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CHICKEN FARMING IN A NUTSHELL
HIS is the by twenty-four feet, in the rear of the story of a girl house. The yard was subdivided into w ho made three pens of ten hens and one cock each, money from the space allowed each family being hens. It is forty by eight feet. At the north end of not an adver- these yards, facing south, were the coops tising plot, built with every regard to economy. Any although the man handy with tools could duplicategirl's father them with a few boards, nails, tar paper is in the and muslin. The whole cost was less poultry busi- than thirty dollars, and they w-ere far ness, but just better at that than was required, the facts June twentieth was then fixed as the showing limit of the test. The chickens were fed what she did, how she did it, and the three times a day on table scraps only, figures to prove the result. Not every with occasionally a little hot meal mash girl can do so well but the example is in winter. In cold weather they had worth trying to emulate and ought to warm water morning and night and encourage some who have not been so precautions were taken to see that this successful. water never froze over. This was rein September last Miss Grace Keller- garded as an important point. The botstrasse of Kansas City chose thirty prize- toms of the coops were kept filled with winning hens from her father's flocks clean straw or hay, a pretext for much and put them in a wire netted yard forty exercise on cold or stormy days.
A FINE BROOD THAT KEEP CLEAN AND HEALTHY WITH SUNSHINE AND GRAVEL.
Miss Kellerstrass's principal idea was to promote the laying of fertile eggs in cold weather and this was accomplished by means of the table scraps which contained bits of meat, and the warmth of the coops. In the summer chickens get bugs and other insects which are a stimulus to egg production, but in the winter when this supply is cut off the meat, raw or cooked, is the best possible substitute.
Now for the figures: In the test term Miss Kellerstrass's hens—thirty in number—laid 4,033 eggs, or about 140 eggs to the bird. Of these 1,024 were sold in settings. In addition, 418 chickens were hatched from some remaining eggs and sold. There were others but they were used on the farm and were not included in the record. Miss Kellerstrass received a fancy price for her settings— thirty dollars, or about two dollars an egg, with a total income from this source of $2,048. The 418 chickens hatched under the hens and sold brought an average of five dollars apiece as pullets and cockerels. They were, of course, sold to fanciers. This netted Miss Kellerstrass another $2,090. The total income was, therefore, $4,138. F rom this sum the girl had to deduct roughly $518 for coops, yards, grain feed, advertising, shipping charges, etc., leaving a profit of $3,600 from thirty hens in ten months.
But, says the amateur—and Miss Kellerstrass is an amateur, too—few could do so well. Very good. Consider the eggs in another way. If produced by ordinary chickens in the fall, winter and spring the 4,033 eggs would have brought an average market price of thirty cents a dozen. At that figure the 325^4 dozens would have brought $100.57^4. Suppose the producer had sold only onehalf his eggs, or fifty dollars' worth, and had raised 500 chickens from the remaining two thousand eggs. Even the greenest chicken man ought to rear that many to marketable age. If sold at only thirty cents each—and you can't get them that cheaply—these chickens would have netted $150, making a total profit of $200 from chickens and eggs. And he would still have his original thirty hens and the surplus stock reserved from the hatchings of late eggs. Also he would have his coops and other fixings. Count
Counting Chickkns Afteii They're Hatchf.d.
ing $50 off from the total receipts for feed and deterioration the earning capacity of a hen would still remain at about $5 for ten months.
Almost everyone who owns a home with a back yard has the chicken fever at one time or another, or his wife or children have it. Many and many a family has tried it only to fail, but in every instance the failure has been proved to have been the inevitable result of no system or of carelessness, and either will kill pretty nearly any business adventure. To these two drawbacks should be added ignorance. Two kinds of persons fail in the chicken business: The man who buys a few chickens at the corner grocery or gets a setting of ordinary eggs from some nondescript brood in the neighborhood; and the city man with a little money and a suburban place. This last named man usually' -goes into the chicken business on a grand scale the first year, builds an expensive plant from designs taken from someone's manual, buys many expensive birds and high-priced eggs and at the end of the season has nothing except experience. He failed because he knew nothing about chickens. He would fail as quickly in Wall Street if he knew as little about stocks or bonds.
Another thing: The average amateur doesn't know that fresh store eggs are seldom good for hatching purposes. People in the business of egg producing for market do not keep roosters; the chanticler isn't needed in that hennery; just as many eggs are laid without his presence and they are better eggs—for market purposes.
It will pay, too, to remember that people do not send hens to market nowadays that are any good as layers; so don't buy such poultry expecting to start a chicken ranch. If you feel that life will be a blank unless you have hens and raise chicks and good eggs and get into the game generally put down these fundamental rules:
Clean out the old shed or barn and make it vermin-proof with tin, stone or cement.
Fence the yard with chicken netting.
It won't cost much to make the yard tight and it will save scenes with the neighbors.
Be certain you know the source of the eggs you buy. Don't buy cheap eggs; you'll regret it. Any good setting will cost from five dollars up to twenty or thirty dollars—usually the five dollar kind are good enough; buy a good brood lien or a pen of the best chickens you can afford. Feed your chickens three times a clay, a well-ordered ration and change it from time to time. Keep clean, fresh water always at hand. Be sure the food is clean. Keep the yard dry and drained. Dampness causes ninety-nine per cent of all chicken maladies.
Give your chickens a chance to dust for mites and lice. Mix in a box about one-half its capacity of road dust and six ounces of powdered sulphur and six ounces of naphthaline. If your chickens are white substitute flour for road dust. Keep this box where it will be dry and where the chickens can always use it.
Give the chickens plenty of air and exercise. Never shut them up in a tight barn. Cut windows and cover them with netting. Keep the chicks warm and away from dampness. Make all chickens scratch for their food.
ELECTRIC AUTO AS
By CHARLES GLEASON
A N interesting experiment in wirel\ less telegraphy was tried re/ m cently in Los Angeles when an electric automobile was used to JL M. supply power for flashing messages from a portable wireless station. The little car was run up the steep grade of Lookout Mountain in the outskirts of the city, and a thirty-foot steel mast was speedily erected and rigged with the necessary guys and wires. Then the operator took his place at the keyboard and sent out a call which brought responses from amateur stations in various parts of the city and from Point Loma station more than one hundred miles away. These answers were disregarded, however, as- operator Ryan was trying for the United Wireless station in the center of the city, which answered within a short time. Then the following message directed to Mayor Alexander of Los Angeles was flashed: "Have pleasure of sending you the first message ever transmitted by portable wireless station using electric automobile via United Wireless from Lookout Mountain."