Manuscripts/Mixed Material Letter from Alexander Graham Bell to Mabel Hubbard Bell, November 14, 1900
ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL TO MABEL (Hubbard) BELL
Beinn Shreagh, C. B.
Wednesday, November 14, 1900.
My darling Mabel:
I reached here last night thoroughly tired out — but just in time to catch Dr. Phelps and go over his sheep records. He leaves tomorrow. For the first time I have records that can be relied on — and I believe valuable and important results will be obtained. The feeding and starving experiments have been satisfactory. The fed sheep have gone up steadily in weight at the critical time — and the half-starved sheep have come down (with a vengeance) during the same time. We shall certainly have a decisive answer to the question as to whether a progressive change in nutrition immediately after mating has an influence upon the sex of the offspring — and (as we suspect) whether improving condition after mating is favorable to the production of female offspring, and loss of weight at that time conducive to the production of males. The doctor has also made a series of temperature observations which will surely be of value. The temperature of a owe rises at the time of mating — and during the three days when mating is possible — the temperature of the fed sheep rose still higher on the 2nd day falling on the third — whereas the temperature of the starved sheep fell on the 2nd day and rose again on the third. This was not only true of the flocks (fed and starved) as wholes — but was also true of each individual owe in each flock — seeming to indicate that the temperature change is significant — and that it is really due to the changed condition of nutrition.