How To Find Quality Breeders Offering Baby Turtles for Sale

When looking for a source for baby turtles for sale, it is always important to pay attention to the quality of the breeder as well as the health and condition of the baby turtle. The quality of care that a breeder offers to their turtles is usually a good indicator of how seriously they take breeding and whether these turtles are likely to thrive later in life. Recognizing the key aspects of caring for a turtle successfully will make it easier to look out for these signs in a turtle breeder, eventually making it possible to choose a breeder who will also be a great source of information and help.

The first consideration is the facilities in which the breeder keeps their turtles and breeding stock. All habitats, including breeding areas and exercise enclosures, should be well cared for and kept clean at all times. Additionally, the areas should be appropriate in size for the age and species of the turtle. Large species should have enclosures that give the turtle enough time to move around, and newly hatched turtles should have space to move but not so much space that they get tired or lost trying to navigate their home. Breeders who fail to offer enough space to their turtles are often careless in other areas of their turtles’ care.

Specialization may also be a factor, since some breeders tend to focus on one species while other breeders offer baby turtles for sale in many different types. Whether the breeder specializes or not, it is important that they provide specialized care for every one of the species represented in their facility. This is especially true across types of turtles that vary significantly, such as terrestrial species and aquatic species. All terrestrial turtles require large enclosures with plenty of space to reflect the adult size of the turtle, while aquatic turtles need deep aquariums with clean water and heavy filtration. This is especially important to consider for hatchlings, since turtles that live in clean areas at the start of their lives are more likely to thrive as adults later, especially if the standard of care continues.

Lastly, an ideal breeder will be a willing source of information and continue to stay in contact with their acquaintances long after a sale. Ideally, a new owner should be able to call up their breeder if a question arises regarding their turtle, whether it is a question about family history, medical history or simply a general question about caring for the species. Breeders who are happy to help new turtle owners adjust to keeping a turtle also offer healthy, thriving baby turtles for sale that are more likely to continue to thrive well into adulthood.

Koi Pond – The Best Plants To Select

Now that your koi pond is finally finished, after all your hard work building it, now it is time to think about what sort of plants to select to get the water garden looking the way you would like.

You want it to look beautiful, of course, but when selecting your plants, keep in mind that these plants will also have the added value of bringing biological life to your koi pond. This helps maintain your pond in a natural way.

The climate in your particular area is something to consider. Certain plants will not survive in certain conditions, so it is important to do some research before going out and spending your hard-earned cash. If you have a local dealer, then have a chat with them for advice on which plants are best suited to your koi pond.

Lotus Plants
Lotus plants are always a popular choice for koi ponds, because of their simple beauty. When in bloom, lotus plants have a special beauty and aroma. A word of warning, though. Lotus plants like temperatures above 65 deg. Fahrenheit, so you will need somewhere to house them during the cooler months. A greenhouse would be good, as lotus plants require soil and a lot of sunlight. You need to plant them in about 2-3 feet of water during warmer weather, and indoors when it goes colder.

Water Hyacinths
If you have a busy lifestyle and cannot put enough time into maintaining your koi pond, then water hyacinths may be a good choice. They are a low-maintenance plant and very pretty in appearance. They do not require soil or planting. You just scatter them on the water, and the only work required is minimal. You will need to anchor them down so that they do not float all over the pond randomly. Water hyacinths are also good for battling algae and blanket weed.

One word of warning about water hyacinths. They can take over a pond if left unattended. They easily spread around, even outside the pond, so you must keep an eye on them regularly and trim them back. If allowed to spread, they can be extremely difficult to remove.

Underwater plants
It is a good idea to invest in some underwater plants. Even though they are not seen, they have a practical use. They will fight against algae, put oxygen in the water and can be a source of food for your fish. Any good local pet store or koi dealer will have bundles of these type of plants. Most of these plants need no additional maintenance during the cold season, so once you put them in place, you don’t have to worry about them. So, although they are unseen, they are doing a great job under the surface, which benefits not only you, but the inhabitants of your koi pond.

