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  • How to Keep Rat & King Snakes
    Bogertophis Euprepiophis Oreophis Orthriophis Pseudelaphe Ptyas Rhinechis Senticolis and Zamenis Ready climbers in the wild and remarkably efficient predators of rodents and birds Rat Snakes offer an almost unrivalled range of colours and patterns making them firm favourites for the terrarium Housing King Snakes And Rat Snakes All of these snakes are easily housed in an appropriately sized container with a good lid For all except the largest kinds a tank around 40 x 20 x 20 inches 100x50x50cm will be needed while the ever popular California King Snake will do well in something a little smaller In many ways newspaper is the ideal flooring material since it is fairly absorbent and easy to clean although it isn t the most attractive which may be an important consideration if your tank is on show Good options for a more natural look include reptile bark chippings sphagnum moss and sterile compost with a few large pieces of cork bark added to provide your pets with somewhere to hide The set up should also include a large water bowl big enough to let your pet have a good soak and a well secured climbing branch or two though you need to make sure that they don t let your snake get too near to heaters or lights Temperature And Heating Although the exact requirements depend on the species being kept most of these snakes do well with an ambient temperature in their tank of around 25 degrees C 77F with a hot spot or two around 30C 86F with a night time drop of a few degrees to mimic nature Heating and lighting obviously need to be controlled independently so you can vary temperature and the artificial day night cycle separately A combination of heat mats under part of the tank with ceramic heaters or spot lamps is one of the most popular ways of achieving the necessary additional warmth Whatever system you do decide to use make sure that the snakes cannot come into contact with the heating elements strong guards are essential and use the best quality thermostats you can find Food And Feeding Although the wild diet of most of these snakes would include a range of small birds frogs lizards other snakes and some large insects in captivity they are most commonly fed rodents pinkies small mice larger mice and rats depending on the size of the snake Most of these animals will feed readily but some individuals can be a little reluctant from time to time feeding at night or turning off the lights can often encourage hesitant eaters It s worth keeping good records of what when and how much you feed your pet and how well it eats reduced appetite can often be the first sign of a sickening snake so it s important to get the earliest warning possible that all is not well Easy to keep and largely undemanding in their needs these snakes make excellent and long lived pets Whether you re

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/how-keep-ratking-snakes.html (2016-02-16)
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  • How to Keep Pet Tortoises
    animal is another one which resembles the more familiar European species in fact it was originally classified alongside them as Testudo only recently getting its own genus Like them it hibernates and is herbivorous but unlike them it is sensitive to humidity so needs slightly higher temperatures and drier conditions only hot dry days can be spent in the garden Bell s Hinge Back Tortoise Kinixys belliana a West African species that grows to about the same size as the Spur Thighed but requires higher temperatures and a little more humidity does not hibernate and eats an omnivorous diet It can go outside in really good weather but otherwise it s definitely a candidate for the heated terrarium making it a species for the experienced tortoise keeper Housing Your Pets Some species can make the most of the British summer and these hardier kinds obviously make the best pets not least because being given a bit of freedom to wander gives them the best opportunity to live a more natural kind of life However all will need some kind of heated indoor quarters for when the weather is more typically British The levels of humidity and temperature along with other requirements needed varies between species but three things in particular remain true of all tortoises Firstly it s vital to heat the air as well as just the ground heat pads and hot rocks will keep the animals warm but your pets will still be breathing cold air into their lungs which can lead to serious respiratory problems Secondly tortoises have a high requirement for UV light so your enclosure or terrarium will need to be equipped with a suitable light source and be aware that the output of these lamps drops off alarmingly quickly over time so follow the manufacturer s instructions about when to replace them Finally tortoises are a good deal more active than the old fable about that race with the hare might suggest Their home needs to be large enough to accommodate them comfortably and give them sufficient room to be able to explore and move around freely Food And Feeding The question of tortoise diet is a complicated one and has been the subject of much scientific study over the years A balanced diet is essential and fortunately a number of common garden plants such as cress parsley and dandelion leaves are suitable having high nutrient value and good levels of minerals and vitamins On the other hand many of the traditional tortoise foods are far less suitable lettuce offer very little goodness and seems addictive while cabbage in large amounts slows down tortoise metabolism When it comes to feeding your pets feed as varied a diet as possible give them lots of clean water to drink and don t forget to do plenty of research There are many different kinds of tortoises in the world and not all of them are suitable as pets and even some of those which are require considerable

