! .Fifth Edition, 1O,OOO, 1908.
lie to en I a nb Department of ^qricultnrc.
JOHN D. RITCHIE, Secretary.
POULTEY AND EGGS
MARKET AND EXPORT.
BY D. D. HYDEjCniEP POULTKY EXPERT.
The Hon. ROBERT McNAB, Minister for Agriculture.
BY AUTHORITY : JOHN MACKAY, GOVERNMENT PRINTER.
[Fifth Edition, 10,000, 19O8,
Jhirr SUalanb Hepartment of
JOHN D. RITCHIE, Secretary.
POULTEY AND EGGS
MARKET AND EXPORT.
BY D. D. HYDE, CHIEF POULTRY EXPERT.
The Hon. ROBERT McNAB, Minister for Agriculture.
BY AUTHORITY I JOHN MACKAY, GOVERNMENT PRINTER.
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Air-cell in eggs . . . . . . 19
Apoplexy .. .. .. 45
Artificial incubation . . . . 18
Best layers . . . . . . 27
Brooders at Moumahaki and Burn-
bam .. .. ..22,23
Brooding chicks.. .. .. 20
Calway brooder . . . . . . 24
Causes of disease . . . . 42
Cholera . . . . . . 44
Constituents of foods . . . . 37
Cramming-machine . . . . 41
Cramp . . . . . . . . 44
Crop- bound .. .. ,, ..__ 44
Crossbreds . . . . . . * 27
Diseases and remedies . . . . 42
" Dont's " for poultry-keepers . . 50
Douglas mixture . . . . 37
Drink and food troughs . . . . 25, 26
Drinking-fountains . . . . 26
Ducklings, brooding and feeding . . 46
Duck-raising .. .. .. 46
Ducks, fattening . . . . 41
Dust-bath . . . . . . 43
Egg-eaters .. ... .. 31
Egg-organs, disease of . . 45
Eruption on comb . . . . 45
Fattening ducks, geese, and turkeys 41
Fattening fowls . . . . . . 40
Feeding chickens . . . . 24
Feeding ducks . . . . . . 47
Feeding fowls . . . . . . 35
Feeding-trough, swing . . . . 36
Fertility of eggs . . . . . . 33
Foods for poultry . . . . 35
Fowlhouses . . . . . . 8-16
Gapes .... 44
Hints to beginners
Situation and soil
Best breed to keep
Houses and accommodation
Instruction in poultry-keeping
Leg- weakness .. ..
Male influence, duration of
Mixing-trough for soft foods
Old stock and cockerels . .
Packing eggs for hatching
Plans of brooders
Plans of fowlhouses
Sitting-hens, management of
Technical points of a fowl
Why eggs fail to hatch . .
THIS pamphlet is intended as a handy guide for farmers and others in
practical methods of poultry-keeping. It is only in recent years that
much attention has been given in New Zealand to poultry-rearing on
a large scale, and it is not always recognised that a good deal of know-
ledge, as well as industry, is required to insure success. It is the desire
of the writer to supply this knowledge and prevent beginners from
falling into the mistakes which are often made and from spending money
unnecessarily. Since the work of instruction was undertaken by the
Government there has been a great improvement in the class of poultry
kept by farmers, in the methods practised, and in the production of
table-poultry and eggs. There is room for much further improvement,
and in this direction the officers of the Poultry Division of the Depart-
ment of Agriculture are always willing to assist with information and
The results will depend, as in all business undertakings, upon the
skill, industry, and business capacity of those engaged in it. With
good management poultry-keeping will give steady cash returns at an
early period after embarking in the enterprise, and no other class of
stock will give so much profit on the capital invested as poultry will.
Poultry-keeping should go hand-in-hand with dairying, also with fruit-
growing and bee-culture. In addition to their direct profit, poultry are
valuable on the farm in enriching the soil or restoring impoverished
soil to a fertile condition ; in the orchard they search for and devour
insects of all kinds, and not a grub will escape them.
Poultry-keeping is full of details : attend to these and success will
D. D. HYDE,
January, 1908. Chief Poultry Expert
THE 'TECHNICAL POINTS OP A FOWL.
12. True tail-feathers.
14. Wing-coverts, forming the bar.
15. Secondaries, the lower ends
forming the wing or lower
16. Lower wing-butts.
17. Primaries. Hidden by second-
aries when the wing is closed.
20. Legs or shanks.
22. Toes or claws.
POULTRY AND EGGS FOR MARKET AND
HINTS TO BEGINNERS.
IN entering upon poultry-keeping as an industry sufficient capital is
required to obtain land, build houses and yards, and buy stock or eggs;
also to provide food for the birds and maintain the keeper until returns
begin to be received. Begin in a small way and invest the capital by
degrees, as it is required, and never resort to money on which interest
must be paid.
SITUATION AND SOIL.
In choosing a site it must be borne in mind that a dry soil is required,
a sandy loam being best. A north-east aspect, well-sheltered, is desirable.
On a cold clay soil pullets will not lay in winter, and hens will be slow
in moulting and only come on to lay when eggs are at a low price. It is
not well to keep more than two hundred head to the acre, the number
depending upon the richness of the soil. Poor land will probably give a
better return if utilised for poultry-keeping than in any other way.
Pure sand is undesirable, as it does not produce sufficient natural food.
THE BREED TO KEEP.
Which pay best, fowls for the table or eggs? is a frequent inquiry.
As a rule either alone will not pay so well as both combined. To keep
hens of the non-sitting breeds for eggs alone is to lose a profit that may
be made on chickens. Some breeds will bring off a brood and lay nearly
as many eggs in a year as those that do not sit. It is therefore advisable
to pay chief attention to such breeds as Orpingtons, Wyandottes, Ply-
mouth Rocks, and Houdans. If the soil is heavy and damp, Plymouth
Rocks, Orpingtons, and Wyandottes will be the best breeds to keep;
and on light dry soils Minorcas, Leghorns, and Houdans.
Do not attempt to keep half a dozen breeds of fowls, as each breed
requires a separate run ; and every additional subdivision adds consider-
ably to the expense and labour.
Do not rush into the business and buy stock indiscriminately to start
with. Be careful to select a good laying strain ; show-points and feathers
should be secondary considerations. Raise stock from a few well-chosen
birds; buy these birds from the Department of Agriculture or from some
other trustworthy breeder who only breeds from carefully selected, healthy,
vigorous stock. Chickens hatched from inbred, sickly, or deformed stock
will mean failure. It is a popular error to think that there is nothing to
learn about poultry, excepting in the case of those kept for show purposes,
and that all that need be done is to buy a few hens and a rooster, feed
the birds year in and year out on wheat, and go round with a basket
and gather up eggs.
Any one wishing to obtain the necessary knowledge to enable him to
carry on poultry-farming successfully could not do better than spend some
time as a student at one of the Departmental poultry-stations.
INSTRUCTIONS IN POULTRY-KEEPING.
The following particulars are published for the information of intend-
ing students :
CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH STUDENTS ARE RECEIVED AT THE GOVERNMENT
The poultry-stations are at Ruakura, near Auckland; Moumahaki,
near Waverley; Burnham, near Christchurch ; and Milton, near Dunedin.
A limited number of students are received and instructed under the
following conditions :
(1.) They must pay their own travelling-expenses.
(2.) At Moumahaki board and sleeping-accommodation are available
at the Government Experimental Farm, at about 12s. per week; students
must, however, supply their own blankets. At Ruakura, Burnham, and
Milton no Government accommodation is available, but board and lodging
can be obtained privately within a convenient distance.
(3.) Students are expected to stay at least six weeks at the poultry-
(4.) They receive no wages, but must do such work in connection with
poultry as the manager of the station may require of them.
Poultry-keepers requiring any advice on poultry matters should
arrange for a visit from one of the experts, by making application to
" The Chief Poultry Expert, Department of Agriculture, Customhouse,
Intending poultry-keepers should avail themselves of the experts' ser-
vices when selecting stock and arranging the situations, plans, equipment,
&c., for their poultry-houses and yards, and thus avoid many of the
mistakes frequently made by beginners.
Incubators, brooders, and the other machines used in poultry-keeping
are now familiar to most of those interested in the industry, and the
illustrations of these appliances which appeared in the earlier editions of
this pamphlet are therefore omitted. The respective agents will supply
illustrated catalogues and full particulars, free, on application.
