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!

The Importance of the Right Reptile Lighting

It is no secret that your cold-blooded creatures are in desperate need of an outside source of heat to survive. In spite of this knowledge, it is often too surprising to learn that more owners still believe that any reptile lighting is enough. This is a common misconception since the wrong brand could lead to serious illness, and even death. One of the obvious ways to prevent this is to learn for yourself the different types of luminosity, which is available in the market. It is also a great idea to study the physical make-up of the species you own to get a clear grasp of its toleration to heat.

First of all, you have to consider the dimensions of your reptile cages and terrariums before settling on any type of lighting. Once you’ve already determined the exact measurements of your pets’ home, it will now be easier for you to choose the precise length, and even type, of the device that your cold-blooded friends need. Of course, you also have to consider the shape of the glass case. For example, if you’ve settled for the usual, rectangular frame, then the fluorescent strips are the perfect piece for you. On the other hand, if you’ve decided to go for a circular or a hexagonal bowl, small bulbs would suffice.

Before you install a particular type of lighting, you are required to make an inventory, if not a mental note, of the reptile supplies, which are kept inside the terrarium. This list includes the permanent items, such as your decorative pieces, substrates, food and water dishes, and the like.

By doing this, you are given a clear idea on the kind of device, as well as the power of its radiance and heat, which you need to set up. However, if you find that a particular bulb suits the needs of your cold-blooded friends well, while the ornaments cannot handle the warmth, it will be wiser to replace the items with more durable ones.

Your choice of reptile lighting should also be suitable to the species of cold-blooded creatures you keep. For example, ordinary pets, like the iguana and lizards, require less heat, and they are happy with a mere basking lamp. On the other hand, snakes also need less warmth, while the small crocodiles mandate more radiance constantly.

The reptile lighting for you also depends on its setup procedures in the sense that you should choose a model, which is not too tedious for you to install. You may decide on a brand, which is meant to be fixed inside the terrarium in the same way that you would do your decorative adornments.

Finding the perfect lighting to give your reptiles a comfortable home is not a problem when you have already considered every aspect, which may affect your purchase.

Beginners Basic Guide – How to Choose and Care for Your Horse

The first step would be to ensure that you have somewhere to keep your new pet. Whether you own property, or rent pasture, the ideal area where your horse will stay needs to be secured with fencing. The area should be at least a couple acres with some sort of shelter such as a barn or lean too. You should always do a walk through of the pasture before releasing your pet. Remove anything that could pose a danger to your horse such as garbage, poisonous plants, old fencing, dead trees etc.

After deciding where you will be keeping your horse you will need to actually choose a horse that is compatible with yourself and your family. Do not be afraid to ask potential sellers or adopters a variety of questions such as, the history and age of the horse and make sure you take advantage of this time by addressing any potential health or behavioral issues.

Visually Check the horse over well, including lifting the hooves to make sure that they are rounded properly, crack free and have been trimmed and taken care of. You will want to pay particular attention to the frog of the hoof, as this area is an important part. If the frog of the hoof is damaged it can cause issues when riding such as limping, lameness and further damage.

You can judge the approximate age of a horse by lifting the upper lip to look at the way the teeth have worn and the way that they line up. After the age of fifteen the upper teeth will start to overlap the bottom teeth. A horse under ten will have perfectly aligned teeth, where the upper teeth sit right on top of the lower teeth.

If you plan on riding your pet, then you will want to bring your preferred saddle along with you when meeting the horse. After asking relevant questions, you should test drive the horse to make sure that it is the one for you.

It is a good idea to check out more than one horse and familiarize yourself with each potential pet. You should plan on spending a little bit of time with each animal so that you can watch their actions and reactions.The more you know about the horse the better chance you have of choosing the perfect pet.

Horses require a lot of time and care. The basics of caring for your pet are proper food, water and shelter. Your pet will also need to have their feet trimmed regularly as well as being wormed every three months and yearly vaccinations.On occasion your horses teeth will need to be floated.These animals can be costly to own and they are a long- term investment, so you will want to choose wisely.

Choosing a Winning Barrel Racing Futurity Prospect

When selecting a barrel racing futurity prospect, the first thing I consider is the horse’s pedigree. Are the bloodlines in the prospect’s pedigree statistically proven to win in futurity competitions? The sire with the most winning futurity horses is Dash Ta Fame. There are horses sired by Dash Ta Fame that have not won and there are horses not sired by him that have won, but statistically his offspring perform better, and I prefer to stack the odds in my favor. Most people are misinformed to think that an average mare can produce an outstanding foal if bred to an outstanding stallion. I disagree. The truly phenomenal horses, come from outstanding mares, therefore, I heavily weigh the dam’s side of the pedigree. I consider whether she was a great performer herself, or if any of her previous foals have performed well. Both sides of the pedigree should be able to stand on the own merit, and should not be used to compensate each other.

