Excerpt from American Weasels Even though most weasels are intractable as pets, they have a value to man, as, for instance, when he is plagued by mice. In a field where mice and other small rodents are so abundant as to damage cultivated crops, the weasel is the farmer's best friend. A weasel may inhabit one den until the rodents thereabouts are al most exterminated in an area two or three hundred yards across; in this way the weasel acts as a control, locally, as well as a check more widely, on the increase in Size of populations of kinds of rodents upon which it preys. The smaller species are mousers of remarkable efficiency and can, if necessary, follow a mouse to the end of the mouse's burrow. The slender body allows the weasel to pass through any burrow or hole into which it can thrust its head. This ability in an organism as highly specialized for killing other animals as is the weasel, has earned for it a bad name in con nection with poultry yards. Authentic instances are recorded in which a weasel, gaining entrance through a knot-hole to a coop of young chickens, killed several dozen of the fowls. In other in stances, however, weasels have lived under buildings close by a poultry yard without even molesting the birds in the slightest; in the latter instances the weasels probably were present because there was an abundant supply of rats and mice. At least three poultry raisers (see page 214) have encouraged weasels to live in their poul try yards feeling that the good they do by destroying rats outweighs the damage caused by the occasional weasel which turns to the fowls; the idea is that the individual weasel can be eliminated if he becomes destructive. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.