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FUR-FARMING IN CANADA   27

a house for the keeper. It is not advisable to keep fox pens nearer than twenty rods to a dwelling as, particularly at certain seasons, the peculiar and somewhat disagreable `foxy' smell is strong and unpleasant.

The advantages of a large woodland ranch may be summed up as follows:

  1. The outer fence and bush cover protect the foxes from curious sightseers, dogs, cattle and thieves, and gives them a sense of being hidden from enemies.

  2. The bush cover is especially valuable for nervous foxes to hide in and to provide shade for the fur. They will also sleep contentedly all day under a bush, where it is more healthful than in a nest or a burrow.

  3. The outer fence is an additional insurance against escape to the woods. If a fox escapes from the paddock, he can be easily caught in the outer enclosure, or, if the door is left open, he may, of his own accord, go back to his pen at feeding time.

  4. The snow does not pile in drifts, but lies level, on wooded areas. Huge drifts necessitate higher fences, or wiring over, to prevent escape. Fences do not need to be more than six or seven feet high if the snow never lies more than one or two feet deep.

  5. A ranch in the woods has more equable climatic conditions. It is cooler in summer, less windy in winter, and is warmer for young foxes in the spring. There is less thawing and freezing up of snow to injure the fur. It also affords protection from rain and sleet.

  6. The foxes can hide from thieves and could not be captured by a stranger unless the house were broken into when they were shut in their nest. So much noise, however, would be sure to rouse the dog and the watchman.

  7. The outer enclosure permits of protective measures being taken. The keeper sleeps in a house there. Dogs are kept chained. Traps for thieves are laid, as, e.g., bear traps, burglar alarms, electric shocking devices; and some ranches are lighted with lanterns or electric lights and equipped with telephones.

  8. Large ranches seem to be more successful than smaller ones, because foxes in contiguous pens are company for each other. If a wood lot is not available, the ranch may be built

her Sites   in cleared ground and quick growing trees planted. Chosen

The Carolina poplar, soft maple, Manitoba maple (A.

negundo), black locust and willow are among the fastest growers. One rancher living in an Ontario city in a grape-growing district has planted


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