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FUR-FARMING IN CANADA   49

tensive partnerships among people whose experience and location are suitable for fox rancning. In the autumn of 1912, at least $50,000 was required to build, equip, and stock a ranch in Prince Edward Island with five pairs of first-class stock. Many ranches have been equipped for less money, but either cheaper wild or unselected stock from Newfoundland or elsewhere was purchased, or options had been taken at an earlier date on pups for delivery at that time.

Because of the keen demand for breeding stock, it has been Options customary to sell options for future delivery. Usually the on Stock options are taken on the unborn pups, and 10 per cent. of the price agreed upon is paid when the options are taken. Time of delivery is made the essence of the contract and, if the rancher has not as many pups as he has sold options for, the orders are filled consecutively; i.e., the earliest orders are filled first. In case delivery cannot be made, the agreement provides that the deposit must be returned with 6 per cent. interest per annum. In 1912, options were sold on more pups that could be delivered because of the unusually small number of pups. At the present time (December, 1912), many options on 1913 stock at an average price of about $10,000 per pair have been sold. As large ranchers carefully number the options, the holder of the first option has the best chance of securing the choice of pups when the deliveries are made.

All over North America wherever the common red fox is found, agreements are being constantly made with lumbermen, miners, missionaries, fur traders, trappers, government officials and others for future delivery of wild animals captured in their respective districts. The supply of fur, however, will not be appreciably diminished by the capture of wild fur-bearers alive.

In 1911 and 1912 all available foxes were sold for

Sales for   breeders. The first general sales were made in 1910,
Breeding Stock

at prices not far above the fur-value, viz. about $3,000

to $4,000 a pair. In 1911 the price rose to $5,000 a pair, and, about littering time in 1912, one pair was sold for $20,000. This, however, was for a pair of excellent proved breeders, which, a few weeks later, produced five whelps which were sold for $20,000 in August, 1912. By September 1, when the deliveries of stock began, the price was $8,000 a pair for pups and a month later, $11,000. By December, 1912, $12,000 and $13,000 was the ruling price, with few sales. Old proved breeders of good quality were valued during the last months of 1912 at from $18,000 to $35,000 a pair.

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