Feeding a sugar glider isn’t easy. In fact, they’re among the hardest pets to feed. These exotic animals need a diet that’s well balanced to stay healthy and providing them with it is not always easy to do.
Today I want to take a look at whether or not sugar gliders can eat broccoli. I’m sure you’ve pondered about this question yourself. I know I have, and it wasn’t easy to find a satisfying answer so I did some research and I will share my findings with you here today.
Luckily, Sugar gliders can eat broccoli just fine. It’s a good, nutritious part of their diet that can be included on occasion but not too often. The vegetable is low in calories but contains a ton of fiber and other essential vitamins and minerals. Nothing in the plant is necessarily bad for your glider, but you do have to keep in mind that it can make them slightly gassy.
To get all the information you need to properly add broccoli to your glider’s diet, keep reading and I’ll tell you everything you need to know.
Taking a closer look at broccoli
Broccoli is a green vegetable in the cabbage family. It is often considered to be a superfood. It’s one of those foods that’s low in calories and fat while at the same time being very rich in several vitamins and minerals.
To find out if there’s anything in this plant that’s bad for our furry friends let’s take a closer look at this vegetable’s nutritional profile, shall we?
This vegetable is mainly made up of water, a staggering 89% of the plant is water. The rest is mainly protein and carbs (mostly fiber and a smaller amount of sugar) with a negligible amount of fat. As far as energy goes, a cup of this vegetable contains only 31 calories.
This is good news. The low amount of fat and calories means that’s it’s very hard to overfeed your glider on this vegetable. Also, the large amount of fiber and water content means that it aids their digestion. Further, the fact that it contains a relatively large amount of protein is also
But that’s not all, it is also packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Let’s take a look.
As is the case with most fruits and vegetables broccoli contains a good amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C functions as an antioxidant. Since sugar gliders eat quite a lot of vegetables and fruits they shouldn’t have any problems getting enough vitamin C but it’s still nice that broccoli contains a good amount of it.
Another vitamin that this vegetable is rich in is K1. K1 is good for your glider’s bone health.
Broccoli is very rich in antioxidants. I’ve already mentioned vitamin C but that’s far from the only antioxidant that can be found in this food. Did you know that it also contains Sulforaphane, Kaempferol, and Quercetin?
Antioxidants are essential in maintaining good health. They prevent DNA damage and other age-related diseases so it’s great that this vegetable is such a good source of it!
The calcium to phosphorus ratio
For sugar glider owners it’s very important to know the calcium to phosphorus ratio of the foods they feed their pets. I’m sure you’ve heard of this ratio by now, but if you haven’t, I’ll give a brief explanation. What this ratio means is that gliders need more calcium in their diet than phosphorus. This is because phosphorus affects the rate of calcium absorption. As a result, if they have too much phosphorus they can have health issues due to a lack of calcium.
Now, broccoli has a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 0.7:1 for the florets and 1.1:1 for the stalks.
You might think that this ratio is not ideal and you’d be correct. However, this is not a huge issue. The calcium to phosphorus ratio applies to their whole diet, not to single foods. Besides, the ratio can sometimes be misleading. Consider the following: if you give your glider a food with 1mg calcium and 5 mg phosphorus this food will have a ratio of 1:5, which sounds awful, right? But then if you ALSO feed them a food that contains 200 mg calcium and 100 mg phosphorus that food will have a ratio of 2:1 and will easily balance out the other food.
To learn more about the calcium to phosphorus ratio I recommend reading this.
Cooked or raw broccoli for sugar gliders?
You can feed both raw and cooked broccoli to your sugar glider. However, there are a few things you have to know before you make your decision on how to feed it to your suggies.
First, you must know that by boiling you will greatly diminish the Vitamin C and other nutrient contents found in the vegetable. The heat destroys these nutrients. This effect can be reduced by steaming instead of boiling or feeding it raw.
If you decide to feed raw broccoli to your sugar glider you must make sure that you wash it carefully. The plant can contain quite a lot of pesticides if it’s non-organic, and you do not want your glider to ingest those. The scientifically proven best way to get rid of any pesticides found on the plant is by using a mixture of baking soda and water. However, if you’re in a hurry you can also just wash it thoroughly under running water.
How much broccoli can sugar gliders safely eat?
Not that much. Sugar gliders don’t eat a lot because they’re so small. In an ideal situation, only 10% of their caloric intake comes from fruits and vegetables (around 2-3) teaspoons a day.
On top of that, they need a large variety of diverse fruits and vegetables. All of this means that they should not eat broccoli too often. Other vegetables are better suited for them, such as celery. You can find a good list of the best vegetables for gliders here.
Do gliders enjoy eating broccoli?
That highly depends on your glider. Some will love it, others will hate it. There’s nothing you can do about that because they can be highly picky eaters. If you notice that your gliders don’t want to eat broccoli, don’t worry about it. There are many other vegetables that they can eat instead such as:
Here’s a complete list of vegetables that gliders can eat. As you can see there are plenty of alternatives, so nothing to worry about.
Well, there you have it, everything you need to know about sugar gliders and broccoli! I hope this article gave you a satisfactory answer to your question and that you’ve learned something new about nutrition for your glider.
If there’s anything you’d like to ask, feel free to leave a comment down below.
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