Skip to main content

Full text of "The business hen (the latest hatch)"

See other formats






Glass JS JtfZ y 

Book ~G^7 

Gopyii^ht N° 






EDITOR 7 ^0 











Copyright, 1910, 

By The Rural Publishing Co 

All rights reserved. 

©CLA2780 14 



There's lots of folks that love a horse 

About as well as they know how. 
We ain't all built alike — of course 

There's them that do just love a cow 
Above their wives. Some folks will sleep 

When hogs or horses have the talk, 
But start a word edgeways on sheep 

And see the way their tongues will walk. 
And some folks sit up half the night 

To paint the virtues of a hog, 
And I know folks uncommon bright, 

Who rub their love thick on a dog. 
I have, "'s now I do rejoice 

No quarrel with my fellow men, 
But of all animals my choice 

Forever is — the Business Hen. 
She may not average quite so strong 

As sheep or hog or horse or cow, 
But then she rolls her eggs along 

And pays her bills — that suits me now. 
I'm not the one to fight or knock 

When others claim big things — but then 
My mind is made up like a rock; 

You can't fool me — I love the hen. 


It is now nearly twenty years since the first edition of "The 
Business Hen" was published. That book was prepared in order to 
answer thousands of questions which were asked by readers of 
The Rural New-Yorker. The original volume was crude and 
imperfect, yet it met with a large sale, chiefly because it was practi- 
cal and gave the everyday experiences of working hen men. The 
questions continued to come, and we found as the years went by 
that poultry culture was developing rapidly. Many new ideas were 
being developed, and continued years of experience gave a vast 
amount of new and useful information. Six years ago we issued a 
new edition of the book which was called "A New Brood." With 
the help of expert poultry teachers and successful hen men the book 
was greatly improved in every way and many thousands were sold. 
The edition was soon exhausted, yet though many new poultry books 
have been published, there were still calls for "The Business Hen.", 
We found that the poultry business was still developing. Study and 
experience were constantly changing some of the old ideas, and the 
questions still continue to come. We have therefore prepared this 
new volume which we call "The Latest Hatch." We started its 
preparation with the ambition to get together the most useful poultry 
book in the language. The reader must decide for himself how 
far this ambition has been gratified. We have read all the poultry 
books we could find. Most of them seemed to us to be published 
for certain definite objects — to tell some "great story," to exploit 
some personal views or to advertise either the book itself, some 
breeder's stock or some manufactured article. "The Business Hen" 
does none of these things. We have purposely avoided all reference 
to big stories in the book, for those things do far more harm than 
good to the beginner in poultry, and there is no such thing as a con- 
cealed advertisement to be found in this volume. We have simply 
tried to tell in simple language which all can understand how to 
breed, hatch, raise and handle the hen that IS capable of feeding the 
family or rolling' a mortgage away upon her eggs. That is what 
we conceive the "Business Hen" to be, and we have tried to hold 


fast to the subject. As we have stated, the original book grew 
out of an effort to answer thousands of poultry questions which were 
asked by our readers. These questions have become more numerous 
than ever, and in "The Latest Hatch" they have been grouped and 
classified for answer. Our plan has been to go to some expert with 
each group of questions and let him cover them in a concise and 
practical chapter. Thus the chapter on "Incubation," by Mr. Finch, 
is, we believe, the most useful discussion of the subject ever given 
in condensed form. In like manner the chapter on "Brooding," by F. 
Q. White, is the boiled-down experience of a life spent in the chicken 
yard. The entire book has been prepared in this way. The chapter 
on "The Business Hen House," by Professor Rogers and the chap- 
ters by Professor Rice and Professor Stoneburn, in fact the entire 
book, form a solid foundation for the study of poultry culture. Our 
effort has been to give facts and state principles clearly. No man 
can give another "instinct" or that peculiar quality which makes the 
successful hen man. We realize that no one can obtain this quality 
from the printed page. The reader must understand that he must 
develop that for himself, and if he will do it he will find no better 
friend on the farm than our little servant in feathers, "The Business 



Chapter I. The Business Breeds 9 

Chapter II. What Is an Egg? 14 

Chapter III. Hatching the Egg 24 

Chapter IV. Brooding 40 

Chapter V. The First Summer 50 

Chapter VI. The Business Henhouse 56 

Chapter VII. Diseases of Poultry GS 

Chapter VIII. Feeding the Business Hen 82 

Chapter IX. Breeding the Business Hen 92 

Chapter X. A Connecticut Man's Experience 108 

Chapter XI. Marketing Eggs 116 

Chapter XII. Killing and Marketing Poultry 121 

Chapter XIII. A Woman's Hens 126 

Chapter XIV. The Poultry "Systems" Discussed i::i 

Chapter XV. Side Lines in Poultry 136 

Chapter XVI. Homemade Poultry Devices 14;} 

Chapter XVII. Poultry in Large Flocks i ;, | 

Chapter XVIII. Companions of the 1 Ion 163 

Chapter XIX. A Big Family of Roasters 169 

Chapter XX. All Sorts of Hon Methods L73 

Chapter XXI. Odds and Ends L80 


No man can succeed with poultry unless he is "half hen with 
feathers growing on his back." This means that such a man must 
love the business and also love and understand a hen, otherwise he 
can not gain that "instinct" which is the foundation of all success 
in handling animals. We recognize this at the beginning, and there- 
fore do not attempt to lay down any cast-iron rules for poultry 
keeping. A man who gains this hen instinct can make a success 
with any breed of poultry. To such a man, any breed, no matter 
what, is the best business breed, but as a rule any man will do his 
best with a breed which possesses temperament and action not unlike 
his own. There is much human nature in a hen, and a man may 
well look for this quality in his feathered friend, just the same as 
in his human companions. That is why we would not pretend to 
select a breed of poultry for a stranger, nor would we lay down 
any definite advice regarding this point. All that we can fairly do 
is to give the simple characteristics of the various business breeds 
or types, leaving the reader to study the hen himself and make his 
own choice. The wisdom of this will be recognized by anyone who 
remembers that there will be as great difference in profit between 
two flocks of the same breed as there will be between two flocks of 
different breeds. There may be mutual exchange of character 
between a man and his flock of hens, and possibly that is one reason 
why some men grow better when they become hen keepers, while 
some flocks grow poorer through association with men. 

> The average man will not care so much where the breed comes 
from or for its fancy points of feather and shape, as for its general 
characteristics, and whether it is adapted to his temperament and 
condition. This book is not for the fancier or for the men who 
pay most attention to feathers, comb and feet, but rather for plain 
people who do not want to keep hens so much as to have hens keep 
them. For such purpose we may roughly class the business breeds 
for profit and quality under four heads — the Mediterranean or ner- 
vous, non-sitting breeds; the American breeds, those originated or 
made up in this country to suit local or special conditions; the 
Asiatics, which represent a large, heavy type of birds, useful mainly 


as meat producers or for crossing upon other breeds, and the Euro- 
peans or breeds native of Europe and Great Britain, which combine 
to some extent the good quality of the three other classes. 

The Leghorn is the best example of the non-sitting class. This 
is a small nervous high-strung hen with a very large comb. The 
Leghorn without question is the best breed for those who want an 
abundance of large white eggs, and are willing to hatch the chickens 
very largely in incubators. In our own experience the Black 
Minorca, which resembles the Leghorn in many respects, lays a 
larger white egg, but we find this breed is not as hardy as the Leg- 
horn. In fact, it is quite tender in a damp climate and requires on 
the whole considerable more food. The Black Minorca with us 
stands confinement better than the Leghorn, but does not mature 
as early. There were originally two distinct types of the Leghorn, 
the Brown and White. We have found the Browns rather smaller 
than the Whites. The young greatly resembling young partridges. 
The Brown lays a smaller egg, except in a few families which have 
been selected or bred with a view to increasing the size of the egg. 
The Brown is probably hardier than the White, does not appear to 
be so nervous, will stand confinement better, and the average speci- 
men will probably lay a few more eggs than the Whites. The 
Browns, however, are very difficult to breed true to color, and 
they do not make as good a carcass when dressed. The White Leg- 
horn may be said to represent in the poultry world about what the 
Jersey cow does in the dairy — nervous, active, small in size, but great 
in production. Some of the most successful poultry plants in the 
country use the White Leghorn exclusively. The objections to Leg- 
horns are the small size in some families, the large comb which 
makes them tender in Winter and in some places the fact that the 
hens rarely sit, so that an incubator must be used. This, however, 
is not much of an objection in modern poultry keeping where the 
incubator is considered a necessity anyway. The White Leghorn 
hen is not only a most excellent layer, but her brother, the cockerel, 
makes a good broiler, growing rapidly, and when properly fed and 
handled giving a good proportion of breast meat. One argument in 
favor of the Leghorn is their small size, which will enable one in 
a town lot or in a back yard to keep a good number of them in one 
house. From our experience, however, we should prefer the Wyan- 
dottes or Light Brahmas in such situations, since they are tamer 
and will stand confinement better. As a rule, the eggs from the 
Leghorn are very fertile, and the hens mature rapidly when given 
good care. There are several other breeds which are put in this 
class, but the Leghorn is typical of the lot. 


Of the American breeds the three most prominent are Plymouth 
Rock, Wyandotte, and Rhode Island Red. These are all "made" 
breeds, originated by crossing two or more breeds and carefully 
selecting through several generations until a definite type has been 
fixed. The history of the Rhode Island Red gives us a good instance 
of this. For a good many years certain farmers in Rhode Island 
selected red fowl out of their flocks. The reasons they gave for 
doing this was that they believed these red birds were particularly 
hardy. At that time there was much foreign shipping from the ports 
of Rhode Island, and the sea captains brought home fowls from 
other countries. These birds came from Europe and Asia, and the 
result of bringing them over and mixing them with Rhode Island 
flocks was the production of what was practically a new breed. 
Through the selection of these red birds, naturally when picking by 
color many different types of birds were brought out, but finally 
it was decided to select not only by color, but for definite form, 
shape and other characteristics. The result was an ideal hen, and 
by holding to this ideal in the selection of birds the Rhode Island 
Red breed, as we have it now, was brought out. This breed is very 
popular in many places. It is probably the best Winter layer of any 
of the American breeds. The hens are good sitters, mature early, 
and are quiet and good-natured under confinement. They make a 
good carcass, and are greatly prized for their color. This color, 
however, is not as well fixed as in the case of the Plymouth Rock 
and the Wyandotte, and those who breed Rhode Island Reds are 
still obliged to reject a fair number of their birds each year for this 
reason. The Plymouth Rock is an older breed than the Rhode Island 
Red, supposed to have resulted from crossing the old Dominique 
and the Java with the Brahmas. It is also claimed that Game blood 
was used. The breed now, however, is thoroughly fixed. Originally 
the Plymouth Rocks were barred or speckled, but of late years half 
a dozen colors have appeared such as White and Buff. It is not 
claimed that the colors particularly improve the quality or value 
of the bird, although without question new blood of other breeds 
was used with the original Plymouth Rock to produce the new 
colors. The Wyandotte is also a "made" breed, produced by crossing 
two or more other breeds. As between the Plymouth Rock and the 
Wyandotte there is much argument as to which is the better bird. It 
would be easy to find a single flock of one breed which is better 
than another flock of the other breed, but this would be due more 
to the care in selection of the owner than to the natural qualities 
of the breeds. Generally speaking, the Plymouth Rock is a larger 
bird than the Wyandotte, and also lays a larger egg of a more dis- 


tinct color. While some flocks of Plymouth Rock will lay more 
eggs than the Wyandotte, the two breeds are probably about equal 
in this respect. The Plymouth Rock as a rule will average larger 
than the Wyandotte, although it is claimed for the better class of 
Wyandottes they are of somewhat better shape and that when 
dressed for market they have fewer dark pin feathers and also show 
clear, yellow skin. The Wyandottes also, as a rule, being smaller 
birds, will mature quicker than the Rocks. Good arguments can be 
made for all three of the leading American breeds, so that it is 
largely a question of the man behind them rather than the birds 
themselves. A new breed known as Buckeye has now appeared. 
These Buckeyes are said to have been made by crossing a Pea 
Comb Rhode Island Red with an Indian Game. They are very 
much like the Rhode Island Red fowl, except in the under color, but 
for practical purposes the Buckeyes are much like the Reds, and 
very useful as general purpose fowls. One feature of this American 
breed is the fact that, with the exception of the Reds, they are bred 
in various colors and also various forms of comb, both single and 
rose comb being found. 

The Asiatic breeds are very much larger and less active than 
either the Mediterranean or the Americans. The most prominent 
example of this class in this country is the Light Brahma, a very 
old breed which has been kept true to type. With us the Light 
Brahma is a very useful breed. They are very slow, very quiet in 
disposition, and well adapted to a cold country or to limited space. 
They stand confinement well and are exceedingly good birds to have 
upon a lawn, as they present a beautiful appearance, and will not 
do much damage in a garden. We have seen them lying down in 
the shade under the lawn trees very much like a flock of sheep. 
The comb is small, the legs are well feathered and the hens seem 
to be well dressed in fur for Winter. We find it harder to keep 
Brahmas free from vermin than the lighter and thin-feathered 
breeds, and they cannot be fed safely on food that would be suitable 
for a Leghorn. When given too much corn, they fatten and stop 
laying. With us Brahmas rank as good layers, some families being 
quite equal to the smaller American birds. They grow rapidly when 
young and fatten easily. At broiler size they are rather skinny and 
bony, but for roasters they greatly excel. We think there is likely 
to be a revival of interest in Brahmas in coming years. They have 
been crowded out by the smaller breeds, bu1 they are likely to come 
back in popular demand. The Light Brahma has been used in devel- 
oping many of the newer breeds. The Columbian Wyandotte has the 
white color and black neck marking of the Brahma without the 


feathered legs. The Cochins, like the Brahmas, have yellow legs and 
skin and are slow, good-natured birds. The Cochins are not as 
good layers as the Brahmas. They are very clumsy, and with us 
are heavier eaters and not as profitable. The Langshan is a large 
black bird not so heavily feathered on the leg as the Brahma, and 
more active than that breed, quite desirable where a black, heavy 
breed is wanted. 

The great majority of what we call business hens will belong 
to one of the above named breeds. Still there are other breeds 
which demand attention. In recent years the Orpingtons have gained 
many friends. Originally an English breed, they have been well 
tested in America and greatly liked by some breeders. Like the 
American breeds, the Orpingtons were "made" by mixing the blood 
of several breeds. In most cases when a new breed is developed some 
of the Asiatics were used, and probably the Langshans are partly 
responsible for the Orpingtons. They are classed as fine layers and 
with a good carcass, but they lack the yellow skin so prominent in 
the American breeds. The Dorking is a very old English breed, 
large and well shaped. They are fair layers, excellent mothers, and 
probably the finest of all as table fowls, but not as hardy as others. 
Games have a reputation as fighters and are not much used as 
business birds, as we use the term. The hens lay fairly well and 
the flesh of the Game is excellent. In some districts where the hens 
run on a wide range purebred Games are crossed with Leghorns or 
other breeds. Such half-bred Games are good layers, very active 
and with enough of the fighting spirit to protect themselves against 
vermin. A hen with Game blood has been known to face a hawk 
and give it a good battle in defense of her brood of chicks. As we 
have stated, every breed can be used to produce the true business 
hen, if the man back of her knows his business. These various 
breeds, or most of them, appear in various colors. For example, 
the Plymouth Rocks and Wyandottes, originally speckled, are now 
to be found in white and buff. The new colors are usually produced 
by breeding in some outside blood and then selecting carefully for 
a type. There is little in the color of the plumage to indicate any 
superiority. The color is barely skin deep, but each variety has its 
admirers, and all are capable of becoming the "Business Hen." 


The egg is the first stage in the production of birds. Its func- 
tion primarily is to produce offspring, secondarily to furnish food 
for man. ■ The hen, therefore, fulfills dual purposes which, in a 
measure, are antagonistic in their requirements. The demand of 
nature is that the hen shall produce eggs that possess all the quali- 
ties of life and nutrition necessary to produce strong chickens; the 
demand of man is that she shall furnish eggs good to hatch and 
to eat and lots of them. In order to satisfy the commercial 
requirements of man the hen often is compelled to sacrifice the 
higher demands of nature. It becomes a vital question, therefore, 
for every poultryman to decide to what extent he can force heavy 
laying without sacrificing the fertility of the eggs or the vitality 
of the chickens. It is well, then, that we inquire what an egg is and 
how it is formed. 

HOW THE EGG IS MADE.— The first stage in the develop- 
ment of the egg is the formation of the "yolk." The "ovary" or 
"egg cluster," which forms a part of the muscular tissue on the 
left side of the spine, contains many yolks in various stages of 
development, depending upon the condition of the hen, from the 
full-sized ripe yolk ready to be detached, to the microscopic cells 
so small that they cannot be discerned by the naked eye. Within 
this ovarian tissue is the power to develop countless other yolks 
not yet apparent. The number of these yolks or "ova," which may 
be developed, is not a fixed quantity, certainly not exactly 600, as 
is frequently stated. The number of eggs which a hen will lay 
depends upon the inherited tendency of each hen to reproduce, and 
upon her vigor and vitality to withstand the heavy drain upon 
her system. The ovary of certain hens is absolutely sterile. 
Others have the power to produce a few eggs in short litters, 
while some have an ovary so strong and reproductive that they lay 
almost without cessation, and continue to do so for years. The 
egg-laying power is a matter of inheritance. It is a question of 
selection and breeding and of stimulating the ovaries to activity 
by proper feeding. 



The cut (from Duval's "Embryology') shows the ovary and 
oviduct of a hen; (1) is the ovary; (2) is the yolk held within 
the ovisac or follicle (5). When the yolk is fully ripe, it bursts 
from the follicle and drops into the neck of the oviduct (3). Here 

Fig 3 


we see a wise provision of nature. In order to prevent rupture 
of blood vessels where the follicle opens, there is a suture mark 
around the entire surface, where the blood vessels meet, but do 
not cross (4). If, for any reason, the follicle is ruptured before 


it is matured, through rough handling of the fowl or because of 
weakness due to debility, a slight clot of blood may escape. This 
remains on the surface of the yolk or mingles with the white, 
which leads the consumer to suspect an egg which is perfectly 
fresh to have been slightly incubated. Occasionally, when hens are 
in perfect laying condition, two yolks will ripen and burst their 
follicles at the same time, and be encased within the same shell, 
producing a double yolked egg. It is perfectly apparent, then, that 
if the yolk is the first part of the egg to be formed, all the condi- 
tions for its development must be met, or the hen cannot make a 
perfect egg. The activity of development of the ovary depends 
first upon good health. The hen in the best laying condition is in 
the best health. Reproduction is a question of nerve strength, 
which is dependent upon physical vigor. The over-fat hen does not 
lay well, because over-fatness is an indication of physical weakness, 
which ends in debility. A poor hen cannot lay because there is no 
surplus fat with which to make the egg. Analysis of the dry 
matter of an egg shows it to be more than one-half fat. Unless 
the fowl can supply the available fat, the yolk cannot develop. 
Therefore, it will be found that the hens in their best laying condi- 
tion will have a little surplus fat in their bodies. 

When the yolk has entered the oviduct it is quickly passed 
along where the albumen or "white" is deposited (10). During the 
passage it is pushed forward by the contraction of the muscles of 
the oviduct, which, being twisted and convoluted, gives the yolk a 
turning motion as it advances, so that the albumen is deposited in 
several layers. These layers may be seen by examining carefully 
a hard-boiled egg. The twisting motion of the yolk in its passage 
causes a special deposit of albumen to form twisted, string-like 
fibres on two sides of the yolk. These are called the "chalazae" 
Fig. 3-1. They cause the yolk to swing in the watery albumen like a 
hammock. This tends to prevent injury to the yolk by any jarring 
or jolting which the egg may receive. Whatever way the egg is 
turned, the yolk quickly assumes its natural position. The yolk, 
containing a large amount of fat, is lighter than the albumen, there- 
fore has a tendency to float upward toward the surface, which, 
during incubation, allows the young germ of life, which is on the 
surface of the lightest portion of the yolk, to float in the warmest 
portion of the egg, which is in contact with the body of the incubat- 
ing hen. 

The yolk is covered by the "vitelline" membrane (11). The 
yellow liquid within the membrane is called the "vitellus," which 


is used, for the most part, to nourish the young chicken just before 
and for several days after it hatches. The color of the yolk 
depends upon the kind of food fed. Yellow corn and green food 
produce a deep colored yolk, while oats, wheat and buckwheat pro- 
duce a light yellow, due to the absence of coloring pigments in the 
grain. One of the first signs of weakened vitality in hens is a 
tenderness of the vitelline membrane, which often ruptures when 
eggs are roughly handled. This allows the vitellus to escape and 
mingle with the white. The yolks, therefore, of perfectly fresh 
eggs, from such hens, are likely to rupture even when the egg is 
carefully broken. Keeping eggs weakens the vitelline membrane. 

Just under the vitelline membrane, and at the surface of the 
yolk, is the "germinal vesicle" (12), the vital life principle of the 
egg. Without fecundation by the male no life would be developed 
in the germinal vesicle, and the egg would be infertile. If fecunda* 
tion should take place and the hen should not be in vigorous con- 
dition, life would not necessarily be developed. Infertility is due 
quite as much to lack of vital force of the hen, because of close 
confinement, excessive laying or improper feeding, as to any fault 
of the male. Fecundation probably cannot take place until the yolk 
has burst from the tough skin of the follicle (6) and has entered 
the oviduct (9). Here it comes in contact with the "spermatozoa" 
of the male, which there swarm and live for several weeks, growing 
less numerous and less active with age. The spermatozoa pene- 
trates the vitelline membrane, unite with the germinal vesicle and 
life is begun. If the eggs should be retained for any considerable 
time, which often happens, the body heat will start the process of 
incubation, which will continue until the egg is placed in a tempera- 
ture too cold for development. Eggs which are not fertile will, 
therefore, continue, without danger of incubation, in a temperature 
that would allow life to develop within a fertile egg. 

After the albumen has been secreted in the part of the oviduct 
indicated (9), it is pushed along to a point where the shell mem- 
brane is formed. This is supposed to be somewhere at or between 
13-14, after which another membrane is added. Then the egg 
passes to position marked (15), where the glands secrete a liquid 
which contains carbonate of lime and other mineral matters. The 
hardening process is completed frequently while the hen is on the 
nest. A color pigment is sometimes secreted with the shell-making 
liquid, which gives to eggs their characteristic colors. The color 
of the shell is largely an individual characteristic, and remains prac- 
tically constant with the individual, except that the egg shell grad- 
ually fades in color toward the end of the laying period. This is 


particularly noticeable in comparing the first and the last eggs laid 
by turkeys. The shell-making fluid appears to be secreted by tiny 
ducts, which leave their impression by numerous fine depressions or 
pores in the egg shell, which can be easily seen upon close inspec- 
tion. The importance of providing mineral matter in the form of 
cracked oyster shell, mortar and bone, is seen in the fact that if the 
hen lacks these materials or through debility cannot assimilate them, 
her eggs will be soft-shelled. Naturally, when the egg production 
has drained her system of this material, her appetite craves it, and 
if it is not otherwise supplied, she will instinctively eat the egg 
shells. This is the most common cause of egg eating. 

When the egg rests in the "cloaca," (5), before being laid, it 
is covered with a secretion that assists in the depositing of the egg, 
which, when dry, gives the shell its natural fresh appearance, and 
which, undoubtedly, has much to do with controlling the evapora- 
tion of the contents of the egg. Therefore eggs for hatching should 
not be washed unless it be to remove dirt which would materially 
stop the pores in the shell. This oily coating is particularly apparent 
on duck eggs. 

It is to be doubted whether a hen can voluntarily stop the forma- 
tion of an egg up to the point of its completion. But she can 
retain the egg at will for considerable time thereafter. It is per- 
fectly certain, however, that improper feeding, neglect, fright, or 
any condition that interferes with digestion or peace of mind will 
stop the process of egg making in any of its stages. Frequently 
the white is deposited without yolk or shell. It is very common 
to find eggs devoid of shell, and occasionally a yolk will be laid 
without shell or albumen. It is not uncommon to find an egg with 
white and shell complete without the yolk. In rare instances a 
perfect egg has been found within an egg. This is brought about 
by the completed egg being forced back by injury through the 
portion of the oviduct where additional albumen is secreted and then 
returned to the place where a new shell is deposited. When the egg 
evaporates, the outer membrane continues to adhere to the 
shell, while the inner membrane follows the contents of the egg 
as it shrinks in size, thus forming the air space, which is usually 
at the large end of the egg, occasionally on the side and rarely on 
the small end. 

SHAPE, SIZE AND COLOR OF FOGS.— The shape of the 
egg is determined by the form of the mold in which it is cast, 
which differs with breeds, varieties and even with individuals of 
the same strain. The form of egg peculiar to an individual remains 


practically constant, so much so that one can pick out an egg from 
certain hens from a large flock with quite a degree of certainty, 
purely by the shape of the egg. The groups of eggs shown on 
next page, Fig. 2, show this point very accurately. The eggs 
marked (a) were laid by hen No. 56; those at (b) by hen No. 148, 
both White Wyandottes; those at (c) by hen No. 70; those at (d) 
by hen No. 75, both Single Comb White Leghorns; those at (e) 
were laid by a White Plymouth Rock; those at (f) by a Barred 
Plymouth Rock. It will be seen that each hen has a type of egg 
which is peculiarly her own, differing only slightly from day to 
day, except in a case of abnormality due to some unusual condition. 
The eggs marked a, b, c and d were picked out of a large tray full 
of eggs which were laid by different hens. The selection was made 
strictly upon their shape and color, without looking at the number 
of the hen, which is marked on the large end of the egg when it is 
gathered. The peculiar characteristics distinguishing the egg were 
so marked that scarcely any error was made guessing the identity 
of the hen that laid them. The eggs marked (a) were distinguish- 
able by their large size, extreme length, and rich, uniform light 
brown color; eggs marked (b) by their perfect egg shape, large 
size and dark brown color; eggs marked (c) by their long, thin 
form with a tendency to a slight ridge in the center; eggs marked 
(d) by their almost abnormal roundness; eggs marked (e) by the 
peculiar wart-like excrescence on the small end of each egg. 

ABNORMAL EGGS. — Abnormal eggs are due either to injury 
to the fowl while the egg is being formed or to faulty nutrition. 
Various types of abnormal eggs are shown in the cut (c) and (1) are 
too long; (m), (e) and (o) too round; (k) is wedge shaped; (o) 
has a decided ridge at the center; (f) and (q) are flattened on one 
side; those marked (j) are elliptical; (i) are almost cylindrical; (a) 
is drawn out at the point; (p) are eggs with rough, weak shells; 
(g) is as round as a marble and about the size of a hickory nut; 
(h) is about the same size, but elongated; those marked (r) repre- 
sent the two extremes in size, a double yolked egg and a diminutive 
but perfect shaped egg. These small eggs are nearly always devoid 
of yolks. It does not follow that a hen that lays a diminutive egg 
has laid similar eggs previously or that she will do so again. 
Eggs marked (g), in the cut, were all laid by the Single Comb 
White Leghorn hen No. 85; those eggs marked (h), were laid 
by the Single Comb White Leghorn hen No. 82, the two normal eggs 
in each case being laid a few days after the abnormal. The abnor- 
mality, however, may continue. One hen laid seven diminutive 
eggs continuously and then stopped laying. Of the five eggs marked 


TYPES or EGGS. Fig. 2. 


(a), Fig. 2, the first two eggs which are perfect and normal were 
followed by the abnormal long-drawn-out egg which was so weak 
at the point that it scarcely retained the egg contents. Within two 
or three days following the other two eggs were laid which were 
perfectly normal and sound. 

TIME REQUIRED TO MAKE AN EGG.— Just how long it 
takes for each part of the egg to be secreted is not known. The 
whole process is supposed to take about eighteen hours. Consider- 
able time is taken for the shell to be deposited and to harden. Two 
eggs can be under way in the oviduct at the same time. When the 
hen is not laying the oviduct is shrunken and not more than one- 
fifth its natural size. Like all secretory organs, the oviduct enlarges 
when it is active. In this one respect it may be compared to the 
udder of a cow "fresh in milk" and one "gone dry." The oviduct 
when stretched out and congested is normally a little over twenty 
inches long. 

ment of an egg is more elaborate and more exhaustive than a 
simple secretion like that of milk-making. It is both a reproductive 
and a secretory process. The perfect egg contains the materials 
and the life to form a new animal, a shell to protect it during 
subsequent development, and the food to nourish it for several days 
after it is born. A good hen is expected to lay, that is, in reality, 
to give birth to about 150 offspring in a year, which is equivalent 
to about five times her own weight. This is a heavy drain upon 
her system. Something of its immediate effect will be seen by the 
fact ascertained by one of our students (Henry Jennings) that a 
hen's temperature immediately after laying is from two to three 
degrees higher than normal, the normal being about 106. 

COMPOSITION OF THE EGG.— The composition of the egg 
remains practically constant. This is true even under different 
systems of feeding. Careful observations of two Plymouth 
Rock hens was made and the eggs analyzed after they had been fed 
about three months on radically different rations. Pen No. 1 was 
fed largely on protein-rich foods ; pen No. 2 was fed largely on 
foods deficient in protein, the former being a ration for making 
muscle and the latter for making fat. Nevertheless the eggs from 
the two pens remained practically identical in composition. This 
illustrates one of the highest laws of nature; namely, that the 
animal will sacrifice its own bodily strength in an effort to make a 
perfect offspring, which is a necessary provision to insure the per- 
petuation of the species. There is little difference in the composition 


of eggs from different breeds, or between light-shelled and dark- 
shelled eggs. 

There is a difference between hens that are well fed and those 
that are improperly fed, as shown in their fertility, the strength of 
the germs and the vitality of the chickens. The chemist may not 
be able to find the difference in the composition of the eggs, but the 
difference is there, nevertheless. Hens that are closely confined to 
limited quarters where they do not get exercise nor have access to 
sunshine and fresh air, even though well fed, are almost certain to 
produce eggs low in fertility and weak in vitality. Over-fat hens 
and very poor hens, if they lay at all, are certain to produce eggs 
which are almost devoid of the life-giving principles. 

While forced feeding of highly stimulating foods during Fall 
and Winter might result in a condition of nerve exhaustion during 
the hatching season and would naturally result in less fertile eggs, 
it does not follow that just because hens do not lay during the Fall 
and Winter they will give more fertile eggs daring the Spring. 
Most frequently the hens that do not lay during the Winter have 
not been properly cared for, they being either too fat from over- 
feeding or improper feeding, or too poor because under-fed. The 
fowl that lays the most fertile eggs is the one that is in the best 
health. She may be the hen that has laid regularly for a long 
period of time. To get fertile eggs, open-air exercise and plenty 
of meat and green food are necessary. 

FERTILITY. — The proportion of males to females in the breed- 
ing flock depends upon the breed, also upon the individual. One 
vigorous, active, prepotent male will give greater fertility than three 
or four sluggish males. I have known almost perfect fertility with 
36 White Leghorn females to one male and have seen almost abso- 
lute sterility where one male ran with eight females. Other con- 
ditions being equal, the Mediterranean class (Leghorns, Minorcas, 
etc.) can usually be mated, 20 to 25 hens to one male; the American 
class (Plymouth Rocks, Wyandottes, Javas, etc.), 15 to 20 females 
to one male; Asiatic (Cochins, Brahmas, etc.), 8 to 12 females to 
one male. Where fowls are kept in flocks which require two males 
(for instance, 40 or 50 Leghorn females), it is better to allow only 
one of the males at a time with the flock. The other one should be 
kept in a coop with plenty of water, grit and food containing an 
abundance of meat. Two males running together in the same flock 
dissipate too much of their energy in fighting. This is particularly 
true if they are in limited quarters. Very good results, however, 
are obtained by allowing one male to 25 females where fowls run 
together in flocks of several hundred on unlimited range. 


size and color of the egg being comparatively constant with indi- 
viduals, it is evident that like other characteristics, they can be 
transmitted from one. generation to another, and therefore by 
selecting only eggs of a certain size, shape and color for hatching, 
their characteristics become fixed so that a strain of hens will be 
developed which will lay eggs of the desired type with great 
regularity. This has been demonstrated where, for years, only 
eggs have been used that weighed two ounces or more, of perfect 
shape and pure white color, for hatching. Each year the per- 
centage of hatchable eggs astonishingly increased, and the number 
of eggs which would have to be thrown out because of not fulfilling 
the requirements, materially decreased. The result is that the 
average size and beauty of the egg has materially increased year 
by year. This principle also has been strikingly illustrated on a 
farm where the person who took charge of the hens believed that 
round eggs would hatch pullets and long eggs slightly wrinkled 
at the small end, would hatch cockerels. For years she would 
select the roundest eggs for hatching, with the result that year 
by year the eggs became rounder and rounder, until they were 
abnormally so and it became almost a trade mark of the eggs from 
this farm. Of course the per cent of pullets continued as usual. 
Mother Nature could not be thwarted thus. The sex of an egg can- 
not be determined by shape or other external conditions. 

It is well to select only perfectly shaped eggs, uniform in color, 
of good texture and firm shell, neither over large nor very small, 
because they will be more likely to produce chickens that lay 
similar eggs, which look better and therefore sell for a higher price 
and which also hatch more satisfactorily. 

KEEPING EGGS FOR HATCHING.— Keeping eggs weakens 
their vitality. If they are held at too low a temperature the chill- 
ing injures them. If they are kept in too warm a temperature, 
development begins. Just what temperature is best for holding eggs 
for hatching is not known. It appears to be between 45 and 55 
degrees Fahrenheit. Eggs evaporate moisture very rapidly if kept 
in a very dry room. Therefore they should be kept from a direct 
draft of air. They should be turned daily in order to prevent the 
yolks rising to the surface and adhering to the shell, in which case 
the vitelline membrane may become ruptured when the egg is 
turned. Eggs should prove fertile within three or four days 
after the male has been introduced to the flock. They should be 
fertile with the second egg after copulation takes place and may be 
fertile with the first egg. 


Inasmuch as strong, vigorous chicks are not always the result 
obtained from properly incubated eggs, it will readily be seen that 
successful chicken hatching does not depend entirely on the methods 
of incubation. The production of perfect baby chicks necessitates 
care and consideration further back than the development of the 
embryo. The selection of strong, fully matured breeding stock, well 
mated, properly fed and housed, has as much, if not more, to do 
with the production of strong offspring as proper incubation. Eggs 
from hens that have been laying heavily all Winter, or that have 
not had a sufficient amount of green food, can hardly be expected 
to hatch well. Eggs from hens fed a forcing ration will not produce 
as strong chicks as those from hens allowed to take a more natural 
course. The egg provides the nourishment on which the embryo 
grows, and it must contain the proper material to produce desirable 
chicks by any system of hatching. It is just as essential that we 
feed our breeders for strong germ production as it is to feed our 
layers for heavy egg production. 

SELECTING EGGS. — A great deal of improvement can be made 
in the flock, as well as bettering the hatches, by carefully selecting the 
eggs for incubation. Take out all the ill-shaped eggs as well as 
those with thin, porous, or coarse shells. On close examination, the 
shells of some eggs will be found very thin and wrinkly at the little 
end. Such eggs are often broken during incubation. It is well to 
sound each egg as they are selected, by tapping two together. In 
this way one will soon be able to tell those with weak or cracked 
shells. Eggs with defective shells arc sometimes selected by testing, 
but this method takes some time and is not considered worth while. 
If possible, set the eggs from each breed separate, for the eggs from 
some classes of fowls hatch earlier than others. The Leghorn eggs, 
if fresh, will hatch earlier than those from heavier breeds, and con- 
sequently some of the younger chicks will be trampled on or even 
prevented from breaking out of the shell. For a good, even hatch 
set eggs as near of an age as possible, the fresher the better. 
I ' KEEPING EGGS.- Eggs should be set as sunn as possible after 
they arc laid. It has been found that eggs set the same day they are laid 


will hatch from 18 to 20 hours earlier than those kept two weeks. 
I believe that eggs kept over one week before setting lose hatching 
power, but experiments have been tried at the Department of Poultry 
Husbandry, Cornell University, which show that eggs can be kept 
two weeks under proper conditions, and still hatch well. If they 
are to be kept more than two or three days, it is best to turn them 
once a day. The eggs can be turned satisfactorily by packing them 
in a common egg crate and turning it each day as a new lot of eggs 
is packed. As soon as the eggs are gathered they should be placed 
in a cool place, preferably 50° F., or as near that as possible. The 
air of the room in which they are kept should be just moist enough 
to prevent evaporation of the egg contents. In cold weather, the 
eggs intended for incubation purposes should be gathered several 
times a day to prevent chilling. However, eggs containing strong 
germs will hatch after being subject to a very low temperature. I 
recently set 30 eggs which had been in cold storage two weeks, and 
hatched 16 apparently strong and healthy chicks. The eggs you wish 
to incubate should be clean, but not washed unless just before set- 
ting, and if washed, the water should never be allowed to soak in. 

SHIPPING EGGS. — Nature has so perfectly constructed the egg 
that it will stand considerable rough handling without injury, if 
properly packed. Good hatches can be obtained from eggs shipped 
a long distance, if the shipper understands packing them. A light, 
well-constructed box or basket should be used. First, place a layer 
of excelsior in the bottom and around the sides of the basket. Then 
roll each egg, first in soft paper and then in excelsior. See that 
they are well covered and do not touch each other in the basket. 
After a layer has been packed, place a layer of excelsior over them. 
Put as many layers of eggs on top of these as you wish, but be care- 
ful to pack them with a layer of excelsior between the layers. After 
all the eggs are in the basket, place a good layer of excelsior over 
them, and sew a stout cloth cover over the top. A large, conspicu- 
ous label marked "Eggs For Hatching. Handle With Care" should 
be fastened on the basket. The shipper's and consignee's name and 
address should be plainly written on a shipping tag and securely 
fastened to the handle. Never ship other than strictly fresh eggs. 
Sometimes eggs going only a short distance are delayed several days 
on the road. After receiving eggs for hatching, they should be 
allowed to stand three or four hours before starting to incubate. 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE EMBRYO.— Just beneath the vitel- 
line membrane in the upper surface of the yolk of all eggs is found the 
life germ. The yolk floats in a dense mass of albumen, called the cha- 
Jaza, which is in the form of cords or a hammock, The chalaza keeps 


the life germ near the surface of heat, and also protects the growing; 
embryo from injury. Although the life germ exists in all eggs, it 
will not develop without the introduction of the male element. The 
germ is fertilized while in the oviduct, and a certain stage of devel- 
opment is reached before the egg is laid. After the egg leaves the 
body development is retarded unless kept at the proper temperature. 
Occasionally a freshly laid egg is found to contain a partly developed 
embryo. In such a case the egg has doubtless been delayed for some 
time in its passage through the oviduct, and development continues 
until the egg is laid. As soon as the egg becomes heated to the 
proper temperature, either by contact with the hen's body or by other 
means, the germ again resumes its course of development, and if 
kept under the proper conditions of moisture and ventilation, it will 
continue to grow. It was formerly supposed that the germ cell con- 
tained a very small chick and that the process of development was 
simply enlargement. It has later been found that the germ cell 
contains no organs, and that its only function is to reproduce other 
cells like itself, these in turn having the same power of reproduction. 
This reproduction takes place through division ; each cell becomes 
divided into two, each enlarging to the size of the original cell, and 
with the same functions. The fertile egg germ can be determined 
before incubation only by breaking the egg in a saucer. The fertile 
germ has a clear outer rim or circle with little white dots in the 
center, while an infertile germ is whitish in appearance and lacks the 
clear outer rim. After about 24 hours of incubation, blood vessels 
may be seen and the heart commences to beat about the twenty- 
seventh hour, and it commences to pulsate about the fortieth hour. 
The network of blood vessels continue to grow until they form a 
complete membrane lining the shell membrane. This is called the 
allantois, and its function is to take up the oxygen which penetrates 
the shell through the pores, thereby performing the duties which 
are to be performed by the lungs about the nineteenth day. The 
embryo appears about the second day of incubation. The eye, head, 
neck, heart and wings are about the first to be distinguishable. The 
heart may be located the third day, and the embryo which has been 
lying mouth downward, is turned on its left side. On the fourth 
day the legs appear; and the lungs begin to be formed on the fifth, 
but arc inactive until the nineteenth day. Up to the sixth day, the 
embryo has been lying very still, but soon shows signs of voluntary 
motion. From that time on the different parts of the body, including 
the bill, legs, and wings, take their form, but are soft until the ninth 
day, when bone begins to form. During the remaining days the 
yolk becomes thinner, the rapidly growing embryo drawing very 


heavily upon it for nourishment. By the nineteenth day the chick 
is fully formed and the yolk should be nearly all taken into the body. 
Very soon the chick should break through the air cell and use its 
lungs both to breathe and utter sounds, and by holding the egg to a 
tester the chick may be seen pushing through. After the air cell has 
entirely disappeared the shell will soon yield to the interior force 
and the chicken will begin life in a new world. 

DISTINGUISHING THE SEX.— There is no means by which 
we can distinguish the sex before incubation. Neither is there any 
method of mating that will govern the sex, notwithstanding the fact 
that many claim that sex is indicated by the shape of the egg, such as 
round eggs for pullets, or that the air cell, which has a base parallel 
to the width of the egg, will produce a cockerel, while those which 
vary from this position will produce pullets. 

POSITION OF EGG.— The position of the egg during incuba- 
tion has some influence on the development of the embryo. If the 
small end is up, the head of the chick will develop in this end and 
the chick will be unable to free itself. In natural incubation an egg 
with the small end up is very rarely found. As the air space increases 
in size, the center of gravity lowers. In 'this way the large end is 
kept uppermost at different angles. 

ods of incubation have their points of merit and -demerit. The meth- 
ods that should be used can only be satisfactorily decided by weighing 
the advantages and disadvantages of each system as they would be 
realized if employed by you. "A good hen is, all things considered, 
a better incubator than man has yet invented." The old hen will 
very often hatch all the fertile eggs given her with very little trouble 
to the owner, but we must consider that all hens are not good sit- 
ters. Also, it is hard to find enough hens to cover the eggs, if a 
large number are to be set at a time. Often the owner has to search 
the country for broody hens. It is often difficult to make them sit 
in their new quarters. There is also great danger of breaking eggs 
in the nest and smearing the remaining eggs. The filthy condition 
draws lice and the hen is very often driven from the nest, leaving 
the eggs to spoil before the trouble is noticed. It is very difficult 
to get sitters early in the season, especially if the Winter is severe, 
for the laying season will be delayed somewhat, and a late broody 
season will be the consequence. Yet in spite of all these difficulties 
we cannot get around the fact that hen-hatched chickens have every 
reason to be perfect, as far as incubation is concerned. To be certain 
that the process of incubation is not at fault is enough to make us 
decide in favor of the hen when only a few chickens are to be raised 


each season. The proof of the real value of artificial incubation in 
hatching large numbers of chickens lies not only in its growing popu- 
larity, but in the great advantages and remarkable results obtained, 
if properly handled. To be able to incubate eggs at any time, and 
in large numbers, is one of the great advantages which does not 
apply equally to hens. One incubator holding 300 eggs will do more 
work with less trouble than 20 hens. It is possible with machines, 
to hatch enough chickens in two hatches to replenish the stock and 
have chickens to sell. By starting the hatch early, it is possible to 
get out chickens before the other fellow's hens are ready to sit, 
and in this way have the surplus cockerels on the market when they 
bring the best price. Artificial incubation also makes it possible to 
develop practically non-sitting strains. By breaking up the sitters 
we are gradually doing away with the broody instinct. It is said that 
in Egypt, where hatching in ovens has been practiced for centuries, 
the hens have entirely lost their desire to incubate. Next to these 
valuable factors we must consider the cleanliness of incubators. With 
proper precautions, artificially hatched chickens are absolutely free 
from lice, while it is almost impossible to find a broody hen that 
isn't lousy, the insects are sure to get on the small chickens just 
when they need vitality most, causing great mortality and unthrifti- 
ness. Along with the advantages of artificial incubation comes the 
disappointments due to carelessness and improper management, such 
as overheating the eggs, lack of moisture or improper handling. 
There are also unjust insurance restrictions. Insurance companies 
refuse to admit that a building is safer with a modern incubator in it 
than with the common portable house lamps. 

ARTIFICIAL INCUBATION.— Before installing incubators, 
one must consider that the operator is not relieved to any great 
extent. The work becomes more exacting than with hens; the 
results depending very much upon the operator's good sense, and a 
great amount of careful, regular attention, even with the best of incu- 
bators. Do not invest any money in a cheaply constructed machine. 
There are a great many good machines on the market ; in fact most of 
the low-grade machines have been forced off" the market or improved. 
When it comes to capacity, consider a long time before purchasing 
a small machine. Nearly all incubator firms manufacture small 
machines, not because they possess any special merit, but because 
some people demand a small one or none. There arc no great ad- 
vantages in buying a GO or 65-egg incubator for the following 
reasons: First, a lamp that will heat a machine of smaller size will 
also heat one of a much larger capacity. Second, the small machines 
lack air capacity and are more easily afTccted by outside temperature. 


Third, by the time -the second test has been made there are not 
enough eggs left to pay for the oil consumed and time spent in 
caring for them, and the chickens hatched would get lost in a 
fair-sized brooder. Incubators holding from 100 to 250 eggs are 
most commonly used, but a 400-egg capacity incubator will produce 
just as good results, with not a great deal more oil, and only a 
little more labor. Some machines will work well and hatch a good 
per cent of chickens under certain good conditions. The machine to 
buy, however, is the one that will bring out all the healthy chicks 
possible, almost anywhere and at any time with the least possible 
care. The value of a machine should not be measured by flashy 
advertisements but by the results. 

often expects too much of his machine, and is ready to condemn it 
when a few unhatched eggs are found on the trays after the hatch is 
completed. The fault-finder must stop to consider that when hens 
hatch all the eggs they are usually set on one hen's eggs, very often 
stealing their nests and sitting on their own eggs. These same re- 
sults may be obtained in an incubator if one will go to the trouble of 
using trap nests and setting the eggs from each individual hen, sepa- 
rate from the others in pedigree trays. In this way it will be 
found that many hens lay strictly hatchable eggs, while the eggs 
from other individuals will be nearly all infertile or nearly all fertile, 
but too weak to hatch. Then remember that the eggs usually set in 
an incubator are a collection from the whole flock, and on a much 
larger scale than those set under a hen, and consequently the number 
of unhatched eggs would increase accordingly. We think very little 
of finding two, three, or four unhatched eggs under a hen, but the 
same per cent of unhatched eggs in an incubator seems destructive. 

