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Full text of "Illustrated series of rare and prize poultry including comprehensive essays upon all classes of domestic fowl"

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HIS OBEDIENT AND HUMBLE SERVANT, 



GEORGE FERGUSON 



July 1st, 1854. 



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PREFACE. 






During the feAV months that the first half of this volume has 
been before the public, it has obtained the approval of an influ- 
ential body of the community, the sanction of the most eminent 
poultry amateurs, and the continued eulogy of the press. 
Nevertheless, to offer a work like the present, in which the 
natural and domestic history of poultry is amply discussed^ 
their peculiar varieties clearly pointed out, the causes of those 
varieties carefully investigated, together with their requirements 
in health, and the preventive means to be adopted in cases of 
disease, and in which are recognised those laws of propagation 
which are calculated to minister as much to national utility as 
to the delight of the amateur, to offer a work, embracing such a 
variety of topics, as exempt from every vestige of error would, 
indeed, be presumptuous. Neither should the merits of a work 
be estimated by the number of its inaccuracies, but rather by 
the intrinsic value of its truths. A volume presenting the 
public with a mere reprint of truisms and known facts would be 
but useless though, doubtless, truthful in itself; but if channels 
be cut in unexplored regions, the line though not so truly 
straight is nevertheless the inducer of far more beneficial 
effects. We confess to having mentioned much that has been 
already recorded, but this work would be incomplete were the 
rudiments of the subject upon which it enlarges omitted from 
its pages. To the critic who may endeavour to undermine 
truth by exposing its weakest points as representatives of the 

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whole we would say — in so large a field for discussion as this 
subiect opens, Ave have dealt with some important facts at con- 
siderable length — criticise them; but had we dwelt upon every 
topic in detail, voluminous rather than popular would have 
been our reports. Nevertheless, our judgment, the result of 
serious deliberation, has been pronounced upon all points upon 
which our most eminent breeders are at issue. So we trust 
"the modest hints" will remain unmolested, unless facts, as 
proofs to the contrary, be produced, or they be found to violate 
rational consistency. For, be it remembered, although many 

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things might be said to exhibit their A^eakness, still equally 
numerous might be the responses in their favour. 

Without endeavouring to discover the primitive originals for 
every class of the extant race ( Galli\ or condensing the whole 
to a unity, by ascribing to one primeval pair rights to progeni- 
torship in toto, we have taken a somewhat medium view, and 
regarded the principal classes only as distinct from one another, 
and the varieties as but offshoots. Colour, indeed, is in no way 
indicative of origin or class, it is the effect of external exposures ; 
but not so, such peculiar markings as the Hamburgh's feathery 
coat presents, they could never have been perpetuated by the 
agency of accidental climatic influences, 
depths of hue or light shadows, but to the uniform and clearly 
defined pencillings which are distinct from the general ground 

(see page 282 J. 
racter of birds we insist to be the grand distinction between 
classes, and to whatever temperature they be exposed they will 
ever retain them unless admixed with foreign blood. Thert are, 
doubtless, several varieties in the east with which we are at 
present unacquainted, but we confess that mongrels of various 
combinations will ever and anon be produced and regarded as 
distinct until their issue shall exhibit their heterogeneousness. 
At pages 200 to 206 we have endeavoured to prove the 

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a permanent family from the 
admixture of the pheasant with the domestic fowL 



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enough has been said to show that they were never allied, 

seeing that inter-breeding in the end is unfruitful, but let us 

not in our enthusiasm allow this fact to indicate too much. 

Although it proves that if the offspring of tAvo specimens he 

unahle to sustain a race, that such two are distinct from each 

other, and therefore of diiferent origin, still it does not follow 

that all birds which are able to establish a race when bred 

inter se sprang from an identity of blood, but merely that they 

are of one species. The race of fowl (Galli) is, therefore, 

analogous to that of the dog in this respect. Surely no student 

of nature in the present day would advance it as his firm belief 

that the Spaniel, the Terrier, and the Newfoundland dog, sprang 

from one primitive pair, merely because they are found capable 

of breeding inter sese. Naturalists usually endeavour to get 

over the difficulty by such presumption, but it is none the 

more true because most convenient. As far as the vegetable 

kingdom is concerned we cannot regard it in any way analogous 

to that of the fowl. The botanist informs us that variety is 

produced by the means of grafting and slipping, also by suckers, 

&c. — y^riiich are not adapted to the propagation of fowls 

that among plants of one size are found not only many that 

differ from one another, but some that are quite distinct. Now 

this is all we claim for poultry; we argue that the main classes 

were originally distinct, but allow that some extant races are 

but the effects of time and circumstances, and that many have 

been heterogeneously produced (see pages 167 to 169, 191, and 

290 to 292 J. Mr. Eichardson after tracing the genealogies of 

the several varieties of the wild hog, assigns them all to one 

ace; but, when treating upon poultry, he is compelled 
to claim on their behalf several distinct primary progenitors. 

^ 

The Avild theory that the extant classes are derived from 
one pair, and that chance consummated the rest, can no 
longer be seriously advanced by the practical student, but 
merely by such as possess great credulity in the place of expe- 
rience. The fact that poultry have until lately received but 



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PREFACK. 



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little attention at the hands of the fancier, and been entirely 
confined to the domain of the producer for the market, would 

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alone suggest the improbability of that constant and unremitting 
attention having been observed in bi'eeding, which is requisite 
to the consummating in the offspring of any two birds, trans- 
mitable forms and appearances not exhibited by the parents ; 
not to speak of the great watchfulness required in eradicating 
features manifest in both, and the implantation of forms and 
peculiarities inherent in neither, and which must have taken 
place were fowls confined to one pair for their original proge- 
nitors. Instead of which, wherever our researches have lead 
us, from the east to the west, we have discovered no pretension 

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whatever on the part of the keepers of poultry to regard 
the appearance of their birds as deserving of note, neither to 
consider the peculiar colour of their plumes as recommendatory 
or otherwise save as auxiliary indicators of constitutional vigour, 

productive powers, or quality of fiesh. 

The primary originals deserving of regard are the Gallus 
Furcatits, or Forked-tail Jungle Cock — and the Gallus Mneus^ 
or Bronze Jungle Fowl, but more especially the four following: 

■The Bengal Jungle which is represented as being of black-red 
plumage, but we consider it differs in no other material point 
from Gallus Sonneratii^ another variety of jungle fowl, and a 
native of Hindostan, which we regard as the founder of the 
Game class (seepage 220 J. The Gallus B ankiv a from J ^ly^ 
closely approximates the shape and peculiar features of the 
Bantam tribe, and unquestionably must be regarded the proge- 
nitor of that race (see page 292 J^ whilst the Gallus Giganteus 
or Kulm Fowl is a native of the peninsula of Malay, and much 
resembles the Malay in shape, size^ and general characteristics 

(see page 183^. 

Thus we regard the G-ame Fowl as being descended from 
Gallus So7ineratiiy the Bantam from Gallus Bankiva^ and the 
Malay from Gallus Giganteus ; but after all our researches we 
are unable satisfactorily to trace the Poland further than to the 






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Paduan or Pataviman, or the Hamburgh to the Gallina Turcica 

of Aldrovandi. 

We do not hnagine ourselves competent to pronounce decisive 
judgment upon matters which many eminent naturalists have 
carefully avoided, but we do flatter ourselves that our greatest 
endeavours have been to become available to as great an extent 
as possible upon all subjects connected with our work, and to 
realize that amount of confidence which a discerning public is 
ever ready to bestow where merit is inherent. 

We have carefully traced the respective origins of the several 
classes, discussed the right by Avhich some have become nomin- 
ated, and re-nominated others — dismissed many collateral breeds 
from the distinction of classes and assigned to them their more 
appropriate positions as sub-classes, whilst we have enumerated 

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and described the many varieties of each class — thus rendering the 
plan as concise as consistency would allow or our faculties suggest. 
We have given their comparative intrinsic value as fancy or 
farm stock, laid down just principles of propagation and plain 
directions respecting particulars necessary to be observed in 
breeding, rearing, and sustaining them in full vigour, with 
exceptional expedients applicable in cases of emergency 
pointed out in detail defects to be avoided, features and pro- 
perties to be aimed at — carefully ti^eated upon the evil effects of 
breeding in and in, and the beneficial influences arising from 
judicious admixture — dilated upon the internal strticture of the 
physical frame, the means to be observed in the prevention of 

diseases in general, and the most efiicacious remedial measures to 
be resorted to in peculiar distempers, together with a succint 
physiological and pathological view of those maladies — whilst we 
have endeavoured to avoid as much as possible entering into 
prolix anatomical discussions or the use of technical terms. In 
all which we have respected the opinions of others, not, however, 
without a careful separation of truth from error, and a minute 
examination as to their respective merits as far as personal 



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experience and friendly corroboration have enabled us to 

analyze them. 

The illustrations representing the eggs of the several classes 
are not supposed to be in exact conformity with the eggs pro- 
duced by all the varieties of those classes, but merely fair 
estimates of the size and shape of those laid by the entire class 
to which they refer — ^thus, a better representation of facts is 
afforded than could be given by the bare mention of weights, 
which, however, haA'^e not been omitted. In describing plans 

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for poultry-houses, and feeding compartments for the juveniles 
of the yard, we have left ornamental operations to be executed 
as taste might suggest or purse allow, our attention being 
wholly absorbed upon registering the actual requirements of 
the fowl in those departments. 

The study, no less than the practical rearing of poultry, until 

the last twenty or thirty years, was deemed any other than 
a worthy pursuit, and only within the last few years has 

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improvement to any extent been effected in this section of 
the farmer's stock. It has at length hecome a fashionable 
pastime, and many influential farmers begin to discover its real 
importance. The publicity given to the subject by our metro- 
poHtan and provincial exhibitions, and the stimulus which it 
has received by the interest taken in it by many distinguished 
gentlemen and devoted philanthropists, have already greatly 
extended the British poultry possessions, and we doubt not will 
ultimately produce the desired effect. 

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In the primitive ages to supply the common exigencies of 
nature was the grand consideration, but when civilization and 
refinement assumed a meritorious aspect, requisites of a higher 
class became simultaneously experienced. The muddy hut was 
exchano-ed for the spacious and ornamental mansion, and the 
hairy garb for more ingeniously devised fabrics. Progressive 
strides at length revealed the charm of nature, in the form of 
poultry elegance and beauty, and now they become domiciled 



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not merely for the satisfaction of the requisites of the corporeal 
frame, but as mirrors of nature's wondrous works. 

But, in conclusion, we must repeat the grand object of this 
work is to place within the limits of the general public the 
advantages resulting from the possession of a genuine, well 
authenticated and standard volume, comprising not only the 
author's own experience, but the opinions and suggestions of 
others reduced from theoretical to practical matter; and further 
to illustrate, with correct and richly executed portraits, the 
choicest specimens procurable throughout the British empire. 
Thus affording ample knowledge for following successfully an 

occupation bestowing upon the public great advantages, and 
invariably eliciting the admiration of private friends, whilst 
gratifying the amateurs and breeders themselves, who in this 
delightful study find a healthy and highly interesting recreation. 
Taking advantage of the present favourable opportunity afforded 
by the vast amount of interest excited by the novelty of appear- 
ance in one kind of fowl, we hope, whilst administering to the 
curiosity of the world, to awaken in the public mind the benefits 
derivable from the bestowment of greater attention to the 
breeding and management of poultry for economical purposes. 
Why Great Britain so long continues to import such immense 
supplies of eggs, the produce of foreign parts, cannot be satis- 
factorily arrived at, unless it be in the fact that the advantages 
resulting from this branch of industrial pursuit are here over- 
looked; surely this will not long remain the cause, seeing as 

producers of all other stock of larger growth, as sheep and 
cattle, we are unequalled, unrivalled, and alone; we trust, 
therefore, the propensity of the British breeder will be soon 
displayed in his efforts at perfection, and the prosperity of this 
branch of the national economy of Great Britain be as equally 
apparent in her smaller demand for those foreign supplies 
which she is so well able, by good management, to provide 
herself, as in those superior specimens which have been of late 
so frequently recognised at our exhibitions. 



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At the present time Ave arc in a measure dependant upon the 
great continent for our supplies of poultry, wliicli there is no 
law of nature to require ; our soil and climate are as congenial 
as any other to the health of fowl of every kind; in Ireland 
large numbers of turkeys have been raised, and a profitable 
return can be shown, were persons to make that occupation 
more their study. We trust a taste is awakening among the 
wealthy landowners in England to encourage poultry breeding 
to a o-reater extent than hitherto. For whilst extending the 
domain of poultry in general they will be adding to the comforts 
of the cottager, by increasing the supply of an article as nutri- 
tious as it is dainty, as Avholesome as it is luxurious, and Avhich, 
we trust, will become as common to the common people, as 
abundant to the whole community, as it is at present common 
to none. To assist in that good work is the object of 
the present undertaking. 



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OKIGIN 



OF 



DOMESTIC POULTRY. 



Domestic poultry are divided into three distinct orders of 
the class aveSy viz. : the rasorial or gallinaceous, the coliun- 

bine or gyratorial, and the natatorial or swimming order. 

Cock and Hen (Phasianus Gallus, Lath.) or birds of the 

Pheasant genus. 

The Rasorial are considered analogous to the Ruminantia 
or ruminating animals, being equally susceptible of thriv 
itig in a domesticated state. 

All such birds as are terrestrial in their habits, found 



either roosting or perching upon trees, reposing or scratch 

iug upon the ground for food, or have imperfect powers of 

flight and stationary in their habits, are included in the 
order Rasorial. 

The distinguishing features of the genus Gallus are 
Bill — short, stout, and naked at the base, convex above, and 

hooked at the tip, the upper recurving over the loAver, from 
which is suspended two compressed double Wattles^ or 
caruncles of an oval shape (more diminutive in the hen, but 
of which the wild hen is deficient), are of the same colour 
and material as the Comb or Crest that surmounts the 
skvdl, and Avhich is of a firm fleshy membraneous texture 
and of a bright vermillion colour, flat at its side but serrated 

lobes of a slighter texture and inclined to 



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FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



£Jar protected by fine^ close^ and short feathers. 

Tarsi, or lowest part of the shank^ in the male supplied 
with a sharp recurved horny substance which increases in 
lengthy with age. 

Leffs and feet covered with scales. 

Neck-hackle increases in length as it approaches the lower 
part of the neck^ and waves over the pinions of the wings 
and back. 

Wings shorty convex, and graduated, fitting closely to 
their sides — not extending over root of tail but dropping 
below it. 

Tail fui^nished with fourteen quill feathers, seven on 



each side, forming two opposite planes — two uppermost 



V 



feathers meet and form a sharp angle, which is extended 
by the lower until some few inches separate one plane 

from the other, the two uppermost included in the fourteen, 
termed ^^ streamers" are the longest, well arched, and ex- 
tend some distance over the rest in the shape of a bow. 

Many ages have elapsed since the tribe in question was 
first reduced by captivity to domestication, so far distant 
the period that all researches beyond a certain time, insti- 
tuted as may be with the utmost ardour and enthusiasm, 
have alike resulted in the same amount of discourao;ement 
and ill success. 

Travellers inform us the jungles of India still claim 
tenants of this order, and to that country we are t(j look 

; such however, we think, should 
be regarded as assertion only and but the result of studied 



for the original stock 



plausibilities founded upon possibilities. 

Their presence, existence in a wild state in any locality, 
goes no further than to prove the adaptation of that spot 
to the furtherance of the instinctive desire of the fowl to 
evade man's envious and insatiable requirements — and such 



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ORIGIN or DOMESTIC POULTRY. 



3 



being the case they still remain comparatively secluded and 
tenants of the retired spot — but it does not follow they 
bemg thus found — that from thence alone they sprang. 
Although such may have been their native place, still no 
proof exists in that fact alone sufficient to justify the idea 
that such was their original native place. 

The prevailing supposition is the ancestors of domestic 
poultry were natives of Asia, although other travellers 
have spoken of the presence of wild fowls in the interior of 
South America. 

Gernell Carreri asserts the ancient Mexicans reduced 
great quantities to domestication for their habitual require- 



both 



Volumnious 



are the various travellers' reports respecting the discoveries 
of certain fowls bearing more or less resemblance to our 
domestic varieties ; but with all we have heard, read, or 
seen, nothing definite can be arrived at sufficient to justify 
a contention respecting the maintenance of any one opinion. 

Next follows the question which or how many of our 
varieties of poultry can claim hereditary rights to a direct 
descent from the original and primitive order ? 

In the forests of Guinea fowls have been discovered, 
though much smaller than our own, still bearing consider- 
able resemblance. It has been asserted that, previous to 
the settlement of the Spaniards in South America, fowls 

abroad in a wild state, and that upon their arrival 
they discovered such to be the case when subsequent do- 



were 



mestication ensued. 
Capt. Sted 



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ruffled 
M. Sonnar; 



has observed that a peculiar variety 
was domesticated in Dutch Guinea, 
f opinion the jungle cock of India 



every 



was the origin and primitive class from whence 
variety now domesticated have sprung ; he procured several 





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FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



pairs of specimens^ and which he considered displayed cha- 



sufficient 



feature to be met with, when subjected to domestication, 
peculiar climatic influences, variations of food, and breed- 

His procured specimens were in appearance nearly 



mg, 



(5 lbs.) common 



from 



feathers. 
Colonel 



rkes informs u 

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Western Ghau 



BufFon also supposes them to be descended from the 

jungle fowl, a native of India. 

Whilst other naturalists have affirmed they can be 
traced to the Capercailzie, or wild cock of the woods, for- 
merly abou.nding in the northern parts of Scotland, but 
now almost extinct in that country, but still to be found 
in the northern parts of Europe. It would, therefore, be 
but assumption to insist upon any one of these localities as 
being the spot, or to name the variety that claims descent, 
seeing assertions and appearances without authenticated 
proofs form the only groundwork of supposition. Still, 
where birds have been and still are found closely resem- 
bling our stock, that locality we naturally regard as being 



more 



tinct in their appearances and characters, or wher.- altoge- 
ther unknown. From the jungles of India specimens 
most resembling our own are to be found even now, in a 
wild state, and possessing the same bearings, attitude, and 
walk, and crowing in the same strain throughout the day 
and at early mom. This locality, therefore, we necessarily 
regard as being the probable (but not by any means con- 
clusive) situation, • and the clime and country of the 
primitive variety. They have evidently existed in a do- 



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ORIGIN OE DOMESTIC POULTRY. 



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mesticated 



semi-barbarous people^ who, alike witb tlie former, have 
too clearly distinguished the intrinsic value of so useful a 
provision to loose sight of an opportvmity in such conformity 
with their desires. 

They have, however, passed through many stages before 
being reduced to that entire domesticated submission for 
which they are at present so notorious, and in which their 
intrinsic value mainly depends ; there is but little doubt 
these birds were at the earliest period heavy upon the wing, 
and possessed but partial power of flight, otherwise they 
would have retained a greater portion of their primitive 
character than now manifests itself ; nevertheless, domes- 
tication has rendered them doubly deficient in the power 
and use of their wings — by feeding high, and thereby 
producing weight — and by confinement, rendering them not 
only entirely unfit for flight but reducing the hereditary 
power of transmitting the use of the muscles of the wings 
to the offspring. This is a suflicient cause alone to account 
for the many visible alteration in the appearance and cha- 
racteristics of the race, but other changes of even greater 
import having been effected. Who, then, can tell the 
boundary of the peculiar and wonderful innovations of art 
upon the external and even internal condition of the fowl ? 

Sacred history has furnished us with an account of the 

provisions of Solomon's table, where fatted fowls are spoken 



Ejngs, chap, iv., ver. 23 ; they 
;o, Nehemiah, chan. v.. ver. 1; 



(B.C. 445) 



" Now there were at my table prepared for m„ ^ 

ox and six sheep, also fatted fowls." 

It is also known they were kept by the ancient Greeks 
and Romans, and to the latter people we are doubtless 
indebted for the introduction of a ^^ certain variety" into 



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FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



England. 



In the spectacles of the Greeks^ and also of the 
Romans^ the cock occupied a conspicuous position ; medals 
and coins of those people have been found with its effigy- 
engraved upon them. It was consecrated to Minerva and 
Mercury by Polytheism ; also dedicated to Apollo^ Mars^ 
and ^sculapius (the latter the god of medicine)^ and held 
as sacred symbols. At every Roman banquet this bird 
formed a highly esteemed dish^ whilst poultry then as now 
was fed and fattened up to great perfection ; few were the 
opportunities for sport, especially of a pugnacious character, 
that an old Roman would neglect to seize, and as his darling 

virtue valour, was discerned to be inherent in the cock; 
no wonder that it won so far the favour of the emperors 
as to become one of the ministers to the imperial sports. 

The most minute researches that the keenest hunter into 
history can make have failed to elicit further information, 
or approach more near the source and origin of the domestic 
fowl. 



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HISTOEY OF THE SHANGHAE. 



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THE SHANGHAE FOWL, 

Commonly called Cochin-China, 



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HISTORY OF THE SHANGHAE. 



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This most gigantic of all domestic fowl is at length uni- 
versally admitted to be a native of that part of the Celestial 
Empire called Shanghae^ but owing to the circumstance of 
Cochin-China having been the place whence it was imported 
into England firsts the name of " Co chin- China" has 
attached itself to this species with a familiarity somewhat 
improper it must be allowed. The patronymic " Cochin- 
China" will^ undoubtedly, with the multitude retain the 
preference it gained through an accidental event. 

This addition to our varieties of poultry has been but 
very lately introduced to us. The first specimens that 
made their appearance in England came as presents to the 
Queen, and her Majesty being desirous that they should 
be naturalized, and propagated throughout the British Isles, 
commanded that eggs should be dispersed among some few 
of her subjects who would be most likely to assist in carry- 

ing out her wishes. Since then the Shanghae has wonder- 
fully increased its numbers, being comparatively well 
known, and reared extensively by amateurs and breeders 

of eminence. 

w 

Some splendid specimens from the royal stock were, at 



the Dublin Cattle 



(April, 1846) 



publicly exhibited. For their stupendous size, their shape, 
the beauty of their plumage, and striking appearance, they 
elicited abundant admiration, and were subsequently 



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FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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grows 



form striking contrasts to 



our English 



presented to Lord Heytesbury, then lord lieutenant of 
Ireland, 

The specimens our breeders first exhibited differed con- 
siderably in some particulars from those which gain prizes 
in the present day. They were then furnished with a more 
abundant tail^ in many instances the hinder parts were 
more diminutive^ the thigh joints somewhat smaller, and 
finally they did not then attain so great a growth as now. 

A superficial view will seldom, if it ever did, lead to a 
just appreciation of the Shanghae fowl's form. Their mas- 
sive body, short heavy wing, the deep contraction under- 

neath their crop, the feathers growing down their leg even 
to the very toes — and more preferred where most the 

feather 

fowls. Strong contrasts, great abruptness, in some points 

violations of our European laws of symmetry, in others 

strict adhesion to them — indeed a general orientalism of 

style throughout^ is the distinguishing characteristic of the 

Shanghae. 

Their heavy-clad and clumsy-jointed thighs give them a 
most ungainly gait ; but yet in certain attitudes, as may be 
seen on reference to the illustrations, their noble frontal 

r 

outline, from the erect and brilliant comb down to the 
feathery toe, the full mild eye, the proud and graceful 
arching of its finely curving neck, the gay appendages 

which amply hang suspended from the well-balanced and 
handsome head, and richly ornament the throat, the hackle 
opening gently to display the full advancing breast, the 
short but decorated leg, the outspread foot— all these com- 
bined present a beautiful and most imposing front. 

As already has been observed, a superficial observation 
of the Shanghae's peculiarities of form will generally lead 

to most unfavourable impressions respecting the figure of 



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HISTORY OF THE SHANGHAE. 



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this fowl. As 



music 



to appreciate tlie points and excellencies of this peculiar 
bird demands a cultivated and discerning taste, an unpre- 
judiced attention to the harmony of parts, proportion, 
colour, and the climatic influences prevailing where the 

original stock first sprang. 

To found a judgment relative to the pretensions of the 



specimens 



meet 



■fowls turned 



adrift by economic owners to pick up their living where 
they may — is just as reasonable as though fastidious fo- 
reio-ners formed their conclusions and opinion on the Saxon 
race in general by studying a London scavenger's form 
and style. If you would ascertain to what height of beauty 
Shanghaes are raised by a judicious course of management 
-by scientific breeding — seek for an opportunity 



to 



eminent 



accom 



advantages wliicli our poultry-sliows present, though in 
cii^li AYliiLUimift thp. p.ve, IS much more likely to be caught 



multi-coloured plumaj 



familiar and more 



Notwithstandin 



SI 



"in 



fowls 




favour and repute for 



of carriage, beauty of feather 



of form, and the perfection of their characteristic points, 
although it is quite true their gracefulness of bearing, 
beauty of plumage, fineness of form, the characteristics 
so peculiarly their own, are perfectly unique ; a most con- 
clusive reason is therein presented, why we should judge 
them by such rules as correspond exactly with their own 
differential points. 



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FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



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CHARACTEEISTICS OF THE SHANGHAE. 

For the use of those who may not be familiar with the 
terms bestowed upon the several component parts of the 
external form of fowls in general^ the following diaoram is 



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a, Comb. 
5, Ear, 

c. Ear- lob 

d. Wattles or Gills 



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EXPLANATION. 

e, Neck-hackle or Cape- ft, Thigh, 

feathers. /, Shank. 

/, Saddle-hackle. k. Pinion. 

g, Stern. ^ Wing. 



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CHAKACTERISTICS OF THE SHANGHAE, 



11 



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adcled^ the reference letters upon which will be as keys to 
the solution of such points^ as every reader may not be 

acquainted with. 

To persons Avho are unacquainted with the attributes 

which first-rate birds of this class should possess^ and con- 
sequently are wanting in sound judgment to decide upon 
the qualities essentially necessary to the composition of a 
valuable Shanghaey I would emphatically recommend a 

visit to some dealer of acknowledged probity. From such 
an one procure a pair of thoroughly valuable fowls^ and 

though they cost double — nay^ treble — the sum for which 
inferior birds may be obtained^ let it be taken into consi- 
deration that such pair are destined to become the founders 
of a line — the ancestors of a race which may be multiplied 
to infinity ; and when all their numerous progeny possess 
accumulative value in themselves — which certainly they 
will if the stock be good^ and subsequently well sustained 
by intermediate importations of good blood — who then can 
fix the point of value on the gold that purchased birds whence 






t 



Shan 



Some 



five years hence look back and count the value of the stock 
reared from the first fine pair^ and you will then acknow- 
ledge that the investment of an extra pound or two has 
yielded an enormous rate of interest. But^ ere I leave 
you in the breeder's hands^ let me propound such clear 

descriptive rules for guidance in selecting worthy fowl, 

dwelling minutely upon shape^ colour, and indeed, one very 

point which can inform the tyro, interest the general 



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breeders of the highest rank. 



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On points of colour fanciers are very various, and indi- 
vidual tastes may be indulged in at discretion. Good 

^ 

birds like good horses are always of a good colour, save 
whpTi flip, hio-hest lorizes at our shows mav be concerned : let 



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FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 








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but the following points and properties present themselves, 
and colour holds a secondary place ; be they but absent, 
and not all the richest hues their feathers may develope 
will avail to gain the bird a prize : — 

I 

The head of both cock and hen should be short and broad, 
but neat and round, with a well arched forehead, producing 
a bold and noble effect upon the visage. 

Face of a lively vermillion, not coarse as in the generality 
of the larger breeds, but of fine texture. 

r 

Comb in the cock should be single, erect, and straight, 
without inclination to curl over or aside, moderately ser- 

■ L 

rated, thick at the base, without excrescences or sprigs, of 
fine grain and texture, and standino; about li to 11 inch 



high from the skull to the centre, and Is of a clear bright 
vermillion. The hen's is single and of the same colour, but 
much smaller, slightly toothed and remarkably neat and 
straight, rising towards back, and standing from one-third 
to half-an-inch from the skull to the highest point. We 
have seen birds of first-rate appearance having slight sprigs 
in one side of the comb — such, however, we disprove of, 

I 

but still acknowledge them to be rather the fruit of domes- 
tication than a proof of foul breeding. 

Wattles of the cock are broad and double and of the 
same colour as face and ear-lobes, are loosely and evenly 
suspended and of about two inches in length, and neatly 

folded ; in the hen they are very neat and small, and of a 
similar colour. 

Ear-lobes are very full and folded, should betray no 
trace of white ; a mealy, rotten, or mouldy ear-lobe is de- 
cidedly objectionable in either cock or hen ; but clear 
vermillion-coloured ear-lobes are proofs of breed, and a 
distinguishing and peculiar feature to be met with but 
eldom in any other variety. 



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CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SHANGHAE. 



13 



Beak, in both cock and hen, should be of a decided yellow 

—the former very much enlivens the coun- 



or greenish tinge 



tenance and relieves the eye, must be short and strong, 
slightly curved and thick at the base, in fact, it cannot 



Malay 



a bad 



sign, and every visible quality of good breeding is lowered 

by such a connexion. 

Eye is bright and prominent, but mild and not given to 
blink. The iris corresponds in colour to the general ground 
of the bird's plumage, only more intense and deep, is full 
of expression, calm but dignified. In the hen the expres- 
sion is soHcitous, maternal, and confiding, and so apparent 
that one glance will suflSce to enable the reader to corro- 
borate this testimony. 

Neck is stout but can scarcely be too short, is well 
arched, presenting with the outline of the breast and back 
a bold and dignified appearance, is full and thick towards 

the base and deeply set. 

Neck-hackle or cape feathers should be full and ample. 



com 



shoulders. 

Breast should be full and deep, indicative of a sound and 

robust constitution. 

Back and shoulders, broad and muscular, the former 
presenting to the eye a gently rising slope towards the tail. 

Thighs short, stout, and firm, held well apart in due accord- 
ance to the breadth and weight of body they sustain, should be 
fully and thickly covered with a mass of projecting feathers 
even to the hock, and covering a portion with their tips. 

Shanks should be short (long shanks being very objec- 
tionable), thick, and straight in bone, and vary in colour 
from a pale yellow to a vermillion yellow, with occasional 
crimson markings at the back or where the scales are 




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14 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



absent; are both clean and feather-legged. Some of the 
noblest and most perfect are clean and bare-shanked^ 

always 



still. 



in my own estimation. 



Shanghae s should 



be well feathered — technically, booted down the lep\ 
Upon the paramount necessity of this a contrary opinion, 
as I have hinted, is maintained by several eminent judges 
of the Shanghae, therefore, the rule cannot be well consi- 

dered as substantiated and as yet decided in its favour. 
I will not, therefore, lay it down as absolute; nevertheless 
I cannot refrain from rendering one reason for the con- 
dition advanced, and which is engrafted upon the principle 
of uniformity, a principle that, I contend, it is impossible 
too far to carry out. A feature of the greatest prominence 
about the species is peculiar and excessive featheriness. 
Feathers should, therefore, ^^ go the entire bird " literally 
from head to foot. It is, however, of the utmost conse- 
quence that the leg feathers differ not in colour from the 
general hue prevailing over the entire form, else were the 
shanks much better bare ; the feathers should be apparent 
down to the end of the toe on the outer side of the leg. 

I 

Toes — usually three in front and one behind upon each 
foot, but in some of the finest imported specimens, the 



additional hind claw may be found. Although a cross Avith 



the Dorking frequently results in the fifth claw being 
visible, still it does not follow that all birds having the fifth 
claw are, therefore, thus prodviced, although many are. 
We have ourselves imported birds direct from Hong Kong, 
having a supernumerary toe, as in our well-known Dorking 
breed, and can, therefore, vouch for the accuracy of this 
statement. Whether four or five, they should be well 



spread, and the centre one nearly double the others' length. 



Wings should be short, and of convex form, v/ith the 
pinions buried beneath the breast feathers, must closely fit the 




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CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SHANGHAE. 



15 



sides^ their feathery points hidden beneath a portion of the 
saddle-hackle^ which should be laden with a mass of feathers^ 
hanging like heavy foliage, fringing the thighs and stern. 

Tail feathers short, and but the last inch or two, that 
is, the tips only, exposed to view, being nearly covered 
by the body and saddle-hackle feathers, which grow in pro- 
fusion ; should have but just sufficient elevation to maintain 
the upward line of the back, until the feathers droop, in 
scimitar-shape curves, and should be well rooted in the 
stern. The feathers usually become more and more visible 
as the bird advances in years. In all, there should be 



feathers 



Stern 



form. 

General feather — ample and full, all mealiness should be 
avoided, and a broken appearance discarded. 

Carriage of the cock, bold and dignified, with a self-con- 
fidential attitude ; although the body should possess a some- 
what forward inclination, the head itself cannot be too 
erect. This attitude in the hen is more apparent and 
decided in its forward bend, consequently, the back and 
hinder parts are more raised and elevated. 

I 

Gait or walk is sedate and measured, a step especially 
taken by the Shanghae. Their gait and carriage irresistibly 

conveys the idea of an easy motion, joined to a certain dig- 
nity of bearing ; whilst, from the point at which the heel 

is lifted up, until they plant the foot again upon the ground, 
so beautiful a circling curve is drawn that, really, they 
have a most graceful action as they march. 

not, however, force them into flight, or you will 



Do 



throw their dignity into a wofully waddling plight. 



Size 



A full g 



;::> 



55 



Kei 



en 



37 



7 to 9 



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16 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



Colour will receive further consideration when under the 
head of varieties. I consider the attributes of a Shano-hae 
should be considered by the following degrees : — Firstly, 
form: secondly, size: thirdlv. featheriness: fmirflilTr nr^^^,,., 



to 



to 



where the first three properties be perfect^ it is a fourth 



black 



to 



■brown 



whatever be 



of a decided and settled hue, and not a mixed feather. 
Therefore, for "justly distributing prizes for the proofs of 
careful and select breeding in the production of noble spe- 



cunens 



only so, but feather-legged birds should no more compete 
with clean-shanked specimens, than blacks with Avhites or 
browns— but feather-legged birds should be matched 
against feather-legged, blacks against blacks, and whites 
and browns against others of their own feather. 

This is really necessary, seeing, althoiigh our " judges " 
are usually impartial men, and endeavour to act worthily, 
and with fairness, still they themselves entertain a pre- 



ference 



either 



they 



delight in, imparts to the qualities of the bird a further 
interest, and sets off to advantage its other merits, whilst 
the other specimen, equally proportionate, but not so esti- 
mable with regard to colour, which necessarily operates 
upon the eye of the most impartial judge, in a greater or 
less degree, constitutes an extreme difficulty, a protracted 
tedious, and unsatisfactory judgment, and which can only 
be remedied by dividing the birds into classes, according to 
their peculiar and visible characteristics. 



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CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SHANGHAE. 



full err own Shan 



considered eligible for a first class prize under the fol- 
lowing weight : — 



minimum 



55 



hen. 



55 



^:> 



Some 



Among 



the wings upon its back in a most curious way. 

our stock we certainly have one that doubles up the wings 



same 



hatch^ betrays such a peculiarity, A 



my 



to a long^ careful examination, but could find, neither in 
joint or muscle, any departure from the general conforma- 

^ht flooonTit for the manoeuvre. I consider it 



mi 



mer 



in young birds, frequently curl the wrong way, and lie 
uneven. The wing of the Shanghae is always more or less 
elevated by the stern, but in the peculiar specimen above 
adverted to, the extreme tendency is perceptible. 

Among the usual varieties, some are marked upon the 
breast with touches of an inky shade, distributed in the 



moon 



must 



accepted as a standard of their value, as many first class 
birds possess no such marks. Some birds are firm in feather 
(but not close), that is, possess feather of a silky and trans- 
parent character, others, again, are rotten feathered. Seek 
always to procure the former. Many fine looking birds 
there are which, upon being handled, are discovered to be 
half made up of feathers ; others, again, which, on a super- 
ficial observation, do not seem so large, Avhen taken to the 
scale, are heavier birds. These latter are fine and full in 
feather, but well set, their coats appearing as though made 
for them. Not that a laro e amount of feather constitutes 



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18 



FERGUSON ON FOAVL, 



a fault, quite on the contrary, only we would desire a cor- 
responding fulness of flesh. 



VARIETIES. 



The plumage varies much in Colour and in tint ; there 
are whites, gi'ays, buffs, cinnamons, mottled, or cuckoos ; 
black, brown, and partridge-breasted reds ; duns, blacks. 



Whites 



trace 



black 



Shanghaes. 

ell feathered, and of good form, of 
i beauty. There should appear no 
icilling-s, about the feathers of the 



hackles, for their value lies in delicacy and purity ; neither 
brownish casts or discolourations, so frequently observed, 
and so surely a result of an admixture of blood of a darker 
strain. The pure white variety is comparatively rare ; few 
perfect specimens are to be met with, a fact sufficiently 
accounting for the enormous sums they have occasionally 
realized. Large towns, possessing atmospheres surcharged 



with smoke. 



unsuitable 



production of 



white Shanghaes ; but if you wish to show that whites are 
really white, then seek to prove it underneath a country 
sky, and on a good grass walk. 

From a white cock and hen, imported in 1851, we bred 
three cockerels ; of these two were sent into the country, 
the third forwarded to a friend at Bermondsey. This last 
we the next season visited, and, to our great surprise, found 
he had moulted dun — ^blue dun ; throughout the bird there 

was not one white feather, save in the tail, and there they 
were mixed, white and dun. This, although strange enough, 
still scarcely seemed to justify its being considered as 
merely a fact, and one which could not be accounted for, 
nor did we feel disposed simply to consider that the feathers 
had conspired together to play pranks upon our curiosity , 



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SHANGHAE VARIETIES. 



n 



and see if they could leap at once from milky whiteness to 
the dull tint which London smoke would ultimately colour 
them. To solve the mystery, we took an opportunity to 
give certain directions to our Chinese agent, who, on his 



to 



his inquiries of the breeder who had reared the fowls in 



grand 



white cock and a dun hen ; so was the riddle rendered clear. 
It may, with confidence, be accepted as an established truth, 
connected with crossing colour, that differences of feather. 



considered unaccountable, are most invariablv the 



have instanced. 



of 



Many white birds are 



Dorking, but such specimens are valueless as fancy stock ; 
are, moreover, in nearly all cases, badly feathered down the 



leg 



present whitish and mealy ear-lobes, coarse face and 
comb, and other indications too plainly indicating their 
origin to pass off as pure. Still, when matched with pure 
Shanghaes, and the produce likewise, these visible appear- 
ances by degrees become less and less apparent in the oif- 
spring. 

It is necessary to remark, so far from whites being, as 
some affirm, but weak and sickly birds, they are, in" my 
opinion, quite as vigorous and strong as the most robust of 
their compeers, with the exception of the brown and par- 
tridge variety. And, in this belief, I am supported by a 
numerous circle of ingenious correspondents. The fact, 
indeed, must be admitted, that many of the white variety 
kept throughout London are but weak and sickly birds, 
dull in their plumage, and withering in their frames ; but 
when our correspondents were importuned on this point. 



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20 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



the reason was at length elicited : the " whites "— imfortu- 

are too conspicuous a bird to be allowed to 



nate wights ! 



live in open and exposed localities and situations, where 
they would be a mark for thieves, and fall a prey to their 
rapacity ; so, since the choice lies between the fowls and 
breeders, which shall be victimized, and the first option 
unquestionably falling on our human biped, as an inevi- 
table consequence, the white-robed martyr is condemnexi 
to undergo confinement (often underground), whilst their 
far happier, because more dingy and less valuable, fellows 
are permitted to exist— to live, indeed— in upper air. 

As before mentioned, but few perfect specimens are to 
be met with, many are long in the leg, and frequently 

knock-kneed, with but few feathers down the leg ; but 
when quality and characteristics are secured, beauty is 

combined. 

It cannot but be deplored that there should get into cir- 
culation such one-sided statements and reports respecting 
the comparative health and hardiness of the several varieties, 
whilst such important items are omitted in the statistics 



furnished by poultry breeders generally. 



Qreys—unqnestlonMj a sub-variety of " white " 

pencilled both in their neck and saddle-hacldes, and in the 

wings and tail. 



When resnlarly m 



neat and finished appearance. Occasionally their pencil- 



naore 



Minute 



the appearance of being a spangled sub-variety, 
inquiry has established it an indubitable fact that they are 
but a cross of colour, not a separate variety. 




The 



ginger tint ; the hens from a light straw to a deep fawn, 
the former tint being especially preferred. The hackles, 
both neck and saddle, present the different shades of orange 



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II- 1 




♦ 



i 



SHANGHAE VARIETIES. 



hues, and sometimes brilliant crimson-yellow tints, the 



somewhat 



contain fourteen feathers, seven on each side ; and before 
purchasing they should be counted, and the tail itself exa- 
mined carefully, to ascertain if any of them have been 
plucked away, a fraudulent practice frequently resorted to 
to set foul feathers from fowls' tails. 



# 



These birds should be of a 



light and settled lemon tinge throughout, with leg feathers 
of a corresponding hue, with no pencillings, black, white, 
or mealy marks about the hackles, but with bodies of a 

somewhat slightly darker tint, and black tail. These, of 
all Shanghae varieties, are held in most universal admira- 
tion and esteem. More gaily coloured birds may, we admit 
and deprecate, attack the superficial fancier first, but when 
the eifects of gaudy tints have faded from our vision, buffs 
will continue still to charm the eye, and eventually gain 
the verdict of the fastidious connoiseur. 

It is^ moreover, an unquestionable fact that amongst this 
variety are found the largest proportion of really good birds 
in other respects — principally arising from the circumstance 
that they have received from the hand of the fancier the 
largest share of his judgment and attention. 

I would impress upon my readers as a most important 
point to be remembered by them, that save in the feathers 
of the wing and tail, no dark discolouration nor black pen- 
cillings should appear. It does not follow that because 
good birds are sometimes found with such defects they thence 
become legitimate appearances and marks. Because some 
breeders have reared up considerable numbers of most un- 
deniably good birds, this flaw, however, running through 
them, a wish possesses them, and not at all unnaturally, to 
have those marks legitimatized which all our judges hi- 






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22 



PEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



therto have branded with illegitimacy. We should con- 
tend, in whatsoever a degree perfection may, in poultry- 
breeding, as in other things, be difficult to reach, perfection, 
none the less, should be our standard still ; and with good 
reason in the present instance, since, as was before laid 



down, these same appearances which 



we are specially 



determ: 



are 



discovered, an evidence therein exists that, at some period 
or other, lately or remote, a cross of colour has occurred. 
The sign by which such crossing is betrayed, must not be 
lightly set aside. 



to 



a deep reddish brown ; they are not nearly so bright and 



" Partridge-browns/' n 
iffs ; but are^ upon the 



con- 



trary, dull in colour, often a dead brick-red ; nevertheless, 
some good exceptions may be found among them. We are 
possessed of nine or ten of this year's chicks belonging to 
the Cinnamon variety which are most excellently coloured, 
more especially the puUerets ; this,we conclude, is owing to 
the sire having descended from a pair whose mother camq 



buff cock 



observed 



to be met with some of the best feather-legged speci- 
mens. It must be most particularly borne in mind that, 
where a cross of colour does take place, it should be with 
such tints as blend together with the most artistic nicety of 
calculation. It would be well worth while for general 
amateurs to pay greater attention to the harmony of colour, 
being an important element in rearing handsome plumaged 
birds. Breeders of beautiful varieties have 2;ained all the 
celebrity their fowls possess in this respect by strict atten- 



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SIIANGHAE VARIETIES. 



23 



tion to the mode in which nature herself paints all her 
most enchanting pictures. 

Mottled or Cuckoo Shangliaes are not^ by any means^ at- 

^ 

tractive either in their form or feather ; are usually white^ 
Avith mottled grey. A firm^ compact Cuckoo is a novelty^ 
seeing they are almost invariably both long in thigh and 
shank, with narrow and contracted breast, and seldom at- 
tain to any considerable weight ; are, moreover, rotten in 

feather, and frequently possessing white or mealy ear-lobes, 
together with other indications too plainly indicating, to 
admit of doubt, they claim no right to be considered a dis- 
tinct or primitive variety. 



Black. Brown, and Pi 



The black 



resembles, in colour, the " Game cock " of the same feather, 
having black breast, thighs, belly and stern, and tail of the 
same colour, but shining with metallic lustre ; the neck- 
hackle of a reddish yellow, with crimson wing-coverts; 
saddle-hackle of a deeper colour, but shading off towards 
extremities, and back of deep dragon's blood ; is usually 
ginger or bay winged, the extremity of greater wing-coverts 

barred with steely blue, with feather legs of a bay, or 
brownish hue. 

a reddish straw, with orange neck-hackle, and black tail. 
In the purest strains there^are no ink stains in the neck and 
saddle-haqkle, and, in that respect, are peculiarly distinct 



r 

The general ground of the hen is more of 



brown 



birds 



1 



•ank next to the lemon buffs in point of beauty. Brown 
and partridge reds are frequently very handsome birds. 
The cock of this variety presents a breast ranging from 
a reddish brown to a partridge-spotted umber, with dark 
ink stains in the hackle-feathers, which latter are of a deep 
reddish yellow, with crimson pinion-coverts, and black and 

ny of the hens are very beautiful, if 




ige tail. 



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24 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 







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spotted regularly, are usually richly-coloured fowls, but 
exhibit dark ink stains about the hackles. They are cer- 
tainly more showy than the black-red hens. By the same 



rule attectmg whites, no marks of white or grey should 
show themselves throughout. When well matched, they 
form most distinguished groups. I most decidedly maintain 
that this variety is the hardiest of all the tribe of Shanghaes, 
and amongst them may be found some of the shortest leg- 
ged and heaviest birds. Nearly all the communications 
received upon this subject fully corroborate this view. 

Buns (or bluish slate) are seldom found of an unmixed 
tint, but if a fixed hue throughout be obtained, fine hand- 
some birds are the consequent result. The hens possess 
more beauty and are neater in their feather than the cocks 
— the genuine dun tint prevailing more strongly through- 
out the feather of the female than the male, in which a 
dingy brown too often supersedes the brighter hues. 
Duns are unquestionably the result of crossing colour. 

Blacks are at present somewhat scarce, and it is at all 



ificult 



-fea- 



thers which will demolish every chance they otherwise 
might have of taking prizes at our poultry shows, for 



^fe 



of 



of moment, still there are admixtures which detract so 
much from otherwise fine specimens, as to reduce their 
value to an exceedingly low point so far as fancy is 

concerned. 

The fact that this foul feather is so often met with in the 
extant Mack variety, justifies the beliefthat they are but a 
cross of colour, not a distinct sub-class ; a theory which we 
shall continue to maintain until authentic, ample proof can 

to the contrary be adduced. We hold, however, that there 
at one time existed a primitive variety of this sort ; but. 



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SHANGHAE VARIETIES. 



25 



as in one or two instances beside, it has become extinct or 
nearly so, tbough not until it had crossed many of our other 
colours, now looked upon as quite distinct; and that it 
thence occasionally shows itself, even in a brood of lighter- 
coloured birds- 

We some time since imported two light buffs (brother 



and sister) having but a slight pencilling in the hackle, and 



from particular inquiries into their origin understood they 
had not been crossed for several generations back at least. 
Upon breeding them together — a practice which, save for 
experimental purposes should be adjured — two of their 
chicks threw blacky a proof that latent blood of the black 
Shanghae had for some time lain dormant in their veins, 
and after that exhibited itself; this sub-class, while an ex- 
tant race, had crossed our family of buffs and shown its 
influence at last, though years had intervened and colour 
had become apparently restored and purified. 

Emu Fowl or Silky Shanghae. — It does not come within 
the scope of my design to readjust descriptive names, 
or cavil at acknowledged terms, but to describe the various 
fowl by recognised appellatives, therefore exception will not 
be taken at the designation "Emu," as applied to a variety 
of Shanghae whose plumage bears considerable resem- 
blance to the woolly coat of the Australian " Emu." 

This fowl is a little smaller than the other varieties of 



Shanghaes, is usually of a dull brown or hen partridge 
colour, but of a settled hue. The wings are somewhat 
tucked up, and the hinder parts raised ; the tail feathers, 
however, hang downwards in this respect far more so than 
the generality of Shanghaes. The feather more resembles 
hair in its character and appearance. The comb, low, shri- 
velled and crooked, and the head longer than in other 
varieties ; shanks yellow, rather long, and sometimes bare ; 



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26 



FERGUSON ON FOWL, 



cl 



to 



The 




the 



esembles the other varieties thousrh 



They 



are not considered quite so hardy as the species in general, 
though possessing a fair share of its good qualities. 

Trusting that so far duty has been well performed to 
the readers of this work, in presenting descriptive matter 



furnishin 



of further 



the subject. It must be admitted 
the seeds of just ideas, which. I 



them that many of the 



tastes 



axe 



more particularly 
applicable to such as seek to gratify their fancy. On the 

other hand, it is impossible for those who only rear up fowl 



too 



ing the conditions necessary for the improvement of our 
poultry to the highest point attainable. 



I jT - 



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DISPOSITION. 



'\i ':- 



seldom 



nught 



/ 



of a pugnacious disposition. They soon become 
acquainted with their feeder and with each other also. 
The male bird is exceedingly affectionate towards his hens. 



and may be often seen contemplating the laying hen with 



most particular interest, oftentimes going in and out the 
nest as though preparing it for her reception ; but when 
she once has entered it, he mounts guard beside her, chuck- 



but 



labours 



departs with loud proud acclamations, triumphantly pro- 
claiming fiir and near, and wide 08 echo's reach, his hen's 
praiseworthy work. 



I 



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DISPOSITION OF THE SHANGHAE FOWL. 



27 






These cocks, beyond all poultry beaux, are gifted with 
the power to soften the asperities of temper, and to win 
the love of hens the wildest and the most indifferent— as 

_ J 

hens will sometimes be— to the advances of their lords. 
They never go a courting but to succeed in wooing, soon 
reconciling to the connubial state their feathered brides. 

X 

TVTiere other cocks have failed to bring to terms the ladies 
of the farm-yard harems— and these same ladies ofttimes 
are especially perverse and prudish— the Shanghae's g^allant 
has soon reduced them to submission by some means best 
known to himself. 

However much the appearance of this species 



favourable first impressions, their 
Lent substitute for the gentility the 



may 



precipitancy m their wooing does not accompany a clumsy 
figure ; then, although their person is ungainly, their man- 
ner is very winning, and a fascination dwells within then- 
bright good-tempered eye, which will inspire with soft 
emotions the most unsocial and intractable of hens. 

For example, a hen that, from her wild and savage dis- 
position, was the abhorrence of all cocks, a feeling she most 
cordially reciprocated ; between herself and every other 
fowl about the yard mutual antipathies existed. In vain we 
placed her with the gayest and most captivating suitors ; 
nought would she have to say to them, creating much chao-riu 



and rage thereby within the breas 
of the ruffled chanticleers. At 



—and through the feathers 



Katharine 



anxiety awaited some minutes witnessing a few preliminary 
steps he took towards his vixenish betrothed's good graces. 
Upon the first advance the feathery fury flew 



baffled 



away, 



showed his paces at a respectful distance from her— distant 



9 



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28 



FERGUSON ON EOWL. 



politeness served his turn ; and whilst his sweetheart's flurry 
was subsiding he imperceptibly continued narrowing the 
space which intervened between him and his object, until, 
without affording the least pretext for flying in a passion, 

iusf, within offlinff distance of his 



himself 



prize 



Our 



at this moment left the fowler with the bird he sought 
to snare. The following morning found the bride standing 
complacently beside the bridegroom (no unusual clrcum- 



Shanghae cock) 



Althou 



their food from our open hand, they have ?in insuperable 
objection to being handled, struggling with wing and leg 

to be released when taken off the ground— not wildly 
flapping nor yet screeching out — neither when released 
seeking by flight to avoid all further rufiling of feather 
and of temper, but on the contrary submitting unreservedly 
to a repetition of the distasteful treatment — yet, just as 
often as taken up, again using their utmost force to re- 
assert their personal liberty. Should any of my readers 
be disposed to test this patience, almost amounting to 



stupidity, in the 



them 



body 



it but little in alighting upon the ground; care must, 
therefore, be taken lest in the struggle it should fall too 
heavily and thereby become much injured. 



POULTRY HOUSE AND YARD. 

In instances where space for poultry is but limited, our 
Chinese visitors are found convenient guests ; they can put 
up with worse accommodation than our dainty Europeans, 
requiring little space compared to the extended room 
needed by almost every other race. We do not mean to 



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THE SHANGHAE— POULTRY HOUSE AND YARD. 



29 



say that Shanghaes will thrive the better for confinement, 
neither that fowls in general pine and die if kept within 

No fowls can have allotted to them too 



a narrow range. 



wide a field for developing their faculties, too great a 
ground for enjoyment and content. In cases where their 
liberties are abridged more careful tending is required, 
the laws of cleanliness more rigidly enforced, when such is 
done to counterbalance want of room wherein to roam at 
large, the Shanghae fowl will live content, will thrive, and 
prove productive still. 

The perches in the roosting compartment should not 

exceed two feet from the ground — the obvious and suffi- 
cient reason being, the incapacity of their short wings to 



^ 



aid them in descending safely from a height, which to any 
other class of fowl would be but moderate. Some breeders 
dispense with perches altogether for their fowls ; we, on 
the contrary, most strenuously advise (but not for chicks) 
a thick round roost thirteen inches in circumference, and 
raised two feet above the ground, a height the best adapted 
for them. Where Shanghaes are kept in greater numbers, a 
range of roosts should be erected ; the first a foot in height, 
the second double, and so on, whilst the last should have 
an intervening space between it and the wall, sufficient to 
allow the birds abundant room for the convenient dispo- 
sition of their hinder parts. For obvious purposes of 



be 



the other, and 



be tolerably 



length of toe and weight of body render it absolutely ne- 
cessary; their claws should have a good firm clutch for 
their maintenance, without too great an effort of their own, 
of an agreeable and easy equilibrium. 

Upon the other hand, if forced to sleep upon the ground, 
their litter must be daily cleansed away, especially in sum- 



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30 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



mer time, whereas if they be perched a little height above 
the ground, once cleansing thoroughly within each week 
will be sufficient, if only six or seven are kept together ; 
but if in greater numbers, more frequent cleanings must 
of course take place. 

As before mentioned, when confined, cleanliness is of the 
utmost importance, and must be rigorously enforced or the 
Shanghae will suffer, if not as soon as other varieties, 
equally sure from its evil effects. Being densely fea- 
thered, a heap of ashes is a requisition to enable him to 
clear himself from the annoyance resulting from the pre- 
sence of troublesome animalcules wlilch infest all fowls at 
tlie warm seasons of the year^ especially where means of 
eradication are wanting. Although he may emerge from the 
heap appearing in plumage the worse for his roll, and any- 
thing but a credit to his keeper, one shake, one flap with 
the wings, a few vigorous strokes with the bill, and the 
owner is then satisfied a visible as well as an invisible 
improvement has been eifected. 



A 



rubbish 



to 



rendered 



Being very productive with regard to egg stuJ 
portion of matter capable of being especially 
available for that purpose is required. 

Any waterproof and well ventilated shed, or outhouse 
suitable for other poultry, will answer every requisite for 
the Shanghae. The yard should be well drained, or have 
a decided fall, and be laid with gravel (composition beino- 

in many instances injurious from its poisonous component 
parts). 

A small piece of soft ground, grass, or herbage, for a daily 
stroll, if accessible, will form a paradise of every requi- 



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FEEDING SHANGHAES. 



81 



sition. Actions such, surer proofs than words of obligations 



b 



their little requirements if attended to will result in mutual 
advantages. 

(Poultry houses, with plans, &c., will engage an after 
part of this work.) 



FEEDING SHANGHAES. 



be 



they greatly do prefer to eat from a full bowl— mouthfuls 
at once — to picking up, like other fowl, the scattered grains 

that lie about the ground. Being so deficient in activity, 
if, among other poultry, they are forced to stir and turn up 
everything to find their food, or at the regular meal times 
scramble for it, they stand but a poor chance of thrivino-. 
The food which is afforded other fowl is equally agreeable 
and beneficial to the Shanghaes, if they can only manage 
to appropriate enough to be agreeable. By a reiterated 
series of experiments, I have conclusively ascertained, they 
cannot eat so quickly as the iWaZay, and the smaller tribes; 
therefore, where they are kept together, care must be 
especially taken that they have enough to eat, or they, will 
surely fall away in condition to very much below par. 
Whilst preventing such mishap, be it, however, borne in 
mind fat fowls are equally objectionable, unless for the table 
requirements. In moulting time, it is true, full feedino- 



to 



for is of 
', moder; 



and good production 



are attainable by liberal but not excessive feeding. 



MANAGEMENT OF BEEEDING STOCK. 

In breeding Shanghaes — and the same applies to every 
every other class of fancy fowl— most especial care must 



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32 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



be observed to avoid the slightest chance of crossing breeds ; 
even two prize birds^ differing in species^ will^ if crossed^ 



fancy 



Hi 




consequences also will ensue^ such as reduction in weight, 
degenerated qualities, and so forth, if birds that are related 
to each other breed together, more especially so, if brother 
and sister be the relationship they bear. 



When 



\ 



as when the stock runs low, or other special reasons urge 
you to continue up the self-same strain, the following 
course I recommend as having been attended with inva- 
riable success throughout a protracted series of experi- 
ments, made with a view of ascertaining how far it might 

be possible to cross varieties, and yet evade its general 
effects and natural consequences ; retarding, in as great a 
degree as possible, the inevitable progress of degeneration 
^^ crossing " invariably must cause. 

Never permit relations, such as brother and sister^ to be 
paired together ; they are immediately and intimately of 
the self-same blood; unmitigated rapid decline, and an 



annihilation will assuredlv ensue from 



t3 



*' in. and in " with them. Rather place dam and son toge- 
ther, or daughters with their sires, for there the consan- 
guinity is in part diverted, as the sire and dam may be of 
different strains, and so the daughters will not be entirely 
of the same blood as that the father's veins contain ; nor is 
the son's blood quite identical with that flowing through 
the dam's. From this produce may be taken a stag of the 
sire side to breed with the granddam, and the pullets from 
the dam side to match with the grandsire. 

Be it distinctly understood, however, that such practices 
are not by any means commended, saving in cases where 
it otherwise has been determined to breed ^^'^in and in." 



H 



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MANAGEMENT OF BEEEDING STOCK. 



33 



fronvi 



proceedings ; but where it is at all practicable, import, from 
time to time, fresh blood into your breeds, and so avoid all 
possibility of a degenerated stock. For breeding purposes 
a Shanghae cock, when prizes or high breeding are the 
object, should not mate with more than four hens ; indeed, 
in cases where degeneracy has once shown itself, not more 
than one or two should be allowed to walk with him. By 
strict observance of this rule, the virtue of the depreciated 
fowl may be partially restored. 

Properly speaking, new blood should every other year 
be introduced into the general stock, since breedino- « in 
and in " cannot be otherwise than followed by most dis- 



astrous consequences. In breeding 



•m 



pullets, cocks 



about three years old should invariably be placed with 
them, and their first clutch of eggs, being very small, 
should not be kept for hatching purposes. Stags should be 
matched Avith two or three-year-old hens, being then ma- 
ture, whilst cocks are frequently three years arriving at 



that stage. 



farmers 



large, heterogeneous stocks of fowl, but who, for various 
reasons, may feel indisposed towards re-stocking their old 
breeds with fresher strains, I would emphatically recom- 
mend one of these methods ; namely, either to kill off all 



their master cocks, and replace them with a few good 
Shanghae cocks, or else select four or five of their favourite 
first-rate hens, and place them with a vigorous Shanghae, 
then carefully set aside, for incubation, all their eggs, and 
the result will be extremely beneficial, and most gratifying. 
The small varieties will thus be superseded by a strono-, 
hardy, ready-fattening and more abundant egg-producino- 
fowl. Many of the excellent qualities of the Shai 



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34 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



will be undoubtedly exhibited^ and a most ample^ quick 

return for capital invested in them be tbe inevitable result. 

The experiments we have tried^ in crossing various 

haes^ prove that the Dorking class of 
fowl is best adapted for the purposes of profit ; at the same 
time^ there really is no class of poultry but^ as a vehicle 
for gain, may be immensely benefitted by a cross with the 

Shanehaes. 




SHANGHAES AS LAYEES. 



The Shanghae is, unquestionably, one of the most pro- 
ductive of domestic fowl- Their eggs are usually of a buff, 
or pale chocolate tint, depending for their depth of shade 

upon the colour of the bird from whence they spring. 



I) 





FAC-SIMILE OF THE SHANGHAE S EGG. 



The shell is of considerable thickness, and highly granu- 
lated. The average weight of a mature hen's egg is about 
2^ ozs., being small in comparison to the size of the pro- 
ducer ; is blunt in shape, and frequently rounded equally 
at both ends ; they are usually of a delicious flavour, but 
the quality of food supplied, and the healthiness of the hen. 









J 




SHANGHAES AS LAYERS. 



35 



and other circumstances^ equally applicable to all eggs, 
tend very much to add or diminish their excellence in this 

r 

respect. 

Although very productive, there are exceptional cases, 
and this quality differs with the varieties : there are bad 
laying Shanghaes, as in all other classes of fowl; but, 
taking them as a body, they are most assm^edly, wonder- 
fully prolific. It will be seen that the chief difference in 
form betwixt the eggs laid by the Shanghae and other 
fowls is, that one end is so considerably more obtuse than 
eggs in general. But this obtuseness does not sufficiently 
characterize all Shanghae eggs, so as to be a test whether 
an Qgg be from a Shanghae or not ; some differ in their 
form so little, from the product of the ovarium in other 
fowls, that it requires a keen and practised eye with cer- 
tainty to say, from form alone — in instances where the 
peculiar bluntness is but very slightly marked — whether or 
not such and such eggs are from the Shanghae. A certain 
strong and general distinctive mark, however, being that 
Shanghae eggs are highly granulated, their surfaces being 
completely dotted over with minute and white spots, it ap- 
peared to me that some remarks were necessary upon this 
point, since eggs have, in some instances, been sold for 
Shanghaes, which were only common ones, but tinted to 

the peculiar colour of the genuine egg. 

It is likewise necessary, if perfect and sound eggs be 
desired, to keep the hens in moderate condition, 
hearty eaters, if allowed to become too fat, disease, with 
its attendant evils follow ; inflammation of the egg passage, 
and, consequently, soft or but partially shelled eggs and 
apoplexy are not unfrequently the result. 

Among our stock we have three hens Avhich laid, in 
twenty days, an aggregate of fifty- seven eggs. Another hen 



Being 



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36 



FERGUSON ON FOWL, 



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laid forty eggs in forty-seven days, and several of them 
double yolked ; the number would, undoubtedly, have risen 
higher but from the circumstance that, during the same 
period, she one day showed a strong desire to incubate. 

There are recorded cases of some Shanghae hens laying 
two, and sometimes three eggs in one day. No hen 
lay more than one egg in any single day, save through a 
freak of nature, or mishap. The bunch of rudimental eggs, 
or ova, may by accident get shaken, and, in consequence, 
those nearest ripe may fall, and afterwards be, by 
natural effort of the bird, cast prematurely forth. 

Again, some have, by a resort to quibbling, inculcated 
the belief that Shanghae hens are monsteouslt produc- 
tive. An egg may thus be laid at nine o'clock to-morrow 
morning, and another laid at eight the morrow morning 
afterwards; er(/o — say these ingenious gentlemen — two 
eggs a day are laid ! 

I am aware the Shanghae hens occasionally lay two eggs 
in one day, and sometimes within a few minutes of each 
other ;, even three, in some few cases, have been deposited 
in the nest, but such are isolated occurrences. No person 
purchasing stock should expect such excessive production ; 
it more frequently happens when more than one are laid, 

there is but one perfect, the other being soft, or but par- 
tially shelled. 

A fly, or fall from a lofty perch, fright or flurry, or a 
pugilistic encounter, are sufficient causes, during the laying 



t). ]*ow the Sh 



(f< 



day. 



for many successive days, and in the event of her depo- 
siting, from the above cause, an egg one day before its 
proper time, it naturally results in two eggs being laid in 
one day — the fact of its being one day in advance, results 







. ^ 



^ , 



<^ 









4 
i 



SHANGHAES AS LAYEES. 



37 



be 



perfect, and but partially shelled. 

I have had hens of a different class which, from similar 
mishaps, have laid one day before their time, but seeing 
their usual times for laying were but every other day, the 
unnatural, or premature delivery, was usually deposited 
in the intermediate day, and nothing further was said or 



occurrence 

lie former. 



Upo 



became squeezed between some planks where she had been 
trespassing to her stolen nest : we removed her to a close 
apartment, alone, and secured her from further wanderings. 
In the afternoon of the same day she laid an egg, but the 
ensuing morning two were deposited, neither of which 
were, however, perfect, being only partially shelled, and 
exposing a soft membrane. 

I trust no person will purchase Shanghaes, imagining 
the probability of a double supply being deposited in the 
nest. Although extremely productive, still not to such an 
extent as to countenance frequencies so opposed to their 
natural organization. 

Their eggs occasionally contain two yolks, '' 
double-yolked eggs." These are seldom productive, almost 
invariably resulting in the process of incubation being 
carried on until developed in the form and substance of 
chicks, but the objects of nature's freak are seldom exclu- 
ded as living specimens. 

(Upon this subject I shall have occasion to advert in an 
after part, when treating upon " Malformations, &c.") 

PuUerets usually commence laying about the age of five 
months, and the average produce six eggs in seven days 
frequently laying forty eggs without showing any strong 



called 



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38 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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desire to incubate ; the average weight is from 1| to 2 ozs. 
(though in exceptional cases the weight may be greater). 

Contrary to the practises in which indulgence our other 
fowls have frequently annoyed us, it is extremely rare for 
Shanghaes to seek out a hidden depot where to bestow 

r 

their eggs ; indeed, I have known instances wherein, de^ 
prived of every comfortable little corner they had been 
accustomed to, and nothing remaining for their accommo- 
dation but the bare, hard ground, they regularly and most 
contentedly deposited their eggs in that deplorable con- 
dition. Undoubtedly, however, it is most unwise and cruel 
to endeavour to force them into seeking out, with diffi- 
culty to themselves, places wherein to lay their eggs. It 
evidently is owing to their natural indolence that they 
remain contented under such circumstances, and it is only 
due to their nature, not to their own good-will, that they 
SO punctually follow the dictates of nature. "Whilst young 
and growing, however, and, indeed, until well feathered, 
they are frequently as active as the nimblest denizens of 
the poultry yard. 



>^ 



* 



I 



SHANGHAES AS LAYEES, COMPAKED WITH SPANISH, 

DOEKING, AND THE POLISH FOWL. 

Fairly to elucidate the subject of their comparative 

value merely as ^^ stock," — not fancy birds — it becomes ne- 
cessary to determine not only what the cost of food is 
which they take into their several crops, but what the c7'op 
of eggs amounts to which they severally yield. 

The following results, which have been selected from 
the mass of evidence collected during our anxious and 
minute researches into this most important point, will 
solve a problem mooted to serve the purposes of sound 
economy. 



i 

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SHANGHAES AS LAYERS, ETC. 



39 



April 



veral classes named, four pullets of each class. These 



distlng-uished 



therefore were on a perfect footing of equality, and, con- 



much 



Keep 



these several classes in as many separate compartments, 
for two consecutive years — a term but just expired — a 
strict account was kept both of the amount of food each 
class consumed, and the amount of eggs deposited by each, 
together with the price which they produced. 



TABLE L 



Hatched 

April 10, 

1851. 



When 

began to 

lay. 

1851. 



4 Shanghaes Oct. 19 
4 Spanish... Dec. 7 
4 Dorking... Dec. 1 



White ] 
crested f 
Black f 
Polands 



faJObO 

CD f^ 



452 



oz. 






03 

bco? 

Cm ^^ 



1059 



Nov. 26 512 



928 



oz. 



c3 



Total 

value 

obtained. 



919 



935 



1768 



oz. 
3569 



1380 3456 6 



1390 2891 5 6 3 16 



4 17 3! 



2^ 



1447 3077 



3 19 



16 15 10 



I 



It will be seen from the foregoing Table that for the 
first year of this trial the " Shanghaes " surpassed all their 
competitors. 

One reason for this may be found by noticing that they 
began to lay much earlier^ though^ certainly^ throughout 
the entire race, they still outnumbered all the rest. It was. 




- w- t* ■ F 





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40 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



1 



however, more in the number of their eggs, than in the 
total weight of them. 

r 

Neither is this more than a moiety of the question ne- 
cessary to be discussed. The relative and comparative 
cost of keep for ^'^ Shanghaes," " Spanish," " Dorking," and 
the ^^ Polish " fowl, must have its share of weight in ba- 
lancing accounts. This section of the subject will be best 
displayed by rendering the following Table : 



i 






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TABLE n. 

OF EXPENSES ATTENDANT UPON HATCHINa, REARING, AND KEEPING 

FOR TWO YEARS. 



4 Shanghae Hens and 
1 Shanghae Cock 

4 Spanish Hens and 
1 Spanish Cock 

4 Dorking Hens and 
1 Dorking Cock 

4 Polish Hens and 



Cost per week. 



1 id. per head. 



Ud. 



?» 



1 Polish Cock 



Ud. 



?J 



lid. 



?> 



Total 

Cost 



* ■ 



« a 



> « * 



Profit 



^ * 



-A-ggregate 

cost. 



2 14 2 



2 14 2 



2 11 11 



11 5 3 



• • • 



• * • 



Cash pro- 
duced by sale 
of Eggs. 



£ s. d, 
3 5 



£ s, d, 
4 17 3 



4 2 9 



3 16 4 



3 19 6 



16 15 10 



11 5 3 



5 10 7 



Net Profit. 



£ s, d, 
1 12 3 



18 7 



12 2 



1 7 7 



5 10 7 



Upon a superficial glance at the foregoing it would appear 
that the profit upon our fowls was reduced into a miserably 
small compass ; five pounds ten shillings upon twenty birds, 
after two years of trouble and eleven pounds' expense. 



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SHANGHAES AS LAYERS, ETC. 



41 






besides risk of loss from casualties. But you must under- 
stand we do not in this example propound rules for the 
disposal of your poultry or their produce. Some will best 
study their own interest in home consumption — others by 
selling the eggs as « new laid ;" but, in the case in question, 
the only course to be pursued in coming to a fair con- 
clusion on their comparative worth as " stock/' was selling 
the eggs at market in bulk. 

Agam, we must explain that with each separate class we 
kept a cock, making four cocks to sixteen hens ; whereas if 
the sole object be producing eggs and chickens for our culi- 
nary purposes, one male bird is enough for, at the least, ten 
hens ; therefore, in calculating our own scanty profits on the 
mere principle of temporary gain, it must be borne in mind 

we kept two cocks more than were for common purposes 
required. 

Once more — and it is of great importance that these points 
be well considered 

open, healthy situations, still being to some extent necessa- 
. rily penned up — to carry out the experiments upon them 



they consequently lived in sole dependence on the food given 



■although the birds were domiciled in 



them. In farms, among our cottages, and many places else, 
where they can pick up half their sustenance, their cost of 
keep is obviously less ; therefore, that portion of the case 
resolves itself to this, the greater or the less profit poultry 
yields, is regulated by the circumstances under which the 



fowls are kept. 



of them by 



new-laid eggs will not obtain a much better price than any 
others ; whereas by retailing them while new, double the 
price may be obtained. But, I repeat, the fowls in ques- 
tion were retained for special purposes, and as the habits, 
with the different requirements of feeding, were in each 
case held in equal and due consideration, an absolutely 

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42 



EERGUSON ON FOWL. 



just example was afforded whence to draw correct conclu- 
sions on tlae comparative worth, and relative appropriate 
standing of each class. 

Premising this, I will advance upon another aspect which 
the question bears. It will be seen, by reference to our 
Table I., the Shanghae fowls began to lay — as generally is 
the case — six or seven ^weeks before their rivals ; and by 
the time they all arrived at twelve months old, the Chinese 
had deposited a greater quantity of eggs by far than their 
opponents. During the second year, however, the Spanish 
fowl, its keenest adversary in the race, made ground upon 

it at so great a rate, that on arriving at its close it was but 
one hundred and thirteen ounces in the rear, which differ- 
ence, divided by their numbers, gave to the Shanghaes only 
twenty-eight ounces and a fraction each a-head of Spanish ; 
and as the cost of food to feed these last was, in round 
numbers, half a guinea less than that expended on the first 
whereas the produce of the former realized but fourteen 
shillings and sixpence beyond the yieldings of the Spanish^ 
— the final difference between the two, during two years, 
was but eleven pence each — forty-two pence divided among 

r 

four. 

By this it seems that though throughout the first year's 
laying, the Shanghaes outstrip all their competitors, yet, in 
the second year, although they still keep in advance, the 
Spanish gain upon them so considerably as to reduce the 
difference to a trifling odds. Upon a run of two conse- 
cutive years, these two prime rival breeds get almost neck 
and neck together at the goal ; and if we dive deeper into 
the question of the comparative intrinsic value of the several 
layings, it then becomes a matter of the utmost nicety to 
say which has the advantage. The extra profit of the 
Shanghaes arose from Jliis, that only sixpence difference of 




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SHANGHAES AS LAYERS, ETC. 



43 



price was obtained upon each hundred eggs when sold at 
market ; but if common sense could regulate the mode of 
trading eggs, and weight be made to govern market value, 
then a different result would have occurred. 

From this it would almost appear that Shanghaes really 
should be placed but second in the rank of egg-producing 
stock. Wlien every point is fairly poised, and a just stand- 
ard fixed, whether it then takes precedence of all useful 

fowl, or shares the empire of our favour with a rival is the 
next subject of inquiry. 

The first thing in their favour is the circumstance that 
where the object sought in keeping poultry is obtaining 
eggs for market, in which case the greatest number is the 
greatest good, such may be best attained by rearing Shang- 
haes, and only keeping them until they have attained to 
three and never more than four years' growth. Although 
by that time, certainly, they have become too old for tender 
appetites, they none the less have meantime yielded hand- 
some profits on their cost. 

Another favourable Doint nbmit this fiwc^nc^s. \s. +Tiq+ A^^v- 



ing the winter months, when new-laid eggs are rare, and 



from their scarcity of so much higher value, they prove a 
source from whence we always can obtain supplies. 

If on the contrary eggs are required for home con- 
sumption, or for retailing as "new laid," the Spanish fowl 
must have the preference. In such a case numbers are 
not so much an object to be sought as more abundant 



weight. 



An egg of moderate size procures you, say one 
penny — but if a little larger three half-pence may be ob- 
tained ; size in such instance is of greater consequence than 
merely numbers, and in that respect the poultry for your 
barley is the Spanish. 

The Dorkings appear to be the lowest in the scale, but 



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FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



be it remembered their province, in which thej stand unri- 
valled and alone, is in the production of flesh. 

So after all it only can be determined, by the peculiar 
circumstances under which these rival candidates stand in 
their relations to our several interests, which of the two 
former shall get the greatest share of votes in the election 
of a poultry queen (see Part II). 



SELECTION OF EGGS FOR HATCHING PURPOSES. 

