This is quite a bit to read but if you’re considering having an intact male with a female at ALL.. EVER.. please read this!
Breeding is NOT all rainbows and lollipops. YES, joeys are cute, but adults are JUST as cute! Please, read on!
Many people breed gliders that are related, this results in mothers eating/rejecting joeys because they can often sense health problems. You may never see joeys, the mother can pull them right out of her own pouch and eat them. You may notice mom has a baby-bump one day but it’s gone the next. That’s her pulling the joey out of the pouch prematurely. You may see joeys grow and come OOP and they may seem OK, but I’ve heard of mothers rejecting those joeys as old as 8-12 weeks and eating them. Someone goes to play with their gliders and reaches into the pouch to find a half eaten joey. It is NOT a pretty sight. You have to be prepared to deal with this kind of loss and the heartache seeing a half eaten joey can cause. Many people get angry at the parents after this happens but this is nature, you can NOT blame/hate/rehome the parents. After all, you are the one who wanted them to breed!
Some joeys may make it and survive, some have health defects that show from the day they are born, some have health problems that don’t show until later in life. Some babies were born that had constant tremors, they couldn’t stop shaking. Some gliders are deformed in other ways. Inbreeding can lead to missing limbs or eyes, too. anything is possible. While you may want cute joeys now, or not have the money for a neuter now.. these sick and inbred gliders can lead to hundreds and easily thousands in vet bills for you later! It’s so much easier to prevent it now than try to clean up the mess later.
Even if your gliders aren’t inbreeding.. joeys can be rejected. It happens all the time. Either she’ll neglect them leaving you to care for them, keep them warm and feed them every hour for weeks. (They wean at around 8 weeks, typically.) Or they can pull/eat them, too. But be prepared, even if you’re using lineage and breeding, sometimes due to stress or whatever reason a mother can reject a joey and you’ll be responsible for that joey or joeys(one girl had three joeys to hand raise at once, that is a FULL time job and more, not to be taken lightly) around the clock. I’ve missed work to stay home and care for joeys myself, it is a very hard thing to do, you give up work, any type of social life you had, often sleep and eating, too. It’s very time consuming. That is why you should have an emergency kit ready, you’ll need milk replacer, syringes for feeding, pedylate if the joey is(commonly) dehydrated.. there’s quite a few things you should have on hand, even if expecting the best outcome.
Also, from mating, inbreeding or not, mating wounds often occur. The male bites the back of the female’s neck and this can result in a small hole/puncture wound, missing fur, a large gaping hole.. I’ve dealt with one mating injury personally, we rushed her to the vet at 3AM and it cost about 300 dollars. Many people don’t have a vet ready, don’t have money to go to the vet at a moment’s notice or don’t have a vet that’s open late at night or a way to get to a vet. Well these little buggers are nocturnal. You can BET if something happens there’s a good chance you’ll notice it from 8PM to 4AM. The only problems I’ve seen have happened during those times but of course they can wake up during the day occasionally, too. You never know. There is a LOT to prepare for. Also, if a mating wound occurs, you need to prepare to have an extra cage on hand, they will need to be split up because odds are A: she’s still in heat and he may try mating again and wounding her further, B: he may try to groom her wound making it worse, gliders are notorious for this! So you need to be ready with a spare cage at all times when you own gliders.
Your glider could already be inbred or related to it’s cagemate! Even if you know you got your gliders from different areas.. A: Your glider could ALREADY be inbred without you knowing, people lie! And B: People ship gliders from one end of the country to the other, it’s VERY common. People also drive cross country, move from state to state. Just getting them from different states doesn’t mean they aren’t related. ONLY lineage can let you know for sure if they are unrelated.
Many people let gliders breed as early as 4-5 months. This is like letting a 11-12 year old girl have a baby just because she’s hitting puberty, it is not ok! A mother that young can reject her joeys and it can cause damage to her body too if she tries to support them at such a young age.
It’s best to breed only when you have years of experience with gliders as pets so you’re prepared. Also it’s best to only breed gliders with lineage so you know you’re not inbreeding! Even if you have experience, think about it.. why are you breeding? There are tons of gliders on craigslist and hoobly each day looking for homes because people are breeding for money. A lady in Florida recently surrendered gliders to a rescue.. they started out with two gliders, that cage now had two gliders. They can and will mate with their offspring and relatives. Dad will mate with daughter, son with mother, brother and sister. This can result in horrible genetic defects. There are already so many gliders out there in these terrible situations, why put more gliders through the same stress?