Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Critter Corner Updates

Since I haven't blogged for a few days, and I am visiting family for a few days so I am probably not going to blog for a few more, I am getting you all up to date with all the Critter Corner news. I hope you all had happy holidays and I hope you have a happy new year.

Munchkin and Pipsqueak are enjoying their Christmas presents and the dogs are enjoying some home made dog -friendly gingerbread treats. After a large Petsmart shopping spree of mine, Munchkin and Pipsqueak are getting quite spoiled (but I can never spoil them enough). Pipsqueak has a new pink race-car and a new tube maze and a little hamster pent house (that's what I call it) on top of her cage now. She also has a dustbath that she has been having fun with. Munchkin got some toys which he has been working on taking apart and eating, some treats and a new bed. He loves his bed. I think sat in it for most of the day today. When he wasn't sitting in it he was digging fluffy bits off of it. He (well, actually probably I am) excited because he is going to be getting a new playpen. His playpen right now is three feet by three feet, and his new one is going to be four feet by six feet.

The dogs have been very happy since a few days ago we got about a foot of snow. They have been having a blast. The cat however is not happy.

The shelter critters are all doing well. Cats and dogs have been getting adopted at a pretty good pace and a rabbit, a ferret, and two guinea pigs recently found homes too. I recently helped a photographer take photos of all the small critters at the shelter, so if you want to see them check out the Kennebec Valley Humane Society's website!

Have a happy new year and be ready for lots of videos of the critters with their Christmas presents and the dogs in the snow!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bah Humbug!

Hey Everyone... It's Scrooge the Cat. As you may have noticed in my last post I didn't have any pictures of the cat in the Santa hat. She refused to wear it. Instead she decided to claw it...

Happy Holidays From Critter Corner!

Hoppy Howl-idays Everyone! Here are some Christmas pictures from the pets:

Munchkin pics

Here are some pictures of Munchkin with his favorite piece of cardboard:

Cute pictures of the dogs

Here are some wicked cute pictures of Lacey and Sheba:

Pipsqueaks cage updates

Here is the video I said I would show you all of Pipsqueaks new cage with the new tube in it. And another video of Pipsqueak climbing one of her extra tubes:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My non-official pets

I have some non-official pets. I don't own them, and I don't really take care of them or feed them, unless you count my dad putting peanut butter and seeds in humane traps. They are squirrels and they like to invade our house every night. I consider them unofficial pets. No matter how many times my dad catches one and releases it somewhere far far away we always end up with more. I think only one comes in at once, so I like to name them. Right now the current squirrel is Earl the Squirrel. I like to use names that rhyme with squirrel. For instance I have used Pearl, and Burl too. But right now it is Earl. Right now he is scampering around between the floors above my head. I think Earl is the smartest and has the most will power. He has been offered the best of squirrel bait and still refuses to enter the trap. It would be strange to have an evening where I didn't hear the rather loud patter and scratching of tiny squirrel feet above my head or below my feet.

Critter updates

So here is what all my pets have been doing lately:

Munchkin has just been doing his usual stuff. His new favorite thing is laying under a piece of cardboard and eating cilantro.

Pipsqueak has been doing some serious running up and down in her new tubes ( which I still need to take a video of) and getting crumbs from her favorite treat: pumpkin seeds everywhere.

Lacey has been enjoying the snow and having fits since she had her ears cleaned (I should put up a video of that sometime).

Sheba has been sleeping in sunny spots and licking the carpet like usual.

And Agatha, my cat, has been sleeping in my fleece on her favorite chair, and playing with the books under my bed while I am trying to sleep.

Hamster Care: Food

Hi Everyone! So this post is all about what hamsters eat!

A lot of people think that feeding a hamster is as easy as buying a bag of food and putting some in the cage each day and thats it.

It can actually be a lot more complicated than that. 
So what do hamsters eat?
Hamsters usually eat a mixture of seeds and grains, and sometimes insects for protein.

There are lots of different brands of hamster food out there but not all of them are the same. Here are some tips:

You can get two different kinds: A seed and pellet mix or Rodent Blocks. Seed mixes have more variety so hamsters like them more, but they might pick out their favorites. Rodent blocks give them a balanced diet. Some people feed their hamsters a mix of both.

If you are getting a seed mix here are a few things you should look for:
Look for a seed mix that does not have sunflower seeds or peanuts. These should be treats only since they are very fattening for hamsters. A hamster eating those every day is like us eating cake or cookies for our meals every day. 

Look for something that has pellets, some seeds, and some corn but not too much. The cereal type pieces are okay as long as there is not too many. They provide a good source of carbohydrates that the hamsters need. Dried vegetables are a good thing to have in their food, but their should be little or no dried fruit. It is like candy for hamsters and should only be given in moderation.

How much to feed:

Depends on your hamster. Most people just free feed. Hamsters usually won't over eat. If your hamster is the exception you may need to limit his or her food.

