Canadian Poultry Magazine

Practical Suggestions for Your January Work

By Canadian Poultry   

Features 100th anniversary Our History Business/Policy

January 1926

Your Profit and Success for 1926 Depends Largely Upon What You Do This Month—Carefully Cull, Select, Mate and Trapnest a Few of Your Best Breeders—Proper Feed and Care Pay Big Dividends—Arrange To Hatch a Few Early Chicks—How to Fight Colds, Roup and Chickenpox—Other Helpful Suggestions for January

January is the beginning of your year’s poultry work and your success or failure for the year depends largely upon what you do this month. Have you made plans for y our season’s business? Have you provided comfortable quarters for your flock? Have you weeded out all loafers, boarders and birds of low vitality? Have you mated your best hens or are you breeding from promiscuous matings? Have you secured standard bred male birds form high laying hens? Have you made plans for improvement, for the enlargement of your business and for increased profits? Are you feeding and caring for your birds so as to insure you the best results? Stop and take stock of yourself. Resolve this month to increase your year’s production and your yearly profit. It can be done.

The demand for trapnested, pedigreed stock that fives proven blood is becoming so much greater than the supply that we strongly urge breeders to make plans for trapnesting at least one pen of Standard bred poultry this coming season, and pedigree the chicks in order that they may offer worthwhile breeding stock and baby chicks to the public, as well as increase the production and quality of their own flock and thereby increase their own profit. Trapnesting is profitable from many different standpoints. It enables you to cull out the poor breeders and the late developing pullets. It is necessary that you know the age of a pullet when they lay their first egg. A pullet that does not begin to lay until 10 or 12 months of age is not as valuable as a breeder or profitmaker as the one that starts laying 2 or 3 months earlier. We all want longer laying periods ad greater endurance in our flocks. We all want intensity in our hens. We want pullets that lay steadily in longer cycles with only short intermissions. We want hens that take only a short moulting period. A pullet that makes a good record her first year and takes a short time for moulting and then comes back into her second laying year showing her former stride, is well worth breeding from, and she has proven her mettle. A female that is persistently broody loses too much time from production, and we should eliminate her. You learn through the trapnest the females that produce good sized and good shaped eggs. You discover the ones which product fertile, hatchable eggs, and livable chicks. There are many things that the trapnest tells us that you can discover no other way, but the only reason for trapnesting at least a few of your best birds is that it pays and pays well, its is good business. We have only to look to the Pacific Coast to prove this. Study the history of the Tancred Farms, the Hanson Farms, the Hollywood Farms, and other successful farms in various parts of the country. One has only to read the astounding history of these establishments to realize that it is good business to trapnest and pedigree some of your breeders.


One of the missing links in poultry feeding up to this time has been the lack of mineral matter in our feeds. Millions of baby chicks are lost each year; millions of eggs fail to hatch in incubator time; thousands of hens break down in heavy productions, and worms are increasing in our flocks at an alarming rate, and scarcely any flock is free from them. The proper amount and the proper kind of mineral matter in the feed that is given helps eliminate all of this trouble. Where poultry is kept on an intensive scale on barren floors, and in yards devoid of sufficient mineral matter and green feed, and where birds are fed on feeds high in protein contents. All of these troubles mentioned above are certain to develop in a flock sooner or later. A sufficient and right kind of mineral matter in the feed helps make up for this deficiency. If you can not do better you should at least give the birds access to raw bone meal (not steamed) and always provide an abundance or oyster shell and coarse sand, if possible. This hardly gives a sufficiency of minerals but it is far better than no minerals at all.

You should hatch at least a few early chicks. Chicks hatched in January bring the highest prices as broilers when few chicks of broiler age can be found on the market. The surplus cockerels that are suitable for breeding purposes can be shown at the early summer and fall fairs. The pullets make early layers and excellent breeders for the following year. The chicks hatched usually grow well if you are properly equipped to brood them. If you do not hatch a few chicks in January, get ready to hatch at least a few the coming month.

If you are planning on starting in the poultry business with a good male and a few females, this is a good month in which to buy them. It is always a mistake to wait until time for the breeding season to open before buying breeding stock. The best of those offered for sale are nearly always sold before that time; another case of the early bird and the worm!

