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Bird Houses

The American birdhouse finds its roots from the Native Indians who taught the English and German immigrants moving to the east coast of the United States in the 18th century. It was a simple structure made from the bark of birch trees with a platform as a feeder.

More than two dozen North American birds will nest in birdhouses. If you are lucky, your yard may be chosen by some of them. Providing the right birdhouse for your backyard habitat increases your chances of playing host to a family of birds. Whether you are successful or not will depend on many factors, including what type of birds you are trying to attract, where you place the birdhouse, regular maintenance and how you deal with predators. YIKES!

Nowadays, birdhouses in the shape of tiny castles, churches and Victorian cottages are in the market as folk art.

Rabbit Hutches

Pet rabbits can be quite readily kept in cages in the home, with some freedom to run free in the house. Rabbits take fairly well to litter training so many people will let their bunnies run free in the home for at least part of the day. Even if your rabbit is thoroughly toilet trained and your house thoroughly rabbit proofed, a cage or a hutch (for outdoors) will act as a safe haven or nest, where the rabbit can retreat to rest.

Rabbit hutches are also used to keep your pet rabbit outdoors, it’s important to have the correct hutch for him to live in. Rabbit hutches that are made correctly will keep your rabbit happy and safe year round. You have to be careful of the pesky predators that live in our area. That could be raccoons, cats and dogs.

Whatever style you choose, make sure you get the correct size. The recommendations are that the hutch should provide a minimum of 1 square foot of space for each pound of rabbit. So if your pet rabbit weights 5 pounds, then the hutch should be a minimum of 5 square feet of space. You could always have more space than the minimum recommendation; your rabbit will love it!

The Closed Aquatic Environment

It’s actually amazing that fish can survive in an aquarium at all. Compared with their natural habitats–from jungle streams to vast lakes–even a relatively large aquarium is tiny.

An aquarium also has several built-in limitations that work against the health of its occupants. No matter how extravagant and no matter how carefully planned, any aquarium is an artificial environment. The biological processes in a body of water have been finely tuned over millennia to become a complex, living system.

A closed system like an aquarium is a completely different thing. The natural processes that, in the wild, would provide food, protection, and a clean, uncontaminated environment for the fish are not a part of the aquarium.

As a fishkeeper, your primary responsibility is to see that these things are taken care of in the confines of your aquarium.

Home Away From Home

Dog Houses

Is A Dog House Really Necessary? Have you ever been to a friend’s house and had their dog jump all over you and generally become a pest? Did the owner keep hollering at the poor thing to go away. Was there a place that it could go?

Every living thing needs a home, whether it is a hole in a tree, a cave or a hive with the rest of the bees. Do your dog a big favor, either build or buy them a great dog house. They are “man’s best friend”, fiercely loyal, always glad to see you and always willing to give you lots of love and affection. Show them how much you love and care for them, they deserve a nice new home.

For many the backyard dog is fast becoming a thing of the past. Decades ago, it was common for dogs to live their entire lives outside in suburban and urban yards. But as our knowledge of canines has evolved, we’ve learned that staying outside 24/7 can be hazardous for a dog’s health. The list of potential dangers is long and varied even when confined to a fenced-in yard, dogs aren’t safe from other wildlife that can still easily enter. Think yellow jackets, poisonous snakes and hungry coyotes. But perhaps the biggest danger of all is the weather. Dogs can freeze to death or suffer from heat stoke just like people can.

In warm or tropical climates, dogs need an area that remains shady throughout the day, even as the sun shifts positions in the sky, along with a fresh supply of drinking water. During the winter months, protect your pet from getting blasted by wind or soaked from snow–both of which draw heat away from the body. An insulated doghouse with a waterproof roof and weather-resistant door flap provides needed shelter from harsh outside elements.

A house that is just big enough for the dog will warm him up faster and retain heat better than a house that is too big. Structures should be large enough for dogs to comfortably stand-up and turn around.

Dog House Tips

  • Position the dog house so that it’s in the shade. If you don’t have a large tree available to provide shade, install a tarp over the house and surrounding area to help keep your pet out of the direct sun.
  • Make sure the dog house is well ventilated. Heat rises, so create vents in and around the roof of the house to allow warm air to escape.
  • Buy your dog a cooling mat to lay on. There are specially designed mats that are full of polymer crystals that you soak in water. Airflow activates the cooling process and the mat stays cool for hours or even days.
  • Raise the floor of the dog house a few inches off the ground. It will help increase airflow and not only keep the house cooler in summer, but warmer in winter as well.

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