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Our Poultry Column.


Our Poultry Column. POULTRY IN THE YARD. With such weather as we have experi- enced lately, the lot of the poultry man has not been a very happy one. Most people think poultry farming a fine occupation when the sun shines both sides of the hedge, yet fight shy of any such work when the wind blows cold and the rain is falling. It is during the worst weather that birds need attention, and this brings out the ability of the owner. Those who want eggs during the winter must be prepared to give the necessary attention both in comfort and food, otherwise there cannot be much success. One of the first things is to see that the inside of the house is free from damp, but this cannot be with a leaky roof. So many people advise letting the house stand on the ground so that it saves a floor, but unless it is a very porous soil, the wet must come through the ground and strike t h roj, up into the side;, and, of course, damp any litter which may be put inside. Even this does rot ensure a dry floor, and un less the earth taken eut and some clinker put in and finer stuff on top, there must be some mois- ture forcing its way up into the house. All things considered, there is nothing better than a boarded floor raised a few inches from the ground, so that the air can get under, and also vermin cannot find a resting place there. It is not always easy to keep out the rain, but with a slanting roof there is a much better chance, for the water will not then force its way through so easMyr There is nothing more certain than sheet iron, but that just now is out of the question, and there is a shortage of felt; so that some other substitute must be found. To. cover the boards with gas tar will keep out a good deal, but this will not fill up any cracks alone, so that something I else must be done. Tar has been largely used in munitions lately, so that this has been short, but now with less demand there should soon be plenty on the market. A good roof can be made by tacking over the boards some coarse sacking, and then tarring this over. The canvas must be pulled tight, and in any bad place or wide cracks put another piece under- neath, and then cover with tar. It may not be pleasant to use, but is very wholesome, and will keep away vermin from the roof. The best way is to boil the tar, which can be done in the bucket, but must not be too full, for fear of boiling over. A few bricks in the garden will soon make a fireplace, and then there is no smell or danger in the house. While it is bolting. put some on the canvas; I it will work easier than if cold, and it scon runs into ail the cracks and fills them up. On new work like this the tarring should be I done twice, then spri.kie -a little sand over the top, which will help it dry and settle in place. Of course, a dry day must be selected, but cf these there have been but few lately; still, prepare, so as to move as soor. as possible. Once having got your roof safe, you may expect a dry floor, so that the littel can be easily moved by the stock. It will be useless to throw down corn upon mud oi manure, and think the birds will scratch about; and yet this is what happens when the roof is bad. For the floor there is nothing better than sand and chaff but while there is sand about you must not use chaff, by order of thf Food Controller. Those out in the country might be able to get some dried leaves, and these with sand will answer well. If unab).. to get either, try peat moss, and this, if kepi dry and put down thick, will last for some months; hence, though costly to buy, will not prove expensive in the long run. The peat is clean and healthy, because it absorbs all the moisture from the droppings, and when forked over again it becomes clean and sweet. It is quite ttme now to have the breeding pens all ready, but you cannot make much headway till the houses are "finished. One can easily lay down rules as to how man) birds shall form a pen, the usual being six to eight of the heavy breeds, and eight to twelve of the light breeds; but much of this must depend upon the condition of the cocks and the age. No bird should be used under ten months, and a cock about eighteen months ok' will be best with hens of two years.


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