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POULTRY KEEPING A PROFITABLE HOBBT. BY "UTILITY." WHAT IS A FRESH EGG? There are many ridiculous facts relating tic the sale of food, and it is really surprising that so many wrongs arl tolerated by the long suffering consumer. It is surprising that to this day nothing has been done to determine what a fresh egg really iis-that is to say, how many days old an egg may be and yet still be fresh. If it is to the advantage ol "■ the consumer that eggs should be what they are described as being, it is no less in the in- terests of the home producers and of sellers of genuine new laid and fresh eggs that stepe should be taken to deal more effectively with the application of the descriptions new- laid and fresh'' to eggs which, in view ol their age or condition, should not be de- scribed by these terms. It k satisfactory, therefore, to learn that the authorities have directed an inquiry to be made into the meaning of the terms new- laid and fresh as applied to eggs. It is stated that the principal question involved is the number of days from the date of laying up to which an egg may properly be described by these terms. Poultry keepers will be very in- terested to learn the result of the inquiry, and to see what steps may be taken in future. Although no evidence has been given me to prove it, I have been told that a good many eggs are sold during the winter months as fresh and at top prices that have been pre- served. If this is so, this is very unfair not only to the purchaser but also to the poultry keeper who goes to so much trouble to get his birds into laying condition in the autumn and winter months. WHAT LAYING CONTESTS HAVE DONE. Remarkable proof of the extent to which the average laying power of hens has been raised in nine years may be found in a com- parison of the results of the laying competi- tions of 1906-7 with those of the competition of 1913-4. In the former 132 was the average number of eggs laid, the money value per bird being 12s. 7d. In the latter 187 was the average number of eggs laid, and the money value per bird was 19s. OJLD. The competition .4 at present in progress is expected to show very much better results. It is now intended to go further with this good work, and to find out by means of an extended competition lasting two years the profitable duration of a hen's laying, and how far the constitution of a bird is affected by the strain of a heavy first year's laying. It wH also be of interest to note during such a test whether the size of egg increases during a second year, whether increase in broodiness lowers egg-production sufficiently to make the birdis unprofitable, as wel'l as the cost of feed- ing for two seasons against the value of eggs produced. The two years' competition which wrrl be held at the Harper Adams Agricultural Col- lege, Newport, Salop, will comprise an open section of forty pens of six pure-bred birds each, to be. divided into breed sections as fol- lows: (1) Leghorns; (2) Wyandottes; (3) Rocks, Orpin-gtons, and Rhode Island Reds; (4) Sussex and FaveroKes; (5) any other non, sitting breed. A special feature of the new competition is a section comprising ten pene for farmers and small holders. The same houses and pens as used in the past three competitions will be used, for the competition. The birds will be trap-nested, and all eggs laid carefully recorded. Medals and certificates will be awarded to the best pens in each sections according to the rules of the competition. A twelve months' competition will also be held concurrently with the two years' com- petition, comprising forty pene in an open- breed section, and ten pens in the farmers' and small holders' sections, on exactly the same conditions as for the two years' test. This competition will also start on October 1st. A COMMON DISEASE. A nasty complaint which is always common in hot weather is scaly leg. It is due to tiny mites, similar to those that cause mange in; horses and dogs and sheep scab. Their pre- sence causes the scales of the legs and feet to become raised and separated, as may be seen in the sketch. Rough, bumpy crusts are formed, and under these and the raised scales the mites live and breed. The infected birds soon fall off in condition, and go lame, and find difficulty in perching. If the disease is neglected and allowed to run its course the toes may drop off, and the bird die from the severe drain on its system. The first treatment is to isolate the infected birds from the healthy ones; then bathe the scaly legs in hot water to soften the crusts, so that they can be removed without causing jiXAMPLK OF SCALY LEG. an open sore. Then apply a mixture of creo- sote (one part) and. lard (twenty parts), or a mixture of equal parts of flowers of sulphui and vaseline. Some days after treatment the legs should be well cleaned with hot watei and soft soap, applied with a brush. Meantime the other birds should be closely watched and treated if they show any signs of the disease, and perches and houses should be well treated with carbolic limewash. As a pre- vention against further trouble of the kind, keep the birds on as cool a run as possible. The disease is commonest on ash runs, where the skin gets very dry and favours the lodging of the mite. Fresh green food should be given in abundance if the fowls cannot. get it oi their own accord. The trouble is found to be most common in the feather-legged Asiatics, and especially in Cochins and Silkies, and those who keen these should always be on the look-out for the first signs of scaly leg. ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. C. P. P."—SCALY LEG.—See the article above. It is doubtful whether a bird thu. has had this complaint can ever be cured so thoroughly that its legs would not spoil its chances at a show. No bird that has its legs in a scaly condition should ever be sent to a show. This, however, is one of the ways in which the disease is spread. "R. H. E. "-EGGS WITH PALE YOLKS.— I expect your birds are not not having enougt green food. Cabbage and similar leaves may be supplied cooked or uncooked, so lo«g a? they are fresh, and turnips are also appre- ciated. Cut clover hay. scalded or steamed, is used n good deal by some poultrymen. Failing these, you can try sprouted oats. "L. T. B."—THE (CROAT) LANGSHAN.—- This is a valuable all-round bird. The hen is a good layer of the darkest brown shelled egg. As a table bird the Croad Langshan has a large, broad body, with a full, deep breast well covered with white meat of fine quality. The onlv recognised colour of the plumage is black; the legs are dark grey, with feathers all the way down. Another variety of the brood is called the Modern Langshan. All correspondence alTec-iing this column should

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