Saturday, June 7, 2014

Meet Rover!

Our newest critter is Rover, a roborovski dwarf hamster. We just got him two days ago at our local family owned pet store. He's adorable! My youngest has been asking for a hamster for a while, but I didn't want an escape artist.

I acquired a glass tank with a mesh lid from work that someone was giving away. Youngest and I took a trip out to the pet store to see what was available that would be able to live in the tank. We looked at lizards, snakes, spiders, etc. After looking at the itty bitty hamsters, pricing out what we would need for him, we decided to go for it.

He's very tame and very sweet. We'll be researching more about roborovski dwarf hamsters this summer. Maybe I'll have my youngest write a report! (insert teacher mom evil laughter)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Latest critter count

As we all know, critters come and critters go. We've lost some and gained some. Here's the latest count for anyone who is interested:

2 dogs
1 cat
1 hedgehog
1 chinchilla
4 beta fish
1 fire bellied toad
1 leopard gecko
1 fat tail gecko
2 crocodile geckos
1 gargoyle gecko

Total: 15 critters

Thankfully the kids are only asking us to put up stockings for the mammals.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Habitat: Chinchilla

Today's habitat belongs to Professor Nibbles the chinchilla.  Like his friend, the hedgehog, this habitat was provided by the previous owners with some additions from us.

At this time, Professor Nibbles lives in our upstairs bathroom.  He gets plenty of interaction up there, and it's an easy room to clean.  Nibs lives in a tall wire cage to give him room to climb.  Plastic cages are too tempting for these chewers, and they'll soon chew through and escape.

Most of what you see is what he came with: a couple wooden ledges, a wooden bridge, metal wheel, containers for food and timothy hay, a litter pan, a piece of marble to cool him, and a fleece floor.  We've added a hammock, lava ledge for chewing, and a few chew toys.

Playtime in the bathroom allows him time to run around in a safe environment that is easy for us to clean up.  He has a house for his dust baths, a tube to climb through, and a little house to hide in that he likes to stand on.  He also likes to go in and out of the bathtub that we make sure is very dry for him since chinchillas can't get wet.  He also has a large ball (similar to what a hamster uses) to use when he wanders around the main level of the house.

We are not chinchilla experts, but we enjoy learning about these fuzzy furballs.  We'd love to hear how others care for their chinchillas.  Feel free to comment below!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Habitat: Hedgehog

Yesterday a friend who recently got a hedgehog asked about the habitat we use for our hedgehog.  Of course this naturally lead into this next series of posts - habitats.

Jawn the hedgehog came with everything he needed from his previous owners: cage, playpen, water bottle, food, etc.  We've added a few things here and there.

Here's a picture of where Jawn spends his nights:

Most of the cage is in the picture. To the left is a cloth house that is attached to the cage on the sides. He spends more time under it than in it.  In the middle is a wheel and ceramic food dish.  In the lower right corner of the picture is a water bottle.  There's also a litter pan in the upper right corner that is used more as a push-toy than it's intended purpose.  There's also a ping pong ball in there for him to push around.

When we bring Jawn downstairs and need him confined (versus walking around on the table or floor with supervision), we have a plywood "playpen" made by his previous owners.  We've added another wheel (his cage wheel was originally in the playpen), a food dish, water bottle, and toilet paper rolls.  He enjoys the PVC pipes a lot.  He pushes them around, crawls in them, and takes naps in them.

We are definitely not hedgehog experts. We're still researching and learning about these cute creatures and while having a lot of fun.

We would love to hear about habitats used by other hedgehog owners.  Please share in the comments below!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Cage Cleaning Day

Today is Saturday which means... CAGE CLEANING DAY!

Yes, that's right. Today everyone's cage/tank/habitat gets cleaned.  New bedding.  New water.  Whatever is needed.  We'll also head to our local pet shop lady for some crickets later today.

Here's some of what needs to be done:

  • Chinchilla - wash fleece blanket floor of cage, exchange out food and water, clean litter tray where he urinates, sweep up the poop from the cage and floor, wash hammock, wipe down ledges
  • Hedgehog - change bedding and water in playpen (plywood box) and cage, wash dishes from cage and playpen, wash bed from cage, wipe down cage and toys
  • Toads and lizards - rinse out water dishes and add water, change bedding, wash off plants and/or driftwood
  • Cat - litter box, wash out food dish, wash bed
  • Dogs - wash food dishes, wash beds
  • Fish - add water or do water exchange if needed
Of course there is also a lot of sweeping and vacuuming, too. It takes a while, but it keeps the animals healthy.  

Friday, August 9, 2013

Introducing: Mr. Hope and Quasimodo

Mr. Hope and Quasimodo both live on the same desk.

Mr. Hope is a blue betta.  He was purchased on a day where one of the kids was also getting a betta.  Mr. Hope served a entertainment while the mother of the house works on homework as she attends graduate school.  Mr. Hope got his name because he's blue, the color used by the International Diabetes Federation for their blue circle logo for diabetes awareness.

Quasimodo is a fancy tail guppy. He is a rescue that was secretly left outside the door at our local pet shop. The reason for his name is the hump in his back due to his age and the weight of his tail, causing him to resemble Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre Dame.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Introducing: Jawn Hamish Watson

Jawn Hamish Watson, the hedgehog, joined our family along with Professor Nibbles, the chinchilla, last week.  He was formerly known as Hamilton, but Hammy for short.  He is adorable but will help you check your blood sugar if you aren't careful. We are honored that his former family trusted us enough to continue his care.  Since Nibs has the bathroom as his playroom, Jawn has a big plywood box with plastic tunnels and a wheel to play with when out of his cage. He's starting to get used to being handled and is a great pet.