Protecting Garden Birds From Magpies

Magpies can be desired and detested in equal measure, depending on the person and situation. On the one hand, they’re uniquely intelligent birds, with a well developed social system accompanying their well developed appetites. Unfortunately, they’re not only incredibly hungry, but predatory to boot. A small flock will happily devour an entire rabbit left gutted in the garden, so it’s no surprise the ease with which they crack open eggs waiting to hatch, or even kill the live young of other birds around the garden. If you want to keep the other species safe you can read on for a little info on deterring the creatures.

First up, a very simple a cheap system for deterring magpies from your garden. Oddly enough, these socially advanced creatures absolutely cannot abide being looked at by other animals, particularly those they can’t identify. In Australia the birds have been known to attack children in the street, who then took to strapping paper eyes to the reverse of their caps. The magpies see the false eyes, spook easily and are quick to back away.

This is an easy method to adopt, and there are a few ways to expand upon it to make it even more effective. Start off by making a few sets of paper eyes at home. Once you’ve got a few pairs start posting them up around the garden. Trunks and walls are best, a nice flat surface where they’ll enjoy a lot of visibility. Fasten them on with sellotape for longer-lasting results.

The tape actually plays into the best way to improve the technique. Magpies are more likely to spook from objects which reflect light well. Not only are they bright, but they better represent the glistening effect of an actual eye. The best value for money solution you’ll find requires two types of object. A thread of string and any loose CDs and DVDs you’ve no intention of keeping. String the CDs together into long hanging ornaments, then affix them to walls, trunks and branches. They’ll turn in the wind, reflecting randomly while also resembling a circular eye, complete with pupil.

In small domestic gardens these techniques will prove successful enough at scaring off the pesky, predatory birds. So long as you maintain good lines of sight so a pair of eyes or reflective CDs are constantly in view the magpie population should quickly begin avoiding your property. In larger areas setting up a large number of these items tends to be an inefficient use of your time. Instead consider a scarecrow with reflective eyes. They’re an old standby, and the appearance of a conscious human does wonders deterring these birds.

Francesca has been writing about UK wildlife and garden birds for years, from providing them with shelter to keeping them safe from predators. Now serving as a featured contributor to Garden Bird, a premier supplier of bird feed and care accessories, she hopes to expand her audience even further.

The Best Spring Feed for Your Birds

Spring is certainly an important time for bird feeding. Many migratory species will be passing through your garden on their way back home, and you can expect to see new nests and hatchlings springing up around your area when mating season kicks off. Birds have specific nutritional needs throughout the period, however, so it’s worth taking the time to note just what you should be providing.

Mealworms

These are an old standby, and an excellent source of live feed. Unlike their larger, crunchier brethren, mealworms are both protein heavy and moist. They benefit smaller birds the most, and you can expect to see them surge in popularity during mating season. Adults will bring them back to the nest to sustain their young, as they’re one of the most nutritious and edible feeds out there.

Remember, they can easily go off if left outside for too long. Consider soaking them in water for a little extra moisture on hot days, as long as they’re all eaten quickly. As always, be sure to clean up any uneaten remnants to prevent disease.

Fruit

If you grow a variety of plants in your garden, there’s every chance you have a few apples and pears going spare through spring. These large, meaty and moist fruits are particularly suited to feeding larger birds, capable of digging in more effectively. The high water content will certainly benefit them in hotter weeks, and slicing up a few to leave on the feeder will keep a lot of birds happy.

As an interesting idea for presentation, consider slicing a fruit in half and impaling It on the branch of a tree. This will move larger birds into the canopy, while producing a pleasant natural appearance. Just be sure not to leave any sliced fruit out for longer than a few days. In the heat and rain of spring it’s quite easy for them to rot, so dense trees and covered feeders are a nice touch.

Seeds and Nuts

As ever, nyger seeds make for a great investment, and are extremely popular among the majority of finch species. They’re very fatty for their size, but will need a specialised feeder to hold them in.

Peanuts are a regular feature of any feed mix, but will require special attention if you intend to leave them out in the spring. They’re heavy in fat and protein, but be sure not to make the mistake of leaving out salted nuts, birds can’t process the salt and will suffer for it.

