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Printed by WILLIAM H. CULLIN, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty. 



VICTORIA, B.C., January 28th, 1918. 


Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia. 


I have the honour to submit herewith for your consideration Bulletin 
X<>. 63 (2nd Edition), on " Poultry -house Construction," prepared by 
H. E. Upton, Provincial Poultry Instructor, under the direction of Wm. 
E. Scott, Deputy Minister of Agriculture. 

I have the honour to be, 

Your obedient servant, 


Minister of Agriculture. 


VICTORIA. B.C.. January i>th. 11)18. 

Hon. J. Oliver, 

Minister of Agriculture. 

Victoria. B.< . 

SIR. I have the honour to submit herewith for your approval 
Bulletin No. 63 (2nd Edition), entitled " Poultry house Construction," 
which has been compiled by H. E. T'pton. Poultry Instructor. 

In view of the rapid increase in the poultry industry throughout the 
Province, there is no doubt that the bulletin will be of material assistance 
to all engaged therein. 

I have the honour to b\ 

Your obedient servant, 

Deputy Minifstf-r of Agriculture. 




Minister of Agriculture. 

/> inity Minister of 'Agriculture. 

W. T. MrPOXALD. B.S.A.. M.S.A.. 

*H. KIVK i T. A. F. 

Chief Dairy Inttru Dairy Instructor. 


/ Poultry Instructor. Poultry Instructor. 

*\VM. M-:WT"\. ]',S A II. O. ENGLISH. B.A.. B.S.A.. 

for. chief ,<oil and Crop 

HM;AN. P..S.A.. HAY. 

Inxtruffor. I>i*tii<-t Ayriculturixt. Kamloop*. 

A. KNK;HT. \ .s.. s A. K. WHITE, v.s. 

Chief Veterinary Inspector. t->r. 

W. W. ALTON. V - B. R. ILSLEY. V.S.. 

Veterinary Inspector. Veterinary Inspector. 

\tary to the Department. 
* Granted leave of absence for overseas service. 



IIEIJE arc many essentials relating to the housing of poultry, quite a 
number of which apply only to certain parts of the Province. The 
plans oftentimes followed are either too mechanical or not applicable 
to all localities in the Province. Some have built houses which show 
that the first essential of housing poultry was not thoroughly known 
or given attention to before building. It is the intention of the writer 
to mention what should be done in order to get the best results from housing in all 
districts of the Province. 

The most economical way to secure cheap winter egg production is by the con- 
tinuous system of housing; that the stock be hatched at the proper time, which 
means from the 15th day of March to the loth day of May in most any part of 

The frames of houses may be made from trees about 3 inches in diameter, 
above shows a Tolman house in the course of construction. 


British Columbia ; that the poultryman possesses a good knowledge of feeding his 
stock in order to secure good egg production and at the same time not force them ; 
that the stock be of a strain which is not susceptible to any harsh climatic change 
that may occur in any part of the Province ; and, further, that the stock has been 
given every, chance to progress without any set-back from lice, mites, or disease. 
Tnless these essentials have been attended to properly, one must not expect good, 
profitable egg production in any type of poultry-house. 



The house itself should be constructed as cheaply as possible, vet it in- 
convenient and provide a com' - mperature a degree of temperature in 
which a man could work on the cold- - : winter and yet not feel the cold too 
much. It must be airy, so that if any moisture should gather and form a frost on 

walls or roof of the house at night it may become thoroughly dried out during 
the day. As much fresh air as possible should be allowed in the house at all times. 

joold always be kept in a sanitary condition. Droppings-boards should n< 
placed in the house onl- ss t ner -will <-;ean them often. 

Good poultry-homes can be made from :. | : >rest. 


Do not build the house in a deep b" norning sun \\ 

shu: "!y drain*- -weltered from 

Trees on the north form a good 

A plant situated on :, - ope at 



There are many flocks which do exceptionally well in practically all types and 
sizes of houses, but for commercial work one desires a house which is cheap, prac- 
tical, and convenient. One sees instances where flocks of 200 birds do as well as 
flocks of twenty ; so, therefore, it is hard to lay down a hard-and-fast rule as regards 
the sizes of pens or numbers to be housed in the flock. For a general laying-house 
we may say that a house built 14, 16, or 18 feet deep, according to the districts (the 
colder the district, the deeper the house), 4 feet 6 inches at the back, 8 feet (or 9 
feet in a house 18 to 22 feet deep) in the highest point of the gable, and 6 feet 
6 inches in front, making what is termed a " combination roof," will give good success 
in any part of the Province. This house may be made in any length, and may be 
divided in pens to accommodate any number of birds the owner wishes to house. 
The front wall is solid board 1 foot down from the roof. Then there is a 3-foot 
wire opening extending within 1% feet of each end of the pen or house, whichever 
the case may be. Over this opening is built a frame curtain on hinges which will 
swing up snugly against the roof, and built so that it will fit snugly against the 
opening when closed over it to keep out the rain or snow. (See cut of front 


Front section of one pen of the combination-pitch house, 
14 feet long. In all districts where the temperature drops 
below 8 Fahr. we would advise 11$ feet of board at either 
end of opening in place of open front. 

eleTation.) For the distance beyond the opening in each pen one may substitute 
some glass instead of wood, as shown in the cut below, which will work to good 

To show the glass arrangement in place of all wood. 

The floor should be double-boarded. In the colder parts of the Province we 
advise not only breaking the joints, but laying one thickness of building-paper 
between the floors. 




There are many ideas relating to the correct foundation for a long continuous 
house, but there is no set rule to go by. An air-space is desirable under the floor to 
prevent rotting "of the floor-timbers and the floor." itself. If a house be built so 
that the floor-timbers are placed upon boulders at the ends and at short spaces 
between, or on 4-foot posts set 6 feet apart, with 8 or 10 inches above the ground, 
there would be a good circulation under the house in warm weather. In winter one 
can bank up around the house to keep the cold air from blowing under by ploughing 
a single furrow, throwing the dirt against the house. Although a little extra labour 
is involved in this method, the dirt banked against the house can be taken from the 
immediate back. In this way a ditch is formed which will carry the water away 
as it runs off the roof. 

A foundation of cement is strong and more durable than any other if constructed 
properly. When building a cement foundation it is advisable to dig a trench from 
15 to 20 inches in depth directly under where the walls of the house are to be. 

