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chicks, giving them such attention as brownish gray—and are hardly distinoccasion demands. As each chick is es- guishable one from the other. The color timated to be worth twenty-five dollars, of the female does not change, but after the reason for the special privileges ac- twelve months the plumage of the male corded it is obvious.
turns black, and black and white. But The question of the best food for the the main layer of feathers on the wings ostrich, which baffled the farmers for a of both sexes is white. This is the most time, has been effectually solved. A valuable row, and is cut, not plucked, balanced ration, consisting of chopped from the bird, being used chiefly in the alfalfa and wheat, supplemented by a manufacture of willow plumes. If the digestive diet of broken quartz, ground Arizona farmers succeed in producing a bone and other solid material, meets the white ostrich, clearly the color line will food requirements of the birds. Alfalfa not be drawn in the grading process. is grown on irrigated land in the valley The values of the individual birds vary the year round. Initially the birds were according to the stock. Yearlings as a permitted to graze, but now they run at rule sell for about $150 each; two-yearlarge in bare fields and are fed from olds from $200 to $250, and three-yearwagons, each consuming from six to ten olds from $300 to $350. Breeders are pounds of alfalfa per day.
sold frequently for $1,000 a pair. Still Most important, and most complex, is more giddy heights are reached, as is the problem of inbreeding and cross- shown by the statement of Mr. William breeding. The solution of this problem Cross, manager of the Pan-American has not been reached. But such prog- farm and a "progressive,” that “ten thouress has been made in the past three sand dollars wouldn't begin to touch that years that the farmers are sanguine of bird”—meaning “Doc. Cook," a fine specigetting the results they desire through
men of Nubian cock careful miscegenation of species.
weighing about 375 Success has attended the experiments
pounds—and that "no in crossing the South African and Nubian
amount of money could species, both of which are raised in the
buy him if he couldn't United States. The resultant bird not
be replaced by a similar only is larger and more hardy, but its
bird." feathers are of a better quality than those
The ostriches are clasof either parent. The plumes of the
sified according to age, South African bird are typically long
caste and relative earn- , and broad. Those of the Nubians are
ing capacity. The advisheavier, finer and glossier, The feathers of the mixed ostrich possess the distinguishing characteristics of both species, and neither loses by the process of crossing.
But the application of Burbank methods to ostrich life is not to end here. A hope cherished by the scientific ostrich raiser is to be able to produce a white ostrich. Here is a parallel with the paradox of the white blackbird. Ostrich breeders believe it would be easier to hatch a white ostrich than a white blackbird, and that the problem is merely one of selective breeding. Greater wonders have been wrought—but then the ostrich growers consider this not a wonder but a scientific possibility.
The object? It is this—a higher standard of gradeck stock. Until they are a year old all ostriches, both male and
ability of plucking the breeders, which as Perhaps that of raising the chicks a rule command the highest prices, is a presents the biggest obstacle. In spite question upon which the ostrich men are of the precautions that are taken, about not agreed; but it is conceded by all that 25 per cent of the young birds die ; and, the feathers of the family birds are not as has been stated, this rate of mortality of so high a quality as are those of birds is considered abnormally low. The adult untroubled by household cares. Some of ostriches run at large, yet if the best the farmers “unfeather” the parent results are obtained they must be given ostriches, while others do not.
close attention. Then there is the danger The value of the annual yield of of the bird's impairing the value of its feathers per bird ranges from $30 to $75. feathers through accident—though, of The ostrich generally advances to a ripe course, this danger is somewhat remote. old age, often passing the three-score. Or, as is sometimes the case, the bird, no and-ten mark. Its plumage does not matter how valuable, may die in its begin to deteriorate until it is about fifty prime. And the greater its value the years old. As it yields its first plucking greater the loss to the owner. at the age of six months and is deprived On the other hand, the owner of any of its feathers every eight months there- kind of livestock runs risks essentially after, meanwhile eating only about one- the same as those just recounted. The fourth as much as the average steer, little fact is, as has been pointed out, the wonder that it sometimes—using a ostrich as a revenue producer holds dephrase that trips easily—is worth almost cided advantages over the ordinary liveits weight in gold.
stock, especially in the issue of food and What is the future of the industry?- repeated returns. Moreover, on the point is a question that naturally confronts the of sustained attention, the same may be ostrich farmer. In order that the testi- said of any animal on hoofs; and so far mony may not seem ex parte it is only as the question of the bird's meeting an fair to state that the grower has certain untimely end is concerned, this—when I problems to deal with more elementary visited the Pan-American farm, containthan those of scientific breeding.
ing 3,200 birds, less than a dozen were confined in "hospital” pens for sickness creasing demand for all sorts of luxuries or injury by accident.
