Sunday, December 3, 2017

Exotic Pets: Cheetahs

Cheetah - Photo: Wikipedia
Cheetah is one of the exotic animals which are kept as pets since five thousand years and can be dated back to Ancient Egyptian civilization. Initially, they were used for hunting. Scientifically known as Acinonyx Jubatus, they are fastest of the wild cats and also amongst the animals but aren’t good at climbing trees like other cats. They are capable of reaching a speed of seventy miles per hour and within merely three seconds they can accelerate from zero mph to seventy mph. The length of the cheetah’s body ranges from forty-five to fifty-five inches and the weight ranges from ninety to one hundred and forty pounds.  

They originated from Africa and can be found in other parts of the world such as Central Asia and Iran. They have an elongated body with a small head and narrow waist, which facilitates aerodynamics. Cheetahs have semi-retractable blunt claws which help them to get a good grip during fast pursuits. The color of its coarse fur is tan and has small black spots.  A rare kind of cheetah known as King Cheetah is larger in size with big merging spots. Its Thirty-three-inch long tail is encircled with five to six black circles and it helps in taking sharp turns as it acts like a rudder. Black lines which start from its eyes and run along the sides of the nose towards the mouth are called tear marks. These lines enable them to see long distances and minimize the glare of the sun.  

Cheetahs can be trained very easily and also they are very caring animals. They make noises such as chirp, yowl, yip, growl and hiss and their purr is very deafening. But they do not have the ability to roar like other big cats and also are diurnal, whereas others are nocturnal. They are carnivorous animals and hunt for small mammals and young ones of larger mammals. Cheetahs hunt when it isn’t hot, like at dawn and dusk. They also do not go after animals which they cannot get hold of easily and they hunt not by smell but by vision. Nearly fifty percent of attempts end in failure as they give up fast. One of the reasons can be the immense heat which is generated while running, which can be serious for the animal. They rest for at least half hour after the intense chase.  They also have the ability to make sounds of some birds, in order to catch them. 

Cheetahs always eye for the animal which is distant from its herd. It chases the animal and then trips it. After the animal falls, it suffocates the animal by biting underneath the throat as it does not have the strength to break the neck. For some reason, they do not hunt weak and old animals. During high-speed chases, cheetahs can get adequate oxygen with the help of big nostrils. They also have an enlarged heart and lungs which utilize the oxygen to the maximum by increasing the respiratory rate while running. 

Cheetahs also fall under the category of endangered species. Many organizations and acts have been implemented to conserve them. One of the reasons for their endangerment is that they are environmentally sensitive and are the most vulnerable. When held in captivity, they should be provided with their natural habitat. Studies have proven that there is a lack of genetic diversity in cheetahs which are held in captivity. They don’t reproduce regularly like other felines and find it difficult to breed. Also, their lifespan decreases and the rate of survival are low. In residential areas, they have been killed by poachers on large scale for protecting cattle. Such farmers are now being provided with dogs that can guard the livestock and scare away the wild cheetah. It has also being hunted for its fur with a beautiful pattern. 

To obtain a permit to keep cheetahs as pets are not only a big problem for individual owners but also for big zoos. People who have a passion for cheetahs and haven’t got the permission to own them can donate generously to conserve the species.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Exotic Pets: Capuchin Monkey

Capuchin Monkey - Photo: Pixabay
Capuchin monkeys had their name derived from the Franciscan Capuchin whose cowl is similar to the coloration of the monkeys. They belong to the Cebinae family and Cebus genus. These monkeys are found in Central America and South America. Also known as sapajou, these species of monkeys are considered to be the most intelligent of all present species of monkeys. 

The face, neck, and chest of capuchins are white colored whereas the rest of the body is either brown or black colored. Their body grows up to twelve to twenty-two inches in height and their hairy tails are also usually the same length as the body. Their average body weight is two pounds. The males weigh more than the females. When they are held in captivity, they can live up to forty-five years, but in the wild habitat, they can live only for fifteen to twenty-five years. They stay awake during the day and sleep at night except for the midday nap they take. During the day, they spend most of the time looking for food and at night, they sleep on the branches of the trees. 