Some good treats for hamsters are sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, carrot ( in very small amounts), dog biscuits (good source of protein), and meal worms (hamsters LOVE meal worms). Remember to not feed your hamster too many treats!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pipsqueak cage updates

Pipsqueaks new cage now has a new tube. The tube that came with it originally was too big for Pipsqueak to be able to climb up the vertical parts. We got her some critter trail tubes so she can get up to the second level now. These tubes are very cool. You can make all sorts of designs and she loves running around in them. I will put up a video of the new cage's new design soon.

Guinea Pig Babies!

One of the shelters guinea pigs had her babies on Monday! She had two of them. One is a creamy orange and white color and the other one is creamy orange/ white/ gray. They are all soft and fluffy and about the size of a gerbil right now. They are the cutest thing!


So after doing some dwarf hamster research online I had thought that Pipsqueak was a boy since I found the special dwarf hamster scent gland in the middle of his belly. Well I got a dwarf hamster book today, that said that both genders have that in dwarf hamsters! So I spent some time doing very very thorough online research and after getting another good look at poor Pipsqueak, I do believe ( I am 99% positive), and I am crossing my fingers that this time I am right, that Pipsqueak is a girl. The only reason I thought she was a boy was because of the scent gland and after comparing with some pictures from my book Pipsqueak definitely seem to be a girl. Poor Pipsqueak she must be so confused by now. I am very very very positive that I am right this time though.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pipsqueak's New Cage!!

I just got a Petco gift card from a couple of friends and I got Pipsqueak a new cage with it. It is the same kind as his old one but it has a second level so it is twice as big. He loves it, but he is still trying to figure out getting up the tube. Here is a video of him in his new cage:

Rabbit Questions

I was asked a few questions about the rabbits at the shelter and if I was collecting Munchkin's fur for my mom to spin.

To the first question about the rabbits at the shelter,
Right now we have three rabbits. One is a medium sized white rabbit who has been here for a while. He likes to bite. I am usually the only one who will actually stick my hand in his cage. He is pretty friendly once he gets used to people. The other two rabbits are grey and white liondhead rabbits. The Lionhead breed of rabbits have long fur on their head and then the rest of their fur is short. It is very cute. The two of them are brothers and they love each other. They have to be adopted together. They are very sweet, I love them.

To the Munchkin fur question:
Yep, I am collecting Munchkins fur in a box. Mom hasn't tried spinning any yet though.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Grooming a Rabbit

Yesterday I was at the shelter grooming two new rabbits that just came in and that reminded me that I haven't done any posts on grooming a rabbit! So here goes:

Yes Rabbits do need grooming. They need their fur to be brushed or clipped and their nails to be clipped regularly. Some rabbits may not be able to keep themselves clean and may require a bath once in a while.

Brushing a rabbit:

Rabbits need to be brushed regularly. Long haired rabbits need frequent brushing and even short haired rabbits should be brushed since rabbits shed a lot. Always use a gentle brush. Rabbits have very delicate skin. Special rubber tipped slicker brushes made for rabbits are probably the best. When you rabbit starts to shed and their fur takes over you can use a Furminator as long as you are gentle. You can also gently pull out the loose hairs.

Clipping a rabbit:

I have no experience clipping a rabbit. I know that Angora rabbits should be clipped regularly because their fur constantly grows. Typically most rabbit owners use special pet clippers rather than scissors.

Clipping a rabbit's nails:

This HAS to be done. I have seen rabbits that come in to the shelter with nails growing sideways and curling in a big circle. Usually I check Munchkin's nails every week. I usually only have to clip them every two to three weeks. Clipping a rabbits nails can be tricky. You need small but easy to use scissor-style clippers. Your rabbit may be mellow enough to just let you pick up their paw and start clipping away. If your rabbit gives you trouble you can try "trancing" them. This is when you place them on you lap on their backs. Only do this if you are confident that you can handle it. It generally makes them "play dead" and relax, but some rabbits might freak out. You can give it a try but if your rabbit doesn't like it don't do it. Munchkin, since he is pretty mellow doesn't mind at all and it makes it much easier to clip his nails. If your rabbit is really tricky, you can have someone hold them while you clip the nails, or you can take them to your vet and have them do it. Make sure you don't cut the qwik. That is the pink tissue inside the nail. If you can't see the qwik only clip a little at a time and stop immediately if you see blood or it hurts your rabbit. If you do cut the qwik you can use Qwik Stop found at pet stores or cornstarch to stop the bleeding.

Bathing a rabbit:

Only bathe your rabbit if the rabbit really needs it. Bathing is very stressful for rabbits and they groom themselves so generally they are very clean. If your rabbit is the exception however here are some bathing tips:

Use only warm water, do not use super hot or cold water
Only use shampoo specially made for rabbits
Dry your rabbit off thoroughly. You can use a hair dryer if it is on the cool or low setting.
Do not put a wet rabbit outside in cold weather! Rabbits take a very long time to dry off.

Dogs outside

I was outside with the dogs so I took a couple of videos of them. Enjoy.