, sesame seeds, beet greens, turnip greens, parsley, Wakame, figs, rhubarb,sweet potato, cantaloupe, kiwi, strawberries

Foods high in phosphorous:
Apple, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, orange, cucumber, lettuce, grapes,honey dew, celery, cabbage, carrots, dandelion greens (especially late spring and all summer), apples, banana, fresh corn, mushrooms, lima beans, oatmeal, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, and Brazil nuts.

There are some foodstuffs that humans relish which cause illness and death if eaten by pets. Chocolate, macadamia nuts and onions are good examples. It is best to only give flyers foods that grow in their natural range. Thus, do not give anything that is an import from out of the country. Anything that grows naturally in Florida would be in the Southern flyer range. See this Glaucomys range map:
http://www.flyingsquirrels.com/Rangemaps/rangemaps.html

Water:
They require a constant supply of fresh water once weaned from formula. Some owners prefer water bottles while others like dishes. If you choose a dish to supply their water needs, make sure it is shallow enough so they cannot drown.

Nutritional Supplements:
A powered nutritional supplement that contains calcium and vitamin D3 (if you don't add vitamins to the water) should be sprinkled (a small pinch) on food two to three times a week. ReptoCal, for reptiles, is one such source. T-Rex makes a calcium/phosphorus powder in the correct 2:1 ratio. It is called 2:1 and also contains vitamins A, D3 and C. You can also give Dannon yogurt which is a good calcium source. Avimin is a water soluble liquid mineral (mostly calcium) that can be used if food powdered with a calcium supplement is refused.

Add water soluble multivitamins like Vita-Sol, Sun Drops, or L&M which are made for hamsters and gerbils. Vitamins in the water (as directed) once or twice per week would be plenty. A lot of members add L&M Animal Farms Liquid Multi-Vitamins in the water supply as a vitamin option. One drop per ounce of water in the water supply three times a week, or you can offer both plain and vitamin-spiked water each day and give them a choice.

A good source of L&M Vitamins is through Hartz Mountain.

A super-varied diet that includes mushrooms and cruciferous veggies will often provide enough calcium.
Cruciferous (brassica) vegetables: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruciferous_vegetables

You can use a powdered calcium/D3 supplement (called Calciboost Powder)
http://gallery.bcentral.com/GID5128020P ... owder.aspx

80 grams = 2.8 ounces for $15.60 & 175 grams = 6 ounces for $10.70) that dissolves in water . It is meant for birds, but provides the elemental bioavailable calcium flyers need. It also has D3 in it. CalciBoost Powder has a shelf life of 18-24 months from date of manufacture. It is possible to mix the supplement in water, keep refrigerated and offer to over a 3 day period.

Another dissolvable powdered calcium supplement (no D3) is Orlux Calci-Lux http://www.amazinganimal.co.uk/calcilux ... rrency=USD 0.5 kilogram = 17.6ounce for $22.78.

You can get other liquid calcium supplements but they are usually in suspension (and supposedly lose potency quickly), not dissolved from powder which doesn't lose potency like suspensions. Calcivet by vetafarm (Calcium, Vitamin D3 and Magnesium) ... 1 cap = 5cc in 250cc of water (8oz 15cc (1/4 oz))
https://www.birdsupplynh.com/catalog/ad ... et&x=8&y=6

Wild flyers do not get calcium constantly in their diets. You don't want to provide too much calcium or too many vitamins. You can provide what is needed by offering both plain water and treated water. If treated water is the only water provided, it is similar to force feeding the supplement and even with low doses it could an overdose. Giving foods with calcium and D2 can be hit or miss, but it also gives them the opportunity to eat more or less as needed. Flyers are able to convert D2 to D3. Flyers naturally crave foods they need or they would never get the vitamins, minerals, and protein in the wild that they need. In the wild, they choose the correct foods needed because of their innate intelligence.

When giving vitamin supplements with D3, give it only 3 times a week at MOST. Flyers could become toxic on D3 because of their small size.

Multivitamins: What do they really need and how much? No one has a clue. Rodent and small mammal vitamins are a catchall and if you look at the difference in requirements of pocket pets, mice, rats, it goes all over the place.

There isn't a veterinarian medical text that doesn't specifically say that if you are giving ANY mammal D3 as a supplement that blood levels should be monitored ... So it isn't quite as simple as one would think.
Last edited by Joan on Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:55 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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The Rock's Laura
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Wonderful

Postby The Rock's Laura » Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:49 pm

This is a wonderful resource.

One thing I'd like to add. When giving flyers nuts, twigs and acorns from outside it's a good idea to either bake or freeze them first so that no microscopic parasites are transferred to your flyer causing them much grief and pain nevermind the grey hairs you'll get from worrying so much about them in between vet visits.

Ask me how I know :roll:
:love7: I was joyfully owned by
6 1/2 yr old
ROCKIE, a gift in my life.
Rest in Peace my baby boy 9/4/2002 - 5/24/2009
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*Sandi*
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Postby *Sandi* » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:00 pm

Im asking u how u know... lol :multi:
*Ruffles, my little flyer! Love her more than anything!*

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gloryaf88
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Problem

Postby gloryaf88 » Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:12 am

Mr. Pistol will not touch a worm or bug and believe me as much as I hate to say this, I have tried. He will also not touch eggs, so what do I do??



Glorya owned by Pistol Pete

Joan
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Postby Joan » Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:23 am

Tough love. :wink:
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

tydive
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Postby tydive » Fri Jan 19, 2007 7:18 pm

Hello. 1st post for me. My 15-20 outdoor Fur People enjoy yogurt-covered raisins and yogurt-covered peanut that I get at my local market. I mention this because of this thread's calcium discussion and also due to my distrust of the commercial treats (yogurt snacks for hamsters and gerbils sold at PETCO, PetSmart, etc.). New topic: Brazil nuts. During my loose and semi-scientific studies, I have observered that the brazils were chosen before the pecans (among many other selections) at my feeder. Maybe the brazils were just easier to see and grab; I don't know.
Good friend of 20+ outdoor flyers.

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Postby Patti Aymond » Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:37 pm

I have observered that the brazils were chosen before the pecans (among many other selections) at my feeder.


The ground squirrels that we have rehabilitated would wrestle you to the ground for a brazil nut. My flyers totally ignore them. Go figure...
[Flash's &] Gordon's HOF

Joan
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Postby Joan » Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:24 pm

Patti Aymond wrote:The ground squirrels that we have rehabilitated would wrestle you to the ground for a brazil nut. My flyers totally ignore them. Go figure...


That's because they're hard to open and you won't do it for them. LOL :twisted:
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

Debra
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Postby Debra » Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:24 pm

very timely thread. i just spotted some rhubarb at the supermarket today and was checking to see if it is okay for dinky.
thanks for the info
and dinky loves brazil nuts.
Owned by Dinky the flying furball!!


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