HOUSING PETS

Under the various headings, something has been said about the accommodation of the various animals. Most animals require warmth, and all must have dry quarters. Rabbits should be given hutches with no wooden corners which they can gnaw away, and wire netting fronts; they should have plenty of room to run about, and a good plan is to supply a two-compartment hutch—-one secluded and dry for sleeping, and the other netting-covered as a run. Mice and Rats should have cages with nesting boxes in which to sleep, and most rodents like a small piece of tree to gnaw. Dog kennels should be roomy and sheltered from the cold winds and should be thoroughly damp-proof. Most Cats, sleeping in the house, are quite capable of making themselves comfortable, but if a litter of kittens are expected, a basket, well lined with blanket should be placed in a warm spot for the expected brood. Birds, especially of a flying strain, should have cages large enough to allow unrestricted movement, with floors well sanded, perches for sleeping, and food and water pots. It is not always remembered that Fish require air as much as any other creature, they should, therefore, be given bowls or aquaria which allow plenty of air to dissolve in the water. Hibernating animals should be given boxes full of warm soil, in which to bury themselves during the winter, and once buried, they should not be disturbed until they emerge of their own accord. Too much stress cannot be laid on the necessity for cleanliness in all hutches, cages and other houses, for pets, animals, and birds. Once vermin starts to intrude, it is very difficult to get rid of. Where a number of animals are kept in one receptacle, they should never be overcrowded, and all ordure, food refuse, and stale sand, etc., should be removed every morning, the floors re-sanded, or covered with hay or straw as the case may be, and fresh water and food put down. Goats may be left outside during the best part of the year, but if the weather is very cold and rough, they should be provided with some kind of outhouse or hut in which to retire. Snakes are generally kept in warm, glass-fronted cases, with plenty of grass or greenstuff in which to nestle. They should, however, be given a short patch of their case covered with twigs on which to rub themselves. Lizards and other small reptiles, may be given the run of a greenhouse, where they are useful in keeping down insects and grubs.

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