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Old 04-10-2011, 08:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Short Tail Opossums

So I have recently put down a deposit on a short tailed opossum from a reputable breeder in the area. He won't be old enough to come home until may so I'm still trying to do more research. The only site really dedicated to them is http://knowyoursto.com . However I feel that a lot of the information on there is flawed, such as housing(e.g crittertrails being acceptable habitats). I've never liked Crittertrails for any small animal due to lack of ventilation and the possibility of the animal getting stuck in tubes. And they aren't very large generally. Also the food section says that the author uses Eukanuba food which I wouldn't even feed a dog. I'm thinking that I should feed basically the same thing I feed my hedgie which is obviously the combination of some high quality cat foods such as the low fat Chicken Soup, California Naturals, and Innova Reduced fat. Not really a huge fan of California Naturals but he loves it so I throw some in. And then of course insects.

So! I was wondering if any of you have experience with STO's, and if so what did you feed and what was your housing set up? The breeder I'm buying from uses converted Sterlite bins, which is fine but I'm thinking something with levels since they seem to love to climb and use their tail.
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Short Tail Opossums

I use to raise stos...they are wonderful little guys and make great pets, They are similar in bonding /interacting abilites as rats. They love their humans! I would not use a sterilite container or a crittertrail either. --especially a sterilite container,that's the worse idea I've heard yet for them. they LOVE climbing and interacting,,and lookng around at what's going on.
What I used were large cages, 2 levels which we made and kept the bars small so they couldn't get out. they love to curl up in hammocks and I miss mine. I know mine loved vergatables and fruit as part of their diet. They did eat cat food as well, but not as a main diet. They love crickets too. I miss mine.
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The site is really outdated, links don't work hardly. they still list my link,which hasn't been around that hasn't been around about 2004 I think? The pics with Exoticpets under them were my guys.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Short Tail Opossums

They are adorable.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Short Tail Opossums

They are so cute!! I'm amazed at the variety of wonderful animals out there. I've never seen these before. What little cuties!



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Old 04-11-2011, 12:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Short Tail Opossums

I've never heard of these little guys - how cute! At first I thought you meant the giant, bald-tail, pointy-teethed, playing dead opossum that lives here in NC (and throughout the southeast, I imagine). Now THAT I cannot imagine keeping as a pet. True story: once, one somehow found its way into my parents' house, and we only discovered it after hearing it scratching behind the entertainment center! It was not a fun experience getting him out. Wildlife. Sheesh.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Short Tail Opossums

Quote:
Originally Posted by cylaura
I've never heard of these little guys - how cute! At first I thought you meant the giant, bald-tail, pointy-teethed, playing dead opossum that lives here in NC (and throughout the southeast, I imagine). Now THAT I cannot imagine keeping as a pet. True story: once, one somehow found its way into my parents' house, and we only discovered it after hearing it scratching behind the entertainment center! It was not a fun experience getting him out. Wildlife. Sheesh.
I agree with not imagining keeping those guys as pets...They have the worst attitudes! I volunteer at a wildlife shelter that rescues opossums and I would much rather work in the raptor room (with great horned owls landing on your head! ) than in the mammal room with the opossums. They're snappy little beasts. These guys are adorable though!
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Short Tail Opossums

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly Hedgehogs
I use to raise stos...they are wonderful little guys and make great pets, They are similar in bonding /interacting abilites as rats. They love their humans! I would not use a sterilite container or a crittertrail either. --especially a sterilite container,that's the worse idea I've heard yet for them. they LOVE climbing and interacting,,and lookng around at what's going on.
What I used were large cages, 2 levels which we made and kept the bars small so they couldn't get out. they love to curl up in hammocks and I miss mine. I know mine loved vergatables and fruit as part of their diet. They did eat cat food as well, but not as a main diet. They love crickets too. I miss mine.
Thanks for the info! What exactly did you feed for a diet? And fruits and veggies are okay for them?

I got to play with the breeders male and he was great. Reminded me of my ratties so much just like you said
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think dry cat food (high in protein) fruits, vegetable and I seem to remember they liked to have different kinds of cereal as a treat. It has been so long that I can't remember. They are funny, for a small animal with a huge mouth, their jaws are not very strong. I think they have so much character.. I Keep thinking about them now,,lol,, I don't think there are any Cdn breeders here with them anymore. I'd love to get another one. When do you get to bring him home?
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Short Tail Opossums

A bit of info

In the wild they can be found in the wet forested areas of Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and northern Argentina. They are omnivores meaning that they eat just about anything. To stay healthy they need a diet that is high in protein and low in fat. It is best to feed a pet STO a dry food that is about 30% protein and where the protein is animal based rather than plant based. Fresh greens, fruit, eggs and dairy products are a good way to supplement their diets and these foods should be offered daily. Many breeders offer insects or pinky mice every other day which helps boost their protein intake. Fresh Clean water is a must! Being that STOs are from wet areas, they can not tolerate that lack of water for more than a day before they start to dehydrate and can die.



Ideally a Short tailed Opossum should be housed in a 20 gallon tank with a tight fitting lid or a large multilevel cage with small spaces between the wires. The home should be equipped with lots of climbing branches, a couple hideaway dens, lots of soft natural bedding and extra nesting material. Also you can use a very large bird cage with close bars



When full grown they reach about the size of a large hamster and when well cared for have a lifespan of about 4 years in captivity. They use their tail like an extra hand and they can be seen gathering up nesting materials, using their tails to carry it back to build their nest. They have an odd but charming personality… Much like their North American cousins and when they feel threatened they will normally display by posturing themselves, with mouths wide open and their back arched high, hoping to look tougher than they really are. Most often this all bluff, as soon as they recognize their keeper or realize there is no threat, they immediately continue about their business as if nothing happened. Most STOs enjoy spending time with their keeper and will run up you arm in hopes of being petted or offered a few treats.



Sexual maturity is reached at around 4.5 months and litter size can vary from 1 -16 babies however it is more common for them to have between 7-9 babies. Estrus is induced by the male being present and can last as long as lasts about 28 - 32 days but normally conception usually occurs by the 13 day. Between thirteen to fifteen days after conception the babies are born pink, blind and helpless. Immediately after they are born they make their way up the mothers’ belly and attach themselves to a teat, where they remain attached for their next 3 weeks of life. Once short-tailed babies are no longer attached you can see them hitching a ride on their mothers back. It is best to start weaning at about six weeks as by then the mother is getting more and more irritated by them.
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