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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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HELP Prairie dogs have chewed through 3 cages

My daughter has had 2 prairie dogs for about 4 months. They have chewed through 3 cages, 2 of which were said to be chew proof. She has a lot of chew toys in their cage, a wheel, plenty of food and burrowing material. She takes them out to play when she comes home from work. Does anyone have a suggestion on a cage that they can't chew through the metal? Other than that problem they seem to be very happy, social, and loving. This is getting expensive since the last two cages have cost over $100.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 10:44 PM
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Perhaps they should be released back into the wild, then? That's where they should be, anyway. *shrugs*
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 11:04 PM
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Oh wow. My little one is an avid chewer, and I can't even imagine having three! I find that he chews significantly less on the cage when I give him big items that he can destroy inside the cage. PetSmart carries all sort of good items.. his favorite is the large Chube, but he can go through one in a few hours now.
People seem to have really good luck with cages from martinscages.com. They're made entirely of pretty sturdy metal. Good luck.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the advice. They are really loveable and do get played with and let out every day. Even though their cage is large, we've decided an even bigger one with more levels might make them happier and we picked out one that we hope will be an even sturdier metal. Maybe with more room for even more toys and other things to chew on will help a lot. Since this prompted me to read up on the forums I've also gotten other ideas on things to help keep them happy and healthy totally unrelated to this.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-28-2009, 10:32 AM
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FlickeringHope, suggesting that captive bred animals (ones that are considered pests in many areas, even) be "returned" to the wild is irresponsible. People dumping animals like that has caused many non-native species to take over areas. And that's if they survive in the first place.

I second the suggestion of a Martin's cage . It's amazing how they're chewing through metal like that! If they keep escaping from cages, maybe try a pen? Good luck and welcome to Paw-Talk!




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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-28-2009, 11:51 AM
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Sorry - but I don't agree with domesticating animals that are better left in their natural habitat. It's bad enough all the animals we've domesticated so far, in my opinion. I'm sure they'd much rather run free, for however short a time they may live, rather than being stuck in a cage all their lives. I should think them chewing through every single cage they're presented with is a big, clear, neon sign that "Hey! Maybe this is WRONG!"

If they're considered a pest, that's our species' problem. Just like house mice are considered pests, just like city rats are considered pests. Good lord forbid if any creature tries to inhabit our houses or our yard and do their wild nature thang, because that's invading OUR territory! *le gasp* Can't have that. Oh no, no, no.

So we've stripped the freedom from animals, and if we try and do the right thing, by returning them to the wild, in my opinion, then that apparently screws up our entire ecosystem. Sorry - but I don't believe it. Nature works in mysterious ways - with, or without us, she will right herself, and all of her creatures to co-exist as they once did, and as they're supposed to.

It's pretty sad when the only solution to solve "territorial" behaviors, is to strip an animal of its reproductive organs. If that's the ONLY solution there is to calm down a "fiesty and territorial" animal, then perhaps it's not worth it to have that animal domesticated.

Sure - pets are "happy" to be in your home. But that happiness, in my opinion, is akin to how "happy" we are to be inside our homes, 24/7. Just as we need to get out every now and again and stretch our legs, and smell the air, so do they - they need to stretch their legs, and scurry through the grass, and feel the sun on their fur.

But apparently, you won't understand that. And I understand that; most don't.

My opinion, of course. *shrugs* Unfortunately, nothing can be done to give animals back the freedom we've taken from them.

See ya.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-28-2009, 02:55 PM
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If you want to go start a debate on the topic, go ahead. But posting that on a thread about prairie dog cages is neither helpful nor realistic. I assume you don't agree with releasing animals like dogs, cats, and rabbits--so why condone releasing captive-bred prairie dogs? You don't even know where the poster lives. Honestly, it seemed like you made that post just to show how you're against the keeping of "exotics"--you didn't post to help the OP.

By the way, I have a dog that escapes every kind of pen possible. But I don't plan on releasing him! I also neutered him to help curb his marking (not to mention the overpopulation issues). I understand that you think differently on the topic but please don't give illegal (yes, releasing them is illegal) advice just to show your opinion. Like I said, feel free to start a debate elsewhere.




