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GYCLECAR AND MOTOR CYCLE NOTES.

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I PROFITABLE POULTRY CULTURE.

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I PROFITABLE POULTRY CULTURE. By RALPH R ALLEN, Lecturer to the Herts County Council; Editor of Monthly Hints on Poultry, Ac. (All rights reserved.) I A SUCCESSFUL BREEDING SEASON. (CONTINUED.) I [Readers are particularly requested to note that this series of articles commenced with the first issue in January. In order to obtain their full valuq, the earlier articles should be read in conjunction with the current one.] We have now arrived at a stage when our young chicks are hatched either by the nat- ural manner under hens or by artificial methods. A warning note has already been sounded not to interfere with either the machine or the hen during the twenty-first day; it is their privilege to hatch out the eRgs, and they will do it far better without interference on the part of the operator or attendant. The last thing the embryo chick performs before leaving the shell is to absorb the balance of the yolk of the egg. This is a special provision of nature and is for the bird's sustenance during its first hours in its new sphere. Scientists disagree as to how long its natural feed will last, but all are agreed that it is ample for the first thirty-six hours, though some aver that it will last them for for seventy-two hours and that feeding before the expiration of that period is not only unnecessary but absolutely harmful. My own practice is to feed at the end of thirty-six hours; should that time expire at dark, then forty-eight hours would elapse before they were fed. Warmth is what they require during the first day or two food is positively harmful; it causees indigestion with its sequence, diarrhoea a condition in young chicks from which they rarely re- cover. During this period it is not necessary to remove the little horny growth on the beak this will disappear during the course of a few days. Neither is it necessary to force a pepercorn down their throat; fortunately, this custom is dying a rapid death, and bids fair in a short time to become obsolete. Remember also that young chicks can learn to drink without their beaks being forced into a saucer of milk or water. The less handling you give them the better they will thrive. Again I repeat it, remember the first couple of days of their existence warmth is essential to their well being, so that the hea should be confined in a roomy, warm coop, and the incubator should be adj usted to a convenient temperature. In the early season this should be at least 85deg., though as the warmer weather comes on it may be lessened. Every poultry-keeper has his own pet theory regarding the feeding of young chicks. Some are keen advocates of the dry feed system entirely others oppose this system, and go to the other extreme; but in my own opinion, a midium course is the better one. Certain it is that a high quality dry chick feed, providing a constant supply of flint grit is given, is more easily digested and less liable to cause bowel trouble during the first week of the chicks' existence. My own rule, however, is to feed almost entirely on a high-class dry chick feed during the first few days. Here you must learn a new rule; the secret of success in chicken raising is to feed a little at a timp, but often never allow them to eat to repletion excepting at the last meal before bed-time. A word of warning may here with advan- tage be given regarding the dry chick feed. A mere mixture of seeds does not meet a chicken's requirements. The manufacture of a dry chick feed is absolutely the labour of an expert, one who has devoted many years to accrueing experience in chicken- feeding. It must be composed of sound ingredients, scientifically blended and in the right proportions. Just a mere mixture does not in any sense answer the require- ments. Such a feed as I have referred to is Spratt's Chikko," whicb fdn be obtained in shilling sealed bags in aim ^6 every village throughout the United Kingdom, or in tcwt. or cwt. bags, direct from the manufacturers (vide their advertisement in this column). Avoid cheap and nasty preparations. A little and often I have remarked, during the first week of their existence—every two hours is not too frequent; do not forget that sharp flint grit must always be present, as well as a supply of pure drinking water. This can with advantage be changed two or three times a day. (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.]

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