Category: Exotic animals

Characteristics and curiosities of the Madagascar cockroach

It is likely that most people do not think of having a cockroach as a pet; However, there are those who find it fascinating to raise these types of animals. And, today, the choice of a pet goes beyond dogs or cats.

To show this, today we are going to meet one of the most unique companion animals we can get: Madagascar cockroach.

Although many people are terrified of cockroaches, this variety, totally harmless to humans, is one of the favorites to care for and accompany.

Madagascar’s Whistling Cockroach

It is one of the largest insects in the world and, of course, the largest among all varieties of cockroaches. In fact, there are approximately 4,000 varieties of cockroaches worldwide; However, humans are only in contact with 30 of them.

This type of insect is very safe to have at home, since they do not represent a threat to the health of human beings; In addition, they do not interfere with daily routine and are not aggressive for people.

The origin of this cockroach is found in the African continent, punctually on the island of Madagascar.

Distinctive features of these insects

Size is one of the most prominent characteristics of Madagascar cockroach. This subtype can reach up to 8cm long and has a black, oval and crushed body.

In addition to the absence of wings, the main difference it presents with other cockroaches are the orange stripes it has on the abdomen. In the case of the male, Madagascar’s cockroach is distinguished by horns on the head, as well as its antennae that are hairy and thicker, compared to the female.

Another unique feature of this cockroach is its particular hiss. In fact, this sound, which emits especially when it feels threatened, is one of the main curiosities of the animal and the reason why it can be creepy for some people.

The cockroach works its abdomen contracting it to allow the passage of air through the spiracles, which are the small respiratory holes of them. In this way, they not only emit an alert, but often scare their predators and remove the danger.

Another of the “charms” of this insect is its ability to climb, and is that it compensates for its inability to fly with suckers that allows excellent adhesion to the surfaces.

Madagascar Cockroach Behavior

Although hard to believe, cockroaches in general are sociable animals. In fact, their behavior is quite gregarious, grouping to survive and take care of each other.

In the case of Madagascar cockroaches is no exception. Although not enough has been deepened in the study of the behavior of these insects, it is known that in certain circumstances they can manifest parental care.

Also, there is evidence that they communicate with each other in their swarm thanks to the smell of feces, creating, even, traces with their excretions to guide others to food or shelter.

One of the key points of Madagascar’s cockroaches is their gentle and not violent behavior, which makes them a safe animal to adopt as a pet.

These insects do not bite or attack; They don’t eat meat either.

The habitat and its food

Although this species is native to the island of Madagascar, it has been easily spread throughout the world. In its natural habitat, it makes its home in wet and decomposed logs, as well as branches or leaf sets.

He is always looking for moisture in the area, as it provides better feeding opportunities. As a pet, the owners usually create small terrariums where they recreate the conditions of some leaves or tree trunks.

As for its diet, Madagascar’s cockroach feeds precisely on what is available in its habitat. Thus, he likes to eat vegetables, fruits, leaves and remnants of tree bark.

In captivity, their diet is based on vegetables, vegetables and fruits. Some are even fed small doses of food for dog puppies.

Curiosities of Madagascar Cockroaches

They show parental behavior; This subtype of cockroach is one of the most paternal care offered to the young. In fact, the colonies, which are usually families, live together for a long time, during which time they take care of and feed each other like a real family.

They can live up to five years; The life expectancy of cockroaches is not very wide, however, in the case of this species, they have the possibility of living up to five years under care, attention and away from risks. In their natural habitat they are persecuted by predators, but in captivity they live a fairly quiet life.

Its terrifying hiss is considered atypical; most of the insects that produce noise do so thanks to the rubbing of some of the parts of their anatomy, however, this cockroach generates it thanks to the passage of air through the abdomen and its respiratory orifices.

The whistle has a double function; although both sexes whistle, in the male it fulfills double function since it has a special type of hiss that is triggered in times of emergency or in disputes with another male, while when looking for a partner they develop another different whistle.

They move their skin up to six times; These cockroaches get to shed their skin up to six times before reaching maturity, a period in which they become more vulnerable, since they cannot eat the day before a molt. Once they reach seven months of age, they stop moving.

Due to its appearance, behavior and mode of communication, Madagascar’s whistling cockroach is an exciting insect. This type of cockroach is easily bred and can be a good option for children, especially if what you want is to help you overcome the fear of insects.

Crows: Types, characteristics and curiosities

Although they are animals that have historically enjoyed a bad reputation, crows are actually a very friendly type of bird, which we can often see around the house without representing greater danger.

It is one of the most intelligent birds that exist, with an excellent ability to adapt in different spaces and that can manage with what the environment provides. Let us know, then, a little more about the types, characteristics and curiosities of crows.

Types of crows

The Corvus Corax, commonly known as crows, are a type of totally black plumage bird, in most cases, and considered the most intelligent of the whole feather family.

