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Just Another Hedgehog (and other goodies) Blog!

30758 Views 277 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  SunnyLeslie
Since I have things scattered all over the place, as is typical with me, I thought I'd just start fresh with a properly titled thread. (If you mods want to lock the others feel free!) So here goes.

First off, a thread introducing my pets that I had when I joined the forum: Pictures of My Pets.

After that, I added some new members, and that happens over here: New Family Members.

Here's a running total of everything I have right this second:
1 African Pygmy Hedgehog, male, Finnick, 1.5 years old
1 Australian Cattle Dog, male, Oz, Estimated 5 yo.
1 Senegal parrot, female, Pepper, 3 yo.
1 Blue Tongued Skink, female, Rocket, Estimated 5 yo.
1 Ball python, unconfirmed male, Illidan, 7 and a half yo.
1 Mexican black kingsnake, male, Sherlock, 3 yo.
1 Green tree python, male, Akihiko, Estimated 2-3 yo.
1 Veil tail betta, male, Keitan, 5 months old.
2 Tiger salamanders, one wild, one bought, unknown sex, Squee and Shaw, Estimated ages 2yo and 1 yo.
3 Crested Geckos, two female, one male, Nanamo, Mordin, and Grunt, all 1 yo.
3 Dwarf blue day geckos, two male, one female, Skaro, Lil Dude, and Kaylee, estimated ages for Skaro and Kaylee 4 yo. Lil Dude is 6 months old.
7 Dendrobates auratus "El Cope" poison dart frogs, two female, three male, two juveniles. All named after Adventure Time characters, Adults estimated 2 yo. Juveniles are 3 months old.
1 Saltwater fish tank. Contents: corals, pistol shrimp, hermit crabs, snails. All brand new.

Pets with estimated ages were either adopted later in their lives, rescued, or wild caught/farmed and imported. I've had a vet as well as an importer help me get as close as possible to everyone's actual ages.

I'll be embedding any future pictures of my family here, so they're all together in one spot. Not including Finnick of course, who can have his own threads, but will likely be duplicated here just for archival's sake. I also post videos from time to time and mean to do a lot more of that. You can see my YouTube account here: 5ubv3rsion. And I'd like to point out a specific video that I just added of Finnick chasing crickets around the bathtub. I took this a few weeks ago and forgot I had it, so here it is now: Pet Hedgehog vs Crickets.

And also, here's the fan favorite Finn Dust Bathing in His Mealworms.

Thanks for reading, and I'll update again soon! Maybe with a video of the ball python having a swim, and some more photos...
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For me, a flow develops. I get up and get kids out the door to school. Drink coffee and do some morning chores. Do some house chores, more animal chores and more coffee. In the evening it runs very similar. A lot of my stuff is ordered in a way that clears the ability to do the next, or chores are combined. Like everyone gets watered at the same time. I take the rabbit water out when I let one of the dogs out. I pick some tortoise food on the way back in. The birds get fed when I change laundry over. It all has a flow that works.

I say this now, hopefully by fall you all can laugh at me because many more chores will get added because new animals will get added. Chickens, dairy goats, more rabbits, turkeys, a pig or two and I don't know what else... Hopefully they get added gradually. But I vote that my goats come first.
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Oh I love goats so much! That's so exciting! I'm hoping to own a decent chunk of land out here one day and I want goats and chickens so bad.

I wish I could get a flow going. Something always messes up my plans. Someone won't eat, someone is going into shed, someone pooped all over the walls, someone is loose and hiding in my substrate bag... I always have to reschedule things with these guys, it never just goes smoothly. The number of times I've gone upstairs with 5 mice and come back down to put 3 in the garbage is astronomical. I've started offering them to Rocket when the snakes won't eat them :lol:.

Some updates:
First, I ran out of rats for Illidan, so off I went to the pet store, not realizing that they don't stock frozen rats because their supplier is in Alberta. Live rats are illegal here, so breeding them to freeze them isn't allowed. It took us years to convince the government to let us have imported frozen ones. The closest thing and only properly sized item was African soft furred rats, which he's never had before. I'll give him one later today and we'll see what he thinks. I'm a little worried he'll like them too much and then I'll have a huge bag of rats from the show that he won't eat.

