Sounds like a great plan! Keep us updated on how much everything costs, how it comes out, etc. If it works well, I might have to embark on a outdoor pen, too
If I did one, I would probably dig as far down as I could (here in FL, you can't dig very far - there's a ton of limestone, so maybe 2 ft at most) and then place either a mesh or something similar to cover the whole bottom, and then cover it back up.
Post by AnimalFarm2006 on Jan 23, 2011 19:32:54 GMT -5
Update- Don't you love them? Plan # 1 Supplies: 24 2x4's, or Treated 2 x 3's 24 Concret Blocks- 18 x 8 x 8 24 Flat Concret Blocks- 18 x 4 x 8 Nails White Paint 2 36 x 25 of Weilders Mesh 3 24 x 25 of Weilders Mesh 1 24 x 25 of Plastic chicken wire stuff
Budget- Roughly $250 to build
Landscape: I KNOW I want to match that of the pole cat since it's a close cousin. They will have one or two logs Crossed for climbing. Pipe burried for un-natural tunneling, (under logs?), Grass, Bush Plants, And a woodsie ground. My plan on a pool will be to ether get a small pond, waterfall part, or a small mixing tub. Plans may change when it gets warmer and I see just how much light I get.
Foundation: Dig only enough to level blocks ontop of the Plastic Chicken Wire. Lay the foundation of cinder blocks over the PCW and than lay a second layer of 4in bricks to cover holes onto of cinder blocks.
Buidling: The front is going to have suport archs because they are pretty, and a door. The sides are simple H frames. Sides are in 3 feet sizes. Front are in 2 feet sizes.
I am baseing my structure like this one. Simple.
My location is about 20-30 feet from the house. You walk out the front door to the yard, to the gate which is to the left of you, across the drive, and about 3-4 feet into the woods. It's under three big tree's for shade. I still have to figure out just how the sun is going to factor in with plants.
This picture shows the basic structure I placed with sticks. It also shows where the location is vs the house. The path to the front yard gate, over the driveway, and into the short 3-4 foot walk way is the perfect angle.
Questions- 1. Do I need to build a roof structure or can I just stapple the wire ontop of the side frames? 2. What kind of easy to obtain plants are good for shade and ferrets?
I think the roof is dependent upon what your using the enclosure for. If they were going to spend the night in it, I think a roof would be a good idea to keep the elements out. If it's more just a playpen for supervised playtime, I think wire would suffice. You might even be able to do a type of tarp for the roof that could taken on/off.
Onions are also dangerous to ferrets. Both raw and cooked onions contain disulphide. Disulphide will damage the animal’s red blood cells and cause too little oxygen to be carried through the ferret’s system, resulting in anemia. Symptoms of anemia include weight loss, panting, weakness and a rapid pulse.
Many common plants can make your ferret sick or even kill him. The castorbean plant seed is extremely toxic to ferrets and even a minute amount of this plant will kill the animal. Castorbean plants contain ricin, a poisonous protein that is dangerous to many animals and humans. Signs of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, and intestinal pain. If your pet eats castorbean plant seeds, call your veterinarian immediately. Death will occur 24-36 hours after the seeds have been eaten.
Water Hemlock is another plant that can cause death in a ferret. While the root of this plant is the most toxic, all parts are dangerous to animals and humans alike. Water hemlock plants contain cicutoxin, and this substance will produce many symptoms in the animal. These include dilated pupils, convulsions, difficulty breathing and death. Poison Hemlock can also make the animal very sick or even cause death. Like water hemlock, this plant contains toxins. Symptoms of poison hemlock ingestion are a slow heart rate, slowed breathing, the body becomes cold and an odor may be emitted from the body.
Wild cherries are also poisonous to ferrets. While all parts of the plant are dangerous, the leaves pose the most threat. Damaged leaves contain cyanide, which prevents the body from utilizing the oxygen carried throughout the body. Symptoms of this poisoning are rapid breathing, anxiety, trembling and death.
The Rosary Pea bean is highly toxic and even one bean ingested by your pet can kill him. This plant contains the substances abrin and abric acid, which causes bloody diarrhea, vomiting, shock and death. Lupines can also be a health hazard for ferrets. The seeds are the most toxic, although all parts of the plant should be avoided. Lupines contain lupanine, a substance that causes birth defects, breathing changes and behavioral changes in the animal. Coma and death can also occur.
Milkweed contains cardiac glycosides and resins that can cause bloat, muscle spasms, difficulty breathing and death. Nightshade plants are poisonous to ferrets. They contain solanine, which causes damage to the animal’s central nervous system. Symptoms of this poisoning include depression, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty breathing and a loss of consciousness.
Other plants that can cause health risks to ferrets include pokeweed, wild barley, alsike clover and bull nettle.
Post by sherrylynne on Jan 23, 2011 19:56:26 GMT -5
As for the roof, I think it will depend on what kind of weather they are out in, as well as how tall you are planning to make it(predators). Not sure what kind of plants grow naturally there, so no help with that. Don't know if this is any help, but here's the link for Marie's enclosure: trickytrixie.tripod.com/natenclosure.htm You might be able to pick some ideas up from that.
Post by sherrylynne on Jan 23, 2011 20:04:37 GMT -5
That would be Heather's enclosure. I'd build a frame for the mesh to sit on, just for added security. Not sure what kind of birds of prey you have there(or even land based predators), but mesh just sitting on top with no support would like give way after a while. Especially with another animal on top of it!
Post by AnimalFarm2006 on Jan 23, 2011 20:23:54 GMT -5
I may put a 2x4 in the middle of the top of the frame between the sides for support and just stapple the mesh onto it. I'm going to go crazy with the stapple gun. ^.^
We have foxs, hawks, racoons, Trees ( lol ), possible dogs, and...well anything in Virginia. But the ferrets are just using this as a daily play pen 6-7 hr. Possible over night if the weather is pretty but I like them safety in bed XD
Just out of curiosity, are/have your kids been vaccinated for canine distemper? I know dogs, raccoons, and foxes can all be infected with canine distemper. I'm not sure about the incidence of the virus in Virginia, but it's definitely something to consider when looking at lots of time outdoors.
I've never actually discussed creating the outdoor play area that my guys use. I've posted a couple of photos so, I'll put together a series of photos of my guys play area.
The first couple just show the finished area. We used screening under the patio slabs and then covered them with mulch consisting of ground leaves an branches
This is the exit/entrance to the tunnel system
the tunnel leading from the house to the play pen
This shows the area at the top which runs over top of the back deck
How things look now that it's occupied. Last summer I took out the swimming pool, I think I'm going to put it back in this year. I've been trying to figure it out. It gets so dirty and it's standing water which is an invite to mosquitos. I don't have a huge problem with these nasty creatures so would like to keep that part to a minimum. ciao