The soil should be a light and fairly rich compost, comprising about 2 parts loam, I part decayed manure or horse droppings that have been thoroughly sweetened, I part leaf mould and half a part of sand.
Knowledge of the habits of animals and experience are the best guides to the nature of food to be supplied, but the keepers should be required to observe the droppings of their charges and to judge from these of the extent to which any particular substances are being digested.
The beds are formed of horse-droppings which have been slightly fermented and frequently turned, and may be made 2 or 3 ft.
The material employed in all cases is the droppings of horses, which should be collected fresh, and spread out in thin layers in a dry place, a portion of the short litter being retained well moistened by horse-urine.
The remains, which include not only the skeleton and skin, but likewise the droppings, were found buried in grass which appears to have been chopped up by man, and it thus seems not only evident that these ground-sloths dwelt in the cave, but that there is a considerable probability of their having been kept there in a semi-domesticated state by the early human inhabitants of Patagonia.
The huts of this last settlement appear to have had cattle stalls between them, the droppings and litter forming heaps at the lake bottom.
Bedding plants thrive best in a light loam, liberally manured with thoroughly rotten dung from an old hotbed or thoroughly decomposed cow droppings and leaf-mould.
They have a habit of depositing their droppings during successive days on the same spot - a habit appreciated by the Peruvian Indians, who use those deposits for fuel.
The droppings of stall-fed horses, or of such as have been kept on dry food, should be made use of.