Second, I went out yesterday to hunt for earthworms, and found absolutely none. Digging in the soil in copses of trees was no good. So I stopped at the lake to see if I could spot anything the garter (who I have named "Legs" because I am awful) might like. I caught some aquatic snails, some shrimp-looking things, and a big, nasty leech. He wasn't interested in the snails or the shrimp things, but the leech was gone SO fast. I thought Sherlock ate fast. It was like sniff sniff gobble gobble nom nom gone. So cool. So I've found a food source until I can get my hands on some worms at least. I can't find anywhere online that sells Canadian nightcrawlers within Canada, and the shipping isn't over $50 for a small container. Hopefully it rains soon and I can go out and grab some off the sidewalk.
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I'm still too new in my schedule to have a flow yet, but hopefully I'll get there. Everyone's stuff is in different rooms, so it's a bit difficult to combine tasks, but it's easy enough to do one animal's care, then switch to the next, and so on. Most of them only take a few minutes (check crab temp/humidity & change food, change cat's food & water, etc.), so it's easy to string them together & get it done in 30 minutes, or do one animal here, then the next animal after eating, & so on.

Fingers crossed that Illidan doesn't get picky after this! I know ASF rats are one of the things I saw mentioned repeatedly as a favorite, but I haven't been able to find them around here yet. And jeeze, that's ridiculous with the earthworm thing. :( At least you found something to keep the new guy fed for now. I'm glad he ate for you! Are you going to try to set up a worm farm or anything to keep him fed, or just catch things as needed & order if you can find someplace good to order from?
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Well, tonight, my plans changed completely. No more digging for worms, no more worrying about parasites, no more catching leeches, no more panicking about shipping prices. Legs ate a frozen/thawed pinky mouse! Mice have everything garters need nutritionally, so I don't have to vary his diet if that's his staple food. Now I can just give him (and everyone else) worms when I can find them for sale. That makes things so much easier! I think I'll call the guy I bought Sherlock and Aki from and see if he can order me some nightcrawlers for the long weekend coming up, and I'll bring them home with me as treats. There's no rush any more though! Woohoo!

Illidan took his ASF with extreme gusto. If I hadn't been using forceps I would have been constricted too :lol:. I'm glad he likes them. Now we just have to wait until the end of the month to see if he'll switch back to rats after 4 ASFs. I'm going to buy a huge bag, so he'd better still like them! I usually buy about a year's worth, but I was a few short this time. I'll also remember to take my cooler, since nobody (except Sherlock, who doesn't count) ate that bag of black hoppers I bought in October. I doubt Canadian Mouseman did something wrong, since I always buy from them, but the hour long trip home may have been too much and they thawed, which would make them nasty.

Kerrigan can see again, so shedding should happen any day now. I'm excited to see if she'll eat when she's done. I also want to get a video of her rattling her tail at me. When it hits the plastic bin it sounds like a rattlesnake! I was discussing the behaviour on a reptile forum and someone called it "shaking their tic tacs" and that's exactly what it sounds like :lol:.
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I hate to double post, but I wanted to share this before I forget. It seems that Lygodactylus williamsi, my electric blue day geckos, are about to be placed on CITES in Appendix 1. What does that mean? It means the Tanzanian government didn't do enough to stop the export on these guys and they are now critically endangered and heading toward extinction. I will be postponing all other breeding plans and focusing on producing L. williamsi offspring until a stable, sustainable global captive collection can be produced.

Take a look at this link for more stats: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/14665363/0
Some highlights include:
Red list category: critically endangered
Total global area of occupancy: 8 kilometers (4.97 miles. Yeah, I know.)
Population: Known subpopulations are not connected due to lack of suitable habitat in between, and the population is consequently considered to be severely fragmented. (deforestation. ugh.)

They only live on one species of tree, they're heavily targeted by poachers and smugglers, and illegal and LEGAL deforestation of the area is continuing at an alarming rate. We're nearly at the point where the wild population is extinct and only captive specimens remain to keep the species alive. This horrifies me.

And that is your scheduled reality check of the day. Remember, good breeders are the key to keeping the animals we love alive and healthy in captivity!
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Yay, good boy Legs!! That's great news for him & for you. I'm glad Illidan ate too! Will keep fingers crossed that he doesn't give you any trouble switching back to normal rats later on. That would make sense with the hoppers. Even though the big bags usually stay frozen pretty well, I imagine small things like hoppers would thaw much more easily than adult mice & big ole rats.