Remember, whole peanuts can easily choke a newly hatched bird, so either crush up your nuts or leave them in a mesh they cannot be removed from whole. Any other small seeds and nuts will suffice, sunflower hearts being another high nutrition treat.

5 Tips For Addressing Weight Loss In The Horse

Nothing is more worrisome than watching your horse day after day slowly lose weight and not knowing the reason why. Despite making sure they have plenty of access to good quality feed and mineral/vitamin supplements they continue to lose weight. Here are 5 tips that may get you started on the right track to addressing unexpected weight loss in the horse.

Veterinary Evaluation

First and foremost, ALWAYS have your horse evaluated by your veterinarian if they are encountering any kind of health challenge! I cannot stress that enough. There are so many things that may be affecting your horse’s ability to absorb nutrients, from parasites to cancer. Your veterinarian can rule things out for you and make a proper diagnosis if there is a serious medical condition that’s contributing to a weight loss issue in your horse. I’ve seen too many times people take a wait and see attitude to the detriment of the horse.

Intestinal Parasites

A very common reason for horses to lose weight is due to a heavy parasite load. As parasites develop resistance to many of the commercial dewormers available on the market, you may find that your deworming protocols are no longer effective. Your veterinary clinic can do a fecal egg count for you and let you know what kinds of intestinal parasites (if any) your horse may be harboring. From this information, you can then make more targeted decisions as to what deworming protocols might be most effective for your situation.

There are also alternative protocols that are becoming more and more popular among horse caretakers. Many of these are safe to use in conjunction with traditional dewormers and may help increase the effectiveness of your deworming program.

Some of these include:

    • Food-grade diatomaceous earth – it is thought that the diatomaceous earth works similarly as it moves through the animal’s digestive tract as it does when applied externally to insects. The microscopic silica-based diatom fossils that make up the fine powder penetrate the exoskeleton of the insects, causing them to dehydrate and die.
    • Essential oils – Animals in the wild will hunt out and eat certain types of plants not normally in their everyday diet to help clear their bodies of parasites. Certain medicinal-grade essential oils are thought to help rid the body of internal parasites based on the historical use of these plants by both ancient cultures and wild animals. Whether these help by boosting the host’s natural immune system or acting directly against the parasite is unclear. Oils that may help most are – Tarragon, Ocotea, Di-Gize and Longevity.

 

    • Immune System Supplementation – an organism that has a compromised immune system is going to be more susceptible to all types of infection, including that of internal and external parasites. Adding supplements that are high in antioxidants may help your horse’s ability to deal with these attacks naturally. Immune support is very important for maintaining the geriatric horse.

Equine Dentistry

I’ve been surprised at the number of people that I’ve encountered over the years that are unaware that horses need routine dentistry. There are many factors that play into the function of the horse’s jaw and how the horse’s teeth erupt and wear continually. The way a horse moves, position it eats, what it eats, etc. all contribute to whether a horse will develop dental imbalance. If the teeth are out of balance and the horse cannot effectively masticate his food, they are less likely to be able to absorb the necessary nutrients from that food. Older horses may have worn out the life of their teeth or have missing teeth, also contributing to problems with properly processing their food. Having your horse checked by a reputable equine dentist at least once or twice per year may save your horse some grief down the road.

Adding Calories

Your horse’s weight loss may just be a simple matter of math… they are burning more calories than they are taking in. Upping your horse’s hay and/or feed may be necessary, particularly for horses in heavy training or working horses. However, adding a high-quality high-calorie fat source may be all that is necessary to turn the corner. Traditionally people have added corn oil to their horses feed as a top dress. However, since corn oil is not fully digestible, you have to give large quantities for it to be effective and many horses don’t find that much oil on their feed palatable. The most popular oils that are highly digestible, palatable and provide added benefits to skin and hair coat are – flax seed, soybean, and wheat germ oils.

Alternative Forages

When dealing with geriatric horses, the ability to chew becomes increasingly problematic, not to mention the aging digestive tract becomes less efficient and able to pull the necessary nutrients from what they can chew. Adding some more easily chewed and digestible forages may help. You will want to make sure and consult with your veterinarian before changing your horse’s diet though. Certain conditions, like liver and kidney dysfunction, require special dietary consideration.

