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The Environmental Husbandry Manual
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Individual Methods for Enclosure Design
Wood Chip

The methods outlined in this section relate to features of enclosure construction and layout which may be used to enhance the living conditions of animals, including the use of shelter areas, vegetation, viewing platforms and climbing structures.

Wood Chip

Method Variable textured bark, wood shavings and wood chips, spread generously around the enclosure, to a depth of at least 4-6 inches.
Species All animals not totally arboreal or water-dwelling.
Purpose Provide substrate for foraging, for dust bathing to deal with skin and feather parasites, to reduce disease, and to provide variation in underfoot substrate texture and smell.
Pro Reduced incidence of disease as bacteria in wood chip break down pathogens such as Salmonella (Chamove et al 1982). Bark looks more natural than concrete.
Con --
Improvements Bushes and other vegetation can be planted in the wood chip. Different depths of bark in different areas of the enclosure add variety.
Comments Wood chip should be raked daily if possible, topped up every month, and replaced once or twice per year with fresh material.
Frequency of Use Constant.
Ratings Usefulness 10/10/10/10/10
Convenience 10/10/10/10/9
Value For Money 10/10/10/10/10
Range of Users 10/10/8/7/8
Contributed By Primate Section / Bird Section / Hoof-Stock Section / Reptile Section / Carnivore Section

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