Capuchins are very social and live in a group of eight to forty males, females and their children. The area where the whole group lives together is marked by the smell of urine and intruders are not welcomed. A strong male controls the whole group and mates with the rest of the females in the group to produce offspring. Male and female capuchins smell each other to know whether the other is sexually mature or not. A female capuchin monkey has the capability of reproducing after every two years. Their pregnancy period lasts from five to six months.

The offspring clings to the chest of the mother and when they grow big enough, they shift to their back. They expect their mothers to babysit till they are three months old. Male capuchins have no participation in the upbringing of their offspring. But if people want to keep them as pets, before keeping them as pets, they can be neutered.  The whole group finds solace in grooming, which they also use as a means of expressing their feelings.  They even reduce millipedes to pieces so as to rub that on their body to repel insects and mosquitoes.  

Capuchins are very intelligent mammals and have been known to use various tools which assist them in their daily life. They drink the juice of palm nut fruits from the tip and then let them dry. After they dry, they will collect them and break them with the help of a big boulder collected from the rivers. They have the ability to walk on their feet with food and tools in their hands. They are also clever enough to find food on the ground as well as on trees. Unlike other monkeys, they are omnivorous. Along with eating food like seeds, nuts, fruits, flowers they also feed on eggs of birds, small birds, insects, spiders, reptiles, bats and even small mammals. Some of them who live near water bodies also feed on shellfishes and crabs, which they crack open with the help of stones.  

They aren’t fussy about their environment; hence it is easy to maintain them as pets. People also favor to keep them as pets because they are good organ grinders and also as service animals. They are also kept as pets to help quadriplegics (people whose all four limbs are paralyzed) around the house. They are trained for this purpose by many organizations. They have the capability to open bottles, microwave food and even wash the face of the patient. They are also safe around kids in the house as they are very gentle in nature. They can also be taught tricks and some have even starred in movies. Capuchins are also the most oppressed among the pet animals. They also become troublesome when they reach sexual maturity, which often confuses the owner. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017


Winter White Russian Dwarf Hamster
Winter White Russian Dwarf Hamster
(Photo credit: 
The phrase dwarf hamster is commonly used to describe a group of hamsters that, although they share common traits, are quite unique in and of themselves.

All dwarf hamsters belong to the genus Phodopus, with the exception of the Chinese dwarf hamster - it belongs to a different genus altogether but is commonly referred to as a dwarf hamster because it shares so much in common with other dwarf hamsters.

The biggest difference between dwarf hamsters and Syrian hamsters is that dwarf hamsters tend to be far more social than Syrian hamsters. As you may already know you must never put another hamster in with a Syrian hamster, especially a dwarf hamster. The Syrian hamster is extremely territorial and will kill any other hamster that is introduced to its cage.

Dwarf hamsters do best when housed with one or two other dwarf hamsters of roughly the same size and breed. This means that although you can house a Campbell's Dwarf hamster with a Winter White hamster it will cause less stress on the hamsters to be housed with dwarf hamsters of their own breed.

A very important point to keep in mind is that unless you want to start breeding hamsters you must separate the male dwarf hamsters from the female dwarf hamsters. They are sexually mature at a very young age and will get pregnant early and often unless they are separated!

If you want to have several dwarf hamsters sharing the same cage it's best to get dwarf hamsters that were previously housed with other hamsters as they are used to the company. Be careful when introducing a new hamster to a cage previously occupied by a solitary dwarf hamster - he may have grown used to being alone and may challenge the new arrival.

If you do introduce a new dwarf hamster to a cage with an existing dwarf hamster then be prepared to hear some interesting hamster sounds and some minor scuffling. Don't be alarmed by this - it's likely due to the two hamsters trying to establish who's boss, and it rarely escalates into serious violence. Monitor the cage to make sure that the original hamster doesn't attack the new arrival - as mentioned above, sometimes they just get used to being alone and won't tolerate any new upstarts!

The most popular types of dwarf hamsters to keep as pets are the Campbell's Dwarf hamster, the Winter White hamster, the Roborovski hamster, and the Chinese hamster. The most popular of these is the Campbell's Dwarf hamster. The Cambell's Dwarf hamster was discovered in 1902 in Mongolia and is characterized by its trademark furry feet and a short tail. If handled properly the Campbell's Dwarf hamster can be quite tame and friendly.