HOUSES AND ACCOMMODATION.
To be successful in poultry-keeping it is absolutely necessary to have
suitable premises for the fowls to live in. "They should not be permitted
to roost in trees, as when they become soaked by rain part of their animal
heat is used in evaporating the water, and egg-production is checked. If
only to economize food, shelter should be given from cold winds and
It is not necessary that the buildings should be elaborate in construc-
tion, but they should be just large enough to accommodate the number of
birds you wish to put in them, allowing 15 to 20 cubic feet of air-space
for each bird. It is a fatal mistake to have fowls overcrowded; therefore
scatter them as much as possible into small flocks.
As a general principle, a house 7 ft. square and the same in height
will accommodate twenty-five fowls.
Place in the fowlhouse a large window facing the north-east, in order
to admit as much of the sun's rays into the buildings as possible. This
is a provision that is too frequently overlooked. The front of the breed-
ing-pens should face the rising sun.
If galvanised iron is used for roofing the building it should have
boarding under it, owing to the iron being a rapid conductor of heat
The building must be well ventilated, but there must be no draught.
The importance of this is very generally ignored, so that it is quite the
exception to find poultry-houses constructed with any attempt at ventila-
tion. If the house is visited two or three hours after the birds have gone
to roost it can be readily ascertained whether it is sufficiently ventilated
or not; the atmosphere should strike rather warmer than that of the
outer air, but there should be an absence of closeness or smell. To enable
the proper medium to be arrived at, a small opening about 12 in. by
6 in. should be made at the upper part of the house, and covered with
perforated zinc or small-mesh wire netting, and arranged so that it may
be entirely or partially closed; a board to slide in grooves, similar to
those generally made to cover the hole by which the fowls enter the house,
will be as suitable as anything.
A boarded, concrete, or asphalt floor should not be used; earth only
is required, and should be built up inside the fowlhouse 6 in. higher than
the surrounding ground, in order that it may be kept dry.
The perches should not be placed high, or so that the heads of the birds
can come on a level with the ventilator. They need not be more than
12 in. from the floor, and they should be all on a level. The step-ladder
style that is often adopted is a mistake; the fowls will invariably try to
get on the top perch, which is generally near the roof, and the air they
breathe becomes vitiated, and disease follows. Do not nail the perches,
but have them fitting into a slot, so that they can be easily removed, and
the ends dipped into kerosene occasionally. A perch should be 2 in. wide
by 3 in. deep, made of sound timber (if there are any cracks they will
harbour vermin), with just the rough edge taken off.
The buildings shown in this pamphlet are those in use at the Govern-
ment poultry-stations, and are suitable in every way as breeding-pens.
The main flocks are put out about the farm in movable houses, 7 ft. by
5 ft., an arrangement I strongly recommend to farmers, as the fowls
by this system require very little feeding, so long as the houses are moved
on to fresh ground once a week.
The movable house referred to is illustrated on page 16.
Interior of No 1.
A CHEAPLY CONSTRUCTED FOWLHOUSE
Front elevation, 7 ft. ; width of face, 7 ft.
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PLAN OF DOUBLE FOWLHOUSE WITH ALTERNATIVE RUNS.
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This illustration shows a system of double houses and double runs,
measure 50 ft. by 30 ft. The houses measure 6 ft. by 12 ft., and have
NOTE. Through inadvertence the gateways are omitted from the plan. These
should be in line through the runs from A to B and from C to D.
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SPECIFICATION OF DOUBLE FOWLHOUSE (see Plan).
Foundations. Concrete or piles.
Framing. PUtes, studs, rafters, and roosts, Sin. by 2 in. ; 4 battens for iron and
angle-stops, Sin. by l^in.
Spacing. Piles to be placed not more than 3 ft. 6 in. centres ; studs, not more
than 2 ft. centres ; rafters, 2 ft. 6 in. centres.
Weatherboards. All outside walls, and wing-wall separating dust-bath from
perches, covered with 8 in. by 1 in. rusticated weatherboards. Centre partition
of building, rough-boarded 3ft., remainder wire netting to roof.
Doors. Door-frames 4 in. by lin., braced, and covered with wire netting.
Wire Netting. 1 ft. 6 in. netting to be fixed on front walls and top of wing- wall
Roof. Half-inch sarking on battens, 10 ft. iron.
Nests. To be constructed of 1 in. boards, as shown.
Spouting. Back wall, 4 in. ogee spouting and downpipe.
Painting. Two or three coats of good oil paint.
The cheapest style of house is one with a slanting roof. It should be
6 ft. high in front and 4 ft. 6 in. high at the back. There should be
one window with a sash of six lights, 9 in. by 12 in., for 10 running
feet of the building. Provide plenty of ventilation. The ventilators
should be near the roof, and so arranged that there will be no draught.
Seven square feet of floor-space should be allowed for each bird. Wire
netting 2J ft. in height will be ample to divide the flock. The interior
of the building must be kept clean, and dry straw used for bedding.
The birds will make their own nests in the straw, so there is no need to
provide nest-boxes. In the northern parts of New Zealand it is unneces-
sary to provide houses for ducks the climate is so mild that the ducks
will not make use of a building.
Where it is intended to breed a large number of chickens an incu-
bator and foster-mother are indispensable. When the ordinary method
of incubation is adopted, vexatious delays often take place through
the scarcity of broody hens. Even where a large number of fowls are
kept there will be very few hens wanting to sit in cold weather, and
sittings of eggs that have been carefully saved are wasted because no
broody hens are to be had. By using machines eggs can be hatched at
any time. There are other advantages viz., the eggs are not crushed,
as so often occurs with hens ; the machine does not leave the eggs, neither
does it cover the young chickens with vermin, and it costs less for kero-
sene to hatch out, say, one hundred chicks than it would to feed the
number of hens that would be required to do the same work. Of course,
it is necessary to get an incubator of a reliable make.
It is important to have the incubator standing upon a solid floor
the less vibration the better. The temperature in the incubator-room
should be as equal as possible; there should be no draught. The
incubator should be so placed as to allow air to pass freely all round
The incubator should be well tested, and the working thoroughly
mastered, before the eggs are put into the drawer.
When the chicks are hatched they can be easily reared, in the coldest
weather, by the aid of artificial mothers.
CARE OP LAMP.
The lamp should be filled every day with oil of the best quality.
Always have sufficient flame turned on to keep the valve slightly open.
Do not turn the flame up high enough to smoke, or soot will collect in
the flue. Carefully cut the corners off the wick. Keep the burner free
from dirt, and wipe from the lamp any overflow of kerosene.
Eggs should be as fresh as possible; but a good hatch may be ob-
tained from eggs three weeks old, especially if the weather is cool and
the eggs are turned over every twenty-four hours.
Eggs for setting should be collected regularly and placed in a room
where the temperature is never below 40 or higher than 65.
Place the eggs in the drawer so that the large end has the highest
The proper temperature for either hen or duck eggs is 103. There
need be no alarm if the temperature should run up to 107 for an hour
or two; but if left longer the germ will be destroyed.
This is a very necessary proceed-
ing, in order to remove any infertile
or dead eggs. As there is a difference
of about 3 between a dead and a live
egg, there is a danger of the ther-
mometer bulb resting on a bad one,
and the live ones becoming over-
heated. The best time to make the
first test is on the fifth or sixth night.
Hold the egg between the forefinger
and thumb, or in a tester that is
usually supplied with incubators; look
through the egg at a strong light. If
the egg is fertile it will appear like that
shown in the margin, and slightly red
in colour; if addled, a black spot will
be visible; if infertile, it will be quite
clear. The latter may be used for culi-
nary purposes, or boiled for chickens
already hatched. A second testing
about the twelfth day is advisable.
An ordinary small lamp or a candle may be utilised as an egg-
tester by fixing a piece of cardboard, in the centre of which an opening
the size and shape of an egg has been cut, in front of the flame. The
rays of the light are thus focussed through the egg. Reliable results
are obtained in this way.
DEVELOPMENT OP THE AIR-CELL.
A capital plan is also to note the development of the air-cell; it
becomes larger as the chick develops. The diagrams show the development
that should take place at the respective number of days.
VENTILATION AND MOISTURE.
