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The Environmental Husbandry Manual
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Individual Methods for Enclosure Design
Heavily Planted Enclosures

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.

Heavily Planted Enclosures

Method Bushes, bamboo and other plants grown within the enclosure.
Species Birds, Carnivores, Small Deer, Capybara, Mara, Tortoises and Reptiles.
Purpose To provide sheltered locations where animals will feel secure and may hide in, and to create shade and windbreaks. Long grasses are an excellent substrate for scatter feeds, while other plants may provide fresh supplemental foods for some species.
Pro Natural, and varies on a seasonal basis. Nervous animals and new arrivals benefit from the increased cover, feeling more secure and settling down more rapidly.
Con Can make it difficult to see the animals. Vegetation needs to be cut back in summer, and with some birds (for example, Ducks, Parrots) must be fenced off in spring to allow it to grow.
Improvements Planting rows of bushes along the outside perimeters of areas of the enclosure will increase the distance to which the public may approach.
Comments Plant species used should generally be non-toxic, although bushes with thorns or which are highly distasteful to herbivores are more useful for providing cover and screening. For indoor enclosures, especially for reptiles, plants which can withstand large temperature variations are most useful. Swiss Cheese and Rubber Plants have been found to be ideal for this.
Frequency of Use Constant.
Ratings Usefulness 10/10/10/6
Convenience 7/10/10/7
Value For Money 7/10/10/7
Range of Users 10/10/10/2
Contributed By Bird Section / Carnivore Section / Hoof-Stock Section / Reptile Section

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