It la necessary to keep the house on a level plane. We would suggest the hire 
of a team, man. and scoop shovel for a day in such an instance to take the dirt from 
the slope and level the same to a certain extent. 

The ditch should then be filled with coarse gravel to about 5 inches from the 
ground-level. Then construct the cement wall G or 8 inches thick to a level of 4 or 6 
inches above the highest point of the ground-level on a level plant. 

The material should be well mixed in proportions of 1 part cement, 3 parts sand, 
and 5 parts coarse gravel, to withstand the weight of the building. Tiles may be 
placed in the concrete on the south side between the ground-level and the floor to 
allow air-circulation and thus prevent the floor-timbers from rotting. 




A good floor must be one which is dry and durable, with a good hard surface. 
If of earth, it must be well drained ; if of cement, the surface under the same must 
be well drained to prevent the dampness from coming up through the cement and 
affecting the birds. A damp floor will cause rheumatism in fowls. It must, also be 

It is advisable to lay tiles under and around the house, unless on a very sandy 
soil, or when the house is on an elevation well protected from winds. A cold, dry 
house can be more easily operated than a wet, damp house, which is undesirable. 

tipper : A correct foundation for a poultry-house. Notice the tiles, which 
should be placed every 3 feet for air-circulation. Lower left : A correct founda- 
tion for houses with cement floors. Lower right : A poor foundation for a board- 
floor house. 

A house built with an earth floor should be well drained, and the soil of a nature 
which will not pat down and draw dampness by capillary action, which would act 
as a drain on the soil surrounding the house. An earth floor can never give the 
same results when litter is placed thereon as will the board floor. 

The board floor is thought to be expensive, from the fact that matched lumber 
or shiplap is usually used. When the floor is constructed by breaking the joints 



and a layer of builders' paper laid between the two floors, it is no more expensive 
than the cement, and chances of success are as great or greater. Dampness can be 
more easily overcome by using a board floor with air-circulation underneath than 
by the cement or earth floor. Neither is there the danger of heaving by frost, or 
cracking, as with the cement floor. 


Walls must be so constructed as to provide warmth, dryness, and strength for 
the house. They should be free from cracks and crevices to prevent mites and lice 
from accumulating in numbers, hence being easily cleaned and disinfected. 

Showing a poorly constructed wall. Openings such as are shown in this cut 
allow too many draughts. 

If a wall is made of single boards tightly fitted and covered with a eood roofing- 
paper, there will be little need of boarding the back wall inside. There is one 
exception to this statement, and that is, in a climate which is damp or where the 
ti'iHi-erature goes below zero for any length of time. 

When laying roofing-paper, always make the laps tight; have them well lapped 
over and thoroughly cemented together. Rather than use batten, we would suggest 
the double-boarding or boarding inside the plates and uprights on the north side of 
the house. 


The roof in a house should be high enough to allow plenty of air-circulation and 
also ease of working. Single-boarded and tightly covered with good roofing-paper, 
shakes, or shingles is all that is required for a roof in a successful house. Shingle 
roofs should be one-third pitch, but roofing-paper will be satisfactory with almost no 

A shed roof does not require tie-beams, but with the combination pitch it is 
desirable to use them on account of the weight of the roof, especially when covered 
with snow. 



The boards on the roof should be brought together. In many instances dampness 
in the house is caused by allowing spaces between the boards. The heat of the fowls 
tends to draw the dampness through the two thicknesses of shingles, whilst the tight 
boarding helps to prevent this. We would further suggest that the roosting-quarters 
be sheathed on the inside of the house in the more damp sections of the Province. 

Showing a well-built wall. Notice the paper is well cemented. 

The same amount of material is required for either the shed, gable, or combina- 
tion-pitch type if the pitch and floor-plan are similar. Unless an alleyway and 
straw-loft is desired, one should not build the gable roof. The shed roof requires 
extra lumber to build nearly 6 feet higher in front than the combination-pitch type. 


1. Shed roof. 

2. Gable roof. 

3. Combination roof. 

4. Semi-monitor roof. 


As all poultry-breeders advocate to day, the more fresh air we can allow in the 
house, the better results are to be obtained from the stock. The chief objection to 


be raised is from the fact that the openings often embrace the whole of the front of 
the house, or the opening embraces the upper half of the front and the lower half is 
of solid boards. A good arrangement of glass and opening for curtain is shown in 
the cut on page Jfc The following cut shows a good arrangement of the amount of 
glass, openings, curtains, and interior arrangements in a pen of a continuous house. 

To show tie beams in combination-pitch house, b, feed-hopper : o, nests ; d, coop 
for extra males; h, place ; . curtain; /, roost curtain (not needed); 

g, roosts. 


We have found quite frequently that ranchers have more or less trouble with 
colds amongst their stock. Though not always the case, we might state that often- 
times this trouble is due to the fact that there is too much frontage to a pen or pens 
in the house in comparison to the depth of the house. 

A house that is built 14 feet in depth should not have pens over 14 feet in 
length, unless there is a good wind-break near the roosts, or, say, covering the back 
half of the pen, running from back to front of house. 

Partitions should be tight at the back half of the house. If the builder does not 
desire to make the front half of the partition of solid board, a good heavy cloth 
could be used as a substitute. The strong objections to cloth are that it is less 
durable and collects dust very qui-kly. 

Another suggestion might be that boards be used to the height of 2^4 feet from 
the floor up, with the exception of the roosting part of the house, and cloth be used 
to fill up the remaining distance. 


The best place for doors seems to be in the centre of the partitions all through 
the house. All doors should be raised above the floor G inches, so that the. bottom 
will clear the litter. A 5-inch piece of inch board may be nailed permanently under 
the door. 

The doors should be hung evenly on hinges which are durable. A cheap hinge 
is an expensive nuisance when once it gets out of working order. 

\ _:<>od serviceable door is one which will allow ample room for the attendant 
to walk through with a pail in his hand. The writer prefers a single to a double 
door, except in cases where a trolly-car is to be u?ed in the house. 

The interior doors should swing both ways rather than one, and when once shut 
should be secured firmly. Continual swinging of doors means a draught, which one 
desires to overcome. 




All interior fixtures of the house should be portable. The perches should be in 
the warmer part of the house, where no draughts can strike the stock, yet allowing 
them plenty of fresh air. They should run from east to west inside the back wall 
of the house. 

