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FROM THE FOWL RUN. j

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FROM THE FOWL RUN. BY "ROOSTER." At this time of the year there is nothing more import- ant than proper attention to the breeding pen. So many- folk get an idea that if the birds are mated and then fed, that is enough and that plenty of good eggs result. Infertile eggs and weak germs are often put down to the ordinary run of things, but I am convinced that more than half of the weak germs come from lack of at- tention to the breeding pen. It is very necessary that the birds should have food and have as much as they need, but this is not enough, because they require grit to masticate the corn and fresh water to aid digestion. There is a lot of trouble among fowls with indigestion, and yet few breeders know how to treat it or what to do. Much of this could be avoided if only a little charcoal was given in the soft food, for this will help digestion and cleanse the ,tomach of all putrid matter which fol- lows indigestion. Give an ounce to every six birds every other morning and then occasionally to keep the birds fit. There is nothing to be gained by the use of condi- ments for the general stock, because if the birds are in good health they will not want such tuff, and though it, may force a few extra eggs this is alright for the lay- ing hens, but bad for the breeding stock. At the same time, there is no reason why all fowls should not have some- tonic now. During this cold rough weather when the birds have had to be kept in, some may begin to look seedy and this tonic will just put new life into them, A tonic wants to be stimulating to all the or- gans and something which will tend to purify the blood. Take some warmlngsuhstance like ground ginger, a butter product like Gretian, a tonic like carbonite of iron, and then something like aniseed to give it a flav- our; mix equal parts and then give a teaspoonful to every six birds, in the soft food after having given a very spare meal the night before. ) One of the most necessary things now, is to find en- ough green food. To ensure good health the birds re- quire some every day, if only a little and this is difficult to get. The greens keep the blood cool and the sys- tem in proper working order, and is the best egg pro- duced which can be found. With so much frost about there is not much green food in the garden, but any odd chippings should be boiled and used in the soft'food. Grass is fa,r too dry and tough, and there will not be any fresh shoots for some weeks yet. One very good sub- stitute is mangold wurzel which is only one form of beet according to the seedsman. This is a verv succulent food and contains a good deal of sugar, hence is part food though not of a fattening nature. When de- sired it can be boiled and mashed up with the soft food though they are usually split in halves and then put down in the run for the birds to peck at. The great idea of clover meal is that it shall take the form of green food. This cau be had in various forms both fine and course, the fine being almost a powder and contains some small portion of seed, while there is also the head or flower just as if pulled when in full bloom and then dried, and other like a very course chaff. For young stock, the fine is much the best, but. either sort must be scalded before use, which is best done at night and then covered over till the morning when the stalks will have become soaked and soft enough for mixing in with the other meals. :¡, Another way of giving green food and providing a meai a.t, the Mme time is by sprouting oats and then giving both grain and green together. The method is to put some oats in a box, not more than an inch deep all over, stand this in a very warm place and keep well soaked with warm water. If the place is hot enough they will sprout in a few days, and then when the green is about an inch and half long, the whole can be taken out of the box and cut up for the birds. They will eat both the green and the grain, so that it acts as food and as food and green stuff. This plan was adopted a good deal a few years back, but has been propped lately, but still it is a good idea and can be used to great advantage to the birds. >;■■ Although the raising of chicken- is net a labourious undertaking still it must be continuous if success is to follow the work. There is some difference between one coop in the back yard and a score out in the field. One can attend to a few at the back door like this and not notice how much work it entails, but when it comes to having a score of coops all to feed and water besides keep clean, then it will he realised "what trouble there is to keep things right. Chicken rearing is the most im- portant branch of poultry keeping because when anyone can hatch and rear chickens, they should be able to make a success of the industry. If you can hatch a thousand and raise these with a score only of casualties, then) ou can reckon you know something of this part of the work, and yet this has been done and will be done again. Of course vermin will kill off a whole batch during the night, but this cannot be laid to the fault of the rearer, for though it may have been carelesisness on someone's part it does not affect the feeding and general management. I have known the amount of chickens raised all with hens, and though some find, this method successful, there are others who will swear by the Foster Mother as being the ideal method of rear- ing. Xo one can raise the greater percentage of hatchings unless the chicks come from a vigorous breeding pen, and this should be the aim of all breeders. Using a cockerel, which is immature, or weakly, is the fault of many bad eggs, and then forcing the hens to lay is a serious drawback, because it unduly excites the egg or- gans and is the forerunner of weak chicks. If the egg were infertile it would not matter, for, then, there need be no time wasted over it, but, as a rule, there is a germ in the egg, though not strong enough to result in a healthy chicken. V Still, we take it for granted that you have some good healthy chickens out, and that now you want to raise them. Never be afraid to leave the youngsters on the nest for 40 or 48 hours, because they must be properlv nested before they can feed, hut. if you expect this in a shorter time, the youngster is not iiungrv. and then it becomes chilled before it realises what you want it to do. The yolk of the egg is the first food, and this will last for quite two days, so that till after this you can- not expect them to eat. For the first meal give a good brand of "dry chick" food, which is a combination of small seeds and cracked wheat, and this will be variety enough for some days. This being all hard corn, the chicks should have some fine flint grit put down with the first feed, and, also, see that water is kept handv. Those little mites will not eat or drink very much, but still it must be supplied regularly, and not too much gi\ i at each time of feeding. Now there are many br.ters who like to keep the corn in is-mall troughs always before them, and then give the chicks a drink of water morning and night, but I prefer to let them have only a little fowl at each time and feed more of- ten, for then you see the youngsters and know how they are getting on. The best method for artificial working is to have the foster mother ready and up to 90 degrees, at which heat it should be kept for three days, and then gradually re- duce it by at least five degrees at the end of the first week. Keep plenty of clean chaff on the floor of the mother, because this will help to keep them warm, and, also, assist them in getting about if they are at all weakly on the legs. In the matter of food, they must have the same treatment as with the hen, but more can be attended at less trouble. While not making the heat in the chamber too hot, mind it is well up to the re- gulation heat, otherwise the youngsters crowd together for warmth, -and then there is over-crowding or crushing when the weak ones go to the wall. As most small men will be rearing with the hen, let me say always use a. coop on the floor. If moveable, so much the better, hecause then it can be kept clean and always dry. On the bottom put some short chaff, and, when the chicks are properly nested, put them in the coop with the hen. If a good mother, she will settle down at once, and then just with the hand brush away some of the chaff in front of her and put down a little food. Keep talking to the hen, because', though they seem stupid things, they understand you, and, when she finds you have something for the chicks, she will call them out. Half of the trouble in chicken-rearing comes from the fact that the hen and the feeder have never been on good terms.

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Weil-Known Conductor. j

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