Ren's WILDlife

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RandomWiktor

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Here's some pics of the hamster (not very good ones unfortunately) since I realized I only posted the shot of her DOOMnails.

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She has really gross fur. I'm hoping a good diet, clean environment, and some sand bathing will clear it up.
 

Dragonrain

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I really enjoy reading your updates. Poor hamster - she is lucky that you found her.

SO sorry to hear about Buddy. At least he was well taken care of before he passed. I agree, I think it's very sad the lessons that some children are taught about animals.

I know what you mean about spring - I call it "Spring madness". And my rabbits, keep in mind, are all fixed, so I can't imagine how much worse it is for you. My spayed female is the worst - the first week here when the weather started getting nicer, and the days longer, she kept me up every single night for over a week. Note to self - Yes it's nice to have the bunnies close, but when we get a house, the bunny room should not be right next to our bedroom!
 

undergunfire

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I like your mouse tank - it looks very natural. I'd like to do that with Dex to see if he likes a more natural setting or a cool bachelor pad :p.

What do you feed your mice? On the mouse forum they don't think a homemade diet is okay because you might not be providing them with "everything they need". Well, I suppose I heavily disagree because I don't see how an over priced package hamster/gerbil mix (they say mouse/rat is too high in protein) is better then my mostly organic human grade food grain mix. I purchased some packaged diet (they all recommend Tropical Carnival or whatever) last night and it doesn't smell fresh, some seeds look like they are dyed colors, there are weird bits of oddly shaped kibble things, AND I had to pick out all of the corn/alfalfa bits (there went a pound's worth of my money in the trash, LOL). I just feel like I can make up a waaaay better mixture that I know is FRESH. I already make one up for my rats, but I'd need to put together a separate one for Dex with more seeds & such (my rats is made to their liking as they are picky).
 

RandomWiktor

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I feed a rodent block "staple" (in this case Oxbow), but I do enrich with a mix of fresh grains/legumes/seeds since they are granivores, then add a bit of leafy greens, low sugar veg, and insects a couple times per week, and very rarely some fruit. My current "mouse mix" includes wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat, grain millet, oat groats, sesame, golden flax, brown flax, chia, safflower, mung beans, adzuki beans, green lentils, black lentils, and channa. This is goes in enrichment boxes. Then they get stuff like collared greens, kale, brocolli raab, autumn squashes, root veg, crickets, roaches, mealworms, etc. about twice weekly. And every once in a while I'll give them a wee bit of fruit.

ETA: Oh yeah, I definitely suggest an enrichment area! I let my mice out in my bathtub filled with toys (bird gyms and the like)and foraging activities, and also have a digging bin with a soil/sand mix, natural wood, hay, etc.It's a great way to give them alot of stimulationwithout having an insanely complicated or HUGE cage.
 

Myia09

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Ren, we feed similar things! I feed my hamsters a simliar mix, but I do not feed blocks.

Amy, don't let them tell you that. I really believe its no different..just go right on ahead and read the lables on the packages. You can buy all of them seperate as whole pieces..the only thing you don't get is the viatamin enrichments, but when you buy them in whole rather then when they are made into a pellet, the nutrition increases. I am not going to hijack Ren's blog, but I am about to post something similar on my blog.

Ren, I love that little hamster. I love the tan colors of dwarfs. Since my dwarf passed away at 5 years, I have thought of getting another. He was a rescue, and had diabeties which I regulated through diet. He was also literally the size of my hand..a very fat unhealthy hamster. He developed a tumor which was removed, then had arthritus. But man did he kick those 5 years!

I really love your Diamond doves!

I am going to ask a question too :p
Do you have any suggestions for a Syrian tank? I have tried 20 gallon tanks and then a simliar in size piggy cage, but I feel like he is missing something.
 

RandomWiktor

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Yeah, the blocks are mostly "insurance" to me - just to make sure they're getting what they need. I'm not a huge fan of processed diets for any animal, but kindof like my bunnies get a little bit of pellets, so too do most of the rest, juuust to err on the side of caution. I guess I don't have enough confidence in my ability to completely avoid deficiency to go 100% home made *laughs* I do go for higher end pellets - the rodents and bunnies get Oxbow, the parrots get T.O.P, and so fourth - but I definitely try to incorporate as much organic, whole, and fresh items as possible (esp. for the parrots).

