Can Sugar Gliders Eat Chicken? [What About Turkey?]

Can sugar gliders eat chicken? What about turkey? If you’re the owner of a sugar glider you’ll most likely be filled with questions like these, and with every question you answer, a new one pops into your head. Especially when it comes to their diet a lot of people face a lot of unknowns. After all, most people do not have the chance to observe sugar gliders very often until they get one as a pet so they are unfamiliar with what they can and can’t eat.

In today’s sugar glider guide I’m going to mainly focus on one question: can sugar gliders eat chicken and turkey?

I hope to give a complete answer to this question so you can make an informed decision on whether or not to give this to your glider.

If you want a quick answer, this is it: Sugar gliders can eat chicken and turkey. They are a good source of protein and are not harmful to your glider. You do have to make sure that you cook the meat thoroughly and never feed it raw because raw poultry is not good for them.

What’s in chicken and turkey?

picture of chicken breast

Chicken and turkey are both poultry, but they’re not completely the same in their nutritional content. What’s more, the different parts of these birds have different nutritional values. For the sake of simplicity, I’m only going to focus this section on the nutritional value of chicken and turkey breast rather than dissecting each part of these birds one by one. The differences are not that major anyway (the main differences are in calorie and fat count).

According to the USDA, 100 grams of chicken and turkey contains the following:

Nutrient Chicken Breast (100 grams) Turkey Breast (100 grams)
Calories 165 135
Protein 31 grams 30.1 grams
Carbs 0 grams 0 grams
Fat 3.6 grams 0.7 grams
Sugars 0 grams 0 grams
Cholesterol 85 mg 83 mg

Both of these pieces of poultry also contain Vitamin B and niacin

As the table shows, turkey is leaner, having lower fat, protein, and calories. However, for the rest, the two pieces of poultry are pretty similar in nutritional makeup.

Is chicken good for sugar gliders?

Now that we know what’s exactly in chicken and turkey, let’s discuss if they need it and if you can feed it to them.

The first thing we can say is that there’s no compound in these foods that directly harmful to your sugar bear’s health.

Both have very high protein content. Ideally, the sugar glider’s diet should consist of around 50% protein, 25% fruits, and 25% vegetables. By feeding them poultry you will reach this protein threshold pretty quickly.

However, in the wild sugar gliders obviously do not eat chicken or turkey, these animals are way too big for them. In the wild, they get their protein from insects. The best diet in my opinion is always closest to their natural diet, and therefore I prefer feeding them insects to reach their protein requirement, but chicken will work too.

The bottom line is that there’s nothing harmful in chicken for sugar gliders and that they’re a good source of protein. They can eat wings, thighs, drumsticks, and breasts, but breasts are the best choice.

Do sugar gliders like eating poultry?

sugar glider eating chicken picture
A picture of a sugar glider munching on some chicken

We know now that sugar gliders can eat poultry, but do they like it? After all, it’s pointless to know if they can eat it if they won’t eat it.

This is a bit of a tricky question. It highly depends on your glider. There’s a decent chance that yours will eat it, but it’s also very possible that yours will not want to eat it at all. If it’s the latter, respect their wishes and meet their protein requirements in another way, for instance with insects.

Alternatives

If your gliders aren’t interested in eating poultry, try feeding them some of these foods instead:

  • Cucumbers
  • Strawberries
  • Potatoes
  • Small pieces of whole wheat bread (on occasion)
  • Rice

To learn more about the sugar glider’s diet and a complete list of what they can eat, visit this page. It will also teach you what foods are harmful to your sugar glider.

How to feed chicken and turkey to your sugar glider

cooked chicken breast for sugar glider

Okay, so far we’ve established that they can eat poultry without any adverse effects and that most gliders like it. Let’s see how we can best prepare this food for them, shall we?

You should never feed them raw chicken or turkey. These contain pathogens like salmonella which can make your glider very sick. The best way to prepare poultry for them is by cooking or boiling it without any spices or salt – just plain, good ‘ol chicken/turkey.

You do of course have to serve the poultry in small pieces. Gliders are tiny creatures and there’s no way they can eat an entire piece in one go. Cut it into a small enough piece so that they can hold it in their paws.

If your glider has never eaten poultry before, I highly recommend introducing it into their diet slowly, by feeding them small amounts of it, so that their little stomach can get used to it.

Related questions

Now, let’s take a look at some related questions. Poultry might be safe, but that doesn’t mean that all other poultry products are also safe to eat.

Can sugar gliders eat chicken nuggets or fingers?

They can eat it but they definitely shouldn’t, they shouldn’t have any fried food. It’s not healthy for them due to the high amounts of fat and calories in it. Best to just give them plain chicken instead.

What meat can sugar gliders eat?

The primary meat they should eat is insects. You can also feed them chicken, as we’ve discussed, or lean unseasoned beef on special occasions.

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