It is an indisputable and remarkable fact that the eggs 
of the Shanghaes are frequently more productive of male 
than female birds. The prevalent idea is that round eggs 
produce pullets, whilst the long ones cocks ; such is, how- 
ever, at variance with facts. Another opinion is that when 
the air bag, which is located at the blunt end of the cffff 
and may be seen by holding the egg between the fore fin- 
ger and thumb, and placing it between the eye and the 
candle — nearest the latter—when such vacuum is central, 
a male bird is produced, whilst if on one side, a female. 
There is something true in nearly every false theory, or 
such would stand but a very short period indeed ; and in 

the above some slight pretension to such is apparent, but 



it must be acknowledg 
frequently the case, a roi 




Supposing 



case, a round egg has the air bag central, 
what becomes of the theory then ? Little can be ascer- 
tained with respect to the differential sex by mere shape ; 
the heaviest eggs, whether long or round — whether the air 

or aside — usually produce cockerels, whilst 



baof be 



the lightest, pullets. (See Part II.) 

No ill-shaped, or stale eggs should be selected whilst 
perfect and fresli ones are obtainable. They should be 
carefully placed in bran^ In the same position as the hen 
invariably leaves them in her nest^ and require turnini^ 



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SHANGHAES AS SITTERS. 



45 



every other day ; but if it be the intention to forward them 
any distance, they should be placed upon the smallest end. 



SHANGHAES AS SITTERS. 



When 



to sit, or incubate, she is termed « broody." The hen is, 
from her comfortable, maternal size, and gentle disposition,' 



office 



She 



can, if need be, cover seventeen or eighteen eggs, though 



sufficient 



she is liable to break them in the nest. In the cold months 



hardly 



umber. In the summer 



at once. 



however, we have frequently placed under a hen the 
highest number named, and reared up a good brood ; but 
still it is somewhat imprudent to adventure such a quantity 

The chances are, some will be trampled on soon 
after being hatched ; besides that, with too large a brood, 
the most impartial mother may be incapable of ekeing out 
the tit-bits so that each member of her extensive family 
may get a share. The sitting Skanghae is also very careful 
in her stepping in and out the nest, which should be always 
placed so that she may walk, not be compelled to jump, 
into it. On this account, a deep nest must not be pro- 



plumping of the hen. 



'to 



somewh 



by 



enouffh 



dunensions, since the Shanghae swells 
out her form to an amazing size. If at any time it is found 
desirable to move a hen to another court-yard, there is sel- 
dom any difficulty in inducing her to take her seat in any 
place you please, especially if the removal be effected after 
dark. 



The Shanghae hen's principal fault 



if such it can be 



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FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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considered — lies in her frequent desire to incubate. Many 
are the methods employed to counteract her feverish ex- 
citement^ and check the desires that actuate her, such as 
plunging into cold water, swinging round and round by 
the legs until actually giddy ; but I feel compelled to decline 
describing or even enumerating these methods, considerino- 
all such hard measures to be both cruel and useless. 

Some time since, a hen beloncrinor to our stock visiblv 



indicated her determination to thus carry out the dictates 



of instinctive lonijinirs. 



check 



torn we fixed her in an open coop within full view of kith 
and kind. The sight of their untrammelled freedom ope- 
rated so medicinally upon the latent love of liberty within 

her, as to purge off the obnoxious lono;iiiii:s causino-'^her 
confinement, and but a few days longer were required to 
eradicate its influence, and she was discharged from fur- 
ther custody. As the season advances the difficulty in the 
way of checking their desire to incubate increases. In this 
example the desire to sit continued from the twentv-third 
unto the twenty-eighth of February, a period of some five 
days ; but, on a subsequent occasion, eleven days were 
occupied in gaining a result the same as previously pro- 
duced by this compulsory sitting on the bare, cold narroAV 
space enclosed within the coop. 

r 

Some Shanghaes exhibit more desire to sit than lay. 
others again — and these comprise the great majority^ — 
desire to incubate after depositing some five-and-twenty 
eggs, whilst others entertain "brooding" ideas but once 
within' a season, and only then after affording fifty or 
sixty eggs. We tried experiments upon those hens which 
laid again within a month of hatching. One example will 
suffice us here. 

This hen was set the seventeenth day of February, and 



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SHANGHAES AS SITTERS. 



47 



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she hatched her brood on March the tenths on which da ^ 
we took her chicks away^, and placed her on a second batcl 
of eggs, which she hatched safely on the thirty-first. This 
brood we suffered her to rear, and seven weeks afterwards 
she had commenced to lay again; thus thirteen weeks 
were occupied in incubation and in rearing up her young ; 
whereas at former times, when we permitted her to bring 
up her first batch of chickens, laying when nature inclined 
her to the act only, seven weeks elapsed before her powers 
of production were restored. I am convinced it is not the 
lack of eggs within which causes the desire to incubate, but 



that this " broodiness " retards their growth. The second 



cluster, when once formed, increases most rapidly in size 
until attaining full maturity, unless the feverish heat ac- 
companying broodiness checks its development. 

The symptoms are well known by an adherence to the 
nest, a continued clucking, a spreading and drooping of 
the wings, a ruffled feather, with an angry, irritable 
countenance. 

I contend her desires in this respect act upon her sys- 
tem, and not the system upon the desires, as is usually 
supposed ; for this reason, were a hen the day before, or 
even after she had hatched her brood, placed in a light and 
cool apartment in the open air, not many days would elapse 

before her clucking would be unheard, and soon be super- 
seded by cackling, and the voice of the laying hen distin- 
guished — seeing she would forget her former desire, and, 
forgetting, no longer wish. Now, if her system was the 
seat of action in this respect, her desires would be far 
more permanent, and not so easily evaded. Be it also 
borne in mind, although her desires act upon her system, 
she, at the same time, desires not until her system is suflS- 
ciently advanced to allow her to carry the object out. 



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48 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL 



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For this reason, when she is about laying her last few 
eggs she continues longer in her nest each time, until the 
last is deposited, when she remains 



a constant sitter 



therein. 



This is, however, one of the subjects that will be en- 
larged upon under a special head ; nor had it been touched 
upon here, but that the circumstance of the Shanghaes 
laying so soon again after they hatch required a word, at 
least, of explanation. 



When allowed to indulo; 



instinctive desires, they should be set apart from the laying 
hen, in a separate compartment, not shut in the nest — 
that is a very absurd method — ^but should have a few feet 
enclosed at its entrance, sufficient to allow them to remove 
from their sedentary position and enjoy a roll and a scratch, 
and satisfy the requirements of nature at pleasure, without 
the peril of being unseated by another more powerful of 
their own species, so frequently the case when allowed to 
incubate in the roosting apartment. Chopped straw is 
suitable for the nest material during the summer months, 
but hay, being softer and warmer, though more inclined 
to engender the accumulation of animalcule, is best adapted 

for the winter, or cold weather. There should be a con- 
tinued supply of food and water where it may be readily 

obtained, but they should never be fed whilst sitting in the 
nest. 

No attention is requisite or desirable being paid to the 

advancement of incubation. Far more harm is occasioned 

by peeping at the eggs, or turning them in the absence of 
the hen, than good : until the twenty-first or twenty- 
second day, as the case may be, no interference should 
take place. 

The Shanghae's eggs, like those of other domestic fowl, 
occupy the term of one-and-twenty days in carrying out 



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SIIANGHAE CHICKENS. 






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49 



the hatching process, but frequently only twenty days is 
their term of durance ; though, in case the eggs are stale, 



the utmost limit of their time 



is usually filled up, and 



sometimes five or six hours more expire before the chick 
emerges from captivity. 



SHANGHAE CHICKENS. 



^ The Shanghae chick, from its first step into the world, 
displays the characteristic tread with which the breed pecu- 
liarly walk and tread their way through life, exhibiting 

also, at the same time, that tameness which distinguishe's 
this bird. It is amusing to observe their consequential 



chickens 



little Shanghae were well aware it would eventually be- 
come the greatest of them all, although now no laro-er 
than the rest. 

The feathery down upon their legs is seen as soon as 
they are hatched. The beak exhibits a decided greenish 
tinge; the eyes appear almost as black as sloes. Their 
colour greatly varies during the period of their chicken- 
hood, frequently hatching very light of tint, and afterwards 
betraying darkish feathers in the wings and hackles, until 
at length the chicken hatched canary colour grows into 
partridge or dark brown. Little can be determined of 
their tints until the down gives place to feathers. These, 
as elsewhere observed, are very slow of growth (especially 
when the produce of young birds); whilst game fowls, as 
well as many other sorts, are getting fully feathered, and 
their strains and colours may be decided on, a Shanghae of 
the same age is clothed in naught but down and fluff. 

They are, however, wonderfully strong and hardy, and 
thrive remarkably from the first moment of their birth 
until arrived at mature growth. Those petty circumstances 



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50 



FERGUSON ON POWL, 



which so often injure other chickens scarcely ever take 



effect on them. Their constitutions 



beino; 



robust and 



strong 



such feeding as will suit whatever classes 



they 



may at the time be living with is sure to agree with them ; 
nevertheless, as rice is certainly their most natural, and 
consequently proper food, we will notice here that o-rain 



particularly. It should be prepared by scalding, steaming, 
or swollen out until each grain is full to bursting, but on 
no account broken nor mashed up. 

Wlien chicks are troubled with looseness in the bowels, 

rice, from its binding qualities, is a most excellent medi- 
cine, especially prepared as directed. For the retention of 

may not be 




this medicinal virtue, and that its 

blunted, rice, though so good for general food, should not 



be too exclusively given; for notwithstanding it is always 
of a binding character, still can its properties be somewhat 
changed — its medicinal quality lost by too constant use. 
Clean water must ever be provided for their continual 
use, or recourse will be had to the neighbouring pond of 



stagnant liquid filth, so foul and injurious to chicks of any 
growth. Diarrhoea, gapes, roup, and other diseases are 

1 

engendered from its foul effects. 

Young Shanghaes are most particularly fond of mangel- 
wurtzel and turnips, especially the former. These, if given 
in a crude state, should be cut len2:thwise throu£:h the 
middle. Such food is not adapted certainly for regular or 
substantial meals, but to amuse them in the interims of 
feeding-hours ; and this one observation bears within itself 
a most Important principle connected with the successful 

r 

rearing of your chicks : keep them amused between the 
intervals of meal times, and best by such means as this. 
If you do not cut these roots at all, they wiU be generally 
neglected ; but, on the other hand, if cut too much, or in 




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SHANGHAE CHICKENS. 







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51 



small pieces^ the chickens will c^ome and cram themselves^ 



i 



contrary to tJie intent with which such food should be 
afforded ; added to which, some of it will be left and 
trampled under foot, get stale and dirty, and in that state, 
when eaten up, is likely to induce a strong disgust towards 
it; whereas if cut in half, as we described, and then sus- 
pended by a piece of string above their heads, just within 
reach against a Avail, it will be kept both fresh and clean, 
thus being tempting to their young appetites. 

Barley, well steamed, or soaked five or six hours, be- 
comes a beneficial and nutritious food in chano-e whe 



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chickens are some two or three weeks old. Previous to 
that age, sopped bread, bread and (sweet) milk, boiled 
liver and raw beef, chopped fine; eggs, boiled about 

twenty minutes, and cut small ; boiled rice and groats — - 
these, all in turn, and given in small quantities, are highly 
beneficial; but whenever they exhibit a distaste for any 
special food, immediately desist from placing it before them 
for at least a week together. Suspend a cabbage by its 
roots, and suffer them to entertain themselves by pecking 
at it as it hangs ; and, if convenient, place slantingly a 
truss of straw^ in some dry corner, throwing into it, fibout 
once a week, a handful or so of groats. The exercise of 



r 

scratching for them will amuse the little creatures very 
much, and, as I said before — and now for its important 



consequences once 



a<iam repeat 



whatever will afford 



'^ 



amusement to your chickens will afford a profit to your- 



selves. 



It is astonishing with what perseverance the little things 
will run up and down, diving their tiny beaks into the 
straw, in the hope of finding some of the grains of groats. 
We have. watched chickens hunt among the straw until 
our patience has been quite exhausted, long before they 




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52 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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again within a month of her 



found a single groat, yet is their faith, and hope, and 
energy all unimpaired. ^Vhere once they find a prize 
they still believe that prizes may be found again. The 
chickens soon begin to stray from the maternal wing ; the 
Shanghae hen, too, quickly ceases all remembrance of her 
short-lived love for them, and frequently begins to lay 

confinement, pecking the 
chickens then which may have the temerity to seek the 
now forbidden nest. Instances, indeed, occasionally occur 
in which the hen will suffer favourite chickens to assemble 
still around the family bed, even while she herself is 
" laying " in it. 

We have a hen that upon one occasion hatched a brood 
of chicks whicli we removed soon afterwards, with the ex- 
ception of a puUeret that was left remaining with her. The 
hen began to lay again twenty days after the time she 
hatched the brood just mentioned, whilst our young pul- 
leret regularly accompanied her into the nest when she 
retired thei'c to lay. The hen, after depositing some one- 
and-twenty eggs desired to incubate, and, for experiment, 
we suffered her to have her longings gratified ; then highly 

r 

interesting was the sight to observe the pullet watching 
about the poultry-house door 



during 



the entire three 
weeks of incubation, seated occasionally into the nest 
during the temporary absence of the " brooding bird, and 

always in the night. When the old hen moved off to feed, 
the filial affection of the little creature woiild display itself 
in all the extravagant but pleasing gesticulations, all the 
mad pranks and capers, of a body bursting with mirth and 
gladness. Running before, behind, beside, atop, and un- 
derneath its mother, sure such a funny little spectacle of 
gleesomeness was never witnessed by us as we then beheld. 
And when at length the chicks were hatched, our pulleret 



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SHANGHAE CHICKENS. 



53 



was a very second mother to them, actually gathering a 



;ni 



imitation of the parent fowl. This chicken, profiting by 
the tuition, doubtless, or imitating and emulating too the 



our 



at a stout grimalkin, who exhibited a hostile view towards 
the youthful family of which their sister thus instituted 
herself a co-defender with her mother, though, at the same 

time, labouring under great trepidation at the sight of its 
grim, common enemy. These traits and circumstances are 
here detailed as an evidence, that even foAvls possess a por- 
tion of those qualities which form the boast of man himself. 



cks be 
March 



be borne in mind, that if a very early brood 
lesired, for instance, in the months of Februi 



enough, and more adapted to secure a good strong brood, 
added to which, a Shanghae hen should not be " set" too 
early since no dependance can be placed upon her keeping 
to her young beyond a month, or at the most five weeks ; 
and as we frequently experience cold and wet after that 
period, it is sure death to chickens, when compelled to run 
about half naked and alone, with no protection from the 
damp and cold ; therefore, if early broods be desired, then 
set apart for « mothers" some other class of fowl— Game 



broo 



Shanghae eggs, whereby 



Spanish 



b 



general, that cockerels take after the mother's side in form 
and colour, whilst the pullerets favour the father chiefly in 



those particulars ; 



from 



some of the preceeding observations, their antecedent cros- 
sings, when crossings occurred, possess a powerful influ- 
ence upon the colour of chicks, so that it is quite possible 



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FERGUSON OK FOWL. 



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to breed from two light-coloured blrds^ and yet obtain 
dark broods, arising from the circumstance that the pro- 
genitors of the two breeding fowls have been crossed or 
bred from fowls of a darker hue. 

The full grown cock weighs from 9 to 12lbs., the hen, 
7 to 8 ; in height, the male bird stands from 22 to 25 
inches, the female from 16 to 20; this difference may 
be generally accounted for thus, being but slow in getting 
feather, when they are hatched during the months of 
March or April, all the fine weather lies before them, 
which they take advantage of to get well feathered and 
gain strength before the cold weather arrives, which may 
accompany the year's decline, and if keen winds prevail, 
when they have been hatched only a month or two, the 
mother hen can generally provide them warmth and shelter 
from every detrimental influence ; whereas, if hatched so late 
as June, the ensuing winter may attack their naked limbs 
before they become well provided with the feathery armour. 

Their growth will also much depend upon the manner 
of their rearing, whether fed on grain or meal ; the un- 



crusted corn not being so good for them ; Avhether they 

have an ample run in field or meadow, or be cooped up in 



a 




confined 



shall be treated of under a special head, suffice it, that from 
what we here have said the reader may form his own con- 
clusions on the discrepancy existing in the weight and 
height of birds of the same strain and age, but reared 
under diiferent circumstances. 



i 

5 



i 



SHANGHAES AS DEAD STCCK. 

A Cockerel of 3 months old should weigh about 2^ lbs, net ready for the spit 

5? 4 „ „ 4 to 4 J lbs. 

A Pulleret 4 

A Cockerel 6 



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H to 3f lbs. 



6 



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7 lbs. 



71 to 8 lbs. 



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SHANGHAES AS DEAD STOCK. 



55 



The average cost for keep may be set down at three- 
pence per pair per week, including all expenses, hatching 
and so forth. If but a brood of seven or eight be reared, 
the expenses will become proportionally greater, save 
where no dogs nor cats are kept ; in such a case the family 
scraps will serve to furnish a considerable item of sujjply, 
in keeping a small number like the last named. If on the 
contrary they be numerously kept, or on a farm, three- 
pence per pair per week will more than cover the expense. 
As an example of comparative cost and nrofit. th^ follr^wi'Tio- 
Table is appended : 



TABLE III. 



Dr. 



£ 



d. 



Cr. 



Eeeding, and other inci- 
dental costs attendant 
upon keeping four pairs 
of chickens to the age 
of four months, at 3d, 
per head per week 16 



£ s. d. 






To four pairs of chickens, 
weighing T^Ibs. per pair, 
at 9d per pound 

Costs 



12 6 
16 



Balance of profit £0 6 6 



I have reckoned here ninepence per pound for young 
chickens, and in July ; this is as low a price as any one 
would sell at : and we have also set them down at tJie least 

weight, with fullest scale of costs ; and still upon eight 
chickens there is gained as much as six shillings and six- 
pence profit. 

Persons who only keep the lesser quantity of fowl, la- 
bour of course under disadvantages, and the costs of keep 
are necessarily much higher in proportion to their numbers 
than where extensive flocks are reared. The expense 
which must necessarily be incurred by but a few will not 
be much increased with a greater number ; and when the 



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56 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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costs are spread over an extensive flock^ the expense per 
head is very small indeed. 



Another 



on the credit side is, that where 



so 



feathery a subject and so downy a birds as the Shangaes 
are kept to any large extent, the feathers can be made to 
form a source of further profit. 

Nevertheless, be it remembered, a few birds well cared 
and provided for will be productive of greater advantages 
to the owner than a flock improperly managed. One or 
two broods, well and carefully reared, will produce a larger 
number of fine specimens than a dozen negligently and 
carelessly provided for. 

The flavour of the flesh is diflerent in different specimens, 
and truly we have tasted some very indifferent. Whilst 

some are white and juicy, delicate and finely flavoured, 
others are the very reverse. I am, however, quite con- 
vinced that with attention, and by fair as well as by full 

■ F 

feeding, Shanghaes may, in almost every instance, be not 
only rendered palatable, but really capable of gratifying 
the fastidious epicure. (See Part III., pp. 107-8.) 

It will enhance considerably their quality and flavour, if 

before killing they are deprived of food seven or eight 
hours, during which time however they must be placed in 

darkness, to prevent or check a detrimental longing after 
food ; and thus the crop, receiving no addition to its con- 
tents, will become empty, and their internal parts quite 
free from that offensiveness which often otherwise communi- 
cates a taint to the entire flesh — a grossness which the 

process of cooking does not always entirely overcome. 



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The Shanghae, being a hardy race of fov/1, is subject to 
few diseases, by croup or roup seldom effected (where 



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CONSTITUTION OF THE SHANGHAE. 



57 



be 



common attention is bestowed), for which alone, s. 
aside the virtues and utilities on which we have 
dwelling, their introduction into this country was a valua- 
ble boon to Britain. Whilst as a further claim which these 
peculiar birds possess upon our regards, is the coincidence 
that their propitious advent into England seemed to signa- 
lize an epoch whence we may date those general, simulta- 
neous, and successful efforts which are now bidding fair to 



Kinffdo 



United 



evidencing that 



rare tact, sagacious management, 

and indomitable perseverance, distinguishing our British 



such 



as makes them both the pride and boast of England, the 
admiration of the world, and patterns to agriculturists of 
every clime. In general estimation, "poultry" will 



one common 



com- 



shortiy stand almost as proudly, and proportionably as 
high, as " cattle." 

We heartily hope and confidently predict, that through 
the well-directed and enlightened efforts of contemporary 
associations, working harmoniously towards 
pomt, the enthusiastic emulation wisely excited by the 
honorary prizes and pecuniary rewards bestowed upon the 
fortunate — but not more fortunate than meritorious 
pctitors at our poultry shows— seconded, and as a neces- 
sary consequence, completely carried out by individual 
exertions to the farthest limits of attention, enterprise, 
and nidustry — such an enormous aggregate of success must 
necessarily result, that native supplies of food for human 
sustenance will so abundantly increase, articles of food, 
formerly, and even at this day quite inacessible to the 
multitude, and much too dear to form a common item in 
the marketing accounts of even respectable housekeepers. 



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58 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



— food nevertheless nutritious as it is dainty^ luxurious as 
it is wholesome — will become as common to the common 
people^ as abundant to the entire community^ as it is at 
present common to none. 

It must be fully evident — ^being completely verified by 
the success which has invariably attended the domestica- 
tion in this country of the various breeds which own a 

foreign origin — that our own country is as favourable to 
the production and increase of Fowl as anv in the universe. 



4 



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DISEASES OF THE SHANGHAE. 

The principal diseases to which this class of Fowl is 

peculiarly liable are — white-speckled comb^ apoplexy ^ 
paralysis^ and twisted tail. 

In common with other fowls^ Shanghaes are liable to 
corns. These are often occasioned by their having nothing 
softer to be constantly walking on than gravel. To this 
material^ good in its proper place^ fowls must not be con- 
fined ; it is most necessary that a portion of their " run " 

should be a plot of grass. Let Shanghaes^ or any other 
fowl^ be properly provided with a moderate grass-run^ and 
corns will seldom grow beneath their feet. We have said 
^^ seldom " quite advisedly^ for there is one more cause 
from whence these corns may spring, and that is perching 
too high. Compel them to descend from such a height as 

brings their weight heavily upon the ground^ and those 
excrescences will soon appear upon their feet. Elsewhere 
we deprecate the use of roosts raised to too great a height^ 

and therefore need not here repeat the reason which we 
gave against their elevation. When hammocks are dis- 
covered to be most convenient dormitories for our aldermen, 

then Shanghaes may be compelled to perch on elevated 
roosts. 



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DISEASES OF THE SHANGHAE. 



59 



Some persons who rear Shanghaes are much alarmed 
for them on account of the peculiar barrenness of feather, 
which attends the chickens if they be hatched late in the 
season. This barrenness^ however^ need not occasion fear- 
ful anticipations on their behalf. We have before remarked 
upon the backwardness of feather in the young Shanghae ; 
and where your chickens are in an evidently healthy state, 
be well assured then- lack of outward covering; denotes not 
anything of import further than as a practical illustration 
of the consequences that will follow hatching at a period 
when the season is advanced, and the peculiarities of the 
class. These observations must not be considered to apply 
in cases where disease has cruised the feather to fall off: 
when such, however, is the case, the symptoms will not be 
confined to barrenness ; but as disease, in which a drop- 
pmg off of feather is an accompaniment, is incidental to 
all classes of our domestic fowl, that portion of the subject 
must be reserved for the particular portion of our work 
treating of their diseases generally. Barrenness of feather 
IS likewise the natural consequence of breeding stags with 
pullets : the breeding from birds themselves imperfect in 
feather necessarily results in the offspring being still more 
imperfectly feathered, and of protracted growth. There is 
as much perceptible difference between the appearance of 
the coats of young Shanghaes produced from mature fowls, 
and those of pullets and stags, as exists between the 
former and our other fowls. 

A symptomatic disorder of some considerable frequency 
in the Shanghae is the ^' white-speckled comb," the accom- 
panying appearances of which consist in small white spots 
scattered in patches on the surface of the comb. However, 
this is not, as is most commonly supposed, a local ailment • 
consequently it is completely useless to confine the treat- 



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60 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



ment for it to the aiFected part, since the incipient cause is 
elsewhere to be found. The appearances alluded to are 
occasioned by excessive internal heat, frequently caused by 
hot and stimulating food, at other times arising from reple- 
tion, but quite as frequently from the fowlslbeing forced 
to drink dirty and unwholesome water. Again, it some- 



times sprmgs 



will 



induced by any cause creating costiveness, a state of body 



Shanghaes are somewhat liable to fall into. 



This foul 



condition will first appear upon the comb, but does not 
long confine itself to that locality, and if severe will spread, 
and in the sequel rot the feathers, which thence drop off 
in bunches from the bird. 

In this complaint, from whichsoever of these sources it 
may spring, the outward application of oil to the affected 
parts will never be attended with the slightest benefit. 
We are aware that this assertion may be looked upon as 
incorrect by some who have resorted to such remedial 
measures. They have gone on and persevered in dressing 
the affected parts with oils and what not, and at length the 
bird has, it is true, recovered ; but the fact was this 

while they were operating outwardly, and at a distance 
from the fountain-head of the disorder, Nature herself was 
busily affecting a more wholesome state of things inside, 
and when she had at length put out the fire raging within, 
the smoke which had been issuing from it of necessity dis- 
appeared. But the comb, as already mentioned, is not the 

only part affected, seeing it originates from the heat and 
impurity of the blood, and if not timely prevented its 
operations extend to the neck, where it spreads and re- 
moves the feathers in patches, as in the moulting season, 
with this difference, however, in the latter fresh arrivals 
soon became apparent ; but in the disease in question the 



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DISEASES OF THE SHANGHAE. 



61 



feathers are rotted from the stumps which remain in, 
thereby rendering the growth of the new impossible. Oils 
may allay irritation and render the feathers more durable, 
but external applications are absolutely useless, save as 
auxiliary emollients following upon other remedies, when 
the inducing causes have begun to cease in their ejQfects; 
and even then the advantage of using oils is doubtful^ 

■^16 patients be separated from their companions 
bemg attended with the liability of attracting other fowls 
to peck the anointed parts. 

Chickens, alike with full grown fowls, are subject to its 



unless 



ravages, but are far more susceptible to a leno-thened 



and protracted attack. The fact is, the inducing causes of 
this complaint are an incipient state of apoplexy, whilst 
freedom from this disorder is indicated by a healthy appear- 
ance of the comb. 

Remedy.— Qut off all supplies of grain, hard or stimu- 
latmg food; provide soft diet, as oatmeal and bran, or coarse 
middlings mixed in cold water to considerable consistence, 

allow green meat,— also well mix half-a-teaspoonful of 
flour-of-sulphur in the water pan, and allow no other 
hquid. (Peas and beans are not onlv bar! K,i+ ..rW\ ^^v^„ 



■s 



) 



Apoplexy.— To the effects of this disorder Shanghaes 
are peculiarly liable, naturally resulting from a short thick 
neck, in connexion with a capacious full habit of body and 
voracious appetite. The first indications are a frequent 
twiching of the head, a restlessness in that compartment, a 
constant change in its inclination or bearing, first this and 
then that position, as though clearing the brain from feel- 
ings and sensations of stupor ; frequent 



\ 



frequent ])linking o 
eyes, with slow aldermanic motions of the body men 
induced by aldermanic feeding and condition, and 



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62 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



quently resulting in a sudden rush of blood to the head^ 
overpowering the brain^ when speedy death ensues ; there 
is no remedy when once seized^ as life becomes extinct in a 
few moments ; stilly previous to the actual fit^ if one or 
other of the indications before alluded to be observable, the 
following preventive means should be immediately em- 
ployed. After removing a few feathers from the upper 
part of the back of the neck, near the head, place two 



leeche 



s 



minutes 



they first " take," when the blood may be observed, and 
if of a light colour, they should be removed; but if inclining 
to black their presence is required for three minutes in 
addition, at the end of which time they may be removed ; 
a little short down from the birds person may then be 
plucked and placed over the wound, and the bird removed 
to a separate compartment away from companions, or the 
appearance of blood may engender strife. Every heating, 
or stimulating description of food, also such as is of a 
fattening nature, as well as grain and hard food, should be 
avoided, whilst coarse 



middliners and 



meat 



crude state, may be given freely with steamed oats occa- 
sionally, taking equal care to keep the bowels freely, but 
not excessively open by the use of oil. Where a resort to 
the medicine chest is necessary, one teaspoon-full of castor- 
oil, as a dose, will be found the safest and most active 

remedy. 

Paralysis — mainly issues from two sources, viz., a gouty 
habit of body brought on by high feeding, and may be 
traced to the same cause as that which produces apoplexy, 
the difference being in this case, the pedal limbs become 
affected instead of the head. It frequently occurs, a hen 
whilst suffering from this disease, in its first stages, appears 
in other respects heaithv and well : the comb may be of 



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DISEASES OF THE SHANGHAE. 



63 



the healthiest hue, eyes bright, feathers close, appetite still 
keen, and yet unable to rise in the nest prepared for her ; 
but the after effect is somewhat different ; by degrees the 
appetite fails. But why ? because digestion has been over- 
taxed ; this is the last effort of nature to effect a cure. A 
body already too full of humour is, however, crammed ; in- 
digestion follows one, two, and frequently three days ex- 
pire, before the food so administered, passes through its 
necessary stages, when the hen usually retires from the 
scene, being unable any longer to bear up against the 
stroke. Remedy. — The removal of the seat of the disorder, 
as before adverted in apoplexy, will effect the required 
influence over the power of the muscles, if taken in time, 
but when once "brouglit helpless before the fire^ although 
the same means as in that disease are the only applications 
calculated to prove beneficial^ yet restoration is extremely 
protracted under the most favourable circumstances. 

The other main cause of paralysis arises from damp^ or 
exposure to draughts^ or wet when full in moult/ producing 
loss of appetite ; in this case^ equally important with the 
former, is the removal of the origin and cause of the 
attack, but immediate remedial measures are necessary to 
prevent an unfavourable result. The indications of its 
existence are a staggering of the entire frame, general 
debility, loss of all muscular power in the leg as thouo^h 
paralyzed, causing a retrogade motion of the body, a great 
and rapid reduction in weight, and thereby a tangible pro- 
trubrance of the breast bone. Remedy. — Removal to a dry 
warm apartment, regular feeding, with soft and nourishing 
diet, such as parboiled rice, oat, or barley-meal, and warm 
milk, if the latter meal about one-fourth part bran shovild 
be mixed with it which will render it less doughv and easier 
of digestion — should be given in small quantities, but with 



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64 



PERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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frequency throughout the day, and water, in which a few 
blades of saffron have remained until the medicinal virtues 
have been extracted, should be supplied. 



^f 



This defor- 



mity is not hj any means peculiar to Shangliaes, all fowls 
are subject to this malformation (especially the produce of 
in and in breeding). It is an organic disease taking a local 
form, its name indicating the appearance it produces. Fowls 
confined to limits insufficient to 



affi}rd that amount of 



h 



animals to take when left unconstrained, if occasionally 
turned out upon a large grass 



^^ run," for only limited 



;ri 



periods are very prone — especially when young — to abuse 
the privilege by running about so furiously and inces- 
santly while at liberty, as to exert too great a strain upon 
the tail, brought into excessive use while balancing the 
body over rough and uneven ground, and results in an 
unfortunate sprain and contraction of the muscles on the 
same side as that on which it bends^— no external or in- 

effective whilst the cause 



■>:■' 



ternal application can prove 

remains ; but, if well ^^ walked" upon even ground, they 

may grow out of it by desfrees. 



'H 



I will here observe. 



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every 



utmost amount of exercise circumstances will permit — not 
as a luxury, and only now and then, but as a constant 
daily practice. Elsewhere we intend to enlarge upon the 
reasons that can be assigned for this mode of treatment, 
which differs somewhat from the practice of some breeders 
of considerable eminence ; meantune let the reader act upon 
the recommendation, as best calculated to insure to his 
poultry both good feather and full health. 

When kept fasting, the Shanghae, being very hearty, if 
given hard dry food, is apt to eat too voraciously, and 



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DISEASES OF THE SHANGHAE. 



64* 



thereby cause indigestion. Where the former has occurred, 
care should be taken that the meat consists of only a small 
quantity of soft food, such as meal, &c., and as with apo- 
plexy course middlings and green meat, either crude or 
boiled, should be supplied ; in the latter case, administer 
ten grains of jallap in the form of a pill, but only resort to 
drugs where the case is very obstinate. In administering 

a small quantity of 



this drug we prefer 



mixing it in 



tempting food, in order that it may be bolted so elFectually 
as to prevent its rejection from the stomach when once it 
has been taken ; but to do this, the dose must be so small 
as to be capable of being swallowed at a gulp. Some 
breeders, while they adopt the same medicine, prefer to 
mix it in a greater quantity of food, but if that quantity 
be sufficient to neutralize its nauseousness, you hazard 
neutralizing also the proper action of the physic itself. 

The next disorder, " Rupture of the Foot," requires 
some preliminary remarks before giving an exposition of 
its symptoms, and the mode of treatment necessary to be 
adopted. This wound — for such it in reality is 
m the following circumstances : — Ir 



originates 



—In Hong-Kong, Shan- 
ghae, and the other provinces of China where the Shanghae 
is indigenous, the colour of this fowl is utterly disregarded, 
" buffs " and " cinnamons " being almost unknown. In 

England, on the contrary, these colours are especially the 
fancy, and the rage for them induces some dishonest dealers, 
when unable to procure the true specimen^ to resort to 
stratagem for the purpose of furnishing a supply sufficient 
for the demands of the market. 

The lightest-coloured Shanghae cocks are selected^ espe- 
cial preference being given to such as exhibit the least 
trace of black upon the neck-hackle ; and these 

squatty" white Dorking hens, 
the result of the cross being, that some of the chicks take 



are 



matched with first-rate 



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65 



PEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



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after the Dorking mother, others after the Shanghae father. 



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Some, agaln^ take after the mother in respect to colour^ 
while assuming the form and character of the Shanghae 
(these latter are particular favourites); the remainder will 
appear of an unsettled, mottled, mixed feather, with 
features inherited indifferently from both parents. The 
favourites are again mated with Shanghaes, and the pro- 
duce in like manner ; and, upon the authority of several 
distinguished breeders, added to proofs in our own pos- 
session, we can vouch for the fact, that from the pro- 
ceeds of these beautiful "buff" and "cinnamon" specimens 
are sometimes obtained. 

Absence of colour in the white Dorking hen tends to 
diminish colour in the produce of the union between her 
and the Shanghae cock, which by degrees reduces and 
tones down to that pale tint so much admired. But it so 
happens, in certain instances these fictitious birds will show 
the extra claw of the Dorking breed ; to obviate this diffi- 
culty, the obnoxious member is amputated within a few 
days of hatching, and to this circumstance is to be attri- 
buted the wound or outbreak of which we are treatinsf. 

Generally the wound is quickly healed, as are most 
injuries received by birds upon their pedal limbs; but 
occasionally, the deprivation of this claw being effected 
within so short a period of birth, wounds break out after 

the cut was apparently healed, and assume the form of 

ulcerated scales. 

Several communications on this point are now before us ; 
in one, the bird is represented to have been purchased 
before the age of three months, at which time he seemed 
to be perfectly well, and sound upon his legs, although our 
correspondent confesses to neglecting that examination of 
the shanks, which, together with a scru^tiny of other points, 
should always be made before a purchase is effected. In 






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DISEASES OF THE SHANGHAE, 



65 



K^ 



about four weeks he began to exhibit symptoms of lame- 
nesBy which continued and increased during the succeeding 

r 

month, and by that time a wound appeared upon the 

shank, over the fourth claw. Upon examination, only one 

leg seemed to be suffering absolute injuries, whilst the 

lameness apparent in the other was, nevertheless, much 

more observable, and at the expiration of three weeks both 

shanks exhibited the "breaking out," which spread also 
considerably upward. 

This certainly is a severe case ; but two other communi- 
cations show also symptoms similar enough to establish an 

identity of cause — exhibit evident traces of originating in 
one common source. Why breeders should thus cut and 
mutilate the bird in so unnecessary a manner we cannot 
conceive, seeing, they must be well aware, that the extra 
claw is to be found even in fowls imported from Shanghae 
direct, besides in numerous bare-legged, but first-rate birds, 
brought from Hong-Kong and other parts of China. From 
the last-mentioned place we some time since received two 
specimens of the greatest beauty, yet possessed of the 

additional claw. 

To return, however, to the sore point itself. We recom- 
mend that as soon as the bird is seen to be at all lame, he 
should be subjected to a strict examination, to decide 
whether the dealer's craft has produced that effect. Should 
such be the case, the affected part should be bound up; if 
the symptoms afterwards assume an inflammatory character, 
poultices must be applied for a few days. At the expira- 
tion of that time the wound should be bound round with a 
small piece of dry linen, to prevent foreign matters coming 
in contact and producing inflammation. It appears to me 
to indicate the existence of nature's efforts in the repro- 
duction of the lost member, seeing until the bird becomes 
full grown he is subject to the occasional outbreak. 



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FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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THE SPANISH FOWL. 



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HISTORY or THE SPANISH. 

Bepoee entering upon the subject of the peculiar cha- 
racteristics possessed hy this invaluable fowl, a preliminary 
inquiry should be instituted as to the causes whence it has 
derived so definite a geographical name, seeing that not in 

Spam alone, but throughout vast regions outspreadino- 
towards the eastern and northern parts of Europe, exten- 
sive flocks of fowl belonging to this class are naturalized 
and reared. Why Spain should be thus honoured with 
the exclusive privilege of furnishing a patronymic for this 
bird becomes a legitimate subject for investigation, now 
that Cochm-China's right to name our emigrants from the 
Celestial Empire has been made the subject of dispute. 

The fowl called Spanish is not a Spanish aboriginal, but 
was first brought from the West Indies by the merchants 
of Spain, and through them naturalized and propagated in 
that country; thence the European markets generally 
were m turn supplied and stocked ; the name is therefore 
a misnomer. These birds differed from the present Spanish, 

inasmuch as the circuit of face was not nearly so large 

neither was the colour of the face so milky white, whilst 
the feet and shanks were much darker, 
previous to the introduction of the bird in questio"n7a 
diminutive species, known by the name of the " Manx," 
was the most common class of poultry reared by the in- 
habitants of Spain; these 



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HISTORY OF THE SPANISH. 



66* 



varieties were thence produced, and the present sub-varie- 
ties of the Spanish fowl are partly the result. In Holland, 
previous to the naturalization of the Spanish fowl, a do- 
mesticated bird — in colour a dun, or bluish slate — though 
much inferior to the Spanish, prevailed ; but if we carefully 
observe the variations in this latter class, it becomes evident 
such differences are the production of admixture with the 
primitive breed. 

Of first-rate specimens, Spain at the present day can 
make but little boast ; whilst from the Netherlands may be 
obtained birds of the greatest beauty as to form and feather^ 
and of the highest value as regards quality and breed, 
ind notwithstanding Holland was originally supplied by 
Spain, the mixed varieties previously propagated in the 
latter country were quite sufficient to procure In time a 
cross and mixture, which defies all effort to detect in them 
any resemblance to the original stock, unless acquainted 
intimately with the nature, form, and habits of the bird. 

The Spanish fowl has long been naturalized in Great 
Britain with great success ; and, considering the high per- 
fection it has attained, we presume we are justified In 
asserting that the fact corroborates what we in our article 
upon the Shanghae advanced, that England's climate, Avith 
Englishmen's care, is as well adapted to the genus ^'Fowl" 



as any In the world. That the particular class of poultry 

brought from the Indies was a primitive breed Is amply 

evident; but that birds bearing the name of Spanish, 
though far from being purely of that breed, possessing 
neither their beauty nor good qualities, do In the present 
day prevail, is certain; whilst there are others which, 
although not literally belonging to the primitive stock, 
being unquestionably an admixture, are nevertheless upon 
a perfect footing of equality, and, if intrinsic value be the 



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67 



FEKGUSON ON FOWL. 



criterion of rank, justify, by their good qualities, the name 
of Spanish. 



VARIETIES. 



^■■: 



In England many genuine birds have met with crosses, 
more or less resembling one or other of their proo-enitors 
and in course of time a name has been appropriated to the 
oiFspring, as though each were a separate species. On this 
account we will describe at length their several peculiari- 
ties, although, in consequence of the innumerable crosses 
that have occurred, it were a work of supererogation to 
describe the pedigree of such a heterogeneous multitude ; 
for when crosses have occurred, the form, colour, and 
general appearance of a brood of chicks, even of the same 
blood, differ extensively from each other. There are the 
Whites, Anconas, Minorcas, Andalusian, Manx, Tasselled, 
Double-combed, and the Blacks, besides a sub-variety 
perfectly black, save that it shows a little white upon the 
breast. The cock of this latter, so noble in appearance, so 
regal in his carriage, is a very majestic bird ; his pictu- 
resque and florid comb is of a blood-red colour, and abun- 
dantly serrated ; a tuft of black fluff covers the ears and 
part of the face, and behind the comb arises a small tassel; 
there is also a similar cluster beneath the wattles. The 
eyes are partially encircled with a few projecting feathers 

of a brownish hue ; the legs are of a dull leaden colour ; 
and the soles of the feet are a decided yellow. 

A pair of these birds was imported from Holland to a 
friend of ours, who assured me he entertained a full con- 
viction of their being an original variety, having success- 
fully bred from them for the last four years, and none of 

i broods so obtained differed in any respect, in form or 
colour, from the parent birds. This appears to prove the 



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VARIETIES OF THE SPANISH. 



67 



* 



probability of his opinion 



H 



still further to 



strengthen and confirm such conclusion, let him persist 
in breeding the fowls for a series of years ; and if the same 
success results, it will demand both our serious considera- 
tion and strictest investigation into the minutia of the 



subject. Until 



allowed to retain our 



opinion on the subject, which is, that they will ultimately 
prove to be merely cross birds. We believe the Polish 
fowl has been intermeddling here, since many of its habits 
and actions are manifest, and it is evident that the hens 
evince greater inclination to incubate than the genuine 
Spanish fowl : in this is displayed a strong characteristic 
of the Polish genera when crossed. 

Whites inherit the usual qualities and peculiarities of 
the Black; but the general feather being of the same 
colour as the face, they present no strong reflections of 
light and shade, as do the Spanish fowl, and no strong 
contrasts, for which the Blacks are peculiarly distinguished. 
When kept in good airy and healthy situations, they pre- 
sent, however, a very delicate and refined appearance; 
and it should be remembered, that there are some who 
do not admire strong contrasts, but prefer a subdued and 
settled delicacy, especially, as is the case with these birds, 
if their milk-white feather isr elieved by a healthy vermilion 
comb, with sparkling, joyful eyes ; the legs and feet also 

form a partial relief, from being more or less dark. 



These 



but 



quently bred from, as well as reared with, the latter. 



from Whites 



to 



Whites bred from 



primitive variety of Blacks, while the 
the Blacks are not so hardy as the latter, showing a pecu- 
liarity resulting more from colour than constitution. Here 



we 



must ao-ain pause to make one remark. TV 



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68 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



known instances, and therefore can corroborate the testi- 
mony of those who have asserted the fact, that the black 
Spanish fowl has monlted white in plumage, but at the 
same tune has thrown black chicks. 

^ We know an experimental and successful breeder of 
Spanish fowl, who has frequently carried off the " palm of 
victory " from our poultry shows, who, some years ' since 
for experiment, paired a white Pile game cock with a 
fepamsh hen, and most of the puUerets resulting therefrom 
resembled the father, whilst the cockerels more or less took 
after the mother. Again, he selected from the puUerets those 
most resembling the Spanish, and placed them with one of 
his own purely black Spanish cocks, from the issue of 
which he selected the purely black puUerets, and bred them 
with a fine Spanish cock: this was practised for several 
successive years, until he at length obtained separate prizes 
or three of the produce, as pure Black Spanish. Since 
that period some white-coloured birds have occasionaUy 
appeared m his broods : those which came white from such 
stock invariably took after the old PUe ansestor's, as dis- 
turbers of the peace, as weU as in constitution, but in no 
other respect showing the white face and ear-lobe as fuU as 
m any of the Blacks. 

There are but few of the White Spanish produced from 
such a cross as this; but stiU we are assured that the birds 
however fine their appearance, if they moult speckled white' 
or complete white, have either been bred in and in, and 



so produced rottenness of feather, 
and unknown period been crossed by a Avhite 

inspired, and the 



or at some remote 

species. 



breedina' 



a pure species has 



ultimately restored them to their perfect colour. 



Game fowl 



The 



IS 



the only bird that can be put to the test. 







* 

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V 




VARIETIES OF THE SPANISH. 



68 



* 



motlier." Wl 



whether really genuine or otherwise. We once knew of a 
bird being chosen for the combat by a breeder^ to make up 
a number, and its appearance indicated all that the best 
breeders considered essential as to qualifications, action, 
&c., and obtained universal approval. Such appearance 
and exterior must hidioate neither flaw nor imperfection ; 
and, rely on it, the breeders of Game fowls would neither 
overlook nor excuse a defect, for, of all men, they are the 
most practical and particular in breeding fowls, and much 
may be learned from them, Wlien this bird had proceeded 
but half way through the battle, he dropped his tail, and 
made a sudden retreat, and, as they say, ^^ cried for his 

at does this prove, but that appearances 
may deceive ? The bird above alluded to was in perfect 
health, had been running master in a country walk for a 
period of eighteen months, and had been carefully bred 
from a stock possessed by the breeder for five years' past; 
but, from the above circumstance, the owner entertained 
the conviction that previously an injudicious cross must 
have taken place; he therefore wrung the bird's neck, 
and, as the requirements of his table demanded the fowl 

sacrifices, so the whole of the " strain " received similar 
treatment. 

Much as we disapprove of applying this test to our birds, 

we cannot refrain from mentioning the fact, that however 
good a bird may be in appearance, no proof exists in that 
alone, as to whether he is really genuine. If, however, 
the chicks show well, and no signs of a cross appear for 

many successive years, the best of proofs is therein fur- 
nished. 

The Ancona, of all sub-varieties, show too clearly the 
results of a cross. There seldom is much white about the 
face, and in many cases none ; the ear-lobe is, hoAvever, of 



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69 



EERGUSON ON FOWL. 



that colour, thotigli not so long and full as in the Black. 
The comb and gills are generally more pendant, and if 
examined, the former will be found more deeply serrated, 
and thrown towards the base ; but they possess the general 
characteristics of the Spanish class, and are good layers. 
They are of a very unsettled colour, spotted with white, 
but far from regularly marked ; they also present many 
other shades and colours. 



Minorcas 



» 



the white face of the Black variety, but possessing their 
long and well-covered head and suspended w^attles. The 
ear-lobe is white, but in very few instances of a clear cast, 
but verging towards the side into a somewhat flesh-coloured 
tint. The shank is not so long as in the true Black, and 
there is not that especial dignity of bearing so much ad- 
mired in that variety. They are good layers^ but bad 
sitters and mothers. As they are so common in many of 
the inland counties, they do not require minute descrip- 



tion. 



Minorcas 



dant, but in the majority of instances nothing more can be 
observed in them than in a common Black fowl ; mdeed, 
they are rapidly degenerating, little pains being taken to 
improve, or even keep up, the stock: when this is the case, 

such must ever be the result. 

The Andalusian is imquestionably a cross of the grey 
Maux, the now extinct aborigines of Spain. When care- 
fully selected, the chicks thrown black and white, and 
those most resembling the originals, bred together, a neat 
(bluish grey) bird may be obtained. They are good layerSj 
and better sitters and motliers tlian tlie Blacks (still not to 
be depended upon), and have shorter shanks ; whilst their 
principal peculiarity consists in a tail standing very erect, 
the feathers of which, in many specimens, nearly touch the 



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VARIETIES OF THE SPANISH. 



69 



^ 



hackle feathers of the neck. The Andalusian variety is 
generally well plumed^ and the chickens are quicker in 
feathering than the Blacks. They are good feeders^ and 
may be very easily and quickly fattened^ the flesh being 

excellent. The cheek of this fowl is more or less coloured^ 

and from amono; the same brood of chicks we have invari- 

ably found the darkest birds possess the whitest faces ; 

they are a very hardy fowl^ and possess a fair share of the 
Black's good qualities. 

The Maux is the original domesticated species of Spain : 
we have seen but one specimen of the class^ and believe it 
to be extinct. They are of a bluish grey cast of colour^ 
and do not present a white face^ but possess white ear- 

r 

lobes^ which are rather full^ compared to other varieties of 

domestic fowl^ although less than in the Black Spanish. 
They have large comb and wattles ; are somewhat short 
about the leg^ both in shank and thigh-joint; and are 
smaller in body, exhibiting white quills in the wing 
feathers. 

There are many other sub-varieties, or different coloured 
varieties, which have crossed with the Spanish proper, but 
they neither deserve nor enjoy a distinct name. These 
are' to be found in many of the countries bordering on the 
Mediterranean Sea, are scattered throughout the inland 

countries, and even in England there are heterogeneous 
breeds which have evidently been crossed by Spanish, and 
bear more or less resemblance to that fowl, as may be 
observed in passing through the streets or suburbs of 

London. 

The true Black Spanish is a most strikingly original and 
very beautiful bird ; one of the few which, without the 
slightest hesitation, we can affirm to be a really distinct 



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The peculiar characteristics dis- 










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70 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



**1 



tinguishlng them have undoubtedly been much more fully 
developed by the breeding in and in with such specimens 
as were of the highest character, and with others equally 
eminent ; but their ancestors possessed similar peculiarities, 
although not in so high a degree- We regard the Spanish 
fowl of the present day as being the result of culture 
carried to a great extent, and a proof of the highest and 
most careful breeding. 



4 



CHAKACTERISTICS OF EXCELLEISTCE. 

A fuU-groAvn Spanish cock weighs from 6 J to 7 pounds; 
the hen from 5^ to 6 pounds. The former stands from 21 
to 22 inches in height (this may, however, be exceeded) ; 
the latter, about 19 inches. The principal features, and 
those which form the most striking contrasts to other 
fowls^ are their complete suit of glossy-black, large face 

and ear-lobe of the purest white, enlivened by comb and 
gills red as coral, and of extreme development. The pecu- 

luriarities of these contrasts compel us to describe them in 
detail. The plumage is of a rich raven black, throwing up 
lights of bluish and greenish purple when exposed to the 

sun's rays ; the feathers of the breast, belly, and thighs, 
are black, and particularly decided in their hue. The hens 
are of a similar feather, but less brilliant. The face and 
ear-lobes of pearly whiteness, especially the latter should 
not be of a bluish tint or fleshy hue ; the face should ex- 
tend above the eye, encircle it, and meet the comb ; it still 
increases as the bird grows older, continuing to enlarge in 
size (especially with hens, which seldom have a really good 
show of face until two years of age), even beyond the time 
of their full growth ; and the more face and ear-lobe, the 
more valuable the specimen is considered in either cock or 
hen. They should never be fovmd '' blushing ; " red 



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THE SPANISH,— CHARACTEEISTICS OF EXCELLENCE. 70^ 



blushing hens should be especially avoided. The comh of 
the cock should be single^ very large^ erect (the more erect 
the better), of a coral redness, and serrated, and extend 
almost to the nostrils ; with hens, this uprightness of comb 
cannot be attained, owing, not only to its abundant size, 
but to its thinness at the base, being at that part very 
slight, compared to the cock's ; it should be fine in texture, 
and exhibit no sign of excrescences. The tvattjes are sin- 
gularly long, pendulous, of high colour, and neatly folded. 
The head is long, but neat in appearance (there should be 
no top-knot behind the comb, neither muff round the neck). 
The heak is long, and generally of a black colour, though 
towards the middle is often observed a small patch of a 

r 

lighter hue ; it should be slightly curved, and thick at the 
base. The eyes are very full, bright, and of a rich choco- 
late or chestnut colour ; rather prominent, beautifully suit- 
able to the white face, and harmoniously blend with the 
entire plumage. The neck is rather long, but strong and 
thick towards the base, the neck-hackle being of 
glossy black ; if any trace of red or white is visible, the 
specimens should be excluded, with all of the same descrip- 
tion, from the poultry-yard, and placed at the cook's 
disposal. The chest and body are broad and black, the 
former being particularly decided in its hue. The wings 

are of moderate size, and much longer than those of the 



a 



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Shanghae fowl, but shorter than in the Game 



■to 



coverts are beautifully shaded, and of a bluish-black. 
Bluish plumage Spanish are considered very superior as 
fancy birds to those of a greenish hue, and the nearer they 
approach the raven cast the more admired. The thighs are 
neat, but long, as also is the shank, presenting both toge- 
ther, a rather long leg ; the shank is of a leaden colour, or 
dark blue, but sometimes of a pale blue white ; but speci- 



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71 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



mens whloli exhibit dark blue and white on the legs must 
be dismissed. The soles of the feet are of a dingy flesh 
colour. The tail is rather erect, well balanced, and finely 
adjusted, presenting (if well plumed, as it should be) a 

-L 

very elegant green-hued sliade^ and sparkling with metallic 
lustre when exposed to the sun's rays ; in the hen^ the tail 
is long, full, and well squared. 

The general form and position of the Spanish fowl is 
very lofty and upright ; the tail rather erect ; the bearing 
being the reverse of the Shanghae fowl, as the back of the 
latter bird inclines upwards, while the front parts have a 
contrary tendency, thereby forming extraordinary large 
proportions behind, whilst the back of the Spanish 'fowl 
passes sharply downwards. They are very proportionate, 
and altogether display a grave and majestic deportment, 
while their general bearing is replete with grace, coupled 
with a beautifully symmetrical form. 



CONSTITUTION. 



The constitution of the Spanish is good and sound, but 
as they are more liable than the generality of other fowl 

r 

to be injured by cold, it is imperative their roosting-houses 
should face the south, so that they may be protected 
from the cold winds ; more especially as they require a 
large amount of warmth, in consequence of the long and 
protracted moulting to which they are subject. The cold 

4 

affects their comb also, which is occasionally frost-bitten, 
with a liability to mortification. Another malady to which 
the Spanish fowl is particularly liable, is that of producing 
soft, or non-shelled eggs ; this, however, will be treated of 
under the head of " Diseases." 

The Spanish is a hardy bird, and well adapted for town 
life ; in fact, I scarcely know of any species so ably quali- 



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DISPOSITION OF THE SPANISH. 



71^- 



s 



for they will retain their beauty of plumage in almost any 
situation^ the colour being so peculiarly suitable for repel- 
ling every detrimental effect. Moreover^ the white face is 
not soon affected^ as the feather forms so strong a contrast 
as to almost defy the stain of smoke being rendered percep- 
tible. "Where smoke is prevalent^ eggs are invariably valu- 
able ; and for this reason the hen which lays the greatest 



moreover 



Spa: 



will bear confinement equally as well as the 



Although we 



^^ Shanghaes." They (as is the case with th( 
black fowls) are less liable to roup than are li^ 
birds ; in fact^ the Spanish foAvl is less subje 
ease than are most of the black varieties, 
have recommended them as good fowls for town^ neverthe- 
less we can at the same time fully guarantee that they will 
behave themselves well in the country also^ where^ if in 
the enjoyment of a grass walk^ they will amply reward 
their owners by their truly elegant appearance^ as well as 
-^by their bountiful production of eggs. 



DISPOSITION. 



The Spanish fowl is not pugnaciously inclined, and 
although two may be kept together, they will rarely fight 

or quarrel ; nevertheless, they are very averse to strangers, 
and if only separated for one or two days, Avill disagree 
seriously among themselves upon being re-united; and 
after having battled for the pre-eminence, or in case the 
master hen should still hold that position, she will follow 
up the privilege of authority by harassing strangers, until 
perfectly well assured of having firmly established her 
wonted authority. Subsequently to this mode of proce- 
dure, she will again form intimacy with all her associates 



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72 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



indiscriminately ; which proves she may be passionately 
excitable^, but not revengeful^ merely paying her current 
debts^ not cherishing nor hoarding up malice. 



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PEODUCTIVENESS OF THE SPANISH. 

h 

The eggs of the Spanish are^ as previously observed^ very 
large^ the produce of mature hens averaging 2| ozs. each^ 
and are particularly delicious in flavour — many exceptional 
cases occur of weights considerably beyond this being de- 
posited in the nest^ but taking the average 2| ozs. may be 
considered a fair estimate ; they are^ invariably^ of a clear 
and pure white colour^ with a very smooth surface. The 
Spanish are free layers^ generally producing two eggs con- 
secutively^ and then missing a day. PuUerets generally 

of six or seven months. 



commence 



laying at the 



age 



and occasionally before that time, whilst some later. I 
would here just remark that good housing and feedino- 
have very much to do with the promotion of laying ; 
the same is also greatly affected by hatching sufficiently 
early to insure a warm coat before the setting in of cold 
weather, which very considerably retards the operations 
of the ovarium. I have frequently found that those 
puUerets which commenced laying before the age of six 

months, when arrived at perfection, seldom produced 
such large eggs as those which had not laid before they 
were seven months old ; indeed, I prefer the latter age, 
which, in after years, abundantly makes up for former 
backwardness. Early laying appears to be but a pre- 
cociousness produced by stimulating food, or by fowls being 
too highly fed. From records, we have for some years 
kept concerning the several ages at which our hens have 
commenced laying, we are provided with abvmdant proof 
that many fowls which at first pleased us by laying before 






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PRODUCTIVENESS OF TPIE SPANISH. 



72* 



the age of six months, proved to be more subject than 
others to defection in the avarium, besides being more fre- 
quently troublesome through their production of shell-less 
eggs, with a soft layer only that could be squeezed to any 
form, although a perfect f 
hen at another time. From subsequent observation and 
experiment, we find that such hens are frequently incapa- 
ble of producing a sufficiency of calcareous matter within. 






FAC-SIMILE OF THE "SPANISH" EGG 



to form coverings for an abundance of eggs. I have be- 
fore me, from a practical correspondent, a communication 
expressing sentiments similar to those advanced, with this 
addition, that he has received from his friends numerous 
hens which have been renounced on account of this sup- 
posed incurable malady ; namely, the production of shell- 
less eggs or non-shelled eggs ; and has invariably succeeded 
in effectually curing them by the following method, one 



be 



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73 



EEKGUSON ON FOWL. 



and rational : 



formed 



their usual diet, lie fed tliem upon oats ; he also adminis- 
tered half a teaspoonful of prepared chalk every other 



mornins!: 



continued for three weeks, giving no oats for breakfast but 
coarse middlings wetted up into a stiff mash, in which was 
infused two or three tablespoonfuls of old mortar. By 
these means, their weight became gradually reduced, and 
being well supplied with brick-rubbish, gravel, and oyster- 



lum 



was reduced to a healthy condition. Being supplied with 



more 



calcined 



came 



firmly shelled. I repeat, that the malady in question is 
principally the result of high and abundant feeding ; for if 
a hen be too profusely fed she will lack diligence in search- 
ing for those minute particles that furnish calcareous mat- 
ter. Spanish fowls are more subject to the disease of 
which I have been speaking, than the generality of poul- 
try, and for this reason — high feeding should be strictly 



av 



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SPANISH AS LAYERS— COMPAEED WITH SHANGHAES, 



ETC., ETC. 



Part 



As regards productiveness, the Spanish are unquestion- 
ably of the first order, and surpassed by none saving the 
" Shanghaes" which exceed them, however (as shown in 
Part I., Table I.), more in the number than in the weight 

We would here observe, that the 



of eggs produced. 

Shanghae fowls (the four birds alluded to previously) 

during the two years produced 113 ozs. of egg-stuff be- 



yond the amount yielded by the Spanish, which if brought 



W. 




1 

I 



SPANISH AS LAYERS, ETC., ETC. 



73" 



* 



into Shanghae eggs of 2J ozs. each amounts to fifty-one 
eggs, and being sold at market, as was all the produce of 
those birds, at the rate of 5s. 6d. per hundred, the value 
of the fifty-one eggs is brought to 2s. 9^d. Now the extra 
expense of producing this 2s. 9^d. by the means of keep- 
ing the Shanghae fowls during the two years alluded to 
was found to be 10^. 10^?. For the convenience of our 
readers we furnish them with the following Table :— 



TABLE IV. 




1) Ji 



o 






N 
O 




4 Shanghaes 



oz. 
3569 



4 Spanish 
4 Dorking 



4 Polish 



3456 



2892 



1623 



1571 



1315 



3077 



1399 






£ 


s. 


d. 


£ s. 


d 


4 


9 


3 


3 5 





4 


6 


4| 


2 14 


2 


3 


12 


3f 


2 14 


2 



£ 5. J. 

1 4 3 



3 16 11 



2 11 11 



1 12 2| 



18 If 



15 



We here show that the Spanish produce in two years, as 
far as comparative intrinsic value is concerned, is but 
2s. lO^d. behind the Shanghae, [whilst the latter, during 
the same time, costs 10^. lOd. more to keep, the difference, 
therefore, is 75. 11|^. in favour of the Spanish. We here 
discover what really is the intrinsic value of the Spanish 
eggs, but when sold by the hundred, regardless of weight, 
they make a very different return. 

The mere selling by the hundred cannot affect such 



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74 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



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intrinsic value^ although some say that the value of an 
article to the possessor is the amount it realizes. This to 
a certain extent is correct^ especially as regards substances 
possessing little or no real value in themselves through their 
absolute or comparative utility^ such as diamonds and other 
precious stones. 



Who then obtains the advantap; 



We 



reply the purchaser ; for if they be bought at the rate of 

4 

6s. per hundred^ regardless of weighty and afterwards are 
sold out at a certain price each, according to size, they 
evidently prove themselves the more valuable as being of 
superior weight, although obtaining at market only 6d. per 
hundred extra, which is but a poor return for the 100 half 

and 



over 



ounces that 100 Spanish eggs usually weigh 
above the same number of other fowls' eggs. 

Now, supposing purchasers or consumers to keep fowls, 
and that their families are partial to eggs as food, do they 
mean to assert that three large Spanish eggs, each weigh- 
ing 2 1 ozs. will go no farther than three Shanghae eggs 
weighing only 2^ ozs. each^ which difference 
nearly 2 ozs. in every three eggs ? Certainly not. Span- 
ish eggs, therefore, are of greater intrinsic value than those 



amounts 



of the Shanghae, for in round numbers the 100 half ounces 

ozs., produce 



being brought into Shaneniae e^^s 




of 21 



twenty-three eggs, which are surely worth more than the 
6d. they fetch at market when sold by the hundred. We 
therefore assert, that those who keep fowls, take their pro- 
duce to market, and sell the eggs at a certain price per 



(little 



) 



>'. 



persons who derive benefit from fowls laying larger eggs ; 
but such as Shanghaes, which lay smaller eggs, and greater 
numbers of them, should be the fowls of their choice. This 



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SPANISH AS LAYEES, ETC., ETC. 



74* 



carried on at market 



system of selling at a certain price per hundred ; we hope, 
however, that this mode of dealing will be abolished, and a 
more equitable system of vending be adjusted. We there- 
fore consider that persons who consume their own es2's 



Shangh 



more 



The flesh qf the Spanish fowl is juicy and of fine flavour, 
and m high repute as a table fowl, but not equal to the 
coloured - Dorking" in point of delicacy ; the colour is, 
however good, and strongly contrasts with the feather. The 
flesh of the white Spanish is not considered so fine in flavour 
nor equal to the black variety for the table ; nevertheless, 
they are not amiss, especially if kUled when vouno-. 



MANAGEMENT OF BREEDING STOCK. 



be 



motives 



viz., whether 



for fancy only, whether for fancy combined with moderate 
profit, or profit versus fancy. If either the first or the 
second be the object, then it is necessary that the speci- 
mens selected should display shape, figure, size, carriage, 
feather, and a full development of all the characteristics 
that distinguish the Spanish breed, especially in the male. 
Lanky, gawky, thin, flat-sided birds are almost always 
produced by breeding pullets and stags, or other miniature 
birds together. Stags should never be matched or mated 
with pullets, but with old hens; again, pullets should 
never be mated with stags, but with cocks of two or three 
years' growth. 

f 

It is obviously manifest, that by the infusion of fresh 

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75 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



and vigorous blood, selected with judgment, we are ena- 
bled to produce the proofs of the highest breeding, and 
are rewarded with those choice specimens which figure so 
conspicuously at our exhibitions. These results do not 
occur promiscuously, but are alike the result of careful 
and select breeding. First-rate qualifications are really 
and absolutely necessary for the production of first-class 
birds of any kind ; and here, as in all other particulars. 



must invariably be 



For 



instance, the face should not only be fully developed, but 
it is important that redundancy in that feature be proved 
hereditary, or in breeding stock considerable disappoint- 



ment may 



should 



pedigree of his stock, whilst every purchaser ought to insist 
upon seeing that pedigree distinctly traced before effecting 
a purchase ; for our own part, we would never breed from 
a bird, however good his appearance, without reading or 
ascertaining for a certainty his pedigree. No breeder of 
Game fowls would hazard to act so indiscriminately : sharp 
practice very soon discovers to the breeder and his friends 
what a bird's progeny are worth ; for should aught of im- 



)ecome r 
because 



But 



Spanish 



keenly 



parentage always to be detected ? No ! If we desire to 
be successful, we should in this instance, at all events, 



follow 



We 



much prefer breeding from a b 



mere 



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THE SPANISH— BEEEDING STOCK. 



75* 



however splendid in appearance, and however fully deve- 
loped might be the characteristics of excellence, yet con- 
cerning whose parentage little could be said, and still less 
known. Occasionally we have bred and reared birds whose 
excellencies were hereditary, but which in themselves were 
not so showy, nor were the traits of quality so perceptible 
as in their fathers : from these birds we have been success- 



/ 



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We 



noticed for a considerable time, and with much satisfaction, 
that such strains, which we knew to be perfect, and whose 
good qualities were hereditary, but in themselves were not 

such showy birds as many of the same blood, have never- 
theless thrown chicks possessing every degree of external 
excellence. For instance, we some time since bred from 
a stag and a two-year-old hen, of different strains: the 
stag was as good as gold, but not superior to his stram ; 
the hen was also good, but much inferior in appearance to 
her sisters of the same hatch. When, however, we bred 
them together, they produced chicks which, when arrived 
at perfection, possessed larger faces than those produced 
by her sisters, which were also, for the purposes of experi- 
ment, matched with a brother of the above-mentioned stag. 
From this it is very evident that where nature is liable to 
exceptions and irregularities, pro and con, birds may be 
produced of inferior appearance, while other chicks " 
the very same hen more than compensate for their breth- 
ren's deficiency, by presenting an extraordinary face ;^ and 
we have, by repeated trials, proved that the characteristics 



from 



be found 



mens 



if 



the real and true properties, although but partially revealed. 



hereditary 









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76 



fEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



If, therefore, your object be 



fancy 



birds^ especial care must be bestowed upon these particu- 
lars, and the best strains of birds whose descents are known 



mated 



We 



ment of face, but which have nevertheless been produced 
from first-class birds, should be preferred to birds of a 
handsome appearance, and which have descended from first- 
class fowls also ; we would merely show that they should 
neither be despised nor discarded, provided the excellencies 
they possess are hereditry, and were in still greater degrees 
possessed by their ancestors. 



CEOSS-BREEDINa. 



If, on the other hand, profit only be the desired object, 
although we disapprove of crossing distinct classes of fowls 
together, yet for certain purposes artificial crosses have, by 
experiment, proved to be eventually beneficial ; and in such 
cases, although for crossing with the Shanghae we prefer 
the Dorking to the Spanish fowl, yet a cross with the 
latter would undoubtedly prove useful to the former, and 
be productive of excellent laying fowls. 

We are bound to admit, that we have never seen a cross 

L 

of Shangae with Spanish that was an improvement upon 
the former bird, neither have we seen birds produced by a 
cross of Spanish with other various breeds that were equal 
to the true Spanish fowl itself, save in one exceptional 

case ; but why ? As we have mentioned, in speaking of 

the varieties of the Spanish to be met with, not alone in 

f 

the countries bordering on the Mediterranean Sea, but in 
many of the by-streets of the metropolis, there are birds 
in abundance, evidently belonging to the Spanish breed. 



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THE SPANISH— BREEDING STOCK. 



77 



and more or less crossed with it^ but we have never seen 
among them birds which could be pronounced equal to the 
pure Spanish. 

Why is It that we behold such numerous crosses of the 
Spanish^ Avhilst nothing has resulted from them but greatly 
inferior birds ? The reason is plain enough ; the Spanish 
have ever been mated with varieties very inferior ; if mated 
with the Dorking, the proceeds have been again crossed 
indiscriminately, being but seldom the property of a man 
of distinguished fancy, or one that from such proceeds 
would again make a judicious cross. The crossing of the 
Spanish fowl with other varieties usually falls upon those 
persons whose only custom^ when their male kind is get- 

r 

ting too old, is to select the largest and strongest of the 

young ones, regardless of breed or strain, 
and careless breeding invariably leads to utter degenera- 
tion, and the Spanish, as a cross, becomes in consequence 
greatly despised; for if the latter fowl be mated with 



to 
Such neglectful 



inferior birds, of course the results will be unsatisfactory. 
If, on the contrary, they be equally matched, why should 
not both breeds be necessarily improved ? 

The fact is, we have few practical and judicious men 
w^ho will trouble themselves with spoiling breeds, — which 
they consider it to be, and which, as fancy stock, it really 
is^ — by crossing the Sjoanish with the Dorking fowl. Yet 
if a judicious course of management were adopted, and the 
proceeds of a cross carefully selected and again mated with 
different strains of either breed, we are confident the result 
vfould be highly advantageous so far as egg-producing is 
concerned, and the flesh would also be greatly improved. 

For instance, mate a two-year old grey Dorking hen 
Vvlth a one-year old black Spanish stag ; select the cocke- 
rels and breed with Spanish hens two years old, and the 

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FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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pullets to match with a stout three-year old Dorking cock; 
from such proceeds select the cockerels^ and breed with 
Dorking hens, and again from such issue select the pullets^ 
to breed with Spanish cocks ; and so on, with the occa- 
sional introduction of a good stout Spanish cock or squatty- 
Dorking hen. 

Were the proceeds of these to be bred in and in, the 
result w^ould be such a breed as could not but insure the 
admiration of every lover of distinction. But it would 
occupy many years to accomplish such a consummation. 

This is unquestionably the manner in which several of 
our varieties of fowl have obtained their origin, and when 
such come before us, we will not shrink from the task of 
stripping them of all ill-timed and misplaced distinction. 

As egg-producers, a cross of any class of fowl with 
Spanish would be productive of benefit if judiciously ac- 
complished ; but as regards the Shanghae, we think an 
admixture of Dorking would be far preferable. 

It may be mentioned that experiments can be as effec- 
tively and advantageously made upon a small as upon a 
large scale, besides that less risk will be incurred therein 
of having the poultry-yard filled with indiiferent stock 
should the experiments fail. Let these experiments be 
carried on in one corner of the yard, for convenience sake, 
and engage your strictest attention, since, until these pro- 
blems have been fairly and fully tried, the questions 
arising out of them cannot be satisfactorily solved, whilst 
it would be the most consummate folly to throw away 
opportunities for information, and lose a great boon for 
the want of sufficient experimentalization. But it must 
also be remembered, that however successful be the re- 
suits of crossing, the produce are quite inadmissible as 
fancy birds. 



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THE SPANISH— BREEDING STOCK. 



For breeding high^ six to seven hens are sufficient to be 



placed with one cock. If he be three years old^ Ave would 
limit his hens to six ; but if he has reached his fourth year, 
not more than four should be mated with him ; whilst for 
breeding in and in, even less than the latter number should 
be put, if it be a desideratum that the strength and vigour 
of the chicks be fully sustained. 



AS SITTERS AND MOTHERS. 




Spanish hens seldom exhibit a disposition to undertake 
the task of incubation, and if it be attempted they will in 
the generality of cases forsake the nest long before the 
chicks would be hatched. Sometimes, however, they will 
perseveringly perform the maternal duties, but it is pro- 
digiously against their general character. They are some- 
what disproportionately long in the leg, consequently are 
more subject to cramp ; this partly accounts for their being 
so averse to such sedentary occupation. 

Not being possessed of a very ardent temperament, they 
are seldom carried away with pugnacious feelings. Those 
fowls the most pugnacious, are generally the best and 

closest sitters ; for instance. Game hens make the very 
best of mothers, both for hatching and rearing, and also 
for defending their chicks. It will be found that the 
breast and belly of the latter whilst engaged in incubation 

burn through excess of internal heat, created and kept up 
by their irresistible desire and determination to " sit." 
Such is not the case with the Spanish hens, for if the desire 
to sit exist at all, they will not be found so warm by many 
degrees as the Game hen, whilst in a few days this desire 
will generally give way to some new fancy. 

The original Spanish fowls, brought from the West 



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80 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



'IV 









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Indies, and naturalized in Spain and Holland, were excel- 
lent sitters and good mothers; 



but the high artificial 
culture to which they have been subjected, coupled with 
the occasions of breeding in and in, have had a great share 
in influencing the Spanish hen to depart from her primitive 
motherly habits. 

Since, therefore, they will not undertake the office of 

incubation, we must impose it upon some other class of 
fowl, that will not only accept the task, but will joyfully 
hatch and rear the young of another species until they are 
able to take care of themselves. By this means the breed 
is still preserved, multiplied, and extended. 

The period best adapted for " sitting" eggs is the latter 
end of March, as the chicks are but slow in getting 
feather, it is obviously unadvisable to ^^ sit " them at an 

earlier date. 

The first twelve or thirteen of a puUeret's eggs should 
never be selected for hatching ; not that they are unprolific, 
but being scarcely mature and small, strong sturdy chicks 
are very unlikely to be produced. 



THE SPANISH CHICKS. 

y 

When first hatched the colour of Spanish chick is a 
remarkably bright black, with white down upon the throat, 
breast, belly, thighs, and wing pinions. There is also a 

milky appearance about the head and face. 

While chicks they are often quite bare, especially upon 
the pinions of the wings, from the period of losing their 
down to the growing of their feathers; this a critical 
time with them; warmth and shelter from cold winds, 
besides stimulating food given in small quantities but with 
frequency throughout the day, are now essentially requisite ; 



\ 



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THE SPANISH CHICKS. 



81 



they, however, grow very rapidly, but the novice who has 
ventured a high price in the purchase of a few Spanish 
eggs, upon discovering the chicks when hatched to be black 
and white, finds fault both with himself and the breeder, 
if not in verbal sounds, in expressional appearances and 
internal misgivings, but he need be under no apprehension 
on that account : he will eventually discover those very 
parts and positions of the body which caused his fears to 
rise, ultimately become deep black, and of the most decided 

the age of ten weeks they should be well fea- 
thered as chickens, and strong ; previous to that time, on 



hue. At 



feat 



but 



sign. 



vigorous, and equal in this respect to the Shanghae broods. 
In the cockerel little of the real white face is perceptible 
until the age of four months, subsequently the pulleret 
exhibits indications of a similar character ; before, and in 
some specimens even at a later period, they display a very 
delicate appearance about the face, with long skinny mealy 
heads, but anything resembling the maiden's blush is a bad 

The development of the face in some is very pro- 
tracted, but patience in this as in many other particulars 
should be displayed, for occasionally some of the chicks 
which to casual observers are far inferior to the rest of the 
brood, ultimately supersede them, and at length prove 
themselves very " cheeky birds.'' At five months they are 
usually well plumed, but the face, comb, and gills continue 
growing considerably after this period. The tail of the 
cockerel is circular, but not by any means so full and 
ample, nor the general plumage so beautiful, as when 
arrived at two years' growth, when, after moulting, the male 
is considered in his prime. 



