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TTMIW**«nyTgg^y» J^UUIlJga JMiUEM I'JI *1' I'i "M FHM ——W PROFITABLE POULTRY CULTURE. By RALPH R ALLEN. Lecturer to the Herts Couuty Council Editor of Monthly Hints on Poultry, &c. (All rights reserved.) A SUCCESSFUL BREEDING SEASON. (CONTINUED.) [Readers are particularly requested, to note that this series of articles commenced with the first issue in January. In order to obtain their full value, the earlier articles should be read in conjunction with the current one.] LOSS OF WEIGHT OF EGGS DURING NATURAL INCUBATION (continued). it is unnecessary to describe in detail the stages in the development of a chick. The chick, however, absorbs oxygen, and moisture and certain gases are thrown off through the shell. Under normal conditions the total amount of moisture and gasses which have been thrown off at any particular time corresponds to that particular stage in the development of the chick, or, in otffer words, when the egg is incubated under perfectly normal conditions the total loss in the weight of the egg corresponds, within certain limits, to the stage of development of the em bryo. If the operator of an incubator knows how much a certain number of eggs have lost in weight since the beginning of the incu- bating period, and compares this loss with the normal loss of the same number of eggs for the same length of time, he will know definitely whether the eggs have decreased properly in weight. If they have lost too much, provided, of course, that the tem- perature has been normal, they are drying up too rapidly, and either more moisture should be supplied or the amount of ventila- should be reduced but iu reducing the circulation of air through the incubating chamber it must be remembered that pure air surrounding the eggs is just as important as a proper temperature. On the other hand, if the eggs are not losing weight as rapidly as they should they are either kept too moist or they are not receiving the proper amount of ventilation, or perhaps they may be kept too moist and insufficiently ventilated also. The object of this bulletin is to furnish sufficient dat& to enable the operators of incubators to exercie a more intelligent supervision over the operating of their machines. A number of experiments have been performed to determine the normal loss in the weight of eggs during the incubation, and for this purpose the natural method of batching has been employed. Eggs have been weighed, placed under broody hens in locations suitable for a perfect hatch, re- weighed on a chemical balance at suitable intervals, and loss determined." As a result of the studies retailed in bulletin N. 73, directions were issued cover- ing the practical points involved, and these directions are reproduced herewith. "I DIRECTIONS FOR WEIGHING THE I EGGS. I I After rearing the eggs upon the trays ready f he incubator, set the trays upon a pa i r of i-dtas reading to ounces, and note tlx- toiai weight of the eggs and trays. (The traYA- should be thoroughly dry.) After a few days weigh again. Subtract this from the first weight. This will give the actual loss in weight of the eggs. AN EXAMPLE. I Suppose that you have 208 eggs on the trays;: that the first weight with trays is 211b. 2()z. and that on the sixth day the weight is ^Blb. 6oz. Then the loss in weight is 12oz. Now look in the table for the loss in weight of 100 eggs for six days. This is ] (),)z. lOoz. mnltiplied by 2.08 gives 20 8 >z. which is the calculated loss of 208 eggs for s ix days. Therefore the eggs have not been losing weight as rapidly as they should and the eggs should be given more ventilation or the incubator should be removed to a dryer location. (It is assumed that the eggs are kept uniformly at the proper temperature.) After the eggs have been tested for the infertile ones, weigh again and proceed as before. I TWO RULES. I If the eggs have lost too much weight give more moisture or less ventilation; but in reducing ventilation great care must be used, as pure air in the egg-chambers is absolutely necessary. If the eggs have not lost enough weight, open the ventilators or place the incubator in. a dryer place. TABLE SHOWING NORMAL Loss IN WEIGHT OF 100 I EGOS IN OUNCES FOR THE FIRST NINETEEN DAYS I OF INCUBATION. Loss in Weight. Day. Ounces. I 1.65 2 3.31 3 4.96 4 6.62 5 8.28 6 10.00 7 11.72 8 13.44 9 15.16 10 .1688 11 .1860 12 20.33 13 2210 14 23 88 15 2566 16 27.44 17 29.21 18 30.99 19 32.77 (To be continued.) [Any enquiries concerning poultry- keeping addressed to our expert, Ralph R Allen, Sawbridgeworth, Herts., will be answered through these columns free, but those requiring a postal answer direct or sending birds for post-mortem examination must remit a half-crown postal order.]