Cross breeding makes possible the output of a high grade chick that will prove profitable to its owner, yet cannot come into future competition, as a breeder, with pure or standard bred birds.
(From the address delivered at the regular monthly meeting of the Vancouver Poultry and Pet Stock Association)
In speaking on cross breeding I realize I am tackling a big and a wide subject and one to which there are many angles. After a brief review I shall confine myself to two phases of it – its value to the commercial egg producer – its effect on the breeder.
Cross breeding, or the mating together of two distinct breeds, has been practiced for many years with most domestic animals and birds. Man desires certain qualities in the stock he keeps and uses every known method to obtain what he wants. Where it has been evident that a certain cross results in the offspring being especially suitable for certain environments selective breeding has taken place amongst the half breeds and a new breed is evolved. Such an illustration took place in New Zealand many years ago. Sheep from Kent, Eng., known as Romney Marsh, were imported into New Zealand, where at that time the only sheep was the Merino, a wool sheep, living on the hills of the sough Island of that country. The only marketable product from the Merino was wool.
The idea was expressed to cross these two breeds, for the Romney Marsh is a big sheep, grown on the rich low lying marsh land of Kent and not at all suitable for grazing on hills. The result of the cross was an animal of medium size, good meat qualities and good wool. These crosses were re-bred, and after much selection and culling, animals were produced that would breed true to type. There were named Corriedales, after the name of the farm on which they were originated. This breed was the foundation of the world famous Canterbury lamb trade. Millions of tons of this meat has been shipped to Europe, principally Great Britain, resulting in great development and wealth for New Zealand.
Again using sheep as an illustration, it is the practice in the south of England today to cross the Romney Marsh ewes with Southdown rams, the one being large and the other, the Southdown, probably the most compact and meaty sheep in existence. No attempt is made to go beyond the first cross, the combination of size and compactness of the two pure breeds resulting in an animal ideal for the lamb and mutton trade and one that can be grazed profitably over the hills and in the marshes of the south country.
In poultry, as with animals, cross breeding has been responsible for new breeds, which have more nearly conformed to the requirements of poultrymen in certain locations. Without going into details of the make-up of different breeds I can mention some that have been evolved to suit the climate or trade requirements in different parts of the world. In the States we have the Rocks and Reds and Wyandottes, all general purpose breeds and all yellow skinned, which are most favored in that country. In England we have the Dorking and the Sussex and the Orpingtons, all white skinned breeds, and originally produced for good table qualities in the south of England where in the olden days fattening poultry was an art.
Man takes nature in the raw and fashions it to his will and so it will continue. The Cornish Game, without a doubt the finest table bird in the world, is uneconomical to keep in commercial sized flocks because of the lack of laying power and somewhat slow growth. The breed is not discarded, however, for its chief use is in being crossed with other breeds, using the Game male with other more productive breeds of hens, and table birds are produced in numbers, of truly wonderful quality and quick growth.
Cross breeding for egg production on a large scale is comparatively recent innovation although it has been practiced with intelligence for many years in a small way. My first experience was on a small farm in England where a neighbor of ours kept between 200 and 300 birds. He bred pure Black Minorcas and every two years he would buy Buff Orpington cockerels and run them with his whole flock. The following fall he would have a flock of yearling Minorcas and a flock of cross bred pullets. These birds were on free range and running together although housed separately. The next spring he would buy Black Minorca males and hatch only from the white eggs so that his flock that year would be all Minorca pullets and yearling cross bred hens. The year following he would buy Buff Orpington males again and this plan was kept up indefinitely, always setting the white eggs he would breed cross-breds from his pullets and pure breds from his hens. This man was known for miles around for his high production in the winter and for his large eggs.
Since that time cross breeding has assumed considerable economic importance in England amongst those in the business primarily for eggs. It has been found that it is imperative to have males from high record hens and it is necessary to have high producing hens as well. In crossing healthy stock increased vigor is always apparent, and the good and the bad qualities tend to be intensified. Thus if one mates up two strains that are predominately broody there is sure to be trouble in this direction. Two strains of very high production with the added strength from the cross give very high egg averages.
