|Hamsters are rodents. Being rodents they have gnawing teeth that constantly grow. They also have cheek pouches into which they can stuff an incredible amount of food. At Uncle Mikes they are one of the most popular animals sold as pets. Hamsters make perfect pets for today’s working lifestyle as they are dawn to dusk creatures. The life-span of a hamster is from 2-5 years, depending on the species.
A pet hamster does not require a lot of maintenance but a clean, dry cage is essential to its health. Hamsters should have their cage cleaned out once a week, they should be fed once a day and have fresh water given to them every 2 3 days.
Feeding a hamster is no great problem. At Uncle Mikes we sell a commercially prepared hamster mix and many hamster treats which may be given occasionally but these are fattening and should not be given in excess. Hamsters will also eat fresh fruit and vegetables every once in a while but if any remain uneaten in the cage they will start to decay so be careful to remove them. Chew sticks should be provided at all times to help wear their teeth down.
Hamsters do not like draughts and catch colds (human colds and respiratory infections.) Wool bedding should be used in cages to ensure warmth and to avoid hibernation.
At Uncle Mikes we keep a large variety of hamsters:
These are the largest of the hamster breeds adults reaching up to 14cm long. These hamsters are very territorial and should be housed individually once over 12-14 weeks. They can, however, cope with more handling than most other hamsters. They live up to 24 months.
These are dwarf hamsters. They live better in pairs or in colonies but are sometimes quite quarrelsome amongst themselves.
These hamsters are similar to the Russian hamsters but seem to have a nicer temperament.
These dwarf hamsters originated in Mongolia. They are the smallest hamster being only 5cm long when fully grown. They are very friendly and extremely fast. They make an ideal pet for somebody who wants something active and interesting to watch.
These hamsters originated from the deserts of Southern Mongolia. They have a long thin body and have relatively long tails.
Gerbils are rodents. The most common gerbil to be kept as a pet is the Mongolian gerbil. Being rodents they have gnawing teeth that constantly grow. They have a body length of about 10cm when fully grown and posses a furry tail of about the same length.
Gerbils make very good pets, while they are not cuddly they enjoy being handled and will not bite unless mistreated. They do not hibernate in winter nor do they store food. They are active during the day. The life-span of a gerbil is 2-3 years.
A pet gerbil does not require a lot of maintenance but a clean, dry cage is essential to its health. Gerbils should have their cage cleaned out once a week, they should be fed once a day and have fresh water given to them every 2 3 days.
Feeding a gerbil is no great problem. At Uncle Mikes we sell a commercially prepared rodent mix and many gerbil treats which may be given occasionally but these are fattening and should not be given in excess. Gerbils will also eat fresh fruit and vegetables every once in a while but if any remain uneaten in the cage they will start to decay so be careful to remove them. Chew sticks should be provided at all times to help wear their teeth down.
Mice are rodents. Being rodents they have gnawing teeth that constantly grow. Most mice available in pet shops originate from China. They make wonderful pets and come in an assortment of colours such as black, slate, silver, champagne, red/fawn, white and cream. They are not however a pet for those of you out there with sensitive noses, which is why mice at Uncle Mikes are not kept in large numbers, or as regular livestock with the exception of the non-smelling Multimammate Mouse.
Mice do not hibernate in winter nor do they store food. They are active, though not as active maybe as the hamster or gerbil. The life-span of a mouse is 2-3 years.
A pet mouse does not require a lot of maintenance but a clean, dry cage is essential to its health. Mice should have their cage cleaned out twice a week especially as the male is very territorial and marks his territory by urinating. Mice should be fed once a day and have fresh water given to them every 2 3 days.
Feeding a mouse is no great problem. At Uncle Mikes we sell a commercially prepared rodent mix and many treats which can be given occasionally but these are fattening and should not be given in excess. Mice will also eat fresh fruit and vegetables every once in a while but if any remain uneaten in the cage they will start to decay so be careful to remove them. Chew sticks should be provided at all times to help wear their teeth down.
At Uncle Mikes you will also find the South African Multimammate Mouse which, as fore-mentioned, is non-smelling. It does though share the same basic needs and requirements of the Chinese mouse. Hence they are a very popular and suitable house pet.