As far as for the hamsters? Well, I had a looksie in your blog (CUTE syrian btw :) ), and it's a very cool set-up. I think maybe some chewing and shredding toys of variable materials, maybe a sand bath pit (they actually really love chinchilla sand, though not finer chinchilla dust), some items to choose different beddings from, etc. might be fun if you want to add more. :)

Some good "alternative" chewing or shredding stuffs for making hamster toys with, other than wood, includes: wicker, cholla, loofah, shredders (a parrot toy of woven reed), stuffed coin rolls, chipboard, chinese finger traps, etc. I like making hanging toys so they don't take up floor space, plus hammy has to stretch up to play with them. But the rodent equivalent of parrot "foot toys" - basically, something the hamster can carry around in its mouth or manipulate with its paws - are a lot of fun too.

I also like to hang little baskets or metal hanging things stuffed with different beddings to choose from - fleece, shredded paper, soft hays, etc. as I think it's enriching for them to "forage" for stuff to line their nest with.

Lastly, and I'm not sure if you already do this, but divying at least part of the diet up through enrichment toys is always fun. One of my favorites is little chipboard boxes from AC Moore. I wrap up food in paper, stuff it in the box, tie the box securely shut with hemp, then hang it. The rodent has to chew down the box, chew it open, tear through the paper, etc. to get its food. Great enrichment. Simpler toys like a paper towel roll full of food with both ends stuffed shut, or a coin roll or finger trap stuffed with food, works great as well. It's a wonderful way to keep those lazy hammies slim and trim!
 

Myia09

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Yeah, unfortunatly I took picture before I added toys or fixed the wheel.
Like birdie shredders? I give those to my chins, lol.

But everything you included he has (I make my own toys)

I like the basket idea!

Well, I usually put them in little "boxes" so he can dig through them, I order them online through a chinchilla website. I wil ltry the paper towel thing..I usually reserve them for my chins but I think it would be great!

Thanks!
 

RandomWiktor

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I released the assassin bug today! I was going to wait longer, but frankly the longer a wild animal is in captivity, the greater the opportunity to muck something up and kill it. I released him in the same field I that Coco found Thanator (Steve's bunny) in during my pet sit. There is plenty of milkweed growing there, perfect for an assassin bug that prefers to live and hunt on this plant. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera charged (grrrrrr) so I don't have any photos :( Oh well. I'll DEFINITELY get photos of the snapping turtle release!

I'm waiting on shipping supplies so I can send out my foster bettas. Polly the American Bullfrog already went to her new home, and this coming weekend the six common goldfish go into the big stock tank to start putting some better growth on for thier rehome this summer.

Unfortunately it looks like the Turner Gecko will still be homeless. I'm about ready to just build him a permenant enclosure and call it a day. I'm already working on enclosures with custom backgrounds for Asha and Draco, so what's the trouble of making one more? If he does get adopted, I'll have a SWEET arboreal set-up available for the next wayward critter.

I don't have a very meaningful entry today, so here's some goofy pet pictures:

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Platelet bites off more than he can chew

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Failboat doing his impression of a star...?

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Pretty Bird is a messy eater.

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Cucumis being GANGSTER.

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Invisible dentist!

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RandomWiktor

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Last night, I had a rabbit nightmare - or what I wish was just something terrible fabricated in my mind. :(

See, I am not a big fan of rabbits despite owning two and being on a forum for them. It's not that I don't feel they deserve the utmost humane consideration, and I would certainly go out of my way to help one. I regularly rear orphaned litters despite the expense and heartache, and have been trying VERY hard to do better by my own rabbits. Yet regardless, I have a general unfondness of rabbits, and after thinking long about it, I think I know why.

You've heard me mention that Brindam came from a hoarder's barn. What you may not know was that before I turned the barn's owner in to humane authorities, I spend almost eight years volunteering at her barn. The barn was a not-for-profit educational barn (not a rescue) when it started, but spiraled out of control due to the owner's hoarding problems. From about age eight until age 16 or so, I volunteered at this barn with my mom. When we started, it was a fairly nice place. By the time we left, it was pure hell.

I think back and the rabbits suffered the most of any creature there. I remember finding dead rabbits every day, usually babies, due to disease, fighting, and hunger. Some escaped feral only for us to find their coyote-mangled caracasses strewn across the fields. I had to contend with animals with ammonia scald, maggot infestations, eye and ear infections, overgrown teeth, serious fight injuries and abcesses, etc. all while a very young child.