Within them, a total of 40 different types are grouped around the world, both in urban areas and in wildlife, although there are only 5 types that occur frequently.

Although we are used to seeing completely black crows, there are some types that have white plumage and beaks and even some with gray touches on the body. The following are the most common types:

Common Raven

It is the most popular of all and is present in almost all parts of the world. It measures about 70cm and does not weigh more than 2kg.

In the early stages of life they always walk in groups until they find a partner, at which point they decide to stay together and in one place until they die.

The common crow is totally black and imitates sounds quite professionally; It can hide objects, so it is considered the smartest type of all crows.

Weevil crow

This subtype, typical of Asia, usually inhabits forests, parks, open-air crops and gardens, although in recent times it has spread to cities, to the point of being considered a plague because of the speed with which it extends and reproduces .

For Asians, they are considered thieves with feathers, since they tend to stalk to take bright objects such as pieces of glass, foil or mirrors, to make their nests.

They measure just around 60cm, have a pointed and wide beak that makes them easily identifiable, in addition, their plumage is not completely black since in the head and part of the body they have gray feathers.

American crow

Although it can be confused with the common type, this is much smaller, in fact, it does not exceed 50cm.

One of the best ways to identify him is through his shout, which is loud, short and quite fast, often described as squeaky. It has the whole black body, the long tail, the short beak and is the most common type in the American territory.

White beak crow

This species, typical of Oceania, is a small type of crow that spends its day fluttering to eat and, when not, it blends with plants and foliage.

It measures just 40cm and its head is usually the largest in the body, with an ivory-colored beak that gives it its name and greater hallmark.

Alaskan crow

This type, although it coexists with the American type, has its own area of ​​action on beaches and coasts. Therefore, it is the most frequent in the State of Washington, Alaska or British Columbia.

Like the common crow, it has all the black plumage, but it is 10cm smaller and feeds on sea fruits.

Characteristics of the Crows

The first image we have of a crow is its black plumage, but there are other elements that are distinctive of this bird.

Let’s see:

Regarding size, counting as more than 40 types of crows, each has its own measurements; however, they do not usually exceed 70cm or 2kg in weight.

As for their food, crows feed on insects, fruits, vegetables, small rodents, seeds and, in some cases, carrion meat.

They maintain a balanced diet and when they want a specific food and cannot get it, they can attack another animal to get it.

The habitat of the crow can be in the mountains, through orchards, coasts, forests, gardens and even in captivity, as pets.

Crows have a prognosis of life between 10 to 15 years.

They have a wide repertoire of available sounds, among which is their ability to imitate human tones.

They usually communicate with different sounds, which vary according to the occasion and the message. Thus, the sounds of reproduction, feeding, alarms or the way of calling any companion are markedly different.

In relation to their behavior, crows are considered very intelligent; They usually walk in small groups during the day for food exploration and search activities, but they become very large groups at bedtime.

They have given evidence of presenting gregarious behaviors, supporting flock companions who may be injured or unable to move, providing them with food and shelter.

Some curiosities of the Crows

  • Crows seek to protect themselves from ticks, fungi and bacteria, rubbing ants in the plumage.
  • They show affection and empathy, caring for and comforting their sick companions or who are injured by a fight. They can even shelter them and feed them during recovery.
  • In their group of birds, crows are comparable to dolphins and chimpanzees in the group of mammals.
  • In some cases, these animals can be violent with humans; however, it is possible to have them as pets if they have been raised since childhood.
  • The teenage crows go in bands, with the coexist, eat, play and have fun. They are able to pay respect to the flock members who are close and die.
  • They are considered spiteful; If you ever offer them lie food, they will not forget you and will probably become violent with you in the future.

According to scientists, crows can solve complex problems, manage to manufacture and use their own tools, have a great memory and communicate and learn with each other; Therefore, they are considered fascinating animals and possessing great intelligence.

Boa constrictor as a pet, what should I know?

Despite the intimidation of the idea of ​​having a snake at home, the truth is that it is not out of the ordinary. Many people adopt different types of snakes like their pets and, taking into account some considerations, they can do so without major difficulties.

However, home care of a boa constrictor differs greatly from that of any other pet; This type of snake needs to have certain specific conditions that allow them to develop normally.

If you are considering adopting a boa constrictor as part of the family, you need to know some basic issues to carry out the process without inconvenience; Therefore, we are going to share some important tips that will help you take care of it with total security.

General characteristics of the boas constrictor

Native to America, boas constrictor are one of the most frequent types of boas, widely known and identified by their constrictor work.

There is a wide variety of subspecies, so it is possible to find boas 1.5m long and some much larger, with specimens up to 4m long. Usually, the largest are females.

The constrictor are quite long-lived snakes, living up to 20 years in wildlife and about 30 to 40 years in captivity, with strict health and food control.

If we talk about the weight of these snakes, we have to warn you that they are quite heavy, although without being overweight. These boas are of robust complexion, so they reach up to 40kg in weight, even with strictly monitored diets.