INCUBATOR CELLARS.— Owing to fire insurance restrictions, 
it is best to operate incubators in a building set aside from the others. 
They may be run above ground with some success, but generally 
best results are obtained under the conditions existing in a well- 
ventilated, partly-submerged room. It is much easier to keep an 
even temperature in such a room than above ground, and in warm 
weather is much cooler. An ideal incubator cellar should have a 
very high ceiling, from nine to 10 feet being a good height. The 
distance from the floor to the top of the ground should be about 
six feet, making the room about four feet above ground. The 
windows should be about seven feet from the floor. To afford air 
and water drainage, erect the building on sloping ground, having 
the lower end of the room above ground and the end in the slope 
almost entirely submerged. Plenty of windows are essential, and if 


made to drop down from the top they will afford good ventilation 
as well as light. The windows may be shaded on bright days if the 
sunlight affects the temperature. 

DISINFECTING. — Each time before putting in the eggs, the 
machine should be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and aired. The 
lamp should be started and the machine kept closed for a day or so, 
then the incubator doors should be opened until it is well dried out 
and odorless. To disinfect properly, remove all diaphragms and 
trays, give them a good washing or spraying with some good disin- 
fectant and put them out in the sun to dry. Then spray the inside 
of the machine in the same way. Leave the trays and diaphragms 
out until the machine is thoroughly dry. Caution : Never use 
kerosene oil in an incubator. If the operator is not careful, about 
as much harm can be done by disinfecting as without it. An oily 
machine, or the odor from a strong disinfectant, is fatal to embryo 
chicks. Nevertheless, it is essential to use some disinfectant. There 
are several good liquids, but a weak solution of creolin, or five per 
cent solution of carbolic acid which is one part carbolic acid to 19 
parts water, will kill all bad odors and is also a germicide. The 
necessity of using only thoroughly disinfected machines is shown by 
experiments tried by Dr. Jones, of the New York State Veterinary 
College, Cornell University, in which it was found that the germs 
of white diarrhoea reached the incubator from the tgg shell. There 
is also some danger of lice reaching the machine in the same way. 

REGULATING. — The operator must remember that he is to do 
the thinking. Most machines are self-regulating to some extent, but 
a severe change in the weather will be likely to change the tempera- 
ture in the machine unless the operator looks after the lamp flame. 
The thumb screw attached to the regulator should be screwed down 
until the temperature is kept at the proper degree, with the disk 
raised a third of an inch above the heater. After the machine is 
regulated it will be necessary to change the regulator only slightly, 
except in rare instances. The less you change the thumb screw after 
once it is regulated to run with slight variations at the proper degree, 
the better hatch you will get. Remember that raising the disk over 
the heater lowers the temperature and lowering it raises the tem- 
perature. Never put the eggs into the machine until it is correctly 

KILLING THE TRAYS.— After the machine is heated and reg- 
ulated to the proper temperature ami thoroughly dried, remove the 

egg trays and fill them with the selected eggs. The trays may be filled 
full if necessary, but it is not wise to place the eggs on top of each 


other. Before putting the eggs in the machine see that the ventilators 
are arranged according to directions sent out with the machine. After 
the trays are placed keep the machine closed until the next day, 
when turning should commence. 

filled once a day, each morning preferred. When filled in the morning 
the operator has time to get the flame regulated before leaving for the 
night. Otherwise the flame may run up and smoke the heater after 
being newly trimmed, especially if a new wick is used. The lamp 
should never be filled quite full. The charred portion of the wick 
is easily removed by drawing a burnt match or a knife across the 
wick tube. Never cut away the unburnt portions of the wick. This 
method of trimming makes it harder to get an even flame and uses 
up the wick very soon. After the wick has been trimmed turn it 
down and clean the wick tube and other parts of the burner. This 
can be done with a knife or piece of sandpaper and then wiped off 
with a cloth. The burner should always be kept bright and the 
screen around the wick tube should be kept free from dirt. Always 
wipe the lamp thoroughly before replacing. It is best to keep a 
comparatively low flame at first until the operator becomes accus- 
tomed to the work. The flame will always increase instead of dimin- 
ish after the wick is trimmed. After the operator becomes familiar 
with the lamp, the flame should be run high enough to keep disk 
slightly raised over the heater during the day. Then if the night is 
cold you have an extra supply of heat ready to be used. Otherwise 
the temperature in the machine will lower. The flame should never 
flicker. If it does there is something wrong, and the operator may 
look for a broken isinglass in the heater or a disarranged screen in 
the burner, or perhaps a draught. Use only high-grade oil in incu- 
bator lamps. 

THERMOMETER.— Always use the make of thermometer sent 
out with the machine you are using. It is well to test the thermome- 
ter each season. This can be done by placing a doctor's thermometer in 
a basin of warm water with the one you intend to use. The water 
should register at least 100° F. and the thermometer should be held 
upright with the bulb submerged. If the incubator thermometer 
registers incorrectly, the difference may be marked on the metal part 
of the thermometer or on a tag fastened to it. Be sure your ther- 
mometer rests in the proper position in the machine according to 
directions sent out by the incubator manufacturers. In case the 
mercury becomes separated, take hold at the top of the thermometer 
and swing the bulb end downward with a jerk until the mercury 
comes together. 


TEMPERATURE. — With machines where the thermometer hangs 
above the eggs it is advisable to keep the temperature as near 102^° 
the first week as possible, 103° the second week, with a gradual 
increase to 104° after the nineteenth day. In machines using a con- 
tact thermometer, 102° is sufficient for the first week, 103° the second, 
with a gradual increase to 104° at the latter end of the third week. 
The temperature should be allowed to increase gradually to the proper 
degree, and should be kept as near there as possible. However, a slight 
variation may be expected, and without injuring the eggs. Good 
hatches have been obtained when the mercury has run up to 110° F. 
for a short time. There is more danger of injury from a high tem- 
perature at the beginning of incubation than toward the last, owing 
to the very delicate blood vessels which are being formed the first 
few days, and are very easily injured by excessive heat. For best 
results, the. temperature should never exceed 106°F., and this only at 
hatching time. In case the mercury rises to 106° at any other time 
than at hatching, it would be better to take out the lamp or open the 
door for a while than to chance the regulator. The temperature will 
always drop on opening the machine door to remove the trays, and 
will remain low for some time after the eggs are replaced, but do not 
change the regulator, as the mercury will reach the proper degree, 
in due time. At hatching time the operator should watch the ther- 
mometer carefully. The heat from the chicks will usually raise the 
temperature to 104° if there are enough eggs containing live chicks. 
If not, the lamp flame should be turned up a little. When the 
chicks start to break through the shell, the temperature will very 
often rise to extreme height. If the chicks seem to be suffering from 
the excessive heat, the lamp flame should be turned down until the 
temperature lowers somewhat. If the heat still remains too high, 
the lamp may be removed for a time. Very often the heat will 
remain high with the lamp out for several hours. If the chickens 
pant when the temperature is only 105° there is no need to worry, 
as this will not injure them. As soon as the hatch has passed its 
best and the number of chicks hatched per minute is gradually de- 
creasing, the temperature will drop, sometimes very rapidly. This 
is a critical period, and the operator should be on hand to turn up 
the flame. Sometimes it is necessary to turn the thumb screw until 
the disk drops down on the heater. Otherwise the mercury will 
drop down to 100° F. or a little lower, and the chickens that arc a 
little late in pipping, will be unable to hatch. 

MOISTURE AND VENTILATION.— Correct moisture, evap- 
oration, circulation, and ventilation are the very important factors of 
incubation gnd all arc too closely linked together to be considered 


apart from each other. Proper ventilation is as necessary as moisture, 
but we cannot have excessive circulation without too much evaporation. 
Too great a change of air absorbs the moisture in the egg too rapidly 
for successful development of the embryo. The result of incubation 
under such conditions would be a few small, weak chickens and a 
large per cent of unhatched eggs. Yet a deficient supply of air 
would be disastrous. Evaporation of the egg contents should be 
greatest toward the latter part of incubation, with a small amount 
of evaporation at first. To obtain these conditions we must have very 
little ventilation the first few days. This makes it plain that moisture 
is as necessary at the beginning as at the close of the incubation 
period. Eggs will stand a great amount of moisture and hatch well. 
The best of hatches will be accompanied by more or less moisture on 
the glass and door of the incubator. Very often the glass will be 
so wet that it will be impossible to read the thermometer for some 
time. Evaporation of the hen's egg will be about 16 per cent of its 
weight before incubation, but the amount of evaporation varies so 
much that it is hardly possible to determine just how much evapora- 
tion should take place. However, the amount of moisture, ventila- 
tion, and cooling necessary for correct evaporation can be deter- 
mined to some extent by noting the size of the air cells and testing 
the eggs. Most incubator companies send complete directions for 
supplying moisture and operating the ventilators. Follow these 
directions closely. Only operators with thorough understanding 
of incubation and its laws should depart from the rules laid down 
by the manufacturers. However, there is no set of rules that will 
fit the needs of incubation in every locality without some altera- 
tions ; but the general principles should always be followed. A 
general plan is to keep the ventilation restricted for the first few 
days of incubation, and gradually increase it from day to day there- 
after. There are good machines in which ventilation is controlled 
by the machine itself. With these, there is no need for worry on 
the part of the operator as long as he does not tamper with the 
ventilators. It is generally considered advisable where the ventila- 
tion is controlled by slides, to close the ventilators at pipping time 
and leave them so until the hatch is completed. As moisture helps 
to control evaporation, it is just as essential when the eggs are 
first put into the machine, and we are trying to prevent more than 
a gradual amount of evaporation taking place, as it is at a later 
stage of development. When using a sand tray machine keep the 
sand wet at all times from start until finish. If hatching in cold 
weather, use warm water to replenish the supply. If you are 
using a non-moisture machine you must consider the weather 


conditions and the humidity of the air in the room your incubator 
is in, before supplying moisture. If it is a very dry place it is 
best to keep the floor of the room wet. Or if in a living room, 
place pans of water under the machine. Use water in the machine 
only as a last resort. 

TURNING THE EGGS. — The objects in turning eggs during in- 
cubation, are, first, to keep the germ from drying fast to the shell, 
also to equalize the heat units by changing the position on the 
tray, it being impossible to supply the same amount of heat to 
each egg on the tray at the same time. Operators vary in opinion 
as to the proper time to commence turning, but the writer's rule 
is to turn the second day of incubation, and continue turning, twice 
daily up to the nineteenth day, and as near 12 hours apart as possi- 
ble. As the most important factor in turning eggs is to keep the 
germ from drying to the shell we only do them justice by giving 
them a good thorough rolling around. Do not be particular about 
turning them just half way over, as old operators believed. If 
there is a tendency to dry in the shell a careful half way turn 
would be of little value. Shuffle them around on the tray with the 
palms of the hand as though you were mixing up dominoes, avoid- 
ing sudden jerks. If there is only one tray in the machine write 
"Morning" one one end of the tray and "Night" on the other. 
Then see that the end marked "Morning" is out at morning turn- 
ing and the reverse at night. If there are two trays change them 
from one side of the machine to the other in the morning and 
change ends at night. In this way you are aiding in distribution 
of equal heat units to all the eggs in the machine. 

THE NECESSITY OF COOLING.— There is some disagreement 
among authorities as to the proper value of cooling eggs during 
incubation, although it may be possible to secure fair hatches 
in some incubators without paying much attention to airing. In 
most cases it is a great deal better to use a good common sense 
system of cooling. In natural incubation eggs receive more or less 
cooling. The hen, if allowed her liberty, in most instances remains 
on the nest for the first few days and then leaves her nest for a 
very short time each day, early in the incubation period, increasing 
the length of time off the nest as the hatch advances. The number 
of times the hen leaves the nest varies with individual hens and 
the weather conditions. We are led to believe that the hen leaves 
the nest not only in search of food and recreation, but to aid in 
the development of the chick within the shell. The result of the 
proper amount of airing would be the giving off of bad odors 
which would naturally collect and the taking in of a new supply 


of fresh air which would assist in evaporating the egg contents. 
As the ventilation the eggs receive in artificial incubation is crude 
compared to natural methods, it is all the more necessary that a 
system of airing be followed out as near to the natural process 
as possible. 

COOLING DIRECTIONS.— As the eggs receive sufficient cooling 
the first week during the process of turning, it is not advisable to give 
it further attention until the seventh day, especially in cold weather. 
It would be impossible to form a set of rules for cooling which 
could be satisfactorily used with all machines, and under the various 
weather conditions. The length of time to cool must rest very 
much with the operator's good judgment. Never use your watch, 
as this system is too mechanical to meet the changing conditions. 
The most satisfactory way is to go entirely by feeling of the eggs 
and the number of days they have been incubating. When properly 
cooled they will feel quite cool, but not void of warmth when 
brought in contact with the face or eye. The first few days after 
extra cooling is commenced, it will take only a few minutes, 
perhaps three or five or even 10 to cool them properly. The length 
of time will increase as the development of the embryo progresses. 
By the end of the second week of incubation the live embryo will 
supply such an amount of animal heat that it will take some min- 
utes to cool them sufficiently, and toward the eighteenth day if it 
is warm weather the operator will be almost afraid to leave them 
out so long. Very often in warm weather it will take from 30 to 60 
minutes to cool them properly. If the weather is cold, the hatch 
would be ruined by such treatment. Always consider the tempera- 
ture of the room and never expose eggs long in a very cold room 
while they are undergoing the process of incubation. There can 
be some dependence placed on the size of the air cells at different 
periods of incubation. Although the size of the air cell in two 
certain eggs may differ greatly at the same period of incubation 
and under the same condition, a degree of uniformity will be found 
if a number are examined. By testing the eggs at frequent inter- 
vals that are being incubated by a hen, it is possible to get a good 
idea about the size of the air cell; compare these with those in the 
incubator if set at the same time. If, after cooling for a week 
or more, the eggs in the machine show air cells much larger than 
those under the hen, and you have been following the incubator 
directions in regard to moisture and ventilation, you may feel quite 
certain that you have cooled them too much and the egg contents 
have dried down too rapidly; if much smaller, you should air 
them longer. The eggs can be successfully cooled on top of the 


machine or by dropping the doors down and leaving the eggs in 
unless you are using an incubator containing a sand tray. With 
such a machine it is best to put the egg tray on top and close the 
doors unless it is very warm weather. A number of trays of eggs 
can be cooled at the same time by taking them out or dropping the 
doors down before commencing to turn the eggs, if you are sure 
you can finish turning them before they are too cool. To be sure 
no mistake is made, you should try only two or three machines at 
a time, at first, and increase the number as the eggs take more 
cooling. In this way a great amount of time can be saved, espe- 
cially if you are handling several hundred eggs. If only two or 
three machines are set at a time, cool only these at a time unless 
you are very familiar with your work and can handle several 
batches of eggs without an error. 

TESTING EGGS. — To learn the per cent of fertility and strength 
of the germs is not the only object in testing eggs. By removing 
the infertile and dead germs there is more room for the strong 
germs and the machine is more easily kept free from bad odors. 
The infertile eggs may be used for cooking purposes. Unl< 
dark room is handy, it is best to do the testing in the evening. 
Never allow draughts in the room while the testing is being done. 
If it is cold, the eggs should be kept covered, and the work done 
as rapidly as possible. Eggs may be satisfactorily tested in sunlight 
by hanging a dark cloth over the window with a round hole cut in 
it a little smaller than an ordinary egg. If a large number of eggs 
are to be tested care should be exercised in locating the tester. If not 
•at the proper height it will become tiresome to hold the arm extended 
toward the tester. It may be found convenient to have the tray of eggs 
at the left of t!.' ;\ There should be 

an empty tray at the right "M which to put the eggs which prove satis- 
factory. There should al o be two small baskets handy, one for 
infertile, and one ( The person doing the testing 

should stand a littl< de of the tester SO that the ri.^ht hand 

is directly in front of it. In this way it is much easier for the 
eyes if looking directly into the light. Take three eggs at a time 
with the left hand and pass them I a time. Hold 

them before the tester ill I hand, large end up. A.S the 

are i ! the good ones in the hsmd and place those con- 

tainir rms or thai .are infertile in their proper place. As 

each handful n the empty tray 

and take t!ir< with the left hand. In this way a 

many 1 in a short time without 

dug them. The fil -nth day. 



White eggs may be tested the fourth or fifth day, but there are 
generally weak germs which do not die until the sixth or seventh 
day, and if testing is done earlier, these remain until the second 
test. At first test an infertile egg is distinguished by a small dark 
spot with spider-like veins branching from it in different direc- 
tions. This is the embryo. If the embryo is living, it will be mov- 
able. A small stationary dark spot, without the blood vessels, is a 
dead germ, stuck to the shell. Other indications of the dead germ 
are blood rings. These indicate a hemorrhage. A dead embryo 
sometimes floats about in the white of the egg. If the egg con- 
tents appear cloudy, with no indications of life, the germ has started 
and died. Perfectly clear eggs are infertile. With proper condi- 
tions of moisture and ventilation, the air cell in the large end of 
the egg will not be much larger than in an unincubated egg, if the 
testing is done on the seventh day or before. The usual time for 
the second test is on or about the fourteenth day of incubation. 

By this time the embryo should be so far developed that the space 
between the air cell and the embryo should be very firm and dis- 
tinct, the air cell being much larger than at first test. The 
embryo will very often move about when held to the light. If 
only partial development has taken place and the division between 
the air cell and the chick is very dim, the egg is usually worth- 
less. The above drawings were made from eggs which had just 
completed the first seven days of incubation. Nos. 1, 2 and 3 rep- 
resent live germs. Nos. 4, 5 and 6 represent dead germs. No. 1 
shows a weak germ, with a few blood vessels branching from it; 
the rest of the egg being very clear and the lowest end of the yolk 
is easily seen in the small end of the egg. No. 2 shows a strong 
germ with a net work of blood vessels surrounding it. No. 3 is 
the same egg turned half way around. The germ is not visible. 
No. 4 shows a dead germ stuck to the shell with a blood ring 
around it, the blood settled in this way from the burst vessels. 
No. 5 represents an egg which once had life. A blood clot is visible 
near the air, cell. No 6 shows a floating dead germ and blood 


clot, also a misplaced air cell. Eggs with air cells in such a posi- 
tion often hatch. 

THE HATCH. — Before the chick commences to pip the shell, 
the operator should arrange the ventilators according to direc- 
tions, also arrange the trays so the chicks will drop into the 
nursery as they come toward the light. If pedigree trays are to 
be used, they should be placed the eighteenth day, after which the 
machine should be kept closed until the hatch is finished. If the 
warm air is allowed to escape, the cold air rushes in chilling the 
chicks. As soon as the hatch is completed, the Qgg trays should 
be removed and the ventilators opened full width. After the 
chickens have dried off thoroughly, the door can be fastened 
open about a half inch at the top unless the weather is too cold. 
The chickens should remain in the nursery until the afternoon 
of the twenty-second day, then they can be removed to the 
brooder. The trays, nursery drawers, if any, and the felt or burlap 
diaphragm should be removed and given a thorough scraping and 
then scrubbed with a stiff brush, using warm water or hot soap 
and water. The disinfectant may be mixed in this or supplied 
later with a spray pump. After disinfecting, the removable parts 
should be placed in the sun to dry. If more hatching is to be done 
the lamp may be left in and the eggs may be put on the trays 
as soon as the machine is thoroughly dried and aired. If no more 
are to be incubated, close the machine and empty the oil 
out of the lamp. This will prevent the evaporation of oil into the 
heater, causing the lamp to smoke badly when relighted 

NATURAL IXCl'HATIOX.— Not all hens make good sitters. 
Nervous or ugly hens will make poor work of hatching and will doubt- 
less trample on some of the chicks before they are strong enough 
to get out of the way. The best sitters are generally of the 
general-purpose breeds. The hen. if allowed to choose her nesting 
place, will often find some spot in a heavy growth of 

grass or weeds. Under such conditions perfect hatches are often 
obtained, and it is customary t<> make the conditions as near as 
possible like those. A of sod placed in the nest can easily 
be shaped to conform with the hen's body. This should he covered 
with leaves, hay or short straw. The nest should not he placed 
where the hen will have to fly to and from it, and should not be 
SO deep thai She will have to jump down on the eggs when 
returning; but dee] b to prevent the young chicks from 

leaving the nest Sitters should he placed where the other hens 
cannot lay to them. If many are to be set at a time, it is best 


to use a separate building or pen if one is available. If not, sev- 
eral small coops can be constructed with run-ways attached. These 
coops should contain a large, roomy nest, also a place for the hen 
to dust in during stormy weather; and they should be high, afford- 
ing plenty of air space. A common board roof is better than tin 
or tar paper, for such a coop, as it does not draw heat so easily. 
Before setting the hen, give her a good thorough dusting with lice 
powder, then sift some powder into the nest. The hen should be 
allowed to sit on china eggs for a few days before putting good 
eggs under her, especially if she is moved from her usual resting 
place. Do not use rotten eggs to start the hen with; they are 
easily broken and are more or less filthy, at best. The eggs may 
be tested the seventh day, and all clear eggs and dead germs 
removed. In this way one hen will often cover two hen's eggs, and 
the other may be broken up or given a fresh lot of eggs. 



"Dwelling on, with anxiety." — Webster. 

The rock that wrecks more poultrymen than all else, is raising 
the necessary young stock. In other words, more people get dis- 
couraged, give it up and go out of the business because they cannot 
raise enough chicks to keep their flock up as it should. The trouble 
is not in hatching the eggs, but in rearing the chick after it is 
hatched. There are a good many incubators made that will, if given 
good fertile eggs, hatch a large per cent of strong chicks. We never 
worry over the hatching part. The machines are in a cellar where 
there is a fairly even temperature, and they are bunched so it is 
easy to care for them. But after the hatching come entirely different 
circumstances. The chicks are taken to small brooders that are 


Fi<;. 4. 


scattered around an acre of land, or else taken to the long pipe 

brooder-house, and now their troubles commence. 

In the small outdoor brooder we have instead of the even tem- 
perature of the incubator cellar, a variation. between noon 
and midnight, and we have to guard agaii them too hot 
and weakening the chicks or having them get chilled, which is still 
for them. 

The Small OUl is an ideal way tO raise healthy 

chirks, if anyone has time to attend to tl rly. The great 

troubl md so much running around 

: many chi 

out of tl down 

on hi hin-1 one tl " in a driving rain- 



storm trying to fix the lamp, knows what trouble means. Now the 
other extreme is the long pipe brooder-house, which is the easiest 
way to care for little chicks, for you can work inside, storms cease 
to worry, and the temperature is more even; the chicks are not likely 
to get chilled, and they are together where you can care for them 
handily. But because the chicks are together there is much greater 
danger of disease spreading among them. 

The runs soon get foul, and unless the surface soil is changed 
in the runs some way they become a menace, and in a few years a 
brooder house is "to let" ; some one has gone out of the business, 
or else there is a fire and an expensive plant goes up in smoke. These 
are the extremes, and I would advise neither of them for the best 
results. We come naturally to the colony house brooder, as some- 
thing large enough to accommodate 150 to 200 chicks, where the 
caretaker can get inside and so care for them during severe storms, 


yet not so large that they cannot be readily moved to new ground 
each year. The colony-house brooder system has been very care- 
fully worked out at Cornell University, which has given us the 
Cornell A type brooder. 

When Prof. James E. Rice took charge of the poultry depart- 
ment at Cornell he carried with him the idea of the gasoline-heated 
colony-house brooder which they had been building and using on 
their plant at Yorktown. Mr. White is still using one of the houses 
built when Prof. Rice was on the farm, and has the best of success 
rearing chicks in them. There are certain necessities which must be 
provided the chick in the brooder which we never worry about when 
the hen is caring for them. First is heat from some source, either 
steam, hot water, hot air, or from their own bodies, as in the tiny 
fireless brooders. The proper temperature for the baby chick is from 
90 to 100 degrees, and the brooder that will always give 100° at its 



warmest place is right in this particular. Along with the right tem- 
perature must be fresh air, which should be supplied freely, but never 
must cold air or a draft be allowed to strike the chicken. Plenty 
of exercise must be provided, which can be done by feeding in the 
fine litter on the tloor of the brooder so the little fellows must 
scratch for their living. Chicks running with the hen get too much 


exercise unless the hen is confined part of each day. But the average 
brooder caretaker seems to think that as long as the chick eats 
well and does not "holler" he is all right ; then when the chick goes 
off his feet, he will lay it to the brooder, forgetting that no brooder 
can know more than the one caring for it. 

Some advantages of this Cornell gasoline-heated colony brooder 
house are that it gives plenty of pure air, without drafts; provides 


1 •' — 

tm r.-« 




<f~ l 1 



<S77. i. k»u u*\ 

proper temperature, plenty of sunlight, a place for the chicks to 

ad is roomy for the attendant The building is eight feet 

Sf|uar walls tWO feet, and is SIX feet from floor to top 

of ridge board When intended to be movable, it Bhouid b 

on sills 2xl2-inch, beveled at the ends tO be used as runners. The 
four floor joLst into the runners, making a strong 



frame that will hold its shape when hauled. A double floor is best, 
the first being of rough material laid diagonally as a brace. On this 
is put building paper, and the top floor of matched dressed lumber 
is laid on this. Studding, 2x2 inch, is toe-nailed to floor flush with 
edge and plates are nailed to top of the studding. 

Figs. 8 and 9 (from Cornell Bulletin, 277) show sectional 
and side views of this brooder-house, and Figs. 10 and 12 give 
vertical and ground plans of the gasoline heater, the same letters 
applying to both cuts. A is the burner box; B a standard Dangler 
lamp burner No. 154; C, pipe connecting burner and outside supply 

V 5 

-a*. _*— ,r- 

; y.* —-^ ^'mJ 



r". y ■ 


# \ 


x,Em- s 


■£& "D 

PlO. IK^SlHim flan «/ rt. faru el 1* Jowl/M kiao 



GROUND PLAN. Fig. 12. 

pipe; D, drip pan to carry outside any escaping gasoline, or when 
fire goes out unexpectedly; E is door in front of burner box, covered 
with wire cloth to admit air, draft being prevented by tin shield 
inside. Air also enters through holes in bottom of rear end of 
burner. F is chamber above heater box, where air entering by four 
one-fourth-inch holes at inside end is warmed by contact and sent 
through perforated tin of chick guard. G is floor collar fitting over 
collar of chamber F. H is chick guard, fitting over collar, G, protect- 
ing chicks from hot steam, I, and giving entrance for fresh air under 
hover. I is stem connecting with radiator, K. L is tin diaphragm 
with thick layer of asbestos on top, supported three-fourths inch 


above bottom of radiator, and extending within three-fourths inch 
of its outer rim. M is outlet to radiator. N connection between 
outlet and vent pipe, P. O is sheet of tin nailed to rear wall of 
house, through which vent pipe passes. Q is guard to prevent hover 
from resting on radiator. R is gasoline tank; S, filler plug; T, filler 
cap, and U outlet connecting with supply pipe, C. 

The method of feeding the chick in the brooder makes less dif- 
ference than the care with which that feeding is done, also the kind 
of feed fed is not of as much importance as the condition of the 
feed. You cannot exercise too much care in feeding. Never feed 
any sour, mouldy or musty feed. Nearly all the trouble among 
brooder chicks comes from this cause. Hither the feed dealer has 
ground up some feed that has started to spoil, or the feed has heated 
after it was ground, and, although not bad enough to be readily 
detected, it will cause indigestion and finally death to the chick. 

To start the baby chick there is nothing finer than bread dried 
in the oven, ground fine and, mixed with hard-boiled eggs, run shells 
and all through a meat chopper; a few onions, also chopped fine, 
i- very good to add to this. In a few days we begin mixing chick 
feed with this, gradually adding more until we are only feeding the 
chick feed for the grain ration entirely, then at three weeks old 
begin to add more wheat and cracked corn to the chick feed, and 
so in a short time you have switched them on wheat and cracked 
corn in equal parts without making any abrupt change in their feed. 

e of the secrets of success in feeding, to give tl 
possible variety of feed all the time and never make an abrupt change 
in the feed. In feeding the soft feed or mash, follow much the 
same plan, starting with clear, flaky bran in cake tins and switching 
gradually over to the regular ration of mixed dry mash, and also 
changing from the cake tins to deeper banns until you can use the 
big outdoor hoppers that only have to be filled once a week, and 
where the chicks run whenever they want to and help themselves. 
Grit is best furnished by having the floor of the brooder covered 

with nice sharp sand, which should be rein- time the 

brooder is cleaned. Later, when the chicks are fed On the r 

a much better 
Way than -;:!.iil hoppers in the I green feed there i- 

nothing better than fine chopped onions and letl rly; later 

in the br . reatly relished. Bui we 

shoul ' little Chicks out on the era— ii:<t as so,»n ;x it i; 

•'".er and temp rature will change this rule, but 

we like to get them out on (lie ground whei 

:: hour at the middle of the day. ;«nd j tl v can 


be trusted to go inside if they feel cold at all, they can be let out 

in the morning and not shut up until night. Another necessity for 
little chicks is plenty of fresh water always before them. The water 
basins should never be allowed to become dirty or dry. If the chicks 
become thirsty because their basins are dry, you are in for trouble, 
for when water is given they will pile up around the basins, and a 
lot of drenched little chicks will result, which may cause chills and 
heavy loss. 

Some partisans of the long pipe brooder-house system claim 
that you can raise the chicks there until three weeks old and then 
place them out in fireless brooders on the range where they can 
develop. This is all right in theory, and although all poultrymen 
admit a chick has very little brains, yet they have a wonderful home 
instinct and, if possible to get around it, should not be moved from 
one brooder to another. It is much better to move the brooder, 
chicks and all, than to try to move the chicks to new quarters while 
they are small. Great loss has frequently occurred after moving 
chicks to new quarters by their huddling on account of fright at the 
strangeness of their new quarters. 

The many diseases of chicks should not come under the head 
of brooding, although they are all part of the anxiety of the poultry- 
man, and many of them occur only during the early or "brooder 
stage" of the chick's life, and are nearly all caused by some neglect 
or blunder of the one running the brooder. Neither should vermin 
come in this chapter, although they are the torment of the poultry- 
man's life, especially during the brooding season, and must always 
be taken account of when figuring on the season's work. The old 
saying, "Not every egg becomes a chicken," is true, and with the 
best of care "not every chicken becomes a hen or even a rooster." 
The awful loss among brooder chicks is responsible for a new busi- 
ness called the "baby chick" trade. There are lots of poultrymen 
who have ample capacity in their incubators for all their needs if 
they could only raise a fair proportion of the chicks hatched. But 
as the season advances and they figure up their mortality, in despera- 
ation they send to some hatchery and buy baby chicks by the thou- 
sand in order to come somewhere near the number of birds they 
need to fill their houses. Of course there is a demand for these 
baby chicks from people who have no incubators, but that this is 
small can be reasoned, because anyone going into the poultry busi- 
ness extensively will have his own incubators, as the hatching is the 
easiest part of the business. 

Some years ago it took a whole lot of nerve to pack a lot of 
freshly hatched chickens in a box and ship them away by express. 


and if the one who first tried it was very familiar with the express 
companies' methods how surprised he must have 1 been to find the 
chicks had arrived safely at their destination ! From some such 
small experiment has grown the new business, that of selling and 
shipping baby chicks or "day olds" as they are sometimes called. 
This business is done by large hatcheries, in mammoth incubators 
and on an immense scale. There are men with their incubator 
capacity of many thousands of eggs who make a business of hatching 
and shipping baby chicks all over the country. Many smaller breeders 
are advertising eggs for hatching and baby chicks at the same time, 
counting on hatching the eggs they can't sell for others to hatch. 
This is no business for the amateur to start, as only an expert with 
the incubators can be sure of "good hatches," and there is no money 
in anything but the best of hatches from vigorous stock, for one has 
to get a reputation for strong vitality in the chicks if he would sell 
twice in the same neighborhood. It takes lots of nerve for a lover 
of chickens to take a hundred of the little downy balls and pack 
them in a flat box, nail down the cover and leave them to the tender 
mercies of the express company. Yet there are thousands shipped 
every day throughout the hatching season. Baby chicks must be 
shipped direct from the incubators before they have been fed. We 
commonly use a box with sides about five inches high and large 
enough to hold 100 or more chicks, first spreading some muslin or 
burlap over the bottom of the box, on which we spread a good 
layer of cotton and then fold back the cloth on which we then place 
the baby chicks just enough so they will not pile up on each other, 
then back over the chicks goes the cloth, to be again covered with 
cotton and after folding back again over the cotton the box is ready 
for the cover to be nailed on. Some shippers use feathers instead 
of cotton, and it is wonderful how they will stand transportation it 
rightly packed. 


If the average poultryman would spend as much for a chick 
raising outfit adapted to natural methods, as he <\ov> for equipment 
based on artificial methods, he would get considerably better 
results, and at the same time reduce the cost for labor and feed 

materially. When I first began raising chickens I was not able 
to find that anybody had put much thought into the problem of 
raising chicks with a minimum of attention. The outfit illustrated 
at PigS. 13-14 :» the product evolved through experience, and after 

•iy material modification. Tn 
round numbers I have in one year raised to broiler size or beyond, 



700 chicks out of 1,000 hatched. So far as I could see practically 
all that loss was due to lack of inherited vigor. 

Given a good chick to start with, the problem is to protect 
from vermin and storms, and at the same time maintain favorable 
environment. The latter requirement means frequent change to 
fresh ground and my "chickery" is designed to provide this with 
a minimum of labor. Everything is so that it is only necessary 
to lift slightly on the end away from the coop and drag as far as 
may be desired. On rainy days an old sack is thrown over the 
open part of the top, so the storm danger is practically eliminated. 

By running the eggs under the hen for nineteen days and then 
shifting to the incubator to hatch, the little fellows have a couple 
of days to get on their pins, safe from lice or being trodden under- 
foot. Then I take them out, grease their heads, put about a dozen 
under a hen, and keep them in the "chickery" for three weeks. 
When they are about a week old I grease their heads again, and 


then make a final application when they are given free range. 
For three weeks they seem perfectly contented in their confine- 
ment, but after that they grow restless, and do better running free. 

These outfits are 7 feet long over all, 2 feet wide and 20 inches 
high. The chicks are fed commercial chick feed by means of an 
automatic device made of wire screens. By pecking at this they 
work out just what they need but no more. The slatted partition 
lets the chicks into the feeding compartment, but keeps the hen 
out. The saving in feed at 2^ cents a pound is no small item 
of advantage. The water can hangs from above, the same as the 
feeder. The hen can reach it to drink all she pleases, but she 
cannot tip it over, or scratch it full of dirt Beef scrap is supplied 
after the first week, in a little hopper tacked to the corner post, 
opposite the feeder. The old hen is fed principally on whole corn. 

With these outfits it is not necessary to go near the little 
chicks oftener than once a day in good weather. Any attention 
may be given after dark as well as at any other time. I have 



frequently gone out in the evening, moved the chicks to fresh 
ad, tilled up the water tanks and feeders, thrown in some whole 
corn for the old hen's breakfast, and then returned thirty-six hours 
later to find everything all right. But best of all, the feed is right 
there waiting the moment the chicks wake up in the morning, 
and that is several hours earlier than a good many people realize. 
System and the right equipment make it possible to raise hrst-class 
chickens without much interference with the regular daily routine. 

HOMEMADE BROODER.— "The material required is an 
empty one-pound coffee can, a two-pound coffee can, a piece of gal- 
vanized sheet iron 24x.'J6 inches, with a hole in center that will just 
fit the one-pound can, 83 feet of seven-eights-inch matched pine and 
six feet of one-half-inch pine. Make the four sides of the box nine 
inches high; that will just take in the sheet iron; put strips %xl 
inch inside the box two inches below top edge, for the sheet iron to 

_o a k / ,p — a_ 



rest on. Take the one-pound can and cut slits a half inch apart all 

around the top edge; cut just down to where the bulge in the tin is 

(about one-half inch), put the slit part through the sheet iron and 

bend the slit pieces down flat on the iron. The bulge prevents the 

can from going through the iron, and it the slit pieces are ham- 

d down tight it makes nearly an air-tight job, but to make sure 

that no fumes from the lair e the sheet iron it is better 

to solder it tight Place X and nail strips on top 

of iron, pr Nail a floor of 

h stuff on top of l>ox, CUttin of the 

>und coffee can: slit the can like the Otl 

•id nail on top of floor, hut til -I punch the top oi can full of 
■ {-inch h"les to let the hot air out. T ' \ half-inch 

two - nds througl I iron and 

floor of brooder to let in air; also four holes : ;d of box 


one inch in diameter near bottom edge to let in air for lamp. The 
rest is plain carpenter work. Take a piece nine inches wide, length 
of box, and nail or screw on back end, letting it come down only an 
inch or so below the edge of box. Then nail on sides, using two 
2x2-inch posts 30 inches long to hold up front end. I line the hover 
part with >2-inch pine 6^2 inches wide, nailing on strips at top and 
bottom edge one-half inch square, so that it makes a half-inch air 
space on ends and hack. 

"The hover cover of %-inch stuff rests on this lining and is not 
fastened, can be lifted out to clean out brooder, and as chicks get 
old enough is removed entirely. To the front of hover cover are 
tacked strips of cloth two inches wide, reaching the floor. Some 
of these cloth strips can be turned up on top of cover to let out hot 
air on warm days. On front part of sides bore holes as shown in 
figure, and make a sliding cover so as to close or open these holes. 
The amount of air entering the half-inch holes above sheet iron 
and passing over chicks is governed by these ventilators. The front 
half of roof is screwed to sides and front and middle bar. The back 
half is loose and projects three inches under front part; can be 
lifted up as shown by dotted lines, then by lifting hover cover the 
floor can be easily cleaned." 


The business hen should make her start early in the year. 
Hatch as early as possible and get the chick well on its way before 
hut weather comes on. You want the pullets to begin laying early, 
while the old hens are moulting. This means 200 days or more of 
growth, and this growth must be rapid and steady if you expect 
the pullet to attend to business early. If the early part of the 
season is warm the chicks will be weaned at eight to 10 weeks 
old. Then the old hen deserts them, or they leave the brooder 
and must shift for themselves. The growth they make during this 
"first Summer'" determines most of their usefulness. We should give 
the pullets free range, within reasonable limits. We find an apple 
orchard with reasonably low trees a good place for the pullets to 
make their growth. They will occupy the brooder or colony 
house for a time, but finally, as they gain size and strength, will 
fly up and roost in the trees. They do no harm, but benefit them- 
selves in this way, and we permit them to stay in the trees until 
late Summer or early Fall, when they are put into the Winter 
houses. It is something of a job to catch these tree roosters, but 
the free life through the Summer docs them good. If the pullets 
are kept free from lice and given what they want of pure water 
and clean food they will pretty much take care of themselves, and 
be the better for doing it. The great point is to keep them con- 
tented and growing steadily, with plenty of exercise. The old 
plan of feeding is now giving way to the modern method of keep- 
ing a hopper of "dry mash" constantly before them, so that they 
can help themselves at will. A feeding outfit used in Minnesota 
iwu at Fig. 18. A "dry mash" is a mixture of grains or 
dried meat — much like the old wet mash with the water left out. 
There is some controversy as to the value of dry mash in unlimited 
quantities for laying stock, but it seems to he demonstrated that for 
young birdfl the dry food i^ superior. It is a more economical way 
of feeding — saving much labor and time. One method ^i dry 
mash feeding is described by A. F. Ihmter. 

lie uses a commercial dry mash mixture already mixed, hut if 
a man is raising chickens on a large BCale he may mix his own dry 



mash. A good mixture is recommended by the Maine Experiment 
Station. This consists of 200 pounds of wheat bran, 100 pounds 
cornmeal, 100 pounds middlings, 100 pounds gluten meal or brewers' 
grains, 100 pounds linseed meal and 100 pounds of beef scrap. 
These materials are spread on the floor in layers, one above the 
other, and thoroughly mixed with a shovel or hoe. Smaller 
amounts in the same proportion can be mixed in the same way. 
Mr. Hunter thinks this dry mash is too forcing for some breeds, at 
least, and he would recommend leaving out the linseed meal from 
the mixture. The commercial feeds often contain small quantities 
of buckwheat, some sunflower seed and Kaffir corn, all of which 
add to the variety, and that pleases the birds. This dry mash is 
fed to the young birds in a hopper, such as is described in the 
picture, Fig. 16. One picture shows the hopper complete, and the 
other with the top taken off, so that it may be filled. The roof is 
made of a good quality of roofing paper, and as shown in the pic- 

[ASH HOPPER. Fig. 16. 


ture, projects four inches beyond the edges of the trough, and this 
protects the grain from a driving rain. This hopper can be made 
of any desired size. The one shown in the picture holds about half 
a bushel of grain on each side. The slats, through which the hens 
put their heads to feed, are made of lath, and there is a slanting 
lip made of a planed lath along the front of the trough, which pre- 
vents the grain being thrown out when the birds are feeding. Such 
a hopper will provide- a dry mash for about 50 birds, and require 
filling once a week, so there is little labor required in caring for the 
birds. In some systems of colony feeding the water supply is pro- 
vided by filling a barrel with water with a faucet draining into a 
small pan. The faucet is arranged so that it drops slowly, drop by 
drop. This provides water enough for the chicks and can be regu- 
lated properly, and the barrel, if covered, will hold pure water 
enough for a week's supply. In this system little labor is required, 
and the chicks grow rapidly and well. Under Mr. Hunter's system 
the cockerels are left with the pullets until the former weigh about 



V/ 2 pounds; that is, for Plymouth Rocks or Wyandottes. At this 
weight the cockerels are taken out and shut up for fattening. We 
would rather remove the cockerels earlier and fatten them from the 
time they can be separated from the pullets. 

It is understood that the pullets alone are to be fed in this way. 
It would not pay to handle the young cockerels in like manner, 
should he sold as soon as a profitable buyer can be found, 
or eaten at home. As soon as they can be detected, separate them 
from the pullets and put them in a small covered pen by them- 
selves. With the pullets, the object is to force them to make bone 
and muscle without too much fat, while the cockerels are nol to 
be kept any longer than is necessary. Running at large, they will 
worry and fight and eat their heads off without growing fat enough 
to sell. Cooped up and stuffed with a fattening ration they can be 
sold as squab broilers or as larger birds. There is a good demand 
for squab broilers, weighing from 1:. to 14 ounces each. 



It requires considerable skill to pick a squab broiler nicely. 
The skin is tender and the appearance of the bird adds much to 
its value. A broiler with the skin torn in pieces would be rejected 
by many buyers. Skillful pickers of larger birds frequently give 
up in disgust after trying to pick the broilers. Only those with 
yellow skin and are desired, and, of course, they must be plump 
and well shaped. These little birds are deprived of food for at least 
L2 hours before killing, so as to have the crop empty; hang the 
chickens by both feet and bleed them by Opening the mouth and 
with a sharp knife cutting the main artery ;;t the base of the tongue. 

Draw ail i! 1 '- blood quickly, pull out the large wing and tail feathers 

first, then the smaller feath- ally the pin feathers. 

The grei • taken in picking the wings and 

the feathers are 

off throw the little bird in : COOlfl it quickly and 

loiing. When ready for shipment take them from 

the ice water and pack in pounded a luxury. 


high priced at that, and like the production of fancy strawberries 
or apples, certified milk or any other form of luxurious food, 
require special knack and "instinct" to do the work properly. 
Unless a man can master come of these qualities he would better 
let the birds grow larger and sell as large broilers or roasters. 

Cockerels fed well until they weigh about two pounds often 
make very profitable brothers to the business hen — far more so 
than when they are permitted to run at large. One cause of loss 
on some poultry farms is the failure to handle the cockerels prop- 
erly. Where they are wanted for breeders, of course, they should 
not be handled in this way, but given free range and fed like the 
pullets, but the great majority of them should be put by themselves 
as soon as they are recognized and fed a fattening ration. A good 
mixture is four parts by weight of cornmeal, two parts wheat mid- 
dlings and one part beef scraps. This is wetted with skim-milk 
into a soft mush or porridge, wet enough to run from the spoon. 
When cockerels are fed all they will eat of this, with plenty of 
water and kept quietly in the shade, they will grow fast and give 
soft, sweet meat, far superior to that of the skinny bird, which runs 
at large. Anyone who has ever tasted the flesh of "milk fed" 
poultry will appreciate such meat, and this plan of separating the 
cockerels early and feeding them this porridge may well be prac- 
ticed even by those who have but a small flock. 

Some poultrymen who follow the colony plan — that is, hens in 
small houses scattered over a large field — winter the pullets in the 
houses, which serve as brooders early in the season. A cheap and 
sensible house of this character is shown in the illustrations, Figs. 
20-21-22-23, and thus described by C. M. Gallup, with whom it 
originated. Early in the season the little chicks can be brooded in 
such a house and later a flock of matured pullets wintered in it. 

"In addition to the advantages common to all colony houses, 
this design has several all its own. The space beneath the floor 
provides shade from the hot sun, shelter from storms and protec- 
tion against hawks. The absence of a foundation or underpinning 
leaves nothing to harbor rats. Then the weight of the structure 
makes moving to fresh ground a very simple matter. One horse 
will drag it any distance, and for a matter of a few hundred feet 
it can be kedged along with a chain and a crowbar. Ample ventila- 
tion at night is provided by the cloth screen, which slides in 
grooves. If birds are to be confined during the day, a wire screen 
is desirable. The depth of the house makes cleaning with a hoe 
easy, so that the lack of headroom is no objection. I use this house 
for an outdoor brooder shed early in the season, a roosting coop 


later on, and then do the culling and leave the pullets right where 
they feel at home. Then there is no break in the continuity of 
their lives just as they arc ready to lay. 

"The house is seven feet long by five feet deep, three feet high 
at the rear, with a pitch of three inches per foot to the roof. The 
frame is of ordinary hardwood boards, 3xJ$ inches, assembled as 


REAR VIEW. Fio. '.'!. 

shown by the picture. The sills are 2x6 inches, and the flooring is 
^6-inch stuff, laid parallel to the ends of the house. The sheathing 
is 7-lG-inch Southern pine, tongucd and grooved. This is nailed 
vertically on the ends, and horizontally over front, top and back. 
This makes the whole thing remarkably rigid for its weight, and 
there is no tendency for the house to rack when it is moved or 
propped up. The patent roofing, which covers the top, ends and 
rear, makes it wind-tight and dry. Battened down with lath, this 
covering lasts for a good many years. The materials used in build- 
ing this house cost almost exactly six dollars three years ago. 
rience developed the interesting fact that the hens were just 
as ready and willing to lay in a nest outside the house, as one 

as LAYING BOUSE. !■':■ 


within, so that makes a further saving of floor space possible. The 
perches are simply light horses, which are taken outside for spray- 
ing, and tO make cleaning Ott1 The size of this house makes 

it just right for a 1 ' < If urinated females, it will house 

ithoul much crowding, [n «••- wing capons, I have wintered 

35 or 40 in it and had them do well." 


