Mo the Guinea Pig

This is Mo. She is a 1-2 year old female rescue. She was well loved but had trouble with her female roommate after her roommate had to have a medical procedure.  Sexing a guinea pig is harder than it sounds but is outlined fairly well on Wikihow.  Mo is more pig than Guinnea although she is a rodent that originated in the Andes unrelated to the pig family.  She is pretty loud when excited, mostly when food is coming.  Funny little thing that loves green veggies more than fruit and her cuddle time in the morning. She has a nice habitat and with aspen bedding which smells better than the recycled paper bedding for us.  She stays outside in a screened porch unless the weather conditions become extreme.  She has taken a couple of baths and enjoys a good swim around the bathtub.  If you position her just right on her back she plays stiff as a board, light as a feather.


Screech Owls

Love them, so cute, want more. Last summer at dusk we started to feel like we were being watched. We looked up to the new fence holding all the turtles in and saw 5 baby owls sitting in a row. These are screech owls that stand 6 inches tall and they have a distinct sound you can listen to on All about Birds. They come out about with 10 minutes of light left to see them so viewing time is short. The Eastern screech-owl (Megascops asio) is fairly common in many states and lives in wooded areas. We have two undeveloped lots behind us with several old trees for owls. We also put up an owl house we purchased from that can also house Kestrels and are hoping that some of the babies will decide to stay. We have an overabundance of lizards, beetles and moths in the area, a staple to their diet. The owls stuck around for about 6-8 weeks last summer and we are hoping that we will see some more very soon. We have the house up and check it for unwanted residents like wasps. We hung the house 15 feet up in a tree and placed some guinea pig bedding in it so here’s keeping our fingers crossed!

Black Racers

Oh what a love hate relationship with the black racer. I (Lindy) am programed to fear snakes but have made an exception for these harmless snakes who are as afraid of us as we are of them. They have somewhat of a territory and apparently keep the poisonous rattle snakes away… and their skins make a funky Halloween decoration. We had a visitor in the new greenhouse before we started growing veggies and greens for the tortoises. luckily Hank is the snake charmer in the family!

Yellow Bellied Sliders

This is a yellow bellied slider, a common Florida turtle that thrives in a number of environments as well as in captivity. Commonly found at pet stores, they tend to live longer than many owners are willing to invest.  The majority of our rescues are yellow-bellied sliders from previous pet owners.  They require circulating water and much filtering to keep tanks clean.  They are omnivores and eat small gold fish, guppies and dried food, all of which can be a bit pricy over time as well. Many of our rescues have cracked shells and were found near residential areas. They can live 20 years and reach 1 foot in diameter. The bask in the sun and require UV light for proper nutrition. We keep the smaller turtles inside in tanks and take them to the bigger ponds when they are a bit stronger. We have built 3 ponds outside with beach and basking areas. Check out our tutorial on some DIY filters that have been less expensive that many store bought options. We also have 1 large tank inside and 1 on a screened in porch for the smaller rescues saved from becoming soup or pets thrown into empty house lots.  Currently we are accepting new rescues and have plans to build another pond to house new residents.

Speedy Pie the Sulcatta Tortoise

Speedy Pie is our curious 6 year old African Sulcata Tortoise. We found her on the road 4 years ago when she was about 2 years old and 6 inches in diameter. She is currently 12″ in diameter and weighs 16 pounds. She loves eating vegetables and fruits and sometimes knocks over the cat food to get a little treat even though she does not need animal protein in her diet. She gets fed a nice salad twice times per week. She stayed inside for years parked at the refrigerator until this nice habitat was built for her. She has access to the beach at the pond but doesn’t go in it except to drink. She basks in the sun during the day and stays in her Teepee for protection at night.  She patrols the perimeter of her habitat several times per day checking for loose bamboo. She eats the fresh tomatoes growing over her border although watermelon is her favorite.  She looks like a dinosaur when she eats and can run after you fairly fast if she knows you have food. She flips sand on her to keep cool at times. She will grow to 24″ and 70-100 pounds.  Her species originated from Northern Africa but she was most likely bred here in Florida since the tortoise has been in the US so long.  She can live till age 70 so our Grandchildren will have to love her as we do.  You can tell a female from a male from their shell curvature. We are currently growing a variety of vegetables, grasses and lettuce types for her and her mini counterpart, Sailor.