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Re: interesting visitor

Kitty - yes I did mean away from the house. But Donna has a point about
dependency too. I would like to hear Jesse's spin on this when she gets
back as she knows more than I do and can advise you better....

---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: "Kitty" <kmrsy@comcast.net>
Reply-To: gardenchat@hort.net
Date:  Sun, 13 Jul 2003 13:15:58 -0500

>Thus far (and I clearly want to hear all pros and cons from everyone), I
>appreciate the safety factor mentioned by Daryl.  It can be very scary.  But
>I don't know how right it is to pass judgement across the board on all
>wildlife because of the fear of such danger.  Is the percentage of rabies
>incidence in raccoons really high?  And I do worry for my cats, although
>they are all smart enough to steer clear of raccoons.
>Pam mentioned feeding from a distance, but that's not particularly plausible
>as I don't have a lot of space here - unless you meant distance like not
>directly outside my patio door :)
>Donna makes a good point about the detriment of creating dependency, but
>then, perhaps we shouldn't feed birds either for that reason.  But in the
>case of raccoons, (correct me if I'm wrong) I believe they are scavengers
>more than hunters.  They make the rounds of places they have found luck in
>the past and check for new places. If no luck at a previously positve
>location they move on hopefully to the next place on their list.  Dependency
>would be created if fed daily, but how about 3 times a week?
>I've read alot about feral cat colonies and cats are considered
>"opportunistic feeders".  This means they dine in the easiest, most pleasant
>manner available to them.  If food is supplied to these cats, their hunting
>of birds is reduced because the supplied cat food is a whole lot easier.
>Yes, they still hunt some, but not nearly as much.  My thoughts when I refer
>to raccoons as scavengers is that they, too, are opportunistic feeders after
>a fashion.
>When Donna refers to wildlife feeding on "natural food to hunt around them",
>I agree that that's the best route.  But their natural habitat has been so
>squeezed by overdevelopment by man that their may not be a lot of "natural
>food to hunt around them".  So would putting out a bowl a few times a week
>hinder the natural instincts of a scavenger?
>I'm still undecided, would like to hear more from you.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Donna" <justme@prairieinet.net>
>To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
>Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2003 12:19 PM
>Subject: RE: [CHAT] interesting visitor
>> I am not cold hearted, but most times make wildlife be just that-
>> wildlife. I only add supplemental food when extreme conditions prevail.
>> You are really hurting the animals if they have to depend on you to eat.
>> I am sure you are very faithful in feeding them, but what happens when
>> you go on vacation, or get ill for a week, or?? ... You have trained
>> them to rely on you, not find natural food to hunt around them.
>> Having said that, I grow things for the wildlife around here. Even if I
>> am not around, it is there for them. Doubt I would get more wildlife if
>> I put out food daily.
>> In winter when we have massive storms and there is nothing they can get
>> too... then I put out some treats. They always seem to find it, even tho
>> it is not there on a regular bases.
>> I apply this theory to all wildlife... from raccoons to birds to
>> anything that wanders in here.
>> Donna
>> >
>> > So what do you all think?  Should I feed the raccoon family?
>> >
>> > Kitty
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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Pam Evans
Kemp TX/zone 8A


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