If breeding for egg production were a mere matter of mating high producer to high producer to get still higher production there would be no need of crossing to maintain vigor. Such is not the case, however. Breeding for egg production entails a constant never ending battle against deterioration of vigor. Were the breeding left in the hands of responsible breeders all might be well. Unfortunately it is not so. Mass production of chicks by artificial incubation in mammoth machines has taken the matter almost out of the hands of the real breeder. Couple this with the mistakes made in rearing that lowers the vitality and small wonder is it that we have sickness. Most of my audience tonight are keeping poultry as a hobby. Your flocks are small, you can select with extreme care and in most cases you do not overly stress high production.
Therefore you are able to get along without the grief that visits the man raising poultry by the thousand. The average poultryman in the business for a living has not always been a poultryman. He is usually from some other trade or profession and jumps into poultry farming with only a vague idea of what he is up against. Also he is mostly short of capital and tries to get along with less housing space and equipment than is necessary. He may buy a thousand chicks and the fun (or grief) begins. Overheating, chilling, overfeeding, overcrowding, sweating, are only some of the troubles that loom up. Everything that goes wrong lessens the chance of the chick becoming a good specimen and yet many of these birds are used for breeding work. The poultryman is tampering with life that by selective breeding has become highly strung and susceptible to ill treatment.
I tell you it would be far better for the industry were we to give these people something more able to stand abuse and something that they cannot use for future breeding. What can we give them? The answer that fills the bill entirely is a “cross-bred”.
Recent talks with breeders leave no doubt in one’s mind that the cross-bred is being thought about and it will not be long until the advantages of the first-cross are generally realized. At present the egg producer on this continent is not demanding a cross-bred, because he knows little of them. Suppose he did demand this very thing, how would it affect the breeder? Would it ruin his sales of high class pedigree stock? Would it spoil his sales of flock mating hatching eggs and chicks?
The very mention of cross breeding has been considered heresy on the part of poultrymen in this country. The poultry inspectors shun the subject. For a time the various promoters of poultry in Canada and the States talked “more and more” production but now the tune has changed to “economical” production. The advent of scientific cross breeding will not hurt the genuine breeder. Rather it will give him greater control of the breeding work again, which, the last several years has gone too much into the hands of the hatcheryman. This is no knock on hatcheries. They form an essential part of the program of distribution. But, with a few exceptions, where the hatchery operates a breeding farm as well, this class of business is not raising the standards of quality with the product they are offering the public and by the cheap prices they tempt the poultryman with.
Let me illustrate how the genuine breeder can benefit by selling and popularizing the use of cross breds for commercial purposes. Mr. A is a breeder of pedigreed poultry. His flock mating consists of trapnested hens and their full sisters, rigorously culled. He sells a thousand chicks from this mating to Mr. B (a commercial egg farmer). The next year, or at the latest the year after, Mr. B mates up his flock, rarely with pedigreed males, and sells eggs at a little over market price (5 cents to 7 cents per dozen premium) to a hatchery. He then buys chicks from the hatchery and many hundreds of chicks are sold from this mating. These come into direct competition with Mr. A’s flock mating chicks. They are standard bred and in all likelihood will be called Mr. A’s strain.
They are sold at a low price and Mr. A is left with the alternative of shutting down on his hatching operations or cutting his price.
Now, supposing Mr. B knew of the advantages of buying cross bred chicks; knew that they were hardier, easier to raise and better able to stand up to a certain amount of abuse; knew that the cockerels made good broilers and the hens good table birds; and that he came to Mr. A, who had been advertising a first cross of light and heavy breeds, using males from very high record trapnested hens with a flock of high production hens. Mr. A would sell him the chicks which would give every satisfaction, and would stand up to the more or less forcing conditions that our present economic system necessitates, and do this for a considerably longer time than the highly strung, sensitive pure bred. Mr. B could concentrate his energies entirely on egg production instead of turning himself into a so-called breeder for two or three months each year. Not one of these birds that Mr. A has sold could ever come into competition with him as a breeder. He would be turning out a more suitable product for the commercial man and at the same time safeguarding his own interests.
