Friday, May 8, 2009

A New Garden Helper!

We have a little addition to the family who is a BIG contributer to the garden. It's...
Gandalf is a French/English mix Angora.

Now after a few days we realized that cage was just way too small for him and we pulled out one side of the bars, added a ramp, and surrounded a 4x2 area for him to run around in. The result being that he learned to pee up top on the grating area - a good thing! And the bottom carpeted area is all relax and have fun! Plus he can easily go back into the cage on his own after he's been allowed to hop around the house.

But, what else did we learn? Those pretty wooden cages are terrible. Because he pees against them and they absorb the smell. So that beautiful (expensive, ack!) cage went out back and became a compost bin. And we expanded his cage out of modular stackable crates until he now has a nice big area that is super easy to clean. The top is open. One half is used for the ramp and the other we put a "floor" and on top of it we put in a rubbermaid container with newspapers. On top of the newspapers we put a few PVC pipes (to put some distance between the bottom of the bin) and on top laid the old grate floor from his cage. Now I just reach in, grab the rubbermaid container (it's about 3' long, 18" wide and about 6" high), dump it out, wash it and pop it back in. SO EASY!

Above: Jade and Gandalf checking out Jake's science experiment of growing stalactites.

Below: Hanging out in the living room.

What a scholar! Looking for a good book? He's chosen the NIV concordance of english to greek, aramaic and hebrew; Bible encyclopedia; and I think the Life and Time of Jesus the Messaih.

Anyhow, he contributes daily to the health and growth of the garden. And he's so cute too. Not a cuddler though. He actually still doesn't like us too much. I heard they get better after being fixed and after they're 2-3 years old. He's just about 1 year right now. I've clipped him a few times when his hair has gotten long. He is so tiny when he's been clipped. And even though he's not terribly fond of us he does come running to the side of the cage every time I come in from the garden waiting to see what treat I've brought him. And when I'm at my craft table beading or painting he comes over to the door and waits for me to let him out to hop around some new area.
He also has a medium sized gated run that we can set up outside and I'll bring him out in that to get some fresh air while I garden.

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