Fox Farms

Sometime around 1924 a pair of foxes were brought to Meadows Valley. Unfortunately one of them escaped, and no increase was possible from this transportation until another mate could be secured, by which time other foxes were brought in. Then the unscrupulous promoters and inexperienced had to be eliminated, during which time quite a number of foxes were produced.

By 1928 there were a number of small fox farms in the valley, Jim Madison, Webster Curtis, Curt Harrington, Lafe Keener, C.C. Hargrove and the Smith family. Later a number of these were closed, and a new and modern Fox Ranch was built on Goose Creek, by H. C. Williamson and partner. The owners of this Ranch employed a man by the name of Claude Warr, who was a great lover of animals, and foxes became his favorite. The happy combination led to many good things for the foxes since he was almost constantly with them. He learned their language (yes foxes have what, amounts to a language) and went about his work constantly talking to the foxes and so gained their confidence. His understanding and influence became so great that the owner had microphones installed in the kennels and could then know by the way the mother foxes called to their little ones when all was not well with their family and would offer relief in case of distress to give aid to the very young pups. A maternity house was built and equipped with furniture invented on the spot.

In this house happened many things that men had never done before. Expectant mother foxes were brought in from 24-48 hours before the pups were to be born. They were weighed and placed in their little maternity houses till the moment came when professional help was needed, then they were taken to the delivery table. The pups were fed and weighed each morning until they were conditioned to be returned to the outside pens.

Short periods in the maternity house were 5 days, and the longest 33 days. During the operation of this maternity house, only one pup was lost, and he was destroyed by the mother. She was given two other pups who were raised to maturity.

From the record of this maternity house it was learned that fox pups gain 100% in weight in from 6-8 days, that they are very hardy, and if fed within the first hours after birth can stand great exposure and survive. A complete motion picture of the delivery of 6 pups was made, and is now in the hands of Dr. Thurston. Unfortunately this place had to be closed on account of shortage of labor during the war, but only needs the proper help and management to be restored.

This place was built from the sale of pelts, and cost $18,000.00 and shows a man can make a good living from fox farming.Some of the best-informed men in the fur business have stated that Meadows Valley is the best fur farm location in the northwestern states. In 1945 there were still some fox farms in operation.

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