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82 



FERGUSON ON EOWL. 



\ 



■ 

At the age of six months a cockerel should weigh about 
five pounds, and a puUeret four pounds. 



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DISEASES OF THE SPANISH. 



There are but three to which we here allude, being 
those to which they are most peculiarly susceptible : — pro- 



» 



mb 



danger 



lurks 



I do not by any means consider regular moulting a disease, 
seeing it is a system organized by nature to the due per- 
formance of her requirements, in displacing the old garb 
to the further adorning and well being of the fowl, — but 
when it approximates the form and appearance of a pro- 
tracted, and thereby weakening process, 
within, which, if not promptly met, results the most 
unfavourable will be the issue. This class will suffer much 
if not well housed and sheltered from the inclemency of 
the weather during the moulting season — being very much 
hastened or retarded by the circumstances under which it 
exists. Peculiar changes in the colour of their plumage 
occasionally occur at this momentous season, which are 
necessarily permanent for one year at least, that is until 



the ensuing moult, when a different aspect may he again 



presented or the return of the former colour : this peculiar 
change is more likely to occur with old than young fowls. 
A friend, some years back, imported a pair of black 
Spanish fowls, direct from Holland, and which he consi- 
dered closely related ; for experiment sake, he bred them 



(k 



) 



but, for the purpose of satisfying his mind as to the issue, 
he selected and bred them and the produce inter se until 
the sixth generation, when rottenness of feather became 



apparent ; the produce were again matched, and from the 













DISEASES or THE SPANISH. 



issue a male and female were selected and bred together, 
and from this pair were produced seven chicks, two of 
which came perfectly white, the rest,- save one, more or 
less splashed ; it is important to observe that these were 




very small and weakly specimens, the natural result of in 
and in breeding. 

Black is the presence of healthy feather in the Spanish, 
whilst white is a proof of its entire absence ; from the same 
cause birds in a very weak state have been known to moult 
from black to white, but on account of the feebleness of 
their constitution have suffered from an extremely 
tracted moult; antecedent admixtures and even fright have 
likewise occasioned a similar effect. 

During the moulting season they should be well sheltered, 
and if imbecility or weakness becomes manifest, a supply of 
stimulating food is rendered necessary, such as barley soaked 
in beer, bread and beer, barley meal with a little common 
brown pepper, given warm (not hot). Being at this period 
of the year deprived of animalcule, a little butcher's offal 
parboiled, may with advantage be occasionally allowed, 
besides a few crushed grains of hempseed^ and two or three 
blades of saffron in the water, have a comforting and 
stimulating effect. A little stable litter placed beneath the 
perches may be left a week or two, and then removed for 
a fresh supply. All cracks and drafts in the hen house 
should be filled up, in fact they cannot at this trying season 
be rendered too Avarm, but care must be taken these pre- 
cautions are not left off too suddenly. 

Diseased Ovarium. — We have already given an account 
of this disorder. Its causes and effects, with remedies, whilst 
speaking of the productiveness of the Spanish, and with 
this latter subject it is so connected, seeing they are such 
a prolific fowl, that it was .necessary to touch upon it 



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84 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL, 



whilst thus treating upon one of its chief causes, for the 



luffice 



Care 



y 



■ r ■ 

here to observe, that to obviate this disease, too high feed- 
ing must be avoided, and a liberal supply of calcareous 
matter, and chalk in the water supplied, as they prove more 
prolific with regard to egg stuff than egg shell, 
should be taken to prevent the hens from duelling with 
strange fowls, this is especially important as the laying 
season approaches ; many a valuable hen has lost her life 
from such a supposed trivial circumstance, and external 
wounds are looked for, and great wonderment expressed 
at the catastrophy, whereas if a hen perchance to break a 
home-wrought egg, she may have great difficulty in purg- 
ing it off ; if unable, a tea spoonful of castor oil should be 
administered, this will greatly facilitate its progress 
passing through. 

Diseased Comb and Feet. — The comb in severe weather 
occasionally becomes frost bitten, when, if care be not 
taken, inflammation ensues. It is greatly irritated by its 
own weight and size, and particvilar bend, 
comb and toes is moreover another form of the same 
malady, and the only remedies capable of afFordin^r relief 



m 



Bleeding of the 



are removal to a warm and dry apartment, and treatment 
as prescribed for protracted moulting. 



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HISTORY OF THE DORKING FOWL. 



85 



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THE DOKKING FOWL 



HISTORY OF THE DORKING. 



(Phasianus pentadactylus) or Five-clawed Fowl, 





This fowl derives its name from Dorkings a town in 
Surrey, not that tliat town gave rise to the breed in 
question^ for its antiquity is unquestionable, but that the 
dry, warm, and chalky nature of the soil of that locality, 

L 
1 

together with the superior adaptation and position of the 
place for the rearing and fattening of fowls, gave to the 
population unequalled opportunities of breeding and rear- 
ing the feathered stock to great perfection, and the 
continued success of the breeders rendered the class of 

w 

fowls propagated there very superior as market produce, 
which by degrees rendered fowls from Dorking as much 
in request as are at present Dorking fowls. 

That a breed bearing much resemblance to our Dorking, 
both for external appearance and internal qualities, as well 
as possessing the additional claw, has long been propagated 
in the town of Dorking is conclusive. I have before me 
a list of the fowls remitted to market by a farmer living 
there, from June to August, 1683, comprising 



17 doz. 



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5 claws, dead stock. 

4 „ «4 19 

5 ,, 



live stock 



From this we observe the five-clawed fowls were well 
known in that locality, and at that comparatively ea 




/ 



> 




86^ 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 




date appear to have been more numerously kept than the 
four-clawed ones^ at any rate by this individual. I also 
discover from the original manuscript^ the price for the 
one dozen five-clawed (alive) was nearly three times the 
amount of dead stock ; it was therefore at that time^ as 
until very lately has been the case^ the breeders were de- 
termined^ if possible^ to monopolize the trade^ and therefore 
demanded double and sometimes treble the price for live 
as was required for the same fowls if made ready for the 
spit. They have^ however^ at length become extensively 
and successfully bred in many parts of the country^ and 



numerously kept by distinguished fanciers. 



In 



many 



instances receiving thereby detrimental crosses and admix- 
tures of bloody tending to injure and reduce their intrinsic 
value as fowls and as fleshy though in some cases a bene- 
ficial admixture has occurred^ when subsequent improve- 
ment has invariably become apparent. 

They have not only been propagated in this country, 
but also in Ireland ; and in the latter place, especially in 
some localities, been carefully bred, and many fine speci- 
mens have returned and found their way to our London 

exhibitions. 

Still it is evident that the town of Dorking and its 
suburbs are now, as heretofore, not only more suitable, 
from the nature of the soil, to the rearing and breeding of 
this class of fowl, but every other thrives unusually Avell 
there. PreviouB to the date already alluded to, we can 
find no further evidence to sustain the idea that this fowl 
was more extensively bred in Dorking than in any other 
town; but since that period, that is from 1683 to the 
present time, we have ample proofs that the principal fowls 
of this description have been bred at Dorking or its environs, 
and that they have for a considerable period, and still do, 




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HISTORY OF THE DORKING EOWL. 

+ 

retain the credit of supplying the market with the finest 
specimens, both for appearance and the table. 

From abundant sources we gather that among the Bomans 
a fowl with the additional claw ranked next in favour to 



Game 



for yery different purposes, could not have been regarded 

^ a riyal, only the circumstance of their love for sport 



even exceeding their desire for festivities, placed this latter 
bird A 1 in their esteem. ' It is not my intention to pro- 
nounce such birds the progenitors of our Dorkings but 

-. . . 1 _. IJ-^^-w* H- TCI 



mere 



rary claw exhibited in both, that m many respects they 



bear strong affinity 



From the southern parts of Italy a friend has procured 



Dorkin 



he assures me he has in that country frequently seen larger 
birds than those imported, but chose them on account 
of their purity of colour, which is perfectly white, 
are single combed, the hens moreover possess five claws 




pernume 



/ 



male 



ana uuu ojjlij- ul^^^^* ^ — — — " , 

one spur upon the right, five claws and two spurs upon the 



resem 



me 



only of the self-same blood, but the produce of m and m 
breeding ; this also accounts for their reduced size. ^ 



We have records even trom 



ing Norway and 



Swede 



'& 



much 



both in size and quality of flesh. 



Honff-Kon 



Shan 



adjoining, many birds may be 



found possessing the fifth claw 



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88 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



carried 



Owing to conclusive observation I cannot refrain from 

uttering an opinion in connexion with the origin of this 

fowl, having instituted searching investigations into the 

appearance and non-appearance of the supernumerary 

feature m the oiFspring, both immediate and remote, and 

invariably discovering its presence more fully developed in 

bulkj short-legged or capacious bodied specimens, and its 

disappearance in the first cross with aught in non-possession 

of this feature. I have been led to consider the present 

Dorkmgs the result of full domestication when .....,,. 

to a highly beneficial extent, and not true types of any 

pnmitive variety. 

One thing is certain, that 
before^ mentioned may be selected, and asserted, a7b Jng 
the ongmal and mother country, but it will be found far 
more difficult to prove than to assert. 
however, I am bound to do credit to the town of D7rkC 
m Surrey, which can boast of being in possession of this 
breed longer than any other locality in Great Britain, and 
to have received proof, by the great and continued demand, 
that she has made the best use of it. I therefore consider 
Dorking quite entitled to receive the specific credit of 
rightful nomination, and trust she will ever do justice to 



any one of the localities 



Upon 



the name. 



MSPOSITION OF THE 



C£ 



DORKING CLASS. 



?? 



^ Their disposition is peaceful, quiet, and inoffensive, seldom 
^•iven to stray to a distance from their own dominions, or 
disturb the repose of a neighbouring stock; though quiet 
and retired in their habits, if the male be annoyed by the 
presence of an offensive rival, he will rush vigorously for- 
ward to defend his mates from molestation or maltreatment; 
He IS likewise very affectionate towards his hens; the chickens 






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DISPOSITION OF THE DOEKING. 



89 



he allows to feed^ without showing the resentment that 
manifests itself so often in other fowls. If cooped or placed 

r 

in retirement, he is submissive and gentle, but appears dull 
and quiet, and soon becomes heavy in appearance, and not 
only so, but heavier still in reality — I mean he soon fattens 
for the table, and this is you know the grand desideratum. 
The Dorking is, unquestionably, one of the few that deserves 
and merits a place in our esteem upon the ground of intrinsic 
value, and not merely for personal appearance, which is by 
no means so prepossessing as in many specimens far inferior 
to him in point of utility. They are, therefore, entitled to be 
regarded with particular interest; first, upon the ground of 
their extreme national utility; and secondly, upon their well 
recognised, long merited, world-known reputation. 



CHAEACTEEISTICS OF EXCELLEIS^CE OE THE 



i( 



DOEKING CLASS. 



55 



The head of both cock and hen should be of a medium 
size, not too large for the body, neither do I approve of a 
long narrow head ; it should be wide, with a well arched 
forehead. 

r 

The face must be of a healthy vermillion red. 

Co7nb serrated, erect, and single or rose shaped; if single, 
it should be stout at the base, stand well up and straight, 
regularly toothed, rising above If inch from the base. 
If rose combed or double, it should be even, that is, as 
much upon one side of the head as the other; the colour 
of both single and double should be of a bright crimson. I 
prefer the single to the double comb, but regard the latter 
rather the result of domestication than a proof of foul 
breeding. 

Wattles — of the same colour as the comb, rather long, 
full and pendulous. 



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FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



short, thick at base, very strong, slightly curved, 
and of a black and white colour. 

very full and clear, and the iris a bright orange 



Ear-lohe — white and mealy, with a fleshy tinge ; no 
tassel, tuft, or topknot upon the head or throat ; its pre- 
sence indicates an unquestionable cross, an impurity of 
breed. 

+ 

Neck — strong, short, thick set towards the base, and 
amply supplied Avith hackle feathers, but tapering towards 
the approach of the head. In this feature is presented a 
remarkable contrast with the Malay fowl, in which the 

neck-hackle is but little more abundant at the base than 
uppermost part. 

Neck-hackle — varies in colour with the varieties, but 
has blackish pencillings, or rather stains running through 
the centre of the feathers, more or less in all specimens ; 
the feathers are long, and fall over the upper parts of the 
back, but shorter towards the head ; a few slightly cover 
the upper part of the breast. 

Breast — should be wide, full and round, indicative of 
constitutional strength. 

Back and shoulders — ^broad and muscular. 

Thighs — thick, and resemble though but faintly, still 
resemble the Shanghaes', for being thickly and coarsely 
feathered, should be likewise short. 

Shank — short, thick and white ; the legs should be wide 
apart, stout, and muscular. 

Toes. — There should be not only three toes in front and 
one behind, as in ordinary fowls, but one proceeding from 
the back toe, and coming between that member and the spur, 
this is absolutely an essential criterion of breed ; occasion- 
ally there are two supernumerary hind toes upon each foot. 



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CHARACTEKISTICS OE THE DORKING CLASS 



91 



likewise now and then may be found a specimen possessing 
two spurs, one above the other. Not very ornamental cer- 
tainly, to have even one supernumerary member, but it is an 
important and distinctive feature, and wherever absent, a 
cross has unquestionably been at work, although perchance 



at a very remote period. 



This feature is soon lost, and 



even in the issue of the first cross it is frequently absent. 

full, and amply supplied with quills, also very 



am 



Wing — 
muscular. 

Tail 

if well plumed, a very beautiful and requisite appendage. 
The general shape of the body is round, plump and 

capacious. 

Carnage— bold and firm, but heavy and dull when 

cooped. 



Gait — ^bold, but heavy. 



of the Dork 



tive, either for its shape or plumage, the body being too 
low upon the legs to exhibit grace or elegance, and the 
head seldom carried sufficiently erect to render it majestic. 
Colour— YfK\tQ or light yellow is generally considered the 
primitive variety of this class, but from the closest inves- 
tigation I cannot discover any real proof of such being the 
fact ; and, until fully established, and evidence produced 



sufficient 



mer 



upon a level with facts already verified. 



VARIETIES. 



The Dorking Class is divided into three varieties 



Kent 



former are of the self-same blood, though different in feather ; 
the third is closely allied to the Dorking, and unquestion- 



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92 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



ably the result of an admixture of blood with that fowl, 
is recognised in various localities by their own peculiar and 
local distinguishing name^ * 



i 



^A^•fe.— This bird is considered by many naturalists to 
possess the sole right of being regarded the progenitor of 
the entire class of Dorkings ; but, as I have already stated, 
it is a much disputed point, and justly so. They are not 
nearly so large as the coloured varieties, the average weight 
of the cocks being from 6 to 7 lbs., height 17 to 19 inches 
from the ground to the top of comb; the hens weigh from 
5 to 6 lbs., height 12 to 14 inches; neither is the flesh 
generally so good as in the coloured variety, being inclined 
to a yellowish tinge, as is the case with nearly all white 
feathered fowls; they possess the supplementary toes and 
clean white shank, are small in bone, but weakly in con- 
stitution; should be entirely free from topknot; comb both 
double and single, and no criterion of breed. 

Coloured y«neify— comprises grey, mottled grey, span- 
gled, light and dark browns, and many other indistinct and 
confused colours, which are known in different localities by 
various names, and unworthy of special attention, being, I 
am confident, produced from one another ; for instance, from 
browns, come greys, speckles, and almost all colours ;' from 
greys, come browns, spangles of mixed and unsettled hues 



in the same clutch and hatch. I have also frequently known 
them moult from brown to speckle— from grey to speckle : 
they cannot be bred true to colour, and no dependence can 
be placed in the produce being the same or even similar to 
the parentage with regard to colour, unless such stock are 
the offspring of birds possessing their colour from a here- 
ditary source. It would take many years to establish a 
settled plumage. It may be done by selecting those of the 
same cast, and breeding together, with the occasional im- 







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VARIETIES OF THE DORKING. 



93 



portatlon of fresh blood of the same feather ; but then as 
a matter of course, at times birds would show themselves of 
the unwished for tint— these must be rejected for breeding 
purposes ; but supposing true feather be obtained, what 
pretension has the bird to beauty? The beauty of the 
Dorking lies in another direction : it is apparent in utility, 
no advantage would, therefore, accrue from such breeding. 
What we require in the Dorking is size, weight, flesh, with 
powers of production, good constitution, and capabilities 



of maturina: 
coloured Dorkings. 



early — these qualities are blended 



m our 



The average weight of a full grown 
cock is from 8 to 10 lbs., height from the ground to the 
uppermost part of the comb 19 to 22 inches ; hen's weight 
from 6 to 8 lbs., height 14 to 17 inches ; these weights, 
however, may be exceeded by exceptional 
rendered heavier by close cooping and fattenin.o-. 



cases, and 



lYlSy 

pen- 



wmg 



(^re^ Dorliing com5— single, but sometimes double, which, 
together with face and wattles, are of a lively crimson ; the 
former should stand about If inch from the skull to the 
top, but if double not more than half an inch in elevation. 
Earlobe, whitish— beak, black and white— eye, full 
orange or red— neck-hackle, yellowish white, with 
cillings running through the centre of the feathers, saddle- 
hackle of the same colour, but with few or no stains 
feathers, light brown and white — wing coverts, deep orano-e 
or yellow, and back of a deeper tint, shading off towards 
the extremities of saddle-hackle feathers, in some a lighter 
hue prevails ; the breast, vent, and tail, in both cases are 
black, the latter occasionally grizzled ; shanks and claws 

white or flesh colour, of the latter there should be five on 
each foot. 



The hen of this'variety nidre or less assumes the general 
hue of the m:ile, though always much duller, the o^eneral 




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94 



FEKGUSON ON FOWL. 



ground of his feather^ runs likewise tlirougli lier's — face and 
comb, fleshy red — ^breast, frequently brown — ^hackles, both 
neck and saddle, of a greyish cast — back and wings, more 
or less grey— tail, black — besides these shades, there are 
many others, that would take volumes to describe, and 
which would be as uninteresting to the general reader as 
utterly useless. — (See Illustrations.) 



Mottled 



above, but exhibit 



ing in the hackle feathers, both neck and saddle, an incli- 
nation to speckle ; the appearance of the eye in " bird's eye 
maple'' may be observed running throughout, instead of 
blackish marks or inkstains in the hackle, white is prevalent, 
and occupies the same position as tlie black in the previously 



described bird. 



( 



feathered) 




Dorkin 



Spangled or SpecMed. — This sub-variety, or rather dif- 
ferently coloured variety, presents innumerable diversities 
of feather; in some the ground is of entire brown, both hght 
and dark, relieved by blackish tippings to the feathers, with 
black tail. In others, the general ground is grey, with the 
entire feathers tipped with white, the breast being likeAvise 
speckled and tipped with a similar colour ; tail, black, edged 
with white — that is, one-half of the outer side of each feather 
white, the other black, shaded with green ; the neck, saddle- 
hackle, and wing coverts being more or less of a bright 
brown yellow, tipped with white, the latter interspersed 
with blue, white and grey ; the hens are similarly marked ; 



many of 



present an imposing 



and br 



plumage, if regularly and evenly marked. 

Browns — range from light brown to a deep chestnut, 
comprising many intermediate shades, all of which are more 
or less splashed with black, white or grej ; the neck-hackle 






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VARIETIES OE THE DORKING. 



95 



ranges from straw tint to deep brown ; if tlie former, 

black stains may be observed running tlirougliout the centre 

of the feathers; the breast of the male is deep brown, tail 

black; besides these, there are what are termed Rubles, 

Cuckoo Dorkings, Virgils, Golden and silver spangles. Bride 

laced, Japans, Norfolk-fords, Grey-fords, Muffs, and some 

others, all of which are either cross breeds or mere local 
distinctions. 

wis — are closely allied to Dorkings, 



Old Sussex or Kent fowls— 

and bear strong affinity to them, in fact in many instances 
detection is impossible. The original birds, bred in Sussex 
and Kent, were longer in the body, and, moreover, possessed 
but four claws, but being, in many instances, blended with 
the Dorking and crossed, may be seen with four and five, in 
the very same clutch and hatch. I have observed in the 
Kent yards many possessing five claws, as in the Dorking, 
an admixture having occurred, but this in a general way is 
denied, the owners wishing them to be considered a distinct 
and primitive, and not a cross breed, although the entire 
features, actions, disposition, feather, carriage, gait, and 
many other characteristics are clearly evinced in facsimile 
conformity with the Dorking; many of these birds may be 
found, and amongst them some quite equal to the Dorking 
itself, and from these may be selected birds having but four 
claws, which as fowls are thereby improved, seeing disease 
of the feet is not so likely to occur, it being generally 
produced from the fracture or injuries received to the 
supernumerary toe whilst fighting, or from some such like 
accident. 



For weight, flesh, and early maturing they are equal to 
the true Dorking, and may be regarded no less valuable as 
marketable fowls. They possess their principal charac- 
teristics in featlier and general appearance, there being all 



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96 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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colours^ all shades^ and an innumerable diversity ; it is use- 



ifficult 



to procure even a dozen of the same feather. They are 
good sitters and mothers^ and possess white and short legs^ 
double and single combs; those less allied to the Dorkino- 
more frequently possess a double or cup-comb than a single 
one^ but it is astonishing with what rapidity and readiness 
of constitution the offspring assume the new blood's visible 
properties. 



PRELIMINARY REMARKS TO NOTICES. 

For the benefit of those who^ for the first time^ have 
determined upon reserving to themselves a few fine speci- 
mens of this really valuable domestic fowl^ I will endeavour 
to lay down a few rules for guidance, which, if acted upon 
in concert with what has already been advanced respecting 
the requisite distinguishing characteristics of excellence, 
will greatly regulate the quality, and be the means of pro- 
curing to the purchaser not only the genuine article, and 
therefore his money's worth, but likewise render him 
capable of sustaining and retaining the breed in great 
perfection. Before effecting a purchase, examine the bird, 
and if the fifth claw, that is the claw growing from tlie 
base and just above the ordinary hind toe, be absent, refuse 
such specimen, whatever the owner may assert in his defence, 

and select three or four hens and one cock possessing the 
required number; the latter bird must be of different blood 

to the hens, that is, he must bear no relationship to them; 
if, therefore, the dealer's word cannot be taken on this mo- 
mentous point, it is advisable to purchase the hens at one 
locality and the male bird at another, and this will ensure 
that object. If pullets be procured the cock matched with 
them should be two years old; if two year old hens, then 



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THE DORiaNG 



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legs 



stags, that Is young cocks, are most advantageous for breed- 
ing purposes. I recommend the greys as being the most 
valuable of all Dorkings, and prefer them as near alike in 
feather as possible: They must possess perfectly white 
'-^ " and claws, this is indispensable—full and round 
breasts, not narrow or flat sided— should be wide across 
the back, and full in the girth ; care should be taken to 
observe whether they are diseased, this may be ascertained 
by exammation, and a slight pressure of the nostrils ; from 
whence, if ought of a liquid matter be discharged that has 
anythmg of an unpleasant odour, immediately replace the 
bird into his pen and have nothing further to do with him, 
or any that may have been in the same compartment, at any 
price, for this Is the roup, and a most Infectious disorder. 
Likewise examine to see that the birds are otherwise healthy, 
and possess red healthy-coloured visages and combs, and 
are active and lively. I prefer a single comb to a double 
one, but no Dorking possessing a fair share of other excel- 
lencies would I dismiss upon that account, considering It, 
together with the cup-comb, rather the fruit of domesti- 
cation than a proof of cross breeding. 



POULTRY HOUSE AND YARD. 



It depends very much upon three things what kind of 

poultry house should be erected. Firstly, whether the 
outlay is the great consideration? Secondly, wheth 



there be a numerous flock ? Thirdly, what space is to be 
appropriated for their continual and daily exercise ? What- 
ever be the style, from the corner of a cow shed to a noble 
ornamental and spacious pheasantry, whatever be the 
number of fowls kept, or whatever the space allotted them, 
the following rules are requisite to be observed, and are' 



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98 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



equally applicable under whatever circumstances they may 

be domiciled : 

The house should be erected in one corner of the yard 

or garden, having if possible a 



W 



s 



as admitting the morning sun, but upon no account should 
a northerly aspect be selected. The soil should be dry 
and well drained, and of a gravelly or chalky nature ; if of 



surface 



accumulate 



from 



stock. In the latter case, it is of the utmost import a good 
fall be obtained to render it dry and capable of rapidly 
discharging all surface streams. The foundation of the 
roosting-house should be raised six or seven inches above 
the level of the surrounding ground. It is important it be 

lofty 

size must entirely depend upon the number kept, whether 

field or meadow, back garden or nought besides, be their 
lawful run ; if the latter, then it becomes imperative that 

r 

it should be considerably more spacious. 

For a dozen fowls a house should be provided six feet 
square and as many high : at least twenty feet square as a 

should be allowed, opening from their own door, 
for their continual recreation and exercise, which may be 
enclosed by fencing; laths or open-work being much better 
than close boarding, as admitting the air through more 
freely ; the top should be open. Be it remembered, I am no 
advocate for such strict domestication— far from it: if more 
room can be given so much the better, but I mention what 
can be done, by way of encouraging those who have 
but limited space for poultry. I assert that in the space 
already alluded to, if cleanliness be enforced, a regular 
supply of varied food be provided, in connexion 



run 



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THE DORKING— POULTRY HOUSE AND YARD. 



99 



few handfuls of fresh herbage from time to time as part 
compensation for lack of liberty^ a limited supply of fowls 
may be made to thrive well and successfully. 

The sides of the roosting-house may be formed of feather- 
edge boards^ but having a window capable of admitting 
both light and air when required. It is important that the 
dwelling be light and cheerful: perches should be fixed 
from two to three feet from the ground^ and no higher ; 
although Dorking fowls have full compass of wing^ they 

are heavy birds and awkward; for this reason perches 
should not be too high, as much injury results from their 
precipitate descent. 

r 

The first perch may be one foot and a half from the 
ground; the second two feet and a quarter, and one from the 
first; the third three feet high, and one foot from the second; 
the last should be at least one foot from the wall; for obvious 
reasons they should never be placed under one another. 
Two or three feet above the highest perch should be a 
vacuum in two sides of the house capable of admitting a 
fresh and continued supply of air, for the purpose of 
rapidly carrying off all foul secretions, such proving very 
obnoxious to poultry. The vacancies thus created, together 
with every other crevice should be closed during the win- 
ter, for at that trying period it is impossible to keep them 
too warm. The interior should be well protected from the 
inclemency of the weather, and if tiled, a layer of asphalte 
should be placed underneath to carry off all droppings of 
wet that will otherwise find entrance. Cleanliness in this 
department is very essential, therefore the bottom should 
not be laid with bricks, which being porous, absorb moisture, 
but glazed tiles that may easily be cleansed are far better 
for the purpose. A range of nests for the convenience of 
the laying hens must be provided as near the bottom 






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100 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



as possible^ and a nest egg formed of a piece of wood 
similarly shaped and coloured is best suited to the 
purpose ; if of chalky hens will occasionally peck at it^ 
especially if not supplied with a sufficiency of lime and 
mortar^ inducing them thereby to peck their own produce^ 
which^ when once broken they consume^ and when once 
tasted a bad habit is acquired. K the nest egg be of mar- 
ble it is frequently the means of cracking the natural 
one, for when observed closely, it will be found, before its 
exclusion, the hen rises in the nest, and it drops ; now 
supposing it to fall against the marble egg, which is 

frequently the case, the latter substance being solid and 
heavy, resists the pressure of the egg and remains unmoved, 
and the sheH receives a flaw irreparable ; but if the decoy 
be of wood, when the natural one falls against it, it will re- 
bound at the slightest touch, and no damage will occur. Stale 
eggs are also bad for the purpose of depositing in the nest, 
as they are very likely to get broken, the shell becoming 
extremely brittle, where the action of heat and cold 

is so transient, for every time an egg is laid, they are 
rendered hot by the animal heat of the hen's body. Some 
may say for what purpose is the nest egg provided ? will 
not hens lay therein without such a decoy ? This decoy 
induces a hen to take up her position in the same quar- 
ter with it, instead of depositing her produce upon the 

r 

ground, or any out of the way place ; most hens will lay 

r 

in the nest without any further inducement than that which 

clean hay or straw affords, but some will not; and sup- 
posing one out of twenty refuses, why surely for the sake 
of avoiding so trifling an amount of trouble as occasioned 
by the supply, no one would even lose one egg. I have 
reaped much advantage from their application, and can 
therefore testify as to their utility. The nest should be of 



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THE DORKING— POULTRY HOUSE AND YARD. 



101 



sufficient size to admit one fowl comfortably, without 
injuring her tail in turning round, but^ not too large, other- 
wise, two instead of one will force an entrance, to the 
inconvenience of both. The interior of the house, as well 
as nests, should be thoroughly lime-whited out twice during 
the summer, for the purpose of destroying vermin which 
are injurious to all poultry ; the application of the brush 
moreover renders the apartment sweet and wholesome. 
Near the house a large pan of lime or old mortar should be 
in constant readiness, also a heap of fine gravel or ashes to 
roll and cleanse their feathers in, and rid themselves of 
animalcule, which, if not constantly removed, much annoys 
them. If not privileged to enjoy a full run in the adjoining 
yard or garden, a supply of green meat or herbage should 
be regularly provided. 



/ 



GENEEAL MANAGEMENT. 



Before procuring stocky a house should be provided for 
its reception^ as very injurious results proceed consequent 
upon being hampered up for a day or two until a place be 
erected; all necessary requisites should likewise be pre- 
viously procured^ such as water pans^ a mortar or lime pan, 
nests Avith wooden eggs, likewise a portion of food should 
not be omitted from the list of necessaries. After pur- 
chasing stock, and domiciling them, if it be intended they 

shall enjoy a run, it is advisable to detain and feed them 
in the roosting apartment for a day or two, during which 
time they will become acquainted with its interior ; but if 
allowed out the first day of their arrival, they are liable to 
wander, being strangers. When confined, and dependant 
for their maintenance upon hand supplies, they require, if 
it be wished to keep them in good condition or ready for 
the fattening pens, regularly feeding three times a day, say 



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102 



EEKGUSON ON FOWL. 



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One thing is 



seven o'clock in the morning, twelve o'clock, and again at 
five in the afternoon. During winter, or for laying hens, 
twice is sufficient, by allowing more at each meal ; if at 
large, where food may be had for work or scratching, pro- 
vided there be not too much competition, twice feeding is 
sufficient, at eight o'clock in the morning and three in 
the afternoon ; in either case the supply should be rationed 
according to numbers, appetites, &c., some breeds, and 
even strains of the same class, requiring more than others, 
which can only be ascertained by practical experience. By 
giving as much as they will consume quickly, and desisting 
immediately they begin to peck slowly, which is easily 
perceived, the required quantity is soon arrived at, and if 
the stock remains about the same, the same quantity upon 
an average given regularly will not be far out — supposing 
the precarious supply be about the same, 
important, that they be not fed until all have assembled, at 
any rate not until well called, or some may arrive in time 
to be too late for the feast, and go short ; they should 
moreover be invariably fed at the same place, so that they 
may know whence to proceed in answer to the call, when, 
as the time approaches for their meal, they will be seen 
flocking thither. Water should be placed at stated places, 
where both the feeder and the fowl may readily obtain 
access ; the pans should be cleansed out each day, and a 
constant fresh and clean supply afforded. In warm weather 
a few sprigs of green rue should occasionally be placed 
therein ; in autumn, as the moulting season advances, two 
or three blades of saffron will be found very beneficial as 
being soothing, comforting, and thereby greatly promoting 
its due performance. If confined or unable to procure 
those small particles of calcareous matter instinct urges 
them in quest of, they should be well supplied with gravel. 



/ 



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GENERAL MANAGEMENT OF THE DOEKING 



103 



chalk, or old mortar ; green meat, sucli as grass, cabbage, 
lettuce, and in fact almost any vegetable in a crude or 
boiled state will be eagerly devoured. Change of food is 
very necessary ; for instance, supposing their regular diet 
to consist of corn-market sweepings, or barley, it should be 
changed once a fortnight for three or four successive days, 
during which interval they should be fed upon soft food. 



oatm 



bread sopped, &c., &c., by the adoption of these means 
they will continue to relish and enjoy their food, and may 
be domiciled in perfect health and thriving condition, and 

disease kept far away. 



A 



feed 



confinement in 



unhealthy roosting-houses than all other causes combined ; 
in fact the coercion of these two requisites is the main im- 
portance to be observed in the successful rearing and 

breeding of profitable poultry. 

The new laid eggs should be regularly removed each 
afternoon, but the decoy eggs left to entice the hens to 



re-enter their own 



favourite nests early the ensumg 



morning 



The interior of the house should be kept 
perfectfy clean, sweet, and inoffensive. If as many as 
twelve be kept in one compartment it should be cleaned 
out twice a week, which may be accomplished in a very 
few minutes if regularly performed; if less than that 
number, or during the winter months, once will be found 



f 



DOUKINGS AS LAYERS. 



The Dorking fowl is not peculiarly noted for being 
superior as a laying hen ; her powers of production are 
great, but her province, and that in which she particularly 
excels, is in the production of flesh. Still she is an abun- 



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104 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



but 



Which she manifests two or three and sometimes four times 
dunng one season, much time is lost, or rather at such times 
many eggs not laid. 



A full 



white 



ar 



Their eggs 



are not by any means large in proportion to the size of the 



,k 



Dork 



hens have produced eggs weighing three ounces and above, 
but these are rare, and do not in any way interfere with 
the average ; the mean proportion of any given number 
will be found seldom exceeding two ounces and a half, but 



sometimes below it They 



flavour 



are however very fine 



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SIMILE OF THE " DORKING " EGG. 



MANAGEMENT OP BREEDING STOCK. 

It is impossible to bestow too much attention in the 
selection of specimens for breeding purposes, seeino- they 
are destined the progenitors of an entire race, the founders 
of a strain, and with them mainly rests the future chance 



1 



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THE DORKING-MANAGEMENT OF BREEDING STOCK. 



105 



possess the 



or thirteen 



of success ; they should, therefore, be the best of the breed, 
and the most perfect of the brood that can be procured; for 
this reason, if the object be the production and rearino- of 
showy specimens, the knowledge that they ........ \,,, 

attributes, characteristics, and weight of first-class birds 
should be obtkined before purchasing, and that these excel- 
lencies and visible properties be hereditary. 

For marketable stock, that breed of birds arriving early 
at a state of perfection should be the choice, rather than 
those which continue growing until twelve .. 
months, and upon whose bones, up to that period, littirof 
the marketable article flesh prevails ; and even then, althouo-h 
they may arrive at a very extraordinary weight, prove much 
the worse for keeping. 

It may be difficult to distinguish those birds which mature 
early from such as prefer longevity, especially while younc • 
mquiry and experience alone furnishing the means. I con- 
sider, from cocks weighing eight to nine pounds, and hens 
between seven and eight, may be selected the best of speci- 
mens, and should myself prefer them to heavier birds, unless 
the latter were also capable of breeding chicks of equally 

rapid maturing. 

An early puUet, say hatched in March or April, matched 



■ 'l 




will 



any after period. 



to 



three 



produces chickens capable of arriving at maturity much 
sooner than those produced from stock of any other age, 
and thereby are fattened more rapidly ; this should be 
practised generally by our poultry breeders, and to their 
advantage would the result redound. 

It is of the utmost importance that every second year 



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106 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



fresh blood be introduced into the stock, and the readiest 



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and placing a young one of the best possible breed and 
character in his stead ; the other method is by removing the 
the hens or pullets and substituting a few of a diiferent 
strain ; the former, however, is the most practical and con- 
venient. If fresh blood be not introduced, degeneracy and 
rapid loss of size and flesh, and destruction of constitution, 

will be the inevitable result. 

Although I mentioned the breeding together of mature 
hens of two-years with a three-year cock, and recommended 
it for the production of chicks of early maturing— still be 
it borne in mind, for other purposes of farm requirements. 



m 



For the hardiest and most productive stock birds, pullets 
should be matched with two-year old cocks, or stags with 
two-year old hens : in either case the sexes must be of dif- 
ferent blood, and no consanguinity should exist between 



them 



Dorkin 



he can advantageously render vitally productive, he not 
being so actively nor constitutionally disposed, nor are his 

generative powers in such equal force, as many of our other 
domestic fowls ; for the same reason he should not be retained 
after his third year, nor the hens after the fourth. 

For cross breeding, which in a general way I confute, 
but where advantageous results are likely to be produced 
in the face of equal requirements, utility should be our 
standard. For marketable purposes I recommend a robust 
two-year old short-shanked Shanghae cock, to be matched 
with three or four equally short-legged, square, early Dor- 
king pullets ; these may be placed in one corner of the farm, 
and bred by themselves. From the produce of this admix- 



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THE DORKING— MANAGEMENT OE BREEDING STOCK. 107 



ture^ select the pullets to matcli with Dorking two-year old 
cocks^ and the stags with Dorking two-year hens^ from such 
issue again select the pullets and stags^ and match with 
Dorkings as before^ and from the produce of this last^ select 
the pullets and place with them a Shanghae cock^and a stout 
cockerel to breed with three or four real Dorking two-year 
old hens^ similar^ though of diiferent bloody to the first 
mentioned. It will be observed by this means fresh 
Shanghae blood is brought into the strain once every three 
yearsj likewise pure Dorking; by the adoption of this 



method 



the hardiness 



Shan 



springs with equal or rather increased tendency to early 
maturing, great weighty and superior production as layers^ 
I am satisfied if good Shanghaes be selected^ the flesh will 
not lose in quality and flavour, if the chicks are disposed of 



Dork 



months 



then those produced by a cross of Shanghae blood should 
be killed when at the same weight, which will be before 
that age. By allowing them to remain until four months 
old, when they exceed the Dorking by at least one pound, 
and still expect them to be as tender and juicy as that bird, 
is monstrous ; the only fair method is, to kill them when 
they weigh sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the 
market, and not allow them to grow to the size of turkeys, 
when, as a matter of course, they cannot be considered 
" chickens," and not being such, cannot have chickens' 
flesh. 

But if the first Shanghae that comes to hand be the bird 
placed with the farm stock, regret is almost sure ultimately 
to escape the lips of the owner that he ever had a " Cochin" 
in his yard, instead of blaming himself for the neglectful 






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108 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



purchase. Does the farmer act so indiscriminately with his 
sheep and animals of larger growth? certainly not: neither 
if he desires even for the smallest amount of success with his 
poultry stock, must he act in this manner. Some Shanghaes 
are coarse in flesh, others very fine in flavour, therefore he 
must be careful in the selection. The best mode is to pur- 
chase two young brother cocks, kill, dress, and serve up one, 
if he be indifferent, similarly dispose of the other and try 
again; if, however, he be fine and well flavoured (and 
many there be, as I have often proved), his brother will 

r 

not be amiss for breeding purposes; this method, of course, 
applies more particularly to such persons who rear great 
quantities, and who cannot bestow too much pains in the 
selection of stock birds, seeing they are the producers, and 
with them entuxly rests the quality of all that are remitted 
to the market. 



fowl 



DOEKINGS AS SITTERS AND MOTHERS. 

They are, unquestionably, next to the Game 
incubators and mothers ; but if, when too weighty, they be 
allowed to engage in this process they press heavily upon 

the eggs, for this reason Bantams' or Pheasants' eggs should 
not be placed under them when in such condition. 



aware the sitting hen gradually reduces in weight, still not 
sufiiciently to render the eggs of a much smaller class in 
any way proportionate to her large frame, or capable of 
supporting her clumsy motions; moreover, the damage 
usually occurs the first or second day, and, therefore, 
before diminution to any extent has been effected ; she is 

r 

much more suited to hatch and bring up her own young, 
which she generally accomplishes very successfully; being 
naturally willing, will, in many instances, undertake the 
office of foster mother without evincing any disinclination ; 



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DORKINGS AS SITTERS AND MOTHERS. 



109 



which^ hj-the-hjy if she exhibits, it is much better no longer 
to coerce her, or adopt any compulsory measures to' attain 
that object, or disastrous consequences will befall the little 
youngsters. I have known instances where broods of 
Bantams have been given them for protection, but however 
quickly they may have taken to them, a dead one from time 
to time has been found, appearing as though killed by 
trampling, but this is freqently caused by body pressure, 
especially during the night- They are, moreover, very 
awkward with their pedal limbs and trample their progeny 
fearfully, especially if cooped; even when at liberty, will 
scratch and kick them sprawling in all directions unwittingly. 



St 



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ardour 



and great 



to incubator, nurse, and parent : she may in some Instances 

I 

be capable of covering sixteen or seventeen eggs, and 
successfully hatching them, but still I consider that number 
to exceed the boundaries of prudence. If more be supplied 
than she is able readily and comfortably to cover, she 
becomes uneasy and fidgetty, and that extra claw she 
possesses may accidentally displace a shell or two in the 
continued attempt to sit comfortably, and thereby reduce 
the number to the proper average, wdth the loss of the 
superfluous ones. This is but the most trivial disaster con- 
sequent upon overrating her incubating powers; it far more 
usually occurs the two or three superfluous eggs are the 



means of ruining the success of the whole hatch, seeing 



all that are supplied above the number she is capable of 
covering must remain cold or nearly so, and as their posi- 
tion in the nest is daily changed, that is the outside ego-g 
approach nearer the centre each day, and those in the centre 
more near the exterior; it results in each receiving a chill 



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110 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



*■ 



for one or more days during the twenty-one, and thereby 
rendering unproductive the whole. But even supposing 
she hatch them, that number is too many for her care and 
protection. I am aware she may bring them up, though 
far more likely to trample a few first: even should she be 
so far successful as to avoid such an unfortunate occurrence, 
those tiny morsels — those small insects she disturbs from 
their resting places, and which prove so very beneficial to 
the chickens as food, when divided between so many amount 
to a very small quantum per head. As they advance, 
although their feathers grow with them, they still require 
her protecting and maternal wings: but if there are less 
seats than members, less room than occupants, some must 
be excluded. If a hen be given, or rather returned, eleven 
to thirteen eggs, and she hatch and bring up eight or nine 
chicks, it is quite a sufficient number, and may be considered 
a good brood, but she cannot officiate with a more numerous 
progeny with any convenience to herself, or advantage to 

them, excepting where situated in extremely favourable 
circumstances. 

The first, twelve or thirteen eggs of a pullet should not 
be selected for the process of incubation as they are small, 
and not likely to result in strong sturdy chicks ; but her 
second clutch may with prudence be carefully put away, 

r 

taking equal precaution to avoid shaking or otherwise 
injuring or exposing them to the damp. They should be 
embedded in sweet bran or oats, and gently turned each 
day, so that they do not remain in the same position ; care 

should likewise be taken that those only rendered productive 
by impregnation be selected, otherwise much disappoint- 
ment will ensue ; therefore, where a healthy and vigorovis 
bird has full intercourse with his hens, the eggs may be 
depended upon ; but in the run of some yards that have 



I 



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DOEKINGS AS SITTEERS AND MOTHERS. 



Ill 



I 

come before my observation, wliere from forty to fifty hens 
accompanied two male birds, thereby rendering the 
latter truly polygamous, their produce proved equally good 
for marketable purposes, but valueless for incubation, 
being either unprolific, or productive of miserable and 
weakly offspring. Not only should the eggs be rendered 
prolific by the impregnation of a healthy and vigorous bird, 
but the fresh ones only should be selected ; I have fre- 
quently proved by experiment that as the egg is more or 
less fresh, so is the chick produced more or less robust. 
This is particularly visible at the first stages of its existence, 
after which period other causes and circumstances connected 
with the mode of feeding render it difficult to say to what 
extent it may ultimately aifect it; but the supposition 
appears rational, seeing it so much reduces their size and 
appearance when first excluded from the shell ; it is pro- 
bable likewise, that if disease or irregularity in feeding 
take place, such an one as may be produced from a stale 
egg will be the first to suffer from its effects, 
experiments upon this point would prove very interesting, 
and if conducted with care and attention, novel facts would 

doubtless be elicited. 

The gender of the egg cannot be ascertained by any 
visible or external appearance; length or breadth have 

little to do with determining the fact, the cause is hidden 
and obscure ; the sex is determined upon long before the 
shell has enclosed it, and it is in one of the latter pro- 
cesses it receives its formation. This subject requires a 
considerable further amount of elucidation before it will 
become generally received, especially as many cling closely 
to old theories, and closer still to proverbial theories, for 
this reason I v/ill dwell upon it more fully in an after part 
in connexion with an appropriate subject. 



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III 



112 



FERGUSON ON FOWL, 






HATCHING AND BEARING CHICKS. 



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cubator, no dependence can be placed upon her, she may or 
not act with perfect propriety; it is, therefore, best to 
engage the services of a steady hen, when eleven to thirteen 
eggs may with prudence be placed under her, according to 
her dimensions. She should be set apart from the rest of 
the stock, for the intrusion of strangers in and out the nest 
much annoys and interrupts her progress, or may cause her 
to leave the eggs, thereby rendering them valueless. 

The nest should be placed as near the ground as possible, 
and sheltered from the inclemency of the weather. Food 
and water should always be kept in readiness at a particular 
corner, so that when she vacates her seat for the purposes 
of supplying nature's requirements, she may find supplies. 
During the twenty-one days, the time taken for the mirr.n«o 
of perfecting the process of incubation, she should 
undisturbed ; but, upon the twenty-first morning, a little 
soft food, composed of hard boiled eggs cut fine with sopped 
bread well strained, but not by any means reduced to paste, 
should be placed in one corner of the room or shed, so that 
the hen may find something suitable for her progeny. 
There is nothing striking about their appearance when first 
hatched, the only peculiar feature being the extra claw, 

which is visible the first day of exclusion from the shell. 

Warmth and shelter is all they require for the first twenty- 
four hours, and this the mother hen amply provides them. 
From the first time they are recipients of artificial supplies, 
regularity must be observed ; a small shallow saucer of 
water should be placed within reach of both hen and 
chickens, and frequently replenished. Their supplies of 
sustenance must be administered in small quantities, 



remain 



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\ 



EEARING CHICKS. 



113 



but given with frequency and regularity througliout tlie 
day. When first excluded from the shell they form no 
exception to the general rule of infantine impotency^ and 
through extreme weakness and inability are incapable of 
sustaining their heads in any direct attitude, are moreover 
covered with a moisture that causes their ^^ down" to re- 
semble hair, and adheres closely to the skin ; their ap- 
pearance is, however, somewhat strikingly different after 
having snuggled under the parent bird, and snoozed away 
a few hours of repose beneath her protecting wings. 

Care should be taken to avoid needlessly handling them, 
seeing equally injurious consequences are likely to result 
from misapplied attention to imagined requisites as are oc- 
casioned by actual neglect. The removal of that small 

horny substance from the extremity of the beak, by many 
practised to the present day, is perfectly useless, and in 
many cases injurious ; useless, on the ground of the same 
falling without applied means, from natural causes ; and 
injurious, from a frequency of severe pressure occurring 
whilst engaged in the act. Likewise the ancient custom, 
but modernised by practise (I allude to the act of pepper- 
corn or beer-sop forcing), is very absurd ; no chick requires 
such ill usage, and excepting in very solitary cases, no 

nestling needs such stimulants so soon after its exclusion 
from captivity. Warmth certainly forms a natural and 
wholesome feast for the first twenty hours, but not that 
warmth arising from ^^ force halls ^^ but the animal heat from 
the body pressure of the hen. Supposing a brood of chicks 
to be irregular in their exclusion, arising either from the 
eggs having been placed under the hen, for the purposes 
of incubation, at irregular periods, or to the fact of some 
being considerably staler than others, it is requisite for 
the safety of the entire brood to remove them as soon as 

H 




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114 



FEEaUSON ON FOWL 



hatched, otherwise, when for the purposes of supplying 
nature's requirements, the hen moves off to feed, a little 
youngster may follow her, and should even the nest be 
elevated, will still venture after the parent bird and 
make his descent ; but to return he cannot, he is necessarily 
either left to die, or the entire brood to perish. Removal, 
therefore, in such a case is requisite, but should be done 
with great care ; a small basket is very handy for this 

purpose, and after having been wrapt in flannel and placed 
therein, a position before the fire until the remainder of 
his brethren are in a sufficiently advanced state to receive 
him, is all that is necessary or desirable (at the same time 
no opportunity must be afforded for allowing his enemy, 
the cat, to obtain possession of his person). 

In most cases I much disapprove of meddling 'with 
chicks, considering it far wiser, and much more in con- 



of 



allow the hen 



the lawful privilege of bringing off her brood as she con- 
siders best, nevertheless a prudent glance 



from 



amiss 



near the ground as possible, to allow them to take flight 

without descent. 

Another practice of common occurrence, which proves 
both irritating and annoying to the hens, is the frequent 
changing and removal of their chicks for others not their 

own, whose appearances do not always engage their fancies. 

The hen is usually suflS.ciently acquainted with the characte- 
ristics of her progeny to judge and recognise her own from 
those of others, especially as their visible properties become 
developed, and she observes their size and progress ; where 
there are, however, many others of the same age and co- 
lour as one or two of her offspring, she is generally de- 
ceived. Were a hen privileged to lay and bring up her 




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REARINa CHICKS. 



11 






V 



incubating 



was mva- 



owHj there is very little doubt she would become still more 
acute^ and if matched with a bird of the same class and 
feather, her chicks would be more of one colour, and no 
other would she allow in her broods to pass unnoticed, 
or without an effort at destruction. A few years back 
a friend possessed a black game hen (Irish black) whose 

powers were unequalled in the annals of 
his poultry journal ; her instinct too was keen and 
too acute to allow a chick of any other tint to escape 
her notice, and her sentence of destruction 
riably carried into execution upon every unfortunate 
specimen excluded even in her own nest, whose appear- 
ance did not resemble hers in cast and color. Upon one 
occasion a few blood-wing pile eggs (game) of choice 
quality and strain, were incautiously deposited in her nest 
to make up the number of thirteen ; she at once officiated 
as incubator with her accustomed good humour, and re- 
mained a close and constant sitter at her post until the 
twenty-first day elapsed, when she again allowed her 
cruelty to exceed her moderation, and of the eight chickens 
which by the appearance of the shells were known to 
have existed, not one remained alive ; and, stranger still 
to say, two in her anger were devoured (with the exception 
of the head and legs.) It needs scarcely be mentioned 

this vixen hen was not again permitted to indulge her 
passions in the slaughter of her species, but was placed at 
the disposal of the cook without delay. 

If a full and goodly brood be desired at any one time, 
the best method of successfully accomplishing this is to 
engage the services of two mature hens the same day; if 
one proves unfortunate, or some portion of the eggs un- 
productive, the produce of the two may be united, and the 
hen, thus robbed of her youngsters, again alloAved a 

h2 



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116 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



second charge of eggs (whichj by-the-bye, should be 
rather less in number than her previous sitting.) The 
success resulting from this method is most assuredly 
greater, and the means employed more practical^ than en- 
deavouring to make up the deficiency of a brood by 
forcing upon a hen chicks whose size denotes a week or two 
of older growth, whose appearance likewise arouses the 
hen's attention, and their wild cries betray her presence, 
is far from desirable ; whereas the removal of the newly- 
hatched chicks to the desired spot, if effected after dark, 
leaves neither traces of annoyance to the privileged hen, 
which cannot have too many chicks to please her, nor to the 
robbed one, as a sitting of eggs, if given on exchange, 
tranquillizes her mind and satisfies her fully. If but a day 

or two have elapsed since their departure from the nest, and 

during this time they have been confined to their mother's 

tender care, her color, size, and general appearance, her 

tone of voice and actions, are so well known, that although 

from the multiplicity of others of the same age and color 
she be unable to distinguish hers, they are kept distinct by 
the instinctive knowledge the little youngsters themselves 



possess 



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to defend her offspring from molestation, or the maltreat- 
ment of an enemy, or even from one of her own species, 

will rush vigorously forward, little heeding the mischief 
resulting from her own deeds in the trampling and scat- 
tering of those so dear to her. 

Upon one occasion I had the misfortune to become the 

loser of the largest portion of a much prized brood, under 

rather peculiar, but interesting circumstances — peculiar, 

because irregular — interesting, because novel and pregnant 

with incident. A game hen is the heroine of the disaster, 

having full charge of a brood of nine chicks, of con- 



41 



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EEAEING CHICKS. 



117 



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siderable value^ in my own estimation ; four of the nine 
were wliite Malays^ and the remainder Shanghaes. It 
occurred upon a fine summer's morning, at half-past 6^ and 
the sun having considerable power, they were allowed to 
indulge in a scratch and a stroll at liberty in the back garden 
of a house not far from London, where they were left to 
follow the dictates of their own instinctive desires for half- 
an hour ; around the entire garden was a lofty Avall; 
security from trespassing was therefore obtained. Upon 
my return I was somewhat disagreeably surprised to dis- 
cover they were not only out of sight and hearing, but the 
wall had not been sufficient to restrain their wanderings. 
At any rate^ after an hour's search under every bush and 
shrub, no vestige was to be seen; at length, upon 
entering the greenhouse, I espied one poor little shiver- 
ing creature standing behind and guarded by a row 

appearance indicating, in con- 
nection with the involuntary trembling playing upon 
the entire frame? that he was still the subject of fear, 

r 

and had been near the clutches of some malicious foe^ for 
upon my approach he ran towards me, his countenance too 
plainly indicating to admit of doubt that he sought his 
feeder's protecting hand. He was placed in security, and 
the garden round and round again explored, but without 

avail, until at length I listened, and methought I heard the 
distant clucking of the bereaved, but in that sound was 
blended a counter echo, bespeaking pride, with nought of 
dread, but boasted triumph. I soon reached the summit 
of the wall, trespass or no trespass ; not many seconds had 
elapsed before 1 found myself upon the ground ; a second 
and a third division o'er I leaped, and there too plainly 
saw the sad spectacle. The hen, 'tis true, was there 
with one Shanghae, the smallest of the brood— this little 



of geranium plants, his 



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118 



PEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



marvel had been the means and innocent cause of the 
mishap. The circumstance is plain and clear— at early 
morn, when cats are all abroad, the brood was permitted, 
under protection of the lien, to stroll around ; that trea- 



(th 



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no 



strange 



sooner spied the chance, than pounced upon the Shanghae 
chick most distant from the mother, and bore it off in 
triumph ; but quick as lightning the bold determined parent 
pursued ; her eye, the chicken's safeguard, perceived the 
danger of the scene, one wall was passed, a second, and a 
third, when wings caught legs, and the blood that urges 
forward the spirit of her lord in the battle strife, drove her 
to desperation, and a bloody scufEe was commenced ; the 
cat was not inclined to give up all her gains without a 
struggle, but game blood flew, and spurred, and struck with 
force and energy, and then at length the savage coward 
dropped the prize, and flew far quicker than she at first 
approached. But where was the Shanghae chick during the 
encounter ; torn to pieces in the affray ? No ; 

it appears, he had escaped, but not without 
a scar ; but bones and skull and neck were all entire, 
and these form staple fixtures and requirements in the 
tribe of fowl. But the remainder of the brood, where 
were they ? Why, all this time unprotected, disabled and 
alone, save with the cats (those vile wretches had plotted 

the scheme for the annihilation of the entire family). The 
mother hen having vanquished the enemy, was so much 
reduced as to be unable to return to her crying ones, and 
even had she regained her strength in time, the little 
rescued one would have detained her. None but the 
little one which found refuge in the green-house re- 
mained behind to tell the sad but moral tale- The same 
cat I trapped next morning, when I ditscovered unmis- 



though 



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EEAEING AND FEEDING- CHICKS. 



119 



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her 



takeable indications of my Ken's most noble conduct^ and 
upon the latter were sufficient evidences to satisfy me the 
former had played her part ; and considering it my duty to 
spare miss puss any further annoyance or disgrace, I placed 

in such security as to justify me in warranting the 
assertion as correct, that she was never after injured or mal- 
treated by a hen. 

Fearing lest I am guilty of a somewhat lengthened di- 
gression, I must immediately return to the " chicks," 
without apology, as such would but cause an extra delay, 
especially if arguing the point on the propriety of expla- 
nation were adopted. The first twenty hours after ex- 
clusion the chicks require no nourishment ; that is, sup- 
posing they be hatched on the twenty-first morning of 
incubation, nature having supplied them with a sufficiency 
by means of the absorbing of certain portions and pro- 
portions of the material egg ; but when the chick, from 
that inability arising from the extreme substantial texture 
of his prison walls, emerges one day later, be it remem- 
bered he may have been in being and received animal 
existence at as early a period as any of the first hatched, 
and has moreover evacuated and emptied his internal parts 
before exclusion, as may be observed by reference to the 
shell, which the former may have effected after their 

escape ; in such a case he requires nourishment three or 
four hours after emerging from captivity. 

As a rule, chicks do not require any attention until the 
twenty-second morning from the first day of depositing the 
eggs beneath the hen, and this, if followed, will result in 
great success, say ten times out of eleven. For the first few 
days the best of all food is hard boiled eggs, cut up fine, 
mixed with stale bread crumbs, this forms the nearest re- 

semblance to that but a short time since received into the 




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120 



FEEGUSON ON TOWL. 



internal parts for the development of the body. I never 
knew it once to disagree, but have invariably adopted this 
method, and the results have ever proved mutually advan- 



tageous. Allow one egg to each chick 



in the broody 



y 



beside bread crumbs, to last four days — that is one-quar- 
ter of an egg per head per day, both yolk and white ; the 
latter, although almost tasteless, is eagerly devoured by them, 
and freq^uently preferred ; upon the fifth morning allow a 
handful of split groats, which are very excellent as food, 
a little stiff bread and milk, the latter must be perfectly 
sweet, this equally applies to all articles of food, eatable or 
drinkable ; continue the split groats for seven or eight 
days, according to their strength and progress in picking up ; 
after this period, whole groats form a most desirable food, 
also broken or small wheat, screenings from the corn mill, 
bruised oats, and barley meal mixed up in either milk or 
water to such consistence as to be almost unbinding, that 
is, it should not be sloppy, or resemble paste, or be at all ad- 
hesive, a little bran may be placed with it to advantage, and 
by them will be preferred — one handful of bran to two of 
barley meal are suitable proportions ; until two or three 
weeks old they require feeding four or five times a day, 
seeing their little crops are incapable of holding any sub- 
stance very much larger than from a full-sized pea to a boy's 
marble, at the same time digestion is very rapid ; first meal, 
6 o'clock, a.m., or as soon as light; next, at 9, a.m.; in 
the afternoon at I ; and the last between 5 and 6 in the even- 
ing, allowing a supply for intermediate pickings ; whatever 
hours be selected they should be closely observed, and not 
allowed to pass without the required meal being supplied ; 
also, for the purposes of amusement (by-the-bye, the secret, 
if any there be, in the successful rearing of Poultry, is 
carefully supplying means of affording amusement, this is 



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REAEING AND FEEDINa CHICKS. 



121 



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of great importance) a truss of hay or straw placed in one 
corner of the apartment, in which a handful of groats from 
time to time has been deposited, will prove of great attraction 
to the youngsters, and aiFord them much healthy recreation ; 
a supply of lettuce, cabbage, or green meat^ should not 
be wanting in the bill of fare, but placed at their dis- 
posal ; likewise from time to time a little sweet grass cut 
up fine is desirable, and their eagerness to appropriate the 
same to their special use proves too plainly their own 
opinion respecting its merits. 

If prevented by confinement from procuring those small 
insects, worms, and other particles of matter so very bene- 
ficial, and alike nourishing to the parent and the chicks, a 

pallid visage, a droop of the feathers, and other indications 
of a departure of energy is soon displayed, for of all food, 
nothing can be found productive of the same amount of 
lively effect as the combination of substances of their own 
choice when abroad ; but still, when such is the case, a 
little raw beef cut up very fine, may with advantage be 
given; the hurried and energetic manner in which they ex- 
plore every corner for a few minutes, even after the feast 
has been consumed, establishes evidence sufficient to prove 
it is satisfactorily received. Be it remembered, however, 
it should not be administered as food, but given medicinally, 
care must be taken to avoid extremes ; being administered 
for a special purpose and not as a common requisite, its dis- 
continuance, when not required, is equally important; for 
instance, when the weather is sufficiently suitable to enable 
them to explore in freedom a garden or a yard, without 
danger of molestation, or being otherwise injuriously af- 
fected by cold winds, the opportunity should not be lost, 
and having found supplies, the animal food previously al- 
lowed is no loncrer requisite, a cravinsf or lons'imr for it is 



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FEEaUSON ON FOWL. 






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productive of much evil^ causing a fowl to become restless 
and irritable^ and no longer satisfied with grain or vegetable 
diet, the new laid eggs are pecked for trial, and as but few 
fowls disapprove the flavor, they are then destroyed, and a 

■ r 

bad habit is acquired, (for the cure of which, in an after 
number, preventive means will be prescribed,) arising from 
a desire for animal food once supplied, and from which, 
whilst young and from past usage a relish has been engen- 
dered. 

I.I T 

As the chicks progress, less frequent feeds will suffice, 
and by degrees, as strength and feather are developed, 
they may receive their supplies at the same hours as the 
old stock birds ; change of food is at all times requisite, 
scalded barley, wheat, market sweepings, with what has 
been already named, given alternately, with an occasional 
supply of soft food at regular periods, will suffice as articles 
of food to keep them in a healthy condition. Whole grain 
should not be given to young chicks unless previously 
scalded, and when at an advanced period, only in modera- 
tion; any kitchen refuse will be devoured, and prove 
equally beneficial, if sweet and fresh. 

When hatched whilst the weather is severe — which, by- 
the-bye, should be as much as possible avoided, especially 
with the Dorkings, unless a seat in the family circle is not 
objected to — a little bruised hemp seed with stale sopped 
bread will prove very stimulating and wholesome, but 
being heating in its effects, moderation in this case must 
likewise be observed, or the skin will be materially affected, 
and become dry and hard, and the feathers drop off in 
patches. 

Although over-feeding is frequently the cause of disease 

and ill success, still it is equally important that in guarding 

^against it the opposite extreme is avoided, and that the 



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COOPS FOR HEN AND CHICKENS, &c. 



123 



birds are not illiberally fed. If allowed to suffer want 
whilst young, they will never pick up, or reach that per- 
fection otherwise attainable, however abundant may be the 

^ 

supply afterwards afforded them. 

In the fattening pen the signs of neglect or attention to 
early requirements are visibly displayed by their com- 
parative readiness to fatten, and the quality of the flesh, and 
prove to the owner the bad policy of keeping young birds 
upon a scanty supply. 

COOPS FOR HEN AND CHICKENS, &C. 

If the weather be fine, after the second day of exclusion 
from the shell, the hen and progeny may be placed under 
a wicker coop, upon a dry spot, where the warmth of the 

r 

sun's influence may be enjoyed for an hour or two, the 
benefits resulting from so delightful an opportunity of in- 
dulging their instinctive desires are incalculable ; a greater 
amount of advantage arises from one hour's sport in the 
open air, under the sun's influence, than is produced by a 
whole week's wrapping up and cuddling before the kitchen 
fire, seeing the display of muscular exercise necessarily re- 
sulting in the former case is sufiicient to circulate the blood 
freely throughout the remainder of the day, or when re- 
moved into the shade, its influence is still enjoyed; whereas 
in the latter case, the warmth being produced by artificial 
aid alone, without a corresponding amount of voluntary 
exercise, no after benefits result, and upon its removal, 
as free circulation no longer exists, no warmth is expe- 
rienced. 

This coop may readily be obtained 
in town or country, and being very 



in weight, is thereby suitable 



light 

and convenient as a 



shifting 



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124 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



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The first time the chicks are privileged to bask in the 
sun, care should be taken to avoid detaining them beyond 
the boundary of prudence ; two or three hours, at the very 
most, should only be allowed ; but supposing the sun's in- 
fluence be felt no longer than the first hour, their removal 
is then desirable. Damp ground or grass should never be 
occupied by the tenants of the coop. Being open, and ex- 
posed to wind and weather, the evening should find it sta- 
tioned in the corner of a dry, warm, well-sheltered, and 
equally ventilated apartment, where, in bad weather, it must 
also remain throughout the day. Several coops maybe placed 
in one room or out-house, taking care to ensure peace and 

repose by being a few feet apart, and retained in such 

position by means of some weighty substances, otherwise, 
whilst the chicks are sporting at one part of the apartment, 
maternal affection, so intense, so ardent, cannot refrain 
from indulging the desire of associating with them, and to 
carry out her intentions, the mother hen places her head 
and strength between the wicker bars, and with very little 
effort the task is completed. Equal desires actuate her 
companion mothers, and the same object is effected. Coops 
are at length side by side, and strife and bloodshed exist 
between the parent birds, and death to the little young- 
sters, by trampling, ensues to those unable to escape the 
battle field in sufficient time. The chicks are alarmed, 

and frequently under such circumstances may be seen 

stationed in one corner, and crying with one accord, and in 
unanimous voice, that the parents may desist. All 
trouble and annoyance of this character may be effectually 
guarded against, by the coops being placed against the 
w^all, and kept in that position by the presence of a brick 
in front and one on both sides. 



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COOPS FOR HEN AND CHICKENS, &c. 



125 



Damp is very injurious to the Dorking chick, and 
must be as much as possible avoided. 
The waterpan should be shallow, and 
may be obtained at almost any china 



shop. 



The same result may be 



effected by obtaining three or four 
flat bottom saucers of different sizes, 
and placing them one in the other. 

There is another coop, which on account of the character of 





its construction and utility is denominated the weather coop, 
and rightly so, proving very effective in guarding against 
its inclemency. During the summer it is sufiicient guard 
against wind and showers^ but in winter should be located 
in a similar retreat to the former open structure ; the roofing 
must be waterproof, this is essential; the back and two sides 

of close boarding (draught, so very prejudicial to fowls, 
especially to chicks of tender age, is therefore avoided), the 
front alone is open, with wooden bars placed at regular 
intervals, sufficiently apart to allow the continual egress 
and ingress of the feathered youngsters, without the pre- 
sence of the parent bird, until some six or seven weeks old; 
the middle bar, if on the sliding principle, and capable of 
being removed at will, dispenses with the necessity of a 
door. throu2*h which, if need be, the hen is allowed to follow 



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FEEaUSON ON EOWL. 



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the strollings of her brood. A sliding bottom, easy of 
removal for cleansing purposes, is equally or more desirable 
still, and operates in a two-fold beneficial manner; when 
removed, the mother finds herself upon the actual ground, 
and as soon takes advantage of the favourable circumstances 
presented by scratching and indulging in a roll, for which 
no opportunity exists whilst the bottom is of board. By 
shifting each morning, a few minutes' work with a scrubbing 
brush will remove all impurities, and after remaining the 
rest of the day in the sun, may be again brought into requi- 
sition. To carry this out, two sliding bottoms are required. 
The coop should be raised three-quarters of an inch 

■ M 

above the level of the ground, for the purpose of guarding 
against damp, this may be readily accomplished by means 
of a support placed at each corner, of the required thickness. 
It should not, however, be raised too much, or the rapid 
progress of the chicks will be retarded in their attempts to 
return to their parent. Many of these particulars will, 
doubtless, readily suggest themselves to our readers, 
especially to such as have taken an interest in this field of 
amusement, still it becomes requisite from time to time to 
be reminded by friendly hints even of subjects with which 
we are well acquainted ; moreover, whilst perusing a volu- 
minous treatise upon the natural objects presented daily to 
the view of an observer and lover of the beauties of creation, 

how much additional interest results to the reader from the 

discovery that portraits of his own often felt, though unex- 
pressed, ideas are accurately drawn, described and placed 
before him ; likewise with what readiness of conception are 
other portions of the same work grasped, and the interest 
produced increased ; for these and other reasons a certain 
amount of minutise is requisite in establishing the intrinsic 
value of a production. 



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COMPARTMENTS FOE HEN AND CHICKS. 



127 



The already mentioned sliding cover should in the even- 
ing of the day be drawn over the bars or front portion of 
the coop, to prevent the chicks from wandering, when 
damp and dew covers the surface of the ground, and satu- 
rates the turf and herbage ; likewise to avoid the misfortune 

+ 

of becoming the prey of their foes, so numerously abroad 
at early morn. 

Ventilation, at all times so needful, is no less so in this 
instance ; a few round holes therefore must be cut in front, 
towards the top, to ensure this object. In bad weather 
these coops should be removed into an out-house, barn or 
stable, for the purpose of providing a comfortable dry run 
for the chicks, so very essential to their well doing, but 
not by any means every time a shower falls, as their water- 
proof covering is sufficient to ensure temporary resistance, 
but in the event of long and continued wet, when the wea- 
ther is so inclement as to entirely confine them to the in- 
terior of their not by any means spacious dormitory, the 
advantages of removal present themselves ; but whenever 
an opportunity exists for allowing out- door exercise, it 
should not be neglected, as nothing is so beneficial as the 
muscular exercise and voluntary activity so frequently dis- 
played when enjoying the full effect of the sun's influence. 



COMPARTMENTS FOR HEN AND CHICKS. 



Where 



many are reared, and prime breeding a consi- 
deration, it is requisite to have a range of pens constructed, 
and partitioned walks for chicks of different growth, where, 
according to size, they may receive allowances ; for in the 
case of a host of chicks of different ages being fed in one 
body, no peculiar or select feeding can be adopted, and all 
are either served alike, to the injury of the weakest, or a 
useless expenditure occasioned by a krge consumption 



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128 



FEKaUSON ON FOWL. 



of that comparatively expensive food young chicks alone 



require 



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A. Represents six compartments for sitting hens, wliere the cMcks 

may remain nntil the third week has expired from the 
first day of their exclusion from the shell, apart from the 
annoyance of strangers or maltreatment of the more powerful 
of their own species, Five square feet should be entirely 
enclosed, leaving room for the egress and ingress of the hen 
and chicks -, the roofing, however, extends five feet beyond, 
forming an open shed to the enclosed apartment, and being 
ten feet under cover. If stormy winds arise, or showers 
descend, a comfortable and sheltered spot is found, without 
being confined in their evening dormitory, which, however, 
in case of cold weather terminating the day, affords a 
retreat. The partitions constituting the divisions of the 
compartments consist of wire, laths or trellis work, but so 
much depends npon taste, inclination, and the length of 
purse, that it is at once useless detailing any precise or 
definite method of displaying style, the present object of 
this undertaking being only to expound the rudiments and 




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COMPARTMENTS FOE HEN AND CHICES. 



129 



actual requirements, perils to be avoided, and advantages 
resulting from proper, rational, and natural management. 
If the partitions be open work, a foot or two of close board- 
ing towards the bottom is necessary, both to prevent the 
chicks from trespasing, and becoming the victims of an 
enraged and strange mother, tender towards her own, but 
confining her affections to them, and maltreating the off- 
spring of others, and for the purpose of preventing the two 
^ hens from engaging in a pugilistic encounter they are so 
very liable to whilst thus engaged in rearing and fondly pro- 
tecting their own ; seeing at this season of year, from the 
above cause, their dispositions are materially affected, and 
that irritable, though noble spirit, is predominant. 

B. Eepresents six larger divisions, each capable of accommodating 

two full broods, the difference between these and the former 
consists in the night apartment being divided into two sepa- 
rate compartments, but both opening and having an entrance 
to the same plot of ground ; at the extremity of the walks a 
range of open sheds is constructed, ten feet wide. 

C. The infirmary for invalids, or any troubled with a malady 

requiring particular attention (if the fowls and chicks be 
properly managed the inmates will be but few). 

The enclosed apartments of A. B. and C, must be well ven- 
tilated, and the floors raised a few inches above the level of 
the surrounding ground, over which there should be light 
moveable wooden floors, capable of being shifted at a moment's 
notice for the purposes of cleanliness. 

The five feet open shed adjoining should be laid with unbind- 
ing gravel, and the walk before it of well- drained turf — sweet 
grass possessing untold virtues. 

D. Refuse depot, placed as near the exterior as possible, for the 

convenience of removing rubbish or manure as collected. 

E. Represents the tool and utensil department. 

F. Food preparing department, 

G. Pood and grain depot. 

H. Egg house — this compartment may be fitted up according to 

the fancy and other requirements of the manager, as count- 
ing house, &c. 

I, A long shed containing fattening pens, 

K. and L. Represent a field, divided with the intention of allowing 

the inmates of the compartments represented by B., the op- 
portunity of enjoying a full run every third day. 

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FEEGTJSON O^ FOWL. 



These arrangements may appear very extensive and ex- 
travagant to some, but it must be borne in mind equally- 
extensive are the products and advantages derived. Where 
but a few broods are reared^ almost any outhouse or water- 
proof and well ventilated shed will suffice to answer the 
purposes of shelter and protection from the inclemency of 
the weather, but where several dozen head of poultry are 

continually being transmitted to the market, larger require- 
ments necessarily arise. Many broods should not be con- 
fined in onecompartment^ or some will receive much injury 
from the violence of others, and even occasionally by the 

mother hen herself, as in her hurried and precipitate at- 
tempts to protect her young, she tramples them under her 
feet when running towards the object of her revenge^ or ta 
the disliked and unwelcome visitor. Likewise the oldest 
and strongest chicks much ill-treat their younger brethren 
dividing, according to circumstances^ is therefore requisite. 
Divisions are alike advantageous, for when the mother hen 

forsakes her progeny, five or six broods may be placed 
together in the same space as was previously occupied hy 
two; the separation of cockerels from pullerets is necessary 

for the production of first-class specimens, but the time 
is regulated by circumstances^ and by the particular class 
kept; some fowls arrive at maturity much quicker than 
others^ and therefore require being separated at an earlier 
period, the time may be observed by the frequent advances 
of the male towards the female. Also, where pullerets are 
intended to be reserved for select breeding purposes^ they 
require to remain apart from the males. 

Those of our distinguished breeders, who by their 
superior judgment have attained to any standing as fanciers 
of the day, are well aware of the advantages resulting from 
this method. Cockerels should not have the stimulating 






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ADVANTAGES OF PEOPEE MANAGEMENT. 



131 



appearances resulting from the continued presence of a 
multiplicity of puUerets, or the unlimited opportunities of 
indulging their powers of production, seeing they receive 

by domestication alone so great an amt)unt of stimulus. 

If many birds are reared in these divisions, it is very 

advantageous, every third year, to carefully take up the 
enclosed turf and remove a few inches of the surface soil 
for fresh, when it may be laid as before. This is not 
absolutely necessary to their existence, but I can testifv as 

■ J 

to its beneficial and wonderful effects, and to the comfort 
and vigour it imparts to the inmates. Doubtless some will 



say 



diffic 



fowls; why 



were accustomed in our country town to throw down the 
corn and place water before them, allowing them to eat 
the former and drink the latter as best suited them, and 
with regard to cooping the chicks, dividing or separating 

up turf, we never troubled our heads 



the 



m. or 



taking 



about it, but allowed them to run about when and where 
they chose, and upon the same ground for twenty years." 
And may I ask what was the result of this scientific mode 
of procedure ? How many the produce upon a given space? 
What the quality of flesh ? And lastly, at what price per 
head were they disposed of to the public ? As a matter of 

course the required answers are not forthcoming, arising, 

■i 

perhaps, from the modesty of the illustrious breeder already 
adverted to ,; it is, however, not less requisite they be 
responded to. 