It might seem hard to believe but rats have been kept as pets for more than 100 years now and it is a well known fact that the domestic rat is one of the friendliest, cleanest most intelligent rodent. They come in a variety of colours.
An adult rat weighs up to 1lb and is about 20cm long with a tail nearly as long again. Like all other rodents they have gnawing teeth that constantly grow.
A pet rat does not require a lot of maintenance but quite a large, clean, dry cage is essential to its health. Rats should have their cage cleaned out once a week, they should be fed once a day and have fresh water given to them every 2 3 days.
Feeding a rat is no great problem. At Uncle Mikes we sell a commercially prepared rat mix and many treats which can be given occasionally but these are fattening and should not be given in excess. If a specific rat mix is not available at your pet store buy a guinea pig mix as hamster food has too many sunflower seeds in it. Rats will also eat fresh fruit and vegetables every once in a while but if any remain uneaten in the cage they will start to decay so be careful to remove them. Chew sticks should be provided at all times to help wear their teeth down.
At Uncle Mikes we keep 3 varieties of Rats:
The Top-Eared Rat
Otherwise known as the Fancy Rat is that rat described above.
The Dumbo Rat
Originally called Elephant-eared rats. Their ears are bigger and more rounded than those of the top-eared rat and they are placed at the side of the head rather than the top. They are different in no other way and can often be born in the same litter as a top-eared rat.
The Hairless Rat
The hairless rat grows hair but loses it when about 3-4 weeks old. Their skin is very soft to touch. They can live happily with other rats and have no special needs except they can’t tolerate the cold. Hairless rats generally have a shorter life span than other rats.
The eastern chipmunk is native to the eastern forests of Canada and the U.S. Like all rodents they have gnawing teeth. They are related to squirrels. Fully grown they have a body 5-7 inches and a tail 3-4 inches long. Chipmunks live a long time for rodents. Males live about 5 years and females about 9 years. Chipmunks are extremely inquisitive and active and can be easily tamed.
A chipmunk should have a large cage with perhaps a wheel for exercise and a timber box to nest in. They should have a diet of nuts and seeds. Chipmunks will store their food like the squirrel does so even if a food dish looks empty it is unlikely that there is no food available. It will have been brought back to the nest. Chipmunks will also eat fresh fruit as a treat but if it remains uneaten in the cage it will start to decay so be careful to remove it. Chew sticks should be provided at all times to help wear their teeth down.
Chipmunks do not like the cold and may hibernate during the winter months. Wool bedding should be given to ensure warmth and to avoid hibernation.
A degu is a rodent native to Chile. It is also known as the Bush-tailed rat, although it is not in any way related to the rat. It is closely related to the Chinchilla and Guinea-pig. They live 5-8 years though to live 10 years is possible. Their adult body size is about 5-7 inches long with a tail about 5 inches long.
Degus are very sociable creatures and tame very well. They live better in groups than on their own. They need a large cage made of wire since they are determined chewers but with a solid bottom as they are prone to foot problems.
Degus need regular dust baths to keep their skin and coat in good condition.
A degu should be fed a guinea-pig mix or chinchilla pellets daily with some grass hay. They are prone to developing diabetes so sugary foods and fruits should not be given. Instead peanuts can be given as an occasional treat. Degus drink a lot and a constant fresh water supply is vital.
The chinchilla is a very sociable, nocturnal rodent native to the South American Andes. They are very intelligent and can adapt their sleeping habits to your way of life. So when you go out they will sleep, when you come home they will wake and want to play.
Chinchillas can live up to 25 years and more. They have very dense fur, too dense to hold fleas, and should not get wet.
Chinchillas use a sand bath to wash and should be given this twice a week. Their diet is critical in sustaining good health. They should be fed chinchilla pellets and given hay for roughage. They cannot digest sugar too well so sugary foods are best avoided. Like all other rodents their teeth grow continuously so suitable wooden blocks should be provided. They love running around and are excellent jumpers so a large cage is necessary, this should be of wire and with or without a solid floor.
