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Low maintenance mammal

Hedgehogs, Rabbits, Skunks, Squirrels, Bats, genets, civets etc.

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Alynn
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Location: Michigan

Re: Low maintenance mammal

Postby Alynn » Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:08 pm

As for those who have been discussing mice, mice aren't as social towards people as far as rats are, I think. I had about four mice over the course of five or six years when I was younger. Surprisingly, the mice that I got to feed my ball python were much friendlier than the fancy mice I got from the pet store that were sold specifically as pets.

They also really stink, mind you. I cleaned out their cage about 3-4 times a month, but my mom would always complain whenever she came into the room, and I only kept females.

I keep trying to think of other animals. There's chinchillas, but I've heard they have to be socialized pretty well or else they can end up quite skittish and can regress.

Has anyone mentioned short tailed opossums? I know we have a breeder here on the forum.
http://www.rainbowwildlife.com/short-ta ... ssums.html
From what I read of them, they seem to vary individually as far as personality goes, but:
"Some owners prefer to observe their short-tailed opossums rather than interact closely with them, and the solitary STO are perfectly happy with that."

They are demanding in diet, however, and can't simply be fed a staple diet you'd give a rodent.

You also might want to research degus and gerbils. I've heard since they are desert animals and like dust baths, that they smell a bit less than others.

Honestly, I find a snake a bit more cuddly than some rodents, lol. I liked when I had my snake I could just put him in my shirt or in my lap or wherever he was comfortable and just let him hang out, whereas you have to keep an eye on small rodents to make sure they don't get spooked and scurry off. I've also been bit by way more small mammals than I have lizards and snakes that I've had. You don't have to handle them all that often and they remain docile, and if you can get them to eat frozen food, it's really simple to feed them and you only have to do so once a week or so.

Have you also considered birds? Most birds like parakeets and what not are fairly loud and higher maintenance than most small animals, but from what I've heard about button quail, you might be interested. They seem fairly hands off and content with that, but can be handled.

and I also think a cat isn't as high maintenance as you might imagine. Scoop their litter box daily, change it weekly, feed them twice a day, play with them at least 15 minutes, and there you go. Mine are usually content to keep to themselves but will cuddle with you at times. They can just get into a lot of trouble if they are stimulated enough, though.
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BlueBaby1023
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Re: Low maintenance mammal

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:37 pm

I definitely agree with TG. My guinea pigs are much more sensitive and fragile than my rats used to be. I don't think they smelled as bad as my rats did, but I had unneutered males, so that likely added to the problem.

Compared to my rabbits, they have about the same amount of dietary needs, and you have to be particularly careful about veggies and foods, because they really shouldn't have any seeds (and most commercial diets have seeds/unnecessary ingredients like honey) and most veggies are far too high in calcium and will cause them to have bladder stones. Both species can be particularly sensitive to sugar in their diets, and should only be fed fruits on occasion, and a certain (small) percentage of any GP or rabbit population will have persistent GI problems and require extreme maintenance or they will fade incredibly fast. In addition, if they do get sick, they tend to go downhill in a matter of hours. Diarrhea is generally lethal if not treated incredibly quickly (generally less than 12 hours).

However, with that said, my rats both developed mycoplasmic pneumonia at about a year and a half, and had to be on oral antibiotics twice daily for the rest of their lives (about 9 months for one and 10 months for the other). The condition is similar to TB in people (same genus of bacteria). In the end, if you don't have MP, the rats will have cancer, which is also a heavily integrated process.

To be honest, I don't think of any small "pocket pet" as low maintenance. The lowest maintenance out of my seven animals are my cats. I scoop their litter box every other day, keep their food and water bowls full, and they reward me with purrs and snuggles in bed. :) But again, on that same note, they are not without maintenance. My female kitty (in my picture) has had persistent diarrhea, which at this point is likely a food allergy coupled with IBD, for over a month now and has been on a couple rounds of antibiotics. No animal is without maintenance, but I'd say most often cats are the lowest maintenance animals I've ever had.
4 Fancy Rats
2 American Guinea Pigs
1 Holland Lop Rabbit
1 Rex Rabbit
2 Ferrets
1 Lutino Cockatiel
5 Mixed Breed Cats
1 PitxLab
1 Great Pyr
1 Greyhound
2 Great PyrxAnatolian Shepherds
2 Red Foxes
5 Goats
~100 chickens, ducks, and turkeys

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