Poultry Husbandry Series

Good results are usually obtained by the use of a light at night in the brooder. This light must not be too strong, not more than 10 watts, just enough to enable the chicks to see there way about. They will then continue feeding during the night, and increase in food consumed will result in more rapid growth. This, of course, only applies during early hatches, as later chicks get enough exercise during the day.

All drinking fountains should be carefully disinfected, and after being filled should be placed in the brooder so that the water may be warm before the chicks come to it. Sour milk, if obtainable, is a good drink for the chicks, and this is best served in the earthenware or wooden troughs, as the milk is very quickly contaminated by metal containers.

It sometimes happens that chicks get overheated while rail, and when this happens there is a chance of them getting chilled when they are unloaded. It is well then to meet the chicks when they arrive, and get them into the brooder as soon as possible. When the chicks are being unpacked it is well to dip the beak of each chick into the water trough. They will be thirsty after the journey, and may take a long time to find the water if left to themselves.

Just prior to leaving the shell, each chick draws in a large supply of food in the form of egg yolk, and great harm may be done by feeding the chicks before this natural food has been assimilated. Give plenty of water at all times but do not be in a hurry to feed and feed very little at each meal. A very good method of starting the chicks is to cover the whole floor of the brooder with newspapers, on which is scattered some fine chicken grit. This will ensure the presence of grit in the gizzard before the arrival of any food.

The best food for chicks is the best chick feed that money can buyーnothing less. Feed a really good brand of chick starter in the manner described for grit, and they chicks will soon be putting it away like little men. Feeding should be done four or fives times a day and the chicks should be allowed to have all day to eat, in from ten to fifteen minutes. After each meal remove all feed, so that the chicks will be hungry for the next meal when it comes.

On the third day place hoppers, filled with feed in the brooder Gradually the chicks will get used to feeding from the hoppers, and when they do the feeding on paper may be discontinued.

There is everything that a chick requires in a high grade chick starter, and this includes green feed. However, after the first ten days very good results will be obtained by adding some finley chopped raw onion to the diet. Feed the onion for ten minutes twice a day or for twenty minutes once a day on clean boards or paper, or in hoppers. Never have any feed about to get stale. Although it does not seem to be known generally, the onion is a perfectly wonderful tonic for chicks. Onions prevents both the extremes of constipation and diarrhoea, and keeps the chicks right up on their toes.

There are some poultry men who swear by the use of charcoal for in the chick feed,  but while we agree that charcoal does have a purifying effect on the system by absorbing gases which are generated in the intestines we do not think that this claim can justify us in fulfilling useful space in the chickens interior with material of no nutritive value. A hopper of sharp grit should always be available to the chicks, and some finely ground charcoal may be mixed with this. While the charcoal may do no perceptible good it certainly can do no harm.

Watch the pigment in the legs of the chicks as this is a sure guide to the vitality of the bird. Remember  that you are feeding to make the chicks grow and that it is possible to force them to the detriment of their health. If the pigment is seen to fade, feed the chicks a little high grade chick scratch, but remember that it is the mash or starter which is going to develop the bird, and keep the gain down to a minimum, not more than one teaspoonful per hundred chicks from the ages of two days to a month.

From about the fifth or sixth day, when the chicks are feeding entirely from the hoppers, There may be signs of constipation. Watch the chicks very carefully, and if they appear to be suffering in this way, place a shallow wooden tray, filled with wheat bran before them. It is well to fit the top of the ray with a frame covered with an inch or two inch wire netting as this prevents the chicks from scratching the bran out on the floor. After warning against feeding too much grain it may seem strange to advocate unlimited feeds of bran. Naturally one would assume that while the bran was available the consumption of mash would fall off. Actually the reverse is true. Bran has a gentle laxative effect on the chicks and they return with renewed interest to their feeding. There is another important factor with regard to the feeding of bran. All the time you are feeding the chicks you are thinking of the day when these same chicks have [sic] grown to the age of netting you an income. Now if you feed a chick concentrated feed there is little work to be done in the intestine, as all the nutriment the chicken require [sic] is drawn from a small bulk of food. Hence the intestine will remain small right up to maturity. But, if you feed some bran, the intestines are enlarged with a view to extracting the nutriment from this bulky feed. Later on. when you feed concentrated laying mash to the birds in the laying house, this large intestine will ensure ample capacity for the extraction of nutriment both for heavy egg yield and for retained vigor.

Hard as it may sometimes seem, it does not pay to doctor sick or crippled chicks; these should be culled out as soon as seen, and killed.