The lighter and more active breeds of cockerels may be fattened 
in a pen, but the heavier breeds will make quicker growth in a 
fattening crate. The Minnesota Experiment Station recommends 
a crate such as is shown at Fig. 19, and described as follows : 

"The fattening crate is quite easily constructed and will last for 
years if properly made. It is usually six feet long, 16 inches wide, 
18 inches high, and is divided into three equal-sized compartments, 
each holding from four to six birds, as the case may be. The slats 
or laths, which are usually 1%. inches wide, are placed 1^2 inches 
apart at the ends, sides and top of the crate, but those in front are 
placed vertically and are two inches apart, giving the birds plenty 
of room to put their heads through to eat from the trough. The 
floor of the crate is made of slats, which run lengthwise and are 
placed one inch apart, leaving a one-inch space on either side 
between the first lath and the sides of the crate. The crate should 
stand on short legs or trestles to allow for convenience in cleaning 
out the droppings which fall to the floor. The trough is made 
the full length of the crate, and should be about three or four 
inches deep." 

At this station the pens for fattening cockerels are made movable. 
The roosting coop for such a pen is three feet wide, six feet long, 
two feet high at back and three feet in front. The yard is made 
of two hurdles of wire netting 12 feet long and 18 inches high and 
one six feet wide. A large hurdle covers the top. This outfit will 
hold 25 to 50 cockerels and is moved around from day to day. 


The writer of this chapter wishes to describe the construction of 
a poultry building which is comfortable, inexpensive, and simple in 
design, and to include in this discussion the principles to be con- 
sidered when designing poultry houses. It is, of course, impossible 
to meet all conditions or suit all tastes in one type of house. 
Familiarity with the principles of poultry-house construction, how- 
ever, makes it possible for one to mould this type of house, or any 
other, into a type more suitable to his tastes and convenience, r.nd 
to climatic conditions. 

It is of prime importance that the house be located in a con- 
venient, accessible place, one protected from the cold Winter winds, 
and at the same time exposed to warmth of the morning and mid-day 
sun. A southern or southeastern slope, because of the more direct 
exposure to the sun's rays, is consequently more desirable. Such 
a slope, furthermore, is drier, often making it possible for the fowls 
to get on to dry ground several weeks earlier in the Spring and later 
in the Fall. Sunshine, dryness, warmth and accessibility are the 
influential factors in locating the site of the house. 

In the construction of the "Business Henhouse" illustrated in 
Fig. 24, a rectangular enclosure is staked out 16 feet wide and 32 
feet long, with the long side running as near east and west as the 
slope of the land and the nearness of other buildings will allow. A 
trench about 12 inches wide is next dug around the edge of this 
enclosure, the outer edge of the trench being about three inches out- 
side of the 16x32 foot enclosure. In ordinary soils this trench should 
be about 30 inches deep, but in sandy or gravelly soils it need not 
■ I one foot in depth. The trench should then he filled with 
cobblestones or coarse gravel to within four inches of the ground 
level. In this manner a well-drained bottom is prepared for the 
foundation wall of the house, and prevents its heaving and cracking 
by ft nent wall six inches thick makes an excellent founda- 

tion for the building. This wall should he at least six inches above 
the grouii<: , turn surface wash aside and to make a raised 

Boor pOS8ible. It the ground is uneven the wall will need to be 
higher in places to bring the top edge level. The outer edge of this 















































































•"- 1 














































































































































































































hotlld coincide with the original outline of the proposed build- 
ing. All is now ready for the floor. 

In Fig. 25 details of the roost and nest arrangements are 
given. K is the roost; M, droppings board; B, nests, and N, drop 
door to nests. At the rear is a wire-screened jail for broody 
hens, and in front is the shield O, protecting the roosts from drafts. 
Fig. 2G from the center front shows arrangement of cloth curtain 



END VTEW. Fig. 87, 

and mall exit for hens, and one end of the house, with place for 
feed hopper, water pan and outer door is shown at Fig, 87. 

warmth and dryness of the house greatly depends upon the 
cons*- :' the floor. The a-. [] is sufficiently heavy to 

retain enough moisture to make the house damp ai iingiy 

rous to the fowls' health during certain seasons o! the year. 
This condition can l"- forestalled by filling in with cobblestones, 
gravel or cindrrs. The level of (Of should \k raised above that 

run business hbnhousb. 59 

of the ground outside, even if the dirt floor is to be used. The 
cement floor, however, is preferable to either the wooden or earth 
floor, since it is so much more easily cleaned and freed from rats, 
mice and vermin. Moreover, it is dry when properly constructed. 
To make it so, fill in the space between the foundation walls to 
within two inches of the top level with stones and gravel. The 
last two inches can then be filled with concrete similar to that used 
in the wall. If the mixture is made rather watery, the top can be 
troweled off smooth and level, making it unnecessary to add a 
finishing or wearing surface of richer and finer material. A good 
thickness of tarred paper laid beneath the layer of concrete helps to 
keep moisture from coming up into the floor. A well-drained floor, 
however, will be dry without this precaution. 

The framework of this house can be constructed from two by 
four-inch timbers, as illustrated in Fig. 24. If the roof is very 
flat the rafters should be of heavier material. 

One thickness of tight matched boards is sufficient covering for 
any part of the building. In localities where the temperature goes 
below zero for weeks at a time, the extra protection of a roofing 
paper, on the side exposed to the cold winds, is desirable. The house 
can be made still warmer by covering the inside studding with 
unmatched boards, or fine mesh wire, and filling the air space with 
straw. The inside boards should be far enough apart to allow cir- 
culation of air in the space between the walls, or it would be even 
colder than the single matching. Unfortunately, such a wall fur- 
nishes an excellent hiding and breeding place for mice and vermin, 
and is, consequently, advised in extremely cold climates only. 

The sides should be built low in order to lessen the amount of 
air which the fowls will have to warm. For this reason also the 
house is often ceiled with either matched boards or straw, sup- 
ported loosely by boards or poultry wire. When used, the ceiling 
extends from the front plate to the rafters opposite, thence down 
to the rear plate. Although a ceiling adds to the expense of the 
house, it does make the house warmer in the Winter and cooler in 
the Summer by virtue of the fact that the air space above holds the 
cold coming through the roof in the Winter, and the heat in the 
Summer. When using either kind of ceiling openings should be 
made in each end of the peak in order to allow a slight circulation 
of air in both Winter and Summer, otherwise the extreme outside 
heat, or cold, will eventually penetrate this air space and make the 
ceiling as hot or cold as the roof. The amount of ventilation given 
this chamber should, of course, be greater in the Summer than in 
the Winter. 


A ceiling is more appropriate in a gable or combination-roof 
house than in a shed-roof house. The shed-type house is rarely 
ceiled unless very wide and very high in front. The shed-type roof, 
however, has the advantage of being easy to construct, it turns all 
the water to the back and gives a high front exposure to the sun's 
heat. It dues not make as attractive a building as the combination 
or gable. The combination style utilizes a lower rear wall and a 
higher front exposure than the gable. In this way it economizes on 
both lumber and cubic feet air space. Both these types require that 
the rafters be securely tied to prevent the weight of the roof from 
spreading the plates. The tie beams should be near the peak unless 
the roof is ceiled. 

Undoubtedly, the most economical covering for the roof is a 
good grade of roofing paper or tin on a tight board surface. Such 
roofing material makes it possible to use a flat pitched roof. If 
the roof is shingled instead, the pitch or slope must be at least one- 
third, or 30 degrees, thus increasing the air space of the house, and 
unless the roofing boards are tight, making a looser and colder roof. 
Such construction makes the inside ceiling more necessary. 

Probably most important of all is the front of the house where 
the glass windows and other openings are placed. All the openings 
are placed on the one side, so that by keeping the other three sides 
tightly closed a draft is prevented from passing through the open 
front and out through the opening on the other side, or vice versa. 
The glass windows should be large, and placed vertically extending 
from a few inches above the floor to a point six or seven feet higher. 
This position of the windows allows the sun's rays to reach every 
part of the floor from front to back, thereby keeping the house 
brighter, drier and healthier. The windows can be opened by slid- 
ing to one side, or by swinging outward from hinges placed at the 
top or b ittom of the sash, but when arranged as in Fig. 84 the 
separate sash are fastened together and hinged at the side to open 
like a door. Enough blank wall space should be left at the side ni 
the window to allow it to open fully against the wall where it will 
not be broken. The window covered with poultry 

mesh wire, prevent tl railing when the windows are 

open. Thi :re can best be pul on the window studding and be 
in by the the windows to be w^l should 

provide about one square very LO to 16 square feet 

use" has one square foot to 
every L2.9 Bquare feet tl Bach window has three sash of 

• lit ire!) light and hinged to swing back 

the wall. 


An additional window covered with cloth is used for ventilating 
this house. The size of this window should be varied according to 
climatic conditions, and should be placed where it will allow the 
least amount of draft to reach the fowls, especially while roosting. 
The window in the "business henhouse" is 3x4 feet in size, and 
placed near one end of each pen. There is also a shield between 
this window and the perches. The curtain frame is covered with 
light muslin and hinged at the top to swing up and fasten to the 
ceiling. The opening is covered with mosquito mesh wire which 
serves to turn the storm and wind better than poultry mesh wire, 
and makes it unnecessary to drop the cloth curtain except on very 
cold nights or during prolonged storms. This ventilating window 
should be placed at least three feet above the floor in order that the 
incoming air may be broken up and distributed before reaching the 
fowls on the floor. 

For Summer, additional ventilation is necessary. It is well to 
have a small trap door in the back of the pen which can be opened 
as soon as the hot weather comes and closed tightly in the Fall to 
remain so all Winter. If perches are placed in the rear of the pen a 
shield should be placed in front of this opening to prevent the air 
blowing on to the roosting fowls. 


When considering the comfort of the fowls and the convenience 
of the caretaker, the interior arrangement of the pen is nearly as 
important as the construction of the building. The warmest part of 
the building should be selected for the perches. It is even advisable 
in very cold climates to give them the additional protection of double 
walls and a cloth curtain in front. The arrangement of the roosts 
in the "business henhouse" is such that the fowls of the adjoining 
pens are next to the same partition where each flock can be of mutual 
assistance in providing warmth. The perches are placed high enough 
to make their removal unnecessary when cleaning the droppings 
platform. All the perches must be of the same height, or the fowls 
will fight for the higher warmer ones. Each fowl should be allowed 
from six to eight inches linear perch room. The droppings platform, 
on the other hand, may have a slight forward pitch. This will keep 
the fowls from squatting on it at night, as well as facilitating clean- 
ing. Usually at one end of this platform a small space is parti- 
tioned off by a wire screen and fitted with a hardware cloth, or slat- 
bottom frame to be used for breaking up sitters. The slatted bottom 
can be removed when cleaning or when the coop is used for an extra 
cock bird or injured fowl. 


When droppings platforms are used, which is advisable, they 
make an excellent cover for the nests. However, the nests are fre- 
quently built on the side wall and e slanting cover put over 
them. If placed under the droppings board as shown in Fig. 25, 
the nests are made in the form of a frame with a bottom of wood or 
quarter-inch mesh hardware cloth. Each nest should be about 14 
inches square and six to eight inches deep. A hinged door covering 
the, front darkens the nests and makes them seem secluded to the 
fowls. They are entered from the enclosed runway behind which 
has an opening at either end. These openings can be closed with 
small sliding doors and the broody hens and pullets kept from roost- 
ing in the nests at night. 

Each pen should be further equipped with a dry mash, self- 
feeding hopper, a water pan, and with a grain supply can in case the 
pen is distant from the feed barn. The feed hopper and water pan 
may be placed on a raised platform from 15 to IS inches above the 
floor both to give greater floor space and to prevent the litter from 
being kicked into the feed and water when the fowls work in the 
litter. These devices should be arranged in the most convenient 
places left vacant after the doors and perches and nests are located. 
The entire back wall or side wall can be used for these purposes in 
the "business henhouse." No obstruction should be placed along 
the front wall because the passageway to adjoining pens is so close 
to it. Many would wish to put a box or form in front of the win- 
dows to be filled with dust-bath material. This would not be advan- 
tageous in the "business henhouse." The box should be put at the 
rear or on one side. 

The partitions between pens in open front houses should be solid 
from the floor to the ceiling. Wire partitions endanger the fowls to 
drafts. Half board partitions finished with cloth to the ceiling are 
sometimes used, but the partition near the roosting chamber should 
always be of tight boards. The door between pens i> located in the 
most convenient place with reference to the roosts and nests and 
feed hoppers. It is placed in about the center of the partition when 
the nn^ts are along the rear side, but in houses arranged like the 
"business henhouse" with the perches along the partition wall, the 
door can hesl DC placed near the front. With the door in this posi- 
tion there is little chance of a draft between pens. All partition 

a six inch threshold to hold the litter 
in the pens. This description of the "business henhouse," and the 
principles UpOfl which it is based apply to many other styles of 
buildings and make it possible for one to alter the size or style of 

this hou e to their own desire or requirements. 


The "business henhouse" is designed for flocks of about one 
hundred fowls. The two pens make it possible to separate the old 
from the young, or the better from the poorer ones. For smaller 
flocks the same design can be used with shorter measurements. This 
style also enables the construction of a long house with a number 
of pens. 


It is quite as possible also to use these principles in remodeling 
an old house or fitting up an unused barn or outbuilding into a com- 
fortable poultry house. Occasionally after building, a house of 
approved design it is found to be too cold or dark, or poorly ven- 
tilated and damp. At such times a slight alteration or addition will 
often remedy this condition and make the house desirable instead of 

A frequent mistake is to build a house with high walls back and 
front and without ceiling, making it very spacious and cold. It is 
a simple matter to spike 2x4-inch supports to the side walls . and 
with cross beams to construct a ceiling about 6*^ feet above the 
floor. This ceiling can be covered with tight-fitting boards, or with 
straw 18 inches thick, supported by poultry mesh wire or by loosely 
joined boards. In either case, there should be a small ventilating 
door to this air space above in each end of the house. 

A less serious error is to use an alley-way. It is an expensive 
luxury, occupying valuable space which cannot be used by the fowls 
for exercise, but has to be warmed up by them. Such an alley-way 
can easily be torn out and the pens arranged as suggested in the 
"business henhouse." Practically, the only advantage of an alley- 
way house is its cleaner appearance and separate entrance for exhibit- 
ing stock to visitors. As such pens are generally arranged they do 
not expedite work even in long houses. It is also a fallacy to believe 
that the fowls are frightened more when fed directly in the pen than 
from the alley-way. They soon become accustomed to the feeder, 
and can be watched more closely to discover any sick or poor ones 
which would be hidden from the alley. 

Probably, the most faulty construction in the old types of houses 
is the lack of proper ventilation. In those styles ventilation was 
possible only when the door was opened and closed by the feeder, or 
through small exit doors. Such houses cannot accommodate their 
full capacity of fowls, and the moisture given off in the fowls' 
breath is retained in the pen, making it damp, and in the Winter 
frosty. This moisture-laden air should have a chance to escape and 
drier, pure air take its place. Such a condition can be provided by 
substituting a porous cloth curtain in place of a glass window, or 


if there is too little glass area already, by cutting an opening in 
the front of the bouse and fitting in a cloth curtain similar to the 
one in the "business henhouse." This opening should provide about 
one square foot of cloth to about 16 to 20 square feet of floor space. 
Under normal conditions this ventilation will keep the house dry and 
the air pure. Other methods of ventilation have been found less 
satisfactory, and in some instances, the more expensive systems do 
not work at all, due to the slight difference in temperature of the 
air inside and outside. When fresh air is abundant, a larger num- 
ber of fowls can be kept in the same pen with safety. The working 
rule is four square feet of floor space per fowl. 

During extremely cold weather even the cloth window does not 
always prevent the frost from collecting on the walls. The frost 
will usually be found in houses where the fowls are roosting at the 
back or coldest side, where the moisture in their breath striking 
against the cold wall is condensed and frozen before it is removed. 
To relieve this condition tightly enclose the roosting chamber on 
the back and top by ceiling from the droppings platform up the rear 
studding and under the rafters, leaving a space so that the air can 
circulate between the rafters and entirely about this chamber as rep- 
resented in Fig. 25. The circulation of air within this space caused 
by the warmth of the fowls roosting nearby carries off and dis- 
tributes the cold before it penetrates to the inner boards. In this 
way the air within the roosting chamber, moist with breath, is 
allowed to pass off before being condensed and frozen. It is occasion- 
ally necessary, however, to enclose this chamber on the front with a 
cloth curtain hanging several inches in front of the perches to allow 
sufficient air to enter and give the fowls opportunity to get down 
to the floor early in the morning. Such a curtain musi he used 
judiciously, since there is much danger of overheating and weaken- 
ing the fowls if it is dropped on warm nights. 

Dampness in a house also comes through the floor. Ground 
floors which are not raised on the inside or tilled in with sand, Or 
Concrete floors constructed without under drainage, allow the mois- 
ture to rise through them and into the house. The dirt floor can he 
remedied by filling in with sand or by building a concrete floor if 

found to h<- necessary. Tin- dampness in an improperly drained 

concrete floor can he temporarily lessoned by covering it with an 
inch 01 ' and. When c increte fl >rs are laid i" early Winter. 

their dry:: i ith sand. This will 

t them from fl 

cold, damp and disagreeable can be 




The design of the "business henhouse" is adaptable to either the 
single pen colony house or a long house with several pens. Usually 
the farmers' small flock requires but a small house with two pens. 
Larger houses or more of them, however, are necessary for the 
occasional farmer or poultryman who keeps several hundred mature 
fowls. It is the custom among such poultrymen either to scatter 
their flocks in colony houses or to keep them in one or two long 
houses. Each system has advantages and some disadvantages. 

The colony house system allows the fowls greater freedom. 
They can go in all directions from their house, whereas in the long 
house they are usually restricted to one side, arid frequently to a 
narrow patch leading away from their pens. A hen always wishes to 
get on the other side of the fence, and for this reason, if no other, 
do away with fences as much as possible and instead run the fowls 
together in large outdoor flocks, or in colonies far enough apart so 
that they do not mix easily. Fences are very expensive and a 
nuisance in every way. 

There is less chance of disease spreading from colony to colony 
than from pen to pen in a long house. And because of the greater 
freedom and the lesser contamination of the ground around a colony 
house fowls get diseased less frequently. It is generally accepted 
that fowls kept in small flocks give greater returns both in the num- 
ber and the hatching power of the eggs produced. For these reasons 
the colony system should be used for the breeding stock. The long 
house system on the other hand, minimises the time and labor needed 
in feeding and caring for the fowls, thereby enabling one to person- 
ally manage a much larger plant. All of the work is done indoor 
and under shelter, and because of the compactness of the plant many 
labor-saving devices, such as the overhead feed car, can be used 
advantageously. The long house also can be built much more 
economically than the colony houses of the same capacity, for in 
bringing two colony houses together one end of each house is saved. 
For this reason, too, the long house is less exposed and is conse- 
quently warmer. 

Perhaps the greatest objection to the long house is the probable 
contamination of the ground in front of the pens, unless the land be 
very sandy. This condition can be prevented by using the double 
yard system, with one yard in front and one in back. These yards 
can be used alternately, and one }^ard be cultivated and cropped while 
the other is used by the fowls. In this way contamination is pre- 
vented, and in addition the valuable fertilizer from these fowls, 
Otherwise lost, is turned into excellent crops. A consideration of 



the advantages of each system lends to a natural combination of 
the two methods, a combination which at present is practiced too 
seldom. This combination would make use of the colony housi 
the 1 ■ tock only, and of the long houses for the bulk of the 

kept primarily for egg production. This practice would pro- 
vide • ling stock in colony houses with conditions conducive 
to the production of strong eggs capable of hatching out vigorous 


chicks, and on the other hand it would enable the poultryman to 
numbers of laying hens in the long house with the 
least amount of labor and expense. 

Tin- "New York State Model Laying House," in tuse at 
Cornell University, is shown at Fig. 28. This is a good illustra- 
tion of the shed-type, fresh-air house. The hack and ends, as well 
as the roof, are covered with paper to make the house tighter. 
There is a Summer ventilator above the glass windows and a 

A tv v HOUSE, l' 

■:.t wallow just inside the lower sash. This house cm be 

n colony I e, built by 

D.J I rt, Apponaug, R. I. 'I 'he shape of this house mal 

he fowl the part i^" s - 

doth, which swings 



A MAKESHIFT HOUSE.— Some good hen records are made 
in cheap houses not built on scientific lines. Such a house is de- 
scribed below. In such cases it is not so much the house as the 
man who knows by instinct how to make the hens comfortable. 

"What results would you expect from 75 hens wintered in a 
coop of this cost? I had 75 May-hatched pullets to winter. I built 
a coop 12x18 feet, inside measurement. The material was sod for 
the sides; the roof was straw, covered with corn fodder; the floor, 
Nature's deodorizer, natural earth. I first selected a well-sheltered 
location, then proceeded by setting three crotches, each crotch set 
three feet deep. This for the peak of my roof. Next I set ordinary 
six-foot fence posts on side four feet apart, two feet deep, leaving 
sides of coop four feet high, plenty high enough for sides of any 
coop. Then I spiked poles on to those fence posts on top, and 
nailed on small poles on sides of posts ; laid poles in those centef 
crotches, then laid poles from post plates to crotch poles for rafters, 


and my frame was complete. I put in a window frame of plank on 
south side 2x8 feet, covered same with muslin curtain (no glass) ; 
but door in east end. I cut sod and sodded up sides; put a little 
brush crosswise of rafter poles, covered with straw and shingled 
with corn fodder. The foundation of my coop is raised slightly so 
water runs away from it, which is very important. So my labor and 
all would amount to about $12. I put pullets in coop in December 
and they soon began laying. In January, February, March and April 
I averaged close to five dozen eggs per day. My income was a little 
better than $1 per day clear of feed; and they have continued lay- 
ing well all Summer till molting this Fall. Now they are mostly 
through the molt and are going right into the egg producing busi- 
ness again." 



Il is unquestionably true that a large number of the failures in 
poultry enterprises arc due directly to disease and that these dis 
are, as a rule, not of a communicable nature, but rather the result 
of mismanagement, unskilled feeding, and too little attention to gen- 
eral sanitation. Any system of feeding and care which does not 
keep the fowls active, bright-eyed, of keen appetite, slick in appear- 
ance, and of hard flesh, is fundamentally wrong. It is by careful 
housing, feeding and management that the diseases described in the 
following paragraphs may be prevented. One must recognize that 
se is a sign that proper care and sanitation have not been prac- 
and must take immediate steps to rectify these conditions. 
The individual treatment of fowls is expensive and unsatisfactory, 
for after the fowl is cured it usually takes a little longer time to 
get her back into laying condition. The preventive method of treat- 
ment is the safest and most economical. 

For this reason importance should be attached to sanitation. 
The pens should be thoroughly sprayed with a disinfecting 
ti"n or whitewashed at least twice a year. It is advisable to spray 
the perches and nest boxes frequently during winn weather. As 
■ litter becomes damp or filthy, replace it. Use the drop- 
id underneath the perches and remove the droppings at 
uce a week, always sprinkling coal ashes or land plaster on the 
boards and again over the droppings once or twice between 
This practice not only keeps the pen cleaner and sweeter, 

but n. ier to clean the droppings board and greatly incr 

the value of the manure because it absorbs the liquid and retains 

the nitrogen. Provide a dust wallow in which the fowls can remove 

curf From their bodies and fight their body bee. For disin- 

v. itb whitewash, the addition of one pint of crude carbolic 
arid to every two gallons of the mixture ntakes it much n 
live i ing both animal parasite eria, For spraying, 

a solution "f t' • ' cru ' rb >lic acid, 


V.CK HEAD i tnmon and fad to young turk 

and quite serious among chickens. It is usually recognized in the 


turkey by the stunted growth and emaciated condition of the body. 
Internal examination usually discloses large, discolored diseased 
areas on the liver and greatly enlarger caeca (blind intestines). If 
recognized in time and careful, sanitary conditions of feeding and 
brooding are provided, many of the afflicted chicks can be saved. 
Sour skim-milk has been found quite effective in checking the 
disease. After one experience with the disease, it will be readily 
conceded that the preventive method is most satisfactory. In hatch- 
ing, use incubators or strong, disease-free hens, and wash the eggs in 
95 per cent alcohol before setting. Furthermore, since the disease 
commonly spreads through ground infection, the newly hatched 
brood should be taken to ground not commonly used by either 
turkeys or hens. Here they should be brooded in carefully disin- 
fected quarters and their coops frequently moved to fresh places. If 
hens are used to brood the chicks, strong, healthy individuals, show- 
ing no evidence of having had the disease, should be chosen. Should 
the hen have the disease, it may be transmitted to the young. The 
older chickens should not be encouraged to join with the later 
hatches while feeding, but should be fed elsewhere and their place 
of feeding changed from time to time, to prevent contamination. 

BLEEDING FROM THE COMB.— In cold weather it is not 
uncommon, especially among large comb breeds, for a laying pullet 
to bleed to death from an injury or a crack on the comb. The 
blood being started from either of these causes continues to flow, 
both on account of frequent shaking of the head and because of the 
slow coagulation of blood on a very cold day. If this flow is not 
speedily stopped, the loss of blood and consequent exhaustion, to- 
gether with the cold, overcome the fowl. As soon as this condition 
is noticed, remove the fowl and wash the comb in warm water. 
This is usually sufficient to stop the flow of blood, but if not, touch 
a styptic pencil or a hot iron to the wound. Before returning the 
fowl to the pen, grease the comb with vaseline. 

BLINDNESS. — There are at least three causes for blindness 
in fowls : 1, accident ; 2, the effects of another disease ; and 3, a 
parasite. When accidental, the fowl is usually blind in one eye only. 
There is no economic treatment. The inflamed part should be bathed 
in a weak solution of boracic acid and greased with vaseline in order 
to effect a speedy healing of the sore. The most common form of 
blindness closely follows or accompanies another disease. When due 
to roup a swelling among the tissues of the eye, caused by the hard- 
ening of the mucus secretions of the head and eyes, destroys the 
sight. When roup has progressed to this stage, there is little profit 
in treating it. There is also an eye worm or parasite which infects 


poultry, causing inflammation of the eye and occasional blindness. 
This parasite can be removed by surgical means only. The wound 
should be bathed with a weak solution of boracic acid and kept 
greased with vaseline until healed. 

BUMBLEFOOT. — Bumblefoot is a term commonly applied 
to the condition when an injury has resulted in the formation of pus 
in the fleshy part of the foot. The injury may be received in various 
ways, such as dropping or falling from a high perch on to a bare, 
cement floor, or scratching on a floor of cinders. The formation of 
pus causes a swelling and wears down the tissues until it breaks 
forth either at the upper or lower surface. A scab forms over this 
opening, but the continued formation of pus repeatedly forces open 
the wound. 

For treatment, remove the scab or lance the swollen area and 
thoroughly clean and disinfect the cavity with a dilute solution of 
carbolic acid or hydrogen peroxide. Keep the sore well greased 
with carbolated vaseline until healed. 

CHICKEN POX. — Although in cold climates chicken pox is 
almost unknown, it is all too common in the Southern States. It 

-ily recognized by yellowish, wartlike sores which appear on 
the face and head and inside the mouth. Often, if only local, these 
sores spontaneously dry up and disappear, but if they extend to 
other portions of the body, the fowl becomes emaciated and dies 
from exhaustion. Dr. D. E. Salmon in "Diseases of Poultry," 
advises feeding sulphur and applying a sulphur ointment to the 
nodules twice a day. Others have successfully checked the disease, 

ing the sores with carbolated vaseline or with glycerine, con- 
taining two per cent, of carbolic acid. The disease is communicable 
and necessitates thorough disinfection. See communicable diseases. 

CHOLERA.— It is a common error for the layman to think 

that every disease annum Lis fowls, which manifests itself by a 

of the bowels, a yellowish discharge, and a pale or yellow 

about the face and head, is cholera. As a matter (^\ fact, this 
e is common only in the warm climates and is rare elsewhere. 

It i- communicable and very destructive Fowls often the within 
a few days after being exposed t" the d iren before they are 

suspected of being stricken. In other Cases it t k< ! on a chronic 
form. It requii mination definitely t<> n 

ni/e tl I to find a cure for it. 

Thorou 'it and a rigid separation of 

the - I flocks should be practiced. See 

communicable d 


COLDS. — The first indication of a cold is a snuffling or a 
rattling in the throat. Usually the secretions which cause this 
sound have but little, if any, perceptible odor. A cold is due to 
exposure to conditions under which the body has difficulty in keep- 
ing its normal temperature. Corrimon among such conditions are 
crowding at night by young stock, which have outgrown their quar- 
ters, contact with damp floors and filthy houses, and especially, 
exposure to draughts which blow on the fowls while they are work- 
ing or roosting. The obvious treatment is to correct those conditions 
which have induced the cold, to disinfect the drinking water and, 
in severe cases, to spray the perches as suggested in the treatment 
of roup. 

CROP COMPACTION.— Crop compaction is usually a clog- 
ging of the outlet of the crop by twisted grass or rough grain. 
Occasionally the ration contains too much middlings, or other sticky 
foods, fed either dry or moist, which, under certain conditions, 
bake together and clog the passageway. In a vain effort to satisfy 
the increased appetite, the fowl distends its crop with food. In a 
few days, unless the obstruction is removed, the fowl shows signs 
of weakness and eventually dies of starvation. A common way of 
removing the contents of the crop is to give several teaspoonfuls 
of castor oil, at the same time massaging the crop till the contents 
soften. Then hold the fowl by the feet and gradually work the 
contents of the crop out through the mouth. Sometimes crop com- 
paction cannot be relieved , in this way. It is then necessary to cut 
into the crop. After the contents are thoroughly removed, the crop 
should be carefully washed with a weak solution of boracic acid 
and the edges of the wound drawn together and sewed once or 
twice with silk thread. If an operation is necessary, it should be 
made before the fowl has become badly weakened from the lack 
of food. 

COMMUNICABLE DISEASES.— There are a number of com- 
municable diseases, such as cholera and diphtheretic roup, which 
are very difficult to treat successfully. In fact, it is almost useless 
to attempt a cure of the stricken fowl. The most that can be done 
is to keep the mortality as low as possible by the rigid culling and 
burning up of diseased individuals, and the thorough disinfection of 
their pens, and especially of the eating and drinking utensils. It 
is frequently to the owner's advantage, unless the stock be highly 
prized, to kill and burn every individual showing symptoms of the 
disease and to dispose of the healthy ones of the flock on the public 
market. This practice is especially advisable when there are several 
flocks in houses well scattered. This radical practice, together with 


thorough disinfection of the pens where the disease has not yet 
appeared, will prevent the spread of the disease throughout the 
plant. One of the best reasons for such wholesale disposal of the 
stock is that many communicable diseases are carried in a dormant 
state in the partially cured individual until conditions are right for 
another outbreak. When all stock is sold and the houses 
fully disinfected, new stock can be put into these quarters wil 
fear of a recurrence of the disease unless it be brought in through 
a bird purchased elsewhere, or through fowls exposed to the disease 
at a poultry show. The houses occupied by diseased fowls should 
not be used again until carefully disinfected. All other fowls should 
be kept off the ground on which the diseased fowls ranged until 
the following Spring, at which time the ground should be cultivated. 
Chickens hatched from these fowls, before or at the time of their 
sickness, can be brooded on separate land with safety and be used 
to refill those houses emptied by the disease. 

DIARRHOEA. — Diarrhcca in some form accompanies and i-^ a 
symptom of many common communicable diseases. Because of this 
fact, the layman interprets diarrhoea as the indication of a dangerous 
disease. As a matter of fact, diarrhoea is more often the result of 
indigestion. It is caused by over-consumption of rich, highly stimu- 
lating foods, by tainted meat, musty grain, green or milky grain in 
the stalk, irregular feeding of green foods in the Winter, excessive 
amounts of green cut bone, or a stale or irregular supply of water. 
It may also follow the sudden, radical changes in diet. The extent 
of the trouble is limited only by the amount of unwholesome food 
eaten. The best treatment of such diarrhoea is to remove the irritant 
or to shut in the fowls from it. giving them a regulating ration. 
They will soon readjust themselves. Diarrhcca frequently follows a 
change to hot weather, which quickly taints meat and other foods 
which the fowls pick up, and, in addition, makes the pr0C( 

:ion more sluggish. At such times the fowls have great diffi- 
culty in readjusting themselves, even when their rations are I 
balanced It then becomes necessary t" provide food in a form 
which will he quickly and i Imilated. This 

ration should 1 ed of fresh and finely ground grains, mois- 

! with buttermilk or sour skim-milk. One such feeding should 

iven daily, in addition to their regular ration. Clabbered or 

c "nr skim-milk for drinking. They should have 

water all the time. General cleanliness and occasional di^in- 

n is advised al uch times. Diarrhoea brought about by the 
communic I be treated in this way. 


BLOODY EGGS. — Objection is always raised to eggs con- 
taining blood spots. They are not due to deterioration of the eggs 
or to disease, as many people conjecture. However, since there is 
this aversion to using such eggs, it is well to check their produc- 
tion. The presence of the blood is due to a hemorrhage of the blood 
vessels in the glands of the oviduct. The hemorrhage is the result 
of fright, injury, or forced feeding, which overworks the blood 
vessels carrying supplies to the organs of secretion. Blood spots 
are usually found in the albumen, since the glands secreting this 
material are delicately responsive to forced feeding. If the fowls 
are producing bloody eggs in numbers, the rich meat materials 
should be decreased and green food increased. Exercise should be 
encouraged and disturbing conditions eliminated. Occasionally an 
individual hen, through weakness or disease, will produce bloody 
eggs regularly. Such a fowl should be removed from the pen and 
fed carefully until her body regains its normal condition. 

EGG-BOUND.— Pullets, producing their first eggs, and over-fat, 
weak or injured hens, often become egg-bound. The most common 
symptoms of this trouble are frequent trips to the nest and much 
squatting and straining. In extreme cases the fowl will crawl 
along with her body upright and her tail dragging. Fowls in this 
condition usually die from exhaustion unless relief is speedily given. 
It is advisable to remove the afflicted bird to a quiet place and 
inject sweet oil into the cloaca and oviduct. This will relieve the 
fever in these organs, encourage proper secretions and assist the 
fowl in laying her egg normally. Unwise forcing of pullets to 
early egg production and breeding for large-sized eggs are the com- 
mon causes among pullets. When this trouble is prevalent among 
mature fowls, it should be taken as an indication of low physical 
vigor and attention given to feeding well balanced rations in a way 
which will encourage exercise and regulation of diet. 

EGG EATING HABIT.— An accident is very often accountable 
for starting the vice of eating eggs. The accident occurs when a 
heavy fowl drops on to an egg in a deep nest, or in flying out of 
the nest, especially when frightened, kicks an egg against the side 
of the box. The first hen to observe the broken egg eats the con- 
tents and begins scratching in the nesting material for more. Another 
egg is broken, as a result, and the habit started. Such accidents 
occur more commonly when the egg shells are weak and easily 
broken. At this time, also, the fowl is most eager for the egg and 
its shell, since her body is deficient in shell-forming materials. The 
habit is seldom acquired when the body health is good. This 
absence of shell-forming secretions is not necessarily due to the 


absence of lime and other minerals in the ration, although without 
lime in the form of oyster shells or lime grits, this cessation of the 
shell-forming secretions would result. But this condition is fre- 
quently the result also of over-feeding and consequent lack of exer- 
cise, which disorganizes the organs of secretion and produces gen- 
eral weakness and debility. The obvious treatment is to correct the 
method of feeding and to provide sufficient mineral and animal food 
to supply the body needs. The use of china eggs or eggs filled with 
red pepper and mustard is not highly recommended, although occa- 
sionally they are effective. In extreme cases a special nest box can 
be used. Such a nest is made by padding the center and edges of a 
box about a foot square and eight inches deep, and loosely fastening 
over the top a burlap sack with a hole in the center. The egg rolls 
into the box beneath as soon as laid. When using this box, place it 
in the position occupied by the regular nest 

AN EGG WITHIN AN EGG.— Several instances have been 
reported of finding within an apparently normal egg a second fully 
formed egg. The production of such abnormal eggs is due to injury, 
to fright or to paralysis of the muscles of the oviduct, which sends 
back up the oviduct an egg, ready to be laid. In due course the egg 
again starts down the oviduct and stimulates a secretion of albu- 
men and later of calcareous materials, which enclose the original 
egg in another layer of albumen and put a shell around the whole. 
Such an egg rarely has a yolk in the second formation, unless, by 
chance, a yolk sac emptied its contents into the oviduct at the time 
the first egg was forced back. 

EGG WITH TWO YOLKS.— There are two possible explana- 
tions for the formation of double yolked eggs. The usual one is 
that during a period of heavy production two yolks sacs deposit their 

m the oviduct at so nearly the same time that !>■ »th are enc 
in the same albumen and shell. The more feasible explanation is 
that the two yolks are originally contained in the same yolk sac and 

luently are deposited in the oviduct at the same time. This 

theory is supported by embryi who have found the two yolks 

ed in one sac in microscopical sections of the ovary. If incu- 
bated, double ; . s, as a rule, <1<^ not hatch. 

PATTY DEGENERATION.— When over-fed fowls become 
!i and inactivi ral breaking down of their body 

dually takes place. This is called fatty defeneration. 

With the heavier varieties this condition is commonly indicated by 

tin- accumulation of fat in a large bunch under the abdomen, causing 
their fluff t<» ban- low • In so debilitated a condition, the fowl is 
Unable to produce the greatest possible number of eggs and those 


eggs, which are produced lack, when incubated, the strength to 
develop normal, healthy, livable chicks. Soft shelled eggs and egg 
eating habits may well be feared in such a state of health. Fowls 
which have broken down under forced feeding or over-feeding can- 
not entirely recover their normal condition, but judicious feeding on 
wholesome grains, with plenty of green food and exercise will in 
a great measure restore their health. 

FEATHER PULLING.— One of the most distressing and 
unmanageable vices of fowls is feather pulling. It starts through 
righting or accidents and continues for lack of sufficient mineral and 
animal fool. The vice spreads rapidly among the fowls in a flock. 
It is seldom acquired in properly managed flocks. This vice is the 
result of erroneous methods of feeding and management, similar to 
the conditions which encourage egg eating. Give the fowls as much 
liberty and freedom as possible. Increase the amount of animal food 
in the ration. If the pens are small, it sometimes becomes necessary 
to change the fowls to a different house, or to harness their bills 
with feather pulling bits, which prevent them from getting a grip 
on the feather. 

FROSTED COMBS AND WATTLES.— On extremely cold 
nights, unless warm roosting places are provided, the fowls' combs 
and wattles will get frosted. The resulting pain stops the hens from 
laying, and, in severe cases, even kills them. When frosted, these 
appendages swell up and turn to a purple color. The frosted parts 
should be thawed out with ice or snow and greased with vaseline. 
It is often well to cut away the frosted parts entirely, using a hot 
iron to heal the wound. 

GAPES. — The frequent gasping for breath by chickens suffering 
with .parasitic worms in the windpipe is called gapes and the worm, 
the gape worm. The difficulty of eating, combined with the weaken- 
ing effect of the parasites, stunts the growth of the chickens. Its 
feathers become soiled, torn and ruffled for lack of proper nourish- 
ment. The worms and their eggs are coughed up by the chickens 
on to their food or into the drinking water, where other chickens 
consume them. In this way the parasite is transmitted. A common 
treatment of the individual is to thrust a twisted horsehair or stiff 
thread, saturated in turpentine, down its windpipe. The turpentine 
loosens and kills the worms. Those which are not withdrawn with 
the horsehair are coughed out. A second method of treatment, 
somewhat more dangerous, but easier and quicker, is to place about 
25 chickens in a box covered with burlap and to surcharge the air 
with the fumes of burning tobacco stems. The fumes can be sup- 
plied through an opening in the bottom of the box, this opening 


being fitted over a firebox containing the burning stems. The 
chickens should be removed as soon as they show signs of exhaus- 
tion. The fumes overcome or even kill the worms. Their hold on 
the windpipe is relaxed and they are coughed up. Ground on which 
chickens suffering with gapes have ranged becomes infected and 
should not be used in succeeding years. The trouble can be mini- 
mized by practicing rigid disinfection and cleanliness in the coops, 
yards and eating places. Feeding strong onions or garlic, chopped 
and mixed with other food and fed before the worms gain a foot- 
hold, is beneficial in keeping down the growth ami development of 
the parasite. Early hatching also is advised. Keeping the chicks 
on a board floor — away from all soil, will prevent the trouble. 

GOING LIGHT. — This is a term commonly applied to a bac- 
terial disease which interferes with the assimilation of the food and 
allows the body to starve to death. The symptom is a gradual loss 
of flesh, which results eventually, in weakness, debility and starva- 
tion. The disease, although communicable, spreads slowly. 1 
thus afflicted should be destroyed and their pens disinfected. Strict 
cleanliness will aid in warding off further outbreaks. 

LEG WEAKNESS.— There are two different kinds of leg' 
weakness. One is rheumatism, caused by dampness and insufficient 
ventilation in the pen. This form is remedied by correcting the 
method of housing and ventilating. The other form is due to over- 
feeding and lack of exercise. This combination of mismanagement 
makes the fowls over-fat and heavy and their muscles, at the 
time, become soft and flabby. Their physical condition is such that 
a marked increase in humidity or any extra demand made on their 
body debilitates and partially paralyzes their legs. Cleanliness, more 

fill methods of feeding and increased range will overcome this 

LICE.— There arc many kinds of lice which are common among 

ame general characteristics, how- 

. and all are combated in the same way. Lice may remain on 

idy <>f the fowl both day and night They are also commonly 

I on the | This • 3 treat::'?: 

both the fowls and tin- r the 

perch' llltion I f One part crud acid and three parts 

kerosene. It can 1 plied with a brush <>r, preferably, with a 

hich will f"iee tin- r'ixtnre into the CI 

the lice accumulate. The fowls can be i: 

dusting a fine :-t fills B| 

ing pore- i n t 1 e : Such a 

ing ingred- 


ient, or one giving off fumes. R. C. L,awry, while an assistant in 
the- Department of Poultry Husbandry at the New York State 
College of Agriculture at Cornell University, formulated an exceed- 
ingly effective homemade lice powder. It is prepared as follows : 
One-fourth pint of crude carbolic acid, mixed with three-fourths 
pint gasoline is thoroughly stirred into 2 l / 2 pounds plaster of paris. 
The whole is forced through a sieve to break up the lumps. It is 
then allowed to dry in the air and when dry is tightly bottled. The 
stock mixture remains effective indefinitely. To apply this powder, 
make nail holes in the top of a tin can and use the can as a shaker. 
The fowl should be held by the legs with its head down. In this 
position the feathers fall away from the body and readily receive 
the powder, making it easy to work it down to the skin, by ruffling 
the feathers with the hand. This treatment is especially recom- 
mended for setting hens. Ten days later the dusting should be 
repeated in order to destroy the lice which are hatched out after 
the first application. It is not often necessary to dust every indi- 
vidual of an entire pen of fowls. The economical way to keep a 
pen free from lice is to spray the perches when necessary and to 
provide a dust wallow of coal ashes, land plaster or road dust, in 
which the fowls can wallow and kill body lice. This dust wallow 
should be in a warm, dry part of the pen, so as to attract the fowls 
to it. A small amount of this material can be scattered on and under 
the perches, and this part of the pen kept freer from lice. 

LIMBER NECK. — The general paralysis of the muscles of a 
fowl, especially those in the neck, produces a condition known as 
limber neck. The fowl is unable to lift its head from the ground and, 
in fact, has very little power of locomotion. The cause is usually 
directly attributable to ptomaine poisoning, resulting from eating 
decomposed meat or flesh. The disease is consequently confined, 
usually, to the warmer months of the year and is most prevalent 
in the Southern States. The disease is not necessarily fatal nor is it 
communicable. Relief quickly follows any treatment which speedily 
flushes the digestive system. The usual doses are Epsom salts or 
one grain of calomel. Recovery has followed the use of a simple 
tonic known as the Douglas Mixture, which can be used to advan- 
tage in all digestive troubles. A stock solution of the Douglass 
Mixture is made by dissolving one-half pound sulphate of iron in 
a gallon of water and adding one-half ounce sulphuric acid. The 
clear liquid is used in the proportion of one pint to a pail of water. 

During the warm months all dead or dying fowls or animals 
should be removed from the yards or pens at once and no tainted or 
fly-blown meat given to them. 


Mi Mie mite is another external parasite of the fowl, 

which sucks the blood at night and returns to the perch before 
morning, remaining there during the day. It is only when mites 
have accumulated in large numbers and are unable to get enough 
blood during the night that they remain on the fowl during the day. 
The most common variety is red, and when these gather in numbers, 
they make a reddish black spot. The mite is killed by the direct 
application of a burning solution. They withstand ordinary sprays 
better than lice can. However, the solution of one-fourth pint 
crude carbolic acid and three-fourths pint kerosene has been found 
very destructive. 

ROUP. — The term roup is used to cover several distinct diseases 
of the throat and head, some of which are very dangerous and diffi- 
cult to cure, while others are comparatively simple. The most com- 
mon form of roup is an exaggerated cold, which causes a fevered 
condition and stimulates the nasal secretions. These secretions have 
a strong, pungent odor. They stop up the nasal passages, producing 
a rattling sound when the fowl breathes. .Many times this sound is 
heard when the secretions are not noticeable in either the nasal or 
throat passages. In such instances, look for a soiled place under 
the bow of the wing, where the fowl often puts its head. The odor 
alone, however, is sufficient indication of the disease. The cause 
of this kind of roup is exposure for a prolonged period to those 
conditions and surroundings which produce colds. It is thought 
that this disease is not communicable from one fowl to another, but 
spreads because conditions arc favorable to the development of the 
j in many individuals. If the disease is allowed to run its 
course, the fevered condition hardens the nasal secretions into a 
y substance which accumulates in the tissues of the head, caus- 
ing t! r Other parts o\ the face, to bulge out. When this stage 
'-lied, the irritation and fever becomes SO great that the fowl 

from weakness and exhaustion. It is quite useless t" 
attempt to cure at an advanced stage. Treatment should be given 
during the earlier stapes. It i> obvious that the first step is to rectify 

e. In addition to making 
dry, the following simple remedies can be 

One oune h in three pints of water; use one 

pint of t! : plution in every three or four pints of drinking 

d tii-' mouth and throat It can 

; . in it> undiluted form, head dip To do 

this, grasp the Fowl in one hand tnd the 

(1 in the other. Thrust the bill into the solution 
nearly to the I :t there long enough so that the fowl 


will draw in some of the solution while striving to breathe. Fifteen 
to twenty seconds is usually long enough. This cuts and loosens 
the accumulated mucus so that the fowl can shake it out. Another 
simple but very effective and wholesale treatment of roup is to 
paint or spray the perches with any coal tar product which gives off 
penetrating fumes. These fumes are breathed by the fowls all night 
and during this long period are effective in loosening up the nasal 
secretions and in checking the disease. Such treatment will serve 
also to check cankerous and diphtheretic roup, which are communi- 
cable forms of this disease, but, in most instances, it fails to effect 
a cure of either. The disease germs of these forms of roup develop 
more rapidly and are not so dependent upon damp and unsanitary 
conditions. The germ is usually introduced through newly pur- 
chased fowls or through exposure to the disease at public exhibi- 
tions or competitions. Cankerous roup is accompanied by and takes 
its name from the sores in the mouth and on the head. For treat- 
ment, see communicable diseases. 

