Keeping a 3' by 3' square of grass turf alive

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wrote:

Cars haven't been around long enough for possums to evolve to deal with them, I think.

lol - more scooping for you!

i've never even heard of red and white skunks. Are they common where you are?
Kate
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On Wed, 24 Jun 2009 18:47:02 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@notme.com wrote:

I had to laugh when I read this. One of my very first experiences years ago: I was able to capture an ailing squirrel easily. Took her to a specific vet tech who had lots of experience with squirrels--had even kept and raised a few. As she was reaching for the door, she said "Stand back...if you don't know what you're doing..." and of course, right on cue, the squirrel took a flying head butt against the door, and was past us in a flash. We ended up chasing a pissed off squirrel up and down a huge veterinary lab for an hour and a half. Poor little thing was probably stressed, but she ended up doing well.
Some are so quick that it's like being in a Star Trek time warp...just running in a different time reference from humans.

Such a joy to see that, isn't it. They do seem to take so much joy in being alive.
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Yes, I think we humans can learn a lot from squirrels. My dog loved to chase squirrels in his younger days and the squirrels seems to equally enjoy it. They had a route they would follow every day. I think it's all about living in the moment.
Kate
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wrote:

Even worse when they have their incisors buried in yer bloody thumb. There have been many moments when I said "This is it...I'm done", but I really can't blame them for defense against the big creature with the syringe. Probably like an alien abduction for them.

Can't turn your back for a microsecond, that's for sure. I had one that did some kind of amazing contortion...I looked over and he's standing calmly -in front- of his cage door. I thought I had lapsed, but the door was locked. Put him back in and watched closely--he did this amazing twist that somehow got his skull through through a space just over an inch wide. That was a full-grown adult, too. I had to thread wire through all the wider gaps in the cages.

Never had a chance to spend much time with one. Seems like fun. They do have their own type of charm.

First time I saw a big one lumbering through a city park at 2 am, I admit that he gave me a jolt. You're expecting that movement to be a rat, so the size is startling.

I've rarely seen them any time but very late. I suppose someone could try to mess with one and pay for his ignorance, but I never saw them as a problem. Raccoons, maybe a bit more. I assume that you've heard about increased incidence of Baylisascaris procyon (a nematode). It's been killing off more small mammals lately. Exotics vets are seeing more of it.
The damn eggs are so durable and resistant that we were instructed to use propane torches to disinfect cages.

Brave little guys, eh. There's a Baylisascaris species that affects skunks too. It's not procyon...I don't remember the species. Lower incidence, so probably not as much a threat.

Thanks, Lee. Doesn't look good for immediate improvement. I don't see how it can be contained, so the only short term hope may be temperature.
There's a video at Cave Biota that may be useful to people who ask about Bats or WNS: http://www.cavebiota.com/media/wnsexportforcavebiota2.wmv
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Isn't that right on schedule. Billy: June 24, 10:13PM Mengle : June 25, 1:23 AM
--

- Billy

There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who
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Bob wrote:

As others have said there are going to be real difficulties with keeping the grass growing and preventing it from turning into a churned up smelly bog. What seems to be kind for the animal isn't necessarily right. There is no need to reinvent the wheel, why not consult with people who know how to support the animals that you rescue? I don't know where you are but here there are networks set up for doing just that who have great experience.
David
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On Tue, 23 Jun 2009 14:19:14 +1000, "David Hare-Scott"

I appreciate the suggestion, David, but I'm in a big city, and there aren't many resources, especially for seriously injured animals. Their main requirement is veterinary care, medication and monitoring, and that's my job. The 'gardening' thing is an aside. I felt that it would help their recovery and hopefully relieve some stress.
These particular critters are from parks where they have lived on regular manicured grass for many generations. Obviously I couldn't monitor them if they were running loose in a field (not that most of 'em would be up for that), so the small patches of grass seem to be the closest I could get. And keep in mind that the alternative is the floor of a cage, which is not exactly natural.
Anyway, the suggestions for more hearty vegetation (clover?) seem to be the most productive suggestion so far. The cages are arranged so that they get natural sunlight, but of course there has to be enough shade, so whatever kind of turf may not be uniformly exposed to sun. Sounds like I'd have to give up on trying to keep grass alive over the winter. So be it.
So...clover or...any others?
The cages have flat plastic flooring. I could perforate it easily if there's a requirement for ventillation from below, or for more drainage. Or maybe set up pan-shaped bases with sand or pebbles underneath for drainage? That's the kind of advise that would be helpful.
PS: Your comment about 'smelly bog' made me laugh, cause that's where the first small-scale test was headed.
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Squirrels will appreciate sticks. They need to chew to keep their teeth from growing too much. If you're indoors, perhaps leaves and straw which could be cleaned out daily.
For grass and such, you can buy wheat grass at many supermarkets. Or buy grass seed and sow it in pots.
Kate
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On Tue, 23 Jun 2009 08:42:37 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@notme.com wrote:

Hi Kate. Your practical reply kind of caught me by surprise (the thread has taken on a life of its own <g>).
Yeah, we provide sticks and limbs, and have people pick up driftwood, etc. Their teeth grow constantly, and they need to keep them worn down. A couple of the little guys think they're beavers; amazing how much wood they can chomp through. We also build low structures out of limbs for those who are safe climbing. (Some of the more severe injuries need to be kept in low cages so they can't attempt to climb).
Re the 'mini-lawn': I first tried small test patch of grass, but it probably had too little drainage. Not sure what our supermarkets have, but I'll check that.
The indoor enclosures do have substrates, etc., but I try to take advantage of our summer weather, especially for those who have been cooped up for a while. The natural UV makes a big difference.
Seems like this question is off the beaten path. I suppose that most are more familiar with growing grass lawns, but it occurs to me now that this is relatively specialized. Maybe wishful thinking on my part to be attempting the 'mini-lawn' thing.
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Hi Bob,
I understand your desire to make life better for them. I volunteered at a wildlife rehab several years back and would take in herbs and greens and carrot greens from my yard for the bunnies and gathered sticks and limbs for the squirrels. I work in dog rescue now and am always trying to come up with ways to make the dogs lives better while they're with us.
I don't know about lawns but as others have said, rye is a quick growing grass and oats grow quickly too. There are short variety carrots that would grow in a 6 inch deep planter, maybe made of peat.
The wheat grass is usually found in the produce section, I think, for people who drink it or something. I've bought it once for a cat - the peat pot it was in wasn't heavy enough for the cat grazing and I repotted into a clay pot.
Good luck, have fun and thanks for doing what you do.
Kate
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WTF?
--

- Billy

There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who
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wrote:

If you're done with this silliness, here's the complete quote that you snipped:
- ... the sod will just be - used as a 'floor' in enclosures. I suppose I'll have to get some - kind of a large pan, and possibly punch holes in the bottom to make - sure it doesn't get too wet (that was the mistake made on the first - smaller scale test). Again, absolutely no experience with this,
So to recap: Experience with growing 3' * 3' clumps of grass: None Experience rescuing animals: Lots
Please be done with the judgemental thing soon, OK? Do you have practical advice on the question that was posted?
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I'm sorry I don't know a lot about gardening so I can't help you there. I think some of the ideas you have come up with are great and you should try them. Obviously you've already discovered what doesn't work.
I read some of you're other responses. I just wanted you to know that I think it's a great thing what you're doing for the rescued animals.
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wrote:

Thanks for your kind words, Nativo. Nice to hear the positive comments!
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