ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. ••J.C.," X.E. Valley.—Tho bird was quite -v.'od to eat. although the liver was affected. Soft food is a fine thing for chicks, and they will grow better than if fed on hard food only: but more care has to be. taken with "soft food. If a little dry food is left over it does no harm. but if soft fo- d is left it becomes sour, and ranges bowel troubh 1 . ••W.W.." Waveriry. —Your birds, boiiiij brothers and sisters, you could not breed with there, for any time without 1« ss of stamina. The first year would be all right, but after that trouble would be sure to follow. The best plan for you would be to secure a cockerel from Mr Nixon only slightly related, or from Mrs Stark, of liellekr.owes. who has Nixon's strain. Having secured a fresh bird, you mate it- with your own. and the next year mate it to its own chicks, and the best cockerel mate back to the mothers. These birds can then be bred together a.gain. By breeding the birds out you still keep the same, blood .and retain all their good features.
Mr Chogwin, tho well-known rose-comb bantam breeder of Christchureh. is paying a, visit to Dunediu at present, and is having a k-i>k around the local fanciers' yards. He informs me thai, he lias about 50 rose-comb bantam chicks, also some white Leghorn bantams. Are Your Hens Laying ?—At- this time of the year you want your birds to lay. a.s eggs ni'f rising in prh-e and wheat is at a very high price. Some people are getting very few eggs and others none, atall. This may be accounted for in several ways. The ground has probably been used all the spring, and has become stale. If possible the birds should be given a fresh run, and the old rim be planted in grass to renew it for next season. Perhaps the birds are being fed on the. same diet week after week. Give them a change, adding some peas to the dry food, and air-o give a- little meat and plenty of green food. Your birds may be too fat. Catch a few and examine them. If too fat. add a packet of Epsom suits to tho soft food of every 20 birds twice, a week. This also helps to stimulate- the liver and put the bird in good trim. Otago readers will be pleaded to see Mrs Mills's birds are doing so well at the Christchureh laying competition. Nixon's Black Orpingtons have, done remarkably well in beating all the Leghorns so far. It looks a,s if the Leghorns would head tho list shortly, but you cannot, be certain until the numbers go up. The show room is a, good education for tho beginner. There he will learn all about the variety he is keeping, ami get to know what the judges want. While"it- is true that judges differ, yet there are the undisputed points that the beginner wants to know about. Xow is the time to ex-o-Tnine vo-ar birAs caretulW, and select tVio , best specimens; they will want caro and attention to bring them out at their best lin timo for the show. If you want, to win it is t.o good penning a bird a week before the chow : it wants c*are and attention from now on to make it look its best.
I hope the Fanciers' Club thLs year will have classes for utility breeders. There are now more utility breeders in Ota go than there are fanciers. They wish to get good prices for eggs a.nd stock, and there is no doubt the utility breeders who can win in the utility elaes will find a big demand for their stock. There are hundreds of breeders who like a good layer and at the same time want a good-looking bird. There is no reason why a good show bird should not be a good layer. It. was tho judges selecting bird* of abnormal tize and birds with abnormal combs, etc., that spoilt the laying qualities of the show birds. Judges now seem, more inclined to favor the medium-sized birds among the light breeds, which is a step in the right direction.
E;l's are now Is 4J t er dozen, and as a number of birds are going into the. moult prices, are likely to rise. Large quantities of eggs have h<.'en preserved, and, of court"', this, will help to keep down the price of the. new-laid ones; but there are always buyers for the new-laid ones. As' the" weather is uniting warmer a good lookout should be kept for lice and red mites. The latter drain the life from the birds, and keep them in poor condition. Lift your perches and examine every crack, and under every loose board. You will he surprised to see how many will congregate under a 100-, c board. —Fond Values of Animal Food.— Green Cut Bone.—Analvsis : Albuminoids 20.2. fats and oils 26.1, salts and minerals 24.0. Without doubt this is one of the finest egg-producing foods in tho animal world. " I'lie bones should bo fresh from the butcher, and bo ground up in a bone-cutter. Shoulder-blade bones are deficient in nutriment, tho marrow bones being the best. Horseflesh. Analvsis: Albuminoids 21.7. fats 2.6. salts 1A This will be seen to be a very useful food for fowls when obtainal.de. Lean Be.-f.--.Analvsis : Albuminoids 20.5. fats 5.5. salts 1.6. This is, of course, splendid food for eggs; but generally, except in the case of special prize birds, it only reaches fowls in the shape of meat scraps irom the table. It should not be forgotten, however, that animal food in some form or another is a necessity for fowls. Dried Meat Meal.—-Analysis: Albuminoids 71.2, fats 15.7, carbohydrates 0.5. Many of these dried meat meals are the refuse uf the canning yards of America, and the table delicacy manufactories of England. The meat from which soups, etc., have been made is usually dried off and sold for poultry meal; but it must not be supposed that this wretched stuff has an analysis anything approaching tho above. Fish Meal. Analvsis: Albuminoids 48.4. fats 11.6, salts 'and minerals 29.2. Such an analysis as the above shows that fish meal is highly nitrogenous, and is therefore not to be despised as a food for fowls. But jt must be borne in mind that, owing to its strong flavor, it roust not be given too often, or it will impart a fishy flavor to the eggs. Milk.—Analysis : Albuminoids 4.0, fats 5.5, carbohvdrates 4.8, salts 0.7. It is chiefly for fattening purposes and chickens that milk is used as a poultiw food. Chickens grow more rapidly if given a drink of milk once or twice a day, but it must on no account be left standing about to get stale. Also when egg and breadcrumb is given for the first day, it is usual to moisten the mixture with milk. Adult birds may also have their soft food mixed with skim milk with great advantage.
When milk (skimmed) is mixed with ground oats and mutton fat, for fattening purposes, it should be allowed to turn sour first, 03 this keeps the bird in health sufficiently well to stand tho strain of fattening, the chemical changes that take place in it. when soured, exercising a beneficial effect on the digestive systems of tho birds. —Egg-laving Competition.— The New Zealand Utility Poultry Club's tenth egg-laving competition—April 8, 1914, to March 31, 1915 (six hens to a pen) —completed its thirty-eighth week on December 29, as follows : Light Breeds. 1. A. W. Adams (Sheffield), W.L. 1,093 2. B. P. L. Clayson (Eketahuna) 1,094 3. Heretaunga P.O. (Silvorstream), W.L 1,090 4. J. W. Green (St. Albans), W.L. 1,073 5. Colder Bros. (Oamani), W.L. ... 1,055 6. Mrs Mills (Dunedin), W.L. ... 1,052 7. Willis and Son (New Brighton), w.r i,osi Heavy Breeds. 1. Miss Rita Nixon, 8.0 1,105 2. R. Munger (Iftitt), 8.0 980 6. W. E. Green (St. Albans), S.W. 962 Indian Runner Ducks. 1. Heretaunga P.C. (Silvcrstream) 1,068 2. Glencoe Ranch (Karori) 1,018 The 42 pens in the, light breeds (252 birds) have laid in the 34 weeks a total of 40.866 eggs; the 18 pens of heavy birds (108 birds) have laid 15.150 eggs ; and the Indian Runners (six pens, 56 birds) have laid 5,700 cgj;s. Otago fanciers will bo pleased to note that Mrs Mills's White Leghorns are steadily working their way up to a leading position.
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POULTRY NOTES, Evening Star, Issue 15696, 9 January 1915