Bird Lovers Should Add Native Plants for Their Feathered Friends

Birds add natural beauty to gardens, parks and other landscapes with their gorgeous colorations, happy chirps, and graceful flight. These feathered creatures also assist in plant pollination (i.e., hummingbirds) and in pest control by eating slugs, snails and wireworms (i.e., purple martins). It then comes as little surprise then that professional gardeners and landscapers plan outdoor spaces with the goal of attracting beneficial bird species.

The best way to attract birds into the garden is to concentrate on the cultivation of native plants including shrubs, vines and trees. Doing so is beneficial for several reasons:

1. Indigenous plants have evolved alongside the local wildlife and, thus, are most likely to provide the right attributes for birds to co-exist with. For example, hummingbirds drink the nectar from plants and, in the process, assist in the pollination of the species to form a mutually beneficial relationship.

2. Native plants create natural corridors where birds can fly back and forth in their natural habitats. In contrast, non-native plants can disrupt the flow, so to speak. Such aspect of plant cultivation is of particular importance to areas impacted by manmade development projects.

3. Indigenous plants will not crowd out other plant species, thus, ensuring diversity of plant life beneficial for the attraction of the local wildlife including birds. In contrast, non-native plants may provide abundant food for birds but are more likely to invade the entire area; examples include Japanese honeysuckle and buckthorn.

4. Of course, the definition of native plants will vary from one location to the next, which is also compounded by the fact that many plants are considered indigenous to several zones. The best way to determine whether a plant is indigenous to the area is to ask the experienced staff of your local plant nursery for more information.

5. When selecting native plants for your bird-friendly garden, consider the following factors:

6. Choose plants that provide food for birds in various ways such as from buds, flowers and nectar aside from the usual fruits.

7. Select species that provide food the whole year-round or for the most parts of the year so that the birds will keep coming even in winter. For example, serviceberries, mulberries and wild cherries provide fruits for the spring; magnolia, spicebush and flowering dogwood have ripening fruits in the fall; and nannyberry, crabapple and hawthorn provide winter sustenance.

The more diverse your choices in native plants, the more diverse the bird life in your garden!

Basics About Bearded Dragon Facts

Bearded dragons make very interesting pets. There is a lot to learn about bearded dragon facts and how to care for them. Pogona is the actual real scientific name for them. The lizards usually live in arid warm deserts with little moisture in regions of Australia. They can usually be found in the wild spending quite a bit of their time playing on branches and in the sun in the early morning and late afternoon. They are also good little climbers and enjoy basking on rocks in the heat.

The genus originates from the sub family Agaminae and is from the family called Agamidae. They are naturally cold blooded being reptiles. They posses spiny scales all around their bodies. Whenever they may feel they are being threatened they are able to expand out their spiny scales around the throat to show their aggression. The also can move around their head in an up and down motion to show dominance amongst males.

There are many color combinations. A lot of times they are dark golden brown and also can come in tan and brown. Occasionally they also have black markings. They have the ability to change their color on their scales during a rivalry or when the temperatures rise or drop. Fully grown they are around thirteen to twenty-four inches long on average.

People usually keep them as pets. One of the most common varieties is the Pogona viticeps or more commonly known as the Central Inland Bearded Dragons. Pogona is also a term that can cover other species too. They are quite popular pets because of how easy it is to maintain and care for them as well as their calm nature. They are probably one of the most popular lizards kept among reptile pets. They can be quite interesting. They are happy when they have a properly maintained enclosure to live and play in and make wonderful pets.

They are naturally omnivorous and they consume both plants and animals. When in the wild they eat a large variety of foods. Ones kept as pets most of the time eat green leafy vegetables as well as insects coated with a powder supplement. Crickets are a very common and popular choice for them. They can also consume flies, butter worms, silk worms and one their favorites super worms.

Some popular choices in green leafy vegetables include collard greens, parsley, carrot tops, and turnips. Some orange colored vegetables can also be eaten including squash, carrots, pumpkins, and beets. Other favorites include celery, rosemary, basil, hibiscus, rose petals and oregano. They need a bit of variety in their diets but they are very easy to keep healthy and happy.

