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BEARING OF POULTRY. We extract the following from a series of articles on Poultry, and How to make Them Pay," BOw publish- ing in Cass ell's Illustrated Family Pa/per:— The Hen.-The choice of hens is no less important than that of the male birds. If inferior hens are asso- ciated with good cocks, the product will naturally be inferior to that resulting from birds of equal excellence: so also, if the cock be of inferior quality. Select a hen of easy temper, well feathered, the after part of the body well developed, and always diligent in seeking food. If it be naturally shy and turbulent, no good can be expected of it. If put to set, it will break its eggs, and injure its chickens by its clumsiness and abruptness; and by its vagaries, disturb the peace of well-conducted hens. When the raising of poultry is the business on band, we must secure, in the reproducers of both sexes, the existence of the evident signs of good flesh- viz., the colour of the feet, the quality of the akin, a large frame, and precocious growth. A yellow foot generally shows the fowl to be tough, with large bones, and yellow fat, which is usually accompanied by a yellow fikin; but with the exception of yellow and green, no other colour excludes ex- cellence from the flesh. It will be said that the feet of the Cochins are yellow, but that forms no exception to the rule, for its flesh is of inferior quality, and its bones are large and heavy. If, upon examining the skin of the breast and thighs, it appears fine, supple, elastic, and of a pearly rose colour, there is reason to be satisfied, for these are signs of an aptitude to acquire fat. It is usual to estimate the fecundity of the hen by the number of eggs it lays in a year, but this is an error. It is not the total number, but the gross weight, that is most deserving consideration; every means should therefore be adopted to increase their weight. There is no doubt that this result may be brought about by the exercise of proper judgment. We have stated that the average weight of the egga laid by the domestic hen is two ounces (875 grains); but this weight is attained only when the hens are well supplied with proper food-under ordinary cir- cumstances the average weight will not exceed 750 grains. The eggs of the Spanish and the Crevecour breeds weigh 1,200 grains. The following calculation will show the relative advantages of weight and number. Suppose the ill-fed domestic hen lays 100 eggs during the same space of time that the Spanish lays 70, which will be the most productive as regards quantity ? 100 eggs, weighing each 750 grains, gives 75,000 grains, or 10 5-7th lb. 70 eggs, weighing each 1,200 grains, gives 84,000 grains, or 12 lb. This is a striking difference, and fully contradicts the common belief, showing that the best layer is not the hen that lays the greatest number of eggs, but the one that lays the heaviest. It, therefore, becomes important to take this fact into consideration in selecting laying hens. We know that the first eggs laid by a hen are neither so large nor so heavy as those laid after she has become a year older; and it is the same with a hen after she has passed her fourth or fifth year.


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FACTS AND F ACE TIlE. ......--

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