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A G RIG U L T U R E. --+--

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A G RIG U L T U R E. --+-- The National Poultry Hatching- Establishment. ML.ühb.E¥! been said and written on the subject of artificial incubation, but as yet, except among the Egyptians, who have practised hatching in ovens for centuries, very little good has been done in t^w direction. To. the National Poultry Company belongs the honour of starting the first extensive establishment for breeding and rearing poultry in this country, if not in Europe. They have secured about five acres of land adjoining the railway station at Bromley, on which they have erected a shed :350 feet: in length and 20 feet in breath, which is calcu- lated to accommodate about 3,500 breeding fowls, besides about 1,500 in the fattening house. The arrangements of the house are simple and effective, and were fiiliy explained by their manager, G. K. weysling, Esq., to a number of gentlemen who paid a recent visit to Bromley. You enter at one end and walk along a tiled pathway, in the centre of which, at muervals, are ventilators for the admission of fresh air., On each Bide of the tiled path is a space of fresh earth, about eighteen inches wide, in which vines are planted, one being trained against eve *y upright divi- sion between the roosting rooms, which are each about four feet in length, two of them being thrown together to contain a cock and from five to eight hens. Out- Kt wC'a ^^ese *3 placed a covered box, or rather, nfce Mrs. Cramp's bandboxes, an extinguisher, for it has to b6ttom, in which are placed two earthen pans containing a little hay for the hens to lay in. These boxes are, of course, open to the roosting rooms. On the other aide of the roosting rooms are rooms of similar size, open to the •sir though covered above, the openings into J*om in0ide can be closied at pleasure. fowls can erijoy a short run on stable manure when they please. The floor of the inner room ia covered with dry earth, with which the droppings of v f s ar'9 mixed by their own scratching, and the Whole is turned up every two days with a spade. It was quite plain to all who visited the establishment that this dry earth is a perfect deodoriser, for the keenest nostril was unable to detect any unpleasant smell in the building. Over these roosting-rooms, which are about six feet in height, are rearing-rooms, in some of which a number of newly-hatched chickens were running about, retiring at intervals to the shelter of an artificial mother. This last-named article is like .a small desk, the deeper side of which is open, while the slopingboardiscoveredunderneathwithapieceof sheep rakin.the'woolof which furnishes a warm covering for the ..chick,. which can push itself under the board till it hnas the wool snugly pressing upon its back. In one or the rearing rooms were temporarily lodged a family •*> £ rabbits of a fine breed, said to be a cros3 between a hare and a rabbit. Whatever may have been their -origin, they appear to be a fine race of animals for the ■ tabJe. It should have been mentioned that the centre -of the roof, which is covered with glass, is about four- teen feet from the floor. At the further end of the • building the workmen were basy in arranging the fattening boxes, which are placed one over the other, the floors being covered with dry earth. Here it is intended to fatten and cram the poultry for the market. Behind the room containing these boxes, or shelves, are roomsforthehatching, which is to be principally accom- plished by turkeys, these birds having so great a liking for this occupation as to sit continuously for Six months in the year. Further on than these rooms were a number of hutches for rabbits. The whole centre of the lower part of the house is over an arch, in which a furnace is to be erected before the winter, to heat the air which passes through it, and on through » flue running under the centre of the building, to supply it with fresh air. The arrangements for venti- lation above are perfectly simple and may be readily imagined. At a distance of sixty feet from the present house a second is to be erected parallel to it, and precisely similar in its arrangements. The ground is also marked out for three other houses; so that when the establishment is complete it will consist of five houses, accommodating about 20,000 fowls. A farm yard and piggery, as well as suitable houses and ponds for geese and ducks, are also in preparation, and as the space be- tween the houses is being cultivated as a market garden, a determination is evinced to make the most of everything. In these garden spaces the young chickens will have a run. A couple of broods were running among the cabbages on Wednesday, the hens in charge being confined in coops. Artificial hatch- ing is to be tried, but at present hens and turkeys will be employed as incubators. This establishment is a great experiment, as many experienced per- sona have expressed their opinion that large numbers pf poultry cannot be preserved in health within a small space but the result of the visit of Wednesday was to convince every one present that so far the experiment was most successful. Notwith- standing that the present is the season for moulting, not a bird appeared to be in bad condition, and the daily returns hung up at every roosting room showed that they were still laying, though probably not so many eggs as may be expected at another period. The company hope to have other establishments in the neighbourhood of London, and though there is little probability of their being able materially to lessen the price of fowl and eggs, they may succeed in making p the supply nearly equal to the demand. THE Autumn All England Ploughing Matches took place last week, during which there were three competi- tions. At the Berkley and Thornbury Society's match the only competitors were Ransome's ploughman Barker and Howards' veteran ploughman Brown, where Brown was defeated. At the great Sparkenhoe match Barker met Bjown again, also Howard's second crack ploughman Purser, and three other competitors holding ploughs of well-known makers, and was again the.victor; while at the Kingscote match, which took place on the same day as the Sparkenhoe, the cham- pion prize was awarded to Colonel Kingscote's man, Baylis, holding a Ransoms plough. Thus the three first matches of the season have been won by men holding Ransome's ploughs.

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