[By Minorca.] Contributions and questions for answering should be addressed to "Minorca," Poultry Editor, 'Star' Office, and received not later titan Tuesday of each week. "Minorca" will only answer communications through this column. —To Correspondents.— ] "Leghorn."—Barley is not a tip-top feed for poultry unless soaked, but at present, when wheat is hard to secure even at 6s a bushel, it might be used to advantage. The best plan is to pour boiling water on it. and let it stand for a few hours until it swells. Rice meal mixed with soft food is good if you use plenty bran with it, and also give a little meat. "Mr J. Adamson reports excellent results from his incubators this season. The last few batches have averaged 90 per cent., a splendid testimonial for the maker of the incubators and a compliment to the ixrson in charge. A number of canary breeders are complaining of loss of their hens through the birds becoming egg bound. Mr W. M'Knighi informs me that the. addition of a few drops of treacle to the drinking water will prevent any trouble. Moulting.—There is "one special time of crisis in "every season when nil birds should be carefully watched, and need special care and attention. The process of moulting, though a natural and usually a healthy one, is in any case a severe drain upon the system. Before the moult comes on (here "it w usually from December to March) the general condition of the stock should be ascertained. The fowls that get through the moult best are the ones which are just a little spare in body at the commencement, so that they may bear a little extra diet and slight gradual increase in weight during the process. This should not, however, be begun till new feathers have actually started. While casting feathers a fowl usually has little appetite, and should not be forced at all. And too poor condition is had for them, though overfat is still worse. Care should be taken in mixing the food, and the system should he kept cool by giving plenty of given food, a» this helps to assimilate the other food. A pinch of sulphur fov each bird should be mixed with the soft food every second day, or even every day, if tho 'feathers are" shooting fast. "Meat in some form should be given every second day, unless the birds have their freedom, and are able to secure worms and grubs. Iron is a valuable tonic to poultry, but during the moult it is of special value. The cheapest and most convenient form is the Douglas mixture. Chemical food is another form in which it may be given, but it is rather expensive for breeders on a large scale. Lice and red mite must be care f idly guarded against during the moult. * If lice are prevalent the young feathers do not get a chance. The reel mites cause a loi of irritation and drain the bird of valuable blood when in a weakened Mate. Examine carefully under loose boards for signs of red mite, and if you find the slightest sign, get to work at onco with kerosene and other disinfectants.
Butcher.-.' meat is rising in price, and breeders should rear a few birds suitable for the table to help out the butcher's bill. Wyandottes make 'fine table birds, and if crossed with Game do even better.
A correspondent, asks if an Orpington is a heavy breed. Most breeders now would say it* was, but really it belongs to tho general-purpose fowl, the same as all breeds of Wyandotte*. The true heavy breeds arc Dorkings, Brahmas, Cochins, Langshans, etc. Care should be taken to provide shelter for chicks against the strong winds, particularly cold winds. Chicks can stand tho cold, but being exposed to cold winds soon plays them out. Chicks arc fond of sunshine, but provision must be made for shelter from the sun on very hot days. Never leave the drinking water in the sun. Sun-heated water is very bad for poultry of any sort, but it soon causes death in chickens. Miss R. Dixon's Black Orpingtons still hold the lead in the Christchurch laying competitions. The other Black Orpingtons are also well up. " Hardshell," an Australian poultry scj-ibe. recommends the following as a good chicken food:—Wheat in proportion, 1; pulled oats, i ; peas, 4; _ maize, $ ; to which a small amount of shell grit is added. Meat and charcoal-should be supplied separately. Should any of the chicks go in the leg's, add a small amount of crushed bone to the mixture.
The New Zealand Utility Poultry Club's tenth egg-laying competition—April 8, 1914, to March 31. 1915. six hens to u pen—completed its thirty-tirst week on November 10 as follows:
Light breeds: 1. A. W. Adams (Sheffield). W.L. ... 882 2. Heretaunga P.C. (Silverstream), W.L 879 3. Calder Bros. (Onmarn), W.L. ... 868 4. D. Y. Gibson (Herbert). W.L. ... 865 5. R. A. Lazarus (Hutt), W.L. ... 864 6. 15. P. L. Clayton (Ekctahuna) ... 856 7. J. W. Green (St, Albans). W.L. ... 855 Heavy breeds : 1.-Miss" Rita Xixon. 15.0 900 2. R. Mincer (Hutt), 8.0 803 3. W. E. Green (St. Albans), 5.W.... 760 Indian Runner ducks : 1. Heretaunga P.C. (Silverstream) ... 837 2. Glencoe Ranch (Karori) 833
The 42 pens in the light breeds (252 birds) have laid in the 30 weeks a total of 32,481 eggs; the 18 pens of heavy breeds (108 birds) have laid 12,156 eggs; and the Indian Runners (six pens, 36 birds) havelaid 4,478 eggs.
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POULTRY NOTES, Evening Star, Issue 15656, 21 November 1914
POULTRY NOTES Evening Star, Issue 15656, 21 November 1914
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