    Original URL path: http://www.KeepingExoticPets.co.uk/how-keep-pet-tortoises.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Rules and Regulations on Keeping Exotic Pets
    minimum age for buying or winning a pet to 16 though children younger than this can of course still legally own a pet The new rules certainly have some serious teeth to back them up the most serious offences carry a maximum penalty of up to 51 weeks imprisonment or a fine of up to 20 000 or both This act applies only in England and Wales the Scottish Parliament having passed a similar legislation the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2006 while in Northern Ireland the Welfare of Animals Act Northern Ireland 1972 is the principal set of legal rules governing animal care Dangerous Wild Animals Act Originally brought in to curb the ownership of creatures which posed a real danger to the public the Dangerous Wild Animals Act s main contribution was to stop clueless lunatics keeping lions and tigers in one bedroom flats to the obvious relief of sane people everywhere Owners of animals which featured on the dangerous list could apply for a licence to keep their pets but were expected to be able to demonstrate that they were competent to keep the creature in question and could provide it with a proper environment in which to live This situation has persisted since the act originally came into force in 1976 While some of the species originally on the list have been taken off and others added by and large the rules seem to be working pretty well if the reduction in the numbers of crocodiles being kept in baths is anything to go by Fortunately since no reputable dealer will sell you any creature to which this legislation applies unless you have a licence to keep it you re unlikely to fall foul of the rules Other Rules and Regulations Depending on the type of animal you keep other rules and regulations also apply The Wildlife and Countryside Act for example gives protection to some of our native species which might once have been considered for keeping as exotic pets and prohibits the release of exotic species into the wild Some of the European endangered species which in the past were seen as potential pets are today afforded protection under the Berne Convention and other similar EU statutes For questions about this kind of regulations or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species CITES DEFRA should definitely be your first call Away from the large national and international pieces of legislation there can often be other more local rules on keeping exotic pets particularly if you live in rented accommodation or a block of flats with a residents committee Not everyone is particularly open minded or welcoming when it comes to exotic pets and sometimes no amount of diplomacy or protestations about how inoffensive your snake is or harmless your scorpion will win people over Although just about everything seems to have some law or regulation attached to it for the most part law abiding responsible pet keepers aren t likely to need to

    Original URL path: http://www.KeepingExoticPets.co.uk/rules-regulations-keeping-exotic-pets.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Housing Exotic Pets: FAQ
    always the potential risk of disease fungus or parasite infestation to contend with so good hygiene is vitally important What Sorts Of Heating Can I Use To Keep My Tank Warm Aquarium tanks are well catered for with a range of purpose designed heater thermostat units of varying power There are plenty of heaters for the terrarium too though picking the right one is not quite so straightforward There are heat pads a favourite with many invertebrate keepers which sit below the tank warming it up from underneath If you opt for this type of heater it s often a good idea to make sure that it only covers perhaps half of the base to avoid the inhabitants from coming too close if they burrow Hot rocks electrically heated artificial stones can be useful especially in reptile tanks often used alongside the more typical ceramic heaters and spot lamps which are ideal for generating basking hot spots How Can I Make Sure The Temperature Stays Right Your heating system will need a thermostat Most aquarium heaters come with one already fitted but terrarium heaters generally don t so you ll have to pick something suitable from the range available Modern thermostats are remarkably efficient with some kinds able to adjust the temperature gradually rather than simply switching the heater on or off and others able to set different heat levels for day and night Of course this level of sophistication doesn t come cheap but you do get what you pay for and it s always best to pick the most reliable you possibly can Do I Need To Use Filtration In My Aquarium If I m Not Keeping Fish Unfortunately many of the most popular aquarium exotics are rather messy both in terms of eating and their own wastes which means that the water in their tanks can become unhealthy quite quickly especially if their homes are relatively small Normal aquarium under gravel or box filters can be a very useful addition but do remember that not every species welcomes fast water movement so if your pet is one of those which doesn t make sure you don t overdo the current Alternatively you can get around the need for filtration equipment by doing regular full or partial water changes though many types of pets especially amphibians are very intolerant of sudden temperature changes so you ll have to be careful if you do decide to try this Why Is It Important To Keep Heating And Lighting Separate It s important to keep heating and lighting separate principally because it allows your pets to experience a more normal day night cycle and can let you vary the length of their artificial day independently from their temperature which can be important if you hope to get some species to breed Obviously it s essential too for many kinds of nocturnal animals especially shy ones which will only feed at night to have a proper period of undisturbed darkness if they