The moisture or air-saturation is affected by the size of the opening
of the ventilators. A wide opening of the ventilators will reduce, a
small opening will increase, the moisture. With a wide opening the air
moves through the machine rapidly and carries the moisture out. In
starting the machine open the ventilators, and gradually close them as
necessity demands. Thin, porous shells dry rapidly, while thick shells
are slower, and if eggs from different varieties are placed in the machine
at the same time an average will have to be struck.
START ALL THE EGGS AT ONE TIME.
When starting a machine put all the eggs in that you intend for that
particular hatch; it is a mistake to put additional eggs in from time
TURNING AND COOLING THE EGGS.
Turn the eggs night and morning after they have been in the machine
forty-eight hours. It is well to mark the eggs on one side thus , so
that the marked side is visible on one occasion and out of sight next.
They should not be turned exactly half way; the position should be
varied. Allow them to cool about ten minutes at first, and gradually in-
crease the time till the third week; they may then remain out of the
machine from thirty to sixty minutes, according to the weather. It is
advisable to change the position of the eggs occasionally; those that are
on the outside of the tray one day should be placed in the centre the next.
Cease turning the eggs as soon as they commence to pip (i.e., as soon as
the chickens crack the shells), and on no account allow the incubator-
door to be opened after that till the hatch is completely over. This is a
very important point, and curiosity should not cause it to be forgotten.
This trouble is caused through the chicks being in the shell too long,
and the heat being allowed to run too low or too high at some time
during the incubating period.
Success in raising chicks depends largely on preventing them from
becoming chilled. Chills and exposure are common causes of bowel-
trouble. If chickens huddle together it is a sure sign that more heat is
required. In cold weather chicks need more heat and covering than
when the weather is warm. If the food is given in the brooder (which
is necessary with quite young chicks) remove it as soon as possible, as
the heat will cause it to steam and become sour. Crowding chicks in
poorly ventilated brooders is a grave mistake; crowding under the most
favourable conditions should be avoided, or the mortality will be great.
Although 3 ft. square is generally claimed as sufficient for one hundred
young chickens, double that space is desirable for the number stated.
The heat in the brooder for the first week should be 98, and be
gradually reduced after the chicks are a fortnight old, according to the
weather and the age of the chicks. If a cold night is expected give
additional heat. If the chicks are too warm they will move away from
the main volume of heat.
When the chicks are five days old give them strips of tough meat in
order to make them run in and out of the brooder for exercise. The
chicks must have exercise and fresh air; do not coddle them or they
will become stunted in growth.
Do not have chicks of various ages run together, as the big ones will
rob the younger birds of their share of food.
Do not let the chicks get wet ; the drinking- vessel should be so ar-
ranged that the birds can reach the water with their beaks only. Clean
water should be kept constantly before them.
Do not allow the chicks to get a chill when removing them from the
incubator to the brooder; use a piece of flannel or blanket to cover them.
It is most important that young chicks should for the first three or
four days spend all their time in the brooder. Then begin to let them
outside, penning them near the brooder to prevent them straying away
and getting chilled. Chicks should be brooded for about six weeks,
according to the weather; a little experience will soon determine this.
The brooder must be kept clean, and fine sand or dry earth J in.
to \ in. in depth covering the floor. Pine-needles are also very suit-
able for this purpose.
BROODERS AT MODMAHAKI AND BURNHAM POULTRY-STATIONS
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HOf?fZOMTAL 5 EOT/ ON
These illustrations (Nos. 1, 2, and 3) give details of the " twelve hours stove " and the pipe
arrangements for the brooders as used at the Government poultry-stations at Moumahaki and
Burnham. For those who wish to raise a large number of chickens this system can be recommended,
first, on account of the small cost at which the stove can be run, and, secondly, because of the great
saving of labour.
SPECIFICATION OP BROODER (see Plan).
Timber. Brooder should be covered with Jin. or lin. boards, thoroughly seasoned.
Lining. Under-side of top boarding between wire netting and glass to be lined
with galvanised iron, to confine the heat.
Felt. To be fixed with strips of wood.
Bottoms. With board run hinged on front so as to move up or down, and fixed
Glass Lids. In four sections, with two squares of glass in each, hinged to cover or
Piping. Of 1 in. gas-piping.
Length. The length of brooder may be varied to suit circumstances.
Lamp. Details of lamp should be similar to Cypher's Duplex Brooder-lamps.
A cheap and useful brooder for thirty-five chicks, made from portion of cask.
Chickens should not be fed for forty-eight to sixty hours after they
are hatched, as nature has supplied them with all they need up to that
time. They should then be supplied with a small quantity of hard-boiled
egg, shell included, put through a mincing-machine, also bread-crumbs
and oatmeal, mixed with boiled milk (if you have this to spare) and
made just moist enough to break easily. Avoid above everything giving
chickens sticky or sloppy food, and do not give more than they will eat
up clean at a time. For the first week they should be fed during the
day every two hours, and for the second week every three hours.
The chick should, from the day it leaves the shell until full growth
is reached, be made to gain weight. There must be no check, or it will
cost far more in food to bring the bird to maturity.
In feeding chicks use a trough, as illustrated herein, or a clean board;
if the latter is used sprinkle the food upon it, adding more if necessary.
When the chicks have had sufficient, remove the trough or board. These
should be kept thoroughly clean. Discontinue giving hard-boiled eggs
after the second or third day. Then give coarse oatmeal, following with
crushed wheat, barleymeal, maizemeal, &c., alternately. It is advisable
to sift barleymeal and rolled oats through a sieve, in order to remove
the husks. To produce rapid growth the chicks should be fed at day-
light in the morning, and as late as they can see to eat at night. A
little hemp, millet, or canary-seed given occasionally makes a nice change.
Keep them well supplied with short-cut green food, such as watercress,
lettuce, clover, &c., when obtainable, and chopped raw vegetables; but
do not leave any lying about to get trampled upon and go sour. After
the chicks are a few days old give once a day to each twelve chicks an
ounce of boiled meat that has been passed through a mincing-machine.
Mix just as much food as is necessary for each meal, and give the chicks
only what they will eat up readily. Should any of the chicks show
signs of bowel-trouble, mix some powdered charcoal in the soft feed.
Some fine, sharp grit should be sprinkled and mixed in the chicken-
feed for the first week, after that the grit may be kept in a small vessel
near the brooder for the chicks to help themselves. Grit is as essential to
chicks as to full-grown fowls. Charcoal or charred corn is also valuable
as a preventive or corrective of digestive troubles.
Mix one teaspoonful of sulphur for each thirty chicks with the soft
food twice a week during dry fine weather.
See that they have plenty of fresh clean water. Have the drinking-
vessel thoroughly clean, and never on any account leave the water in the
The following is a good food for chicks : Mix equal parts Indian corn,
barley, and oats (all ground), and add a small quantity of bran ; make
the whole into bread by using sour milk, and bake; then crumble and
make to proper consistency with scalded milk.
Do not allow chickens and old fowls to roost together, as it tends
to stunt the growth of the young birds.
DRINK AND FOOD TROUGHS FOR CHICKENS.
W -.- liCLOSED
This illustration shows an excellent food-trough for chickens. " Open " shows the
trough drawn out so that it may be filled with the food ; " closed " shows the trough
pushed in, the arched wires preventing the chickens from getting into the trough and
spoiling or wasting the food. It is made of zinc, and easily cleaned.
This can be used for either water or food for young chicks. The design is
original, and will appeal to all poultry-breeders. Size : 18 in. long, 4^ in. wide,
l^in. high. When the band through the centre is closed it prevents chicks from
getting wet, if the trough is used for drinking purposes ; if for food, the birds can
only get their heads between the band and the side of the trough, and thus the
food is not trampled upon and wasted. The vessel can also be easily cleaned, which
EARTHENWARE DRINKING-FOUNTAIN FOR CHICKENS.
Made at Milton, New Zealand; strongly recommended
For those who are partial to crosses the following are considered the
best : For table purposes, Indian Game - Dorking, Indian Game - Lang-
shan, Indian Game - Houdan, and Indian Game - Orpington ; Old
English Game also can be used with great advantage for producing table
poultry. For laying and general purposes, Leghorn Plymouth Rock,
Leghorn-Houdan, Houdan-Wyandotte, Leghorn-Orpington, and Leg-
In all crosses use a male of the breed first named.
It is necessary to use a male of a different breed each year for at least
three years in succession when crossing fowls, or they will quickly become
mongrelised. Example: First year, Plymouth Rock; second year, Or-
pington; third year, Wyandotte; then the Plymouth Rock may be used
again, and so on.