Boas constrictor in captivity

In general, snakes are not usually very friendly animals and boas constrictor are no exception. They are more assiduous in the dark, at night and in open spaces, so it may not be the best snake option to have in captivity.

They are cream jackets and anatomically designed to do so without much difficulty. They usually spend the day hiding to attack at night, from the heights of a tree or the depth of a swamp.

Although they do not have very good vision, they can detect the heat of nearby dams thanks to fins on the sides of their mouth.

They are identified as one of the most docile snakes of the whole group, given their sedentary lifestyle and tendency to wander in rather dark places.

Boas constrictor feeding

From rabbits to bats, the boas constrictor can eat a wide variety of animals, including chickens, squirrels, rats and possums.

In the case of those who live in captivity, they are usually fed every 7 to 10 days with rabbits which, in turn, must be fed carefully, remembering that the purpose is that the snake feed is the best for prolong your life expectancy.

Adopt a boa constrictor as a pet

To adopt a boa constrictor as a pet, it is essential to look for an experienced snake breeder; Therefore, look for a certified hatchery that gives you total confidence that your activity is 100% legal.

Make sure you observe the snake well, that its eyes are bright, without further evidence of cuts or bumps and that it curls on your arm.

Also, it evaluates the movement of your tongue and the color of the oral cavity. You should constantly stick out your tongue to indicate health and show a pink hue in the cavity.

Take the opportunity to analyze the snake’s temperament. If it has curled up and remained gentle before your touch, we can say that it is docile, which undoubtedly makes it the best alternative.

You must take into account the weight and length of the snake and if it has already reached its total growth or can continue to stretch. With this as a base, you can prepare to receive the pet.

Boa constrictor habitat at home

It is not advisable to have other small pets at home, such as cats or dogs of medium breeds, as they will inevitably be at risk in any complicated scenario.

It is necessary to have a terrarium according to your needs. The minimum will be one of 2mt2 that can increase depending on the dimensions of the animal.

It should be designed in a way that allows temperature and humidity to be adjusted, taking into account that boas are cold-blooded animals.

The terrarium should be checked and cleaned deeply once a month, date on which you must be prepared to mobilize your snake, taking into account adequate space for it to remain while you do the cleaning.

Since they are sedentary animals and tend to remain hidden, the movement of the place will make them nervous so it is not surprising that they want to flee. This must be taken into account to take all necessary precautions.

Is it dangerous to have a boa constrictor at home?

In principle, you should know that a lot of advice and expert advice is needed. Therefore, it is necessary to talk with a veterinarian expert in boas to have all the details.

As we have mentioned, it is a docile snake not only because of its temperament, but also because it does not have poison in the bite. However, they do not cease to represent a risk.

Like most snakes, they bite when they feel threatened or when they are hungry. They do it as a way to hurt their prey, in order to begin the process of constriction around them.

Therefore, you can always be at risk with it, especially if you escape from your controlled space and can visualize us as a dam. We must bear in mind that, if this happens and the boa begins to wind up, the process will not stop unless we are instructed to perform this maneuver or have help from another person.

Experts do not recommend having them at home as a pet. It would be preferable to keep them in their habitat and enjoy them in controlled spaces such as zoos or hatcheries, where specialists monitor their behavior, feed them correctly and keep them away from people.

Signs and treatment of constipation in rabbits

Although constipation in rabbits can be somewhat temporary and relatively easy to cure, sometimes it may require a much more specific and careful treatment. In this post, we will see how to identify the signs of constipation in rabbits and what is the most appropriate treatment for them.

¿What are the causes of constipation in rabbits?

There are several causes that can trigger constipation in rabbits. By their nature, these animals need to evacuate several times a day so a problem of gastrointestinal stasis, as it is known to constipation in rabbits, can lead to serious health problems.

Some of the triggers of constipation in rabbits is the lack of physical activity of the animal, high levels of stress, stressful situations, poor eating or some other related diseases or pathologies.

Signs of intestinal stasis

It is usually easy to detect symptoms of constipation or intestinal stasis in rabbits. In principle, our pet may stop eating food as usual.

The depositions of rabbits are small and round in appearance, with an average length of 1cm in diameter. When these bowel movements are not seen in your sandbox, the rabbit may have stopped evacuating.

Also, it is possible to find in your sandbox very small stools and with a yellowish mucus.

The belly of constipated rabbits is usually inflamed and lacks the characteristic sound of peristaltic bowel movements.

In addition, the rabbit is likely to be lethargic, without energy or lying in its cage. You may also grind your aching teeth.

Treatment of constipation in rabbits

Once the signs of constipation in the rabbit have been detected, it is convenient to take our pet to a consultation with the veterinarian, in order to determine the severity of the pathology.

The specialist, through an x-ray, can analyze the condition of the intestine and determine the best possible treatment alternative.

From the diagnosis of constipation or intestinal stasis, the veterinarian can prescribe medications that decrease gas production, in order to reduce pain in the animal.

