Five snakes that are good for beginner reptile keepers 0 411

Pet Ball Python pet

Snakes are the most popular reptile pet to keep, but are they easy to look after? They do make unusual pets, but with good pet care – the right equipment, food and environment – they will thrive.

If you’re a beginner, what snake should you get to start you off? Here’s our rundown of five snakes that will make a great pet for first time snake keepers.

Corn Snake

Corn snakes are one of the most popular first time snakes to buy. They don’t grow too big – an adult corn snake needs a 20 gallon tank. They will live for around 20 years.

They’re easy to handle and to look after. They feed on mice. Corn snakes are quite active, so will need time outside their tank for exercise.

Royal or Ball Python

The royal python (also known as the ball python) can live for up to 30 years, and grow up to five feet.

Royal pythons are a timid species, so don’t appreciate much handling – they need somewhere to hide within their tank. For tank size allow 1 square foot to each foot of snake in length.

Royals eat mice or rats, depending on the size of their mouth.

King Snake

King snakes live for about 15 years. There are lots of different types, with some growing up to six feet.

King snakes are active, so will need time out of their tank, and can bite when cornered, but with careful and regular handling should settle.

They feed on mice and rats, and need the same sized tank proportions as a royal python.

Rosy Boa

Rosy boas are fairly docile, but can bite if caught unaware. Rosy boas grow to about four feet in length and will live for about 30 years. They need a reasonable size tank, and places to hide as well. Rosy boas feed on mice.

Garter snake

Garter snakes grow up to three foot long, and live to about 10 years.

They need around a 29 gallon tank to be comfortable. Garter snakes do eat mice, but prefer fish, and food like frogs, so it’s best to give them a varied diet.

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5 things you need to know about micro pigs 0 228

Micro pigs are no longer seen as a fad or even a luxury animal, as many homeowners have now embraced these animals as their family pet. The micro pig is intelligent, fond of people, and unlike dogs, do not need to be walked. Below we share the top five things that you need to know about the micro pig before choosing one as your family pet.

1. How big do they grow?

The size of the micro pig is a huge consideration when it comes to planning your outside and indoor living space for your new pet. Generally, they can reach a height of up to 16 inches and can weight up to 65 pounds. This usually occurs around two years of age.

2. How long do they live?

Micro pigs can live anywhere between five to 10 years, according to the RSPCA. However, it is not unusual for a micro pig to live for up to 25 years if they are healthy and well looked after.

3. Can you potty train them?

This is probably a question that many of us think about, but never dare ask. The good news is that yes, you can. This, however, can take a lot of time and perseverance. Just remember that micro pigs are clean animals and will not use a toilet near their bed. It’s also a good idea to use positive reinforcement and to have an area outside for toilet purposes.

4. Can they be kept indoors?

This very much depends upon your indoor living space. Ideally, they should be kept outdoors, but if you have an indoor living space that is at least 36 square metres, and has access to the outside, then this is also acceptable.

5. The outdoor area

The most important aspect here is that your micro pig can roam free in a safe outdoor space. It needs to be able to provide lots of space and to prevent the micro pig from escaping. As the micro pig is not very good at regulating its temperature, they are very prone to heatstroke. For this reason, they need to have shelter from the sun.

5 things to consider before getting Pygmy goats 0 245

If you are considering getting a new pet then Pygmy goats are a great way to go. These fun-loving, friendly, easy to manage animals are perfect for anyone with a good sized garden looking for something different.

1. You need to have more than one

All goats are herd animals, so if you want to keep them you need to buy at least two. With herd mentality it would also be wise to buy two from the same herd at the same time, otherwise you are giving yourself a lot more work trying to acclimatise them to each other. If you don’t want to breed, you need to buy female goats or castrated males.

2. They do have some environmental needs

Though not demanding, Pygmy goats do have some needs. Their coats aren’t waterproof so they will need shelter. For two or three goats a normal garden shed measuring approximately 8 foot by 10 foot is enough, with a bench or two and some straw for a bed. They need good outdoor space and shouldn’t be tethered. Goats do tend to be adventurous so make sure the area is well fenced and definitely don’t have anything you don’t want to be ruined in the area! Be careful of any additional plants as well, there are a number of plants goats cannot eat, such as daffodils or tulips.

3. Their diet

About 80% of a goat’s diet needs to be dietary fibre, so hay is perfect. Beyond this, a couple of servings of goat mix a day will suffice. They can eat a few treats like chopped apples, but too many could cause stomach problems in at least one of their stomachs (goats have four!).

4. They need your company

Goats need to spend a lot of time with their owners, especially at the beginning, so make sure you have the time for them.

5. Watch them around children

Though every goat is different, their natures tend to be friendly, but not necessarily gentle in their playfulness, so beware of butting.

If you feel you have the space and time, you are guaranteed to have a lot of fun if you add Pygmy goats to your family.

Photo: Pygmy Goat by kimberlykv licensed under Creative commons 2