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The Coalition and j Labour…

My Monologue.-I

IOur Poultry Column. I


Our Poultry Column. I There is no breed which attracts more attention on a grass run than these Reds, and yet probably no variety which causes more disappointments. Fortunately, the past two years have seen a great improvement in the bleeding, and one can reasonably hope for something good if the bood is good and the mating correct. But it is not the breed for a novice, because, when he has a fairly good- looking pen, they will throw such a lot of wasters that he is disappointed, and thinks he has been taken in by the breeder. When the pen is good, they certainly look well, and will catch the eye at once of any visitor; and the face and comb is all in keeping, while the yellow -leg matches much better than if white. Unfortunately, for genearl utility, the leg colour and skin being yellow, is against them for table, because the English folk will have a white leg and skin. Much of this pre- judice is being overcome, and the leg and skin is not such a detriment as a few years back. The Americans look upon the Rhode Island Reds as being the best for killiag, and con- sider they are fit for use at any age; when only eight weeks old as milk chickens, or at twelve to sixteen weeks for broilers, and up to six months for a roast. Of course, the food and feeding has much to do with this, and if size is needed, then only the best should be used, otherwise you cannot get the weight; so that the present-day rations are not of much good for this purpose. If care is used in mat ing, all the points can be included, a-d so while helping to produce a good table fowl, you can raise a laying bird, and yet have something worth looking at. The exhibition type of Rhode Island Red must be long in back and good depth cf breast, and yet be an active bird, free crom any Orpington feathering. Now these pr> uts are just what is wanted for the table bird, hence the two points go together. An ideal Red will have a neat comb, free from coarse I flesh on the face, with a neat sharp head and bright eye, and each of these points will be found in the best layers. There is only one other point, and that is colour, so that if care is used there is no reason why good stuffs for ail purposes should not be bred from the one pen. The colour most desired is a rich chest- nut red, even all over, with the fluff or under feather being the same shade running right down to the skin. Of course, such a one is ideal, and very few can reach this mark yet when mating up for breeding, always aim high enough and keep the ideal in mind. So many of the pullets run black or white in under colour, and though the top may be red, such birds will net breed anything of much good. The cocks may be sound underneath, and as far as you can, let the breast of the cock match the body colour of the hens; then you may hope to breed some useful coloured ones besides good layers. There is a false idea abroad that if you get a dark cock and light hens, you can produce chickens between the two in colour, and thus get near the mark for the show pen. But most of the light pullets will shew white underneath, and pro- bably in the wing, and the dark cockerel will be black under colour. Now, such a mating must end in failure, being contrary to all rules in theory and practice. Nearly all the pullets will come patchy between a red and grizzled co louring, and the cockerels will be mixed black and white in wing and under colour. You can never hope for anything by the using of the two extremes. Sometimes you can get a useful looking pullet from a poor lot ef hens, but such a bird could not breed anything good, but will produce like her parents. Red breeding is not work for the novice, because he meets with so much disappointment, for howover good the one, he is sure to breed some which are not up to h.s ideal. This leads to the fancy being classed as bad, whereas it is only what the ordinary breeder expects. If you can get some poor stock from a thoroughly reliable blood, this will produce better birds than if nice looking stuff is selected from a mixed-up yard. The Red is a very fascinating fowl, I and leaves much room for experiments in breeding both for. colour and shape.




The Army of the Future.I