The veterinarian can also administer antibiotics to reduce the amount of bacteria that are lodged in the intestine of the rabbit and prevent the normal evacuation of the animal.

Occasionally, treatment may include intravenous fluid injection in order to soften the mass found in the intestines.

Food quality is essential in the treatment of constipation in rabbits. The veterinarian recommends the intake of fresh hay and green vegetables, which help normalize bowel movements.

With a balanced diet and constant physical activity, it is possible to avoid the risk of intestinal stasis or constipation in rabbits. Remember that eating fresh hay is essential to keep your digestive system operational under optimal conditions.

¿How long can a hamster live?

Tiny, adorable and easy to care, the hamster is one of the favorite pets of the smallest and increasingly adopted as a company in Spanish homes. As such, some specifications referring to their upbringing are usually a matter of consultation in the veterinary clinic.

One of the most usual queries is about the time this little animal can live; In this article we will try to answer this question.

The life span of a hamster

Many families are unaware of the average time that a hamster usually reared in adequate conditions. Over the years, children are often surprised at the moment they find their favorite pet lifeless, blaming themselves for an alleged neglect or neglect in their care.

The truth is that these animals have a very short period of life, one of the shortest among domestic animals.

Under appropriate conditions and depending on the breed of the animal, its life expectancy does not exceed three years. Moreover, on average, hamsters do not usually live beyond 30 months.

That is why its development is completed in a very short time, having the ability to reproduce from two and a half months of age and to reach old age at the end of the year.

Life expectancy varies according to race

There are about nineteen current species other than hamsters, grouped into seven genera. According to their species, these animals can live more or less years. In fact, there are some records of species that can live for up to four years.

The Chinese hamster, for example, known to be the only one that has a prehensile tail and usually measures about 4cm, lives, on average, two and a half years.

Meanwhile, Campbell’s dwarf hamsters, like Russian dwarf hamsters, live between 18 and 24 months, while the Roborovski hamster can live up to 42 months.

Hamster care for a full life

Taking into account the life expectancy of the hamster is very important to avoid surprises among children. Being aware of the life span of an average hamster, owners must offer quality of life to their pets and care in their diet is essential to achieve it.

A balanced diet based on the intake of fresh vegetables such as chard, watercress, peppers and carrot leaves is essential in your diet.

In addition, it is necessary to take care of your space, keeping it in proper hygiene conditions.

As we have mentioned, because the life expectancy of a hamster is very short, they begin their old age at 12 months of age. It is from that moment that the risk of suffering various diseases or pathologies is increased; Therefore, it is advisable to visit the veterinarian in order to check your health and rule out any disease or pathology.

What you should know when having a pet rat

Despite being a rodent that dislikes many people, the truth is that more and more people are encouraged to have a rat as a pet. And it is that these little animals, with very bad reputation throughout history, are actually very clean, affectionate, fun and very intelligent.

If you are looking to raise a rat as a pet, you need to consider some very important aspects for its care; Therefore, from this space dedicated to animals, we tell you everything you need to know to take care of this helpless animal.

The raising of rats

Sociable and very active, rats usually live in community when they are in their wild state. Several studies agree that life alone is not going well, so much so that they can feel very lonely and depressed if this happens.

Due to their gregarious nature, the first recommendation for their care is that they be related to others of the same species. Thus, it is ideal that, at least, they are raised in the same sex couple, making sure that it is never a male with a female.

With the right company, the rats will be very cheerful and playful. They are animals that like to live in burrows. They usually climb, run and jump. That is why the ideal for them is to accommodate them in a vertical cage.

It is advisable that the cage is made of bars and not glass and that it is decorated with toys, tunnels and hammocks. The ideal location for the cage is a quiet environment of the house, away from the cold and drafts.

It is usual for the first days to notice some distrust in their behavior; little by little they will be releasing and identifying their owner. To shorten this period, it is convenient to facilitate the process of adaptation gradually.

Hygiene and feeding of rats in the home

Like cats, rats spend much of the day grooming. Therefore, it is not necessary to bathe them very frequently, it will be enough to do it at certain times, when they are very dirty. At the time of bathing, you can use a small container with warm water and neutral soap.

To meet their needs, rats tend to choose areas far from where they play, eat and sleep. It is advisable to use a corner with special substrate in order to facilitate hygiene.

It is necessary to keep the area they inhabit in good hygiene. Therefore, remove the remains of feces and food every day and perform a deep cleaning of your cage at least once a week.

You should know that the digestion of rats is very short, which is why they eat few amounts of food many times a day. In that sense, it is advisable to have small doses of food at your disposal at all times.

Their diet is based on vegetables and fruits. You can prepare homemade portions of chard, cooked artichoke, raw rice, squash, coconut, asparagus, spinach, strawberry, green beans, carrot, apple, melon, papaya, cucumber and pear.