We will therefore impose upon ourselves the task, and 
endeavour with impartiality to accomplish it. It is well 
known, by the accounts furnished us, together with the 
individual amounts forwarded to market, that under the old 
system alluded to, not more than one-third could have been 

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132 



FERausON ON FQWL. 



reared and bred upon the same given quantity of land. 
Not to speak of the advantages resulting from the present 



mode, inasm 



reared, more 



I 

are kept, and therefore eggs are far more plentiful, and a 

r 

wholesome and nutritious food thus readilv obtained, at a 
lower rate, as may be known from the fact, that — 

*' * The Poultry Mania' in this country has caused a decrease in 
the importation of foreign eggs to the extent of more than two 
millions and an half in one month, by increasing the quantity 
and improving the quality of the fowls reared at home." — North 
British Daily Mail. 

Now for the quality, as existed under the old system; it 
was certainly so far good, seeing in many instances the 
breed forming the subject of these pages (the Dorking) 

4 

now so highly esteemed for the extreme delicacy of its 
flesh, was then in vogue, though not by any means in such 
perfection; the average size, taking one hundred, and di- 
viding the aggregate weight by that number, will bring 
each single specimen reared at the present day some three 
or four ounces ahead of those produced some years back. 
With respect to the price ; that the influence of the old system 

upon our present prices is not yet extinct, is certain, seeing 

in many instances improved ideas are still neglected ; biit 
though the influence is manifest, -so visibly distinct are the 

modern improvements, though 
in their infancy— so great and successful the result — that the 
prices, although high to what they will eventually prove, 

are still low as compared with the former ; and such would 
doubtless have been more obvious still, had not further 
additions to stock been necessary to compensate for past 
neglect. So taking a cursory glance, the present appearance 
of aflairs is encouraging, as must be the case, to all lovers 
of progressive improvement, to ascertain a result so favour- 



advantages arising from 



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AILMENTS, WITH RESTOEATIYES. 



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133 



able ; perfection, however, must be our standard, and 
though unattainable, success will still aw^ait us. 



AILMENTS, WITH KESTOHATIVES. 

The Dorking chicks, when hatched early in the season, 

r 

require great care, warmth, and protection, especially from 
the age of three weeks, until their down and fluiF give 
place to feather. At this period they not only require 
that amount of care usually bestow^ed upon other chicks, 
but particular attention is needed for the prevention of 
the most apparently trivial circumstance proving detri- 
mental. Damp, above all things, must be sedulously 

r 

avoided ; every sunbeam taken advantage of for the 

■ 

purpose of indulging their inclinations wuth this most 
delightful opportunity of exercising their limbs unre- 
strained. One hour's recreation under the influence of 
the sun is far more beneficial than any amount of artificial 
heat ; but care should be taken they be not overdone, or 
allowed to remain longer abroad, at one given time, 
than is suited to their tender age. 

b - ■ 

With respect to the period best adapted for the rearing 
of Dorkings, I certainly consider that a greater number of 

chicks are successfully reared from broods hatched early 

in May (if seasonable weather prevail), than at any pre- 
vious or after period, and on account of the favourableness 
of the weather, that particular care absolutely necessary 
to the successful rearing of the broods hatched at an 
earlier period, is not so imperative (be it remembered I am 
alluding to the Dorking chick only.) Damp affects them 
more than cold, and should be more particularly avoided ; 
the shorter the legs of a fowl, the more this may be ob- 
served. (They are not by any means so hardy as the 
Shanghae or Spanish.) As soon as a chick has the ap- 



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134 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



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pearance of being ruffled in his feathers, droops the wings, 
raises the back, draws his head in close connection with 
his shoulders, looses his appetite, or in chicken-like 
fashion, piques for the body pressure of the hen, his 
immediate removal is necessary. 

He may also be at once recognized by his run, for when 
unwell, he is carried forward by the mere action of the legs 

without any bodily or energetic motion ; whereas, if healthy 
and robust, the visible characteristics of energetic display 
may be observed in the youngest chick, together with 
voluntary motions of the neck and body. When first ob- 
served ailing he should be removed, and no time lost in 
examining the cause, as the removal of the origin and 
seat of the disorder will, in all probability, restore his 
life, if the disease be taken in its first stages; but if not, 
his removal will be the means of preventing his com- 
panions from imbibing the same malady or infectious disease, 
so probably resulting from his presence. If there exists a 
general debility amongst a brood, or looseness of feather, 
a liberal allowance of stale bread soaked in chamber-lye is 
the best restorative, this may be continued for six or seven 
days successively at the regular breakfast feeding time; and 
once or twice during the same period, chopped onions with 
bread crumbs may be administered as the evening meal. 
The hen, generally so kind and attentive to her feathered 
progeny, is wanting in discretion when any malady over- 
takes them, in which case death alone terminates their 
career ; if left to her care without applied and medicinal 
remedies being resorted to, a peck or a trample are the 
usual methods employed by her in furtherance of her in- 
stinctive and intentional relief, which but seldom act as 
restoratives. The fact is, most of the disorders originate 
in mismanaged domestication, and are not primitive com- 



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AILMENTS, WITH EESTOEATIVES. 



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^aints^ therefore, the instinct of the parent bird proceeds 
no further than to the restoration of such as are in them- 
selves natural and not acquired. 

Many reasons exist sufficient to account for the con- 
siderable difference existing in the appearance and actual 
progress in the development of the feathery armour of the 
winged tribe ; and even of the same class and broody chicks 
irregularly supplied with nature's requirements, and but 
partially and negligently sheltered from the inclemency of 

the weather, will not only be less thriving, and a deficiency 
of size and weight be perceptible, but visible evidences 
ever exist in their feathery coats when an opportunity of 
comparison presents itself by the presence of another, 
whose general indications of health, strength, and rapid 
progress too plainly and surely publish to admit of doubt 
the foederis superior attention and care.; likewise the p^ro- 
duce of pullets and stags, when bred together, feather but 
slowly as compared with such as are the offspring of mature 
birds. — {See page 106, part 3.) 

The cockerel can seldom be distinguished from the 
pulleret by his plumage until the eleventh or twelfth day 
after his exclusion from the prison walls, when indications 
are presented to an experienced eye sufficient to denote the 
existing and differential sex; in some specimens such cha- 
racteristics are not so fully visible until a later period. In 
a general way, the flight feathers are more fully developed 
in the cockerel than in the pulleret; whilst in the latter, 
that requisite appendage, the tail, becomes the soonest 
manifest. In the Dorking class, the black-breasted reds 

readily, and at an earlier period than any others, 
show indications of their sex ; whilst the greys, but more 
especially the speckles, are considerably behind-hand, and 
far more modest in this respect. 



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136 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



The entire class, however, exhibits a precocity of con-, 
stitution, and arrives early at maturity ; at the age of six 
months a cockerel should weigh about T-lbs , and a pulleret 
of the same age 6-lbs. They do not, however, reach full 
plumage until two years' growth. A male bird hatched at 
any given time is a cockerel or chicken until the 
Christmas-day, when he is denominated a stag, even sup- 



ensumg 



(th 



seldom the case) ; u 
he becomes a cock. 



(chick 



very 



until the first Christmas, when she becomes a pullet ; upon 
reaching the second she must be considered a hen. 

I am aware different local ideas exist with respect to the 
above terms and modes of distinction, but they appear to 
me to answer all required purposes, and for this 
reason I unhesitatingly adopt them. I must once more 
impress upon my readers the necessity of change of diet 
being attended to, and should be even more rigidly en- 
forced where fowls are kept in confinement. I have known 
instances of chickens being reduced from the weight of 

four to three pounds in a few days, and were actually 
starving, whilst at the same time full supphes of grain were 
before them, which however they refused, but upon soft 



food being substituted (barley 



) 



voured it eagerly, and being supplied with the same for a 
short time, recovered their regular standard. It is there- 
fore necessary to regard the appetites of fowls as an im- 
portant indication of internal condition. 



FLESH AND FATTENING. 

fJDorkmff, as Dead Stock J 

Fattening is one of the subjects which will occupy 
ceeding number of this work, and therefore but a few 



a sue- 



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FLESH AND FATTENINa. 



137 



k 



remaiKs are necessary m passing 



The flesh of tliis fowl is 



highly esteemed for the table^ and the high reputation it 
has so long enjoyed it no less merits, being white, succu- 
lent, juicy, and very delicate in flavour, and stands un- 
rivalled by any other breed. Hence its value as a market- 
able fowl, and its peculiar adaptation to localities where 
there exists a great and continued demand. 

This is the fowl generally caponised in England, but in 
Trance the art is far more extensively practised. 

A thriving forward brood should be ready for the fatten- 
ing pens at the age of twelve or thirteen weeks, whilst 
later chicks, brought out not very long before cold winds 
prevail, and therefore enjoy but a limited supply of the 
beneficial influences of the sun, are seldom in a fit state 
until an additional three or four weeks have elapsed. 
When placed in the pens, fourteen or fifteen days are 
required for peckers, that is, such as are allowed to eat 

fit subjects for the market; 
whereas nine or ten days cramming will ensure the same 
result ; when heavy weights or prime specimens are desired, 
a few days longer penning will suffice^ but when once really 
fat, not only may they be handed over to the cook, but it 
becomes absolutely imperative, as they will not remain so, 
but dwindle away to irrecoverable loss. 

Tor fattening successfully, there are four things to be 

borne in mind, and which are of the utmost importance 

suitable cooping, regular feeding, proper food, and lastly, 
though of primary importance, cleanliness. 

Coops are made in various forms and sizes, some large 
enough to place a dozen in, but no room left, when once 
located there, for the purposes of muscular exertion ; others 
are made capable of holding one fowl only, with a sufficiency 
of room for the inmate to turn round. In these private 



without forcing, to become 



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138 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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boxes they are detained from one to three weeks, and 
regularly fed three times a day upon oat or barley meal, 
and other fattening substances. If heavy weio-hts are de- 
sired, th-ey are cramme'l with pellets oi" food not less than 
twice a day, the middle meal however they are allowed 
to swallow as they please, and at intervals, according to 
their own discretion ; but the morning or evening supply 
is not administered unless the craw is empty, and in a fit 
state to receive it. Clean water and sometimes milk is 
kept before them; during their stay in the coop particular 
cleanliness is observed by means of the bottom beino- 
formed of flat bars running longways, and each bar about 
two inches apart, which allows all excrement to pass 
through, and the coop being raised about twelve inches from 
the ground, is rendered thereby sweet and wholesome. 



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CONSTITUTION. 



The vigour of the chickens much depends upon the con- 
stitution of the birds from which they spring, and this 
forms the main reason why such numerous and conflictinc^ 
statements are current respecting more especially this class 
_of fowl ; some authors have considered them tender and 
anything but hardy; whilst others, of unquestionable 
authority, assert they are strong, robust, and of vigorous 

■constitution. 

My own experience has proved that from one Dorkino- 
-cock and hen I have bred almost invariably hardy chicks, 
that is, they took more or less after the parent stock; 
whilst from others equally Dorking, though of difierent 
fclood, for several successive seasons nothing was produced 
but weakly and ill thriving broods, although hatched 



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CONSTITUTION OF THE DORKINGh, 



139 






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within a few days of the former, and subject to the same 
treatment. 

These are not the only instances. I have reports from 
friends whom I stocked with birds^ in various localities, 
and from the generality, their good qualities are spoken 

highly oty and no mention being made as to the general 
state of health, I have a right to consider they are thriving^ 
There are, however, many that are really good and 
valuable in themselves, but still appear more liable and 
subject to disease than the generality of others, and when 
such is the case, the produce are more or less consti- 
tutionally liable, and therefore require great attention and 

careful sheltering from every detrimental influence, to 
ensure successful rearing, especially from the third to the 

sixth or seventh week ; in fact, whilst their down and fluff 
is being changed for that of feathers, is the critical period, 
when a blade or two of saffron in their water pan is bene- 
ficial, being stimulating and comforting; good feeding is 
also requisite. Their excrement should be observed, and 
if relaxed, a little common chalk should be placed in their 
water, and a change of food given; if in perfect health 
their excrement is of a stiff matter, and having at one end 
the appearance of white-coloured mortar attached ; by 
watching this it maybe observed whether the food supplied 

is suitable to their tender appetites, and in conformity with 
their internal organization j a small quantity of green meat 
should be supplied from time to time ; although it may 
appear strange, it is still a fact, that many birds are at- 
tacked by diarrhoea from being kept entirely upon hard 
food without any allowance of green ; for instance, a fowl 
will sometimes drink extravagantly, which is caused by 
internal fever, this excess of liquid produces more or 
less relaxation of the bowels; now, to rectify this^ supply 



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140 



FEEGFSON ON FOWL. 



green meat, such as grass, lettuce, or cabbage, with their 
food, which will be eagerly devoured, and will cool th 
internal heat raging within, by the medicinal pro-erties 
which nearly all vegetables possess, and such being reduced, 
will cause the fowl no longer to crave for that liquid which 
previously produced temporary relief, but by his own 
instinctive reduction of liquid, the internal parts will neces- 
sarily receive less moisture, and the bowels be brought to a 
healthy state ; this is not precisely the case with all animal^, 
but I am fully satisfied such is the fact with reference to 
this bird. I dwell upon this complaint as being one which 
the Dorking is liable to, and which, if not promptly met, 
proves very weakening and reducing in its results. I con- 
sider the Dorking, as are nearly all white-legged fowls, 
more liable to the roup than are the others, they therefore 
require out-door exercise. How disastrous are the conse- 
quences if care be not taken when cooped up many days toge- 
ther, or closed within the narrow pens of a London or Pro- 
vincial Exhibition; they shouldnot therefore be too long con- 
fined, but allowed to again obtain fresh strength and vigour 
before their reappearance. At one of these places but a 
few weeks since, we beheld fowls, especially the Dorkings, 



& 



most infectious 



all, the water was so placed that the disease could traverse 
the whole line of pens ; the roup is frequently spread by 
fowls drinking from the same pan in which diseased birds 
have cleansed their beaks whilst drinking: for the sake of 
illustration I will here point out the evil as it existed^ as 
well as the mode in which it may be rectified. The pens 
were divided by partitions between which were three or 
four birds ; in the front of each^ between the two pens, were 
placed water pans^ so that each pen had on either side half 



a pan 



communicated 



birds 



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CONSTITUTION OF THE DORKING. 



141 



eitlier side, which had likewise not only this half pan but a 
corresponding half on the opposite side, the remainder 



commnnicating with the next 



pen, an 



d so on. For the 



convenience of my readers I present them with an illus- 



tration 




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AS IT WAS 



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AS HERE PROPOSED, 



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Now supposing a bird in D to have the roup, as several 

had in the exhibition alluded to, he is able to drink from 
the pan on either side, and which communicates to E and 
C : the fowls in these divisions partake of the impreg- 
nated water^ and being already rendered very susceptible 
to disease through close confinement, readily take it, they 
likewise drink the water on either side, and again, their 

next door neighbours catch and inherit this infectious dis- 
temper, which, in their turn, produce, through the agency of 
the water, an equal effect upon the nearest within reach, 

and so the distemper spreads, and the whole row become 
roupy and diseased. 



N 



an entire water pan were 



placed 



m every 



division, instead of each having two separate halves, they 
would have equally as much water, and any pen containing 
disease would thereby be kept apart and distinct, and the 
distemper being confined would do no mischief, save to its 
inmates ; the next thing is, there should be a projecting 
board of a few inches in width between each division in 
front, by this means the fowls would be unable to place 



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142 



FERaUSON ON FOWL, 



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their heads through sufficiently to do injury, fight, or worry 
each other, as was the case upon several occasions that 
came under my own observation. 

I mention this, seeing the Dorking will not bear that 
close confinement which some fowls are capable of, without 
showing evident proofs of their constitutional aversion to 
it in the form of apparent disease^ nevertheless^ if every 
requisite be attended to, they may be rendered far more 
capable of bearing up against it than when such precautions 
are neglected. 

They are said to degenerate rapidly when removed to 
any other locality than that which gave them birth, or 
when removed far from Dorking itself, to lose their dis- 
tinguishing characteristics of value. But why ? Is it 
because of the difference in the temperature? or the more 
exposed situation of the spot? This may have some little 
to do with it, and no doubt has, but not everything — much 
less in my opinion than is generally supposed ; it is but a 
part of the cause, which arises mainly from mismanagement 
when at a distance, and not because at a distance. For if 
far from Dorking, it is diificult to procure specimens of 
different blood of the Dorking breed to keep up the stock ; 
and being somewhat difficult, it is postponed, to the injury 
of the breed, as well as the reputation of the entire class. 
Now tbe Dorking requires keeping up more than almost 

any other class of fowl, and the reason is, because we expect 

of it more than any other ; now supposing this be neglected. 



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Are we then to consider this is caused by the situation 
being more exposed, or the temperature varying? Certainly 
not ; the cause is through negligence in not procuring fresh 
blood ; neither are we to consider the locality the means of 



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DISEASES OF THE DORKINGF. • 



143 



procrucing the evil^ seeing it principally arises from a diffe- 
rent cause. I trust therefore, when frequent importations of 
fresh blood into the Dorking are generally regarded as 
absolutely nec?ssavj,and acted upon as^ proof of conviction^ 
this fowl may no longer be considered as any other than a 
hardy species, and become far more capable of enduring 
change of temperature than is the ease at present. 



DISEASES. 



The principle diseases and maladies to which this fowl 
is more especially liable, are roup, diarrhoea, and diseased 



feet. 



the 



or rather developed, after confinement in ill-ventilated> 
dirty roosting-houses, exposure to wet or cold wind& 
during the moulting season, or whilst very young, and 
continued confinement in exhibition pens ; it is recognised 
by a visible discharge from one or both nostrils, at first 
limpid, but ultimately fetid. 

From whatever cause it arises, the sufferer or sufferers^ 
must be immediately removed from their companions, and 
taken to a dry, warm, and well-ventilated apartment, the 
nostrils and face vthroughly cleansed with, warm salt soap- 
suds morning and evening, and fed upon soft food, bread 
and milk, oatmeal and milk, bread soaked in old ale. Sec, 
alternately. 

There are many recipes for this disorder, all of which 
are of little or no value unless corresponding care be taken 
to keep the birds dry and warm, with plenty of clean 
water, not only while the cure is 
afterwards also, or they will most assuredly suffer a relapse; 
roup pills for the first three or four nights, composed of the 
following ingredients^ should be administered. 



being effected, but 



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144 



FERaUSON ON FOWL. 



2 tea-spoons full scraped horse radish 



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grated ginger 

mustard 

flour of sulphur 

oatmeal 



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with as much fresh butter as will form it into a stiff mash: 
this quantity may be divided into three pills, and one given 
for three successive nights, at the same time providing them 
with water, in which as much rue has been previously 
infused as produces a strong bitter taste ; all other means 
of supplying themselves must necessarily be cut off. If 
after four or five days the bird be not improved, it is far 
better to kill him, as if he has the disease sq^ severely as to 
be unable to receive any benefit from the mode I have 
prescribed, it will be almost impossible to effect a per- 
manent cure ; a bird also may appear to have recovered, 
and yet, when introduced to his mates, it jg too often 
found, although he appears well, his companions, soon 
after his return, sicken of the same complaint, and this 
infectious disease ranges the poultry yard ; also, at the 
ensuing moulting season, he is again very liable to be 
affected with it more or less, and if so, will instill it into 
the hens and other fowls before its presence be even 
perceived. If I had at any time a bird in my own yard 
which had suffered from this disease, I would never allow 



him to return to his 



(althou 



without placing him for two or three weeks with a few 
common fowls ; if they, at the expiration of that time, took 
no harm from him, then I would venture him with his more 
valuable hens, but upon no account before ; but if the bird 
were not a valuable one, would immediately dispatch him, 
considering it by far the wisest, most econoiuical, and safest 
method of proceeding. I must here make one remark 



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DISEASES OP THE DORKING. 



145 



nine cases of roup out of ten, as well as of all diseases to 
which fowls are subject, proceed from actual negligence 
in the shape of omitting the supply of proper food, con- 
finement in ill-ventilated or dirty fowl-house, or lack of 
clean water. 

Diarrhoea— Is principally caused from want of exercise, 
long continued and unvaried or improper food, or foul 
water. Remedy — exercise and dry feeding ; if barley has 
been the staple provision, then soft food, as a change is 
requisite ; barley-meal and bran, or coarse middlings, and 
a supply of chalk in the water. A meal or two of parboiled 
rice is also very beneficial, and may be given at all times with 

r 

If the complaint continues severe, a small 
piece of alum placed in the water pan will retard its pro- 
gress, supposing the inducing cause be removed, but not 
without. 

et and Toes — Principally caused by the pre- 
sence of a supernumerary claAV, or rather the injuries 



advantage. 



Diseased Fi 



member 



or skirmish. 



when it frequently becomes broken or mutilated ; it should 
be as soon as possible washed with lukewarm salt water, 
well dried, and the injured part bound up ; if the super- 
numerary claw be nearly separated in the affray, it is ad- 
visable to entirely remove it, or it will ever be in the wav; 
this may be done with a sharp knife or pair of clippino; 
scissors, and the whole foot bound up with linen to prevent 
any particles of dirt or foreign matter coming in contact 
with the injured part, which would impede its healing ; it 
is, however, astonishing with what rapidity any injury 
inflicted upon the pedal limbs of birds in general becomes 
healed. 

Being weighty they are liable to corns upon the soles of 
the feet, principally caused by pressure and consequences 

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FEI^GUSON ON FOWL. 



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arising from their rapid descent from a lofty perch upon some 
hard substance ; likewise^ confinement to a gravel walk 
invariably results in birds (especially the males) becom- 
ing ultimately '^ bumble-footed." No permanent cure can 
be effected when once corns have taken root — neverthe- 
less^ temporary relief may be afforded by placing the bird 
in a bag^ allowing his feet alone to remain out^ and having 
soaked them for an hour or two in warm water^ a consi- 
derable portion may be removed by the application of a 
sharp penknife, when he should be placed to a grass walk. 
I feel an imperative necessity, called forth by the serious 
and all important nature of the subject, to again maintain, 
with strict adherence to the rules already substantiated, that 
the Dorkings be tenanted in dry, clean, and well ventilated 
apartments during the night, with the further necessity 
of appropriating to their use equally comfortable corners 



to take refup^e in d 



uring the day. 



when storms or the 



inclemency of the weather overtake them. 



PROSPECTIVE RESULTS. 

The improvements necessarily resulting from close in- 
vestigation into the laws, which govern any branch of 
national economy, are no less apparent to an observant eye 
in this than any other section of the natural Avorld, or such 
as may receive a more direct or immediate advantage. 

Ere Ion 




, I trust, to perceive that indifference, issuing 
from the imagined trivial importance of the subject, ^ive 

place to an equal amount of untiring energy so much dis- 
played by our countrymen whilst engaged in other pursuits, 
and so striking a characteristic of the race. The inevitable 
success attending a line of action at once so doubly bene- 

■t 

ficial, and no less praiseworthy, will be productive of equal 
advantages to the producer and the general public, instead 



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THE DOEKING— PKOSPECTIVE EESULTS. 



of small — extensive will be the returns ; in the place of 
disappointment — distinguished success ; consequences so 
favourable will not lose the wanted effect upon our re- 
quirements, but large supplies extend both to our metropo- 
litan and provincial markets, and such being the case, prices, 
once so exorbitant, will be reduced to that degree of mo- 



deration as to bar but few in the more frequent and exten- 
sive use of an article of food so wholesome and luxurious. 
To the attainment of this object is my pen directed In its 
course, to decipher the method of onward progress my 
task. Poultry consumers, therefore, with producers, are alike 
at once my friends — to them I offer and extend the boon. 



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means 



thoughts of honourable men, and the result will prove 

mutually advantageous. 



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148 



rEHGUSON ON FOWL. 



THE POLISH FOWL. 






HISTORY OF THE POLISH TOWL. 



V' 



That we are again minus the aid of ancient records re- 
specting the ancestry of this class of domestic poultry is 
conclusive, seeing nothing but vague and indefinite theories 
exist respecting the origin of the entire family^ and that 
such encouragement is not forthcoming to aid our researches 
is equally palpable. The only course, therefore, opening to 
the view of the researcher of family distinction is the care- 
fvil selection of such brief notices as have been furnished 
from the remotest period to the present day, and the close 
observation and comparison of the OLitlines of characteristics 
and the peculiar habitual tendencies of the respective fami- 
lies ; such will prove a surer guide than tracing words or 
names, or perusing travellers' reports, save where a tra- 
veller has proved a naturalist too, when double credit, 
reliance, and attention to his observations on the natural 
world are truly well bestowed ; names but, indeed, mivslead 
and often tend to misconception and obscurity, unless 
appropriately given. The name Poland is apt to introduce 
the idea into the mind that the country known as SLich was 
the locality from whence they sprang, such Avas however 
not the case ; the word Poland, as applied to this striking 

fowl, is derived from 'poll (Dutch term meaning top) the 
peculiar feature of notoriety being the elevated cap of the 
skull which extends to all varieties of the Polish family. 



and from its base rises the p'lobrdar cluster of feathers known 




as crest or topknot ; here, then, we prove the name 
alludes to form and not locality, to shape of skull and not 






I ■ J 



HISTORY OF THE POLISH FOWL. 



149 



'iD 



r 

to birthplace ; but a further difficulty awaits us if Poland 
be not the country, where shall we cast our eyes ? Various 
countries haA^e been assigned by travellers, each one dis- 
posing of the preference to his own peculiar choice without 
providing proofs or groundwork for argument. St. J 
St. Domingo, Peru, Mexico, and many parts of South 
America, besides a host of other localities in Asia have in 
their turns received the credit appertaining to the mother 
country, but without avail. The fact is poultry have been 
less deserving in the esteem of nations the privilege of 
engaging the pen of the historian than is the case at pre 
sent, ever worthily received, ever had in respect, as proved 
by dedication, still their biographies not found within 
the circuit of literary pursuits, their history neglected 
though their persons amply provided for, such is too surely 

the position occupied by this compartment of poultry 
detail. 

Guatemala has been set down by some as the req^uired 
locality, seeing birds bearing considerable similitude were 
found by travellers at a remote period; also various parts 
of the globe far distant have been considered by others the 
most probable, as birds bearing much the appearance of 
orignality, and belonging to a primitive order, were said to 
have been domesticated for an unknown period. 



Some 



described by Aldro\' 



'to 



as entitled to be regarded the progenitor of this family ; 
a fowl bearing in many points a resemblance, if we may 
judge by the rude portraits, together with the equally in- 
definite and vague description furnished us; possessed of 
the principal feature, the elevated skull, together with the 

crest and muff, a possible connexion may certainly exist ; 

differences, indeed, we perceive, as size, colour of pluma.o-e. 



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150 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



ing reduction. 



bill and feet^ but years and many circumstances are suffi- 
cient to render tbese differences passable — their size and 
weight considerably exceeds those known as PoKsh in the 
present day^ but the well known results of breeding in 
and in are fully sufficient to account for the present exist- 
But from whence came the Paduan? 
Timmerick has described the Gallus Gigantus^ or Javan 
cock which Cuyier and Latham assert^ the progenitor of 
the Paduan or Patavinian. 

BufFon supposes the Paduan to have originally come 
from Asia^ and mentions the Persian cock^ also the gigantic 
cock of Rhodes and Pegu as the probable progenitors. 

The most careful examination^ the most solicitous 
inquiries have failed to elicit further facts connected with 
the origin of this as of some other species of fowl^ neither 



are .researches likely to prove fertile^ seeing we have two 
distinct antagonistical causes which are Incontendable ; — 



Ist, the absence of stable records bearing upon the sub- 
ject ; — 2nd^ strict domestication and the presence of many 
admixtures with the breeds bearing more or less resemblance 
to ity and thereby rendering characteristics '^acquired;" 
svich admixtures were the result of past not present ex- 
perience, sustaining the characteristics of the breed, atten- 
tion to form and colour were but slightly recognised as 
important in the domestication of poultry in by-gone days, 

hence the difficulty of tracing or extending researches 
bearing upon this point, which, in our opinion, will ever 

remain at issue. 

Polish fowls have long been imported from the Nether- 
lands into this country ; the mercantile disposition of the 
Dutch led them to trade actively in this as with other 
commodities; but from Poland we have received but few 
supplies, neitlier can we trace in the latter country any 




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CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ENTIRE POLISH CLASS. 151 



reasonable cause Avhich can be assigned for sustaining the 
supposition that from tbence tbey originally came. From 
whence the Dutch first received them we have no authen- 
ticated accounts^ but suggested probabilities onl j^ which in 
this as in other matters are numerous ; we^ however^ prefer 
abstaining from enumerating^ as tending rather to confound 

than define., to confuse what has been already advanced^ 
rather than establish. 



CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ENTIRE POLISH CLASS. 

(Fowls bearing topknots alone included in this class.) 

Topknot — this the most striking characteristic of the 
class^ cannot be too fully developed ; in the cock the feathers 
are long as in the saddle-hackle^ and part in the centre^ 
falling in a circular form round the head ; in the hen they 
are far more beautiful and curve inward from the base^ of a 
globular form, and sufiiciently full to render her incapable 
of seeing any object save in a direct line. 

Skidl — ^does not follow in a gradual curved line with the 
beak as in other birds, but at the approach of the head an 
abrupt ascending line is perceptible, forming a protuberance 
and a very elevated and rounded skull cap, from which 
springs the topknot, this peculiar form of the skull is 
observable in the youngest chick. 

Comb. — In some specimens two small fleshy spikes 
resembling horns are apparent, in others no such features 
are observable ; diflferent opinions exist as to the genuine 
feature ; by many the spiked-comb cock is considered of 

impure origin, and the latter alone descended from the 
ancient Pole*. In my opinion the fleshy horns are more 






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* A very noble bird, larger than any extant varieties of this class, with- 
out the slightest appearance of a spike or comb, but merely a red skin or 
membrane growing perfectly flat over the base of the bill 






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152 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



the result of domestication than a proof of foul breeding ; 
be it, however, understood, not that domestication entailing 
cross-breeding so frequently combined, but merely that term 
as applied to confinement with a full supply of the necessaries 
of life instead of precarious, also warm housing and shelter 
from the inclemency of the weather tends to encourage ani- 
mal exuberance, which must sooner or later betray itself in 
some exterior form. I do not, how^ever, mean to pass over 
an actual comb as such, but merely the small spiral horns. 
Specimens possessing anything approaching a double or 
single raised comb should be immediately expelled from 
the fancier's stock as being of unquestionable impurity. 

Beak — Elevated, wide towards the base and short, and 
of a leaden colour. 

Nostrils — Elevated, of considerable width and somewhat 
raised towards their exteriors. 

Ui/e — Full and bright, in the white specimens the iris is 
of a fawn or pale straw ; in the spangled, a bright hazel ; 
and in the black, a still deeper shade. This valuable 
member we are not privileged to behold until a minute 

r 

inspection of the bird in hand be obtained, as the topknot 

entirely hides it from view, at the same time makino- full 
compensation for the loss by its own extreme beauty. 

Beard. — This appendage is by some considered as a sign 
of impurity, whilst others, equally eminent, regard its full 



development as important as the crown ; the public are, 
moreover, divided in their preference as to the superiority 
of the bearded over the beardless in point of beauty. My 
own experience convinces me the truest specimens, and 
birds with the most fully developed and perfect crowns, are 
usually bred from bearded specimens ; I consider them 
originals, although not so long domiciled in England as the 
unbearded.* In the latter the neck is more slender, with a 



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CHARACTEKISTICS OF THE ENTIRE POLISH CLASS. 153 



minimum show of neck-hackle compared with the former^ 
in which is usually exhibited a mass of golden feathers^ 
suspended from a well balanced head and neck^ so very 
prepossessing and no less effective. The skull forms more 
of a protuberance in the bearded^ and^ therefore^ the top- 
knot necessarily more fully developed. 

The beard is a collection of feathers immediately beloAV 
the eyes^ having the appearance of a triangular-formed 
muff, gradually diminishing in bulk towards the approach 
of the neck, that is, it usually becomes further developed 
round the cheek. 

Neck — Should be well arched and elevated. 
Breast — Wide and very protuberant, especially in the 
white-crested blacks. 

^ 

Bod2/ — Round, plump, and compact, tapering behind, 
and with but little offal. 
Wiuff — Full and ample. 

Tail — Rather erect and moderately full, with well 
defined sickle feathers in the male. 

Shank — Must be clean in all the varieties and rather 
short, varying from a deep blue black, to a light slate hue ; 
toes slightly webbed. 

Carriage — Lofty and aspiring ; when the male is offended 
or otherwise excited his agitation is perceptible to the eye, 
both in the throat and the convulsive movement of the 

entire frame. 

Crow — Not by any means melodious, but rather harsh 

and abrupt. 

Disposition — Of haughty demeanour and high metal, 
though not offensive, still very courageous, and will 
instantly repel intrusion or insult. 



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154 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



VARIETIES. 



The differently coloured plumage, &cq., of this family 
render it necessary, for the sake of distinguishing the same, 
to classify into varieties or sub-classes such as permanently 
differ from others in these respects', there are — 

1. White-crested White (bearded). 



2. Black do. 



do. 



3. White-spangled Yellow (bearded). 

4. Black and White-speckled (bearded and unbearded) 

5. Gray or Grizzled (bearded). 



6. 



Cuckoo (bearded). 

White-crested Blues or Dun (unbearded) 



Blue-crested 



do. 



do. 



(do.) 



(unbearded) 



9. Black 
10. Golde 



do. 



(bearded) 



11. 



3d (bearded and unbearded) 
Golden-spangled (do.) 
I (bearded and unbearded). 
Silver-spangled (do.^ 



Besides these there are several mongrel races possessing 

a small tuft or crest behind the comb, and falsely recog- 
nised by the Polish name or crested-fowls. 

The term " everlasting layers," as applied to this fowl, 
being equally applied to several varieties, is apt rather to 

confound than elucidate, and, therefore, we are compelled 
to cast adrift such title, considering no class of fowls should 
have more than one appellative, no variety but one 
distinguishino' name ; and, furthermore, that several classes 

^cognised by any other than their own 



'tD 



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r 



should not be ^ 

respective designation. 

To avoid reiteration no 
characteristics as have been previously enumerated — as be- 



mention is again made of such 



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POLISH VARIETIES. 



155 



longing to the Polish class — save where a difference exists^ 
therefore^ Avhere silent^it maybe inferred such are applicable. 
White-crested White (bearded). — Are very beautiful birds^ 
and stand unrivalled for the subdued delicacy of their 
plumage although strong contrasts for which other varieties 
are distinguished and prized are not prevalent^ still equally 
gratifying are the effects produced from their extreme and 
peculiar delicacy of feather. Both cock and hen should 
be of a settled white throughout^ Including topknot and 
beard^ in which no trace whatever of black should be 

r ^^ ^^ ^^ 

perceptible. The hackles of the male are sometimes of a 
very pale yellow tint^ as well as the larger wing coverts. 
The body round and plump^ with well plumed tall standino- 

r 

rather erect; neck-hackles short but close and full; shank and 
toes of a pale blue^ and the beak of a similar hue. In some^ in 
the place of the comb^ the two fleshy spikes already alluded 
to are observable^ in others no such features are present. 
From partial resemblance to the white specimens, '^ Albi- 
nos" occasionally produced from the white-crested blacks, 
they have been by some recognised as belonging to that 
variety ; such, however, is not the case, seeing they gene- 
rate their kind in form, colour, and constitution, whilst 
the produce of Albinos return to the original colour black. 
Black-crested White. — It will be observed this variety 
has not been omitted in " the list," although regarded by 
some as extinct, of which, however, no proofs exist. To 
provide a proof of absence is usually more difficult thar 
that of presence, still this variety but a few years since ex- 
isted in several localities, although, I must confess, in very 
limited numbers. I do not, however, feel justified In allow- 
ing so beautiful a variety so soon to escape the boundaries of 
classification and to become unnoticed and unknown. 
This bird Avas evidently described by Aldrovandi, and must 




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156 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 






ever have been regarded with admiration by all lovers 
of this interesting familt/ of nature. 

The body should be of snowy, subdued whiteness, as in 
the former variety, with the crest of a jetty black, pro- 
ducing great relief, and rendering the contrast peculiarly 
strikmg. The bill and claws afford further relief and 
present the varied shades of blue and light slate. 

They are of full size, being rather larger than the gene- 
rality of other Polands, with round capacious bodies, pro- 
tuberant breasts, and with but little offal. 

White-spangledYellow(bearded)~Av^of extreme beauty 
and peculiar excellence when purely and regularly marked 
The general ground of the body, of both male and female 
IS a light yellow, or creamy tint, with each feather of thj 
breast spangled with white. The neck and saddle-hackle 
feathers of a light yellow, and the wings' coverts of the 
male of a deep golden hue. In the female of a light yellow 
with laced wing coverts. The topknot and beard should 
be of snowy whiteness, and the feathers of the former tip- 
ped with creamy hue ; in some they are of a bright cream 
spangled with white. The tall of a light yellow ground 
similarly spangled. These birds progress In beauty in- 
crease m size and quality of feather, until the third or 
fourth moult. 

Black and White-speckled (bearded and unbearded)— Ave 
of peculiar appearance, varying in colour from a mixed- 
gray to a silver-spangled cast, with white crests spotted 
more or less with black ; many exhibit but an unsettled 
and irregular appearance, and indicate too plainly their 



origin 



unbearded 



other respect m colour, size, or general appearance, are 
generated from the same parents, showing recent admix- 
ture and unsettled hereditary characteristics. We h».» 




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II 






POLISH VARIETIES. 



157 



however, met with exceptional cases, where specmiens of 
this sub-class have presented a regular and uniform appear- 
ance ; such, however, are indeed exceptional. 

Gra^ or Grizzled (bearded). — Many specimens of this 

variety present a similar plumage to the last-mentioned 
sub-class, but are usually more inclined to grizzle in fea- 
ther, from the distinguishing peculiarities of which they 
obtained nomination ; this, however, renders them of an 
unsettled colour. Some are neat in appearance, but rarely 
present clear hues or definite markings. Most of them 
look far better upon close examination than when at a 
distance, there being tints which require minute inspection 
before their merits can be appreciated. 

Cuckoo (bearded). — These birds, more or less, resemble 
the two last sub-classes in plumage, but are of a far more 
delicate tint ; some specimens exhibit a fine and rather 
prepossessing exterior, and indicate a blending of subdued 
colours, as produced by artistic nicety of calculation ; the 
hens are very neat in appearance, with light greyish crests. 

White-crested Blue Dun (unbearded). — The cock of this 
variety frequently presents a ground of dull streaky blue- 
black, with hackles of a corresponding hue, but usually 
darker, with white ear-lobes, rather long wattles, and dark- 
blue legs ; they are seldom seen of a very uniform or 
settled hue, when such is attained, they merit a consider- 
able share of admiration. The hens, when well feathered, 
are very neat ; the blue dun tint, in some instances, appear- 
ing of a silvery cast, and reflecting both light and shade 
with clearness. The white crest forms a most beautiful 
relief to the eye, and renders them favourites with all 
privileged to behold ; they are, hoAvever, but seldom to be 
met with perfect in England, but principally on the con- 
tinent, where varieties abound. 



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FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



of our imagined distinct varieties 



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One remark is here unavoidable. We have^ for many 

received supplies of fancy fowls from 
comprising diversified varieties, especially 
localities situated near the torrid zone, where still exist 
innumerable sub-classes, which in this country are unseen 
and unknown, save by report ; some have produced still 
less effect^ and remain hidden in obscurity. 

That heat is sufficient of itself to generate colour is evi- 
dent, and that many 

are but the effect of that powerful stimulant Is equally 
evident. In cold or temperate regions colour lies compa- 
ratively dormant^ but where subjected to the Influences of 
heat, tints and hues are developed, diversity originated 
into multiplicity and never-ending variety, each of which 
generate increased variety ; but, when transported to cold 
temperatures, retain and breed their own colour with far 
greater precision and permanence. The botanist, with all 
his study of nature and her laws, can accomplish compara- 
tively but little without the aid of art ; he knows too well 

-J 

the generating and stimulating qualities of heat, to over- 
look such an acquisition in the production of his variegated 
and innumerable tints. Nature bespeaking in these similes, 
her laws and requirements are observed, and, as a reward, 
her otherwise hidden treasures are developed. 

In the same locality exists an entire unbearded dun 

variety, but with a similarly coloured crest, presenting 
thereby nothing peculiarly attracting for Its contrast or 

delicacy of feather : the lover of subdued tints may, how- 
ever, gratify his fancy by selecting such as are uniform In 

feather and of a settled shade. 

White-crested Black (unbearded). — This variety Is too well 

1 

known to require minute description for the sake of rendering 
the specimens recognisable; still where such parts and points 




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POLISH VAEIETIES. 



are considered consequential^ mention is equally requisite. 
They have been long recognised as an ornamental fowl^ and 
no less valuable in an economical point of view^ in our 

r 

poultry establishments ; indeed tlieir beauty is apparent at 
a glance, and requires not tliat educated or refined eye as 
is requisite for the appreciation of some. 

To be rendered eligible as exhibition birds, the entire 
plumage of the male must be of uniform black, enlivened 
with metallic green shadings. The crest feathers of pure 
white, save the frontal or short feathers at the base of the 
bill, which are invariably black (unless stained by art) ; 
the comb should be very diminutive, and, if examined, will 
be found to present two small fleshy spikes standing erect ; 
wattles of coral redness and rather full ; beak blackish ; 
ear-lobe white ; shanks and toes blackish ; soles of feet 
varying in tint from a fleshy or spotted hue to nearly 
white. Their general form is compact and close, possess- 
ing rather short legs, but a dignified, noble, and haughty 

Neck should be finely arched ; breast full and 
very prominent ; tail full and carried rather erect, is well 
arched, and must be of an uniform black, shining with me- 
tallic lustre, and not inclined to grizzle or appear gray, but 
of a decided black to the roots. 

The hen should be of a similar feather throughout, and 
not inclined to speckle, of compact and close form Avith 
small bone. The crest in the hen is far more beautiful 
than in the male, being globular and white, but possessed, 
in like manner with her lord, of black short crest feathers 
at the base of the bill, but more diminutive, also white 
ear-lobes, and small rounded wattles. 

A full grown cock should weigh about 5^ lbs. 



carriao-e. 



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This variety is frequently confounded (as are 



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160 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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and termed " everlastlno- 



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Vers," on account of their great aversion to incubate: 

^ libino^ :'r~ ^^-k« - ---ally generated 
A b.nos, of a umform wlnte feather (unbearded), with 

light eyes which are usually but weakly in constitution, 
and, xf bred from the issue, more or less resemble the black 
m colour, but thei\immediate parents (the white) in form 
and constitution. (See White-crested White variety ) 

Black-crested Black (hearded)- Kr. very scarce, and 
resemble m plumage the white-crested black, save in the 
crest feathers, which are of a decided black ; they, more- 
over, possess a black beard, with legs and toes of the same 
colour, presenting an entire black suit throughout, are well 
made, and of an easy but dignified deportment. 



(bearded and unbearded) 



Are 



very 



Neck 



beautiful and extremely rich in plumage. In the cock the 

general ground of the body is a bright yellow-ochre, 

spangled with black, reflecting greenish shades ; the wing 

coverts are more minutely laced or spangled, and the lower 

parts of the wing of a similar bright colour. The crest 

feathers should be of an uniform chesnut red, with as little 

white as possible, but If of a pure and unmixed white still 

more preferred. Beard full and black. 

full, which, together with the saddle-hackh^TsWd b7of 

a bright golden ochre tint. Ear-lobe whi'e. Tail full 

and of a rich deep ochre spangled with black, the streamers 

being of a darker tint. Legs, claws, and beak of a ll^ht 

blue or slate colour, but perfectly clean. Feathers round 
vent and thighs black, though the latter is sometimes 
spangled. 

The hen is of a similar feather, bnt less brilliant, still 
we expect her to exhibit spangles more definite and de- 

m their character; the neck-hackle, breast, and 



cided 



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POLISH VAKTETIES. 



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back^ should be well and evenly spangled^ and not patched. 
Whig coverts well and evenly laced. The crest in the 
hen is of a dark tint, spotted with black, but frequently 
nearly black, but should be even and globular. 

A description of this bird, however accurate, is but the 
description of one specimen ; and, seeing every one differs 
more or less in some minute particulars, it would be use- 
less to dwell upon every perceptible existing difference, 
and as equally ineffectual. 



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Silver-spangled. 



hen 
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round of the feathers of the 



former being substituted for a silvery white, this most 
beautiful variety is at once pictured to the imagination ; 
the silvery white tint relieves the eye considerably more 
than the bright ochre in the previously described bird, 
and is, moreover, more delicate, whilst the crest is usually 
more fully developed than in the golden-spangled; but this 
latter is remarkably rich in plumage without being gaudy. 
Tastes, therefore, will ever differ, and right it should be 
so, for the pure generation of each kind. Both must be 
as regularly and clearly marked as possible, but the span- 



gles in the silver variety being the more conspicuous, it 



becomes doubly imperative. A 
mage proves fatal to their claims as fancy stock, and, 
moreover, renders them valueless as exhibition birds. 
Some are much more laced than others, but, to whatever 
extent, unless clearness with precision be united, they 
will never stand the test to which they are subjected from 
the scrutiny of our fastidious judges. 

There are many birds whose appearances more or less 
sanction their classification as sub-varieties of the Polisli 
family. Innumerable are the crosses, and the produce 



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FERGUSON ON FOWL. 




11 



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thus generated^ having been 



again irregularly matched^ 
have produced piebalds and speckles of all shades and 
colours. 

In almost every farm yard, where heterogeneous breeds 
abound, may be observed birds with a crest from the size 
of a diminutive Polish down to that which claims the 
count of six or seven feathers. To enumerate and furnish 

descriptive portraits of each would be a work we would 
hail were advantageous results pending ; such, however, is 
not the case, but equally valueless would prove the fruit 
and the attempt. 



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THE POLISH BEAED, 



The material form and external appearance of this pecu- 
liar feature has already received our attention under the 
head of " characteristics of the entire Polish class ; " but 
the indications and intrinsic merits or demerits of this 
appendage has been reserved for present discussion. 

A fowl possessed of a beard Avlthout a crest may prove 
offensive to the refined eye, but when combined, the neces- 
sity of the former is at once perceptible, when absent, too 
great abruptness in one particular part, too strong a con- 
trast between the elegant shaped neck and the extended 
crest, without a corresponding peculiarity, renders its style 
incomplete, and the specimen but partially peculiar ; if 
peculiarity of form or feather in any bird constitutes choice 
qualities or beauty, that peculiarity, whatever it be, must 

necessarily be fully develoj)ed. A little peculiarity forms 
nought but ugliness, seeing it violates the existing laws of 
symmetry ; whereas extended and fully developed pecu- 
liarity, rarity and value, and becomes governed by other re- 
gulations^ and bound not by hitherto recognised restrictions. 
As in the Shanghae, if his form be midway between the most 



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THE POLISH BEARD. 



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elegant foAvl and his own, he is at once considered value- 
less, and far from beautiful. If his peculiarities be but 
partially developed in a moderate sized tail, an even back, ' 
but a very few feathers down the leg, only a slight con- 
traction underneath the crop, a middling wing, he is con- | 
sidered ugliness itself; because these peculiarities, which / 
distinguish him, until far more extended, are not sufficiently 
peculiar or striking to constitute extreme contrasts with 
other fowls, and, having no pretension to elegance, the 
bird is at once doomed to be discarded as an outcast from 
the establishment of the fancier. Let these properties be 
but fully extended and developed, and the bird becomes 
at once valuable and recognised as beautiful, being judged 
by different rules from those Avhich render elegance beau- 
tiful, and refinement valuable. 

I firmly believe the bearded variety of Polish is the 
primitive order, partly from the observation that, if of 
pure blood, the beard is invariably transmitted to the off- 
spring ; moreover, one bearded male bird placed in a yard 
will, in one season, make wonderful alterations in the 

appearance of the stock of chicks, and would in three 
years render the whole of the offspring so generated more 
or less bearded. If such feature were acquired by cross- 
breeding or domestication, this class would not possess 



more than usual power to transmit this characteristic, but 



being obtained from a hereditary source, it becomes of 
necessity developed more or less in all the offspring. The 
two figures (Aldrovandi's), one is beardless, the other 
bearded, nothing, therefore, can be gathered from that 
source, save the fact of the partially original cliaracter 

of each. 

But from whence arise the beardless ? That many are 

the result of an admixture with the Hamburgh is certain, 



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164 



EEIIGUSON ON FOWL. 



seeing in the offspring of some are transmitted from time, 
to time veritable proofs and indications of tlie true cliarac- 
teristics of that bird^ there being evidently an indication to 
the production of a double comb in one or other of the 
after produce ; when such is the case^ a proof is obtained 



undeniable: sometimes, however, indications bearino; less 



external difference from the 




originals 



may 



be 



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beardless specimens^ such as action, walk, habits, watch- 
fulness, &c., and may be easily recognised by the searcher 
of nature, and establish proofs of impure descent; but be- 
cause many are the result of an admixture, is not sufficient 
of itself to justify the idea that all specimens, minus the 
appendage, are thus produced. I have seen many beard- 
less specimens in which no such peculicirities existed, no 
such habits distinguishable, and in the produce, for many 
successive years, no trace of these characteristics, but 
bearings in exact similitude with the parent birds : this 
forms evidence sufficient to prove that, if they be a cross, 
the admixture must have taken place at a very remote 
period, that is to say — the bird with the beard must have 
been matched with beardless specimens, 
issue of such with others, until the beard was eradicated — 
care having been taken to select such as possessed the 
crest, and were as near the original colour as possible, but 
with the least show of beard, and the issue bred together 
until a race became established and recognised as a distinct 
class. Many of our varieties have been thus produced, 
but years and by-gone days conceal particulars, but ]N^a- 
ture reveals sufficient evidence to prove, even in the 
absence of records, that such are facts. Some naturalists 

appear eager to draw fine lines about slight differences : a 
beardless bird having a tuft of feathers is recognised as of 
different origin, and not only so, but distinct from those 



and again the 



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THE POLISH BEARD. 



165 



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possessing the tuft with the presence of a muff or beard^ 
although of similar cast and colour, habits, and disposition, 
But why ? Is it because there exists no perceptible 
groundwork in such specimens for the production and 
development of characteristics which distinguish others ? 
Is it because of the great external differences and the 
absence of resemblance, or from the fact that the issue 
for many successive years retain such distinguishing 
qualities ? The last reason is certainly the best ; but, be 
it remembered, although we may consider and recognise 
various breeds by certain names, and call them primitive 
varieties and separate classes, for the sake of distinguishing 
such as have been produced by select breeding and at 
length become permanent, from such as have been more 
or less changed by domestication or climatic influences, 
still we should but mean by the term ^^ primitive ' 
primitive compared with the present generation, or with 
others of a heterogeneous descent and not as originally 
primitive. 

Compare the bushman with our European friends — the 
little dwarf with our lifeguardsmen : in the former, diffe- 
rences exist not only in size but colour, not only colour 
but tone of voice and language, habits, disposition, consti- 
tution, and, in fact, to the hair of the head ; when we 

regard the internal condition, greater differences become 
apparent. There is as much difference between a Briton 
and a bushman as exists between a Game fowl and a 
Silky fowl — a Malay and a Negro fowl. The two first, 
if united, will be productive of issue, and such issue again 
productive equally with the latter pair. What saith these 
facts? The family is one — the first man Adam, the 
bushman, and the Briton, are one in blood, however revolt- 
ing may be the idea to the refined or enlightened. The 






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166 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



Game fowl Avlien united to the Silky fowl, or the Malay 
with the NeoTo fowl, produce issue perfect in themselves, 
and capable of further producing their own species ; but 
when the pheasant is mated with the domestic or wild fowl 
the result is very different. But why ? Because Nature's 
laws and requirements are thereby violated; 
classed her productions, and man, by such act, is endea- 

-just and 



she has 



vourm 




mugt 



God 



What 



then is the result of such mating ? The female so matched 

r 

produces prolific eggs it is true, but the ofFspring generate 
not their kind — there the matter stops. 

The she ass and the horse are by men, by constraint and 
fraud, matched, and the mule is thereby generated, but 



the latter proves unproductive. The goldfinch and the 



canary are mated, but in the produce exists no further 
powers of generation. 



What 



So long 



the family constituted as such are mated, whatever 
differences exist, caused by time, age, climatic influences, 
or diet, the produce shall be productive. But were such 
to be the case when the devices of ignorant, vicious, and 
depraved men lead them to violate or abuse their natural 
constitutional requirements, what would be the result? 




monsters 
LUg man 



and the 



im 



the animal 



blended. 

Accountable creature man ! rendered unaccountable by 

means of instinctive admixture ; but the inevitable issue is 
horrible to gaze upon. Nature and her beauties would be 
thereby irrecoverably defiled. 

"We, therefore, feel bound to maintain, with due respect 
to different ophiions advanced by many distinguished natu- 
ralists, and men of undoubted authority and comprehension 



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THE POLISH BEAED. 



167 



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that we perceive no ground for retaining the supposition that 
each of our varieties of domestic fowl ( Galli) claim a dis- 
tinct and separate origin upon the ground of their charac- 
teristical difference, or from the permanent character of 
their produce, but consider that the former merely provides 
proofs of great and extensive changes having taken place, 
as before described ; and the latter, that the breeding in 
and in for many years is capable of rendering stock pro- 
ductive of specimens with more or less regularity in tint 
and colour, and of establishing many permanent coloured 
races ; and, further, that all such, whatever size or colour, 
habits or disposition, as when mated with ordinary domes- 
tic fowls, are capable of generating prolific offspring, 
belong to one family, but further 

Which and how many were the primitive varieties of 
this family is unknown ; but what I here wish to maintain 
is, that many of the present varieties, recognised by some 
as distinct, have been produced by art, and have no claim 
to originality. At the same time we have no right to sup- 
pose the buff Shanghae had the same origin as the silver- 
spangled Bantam, merely because such is possible ; or we 

ine the Newfoundland dog and the black and 



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tan spaniel^ have a right to claim the same descent. 
That Creator^ who rendered many fowls of the air to 
differ but little from each other, and many of the count- 
less insects each other so resembling that man can 
detect but little existing difference without the aid of 
mao-nifying power, which have, nevertheless, instinct suffi- 
cient to render their generation select — may not that same 
Creator have originally called into being many pairs of 
birds of 'this ''order" differing in different respects, or 



may be closely resembling? Certainly. The redbreast 
and the nightingale, save in the tinted breast, are near 



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168 



EEKGUSON ON FOWL. 



alliedj still they ever retain their own respective society 
and blend not their blood. When such is done by man, 
then we are compelled to interfere, and cast adrift a 
wrongful nomination, and readjust a name indicative of 
facts. For this reason we maintain the buff, the black 
and white, or partridge-brown Shanghaes, are, if purely 
bred, of one common descent, and the silver or golden- 
spangled, the black-breasted, or the purely black'*Bantam, 

are derived from one source, although indirectly. That 
the white-crested black Polish, or the golden or silver- 
spangled Polish, bearded or unbearded, spring from one 
origin, or obtain their characteristics from one common 

source, although admixtures have altered such from primi- 
tive characteristics. That the black or brown-breasted red 
Game cock, the Dun, the Pile, or the Duckwing, although 
so different in feather, had but one common descent, and 
derive their peculiarities from that source, although man's 



art has altered colour to his mind by breeding in and in. 






or crossed with other birds and strain, and, having produced 
the desired tint or form^ continued breeding from such 
specimens as developed most his fancy, until at length that 
peculiarity became permanent and ever exhibited itself in 
the offspring — and the more carefully selected the longer 
effected, the less " crying back," and the more and more 
permanent it became, until at length no vestige or trace of 

olden tint or form becomes observable. 

By breeding specimens of one branch of the family 

which had been the subject of many changes, with others 
equally though differently changed by years and other 
climatic influences, the produce so generated again exhi- 
bited a blending of the tw^o peculiarities, and the produce 

being bred in and in, classes distinct in appearance have 
been formed. 



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THE POLISH BEARD. 



169 



II 



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For one example (though not on equal footings still suf- 
ficiently evidencial to prove the possibility of forming an 
apparent new variety by admixture)^ some seventeen years 
since a friend^ by name and nature^ possessed a white-crested 
black Polish cock, which he matched with a brown-red 
Malay hen, the produce so generated were of the most 
peculiar appearence — one of the male birds took after his 
mother in respect to size and form, but resembled the 
father, though imperfectly in colour, and possessed, more- 
over, a few feathers in the crown. This bird he bred with 
a white-crested black Polish hen, and several of the produce, 
especially the puUerets resemble the Malay in form, 
but possessed a fair share of the Polish characteristics, 
when mated with a brown-red Malay cock, proved 
highly interesting, several of the male specimens stood 
twenty-three inches high, but were very nearly black, 
and possessed, especially in one specimen, a considerable 
topknot. For five successive years they and the produce 
were bred with Malays, and the result was the production of 
several fine specimens, two of which, cock and hen, were 
perfectly black, without any indications of a crest, or even 
the elevated skull, but resembled the Malay in shape, size, 
and carriage ; these were bred in and in for several succes- 
sive years, until a permanent colour was established, though 

now and then a slight crest appeared in diminutive form ; 
but peculiar to say, although the colour of the specimen 
was invariably inclined to black, the crest came brown 
(this being the original colour of the plumage of the 
original Malays) ; if these birds had been further bred 
togetherand judiciously sustained, the breed might have been 
preserved, and by the selection of the purely back speci- 
mens, this so produced variety might have still existed to 
deceive the world. 



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170 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



POLISH BREEDING STOCK. 

The laying of the foundation stone is always regarded as 
an important feature in the erection of the mansion or the 
cathedral ; equally important to the fancier is the selection 

I 

of pure and perfect specimens^ and such as fully develop 
every requisite characteristic for the foundation of success 
in his less assuming and more moderate desires. That the 
male bird be of different strain to the hens is of great 
import^ equally so the after occasional importation of fresh 
and vigorous blood into his stock of the same class^ but of 
different strain for the production of first-rate hardy 
offspring (which is necessary every other year). Although 
the Polish family have suffered much from the evil effects 
of breeding in and in^ stilly be it remembered^ even that is 
far better than the admixture of a distinct family which 
renders the produce valueless as fancy birds, although the 
parents may have been prize birds of their own respective 
class. 

Therefore, although the importation of fresh blood is 
imperative, no less important is it that the blood so imported 
be of first-rate quality, and equal, at any rate, to the old sort, 

or the admixture had better be postponed until such can be 

procured, although slightly over the bounds of prudence. 

J 

In the stock selected should be developed every charac- 
teristic regarded as desirable as to colour and general 

appearance, neither should the form of the bird go 
unexamined, seeing deformed specimens are not rare in this 

family, and where such is the case it is frequently trans- 
mitted to the offspring, and becomes hereditary. To detect 
a curvature in the spine a glance will frequently suffice, as 
the back is raised in a curved line from the hips of the tail, 
and being most elevated midway is easily observable. 



sometimes causing the tail to be unevenly carried. 



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POLISH BEEEDING STOCK. 



171 



either produced from a hereditary source or the immediate 
effects of in and in breeding. Sometimes one hip bone 

^ 

protrudes more than the other ; if there be a doubt as to 
the presence of this defect such may be readily dismissed 
by placing the hand flat upon the back, taking care to hold 
the bird evenly, when it at once becomes tangible, 

Not only is it important to observe (as in other breeds) 
that brother and sister should not be matched together, 
but seeing the crest feathers are not fully developed until 
the third or fourth moult ; neither pullets nor stags should 
be bred from, but only cocks and hens, that is only such as 
have reached the second Christmas from their exclusion 

from the shell. 

From old birds are usually produced chicks possessed of 
most fully developed crests, and chicks which feather 
quickly and soonest arrive at maturity ; whilst from three 
year old hens, when mated with stags, are generated the 

most robust stock birds. 

Sometimes they throw or cry back, and from the golden- 
spangled are produced silver-spangled specimens ; likewise 
the male of each variety, when matched with the hen of 
the opposite colour, that is if the golden-spangled cock be 
mated with the silver-spangled hen, he engenders as pure 
and perfectly marked silver produce as those produced from 
the silver-spangled cock and hen, or the silver-spangled 
cock and golden spangled hen in like manner produce clearly 
marked offspring, indicating plainly their relationship as | 
splits from the same block, and evincing their original identity. 

In the generality of cases when birds of a different 
feather are matched the produce run mealy, mottled, 
piebald, or speckled, according to the feather of the parent 
birds, and receive their characteristics indifferently from 

the two as well as from antecedent admixtures. 



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172 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



A 



may 



cross-breeding, but it will be found when mated with birds 
of a different class possessing wonderful influence over the 
progeny. The bearded Poland attaining his characteristics 
from a hereditary source, invariably breeds bearded 
offspring. All birds more readily acquire than loose a 
feature, especially where such Is a prominent character for 
this reason, as before stated^ match a bearded Poland 
with a beardless fowl, and every specimen thus produced 
will possess this characteristic of the Polish class in a greater 
or less degree. 

For cross-breeding the Polish proves no less valuable, the 
produce running small in bone, but round and plump in 
flesh. A summary of importances may thus in a very few 
words be expressed. 

1st. In selecting stock procure one cock and two or three 
hens possessing the necessary characteristics as before de- 
scribed, with every requisite feature fully developed. 

2nd. Take care the former be of different strain to the 
hens, though of the same feather. 



3rd. Whichever be the variety selected every care must 
be taken to avoid an admixture with another bird of a 
different feather, even though of the same class. 

4th. Import fresh but equally good blood into the breed 
as often as it can be procured. 

5th. Never breed from relations, and more especially 
avoid consanguinity necessarily resulting from brother and 
sister being matched, such mating invariably proves deo'e- 
nerating in its effects. 

6th. Neither breed from stags nor pullets, but from 



full grown and mature cocks and hens 
the Polish class alone.) 



(This applies to 



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POLISH AS LAYERS. 



173 



POLISH AS LAYERS. 



Polands are classed by some amongst ^^ everlasting lay- 
ers/' being remarkably productive^ usually commencing in 
the springs tbougb a little later than the generality of 
others^ but continuing on and off until the autumn^ or 
moulting season. There are amongst them^ as in every 
class^ some whose powers of production are indifferent ; but 
svich are quite exceptions to the rule. The eggs of the 
entire class are of moderate size^ but the multiplicity more 
than compensates for deficiency in weight ; the shells are 
perfectly white, and of an oblong shape, being more obtuse 
at one end than the other. 



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FAC-SIMILE OF THE " POLISH " EGG. 



The average weight of the white-crested black's egg; is 




about two ounces, though, when arrived at maturity, they 
frequently produce them slightly heavier ; this variety is 
considered the most prolific of the class, although the eggs 
of the golden or silver-spangled usually exceed that weight 
by a quarter of an ounce. Some hens lay eggs much less 
obtuse than others, but the usual tendency is to an oblono- 
sh^ipe ; they likewise vary in production (see Part I. Sup- 



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174 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



plement^ page 39) ; the four liens there mentioned proved 
very productive^ and deposited in the second year coUec- 
lectively nine hundred and thirty- five eggs, which amount 
to two hundred and thirty-three each hen ; this was a 
large average, and exceeded the comparative average of 
our yard of Polish, which were, however, of a different 
strain. One hundred and sixty to two hundred may be 
considered a fair average, but it would be useless laying 
down in more definite terms a settled average for the entire 
class, seeing not only do the varieties greatly differ from 
one another, but birds of the same variety vary equally as 
much in this respect; the last mentioned average may, how- 

r 

ever, be considered a fair one. 



POLISH AS SITTERS AND MOTHERS. 

When it becomes known that the Polish, in opposition 

r 

to the instinct which urges most other hens to incubate 
after production does not influence them, there is imme- 
diate ground for the abandonment of that surprise which, 
upon hearing of the large and numerous supplies of eggs 
by them produced, first took possession of the mind. Their 
time not being occupied by maternal duties they have the 
more leisure to produce, and it occasionally occurs that a 
fowl of this class will take advantage of the opportunity 
and lay one hundred eggs with little or no intermission. 
As there is but little difficulty in procuring the assistance 
of another fowl to undertake the task of incubation, it 



seldom forms any material ground for dissatisfaction on 



the part of the fancier, who much prefers beholding his 
stock in decent attire and good trim than emerging in 
cramped and disordered feather from the confined and 
narrow space within the nest : and the farmer much less, 
who has more frequently cause for complaint on account 



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POLISH AS SITTERS AND MOTHERS. 



175 



of his hen's obstinacy^ and the determination with which 
they baffle his attempts to quell their feverish desires. 
No, in his estimation, this characteristic is to be regarded 

as decidedly desirable, so long as he has sufficient differently 
disposed hens to undertake the office of incubator. The 
tendency to incubate forms a very exceptional case with 
the bearded Poland ; but the beardless, although seldom, 
are nevertheless more inclined than the former, but, in 
nearly all cases, not until very late in the season ; indeed, 
although they may behave themselves well, and carry for- 
ward the process with steadiness, it is quite a speculation 
and I would never advise valuable eggs to be placed under 
them when other hens can be procured — seeing in most 
cases they will act steadily for a day or two and then the 
idea of a sedentry occupation will give way for some more 
desirable occupation, and the nest necessarily becomes 
vacated. 

The Spanish, the Hambur 
larly indisposed, though in different degrees. Whether 
we esteem this peculiarity as desirable, or opposed to our 
interests, it becomes the naturalist and historian to regard 
it with decided feelings of dissatisfaction ; the former will 




^ 

behold it as nature incomplete and rendered impe7^fect by 
the works of man's hands, by the breeding in and in, and 
the strict domestication to which she has been subjected ; 



whilst the 



with 



at the 



reduced condition of the once perfect organization now 
evincing no desire to propagate her own species, becomes 
cognizant of the position^he would himself occupy (as a 
historian) were a'1-nature thus so deficient and devoid of 
nature's stimulant to generate their kind. (Further sugges- 
tions on this momentous subject included in after part) 



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FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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HATCHING AND BEARING POLISH CHICKS. 

Since^ then, we are unable with safety to procure the 
assistance of the Polish hen to officiate as mother, it be- 
comes requisite to engage the services of some hen of a 
different class to perform the duties devolving upon incu- 
bator ; amongst which Game and Dorking hens stand pre- 
eminent. The eggs of the Polish should not be set prior 
to the commencement of April (unless the season be ad- 
vanced), which time is more suitable than an earlier period, 
as cold and wet much retards their growth, and renders 
close confinement necessary, which at a later period may 
be frequently dispensed with. Upon the arrival of the 
twentieth day, after depositing the eggs beneath the hen, 
the chicks may be found emerging from captivity ; and 
upon the twenty -first being completed, all should have made 
their exit. Their characteristics are recognisable as soon as 
they are excluded from the shell — the beard and the crest 
form striking contrasts to other chicks. The rounded and 
elevated skull, where developed most, bespeaks a well 
shaped and extended crest ; a large circuit of beard, full 
hackle feathers ; according to these two characteristics, so 

the two important after features become developed. A 
chick with but a slightly elevated skull has but little 
groundwork for the erection of a beauteous plume; the 
bird with but a small amount of beard, but little chance of 
ever possessing full and beauteous hackle-feathers. I say 
little, because there are exceptions, though but few. 

When first hatched the white-crested black chicks are of 
a jetty black colour, with white or greyish markings on the 
breast, the crest should be white and the wings are frequently 
of the same colour ; but the first moult should substantiate 
black feathers, grizzle or any other tint being ruinous to 
their pretensions as fancy birds. 






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HATCHING AND REARING POLISH CHICKS. 



177 



The produce of the black and the white Polish are of 
the same colour as their respective parents, both in body 
and crest, althouojh somewhat of a different shade. 



White 



spangled yellow — these chicks vary from a light 
brown to a creamy hue, with stripes of a deeper shade down 

the head to the lower part of the neck. 

Black and white-crested chicks are usually very Irregular, 
with a mixed tint prevailing through their down in patches, 
but sometimes of a pale cream. 

Golden-spangled vary much in shade and tint. They 

range from a dull yellow to a deep dingy brown, and are 
marked as in the black and brown-red Game chicks, with 
two or three parallel bars running down the back, but 
usually of a darker shade ; legs light blue or lead colour. 

Silver-spangled are similar to the above, possessing like- 
wise the stripes down the back, but the groundwork is a 
creamy white or grey, with darker tints upon the back, 
greyish crest, and black eyes. 

Polish chicks feather quickly, but being small in bone 
appear less robust than most other varieties. 
fore, is requisite to guard against damp, which is far more 
injurious than dry, cold weather. For the first six or seven 
weeks they require great care, attention, and good feeding, 
especially whilst their down is being substituted for fea- 

thers. — -(See ] 



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b 



out of all danger, and as hardy as the generality of other 
chicks. They grow moderately, but frequent change of 
food is requisite to prevent them « standing still " in this 
respect. It is extremely difficult to distinguish between the 
puUeret and the cockerel until somewhat in an advanced 
stao-e seeino- they do not possess even the rudiments of a 

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FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



comb ; neither are their countenances otherwise indicative. 
The golden-spangled may be distinguished before the other 
varieties^ by the red feathers in the cockerel becoming the 
soonest apparent ; not long after the silvers exhibit their 
differential sex. Surmises may be formed by the compa- 
rative size and muscular development of the cockerel, as 
well as from the fact that the male bird's tail feathers are 
usually carried downwards, and grow much slower than the 
puUerets which are frequently carried erect ; there may 
be, perhaps, no evil attending the mere surmise, but I feel 
confident but little good results, and but little can be 
ascertained until the feathers actually appear. 



POLISH AS FLESH AND DEAD STOCK. 

The flesh of this fowl stands high as a table delicacy, 
being round, plump, white, tender, and very fine in flavour. 

At the same it must be borne in mind they do not reach 
such heavy weights as the Dorkings usually attain — also 
commence laying later in the season than ordinary fowls ; 
and considering the difficulty with Avhich they are reared, 
and the injurious consequences invariably resulting from 
damp or dirt, they are not calculated to form suitable staple 
stock in an ordinary farm yard ; but, where a grass run is 
afforded them, few are their rivals in beauty or intrinsic 
value and utility. 



CONSTITUTION. 



As before stated, damp and cold are particularly preju- 
dicial to the well doing of the Polish family, especially the 
former, which will make great ravages amongst the chicks 
if not timely prevented ] for this reason, therefore, every 
care must be taken to erect the foAvl house in a warm and 
secluded situation upon a gravelly and not a clayey soil, 



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DISEASES. 



179 



and to guard against all draughts or currents of cold air. 
The peculiar changes In the appearance of the coats of 
this class must necessarily be observable to every Polish 
fancier ; it is true they progress in beauty until the third 
or fourth moult — the crest feathers are not fully deve- 
loped, neither their plumage so brilliant before as after 
that period — ^in this they differ from all other fowls, which 
usually aiTive at maturity of feather and full development 
by the completion of the second year. 



DISEASES. 



Although the Polish chicks are recognised as being less 
robust than the generality of their compeers, it appears 



Ived 



malad 



few- Cold and damp are at all times Injurious, and if not 

guarded against will engender roup. 

A feature of less importance, but proving disfigurative, 
is the partial temporary loss of the ornamental crest. In 
that department I observed in a hen, a short time since, 

the appearance of prevalent irritation which, by her 
peculiar motions and evident signs of uneasiness, became too 
apparent to escape observation ; a day or two later, upon 
drinking from the pan, she placed her head almost entirely 

beneath the water, Avhich rendered her crest completely 
wet throughout ; a short time after I again observed her 
and discovered several of the feathers had been removed 
from her crown, and such as remained were much flattened; 
having watched for a few moments It became no longer 
doubtful that her associate hens were the instrumeDts of 
extracting them one by one, and upon taking her in hand 
discovered her skull to be In a dirty plight, partly produced 
by the presence of their beaks from time to tune, but evl- 



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FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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dently having existed in a bad condition some time previous 
to their attacks. The fact was, her companions had been 
pecking the dirt instinctively for the purpose of effecting 
its removal, as may frequently be observed in hens friendly 
towards each other, and strongly contrasting with pugilistic 
encounters resorted to by others ; but the former having 
extracted a few feathers and rendered the spot bare, it 
became somewhat irritated, which further encouraged their 
continued operations although to her discomfort, and not 
only so, a bad habit was partially acquired. 

As soon as it becomes apparent that a bird's crest is thus 
being reduced, it requires examination for the purpose of 



me a 



glares— if found dirty, it sliould be immediately cleansed 
and rendered quite dry before tlie patient be readmitted to 
her companions^ otherwise a head which^ when well plumed, 
is very ornamental and the glory of the bird, proves a 
picture of extreme ugliness when deprived of its coverings, 
by the exposition of an elevated skull. 



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HISTORY OE THE MALAY. 



181 



THE MALAY FOWL 



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HISTORY OF THE MALAY. 



In this age of progressive refinement and practical inquiry^ 
tlie bare outlines of a theory^ the mere skeleton of a fabric, 
are found insufficient to satisfy the demands of the '' people." 
Whether the human mind soars to objects without the 

extent of material vision, or displays a heartfelt love for 
nature's more subdued harmony below, the same spirit of 
determination to obtain the germ of truth in detailed facts 
prevails. That nature's intricacies as solved in these 
pages will prove insufficient for the exigencies of a future 
age, we feel bound to admit, but rather wdth sensations of 
satisfaction than otherwise, seeing the love of progressive 
improvement being implanted within the human soul, the 
same desires actuate extension of hope for future advances. 
Had the subject of poultry economy in past ages 
furnished us with the briefest notices indicative of 
climatic originalities, or furnished data from whence we 
could gather the then existing varieties, with the loca- 
lities in which such were domiciled or otherwise preva- 
lent, a boundless field of materials for enterprise and 
research would at once present itself to our eager gaze. 



from which with unwearied satisfaction the unsolved prob- 
lem might be extracted from its perilous situation of 



remammo; ever 



sealed. Since, then, we are unable to 
extend our researches satisfactorily, we must content our- 
selves in gratitude to past neglect with furnishing data 



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FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 




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from wlience future researchers may be enabled to unravel 
their intricacies. 

The subject of this chapter purporting the history of 
the Malay is less obscure than may be imagined. In the 
present day there exists several wild varieties of fowl in 
Asia^ bearing much resemblance to the Malays known in 



I 

the present day^ 

In Java two wild sorts exists known respectively by the 
names Ayam-alas and Ayam-ourus. The tail of the former 
is much forked^ from which circumstance it may be imme- 
diately distinguished from the latter^ which is almost 
entirely devoid of that appendage. Although naturally 
wild and extremely shy in their habits^ specimens of each 
kind are occasionally taken whilst young and reared and 
bred with the Javan domestic fowls^ which renders the 
stock of the latter vigorous and of constitutional hardiness^ 
this feature becomes more particularly manifest in the 
issue of the produce thus generated than in the immediate 

offspring. The natural result of the admixture is exhibited 
in the diversified Javan stock. 

Many existing specimens bear considerable resemblance 
to the Gallus Sonneratii found by Sonnerat in the jungles 
of India in a wild state. The tropics abound with an 
almost endless variety of variegated plumaged and vari- 
shaped fowls^ and to those latitudes Ave are indebted for 
the possession of so noble and hardy a bird as the Malay. 
From the Peninsula of Malay^ situated on the southern 

point of the continent of India^ where this fowl still 
abounds^ have been imported magnificent specimens of the 

Malay kind. 

