Feeding Your Pet Stingray - The Essentials of Maintaining a Varied DietWritten by Brendon Turner
Stingrays will eat a wide variety of foods. Maintaining a varied diet is extremely important in captive animals, as monocultural diets incur a risk of nutritional deficiencies. Stingrays are very active, and should be fed at least once a day, preferably twice or even three times daily. The daily diet can be varied in order to create some environmental enrichment as well as balanced nutrition for rays.
First foods for newly acquired rays should be blackworms or tubifex worms. These foods seem to be most readily accepted, and are small enough to be inadvertently ingested either by mouth or through spiracle, thereby giving ray an opportunity to taste these possibly unfamiliar foods by chance. Foods that have been used for very small specimens, such as teacup rays, are small insect larvae such as mosquito larvae, small shrimp known as ghost shrimp or glass shrimp, live adult brine shrimp, and blackworms. Chitinous foods such as shrimp provide less nutritional value than do soft-bodied foods, and so should not be used as sole food items.
The best way to be certain that your new stingray is feeding is to watch spiracles as ray passes over food on bottom of tank. If it is eating, you will see spiracles opening and closing rapidly, or fluttering, as food is ingested and water is passed from mouth and out spiracles. Once you observe a newly acquired ray readily feeding on black-worms or redworms introduce finely chopped night crawlers in small quantities. Once stingrays recognize these as food, most will readily eat them. Later, experiment with other types of food.
Types of Food
Feed live foods, including blackworms or tubifex worms, in quantities adequate to allow a small amount to be left in tank so rays can browse later. However, when cleaning substrate, note whether a significant amount of living worms is present; blackworms and tubifex worms will colonize substrate if not eaten and add to nitrogenous waste production in aquarium.
Nonlive, Nonaquatic Foods
Chopped earthworms, redworms, or night crawlers and any nonlive, nonaquatic foods should be fed in smaller quantities to prevent any overlooked food from decomposing in tank. Keep in mind that stingrays have relatively small mouths-a 10-inch (25-cm) ray may have a mouth that is 1/2 to 3/4 inch (13 to 19 mm) wide, so chopped food items must be small enough to be eaten easily. If a ray ingests a piece of food and repeatedly spits it out and ingests it again, this usually indicates that particle is too large. Some ray species, such as antenna rays, have extremely small mouths relative to their size.
Once acclimated, rays often develop techniques for eating larger pieces of food; for example, newly imported rays may have difficulty consuming even small chopped pieces of night crawlers. Eventually, however, they learn to eat an entire worm by sucking it into their oral cavity without chewing. Newly acquired rays also often ignore feeder goldfish but they quickly learn to chase down and consume feeders, even learning where they hide in tank.
Commercially Prepared Foods
Stingrays may learn to eat other unfamiliar foods such as brine shrimp, pellet foods, or other commercially prepared foods. While there is probably no harm in offering these foods to rays, it is best to use fresh, live, or frozen foods as dietary staple. Although stingrays often do not initially accept frozen or other nonliving foods, they may soon learn to eat these foods after they have been acclimated. A benefit of frozen foods is that they are less likely than live foods to introduce diseases or parasites.
A Tragic and Brutal End for our American Horses.Written by Stephen Murphy
Each time I write or pass along this information, my whole intention is to save at least one more horse. Alone I know I cannot save them all, although I whole heartedly want to, but to reach one more person's eyes, heart and conscious and they respond in kind then I suppose that is just as good. I purposely want these articles to strike a nerve and open American publicís eyes to senseless practice of horse slaughter. Our American horses of all types are being slaughtered as would any domesticated food animal. Our Founding Fathers designated horse a "favored" animal which means they are not bred or raised for food, not eaten in our culture. Why? Because horse is part of American heritage, having played a major role in our historical growth and development. Extensive independent polling shows that voters think it is illegal to slaughter a horse for human consumption; however when informed that it is not, 88%-93% think that it should be. Now taking that in consideration here are alarming facts: Over 3 million American recreational horses have been secretly purchased and slaughtered for foreign markets in last two decades. And because of lack of disclosure on part of agents for foreign owned horsemeat industry, people's horses can and have been stolen and their pets purchased under false pretenses. This practice has contributed to crime and consumer fraud. In United States there are currently two horse slaughter plants in operation, both foreign-owned, both in Texas and a third in Illinois. In addition to horses killed in two US-based plants, thousands more are transported under deplorable conditions across our borders into Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered. Horses are often transported for more than 24 hours without rest, water, or food, while unprotected from weather extremes in thin metal-walled trailers. Sick and/or injured horses frequently are forced onto double-deck trailers that were designed for short-necked animals including cattle and sheep. Once at slaughterhouse, suffering and abuse continue unabated. Often, horses are left on tightly packed double-deck trailers for long periods of time while a few are forcibly moved off. Callous workers, using long, thick fiberglass rods, poke and beat horses' faces, necks, backs, and legs as they are shoved through facility into kill box. Due to extreme overcrowding, abuse, deafening sounds, and smell of blood, horses exhibit fear typical of "flight" behavior pacing in prance-like movements with their ears pinned back against their heads and eyes wide open. The horses are then herded into shoots which lead to stun box. Horses have a very keen since of smell so while they are being driven down this shute they can smell death in front of them. They are shaking and very frightened and know fate that awaits them. This is a cruel fate for a pet and any horse that has been be-friended by a human and they should not ever end up with this type of fate. What you do have to realize from this time on is that there are very devious buyers out there looking to buy any horse they can get their hands on. They very willing to lie by saying horse they purchase from you will be taken to a great place to live out it's days with constant good care. These people are only driven by GREED and have BLOOD on their hands from