Next, I study the prospect’s conformation, how its body is built. There are specific attributes that better equip barrel horses to perform their jobs. I look for a big, round, dark, “soft,” kind-looking eye. An eye with this appearance signifies intelligence. I want a nice slope to the shoulder, a steep shoulder indicates a short stride without much reach. That being said, the angle of the shoulder and the hip should match, indicating the horse will be able to collect effectively in training. Moving down from the hip to the hocks, I prefer a lower hock set to a higher one. This allows a horse to get underneath itself for the turn, and should be powerful pushing off with its hind end. Moving further down to the pasterns, I look for a well-balanced pastern. Too long and the horse will be more prone to injuries, too short and the horse’s stride will be hampered. The overall legs should not be too finely boned, as this will lend the horse towards more injuries. I also study the back and underline. I prefer a short back and long underline. This indicates speed and agility. I do not consider height too much when selecting a prospect. There is not a perfect size for winning. I have seen pro horses winning that are anywhere between 14- 17 hands. I prefer mine to be between 15.0-15.3, but that is a personal preference. Short horses can be just as fast as the tall horses if they have the conformation to do so. That is what is important. Barrel racing, especially futurities, asks a lot of the horses’ bodies. Selecting a prospect that is naturally better equipped to perform the task will only give you an advantage in the arena, as well as aid in preventing injuries.

There are advantages and disadvantages to selecting your prospect from the race track. The disadvantages could be endless if you do not buy from a reputable trainer. The horse could already have soundness issues. It could be mentally pushed too hard, therefore will be unable to adapt to barrel training. They could be infusing the horse with illegal substances. These instances, unfortunately, do happen at race tracks, but can be avoided if you know where you should be purchasing. If you buy from a reputable trainer, the advantages include that the horse has already been taught to run. Some people see babies out in the pasture with their moms frolicking around and assume horses naturally know how to run. This is not the case. Horses have no idea how to run at the speed needed for competition and must be trained to do so. When they come from the track, you do not have to include that in your barrel training. Another advantage is that they have already been exposed to the newness of hauling and travelling to new places. Track horses are well seasoned, whereas horses that have not been to the track must slowly adjust to the experiences of hauling.

How to Raise Arowana Fish From Home

Arowana are very interesting fish. Many people who raise Arowana as pets, choose the silver Arowana fish. After all, folklore says that owning an Arowana can bring about good fortune and ward off evil spirits. Sounds like great reasons to me for owning one of these fish.

The fish is unique looking, elongated with a body that is covered in silvery scales. The fish is also known for its short head and rigid jaw. This fish is found in many parts of the world such as South America, parts of Africa, Vietnam, Australia, and Asia, to name a few.

Although the Arowana is a very pretty fish, it’s very much a predator. In the wild, the Arowana eats other fish, insects, and even birds. Because the fish has the ability to literally jump out of the water, it can snag animals off of low hanging tree branches and brush. As pets, this fish is known for often jumping out of their fish tanks. This especially happens when they are spooked by loud noises and other disturbances.

Also, because of the fish’s aggressive nature, it’s known for eating tank mates and even attacking other Arowana. In other words, it’s hard for these guys to make friends in the fish tank.

Not only are these fish tough themselves, they are also tough to raise at home. To raise these fish on your own, you need a very large tank. Most experts recommend a fish tank that is at least 250 gallons. That’s because a full-grown Arowana can get to 47 inches long. And having a small tank would not allow them to swim about and turn as needed.

Additionally, the water, like with any fish tank, needs to be at just the right temperature and have the correct pH.

For Arowana, the temperature should be between 75 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit (24-30 C) and the pH should be kept between 6.5 and 7.5.

Since the fish is so aggressive, adding other fish to the fish tank can be tricky. However, it is possible to find tank mates for the fish. For example, sometimes Oscars, Jack Dempsey fish, and catfish can work. Having said that, there is absolutely no guarantee because of the aggressive nature of the fish.

The Silver Arowana can be challenging to raise from home, proper care is essential to be successful. However, raising them can also be a very rewarding hobby.