The best method of preservation is as follows : One part of water-glass (sodium silicate) mixed with nine parts of boiled spring water. Put the eggs in a stoneware crock when gathered from the nests, if cool and clean, until the crock is nearly full ; then pour in the water-glass solution until there is at least two inches of liquid over the top layer of eggs. Keep in a cool place. If carefully done, this method is reliable.
Another successful method is to slake two pounds of good lump lime, and while hot add one pound of common salt. After cooling, add ten quarts of boiled spring water and stir thoroughly several times the first day. Then let it settle, using only the clear liquid, which may be poured over the eggs after they have been placed in a stoneware crock; or the liquid can first be put in the crock and the eggs put in that, day by day, when gathered. The eggs must always be two inches below surface. More of the solution can be put in when necessary. Stoneware vessels are the most desirable ones for keeping these mixtures in.
Eggs are sometimes removed from the shells, canned, and kept in cold storage or frozen, and sold to large consumers. The most wholesome method is evaporation. The egg is then reduced to powder that will keep any length of time, in any climate, and can be carried to places where poultry-keeping is out of the question and where all eatables carried must be reduced to a minimum weight.
Parasites of Fowls (Crosby)
Hen Louse (Menopon pallidum). - here are several species of lice infesting poultry, of which this is the commonest. When full grown, it is over one twenty-fifth inch in-length, slender, and of a pale straw-yellow color. The eggs are laid on the feathers near the base. The lice do not suck blood, but run actively over the body and feed on the dried skin and feathers, but in so doing irritate the skin with their sharp claws.
Treatment. - keep poultry in clean, airy, well-lighted houses, and use perches and nest boxes that can be removed easily. Spray perches, nest boxes, and the whole interior of the house either with a 2 per cent solution of cresol disinfecting soap (formula page 436) or with a mixture of one part of crude carbolic acid and three parts kerosene. The application should be repeated in about a week to kill any lice that may have escaped before. To free the fowls of lice, dust them thoroughly with some good lice powder, and repeat the application in about a week. (For formula see page 436.)
Chicken Mite (Dermanyssus gallinae). - Minute grayish or reddish mites which attack poultry, mostly at night, and suck their blood. During the day they hide in cracks and crevices about the perches and nests.
Treatment. - Keep the houses clean as directed above. Supply the fowls with a dust bath and separate sitting hens, which are especially liable to infestation, from the rest of the flock.
Scaly Leg (Sarcoptes mutans). - A disease caused by minute mites working beneath the scales on the feet and legs. The irritation causes the secretion of a fluid which on drying turns to a whitish powder beneath the scales and raises them from their natural position. Crusts or scabs are formed, and the fowls become lame.
Treatment. - Isolate infested birds to prevent the spread of the disease. Carefully remove the crusts by soaking in warm water and soap and apply carbolic ointment or a mixture of creosote and lard (1 to 20). Disinfect the house as directed on preceding page.
Depluming Scabies (Sarcoptes Iaevis). — Minute mites working at the base of the feathers, causing them to break at the surface of the body. The mites also set up an irritation which causes the birds to pull out their own feathers.
Treatment. - The disease is contagious, and infested birds should be isolated. Apply creosote and lard (1 to 20), or dust fresh Buhach into the feathers.
Hen Fleas (Argopsylla gallinacea). — In the South these fleas are very annoying to fowls, especially to sitting hens. They attach themselves in great numbers to the face, comb, etc., where they remain until ready to lay eggs.