SCALY LEGS. — The term scaly leg is applied to a condition of 
the fowl's shanks, in which the scales have become roughened, 
swollen and filthy. A small parasite, working underneath the scales 
on the shank, causes this roughness. The parasite spreads by 
crawling along the perch until it reaches another fowl. A simple 
treatment is to soften the shanks in warm water and carefully 
remove the filth from underneath the scales. This should be fol- 
lowed by a thorough washing with five per cent carbolic acid, which 
kills the parasite. The shank should then be well greased with 
carbolated vaseline to keep the wound soft and clean until it heals. 

VENT GLEET. — A communicable disease which affects the 
cloaca or vent is called vent gleet. This disease greatly irritates and 
inflames the vent, producing a sense of fullness and causing the fowl 
to attempt frequent voidings. A diarrhoea and a mucous discharge 
from the vent accompany this condition. The fluff becomes soiled 
and looks filthy. This discharge has a strong, offensive odor. If 
not treated at once, ulcers develop on the skin near the vent and 
the inflammation extends into the oviduct. At this stage the disease 
becomes critical. For treatment, the male should be removed from 
the pen until the trouble ceases, since he is mainly responsible for 
spreading the disease. The afflicted fowl should also be taken to 
quiet surroundings, where it can receive medical treatment. The 
principle on which a cure is effected is to cleanse the vent and fluff 
daily with warm water, to which a few drops of carbolic acid are 
added, following with an injection of sweet oil or a greasing with 
vaseline. This also should contain a few drops of carbolic acid. 


The afflicted bird should be kept in a warm, protected place and fed 
on soft, nourishing foods, until it is strong enough to return to the 

VERTIGO. — Congestion of the brain is readily recognized by 
the giddy actions of the fowl and a habit of bending the head as 
far backward as possible. The bird assumes this attitude when 
frightened in order to relieve the sudden blood pressure on the brain. 
The disease is usually found among over-fat, plethoric fowls. It is 
one of the evils resulting from over-feeding. Irritation from worms 
in the intestines will also produce it. A few such cases should warn 
the feeder to exercise greater care in his method of feeding and 
the kinds of food provided. For individual treatment, Dr. D. F.. 
Salmon suggests cooling the head of the fowl with ice until it is 
thoroughly chilled and giving one dose of either thirty grains of 
Epsom salts or one and one-half grains of calomel. In case the 
congestion is caused by intestinal parasites, treat to remove the 

diarrhoea is used indiscriminately to apply to a large number of 
chicken di and troubles, including indigestion, pneumonia. 

coccidiosis, bacillary white diarrhoea, aspergilosis, and others, all of 
which produce very similar external symptoms, prominent among 
which is some form of diarrhoea. These diseases result from various 
5. Some of them are produced directly by specific organisms, 
whereas others are the result of erroneous feeding and broodin 
are due partially to the careless selection and management of the 
breeding stock. The method of incubation also may be responsible 
for some weakness. Wry little can be done to cure chickens suffer- 
ing with this disease. The sick ones should be removed and burned, 
the brooders and feeding places kept sanitary, and the chickens 
given wholesome, nourishing food, free from much rich material. 
Clabbered milk is destructive to certain bacteria and should be fed 

liberally. A few crystals of potassium permanganate dropped into 

the drinking water free it from germs and make it an internal 

disinfectant The preventive treatment is the best safeguard against 

n<\ troubles. the greatest care in selecting 

the breeding stock, choosing strong, vigorous, healthy yearling or 

Id fowls. Use a method of feeding which will force them 
to exercise while obtaining their food. This practice, in conn 
with feeding a variety ration of hard grains and succulent food, 

will do more than anything else toward keeping their bodies in I 

normal, healthy condition. Ives from such fowls will pi 
strong, able chicken of living and growing under ordinary 


conditions. It is comparatively easy to raise a large percentage of 
chickens from strong, healthy stock, but even a good feeder has 
great difficulty in rearing weak chicks. Practice thorough sanitation 
while the chicks are young more than at any other time. Feed 
liberally, but do not allow food to accumulate in the brooder. Make 
the chicks clean it up between each feeding. In this way the ordi- 
nary chick troubles, commonly called white diarrhoea, will be 
avoided. Such a practice, however, does not entirely prevent the 
ravages of all. This is especially true of bacillary white diarrhoea, 
which is, apparently, born with the chick and is usually fatal within 
the first two or three weeks. The only practical treatment of such 
a disease is to replace the breeding stock with disease-free indi- 
viduals. Unfortunately, it requires a bacteriological examination to 
determine the presence of this and similar diseases, making it impos- 
sible for the layman to diagnose the trouble. In such instances he 
should seek the aid of his State college of veterinary science. 

WORMS. — There are a large number of species of parasitic 
worms found in the digestive organs of the fowl. The most com- 
mon of these are the round worm, the tape worm, and a small worm, 
which bores into the walls of the gizzard. Fowls infected with 
worms become stupid and indifferent, and subject to sudden fits of 
wakefulness. Their appetite often becomes poor and their bodies 
show emaciation. Such symptoms are sometimes accompanied by a 
slight diarrhoea. For positive evidence, post mortem a dead fowl 
and examine the digestive tract. A dose of two teaspoonfuls of 
essence of turpentine is generally sufficient to dispose of the parasites. 
Powdered areca nut, in doses of 30 to 40 grains, is advocated by 
Zurn. Dr. Salmon advises mixing a teaspoonful of powdered pome- 
granate root bark in the food for 50 fowls, following with a purga- 
tive dose of two teaspoonfuls of castor oil. 


The poultryman has frequently been referred to as a manufac- 
turer, with laying hens and growing stock for machines, the various 
poultry feeds the raw material, and eggs and meat the finished pro- 
duct. Obviously his profits will depend largely on two things: — the 
use of raw material of the right l.ind and in the right condition, and 
of efficient machines especially adapted to a definite purpose. It is 
difficult to say which of these factors is the more important. Cer- 
tain it is that no machine can do its best work with unsuitable raw 
material, nor can a poor machine use to advantage the best of 
material. There is ample reason, therefore, for the poultryman to 
study carefully how to feed his birds to get the best results, and 
how to breed stock that will satisfactorily respond to proper feeding 
by economically producing eggs or meat. Birds lacking in vigor and 
vitality are never profitable, and therefore, should be discarded by 
the commercial poultryman. Every effort should be exerted to 
secure stock possessing great vigor of constitution and the ability 
to consume, assimilate and convert a large amount of food into the 
special product. Attention to this point is as much a characteristic 
of a successful feeder as is a knowledge of feeds and the compound- 
ing of rations. 

For some years the columns of our poultry publications have 
teemed with the expressions "balanced rations," "nutritive rati"." 
"scientific feeding;" and as a result much confusion exists in the 

minds of those who have had no opportunity to study the matter 
carefully. Some ponltrymcn seem to think that a knowledge of the 

principles of feeding will enable one t" determine absolutely the 

amount and character of the ration which will exactly meet the 

requirements of a flock of bird iven number and weight As 

a matter of fact, but few scientific experiments in poultry feeding 

been conducted, and our knowledge of the subject l- I 
largely upon the work of successful poultry feeders, and upon 

tain conclusions drawn from experiments conducted with other 

domestic animals. Under existing conditions, therefore, we must 

various feeding Stuffs Buitable for poultry, and s,, be able to make 


up rations from the available materials which will approximate 
those used by successful feeders who are operating under conditions 
similar to our own. Such information will not only enable us to 
use to best advantage the feeding stuffs produced locally, but it will 
help us to determine what materials should be purchased to make 
the ration complete. In the limits of a single chapter it is impossible 
to discuss at any length the principles of nutrition and feeding. But 
for a better understanding of our subject it is necessary that a few 
of the important points be briefly stated. 

COMPOSITION OF FEEDS.— The chemist can readily analyze 
our various feeding stuffs and accurately determine their chemical 
composition. He finds a large number of substances, but for con- 
venience these are placed in five groups, viz., water, ash, protein, 
carbohydrates, and ether extract. Every feed contains a certain 
amount of necessary moisture varying from eight to 90 per cent of 
the total weight. It is the most abundant constituent of the animal 
body and must be supplied abundantly, but because it can be easily 
and cheaply furnished in other ways it need not be considered in 
the feed. The roots of plants derive from the soil certain mineral 
matter, which, though comparatively small in amount, is absolutely 
essential to the ration. This ash, so called because it is the residue 
after the complete burning of the food, is largely used in the skeleton 
of the animal, and is present in every portion of the body. With- 
out a sufficient supply of this material no animal can long retain 
health. In the protein group are placed any ingredients of plant 
or animal in which nitrogen is present. Common examples are white 
of egg and lean meat. Protein has been aptly described as a "flesh- 
former, a machine maker, the repairer of wear and tear." It is evi- 
dent from the above that no other group is more important. The 
carbohydrates are almost exclusively vegetable products. They con- 
tain sugar, starch, gums, and other substances. Included is the 
crude fibre or skeleton of plants, and the nitrogen-free extract. The 
materials extracted from feeding stuffs by ether, such as fat, resin 
and wax are placed in the ether extract or fat group. The functions 
of fat and carbohydrates in animal nutrition are the production of 
muscular energy and heat, and the formation of body fat. 

It is evident that the value of food is determined by the amount 
digested, not by the amount eaten. While the scientists can tell us 
the chemical composition of food they cannot, without resorting to 
digestion experiments, inform us just how much of the material 
can be actually used by the animal. To conduct such experiments 
complicated apparatus is required, but briefly stated the food given 
and the wastes thrown off by the animal are weighed and analyzed, 


the difference being the amount digested or the digestible nutrients. 
rtunately there have been but few digestion experiments con- 
ducted with fowls, so for the present we must depend upon the 
results secured from other domestic animals. For convenience, the 
table on next page gives both the chemical composition and the 
percentage of digestible nutrients of the various feeding stuffs used 
in poultry feeding. 

When a ration is compounded in such a manner as to supply 
the animal with a sufficient amount of each group of digestible 
nutrients it may be called a balanced ration. The aim of every 
r should be to use a ration that furnishes enough of each group 
of nutrients fully to meet the requirements of the animal, but with- 
out an excess which might be wasted. 

Investigators have endeavored to ascertain the amount of diges- 
tible nutrients and the proportion of the different groups required 
in rations intended for specific purposes, and as a result of this 
we have a series of feeding standards for most domestic animals. 
Though far from being perfect as yet these standards are extremely 
valuable as they furnish a definite starting point. A ration com- 
pounded theoretically by the use of these tables may not work out 
well in practice, but using it as a basis the feeder can make such 
changes as experience and observation warrant or economy dictates. 
The relative proportion of the various nutrients in a ration is 
termed the nutritive ratio. This is easily ascertained by the use of 
the accompanying table, and is expressed by the proporti 
protein to all the non-nitrogenous digestible materials reckoned in 
terms of carl. r- r instance, in 100 pounds of wheat are 

1 the following digestible nutrients: Protein, 10. '2 pounds ; 
hydrates, mds; ether extract, 1.7 pounds. As each 

I of ether extract has 2) '■ times the heating value of tin 

-. the first step in ascertaining the nutritive ratio is to 

multiply the amount of ether extract by 2} (, and thus reduce it to 

rbohydrate equivalent. This product added to the amount of 

• i gives the carbohydrate value of all the diges- 

in the rati from the protein. The sum thus 

divided by the amount of protein pre-< :it. and the result 

the relati tWO I nutrients 

:t in the ration, or the nutritive ratio. Taking the figures 
this rule w e '•' I 'lie following : 

1 ; 

: L0.2 : i 





Compiled from various authorities. 

Percentage Composition. 












c ££ 

-Sfci X 




. °5 













11 4 


84 7 








3 9 









4 3 




1 7 

4 2 

1 6 

1 8 



2 7 

Millet Seed 



Wheat Screenings 

MEALS, Etc.- 









88 6 













1 5 











Wheat, Middlings 

Red Dog Flour 




Brewers' Grains— Wet.. 



Buckwheat Middlings.. 

Linseed Meal — Old pr. . 

" " New pr.. 

Cotton seed Meal 



Giuten Meal 


ROOTS, Etc- 











90 6 



• 2 1 
























Red Clover— Fresh 










Dried Fish 


Dried Blood 



* There is a wide variation in the composition of commercial beef scrap. In thirty 
samples of "meat meals and beef scraps" recently analyzed at the New Jersey Agri- 
cultural Experiment Station, the percentage of protein ranged from 27.44 to 66,50. 
with an average of 49.38. 


Therefore there is one part of protein to 7.1 parts of carbohydrates, 
and the nutritive ratio of wheat is 1 to 7.1. For convenience this is 
usually written 1 :7.1. 

The nutritive ratio of a mixed ration is found by adding the 
amounts of nutrients of the various classes in the various feeds used, 
and proceeding as above. Rations having a nutritive ratio of 1:5.5 
or under are called narrow; between this and 1:8 are called medium, 
and over the latter are termed wide. Some years ago the New York 

riment Station determined certain feeding standards for poul- 
try, indicating the average quantities of dry matter and the various 

tible nutrients required by some classes of fowls under certain 
conditions. Portions of these standards follow: 

Rations for Chicks. — Digestible 

nutrients per 

for each 100 

pounds live weight. 






Pro- Oarbohy 
tein d rates 





For the first 2 weeks 10.1 


2.0 7.2 



From 2 to 4 weeks of age. . 0.G 


2.2 6.2 



From 4 to 6 weeks of age.. S.6 


2.0 5.6 


1 :3.3 

Prom 6 to 8 weeks of age.. 7.4 


1.6 4.9 


1 :3.7 

Prom 8 to 10 weeks of age. . 6.4 


1.2 4.4 


1 :4.3 

From 10 to 12 weeks of age.. 5.4 


1.0 3.7 



Rations for Laying Hens. — Digestible 

nutrients per 

day i 

for each 

100 pounds live weight. 


Matter i 
lbs. ) 



I'm- (ari'ohy- 
tein . 




lbs. weight. 3.30 


.65 2.25 


1 :4.2 

Hens oi 3 to 5 lbs. weight. 5.50 


l.oo 3.75 


1 :4.6 

Attention is again drawn to the fact that these standards are an 
aid t" intelligent feeding, but must not be considered absolute rides. 
Aside from the chemical comj of the ration there are many 

factors t<> :. such as the mechanical condition of the 

vari'.us feeding stui -'fir palatability, comparative cost, etc. 

In d: dais of the ideal poultry ration. Doctor 

that it should contain the four groups of supplies 

that the birds natUI I liberty On ample ranee, vi;- , 

grain . When poultry keepers learn to include 

all of ' the bill of fare <>f their fowls we will have fewer com- 

plaint ilts. Aii examination of the feeding 

:1 poultrymen will demonstrate that in every case 
ive feeding stuffs from each of the above groups are 

included in the rat: 


In the first group, the grains, are included the various seeds and 
grains and their by-products. Fed in various ways, whole, cracked 
and ground, they form the major portion of the feed required by all 
classes of poultry. The grains most commonly used by poultrymen 
in the eastern part of the United States are corn, wheat, barley and 
oats. Buckwheat, Kaffir corn and sunflower seeds, usually in com- 
paratively small quantities, are frequently added for variety. Corn 
is the cheapest of the grains and as a result it is frequently fed too 
freely. Carefully used it is an economical feed. Wheat is commonly 
considered the best grain for poultry, and it may be fed liberally 
when the price warrants. Shrunken and broken wheat are as valu- 
able as plump wheat for poultry feeding, but so-called wheat screen- 
ings which consist largely of weed seeds, light oats and other wastes, 
are not desirable. Barley is an excellent feed and makes a fair sub- 
stitute for wheat. Oats are especially valuable, and in some form 
should appear in the rations of both growing and laying stock. Some 
object to the use of oats on account of the hulls, but experienced 
poultrymen feed them liberally with excellent results. Buckwheat 
is useful as a feed for layers, and can be used to special advantage 
at the time the pullets are being matured. Sunflower seeds contain a 
very high percentage of crude fiber, but may be fed sparingly at all 
times, and more liberally during the molting season. 

Of the innumerable by-products the best are wheat bran, wheat 
middlings, linseed meal and gluten meal. Pea meal and peanut meal 
are worthy of careful trial, though both are hard to secure in some 
localities and the cost is frequently prohibitive. Green food is very 
important, not because of its nutritive value alone, which is com- 
paratively slight, but on account of its tonic influence on the diges- 
tive system. A regular and liberal supply of succulent feed seems 
to be an essential part of the ration for all ages. 

During the growing season the green food may be easily sup- 
plied by allowing the birds access to growing grass or young grain. 
If this is not convenient, rape, Swiss chard or other similar crops 
may be grown. The various roots and vegetables may be used dur- 
ing the Winter season, but everything considered, mangolds are 
probably the most satisfactory. Of late many poultrymen have 
adopted the use of sprouted oats, and the results seem to be excel- 
lent. Oats are spread on trays to the depth of one to two inches and 
kept damp and warm, * The result is a very rapid growth of tender, 
succulent sprouts. When the latter reach the height of four to six 
inches the matted mass is fed to the birds, a block 6x10 inches in 
size daily being sufficient for 100 hens. It is advisable to use new, 
heavy oats for this purpose, as they germinate better than old grain. 


For feeding young chicks wheat may be sprouted in the same manner 
and the danger from oat hulls is thus eliminated. Dry lawn clip- 
pings, clover and Alfalfa hay arc excellent Winter feeds. They 
may be used dry, or if preferred, soaked or steamed. When on 
range poultry pick up much animal food in the form of insects of 
various kinds, but under ordinary conditions the amount is too small 
to give the best results. The deficiency may be met by supplying 
animal food of some other kind. Such foods are highly nitrogenous 
and are an essential part of the ration. It has been clearly demon- 
strated that protein from animal sources is much more valuable in 
poultry feeding than that of vegetable origin. In fact it is doubtful 
whether the latter can successfully be substituted for the former. 

The animal foods most in use are beef scrap, meat meal, milk 
in various forms and desiccated and fresh fish. Both beef scrap 
and animal meal vary widely in composition, and for protection the 
poultryman should use brands sold under a guaranteed analysis. 
Milk in any form may be fed freely, either separately or mixed 
with the mash. It seems to have a practical feeding value much 
greater than indicated by its chemical analysis. The same is true 
of fish, though many hesitate to use fish because it has been charged 
with giving an undesirable flavor to the eggs. Fresh fish should be 
boiled before feeding, and in no case should any be used that is 
not absolutely sweet. 

Under the head of grits may be grouped the gravel and other 
substances used by the birds as grinding materials ; the oyster shells 
commonly used to supply carbonate of lime for the egg shells and 
the bone, which helps build the skeleton. This group, especially 
the bone, is frequently overlooked. As has been previously stated. 
the ash constituents of the food are very important, and since the 
bulk of the feeding stuffs have a low ash content, green bone, 
cracked bone or bone meal should be used to add the necessary 
phosphate of lime, especially in the ration for growing stock. It is 
a good practice to keep grit, shell, bone and charcoal in hoppers 
where the birds can have access to them at all times. Fowls si 
also be given a limited amount <>f salt, from one-quarter to one-half 
pnui>: I led to each 100 pounds of mash. 

When planning a system of poultry [ nsideration must 

- important points: First, the cost of the ration, and 

!. the amount of l.d.or involved in Feeding it. At this point 

the individual poultryman must decide for himself and adopt the 

! meets his needs under the ["ecu- 
liar conditions surrounding his plant. It is conceivable that a ration 

might be adopted which would give an unusually heavy egg produc- 


tion but costing so much that the resulting profit would be small 
On the other hand a complicated system of feeding might require 
so much labor that comparatively few birds could be cared for by 
one man. Under these conditions the profit per hen might be large, 
but the aggregate income altogether too small. As a commercial 
proposition the net profit per bird is not as important as the net profit 
per man. 

Occasionally a poultryman will feed whole grain exclusively, but 
the general rule is to supply a portion of the grain food in the form 
of mash, a mixture of various ground grains and by-products. This 
is fed either wet or dry. A great difference of opinion exists among 
poutrymen as to the relative merits of these two methods, but it is 
generally held that wet mash, properly fed, will produce a better 
egg yield, while dry mash feeding is easier and safer. The latter 
system is in more general use on commercial poultry farms at pres- 
ent. The beginner will appreciate the fact that definite directions as 
to the amount to feed a given lot of birds can be stated when dry 
mash feeding is followed. 

The Maine Agricultural Experiment Station method of feeding 
laying hens has received great publicity and been widely adopted. At 
this Station the stock consists of Barred Plymouth Rocks housed in 
curtain-front buildings. The feeding is as follows : — 

Dry mash is kept in open hoppers before the birds at all times. 
Also grit, oyster shell, cracked bone and charcoal. Green food, 
either mangolds or sprouted oats, is supplied, and five pounds of 
cut clover hay is fed dry daily to each 100 birds. Early in the 
morning for each 100 hens, four quarts of whole corn is scattered 
in the litter, and at 10 o'clock they are fed two quarts of oats and 
two quarts of wheat. 

The dry mash was formerly made up as follows : 200 pounds 
wheat bran, 100 pounds cornmeal, 100 pounds wheat middlings, 100 
pounds gluten or brewers' grain, 100 pounds linseed meal, 100 pounds 
beef scrap. 

Thousands of poultrymen used this formula, many with satis- 
factory results, while others found it too concentrated and made 
changes as dictated by their judgment. The Station has recently 
made some changes in the mixture. Pullets are brought into the 
laying house in September, and during that month the mash is 
made up of: 300 pounds bran, 100 pounds cornmeal, 100 pounds 
middlings, 100 pounds beef scrap. For October the mash contains: 
200 pounds bran, 100 pounds cornmeal, 100 pounds middlings, 100 
pounds gluten meal, 100 pounds beef scrap. For November 50 
pounds of linseed meal is added to the above. For December the 


October mixture is used again. Thereafter this amount of linseed 
is added on alternate months. 

The Station claims for this revised system of feeding that it 
maintains the vitality of the stock and induces an even egg produc- 
tion during the Winter months. 

On a New England farm, where 1,000 Buff Plymouth Rocks are 
kept, a system has been evolved that has given good satisfaction 
and enabled the owner to show a handsome profit annually. The 
stock is kept under the double yard system, having access to grow- 
ing green food at all times. Dry mash, beef scraps, grit, shell and 
charcoal are constantly kept in hoppers before the birds. At 3 P. M. 
daily 10 quarts of grain are fed to each 100 birds. This mixture 
consists of equal parts by weight of corn, wheat and oats. Twice 
weekly the birds are fed boiled vegetables in troughs, all they will 
cat in a half hour. 

The basis of the mash is the above grain mixture ground. To 
each 100 pounds of this mixture is added five pounds linseed meal, 
10 pounds blood meal and 20 pounds Alfalfa meal. 

On another successful egg farm using Rhode Island Reds, dry 
mash, shell, grit and bone are constantly supplied in hoppers, and 
green food is furnished in liberal amounts. To each 100 hens three 
quarts of a grain mixture is fed in the morning and three quarts 
of coarse cracked corn at night. The grain mixture is made up 
of seven parts, by measure, of wheat, seven parts of oats, four parts 
of fine cracked corn. 

The mash mixture contains 200 pounds bran, 100 pounds mid- 
dlings, 100 pounds gluten, 100 pounds ground oats, 100 pounds meat 
meal. A good mash mixture that has given satisfactory results for 
years consists of 200 pounds bran, 200 pounds cornmcal, 200 pounds 
ground oats, 100 pounds middlings. Beef scrap may be added to 
r fed separately in hoppers. 

Any of the above mixtures would make a good wet mash. In 
feeding wet ma '"are should be exercised to make the mix- 

ture the proper consistency, moist and crumbly, but never sloppy. 

For ults, wet mash should be fed just before the birds 

The whole grain may be fed in the morning — or 

thrown into the litter after the birds have gone to roost; a green 

food given al noon and at night all the mash they will clean up 
quickly. Tl a of feeding keeps the birds active all day and 

sends them to roost with full crops. 

A study of the above rati to emphasize the fact that 

there 1. ! rati ffl I r laying hens. Within reasonable 

limits the exact proportions of the different foods does not seem 


to make a great difference, but in every case we find included in 
satisfactory rations the four groups of feed stuffs already discussed — . 
grains, grubs, greens, grits. 

There is no gain from supplying a mere maintenance ration. 
Profit can be secured only from that part of the ration which the 
fowl can assimilate in addition to her own bodily needs. Rapid 
growth and heavy egg production can be secured only by heavy 
feeding. The fattening of market poultry should be given more 
attention. A large proportion of our market stock is sold in poor 
condition, to the detriment of producer and consumer alike. A 
comparatively short period of confinement in a comfortable pen with 
liberal feeding of corn in some form, and beef scraps, will greatly 
improve the condition of fowls and chickens intended for market. 
Of course the best way to finish market stock is crate fattening. 
The birds are placed in small compartments in crates, kept quiet 
and comfortable, and for about three weeks are fed twice daily, 
either in troughs or by the use of the cramming machine. 

At the Ontario Agricultural College the following ration proved 
an economical producer of yellow flesh : five pounds cornmeal, four 
pounds middlings, one pound oat meal, one pound animal meal. A 
professional fattener in New York uses equal parts by weight of 
cornmeal, ground oats and ground barley. For best results these 
materials must be ground exceedingly fine. Milk, either sour or 
buttermilk, is used to reduce the mixture to a creamy consistency. 
In the absence of milk, water may be used, in which case a small 
amount of animal meal should be added to increase the amount of 


ment of the domestic fowl is the result of careful selection and mat- 
ing, combined with improved methods of feeding and care. When 
once secured superior quality of egg production, growth of flesh or 
high exhibition points are difficult to maintain. The natural ten- 
dency is downward rather than upward. High standards of excel- 
lence are sustained and improved only by the guiding hand of man. 
Left to shift by themselves it is safe to predict that most of our so- 
called breeds or varieties of poultry would gradually revert back to 
a few primitive races. Careful breeding alone, important though it 
is. will not insure permanent improvement. No amount of good 
breeding for size or prolificacy will take the place of good feeding 
and care, or can ever overcome the evil influences of improper 
methods of rearing. Good feeding and good breeding are twin sis- 
ters in the improvement of the domestic fowl. One is as important 
as the other, and one is indispensable to the other. Many flocks of 
good purebred poultry have been blamed for poor egg yield which 

due to improper methods of feeding, housing and care, and the 
breeder paid the penalty, [f we would produce good layers of large 
high-quality eggs, we must rear large healthy stock. Our business 
hen machine must be well built. She must be grown under fresh 
air, free range conditions and judicious liberal feeding. The busi- 
ness hen must be bred for business. She must fulfill the following 
qualifications: She must be of good si/.c, hardy, attractive, an 

economical producer of eggs and flesh, and must be especially 
adapted to the specific purpose for which she is kept. 

CONSTITUTIONAL VIGOR.- Whatever may be the object 

in breeding, whether for exhibition, for egg production or flesh, the 
deration is strong \ tOCk. This is especially true 

in breeding for egg production. I 

ling poultry for in i duction, and the consequent 

demands upon the fowl for greater physical Strength tii wilh-tand 
the heavy strain upon the system, it is of prime importance to know 
to what extent constitutional Vigor influences the egg-laying quali- 

1 hatching power of their eggs and the 


development of their offspring. The modern heavy-laying fowl 
probably performs the greatest feat of digestion, assimilation and 
reproduction of any of our domesticated animals. She is our great- 
est transformer of food into a finished product. She is our best 
condenser of raw materials. This point is clearly emphasized by 
Dr. W. H. Jordan, of the New York State Experiment Station at 
Geneva, who compared a Leghorn fowl, weighing 3^2 pounds and 
laying 200 eggs per year, weighing 25 pounds, with a Jersey cow, 
weighing one thousand pounds and giving in a year 7,000 pounds 
of milk containing 14 per cent solids. He stated that "If you take 
the dry matter of the hen and compare it with the dry matter in 
the eggs she lays in a year, there will be 5^4 times as much dry 
matter in the eggs as in her whole body. The weight of the dry 
matter in the cow's body to the weight of the dry matter in the 
milk will be as one to two and nine-tenths. In other words, based 
upon dry matter, the hen does twice as well as the cow. I suspect 
the hen is the most efficient transformer of raw material into the 
finished product that there is on the farm. Her physiological activity 
is something remarkable. So in that particular the hen stands in a 
class by herself." 

A good fowl is expected to average 135 to 150 eggs per year. 
Three of the Cornell Poultry Department flocks this year averaged 
152, 156 and 175 eggs per hen respectively, an average of 161 eggs 
per hen. Several hens have laid more than 200 eggs each, and one 
laid 240 eggs. These hens averaged V/z pounds each in weight, 
and laid five times their weight in eggs. This is, in fact, quite sim- 
ilar, though not entirely comparable, to the giving birth of an off- 
spring every other day during the year. To do this requires not only 
an inherited tendency to large production, but also an inherited 
constitutional vigor to withstand the great physical strain. Repro- 
duction, presumably, is the most exhausting physical function. In 
view of the enormous work of digestion, growth and production 
which a hen is expected to perform during her short life of two or 
three years, it must be apparent that the most important factor in 
breeding poultry is not the breed or variety, or the high scoring 
qualities of the individual as an exhibition fowl, or the number of 
eggs its ancestors have laid that determines its value, important 
though they are, but rather the good health, natural stamina and 
the constitutional vigor of the fowls to be mated, and their ability 
to eat, digest and assimilate large quantities of food. 

' CONSTITUTION AND VITALITY.— A factor quite as 
important as determining whether or not constitutional vigor influ- 
ences the function of reproduction, is to learn whether there are 


physical differences which distinguish the constitutionally strong 
from the constitutionally weak fowls, and if so, whether they can be 
easily distinguished by physical characteristics which can be used as a 
basis on which to select strong fowls for breeding purposes. In 
order to determine whether or not physical strength or weakness 
influences production, fertility and hatching power of eggs, and 
growth of chickens, and if so, whether there are physical characteris- 
tics by which these weaknesses may be recognized in the selection of 
breeders, a large number of experiments have been conducted by 
the Poultry Department of the New York State College of Agricul- 
ture at Cornell University, the results of which show that there are 
great differences in the number of eggs laid, their fertility and hatch- 
ing power, and the vigor of chickens from fowls that have strong 
constitutions as compared with those of low vitality. These differ- 
ences amounted to a dozen and more eggs a year per hen in favor of 
the hens of strong constitution. Seven-months-old pullets from 
hens of high vitality weighed from one-half to one pound more than 
pullets of the same age and variety and method of hatching and 
rearing that were hatched from eggs laid by stock of low vitality. 
The method by which the flocks were selected was based on the 
theory that strong fowls differ from weak fowls in type, action and 
various other physical characters. Among the points to be observed 
in selecting fowls with reference to their constitutional vigor are 
the following: A fowl's actions are a splendid indication of its 
health. This is especially true as regards the appetite. Fowls that 
are strong, vigorous and active usually are good feeders. Generally 
among fowls of the same variety the heaviest eaters arc the heaviest 
layers. Fowls that are in the best physical condition generally are 
off the perches first in the morning and go to roost last at night 
liens of low vitality are much upon the roosts during the day and 
are inclined to stand around listlessly. Crowing is an excellent 
character to indicate vigor and vitality, and should always he used 
in selecting males for breeding purposes. It indicates physical 
Btrength and masculinity. Gallantry on the part of the male in 

calling tin- hens to eat choice morsels of food is also a character of 
considerable importance. Courage as contrasted with fear is also 
d indication of constitutional vigor. Fear and physical weak- 
V ■ next in importance to the action wrl as an indi- 

cation of constitutional vigor. The body <^\ the vigorous fowl is 

broad, deep and blocky, as contrasted with the long, thin, slender 
type The die primarily in the length of the joints and 

the Bize of the bone and muscles, There is a correlation between 


the parts of a fowl, so that these are associated together as indica- 
tions of high or low vitality. For example, a fowl of pronounced 
low vitality is likely to have a long, flat, narrow head, long, thin, 
flat beak, long, thin neck, long, slender body, long, thin thighs and 
shanks, and long toes. Pale, thin, cold shanks are an almost infalli- 
ble indication of lack of vitality. The fowl of pronounced strong 
vitality is more likely to have a short, thick, curved beak, round full 
head, large comb, short, stocky neck, short, thick, deep body, short, 
heavy thighs and shanks. The eye is a mirror of the health, reflect- 
ing vitality and life. It should be round and full. Sunken eyes and 
drooping eyelids indicate low vitality. The plumage of the fowl 
also indicates its vitality. In fowls of low vitality the plumage is 
likely to be ruffled, dry, lusterless and broken and not fully developed. 
Chickens of low vitality are slow to feather. The way a fowl carries 
the tail and wings is a good indication of its vigor. Sick fowls 
nearly always carry the tail drooping. This is particularly true in 
the case of young chickens. The luster of the plumage is dependent 
to a large extent upon proper nourishment and the oiling of the 
plumage from the oil glands, which, in the fowl of low vitality, do 
not contain sufficient oil for the purpose. The breast and keel of 
the fowl of strong vitality are usually full and meaty and the fluff 
plump and full. This is one of the first places to examine in select- 
ing fowls for low vitality. Depth and width of the body indicate 
a large capacity to digest and assimilate food. Both characters are 
applicable in selecting fowls of any age. Selection for breeding 
purposes should be continuous : from the egg, the chick and chicken, 
the cockerel and pullet, and mature stock. We should eliminate 
weakness wherever we see it. . 

must be bred to lay more eggs of better quality and to lay them at 
the time when they will bring the highest price at the lowest pos- 
sible cost for food and care. Improvement must, therefore, be 
made in quantity, quality and cost. Trap nests supply the only cer- 
tain way of breeding from the highest producers. Trap nests, how- 
ever, are not to be recommended except for persons who can give 
special attention to the breeding of pedigree stock. It costs in the 
neighborhood of 50 cents per year per hen for labor in trap-nesting 
and keeping the records. There are a few things the poultryman or 
farmer can do without trap-nesting that will be likely to enable him 
to improve the Qgg producing qualities of his flock. 

(1) Pick out the pullets of the same age that lay first. Chick- 
ens, like all animal kind, show early in life the characteristics that 
dominate later. A careful study of the individual records of hens 


indicates that the earliest producing pullets are likely to be the most 

(2) Breed from the hens that lay best in the Fall and early 
Winter. It has been found that only the best layers are likely to 
lay in the Fall and early Winter when conditions are most favorable 
for egg production. This season, then, is the time of the year in 
which to select and mark the fowls for breeding. The most unfavor- 
able season to make the selection is in the Spring, when both the 
high and low-producing fowls are laying, and when it is difficult to 
distinguish one from the other. By selecting for breeding the fowls 
that lay in the Fall and Winter, we not only are more likely to get 
the highest producers, but also those that have a tendency to lay the 
largest proportion of their eggs when they are the highest in price. 

(3) Breed only from hens of good size. A small hen cannot 
lay as many large eggs as a large hen can without undue physical 
exertion. The size of the hen must be kept in proportion to the 
size and number of eggs she lays. We cannot afford to overload 
our hens any more than we should overload an engine. This does 
not imply that the largest hens are necessarily the most prolific, but 
it is intended to emphasize the necessity of having large, vigorous 
stock, capable of digesting and assimilating a large amount of food 
in order to produce a large number of large-sized eggs. 

(4) Breed from the hens that moult late in 'the Fall and also 
show evidence of physical strength. Late moulting, when coupled 
with constitutional vigor, indicates that the fowl had continued to 
lay late into the Fall of the year. Experiments at Cornell have 
shown that the highest producers are likely to moult late. The fact 
that fowls are in good health and moult late is not only a good indi- 

i of high production, but indicates that the fowl is not likely to 
lay many, it any, eggs during the remainder of the Winter and, 
therefore, is likely to be in the best possible physical condition to lay 
large perfect hatchable eggs during the hatching season. 

(5) Select egg-type fowls for breeding. While it is a disputed 
point as to whether or not there is such a type, poultrymen who are 
close observers are pretty well agreed on the type of certain indi- 
viduals which they have come to recognize as their Ik st producers. 

characters may not be precisely the same with all varieties. 

Bach thoroughly familiar with his variety. 

There are many methods, more or less reliable, for telling a hen 
that is laying from a hen that is not laying at a given time. How- 
ad careful records are being 

tems are of limited value in deter- 

The shape of the hen's body, size 


and color of her comb change from time to time during the year, 
which interferes with any method of selecting fowls of the "egg 
type." The egg type is not yet scientifically proven, even though 
good poultrymen learn to select with considerable accuracy the indi- 
viduals that are most likely to give the best results. The differences 
in productive capacity undoubtedly accompany and are the result 
of a difference in body type. Good type, however, does not mean 
body type alone. High productive power apparently is dependent not 
only upon the inheritance of the function of egg production, but also 
of the body best suited to large production, and also upon a highly- 
developed nervous organization and strong powers of digestion, any 
one of which, or all four of which factors presumably may be 
inherited by the individual. The body type can in a measure be 
determined by physical examination. The nervous force is indicated 
by the action, intelligence and bright eye. Strong digestion and 
assimilation are shown in the appetite and ability to handle food. 
Constitutional vigor by type, action, color and size of comb, shanks, 
etc. When all these qualities are combined in an individual we get 
the highest producing fowl. 

(6) Constitution vigor. Only individuals showing characters 
of strong constitutional vigor should be retained for breeders. 

(7) Use hens instead of pullets for breeding, thus increasing 
the size of the chick and improving its vigor, and at the same time 
developing the tendency to breed for longevity of the race. 

BREEDING FOR LONGEVITY.— We must breed a long-lived 
hen, a long distance hen, one that can keep up the process of good 
egg production for a period of two or three years and remain strong 
and hardy. There are long-lived families of hens just as there are 
long-lived families of humans. The tendency of long life appears 
to be a hereditary character. The tendency of modern poultry breed- 
ing on many of the large poultry farms has been to shorten the 
normal life of the race of the domestic fowl. This has been brought 
about in a variety of ways, chief of which is the breeding from 
cockerels and pullets instead of cocks and hens. This is because 
pullets lay the largest number of eggs during the first six months of 
their laying year, which is the last six months of their first year 
from the shell. While they are doing this they are also expected to 
increase in size. They are then not in a proper physical condition to 
produce eggs for breeding as compared with hens that are kept under 
similar environmental conditions. Close confinement, forced feed- 
ing and early maturity have also contributed to shorten the normal 
life and lower the vitality of the fowl. 

AGE AS A FACTOR IN BREEDING.— A good male should 
be used until a stronger and superior individual can be found. The 


age of usefulness of a male will depend more upon his inherited 
vitality and physical characters than on any particular breed or stated 
age. Males of the large breeds frequently become heavy and clumsy. 
A White Leghorn male, now nine years old, is known to be a 
1. Two or three years, however, usually is the 
limit of profitable usefulness. Under-sized cockerels should never 
be used. Maturity and full development arc essential. Strong, 
. early-hatched cockerels are as a rule as d( "Id males, 

except that they have not been tried and their power of reproducing 
desirable characters has not been proven. A male's value is two- 
fold: his ability to produce fertility and his power to reproduce his 
own desirable qualities. Males that excel in one quality do not 
always in both. It is generally a good practice to keep a male if he 
remains active until you can get a better one. Breed from mature 
stock. Fowls two or three years old which have robust constitu- 
tions are more desirable for breeders than younger stock, either 
male or female. Professor Atwood, of the West Virginia Experi- 
ment Station, proved in six experiments where he compared eggs 
for hatching from hens and pullets, that the former not only laid 
larger eggs that produced larger chickens, but also gave the best 
results in fertility and hatching power, and that these differences 
were apparent for many weeks after hatching, in size and health of 
chickens. Hens have the advantage of having had an opportunity 
to prove themselves. The breeder has had an opportunity to observe 
and eliminate during the two or three years of observation the 
weaker and less attractive, poorer developed, less productive and 
improperly marked fowls. Two-year-old hens lay less eggs during 
the Winter season than do those that are one year old (pullet year), 
and :' . other conditions being equal, should have greater 

vitality and hence should transmit more vigor to the chicks. Hens 
that have not laid freely during the early Winter, other conditions 

equal, are more likely to produce a larger supply of hatchable 

'it time for hatching. It does not follow that just 

because hens do not lay during the Winter that their ill be 

nvrc hatchable. They may fail to lay because improperly fed or 

1 and in that event the egg8 would be likely to be less hatch- 

':ed maturity arc more likely to throw their 

of largi r her things 

l, determines the size <>f the chicks. By increasing the 

h of life of products ! the domestic fowl we 

decrease the liability to mortality in rearing, chicken 

live. Bj lay a n a- 

Bonable number of eggs :'"r two <>r three years in a we 

i f chicken red each year to 


renew the flock. It is better to do this than to breed an excessively 
high-producing, short-lived fowl. 

The business hen must be bred to lay eggs that will bring the high- 
est price. These should be of large size, weighing two to 2% ounces 
each, uniform egg shape, uniform light or dark brown or white in 
color. Such eggs bring from five to 10 cents per dozen more than 
eggs irregular in shape and size and differing in color. This would 
make a net difference of 50 to 75 cents per year in the selling value 
of the eggs per hen. The greatest improvement in breeding poultry 
lies in the direction of improving the quality rather than in increas- 
ing the quality of eggs. Improving the quality of eggs as to color 
and shape may be brought about entirely by selecting eggs of the 
right type for hatching. It costs no more to produce eggs of the 
right color and shape than it does to produce eggs of irregular 
shape and color, so far as cost of food and care are concerned. 
Improvement in the quality of eggs may be brought about by observ- 
ing the law that every hen is born to lay an egg of given size, shape 
and color, and to continue to lay eggs of similar type during her 
natural life, with the exception that there is a tendency for the eggs 
to grow slightly larger as the hen grows older. The next step is to 
apply the law of inheritance, i. e. : that "similar tends to produce 
similar," which means that, generally speaking, the color, shape and 
size of the egg is likely to be transmitted from parent to offspring. 
By using only eggs for hatching that are perfect in size, shape and 
color for a few years, the quality can be radically changed in these 
respects. In many instances this will mean an increase in the selling 
quality of the eggs as much as 15 to 20 per cent. This is the easiest 
way to increase the income from poultry. 

breeding for egg production and fancy points. The first essentials 
for meat production are a strong constitution, a good appetite, a 
meat producing stock. The selection of these qualities calls for a 
tendency to increased longevity. Developing the true meat type will 
have a tendency to build up instead of break down the natural physi- 
cal qualities of the animal. Experience and experiments indicate 
that in developing superior meat qualities in the general purpose or 
meat type fowl there is a tendency to reduce egg production. This 
results in reducing the number of offspring to be secured from the 
highest type of meat fowl, and constitutes a serious difficulty in the 
profitable breeding of fowls for meat production. In breeding for 
meat type, it is comparatively easy to select from among a large 
number of individuals those that grow most rapidly and reach in 


hortest length of time the desired weight for any given purpose. 
By selecting in meet the requirements as to type 

and quick m be made in the meat quali- 

i type and careful selection of 
individuals for breeding, gre • made in developing a 

type that will give the least possible loss in dressing. 

K; REBRED POULTRY.— The chief advantage of 

keeping purebred poultry as compared to common or graded stock 
is to be found in the many advantages resulting from the uniformity 
in the stock and its products. These advantages will be treated 
separately. Pure breeds can be bred more successfully because more 
satisfactory results can be secured in feeding purebred poultry for 
egg production because they arc similar in their tastes, habits, pro- 
lificacy, and character of growth. This uniformity in type is most 
likely to be found in pure breeds. Where only one distinct type of 
fowls is fed in a flock, better results can be secured from it, because 
each fowl will be more likely to be fed according to its particular 
needs. The heavier and slower and more phlegmatic types are, such 
as Brahmas and Cochins, etc., the more likely they are to be over- 
fed when fed on similar food and given similar care as the more 
active, sprightly, prolific types of fowls. Better results can be secured 
in feeding purchr .', \ .vis for meat production. Where there are 
several types in one flock growthy fowls will be disturbed by the 
active, noisy fowls. This is extremely marked where the four 
mes of type arc allowed to run together; the slow, clumsy, 
good-natu: (Brahmas, Cochins, etc.), the strong, active 

Americans (Plymouth Rocks, Wyandottcs, etc.), the sir 
tive precocious Mediterraneans (Leghorns, Minorcas, etc.), and the 
active, quarrel 

n be fed or any system of care practiced which will 

exactly suit the four extreme types in one dock. Uniformity in 

type of the fowl in the pure breeds will enable rations to 

be fed which will more likely produce similar results and more 

•wth. There is a great difference in the way various 

individuals make use of food. Some have a tendency to product 

h, Others fit, and <U\\ others to prod:: ds are 

uniform in ap] when bird for market. Uniformity in 

ed poultry has much to do with the selling price. 

men! ed poultry, Borne large, others small, some 

with feathered shanl in, BOOM with yellow skin, others 

'in- with bl rs with yellow or pink, some with 

I bodies, others with rounded, plump i a motley 

bunch wl:. y eggs 


more uniform in color, shape and size. Uniformity in the appearance 
of eggs as well as their eating quality determines their selling value. 
A crate containing large and small eggs, light and dark brown, 
pink, cream-colored and white eggs, roundish, long and elliptical 
shaped eggs, have the appearance of being ordinary, picked-up store 
eggs, and therefore will bring the lowest possible price. A crate of 
all brown, or all white, or all cream-colored eggs, uniform also in 
size and shape, have the earmarks of quality and bring the highest 
possible price. Eggs from the pure breed, other things being equal, 
are likely to give better results in hatching. Better results in hatch- 
ing can be secured where there is uniformity in type and characteris- 
tics of the body of the fowls. Big and little eggs do not get the 
same degree of heat in the incubator, because the larger eggs, being 
higher up, are in the warmer stratum of air. A person can learn 
how to handle a certain machine to hatch eggs from a certain breed, 
but he cannot run the machine to meet all sizes, shapes and condi- 
tions of eggs at one time. When fowls of different types and char- 
acters are crossed, it seems reasonable to believe that misfits would 
be produced. For instance, a chick which should have a thin shell, 
may be born in a thick shell. A chick inheriting the large body of 
the father may be inclosed in the small shell produced by the small 
mother. The shells evaporate very rapidly. The more differences 
there are in the types of the breeding flock, the greater will be the 

Purebred fowls have greater power of transmitting their quali- 
ties to their offspring. Purebred fowls should have the advantage of 
the developing influence of generations of intelligent feeding, mat- 
ing and care, and therefore ordinarily will have greater prolificacy, 
and more profitable growth because they are further removed from 
the wild type, which is limited to a few distinct varieties for the 
most part of small size and not suited to the demands of the market. 
Pure breeding carries with it the decided advantage of breeding more 
true to a given standard and for a special purpose type, so that there 
will be greater certainty of producing value in the offspring, when 
such value is possessed by the parents. A pure breed, because more 
valuable and attractive, will be given more and better care, because 
the owner places greater value on it arid takes pride in it. The 
market value of fowls for breeding is far greater than the value to 
eat or for eggs. 

is all that should be kept at first for commercial egg or meat pro- 
duction. Any one variety, produced in its perfection, will furnish 
business enough for men of the best executive ability and business 


capacity. The more fowls of a single breed that are kept, the more 
the poultryman becomes an authority and popular headquarters for 
that particular breed. Where one breed is kept, the danger of fowls 
becoming mixed and valuable breed qualities lost, is eliminated. 
After a poultryman has the business thoroughly established with 
one breed, he may, perhaps, with profit, keep a second breed if it is 
to supply a different kind of product Tor market. Two breeds, one 
a distinctive egg producing fowl and the other a pronounced meat 
type fowl, frequently can be kept to advantage on the same farm, 
where both breeds are kept separate and pure and are bred in large 
enough quantities to supply large markets. Where the poultryman is 
to make a business of exhibiting poultry, and advertising extensively 
eggs and stock for sale for breeding purposes, it may be desirable to 
keep several varieties, but this would never apply where a stock is 
kept for commercial purposes. 

