The Revision Guide for Student Nurses (Part I)

Small Mammals, Exotic Species & Birds


  1. Rabbits are herbivores with a high dietary requirement for fibre. What foodstuffs are high in fibre and suitable for feeding to rabbits?
  2. Rabbits require careful regulation of dietary calcium. What may arise from an excess?
  3. What may arise as a result of a diet deficient in calcium in rabbits?
  4. Why are pellet food such as "Burgess Supa Rabbit" preferential to rabbit mixes?
  5. What are caecal pellets?
  6. List some plants suitable for feeding to rabbits.
  7. List some plants poisonous to rabbits.
  8. Clover is enjoyed by rabbits, but must only be fed in moderation. Why?
  9. State approximate quantities of dry food and water/kg/day required by rabbits.
  10. Why are proprietary rabbit mixes unsuitable for cavies?
  11. Describe how a fibre deficient diet may result in the formation of hairballs in rabbits and cavies.
  12. What vitamin is particularly important in the diet of a cavy?
  13. Rabbits, cavies and other small mammals benefit from a diet that requires gnawing. Why is this?
  14. State the approximate quantities of dry food and water/100g/day required by cavies.
  15. A hospitalised cavy requires particular care with regard to its water consumption. Why is this?
  16. Why do proprietary cavy mixes have such a short shelf life?
  17. Rats are omnivores and will eat almost anything. What is subsequently the most common nutritional problem suffered by these rodents?
  18. State the approximate quantities of dry food/g/day and water in mls/day required by rats.
  19. State the approximate quantities of dry food/g/day and water in mls/day required by mice.
  20. What is the most suitable source of carbohydrate for hamsters?
  21. Why should stale food always be removed from the cage of a hamster?
  22. State the approximate quantities of dry food/g/day and water in mls/day required by hamsters.
  23. Why should sunflower seeds be fed only in moderation to gerbils and chinchillas?
  24. Describe a suitable diet for a ferret.
  25. What is the main difference in the dietary requirements of tortoises and terrapins?
  26. What is the most common nutritional disease suffered by captive tortoises?
  27. Why must a captive tortoise in the United Kingdom be fasted several weeks prior to hibernation?
  28. Describe a diet suitable for a captive tortoise.
  29. What calculation may be performed in order to assess whether a tortoise is a suitable weight for its carapace?
  30. Describe a suitable diet for a terrapin.
  31. State 2 rules applicable to the feeding of terrapins.
  32. Snakes may be prone to thiamine deficiency. Explain why.
  33. Describe how calcium deficiency in lizards may be prevented.
  34. Chameleons require regular mistings of their tank several times a day. Why?
  35. How frequently should captive amphibians be fed?
  36. Describe a suitable diet for captive adult frogs and toads.
  37. What is the main difficulty in the feeding of ornamental fish?
  38. Why is the overfeeding of fish detrimental?
  39. Why are captive psittacine birds predisposed to obesity and other nutritional disorders?
  40. Why is grit offered to captive birds as a dietary supplement?
  41. Give 2 examples of soluble and insoluble grit.
  42. Why might oversupplementation with insoluble grit prove hazardous?
  43. What is meant by the ventriculus (or gizzard)? Which order of birds has no ventriculus?