Pet Talk
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Pet Talk

By Maneka Gandhi

In this week’s Pet Talk, Maneka explains about the need for proper dental care in horses and life cycle of a  honey bee and Guinea pig

Do horses get fleas?

Horses can get fleas, although it’s not very common. They tend not to get infested, but they can be affected by them.

Can horses see in the dark?

Yes and no, in that they can see enough to graze at night, but if we eliminate all possible light sources then the horse won’t be able to see. Just like humans, horses need a light source too for its vision to interpret objects. What allows horses to see better than humans at night is their sensitivity to light, particularly low light.

Do horses need proper dental care?

Throughout its life, your horse will need to have its teeth cared for. Most horses will have to have their teeth floated at least once per year. Floating is the practice of filing off any sharp edges or hooks that may form on the edges of the teeth. Horse’s teeth grow and change throughout their lifetime. This is why you can tell a horse’s approximate age by its teeth. As they chew, they wear the tooth surface away slowly, but new tooth material slowly grows up to provide a new chewing surface. If the wear is uneven, the teeth may form sharp edges. However, many old horses have gaps made by teeth that have fallen out, making it very difficult for them to chew. Sometimes, discomfort due to dental problems is mistaken for bad behaviour. Head tossing, inability to go or stay on the bit, bit chewing or tongue lolling, can be just a few of the signs that your horse has tooth problems.

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How to tell if a guinea pig is male or female?

The easiest way to tell the difference between male and female guinea pigs is by measuring the distance between the guinea pig’s anus and its genitals. A male guinea pig’s genital area measures further from the anus than a female guinea pig’s genital area. Another way to determine the sex of the guinea pig is by looking at the shape of the genitals. The opening of the genitals on males looks like a dot and the opening of the genitals on females looks like a vertical slit.

How long does a Guinea pig live?

Guinea pigs live an average of 5 to 7 years.

Is it advisable to let a guinea pig live outside the house in the garden?

It is not advisable to let guinea pigs live outside.

Where do guinea pigs come from?

Wild guinea pigs come from South America, in north western Venezuela spanning across to central Chile. These wild guinea pigs are the original ancestors of the domestic pet guinea pig that we see today. They have been used since then as pets, for food, for their beautiful coats and also given as gifts. They were first brought to Europe by English and Dutch traders in the 1700s and they became a popular pet for royalty across Europe. Since then they have grown in popularity as pets, but wild guinea pigs still exist in the wild today in the Andes region of South America.

What is the life cycle of a honey bee?

The honey bee life cycle goes through 4 basic stages:

  • Egg • Larva • Pupa • Adult.

All bee life cycles go through these stages, although there are great variations between the life cycles of solitary, honey and bumblebees.

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How many bees live in a hive?

Between 20,000 and 60,000 bees live in a single hive. The queen bee lays nearly 1,500 eggs a day and lives for up to two years.

How are honeycombs made by bees?

Honeycombs are made of bee’s wax which is made from the nectar of flowers. Beeswax is a natural wax produced in the bee hive of honey bees of the genus Apis. It is mainly esters of fatty acids and various long chain alcohols. It is secreted by the bees from glands on their abdomens.

On an average, how much honey does a hive produce?

It depends upon various aspects like:

  • Availability of nectar or flora around the hive. Location of your bee hive is very important.
  • Strength of the bee hive. How healthy your bees are.
  • And lastly, it depends on the weather, if it is cold outside then bees will not go out to collect nectar and if it is too hot outside then bees will die. So the temperature should be ideal.

If everything goes well then one bee hive can produce 35-40 kg honey in a year. But the conditions are not ideal every time, so the average amount of honey produces by one bee hive is around 20-30 kg.

What is spider silk made of?

Spider’s silk is made up of chains of amino acids – a protein. The two primary amino acids are glycine and alanine.

Can spider webs be harmful if someone eats them?

Spider webs, if ingested, might not be harmful as they are made up of a simple protein and completely biodegradable.

July 18, 2018

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