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POULTRY KEEPING.

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POULTRY KEEPING. A PROFITABLE HOBBY. BY "UTILITY." CLOVER MEAL AS A FOOD. I am often asked whether clover meal is really good for feeding to fowls, and this we«% a reader. R. J. asks if I can say how it is composed, its composition makes it just the right kind of meal for laying liens, for it lias right kind of meal for laying liens, for it has a high percentage of flesh-making materials, I such as proteids, and a percentage of fat making materials, starch, while the amount of indigestible fibre is only about. 30 per cent. But when the meal is boiled, as it should always be, the starch and indigest- ible fibre percentages are considerably re- duced. When this meal is boiled and used with potatoes, mixed and dried off with sharps and biscuit meal, an excellent food is provided, which should considerably assist egg production. It is still reasonably cheap, and should be, in a short time, quite easy to obtain. A DUCK FOR SMALL RUNS. Small ducks have their uses even as bantams have among fowls. Of these smaller kinds of ducks, the Black East Indian is per- haps the best. It used to be kept purely as an ornamental water fowl and sent to exhibitions simply for its fancy value. But now that every creature has to be considered from its utility point of view, the Black East Indian can justify its position even in the light of such a test. Though small, it has very deli- cately flavoured flesh of fine texture; there is nothing of the conrse grain and rather strong flavour which some large breeds possess to their extreme demerit. Drakes weigh from 2jlb. to 31b. and ducks from 21b. to 2^1b. The Black East Indian is hardy and easy to keep, even in a small space, for it need only be given a tubful of water sunk in the ground, if there is not a small pond or stream avail- able. Of course, in a pond it finds a great deal of its own .food; but this should be supple- mented with soft food, and a little greenstuff from the garden should be given as well as a little grain if it can be spared. When the birds are wanted to breed, one drake should be run with two ducks. If drakes are kept together in one -enclosure, thev will always be fighting. In a good season a pair will produce forty or fifty, or even more, young ones, though it is generally BLACK EAST 1,DIA-, DRAKL. I best to .give their eggs to steady broody hens to hatch, as the ducks cannot always be relied upon to sit well. The eggs early in the season are often of a peculiar dark grey colour, though later on tlvy change to white. The flavour is good and delicate. Rearing the ducklings is very little more difficult than the rearing of any breed of ducks. During the first fortnight they require care, and must be kept away from water. In fact, it is best to keep them away from water during all their early life, especially when they are wanted. to be as plump as possible for table poultry, and they should always be shut in at night, as soon as it begins to grow chilly. But one of the most important points in their care is not to let them be exposed to summer sun, as this overpowers them and may kill them off very quickly. During summer and early autumn months suiiiii-ier the plumage of the young birds may have a rustv-browti tI'PI If,. but by October the plumage in both the duck and the drake is a beautiful beetle-green. ThF duek's bill is black, shaded off to s'ate at the tip, while the drake's is olive in colour and short and broad. The appearance is TIrnL- the body being round and the head short; the legs and feet in both sexes are black. As the ducks get older they generallv have their plumage somewnat spotted with white. A NSWKRS TO CORRESPONDENTS. R. K."—SUSSEX.—This breed is particularly l;ar<>. and the chickens can be reared outdoors in winter the same as in sum- mer. The success of the Surrey fowl indus- trv (for the Sussex are what, are known as "Surrey fowls") depends on this vigour and havdihoord, so special care is taken that there shall be no inbreeding, which is one of the chief causes of weakness in any form. W hen the chickens are about four months old they are sold to the fatters. Usually they weigh then from 31b. to 41b., but after three weeks oT systematic fattening, they often make more tirtm twice this size. They are large, lanky, healthy birds before being fattened, and lend themselves admirably to the process. W. R. "-SHADE FOR FOWLS.-As I have mentioned before, it is a good plan to grow p I some kind cf tall plants along the side of the run facing south or south-east. This gives plenty of shelter to the birds in the hottest parts of the day, and also provides food for them in the autumn. You can grow nothing better than sunflowers, for they give ample shelter, and, of course, the se.-d *is excellent for poultry. Another plant which will provide shade over the roof as well is the runner bean. If you can raise 4hese plants tall enough so that the birds will not touch them they do very well planted in the run itself, for they tenefit by the birds' droppings. Otherwise grow them along ilie fence outside, giving them rich soil so that they make fine plants. "Nat."—WHAT GREENS FOlt WINTER?— It is a very wise plan to set apart a corner j of your :l for winter greens for your pouUrv. J ot recommend anytll ing better than the diiVivnt varieties of kale, the drum- head kale, avid the cottager's, and the sprout- b broccolis will all grow in exposed posi- tions and withstand the severest weather. They also produce an abundance of leaves, no matter to what extent they are picked. Brussels sprouts, too, are very good and ten- der, also kohl rabi, providing* both a good root (it is really the swollen stem) and plenlv of Also, if you have space, a row or two of leeks are very valuable, for they will provide uscfnl food next spring when the,- young birds are coming on. I G. K. C.DESTRI)YIG INSECTS ON HENS.—Dust the Lirds thoroughly with DOW- A.

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POULTRY KEEPING.