To Mr. J. Nolan^ of Dublin^ a man of great experience 

and sound judgment^ we are indebted for the extensive 

propagation of this very noble family. He was one of the 



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CHAEACTERISTICS OF THE ENTIRE MALAY CLASS. 183 



earliest Malay breeders^ liaving obtained liis stock from the 
London Docks^ to which place they had arrived direct from 



Malay. 



They were of a reddish yellow plumage^ and 



progenitors of an illustrious family, from which have been 
generated some of the finest specimens in the courxtry.*' 
That they were the aborigines of the Peninsula of Malay 
is unquestionable, and that the existing specimens claim 
descent from them is equally conclusive^ That the Kulm 
or gigantic cock is but another name for the same extensive 
class ; that this species of fowl, divided, sub-divided, dis- 
tinguished and nominated, as after described under the 
head of varieties, according to developed peculiarities, em- 
braces extensive differences of feather, comb, form, size, 
&c., is acknowledged ; — ^but is thus especially nominated 
as purporting the recognition of external differences, and 
not with a view to the rendering such of different classi- 
fications. 



CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ENTIRE MALAY CLASS. 

Heady small and neat, but should be long and serpent- 
shaped, sloping towards beak, and perfectly free from 
topknot. 






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* Erom this time until the arrival of the Shanghae into this country 
the Malays were the largest fowl known, and very high in esteem as 
fancy and useful fowls; hut since the introduction of the latter they have 
wofuUy fallen off in public estimation. We trust, however, they will 
again lift up their heads and become the admired of distinguished fanciers, 
possessing qualities which justly entitle them to such consideration. 
Their extreme nobility of size and general appearance, their aristocratic 
air, majestic deportment, extreme hardiness of constitution, and great 
intrinsic value for cross-breeding purposes, will, we trust, be considered 
sufficient to entitle them to that amount of careful and judicious tending 
which will render them acknowledged (as they still are in the opinion of 
some) the most noble among fowls. 



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184 



FERGUSON ON EOWL. 



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i^/2C^5 highly coloured but skinny, and bearing a very 
hard aspect (see eye); the crimson, fleshy hue extends to 
the throat as in no other class, resembling thereby the face 
of the trimmed Game cock. The hen's face is of a pale 

L 

crims5on. 

Comb. — There are two varieties of comb, one presents a 
low crimson, irregular compressed knob or wart lying on 
one side of the head ; in the hen it is almost flat on the 
skull, and in both birds it occupies but a small portion of 
the head as compared with the comb of other fowls. The 
other is a double one of the same colour, rather larger, 
but single at its base, consequently falling over on one 
side ; in the hen it is very diminutive, resembling a small 
straight row of minimum buds. Increasing towards the back 



of head, but not rising more than the sixteenth part of an 
inch above it. 

Wattles are merely rudimental In both sexes, but of 
crimson hue. 

Ear~lohes^ small and red, a peculiarity possessedby highly 
bred Shanghaes, but by few other classes. 

Beak should be of a decided deep yellow, very strong 

and slightly hooked, but in dark specimens occasionally 

tinged with black. 

Eye. — In both sexes fierce, cruel, and piercing, but 
grave and deeply socketted in the head. The pupil is of a 
brownish black ; the iris of a deep orange hue, but in the 
white or light brown varieties it varies from light grey or 

pearl to fawn. 

Throaty bare and crimson. 

Neck^ long and muscular. 

Neck'hacMe , hard, close, and spare, not ample at the 
base as in other breeds, but short and close in both sexes. 

Breast is not by any means broad, but inclined to narrow- 



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MALAY 



185 



ness m comparison 



with height and weight of the bird. 



and occasionally exhibiting upon the surface or feathers 
a tendency to part in a perpendicular incurvity. 

Back and slioulders. — Back describes a sharp oblique 
line from the neck to the insertion of the tail, rendering 
the bird diametrically adverse to the Shanghae, to which 
in this respect it forms the greatest contrast possible. 

Thighs^ well boned and long, the greater the distance 
apart the better, as indicative of further width of breast, 
soundness of constitution, and good breeding. The Malay 
cock stands higher upon his pedal limbs that any other 
breed of domestic fowl. 



Shank is long, and should be of a decided brown yellow or 



bright yellow, perfectly clean and bare, but coarsely scaled. 
Being well boned they possess great power, and surpass 
in this respect the most valiant chanticleer of the genus 

" fowl." 

Claws, long and yellow, four on each foot, should be well 
spread, nails white and pale yellow ; in dark birds tinged 
with black. Length from the extremities of middle and 
back claws, inclusive of nails, in the full grown cock, 
five and three-quarters to six and a-quarter inches. In the 
hen four to five inches. 

JVing, very powerful and of fair average size, more expan- 
sive and longer than in the Shanghae ; but being heavy- 
bodied they are unable to fly rapidly, save in a downward 
inclination ; the wings are clearly defined towards their 
exteriors, principally owing to the firmness and shortness of 
feather prevailing throughout the body. In this is presented 
a striking contrast with the contracted and deeply imbedded 
wings of the Shanghae. 

Tail is carried low, arising from the rapid descent of 
the back, and humble position occupied by the base of the 



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186 



FERGUSON ON FOWL, 



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general figure. 



former^ whicli is a greater distance beloAV the head than in 
any other fowl, otherwise the tail should be moderately 
erect, but not stiffly so. Is rather spare in comparison 
with the size of the bird, but much in character with the 

The sickle feathers of the male are mo- 
derate, but describe a portion of a small circle compared 
with that defined by the white-crested black Polish, and 
many other varieties. The hen's tail is composed of five 

straight feathers in each side. 

Carriage. — The male is very erect, with neck and back 
sloping in a sharp line downwards to the insertion of the 
tail, exhibiting a bold and defiant air, with every appear- 
ance of energy and muscular strength to resist the attacks 
of the most powerful enemy that may come in his path. 
He should be of majestic and commanding deportment as 
indicative of high breeding. The hen is likewise very lofty 

her 




and portly in her carriage, and well establishes 
dignified demeanour her aristocratic relation. 

Gait^ lofty, stately, and heroic, but at times rather 

stiffly so. 

Size^ 8fc, — They cannot be considered robust, although 

of great weight, seeing the offal, which is considerable, is 
^^ weighed in," they are, therefore, tall and heavy-limbed 



birds, but not robust. 



The average height of a full grown cock when standing at ease is 28 ins. 
Exceptional specimens have been known to reach 



The average height of a full grown hen when standing at ease 23 



5? 



weight 



?j 



cock after moulting 
Exceptional specimens have been known to reach... 
The average weight of a full grown hen after moulting ..." 
Exceptional specimens have been known to reach 



* 4 



lOi lbs. 



• ■ • 



13 



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« « « 



8i „ 




The mean heights and weights above may be considered 
fair standard averai^es of excellence. 






♦^ 



CHAEACTERISTICS OF THE ENTIRE MALAY CLASS. 187 



A cock is full grown and filled out when arrived at two 
and a-half years^, and the completion of the second moult 
usually finds him in his most beautiful garb. 

General feather. — The plumage of high bred Malays, 
especially the black-reds, is remarkably rich and splendid, 
and well bears comparison with any of the Game class, 
should be close and short, smooth but hard, and of wiery or 
silky character, bearing no proximity to wooUiness. To 
Mr. Ballance, of Taunton, a most devoted breeder, we are 
indebted for the following corroboration of our opinion 



Malay 



and prepossessing exterior in the shape of plumage : — To give 



it in his own words 



iC 



brill 



the bird in full health, his appearance is disadvantageous 
in a symmetrical point of view, being long in the neck and 
legs, but comparatively short in the body." ^ 

Crow^ very loud, deep-toned, and somewhat prolonged. 
I, however, a few months since, possessed a white bird 
which invariably crew a deep-toned, rapid, defiant note. 



and was prepared for the next before the Shanghae, which, 
upon one occasion, commenced instantaneously with him, 
had drawled out his last strained note on tip-toes. 



D 



is pugnacious as 




denoted by their fierce, cruel eye ; the cock proves an 
irritable father to his chicks, whilst the mother is extremely 
tender, watchful, and devoted towards her progeny, but 
exhibits the fiercest rage and spite towards any unfortunate 
youngster which may have broken from the confines of ano- 
ther's care. No chick can be palmed off upon her without the 
greatest risk of being discovered, even after the lapse of a few 
hours has intervened. Stock birds agree tolerably well. 

Constitution very hardy, and capable of bearing great 
chanfj-es of temperature, and resisting, to a considerable 



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188 



FEKGUSON ON FOWL. 



extent^ the evil effects of damp andcold^ so very injurious to 
all poultry. The climate of the southern counties of England 
is however^ more suited to their constitution than the more 
northern. They bear confinement well, but a good run is 
always advantageous. 

Feeders^ very hearty, and as might be generally in- 
ferred, they readily fatten for the table. 



Flesli 



imnort, but 



to say, it still remains a much disputed one, and to which we 
have, therefore, applied ourselves with earnest endeavours 
to arrive at truth. Corroborative testimony is the only 
possible method of ascertaining average facts, and for this 
purpose we have been rewarded in our solicitous inquiries 
by the testimony of the most experienced breeders. Mr. 
Ballance, of whose experience we have already had occasion 
to allude, states the following, which we give in his own 



words : 



me 



Malay well fed 



properly 



dressed, and you may have the Turkey." It is evident 
from this statement, made by a most devoted and successful 
Malay propagator, that he considers the bird worthy 
the precedence even of the Turkey ; moreover, that the 
quality is drawn out rather by the process of roasting 
than boiling, and that the animal, previous to the occu- 
pation of that envious position, requires proper feeding and 
dressing. It is obvious, therefore, from this statement, 
that the quality is dependant upon circumstances — that is, 
there is no doubt of the existence of quality, but, as in 
all such matters it requires judgment to render a full 

development discernible. To our appeal G. C. Atkins, 

Esq., of Edgbaston, whose experience as an amateur is too 
well known to require further comment — states, " 



the 



Mai 



rate either for colour or flavour, there are, however, some 



) 



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CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ENTIRE MALAY CLASS. 189 

few strains which excel in this particular.'' From this we 
perceive that excellenc^'^. ^^ rn,thp,r excf^r>tional — inferior 



e is rather exceptional 



quality the rule. W. W. Hayne^ Esq,-, has also kindly 
assisted us in our inquiries ; his judgment must be ever 
regarded as a boon to the seeker after truth. He states 
^^the quality and flesh of the Malay fowl is good and 
of white colour^ but the skin yellow." Here again we 
perceive the fowl requires not only proper feeding and 
dressing, but a surgical operation to be performed on the 
breast, when through the deceitful, external envelope, the 
skin, may be obtained a glimpse of the bird's intrinsic 
value and superior quality. From these sources and others 
which lie before us, kindly forwarded by friends devoted 
to the extension of truth, who desire not publicity, we 

have gathered the harvest of our hopes on this point. 
We, therefore, feel bound to admit that whilst for the 
most part Malays are not equal to the Dorking, Spanish, 
or Game fowl for the quality of their flesh, there are 
very many which only require superior tending to render 
them of fair average quality — and at the same time some 
few very excellent breeds which stand unrivalled. 

Lasers. — Malays are free layers, but their eggs are 
rather small compared with their size and consumption of 

food — are inferior to the Shanghae as egg producers — the 
average weight of eggs is about two and one-third ounces 
each, are usually well shaped, and vary in tint from a buff to 
a light chocolate hue, very rich in flavour, and usually well 
and firmly shelled. (The varieties differ in their poAvers 
of production, but the above may be considei^ed a fair 
average.) Although their eggs vary much in shape and 
tint, I have ever found each respective hen, when once 
arrived at maturity, regular with the former, but the latter 
being dependant in part upon quality and character of 



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190 



FEKGUSON ON FOWL. 



calcarious matter supplied^ the depth of hue and peculiar 
nature of granulation vary. 




FAC-SIMILE OF THE MALAy's EGG. 



r 



5 



Sitters. — As incubators they are 



by 



the Game and Dorking hens^ although long in the leg 
they are particularly careful^ as though aware of their 
occasional awkward bearings ; they require a very large 
nest to " sit comfortably/' which should be provided, or 
damage may ensue. They are particularly ardent and 
desirous of engaging in their sedentary occupation, and 
may easily be prevailed upon to carry out the wishes of 
the fancier, by making themselves at home in a spot of his 
selection, are remarkably tender mothers, and do not 
forsake their progeny at so early a period as the Shanghae. 
There are some few amongst them which never incubate, 

but this arises from a totally different cause from that 
which similarly affects the Spanish, Polish, and Hamburgh 
fowls, viz., their passionate love of repletion, in which 
indulgence the craw occasionally becomes slightly twisted, 
as indicated by a striped appearance of plumage in the 
vicinity of the deformation. 






' v 




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*- 



VARIETIES OE THE MALAY. 



191 



VAEIETIES. 



We here propose casting adrift all misnamed distinc- 
tions, and rendering each nomination bearer of the title 
Malay^ but peculiarly defined according to description of 
specimen ; at the same time to regard with dissatisfaction 
all attempts to encompass the class with a multitudinous 
display of differences^ which must ever occur from local or 
climatic influences and peculiar breedings which represent 
no differences in bloody and are as unimportant as the 
peculiarities presented by the comparison of two pebbles 
from the sea beach, and denote no further import. But 
where select breeding has produced a variety, and that 
variety remains permanent, and generates its kind in form, 
colour, and general appearence, with regularity for many 
successive years, we are at once bound to respect such as 
acquired peculiarity, and register it as such by an appro- 
priate nomination ; also all permanent varieties will be here 
described, however limited their respective numbers, but 
cross-breeds or such as may have been foully generated or 

heterogeneously produced no mention will be made, seeing 
innumerable the differences thus presented, and such records 
save for experimentalization, for which sufficient will be 
characterized, are as confusing; and distasteful to the general 



reader as valueless in themselves. 

Why some should endeavour by plausible persuasion to 
render the works of God less majestic, and the beauties of 
his creation the result of chance, we cannot understand ? 
Their endeavours to prove our many classes of domestic 
fowl (Gain) the descendants of so limited a number of 
primitive originals, and the issue of inter-breeding or chance 
crosses, and to blind the world as to their respective, pecu- 
liar, and distinguished merits, must ever prove unsuccessful 



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192 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



with the close student of nature, and the laws which govern 
multiplication. 

Do v/e not perceive pervading this spirit, the spirit of the 
Deist ? Is not the spirit of human agency preferred to the 
Divinity in thus ascribing existins: visibles to visihlp mpn 9 



We 



of such rebellious principles, neither to propound remedial 
measures for the diffusion of truth, such requiring 
considerable space, which, in the present " part," we are 
unable to confer, our Intention being to dwell upon it in an 
ensuing part, when principles will be advanced in support 
of the assumption that the Malay or Kulm fowl is of 
peculiar origin, different though not distinct fro 
Shano-hae. Thei 



m 



the 



"r5 



'e are 



White Mai 



2. Grey 

3. Pied 



do. 

do., including 



Piles and Piebald Malays. 

4. Yellow Malay "> "^^ nomination of " Duckwing " is erroneous, tliey 



Duckwing do. 




being but a peculiar yellow, and devoid of the 
required resemblance to that type. 



5. Chocolate do.^ hitherto called " Dunders. 

6. Brown-red, do. 

7. Black-red, do. 

8. Blues or Dun Malay, and 



?? 



Red Dun 
9. Black 



do. 
do. 



10. Spangled Pheasant Malay, hitherto called " Pheasant 



Malay." 



CKOSS BREED. 



Malay-dorks, hitherto termed " Chittagongs." 
The principal difference in the varieties consists in the 
colour of their plumage, therefore, the previously described 
characteristics are respectively applicable. 





4 

4 



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VARIETIES OE THE MALAY. 



193 



TVIiite MzZay.— Botli male and female sliould be purely 
white tliroughout, betraying a silkiness and transparency 
of featlier of peculiar excellence, tlie neck and saddle- 
hackles affording a relief to the eye by their depth of gloss, 
whilst the breast and thighs are of a dead white, with beak 
and legs yellow. The iris grey or pearl, with crimson face, 
and small compressed comb and wattles of the same colour, 
which render them complete with beauty and delicacy. 
In some specimens the neck, saddle-hackle, and wing 
coverts of the male present a slight yellow tinge. The 
hen is of uniform white, with beak and legs yellow, and 
crimson face. In form, size, and every other particular 
they correspond with the coloured varieties, as described 
under characteristics — (see plate). The white 



birds 



Mr. Bii 

Norfolk 



the finest birds I ever remember seeing, in size exceeding 



the 



artist) 



average. 



The male 



weighed (whilst 



before our 



"-, 



y Malay. — This sub-class is the produce of the ad- 
mixture of black and white, but of which there are two 

different though not distinct strains, the one presents the 
o-round of the entire body of the male of a blackish hue, 
with each feather tipped more or less with white, including 
the breast and tail — ^but no brown or any other tmt of a 
brighter hue should prevail. The hen is similarly marked, 
and rather prepossessing in her exterior when well and 
definitely spangled. The ground of the male of the other 
sub-class consists of an entire blending of black and white, 
rendering every feather of both sexes of a fine mixture of 
the two, as though ground and mixed in equal proportions. 
They are extremely neat, but require judgment in breed- 
ino-, or the chicks " cry back " to one or other of their pro- 



genitors 



(See Breeding Stock,) 



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194 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



Pied Malay. — This variety includes seA^eral sub-varieties 
as "blood-wing" Piles^ yellow Piles^ and patch Piles or pie- 
balds. The former are of extreme beauty^ and constitute a 
-ery desirable contrast with the dark varieties, but are very 



A 



scarce. 



duce of the white Malay 



matched with the black or brown-red Malay cock. The 
male should have those parts of the body white which in 
the black-red cock are black, with neck and saddle-hackle 
of a bright red or orange, and each feather white down the 
centre ; the back is of a deeper tint, and in the handsomest 

r 

bird approaches dragon's blood. Breast occasionally white 
with the centre of each feather finely marked brown, some- 
times of a light chestnut throughout, or regularly spotted, 
or having the uppermost part brown, with a few feathers 
at each side regularly coloured with a . similar tint, and the 
rest white; thighs and vent white, tinged with brown; 
tail should be white if the breast is of that colour, but if of a 
darker hue, brown and white usually prevail, and occasion- 
ally stripes of black. I have generally found the produce 
rvm much clearer and more settled in their feather when 
the father is the coloured bird and the mother the white. 
Yellow Piles are much less coloured and present a yellow 
tinge instead of the deep blood, and are far less beautiful. 
There is but little difference between these birds and those 
mentioned in the white variety, which possess slight yellow 
markings, saving that they are more deeply tinged. Pie- 
balds are not usually favourites, being irregularly marked, 
and their offspring very uncertain in the character of their 



being a permanent variety, are not 



worthy the attention of the amateur. 



Yellotvs 



05 



^* 




and duckwinged Malays. 



term 



" duckwing " is evidently a misnomer, at any rate as ap- 
plied to those specimens which have come before the 
public. If there exist real duckwinged Malays I should 



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V- 



VAEIETIES or THE MALAY. 



195 



indeed feel great pleasure in becoming acquainted with 
such ; but until they be produced to transmit their plumage 
to the offspring from a hereditary source, I must conclude 
that such as are usually recognised as " duckwings " are the 
only specimens approaching that variety, which are, how- 



ever, but yellows, and not analogous to the wing, " duck- 
wing," for which, regardless of body plumage, they should 
receive nomination. There may exists hybreds between 
the duckwing. Game fowl, and the Malay, but no variety 
is thus founded by any one such admixture, but merely cross 
birds. If the colour can be perpetuated in the progeny by 
occasional instillations of the desired feather into the 
breed, until it becomes even partially permanent, it will 
also become necessary to consider it a variety of the 
Malay, that is if its characteristics prove in comformity 
with that bird, seeing many other recognised varieties 



have been thus produced. 
Yellow or huff Malays. 
the male of this variety 



The ground of the feathers of 




om 



golden chestnut. 



The hen's plumage comprises various 
shades of straw and cream. The breast, body, and thighs, 
of the male are of deep orange, the neck and saddle -hackle 
of pale golden tint, back of a deeper hue, wing coverts 
golden chestnut, quill feathers of the wing frequently white 
or grey, tail black and brown, the former colour prevailing, 
vent light brown. The hen is frequently of an uniform deep 
straw or cream with bright golden neck-hackle, wing coverts 
of a rather warm.er tint, with brown and black tail. No 
specimens should be considered eligible for first prizes 
where mealiness in the feather exists, where white or speckle 
prevails, which, however, they are rather liable to present. 
They are very rare, and but seldom seen possessing a good 
clear coat owing to their generation. When in good feather 



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196 



FERGUSON ON FOWL 



/ 



ornam 



variety, 
marks '' 
mediate 



The cause of their occasionally presenting " fonl 



but slightly remote^, seeing they claim descent 
from the admixture of tlie white cock and the brown hen. 
As there is ever a great disposition to blend when the male 
is of the stronger hue, the presence of the white hen tones 
the colour down, and the offspring are more settled in the 
character of their feather than when the hen is of the darker 

r 

colour, in which case speckles, piebalds, &c., are more fre- 
quently produced. It requires many years to produce such 
'a consummation and amalgamation of tints as to generate 
with steadiness a regular coloured strain, for this reason the 
present breed,if well sustained, is likely to improve,but when 
once the offspring appear " crying back " to one or other 
of their progenitors, to which they will ever incline, a fresh 
stock of the requisite feather must be infused. (See Breed- 



Stock.) 



Ma lays — (h 
applicable) a 



uniform. 



plumage that we are compelled to describe them separately, 
at the same time acknowledging their identity of blood 
with the " browns." There are but few to be met with. 



but resulting rather from being imperfectly recognised and 



receiving no particular attention from the breeder than 
from any constitutional tendency to propagate unsettled 
hues ; the fancier not being sufficiently aware of their 
excellence usually matches them indiscriminately with his 



family 



Were 



colate, a very beautiful progeny would doubtless result. 
The cock's breast and belly is of uniform chocolate, necl 
and saddle-hackle deep golden chestnut, thighs dull chest- 
nut, and tail brown and black. The hen is of a very 



^-. 



P 

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f 






P 



VAEIETIES OF THE MALAY. 



197 



settled chocolate-tinted shade, including neck-hackle^ wing 
coverts and breast, with dark brown tail, presenting a 
picture of uniformity and subdued beauty. 

Brown~red Malay. — In this variety there are many 
exceedingly handsome plumaged birds. The male presents 
a breast of deep rich chocolate-brown inclining to black, 
with neck, back, and saddle-hackle feathers varying, ac- 
cording to their position, from deep 



orange 



to dark 



tD 



marone red; wing coverts crimson marone barred with 

metallic blue, th 

brown, tail black tinged with brown shining with purple 

rather than green metallic lustre. The hen is of a reddish 
brown ; ra'tKer lighter on the under parts than the back, 
wing coverts reddish umber, neck-hackle deep red with 
black ink stains, tail nearly black, legs and beak in both 
sexes of a decided yellow, iris of a bright orange. 

There are also light Broivn-reds, which are usually less 
brilliant in plumage than the above, arising partly from 
deficiency of relief afforded by monotony of shadows, and 
partly from the actual dulness of their plumes as compared 
to the former. The breast of the cock varies from a light 
umber brown to a dingy chestnut with blackish spots, neck 
and saddle-hackles golden brown with deep ink stains, 
thiffhs and vent black and light partridge brown, and 



to 



black tail. The hen resembles the general ground of the 



but more subdued, is of 



In 



some the breast of the male is of a pale brown painted 
with black spots, neck and saddle-hackle dull red deeply 
ink stained, rump brown, tail brown-red glistening with 
metallic lustre ; hen of this sub-variety is of a deep yellow 
brown, with* dark neck-hackle, and tail, breast, and body 
of a lio-hter hue ; the outer web of the quill feathers of the 
wing frequently white or grey. 



^ 



y 



1 ' 



*l': 



198 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



Malay are of 



handsome plumage. 



exceeded in this respect by few Game birds of the same 
feather. The breast of the male should be of jetty black, 
but in some specimens a fev/ brown feathers are distributed 
throughout; the neck and saddle-hackles are of bright 
golden red, the latter long and drooping over the rump 

coverts of a deeD crimson barred with 




of tail; wir 
blue, outer web 



rich dragon's blood ; body, thighs, and vent black, inter- 
spersed with partridge brown ; tail black resplendent with 
metallic lustre. The entire plumage close and firm— the 
wing coverts particularly close and wiry ; the outer web 
of the quill feathers of the wing sometimes white ; the tail 



much 



such discolorations. The hens are likewise well feathered 



some 



Grame hens in feather, ranging from a dark straAV to a brown- 
red or deep reddish brown— the former possessing bright 
hackles, and bodies of a deep straw— back of a deeper tint, 

and black tail. In the latter strain the neck-hackle is of 
deep brown or red, with dark ink stains running through the 
centre of the feathers ; wing coverts strongly marked with 
reddish brown— breast light chestnut— tail black tinged 
with brown. In all cases, both sexes should possess clean, 
deep coloured yellow legs and beak, with crimson face, and 
no appearance of mouldy ear-lobes. 



Blue or dun Malays are the r 
the black and white varieties. 



moreover extremely 



scarce. 



of 



hackle and wing coverts of a darker tint ; back and tail 
leaden black, but occasionally spotted with white or tinged 
with grey. The hen is more uniform and settled in her 
tint and freq^uently presents a clear silvery blue coat, but m 



i 



> 



M 




y 



■H , 



/ 



"^■1 



■i , 



I 



> 



VAEIETIES or THE MALAY 



190 



some specimens the index of origin is exhibited in the garb 
of irregular combination. I have frequently known these 
birds moult off from a settled blue to a spotted grey or 
grizzle, to which irregularity birds of advanced years, or 
such as are of enfeebled constitution, are more especially 



subject. 



w 

r 

Bun are but the after admixture of the black or 
brown-red Malay with the above described bird. In the 
male the neck, saddle-hackle, back and wing coverts, present 
the varied shades of orange- red. The hens are seldom of 
such a fine cast as the dun Malays ; dull orange occasionally 
prevailing with the feather. 

Black Malays are a very fine variety and contrast 
strongly with the coloured— should be of uniform jetty 
black, with neck, saddle-hackle, and wing coverts, of 



o 



brightest black, and possessing the usual characteristics of 
the other sub-classes— with crimson face and serpent's shape 
head, deep set savage eye, cruel, pugnacious, but grave 
in its expression, and the entire bird being, in both sexes, 
clad in deepest black, present the very strange combination 
of eff'ect— " ferocious mourning"— as exhibited in no other 

Even the Game fowl, the most 

pugnacious bird, has a very difFerent expression pervading 

active, vigilant. 



domest 



his countenance 



-being proud, valiant. 



means 



cruel, savage, or ferocious. The blacks are, however, not 
usually more irritably disposed than the other varieties of 
Malay—but being thus solemnly clad in sorrowful attire, 
and exhibiting a blending of contrasting effects a word 



web 



appeared necessary. The oute 

and tail is sometimes grey or grizzled, specimens without 

such discolorations should be preferred when procurable. 



Pheasant- 



Malay 



■It behoves us to remove 



H ■ J 



^ 



f 



I ^. 



- i 



I ' 



I* til! 




200 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



from tlie threshold of every mind an error against science 
and philosophy which^ in connection with the present sub- 
variety of the Malay^ has for ages grasped the public mind 
and carried captive the 
people 



unguarded 



imagination 



of the 



C6 



" — I allude to the popular idea which prevails to 

i 

the effect that the cock Pheasant^ when mated with the 
ordinary domestic^ hen is capable of transmitting to the 
offspring further powers of generation among themselves ; 
such^ however^ has been fully proved by an innumerable 
series of experiments^ conducted without bias and with the 
greatest care, to be positively fallacious, and the theory 
must long since have exploded with every close student of 
natuaal coincidences. We allow that the domestic hen im- 
pregnated by the male Pheasant may produce prolific eggs 
(though they are frequently unprolific) ; but the difference 

between the progeny of this cross and the pure domestic 
is, whilst the latter are capable of generating issue among 
themselves, with further poAvers of reproducing, the former 
are sterile. All thus produced are termed '^ hybreds," and 
the generative organs are incomplete in both sexes, neces- 
sarily resulting from the violation of laws which govern 
production. The male carries with him the air of indiffe- 
rence to everything by which he is surrounded — those 
very powers which are the seat of energy in every capacity, 
and as much the fountain of spirit in matters remote from 
their actual engagement as in such as may be in proximity, 
appear to lie dormant, are completelj incapacitated and 

actuate not tlie animal. 

We, some time since, undertook a series of experiments 
with the view of testing the popular opinion respecting the 
extent to which " h jbreds" thus produced are c apable of 
reproducing when matched with either of their progenitors, 
and of solving this momentous problem of natural history 



'1 



•^ 



^ 



■^' 






f 



\ 



{ 






> 



V 



EXPEEIMENTS WITH HYBREDS. 



201 



\ 



which has long since been regarded by the naturalist as of 
the deepest and utmost importance. The following pair- 
ings we decipher for the gratification of public interest, 
and as a key to the contractions therein, we preface our 
list with their representatives : 
P.C. stands for Pheasant cock. 



t 



P.H. 

D.C. 
D.H. 



py 



y^ 



hen. 



99 



99 



domestic cock. 
,, hen. 



FIRST SERIES. 



* . 



(black-red Game) 



2. Hybreds 
cock^ mother's blood. 



pm^e 



domestic 



I 



3. Do. 

4. Do. 

5. Do. 

6. Do. 

1. Do. 



do. 

do. 
do. 
do. 
do. 



same manner. 



8. Do. 

9. Do. 

10. Do. 

11. Do. 

12. Do. 

13. Do. 
and P.H. 



do. 

do. 
do. 
do. 
do. 
do. 



do. 

P.C. 

do. 



(Dorking breed), 



do. 



same blood as original P.C. 
fFerent blood (silver Pheasant). 
zk^ (brothers). 

fresh blood but obtained in 



» 

f 






do. prodi 
.H. mother 



from P.H. and D 



blood (Polish gold-spangled). 



H 



J 



(silver Pheasant) 



hybreds, hens produced from 



C 







I 



SECOKD SERIES, 



14. D.C. and P.H. 



Hybred 



\ 



blood. 

16. Do. 

17. Do. 



do 
do 



Pheasant), 



D 



J I 



'II 



"rfti 1 



mi 




¥i 




202 



FERGUSON ON EOWL. 



18. Hybred hens thus produced Avith pure D.C. fresh 

blood (Dorking). 

19. Do, do. hybred cocks (brothers). 



20. Do. 



do. 



do. 



fresh blood, but obtained in 



same manner, 



21. Hybred cocks thus produced with pure D.H. father's 



blood. 

22. Do. 

23. Do. 

24. Do. 



do. 
do. 
do. 



D.H. fresh blood. 
P.H. mother's blood, 
do. fresh blood (silver Pheasant). 



It may not be out of place to remark that the Pheasants 
made use of in these experiments were of the common and 
silver varieties. The domestic fowls were British Game, 
coloured Dorking, and gold-spangled Polands. 
■ It may be interesting to the researcher and student of 
natural history to become acquainted with the result of our 
respective experiments. The following figures refer to the 
particular trial and character of the match as previously 
described under the same : — 

1, Was a Pheasant cock and black-red Game hen which 
had been brought up together as chicks by one domestic 
hen, from them in one season we obtained eleven hybreds, 

nine males, and two females. 

2. No issue but a few non-productive eggs. 



3. No issue 



do. 



do. 



female 



r 

5. One male and one female — ^both these birds died 



the male when four months old, the female a few weeks 

afterwards. 

6. No issue. 

7. No issue. 

8. No issue. 

9. One male Inter-hybred— plenty of non-productive 



I 



> 



I 



i 



1 



tr^ 



i 



In 



-.^ ■ 



1 

1 



EXPERIMENTS WITH HYBEEDS. 



203 



} 



y* 



I 



i 



•moderate 



eggs ; but this bird died when five montlis old, as though 
of general decay and rapid decline. 

10. No issue but plenty of non-productive eggs. 

11. Three males and one female inter-hybreds — ^mode- 
rate supply of non-productive eggs. 

12. Three male inter-hybreds ; these birds, which were 
piebalds, were incautiously allowed the run of a garden 
at early morn, and were never seen or heard of afterwards. 

13. No issue. 

14. Four male inter-hybreds 
productive eggs. 

15. No issue. 

16. One female inter-hybred. 

17. No issue. 

18. One female inter-liybred. ^ 

19. No issue. 

20. No issue. 

21. Two male and one female inter-liybreds. 

22. Two male inter-liybreds. 

23. Four male inter-hybreds ; one male bird was nearly 
blind, althougb in his eyes could be observed nothing cal- 
culated to obstruct vision. 

24. Six male inter-hybreds 



and two females were 



hatched, but one of the latter and three of the former were 
very unthriving, and appeared neither to increase in size or 



o 



gradually drooped 



died. 



THIRD SERIES. 



Inter-hybred Pairings. 



25. Male inter-hybred, produce of 24, with domestic hen 



26. Do. 

27. Do. 



do. 
do. 



do. 
do. 



21, " Pheasant hen. 
11, ^^ female hybredl 






.•...-■,../ V 



204 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 




i I 



1 , 1 

L 
t 



I 



N 




28. Male mter-hybred^ produce of 14^ with female Inter- 

hybred 18. 

29. Do. 



hybred^ 



do. 



1. " 



21 



30. Female inter-bybred^ do. 

31. Do. 



do. 



do 



4^ " domestic cock. 

llj " Pheasant cock. 

The result of the third series of experiments proved very 

satisfactory although unsuccessful ; the only issue was from 

number twenty-six^ from which one male chick was reared. 

Number thirty-one also produced one chick^ but did not 

survive the sixth day. From number thirty we had three 
eggs^ which we endeavoured to hatch^ but they did not 
reach perfection^ and upon close inspection proved to be 



foul^ although subject to 



the 



in a pure state and not 
incubatory temperature for twenty-one days^ proving at 
the same time their non-impregnation and unprolific cha- 
racter. It is a peculiar circumstance that the un23rolific 
eggs produced by the Dorking hens were not only smaller 

than they had previously laid, but much lighter, even after 
fairly allowing for the difference in size ; having reduced a 
number to one given surface, we found each square inch of 
the prolific eggs was eleven and-a-half per cent, heavier 
than the unprolific. To render the experiments conclusive 
some of the Pheasants selected were gold, some silver, 
some wild, of both sexes, brought up from chicks with 
broods of domestic fowls ; some were fed upon stimulating 
substances for the purpose of increasing the power of their 
generative organs, whilst others upon ordinary diet ; some 
had a considerable run in a thickly studded garden, others 
confined to a more secluded spot, and from chickenhood 
never allowed to see a friendly feather save their intended 
companion's. The chick which proved a male, the only 
reared issue of our third series, we mated with a pure 
Pheasant hen one of a brood, with which he had been 



I 






i 



^ X 



\ 



m^ 




_^_ _■ — - ^ J\ -1 — 



Wi 



I 



i 



EXPEEIMENTS WITH HYBKEDS. 



205 



purposely brought up, but upon tbe arrival of the seventh 
month took a severe cold, to which he had ever been 



more 



or less peculiarly liable — and although every possible 
attention was paid, the most judicious remedial means 
resorted to, no cure could be effected, and after a lapse of 



drooped 



Upo 



him it was found the brain was charged with blood, but 
our surgical operation was" unsatisfactory to myself in as 
much as our professional friend, who had frequently much 
assisted us in our surgical inquiries, could discern in the 
appearance of the generative organs nothing indicative of 
the bird's incapacity to vigorous impregnation — although 
a Pheasant and a domestic cock were respectively dissected 
by him for the purpose of just comparison. The hen 
placed with him was also dissected, and throughout the 
ovarium no trace could be discerned of masculine impreg- 



nation 



although 



microscopic aid 



was applied, having 



■mm 



allowed her no other comrade prior to their secluded con- 
finement. She was discovered to be in a very healthy 
state, but requiring sexual intercourse. Upon the surface 
of the ova should have been deposited the germ of the future 
chick, but no trace of such was observable. The ova 
consisted of seventy-three rudimental eggs or ova all in 

healthy state of progress. 

If these experiments appear insufficient or inconclusive I 
would recommend the adoption of a second experimentali- 
zation, at the worst no evil save a loss of time and means 
would accrue, but in all probability an advantage, that is a 
confirmation and corroboration of these remarks, or may 
be a correction. We have endeavoured to show to our 
friendly farmers who possess poultry establishments in 
proximity to Pheasant abounding woods, and who inform 
us they possess a breed of Pheasant fowls, produced from an 



I 



\ 



: ( 












- ■■■- .'. X ^' -*.• .-'■•' . ■' 



- N 



' . * .J L 






'. y 



■,-^-.:=: '.-■■■■■..,' 






.^'..'- 



H b , ■ ■ ' 

' . b* . 



. i I 



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f 



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1 1 



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m 

M 






1 

4 



i 



I 



-1 



4 



206 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



admixture of tlie Pheasant witli the domestic blood. That 
all such specimens are either no Pheasant at all^ but simply 
a spano-ledl species or hybreds between the domestic fowl 
and the cock Pheasant^ from which they can rear no pro- 
geny, but who receive their continuous supplies of prolific 

hybred 

Pheasants— this accounts for their '' half Pheasant chicks " 

- ^ ^ ^ 

not becomin 



eo-o-s from pure domestic hens, and fresh cock 




more 



would be inevitable, until at length they would more 
resemble that species than the fowl were it the case their 
power of generation were complete. 

There are spangled birds which have been bred and 
reared with ordinary success in the poultry yard, which 
exhibit to a casual observer the feather and plumage of the 
Pheasant. It is to this class that the farmer principally owes 
his peculiar Pheasant plumaged chicks of complete generative 
oro-ans. The presence of the Pheasant among the hens in 
the poultry yard is very rare, the latter are usually too 
wary to be entrapped without making a hasty retreat, 
whilst the former generally disincline to such a consumma- 
tion of boldness when intruding for maintenance. What 
we endeavour to maintain is that such occasionally occurs, 
but not so often as is usually supposed. Such as are 
really hybreds are unprolific inter sese, but when matched 
with pure Pheasant or domestic fowl, inter-hybred speci- 
mens may be obtained, which are incapable of founding a 
new variety or sustaining a class. That is inter-hybreds 
. whether matched with inter-hybreds, with hybreds, pure 



described 



our series of 



Pheasant, pure fowl, or any 

experiments are, as a rule, unprolific, and the very excep- 



G 



tional specimens thus produced are sterile 

fowls receive their pugnacity and high metal from any 

relationship with the Pheasant is very erroneous, their blood 



/ 



^ 

^ 







/ 



PHEASANT SPANGLED MALAY. 



\ 



207 



is quite distinct, they are 



of difFerent species though 



belonging to the same genus. We trust our remarks will 
be taken as they stand as evidence in support of facts, or 
disproved of and tested. Of the two we would much 
prefer the adoption of the latter, 
allow that the pheasant Malay has 



We 




related to the Pheasant in the remotest degree. Hybreds, 
that is the produce of the Malay hen and Pheasant cock, 
are not allied, even in appearence, to the so called pheasant 
Malay, the only resemblance being in the colour of the 
plumes, which are more or less Pheasant like in both, whilst 
the shape and make are at unquestionable variance. From 



came 



Malay 



indicating its non-blood relationship but mere 
resemblance to the Pheasant. We firmly beli( 



feather 



sprang from the black Malay and golden spangled Hamburgh, 
with an after admixture of light brown or chocolate Malay 
blood. We have ourselves procured specimens bearing 
much resemblance by these means, with the exception of 
the comb, which in each case has ultimately become larger 



tl 



■lan 



Malay 




Malay, to 



with the breeding in and in to which they have been sub- 



minimum 



jectea may nave reuucea il xo luai 

exhibited in this breed. 

The pheasant- spangled Malay cock's average weight is 

about seven pounds. 

The pheasant-spangled Malay hen's average weight is 

about five pounds. 

The former is of good courage, and in the latter Is displayed 

a consequential and at times perversive spirit. 

General shape. — More after the full size Game than 
Malay, but bearing a resemblance to each. 




■./',.>. 









■ ■:' .'-. 



^ _ #• _ - ■ 



^,-'-;-..V 



axia 




I 



Hi 



■ Tf I 



# 



'I tl 




208 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



Jlead. — Their countenance invariably bears strong affinity 



Malay 



cruelty. 
Ear-i 



Malay 



similar shape and inclination, but in some resembles a 



Hamburgh 



Neck 



J.lOl.,1, xwxxj.,, ^^^^^^ 

with greenish shadows. In the male occasionally is ex- 
hibited a dark reddish hackle with black ink stains or tips, 

1 

with a lighter tinge underneath. 

The usual colour of the body of the male varies from a 
light to a dark red, with breast and rump black or partridge 
brown, the former spangled with semi-oval spots. The 



mor 



The markings 



or light red, are of good shape and make, 
on the breast resemble the plumage of the cock pheasant, 
from which pecuHarity arises the idea of the existence of 
a cross between them and that bird. Some specimens are 

less attractive, being of a duller hue. 

Tail not strongly sickled, but well defined and carried 
uprightly, is more abundant than in the Malay, and of a 
dark brown and black feather, frequently grey or grizzled 
in some part. In the hen they are of a sunilar hue, and in 
some specimens the two uppermost feathers indicate 

inclination to curl. 

Legs yellow, but sometimes white and rather long. 

The hens prove excellent sitters and mothers, and if 
well feathered are very ornamental. Their eggs are well 
shaped and of good flavour, but rather small, averaging 
about two ounces in the winter season, and two and one- 
third during the warmer months— are of smooth surface and 
tinged with buff or light chocolate. They are free layers, 
but usually commence late in the season. 



an 



( 



\ 



\ 



i 



I 

I 



I 






PHEASANT SPANGLED MALAY. 



209 



Flesh 



of the Pheasant, in connexion with the size and juiciness 
of the fowl, is held in much esteem as a table delicacy. 

The chicks of the pheasant-spangled Malay are rather 
small, but present a regular appearence, varying from a 
light yellow to a deep orange tint, with one or two deeper 
stripes running longitudinally from the head to the lower 
part of the back. They should be hatched early in the sea- 
son, but not too early, as they feather but slowly. Taking 



\ 



April 



for their exclusion. After 



months 



cockerel 



presents a neat uniform plumage. The 
coat is usually developed one month later. 

Hybreds between the male Pheasant and common fowl 
vary much in feather, necessarily resulting from the diver- 
sified plumage of the hens matched with him, and depending 
upon the peculiar variety of both. They, however, in- 
variably exhibit more or less the pheasant-spangled 
plumage of the male, tinted with chocolate or fawn, with 
hackles and tail of a dark brown. The feathers of the 
latter are long, and carried midway between the inclination 
of the Pheasant's and the fowl's. No comb or wattles, 
no definite circle round the eye, as in the Pheasant ; legs 
and claws of a darkish hue. The gen 
bles the latter more than the domestic fowl. They are 
miserably shy, but tame, stupid, sheepish, drowsy looking 
" things," more than birds, but appear to comprehend their 
own position in the scale of anomalies. 



resem 



Ho 



much 



if the object be mere fancy without any accompanying 

axperimentalization. Valueless as fowls, equally 



for 



N 









/ 




. '-^ . 



'1 



! [■ 



-I: 



\i\ 






i 



I 
I 

\ 

I 



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xi 



i- 



il 



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■ i:' 



■■■■i 



»4J 




210 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



SO as pheasants, they display nothing but those qualities 
calculated to instil into the mind sensations of pain and 
regret, that such poor listless creatures should be called 
to an existence of such gaping imbecility. 



MALAY-DORKS 



(Hitherto termed " Chittagongs,'' ) 

That we are about to settle a dispute which has existed 

t 

in the minds of " fanciers" for a considerable period respect- 
ing the ancestry of this fowl, or sift and analyze the 
arguments of either side for the purpose of determining 
the controversial point, we do not entertain the remotest 
anticipation. Our object being the realization of truth 
and the extension of the same to the public — the product 
of our most solicitous inquiries and earnest investigations 
into the subject are here set forth without the least 
restriction of circumstance. We will not, however, enter 
into the details of our adventurous expositions, but lay 
before our readers our opinion as resulting therefrom, toge- 
ther with the main facts as they stand. 

The so-called " Chittagong" cock averages from 22 to 23 
inches in height when standing at ease, and 9 to 10 pounds 
in weisfht; the hen averages from 19 to 20 inches in 



height, and 7 to 8 pounds in weight. 

The usual colour of both sexes is speckled grey with 
similar hackles — some are of uniform light yellow marked 
with pale brown and black ; others are irregularly span- 
gled — tail small — comb medium. They are perfectly free 
from topknot, with moderate wattles ; head broader and 
shorter than the Malay's, "but with similar expression of 






_ t 




THE MALAY— CROSS-BREEDS. 



211 



countenance. Breast ample as In the Dorking, and shorter 
in the leg than the Malay. The figure resembles the 
Dorking in general conformation. Shanks bare and yellow, 
or orange, in some instances white. As market fowls or 
as egg producers they are superior to either Dorking or 
Malay, and a most invaluable bird — the flesh proving 
white, juicy, and of good flavour. They consume much 
less than the latter, but arrive at perfection at an earlier 
period— are much hardier as chicks than the Dorking, and 
attain superior weights. It must be borne in mind the 
above is not the description of one specimen, but of the 
average of five hundred pairs. I here unhesitatingly pro- 
nounce my firm opinion, founded upon the observance of 
facts, that all such specimens as have hitherto been exhi- 
bited as ^' Chittagongs," or have come before me as such, 
have been either Malays of a light colour or the issue of 
admixture between that class of birds and grey Dorkings, or 
in some instances between the light yellow Malay and the 
same birds. I do not, however, positively assert that there 
are no birds which should be termed " Chittagongs,'' but 
merely that all that have come before me bearing that 
appellative deserve but the distinction of ^' Malay-Dorks" 
as indicative of " facts." 



[1 



K -_=. < 



11 



pt- 



CROSS-BREEDS. 



y 



BRAHMAPOOTRAS OR MAYSHAI^G-DORKS 



Ik- 



4 



For cross-breeding purposes, or 
blood into degenerate farm stock. 



the infusion of fresh 
the Malay's size and 



constitutional hardiness render him well adapted ; but, in 



^r-i 









\w- 










I 



: 1 r :■ 



Mr 



■ I 
I ^ 



t I I M 



- I 



in 



212 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



most cases of such degeneracy that have transpired under 

own observation, a fresh importation from another 



my 



sufficiently 



without resorting to cross-breeding. Admixture, when 
confined to the same class, we approve of, but, as a prin- 
ciple, seriously object to crossing distinct families of fowls 
when it can otherwise be prevented — Avhen such is how- 
ever expedient the effects produced by the presence of a 
vigorous Malay cock, in the place of a degenerate stock 
bird, will be manifest in the hardiness and vigour of the 

immediate progeny.* 

From whence, and what are Brahmapootras ? are ques- 
tions which are frequently presented under envelopic 

of our poultry association. The many 
subscribers who have thus favoured us with their confiden- 
tial patronage receive in the following remarks our candid 
impression upon the subject: 

Without parading with the intricacies which have been 
solved in our minute and solicitous inquiries into the origin 
of many specimens bearing the distingviished title of 
Brahmapootras, we here produce before the anxious "fancier" 
the result, and not the items of our researches upon this 



office 



point 



That nearly all the specimens 



recognised 



and 



denominated under this head at our poultry exhibitions, 
are of a mixed character is certain. That is if they claim 
pretence to a distinct class, we urge there are many 
varieties of them, and that they are exceedingly irregular 
is proved in the rearing of a few broods, some exhibiting 
a small cup at the uppermost part of the comb, as in pecu- 
liar specimens of Dorking, but more diminutive ; others 
possess a spike comb, whilst some a rose one ; many may 

* For this purpose we recommend the black or brown-red Malay as 
the most appropriate. 



I 






I 



» 



\ 



THE MALAY— CROSS-BREEDS. 



213 



be recognised with a small single one facsimile of the 
Shanghae's, whilst not by any means the fewest number 
a head piece closely resembling the IMalay's flattened warty 

Next comes the eye which, in far the 
greatest number, closely resembles the Malay's 



excrescence. 



in its 



bein 



Shanghae 



3 is self-evident. The great 
difference existingbetween the ear-lobes of the various speci- 



mens 



m 



whilst in others it is no more developed than in the purely 
bred Shanghae. The entire head and crimson face bear 
thft closest resemblance to the serpent-headed vivid Malay's, 



feathered 



Shansrhae ; some .however 



theriness about their pedal limbs, and others possess little or 



none. With 



part Shanghae featheriness prevails ; but 

some a firmness and closeness about the wing-coverts much 



Malay 



Their usual colour is 



black 



similar 



tints in the outer web of the quiU feathers of the wing, 
with black tail points ; some are indiscriminately splashed 



round — others 



coloured Dorking 



What I wish to inculcate is that a portion of the birds exhi- 
bited as Brahmapootras are but a grey variety of the Shanghae, 
whilst the rest are made up, as were a pair forwarded me by 



months back, which 
ultima 



Malay 



perfect: 



Now, were the Malay crossed upon the 






w- 



w 



r 



\ \ \ I 



' \ 



r - 



"I ' 
I 

I t 

■L 



■ L ■ I : 



214 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



Sliano-liae without the presence of the Dorking blood the 
offspring would naturally run more lanky than the pure 
Shanghae^ seeing the Malay has a greater inclination 
towards that form — moreover^ many so-called " Brahma- 
pootras" possess a less expanse of breast — the Malay being 
thus deficient in connexion with a sharp fall from the base 



of 



Th 



registers the 



But why ? Because most have, but some have not the 

presence of the Dorking blood, which tones down the 

aspiring tendency to shoot upwards, and 

breast and body in part conformity with its own close 

compact frame, distributing at the same time its speckled 

tints with more or less regularity to the otherwise grey 

plumage. 



fcy 



discourage the 



philanthropist who is endeavouring to produce a superior 
strain of birds capable of more efficiently supplying the 
demands of the market, but rather to Incite. 



At 



the same time, as a recorder of classes and varieties, it 
behoves me to instil into the minds of the people the absurdity 
of coining distinct apellatives for cross-breeds, and the 
necessity of selecting only such as are denotaries of 



so 



less obscurity to remove from the threshold of his labours, 
and fewer stumbling blocks from his path. Let us, there- 



term 



(( 



Mayshan 




^y 



(( 



breds between the Malay and the Shar 
Mayshangs ;" and those genuine grey birds 

^hae. and not from 



hich originally came from Shan, 
America 
they 



but 



a differently feathered Shanghae to the 
other varieties, and are similar in appearance, save in the 



I 



^ . 






THE MALAY— CEOSS-BllEEDS 



215 



tail which is carried more erect ; the outer web of wing 



quills is moreover black. 



There are no other Grey 



Shanghaes, why therefore should this be insufficient 
to denote the existing differential points ? (See page 20.) 
The flesh of the Mayshang-dork is superior in quality 
to that of the average Shanghae or Malay, is of good 
flavour, white, plump, and juicy, with less offal, and having 
the advantage of superior weight over the Dorking, whilst 
their eggs are larger than the former bird's, and more 
abundant than the produce of the latter. 



^W 



ii 



SHAKEBAGS. 



yy 



Shakebag 



Game 



issue of the British 
Malay cock, and will 



receive our attention under the head of " Game fowls." 



L 



i 






THE COLUMBIAN FOWL 



^. 



From whence originates this, that, or the other magnifi- 
cent bird, are queries likely to be urged and indefinitely 
responded to so long as elegance or nobility of deportment 
are recognised, indicative of primitive distinctions. 



Much 



as we confute exhibiting the spirit of rivalry or counte- 
nancing contention, we are bound to expose error in what- 
ever form it may appear, register its deteriorating effects, 
and elucidate truth. It is not, however, with persons we 
i.„,.^ +^ nr>nfPTirl . Knt with their theories. Mr. Richardson has 



I ^1 
1^ 



i 



i 






r 



■ . I 



216 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



J 

-1 



I I. 



1 1. 



evidently confounded typical representations of originality 
by endeavouring to establish tbe primitive character of this 
bird upon the ground of deportment^ he remarks — " a very 
noble fowl presenting the appearence of a cross between 
Spanish and Malay, but possessing so much nobility and state- 
liness of aspect that I am loath to regard it otherwise than 
as a distinct and very primitive variety " (page 74, " Eichard- 



I think 






son's Domestic Fowl). At page 75, he continues — ' 

r 

it not improbable they are the origin of the breed now known 
as Spanish." The latter surmise is evidently no less fal- 
lacious than the former, but mere persuaded supposition is 
all the evidence produced in support of either. 

This fowl is a native of Columbia, in South America, 
but not an aboriginal. Its many semblances to the primary 
Spanish and Malays are perceptible, even to a casual ob- 
server. In some the comb is single, but large, erect, and 
serrated at its edge, as in the Spanish; In others double or 
wart^shaped, and uneven as in the Malay. 

Wattles differ, in some the lengthy caruncles of the former 

bird are developed, in others the rudimentary appendages of 

the latter. 

The eye and face are usually denoted by a facsimile 

representation of the fierce and cruel Malay's, but are 
irregular in this particular. 

The legs are slate colour or black as in the Spanish, also 

J 

olive^ atid sometimes yellow, but less bright than in the 
Malay. They are higher on the leg than the former, and 

approximate the latter in the length of their pedal limbs. 

The general plumage Is of a raven black as exhibited in 
the Spanish, but some specimens are more extensively 

shaded with green metallic lustre. 

The neck'hackle betrays the properties of the Malay in 
repletion, as exhibited in its peculiar glossy appearance. 



i^H 



ii:;! 







THE MALAY— CEOSS-BREEDS. 



217 



They 



are 



entirely devoid of topknot, but possess a 



but 



is exposed to view, in others there is no pretension to its 



possession 



formed by 



from the cheeks to the lower mandible. This feature is 
evidently acquired from the Malay, some of which may be 
met with, bearing this irregular supplimentary supply of 
throat feathers. In answer to a query which appeared 

February 18th, 1854, I register the fact of . 



Field 



from 



the procuration of two male specim 

Peninsula, one of which subsequently assumed the lower 

mandible appendage in full repletion. 



When 



minimum 



but 



fullness of moulting habit. The beard is 
possessed by the Malay, neither is its mien desirable : what- 
ever may be the effects produced by the combination of 
topknot and beard, the absence of the former renders the 
presence of the latter in no way ornamental. We have 
endeavoured to prove that all arguments advanced in op- 
position to the idea of their origin being derived from an 
admixture of Spanish and Malay blood, upon the ground 
of the impossibility of generating a breed of permanent 
beard developing birds from such as were destitute of the 
feature, are groundless, inasmuch as the principle though 
valid, is not borne out by the facts of this example, seeing 



Malay 



birds wei2:hs about 8 to 



The ben do. 



do. 



e^to 



8i lbs. 

7 do. 



The former stands 
The lattter do. 



do. 

do. 22 to 23 ins. 

do. 17 to 18 do. 



They are very prolific, producing eggs exceeding the 
weight of the Spanish, with equal supplies; the extraor- 
dinary weight of four and a half ounces of egg stuff has 



/ 



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i 



I 



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VA 



1 



N 



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1 



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h ' ri 






H I 



218 



FEllGUSON ON FOWL. 



! h ,i ' 



111 



been enclosed witliin one shelly such, however. Is but ex- 
ceptional, at the same time the average weight of their eggs 
exceeds that of any other known variety. They are large 

r 

consumers, and require almost an equal amount of sustenance 
to the Malay ; are good incubators and careful mothers, here 
evincing, as in that bird, a tendency diametrically opposed 
to the modern Spanish, The chicks are robust from the 
moment of their exclusion and easily reared, proving equally 



deserving of attention by their superior flesh, which Is 



n 



white, delicate, and very fine in flavour. The care conferred 
upon ordinary fowls is ample for their requirements, being 
hardy and of sound constitutional habit of body. From 
these particulars may be perceived the existing development 
of the respective traits of the two birds advanced by us as 
progenitors of the race. At the same time not desiring our 
opinion to be recognised as valid without the exercise of 
discretionary experlmentalization and research, we earnestly 
recommend the adoption of such a course as a medium 
of just and satisfactory corroboration. 

Having instituted searching investigations into the right 
by which they are regarded as primitive originals, we are 
compelled, by the force of evidence deduced, to pronounce 
them an acquired race, and typical of no primary class, but 
the probable result of admixture between the primitive 
Spanish and Malay fowls. 



■^ 





lljrll 



^, 



HISTORY or THE GAME OR ENGLISH FOWL, 



219 



I.. ^ 



THE GAME FOWL. 






HISTORY OF THE GAME OR ENGLISH FOWL. 



Amon 



Contentious displays of argument respecting the ancestry 

of tliis most beautiful and noble race of fowls are numerous. 
AutboritieSjWortby of credit upon many details^aiSpear devoid 
of that accuracy of thought and soundness of principle when 
tracing the origin of this fowl, which would claim for them its 
just exercise on this point. Some appear eager to condense 
the primitive originals to an unity upon the ground of mere 
possibility, without regard to form and substance; others 
equally zealous to nominate every variety a progenitor, and 
claim for such a distinct primary origin, 
former BufFon appears foremost, who,aware the many troubles 
to the naturalist consequent upon a further peculiar division 
and subdivision of poultry into classes, varieties, and sub- 
varieties, and the tracing of such to their respective 
progenitors, abandons the idea, by tjie more convenient 
task of concentrating them to one primitive original pair. 
His task was indeed a comprehensive one, that of classi- 
fying the many orders of the animal world, and therefore 
the more minute particulars were destined to form the 
occupation of succeeding ages. The Rev. Mr. Dixon, the 
ablest authority in support of the latter, contends earnestly 
for the substantiation of his thoery ; but as representatives 
of the Game class he produces but few varieties, and recog- 
Tiises the blue dun fowl as distinct from them. 



i 




I 



. 9 



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220 



FEKGUSON ON FOWL. 



1 F 



\ 1 



\\)\-] 



We oil the other hand acknowledge the idertity of blood 
of the different strains and varieties of Game fowls when 
purely bred^ but are constrained to claim on behalf of the 
entire class rights to typical originality. We purpose^ in 
the prefatory remarks to this volume, rendering an expo- 
sition of the various originals described by all travelling 
naturalists deserving of credit, and tracing their respective 
resemblances to our own several classes, for the purpose of 
registering sucli^as appear entitled to the credit of pro- 
genitorship, at the same time renouncing such as are 
hybridous, thereby divesting this subject of its obscurity. 



more 



-in 



M: 



hitherto appeared before the public. 

We contend the Game fowl, if purely bred, bears no 
affinity to the Malay, and that he is not related by blood even 
in the remotest degree, but assign his descent to a species 
of the Gallus Sonneratii. Whatever differences in feather 
may present themselves from the alliance they are but small 
compared to general computations on this head, and still 
less at variance in shape, carriage, and general conformity. 
We do not maintain all varieties and sub-varieties of the 
class recognised as such are directly descended from this 
stock, neither do we consider the present Indian breed of 
the same lineage — whilst the true bird's symmetrical form 
closely resembles the air and elegance almost invariably 



primary 



Malay 



with the Polish lower mandible, and crest appendages 
in a diminutive form, and others possessing a development 
of the ordinary fowl's coarse features and feathery armour. 
We do not urge that these termed Game fowls are similarly 
descended, but merely that their game properties are indica- 
tive of partial descent, and that the progenitors of those traits 



I 







FOWL 



221 



were in themselves typical of a primeval order. The existence 
of the practice of cock-fighting in the Peninsula of Malay, 
and other parts of India, anterior to the introduction of the 
Game fowl into this country, and its continued nationality 
in those parts, does not in the least countenance the idea 
that the birds thus brought into requisition were or are 
identical with our gallants. The Malays of the present 
day frequently stake their " all " upon the chances of one 
battle, until their last coin is placed upon the head of their 
favourite bird. The wealthy, not exceptionally, risk personal 
property to enormous amounts upon their supposed Invin- 
cible hero, whose merits have been previously tested, and 
whose proM^ess still remains in unequalled force. But these 
champions are much heavier and less agile than the British 



Game , being usually generated from the Malay 



ally from an admixture of a smaller indigenous species, or a 
favourite imported variety withthat bird. Neither can the 
breed produced from the Malay, when mated with the im- 
mediate discendant of the Bankiva or Bantam race, be 
confounded, the issue thus bred have been by some recog- 
nised as progenitors of the Game class, such must be 
confuted, since improbable conjecture is all the evidence in 
its favour. Let but the single comb become permanent fron 
the admixture, and it will command our attention. This 
feature by domestication is induced to duplicity, but never 
to become single. Without extending objections, in this 
feature alone, lies ample evidence in support of the non- 
;ecognition of this absurd theory. 



1 



A 



to portray the peculiar distinguishing qualities of the 
varieties of poultry, would be incomplete were the history 



from 



polished nation the 



Greeks 



That 
on record who 



\ 



h. 



If 









^1 



i 



"t . 



in 



1 

I 



■HF 1^ 



if 



ii. 






)• 



:••, 



lii^ 



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■1.' 



■ J ' I 



)[:■ 



'J^ 






t 



^4 



prrr 



■ I 



4 



11 



222 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



advantagized the natural propensity of the breed for the 
diversion of its citizens, with whom it became a national 
and fashionable sport (b.c. 500.) In the city of Pergamus 
an amphitheatre was erected for the express purpose of 
carrying out the desire of Themistocles, a celebrated 



Atl 



Socrates, Solon, and the ancient philosophers, highly 
commended the sport as calculated to engender resolute 
courage, and incite the stimulating effects of national 
resentment in the soldiery. The pupils of these philosophers 
were equally encouraged in its practice, as exciting and 
productive of energetic displays of decisive resolve to over- 



difficulty 



At 



a subsequent period the Eomans no less emulously com- 
plied with these enjoined national precepts, and at once 

acknowledged the diversion as of religious and political 
importance. The cock was regarded by them as the 
emblem of courage, and dedicated to their several deities. 
Moreover, the pugnacious propensities and indomitable 
courage of either beast or bird furnished means for their 
diversion, and was seldom overlooked by the Roman. The 
monsters of the Lyblan desert, and the British mastiffs, in 



I 



* The primary cause of the celebration of this sport appears to have 
arisen from a peculiar circumstance which occurred whilst Themistocles 
was commanding his army againstthe Persians, "In his march he espied 

two Cocks fighting and immediately caused his army to behold them, and 

made the following speech :— ' Behold, these do not fight for their house- 
hold gods, for the monuments of their ancestors, for glory, for liberty, or 
the safety of their children, but only because the one will not give way 
to the other.' This so encouraged the Grecians that they fought strenu- 
ously and obtained a victory over the Persians; upon which cock-fighting 
was by a particular law ordained to be annually practised by the Athe- 
nians, and hence the origin of this sport in England was derived." 
Bailee's Universal Entomological English Dictionary. 



s 



"> 



.4* 







rr "L 



HISTOKY OF THE GAME OR ENGLISH FOWL 



223 



which this isle once abounded, played their part in the arenas 



Quail 



The 



Persian breed of cocks appears to have been regarded 
as invincible, and was much sought after by all capable of 
paying the exorbitant prices demanded. The description 
furnished by Aldrovandi, on the authority of Florentius, 
of certain hens in Alexandria from which fighting cocks 
were bred, bears close resemblance to our own ; he more- 
over mentions their extreme incubating powers, and their 
general excellent qualifications as mothers and protectors. 
Theywere called monositce (i. e., one mealers, or such as eat 
but once a day.) There is nothing peculiar respecting this 
latter circumstance, for no close sitter of any breed should 
leave the nest more frequently than once in twenty-four 
hours ; nature invariably contriving to relieve and reple- 
nish itself during the regular interval of a few minutes 



per day. 



Some hens absent themselves from the eggs 



but every other day, and, upon first taking to a strange 
place, I have known them to remain thereon for seventy- 
two hours without intermission. 

To the Romans we are, doubtless, indebted for their 

introduction into this country. 



Anterior to their possession 
of the soil a species of fowl was domiciled, but of which we 
have no particular description. There can be but little 
doubt they imported their own well loved well proved 
breed, and at once nationalized the practice of cock-fighting 
in Britain; but we are unable to trace any account of 
such previous to the reign of Henry II., when immense 
numbers were annually bred for the special purpose. 
This once popular diversion has been subject to much 
change— at one period revered, at another menaced by 
law. Henry VIII. and James I. were amongst its enthu- 
„• ,.+:^ o.,,..^Av+prs and in their dav it became the minister to 



/ 



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'1 
'1 












W 






1 



I 



* 



-'-> r,- J. +. 



/ H-,* . „ . .. \ -; 






■-H 4. 




hii'i 



224 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



tlie imperial sports. Oliver Cromwell (1554) on the other 
hand, had a personal detestation of its practice, and de- 
nounced it, inflicting severe penalties upon its patrons. 
In the reign of Charles II. it again flourished, and the 
rendezvous of Henry VIII. was re-opened by the king in 
person for the special purpose of its celebration.* 

It cannot be reojretted that this inhuman sport is now 



prohibited by law in England as being productive of demo- 
ralization, and its inevitable effects poverty and distress ; 

r 

but although no longer recognised as a national or approved 
pastime, hundreds of cocks are annually fought, both in 
mains and single handed, in London and the country. For 
the effectual carrying out of this unlawful diversion resort 
is obtained to the uppermost stories of ale houses, and other 
out of the way places. The matches usually " come off" 
about the season of Lord Mayor's day and subsequent 
periods, commencing from three o'clock in the afternoon 
and continuing on and off until midnight, according to 
the number of previously an-anged suits. Cocks and 
even chicks hatched the same year are frequently fought 

•r's day. They are carried to the ring 
IP bottom of which has been denosited a 



May 



little straw. 



Their feathers are then trimmed short. 



tail docked, spurs truncated with a small fine saw, over 
which is placed the socket of the silver or steel heel, more 
frequently the former. By the means of a small layer of 
chamois leather a perfect fit is obtained, and a few careful 



* Likewise many pits of very inferior description were in vogue, in which 
the lowest of the rabble would spend their last mite upon the chances 
of " the fight." The effects of this diversion reduced many distinguished 
families to poverty and distress, proving a far greater curse to the nation 
than the present gambling connected with race courses, and far more 
serious in its ulterior results. 










I 

I 



1 






HISTOEY OF THE GAME OK ENGLISH EOWL. 



225 



and neat twists with a piece of thread previously waxed 
ensure a firm and steady pair of heels. They are placed 



in the scales in thin 



bags^ weighed 



and matched to a 



quarter of an ounce. The " setters too," then take each 



man 



the ring^ and taken opposite sides, the birds are let fly. The 
betting then rages — two to one — four to five — half crowns, 
crowns, half sovereigns or sovereigns, whichever you please. 
I must here make one observation although frequenters of 
these repositories of evil deserve all they lose, still we 
object to see men robbed under any circumstances. We 
remark, — whilst the birds are being scaled or heeled, a 
stranger, to ^^you at least," will occasionally go round and 
desire you to bet on one of the two cocks— which you 
please — agreeing to take the other at the same amount. 
Now as he sembles a very good natured fellow, and reminds 
you it is just to make a little sport, it appears very fair, and 
forms a clean bait, and a generous hearted sporter will 
usually accept it. Let us see the result. The cocks meet, 
a few blows disables one, and you perceive you have the 
best of the game — one or two strokes more and your bird 
stabs his foe mortally — he falls ; you look up but your 
man is nowhere to be found, he has most likely gone for 
the money, but seldom succeeds in finding it, and never 
returns. The next meeting day he has no recollection of 
you, and was not at the place the time you speak of, he had 
to call upon a friend, and was detained. But, mark the 

difiference. The two birds meet, your bird is stabbed, and 
at length killed or will not peck, and no sooner is he 
'' counted out" than your friend stands before you. 

It would surprise our '^^ friends" if publicity were given to 
the names of our gentlemen of the sanguine turn of mind, who 
are, according to verbal testimony, physically recommended 

o 



f 




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IB 



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i 



II !' 



226 



FERGUSOK ON FOWL. 



M 



to the spectatorship of this exciting diversion. Many would 
be the wonders created in the breasts of delicate females 
were but the initials of the coadjutors of these assem- 
blers placed in alphabetical order in a column of the 
Times ncAvspaper — I mean columns. Let them now take 
the hint and withdraw from these depravities and personal 
proofs of virtue's decline. But however urgent might 
be claims of humanity and refinement for the prevention 
of the opportunities of indulging in this cruel sport, it be- 
comes equally patent, if its provisions were sufficiently 
stringent to entirely outroot it, this breeds the glory of the 
British poultry keeper, and the most beautiful and noble 
of fowls, would soon degenerate into mere nominal value, 
and the emblem of courage would be plucked from British 
soil to flourish elsewhere. 



W 



can 



ba established, since admixture is equally necessary, and 
admixture with that which has received uncertain mingling 
is equally contingent. Were the race horse not permitted 
to run, equally deteriorating to the breed would be the 
effect, seeing propagators unable to discover blemish would 
be compelled to match indiscriminately. The Game fowl 

r 

among poultry is analagous to the Arabian amongst horses, 
the high-bred short-horn amongst cattle, and the greyhound 
amongst the canine race. 

However interesting the details of " cocking" and its 

accompaniments might prove to some, or the peculiar feed- 
ing, and nicety of weight to which they may be brought in 
a given time, or the rules observed in the ring, we are un- 
willing to impart a further knowledge of them, as calculated 
to be productive of disgust to the refined and injurious 
consequences to the depraved. We must at the same time 

I 

mention that those mysteries which some writers appear 



1^ ' 



HISTORY OF T.H^ GAME OE ENGLISH FOWL. 



227 






anxious to instil into the minds of their readers^ in con- 
nexion with this sport as food for conjecture^ are no mys- 
teries at all save to themselves. There is nothing but the 
cruel diversion itself ^ peculiar, but appropriate methods 
of feeding, adapted means for its private continuance, 
rules calculated to the observance of order, fair play, equal 
matching, and prevention of dispute, or detection of those 
exceptionables non-fee-receiving constables. 

We do not in these remarks intend breathing countenance 
to so strong a mark of depravity as is self-evident upon the 
face of this sport, but merely to maintain there are no 
mysteries connected with it. We promise our readers to 
make them acquainted with all matters calculated to render 

them assistance in the more harmless and instructive diver- 

sion of rearing and breeding their respective feathery tribes, 

and trust this will be deemed a sufficient proof of good 
faith. 

Britain has long been, and still is, the grand repository 
of this matchless race of "nobles." Buffi^n himself regarded 
such as a fact in his day, by expressly nominating them 

fowl." The Knowsley strain of black- 
breasted reds, belonging to the late Lord Derby, were, 
and still are, considered the finest and most select in the 
country. The pedigree has been carefully preserved, and 
the various admixtures with Lord Seffcon's, and other dis- 



i 



"the English 



stinguished strains 



registered for its preservation and 



further judicious admixture. This nobleman dearly loved 
witnessing the display of those distinguishing characteristics 
of the breed, exhibited in their dauntless prowess and reso- 
lute courage — their noble contour and aristocratic deport- 



ment 



together 



with their rapid but graceful actions, 

skilled fly, and powerful strike — their elegant posture and 



:: 

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X 

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4 w n-M M - w - 



_JJL-^ ^ 



228 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



watchful eye. Neither were rings or silver spurs asso- 
ciated with any disagreeable reflections in his breast. 



He, moreover 



and 



knowing setters-to^ for the purpose of supporting this most 
exciting pastime. He regarded it no more inhuman to place 
cock with cock than trained hounds with hare or fox; no 
further violation of good faith with the animal world to subj ect 
the noble chanticleer to a violent but vahant, rapid, and fear- 
less decease for the sake of sp or t, than huntin g the tenants of 
the wood, and exposing them to that fatiguing, heart- 
distressing, and alamning condition consequent upon a pro- 
tracted death, without regard to the awful sensations of 
fear they endure, but merely with a view to the self- 
indulgence of pleasure. In the name of humanity, we ask 



our 



gentle 



moral 



perceive? Not whether the former is equally humane with 
the latter, but rather whether the latter is not as much at 
variance with the dictates of humanity as the former? 



CHARACTERISTICS OF EXCELLENCE OF THE ENTIRE 



CLASS. 



AUowin 



one 



to the shape and general figure of her mate. It is, more- 
over, requisite to observe that the following distinguishing 
characteristics are Independent of plumage, there being but 

recognised standard of excellence for the shape, 

deportment, and properties of the entire class : — 

should be small but long, tapering or serpent- 
shaped in both sexes, and very finely finished. 

JEye large and bright, full of expression, but not cruel 
as in the Malay. ,The iris of the black variety is usually 
dark hazel. The black-breasted red, vermilion red, deep 



Head 



! 



! 










CHARACTEEISTICS OF GAME FOWLS. 



229 



t)range5 or yellow. Duckwing^ orange^ daw^ or grey. 
Dun^ dark red. Pile^ daw^ but in the blood-wing pile 
more frequently vermilion red. 

^mA should be very thick at base, strong, and well curved. 

Comb of bright crimson, is small in both male and female^ 
and evenly serrated at its edge; should be single, erect, 
straight, and of fine texture. A double or sprouted comb 
indicates unquestionably impurity ; moreover the quality 
of the breed becomes manifest in the quality of the comb 
and gills. 

If the lower mandible appendage or comb of this class 
be compared with the Dorking's, or with that of any ordi- 
nary fowl, a contrast in texture and quality will be at once 
apparent. 

Wattles or gills^ of fine texture and small. 

Throat of the male is bare as in the Malay, but not to 
such an extent, save when trimmed. 

Ear-lobe in both sexes very small, with a light greenish 
tinge ; in some a blue tint prevails. An extension of this 
feature in the form of a mouldy ear-lobe is exceedingly 

objectionable. 

Ears are covered with fine diminutive wiry hair rather 
than feather. 

Face^ in both male and female, of a vermilion red ; but 

the darkest strains are occasionally gipsy-faced, with comb 
and gills of similar dark purple hue^ in connexion with a 
deep hazel iris, black pupil, and deep brown and black beak. 
Neck long, full, and strong. A short neck si very dis- 
advantageous in the ^^pit," and proves equally objectionable 

to the eye of a connoiseur. 

Neck-hackle round, close feathered, wiry, but of silky 

transparency, as in the Malay. 

Breast broad, prominent, and fully developed, indicative 



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230 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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Birds with legs set far back in the 



of constitutional vigour. An indented or crooked breast Is 
a decided malformation^ and its consequent disadvantages 
necessarily become apparent in the first protracted skirmish 
in which such an one may be engaged. 

Bell^ should be small and compact. 

Back shorty stiff, close-feathered, and hard; should be 

flat and broad between shoulders. 

Saddle-hackle y in the male, of silky transparency, shaded 
off towards the extremities, and falling in a graceful incli- 
nation between the wing and insertion of tail. 

Thighs short, thick, and muscular, well set to shoulder, 

and held wide apart. 

body are never so active or capable of sustaining a fatiguing 

affray as those whose pedal limbs are in the foremost part. 

Shank or beam of leg rather long as compared to the 
thigh, should be well boned and strong, finely and evenly 
scaled. Such as present shank and beak of a similar 
colour are preferred. 

Toes'— iowc on each foot, should be clean, even, and flat 

on ground, with long fine claws. Short toes are deci- 
denly objectionable, as lessening the power of the clutch 
or " spring-stay." 

