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The Diary of a Small-holder,…

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The Diary of a Small- holder, 1(),¡el. (By "LEO.") Monday, 28th .J a n.- Was informed this morning that the 600-egg incuba- tor ordered on Dec. 28 and despatched on Dec. 29 had at last reached local station, hut as it was so heavy was told I might have to vait a few days for delivery, labour being so scarce. C.R. (i.e., close relative) called at a. village grocer's to-day for 2s. worth of sharps, as expected nsignment had not arrived. Was surprised to find that he only received 7Iks. for tho money, which works out .at 32s. per cwt. Called at grocer's to tell him what I thought of him, hut was met with the excuse that tho meal sold was "feeding meal" and not sharps. Asked for the price of sharps .and was told that small quantites were supplied at 41bs. for Is. Called grocer's atten- tion to miller's controlled price and de- manded to soo invoice, which showed that price ex-mill was VIs. 2-:1. per cwt. carriage 6d., making 14s. Sd. And the selling price of 41bs. for Is. works out at 28s. per cwt., giving the grocer nearly 100 per cent, profit! This ex- plains why eggs are 4d. each in Feb- ruary. Tuesday, up seedman's catalogn, tv-day for particu- lars of Giant Sunflovoor seeds. Rallo de- cided to send for lIb. of thf<s:J to plant next month in a box i:i greenhouse, so as to get seedlings to transplant out- l side in Aiay..buniiower seeds make splendid food for ail classes of stock, and cannot be beaten for poultry dur- ing moulting lima as they (,OllÜlElh(; oiinecc?aryfur?liC i.iak:n?of new feathers. A bushel of seed? yields a j gallon of oil. As I intend getting a hive or two of bees in the spring, the sunflowers will most useful as they arc splendid honey providers. Went with a friend this evening to see a well-known singer who prides himself as a lover of bees. Had instruction in I tho making of hives, but quite failed 1 to grasp all the information am won- dering whose fault it is—mine or the teacher's. Was told that pear trees ■ belonging to a friend had repeatedly j failed to fruit until he made sevei-al long vertical cuts in the bark of trunk. My own trees have been similarly treated and are now bearing well. i-' tl?--e 1),i- k What is assumed is that th bark is too tight to allow the sap to mou:? and the cutting, which should be douo now, slackens it. Apple trec-s, like- wise, are often improved by this simple ii-c ofteii i-,up r??)N-ed !)NI this Wednesday, 30th Jan.—Was thun- derstruck this morning by seeing a Board of Agriculture notice in papers stating that owing to absence of food.. poultry were to be reduced to one- j twentieth the pre-war number, and the remainder would have to be fed on roots, fodder crops, and grass. It; is a pity that we were not told of this earlier. Thousands of people up and 1 :=: ,I down the country have reared their doaen pullets at a «:t of nothing less. than 12s. 6u. per h-ad, and have so far received no rotor; Owing to the poo i' q1\ ot poultry mixtures and oifals light breeJ, hke L -gborns and Ancon.-t?? only jit at- beginning to Lv md iv:tl thi?ir cost if allowed to be kept until next Sept. These, to be killed now, will be a dead loss, as the laying strain of Leghorns weighs but Slbs. and consequently would be of little use for table. Ono wonder-j where eggs for invalids and hospitals will come from with depleted stocks of poultry in the country. Thursday, 31st Jan.—Incubator ar- j rived at last, but as anticipated, was badly damaged on rail. Three panes of j glass were broken, -and the copper j water-tank cracked in several places. No wonder it was cracked though it had been fa. the army! It bore a label which when rever ed showed the magic letters O.H.M..S., and bore evidence that iL had been an inmate of a camp in the south for time. Wrote to vendor giving particulars of damage and asking him to claim froriy railway company. It will take some \ime to repair, consequently 1 shall be unable to use it for heavy breeds. C.R. has decided to plough about hoit'-aii-aero of field house immediately so- to ma ke -ore of sufficient roots for stock. Potatoes are excellent for pigs, and will help to provide a starch for poultry. In the latter case they must of course, be given in modem- • tion, as they are so fattening. Friday, 1st Feb..—-As predicted last- week lli, Leghorns have commenced -Cil(, first egg this morning. tbiee this breed starts there is no looking back. Charcoal is a won- derful corrective in toe case of fowls and dueks. L make my own generally, .and this is the method I adopted to- disli, which erstwhile nod for roasting meat, now of course, discarded—a relic of former days, i half-filled it with dry sticks cut .-lightly shorter than the length of the dish. Old bean sticks are admirable for the purpose. I next covered the. whole ,:of these with dry river s,lnJ fdry soil will do) and placed the dish, on the top of a bright fire for helf-an-hour. After allowing the whole to (:1 I removed the charcoal and ground it, up into pieces as big as peas. This, fed in boxes to the fowls, greedily eaten and is splendid to keep them in health, especially dur- ing th.V sea.vui. Chicks also should re- ceive. it in their mash. Saturo y, !Fd !h.rurne<1 out wet to-dav. and I had intended making n. new shed for daoks. Started early in spite f, >.<: k a oher ao i am afraid (t\!('1. ?\U c.tr. '?e?-e laying ?a.ny day now, 'i (i:¡L;;l' J'liI;1"3:: l': t;; t? ch?ek th'-m. However, as I intend irapnc'tirg Lhem this season I ?pitched in." My nhod is to measure 8ft. by eft. and vd-1 o-onta.;n 1<> compartments in which ?-? duc k s \vi!? be se p arately ;'confined at night. E1h d?ck has its own -coloured leg-band, and, a record of eggs laid by each bird for the season w'11 kept. Only those ducks which will a of eggs will he retain- to breed from next season. This method is the only one which will improve a ra of Layers. Had somo trouble 'bis afteruo-on to carry the ii-.i-rnaiieii.L quarters. Obtained the help of three friends, as th" r.pm-.i .i tils weighed nearly 4 cwts, v :s a yard and ovef three yards Ion. r,vedod at last, but- had to remove a -is we could not' 'any it a und corners. Sunday 3rd Feb.—Inspection day once more. I spend a lot of time on Sunday a: rnhigs admiring the ponl- ■ try, and noting the improvement in their a-; pea ranee. ■My wvandottes are a pici/irc just now, but am afraid ) shall hare to sell four and a cockerel owing to sea-city of food, and adso to [ the proha-e drop in orders for day- | old c'.ueVs a. a result of the recent u r- Buff Orpingtons, and thro Lcgliorns will have to will leave irf, with one pen o. —v-ndottes, i.e., five pullets I and a coeV rel. a pen of Leghorns num- herin" s hens and a cockerel, and a <■ r ? fm.s on free range. Whai- over 1: s I shall not dispose (j. my duck-. if i 5;11,1.11 have to feed the;-? •> re.rn.i rs and Lfishmcah If anv aeadar sosne fertile ducks' eggs to ■ disr.eso at ward to tho off*r*f> of the "Lira- ng particulars and price vreiilu a Onion s"1 >: T"h-nt- eel a aa > ago in boxes placed in fd a^naee are crowing well. Shall have I to pr-»art.re reds for the y«una:- p-hvn.;s soon. J]^dfords £ iire Cha-mpion is a :rite of Kiine. Jamiar- )1" ->;ono J.d my -pruning i$»ot finished h' '?.-t-. SI?I have to h:?' up 1. }, i: -LEO.

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