– Poultry Husbandry, The Charlottetown Guardian. June 2, 1934

Source: Islandnewspapers.ca

Animal Husbandry

The consideration of another Jersey breeder might be worth while, even though his situation may be somewhat different than that of any farmer in this province in that he has the use of a feed mixer and thereby has the advantage of mixing his feed according to his own formula. On account of the labor costs he does not grow roots but favours feeding ensi age and molasses instead. He has a prejudice against gluten meal and does not use it in his ration at all. In his formula he includes only the feeds he has to purchase having his mixture of oats and barley ground separately, and mixing it, with the mill feed at the time of feeding. He prefers this plan, as it enables him to increase or decrease the grain in his mixture for any animal at any time. The mixture which he has prepared in the mill and its feeding analysis is as follows:

Amount 400; ingredient oil cake; protein 38 per cent; fat 5 per cent.

Amount 400 ; ingredient    b.an; [sic] protein 12 per cent; fat 3 per cent.

Amount 400; ingredient cotton seed meal; protein 43 per cent; fat 6 per cent.

Amount 400; ingredient distillers grains; protein 25 per cent; fat 6 per cent.

Amount 400; ingredient hominy; protein 10 per cent; fat 8 per cent.

Amount 125; ingredients molasses; protein 8 per cent;

Amount 30; ingredient bone meal;

Amount 15; ingredient iodine salt;

Amount 15; ingredient charcoal;

This mixture would aggregate 2,125 pounds of feed and 60 pounds of mineral matter. It is considered very satisfactory for mineral content, and the feed part of it would run slightly over 24 per cent in protein. At previling [sic] prices this mixture would cost about $30 per ton.The owner crushes oats and barley in about the ratio of 2 to 1 and then feeds three parts of grain to one of the mill mixture. If the mixed grain will average 12 per cent protein, this would give a mixture for feeding of 15 per cent protein and about 3.75 per cent of fat. If a mixture of oats and barley, such as this is worth $20 per ton, then a ton of this would cost $22.50. About 15 pounds of this mixture per day is fed to the cows in two feeds. This of course would vary under special circumstances. 

Ensilage and alfalfa are fed as roughage by the owner, who is particularly skillful in curing alfalfa hay. He keeps it from the hot noon-day sun and has solved the problem of retaining all the leaves and storing it in the barn, to come out with the most appealing green color one would wish to see.

When putting alfalfa in the barn it is sprinkled with salt, which absorbs some of the moisture and gives the hay an appetizing taste. About one gallon of salt is used on each load and this salt on the hay and that included in the meal mixture [sic], is the only salt fed to these cattle while in the stable.

The cows are fed a light feed of alfalfa the first thing in the morning about 6 o’clock, and as they eat it the milking is done. After milking, each cow is given about half a bushel of ensilage with her meal ration on it. At 12 o’clock noon, the cows are fed alfalfa again and after the evening milking are given ensilage and meal as in the morning. They are given no further feed until the following morning.

The owner has another ration which he uses as a supplement for his cows on test, and which he also feeds to his calves. This is a more bulky feed, as it contains but pulp [sic] ,and it is not so strong in concentrates as the first feed, consequently it can be used in addition to the other ration to stimulate milk production, without danger to the cow’s digestion.

This mixtures consists of: 

1000lbs. oats and barley at about 2 to 1. 

100 lbs. of oil cake.

100 lbs. of cotton seed meal.

500 lbs. bran.

500 lbs. dried beet pulp.

125 lbs. molasses.

30 lbs. bone meal.

15 lbs. Charcoal.

15 lbs. iodized salt.

This mixture would have a protein content of 13.5 per cent. The daily beet pulp would add a succulence to ot that is very important when cows are on heavy grain feed.

This farmer’s plan is to feed the first mentioned mixture after milking in the morning and also about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, and feed this later one at noon and again at 9 p.m., feeding about two gallons of it to a feed, which would make a daily ration about 15 pounds. These two rations should be fed only to heavy milking cows on test that are being milked three times a day. When both rations are fed, less ensilage is used, as the beet pulp in the latter ration will displace some of the ensilage.

In feeding roughage only good quality alfalfa is used, as the owner is opposed to using any rough, coarse feed, and is particular to have his cows well bedded so they can be comfortable.

Calves are fed whole milk for three weeks only, and then gradually changed to skim milk, feeding about one quart of skim milk at a feed.

As a supplement the calves are fed a small quantity of the mixture containing the beet pulp, and are given choice alfalfa as well. The heifers in the herd are grown on a small grain ration, with some of the beet pulp mixture and are also fed ensilage and goof alfalfa.

The amount of grain fed to young cattle depends upon their condition. The object is to keep them in thrifty growing condition without too much tendency to fatten.

