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36   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

and leaves. A space of four or five inches all about the six sides of the box packed with insulating material will retain the heat sufficiently and will absorb dampness. In some cases, a light bedding of earth, leaves, seaweed or marshgrass is given in the winter.

It is usual to place pens side by side on both sides

Arrangement of of an alley about six or eight feet wide,* the fences Pens and Kennels

at the ends of the alley being an additional safeguard

against escape. The dog (or male) pen, according to one plan, consists of one end of the common pen and the male is segregated by simply closing the door. According to another plan, the pen for the male is several feet distant and segregation is effected by simply closing the slide door in the passageway. The kennel provided for the dog fox may be a box or barrel with a chute entrance. The dog pen is becoming less used year by year. It should be constructed near the other pen and arrangements should be made so that the pairs can be separated quietly. No confusion or excitement whatever in effecting a separation of the male and female at this critical period should be permitted.

The food of foxes in the wild state does not consist wholly Food and of flesh as many suppose; for, to a certain extent, the fox Feeding is omnivorous, and will eat grass and berries. If flesh only were fed to a ranch fox the probability is that, after a time, digestion would be greatly impaired and the whole intestinal tract would be-come infested with worms.

The food varies so much in each locality that it is impossible to do more than state the principles which should govern the feeding of foxes. The very fact that success is achieved with so many kinds of dieting proves that the fox, like the dog, can live well on almost any kind of food. A prospectus of a ranch at Copper River, Alaska, says that the pelts of their foxes have a magnificent sheen because the animals are fed on oily salmon. Ontario ranchers have many excuses to hunt rabbits and groundhogs, because they are `natural' food for the foxes. J. Beetz of Piastre Baie, Que., finds fish and lobster good, and his success in catching foxes is largely due to the fact that they come down from the interior each winter to seek just such food on the shore of the St. Lawrence river. And who could tell an old Prince Edward Island rancher how to feed his foxes? `The best in the house is none too good,' he says, and he will feed them almost everything he would

*See diagram facing this page.


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