I think the worst was when a one winged crow living there escaped and got into the rabbits' nest boxes. I spent over an hour cleaning up pieces of baby rabbits; tiny paws and ears. The worst was finding half of a face in a water bowl. This happened when I wasn't even a teenager, but over ten years later it is burned in my mind still.

I thought of these rabbits after a nightmare called back to my memory so many of their sweet faces and pain wracked bodies. I thought of my own poorly cared for early childhood rabbits, the ones my parents left neglected in small cages or even gave away when they became inconvenient. I thought of the terrible experience with the fraudulent rescue, of those two babies that died screeching and bleeding in my hands. I thought of wildlife patients with horrific injuries from cats, lawnmowers. I thought of my terrified drive to a vet's office, one of my first driving experiences, transporting a dying sanctuary rabbit through back roads in upstate New York and wondering if it would have lived had someone more experienced driven.

I realized that the reason why I generally avoid working with rabbits, why I "don't like" them, is that rabbitsrepresent immense suffering to me. I associate them with some of the most painful memories in my early life, because at heart I do care about them and do love them.

When my dreams awoke me, I laid on the couch snuggling Thanator, thinking him the start of a change in how I feel about rabbits. He came from the worst possible situation - abandoned and in the jaws of a dog - and now has a wonderful loving home.

I need to close the chapters of my past and start writing a new story about my life with rabbits. This, in my mind, makes it all the more important that I do the best I can by my current rabbits. Why I must help rabbits whenever I am able. I can see Wendy and Brindam through the window of the computer room, stretched out lounging in the early morning sun. I think we're off to a good start.
 

JadeIcing

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:hug::pink iris:

You are an amazing young woman who does wonderful things for all animals.



P.S. I got Bo eatting poultry and even some veggies (mixed in with meat). :highfive:
 

RandomWiktor

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So glad to hear he's accepting more foods :)


My mom was on vacation for a week and I had full control of all the critters. It was nice. When she's home, she tends to "kill them with kindness" by slipping them all kinds of junkfood and treats - including the bunnies. She's been back a DAY and Brindam has "mud butt." I asked her what treats she fed her and she said that the rabbits "looked hungry" so she gave them both an extra scoop of pellets. Brindam's supposed to get HALF of a scoop, so 3x her normal pellet ammount was definitely enough to do it. -_- She's too old for this. I realized that my idea of her age might be off by a bit. I got her 2-3 years prior to 2004. So she may be as old as nine; at this point my original estimate of seven is her MINMUM age.

Thankfully, I have a job prospect a few hours upstate. If I get it, I'll not only be working with bunnies every day, but Brindam can come with me. Wendy probably can not, which I feel a unsettled about, but Wendy IS technically my mom's rabbit and she wants her to stay. I worry a bit about her health in my mom's care as she'll probably get too many carrots and pellets, but what can I really do? I'll leave lots of nutritional info and call to make sure she's getting enough attention, at any rate, if I do move.

Steve's been feeling a bit under the weather lately, so I took my two skinks home from his place to relieve some of his workload. I'm excited to have them at my place; they're super cute! Here's a couple of pics:

Rob the Schneider Skink:
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Molotov the Fire Skink:
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Hopefully I'll have more time to post something substantive over the next few days, perhaps some more bunny pics as well (as this allegedly a bunny blog, after all!)
 

Myia09

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I love fire skinks, but blue tounges forever hold a place in my heart!

They are really adorable.

Have you ever worked with Jewled Lacertas?
 

Myia09

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Okay, I am going to bother you. I really hate my hamsters cage..so I have been wanting to get a Zoo Zone after many UK reconmendations. I have found only ONE US dealer..but the only one they have is the smaller one.

His current cage is 25 long, 12 wide, 12 high.

The Zoo Zone is 28.25"L x 18"D x 12.4"H

Do you think that is enough? It is alos $25 cheaper, which is better for me.

The larger one is 39.25"L x 20"D x 16.75"H but I was told they might be out of stock for months.

I mean, I much rather get the large one, but if they dont have it, they don't have it. What should I do?



*edit..shipping is a whopping $39..so even the $75 comes to 112..so that means the large cage will be about $140!!!! That is insane for a hamster cage!
 
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