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This is universally recognized, and in judging dairy cattle these qualities receive most careful attention. The producing qualities of a cow, as shown by physical characteristics, are therefore given primary attention, and the utility qualities emphasized beyond the purely fancy points. The result is obvious. It encourages and makes possible the breeding of better cows without the loss of breed characteristics.
Unfortunately, little is known absolutely about the correlation existing between the physical conformation of a hen and her laying capacity. That some such relation must exist seems almost certain. Just as certain as a particular conformation in a cow in the majority of cases indicates physical ability to produce milk, so should certain physical qualities in a hen indicate ability to produce eggs. Unfortunately, owing to our lack of knowledge, little can be done along this line at present, but as soon as reliable information is available these qualities should obtain recognition in the poultry show. The subject is a most promising field for investigation, and work along this line is very much needed.
We have some definite information as regards the conformation of a fowl and its ability to produce meat economically, though our knowledge is by no means complete, and here lies the greatest promise of a broader field for the poultry show. It is easy for anyone to see that it is perfectly possible to determine what is the most desirable type of fowl for table use. From this it is a comparatively easy step to determine what characters a fowl should possess in order to be a profitable breeder. For this purpose a bird is desired which will prove to be a good feeder and an economical producer. We know that certain characters are usually associated with such tendencies, namely, those denoting strong constitution, such as a broad head, a short, stout, curved beak; a bright, clear, alert eye, an erect, sturdy carriage, and others showing a conformation indicating the development of the parts carrying the more valuable portions of edible meat.
A recognition of these characters and of this type is highly important. If this recognition were well developed it would lead to selection for these characteristics, and would do more to improve the poultry of this country from the standpoint of table fowls than could be brought about in any other manner. Consider, for example, the present high development of beef cattle. This development has been reached only by a well-defined recognition of the type desired and after long-continued selection with this type in mind.
CLASSES FOR TABLE POULTRY.
The poultry show affords unexcelled opportunities for educating the poultrymen of the country to an understanding of the principles
which should lead to the rapid and lasting improvement of poultry stock from a table standpoint. This could be brought about by the establishment of breeding classes of fowls possessing the qualities making them suitable for table poultry. This, as intimated before, would require a special standard by which they should be judged, which would be more lenient in regard to certain more or less superficial characters, such as shape and size of comb and the fine distinction and variation of color, but which should, nevertheless, set a premium on the evidence of pure breeding and which should modify the present shape requirements so as to emphasize most strongly the type desired for the specific purpose of producing table poultry. A premium should be placed upon evidence of pure breeding, not because a particular purebred fowl may be better than a particular crossbred fowl for table purposes (for in many cases this would be untrue), but because a purebred fowl would be much more valuable for breeding purposes, as it would more surely tend to reproduce its type.
It has been argued that it is impracticable to introduce such classes in a poultry show. If such is the case, the writer has yet to be convinced of it. There are more or less real objections to having dead or dressed classes of table poultry, although these classes are successfully carried out in both England and Canada. One of these objections is the difficulty of keeping dressed poultry through the show and still having it in a condition suitable for sale. Another is that in order to exhibit one's best fowls in these classes it is often necessary to sacrifice the most valuable breeders. There also seem to be objections in the way of showing live fowls in fat classes, due principally to the fact that the birds are subject to shrinkage owing to the excitement and discomfort entailed by shipping to and exhibiting at a show, it being practically impossible, therefore, to fit a fowl and keep it in prime market condition until judged.
The above objections appear to be of sufficient weight to preclude the possibility of having dressed or fat classes, but do not apply to the feasibility of having breeding classes. The idea in judging such a class would not be to award the premium necessarily to the fowl in the best condition, but to the one showing by its conformation and evidence of vigor that it was most likely to produce uniform offspring of good market type. Such breeding classes could be offered for both medium and heavy breeds of either sex and for both young and older birds. The classes could be confined to individual breeds if desired.
The exhibition and judging of a class of fowls with this purpose in mind would do far more to improve the poultry stock of the country
and to educate the farmer and others interested in poultry as to the most desirable type of breeding fowls for table use than anything that has previously been done or seems likely to be done. Nor can the benefit to be derived by the poultry show from such an addition be doubted should interest once be aroused in this direction, as it would mean a greatly increased patronage from a class not now particularly attracted by the exhibition. There are many farmers who would be decidedly eager to learn how to breed poultry that would means better carcasses produced in a shorter period and in a more economical manner, but who now listlessly and inactively consider the possibility of raising fancy stock which they might be able to sell for $5 each. The first possibility makes a more direct appeal because it deals with conditions for which the farmer is striving and which he has reached to a certain extent with his cattle and his hogs. Let us remember that the great bulk of poultry is raised by the farmers and that its enormous money return goes principally to these men.
IMPROVED METHODS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF MARKET
MILK BY ORDINARY DAIRIES.
By C. B. LANE, Senior Dairyman, and KARL E. PARKS, Architect,
The object of this article is to present in a simple way the various steps in the production, handling, and distribution of market milk, particularly from the standpoint of the small producer. No attempt will be made to describe the finer points applicable to a special product such as certified milk, but the object is rather to point out practical methods adapted to the ordinary dairyman. In view of the fact that the rules and regulations pertaining to the production of milk, as formulated by boards of health, both city and State, are requiring higher standards on the part of the dairymen, it is quite important that they should know how to meet them. Many dairymen would be glad to improve if they only knew how to go about it, but frequently they have nothing to guide them.
A list of publications dealing more at length with various matters which are discussed only briefly here will be found at the end of this article.
The health of the cows is essential for the production of good milk. They should be in good physical condition and free from disease. They should also be tested for tuberculosis by a capable veterinarian at least once a year, and all reacting animals removed. The object of the tuberculin test is not only to safeguard the milk supply but to protect the herd from the ravages of this disease. The feed of the herd should be wholesome, and the water supply should be protected from contamination.
Dirt and dust adhering to the cows are responsible for most of the contamination of milk. It is therefore essential that the cows be clean-not necessarily washed every day and dried with a sterile towel, but clean in a common-sense meaning-that is, free from accumulation of dirt and manure, and thoroughly brushed. If the hair on the udders, flanks, and tails is clipped, this will aid in keeping the animals clean.
The stable should be free from contaminating surroundings and well drained. It should be constructed with a view to the comfort