Growing Ducks For Market

Growing ducks for market is a specialized side line in poultry keeping and is becoming popular with many poultrymen and farmers, especially those near large towns and cities. Profits received for money invented are very attractive and the turnover is rapid.

Considerable experimental work with different varieties of ducks, and the use of different feeds fed in different ways have been carried on at the Experimental Farm in Ottawa, states A. G. Taylor. Poultry division . A brief summary of results obtained  would indicate that ducklings of the Pekin breed make the best gains with the least amount of feed. When properly handled, ducklings of this breed make one pound gain in weight on 3.5 to 4 pounds of feed consumed. They can be developed to market age in about ten weeks times when fed on a mixture of equal parts cornmeal, shorts and bran with ten per cent beef meal added. It is a good plan to add about one per cent fine salt to the mash. Mix thoroughly in its dry state before using.

Frequent feeding promotes rapid growth. Feed six times daily from the start until ducklings are three weeks old, and fives times daily until they are ready for market.

Duck mashes should be moistened with water before feeding. It is a good plan to moisten the mixture about two to three hours before feeding so that the mash may become swollen and more easily digested.

Add sufficient water to make the mash quiet moist and let it stand for a few hours. When ready to feed it should not be sloppy but just wet enough that it will stick together. Sprinkle coarse sand over the mash before feeding. The sand serves as grit, and aids in the process of digestion. Chick size oyster shell should be provided so that the ducklings can help themselves. Feed only what the ducklings will eat up clean at each feeding.

Finely chopped green feed should be added to the mash after the ducklings are four to five days old. Fresh cut clover or alfalfa which has been chopped fine makes excellent green feed. Start with only a very small amount and increase the green feed gradually until it represents about one fifth of the ration. 

When the ducklings are about seven weeks old, the green feed should be gradually eliminated and at the commencement of the eight week the mash should be changed to 50 pounds cornmeal, 35 pounds shorts and 15 pound beef meal with a sprinkling of coarse sand.

By the end of the tenth week the ducklings should be in excellent flesh and have developed their first coat of feathers. At this time there should be no delay in marketing them. If kept longer they will change their feathers, which will slow up development and reduce profit. The profit made in the raising of ducks for market is directly dependent on the successful marketing of the product at the proper time. 

– Growing Ducks For Market, The Charlottetown Guardian. March 4, 1940


Ellen Happily Relates The Joys Of Christmas

These days, it may be by way of radio or by the voices of the children, Christmas carols come into these old rooms, to be an exquisite part of the season—to be one with the fragrance of the Christmas bakings, to belong with the hushed snow-spread fields, with December sun and moon, and the distant sparkling stars, and all its mystery and charm. And we find we turn again to read precious tales of the long, long ago. We read-through do we not know the story by heart? “And it came to pass in those days…” to find again that Bethlehem road.

We take down too from its shelf, for this is the season, Dicken’s Christmas Stories—an ancient volume, cover faded, leaves yellowed, print quaint, to enjoy again the deep understanding of humans, the engaging humour caught in pages: A Christmas Carol with the characters as bright and likable, or as mean and unlikable as ever the author intended them to be.

There is too the story of “A Christmas Tree”, not so well known possibly as the former, but to us most enjoyable, inspired it would seem by the sight of children seated about their tree. It brings back to the author memorie[sic] of his young Christmas-tides. The toys, the gift-books… everything in those reflections which carry him back across the years.

…” But hark! The waits are playing”, he recalls “and they break my childish sleep. What images do I associate with the Christmas music, as I see them set forth on the Christmas Tree? Known before all the others, keeping far apart from all the others, they gather round my little bed. An angel speaking to a group of shepherds in a field; some travelers with eyes uplifted fllowing[sic] a Star: a Baby in a manager; a Child in a spacious temple, talking with grave men; a figured with a mild, beautiful face raising a dead girl by the hand. Still, on the lower and maturer branches of the Tree, Christmas associations cluster thick. School-books shut up; Ovid and Viril[sic] silenced; the Rule of Three, long disposed of…If I no more come home at Christmas time, there will be boys and girls (thank Heaven!) while the world lasts; and they do! Yonder they dance, and play upon the branches of my Tree God bless them, merrily, and my heart dances and plays too!”

“And I DO come home at Christmas. We all do, or we all should. We all come home, or ought to come home, for a short holiday- the longer the better – from the great boarding-school, where we are forever working at our arithmetic slates, to take and give a rest.”

