OCR Interpretation

The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, January 05, 1913, Image 8

Image and text provided by University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1913-01-05/ed-1/seq-8/

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Hens that Cut
The Cost of Living
"5l Illustrations from Photographs
j _ _______ dollar each. There are I'ancx fowls
yl I II domiciled in luxurious houses Ihat la\
hardly enough eggs lo pay for the
grain they eat. Neither tine houses nor tine feathers
necessarily make line birds. Hens are as democratic
as Yankees. If left to their own devices, tbej will
sleep ill the trees. Make them hustle \'<>v a living, and
they will lay like machines. Coddle them, and they
will grow fat, lazy and shiftless.
The hens that lay are the hens thai pay, of course.
You will find such hens in modest little (locks all over
the country, busily cutting the cost of living for their
owners. When, in cackling self-complacency, they
emerge from their mid-winter nests, each leaves the
equivalent of a nickel behind her. Whether eaten or
<old, eggs at a nickel apiece help to cut the grocers
bill and to reduce the profits of the meat trust
Over ninety per cent of all the eggs produced in
this country come from the farms and the back yards.
Only here and there is
there a successful spe
between an undeveloped
for will pay substantial
dividends. Biddy of the
back yard holds the key
to the situation. She *
doing nobly now; but she ought to do better. The
number of eggs annually produced should he half as
large again, without increasing the number of birds.
The bigger yield will come with more intelligent man
agement. This, in itself, will help to make table sup
plies cheaper; for eggs and poultry will, more and
more, be substituted for other food products.
Few people realize that the poultry business, as it
stands, is one of the most important industries in the
country. The value of the poultry and egg crop each
year is several hundred million dollars. Some sixteen
billion eggs are laid each year by the great American
hen, which number placed end to end would make a
belt across the continent. Home years, the country's
poultry products have been worth more than its com
bined output of gold and silver. The business is so
big that the great western packing houses have taken
it under their wings, picking up the eggs from the
farmers and putting them safely into cold storage
until they can be shipped to market —just when the
price is right, no doubt. It is a fact, though, that eggs
so handled reach the consumer in better shape than
those that pass through the hands of the country
grocer. The latter, taking them in exchange for sugar
and calico, imposes no age limits, providing they do
not speak for themselves like the chicken that peeped
as Mike broke a raw into his mouth. You know
the story? Mike, a bil startled, gulped, choked and
Incubator house of terra cotta hollow tile
Edward I. Farrington.
White Indian Runner Ducks prolific layers
that was practically built by hens a city where
•aw materials are converted into eggs at ihe rale oi
$457 worth an hour for leu hours a. day, Sundays
and holidays included; for I lie Sabbatical system IS
not recognised by the hen.
But l<> get hack lo our little Hock in the back yard.
When hens are kepi in large numbers, I hey are ex
peeled to pay a protit of a dollar a head, 'flu 1 back
yard Bock should pay twice as much. Here are two
actual experiences: A suburban family kept fifteen
pullets in a home-made poultry house, fed Ihe table
scraps supplemented with grain, and made a net
protit of fifty dollars. Another family housed eight
Ancona pullets in a ten-dollar coop, and had all the
eggs needed for household use and some lo sell during
a winter thai was unusually severe. Thousands of
families are having experiences of this sort. It is a
practical way to beat the middleman, or whoever is
responsible for things as they arc.
Along with simplified spelling and sim
plified brick laying, we have simplified
poultry keeping, which is a line thing for
the amateur with a little land ami less
knowledge. Mo longer is it necessary to mix
a wet mash every morning.
Nowadays, a. dry mash
which is another term for
dry ground grains mixed
ami with beef .-craps added
is dumped into a hopper
and placed where the hens
can consult their own sweet
will about eating it.
No longer is it nee^ssarj
to puzzle over balanced rations. All
dealers now sell prepared combina
tions of cracked grains, scientifically
blended. Most hens will speedily un-
in a way that is almost human. But it
is reassuring to the poultry keeper to Start right,
especially after he has read some learned bulletin on
the subject.
It is no longer necessary lo pore over poultry house
plans and to hire a carpenter to execute them, nor
even to hammer one's thumb in an effort to meta
morphose a piano box into a hen coop. Ready-made,
portable poultry houses are especially well adapted
to the needs of small (locks. They are found very
convenient by the man who rents his home, for the
reason that they can he knocked down and loaded
into a wagon whenever it becomes desirable to change
is quite possible to confine a flock for months at a
time, if the house is so arranged that fresh air may
be admitted freely and if a deep litter is used to
cover the floor, so that the birds will be compelled
to work for what they eat just as if they were hunt
ing bugs in the fields. It is true that this method of
keeping poultry has limitations. No oiu
S advised to breed from hens housed s<
•losely. The wise plan is to sell all tin
tens in the summer as they cease to lay
and to start afresh with well-maturei
tullets in the fall. Then, all the work
md bother incidental to the raising o
thickens is done away with, and there is
10 need to maintain a rooster with tin
lock —a feature of the plan that will ap
peal to non-poultry-keeping neighbors.
Although this close-housing system is
the only one that is practicable under
raise his own chicks. The incubator and tne >rooa
on their eggs, are reared almosl exclusively in many
■-ect ions of the country. They compel one to ass
machines, or to comb the countryside for broody old
Plymouth Rocks and Wyandottes.
One remarkable feature of the modern incubator
is the elasticity of its usefulness. The man with a
few hens invests in a fifty-egg machine and runs it
in his living room, while the man with a big plant
installs a mammoth incubator capable of hatching
thousands of eggs at a lime. The big man burns coal.
The little man Uses kerosene, gas or electricity. Has
and elect ricilv economize labor, and may be
where the insurance regulations bar oil. y
Egypt had mammoth hatching machines thousands
of years ago. If Cleopatra \'v<\ Anthony on anything
bo commonplace as chicken, probably the efaoice
yoiing birds pipped their shells in a big oveu-shaped,
clay incubator. We, in America, have canghl up
with Egypt al last; and coincident
v, nli ihe development of the mam
moth hatching machine, have cone
I wo new lines of industry custom
batching and Ihe sale of bahy chicks.
The back-yard poultry keeper finds
something in both to interest him.
Both help lo make amateur poultry '
keeping easy.
Suppose you have a strain of Co
lumbian Wyandottes thai you waul
lo perpetuate. You select your
hatching eggs with dim cue from
your best pens, and express them
1., the custom hatcher. Twenty-lwo
or twenty-three days later, the ex
■ !(- nan delivers tne baby chicks to
you. Simple, isn't it 1 And yet, revolutionary! Who
knows to wl a! end tl is [lan wull lead \ In the course
of a few years, every well-populated comity may
have several mammoth machines, where the hatching
for all the small poultry keej ers will be done. Such
an arrangement would come very near to duplicating
ihe Egyptian custom; for thine, one or two men do
the hatching for a whole community. With a little
imagination, one can picture hatching stations along
side the creameries all over the country. This branch
of the poultry industry is still in swaddling clot lies;
but a rapid growth is promised.
Every device or practice that help.-, lo increase ihe
amount of the country's poultry products will be an
aid in cutting the cost of living; and, as Ihe supply
is far behind the demand, il can be done without
affecting the returns of the poultry keeper, h'eiuent
her that eggs are being imported from countries so
far away as China.
mi ' I O 1 111-1 • i I • •
Ihe sale ol day-old chicks is another interesting
White Leghorns the best
breed for etrss
A type of fresh-air house now growing in fuvor
(Continued on Page >:i)

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