SpurSy clean and well made, the lower on the leg the 
greater the extension of leverage, and therefore the more 
deadly the blow inflicted therewith. The hens are some- 
times spurred, more frequently the dark dun strains. I 
have observed birds bred from such hens usually prove firm 

and clean hitters, that is, strike hard, high, and scientifically. 
Wings carried Bantam fashion, but being much longer do 
not appear so struttish ; they are very long, full and round, 
and amply protect the thighs ; are of energetic muscular 
adjustment, and furnished with very hard quills. The 
wings of the noble chanticleer are frequently brought into 






■ , 



CHARACTERISTICS OF GAME FOWLS. 



231 



requisition after 



reaching tlie 



summit of a wall or lofty 



perch, and with a resolute and rapid flap they strike in bold 
defiance, and, as a further signal for his native powers, his ■ 
noble voice immediately resounds as far as echoe's reach, 
and challenges the world despite her claims. He spurns the 
lofty perch he occupies, and flies to meet his rival on the 
field of strife. Occasionally his wings proclaim aloud his 
presence even after his gallant crow, but more frequently 
before. 

j'ail — in the male, long, well sickled and spread, deeply 
rooted and tufted. In the hen fan-shaped, and carried 

well up. 

General figure. — Well put together, round-bodied, and 

tapering towards tlie tail. Should not be flat-sided, such 
being usually induced from hereditary sources, or breeding 
and in, no specimen presenting such a malformation 
should be bred from. The Game fowl is of beautiful 
symmetry, and when perfect, is the most graceful of all 
known varieties of the extensive family of fowl. The hen 
should be round like an apple, tapering towards the tail. 
In general figure, closeness and elegance of form, she bears 
as strong a resemblance to the male as possible, allowing 
for the existing differential sex. 



m 



Dep 



— The male should be erect and majestic, 



bold and confidential, but not stiff or reserved ; the hen 
elegant, graceful, and neat, full of life or fire if need be. 

Gait — The gait of the male is stately and elastic — he 
should never be seen jogging along with wings on bad 
^^ goose fashion," but strutting nobly with wings extended 
over thighs ; the hen should be of easy carriage, agile, and 
of light and elastic tread. 

Crow varies with the diverse strains, but averages a clear, 
but not by any means shrill, alto — loud, but not harsh, and 



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232 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



of mediura duration ; some varieties pronounce their autho- 
rity in defiant and abrupt strains. Their note of war 
should be very continuous, and reiterated often during the 
day and at early morn, accompanied by the warrior's 
defiant flapping of his feathery armour, proving thereby 
his right to hold the title '' merry bird," a term indi- 
cative of peculiar excellence. If the hen return from a 
victorious conflict, she too will occasionally follow the 
example of her lord, and strain a note or two of his 
ambitious song. Game hens of notorious good quality are 

Some irritable 



to regal rights. 



prone thus to aspire 
masters of the domain will scare their bold mistresses for 
this public violation of submission, this indelicate assump- 
tion and breach of modesty. Others, with the wing 
extended to the ground, will take a circuit round and 
sweep the turf in gallant exstacies to the honour of their 
modest dame's resentment to the intruding foe. Much 
has been said by nearly every writer, or compiler of our 
poultry journals, respecting the demerits or ill luck con- 
nected with the crowing hen, the whistling woman, and 
the lass who prattles Latin. Were the kind authors " vice 
versa sexed," a virtue not a vice perhaps might be con- 
ceived existing. Ah ! would but a modest lass emerge 
from hidden safe retreat and guide the willing pen through 
this sad difficulty. 

Well I am resolved to side no more with those who 
without justice judge so arbitrarily, and therefore must 
renounce all fellowship with them on this sore point. 

I contend the hen is equally as estimable the day she 
nobly triumphs in crowing notes as the day before, and 
desire to know what physical process has been operating 
to render her valueless so soon. The fact is she has really 

I 

proved a valiant and a Briton, and we, as lovers of Briton's 



^r 



> : 



CHARACTERISTICS OE GAME FOWLS. 



233 



birds^ do much admire and show her all attention, inducing 

her at the same time to render us her like. It is evident 
the blood, the spirit of a valiant, could not be appreciated, 
and therefore was abused. If discord she produce among 
the chanticleers, or strife betwixt her compeers, remove 
her gently from the rest, but ruin not her name. Say you 
not she is sterile, for young pullets, prolific as the feathery 
Spanish aristocracy, have pleased me oft by boldly pro- 
claiming their part conformity to the character of their 
lord. I repeat some of the most distinguished Gallic 
heroes of this noble race have been generated from such 
worthies. 

As a rule amongst practical men all such are recognised 
as the marrow, spirit, and sinew of the strain, from whence 

its primitive original vigour and nobility may be re- 
modelled. 

Disjoosition. — The male is proud, aspiring, jealous, and 
resolute, but very generous, gallant, and attentive, to his 
favourites. Brave, pugnacious, invincible, and unflinching 
in conflict; but severe, hasty, and petulant, though not 
cruelly tyrannical where respect by distance is observed. 

His capriciousness increases with his age, and duelling 
renders him excessively irritable even with his hens. 

The society of chickens he almost invariably disproves, 
as evinced by sundry strokes with the beak, or the raised 
posture of his pedal limbs, to loose a feather from their 
backs. 

Constitution. — The male is capable of enduring a greater 
amount of fatigue and bodily distress than it is possible for 
any one unacquainted, with the cruel matches in which he 
is occasionally engaged, to form the slightest conception of. 
In the last agonies of death he will endeavour to seize his 
antagonist, andif unable will receive the cruel spur wherever 



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234 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



it may enter Avithout a sigh. This power of endurance arises 
not only from a repository of pride^ spirit^ and prowess^ but 
from the substantial coalition of a sound and vigorous con- 
stitution^ induced from an hereditary source; without such 
an auxiliary he would be unable thus to stand as hero to the 
last. When full grown they are extremely hardy, and 
although naturally very active and lively, are capable of 
bearing confinement as well as any variety of poultry, and far 
better than the generality, if b^it proper attention be paid 
to cleanliness, and they be provided with a few feet of dry 
and gravelly soil. Until fully grown however, they must 
not be introduced to a life of confinement, or an almost 
immediate check upon their progressive powers will become 
manifest. Where is there a bird which lo^^es liberty and 
thrives better under its confienment than our hero? But 
my experience with the several varieties enables me to say 
there are but few fowls capable of bearing up against 
disease when subject to confinement better than the tight- 
feathered robust Game class. 

Feeders. — They are ever eager to welcome their supplies, 
but require less svistenance than the Malay, Shanghae, or 
the Spanish fowl. Being remarkably active they find much 
which is overlooked or unturned by other poultry ; but even 
when unable to procure ought but hand supplies their wants 
are satisfied by a smaller donation than is requisite for the 
satiety of those adverted to. 

Producers. — They cannot by any means be considered 

first-class layers save in exceptional instances, still taking 
the average of varieties they may be regarded very fair con- 
tributors to the privy purse of their keeper, usually laying 
every other day, but occasionally two days elapse before 
the second tributary fee arrives. 






( 



i- 




CHAKACTERISTICS OF GAME FOWLS. 



235 



Their eggs vary in shape and size^ but the illustration is 
more capable of efficiently portraying the accurate and 
average size and shape than any amount of description. 




FAC-SIMILE OF THE " GAME " EGG. 



The mean weight may be regarded from two and a quarter 
to two and a half ounces. The shell is of fine texture and 
varies from a white to a very pale buff tint. The Indian 
Game breed are almost invariably producers of the latter. 
The eggs of the entire class are considered very fine in 
flavour^ rich, but not strong. The difference in the colour 

F 

of their respective yolks is an interesting feature. One 
given hen usually produces the same coloured yoke; but 
the different varieties of the same class vary much. It is 
certainly connected with their plumage, dark birds usually 
producing dark yolks, but this is not invariably the case, 
from observation connected with this exception I am induced 
to consider the quality and description of food as possessing 
material influence over it. 

Incubators and mothers, — They are unequalled as sitters, 
and prove most solicitous protectors, as might be inferred 
from their ardent temperament. They are remarkably 
steady upon the nest, and seldom if ever break an egg, being 



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FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



mouser. 



male should be firm but light. 



very light and careful in both retiring from and resuming 
their sedentary occupation. Their courage is oft displayed 
in the defence of their progeny against the assaults of the 
powerful grimalkin^ or more treacherous adventurer the 

Neither can the feeder escape their resentment, 
if he incautiously interferes with their offspring. 

Flesh. — To be in good seasoned condition the flesh of the 

Upon an ordinary run they 

will always be found in a tolerable and creditable state. 
The flavour is acknowledged to be unequalled, and the 
whiteness, juiciness, and inimitable quality is proverbial. 

Size. — Natural average weight of male 5 lbs. 

Sporting weight 4 lbs, 4 oz., to 4 lbs. 10 oz. 

In the sporting circles all birds exceeding the last-named 
weight are termed "turn-outs," and are not allowed to fight 

in ordinary. 

Hen's natural average weight 3 lbs. 6 oz., to 4 lbs. 



Exceptional specimens are daily to be met Avith exceeding 

the heaviest weight mentioned, but we have here given the 

family average. 

General feather. — It is an indubitable fact that the Game 

class runs off" into an almost endless variety of feather. This 
is principally induced by injudicious matching. There are, 
hoAvever, several comparatively permanent varieties which 
have generated, with regularity and precision, progeny 
resembling themselves in plumage. These demand our 
respect as partially distinct sub-classes, having been retained 
and sustained by select admixtures. But it may be asked 
which is the best colour, and which is truly typical of the 
primary progenitors? We remark the black-breasted red 
appears to us most in proximity with the probable originals 
and representatives of the breed, but not by any means 
identical. In our prefatory remarks ample reasons will be 
expounded for this persuasion. Every breeder who seeks 






I >l' 
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CHARACTERISTICS OF GAME EOWLS. 



237 



I 



for quality and proves his strain must acknowledge that 
first-rate birds may be found of any colour. Those who 
regard feather as the grand desideratum have their own 
peculiar favourite tints. But some endeavour to improve 
quality and metal^ looking at shape and advantageous points 
as the all important consideration, confessing a disregard to 
colour^ seeing in mOst cases the admixtures have been so 
frequent as to render the same blood differently feathered. 
Although a certain feathered specimen may appear resem- 
bling a remote progenitor^ and follow him in quality and 
other peculiarities^ it so often occurs that a bird assumes the 
appearance of his father in feather and mother in quality^ 
and vice vei^sa as to render the rule exceeded by exceptions^ 
thereby nullifying it. If the bird be known to be of pure 
origin^ and possessed of good properties^ as shape and make^ 
is agile^ in robust healthy proved to have been taken from a 
good grass master walk^ as corroborated by fine and seasoned 
condition, hard, close, and sound feather, he is every- 
thing with the lover of quality. But the refined amateur 
desires, in conjunction with those properties, uniformity of 
coat and plumage. There are a few notorious breeds which 
stand prominently forth with these combined excellences. 
The Knowsley black-breasted 



black-breasted reds, also Lord Sefton's 
strain. Freeman's Piles and Duns, of which I have been 
fortunate enough in procuring the supposed entire stock; 
likewise Plumber's brown reds are a merry hard-feathered 
strain, with golden points of quality. In fact every colour 
has its lord whose peculiar Black, or brown reds. Duns, 

r 

Piles, or Duckwings, are acknowledged very superior to the 
general run. Whatever be the colour selected, the points 
of quality are identical. The general feather should fit 
tight to the skin, be as close as though waxed, and of firm, 
hard, wiry, but silky transparency. The gingers or brown- 



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FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



reds are usually the soundest in feather^ whilst the Whites 
or Piles, although good birds, are for the most part less 
excellent in this respect. 

After the second moult they are usually attired in a full 
and mature suit, but the third frequently produces another 
tone of richness to the otherwise splendid attire. 

Colour. — It may be necessary to observe the varieties are 
nominated according to the plumage of the male, without 
regard to the more modest garb of the female. For instance 
the black-breasted red hen possesses a deep robin-tinted or 
light maroon breast, her suit moreover is composed of various 
shades of straw and fawn ; still we term her a black-breasted 
red hen, meaning she generates that variety of cocks. 
The Brown-breasted red hen, by that appellation would be 

considered a lighter bird than the black red, by the unini- 
tiated ; she is, however, darker, and moreover 
a breast in accordance with her name, but exhibits no 
development of the brighter hue ascribed, to her; still 
she propagates birds in comformity with her variety. 
We renounce the breeding together of irregular colours, 
and recognise only such as are of uniform appearance, of 
settled and sound plumage whatever the colour may be. 
The adoption of indiscriminate admixture has had the 
eifect of surrounding the class with a multitudinous display 
of meaningless appellatives which, together with the 
injudicious method of appropriating local distinctions, have 
enveloped their individual histories in obscurity almost im- 
penetrable. They, however, require to be registered that 
they may not be increased. 




VARIETIES. 

The standing varieties are Blacks, Black and Brown 



reds. Duns, Duckwings, Piles, and Whites. 



\ 



GAME FOWL VARIETIES. 



239 



VARIETIES. 



SUB-VARIETIES. 



Further respectively distinguished by white, yellow^ olive, light and dark hluCy 



or black legs. 



1. Blacks y including 



f Blacks. 



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\ Brassy wings. 

Black-breasted ginger-wing 

red. 
Black -breasted crow - wing 



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reds. 



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2. Black-breasted reds, do. - s -i-.i n i , i 

1 Black - breasted 



crow - wing 



3. Brown-breasted reds^ do. 



4 

4. DunSy do. 



5. Duckwings^ do 



gipsy -faced red. 
Furnesses. 
Polecats. 

Brown-breasted or ginger 

reds. 
Pheasant-breasted red. 

Blotch-breasted reds. 

Duns. 

Blue duns. 
Red duns. 
Smoky duns. 
Yellow duns. 

Black -breasted birchen 
duck-wings. 

Brown- breasted ginger 
duckwings. , 

Black -breasted berry 
» birchen duckwings. 

Marble-breasted greys. 

Turkey-breasted greys. 

Clear mealy greys. 
L Black-breasted greys. 



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240 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



VARIETIES. 



STJB-VARIETIES. 



6. Yellows, including - - 



Black-breasted yellows. 
Grey-breasted 



7. Piles y 



do. 



- - < 



8. Whites, 



do. 



9. Indian Game, do 



10. Hennies or Hencocks, diO. 



do. 



Black - breasted yellow 
bircben. 

Blood-wing piles. 

Yellow piles. 

Streaky piles. 
Dun piles. 
Spangled. 
L Cuckoos. 

Whites. 

r Whites. 

\ Brown-breasted reds, &c 

r Blacks. 

\ Brown-breasted reds^ &c. 



11. Muffs and Tassels. 



Cross-breeds. 



€6 



Shakebags.^^ 



To avoid iteration, no mention is here made of those 
particulars described under the head " characteristics of 
the entire class," but merely the colour of their respective 
feathery suits, in connexion with exceptional peculiarities. 



BLACKS. 



Blacks. — Some 



to 



Game 



impure descent, but supposition being the groundwork of 
that belief, and no argument or evidence in its support 
being adduced, the exposition of this fallacy by such means 
is rendered unnecessary •^ 



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' 






GAME FOWL VAEIETIES. 



241 



n 



The purely black bird is very scarce^ but of peculiar 
beauty, possessing the characteristics of this noble family 
in full repletion^ in connexion with a retired class of plu- 
mage of contrasting excellence. 

To be regarded perfect in feather, neither sex should 
exhibit ought of a coloured or white tint in any part of 
their attire, which must be of a rich and lustrous black, the 
tail full and of similar metallic hue. 

A partial and advantageous relief is afforded by the 
crimson face and throat, the full sparkling and heroic ex- 
pression of their prominent ocular members, and the 
coloured portion of their pedal limbs, which latter are 
yellow or deep olive, but sometimes black. 

It is a difficult matter to procure genuine birds of unal- 
loyed black feather, and when obtained it will be found that 
the male offspring for the most part possess the yellow 
barred wings of the " brassy-wing ;" this partly accounts 
for their scarcity. 



B 



Many 



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I 



devoid of sufficient semblance to this breed to entitle them 
to its appellative, are frequently injudiciously recognised as 
such — whereas, birds with the slightest colouring in neck, 
saddle-hackle, or back, should be excluded. Only such as 
possess yellow barred wing-coverts, in connexion with an 
uniform jetty black plumage throughout, are entitled to be 



■ I 



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regarded 



as belonging to 
mot be bred from 



this sub-variety; seeing 



the 



whilst it is too well known the latter are frequently gene- 



rated from them. 



They are in every respect similar to the blacks, with the 
exception of the yellow barred wing-coverts, the colour of 



beak and legs equally varying as in those birds. The 
development of the yellow bars is but partial in stao-s. 



P 




I 



242 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



but after the second or third moult becomes strongly 
marked. The hens are not thus distinguished^ but resem- 
ble the blacks of the same sex in plumage and general 
appearance. 

With the exception of the " brassy-wing," we consider 
no bird with the slightest colour of red or orange in the 
hackles, back, or wing-coverts^ should be regarded as 



belon 



However 



be the 



orange in those parts, or however slight its presence, all 
such must rank not as blacks but as black-reds, and 
according to their depth of shade, extent of colour, and 



that 



other particulars, so must receive nomination in 
variety ; we have, therefore, classified the ^^ polecat " and 
the '^ furness " as varieties of the black-red. 



# 



BLACK-BREASTED REDS. 



Lord Derby's or '' Knowsley breed " are considered the 

most select strain in the country, having been carefully 

kept at Knowsley upwards of a century. In shape and 

general conformation they resemble the "' characteristics of 
the entire class." 



by Mr 



are 



Face — bright red. 

Neck-hackle — deep orange. 

Uppermost neck-hackle^ near throat, still deeper in its hue. 



Saddle-ha ck le 

extremities. 



rich orange-red, shading off towards 



Back — rich dragon's blood. 
Breast and thighs — clear black. 
Lesser tcing-coverts — maroon. 
Greater wing-coverts — 



light dragon's 



blood, barred at 



extremities with steely blue. 



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GAME FOWL VARIETIES. 



243 



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Primary tviiig feathers — bay^ with black shafts. 



Ti 



'■ — full and blacky glistening with metallic lustre. 




The shape and make of the hen conforms to the already 
advanced requisites of the male, allowing for the differential 
sex. The plumage varies from a straw tint to a partridge- 
brown. Neck-hackle feathers, br: 
derable depth of tint towards the approach of the throat ; 
the web pale brown or black, but in some instances white ; 
saddle and wing-coverts of a rich straw or partridge-brown; 
primary wing feathers black ; tail black, tinged with deep 
bay ; breast clean roan or fawn, shading off towards the 
vent, which is of an ashy hue ; beak, shanks, toes, and nails, 
white. In some hens may be observed a fine bright hair, run- 
ning longitudinally through the centre of each feather of the 
entire suit, more especially in the wing-coverts and breast. 
The breast of the cock should exhibit no trace whatever of 
a brown feather, a clear coal black being regarded the 
handsomest and purest breastplate he can present. When 
clear, it forms a most striking relief to the eye, rendering 
the entire plumage rich, but toning down the otherwise 
gaudy suit to a subdued but splendid combination of 

handsomest hues, and a harmonious blending of richest 
shades. 

r 

The peculiar features of the Knowsley breed consist of 
grey ar daw eyes, as in the jack-daw, white beak, feet, 

and claws, and one or more partly white or grizzled 



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the 



pmion, 



These 



appearances may 



be 



more distasteful to some than pleasing to others; but, 
whatever the fancy in respect to the eyes and feet, the 
discolorations in the pinions must be considered foul marks, 
which considerably deteriorate from purity of feather in 
any uniformly coloured breed. Whites, Piles, Yellows, 
Duck wings, Spangled, &c., &c., may have white pinion 



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244 



FERGUSON ON FOWL 



feathers but Blacks or Beds should exhibit no semblance 

to white or grey in any part of their plumage, if perfection 
in feather be the standard. But pugilistic qualifications, 
resolute courage, valour, shape, make, and its accompani- 

ance of deportment. 



ments 





night. 



may be centred as much in birds of mixed and unsettled 
hues as in those of uniform feather. The merits of the 
Knowsley breed are unquestionable, and its prowess unsur- 
passable; one bird of this strain has been known, not 
exceptionally, to bring down two and sometimes three of 
his foes, and, according to well authenticated record, no less 
than seven upon one occasion fell before the hero of the 

Excepting the one particular before described, 

their plumage is of extreme excellence. 

Specimens possessing yellow legs are usually more brilliant 
and showy in their plumage than such as exhibit shanks of 
a deeper hue. Olive tinted pedal joints are most esteemed, 
and it must be acknowledged the peculiarly finished appear- 
ance of this ground renders the possessor at once strikingly 
unique and equally refined. Dark blues are by some 
regarded as of hardest and strongest bone, whilst light blue 

or white but weakly in this respect. Yellow an indubitable 
criterion of breed, but black of rather questionable purity. 
These opinions will, doubtless, be entertained and fostered 
by some, but the fact is an equal number of first-rate birds 
may be found of each sort, thereby rendering this feature 
no criterion of quality or strain. The old truism of blue and 
yellow originating green is equally applicable with respect 
to these birds ; for blue and yellow-legged specimens when 
bred together, frequently generate olive-shanked progeny, 
and white with dark blue produce pale blues. 

The term " ginger-winged" is but the distinction applied 
to birds in which the primary feathers of the wings are of 



] 



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x" 



GAME FOWL VAEIETIES. 



245 



more 



.-^ 



r 




that hue — are _ _ 

legged specimens^ whilst crow-Ayings or black-wings are 
usually found in birds of the darkest strains^ or in 
such as exhibit considerable depth of ink stains in the 

hackles. 

The term ^^ gipsy-face " is sufficiently described by its 
appellative to require any lengthened definition. Dark 

r 

strains are occasionally thus faced. (See characteristics of 



) 



I^m 



frequently confounded. No white should be visible through- 
out the feathery suit of the true Furness^ whilst it forms 

one of the component colours in the plumage of the Pile. 



They are placed with 



by 



of 



admissible^ they must^ therefore, belong to the black-red 
variety, in which we consider they have rightful claims 
of recognition. Black-reds are not bound to any shade of 
red but range from orange-red, or as the name indicates, 

to black-red, there is, therefore, no extension of the term 
by their connexion. 

The male Furness possesses a black-breast and body with 
red saddle feathers, is slightly marked in neck-hackle and 
wing-coverts with a similar hue, varying in extent in dif- 
ferent specimens. The hen is of uniform black, save in the 

« ■ 

neck-hackle, which is of a golden yellow, with deep ink 

stains extending longitudinally throughout the feather. 
Legs and beak black. 

Polecats are very similar to the last-mentioned, but the 
male possesses an increased extent of red of a lighter shade, 
whilst the plumes of the female are occasionally tinged 
with deep brown, and neck-hackle feathers edged with alio^ht 

golden hue. The '^ gipsy-face" is most usually exhibited 



w 




"^* ■■^■It. - 



246 



FERGUSON ON FOWL 



both in these birds and in the Furness, with its accompani 

If 



ments 



BEOWN-REDS. 



The brown-breasted or ginger-reds are frequently the 
hardiest, closest, and finest in feather of the entire family, 
but their plumage is not usually so brilliant as the black- 
reds. The brown-red breast, although beautiful in itself, 
affords but little relief to the eye when compared with the 
coal black frontispiece of those birds. The general colours 

of the brown-reds are in other respects 



.maffe 



milar. The hen is usually of a rich partridge feather. 



light 



maroon 



^ 



/ 



possessing 

quently surpassing the black-red hen's in richness of 

plumage. 

Partridge-breasted reds are not dissimilar, but present the 

breast of the partridge in a beautiful degree; the hens 

are moreover of a very rich feather, and exhibit the same 

peculiar markings in a reduced scale throughout. 

Blotch-breasted reds are too well described by an appro- 
priate cognomen to require definition, being similar to the 

brown-reds in body and general plumage. The breast 
feathers are very irregular, and comprise black and brown 
in unequal proportion, as would be suggested by the 



brown 



viously been domiciled select for many years. 



DUNS. 



We are compelled to differ not only with the Eev. Mr 
Dixon, to whom we owe much respect, but with our con 
temporaries respecting this fowl. 



Mr 



it by a 
purpose. 



separate chapter— this, we think, answers no 
But as chapters are mere divisions of matter. 



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GAME FOWL VARIETIES 



247 



and matter but description, we make no further com- 
ment ; otherwise to deprive a fowl of its connexions^ and 
renew its acquaintance with none, might prove as confus- 
ing to the general student as depressing in its ultimate 
effects to progressive classification. If the dun fowl belongs 



- ^■ 



y 



not to the Game, in which class shall we place it ? By 
itself in isolation ? This we cannot acquiesce in, or upon 
a similar plea the Duckwing and several other varieties 
might claim their respective bills for separation, thus pre- 
fixing confusion to intricacies without an equal amount of 

probability of realizing the slightest advantage. 

The dun fowl is unquestionably a variety of the Game, 

and proves himself so by the surest of all expedients and 
the most certain of all tests with which we are ac- 
quainted. He is no less pugnaciously disposed when his 
opponent, heeled with the trying piercing metal, rushes 
furiously upon him in the pit, and capable of enduring, 
without the slightest indications of distress, all the tortures 
to which he is there subjected. 

We pronounce him without hesitation a Game fowl, as 
evinced by his courage, actions, disposition, shape, quality 
of feather, and general conformity to the entire class, and 
the regulai-ity with which the offspring assume the charac- 
teristics of the breed in quality and disposition. 

Our contemporaries describe the blue dun fowl as though 
red or orange formed a component part of the colour of his 
plumage, this is erroneous. Those which thus exhibit 
other hues than dun are respectively distinguished by 
appropriate terms as red or yellow Duns, &c., which 
indicate the peculiar shade or admixture of tint. 

The dun fowl of both sexes should be of uniform 
silvery slate blue or leaden colour, including the breast and 
wino-ft which are without the sliirhtest admixture of red or 






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248 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



yellow. 



Neck-hackle in both sexes somewhat darker. 



Legs usually dark blue. Head beautifully finished and 
small. Comb and face of a dark complexion. Purely 
feathered birds are exceedingly scarce, and the colour is a 
novelty ; but are we justified in substituting birds which 
are not in exact conformity with the standard of excellence 
to make up the deficiency? We think not. However 
unattainable that degree of excellence hitherto recognised 
as our standard, no less should our endeavours extend to 

encircle its path. 

In the black varieties of Game no white should be exhi- 
bited, or they are placed but as sub-varieties. 

In the white specimens no black or red, or they require 

a defining term. 

In the black-breasted red no white should be perceptible. 

In like manner in the dun, if red or yellow be exhibited 

a further distinction is necessary in the form of a prefatory 

appellative. 

Red duns are of striking beauty, and the proceeds of a 
judicious admixture of the blue dun and black-breasted red 
(Game). The male possesses the blue dun body and thighs 
of the blue Dun, interspersed in some specimens with a 

greater or 

breast, however, is most in esteem. Neck and saddle- 
hackles of a bright orange, with light dun shafts ; saddle 
and wing-coverts of a rich blood colour, shading off" into a 
light orange or golden tint ; flight feathers reddish brown ; 
tail dark dun, sometimes approaching black, interspersed 

The hen should be of an entire 
silvery dun throughout, save in the neck-hackle which is of 
a golden orange with deep dun stains. In some a very 
light slate blue predominates, whilst others exhibit a deep 
leaden tinted plumage. (See illustrations.) 



- ' r 



less degree of brown or red ; the clear dun 



with grey or grizzle. 







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GAME EOWL VAEIETIES 



249 



Smoky duns are very similar in plumage^ but of a deeper 
and duller shade in both, sexes. 

Yellow duns are extremely beautiful, and in general 
plumage resemble the birchen yellows save in the breast^, 
belly, thighs, vent, tail, and points of wings, which are dun 
or a mixture of maroon and dun ; the neck, saddle-hackles, 
and wing-coverts, being of the various shades of orange; 
the web of the neck-hackle is invariably light dun ; legs and 
claws usually light olive or yellow. The hen is less attractive, 
frequently exhibiting tints which require a considerable 
extension of depth to become uniform or settled in their 



appeai'ance 



DUCKWINGS 



Are considered by many the most beautiful of the entire 
family. The males present a combination of delicately 
shaded plumes, varying in richness from the palest straw to 
the richest orange. The entire class are distinguished by 
a steely green iridescent bar extending across the larger 
wing-coverts, in connexion with cream coloured primary 
wing feathers as exhibited in the Mallard duck, from which 

they derive nomination. 

Black-breasted diickivings form a most striking but pleas- 
ing contrast when compared with the more highly coloured 
varieties. The breast, belly, thighs, vent, and tail of the 
male should be of a clear coal black, the latter full and of 



decided hu 



e> 



but shming with 




reen metallic lustre ; 



the neck and saddle-hackles vary from a light straw to a 
rich orange, shading towards extremities into the palest 
canary colour ; wing-coverts, from a rich orange to a deep 
chocolate, are of a decided hue, and harmoniously blend 
with the entire suit ; larger wing-coverts edged with the 
lustrous bar already alluded to; legs and toes yellow or 



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250 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



pale olive. A healthy coloured visage is of immense 
advantage, and adds greatly to their beauty. The hen 
should be of a settled and uniform feather, varying in dif- 
ferent specimens from a mouse colour to a greyish straw, 
with silver pencilled neck-hackles, light red or maroon 
breast, and black tail tinted with greyish specks. (See 



) 



Black 



peculiar wiry feather. The general ground varies from a 
pale yellow to a birchen tint ; breast, belly, thighs, and vent 
coal black ; hackles yellowish grey with black ink stains ; 
wing-coverts of a deep straw or orange ; tail black. The 
hen is usually of a light grey, tinted with birchen, with 

i 

silver neck-hackle stained with black pencillings; breast 
light maroon ; tail black, tinted with grey ; legs, toes, and 

beak yellow ; nails white. 

Broion-hreasted ginger ducks possess brown breasts in 

connexion with the general feather characterizing the pre- 
viously described birds, but somewhat of a warmer tint, 
more especially in the coverts. The hen is likewise some- 
what darker. 

F 

Marble-breasted greys possess for the most part but little 
of a brighter hue than grey throughout their feathery suit. 
The hackles, saddle, and wing-coverts being of that colour, 
comprising various shades ; breast streaky and resembling 
light marble in its character. Hens are in full conformity 
with their mates, and exhibit similar peculiar markings in 

the breast. 



Turkey-breasted greys. 



Saving the resemblance 



the 



breast of both sexes bear to the common Turkey they 
differ in no respect from the previously described birds. 

Clear mealy greys are of an entire grey suit including the 
hackles and wing-coverts, and exhibit no pretension to a 



>^, 



% 



:i 












-*s 



\. 



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GAME FOWL VAEIETIES. 



251 



yellow or brighter tint in any part of their body. Legs, 
beak, and toes pale yellow. 

Black-breasted greys. — The male possesses a clear Hack 
breast which gives a finished appearance to the entire suit. 
The hen exhibits a pale maroon frontispiece ; in other 
respects but slight differences are perceptible between them 
and the former. 



YELLOAVS. 

Yellow specimens are occasionally met with approaching 
a dark cinnamon hue, but devoid of the steely iridescent 
bar at the extremity of larger wing-coverts which distin- 
guishes the duckwinged breed, although of similar plu- 

mage. This deficiency necessarily renders them yellows and 
not duckwings, seeing the very peculiarity exhibited in the 
latter, and from which their name is derived, being absent; 
the adaptation of that typical term is at once incorrect. 

Black-breasted yellows. — The male possesses a clear coal 
black breast, thighs, and tall, and dark cinnamon plumage. 
Hen light buff throughout, with yellow legs. 

Grey-breasted yellows are similar in plumage, with the 
exception of the breast, which is grey as the name implies. 
The hen conforms to the general hue of the male. 

Black-breasted yellow birchen are similar to the black- 
breasted yellows in character and general colour of plumage 
in both sexes, but resemble the birchen in depth of tint. 
Some, however, run streaky in the breast. The hens are 
of an entire dark plumage, tinted with grey throughout, 
and neck-hackle edged with silvery white. 



PILES. 



AH 



class, possessing white as a component colour of their 




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252 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



feathery suits^ are termed ^^ Piles/' of which there are 
several varieties^ as hereafter described. Unfortunately 
they have received nomination from mere local distinctions 
or peculiar incidents connected with domestication, instead 

1 , 

of their respective attributes. Hence we have the Cheshire, 
Staffordshire, and Worcestershire Piles, which are ina- 
dequate distinctions. Why not call the former blood- wing 
Piles as indicative of facts, and the casual observer, hj 
making use of his ocular nerves, would be enabled to identify 
them, seeing the wing-coverts of the male are of that colour? 
We have no more reason for calling the Pile varieties by 
geographical phrases than the black-breasted reds, which 
are nominated as they should be from visible characteristics. 
We opine that all such narrow terms should henceforth 

give place to judicious and recognisable appellatives, and 
such as would at once be suggested to an observer as ap- 
propriate. For Staffordshire Piles we propose the substi- 
tution of yellow Piles, seeing those parts, which in the 
blood-wing Piles are red, are in those yellow. Worcester- 
shire Piles should give place to dun Piles, as being thus 
tinted throughout the entire feather. Ambiguous local terms 

3, since Cheshire 
Piles may be bred at Worcester, or the Staffordshire birds 
at Chester, or any other locality. We trust, therefore, 
further disputes will not arise whilst a remedy so patent, 

without being patented, is at hand. 

Blood-wing Piles. — In the male the breast, belly, thighs, 

and tail, are white, with a few maroon feathers interspersed ; 
a perfectly white breast is preferable, but seldom if ever 
to be obtained. Neck-hackle bright orange, with white 
shafts. Saddle and wing-coverts of a deep golden dragon's 
blood, the latter barred with clear white; saddle-hackle 

The hen varies 



mu 



shading off into a pale canary yellow. 



f 



4 



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GAME FOWL VARIETIES 



253 



\ 
\ 



from a clear Avliite to a brigkt cream, witli neck-hackles and 



wing-coverts sllglitly edged with yellow- Breast robin- 
shaded, usually termed ^^ robin-breasted/' but varying in 
depth of shade in different specimens. 

Yelloios are marked with pale lemon yellow in those parts 

4 

in which the blood-wing Pile is red ; are frequently found 
possessing perfectly white breasts. The hens, not unustially, 
are purely white throughout. 

Strealiy Piles are in both sexes irregularly marked with 

black and red in hackle and tail, and possess unsettled 

brown and red hues, indiscriminately extended throughout 

the plumage. 

Dun or blue Piles. — In the male black, white, and blue 

tints, are perceptible in the hackles and tail. The hens are 

r 

irregularly shaded or tinted with dun. Legs usually olive 

or yellow. 

Spangled Piles plainly indicate their origin, and their 
appropriate nomination renders minute description unneces- 

w 

sary. A spangled or speckled plumage predominates 
throughout the entire suit of both male and female, whilst 
the former possesses a larger amount of yellow and maroon 
than the latter. 

Cuckoos resemble the Dorkings of that name in the 
character of their plumage, each feather being marked 
with three or four bars of grey, yellow, or black, upon a 
white ground. 



WHITES. 



Whites 



delicacy of plumage — should be purely white and of un- 
stained feather in both sexes ; beaj^, h 




white, olive, or yelloAV. In general conformity they differ 
in no respect from the entire class. They are very liable 



ii 



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254 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



to break into Piles, and generate Pile offspring, especially 
■where admixture is most recent. Their general feather, 
although hard and firm, compared with other fowls, is 
inferior in this respect to the coloured Game varieties. 



INDIAN BREEDS. 

The genuine Indians are not near so handsome in shape 
and make as the English Game, possessing a heavy and 
comparatively clumsy appearance, in connexion with very 
coarse features. Latterly British Game of first quality of 
the several varieties have been liberally exported thence, 
thereby rendering it possible that those very specimens, 
now received from that quarter as Indians, are the direct 
proceeds of an admixture of English blood. It is evident 

those beautiful white specimens, latterly exhibited as 
Indians, were vastly SLiperior to anything of the sort pre- 
viously seen in plumage, shape, carriage, and general 
conformation. 

The hroion-hreasted reds are similar in plumage to the 
British brown ; likewise the many other varieties resemble 

breed in the character of their respective suits, 

that elegant and finished outline 
which renders the genuine English birds so exquisitely 
unique, and the beau ideal of primary and uncontaminated 

descent. 



our 



but are wanting m 



HENNIES OR HENCOCKS 



i 

Are thus nominated from the striking semblance the 
plumage of the male bears to the females. Both neck and 
saddle-hackles being but little more developed, with tail 
almost as straight and spare, and equally devoid of sickle 
feathers. They are a select breed, and generate their kind 
in form and feather with reo-nkri+v nnd precision. Are 




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GAME FOWL VARIETIES 



255 



equally pugnacious^ and no less determinate in conflict than 
the more masculinely plumed varieties. 

Blacks are of an entire black feather in both sexes^ but 
occasionally exhibit the bar of yellow in the wing-coverts 
as in the brassy-wings. 

Black and brown-breasted reds resemble the Knowsley 
breed in the colour of their plumage^ but being spare are 
necessarily less brilliant. 

Yelloios are another variety of this description^ and of 

a light buif in both male and female. 



MUFFS AND TASSELS 



Are usually of a brown-red class of plumage^ the former 
possess a beard extending round the throat. The tassels 
are without that appendage^ but derive their name from the 
presence of a few long head feathers projecting from the 
back of the comb as in the crested fowls^ but not erect. 
Comb and face usually purple; iris deep rich hazel. A 
breed termed tasselled muffs have been produced from the 
breeding together of the two. These three strains are 
usually extremely savage^ petulant^ and spiteful^ and no 
less pugnacious in the pit. Had their me 



them 



mon 




relied race without hesitation. But^ although not thus 
adventurous, I cannot allow the opportunity to pass without 
advancing my opinion that they are not of pure origin, but 
the issue of a remote admixture with that class of birds, 
resembling them in their throat and head appendages, 
and from which they thus obtain a hereditary feature. 
Repeated importations for successive 



ages 



of genuine 

blood may have eradicated the deteriorating effects upon 
their metal, produced by a cross of so foreign a fowl, 
whilst the material feature may still have remained^ see- 



!|. 



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256 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



ino- the breeder usually 
fullest development. 



preserves such as exhibit the 



SHAKEBAGS, OE DUKE OF LEEDS' FOWL 



Are 



His 



gave rise to the name are no longer recognised. 
the Duke of Leeds, a devoted fancier, produced from the 
Malay cock and Game hen, birds of wonderful pugnacity, 
and their prodigious size and herculean strength rendered 
them unrivalled in the annals of the cocking registry. He 
invariably brought them to the pit in bags, and previous to 
their release challenged them against any that could be 
produced. Specimens produced from a similar cross are 
now reared, and, as a matter of course, equally deserve the 
name of Shakebags, if that term indicates characteristics, 
if not, such as reveal their hybredism would be more ap- 



propriate. 



They are unquestionably a very noble and 



mao-nificent fowl, and occasionally specimens may be seen 

awkward bearings of the Malay 
its size and power, with a fair share of the Game fowl's con- 



The general 




formity, contour, and elasticity of motions, 

run, however, stand higher and heavier on the leg than the 

Game, joined with an awkward bearing much at variance 

with the required standard of the British aristocracy. If 

the blood of the Malay be genuin 

and their rivals to be looked for. 



ssue of the Malay 
hen, when bred with the Game cock, is not usually so suit- 
able for the purposes of the pit, proving less active. The 
affinity between mother and son being stror 
between father and son. This holds good with all the 
Game varieties; if the hen be not genuine, worthless are the 
XDrogeny, more especially the males. I would much rather 

hen and mongrel 




breed from the issue 



of a 



genuine 



I 



LI 



.-*1 



1 



GAME FOWL— CKOSS BREEDS. 



257 



cock^ than such as were generated from a mongrel hen and 
^ true-bred cock. Be it observed^ however^ I would not 
depend very much upon the good conduct or regularity of 
either ; and^ apart from decided disproval of all species of 
gamblings I would never think of exposing even a cent to 
the perilous position consequent upon the chances of their 
signal success^ or precipitate flighty but would anticipate the 
latter as inevitable. A remark which is equally applicable 
for all the varieties I cannot refrain from making mention. 
Although the true bred bird is of undying resolution^ and 
exhibits invincible powers under the most painful and dis- 
tressing circumstances conceivable ; if he be unwell^ or 
suffering severely from disease^ when first introduced to 
his antagonist, he will frequently have sufficient sense to 

r 

prefer deferring the engagement until some more suitable 
occasion. If in good bodily health, when placed before his 
foe, he never turns tail, even though limbs be mutilated ; 
but if struck in the testicles, he, too, will falter, and the 
attitude of the fleeting fugitive will succind to that of the 
noble chanticleer. 



{ 1.4 



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i 



I 












SELECTION OF STOCK FOR BREEDHSTG PURPOSES. 

A judicious selection of specimens for propagation Is of 
the utmost import. Whichever be the variety, care must be 
taken that their characteristics are In strict comformlty with 
the already advanced standard of excellence, and obtained 
from a hereditary source. In the Game hen this becomes 
peculiarly Imperative. (See page 256). 

We have already enumerated tested facts at pages 31, 
74, 104, and 172, and expedients which are equally requisite 
in the successful breeding of Game fowls. A summary of 
importances may thus be adduced. 

Pullets should never be mated with stags, but with two 

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258 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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or three-year old cocks, and hens of the same age with 

stags. 

For breeding Game birds high and vigorous, the male's 

prolific mates should be limited to four, whilst several in 
addition, non-simultaneously productive, may be allowed 
with impunity. The senior male bird prefers select society, 
as evinced in his irritability of temperament towards some, 
but affable and decorous demeanour towards his favourites. 

At the expiration of his fourth year he should be dis- 
missed the breeder's stud, or be allowed but one hen, and 
that but for the ensuing season. 

Great care should be taken that specimens mated together 

A white feather in a coloured bird 
is necessarily a foul mark, and if once admixed its eradica- 
tion becomes most difficult. I feel confident that the more 
artistic the nicety of calculation bestowed in selecting tints 
which harmonize in shadow, the more beautiful the progeny 

will prove. 

Relationary breeding must ever be avoided, more espe- 
cially the consanguinity necessary resulting from brother 
and sister being matched. 

Infusions of fresh blood must be effected in the form 
of an occasional introduction of a model male bkd with the 
hens, or fresh pullets with the finest family male about 

every other year. 

The blood thus imported must be of first-rate quality, 
or its postponement becomes necessitated until such can be 

produced. 

A pedigree should be kept describing the several admix- 
tures to which the breed has been subjected. 

In breeding blacks it becomes advantageous to mark the 
chicks, which, when first excluded from the shell, are of the 
deepest black. Although they may ultimately become no 






L=^ ■■_'^a. 







BREEDING GAME FOWLS. 



259 



further distinguished for a handsome and settled plumage 
than the rest^ I have been enabled^ by observation and 
experiment, to discover that more dependance can be 
placed upon their offspring in this respect, than in the pro- 
geny of such as are first attired in a dull suit. 

FurnesseSy Polecats^ and black-hreasted cr ow- winged Reds ^ 
are frequently produced from the admixture of Blacks with 
the Black-reds. 

Blotch-breasted Reds from Black and Brown-reds. 
Red Duns from blue Duns and Black or Brown-reds. 
Smoky Duns from blue Duns and Blacks. 
Yellow Duns from Duns and yellow Birchens or Duckwings. 
Browuy streaky^ and marble-breasted Ducks^ from the 

various blendings of mixed Brown-reds and Duns with 
Duckwings. 

Blood-wing Piles from Whites and two or three admix- 
tures with Black or Brown-reds. 

Yelloio Piles from the same source, but having sufficient 
mingling with the Reds to tinge, but not to colour. 

Spangles from irregular admixtures with the Blacks, 
Whites, and Reds. 

Dun Piles from the Dun and Pile. 
Tasselled-muffs from the union of the Tassels and Muffs, 

as denoted by an appropriate appellative. 

I do not here intend to convey the idea that the varieties 
which, when admixed with others, produce this, that, or 
the other feathered progeny, are themselves of a primary 
order of plumage, but merely that this recent blending of 
select breeds is capable of immediately producing such as 
I have described. 



GAME CHICKS. 



It may be necessary to observe that the legs of all the 



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260 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



varieties, including the white and olive, but excepting the 
black or dark blues, vary from a pale to a decided yellow, 
when first excluded from the shell : although a few weeks 
are ample to denote their constitutional hue. The chicks 
of the black varieties, we have already had occasion to 
notice (but for the completion of the list, once again repeat), 
vary from a coal-black to a brown-black, and are marked 
with white on the face, breast, and wings. 

Blacks and brown-reds are of a rich brown maroon hue, 
possessing three deeper parallel stripes rimning longitudin- 
ally down the centre of the back, from the head to the extre- 

over the eye is percep- 

- tible. These stains disappear as the chicks advance in growth. 



n 



chestnut-brown, marked with 






are frequently black or 
I white, as in the blacks. 

Duckwings deep orange, with three darker stripes ex 

ing down the back, as in the reds, but not so intense. 

Yellows of a still lighter hue. 

Piles principally white or cream, but depending upc 
peculiar variety or sub-variety to which they belong. 

TVhu^o r^f ci T^rirP white, but somctimcs tinted witl 



I 



cream. 



The chicks of the Indian breed, also the hennies, muffs, 
and tassels, semble the progeny of the other varieties of 
the same feather ; that is the brown-red Indians, muffs, 
and tasselled chicks, assimilate the brown-red of the true 

English breed. 

The chicks of the entire class are robust and of vigorous 
constitution ; they moreover feather very rapidly, but being 
small, care should be taken that they are fed in small quantities, 
but with frequency. Being very hearty consumers for their 
size, whilst young, if after fasting a liberal supply be afforded. 



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BREEDING GAME FOWLS. 



261 



Indigestion may ensue^ as engendered by excessive reple- 



tion. Whatever 



enduring, it becomes equally evident, until full grown, such 
must prove very deteriorating in its effects. For other par- 
ticulars connected with feedinij and rearing; chicks— 
Parts III. and IV., from page 112.) 

The month of Marcli may be regarded the most suitable 
for their exclusion. The mother is a most tender^ watchful, 
and careful manager of her progeny, and capable of pro- 
tecting them against the trying effects of a varying tem- 
perature in almost all its severity if but bare means be 
afforded. No more than eight should be allowed her if 
prime quality be desired ; seven or eight fine sturdy chicks 



beino 



o 



than 



naries. The first ailment to which they are usually sub- 
jected arises from their pugnacious propensities being 
indulged in. Whilst yet but a few weeks old, still pro- 
tected by one common parent, and equally requiring her 
guardian care, their little beaks and pedal limbs are raised 
against each other for offensive and defensive warfare. 
The determination which they exhibit in these sanguinary 
engagements is surprising. But the first revolution over, 
and the various degrees of aiithority settled, the principal 

difficulty is overcome, for each little man knows his several 
masters, and humbles himself at their approach. But 
where many broods are confined together, the first affray 
must necessarily result in the loss of some — each bird having 
as many battles to dispute as there are males, unless the van- 
quished shun the presence of his friends of untried strength 



until recovered from his wounds. When reared together, 
it is far the wisest plan to allow them to settle their 
differences without resorting to temporary separation, as 
that is but adding strength to combativeness, and renderin 



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262 



FERGUSON ON EOWL. 



all such capable of protracting the campaign 



method is to assist, in 



, over a 

ae, upon their return. The best 
each skirmish, the one most 



likely to vanquish, by buffeting his opponent with a cloth 
until he be "cowed." Although slight after differences 
will arise, they are not likely to be so frequent as would be 
the case if the weaker, upon the ground of his inability to 
exercise such authority as the stronger, were chosen as the 

These after differences are not fought for, with the 



victor 



amount 



tants as the first general appeal to arms, seeing the heart 



overcome 
master is in constant sight, and memory 



The 



old stock bird exhibits a distaste for petty strife, and soon 

disperses the juvenile chanticleers which are thus engaged. 

It is the practice of all breeders of quality to mark the 

chicks, when but a few days old, with their own stamp^ of 
recognition, in case of larceny or temporary loss. 



The 

small 



peculiarly shaped piece of web from between certain toes. 



A 



o 



more 



subj ect by the prick of a pin. 

When five or six months old, the operation of dubbing 
is best performed, that is the amputation of the comb. 



month 



This mutilati 



A 



\ 



is necessary for the preservation of the bird. 

foe at one time or other is almost sure to cross his path, 

when these appendages if not curtailed are sadly in the way. 



formin 



but 



proofs of the skirmish are evinced by their irrecoverably 



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BREEDING GAME FOWLS. 



263 



|lH*l|- 



i 



torn and shattered condition. The comb may readily be 
removed by making a slight incision at the back near the 
skull when one dexterous pull should complete the operation. 
By this means it may be momentarily effected^ but not 
always sufficiently artistic to give unqualified satisfaction. 
For this reason a pair of sharp clipping scissors are best 
adapted for the purpose^, and with which it may be per- 
formed in almost an equally short space of time. To stop 
the flow of blood from the wound the application of the 
fluff of a feather, or a layer of cobwebs suffices. A good 
bird seldom evinces the slightest pain by any effort at 
release during the operation, nor raises his voice against its 
performance. We do not propose explaining the surgical 
operation, considering a personal attestation absolutely 
necessary to his skilful and humane performance. The 
imperious air exhibited in the breed is greatly heightened 
by the absence of the comb, and becomes considerably 
increased after the removal of the gills and ear-lobes. 

Where many birds are bred, and a select breed main- 
tained, it is usual for the owners to obtain a few country 
grass walks for several of their male birds as soon as trim- 
med. For this purpose a friendly farmer will, for the sum 
of 2s. 6d. or Ss. per annum, place a few birds at separate 

runs, from whence they may be removed when required, 
by the substitution of another and the payment of the fee. 

i 

An occasional loss of a fine specimen must not discourage, 
being fully compensated for in the superior accommodation 
afforded, without which the continued maintenance of the 

^ 

straiii would become dubious. 

The same distinctive appellatives, made use of to denote 
the particular age of either male or female, hold good with 
every class and variety of poultry, to mention which would 
be but an iteration of remarks contained in page 136. 



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FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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AS FARM STOCK. ^ 

Fancy versus Profit, 

It is a well attested fact that Game fowls will not flou- 
rish in large qiiantitieSj seeing males sufficient for rendering 
many hens prolific will ever be at variance^ and manifest 

X ■ 

intense jealousy at the courtesy paid the fair sex, both by 
superior and subordinate companions. The best method is 
to rear a brood of fresh blood, and Introduce the finest 
male birds of that brood to the hens. The former never 
having been separated are settled in their relative positions 
of rank, and likely to remain so if not interfered with or 
disturbed by some general outbreak consequent upon 
the presence of a stranger — when the previously master 
cock, after being slightly bedaubed with blood, will be 
no longer recognised by his subordinates, and disastrous 
consequences will inevitably succeed. But apart from such 
casualties, where many chicks are reared for the market, 



Game blood 



admissable, for a general civil war 



amongst the juveniles of the poultry yard would be the 
means of retarding their progress considerably, and render- 
ing a loss rather than a gain the probable result. The 
ardent temperament of the hens, too, would be a source of 
much trouble, if domiciled in large numbers, both as re- 
gards their incubating determination and the sanguinary 
conflicts in which they would doubtless be engaged with 
their previous companions upon their return. Even when 
but a few days have elapsed, they frequently greet their 
former superiors with the air of endeavour at self-advance- 



ment. 



suflic 



prodigious to make up for the great disadvantage under 

which their owners would be placed by such campaigning. 

And lastly, we arrive at flesh, which is unquestionably 

of first-rate quality, but its natural size and weight is below 






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GAME FOWLS-FANCY VERSUS PROFIT. 



265 



mediocrity — and apart from being retarded in its develop- 
ment by pugilistic encounters, the chicks are by no iiSfeans 
precocious as are the Dorkings or general farm stock. 
From personal observation and kind corroborating testimony 
received from all quarters bearing upon this momentous 
point, I am compelled to pronounce my favourites below 
that standard of national utility which would place them in 
the hands of our producers for the market 

But this confession leaves open one plea which I must 
advance in their behalf. If they be not collectively the 
most profitable subjects for the farm, they possess character- 



hi 



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^^reatest charms render them but fit subjects for the satis- 
faction of animal exigencies. Features they exhibit which 
excite our most enthusiastic admiration, and our closest 
study. The death of the spit is neither honourable nor 
desirable, but to be beholden of continued generations with 
the eye of satisfaction, and to claim that regard is no less 
meritorious in itself than a position of acknowledged pre- 
ferment. As bodies endowed with life they must necessa- 
rily surpass in degree the whole range of herbs in its most 
extended sense, and as mirrors of nature's power they reflect 
her peculiar care. 

Stand back ! compare not the senseless lily with the 

proud puissant hero of his race 
prickly plant unfolds— 



The richest tint the 



—the sweetest charms the blushing 
rose portrays stand far surpassed in hues by the noble 
exquisitely golden amber shades of nature's blending, which 
the proud, the noble, and the valiant chanticleer dis- 
plays — in life's attire. His form of beauteous elegance is 
wrought by nature's finished and most skilful hand, with 
care and much peculiar nicety ; his merits stand the test of 
heaven's own scrutiny. 



73 



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266 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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DISEASES. 

ature having produced so valiant and exquisite a form, 
and to have peculiarly subjected it to disease would have 
been somewhat irregular. She occasionally acts thus for 
hidden and all- wise purposes ; but the hero before us is 
constitutionally subject to few ailments^ and his hereditary 
maladies are more limited than with almost any other 
variety of our poultry denizens. 

Cankered mouth is induced from advantagizing opportu- 
nities of indulging in their pugnacious temperament^ and 
to which ailment they are as susceptible as opportunities 
are afforded them for exercising their abilities with a rival. 
Being a local ailment^ the best method of affording relief 
lies in thoroughly cleansing the mouth with lukewarm 

water, and rubbing the parts affected with dry salt. A 
little fresh blood will doubtless flow^ but that is of mere 
temporary importance ; the application of garlic to the 
wounds is moreover beneficial^ or a little bread and cham- 
berlie may be administered for a few ensuing mornings as 
a tonic. If badly struck, or internally wounded, which 
may occur if his opponent be heeled with long and piercing 
weapons, a teaspoonful of castor oil will much relieve him, 
but resort should not be made to such medicinal remedial 
measures unless the bird, appearing dull, exhibits loss of 
habitual prowess. 



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HISTORY OF THE HAMBURGH FOWL. 



267 






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THE HAMBURGH FOWL. 



Gallina Turcica, or Turkish Cock* of Aldrovanbi, 

Velvet-Breeches — ^Buefon. 



■^ 



The terms Feathered] Fowl and Everlasting Layer are moreover applied 
to the entire Hamburgh class in all its varieties, but Dutch Everyday Layer 
exclusively to such as are pencilled, seeing the latter alone are imported, whilst 
the spangled are the result of climatic influences and domestication, and but 
imperfect types of the primitive order. 



HISTORY OF THE HAMBURGH FOWL. 

r 

Were our pen confined to the natural or domesticated 
history of poultry, we should, doubtless, have abnegated 
the Hamburgh appellative as applied to this class. Ham- 
burgh appears but the medium by which they were 
originally imported (in the way of commerce) into this 
country from Turkey, or some other eastern climate, and 
not the mother country as usually supposed. Our 
primary object being that of recognition, whilst analysis 
holds but a secondary position, we prefer registering 
errors that they may not be increased to divesting recog- 
nised breeds of their appellations In the substitution of new. 
It is evident before poultry had commanded that amount of 
attention which is now studiously bestowed, distinctions 



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* Now more usually applied to a Bantam variety. 
f The term "feathered" equally applies to Polands and Bamtams, the 
accuracy of the markings in their plumage being the grand desideratum- 



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FEEGUSON ON FOWL, 



and terms were conferred at random. Amongst others^ 

lised as such^ were 



Hamburghs^ that Is birds now recog 



H 



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and even to the present day there are several much dis- 

r 

puted points. Some of our eminent breeders consider the 
real Hamburgh was a bearded fowl, and that our specimens 
holding that specific name are but Dutch everyday layers. 
Much as we approve rightful nomination, and confute 
settling down upon the most convenient point of a contro- 
versial labyrinth, we are compelled to sacrifice our opinions 
when calculated to engender that which we seek to avoid. 
Considerable as -(v^ould be the interest connected with 
analysing the original causes of applied distinctions, it 
would be wholly unprofitable if introduced into the pages 

of our poultry journal. To rectify past misnominations would 
require a simultaneous publication of a dictionary appendix, 

gratis ; and that, even if generally recognised as desirable, 
would take years to become established, and ultimately 

an insignificant purpose. Let us rather recog- 
nise our present Game birds as Game fowls, even though 
they should be termed " English," and Malays as Malays, 
Shanghaes as Shanghaes, Hamburghs as Hamburghs, and 
Polish as Polish. Names are but significations of identity ; 
if certain sounds are capable of transmitting required intel- 
ligence they need but registiy and general adoption to 
answer all desirable purposes. Let us not, therefore, sigh 
and strain for the universal abandonment of a sound to the 
substitution of another which may also orignally have 
misrepresented facts — but rather be on the alert, and 
permit no extension of new misnomers ; let none but judi- 
cious appellatives slip in, and no useful ones out, — thus will 
the point of universal recognition of distinctions, which we 
are all desirous of promulgating, become established. 



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HISTORY OF THE HAMBURGH FOWL. 



269 



Aldrovandus may be regarded as the primitive master of 
poultry detail, although so frequently pirated and despised 
in the pages of our " fowl vocabularies." His description 
of the Turkish cock and two hens is evidently that of the 
Hamburghs. Without applying to the original we thank- 
fully avail ourselves of the Rev. Mr. Dixon's translation, it 
-being, doubtless, correct. " The cock whose likeness we 
now give, is called the Turkish cock, his whole body was 
in a manner inclined to white — still the wing feathers were 
partly black ; the belly also was black ; the tail consisted 
of feathers that were partly green, partly black— some also 
half green, some half black. His whole body was exquisitely 
adorned with lines that were sometimes golden and some- 
times silver, and it is wonderful what a beautiful effect this 
produced ; his legs and feet were tinged with blue. The 
hen, which in like manner is called the Turkish fowl, was 
all white, sprinkled over with black spots ; the feet tinged 
with blue ; the watt] es were short when compared with 
those of the male. The next hen would seem the same, 
except that her neck was yellowish, and she had a sharp 
point on the top of her head ; her feet altogether blue, and 

an immaculate tail." 

Although he nwgntions " his whole body was exquisitely 

adorned with lines that were sometimes golden and some- 
times silver^ and it is wonderful what a beautiful effect this 
produced/' it does not appear whether these lines were 
exhibited on one specimen^andthe amalgamation of rich hues 
produced the effect alluded to, or whether some specimens 
possessed the golden and others the silver markings. 
Although the peculiar comb of our birds is not described, 
his rude wood-cuts fully illustrate their points of identity, 
and leave no doubt but that such specimens belonged to 
the same class. 



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FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



Buffon describes thus — " The Hamburgh cock^ called 
also ^ velvet breeches/ from the black velvetty appearance 



of his this'hs, is a 



large 



stately fowl. Bill is much 



pointed ; iris of the eyes yellow, and the eyes enriched 
with a rim of brown feathers, under which there springs 
up a tuft of black feathers, covering the ears; there 
are similar feathers behind the comb and below the wattles, 
and round black spots on the breast. The legs and feet 
are lead coloured, except the soles which are yellow;. 
This is a peculiar breed, which is brought over from Ham- 
burgh, and is mucli esteemed by the curious." 

Tbe feathers covering the ears may have been full muff- 
shaped or but diminutive, as exhibited in any other variety, 
but the presence of feathers behind the comb and below the 
wattles, induces me to consider the Polish appendage is here 
represented. These birds evidently approximated the 
bearded specimens, originally called Hamburghs, rather than 
such as are now recognised by that name. 

Previous to the commencement of the fourteenth century 
we are unable to discover, by description or portrait, whether 
our present Hamburghs were generally domiciled in this 
country. But Chaucer's knowledge of the breed appears 
satisfactory, his description in the " Nonne's Preeste's Tale" 
evidently portrays considerable similitude. 



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" His combe was redder than the fin corall, 

Embattled as. it were a castel wall ; 

His bill was black, and as the jet it shone, 

Like asure were his legges and his tone (toes), 

His nailes whiter than the lily flour, 

And like the burned gold was his colour." 









■t 

\ 



J 



\ 



CHARACTERISTICS OF THE HAMBURGH FOWL. 



271 



CHARACTERISTICS OF EXCELLENCE OF THE ENTIRE 

HAMBUKGH CLASS. 



(AH existing differences of form between the Pencilled and the Spangled are 

noticed under this head,) 

Head should be short and neat in both sexes^ and 
perfectly exempt from topknot. The head of the pencilled 
variety is peculiarly well finished. 

Eye full and prominent, but mild; usually very dark, 
but varying in shade. 

Beak very short and well curved, is of light or bluish 
grey colour, but sometimes almost white. 

Comb should be in both sexes of a bright coral redness. 



\ 



square and of double rose character ; varies in the male 
from three-quarters of an inch to one inch and a quarter 
in width, should be low on the head, but standing erect, 
wide and evenly spiked on the surface, and terminating in 
a large flattened pike curving slightly upwards, and extend 
ing considerably over the back of the head. The hen's 
should be of similar shape, but more diminutive. The 
comb of the gold-spangled is usually the fullest developed, 
the silver-spangled next, and that of the gold-pencilled 
rather fuller than the silver-pencilled. (A single comb is 
inadmissable.) 

Wattles or gills rather large, full, and round, but vary 
much in length. 

Face small and red in the cock, but paler in the hen. 

Throat. — No tuft or collection of feathers should be 
presented on the throat, face, or head. 

Ear-lobe white and large compared to most fowls, whilst 
very much smaller than in the Spanish, but the larger and 
purer the white the more preferred. The spangled variety 
seldom develop this feature so purely as the pencilled. 



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272 



EERGUSON ON FOWL, 



^t) 



Neck slender and elegant. 
• Neck'liacTile rather long, but close and i 

Breast rather narrow. 

Back short. 

Thighs short and small boned. 

Shank should be perfectly clean and free from feathers ; 
are small in bone, and of blue or leaden colour, usually 
darker In golden-spangled varieties. 

Toes neat, and tapering towards extremities, should be 
well spread ; nails almost white 

Spurs frequently rather high on the shank (no criterion). 

Wings very full and ample, rendering the light-bodied 
possessor capable of passing almost all the boundary marks. 

Tail full, and carried erect ; sickle feathers very long. 

General Jigure very compact, and of beautiful symmetry, 
resembling the elegance of the Game fowl more closely 
that any other ; the spangled are not quite so finished in 

appearance. 

Deportment — The male bird carries himself very erect, 
but easy and graceful ; the hen is, moreover, exceedingly 
sprightly ; the former stands very firm on his pedal limbs, 
which are held rather closely together. 

4 

Gait gay and proud, but easy. 
Croio shrill. Bantam style, but of longer duration. 
Disposition. — They are impetuous, but cowardly, very 
cheerful, but object to close confinement; are of gentle 

habits, but if disturbed are exceedingly turbulent, and 
unceasing in their cries of displeasure. 

Being very prolific their acclamations of rejoicing appear 
continuous, which has given them the name ^^ noisy fowl," 

—two eggs two songs ;, 



but the truth is 



one es'er one song- 



if, therefore, three are laid whilst other inhabitants of our 
poultry denizens are producing two, an increase of music 



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CHARACTERISTICS OF THE HAMBURGH FOWL. 



273 



is inevitable. 



circum 



the 



afford. 

r 

Constitution. — When fully grown they are tolerably hardy, 
but not by any means vigorous. The chickens are tender, 
and require more care than is usually bestowed upon the 
produce of other fowls. Damp is exceedingly injurious, and 
affects them severely if exposed to its detrimental influence, 
whilst a run is indispensable for the well being of either 
fowl or chick of this variety. (See rearing Chicks, page 286.) 
Feeders. — Rather small consumers. 



Producers, 



As 



egg producers they are exceedingly 
prolific, and without doubt may be considered layers of a 

greater aggregate number than any other known variety ; 
usually commencing when from five to seven months old, and 
not exceptionally continuing for nine or ten months in the 
year, with little or no intermission. 




PAC-SIMILE OF THE " HAMBTJRGh's " EGG. 

Their eggs are small and of French-white exterior, 
averaging about one ounce and a half in weighty whilst those 
of the golden-spangled variety about one ounce and three- 
quarters. 

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274 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



Incubators. 



True-bred pencilled Hamburghs rarely 
evince a disposition to undertake the duties devolving upon 
incubator. The spangled, though very seldom, are rather 
more inclined, but never to be depended upon. 

Size. — The average size of the entire class may be con- 
sidered slightly below the Game fowl standard. 



lbs. ozs. 



ins. 



Average weight of the golden-spangled cock 5 4,height 19 



iy 



yy 



5? 



55 



55 



55 



silver 



yy 



99 



yy 



yy 



yy 



yy 



yy 



55 



yy 



yy 



55 



55 



55 



hen 4 4^ 

cock 5 0, 

hen 4 0, 

golden-pencilled cock 4 12^ 

hen 3 12, 

cock 4 8, 

hen 3 8, 



55 



55 



yy 



55 



55 



55 



55 



silver 



55 



yy 



55 



55 



55 



16 
18 

15 
17 
14 
16 
13 



Exceptional specimens may be occasionally met with 
both exceeding the heaviest, and below the lightest weights 

mentioned. 

Flesh white, delicate, and of good flavour ; rather small, 

r 

but equally so in bone. 
General feather close. 




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VAEIETIES. 



There bein^ many synonymous terms for the self-same 



V. 



difficulty 



in the classification of its varieties. It may be necessary 
to observe, that the terms or provincial* names in the right 
hand column are but local distinctions or representations 
of some such trivial differences as might arise in the pro- 
D-Pnv of anv one pair of birds. To render the subject as 



We 



gentlemen, for their kind and invaluable corroboration upon this and 



many other points- 



*4 

r 

1 








HAMBURGH VARIETIES. 



275 




»■••- 



K^ 



4 



3- 

concise as possible, the family may be divided into four 
main orders. 

1, Pencilleb Hamburghs. 



2. Spangled 



Do. 



3. Lacei> Hambukghs. 



4. Black 



Do. 



1, Pencilled Hamhurghs^ i 
comprise - - - 



Provincial or synonynwus terms, 

Bolton-bays. 
Copper-moss. 
Golden-pencilled \ Golden Dutch everyday 

layers. 
Golden-pencilled Dutch, 



/^Bolton-greys, 
Silyer-moss. 
Prince Albert's breed. 



L Silver - 



Silver-pencilled 






Silver Dutch everyday 

layers. 
Silver-pencilled Dutch. 
Creole,creel, or white necked 

Pheasant fowls. 



^ 



Corals. 

Chitteprats, Cheteprats, or 
\ Narrowers, 



Golden- spangled 



or 



2. Spa ngled Ha mhu rghs, 

comprise . - - 



^ 



golden - pheasant 
fowls,* 

Silver-spangled 



Golden or red-moonies. 

Red-caps. 

Copper-moss.f 



or 



Silver-moonies. 



silver-pheasant ( (Silver-moss.)t 
1^ fowls.* 



3, Laced Hamburghs - Golden and silver, 

4. Black Hamburghs or^ 

7 7 7 7 /. 7 * ( Blacks. , 

olacn-pheasant jowls^ - } 

* The term " pheasant," as applied to this or any other variety of 
domestic fowl, we disclaim, as calculated to engender false notions respect- 
ing its descent or the acceptation of that absurdity, the possible con- 
nexion between it and the Pheasant — (see page 200.) 

f The term "moss," although occasionally applied to the mixed feathered 
specimens of the spangled variety, is more particularly adapted to such 
of the pencilled, either gold or silver, as exhibit dark lines resembling the 
branches of moss in lieu of a clear white ground. 



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276 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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PENCILLED HAMBURGHS 



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Are divided^ as already described^ into two varieties^ the 
gold and the silver^ distinguished by the colour of the 
ground of their plumage. The former presents a beauti- 
ful bright bay^ and the latter a silvery-white pencilled 
feather^ but in other respects are similar. 

Golden-pencilled. — It may be interesting to note the 
trivial peculiarities incidental to the various specimens of 
this variety holding synonymous terms. They are provin- 
cially termed Bolton-hays from being extensiA^ely bred at 
Bolton^ in Lancashire^ and clad in bright bay plumage. 
Copper-moss when of a splashed appearance^ or marked 

Golden Dutch 

everyday layers from their golden feather^ moreover being 
imported from Holland^ and proving exceedingly prolific. 



Golden-pencilled Dutch from the markings or pencillings of 



with dark lines resembling moss branches. 



their feathers. 

To be eligible for a first class prize^ the plumage of the 

Male must display the following points (for form, size, 
&c., see characteristics of the entire class, to which they 
must also conform): — The general ground of the body is a 
bright bay or Rufus-yellow. Neck-hackle yellowish bay, but 
should be destitute of dark markings. Upper wing-coverts^ 
saddle- feather s ^ breast^ and thighs^ pale Yandyke-brown, free 
from pencillings. Tail black, or rather bronze, uppermost 
edge brown, should be ample, and furnished with long sickle 

feathers. 

Hen. — Neck-hackle^ deep ginger, and free from stain, but 
can seldom be obtained so pure as the silvers. Breast ^ 
wings ^ and hack^ brownish buff, regularly pencilled. Tail^ 
rich ginger, pencilled throughout, /m, dark and full. 
Legs and toes^ in both sexes, slate blue. 



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fiAMBURGH VARIETIES. 



277 





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A peculiarly ^^^^^^5'Me, and finished appearance accompanies 
the pencilled birds^ whether golden or silver^ whilst the 
former are rather larger than the latter^ and usually possess 
somewhat heavier combs. 

Silver-pencilled alias Bolton greys from being extensively 
domesticated in Bolton^ and presenting a feather of a grey 
or silvery ground. Silver-moss if grizzled^ or marked with 
lines resembling moss. Prince Alberfs breeds this desig- 
nation is confined to such as are supposed to have received 

a remote admixture of Game bloody for the purpose of 
improving the shape^ but are not distinguishable by any 
peculiar feature. Silver Dutch everyday layers from pos- 
sessing a silver plumage^ being imported from Holland^ and 
frequently laying for many successive days. Silver-pen- 
cilled Dutch from their pencilled markings. Creole^ creel^ 
or white-neched Pheasant fowly from being an admixture of 
black and white throughout the feather^ and the partial 
resemblance between them and that bird. Coral from the 
similarity of their comb to red coral. Chitteprats^ chete- 

pratsy or narrowers^ the causes of these terms are so 
inconclusive as to be unworthy of notice. 

4 

The ground of the golden-pencilled being substituted for 
a silvery-white^ this very delicate and beautiful variety is 
at once described. 

Male. — The plumage of the male should be of a clear 
white^ and as free from stain as possible^ save in wings 
and tail. Hackles and hreast white. Wings evenly barred 
with black dots across wing-coverts^ and down extremities 
of the secondary wing feathers. Tail rather full, well 
sickled, and of lustrous black, edged with bronze or silver, 
shading into black, but should never appear grizzled or 
splashed with white. 

Hen.T-ls far more extensively marked than the male, 



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278 



FEKGUSON ON FOWL. 



and presents a silvery-white ground^ each feather being 
pencilled with three^ four^ and sometimes five parallel 



transverse bars. Neck 
Body and entire suit pure 



of clear unstained white- 

Breast 



definitely and similarly marked, but less solid. Flight 
feathers evenly defined. Tail exhibits larger tranverse 
bars, and should be marked throughout. Legs slate blue, 
nails white. A mottled, mixed, streaky, or spangled 
appearance in any part of the suit is decidedly objection- 
able, and has given rise to the term moss, &c. In some 
specimens the lower part of the breast of the hen exhibits 
a creamy or white surface at the expense of the pencillings, 
this we deem objectionable. The greater the extension of 
that distinctive feature " pencilling," for which the entire 
class is peculiarly notorious, the more eligible should 
such specimen be considered for the first prize award, 
seeing that in the definite and full development of this 
characteristic depends their interesting ornamental and 
full dress habile. 




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SPANGLED HAMBUKGHS. 



Golden-spangled alias red-moonies from the variations of 
the spangles in different specimens resembling in shape the 
several phases of the moon, whilst such as semble that 



full 



Red- 



caps from the extension of bright red comb which sur- 
mounts their head ; the gold spangled usually possessing a 
more fully developed comb than any of the other varieties. 
Copper-moss from the supposed similarity existing between 

confused streaks and moss branches. 

Male presents a ground of deep orange-red, spangled 
with greenish black. Neck and saddle-hackle bright yel- 
lowish copper, marked down the centre of each feather with 



-* "v 




^ 




1 




»'■' 






HAMBUEGH VARIETIES. 



279 



a greenish black shaft, or spangled towards the tips with a 
full moon of a similar hue— should be fringed with gold 
throughout the entire edge ; secondary wing feathers evenly 
edged. Wings marked with two bars of rich greenish black 
spangles. Wing-coverts deep rich copper and fully spangled. 
The markings in the breast should be moon-shaped, well 
defined and solid, and not clouded or irregular. Thighs 

and helly bronzed-black. Tail black, well plumed, perfectly 



deeply shaded with bronze 



Hi 



■Neck-hackle feath 



gled towards the extremities as in the m^e, but less 
intense— edges evenly fringed with bright body ground. 
Body feathers regularly spangled throughout. Legs and 

toes slate blue, nails white. Occasionally adult specimens 
of this variety may be met with possessing clear hackles, 
but such are too exceptional to require further notice. 
The hens of this variety vary in richness of feather, many 
are exceedingly handsome and of brilliant plumage ; they 
exceed the average of the pencilled in size, but are less 

elegant and unique. 

regular the spangles, and the closer their 

conformity to the full moon in shape, the more they are 
esteemed — whilst a black breast is decidedly objectionable. 
Hamburghs are carefully bred in Lancashire, Westmore- 
land, Yorkshire, and the vicinities, but are little known in 
the more southern counties.* We subjoin a table of 



more 



of 



northern 



club's registry. 



Points. 



Marks 



1st — Comb . 



Best double; best square; the most erect; 
and best piked behind. 



* Are said to be extensively domiciled in Russia, 




m 



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1 ■ 



280 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



I K 



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Points. 

m r 

2nd — ^Ear-lobes . 
3rd— Neck . 



I 



4th — ^Breast 



; 



5th — Back 



H ■ 



6 th — RCMF 



7th— Wing 



1' 



8th— Tail 



9th — ^Legs 



Marks offeathersy Sfc, considered best 

I 

The largest and most white 

The best streaked with green-black in the 
middle of the feathers ; and best fringed 
with gold at the edges. 

The largest moons; best and brightest 
green-black, most free from being tipped 
with white or red at the end of the 
moon, and the clearest and best red 
from the moon to the bottom colour. - 

The largest moons; best and brightest 
green-black, least tipped with white or 
red at the edges of the moon, and the 

, best and clearest red from the moon to 
the bottom colour. 

The largest moons; best and brightest 
green-black, least tipped with white or 
red at the edges of the moon, and the 
best and clearest red from the moon to 
the bottom colour. 

