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Greatballzofire   EvilTrailMix   Greatballzofire  
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 When Good Weather Attacks! HOT!

The wonderful cool June weather turned into triple digit hell over the last few days. Sierra Nevada foothills, Motherlode. Dry climate, low humidity (fortunately!)

I moved my mouse colony out of the old RV into this nice 13x9 ft. Dome screen house, which is sitting on the shadiest part of my property (shaded by Ponderosa pines and manzanita) and further shaded by tarps. Before putting the ground tarp down I watered the ground and got it nice and cool. Cool air flows up from the garden to help cool this area. I put a skirt of deer netting around the outside of the tent to prevent cats picking the screen, not that the cats have shown much interest. I sleep outside nearby so if any other varmints come around I can prevent them, too. This tent cost $36 at Walmart, money well spent!

When the temperature is 103 Fahrenheit everywhere else the mouse tent is a tolerable 90 Fahrenheit. The most vulnerable are the mamas about to give birth and the nursing mamas; no fatalities and births are proceeding properly and young are being raised properly. Without this tent my mice would have been toast, literally.

The mouse tent.

Some of my 27 tubs and cages. Sitting on the ground they are cooled by the ground temperature.

Today was cooler; the highest reading in the mouse tent was yesterday at 91, while outside everywhere else was over 103. Everybody not only survived, many even felt peppy enough to run on their wheels.

If I was on the grid I would have just plugged in the AC. Oh, well, this tent doesn’t use any watts.

The snakes and lizards are getting a screen tent, too, this Friday when I do my town chores. It gets hot in the cabin in the afternoon and its just easier to put everybody out in the shade than to try futilely to cool the cabin with fans, and don’t have enough wattage to run swamp coolers, ect. I’ve been giving the reptiles freezer packs in the meantime.

I have to look forward to three months of potential triple digits, but at least with screen rooms my animals will be comfortable.

07/01/09  09:19am


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  Message To: Greatballzofire   In reference to Message Id: 2032002

 When Good Weather Attacks! HOT!

Ha! That’s great! :)

07/01/09  03:31pm


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  Message To: EvilTrailMix   In reference to Message Id: 2032176

 When Good Weather Attacks! HOT!

Over three weeks of mostly triple digit end in sight.

Some of the mice this morning, successfully raising young in spite of the heat. I did lose a few older pregnant mamas, and one who had babies, but fostered her babies to another nest and they did fine. Haven’t lost anybody now for several days. I think the survivors have acclimated to this hot weather. I am holding off pairing off any more males and females now until the heat dies down. As a consequence I have several large tubs full of young adult females and young adult males, separated so they don’t breed.

With the successful old ones who have raised young during the heat wave I plan on keeping some of their young as future breeders, hoping to breed heat tolerance into my colony as much as possible.

I have been giving them all bottomless nest boxes. That way when they huddle in the nest box, they can get right down to the cool plastic of the tub floor and avail themselves of the cool temperature coming up from the ground.

07/24/09  03:43pm

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