– Animal Husbandry, The Charlottetown Guardian. December 14, 1935

Source: Islandnewspapers.ca

Animal Husbandry

For young cattle, oats is an excellent mixture to feed with barley. Cattle that are by no means mature are adding bone and muscle to their bodies, in which oats as a feed will play an important part. Adding muscle means adding lean meat, which is highly desirable. 

In fattening more mature cattle, wheat, or wheat screenings, makes a good addition to barley chop. Screenings can usually be purchased at a price which makes them profitable feed. Wheat, where grown in any quantity, will only be fed when the selling price is low enough to warrant it.

Barley is higher in carbohydrates, but lower in fat, than oats; they are about equal in protein, but oats have more fibre, as the hull is thick and. longer. An average analysis of several samples of oats and barley made by the Dominion Experimental Farms gave the following results: Oats, protein 11.73 per cent.; carbohydrates 60.94 per cent, and fat 4.36 per cent; barley, protein 12.13 per cent, carbohydrates 64.49 per cent, and fat 1.71 per cent. Oats would contain about 10 per cent of fibre and barley about 46 per cent. In the case of wheat it will vary a good deal, but a fair average would be protein 12.4 per cent, carbohydrates 71.2 per cent and fat 2.1 per cent, while wheat screenings would run about, protein 13.3 carbohydrates 61.1, and fat 4.1. Wheat screanings [sic] would contian [sic] about 7.4 per cent of fibre, while wheat would show only about 2.2 per cent. Corn, by way of comparison, will average protein 9.4 per cent, carbohydrates 66.1 percent. and fat 4.7 percent with only about 1.9 per cent of fibre.

Linseed meal will not only provide protein for the development of lean meat, but it will add to the healthfulness, the digestibility, and the palatability of the ration. But pulp, which is a splendid conditioner for feeder cattle acts as a sort of tonic ,and when feeding it the grain ration may be increased as the cattle have good appetites. Beet pulp is low in protein, however, and alfalfa hay, if at all available, should be fed with it. If this can not be secured a small amount of cotton-seed meal would greatly improve the ration for young cattle of this kind. Cottonseed meal would be preferable to linseed meal if fed with beet pulp, as it is not so laxative and is higher in protein.

These analysis are always interesting and form a fairly good guide in feeding, but by no means a positive one. The effects of different kinds of feed upon animals cannot be wholly determined by analysis but must be worked out in actual practice, through which the feeder  finally determines what is best to use. That is what makes it so necessary to experiment with feeds and to study the animals that are being fed. The feeder must have a  basis to begin on, gleaned from the experience of others, and then he must determine many things by his own judgment and practice. 

We might deal first with the feeding of weaned calves, brought off the range and put up in feed lots to be finished for the following Spring market. These calves would be six to seven months old, and weigh rom [sic] 350 to 450 lbs. They would be carrying the milk fat from following their mothers, and care should be taken to see that they lose as little as possible in the change to the feed lot. 

Calves such 6g these should be conveyed as directly as possible feeding ground. They should be closed in the feed yard and not allowed to wander about and lose flesh.If shut up in reasonably close quarters, the company of the other calves seems to compensate in some respect for the separation from their mothers, and so they fret less. 

Abundance of palatable feed, however, will be much greater compensation for them and will keep them going right ahead. 

There is no better initial ration for such calves, when first shut in than whole oats and good alfalfa or mlxcd clover hay. These calves have been feeding on milk and grass, two of the most easily digested feeds, and they must not have too strong a grain ration to begin with, or their stomachs may be upset. They must also have a nourishing ration, and whole oats seem to be peculiarly adapted to the food requirements of young cattle.

Well cured alfalfa hay is always relished by cattle, and calves will attack it with avidity and so will secure the amount of good, nourishing feed they require when coming off milk and grass. In feeding alfalfa it is a good plan to have some other clover hay to use for every third feed, which keeps the cattle keener for the alfalfa and gives greater variety.

As regards grain feed for calves off the range, the following ratio may be worthy of note:

2 lbs. each of whole oats per day fed in two feed for the first 4 or 5 days.

2 lbs. each of whole oats and 1lb. crushed oats per day, fed in two feeds, for the next 8 or 10 days.

4 lbs. each crushed oats per day, fed in two feeds, until the end of the third week from the commencement of feeding.

Add 1lb. Each of crushed barley or wheat to the fore-going ration for the fourth week and then double the barley or wheat in the feed.

You are now feeding 4 lbs. crushed oats and 2 lbs. either crushed barley or wheat per day to each calf, making a grain ration of 6 lbs. each per day.

At the end of two months the grain ration may be increased to 7 lbs. per day and two weeks later to 8 lbs. per day.

