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What is the Sugar Glider BML Diet? [Ingredients & Recipe]

You may have heard of the BML sugar glider diet and are wondering if this is the best way to feed your pet.

Gliders require a specialized diet to stay healthy and happy.

If you take a little time to learn about BML, you’ll find that it’s not as intimidating as it first seems.

To help you, I put together this simple guide so read on and you’ll master it in no time.

What is a BML Sugar Glider Diet?

BML is the acronym for Bourbon’s Modified Leaderbeaters Diet, which was created by Bourbon Hackworth in 1998. The main goal of BML is to supply a nutritionally complete diet plan for your beloved glider.

When zoos, such as the Taronga Zoo began keeping gliders captive, they sought out the best way to feed these exotic animals. One of the first meal plans to work successfully is the Leadbeater’s Diet.

When they became popular in America as pets, the creator, modified the diet as America did not have all of the same ingredients that were available in Australia. 

It was also tweaked over the years, removing some items such as eggshells and oranges, and adding blueberries. The current plan is that BML is a “very specific diet that limits variety”, according to glider breeder, Shelly Sterk. [2]

This diet for gliders imitates the required nutrition they get from the wild, which is very hard to replicate.

NC State Veterinary Hospital Exotic Animal Medicine Department recommends “feeding a combination of Leadbeater’s mixture, insects, fresh produce, and nuts.” [3]

The BML diet is well-liked and called the perfect diet because it is simple to prepare with easy ingredients. It doesn’t require glider parents to use any special equipment, standard kitchen tools are all you need.

It is considered the best sugar glider food by many glider parents and experts.

The BML Sugar Glider Diet Recipe

Ness Exotic Wellness Center suggests that “The captive diet should include nectar, insects, other protein sources, and limited fruit and vegetables.” [4]

BML is designed specifically to meet your glider’s dietary needs.

So, you’re probably wondering what is the BML sugar glider food recipe? What are the ingredients?

Let’s take a look at what you need to feed your pet glider this diet.

What Should You Have to Make BML Sugar Glider Diet?

Let’s start with the equipment. To create meals for your pet, you will need the following:

  • Blender or food processor
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Food container, preferably an ice cube tray

Now that you’ve made sure you have the right tools, which, are everyday kitchen items, let’s look at what ingredients you need for this fresh food diet.

  • Baby food, such as Gerber baby treats
  • Dry baby cereal
  • Baby juice or apple juice
  • Wheat germ
  • Jars Chicken Baby Food
  • Rep-Cal Herptivite Vitamin Supplement
  • One hard-boiled egg
  • Raw honey, or honey stix

How do you prepare it? Let’s find out.

See how this experienced glider mom makes her BML food for little friends.

Instructions to Follow for BML Sugar Glider Diet

It’s really simple, just like making your gliders’ a smoothie! What is the BML sugar glider diet recipe? Here’s a quick summary.

  • Blend in your regular apple juice with extra honey and egg using your food processor.
  • Add in your mammalian vitamins, followed by the chicken baby food and cereal.
  • Blend all ingredients until smooth.
  • Pour until you reach half-filled ice cube trays.

Now that you’ve got that down, let’s get into the specifics of the recipe and find out how much you need to feed.

ALSO READ: Can Sugar Gliders Eat Bananas?

How Much Should I Feed My Sugar Glider?

Sugar gliders require roughly 15-20 percent of their body weight in food each day, which isn’t much considering they only weigh 3-5 ounces. [1]

Since gliders do not require large portions, it is important that their diet is well balanced to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.

When using the BML diet, how much should you feed your pet glider? Keep reading for the tips that I’ve learned on how much you should feed your little, furry companion.

How Many Tablespoons of BML Diet Per Sugar Glider?

Since they weigh around 3-5 ounces and required feeding is 15-20% of their body weight, food intake is around 1/4 to 1/2 size ice cube trays, measuring between 1-2 tablespoons.

How Many Times a Day Should I Feed My Sugar Glider?

The ideal feeding frequency is twice up to three times a day. 

The BML mixture should be incorporated with other solid foods to provide maximum nourishment to your pet.

