Production Of Eggs

During the first week the carbonaceous fed hens laid three eggs while the others laid two. The two groups were, therefore, practically evenly divided at the start as to the condition of the laying stage. At the end of the first period the nitrogenous fed hens had laid forty-three eggs and the carbonaceous fed hens had laid twenty. During the next twenty-five days the former laid thirty and the latter six; during the third period the former laid six and the latter not any. From this time on no eggs were received from either group. The decline in egg production was probably due in large part to the fact that the hens began to moult during the second period, and continued to do so during the rest of the experiment.

The eggs laid by the nitrogenous fed hens were of small size, having a disagreeable flavor and smell, watery albumen, an especially small, dark colored yolk, with a tender vitelline membrane, which turned black after being kept several weeks. While the eggs of the carbonaceous fed hens were large, of fine flavor, of natural smell, large normal albumen, an especially large, rich yellow yolk, with strong vitelline membrane, which was perfectly preserved after being kept for weeks in the same brine with the other eggs.


Lot. I.--Nitrogenous.Lot. II.--Carbonaceous.
Hens.*Chicks Hens.Chicks.
Shorts.29.9021.85Green clover.18.7518.75
Cotton seed meal.21.4813.24Cabbage.16.0016.00
Linseed meal.8.438.61Wheat15.6311.71
Skimmed milk.105.4961.33
Green clover.18.7518.75
Total.245.58173.34 Total.132.5392.76
Nutritive ratio.1:3.11:3 Nutritive ratio.1:7.81:8

* Calculated for five chicks, based upon the amount eaten by the three after the two sick were removed.


Lot I.Lot II.
Live weight, July 26.23.5323.56
Live weight, November 27.21.3122.00
Number of eggs laid.79.0026.00
Weight of eggs laid lb.8.252.92
Average weight of eggs, oz.1.671.80
Gain in weight, including eggs, lb.6.031.36


Lot I.Lot II.
Live weight, July 26. 8.94 9.06
Live weight, November 27.17.8912.63
Gain, lb. 8.95 3.57
Gain, per cent. 100.1139.40

Samples of the eggs from each lot of fowls were privately marked and sold to a boarding house where the cook did not know that the eggs were undergoing a test. On meeting the cook several days later the following words were heard: "Do you expect me to cook such eggs as these! About every other one is spoiled." On examination of the ovaries after slaughtering, it was found that in the case of one of the carbonaceous fed hens the ovules were in a more advanced stage, but on the whole the nitrogenous fed hens were much nearer the laying period. With this single exception, the clusters of ovules in the carbonaceous fed hens were uniformly small. Neither group would have laid under any probability for several weeks. It would seem from these facts, together with the fact that during the experiment the nitrogenous fed hens laid more than three times as many eggs, that a nitrogenous ration stimulates egg production.

The Results Of Slaughtering

On November 27 the fowls were slaughtered. Each fowl was weighed, wrapped in a bag to prevent floundering, and killed by severing an artery in the roof of the mouth. The blood was caught in a glass jar. The fowls were then picked and the feathers weighed, after which the body was laid open longitudinally by cutting alongside the sternum and through the back bone. When all had been thus prepared, they were hung up in groups to be photographed, but the photographs were quite unsatisfactory so far as showing the relative proportions of fat and lean. The accompanying drawing made from the photograph shows the relative development of an average pair of chickens. Attention is particularly called to the thighs.

The Results Of Slaughtering 795 15 plucked

One-half of each fowl was tested by cooking for flavor, succulence, and tenderness. The other half was carefully prepared for chemical analysis by separating the meat from the bones. The flesh was thoroughly mixed and run through a sausage cutter, mixed again, and the process repeated three times. From different parts of this mixture a large sample was taken, from which the chemist took his samples for analysis. The right tibia of each fowl was tested for strength by placing it across two parallel bars and suspending a wire on its center, on which were placed small weights until the bone gave way.


Lot I. Lot II.Lot I. Lot II.
Live weight21.3122.017.8912.63
Dressed weight.14.8615.0912.018.89
Dressed weight, per cent.69.768.667.170.5
Weight of blood.0.750.660.550.34
Weight of feathers.1.411.251.280.66
Weight of intestinal fat.0.591.980.340.66
Weight of offal.3.703.023.622.08
Weight of bones.3.473.633.182.69
Weight of flesh.11.3911.478.936.20

The breaking strain of the right tibia was as follows for the hens and chickens of the various lots:

Average hens,nitrogenous. 48.16
" carbonaceous. 51.74
Average chickens,nitrogenous. 46.64
"carbonaceous. 31.18

There was little difference in the strength of the bones of the hens, undoubtedly because the bones were mature before the feeding began, and were little affected by the feeding. We find, however, that the bones of the chickens fed on nitrogenous food were almost fifty per cent. (49.6) stronger than those fed carbonaceous food.

The difference in the composition of the flesh, as shown by the analysis of Mr. W.P. Cutter, is given below:

Lot I. Lot II.Lot I. Lot II.
Albuminoids. 43.8125.1352.0030.06

The flesh of each group was submitted to a number of persons for a cooking test, and the almost unanimous verdict was that the flesh of the fowls fed a nitrogenous ration was darker colored, more succulent, more tender, and better flavored, though on this last there was some difference of opinion.


So far as it is warrantable to draw any conclusions from a single experiment of this kind, it would seem that:

Chickens fed on an exclusive corn diet will not make a satisfactory development, particularly of feathers.

The bones of chickens fed upon a nitrogenous ration are fifty per cent. stronger than those fed upon a carbonaceous ration.

Hens fed on a nitrogenous ration lay many more eggs but of smaller size and poorer quality than those fed exclusively on corn.

Hens fed on corn, while not suffering in general health, become sluggish, deposit large masses of fat on the internal organs, and lay a few eggs of large size and excellent quality.

The flesh of nitrogenous fed fowls contains more albuminoids and less fat than those fed on a carbonaceous ration, and is darker colored, juicier and tenderer.

I.P. ROBERTS, Director.