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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-28-2009, 03:49 PM
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Contrary to what you may believe, I did comment on releasing them back to the wild to actually help. If I wanted to say something and NOT be helpful, I'd have said, "Sorry, looks like you're doomed for life, hahaha." ...But I didn't. I find it honestly a little sickening that, for, a creature that originated in the wild, and was only captive-bred until recently, it's illegal to release it back into its natural habitat. Being captive-bred so recently, their wild blood still flows through their veins, and to take that away from them by prohibiting release of them back into the wild - that is also quite sickening.

There are very few creatures I believe benefit from being domesticated - rabbits, cats, and dogs are a few of the ones that I do believe benefit from it - prairie dogs, however, are not included in that list. And yes, that is my list, and my list alone, but you get my picture.

It is your opinion of why I said what I said, but my reasoning for what I said is the absolute truth. If I were to state my opinion or view I hold over everything, I'm fairly certain the entirety of this board would grow to hate me very easily - my opinions and views vary drastically from most others that I know, but I do keep my mouth shut, and when I don't, it's to give genuine advice to, yes, the original poster. I could post a thread "Why I think this list of animals is inappropriate to keep in captivity" but I haven't, because I know as well as the next person does that my views can be downright obnoxious.

..And by releasing I mean releasing into their original habitat, for prairie dogs, that would be back into the grasslands; not shoved out someone's back door.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-28-2009, 04:02 PM
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It doesn't matter if you find it "sickening", it's illegal. Telling someone to break the law just because you don't agree with what pets they have is wrong and against the rules here. Besides, you full well know that captive-bred prairie dogs aren't going to be surviving too long in the wild. It's no different than releasing a rabbit or hamster.

(By the way, the OP wanted a suggestion on a sturdy cage, not general "advice" about prairie dogs)

I'm asking you to please take the discussion elsewhere. It's obvious that the OP isn't going to be releasing their pets into the wild. If you don't understand what was wrong with your post then feel free to PM me. But I'd rather not clog this thread up with a debate on exotic animal laws .




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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2009, 10:21 AM
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I so couldn't help myself, I have to respond to this little argument going on here (though it's been days since anyone has said anything). First of all, prairie dogs are considered pests and it used to be that the only thing a farmer could do to get them off their property was to kill them. These farmers would go out on hunts to kill as many as they could. These days, farmers now allow people to come on their property to humanely capture these pds rather than kill them. I think it's a wonderful alternative to stay alive and be cared for and happy (yes, they are happy) than to have a bullet in the head. Really, it's death or the pet trade for most of these little guys. I see nothing wrong with that.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2009, 10:24 AM
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And one more thing on something that was mentioned, you cannot release a domesticated animal not out your backdoor or in the grasslands. It wouldn't live more than a couple of days. Prairie dogs are very social, they live in groups, a lone pd wouldn't stand a chance (throwing him out would be a death sentence). If he did come in contact with other pds, he would be considered a threat and enemy to them and be killed. Pds are territorial and have very strong family ties. He can't be alone and survive out in the wild, not possible. Plus, he never developed skills he needed to be able to survive, as he's lived most of his life in a cage with everything just handed to him. Trust me, this pd has it made! To Flickeringhope, clearly your statements were uneducated ones meant for good, but you do need to educate yourself before trying to start an argument on a message board you know nothing about. No doubt, you know nothing about pds, so go back to your little puppy message board.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2009, 08:29 PM
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My PD did chew through a few cages when we first got her. She really hated the metal cages.... We ended up building her a large enclosure (6ft x4ft x 4ft) out of pressure treated lumber framing and plexiglass fronting with a metal screen lid.
We "built in" tunnels out of new drainage pipe, have 6 inches of Timothy Hay for bedding and use a large terra cotta pot full of receiving blankets as her bed (sometimes she moves them into her tunnels). Every night between 6:45 and 7:00 (like clockwork) pm she heads to the front of her enclosure and jumps up and down until we "tuck her in"...she will even start chewing on toes if we take too long to pick her up...lol!!!
She spends the majority of her day free in the house with me. She loves to play with her wiffle balls and weeble wooble characters. She curls up to nap in my recliner, and follows me from room to room doing my chores.
I agree PD's are not a good "pet" as they see themselves as family members. Mine is every bit as demanding as my kids, but also as rewarding. My children love her (10, 10, and 12. Not for young kids IMO...) and she loves them. She lets me know when the schoolbus pulls up and eagerly waits to welcome them in the door with her "whoohoo!!". She makes our family complete...

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