It is expensive to allow your layers to stand around on the cold damp ground or a barren floor. The more exposure they suffer, the more of their food is used for fuel consumption to keep their bodies warm and the less there is left for egg production.

Allow your breeding stock more range and to be out of doors on nice days. Remember that your breeding birds must not be fed too heavily and should work in deep litter for all grain. Feed an abundance of tender green feed, do not allow them to consume too much dry mash until about two weeks before time for hatching eggs. Then leave the mash hopper open all day, and in addition, feed a small amount of moist mash each afternoon. The main point is to see that they do not become too fat and do not lay too heavily through the winter so that they will give strong fertility and husky chicks when the hatching season opens.

If your litter is damp, you have not enough ventilation in your house. Damp litter is sure to bring colds, roup, canker and chickenpox, so look to the condition of your litter. Keep it clean, dry and reasonably deep!

On an extra cold night, feed a little extra grain, just as you put an extra amount of fuel in the stove on a cold night when you want to hold fire until morning. Your grain is your fuel feed, see that there is enough of it to keep the hen warm until morning.

When will poultrymen learn that mash and scratch are not enough to insure maximum production? Green feed is just as essential as either of the others, for it is health insurance. Yet how many of us fail to provide some form of greens and then wonder why we suffer such heavy losses and why our drug bills are so high? Feed germinated oats, mangel beets, cabbage, kale, or any form of greens or vegetables that you can secure that is tender ad succulent. Greens grown under glass have no great value outside of succulence.

Avoid sudden changes in housing or feeding after your pullets have hit their stride. Handle them frequently to see that they are holding their own, as far as weight goes. If they are losing weight, increase the amount of grain and moist mash, as it is vital that they hold their own in flesh if they are to continue to lay. Another danger of allowing them to become thin is the ease with which they contract roup, chickenpox, or other kindred diseases. If their vitality is at low ebb, they are open to any kind of infection.

Provide plenty of litter now so that the fowls are not compelled to jump from the roosts to the hard floor. Bumble foot will result if you do not provide plenty of litter. You must remember that deep, clean litter provides the exercise that stimulates circulation and gives the bird an appetite. The more they eat the more eggs we will get. No exercise, no appetite. No appetite—no eggs. You can watch the barometer of egg production slide up and down according to the depth and condition of the litter.

Protect your pullets from drafts at night but do not shut off all ventilation. See that none of them are huddled on the floor in corners where there is not sufficient circulation of fresh air. See that they are not crowded on the perches, too. Crowding means insufficient oxygen per bird with a corresponding increase in colds and roup.

Many lice on a hen will keep production altogether too low for a profit. If poultrymen knew what it costs them in dollars and cents to feed lice, mites or worms they would pay stricter attention to sanitation and rid their flock of these parasites.

Quite a few poultrymen have written in that they are having trouble with colds and in the same letter state the amount of glass in their houses. Heavy muslin curtains would be better, as glass varies in temperature to a great degree. When the sun is hot it radiates heat, and when the night is cold it radiates cold, and this gives us an extreme in temperature that is certainly hard on our birds.

Are you providing sufficient hopper space for your flock? It pays to have plenty—and then some—for economy in space means a cut in production—which is expensive.

If you have not culled your flock of pullets all through their growing period—Better Do It Now. Any slow maturing pullet is an expensive lady. She is not giving you the proper returns on her feed. She is an expensive manufacturer and it is doubtful if she ever shows you a profit. Market her, and give that room to a pullet that will give you better returns.

We are all in the poultry business to make money. A good way to help establish a profitable business is to attend a good poultry show and show a good string of birds there. This provides a market for surplus males, gives contact with others in the same business, with an exchange of ideas that is sure to help over the rough spots.

Do not get the idea that your laying mash is a forcing food. It is not! It is a conditioner, balances the ration, and supplies to the hen or pullet the materials needed to keep her body in good condition and out of the surplus comes eggs. It is just as necessary that she have mash for body maintenance as it is for egg production. Note how much faster chicks grow when fed on mash in connection with their grain ration. This is proof that they are getting the materials needed for body maintenance.