Fruits including apples, pears, strawberries, grapes, melons, mangoes and papayas are good too. Owners are discouraged from feeding wild insects because it exposes them to viruses and parasites among other dangers. Some bugs including fire flies contain a fatal ingredient known as bioluminescent chemicals which can kill lizards when consumed. Depending on their environment and health level they easily can live about five to ten years on average inside captivity.

For additional information about bearded dragon facts you can quickly find out more online. Also pet stores have great information on the topic you may want to check out. There are so many different sources you can find on this topic. They usually make great pets and do not grow very big. They usually are friendly and easy to handle even for children since they are tame.

Tips for Keeping Your Pet Birds Warm in Winter

As the weather cools down, it’s important to remember that birds need additional care in winter. Many of our exotic and pet bird breeds are originally from warm, tropical climates and cold temperatures can be a health challenge. Here are a few guidelines for pet bird owners to keep in mind during cooler temperatures that will help them keep their pet birds healthy and happy.

Bird owners should move the cage to a draft free location, away from windows and doors. Moving your bird’s cage to a central location in the home can make a big difference in keeping deadly drafts and cold air away from sensitive birds. Shrink-wrap insulation kits can be used on windows and unused doorways in winter to keep cold air out and warm air in. Increasing the humidity indoors in winter is also good for birds, eliminating dryness and excess dander.

Remember that birds are sensitive to smoke and fumes that can come from wood, gas or kerosene heaters. Some electric heaters are treated with a non-stick coating, which can create fumes that are deadly to birds. Some radiator-style electric heaters can be effective, but be sure to check on possibly harmful coatings.

Bird owners should definitely have a cage cover on hand. Covering the cage at night will help keep birds cozy. Some birds enjoy snugglies and snoozies to help keep them warm at night. Heat lamps can be used, and infrared bulbs will create a glow that does not interfere with the bird’s sleep cycle. It’s important to choose only a bird-safe heat lamp recommended for avian use. Pay attention to the bulbs used in the heat lamp – any bulbs coated with polytetrafluoroethylene can emit toxic fumes when overheated. There are also ceramic heating elements that can be used for birds – from those that clamp onto the cage to heat panels that are placed around the cage. These are specifically designed for animal and avian use. Infrared heat panels that attach to the cage are also an energy-efficient way to keep your bird cozy this winter.

In addition to keeping your bird warm, you’ll want to ensure that heating your home doesn’t result in a lack of humidity. If so, there are a few simple things you can do to provide the proper conditions for your bird. Regular baths, showers or light misting should be continued throughout the winter months. You can also increase humidity in the home by using a vaporizer or humidifier designed for birds. Other options include placing shallow pans of water on radiators or in the oven when you’re pre-heating it, or simply leaving the bathroom door open when you shower to allow the steam into the house.

Feeding your bird a healthy, vitamin-rich diet throughout the year will help boost its immune system and stay healthier despite changes in temperature. Bird owners should make sure the winter diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables to maintain optimal health.

Of course, keeping a watchful eye on pet birds throughout the winter is important. As you make changes to your bird’s environment, be on the lookout for signs of overheating, such as panting, extended neck or holding the wings away from the body. Also keep an eye out for signs of any health problems – exposure to cold temperatures can lower the bird’s immunity and result in illness. At any time of year, simple bird care and monitoring will ensure that pet birds stay healthy and happy.

4 Common Health Issues of Tokay Geckos and How to Deal With Them

As the pet owner, you need to make sure that your gecko is healthy all the time. It’s not enough that you give them food and keep their tanks well. There are many other factors that affect the physical condition of geckos. The good thing about them though is that they don’t require too much attention like most domesticated animals. You can leave them for a day all alone without having to worry about their welfare. But then again, you need to make sure that all their needs are met in order to keep your geckos healthy and happy.

If you’re new to raising geckos, particularly Tokay geckos, below are some of the most common health issues they may encounter. Let’s discuss each one of them thoroughly so you will know what to do when confronted with such issues.

