Editor of " The Encyclopedia of Poultry," etc.
Possibilities of the Pursuit from a Business Standpoint - Qualities Necessary for Success - How to
Start - Principles on which to Conduct the Business Successfully
Poultry farming as a business pursuit for women is by no means a novel undertaking, as it is an occupation that has been followed by many women during the last quarter of a century. Not only has the " fancy " side of poultry culture been taken up by many whose names figure prominently in exhibition circles, but the greatest possible success has been achieved in the show-pen, and in the breeding and selling of standard bred fowls and valuable sittings of eggs.
There are, moreover, many women who keep fowls solely for utility purposes, and whose reputation as breeders of high-class laying fowls and table birds is known throughout the country. Women, too, have won many of the prizes offered in laying competitions.
In addition to the above-mentioned classes of poultry-keeping women, there are many proprietors of establishments in different parts of the country who carry on mixed farming, and who look upon their stocks of fowls as very profitable adjuncts thereto. Eggs and dressed fowls are marketed for edible use, and since upon such farms the birds, during the rearing season, consume an amount of natural food that lessens their cost of keep, they entail no extra expenses in the way of land rents. Indeed, it cannot be denied that, if they are properly managed, fowls improve the land on which they run to an appreciable extent.
In taking up poultry farming as a business pursuit, it should not be entered into with the idea that a large income can be made from it alone, or that such a business can be carried on successfully without some knowledge of poultry culture, and an ability to put such knowledge into practical use. Knowledge, be it theoretical or practical, is necessary, as well as business capacity, a robust constitution, and a determination to succeed; and, in addition to the above personal and very essential qualities, there should be added a knowledge of some other branch of business calculated to combine well with poultry-keeping.
A friendly brood. Most young creatures respond readily to kindness on the part of those who tend them
But that poultry farming can be made to pay, and pay well, when carried on in conjunction with some other suitable pursuit, there is no doubt, and there is no reason why any woman possessing a knowledge of fruit, flower, or vegetable culture for the market should not succeed with poultry-keeping, if she begins her operations in the right way. The woman who possesses knowledge sufficient for the successful cultivation of fruit, flowers, and vegetables for the market, although she has little or no knowledge of poultry culture, is intelligent enough to acquire the theoretical side of the subject, and an exhaustive series of articles on the subject of chicken rearing already has been published in the earlier parts of Every
It is possible in most districts to work up a local trade in eggs, table birds, fatte dducklings, or day-old chickens. Many women have begun their business operations by soliciting orders from friends and relatives, to whom the farm produce has been sent daily or weekly, according to contract entered into. They have begun modestly, and have added to their stocks and plants as their trade increased, and this method is the right and businesslike one for the beginner.
Management of the Farm
No woman can be expected, single-handed, to carry on a combined industry such as poultry-keeping and fruit, vegetable, or flower culture. A strong, active youth will be necesssary to do the rougher part of the work, such as cleaning out poultry-houses and other structures, or other rough work that is either too unpleasant or laborious for women. In the management
Woman's Work of the poultry-keeping side of the business there is much that women can do, such as preparing foods, feeding the stock, managing the broody hens, operating incubators and brooders (see previous articles dealing with these subjects), rearing chickens, collecting eggs, fattening ducks and chickens, packing and despatching produce, and keeping accounts.
Those who anticipate taking up poultry culture with the sole object of producing eggs for edible use should ponder well before doing so, for unless some other work is combined with it it is doubtful whether the production of edible eggs alone can be made to pay in this country as yet, although the future is full of promise, owing to the fact that eggs are becoming more in demand every year, and that the prices for such are steadily rising, whilst the demand is outgrowing the supply. But it must be carried on in conjunction with some other industry whose by-products, otherwise wasted, will help to maintain the fowls.
If fowls can be run on grass land or in an orchard, they obtain much of their food for nothing, and at the same time improve the ground on which they run
For instance, to keep in health and profitable lay, fowls need an abundance of vegetable food, and if they can run on grass land devoted to fruit-growing, the green food they obtain costs nothing, the rent being paid for as orchard ground, and the birds assist, rather than depend upon, the orchard for their maintenance, owing to the fact that they fertilise it and rid the land of injurious insects.
Again, if fowls are kept on land devoted to the production of vegetables for market, and are systematically managed in conjunction with the cultivation of the soil, then they can be provided with a great amount of green food in the way of vegetable trimmings, small unsaleable roots, thinnings from the seedling plots, and weeds, which otherwise would be cast on the rubbish-heap. Such food will curtail their cost of keep and bctter fit them for the production of eggs.
It may be argued that the value of vegetable waste is so trivial as to be unworthy of serious Consideration, and that fowls need more substantia] food to induce them to lay eggs, but it should be remembered that the predisposing cause of unprolificacy in many poultry yards is traceable often to the lack 1ack of a sufficency of vegetable matter in the daily rations.
An important point to consider by those who desire to combine poultry-keeping with flower culture is that of the necessary supply of vegetable food for the birds. If the fowls are to be looked upon as an adjunct to the floral farm, owing to the supply of manure they provide for the land, then, in addition to the land acquired for floral culture, adjoining grass land must either be acquired for the birds, or the farm must be in close proximity to a market gardener who grows vegetables, and from whom waste products, in the form of green food, can be either had for the asking or secured at a nominal cost. Should the latter procedure be the only available one, then the grass land can be dispensed with, as, if kept on the double-run system, which will be plained in a subsequent article, the birds will thrive and at the same time fertilise the soil. It will be seen that poultry-keeping is not only a possible but a profitable pursuit, for, if possessed of capital to cover the necessary initial outlay, and ability to put into practical effect the possibilities thereof, there is no reason why any woman should not add materially to her income by following it.
[Questions relating to poultry farming will be gladly answered by the author. Letters should be addressed to him c/o the Editor of Every Woman's Encyclopaedia.]
To be continued.
Feeding-time. The question of suitable food is of the first importance in poultry culture and must receive the farmer's own personal attention Marriage plays a very important part in every woman's life, and, on account of its universal interest and importance, will be dealt with fully in Every Woman's Encyclopaedia. The subject has two sides, the practical and the romantic. A varied range of articles, therefore, will be included in this section, dealing with:
Engagement and Wedding Rings, etc.