CROSSING. — The crossing of two pure breeds in most instances 
is a mistake. It frequently has been done in the belief that some- 
thing was to be gained in vigor, size and egg yield. Careful records 
of the results of crosses indicate that while the size of chickens may 
be increased by crossing with a male larger than the hens, or that 
egg production may be increased by crossing the poorer layers with 
a male from the egg-laying breed, the gain in weight or egg yield 
generally is not equal to the weight or the egg yield of the pure 
breed, which was used to increase the size or egg production. In 
other words, better results generally will be obtained, if the pure 
breed which best meets our needs for any given purpose is bred pure 
and only the best individuals are used for breeding. In an experi- 
ment at the New York State College of Agriculture, where Single 
Comb White Leghorns and Barred Plymouth Rocks were compared 
with their crosses, it was found that the Leghorns were far superior 
g producers to the Rocks or either of their crosses and that the 
were superior to the Leghorns or either of their crosses for 
quick growth and size as meat fowls, and that nothing was gained in 
health or vigor in either cross as compared to the pure breeds, as 
shown by the following table: 

White Bock on thorn 

Leghorn. !.' phora. Bock, on Rock 

flertll !tt.T 88.2 84.2 90. 

bi< ka a\ 7 months S L2 4.85 5.08 8.75 

Eggs produced L75 L46 124 i M 

if anything could be gained in egg yield or weight by cross- 
il would DC questionable if it WOUld not be better in the long 

run to keep a pure breed I the necessity in crossii 

purchasing <>r breeding two pure I cfa year in order to make 


the crosses, and the necessity which this practice would require of 
providing separate pens and yards for all three or four classes of 
fowls, i. e., for the crosses and each of the pure breeds. Moreover, 
all the arguments advanced for keeping pure breeds apply as reasons 
why we should not cross our fowls. In one year by crossing two 
pure breeds, we destroy the constructive work of generations of 
careful breeding in developing them to their present state of per- 
fection of type and performance, and it would require a decade of 
the same careful selection and mating to breed up to the former 
perfection the two pure breeds from the crosses. Why this destruc- 
tive waste of energy? A person who appreciates uniformity of type 
of body and of egg, who has any conception of the intrinsic value 
of the quality of transmitting these qualities to the offspring finds 
little inducement in cross breeding. If new life and vigor is to be 
considered, it is far. better to get this by introducing new blood of 
the same variety. The appearance alone of a flock of cross-bred 
fowls when compared with the pure breeds from which they came 
should be sufficient argument to cause a breeder to hesitate to resort 
to crossing. This is particularly true in the second or third genera- 
tion. One could not take pride in looking at, much less in showing 
a cross-bred flock of various sizes, shapes and colors. If we could 
see more dollars in the crosses than in the pure breeds, we might 
be able to overlook appearances, but in this instance both profit and 
beauty are to be gained by breeding the pure breeds. 

GRADING UP THE FLOCK.— Grading up the flock may be 
desirable unless a pure breed is to be kept. It is not usually to be 
recommended because it is so easy to secure pure-bred stock and 
eggs. A superior male of the breed desired, when crossed by com- 
mon stock or a mixed breed, is likely to quickly and very materially 
improve the quality of the offspring. The continued use of the pure- 
bred males of the same variety would result in three or four gen- 
erations in the production of a flock which to all appearances would 
be equal to the pure breed, except in breeding qualities. Generally, 
however, time and money will be saved by commencing with a pure 
breed. There is always more or less uncertainty as to the result to 
be obtained in grading up a flock. When this method of improving 
a flock is tried, males of the same breed and similar line of breeding 
should be used, if possible, each year. When purebred males can 
be secured in most neighborhoods at approximately market prices 
for killing, there is no excuse for anyone having mongrel poultry. 
Grading offers the easiest and cheapest way to get uniformity and 
superior quality of meat or eggs where one has common mongrel 
stock, and with proper selection of females most closely resembling 


the purebred male used each year, surprising improvement in quality 
and a proportionate increase in profits may be expected. 

I in the poultry business. They are better than none, but they 
ry husbandry what cider apples are to the choicest 
modern varieties. Why begin 50 years behind the times in getting a 
start? Why not begin where the other fellow haves tiff, up-to-date, 
by securing a small start by the purchase of a few eggs or chickens 
of a good modern farm run on pure breed principles, and thus get 
the full value of the food and care which you give to your poultry, 
or at least by grading up with a purebred male? All pure breeds are 
not superior necessarily just because they are pure breeds. There 
arc many blue-blooded aristocrats in the poultry world who trawl 
on their shape and dote on their pedigree and who, like some 
humans, so far as any honest work is concerned, take it for granted 
that the world owes them a living. The old adage should be 
applied in the breeding of the "business hen," "to prove all things 
and hold fast to that which is good." 

females which can safely be allowed to one male depends more 
upon the natural reproductive power of the male and female than 
the breed. In general more males are required with the heavy 
breeds. The safe rule, other conditions being equal as to health, 
size and season, is one male to eight or 10 females for Brahmas, 
Cochins, etc., one male to 15 or 20 females for Plymouth Rocks, 
White Wyandottes, etc., and one male to 20 or 25 females for Leg- 
horns, 1 [amburgs, etc. 

LENGTH OF FECUNDATION.— Eggs are likely to be fer- 
tile after a male has been in the flock from seven to id days, depend- 
ing upon the condition of the male and female-, and the number in 
the pen, etc. If mating should take place soon after an egg has been 
laid, the next egg to be laid probably will prove fertile. may 
remain fertile for three or four week; after the male has been 

<1 from the Bock, but it is generally not safe to use the 
for hatching after the male has been removed one week. When 

exchanging males in the flock, it is better nol to use the 
hatching until two ,»r three w le last with tin 

be more 1:1 annate in ft ri; 


ping two malis for each flock, only one of 
which is permitted to run with the flock, b decided advan- 

pt in one flock. Tin- miles 
with letting l\. 


more males run together with the flock; it prevents fighting which 
may result in permanent injury and impaired action. It also elimin- 
ates fear on the part of either or both, which would interfere with 
their digestion and, therefore, with their good health and efficiency. 
Where a large number of breeders are kept and small pens of 
special matings are not necessary, the most satisfactory method is to 
allow all the breeders to run together on a large common range. 
The flocks have a tendency to separate into natural groups, one male 
with each. By this means serious injury from fighting does not 
occur, because of the opportunity for the more timid males to get 
away. This system insures the largest influence of the .strongest 
and best individuals and provides an opportunity for natural selection. 

periments tried at Cornell and the New York Experiment Station 
at Geneva indicate that the male does not influence the productivity 
of the flock with which he runs. Therefore, except in the cases of 
breeding flocks, the males would be a disadvantage instead of an 
advantage, especially if more than one were in a breeding pen. This 
is due to the injuries caused by fighting. The space required by 
males in flocks for commercial egg production could be better utilized 
by hens. Males in the flock during warm weather would be a detri- 
ment on account of producing fertile eggs, which are known to have 
poorer keeping qualities. 

may be true of the influence of previous impregnation on the future 
offspring, it may be put down as not true of poultry beyond the 
short life of the spermatozoons, which would not extent beyond a 
few weeks with fowls and a season with turkeys. Therefore, it 
would be perfectly safe to breed, after a few weeks absence from 
a male, from hens of any variety that have been previously mated 
to a different variety with a certainty of knowing that no effects of 
the previous mating will appear in the offspring. There being no 
complete connection between the fertilized egg and the hen and 
because the life of the male germs is known to be short, it is 
impossible that his influence should continue indefinitely. 

SEASON. — There are three ways of handling males during the non- 
breeding season. The first is to keep them confined in small separate 
coops by themselves. This is expensive as to labor and equipment 
and does not permit of sufficient exercise. The second is to allow 
the males to run with the flock all year. Except for the disad- 
vantage of producing fertile eggs during the hot weather, this is the 
most economical and best method, so far as the welfare and well- 


being of the hens and male? are concerned. The third practice is to 
remove all males from the flocks during the Summer and keep them 
in a flock by themselves, far removed from the hens to prevent fight- 
ing. If a large range with numerous feeding and watering places is 
provided and if the males are watched at first to prevent serious 
injury from fighting, the plan works well. It is of utmost import- 
ance that whatever system may be practiced, the males must not be 
allowed to become frightened, because this and the lack of proper 
feeding and wholesome surroundings will certainly lower the vitality. 

CONTROLLING SEX.— No one, so far as the writer knows, 
has yet solved the mystery of controlling the sex in breeding poul- 
try. Many theories have been advanced, the chief of which is the 
one that the shape of the egg may be used as an indication of the 
sex. For instance, long eggs will be more likely to produce cock- 
erels, and round ones pullets. The claim that mating young males 
and old hens will result in producing more pullets and that old 
males mated to pullets will produce more cockerels has been tried 
repeatedly without establishing the claim. It has been claimed that 
the season of hatching influences or determines the sex, the general 
belief being that the early hatches appear to contain a larger propor- 
tion of pullets than do the late hatches. All these and other theories 
of sex control have abundant verification in specific instances where 
they have proved true, but in as many other instances the reverse 
has been true. 

HOW TO INTRODUCE NEW BLOOD.— If one has a choice 
strain of fowls and desires to bring in new blood, it is better to 
take two years to do it. This is done in order to test the results 
"ii a few individuals before trying it on all the breeding flock. 
Srioiis results from the introduction of impure blood may thus be 
avoided It i- better to purchase a few superior hens and mate them 
with your best males or to secure superior males and mate with a 
few of your best females and study the offspring for a year, and 
then, if they are sati>factory, to use them by mating with the balance 
of the flock. 

IN-BREEDING. — There is little danger from in-breeding where 
a laruc number <>f fowls of the same variety are kept if reasonable 

care is exercised each year in selecting only vigorous breeders. If 
it becomes desirable t<> introduce new blood, the rule should be not 
to do s<» just because it is new blood, but because it is superior and 
not simply equal to your own in vigor and other qualities. The com- 
mon notion that it is necessary each year to exchange males tends 
to keep tin- Rock only equal to the average of those who are con- 
cerned, and prevents improvement that might be secured by develop- 
ing a superior strain by judicious line breeding. 


LINE BREEDING.— This term applies to the practice of keep- 
ing separate strains or matings on the same farm, always going 
systematically to one line for the males and to the other line for 
the females, these two lines having been started by mating the best 
male which forms the male line to the best female which forms the 
female line, and thereafter to continue mating the male offspring of 
the male line to the female offspring of the female line, or the orig- 
inal male to his daughter or the female to the son, and each genera- 
tion to continue to systematically mate from these male and female 
lines, which will tend to produce in each generation a line having a 
larger and larger proportion of the blood of the original female on 
the one side and a line having a larger and larger proportion of the 
original male on the other, and an intermediate line may be kept, if 
so desired, that will contain one-half of each line. Line breeding 
is a type of systematic in-breeding and is practiced in order to inten- 
sify and fix certain qualities and to avoid as far as possible the evil 
results of close indiscriminate in-breeding. 

When one already has poultry and desires to change the variety, the 
cheapest way to get a new flock is by the purchase of breeding stock 
in the Fall of the year, when breeders must sell hens to make room 
for pullets. This method has the advantage of providing hens 
instead of pullets for breeders the following Spring, and to purchase 
the stock when it is at its worst, at the close of the laying and 
moulting season, hence to note lack of vigor and faulty feathering, 
etc. Each hen should be counted on with good care to produce 
during the -V/ 2 to three months laying season at least 45 to 50 eggs, 
30 of which probably could be used for hatching. These, at the 
regular prices of eggs for hatching, should pay for the hen and 
male and there should be left the stock and a good margin of profit 
on the investment. If a start is made in the Spring, the high prices 
charged for breeding stock generally makes it desirable to purchase 
eggs or day-old chicks, the last in particular if a large number are 
to be reared. More chances are taken in purchasing the eggs as to 
their infertility, weak vitality and the uncertainty of incubating and 
brooding. However, when the business has already been established 
and the element of time in making the change is less important, the 
purchase of eggs or day-old chicks from a well-known reliable 
breeder enables one to get a start with the least possible outlay. 


Mr. Geo. A. Cosgrove, of Connecticut, gives the following state- 
ment of personal experience with hens : 

Some years ago a prominent magazine published an article in 
which was expressed the thought that there comes a time in the life 
of very many men, especially in the cities, when there is an ever- 
deepening cloud overshadowing their lives, which colors all their 
thoughts, and which cannot be shaken off. It persistently intrudes 
itself into all their pleasures, and is not absent from their daily 
tasks. And the shadow deepens as the years roll on. That shadow 
is caused by the question "What shall I do when increasing age 
causes me to lose my situation; how shall 1 support my family when 
I lose my job?" And the question will not be put down, but con- 
stantly recurs and demands to be answered. As the weeks and 
months roll by the man never loses consciousness of the fact that 
any day the time may come when it must be answered. Honest, 
sober, industrious men, city born and bred, who know nothing what- 
ever ab^ut country life, or how to perform the labor necessary on a 
farm, still read with mingled hope and fear the advertisements of 
cheap farms for sale, and wonder if they could make a livinj 
themselves and their families on a farm, and it is \>>v the i 
ment of such men that this chapter is written. Success or failure 
will depend largely upon + he attitude towards the undertaking which 
his wife and family assume. If they realize fully the situation, and 
that it is almost their only chance to make a living; if they are 
willing for a time to deny themselves city comforts and luxuri 
the wife will loyally support the efforts and labors of the husband, 
and not ;i<ld to bis burdens by fault-finding and wors< than useless 
~; if they will put themselves in sympathy with nature and 
enjoy the van: US, and "bird and bee and llower;*' if they 

will appreciate at its true worth the independence and safety of the 

farm, then indeed may they : UCCeed in their farm li:' 

thing in the farm labor that cannot be quickly learned by 

id mechanic. The writer 

li the standpoint of personal experience, for he moved out 
w York when of age, broken in health, with no hoy; 


to help, and absolutely without farm experience, and bought a run- 
down farm in northeast Connecticut. Now, after 15 years have 
elapsed, the only regret is that we did not leave the city 10 years 
sooner. In these 15 years health has been regained, the value of the 
farm trebled, and a few dollars laid away for "old age." Of course 
we have made many mistakes ; if we could begin again and have 
the benefit of present experience to commence with, far greater suc- 
cess from the money standpoint could be achieved. But there are 
other successes than financial ones ; the building up and beautifying 
of a home, acquiring the respect and esteem of one's neighbors and 
townsmen, as evidenced by being called to public service in the State ; 
the strengthening of one's own character, which the independence of 
farm life greatly promotes, all these are successes of more value to a 
true man than a few added dollars. 

A city man buying a farm has usually a very indefinite idea of 
what he is going to do with it. Somehow he expects the farm is 
going to provide a living for himself and family, but just exactly 
how he really does not know. Of course he expects to have a garden, 
raise his own potatoes and with cow and chickens contrive to get a 
living. So he drifts along for a few years without ''getting any- 
where." It is far better to have a definite plan, to decide on what 
you would like to do, what you feel best fitted to undertake. Then 
before concluding the purchase, go over the farm very carefully and 
see if it is fitted for the carrying out of the plan you have in mind. 
What are the facilities for getting the product to market after you 
have raised it, and is the soil suitable? I have seen land on the 
very top of a round hill that was so wet as to be unfit to cultivate. 
Note particularly the distance to the nearest grain store, also to the 
express office. It makes a big difference whether you must spend 
five or six hours on the road once or twice a week, or one or two 
hours. The water supply, both for home and in pasture, should also 
be carefully looked after, and whether it fails or not in a dry time. 
The wood lot, from which to obtain fuel, should consist of not less 
than 20 acres. No one thing on a farm contributes more to the com- 
fort and happiness of the farmer's wife than plenty of properly pre- 
pared and dry fuel. Many an otherwise good farmer fails entirely 
to consider what an unnecessary annoyance it is to his wife to have 
the wood split in such large pieces that it will not kindle readily. 
Keep always a stock of old rails or dead wood from the forest, split 
into pieces not larger in diameter than your finger, for kindling wood. 
Wood should always be cut a year before using, so that it will have 
time to get the sap dried out, but if it is not possible to do this, the 
seasoning may be hastened by cutting down the trees before the 


leaves fall and letting the trees lie for a few weeks before they are 
cut into lengths. The leaves will draw nearly all the sap out of the 

Two of the things most frequently thought of by the city man 
as a means of getting a living on a farm, are fruit raising and 
poultry keeping. The two can be very easily joined together. To 
the high-growing berries like blackberries and raspberries, tied 
to stakes driven into the ground, poultry do very little damage, as 
nearly all the fruit is set high enough to be out of their reach. 
The strawberry patch must be fenced so that poultry cannot get 
at it. One or two acres of good land devoted to raspberries and 
blackberries will produce enough to support, in the country, an 
ordinary family. Of course, it is supposed that the farmer raises 
his own potatoes, his milk, butter, eggs, poultry, etc., so that he 
has very much less to buy than when living in the city. The berry 
patch is an ideal place to raise the growing chicks; they help to 
keep down the weeds, while the cultivating of the ground fur- 
nishes them with worms and bugs, and the plants furnish shade 
and shelter from hawks and crows . Suppose a man has decided 
to go into poultry, eggs, and berries as a means of getting a living 
on a farm. He finds that he can ship in the evening the berries 
picked that day, and that they will arrive at his city market next 
morning early, and that the cost of express service is not so high 
as to reduce his profit unduly. Now he is ready to look into the 
poultry part of his undertaking. Does his market pay a premium 
for white eggs, or are brown eggs preferred? White eggs sell for 
most in New York ; in Boston brown eggs bring the highest price. 
All the small breeds, the Leghorns, Andalusians, Anconas, also the 
larger Minorcas, lay white eggs. The American breeds, Plymouth 
Rocks, Wyandottes, R. I. Reds, lay mainly brown eggs. But the 
color, especially of Wyandottes and R. T. Red eggs, varies a good 
deal, shading all the way from a dark brown to nearly white. For 
a year there has been an cfTort under way at Storrs College to 
produce a strain of White Wyandottes that would lay white eggs, 
the object being to produce a fowl that would overcome the objec- 
to the Leghorns, viz., their small *\7e, high flying, and the 
fact that they do not lay well in Winter when eggs are hi 
Any of th ".in average twice I ordinary 

Leghorns, and r Winter layers. The Leghorns are non- 

sittcrs, and an incubator becomes a necessity unless birds of some 
other breed are bought to do the Bitting. In fact if hundred 

chicks are to be hatched, one or more incubators are a 
necessity, no matter what breed is kept. Many prefer nowadays 
I the chicks already hatched, which can be done in any quail- 


tity at a cost usually of from 10 to 15 cents apiece. This does 
away with the cost of incubators, eliminates the problem of what 
incubator to buy, and where to put it, and on the whole the cost 
of the chicks is not very much greater than it would cost to pro- 
duce them at home. Of course the above applies only to the pro- 
ducer of market eggs and poultry; the poultry fancier, who is try- 
ing to produce high-class breeding stock must hatch his own eggs. 

Having settled the question as to which breed he is going to 
keep, and whether it is the production of fancy stock, or simply 
market eggs and poultry, the next question that arises is the loca- 
tion of the poultry houses. Nearness to the water supply, whether 
it is a well or brook, is an important consideration when one has 
to carry water 365 days in the year. By all means avoid a damp 
or low situation ; the top of a high and breezy hill is better than 
a low place where the cold and damp air settles at night. A 
gravelly or sandy soil is much better than a rich dark loam ; the 
latter absorbs the droppings and becomes in time an ill-smelling, 
disease-breeding place. Don't forget that the fowl's nose is only 
a foot from the ground. If the fowls are to be kept in yards and 
on level land, arrange the houses so as to have two yards to each 
house, that one may be plowed and a crop of some kind grown 
to take the foulness out of the soil, while the other yard is being 
used. Rye is the quickest to grow, and hardest for the hens to 
kill out, when they are turned into that yard, which they should 
be as soon as the rye is three inches high. 

Housing is one of the biggest problems to settle, but the chap- 
ter devoted to that subject in this book is very complete, and the 
novice should be able to select from the many plans something 
that would suit both his taste and his pocketbook. The writer built 
houses 10 feet square on the ground, ' setting the houses 10 feet 
apart. Then by roofing over the space between the houses and 
boarding up the back, and making a wire netting front, a scratch- 
ing shed was made for each house. There is a wire netting door 
in the front of each shed, and the coop door opens into the scratch- 
ing shed. These houses and sheds may be added to from year 
to year as the increasing number of fowls require. These houses 
will accommodate 25 to 30 fowls each, and the cost for material, 
including windows and roofing, is about $18. Material for scratch- 
ing sheds would add about $6. The only foundations of these 
houses are wide chestnut boards sunk into the earth, and project- 
ing above the ground about eight inches. The sills of the houses 
rest on the edge of these boards, and the siding comes down about 
two inches below the sills, overlapping the joint where the sills 


rest on the chestnut boards. Pine boards sunk in the earth would 

rot in a year, but chestnut will last indefinitely. In my case they 

a dozen years and an irviceable. The 

earth is hanked up against the hoards outside so that water runs 
away from the coops. These chestnut foundation hoards keep the 
frost and moisture out of the coops, and the earth floor inside is 
perfectly dry at all times, and never freezes in the coldest Winter, 
although the door is always kept wide open except during driving 
snowstorms, or on coldest nights. A dry earth floor in the poultry 
houses is much better than a board floor; it makes a dust bath in 
which all the fowls can wallow at the same time if they desire, 
and by scraping off the top earth and scattering it an inch deep 
on the droppii under the roost, it makes a good absorb- 

ent for the manure, and the surface of the flour is cleaned at the 
same time. It is the practice of the writer to put one or two 
wagon loads of sifted earth in each house in the Fall, using the 
driest earth to he obtained. 

It is impossible to imagine all the mistakes a novice may 

make, and caution against each one. A letter recently received 
from a lady asking instruction, says: "I let the hen set six v 

she didn't hatch out a chick." Now with an Qgg tester she 
could have told in seven days whether the eggs had any chance to 
hatch or not, and in any case it was useless to let the hen sit 
more than thn The chick will begin to pick at things 

the first day it is hatched, hut that must not he taken as an indi- 
cation that it is hungry; the yolk of the egg which the chick's body 
surrounded before it kicked itself out of the shell, furnishes all 
the nutrition the chick needs for three or four days, so that very 
little food should he given for the first few days, and only what 
will he eaten up in five minutes, hut it should be given live or six 
times a day for the first wick. It does no! mal at oral of 

difference what is fed; any of the advertised chick feeds if fresh 
and sweet, hard-boiled egg mixed with bread crumbs, or rolled 

OatS, and all chopped line: and I havi every chick feeding 

nothing but coarse cracked corn taken out of the horse's feed bin. 

Bui in tlii- case the hen and chicks were down at my barn, and 
the hen balanced the ration by scratching in tin manure pile. 

Br a most important matter; it i- very casv 

iil a fa ..f chicks, either in the hatching or brooding. P.rood- 

ers without artificial heat are coming int.. use more and more. 

made to conserve the natural heat of the chicks by 


:tra cold nights. A sufficient number of chicks. 26 to BO, must 


be kept together to generate enough heat. Where two or three 
chicks would freeze in such a brooder, 25 or 30 would be quite 
comfortable. These brooders must be used in a house, or well 
covered shed, where they will be protected from storms and winds. 
I took a common soap box, cut a hole, 3x4 inches, in one side 
near the bottom, made a light frame that would just drop in the 
box, and nailed a small cleat an inch from the top edge of box 
on each end for the frame to rest on; tacked a piece of muslin 
to each end of the frame, the muslin being longer than the frame, 
so that it would sag down in the middle; filled the box with hay, 
and put 23 chicks a day old on the hay. The muslin "sheet" rested 
on the chicks, and two or three thicknesses of old carpet was laid 
on the sheet for "blankets." Three half-inch holes were bored in 
each end for ventilation. The chicks using this box as their 
brooder, lived and thrived better than those kept in heated brood- 
ers. They were put in about the middle of April when water 
would freeze at night. The box was kept in a 6x8-foot house and 
the chicks had the run of the floor. For the first week or two 
it is necessary to push the chicks back into the box after feeding 
until they learn to go in themselves. When the chicks are large 
enough to run outdoors it is a good practice to scatter oats thickly 
on the ground where they run, and spade them under. As soon 
as the green shoots show above ground, dig a little hole so as to 
expose the white rootlets of the oats, and the chicks will work 
and scratch among them all day, eating the whole thing, oats, 
roots and sprouts, and it is a most excellent feed for them. 

As the chicks get to broiler size the cockerels may be culled 
out and sent to market, and the earlier this is done the better the 
price obtained will be. Two things are to be carefully guarded 
against; one is lice, the other is colds, which may run into roup, 
the dread of all poultrymen. "Blue ointment," mercurial ointment, 
which can be cheaply obtained at any drug store, is a specific 
against lice. If chicks are running with hens, take a piece twice 
the size of a pea and rub under the hen's wings, and along on her 
body where she has stripped the feathers off to line her nest, and 
to bring her bare skin in contact with the eggs while sitting; also 
in the hollow spot just above the vent, and in the feathers below 
the vent. Do this just at night and the chicks and hen will be 
free from lice for weeks. Observe if there are little bunches of 
"nits" at the base of the feathers below the vent; if so lard or 
grease of any kind will kill them. Look out for colds, especially 
when the Fall rains come. When you notice that the chicks have 
wet nostrils, put in their drinking water permanganate of potash, 


enough to give the water a strong wine color ; say a tcaspoonful 
of the crystals to eight or 10 quarts of water. Keep doing it until 
there are no more wet nostrils. The above two recipes are worth 
a hundred dollars to anyone going into the poultry business. 

I do not think it wise for a man who is new to the poultry 
business to attempt to raise a large number of birds the first year; 
better go slow and learn the business by handling only 100 or 200 
the first Winter. To get 200 good pullets, at least 500 chicks must 
be hatched, and it will only be with good luck that one who hatches 
500 chicks will find himself in the Fall in possession of 200 good 
gullets. The poor pullets should be culled out as well as the sur- 
plus cockerel.^, and the must profitable time to dispose of the latter 
is as soon as they weigh one and a half to two pounds each, ami 
earlier ""than that if the market will accept them. As to how 
many fowls one should keep when the business has been learned, 
that will depend on the man. Almy with the help of a boy cares 
»()0 R. I. Reds, Tillinghast with one man cares for 3,000 White 
irns; both of these men 11^:11,2; the colony system; that is, 
detached houses holding about .">() birds each scattered over many 
acres of ground. Mr. Tillinghast uses large hoppers holding a 
week's supply of wheat screenings to which the fowls have ac- 
cess at all times, and each day when the eggs are gathered suffi- 
cient beef scraps for a day are put where the fowls can get them. 
It is not a pleasant job on a rainy afternoon to drive over LOO 
acres back and forth among the houses gathering eggs, etc.. but 
this colony system with free range for the fowls on grassland is 
undoubtedly the healthiest for the fowls, and the system most 
likely to endure. Some men can keep 2,000 hens successfully in 
one house, but T would not advise any novice to attempt it until 
he had served an apprenticeship to some one who was successfully 
doing it. Bui it must be remembered that caring for 2,000 hens 
is not the really difficult part; where the expert part ^\ the busi- 
COmeS in. is in raising the young stock to renew this flock 
from year ' The agricultural colleges in many of the S 

give a Bhorl course of five or six weeks in poultry keeping both 
in Winter and Summer, which it is very advisable for one who 
wishes to barn the 1 ■ attend. 

How much can a man reasonably exped to make per j 
keeping poultry I ntly asked Selling eggs and 

poultry at market prices only, a man can figure safely OH $1 a 

year from each hen. Mine have netted me from $1.50 tO $8 per 
hen for years, but part of that has eome from sale of egg 

hatching and cockerels for breeders. 


The man who has other farm work to do, who raises corn, 
potatoes, oats or rye or barley, or buckwheat for his fowls,' who 
has cows to milk, and other "chores" to do, will find 500 head 
of poultry about as many as he will have time to care for, in addi- 
tion to the 500 young chicks being raised to replace the old stock. 
I have three yards, each containing about an acre, devoted en- 
tirely to poultry. They are located on the south slope of a hill. 
In the north yard are nine houses; here are kept the two-year-old 
hens; in the middle yard are kept the yearlings; in the south 
yard the young chicks and growing stock. The largest part of 
this south lot is planted with corn for shade and shelter for the 
chicks. A strip about 30 feet wide by 300 feet long is left bare, 
and on this strip oats are thickly scattered, then turned under by 
the cultivator. This is done so that the young sprouts will make 
green feed for the chicks. This season I have planted on this 
strip at different times, oats, barley, rye and buckwheat, and the 
chicks have not allowed anything to get two inches high. It has 
been replanted six times and the chicks, about 200 in number, have 
not only eaten that strip bare, but have eaten all the lower corn 
blades off for quite a distance into the corn. Of course the young 
chicks are not allowed in the corn lot until the corn is six inches 
high; then if they are supplied with grass or other green food for 
awhile they will not damage the corn enough to amount to any- 
thing, and in a couple of weeks the corn is too large to be hurt. 
From present indications there will be 200 bushels of ears on this 
part of one acre, and it is the fourth year of corn on the same 
ground. In the Fall when most of the hens are molting and the 
egg output is low, the two-year-old hens are shipped alive to the 
New York market, their houses cleaned out and the year-old hens 
put in the north yard, and the middle yard houses made ready to 
receive the laying pullets. ^ Shipping the old fowls alive to the 
New York market is much the best way to dispose of them, as 
the price obtained is usually just as much per pound for the live 
birds as for dressed ones, and sometimes it is more ; the reason 
being the large Jewish trade, which buys all their fowls alive. Six 
substantial shipping coops holding from 12 to 20 fowls each, can 
be bought for $5, and as the express companies return the empties 
for 10 or 15 cents, they may be used many times. The first Sum- 
mer on a farm is likely to be for the city man the busiest season 
he ever knew, and it is not wise to undertake to do too much, or 
too many things with the result that none of them is well done, 
and he must expect to work harder and more hours than he ever 
did before, but there is a joy, a satisfaction, a happiness in it. 


The easiest money to be made in the poultry business is in mar- 
keting the products. A successful poultryman must be a good 
salesman. The extra money that may be secured by selling eggs 
to a special trade at an advanced price is almost clear gain. It 
should be 25 to ?,0 per cent additional above the profit in selling 
at the highest wholesale price. The margin will vary from one 
cent per dozen in small towns to five to 10 cents per dozen in large 
cities. It is not an easy matter to secure this high-class trade. 
Like everything else worth while, it requires years of effort and 
painstaking care. A poultryman must grow into his trade. High 
price is simply the premium paid for confidence in the goods. It is 
a just reward for a good reputation. Any neat and careful poul- 
tryman, however, should find no difficulty in raising his price two 
cuits per dozen above the highest market in his neighborhood. 
As his customers become educated up to good eggs the price can 
be increased. The first essential in working up a special market 
is the ability to produce and deliver the goods. To do tins three 
things are ly necessary; good eggs, an attractive package 

and regular delivery every week in the year. One is ju »1 
important as the other. 

GO IGS. — There is a great difference in eggs. They 

must, first of all, be new laid, that is to say, not over one 
old. ! re gathered regularly each day and placed in a 

dry, clean room, they should suit the requirements of the 

delicate taste. Daily or twic • a week shipiu ntS are 
with a private family trade, and would greatly increase the 
<-f handlifl 1 as multiply: 

whin they go t 

id farmer 1 
than the p'».,r farmer's poor egg whe^h th< 

e they are it 
company. ; ' hens that laid the 

for the I 

priee. The element of uncertainty as to jut what i- COVer< 


the egg shell exaggerates the real difference in quality and mag- 
nifies the premium paid for guaranteed fresh eggs. In other words, 
people are willing to pay an extra price rather than take any 
chances. While the general quality of market eggs has consid- 
erably increased in some respects of late years, due to the more 
systematic method in handling of eggs by large dealers, the feature 
of age, which has much to do with quality, remains the same. 

The eggs should be of large size. The customer who pays 
a good price is entitled to eggs that weigh not less than two 
ounces each. Eggs under two ounces should be sold to a special 
customer at a somewhat reduced rate. Small or medium eggs 
always suffer by contrast with large ones, but when placed in a 
crate by themselves they will show off to better advantage, and as 
they have the same quality of freshness and neatness as the other 
eggs, they should command a premium above the general market. 
The best and finest grade of eggs should weigh two and one- 
quarter ounces each. Good eggs should also be uniform in color, 
and the color should suit the fancy of the customer. The New 
York City market requires a pure white egg. Boston has a de- 
cided preference for a dark brown egg. Other things being equal, 
a difference of at least two cents per dozen will be paid just on 
account of color in these and other markets. It is a common 
practice now to assort and ship eggs according to the color require- 
ments of the respective markets. Uniformity of grade counts for 
as much in the selling of eggs as it does in marketing fruit. One 
would not expect to ship red, green and russet apples of large, 
medium and small size in the same barrel. Yet it is a rule, not an 
exception, to find all kinds of eggs, big ones and little ones, long 
ones and round ones, eggs with brown, white, speckled or cream- 
colored shells in the same crate when they leave the farm. The 
very fact that they are mixed in colors and in sizes brands them 
as "common eggs" in the eyes of the purchaser. They give the 
impression of not having come from any particular place or any 
special breed, but from anywhere and everywhere ; just "picked 
up" eggs. This is a serious handicap. In order to produce the 
highest priced eggs, one must keep purebred fowls, not because 
their eggs are any better to eat, but because they are better to look 
at. Here is where appearances count. 

Cleanliness is a necessity in selling eggs. A dirty egg is a 
disgrace. It may be fresh, but no one will believe it. There 
are many degrees of cleanliness ; spotlessly clean, clean, "tolerably 
clean" and dirty. Eggs as they come from the nest are usually 
"tolerably clean." They are never spotlessly clean until each egg 


has been carefully inspected and the faintest trace of stain or dirt 
removed. Much can be done to keep eggs from becoming soiled, 
which will save a large amount of labor. Dirty hen houses and 
yards cause dirty feet, which make dirty eggs. Clean nests will 
help to keep the eggs clean. Bright oat straw is one of the most 
desirable nest materials. Sawdust or clover hay and some other 
materials are likely to stain the shells. When cleaning eggs, 
both dry and damp cloths should be at hand. Sapolio or baking 
soda are good to scour off a stain. A little sal soda in water 
will remove dirt more quickly. Vinegar and water will do the 
same thing. One should use as little water as possible. Washed 
eggs lose their natural finish and will not keep as well. Very dirty 
eggs, however, should be put in water for a few minutes to soften 
the material but not long enough to permit the water to be 
absorbed by the shell. Otherwise the color and flavor of the eggs 
will be impaired. All eggs should be perfectly dry when placed 
in the crates, and covered so that dust cannot settle on them. 
This cleaning operation is not expensive when done systematically. 
One cent per dozen for grading, cleaning and packing eggs, both 
for market and for hatching, is a liberal allowance. At this price, 
the person who does the work should make good wages. 

The quality of fancy eggs must be good as to flavor, firmness 
of white and color of yolk. Care therefore must be taken in the 
feeding of fowls to have plenty of green food and a certain amount 
of corn, both of which give to the dull yolks a deep yellow color. 
Very pale yolks, which are certain to follow prolonged feeding 
without the foods mentioned, are likely to be looked upon with 
suspicion by particular customers. It is true that excessive feeding 
<>f laying hens upon foods which have a very pungent odor, such 
as onions, will affect the flavor of the eggs. Both turnips and 
cabbage, however, can he fed with perfect safety in limited quan- 
tities, especially if fowls are well supplied with other foods. 

THE PACKAGE. — A good article is worthy of a neat package. 
Appearances count for much in catching the eye or pleasing the 
palate. Ii to market in a neatly made, well varnished, 

carefully stenciled crate, the customer has reason to expect that the 

same care used in packing the eggs has been exercised in pro- 
ducing and gatherii ad in this he nsually is not mistaken. 

can he made with very slight expense. 

Mot farmers Bhould he able to make them. It is the most profit- 
able kind of rainy day work. The crates which are used to ship 

eggs by < irnell University poultry plant have a 

capacity of n,,. i : :' v ■ dozen; that is, three dozen, six 


dozen, nine dozen, 12 dozen, 15 dozen or 30 dozen. Regular com- 
mercial egg crates are purchased for five to 10 cents each with 
fillers. The best ends are used to form the ends of the new 
crates of various sizes. Three-eighths-inch Georgia pine ceiling 
is used for sides and top, which is nailed with two-inch finishing 
nails. The bottoms are made from the best of the material taken 
from the sides of the egg crates. Narrow cleats are placed on the 
sides for handles, and upon the top of the cover to make it solid. 
two three-inch strap hinges and a hasp are placed on the cover. 
The whole box is then sandpapered if necessary, covered with 
hard oil finish, which makes a much neater looking package, 
easier to keep clean than one which is painted. The name of the 
farm or of the proprietor, with the home address and the products 
shipped, should then be stenciled on the top of the package, also 
upon the sides where room will permit. The Cornell stencil is in 
two parts. With the first part a large white egg, ten inches long, 
is painted upon the box. When this is dry another stencil is used 
to print the words, "Cornell University, College of Agriculture, 
Poultry Products, Ithaca, N. Y. Quality Guaranteed." A neat 
stencil on any package is a splendid advertisement, and makes the 
chances of loss of crates in transit very much less. As a finish- 
ing touch we purchase little brass padlocks; with duplicate keys. 
They cost 12^4 cents each and they are money makers, not so 
much because they prevent stealing eggs, but because the wealthy 
customer is willing to pay at least a cent a dozen just for the sake 
of having his neighbor see that he gets eggs direct from the farm 
by express each week with a padlock on the box. Actual experi- 
ence in working up a large private family trade in and about New 
York City proves that the "best advertiser is a pleased customer." 
To illustrate, one family that has purchased eggs for many years, 
referred a friend who became a regular customer, who, in turn, 
wanted the assertion sent to another friend. Another string of 
customers was started by a wealthy man visiting the farm and 
finding a person packing eggs for the private family trade. He 
asked why he could not have eggs sent to him also. He became 
one of the best customers and through his friendship four others 
were secured. Farmers who take Summer boarders, or those who 
sell produce to Summer hotels, have excellent opportunities for 
finding city customers for eggs. The private family trade, how- 
ever, is not without its disadvantages. One of these is that there 
are a multitude of details in looking after a large number of com- 
paratively small shipments ranging from six to 15 dozen. This 
makes a good deal of bookkeeping. Families are likely to leave 


the city at certain times during the year which necessarily inter- 
rupts the general output of eggs. However, some customers con- 
tinue to have csgs shipped to their Summer resort, where, if neces- 
sary, they are willing to pay double express charge. The most 
serious difficulties have been the breakage by express companies. 
Usually they make good the loss after much correspondence and 

REGULARITY OF SHIPMENT.— The people who pay high 
prices must have their eggs on time, rain or shine. They usually 
want the same number per week the year round. One's capacity, 
therefore, to cater to this trade is somewhat measured by the num- 
ber of eggs which he can produce during the months of greatest 
scarcity ; namely October, November and December. It will be 
found, however, that customers are very obliging and stay over 
these periods with a somewhat diminished supply. In order to 
discourage excessive egg eating during the period of scarcity the 
prices should be made according to the law of supply and demand. 
While these prices are not as high, perhaps, as some are getting, 
one should be well pleased with the results, but should be always 
looking for higher prices. A good scale of prices is 30 cents per dozen 
for April, May, June and July ; 40 cents for August and September ; 
45 cents for October and November; 50 cents for December and 
January; 40 cents for February and March. The customer, in 
every case, should pay the express charges and return the empty 
box. There is less trouble from breakage where the customer who 
is on the spot is personally responsible for settling with the ex- 
press company for damage. These prices, however, net aboul 
seven to eight cents per dozen by the year more than the hi] 
wholesale market quotation for nearby fancy white eggs. During 
the Spring months, when most eggs are laid, a large trade in 

batching takes care of most of the surplus. At the end of a 
hatching season the Summer hotel trade will handle any surplus 
which one may have at about 25 cents per dozen. Whatever the 
system of marketing, the problem of regularity of supply through- 
out the year is the hardest to meet, and in a measure it remains 
unsolved With th< care one cannot expect to get more 

than 10 to 15 eggs per day per L00 hens in large numbers during the 

months <>f October, November and December, and nol over 

::n per cent from early-hatched pullets. It i^ true that individual 

r than this for a time, but if there are 
many flock . if the others will not be laying as well. 


method may be used for either dry picking or scalding. Hang fowl 
from ceiling by cord, loop or wire attached to the shanks, or hold 
in the hands while sitting. Seize the head in the left hand, back 
of the head in the palm of the hand, palm upward, the thumb and 
first finger of left hand pressing firmly back of the eye, but not on 
neck, which would retard bleeding. With the right hand run the 
blade of the sticking knife into the throat until the large artery on 
the left side of the throat is severed. Always bleed before sticking. 
It gives better drainage of blood and less delay before plucking 
feathers. Then quickly insert the blade into the slit of -the roof of 
the mouth and plunge it backward into the brain directly back of the 
eye. When the brain is hit there will be a violent muscular con- 
vulsion or quiver, which is usually accompanied by a characteristic 
squawk. Give the knife a quick, sharp twist and withdraw it. The 
feathers will then loosen. Pluck a few from the breast, careful to 
note whether the sticking is perfect, then begin picking rapidly. If 
the bleeding has not been complete the blood will follow the feathers 
and cause the skin to be spotted and red. The success of dry pick- 
ing lies in getting the "right bleed" and the "right stick." If the 
knife plunges too low, it enters the bones of the neck; if too high, 
it enters the hollow space in the head. The lobes of the brain, which 
are located directly in the rear of the eye, must be hit in order to 
produce paralysis of the nervous system, when death quickly follows 
from the profuse bleeding while the fowl is still (supposedly) 

DRY PICKING. — This method usually requires more time and 
skill and leaves the skin in a more natural and attractive condition 
than scalding. Therefore, fowls should bring, and usually do bring, 
a higher price. The feathers are left in a better condition for dry- 
ing. Rapid work is only acquired through long practice. Begin 
picking immediately after the sticking has produced the muscular 
contraction of the skin, which loosens the feathers. Pick with both 
hands. "Rough" pick breast and body feathers first, then wing and 
tail feathers. The quill feathers of wing and tail should be pulled 

122 Til E IW SIX ESS HEX. 

before close "ruffing" is completed and kept separate from the body 
feathers. As far as possible, the white and colored feathers should 
be kept separate. Avoid pulling too many feathers at one time to 
prevent tearing the skin. Give a rolling motion to pull a full hand- 
ful of feathers, as you would remove a porous plaster from yourself. 
Tearing is most likely to occur on either side of the breast and on 
the neck. Rough pick the entire fowl before pin- feathering. Dampen 
the fingers occasionally. It helps to make the feathers stick to the 
hand. Use a stub knife before pin-feathering; avoid hard rubbing, 
it is liable to loosen and scarf skin; avoid rough handling; tender 
fowls are easily injured; keep tools, clothes, tables and everything 
that comes in contact with the fowl scrupulously clean to prevent 
infection and thus improve the keeping quality. Throw fowl, when 
finished, into water about 60 degrees temperature for about one hour 
to remove animal heat ; then place in ice water or cracked ice to 
chill ; cold, dry air is vastly to be preferred for cooling and chilling. 
Poultry dressed by any method looks better and keeps longer if it 
does not touch water. When animal heat is removed, sponge the 
carcass clean, fold wings on back, tie feet together and hang in a 
cool room to dry. Discoloration is likely to occur, especially about 
the vent, if carcass is allowed to remain long without removing ani- 
mal heat. Quick picking means quick thinking. It is the mind 
that pushes the fingers. "Say nothing and keep picking" is a good 
motto for the picking room. Ease of picking depends upon season, 
age and breed. It costs three, four or five cents for killing and dry 
picking fowls. One hundred to 200 fowls are picked a day by an 
expert picker. 

SCALDING. — This is the most rapid way of removing the 
feathers where the methods are right and the picking room con- 
veniently arranged. There is slightly less loss in dressed weight 
by the scalding process than by dry picking, due to the absorption 
of a small amount of water by the body in the plumping pr 
Th'- -Lin shows the fat more prominently because the hot plunge 
brings the fat to the surface, and the chilling process which follows, 
sets it at the surface, thus making the fowl look in better condition 
of fatness. The danger in the scalding method lies in not getting 
the water the correct temperature or leaving the body subm< 
tOO long. If to,, i | ;I1 ,1 the thin scarf skin 

off, which cau flesh to look bruised If n 

heat : '. the feath< rs stick and, 

torn. Tl ture of the water should be about 1^0 

th.e entire h -<'■ pend- 

I :' i hanks. '." lor and tl ' : ; 


scalded. Move the body forward from head to tail through the water 
and withdraw frequently to prevent the water penetrating through 
the feathers to the skin. The feathers rather than the skin should 
be scalded. When the skin contracts see that the feathers stand 
out from the body. Remove from the water and pick rapidly, but 
carefully, and avoid rubbing. Remove animal heat in water at 60 
degrees. Then submerge in ice water or cracked ice. To plump 
fowls, plunge an instant in water 160 to 170 degrees. This shrinks 
the skin, which gives a plumper appearance and brings fat to sur- 
face. If possible, place in cold, dry air to chill. Sew up all tears. 
Singe with alcohol flame to remove hairs. 