Never breed from a crossbred male.
RISKS OF INBREEDING.
It is frequently asked whether there is any harm in breeding from
a cockerel and pullet that have been hatched from the same sittings
of eggs. Breeding from a full brother and sister is, of course, wrong,
but the probability of such a close relationship between two birds from
the same sitting is very remote, the chances being about 30 to 1. Where
eggs are obtained from the Government stations the chances are still
more remote, as three or four unrelated pens of birds are usually kept
at each station, and eggs are selected in order to minimise as far as
possible the chances of inbreeding.
The best laying-hens are the most active those that will do the most
scratching in the garden if given an opportunity. They are the first
off the perch in the morning, and last on at night. They have generally
small heads and bright eyes; select these to breed from. Those that
have large heads and overhanging eyebrows will be found loitering about
waiting to be fed; relegate such to the table without delay. Long
beaks and long narrow heads denote a poor constitution.
A good method of discovering bad layers is to make occasional visits
to the fowlhouse at night; lift each bird from the perch, those that are
found above the average weight of their breed should be culled out and
sent to the market, as they will almost invariably prove to be drones.
Good layers will never be found very fat.
Assuming that sufficient food is given, those found to be very light,
with shrivelled comb, should also be discarded they are wasters.
The laying of each bird can be exactly ascertained by the use of trap-
nests. These appliances are inexpensive, and can be made by any one
possessed of a little ingenuity. Both the trap-nests which are illustrated
are efficient; their working is explained over the respective figures.
Trap-nests also enable hens to be identified which lay badly shaped,
double-yolked, or infertile eggs.
ME. J. ROSE'S TRAP-NEST.
The bird after entering the nest steps on the trigger, which, working from the
hinge, presses down the wire CC, drawing in the spring or catch B and allowing
the door to drop.
The block or sill on which the door drops should be covered with leather or
felt to deaden the noise.
When the door is raised the trap sets itself automatically
1. Exterior view : Showing the two wire uprights which act as door-guides :
and the sliding door resting by means of a projecting nail D on the spring or catch
B. The catch is made of light springy wire, bent as shown.
2 and 3. Interior view : Showing (A) continuation of spring or catch B attached
to a lighter wire CO, which is carried through or under the otherwise free end cf
the strip of wood forming the trigger, and on to the farther end of the nest, where
it is made fast. The other end of the trigger is attached to the side of the nest by
MB. A. GRANT'S TRAP-NEST.
The gliding-door works inside the trap-nest. The door-catch and trigger, A, B, C,
are made of one piece of strong steel fencing-wire, bent as shown. At D a strip of wood
1 in. wide is fixed to the wires.
The hen entering the nest steps on the wood D, releasing the door.
The sill should be covered with leather or felt.
The trap is set by lifting the door.
GET RID OF OLD STOCK AND COCKERELS.
It is more profitable to sell hens at the end of the second period of
laying for what they will fetch than to keep them another season, during
which the eggs obtained will seldom pay for the food consumed.
See the instructions under the heading of " Fattening Fowls," and
Cockerels should not be kept longer than five months; if properly
fed they are at their best at that age, and to keep them till they are ten
or twelve months old spells loss.
Remember, it costs Id. per week per head to feed fowls, and the only
way to make a profit out of the birds sold for table use is to market them
at the age advised.
Send the birds to the consumers in good condition, and there will be
no lack of demand. The public will not object to pay a good price for a
good article, but they resent paying a high price for a " scrag/'
Should you have any egg-eaters among your flock, carry with you a
china egg, and every time you go near the birds throw the dummy egg
to the ground. The culprits will rush at and try to break the egg;
after making several attempts, and failing, they will generally give up
The editor of an American poultry journal states that the best remedy
for egg-eating is to give a free supply of eggs or egg-shells for a few
days. This remedy, he says, never fails. Obtain a basket of fresh egg-
shells from your baker and throw them to the fowls whole; give them all
they can eat and keep a supply before them for some days, and the trouble
will cease. There is a pile of testimony, he says, to the success of this
As, however, prevention is better than cure, have always a plentiful
supply of lime for your hens. It is the want of lime to form the egg-
shell that induces the pernicious habit, as the hens lay soft-shelled eggs,
which get easily broken. Once the hens taste an egg, they soon learn to
break and eat a hard-shelled one. Scatter grain among hay, straw,
leaves, pine-needles, &c. ; compel the birds to exercise, and provide plenty
of nest-boxes, darkened, and half-filled with straw-chaff. It is a good
plan to have a few nest-eggs lying around the runs also. All these help
to prevent the bad habit.
The use of a safety nest, as figured, will secure the eggs from injury
by egg-eating hens.
Figure A is an inclined board, and should be covered with carpet or similar
material; matting would be better, and tarred felt best of all. The egg, as in
Figure C, is a china one, cemented half-way through the board. B is the egg
rolling down to the straw on the bottom.
KEEPING A RECORD.
Many people are under the impression that the eggs their hens lay
east about 3d. each. Keep a record on a sheet as shown herewith, and
see how quickly the opinion will be changed for a more favourable one.
The record will also show the profit there is in the business; the eggs
may be taken at the moderate average price of Is. per dozen all the year
Number of Hens : Breed :
Amount ar.d Kind of Food given.
: . i\
WHY EGGS FAIL TO HATCH.
Too many hens with a oock bird will result in a large number of
infertile eggs or weakly chickens, and the same result may follow if the
hens are too few. A great deal depends on the breed and vigour of the
male bird. The best results will generally be obtained by running eight
hens with one rooster of the utility breeds, such as Orpingtons, Wyan-
dottes, Plymouth Rocks, &c., and ten hens with one rooster of the lighter
breeds Minorcas, Leghorns, &c.
Another cause of infertile eggs is owing to the cock bird not getting
sufficient food. Very frequently he will wait until the hens are all fed
before helping himself, and if there is not enough he will lose condition.
It is often necessary to feed the rooster away from the hens.
Eggs from abnormally fat hens seldom hatch; the chickens die in the
shell, or those that do hatch seldom live long. Overfeeding or giving
fattening food to birds that are intended for breeding from should be
avoided. Eggs from a lazy, sleepy hen hatch late; therefore breed from
the most active hens. Dorkings, Brahmas, and Cochins in fact, all
the heavy breeds need very careful feeding, as they put on fat quickly.
Examine the condition of the birds when they are on the perch at night.
Persons who obtain eggs for setting and get poor results almost in-
variably blame the eggs. This is not by any means fair. Not a few
hens are unsuitable for hatching; with some the temperature . is too low,
whilst with others it is too high; there are others, again, that sit too
close, not giving the egg sufficient time to cool down.
Again, eggs are often rendered useless for hatching purposes by rough
usage after they have been handed over by the postal officers to the
Lastly, eggs often fail to hatch because some of the directions given
under the heading of " Management of Sitting-hens " are neglected.
FERTILITY OF EGGS.
A few words as to infertile eggs will not be out of place. By the
term " infertile " is meant an egg that has never been impregnated by the
male germ, and consequently cannot possibly hatch. The germ must be
communicated ere the egg is formed, and the egg is meant to be its pro-
tecting envelope. The effect of heat upon an egg is to dry up the con-
tents and reduce them to a smaller compass. An infertile egg does
not go rotten a fact not generally known. Without death there can be
no decay, and there cannot be death unless there has been life. Absence
of a fertilising germ means that the contents of an egg are inert or lifeless,
and will not become rotten. On the other hand, when there has been life,
and this life has died, all the elements of decay are within the shell, and
that which would have been its strength becomes its weakness. The only
exception is : when the egg has been produced by a diseased hen the dead
embryo (or, if the chick has been more or less formed, the dead chick)
begins to decay, and soon the whole contents are a mass of corruption.
This fact needs explanation, as many persons have erroneous ideas
thereon. We have known people who have purchased eggs say (in a tone
which indicated that they thought they had been cheated) that the eggs
were actually rotten, whereas the fact of their being rotten proves that
they were, at all events, fertile, the probability being that the failure
to hatch was due to want of proper care on the purchaser's part.
DURATION OF THE MALE INFLUENCE.