A healthy chinchilla will have deep yellow or orange coloured teeth. A chinchilla with white teeth is a sick chinchilla.
These aren’t pigs and they don’t come from Guinea. They are rodents from the Andes of South America. They are one of Uncle Mike’s most popular pets. Suitable for children they are big enough to be cuddly and small enough to handle easily. They are awake during the day unlike some other rodents. Guinea pigs can live 6-8 years. They are vocal animals and will squeak to their owners.
The choice of colours in picking a guinea pig is vast as well as there being several coat types. Long-haired guinea-pigs need regular grooming.
Guinea pigs are sociable creatures and seem to be happier in small groups of 2 or 3 together. They should be kept in a hutch or in a large internal guinea pig cage, neither of which should have a wire floor as they can develop sore soles.
Guinea pigs cannot make or store vitamin C so they need to get it in their diet. Specially prepared guinea pig foods will contain vitamin C, foods prepared for rabbits will not so be careful. Guinea pigs should also get regular portions of fresh vegetables.
Like all other rodents their teeth grow continuously so suitable wooden chews should be provided. Hay and water should always be available.
Rabbits make great pets, and, if given time and attention they are responsive, affectionate and entertaining little animals. A rabbit can live for some 7-8 years. Rabbits come in many colours, sizes, coats and temperaments. For a laid back character the lop-eared rabbit or normal rabbit should be considered. Dwarf rabbits are cute but livelier and not so cuddly.
Rabbits should be housed alone in a hutch or in a large internal rabbit cage. They should be fed a commercial rabbit mix with hay and vegetables. Green cabbage should not be given to your rabbit it can cause diarrhoea and result in the death of your pet. Fresh water must be available at all times.
Rabbits need daily exercise this can be given in a run. Also rabbit harnesses are available to bring your rabbit for a walk.
There is a large variety of rabbits to be found at Uncle Mikes:
The ferret is a flesh-eating carnivorous mammal. Pet ferrets available at Uncle Mikes are domesticated European Polecats. Although used as a general rodent controller the domestic ferret is widely used for rabbit hunting. In its playfulness the ferret can be compared to a dog and by way of its inquisitiveness and diet can be compared to a cat yet they are different to both.
To say that ferrets do not smell would be untrue but all animals have a natural body odour. You can have your pet ferret neutered or spayed whereby the scent gland is removed. Unpleasant ferret smells can also be reduced by keeping bedding fresh, litter boxes clean and by feeding a specialised dried ferret food such as that available at Uncle Mikes.
A ferret can be housed in a wooden hutch, but extra care will be needed to keep it clean and odour-free or in a large wire cage with a solid plastic base.
Ferrets are extremely playful and require regular exercise and stimulation from small animal toys.
|Pygmy goats make an ideal pet for those who want to keep goats but dont want the bother of milking every day. They are still quite uncommon in Ireland and very few registered breeders exist. Pygmy goats are small, self exercising animals and if kept in the right conditions they rarely become ill.
While Uncle Mike is unable to keep any of his goats in the pet shop he keeps a small herd near Clonmel.
Pygmy goats are herd animals and should be kept with at least one other goat for company. A castrated male called a wether makes an ideal companion.
Two pygmy goats can be kept in a well fenced garden, provided they have a shed to sleep in, shelter from the rain and a few logs to climb. Pygmy goats are browsers, not grazers and contary to much belief they do not make good lawnmowers.
It is very important that they be kept away from any poisonous plants as they will cause them harm.
They should be fed a small amount of goat mix twice daily. They should always have fresh drinking water and a plentiful supply of hay available to them.
Pygmy goats require regular worming. This is usually carried out in the spring and autumn. It is also advisable that they be vaccinated against enterotoxaemia, pulpy kidney and tetanus.
There are two types of pygmy goat. One originates from west Africa and has a very slender, elegant body. The other comes from eastern Africa and has a stocky, more compact shape.
Not all our 'For Sale' stock is advertised. Our 2012 kids will be available soon and any enquiries should be made with Michael on (052) 6181840.
Uncle Mikes Pet World & Dog Grooming Parlour
Mary Street Car Park, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. Tel/Fax 052-6181840.
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10.00am-6.00pm