SHAPING. — This is done to keep the body in compact and 
attractive form. All such special preparations produce a good 
impression on a prospective purchaser who believes, and justly, that 
a poultryman who would take so much pains to prepare poultry 
attractively would be equally particular to produce good quality by 
proper feeding and breeding. 

FASTING.— All poultry intended for a slaughter should be 
fasted for 24 hours before killing. This is required by law in some 
States. Water should always be supplied during the fasting period. 
By this treatment the crop and intestines are emptied, which helps 
to prevent decomposition of food materials within the body and 
therefore adds to the keeping quality and also avoids danger of 
tainted flesh, which might result if poultry were not drawn at time 
of killing. 

GRADING. — It is important to select and pack poultry in such 
manner that it will be most attractive to the purchaser, and best 
meet the demands of a special trade. It pays to carefully grade all 
stock and sell it graded by itself. Poor quality stock suffers by 
contrast with medium or good quality. Each grade should be uni- 
form in size, shape, color of skin and shanks, age and quality of 

THE PACKAGE. — We should aim so to prepare fowls in pack- 
ages for shipment that they will be most attractive to the pur- 
chaser, and arrive in the best possible condition. The package fre- 
quently sells the product. Indicate clearly the contents of the 
package as to kind of poultry, number, weight and quality. It 
should also bear the brand of the shipper as a guarantee of good 
faith. Boxes should be made to ship different sizes of fowls as fol- 
lows : Each box or barrel should be lined with paper before pack- 
ing. This helps to prevent evaporation or injury to the product 
from rough handling. Special parchment paper should be purchased 
for the purpose. Clean rye or wheat straw may be used to advantage 


in large boxes or barrels. For packing boxes for cold storage or 
Winter shipment, the fowls should be laid in one or two tiers. 
For the latter, back down, head toward the center and folded under 
the body, legs pressed down and tied to the body. This helps to 
protect the breast from injury. In warm weather, make a layer of 
cracked ice, and place second layer of cl :^ing the order 

so that the backs of the fowls shrill be uppermost, rumps to the center. 
PACKING IX BARRELS.— Make hole for dr lace layer 

of ice, lay fowls backs up, feet toward middle, cover with ice, fill 
in center with cracked ice, and cover barrel with burlap. This pro- 
tects the breast and keeps the package coldest on outside. The vents 
of the fowls will thus be covered with ice and the iced water will 
drain toward outside of barrel. 


The first requisite in shipping poultry to a large market is to 
have something worth selling, and the next is to know a commission 
man who is worthy of selling it. Such a man is found through 
experience, either one's own or that of a neighbor, and, when found, 
he is worth sticking to. He will appreciate this, and in in 
more money will have been made than by scattering the shipments 

In New York City and other sections having a considerable 
Hebrew population, there is a steady demand for "live poultry, which 
must be slaughtered under the supervision of their official butchers. 
This trade is heaviest just before the Jewish holiday-, chief ui which 
are Hebrew New Year, Feast of Tabernacles, Feast of Laws and 

. assover, the last named occurring in Spring. Tin >e feasts arc 
movable, and the exact date for any year can be learned from deal- 
ers in live poultry. Special care should be taken not to crowd coops 
of live poultry, as otherwise the loss from trampling and suffoc 
may be heavy. 

The farmer is usually most interested in the Fall and Winter 
poultry markets. I f c has something to sell at Thai ksgiving time, and 
disposes of the remainder for later holiday trade. At Thanksgiving 
the weather is usually cool enough to make dry packing safe. If 
more than a very -mall quantity is sent, it is better to sort the poul- 
try, putting hen and torn turkeys in s< lid culls in 
another. Barrels or l><>xrs of moderate id. Very 
heavy packages are more likely to be smashed in handling: 

• !Ct to the consumer, 
receipts as late may be handled to advan- 

tage, but poultry for New York Thanksgiving trade should be on 


hand not later than Monday of that week, as the retailers begin stock- 
ing up then if the weather is favorable. Unless there is a scarcity, 
late shipments are likely to meet a slack trade. 

Most cities have laws regarding the handling of poultry, whether 
it should be drawn or not, etc., and the shipper should learn from his 
receiver what the law and custom of his market demands. Most 
poultry sent to New York is undrawn, with head and feet on. The 
crop must be removed unless empty, but all poul.try should be kept 
without food for several hours before killing. 

Cold storage is the balance wheel of the egg and poultry trade, 
keeping it going at a comparatively even gait the year around, pre- 
venting the scarcity which causes prohibitive prices to all but the 
wealthy, and the glutted market, with figures below cost of produc- 
tion. The range of prices for a year will still show very high figures, 
such as 60 cents a dozen for new-laid eggs and 35 cents for fresh- 
killed poultry, yet there is no time when both eggs and poultry from 
storage, not fresh, but palatable and reasonably wholesome, may not 
be had at prices within reach of almost anyone. The scope of 
refrigeration has been much enlarged by dry air processes, which 
have made it possible to handle products that get musty under the 
dampness of ordinary ice storage. There are still many losses from 
improper handling, but good eggs properly stored may be kept for a 
full year. 

As abuses have sprung up in the cold storage business, it is evi- 
dent that strict legislation regarding it is needed. No tainted or 
otherwise unwholesome product, no matter how little damaged, 
should be stored. Cold may arrest the decay, but investigation has 
shown that chemical changes dangerous to health frequently take 
place. Another abuse is the secret storage of large quantities of 
foodstuffs, with the resulting monopoly and restraint of trade. The 
law should compel a detailed report of the quantity of such products 
held in storage. This would put the market on the basis of supply 
and demand, instead of the present speculative basis, where large 
quantities of foods are put away and held secretly until, by the con- 
stantly repeated talk of scarcity, prices are materially advanced and 
the goods doled out just fast enough to maintain these high prices. 


It is said that a small army of women having an itching to 
engage in the poultry business are seeking for light on the subject. 
Some gleanings from the experience of a woman may help these 
women to recognize their fitness or unfitness for the work. 

The Arabs have a saying, "All sunshine makes the desert." If 
there were no clouds in the poultry keeper's sky the bottom would 
fall out of the poultry business. It is because profitable poultry 
keeping is difficult that the comparatively few who have the ability 
to overcome these difficulties are successful. A few chickens on a 
farm will get much of their living from what would otherwise go 
to waste. Increase in numbers requires skill in management, if 
there is to be any profit. It is idle to suppose that this skill will 
come without effort or that everyone making the effort will suc- 
ceed in acquiring it. 

Skill is "ability to perceive and perform." It all depends on 
the woman. She must perceive the business side, the hen side, her 
own side. Particularly must she see herself as she is. Has she 
health, perseverance, grit, gumption? No woman not in fair health 
should undertake the entire charge of poultry. The frequent change 
from indoor to outdoor dress is tiring and takes time. There is 
temptation to go out just as she is. There is no surer foe to health 
than draggled skirts and wet feet and ankles. Rubber boots, leggings 
and bloomers are necessities. Fortunate is she, who, in stress of 
weather, can say beseechingly to some trousered creature, "Go," 
and he goeth. 

lias she perseverance? Poultry keeping means work every day. 
Hens arc like sheep, much attached to the person tending them and 
distrustful of strangers. For this reason and because no one not 
constantly tending them can possibly know just what to do during 
the breeding season, fur best results one must be constantly on 
the job. 

Has she t: r i t ? It takes ^rit to do the dirty work. Cleaning 

droppings board, coops ami brooders may be disagreeable, but it is 
not the dirtiest work; the du I are responsible f"r that, An 

energetic lien, she is the kind t.» have, can kick up a ileal oi dust. 


Multiply her by one or two hundred. If she is to have the dust, it 
must be got in and after she has scattered it to the remotest corner 
of the premises it must be got out. A vacuum cleaner, adapted to 
this work, will be a boon. Whitewashing sounds clean. Then there 
is that interesting job applying some sort of dope for the extermina- 
tion of vermin ; that is, you hope it is extermination, but it isn't, and 
you do it again and again. 

Has she gumption? Great is gumption! It is both chart and 
compass on an unsailed sea. 

THE BUSINESS SIDE.— Too little attention is paid to the 
business side of rural life. It is not a condition peculiar to poultry 
keeping. One is told ad infinitum, that the poultry house must not 
be damp; that the hens must have grit, but it is like hunting for a 
pearl among oysters to find a practical business suggestion. Let the 
beginner decide whether to cater to local trade, sell to the shipper 
or do a possible shipping business. Having decided this point, study 
the conditions to be met. What does the market call for that is 
most profitable to produce? For example, the New York market 
quotes fancy white eggs at a premium, but it does not follow that 
white eggs are most profitable to produce. The white egg layer is 
fastidious. Unless she has things quite to her liking she will not 
fill the egg basket when prices are soaring. Then, again, the season 
of highest prices may not be the season of greatest profit. If plump, 
yellow-skinned, yellow-fleshed broilers and roasters are wanted, it is 
folly to produce thin, white-fleshed, dingy skinned birds. It is a 
mistake to sell raw-boned fowls. It costs more to produce frame 
than it does to produce flesh. Why let the middleman add the cheap 
flesh to your expensive frame and reap more profit from two to 
four weeks' feeding than you do from two to four months or longer, 
or why sell inferior stuff at an inferior price. It is an advantage to 
keep enough laying stock to fill a 30-dozen egg crate and have the 
eggs reasonably fresh. The city market quotes hennery eggs at a 
premium over gathered eggs. Why not gather that premium in for 
yourself. Once you have found a reliable dealer, stick to him and 
give him every reason to stick to you. 

While on the subject of selling, just a word about eggs for 
hatching and breeding stock. There are many persons who want to 
get purebred stock for what the butcher would pay for them, and 
eggs from purebred stock for the market price of eggs by the crate. 
To many, visions of getting rich quick from the sale of eggs and 
stock will prove a mirage. Business has a buying, as well as a sell- 
ing side. Buy in large quantities whenever practicable. Buy in time. 
Do not get out of supplies. Especially is this to be guarded against 


in care of little chickens ; some are dainty in their tastes, and will 

eat only certain kinds of food. If this is withheld they will starve 

with plenty of other food before them. Another example of buying 

arn when eggs arc likely to be cheapest and have your 

Do not wait until it is time to use it, then find 

r hasn't it in stock. Find out whether he is charging you 

two prices; that is, twice the profit he should have; two to one, he is. 

around and save that profit for yourself. To do so, perhaps 

you will have to send away for it. Then when the howl is raised, 

"Home trade is what our town needs," be ready with your answer, 

"Exactly, what the town needs, not what the country needs." The 

town has fattened on the country long enou 

THE HEN SIDE; HER BREEDING.— Shall she be purebred? 
r a good mongrel, or shall we say, grade, than a purebred with 
all the stamina and get-up-and-dust bred out of her. A hen's a hen, 
however bred. Buy performance, not pedigree, and breed the same 
way. What to feed, how much to feed, where and how and why? 
These are questions to turn the hair white, at least, the hair will be 
white before all are answered satisfactorily. There are many com- 
binations of various foodstuffs that give good results. Just which 
particular combination will suit each peculiar circumstance is some- 
no mortal can tell. It seems certain tl e growing chick, the 
laying h v., the flcshening fowl, need differing nt. The grow- 

ing chic!; needs to roam, the laying hen to exercise, the freshening 
fowl to be confined. Frame and flesh and eggs are built up by a 
ently balanced ration, but to enter into this subject compre- 
hensively is beyond the limits of this chapter. 

HEX HOUSING.— The ideal house i be built. Let the 

novic* ideal house is built 

the hens will roost high in it, little 

stuffy ones, built in he droppinj 

or in some other low will have to n 

shift with what they have in the house line, and here is where the 
□ will beat the This is how the small 

boy puts it : 

"At borne 11 the rule 

Pa i! tool, 

Or i funt 

you'll have to hunt. 


All' 1 

In like mane 
out of sugar ?.. ted up witl paper; curl 


enclose the roosts, of gunny sacks, covered with newspapers or paper 
flour sacks sewed on with darning needle and twine. Any woman 
who can handle a saw and drive a nail can make food hoppers. It 
isn't necessary to have expensive drinking fountains ; a flat gallon 
butter jar, costing eight cents, answers admirably. When there are 
little chicks about, likely to drown, a stone in the middle provides 
a means of escape. For wee chicks a granite pie dish with a stone 
to weight it and keep the water from being soiled, answers every 
purpose. No more 50-cent drinking fountains, thank you ! If one 
cannot have a separate breeding pen, and it is possible to buy eggs 
for hatching from properly mated birds, it is well to do so and dis- 
pense with chanticleer in your own flock. Do this by all means, as 
soon as the hatching season is over ; then if the hens are too cun- 
ning for you, they will not be coming off a stolen nest with a batch 
of late hatched chicks, and the infertile eggs will keep better during 
the hot weather. The hen is the best mother, whether she or the 
incubator does the hatching. A hen and a brooder makes a combina- 
tion that suits the writer. As far as known, no one has invented an 
automatic scratching attachment to the brooder, and a chick to thrive 
its best needs to be scratched for. 

The writer does some scratching on her own account ; that is, she 
digs in the garden and invites the chickens to a bug, worm and weed- 
seed festival. The invitation is accepted with alacrity, and the 
guests do ample justice to the viands. It is an open question as to 
which receives the greater benefit, chickens or garden. Certain it is, 
the gardener hen woman receives two benefits, aye, three, for dig- 
ging in a garden comes near to being a panacea for the ills of the 
flesh, and of the spirit. This garden includes mangles and cabbage 
for the hens. A large patch of sweet corn is planted, and the chickens 
allowed to harvest what is not used for the table. No weeds worth 
mentioning grow in that corn ; the chickens wallow in the mellow 
earth in the shade they need so much during the hot weather. The 
corn grows amazingly and so do the chickens. It is such a happy 
combination that more corn and more chickens are planned for next 
year. The brooders are set in the midst of this garden. "Horrors !" 
did some one say? and in cleaning them the droopings are put on the 
corn. Poultry netting is put around such things, as the chickens 
might damage, the strawberries in fruiting season and tomatoes and 
melons later. Part of this garden, which is large, is put to rye in the 
Fall and to clover in the Spring, and the chickens are in clover sure 
enough. The rye gives them shade before the corn is large enough. 
The rye is cut for hay in time to give the clover a good chance to 



A good-sized cart is a great convenience. The one the writer 
uses has two wheels, 2S inches in diameter. The box is 37 inches 
long, 20 wide and 8 inches depth. In this the droppings in boxes are 
wheeled out and dust brought in. It can be loaded up with feed, 
shells, charcoal, grit, etc. Alas ! it will not carry water, but perhaps 
it will if a discarded milkcan can be found. Much fun is made of 
this little red wagon, but the owner laughingly declares she would 
rather have it than an automobile. Its usefulness is not confined to 
the poultry department ; it carries the clothes basket, is indispensable 
in gardening; in short its uses are legion, and make it possible for 
one woman to accomplish many things. A mill to grind feed to 
suit the varying needs of the flock and the household is another 
helpful implement, sometimes on a hot day it takes something of 
faith and hope as well as a strong right arm to make the wheels go 
'round. Some day the mill will be changed from hand to motor 
power. This hoping for better things is what gives zest to the 
business, and enables one to resist the hard knocks that are reason- 
ably sure to come. 


Since the last edition of "The Business Hen" was published 
there have appeared on the market numerous "systems" and secret 
methods for conducting the poultry business. These systems, meth- 
ods and secrets are practically all unpatented and unpatentable. 
The fact that there have been sold hundreds of thousands of these 
pamphlets and books shows that there is a great demand for poultry 
information, but if each person who buys a book of secrets, sys- 
tems or methods could produce the results claimed by the different 
authors to be "easily obtained" the market for poultry and eggs 
would be flooded, not only in the United States but also in foreign 
countries ; and the price of eggs and market poultry would surely 
drop at least 50 per cent. The truth is, however, that the price of 
eggs and market poultry has not been reduced but, on the con- 
trary, it is gradually going higher, and there are no evident forces 
in the field at the present time that can or will produce any great 
change in the market prospects for the future. These facts prove 
without any question that the numerous claims of the different 
authors that they will or have revolutionized the poultry business, 
and that by following their particular methods and instructions, 
each hen can be made to produce from 150 to 280 eggs per year, 
and return a net profit to her owner of from $6.41 to $120 are 
extravagant claims which should not be taken seriously. Experi- 
enced poultrymen occasionally find hints or suggestions in these 
works which may be profitably applied to any system of poultry 
keeping; but amateurs should be careful not to expect too much 
from following the advice given. 

There is one great principle taught by all of these different 
"systems," and that is it pays to be systematic in our work with 
poultry, and remember the truth of the old saying that "a thing 
worth doing at all is worth doing well." Successful poultrymen 
understand this rule, and amateurs must learn it before any great 
degree of success can be attained. Fowls acquire a habit and cling 
to it. Any attempt to change these habits always disturbs the 
flock and reduces production for a time, so there should be a time 
for all work, and everything done at its proper time each day. 


Poultry keeping is a science, and must be learned at least partly 
by experience before sure results can be expected by the average 
man or woman, so it is plainly evident that the numerous claims 
by poultry writers and authors that big money can be easily made 
from a Hock of fowls by any inexperienced person in any location 
is misleading, to say the least. It has been said that there is only 
one way to do anything and that is the right way; but the fact 
that several different methods are being used in conducting the 
poultry business, and that they are equally successful proves that 
a person may adopt any good system and that the chances for 
success depend, not so much upon which system is adopted, as 
how much skill, energy and perserverance are used in its appli- 

In selecting a system, the novice or amateur poultryman or 
woman should take into consideration these facts: That each one 
was written primarily for the purpose of making money — not for 
the person who bought the system, but for the person or persons 
who wrote the works and put them on the market. Then, too, the 
authors of some systems are also the manufacturers of a line of 
poultry supplies without which it would appear their systems could 
not be successfully applied, so the system becomes practically an 
advertisement paid for by the purchaser instead of the seller. 

One of the first, most valuable and most closely guarded 
secrets is bow to tell the laying hen without trap-nests. This •--.ere! 
is sold by the different authors at from $i to $10 each. It has also 
been sold in a book of poultry secrets for 25 cents. It has 
known by some old poultrymen for over 30 years, so it can truth- 
fully be called a secret no longer. It consists simply of taking the 
hen in the left hand with the head at the left or under the left arm. 
Then with the lingers of the right hand imbedded in the fluff the 
ends of the pelvic bones between which the egg passes can be 
plainly felt. The condition of these bones and their distance apart 
determines the value of the bird. The ends of three fingers can 
easily be placed between the bones of a good layer in laying condi- 
tion, while, if there is only room for two fingers, the bird is just an 
average layer. If there is room for but one finger, the bird is not 
laying, and if she docs not gel into laying condition in at least 
four to six weeks should be sold for market. Cocks and cockerels 
are tested in the same way, and those showing the greatest space 
between the ends of the pelvic bones should be kept for breeding 
. provided tin ! birds otherwise. This method saves 

the labor involved in trap-nesting b.\ ; t tikes but a few 

minutes to test 100 hens. Then, too, as it is impossible to trap-nest 


the males, much time and labor is lost each year by breeding from 
inferior birds, unless this system is applied. While it is true that 
accurate records can only be made with trap-nests, these records 
are valuable to the average poultryman only for comparison, so 
when the best layers can be selected for breeding without the use 
of trap-nests as good results can be attained in building up a strain 
of layers with one system as with the other ; therefore the differ- 
ence in the two systems is largely a question of time and expense 
in their application. 

The different systems which have found such a ready sale pre- 
tend to teach a person how to produce fertile eggs, how to hatch 
more chickens from them, how to raise the chickens without much 
loss and how to produce eggs and broilers at the lowest cost when 
prices are high. One writer tells us that he feeds his Leghorn hens 
seven-eighths of an ounce of green cut bones each per day and that 
the eggs are fertile and hatch well during the season. Another 
writer, equally as notorious, states that this cannot be done. In 
other words, excessive feeding of green cut bones during the Win- 
ter and Spring weakens the vitality of the breeding stock to such 
an extent that it is practically impossible to secure high average 
hatches, although the fertility of the eggs may run as high as 90 
per cent, at the first test after being incubated about six days. After 
this many germs die in the shell, and many of the young chickens 
hatched will die before they are four weeks old. This is the expe- 
rience of many poultrymen, and substantial evidence must be pro- 
duced before a change of opinion can be expected. 

The similarity of many systems is very marked, their difference 
lying chiefly in the size and style of houses used or some difference 
in the feeds used or manner of feeding; but there are several prin- 
ciples which practically all agree cannot be overlooked on a suc- 
cessful poultry plant. The first principle is cleanliness. Neither 
chickens nor fowls will do their best unless their houses and yards are 
kept clean. Clean litter must also be provided for the birds to 
scratch in, as damp, dirty litter offers but little attraction to a well- 
bred hen. Exercise is just as important for both fowls and chickens 
as their food. The old method of feeding a warm morning mash 
has been abolished, and the new systems advocate feeding the mash 
at from noon to three P. M. The first feed in the morning and 
last feed at night is whole or cracked grains, usually a mixture 
of corn, oats, wheat and buckwheat scattered in deep litter on the 
floor. The fowls get plenty of exercise working for this grain on 
the floor, and are ready for some green feed at noon, such as cab- 
bage, cut clover or Alfalfa, sprouted oats or mangels. Then early 


in the afternoon they will cat a good feed of mash. When forcing 
hens to their greatest production of eggs, the mash contains from 
one-fourth to one-half green cut bones or lean meat, while the rest 
is made up of bran, ground oats, wheat middlings, cornmeal and 
gluten feed. These ingredients are mixed into a crumbly mash 
which is fed very dry. No oil meal should be used except during 
the moulting season. This mash is made palatable enough so the 
hens will eat heartily without eating too much, and go to roost with 
full crops, the principle of this method of feeding being never to 
feed a hen all she will eat except at the last feed in the day, given 
about an hour before sunset. 

Poultrymen all agree that beef scrap, lean meat or green cut 
bones must be fed liberally if a large egg yield is expected. This 
animal food may either be fed with the mash or kept by the hens all 
the time in hoppers. The green cut bones and lean meat should be 
fed with the mash, while ground beef scrap may be accessible to 
the fowls at all times in open hoppers. 

Another principle is to give the fowls plenty of fresh air with- 
out drafts or undue exposure during inclement weather. This is 
accomplished by means of muslin curtains, except in a few cases 
where the windows are left open, allowing the fresh air to come in 
unrestricted. It is possible to use the latter method successfully by 
watching it closely and opening a part or all of the windows as 
the weather may permit. Fresh air and sunshine are as indispensable 
as the feed is for fowls or chickens, and worth more than all the 
medicine in a drug store for keeping the flock in a healthy condi- 

The systems of hatching and raising chickens are many and 
varied. To the experienced poultryman or woman it seems entirely 
unnecessary to be told to run an incubator at 102 degrees the first 
week, 103 degrees the second week and 103' £ degrees the third 
week, yet this is about the extent of the system's teachings. A close 
Study of all the principal systems <>n the market at the present time 
has failed to reveal any valuable new features in regard to hatching 
or rearing young chickens. Simple directions are usually given 
which pmve successful under favorable conditions. 

Here is one of tin- best methods of feeding chickens in common 

use. Begil) feeding when about 3') hours old. The first feed is oat 

flakes and bread crumbs, equal parts mixed with a little hard-boiled 

egg Chopped fine, Bhell and all. The bread should be dried and 
ground line before mixing. This should be moistened slightly with 
a little sweet milk and fed twice daily until the chicks are three 
weeks old, gradually changing to a cheaper mash, such as is recom- 


mended for older birds. A very little fine sifted beef scrap is fed 
after the first week, and green feed is fed every day after the chicks 
are three days old. Commercial chick feed is scattered in clean 
litter on the floor two or three times a day, just enough to keep 
the chicks busy, but not enough to overfeed them. Great care must 
be exercised not to feed chicks too much before they are four weeks 
old, as they are more apt to overeat during this time than they are 
later. Fresh water, grit and charcoal should always be accessible 
after the little fellows have learned to eat. If grit is given before 
any feed, sometimes chicks will eat too much and death will result. 

The question of brooding chickens has been, perhaps, the most 
difficult to solve, and there is yet much to learn before perfection 
is reached. Chickens have been successfully raised in unheated 
brooders, but many failures have been reported, especially during 
cold weather. It would therefore be advisable to use unheated 
brooders only during moderately warm weather. In using brooders 
heated with a lamp, every precaution should be taken to maintain 
an even temperature, as the fluctuations of the brooder temperature 
cause a large share of the mortality with incubator chickens. Unless 
a brooder can be regulated within five degrees, it cannot be expected 
to produce the best results. 

Chickens on free range can be fed all they will eat after they are 
a month old without much danger of overfeeding, while old hens, 
after passing their first laying year, become over-fat very easily, 
and they must be fed in such a manner that it will not be possible 
for them to get in this condition. 

Upon the number of hens kept in each flock depends, to a great 
extent, the style of houses to build. The systems recommend 
keeping all the way from six to 1,500 hens in one flock. From 50 
to 100 hens should be kept in each flock when a large number are to 
be cared for during Winter weather, while in Summer 10 or 15 of 
these flocks may have free range together. While six hens may be 
kept safely in a small house, and made to produce eggs in paying 
quantities, it is not reasonable to expect them to produce fertile eggs 
with strong germs while kept in close confinement. It requires much 
more labor to care for the same number of hens in small flocks than 
it does with large flocks, but it is a recognized fact that young 
chickens should be kept in flocks of 50 or less for best results. 



FARM CROPS WITH POULTRY.— Chicken men who go to 
the country and locate on a farm often ask what crops they should 
grow to best advantage in connection with the birds. In theory 
would think that it would pay a hen man to try to raise all 
his grain, but as a rule this will not be found wise. If a man is 
going into the chicken business he should plan to give most of his 
lime to it, make that his sole motive and make other crops side 
issues. Probably corn, of all the grains, is best suited to the 
chicken man. Chicken manure is well adapted to the growth of 
this crop, and practically all poultry rations have corn for their 
basis. The corn crop can be grown as easily as any other grain, 
and will produce a larger amount of food to the acre than most 
others. The chicken man should try to follow intensive farming, 
that is, not try to cover too much ground, but to produce as much 
as he possibly can from each acre. A crop of mangels or 

should also be grown on a her. farm. Some enon 
crops of roots can be produced with a little care, and they arc of 
immense value in feeding hens. On some chicken farms a good 
crop of cal found very useful, as chicken mam:: 

ticularly valuable for all crops which make large growth a 
ground. The solid heads of cabbage can be sold, while the soft 
heads can be kept for Winter feeding, and hung up by the roots 
where the hens may jump and pick the cabbage to pieces. A 

an should also have a fair crop of clover or Alfa - :: 
cutting and feeding a well-CU! 

tion ol his grain feed. Some poultrymen pn 
truck or fruit their hens, and if they have 

of help, so that they can give time to it, this will pay. As 
a rule, uire the greatest care : 

the young chid ration, and unless tb< re i< careful labor 

at hand one crop or the other will suffer. That ''s why late m;i!ur- 

[ike cabbage or clover are better ' the hen man's 
care. He should <■•' 

out of it. Tf possible he should have a ' mis. 

SO that the hens may I will. 


Our own plan has been to have yards on both sides of the house. 
Early in Spring oats are sown on the south side of the house. 
When it is up fairly well so as to make a feed for the hens the 
birds are let in, while the other yard is closed. Then in this other 
yard we can sow Dwarf Essex rape. By the time the birds have 
eaten the oats down the rape has made a good growth; then the 
hens may be turned back into the rape, and the first yard is 
worked up again and seeded to Crimson clover and cow peas. 
When these are large enough the hens may be turned in and the 
other yard sown to buckwheat and Crimson clover. That in turn 
gives place to rye. In this way a constant supply of green feed 
may be grown for the hens, and the yards kept seeded and clean. 
If the yards are small and the hens are inclined to scratch up and 
destroy the growing crop this can be prevented by putting bricks 
or planks along the sides of the yard and stretching wire netting 
across the green crop. This will grow up through the wire netting 
and enable the hens to reach it while they cannot tear up the 
roots with their feet. i. 

HANDLING CHICKEN MANURE.— Iff a man wishes to 
keep the business hen in a business-like way he must plan to make 
every edge cut and save what he can. There is often considerable 
loss in the way poultry manure is handled, largely through a failure 
to understand certain things about this fertilizer. This manure 
is quite rich in nitrogen, with less of potash and phosphoric acid 
as compared with ordinary stable manure. It is worth four or 
five times as much, pound for pound, and when properly handled is 
a very valuable manure for all kinds of crops. The proper way 
to handle it is to save as much of the ammonia as possible. This 
ammonia will not be lost so long as the manure is kept perfectly 
dry. For that reason the best plan is to use dry absorbents under 
the roosts, and to clean off the droppings board frequently. Various 
substances are used to dry the manure. Road dust collected in the 
dry Summer and stored in barrels answers the purpose. Of late 
years many poultrymen are using "floats," which is the raw phos- 
phate rock ground to a fine powder and not treated with sulphuric 
acid. This makes a very good dust, and as it contains phosphoric 
acid it adds to the value of the manure. Some years ago land plas- 
ter or gypsum was the favorite material used for this purpose and 
it is very useful. Some form of dust, however, should be scat- 
tered each day under the perches, and before the droppings accum- 
ulate heavily they should be scraped off and put in bins or barrels 
in a dry shed. More of the dust is scattered over them as they 
are stored. The result is that Spring will find them in dry hard 


chunks with little of the ammonia lost. Early in the Spring, before 
the manure is needed, these chunks should be crushed and ground 
as finely as possible. This can be done fairly well by putting the 
chunks on a cement floor and smashing them with a heavy shovel 
or a maul. As the chicken manure is richer in nitrogen than 
any other fertilizing elements it can be used to advantage to make 
a good mixture. The following mixture will prove very useful 
for most crops; 400 pounds sifted hen manure, 200 pounds dis- 
solved bone black, 100 pounds muriate of potash, and 150 pounds 
of plaster and 100 pounds nitrate of soda. Such a mixture is 
excellent for garden or small fruit crops. The crushed manure 
must be sifted in. order to make a perfect mixture. If this is prop- 
erly done it will give as good results as the great majority of 
expensive brands. In many cases farmers do not care to. go to the 
trouble of mixing the chemicals with the manure. In that case, 
the chunks are crushed and the manure applied direct by hand, 
usually in the hill or drill. Chicken manure is excellent for 
corn, and will perhaps give better results on that crop than any 
other. Some chicken men do not bother with saving and drying, 
but clean out the houses at intervals and carry the manure direct 
to the field, broadcasting it over the grass or grain. During the 
Winter this gives good results where the soil has some living crop 
like grass or corn growing on it. It would not be recommended 
for bare fields which might be washed by floods. The one thing 
not to do with hen manure is to mix lime or wood ashes with it. 
This would be the worst thing you could do, since the lime will 
liberate the ammonia. Some poultrymen use "kainit," a German 
potash salt with the manure. This preserves it well, but leaves it 
moist and sticky. After several years of use the runs or chicken 
yards become very rich from the droppings and the constant work- 
ing of the hens. When a chicken man has time for it it will pay 
during late Fall or early Spring to take off the upper three or 
four inches of these yards and spread them as he would any 
manure or fertilizer in fields where crops are to be grown. A 
good way to do this work is to take a small plow or horse culti- 
vator and run over the surface of the van! ; then with a scraper 
scrape the earth into piles and shovel it into a wagon or a stone- 
boat. When these yards arc cleaned in this way dirt should be 
brought in to take its place, and this can be left two years and 
then taken out. An easier way t<> clean the yards is to change 
them, that is, move the hens to another point, tear down the 
fences, plow lip the old yards and US€ them one year or more as 
a garden. This soil will produce enormous crops of all garden 


vegetables, and after growing such crops it will be fitted again for 
a chicken yard. It has been well said that the business hen will 
give a profit in the present and leave a blessing behind her. A 
Connecticut Yankee will buy a bushel of Western corn, feed it to 
his hens at a profit, and then by adding chemicals to the resulting 
manure raise another bushel of corn. 

HENS, TREES AND INSECTS.— Tree fruits, and especially 
apples, make good partners for the business hen. Chicken manure is 
excellent for apple trees, especially if wood ashes can also be used 
— not, however, mixed with the manure. In many apple growing 
sections hens are being selected as the best live stock to keep in the 
orchards. In such cases the hens are usually kept in colony 
houses — that is, small buildings scattered about the orchard. The 
hens have a free range under this system. That means plenty of 
exercise, a good pasturage and an abundance of insects. A hen 
on the range will provide a large part of her food by picking 
clover, grass and seeds, and hunting insects. During the laying 
period such hens should be fed some grain, but eggs are produced 
at much less cost in this way than when the hens are kept housed 
or yarded with little chance at grass or insects. A man starting 
in the hen business can sometimes buy a farm with a few level 
acres, and the rest rough and hilly. Such farms are usually sold 
at a low figure, because the rough part is not considered suitable 
for crop production. These are locations for the business hen to 
make good. The flocks can be started near the farm buildings 
and apple or peach trees planted on the hills. It is possible to make 
fair and steady growth without high culture. A few furrows may 
be plowed on either side of the tree rows, and this plowed space 
worked several times during the season with a cultivator. Then 
the trees are "mulched" 3 ; that is, manure, grass, weeds, fine brush 
Or anything that will rot, is piled around them. Chicken manure 
or the litter used on the floor of the house makes a fine mulch for 
these young trees. Efforts should be made to collect forest leaves, 
straw, crushed corncobs or any material of the sort to be used on 
the henhouse floors and afterwards used for mulching these trees. 
If the hen manure can be crushed or handled, as described else- 
where in this book, it will make a better fertilizer for the trees. 
In this way a good apple orchard may be developed as the flock is 
growing, and in time, as the flock is enlarged, the orchard will 
provide a good run for the hens. 

Fruit trees are often planted in chicken yards. Apple and plum 
do better in such situations than peach. The soil of such yards is 
well manured, and the hens dig and dust around the trees. This 


means the highest manuring and cultivation. The hens also roost 
in the trees, and the manure thus accumulated makes the soil very 
rich. Apple and plum can stand this heavy manuring better than 
peach. The tender growth of the latter is likely to winter-kill. 

ide from their work in orchards, hens arc of great service 
in destroying insects. One of the best "remedies" for onion mag- 
got or asparagus beetle is a collection of hens with their little 
clucks. The hens are put in coops which are scattered over the 
onion field — the chirks being left free to run about. The little 
chicks will clean out the maggots will'' out scratching enough to 
hurt the onions. They will also get many of th< para- 

gus. After some observation, we feel sure that both hens and 
turkeys pick out the green worms in cabbage. There are s 
reports from reliable people who have kept fa n chickens 

enclosed in potato fields. These claim that the chicks cleaned up 
the potato beetles so that there was no need of spraying. In our 
own experience, we have not noticed that hens or ducks will cat 
potato beetles, but they are useful in potato fields — that is, when 
g to do a full job of scratching. No full-grown hen 
should be left at large in a garden, but a hen with chicks may be 
cooped in it, for the little fellows will run out and get many 

LAW OK TTIK HEX.— Some bitter neighborhood feuds 
have been started by straying hens. When a man living in a small 
place good vegetable and flower garden, it becomes an 

object of pride. It is impossible for a hen to scrntch in a more 
sensitive place than in this same pride, and when she C 
back day after day and tears up seeds or young plants, there 
is a fall for somebody. The question of what can be done in 
such cases comes up again and again. Tt is sometimes claimed 
that a big a neighbors garden becomes a wild bird 

and can be shot. That is not so. You shoot such straying liens at 
your own risk, but about all the owner can do at law is to bring 
suit for the value of tin- hens. All you could sue him f-»r would 
be tip tr. yed. S , that tawing is about the 

pail of a hen quar; 1. A reasonable man will 
hi- hens shut up if you go a1 him right If In- will nol 
treatment varies as {<, whether you are aggressive or diplomatic. 
The fighting man generally I few Inns and carries them to 

the D This makes bad feeling, but the hens aro 

kept at home. The diplomatist makes the hens te — puts up 

a little house and yard with nests, and entires the h< ns into it. 
th< ; c and •>; tually | 


get their eggs and the owner usually gets wise and shuts them up. 
If you cannot get the owner to keep them at home, you will have 
to protect your plants with wire netting. A lively young dog can 
be trained to drive the hens away. As a last result the suggestion 
which follows might be taken: 

A maiden lady owned a piece of ground, 

And morn and eve in Summer she was found 

Within her garden. But her neighbor kept, 

A flock of hens, and while she worked or slept, 

With busy feet they dug her finest seed. 

In vain she chased them at her utmost speed, 

And "shooed" and stoned them, quite undignified, 

The while her neighbor laughed until he cried. 

But women who can foil the wiles of men, 

Will not be daunted by a Leghorn hen. 

The hand that rocks the cradle, still can block 

Man's ridicule, and give his nerves a shock. 

Our lady cried a bit — as was her right — 

Then took some cards and on each one did write : 

"Please keep your hens at home!" A seed of corn 

She strung to each. With early break of dawn 

Back came the hens ; they gobbled grain and string, 

Then back for home they started on the wing. 

"Please keep," he scratched his head — his heart was hard, 

From every mouth they dragged the lady's card. 

But shame cut through it like a knife, and hence 

His hens no more flew o'er the lady's fence. 

FITTING EXHIBITION BIRDS.— Preparing birds for exhi- 
bition is an art in which a person must be thoroughly interested 
and willing to work weeks, months and even years to accomplish 
a certain object. The object in this case is to win the blue ribbon 
at some of our large poultry shows. Competition is so keen and 
close at the present time that the preparation for exhibition must 
begin with a bird's ancestors. Good breeding, which usually means 
line breeding, is necessary to produce the best specimens. The 
question is often asked if incubator chickens are as good for exhibi- 
tion as those hatched by the natural method. In my experience, I 
can see no difference when the birds are kept in houses of the same 
size and in the same sized flocks. Fifty chickens in a brooder are 
not as apt to develop into exhibition specimens as quickly or surely 
as 10 chickens hatched and raised by a hen, provided both have 
proper feed and care. As a rule, the small flocks of 10 to 20 birds 

142 THE fit 'SIX ESS HEM. 

in a good-sized house with free range, develop into finer specimens 
than those raised in larger flocks or in confinement. It is also 
advisable to grow the birds near an orchard or cornfield, where 
there is plenty of shade, as some varieties will not hold their proper 
color when exposed too much to the sun. The birds should be 
grown and developed just as fast as possible, with good feed and 
care, without forcing. The feed does not vary much from that 
recommended for the general flock, except that more hominy, 
cornmeal and cracked corn are usually required to get young 
stock in the proper condition. Old stock should be in full feather 
and standard weight, without being over fat. Care should be taken 
not to feed too much beef scrap during the conditioning period, as 
it is likely to make the pullets lay too quickly. A pullet is usually 
in the best condition for exhibition just when she reaches laying 
maturity, and cockerels should be in full feather and up to standard 
weight. Birds intended for exhibition should be handled and 
trained for several weeks before the show, so they will learn to 
pose in natural and attractive positions, instead of acting afraid and 
sulky when approached by the judge. 

Cocks and cockerels, and hens and pullets should be condi- 
tioned in separate pens, to avoid injury to the feathers by each 
other. The American Standard of Perfection is the guide used in 
judging at all poultry shows. It describes all recognized breeds and 
varieties, so that each exhibitor can become familiar with the 
standard requirements of the breed or breeds he is handling. 

About 10 days before the show, all white birds should be 
washed, and again two or three days before showing. Colored 
birds do not, as a rule, require washing. To wash a bird properly 
requires a great deal of care and some experience. The process 
is as follows: Provide two warm rooms, adjoining each other, 
one heated to about 75 degrees for washing and the other heated 
to 90 or 95 degrees for drying. The drying room should be fitted 
with plenty of cloth-covered coops with open front, and set well 
up off the floor. The washroom should be supplied with four 
tubs, the first containing quite warm water for washing, the next 
two contain slightly cooler water for rinsing, and the fourth con- 
tains cooler water, blued just ri.qht for fine linen. Wash caeh 
bird clean in the first tub with Rood white SOtp, being careful not to 
muss or break any feathers. Then rinse thoroughly in the second 
and third tubs, and dip in the blue water before placing in the 
drying coops. Keep an < vm temperature in the drying room until 
all the birds arc dry, and then cool it off gradually. 



Here is a cut of a hen coop that I have found very conve- 
nient in raising chicks with hens, to keep them from the hawks 
when small. The cage in front of the common A coop is made 
of half-inch lumber and covered with l>4-inch poultry netting. 
It is attached to each side of the coop with one nail so it will 
easily fit any unevenness of the ground. Being light it can be 
moved a little every day or two to give a clean spot and fresh 
grass. The hen is confined in the coop, and, after the chicks 
are old enough, the front of cage can be raised up on a brick so 
they can run out. I let them stay in the coop nights after taking 


the hen away till I want to put them in the Winter quarters. 
They are easily shut in by pulling the brick out. G. w. s. 

We devised and are using the hopper shown at Fig. 32 for 
feeding fattening fowls of all ages. The front consists of two 
strips two inches wide, with a space of three inches between. The 
ends are made of thick boards six inches wide, seven inches high 
at front and 10 inches at back. The lid consists of two boards 
two inches and four inches wide respectively, the wider attached 
to the narrow by means of hinges. A board two inches wide is 
sufficient for the back, which is placed against one side of the 
room in which the fowls are confined. On each side of front 
space small nails are driven about two inches apart and in nearly 
to the head. To prevent crowding and smaller fowls from creeping 
in, wire clipped from baled straw is stretched across from one 
nail to another in front space. The bottom is a separate piece 
sawed to fit inside and on which the feed is placed. It may be 



made any length desired. One eight feet long is sufficient for 

20 fowls, broiler size. J. C c. 


I make lice-proof roosts as follows. Get one-half-inch round 
irons, stick through the floor into the ground far enough to be 
film, and on these the 2x4 stick for roost. Then make a cup of 



tin and core to fit on the round iron, and fill cup with kerosene. 
Fig. 33 shows how it is done. h. g. 

Fig. 34 shows a device I am using on partition doors in my hen 
houses. As far as I know it is original. The door swings on pins 
for hinges so it opens either way without the attendant stopping 
to fasten or unfasten. The string passes between two spools over 
the front end of the door. A brick makes about the right weight. 

Connecticut. c. t. j. 

The Figs. 35-36 show a homemade gate that I find of consider- 
able service around my poultry yards. 1 arranged this gate at first 


to allow my dog tO have free aCCCSS to the poultry runs. SO that if 
there was any disturbance night or day he could get there right 



away and see about it. I also found that I could use it to my 
own advantage in passing through the gates with feed or water 
pails in each hand. I take a rope about the size of a clothesline, or 
what is better, three small ropes and braid them, the braided rope 
will not chafe out so quickly as the single rope, then fasten to the 
top of gate post. To the other end of rope I attach a block of 
2x3 joist 12 or 15 inches long, and throw over the gate as shown. 
This will close the gate, and dog or man can push it open, and pass 
under the rope. In making the gate allow the upright near the 
rope to extend up a few inches to keep the rope on, and bevel the 
top part of gate where the rope passes over. It did not take over 
five minutes to teach the dog to open the gate from either side. 
Massachusetts. h. w. r. 

Here is a picture, Fig. 37, of a drinking fountain that has 
proved valuable to me. It is made from any jug. The jug should 

Fig. 37. 

Fig. 38. 

have a rim around the top as this is what it rests on when inverted 
on the frame or support. The support is triangular in shape and 
is made to fit under the rim of the jug. I usually make the sup- 
port out of some strips three inches wide and one inch thick. 
There is a leg at each corner made of the same stuff. The legs 
should be long enough to place the mouth of the jar about three 
inches from the ground. In that case they will be six inches long 
or perhaps a little longer. This is regulated by the depth of the 
pan under the jug, the mouth of the jug should be about a half 
inch below the top of the pan, and the jug will keep that much 
water in the pan until the jug is empty. I use gallon jugs, carry 
them to the well two at a time and fill with a hose. They are 
carried to the frame under which the pan is kept and inverted. The 
jugs being white they will keep the water cooler than any other 
thing I know of. w. d. s. 




A good water fount for chicks can be made out of a Mason fruit 
jar by taking the cover and putting a hole a half inch from the edge. 
Solder a lip on. Then notch two pieces of board and nail slats to 
sides to lay jar in. This is easily kept clean. A, Fig. 38, is top of 
jar cover. B, hole in cover, C, lip to be soldered on. 

A good way for town poultry keepers to keep green feed 
before the chickens at all times, without much labor, is to make 
a frame of three-inch boards, the boards standing on edge and 
cover with one-half-inch square mesh wire cloth or netting. This 
can be made any size to suit, the one I have reference to is 6x4 
feet. Take a piece of ground the size of frame and after spading 
in a lot of manure rake it level, sow oats on it rather heavy, 
and cover with good soil. Then put the frame over and let it 
grow. The chickens will see that it does not grow above the wire. 
Pennsylvania. c G. L. 

We live out on this Western prairie, away from any good 
source of supplies. I wanted something to feed and water my 

Via. 39. 



chickens out of, that they couldn't soil, and made it for them from 

tomato and salmon cans. I opened the cans, when I wished to 

use the contents, down the side and a few inches on either end, 

then turned the opened piece of tin back and made a couple of 

holes in it to hang up by. The birds cannot get into them and 

they arc very easily cleaned. Figs. 39-40 show how this is done. 

North Dakota. v. fc 

When the chirks arc too small to feed in a trough, and you 

want to put feed for them on a flat board, the old hen gets on and 

hes it t<» waste Fasten a section bf wire netting on to the 

board, Hat, and put on the fcctl as before, no matter whether it is 

dry or wet Next time the hen tries to scratch her body will 

move instead o! her feet 

To provide green food for chicks early in the Beason, get a 
block 8x8 inches square, or 6x10 would be better; saw a notch in 



the upper side, three inches deep and three wide at one side, and 
six at the other. Get a piece of light sleigh-shoe steel, about two 
feet long, and get the smith to draw out one end to put a handle 
on, punch a hole in the other, and grind, hammer or file to a sharp 
edge a section of the steel wide enough to reach across the notch 
in block and about six inches from end, with hole in it. , Bolt 
the knife to block a little lower than bottom of notch. Bevel to 
knife should be all on one side and away from block. When 
grass gets long enough to cut with knife or grass hook, take some 
of it, put in notch in block and feed it along with left hand, and 
with the right hand on knife you can cut it as fine as you please. 
When the bottom of notch gets worn away, insert a section of 
stout hoop iron for knife to play down beside, so as to make clean cut. 
Figs. 41-42 show how this is done. 

When chicks get older and you want to give them weeds or 
any kind of large leaves, tack some wire netting on a frame and 


TOP OF BLOCK. Fig. 42. 

place it on the weeds to hold them down. The fowls can tear off 
what they want as well as if plants were growing. They are very 
fond of plantain leaves and clippings from too vigorous Dahlias. 
When you have surplus sweet corn to give the chickens, drive 
wire nails, five or six inches long, through a stout board, turn it 
over and set the ears on these nails, and chicks will clean corn 
all off without rolling it about in the dirt. o. h. l. 

