All posts tagged: animals

Foster a cat with Paws and Tails

Many of us love animals but find it difficult to commit to keeping a pet — perhaps we travel, move house often, or simply don’t know where we’ll be in a year’s time. If you’re a cat lover currently living in Melbourne, there’s an answer — one that involves helping others as well as feeding our own selfish need for cat cuddles. Paws and Tails (PAT) is a privately run organisation operating in the inner western suburbs to rescue and re-home cats and kittens in need. The organisation is always looking for foster carers to take in cats until they have found a permanent home. The carer is responsible for feeding the cat and worming it where necessary, but any vet bills are covered by PAT. My share-house has been fostering cats and kittens for almost a year now. In that time, we’ve cared for over a dozen animals. As some of these cats have come to us a little traumatised, the adjustment period after the move has sometimes been a bit challenging, but in the …

How to keep chickens (in Melbourne)

On a recent sunny Sunday my housemates and I decided to adopt some chickens. We had no chicken coop, no chicken food, no feeder — nothing apart from half an unused back courtyard. So we went scavenging. Within a day or two we had built our very own custom super coop and chicken run using wholly recycled materials that we either found by the roadside or sourced from Gumtree.com.au and friends. We now have two chooks, happy to scratch the days away, which each lay an egg daily. We plan to add two more to our new farmyard. It’s really quite simple — not to mention fun, environmentally friendly, economical and surprisingly therapeutic — to keep chooks. Here’s what you’ll need — and what you’ll need to consider — to set up your own chook coop in Melbourne: 1. Space Chickens don’t need a huge amount of space, but every creature deserves to be able to carry out its primal needs in comfort. For chooks, those primal needs are scratching for food, taking dust-baths, laying …

Melbourne Zoo

  Established in 1862, the Melbourne Zoo is the oldest in Australia.  Featuring beautiful gardens and over 320 animal species, there’s a strong emphasis on on education and conservation here. It takes around 15 minutes to get to the zoo from the CBD by train or tram. Check Public Transport Victoria for more information.   Melbourne Zoo Address: Elliott Avenue, Parkville 3052 Tel: 9285 9300 Opening hours: 9am–5pm every day Damage: $26.10 adult / $20.20 concession      

A survival guide

  Whenever I travel outside Australia, one of the most common questions I’m asked about living in this country is, ‘How do you survive?’ Somehow, what with the over-excited nature documentaries made by folks like the Discovery Channel, foreigners seem to have the impression that we Australians live in houses crawling with every creepy, poisonous and otherwise deadly creature known to (wo)man. It’s true that Australia is home to a frightening number of venomous snakes; we also have a few scary spiders, and in some waters you may be unlucky enough to come across a crocodile or a shark (or poisonous jellyfish or those icky stonefish that are pretty much undetectable when they lie in among the rocks). But here’s the reality for an inner-city Melburnian: the number of deadly creatures you’re likely to encounter in a year will probably be zilch. The most credible threat comes from the Redback spider, a member of the widow family. These little critters can be deadly, but since the invention of a commercially available anti-venom in 1956 there have …