Prairie dogs emerge from their burrows in daylight to forage and feed on grasses, roots, and seeds. These charismatic, rabbit-size rodents live on North America’s prairies and open grasslands. Prairie dogs live in underground burrows, extensive warrens of tunnels and chambers marked by many mounds of packed earth at their surface entrances. Burrows have defined nurseries, sleeping quarters, and even toilets.
On average, these stout-bodied rodents will grow to be between 30 and 40 cm (12 and 16 in) long, including the short tail, and weigh between 0.5 and 1.5 kilograms (1 and 3 lb).
Family groups include a male, a few females, and young inhabit rows and cooperate share food, chase off other prairie dogs, and groom one another. These group members even greet one another with a prairie dog kiss or nuzzle. Young pups are very playful and can often been seen romping near their burrows.
TYPES OF BREED:
Black-tailed prairie dogs, the best known of the five prairie dog species, live in larger communities called towns, which may contain many hundreds of animals. Typically they cover less than half a square mile (1.3 square kilometers), but some have been enormous. The largest recorded prairie dog town covered some 25,000 square miles (65,000 square kilometers). That Texas town was home to perhaps four hundred million prairie dogs.
CARE & FACTS:
- Average Lifespan: 10-12 years in captivity
- Size at Adulthood: about 2 pounds, about the size of a guinea pig.
- Minimum Cage size: They need a cage at least 2’x2’x4′. Bar spacing should be no more than 1/2″ wide. A large safe wheel in the cage is a good idea and a nice comfy nest area for them to sleep.
- Bonding: Under 10 weeks is optimal, as it allows appropriate bonding time for your new baby. You will need to spend a considerable amount of time with your new baby for the first few weeks of their life and thereafter.
Praire dogs can be affectionate and loving pets if cared for properly and acquired at the right age. Hand feedings and daily handling is crucial in the first few weeks after you receive them to ensure proper bonding. It is easy to bond with a new baby but is very challenging if you receive an older adult who is not bonded to you.
Prairie dogs are chiefly herbivorous, though they eat some insects. They feed primarily on grasses and small seeds. . In the winter, lactating and pregnant females supplement their diets with snow for extra water. They also eat roots, seeds, fruit, and buds and grasses of various species.
HABITAT AND BURROWING:
Prairie dog burrows are 5–10 m (16–33 ft) long and 2–3 m (6–10 ft) below the ground.The entrance holes are generally 10–30 cm (4–12 in) in diameter.Prairie dog burrows can have up to six entrances. Sometimes the entrances are simply flat holes in the ground, while at other times they are surrounded by mounds of soil either left as piles or packed down hard. Some mounds, known as dome craters, can be as high as 0.2–0.3 m (8–12 in) high and other mounds known rim craters, can be as high as 1 m.
PRICE IN INDIA: Prairie dogs are available in range $110 to $150.