Winter White hamsters are unique in the hamster world in that they can change the colour of their fur to a snowy white about once per year. In the wild, this usually occurs around September, but domestic Winter White hamsters can change colour several times per year based on the amount of sunlight they're exposed to.

Roborovski hamsters tend to be the smallest of the dwarf hamsters, reaching only about two inches in length when fully grown. They are very gentle and extremely fast, so try not to let one escape as you'll have an extremely difficult time getting him back!

Chinese hamsters are often called the rat-like dwarf hamster, owing to its long tail and thin body. They tend to be more aggressive than the other dwarf hamsters and are better off housed alone, except when you want to breed them. Once breeding is complete the male and female Chinese hamsters should be separated again.

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Sugar Glider - Photo: Flickr
Sugar gliders are marsupials belonging to Indonesia, Australia and New Guinea. They are small gliding possums and weight up to three to five oz. They have a silky fur of the color pearl grey with patches of colors cream and black. The black color is usually on their ears and end of the tail. They are named sugar gliders because they are able to glide because of the patagium or the skin membrane which connects the first toe of the hind foot with the fifth finger of the forelimb, on either side. They expand them to create an aerodynamic plane to glide from one tree to another. 

Sugar gliders have the habit of nibbling on each other, and this shouldn’t be confused with biting. They nibble to do many things like testing food, to show affection, force, groom, etc. Babies initially are taught by biting. When they are angered, they get aggressive and bite really hard. So, new owners should be alert until the pets become familiar and stop biting. Care should be taken that this biting shouldn’t turn into a habit. In case, if it turns into a regular behavior, the animal should be held firmly when it bites, so that it cannot move and gets tired of crabbing. Although this takes a long time the pet will eventually get over its natural instinct. The animal must submit to the owner and it shouldn’t be given the feeling it has won. He should also be released very slowly; otherwise, it will bite again and flee. Also, they can be fed with some food, to appreciate their discipline when they start learning. They also become comfortable with humans, when they eat in front of them. Usually, female sugar gliders are tough to tame, especially those which come directly from the wild. 

Sugar gliders come from a very rough environment. They are basically hunting animals. So they should be provided with a rich environment so that they don’t get disturbed mentally. The cage should be very big so that they can leap freely. Small cages hinder the health of the animal. They are also very active and need exercise. Their cage should be equipped with toys like exercise wheels with a diameter of eleven inches. They are also very inquisitive animals, so new things like cardboard boxes should be introduced in their cage from time to time to prevent boredom. The food can also be placed in different places to keep them on their heels. Food can also be hidden in branch holes, which they can dig out. 

The cage of sugar gliders should be cleaned every week to ensure their hygiene. The urine should be spot cleaned as the ammonia in it can be very harmful to the respiratory system of sugar gliders. Also, the moisture can encourage the growth of harmful fungus. If the cage isn’t cleaned for a long time, not only will the occupants become sick but also the house will be filled with odor. Some precautions should be taken while cleaning the cage and also it should be sprayed with disinfectant so as to kill the germs and bacteria. 

Sugar gliders are habituated to living in groups. That is the reason why they have never kept alone as pets, as this will adversely affect their health. It also requires attention from humans around it. They cling to each other when they sleep, so as to keep warm. They communicate with each other by squeaking, crabbing, chirping, and barking. They have a good memory and can retain a grudge against a human after receiving harm from him, even if it was caused by accident. 

Females have the ability to beget offspring every seven to ten months. They give birth to a baby sugar glider after sixteen days of pregnancy, which usually weighs only 0.2 grams. After the birth, the baby shifts to the mother’s pouch, where it stays for seventy days and feeds on milk from the nipples. Both the mother and father have an equal participation in bringing up their offspring. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

CHINCHILLA - Chinchilla chinchilla

CHINCHILLA - Chinchilla chinchilla - Photo: Pxhere

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

How To Take Care of a Baby SQUIRREL

Red Squirrel - Photo: Pexels

You found a baby squirrel, and now need information on how to care for it. You're about to experience one of the most rewarding activities on earth!

The ideal situation would be to return the baby to its mother. If you place it in a small box with a warm rice bag and tack it to the tree where you found it, it's possible that mom will come and take it back to an alternate nest. If the mother doesn't come within an hour, the baby becomes your charge.

