Describe a chinchilla diet
Pelleted diet - 15% protein and low fat
High fibre requirements - lots of good quality hay
VERY small quantities of fruit and veg - prone to diabetes
What are chinchillas prone to?
Diabetes. Limit fruit and veg intake!
Describe a rat/mouse diet
Pelleted food and small variety of ‘tit-bits’ e.g. biscuit
Should be fed from cricks or hoppers (upside down feeders)
What should be avoided when feeding rats or mice?
Beware of overfeeding
Avoid fatty snacks e.g. sunflower seeds.
(obesity is a real problem in mice as don’t get near the same exercise as wild mice)
Describe the hamster diet
Complete pelleted food - 18% protein
Prone to protein deficiency - should be supplemented with hard-boiled eggs, nuts, seeds, mealworms.
May give fruit/veg as treat, but avoid those with high moisture content.
What should you check for in regards to hamster food?
They tend to hoard their food so check bed and cage for old food - mould etc.
What can a hamster do with its food if it feels stressed?
If it doesn’t think there is a safe place to leave its food, it will carry it in its pouches all the time.
Describe the gerbil and Jird diet
Complete pelleted Gerbil food
Scatter or hide food to encourage foraging
Require 16% protein and 5% fat
Extra protein can be added by supplementing with seeds, nuts, hard-boiled eggs etc.
Small amount of fruit/veg - avoid high moisture content.
Describe the ferret diet
Digestive system is not designed to cope with more than 5% fibre
All meat diet is unsuitable as they require a calcium: phosphate ratio 1:1
Easier to feet commercial complete ferret pellets
Feed twice daily
Describe the chipmunk diet
Commercial chipmunk or hamster mix
Supplement with protein source of hard boiled eggs or dog biscuits
Additional veg but be wary of hoarding
What do guinea pigs need in their diet that rabbits don’t?
Describe the rabbit diet
Small amount of concentrated pellets (guide: 1 egg cup per kg of rabbit)
Ad lib access to hay or grass
Fruit tree branches for gnawing
Describe the diet of snakes
Carnivores - get all the nutrients they need by eating their prey whole.
(some snakes are insectivores- they’re insect prey must be gut-loaded with calcium and vitamin D3; some snakes are fish-eating e.g. garter snakes - will require thiamine supplement)
Usually eat mice - pinkies , fuzzies, small mice, large mice, rats.
Start feeding after their first shed (at one week old) then once per week. Adult feeding varies.
Don’t forget ab lib fresh water
Should regularly weigh snakes
How often should you feed snakes?
Corn snakes and king snakes - possibly mice everyday
Larger snakes and boas - rats or even rabbits every 2-3 weeks
How can you tell if a snake is hungry?
Up at glass often
Moving around viv more than usual
Flicking tongue more than usual
Describe the method for feeding snakes
*Don’t allow your hand to become associated with food! - use tongs
Present food head first
May warm food
Lizard diets are highly variable between species. Give some examples
Geckos and skinks eat insects and mealworms dusted in calcium.
Monitor lizards tend to eat raw eggs, dog food or rats/mice.
What insects are provided as food?
How can tell if appropriate size for your lizard?
Crickets Locusts Fruit flies Mealworms Waxworms
- length of cricket should be no greater than the width of the lizards neck
How often should lizards be fed?
Young lizard - about 2 times per day
Fast-growing lizards -about 3 times per day
Once growth slows, so does appetite
Some adult geckos may only need to be fed as little as twice a week
What may be done to insects before feeding to lizards?
Dusted with Calcidust - vit d3 should also be supplemented
Gut loading - crickets are fed highly nutritious food, high in calcium and vitamins.
Describe the tortoise diet
Must be varied in fibre, vitamins, minerals
Low in fat and protein.
Should be fed ad lib
*do not cut fresh grass -can cause colic
Wild plants e.g. dandelion leaves (plants that grow from bulbs tend to be poisonous!)
Leafy greens and veg - kale, cabbage, celery, carrot
(make sure to mix it up - too much broccoli or cabbage can cause goitre (iodine deficiency) )
Suitable flowers include dandelions, roses
A little fruit can be given on occasion
Can also feed tortoise pellets - can be supplemented with extra vit/min
Provide fresh water
Describe the terrapin diet
Largely eat fish and aquatic invertebrates
Only eat in water - messy!
Fresh fish e.g. prawns, whitebait
Tinned dog or cat food, eggs, worms occasionally - cover with vit c supplements
Small insects, crustaceans etc
Suitable plants e.g. dandelion, watercress
Young terrapins should be fed everyday - as get older feed 2-3 times per week
Terrapin food should also be dusted with multivitamin and calcium powder to prevent calcium and vit d3 deficiencies. Generally dust 2-3 times per week.
What should be supplemented in carnivorous chelonians?
Vit A and calcium
Lack of these can cause shell deformities and/or kidney damage
Describe the avian diet
Dry seeds - majority of diet (if on seeds only, will become deficient in Vit A)
- minerals and vitamins e.g. cuttlefish block for Ca and Mineral block.
- Veg - e.g. spinach, corn, dandelions. no acidic fruit
- Fresh clean water
- Grit ( essential for seed eaters)
- can get species specific complete diet