Poor little geckos. :( That's such a shame that they're almost gone in the wild...I know captivity is better than nothing, but it's always just heartbreaking to have another species disappear from where they really belong. I hope your crew get busy & give you lots of babies! Sounds like there's a lot riding on them now. What are your plans for the offspring? Trading & selling to others who will be able to help with breeding & sustaining the captive population? What is the likelihood of reintroduction if their habitat ends up saved somewhere along the way? I know there have been a few success stories for larger animals, but I don't know what the success rate would be like for such small critters, especially with such a limited area & habitat type.
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And Amsterdam, just keep in mind that while it's not quite comfortable to be nervous & a little stressed about taking on the responsibility of a pet, it's probably better to feel that way about it than to not take it as seriously as it should be! I'm sure your potential future hedgie will be very lucky to live with you, with how carefully you're going about considering it. :)
aw, thank you. I think I will be super nervous at first, but will ease into it okay. I would be sad if I ended up never making the leap, just because I was too scared! Owning a pet is a unique thing in life, which is probably why I have a hard time placing exactly how it is and what it means, but I do know that it brings love into your life, and that it brings meaning. Two great things. And animals just make me happy, so having one in such an intimate way seems guaranteed to be rewarding.
At this point I'm just glad everyone ate! :lol:

I actually have an adult female available now, and I was offering her on the local reptile club forums and nobody wanted her, not even to trade genetics. The couple I get my dart frog supplies from in Calgary have a breeding trio, but they're having no luck at all producing offspring. The lady I got my captive born ones from isn't working with any of the lygodactylus guys anymore. So I don't even know if there's anyone else in Alberta with conservation in mind at this point. I may have to get Facebook and try starting a group to find more people.

In captivity, males are produced when the eggs are held at a steady temperature of 78 or so F. To produce a female you need to dip the temperature down quite a bit. That's why my latest is a female. She was in the egg when I moved up here. So that alone complicates things. A person I've been talking to about all of this says that females are going for £200 in Britain right now, and most breeders are keeping them because they're so uncommon.

Even the ones in captivity are in trouble if everyone doesn't get educated on how to produce females fast. Breeding programs are bottlenecking because there are so many more males to females. I'd guess 5:1 at this point.

If the habitat is saved I don't know if reintroduction would be possible. Since the little guys only like one kind of tree, and those trees are heavily fragmented, something would have to be done to fill the gaps back in, or the populations would end up too fragmented to survive. It's also in Tanzania, so I'm not sure anyone will ever be able to protect the area from poachers, even. With the CITES ranking, selling L. williamsi without paperwork will be impossible, but I doubt that will stop the poachers from trying. Which means confiscation, and probably captivity for those ones as well. I'm really hoping some of the larger zoos get on board to help with the captive population soon, as they have the best chances of actually producing the number of babies we need at this point to even stabilize these guys. I'm not optimistic though about them in the wild or in captivity. I figured out that females need vast temperature variance while in the egg fairly early on, but I knew a lot about leopard geckos, which are similar. Most people interested in L. williamsi seem focused on other day geckos, and none of them need this temperature shift, which means none of them have tried it yet.

Along with some pictures I posted on the United Kingdom's reptile forums, I added my personal experience and a care sheet. Hopefully it gets viewed enough for the guys across the pond to catch on. But we'll have to wait and see.

I had no idea the mess I was getting myself into by liking these overconfident little geckos. This is my life now. :lol:

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Poor cute little guys. :( I hope you're able to get more people on board with breeding them and can educate them on producing some females. It'd be such a shame to lose them all...
Here's hoping. I actually contacted a major conservation team in Europe to see if they know of anyone with large groups in North America. I may donate them if there's someone working with them large scale over here.
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Kerrigan shed last night and ate two big fuzzies just now! I'll keep an eye out for her next poop, but this should mean she's going to be fine!

There were two male grey banded kings available in my area last week, but I didn't buy one just in case Kerrigan didn't make it. Naturally, both are sold now.

I haven't heard back about any L. williamsi programs in North America yet, so for the time being I'm feeding them extra well and giving them some space to lay eggs without being bothered. I have two more eggs due to hatch this week, so hopefully I get a few babies soon.