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/faqs-about-housing-exotic-pets.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Keeping Amphibians: FAQ
    mice Aquatic species will also often eat tubifex worms and other similar kinds of food sold for aquarists My Pets Always Wait Until The Lights Go Off Before They ll Come Out Is There Any Way I Can Watch Them Without Disturbing Them Most of the world s amphibians are nocturnal preferring to hide away from the heat and light of the day emerging after dark to hunt Obviously this makes them slightly disappointing pets in captivity since their owners never get to see most of the interesting things they do However many amphibian keepers have found that using a low wattage blue light bulb to provide a little artificial moonlight can often allow them to watch what their pets get up to without unduly disturbing them However if you do try this and find that your salamanders don t eat as well as they used to or start showing any signs of withdrawing into their hiding places stop at once not all species are as tolerant as each other of this particular trick Do I Need Vitamin Or Mineral Supplements To Keep My Amphibians Healthy In the wild vitamin and mineral deficiencies are generally uncommon since amphibians eat a wide range of different kinds of prey In captivity however over reliance on what is commercially available especially in the winter when hunting for bugs in the garden isn t so easy can sometimes lead to problems Most amphibian keepers use supplements from time to time either dusted on to the food or gut loaded within it to make sure that their pets stay in the best of health It s important to make sure that you don t exceed the recommended dose and if you re not sure check with your vet too high a dosage of vitamins can

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/faqs-about-keeping-amphibians.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Furnishing Your Tank: FAQ
    animals too planting can add a great deal provided it doesn t hamper keeping things clean and hygienic but larger snakes and lizards can be rather rough on the plants themselves My Pets Naturally Live In Trees How Can I Give Them Somewhere To Perch In My Vivarium Firmly anchored sections of branches can be very successful though it s important to remove the bark and sand them carefully so there are no crevices left to harbour bacteria or disease Depending on the species being kept live woody plants such as fuchsias are also a very effective and natural looking way to provide a suitable climbing frame What Will Make The Best Kind Of Hiding Place For My Pet Hiding places are important features in tanks and provided they meet the obvious need to provide somewhere where the animal can feel secure without any chance of collapsing and injuring it almost anything can be used For a natural look many keepers favour large pieces of reptile bark while broken bits of well scrubbed old fashioned terracotta plant pots can also be used For larger species an up ended margarine or ice cream container with a suitably entry hole cut in it can often make the best hiding place and though it isn t particularly pretty to look at it s very effective and easily cleaned Whatever you use it s important to make sure that there aren t any sharp edges for your pet to hurt itself on or places where bacteria or parasites could breed Does My Terrarium Need A Water Dish Although some animals almost never seem to drink directly it s still advisable to give them the opportunity even if that means a very shallow dish with a little cotton wool or a pebble inside so that