—it is constantly mounting higher. The Arizona ostrich farmer, though The ostrich ought to feel highly inconservative in his statements, sees a debted to the fair sex of our land, whose vista filled with potential opportunities. demands have stimulated the enterprising The farms are growing in number and ostrich farmers to bring these huge birds the herds are increasing. At present to the United States. As a result, he is practically all the feathers are shipped to no longer hunted down on horseback, or New York factories, but the tendency is toward "home industry." The Arizona and the Salt River Valley Ostrich Companies
.CALIFORNIA maintain small factories of their own, and the PanAmerican Company is preparing to make an additional investment of $200,000 on its farm, notably in the erection of a modern factory.
Certain it is that the industry is a likely "infant," full of promise in the health - giving climate of Arizona. When it is considered that there are hundreds of thousands of arid acres suited to ostrich raising, and that there is imported into this country annually in the neighborhood of $4,000,000 worth of feathers produced in Africa, the future of the ostrich business in the United States seems assured. For her demand for ostrich plumes wherewith to decorate her hat and fan and stole is not diminishing, with the in
A SINGLE BIRD YIELDS FROM THIRTY TO SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS'
WORTH OF FEATHERS A YEAR.
shot from ambush ; though, in exchange, with a hood and his body stripped of his he has bartered his liberty for his safety feathers. But everyone that enjoys the
The great disadvantage of his com- benefits of civilization must pay a price fortable captivity is the rather painful for it, and why should an exception be indignity to which he is submitted every made of the ostrich ? Besides, think of eight months, of having his sight blinded the women !
MENACE OF THE MONGOOSE
THERE is just one animal of which wild birds on the island, and sucking
Uncle Sam is afraid. It is the mon- pigs are not disdained by them. goose—a small mammal native to south- Many attempts have been made to inern Asia, which is especially famous as troduce it into the United States, but una snake-killer. Also, it is death on rats. successfully as yet, because the govern
Because of this latter fact it was im- ment authorities are always on the watch, ported into Jamaica thirty odd years and anxiously exclude any specimens ago. But, unfortunately, the rats took that arrive at our seaports on shipboard. to the trees, and the mongooses pro- The mongoose multiplies at a fabulous ceeded to feed upon other kinds of game rate, and, if it once established itself in
-particularly chickens. They have also this country, it might easily do $50,000,killed nearly all of the ground-nesting 000 worth of damage per annum.
CHEAPEST WAY TO REMOVE STUMPS
H. S. GRAY
N thousands of ranches in sands of acres of logged-off lands have
our once wooded west the for years lain idle because the task of owners have cleared only clearing them has heretofore been so ten or twenty acres out of foệmidable both physically and finan
one hundred and sixty dur- cially. Prof. H. W. Sparks of the State ing a long period of ownership; where Agricultural College at Pullman, Washthe stand of timber was heavy and the ington, about a year and a half ago began stumps are three to six feet in diameter, to experiment with a new burning only four or five acres; and development process. Since then he has been emhas been retarded. Pulling a big molar, ployed to teach the method at farm instiwhether dental or terrestrial, is usually a tutes and elsewhere in the Northwest. painful and difficult ordeal—and that is I recently attended a stump burning the difficulty. The stump is the thing! demonstration at Vancouver, Washing
The char-pit process, a new adaptation ton, when the Development League of of an old principle in removing stumps, southwestern Washington held a convenis at present attracting great attention in tion there. Professor Sparks first reOregon and Washington, where thou- moved the bark all around for about