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I CRICKET.

.BUILTH WELLS URBAN COUNCIL.I

,j Crickhowell Jumble Sale.

. POULTRY KEEPING. -

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POULTRY KEEPING. A PROFITABLE HOBBY. BY "UTILITY." KEEP YOUR FOWLS CLEAN. Lice and mites are the two forms of insect pests, and of these perhaps the mites are the worst. Everyone who has kept chickens at all knows the common hen louse, a flat, yellowish- white creature, which, when a bird is being plucked, runs out in swarms over the hands if the birds have been neglected. Of the three kinds of niitos which appear on the birds, the common chicken mite or red mite" is the hardest to combat. It is a flattened roundish creature, only one-thirtieth of an inch long, of a bright red colour. The eggs are laid in cracks and corners of the porches and houses in great numbers, and I hatch out in about ten days. I11 houres where little trouble is taken to keep them clean, these mites swarm, and the poor Liids never* get any proper rest, for these insects suck the blood from the fowls, chiefly during the insist, causing great irritation. led mite is present to anvextent the birds are sure to go oft condition, and a good many poor Ri e due to these birds being overran with these vermin. Did is the chief reason for this pres-ence and increase, and it is only i-y thorough ckanin-i that, it c;i he got rid of. Hath ;•« a prevention and as a cure tile I)il(ls, houses should be thoroughly ar.d repeatedly cleaned. To make the work easier, ail nest- in-, other fitments sVnikl be made so they can be moved easily. (if 111. tile v. hole of the building should be scrubbed find swilled down with hot water ancl sczip, though a hose-pipe with a high pressure of water is excellent. Then a hoe or scraper should be used for going over the floor and dropping boards, getting up all the dirt and refuse, and clearing it away. Another good rinse with disinfectant in the water should follow, ann. then, the place is ready for a thorough I limewash. The limewash should be made in the pro- portion of four gallons of lime water to ha-tf a pound of soft soap and one pint of paraffin, I and it should be brushed well into all the RED MITE AKD INFESTED PERCH. I corners and cracks. This will kill eggs as well as mites. The house, of course, should be quite dry before the'birds are allowed to go back. Birds infested with lice should be well dusted with sulphur, and be allowed a dust bath whenever they feel inclined. A little powdered sulphur should be sprinkled among the dry earth where the birds take their bath. The old material in nest-boxes should be taken out and fresh put in after the boxes have been thoroughly cleaned.. In fact, stale old litter in the nests is a frequent source of lice. Houses should on no account be dark and badly ventilated—insufficient sunshine and air are the greatest breeders, of vermin. Open. sunny houses are much less likely to become infested. LOOK AFTER YOUR PERCHES. A little extra trouble taken with the perches of all classes of birds is well repaid. It is often said that crooked breasts are due to perching too early, but naturally this defect is largely a matter of strain, and some birds are more likely to become malformed in this way than others. But all perches should be put in the houses so they can be easily moved for thorough and systematic cleaning. Painting with creosote is a good preventive of and remedy for insect pests. Perches for any birds should not be less than two inches wide, and should be rounded so as to enable the fowls to get a comfortable grip. Sufficient perches should be put up so that each bird is allowed a space of eight ftiches: this prevents overcrowding, which is a great mistake, especially for young birds. Perches- should not be up too high., 2,1, feet being quite high' enough for aduli birds. This prevents the birds hurting them- selves by jumping too high. The egg-laying organs are most easily injured by too a jump up, and broken legs-and claws are likely to be the result when springing down too far. A little litter on the floor is very beneficial in enabling the birds to get up in comfort. his also serves the double purpose of making it easier to clear away the droppings. Birds should not be allowed to roost outdoors in es, This may do them little harm in the summer, but when the weather is bad or it begins to turn cold, such birds will qliickly go off laying and get into a poor condition. Domesticated fowls need domesticated treat- ment, and a warm weather-proof house at night is most certainly an important part of this treatment. Wateli the birds carefully for crooked breastbones, and if it is detected the birds should not be allqwed to perch, but be fed well on bone-making foods, leaving out all forcing food from their diet. ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. D. R."—DUCKS DISAPPEARING. You ask vvhaf animals there are that are likely to eat voung ducks, as yours are disappearing as fast as they come to a fair size? Unfortu- nately. ducklings have very many enemies, and, if your house is in a rather wild part or the country, your only plan of protection is to keep the ducklings always in, unless you can be with thein. Weasels, stoats, and rats will all catch ducks and kill them. Yon do not mention if you keep pigs. If you do, they ii z-c, probably responsible for the disappear- s!i!of ,vour ducks. I know an instance where rut of fifty ducklings only fourteen are now l-jit, and it was not till the last ene disap- peared that the real culprit was found.. Then the ducks' owner saw the feet of the last little duck slipping down the pig's mouth ft

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. POULTRY KEEPING. -