Other fruits such as pineapple, banana, watermelon, tomato and grape are also well assimilated. Occasionally, they can consume nuts, beets, coriander, celery or hazelnut.

You should keep in mind that rats do not tolerate certain foods such as raw artichoke, sugar, sweet potatoes, eggplant, coffee, onions, plums, parsley, radishes, cabbage, figs, mango, kiwi , cassava and citrus fruits.

In the market there are some feed for rodents that could well be used to feed rats. However, it is necessary to consult with the veterinarian about which of them is the most recommended for them.

Although rats love cheese, it is advisable to limit their consumption because it can cause obesity. You should also take care that they do not consume trash remains as they can affect their health.

They should always have clean, fresh water available.

Common health problems in rats

There are some symptoms that can alert you to health problems in rats, so we recommend that you pay attention to their behavior. Some of the most common symptoms are:

Lumps or other bumps on the skin.
Irritation, inflammation, redness or peeling.
Constant itching, do not stop scratching.

In case you notice some of these symptoms in rats, you should take them to the veterinary clinic for a thorough review. Some species of these animals are more likely than others to get lethal diseases, with cancer being one of the most common diseases they suffer.

Issues to consider when raising rats

There are some aspects to consider to get these rodents quality of life at home:

Make sure they have a cage wide enough so that they can circulate freely; at least 50cm long, although this depends on the number of rats to breed.
It is advisable to place special toys for rodents in their cage, in order to keep them active and entertaining.
The wood chip is ideal to place at the bottom of the cage, however, there are some types of wood such as pine or cedar that, when in contact with the animal’s urine, give off toxic substances for rats.

Taking these considerations into account, you can easily raise a rat as a pet, guaranteeing its good health and happiness.

Do not hesitate to take it to the specialized veterinarian when you suspect the presence of a disease or pathology, remember that these small animals are very sensitive and can develop health problems at any time.

5 exotic animals that can be raised at home

Capybaras, axolotls, boas; There are some species of animals that adapt perfectly to home life. Many people decide to adopt unconventional animals as pets and that make a difference, which is why we are going to introduce you to these 5 exotic animals that can be raised at home, so you can meet them and, why not, encourage you To take care of you.

Cobaya: the guinea pig of Andean origin

The domestic guinea pig has its roots in the Peruvian Andes, where it is known as a guinea pig and its meat is highly prized within the cuisine of that country. However, in North America and in Europe it is common to adopt them as pets, due to the ease with which it adapts to life with human beings.

The most common species is the American, whose specimens can reach up to 30 cm and weigh about 1kg. They have different colors ranging from white to black, through red, brown and cream.

His life expectancy is up to 8 years. They are herbivores and their diet is based on the consumption of seeds, vegetables and vegetables. They need vitamin C contributions that can be found in tangerine, orange and red pepper chunks.

Its upbringing is relatively simple since it does not need large spaces to live. They reproduce any month of the year and their litters are usually two to four offspring that are born after a gestation of about two months.

Koi carp: the good luck fish

Originally from the Asian territory, the koi carp is a very popular ornamental fish in China and Japan. Peaceful and sociable, it is an omnivorous fish known for its longevity, since it can live up to 20 years, although there are records of specimens that have survived for several more decades.

They usually measure between 60cm and 90cm and can weigh 9 kg. They have a closed spine and their scales are long and thin. Males have a much longer ventral fin than females.

These animals are considered a symbol of love and virility in Southeast Asia. We can find them in different colors, red, black, white and yellow being the most characteristic of this species.

For their care, these fish must be raised in ponds, swimming pools or outdoor gardens, small aquariums not being recommended because each specimen needs at least 1mt3 of water to live.

Rainbow Boa: one of the most beautiful snakes in the world

Endemic to Central America, the rainbow boa gets its name due to its multicolored glow that can be observed when its body is exposed to sunlight, showing a vibrant red and orange coloration.

The rainbow boa measures 8 to 12 inches at birth. As it reaches adulthood, it reaches an average length of between 1.5 meters to 1.8 meters .; females tend to be slightly larger than males, both in circumference and length.

In captivity, this snake can live up to 20 years, and must be raised at a temperature between 21 ° C and 26 ° C. It is necessary to condition a moisture resistant bed and provide some kind of shelter in your space.

Their food is composed of rodents, birds, bats, lizards and small mammals, as well as live reptiles.

Capybara: the largest rodent in the world

Of great size and weight, the capybara is a rodent that can weigh more than 65kg. Intelligent and friendly, this animal has a very good character and usually gets along very well with other types of pets, such as dogs and cats.

Also called capybaras, ronsocos or chigüiros, capybaras are easy to tame due to their docile temperament and tend to quickly get used to family life.

In their natural habitat, they usually live near lakes and rivers and settle on firm ground to sleep, usually among thick vegetation to protect themselves. Therefore, it is ideal that at home they have a swimming pool and a heated space that protects them from the cold. It should never be kept on a floor since it is an animal of quite considerable dimensions.

