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chicks, giving them such attention as occasion demands. As each chick is estimated to be worth twenty-five dollars, the reason for the special privileges accorded it is obvious.

The question of the best food for the ostrich, which baffled the farmers for a time, has been effectually solved. A balanced ration, consisting of chopped alfalfa and wheat, supplemented by a digestive diet of broken quartz, ground bone and other solid material, meets the food requirements of the birds. Alfalfa is grown on irrigated land in the valley the year round. Initially the birds were permitted to graze, but now they run at large in bare fields and are fed from wagons, each consuming from six to ten pounds of alfalfa per day.

Most important, and most complex, is the problem of inbreeding and crossbreeding. The solution of this problem has not been reached. But such progress has been made in the past three years that the farmers are sanguine of getting the results they desire through careful miscegenation of species.

Success has attended the experiments in crossing the South African and Nubian species, both of which are raised in the United States. The resultant bird not only is larger and more hardy, but its feathers are of a better quality than those of either parent. The plumes of the South African bird are typically long and broad. Those of the Nubians are heavier, 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 graded stock. Until they are a year old all ostriches, both male and


brownish gray-and are hardly distinguishable one from the other. The color of the female does not change, but after twelve months the plumage of the male turns black, and black and white. the main layer of feathers on the wings of both sexes is white. This is the most valuable row, and is cut, not plucked, from the bird, being used chiefly in the manufacture of willow plumes. If the Arizona farmers succeed in producing a white ostrich, clearly the color line will not be drawn in the grading process.

The values of the individual birds vary according to the stock. Yearlings as a rule sell for about $150 each; two-yearolds from $200 to $250, and three-yearolds from $300 to $350. Breeders are sold frequently for $1,000 a pair. Still more giddy heights are reached, as is shown by the statement of Mr. William Cross, manager of the Pan-American farm and a "progressive," that "ten thousand dollars wouldn't begin to touch that bird"-meaning "Doc. Cook," a fine speci

men of Nubian cock weighing about 375 pounds and that "no amount of money could buy him if he couldn't be replaced by a similar bird.'

The ostriches are classified according to age, caste and relative earn- . ing capacity. The advis


ability of plucking the breeders, which as a rule command the highest prices, is a question upon which the ostrich men are not agreed; but it is conceded by all that the feathers of the family birds are not of so high a quality as are those of birds untroubled by household cares. Some of the farmers "unfeather" the parent ostriches, while others do not.

The value of the annual yield of feathers per bird ranges from $30 to $75. The ostrich generally advances to a ripe. old age, often passing the three-scoreand-ten mark. Its plumage does not begin to deteriorate until it is about fifty years old. As it yields its first plucking at the age of six months and is deprived of its feathers every eight months thereafter, meanwhile eating only about onefourth as much as the average steer, little wonder that it sometimes-using a phrase that trips easily-is worth almost. its weight in gold.

What is the future of the industry? is a question that naturally confronts the ostrich farmer. In order that the testimony may not seem er parte it is only fair to state that the grower has certain problems to deal with more elementary than those of scientific breeding.

Perhaps that of raising the chicks presents the biggest obstacle. In spite of the precautions that are taken, about 25 per cent of the young birds die; and, as has been stated, this rate of mortality is considered abnormally low. The adult ostriches run at large, yet if the best results are obtained they must be given close attention. Then there is the danger of the bird's impairing the value of its feathers through accident-though, of course, this danger is somewhat remote. Or, as is sometimes the case, the bird, no matter how valuable, may die in its prime. And the greater its value the greater the loss to the owner.

On the other hand, the owner of any kind of livestock runs risks essentially the same as those just recounted. The fact is, as has been pointed out, the ostrich as a revenue producer holds decided advantages over the ordinary livestock, especially in the issue of food and repeated returns. Moreover, on the point of sustained attention, the same may be said of any animal on hoofs; and so far as the question of the bird's meeting an untimely end is concerned, this-when I visited the Pan-American farm, containing 3,200 birds, less than a dozen were



confined in "hospital" pens for sickness or injury by accident.

The Arizona ostrich farmer, though conservative in his statements, sees a vista filled with potential opportunities. The farms are growing in number and the herds are increasing. At present practically all the feathers are shipped to New York factories, but the tendency is toward "home industry." The Arizona and the Salt River Valley Ostrich Companies 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

creasing demand for all sorts of luxuries -it is constantly mounting higher.

The ostrich ought to feel highly indebted to the fair sex of our land, whose demands have stimulated the enterprising ostrich farmers to bring these huge birds to the United States. As a result, he is no longer hunted down on horseback, or





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N thousands of ranches in our once wooded west the owners have cleared only ten or twenty acres out of one hundred and sixty during a long period of ownership; where the stand of timber was heavy and the stumps are three to six feet in diameter, only four or five acres; and development has been retarded. Pulling a big molar, whether dental or terrestrial, is usually a painful and difficult ordeal-and that is the difficulty. The stump is the thing!

The char-pit process, a new adaptation of an old principle in removing stumps, is at present attracting great attention in Oregon and Washington, where thou

sands of acres of logged-off lands have for years lain idle because the task of clearing them has heretofore been so formidable both physically and financially. Prof. H. W. Sparks of the State Agricultural College at Pullman, Washington, about a year and a half ago began to experiment with a new burning process. Since then he has been employed to teach the method at farm institutes and elsewhere in the Northwest.

I recently attended a stump burning demonstration at Vancouver, Washington, when the Development League of southwestern Washington held a convention there. Professor Sparks first removed the bark all around for about



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