Previous Fur Farming in Canada (1913) Next

 

FUR-FARMING IN CANADA   35

In the earlier days, the houses were of logs, barrels, or Construction boxes. Later, a small box was placed within a larger of the Kennel one and the intervening space packed with sawdust or

chaff. An entrance was provided by a passageway constructed of boards. The roof was made water-tight by a piece of sheet iron. Such houses are still in use, but have the disadvantage of being easily robbed.

Mr. Burrowman and some other Ontario ranchers attempt to imitate nature more closely by constructing solid one piece cement dens built mostly underground and in well drained spots. They can be made quite thief-proof and, indeed, there is apparently no way for the keeper to get access to the nest. In the case of one den, at Bothwell, Ont., it was only possible to crawl in by shovelling out the small en-trance used by the fox.

The most generally approved houses are wooden constructions, placed in the centre of each paddock. The interior consists of an inner and an outer kennel, and the entrance for the foxes is through a passageway of rectangular cross-section constructed with four boards. The interior dimensions of this passageway should be about 71 in. by 10 in., and it should slope from the building down to within 6 inches of the ground. The entrance for the keeper is through a door in the end, or else by means of a hinged roof. The door or hinged roof is, of course, always kept locked. The house is usually made with a floor area 3 feet by 41 feet, or slightly larger. The posts are about 3 feet high; the walls are boarded, papered and shingled; the floors are double boarded with paper between; the roof is boarded, papered and shingled and ventilation is proved by openings in both gables. All parts that the foxes rub against are smoothed and sand-papered so as not to injure the overhair. The building should be set on skids a foot off the ground so that the foxes cannot hide under it.

The inner kennel or nest is to be the home of the young Construction foxes and must be large enough to prevent crowding and of the nest small enough to be warmed by the body heat of the

animals. The Usual size of the nest is about 18 in. long by 18 in. wide by 20 in. in height, but some prefer to make them with floor dimensions 16 in. by 20 in. The entrance, 8 incnes in diameter, is centred on one side; the floor corners are filled up with a triangular piece of moulding; three or four half-inch holes are bored in the roof to provide a slight ventilation and the roof or cover of the nest can be lifted off so that the manager can see into the nest when necessary. The nest is kept warm by being packed about on all sides with some material of low thermal conductivity. Tne best yet discovered are the ground cork in which the Spanish Malaga grapes are packed, dry seaweed, sawdust, chaff


Previous Fur Farming in Canada (1913) Next