September 25, 1912
This article is for my cousin Molly Liggin Rankin and her chickens.
KEEP POULTRY HOUSE CLEAN
Given Plenty of Good Food and Well Kept House Hen
Will Solve the Winter Egg Problem
Experience has led me to conclude that cleanliness is a profitable virtue in poultry raising. Give the hen plenty of good food and clean quarters and she will give no occasion for worry over the winter egg problems. We who have followed the chicken business either for pleasure or profit, for pin-money or income, have heard this time-old advice repeated with religious regularity every new moon, writes Dennis H. Stovall of Oregon in the Northwest Farmstead. When we give it heed, we win; when we let it pass, we lose.
Cleanliness in the hen-house and the poultry yard is a very simple thing, for the reason that it depends upon simple things. A few year ago I experimented with fancy roosts, patent drop boards, intricate nest shelves and various other contrivances calculated to make the hen lay and to make chicken raising easy. These have all been discarded. They entailed too much care, and involved far more labor than the simple, common sense methods. I have found nothing better for roosts than those of the sawhorse pattern.
This gives a roost about three feet high and each one long enough to accommodate at least a dozen fowls without crowding. Place side by side, rather than one above the other, they assure perfect cleanliness. They can be easily removed from the house for cleaning and treatment with lime, emulsion or lye. With a smooth board floor this allows a chance for cleaning the hen-house perfectly; and I have found it a good plan to give the house such a cleaning twice a week.
The next boxes are also removable, so as to allow a thorough cleaning and change of straw, the old being burned.
Why Eggs Don’t Hatch
There are two main reasons why eggs do not hatch. One reason is too many hens with one male bird. Another reason, keeping the eggs too long a time before setting them, eggs being too old. The yolk of the egg softens and when they reach that point the egg will not germinate. In sending eggs by express the germ of the egg is started by the heat of being closely packed and kept in hot express cars too long, also by being kept too long in very warm express offices.
Breast is Main Thing
In a market fowl, the breast is the main thing, but in order to obtain a desirable breast it is necessary to have a good body first. So far as actual quality is concerned, the color of the skin is of no importance. But when the market calls for a yellow skin, it is important that only such be served. Poultrymen can neither afford to quarrel with the demand, nor try to reform it.
Killed by Kindness
More brooder chicks are killed by kindness than die of any other complaint. A chick that is a little hungry will take exercise sufficient to keep in good health. Make your ration for chicks about on-third cracked cane seed, and you will not have much bowel trouble, and sprinkle the floor of the brooder with good clean sand every day or two.
Telling Sex of Eggs
There is no possible way of determining sex of eggs. Mapes very truthfully says that tho best way to tell whether an egg contains a rooster or a pullet is to hatch the egg under a hen, and watch the chick for about a year – if it crows it is a rooster; if it lays eggs, it is a pullet.
Getting Most Money
It is not the great number of fowls we raise that brings most money, but the ones we can comfortably care for. It takes food and labor to care for poultry. Twenty hens properly cared for will give better returns than 100 only half fed and poorly housed.