Christmas gives so much delight to all. Not alone to the children, whose special season it is supposed to be, but also to those older-grown, who seeing their joy and happiness, again re-lived as did Charles Dickens in his immortal Christmas stories, their own of the years bygone  

                                                                              –  Ellen’s Diary, December 13, 1958


Farm Record Crops

The grain growers of the Prairies have called 1952 a “year of wonders” They had nearly ideal harvesting conditions during April and May, when they safely threshed over 150 million bushels of wheat and about 135 million bushels of oats and barley that had lain out in their fields during the winter, because of very unfavourable fall harvesting conditions.  Spring conditions were so favourable, however, that much of this grain graded higher and was worth more per bushel than that which they had succeeded in harvesting the previous autumn.

For two successive years the harvesting and planting of cereal crops on many areas of the prairies were carried on simultaneously. Farm mechanization made this possible, and the exceptional weather conditions that prevailed allowed for the almost continuous operation of farm implements and mammoth combines. By the middle of May, the spring harvesting of crops was nearing completion in the southern areas of all three Prairie Provinces, and wheat seeding was also practically over in these areas by that time, and at the end of the month, seeding was generally completed in the West. 

During 1952, almost ideal weather conditions prevailed throughout the great cereal growing areas of the west, for the seeding, growing and harvesting of Canada’s record wheat crop, estimated at 688 million bushels, which exceeds the previous record. crop of 1928 by 121 million bushels. There were also record crops of both barley and soy beans, and above normal yields of most of their other crops, making 1952 one of the best growing seasons for farm crops in western Canada. 

The West has also had a favourable season for marketing their cereals. Before the close of navigation, they had exported wheat and its products (in terms of wheat) and coarse grains over 500 million bushels, which was about 100 million bushels more than the former record year of 1928-29. Supplies of wheat and feeds, however, in 1952-53, because of a carry-over of 213 million bushels, will amount to about 900 million bushels, a record that has only been surpassed in 1942-43. What are the marketing prospects for this enormous quantity of wheat and feeds? 

1920s A man harvesting hay using a binder powered by a team of three horses.

It was estimated that world trade in wheat last year reached over one billion bushels, an all time high. This year’s crops have been good in many of the non exporting areas, Western Europe in particular had crops much above average. India and Pakistan had yields, however, much below average. The four major exporting nations: Canada. Australia, United States and Argentina have about 600 million bushels more than they had last year, and most of this surplus will have to be marketed outside the International Wheat Agreement, as Canada’s commitment was within five million bushels of being Filled in the final year of the agreement. 

Two conditions have developed that are very favourable to marketing Canada’s wheat crop: First. the superior quality of the 1952 crop has resulted in a very active early world demand for our wheat;  second, a very severe drought in the United States winter wheat growing areas has greatly reduced their estimated yield. The Wheat Board confirms reports that future commitments to ship wheat to other countries exceed those of any previous year. Every effort has been made to move Canadian wheat to the seaboard as early as possible, to relieve storage in the West and to have it where it is available for immediate export. The wheat Board have been refusing business by way of Vancouver since early in October, as that port is “booked solid” until July 31st, 1953. Final shipping returns from the National Harbour Board elevator at Churchill set the 1952 ocean cargo total at 8,585,121 bushels. This is an all time record for this port, and exceeds, by approximately 1.3 millions the previous high set last year. It is transportation that is now limiting sales of Canadian wheat. 

Ontario, extending as it does, from a point farthest south in Canada to Hudson Bay, and from the Lake of Two Mountains on the Ottawa River to the Lake of the Woods, includes many climatic zones. Its growing season, however, was early in southern and eastern Ontario, and most of its  farm crops reached or exceeded average yields. Southwestern Ontario had a drought period in the early autumn, which reduced late crop yields, but in the north, there were many record yields per acre of potatoes. We do not have this year’s returns from Lambton County, but last year it produced a three and a half million dollar crop of husked corn, and eight million dollars worth of honey. 

Quebec had a backward spring seeding season, and grain crops showed a marked decrease in yield; the average yield of wheat was down two bushels and that of oats was down 1.4 bushels Iron the previous year. may production however, amounted to six million tons, an increase of 185,000 tons over 1051, and the potato crop gave a yield of 149 cwt. per acre 1 or a total of 22,750,000 bushels. These were the two outstanding Quebec crops in 1952.

Spring opened early in the Maritime provinces and there was some early seeding and planting which gave excellent returns. This was followed by a period of rainy weather that greatly delayed the general seeding of crops. There had been very little winter killing and clover and hay generally gave yields above average and of excellent quality. Early pasture conditions in Prince Edward Island were never better than average yields. Potatoes however, in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island gave record yields.

– Newsy Notes, December 20, 1952