Dan H. Johnson, DVM states that: “A typical daily ration for one sugar glider might consist of 15 g of Leadbeater’s diet or other nectar, 15 g of insectivore/carnivore diet and/or gut-loaded insects, and about 2.5 g of “treat foods” (fruits, vegetables, bee pollen, insect larval forms, occasional seeds/nuts).” [5]

Just a note, if you use ounces, 15g is equivalent to 0.529 oz.

This is an introductory list of vegetables and fruit options for your pet glider.

  • Apples (always remove seeds of apples)
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Sweetcorn
  • Sweet potato

Fruit is best given as a treat as too much can lead to obesity. For a more detailed look take a look at this guide to sugar glider treats.

To achieve a healthy diet and you must provide a good balance of nutrients, a serve a variety of fruits and veggies. Also, don’t forget to supply their protein needs which you can do by feeding insects.

You should spread these food items out into different meals during the day and night.

Here’s an example of an ideal meal plan for your glider.

  • Feed Insects as a morning snack. In other words, treat them to some morning mealies.
  • BML cubes of food as the main meal in the afternoon
  • Dehydrated fruits, fruit smoothies, or veggies at night for their dinner portion

Here’s another example of an eating schedule if you prefer feeding twice a day.

  • Feed mealies or other suitable insects as a morning snack.
  • BML cubes and with a small amount of fruit and vegetables at night.

You can also modify your ingredients. Pet lover and vlogger My Pawfect Family shared on her YouTube Video how she customizes her sugar glider BML diet for her furbabies. 

Can I Overfeed My Sugar Glider?

Yes, it is possible and easy to accidentally overfeed your glider. However, you need to avoid this as it can lead to obesity, which causes serious, health issues.

An example of a health issue is that your glider gets too much phosphorus, which can cause bone thinning.

To avoid overfeeding, make a strict, measured meal plan with the right types of food and measures. You also need to keep a consistent feeding schedule.

Rule of Thumb: Feed Your Glider Exclusively With BML

While adding snacks is okay, you should not combine the BML glider diet with other prepared sugar glider diets such as Brisky’s Sugar Glider Food or Sunseed Sugar Glider Formula.

Because of the differences in diets, your glider will most likely refuse to eat it if any portion of the dish is changed or substituted (gliders can be picky). Also, your nutrients could be dangerously unbalanced.

After you’ve made a batch of the BML diet, you’ll have a genuine meal time saver on your hands because this recipe makes ready-to-serve food cubes that you can feed to your glider every day.

FAQs

What fruits can sugar gliders eat on the BML diet?

sugar glider eating a watermelon

The fruits a glider can eat on a BML diet include grapes, watermelon, papaya, apple, cherries, blueberries, and mango.

Do you use frozen mixed veggies in the sugar glider BML diet?

Yes, you can use frozen vegetables in the sugar glider BML diet. You can also feed frozen fruit. However, the best option is fresh fruit and veg. But frozen veggies are great if you’re short on time.

What should you not feed sugar gliders?

Food that you should not feed sugar gliders includes dairy, chocolate, kale, spinach, strawberries, raspberries, beets, and figs.

Can sugar gliders eat bananas?

Yes, sugar gliders can eat bananas but in limited amounts and only about once a week.

Conclusion

Sugar gliders have particular nutritional needs to stay healthy and happy.

The BML sugar glider diet for your pet will give it the amount of nutrition it gets from the wild.

What do you think? Consult your veterinarian now about the switch.

sugar glider eating grapes

Resources

  1. Feeding a Sugar Glider: What Sugar Gliders Eat and How Often. (2021, July 1). WebMD; pets.webmd.com. https://pets.webmd.com/feeding-a-sugar-glider
  2. “Diet History.” Glider Nursery, www.glidernursery.com/diet-history.html. Accessed 17 Apr. 2022.
  3. Caring for Your Pet Sugar Glider. https://cvm.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Caring-for-your-Sugar-Glider.pdf. Accessed 17 Apr. 2022
  4. Exotic, Ness. Care of Sugar Gliders. http://www.nessexotic.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Sugar-Glider-Care.pdf. Accessed 17 Apr. 2022
  5. “VetFolio.” Www.vetfolio.com, www.vetfolio.com/learn/article/what-should-sugar-gliders-eat. Accessed 17 Apr. 2022.
Alina Hartley
Alina Hartley

Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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