There is no definite rule as to the exa*ct time it takes for the male
bird's influence to affect the eggs laid, but it may be fairly accepted
that eggs can be pretty safely depended upon to be fertile after a vigorous
rooster has been with the hens seven days, and the eggs will continue to
be fertile for the same period after his removal, always provided, of
course, that the number of hens is not excessive.
PACKING EGGS FOR HATCHING.
Never nail the lid on to the box; use screws; hammering will destroj
Never put damp hay, straw, or sawdust against eggs. Never pack
them, especially for a long journey, so that air is entirely excluded.
Never turn the large end down in packing, as the weight of the yolk
i apt to break the air-bubble by being jarred in transit.
If you receive eggs for hatching from a distance, give them twenty-
four hours' rest before putting them underneath the sitting-hen or in
These are little precautions worth remembering.
MANAGEMENT OF SITTING-HENS.
The greatest attention should be paid to sitting-hens. In the first
place, half-fill the nest-box the hen is to sit in with moist earth; beat it
down pretty firmly with your hands, and make the nest so that the egga
will have a tendency to roll to the centre, or, in other words, saucer-
shaped; then sprinkle a little lime over the earth, and a thin layer of
hay, straw, or pine-needles.
Sprinkle the hen with carbolic powder or flour of sulphur, and see
that the powder reaches the skin; this is to destroy the vermin that the
bird is almost sure to be infested with.
In the evening place her on a few dummy eggs until satisfied she will
sit steadily : she is more likely to do so if the nest is slightly darkened.
Sitting-hens should be kept away from the general flock, and should
have ample hard corn, meat, bread, and hemp-seed put in a convenient
place, so that they can obtain what they want on leaving the nest. Hard,
sharp grit must be supplied, and plenty of fresh water should be kept in
the shade ready for their use. Have a dust-bath available in a dry place
where the sun can get at it.
The number of eggs to put under a hen depends upon her size, but it is
better to put too few than too many; twelve eggs are enough for most
Mark the large end of the eggs with the date they are placed under
the hen ; if marked in any other place it will interfere with the testing
of the eggs.
When a hen is set in a dry place, the skin of the egg just underneath
the shell becomes so dry and tough that the chick cannot cut through it,
and consequently dies in the shell. Should a hen insist on sitting in a
dry place, it will be necessary to moisten the eggs slightly with warm
water; the best plan is to dip them and let them remain in the water for
about two or three seconds. This should be done once a day during the
last week of incubation.
Care must be taken when lifting the hen off the nest each morning that
there are no eggs under her wings. Should an egg get broken, remove
it immediately; and if any portion of the broken egg is on the others,
wash it off with warm water at once, as when it dries it stops the pores
of the shell and prevents the air passing to the chick.
If two or three hens are set on the same day, and a number of the
eggs should be infertile, one hen may be able to take all the eggs. If
the others are cooped for a few days, they will begin to lay again; or
they may be used to sit -on a fresh lot of eggs.
FOODS FOR POULTRY.
The following foods are suitable for poultry :
Wheat, barley, oats (Sparrow-bill), maize, rice, rye, millet, buck-
wheat, peas, beans, linseed, vetches, hemp-seed, rape, sunflower-seed,
poppy-seed, acorns (crushed and dried), potatoes, turnips, mangolds,
sugar-beet, carrots, artichokes, swedes, ricemeal, wheatmeal, barleymeal,
maizemeal, ryemeal, raperneal, linseed-cake, sunflower-seed cake, poppy-
seed cake, malt, brewers' grains (these should have meal mixed with them ;.
a small quantity of oilcake should be added).
Good clover hay can be used with splendid results. The hay must
be steamed or soaked in hot water after being chaffed. White-clover hay
is the best. This should be mixed with the soft food.
Green cut bone, lean meat, fish, fresh milk, skim-milk, buttermilk,
and whey are excellent.
Proper feeding is absolutely essential to success. The birds must
neither be underfed nor overfed; they must be fed regularly; and the
food must be of good quality and sufficient variety. Damaged or poor-
quality grain should be avoided. No rule can be laid down as to the
quantity to be given to each fowl, as some birds are great and others
small eaters; the poultry-keeper must exercise his judgment. It may
be taken as a general rule never to give fowls more food than they will
eat up readily.
Fowls which will not stand forcing for egg-production are useless for-
th at purpose.
The morning meal should consist of sharps, pollard, bran, boiled
potatoes, bread, or meal of any description, such as buckwheat-meal,,
oatmeal, barleymeal, &c. The reason for this is that the hard corn takes;
a much longer time to get soaked in the crop and ground in the gizzard,,
while soft meal passes at once into the system, and thus gives the birds.*
immediate nourishment. The above should be mixed with warm water
or soup, and not made sloppy. The food should be mixed so that it
will break up easily, and should be placed in troughs, as if thrown to>
the ground the birds run over it. Should there be more than the fowls
care to eat, remove it at once, or it will quickly sour and become wasted.
Use a sprinkling of salt with the food, and add, twice a week, about 2 oz.
of bonemeal or green cut bone for each fowl.
Convenient-shaped trough for mixing soft foods.
The illustrations (Nos. 1 and 2) show a portion of a
feeding-troughs attached. Thi^ arrangement enables the
with soft food without entering the y&rd.
If fowls have an unlimited run ftiey will only require to
a day; but if confined in a small s>p>ace a light midday meal will ^ be
necessary, which should consist of ta&e-scraps, A good thing to give
is cooked meat twice a week. Arrange with your butcher to get the
scraps; they can be got at a very low p*We. Give plenty of green food,
such as short-cut grass, clover, cabbage, lettuce, watercress, c. Koo
crops of almost any description are excellent food for fowls, such f
potatoes, mangolds/ turnips, &c. ; the two 1 latter should be cut in two
and throwp down for the birds to peck at. Clover finel. v chopped and
scalded apd mixed with bran and pollard is a splendid f\ >od for layn
hens. Bi-ans and peas, cooked and thickemd' with-biiaW^ ma ake an agree
The evening meal should consist of wheat, short thick oats, Indian
<jorn, buckwheat, and barley. The barley should be steeped in water for
four or five days, and then dried in the sun, as when it is treated in that
manner the birds will eat it greedily. Another way is to pour boiling
water over the barley, then place a sack over the vessel and allow the
grain to steam for half an hour. Other kinds of grain may be treated in
the same manner. A change of food should be given as frequently as
possible; onions cut into little squares and give:, occasionally are very
good; also sunflower-seed and hemp-seed. Indian corn is used alto-
gether too liberally, especially in the north : many people use it week in
and week out for their birds. This should not be done, as it is too
heating and fattening, and should riot be used more than twice a week.
A mistake to be avoided is that when foodstuffs are dear the poultry
are practically starved; and not only is egg-production reduced, but
birds sent to the market are almost valueless. To feed fowls insuffi-
ciently is false economy.
Overfeeding, on the other hand, is a mistaken kindness, and causes
the death of many fowls and chicks. The owner soon discovers* his
mistake by finding a shrinkage in the number of eggs produced, many
of the eggs having soft shells, some having double yolks, and others
Fowls must have lime in some form or another, otherwise laying
hens become weakened, and often lay eggs without shells. When this
occurs the eggs are apt to break before the fowls can pass them, and
the fowls often die or are ruptured, being frequently found dead on the
nest or underneath the perch. I would recommend every one who keeps
poultry to procure a grit-mill (which can be bought from 1 upwards,
according to size); with this can be crushed in a few minutes quite a
large amount of oyster-shells, which will supply just what is wanted
to form the egg-shells. Dry bones, which form excellent food for fowls,
can be crushed in the same way. Old crockery, and even glass bottles can
be crushed to supply sharp grit, which is indispensable for fowls, and
acts as teeth for them to masticate their food. Keep the lime, grit, and
charcoal in small boxes, so that the fowls can help themselves. A green-
bone mill will soon pay for itself. One of these mills will out green bones
like shavings, to which adhere some flesh and ligaments which a hen can
swallow easily. These bones can be procured from a butcher for a mere
trifle, and 3 oz. or 4 oz. to each hen per week will furnish the best egg-
An excellent thing for poultry, prepared as follows : 1 Ib. of sulphate
of iron and 1 oz. of sulphuric acid dissolved in 1J gallons of water. Mix
one teaspoonful to each pint of drinking-water. This should be given in
cold weather and during the moulting season.
A small piece of limestone placed in the drinking-water occasionally
will be beneficial.