1.Parasitism
Geckos can tolerate a few internal parasites just like humans do. But if they’re injured, stressed, or ill, these parasites can easily propagate until such time that they are already absorbing all the nutrients that the gecko needs to survive. Parasites can also live on the external body of the gecko. If you notice some crust-like areas on the skin of your pet, it’s an indication of parasitism. Treatment of this condition includes administering anti-parasite medications and keeping their environment clean and well-sanitized to avoid re-infection.

2.Stress
This condition is usually a result of moving to another environment. During the first days of your gecko in its new tank, expect that the gecko will experience some sort of stress. Don’t take this issue lightly because stress often leads to a lot more health problems such as poor shedding, malnourishment, and more. Giving your gecko some time to adjust in its new environment is essential. Don’t hold it too much especially if it’s not used to it. Handling geckos need time and patience. You should not hold it anytime you want to. Proper timing is very much important.

3.Wounds
Normally, geckos that are living together in the same tank would fight and bite each other. This can lead to wounds. Even those that are living alone can injure themselves from scratching their bodies to rigid surfaces and pointed objects. Wounds can get infected which can lead to more serious health problems on your Tokay. So be careful.

4.Metabolic Bone Disease
All geckos are prone to this health problem. To prevent the onset of metabolic bone disease, they should be given with calcium and vitamin D3. These vitamins come in supplement forms which you can mix with their food. Geckos that do not receive sufficient amount of calcium may experience in a loss of bone density. This condition can result to crippling deformities.

Keeping your gecko healthy can be fun and at the same time challenging. There are a few things that you also need to consider. These include the food, shelter, and vitamins. Your gecko must be well-fed and given attention to so it grows healthy, alert, and beautiful.

5 Things to Expect From Your First Tokay Gecko

Tokay geckos are such amazing creatures. Their natural appeal and charisma is the reason why more and more people are becoming interested in making this particular type of reptile as pet. They may not have colors that are as glowing and beautiful as leopard geckos but there’s something about them that really make them extremely special.

However, Tokays have characteristics and personalities that you may not like. And if you don’t handle it right, you can get disappointed in your pet. So if this is your first time to own this kind of pet, there are some things you should be ready for.

1. Tokays can be very aggressive.
Many people end up selling their Tokays or passing them over to friends and relatives because they found out that this reptile is not sweet and can even hurt them. Unlike leopard geckos, Tokays are more of a fighter. They don’t want to be touched or held often especially if they’re new to the environment. So during your first encounter with your Tokay, don’t forget to put in your gloves. And also, don’t hold it without asking an expert to teach you how. When it bites, it bites hard! So be very careful.

2. Male Tokays are better off alone.
The last thing you want to do is to put multiple male Tokay geckos in a single tank. These creatures are very territorial. Unless it’s a female, they would never want to share their territory with any other geckos.

3. Geckos love crickets.
Don’t make a pet out of Tokay gecko if you’re afraid of crickets! Geckos are not geckos when they don’t eat crickets. Anyway, this type of insect can be purchased from local pet stores. It’s important to feed your pet with live and full crickets so it gets the nutrition it needs.

4. They want warm places.
Tokays are mostly found in the tropical rainforests of Asia. To make your pet feel more comfortable in its new home, you want to make it feel as if it’s in the same place where they used to be. Keeping the humidity inside the tank or terrarium is a must. Ideally, the level of humidity should be between 40 and 80 percent. This can be easily achieved by placing moist (not wet) substrate inside the tank and proper misting. Failure to sustain such level of humidity can lead to various health problems.

5. Tokays want it clean.
Sanitation and maintenance are essential to keeping your pet healthy. In order to maintain a beautiful, hygienic, and attractive environment for your Tokay, make it a daily habit to clean its terrarium. Remove the feces from the walls or substrate, clean and refill the water dish, replace the substrate at least every three months, and take away any other clutter like dried plants, dead insects, etc.

When you know what to expect from your Tokay, you can become the best pet owner. Tokays are not really hard to deal with. You just have to know a little bit more about them so you can understand what they feel and provide what they need.