If the hatcheryman wants to get into the cross bred business there again the breeder will be benefited because it is absolutely essential that the male birds come from high record stock, and who can supply these but the pedigree breeder? All off type males, that are otherwise good, can be used for crossing, which means that the best only will be kept for the improvement of the standard breeds. It has been argued recently that the same vigor can be procured by mating up pure breds of totally different bloodlines but in the next breath stated that it is almost impossible to avoid inbreeding by buying from the well-known breeders in Canada and the States because their strains have been so intermixed. Crossbreeding avoids every possibility of this nature.
The egg farmer does not and probably will not ever care a rap for type, color of plumage, stubs, sidesprigs or this and that that the breeder has to study in the mating of his pure bred stock. That there will always be those who desire good looks as well as usefulness cannot be doubted. It would be a sorry day were we to lose sight of the beautiful. The breeder can cater to the two classes of buyers, giving each exactly what is wanted and satisfying both – but not with the same bird.
Science has recently given us the key to a great problem and we now know – thanks to the work of Prof. R.C. Punnett, of Cambridge University – that by mating certain breeds together the sex of chicks at hatching time can be easily distinguished. This is known as sex-linkage. Thus, a further use for the cross bred has been found and today it is possible for a breeder to offer his customers day old pullets or day old cockerels from his sex-linked crosses.
To summarize, cross breeding makes possible the output of a high grade chick that will prove profitable to its owner, yet cannot come into future competition, as a breeder, with pure or standard bred birds.
During the past year a committee of poultry officials in British Columbia, (of which the writer has been chairman), have been studying various phases of our poultry housing problems. One problem discussed was the question of artificial heat for poultry houses. The consensus of opinion is that all phases of the problems are not sufficiently clear to recommend it for general use, but that heating of houses is proving beneficial in many sections of the country. It is used in a number of houses in the interior of the province.
It is probably a generation ago since artificial heat for poultry houses was first advocated. It was tired out at the time and discarded as the results were not satisfactory. From present day experience it is apparent that the unfavorable verdict rendered at the time was due to using too much heat and poor ventilation. After remaining in the discard for several years, artificial heat has staged a comeback and is undoubtedly proving of a benefit in the colder sections of the province. Improved methods of ventilating, our poultry houses has enabled poultrymen to use artificial heat with a much greater degree of success than formerly.
There are several methods of heating houses in use at the present time, several of them being installed in poultry houses in the Kootenays. The most common method is to use an ordinary coal burning brooder stove. The stove is generally placed in the house about the centre of the floor if it is a single unit, or at one end if the house is a long continuous one. The stove is surrounded by a wire enclosure to keep the birds away and to prevent the litter from coming in contact with it. If this is done, and the stove placed on a sheet of galvanized iron or tin, there is very little danger of a fire breaking out, unless the draughts are defective. In the long continuous poultry house the stovepipe runs the entire length of the house. This is also enclosed inside a wire box arrangement to prevent the birds from flying up and roosting on it. Another method is to install a hot water heating system by means of pipes around the walls or under the floor. Another method is to build a furnace like a Dutch oven under one end of the house and to place a smoke flue under the floor the entire length of the house which serves as a heat conductor. These last two methods are more expensive to install and are not used to any extent in this province. If a brooder stove is employed, coal is the fuel used, but occasionally an old drum type of heater is used, which will burn cordwood, small stumps, etc. They require very little attention and are economical to use if the draughts are properly regulated.
If artificial heat is to be successful essentials must be kept in mind. It is particularly important to keep the temperature fairly constant, 32 to 50 degrees apparently giving the best results. Extremes in temperature must always be avoided at all times. The house should be warmer at night than in the daytime, as the birds are exercising during the day. The house should be comfortable but should never be too ho as this saps the vitality of the birds and exposes, them to outbreaks of colds, roup, bronchitis, etc.