Relax, caring for baby squirrels is easy! If you don't have the time or will to do it, every State has licensed wild animal rehabilitators who can do the job. If you do have the time and can remember the acronym, "WHAM," you can easily and confidently care for a baby squirrel!

The letter W, stands for warm. Baby squirrels need to be kept warm. You never should attempt to feed a baby until it is completely warmed. A baby squirrel should always feel warm the touch when you pick it up. When the baby is less than 5 weeks old, (before its eyes open,) it can easily be kept in a cardboard box. I like to use rice bags to keep my baby squirrels warm. I heat the bag in the microwave until it is warm to the touch, place it in the box, punch it down in the center to make a nest, place pieces of blanket or fleece material over the bag, put the baby squirrel in and cover it with more soft cloth. This method keeps the baby warm between feedings.

Some people like to use a heating pad on the low setting under the box. If it's placed under half of the box, the baby squirrel will climb on and off the heated side until it finds a comfortable sleeping temperature. Either way, this accomplishes the task of keeping the baby squirrel warm.

The letter H, stands for hydrate. Many rehabbers advocate starting off with plain Pedialyte, (an electrolyte fluid replacement solution.) I have never advocated this practice because it is just plain silly. A mother squirrel doesn't run off to the store to buy Pedialyte when her baby has been laying out in the elements for a couple of hours. She warms her baby squirrel, then lets it nurse. I've always started with formula, and have never lost a baby squirrel due to a dietary problem. If you go to my website, you can see pictures of squirrels that were within hours of death from malnutrition and dehydration, yet they did just fine on formula only.

The letter A, stands for accommodate. Baby squirrels do three things. They eat, they potty, and they sleep. Accommodation means that you facilitate these three activities until they mature to the point where their eyes are open, and they start exploring their habitat. A baby squirrel must be stimulated to urinate and move its bowels. This can be accomplished by using a cotton ball dipped in warm water, which is used to stimulate the genitals of the baby squirrel until it passes urine and moves its bowels. This simulates what a mother squirrel does after her babies nurse. She will lick them to accomplish the same results.

Feeding involves formula. This is where many people get really confused and scared because there are a whole lot of people in the rehab' community that militantly advocates feeding only a certain type of puppy formula to baby squirrels, with the dire warning that your baby squirrel will die if cows milk ever crosses its lips. As I said before, I've never lost a squirrel to a dietary problem and have tons of visual proof and testimonial letters to prove that these warnings are not true. I teach people all the time how to make a superior formula from whole milk, heavy whipping cream, Vitamin E and raw Coconut Oil. It is true that milk right out of the bottle will give a baby squirrel diarrhea, which can lead to an electrolyte imbalance, heart arrhythmia and ultimately death from heart failure. But, one simple step in the preparation eliminates this danger, and makes this formula one of the best foods in the world for baby squirrels!

And finally, the letter M, stands for Maintain. To maintain simply means to keep doing the things that are right for your baby squirrel to grow and mature. After 5 weeks, when the baby squirrel opens its eyes, it will need a new habitat, meaning a cage, and gradual changes in its diet. At six weeks you will start to feel teeth emerging, and by eight weeks it will be ready to start chewing on things. This is the time to provide Oak or Maple twigs for your baby squirrel to start teething on. It's also the time to start introducing some solid foods. Baby squirrels have to learn to swallow solids. I like to introduce small pieces of raw sweet potato. Baby squirrels will chew an spit out solid foods at first, the orange-colored sweet potato makes it easy to see the chewed up pieces in the bottom of the cage. When I no longer see shredded sweet potato, I know that they have learned to swallow, and am able to advance their diet. I let them continue to take the formula for as long as they want to nurse because squirrels need lots of calcium!

The need for calcium, especially in captivity, is one of the most critical aspects of raising a squirrel. In fact, it is the most important factor in success or failure when it comes to raising a baby squirrel! If a baby squirrel does not have an adequate source of calcium after it stops nursing, it will develop a condition called Metabolic Bone Disease, or Rickets. I don't know how many times I've gotten e-mails from panicked people telling me their 5 or 6-month-old squirrel was fine one day and the next day lost the use of its rear legs. It happens that fast, and is completely preventable!