CONSTITUENTS OF FOODS (LEWIS WRIGHT).
The constituents of foods may be classed as follows :
1. Nitrogen. The class containing nitrogen was formerly known as
proteids, but is now usually called albuminoids, albumen being the chief
type of the class. (The white of an egg is nearly pure albumen, mixed
with much water.) There are certain vegetable principles also which
contain nitrogen in the form of ammonia; these are considered as less
nutritive by some writers, and classed separately. There is no general
agreement on this point, however; but, as most authorities class all
nitrogenous compounds with the albuminoids, we shall do likewise.
Fibrin in animals, gluten in grain, casein in milk, and legumin in
peas belong to this group, and serve, if in proportion, as nitrogenous
food. That is the great principle to bear in mind.
2. The next class consists of fats and oih (often called hydrocarbons),
and is specially rich in carbon. A certain portion of fat is necessary for
the healthy body itself; so necessary that unless sufficient be supplied
a certain portion of albuminoids will be decomposed by the system in
order to form fat. Hence fat in due proportion is absolutely necessary in
order to prevent such a wasteful use of albuminoids. Besides this, fats
and oils find their chief work in supplying fuel for heat and energy.
3. The next class, known as carbo-hydrates, consists of carbon (in less
proportion than in fat and oils), with hydrogen and oxygen in the propor-
tions of water. Starch, sugar > and gum are the leading compounds of
this class in the vegetable world. This group also supplies fuel for heat
and .energy, and has plainly more or less in common with the fats and
oils class. It differs, however, in this respect : it is not directly repre-
sented, as the fats group is, in the animal body itself. Carbo-hydrates
are, however, capable of being decomposed into fat. Thus they save
waste of albuminoid foods; in other words, a due proportion of the
carbon groups, as well as of albuminoids, is necessary even for the increase
or the formation of lean meat or muscle.
4. One component of vegetable foods especially requires separate men-
tion. Cellulose, the material of which tough cell-walls and woody fibre
is composed, is of nearly the same chemical composition as starch.
(Paper and cotton-wool are examples of cellulose.) These and kindred
materials exist in a much more indigestible form, so much so that in the
case of some animals it is completely indigestible. Hence for our pur-
pose we take the harder of such constituents into a separate class, and
term it " husk " or " fibre. " A certain portion of these may be useful
as a mechanical stimulus to the intestines, but, except in the case of
ruminant animals or birds, there is no portion digested, and consequently
they are of little value as food.
5. The last class is that of salts and minerals. Phosphorus and lime
are needed for the bones, sulphur for the feathers chiefly (the muscles
require a small quantity also), salt for the whole range of the digestive
processes, and alkaline salts to alkalinate the blood, &c.
In addition to the five classes above mentioned, there is in all foods
a very variable amount of hydrogen and oxygen in the proportions that
form water, and may be classed as such, though the water as in the
case of apparently dry wheat or flour assumes in some way a solid
form and may not be water in reality.
It is on the basis of these classes that food is analysed; and the
problem to be solved in feeding or in a dietary is of the simplest kind
from a theoretical point of view. It is to obtain a proper proportion
between the albuminoids, or nitrogenous compounds, and the heat-pro-
ducing groups of fats and carbo-hydrates. A dietary or food so arranged
is called a properly "balanced " ration; and if we give such a dietary
in proper quantity and in digestible forms the animal or bird will be
properly fed. The actual proportion in any food or any dietary is called
its " nutritive ratio." Thus, a mixture of meals whose nutritive ratio
is 1 : 6 means that the albuminoids therein are as one part (by weight)
to six parts of fats and carbo-hydrates. But in calculating this ratio one
important modification must always be made : " Fats " are much more
fattening than starch or other carbo-hydrates, and are more efficient
generally, because, as already noted, they are richer in carbon. In
adding up the two groups, therefore, we must multiply the figure for
fats and oils by some other figure, then we may add the product thus
obtained to the carbo-hydrates, and reckon the total as one for the nutri-
tive ratio. The precise figure to be used has caused some discussion, but
the best authorities now consider that the correct figure is the equivalent
of " heat " produced by the two groups. Accordingly, we must multiply
the figure for fats and oils by 2' 25 (or 2J), and we may then add them
to the carbo-hydrates, and thus obtain the true nutritive ratio. It is
on this basis, then, that we must deal with foods. The table herewith
gives the principal materials available for poultry-feeding, showing their
composition as above described. The amount of fats and oils is further
shown as multiplied by 2J- in order that this product may be used for
calculating the nutritive ratio.
The method adopted is, multiply fats and oils by 2J, add carbo-
hydrates, then divide the product by the albuminoids; this will give the
albuminoid, or nutritive ratio, as shown in the last column.
Articles of Food.
Fats or Oils.
Fats x 2J =
Husk or Fibre.
Grains and Meals.
Lin seed -meal
8-9 : 9-2
Beans and peas
Malt sprouts . . 23-2
Oatmeal . . . .' 18'0
Middlings .. .. ' 16-0
Sunflower-seed . . 16-0
48-4 ! 21-4
Bran .. .'.. | 15-5
9-0 j 44-0
Oats and ground oats lo'O
12-4 ; 48-0 2-5
Barley (and meal)
Sorrel-seed . .
Flesh of fowls
Lean of beef
Dried fish . .
48-4 ! 11-6
4-0 ; 3-5
0-7 .. i 87-0 1
Eggs (yolk only)
12 j . .
In using the above table to plan a dietary we must first decide as to
the proportions that should exist between the various columns, and
especially as to the proper nutritive ratio between the albuminoids and
the combined groups of carbo-hydrates and fats and oils. We need
not trouble ourselves much about water, or husk and fibre, except in so
far as, being valueless in themselves, they affect the real cost of the food;
and, although we must see that there are salts enough, we can' easily
add them where deficient; this is especially necessary for young and
growing stock. It is generally held that to maintain animal life the pro-
portion should not be less than 1:5. Some authorities consider, more
specifically, that there should be about albuminoids, 18; fats and oils,
7; carbo-hydrates, 75; which works out the same ratio almost exactly,
experts differing little in detail.
A similar ratio may be adopted for poultry, but before deciding
finally there are two points to consider firstly, exercise : Cattle lead
a very indolent life, as do the majority of men in a less degree. Fowls
live a decidedly active life, and it is universally agreed that an active life
requires a greater proportion of albuminoids. Still, we shall be quite
safe in reckoning 1 : 4J as a proper ratio in general weathers, and in
winter the same quantity of albuminoids, but an increase of carbo-
hydrates, or, still better, of fats and oils, so as to make the ratio 1 : 5,
in order to meet the demand on the system during cold weather. Such
ratios, as far as the fowls or animals themselves are concerned, should
be sufficient, but we have further to consider the daily product of the stock,
such as milk or eggs.
Milk contains so much fat and sugar that its own ratio is 1:3 or
1 : 3J, so that additional food of the ordinary 1 : 5 ratio with sufficient
succulent material to supply fluid may fairly suffice. Eggs, on the other
hand, contain as much albuminoids as fat, and to produce an ounce
(excluding water) of such rich material is no light task. Hence the need
of special food for laying-hens. Such a bird craves for albuminous
food, and every breeder knows that while laying she will often devour
with eagerness those giant earthworms which when not laying she gene-
rally refuses. She must get albumen if she is to continue laying eggs,
and if the poultryman is alive to his interests he will see that it is pro-
vided by a properly " balanced " ration.
Fast them from twelve to twenty-four hours, and then feed them
three times a day on soft food, consisting of pollard, oatmeal, barley-
meal, or maizemeal, mixed with milk, to which add some rendered fat
1 Ib. for every fifty fowls. The fattening process will occupy from ten to
twenty days. Change their food when they seem to go off it. Give boiled
grain, grit, and fresh water.
When a large number of birds are to be fattened for the market a
cramming-machine should be used for the purpose.
Market the birds when they are between three and five months old.
You cannot hope to make a profit on birds sold for the table if you keep
them nine or ten months.
To get size in the young stock separate the sexes as early as one can
be distinguished from the other. A good plan is to put those intended for
table purposes out in colonies of twenty-five each in movable houses until
they are ready to be brought in for the fattening process.
Birds kept in confinement, and fed from a trougn with fattening
food will increase from 10 oz. to 15 oz. in a fortnight; if crammed
they will put on 5 oz. to 6 oz. more weight.
