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38   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

A perfect fox diet can be secured in the patent dog biscuits.

Fox   These are made with various kinds of food content, so that

Biscuits balanced rations can be provided. The biscuit medicines have also been proved excellent, and are easy to administer. It is possible that the manufacture of biscuit with meat or fish fibre will be an industry that will develop contemporaneously with fur-farming. The meat can probably be best preserved in this way and feeding made easier and pleasanter.

 

Broken bone should not be fed lest some of it be

General Directions   swallowed. Bone should be fed, especially to young

for Feeding foxes, to assist in building up bone and in removing the milk teeth. Some do not feed bony fish, e.g., perch, lest the hones rupture the delicate linings of the throat and intestines. Observation, however, leads to the belief that such injury is not likely to happen, as they are dainty feeders and, unlike dogs, do not devour their food greedily. In addition to bones, growing foxes are fed a quantity of limewater—about one teaspoonful a day—with their milk. This food gives a substance to the bone and insures stronger limbs. The pregnant mother should also be fed bone broth and limy foods to insure strong limbs for her offspring.

Neither of the foxes should be allowed to become too fat for breeding. When the foxes are less than a year old, they can be fed almost as much as they will eat; after they are older, a full diet may make them too fat for good breeding condition. An average size fox should weigh from eight to eleven pounds. Some feeders stint foxes in food in November and December and January, to get them into breeding condition; others endeavour to keep them normal always. In the mating season, foxes are very active, and fat pork is fed and a full supply of food is given to keep them in condition. Some roll the meat in sand and soil, claiming that soil is nature's medicine for worms. Some feeders throw food into the pen over the fence; others, in order to tame them, try to coax them to receive it from between the meshes of the wire. A skilful feeder can do more to tame his foxes through feeding them than in any other way. If the food is always delivered at the same place, the tendency will be for the animal to approach nearer and nearer at each feeding. The science of foods is of less importance than a knowledge of the art of feeding.

The mother should be well fed on an attractive and strengthening diet for several weeks before the young are born. Milk, eggs and bone broth are good for the purpose. When the young are expected, laxative


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