Who are these kids and why are they calling me mom?

Sometimes you just have to put on your big girl panties and deal with it

About Tenrecs… October 16, 2007

Filed under: Critters — Steph @ 9:03 am

Nic, I’m posting this for you.  🙂  I’m assuming you want to know the other breeder’s thoughts on them since you already know what they are!  🙂

His adults are wild caught and they live in a colony situation, all 3 females and both males live together.  He’s never had a single fight.  We’ve always been told by the other breeders they would fight, keep them separate so that was interesting to hear.  Mine are separate for now but we’ll see how I feel later on.  I hate to lose one to a fight.  I wonder if it’s the difference between the truly captive bred and the wild caught.

He feels very strongly that the early diet choices are what killed off the first captive tenrecs along with a lack of enrichment and playing around too much with trying to stop the torpor, etc…

He feeds all kinds of stuff from roughage to fruits but he really stresses the bugs.  He says he insects are an ABSOLUTE must and a wide variety is better.

He’s had his adults for 7 years and never had so much as a sniffle.  He lets them torpor at will but kicks up the heat when they do.

Apparently they are showing up at auctions as I heard someone bought one.  😦  (not his in case that’s confusing)

He also said they bite, period!  He said it doesn’t matter how they’re raised or how they’re socialized they will bite at will and we can’t change that.

His adults are not tame, he’s not tried to tame them.  The only reason he even knows their sex is because the females have had babies.

 His latest babies are hand raised, mom just wouldn’t care for them but they’re his first hand raised babies, he said he’s had really good luck.

That’s about all he said I can elaborate on.  He tries to mimic natural environment in his enclosure and that’s about it.  He says let them climb so make sure they have something to climb.

Interestingly that guy from the UK that spoke at the show on Euro hedgies said their diet is bugs and wild bird eggs period.  Cory asked if they eat any roughage, veggies, etc… and he said no.  He said they live on earth worms and slugs primarily and then they will pick off a few bird eggs and snuffle through some garbage and compost piles.  He said gingivitis and plaque are a problem in wild hedgies they’ve transplanted beause their diet is the softer bugs.  He said they’ll eat the bigger harder bugs but they prefer the softer ones so they see a lot of tooth decay.

They also see tumors and cancers in the wild populations.  He hasn’t studied Tennies at all, these were the first he’d ever seen, but I think you can take some of what he said about the Euro hedgies and use it.  My tennies are going to get the cat food but they’re going to get a lot of bugs too.  Since they come from a rainforest environment I’m wondering if that’s where the other guy sees the veggies and fruit come in to play.  I have to draw the line somewhere so I’m not getting those nasty hissing cockroaches that are as big as my head, but they’ll get lots of mealies, butterworms (when I can freaking find them), and crickets for the harder shells.  I know some of the others are feeding those big roaches but BLECH!!!  The butterworms are really full of lots of good stuff but they’re hard to find.  They’re hard to breed in captivity so most of them are shipped in and are more costly as well.

Cory’s girl from Jeanne is very friendly, she likes to play with you and love on you and she’s never bitten anyone at all.  My boys from your friend and mine that shares your area are NOT friendly.  One of them took a serious chomp on her finger and would NOT let go.  She pulled a nasty on me right before the show so I ALMOST backed out.  I was really close to not buying them at all.  In the end I decided I had to have them to make the other two worth my while, I have to build my herd even if it meant swallowing my pride and it defintely did.  The chomp he took didn’t bum me out I can tell you!!  The other boy who was not advertised as a biter bit me on Sunday.  Not a huge bite but I think only because he couldn’t get a good hold.  The boy Cory got, a girl Gioia got, and my boys were all huffy and bitey so I was a bit bummed there.  Joey is really bummed, he’s used to Cory’s girl an really wants to hold these boys but I just can’t trust them.  I am working with them but not with exposed skin for sure.

Also, she said they were in “full torpor”.  The “bitey” boy can’t be, he’s way too active so either the trip knocked him out of torpor or he wasn’t in.  The other boy is either in torpor or didn’t handle the travel well.  He got chilled on the way home on Sunday and he’s pretty sluggish. 

There’s lots of different opinions even among the 3 “breeders” we both know so if you want to know more give me a call or e-mail me and I’ll tell you all of it. 

My new kids will be here late next month I think so if you’re thinking you want to get back in just let me know and I’ll make sure to keep you apprised of babies.  The new kids are very young so it will be a while but Cory’s girl is old enough to breed so hopefully we’ll see something soon between the two of us.  When Lizzie goes down for a nap I am going to spend a little time with my boys so I’ll edit this to add pictures.  The “bitey” boy is really dark, darker than I’ve seen yet.


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