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/faqs-about-furnishing-your-tank.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Keeping Snakes: FAQ
    it can t breathe not crushing it and the size of python that could do that to an adult would need a tank rather larger than the average home would be able to accommodate That said obviously children shouldn t be left unsupervised around big constrictors but then they shouldn t be left alone with small ones or pet hamsters either for that matter Will I Have To Feed My Pet Live Food Apart from a few specialist feeders such as the Egg Eating Snake Dasypeltis in the wild snakes take living prey but many especially captive bred ones will happily accept pre killed rodents or day old chicks depending on their size My Snake Never Seems To Blink Is It Ill It doesn t because it simply can t Snakes have no eyelids their eyes being protected instead by a single transparent scale which you can see very clearly in a shed skin This inability to shut their eyes is one of the reasons why providing them hiding places and having separate heating and lighting systems in your tank is so important Is It True Snakes Smell With Their Tongues Yes it is The forked tongue picks up scent molecules from the air just like a dog does when it sniffs and then transfers them to a special spot inside the roof of its mouth known as the Jacobson s Organ and it smells things there This gives snakes a very good sense of smell allowing them to sniff out water or track prey I d Really Like To Breed Snakes Is It Difficult Captive breeding is definitely something to be encouraged not least because it removes the need for wild caught specimens and helps conserve snake species It s difficult to make too many generalisations about how hard it is to get your own to breed some kinds of snakes such as the King Snakes and their relatives breed well in captivity while others are more difficult If you want to try to breed some youngsters you ll need to do some careful research about the particular snake species to make sure you can provide all the right conditions Many snakes benefit from having the day length and temperature in their tanks adjusted to mimic their natural breeding season If you do get your animals to mate successfully and produce eggs you ll also have to be well informed about incubation needs too and then keep your fingers crossed Do All Snakes Lay Eggs Most do but in some species like our own native Adder Vipera berus the females incubate their young inside their bodies and give birth to live offspring I Bought My First Snake A Few Weeks Ago Now It s Started To Look Really Dull Its Eyes Have Gone All Milky And It s Stopped Eating Is It Sickening For Something It sounds like it s about to shed its skin Make sure it has a bowl of water big enough for it to soak

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/faqs-about-keeping-snakes.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Keeping Snakes: FAQ
    it can t breathe not crushing it and the size of python that could do that to an adult would need a tank rather larger than the average home would be able to accommodate That said obviously children shouldn t be left unsupervised around big constrictors but then they shouldn t be left alone with small ones or pet hamsters either for that matter Will I Have To Feed My Pet Live Food Apart from a few specialist feeders such as the Egg Eating Snake Dasypeltis in the wild snakes take living prey but many especially captive bred ones will happily accept pre killed rodents or day old chicks depending on their size My Snake Never Seems To Blink Is It Ill It doesn t because it simply can t Snakes have no eyelids their eyes being protected instead by a single transparent scale which you can see very clearly in a shed skin This inability to shut their eyes is one of the reasons why providing them hiding places and having separate heating and lighting systems in your tank is so important Is It True Snakes Smell With Their Tongues Yes it is The forked tongue picks up scent molecules from the air just like a dog does when it sniffs and then transfers them to a special spot inside the roof of its mouth known as the Jacobson s Organ and it smells things there This gives snakes a very good sense of smell allowing them to sniff out water or track prey I d Really Like To Breed Snakes Is It Difficult Captive breeding is definitely something to be encouraged not least because it removes the need for wild caught specimens and helps conserve snake species It s difficult to make too many generalisations about how hard it is to get your own to breed some kinds of snakes such as the King Snakes and their relatives breed well in captivity while others are more difficult If you want to try to breed some youngsters you ll need to do some careful research about the particular snake species to make sure you can provide all the right conditions Many snakes benefit from having the day length and temperature in their tanks adjusted to mimic their natural breeding season If you do get your animals to mate successfully and produce eggs you ll also have to be well informed about incubation needs too and then keep your fingers crossed Do All Snakes Lay Eggs Most do but in some species like our own native Adder Vipera berus the females incubate their young inside their bodies and give birth to live offspring I Bought My First Snake A Few Weeks Ago Now It s Started To Look Really Dull Its Eyes Have Gone All Milky And It s Stopped Eating Is It Sickening For Something It sounds like it s about to shed its skin Make sure it has a bowl of water big enough for it to soak

    Original URL path: http://www.KeepingExoticPets.co.uk/faqs-about-keeping-snakes.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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