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/ THE CHARLOCK PEST.

$ THE DUCK-FATTENING INDUSTRY.

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$ THE DUCK-FATTENING INDUSTRY. Amongst the smaller rural industries of Er gland that of rearing and fattening ducks is one of much interest, and: also one that might be. made of greater importance, says "Farm Life." In the; country around Leigh ton Buzzard, in the counties of Beds and Bucks, this business has been pursued for'a number'of years, those engaged in it being chiefly cottagers. > The accommodation required is not extensive, nor: can th^ initial; capital be large, at least so far as money is concerned, though the capital represented by ■ time, trouble, and careful attention must, -be far from insignificant. The Aylesbury duck the breed employed. After hatching', out, the youngf birds for a week are well fed on boiled egg and other dainty morsels. With other birds of the same age they are then drafted into a "flock" of 100 to 125 birds. At this age they are exceedingly pretty objects —little animated balls of yellow down, with heliotrope-coloured bills and a plaintive chirp. As they get older the feathers become white and the bills grow paler. On a single duck "farm" numbers of flocks may be seen, of -one, two, three, or more weeks old, and this classification is the only one adopted, as all: the birds are destined to be .killed at eight1 or nine weeks old. Good rice, either Rangoon or stained Japan, at about 10s. a cwt.i, is the chief food of the younger birds, and isb-diled for use. They are also very fond of toast soaked in water. Later' on barley meal and toppings, or sharps, are introduced cbd; when the birds are five weeks eM they also, get greaves or tallow scrap, which is boiled up in the food, into which stinging nettles chopped' and boiled are introduced, as they are said to cool the blood. The ducklings are fed thrice a day—at 7.30 a.m., 12.30 p.ni., and 4.30 p.m.

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