Husbandry, Feeding, Behavior and Physiologic Data
Husbandry and feeding account for around 80% of the problems encountered in exotic species.
- Differentiate preys and predators. Think about that concerning the order of care, the species that the same owner can own safely.
- Remember advantages and disadvantages of indoor/outdoor housing
- Know how to advise owner about housing in a cage, an enclosure or a room dedicated to the exotic pet.
- Remember the term of proofing the environment (rabbit-proofing, ferret-proofing, bird-proofing)
- Don't forget the specific diet of every species (carnivores/herbivores/omnivores/insectivores).
- Seed mixture is not a normal diet. It permits a choice, it is unbalanced because seeds contain a lot of sugar of fat. They lack essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals (especially calcium). Seeds are not available all year long in the wild. The assumed species that should eat seeds during a short period will eat other parts of the plants (branches, foliages, roots).
- Do not overfeed your pets. Make him work for food (known as foraging): it will keep him busy (intellectual stimulation, physical exercise) and you will use the preferred food items (such as sunflower for example) for positive reinforcement.
- Always give living insects one per one (or isolated in a plastic box, not in the terrarium). Living insects should be gut loaded and dust loaded.
- When possible, whole prey diet should be given dead at ambient temperature (respect strictly defrosting process in a fridge).