Perches may be made from trees of 3 inches in diameter, or by using 2x4 
joists. The edges should be skived down evenly, then placed narrow edge up, and 
always built on the same level. 

The general working rule for roost-room is 6 to 8 inches per bird, and the 
perches placed 12 to 15 inches apart, having the first perch 15 inches from the back 
of the house. 

A poor open-front arrangement, showing too much wood and glass. 


Drop-boards should not be used if the poultryman cannot give them the atten- 
tion required. It is better that a 12-inch piece of rough lumber be nailed across the 
back of the pen far enough out from the back wall to catch all the droppings. An 
absorbent, such as loam, sand, or slaked lime, should be used in this method to keep 
the house from smelling badly. 

In constructing the platforms the boards should be laid from the back towards 
the front of the house, rather than from wall to wall, to allow of easy cleaning. 

Many prefer building the drop-boards with a pitch to the front, instead of on 
the level plane, with a piece of 1 x 3 inch nailed edgewise along the front to keep 
the droppings from falling in the litter. An opening is allowed every 4 feet 



measuring 2x8 inches through which the droppings fall into a box as they are 
scraped from the boards. This does away with holding the box or basket continually 
while scraping the boards. 

Cut showing Tc 


Many houses about the Province have nests constructed on the front wall of 
the house. Though little trouble is given as a rule, there is danger of germination 
and too great evaporation in the egg itself, while the nests become too warm to be 
comfortable for the layer. One must cater to the needs and likes of the stock in 
order to secure all possible profits from them. 

A strong objection is also made against placing nests under the drop-boards. 
Lice, mites, etc., are always more prevalent in this part of the pen. If nests be 
placed here, they should be high enough from the floor so the stock will not lay on 
the floor in corners. They should also be near the front edge of the drop-boards, 
and should be portable, removing and cleaning them often. 

Perhaps the most desirable place to locate the nests is shown in the cut detailing 
the inside arrangement of a commercial poultry-house. Orange or apple boxes may 
be made to fit in a cabinet, as is shown in the same cut. 

N--<ts should be 12 to 15 inches high, 14 inches wide, and, if single, at least 
15 inches deep, thus being spacious and airy. They should also be dark, and the 
bottom well covered with dry litter. 

About the best litter to use is a fine, dry straw. If eggs are broken in the nest, 
the nesting material should be replenished at once. 

Trap-nests may be used, but they are not a strict^- commercial proposition. 



When building, nail on wire, then lay last board over same to hold in place. 

A 12-inch board (1 x 12 inches) at the top of the opening would be of service to keep 
the temperature more even inside. 






The trap-nest system of poultry-breeding is one which gives the best black and 
white results. Owing to the great amount of time involved in this system, it lies 
with the poultrynian himself whether he trap-nests his stock or not. If one does 
not care to trap-nest all his stock, some advantage will accrue from trap-nesting 
some of the April-hatched stock that matured nicely. In this way only a small 
amount of time will be required, yet in time the poultrynian can advertise pedigree 
trap-nested stock which will be all he claims for it. One will also lind, by using 
males from the trap-nested hens, that in a few generations a good strain of layers 
can be built up. 

In all the experimental work done by experiment stations use is made of trap- 

The cufs and dimensions of the latest nest, which was devised by the Maine 
Experiment Station, show an excellent double-compartment nest. 

This shows a good interior arrangement for a commercial poultry-house. 

The features of superiority of this nest over the old types used there, as also 
of the coop type of nest, are: Firstly, certainty of operation; secondly, more 
simplicity in construction and less tendency to get out of order; thirdly, saving of 
labour in resetting the nest. 

The nest is a box-like structure without front end of cover, 28 inches long, 13 
inches wide, and 1C inches deep, inside measure. A straight board partition extend- 
ing up a few inches from the floor of the nest, 12 inches from the back and 15 
inches from the front, divides the nest in two compartments. 

The front portion of the nest has no fixed bottom. Instead there is the movable 
bottom or treadle, which is hinged at the back end of the front half, as shown* in 
the cut. To this treadle is hinged the door of the nest. The cut gives very detailed 

When the nest is open the door extends horizontally in front. In this position 
the side strips of the door rest on a strip of beech 1^ inches wide, bevelled on the 
inner corner, which extends across the front of the nest. This beech strip is nailed 
to the top of a board 4 inches wide, which forms the front of the nest-box proper. 
To the bottom of this is nailed a strip 2 inches wide, into which are set two 4-inch 
spikes from which the heads have been cut. The treadle rests on these spikes when 
the nest is closed. The hinges used in fastening the treadle and door are narrow 
3-inch galvanized butts with brass pins, made to work very easily. It is necessary 
to use hinges which will not rust. 


When the hen about to lay steps up on the door and walks in towards the dark 
at the back of the nest, she passes the point where the door is hinged to the treadle, 
and her weight on the treadle causes it to drop. This at the same time pulls the 
door up behind he,r. It is then impossible for the ben, to get out of the nest till the 
attendant lifts door and treadle and resets it. 

The nest is very simple. It has no locks or triggers to get out of order. Yet 
by proper balancing of door and treadle it can be so delicately adjusted that a weight 
of less than half a pound on the treadle wi'.l spring the trap. All bearing surfaces 
are made of beech because of the well-known property of this wood to take on a 
highly polished surface with wear. The nests in use at the Maine Station have the 
doors of hardwood in order to get greater durability. Where trap-nests are con- 
stantly in use poor construction is not economical in the long run. For temporary 
use the door could be constructed of soft wood. 

An excellent type of nest. These nests are hung on the wall and may be removed for 
cleaning. This type of nest Is dark, the bird entering from the rear and the door in front 
being opened to remove the eggs. 

The trap-nests are not made with covers because they are used in tiers and slide 
in and out like drawers. Four nests in a pen accommodate fifteen hens by attendant 
going through the pens once an hour, or a little oftener, during that part of the day 
when the hens are busiest. The hens must all have leg-bands in order to identify 
them ; a number of different kinds can be purchased in the larger towns of the 
Province. The double box with the nest in the rear is an advantage. When a hen 



Maine State trap-nest. 

Showing nest closed. 

Showing nest open. 


_PL- A N 





i 2 


_ .n trap-nest. The hoop form of trap is desired by many. 



has laid an egg and desires to leave the nest, she steps out into the front space and 
remains there until she is released. With only one section she would be likely to 
crush her egg by stepping on it, and thus learn the pernicious habit of egg-eating. 

