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PROFITABLE POULTRY CULTURE. BY RALPH R ALLEN, Lecturer to the Herts County Council; Editor of Monthly Hints on Poultry, &c. (All rights reserved.) A SUCCESSFUL BREEDING-SEASON. INTRODUCTORY. It's been such a bad breeding-season," is a remark one frequently hears, and I am afraid often made use of as a consolation when failure appears. Overbearing this expression so constantly, and feeling absolutely convinced of its fallacious self-deceptive nature, it occurred to me that a treatise thoroughly dissecting and subjecting to critical examination the many details which conjointly make or mar a breeding-season would not only be most acceptable to many, but also assist them to avoid the pitfalls (which otherwise only ex- perience, at a great expense of both money and time, could teach them), and thus eventually abolish, or at all events minimise, the use of this most objectionable and delusive observation. The increased interest in poultry culture has naturally attracted both brains and capital to the industry, causing rapid develop- ment in knowledge, management, stock, and appliances, and my opinion, founded on practical experience, is that by perseverance and an intelligent application of the informa- tion at our disposal, we are in a unique position, almost if not entirely independent of nature. With us, then, is the responsi- bility of success or of failure, and as we willingly accept the pleasures of the former, let us equally be honest and acknowledge our errors w hen the latter obtains. Occasion- ally failure may be caused by circumstances over which we have not control, but in the great majority of cases a careful perusal of the information contained in this treatise, practically carried out with that indomitable energy so essential in poultry-farming, will entire success. < It is not my intention to write a scientific book, nor to give the why and wherefore such works abound. I am simply desirous of placing before you errors, both of com- mission and omission, which militate against success, and details which must receive attention to command success. The suggestions are divided into three parts, the first extending to the time we have obtained our eggs, the second devoted to the incubation stage, and the third to rearing the youngsters. My New Year's wish to you is that my thesis may be of practical assistance, aud that you may enjoy and experience a more successful breeding-season than hitherto. A DEFINITE OBJECT. There are so many different departments in poultry culture that unless one possesses a definite policy and strictly adheres to it, be may be compared to a rudderless ship-he may land safely, but the hw of averages is decidedly against him. Whether exhibition or utility, fattening birds or selling eg-s, or even the day-old chick industry attracts your attention, the determining factor of your enterprise is a successful breeding-season. W* J.I IIWIIIMIIlBIWiWgMMgaWWBM———■El—- The preliminaries to be observed to ensure success, in a greater or lesser degree, vary under each of these headings, and again differ if the objective is two or more in combination consequently I cannot be too authoritative in advising you to map out a course of action, and to strictly adhere to it, opportunities and circumstances permitting. I A WARNING. I Although I lay great stress upon tabulat- ing a definite policy and adhering to same, Jet one of your chief considerations in arriv- ing at it be, What are my capabilities ? This involves questions of experience, finance, acreage of farm, location of same, suitable breeds adapted to your neighbour- hood. a study of local markets and their requirements each and every one of these must be carefully considered before the decision is arri ved at.. SELECTION OF STOCK. Having decided your plan of campaign the selection of breeding stock to suit your requirements becomes the first necessity. The selection may be made from stock you. already possess or acquire by purchase. It is not my province to attempt to influence you to any particular branch of poultry culture, simply to assist you when that determination is made. I am attempting t. cater for all, so that some of my remarks will be general and some apply only to indi- vidual requirements. It is, however, opportune at this stage to mention that, beyond their initial cost, pure- bred birds are no more expensive to breed and rear than mongrels, whilst; the prices realised by the sale of stock and eggs of the former more than remunerate for the extra primary outlay of capital. Their increased prolificacy, if judiciously selected, is also a point worthy of consideration. [ [Any enquiries concerning poultry- keeping addressed to our expert, Ralph R Allen. Savvbridgeworth, Herts., will be answered through these columns free, but those requiring a postal answer direct or sending birds for postmgaem examination must remit a half-crown postal order.]