This is divided into four parts : — lst,jBou7, 
Best and brightest green-black, and best 
and clearest red. — 2nd, Bars. To have 
two distinct bars, composed of the 
largest, clearest, brightest, and best 
green-black moons, and the clearest and 
best red from the moon to the bottom 
colour. — 3rd, Flight The clearest and 



best red. — 4th, The Lacing, or top of the 
wing, above the flight. Largest, clearest, 
brightest, and best green-black spots on 
the end of the feathers, and the best and 
clearest red from the spot to the bottom 
colour. 

The Brightest, darkest, and best green- 
black. To be full-feathered. 

Best and clearest blue. 




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10th — General appearance The best feathered hen. 



E L 

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l1 





.1 



i 



HAMBURGH VAIIIETIES. 



281 



1 

By substituting the word tohite for red or gold through- 
out the table, it becomes applicable to the silver-spangled 

variety. 

We heartily recommend the general publishing of recog- 
nised characteristics of excellence for the guidance of 
poultry clubs, and regard it as one of the main features to 
be observed in the establishing of our poultry improvement 

associations. 

Silver-spangled alias silver-moonies , and silver-moss from 

previously alluded to, and the substitution of a 

silver ground for a golden. 

Male. The ground of the entire feather silvery white. 

Neck-hackle white, but spangled towards extremity, with 
moon-shaped black dots, or stained with dark shafts, run- 
nino- longitudinally down the centre of each feather, thereby 
exposing its beautiful white edges, which in silver birds 



causes 



are too often slightly tinged with yellow. Breast, wing- 
coverts, hack, and thighs are white. The breast should be 
regularly and evenly spangled, with one greenish-black 



moon-shaped 



Wing 



coverts regularly barred, with two circular rows of similarly 
shaped spangles ; secondary wing feathers evenly marked 
at extremities. Tail black, splashed with white. An 

evenly marked tail is quite exceptional, the shorter feathers, 
however, should be more uniform. 

Hen must be regularly and evenly spangled throughout. 



,ck 



The 



eaxjh 



tail 



tips at extremity. Eye full, prominent, and 

Shanks and feet blue in both sexes, nails white. 

The difference between the pencilled and the spangled 
na^c+q \n thc frecucss from markings in the hackle of 






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282 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



the former^ the non-marked plumage of the male save in 
wings and tail^ and the four or five bars running parallel 
transverse across each feather of the plumage of the female ^ 
whilst in the spangled but one black round spot exists 







Ka^ erf ^X^A'".-^ 






PAC-SIMILE OF THE 6ILVER- 
PEKCILLED FEATHER. 



FAC-SIMILE OF THE SILVER- 
SPANGLED FEATHER, 



towards the extremity of each feather of either cock or hen ; 
moreover the breast of the male of the spangled variety- 
exhibits a regularly marked feather^ and in the hackles a 
deep black shaft, both of. which should be absent in the 

pencilled variety. 



LACED HAMBUEGHS 



Comprise the silver and gold varieties, both of which 

closely resemble the Sebright Bantam in the character of 

their laced markings. They are extremely scarce, but of 
great beauty. 




; 



i 



J' 



MONOGAMY 



283 



h 



4 

J- 



analoo-ous to primitive distinctions, and the 



, BLACK HAMBUKGHS 

Are doubtless the produce of the other varieties of the 
Hamburgh family, but although identical in blood, an 
amount of difference of a partially permanent character 
has been acquired by select breeding which renders them 
somewhat distinct. Features thus engendered are by 
no means 

student of nature who searches minutely with just com- 
parison into primary features, becomes cognizant of their 
differential bearings, both in their tendency to degenerate 
and the irregularity of the progeny's characteristics. 

The black Hamburgh sembles the form, and conforms to 
the entire class, exhibiting those points of peculiarity, those 
features of notoriety for which the family are at once dis- 

The plumage of both sexes should be of 
uniform deep green-metallic black; shanks clear blue. 

■We subjoin a copy of requisites from the rules of our 
northern club. 



tinguislied. 



Points. 



1 St — Comb 



2nd — Ear-lobes . 
3rd — Colour 
4th — Legs . 



Marks offeaiaersy ^-c, considered best 

Best double, best square, most erect, and 

best piked behind. 
Largest and purest white. 
The best and richest glossed green-black. 
Best and clearest blue. 



5th— General appearance Best feathered hen. 



BREEDING STOCK. 



r 

It may be urged, without reference to any particular 
breed, that the polygamous propensities of the male, when 
subjected to the stimulating influences of domestication, 
render a partial adherence to supposed primitive generation 

_„^^cc„,.TT n,^ +Vio T^Qvf rS thp. hreeder. if a rCDroduction of 



<ndard 



desired. That the male, when 



fined with one companion whilst domiciled in ordinary 



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284 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



v* 



exhibits an unusual amount of tender regard towards his 
mate is not surprising, but that his attachment should lead 
him occasionally to undertake the partial duties devolving 
upon incubator (as the pigeon — cum multis allis), com- 
mands an amount of serious deliberation on the part 
of the naturalist previous to his pronouncing sentence 
against the possibility of original monogamy. The fair 
discussion of this extremely interesting subject would 
necessarily occupy more space than we are justified in 
appropriating to its special use. We are bounds therefore, 
to apologize for verging upon so attractive a field, and 
aggravating the interest of the sensitive by such tantali- 
zation. But, without entering fully upon this point, 
a fact of acknowledged probity enlists our notice and 
attention. Breeders of quality know too well the evil 
effects resulting from overrating the productive powers of 
the male, whilst recognising the importation of vigour in the 

progeny of such as may be his limited associates. It may. 
be urged in opposition, that even Avhen thus situated his 
generative powers are engaged upon the few as frequently 
as upon a multiplicity, and far exceeding the actual require- 
ments of those few. To the former we entirely disincline, 
observation being sufficient to identify the stimulating 
effects even of permanent variety ; to the latter Ave agree, 
but consider no argument is therein furnished against 
primary monogamy, seeing numerous animals which natu- 
rally escort but one female are found actually capable of 
rendering prolific many of their species, and are retained in 
domestication for that purpose. Again, if a given number of 
the eggs of any class or variety be subjected to the incubating 
process, the number of males usually produced exceeds the 
females by the ratio of six to four ; whilst in some, more 
especially the Shanghaes, nine males to five females are not 



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MONOGAMY. 



285 



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exceptionally produced, which is a well attested reality. 
Some may reply, yes ; but the largest eggs are usually 
selected for incubation. We acknowledge this to be the 
case ; most persons preferring the finest and boldest for that 
purpose to such as are of diminutive form, thereby increas- 
ing the male offspring, seeing the largest or heaviest eggs 
usually produce birds of that gender (see page 44). Having 
proved by a reiterated series of experiments, carried 
on, I believe, without bias (seeing the realization of truth, 
without interest in the relative result of either, stimulated 

4 

action) — that if the hen be allowed to generate without the 
interference of her keeper, or if her produce be removed 
and returned her when she exhibits broodiness, without 

selection, male birds will usually exceed the females in 
the proportion of seven to six. Such being acknowledged, 

r 

we desire a reasonable elucidation of nature's provision in 
producing seven to six, when the requisite proportion is 
said to be but one to eight, nine, or ten. 



She might freak 



without inconsistency in generating rather more males than 
are absolutely necessary to the insurance of an adequate 



of 



but we have 



I! 



clearly shown if the present usually recognised proportion 
be primitive^ she furnishes at least seven times the number 
of males needed for the efficient system of reproduction. 

Our opinion upon this subject is not advanced in these 
few words for reasons previously stated. Without a suf- 
ficiency of conclusive argument pro or con, bare sentence 
is but weak, for, if contrary to recognised principles, to be 
regarded as mere assertion, is its inevitable doom, whilst if 
in conformity, the charge of reiterating truism confronts it, 
with its quoter's signalization as a copyist. But we do main- 
tain, without hesitation, seeing all are capable of proving 
and corroborating this statement, viz. — there is a limit to 



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286 



FERGUSON ON FOWL- 



vigorous productive power. That point agreed^ we have 
but to discover the extent. This may be done by experi- 
mentalization^ the careful registering of all incidental 
exceptions^ the just confiparison of all classes^ and the strik- 
ing of a well authenticated and approved average. 

But to render the subject conformable to Hamburgh 
fowl's high breeding requisites^ we insist upon the propor- 
tion of one to four never being exceeded ; with a hint^ if 
the strain indicates degeneracy^ or the absence of vigour^ 
the company should be rendered still more select — that is if 
an immediate improvement in the progeny be desired. For 
breeding Hamburghs^ and preserving the beauty and high 
colour of their plumes, it may be requisite to notice that 
either male or female should be of dark feather, two pale 

birds, if matched, not exceptionally generating either mossy 
or faded offspring, I prefer the male of the deeper hue. 
The spangled varieties are doubtless but offshoots from 
the pencilled, but for the pure propagation of either, 
admixture inter se must be strictly avoided. 

The analogous position held by the constitutional liabili- 
ties of the Polish and Hamburgh fowls is somewhat pecu- 
liar, and not to he overthroion by incidental exceptions^ the 
observance of many identical requisites being of equal 
import in the propagation of both. (For other importances 
as to the strict prohibition of relationary breeding, &c., 
&c., see pages 170 and 257.) 



HATCHING AND HEAKING- CHICKS. 

As previously stated, the hen's extreme aversion to the 
sedentary occupation devolving upon incubator renders the 
procuration of a foster mother necessary to their due 
generation. Such must be of light form, the eggs of this 
fowl being small. A Game hen is most adapted, and will 



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•--:.■:■. '..-M 



rCT^^fM ►^W* f^\ 




HAMBUEGHS AS FARM STOCK. 



287 



^ 







I 



tender her step-family with most assiduous attention. In 
the north, where they are extensively bred, the middle of 
May is considered the most suitable period for their exclu- 
sion^ but in milder coimties the second week in April is not 

generally found too early. 

When first hatched the silvers are usually of a beaiitiful 
cream tint, or white marked with a deeper line extending 
lono-itudinally from the nape of the neck to the extremity 

of body. 

The golden varieties of a light yellow, but similarly 

marked. Not many days elapse from the exclusion of the 
former before traces of the pencilled character of their plu- 

r 

mage become manifest, and an equally short space of time 
is ample to render the appearance of the latter in part con- 
formity with their parentage. Their remarkably agile 
movements render them as conspicuous in the poultry 

as the Polish chicks, whose rapid motions cannot 



Tangible 



yard as 

fail to be productive of considerable interest, even to the 

casual observer. Although their feathery armour grows with 
rapidity they require considerable care and attention until 
well plumed, their bone being but small, and their frame less 
robust than the generality of their compeers. 

evidence of the extreme importance of change of dietary 
being administered, is furnished by the continued thriving 
condition of the progeny thus tended, whilst its neglect is 
equally palpable in the dull, languid, and protracted deve- 
lopment of others. A tendency to " stand still," when but 
half-grown, is observable in the offspring of this class, and 
upon its first indication unless remedial measures be resorted 
to, in the extension of run or entire change of food, a period 
of some weeks may elapse before its deteriorating influences 
become eradicated. If allowed to fasten upon the stock 
its effects are irrecoverable, and a flock of miserably puny 



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','-'^:-'''-:-,y- '..:-■■ 






^>i! 



288 



PERGUSON ON FOWL. 








ill 






i 






and but partially developed specimens is the consequent 

result. 

Until the completion of the first moult even the silver- 
pencilled cockerels are apt to run irregular in feather, 
maturity and full plumage seldom being attained, until they 
have reached the age of eighteen or twenty months, but 
the suit progresses in beauty until the third year. 

Pullets usually commence laying, as previously mentioned, 
vfc^hen from five to seven months old, whilst some before that 
age. This greatly depends upon the quantity and quality 
of food supplied, peculiar housing, and the extent of here- 
ditary precocity by which they are thus inducer]. We, 
however, prefer such specimens as continue the full deve- 
lopment of the body and muscle until the age of six months, 
without exhibiting their powers of production, such almost 
invariably proving the finest types of their class. Thus 
we are compelled to denounce that unconstitutional preco- 
city induced by the supply of stimulating food, as decidedly 
deteriorating in its ulterior effects. (See page 72.) 



AS PEOriTABLE OU FAKM STOCK. 

Where eggs are the main object, and a fair run be 
afforded, Hamburghs will, doubtless, be found the most 
profitable of fowls. Their precocious powers of production 
and extreme natural fertility rendering them capable of 
furnishing the market with an incessant supply of eggs for 
eight, nine, and sometimes ten months in the year; so 
prodigious a yield far more than compensating for their 
individual deficiency in 



weight. 



But on the other 
hand, their comparatively delicate habit of body, the 
disastrous consequences inevitably arrising from their 
exposure to damp, and their diminutive size, unfit them 
for occupying a prominent position in the repository of the 



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JHfSTlv^^^^^TTTTTir^T^TT^^ 




I 



DISEASES OF THE HAMBURGH FOWL. 



289 



producer of dead stock for market. Whilst a constitu- 
tional liability to imbibe the evil effects consequent upon 
confinement^ renders their close domiciling in metropolitan 
or town districts in every way imsuitable. 

But we repeat^ where but few are preserved^ either as 
ornamental fowl or egg producers^ and a moderate extension 
of liberty be afforded^ their merits will surpass the most 
sanguinary expectations of their keeper. 



DISEASES. 



Damp. — The primary origin of so many maladies to 
which poultry are subjected is peculiarly injurious to this 
class^ producing almost immediate disease of the respira- 
tory organs^ and proving far more fatal in its effects than 
such ailments as usually proceed from exposure to dry, 
cold atmosphere. Excessive cold, as engendered by the 

searching influence of wet or keen north-easterly draughts 
through the roosting-house, frequently carries away the 
patient in the face of every remedial application. 

Being free from ailment, when not peculiarly exposed 
to detrimental influences, the presence of the former 
forcibly suggests the effects of the latter, for the timely 
eradication of which the application of medicinal measures 
is inefficient without the immediate removal of the in- 
ducing cause. (Will be prescribed for under the head of 
diseases.) 



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290 



FERGUSON ON FOWL 



BANTAM FOWLS. 



(Gallus Bankiva) Phasianus pusillus Lath. 



m\% 





J 1 






Mi 



HISTOEY or BANTAMS.. 



To have reduced our prefatory heading to the singular 



number would 



represented class to 



have necessarily consigned 



the entire 



an indubitably mongrelled 



orism. 



This may appear strange, but tlie not merely admix- 
tures but crosses to wliicb some branches of this family 
have been exposed, and the influences of occasional instil- 
lations of foreign diminutiveness with their collateral issue, 
have unquestionably rendered the produce as different 
from each other in appearance as partially distinct. A 
preliminary institution of inquiry, therefore, becomes neces- 
sary to the rescuing of the whole race from defamation. 
Without giving response to the numberless quibbles urged 
by non-students of natural phenomena against the original 
unity of the Bantam race, we immediately advance towards 
its support by answering such as have been suggested by 

her students. 

We do not recognise in the Sebright and the black the 
same type of primeval ancestry, neither in the ordinary 
game Bantam and the spangled variety, a consanguinity of 
progenitorship. But why ? Because different degrees of 
climatic exposure, strict domestication, crossing, breeding 
in and in after admixture, blending of specimens differently 
admixed, and continuous selection of such as developed 
peculiar characteristics, have effectually operated upon the 



\ 



I 



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_ ^ 




1< 



HISTORY OF BANTAMS. 



291 



iMiHlJ 



\ 



size and feather, thereby inducing differences of peculiarly 
distinct aspects. That is to say, we contend for the 
primitive character of a form and carriage resembling more 
or less the Bantam race, but consider the many existing 
differences in feather the result of inter-alliances with 

other blood or peculiar breeding, and amply to be accounted 
for by such means, and not the result of original distinct- 
iveness. To define still closer, we would say, one original 
variety of this Lilliputian family existed, which, from the 
eflfects of previously adduced influences, has given rise to 

all the extant varieties. 

It may be urged, are not similar operating causes upon 
the same principle sufficient to account for the existing 
diversities of the entire family of fowls (Galli)? We 
respond, yes, for the varieties of our several classes, but 
certainly not for all the classes of the species. Size may 
be reduced or increased, but shape will always bear sem- 
blance to originality- It may deviate for a time, but its 
return is found by all practical men as inevitable, unless 
an admixture has been effected. But our several classes 
respectively possess their own peculiarly distinct shape, 

carriao'e, and characteristics, from generation to generation 



without evincing the slightest tendency towards the 



\vh' - 



assumlno- of any other. The Bantam possesses a beauty of 
shape and form peculiarly his own, and retains it however 
much he may be exposed to the capriciousness of art in 
peculiar breeding; but if he be crossed with any other foAvl 
it soon becomes entirely lost, and his form unperceived. 
Now were the class next in size to himself in part con- 
formity, we might be tempted to suppose that reduction 
was sufficient to render it thus symmetrical, but it is 
otherwise. He proceeds from the same climate as the 
Malay fowl, which is the tallest bird known — they are 



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292 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



both exposed to the same influences of temperature, but 



om 



one generation to another without variation. To suppose 
the Bantam characteristics the result of chance, man's 



phenomena 



Why 



existence several classes of fowls (Galli), when reptiles 
were produced in multitudinous distinction ? Why should 
wx consider the Shanghae, Spanish, Polish, Game fowl, 
and Bantam, sprang from an identity of blood, when 
the watery element contains myriads of living types of 
primitive forms, rendered capable of generating their 
respective distinctions? Being blind to the beauteously 
graduated claim of Heaven's creation, weak mortals gaze 
with indifference at copious nature, and fix her boimds to 
their own frail conceptions. 
into quibble were all the groundless suppositions which 

have been advanced by some against the primitive cha- 
racter of our several classes responded to, whilst the 
improbabilities suggested by others are on a par with long 
since exploded absurdities. 



Argument would deg 



are 



The Banldva fowls of the eastern Archipelago 
doubtless more in conformity with the requisite character 
of the Bantam progenitors than any other race. To the 
wild Bankiva birds of Java we^ therefore^ confer the title 
of progenitorshipj and to the town of Bantam^ a district 
in the north-west of Java^ the right of nomination. That 
many of the primitive birds mentioned by naturalists have 
originally issued from the same source is obvious; the 
ancient Turkish cock of some naturalists we count but the 
collateral issue of the Bankiva under another name, and 
the existing differences between them, w^ithin the scope of 
reason and analagous evidence to account for. But the 



( 



I 



j^ " J IJ 





HISTORY OF BANTAD 




293 



/. 



Bankiva fowl was clean-legged. From whence, therefore, 
came the feathery pedal limbs presented by many of our 
purest Bantams?* Are they descended from the same 



source ; 



? What 



brings into existence and develops. 



who followed in his steps respecting feathered shanks ? 
" excess of nourishment conduces to engender feathered 
legs." But was this ever found to be the case ? Have we 
ever discovered by the most solicitous care in instilling 
into our pets of other breeds, and their issue for a conti- 
nuance, all the nourishment they were capable of receiving 
with advantage, have we ever procured one single pedal 
feather thereby ? Certainly not. Excess of nourishment 
may perhaps conduce, but the question is whether it 

We acknowledge 

most readily, pedal feather is soon lost, and may be re- 
established even though generations intervene, but disclaim 
the idea that a new feature of such striking distinctness 
can be acquired by any artificial means, and regard the 
supposition of such becoming constitutional with still 

greater disproval. 

The Polish crest is still regarded by many as arising 

from similar influences ; to insist upon his wing having 
been created by man or circumstances, or his primary 
existence the result of spontaneous consummation, would 
be no greater monstrosity. These ideas oft urged, from 
mere temporary impressions, are seldom the result of the 
deliberate judgment of a keen student, and will not bear 
reflection. The feathery crest of the bird, although the 



* Buffon describes the Bantam cock thus—" Possessed of a fiery eye, 
feet covered with feathers on the outer side, those of the legs very long 
and forming a sort of hoot to the very claws." He distinguishes two 
sorts, the large hooted and the dwarf, the latter of a golden plumage, and 

r 

double or rose- combed. 




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294 



FEKGUSON ON FOWL. 



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most prominent and striking to a casual observer^ is but 
the smallest peculiarity in connexion with the skull. (See 
page 151.) 

We contend instead of feather being acquired by art it 
has been lost^ but not so much by art as natural exposure ; 
the effects of the former could readily be recovered seeing 
it is but limited in its extent and duration^ and therefore 
vacillating ; but the Bankiva fowls^ previous to our first 



records concei*ning them^ were by natural exposure sub- 



\ 



After being domiciled and receiving 



jected for generations (of men) to wild and precarious 
supplies. They were^ doubtless^, intended to be under the 
control of man to administer to his wants^ and be them- 
selves supplied — but their exposition to weather, to partial 
seclusion^ and to the continued deprivation of their pedal 
feathers, consequent upon their woody retreat^ reduced 
them to the position they were found as clean-legged 
Bankiva fowls. In form, shape, carriage, and size, how- 
ever, they resembled the original, and were in conformity 
with our Bantam, 
from the hands of men shelter and sustenance the feathers 
ultimately returned; but such cannot be considered acquired 
but merely re-established. The presence of pedal append- 
ages in the present day is regarded as objectionable ; but 
should future ages again approve it, its further re-esta- 
blishing even from specimens void of its presence in 
themselves, may be gradually effected by selection, owing 
to its original adaptation to their systems ; but according to 
the remoteness of its last development so the difficulty and 
duration of its restoration, whilst from other breeds devoid 
of such feather, and unmixed with Bantam blood, it can 

never be produced. 

We therefore consider Bankiva fowls the progenitors 
of Bantams, that is of the true Bantam characteristics— 



I \. 



I 



BANTAM-CHARACTERISTICS OF EXCELLENCE 



295 



that pedal feather is 



not an 'acqmred feature but was 



possessed by the primeval Bankiva fowls, and its absence 
in Bankiva specimens alluded to by travellers, was the 
result of continued exposure to effects adverse to its 
development — that its reappearance in domestication cannot 
be considered an implantation from art, but merely an 
inducement towards natural 




rishing diet and seclusion 



rowth resulting from nou- 
that the many extant varieties 
of this puny race are the result of effects already enumer- 
ated—and that the tendency of the present disproval of 
feathery shanks is to extirpate such from the British isles, 
which, if continued for several centuries, will doubtless 
render its reproduction extremely protracted, but will 
not furnish any proof that such specimens are distinct 
but merely a variety of the few, which, having 
naturally bred, present well feathered pedal limbs. 



been 



CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ENTIRE CLASS. 



1 



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mm 



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Head small and neat, but 



much agitation if its possessor be excited, when it becomes 

t 

proudly thrown backwards. 

Face and throat bare and highly coloured, 



Beak 
Comb 



Seb 



the white, and black Bantams, must possess the full rose- 
comb, whilst the other varieties may retain the single with- 
out becoming disqualified for honorary distinction; the 
former is, however, preferred. 
Gills small and round. 



K 



Sebri2:ht it is seldom, if ever, to be obtained 



i> 



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296 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



but this circumstance affords no license for the exhibition 
of red ear-lobes, which are decidedly objectionable. 

Neck-hackle. — In the Sebright the male must retain no 
pretension to a masculine development of this feature, 
whilst with the other varieties it becomes 
requirement. 



an actual 



ff* 



^: 



Breast protuberant and full. 

Back short. 

r 

Thighs firm and tight. 

Wings full and carried low^, thereby covering the thighs 
and exhibiting a defined exterior peculiarly striking in the 
male^ when excited. 

Shank. — The Sebright must always present clean shanks^ 
perfectly free from feather. In the other varieties, both 
bare and feathered pedal specimens are found, but in the 
eye of our connoisseurs clean-limbed are preferable. 

Tail should be carried uprightly and even. In good 
specimens sometimes sufiiciently erect to come in close 
contact with the neck-hackle. The Sebright must possess 
a square hen tail entirely devoid of sickle feathers, whilst 
the other varieties are allowed to carry full plumes with 
advantage. 

General feather firm and close. 
. Form 

contour. 

Carriage very erect, impudent, and consequential. 
Weight. — As an average summary, no male bird of the 

entire class, to become eligible for distinction, should exceed 
20 ozs., or female 16 ozs., whilst the Sebright, the black, 
and the white must be considerably below these weights. 
Mr. Bailey mentions "17 ozs. for the male Sebright and 
14 ozs. for the female, as the extreme weights, and asserts 
he has met with an adult pair, perfect in every point, not 



round and plump but light, and of graceful 



f 



_B^_ V 





BANTAM-CHAEACTERISTICS OF EXCELLENCE. 



29 



/ 




over 23 ozs." But in a general way the causes of such 
acquired diminutiveness prove deteriorating to the form, 
symmetry, constitutional vigour, and generative organs. 
Flesh very delicate in flavour, and may be dressed as 

partridge or young chicken. 

Disposition lively and vigorous ; of determinate cours 
but assuming and tyrannical. 

Producers. — They may be considered very prolific, 
usually laying seven or eight months in the year, and pro- 
ducing, upon an average, four or five eggs in a week. The 
mean proportionate weight varies from one ounce to one 
ounce and a quarter, and the colour from a pure white to 
a pale buif. 



I 



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I 



1 




FAC-SIMILE OF THE 



£( 



bantam's" egg. 



The black variety usually produces longer eggs than de- 
scribed in the annexed illustration, and of the latter tint. 
The eggs of the other varieties are rather blunt in shape 
and of the former colour, whilst the white Bantam produces 
the smallest ova of the entire fiimily. ' It must be borne 
in mind we allude to the produce of specimens which have 
been or are eligible for exhibition purposes, and not to 
o^.^v. oc! afcinrl withnnt the circumference of fancv birds. 



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298 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



-As incubators and mothers. — They are unquestionably 
very steady and careful^ proving as well adapted to perform 
the duties of their sedentry occupation as peculiarly tender 
and watchful with the progeny^ and may be employed in 
the rearing of pheasants and partridges with considerable 
advantage. The feather-legged specimens^ or such as 
develop four or five inches of pedal drapery^ are less care- 
ful and far less active ; their appendages frequently proving 
as ruinous to the eggs^ from becoming saturated in their 
daily departure from the nest^ as annoying to the chicks 
from their brushy character ; at the same time incajDaci- 
tating the parent bird for vigorous scratching, which, 
however pleasing to the nurseryman, must necessarily 
prove detrimental to the progeny. 



I 



I 



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I 



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VARIETIES. 



do 



do. 



JB lack-breasted reds or game Bantams. 
Ducliwing 

Nankeen or yellow. 
Spangled. 

Cuckoo. 

Pheasant Bantam. 
Partridge do. 



Black 



do. - 



White 



do. - 



C Rose-combed and clean-legged 
C Single do. 



CKose 



feathered do. 



do. 



clean 



do 



Sebright 



do. - 



\ Single do. feathered do 

C Gold-laced 
(_ Silver do. 



clean 
do. 



do 
do 



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i?i:S7S4;SS LffiHI2J,??T^4Jil,1kw5SiSi*feii^^^ 




I 



y 



BANTAM VAKIETIES, 



299 



!■': 









COLLATEEAL CROSS-BliEEDS. 



ISilki/ Bantam* 
Russian or Siberian. 
Chinese or Tartarian. 



Jumper or Creeper. 
Turkish or Turkey Bantams. 
Dumpies or Scotch Bakies. 



It may be necessary to observe that the whole of the first 
ten varieties already mentioned are found both with bare 
and well feathered tarsi, the Sebrights alone excepted, which 
must always present clean shanks. The first specimens of 
the Bantam family were imported into this country at the 
commencement of the seventeenth century, as we have 



already had occasion to mention 



They were of larger 



development than the British extant race, and possessed of 

well feathered limbs. 

Formerly no specimen devoid of pedal appendages was 
recognised as worthy of notice, but excluded the amateur's 
stock. In the present day this very feathery supplement 
is denounced, and the unbooted alone, with very few ex- 
ceptions, compete for national awards. But why ? 
because the natural garb is regarded as imperfect in itself. 



Not 



but 



How 



Sha 



\ 



a full display of this featheriness in the noble 
may be approved of, its presence in the puny race is dis- 
advantageous, both to its possessor and the offspring, when 
exposed to the average inclemency of the weather. But 
where ample means and suitable provision can be made for 
diverting the evil effects of wet and damp, we are bound 

* The progenitors of the Silky or Persian fowl's characteristics, which 
will hereafter receive further notice, must he regarded perfectly distinct , 
from the Bankivafowl; nevertheless, specimens are occasionally produced 
from the admixtures of the issue of the two, exhibiting more or less the 
form of the latter, but the peculiar coat of the former. The produce of 
such admixtures are calculated to deceive, and lead the uninitiated to the 
supposition of their original identity. 



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300 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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to confess we greatly admire the full development of the 
frlngy ankle garb, and further consider, as they are purely 
fancy birds, where such cannot be afforded they should not 
be domiciled ; at the same time, unless the development be 
complete and full, their pedal limbs are far better bare. 

The description of every specimen differing from the 
standard criterion of its variety would be indeed volumnious, 
even though poultry comprised but this Lilliputian family. 
Innumerable are the differences presented even in one strain, 
but we consider the already enumerated varieties form every 
class of plumage known, though not every exceptional 
shade, neither such as may be bred from the admixture of 
specimens which are themselves the produce of irregular 
combinations. 

Black-hreasted red or game Bantam. — This bird ap- 
proaches the Bankiva fowl more closely than any other 
variety, but may frequently be seen presenting a minimum 

portrait of the' black-red Game, although retaining its own 
distinctive carriage. The comb and gills are similar to the 
same features of that class, the former being usually single. 
The extreme weight of the male should not exceed seven- 



teen ounces^ neither 



fourteen ounces, whilst 



4 

specimens much lighter may be met with of symmetrical 
form and full vigour. Whilst we thus allude to this variety 
it becomes necessary to observe that many specimens ex- 
hibited as such are but immediate hybreds between the 
Game class already alluded to and the Nankeen or daik- 
breasted Bantam; but the differences presented between the 
genuine and the spurious birds become apparent to the 
experienced amateur at a glance. 

Ditckwing Bantams bear the same affinity to the 
black-breasted red variety, as the game duckwing 
holds to the black-red of the same class. They have 



J 








I 

I 



\ 



BANTAM VARIETIES. 



\ 



301 



been but lately exhibited, but are of unique and 
sbowy appearance. 



resembling 



featlier the black- 



breasted birchen game duckwing, and 




yellow 



legs and beak. 
Nankeen or 



is usually considered the primitive 



feather of Bantams. Not 



manded unqualified approval, but the Sebrlghts and other 
choice varieties have at length surpassed it, still it retains 



male 



a f e w earnest admirers. The plumage ot the 
the buff Shanghae, or a pale ginger yellow, with neck and 
saddle-hackle of a brighter hue, but frequently presenting 

and saddle deep reddish chestnut; 

pale orange or ginger 



dark shafts; wings 



tail black and well arched.— Hen pale 
yellow throughout, hackles frequently stained, but specl-. 

exhibiting the slightest markings preferred; tail 



mens 



feathers should be deep buff, shading into black at their 
edges ; comb double in both sexes, but the presence^ of 
thl single comb does not disqualify, if the birds exhibit a 
fair pretension to other requisites. 

Spangled specimens usually exceed in weight the recog- 
nised limits for prize birds. Many so called are in reality 
but the admixture of the Sebright with the other varieties, 
frequently exhibiting black markings of irregular forms, 
and seldom sufficiently clear and defined to deserve recog- 
nizance. Some, however, are of more remote ancestry, 
but these are very rare ; the usual feather of the male is 
deep reddish bay, whilst the hen is of a lighter shade, but 
should in both sexes be definitely spangled throughout 
with black spots. Specimens not exceptionally may be 
met with, possessing white markings, which, if regular, 
present a striking contrast to the otherwise bay ground of 
the plumage. The spangled variety is usually rose-combed 
and booted. 



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302 



FERGUSON ON POWL 



Cuckoo Bantams are incidentally met with resembling 
the Dorking of the same name in the colourings of their 
plumes^ each feather being marked with three or four bars 
of grey, yellow, or black, upon a white ground, and usually 
possessing the single comb in both sexes. They, however, 
frequently exhibit both in form and carriage considerable 
pretension towards the maintenance of dignity in the 
Bantam class. 

Pheasant Bantams are thus nominated from the resem- 
blance their markings bear to the plumage of the common 

pheasant. 

Partridge BaMams. — -The male of this now rare variety 



5 a full rose comb, yellowish-brown hackles; 




should 

saddle of a similar hue, streaked with black; back and 
wings partridge colour ; primary wing feathers dull bay ; 
tail deep black, and sickled ; lower abdomen deep drab. 
The hen possesses an entire suit of partridge-brown, sa^dng 
the breast and belly which are more usually drab, and 
yellowish hackles with black shafts. Average size for the 

male twenty ounces, female sixteen ounces. Many have 
of late been produced from an admixture of Game blood, 
thereby considerably increasing their size, but improving 
them for the rearing of pheasants and partridges, to which 
they officiate with the greatest care and assiduity. From 
the latter it frequently becomes difficult to distinguish 
them whilst young, owing to their similarity of size, colour, 
and shape. The genuine diminvitive partridge Bantams 
are now rarely to be obtained. 

Blacks. — The male of this variety, when of good form 
and feather, is very striking, and displays his courageous 
audacity and domineering spirit upon the slightest oppor- 
tunity. Of this waggish family he strenviously endeavours 
to appear foremost, but equally objecting to that position 



I 



^__ L^ U 







M-ii 






I 



BANTAM VARIETIES. 



303 



in a running chase. The hen, although quiescent when 
unoffended, is of the same material, and the presence of an 
intruder small or large aiFords a suitable occasion for the 



consummation 



Anion 



the other varieties, and very prolific. 

be found specimens the most diminutive of the entire family, 

whilst some exceed the limits assigned for exhibition birds. 

The plumage of the male should be of uniform glossy 
black, resplendent with purple metallic lustre ; tail deep 
black, and well sickled ; comb full and rose-shaped, 
which, together with wattles, should be of bright crimson ; 
ear-lobes white and not tinted with red; legs medium 
lenoth ; shank and toes dark lead, whilst such as are per- 
fectly free from feather are decidedly preferred, and it 
must be acknowleged of all the varieties the blacks exhibit 
feathery pedal limbs to the greatest disadvantage. — Hen 
presents an entire dull black feather, diminutive comb and 
gills, and white ear-lobes. After attaining the third year 
blacks of purest strains usually become grizzled in hackle, 
wings, and tail, which disqualifies them for exhibition 
purposes. Such as develop red or orange in the hackles, 

or yellow bars across the wing-coverts, are also inadmis- 
sible. A variety of the blacks possessing a single comb 
and feathered shanks may be met with occasionally, but 

is not in equal esteem. 

JYhites. The male of this variety should possess a clear 

unstained white plumage, and fully sickled tail of snowy 
whiteness, relieved by a scarlet rose-comb and wattles of 
similar colour; ear-lobes should be clear white; beak, 
shanks, and toes, white or dull flesh colour, and perfectly 
bare, yellow or blue pedal limbs being much disapproved of. 

A clear and healthy coloured vise 

^r.A nmr^nrfmit fp,a,tnre in the finishino: stroke of 




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304 



FEKGUSON ON FOWL. 



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IliUI 



birds. Such may be considered the description of a 
selected prize specimen — as too many of the whites so 
called are inclined to a dull rather than snowy whiteness 
the latter must necessarily be the choice- The hen is 
less brilliant than her lord^ but should be of pure unmixed 
featlier and considerably smaller. Whites are rather less 
robust than the generality of their compeers ; but if the 
fact be borne in mind by the keeper, in their non-exposure 
to detrimental influences, its presence may be almost unper- 
ceived. The male should not exceed fifteen ounces, nor 
the hen twelve ounces, whilst specimens of still smaller 
dimensions but of perfect symmetry are to be met with. 
Clean shanks are at present the fashion, otherwise this 
variety exhibits white leggings to the greatest advantage, 
and the silvery fringe ornamenting the exterior side of their 
leo-s and ankles is no less beautiful in itself than natural to 

the class. As in the blacks, a single-combed variety pos- 
sessed of booted legs exists, but seldom procures equal 

attention at the hands of the amateur. 

Gold-laced Sebright— Both sexes should present a clear 
golden yellow plumage, with every feather, including 

hackles, wing-coverts, flight feathers, and tail, laced, that is 
bordered with a margin of black of perfectly regular width all 
round. These markings should be plainly defined, and not 
found mingling with the interior golden yellow ground 
of the feather ; comb double, and extending in a regular 
point at extremity; ear-lobe rather small, and the nearer they 
approach white the more preferred (see ear-lobe character- 
istics of entire class) — tail should be of clear unmixed brown- 
yellow, laced with black at extremity. As previously 
stated the tail of the male must be square as in the hen, 
and entirely devoid of sickle feathers, the shorter plumes 
rising at base, together with wings, should be particularly 



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BANTAM VARIETIES. 



305 



\mm 



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well laced. The neck and saddle feathers of the male 
must be developed but little more than in the hen, and 

i 

similarly marked^ or they cannot be regarded within the 
recognised limits of fancy birds ; legs blue, and perfectly 
clean ; their carriage should be in full conformity with the 
entire class, and exceeded by none in gallant contour, impu- 
dent and consequential strut of lofty sedateness ; head of 
the male carried uprightly and thrown backwards; tail 
erect, the uppermost feathers of which, in good specimens, 
frequently approach in close proximity with the neck- 
hackle ; wings carried low over thighs. For weight, &c. 
(see characteristics.) The hen should correspond in feather 
with the male. It may be requisite to add if the lacings 
exceed the usual width, which is about the sixteenth part 



of an inch, the specimen 



ck, and the 
remarkable , 



becomes considerably circumscribed; or if the lacing be 
wider at the extremity of the feather than at the sides, 
it produces an irregular appearance. To be considered 
free from fault in this respect, the same proportion of 
colour and lace should prevail throughout the entire 

plumage. 

Silver-laced Sehrights. — ^By the substitution of a clear 

silvery white in the place of the golden-yellow ground of the 
former bird this beautiful variety is fully described, all 
other characteristics being In strict conformity. A dingy or 
yellowish white is decidedly objectionable, whilst the 
purer the ground the more eligible for distinction. The 
average weight may be considered slightly over that of the 
golden, although but one standard for both is recognised. 
Itbecomesindisputably evident that the silvers, especially the 
lightest specimens, require further retardatory measures to 
suppress their natural development than the golden variety. 

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306 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



V 



BANTAM COLLATERAL BREEDS, ETC. 



Russian or Siberian Bantam. — Specimens bearing this 
compound name, usually exhibit too surely their extract. 



to render keen 



investigation 



necessary 



The bearded 



Bantam, a mongrelled breed of Polish affinity, becomes 
thus nominated, but no motive worthy of their mutual 
application suggests itself to our notice. 

Chinese or Tartarian Bantams are but indefinite appel- 
latives, and represent equally Indistinct specimens possess- 
ing every appearance of hybredous origin in their speckled 
and non-symmetrical form. 



Jumpers 



(fowls of Cambodge 



) 



derive their English appellatives from the peculiar help- 
lessness of their gait, arising from the contraction of their 
pedal limbs. Their shanks are usually bare but not inva- 
riably^ a feathery garb being at times manifest. We are 

strikingly reminded of the evil effects consequent upon 
subjecting nature to capricious art whilst gazing at these 
deformed members of one beauteous family. It would 
appear as if a section of the Bantam race, more or less pure, 
had been formerly subjected to a continuous system of 
artificial expedients, with a view to the further reduction of 
their pedal limbs, regardless of body conformity, and that 
their stunted growth had been of an irregular character, 
and a deformed frame the consequence. Such specimens 
as exhibited their lower members the most diminutive 
being selected for propagation, rendered a development of 
non-development, and a consummation of deformity the 
result. 



* Buffon's description may be thus rendered : — " Their legs so short 
that their wings trail the ground ; they are very like the dwarf fowl of 
Britanny, and have always a jumping gait." 



'■^ ■ ■Jta -a- 



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rM 



* Buffon refers to a coq de Turquie as being remarkable for its 
beautiful plumage. Timmerick regards it as a variety of the Bantam. 
Aldrovandi describes thus, " whole body whitish, with golden and silver 
streaks save in tail, wing feathers, and belly, which are black tinged with 



' 



m 



BANTAM COLLATERAL BREEDS, ETC. 



307 



Turkish fowl 



(i 



Turkey Bantam. 



5? 



w 



latter bird, the produce of the admixture of the Jumper 
and Dorking blood, thereby pertaining to the Bantam in a 
degree. They possess single, double, or cup-combs, as in the 
Dorking, but are not confined to the features of that class 
but occasionally exhibit Polish affinity by the lower mandible 
feathery appendage. In colour they semble in part Aldro- 

vandi's description. Average weight of the male from 
three to four pounds, female three pounds. 

Dumpies or Scotch BaUes are confined to the admixture 
of Jumper and Dorking blood, and are thus analagous to 
the Turkey fowl, but difi'er from it, inasmuch as there 
exists a greater proportion of Dorking blood than in 

that bird. Their great conformity to the Dorking in 



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308 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



shape and characteristics, quality of flesh, productive and 
incubating powers, is fully corroborative of this idea, more 
especially in some specimens, whilst the closer their issue 
is observed, the further it becomes manifest. A fair 

I, 

natural average for the male is six pounds, for the female 
five pounds, but both capable of becoming much heavier by 
judicious cooping and fattening. They possess extremely 
short legs, comb as in the Dorking, ear-lobe white and 
full ; general feather coarse and ample, usually of a light 
colour but varying in this respect ; tail full. Being natu- 
ralized to the northern parts of Great Britain they have 
become somewhat hardy, but the offspring of the second 
generation, bred in less exposed but damper regions, have 
in many instances proved otherwise than was anticipated. 
Their tendency to roup, to which distressing disease Dork- 
are peculiarly susceptible, renders clayey or low 
positions extremely detrimental and unsuitable to their 

propagation. Birds with short legs are necessarily more 
exposed to the deteriorating influences arising from expo- 
sure to damp than such as stand high upon their pedal 



mgs 



limb 



s. 



However 



stand dry cold atmosphere, it becomes equally patent their 
constitutional requirements are diametrically adverse to 
the presence of damp, as exhibited in their extreme suscep- 
tibility to imbibe disease when exposed to its influences, 
and to develop its distressing results. 



} 



i 



green on the outer side ; legs and toes bluish. Hen white, spotted with 
black; neck yellowish." Sir W, Jardine's description of the Turkish 
fowl is in part accordance with the Bantam race; and Eichardson's in 

r 

conformity with Aldrovandi's. It must, however, be borne in mind the 
fowl thus described is not identical with the bird alluded to by us as the 
Turkey Bantam, the presence of the Bantam exists in both, but in 
diflferent forms and degrees. 



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i 



BANTAM— BREEDING STOCK. 



309 



BREEDING STOCK. 

r 

The Sebright Bantam derives its prefatory name from 
that devoted amatem^ Sir John Sebright^ M.P.^* by whose 
continuous efforts the breed at length became propagated. 

Their history has ever been enveloped in the greatest 

mystery, and all attempts towards the exposition of their 
genealogy has hitherto proved inadequate. We will not 
discuss the probable accuracy or absurdity of the numerous 

hybredous sources to which they have been assigned by 

some, neither the equally improbable conjectures urged in 

their behalf by others, but briefly comment upon their 
analogous position to the several peculiarly feathered 
varieties of other classes, and their direct relation to the 
Bantam family in the same degree as the varieties of the 

Shanghae, Game, Polish, and Hamburgh, assimilate their 

respective heads. 

Why seek to deduce some foreign theory respecting the 



\- 



mysteries of their feather when every distinctly marked 
plume is unaccountably produced? From what source 
issues the peculiar tints of the golden-spangled or white- 
crested black Polands? — from whence the dun Game cock, 
the white Malay, and the many other varieties of our 
several classes? That Sir John Sebright's stock was 
originally obtained from an eastern source we doubt not, 
although its comparative scarcity rendered its continued 
procuration extremely difficult. We do not assert that 
such specimens were in exact conformity with the present 
Sebrights, but, on the contrary, affirm that they consider- 
ably exceeded the limits assigned for prize specimens of 
the extant race ; they moreover possessed sickle feathers, 
and exhibited the full difference of plumage usually existing 
between the male and female. 



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* For Herts. 




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.310 



FEKGUSON ON FOWL. 



It must be studiously observed in the breeding of this 
race that the attaining of diminutive form is but one ele- 
mentary importance to success. That the specimens chosen 
be of constitutional soundness, and as remotely related as 
possible — that the form^ carriage, feather, and general contour 
be in strict conformity with the class — that the male be of 
mature years,* and his mates limited to two — that he be the 
most vigorous, whilst the hen, the most compact and 
healthiest of the brood, are requisites of equal import, and 
respectively demand judicious attention to the successful 
propagation of the breed. If the most diminutive specimens 
be selected regardless of vigour, or consanguineous breeding 
be allowed for a continuance, a supply of unproductive 
eggs is the inevitable result. 

At the completion of the second moult a male may 

be considered in his prime. At three years Sebrights of 
the purest strains of both sexes frequently become ^* 



m 3i 



" kite- 
winged," that is grizzled in the wings and tail with white, 

which renders them useless for exhibition purposes. 

But as breeding stock they are far better adapted than 
cocks of inferior vigour, or stags of the greatest beauty. 
In fact we regard vigour as the grand desideratum, even 

though accompanied by slightly additional weight, since the 
present exacted criterion of diminutiveness is partly the 
operating cause of their impaired condition. When two 

specimens exhibit equally good properties, and are alike 
vigorous, the smaller should doubtless be the choice ; but 
what we would suggest is, that if that diminutive form be 
accompanied by vigour below the natural standard, such 
should be discarded. 

We have oft observed, whilst treating upon breeding 






,- 



m* i 



* Not under two years. 




■'#-1 '■ 



U J _xi_ rZ. ■ 



)>■ 




I 



BANTAM— BREEDING STOCK. 



311 



stock, that the power of reproducing the plumage of the 
male In the offspring is considerably dependant upon the 
hue of the hen. When the male is of darker and richer 
hue the progeny are more clearly marked than when the 
tone of the hen's plumage exceeds the male's, or than is 
the case when both sexes are equally deep or alike pale. 
This becomes a feature of importance in the breeding of 
showy specimens of the Bantam family. If the golden 
Polish be matched with the silvers of the same class, clearly 
and distinctly marked specimens of each variety may be 
occasionally produced. In like manner golden and silver 
Bantams being matched, issue bearing the resemblance of 
both varieties are generated, at once testifying their original 
identity, and but comparatively recent separation. 

The blacks , lohites , and yellows, do not thus generate laced 
progeny, but their own respective hues from the same 

which render the other varieties of our several 



causes 



classes breeders of their own colour (viz., their lengthened 

selection.) If the Sebright be not sustained by instillations 
of fresh blood he will degenerate, not only in form, but 
the distinctive markings in the offspring will by degrees 
become confused and irregular, until at length a dull yel- 
lowish spotted plumage will be exhibited as proof of virtual 
decay ; at the same time, if the varieties above alluded to 
be admixed with him, worthless will be the progeny as 
fancy birds, the feathery coats of such issue usually par- 
taking of the tints of the two indiscriminately. It, there- 
fore, becomes requisite to procure birds of the same feather, 
but of a different strain. The evils attendant upon neglect 
are indubitably witnessed in the present extensively debili- 
tated state of their generative organs. Every breeder is 
cognizant of the large quantities of unproductive or " poor 
eggs" produced, especially by the highly-bred birds, as 



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312 



f 



I 



FERGUSON ON FOWL 



^ 



resulting from the circumstance that nearly all such have 
proceeded in a more or less direct line from Sir J. Sebright's 
stock. The procuration of fresh imported specimens from 
the east is therefore imperative, or this beautiful breed will 
become indeed but a name. 

We also urge that our judges should regard the form 
and carriage of the specimen as the grand desideratum, and 
although a standard of weight is recognised, which must 
not be exceeded, still if the observance of that criterion is 
found incompatible with the continuous sustaining of the 
breed, it should be raised a trifle. Simultaneously acknow- 
ledging that where extreme diminutive form is accompanied 
by equally vigorous constitutional evidences, such should 
still be regarded the prima donna and beau ideal of its 
class. 

It is an indubitable fact that the sustaining of the breed 
lies in continued instillations of fresh blood, 
firstly suppose, for the sake of description,* that all extant 
varieties of the Bantam claim rights to one common orio-in- 
ality in the form of a progenitor pair. Now the two 
specunens forming this pair must have been more remote 
in blood from each other than any of their produce, seeing 
they were individually distinct, whilst all other proceeds were 
but the admixture of this distinctness, rendering them dif- 
ferent when exposed to the differential effects of climatic 
influences, but not distinct. Although the form and tint of 
some might have been developed in conformity with either 
progenitor more than with others of the same brood, still 
the blood was the same. It is, therefore, undeniable that 
actual avoidance of collateral breeding is impossible, unless 
admixture with blood of some other class be resorted to. 



We 



,^ 



f r- 



< 



• 



Such is, moreover, our decided opinion. 







1! 



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' 1 



BANTAM— BREEDING STOCK. 



313 



Wi: 



And even if we cherisli the idea that several ot our, not 
only classes but varieties, were primitively distinct from 
each other, it becomes equally evident that actual rela- 
tionary breeding cannot possibly be avoided, unless these 
so called distinct varieties be admixed either inter se or with 
other blood. Years of separation or climatic influences are 
inadequate to the rendering of blood distinct, but we hold 
a difference may thus be effected, seeing that the corporeal 
frame which is the seat of blood and changes, is consider- 
ably influenced by external exposures ; and changes in the 
constitution necessitate variations in succeeding blood. 

Certain blood subjected for several generations to climatic 
effects, peculiar feeding, and different external causes, 
when matched with blood of primitive identity, but equally 
affected by circumstances, renders the ulterior progeny dif- 
ferent from such as may even have been the issue of the 
same blood, but bred and domiciled in clime or under cir- 
cumstances of an adverse character. 

We, therefore, regard the differences existing between 
the constitutions of a pair of birds to be the grand feature 
in high breeding. It would be possible to match specimens 
which had been placed under similar influences, but actu- 
ally of ten generations separation, without receiving an 
actual vigorous instillation of fresh blood, whilst from such 
as but three or four generations since had issued from the 
same pair, but exposed to considerable internal and external 
differential vicissitudes, might emanate the desired vigorous 
instillation. It therefore becomes requisite to the insurance 
of the continuous success of the amateur stud, in the repro- 
duction of first-class specimens, that a just regard be paid 
to the constitutional tendencies of specimens intended for 
admixture, and a line of action adopted in conformity with 
such conviction. 



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314 



FERGUSON ON FOWL 



BANTAM CHICKENS. 



About the middle of June may be considered most suit- 
able for their exclusion, but periods much later are usually 
resorted to for the express purpose of retarding their deve- 
lopment. In addition to the particulars already advanced 
upon rearing- chicks^ it becomes necessary to add^ on account 
of their extreme diminutiveness^ that the utmost precaution 
is requisite in guarding against the injurious effects of damp. 
They should^ therefore, be detained in a perfectly dry apart- 
ment for a few days subsequent to their exclusion from the 
shell, and supplied every other hour with split groats, &c., 
in small quantities, leaving suitable stubble or ground 
rubbish for their amusement in the interim (see page 112). 
The produce of black Bantams, when first excluded, are 

usually black, including bill, eyes, and legs, but frequently 
possessing greyish abdomens. Golden Sebrights are of a 
yellowish brown throughout. Whites of a light creamy hue. 
Conflicting are the statements respecting the constitutional 
vigour of Bantams, and such is likely to remain the case, 
seeing the several varieties differ as much from one another 
in this respect as from quite distinct classes, and specimens 
of the same variety vary to an equal extent. A fair average, 



uid 



We 



consider the constitutions of the parents, local influences, 
and peculiar treatment, are the inducing causes of these 
differences. If the parentage be sound, and the offspring 
be hatched in suitable weather, fairly tended and guarded 
against damp, their active frames and precocious featherino- 
will carry them past chickenhood without more than usual 
mortality. But if the offspring of continued relationary 
breeding, if specimens the weakest in the family be chosen as 
stock birds because they are the most diminutive, if they be 



BANTAMS AS FANCY BIEDS. 



315 



I 
1 ' 1 



bred in damp or exposed situations, if the offspring be 
excluded late in the autumn or tended with negligence, 
the result will be seen in the exclusion of but one or two 
puny birds from many sittings of eggs, one or two reared 
chickens from many broods, and but one or two fair spe- 
cimens from many reared chicks; aiid according to the 
extent of precaution exercised in guarding against these 
causes of degeneracy, in the same ratio will the breeder be 
successful or otherwise. 



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I 



BANTAMS AS FANCY 13IRDS 



Fancy versus Profit. 



At the commencement of the seventeenth century through 
the English settlers at Bantam specimens of this Lilli- 
putian race were first imported into Great Britain, since 
which they have commanded universal admiration and held 
conspicuous positions in the collections of all distinguished 
amateurs, neither are they likely to give way in public 

esteem. 

But farmers and rearers for the market cannot be too 

particular in secluding their stock from the presence of so 
diminutive a breed. To them size and weight are of main 
importance, not omitting quality ; but to whatever extent 
the latter may excel, the absence of the standard develop- 
ment of the former renders all dead stock below mediocrity. 
Their diminutive form, however, renders them capable of 
being domiciled in metropolitan or manufacturing districts 
where eggs are in demand, and where larger fowls are at times 
found inconvenient. The Bantam roosting house requires 
but the cleansing of a light hand for its decent preservation ; 
the consumption of this class is indeed moderate, whilst 






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316 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



their productive powers are not below the average. Their 
extreme beauty, delicacy of plumage, elegance of form, 
contour, and great vivacity, cannot fail to gain them 
many admirers ; and, to the ladies especially, we heartily 
recommend the adoption of this Lilliputian family. 



MALPORMATIOJtfS. 



It is not surprising that Bantams should degenerate and 
become partially unprolific, when the most diminutive 
specimens, regardless of hereditary vigour, are bred from ; 
that the tail should be devoid of sickle feathers when mas- 
culine distinctions are curbed by In and in breeding, and 
the continuous eradication of such features. We regard 
the entire absence of hackle and sickle feathers the result 
of art, or rather the effects of art, and closely connected 
with the generative organs. Birds, whether of Bantam or 
any other class, when bred in and in to the production of 

hen tails, naturally become impaired in their generative 
organs; but it becomes important to observe that such 
materially differ from those which are minus the plumes 

from their continuous eradication. The very laro-e num- 
ber of unprolific eggs produced by Bantam hens Is but- 
another form of these deteriorating effects and so long 
as the most diminutive specimens are selected as proge- 
nitors of further stock without regard to vigour, so long 
as admixture is postponed, this affection will be on the 



increase. 



We 



the seat of all differential plumage, and the source of most 

es occurring in this family (Galli). 




Unprolific hens of al 

tially curved sickle feathers. A remarkable instance of 

this occurred under my own observation. Some few years 



I 



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MALFORMATIONS. 



317 



\ 



Hens 



since a brown-red Game hen of Freeman's strain, when eleven 
years old became sterile, at the ensuing moult she exhibited 
the partially curved sickle feathers ; but the following 
season she assumed the full plumage of the male. I possess 
her preserved exterior, and can further vouch for the 

accuracy of this statement, 
quently become diseased in their generative organs, and 
ultimately sterile, when a double accumulation of internal 
fat is produced from the conversion of egg stuff into flesh 
instead of eggs. Such are not likely to assume the plumage 

of the male, but their decease, anterior to the ensuing 

r 

season, may be regarded as inevitable. It becomes neces- 
sary to add that the strain which produced the hen already 
alluded to, had been bred in and in for nearly forty years 
by that noted breeder Mr. J. Freeman, who entertained 
such sanguine ideas of the peculiar excellence of his own 



admixture 



Had 



been for his superior judgment in the selection of breed- 
ing specimens, and the limitation of the male to two hens, 
he certainly could not have sustained his breed so long. 
In the course of his experience whites, piles, and duns, 
were produced from his brown-reds, without any admixture 
having taken place for eighteen or nineteen years. These 
he selected, and by the continuous breeding in and in of 
such as were of the same feather, and the destroying of all 
partially or irregularly coloured specimens, a permanent 
family of each was at length established, 
ten years the stock has much fallen off, and the strain, which 
in the sporting registry was once acknowledged of first- 
has become surpassed in excellence by others 
more judiciously sustained by admixture. 



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merit 



The 



into our possession, was the matching of two pullets with 



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318 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



a two year old black-breasted red cock of proved excel- 
lence. Our expectations as to the result were realized, the 
progeny for the most part exhibiting the full benefit of 
the admixture, no less by a full development of vigour. 



The 



than by the superior firmness of their plumage, 
males were richly coloured with deep dragon's blood on 
the 

blood-wing Piles. One 

to remain with her sire, and from which issued a most 



saddle, but lighter 



in the hackles, rendering them 
f the original hens we allowed 



r 

remarkable production of lusus naturce^ of which we annex 
the Xxio^-Az^ facsimile portrait. 



I 



1 




This creature, thus possessed of two supplementary legs and 
wings, survived but a few minutes after exclusion. Its 
form has been carefully preserved by Mr. Newill, of South- 
wark, previous to which it underwent a critical examination 
before many distinguished anatomists, who expressed their 
great surprise at such a consummation of irregularity be- 
coming so far perfected by nature. It possessed two wind- 




I - I 



MALFORMATIONS. 



319 



pipes in the same neck, moreover two back-bones, besides a 



Aldrovand 



which 



we have no mention of any similar production. Chickens 



rarely issue in any shape from double-yoked eggs, but occa- 
sionally two distinct but weakly and diminutive specimens 
have been excluded; likewise double chicks, or chicks with 
two complete bodies have been heard of, but never in the 
experience of a modern, one in the form and shape of a 
winged quadruped. We regard this and similar productions 
the result of a disordered state of the generative organs, 
or induced, as in this instance, by close consanguinary 

breeding. 

Male specimens possessing two or three spurs upon each 

leg, also twisted beakers may be occasionally seen, but such are 
merely local malformations. The former a freak of nature, 
seeing on the pedal limbs of such chicks of but one day's 
growth may be observed the number of peculiar warts 
which will ultimately become developed as spurs ; the 
latter also an irregularity in the process of the formation 
of the egg, seeing the specimen is excluded with a twisted 
beak, although its continued growth in the same adverse 
course renders it more and more conspicuous. Specimens 
possessing twisted crops are at times met with, more 



Malay breed (see page 1 90) 



( 



170) 



Shan 



o 



and 



moreover 



(see page 64) 



Crooked breast bones or 



keels are usually produced either from permitting the 
juveniles of the poultry yard the opportunity of roosting 
whilst too young, or furnishing adult specimens with per- 
ches of too narrow dimensions (see page 29), whilst from such 
birds are occasionally produced similarly deformed progeny. 



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320 



EEKGUSON ON FOWL 



SILKY OR PERSIAN FOWLS 



4 



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4 



I 



(Pliasianus tanatus^ Lath,)^ 



It is a remarkable fact that not only specimens bearing 
much resemblance to the Bantam family exhibit a silky or 
hairy coat in lieu of feathers, but that silky Spanish and 
Shanghaes should be met with in other respects perfect 
types of their respective classes, but capable of generating 
silky offspring with regularity. It may be urged that 
such specimens are but the effects of an admixture with 
the silky fowl; but the fact is, it would require continuous 
instillations of that blood to produce such a consummation. 

Buffon considered peculiar diet was the inducing cause. 



be 



\ 



in the diseased condition of the skin, as induced from ex- 
posure to heat. We find men possessing woolly hair in 
the same clinlate from whence these birds proceed^ a fact 
sufficiently ample to denote the power of climatic influences 
upon the skin. 

The coat of the silky fowl is composed of webbed feathers 
or rather hairs, rendering its appearance very striking. 
It is found in China and Japan, and bred in these parts 



difficulty 



VARIETIES. 



JEmu or silky Shanghae — (for description see page 25). 

h 

* Timmerick considered the silky fowl a native of India, and described 
it as existing in a wild state. 



\ 






SILKY OR PERSIAN FOWLS. 



321 



Algerian silky fowls are usually of a deep brown hue, 
with neck-hackle stained with black ; they possess single 
comb, but are almost destitute of tail. 

Silky Spanish resemble black Spanish in comb, ear-lobes, 
and general conformation, but possess the hairy coat of the 
silky fowl. Mr. H. Keese, of Bath, in 1851, imported five 
specimens from Calcutta, but subsequently informed me that 
during his eleven years residence in the east they were the 
only silky birds of ihis description which he was able to pro- 
cure, although no opportunity of research was left untried. 



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WHITE SILKY FOWLS OR SILKY BANTAMS. 

These birds exhibit the appearance of having been de- 
scended from the Bantam race, although in some particulars 
they differ much from that class. They are not adapted 
to the climate of Great Britain, unless it be the southern 
parts, damp and cold proving extremely injurious. The 
average weight of the male is about two pounds and a 
quarter, the hen one pound and three quarters; the former 
stands thirteen inches in height, the latter eleven inches. 

They are of compact form, and usually of a white plum- 
Their bones are of a very different complexion, and ' 



age 



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322 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



not exceptionally covered with a black or purple membrane 
or periosteum. The skin is also of a similar hue, but the 
flesh white, though usually unpalatable. The tail is 
moderately plumed, whilst the legs, which are always short, 
should be of a pale blue, and feathered on the outer side. 

The comb may be found both double and single, and is of 
a leaden cast, behind which rises a small crest ; the face is 

of a similar complexion, whilst the ear-lobes and beak are 
pale green. 

There exists another white variety possessing white skin 
and bones, and red comb and gills, but in other respects 
closely resembling the above. We do not, however, consider 
them of pure descent. 



Yellow or Nankin silky ft 



This bird is of a dull yellow 



plumage, and doubtless of Bantam affinity, in other respects 
similar to the last-named variety. 

Black silkies, Negroes, or Kaffirs (Phasianus niger. Lath.) 

are similar to the white silkies, save in the colour of their 
plumage. They are rather rare, and possess black hair, 
skin, and legs, and a small crest behind the comb of the 
same deep shade, whilst the membrane which covers the 
bones is of a similar hue. 

It is considered by some that the true Negro is not a silky 
bird, but a black species possessing purple bones, skin, 
comb, gills, and shanks, and having the ordinary feathery 
plumage ; such, however, we have not yet seen. 



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GENEKAL CHARACTERISTICS. 

Silkies are moderately productive, the average weight of 
their eggs may be considered about one ounce and a half, 
usually of a light cream colour, but the black silkies or 
Negroes produce clear white eggs. They are excellent 
incubators and careful mothers, but should not be thus 








SILKY OR PERSIAN FOWLS. 



323 



engaged anterior to the months of May or June, nor 
later than July. The treatment requisite to be observed 
in rearing Bantam chicks is ample for their propagation, 
and the management required for keeping Bantam adults 
is sufficient for silky fowls. But however well they may 
thrive, we trust their introduction into this country will be 
but in limited numbers, and confined to the pens of the 
amateur. Black skin is not by any means a prepossessing 

envelop in the eyes of European epicures for a garnished 
fowl, and however fine the flavour of the flesh, few will be 
found to make a personal trial of its merits. 



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FRIZZLED OR FRIESLAND FOWLS. 

(Gallus Pennis Revolutis, of Linnceus.—Gallus Crispus, of Brisson. 

Phasiarms Crispus, Lath.) 

r 

This fowl is found in Java, Sumatra, and the southern 
iiartft of Asia, and is said to exist in a wild state in Cevlon. 



V 



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324 



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FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



4 

The peculiarities of its coat consist in the feathers curling 
the reverse way, and standing more or less erect in a ruffled 
form. It has been asserted that they possess the advantage 
of bringing their plumes close to their bodies in the event 
of a shower of rain overtaking them — such is a fact, but it 
is not peculiar to them, all fowls from Shanghae to Bantam 
possess the same power, and invariably adopt this instruc- 
tive precaution when exposed to wet. The average weight 
of frizzled fowls' eggs is about two ounces. They are 
good layers and mothers, whilst the chicks are by no 
means delicate as is oft represented, neither do the adults 
require more care than is usually bestowed vipon ordinary 
stock. The flesh is very fair for quality, but from the size 
of the bird, It is not so suitable for marketable purposes as 
many other varieties of fow\ 

There are several differently coloured varieties, some 
smooth, some feather-lego-ed. 



The average weight of the 



male Is about five pounds, the hen four pounds ; the former 
stands eighteen inches, and the latter fourteen Inches In 
height. 

The head of both sexes is neat and sharp ; comb bright 
red and cupped, immediately behind which rise the curls 
of the neck-hackle ; wattles red and of moderate size ; 
ear-lobe whitish ; beak well curved ; legs blue ; tail well 
sickled in the male. 

A frizzled variety of Bantam exists (as in the varieties 
of the silky fowl) closely resembling the feathered Bantam 
in every particular save in the frizzled character of its 
plumage. We cannot regard either the silky or the friz- 
zled plumage primary features, but believe them to have 
been acquired by exceptional specimens of a race after 
many generations of exposure to heat. Thus the hair of 
men becomes woolly, and moreover curls strongly- Not 



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RUMPKINS OR TAIL-LESS FOWLS. 



325 



only have the silky and the frizzled been bred together, 
but feathered poultry have in some instances been admixed 
both at home and abroad, producing thereby specimens 
such as frizzled Kaffirs and mongrels of singular appearance 
but worthless properties. 






Mi. 




% 



RUMPKINS OR TAIL-LESS FOWLS. 

(Gallus Ecaudatus, TimmericL—GalUna Cauda seu Wropygio Carens 
Linnmus.—Phasianus Ecaudatus, LatL— Tail-less or Persian Cock 



of Buffon. 



Aldrovandi 



was well acquainted with this bird, and mentions it as the 
Persian cock of some authors, and destitute of the tail. 
BufFon imagined certain fowls sent from England to Vir- 



O 



(and 



heat) 



gave rise to the breed in question. 



We 



much 



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-.■-^- ■, 



_ _■ ^ 



326 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



\i 



I 






hotter fowls' tails flourish. The extraction of the tail 
feathers would not deprive the fowl of the last of the dorsal 
vertebrjB of which the Rumpkin is deficient. The fact is 



rump 



tail being absent. 

Timmerick asserts it is descended from the tail-less jungle 
fowl of Ceylon, but this has been contradicted by travelling 
naturalists who assert no tail-less fowls exist there, save 
imported specimens called frizzled Kaflirs, which, as we 
have already mentioned, are produced from the admixture 
of the silky with the frizzled fowl. They possess the 
frizzled plumage of the latter bird, and purple comb, 
wattles, skin, and bones of the former. 

We have received the following communication from B. 
P. Brent, Esq., of Seven Oaks, relative to the rumpkin 
fowl, which may be interesting to our readers : — " I found 
the Bumpkin very common in the Rhine provinces of 
Prussia, where they are designated Schottert or English 
Huhner (i. e., Scotch or English fowls), simply because they 
are devoid of tail, for the Germans smile at the English 
for docking the tails of their horses, dogs, and sheep ; also 
at the Scotch Highland dress, and the English boys In 
jackets. Whilst residing there I collected the following 
varieties, viz. — ^black, white, dun, buif, and speckled, but I 
consider the brown or mottled-breasted reds and fawn- 
coloured hens the purest variety, next to the black. The 
other varieties I discovered, occasionally produced chickens 
with tails. 

" The true Rumpkin Is a short-legged, compact, plump 
made fowl of medium size, and possessing a rose comb, 
the saddle feathers of the male drop over behind. My 
birds were excellent layers, and producers of larger eggs 
than ordinary fowl." 



4 r 



) 



BUMPKINS OK TAIL-LESS FOWLS. 



327 



\ 



The white specimens usually possess yellow hackle and 
saddle, and the remainder of the body more or less marked 
with black. The comb is rose though sometimes single 
and serrated ; gills large and full ; ear-lobe white, but 
occasionally tinged with pink ; head neat and sharp ; legs 
white or pale blue ; average weight of the male five pounds 
and a half, height eighteen inches. Hen four pounds and 
three quarters, height fifteen inches. They are fair layers, 
usually producing eggs of about two ounces and a half in 
weight, moreover their flesh is white and of good flavour. 
They are hardy, and the management bestowed upon other 
poultry is ample for the requirements of both the chicken 
and the adult. 



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328 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



BAKN-DOOR OK DUNGHILL FOWLS. 






Specimens thus denominated comprise differences of size, 
shape, feather, and constitution. All heterogeneous breeds 
and exceptionables, not conforming to any one of our recog- 



nised classes, are designated as 



such. For instance 
Malay 



■a 



seven Dorking hens, with the issue in the ensuing breeding 
season he places a Spanish cock, and after the lapse of a 
few years of inter-breeding a Game fowl finds a walk 

among them. In the autumn amongst the produce may be 



Dorkin 



Malay 



bright plumes of the Game fowl. It occurs some semble 



Malay 



Spanish, but 



ri 






spirit of the Game, whilst others the coat of the Dorking, 
shape of the Game, but demeanour of the Spanish. And 
yet these specimens thus varying are all of the same breed. 
Why then such differences ? 

It is a notorious fact that in a brood of chicks from the 
same mongrel bred parents, some assume the form of one 



of 



r 

I 



(male and female) 



Two 



the original Spanish bird than any other progenitor, but it 
frequently occurs that amongst the offspring of these, 
none are to be found resembling them, but birds only 







/ 



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' 



BARN-DOOR OR DUNGHILL FOWLS, 



329 



assuming the form and appearance of some anterior pre- 
cursor or of an irregular combination. What, then, shall 

are they most frequently seen? 



we call such ? Where are 
Why near the barn-door, or in sortie mews in the vicinity 
or upon the summit of a dunghill. We, therefore, consider 
the name of dunghill or barn-door foAvl no misnomer. Some 
dunghills are not thus heterogeneous in appearance ; but, as 
we have already said, a fowl of many admixtures frequently 

generates a specimen which assumes the semblance of 
purity, but which is in reality equally heterogeneous as his 
brethren which are of mixed and irregular features, 

r 

Not only have the four varieties already alluded to been 
crossed upon ordinary stock, but the Shanghae, the Bantam, 
and all intermediate classes have assisted to render the 

r 

pedigree of the Dunghill beyond the means of man to 
trace. It has been asserted that the productive powers of 

■ \ 

this breed are superior to the select classes, and its consti- 

V ■ 

tution more robust. Such, however, is at variance with 

r ^ I 

J 

facts. The purely bred Dorking and Spanish, for instance, 
far surpass Dunghill fowls both as flesh and egg producers, 
and the constitution of mongrels varies as much as the 
several varieties of our select classes. 



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330 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



FOWLS EECENTLY IMPOETED. 



i 



Without pretending to sanction or dispute the terms 

brought into requisition in the nomination of the following 
specimens, we briefly add the description of such as have 
been imported by the active exertions of Mr. Vivian, a 
devoted Polish amateur. 



THE BKAZILIAN FOWL. 



This bird much resembles the Malay both in shape and 
size, and in the glossiness of its feather, but possesses a 
a beard. The male weighs about seven pounds, and is 
usually of a dark plumage ; and the female about five 
pounds and a half. Their shanks are clean and of a 
leaden hue, and their eggs of moderate size and of a deep 
buff tint. 



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THE NORMANDY FOWL 



Is a long-bodied crested bird, with full comb and wattles, 
and possessing five white claws as in the Dorking, but a 
blue shank. The colour of the plumage of both sexes 
consists of speckles upon a dark ground, whilst the tail is 
fully plumed. 



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i 



THE JERUSALEM FOWL 



Is of medium size 
about five pounds 



average 



the hen four pounds and 



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♦ 




FOWLS KECENTLY IMPOETED, 



331 



i 



\ 



three quarters 



They are of good shape and elegant 



figure, but incline to run long on the leg. The plumage 
is usually of a speckled character including hackles, wings, 
and tail. The hen is of a lighter hue. The comb treble- 



fold towards the top but single at base, causing 



it to 



fall aside. In the hen it usually resembles the Malay's of 
the same sex. Beak and ear-lobes white, but sometimes 
tinged with pink ; legs clean and of a pale blue colour. 



THE CKEVE CGEUR FOWL 



Is a crested and bearded bird of which there are two 



varieties. 



male 



the hen five pounds— they are of compact form, and possess 
the spiked comb as in the spangled Polish, but much 
further developed. The ground of the male is black with 
yellow crest, hackle, and saddle; the hen usually quite 
black whilst the legs are clean in both sexes. 

The other variety is of slighter build, and an irregular 
combination of black and white. 



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BRUGES FOWL 



Is a blue dun bird without topknot, possessing clean blue 
shanks and a small dull lead-coloured comb. 



The averao;e 



weight of the male is seven pounds ; hen six pounds and a 



;eed 





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THE BREDA FOWL 



Is a tall slim bird of black plumage and feathered legs, 
full wattles, but devoid of comb. 



Average 



abov 



male six pounds, hen five pounds. Their eggs are 
the average for weight, but frequently prove unprolific. 



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332 



FEKGUSON ON FOWL. 



THE MALABAR FOWL 



Malay 



o 



size, carriage, and general conformation ; the plumage and 
hardness of feather, for which it is so notorious, is, however, 
absent, whilst the head and breast also present considerable 
differences. 



(modern) paduan fowls. 

The fowls bearing this name are not In any way allied 
to the Paduans described by Aldrovandi, and considered 
the progenitors of the Polish family, neither do they 



should have 



resemble them in any feature. Why they 
obtained such an appellative we, therefore, cannot imagine. 
About twenty years since they were imported into this 
country, but from whence we are unable satisfactorily 
to discover. In shape they resemble small Dorkings, and 



h 



or olive. 
Game c( 



In plumage the male approaches the duckwing 



breast. The tail is always ample and well sickled. They 
are very productive, and the quality of the flesh is exquisite, 
whilst as incubators they are peculiarly excellent. 



THE ptarmigan OR aROUSE-FOOTED POLAND FOWL 

Much resembles the Poland fowl, and possesses the top- 
knot and well sickled tail, but differs from it inasmuch as 
its shanks are heavily feathered and its comb cupped, which 
render it very remarkable. They are of different hues, 
but the white are of the greatest beauty and delicacy. 
Insect food is preferred to grain, still on the latter they 
thrive well. They are not very particularly hardy, but 
still very productive. 



, 



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FOWLS RECENTLY IMPORTED 



333 



THE CEYLON EOWL 



Much resembles a first-class Shanghae in shape of body, 
head, comb, beak, ear-lobe, in the fluffiness of its feather, 
and shortness of its wings, but the average weight of the 
male seldom exceeds four pounds and three quarters ; nor 
the hen four pounds. Their legs are very short and yellow, 
and without feather ; the tail is also short. Their plumage 
comprises various shades of brown or chestnut, whilst each 
feather of the hen is laced all round the exterior with white, 

^ 

and in the interior with a smaller parallel white mark, 
about the fifth of an inch from the outer lacing, rendering 
each plume doubly laced. They are of extreme beauty, 
and in some specimens the 
lacings. The male is considerably less marked tlian the 
lipn. as in the Hamburo-h family. 



white gives place to black 



AMERICAN FOWLS. 



Americans are notorious for then' love ot crossmg and 
mono^relizino- fowls, at least mongrelled birds are produced 
either for experiment, or are the natural product of careless 
breeding. For instance, Polands are matched with Spanish, 



Gam 



sufficiently 



and they are subsequently regarded as a distinct breed. 