My saltwater tank had an outbreak of red bubble algae, green hair algae, and aiptasia. I've been treating the aiptasia but the other two had to be manually removed, and since I tend to get bored, the whole set up is now in my 7.8 gallon instead of the ten. The 7.8 is a way nicer tank aesthetically, and my snails were having a tough time combing through the sand in the 10, so this cuts it down a little. I just have to do a quick water change and I'll take some pictures. The fish and shrimp are thrilled, the crabs couldn't care less, the snails are all happily rummaging around, and the corals all made it so far. The xenia doesn't look very happy, but it should just die back a bit and then perk back up. It was being constantly stung by aiptasia where it was before so hopefully it decides this isn't so bad.

And now I have an empty ten gallon tank! The boyfriend wants a desert-y reptile, so a baby leopard gecko might end up in there. We'll see. The next show is on the 28th.
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Tank pictures!

Here's the whole tank now:

Seamus and Ranty are living in the tunnel on the left hand side. Seamus has already dug a cave underneath that whole rock.

Pink and yellow zoas:

Discosoma that came with the rock:

Butterfly Wing zoas:

Tubbs Blue zoas:

Fire and Ice zoas:

They seem to be settling in well so far!
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Ok, the one place I thought I seen a gecko like yours doesn't have them listed now. Don't know if that's because of their status and their breeder no longer supplies them. As far as I know, they are only a broker (backwater reptiles) don't judge I hadn't bought anything from them.
It may be worth contacting them to see if they used to carry them and if they could possibly put you in touch with someone.
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I wouldn't trust Backwater with anything endangered :(. I have no personal proof, but judging from customer reviews a lot of their animals are not in the best shape when they're shipped out. Hopefully they just finished selling off the last of their semi-legal wild caught geckos and won't be getting any more. Their prices are always much too low for my liking.

They honor their guarantees by replacing any unsatisfactory animals, but the number of animals they ship out in the first place that aren't pet quality to begin with worries me.

Thanks for having a look around though! If you see them anywhere else, let me know!
No, I don't think I'd trust backwater with anything non-endangered.
Although, I've been tempted to get a box turtle from them. But, no box turtles from home for me.
I also checked on hoobly, no luck there.
I love box turtles! There's a review on the BBB website regarding a box turtle. Backwater shipped one out that had a large cyst on it's neck :(. I felt so sorry for the little guy.

Darn. I haven't seen one on kijiji in months now. I'm hoping it's because the conservationists have snapped them all up.
Yay Kerrigan! :D I'm glad to hear she's back on track and doing well.

Fingers crossed that you get some new babies. And hear some news soon on someone trying to do more for them! The corals look so pretty, I hope they all continue to settle into the new tank well.

Ahhh, I will demand so many pictures if you guys get a leo! I'm leaning towards them right now for my future gecko, though I don't know if it'll last. They're so cute though!
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I love them so much. My other one is still with my parents. He's almost 21 now, I believe. We're also looking at these: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/fa/4b/d5/fa4bd515c64b0d154f53abdd8c573617.jpg or these: http://i.imgur.com/mfBnpPI.jpg

The second one was really common in the pet trade in the 90s but now they're hard to come by. I'll have some words with the guy I got Sherlock, Aki, Loki the milksnake, and my feeder earthworms from in Calgary if he's at the Edmonton show, or later, since he co-runs the Red Deer show. He's probably our best bet for finding one. But if the perfect leo comes along we'll just do that.

I'll have to go digging through my old hard copy pictures and see if I can find any of my leopard gecko when he was a baby. He was so cute!
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Just a few garter snake pictures today. Since I moved the fish into the 7.8 gallon, I decided to make the 10 gallon's hood snakeproof and put Legs in there for now. It's too small for Kerrigan but he'll be alright in there for the time being. I want to go out with my hedge pruners and get him a nice big branch, but this is it for now:

He looks like he's going to shed soon so he's a little pale, but here's a closer shot of him from the above picture checking things out:

And here he is being mister photogenic and saying hello. Look at all those intimidating teeth :roll: :lol::
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And here's mister legs having a snack. He's realized the food comes from me and stares at me every time I go by now. Also I really need a tripod.

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