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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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yikes, hawks stalking

My seven new PD's are in their enclosure outside but two days in a row we have come home to see a coopers hawk in the enclosure just sitting there. One of the pd's was barking so that's good. We scared it off and have now started to put wildlife netting above the top like a zoo to see if that helps. scary, I know this would happen but didn't realize this fast.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 10:17 PM
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You need to make sure that nothing can get in. No dogs, cats, birds, raccoons.... PD's will be easily eaten.


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 04:16 AM
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Also to prevent prairie dogs getting out. If they can dig down, they can dig out. A prairie dog burrow can easily go down 10 or more feet, depending on ground conditions, and extend for hundreds of feet across underground. Zoos have long had a difficult time keeping prairie dogs contained in their habitats. They may haven't done it yet, but it's only a matter of time if it is possible.

But, personally, I don't believe keeping pets outside is the best idea anyway. Managing to keep the prairie dogs in, and potential predators out, by itself is a difficult undertaking. You also need to make sure their enclosure is protected from other rodents; wild mice and rats can easily bring parasites and other illnesses to your prairie dogs. Hawks are just one predatory issue, but you're also leaving them open to cats, opossums, raccoons, squirrels, skunks... being that you're in Texas, snakes. A Texas Rat Snake may not be big enough to eat an adult prairie dog, but I guarantee you one wouldn't hesitate to try if it had the chance. Prairie dogs are tough little guys, and know how to survive in the wild, but putting them in a pseudo-wild situation, where they're at the mercy of nature, but confined so as not to be able to behave naturally limits their ability to protect themselves.

Not to mention proper drainage should you get a good rain, turning the enclosure area to muck and flooded burrows. An outdoor enclosure for prairie dogs just seems like something very difficult to do properly.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 12:02 PM
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Agree. I would use it more as a place to get out and get some exercise (supervised) and fresh air, but back in to actually 'live'.
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