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Ammanford Collier and aI Christmas…

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Our Poultry Column.

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Our Poultry Column. POULTRY POINTS. I Every poultry keeper should keep a set oi ..hooles so as to know how the expenses pan out. In pre-war days, many fanciers looked upon their stock as a means of relaxation from the toil of every-day life, and thus never kept any account of the cost. Where poultry is a hobby, it cannot be followed so closely as when it becomes a man's business; but even then I would suggest that some books be kept, if only an income and expenditure book, so that they can see at a glance what the cost and income has been. According to the rules and regulations laid down in most books on poultry, there ought to be a good profit every year; but having worked at the practical side for years, I know the theory does not always materialise. Every man must be guided by his conditions, for no hard and fast rule will suit all cases. We are all more or less victims of circumstances, and cannot govern the con- ditions about. The only thing is to do the best we can and use a little common-sense in dealing with the stock, because no two places are the safe; and while one situation makes chicken rearing easy, the other, not very far away, renders the work hard and difficult. One way of helping the profits is to clear out all surplus stock, and not keep any which will not prove useful. • All the layers should more than pay for their keep, but any old hens which are not wanted for the breeding pen should be cleared. It is easy to tolerate some old favourites, but if you expect to see a good return, tfien every bird which is useless must go. Even'this is open to explanation. Suppose you have two or three breeding pens, the cockerels may be in the best of health, and apparently yon need not fear fertile eggs; but if these pens are to go on a long time, the cockerel must be changed, or he needs a rest. If you have a spare cockerel, they can be changed, whereas if you have only the one, you will lose the time he is out of the pen. From1 this it can be seen that a policy of economy is to have a spare cockerel in case one goes wrong; but not a lot over, eat- ing food for nothing. Never breed from a cripple or one the least bit deformed, because it will be seen in the progeny. A wry tail and crooked breast will be found hereditary, and no matter how you mate, this will he sure to appear in the chickens. Occasionally a pullet will come with one web foot. Of course, this can be cut at once, but if you can find the parents, you will find a web foot two or three generations back. All who can should now begin to raise some chickens. There are very few people who realise the great shortage of birds in the country, and this must continue unless more people take up the work of breeding. One i may look just round where they live, and think that poultry is as plentiful as ever; but when the whole country is taken into con- sideration, it can be seen that the stocks have got very low. Of course, one can easily see that the number of eggs produced may be larger from the less number of birds, simply because they lay more, hence of a better strain thus a better return at less cost. All this is good and should be further extended, for if only we could raise more stock of a more prolific strain, there would soon be some hope of keeping the egg trade out of the foreigners' hands. The town Mweller seeing the eggs in the shop window, or eating them in a restaurant, does not realise that they all come from abroad. New-laids do get on the market; but when something cheap is desired, then it is the foreigner comes in not only in. eggs, but in nearly all other things. One great reason why poultry has been dropped is that foodstuffs had become dear, and even then difficult to get. But much of this has changed, and now foodstuffs can be procured in fairly large quantities, although not so good as we would like it. The ships taking men back to the Colonies are bringing back all sorts of food, which comes in for both man and beast. There is a large supply ot wheat'coming along, much of which is being ground into flour; but this gives us some offals which are needed for stock. It has been sug- gested that the home corn stacks should be left, but this will not last for ever, and then once get next harvest over, there should be a good supply for all. t

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