Although they have a long coat, their hair is thin in some parts of the body, so it is common for them to suffer from sunstroke. This point is very important because when raising them in captivity it is necessary to prepare a space that protects them from the direct rays of the sun.

Mexican axolotl: a fantastic animal

Endemic to the valley of Mexico, the axolotl looks like a giant tadpole with legs, measuring about 15 cm in length and has small eyes, pale skin and three pairs of gills that leave its head.

They are usually dark brown with black backs, although there are also other colors such as gray, brown green, golden albino or orange.

Its natural habitat is lakes or shallow waters and with a lot of aquatic vegetation. In freedom it feeds on small fish, while in captivity it can feed on tubifex worms, earthworms and small pieces of meat.

Despite being very popular as a pet, the axolotl is in danger of extinction in its natural habitat, so it takes a high degree of responsibility for its upbringing at home. It is recommended to keep it in a water tank of not less than 50 liters of water for each specimen, at warm temperature.

Considerations for the breeding of these exotic animals

Having these animals as a pet implies a great responsibility on the part of their owners. Keep in mind that they are accustomed to their natural habitat, so it is important to replicate at home the ideal setting for their upbringing and consult an expert in exotic animals about their care.

It is up to the owners to guarantee a pleasant and dignified life, be aware of their special care and ensure that their stay in captivity will be full and lasting.

Types, characteristics and care of cockatoos

Affectionate and attractive, cockatoos are very popular exotic birds worldwide. Originating in the Australasia region, which includes Australia, Melanesia and New Zealand, these birds are very dear as pets, despite being notoriously loud and difficult to care for.

That is why in this article we have thought it convenient to give you some important advice about the characteristics of cockatoos and the care that should be taken when raising them.

Types of cockatoos

In the world there are 21 species of cockatoos, with around 15 being the best known and adopted as domestic animals. They are long-lived birds, some of which come to live more than 50 years.

The nymph cockatoo, one of the best known species, usually lives between 10 and 14 years, while the alba cockatoo can reach 10 years of life. In general, the average life of these exotic animals is 20 to 25 years.

The nymph, also known as the quarrion cockatoo, is one of the smallest species that exists, measuring around 30 cm. These animals are recognized by their gray eyes, beaks and legs, yellow on the face and orange on their cheeks.

On the other hand, the Galah cockatoo or pink breast, reaches about 35 cm, weighs between 250 gr. and 340 gr. and it is a very common species throughout Oceania. He is recognized for having a gray back and a pink chest and face, being of unique plumage within his family.

Another highly prized bird among breeders is the yellow-billed cockatoo, also known as galerita. It has its habitat in the tropical and subtropical forests of Australia, Papua, New Guinea and Indonesia, measures around 50 cm and weighs 900 gr. Its feathers are white and has a very characteristic yellow crest.

In addition to those mentioned, other highly valued species are the Alba cockatoo, the Calyptorhynchus banksii or Coliroja cockatoo, the Calyptorhynchus latirostris or the Piquicorta funeral cockatoo, the standard cockatoo and the salmon-crested cockatoo.

Most outstanding characteristics of cockatoos

In terms of characteristics, some types of cockatoos differ markedly from the rest of their species, however, we can find some common peculiarities in all of them.

The size of the most popular species is between 30cm and 60cm and its weight can reach 300gr in the smallest species and 1200gr in the largest.

Another remarkable feature of cockatoos is the plume they have on their heads, which they lift in moments of excitement or when they touch the ground after a flight. In addition, they have a curved beak.

Cockatoos have short legs and use their claws to move and climb branches. The male’s beak is a bit bigger and hunched than the female’s. Another issue that differentiates males from females is the muted hue of the plumage’s color. These animals often use their beaks to help them climb.

The noise generated by a cockatoo is also its hallmark. Although it is a condition that it shares with parrots, the noise of a cockatoo is usually noticeably more excessive, so much so that it can be heard more than a kilometer away. It is important to take this condition into account as it does not make them ideal pets for small spaces.

His relationship with human beings is usually good thanks to his affectionate character. However, the process to tame them and gain their trust can be long and somewhat complicated. Also, although most cockatoos are docile, some can be aggressive and frantic.

Care of cockatoos

Like most pets, caring for cockatoos requires time and patience. At first, you will notice that these birds are kept locked in their cage, showing frightened and / or aggressive. This is absolutely normal and it is advisable to give them time to adapt to the environment.

It is advisable that, little by little, the bird gets used to the voice of its owner. That will make the cockatoo come into trust and establish links with its master. We can recognize that the cockatoo has taken confidence when it approaches the call. If necessary, it is convenient to caress your loin gently without removing it from the cage.

Some people decide to have the cockatoo out of their cage, in total freedom inside the house. Although this does not represent a problem, it is advisable that you get used to using your cage to sleep and eat and that at certain times you can walk around the house, free. That way, it will be easier to transfer it to the veterinarian if necessary.