To remove a hen the nest is pulled part way out, and as it has no cover she is 
readily caught, the number on her leg-band noted, and the proper entry made on 
the record sheet. After having been taken off a few times the hens do not object 
to being handled, most of them remaining quiet, apparently expecting to be picked up. 
Trap-nests were used at the Maine Station for leghorns. Brahmas, Wyandottes, and 
Plymouth Rocks. 

Inside view of nest closed. 


For sides, four pieces S-inch shiplap '2 feet 4 inches long. 

For back, two pieces 8-inch shiplap 14 inches long. 

For bottom, trap, etc., one piece 8-inch shiplap 8 feet long. 

For corner pieces, one piece rough lumber 34 x 1% inches, 10 feet long. 

Approximately 20 feet of lumber, say $0 50 

Two pair hinges 50 

Approximate cost of material $1 00 

A single-compartment trap-nest, the origin of which is not exactly known to the 
writer, is in vogue on several of our poultry-ranches. This nest is giving good 
satisfaction in several parts of the United States and Canada. One man near 
Victoria is using this form of trap-nest by adjusting the buttons on the ordinary 
30-dozen egg-case, making two trap-nests from the case, thus having a very cheap 

The nest should be built 15 inches in height, 14 inches deep, and 12 inches wide. 
It may be built singly or in a tier form like that shown in the following cut. In the 
same cut the nest in the upper left-hand corner is closed, representing a hen laying 
inside. The one on the right shows the nest with door set to catch on the back of 
the hen as she enters the nest. Notice the little screw-button made of wood instead 


of having a screw-hook as shown in the line cut. The lower tier of nests shows 
the same as above, but allows one to see the door resting upon the trigger as it 
is set. 

The single-compartment trap-nest may be made in tier form. 

Showing front view of tier form slpgle-compartment nest. 



The method of working is as follows: The hen enters the nest and as she 
steps in her back lifts the door free from the trigger. The trigger is immediately 
released and falls upon the stop-block, while the door swings to the front and hits 



against the screw-hook, which stops the same from swinging outward. Inside, the 
trigger resting upon the stop-block prevents the door from swinging inward. Thus 
the door is held intact until the operator wishes to release the hen. 

A combination-pitch house showing the raised walk scheme for visitors, 
is very helpful when cleaning out the house. 

This walk 

The tier form of nest has no back to it. thus it can be set against or hooked on 
the side-walls or partitions of the house. In the cuts a wire and a wooden dour 
are shown. One is as serviceable as the other, but the wooden door is less expensive 
and requires less time to build. 


The line cut shows how the door may be suspended from a wire rod. We 
prefer, however, to hang the door by screw-hooks and eyes to the strip at the top 
front of the nest, which would allow one to remove the doors when not trap-nesting. 


Some beginners will still have room for alleyways left in their house when 
building. If the doors are in the centre of the pens, as before mentioned, the 
poultryman has a greater chance to get his stock acquainted with him by continually 
moving about amongst them. It may take a few more minutes to open and close 
the doors, but this is preferable to the stock becoming excited each time the attendant 
enters the pen. 

Alleyways reduce the holding capacity of the house to quite an extent, as well 
as causing draughts by allowing such long, unobstructed currents of air within the 

If many visitors are received, the poultryman should build a walk along the 
outside of the house. The visitors can thus view the stock from out-of-doors. 


It is as essential for the hens to have a dust-wallow as the "tub" is to the 
human being. Sandy loam and sifted coal-ashes, with a little sulphur mixed, make 
a very good dust-bath, providing it is slightly damp. 

The dust-bath should be placed near the front of the pen. If a box is used, 
tenpenny nails may be driven in firmly all around the edges 3 or 4 inches apart to 
prevent the stock from roosting upon the edges. 


Each pen should be provided with a coop to keep the hens in when they become 
broody. It is a good idea to have the same suspended by wires from the roof-plates. 
It should be constructed of common light stuff, with either a wire or slatted bottom, 
front, sides, and top. 


Though there are several opinions as to the best water utensil, we prefer either 
a shallow pan set on a lid 14 inches off the floor or the 10-quart pail. The container 
should be so placed that the fowls cannot get into the pan, nor congregate about the 
same, causing dampness to collect in this spot. If the container is placed on a 
shelf, the shelf should not extend beyond the width of the pan. When the container 
is high off the floor, nail a 1-inch strip around the shelf to prevent the fowls' feet 
from gathering dampness. 


The question is often asked:. How much range should be allowed for the stock? 
The writer believes that there is only one real answer, and that is, to give the stock 
as much range as possible. This statement does not mean, however, that the stock 
shall roost in the trees all winter, nor stay in the hay-loft. It simply means, use 
your good judgment. 

One cannot allow as much range to layers as to breeders. With the high cost 
of labour existing, the layers can be housed on the continuous plan, commercially 
sneaking, to good advantage, and the breeders kept in small flocks on the colony 
plan during the breeding season. 

The yards for the continuous plan should be made with width of the interior 
plan, and no less than 70 feet long. When one has several hundred fowl housed 
on the continuous system, the question of soil-contamination must not be overlooked. 
Runs may easily be made on the north side of the house. The partition fences on 
the north and south may be taken up each alternate year and placed on the side 
which is used as runs that year. The other half may be sown with a mixture of 


clover and rye in the spring, ensuring a good green mat for the next i*eason's laying 
stock. If provision is made for green feed, one may estimate on giving 10 to 30 
square feet per bird in .confinement. 

If the stock is JUoused on the colony plan, the houses should be placed in rows 
with doors facing on a centre road. In this way many steps are sared. 

All fences must be high enough to prevent the stock from flying over. A wire 
fence gives best satisfaction. Heavy-weight varieties require a fence 4 to 5 feet 
high. Light-weight varieties should have a 6-foot fence. If stock will not stay 
within these fences, providing the care and feeding are correct, their wings should 
be clipped or the runs covered. 


In practice, it is found that small flocks need much more floor-space, propor- 
tionately speaking, than large flocks. Within a house or pen 20 x 20 feet, 100 light- 
weights or 75 heavy-weights may be housed quite comfortably with good results. 
If a house or pen be 12 x 12 feet. 2o heavy-weights or 35 light-weights is the usual 
rule. For hens of medium-sized breeds from 4 to G square feet should be allowed 
when housed in flocks of twelve or more. For smaller flocks the amount of floor- 
space should increase as the number decreases. 