A hen or pullet wants a drink about the first thing when she gets off the perches of a morning. On a bitter cold morning, give them water warmed enough so that it does not chill them, and note how much more they will drink. Eggs are nearly 70% water so it stands to reason that the more water they consume, the more eggs they will lay. Why do they need a drink the first thing in the morning? They need it partly to wash the fiber content out of their gizzards, so that they will be ready for breakfast!

An occasional feed of fresh meat, fresh blood, green cut bone or soup made from boiling bones is certainly relished by the birds on cold days and it helps wonderfully in keeping production up to normal through unexpectedly cold weather. We grind up green vegetables or anything of that kind and add them to this soup and mix with their moist mash. This is a very practical way to teach birds to eat their moist mash if they pick over it and leave part of it in troughs.

Stop Colds and Roup

If your fowls are troubled with colds and roup, it is usually an indication that you haven’t proper ventilation in your poultry house, or else the litter is damp, or there is something wrong with your method of feeding. In either case the first thing for you to do is try to discover and remedy the cause of your trouble. As a treatment we recommend keeping some Permanganate of Potash in the drinking water, putting in sufficient to turn the water a wine color. Use this about a week and then follow it with a dose of Epsom Salts fed in the moist mash. We use 10 to 12 ounces of Epsom Salts to each 100 birds in the flock, then moisten the mash with this solution. We begin the treatment of all birds showing signs of colds and roup by dipping their heads in a little warm water that contains sufficient disinfectant to turn the water a milky color. Dip the birds heads in this and hold it for a second. Massage the nostrils and eyes with the thumb and forefinger so as to free both eyes and nose of all mucous, then let the head of the bird dry. Next, any swollen portion of the face or eye is painted with soluble iodine. We then take a rubber tipped syringe and inject a little Cargentos or Argyrol into the nostrils and eyes, and also into the crevices of the roof of the mouth. We prefer the Cargentos to the Argyrol and you will find that the parts will begin to heal and the roup disappear if this treatment is persisted in once a day. We have also found that where the above is used as a treatment, before roosting time it is sometimes advisable to take the following mixture and spray it into the mouth and nostrils, sometimes forcing it into the windpipe or traches, by pulling a feather from the wing of the bird and dipping it into the mixture below and inserting it into the trachea. Or we will take a medicine dropper and drop a few drops into the traches, or we sometimes use an atomizer and spray the solution into the trachea. If the bird is infected with bronchitis, diphnature this treatment is a splendid theretic roup, or anything of that thing for you to use. A solution which we used for this purpose and which is splendid for colds, roup, bronchitis and other diseases of this nature can be successfully treated in most cases by using this mixture. It consists of:

Oil Thyme ………………………………….50 minims

Oil Eucalyptus   …………………………..30 minims

Menthol   ……………………………………15 grains

Liquid Campho-phenique   ………….2 drams

Oil Petrol   ………………………………….3 ounces

This liquid will give best results if it is warmed before using. The bottle containing the mixture should be kept in hot water during the time of treating. There is nothing much more certain of curing roup and respiratory troubles that the above method of treatment.

A Treatment for Chicken Pox

As a flock treatment for chicken pox we use three ounces of sulphuric acid and three ounces of oil of sassafras mixed with one-half gallon of water in an earthen vessel. Do not mix the oil of sassafras and acid separately before putting in the water, but take the water and put in one ingredient at a time, then stir well. Supply this to the flock by placing two tablespoons of above mixture in each gallon of drinking water. Use no other drinking water for a week or two. After the flock commences to show improvement, reduce to one tablespoonful to each gallon of drinking water until the flock is entirely free from the disease. As a preventative, use one tablespoonful t a gallon of drinking water. During the time of treatment, all drinking water should be given in earthenware, granite or wooden vessels, as the acid will affect metal.

It is advisable to treat the sore spots with tincture of iodine. Take a camel’s hair brush, or cotton swab, and paint the sores. Then the following day rub the face and comb well with some carbolated Vaseline or mentholatum.

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