Dr. Benne' 
fowl thus: 



a 



One-half Cochin Ch 



one-fourth fawn 



Malay 



wild Indian." 



It is, moreover, evident that several of our fowls become 
recognised by different names when subject to American 
importation. 



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■t'----. 



334 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



GENERATION 



1. 



\i 



w 



II 



The male, from his salacious propensities, when subjected 
to domestication seldom lives beyond ten or eleven years, 

but in a wild state we think it probable he exceeds 
that age. 

. For breeding and sustaining stock four or five hens are 
ample for one male bird ; but if eggs be the only object 
twenty may be allowed. Hens will indeed lay abundantly 
without his presence, for the eggs grow and increase natur- 
ally on the ovary without being fecundated, still his com- 
Ijany is required for their protection. In France, as eggs 
are produced principally for exportation, twenty or more 
hens are usually allowed to accompany their polygamous 

mate. 

One impregnation, if effective, injects the vital spark to 
the whole batch of eggs, so that if a hen be placed with her 
mate seven or eight days before laying, and removed from 
him after one egg is deposited in the nest, the Avhole of her 

■t 

first clutch proves prolific, even to the last, but the first and 
remainder of her second clutch unprolific. Between these 



y 



days 



elapse. I 



-^ 



consider any impregnation effected during the first clutch 
in no way effects the second, so that were the male removed 
one or two days previous to the deposit of the last egg of 
the first clutch, the second would prove unprolific. As a 



1.^ . 



^7^ 



f ■ <. --n _ 




» 



i 



STRUCTUEE OF EGGS AND OVARIUM, 



335 



general rule if the male be removed dmnng the first clutch 
no egg of the second should be selected for incubation. 



STRUCTURE OF EGGS AND OVARIUM. 

All birds which conceive organic bodies, or eggs covered 
with a hard porous texture or shell, are termed oviparous 
animals, whilst such as produce completely formed progeny 
in a state of active exercise are designated viviparous. We 
annex Mr. Dickson's description of the structure of eggs 
in a concise form : — ^^ Upon opening the body of a laying 
hen rudiments of eggs may be observed from twenty to 
one hundred or more, from the size of a pin's head to that 
of a horse chestnut. This egg cluster is termed the ovarium, 
and the rudimental eg^s ova, the latter have no shell or 



white which are acquired in an after stage, but consist 
wholly of yolk, on whose surface the germ of the future 
chick lies; both the yolk and the germ being wrapped 
round with a very thin membrane. When the rudimental 
egg, still attached to the ovarium, becomes larger and larger 
and arrives at a certain size, it becomes detached and falls 
into a funnel leading to the oviduct. Here the yoke, hitherto 
imperfectly formed puts on its mature appearance of a thick 
yellow fluid, whilst the embryo is white. The white of the 
eo-g now becomes diifused around the yoke, but is prevented 
from mixing with it, and the embryo chick by the thin 
membrane which surrounds them. A second 



second membrane 
enveloping the yoke and the germ of the chick is thickest 
at the two ends, having bulgings and ligaments attached 
which pass through the white at each side, and being em- 
bedded in the white, keep the enclosed yolk and germ in a 
fixed position, and prevent them from rolling within the 
egg when moved. The white of the egg being thus formed, 
a double membrane much stronger than either of the first 



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336 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



ii, 



two is formed around it, and becomes attached to the liga- 
ments of the second membrane, which keeps all the parts 
in their relative positions. During the progress of these 




' I 



EGG CLUSTER OR OVARItJM 



i: 



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formations the egg advances about half-way along the 
oviduct. It is still destitute of the shell which begins to 
be formed as soon as the outer layer of the third membrane 
has been completed. When the shell is fully formed the 
egg continues to advance along the oviduct till the hen goes 
to her nest and lays it. From ill health or accident e^-o-s 
are sometimes excluded from the oviduct before the shell 
is formed, and in this state they are termed oon or wind 
eggs. Reckoning from the shell inward there are six 






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PRESERVATION OF EGGS. 



337 




different envelopes, 1. The shelL 2. The external layer 

, r 

of the membrane, lining the shell. 3. The internal layer 
of the same lining. 4. The white, composed of a thinner 
liquid on the outside, and a thicker and more yellowish 
liquid on the inside. 5. The chalaziferous membrane. 

6. The proper membrane. 

One important part of the egg is the air bag which is 
placed at the larger end, between the shell and its lining 
membranes. It is about the size of the eye of a small bird 
in new-laid eggs, but increases as much as ten times in the 
process of incubation. This bag is of such great importance 
to the development of the chick, that if the blunt end of 
the egg be pierced with the point of the smallest needle it 
cannot be hatched. Instead of one rudimental egg falling 
from the ovarium two maybe detached, and will be enclosed 

■ 

in the same shell, when it becomes double-yoked. The 
shell chiefly consists of carbonate of lime similar to chalk, 
with a small quantity of phosphate of lime and animal 
mucus. The white of an egg is composed of eighty parts 
of water, fifteen of albumen, and four of mucus, besides 
giving traces of soda, benzoic acid, and sulphuretted 

It is a very feeble conductor of heat, 
etarding its escape and preventing its entrance to the 



hydrogen gas. 



r 



yolk, averting thereby the fatal chills which might occur 
in hatching, when the hen leaves her eggs from time to 
time in search of food. 







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PRESERVATION OF EGGS. 



The shell of the egg being porous, a greater escape of 
moisture from the interior is effected during warm than 
cold weather ; eggs may, therefore, be preserved a much 
longer period during the latter than the former season. To 
prevent this evaporation various means have been devised, 

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338 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



k 



such as the application of oil or varnish to the shell. Those 
varnished by M. Reaumur are said to have kept sound for 
more than twelve months. A convenient and excellent 

r 

method is to anoint them thoroughly with lard (a small piece 
of the size of a bean will be found ample for half a dozen)^ 
when they may be packed in a dry barrel of salt^ or in very 
thick lime water. 

Eggs intended for incubation should not receive any 
preparation whatevei; upon their shells^ but be imbedded in 
sweet bran^ in the same position as left in the hen's nest 
(i. e., upon their sides), and gently turned each day, so that 
the uppermost part one day be the lowest the next. They 
should be as fresh as possible, and all exceeding twenty-one 
days' old excluded. They should never be placed in actual 
contact with any earthenware or glass vessel, nor be allowed 
to rest one upon the other. 

It is a well known fact that the produce of hens which 

have been deprived of the company of the male retain their 
sweetness double and even treble the time of ordinary eggs, 
and this is not overlooked by exporters in the present day. 
When exposed to jolting they should be placed with the 
blunt end upwards, as in that position the tissue of the yolk 
is not so likely to become displaced. If a fresh egg be held 
between the candle and the eye with the blunt end upper- 
most, the vacuum or air bag will be observed at the top, of 
about the size of a pea. Each day 

at the end of fourteen days, if it be compared with that of 
a fresh e2:af, a considerable diffcrpnpp will V>p i-iPT-noiTmri 



this 



& 



INCUBATION. 



After laying from thirteen to eighteen eggs the natural 
instinct of the hen induces her to officiate in her maternal 



I' 



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I 



INCUBATION. 



339 



Nv 



capacity. 



but the deprivation of man in removing 



her 



produce as laid, causes her to generate more than would 
be otherwise the case were they left in the nest, and 
therefore to postpone this instinctive desire until her last 
is conceived. = ^ 

A hen by accident sometimes breaks an egg and there- 
upon consumes it-, and finding it agreeable to her palate 
becomes prone to attack all that come before her. By placing 
her in confinement for twenty-four hours upon half rations, 
with a supply of three or four well made marble or chalk 
eggs, a cure has oft been effected — for, after innumerable 
attacks upon them, she is compelled to desist, and seldom 
resumes her unnatural habit. Previous to her release she 
should be well supplied with soft food, or hunger may tempt 
her into a like error. But the best method is to boil an 
egg for about twenty minutes, peel off the shell in several 
places, and present the former to her entire. Her vicious 
propensity leads her immediately to the attack, and a severely 
burnt throat is the result, after which she seldom if ever 

commits the same offence. We are supposing her to 
be a valuable hen and worth this trouble, but if she 
be merely of ordinary quality she cannot too soon be 
handed over to the cook. 

The sitting hen is soon known by her irritable demeanour, 
the bristling of her feathers, drooping of her wings, her 
peculiar and continuous clucking note, and by the deter- 
mination which she manifests to occupy any position where 
she discovers eggs, or even the empty nest. To revert this 



46) 



The 



hen selected for incubation should not be a pullet, but a 
two-year old hen, full bodied, short legged, and having full 
compass of wing. She should be allowed to remain in the 
nest for two or three days, after which time, if she still sits 



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840 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



closely, from eleven to thirteen eggs may be given^ accord- 



(f< 



48) 



After 



not be disturbed or peeped at during their term of durance, 
which is twenty-one days. Fresh eggs are usually hatched 
on the twentieth day, whilst such as are stale occupy the 
full period of twenty-one, and sometimes a few hours in 
addition. The hen vacates her nest once in twenty-four 
hours for about fifteen to twenty minutes when she re- 
plenishes exhausted nature, whilst in Avinter or cold weather 
her stay seldom exceeds ten minutes. If by any means the 
eggs become thoroughly cold after the fourth day they prove 
unprolific, but when once blood circulates within and the 
chicks possess life, warmth is retained for a considerable 
period. Upon one occasion^ on the eighteenth day of in- 
cubation, a hen belonging to the author was by accident 
excluded from her nest for nearly two houre, but upon the 
arrival of the twenty-first morning a full brood was dis- 
covered beneath her wings. Such, hoAvever^ is a dangerous 
method of incubation. 

The embryo chick is deposited beneath the membrane 
which surrounds the yoke, and as incubation advances so 
its organic structure is developed, but immediately the heart 



s 






The white of the eg;p 



IS 



beats, animal life is imparted. 

first absorbed as nourishment for the bird, and afterAvards 
the yolk. 

At the end of the 1st day the head and spine partially 
unite. 

2nd day, the first apophysis of the vertebra and the 

heart appear ; in 8 hours moije two vesicles of blood. 
3rd day, the brain, bill, neck, and breast exhibit the 

process of organization. 



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y_ 




PROCESS OF INCUBATION. 



341 



m 



t 



s 



4th day, the heart becomes more complete, and pulsa- 
tion is perceptible ; the eyes are in formation, and the 



wings increase. 



5th day, the liver and the flesh exhibit some consistence- 
6th day, the stomach, loins, and intestines appear; in 10 
hours more the spinal marrow and the outer skin. 

7th day, the brain expands, and the bill becomes more 

perfectly formed. 

8th day, the bill opens and shuts, and two ventricles of 

the heart appear. 

9th day, the lungs are observable. 

10th day, the breast bone, ribs, and organization is 
approaching completion, but the bones are still gelatinous. 

1 1th dayj size further developed, and the feathers shoot. 

r 

12tli day, the ribs are now more solid, and the first animal 
motion is observed, all the arteries now unite to the heart, 
and development of the whole organization is in gradual 

Upon holding an egg which has been subjected 
to twelve days' incubation between the eye and the candle 
in a dark apartment, all such as are prolific are opaque 
and dark in the interior, whilst poor or addled eggs are 

transparent. 

14th day, the lungs and chest are now fully developed. 
. 15th day, the bones become much more solid, and the 

feathers shoot rapidly. 

1 7th day, the yoke which has hitherto formed a separate 
body from the bird now enters the abdomen, when the chick 

becomes fully developed. 

18th day, the first cry is heard; the bill and limbs move 
frequently ; after this the chick acquires more and more 
strength until he is enabled to burst forth from his 
prison walls, which he usually effects at the end of the 
20th day. 



progress 







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342 



FERGUSON ON FOWL 





POSITION OF THE CHICK -WITHIN THE SHELL PREVIOUS TO EXCLUSION, 

The chick after repeatedly striking the shell with his 
beak produces a cracky which at length he breaks into an 
aperture^ when a fcAV struggling motions divide it into two 

parts^ and he is excluded^ without any assistance whatever 
from the hen. (See page 113.) Some are more robust 
than others^ and break their way through in a much 
shorter period. The difference in the texture of the shell 
also renders it more or less difficult, but a vigorous bird 
never requires assistance. 

As before stated^ we much disapprove interfering with 
the natural process of incubation, but there are times when 
•the chick, unable to make progress in his cell, requires 
assistance before he can escape. If the crack or aperture 
made )7ith the beak do not increase, but remain the same 
for twelve hours together, a few small pieces of the shell 

I H 

around may be gently removed with the nail. If at length 
he be excluded with a few pieces upon his back, it is 
best to allow them to remain, as in a few days they usually 
fall off without the application of means; if not a little 




^f 



i- ' 



ARTIFICIAL INCUBATION, 



343 



warm water will dissolve the substance which detains them. 
But thus to assist the chick from confinement necessitates 
a peep beneath the hen. Now this is decidedly objection- 
able^ and in nine cases out of ten far more mischief occurs 
from disturbing her, than is compensated for by the escape 
of the weakly bird, which, in our opinion, had far better 
expire within the shell than a few days after his exclusion. 



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ARTinCIAL INCUBATION. 

^no- V>p.pn nractised in Chint 



the former country immense quantities of eggs are still 
annually hatched for the supply of the table, but in 
the latter the number is greatly on the decrease. (M. 
Reaumur signalized himself by the success of his experi- 



ments 



) 



Charles the YIII. of France possessed 
Amboise, and about the same period the 



& 



m 



endeavours 



incubation, although its application was seldom resorted to. 
M. Eeaumur's method has been much improved by several 
experimentalists, whose 
more closely the natural process. The principle of M. 
Cantelo's hydro-incubator is indeed far superior to any 
hitherto in use. The degree of heat to which the eggs are 
subjected is 106°, that being ascertained to be the blood 
head of the sitting hen, and not 96'' or 98^ as formerly 

supposed. To the perf 
important feature lies in sustaining an unvarying tempera- 
ture. In former experiments the heat was generated from 
below the eggs, but to follow more closely the natural pro- 
cess, M. Cantelo's method provides heat above by means of 
hot water which is placed over the egg trays, glass being 
+!.<. ^rxUr sprmrn+inn. whilst air is admitted from beneath. 



most 



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344 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



Be it remembered the hen departs from her nest once in 
twenty-four hours^ for the space of about fifteen or twenty 
minutes, for the purpose of supplying nature's requirements, 
when the eggs are exposed to a free circulation of air. The 
eggs are, therefore, removed from the incubator for a similar 
period, and turned three times each day. By this process, 
out of every hundred eggs, seventy-five chicks upon an 
average are excluded. 

Some have supposed malformed chicks are more fre- 
quently produced by artificial than by natural incubation, 
and that by the foi'mer process the instinct of incubation is 
not transmitted to the birds. But the fact is, where hundreds 
of chicks are continually hatching, as at Leicester Square, 
it would be strange were no malformed birds generated* 
But private individuals producing annually but two or three 
broods seldom see such irregularities, for obvious reasons. 
If the process were not sufficiently complete to produce per- 
fect specimens it would not produce living ones. (Malforma- 
tions are the result of a totally different cause, see page 316.) , 

It must be allowed mothers are required for the little 
orphans as soon as hatched, and many skilful methods have 
been devised for producing artificial nurses, but in this 
branch, art can never equal nature. The scratching of the 
hen, the exercise thus called into play, and the change of 
scene and diet thereby procured cannot be equalled. The 
best method is, therefore, to transfer them to the care 
of the natural rearino- agent, and allow them to run beneath 



her protecting wings. But in this country, from reasons 
previously stated, no mother can properly provide for more 
than twelve or thirteen chicks, and if fancy birds, that 
number must be considerably reduced. (Seepage 110.) 
But we ask, why should she not also hatch them ? and 
where are there a sufficiency of mothers to rear the chicks 



' " ^ 



"^ r^T 



. _,^i-^ _- -J 







COMPARATIVE VALUE OE DIVEJIS GEAIN, ETC. 



345 



produced by a large circulation of incubators? We are 
compelled to say that tlie sanguine hopes entertained by 
some that artificial incubation would ensure means for 
rendering poultry prociu'able by the multitude at a cheaper 
rate — if not like counting chickens before they are hatched^ 
is most certainly counting fowls before they are reared. 



COMPARATIVE VALUE OF DIVERS GRAIIS^^ ETC.^ AS FOOD. 

Since the varieties of grain differ as much from each other 
in their eifects as substances of a totally distinct class^ it 
becomes necessary to appropriate certain sorts for special 
purposes or for the use of peculiar seasons. For Instance^ 
wheats barley^ oatmeal^ barley meal^ and Indian corn pro- 
duce fleshy though the last more frequently fat and warmth. 

r 

Beans and peas also produce fleshy but are very heating 
to the blood. All starchy substances impart warmth. 
Bran^ coarse middlings^ and the husk of most grain generate 
bone and muscle^ and are cooling to the bloody whilst veget- 
ables are still more cooling, but relaxing. 



Wheat 



56 
4 



yy 



99 



99 



99 



starch, 
oil. 



Is less nutritious that oatmeal, whilst its price renders it 
without the circumference of poultry economy. 
Barley contains 14 lbs. per cent, of flesh. 



60 



99 



99 



99 



92. 

^2 



99 



99 



93 



starch, 
oil. 



Is always relished hy poultry, and forms (with other diet) 
the cheapest grain in the long run. 

Oats contain 19 lbs. per cent, of flesh. 



60 

7 



99 



99 



99 



99 



99 



99 



starch, 
oil. 



OatSj as a change, prove very beneficial, but are usually 



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346 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



neglected by fowls Avhere barley can be obtained. Oatmeal, 
on the contrary 5 is eagerly devoured, and is extremely 
nutritious, whilst groats, as food for young chickens, we 
cannot too strongly recommend, 

Rye is seldom cared for after a few days, neither can we 
commend it as food for poultry. 



Indian corn contains 12 lbs. per cent, of flesh. 



* 



70 

8 



yy 



5? 



yy 



yy 



yy 



99 



starch, 
oil. 



We much disapprove of this substance, more fat than flesl 
being produced by its usage. 

Rice contains 7 lbs. per cent, of flesh. 

%i 4 4 « • starcn. 



1 



85 



Oi 



y? 



yy 



yy 



oil. 



Is not by any means a nourishing diet for fowls, but for 

chicks it forms a beneficial change, especially when relaxed. 
(For preparing, &c., see page 50.) 

Beans and peas contain large quantities of flesh producing 
substance, but are heating to the system, and thereby in- 
duce many diseases. (See page 61.) 

Hempseed is very injurious if given in large quantities, 
producing excessive production for a time, but gradual 
decline. (See also page 122.) 

Coarse middlings, pollard, and bran, are extremely useful 
when given In suitable proportions. One meal a day of 
the following will be found very beneficial : — One peck 
of coarse middlings to half a peck of barleymeal, with as 
much boiling water or pot liquor as will render the whole 
a thick crumbling mass, or instead of middlings the same 
weight of pollard or bran may be used. 

Steamed potatoes, as a change, are much relished, and 
when cheap prove very useful. 

* Liebig. 



COMPARATIVE VALUE OF DIVERS GRAIN, ETC. 



347 



For fowls that live in close confinement steamed grain 
may be given with advantage^ but the plain raw material 
is a far more natural and suitable diet for birds at liberty^ 
unless they be intended for culinary purposes. 

It becomes requisite to observe the many maladies that 

are induced into the poultry yard, either by the injudicious 
use of appropriate substances as food, or by the supply of 
improper diet. ' Many persons resort to troughs or boxes for 

supplying their pets, but by this method the fowl swallows 
the grain too rapidly, and in a few minutes the crop becomes 
full; thus, in a short space of time, is devoured that which 
should have occupied one or two hours. Not only so, the 



more 



is not satisfied with so short a " play at peck." In a wild 
state the grains first found have swollen long befiare the crop 
becomes full, but by the mode of feeding here alluded to 



minutes 



when swollen, causes much uneasiness, and induces him to 
mope about. Thus he is exposed to internal inflammation, 
and external cold and cramp, he becomes useless as a mate, 
and valueless as a guardian. The hens thus fed become 
fat and at length rheumatic and unproductive. Therefore 



■iD 



should 



far as possible all round, amongst rubbish, grass, hay, straw, 
or stubble, and thus furnish amusement for hours. 

The use of greaves and butchers' scraps, resorted to by 
many to induce production, is very improper as regular 
food, granivorous animals not being supplied with digestive 
organs for such a commodity. (See page 121 and 122.) 
The use of flesh, moreover, induces pugnacity, more 
especially during the moulting season. 

If by any accident a fowl has been kept fasting a few 
hours beyond the usual time, instead of endeavouring to 



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348 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



make up for neglect bj giving an extra allowance, it becomes 
necessary either to divide his meal into three or four parts 
and allow one portion each ensuing hour, or to provide him 
with a moderate allowance of soft food. (For general 
feeding see pages 102 and 103.) 



ORGANS or DIGESTION. 



Fowls having but little taste, distinguish their food mainly 
by the eye and the organs of scent. Their diet is swallowed 
whole, and conveyed by the gullet to the crop or craw 
immediately below the breast bone, which performs the 
same functions as the first stomach of the ox. By means 
of a mucous matter separated from the glands it becomes 
macerated, and passes into a cavity analogous to the second 
stomach of that animal, and becomes partly dissolved by 

It then passes into the gizzard 
which compensates for the absence of teeth. This organ 

IS composed of very firm and dense muscles, lined with a 
rough fibrous membrane, which increases in strength and 
roughness with age; it forms a grinding apparatus and 
presents two surfaces which work upon one another, the 



means of a diluting fluid. 



food being between. 



A 



'fe 



are invariably swallowed by fowls when at liberty, are de- 
posited in the gizzard and promote trituration. 



Although 



when deprived of the opportunity of obtaining them they 
are capable of digesting their food, still it is found that 
hard grain is less perfectly dissolved than is the case with 



bird 



■fe 



stony substances. It is, therefore, requisite that they be 
supplied with gravel. The cavity of the gizzard is small, 



here the food is reduced to a pulp, and becomes further 
diluted by the gastric juice. It then passes into the first, 
and then into the small intestines, where the chyle or nutri- 



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hi 



CAPONIZING. 



349 



IM 



\ 



tious parts are absorbed by minute cavities or vein months^ 
and the refuse is discharged into the vent gut. The urine 
of fowls passes into the same channel direct from the 
kidneys^ and becomes ejected with the dung. 






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CAPONIZING. 



We may be censured by some (perhaps too delicate) for 
favouring this practice^ upon the ground that it is no less 
useless than inhuman. We trust a few words will suffice 
to show that the former is at variance with accuracy^ whilst^ 
if the latter supposition be correct, it becomes indisputably 
evident that the operation performed upon the bull and the 
ram is eq^ually cruel, although acknowledged imperative. If 



the object be the production of flesh at a great diminution in 



expenditure, and the most humane expedients known are 
resorted to, whilst a great probability of accomplishing the 
object is evident, such line of action cannot be condemned 
as an infringement of the dictates of rational humanity. 
Some have supposad the introduction of the Shanghae into 

the poultry-yard, sufficient to render the process unneces- 
sary. But it strikes us forcibly, if a well fed Shanghae 
and a Dorking capon were served up to table, the former 
would be deserted, and our worthy friends we imagine 
would not be the last to turn tail to their creed. 

The art of caponizing has been pursued by the Chinese 
for an unknown period, and in France most successfully 
for many years, whilst in England its practice is limited 
to three or four counties. The effects of castration upon 
both sexes are prodigious, rendering the male tame, 
peaceful, contented, and averse to the society of the hens. 
He grows and takes flesh rapidly, and attains an enormous 
size, whilst his flesh becomes white, succulent, and juicy. 
He never acquires a powerful voice, but appears to delight 



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350 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



only in eating, drinking, and sleeping. In France the 

1 

operation is usually performed by tlie farmers' wives^ 
when the birds have reached the age of three months, but 
as much before July as possible ; it is very simple, and 
requires no other instrument than a sharp penknife and a 
pair of scissors. Birds which are naturally large are usually 
selected for the purpose. Dorkings, for instance, are 
admirably adapted. 

The bird is placed upon his back with his head in a down- 
ward inclination, and tail towards operator. The feathers 
should then be removed from the place of operation described 
below. In the middle of the flank, between the vent and 
the end of the breastbone, an Incision is made with a sharp 
penknife, about one inch and a half in length, the skin and 
muscles are thereby cut through, bu.t the intestines care- 
fully avoided. The forefingers are then introduced, having 
been previously anointed with fresh butter, and the intes- 
tines gently pushed aside, when the testicles are carefully 
extracted by clipping with a pair of scissors the cord that 
detains them. Little or no blood flows externally from the 
wound, but the incision is immediately anointed with fresh 
butter, and stitched up with a silken thread. The bird is 
then introduced into a warm and dry compartment without 
perch, and fed upon soft food, and in a few days if he 
appears well, which is usually the case if the operation has 
been skilfully performed, he is turned into the common 
walk. 

Be it remembered it is far better to procure the assist- 
ance of an experienced hand, than run the risk of killing 
or even causing the bird any unnecessary pain. ' One prac- 
tical lesson being ample for the guidance of any person 
of moderate capabilities. 

We need scarcely add, that Columellus was in error in 






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EXPENSES AND liETURNS, ETC. 



351 



supposino- that the truncation of the spurs, and the appli- 
cation of a hot iron and fullers' earth to the injured parts. 



were sufficient to' destroy the generative powers. 



.!;iii 



Capons are occasionally employed in bringing up chickens, 

which, after considerable discipline, they effect with won- 
derful care and success. The feathers are plucked from 
their breasts, and the latter stung with nettles; chickens 
are then placed beneath them for the purpose of rendering 
a partial relief by comforting the irritated parts, thus 
engendering feelings of cordiality on the part of the capon. 
But so many accidents occur — so many chicks are killed 
by blows or trampling before the bird is subdued and taught 
his duty — whilst the means employed are so cruel that Ave 
are unable to enter more minutely into the subject. 



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EXPENSES AND KETUENS WITH STATISTICAL ACCOUNTS. 

So much depends upon the circumstances under which 
poultry are domiciled that it would be useless entering into 
minute details u^pon such an ever varying result; neverthe- 
less, one remark may yet be made. If fowls be kept where 
they are capable of procuring half their sustenance abroad, 
or where the family scraps furnish a considerable portion, 
they may be made to answer well. If, on the other hand, 
they be domiciled in close quarters and entirely dependant 
upon hand supplies, the profits will be considerably less ; 
still, by judicious management and economy, no trifling ad- 
dition to the little comforts of the cottager will yet result 
from the careful keeping of a few good birds. Whilst if 
purely fancy specimens be kept, the owner must consider 
the pleasure resulting from his occasional survey, in addition 
to their moderate returns, amply remunerative. But if 
negligence in the poultry yard be permitted — -if specimens 
valueless as fancy or farm stock be detained, and interbreed- 



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352 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



ing continue^ he must not be surprised at a loss. (See pages 
39 to 44, 55 and 56^ 73, and 74.) 

The. returns of exports and imports present a striking 
aspect of the importance of the egg trade, and exhibit the 
wonderful effects produced by a just regard being bestowed 

upon small things. 

A statement furnished by the Secretary to the City of 
Dublin Steam-packet Company, is to the following effect : 
— " The number of eggs shipped by that company for Lon- 
don, during the year 1844-5, was 11,536,200. About the 
same number was shipped by the British and Irish Company 
— making 23,072,400; to Liverpool 25,566,500, making a 
total from Dublin alone to the two ports of London and 
Liverpool, of 48,638,900, the value of which, at the rate 
of 5s. 6d. per every 124, gives a sum amounting to about 

£107,900; and since this return the export of eggs has 
enormously increased. Assuming the export of Dublin to 

be equal to one-fourth of all Ireland, we have £431,600 

as the value of this branch of commerce to Ireland — show- 
ing also an increase of four-fold since 1835. The same 
returns show that in 1848 the export of eggs was nearly a 

MILLION STEELING. 

No return has been kept of the number or value of the 
poultry that have, living or dead, been exported from Ire- 
land ; but it has been ascertained^ beyond all possibiHty 

of doubt, that this branch of commerce has been, of ]ate 
years, greatly on the increase — a natural consequence of the 
introduction of the superior foreign varieties of fowl — a cir- 
cumstance due in its turn to the patronage of the valuable 
and highly praiseworthy societies for the improvement of 

poultry." 

The following returns of Mr. Legrand are worthy of 
regard: — ^^ In 1813, the number of eggs exported from 



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STATISTICAL ACCOUNT. 



353 



France was 1,754,140. Between 1816 and 1822, the 
number exported rose rapidly from 8,733,000 to 55,717,500; 
and in 1834, the number had increased to 90,441,600. In 
1835, 76,190,120 were exported to England; 60,800 for 
Belgium ; 49,696 for the United States ; 49,260 for Swit- 
zerland ; 34,800 for Spain; and 306,304 to other parts of 
the world. The total amount of the exportations for that 
year was 3,828,284 francs. The consumption in Paris is 
calculated at 115| eggs per head, or 101,012,400. The 

consumption in other parts of France may be reckoned at 
double this rate, as, in many parts of the country, dishes 
composed of eggs and milk are the principal items in all the 
meals. The consumption of eggs for the whole of France, 
including the capital, is estimated at 7,231,160,000. Add 

r 

to this number those exported, and those necessary for 



reproduction, and it 



that 7,380,925,000 eggs 



were produced in France during the year 1835." 

In the Board of Trade returns of imports for the months 
ending September 5th, the number of eggs stated to be 

imported, are 8,819,859 for 1848; 8,434,831 for 1849; 
and 9,108,438 for 1850 ; while for the eight months ending 
September 5th, 1850, they number 81,081,745. 

As Mr. jSTolan justly remarks — ^' The question is, should 
we sit down quietly with these facts before us, and permit 
France to put into her pocket £150,000 annually which 
might be returned to Great Britain, if her gentry would 
but promote and encourage the breeding and rearing of 
poultry among her cottagers at home?" We trust and 
confidently predict that the harmonious working of con- 
temporary poultry associations will effect this desirable 
object, by extending the domain of poultry in general, 
and by improving the quality. 



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354 



FEEGTTSON ON FOWf. 



DISEASES OF POULTRY. 




A DISEASED FOWL. 



Although we have in various parts of this work described 
Math considerable minuteness the symptoms of those dis- 
eases to which domestic fowls are liable, and pointed out 
the remedies which have been found the movSt efficacious 
in curing them, still it is deemed advisable, before we 
conclude, to give, in a connected form, a succint physio- 
logical and pathological view of those maladies, in order to 
prove that the mode of treating them here prescribed is 
rational. All diseases are traceable to Irregularities in the 
circulation of the blood ; and, since this is peculiarly vigorous 
in the feathered tribes, it is obvious that anything which 
tends to subvert or disturb its equable distribution through 
the various tissues and organs of the body, affects them 
with corresponding severity. 



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DISEASES OF POULTRY 



355 



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in their being exposed to cold and moisture, because these 
influences tend to benumb the sentient extremities of the 
cutaneous nerves, and consequently to obstruct the blood 
in its passage through the minute arteries of the skin, the 
due action of Avhich depends upon the normal condition of 
those nerves. 

Confinement in dirty and badly ventilated coops is also 
very destructive of the health of fowls. Want of exercise 
slackens the action of the heart ; and impure air, the necessary 
concomitant of dirt, exercises a depressing influence over 
the nervous system at large, Avhich imparts a malignant 
character to disease that can never be wholly eradicated. 

Dirt engenders disease not only by offering a material 
obstruction to the secretion of the skin, but also by the 
depressing influence of its morbid effluvia upon the fine 
system of nerves so abundantly distributed over the surface 

of the air passages and air cells of the lungs. The mucous 
membrane which lines the alimentary canal from the mouth 
to the vent, is often dangerously affected by the same 
causes, besides being specially liable to the injurious influ- 
ence of improper diet. But it is not the lungs and 
dio-estive organs only that suffer from the effects of cold, 
moisture, dirt, and improper diet; the brain and spinal 
marrow are peculiarly liable to be affected by them ; and 
the skin is subject to become diseased from the like causes. 
The diseases of poultry may be most conveniently 
classed under the following heads : 



Diseases of 



and nervous system. — Apoplexy, 



paralysis, vertigo or megrims or giddiness, lateral curvature 
of the tail. 

Diseases of the lungs and air passages. — Catarrh, bron- 
chitis, roup, gapes, pip, consumption or phthisis, asthma. 



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FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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— Distended crop^ gas- 



tritis or inflammation of the stomachy diarrhoea^ dysentery, 
constipation. 

Diseases of the ovarium and egg passage.— 

of the egg passage — oon or soft eggs. 



Inflammation 



Diseases of the 



— White speckled comb, inflammation 



of the rump gland, coras, vermin, moulting, hatching fever. 
Diseases of the limbs ^ fractures ^ Sfc. — Cramp, rupture of 
the foot, rheumatism, gout, cankered mouth, mutilated gills 
and comb^ broken beak, broken legs, starvation. 



^ 



DISEASES OF THE BRAIN AND NERVOUS 

SYSTEM. 



APOPLEXY. 



Symptoms. — A bird in apparent health falls suddenly to 
the ground, and is found either dead or deprived of sensation 

and the power of motion. 

The immediate cause of apoplexy consists in the burst- 
ing of a blood vessel in the brain. Its remote cause arises 
from whatever tends to obstruct the due circulation of the 
blood in other parts of the body. Over feeding, especially 
if the food be stimulating, is a frequent cause of apoplexy ; 
for diet which is too stimulating quickens the heart's action, 
and a superabundance of it causes indigestion, and indiges- 
tion undoubtedly retards the return of the blood tu the 
heart. Hence the vessels of the brain become gorged with 
blood; and this disease is the result of the breaking of some 
of the smaller ones. 

The violent straining which sometimes accompanies the 
exclusion of the egg renders apoplexy most common in 
laying hens ; for such efforts oifer a mechanical obstruction 
to the circulation of the blood. 



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DISEASES OF THE BRAIN, ETC. 



357 



Treatment— To afford a chance of recovery from an 
attack of apoplexy it is essential to lessen tlie quantity of 
blood in the head as soon as possible. For this purpose the 
application of a few leeches to the upper part of the neck 
has been recommended; but the opening of a vein near 

the head^ or the large vein under the wing, affords a still 
better chance of succeeding. The operator should place 
his thumb upon the vein between a longitudinal opening 
made by a lancet or sharp penknife and the body of the 



fowl. 



The blood 



returning to 
flow through the 



the heart being thus 
opening in the vein. 



obstructed will 
Sliodld the fowl recover it must be kept in quietude, and 
fed only upon light food. But, though bleeding has been 
found efficacious, it must not be supposed that a cure can 
be effected when any portion of the brain has been dis- 
organized by the effusion of blood upon its delicate structure. 
It is only when the fit is caused by general turgescence of 

the veins, without the bursting of minute arteries, that 
hopes of recovery can be entertained. (See page 61.) 




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PARALYSIS. 



Symptoms. — Want of sensation and the power of motion 

in the limbs. 

This disease proceeds from the same cause as apoplexy, 
and only differs in degree. The same remedies should, 
therefore, be resorted to. (See also page 62.) 



"vertigo" or megrims or giddiness 

Is another malady symptomatic of lesions of the brain 
and its membranes or coverings, and carries with it much 

interest. 

In this disease, fowls are not, as in paralysis, deprived of 

the power of moving their limbs, but the capability of con- 



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358 




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FEKGUSON ON FOWL. 



trolling their motious is lost. Thej run round in a circle 

Sometimes they move away from 



or m a zigzas; course. 



the object which they desire to reach— they go to the left 
when they wish to turn to the right, and to the right instead 
of the left. They sometimes go backwards instead of for- 
wards. In others the movements are slow, indolent, and 
unsteady. 

The brains of fowls affected in this manner have been ex- 
amined by M. Flourens, the celebrated French physiologist. 

In one that was slow in its movements, and whose leo:s 
instantly gave way when it endeavoured to stand erect, he 
found the sinus which receives the contents of the veins of 
the brain gorged with blood. The lobes of the cerebrum 
were of their natural colour, but the cerebellum was of a 

r 

rose tint with a number of red spots on its surface as though 
occasioned by the prick of a pin. 

In another, whose symptoms were more severe, M. 
Flourens found a quantity of clear Avater under the dura 



fe 



brane 



cerebellum was yellowish, with rust-coloured streaks on its 
surface, and in the centre a mass of purulent coagulated 
matter as large as a horse bean, contained in a cavity, the 
sides of which were very thin and smooth. 

It will be seen that the severity of the symptoms in this 
disease was in proportion to the deepseatedness of the lesion 
of the cerebellum. The morbid appearances observed in 
these cases were obviously the result of inflammation, since 
those occurring in apoplexy arise from congestion. The 
deprivation of sense and voluntary motion in apoplexy takes 
place because the delicate nervous structure is suddenly/ 
injured, whilst in the diseases just described it becomes, 
in some degree, habituated to the gradual incursion of 
inflammation. 



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DISEASES OF THE LUNGS, ETC. 



369 



Treatment. — Bleeding, aperient medicines, and light food 

when resorted to at an early 



efficacious 



are frequently 
period of the disease. 

Young fowls are sometimes aifected by weakness of the 

They sink upon their hocks after standing for a short 



legs. 



time, and occasionally are unable to rise ; but care must be 
taken that this affection be not confounded with paralysis. 

Since the appetite becomes impaired by want of proper 
exercise some tonics might be given with great advantage. 
The administration of from three to five grains of citrate of 
iron daily may be recommended, together with a due supply 
of nutritious food, such as oatmeal or barleymeal, and a 
little chopped meat. 



LATERAL CURVATURE OF THE TAIL 



At 



have been noticed. Here it may be added that the spmal 
marrow has probably been strained at its lower extremity, 
and paralysis of the muscles of one side of the tail is the result. 

DISEASES OF THE LUNGS AND AIR 

PASSAGES. 



CATARRH. 



Symptoms. — A watery 



or 



viscid discharge from the 



nostrils, and swelling of the eyelids, caused by exposure to 

ivcixivj V .1.^ -- - 4^7^ warm situation, and a 

supply of food that is nutritious and sligthly aperient, but 



cold and moisture. 

Remedy. — Removal to a 



not stimulating. 



fc> 



BRONCHITIS. 



Symptoms 



—A rattling in the throat, caused by an 
accumulation of mucous, which the fowl partially removes 

* 

by coughing. 



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360 



FERGUSON ON EOWL. 




ii 




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Treatment — Kemoval to a warm and dry apartment, 
with diet which tends to subdue inflammatory action. 



ROUP. 



Symptoms.—ln its first stage it resembles severe catarrh ; 

but the discharge, which is at first clear, soon becomes 

purulent and peculiarly fetid. Froth appears at the inner 

corner of the eyes, the lids swell and become glued together, 

the nostrils are closed by the drying of the secreted matter 

around them, and the sides of the face swell to a remarkable 

degree. There is wheezing, gaping, and shaking of the head, 

looseness of the bowels, drooping of the wings, and rapid 

emaciation ; there is difficulty of breathing, loss of appetite, 

and great craying for water. 

The immediate seat of roup is certainly the lining mem- 
brane of the nasal passages, and the lachrymal duct ; but as 
the disease advances the mucous membrane of the luno-g, 

and also that of the digestive organs, become disordered. 

Before venturing to propose a remedy for this most fatal 
malady, it may be well to say a few words upon the causes 
of it. Like catarrh, it is, at first, a disease of the lining 
membrane of the nostrils and lachrymal duct, caused by 
exposure to cold and moisture. But it is of great import- 
ance that it be not confounded in its early stages with 
simple catarrh or cold. 

When catarrh shows itself in fowls that are properly fed 
and kept in clean and dry roosting places, there need be no 
fear of its degenerating into roup, if early attention be 
given to those simple means of cure that have been already 
proposed. 

But when it makes its appearance in poultry crowded 
together in narrow, unclean, and ill ventilated coops, it 
would be a mistake, we venture to presume, to look upon 



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DISEASES OF THE LUNGS, ETC. 



361 



The thorough 



it as beino- indicative of a disease that is merely local ; for 
the effect of such influences upon the nervous system is to 
induce general debility, accompanied, in some cases, by 
febrile action of a low typhoid kind. 

Treatment. — Fowls thus circumstanced should, on the 

+ 

first appearence of the disease, be treated as we have 
recommended at page 143 of this work, 
cleansing of the face and nostrils, morning and evening, 
enables the sufferers to breathe more freely; and the 
removal of the fetid matter is of vital importance, for this 
morbific secretion being imbibed by the absorbent vessels is 
conveyed back into the veins, and thus contaminates the 

blood. 

Eoup is analogous to glanders in horses, and like glanders 

has never yet been thoroughly cured ; for though fowls 

have, under judicious management, shaken off the symptoms 

of this malady, and acquired a perfectly healthy appearance, 

they are very liable to its recurrence. 

that the seeds of this disease can never be completely rooted 

out of the constitution. (See page 144.) 

It would be superfluous to recapitulate the method of 
treatment that has been found most efficacious in alleviating 
the worst features of this disorder ; nevertheless it may be 
proper to say something here of medicaments. 

Although the remedy prescribed at page 144 causes an 
alleviation of the distressing symptoms of roup, yet we 
have never supposed it to be a specific in the treatment of 
this disorder, vegetable tonics not being sufficiently energetic, 
whilst tonics from the mineral kingdom are frequently ap- 
plied with very little or no better success. But this much 
is certain, that the treatment should be local and constitutional. 

. When the discharge from the nostrils becomes fetid a 
solution of chloride of lime will probably be found the most 



Indeed^ we imagine 



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362 









ito 





FERGUSON ON YOWL, 



•a solution of 



efficacious remedy. When the fetor is remo> 
should be washed with some stimulating lotion- 
nitric acid in the proportion of one part of the acid to eight of 
water might be applied with advantage, but, should the fetor 
return, recourse should be again had to the chloride of lime. 
The Constitutional Treatment. — To alter morbid secretions 
and to restore them to a healthy condition, preparations of 
mercury, combined with tonics, have been found more effi- 
cacious than any other kind of medicine. But, since it 
appears to have failed in this disease when given in the form 
of calomel, the bi-chloride (corrosive sublimate) might be 
used in doses of a tenth of a grain daily. Its effects should 
be carefully watched, and if ptyalism occur it should be 
immediately discontinued. As a tonic, sulphate of iron will 
be found most effective. It may be dissolved in the water 

which is provided for the fowl's ordinary drink, or one 
quarter of a grain may be given in a pill two or three times 

a day, combined with some aromatic stomachic. 

Roup being a highly infectious complaint it is absolutely 
necessary to separate fowls affected by it from their com- 
panions. They should be kept in a dry, warm, and well 
ventilated apartment, while the cure is being attempted. 
After all, it is clear that it is only when they are very 
valuable such trouble should be taken ; and, even then, it 
might be wiser to kill them at once, and thus free the 
poultry-yard from so contaminating an influence as is ever 
presented by the harbouring of rouj^y fowls. 




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GAPES. 



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Symptoms. — The immediate seat of this disorder is in 
the windpipe, which causes the fowl or chicken to gape 
excessively. 




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DISEASES OF THE LUNGS, ETC. 



363 



i\ 



V 



This malady^ which often causes great mortality in the 
poultry -yard^ is said to arise from the presence of parasitic 
worms in the trachea or windpipe. They are found im- 
bedded in mucous^ which^ being more abundant than natural, 

obstructs respiration. 

Treatment, — The removal of the offending matter from 
the trachea is obviously of the first importance. To accom- 
plish this a neatly trimmed feather shovild be passed into 
the windpipe, turned round, and then withdrawn. By this 
operation the offending matter is, in a great degree, removed. 
But it is not likely that this affection can be cured by such 
partial means. The internal use of spirits of turpentine is 
considered an infallible remedy.. Half a teaspoonful of this 
spirit, mixed with a handful of grain, is said to have effected 
a certain cure in a few days. This quantity, repeated daily, 
will be found sufficient for seven or eight chickens. 

In the expulsion of worms from the alimentary canal in 

man, turpentine has been invariably found to be the most 
effectual remedy, and will of course be equally efficacious 
when applied to the mucous membrane of birds ; but its 
power of influencing the windpipe must be less direct. 
Nevertheless it is a remedy well worthy of trial. 

One 2Tain of calomel, or two or three of Plummer's pill. 



given with a pinch of meal, may be administered ; after 
which, flour of sulphur and ginger mixed with barley- 
meal. It is, perhaps, doubtful whether the pathology of 
this disease be understood. Are the objects found embedded 
in the mucous of the trachea, worms, or do they consist of 
coagulated lymph, resembling what is found in children who 
die of croup, or acute inflammation of the windpipe ? If 
such be the case, preparations of mercury, in conjunction 
with aperients, will be found most useful. 



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364 



FERGUSON ON FOWL. 



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symptoms.— Thickemng of the mucous membrane of the 
tongue and palate, which causes difficulty of respiration, 
and gasping for breath. The appetite entirely fails, and the 
fowl at length dies of wasting fever and starvation. 



Treatment. 



To remove the excrescence from the tono-ue 



has been the aim of most practitioners, and its removal is 
essential. But, since we are persuaded that the thickenino- 
of the lining membrane of the mouth is symptomatic of 
a disordered alimentary canal, that alone cannot be 
looked upon as an effectual remedy. A teaspoonful 
of castor oil should be given, and food of the least 
stimulating kind. 

Fresh vegetables, mixed with mashed potatoes and a little 
oatmeal, will answer the purpose best, together with an 

abundance of pure water. Instead of scraping and nipping 
the excrescence from the tongue we recommend a little borax 



be 



by 



CONSUMPTION OR PHTHISIS. 

Symptoms.— W2i^\:mg, cough, and expecto: ^__ 

lent matter, are the marks of this disease in its advanced 



stage. 



These arp caused by tubercles in the lungs and 
other parts of the body which are scrofulous, and, when thus 
far advanced, it is incurable ; but, at an early period of the 
disease cod-liver oil may be used with advantage. This 
disease is hereditary ; but it is often induced by bad feeding 
and confinement in dirty, damp, and dark places. 



ASTHMA. 



Symptoms. — A 



with difficulty of breathing. 




■¥ 




^ - - T 



DISEASES OF THE DIGESTIVE ORGANS. 



3G5 



In asthma the mucous membrane of the trachea is 

r 

thickened^ and the air cells are sometimes broken. It is 
doubtful whether it be curable^ although small doses of 
ipecacuanha as an expectorant have been found very useful. 

r 

DISEASES OF THE DIGESTIVE OEGANS. 

DISTENDED CROP. 

The crop which receives the food as it is swallowed, and 



sufficiently 



b 



mitting its contents to that organ. 



Treatment. — The extraction of the 



mass through an 



incision in the lower part of the crop (which should be im- 
mediately after sown up) is a speedy and effectual remedy ; 
after which soft food should be administered for a few days. 



A 




found 



if the mass be caused by the accumulation of substances 

around some foreign body which the bird has swallowed, 

an operation is indispensable. 

GASTRITIS OR INFLAMMATION OF THE STOMACH. 



Symptoms 



Gradual 



and a seeking for soft food are indications of thia malady. 
In the organ which lies between the crop and the gizzard 
is secreted the gastric juice which converts the food into 
chyle. Diet that is too stimulating disturbs the healthy 
action of the lining membrane of the stomach to suc^ an 
extent that it becomes inflamed. The gastric juice is no 
longer secreted, and digestion is consequently suspended, 
the stomach becomes greatly enlarged, and inflammation 

sets in. 

Treatment. Food that is the least stimulating should be 

[ 

given cooked, and in moderate quantities. Pu 



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FERGUSON ON FOWL 



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are inadmissible, but a grain of calomel given as an altera- 
tive is sometimes found useful. 



DIARRHCEA. 



Symptoms. — Evacuations more frequent and limpid 
than natural. 

Treatment — Dry housing, exercise, and change of diet 
will generally effect a cure; but, if it be neglected too 
long, the malady may assume the form of dysentery. (See 
pages 50 and 145.) 



DYSENTERY. 



Symptoms. — Purging accompanied by painful straining. 
When the motion becomes tinged with blood the appetite 
fails, and the bird sinks into a febrile state. 

In this disease the mucous membrane of the bowels is in 



J 



a highly irritable state, and ultimately becomes inflamed. 

Treatment. — First, castor oil should be given to clear the 
alimentary canal, but from the excited state of the mucous 
membrane two or three drops of laudanum should be added 
to the dose. Hydrargyrum cum creta, with rhubarb and 



laudanum, has been recommended. A grain of Dover's 




powder, given three times a day, will be found a valuable 
remedy. 



CONSTIPATION, 



Symptoms. — Its name is sufficiently indicative of this 
affection. 

Treatment. — A teaspoonful of castor oil, green veget- 
ables, and soft food, should be administered. 

A fowl in this state should be immediately attended to, 
lest the blood, the free circulation of which through the 
vems of the intestines is impeded, should be too copiously 



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DISEASES OF THE ^ 



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367 



distributed upon the centres of the nervous system, thereby 
causing apoplexy, paralysis, or vertigo, and other distressing 
symptoms. 



DISEASES OF THE OVAEIUM AND EGG 

PASSAGE. 

The ovary is seldom found diseased, but the oviduct oi 
egg passage is subject to become inflamed. 



Symptoms. 



■When 



pai 



because it is there that the shell is secreted; and, when the 
naked yoke is dropped, the upper portion of the tube is not 
in a healthy condition, because the membrane and white 
of the egg are there produced. 

Inflammation of the lining membrane of the oviduct is 

the cause of these symptoms. 

Treatment. — Whatever tends .to lessen inflammatory 
action should be resorted to, but it is not necessary to 
recapitulate what has been already suggested in other parts 
of this work with respect to the cure of this disease. ( See 
me-es 72, 84, and 311.) 



DISEASES OF THE SKIN. 



WHITE SPECKLED COMB 

Small 



a 



A 



Symptoms.— 
the surface of the comb ; and as the disease advances, 
dropping of the feathers. This is undoubtedly a constitu- 
tional disorder, and should be treated accordingly, 
description of it may be seen at pages 59 and 60. 

INFLAMMATION OF THE RUMP GLAND. 

Symptoms.— VdXn and swelling of the part which some- 
times involves the entire rmnp. 



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FEEGUSON ON FOWL 



Treatment, — The tumour should be opened with a lancet, 
and frequently fomented with warm water, A teaspoonful 
of castor oil must be given as an aperient; and oatmeal and 
green vegetables .should constitute the diet. Care should, 
moreover, be taken that the roosting house be clean and 
well ventilated. 



CORNS. 



Symptoms. — Thickening and hardening of the cuticle in 
the sole of the foot, which is sometimes ulcerated. Corns 
are caused by jumping from high perches or by walking 
constantly upon hard stones. 

Treatment. — The corn should be extracted, but, when 
ulcerated, the application of a poultice becomes necessary. 
(See page 145.) 



VERMIN 



Are the torment of poultry ; young chickens as well as 
adults, if not domiciled in clean roosting houses, become 
seriously injured by them. A good supply of fine dry 
sand and ashes to roll in will invariably enable poultry to 
get rid of these troublesome visitors. But, if from weak- 
ness a fowl be unable thus to free himself, he should 
be removed from the poultry-yard. Flour of sulphur, 
applied between the feathers, has been found a valuable 
remedy in severe cases. It may be as well to remark that 
these insects make their way to the outer surface of the 
feathers after the death of the bird, and may be seen there 
in numberless lifeless forms. (See pages 30 and 101.) 



MOULTING. 



This cannot properly be termed a disease. It consists of 
the falling off of old feathers in order to make way for 
new ; still it may be attended by febrile symptoms. In the 



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DISEASES or THE LIMBS, ETC. 



369 



moultmo- season fowls should be protected from cold and 



(S 



THE HATCHING FEVEK. 



Thougli the heat of the body is somethnes many degrees 
above the natural standard, yet the absence of a character- 
loss of appetite, renders it 



name 



doubtful whether this affection should be classed among 
febrile diseases. Nevertheless the hen is in a very distressed 
condition, and if not allowed the privilege of following her 
instinctive desires should be removed from the nest, and 
cooped where she cannot form one. (See page 46.) 



DISEASES OF THE LIMBS. 



CRAMP. 



Symjytoms 



Contraction of the toes, and disinclination 
move the limbs. Chickens allowed to roam 

in damp grass are frequently affected by it ; but cramp is 
not always a strictly local disorder, it is often the result of 



ement 



Treatment— T\yQJ should be kept in a warm and dry 

situation, and be well supplied with nutritious food. The 
state of the digestive organs should also be attended to. 
(Leg weakness, see paralysis and megrim^.) 



RUPTURE OF THE FOOT 



This affection is fully noticed at pages 64, 66, &&, and 145 



RHEUMATISM. 



6'ympfom5.— Lassitude, and disinclination or inability to 



move the limbs. 



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370 



FEEGUSON ON FOWL. 



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•Removal to a warm place ; food that is 
nourishing but not stimulating ; and the administration of 
an aperient-, seeing fowls often die of rheumatism of the 
heart. Dover's powder or colchicum are found more useful 
than any other medicine. 




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GOUT. 



Symptoms. — Swelling of the joints of the feet^ attended 
by inflammation. 

Treatment — Colchicum is a valuable remedy^ but since 
gout occurs only in old birds^ it is not to be expected that 
an effectual cure will be gained by its use. 



CANKERED MOUTH 



See page 266. 



MUTILATED GILLS AND COMB. 

If the gills or comb of a bird become mutilated from the 

effects of an affray^ they should be well bathed Avith warm 
salt water or chamberlie^ and thus thoroughly cleansed from 
every particle of dirt; the bird must also be removed 
from his mates until restored^ otherwise such parts may 
attract their attention. Should air distend the gills the 
application of the point of a sharp needle through one side 
of thqm^ accompanied by gentle pressure^ will effect its 
removal. 



BROKEN BEAK. 



r 

The upper beak may likewise become broken from a like 
cause, rendering the bird unable to collect his food. The 



s 



only method of assisting him lies in filing or cutting off the 
extreme end of the lower beak with a sharp penknife until 
it meets the upper^ whilst if the lower be broken^ a small 
portion of the upper must be removed. 



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SUMMARY. 



371 



BROKEN LEGS. 



among 



r 

Broken thighs and shanks are not uncommon 
poultry, and it is really astonishing with what rapidity they 
become set, and how little they appear to suffer from such 
fractures, either in health or appetite. After the bones have 
been carefully placed together a flat ship of cane or whale- 
bone should be placed each side, and a layer of linen over, 
when the whole may be bound round firmly, but not too 
tightly, with twine. 



STAEVATION. 



"Wounds 



even broken limbs, as 



we have stated, if unaccompanied by internal disease, affect 
the health of fowls but little, but the results of omission in 
exposing them to a lengthened fast involve consequences 
of the most serious character, and therefore require the 
attention of the exhibitor. (See page 347.) 



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SUMMARY. 



In thus describing the diseases of poultry we have deemed 
it superfluous to enlarge upon many, not on account of their 



means 



and preventing their accession have been already amply 
discussed in various parts of this work. Navertheless, we 
have deemed it interesting to dwell at some length upon 
roup, not because we entertain sanguine hopes of ever being 
able to eradicate the seeds of this fatal and highly infectious 
malady, when once they have taken deep root in the con- 
stitution, but with the view of giving a correct idea of its 
pathology, and of throwing out suggestions as to the medi- 
cines which are likely to exercise the most salutary influence 
over it. In our notice of gapes we have ventured to hint 
+iia+ +1iP nKifipts found in the windmiDe were not worms, but 




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FERGUSON ON POWL. 



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shreds of coagulated lymph, the result of acute inflamma- 
tion of the mucous membrane of that organ. In treating 
of apoplexy we have attempted to give a correct account 
of the causes, progress, and effects of the disease, in order 



the maintaining of health. 



that persons having the care of poultry may, by knowing its 
history and pathology, learn to ward off the predisposing 
causes of it; for, when once its stroke approaches, there is 

little hope of averting it. , 

In conclusion we repeat that, since disease is the result 
of a disturbance of the equable circulation of the blood, 
whatever tends to preserve its equipoise is conducive to 

The best preservatives are 

wholesome food — fresh water — pure air and exercise — 
quietude — roomy habitations — cleanliness — and freedom 

from cold and moisture. 

The most careful observance of these preventive measures, 
however, will be found comparatively unavailing if we allow 

poultry to degenerate through want of attention to the laws 

of propagation ; but so much has been already said upon 
that subject in the course of this work that it is unneces- 
sary to dilate upon it here; suffice it, therefore, to say 
that the stock should be healthy and its vigour sustained 
by admixture — that the healthiest specimens should be 
chosen for bjreeding — and the number of hens limited 



th 



(See page 334.) 



Should 



little necessity for resorting to remedial measures. 



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Cambridge University library. 



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INDEX 



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It may not be amiss to remark that the origin and history of poultry 
are described at the commencement of this volume, whilst the origin of 
the respective classes is mentioned with the description of those classes. 
For instance, the Pohsh at page 149, the Bantam's at 290. In like 
manner, in pursuing this work, it became necessary to describe several 

r 

other subjects that were more especially connected with certain varieties, 
with those varieties. 



Advantages resulting from the im- 
provement of poultry, 146 

Algerian silky fowl, 321 

American fowls, 333 

Ancona fowl (Spanish), 68 

Andalusian fowl (Spanish) 69 

Animal food, see feeding 

Apoplexy, see diseases 

Appearances in the ovary of a dis- 
sected hen, 205 

Artificial incubation, 343 

Asthma, 364 

Bantams — their origin, 290 ; history, 
291 ; characteristics, 295 ; disposi- 
tion, 297; productive powers,297; 
as incubators and mothers, 298; 
varieties, 298; collateral or cross- 
breeds, 306; breeding stock, 309; 
origin of the SebrightBantam,309 ; 
evil effects of breeding in and in, 
311 ; cause of unprolific eggs, 311; 
proposed medium by which the 
breed maybe sustained, 313 ; Ban- 
tam chicks, 314; appearances of 
the different varieties when first 
excluded, 314; as fancy birds, 315 

Barn-door fowl, 328 

Barrenness, cause of, 317 



i 



Beauty, or choice qualities depend- 
ant upon elegance or extended 

peculiarity, 162 
Bolton bays and greys (Ham- 
burghs), 276 

Brahmapootra fowl, see Mayshang- 
dork 

Brazilian fowl, 330 
Breda fowl, 331 
Breeding stock, see generation 
Breeding in and in, evil effects of, 
106 and 142 

Broken beak, see diseases of the 

limbs, ^c. 
Bronchitis, 359 
Bruges fowl, 331 
Caponizing, 349 
Catarrh, 359 
Ceylon fowls, 333 
Chickens, see reai^ing chicks 
Chinese or Tartarian Bantam, 306 
Chittagong fowl, see Malay-dork 
Chitteprat (Hamburgh), 275 
Climatic influences, effects of, upon 

the plumage, 158, 320, and 324; 

upon the constitution, 313 
Cochin China, see Shanghae 
Columbian fowl, 215 



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INDEX. 



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Comb, white speckled, mutilated 
comb and gills, see diseases 

Combat between a hen and a cat,l 18 

Constipation, 275 

Consumption or phthisis^ 364 

Coops for chickens, 123 and 125; 
for fattening, 137 

Copper-moss (Hamburgh), 275 

Corals (Hamburgh), 275 

Corns, see diseases 

Cost for keeping Shanghae, 

Spanish, Dorking, and Polish 

fowls, 38 to 44, 73 to 74 

Cramming, 138 
Cramp, 369 

Creeper or Jumper fowls, 306 

Creole or Creel (Hamburgh), 275 

Creve-coeur fowl, 331 

Crop, distension of, 364 

Cross-breeding, 106 

Crow, variations of, in different 

classes, 153, 187, 231, and 272 
Crowing hens, 232 
Cuckoo fowl, see Dorking varieties 
Curvature of the tail, see diseases 
Degeneracy, 310 
Diarrhoea, see diseases 
Digestive organs, 348; disease of, 

see diseases 

Diseases of the brain and nervous 
system. — Apoplexy, 356; para- 
lysis, 357; vertigo or megrims 

or giddiness,357;lateral curvature 
of the tail, 359 

Diseases of the lungs and air pas- 

— Catarrh, 359; bronchitis, 

359; roup, 359; gapes, 362; pip, 

363 ; consumption or phthisis,364 ; 

asthma, 364 

Diseases of the digestive organs. — 
Distended crop, 364 ; gastritis 
or inflammation of the stomach, 
365; diarrhoea, 365; dysentery, 

• 366; constipation, 366 

Diseases of the ovarium and egg 
passage. — Inflammation of the 
egg passage, 366; oon or soft 
eggs, 367 

Diseases of the skin. — White 
speckled comb, 367; inflamma- 
tion of the rump gland, 367; 
corns, 367; vermin, 368; moult- 
ing, 368; hatching fever, 368 

Diseases of the limbs, fractures, &c. 
— Cramp, 369; rupture of the 
foot, 369 ; rheumatism, 369 ; gout, 




369; cankered mouth, 370; muti- 
lated gills and comb, 370; broken 
beak, 370; broken legs, 370; 
starvation, 370 

Dorking fowl— history, 85; obser- 
vations on the extra claw, 88; 
disposition, 88; characteristics, 
89 ; varieties, 91 ; remarks to 
novices, 96; house and yard, 97; 
general management, 101 ; as 
layers, 103; cost of keep com- 
pared with the Shanghae, &c., 
38 to 44, 73 and 74; manage- 
ment of breeding stock, 104; 
Dorkings as incubators and mo- 
thers, 108; appearance of chicks 
when first hatched, 112; hatch- 
ing and rearing, 112; as dead 
stock, 136; fattening, 136; con- 
stitution, 138; diseases, 144 

Duelling, evil effects of, on laying 
hens, 84 

Duke of Deed's fowl or Shakebag, 

256 

Dumpies or Scotch bakies, origin 

and characteristics, 307 
Dunghill fowls, 328 

Dutch Every-day-layers (Ham- 
burghs), 275 

Dysentery, 366 

Egg eaters, to cure, 339 

Eggs — supposed indications of sex, 

44; shelless eggs, 72*, 84, 311; 

unprolific eggs, 317; structure of, 
335 ; double yolked and malformed 
eggs, 319 and 337; methods of 
preservation, 337; best method 
of packing, 338; to distinguish 
fresh from such as are stale, 338 ; 
duration of vitality and selection 
for incubation, 338 ; importations, 
352 ; importance of the egg trade, 

352 

Emu or Silky Shanghae, 320 
Expenses and returns, 38 to 44 and 
5c>, 73 to 74 and 351 

Experiments with Pheasants, 200 

to 207 

Explanation of terms applied to 
the characteristics of poultry, 10 

Fasting. — To avoid the evil conse- 
quences of fasting, 347 and 348 

Fattening, 136 ; fat injurious to 
laying hens, 31 

Feeding, a system of, 101; import- 
ance of change of diet, 103 ; 



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INDEX. 



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feeding chicks, 112; descriptions 
of food, 345 ; comparative utility 
as flesh forming substances, 345 
and 346; evils of feeding boxes, 
347 ; injurious qualities of greaves 
and flesh as regular food, 347; 
fasting, 348 ; comparative cost of 
keeping Shangliae,Spani3h,Dork- 
ing, and Polish fowls, 38 to 44, 
73 and 74 
Feet, diseases of the, see diseases 
Four-legged chicken, 318 
Fowls recently imported, 330 
Fractures, see diseases of the limbs 
Frizzled or Friesland fowl, origin, 

&c., 323 
Game fowls — their origin, 219 (see 
also page 206) ; history, 22 1 ; 
supposed origin of cock-fighting,* 
222; its rise and fall in Great 
Britain, 223; charactei'istics of 
excellence of the entire class, 228 ; 

peculiarity of crow, 232 ; crowing 

hens, 232; disposition, 233; con- 
stitution, 233 ; as consumers, 234 ; 

egg producers, 234; incubators 
and mothers, 235 ; quality of flesh, 

236; general feather, 236; colour, 
238 ; varieties, 238 ; their undying 
valour, 257; exceptional cases, 
257; selection of stock for high 

breeding, 257; appearances of the 
different varieties of Game chicks 
when first excluded, 259; feeding 
and rearing, 261; private marks, 
'262; trimming comb or dubbing, 
262 J walking young cocks, 263; 
as fancy or farm stock, 264; 
animal creation versus vegetable, 

265; maladies, 266. 
Gapes, 362 

Gastritis or inflammation of the 
stomach, 365 

General management of poultry, 101 
Generation. — Age of puberty, 130; 
stimidating influences of domes- 
tication upon the generative 
organs, 131; the age when fowls 
become valueless as propagating 
stock, 258 ; selection and manage- 
ment of breeding stock, 258 ; lon- 
gevity of poultry, 234 ; evil effects 
of overrating the productive pow- 
ers of themale,284; proportionate 
number of hens to one male, 
334; effects of the absence of the 



male from the hens, 334; power 
and duration of impregnation, 
334 and 335; on the generative 
organs, 316; structure of eggs 
and ovarium, 335; diseases of the 
ovarium, see diseases \ causes of 
degeneracy, 310 and 311 ; revert- 
ing influences, 310; effects of cli- 
matic influences upon the system, 
313; barrenness, 316; benefits of 
admixture, 317; cross breeding, 
106; hatching process, see incu- 
bation 
Giddiness, see vertigo or megrims 
Gizzard, see organs of digestion 
Gout, 369 

Grain --Comparative intrinsic value 

of divers grain as food for poultry, 

345 

Grouse-footed Poland, seePtarmigan 

Hamburghs — their history, 267 ; 

characteristics of excellence, 271 ; 
constitution, 273; as consumers 
and egg producers, 273; incu- 
bators, 274; as dead stock, 274; 
varieties, 275; breeding stock, 
283 ; hatching and rearing chicks, 
286; appearance of the different 
varieties when first excluded, 287 ; 
as farm stock, 288; diseases, 289 

Hatching, see incubation 

Hennies or Hencocks (Game), 254 

Hybreds (Pheasant and fowl) des- 
cription, 209 

Importance of establishing the re- 
cognised names of fowls, 268 

Incubation. — Means of retarding 
incubative desires, its natural 
causes and symptoms, 46; best 
method of removing the hen to a 
strange nest, 45; formation and 
position of nest, 48 ; evil effects 
of supplying too many eggs, 109; 
description of hens best adapted 
for sitting, 1 76 ; selection of eggs, 
44 and 110; supposed indication 
of sex, 111; causes of the absence 
of instinctive desire, 79 and 174 

Incubation, 339 ; gradual process of, 
340; evil effects of disturbing the 
hen, 342 ; duration of the hen's 
daily absence from the nest, 340; 
the liberation of the chick, 342 

Incubation, artificial, 343 

Indian Game fowls, 254 

Inflammation, see diseases 






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INDEX. 



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*i: 



Jerusalem fowl, 330 

Jumper or Creeper, 306 

Kaffir fowl (Silky), 322 

Kent or Old Sussex fowl (Dorking), 

95 
Killing, when best adapted for, 107 

and 137 

Layers. — The Shanghae as com- 
pared with the Spanish, Dorking, 
and Polish fowl, 38 to 44, 73 and 
74 

Lark-crested fowl, 154 

Legs, diseases of, see diseases 

Lice in poultry, see diseases 

Longevity of fowls, 334 

Malabar fowl, 332 

Malay — history, 181; characteris- 
tics, 183; constitution, 187; as 

consumers and quality of flesh, 
188; as layers, 189; incubators, 
190; varieties, 191 

Malay-dork or Chittagong fowl — 
origin and description, 210 

Malformations, 316; causes of the 
hen assuming the plumage of the 
male, 317; description of a four - 
legged and four-winged chicken, 
318; the produce of double-y olked 
eggs, 319; double chicks, 319; 

doubly-spurred fowls, 319; an in- 
stance, 87 ; crooked beaks, twisted 

crops, curvature of the spine, 
crooked breast bones, lateral cur- 
vature of the tail, 319 

Manx (Spanish), 69* 

Mayshang-dork fowl, 212 

Megrims or vertigo, 357 

Minorcas (Spanish), 69 

Monogamy, 383 ; evil effects of over- 
rating the productive powers of 
the male, 284 

Moonies (Hamburghs), 275 

Moulting — peculiar changes of plu- 
mage, 82 and 317 

Muffs (a variety of Game fowls), 
255 

Narrowers (Hamburghs), 275 

Negrd fowl (Silky), 322 

Nest, for laying, see general manage- 
ment; for sitting, see incubation 

Nest eggs, most suitable substance 
for, 100 

Nomenclature, 136 

Normandy ibwl, 330 

Old Sussex or Kent fowl (Dorking), 

95 



Organs of digestion, 348 

Origin of domestic poultry, 1, 167, 

191, 290, see also pj-ef ace 
Ovarium, structure of^ 335, diseases 

of, see diseases 
Paduan fowls (Modern), 332 

Paralysis, see diseases 

Pedigree, importance of, in high 
breeding, 75 

Persian, see Silky fowls 

Pheasant fowls (Hamburghs), 275 
Pheasant-spangled Malay — origin, 
206; characteristics, 207; flesh, 
&c., 209 ; experiments with Phea- 
sants, 199 to 207 
Pip, 363 

Plumage, instance of a hen assum- 
ing the male's, 317 

Poultry-house and yard, 28 and 
97; compartments for hen and 
chickens, 127; exhibition pens, 141 

Poultrv societies, 57 and 353 

Polish fowl — history, 148; charac- 
teristics, 151; varieties, 154; the 
Polish beard, 162 ; breeding stock, 
170; as layers, 38 to 44, and 73 
to 74, and 173; as incubators, 
174; hatching and rearing chicks, 
176; appearance of the different 
varieties when first excluded, 176; 
as dead stock, 178; constitution, 
178; diseases, 179; partial loss of 
crest, 180 

Preservation and packing of eggs, 

337 
Primary originals, see preface 

Primitive character of several 

classes, 167, 191, 290 

Prince Albert's breed (Hamburghs), 
275 

Ptarmigan or Grouse-footed Poland 

fowl, 332 
Phthisis or consumption, 364 
Rearing chickens, evil effects of 
handling, 1 13; improper applica- 
tion of force balls, 113; divers 
food for newly excluded chicks, 
119; importance of amusement, 
121 ; benefits derivable from out- 
door exercise, 121 and 123; evil 
effects of damp, 125; coops, 123 
and 125; ailments with restora- 
tives, 133; means of distinguish- 
ing the sex of young birds, 135 
and 177; for the management of 
Game chicks, see Game fowls 



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INDEX. 



5 



of, 



sec 



origin, 



s 



liod caps (Ilamburghs), 275 
Jiheumatism, 369 

-Roup, see diseases 

Hum]} gland, inilamniation 
diseases 

Eiimpkin or Tail-less fowl 

325 ; varieties, 326 
Russian or Siberian Bantam, 306 
^cotch Bakies, see Dtimpies ' 
Sebright Bantam, see Bantams 
Selection of stock, see generation 
Selection of eggs for hatching, see eggs 

Sex of embryo, supposed indications 
of, see eggs. 

Shakebags or Duke of Leed's fowl, 
256 

Shanghae or Cochin China Fowl— 
Wstory , 7 ; characteristics, 1 ; 
comparative value of attributes, 
16; varieties, IS; disposition, 26; 
house and yard, 28 ; as consumers, 
31; high breeding, 32 ; as layers, 
34; monstrous laying, 36; Shan- 
gbaes as layers compared with 
the Spanish, Dorking, and Polish, 
with cost for keep and produce 
.of the same, 38 to 44, and 73 to 
^ 74*; Shanghaes as incubators and 
mothers, 45 ; appearance of chicks 
when first excluded, 49 ; size when 
full grown, 54 ; as dead stock, 55; 
constitution, 56 ; diseases, d% ; 
cross breeding, 107 
Siberian, see Ricssimi Bcmtani 
Silky or Persian fowls — origin, 320; 
Silky Shanghae, 20 ; Algerian 
Silky fowl, 321; Spanisli Silky, 
32] ; Silky Bantams, 321; Negroes 
and Kaffirs, 322 

Silver-moss, (Hamburghs) 275 



i 

Sitting, see incubation 

Spanish—history, 66 ; varieties, 67 ; 
characteristics of excellence, 70; 
constitution, 71; disposition, as 
producors,_ 72 to 74*; injurious 
eficcts of excessive precocious- 
ucss,72; removal of disease from 
ovarium, 72-^ 83, and 84 ; manage- 
ment of breeding stock, 74*; 
quality of flesh, 74*; cross-breed- 
ing, 76; as incubators, 79; Spanish 
chicks, 80 ; appearances when first 
excluded, 80 ; diseases, 82 

Starvation, to avoid the evil effects 
of, 347 

Statistical account — exhibiting the " 
importance of the egg trade, 352, 
and 353 

Soft eggs, see eggs 

^"^tructure of eggs and ovarium, 335 
Tabular forms showing the com- 
parative cost of keep and produce 
of seven Shanghae, seven Spanish 
seven Dorking, and seven Polish 
fowls during two years, 38 to 44, 
and 73 to 74 ^ 

Tail, curvature oi see dieeascs 
Tail-less fowl, see Rumpkin 
Tartarian, see Chinese Bantam 
Tassal (a variety of Game 
255 

Toes, diseases of the, see diseases 
Turkey Bantam, 307 
Unprolific eggs, see eggs 

Vermin, to destroy, see diseases 
the skin 

Vertigo or megrims, 35^ 

Water 



fowl), 



of 



of 



great importance 
Avholesome supply, 102 

White speckled comb, see diseases 



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COLOEED LITHOGRAPHIC POETEAITS. 

See -Descriptive Index for tJie Variety Required, 



WOOD ENGRAVINGS. 



various 



Diagram of the Shaghae fowl, with 
figures representing the technical 
terms applied to the 
characteristics, 10 
Shanghae's o^g, fac-simile of the, 34 
Spanish do., do., 72* 

Dorking do,, do., J 04 

Moveable crop for chikens, 123 
Weather do. do.j 125 

Water pan for chickens, 125 
Poultry establishment for breeding; 
ground plan of including com- 
partments for hen and chicks, 128 
Exhibition pens, 141 
Polish <dg'^^ fac-simile of, 173 
Malay do. do., 190 

Game fowl's egg, flic-similc of, 235 
Hamburgh's do., do,, 273 



Silver-pencilled Hamburgh feather, 

fac-simile of, 282 
Silver-spangled Hamburgh feather 

fac-simile, of 282 
Bantam's egg, fac-simile of, 297 
Dumpies, cock and hen, 307 

Portrait of a four-legged and four- 
winged chicken, 318 
Silky fowls, cock and hen, 321 
Friesland do., do. 323 

Eumpkins, do., 325 

Egg cluster or ovarium, 33G 
Chicken, position of, previous 

exclusion, 342 
Chicken gradually 

release, 342 
A diseased fowl, portrait of, Z5^ 



effecting 



to 



its 



1 



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I 



1. 



— -\^ 



\ 



V 



,1 







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ERKATA. 



1 ; 



At page 3, line 22; for *' In the forests of Guinea fowls have" read " In 

the forests of Guinea, fowls have" 

At page 284, line 4; for " cum multis alius" read " cum multis aliis'' 
At pages 304 and 305; for *' Golden and SilYer-pencilled Bantams" read 

" Golden and Silver-Zacerf Bantams." 

At page 326, line 26; for " the purest variety next to the black" read 

" the purest variety anrf next the black," 



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