The greatest benefit to be derived from artificial heat is the fact that it prevents winter slumps in production at a time when egg prices are highest. Very low temperatures in any poultry house will result in frozen combs and wattles, followed usually by a severe slump in production, which may continue for several weeks.
Under general conditions it is not necessary to use artificial heat during the entire winter period, but only during cold snaps to prevent the temperature in te house from dropping below 32 degrees. Those who have used heat in their houses in the Kootenays have reported such satisfactory results that an increasing number of poultrymen are preparing to heat their houses.
As the use of dry mash becomes more important in the feeding of poultry, and especially since the all-mash method of feeding promises to become a standard practice, a suitable feeder that will meet the various requirements becomes a necessity.
The older types of mash feeders, usually known as hoppers, had a storage compartment from which the mash was supposed to feed down by gravity. This type of feeder or hopper proved unsatisfactory, as it is difficult, if not impossible, to construct such a hopper so the mash will feed down and at the same time admit light and prevent wastage. The use of improperly constructed feedrs causes much loss from waste of feed and lessened egg production, as the layers fail to eat suffiecinet mash when it is contaminated with litter and droppings or when ample light and easy accessibility are not provided. The hopper types of feeders are eing rapidly replaced by various forms of open box mash feeders.
The feeder that will best serve present day needs is the one that induces the birds to eat the most mash. Such a feeder must keep the dry mash easily available at tall times; must be waste proof, dirt proof, roost proof and must not clog; and it must be so constructed as to provide ample light on the feed as chickens like to see what they are eating.
The reel mash feeder
This was designed by the Ohio Experimental Station in 1921 to embody these essentials. Since the first design some minor improvements have been made and these are included at this time. This feeder has proved effective and is popular among poultry keepers – thousands all over the country are now using the reel mash feeder as a part of their standard equipment.
The open box permits the hen to eat from either side, and the mash is easily accessible. The reel and the lip boards (1 by 2-inch strips on the top edge of sides of box) prevent waste. The feed is kept clean by elevation of feeder on a stand 18 inches above the floor while the reel keeps the birds out of the box and prevents them form roosting on it. This feeder affords an abundance of light so the hens can see what they are eating. The result is a great consumption of mash. Two or three of the feeders, depending on the method of feeding, should be provided for each 100 layers. The feeders can also be used for pullets on summer range after they are from 8 to 10 weeks of age. If placed outside they should be protected from rain.
How to make the reel mash feeder
The feeder is essentially a box four feet long, twelve inches wide, and five inches deep, placed on a stand sixteen or eighteen inches high. Making the feeder four feet long enables one to use ordinary plaster lath for the reel. The reel one half inch shorter than the inside length of the box so it can be centred one-quarter inch form each end of the box by adjusting the screws used for axes. Flat head heavy number 10 screws two and one half inches long are the best for the axes. If the reel is not centred and rubs against either end of the box it will not run freely as it should.
The lip boards are two inches wide and are placed on top of the side boards so as to project over on the inside about one and one-quarter inches to prevent the birds from hooking out and wasting the mash. Cleats are nailed on each end of the box two and one-half inches from the bottom. These rest on the ends of the stand and permit the box to be easily removed. It will be noted that the cleats extended one inch beyond the sides of the box, centering it on the stand so as to provide an open space of one inch between each side of the box and the running board. These openings prevent the accumulation of dirt next to the box. Narrow notches one inch deep are made in the center on top of the ends to receive the axes of the reel. These axes are nine inches above bottom of the box, making the clearance between reel and lip board three to three and one-half inches.
I desired the stand supporting the mash box can be suspended by four wires from the ceiling, thus making the legs unnecessary. Also it may in some cases be preferable to make the mash feeder eight feet long. The procedure in making a longer feeder is the same, the lath used on the reel being replaced by strips of proper length three-quarter inch square.
The stand may be made ten or twelve inches longer to hold a twelve or fourteen quart water pail at the end of the mash box. Two cleats at the bottom of the frame will support the pail. This makes a desirable and economical substitute for the water stand.