The cockatoo cage should be rectangular, taller than wide, made of stainless steel and be spacious enough so that it can play without problems. It is important that the bars have no more than 2cm of separation, that way we avoid that you can jam your head between the bars.

Their diet should be composed of seeds, foods of plant origin and feed. Cockatoos love to eat fruits, especially peaches, bananas and apples. Their diet may include pulp of mangoes and papayas, although this can cause stomach problems due to their high fiber content, so the amounts should be controlled.

Green vegetables such as lettuce and chard are also well received by cockatoos. Also, sweet potatoes, carrots and pumpkins can be included. Eggplant, milk and potatoes, as well as sweets and caffeine, should be avoided at all costs.

Among the most common diseases of cockatoos, we find the common cold, the attack of mites and diarrhea. Some much more serious are psittacosis and ovarian occlusion. In all cases, it is advisable to visit the veterinarian to start the appropriate treatment.

Did you dare to have a cockatoo as a pet at home? As you can see, these exotic birds are very intelligent and affectionate, but they require special care and certain conditions that you must take into account before making the final decision.

Hedgehogs: guidelines for having them as pets

More and more households are deciding to have a hedgehog as a pet in different parts of the world, mainly due to the ease in their care. However, it is necessary to take into account some other aspects that are very important for your well-being.

Is it legal to have a hedgehog as a pet in Spain? How many species of hedgehogs exist? What foods to give it? how often? These and other questions regarding the breeding of hedgehogs are answered in this article.

Legal status of hedgehog breeding in Spain

The first thing that must be taken into account is the legal situation of raising hedgehogs in our country. In accordance with current regulations, the distribution of African dwarf hedgehogs Atelerix Albiventris and its hybrids is prohibited, and the generic prohibition of their possession, transport, traffic and trade is also applied.

Thus, the possession of these animals today is not allowed. However, the same regulations establish that those hedgehogs acquired before the standard, which dates from 2013, can be maintained by their owners, who are prohibited from marketing, reproducing or transferring their copies.

However, it should be noted that there is a more domestic species called African Pygmy Hedgehog, which is a hybrid between the African hedgehog and the moruno. This species is the most common in Spanish homes, although, in good terms, it is also reached by the ban.

Therefore, it is best to consult with the competent authorities about the possibility of keeping a hedgehog as a pet in the community in which you reside.

Main characteristics of hedgehogs

Despite being a small, quiet, independent and solitary little animal, the hedgehog can be raised as a pet with other species such as dogs and cats, it is enough to delimit the spaces that inhabit to achieve an adequate coexistence and avoid fights and confrontations.

In the world there are a total of 16 species of hedgehogs, being the African pygmy that is usually adopted as a pet. It has rigid spikes that work as a method of protection, so you need to be careful when touching it.

These animals can measure between 10cm and 15cm maximum and their weight can reach 400gr. By its nature, the hedgehog is a solitary and nocturnal animal; During the day he is usually sleeping in his burrow and during the night he goes out to exercise and look for his food.

It is common to observe that the hedgehog maintains a restless breath and constantly moves the nose, sniffing everything around it. Its sharp nails serve to dig the earth in search of food, feeding on insects and worms.

Caring for these exotic animals

Despite being very lonely, hedgehogs adapt very well to living with humans. However, for your care it is necessary to prepare a cage according to certain important considerations.

The cage should have enough space to be comfortable; between 1.5mts and 2mts is the ideal length. In addition, the base must be protected with a suitable material to absorb its waste. It is advisable to use paper since other material can damage your spikes.

On the inside of the cage a burrow should be installed dark enough to have a good rest. The cage should also have a space with soil for the pet to dig.

This cage must be located in a place protected from direct sun and air currents; Warm climates are perfect for them so we must ensure that they do not go cold in the autumn and winter months.

It is important to keep the cage clean and disinfected. Similarly, it is advisable to clean the pet from time to time with clean water, rubbing its spikes with a soft bristle brush.

Common pathologies that hedgehogs have

In their natural habitat, hedgehogs usually travel many kilometers per day, which is why ample space is recommended for their care, otherwise, they can stress and modify their behavior becoming sullen. Also, the lack of physical activity makes them gain weight and makes them prone to certain diseases or pathologies.

In addition to obesity, the cold is one of the most common problems in hedgehogs, so it is recommended to keep room temperature controlled. If possible, a heater should be placed nearby to keep the space warm in especially cold times.

Another common problem in hedgehogs is the attack of fleas, ticks and mites. These parasites can transmit many diseases to the animal so it is essential to keep your cage clean and disinfected. There are some commercial disinfectant products that can be purchased at specialized veterinary clinics.

Changes or alterations in diet can also cause diarrhea or stomach difficulties. Although it is usually a transitory problem, if it is persistent it will be necessary to take the animal to a review with the vet.

In case of any suspicion of having a health problem, it is essential to go with the specialist to rule out any disease that could endanger the life of the animal.

