Hints For Selecting a Breeder:
1. Avoid breeders who never allow their customers to visit their facilities, even when the potential customer is willing to drive to pick up the pup. Never get one from a breeder who keeps their facility and living conditions a secret. But, be aware that during breeding and whelping season, a breeder may restrict direct access to avoid disturbing the flyers.
2. If visiting the breeder is impossible, see if they have photos online for people to see. (NEVER get a pup shown with the handler wearing gloves to prevent biting).
3. See if breeder will sell or adopt pups out with the understanding that they can be returned at anytime, no questions asked. Buyers should understand that some breeders will quarantine a returned flyer for 30 days and get a vet's certification of health before reintroduction to the original colony.
4. Ask how old the pup will be when delivered/picked up and whether the momma is hand-tamed.
5. The pups should not be younger than 6 weeks when they are sold.
6. The momma should be a friendly, confident, with a suitable trusting relationship with the breeder. That said, there is no rule that states a healthy and happy pup cannot come from the wild. Rehabbers often have orphaned or displaced babies to sell. They cannot guarentee the health of the pup.
Some commercial breeders will pull pups from the maternal nest in the wild. This is NOT a recommended source. It upsets the balance of nature in the wild.
7. Breeder should be willing to provide the history of the momma flyer -- where she came from, how many litters she's had, what became of the earlier litter pups. Good breeders will have this information in their records.
8. Do NOT buy from a pet store or newspaper ads without CAUTION.
9. Observe the breeder handle the pup and older squirrels, if possible. Also ask to handle the pup yourself. Get written instructions on feeding, especially if pup is still on formula.
10. Get as much info about the breeder as possible.
11. Perhaps the single most important thing to determine is how other customers have been treated and how well they are satisfied with their flyer.
What A Breeder May Want to Know About You:
Your age, your housing situation, the habitat you would provide, the hours you keep. What other companion animals share your home, and what experiences you've had with critters. Flying squirrels are a far greater commitment than hamsters, guinea pigs, or even rabbits, for they have a much longer life span (up to 15 rears in captivity).
Their arboreal behavior requires far more allowances than a terrestrial being, like a hammy, piggy or bunny. They cannot be kept full time in a cage, and that means some late hour activity for them. This works well enough for adults, especially for "night owl" types, who might well be up at midnight.
If you're still in school, and not yet in college, then a flyer might well be out of the question, for it's really not enough for just two late nights a week (Fridays and Saturdays), when you have to be to bed early other days, for an early start in the morning. If you are a minor, conferring with your parents.
Buying Your First Flyer:
Southern Flying Squirrels breed twice per year at most. So there are only babies available two times per year in the northern US and pretty much the same in the southern US. There can be a few exceptions. So, you may not be able to get one the exact time you want one.
Breeders can't go to the garage or the shed out back and make some when they are wanted. So the choices are to do a frantic search for one that is available or get your name on a breeder's waiting list and relax.
The breeder can tell you the approximate month that there should be babies being born. Asking "are there are any babies yet?" before that time won't get you a baby sooner... Occasionally not all the babies are spoken for and you MIGHT get one when you ask for one IF it is during the time of year when babies are being born. If there are surplus babies they are usually listed on a board as being available. Make contact quickly or they will be gone before you get around to it.
Breeders do not choose the sex of the babies. They have whatever were born. If you want only a male or female, you may have to wait for one to be born to get it.
Breeders, not the buyer, determine when the babies are ready for their new home. The buyer's knowledge and/or experience may be a factor in the decision, but the breeder's final determination is made for the good of the baby, not the buyer's happiness.
Buying & Shipping a FS:
Hand tame baby flyers average $100-$150 each
Health certificate $20
Kennel cab $20
Shipping $90-$250 depending on destination and type of shipping (Since the monkey pox scare, only Continental Airlines will ship flyers. All other airlines has a self emposed ban on shipping them.
They can't be shipped if it is under 32 or over 80 degrees at any airport en route.
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