Any new feed must be gradually introduced to chicks, and green feed should form part of their ration from about the tenth day.
Chicks may be given wheat bran after the second week and the bran should be accessible in hoppers for a couple of hours at a time for a few days.
Turkey raising is growing in popularity as its cash rewards become generally appreciated among farmers – and famers’ wives. E. L. Hayes give pointers to beginners in the Poultry Journal.
Let us suppose that we are just going into the turkey business. We have bought a small pen of breeders, say a tom and five hens, and right now we must be sure that these breeders are vigorous, strong and have not been sick during the winter months, for if we are to be successful, we must start right.
From our experience we have learned that the breeders should be fed a good laying mash; by so doing, the production can be increased and in place of an average of about 30 eggs being laid in the two layings, we can increase that to about 40 eggs, or 33 have the same number of eggs with one less turkey out of every four can be cut down. Then be sure that all the hens have a long breast bone or keel, as this character is transmissible and the flock next fall will be more uniform in type and more uniform as a market product.
Mating the turkeys
One tom can be mated with ten to fifteen hens. Where the stock is vigorous, we have known one tom to mate with over fifty hens and the hatchability was over 80 per cent. However, one tom to not more than fifteen hens are safer. When a larger number of hens are kept, it is advisable to keep toms that are friendly to each other or that have been together several weeks before the breeding season. Even so, at mating time, there may be a battle for supremacy. It is better where two toms are used, to separate the flocks, starting each flock off in different directions. If this is impossible, alternate the tom every other day. One service is usually enough to fertilize one clutch of eggs, though hens usually mate two or three times before starting to lay.
Soon after mating the hens usually begin to look for a nest, and in a week or ten days, will lay the first egg. The time hens start to lay will depend on the location and season, but generally occurs, in the northwest states, the latter part of March and the first part of April; in the South and West, about a month earlier. The number of eggs a hen will lay depends on the individual: when turkeys are well fed and properly selected, the number will be larger than when poor feeding and no selection are practiced. Pullets usually start to lay first and will lay from 15 to 20 eggs each in the first clutch. When they go broody, they can be broken up and made to lay a second or even third clutch of them 10 to 15 eggs each. Hens should be allowed to mate with the tom each time after going broody.
Before the eggs are set
When turkeys start to lay the eggs should be gathered so they will not become chilled. If turkey hens are allowed to select their own nest, it will be generally in some secluded place and the eggs will not be found. Successful breeders now yard up the hens during the mating season and arrange nests in the yards. In this way many a step is saved by not having to chase over several acres looking for the nest, and a greater percentage of the eggs are saved. Try yarding the breeders this spring. All nest barrels or boxes should be covered with brush, as the turkeys are more easily attracted to them. Yarding the breeders is one of the first principles of success in turkey raising.
Turkeys usually lay in the morning, so you can gather the eggs then. Leave a china egg in the nest, as a turkey becomes very nervous if no nest egg is left, and the fertility may be cut down. Eggs should be carefully wrapped with clean cotton and paper, when kept for any length of time, to prevent evaporation. The quicker they can be set, the better. The temperature at which they are held while saving for hatching should be between 50 and 60 degrees. Turn them every day, taking care not to jar them.
Artificial hatching proves best
Artificial hatching is the second principle of success in turkey raising. From reports of those who have hatched both in the natural way and artificially, the incubator is more successful. Hatching artificially is the first step to prevent blackhead in the flock, for where we avoid contract of poults and old turkeys, blackhead is less liable to appear. Also, poults should be kept away from chickens, as the latter are a source of infection in spreading the disease. Then too, the time of the turkey hen is valuable from a laying standpoint and should not be wasted by hatching, as we can keep her laying and thereby lower our egg production cost.
Artificial hatching and brooding of turkeys has been carried on with more than marked success. During the past three years, many turkey raisers in the Northwest have successfully done their hatching with incubators.