The above shows the operator at work. The flexible tube is placed in the
gullet of the bird; the man's foot is placed on the lever, which, when pressed
down, forces sufficient of the thinly mixed food into the crop to fill it. The opera-
tion takes about a quarter of a minute to perform.
FATTENING DUCKS, GEESE, AND TURKEYS.
To fatten ducks or geese place them in a shed, using plenty of straw.
Divide geese into flocks of ten or twelve. Ducks may be fattened in-
larger flocks if necessary. The process of fattening takes about twenty
days. Soft food should be given in the morning, served warm, con-
sisting of barleymeal, mixed with Indian meal, sharps, rice, and cooked
meat, also boiled potatoes, scalded with milk, and with some rendered
fat added. In the evening wheat, barley, oats, and maize should be
given, after it has been steeped in water. Do not fail to supply plenty
ef sharp grit and green food.
Turkeys must have a dry comfortable shed, and should be fed three
times a day for about three or four weeks. The morning meal should
consist of ground oats or barleymeal and boiled potatoes mixed with
skim-milk, and give plenty of fat during the last fourteen days. Give
in the evening wheat, barley, oats, and maize, after being soaked in hoi
water. Supply the corn each day in rotation in the order mentioned.
DISEASES AND REMEDIES.
CAUSES OF DISEASE.
Poultry diseases are brought about by neglect, such as keeping birds
in a badly ventilated or draughty building; want of cleanliness; breed-
ing from diseased stock; careless feeding; and by allowing food to lie
about and become contaminated by the droppings of unhealthy birds.
A bird that dies should at once be burned, or buried deep in the ground.
Should a bird die of infectious disease and be left lying about, the
germs will spread in all directions. If any specially valuable birds be-
come ill, isolate them on the first appearance of the disorder, and treat
them in the manner described herein. If ordinary birds show signs of
sickness, the safest plan is to destroy them at once.
PREVENTION is BETTER THAN CURE.
To prevent disease in your stock you must keep them perfectly cleaa
and comfortably housed. Do not knowingly breed from stock that has
had roup or other diseases or deformity of any description.
KEEP FOWLS OUT OP THE RAIN.
On showery and wet days the birds (if not shut in) will go to roost
with damp plumage; the house becomes musty and unpleasant; the
pullets do not come on to lay when they are expected, and many of the
stock are seen with colds, and running at the 7 nostrils a frequent fore-
runner of roup. Profitable poultry-keeping under such conditions is
hopeless and out of the question.
LlMEWASH YOUR FOWLHOUSE.
Twice a year have the interior of the fowlhouse and nest-boxee
thoroughly limewashed or sprayed. Slosh it on and fill all the cracks
and crevices, so as not to give the insects room to congregate. The
mixture can be made as follows : 1 bushel lime, 1 Ib. salt, a pailful of
buttermilk, and add just what water is necessary.
Numerous as are the enemies from which poultry suffer, there are
none that cause greater damage than insect pests. Thousands of chickens
die owing to their life-blood being sucked out by parasites. The prin-
cipal cause is unclean abodes, and crowding too many under one roof.
Dust-baths should be provided to enable the birds to rid themselves of
SCKATCHING-SHED OR DUST-BATH
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Make this most essential provision for your fowls. Spade up a piece
of ground, pulverise and mix some ashes with it, and give a good sprink-
ling of carbolic powder. The dust-bath should be so protected that the
rain cannot spoil it, and should face the sun. A dust-bath is as good as
a dose of physic; it seems to act as a pick-me-up, and is death to vermin.
A nest-egg which is of value in keeping nests and the fowls sitting
on them free from insects is illustrated. The egg is filled with insect-
powder, which escapes through the perforations in the " shell " on the
movement of the bird. When empty it can be refilled with powder. It
can be obtained from almost all storekeepers.
is one of the worst contagious diseases that fowls are afflicted with,
and unless the affected fowl is very valuable it should be destroyed and
burned or buried at once. Give close attention to the rest of the flock,
thoroughly disinfect the poultry-house, and add iron to the drinking-
water. A little sulphur mixed with the soft-food is beneficial.
Symptoms : Swelling of the head to such an extent that the eyes are
often closed, and a discharge from the eyes and nostrils which is very
offensive to the smell.
Treatment, Press the nostrils until they are free from matter.
Bathe the head and throat twice each day with a solution of vinegar and
water in the proportion of one of vinegar to ten of water, or bathe in the
same way with Condy's fluid. Give a teaspoonful of castor-oil and 1 gr.
quinine pill night and morning. Birds affected should be isolated, and
kept in a warm, dry shed.
The following are also good remedies :
One-fourth teaspoonful of pepper, three-fourths ditto of milk : to be
given twice a day.
A teaspoonful of sweet oil, one ditto of kerosene, four drops carbolic
acid ; mix, and inject a few drops into the nostrils. Apply with a small
oil-can or syringe, and put a little camphorated oil on affected parts.
One tumblerful of vinegar, one-fourth ditto water, one teaspoonful
cayenne pepper : mix thoroughly, and give each bird one teaspoonful thref>
times a day.
Put half a teaspoonful of Condy's crystals into a pint bottle of water ;
add one dessertspoonful of the mixture to two quarts of drinking-water.
This is a contagious and deadly form of diarrhoea. The affected fowls
mope about; the discharge from the bowels is of a watery nature and
particularly offensive. Remove all affected birds from those which ap-
pear healthy; scald out all the drinking-vessels, and give water with
a few drops of laudanum; give boiled rice and a sprinkling of powdered
chalk. If the case is very aggravated, give a pill made up as follows :
Opium, 2 gr. ; rhubarb, 3 gr. ; powdered chalk, 3 gr. Give this pill
This is brought about through the fowls being kept in a damp place.
The feet become contracted and the birds cannot stand. Remove to a
warm place, rub the legs with embrocation or turpentine, and give warm
food with cayenne pepper or powdered ginger.
This is a complaint that can easily be cured. It is caused very often
by birds being without green food for a length of time, then feeding off
long grass and hard corn, which causes the crop to swell. Get an
assistant to hold the bird on its back between his knees; the operator
will then hold the crop in the left hand, remove a few feathers, and with
a sharp knife make a cut about f in. long and remove the contents of the
crop with an egg-spoon ; put a couple of stitches in the crop, and place
the bird in a coop for two days, and give only soft food; it will gene-
rally be all right again in that time.
The symptom of this complaint is continual yawning. The disease is
generally confined to young chickens. It consists of small red worms in
the windpipe. Extract the worms by passing a wing-feather down the
throat, give a gentle turn two or three times, and then withdraw care-
fully, when, on examining the feather, there will often be three or four
worms on the end of it. Put a piece of camphor the size of a walnut in
the drinking-water, replacing the camphor when fresh water is given.
Another remedy : One teaspoonful of turpentine in a pint of meal
made into dough with water.
This is an affection which attacks young birds of the heavy breeds.
Parrish's chemical food is the best remedy. Give one teaspoonful to a
pint of water well mixed, and reduce stimulating food.
This is chiefly caused by overfeeding; maize used frequently will
bring on this deadly complaint. Hens will often die from this if chased.
Administer a dose of Epsom salts, a quarter of a packet for each bird, and
feed on rice and other soft food.
A good remedy for fowls that sneeze, owing to a cold in the head, is
to put one teaspoonful of kerosene in a pint of drinking-water.
DISEASE OP THE EGG-ORGANS.
When a hen becomes egg-bound, pass a well-oiled feather into the vent
and about the edge of the aperture; if the egg does not soon come away,
hold the bird with the vent over a jug of boiling water for a few minutes.
If these measures do not succeed, place the bird on its back between your
knees, with your finger and thumb of the left hand outside the bird's
body ; push the egg carefully towards the vent until it slightly protrudes,
then prick the end of the egg to liberate its contents; carefully break the
egg-shell and take it away, oil the finger and pass it into the vent and
make sure all the pieces of shell are taken out.
is caused by a minute parasite. Bathe the legs well three times a week
with hot water, and rub on a mixture of kerosene, sulphur, and lard.
The mixture should be about the consistency of paint.
Another good remedy is to use a teaspoonful of coal-oil with a cupful
of lard; apply freely; a few applications will usually suffice.
Isolate affected birds from the remainder of the flock, as the disease
ERUPTION ON COMB.