Hedgehog feeding

The feeding of these animals should be based on insects, fruits and vegetables. Ideally, give him food only once a day in the afternoon, in order to avoid any problems of being overweight.

Maintaining an adequate balance in the feeding of the hedgehog is essential for the good state of your health; Therefore, the veterinarian may recommend another type of food or vitamin supplement for proper care and maintenance.

Keep in mind that hedgehogs are somewhat distrustful animals, so it may take some time to adapt to home life. It’s just a matter of a little patience and care. You will notice that, at the moment of feeling attacked, it protects its soft parts by becoming a ball of spikes; Be careful when touching it as it can be very painful.

Characteristics and peculiarities of the exotic cat

Similar to the Persians both in the physical and in their personality, exotic short-haired cats are a peculiar breed of felines that are characterized by being very calm and friendly, being the perfect animals to adopt as pets.

If you want to know more about this particular and lovely breed of felines, in this article we tell you everything you need to know about the exotic shorthair cat and why it should become the next member of your family.

The exotic cat: a calm and playful pet

Exotic shorthair cats are the result of the mix between Persians, Americans and British shorthair. Their race was obtained from a hybrid between these three races, which is why they are so similar to the Persians, but with the peculiarity of having short hair.

Jane Martinke, a judge of feline breeds, was the first person to make the cross between an American shorthair and a Persian cat and got the CFA to consider a special category for these animals and stop being considered only a variation of the Persians

Although it began to become popular in the 60’s, until 1986 it was not recognized as a race and its particular characteristics were determined. Exotic cats are increasingly requested as pets because they are very easy care, docile and very playful.

Characteristics of the exotic shorthair cat

Physically, the exotic shorthair cat is very similar to Persian. It has a flattened and rounded head, flat snout and wide skull. Its nose is wide and short and has the largest and most open holes.

The traditional exotic cat has a more flat snout compared to the most extreme species, which usually has similar health problems as the Persians. The eyes of the exotic cat are of an intense light color, usually green, although they can also have blue eyes.

Its height is around 30cm and its weight ranges between 3.5 and 6kg. Its fur is short and soft and has the same colors as the Persians, being able to find specimens in black, white, blue, red, cream, chocolate, lilac, gold, silver, tabby, smoked, shaded, bicolor, calico and Himalayas.

It has short, wide and robust legs, and its tail is also short and thick. His body is rounded and his muscles are very marked. The ears are small and rounded tips.

Exotic cat health

The life expectancy of the exotic shorthair cat is between 10 and 15 years. Although it is usually a very healthy animal, due to its flattened face it is very prone to certain pathologies similar to those of Persian, such as dental malocclusions, polycystic kidney disease, oily seborrhea and ringworm, among others.

Another very common health problem in exotic cats is excessive tearing of their eyes, which can cause serious infections in the eye area. That is why it is convenient to observe and clean your eyes frequently.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is another frequent pathology in exotic cats, due to an incorrect development of their heart. Therefore, it is essential to schedule regular visits to the veterinarian and fully comply with your vaccination schedule.

Exotic cat care with short hair

Thanks to the fact that it has a less lush coat than that of Persian, the care of the exotic shorthair cat is not so complicated or thorough, although regular brushing is always necessary to avoid the formation of specks. The care of your fur should be done about three times a week with a special brush; This routine represents a very pleasant moment for the cat.

The feeding of the exotic shorthair cat should consist of a balanced diet, since it has a tendency to gain weight easily. The reason is that it is usually a very calm and calm race, although certain genetic and hereditary factors also influence.

It is advisable to provide a diet rich in animal protein and very low in cereals, in order to ensure its proper growth.

The exotic cat is a very sociable animal both with people and with other animals and pets, and is usually very demanding in terms of attention and pampering. In addition, he is calm and curious and adapts very well to changes and family life.

Particularities of the exotic cat

Exotic cats do not like to be alone at home, so it is advisable to avoid leaving them alone for a long time and provide them with more frequent contact. It is recommended to leave them in the care of an acquaintance in case it is necessary to leave home for a long time.

Due to their particular temperament, if left alone for a long time, the feeling of loneliness they experience can lead to various diseases.

Caring for your eyes is a very important issue, due to excessive tearing. This happens because they can’t hold back the tears, which oxidize when in contact with the air. It is advisable to clean your eyes frequently with a sterile gauze moistened with serum.

They are accustomed to a mild climate, so it is necessary to protect them from excessive cold and heat. Its outgoing, intelligent, affectionate and calm character makes it a very homely animal, so it is easy to educate it.

Providing them with adequate environmental enrichment is essential to improve the quality of life of exotic cats. In the market, there is a wide variety of toys that stimulate your psychic and physical development.

Because of its calm and friendly nature, the exotic shorthair cat is an ideal breed to have as a pet. If you are thinking of adopting a feline for the home, consider having one of these specimens to care for and pamper it with your family.

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