Any good make incubator can be used, but moisture will have to be supplied. It take 28 days for turkey eggs to hatch. The most suitable temperature for hatching turkey eggs is 102 degrees for the first week, 103 degrees for the second and third weeks and 103 to 104 for the fourth week.
The eggs are turned twice daily and allowed to cool to about 70 degrees; the turning and cooling should be done until the eggs start to pip. Carful handling of the eggs at all times is essential to success. The directions for operating the incubators should be followed closely, and it is necessary to watch the moisture. During most of the hatching season, moisture must be supplied.
Turkey eggs can, of course, be hatched under either the turkey hens or under chicken hens. When setting hens of either kind, care must be used not to put too many eggs under one hen. Good nests should be made. The best success should be had when they are made on the ground or a sod is put in the nest; this will supply the needed moisture. Dust the hens well and keep them free from lice. Be sure to put hens and poults on clean ground to assist in preventing blackhead. An advance step, however, is to hatch them in incubators and success is more assured.
Patience necessary in brooding poults
After hatching, the poults allowed to remain in the incubator for 24 hours to dry off and to harden off, the length of time they are left here depending on their activity. They are then removed to the brooder house where the brooder stove has been in operation for some time, the same as for the chicks. The temperature under the canopy should range from 95 to 100 degrees, depending on weather conditions.
While most any number can be brooded under the hoover, it is advisable to brood them in flocks of from 100 to 150 under a 500 chick size hover. However, as poults grow very fast, a 1,000 chick hover is better. The poults are held under and near the hover by one inch mesh wire netting made in a circle around the hover. This circle is gradually enlarged until the poults occupy the entire brooder house. Then let them run outside. Here, again, the change should be made gradually. Give a very small run at the start and increase it every few days until they have a fairly large range, and they learn to locate the brooder house and the heat.
It requires more patience and care for a few days with poults than with chicks as poults do not seem to have the intelligence of chicks. This is especially true in artificial brooding, as the poults will wander away from the source of heat, and if not carefully watched, will become chilled or crowded in some corner. However, after a few days of driving them back to the hover, they will become accustomed to where the heat is and will then return of their own accord. The small yard used in connection with the brooder house should be arranged so that it can be easily enlarged every few days and will require only a short time to enlarge it.
How the poults are fed
So much has been written on feeding that it seems almost impossible to say anything that would be new. However, a few things might be on value to those just starting. We have often been told not to feed too much; while this is correct, my observations have been that some of the loss during the first two months is due to lack of feed rather than to everfeeding. Little poults can be handled as successfully as little chicks, with one exception, and that is we have to educate the poults to eat, as well as to locate the heat under the hovers; chicks will do that themselves. In other words, we must not blame the poults if they do wrong, but blame ourselves, as we must be the eyes and brains for them.
Turkeys are raised for market. We should, therefore, feed them for quick growth and development in order to have them ready for market at the earliest possible time. The following schedule has been successful, but each grower will have to apply his own common sense to his own case.
Give no feed during the first 48 hours, but don’t let them go so long that they die from starvation. No one is able to tell the length of time after hatching when to start feeding except yourself; watch, observe the poults. I am fully convinced that more baby chicks die the first few week because they were let go too long before feeding then not long enough, in feeding either chicks or poults we must use our own judgment when to start feeding.
Do you give the poults any water. Skim milk can be given to them in crocks, however, after the poults are placed in the brooder house or with the hens. The second day after starting to feed, one hardboiled egg can be given for every 25 poults. Crumble this up fine and feed it on clean feeding boards. These boards should be picked up after each feeding, cleaned and hung up after until the next feeding, for sanitation is the one big thin for success in turkey raising and the feeding must be watched if trouble is to be avoided later on. Eggs can be fed threes time daily for the first few days; poults do not take to eating mash, a little dry mash is sprinkled over the finely chopped egg.
Alfalfa is the one big thing for success with turkeys. Go out in your alfalfa field and clip enough so that they will have all they want. This must be very finely cut and must be green, not dried. Start feeding this the third day and give it three times a day until the poults have free range. If they are not on range, supply alfalfa every day, for it furnishes vitamin A, which is one of the essentials of quick growth and development. We have found that where alfalfa has been supplied very few crooked breasts were found in the flock; it seems to furnish the lime to develop the large breastbone.
