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DUCK AND GREEN PEAS. There is a story told of a farmer who, in times of distress was wont to give butter freely to his labourers, leaving it to their ingenuity to find the bread. Be it mine, then, to pilot the reader in the interesting task of duck culture, leaving the source of peas to their own powers of management. The first point in the favour of young ducks is their hardihood. Within comparatively few hours of emerging from the shell they are able, in ordinary summer weather, to lead an existence independent of all maternal care. They also in their earliest days bear a long journey with wonderful equanimity. Failing local sources, the writer has purchased duck- lings in this extremely mtantile condition in the heart of busy London, and found them none the worse for a prolonged journey. Certainly it must be admitted that their efforts to acquire knowledge, and to explore new regions, have sometimes caused them their life, after giving promise of better things, but that I fear has been more due to faulty surroundings than any perversity of instinct. Thus, if no faithful hen can be found willing: to undertake a life of solitary confine- ment for 30 days, the reader need not hesitate to embark on the purchase of ducklings a few days old. Do not, however, purchase one youngster for an experiment. Like human beings ducks are all the better for having con- genial society, whilst they set a good example to unfeathered bipeds in endeavouring to make the best of the food and lodging pro- vided for them. The two questions of food and lodgings are naturally the uppermost ones in the beginner's mind. Well, adult birds are most accommodating. Their appetites are omniverous. So, too, in theory, are the appetites of the youngsters, but the restric- tions on their bill of fare are caused by a necessary consideration of their yet-to-be developed digestive powers. Biscuit meal, varied with soft meals, is the best for young ducks. This, then, may be made the chief articles of diet, and the changes may be rung on stiff oatmeal porridge, barley meal, ground Sussex oats, house scraps cut fine, not neglect- ing fine grit, vegetable food, as lettuce leaves, cabbage leaves, &c., cut fine, and minute scraps of meat. From a particular motion of the head whilst feeding, ducks are apt to scatter seme of their soft food in the neigh- bourhood of their feeding trough. In hot weather this wasted food may turn sour and create an unpleasant smell. If ducks are kept in very confined quarters, as they undoubtedly can be, then the odour from scattered fragments of food become specially objectionable, But difficulties are made to be overcome, and this drawback to the pleasure of duck-keeping may be lessened, in fact, practically done away with. Place the feeding trough under cover of a moderately-sized box, having its lid and one side knocked off. All the splashes will fall within it, and can at intervals be easily washed off. Then the most fastidious will have little cause of complaint, and the interest in duck- rearing will be shared in by all the family. To show in what small quarters ducks can be, and are, reared, I submit the following :— It is stated that there are more ducks in "China than in all the world outside. They are kept on every farm, on the private roads, and on all the lakes, rivers, and smaller streams. There are many boats, on each of which as many as 2,000 are kept. Their eggs constitute one of the most important articles of food. They are hatched in establishments fitted up for the purpose, some of which turn out as many as 50,000 young ducks every year. Salted and smoked ducks are sold in all towns, and many of them are exported to countries where Chinamen reside." Th", above extract has not only an interest of its own, but serves to show how readily the duck lends itself to be reared in an artificial or semi-artificial manner. A few words as to accommodation, and this article may well be closed. Ducks do not need water in which to swim, save and except stock ducks; but those here referred to are those which are reared at home to accompany the peas. They thrive all the better for having a dry run, and being kept outwardly dry themselves. Peat moss will unfortunately stain the plumage of any variety robed in white, but a bedding of straw, renewed from time to time, with due security against draughts, rain, cats, and other vermin, is all they ask, Do not over-crowd them in their sleeping quarters. They huddle closely to- gether all night long, and suffer for it if too numerous in any one pen. No fixed time can be stated at which they shall have arrived at maturity-dining table maturity I mean. Precocious youngsters will reach that condition sometimes in nine weeks. Others prefer deferring the-to them—evil day, and take C, fourteen weeks to arrive at a duly presentable state. So if the peas are also being grown in the garden, it may be well to arrange more than one sowing. Then in due course, whilst the youngsters shell the peas, the adults can make ready the duck or docks. The marked tenderness and pleasant taste of the latter will lead all who partake to assert their intention of repeating the experiment at the earliest opportnnity.-Farnt, Field, and Fireside.

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