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Hi there

Tell us a little about yourself, pets or whatever.

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Taw
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:57 am

Hi there

Postby Taw » Sun Oct 05, 2014 3:50 am

Hi, I've been lurking around these forums for a good year or so by now! My name's Erica Taw, and I go by my last name for simplicity's sake -- you run into fewer "Taw"s than "Erica"s on message boards ;)

I'm a recent graduate from a Biology program with a concentration in genetics, but the lack of workforce in my area has me working at my local grocery store in southern Michigan.

Someday I would like to have a fox (preferably a Red). That has been a tentative goal of mine for about eleven years now, ever since I learned about the Beylaev Experiment. I'm blessed to be in my twenties and already own my 5-acre property, along with a nearby pasture (this is the barn-animals' domain), so I believe that I could give a fox a comfortable and stable living environment. I've begun preparing for renovations and, if life continues progressing well, I'll have my money on a fox in 2016! My eyes are on Tinytracks and Hillview Exotics, since these are the reputable breeders nearest to me (from what I understand).

I have previous experience with caring for a few different types of animals, and some of that comes from living all over the United States while growing up. The exotics I've had include breeds of small parrots (lovebirds, budgies, cockatiels), chameleons, emus, ferrets, gerbils, and mice. I've also rehabilitated some wildlife (coyotes, opossums, rabbits, raccoons, sparrows -- all orphans), and nowadays my farm has been home to several breeds of chickens, turkeys, goats, and Icelandic sheep. But of course, I have had my fair share of dogs (border collies, australian shepherds, mutts) and cats (tabbies, ect. strays) as well :)

So... Hello! I'm simply unearthing myself from the depths of anonymity. Nice to finally greet you all :)
Critter Roster:
Emu - Emmett
Ferret - Chance, Pavel
Goat - Calliope, Endira, Sebastian, Shaggy
Turkey - Johnny
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Alynn
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Posts: 1777
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:26 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Hi there

Postby Alynn » Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:00 pm

Welcome to the board, fellow Michigander. I'm in southeast Michigan as well though I no longer have a fox in my care. She's living now at the Creature Conservancy in Ann Arbor.

I thought about majoring in Biology and concentrating in genetics or zoology, but it was too much math for me so I'm majoring in Game Simulation and Animation.

I would highly recommend Tiny Tracks but I would advise staying away from Hillview. Some people have had fine foxes come out of Hillview, but a lot of those people had their foxes shipped and didn't go to the property where the animals are held - from USDA reports Hillview has had some major husbandry and documentation issues for the past several years and it's been slow to get better. Tiny Tracks on the other hand is where I and several other people got their foxes and they are very experienced breeders. There's also Lost River further out in Indiana and I've heard good things about them.
Taw
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:57 am

Re: Hi there

Postby Taw » Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:55 pm

For awhile I was going to go into Game Design (sorta similar, I think?)! But I always loved biology/genetics growing up, so that won in the end... and I went to UofM. I visited the conservancy, and now that I know about your lil' guy, it must've been your fox (Burton?) that I saw!

Thanks much for the tip on Hillview. That might explain why Hillview's foxes are relatively "cheap" (compared to other places I've seen). I've known about Tinytracks' reputation for a good while but only recently found out about Hillview... Was going to do more in-depth research in the coming weeks, but eh, nevermind! I'll keep my eyes set on Tinytracks. They're closest, anyways (1hr is a lot nicer than 2hrs or 5hrs... for me and the fox).
Critter Roster:
Emu - Emmett
Ferret - Chance, Pavel
Goat - Calliope, Endira, Sebastian, Shaggy
Turkey - Johnny
User avatar
Alynn
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Posts: 1777
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:26 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Hi there

Postby Alynn » Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:42 pm

Nope, Miehiera, female arctic. I surrendered her to them last December, so if you haven't been there since then you might not have seen her. There's her and then there's yup, Burton. Burton's a funny guy, whenever Kim (the mammal curator) says calls out for him he just lays on his back and squeals and squeaks without bothering to get up.

You went to school right up the road from me. I'm going to Eastern right now.

Your home also sounds great. I've been thinking about doing rehab once I get older - are you licensed or do you do it 'off the record'?

As far as other breeders, there's also Wess Exotics and Pierce's Precious Paws, both are in Ohio, that you could look into. But I haven't heard much about them.

How do you feel about the domesticated fox experiment? It looks like there's going to be one or two more people I've talked to that might be getting foxes this year, running about 6k+ per fox though.
Taw
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:57 am

Re: Hi there

Postby Taw » Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:18 pm

Ooh, then I didn't see her. I haven't been in about a year... so I just saw the big clown that is Burton.

I spent a little bit of time at Eastern before transferring to UofM (I practically lived on the #4 bus since it goes by both campuses). Never would've guessed any of my classmates had a fox :P (I only wish my property was in the AA/Ypsi area, because Animal Kingdom Veterinary Hospital is right there, y'know? bah well. now I'm 1hr away)

I worked with a wildlife rehabilitation group in California, but I've never been licensed personally. I only rehab things that don't need intense veterinary care -- if they need that, I take 'em to a facility. There isn't a rehab close to me anymore, so I'll take care of things myself if all the animal needs is some formula and/or mild first aid. Super illegal, but I want to at least give 'em a chance out there (as proper human-fearing/human-hating buggers, that is). So... I've done a mix of both, I guess.

I'll give Wess and Pierce's a look, too :) thanks for all the help. We'll see if I can dig anything up...

As for the fox experiment itself-- I might ramble a bit here. I never wholly support experiments (guess it's the objective scientist in me), but I find them all incredibly interesting. This one gives insight on gene correlation through - relatively simple - selective breeding, and this was able to be done in such a short time frame without significant inbreeding (the inbreeding correlations being so low that they're pretty much insignificant, it's like beyond-4th-cousins mating, last I checked). Since my concentration was in genetics, and since I grew up lovin' the stuff, I can't help getting a bit fangirlish about the experiment.
But like in a lot of experiments, the animals have been kept in cramped or otherwise unhealthy conditions (those cages! were/are so small!). Understandable, if the purpose is to forcefully diminish foxes' flight distance, but it's still a huge pity.

But all that aside, even if I could afford it, I wouldn't get a fox from Russia. Putting that kind of stress on an animal (the entire importation process from Russia->USA, I've had to put laid-back dogs through California->Hawaii quarantine and that was even tough on them) for the sake of having a pet is a folly. I'd rather get a fox, born in the USA, bred from the Russian strain or no experiment-related fox at all.
On the flipside, buying a fox from them helps to fund the experiment, and you'd get a tame fox (since it's heavily suggested through research findings that the foxes are domesticated). So... there's a give-and-take for the individual to decide for themselves. I just don't want a Russian-born fox, myself.
Overall, I'm neutral about whether people import foxes. I just hope that the imported foxes are given better living conditions than what they had in Russia :)
Critter Roster:
Emu - Emmett
Ferret - Chance, Pavel
Goat - Calliope, Endira, Sebastian, Shaggy
Turkey - Johnny

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