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Discussion Starter #1
Back on March 25, I adopted four new feral cats from our local rescue organization Animalkind. They spent 25 days in the big cage in my barn to acclimate, then I let them go. I can't say they made a lot of progress towards becoming tamer. They were wild. Every day I became more attached though.

The cats:
Cowboy, 2 yrs., gray and white, the least skittish.
Rookie, 2 yrs., black and white
Bella, 2 yrs., looked exactly like Rookie. Probably siblings.
Stubby: teenager, black with some white, possibly Bella's kitten.

I released them April 18 and didn't see any sign of them until I set up the night vision camera this week. And there was Stubby and either Bella or Rookie at the feeding station.

And - surprise - today while feeding the colony, there was Cowboy, upstairs.

So at least three stayed, possibly four.

After all the failures in my first year last year, which ended with only a 50 percent retention rate, I am so happy this nice group of cats stayed together and has clearly meshed well with the five resident ferals.

This was the definite highlight for me in another rainy day here in the Hudson Valley.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Here are two photos from the night-vision camera.

1. Stubby the teenager in back of the food bowl. It's hard to tell who is in front.

2. Bella or Rookie. It's hard to tell, they are identical.

The night-vision camera, about $80 from Wildview, turned out to be an indispensible tool to manage my colony. Many of the cats are nocturnal and I would never know they were around, otherwise.
 

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We have a 50% retension rate too. This last year I think it might be around 40% make it. I was a bad bad year. Im almost to a point where I would refuse to relocate ferals. its so heart breaking.

Looks like you have a great set up. I quickly googled your night vision camera from Wildview. How cool. When Im not working so much I want to take a closer look at one to have. Cool product. Can you look on your computer screen to see with it or just snaps pictures?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It just snaps photos or takes short video clips, which can be viewed or downloaded on your computer like a regular digital camera. You can't use your computer screen to see what it's seeing, so it's not like one of those nanny-cams or spy-cams.

Lots of hunters use cameras like this to scout for game. I'm not very technical at all, but it was easy to set up and use.

I live 5 miles from my barn colony, so the camera is only a some-time thing for me, when I really want to see which cats are around.

It's been raining for four days straight here - there are LOTS of cats hanging out in the barn, upstairs and downstairs. Smart kitties. Today they all got Fancy Feast. :p Talk about winning the hearts of ferals.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you, Julie!
Two of the cats in the established colony came from Colonie, right near you. With the 4 new cats I have a total of 9 ferals now.
 
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