Before any birds are secured it is necessary to provide suitable quarters tor 
them. The house must be dry, well ventilated, free from draughts, sunny, and 
bright. Any building possessing these few essentials will prove satisfactory to the 

In addition to these, the beginners will do well to bear in mind the necessity 
of economy in construction, and also plan the building with reference to its con- 

Start on a small scale. The first house should be small, and either portable or 
constructed of inexpensive materials. Any one living on rented property should keep 
in view the possible necessity of moving, and plan his poultry buildings accordingly. 

Some firms in or near Vancouver and Victoria make portable poultry-houses to 
meet the requirements of poultry-keepers who would rather purchase a complete 
house than build it at home. Some of these portable buildings are constructed in 
units, and sections may be purchased as required. They are all alike, in that they 
are furnished with complete equipment, are light in construction, quickly erected 
or taken down, and easy of transport. In many cases they cost less than similar 
structures built at home. 


Piano-boxes are freely used, especially when they can be purchased at a low 
price. In most cities they can be secured at prices ranging from $1.50 to $3 each. 

A very practical small house can be made from two piano-boxes. Any one 
handy with common tools can construct such a house at a low cost, for little 
additional material will be required. 

The average piano-box is 5 feet hi^h. fi feet long, and 2^> feet wide. As con- 
structed. this two-box house has approximately 40 square feet of floor surface, which 
is doubled if the structure is set up on posts 4 to 6 feet above the ground to permit 
the birds to run underneath the floor. This is an excellent scheme in the warmer 
parts of the Province, enabling one to keep a larger number of fowls, oi^give a small 
flock much more space, but should never be practised in the mountainous sections. 

In building, proceed as follows: Have two boxes of the same size. Remove the 
boards from the back and top of each box. working carefully to avoid splitting. 
Set the boxes back to back 3 feet apart on three pieces of 2- x 4-iuch material, and 
nail them in place. Nail boards on the 2 x 4's sufficient to fill the space between 
the boxes, to complete the floor. Then secure two boards 8 or 10 inches wide, and 
long enough to reach from shoulder to shoulder of the boxes. Mark the centre of 



one side of each board, and then saw from that point to the lower corner of the 
opposite side. When nailed in place on top of each end of the pair of boxes, these 
boards will support the roof, the points forming the peak. 

Complete the roof by nailing on enough boards to cover, taking care to make 
joints smooth at the shoulders. Board up the opening between the boxes on the 
back, or north side, tightly. 

Showing front view of piano-box bouse. 

The frame of the building is now complete, excepting the south side, in which 
the door is placed, and windows if desired. 

The latter need not be provided with glass sash, as cloth-covered frames will 
serve the purpose well, furnishing both light and ventilation and saving money. 
The opening for the windows should be cut in the centre of the end of each box. 
Each opening should be covered with wire netting. Half-inch mesh wire is recom- 

Showing side view of piano-box house. 



The door may be made by nailing on to two cross-strips enough boards to fill 
the opening between the boxes. It should then be hung on strong hinges and swing 

If the fowls are to be permitted to go out of the house, a small door should be 
arranged for in the lower west end of southern exposure. This additional opening 
should be so placed as to avoid cross-draughts. 

The frames for each window should fit tightly, and each should be covered with 
one thickness of thin muslin or cotton cloth. Unbleached sheeting is commonly used 
for this purpose. These frames maybe buttoned on the front or hinged inside. If 
hinges are used, they should be placed on the top so the frames may be swung up 
out of the way t<> the roof, to prevent the hens roosting or laying on them when not 
in i> 

The building should then be covered to make it wind and weather proof, using 
one-ply roofing-pa per. This material should be put on as smoothly as possible in 
warm weather and should lie well cemented and nailed. 

For winter use the house must be kept free from cross-draughts.- It is also 
important that good ventilation be provided during hot weather. Tight poultry- 
houses litM-i.iiu- uncomfortably hot in the summer, and birds confined in them do 
not remain string and active. One may either arrange to face the house north 
during the summer months, and so prevent the sun from shining in. or cut a good- 

: door high up in the rear, keeping the same tightly closed until hot weather. 
when it may be ojn-ned to provide the necessary ventilation. 

A type of colony house which would work well on a city lot for 15 hens 




The combination-pitch house is one that the writer can advise being built in 
any part of the Province. Where the temperature drops to zero for any length of 
time, this house should be built 18 or 20 feet in depth ; but where the temperature 
goes below zero, the house should be built 20 or 22 feet in depth. 

The material needed for a unit of this house built 14 x 16 feet is as follows : 



Rough Lumber. 




4" x 4" x 14' 
2" x 4" x 16' 
2" x 4" x 16' 
2" x 4" x 6' 8" 
2" x 4" x 5' 
2" x 4" x 10' 
2" x 4" x 14' 
iy 2 " x 6" x 12' 
2" x 4" x 8' 
2" x 4" x 12' 
1" x 12" x 14' 
8" x 8" x 3' 
2" x 4" x 14' 
1" x 12" x 14' 
2" x 4" x 10' 

Boards, 8 x 14' long. 
8 x 16' , 
8 x 10' , 
8 x 14' , 
8 x 16' , 



Front studs 

Back studs 

Side studs 



Front roof-joists 

I Jack roof -joists 

Front plank 



Drop-boards , 


Floor ( double ) 





Cost of Material.* 

800 feet rough lumber @ $14 $11 20 

1.100 feet shiplap @ $16 17 60 

Three rolls roofing-paper @ $1 3 00 

One window 3 00 

Hinges and fastenings for door 50 

Nails 1 70 

Wire front 3 00 

Cost of material only $40 00 

The reason that this house is called the " combination-pitch " house is due to 
the fact that the point of the gable makes a slope of one-third to the north and two- 
thirds to the south in the roof. Detailed measurements are given in conjunction 
with the cuts. 


This type of fresh-air house is used quite extensively by many poultrymen to good 
advantage. It entails a little more labour in building than does the combination- 
pitch house. The objection in a continuous house of this type .is the disadvantage 
one has in cleaning the same, but this could be overcome by having part of the 
front in the form of a door, so that the litter could be removed from each individual 
pen and carried away from the outside of the house. 

* Add on 50 per cent, of the cost price to all these prices for 1918. 




.: - 









k ! 










4 --- 














Combination-pitch house. (For front elevation see p. 9.) 



The material for a unit of a Woods poultry-house 14 x 14 feet is as follows : 



Rough Lumber. 


4" x 4" x 14' 



2" x 4" x 14' 



2" x 4" x 14' 

Studs, front 


2" x 4" x 4' 

., centre 


2" x 4" x 7' 

.. centre 


2" x 4" x 9' 

.. back 


2" x 4" x 5' 



2" x 4" x 14' 



2" x 4" x 7' 



2" x 4" x 10' 

Front board 


1" x 12" x 14' 



1" x 12" x 14' 



2" x 4" x 14' 



2" x 4" x 10' 

Floor ( double ) 


Planks 8" x 14' long 



8" x 14' 



8" x 6' 



8" x 10' 

Cost of Material.* 

550 feet rough lumber @ $14 $ 7 70 

1,100 feet shiplap @ $16 17 60 

Two transoms 3 00 

One side-window 2 00 

Four pairs hinges and one hasp 2 00 

Wire for front 50 

Three rolls tar-paper 3 00 

T^aths 50 

Nails 3 00 

Nine posts 2 25 

Cost of material only 


$41 55 

The Tolman house is one which is used more for a colony system of housing 
than for continuous housing. It should, however, give fair success when built deep 
enough, providing that plenty of light is allowed inside by having muslin or glass 
doors in between the pens. This, of course, adds to the expense of the house con- 
siderably. A type of this house which is called "the automatic hen-house" was 
originated by Professor W. R. Graham, of the Ontario Agricultural College, and was 
built 20 x 20 feet. We believe this house to be very good where persons are housing 
75 or 100 fowls in one flock in the more dry sections of the Province, especially 
during the winter-time. 

* Add on 50 per cent, of the cost price to all these prices for 1918. 




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Woods house. 



Front section cut through Woods house. 

The material for a unit of the Tolman house, which in the original is 8 x 14 
feet, is as follows : 



Rough Lumber. 



2" x 8" x 17' 
2" x 4" x 8' 
li/o" x 12" x 8' 
2" x 4" x 14' 
2" x 4" x 8' 
2" x 4" x 8' 
2" x 4" x 8' 
2" x 4" x 8' 
2" x 4" x 5' 
2" x 4" x 10' 
1%" x 6" x 10' 
2" x 4" x 10' 
1" x 12" x 8' 
2" x 4" x 8' 
1" x 12" x 8' 

Boards, 8" x 14' long. 
8" x 8' 
8" x 10' 
8" x 12' 
8" x 10' 





Side studs 

Front studs 

Back studs 



Bars, etc 

Front board 



Double floors 


Back . 

Two sides 


Cost of Material.* 

343 feet rough lumber @ $14 < 5 01 

738 feet shiplap @ $16 '..'.'.'.'.'.'.'. 11 80 

Two windcrws \ 3 00 

Two rolls tar-paper 2 00 

One bundle laths 60 

Two door-hinges and one hasp 1 50 

Wire for front 25 

' ._ 2 00 

Cost of material only 26 16 


If one prefers to build the shed-roof house instead of any of the foregoing, there 
perhaps can be no better plan than that of the Cornell type of house, 16 x 16 feet. 
This house, being built 9 feet at the front, or south elevation, and 5 feet at the back, 
has hardly enough pitch to be used in the colder sections of the Province, but should 
work well in any other sections. For the benefit of those who desire to build such 
a house, making two pens 16 x 16 feet, the material needed for such a house, 16 x 32 
feet, is as follows : ' 

15 pieces 2" x 4" x 10'. 

15 2" x 4" x 14'. 

6 .. -2" x 3" x 12'. 

13 .. -I" x r," x 18'. 

2 - .. 2" x 4" x VI'. 

405 square feet shiplap for roof, 18-foot lengths. 

360 .. shiplap. 16-foot leusrhs. 

220 .. rough lumber for back, 12-foot lengths. 

300 .. rough lumber for ends, 16-foot lengths. 

150 .. rough lumber for partition, 16-foot lengths. 

700 .. shiplap for miscellaneous work, 16- foot lengths. 

280 .. shiplap for front. 12-foot lengths. 

24 pieces 1M>" stuff. 12-foot lengths, for inside fixtures. 

For sills. 4 pieces 8" x 8" x 16', rough lumber. 

For floor. 64 pi<-.-es 1" x 12" x 16', rough lumber. 

Hardware, including roofing-paper and glass. $40. 

NOTE. The dimensions given on the cuts are applicable to the Lower Mainland, 
Lower Gulf Islands, and the southern part of Vancouver Island. In other parts of 
the Province, according to the coldness and dampness of the atmosphere, the houses 
should be altered to meet the conditions. From Chill iwack to Kamloops and from 
Cowichan to Comox we would suggest that houses be built at least 16 feet in depth. 
For other parts of the Province where we have extreme cold the houses should be 
built at least 18 feet in depth. In constructing poultry -houses, one should never 
build them under 12 feet in depth nor over 22 feet ; the former would allow too much 
air-circulation in the house, and the latter would allow too much dampness to collect 
that would not dry out during the day. 

* Add on 50 per cent, of the cost price to all these prices for 1918. 






Tolman house. 








The coal-burning brooder-stoves seem to give the best results by operating them 
on the colony-plan system. This division recommends a colony house built 10 x 12 
feet, with the back -5 feet 6 inches inside and the fronb 8 feet over all. We recom- 
mend that the door be placed in the centre of the front and to swing outward. This 
will allow the attendant to operate the stove with greater ease, and also without 
disturbing the chicks, by going direct to the stove rather than walking from the side 
of the house to the front of the stove when shaking, filling, and doing the various 
things that one must do at night. 

Two six-light sashes should also be made to swing outward by hinging at the top. 
These should be at the front of the house, one on each side of the door. The bottom 
of the sash should be at least 2% feet from the floor. Inside the sash-opening 
should be two cotton sashes made to swing in from the top by hinging at the bottom. 
By having the glass and cotton frames so hinged no direct current of cold air will 
strike the chicks, and at the same time a good amount of fresh air will always be 
accessible. The operator must so fix the sashes that the wind will not cause them to 
fly back and forth. 

Colony brooder-house, 14 feet long and 10 deep ; curtain-fronted. This house is built on 
skids and can be easily hauled by a team. 