The 8 lbs. of meal would consist of 4 lbs. of oats and 4 lbs. of barley or wheat, fed, o course, [sic] in two feeds of 4 lbs. each

This ration might be later increased by the addition of 2 lbs. more of barley or wheat, making a daily ration of 10 lbs., 4 lbs. of cats and 6 lbs. of barley or wheat. In this case the addition of ground oil cake, as suggested in the following paragraph, would be desirable.

If these calves are fed alfalfa for roughage they will get the necessary protein for young growing animals, but if mixed hay, or green oat sheaves, are used, it would be advisable to add to the foregoing grain ration about 1-2lb. linseed meal when the grain ration reaches 6 lbs. per day and increase it to 1-2 lbs. when the cattle are consuming 8lbs. of meal each per day, and 2 lbs. when 10 lbs. of meal is fed.

– Animal Husbandry, The Charlottetown Guardian. May 8, 1935, p 8.

Source: islandnewspapers.ca


“Dull November is with us again. The gorgeous color of the woodlands has given away to bare limbs of leafless trees. We feel that we shall not enjoy summer sights nor sounds for many a long month to come, and can now settle ourselves down to the indoor tasks we had in mind. But November has a charm of its own. Its brown meadows and sombre woods invite us for a brisk walk in the bracing air. Nature is past her heyday, so that such a walk is greatly enhanced by having some other purpose.

One november day as I was enjoying a walk it occurred to me to note the flowers which were still in bloom at this late date, And by the time I had returned home I was really surprised at the number of these late stragglers.

As I crossed some fields there were little patches of golden rods. Of course many of the plants had gone to seed. But here and there, amid the downy seedheads, I saw the touch of a yellow flower And also, among the asters I found brown tufts of down everywhere yet the dull patches were brightened in places — perhaps more sheltered than elsewhere— with the rich purple of new England aster, the blue of the heart-leaved aster or the plain white of the little many-flowered aster. Many times I saw the yarrow with its flat top of white flowers still blooming, and I could not resist pausing to sniff its pungent odor which always reminds me, not of November, but of hot July days.

Of course I found plenty of dandelions. It would take more than the casual frosts of early autum to kill off these hardy stragglers. Amid the wilted grass I spied many a little golden head bravely blooming. Another spot of yellow was the odd solitary buttercup, aloft on its tall stem. Clovers, too, were in evidence. Occasionally a head of purple clover showed near the ground; and even the rose-tinted Alsike was to be seen. Often the tall sweet white clover held a spray of its tiny florets still in bloom.

For some distance my walk led me along the country road, where I found the common mayweed. This little daisy-like flower is abundant by roadsides throughout the summer. Sp that it is not surprising that in spite of such early frosts as there had been, many of its flowers were still in bloom. And here again I was tempted to smell the flower. Sure enough! It still retained the rank scent which has given it the name of “stinking mayweed”. The chicory was here too. Though somewhat lacking in its summer vigor, its flowers still gleamed in their lovely blue if anything enhanced by the drab surroundings. 

Nor were these all Most folk know the plants mentioned, for their flowers are conspicuous I found humbler flowers also. Ragweed, sheep sorrel, and pigweed were still in bloom. One would never gather sprays of any of these to deck a vase at home. They are dismissed as weeds by all but the botanist. Yet if trouble be taken to examine these lowly plants, their flowers will be found, which, though microscopic, are as perfect and as beautiful as the rose or the daisy.

It would be too much to say that all the flowers I found on this November day were at their best. Some looked as though they were struggling against odds which would soon overcome them. Others were putting on a bold front and looked almost as vigorous as in summer. But stragglers though they were and sadly out of season, their unexpected appearance greatly added to the interest of a November ramble.”

                                                      – Newsy Nature Notes, November 15, 1941

Source: islandnewspapers.ca

Fungus for naming

A dried fungus reached me in rather round-about fashion, from “somebody in the Market building.” From its appearance I judged it was an uncommon species, so I sent it to the Dominion Botanist for naming. By return mail I got this reply: “The specimen you sent for identification, is, as you suggested, one of the phalloids, Mutinus Ravenelli (B.& C.) E. Fisher. There is no common name as far as I know except “Stinkhorn,” which is generally applied to the group as a whole and not to any particular species. Yours truly, J. Walton Groves, Plant Pathologist.”

I have entered this find in my records. As the phalloid fungi require extremely good soil and special circumstances for growing, they are naturally scarce. The only other specimen I have in my records I found at Mount Herbert on July 7th, 1922: It was Mutinus elegans, and was growing near a hen-house where the soil was “rich.”

Some of the group resemble a horn shape, and as the tip is covered with an extremely evil-smelling gluey substance, the country folk in Britain named the group “Stinkhorns.” The smell attracts flies which afterward carry the spores (roughly, seeds) of the fungus locations. 

                                                              – Newsy Notes, October 29, 1948

Source: islandnewspaper.ca