Any of the prepared mashes are all right to use, except that most of them do not contain enough animal matter. However, if one is feeding skim milk that will supply the animal protein, which should be 30 per cent, or more of the mash. Some growers have found that their poults do fairly well on just grins the first few weeks and then are put on mashes. All turkeys, old and young, should be fed from hoppers that are covered to prevent rain or dirt from getting in the fed. While we are sure that good success can be obtained from feeding any of the standard feeds now on the market, as well as a few home- made ones, we feel that a feed formula can be worked out that will be just the thing for turkeys.
After six weeks of age, an abundant supply of clean, fresh water is necessary. Remember, sanitation is your watchword from start to finish in turkey raising. Alfalfa runs are deal if you have them. Use clean ground for every new blood of poults.
Having acquired the “CANADIAN POULTRY WORLD,” W. B. Meyer-Miller and R. H. Storer desire to make their position and policy plain. In the belief that the poultry industry is destined to become the leading phase of agricultural production in British Columbia – and that speedily – the proprietors of this journal ask for co-operation of poultrymen in hastening this achievement, and will work earnestly and unceasingly towards that end.
The logical scope for extension of breeding stock and baby chicks appears to us to lie in later hatches, and the market for British Columbia the supplying of late hatched chicks to outside points, Prairie points chiefly. That there is room for May, June and even July hatched chicks we believe – and the belief is founded upon actual personal experience on the Prairies, and of British Columbia breeders.
Each month a feature of the Canadian Poultry World under its new management will be seasonable articles on poultry diseases to be looked for during that month particularly. The aim will be to provide for readers timely, practical, plainly worded hints on disease and the best methods of coping with the disease; coupled of course with advice based on the true saying that prevention is better than cure. For this and coming months we have already assured a series of reliable articles on diseases, which are usually most troublesome during the month the current article will cover.
Work must be properly directed to achieve anything more than blistered hands; and that is particularly true of the poultry industry. What properly directed work can accomplish in the poultry industry in British Columbia innumerable comfortable homes and happy families know to the Editor of this journal demonstrate splendidly. From time to time actual instances of success in poultry breeding or poultry farming will be the subject of articles in these columns. Those successes are not bounded b mere cash accumulated—rather they are constituted chiefly of happy families living in their own rural homes which afford pleasant and healthy occupation.
The idea that poultry farming consists of throwing feed to hens and gathering basketful of eggs still persists in some quarters, despite its absurdity. But poultry farming conducted by intelligent people on reasonable lines is a sure bet in British Columbia anyway—it can be guaranteed to assure a comfortable living almost from the start, and to lead along interesting routes, maybe slowly but none the less surely, to independence.
Vigor in poultry has lately been emphasized as the essential aim of breeders by George Robertson, assistant poultry husbandman at Ottawa and an outstanding authority on poultry, particularly white leghorns, the favored commercial producers. Vigor is the most important single factor for poultry. Combined with type it has made several breeds in B. C. world famous. We propose to publish regularly authoritative articles on breeding, feeding and marketing. It will be our aim to adequately report all the achievements of B.C. poultry and poultrymen, which are adding to the value and fame of the industry.
The establishment of a stable market outside B.C. for eggs produced in B.C., which at certain seasons would otherwise be surplus so far as our requirements are concerned, is an important matter; the maintaining of disease resistant vigorous poultry, and the guarding against disease infection from outside are important matters; the marketing of live poultry, particularly White Leghorn cockerels, is a vastly important matter; the extension of the incubating season by the widening of markets in B.C. baby chicks is an essential matter, taking the broad view of the future of the industry; the keeping of an open mind towards new developments in the poultry world is important. These serve merely to indicate some of the subjects, which will be dealt with in these columns. We invite the co-operation of the practical commercial poultrymen of British Columbia, our readers, in solving mutually important problems.
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