There are much more details about how to take care of a baby squirrel, that is beyond the scope of this article. My desire is to help you take the right first steps in this rewarding endeavor, and to let you know that I am always available to help and answer any and all questions about the care of a baby squirrel! On my website, I offer free recipes, advice, and e-books at no charge to help you successfully raise a healthy and happy squirrel!

William Sells is a Registered Emergency Room Nurse turned Squirrel Rehabilitator. After nearly killing his first squirrel by following bogus information he obtained on the Internet, he vowed to learn all he could about the proper way to care for squirrels and to share that information with all who were in need. His website, is loaded with free information about how to care for and feed squirrels through various stages of their lives. Every first-time visitor is offered our free mini e-book about how to care for a baby squirrel. has free recipes for Calcium rich supplements that are ideal for captive squirrels, plus recipes for supplemental food to keep your outside squirrels in peak health!

Article Source: EzineArticles

Sunday, October 15, 2017

GUINEA PIG Breeding - All About Breeding Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs for sale in an Ecuadorian market.
Guinea pigs for sale in an Ecuadorian market.
(Photo credit: 
You will find that the reason most people do not breed their guinea pigs is simply that they will not have enough room for all the new little guinea pig babies. Also, most people know that they do not have the money or time to support multiple new pups in their guinea pigs run. If you would like to breed guinea pigs make sure you check out our information below.

First of all, you need to check that there are not too many other breeders in your area. This is the same as any business as if there is an oversupply you will not be able to sell all of your guinea pigs.
Make sure that you have a good knowledge of guinea pigs as you are going to have to talk a lot to potential buyers about guinea pig care and guinea pig habits. You will need to explain to them exactly how they need to care got their new pet. A great thing to do is to supply them with a list when they purchase a guinea pig off you. Another thing to remember to include on this list is what foods the guinea pigs can and cannot eat. This is a very important and useful thing to do as no one would like to poison their new pet by accident.

A huge amount of guinea pigs die each year due to improper care or simply because their owners have to breed too many. A good idea is to find some families or people that want to buy your new guinea pigs before you even begin to breed them. This way you know that your new guinea pig babies will have a secure and loving home to go to.

The age a female should be before she gives birth is at least four to six months.

You should try to keep your breeding as close to nature as possible. This will ensure healthy babies. The female guinea pig cycle goes for around sixteen days, although your female will only be able to mate for between eight and twenty-four hours of that.

How you can tell that a male is aroused is when he lowers his head and walks towards the female. This is not a random walk but one to entice the female to join his love dance. Guinea pigs will make a rumbling noise. This is a very specific noise and does not be alarmed if you hear it.  The male's backside will also sway from side to side occasionally.

Some male guinea pigs will even perform a mating dance. In this case, they will place their front legs on any object available and move around trying to attract the female. These movements may include side to side waving, swaying, and wiggling. This can be a very entertaining spectacle to watch however this is actually a finely tuned process that has evolved over hundreds of years to produce the best results possible for the species. So if you feel the need to laugh maybe it is polite to leave the room.

When a female is interested in the male she will begin to squeak with a lot of excitement and anxiety. These squeaks will get louder as the male gets closer to her. Sometimes the female guinea pig will not be interested. This may be because she is not currently on heat or it might not be the right time in her cycle. What she will do if this is the case is snap at the male or even bite him. If he is very persistent she may even urinate in his face to discourage him.

Sometimes the female guinea pig will be more ready than the male. If this is the case she might do the same as the male in walking towards him in a very deliberate way. Her head will be down and her bottom will be pointing in the air slightly.

If a female guinea pig is being really forward she may back up against the male. This is a sign for him to mount her. This is a very common event so do not be nervous if she seems to be behaving in a way you have never seen her behave. Don't worry the guinea pigs know what they are doing.

A male guinea pig can be used as a stud. In fact, a male guinea pig can mate with up to ten females in one period of time if they are all available to him in the guinea pig run. But really I don't think you need that many guinea pigs.

    By Fiona F Bodington
    Fiona Bodington loves guinea pigs and has through her research compiled lots of helpful information about caring for guinea pigs.
    Article Source: EzineArticles