New Hampshire. 

Flour barrels make excellent coops, roomy and cheap. A 
little frame is made for the front, consisting of four pieces of 
board, the uprights 6x24 inches, and two crosspieces, top and bot- 
tom, 2x20 inches. Fasten frame to front of barrel by wire, leaving 
oipening for door. Fix so that a slide door, eight inches wide, can 
be easily dropped in from the top. This door is made of one-half- 
inch mesh cellar window wire, nailed or stapled to strips of wood. 
This gives good ventilation and is absolutely vermin-proof. Cover 



barrel with old tin roofing or spouting, so as to make rain-proof 
and prevent the sun from warping it. Of course, a coat of paint 
will add to its attractiveness, but is not necessary for practical pur- 
poses. Runs of any size made of -.vire netting can be attached to 
barrel, and with the netting over the top of runs the chicks are 
safe from crows or the annoyance of grown chickens. Barrels 
and runs can be readily moved on t.» fresh ground. The run? are 
made substantial by the addition of a few stakes driven into the 
ground to support the wire netting. Front and side views are 
shown in Figs. 4.'J-44. For feeding dry mash, we use a box two 
inches deep at sides and three and one-half inches deep at ends, 
seven inches wide, 42 inches long, inside measure. For feet, have 
four pieces, one inch square and 12 inches long, Nail these to ends 




COOP. Fio.43. 

SIDE VIEW. Fio.43 

01 box, having top of three and onc-half-inch ends, eight and one- 
half inches high. For top have board live inches wide, naile 
to cleat at each end of top. ;■> prevent its slipping out of 

This trough keeps the feed clean and chickens do not scratch 

il A. E. F. 

hi Fig. 45 is shown a Bcraper for cleaning the droppings 
. indicated by arr< ■■■ ■ ■ 
- one-fourth inch sheet Bl 

1 the top ' 

the bl The handle i r inch 

pipe and threa V hole is bored n< b .p in 

the centre of the blade. This is threaded with an ordinary tap 



and the handle is then securely screwed in place. A scraper made 
in this manner will last a lifetime, and prove to be a very practical 

In running an egg farm there often is a good deal more young 
stock in the Summer than there is house room for. Unless these 
young pullets are trained to roost soon after they leave the brood- 
ers, there will be trouble teaching them this accomplishment. A 
standardized roost for temporary quarters has been found a grear 
convenience. Take some rough-backed young saplings, cutting a lot 
of supports about two and one-half inches in diameter and 54 inches 
long, drive in a four-inch spike 15 inches from each end and one in 
the middle, leaving two inches of the spike to protrude for a sup- 
port. Then set these poles at an angle of 45 degrees, against the 
walls of any building to be used for temporary roosting place, and 
put any convenient length poles on the spike in the supports for 


Fig. 45. 

Fig. 46. 

roosts. They can be used year after year if kept in a dry place 

when not in use. The cut, Fig. 46, shows this. p. b. 

One of the most provoking problems in poultry keeping is 
the determination of the hens to lay in one nest. No matter 
whether half a dozen other nests exactly alike in every respect 
are right near that one, they will crowd and fight around one or 
two nests, often smashing a couple of eggs, soiling the nest and 
causing trouble all around. Last year I found a way to prevent 
this. I made a frame out of 1^-inch strips of pine boards, size 
of frame 16x36 inches. Next I took a piece of galvanized poultry 
netting J^-inch mesh, size 24x48 inches, stapling this to the frame, 
turning the corners in. This forms a continuous nest, about 3 feet 
long. After one hen has squatted down to lay the next one will 
sit down close alongside of her, and I have had as many as ten 
of them sitting in a row, as peaceful as it is possible for that 
number of biddies to be. As soon as one hen is done and leaves, 
the nearest one of the hens next to her will carefully roll that egg 



under herself, and most of the time the last hen or two will have 
all the eggs under them. Two or three such nests will be suffi- 
cient for fifty to sixty hens. One improvement I have lately added, 
by making the frame out of old pieces of J^-inch pipe, using 
elbows for the corners. This way I can take the nest outside and 
set fire to it. I believe anyone who has tried to keep the old 
wooden nest boxes clean during hot weather, will appreciate the 
improvement. c. h. 


INSIDE HOUSE ARRANGEMENT.— "I enclose sketch of 
sectional view of our henhouse, Fig. 47. A indicates an aisle three 
feet wide running full length of building, which is 40 feet; B, scratch- 
ing and roosting section ; I, partition with studding eight inches apart 


and covered with poultry netting; C, row of nests, each 15 inches 
square, raised four inches off the floor. On these rests the droppings 
board G, and above on brackets the two lines of roosts H. Board 
E is hinged every four feet at the bottom, that it may be dropped 
to facilitate cleaning and disinfecting the nest boxes. The hens, 
being in the scratching pen, enter the nests from that side. The 
doors, D, being separate for each neat, made of lx3-inch pieces into 
a square frame and covered with line netting, arc hinged at the 
bottom and kept closed by B wooden button, except when gathering 
the eggs from the alley. When a hen becomea broody she is given 
her complement of epgs in the nest she lias selected, and trespa 
arc kept from troubling her by hanging on the hook P a lattice door 
made of pieces of lath. The door D if then left open and the sitters 



exercise in the alley where food and water are at hand. We hatched 
over three hundred chicks here last Spring and the plan worked 
beautifully." w. h. fisher. 


It is generally conceded that trap-nesting is too expensive a 
plan of selection for the average poultryman to use. On page 95 






Prof. Rice states that it costs about 50 cents to trap-nest a hen 
for a year and keep the necessary records. For the convenience 
of those who wish to try the experiment the accompanying illus- 
trations and notes by a practical poultryman are given: 



"The accompanying designs show a trap nest of my invention, 
closed and open. Both cuts show a side view of the device. The 
nest proper is in an outer box. This outer box may slide like a 
drawer at under side of droppings board. The outer box may be 
without bottom, thus saving lumber. Fig. 48 shows trap A open. 
As the hen steps in at B her weight closes the trap A. C is a 


catch or button that automatically operates when trap closes and 
locks trap. D. D. D. are half-round hardwood mou! itened 

across trap and rear end of nest which revolve in half-inch holes 
in outer box at F. F. E is a moulding across trap and projecting 
enough to strike against sides of outer box, preventing trap . 
closing too far in. The shoulders of this moulding E, as also 
shoulders of catch C, may be provided with a piece of felt or 
rubber, to lessen the noise of closing trap. Dimensions may vary 
with size of fowls. Inside of nest may be about 11x11 inches and 
four inches high. The device is very easily operated. A weight of 
"Yz pounds at B, easily closes trap. After the hen has laid, she 
v. ill put her head through a hole that is cut at each G. G. After 
egg is deposited, the hen has sufficient room in front of nest to 
keep nest from fouling. Excepting nails, there is no hardware 
about this device, as strap in which catch C plays, may be wood." 


The essential features in poultry keeping are clean quarters, 
grass and exercise; coops that are easy to clean, easy to feed and 
not expensive to make. After many years of study and experiment 
with all the different kinds of poultry houses I find the following plan 
is the simplest and by far the best, except in the snowy period of 
Winter, when the birds and yards can be placed in an open shed 
facing south. The yards are built in sections four feet wide, two feet 
high and 16 feet long. Fig. 50 shows the plan. 

One or 20 sections can be placed end to end and the length of 
the yard is only limited by your boundary or whatever else there is 
to restrict you. A grass and clover field is the best, but when I 
started my yards they were on corn stubble and a fine grassy yard 
Ins grown without seeding in two years. The materials are kept in 
all lumber yards. Six arbor laths 1x2x16 white pine finished and 
free from knots and other weak spots, co-t aboul 25 cents each, 
will make the frame. The sides, ends ami ton can he made up of 
r laths nailed one inch apart for small chickens and l'j to two 
for adult fowls. Porch lattice strips are neater, better and a 

little more expensive, but if painted would make a neater appear- 
and be more lasting. The end section should he el ised at the 

ends with a sliding door to shut all birds in when moving yards; 

intermediate sections are braced on the ends and left open otherwise. 

'lh'- top oi ction should have four feet closed with light 

lumber <»r a Bheel of galvanized iron which will furnish shade for 

the fowK on warm days. For br ler yards these ihould 

have the v : irith galvanized iron or light lumber and 



it will save much loss from sudden showers, but make them light 
enough to move easily. The roosting room should be four feet 
square and two feet high with two roosts and open at the top like a 
box. These coops are easy to move by just dragging them along. 
They will hold 12 or 14 Leghorns and have roosting coops enough 
to accommodate your flock. Laying houses are the same size with 
four nests on each side opened at the top. These houses should be 
closed at the evening feeding time to stop birds from roosting in 
the house or nests. Dry mash hoppers are kept in another house of 
the same pattern and each house should have one or more sections 
between them. 

These yards make ideal Leghorn yards (they are always in their 
own place and not scratching at your neighbor's garden), which is 
their greatest recommendation. I am a trucker and my neighbor's 
chickens do me more harm than all the bugs. Each morning a 


little grain is thrown in the end section, and when all the birds are 
in close the slide and then move each section over sideways till all 
are on the clean grass, then move the end section, birds and all, 
taking care not to pinch their toes, but they are usually too eager 
for the new grass to get their toes pinched. 

Roosting houses should have no bottom. Laying houses have 
only wire netting on bottom of the nests to keep in the straw when 
moving the house. The dry mash feeding house should have a 
wood floor. Water, grit, shells and charcoal can be kept in tomato 
cans or lard pails on the outside of the yards where the birds can 
reach them easily by putting their heads through the slatted sides of 
the yards, and the feeder can see at a glance if each pail is full. 
The water, grit, etc., will always be free from droppings, which is 
never the case when these utensils are kept inside a poultry house. 
The ground will have grown up to grass in about two weeks' time 
when you can move the yards back to their original place and move 
over daily, a task that will but take about two minutes per section. 


The "colony plan" of poultry keeping, that is small houses scat- 
tered over a wide area, has its advantages and its drawbacks. So 
has the opposite plan of crowding large flocks of birds into one 
building. As is stated in the following chapter by Dr. Buchanan 
Burr, the plan of feeding a "dry mash" has given renewed opportunity 
for large ilock feeding. The statement which follows tells how it 
is done. 

As the object of most persons who engage in poultry raising is 
to have a flock large enough to support the owner, and as most fail- 
ures in the business arise from ignorance as to how to enlarge the 
successful small plant, this chapter will endeavor to take the poultry- 
man or poultrywoman who has arrived at this point safely over this 
bridge. Assuming as the basis of this chapter that 1,000 laying hens 
are needed to support the owner, it will be at once apparent that to 
raise the 3,000 chicks yearly to keep up this number of healthy well- 
developed egg machines, fireless brooders, lamp brooders, colony 
brooders are out of the question, and we are forced by every reason 
of economy and sanitation to build a proper brooder house with 
heater and pipe system. 

BROODING IX LARGE FLOCKS.— The pipe system brooder 
house fell into disrepute some years ago for two reasons; first 
because the pipes were put too low over the chicks, and second, the 
heat was not run high enough. With four 1^-inch pipes from \2 
inches to 14 inches from floor, run at a temperature on your heater 
thermometer of 120° to 140°, the chicks will not only never feci 
chilled but will be forced apart and found lying comfortably along 
the edge of the flannel curtain which conies to within two inches of 
the floor. The roof is the most expensive part of the building. My 
Own preference is for a two-story brooder house :21 feet wide by any 
length needed to BUDply the necessities of the plant. This makes a 
double house being east and west, with pens three feet wide upstairs 
and four : downstair-. The baby chicks are taken to the 

in p<'n^, iv.; more than •" ,l in a pen, for 10 days. Then they arc 
sorted by ftize, and all defective <>ncs killed, and the others taken to 
the larger downstairs pens, where they have outdoor runs. The 



water pans for all pens are, upstairs, 63^xl^-inch galvanized iron 
or agate pans, setting one-third in passage and two-thirds in pen, 
the pen portion being covered by having nailed to the board par- 
titions one inch above the hole through which pan is pushed into 
pen, a semi-circle of wood two inches smaller than pan, on the 
edge of which finish nails are driven one inch apart, Fig. 51. By 
this arrangement the chicks cannot get in the water to soil it and a 
glance at each pan in going through the house tells where water -is 
needed. The pans can all be washed daily without going into the 
pens. For the downstairs brooders a 10x2j4-inch pan can be used. I 
find it a great advantage to cut the hole high enough to place a board 
under the pan, coming out in the pen about three inches beyond the 
pan. This keeps the pan above the sand and litter in the pen 
and keeps the water cleaner. I said take the chicks from incubator 
as soon as dry to these pens, but they are not to be fed for 48 hours, 
so in front of the flannel curtains in each hover I drop a board six 


* AND 





inches wide in slots, converting the hover into a dark, warm pen 
with clean, fresh, sharp sand on the floor, and there they stay warm 
and quiet until the yolk is absorbed. Then the front board is 
removed, a little chick feed scattered on the floor, and they get their 
first feed and drink. After another 24 hours the back board is 
removed. For feeding chicks I use the"Burr" chick trough, keeping 
mixed grain and dry mash in separate troughs before them all the 
time. For small chicks a trough two feet long and 12 inches wide 
with sides three inches high is ample. Take a 12-inch board two 
feet long and bevel sides and ends to 45°. To these four beveled 
sides nail half-inch strips three inches wide and } r ou will have a 
trough as shown in Fig. 54. By laying this trough on the floor and 
piling the sand up against the sides and ends chicks 48 hours old 
can run in and out of them easily. The object of the turned-in sides 
is to prevent the chicks scratching feed all over the pens. By sifting 
out with a flour sieve once a week, all the sand will be removed, and 


with a coarser sieve all the manure, and the feed remains always 

Once in t\\< the mash troughs may be dumped out 

and the contents scattered in the henyard, where it is eagerly 

scratched over and eaten, so that no waste occurs. For the lower 
section where chicks arc 10 days old the same troughs are used, 
only they are made three feet long, 1G inches wide and the sides 
are five inches high, Chicks of this age will scratch feed 

out of the smaller troughs. These larger troughs are also used in 
the colony houses up to three months of age, when they are replaced 
with the "Burr" hen trough. By this system of feeding chicks are 
only fed once a day, which is a great saving of labor, and there is 
always feed for strong and weak with no danger of over-eating or 
under-feeding. Once a day they should receive green feed, in Win- 
ter beets run through a meat chopper or sprouted oats, with a quart 
of swamp muck if it is obtainable to each pen twice a week. After 
they are a week old a hopper of beef scrap should be kept filled in 
each pen and grit, chick shell and ground bone kept before them all 
the time. The dry mash us< tcks is th( as used for 

the laying hens and the formula will be given later. 

The great objection raised against the brooder house and in favor 
of the colony system of brooders lias been that the yards will get 
foul, but with removable fences, fastened to the houses and to the 
end posts 50 feet away, with simple L posts in between, all these 
fences can be taken down in a few hours, the yards limed, plowed 
and seeded to rape and fences replaced. After chicks are all out 
of brooder house these yards may be plowed again and 
White clover and lawn grass for the following Spring. With this 
objection removed, there is no comparison either in economy or the 
health of chicks raised between the two systems up to six weeks of 
age, when your April-hatched layers are ready to be put in colony 
houses, without heat, where they will remain until housed in laying 
3 for the Winter. 

STARTING A FLOCK.— As the line between profit and loss in 

•dtry plant lies between 100 and 145 eggs per hen per year, 

it is I ary that the individuals composing this flock should 

each be healthy and to all appearance able to hold up their share of 

the load, but more than that, the owner should know that the ances- 

them have been Winter layers of 

The buying of day-old chicks, or of eggs for hatching, 

from known breeders without a guarantee that they are from 

'•••us only and not from pulli is a very serious source 

ippointment The safest and raise 

or buy enough yearling or tw< Tin - hens should be 


mated to healthy cockerels, say in February. Hold them back from 
laying by a grain diet and plenty of exercise until this time. Keep 
them in colony houses and their eggs will hatch chicks that want to 
live and that when they mature will lay, and lay when eggs are high. 
After your first year the close culling of your flock of yearlings 
will give better and better breeders each year, and bred to cockerels 
each year there is no danger of inbreeding. Any unusually good 
cock bird can be kept for another year or two and bred to a special 
pen of the best hens to tone up the grade of the whole flock. 

HOUSING AND FEEDING.— It may be roughly stated that 
the advent of dry mash before the hens all the time made possible 
the keeping of large flocks together. Before that time with feeding 
three times a day the active, hustling hen got more than her share 
to the detriment of the less active members of the flock. Under pres- 
ent conditions of feeding there is no limit to the size of a flock that 
can be kept profitably except the element of labor. As 2,000 hens 
can be easily cared for by one man and kept in perfect condition 
all the time, so in a complete one-man plant 1,000 hens may be con- 
sidered as a unit, leaving time enough for incubator and brooder 
house work. It is of course an advantage where the farm is large 
enough to pay to keep a man for this other work and to help with the 
rough and heavy work on the poultry plant. 

My own preference is for the two-story type of house with two 
short roosts on each side of a central passage running at right 
angles to the passage, 22 inches apart and 22 inches from the floor, 
simple 2x2-inch with upper corners rounded, five feet long and sup- 
ported on three-eighths-inch iron rods driven into floor and into hole 
in roost. This in a house 20 feet wide and 100 feet long gives 16 
roosts between four-foot windows on each side of house, with a 
passage along each side in front of nest boxes on the wall. These 
windows being 4x5 feet, with upper half muslin and lower half glass, 
give perfect ventilation Winter and Summer. The downstairs part 
being for feeding and watering and exercise, with 1,000 hens in 
such a house each hen has four square feet, but in reality has the 
freedom of 4,000 square feet, except that occupied by the other .999 

A much less expensive house of the regular type can be built 18 
feet wide and 100 feet long, 4^4 feet high in the rear and 6^ feet in 
front, shed roof with rear wall sheathed to plate, and roof sheathed 
up six feet. Droppings boards are 2^4 feet from floor, four roosts 
12 inches from droppings boards. The front of this house could be 
boarded up for two feet from the bottom and a foot from the top, 
leaving three feet that could be closed in with 3x6-foot screens 


red with unbleached muslin, with a 3x2-foot sash in between each 
muslin screen. The muslin is closed on stormy days only and at 
night in cold weather. Such a house would house 500 hens com- 
fortably, where a two-story house of the same size would hold 1,000. 
Either house should be faced a little to the south of southeast, as 
this gives the most sun in Winter and the least in Summer. Any 
laying house should be built on posts with a grade at top of sill of 
IS inches above the average natural grade. Fill this 18 inches 
in with dry dirt to top of sill. This makes the best floor. By keep- 
ing this dirt loose it makes all the dust baths necessary. The top can 
be raked off weekly and spread on the droppings boards. It will be 
necessary to fill in about six inches of clear dry dirt in May and Sep- 
tember; thus the house floor is renewed and never becomes foul. If it 
can be placed in a field with say 150 feet front and back for yards 
and a fence running from each end to make a front and back yard, 
by plowing and sowing oats, millet, rape and Crimson clover in rota- 
tion in each yard, you have continuous green feed from March 
until December, which is both healthy and economical. Avoid plant- 
ing fruit trees in either poultry or brooder yards, as the continuous 
plowing necessary for health will ruin the trees before they are 
large enough to be productive, and artificial shade is much better, 
the cheapest way to make the latter being to tack two-inch mesh 
wire on a frame 3x6 feet and nail on legs one foot long on one 
side and 18 inches on the other. Cover with burlap or building 
paper. The legs can be knocked off in the Fall and the screens 
stored away. A crop of potatoes or corn can be taken alternately 
from the front or back yards, following potatoes with rye and Crim- 
son clover, and planting in rape and rye with the last cultivation of 
the corn. 

FEEDING FOR WINTER EGGS.-If you have culled out 500 
or of the best of those pullets we left in the colony houses 
last May, when some of the combs begin to redden the last of Sep- 
tember, put them in your laying house, leave them shut in for a 
few clays, until they feel at home, and the feeding and watering 
problem now presents itself. For watering a large flock there is 
nothing as convenient as one or more 10-foot lengths of five-inch 
double-lipped galvanized iron ea\ fa or gutter. Have the 

plumber solder in two sloping ends, and near one end B piece of 
^-inch brass pipe. I say brass pipe because it is even enough to 
have a cork tit tight, whereas the galvanized iron pipe will leak. 

board three inches wide and the length of your 

h, and nail to two square end pieces, so that each board will 

lit under one lip ol trough to support it. Set this trough on a 


platform high enough above the floor to get a pail under the pipe 
to empty it into, and build a running board on each side of it for 
tne hens to stand on when drinking, and you are fixed. In Winter 
the trough can be emptied at night, and filled through the day at 
intervals with hot water to keep ice melted. Put the pail under 
the pipe, remove cork and brush out trough with a sink brush and 
it is clean. 

The object to be attained by feeding these hens is to keep them 
healthy, make them eat egg-making food and drink clean water, so 
as to produce the most clean eggs with high-colored yolks, and no 
bad smell or flavor. If left to herself she would much rather spend 
her time scratching in a manure pile or old wood pile for a bug or 
two, eat turnips or onions, and not lay any more than she had to 
until Spring. While the man does not live who can make a hen 
lay, you can so feed her in the Fall that there is a super-supply of 
protein, fat and mineral matter that will, against her inclination, 


go to the development of the embryonic ovules, and as they grow 
they cause a drain on her system which she locates as hunger, and 
supplies, hence Winter eggs. This can only be done by confining her 
in large yards and not letting her out of the house in the morning 
until she has eaten her breakfast, giving food she is fond of to 
encourage her to eat more than she otherwise would, and keeping 
such a mixture before her as will develop the ovaries and the 
albumen secreting glands. If these pullets are all April and early 
May hatched, and are housed by October, go through your flock 
on December first and cull out any immature, undeveloped pullet, in 
fact every one that does not show a developed comb, and sell them 
for roasters. I say developed, and not red comb, for some of the 
April pullets that laid through October and November will be rest- 
ing now, and the combs will not be so red. What I want to impress 
on you is that any pullet in the flock that does not look like laying 
on this date will be carried through the Winter at a loss, and would 
better be disposed of now. 



After trying all the hoppers made and making many more, I 
finally hit upon what is known as the "Burr" trough as the simplest 
and most economical appliance for feeding. 

To explain Fig. 53, if you take two pieces of half-inch board 
six wide and eight feet long, and nail them together, you will 
get a V trough six inches wide on one side and 6}_- inches on the 
other. Take another piece of board six inches wide and rip it in 
:ie piece being 2^4 inches wide and the other 3J^ inches. Nail 
the first piece on the inner lip of the wide side, and the latter on the 
top edge of the narrow side, and you have your trough ; nail on the 
ends and put on the top. The hens cannot waste any feed out of this 
trough, cannot soil it, and yet it is always there before them. Ten 

Fig. 64. 

PlO. 56. 

such troughs, half for grain and half for dry mash, are enough for 
hens, and need be filled only once a day. Of course the grain 
all the tin only to Leghorns, who can- 

it With the heavier breeds the mash may be kept before 
*ie time, and the grain fed in lil I and morning, 

with the heavier breed . grain troughs that can be closed 
• time are an adv; 1 re all grain is fed in 

: ii supper, which means 

' any mixture of wheat, cracked 

• '. will do. Watch the 


ne or the 1 For the 


mash I use as a standard: 200 pounds bran, 100 pounds ground 
oats or barley, 200 pounds coarse cornmeal, 100 pounds shredded 
wheat (waste), 100 pounds middlings, 100 pounds best beef scrap 
(with some bone in it), if not add 25 pounds granulated bone, 100 
pounds clean sifted charcoal (granulated), no dust, 25 pounds salt. 
Vary this by adding in Summer 50 pounds oil meal. This mash is 
kept before them all the time. Sprouted oats are fed once a day, 
all they will eat up readily, or alternately with mangels or sugar 
beets run through a meat cutter. These they eat greedily, and where 
green bone cannot be obtained I mix 25 pounds of beef scrap with 
100 pounds of ground beets and feed it. The sprouted oats and 
beets should be fed in flat troughs six feet long, 12 inches wide,«with 
three-inch sides; these when not in use can be hung .p. Of course 
there is no egg-making food that can compare with green bone as 
a maker of Winter eggs, and if it can be obtained even at three cents 
per pound cut it is worth it. Feed every other day up to one pound 
for every 30 hens, and reduce the percentage of beef scrap in the 
mixture by one half. As the markets require in Winter eggs a 
high-colored yolk it is necessary to feed three times a week cut 
dry clover or Alfalfa. While sprouted oats will help it is very much 
cheaper to produce this color with clover or Alfalfa, which they eat 
greedily. Too much clover or Alfalfa will cut down yo r egg yield, 
as they will eat too much of it in place of more nutritious food. 
With dry airy houses, cleaned daily, with plenty of dry dirt on the 
floors for absorbent and dust baths, with roosts and. nest boxes gone 
over carefully twice a year with crude petroleum and any coal-tar 
insecticide, with this system of feeding only sweet clean grain, 
there can be no question of your success, if you like hens, and if 
you do not you would better leave them alone, for they have very 
pronounced ideas of their own, and while if they trust you you can 
coax them, you can never -drive them, and a scared hen in a large 
flock tells her story in the egg basket for several days. 

The best cure for all poultry diseases is the ax, and burn the 
remains. Much trouble is caused by curing(?) mild cases of roup 
or canker and using these birds for breeders. It will take years to 
eradicate a taint thus bred in. There is much, however, that can be 
done in the way of prevention. By breeding only from healthy 
mature stock, by proper hatching and good brooding the chick gets a 
living start. White diarrhoea can be absolutely prevented by this 
means, by thorough sterilizing of the incubators after each hatch, 
and in cases where there is any suspicion of tuberculosis in the flock, 
by dipping the eggs for hatching in a solution of corrosive sublimate 
pne part to 5,000 of water, All breeding hens should be carefully 


examined before putting them in the mating pens, as I have found 
some of the best hens to look at infected with canker of the vent 
which would infect every egg. Some apparently healthy hens have 
at all times a strong roupy smell at the nostrils and should be killed 
at once as, while immune themselves, they scatter roup germs which 
are taken up and develop in the other hens who are not immune. In 
every normal hatch there will be a few chicks that do not properly 
absorb the yolk. Tiny drag along, usually showing some signs of 
indigestion ; an examination of the abdomen shows a hard lump in 
addition to the gizzard. Kill them at once as they drag along and 
cost more to make broilers of even than they are worth. If the 
brooder conditions are not correct and chicks get chilled and huddle, 
the flock will show in a few days all the appearance of white 
diarrhoea; they mope, drop their wings and huddle together. The 
only thing to do is to separate the healthy ones and kill off all moping 
chicks. When chicks learn that they can get warm by crowding, 
the whole flock is doomed; therefore keep up high temperatures in 
your brooder pipes so that as they snuggle together at bedtime, as 
they always will, the heat will be uncomfortable, and before the 
crowding can do any harm the flock separates for the night. Watch 
every flock at bedtime and prevent any settling in corners, as they 
will always go back to the spot they first settled in. This is also 
another reason why flocks should never be more than 50 when 
young, as the animal heat of a larger number will overheat some, 
and an overheated chick is doomed. With chicks normally hatched 
and brooded there is but one other serious trouble that can occur. 
For want of a better term I call it secondary bacterial infection. 
Unless the yards are disinfected, spaded up and seeded, after the 
first lot have been removed to the colony houses, the next lot getting 
out on the foul yards will, especially during a hot day following a 
cold rainy spell, cat everything they can scratch up and become 
infected with bacteria, and die like flies. The intestines will be 
filled with blood from infection, and unless you recognize the con- 
dition you will think some one has poisoned the flock. There is no 
cure; prevention is rill; recognize the danger ahead and prevent it. 
In feeding lawn clippings, and they are excellent feed for hens and 
chirk-, be sure that the fruit trees are not being sprayed with some 
arsenical preparation or trouble will ensue. Good healthy stock, with 
clean water, fresh air, clean feed, using the same horse sen<e in 
• for them that \<>u would in any Other business, and there is no 
mystery or secret about the raising of poultry in large numbers. 


DUCKS. — We do not offer advice to the extensive duck raiser 
who keeps birds by the thousand, but to the farmer who keeps a 
flock of reasonable size. If a man intend to make duck raising a 
specialty, he should go to some large duck ranch and study the 
business. The principal breeds are Pekin, Rouen, Cayuga, Muscyvy, 
Aylesbury and Indian Runner. The Pekin is the most popular bre ; 1, 
and is usually kept by farmers. The Indian Runner is the best 
laying duck, ranking with the Leghorn among hens as an egg pro- 
ducer. Ducks are usually hatched in incubators or under hens. For 
the first few days they are fed much like young turkeys, on bread 
crumbs and boiled eggs or rolled oats. After five days sand or gravel 
is added to the food, and gradually meal and bran are substituted 
for egg and bread — with later beef scraps, salt and abundance of 
chopped green food. Ducks need shade — an orchard makes a gjod 
place for them. Breeders should have a place to swim, but fattening 
ducks should be kept from the water. Mr. G. A. McFetridge tells 
how ducks are handled on a large duck ranch. With proper modi- 
fication this plan will answer on a farm. 

"Anyone who wishes to succeed at raising much have his ducks 
in market at the age of 10 weeks. At that age they should, if prop- 
erly cared for, average at least five pounds apiece. It is a good 
plan to pick out your stock ducks, at the same time (10 weeks) 
selecting the finest shaped and active ones. Arrange to have the 
males at least one month older than the females, and keep them 
separate. Give them a stronger feed, with about five per cent scrap; 
they will require it. With the females it is different, for they do not 
need a strong feed, but a light bulky feed. If they are picked out in 
May at the age of 10 weeks and fed on strong feed they will start 
to lay in September, which is too early; the middle of November 
is about right. A good feed for them is something like this: By 
measure, four parts of bran, four of middling or red dog, one of corn 
chop, one-half part sand, and one-third of the whole amount of 
some kind of filler. Use what is at hand, almost any green vegetable, 
second crop clover and Alfalfa. This mixture makes a good light 
feed, and if fed properly will give good results at this time when 
muscle-forming is the main object. 


"By all means get them on a clover plot, keep visitors out and 
keep them quiet. In case a clover plot is not obtainable, then man^ 
age to get some kind of greens for them to pick at ; it will aid diges- 
tion. Supposing they are selected by the 20th of May, then they 
are fed the above feed judiciously up to September 20, then use 
the same kind of mixture, but give them all they can get away with, 
being careful not to overdo them, and you will find by October 20 
they will be shed pretty well. The drakes, of course, are in a sep- 
arate yard, and can be fed more corn chop and about 10 per cent 
beef scrap after September 20. 

"Suppose they have shed all their feathers, wings and tails, as 
they will by October 20, and their Winter quarters are all in shape, 
then comes the mating. To every five ducks put one drake; you 
can put 20 ducks and four drakes together safely, although I have 
seen good results when mated up to 150 in each yard. I find it to 
be a good plan to keep some extra drakes at the start and distribute 
them among the rest; then by keeping track of your yards you may- 
find one or more yards that fail in fertility; a change of drakes 
will be all that is required. After mating them, a more substantial 
food can be fed, as follows : By measure, two parts bran, four parte 
middlings, two parts corn chop, four parts whole corn, four parte 
cut second crop clover, one part sand, one-half part oyster shell, 19 
per cent of beef scrap (not counting clover). You will notice that 
they will not eat near so much of that feed as they do when fed 
the former, but it is a great egg output by increasing or diminishing 
the whole corn and beef scrap." 

TURKEYS. — Many hen men and women have an ambition to 
keep a few turkeys. In northern New York or in some other locali- 
ties turkey raising on a large scale is carried on with much success. 
The turkeys have a wide range, and on the clean, wind-swept hills 
are healthy and strong. In such places the business is often profit- 
able, though blackhead and other diseases sometimes sweep off entire 
flocks. Rhode Island was once a famous turkey country, but black- 
head has nearly ruined the business in that State. These large 
turkey raisers are often women, who seem specially adapted to hand- 
ling these birds. They often give advice to beginners, and seem 
puzzled to find that there is any great trouble about making the 
little turks live. The fact is that until one gets the "instinct" turkey 
raising is the most hazardous kind of poultry culture, for the little 
things will persist in dying in spite of all your care. Our own experi- 
ence as beginners may help others to start. The two most popular 
breeds of turkeys are Mammoth Bronze and White Holland. The 
Bourbon Red is popular in some parts of the West, and is highly 


praised as a hardy, handsome bird of medium size. The Bronze 
turkeys are larger than the Whites, but we chose the latter because 
they are more domestic and do not roam away as the Bronze do. 
We have frequently had flocks of Bronze travel from distant points 
to visit our Whites, while the latter have never failed to remain at 
home. This is a good feature in a settled country where the farms 
are small, for in such situations the Bronze birds become a nuisance 
to the neighbors. 

We bought a trio of birds — the gobbler not related to the hens. 
Our observation is that this a surer than to buy eggs, although it 
may seem a slow way to start with but two hens. The children 
were afraid the turkeys would freeze when they insisted on flying 
into the trees during the Winter, but it is their nature to prefer the 
outside of a house. We drove' them inside during cold storms, 
though they went unwillingly. They were fed much the same as 
the hens, but they were cleaner about their food and drink. One 
reason why many fail with turkeys is because they will not keep the 
birds dry and clean. 

Late in April we noticed the hens looking about in an uneasy 
way, and wandering further from the house. We had been told to 
let them find their own nests, but to tempt them if possible by leaving 
barrels and boxes with clean straw near the henhouse. This failed to 
tempt them, and we should not have found where they layed but for 
the gobbler who waited for and thus betrayed them.. One hen 
climbed to the loft of the wood shed and began laying on a board. 
The eggs would have rolled off, but we put a box with straw on the 
board and put the eggs in it. The foolish bird came back, accepted 
the nest and kept on laying. We left the eggs there as they accum- 
ulated. The other hen went along the fence by the side of a tree 
and made her nest there in the open. We kept these eggs ■ in the 
house until the hen began sitting and then they were all put under 
her. A box was fitted over the nest so as to give shelter. Between 
them these hens laid 24 eggs and hatched out 19 turks. One died at 
once. The other 18 were given to one of the turkeys. The other, 
after grieving a day or so, mated again and proceeded to lay another 
clutch of about a dozen eggs. The season was so wet and unpromis- 
ing that we did not set these later eggs. 

It is said that a young turk will die if it run against a wet 
blade of grass. They are remarkably tender, and wet weather usually 
melts them down. We were also told that they would die if kept 
in a coop. A neighbor had a good hatch, but the young birds died 
rapidly. They seemed to become tired with chasing the hen. In the 
morning they were draggled by the dew and fell behind, where they 


were captured by cats or chilled. As the rain continued we put hen 
and turks in a large coop, and kept them there except at intervals 
when the sun came out. Then they had the run of a small yard. 
For feed they were given chopped boiled egg and dry bread crumbs 
with chopped onion. They had all they would eat clean of this four 
times a day, and plenty of fresh water frequently changed. A cake 
or biscuit made of horse feed (which on our farm is a ground mix- 
ture of cornmeal, oats and wheat bran) crumbled up fine was 
relished by the turks. The old hen was fed a quantity of cracked 
corn, and in a few weeks the little birds began to eat that also. 
Rain continued, and we were obliged to keep the turks confined in 
the coops until the latter part of June. We did not expect to save 
any of them, judging from the advice we received and the experi- 
ence of neighbors who let the young birds run with the old hen 
through the wet grass, but out of the 18 put in the coop 15 were 
alive in July. When the weather turned dry we let them follow 
the old hen about the farm. Cats and vermin captured several, and 
others died from various causes, and we ended the season with five 
turkeys. This may seem like a poor record if we judged from the 
stories of parties who claim to raise every turkey, but actual experi- 
ence as reported to us shows that the great number of persons who 
tried to raise turkeys on a small scale had a worse record even than 
we did. Some of them lost every bird, while others raised only 
one or two from a flock of three or four hens. Turkey raising evi- 
dently requires greater care than chicken culture, and it appears as 
if printed or spoken advice is of little help in learning how to raise 
the birds. Personal experience alone can show how to do it. We 
can do it much better another and drier season. In a general way 
it must be remembered that the young turkey is more tender than 
the average chicken. It is cleaner in its habits and requires clean 
food and pure water. The old hens do not show good judgment in 
caring for the turkeys, but will lead them through wet grass or 
upon long journeys where the little things are quickly tired. We 
should be careful to keep them in coops until the sun has thoroughly 
dried the grass and watch the hens carefully so that they will not 
wander too far away. 

PIGEONS AND SQUABS.— We would not advise an amateur 
to expect to make any fortune or even a living at producing squabs. 
Probably as much money has been lost in the poultry business try- 
ing to make good on squab breeding as in any other department. 
The stories told of the great success of a few people are very 
plausible and have led many unfortunate men and women on to loss 
and disappointment. Our advice would be to start with a few 


pairs of pigeons and not attempt to go into the business on a large" 
scale unless experiments with a few pigeons indicate success. It is 
often a desirable thing to have a few pairs of pigeons on the farm, 
as squabs make delicate food for invalids and there is nothing bet- 
ter in some cases of sickness. In a town yard these squabs can be 
grown to advantage, but let no one expect to plunge into the busi- 
ness at once and make a fortune out of it. Almost any room that 
is fairly warm can be fixed up for pigeons. You must have a good 
roof, no cracks or holes in the sides and a building that is strictly 
rat proof. Rats will clean out the squabs if they ever get a taste of 
them and can get near them. Allow about 250 square feet of floor 
space for each 50 pairs of pigeons. 

THE GUINEA FOWL.— There are two distinct varieties of 
Guineas, Pearl and White. There is no difference in their character- 
istics save in their color. The Pearl variety should be bluish-gray in 
color, each feather covered with white spots resembling pearls, 
hence its name. It should be free from any white feathers in any 
part of the plumage. The neck is covered with black hairs near the 
head, and between that and the feathers is a soft down, of a light 
brown color, that glistens in the sun. On the top of the head is a 
horny spike that turns backward. The bill and legs are brown. The 
White variety should be a pure white in plumage, with a yellow 
orange or yellowish-white bill and legs, this being the only difference 
between them and the Pearl variety. Some birds of the Pearl 
variety have white feathers in the breast and wings, but are mon- 
grels, being a cross between the two varieties. They are great forag- 
ers, and will pick up enough bugs and injurious insects more than 
to pay for themselves. They do not stand confinement well, and 
will not lay more than one-half as many eggs as if allowed to run 
at large. If fed regularly morning and night they will always be on 
hand for their share. They desire to roost in trees near the barn 
at night, and are most excellent guards either night or day; anything 
out of the usual astir, they will set up a great cry. They roost so 
high that they are out of the way of thieves or wild animals. In 
their wild state they will fight and drive other fowls, but if used 
kindly as other poultry, they will stay and feed with other fowls 
without showing much of this pugnacious habit. The Guinea hen 
is a Spring and Summer layer, and lays from 90 to 120 eggs yearly. 
They like a secluded place to lay in. When their nests are found, 
leave two or three eggs, or they will leave the nest for another place. 
Better set their eggs under hens to hatch, as the Guinea does not 
sit until too late in this latitude to have the young get grown before 
Winter. Besides, if raised by common hens, they can be taken care 


of better, for they must be fed often, as the young eat but little at a 
time. Fifteen to 17 eggs can be set under a good-sized hen, and 
with good care all can be raised. Their eggs are small, but make up 
in quality what is lost in size. Their meat is excellent, and has a 
gamy flavor. The cocks can be distinguished by their screeching 
noise, also by the spike on their heads being larger, and by holding 
their heads higher. Their ear tubes are larger, and generally curl 
in a sort of semi-circle toward the beak. The hens make a noise 
that sounds like "too quick," and seldom screech. 

BANTAM BREEDING.— "Bantams need but little room, and 
little feed. They are very attractive and useful, not merely pets, as 
they are good layers of good-sized and rich eggs. I have used an 
incubator for hatching, but prefer hens. If I have Bantams that I 
can spare I use them, but usually common hens. If large hens are 
used their nests should be in a low box six inches deep, the nest 
made but little dishing, as the eggs will move more readily as the 
hen steps among them. For this reason the fewer eggs under a 
hen the better. The eggs are quite as likely to be fertile and 
hatch as any larger breeds. A box should be placed over the hen 
after she has been fed and watered each day. This not only secures 
her from being disturbed, but prevents her from coming off many 
times a day, as some will, each time endangering the eggs. I do not 
find the chicks quite as hardy or as easy to raise as larger breeds 
until feathered. They feather so young and fast that they need good 
feed and care at this time. For a few days when first hatched, hard- 
boiled eggs and bread crumbs chopped fine are best for them; 
later cracked wheat, millet and ground beef scraps, and some whole 
grain. For head and throat lice and around the little cluster of 
feathers in front of the vent use a little grease. Fresh butter is 
good; sweet cream is still better, and will not injure if used liberally 
on turkeys or chickens. This will do little good, however, if the 
hen has lice. This season I have taken a feather, and with a liquid 
lice killer touched the hen under and above in many places. If 
this is done in the morning when the chicks are a few days old, and 
the hen in an open coop, so the chicks can get plenty of air, it will 
not hurt them, but will rid both hen and chicks of lice for a long 


One of the most successful poultry men in the country is 
Henry D. Smith, of Massachusetts. Mr. Smith makes a specialty 
of raising roasters, which are young birds large enough to stuff 
and r®ast. He started in a very modest way and slowly increased 
his business until he turned off from 5,000 to 7,000 roasters each 
year. This required 400 hens, and Mr. Smith made the statement 
publicly that one man could do all the work provided he had 
everything fixed properly. When we asked him how this was 
possible he made the following statement. The incubators have 
a capacity of about 3,000 eggs and the brooder houses will accom- 
modate from 2,500 to 3,000 little chicks. Of these about 1,800 will 
live to a size large enough to enable them to go out to colony 
houses, which are 6x8 feet and which will hold 50 chicks. Each 
house has a feed hopper, a box for scraps, another for grit and 
shells and a water vessel. Here is Mr. Smith's programme : 

"Allowing that we have saved a few cases of July eggs we 
will now lay out the work for a year, beginning August 1. Get 
up in the morning at six o'clock, feed the horse and the hens and 
turn the eggs in the incubators before breakfast is ready. Feeding 
the hens is done by taking sufficient grain in a bag on your shoulder 
and going through one house of six pens and back through another 
of the same size, and scattering said grain in the litter; then take 
another bag with a dry mash and go through again, and put the 
necessary amount in boxes provided for the purpose; time for both 
trips 25 minutes; then turn the eggs, which will take from two to 
three minutes to each machine. Eight machines will be sufficient 
at the most, and they will not all be running all of the time. The 
eggs will have -to be tested twice to each hatch, time one hour, 
and another hour will carry out a hatch of chickens and reset 
the machine, which takes two hours to each machine, setting every 
three weeks. Clean out the horse stall and curry the horse, when 
breakfast should be ready. The water barrel should be placed in 
the farm wagon and a hose led to it from the water system and 
allowed to fill while some of the above chores were being done, 
so that after breakfast, say from 7.45 to eight o'clock, you harness 


into the farm wagon, and after putting on what grain, scraps, 
grit and shells you will need, start for the colony houses, which 
have got your 400 pullets and several cockerels for the coming 
season. The barrel being fitted with a two-inch molasses faucet it 
does not take long to rinse out the water bucket (using a little 
broom-corn brush), fill it and replace; then put in some grain, 
scraps, grit and shells, where necessary. Speak to the horse and 
pass to the next house and repeat, finishing each house on the one 
trip, and this job will be all done by nine o'clock. This leaves 
three hours before dinner and the only chore at noon is to feed 
the horse. At 4.30 to five o'clock you will go through the hen 
houses again with one bag of grain only, and pick up the eggs, 
feed the horse, turn the eggs and fill and trim the incubator lamps. 
I can turn the eggs and take care of the lamps to the eight machines 
in less than 30 minutes, so that you will be ready for supper before 
six o'clock, and this makes not over 10 hours of actual labor per 
day. The above arrangement leaves six hours per day for the 
next three weeks, in which time you can clean out the brooder 
houses if you have not already done so, spread on the grass land 
and fill up again with fresh sand. This will take four days, and 
allowing for a few stormy days there will be ample time to clean 
out and fill all of the empty colony houses before the brooder will 
have to be started, also to clean off the droppings boards once a 
week and spray the roosts, and give the hens some green stuff at 
least twice a week. 

"Now we will start one of the brooder houses and bring what 
chicks you have hatched, and until you have more than one house 
will hold, there will only be one fire to attend to, and the pens, as 
fast as you are able to fill them with chicks. We will have the 
grain room between the two brooders and to feed will take a 
bucket of mixed grains and a small scoop ; walk right along throw- 
ing the proper amount according to age, number, etc., all over the 
pen, and coming back pick up the dead ones, then take another 
bucket of dry mash and scraps. Keep moving right along, throwing 
this on to the feed board placed on the floor just beyond the pipes, 
so the feed can be put on it easily. Then take a bag of cut clover 
and go up through the pens, this time putting a little in each pen, 
and opening the slides for the chicks to go out of doors on the 
same trip. If your partitions are too high to walk over you will 
have to have self-closing gates. You will remember that these are 
all watered automatically, so that this takes care of the brooder 
in the morning excepting shaking down the fire and putting on 
some coal, and 20 minutes will take care as above of both brooder 


houses, 2,500 to 3,000 chicks, with no worry about the heat. After 
all of the morning chores are done, say about 9.30, come back to 
brooder and give the little chicks less than two weeks old a little 
grain to scratch for, and sift your ashes, putting the screenings 
back into the heater; time 15 minutes. You now have two hours 
before it is time to feed the two kinds of grain again and fix the 
fire at noon, and there are three hours in the afternoon before 
beginning the night chores, with the exception of about five min- 
utes at 2.30 to feed those smallest chicks, and about twice a week 
give them a little grit and charcoal in boxes for the purpose within 
reach of the walk. Clean out under the pipes about three times 
while the chicks are in the brooder, time two hours each time, and 
then have a thorough cleaning between each lot; time refilling 
and all 20 hours. 

"PREPARING FOR WINTER— The above figures are based 
on both brooder houses being full, the work in the incubator cellar 
begins to decrease and finally stops by October 15, so that there 
will be nearly five hours daily on the average in which to clean 
out and fill up the balance of the colony houses, clean and refill 
the henhouses, whitewash (with a spray pump) and make the 
necessary repairs for Winter, and haul into the barn cellar or some 
suitable place 30 to 40 loads of sand to be used here and there 
during the Winter. During the past month or so you have been 
selling off the old hens as fast as they stop laying, and crowding 
together the remaining ones, so as to empty the pens as fast as 
possible, and as soon as ready pick your most forward pullets and 
put into these pens. As soon as the incubators are set that are 
required to fill the brooders, sell off all of the old hens and put 
in the remainder of the pullets as soon as you can. Then as soon 
as the chicks in the brooder are feathered out enough, say eight 
to nine weeks old, they go out to the colony houses and as soon 
as you see that one of the brooders will be empty, cleaned out 
and refilled, in three weeks you start up the incubators again, this 
time on the pullets' eggs, throwing out the small ones. 

