I thought this bridge really neat

fwbridge1

This is the actual turn-off From Banff, Alberta, Canada to the #1 highway to Calgary.

Great picture isn’t it?

They had to build the animals (especially the elk) their own crossing because that was where the natural crossing was and after  the  highway was built there were far too many accidents.

It didn’t take the animals long to learn that this was their very own bridge!

And then you have some people saying ‘ Animals are stupid ‘.
Really….?

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Hay Racks for Bunnies

Bunnies like and need hay.  It gives them something to munch on without getting fat, and gives them fiber to keep things moving along.  Both are important for rabbits.

Given a chance though…rabbits will sit in their food to eat it.  This results in a fair amount of spoilage.

Hay racks help prevent spoilage.

Here are some pages on either hay racks to purchase or that can be made.

Rabbitweb: how to make a hay rack

Using a Suet Holder

Guinea Pig hay rack(works for rabbits too)

ZooPlus has this idea for a hay rack

Other ideas that I have heard.

  • Use a toilet paper roll, or any roll that is paper and stuff it full of hay.
  • PVC piping…either leave it whole and cram the hay in, or cut it in half and mount up high on the cage
  • place hay on the top of the cage so they need to pull it through
  • use leftover cage wire to make a basket
  • use soup or mushroom cans…carefully filing down sharp edges – put hay in them fairly tightly
  • wrapping the hay around itself and suspending it from the cage roof
  • using hay balls that you can get at pet stores

Inexpensive Weave Poles and Jump Standards

Cindy found an inexpensive make-do weave pole set! I found some electric fence plastic 48 inch tall step in plastic poles that are perfect for me to use for training at home. A good picture should be at Deer Fencing.

She only paid $1.85 each at TSC (Tractor Supply), so a set of 12 was inexpensive. They have metal spikes on the end, and they are “step in.”

These fence posts can also be used as jump standards.

You can also use them for the sides for Jumps . Just cut the 3/4″ 10″ PVC
pole in half. Cut a notch on each end and rest them on the tabs that are on the
poles. Jump for about $4.00!!

And to make them look more regulation, try adding some PVC

I use the step in electric fence poles as well, and get PVC pipe in a diameter that slides over the top of the fence poles. I tape the poles as well.   That way the dogs get the same view of the weaves as they would have at a trial.  The diameter is a little bigger than regulation as it needs to go over the  wire holder tabs on the fence poles. But it is worth it, in that they go into  the ground easily with the step on edge. I actually turn the step on edge in  the direction that I don’t want the dogs to travel in on the weaves. This also  keeps the edge out of the way of the dogs feet.

Some Issues you may want to consider:

  • do you have rocky ground?  if so, inserting them may be a challenge
  • can you put them in a straight line?
  • can you build a line to help you make consistent spacing?  I.e. use a rope, tie knots it in at the appropriate intervals
  • will you remember to move them before the ground freezes?  If not…they will stay there until the ground softens again.   This may or may not be an issue for you.
  • Do you have the strength to pull them out again?

Dogs Weaving in Poles

Dogs who know how to do weave poles tend weave either by single tracking or hopping.

Dogs that single track go through the poles using their front feet individually as they go through the poles.  Dogs that hop, well….they hop!   They use both feet and alternate hopping back and forth between the poles.

Of course then there are the littlest dogs who just run around the poles.

This page shows dogs that are single tracking.  It also talks about how to help train them.

I’ve searched for pictures of dogs hopping through weave poles but have been unable to locate one.  If you know of one, let me know please. 🙂

Any method is fine for getting through the poles as long as the dog is able to be consistent the whole way through on a consistent basis.   Some prefer to train their dogs to single step, other trainers prefer to let their dog choose how they will negotiate this object.

This page talks abit about how to go about figuring out how to train weave poles.

Breeding Mice

Gestation of a mouse is 18-24 days (depending on your source).

Breeding is instanteous when adding a male in with females.  Females come into heat every couple of days.

It is best to have ‘friends’ together.  Female mice will raise babies better when with friends.  Don’t add a fully pregnant mouse to an established colony.

Remove male after 16 days.   Causes less stress to the mom.  And leave him out until her litter has been weaned for 2-3 weeks.   She needs to rebuild her strength as well.

Crowding reduces litter size.

Over breeding reduces litter size.

Handle them frequently but don’t disturb a new litter for the first couple of days.  Let mom get established.  Mind you, I find this less of a problem if you have an experienced momma as part of a colony.