taking picture of snake with thing on his head: a sneak peek at the perilous process
booping snakes: endless fun
After packing away two mice yesterday Artemis’ fat belly is making it difficult for her to sleep with her head in the entrance to her hide. Check out that smooshed snoot!
Locust house! This is how I keep my locusts for my Beardie. I buy two prepacked boxes which equates to the number of locusts shown, per week for him. He eats 3 to 5 every other day and has spinach and water cress every day, with mineral and calcium supplements dusted on the greens.
The locusts have a calcium food pot (a jelly which I buy at the local reptile specialist store) and a water sponge which I freshen during the week with new water though they get hydration from the jelly too. The enclosure is usually meant for crickets but the store said locusts would do fine in it too, it has two trapdoors on either side to insert opaque gathering things (the long black stick in the picture!) where the locusts can hop in to hide, but also to collect a few for depositing in the tank more easily. It’s well ventilated and I keep them down in the cool, dry area below my python, in the same unit as her.
In my opinion, well cared for feeders make for a well cared for dragon! So I try and give my bugs a good life before they’re eaten. It’s only fair!
heh heh heh …
What people thank an animal should be kept in and what the animal actually should be kept in. (click the pictures)
Not based on personal preference, but observable fact. An animal kept in an environment that is too small is unhappy and stressed. This can absolutely lead to a short miserable life.
I see a lot of people, virtually every day, who have these preconceived notions about what an animal can live in. A hamster lives in a hamster cage of course, because the happy little hamster on the box says so! This cage is for finches, they even keep them in it at the store! My friend had a rabbit and it lived in that cage so I’ll get that one. This sort of dangerous socially accepted neglect is not just limited to bettas and goldfish. Mammals and birds are subject to it as well.
What people don’t realize is that almost all commercial or common cages are completely unacceptable as homes for what they are marketed for. Those guinea pig/rabbit cages? Garbage. Those tiny finch cages? Torture. That cute technicolor hamster cage? A gimmick.
All animals need a certain amount of space for enrichment and general well being. That does not mean the cages someone is trying to sell you. It means the cages that are best.
And to all those people who are thinking “Well I had a hamster in a cage that size and it was fine.”
You have only observed your animal. You have only observed the animal in a confined space and most likely showing signs of distress or behavioral problems. But you interpreted it as normal because that is all you know. You haven’t seen rabbits in appropriate sized cages. You haven’t seen parakeets in appropriate cages. You haven’t seen a hamster who is happy.
Signs and symptoms of cruelly confined hamsters. (The same applies to mice, gerbils, and rats):
- Biting the cage bars
- Obsessive digging
- "Laziness" (lack of foraging/exploring)
- Running in circles
Signs and symptoms of cruelly confined rabbits:
- Biting the cage bars
- Running in circles
- Bouncing off the cage walls
- Aggression, irritability when being held
- Cage aggression
- Constantly banging toys/decor around
Signs and symptoms of cruelly confined guinea pigs
- Biting the cage bars
- Banging their water bottle on the side of the enclosure constantly
- Aggression toward other guinea pigs or you
Signs and symptoms of cruelly confined parakeets
- Feather plucking
- Aggression to other parakeets
- Repetitive behaviors (constant singing into a corner, going from the same perch to the same perch over and over again)
Signs and symptoms of cruelly confined finches
- Aggression to other finches
- Flight tracing: Going from one perch to another in the exact same spot the exact same way over and over again
Animals are more complex than people give them credit for. They to do all of the natural behaviors they’re built to do. Exploring, foraging, playing, hiding, interacting (or not interacting) with another animal, etc. All of this is taken from them in cages like the ones above.
People need to educate themselves about an animal before getting one. It’s a thought that’s been said a million times over and yet nobody actually does it. The reality is people who want a hamster/guinea pig/rabbit are not going to sit down and read ten articles and three books waiting 2 months while they set everything up unless they are already enthusiasts who are willing to put that much into their pets. I can say from experience that over 80% of the people who buy pets buy them to make their kids happy with no regard to what the animal needs. What is most important to them is getting a present for their child regardless of any consequences that decision comes with.
So we have to try and get this information out there. We have to try and make THIS the general knowledge about these animals.
Resources and very good reads for anyone who has or wants any of the animals listed here. I’ll add more when I find them.
Guinea pigs: X
This is very important. i have seen so many animal live unfulfilled and short lives because of this.
Some additional notes from your friendly neighborhood Ethologist:
It should also be noted that many abnormal behaviors like
- Repetitive motions / locomotor stereotypies (pacing, rocking, obsessive digging, spinning, hopping, flipping, etc)
- Self-directed behaviors (self-plucking, over grooming, self clasping, self biting)
- Self-injurious behaviors (self directed behaviors to the point of bleeding or other injury that requires medical attention)
are not only a symptom of current housing enrichment conditions, but are often a result of negligent / restrictive rearing conditions!
If your pet has been weaned to early, isolate raised, peer raised (as opposed to mother raised), or undergone similar early life conditions there is a HIGH PROBABILITY that they will exhibit abnormal / manipulative behaviors as adults, EVEN WITH the best environmental enrichment and social housing conditions.
So please please please keep this in mind when looking at breeders / vendors for your pet. Ask them questions, talk with other customers about their pets from _____ place, and ask to see the conditions your prospective pet is raised in. A good breeder/institution will be proud of their hard work and animal care quality, and generally are quite happy to answer your questions.
Also, when shopping for your pet’s enrichment devices (i.e. the fun things you add to their housing), make sure to do some research on the species. In order for enrichment to be useful, it needs to be relevant to the animal’s species (and personal) characteristics. A little bit of research can help you promote your pet’s naturalistic behavior and promote their psychological well being.
I was going through my archives and I wanted to reblog this again because of how great it is.
Nothing weird going on here. Just defrosting dead rodents in boiling water. Y’know. Usual monday stuff.
hey, lil pro tip: boiling water isn’t good for thawing dead prey (it weakens cell walls, partially cooks the prey and you end up with possibly exploding animals).
best way of thawing prey is to leave them in the fridge overnight and then warm them, either ziplocked in hot water (not boiling) or under a controlled heat lamp. I like the heat lamp thing best, because the prey turns out dry and hot, but it can literally cook pinky/fuzzy mice so one must be vigilant - the threshold between “body temperature” and “cajun” is pretty slender at those prey sizes.
anyhow since I never remember to do that, putting them in a ziploc in hot water, refreshed a few times, will also do the job.
Thanks for the advice, I wish I’d read it before I did it and had a rat and mouse explode everywhere and spent 40 minutes cleaning blood off my snakes and their tanks x_x
I usually just leave them to thaw at room temperature and then heat the head with a lamp just before feeding, to give it a heat signature but I heard putting them in hot water was faster so I gave it a go and it went horribly wrong.
Ah well lesson learned I suppose! I think I’ll stick to the heat lamp method as you say x)
tw: gross talk about dead rodents