When an eruption breaks out on a bird's comb, give half a teaspoon-
ful of castor-oil. Rub the affected part lightly with olive-oil, in which
should be mixed six drops of carbolic acid. Give the bird plenty of
This is a branch of the poultry industry that is being rapidly taken up
in this colony, and rightly so, as there is money in it.
It is unwise to have ducks and fowls running together Keep them
Although it is not absolutely necessary to have a ponct for ducks, when
such is available there will be a better percentage of fertile eggs. The
young birds should only have access to the pond once a week, in order
that they may have a good wash. Too frequent bathing will retard
growth and reduce the condition of the birds.
Ducklings should be kept in small runs, so that they can be got ready
for the market as early as possible, which must be when they are from
eight to twelve weeks old; if kept longer than three months old they
will go into moult, and lose condition rapidly. If allowed a big range
their growth will be much slower.
It is advisable to breed only white-plumaged varieties viz., Pekin and
Aylesbury. The latter breed is the most suitable for the London market,
but the Pekin is hardier, and the better layer of the two.
Allow four or five ducks to each drake for breeding purposes.
The best time of the year for hatching is October and November, as
the eggs are better fertilised at that time.
The instructions given under this heading with regard to fowl-eggs
apply equally to duck-eggs.
BROODING AND FEEDING DUCKLINGS.
The temperature of the brooder should be 90 to 95 before the duck-
lings are placed in it, and that heat should be maintained for the first
three days. After that the temperature should be gradually reduced. If
the ducklings crowd together, more heat is necessary. Give them liberty
away from the brooder by degrees, as they are apt to lose their way and
get chilled, which would be fatal. Should they be found huddled outside
the brooder put them back under the " hover." Excepting in very cold
weather, ducklings only require heat for about ten days.
Their first feed should consist of two-thirds bran mixed with oat or
corn meal, to which should be added 10 per cent, hard-boiled egg and
5 per cent, small sharp grit. They must have an ample supply of water,
particularly at feeding-time. Never give more food at a time than they
will eat up clean. After the birds are a week old do not mix grit with
their food, but keep it within easy reach of them so that they can help
themselves. Ducklings should be fed every two hours the first week,
every three hours the second and third weeks, after that three times a
day. At first give 2 per cent, meat (that has been passed through a
mincing-machine), and increase it by about that quantity each week up
to the fifth week, when about 10 per cent, of meat will be given. Provide
short-cut green food at all times, and boiled potatoes, turnips, and other
vegetables should be given occasionally. Ducklings should be fed from
troughs. If the food is thrown to the ground for them they will trample
on and waste a large quantity of it. Sharp grit and crushed oyster-shells,
and also green food, are absolute necessities for ducks, young and old.
The following will be found an excellent mixture for stock ducks :
Four parts barleymeal, three parts pollard, one part bran, and one part
beanmeal; add 10 per cent, of meat three times a week. If soup is
used for mixing, dispense with the meat. This mixture should be given
warm, in the consistency of stiff porridge. In the evening give soaked
The breeding of geese can be carried on profitably, as they feed mainly
on pasture. It is, however, advisable to give the old birds a little soaked
grain at night in order to induce them to come home.
There are a number of varieties of geese, but the most desirable to
keep are the Toulouse and the Emden. The Emden, being a pure-
white colour, presents a much more attractive appearance when dressed
for the table than the dark-plumaged birds, owing to the objectionable
dark pin-feathers in the latter.
The average number of eggs laid is about thirty a year. The num-
ber of geese with one gander should be two or three. The best time to
mate them is in their second year, and they should be dispensed with when
they are ten years old.
It is better to use large hens, not geese, to incubate the eggs, giving
each hen from four to six eggs. The length of time required to hatch
is twenty-nine to thirty days. Sprinkle the eggs occasionally with warm
water. When the birds are hatched, feed them in the morning as already
described for ducklings. Keep the young birds away from the pond or
stream until they are nearly feathered, but always have clean water
before them to drink.
The first and most important requirement in turkey-raising is strong,
vigorous stock. The birds thrive best upon high and dry land, and espe-
cially where there is plenty of scrub. The greater the range you give
them the better; they will then to a large extent find their own living.
They do not reach maturity until they are three years old, so it is quite a
mistake to breed from birds under two years of age. The male should be
either two or three years old; a frequent change of blood is essential.
The hens lay from twenty to thirty eggs and then become broody.
The period of incubation is twenty-eight days. The chicks are very
stupid at first, and it is a good plan to place two or three hen-eggs with
the turkey-eggs a week after the latter have been started; the chickens
will teach the young turkeys to pick up their food. Particular care
must be taken not to overfeed the breeding birds, and avoid using a
young gobbler and pullets of the same flock. It is not advisable to run
more than eight or nine hens with a gobbler. Do not fail to keep the nest
and the turkey-hen free from vermin by using insect-powder at least twice
during the time she is sitting, or there will be little hope of raising
the poults when hatched. Twenty-four to thirty-six hours after the
chicks are hatched provide food for them as follows : Stale bread soaked
in milk and squeezed dry, adding a small quantity of hard-boiled egg
(the eggs should be allowed to boil from fifteen to thirty minutes), and
occasionally give rice that has been boiled in milk. Oatmeal, barley-
meal, and maizemeal can be given. The food must be mixed to a dry
consistency. Do not forget short-cut green food, consisting of onion-
tops and lettuce. Meat passed through a mincing-machine, with
just a little pepper in it, is beneficial. Sharp grit is necessary. Keep
young turkeys longer on soft food than other chicks. Great care must be
taken not to feed the young birds too much at one time, and if it can be
prevented never allow the poults to get wet; a soaking is fatal to them.
"DON'TS" FOR POULTRY-KEEPERS.
Don't fail to gather eggs twice a day.
Don't take eggs to market unless they are clean and inviting.
Don't forget that eggs are porous, and contaminating surroundings
will spoil them.
Don't forget that if a brooding hen is allowed to sit on a fertilised
egg for twelve hours the flavour is spoiled.
Don't forget that the sooner eggs are marketed the better.
Don't forget that the flavour of the egg is affected by the quality of the
food given to hens.
Don't keep a male bird with hens that are not required to breed from.
Don't allow hens to eat decayed vegetable or animal substances.
Don't keep the water in the sun; it should be always sweet and clean.
Don't forget that sharp grit is teeth to poultry.
Don't feed poultry at irregular intervals.
Don't have filthy nest-boxes; keep them limewashed, and have clean
hay, straw, shavings, or pine-needles in them.
Don't fail to have two or three nest-eggs in each nest; it goes a long
way to prevent fowls eating their eggs.
Don't have perches nailed, or built in step-ladder fashion, but have
them on a level 12 in. to 18 in. from the ground.
Don't forget to breed from your best layers only.
Don't fail to fill your incubator and brooder lamps daily.
Don't send to the export depots birds that are not in good condition.
Don't fail to work up a private trade if possible.
Don't fail to keep a record of the eggs laid during the year.
Don't neglect keeping fowlhouses dry, clean, and free from vermin.
Don't fail to let plenty of sunlight into your fowlhouse; have a large
window facing north-east if possible.
Don't fail to keep oyster-shell or lime, and sharp grit, always before
Don't forget that long-legged birds are seldom good layers, and as
a rule are deficient in breast-meat.
Don't breed from loose-feathered birds; the tight and abundantly
feathered are usually the best layers.
Don't forget that the breeding-pen must be dry to get a good per-
centage of fertile eggs.
Don't fail to give your birds green feed if the grass has become long
Don't fail to grow all the green feed required if you have space.
Don't grow heavy-boned birds; it is meat that is wanted, not bone.
Don't forget that a medium-sized bird of its breed is generally the
best layer; large birds are prone to fat.
Don't compel good layers to support the drones; an idle hen is never
a good layer.
Don't go into the poultry business if you have to depend entirely upon
hired help ; do the technical part of the work yourself.
Don't waste time trying to cure persistent cases of disease.
Don't feed chicks for forty-eight to sixty hours after they are
hatched; feeding too soon will cause indigestion and bowel-trouble.
Don't forget to feed chicks a little and often; the drier the food the
Don't keep an old hen because she has some peculiarity about her;
there should be no sentiment about poultry-keeping when it is a
question of making a living out of it.
By Authority: JOHN MACKAY, Government Printer, Wellington. 1908.
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY