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QfoUegc of Agricultuw
Cornell University Library
at work, a brief
manual of home
3 1924 003 129 263
Cornell University Library.
There are no known copyright
the United States on the use of the
METHOD OF HOLDING A FOWL .
The Hen A Brief at of Work Poultry Manual Home .
P. iqio BY G.Copyright. ftew ]l?ovlt . PUTNAM'S SONS tSbc ffmicRerbocftec ipvess.
is suitable for right where it is produced in the city. in her pullet year should produce ten The average size of the back-yard flock should be at least ten hens. finds its way into the garbage Poultry is the only class of domestic animals converting this waste mate- which rial.A WORD FROM UNCLE SAM In every household. not fed. at the conservative value of 25 cents a be worth S25. Each hen dozen eggs. into wholesome and nutritious food in the form of eggs and poultry meat. By keeping a back-yard poultry flock the family would not only help in reducing the cost of living .00. there scraps is a certain amount of table and kitchen waste which has feeding value if but which. pail. Thus each flock dozen would would produce in a year loo dozen of eggs which. no matter how economical the housewife.
flock cost very as the fowls are fed largely upon waste materials. . United States Government Bulletin. Remember that eggs produced by the back-yard little.iv A Word from Uncle Sam but would have eggs of a quality and freshness which are often difficult to obtain.
CONTENTS L- .
Poultry Diseases . .— Ducks . 206 223 228 XVIII.198 .—Parasites XIX. XVII. . .vi CHAPTER Contents PAGE XVI. Breeding for Eggs .
. ..100 .. Desirable Hen House .. ... White Leghorns . Frontispiece . . . Fruit Boxes Turned to Good Use ..ILLUSTRATIONS PAGE Method of Holding a Fowl White Wyandottes . . .... . . .160 ...18 20 22 50 54 60 86 Run and Coop for . . Raising Chicks ..102 108 Dry Mash Hoppers Drinking Fountains . .. Turkeys Raised with Chickens Feed Troughs .156 .. . . . . Domesticated Wild Duck with Young Domestic Ducks 230 232 .. . A Cheap. Rock and Leghorn Cockerel Silkies A Balanced Home Flock Brahmas ...16 . .
vm Illustrations ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE TEXT .
The Hen at Work .
these prices wotild have been far greater than they are to-day. Other meats could Since then the be had for proportionate prices.The Hen at Work CHAPTER I POtJLTRY AND THE MEAT PROBLEM During the world war the world's meat supply has been seriously taxed. supply has dwindled until to-day the cost of even . The prices in all countries show only too cleariy how serious this shortage has become. Had the various governments not re- taken a direct control of such purchases. and stricted competition between nations in securing a supply of meat. roast pork could be purchased in Ten years ago many parts of the coimtry at about twelve cents a pound. Good beef to roast could be bought for twelve or thirteen cents.
more land than ever in her his- In other countries enormous crops of grain are raised. will With grain the situation is very different. Thousands of these vessels will soon . They have farm machinery of the latest type. purchasing restrictions will probably be to a large European nations must replenish It takes at least three herds and flocks at any cost. and other countries at war installed Europe. of millions of able men. years to produce a respectable beef animal. wages must inevitably drop. and At the same time. extent removed. has now under cultivation tory. and those be ships are plunging into the sea from hundreds of yards. have greatly increased their agricultural possibilities. labor With the return will be plenty. England. The situation as to meat will improve very slowly under peace conditions. for example.2 The Hen is at Work the poorer cuts well beyond the means of any but the rich. South America and Australia have millions of bushels waiting for ships. be far less and money in the average family plenty than to-day. Engin land. Italy. meanwhile prices be very high. France. The meat supply normal will be a long time in returning to its will level.
In two months more the soft roasters follow the broilers. juicy broilers are ready for the table within ten weeks of the day the chick is bom. —cheap grain is is be- In the face of a situation where meat likely to high and remain so. and if we wish to stand as patriots we must do them.Poultry and the Meat Problem free to carry essentials ports. trade. and also of eggs. unless we have this or that equipment. Fortunately the common feeling that we cannot just have gardens. has passed away. there is a solution to the meat prob- lem which appears at once and will clearly: Poultry supply us almost at once with an abundance of meat. nor keep hens. while cheap grain an early probability. 3 between the more distant the Teuton allies will and the fleets of be added once more to the carrjdng This can mean one thing only fore very long. . and on a very few square yards of ground enough chickens can be raised each year to keep the flock up to full quota. and the pullets of some breeds are beginning to lay. Pat. With a building ten feet square we can house all the that poultry a family needs. We know now we can do these things. which in some respects are more valuable than meat itself.
These are arranged so they minute's notice." That offered. "so many keeping hens and make a fizzle of Only a few people really succeed. at Work people go in for it. may be found and mastered at a During fifteen years the author has been en- gaged at regular work which took him away from home daily. a hundred chickens were . His profession has led him into several States. These are outlined and fully explained. is partly true at and that is is why this book is The Hen Work written straight at the patriot who wants to help maintain his family and do his bit to relieve the meat and egg shortage. when spending a spring and summer in cramped quarters. There are many details which the poultry keeper will wish to know about as necessity arises. There are a few simple rules which must be followed carefully in gaining success with hens. by keeping a few hens. he has never been without a flock of hens." you say. and therefore never without roasting chickens. but.4 The Hen "But. except when in a foreign land. at fresh eggs. Once. and fat a cost easily within his means.
where any enthusiastic poultry keeper may delve according to his interests. The is particular need which this book seeks to fill that of a definite. simple manual of general home poultry culture. bined with a careful study of poultry culture as has progressed from year to year. as there are books on special subjects. it is the plain duty of all who have even a small back yard to do their share in producing meat. When it is realized that by doing this we also bless ourselves with a stock of fresh eggs scraps. the program is laid out along the simplest and most practical lines. good food. and clausing no trouble. health. All this has proved a source of interest.Poultry and the Meat Problem 5 brooded in the bay window of the dining room. and decided financial profit. making lots of fun. all No effort has been made to include special details on any subject. largely supplied from table . till they were large enough to go into outdoor coops. and poultry. the all most needed of foods. understood by Until normal conditions return. put into language easily all. Step by step from one phase of poultry life to another. The present book is an outgrowth of these years comT it of experience under all possible conditions.
a flock of chickens in the yard will help solve a food problem that was steadily getting more complex several years before the fresh eggs war began. add a delicious and valuable food to the family menu. . and the means in the power of the millions who have back yards now lying idle. is of any The time lie to make this change now. and you will never again be willing to return to a condition where your poultry and eggs are of doubtful quality and difficult to obtain. The cost of poultry circimi- was likewise prohibitive -under normal stances.6 The Hen at Work otherwise wasted. the full value of such an effort can readily be seen. visible Buy a few hens. Entirely apart from the war and its consequences. The price of was rapidly putting them beyond the reach of the common people. and would have remained so in the absence definite change. learn their nature and their needs. add your quota to the meat supply.
I once had a large flock of White Leghorns in a lovely New England town. had a fair crop of eggs. had a flock of Rhode Island Reds. of the breeder of the Leghorns. The Captain put them in a brooder he had rigged next thing 7 . an old sea captain. I kept them under cover the year round. Then he asked the address sold who me the chicks and the we knew. As he saw me carrying my pail of white eggs into the house each day. he announced the arrival of a hundred Leghorn chicks by express.CHAPTER II CHOOSING THE BREED First consider your circumstances. and lived in peace. He started . he became restless. guarded by fish nets six feet high. which had the run yard. My a large next neighbor. He ex- amined the egg record a record of his Reds. of He got along very well with his quiet red hens.
So. Fortunately the season was yovmg. The feathers grew.8 The Hen his troubles began. and the Captain was getting his egg pail ready. across an acre of com. He was a proud old man." and repeated the information so you could hear him across the corn. I offered to loan brooders. little sprites him one of my store and we saved the remnant all of the flock. when new troubles descended. were scampering about much to his delight. He found a group of them very busy one morn- ing in his lettuce bed. the combs appeared. who had bossed the decks for fifty years without help. Soon the his yard. he asked my advice. The chickens "acted queer. but the chicks failed to grasp the idea." and He told his chicks just how to enjoy the benefits of his "better brooder. and died in twos and threes. but when half the chicks were gone. with many compliments for his better brooder. com had no He spent a hot half hornin in capturing those birds and putting them back . What he so the said to them could be heard ears. " better 'n any brooder they in the stores. He accepted. at Work sell up. " they drooped. that lay near the hen yard.
sold his Leghorns to a peddler. He was advised regarding his hens. The following day brought them out once more. and returned to his Rhode Island Reds and peace. But he always held me to blame for leading him . with a skill developed by many a long whaling cruise. with a stem command to go and lay some eggs. and. they did no better. The next morning they were out again. and then. Pulling wing feathers did no good. and raising the nets He declared they could fly to a crow's nest with their feet alone. Stealing up behind he the pullets he would clap the net over them. At this his neighbors decided that the limit was reached. he had Taking an old rake handle. the old whaler lost what little temper left. they learned to elude the hand At this. Saddest of net. 9 Then he stopped all holes where they might have crawled through. This time the chase was longer. clawing out a bunch of wing feathers. he ad- vanced upon the unsuspecting fowl. He took the advice.Choosing the Breed bounds. flew more. transfixed the guilty bird with his wooden harpoon. As they grew more. Now he resorted to a fish net on a long pole. all. would throw them over the fence.
and White Rocks claim attention. AND WYANDOTTES an Plymouth conditions in Rock. we had better discuss them before going on to other varieties of fowl. no serious Buff. a bird of a different class. Although there are fanciers here and there who claim good points for the White and Buff Rocks. locations. the Rhode Island Red. IMPORTANT BREEDS In looking over the poultry yards scattered about the country. test all American breed.10 The Hen at Work of this episode is. into temptation. in some fowl. The moral of course : Consider your circumstances before choos- ing your breed. As these breeds are so important to the amateur poultry keeper. REDS. and the Wyandottes. Plymouth Rock. the general popularity of the Barred Rock is so . ROCKS. rival as The Barred. has had a long under various an all-purpose all parts of the country. The other is the Leghorn.—The Plymouth Rock. and has. we find that four breeds of poultry predominate three of these are American : breeds.
They are excellent mothers. and makes plump. in a clumsy way. must be taken in feeding Plymouth Rocks not to give too much. These fowl are tame. of the chickens A trait of when hatched. the Barred Rock which especially . and as they are heavy and a five-foot fence will usually keep them safe at home. and taking good care. sitting quietly and persistently. hardy. The Single-Comb Barred Plymouth Rock has so long been bred among the conditions of the American farmyard that its adaptation is now complete. and if given comfortable quarters will earn many dollars during the months when the snow is deep on the ground. They are good winter layers. It is a is generous producer of handsome brown eggs. and eggs are high. nor too rich food. heavy dressed. less. and frequently die sudSpecial care denly without apparent reason. and the hen about two pounds fly little. as they put on fat rapidly.Choosing the Breed much it first n greater that there is every reason to give choice in this breed. poultry. when A full-grown cock should weigh from eight to ten pounds. when they are fed beyond the danger point.
R. C. The chickens from a flock of well-marked. is of special interest Little Compton. W. England claims the honor of launching and the Red is seen there to-day at its best. high grade Barred Rocks will usually show the same good points. and to breed from his own eggs. F. is the certainty with which it comes true to type. Dear Mr. like son. I. for the old saying. Almy. the many strains very often fail to their parents credit.12 The Hen it at Work who means to keep recommends to the amateur. No one appreciates this more than the experienced poultry raiser. Rhode Island Red. In fact.—The Rhode type of the American class which is Island Red is rapidly making part of this a reputation and becoming more popular each year. 191a of the origin of the Reds. June 7. almost universally conceded that they started in this town." is unfortunately by no do a means always true children from in the hen yard. The following note from Mr. "Like father. The southern New bird. Cobb: I know nothing personally it is but . known throughout the poultry world for his Reds. a small flock only. through sheer merit.
some say on Brown Leghorns and Red — Games. early maturity.Choosing the Breed 13 A Capt. as eggs and males were constantly exchanged. I believe. still better layers. Sincerely. fine layers with very little care. Isaac Wilbur. I believe they were crossed on all three. do well without expert attention. Macomber was first to bring the Yellow Malay fowl home from India. as they were hardy. being much larger and redder. back and forth between neighbors. and looo per cent. as a big proportion used to come with feathered legs. or even more breeds. I am sure there was Leghorn blood in the earlier Reds. They also dress well and make good market heavy as the Rocks. time and time again. though not quite so . Red Games came in also. early maturing. (Signed) F. and have been bred about here almost to the ekclusion of all other breeds. as they were frequently partly black and partly red when I first knew them. poultry. quiet disposition. Almy. as they were quite small and wild. by Mr. The chief points of merit displayed ability to by these birds are hardiness. The present-day Reds very faintly resemble those I first knew. C. and great laying powers. They were named. There was also Cochin. William Trip used these yellow fowl to cross some say on Buff Cochins. better lookers. He and a Mr. W.
14 The Hen at Work During the cold winters and wet springs of the northern States these fowls seem to keep free from iUs. They are not easily disturbed by children or un- usual ?ights and sounds. When for the I lift her off. not From the most carefully selected birds chicks of are likely to appear. and even if neglected. as they should have a chance to cool and each day. They represent a mixture of different settled. she sits motionless on the ground and soon steals back again. they often cheerfully go about their business. selves Experts them- do not depend so much on their knowledge of points large and mating qualities as they do on a number of chicks from which to choose. have one at this moment that will not budge from her nest to eat or drink. as so many home flocks are neglected. There is no sign that she has left it during five days. This is bad hen and also bad for the air eggs. and lay brown eggs of good size and shape. as breeds. It is not easy for the amateur to breed these birds. so it is all varieties of color . and their traits are by no means are those of the Barred Rock. As hatchers and brooders. these hens are easily I champions of the world.
where the . so long as the vitality is shape good and the Wyandottes. and points. though they may not be standard in color utility fowl. and a poor very little is color. the White Wyandotte is the only variety commonly found. the average chicks from good Red hens. full-grown It puts cocks weighing about eight potmds. and has certain qualities which especially to those serious study recommend it to all. in for general purposes. seven varieties: Buff. seem lack of expert care. with a recent Outside the yards of addition. Silver-Penciled. seem to hurt the fowl high. to suffer from In laying contests.Choosing the Breed 15 easy for one with a small flock to get enough high- grade birds to keep his flock up to standard. the Columbian. will prove good A rose or pea comb. on and desirable for market at any time after eight ox ten weeks. The Wyandotte is an American breed. of quiet nature. but who care. however. either for It is broiling or roasting. hatching and brooding The Wyandottes. specialists. intend to give poultry and The frame is is compact. White. flesh rapidly. —The Wyandottes are found Silver. and Black. reasonably hardy. and well. However. Golden.
large as those of the They are not so Rocks or Reds. they form a rather straight wedge-shape on the narrow end. Although they came from a flock which had a reputation for egg flock of Reds. dinary home yard. they will not be likely to give such . in the same room. I once had a flock of White Wyandottes that I It kept in a room in the bam. they often back rapidly. but Reds in general seem more hardy. later on. and brought unsatisfactory results.i6 The Hen at Work Wyan- pens are given every comfort and care. On the whole. eggs of the breed are not considered so attractive in shape as those of other American Instead of an oval. production they did poorly. poultry house in every way except one— was an excellent ^the sun shone in for only part of the day. exactly the A under same conditions. unless they have conditions to suit their taste. defeating tinder the conditions of the orfall other breeds which have had great reputations for egg production. however. and seem smaller than they really are. The breeds. record. enjoyed life and made a high egg Of course the particular strain of each breed counts. dottes frequently show surprising results.
ferent in The Leghorn is very many respects from the breeds just de- scribed.Choosing the Breed good returns Reds. shipped fifty to a hundred miles by express. The White Leghorn has rapidly being adopted of the country. originating in that vicinity. dif- horn. let horn as typical and the best exponent of the breed. As has the same traits as the us consider the White Leg- Brown Leghorn. as the most desirable fowl for a small taken the year through. gradually been de- veloped into a truly remarkable bird. It is in the Mediterranean class. and has several varieties. pecially well. not unusual to raise ninety mature fowl from a himdred day-old chicks. The is hardiness and rapid growth of the chickens It is astonishing. The . in small poultry yards as 17 Rocks or LEGHORNS There is much td be said in favor of the Legflock. and is by poultry men it in all parts es- In California has done and millions of this variety are it now raised there. the White Leghorns and Brown Leghorns being the only ones found generally in utility flocks.
make up for when the temperature its There are two periods when the White Leghorn becomes of special value to keeper in the : fall. One of the most has his place in successful breeders of this strain Lawrence. because from early dawn and it to almost night he loves to run. when eggs are always very high.i8 The Hen off so at Work and temperature. common troubles of digestion which carry many chickens of other breeds. The White Leghorn will chick of the best strains have a full battery of feathers and be attack- ing June bugs in single combat before a Rock or Red would heartily get out of the downy stage. during October and November. and the heavy breeds are just thinking about contributions to the egg basket. Once of the was thought that the Leghorn could not is succeed in the northern States. and fight. pass Hghtly over this midget. where the winter often twenty below zero. temperature is is While it true that the egg yield during severe cold drops of the more than that themselves Rocks or Reds. the birds effects. He eats and digests his food well. Mass.. scratch. staffer it no ill and are eager to rises. but this not true White Leghorns as now developed. . .
Red decide eggs. Novem- they Late may well receive our blessing. Mrs. and nothing except the best condiwill tions and expert care induce the American breeds to lay until along into the seventh month. instead of late in when eggs ber. and when she does. and lilacs to give up laying and attend strictly to the duties of raising a family. Rock and Mrs. will stop Nothing except stupidity and neglect the White Leghorn from laying about the end of its fifth month. when the warm days come bloom. small pleasure to any but the hen. is easily induced to return to regular duty. till molting time begins in the fall. though she won't admit But She the Leghorn never heard of union hours. White Leghorns can get a good living and pro- .Choosing the Breed and eggs in the is 19 warm months. after the spring tide of ebbing. as For one who has reguthis. seldom sits.is most people have. in the spring. So if a flock of hens begins to lay early in October are very high. lar customers. Egg prices are now mounting again. now when incubators and brooders could take her place very well. and once more the Leghorn proves her worth by laying through the summer. The time has come it.
had a real . all other customs. When food is high.20 duce a full The Hen at Work breed. being the heavy breeds. The Boston market to- day places a discount on white eggs. about the average of the American breeds. in the New York market were of the Leghorn Of course the people knew that white eggs Boston market were shipped from a distance. like cause. and the age or con- ditions dition of eggs can no longer be told by their color. quota of eggs from about three fourths the food required by the American do A flock is of thirty Leghorns will for well on the food called by two dozen Plymouth Rocks. eggs. while^the people in New York will pay a premium for them. this important. In the northern States there has been a prejudice against white eggs. The Leghorn breed lays white strains of and the best White Leghorns lay beautiful specimens average twenty-four ounces to the which will dozen. while almost all those around the type. Some people pretend that they can detect a . and the New York City people had reason to sus- pect that brown eggs were not laid nearby. This custom. Years ago the hens in the north all laid brown eggs. and was not based on a mere whim but conhave greatly changed.
and she has a dainty taste. do?" she asked.ead. One day. Phineas Barnes lived for many years in the Warren homestead six stalwart in Waltham. she dipped an egg and wiped it dry. appetite. perfectly. " he It said. madam.Choosing the Breed difference in taste 21 between white and brown eggs. Then she thought ones ? No One about there had brown eggs. and she brought out a dozen white eggs. is "My wife an invalid. a moment. and shook his head. as she was clearing away the morning meal. a gentleman appeared at the side door. and she knew something of dainty appetites. To such incident. "can you sell me in some fresh eggs?" happened that the hens that neighborhood were mostly Leghorns. whence Warren boys went forth to fight in the Revolution. White eggs offend her She can' not eat them. presenting "Perfectly. Mass. people one might offer the following Mrs. May I have a dozen like that?" . Pouring some coffee into a bowl. It was a perfect brown. He eyed them . "Madam. Barnes shook her h.. it "How would that for inspection. Have you no brown Mrs.
during his stay nearby. he went personally to secure the brown eggs his wife found so well suited to her delicate taste. breeding has much done much not during late years. took a dozen invalid wife. have ob- tained fancy prices near Boston during the past ten years. I where one can prove their quality. To-day high prices are paid for Leghorn eggs. if well fed. more substantial meal than one will might suppose. in weight between these and the tendency of this season. but here. also. It Another point to consider breed to do their best the is first hardly . the Leghorn is to boast of. for it great orator. brown eggs home to and after that. breast is The highly developed. weigh seven pounds. As a fowl for the table. and hens about two pounds We must bear in mind that one dozen eggs a dozen. and. will in the fall. at sixty cents pay for two potmds difference heavier fowl. the dressed fowl not only but provides a far makes a good appearance. The modem high-grade White the birds our grandsires Leghorn is very little like used to chase out of the cabbage patch. Cocks from good breeds six or less.22 The Hen at Work turned out to be the his So Wendell Phillips.
and with this particular hen. with not so leave. unless you want the hens to breed from. it if they think they like better outside. flighty tendency of Leghorns must always be kept in mind. with a fence only six feet high. If they take the as notion. seldom cause much bother. because In large plants . may fly over a fence ten feet high. are restricted. This will be taken up more "Raising Chicks. in. is A by strange sights new hat or Sunday suit will cause easily startled visitors a lively time in a flock of a hundred hens. If there is large place to wander over. for except those who enjoy developing and improving their flocks through personal selection. A six-foot fence will probably keep them but with a smaller space is available the best plan to keep them under cover entirely. much by your a they and it is no fun catching them. over they go. say half an acre.Choosing the Breed 23 pays to keep a flock through the second winter in the northern States. This type or sounds. Although it frequently in happens that they they will remain quietly a yard that suits them. wiser to it is far all buy day -old chicks and brood them." fully under the chapter on The nervous.
a popularity that is in every way . Taken wanted. where eggs are without question the best producer for is the average poultry yard.H of the The Hen bad effect at Work they have on the feathered boarders. is the Leghorn. and in rapidly spreading deserved. all in all.
These four breeds comprise more 25 . 147 Wyandottes. 130 Rhode Island Reds. Reds. FaveroUes. Langshams. Dorkings. Orpingtons. Minorcas. Houdans. Hamburgs. 149 Pl37mouth Rocks. Out of a thousand birds entered at the annual we may expect to find the following 490 Leghorns. Buckeyes. and Wyandottes.CHAPTER III COMPARISONS OF FOUR LEADING BREEDS A STUDY of the records kept at the important egg-laying contests held each year gives us some very helpful and interesting facts about the four leading breeds in America. laying contest Campines. and one or two local and less well-known varieties. with the remaining 84 made up of Anconas. Buttercups. Sussex. This shows more than three times as horns as any other breed. Oregons. are very evenly divided many Leg- The American breeds among Rocks.
4. was made the sublead in weight of eggs per dozen. making clear that the wise poultry keeper would maintain he has a fair number of one of these breeds until assured himself by experience that some other breed suits him better. The price is then rising and the rate of production fairly high.26 The Hen at Work it than nine tenths of the whole exhibit. . Weight and Value eggs produced of Eggs. with an average weight in oimce^ of 26. The average value of all four breeds varied less than one cent. The laid the highest average value. ject of careful calculation. making this a.5. It is interesting to note that the month of August gave the highest gross receipts for eggs. however. so the income is the largest of the year. Whether this would be true of the ordinary flock or not would depend on the comfort of the fowls.matter of comparatively small importance. while the Wyandottes hold last place with 23. —The weight of The Rocks all by the four principal breeds and their average value per dozen. for eggs per dozen came to the Wyandottes. because they most eggs during the months of high prices. The Reds and Leghorns come between them.
and the Leghorns. The difference in value for the meat of the Rocks. has averaged about fifty cents. 27 and the birds and mites. Remember. Weight and Value of Birds. and the facts learned are of value. and Leghorns. that feed for the Leghorns costs about fifty cents a year less for each bird. the lightest. but that in August would be low. cramped quarters where fowls suffer mdre or less from insect pests. — It is customary at laying contests to weigh contesting fowl frequently during the year.Four Leading Breeds The pens at laying contests are free from Hce are airy. In stuffy. After March first. the spring record might be encouraging. It is always most profitable to supply a few customers . we must arrange the flocks. followed in order by the Reds. the months when certain breeds will produce their heaviest egg yield. Monthly Egg Production. gain steadily in weight until All birds they are nearly a year old. Wyandottes. as many people do. if — ^It is of great im- we" can. if possible. however. to keep the egg supply steady. The Rocks are the heaviest. the heaviest. portance to know. for if we decide to handle more than one breed. when March first they lose slightly in weight during the warm months.
In considering these figures we must remember that they concern a thousand picked birds under expert care. do this. The Wyandottes. but took a lower position every other month. and at low figures when the flood comes. . exceeded all others in average production during December. a fairly regular supply must be maintained. May. January. are easily duplicated in any back yard where sun and air are abundant. and shared honors with the Leghorns April. The conditions. at retail prices. lost out by one egg in January and in March. however. September.28 The Hen at Work To steadily throughout the year. A careful study of the monthly egg production of each breed shows that Plymouth Rocks gave the highest production in March. Otherwise diiring we shall have to sell lose good customers dry times. June. August. During November. in The Reds enjoyed a similar distinction February. October. and as a breed. As the Leghorns American breeds are a combination made with them and an American breed would balance things. and are laying their best while the resting. July. the Leghorns outlaid aU their competitors.
Cost of Feed. in selecting between the is. as important for they If it have merits that are suits very nearly equal. one bird your fancy more than another. an accurate indication of what she is This certainly true. as would be wise to give that It is preference due consideration.Four Leading Breeds More than One Breed. it is good judgment to plan for two breeds.of the four breeds here described. While it is unwise to scatter our atten^ tion. is There an increasing tendency for poultry this. one flock do better interest taken. while the heavier birds take a summer vacation. The heavy Rocks eat the most. The American bird keeps the eggs coming during cold months and the Leghorns have their turn in the warm weather. and the others . keepers to do and to select the Leghorns in combination with some American breed. make than another merely by the easy to hens respond quickly to personal attention. The personal element three American breeds as the breed itself. more than one breed is necessary. —The weight of a fowl seems to be will eat. 29 —The general conclusion must be that to maintain a faifly even supply of eggs through the year. perhaps.
is course. Broodiness. and Leghorns. prices for grain.09 for feed.30 follow The Hen down the at Work scale according to weight It costs at —Reds.75 for feed. the more feed she to produce a dozen eggs. The first pen turned in $41. Hens which are laying heavily also consume much more feed. hearty eaters and pay well for their boa. The all cost for feeding a single is hen per year. of two dollars. where This food bought. the broody hen becomes more of a problem. and more worth while to note the results of careful surveys regarding the broody . averaged on normal prices for grain.69 above cost of This shows clearly that laying hens are feed. cost $20. normal Wyandottes. a pen of ten Leghorns which laid 2021 eggs. A neighboring pen of the same breed laid five less. In a late test. and cost $15.rd. It is safe to is estimate that the heavier a type will need. figure. hundred eggs 1501. and the second brought only $26. fifteen and a half cents for each dozen eggs produced by the Plymouth Rocks. runs from one and one half to according to breed. ficial —As the use of incubators and It is arti- brooders grows.74 above cost of feed. of fowl found to be. and only twelve and a half cents for a dozen Leghorn eggs.
contest. Mass. is. a rather expensive pastime in which the is average American hen . of special interest on this point: lost four The average Leghorn days out of the year as against nearly forty days for the average Red. contest during the year. 688. Conn. The combined loss amounted to This means. where one hundred pens are kept. 1917.. 31 In all tests the average number of days.Four Leading Breeds habits of the four important breeds. The report of the Storrs.650 days. we might say. At the Dana vers.. 18. lost through broodi- ness amounts to fifty or sixty days. and twenty-seven days for the average Rock or Wyandotte. while the heavier breeds lost from fifty-five to sixty days.5 It dozens of eggs. ness is would thus appear that broodiprone to indulge. not Leghorn went broody.
in which these breeds are carefully described. The American Poultry its official list Association includes in those birds which the Association think worthy of recognition as pure bred poultry. fowls may AMERICAN CLASS The important birds in the American class. Reds. we may give a general view of the different breeds which find favor. have already 32 . A scale of points is ^iven by which the be rated and compared. It publishes a book. the Rocks. and Wyandottes. here and there. The American Standard of Perfection. among poultry men.CHAPTER IV POULTRY TYPES Without attempting to include every type and variety of fowl. which will prove of interest and value.
black. quiet birds. 33 Besides these are the Javas. and the American Dominiques. and it was from a cross of these that the valued Plymouth Rock originated^ ASIATIC CLASS In the Asiatic class we find the large. The American Dominiques have rose combs. and white. The Java fowls are seldom seen now. Brahmas. are the most important of the Asiatic class tq the American poultry keeper. the Cochins.Poultry Types been described. size. have been steadily improving shape. and The Light Brahmas in' size. a trim. light and dark. and the Langshams. solid. but by no means compared with them as all-round fowl. the Brahmas. While they do not quite compete with . size of the and are about the Wyandotte. and many growers recommend them highly as a breed to keep in combination with Leghorns. —The Brahmas. They re- sembled in shape. and gray hawk-colored plumage. and general traits the Ply- mouth Rocks. mottled. laying qualities. neat shape. They are the oldest American breed.
The sight of one well browned. broilers at eight or ten For making heavy of age. and have little tendency to wander. They are not till again in shape for table fowl well matured.34 The Hen at Work the leading American strains as egg producers. however. and the hens frequently ten pounds. special importance. when the holidays ap- proach. will easily explain the reason why. weeks no other fowl can beat them. are hardy. probably originating tween Light Brahmas and Cochins. as they begin to develop the bony structure more rapidly than the flesh at about the tenth week. on a blue platter. they do lay a generous number of large. the are Although not Dark Brahmas grown by many who cater to the fancy market . however. attractive brown The eggs. less Dark Brahmas weigh about a pound the Light Brahmas. very quiet. A four-foot fence will restrain them. frequently seen in small flocks. and are than shaped somewhat in a cross be- Uke Cochins. of the Light its As now bred. In the late fall. They are the Brahma is quality as a meat producer. these birds bring fancy prices and big totals. the cocks will weigh over twelve pounds. put on flesh easily and rapidly. largest of all the breeds.
quiet bird will lay comparatively few eggs. and their legs are just long enough to reach from the body to the ground. almost lazy disposition enables them to put on flesh easily. . These were probably yellow Shanghais. fowl. covered with soft fluffy plumage of a creamy golden hue. yellow hens with long necks. They now have no more neck than seems necessary. They seem to have small ambition for supplying . The bodies of Cochins are blocky. the necks and reduced the and they are now by a new name. if in sea- port towns. some called of these. Buff Cochins. and weigh about the same as Dark Brahmas. the better Cochins. the egg basket and it may generally be taken for granted that a large. at the The old garden House of Seven Gables must have contained Years of breeding have shortened legs. 35 It and make for especially plump capons. is seems to be generally conceded that the Light Brahma. stalked about as who they walked on stilts. and their gentle.Poultry Types trade. — It may be that you have seen. general purposes. Their plump form and yellow skin make them valuable birds for market.
—The Langshams in both black and many breeds have been. having about the same size. large have been paid for setting but this interest seems as yet to be largely confined to breeders of show birds. by way of England. has plumage resembling somewhat the partridge. as one might guess. with black breast and body feathers. citizen demands egg-producing fowl that is qualities first of in any to win wide popularity. They have good plumage. and White Cochins. A lively interest has been taken in these birds at poultry shows of late years. The Partridge Cochin. only of the hen. There are also Partridge Cochins. shape. Langshams. Black Cochins. weighing a pound or so . as twenty-five years ago. Much was promised for them white were introduced. as the cock has a back not tmlike the Brown Leghorn. but few are seen to-day. The ordinary all. prices and very eggs. and habits. and have definitely left their mark very upon American poultry yards. This is true. however. and make less good market fowl.36 The Hen at Work After their introduction into this country the Buff Cochins were used very widely for crossing with native stock. are sightly. They vary only from the Buff Cochins in color.
this country. give shaped body set well up on long slender . Minorcas. but their white face. of which we have spoken. black. are not bred extensively in though well thought of by many Their eggs are of tmusual size. No Spanish grandee ever took his place in the world with more distinction. and Whitefaced Black Spanish. the Black and White Minorcas. laid by mature hens. MEDITERRANEAN CLASS Besides the Leghorns. and the hen and a half pounds. Anconas. They look. The weight They of a full-grown male six should be about eight pounds. in the Mediterranean class. after the first birth- day. there are. silky-glossed plumage.Poultry Types 37 than the other Asiatic fowls. and those seen. and a boatlegs. are so large as to create interest wherever Whitefaced Black Spanish. but have heavier bodies. many deeper. Andalusians. practical people. in general. ways the Leghorns. like the rest of the class. and having their quiet habits. — If you ever see the Whitefaced Black Spanish you will not forget them.^ —-The Minorcas resemble in longer.
The number large. Bearded Golden. in black and one the poultry show which types of this variety is fails to have two or three seldom found. and general sprightly appearance attract the interest and attention of many fanciers. but their quaint hoods. Golden. Bearded White. They are about the size of Leghorns. spects. their moustaches and beards. but are not as yet receiving much attention. There are the White Crested Black.. They are handsome. No claims that they compare in value with the Ameri- can breeds or the Leghorns. Bearded Silver. the —The Andalusians are in most re- are blue in same as the Leghorn. of eggs produced by this breed is fairly but they are rather small and not welcomed by housewives at regular rates. Silver. mottled and white. . The Ancona is much like the Leghorn. except that they color. POLISH CLASS Eight varieties comprise the Polish class. and could doubtless be bred to a good service. Andalusians. and Buff Laced. and lay large white eggs.38 The Hen at Work They are about the them a unique appearance. White. size of the Minorcas.
having large rose combs. and La Fl^che. Silver Penciled. is most frequently seen in this country. single The combs. There are six varieties recognized among the Hamburgs. like those of the Polish fowl. and very trig in their dress. White. CreveOf these the Houdan. Golden Penciled. pert. the eggs. lively. Silver Spangled. coeurs. and there is no good reason jfor keeping them. They are small. and Black. Although they lay like champions. In the same class there are pines. and no great attention has been paid to improving the breed here.Poultry Types HAMBURG CLASS It 39 would not be easy for the inexpert to tell the Hamburg from the Mediterranean breeds. . the Golden Spangled. shown in the picture. are too small to offer in regular trade. Red Caps and Cam- The Red Caps Campines have are slightly larger than the ordi- nary Hamburgs. FRENCH BREEDS The French breeds include Houdans. is if anything more than good looks desired.
40 The Hen at Work much each. was plucked. about the head. where eggs are sold at so and poultry almost by the breeders great satisfaction. in France to procure a dinner. roundest fowl you The I little tuft of feathers on the head proved I it a Houdan. returned with the plumpest. and nothing else remained within. we found a greenish shade the open saluted my nose. Taking a knife I opened a slit to remove the entrails. . They have good qualities. I otince. there was not the slightest evidence to show that it was not a choice morsel. and it was my duty to It prepare it for the pot. At once I decided that when "got home" should raise some of these butter balls. and in their native land. but until the fowl was cut. and suddenly sought window to escape the vilest odor that ever That specimen had been stuffed with brown paper. yet there had been no cut made in the skin. but the carcass was apparently not disturbed in any way. however. me a lesson in French thrift and and My better seven eighths went forth one day to market ever saw. Upon examination. they give their never see a Houdan without remembering one which taught skill.
they have found little favor in this country. and have five toes on each foot. Although they are excellent fowl. a great recommendation to some people I have carved for. at different times threatened to get a firm foothold in America and displace our native poultry. and accepted on behalf of the cat without hesitation. d. She beamed. and felt that I had learned another lesson in home cierge. la Paris. but from the odor and the merry song that rose from her kitchen window I judged that the cat was not to be served first. ENGLISH BREEDS The English breeds. economics. The Crevecoeurs and La Fleche have black plumage and are rather larger than the Houdans. They have all white meat. Dorkings and Orpingtons. recollection of hens is Almost my earliest a long oration from a neigh- bor over the back fence on the merits of his White .Poultry Types 41 With averted face. I carried it down to the Conand asked her if she tliought her cat would touch it. and places. are fowl which have. The French breeds vary in one or two essentials from most poultry.
black cigars. It is said the Queen Victoria insisted on having the eggs of White Dorkings for her breakfast. many ways they resemble our Rhode Island Reds. This breed has In white flesh. The Dorkings are found in a variety of colors. I felt sure he must know all about it. about that of Plymouth Rocks. one led to wonder after reading various booklets about them. They have good size. thus showing a patriotic support for the English breeds. that they are not found in every yard but a review of contests." he replied when I asked why I didn't know just what "hardy " meant . also. The Hen at Work As he smoked long. Orpingtons. are quiet. at that time. and have paid well for the lessons. and was greatlysurprised when he cleaned them all out the next year in favor of Barred Rocks. like that of the French breed. handsome. and inspection of poultry . but I have learned since what it means in the poultry yard. The Silver Grays and other colored types are larger than the White Dorkings.42 Dorkings. good layers. is and are said to be very hardy. "They wam't hardy. were hailed as the new perfection in the chicken world. bub. Indeed. being good layers.
" where the erect comb and . are classed importance of the Game it blood in The breeding among the various types of fowl very great. The common treatment by "dubbing. where the cock fanciers. Cornish Indian Games. It birds to the Cornish Indian Game. called single. GAMES Games. the Game adds hardiness and courage. does its best We do not as yet hear that the it French and English have thought to exchange worth while Houdans or Dorkings for Rocks or Rhode Island Reds. failed to find 43 as j^et show that they have in an important place America. The erect. of a certain country. weigh nine pounds. bred to the climates and conditions in that spot. here and there. under Games. and some others. Wherever now esteemed has been has been used.Poultry Types houses. Game Bantams. It is usually true that a fowl. with a tendency to rapid growth and early maturity. peculiar it shape of the Game makes it look the part has so long played as the warrior ranges in size from rather small among will fowls.
probably because its egg yield was well behind that of several breeds already at hand. Game hens are fair layers and excellent mothers. so far to her as the home poultry yard is concerned. as people have taken lots of fun in crossing them back and forth. she will surely have to give way.44 The Hen at Work it wattles are cut away. The shows. her egg production is deficient. qualities a fowl In the long run. There was a time when the Cornish Indian Game promised to become very popular here. Here we might find varieties without end. and are entered in many bam- The Bantam is hardly worth while in the . BANTAMS The last class to review is the Bantam division. usually raising their broods with great success. has helped to give a fierce and warlike appearance. more prolific sisters. whatever other if may have. Seabrights. pert little birds. sleek. are good examples of pure breeding. but the wave of enthusiasm passed. Some of these have been bred down so they seem hardly larger than sparrows.
. 45 standard it. Bantams are very tame. little and the eggs they lay interest amply repay the ones for the they take in their feathered pets.Poultry Types yard. and is rather in the way among which are very likely to crowd and worry but as a pet for children it is well worth while. and can frequently be in handled for hours together apparent enjoyment. birds. A small coop is sufficient for their needs.
and especially for boys and girls who are starting. the next step flock. 46 was . to and nothing seemed to help them. they began to Their crops up.CHAPTER V STARTING A FLOCK Having decided on family. t inspected his houses. A gentleman in a New Hampshire town became interested in hens and purchased a die. and having prepared quarters for the new to form the nucleus of the For those who have never had poultry before. there are always small mistakes and discoveries to be made more that can be overcome and outgrown only through experience. it is best to begin with well grown stock. and no occupation seems to be certain to provide a chance for queer mistakes than poultry raising. In getting acquainted with any new business. large flock. is the breed we intend to handle. filled In May. He came All me for advice.
and fed according to a hen book he grit boxes. feed was I right. stuff. that shell will soften almost It as soon as gets into the crop. soon goes into the digestive organs. It is of in grinding food. "Yes. Next looked into his He had only- oyster shells." ' ' But the book says to feed them grass." I asked.Starting a Flock clean. grit. my it dear sir. to and is absorbed in a solution hardly any use make new egg shells. there it is. ' That long grass would be dangerous even with the best of grit. with no grit. it becomes deadly. studied with care. but I should think they were sharp enough any food. It says in the book to give them I good sharp find. and clover." At that moment his wife brought some threw it on the floor. It was nearly a and some was rather tough." and that was the sharpest could "But. 47 His and in good shape for poultry. "Those are only 05'ster shells. ' ' grass and foot long I guess I see your trouble. bright. " to grind I replied. "Where is the grit?" "Why. ' ' ' I said." and other green .
of the Where it grown fowls are concerned there is frequently is time to correct matters.48 The Hen did not realize that at all Work green food for hens He must be tender and brittle. We got some excellent grit from the grain and he was a happy store. He had his I visited him a month or two later. The hens did not do very well. These incidents are merely samples errors that are almost certain to occur. them recover quickly. "I can't get oyster "will clam shells down here. but was in a good way to see man to kill his whole flock. at once. better begin with So will we had grown birds. A yoimg man start I did in Maine was anxious to make a with poultry. do?" I replied. they are satisfactory. but with chicks all over usually before the doctor arrives. the best I could by mail. He wrote to me for advice. shells Whether he expected his hens to suck the or bite pieces from them I never found out. and . and start for the nests again. his and found he was feeding clam shells whole. " he wrote. He had studied his books with care. dosed the suffering hens with a little olive oil. shells. " troubles. "Yes.
After advising people against this for years. It is on tlieir wagons must be inis fested with every disease a fowl heir to.Starting a Flock 49 be getting poultry-wise when the chicks come along. but get good birds to start with. They seldom bother with cures. . now and those that seem or ailing. and buy the fowls he recomwise to pay a fair price and mends. nor buy poultry from men who go about with wagons and is crates. It cost me about fifty of my best birds. It frequently happens that exhibitors at poultry shows sell their show-pens at the end of exhibitions. to pick out all inspect their birds. . many and bought some bright looking pullets. I took a chance one day. It is not necessary nor advisable to pay it is fancy prices. Do not buy from peddlers. Men who weak keep large flocks usually then. Go to a reputable poultry if man in your own vicinity possible. some of them splendid specimens from high grade breeds. but put them in small coops and sell clear that the crates them to these men who travel about. that showed no signs of illness. The chance of getting a healthy fowl from those coops very small.
Always keep hens brought from shows in quarantine at least ten them to run with other birds. it is usually safe to take birds from the flock of a reputable and experienced dealer without fear of illness. There are four ways of starting chickens. if the hens seem and not too much worn by their experience. but as few people with days. each . many fanciers dispose of such pens rather than return much disease The danger is lively.— When the spring arrives. as their vitality is for some very low after a night and day performance. We may at least feel assured that they are high- grade stock. for certainly half the fun chickens and having the comes broilers in raising the and soft roasters. Never buy chickens from shows tmless special reason. or they would have not been exhibited. prize birds. not great. whether we have decided to start with mature fowl or not.50 but there is The Hen some danger at Work Unless they have here. however. for this way. the time comes start out when we shall want to with chicks. before allowing small flocks have extra space. Spring Hatching. home has been brought home in them to the flock. The quarantine rule is a safe one in any case when adding foreign stock.
but what a bunch of broody hens will do is sometimes more than an oracle could Hatching under Hens. lackof broody is Every two or three years there a scram- . the chicks will be tucked under the feathers safe and Hatching in Incubators. come and guard her The mother always on hand to flock. The attempt to buy chicks and get broody hens to care for them is n\)t practicable. and a great comfort to know nurse them carefully during the days when a chilly hovtr might be if fatal. care for their We own can set the hens and broods. —Hatching is under hens many advantages for busy people who must go.Starting a Flock of 51 cir- which has its own advantage. hatching dewill We know "set" and if we plan to start hatching in March. cidedly worth while. to keep the chicks warm. them we can have incubators and brood the chickens by artificial heat. according to let cumstances.April for we do not have to wait hens.tors. till. or will do. We know just what a mechanical brooder cal brooders. — warm till morning. It is that we are late home. If we can be at home by incubation just when is it at regular hours. has foretell. we can buy day-old chicks and put them under mechani- we can have our eggs hatched in custom incub9.
The same hens. The little brothers always get picked on. When we have sure that it will it off. If we have a hundred chicks. develop more evenly. and. not decide to change cellar. and kept from in clean quarters. with or without feathers.52 The Hen started at Work we are reasonablyits ble in the neighborhood to borrow broody hens. fed together. and not the big chickens. While true that hens. The matter of feeding the little chicks is really of importance. " came from the poultry yard. I have never been able to get the results with my late hatched chickens that the early ones showed. some chickens get picked on. hatched together. and make a much better appearance than the assorted chicks from Perhaps we do not realize that the familiar "He's pickin' onme. mind and scream to get out of the while a five-dollar setting of eggs goes to ruin. chicks hatched in an inqubator can be started all together. properly treated. being of the size. run together. No in it is lice or mites can attack little chicks hatched an incubator. wail. should be lice. free the danger of lice on hen-hatched chickens is always greater. we can measure the feed. and adjust the . Where big chickens and little chickens.
The now hatched. are and their heads are small and sharp. lively. but with assorted broods different. Day-Old Chicks. As it is necessary to air the eggs each day for at least fifteen days of the incubation period. chicks and are try to ^et her to eat and drink. just have been through a siege with a hen that simply refused to leave her nest. all in- dications of poor development in the shell. eleven out of thirteen. and yet we do not want to keep big chicks on^ the small chick feed any longer than necessary. It is 53 it is not well to keep each brood in a small run. while the larger grains are not suited to the small chicks. The enormous that this increase in the sale of small inis cubators during the past ten years ample proof method of hatching has proved decidedly successful.Starting a Flock rations intelligently. handled with I care. flock is that of —Another plan for starting a For dealer buying a number of chicks from a who maintains large breeding pens and large incubators. Again —the incubator. I had to haul her off each day. containing thousands of eggs. . hatches chickens with more uniform vigor. and while they seem long. they are not well feathered.
54 The Hen at Work is many who have It is ilot small flocks in small yards. The difference in cost between buying hatching and buying chicks is eggs for If very small. getting most of them I for twelve. we is consider the cost of the incubator. this all. the expense frequently in favor of the day-old chicks. is all we should reasonably expect. though we will^ frequently get more than that. There sent is little danger of losing many serit chicks by express. chicks if rail- White Leghorn especially seem to stand these journeys . money for feed. and likely to make himself unpopular with neighbors who do not care to rise before the dawn. reduces the and keeping qualities of the eggs. This would make the cost of chicks finally hatched at least ten or eleven cents each. A hatch of sixty per cent. If we pay one dollar a setting for eggs we are getting them at a low figure. have had them a hun- dred miles with perfect -success and others have found a thousand miles not too much. the very best plan of convenient to ke^ a cock all through the year. roads make good connections. table value is He costs. and fifteen I have never paid over dollars a hundred for standard chicks.
but a cleans reliable man always and disinfects his compartments carefully little between each hatching. you have a flock of birds you wish to develop yourself. all Day-old chicks offered from the standard breeds are dealers in almost by large any quantity. There has been some fear that disease. especially white diarrhea. There is usually no advantage in incubating if eggs at home. while other breeds is 55 if stand travel the strain vigorous. . The charge usually small. this custom incubator suited to your needs. and the work well done. You till send off your eggs and have no further bother your chicks return. the eggs are to be purchased. just . Another plan made use of by those having small flocks is custom hatching. about three cents an egg.Starting a Flock well. unless is the breed desired a specialty. — In many is localities men nm large incubators for the purpose of hatching eggs for others. and there need be fear of disease in If any up-to-date feel able to plant. Custom Hatching. spreads from brood to brood in custom incubators. and do not attend to an inis cubator each day.
and may be seen serving as a It is possible that many such flock quick-and-easy coops may at times bring the through to a successful maturity. tubs. "If troubled by rats to any extent.CHAPTER VI COOPS FOR CHICKENS So far as we know. The easy way most books and poultry papers speak of these coops is delightful. barrels. old silk hats have not yet been used as chicken coops. fifty-seven other objects shelter for chickens. They are probably jokes anyway to the writers. and many of them are caused by faulty coops. who handle chicks by thousands in brooder houses. but almost every other possibility has been accounted for: boxes. tin bread-boxes. "make 56 ." says one. kegs. sewer pipe. but let us understand at once that there are more failures and disappointments in poultry ventures at this stage than reason gives any excuse for. old bureaus.
it If everything were would have cost less than a dollar. It wiU then be time for next to put a floor in the coop and wait Rats. outfit. and the dead about the coop. weasels. or just over their wings. far The coop from in the picture gives perfect protec- tion rats. you are troubled by Well. you will know that you are troubled year. but . and spells of stormy weather must all be faced before the flocks wiU be large enough to look after themselves. and other enemies. dogs. You will be discouraged. who shares from family This does not mean an. don't start. . with small holes in their necks. and lose interest in a venture which should be successful. all It keeps the chickens dry under conditions.Coops and when do you rats? fipd for Chickens 57 the floor of the coop tight. cats." find out if How do you know. by' rats. some morning when you go out and rest your chickens half gone. Unless you are in a position to give chickens adequate well-planned shelter when they are ready. thunderstorms. and gives them ventilation on hot nights paid for. hawks. cats. expensive it. and is of great importance to every one life.
Made from a packing case that cost fifty cents For the beginning we need a wooden box about three feet long. hens and growing chicks that will be safe. half high.58 The Hen at Work than since the packing fifty cents. in comfort . A coop for sitting and convenient. ' box came free. it cost less To make a coop like this is a very simple matter. and a foot and a These dimensions may vary somewhat without harm. but a box give space for the hen to much smaller does not move about. by two feet wide. light.
though such cases are plenty coiontry. and piece it out with it is an extra board. These provide a slope the roof. with her chicks. To strengthen these slanting pieces a strip two inches wide should be nailed across the front. nail two strips of scantling which are six inches longer than the box. across the boards of the cover. not much al- work to make such a coop from box boards. top sides of supported by wooden for cleats on the inside. Do not around fuss about making this lid fit snug around the top all of the box. boxes about that it is cannot be readily obtained. and saw obliquely across from end to end. These trian- gular strips may the then be nailed to the long.Coops and size for Chickens If 59 safety. box. level . so that when replaced on the box on it will extend three inches beyond the edges all sides. the same length as the box. Nail a piece of roofing paper to this cover with strips of lath to hold it firmly in place. Now take a piece of board about six inches it wide. Air space will be needed the top for ventilation. in most parts of the Remove the cover of the box.
It is of great These also help in pulling the coop about from place to importance to keep the bottom of is the coop above the ground. will hold a board an inch larger so it all round than the opening effectually shut will slide up and down. ventilation. so they raise the box three inches from the ground. As an experiin the ment just leave a four-inch hole somewhere fence and find out for yourself. all by seven wide. pieces board five inches wide. out intruders of At the bottom of of the coop nail skids. and all kinds. on the out- Two-inch strips the same length. side. This leaves an opening in front four or five inches wide. the sides of the door one-inch strips are one inch back from the edge. nailed so they make a groove one inch deep. The door birds. though surprising how small an opening will let hens out. The opening should be covered with is wire netting having a one-inch mesh. nine inches high. for wet dangerous . This gives free passage for but the big Asiatic With Brahmas one inch more should be it is allowed for comfort.6o The Hen at Work which allows free with their highest part. Up nailed. place.
easy to move about. the water poured hill. lid for cleaning. and ran drowning every your is After a heavy storm in May. rather steep hill. backed up against the side of the in across the floor. it fulfills needs at very small cost. she did n»t raise the floor of the coop above the ground. fastened in front with strap It is then easy to raise the supplies. for Chickens 6i Many serious losses have occurred because this detail was omitted. chick. down the coop. years' use of this type of coop for small and small yards shows that It is light. . and will offer comfortable quarters for twenty chicks till they are large enough to go into the big house. A heavy thunderstorm came. screwed on. Barred Rocks that cost her and were valued accordingly. aU Ten flocks. As the coop was on the side of a high. A woman had some dear. of town would show many drowned the sense of taking a chance What when ten minutes' work will insure against such loss? The top should be hinges. protects the chicks from the weather. a census chicks.Coops for chicks. and prowling enemies. It will and replenishing also stay in place during heavy winds and storms.
As time. It cost three cents a square foot. labor. without wooden or stays of any kind. filling. hoards securely nailed together tant items (they always are in poultry yards) wall-board was selected for construction. . and would hold nails well. a house was needed that would shelter them all and allow room for a small hover.62 The Hen at Work A PAPER COOP month old to move out into the open. one fourth of an inch thick. and expense were imporHaving a flock of fifty chickens a This is made of Floor of the paper coop. The wall-board was merely heavy paper stock.
either narrow boards or Side piece of the paper coop. by 4 ft. feet long Cut it so the top edge wiU" slant from four feet high in front to three feet high in back. 1 1 inches wide. making a light but firm platform 5 ft. six and four feet wide.Coops As this for Chickens 63 boar^ comes in any desired lengths. with short points and large heads. using roofing nails. First the floor is made by nailing box boards together on three cleats. Flush with the lower and inner edge of each . For the sides use two pieces of waU-board. 10 inches long. with strips. of scantling nailed on scantling. Nail a strip of scantling flush with the upper and inner edge of each side. and easily. can be cut with a knife or saw very the construction problem was extremely simple.
nail the back to the floor its by driving the nails through the scantling at lower edge into the edge of the floor boards themselves. reinforced with strips of scantling them facing each other to make is sure which is the inside. nailed on the inside. The Hen a at Work strip of light board. Five strips of scantling are used as upright stays. The back wall of the coop merely a strip of wall-board five feet long by three feet high.64 side nail scantling. between the edge pieces. stand Back piece of the paper coop. lay the bottom on a level surface. that these slanting sides are not Before nailing on the supports. nail the side pieces on each side. as thick as the and at least six inches wide. as shown in the illustration. To assemble the coop. Remember reversible. Then As they are two . edged and strengthened with strips of scantling.
making a firm joint. The center brace. feet long. edged and braced like the other pieces. which will hold solidly in place. It is a simple matter to drive a few nails through the edge pieces of the top into the side trimmings. into that on the edge front. This completes the coop. except for the top and The top and a half is made of two pieces of wall-board two feet wide. when the strips are pieced. if 65 started inches longer than the floor they comer of the floor. In the picture this overlap the joint partly removed. so it will extend may easily be beyond the edge is four inches. to give the middle a firm support. should be a six-inch board. of the back. between the top and . sides are up. so the top will have its edges even with the back and sides. so nails may be driven through the scantling on the edge of the sides.Coops flush with the front for Chickens will. extend be- yond the rear guard board and come flush with the edge of the back. showing side pieces. it Roofing paper of any good grade laid over the top. unless These will is probably be six an overhang desired. but new after the measurements should be taken now.
The large door is two feet wide. of scantling holds the sides firm. high enough to fill up the space. From this to the is bottom platform a four-inch board feet nailed two from the right front side. as described in the plan for the smaller coop. dry. It This is cheap. are nailed half-way up on the other A paper coop. Through these the little door is cut. and lasts several years in good condition side. as shown in the picture.66 The Hen at Work Across the top a strip The front is mostly open. some . and may be taken apart at any time. This forms the doorway. When the house was built five years ago. The space to the left of the door is filled with chicken wire with a one-inch mesh. Then three-foot boards. easy to build. light. snug. and swings on strap hinges.
the location. will The stakes stand about one foot in from the front and in the pictiu-e. so the side shown here was covered with roofing paper as an experiment. however. as shown Take in will care to have the front bar an inch lower than that behind. and down on the cross-bars between coop. then drive four stakes into the ground in pairs. easily carry the house may blow and not set it front. settle in Two people can nail.Coops doubt was felt for Chickens 67 about the rain-shedding quality of the wall-board. A driven through each stake into the floor of the in a wind. Choose up the house is an easy matter. Nail strips of scantling across from one stake to the other so that the house can be set up on them. . just far enough apart one way to allow the feet apart house to set in between them. back of the house. and the side not protected by roof paper Setting is in good condition. It proved. that the wall-board took ordinary house paint extremely well. and four j the other way. so that any rain which run out again through the the back of the coop. about one foot up from the groimd. will hold it the two stakes. which might tip such a light dwelling upside down.
for laying hens would hardly though it is well suited to shelter a few fowls who are in quarantine. While it would not long as a wooden house.68 The Hen at Work This tj^e of house has proved cheap. the present model is it ample proof that care to have it it. and comfortable quar- ters for fifty chickens they are large enough to go into winter quarters. The stock. and for roosters being fattened. easy to build. will last as long as most people As a winter house serve. chief value of a coop like this It gives is for growing space enough for a round hoover will provide till in the center. last so and easy to move about. .
the closed front. Among find the the houses buUt especially for poultry we shed-roof. costing as much as a good dwelling. we can pass in review actually htmdreds of various buildings. and hip- we have the open front. dedicated to feathered flocks. the span-roof. the portable house. Starting with the great poultry houses having every modem device and equipment.CHAPTER VII HOUSES FOR HENS If chickens are housed in sixty varieties of coops. it is certain that apartments for hens cover still. a greater variation The reason for such a weird array of structures intended to shelter hens is probably because so many poets and newly- weds go in for hens. the monitor. and . Such people have vivid im- and surely only a quick and fertile imagination could plan out some of the chateaux aginations. the 69 house with scratching shed. roof.
sheds. disease. we shall just be starting the Although many of these various houses give localities. dry quarters. carriage houses. cellars. This means that houses must be dry and snug. and drafts cause discom- fort. dirt. and steam If cars. satisfaction in some and during certain if parts of the year. and must give the fowls ample room to move about and exercise. Beside the buildings purposely constructed. and good ventilation.70 The Hen at Work back in or back out. therein. Hens are kept in old bams. we add piano boxes and back list. if Some of the adapted buildings prove excellent they assure the poultry of stin. wei find unlimited adaptations. finally the little A-shaped house. old horse. all Fortunately for small cost these requisites are to be had and little labor. must have plenty of sunlight and fresh air without drafts. to say nothing of ancient steps hacks. electric. and disaster in any hen house. . dark. the fact remains that results tials. we expect from hens we must provide certain essen- Damp. so small and either cramped that one must for there is no turning arotmd and even lack of large hens wear off their tail feathers for room.
open during all by leaving the doors wide is sunny days. however. which has bteen used during the It provides all essentials except Still. as well as to the eventual . for make- poultry houses could be given. only one or really suitable for poultry. and have averaged more than a hundred and sixty eggs a year. but such ad- vice would not be helpful Of many such buildings looked into. when the wind not too high. the hens get some sunUght through the winter months during several hours of the day. suitable costs so little. is contributes so much to the pleasure and comfort of both fowls and keeper. as they are somewhat exposed. Many more shift pictures and suggestions in the end. is two proved and Since a building which so easy to build. Over a hundred White Leghorns have been entertained here in one flock with excellent results. when the mercury rises to normal winter standards. It is fair to add that the flock kept in this bam has paid during four years the cooperative bank dues on a four-thousand-dollar farm. In very cold spells they stop laying rather abruptly.Houses On by a farm for is Hens a 71 twenty-five near me bam thirty feet. past four years. ample sunlight. They start up again promptly.
but of strict attention to ROOF TYPES There are several roof types used in poultry house construction which are to fill certain needs. letting in is ample and air. and and freedom from damp and dirt. All water carried to the rear. and run the risk of failure ? Your decision on this matter will tell what kind of a person ing which. A shed roof is also cool in summer.72 The Hen at Work why use a makeshift success of the undertaking. . has sunlight all parts. Success with poultry ideas. and makes a high front light possible. the chances of success are not great. and does not receive the direct rays of the hot stm. making only one eave trough such are used. The shed in labor roof is the type experience has proved It requires little cost most useful in small houses. Unless you provide a buildwhen ready for the flock. room for comfort exercise. and keeps the front of the house dry and clean. if necessary.' for the slope of the roof is towards the north. and materials. is not a matter of grand small details. has good ventilation. in you are.
They are not suited for smaller plants and prove none too good for large ones. making a peak into which the warm air rises rapidly in winter. where they want wide floors. or upper chamber space. where hay and other roughage may be stored for winter use. below win be more protected from heat and EVEN SPAN Roof types TWO THIRDS SPAN This advantage is more than offset however by the pests that extra cost of construction.Houses for Hens 73 A building having a span roof adds some details not given in the shed. . and the may harbor in the litter. and the room cold. This provides a garret. The monitor and half monitor roofs are used by some for large plants.
The side walls and back make not up about two fifths of the total exposed area of an is ordinary poultry house. so that argument very important. it is great fun tinker- ing round in the hen house.74 The Hen way at Work The A-shaped economical It serves as roof roof has been advocated as an of covering a small floor space. When the argument is made that the hollow tile retards heat and cold better than wood. never have found any enjoyment in driving nails tile. but expensive. is Hollow tile is very satisfactory. Besides this. through hollow Cement blocks are good for construction also. . and the front should be mostly open. driving nails here and there to put I up nests and roosts and feed boxes. but this is so cramped and so poultry difficult to ventilate well without admitting too much weather that few practical men make use of it. and sides also. MATERIALS Probably the best material for use in the construction of hen houses is wood and roofing paper. and adds nothing that wood does not provide. remember that the roof wiU not be of tile.
Spruce and pine are good. There is no question that wood the best and cheapest material under ordinary conditions. cold. and before this is . and work with than the southern pine. is They are not equal to wood. The lumber for poultry houses need not be new. Any lumber that is available in your locality will probably give adequate service. be depended on to stand the strain of southern pine boards of they will time and weather.Houses but have all for Hens tile 75 the expense of and are not con- venient to handle. at a compara- tively low price. just as a wick does is oil. LOCATION Yard or no Yard. but in many places they are more expensive. second quality milled with tongue and groove make very easier to satisfactory material. but the for sills and timbers should be firm and strong. Brick and stone are costly. In buying lumber. is —The first question to settle where the house shall go. and are likely to be damp and Cement poultry. not suited for building houses for Concrete and solid masonry draw mois- ture during damp weather.
disgust spreads disease and among the hens. at all. side of and The plan is to let the hens run on one a divided yard while you are digging up and . or can give the birds room to wander over a large piece it is of well- drained ground. but this idea is rapidly passing away. It cannot be ended too soon. double yards. so hens can change from one to the other. gather in summer. and then leaves a hard. fowl-smelling surface in the hot sun. if you go about looking for poultry items of interest. and the mud in winter where rain stays for hours after a shower. here and there. especially in poultry books.76 cleared The Hen at Work up we must make up our minds whether we want a yard or not. for most excellent reasons. especially to editors authors. and those who care for them. There was a time when everyone who kept hens thought a yard was necessary. But there are still thousands in daily use. The Double Yard. —-There are. as your new tan shoes will find to their cost. Unless you can provide a double yard. much better to have no yard That type the of yard where the hens gather in insect drowsy groups studying the flies problem where . which give great satisfaction.
offers weeds. say that the egg yield is actually better when the . however. States. or rape. who have let their hens run thus. thus helping distinctly towards better crops. do not kill off all — ^A large yard. and then tried them confined to the house. if you keep the birds in a comfortable house. They eat many insects and grubs. but if you love work and don't care what you work at. if them fresh greens. be just as not greater. such as rye. except in the spring the double yard is all right. The Large Yard. and throw great.Houses for Hens When 77 planting the other side to some greeri plant that grows quickly. Your egg will yield. such as part of an orchard. and fallen fruit. The hens can wander about and get a good deal of their food in the summer. or shady place so large that the fowls some advantages. and nothing wiU grow much in many and early summer. is this you allow the poultry to run in and feed on that. however. and you can have the yard for a garden. vegetation. while you cultivate the other well sprouted half. and Practical fertilize the earth.from insects. men. Of cou^e you won't be planting anything here in winter.
—'The matter of location de- termined to a certain degree also by the house. when she runs about she often eats what and when she best. and even large yards expose fowls to this danger. When hen must eat what and when her owner wishes.78 The Hen at Work confined. is Off the Ground. then. you will build your the ground. The regulated diet proves the Besides this. the home must so at any be on a dry. If the floor is off the ground you need not worry to date. The house is always under our control. It which can seems reasonable. floor off When your hen-house floor is a foot or more off . if kept confined. We may clean it when scrap of litter. and to plan the building so the flock will be comfortable. wishes. we will and remove every hardly be done in a yard. well-drained location. much about drainage. to consider the loca- tion of the house without placing too much impor- tance on yard space. there is a growing opinion that ground where poultry runs becomes infected far more easily than has been supposed. and if you want to be up and make a real profit. the hens do not wander. If floor of the the floor cost is on the ground.
If dollars' worth of Fourteen dollars buys a good hen house. But knowledge guides us from shore to shore. three months old. well equipped. cinders. Place a layer of crushed stone. There might have been a rat it. were captured by rats in a single night. the cats could have followed the rats. family right beneath while we viewed the scene.Houses the ground you know for Hens and safe 79 from rats. tamping thoroughly and leaving it level. Now If the rats keep house in high style right next the base of supplies. A week ago I saw a chicken coop where fourteen Barred Rock chickens. read the following instructions from one of the latest professional books: " Excavate the soil inside the house to a depth of at least eight inches. the coop had been above the ground. and probably was eating fourteen chickens. or coarse gravel eight inches thick over the bottom. of concrete about three Put one thickness of tarred building . The coop stands flat on the ground. Hope gilds the uncertain stream we venture safe o'er. you think it is easier and cheaper to put the house on the ground. it is dry. When it is on the ground you hope it is. Over this place a rough coat inches thick.
snow. with all this care. and no in. be dry in aU seasons. . would very promptly near the ground.8o The Hen at Work One inch of finish paper over the rough coat." All this. Have you lived in a house where the cellar was of the house. lapping and cementing the seams. dry at all all seasons? Few house cellars keep dry. though houses are built with a careful plan to drain the water away. Does to the not sound more simple to put in posts. in the late winter it is and early spring. and open fronts have been used to overcome the damp. mind you. and nailing it down. coat should be laid over the paper. and nail a good tight floor sill? A hen house built will with the floor well above the grotmd rain. as it. or slush can soak rats. move. such houses are hot dry. When the snow and ice pile up on the north side of this house. as rats seldom from a The floor and as they sills of such a house if will not decay. It wiU be free from they will have no place to harbor beneath and the cats will keep linger far them on the safe retreat. lay your sills on them. must be aided by a off carefully planned drainage system to carry all sides water from As a fact. going to be it damp and you can't help it.
To •like get the best results they should be visited fre- quently. we can choose any convensheltered as much as possible from north winds and open to the sun. . nests. the space provided tools. and A four-foot rise beneath allows a very conven- ient space for such storage. beneath for boxes. we want a yard. and a temptation for people who have roast-chicken appetites and nocturnal A neat hen house to the wealthy. a practice rapidly spreading among the best poultry nien. Do not put the hens too far away from the house. theh. They are fond of the house people. and If l^o personal attention. we must place the house with respect to a yard the hens can use. they are remote. weather. ient location.Houses An for Hens is 8i additional point in favor. wheel-barrows. But if we If plan to keep the laying hens confined in a house above ground. in it is hard for women it is to go them snow and wet habits. is an honor to the poor and a credit There is no need to hide it.
Changes may be made from the 82 . we have the first house ten feet square. to a large degree. If we wish If to enlarge the house first we need only square as a enlarge lengthwise. It seems to be the general agreement that for the small flock a square house with a shed roof and ample window space is the cheapest and best form of dwelling you can choose. but. we may simply put first. and wish to double the leaving out the side wall. one hundred it is feet long or more. another house ten feet square next to the we want to put in a big house. better to sixteen feet. using the unit. If size.CHAPTER VIII AN IDEAL HOUSE Fortunately cheapest is in this business the best is not only the^ cheapest. as this width has proved make the width most ecosquare house to nomical in long houses. the the best.
teen by and does not combine ventilation and shelter well. will give us decide to make our house ten feet deep by twelve . the number of laying hens you wish to keep As it is flock about as easy to care for twenty -five as for a dozen.An better that way. the wise plan would be to build for that number. Suppose. is not to be sneezed is at. a little But. Four square feet to each bird the least which should be allowed for health and comfort. as a result. twelve by eight. and easier to make use of the table-scraps in a There is always a of twenty-five. would not be wise to make one fourSuch a house invites drafts. sunny house. —The size of the house depends on . Ideal if House 83 that cuts one slightly oblong we have lumber Instead of a house ten feet square we might have one It six. let little more room feet long. of twenty-five A flock better would call for a house ten feet square. sale at retail prices almost at your door for the eggs such a flock would lay. safe way. nearer to the square will The house we get. and the cash return. and start out in a small. and build a simple. Size of House. now. or ten by eight. that we decide that we will be guided by experience. the better the be for hen purposes.
Sawed it lumber should be painted with tar to protect from decay. as it Cedar is the best. Posts may be set firmly in holes two feet deep. For the amateur. bricks are UPRIGHT BACK UPRIOHT FRONT not easy to handle. of two pieces of two-by-four lumber nailed together. one at each comer and a pair in the middle.84 The Hen at Work needed to Foundation. or in concrete about one foot deep and two feet . six inches will last a life-time. or of brick. — ^Eight stout posts are set the sills on. in diameter. These may be of cedar. of four-by-four lumber.
so that . lay the across them. be given for storing tools beneath The Frame. half-way through each and sawing out a section four inches long by one inch deep. will If the house stands four feet up. four inches back piece. two. By cutting them.An across. we can match all the ends so the sills will lie even arotmd. so the house will face about south. six feet high. Ideal is House 85 Set the posts Either way satisfactory. or slightly south-east. sills —When the posts are set. driven through all the comers into the posts. will hold place. room it. A five-inch spike. These are pieces of two-by- Frame of house set up on posts. should be erected. twelve feet long and two ten feet long. firmly in At the two front comers uprights of two-by- four stock. ready for side boards and roof four lumber. from the end.
These uprights should be cut four inches down from the top.86 The Hen at Work sills. Now two pieces of two-by-four at the top of the front pair should be placed of and the back pair cross pieces uprights. there will be no more strain at this point. and room for roosts. on the and the rear for front side. The ten-foot top cross pieces going from front to back need no cuts made for them. the length of the sills. will allow for sufficient roof pitch. A small block nailed to the upright. each being twelve feet long. through their lower edges. for the front top piece. five feet high. will . Then the long fit may be seated flush with the front and rear of the uprights. four inches from the top. These uprights should have their narrow two-inch edges facing the front and back. obliquely into the After the cross pieces are in place. Two uprights at the rear. When the cross pieces are set in place a nail will hold them snug against the uprights. the back top piece. so the waU-boards will tight all around. and a piece four inches long by two wide should be cut out.or five-inch nails floor. they stand exactly flush with the edges of the For a building these in place this size it is satisfactory to nail by driving four.
or five-inch nails. Twenty a two-byDrive four piece twelve feet long should be nailed. and nails driven obUquely make the joint solid. and make the sill. or other Ventilation. and save the expense of new windows. added strength. While driving these nails. Windows and place.An into the upright Ideal House 87 support the weight. A small block beneath each end will give inches up from the front sill. Just where this will go depends on the size of the window. This should be of two-by-four stock. This serves as window There must be another piece above the window space to hold the. have a heavy weight held to the post to avoid wrenching the joints already made. twelve feet. to support the roof boards in the middle. ends flush with them. — It frequently hap- pens that there are storm windows about the window frames in good condition that we can use. should go half-way between the front and back cross pieces. Now another long cross piece. driven through the end top pieces into the middle roof support. upper part of the front waU. the nails through the front uprights. and fastened in place may be by four. If these are at hand the size of the open- .
In stormy weather the small window provides air enough. the An ideal house for a small flock. If. for instance. is no harm in giving most of the front to window space In winter the window may remain closed. and the door he opened in good weather for extra light and air.88 The Hen made at Work window is three feet ing should be according to the size of the window. You have too much window space in the . we would put can't the upper window stringerSix- teen inches from the roof. The pitch of the roof and the window space There are greater in the specifications than they appear in the picture. In summer the door should always remain open. with a wire door inside to keep the flock at home high.
but there is nothing to show that this is important. wire netting should be nailed on the outside. These windows need not be moved or opened during thewinter months. they open inward. when wire take their place. we can choose from the illustration the type we prefer. in the middle of the in place and the windows may be screwed from the outside. outside. sill. as they can be opened on warm stmny days If all through the year. On the whole. nailed If on the windows are to be bought. will May. netting. as they are damage. A window that swings on hinges will serve well in this type of house. in Northern States. windows on hinges are better than those screwed in place.An Ideal House 89 front of this house. would serve well. No extra time or work need be taken putting these in. but should be taken off the first of April or inside. Two ordinary frames like those used for storm windows. Double glass in such sash wiU give a slight ad- vantage in keeping the temperature a little more even as night comes on. A six-inch board may be nailed from the front roof stringer to the front. It is usually better to have them swing less liable to inward than outward. .
the chief blessing of hen-kind. As this does not^ touch the ground. will be warm and cosy. though ventilation is assured. life. where all glass. They are cold. are shut out. glass. The fowls will be active and happy. during many hours of the day. is based on conditions in houses built on the ground. open fronts and muslin This ad- windows. The house stays dry. and Nature's great purifier. there is no way in which these warm rays can draw up moisture.90 The Hen and at present at Work Ventilation in hen houses has been discussed widely. instead of vice. The matter of variation of temperature is largely theoretical. is The problem is very differ- ent where the floor I entirely off the grotind. have never yet entered a house in winter. and. cheerless. however. and. the rays of the sun. Where the is floor is ofif the ground and the front well glassed. the rays of the sun all on cold winter days penetrate to comers of the house. in muslin had replaced which the hens seemed to enjoy dull. Many declare that the drop from this the cold surroundings at warm room at midday to . are advised. and fall warm and soft upon the floor. and There is little temptation to kick around and burrow in the litter.
It is is clear to any one who knows a distinct factor in the winter egg In setting these windows. The comfort and pleasure fowls get in a simny. and this may be done by leaving small illustration. These are merely square or oblong openings. though with twenty-five hens in a house ten-bytwelve. warm total. to plan in some definite way for ventilation which shall be con- stant. and cover them with muslin. as shown in the above the regular windows. A crack here and there wiU admit no more air than A crack" in the back of the house is a is needed. Such windows provide adequate ventilation during those days and when storms and heavy weather make necessary to close doors and windows. windows. but the front may admit air without hens as it is harm. we may shut the doors and windows cold nights and blustery days without fear of harm. Fresh air is as necessary for for us. serious defect. It is wise. however. no special care need be taken to make them tight around the edges.An little Ideal House 91 is night. but when nights it it . house during the day hens. kept clean. framed about with scantling. will be harmful to the fowls. but there experience to support such a theory.
tight. roof of a house ten feet deep is The Roof. and the door of wire will netting.92 The Hen at Work in would be too damp to leave the flock without a constant change of air. During good weather the door may be left open. drive After that is put on there is no way to them in again. which will be used through the summer in place of the wooden door. Galvanized nails will not serve weU. should be nailed securely in place with strong Cut-iron nails are the best. as they are likely to work loose. or possibly The boards should be two or three inches cut less. Such days come often February and March in most States. keep the hens at home. to cover the sawed edges of the side boards. A nail which works loose means a hole in the roof paper before long. to protect window spaces in storms. These boards nails. remember that must be absolutely . as they wedge into the wood and stay put. If tempted to plan an overhang this side for the rear. but should provide a generous overhang in front. Lay the boards flush with the edge of the rear roof stringer and allow an overhang seven eighths of an inch on each side. eleven feet. —-The very easy to construct.
sometimes used afford in space.An It is Ideal to House fit 93 by no means easy a joint up under an tight. overhanging roof that will be wind is but it very easy to lap the roof paper down over a flush comer. strap hinges. pieces of board. shelter and every precaution should be taken to them. Two pieces of stock. five feet long. A double back wall. —The easiest way to plan the side wall and rear is to nail the boards vertically. is hot climates. and should fit snug up under the lap of with dead air the roof edges. nailed securely on cleats. two inches square. —'The doorway should be about twenty-siK inches wide and five feet high. so roof no air can leak through. These should be of sound stock. is often planned in the Northern States. tongued and grooved. put in a double . and a double roof Floor. — If you can it. This rear comer is just where the hens are going to roost. and roof The door itself can easily be made of three or four pieces of matched board. or strong would do as uprights for door frames. The Door. It swings on strong Side Walls and Rear. They are nailed flush with the outside edges of the siU piece. placed on the east end of the house.
with roofing paper between each layer. strip will lie flat The next. use cheap covering like tarred but a year or two. as in life. First carry a strip round the back from the door to the front edge on the west side. If Support it in the middle by a stout the double floor seems rather costly. a single floor. with thick litter will give good service. which to the lower edge.94 floor. in The Hen at Work twelve-foot piece regions where winters are cold. as any crack or knot hole will wind and litter out. roof. carefully tongued let It must be of in clear stock. A good quality little ' covering of standard manufacture will cost more and will last a long time. felt for this practical covering to keep from our egg factory is comes down on as that will last all sides Do not purpose. the lower edge even with the lower edge of the wall. post. enough to . and and grooved. One of two-by-four stock will serve as a center brace for the floor. many other jobs in we must begin at the bottom and work up. —^The cheapest and most wind and wet away good roofing paper. In laying roof paper. on the lower part of the lapping over on both sides and rear. Waterproof Covering.
An overlap the Ideal House 95 first strip at least four inches. Full directions for handling and fastening the various covers always come with the rolls of paper. The upper strips are easily laid on in the same way. .
so they never fall made with roosts set up on touch the walls. Experiments have been horses. to provide board The accepted custom has been droppings at night. feed trough. It includes roosts. in- expensive. and a place for water basins. and allow the droppings to directly into the scratching litter. —The matter of dropping is boards in a house where the flock lately been questioned in confined has some parts of the country.CHAPTER IX FURNITURE The furniture for this dwelling is simple. . to catch the These may then be cleared away frequently. and easy to install. grit dropping boards. dust box. removing that much waste matter from the house. even for months. Dropping Boards. No bad results were noticed from 96 this practice. where they stay. mash and boxes. platforms beneath roosting hens. nests.
Careful hen men. In favor of the roost across horses. the droppings would soon be dry. is The poultry raiser to-day a spry fellow. It must be remembered that during the year droppings gather in large quantities in all houses. when the climate is dry. and will not be contaminated quickly when put back into the house. These roosts touch the walls at no point.Furniture 97 and. is the labor saved in cleaning. and are would not harmful or offensive unless they get damp. make no great and it is difference. and the protection against lice. A flock of hens will soon finish the acid test of their pastor. such a plan might work very well. however. added to these. and prove the answer. without dropping boards. Although unpleasant at first. The dropping boards however are important for several reasons . he must be. and ground to dust imder the feet of active hens. may be removed entirely from the house for a thorough cleaning. have declined this suggestion. or he wouldn't stay in the business long. Those voided probably at night. not because of fogey notions or hide-bound ideas.
98 In as all The Hen locations it is at Work air is where the moist at times. in the Far West and all the Eastern States. and are seldom If touched by the hens on the dropping boards. Dropping boards give an extra space for fowls . and many are seldom break. The dropping boards beneath the hens and make their litter. soon begin to break them are impor- and if they get the taste. and are easier to handle well in this state than when scratched into the come up close sleep more comfortable. it is really important to clear out as is as possible. Hens always eat broken eggs. or weather. fall to the litter below they are almost stu-e to break. where the hens will find and eat them in the morning. The dropping boards tant for this reason alone. which much manure always offensive in damp when kept pure. The droppings themselves. Here is the starting point of the egg- Nothing gets on the nerves more than the habit of egg-eating. shutting moving air on cold nights. Eggs which are from the they roosts. are highly valuable as dressing in the garden. mixed with crude potash or rock phosphate. for themselves. off most of the laid laid at night. eater.
sifted hard-coal ashes. starting close to the back. so they snug. about three feet long to the ends of the house. three feet wide. Upon these supports the dropping boards. Put them high enough from the floor so you can get tmdemeath for fowls and when you need to. —The. and the other the roosts. and one three feet from the reaching horizontally to the back wall. The weight of the argument is greatly in favor of dropping boards. three strips of scantling feet back wall. one supporting the middle of the dropping boards. The simplest way to support them is to nail a eggs piece of board. or be planed to without a crack. may Then be stood. and. Three feet is enough. the dropping boards. two-by-two. roosts go about ten inches above They may be two-by-four. unless . floor. can be nailed. Roosts. Shove them fit close to the back of the house. In the a post of two-by-four. one at the top. They fit must be tongued and grooved.Furniture to wander over. if 99 they are covered with they give a valuable addi- tion to the daily bill of fare. or even of scantling. three feet and ten from the inches high. may be nailed. it is frail. center.
nail the roosts raise the it on a frame. When a hen sits down. will support them. and they can't even if let go. ing and and there is no proof that hens do not get benefit from a brief nap during the day. ten inches above the dropping boards. that counts. give ample room the for twenty-five hens. away from the crowd. nailed to the end walls. Nail them lightly in place. mornnight. Two roosts. . hinged and whole frame in the said to keep hens morning. they would when sharp edges hurt. one mote thing to remember. like to. her claws contract. record. The first one goes ten inches from the wall. If is Every one who has to entitled to what rest he can will hens are not properly handled they It is the plan of feeding. not the fumitiire. and the second ten inches from first. so it will be -easy to take them out. however.loo The Hen at Work Pieces of scantling. Pleasant dreams never hurt the egg Some people at the back. fastening to the roof with a button or hook during the day. See to it that the edges of the roost are rounded and smooth. twelve feet long. scratch for a living get. loa^ anjrway. and make it easier to clean the boards. It is This is more active.
Sifted hard-coal ashes can be had in most places. for two hens to kick around It must be floor provided. All we have to do to nail a strip of the cover three or four inches wide across the lower part ^ of the open front. for a dust box. large in. nests.^ sure to keep the nesting material fresh and clean. Do not nail these to the wall. hay is probably the best. just the right size for the hens. and put the nests on that. legs at least will should be set up on litter a foot high. Dust enough — ^A box about a foot deep. Fill satisfaction full. so in. straw. about the height of the dropping boards. from the not be thrown The bath may be of dry earth or sifted ashes. and come already divided. to keep the hay in place. Three boxes are enough for twenty-five hens. Soft fine excelsior. or fine shavings. The nesting material may be of hay. excellent loi egg boxes —Orange. and seem to givq the hens more most types of earth. though fine straw and excelsior give good results. Be Box. . Make a shelf at the end away from the door.Furniture Nests. than iand the box half renew every three or four months. or make They is cost nothing. lemon.
To make a mash box like that in the illustration. like that in the picture. the box allows pick here and there for pieces of beef scrap best. from proved the better. the wooden box has has a deep trough. Of the two shown. is opened. no matter what the general plan may be. The soap box cut dorwnjor a dry mash hopper. at Work mash should be of Mash feeding boxes. and morsels they hke Then they weaker leave the common victuals to their sisters. There are many good metal some with grated It fronts. cut so it will fit down into the tray which hens can throw nothing with their bills.102 The Hen Boxes. —A box for dry provided. and. if who crowd in when the box it. and no new food can be touched until all before the fowls is eaten. good fighters. There are always greedy hens. and cover of front. .
Next remove the cover of the box. triangle out of each side. nail a light strip to the side so will run from the front upper comer. or pieces of leather. by The mash will be poured in here. taking a tri- angle from each side. about six eight inches. Now saw a To support the side pieces while sawing. Then another strip should be nailed along a line slanting from the lowest point of the first strip to the front edge. By if nailing strips one inch wide about the edges of the piece cut out. five inches from the bottom. with a it slight change. down to a point seven inches from the bottom. and to strengthen them while it in use later. Fasten in place by small hinges. The one phototwenty-two inches long. Any box of dimensions about the same will do. we can turn it into a good cover. and allow four inches of it to slide down below the sides of the bottom tray. and is one foot deep.Furniture a tight 103 wooden box is is graphed a soap box. as shown in the illustration. First cut a hole in one end with a key-hole saw. by needed. the . and four inches from the back. it pieces of board are scarce. Cut along these strips. The cover may now be used again. sixteen wide. In order to nail along the slanting front edges.
but its down to own weight. and keep the fowls away from the mash during the morning. as fast as it is cleaned tray is A no more can come down until weU cleaned up. Slats. it fit snugly against the sides of the lower it is Before fastened in place. just wide enough to cover the open space at the top of the tray. or strip of wood two and a is that in the half inches wide. if mash about with a will which they always do they can. nail a strip five inches slats. and keep the hens from scattering the side swing of the head. as This keeps the mash from being shown in the picture. lip. to hold the ends of the The lower edge of the front should come about two and a half inches from the bottom of the tray. This leaves space for the mash to feed the hens by up. from the bottom. A piece of thin board. shotild be provided to slide under these slats.104 The Hen at Work lower edges must be cut just enough. to be nailed across the top of the front edge of the tray. . to let tray. four inches up. one inch square across the front. should be nailed front. across from the lip to the strip on the These are two and a half inches apart. spilled out.
Furniture The mash box should hang away from flying bits of well 105 up from the floor. Where grit on the floor is absent. A foot 'or eighteen inches will be high enough. and have come is down to a very simple plan. we shall add to our success with the flock. these hens eat little grit. The bone thrown it into the tray of the dry-mash box.the floor of the house. a separate grit box wiU be necessary. litter. and will from the laying house be fatal. and sifted coal ashes are always present. Bore small Nail heads will pass through these and hold the box firmly in place. The and shells are box described below. As there is much gravel on . holes in the back at the top. level with the lower edge. A low Grit perch should be fixed in front of six inches it. and about away. under certain conditions. should and Shell Boxes. —Grit and all shells always be where fowls of their absence If ages can get them. soon grit when more may be thrown mixed in the in.. . served. that can If charcoal is be put into the same kind of box. and I charcoal. we add dty cjacked bone in the laying house. There is mixes with the dry mash more or 'less. but eaten. spent ten years trying various hoppers for ito feeding these condiments fowls.
it If you want to slot dump nearly to clean out dust. and they can never eat too much grit or shell. are disciples of the simple life. The cut by is made in the middle. you may have one is full. and leaves a tray three inches deep. all The various materials are.106 The Hen at Work a box six inches The hopper illustrated is simply square. serve to hang up out of the litter. near the top. has proved unsatisfactory. Hens will not eat shells or grit when the material is dusty or stale. shell They more and grit from a lot freshly placed in the little wooden box. cut down. The type of hopper where several slots feed down grit. shells. Holes bored it in the back. and bone into small trays. ^While chickens are developing through the summer months. Water Basins. and before long the shells in such a tray get mixed with other matter. with a hopper three inches wide six inches deep. than out of any patent device ever invented. and simple things will eat appeal most to their taste. the water fountains — . side by side. whUe the next nearly empty. mixed Fowls together when the hopper is dumped. Beware of all fancy patent dishes for serving hens. of course.
A shelf for water pan. A heavy and ruins the just syphon fountain. prove the They the water in moved about. they keep and the chickens out. and is in winter quarters. and board to protect the water. This keeps dust out of the water. But when the are easily flock has grown. and pan. but the agate pan slopes at . and prevents hens from stepping in their drink Perhaps the most satisfactory kind lined pan. is used frequently as a milk In cold winter weather the ice forms slowly on such a pan. this type of fountain gives place to an open basin. 107 of the syphon type. latei'. about a gallon.Furniture described best. bought at the ten-cent is an agateIt holds store. and may freeze thick without freeze splits doing any harm.
pan in place. and the V enables the hens to put their heads in to drink. warm water will clear all in is a moment.' 108 The Hen at Work and a little the right angle to avoid injury. . floor in Put a Set the about two feet from the a convenient spot. it This agate pan also easy to keep A few strokes of a cloth or mop. clean. sitting V cut in it so it slants down and covers the The slant keeps hens from roosting and about on the board. shelf daily. wide enough to hold the pan. keep fresh and sweet. Then fasten another board with a pan.
10 z < z D o u. I- (3 Z .
Other places where nests may be put with success are: a vacant chaif. under back steps. may in set hens in many places with efitire success. fresh and a chance to exercise a small house like that little each day. A nest in a shown on page 66 with or without a run is also desirable. in 109 . room. with floor covered with paper and down cellar. a small coop like that in the picture on page air.CHAPTER X HATCHING XJNDER HENS Before we can nests start to hatch with hens. is Perhaps the most satisfactory plan to set her 58. Quiet and freedom from disturbance aie essential. the must be ready. This ensures quiet. seclusion. —^As spring approaches make up your we mind where you can best put Biddy away in seclusion for three weeks. The Nest. the eggs must be ready. and the hens must be ready. if not too musty. those being secured.
be over five inches high. the result will be satisfactory. in at Work a barrel. It may even up to two any size to hold a hen comfortably on It should not thirteen eggs without crowding. for good luck. and the nest must be least care- Get a shallow box at be larger. If laying hens are in the same apartment. In this business attention to small details spells success in the long run. Sitting hens tempers. or in any sheltered spot herself. a foot feet square. two sides only are cut down. . and we are extra eggs in our sitting that at all. new and this leads to trouble.no the The Hen bam loft. square. and a first-class fight will turn a sitting of eggs into second-class omelette. fully prepared. they are likely to find five or six always glad to lay just one more in the batch. and laying hens must have hasty be kept strictly away. leaving two sides several inches high. A deeper box may easily If be cut down to about four inches. we don't want there Keep all Sitting hens strictly in solitary confinement. where she can be by It is not wise to have two hens sitting where visit they can together. A hen often decides to of her swap nests without asking the owner choice.
making a saucer-shaped hollow. always cool and moist.Hatching under Hens In the bottom of the box put fresh. wall. This moisture plays an important part in incubation. Over the earth arrange some soft hay. or soft excelsior. side broad enough to hold the eggs lying by side. so the chicks cannot get caught there when hatched. in the spring. loosely. The box may now be placed coop. to keep the eggs from if rolling away. so that it fine straw. and the sold chick as free as possible from vermin. forms a neat hollow. but the results will not be so good. Powdered tobacco is good for this. is which. damp makes a layer about one inch thick in the center. It is true that eggs will hatch placed on dry hay. Some of the chicks . will hide her nest on the ground. to make a slope from the floor to the top of the nest. state In the natural a hen . powder to keep the mother sprinkle the Nbw hay liberally with lice comfortable. Fill comer of the Leave no spaces between the box and the them up with earth or hay. and the powder in the by standard houses is satisfactory. placed so that it m earth. Pile earth or ashes beside the box. and slopes up to about three inches on the sides.
If displaced by the shaking the eggs wrong these eggs are started at once the germs will. are usually receive. airy spot for about a day. able dealers usually rates.' —The eggs for hatching will be selected from hens you have set apart for breeding. will later develop into chicks. develop in the position. according to the plan outlined in the chapter on breeding pens. out before the hen will ready to leave her and they be unable to return to shelter is unless a sloping bank provided. but will die in a short time right under the beak of their poor mother. unless for some special reason. in houses. Such eggs should be on their side in a cool. the germs. . men who specialize on breed- Do not buy eggs from flocks confined nor from people who are inexperienced Reli- in breeding. in many cases. When which eggs are shipped for hatching. or they will be pur- chased froni poultry ing stock. sell utility eggs at reasonable For the home flock costly eggs from fancy will usually matings are not necessary and prove a useless expense.112 The Hen ruii at Work is may nest. Eggs for Hatching. and laid the hatch will be poor. who can do nothing but cluck and watch them perish.
Those of the Rocks and Reds should be a rich brown. As chicks from such hens will probably lay few eggs themselves. Tinted ones should be discarded.Hatching under Hens to allow the germs to swing 113 back into place before incubation begins. however promising they may look. as giv- en in the chapter "Comparisons of Four Leading Breeds. Every now and then a claim is made that the shape of eggs will control to some extent the number of pullets in the hatch. There the is good evidence to show that hens which little have done lay or nothing in the winter often largest. Eggs much over standard size. handsomest eggs during the hatching season. from twenty-four to twenty-six ounces a dozen. be on your guard. "are not safe. free The shell should be smooth. Rotmd eggs have been recommended most earnestly as producing a . In selecting eggs for hatching choose eggs as near the standard of your breed as possible. from rings or warts or rough Any- thick spots. Leg- horn eggs should be cream white. or rings. and places. and light shades should be thrown out. make it hard for the chick to break out when he is ready for the great adventure.
or pantry. No you be expected. and an hour or two in freezing weather may kill the germ in the egg. they should be put in a place. color. Choose the size. when many wish to get started with incubation. not only to keep them from freezing. Even on mild days the eggs should be gathered at least twice daily. total results will and the probably be poor. the nests must be visited frequently. During February and March the temperature will be low. airy enough eggs in one day for hatching. A well-ventilated cellar. but to get them as clean as possible.114 Th^e Hen If at Work such results should set high average of pullets. Washing hurts the egg for hatching. chick. egg that is recognized as standard in and shape for the breed you handle. Those having small flocks can seldom provide Until the eggs cool. can be used. as only part of the total lay aie satisfactory. however. as it damages the pores through which oxygen passes in to the embryo In the early spring months. where the temperature runs between fifty and seventy degrees will be suitable. Dirty eggs should not be used. Below fifty the germ . round eggs you are likely to get hens that lay round eggs.
but clucks surely show which way the feathers blow. store in a cool. along in the spring you will find a hen that takes a long time in laying her egg. likely to give and put in a strange place. if necessary. well advanced. when she all. and the better smooth. she things.Hatching under Hens may die. clean. select frequently. or any heavy breed. Later she refuses to leave at and now is the time to get the sitting nest ready. and adhering to the membrane. Broody Hens. will have for development. But do not hurry in taking such a hen from the If she is removed before the sitting fever is flock. standard-sized eggs. you have a flock of Rocks. and should be turned half over every two days. Eggs for hatching may is be kept two weeks. at once. to keep the germ from rising with the yolk to the top. the stronger the germ conditions Collect it likely to be. and place under the hen within two weeks. airy spot. turn half over every two days. —One If cluck does not make a Reds or broody hen. but the fresher they are when started. is up the idea and mess Wait . They should lie upon their sides. and makes a double racket leaves the nest. 115 Above seventy it will incubate.
heavy hen for the sitter. she is probably too restless to sit quietly. Another matter of importance hen. It is by no means as easy as seems to . but they are not to be trusted in general. The strain of a long period bird. It is not wise to use Leghorns. When we feel sure that the hen has settled down to real business it is time to let her start houseit keeping. of sitting will also tell likely to on a thin and she is grow restless. They all frequently sit if on the nest and behave for the world as they never would quit. she peeps out at you when you supper. or other light breeds. poor flesh will A not hen that goes on to the hatch have sufficient body heat to keep the temperature at a proper point. minds they would rather lay Once in a while a Leghorn wiU make a very good mother. for incubation. especially after if she can steal her nest.116 till The Hen and stays right at Work are serving is. Both are needed in a in good mother. For these reasons choose a fat. but of eggs they suddenly if given a rest and a sitting their make up all. is the body of the The light breeds have little flesh and almost no fat. where she So long as she shows hunger. and comes off at evening feed.
I new and leave her use the coop and run as shown in the picture. especially in the eariy season. Don't take her to the new nest early in the day. madam door. she is Don't keep running to see covering the eggs.Hatching under Hens 117 get a fowl to start incubation in the right way. is such an introduction too abrupt. Do Do just not attempt to set her directly on the eggs. remove quarters. she doesn't like company at such a time. cool nights seem to quench their desire to There are several don'ts at this point. when sit. nor let the children visit her. to the Then about sundown. and a dish of fresh . a little Then com is dropped near the entrance. There is a tradition among the race most intimate with chickens that they should never be moved by broad daylight. The eggs are placed in the back of the coop. where she is to stay. room you will if wish you hadn't. put her near the strictly alone. The best plan is to place the and scatter a little nest in the dark- est corner of the house. com in a trail from the door to the nest. both without and within the copp. or coop. is not try to confine her in a nest where there for the eggs .
Another day and if the second morning dawns on eggs uncovered she must be returned to the flock. and fresh water. and tries to escape. is still is If the hen ramping around the not ready to sit. rttn day she probably that she needs a but it may be little longer to get used to her will settle the matter. Then the hen is selected.ii8 The Hen at Work quietest water placed at hand. she is well fed and watered. look around her. her favorite food. she remembers that she is Gradually the hen works her the coop. and next on her three weeks' vacation. Here just the chance she has been looking and the hen has a spark of real motherhood she will nestle start off down with a contented cluck. surroundings. and. At first she frequently runs about. but no one watching. for. then she grows more quiet and stops to hungry. Cautiously she slips through the opening and follows the trail of com. at evening. by the fading a neat nest with thirteen eggs appears to her enraptured gaze. way to the door of There is more com just inside. Seeing com. dropped into the run. AH is if is quiet. light. . In another moment. treated for lice. is She looks suspiciously about.
There no need of putting after she starts. After the hen has settled down she seldom leaves the nest for forty-eight hours. Then she little. drink. as there would be if she had broken grain or mash. much needed at this time. Inspect the eggs if to see they are whole and clean. digests well. Such babies. She might behave better at another time. At the end of the hatch there is no stale food lying about for the chicks to eat. off in food until the second day Throw a handful eggs of whole com lift If she does not leave the nest her gently the and place her if in the run. especially in early season. she fouls the nest and kicks the eggs about. the crop. but other hens should be used first if they are at hand. and If will later quiet down and make a good hatch. and exercise a is while the eggs are airing. however. Whole com is the most It quickly fills satisfactory food for a sitting hen. wiU want to eat.Hatching under Hens It 119 frequently happens that a hen will-behave in this way at first. in the run. a band should be put on her leg to mark her as a bad performer. and foul. clean away the dirt. and provides heat and fat. musty food would be dangerous to the .
Besides the com, supply fresh water,
Scatter sifted hard-coal ashes an
inch deep over the floor of the coop.
As the hatch
has not been
proceeds, the nest should be inif
spected every two or three days, and,
off to eat
her com, she should be
placed in the run and kept
This airs the eggs, which would
the sitter should quit in the middle of the
decline to return,
to change her for another
Careful experiments show that during the middle
of the period the eggs
in temperature as
stand for fifteen hours
Place the eggs in a
the' kitchen or near a radiator, at about eighty to
ninety degrees, tiU the
jug of hot water, not over 120 degrees, placed in a
covered box with the eggs wUl keep them going
very well for
Visitors in general should be kept
hen, but a daily
away from the by the one in charge well to lift and handle,
and talk to a broody mother of the heavier breeds,
Hatching under Hens
then, unless she resents
as she will
and her chicks
Scary hens have wild chicks, and
wild chicks are hard to develop in the right
when the eggs were covered should be
down, and after the eighteenth day the
hen should not be disturbed
twentieth day, and hatching
chicks will frequently begin to appear about the
two days more.
differ in this respect as
they do in
will leave the nest
on the twenty-first day, but most mothers
wait a day or so to give every egg a fair chance,
and leave with her brood about the twenty -second
or -third day.
There are varying opinions regatding the wisdom
of helping chicks out of the shell
when they seem
unable to break forth themselves, but the principle
understood; any chick which
to be valuable
strong enough to break his
There are exceptions to every
then a chick might be liberated
that would be worth while.
and now and
from a tough
the hen usually resents
At the same time interference, and the harm
to be fully as great
done by meddling
plan to leave
as the advantage to the brood.
and discard unhatched
HATCHING WITH INCUBATORS
a machine for hatching
no great problem,
same town already own incubators
no need to pay high
you wish to hatch a
at a time.
Usually five or six dollars wiU buy a
machine giving excellent
have bought an incubator and brooder
which hatched and brooded the chickens from
one hundred eggs with perfect success.
In winter issues of poultry magazines, various
incubators are advertised and explained.
them over, make up your mind about how many eggs you want to handle, and about what you want
times, there are few extras to
modem When the
incubator and brooder are bought, the
the only added expense, as the ther-
mometer, thermostat, egg-tester, and other accessories are usually included
with the machine.
this point visit neighbors
who have machines
and look over
buy your incubator from a
It will cost
rather than fropi a distant factory.
no more, and you
help you get
have someone nearby to
and supply broken or
chased at a low price.
frequently be pur-
they are of standard,
well-known makes, and not over two years
such a purchase might be wise, but the develop-
in incubator construction during the past
ten years has been so rapid that
while to have machines that are
per cent added to the hatch will
several dollars in
make up for and a new machine
would probably give that advantage over a second-
an older type.
Order your machine by January
up as soon as
arrives, giving it
Every year many beginners order incubators and
Hatching with Incubators leave 125 them is in the cases until a week or so before they wish to begin hatching. Although an incubator is. instrument to handle. It is clear that in a room which has a temperature of seventy degrees at noon and forty degrees at night the problem of keeping the heat within the hatching chamber at the same point all the time will be difficult. In general construction we can figure that. get yours set If you up along in January. a very simple it. test each part and nm it a few days at the required heat. all. however good the the outside tem- may be. it till You can order.' Location of — The successful operation of the incubator will depend to a certain extent upon its location. It is rather late then to write letters and get needed parts after in time to start promptly. when first we understand the experiments should not be carried out hastily. the temperature in the egg chamber will fall one degree if . the Incubator. then leave hatching time with the assurance that everything will be ready and in If you put this off till the season opens of the first you may trial join those who make a mess through haste and lack of preparation. only to find that some part hurt or lacking.
imless the temperature varies is very cold. but in no case must a draft play on the muslin curtain. unless poorly ventilated and is A room where the heat shut ofif. tacked over the air incubator. so that it smells sweet and clean. but even then care must be taken to protect the machine from currents of air. It should be thoroughly cleaned from all debris and decaying matter. — It would be of no value to attempt detailed instructions in a book . the machine while hatching Fresh air necessary in the chamber for incu- bation. and a drop of thirty degrees in the room would be a serious matter. A window will admit without much draft. will also give good results. For the majority of those using a small incubator the cellar will be convenient and available. where the heat all maintained to a certain extent serve. is A room like a schoolroom.126 perature The Hen falls at Work ten degrees. the time. would The sim should never is is shine directly on in progress. and where the sun does not shine directly twenty degrees or more. and arranged for ventilation. or the room in. it is For musty. Preparing for the Eggs. this reason the cellar is usually chosen for such a location.
however. inside The of the machine and egg compartments must be thoroughly cleansed before each hatch. and you probably There are. in the morning. and a spray used afterward. Hot water and soap. trim. general rules that apply to all incubators which should be followed. run large incubators spray the egg chambers during the hatch while the eggs are out Level the machine with care before the eggs are 'put in rise place. may be used as a wash. with a coal tar disinfectant.Hatching with Incubators like this for 127 running an incubator. Many who cooling. will have no difficulty. and there is a slope the eggs near the top will be those at the bottom. detail is covered with series of and each minute care. Manufacturers send instructions for assembling and handling their machines which are compiled after a long experiments with that particular machine. In running the machine follow the printed instructions that deal with that particular incubator. level all the eggs will Fill. and regulate the lamp . or the washing may be with soapsuds. Hot air and hot water tend to if to the upper comer. much warmer than is If the egg tray exactly have the same degree of heat.
bright flame. of a steady flow of heat before starting In hatching with incubators the eggs to be . Toward the end of the hatch. but the flame is low and the temperature in the egg chamber falls. making any necessary adjustments and getting command the eggs. the lamp should be lighted and a careful test made for at least three days. clear flame. The saving of oil from a low flame flame will be so small that the total value will not equal that of a chick. and should give constantly a bright. the must be kept up.128 The Hen if it at is Work At night no one Then will draws up. Needless to say that only the very best oil should be used. or not adjusted properly. the thermostat can do nothing to help matters. Keep a clear. but it should never be lowered so as to give the slightest odor. is ft When the kept high and clear the thermostat wiU if take care of the surplus heat. be about to observe such defects. the flame may be reduced a little. as the if body heat of the chicks increases. is After the location machine set and all made ready. the trouble can be remedied. the temperature stays at a high point. and the wick and burner secured. in perfect condition.
as it is Leading from this group of egg yolks the oviduct.Hatching with Incubators 129 used are selected and cared for according to the directions given for hatching under hens. Most of us have' probably seen . all dirty eggs being discarded. little be They spot. perfect and standard size. through which the egg passes. and turned over half-way every two days or oftener. are clear yellow yolk. selected carefully. a view td dolor. and the . on the surface of the egg. adding the white or albumen. — It will be a great help if in handling eggs during incubation we know some- thing about the development of the germ within the egg. While waiting for the incubator they must be stored in a cool airy place with a temperature running from fifty to seventy degrees. is ovum. Inside Facts on Eggs. They may be seen in the illustration. except for one a germ. must be with collected frequently. a very elastic tube. They shells.the little cluster of yellow balls gathered close to the backbone in the center of the fowl's size body cavity. will These yellow globes are the yolks of what eggs. These range in from that of a pinhead to an inch or more in diameter. or frequently called at this stage. smooth.
and almost as soon as the yolk enters they attach themselves to the germinal spot on its . near the lower end of The male germs are found in the upper part of the tube. The progress through the oviduct takes about twenty-four hours the egg. The shows Ovary and oviduct. forming their shell and complete size as they descend. soon to be the oviduct. The Hen In its finished at Work it stage passes out at the illustration lower end a complete egg. The eggs gather and develop in the ovary. One by one they enter the oviduct.130 shell. laid.
and an expert can size of easily tell the condition of this air space. but continues developing. The growth egg is of the germ begins almost as soon as the meeting takes place. the albumen. stay in good condition much longer than those with the Hving germ. The germinal spot will remain unchanged. an egg from the About half-way down the oviduct there is a series of glands. and at the large the end of the egg a these layers. or in a temperature of It about one hundred and three degrees. this cavity little space is left for air. gradually gathers about the yolk. the egg be sterile. and be almost invisible in the yolk of the complete egg. This membrane is found in two layers. and membrane forms around the albumen. and continues as long as the in the body of the hen. after In hot weather this germ growing is for some days. is This why sterile eggs. and from these a fluid runs out to . and will not hatch. As the yolk progresses downward. will If 131 they are absent or inactive. between As the becomes liquid in the egg evaporates. dies. or white. where no rooster kept. not stop entirely when the egg is does ( laid unless the weather is cold. and the egg is spoiled. larger.Hatching with Incubators surface.
and the eggs happen to come along at right time. first. On if the other hand a hen may lay one egg early in the morning and another before going to roost. membrane and form the and is This chiefly carbonate of lime. and the process begins again at if the hen is in active in finishing the egg The normal time consumed is about twenty-four hours. in the lower part of the oviduct vshell is The egg remains solid. at Work shell. but when eggs are expected at all seasons. she is prolific. and hardens again after it has formed around the egg. must be provided —oyster or clam which were themselves formed of just such In the digestive tracts of the hen the a fluid. In the natural state a fowl will pick up enough material to form this fluid for a few eggs in the spring. shell returns to a liquid state. —^The prob- lem of incubation is to place the egg under such . just the General Principles of Incubation. narrow end the upper end of the oviduct. laying condition. about twelve hours.132 cover the fluid is The Hen white. This is frequently extended to a longer period. while the It is becoming then expelled by muscular contractions. special supplies shells.
103°. active chicken. and the simple. runof ning at 104° and 105°. If should be held about one degree lower than that we stand the thermometer on a level with it the eggs. results after all. anything happens and the thermometer drops to 50° for a short time. the result will be satisfactory. A careful record shows that the hen has a is temperature. The heat and of the eggs beneath her at the is not so high. Long experience has the incubator shown that the temperature of the sitting hen. A temperature one degree higher. so that does not touch them. we may get fair fre- but a temperature which quently dropped below ioi° would probably prove fatal.Hatching with Incubators conditions that it 133 will hatch and bring forth a strong. inexpensive incubators of the present day prove how well the problem has been solved. 102. 102. after the hatch well started. vitality of the chicks would do no harm. at the end of the hatch. 104. but the . and keep the temperature at loi. and we the hatch If if shall be well pleased with other conditions are good. 103. starting at about 98°. rising to 103° end of the first day.
as well as the condition of the eggs. require varying periods for incubation. other than hens. too high and will do great harm. to no' and not of heat. and as all lend themselves to the as the hen's egg. 104. In look- .134 The Hen at Work The o might be impaired. a artificial mothers as well list is given for guidance in handling the hatch. kill strong germs. however. and the season of the year. White eggs and brown eggs need the same degree The eggs of fowls. when entered. 105° is A temperature of 103. rise for heat may a short time. Variety Days Pigeon Hen Pheasant 17 21 Duck Peafowl Guinea Hen Turkey Goose ' 24 28 28 28 28 30 35 35 Muscovy Duck Swan Of course there wiU be variations from these figures according to the average heat in the hatch- ing chamber.
and a laige part of the chick. room not and runs the machine according to the Reports of experiment sta- maker's regulations. needed for a successful The average fresh egg contains almost seventy per cent water. There are no easy methods of determining the exact amount on humidity in the egg chamber. is but fortunately there calculations no necessity for exact this point. The nose can usually tell at once whether the . The operator need not or a worry so long as he uses a too dry.Hatching with Incubators 135 ing after the incubation try to get the chicks out on time. are not accurate. Moisture in Incubation. and a generous amount hatch. If of this is necessary to the growth is the air about the eggs too dry. —The amount of moisis ture in the air during incubation has an important effect in the result. worth two This means steady heat. this" water evaporates through the shell so fast that the embryo of suffers. Trained men is say that a chick hatched the twentieth day bom on the twenty-second. and really not needed. tions tend to prove that the instruments usually sold to show relative humidity about the egg tray. cellar. not valuable.
The second Hne shows the larger air space after one week of evaporation. It should have a distinct feeling of If dampness. the third line after two weeks. there are several devices for supplying sufficient moisture. and the lower line shows the air space the chick will have at hatching time the atmosphere is damp or dry. .136 air is The Hen tell at Work sweet and fresh about an incubator. the air seems too dry. and the operator can usually by the "feel" whether The fresh egg has a small air space as shown at the top.
Hatching with Incubators
These trays are to be
In this case we have but
to follow operating instructions.
these machines are sold to be used with the sand.
out the incubator
be supplied in the room about
should be sprinkled again
by sprinkling the floor each morning.
Sprinkling th^ eggs themselves
that proves satisfactory.
They may be
with water at about one hundred degrees, or that
seems warm, not hot, to the hand. This
be done by a small whisk brush, dipped into a pan
warm water, and shaken over the eggs. Experimen follow this practice, as it
moistens the membranes and makes
the chick to get out of the
sprinkling about the twelfth day, and stop about
the nineteenth day, before the shells open.
—There has been an almost
sal belief that it
was necessary to cool eggs
quently during incubation in order to assure a good
This idea originated, no doubt, from the
fact that the
hen leaves her nest ahnost daily
dust, during the first eighteen days.
Hens average from twenty minutes to a half -hour away from the nest, even during the cold spring
Careful tests have lately been
cooling process helped in incubation.
Connecticut, about four thousand
White Leghorn eggs were incubated.
was taken to
see that the eggs cooled daily should
from the same hens,
the same conditions, as those which were not
Half of the eggs were cooled on the third
day, and after that were cooled night and morning
the eighteenth day.
cooling periods were
minutes long on the third day, and increased
one minute each day to twenty minutes on the
other half, nearly two thousand
were not cooled at
incubator, run at about 102-103°, except for the
brief periods necessary for testing
cent, of the fertile eggs
hatched in the incubators
Hatching with Incubators
that were cooled; seventy per cent, of the fertile eggs hatched in those Where they were not cooled.
remained as to whether the
chicks from the cooled hatches would be stronger
Five hundredxhickens were selected for a Half had been cooled and half had not been
At the end of four weeks twenty chickens which came from the cooled eggs had died, and fourteen had died coming from eggs that were not
This experiment shows that cooling
vital factor in incubation,
and the small
in favor of eggs not cooled.
After an equally
careful experiment the Station in
reports that: "In using incubators that were well
ventilated, the chicks appeared stronger at the age
of three weeks,
when the eggs were not
The difference between the hen and the incubator is that beneath the hen the eggs can get little
Eggs closed in a box and kept at 102 de-
grees for three weeks will not hatch.
situation beneath the
The germs is much
the same, and the eggs get no real ventilation
when the hen
for granted that
be assumed that the
brief period of airing
eggs are sprinkled, will bring results which are
equal to those gained
the eggs each day.
process bi cooling
the eggs are cooled, remember that the
developing within grows more sensitive to low
temperature as the incubation goes forward after
the twelfth day.
Great care should be taken
during the last few days to keep the eggs from a
a temperature of
would stand very well
for several hours,
tenth day, would be fatal during the last
Turning the Eggs.
ments have been made to discover what
be made on
one of the
by turning the
machines were used
In one machine
with twenty-five eggs in each.
the eggs were turned five times daily; in another
twice daily, and in the third they were left unturned.
machine, fifty-eight per cent, hatched;
in the second foity-five per cent, hatched; in the
third only fifteen per cent, of the unturned eggs
produced, live chicks.
Hatching with Incubators
glance at the picture
germinal disk at the top of the yolk.
show the As the egg
The yolk and germ in a good position. If left several days the germ will rise till it may lie next the shell and adhere. The two membranes within the shell are also shown
remains on one
the yolk slowly rises to the
close to the shell.
top, until the disk
soon becomes attached to the membrane, and the
however. no small task to turn eggs five times. test — ^At about the sixth day if it it is time to each egg to see has a growing embryo for testing eggs.142 The Hen either dies or at Work it embryo fails becomes so weakened that to break the shell. is. five or six per cent. Other much more extended and more careful made which show that turning the eggs has -a vital effect on the number hatched. If the room is dark the from within the box will penetrate the egg-shell and show Where there are not much of what is going on. There are several devices When many to hold a are to be examined a box electric light. If we turn them five times during the experiments have been twenty-four hours. arranged lamp or light The eggs are then placed against a hole in the box. and as the return will is a small number of in the chicks. during day and night. which are probably not the strongest most of us be content with turning twice each day. at intervals of about five hoiu-s. many eggs to be handled a is very simple and practical tester provided by . Testing. lot. is within. unless the eggs are of vmusual value or interest. more chickens It may be expected than if we turn only twice.
pasted close about the edges of each opening. with one end adjusted to cover the eye. This instrument will serve to handle a It hundred eggs very comfortably. can be used . A fertile egg about the sixth day shows a central spot and lines.Hatching with Incubators most dealers and incubator houses in the 143 form of a heavy pasteboard tube. much Kke a daddy-long-legs Velvet or plush. or the eye. filled by the when held close up by the operator. while the other will be egg. will- make it easy to adjust the egg sift at once so light will not fissures in through small about the little shell.
144 The Hen and will at Work by holding the eggs electric most successfully in daylight up to the sun. If this living size of not appear at once. It may take other positions. . and often is seen in a red ring against the lines radiating shell from a dark spot. the a nattiral egg yolk. do well also with light. will The egg with a growing embryo show red A dead germ about the sixth day usually looks like this. will The yolk germ d^es be seen as a dark cloud about the germ. turn the egg slowly. and a better view may be obtained. This closely resembles a large spider with red legs. or a large lamp.
Eggs which show a dark spot without radiating lines floating about in a cloudy patch are those in which the germ began to develop and died. Sudden chills. and die after a few days. fit into none of these They do not show the . There will be other eggs which seem to descriptions. and boiled hard to feed the chicks when they are bom. and or may be used in cooking. An egg will show no dark spot at but will be of the yolk. clear. germs lack Many or over- vitality to continue their development. All eggs showing the dead floating germs. with the red lines running out like spiders' legs. A bright red circle or half-circle. or the spots on the shell. may be kept cold. heating also cause early death. as they are unfit for use. seen against the shell.Hatching with Incubators All eggs showing this dark 145 germ at about the fertile center of the yolk. except for the cloudy shadow will which appear in a strong light. the red rings. probably kiUed by improper turning. shows a dead germ. These infertile eggs are not spoiled by staying six days in an incubator. are probably laid and doing well. They should be infertile back in the tray. all. or dark spot. should be dis- carded.
The number of eggs that would be this second testing is is small always. to note the growth of the air space in the big end. chick. and keep track of them when the hatch comes off. interested in this particular off to work he will be as well let it give a careful test the sixth day and go at that. would probably have his trouble through the eggs again. there Unless the beginner is advanage gained. Then we can have a likely to better idea of what such eggs are Second Testing. The It amateur. . It is and an exceptionally strong a good plan to number such eggs. and also to detect any germs that have died for his pains in going is since first testing. neither germs or this incubation has been very rapid may indicate an advanced stage of growth. now by no means shell. do another time. If at Work do they show dead clearly. easy to judge the condition within the and only an expert can make detected in much use of the information. —In most works on poultry test the eggs again the we are recommended to This is fourteenth day. however. and where incubator space is little not needed for other eggs.146 living The Hen germ rings. note their condition in a book.
is —The growth of the At important struc- chicken within the egg remarkably rapid. This new membrane serves as It lungs to the growing chick. so that the . the beak and claws are formed. and the chick equipped with impor- tant organs. Up to the fourteenth day the chick has been it lying across the egg. and assume such size that the growing embryo may readily be seen through the shell is when the egg held to a strong light. and circulation By the sixth day the elements of the chief parts are formed. life. the blood is enters through the pores in the shell. has many hairlike which absorb the liquid contents of the egg. is bony structures all develop. is By the ninth day the head clearly visible. In three days a shell new membrane forms inside the membranes. Four days later the hard. tiny vessels. Then turns. sacks. the end of the second day tures. are visible to expert eyes. Contained in these exposed to oxygen that It is then is and turn them into blood. especially those many about the head. returned to the center of estabHshed. and the feathers appear.Hatching with Incubators The Growth of the 147 Embyro.
Rapidly the embryo grows during the until it fills all last week. which above the chicken's head. the space within the shell except the is just air cell. usually twenty-first Then thrusts out its beak. About the fourteenth day. the embryo turns about in the egg so its head is near the air sack. near the large end. it Thus it grows until about the it is ready to leave the day. is ready for in its earthly adventures. and his entrance into the new world. Fully developed. and begins to breathe the in the space at the big air contained end of the egg. fill Now for the first time its lungs with air. membrane the eggs are not properly turned while hatching. shell. . with its beak right against the of the shell. tears away the inner shell membrane. it will be unable to free it will itself from prison. and the chick Hatching. because the beak cannot strike fairly against its inner surface.148 The Hen is at Work body inner If lengthwise. the chick will have difficulty in making this change. life —Nothing poultry is more interesting than the last hours of the chick within the shell. On the last day the walls of the abdomen close about that part of the yolk not already absorbed. and if its head is not at the right point. die in the shell.
his blows dies through. rewarded Having If rested a moment. If there is a shell. At last the air become weaker. His little is beak cannot break exhausted. and pulmonary circulation begins. before long the Little is beak goes through. If his head droops. a victim of careless egg the shell is smooth and even. and Chicken with a long breath of fresh air. the blood going into the lungs to be purified. he strikes strikes and in vain. the chick picks out a the egg is new spot near the first hole. and refreshed himself. ridge or thick spot at this point. strikes as hard as he can Blow after blow he deals with his beak on the same spot. selection. But this new supply of air will soon be exhausted. and he even before he has really lived. about one-third down from . round the egg. It becomes clear now why hatching eggs must be smodtli and free from thick spots. Mother Nature whispers Drawing back his head he on the inside of the in the ear of the chick.Hatching with Incubators 149 Circulation through the tiny sacks of the tempor- ary membrane ceases. smooth he can make one hole after another. little and into the heart to be pumped through the body.
of Incubation. gives a big is push. at Work the big end. starting about the tenth day. Plan for some supply of moisture in the possible. and out. carefully selected. Then. Ttim the eggs half over at least twice a day for nineteen days. Also get a druggist to test your thermometer by his standard instrument. drilled. that if It will be seen we turn the egg completely around. not over two weeks Set up incubator according to manufacturer's it directions. STunmary —In canying the eggs through the incubation period. sprinkle eggs.^test carefully at least three days. Place eggs in the machine at about loi degrees. the yolk . with space enough last left at the edge of the tray so that the egg may turn half over before striking the guard. This is best done by arranging them side by side.I50 The Hen . observe the following directions Use eggs old. if air if not. and keep it so dtiring the first week. when the holes are well he gathers himself together. Be sure that there is proper ventilation in the egg chamber and in the room outside.
By we passing the hands over the tops of the eggs may may ease. and a smaller flame may be required. to Watch the thermometer. week the body heat of the chicks will be still greater. Watch the thermometer and keep the temperature the third week at 103 degrees. about make sure that it is not touching the eggs. Test the eggs about the sixth day.Hatching with Incubators will 151 be in the same position as it was before. during the second week. roU them together into the new positions. if Cool the eggs you feel that you wish to do so. mometer at about 102 degrees. is filled and regulated every of the last Take no chances toward the end if little oil is hatch even burned out. and roll them back again at evening with equal Large machines have special arrangements for turning. the temper- After ature this. and keeps its position at the level of the eggs throughout the hatch. It may forty-eight hotirs and it may not. See that the lamp morning. but remember that the best opinion to-day considers that this will not increase the hatch. The third . and keep the ther- Regulate the thermostat. infertile eggs. will rise. Remove all and those where the germs have died.
152 The Hen at let Work the eggs alone as far closed. After the eighteenth day as possible. will take care . Those that are worth while hatching of themselves. Keep the incubator door till and hold the heat constant the hatch is over. Helping chicks out of the shell seldom pays.
and this provides him amply does not during the first forty-eight hours. trusted to care for her herself. on 153 . droppings and other litter. One thing that may safely be done. this point. little way ever. she can be ones in the best old lady. howis to clear away pieces of shell about the nests. and it is a good plan to sprinkle some chick grit. He it. however. and to meddle with the however. and some cracked dry bone in chick size.CHAPTER XII RAISING CHICKENS WITH HENS When out the chicks is axe hatched beneath the mother-hen there always a temptation to find how many At there are. and all Remember that the chick absorbs the egg yolk before he comefe out. and he ought not to have It frequently happens. some charcoal. that a few is chicks run out arotmd the mother before she ready to leave the nest with the others. need food.
in Never place water an open dish for chickens to fall They are sure to then. The pictures show some drink. . One edge. of be provided at times. useful fountains for watering chickens. often are drowned. They« are easy to clean. after they are six weeks old. into the water. The chickens can scratch around and pick up what they please of these hard morsels. Fountains.154 The Hen at Work the floor about the nest. Syphon fountains made also good. only. the large fountain is very satisfactory. allows the chickens to drink all around the The other exposes the water at one point is While the flock small the chicks will find the water more all easily from fountains where the water runs around the edge. and provide water on all sides. Drinking course. Later. as it holds a gallon. into the dish now and and always scratch dirt The sj^hon fountains of crockery little are especially good for chicks. of galvanized iron are Two types are shown in the picture. —Clear all water must. which will do them no harm and much good. which they fre- quently do. heavy enough to keep upright. if the chickens de- cide to take a drink together.
First —The first feed for the chicks after they have had their grit is an important has found satisfaction matter. and requires so little care to keep it is ready for the infant fowl. . out of the way The the better. " as it is known in the trade. ashes. however. is Rolled oats. as well as their owners. ing nest. may be one thing in Oregon. has given field. Insect life grows in the hatchit and the quicker we can get Meal. it brood away from the unhatched eggs away. keeping it and clean for a long time. " Chick feed. favor with so Among various feeds. the best diet for the small flock. one many experts.Raising Chickens with Hens and exposes only a little 155 fresh water. localities. In the poultrydom we find many receipts for preparing the first meal for baby chicks. and many of these doubtless prove satisfactory. hand in so many first. for several reasons: Rolled oats do not vary. take the nest and When the mother finally decides to lead the nest. or dirt. literaturie of This food rolled oats. that recommended is and before aU others. as will be better for her to cover her chicks in a comer of the coop on fresh sand. is over so wide a to such a vast ntimber of right at chicks.
trying to pick out the grains his Testimony. and different in The standard chick feeds of the last few years have varied so that a poor chicken would get cross-eyed grandma had when she was young. another in Ohio. The observer can readily when the taste. has had enough. being attracted both by sight and Rolled oats are inexpensive. and there are few spots there in the country where they are not for Where tinctly one fundamental food so is dis- worth while there no use wasting space discussing other foods. is feed. RoUed oats are suited to young chickens. Make the beginning. They have the same food value. If you mix a hard- .156 The Hen still at Work Maine. when purchased in bulk. are easy to see tell and pick chick up. Chicks relish them greatly. shows continued success with rolled oats a^ a food for baby chicks. and you know what you are getting. and nothing else. The steam-roUing They process seems to prepare them in exactly the right way to suit the chicks' digestion. from a wide field of experience. usually costing only a little more than chick sale. In all States and all seasons rolled oats are just rolled oats. feel able to with rolled oats. then.
and place will lead it where the chicks can reach aright. so tile 157 Infer- much the better. you can arrange it. and fortunately not necessary. and then remove it. If not convenient to visit the chicks so often. and while these rules may be proper for owners of large flocks. will eat simply feed just about what they up clean. mean- while. ground or crushed. Sprinkle a tablespoon of this over a shallow pan. shell A all. eggs taken from the incubator are good for this purpose.Raising Chickens with Hens boiled egg with them. It is ' customary to advise removing the pans after five minutes. Biddy them She should be fed. so she will not wish to eat too much chick feed. in If all cases. they are not suited. hard-boiled egg. with a handful of whole com each morning and night. it. This is easy to adjust after one or two meals. Busy people have a good deal on hand to be done. with what food is left. and should be mixed with a cup of rolled oats. and also to advise getting up with the sun to feed the babies before they get hungry. While yotmg they should be fed about five times a day. leave the pan five or ten minutes. The food for the early meal may be .
sprinkled about the run after the chickens are
Plain rolled oats are suitable for this feed-
Then we can
in peace without
thought of hungry chickens yelling for breakfast.
Enlarging the Diet.
^After the first
help to keep the chickens active chick feed about in the run.
and wheat, with pinhead oatmeal any high-grade commercial chick
not depending on this for a ration so
we are much as for
A handful twice a day for the first week
and double that the second,
thing to dig
in the flock.
assuming ten or a dozen chickens
hopper should be hung on the inner wall of
the coop, where the chickens can find
and cracked bone are
may be added,
not important for young stock.
from the hopper
Sifted coal ashes should
be sprinkled over the
floor of the coop.
as nothing else of the kind
of doubtful value.
Worms for young chickens are
Raising Chickens with Hens
It certainly is not wise to feed many, or to let them run on land where many worms are present.
are heavy diet,
may cause gapes, a disease of the throat,
that weakens and often
grit, hone, charcoal,
hanging on the inside
of a chicken coop, where chicks can help themselves
Chickens which run
loose, out of the coop,
round about, while the mother
always in danger.
and other enemies
are sure to get them,
they can, and
out in a larger yard, the other hens and chickens
get food not intended
A wire run eight feet by four feet, eight-
een inches high, wiU hold them comfortably for a
month, when they can safely leave mother and run
The second week we can add bits of bread, boiled potato, and dry mash to their diet, whUe we double their ration of scratch grain. The dry mash
should be three parts bran, one part
and one part good beef
Feed a cupful
a flock of ten chickens
or long tray, during the afternoon.
of three laths,
serves well for
stop feeding rolled oats during this time.
other feed wiU form the addition needed to
crops as the chickens grow, but the rolled
oats should form the basis of diet for three weeks.
Feathers sprout evenly and quickly on a flock fed
with rolled oats, and this
a result greatly to be
attention to green stuff,
of it, but after that they crave
and should have it.
grass, cut short, is good.
Tough grass, cut
Clover, cut short, lettuce, beet
and other tender
these greens fresh.
charcoal. also. three parts of bran (pure. two parts com meal. about an hour The tray may be left before . wheat. coarse. After the third week the chick feed can give way to regular scratch grain —cracked com. of this material. com and may now Mix well give way to The dry mash. then.Raising Chickens with Hens of giving i6i them too much. the rolled oats are continued another week. wheat bran). such food must third week. throughout life. and If cut oats. wet mash in the evening. The having rolled oats. as they seldom overeat on. three or four times a. and green food. but not sloppy. but when confined. the ten chicks will be be provided. with cracked wheat. and before they go to bed. and during winter months. From now summer and importance. in summer. they pick up enough for themselves. a cup of dry mash in the afternoon. winter. some green stuff or succulent vegetable should be fed daily.Wet this till it is thoroughly moistened. grit. feed liberally. what they wUl eat clean in a few minutes. It is of vital When hens run about. the ration will be excellent. day. one part beef scraps. . Whole oats are not relished. cracked bone. nor are they good food for chicks.
If this fenced-in yard is not possible. dogs. chicks she will get fat and We are assuming now that the hens run.or six-foot wire fence. as maybe many as twelve'in . fifty feet square. results by putting our runs on This is level grass and moving them to a new bit of sod every two or three days. she stays longer with the lazy. way we make It frequently sure that every one gets a full crop. almost always possible even in a small yard. are confined to the laying house. and that the young stock has a separate place to The best plan is to arrange a yard.i62 The Hen at Work In this them till they are all asleep. safe to —After the fifth week remove the mother and put her back If into the laying house. up and give every one a the run for No mash should be them it is to get next morning. we can get good lands. happens that larger ones at first. and strong pullets raised in an eight-by-four run. skunks. Inside this the various hatching coops and runs perfect may and stay in itinerant safety from cats. will push the others away but if there is plenty of fill mash and plenty of left in time they will soon chance. if possible. surrotmded by a five. or even larger. Chickens by Themselves.
twice and dry earth or coal ashes sprinkled on the floor.Raising Chickens with Hens a run. until house. it is 163 time to put them in the laying at least The coop should be cleaned out a week. .
home incubation is not feasible we can depend upon "day-old" chicks from reliable poultry men. 164 With setting hens . The methods used buy them from others. give it chicks. wean watch it it from the brooder in four or a little after tl^at at nightfall. business. and general nursery . and how many You start the flock off the necessary care when young. together.CHAPTER XIII RAISING INCUBATOR CHICKS Although cubators for it it is not always desirable to use in- home poultry purposes. chick feed. or In bu5Hjig day-old chicks you know just when you are going to have your you are going to have. when you can a fair possibly find time to give incubator chicks start. neither does pay to If fuss with setting hens. are the same whether you raise chicks hatched in your own incubator. five weeks. and you have no more bother with heat or cold.
flock of chickens. to supply them with just the right conditions at little cost. who tried to offer the chicks something just as good. a hun- dred or more. It so happens that an easy matter. . and easy fail to manage that it. with modem machines. flock. without fatal die quickly if but little chicks droop and their quarters are not it is what they need. Rapidly as this business has grown. There are nearly as many hovers on the market as there are incubators.' Raising Incubator Chicks 165 we might have building to fiddle around half the summer. exceUerit. the coal-heated hover with the large metal is so simple. where drafts will not blow across the hover. successful. and many of them are For the l^ge drum. or lack-wits. in any small house. it is hard to see how one can to succeed with It may be set up it. it have grown far more rapidly had it not been for htmdreds of beginners. large enough to hold and give room enough to move about. up the Do not try to start day-old chicks unless you are would ready to give them exactly the protection they need. Poultry of neglect that is well grown wiU stand a good deal results.
where there fresh and no chance to crowd. just how warm he wants to be. two wide with one-inch all mesh. to the bottom of the house. If the brooder house is on the ground. like camels about a desert caravan.i66 The Hen at Work warmest zone is is With a hover air. be sure feet to nail chicken wire. The chick is great advantage lies in the fact that the free to choose for himself. Full directions will come with each machine as to regulation and temperature. and bury it slanting out. For sudi people a smaller hover is made in just the same . This will keep rats from digging under. round. On cold nights he will snuggle under the curtain and stick just his head outside to get fresh air. About ninety-five degrees is usually correct for the high point. nor to spend raise more than a hundred ten or fifteen dollars for a large hover. a foot or so tmder ground. the night gets warmer he will push rise in out a little and with a decided the tempera- ture he will rim. all move an flock inch or two lie away from the a big circle and the wUl on the litter in about the hover. of this type the around the edge of the drum. It may very well be that you do not plan to chickens. If .
Another point from above. and costing four or five dollars. for the chick has no chance to regulate mat- important. for ventilation. . brooder house carefully built to avoid with a winbe built dow high up better. —For raising a flock we need a drafts. coal hover. not We often see chickens standing in the warm feathers snow. with a solid floor. A brief consideration will make it plain that this type of hover is far easier to handle than is one where a box or chamber heated to shelter the chicks. in perfect comfort. or stunted by poor ventilation. or even size up a foot or so. because he has aU the air in the room about him teis for himself. not that in a small enclosed closet. In such a hover the temperature must be exactly right. with the large. Handling the Large Hover. With to breathe. A chick wants heat on his back. with protection from rats. The of the house will be judged according to the size of the hover. The matter of ventilation is also this large drum the chick simply cannot be stifled. in its favor is that the heat radiates on his feet.Raising Incubator Chicks style. 167 heated by a kerosene lamp. This may on the ground. which will come with full instructions. with their backs up under the of a watchful hen.
As chicks grow the curtain is raised more and more. or carriage house will do. Chicks can suit themselves as to heat. or soft. on the floor all about and beneath the hover. The warmest spot is right about the curtain. litter. from the floor of the haymow if Large hover. Be sure that this litter is moist. showing stove within. short-cut hay. we know the rats can't get the chicks. not dry. Water . It should start about an inch from the litter possible. at least an inch deep.i68 The Hen of a at Work if A comer Scatter bam.
charcoal. so best to place a fence. scampering to their egg and rolled and the chick feed. It should not be wet. made from chicken wire. of course. ' ' A light tapping on the pan will bring them oats. It is an interesting fact that grown poultry enjoy dry thrive in feet it. and it is tend to crowd into comers. litter. a foot wide. litter to scratch in and while little chicks will suffer from dried if and leg-weakness they stay long on dry their in. and can then wander about at returning when they get chilly. in a ring about the brooder.Raising Incubator Chicks it 169 with a watering pot till it sends up no dust when scratched about. — ^At first little chicks may will not know jUst where to. shells. scattered about in the slightly . and the grit. The nearer we can approximate litter to the earth they would naturally scratch the stronger they will be. new house. Their water fotintain and feed pan can go inside for a day or so. Fence Them In. and cracked bone are fed in the same way. but must be moistened enough each day to keep it from being dusty. go for warmth. a foot or so from the curtain. The third day they will be used to the will. The feed for incubator chicks is just the same as that for hen-hatched chicks.
At such times they will crowd into comers and smother two or Danger comes to the flock three in the jam. The hover develop. will reduce . the fatalities but it is bad business to have them if crowding together so. and start them off safely for the short summer night. stove. a yard must be provided When first for them outside the brooder house. letting will them out. even death does not result. As the chickens grow. curtain gradually raised as they after they are three and on warm days. The Hen litter.170 moistened times. The better plan is to light a small fire in the brooder This will get them about in a social circle. so they not forget the way back is into the house. open the door at evening. when they are five or six weeks old. the fire weeks old. as a gentle is warmth over their backs aU they require. if cool evenings arrive. nailed into the comers. may be kept low. Curved pieces of chicken wire. two feet high. . at Work 1 will keep them busy between Clean away the of the hover every it litter just beneath the edge two or three daysr to keep fresh. about the time when the hover fire is put out.
not the Chickens that are weak or ill second best. It never came back. One left —^keep the cat out of the hospital. these. by himself. little with a jug of water at about 120 degrees needed. She is the door open. what heat is A warm box. perfect than thirty where ten are determination to weed more profitable second-rate birds. The broad in potiltry principle to remember is this: Profit comes from the best chickens. which seems stand sorts. may be a brief indisposition that a few hours by the kitchen stove will cure. fairly A chick. and seem very much out of Men with large flocks waste no time with so. Although the is profit in nursing the it weak member a great question. put an end to the case by a capital operation. and took this one off for a long walk. but watch them a day or and then. A stem . Fluffy fond of chicken. Priscilla brought a big chicken in to nurse. are seldom the best. and a in the center. will normal in size and shape. off 171 —In every flock of chickens there will usually be cases of illness. will give it bread and milk thing may set it right. if they still suffer. is A flock of twenty picked. Fluffy wandered in. birds.Raising Incubator Chicks Nursing the Sick.
that they are located where they can maintain ninety-five degrees of heat. At that time low roosts may be installed for their use until ready to move into the lajdng house.172 /. zone around the rim. there is no trouble on this point. to the Roost. as this tends to develop though there such advice. like to raise —Many would outfit. given a proper location. The Hen all at Work most profitable a general opin- out birds but the best will prove in the end of the season. with the warm coal. for they are well off and content there/ till at least three or four months old. These have the same sheet-iron drum. They prob- ably can not do this in outbuildings during April and . Small Flocks and Small Hovers. roost. is probably no good foundation for Where we have a good brooder house. be sure. and wish to save every cent possible on the For such there are the small hovers of the same style which brood from fifty if to seventy-five chicks with perfect success. absolutely sure. Moving ion that —There is it is unwise to hasten chickens on to the crooked breasts. day-old chicks in small flocks. and use oil instead of In using these small brooders.
Raising Incubator Chicks
in southerly States.
of chicks are lost because of cold
parents think they are
when snug and warm.
In a chicken house or shed room, a hover with an
wick has a poor chance when the temperature
down to freezing, as it often does on spring nights. The big hover has lots of surplus heat, and
can carry the flock through the various changes
that come, but the
one can not, and does
In the House.^
—We always bring our chicks with
the small hover right into the house.
There is always a room, or part of a room,
They make no bother
three weeks, and,
In the house they fear
no cold nights, no lamp goes
no great danger, even
They can run
the hover, sooner than they could outside.
are right at
away from They
hand where you can watch them,
get into trouble, for
and rescue those that
chicks with feathers, as well as those without, have
various ways of getting into trouble.
a city apartment, we were cramped
space, but determined not to go without our fresh
eggs and broilers.
put a board
a small hover
with sixty chickens.
People came in to see them, and soon the landlady heard of it.
She was scandalized, and made a
to look into matters.
She did look
and the next thing we knew she was buying
you do not bring the chicks into the house
then be absolutely sure that the chicks not only
have plenty of heat, but good ventilation wherever
they are put.
It is possible, of course, to raise chicks
hot-water jug, and "heatless hovers" that are used
here and there, but
when you compare
crowding into these
breathing stale air
over and over again, with a ring of happy babies,
getting just the heat they
fresh air every
want at any time, and
minute of the day and night, no
The feed with the small hovers is, of course, the same as that used for chicks in large hovers. Moving Out Doors.' When the chickens are three or four weeks old, they may safely be moved
out to the brooding house.
This should be large
Raising Incubator Chicks
enough to contain the hover, as the chicks
need this at night,
wet days, even
in the north temperate zone.
Be su re
that no strong drafts can blow across
the brooder and that there
Set the hover on a low box so the
curtain will be at least two inches from the floor.
chicks do not need
much heat now, but must
comfortable, especially at night, or
they will crowd and be stunted.
two months old and well-feathered, the hover can be removed and no further danger from cold need
METHODS WITH GROWING STOCK
we have a yard where
be a simple matter to
they can range about,
care for the chicks.
If there is
The wire run
an intermediate house
house described in the chapter on that subject, we
can lay the coop aside
more than twenty or
they can go on well
enough in the coops where they were bom, for sleepPlenty of fresh water must be kept in a
In the morning a pint of mixed
equal parts, or any high-grade commercial scratch
each dozen chickens, should be scat-
round the yard, which should never get hard
If it does, dig it
up with a fork
Methods with Growing Stock
time during the day see that green food
About noon another
pint of scratch grain should
At the same time a hopper
parts wheat bran, one part
meal, one part
red middlings, and one part good beef scraps, should be opened.
The hopper of dry mash, opened about noon,
chickens kept under the conditions of the average
the family are out
and late in returning, the chickens do not go
John or Susie should, by any
chance, forget to
come home from play in time to "feed the chickens, " no great harm is done. They can help themselves from the dry mash box when
they get hungry.
with the cracked grain.
evening meal, however, of the same mash,
moistened, but not sloppy, with
the days get cool,
a distinct advantage.
in this the table scraps,
such as bread, vege-
bits of meat.
After chickens have had
dry mash before them
at a trough of wet
afternoon they will rush
to see if they won't catch up. the runts and chickens that are off shape and may easily be seen and picked out. and lay no expense. who eggs. Stale Bread. and should have been culled out when young. This useful food for chickens. it a low figure. as it is Keep it in not a safe food when mouldy. These might. — It is a common custom to separate the sexes as soon as they can be picked out. Cull out the Rtints. get their food and lodging free. it. little and a little longer. and are an expense to pick only. size. —When the fowls are yotmg. and eggs the Feed no more wet mash than they even will eat clean. if all do not fill quite up on the wet mash. not so easy them out. and many a flock has several dead-heads. crops at bedtime. Now is the time to do chickens a Amateurs frequently leave such longer. They never do catch Later on it is up. . —Near many is in ordinary times.178 This means The Hen full at Work more rapid fall. a earlier in development. stale bread can ies at be bought from large bakera most appetizing and After soaking. saving trouble and Separating Roosters. cities. may a dry become half of the evening mash. place. The box of dry mash insures each one of enough food.
flock. morning and afternoon. The regular mash. they are likely to go stale After that. flock in small yards this it is not always convenient. Reds.Methods with Growing Stock With the small and coop. "With the Leghorn breeds such separation is necessary. those should be put in a small run by themselves. after they are through eating. or roaster. confined. . broiler. as may call for an extra run extra care. and Brahmas. especially the Rocks. Leave none before them Grit. —The diet given above When we for young stock is a good one also for roosters as they are developing. as the cockerels bother the pullets and keep thin. are quiet. Fattening Roosters. and do weU in mixed flocks till they are nearly grown. the time comes for a expect to eat however. and fed twice a day. is a good fattening ration. and clear water should be where they can help usually long enough themselves. Three weeks is to bring a fowl into condition. cracked bone. running about with the general heavier breeds. if and lose rather than gain. Young "roosters of the however. and 179 keeping the roosters by themselves to fatten. with the com meal proportion doubled. with as much wet mash as they will eat.
All crates. we ship to market alive we have to provide stand ready to be disappointed comes. or may sell them alive to some dealer in town. we have no trouble or expense for dressing. sell in young the market. He may them may ship them alive to commission houses. I there are hens for sale in the attractive prices fall. and must when the check who deal with commission people must be but thin in the frame of mind Pat was when he I didn't get as much as I expected. unpleasant task. we have no bother about crates. we If drees them home we are in for a tedious. and will gain little profit by it. Dressing Poultry." When we have a man come with his team to the door. in the end we shall probably get more profit than by any other method. who his comes with best imder at wagon. The last If method is the most circumstances. —Instructions for dressing .1 80 The Hen at Work happens that a cockerels he diess Selling Cockerels. we know just the weight of our birds and can put them in our own scales if we wish. knew I wouldn't. — It frequently fifty grower will have forty or wishes to himself. If declared: "No. Jews alive will give and take them from the door.
Feed nothing dressing. drive the blade on into the brain. indignant and unhurt. for it sometimes happens that the sad executioner. quite unnecessary. or deep box with old bagging. and more nerve a messy job. calls for a special room. use. or leaves in the . twenty-four hours before The intestines should be as empty as Drive Provide a solid block of wood. sale in town. possible. hatchet. neck between the draw is the neck straight. and than most amateurs possess. pluck the bird dry. It is just as weU to keep your eyes open while you strike. from drafts. fit i8i the keeper of a To put a sharp blade into the and then free mouth. a good deal of skill. two nails an inch apart into Get your Slip the till it near the right- hand edge. hay. sacrificial bird and a sharp nails. provide a keg. the head holds firm and the neck off Then knock the head with a sharp blow of the hatchet. upon opening his eyes. unless It is you wish to ship to For home is market in large numbers. and for a wet-picked chicken for just as good. sees the bird he has just "killed" starting for the next county. so as to cause paralysis.Methods with Growing Stock poultry usually given do not small flock of hens. cut the jugular vein. To make a neat piece of work.
tin it is well it . beneath the water. Push down with a stick Count two. get the animal heat out of cate the flavor will be. After the bird water. you want to use them. possible. the hot water. place the paper bag. dry them in a will fluff a large warm fill and they up very well is when put in use. and there no down to float about and make broom business for two or three days. Any little creeping might be present are dead. it. and hold the bird upside thoroughly bled. the pan with cold it if and leave soaking there for three or four hours. To be in fit condition it should be dressed as early as Thursday. ice cold picked. Do not suppose the feathIf ers are spoiled by this for sofa pillows. be heating on When take it it from the stove and Pull pliinge in the fowl.1 82 The Hen at Work down in this until bottom. Meanwhile a the stove. plunge and count two slowly then hold up and drain off The feathers should without damage to the friends that is now rub off in handfuls skin. soft feathers in closet. turn over. and kept in a cool . pail of water should it boils. it it out. The quicker you can the bird the more deli- Do not kiU a rooster Saturday night for a roaster Sunday noon.
and those weighing three pounds and up should start with an hour and a half. When it is well browned and basted. 183 In winter a week is by no means too long to it "ripen" a table fowl. and add fifteen minutes for each extra pound. feast. Fried or broiled chicken is almost never done enough.Methods with Growing Stock place. We might observe here that many chickens make a poor showing on the table because they are not thoroughly cooked. Even small chickens should be roasted at least an hour. It Draw on the day of the keeps better undrawn. a pan should be placed over roasting unless a double pan is used. it. to keep it from getting dry. .
start Dry leaves are also good. Coarse hay. —Litter of some sort should be spread thickly on the floor over a layer of coarse. but dirt or ashes will not.CHAPTER XV METHODS WITH LAYING HENS As the comb it is reddens. possible to get on without the sand litter is or gravel. and the pullets rotmd out into form. however. and more leaves must be added each week or two. are good. very good to fall. a heavy coat of provided. cut cornstalks. dry weeds com all and vines from the garden. They soon break up into small pieces. In some locations it is not easy to get good Gravel will do It is if fairly well. with in the 184 . Litter. sand. This should be done fully two weeks before they are expected to lay. time to move them into the laying house and get them familiar with their permanent abode. husks. chopped straw. sharp sand.
it is time to throw more litter. Eggs laid in and break. Do Not Frighten by throwing Hens. before move hens from coop to coop. to The night the best time the shifts necessary house. as they drop them about here and there in the litter. them from nesting and roosting such places will begins. Work of this kind should all be done at night. Be sure to present. —Look after the nests and see that the is hay or straw always fresh and clean. nests at first. such as the top If of dry-mash boxes* to lay on. Then egg-eating .^ —Do not is frighten hens in fresh litter during the day. to keep there. In start- Nests. and for making now ajid then in the lajnng After a scare. When bare spots appear in here and there. so must always be thick enough to keep the boards well covered. and suffer from the disturbance. after the hens are on the roost. ing off the puUets put a china egg in a couple of nests as a hint. put leave no flat surfaces. such surfaces are up a board fall slantwise. Pullets seldom go into the regular It is doubtful if first they know just what is to be done with the «ggs.Methods with Laying Hens This litter is it 185 the blanket that makes the floor warm. a hen will often lay an egg it is due.
—^AU crushed stone marble in valuable for poultry.1 86 The Hen at Work Clean the Dropping Boards. hard-coal ashes over the roosts after cleaning them. the dropping boards. freely. They should be cleared away a week the year round. They absorb the odors and liquid from the droppings. we can keep concerned. when weather perIn cold weather if they freeze they should be cleared away as soon as a warm day The comes. and appeals greatly to the hen. Grit. twice mits. they became a serious pest in hot weather. other kinds is by no means equally Some they like and eat they hardly touch. the better for If possible. . so as to become offensive. There is a sort of shell New Jersey that breaks into It attractive sizes. The hens enjoy them. near by. of the and wiU frequently eat a surprising amount small particles. While in other houses. — Droppings should not be allowed to gather beneath the hens. where ashes were not used. sift dry. The fine dust which settles into every crevice is death to lice and mites. cleaner all While frozen they are not offensive. On roosts dusted with ashes dtiring the past eight years no sign of breeding lice or mites has ever appeared.
and. shells we must is also make an effort to get the best. of good size and shape." These are usually "recleaned Even afford best. No advan- tage in favor bone was found. you have but a dozen hens you can well to buy a bag of shells. far too Soft-sheUed eggs are eat liberally of shell common. the results win be weU worth while. in order to get the if Take pains to procure shells of high grade. and that steamed and dried. which can be kept of fresh indefinitely. Hens that seldom lay soft-shelled eggs. and tempting to laying hens. shells.Methods with Laying Hens is 187 shipped ready for use in hundred-pound bags. Oyster shell frequently shipped so fuU of dust and fine pieces that hens wUl hardly eat There are other shells sold by standard poultry houses that are clean. Comparisons were drawn between the results of fresh bone. while you pay hardly any more. cracked bone proved a valuable feed for hens. Cracked Bone.^ worth an effort to have —In the case of it. Shells. Dry As . will cost and about a cent a pound delivered in It is well nearby States. has —The Maine experiment station made a careful study of cracked bone as a ration for hens. the best grit.
as will be cleaned up without waste* It is of the greatest shell. often sold. which can be fed freely from the hopper without dangef. mash hopper every day or two. as they will do so A pint thrown into the tray of the dryfast as eaten. Rendering plants always have the proper bone. turnip. time. There is a fine. at Work is and not easy to feed wisely. almost little polished bone. green food of some sort should be provided. and empty box onto the when the contents become dusty. as large as cracked com. carrot. Buy a bag at a Be careful to serve bone in a hopper where the if hens can not scatter they can* it about.i88 fresh The Hen bone quickly sours. Put the hoppers up. Green Food. Take care to get the coarse cracked bone. and bone clean. away the- from flying floor litter. . Where tables there are less than twenty hens the vege- from the kitchen will go far toward supply- ing this need Cabbage. beet. importance to keep grit. hard. it is better for the amateur to depend on the dried bone. —From the day the pullets go into till winter quarters they start off for market. which appeals to potdtiy and is not much eaten.
is good food. is A mess of poultry house a sign to get ready to buy eggs Beets instead of selling them. and offer just the and juice required by the fowls. Mash it is mixtures that have ground alfalfa are advertized to take the place of green food. thrown in dry. Sprouted oats have been considered excellent feed for laying. Clover can always be This.Methods with Laying Hens lettuce. or bought at a small steamed a few minutes. it a rather difficult way of solving a simple problem. 189 state. Mangel beets. hens. and enough provided to till noon. While this true that the alfalfa is a good food of . or cow beets are a most satisfactory green food. but the preparation and care in handling them make cost. and potato are all relished in the raw and serve as a ration of green food. may be at stuck on a last nail each morning. greatly relished They are balance of fiber by the hens. Hens should not pick them all day. but care should be taken to feed only will dispose of what the fowl swill in the promptly. of the sugar variety. price. lies in Mangel beets are easy to grow and can usually be bought in the winter at a low Less danger from over-feeding the green food ration than the regular grain ration.
should be warm. it we are sup- posed to kill the germs and I make safe for our trusting flock. fresh warm water should be added at noon. and then a doctrine gets spread abroad in one profession or is accepted as gospel. have just asked the opinion of a His own remarks will be better noted authority on bacteria over the telephone as to this matter. discovered to be This is the case in poultry culture with perman- ganate of potash as a purifier in drinking water. By adding enough of these red potash crystals to color the water a pink or wine color. and in zero weather. should each morning. it hardly takes the place of beets or cabbage. The succulent nature of those vegetables impor- tant.190 The Hen at Work is nature. Permanganate another which of Potash. than anything I could say . —Now better. advanced by people who should know almost universal before it is and becomes false. and are likely to get much dust and fine unpalatable to the flock. in the chapter filled —The agate pans. when we buy in the stuff mash. We are passing a high price for green food alfalfa at the regular price of grain. as described be cleaned and In cold weather the water on furniture. Drinking Water.
drinking water? are 191 you putting that in your own sake No. Grain. would carry a nutmeg in his Scratch Grain. but unless ill were strong enough to make a hen very it would not kill any microorganism. Permanganate of potash has a very strong it color. Then for mercy's spare the poor hens. This whole business dirt likely to be an excuse for which will cause much more ever cure. The man who would use pocket. clean.Methods with Laying Hens "My dear sir. Many grains . to get along without We must lay our plans to in make them work. —Exercise it if is a prime necessity for Like the rest of us they are inclined they can. and let nostnuns alone. trouble than any potash solution will Tell your readers to keep their vessels filled and to keep them this stuff with clean. fresh water. laying hens. During late years there has been a tendency to simplify the scratch grain ration. and morning the time. Let me say that which we know is as yet of no antiseptic whatever safe to use in the alimentary tracts in a kill form strong enough to is germs. and looks well. in a scourge of influenza. is the prescription. scattered is deep litter." is just the man who.
^ —Mash also has been much simplified by As many as ten make the mixture for the mash. making your scratch mixture of wheat and com. The value of oats in scratch feed is still in doubt. or of wheat. and some will be birds to scratch for till the boss gets up. fifty pounds of middlings. ingredients used to now four. and again at evening. The same should be given served.192 The Hen com at Work Now wheat and used to be fed in a mixture. You can safely take your choice on this matter. these ingredients are frequently reduced to The same formula will growing pullets be satisfactory. of pure. com. coarse. eleven o'clock. in equal parts by weight. cracked are often used without other grains. A hundred pounds. A pint of this for each twelve hens should be first scattered about in the litter thing in the at ten or morning. and oats. when the the early mash is This evening grain will not be left for cleaned up. fifty pounds of com meal. Some experts prefer to grind them to mix with the mash. and from thirty to fifty pounds of . This corre- sponds very closely to that used at egg-laying contests. bran. as that used for the experts in the last few years. Mash.
pounds. protein. protein. enough to mix with two hundred pounds meal. and —^The use it of dry mash feeding poultry has greatly increased during the is important. or twenty- per cent. in small secure scrap having a protein content If we higher than fifty per cent. and other clear foreign matter. and leave them out of the scratch grain.Methods with Laying Hens beef scraps. past generation. necessary to find out just how much we are getting. Feeding Dry Mash. and it is as protein is what we are after in bujmig scrap. Thirty-five pounds of scrap showing sixty per cent. protein would be of bran.. well-mixed. fifty If we prefer we can add the ground oats. Frequently the price almost as great as thp other. is dry meat. If in doubt about write your State experiment just station. 193 makes an excellent lajnng mash. and middlings. They will tell you in where to buy. sacking. Beef scrap varies greatly in its protein values. Records show that by the use of dry mash alone good results 13 . being composed of of one lots. Other brands run as high as seventy per cent. we can reduce the quantity in the mash mixture . five Some scrap carries twenty. along with bits of wood. it.
plan in every filled way to get the hens off to bed with a crop to the limit. at Work hoppers de- may be flock. but make them work hard during the day. and lazy all it Clean away through. Keep the hopper the morning while the hens are hunting for scratch grain in the litter. it should be fed in combination with wet mash. Many poultry men. clean up a large portion of the same mash moistened with Save scraps very success- water.' —The left use of wet mash for small utilize flocks not only gives us a good chance to the bits of food over at meals in an appetizing way. This plan insures the flock habits. in winter. after had dry mash before them half the day. Plan Hens vary greatly from month to month in the amount . but relished. wet mash when the hens are so none will be left. who have been ful. against fat. After dinner open it. mixed into the wet mash at night. to feed warm. of course. it after they are on the roost. it adds to the daily menu a dish much having It is surprising to see hens. For the small closed during however. It is best fed in scribed in the chapter on furniture.194 The Hen obtained. Close Wet Mash. and let them eat what they want in the afternoon.
we must take them from the nest at once. a small cage can be fastened to the wall. space is limited. for shelter. We must remember. 195 When laying heavily they eat When moulting they eat little. we have a heavy breed. some hens. much. and try her again in the laying house after five or six days. a light but substantial diet. The best time to clean . If if . Sitting Hens. Feed her mostly whole grain. well and good but if not.Methods with Laying Hens of food eaten. The dry mash ^ows them to satisfy their needs. —In order to keep the house free insect pests. If we wish to have them sit. it from disease and should be thor- oughly cleaned each year. and makes things even if the wet mash feeding is not quite enough to fill them up. even if we have to omit the wet mash on certain evenings. — ^As the winter wears on. She will get into harness place her in a small. with a coop or box. but she should be shel- tered from wind and storm. and Biddy may be put in there with feed and water. for a few days. that we not only sitting fever. though. will want to sit. Sanitation. but more quickly Cold will if we can comfortable run. do her no harm. wish to break up the but also to get her back to laying again.
Its chief that require nitrogen. A good formula with lime the is given in the chapter on parasites. fall.196 is The Hen fall. roosts. Nests. and other plants be spread in the spring. a garden hose If not. scrape. asparagus. dropping all boards should be taken out. replace in the house. litter is of great value as a fertilizer for grass land. both been tested with satisfactory There are also other cold-tar preparations which are probably useful. is possible that will do the work well. the whole disinfectant. When dry. dose . When all loose dust and dirt is removed from the house. it should be washed thoroughly with plenty If of water. must be sprayed or washed with a strong Zenoleum and carbolineum have results. at Work is in early before new stock put in. a force pump should be dust and and water enough to wash out all After the wet interior is well drained away. used. with furniture. dirt. rhubarb. give a liberal. and disinfect furniture. It may till or saved under shelter if it is value will be lost piled out of doors. All the fowls should be removed. Wash. other loose Then the litter should be taken up and the This floor scraped.
new litter on the floor. boards. and dropping lice. . nests.Methods with Laying Hens of kerosene oil 197 to roosts. and all is ready to begin another year. as a final blow to mites and put fresh hay in the nests.
The regular mash. would make a good scratch grain It is diet for the principal feed. definite object we wish to breed. we must toward which we bend our is and as egg-production 198 by far the most . with half the quantity of beef scraps. taken for granted that most people who keep small flocks wish to develop egg-laying qualities above all others. and should eat a rather less concentrated diet than lajdng stock. in small plants if nearer and is This possible certain essentials are prowded: Poultry from which we intend to breed should have ample opporttinity for exercise whUe growing. and the may be of the same mixture.CHAPTER XVI BREEDING FOR EGGS No part of poultry culture is more it fascinating than breeding the stock to bring nearer our ideals of perfection. If have a efforts. should have ample space for fresh air during the winter months.
less than one number her mother had laid.—There poultry breeding so nest. select them to breed from. believe that use of the trap nest they can find the heavy layers in their flock. but her eggs failed to hatch. Eleven eggs were laid by this against the ninety-eight by her mother. This was a very high record.Breeding for Eggs 199 important detail of poultry breeding. and many who by the deal extensively with poultry. laid She was mated. The pullet was mated. and thus Nothing get a steady increase in egg-production. pullet. The next year the mother was mated to another male. is probably no detail of iinderstood as the trap this includes little Most people. Again she was able to produce only one pullet worth keeping. Trap Nests. A hen in the Maine station laid ninety-eight eggs between November loth and March ist. and steadily through the hatching season. produced one healthy . We must know much more about a hen than her capacity for laying eggs. can be further from the fact. This pullet laid thirty-nine eggs in the winter. Only one puUet half the lived to grow up. we will devote our attention to that subject in the present chapter.
and that daughter of eighteen eggs. Three quoted sentences show the results: "Not only was there no improvement in average flock production. permanent improvement in average flock production. were no better layers on the average than birds from the general flock.200 The Hen at Work made a winter record daughter. lected by reason of their egg-production. six with from to nine years of mass-selected ancestry behind them (on the basis of trap nests). while her eggs are ing. —There does not exist any critical evidence that the selection of the highest la3nng birds. wiU insure or guarantee any definite. —As a matter of fact daughters of 200-egg hens. as shown by trap nests. but actually there was a slight decline in production during the selection. and is often possible for a hen to lay heavily. This result was not at given to show that it is all unexpected. The same station on an important test Breeders were for se- ten years with a large flock. on the basis of the trap nest re- cord as breeders. no good for hatch- and her children wiU have no value whatcarried ever. There is ample evidence of the same kind to show .
even if the specimen imder consideration will seems a perfect Barred Rock.Breeding for Eggs that the trap nest. Ezample. we handle Barred two or has been Rocks. we must be sure that no. to which our breeding male and female belong. and calls for more attention than any give. little it 201 will always be of value fanciers. show various traits. one has crossed the breed with another class three generations back. Have the mothers been strong layers? Have their . poultry for eggs are gained by knowing the past history of the family. to which the particu- and by having an equal knowledge regarding the male with which she is lar hen in question belongs bred. is The trap in nest annoying to many birds. results in breeding busy person can possibly Line Breedings. then. tures No mix- show traits so good. or line. If this cross made. heavy layers of fertile eggs. her chicks surely pure. have performed.^ —The best .^ — It is well known If that Barred Rocks are strong. The breed must be We must also know how the family. hard to keep perfect order. and in the hands of can be of help to the average poultry man. while in tests.
It is the type. even though she herself eggs laid. her chicks will be strong. strength. in the long run. and egg production. and not the individual that counts. We should not breed from an imperfect bird. The specimen must of course be perfect as to shape. mother hen duction. first hen. of . and health. she will have chicks which will themselves make a poor record. in spite of the fact that the may have a high total for egg pro- This is the general law. or line. for one of doubtful ancestry that Experience proves that the laid two hundred. If may not excel in the number of the line to which a hen belongs shows a poor record. Thus it becomes clear that we should be unwise and to exchange a hen which laid one hundred twenty-five eggs in a year. and good layers. and must show iq itself the characteristics wanted in is its children.202 The Hen at Work Have the chicks grown into eggs hatched well? virile cocks and worthy hens? If the line to which the hen belongs shows a good record of fecundity. size. no matter what the ancestry. This true of both male and female. descended from a good line. color.
first whether they in The two or three a may be freaks. lific 203 will hatch stronger and more pro- pullets than the other of higher record. —Several definite points about a breeding pair should be known we can expect a steady improvement in our Ancestry.ing just a touch of paint on the head lay steadily or not.Breeding for Eggs good parentage. and her sisters who You do the same thing. can tell Keep your eye on them.' before fiock. but should be kept he shows good Early Layers. — Is the line bred pure' by people who know istics their business? Has the line behind the present pair made a reputation for the character- we wish to develop? Mother Full Grown. Full-grown mothers in the second all experts. —Watch early. nests. using very easily without trap celluloid rings of different' colors. —Pullets do not bring the best results. a pullet comes on and lays band her. rapidly. with doubtful ancestry. . large flock feathers. or putt. results. If Weed out every defective while young. Fundamentals of Breeding. year are recommended by The cock if may be in the first year. your stock.
late There may be a danger to very moulters in Northern States of weakness from cold. agaitt If yotir strain is and start from a line. —Do your breeders lay eggs true to and free is tjrpe.' begin —Do these pullets Do they work work early in the morning? hard.—This a common remark: "Say. Summer and lected hens still Fall Production." What do you know about cockerels? the line behind those No one ever built up a strain that weak. of full size. vigor. noted for its quali- . I those are good-looking cockerels. discard it way.204 The Hen at Work Early to Rise and Late to Bed. from important defects? Imperfect eggs should not be used. at it —Are these seearly fall. or strain. guess I'll get one of those to build up my flock. eat greedily. New Blood. and go to roost late? These are important signs. Eggs. They prove the "conof in poultry stitutional vigor" so much spoken manuals. in the summer and or do they insist on sitting and then start to moult? You are reasonably safe in discarding the early moulters. Unless they recover full vigor do not breed from them. They seldom have big records or great.
sleek. If a mating brings especially good results. not from Visit prominent breeders and shows. 205 methods. . handsome After a while you can glance. —Keep track of matings. hold on to that group. your Bring them up to date and keep your If strain pure. —Finally get acquainted with your books but from flocks. ne'er-do-well right oflf. your line is strong you may safely breed grandchildren and nieces of the same stock. Then examine your houses. tell much about a bird at a single Don't think you can breed From a cull or a runt. And ever succeed flock.Breeding for Eggs ties. to a line which is itself Follow Hatching Results. your feed.at you can tell the best birds a The greenhorn will pick out a Smooth. of the breed glance. and see how results develop. get You can use it several years. danger in doing Careful tests show that little new blood of the best adds good. till Learn the points . There is no need of getting "new blood" and so. Study Types. breed. for With a you won't. or until you a better combination.
CHAPTER XVII POULTRY DISEASES Professor Gowell. because probably subject to again and she would be of small value as a breeder. It was under him that the Maine station began the work that has this subject. is a fowl seriously ill. once said: "I hens. show them how to keep and if they don't. always a danger to the others in the illness . and could almost talk their language. their hens well. flock. passing on her own weakness to her children. or in cur- little interest in sick people gave them decent care they I'll wouldn't be sick. If of Maine. they can't blame me. she will be out of the game She is so long that her egg product will be low." Professor Gowell was one of those men who loved hens. 206 If this illness were . If made it famous. In considering keep his remark in mind. take mighty ing them.
with Combs turned had hope purple. you what is wrong in most The average poultry man had a of long ex- perience can guess right only once in a while. so far as a cure was concerned. yellow urates. as 207 it is many poultry diseases are. avoid^ I did what we all solemnly warn others to —bought strange puUets. likely to spread to the rest of the flock. is it is wise to get the bird out of the flock and out of the way. however. At once quested. for getting rid of sick or doubtful the difficulty found in identifying the distell Very few men can cases. . unless checked at once. away from home. set An old hen died. Soon trouble began. let them mix with the others.Poultry Diseases infectious. Severe diarrhea. whole birds. and. Some years ago I flock of various breeds many valuable birds. Then a cock began to droop. in. serve to lend . For these reasons Another reason fowls ease. descriptions as re- All the help I got put together was not worth a postage stamp. as they showed no signs of ill being very busy health. I sent samples. I appealed to all I in for help. and the future looked dark. The replies did.
My wife finally came to the The hens she said would eat nothing." he said. and the postman thought it it wise to deliver this attractive parcel at the house. It transpired that he had lately married. They ate and drank perked up. To one I sent an official in my home State.208 a little The Hen at Work humor to a sad situation. "it is tell undoubtedly a very disease." could by the note that he was so I forgave him. Some said this. birds. He I make out what ailed my "but. I had from Raymond couldn't Pearl. . rescue. I'm The note Orono. specialist. I a whole bird for post mortem. and put the water and boiled rice beforei them. was good. was they would have spoken more kindly. training a new typewriter. Had the happy pair realized how dead in earnest I sure. rice water?" A physician in France had cured our baby of a bad diarrhea almost instantly by mixing boiled rice water with his milk. suddenly: She watched them. and soon recovered. some said that. She boiled some rice. then at now perhaps our leading poultry biologist. Of course did up as neatly as possible. At and last "What about rice. trying first one food and then another. freely.
a careful record of deaths was kept. and many were probably bred from stock noted more for eggs than strength.. liver trouble. the bowels are loose. and the causes. More than in half die from ruptures.Poultry Diseases The important thing here is 209 and rice boiled rice water to correct a diarrhea in fowls. The 14 experience in most small flocks. kept imder . and illness beyond help most cases. Conn. broken eggs in oviduct. More than ten per cent. in A germ was found my case which suggested cholera very strongly. making a good last contest at Chief Causes of Death. though if Sometimes illness does not appear the diarrhea is promptly checked. this. Very few of these hens die from troubles that could have been cured. of the hens died during the year. —In the This is Storrs. a greater averyard. but age than should bccvu: in your home these hens are under a great strain. The rice could hardly be supposed to cure it but did provide just the right help at the right time for those birds that were fight for life. and this was probably the disease. Only a few died from troubles possible to understand correctly till after death.
quite probable they have eaten too much of the wrong thing. from swallowing and sharp pieces of . nails Many fowls die iron. the same. Watch Fowls fed. or too much sloppy wet mash. is —Watch any is hens that do not run to eat when grain or mash If they stand apart the next day. except for the occasion referred to. watery droppings with yellow edges are is found. at Feeding Time. is a stew recommended. and at the high laying point in April. Get the It is hens and put them by themselves. our flock has suffered only from enlarged livers. broken eggs. charcoal. rough handling. and general break-down. we lose the most. it is These records show that proper to eat the before wasting afflicted perfectly safe if and fowl they are killed flesh of away too ills is far. something wrong. The hens troubled with such quite suitable for food. Give these fowls scratch grain. water. fair conditions. At moulting time. and fresh If In most cases they will soon recover. If Examine the roosts and dropping boards. not. This is another reason for acting promptly.210 The Hen is at Work In twenty years. something affected decidedly wrong. An overdose of beets will cause such trouble. grit.
which. In driving nails about the houses allow none to drop Outside Help. the cause of the illness will almost always be for. the water Is there plenty of air clean. . everything clean? Is the food clean. and He may see at him look the place over. this careful review or inspection When found made. hens will seldom suffer disease. go over Is the rules you have in this and other volumes. and the hens do not act as they should. are not likely to be overcome by amateurs. and set such help is matters right. —When let diificulties rise in it is a flock. beypnd the help of experts. however. from a curable Death does occur from if causes stated above. Reduce the rations as advised under that head Make the hens is work right along until afternoon.Poultry Diseases They should be removed from on the litter. a glance what is wrong. If not at hand. 211 ashes with care. if properly kept. . the house clean? without drafts? Is there plenty of litter? is Are is you sure the flock not eating too much? It is This a very common cause of trouble. plan to call in a good a practical man who has had success- ful experience. avoid overfeeding in the hard to home flock.
and finding a them. —Poultry science has done way to prevent will much of late in discovering the cause of certain poidtry diseases. in thickly settled places. spoon of castor Crops are sometimes opened. lack of exercise. long grass. Constipation. however. now hard and then. cholera is fortunately very rare indeed where flocks are given It does. often showing that simple precautions keep such sickness out of the flock entirely. or lack of sharp grit. —You will seldom have reason to treat constipation in grown fowls. so quite possible that sparrows and other This is visitors to hen yards may spread it. another good reason for keeping flocks under cover without a yard. Crop Bound. Supply these things and a tableoil. The cause may be heavy feeding. proper care. —Fowl flocks. and spread rapidly. but I never saw such an operation in a home povdtry plant where the fowl was of value later. much enlarged and full and the bird eats little. —This condition The crop is is caused by clog- ging and indigestion. in good where its presence is to explain. rare. but chickens . Fowl Cholera.212 The Hen at Work Preventable Diseases. break out. The germs it is are terribly virulent.
A crooked breast bone does not always indicate defect. made with mild the vent warm soap suds. good layers and strong mothers but a number of cases in the same flock would indicate that careful attention to the diet and care of the growing flock was needed. but generally believed that lack of bone development and a general malnutrition roosting is is the cause. is to blame The notion that early not accepted by experienced and thoughtful people. When the mass is soft.Poultry Diseases often have something of that nature. is clear. If plugged. till it hardens and plasters up the Wash the parts with soap. and is frequently associated with catarrh and other debilitating diseases. inject a few drops of sweet oil with a medicine dropper or fountain- pen fiUer. as a serious many hens thus equipped prove . as experiments have shown that it generally follows the lack of bone forming elements. It 213 fre- quently happens that a chicken lies directly on his own dropping vent. Crooked Breast Bone. —The it is cause of crooked breast bone has not been settled to the agreement of poultry specialists. clip Be sure the feathers and remove the gathering. .
white creamy material is from the kidneys. The normal dropping its good health dry enough to keep is shape on This is the -dropping board. though. with drabbled and serious disturbance of the digestive organs. and examination for catching cold. Frequently spirits. and it is gathered up by the solid matter as expelled. seem in good and . get her out of the flock at once. mostly hard grains for food. but not so wet as to run from the spoon. It should be merely wet enough to hold together. No in great it harm comes from is this. boards. Temporary looseness of the bowels is caused by mash which is too wet. See that the hen has sharp grit. hens will keep on laying. often strong and good layers. and partly white. green food. vent. for drafts . every day if Clean the roosts and dropping possible. It is also caused by too much No medicine is called for.214 The Hen at Work Simple Diarrhea. and the rice water to drink. but care in in feeding. if mon. should be checked. with some boiled rice. have a natural tendency to com- a mild form of diarrhea or looseness of the bowels. a reduction for a day or two wet mash. and possible reasons Acute Diarrhea. —When stem a fowl shows a soiled feathers. birds —Many fowls.
and stay apart by themselves. Although found present seems -to poioltry of all ages. it. If 215 kill they stop laying and droop. it cause a serious disturbance only in yotmg chickens. caused White diarrhea an infectious by a bacillus that has been identified by several in biologists of repute. disease. or after the chick has filled his digestive organs with normal rations. After a case has been completed in the hospital ward. over. Chicks affected become stupid. and biiry them at once. as indigestion may produce the same symptoms. The symptoms be made diarrhea of white diarrhea are easy to identify in general. so we learn the great progress it.' —^Among it is all diseases in poultry probably none so deadly and discouraging with true gratitude that as white diarrhea.Poultry Diseases soon improve. although laboratory tests must before the presence of bacillary white is certain. These are largely safe against infection after the first two days. disinfect the ground. now being made in preventing and ridding is flocks of its presence. scrape out the coop. usually near . and dig up left The sunshine will soon kiU germs White there is Diarrhea.
Some States now send men to test hens for breeding in is any flock. we can stop least at its source. old germs ready to attack him. to see the hen affected if this germ present. that clings to the feathers about the vent. shrill The wings droop. another plan has given good results. for If so. It is generally agreed to-day that chickens may contract this disease. and when the chick is bom. plan. or. is taken out efficient of the breeding pen. and gathers in some quantity. and recover enough to appear normal.2i6 the hover. when eggs are laid. but never expel aU the germs.at is check it. The Hen They at Work Soon a sticky eat nothing. a small sum. Later. two or three days of a chick's and it is reasonably sure that infection comes it through the egg. Before the hatch put into the . and usually dies within a week. there are the same badUi. If laboratory tests are not possible. during the first As the disease is taken life. This is a simple and which has rid many large plants of this fatal disease. pain. they are infected by the same The hatching process does not kiU them. is whitish substance voided. the chicken utters peeps of.
Provide low wire trays that fit hold ten or a dozen eggs each. if that is impossible. and good sanitation will prevent white diarrhea imder or- dinary circumstances. and fortunately it has proved a great success in large poultry plants. appeal to your local station.Poultry Diseases incubator. write to the Storrs. 217 wash and disinfect it thoroughly with a good will disinfectant. At the eighteenth day put the eggs into these baskets. and well into the incubator. having a cover for each one. Strong stock. and white diarrhea seldom becomes a menace where such flocks are given good care. keep the chicks in eight hours. Chickens raised tmder hens are kept in small groups by the nature of things. If. In general there is no cure for the real thing. . clean quarters. and. in spite of these pre- cautions. where plenty of loose litter shoidd be provided. the scourge appears. to allow of sight. droppings to sift down out It is suspected that chicks get infection by picking up such droppings. clean food. them fortyThey may then be placed in the all brooder. By this plan we keep chicks from wandering about the incubator and spreading the disease. after hatching. or.
but always interesting. as at laying contests. mortem examination shows at once has been affected. all modem works so. There are no symptoms with which liver troubles can be detected for sure. nitrate of soda. even by experts. station. and however. A postthe liver bit late. if is a Poisons. and copper poi- soning get as may occur among poultry. The post mortem of course. They keep the it is flock laying at top if and not suprising some hens fail to stand the pace. are rich. and purposely made speed. on feeding. men say that this is brought on by imi)roper housing flocks are given the best of still and feeding. to died in this way. where a great deal of experimental work is line.2i8 The Hen at Work now being carried on along this Conn. and may be picked up in the garden. Salt they may by various accidents. in rations merely make any change because a bird now and then The rations in this book. . It by a diet too rich would not be wise. —Many of the birds which die Medical in laying flocks go from liver trouble. The nitrate is used fertilizer. — Salt. Where care.. usually (Caused death from for the fowl in question. there is liver complaint. Liver Trouble.
They drank like boys at a free soda and soon improved. By night all except died. as she had seen me save soup and water that meat in. with fresh water. fotmtain. their water basins. had I not noticed their thirst. one. I filled chickens. . and may I get to fowls on sprayed foliage. The salt had and. every one would have been dead by morning. where they. were lying about I in distress. and when watering the garden. till Many questions brought no my wife said she used the water the ham was boiled in to mix in their mash. I happened to notice one set again and filled their feed trough. was a clear case of poison. very later. Every drop pans and of water I was gone. It who were well.Poultry Diseases Copper is a part of the 219 common garden sprays. though all were gaping and panting. for had been cooked poisoned them such use. light. once came home on a hot evening and found in some well-grown thirsty. filled rushed for the water pail and trough. wire runs. The nejct morning four or five in the next run were dead. none were dead and none lying down. had lately finished supper. rest and the weak. or very "Where had filled the feed trough with water.
severe. Roup is the name usually given for any is serious cold. new fowls. This true not only of amateurs. by tools. canker. are often if conditions and effects of the disease. Colds are not uncommon. The infec- may be carried by birds. catarrh. and then into roup. by people.220 The Hen salt. Some treatment. if without additional infection. diphtheria. One-twentieth of an ounce of will kill a month-old chick. The best remedy for such poisons is milk it. at Work salt Chicks rather like of it is but more than a mild flavor harmful. — ^lots of Milk counteracts the poison. and by which have been near ailing poultry. pip. are usually called roup. Mild cases get well right away with proper Roup and Catarrh. this condition \The germ causing its has not yet been discovered. It is or when quarters are changed. thought possible that a cold may develop into catarrh. and thrush. or catarrhal disturbance. Bad same colds. but also among experts. or diphtheria. but is contagious nature tion well understood. the fowl is not in . and. confusion exists re- — garding diseases which attack the head and respiratory system of fowls. especially after sudden shifts in weather.
A man they did Massachusetts kept hens in a lower floor. well. may be the result of overfeeding with rich combined . bad weather bringing on the same trouble.Poultry Diseases good health. No cleaning or waiting has made it safe for fowls again. to untimely graves. need have in cellars dirt fear of roup. be sure there is plenty of green food and fresh air without drafts. Soft-Shelled Eggs. 221 are all sur- The fact is that we rounded with millions of germs which attack at once all diseased and weak tissue. Then roup got and the hens came out. or sheds. though a complete cure likely. Frequently the fowls will go along is and not lay fairly well. with a have every reason to in fear. such and catarrh appear in the flock. In stmlight. Take care to clean out both flock and house before putting in new stock the next year. die. where the sun can not get floor. is Those with coops where the sun can reach aU parts and where the floor little always dry. Health and strength keep them from making headway. —Soft-shelled eggs diet. Those keeping hens in. part of the bam on a dirt by For several years in. one one. however. The germs germs soon If colds linger.
his fowls. much attention in books on poultry diseases in this covmtry. or which causes If the egg to move too fast through the oviduct. with lack of exercise. Where there is no yard.222 The Hen at Work may come from . such as oyster shell result of and good grit or they fright. and trouble. they a lack of lime. or shell-making material in the food. laid. many such eggs are something is wrong with the diet. or more careful poultry culture discovering cases formerly prevalent but not identified. Either is it is increasing. is kept under the reasonably safe Sunlight and ! conditions outlined in this book. proper regulation there will cure the Tuberculosis. may be the rough handling. fresh air are the foes of such germs infection Here again may well be carried by sparrows from is less yard to yard. there danger of infection. . —Tuberculosis in in fowls It has long has lately been a serious matter been given Europe. The man with the small from tuberculosis among flock.
Gape Worms. they get a chance. and tape worms conspicuous by their absence.CHAPTER XVIII PARASITES Internal Parasites. Tape worms of different kinds. and in warm will Keep your imder flock working on a clean. when they form in segments and starve the birds as they do humans. Tape worms develop especially in adult fowl. They are found in birds of all ages. There is little to fear in yards from these pests except where poultry run under conditions not of the climates. like 223 — . Gap^ worms are tiny. of the —There are several members if worm family always glad to set up house- keeping inside our poultry. best. be dry litter shelter. threadworms which attach themselves to the windpipe of fowl. and gape worms are the most important. by taking the nourishment intended for their host.
neck in an effort to relieve their the At this time they will often cough up worms and other birds will quickly swaUow are present in yards not frequently them. With plenty of sharp grit in gizzard. and unclean eating trays. as found in scratching about the is yard. known wherever men read books . In chickens. Whether this proves that earth worms are bad for chickens. —Salmon. and grind them up. howis they cause sickness and death. its a question. under clean conditions. eggs and all. the active chick could handle many is such worms. Lice. The real danger sour soil. ever. and place them in coops. where all droppings can be collected and burned. Gape worms changed. stretcliing the irritation. Take afflicted chicks out of the flock. and their eggs have been foiuid in earth worms. and gape. thus getting into the same trouble. so gapes disease of chickens. cough. while they sneeze. Wire worm-extractors are supplied with directions for full use by poultry houses. known as a Chicks with gape worms suffer great irritation in the wind-pipe.224 but cause so The Hen at Work little discomfort in grown stock that such cases are seldom noticed. in jig time.
" Under this general head let us include the whole family group. says. for there are special lice for every bird. but experiments is sufficient. Careful search frequently . on the and in cracks nearby. Take a piece of this salve as large as a small pea and rub it carefully into the skin It around the vent of the fowl. and must live be attacked by treating the hens. examine his and when anjrthing is fotmd Wrong with poultry the maxim should be look for lice. and a dozen varieties Some lice live on hens. including red mites. is "When maxim anything is the matter with a horse the feet. crawling onto the hens at night. or on a piece of glass. 225 for his researches in disease. for poultry. others roosts. may also be applied to the skin beneath the wings in equal amounts. work the two ingredients thoroughly together. feeding on their blood. Most lice which live on the bodies of fowls may be destroyed by a very simple method: buy an ounce of mercurial ointment and two ounces of vaseline. In a saucer. prove that application around the vent The IS lice get into this ointment before long and are soon destroyed. and leaving before the fowls do in the morning.Parasites on poultry.
and disinfect mixed weU by turning the into the pail It Such a combination nozzle of the force is pump back and driving the stream into the contents. spraying in the sum- mer with the mixture given above. and treat with ointment twice a year. and added to seven that will not only in the cracks. Ashes. Lice and mites which live in the cracks and boards of may be destroyed by spray. Five quarts cream of lime. This plan has given great satisfaction at laying contests. The clean and bright appearance of the house after such treatment is attractive to the fowl It is and those who care for it. and cover such cracks. the liberal use of sifted hard-coal ashes in dust boxes and on dropping boards is especially recom- .226 fails The Hen Two at Work to discover a single louse which are thus treated. —^As stated in other parts of the book. one quart of kerosene. one pint well mixed. should be sprayed through a fine nozzle. a safe plan to go on the principle that your hens have lice whether you see any or not. of zenoleum. treatments a year are enough to keep the flock free from these pests. but quarts of water. kill make a mixture the lice and mites present fill win tend to the house.
sift 227 If we take the ashes from the stove and roosts. Rub leg. which soon becomes enlarged and In size. although the mite which it may be found in many yards. Scaly Leg. as the cure oil simple and easy: mix one part of of caraway this into with the five parts of white vaseline. Such mites bore under the leg is double the scales of red. and re- peat each week two or three times. advanced cases the This trouble normal and the fowl becomes lame. where other conditions are good. Sifted ashes in the chicken yard is especially important. fine dust gets into every crevice.Parasites mended. is only slightly contagious. There is no reason to gain a leg hold. and the ointment will soothe and heal the afflicted parts. the leg. them over the dropping boards and the Ught. . but it frequently happens that one or two of the flock will is be affected and the let it rest will escape. and certain may carry them without attracting much causes hens attention. in —There is little to fear from scaly leg a well-kept flock. and wiU certainly keep them from breeding. after washing with warm water. is Dust death to small insects of this type. The oil of caraway kills the mites.
quiet. being ready to roast at eight weeks. and are a delicious addition to the family is not advisable on small places to keep ducks over winter for eggs or breeding. Hatching eggs can be purchased for a dollar a dozen or less. and of unexcelled table quality. as after that they grow tougher and lighter. It rapidly. weighing about five pounds 228 . They should be eaten or sold before they are six months old. They grow menu. coming from China. and the little baby ducks hatch out and grow with very loss. usually about fifty cents. by far the most raised in yards and on farms.CHAPTER XIX DUCKS If you have a yard of any size you should raise a few ducks each year along with the chickens. while they eat more than ever. It is heavy. popular in this country.— There are several varieties of ducks The Pekin is a large white duck. Varieties.
Hatching. who sit patiently the required four weeks and then seem perfectly satisfied with these children. 229 is ten weeks old.Ducks when color try. and lay eggs freely. —Duck's eggs can be hatched with the ordinary equipment used for chickens. In size The Rouen and type it much favored in France. it resembles the Pekin. ter Provide moisture. The Aylesbury is an English duck. as explained in the chap- on incubation. is Anin other duck which increasing on farms yards in America is the Indian Runner. These are small. or they. but not much the Pekin in seen much in this coun- The Muscovy came from South America. . may placed under the hens. as the long period of hatching tends to dry the eggs. though they also come with a white plumage. Nine eggs are enough for any ordinary hen. which resembles very and habit. giving them all the care required. reddish breast. and greenish back. is and of small value is compared with the Pekin. and good. They be may be placed in the incubator with the regular hatch. and left a week longer. but not able to displace the Pekin. but has a gray It body is color. usually seen in fawn and white patches. being kept for their eggs rather than meat.
one part com part middlings. five times a day. rolled oats. When a month old. with about one part in ten of beef scrap. they can handle meal. the com ration it may be may be doubled. incubators there is little difference in With treatment from that of chickens. two parts bran. they are with hens. heat. making the com meal equal to the bran. one a mash of three parts bran. Feed. fed about They should be what they will eat in five minutes. there nothing to do but provide food and water. two parts . A is temperature of eighty-five the second week enough. a separate feeding plan for them pay well for the slight extra work. and at the end of two weeks increased again. The very feedings should be and scraps of bread. Baby ducks are hardiei: and easier to raise than chickens. They need about the same first. At the end of the week.230 The Hen if at Work is After hatching. but as will they can stand a more hearty diet and faster grow will first on it. ninety-five degrees at but soon the curtain should be raised and the heat reduced.^ — If ducklings are in one flock with the chicks they may safely eat the same food. After the third day. moistened lightly with water.
o a 1- 4 O F (A Id s o a .
is impor- tant for them also. Grit may be given in the food or it may be served separately. it. about one part in two.Ducks com will carry 231 meal. is the dry mash fed to the chickens richer in ready. in fact. green foods. pan or founts. to a pint of food will be of sharp Abput a heaping teaspoon enough. one part middlings. Ducks if will eat any good food grit to and thrive on grind it. one part beef scrap. that may be used making meal and scrap as they get older. and water. bone. all the diet of chickens. dish. Water should be served Ducks do not drink above a large easily from The If rations may it not be followed exactly. grit Ducks must always have plenty Cracked bone as they eat heavily. where they can eat as they wish. Green food should be provided from the very first. Tender grass and cut clover may be mixed with their food. . and small grit after two weeks. in with special attention to grit. they have plenty of it and lots of water to wash down. and other green food should be near. them on till ready to eat. small of Duck growers recommend that a amoimt of sharp sand be mixed with the food baby ducks.
it per- Then should be rinsed and put to soak several hours in water as cold as possible. When the body plucked it should be washed.Ducks or a paper torch. and the bird dipped again in the hot water. and have first the oven hot. If ' 233 sprinkled powdered resin is over the down. the resin will melt and stick to the soft feathers. which may is then be rubbed off with the hand. covering with a pan after the half hour if the skin is getting brown. and warm water. Three or four days should be allowed before the duck is eaten. to get it usually with soap fectly clean. Ducks. should be thoroughly roasted. . as well as chickens. after dressing as the flesh improves during that time. at least Allow two hours for a five-pound duck.
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