"We will now begin November with practically all of the 
odd jobs cleaned up. The incubators are getting started again as 
fast as the pullets furnish the eggs, and the youngest chickens in 
the brooder are about to pass the delicate age, so that three times 
daily is all the care the brooder needs, which can be done in 20 
minutes each time. The work in the brooder now decreases about 
as fast as it increases in the incubator house, and the care of the 
horse and hens remains about the same the year round, but the 
work in the colony houses is gradually increasing all the time, for 


by the last of November you will have nearly all of the first lot of 
chickens (say 1,800 to 2,500) out in the colony houses, which 
means about V/z hour as soon as you can get to it. The morning 
chores will now take until about 10 o'clock, and 20 minutes at 
noon, with V/2 hour at night, will leave about four hours per day 
to do the regular chores, and this gives for the whole month about 
100 hours, in which time is done the testing, carrying the chicks 
to brooder, setting machine, cleaning off droppings boards, cleaning 
out brooders, refilling with sand from the cellar, etc. The work 
for December is practically the same as November, with the excep- 
tion of the caponizing. By the first of January the brooder house 
will be nearly full again, if not quite, with the incubators about 
stopped, so that in January while there is a little more work in 
the brooder there is less in the incubator house. The regular 
amount of work remains about the . same until more chickens go 
out to the colony houses, and during February and the first of 
March the remainder of the colony houses will be full, and as 
they fill the brooder grows empty, and will take another hour per 
day for the regular work, leaving only three hours per day for 
the odd jobs. In the meantime the incubators have started again 
for the last time. By the first of March the oldest pullets will 
begin to lay and must be sold, and the second lot must be capon- 
ized. The brooder is being filled for the last time, so that by April 
1 the incubators are all done. The brooder house is full, as well as 
the colony houses, but we will now gladly devote two or three 
hours per week to selling off the oldest birds as fast as they get 
"ripe." As soon as any of the colony houses are empty they are 
cleaned out thoroughly and refilled again with chicks from the 
brooder house. 

"VACATION TIME.— By the middle of May the brooder house 
is empty and the regular chores begin to decrease, and some time 
in June the caponizing will be done, leaving just the hens and 
colony houses to see to, and the money to take in. The brooder 
houses may now be thoroughly cleaned and refilled ready for the 
next season, and there will be many an hour between now and 
August 1 to lie in the shade and make short pleasure trips, or 
get a neighbor to do the few chores and stay away awhile. The 
number of chickens raised for the <13 years that we have been here 
is about as follows : 700, 1,000, 1,200, 1,500, 2,000, 2,500, 3,000, 4,200, 
3,200, 4,200, 5,000, 5,100 and 5,200, and I have 3,400 on hand now 
(January 25). I hope and expect to get a good 2,000 more before 
this season is gone." 



We have said that a true hen man can take any breed and evolve 
the business hen. That is correct, and he will do it by studying the 
hen and adapting her whims and needs to his conditions. There are 
hundreds of ways of keeping hens. The methods may differ, but the 
foundation principles are the same, viz., selecting a good "hen and 
keeping her clean, healthy, contented and well fed. That is the 
entire story. The majority of hen failures are due to a violation 
of one of these principles. Sometimes it is the hen. People will 
persist in breeding from birds which they know do not lay well and 
which have been lazy scrubs for generations. The flock is inbred 
year after year with no effort to select the best. The result is what 
you might expect from selecting small seed potatoes from the pile 
year after year. It is now known that most of the small potatoes 
are all grown by certain definite hills. If you keep planting these 
small potatoes you will grow more small ones, because that is the 
habit and destiny of such tubers. When you pick the seed out of 
the pile where all have been thrown together you never know what 
you are getting, but the chances favor the poorest selection you could 
make. When you select the best hills in the field, and use that seed, 
you know what you have, and are breeding for improvement. It is 
just the same with hens. A man who wants to improve his birds 
should get an ideal hen in his mind and hunt through his flock for 
it. Pick out the hens which come up to this ideal, and use them 
for breeders with the best male bird you can afford. There is not a 
farm in this country where such practice could not be followed out, 
or where it would not pay better than any ordinary farm operation. 
Mr. Geo. A. Cosgrove gives sound advice to a would-be farmer, but 
he does not tell us how he worked out this theory with such success. 
Mr. Cosgrove took Wyandottes and followed the plan outlined above, 
selecting the hens which came nearest his standard of what a busi- 
ness Wyandotte ought to be. As a result he finally produced a bird 
which attracted attention — first at home, then through the State, and 
finally throughout the country. The same thing can be done with 
any breed, or one can start with a flock of common barnyard scuubs 
and by selection and good breeding turn out a uniform flock of 
hens that will pay twice the profit the old ones did. 


But unless this superior hen is healthy and contented she will 
not pay. Contentment in a hen is not based on any intellectual 
experience but on comfort, cleanliness and good food. Some people 
have a curious idea of what a "clean" henhouse is. Lice are respon- 
sible for more failures with hens than those who make the failures 
will admit. The man who can stay by a lousy henhouse until it is 
actually clean deserves to succeed and usually will. The insects are 
small and the cracks are large, and every hair's breadth must be 
covered. On a fruit farm where lime-sulphur is used for killing 
the scale a hen man can hardly do better than soak the inside of the 
henhouses with this odorous mess. The profit on some hen farms is 
largely eaten up by the young roosters when they are permitted to 
run at large with the flock. These birds become a great nuisance. 
They should be separated as soon as possible, shut up and fattened 
rapidly and sold. Let them all go except the few needed for breeders. 
As for feeding, probably the greatest mistake is made in the Fall just 
after cold weather starts in. At this time the hens seldom lay, and 
are profitless. They are also deprived of most of the insects and 
green food which make a good share of their food as they range 
about. With both pullets and old hens there will be a "drought" of 
eggs for at least 60 or 75 days. No profit can be expected at this 
time, yet these hens should be full fed in the most careful manner — 
just as an athlete should be fed on strong food through the weeks 
of his training. These hens will never pay if they are scrimped in 
their food during the Fall and early Winter, yet the temptation is 
great to neglect them then ; in fact, this is one of the hardest things 
for the beginner to learn. It will help to have a good flock of old 
Hens and fat young roosters to sell at this time. With money com- 
ing in at this season it is not quite so hard to pay money out for 
feeding the idle hens. During the Summer the idle hens may be left 
on a ration that will merely keep them going, but when the Fall 
comes and they go into their houses stuff them with good food. 
These principles are understood by all successful hen men, and it is 
interesting to see how they are applied under different condition. 

A hen man in New Jersey has a small place on which he grows 
vegetables and fruit. There is not enough land to follow the colony 
plan of having small houses scattered over a large field, so he follows 
a sort of hen soiling system. The hens are kept in small flocks of a 
dozen or more — each flock in a small house with a light yard of wire 
fence panels attached. No food is put inside the house or yard, but 
in dishes outside — the hens putting their heads through the fence to 
eat and drink. Every day or two the house and coop are pulled 
on to fresh ground — usually sod. In this way the hens are always on 


clean ground and always have good pasture. Many coops can be 
kept on an acre, and the manure is deposited evenly over the field. 
Of course the labor of changing the coops must be considered, but 
this plan is well suited to a small farm where the land is needed for 
fruit or vegetables. You can easily see how such a system would 
fit the land for a crop. The hens will tear up weeds, burrow in the 
soil and leave the manure behind them. They are clean and con- 

So they are in a California fruit orchard where much the same 
plan is followed. In this case the houses and yards are on runners, 
and are just about long enough to stretch from tree to tree in the 
rows. After standing for a few days in one place they are hauled 
one row ahead or back as desired by hitching a horse to the house. 
Thus they travel back and forth through the orchard, working the 
soil and leaving the manure near the trees. The orchard mentioned 
is well filled with these movable houses, and the hens give a good 
income and take good care of the trees. If such an orchard can be 
seeded to rape and Crimson clover the hens will get one-third of 
their living from such a green crop. 

In great contrast with this is the way a farmer in North Dakota 
winters his hens. In this cold country the hen cannot be contented 
unless she be kept warm, and lumber may be too expensive to make 
the business henhouse profitable. So this farmer puts up a frame- 
work of poles and throws straw around and over it. Straw has no 
commercial value out there, and it can be piled on four feet thick 
if necessary. A door and windows are put in, and the hens are 
literally stacked up against Winter in comfortable quarters. Such 
hens when well fed and watered do well inside their straw houses, 
and imagine that Summer has come in February. These stack 
houses are also often made for cattle. The cows have the advantage 
of the hens in the fact that they can and do turn in and eat up their 
own house of straw. The hens cannot do this, and if they leave the 
house well filled with vermin it is an easy matter in that country to 
burn down the old house and build another like it the next season. 

Something of the same plan is followed by a farmer in Virginia, 
near the opening to Chesapeake Bay. In this mild climate the hens 
may run out all Winter. Crimson clover is seeded in late Summer 
to serve as pasture for them. Little houses like army tents are made 
by driving in poles and heaping hay or straw over them. The hens 
live in these little houses and range on the clover, obtaining a good 
share of their living from it, and giving a good supply of Winter 
eggs at low cost. The reverse of this plan was followed for some 
years by Mr. Hayward, of New Hampshire. He also had little 


tent-like houses, but his were well made of lumber, with solid back, 
but a wire screen front. Pullets were put into these little houses in 
the late Fall and kept there without removal or range for about a 
year, when they were taken out and sold as hens to make room for 
a new supply of pullets. Mr. Hayward did not hatch any stock 
himself, but bought young birds in northern Vermont and brought 
them to his farm. He kept 5,000 or more of these hens, and made a 
good profit — buying all the grain and putting the hen manure on 
an apple orchard. The contrast between this plan of close confine- 
ment and the Virginia plan of free range on green clover is great, 
and shows how the business hen can be adapted to almost any con- 

This plan of close confinement is the principle employed in the 
so-called Philo system. The idea is to hatch the chicks in the ordi- 
nary way and raise them in a "heatless brooder;" that is, a box so 
padded and protected that little if any heat will escape. Gentle 
ventilation is provided, so that the animal heat of the chicks is 
retained, and this is sufficient to keep them warm. Under Philo's 
"system" the birds are kept closely confined after they graduate from 
this heatless brooder. They are supposed to pass their entire life 
in a cabinet somewhat smaller than a piano box. Those we have 
seen in their narrow quarters were of good size, but seemed listless 
and dull. The plan might work with a few hens in a back yard, but 
we do not consider it adapted for really business hen keeping. The 
so-called "Corning" system is largely adapted from the excellent 
methods worked out at the Maine Experiment Station. The hens 
are crowded close together in the houses, but are kept clean and given 
good food and care. As one visitor remarked, "The hens are packed 
so close that they seem to be piled up in heaps." It is a special 
method of forcing hens to high production, but it remains to be seen 
whether this heavy forcing will give chicks strong enough to keep 
up the vigor of the stock. The egg yield is said to be heavy, and 
high prices are obtained, in some cases 60 cents or more per dozen 
for table eggs. It is claimed that with these high prices the hens 
give a profit of over $6 each. While such "systems" are interesting 
as showing the possibilities of poultry keeping, it is a mistake to 
present them as if anyone could follow out the plan and obtain 
similar results. That is impossible — as much so as it would be for 
an average man to take the place of a great lawyer before a jury, or 
for an untrained clerk to step right into a blacksmith's shop and 
shoe a horse. Let it be clearly understood that these various "sys- 
tems" all have some merit, but that the chief reason why they are 
talked about is not to benefit mankind, but to sell the '"secret" con- 


nected with the system, and usually this secret has been talked for 
years. A very good statement of many principles of the Corning 
system is given in Dr. Burr's story of large henhouse in Chapter 17. 

Some of the English farmers have a modification of the colony 
system. They mount small poultry houses on wheels and haul them 
from place to place in the grain fields. The hens pick up the scattered 
grain and come back to the wagon houses to lay and to drink. In 
this way the fields are well gleaned and a good supply of eggs 
obtained. We have heard of a man who sailed down the Mississippi 
River on a flatboat with an outfit of bees and ducks. The bees 
hunted honey all the way along, while the ducks made their home on 
the boat and got nearly their entire living as they went along. In 
other cases vessels on the ocean have carried hens in coops somewhat 
like those built for the Philo "system," and had a supply of fresh 
eggs for the entire voyage. Another strange experience was that of 
a man who carried an outfit of baby chicks to Florida in the early 
Fall. His theory was that these little chicks could be forced ro as 
to provide good-sized broilers for the great hotels, which do an 
enormous business during the Winter. The scheme did not work 
properly, for during the short Winter days the baby chicks did not 
grow as was expected. It would seem as if Florida would furnish 
a wonderful opportunity for the business hen. The State is thronged 
every Winter with thousands of visitors literally shaking money and 
calling for good things to eat. And yet most of the chickens and 
eggs served to them come out of cold storage houses at the North. 
In Florida a remarkable remedy for hawks is advocated. Chickens 
are fed strychnine in their food, or the poison is pasted on their 
heads. The theory is that this poison will not kill the chickens, 
while it will destroy the hawks. The belief in this remedy is quite 
general throughout the State. The explanation is a theory that both 
the animals and plant are natives of India, and probably the animals 
become wonted to it before they were domesticated. No doubt the 
younger animals would be more immune than older ones. • 

The "colony plan" has been worked out with variations in all the 
corners of the country. In New England are several large farms 
where the hens practically wait on themselves. The feed is kept 
in hoppers — either in the form of dry mash or with the different 
grains in separate bins. There is usually a brook or pond where 
the hens range, and in Winter they often depend on snow for their 
water supply. Some experiments have been tried in keeping hens in 
small tents during the Winter — with grain fed in hoppers and snow 
to "drink." This would not suit the large-combed breeds like the 
Leghorns, but the warmer clad breeds with small combs like R. I. 


Reds or Brahmas actually keep good natured under such treatment 
and lay eggs. In fact we think the great supply of market eggs in 
the future will come from these large "hen ranches." These will not 
produce the expensive Winter eggs, but will send out great quan- 
tities of Summer eggs which can be held in cold storage or preserved 
in water glass. Considering the low cost of production when things 
are fixed so one man can care for over 1,000 hens, there is profit in 
producing Summer eggs on the colony plan. The latest scheme is 
to raise the chicks in scattered brooder houses, separate out the 
roosters early, and then by changing the inside fixtures to use the 
house for wintering the pullets. 

The increased use of the colony plan or range system has 
increased the peculiar disease known as "limberneck," which is 
described under the chapter on diseases. At one time the greater 
number of our questions referred to colds or bowel troubles — now 
they deal with blindness or the nervous trouble called "limberneck." 
The chief cause is eating putrid meat, and this the hens pick up on 
the range. It may be some dead fowl or the carcass of some vermin 
which they eat, but there is evidently serious trouble from it. All 
such carcasses should be buried at once. Do not let them stay near 
the yards and houses. We put them in deep holes by the side of 
fruit trees or vines. It is a mistake to throw them on the manure 
pile where the hens and other animals can get at them. 

There are still many places where large flocks of hens are kept 
in one house. In some cases such are very successful, but the general 
tendency is to break up the flocks and separate them into smaller 
houses. The liability to diseases is greater when the hens are 
crowded in close quarters, and the sick hen must be attended to at 
once. She will show her condition in various ways, but when a hen 
drops her feathers, puts her head down and mopes about it is time 
to attend to her. Get her away from the rest at once. We have a 
small room known as the hen hospital, where such sick hens are 
taken. A barrel with clean straw at the bottom is a good hospital 
bed' for a hen. She must be kept warm and dry, and in many cases 
a few days of "rest" with food and some tonic like "Douglas Mix- 
ture" in the water will revive her. Read the chapter on "Diseases" 
and treat the hen as directed, but it seldom pays to try to dose an 
ordinary hen. She is hardly worth it, and nine times out of 10 if 
well fed and free from lice and permitted to keep dry she will not 
"mope" or drop her feathers. 

It cannot be repeated too often that in all these different methods 
one of the hardest battles is that against vermin. We are often 
asked how to destroy lice on the living hen. Mr. Cosgrove mentions 


one method, but it is often necessary to sift the hen's feathers full 
of powder. A good powder for this purpose is described under 
"Diseases." We hold the hen up by one leg and sift the powder 
among her feathers by dusting it out of a pepper box or from a tin 
can with holes punched through the top with a small nail. In 
some cases the hens are put into a box hung like a revolving churn. 
A handful of the powder is put in with them and the box turned 
over and over. The hens flutter and are well dusted. Head lice 
are harder to kill, and they often torture the chicks. A mixture of 
sulphur and lard will get them. 

Another question often asked about all these systems is how to 
prevent loss from chicken thieves. This is a serious problem in 
many localities near a large town or close to a well-travelled road. 
In some cases electric alarms are connected with all doors and win- 
dows, but these do not always work, and a bright thief can cut the 
wires. A good dog is the best protection. He should be trained to 
sleep by day and watch by night, and given full swing of the premises. 
The doors of the yards should be built to swing on a weight so the 
dog can make his way anywhere. The right kind of a dog will 
prove a genuine uncle to the business hen. He should not be per- 
mitted to make friends with everyone. A dog with a dash of bull 
or bloodhound blood will be better than some good-natured breed. 
A poultry keeper in New York had such a dog with a cross of 
Cuban bloodhound. This terrible animal was respected by every 
chicken thief within 20 miles. Another man kept a large*, good- 
natured dog as chicken guard. Thieves stole the dog, carried him 
away and "got acquainted with him." When he came home his 
master thought he would guard as before ; but when the thieves came 
back he welcomed them as friends. 



In thickly settled regions there is often great loss from cats. 
Many so-called pet cats are little better than wild animals and unless 
they are carefully watched they will do great damage to the young 
chickens. A good shotgun and a marksman will do much to get 
rid of these marauders, but it will usually make great trouble with 
the neighbors if cats are killed in this way, because most people 
will not admit that their pets would ever kill a chicken. We have 
found it an excellent plan to cover the runs where the chickens are 
confined with twine netting such as is used by fishermen. This is 
cheaper than wire netting, lighter and easier to handle and can be 
taken down with ease when the chickens are large enough and 
packed away for the next season's use. These nets are also a good 
protection from hawks and a large pen can be protected in this way 
at reasonable cost. 

The poultryman must understand that dampness will be death 
to his flock. He must try above all things to give the hen a dry 
place in which she can scratch and dust, for a damp cold house will 
be sure to bring on cases of rheumatism or colds. Special pains 
should be taken to have the floor of the house well drained. In 
case a dirt floor is used ditches should be dug around the house 
and filled with stones. We know of one case where even this 
precaution did not prevent damp floors as there was a heavy drip 
from the eaves all along the house. This was overcome by running 
a trough along the eaves so as to carry the water away to the end 
of the house. This made all the difference between dampness and 
dry floor. 

It is now generally agreed by poultrymen that where fowls are 
feeding heavily on a mixture of food an ample supply of charcoal is 
necessary. We have tried the experiment again and again of taking 
the charcoal away from the hens and we are thoroughly satisfied 
that it is a necessity if we would have best results, especially in 


Winter. When the hens are housed, we would keep the charcoal 
constantly before them where they may help themselves to it from a 
hopper and they will show that it is a necessity by the way they 
clean it up. 

The trouble from egg eating often becomes a nuisance, espe- 
cially where hens are kept in close confinement. The poultryman 
sometimes finds the habit firmly fixed before he is aware of it. We 
have found that some birds are confirmed egg-eaters. They are 
smarter than the rest and know how to break the shell and get at 
the contents. We have seen them wait until the egg was laid and 
then deliberately break the egg and set the example of eating it. We 
should never attempt to tarry with these hens, but kill and eat them 
at once. They are a nuisance in the flock and cannot well be cured. 
Various plans are suggested for handling them, such as cutting off 
the end of the beak so that they cannot strike the egg without 
hurting themselves or of blowing out the contents of the egg and 
filling it with a mixture of red pepper or some bitter substance. 
The theory of this is that the hen will break such an egg, get one 
taste of it and certainly conclude that she never did like eggs any 
way. This is a pretty theory but will not Work in practice. We 
advise killing the confirmed egg-eaters, feeding an increased supply 
of meat and grain food, making the hens work for their grain and 
arranging the nest so that the eggs must be laid in the dark. 

Hens sometimes become cannibals. Little chickens sometimes 
turn upon one member of the flock, chase it about, peck it to death, 
and then deliberately consume the body. We have known this to 
happen in a number of cases. Full grown birds will in the same 
way sometimes turn upon one of their members and peck it to death. 
This trouble is generally started by some bruise or injury on the 
victim. The blood starts and the other fowls peck at it curiously 
and get a taste. If they have not been properly fed with meat 
food this taste of blood appears to craze them and they will chase 
the afflicted fowl about pecking at it, opening the wound and 
weakening it until it dies. The best remedy is to feed meat and 
take the wounded bird out of the flock as soon as found. 

We are frequently asked what substance is best for use in the 
dust boxes. The hen must have a chance to dust herself through 
the Winter, for this is her method of taking a bath and she will 
not get along well without it. A dry dirt floor raised above the 


surrounding ground so that dampness will not rise to the surface 
will give the hen her choice, but it often happens that on concrete 
or board floors dust boxes must be provided properly. Sifted coal 
ashes will do as well as anything. The cinders should be sifted 
out and the dry fine powder used. Do not use wood ashes. They 
contain lime and will take the gloss off the plumage. A mixture 
of coal ashes and floats or ground phosphate rock will make a 
very good dust for the birds. Road dust taken up from the road 
during a drought will work well. Coal ashes are also excellent for 
use under the droppings board; they do not contain lime and will 
not drive the ammonia away. 

It frequently happens that all through the Summer as the chicks 
grow up a number of them lose all their feathers and go about 
naked except for a few wing feathers. We are frequently asked 
the cause for this trouble. Most poultrymen have observed it. 
It appears to be characteristic of some of the heavier breeds like the 
American breeds or the Asiatics and various reasons have been 
given for it. It is probably due more than anything else to a lack 
of bodily vigor or ability to assimilate the food properly. Now 
and then these naked chickens grow and clothe themselves properly 
before the Winter, but as a rule they suffer when cold weather 
comes and are not likely to thrive. As a matter of business it will 
hardly pay to keep them. 

The hen keeper must not only use his eyes but be trained to 
use his ears as well, for he must be quick to distinguish the char- 
acteristic rattle or sound of roup. During the season when roup is 
dangerous it will pay a hen man to go slowly at night after the hens 
are on the roost and listen carefully for this roupy cry or sound. 
Practice will enable him to distinguish it and whenever it is de- 
tected his best plan is to take the afflicted bird out at once for 
treatment. It is folly to let her remain in the house, also with the 
little chicks. The hen man soon comes to know from the sound 
which the chickens make whether they are happy or ailing. In 
fact the chicken is like a baby in making its wants known. We 
know of a case where a man who was succeeding well as a hen 
man found that he was losing his hearing and he quickly realized 
what a loss this would be to him because he had come to depend 
upon his ears in detecting disease or lack of food. His wife and 
children came to the rescue and went with him at night listening to 
the hens and chickens and acting as ears for him. In this way he 
was able to detect disease in spite of his defective hearing. This 


picking out ailing hens or chickens before disease has a hard grip 
on them is one of the tricks of the trade. 

Every poultryman should keep a medicine chest. While we do 
not approve of drugs or of dosing hens continually, there are a few 
remedies which a good poultryman will always keep on hand. The 
chapter on diseases gives simple methods of handling disease, 
but in the medicine chest we would recommend the following. First 
of all a sharp little ax and the inclination to use it even upon your 
best hens when they become afflicted with an incurable disease. 
After all the ax is the best agent for the help of the flock. Then 
keep a good quantity of vaseline. It is excellent for frozen combs, 
wounds, and many other things noted in the disease chapter. The 
Douglas mixture as is noted in that chapter is made by dissolving 
one-half pound sulphate of iron in a gallon of water and adding 
one ounce sulphuric acid. The clear liquid is used in the proportion 
of one pint to a pail of water, and is one of the best tonics to be 
used. Also keep a package of ginger and a package of red pepper. 
In many cases small quantities of this in the mash will act as a stim- 
ulant and help the hens. Charcoal would hardly be called a medicine. 
We regard it more as a food and you will need more than you 
can get in the medicine chest. Fair quantities of chlorate of potash 
and permanganate of potash are useful and are mentioned else- 
where. A bottle of peroxide of hydrogen is very useful to apply 
to wounds and stop the flow of blood. There should also be a 
quantity of tincture of iron. Kerosene will of course be on hand 
for the brooders and incubators and a quantity of carbolic acid 
and gasoline with plaster of paris to be used in making lice pow- 
der, which is described elsewhere. 

The meat supply for the poultry flock often presents something 
of a problem. Beef scraps are excellent, but they are high priced 
and they will not keep properly for a long time. Many farmers can 
obtain through the Winter various carcasses of horses, cows or 
similar animals and they are able to grind or chop them up with 
great benefit to the hen. During Winter when the weather is cold 
the disposition of these carcasses is not difficult. We have known 
cases where large chunks of the meat were hung up attached to a 
string in the henhouse so that the hens were obliged to jump up and 
peck at the meat, after the plan in which cabbage is usually fed. 
This gave the hen exercise and it was surprising to see how they 
polished off the bones. In many cases the carcasses are "chopped up 
and packed away in ice or snow, using barrels or boxes for the 


package. In this frozen condition they will keep until late Spring 
and are fed as above described, run through a bone cutter or 
cooked in kettles. We have heard of cases where such meat kept 
reasonably well even in warm weather by packing it as soon as the 
carcasses were cut up in layers of ground limestone. We do not 
mean the burned lime, but the limestone crushed without the burn- 
ing. With the meat entirely surrounded with this limestone it 
remains sweet for a long time. Charcoal will keep the meat for 
a reasonable time, but it makes it dirty and dries it out consider- 
ably. Where there is a cooker on the place, the meat can be thor- 
oughly boiled and jammed down into airtight packages of stone 
or wood packed in solidly. It is done in much the same way that 
sausages are kept in the country. Such meat can be kept for 
several weeks at least. Where one is keeping a large flock the plan 
of utilizing such carcasses in Winter is a good one whenever the 
animals are not diseased but are killed, as many are, when they are 
too old for work or when they meet with some accident. Some 
years ago we gave an old mare to a poultryman who was to kill 
her humanely and feed the meat to his hens. A month later we 
found that the horse was still alive. She had been put in one end 
of a house and acted as a stove, her bodily heat keeping up the 
temperature. As the hen man put it, "A hen would get cold feet, 
fly on to old Katie's back, warm her feet and then go and lay 
another egg." 

One of the most annoying things in poultry keeping is to have 
a supply of rats with access to the feed house. It is often much 
cheaper to buy a large supply of grain in the Fall, keep it and 
feed it out through the Winter, but whenever this is done great 
care must be taken to keep the feed dry and away from the rats. 
It is often possible to save from 10 to 20 cents per hundred in 
buying at the right time. If, however, the feed house is not rat 
proof you will more than lose the money saved on the feed. All 
feed houses of this kind should be raised above the ground from 
18 inches to two feet at least and are better when perched upon 
cement posts. Let the timber be put directly upon these posts, 
and, in order to make doubly sure that the rats shall not enter, an 
inverted tin pan may be placed at the top of the posts. Then 
proceed to build in the ordinary way, making the steps of the door 
movable, and never leave them against the building, except when 
some one is in the house. Never under any circumstances permit 
piles of rubbish to be placed anywhere near the building. Other- 
wise the rats will run to the top of these "piles and jump from 


them into the house. They can only enter by crawling up the 
sides of the posts, getting in through the steps or jumping from a pile 
of rubbish. As we have stated they cannot climb the cement posts, 
and if they are of wood the inverted pans will turn them back. 
If you forget and leave the movable steps in place over night the 
chances are that your house will be over-run by rats and that you 
will lose a fair share of your grain. 

A sheep kept in a henhouse has been found useful in keeping 
down the supply of vermin. It is stated that the hens and roosts were 
freer from lice when the sheep was on hand. The wool of the 
sheep is oily and oil is death to lice. There seems to be no better 
explanation of it. 

Every poultry keeper should know how to make the lime- 
sulphur wash. It is the great medicine for trees and will kill all 
the lice it can reach. Take 40 pounds of stone lime, 20 pounds of 
sulphur and five pounds caustic soda for 60 gallons of water, or 
smaller proportions for less water. Slake the lime by pouring 
water over it. Make a thin paste of the sulphur and pour it in 
while the lime is slaking. Keep stirring. Dissolve the caustic soda 
in water, pour into the lime water and keep stirring. It will make 
a reddish brown liquid which may burn the fingers and eyes — but 
it will kill the lice. 

People who live in town often keep a small flock of hens and 
some of them make great records. We find the larger breeds better 
for this back-yard work and from choice would take Light Brahmas. 
Good strains of this breed will lay well if properly handled, and they 
stand confinement well. The hens are good sitters and the chicks 
grow rapidly , into a large carcass. R. I. Reds, Wyandottes and 
Plymouth Rocks are all good for the back yard. We would rather 
give such active breeds as Leghorns a chance for more range and a 
larger yard. Some people keep a dozen hens in a piano box with 
great success, but it is not safe to figure that because a dozen hens 
pay a large profit each 2,000 will do equally well. Mr. S. D. Hainley, 
of Pennsylvania, wrote us that he made his hens pay a profit of $4.68 
each. When asked for the figures he gives them. They are correct, 
but you must remember that Mr. Hainley is one of the men who are 
"half hen." His estimate of the value of good hen manure is right, 
if you have a good garden of vegetables or fruit. 

"You ask me how I made $4.68 a year per hen and what kind 
they v/ere? About the best way I can explain that is to give you 


the account for that year, which was 1905, when I had 12 hens. In 
January they laid 194 eggs which sold for $5.66. February they only 
laid 126, for it was a very cold, stormy month all through. Cold, 
stormy weather affects all live stock (human included). It seems 
more severe on fowls for they do not have the body to hold the ani- 
mal heat to keep them warm. If we do not protect them they will 
fall off in the egg production, and as I have not the time nor inclina- 
tion to do this, my chickens go without it. But these 126 eggs sold 
for $3.67. In March they laid 257, sold for $6.70: April, 188, sold 
for $3.92 ; May, 150, sold for $2.75 ; June, 98, sold for $1.64 ; July, 126, 
sold for $2.10; August, 54, sold for 90 cents; September, 30, sold for 
62 cents ; October, 31, sold for 64 cents ; November, 42, sold for 
$1.05; December, 72, sold for $1.80. About the first of July I sold 
live hens so that left me seven to lay the rest of the year. I set 76 
eggs and hatched out 55. You may think that was poor hatching, 
and it certainly was, for I had six hens sitting on these eggs and 
there was one old thing that went from one nest to another and 
would fight the other hens off and break the eggs. From these 55 
chicks I raised 48. A rat took the other seven when they were three 
weeks old. The way I feed is to have a deep litter in which I 
scatter all the grain they get, which is corn, oats, buckwheat, and at 
the present time I have wheat screenings. This is fed at night, and 
as soon as they get off the roost they go to work. Whatever they 
get they have to work for, for I have to work for everything I get 
and I am going to apply that rule to everything on the place, for I 
believe that work is the best cure for most ailments. I have not 
had a sick chicken on the place for five years, for they have to 
hustle for a living and that gives them a good hardy constitution. 
The chicks when hatched are rugged and they start in to scratch for 
a living, for they get no soft feed, no mashes for me. The chicks 
have a grist mill of their own and nature does not supply feed of 
this kind. I know it will make those fowls grow "faster that are 
bred to it, but I believe it weakens the digestion and they grow soft 
and weak so that they cannot put up a successful struggle against 
the many diseases that attack them. I like to give them all the 
green food I can, such as small potatoes (raw), beets, cabbage and 
anything bulky and green that they will eat. I also have a green 
bone cutter and they get bone three times a week in Summer or when 
I can get it fresh, and in the Winter it is before them about all the 
time. These 48 chicks with what stock I sold in Fall brought me 
$31.43 ; eggs, $33.45 ; total, $64.93. Eggs set were worth $1.58 ; feed, 
$10.76. Dr. Burr says that the droppings are worth 30 cents a head 
per year, $3.60; that would fdve me a grand total of $68.53; less 


eggs and feed, $56.19, leaves an average of $4.68^4 a year. This is 
an average of 138 eggs per year. A dozen of these eggs weighed 
29 ounces. These chickens are Barred and White P. Rocks. All 
stock and eggs are sold at market price. I never received over 35 
cents for a dozen of eggs and not over 15 cents a pound for stock. 
You may think that was an off year, but in 1907 a larger flock paid 
me a net profit of $4.77J4 each. This year I cannot count them 
before they are hatched, but I am going to try to make them pay 
me $5 apiece. But when I look at the price of feed, corn $1.10, oats 
70 cents, wheat screenings $1.15 per bushel, it makes me smile but 
it will show what is in me." 

To show how hens may sometimes be left to take care of them- 
selves, we give the following little statement from Massachusetts. 
We have had many statements from clerks and mechanics who 
worked long hours and in Winter could only look after the hens at 
night and morning. Yet by arranging their work systematically 
they made the hens lay and developed a fine flock. In several such 
cases these men were finally able to give up their town work and make 
a good living from the flock which they developed from a few hens. 

"I began 1907 with three mongrel old hens and 16 purebred R. I. 
Red pullets. I could give the fowls no attention except at the two 
ends of the day and on Sundays and holidays, for I worked all day 
in the city, nine miles away; so they got no care by daylight during 
the short Winter days. Before leaving for work each morning in 
Winter there was the following hen work to see to: Open up the 
henhouse, raise the window curtain and adjust the ventilator, fork 
over the scratching litter, adding to it a little hay or dry leaves, 
together with such grain as would tempt the hens to scratch, replen- 
ish the feed hopper, give the hens some green food such as a turnip, 
beet or cabbage to peck at, fill the drinking pail with warm water, 
and leave hot mash in the feed pan. This mash conskted of table 
scraps and meal, shorts, middlings and ground oats, with beef scraps 
or animal meal added, and the whole seasoned with a little salt. 
Occasionally charcoal was added. Many of the hens learned to 
come down from the roost and eat by lantern light; the others got 
their mash cold. On the south side of the henhouse was a glass- 
covered run where the hens sunned themselves. The run was 
really an A-shaped coop made of old windows with the broken panes 
replaced by tarred paper or shingles. During the Summer the hens 
had the run of an inclosure which included a gravel bank and some 
brushy hillside, and sometimes they were let out to forage in the 


"I set the first hen on 10 R. I. Red eggs, January 22, in the cold 
loft of the barn, but the nest-box was packed all around with excelsior. 
Each evening I took the hen off the nest and waited with the lantern 
while she took food and water. On February 13 all 10 eggs had 
hatched, but the temperature that day was five below zero and one 
of the chicks got chilled and died. The remaining nine survived and 
proved to be seven pullets and two cockerels. Though the loft floor 
was strewn with gravel and hay, a place where water froze in a few 
minutes was not suitable for young chicks or for the old hen either, 
so I moved them outdoors into sheltered coop packed inside with 
fine ashes and hay and banked up outside with coal ashes and snow. 
The top of the coop was flat and was made of an old window hinged 
to swing upward. Here the chicks got all the sun to be had, and 
when they had outgrown this coop they were put into another and 
larger one, made of old windows partly covered with bagging to 
give shade. They were fed commercial chick feeds, with other 
ingredients added, such as beef scraps, millet, rape seed, hemp seed, 
or chopped cabbage or onion. They seemed to grow visibly between 
morning and night. The first cockerel crowed at 10 weeks of age. 
The first pullet laid May 31 at three months 19 days ; the second laid 
June 5 at three months 24 days, and on June 8 three pullets laid. In 
June this flock of seven February-hatched pullets laid 42 eggs, and 
in July 69 eggs. At the close of the year my 19 hens had paid a 
profit of $1.35 per hen." o. j. f. 

During the Summer we receive many questions about preserv- 
ing eggs. The hen does not distribute her favors evenly through- 
out the year. She lays well from April to August and then takes 
a vacation. Many a farm flock will not give an egg for four 
months. The theory of preserving is to take a one-cent egg and 
hold it so that it may be used when eggs are worth four cents or 
more. Formerly eggs were packed in salt or in thick lime water 
or wash. This kept them after a fashion but the salt eggs were 
likely to taste, while the limed eggs had a brittle shell, which pre- 
vented their use for some purposes. Commercial eggs are now 
kept in cold storage, such handling having become a great business. 
It is out of the question for a farmer to put up cold storage but 
by using water glass he can hold the cheap eggs of May and June 
until needed in Winter. 

Water glass, or silicate of soda, can be bought at most drug 
stores or from large manufacturers. It is a thick creamy liquid 
which dissolves in water. The operation of preserving is simple. 
Nine parts of water are put in a wood or stone vessel and one part 


of the water glass poured in. It is better to boil the water thor- 
oughly before using, letting it cool of course before mixing. Stir up 
the solution thoroughly and cover with a lid which prevents evap- 
oration and keeps out the dust. Put the package in a cold 
cellar until it is wanted for use. Perfectly fresh eggs kept in this 
solution will be good at the end of a year, but they must be sound 
and fresh when put into the solution. You cannot expect it to 
restore stale or spoiled specimens. . One pound of water glass prop- 
erly diluted with nine pounds of water will cover about 14 dozen 
eggs. Put the eggs into the liquid gently so they will not crack 
and then put on a wooden cover so as to keep them in the solution. 
Dirty eggs should be wiped clean before putting in. We have used 
the same solution two years in succession, but it would be better to 
start each year with a fresh supply, as the cost is not great. The 
only change that you will note in such eggs is that the white or 
albumen will appear more watery than it is in perfectly fresh eggs, 
otherwise they resemble new-laid eggs in appearance after being 
thoroughly rinsed and dried off. They can be used for all house- 
hold purposes except it may be boiling in the shell. When boiled 
they crack and they are likely to split if heated too suddenly and 
again when boiled the interior does not look as inviting when 
opened. For most cooking purposes, however, they are quite equal 
to the fresh eggs and we have found that in cold weather these 
eggs will keep well for two weeks after coming out of the solution. 
We must understand, however, just what the limitations of this 
process are. These eggs are not fresh and should never be offered 
for sale as such. Some people have endeavord to do this by putting 
up barrels of them when eggs were cheap and tried to sell them 
through the Winter as fresh eggs. In every case they came to 
grief and practically ruined their trade in actual fresh eggs, as their 
customers had no confidence in them afterward. If commercial eggs 
are to be kept they would much better be put in cold storage. 
The water glass method is an excellent one for household purposes 
and where but a comparatively few dozen will be needed. With a 
stock of fresh eggs preserved in April and May there will be a 
supply for family use all through the Fall and Winter, but it must 
be repeated over and over that there is no use putting a stale egg 
into water glass. If you attempt this method make special prepara- 
tions to have the eggs fresh. Some people do not gather the eggs 
for several days and in such cases the egg may remain on the nest 
under a sitting hen for two days or more. In that case such an 
egg is about 15 per cent chicken and will prove a nuisance when 
put into water glass. When eggs come to the city for sale they are 


promptly candled, that is, passed before a powerful light so that the 
candler can quickly tell their condition. This is a business by itself 
and it would be impossible to deceive an expert, but some farmers 
do not realize just what a stale egg is. We know of one case 
where a man sent a quantity of eggs from the country guaranteeing 
that they had all been candled and were fresh. The candler in the 
city found a large proportion of them stale and so notified the 
shipper. He still insisted that they had been candled, but when 
asked how he candled them he said he stood inside of a barn and 
held the eggs up to a knot hole and looked through them. That 
might suit him but not the buyer. The best eggs for preserving 
are those from pens where no male birds are kept. 

The "rot" of the egg is due to bacteria, of which there are 
several kinds. This has been proved by cultivating these bacteria 
and putting them into perfectly fresh eggs. The rot developed rap- 
idly just as cream will ripen when a "starter" is put into it. Some 
of these bacteria are in the hen and enter the egg before it leaves 
her. Many eggs are infected while in the nest before they are 
taken up. In Connecticut nine different kinds of bacteria were taken 
from one nest. This ought to show anyone the folly of letting the 
nests become as filthy as some of them are. It has been found that 
eggs contain most of these rot bacteria in late Summer. They are 
most free from them in April and May and that is the best season 
for taking eggs for preserving. 

You will notice that the American and Asiatic breeds lay brown 
eggs varying from light to very dark. These breeds are well 
feathered and are bred with very small combs so they will stand the 
cold. The hens which lay white eggs are of a different type, ner- 
vous, with thin feathering and large combs, and this large comb 
is the special target for Jack Frost. The white egg is desirable 
in most market but many poultrymen want a more rough and 
ready breed than the Leghorn. They are after the "hen in fur," 
that is, one which can stand frost and still lay a white egg. Mr. 
Cosgrove says in his chapter that the Connecticut Experiment Sta- 
tion is trying to breed a Wyandotte strain of white egg layers. The 
hen they are working on is not a pure Wyandotte but a mixture 
of breeds. You will see that a Wyandotte, a "Rock" or a "Red" 
can squat down on the nest and in this way keep her feet warm. 
Her comb is small and she can put her head under her wing. 
Thus she is fully protected by her warm feathers. A Leghorn 
under the same conditions could not put her big comb in her 
"pocket" and on a cold night in a colony house it would be frosted. 


Thus what is wanted is the Leghorn's ability to lay white eggs with 
the "fur" of the warmer breeds. It seems strange that in all the 
attempts at breed making this idea has not been worked out before. 
It is practical and the combination has already been made in 
Connecticut. Of course, in "making" such a bird, blood of the Leg- 
horn will be used to obtain the large white egg. Naturally the 
breeders who are now breeding Leghorns with success will say that 
this new breed is not needed. In their warm and comfortable houses 
there is little danger from frosted combs. They must remember, 
however, that new conditions have made new methods necessar}'. 
It has been frequently pointed out that the use of a dry mash in 
feeding has more than doubled the size of the flock which one man 
can control, while thick feathering and small comb will without 
doubt cheapen the cost of housing hens in a cold country. The 
"hen in fur" therefore has her place and it is worth while to try to 
develop her, though, as a rule, cross-breeding is to be avoided. In 
fact we may end this book, as we began it, by saying that there are 
few, if any, cast iron rules in poultry keeping. The hen man must fol- 
low certain general principles, yet he must win success if at all by 
learning from the hen how to adapt his particular circumstances and 
conditions to her needs or requirements. 



Bantams 168 

Breeds, Crossing 102 

Breeding, Limitations of 92 

Brooder House, Colony 40 

House, Gasoiihe-Heated. . 42 

House, Large 41 

Small 40 

Chick Brooder, Homemade.... 48 

Brooding 44, 113 

Embryo, Developing 25 

Outfit, Convenient 47 

Chicks, Baby, Selling 40 

Feeding 112 

In Brooder, Trouble with. 4t> 

Chicken Thieves. 179 

Chickens, Naked 182 

Cockerels, Fattening 52 

Combs, Frosted 75 

Cosgrove, Geo. A., Experience of 108 

Diarrhoea * 72 

White : 80 

Diseases, Communicable 71 

Ducks, Keeping 163 

Dust Boxes, Material for 181 

Egg Constituents of 16 

Distinguishing Sex in ... . 27 

Eating Habit 73, 181 

Fertility 22 

How Made 14 

Life Germ in ... 17 

Quality, Improving 98 

Shell, When Made 18 

Time Required to Make ... 21 

Type Fixed 23 

With Two Yolks 74 

Within an Egg 74 

Eggs, Abnormal 19 

Bloody 73 

Breeding for 95 

For Fancy Trade 120 

For Hatching, Cooling. ... 35 
For Hatching, Keeping ... 23 
For Hatching, Shipping. . . 25 

Marketing 116 

Natural Incubation of . . . . 38 

Package -for 118 

Preserving 188 

Rot in 189 

Selecting for Hatching... 24 
Shape, Size and £olor of. 18 

Testing . ...~ 36 

Turning 34 

Feather Pulling 75 

Feed Hopper, Hunter 51 

Hopper, Minnesota 52 

Trough, Burr 160 

Feeds, Analysis of.... 85 

Gapes, Treatment for 75 

Gasoline Heater, Details of . . . 4o 

Grits, Need of . : 88 

Guinea Fowls lOT 

Hen, Egg Organs of 15 

Feeding 82 

In Fur 190 

Law of 140 

Manure, Handling 138 

Young, Caring for 50 

Hens and Fruit 174 

Bleeding from Comb 69 

Blind 69 

Cannibal . 1S1 


Egg-Eating is 

How Mechanic Kept 187 

In Back Yard 185 

Kept by Woman 126 

Selecting 173 

With Bumble Foot 69 

Henhouse, Business 56 

Damp 180 

Interior 61 

i Straw 175 

Incubator Cellars 29 

Disinfecting "... 30 

Lamp, Regulating 31 

Regulating 30 

Thermometer 31 

Temperature for 32 

Ventilating 33 

Kaffir Corn for Poultry . . 87 

Lice 76, 112 

Limber Neck 77 

Lime Sulphur for Vermin .... 185 

Longevity, Breeding for 97 

Mash, Dry, How Made and Fed 89 

Meat, Breeding for 99 

Foods for Hens 88, 183 

Milk for Poultry 88 

Mites 78 

Nest, Trap 151 

Oats, Sprouted 87 

Pigeons and Squabs 163 

Poultry, Breeds of 9 

Devices, Homemade 143 

Diseases 68 

Dry Picking 122 

Fattening Coop 52 

Fitting for Exhibition x41 

Grading up 103, 123 

House, Burr 155 

House, Colony .• 65 

House, Gallup 54 

House, Large 66 

House, Sod 67 

Houses, Dampness in ... , 64 

Houses, Remodeling 63 

In-Breeding 106 

In Large Flocks 154 

Killing 121 

Line Breeding 107 

Medicine Chest 183 

Packing 123 

Purebred . * 100 

Scalding 122 

Selling Notes 124 

Systems 132 

With Chicken Pox 70 

With Colds 71 

With Crop Compaction... 71 

With Farm Crops 136 

Yard, Movable 152 

Rats, Damage from 184 

Roasters, Raising 169 

Roosters, Care of 105 

Getting Rid of 174 

Number Required 104 

Roup, Treatment for 78, 182 

Sheep in Henhouse 1S5 " 

Turkeys, Blackhead in ...... . 68 

Keeping 163 

Vent Gleet 79 

Vertigo, Cause of 80 

Worms in Poultry. .,..,..,,. 81