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Page:Swine; a book for students and farmers.djvu/13

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CHAPTER I

BREEDING

An Ideal Necessary. The business of the stock-breeder is a pecuilar one. He has to deal with life, and all those mysterious possibilities that exist in the living creature have to be reckoned with in his operations. Stock breeding is not a mere question of cunning hands, which model inert material to the whim of their owner; the really great breeder must possess an intuitive genius that can pierce the curtain of mystery surrounding living creatures, lay hold of those hidden forces, and so direct them that the result is a creature approachimg very closely to the ideal he, himself, has set up. In short, the breeder is not a mere imitator, he is a creator. There can be no progress unless the breeder has a very clear ideal before him towards which he is working. He may never reach his ideal, but he must never lose sight of it. No matter how much money may be invested in the enterprise, it will come to naught if the breeder has not a clearly defined object in view. He will meet with many things to try his faith, but he must not be discouraged. Difficulties, dissapointments, and hope deferred are part of the heritage of the breeder, and he requires the highest class of courage to be able to stick his guns and eventually bring victory out of what happened to be certain defeat.

Utility Every breeder should ask humself why he is breeding the animals of hus choice. Is it to humor the whims of the few, or to meet the demands of the many? If his work as a breeder is to be a success, he must never lose sight of the requirements of the man who produces the market hog for the money that is in it. No matter how pure