The house can be made of single boards and shingled, with building-paper 
between. In the colder sections of the Province we would recommend double-boarding 
by boarding on both the outer and inner side of the frame timbers, then using either 
shingles or good building-paper. The majority of the breeders prefer shingles to 
building-paper on the brooder-houses. The floor should be double-boarded in all 
sections of the Province and built on skids. The skids should be placed IS inches 
from either wall, and should run from wall to wall rather than from back to front. 

Too much stress cannot be laid on the importance of rounding off the corners 
and leaving no cracks for chicks to get in between during the night. 


Plans are usually given by brooder-manufacturers to persons desirous of using 
the oil-burning stoves. 


The problem of securing better results from brooding has been studied and experi- 
mented with by many different experiment stations and individuals for several 
seasons past. There have been so many difficulties to contend with that the work 
has been left mainly in the hands of communities rather than individuals for results. 

The following detailed description is the result of the work done by Dr. R. 
Pearl, of the Maine Experiment Station, in conjunction with his poultry staff. 
The above station had used many different types of brooders, but each had its 
objectionable features. Therefore, before the brooder which is described below 
was known to any one outside of the station staff, it was experimented with under 
all difficulties, in order to improve any mediocrity which might exist. 

It is from the above results that the writer feels thoroughly justified in 
recommending the brooder to the poultrymen of this Province. Practical experience 
has been exactly as outlined in the following lines, and the advantages are needed 
by many who are engaged in the business. To point out the benefits derived there- 
from, the main faults of the regular brooder are designated as follows : - 

Firstly : The mortality in the old type of brooder is found to be exceptionally 
high within a few days after the chicks are placed therein. For example, if the 
hover be situate in the centre, placed on a closed projection whereinto the heat 
was conducted, invariably, on a cold night, the chicks would crowd in towards the 
heated projection. The result was that one would pick from five to ten chicks out 
each morning which had been trampled to death, until the number- was small 
enough for all around the projection to get an even amount of heat. From this 
point, we arrived at the conclusion that the heat was not evenly distributed, so, 
therefore, one must first choose a hover which will throw out the heat to all parts 
of the brooder. 

1 *^ >* *$- J i WT-- ' 


Cut 1. Showing house suitable for installing two of the described brooders. 

Secondly: The difficulty in obtaining the required amount of heat could be 
overcome only by having a higher flame. The flame being turned up, one would 
get lottoin heat, which is not desired. Again, if a draught happens to strike a 
too-high Hame, one would have a fire to contend with. 

Thirdly: One must also consider that the lamp-fumes and vitiated air must 
be taken from the interior of the house, especially so when two brooders are oper- 
ated in a small space. 

Fourthly : There is too much labour involved in the moving-about of the 
small brooders of the box type. They are not only heavy and clumsy, but have to 


be carried from the house on the range to the storehouse, thus entailing too much 
time in the busy season. 

With the brooder outlined the above faults are overcome. It I* so constructed 
that it may be dismantled in five minutes, the hover and its parts put in one place. 
and the different frames, etc., placed in under the floor of the brooder. Any plan 
which is shown to be of a labour-saving nature should be welcomed by every poultry- 
man in the Province. The advantages which we found to accrue from the use of 
this brooder are as follows: 

It was found possible to rear a larger number of chicks in proportion to the 
number originally put in than in any other brooder, and the mortality was much 
lower. Furthermore, the chicks not only lived and grew quicker, but were more 
thrifty than those raised in any other type. 

We must not let the problem of tuberculosis pass unnoticed. Although we do 
not see it in so much young stock, the main way to help prevent this disease is by 
allowing more fresh air to the young chicks from the time they leave the shell until 
they are put into the laying-house. 

The Construction of the Brooder. 

With the idea in mind of obtaining a fresh-air brooder, it was deemed advis- 
able to use a wall which is permeable to air. In meeting this requirement, the 
outer side and front walls, as also the top \>t the brooder, were made of cloth. 
Collectively speaking, the brooder is a cloth box containing a hover of the type in 
which the lamp-fumes are conducted outside of the building by an exhaust-pipe. 
These brooders may be built permanently into the house which they occupy. If 
the house be 6 x 6 feet, we would not place more than one brooder in the same. 
If it be 12 x G feet (as shown in Cut 1 i. two brooders may be run to their full 
capacity. When two brooders are placed in the buildii:g. a part of the end wall 
and part of the back wall of the building form two of the sides of each brooder. 
The remaining side, front, and cover are made of cloth tacked firmly on light wooden 
frames, as are shown in <'ut 2. The floor of the brooder stands 10 inches above 
the floor of the house. From the front of the brooder a sloping walk extends down 
to the floor of the house, reaching in width clear across the whole front of the 
brooder. A small piece of burlap may be tacked on this runway to allow the 
chicks to run up and down from the hover more easily. The cloth front and side 
of the brooder are not permanently fixed in position, but are removable panels, 
which are held together to the framework by hooks and eyes, cleats also being 
placed on the floor and sides, as shown in Cut 3. The cover is hinged in the middle 
in such a way that it can be either half or entirely open, and folded back out of 
the way. The advantage of having it jointed in the middle is that the degree of 
heat may be fixed more regularly, and that by folding over it is possible to turn up 
against the back and roof, thus leaving no small holes for the chicks to fly into and 
get lost, as shown in Cut 6. 

A hover of the circular type must be used in this kind of brooder. The lamp 
is placed inside the house, underneath the brooder, on the floor. Two little 
of wood should be nailed securely on the floor, to prevent the lamp from sliding 
about. By having the lamp inside the house, we do not have any trouble from 
winds or rains when we wish to light it. In the old type of brooder it often 
requires a box of matches to light the lamp in the outdoor box. Heavy insulation 
is also required on the inner side of the top of the hover or drum, to reduce the 
of heat by radiation in the early spring. Detailed working drawings are given, as 
seen in the cuts. Fig. 2 shows the end elevation of the brooder. Fig. 3 shows a 
section through the middle of the brooder. Fig. 4 shows the floor-plan and arrange- 
ment of the hover. Fig. 5 shows the brooder in operation. Fig. shows its appear- 
ance when dismantled, with the parts stored in the base, yft the house is in use by 
the larger chickens. 


There is no roost provided in Cut (5, but two scantlings may be laid across the 
house, on top of the wall side of the brooder, which will accommodate about fifty 
good-sized birds. 

