Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Vinson Massif, Antarctica
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.
She sits in her corner, singing herself to sleep.
Wrapped in all of the promises, that no one seems to keep.