Material of any sort of planed lumber may be used, though it is well to secure 
lumber which has been thoroughly dried, and which will not swell too quickly from 




- - 15 - 



: 12" 

be\d by 

b. b 

Cut 2. End elevation of brooder. Note sloping run to floor, hinged cover, remov- 
able side panel AA on base of brooder. In the centre of this is a small door made of 
% -inch mesh galvanized wire. Through this door the lamp is withdrawn for filling 
and cleaning. The panel AA is removed from the brooder, is dismantled, and the 
whole superstructure is then packed away under the base. See text for further 

Cut 3. Section through middle of brooder. Note cloth cover and side, large space 
between floor of brooder and floor of house, in which the lamp is placed while the 
brooder is ia operation, and which serves as a storage place for the whole upper part 
of the brooder when the latter is not in use. 


wetting. Where the joints hare to be connected in the frames, the material calls 
for lumber of even width, also tending to keep the muslin firm and straight. Burlap 
may be used in the place of muslin, but it does not allow light to enter the brooder 
uld white material. 

8 B RwoWe erx* ond frttnT 
held by Hooks KH teufar^Kts PP 
&B or-* Go-vci5 oo >-ood 

Cut 4. Floor-plan of brooder. 

A few measurements would, perhaps, make the above a little more clear, as 
follow? : 

The height with the cover up is 4' 4" 

The height of the back is 2' 1" 

The width of the floor is i 1 ' 10" 

:th of run i." 1" 

Length all over 3' 1"" 

Length of end 2' '," x 1' 11" 

Canvas top frame 3' 7 l ^ " x _ 

Canvas front frame 3' 6" x 1' 11" 

Canvas end frame I - x 1' 11" 

Pieces of wood about S or 8% inches are used for elevating the floor of brooder 
from the floor of the house. Use inch stuff for cleats. Where tongue and groove 
lumber or shiplap cannot be used, we would recommend breaking the joints. 


Hovers may be purchased from firms in the Province that can easily be adapted 
for utilization in an arrangement of the above-mentioned type. We would suggest 
to the poultrymen that they substitute more cotton and muslin in the place of so 
much wood and glass. 

Cut 5. Showing brooder installed and ready for operation. 

Cut 6. Showing brooder dismantled and parts stored in base. 



Lire Stock and Mixed Farmimj. 

No. 60. Hog-raising in British Columbia. 
.. t'.4. Angora and Milch Goats. 
.. )<;. Silns and Silage. 

.. <>7. Feeding and Management of Daii'y Cattle. 
.. 71. Butter-making on the Farm. 

72. Milk-testing and Dairy Records. 
73. Field-crop and Seed Competitions, 1917. 
.. 7". Boys' and Girls' Competitions, 1917. 


No. 26. Practical Poultry-raising. (4th Edition.) 

., 39. Natural and Artificial Brooding and Incubating. (3rd Edition.) 

.. 49. Market Poultry. (3rd Edition, i 

.. .". ('arc and Marketing of Eggs. (2nd Edition.) 

.. >:>. Poultry-house Construction. (2nd Edition.) 

,. 74. Breeding and Selection of Commercial Poultry. 

Women's Institutes. 
No. 54. British Columbia Women's Handbook (1913-14). 

Fruits and Vegetables. 

No. 33. Fruit-growing Possibilities, Skeena River. (Reprint.) 
4S. Exhibiting Fruits and Vegetable*!. (2nd Edition.) 
.. <;>. Diseases and Pests of Cultivated Plants in British Columbia. 


No. 44. Irrigation in British Columbia. 

59. Agricultural Statistics for Year 1913, including Special Reports on Agricul- 
tural Conditions in the Province. 

65. Agricultural Statistics of British Columbia, Year 1914. 
., 7<;. Agricultural Statistics <f British Columbia, Year 1916. 


No. 9. Honey Production in British Columbia, 1915. 

31'. Seed-growers' Directory. 

13. Instructions re Co-operative Variety Tests. 

,, 14. Community Breeding. 

.. ir>. The B.C. Fanner and his Silo. 


No. 1. Thousand-headed Kale. (2nd Edition.) 

4. Management of Turkeys. 

5. Clover Dodder. 

6. Seed Improvement. 

7. Keeping Poultry Free from Lice. 

10. The Care of Milk and Cream. 

11. Poultry-keeping on a City Lot. (2nd Edition.) 

lli. Management of Geese. 

13. Root-seed Growing. 

.. 14. The Use of Agricultural Lime. 



,. 15. Profitable Ducks. 

., 18. Noxious Weeds, their Identification and Eradication. 

., 19. Poultry Rations and their Practical Application. 

20. Chicken-pox in Poultry. 


Xo. 4. Insects Injurious to Orchards. 
(5. Spray Calendar. 

7. Fungous Diseases of Orchard and Garden. 
,, 8. Packing Orchard Fruits. 
9. Sprays and Spraying. 
.. 12. Orchard Intercrops. 
14. Practical Irrigation. 
., 15. Cabhage, Celery, and Tomato Culture. 
., 17. Planting Plans and Distances. 
., 19. Propagation and Selection of Nursery Stock. 
.. 22. Thinning Tree-fruits. 

.. 24. The Home Vegetable Garden for Southern Interior Sections. 
., 27. Methods of Fruit Picking and Handling. 
.. 28. Fertilizers for Fruits and Vegetables. 
.. 29. Varieties of Fruit recommended for Commercial Planting. 


Department of Agriculture, Annual Report, T.tir. 

Department of Agriculture, Annual Report, T.tlf,. 

P.ritish Columbia Fruit-growers' Association, Annual Report, 1915. 

British Columbia Fruit-growers Association, Annual Report, 1916. 

Fanners' Institute Report, 1915. 

Women's Institute Report, 1915. 

British Columbia Dairymen's Association Report, 1915. 

Third International Egg-laying Contest at Victoria, B.C. 

Proceedings of the Entomological Society of British Columbia, 191G. 


The Agricultural Journal (monthly). (Subscription $1.00 per year.) 

List of Agricultural Books recommended for Farmers. 

Revised Rules and Regulations, Board of Horticulture. 

Finance in Relation to Women's Citizenship. By A. C. Flumerfelt. 

Rules and Regulations, Women's Institutes. 

List of Books and Magazines recommended for Women's Institutes. 

Rules and Regulations, Farmers' Institutes. 

Stock-breeders' Directory. 


Printed by WILLIAM H. CULLIN, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty. 



p rr r , 
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