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THE FORCED FATTENING OF POULTRY.

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vegetable food. This fact was brought out very prominently in the experiments at the Cornell station where poultry of the same origin and character was fed two kinds of diet, one being partly of animal food and the other purely vegetable foods. The ration of the animal food consisted of Indian corn meal, wheat flour, ground oats, wheat bran, wheat middlings, pea meal, linseed meal, meat, and fresh bone. The vegetable ration consisted of pea meal, linseed meal, wheat bran, ground oats, Indian corn meal, wheat middlings, gluten meal, and skimmed milk. Before the experiment had been long under way it was noticed that the birds receiving the meat food were developing rapidly and evenly while those that received the purely vegetable diet were becoming thin and uneven in size. The authors of the bulletin say that it was sometimes almost pitiful to see the long-necked, scrawny, vegetable-fed birds, with troughs full of abundant good, wholesome food before them, stand on the alert and scamper in hot haste after the unlucky grasshopper or fly which ventured into their pen, while the contented looking meat-fed ducks lay lazily in the sun and paid no attention to the buzzing bee or crawling beetle. The vegetablefed birds literally starved to death, at least many of them, so that only twenty of the thirty-three with which the experiment was commenced were alive at the close of the fifteen weeks of feeding.

The Forced Fattening of Poultry.-Allusion has already been made to the forced fattening of poultry secured by injecting food into the craw in larger quantities than would naturally be taken by the fowl if left to itself. There is much to be said both for and against this method of fattening. In favor of this method it may be stated that the birds fattened in this way are more highly prized by the connoisseur, are naturally fatter by reason of the enforced idleness of the birds during the fattening process, thus diminishing muscular activity, and more tender than the birds left at freedom and forced to secure their own food. From the point of view of the seller, also, the birds are heavier and the artificially fattened fowl usually brings a higher price, pound for pound, on the market. Against the method it is urged that it is barbarous, imposing upon the birds a diet far beyond normal capacity and thus tending to damage and injure the organs of the body charged with the assimilation of food and the secretion of the waste products.

ease.

The above indictment is doubtless true is almost every respect. In explanation it may be said that the period of forcing food is always a short one, rarely extending beyond three weeks, and, therefore, any injury to the organs which might be induced is not of sufficient duration to establish any real form of disIn other words, the birds are slaughtered before any lesions of the organs are produced. The livers of the animals, especially geese, thus artificially fattened, take on an extra quantity of fat during this period but it cannot be said that they become really diseased. The fatty livers, as is well known, are used particularly in the manufacture of a mixed spiced meat known as pâté de foie gras.

Upon the whole it is believed that no injury is done the bird by this process of feeding which could in any way be regarded as detrimental to the flesh as a food product. In regard to the apparent barbarity of the process little need be said. The slaughter of animals for human food in itself is a barbarous practice from one point of view but if this practice is justified, as it doubtless is, by the exigencies of human nutrition, the slight degree of force which is employed in artificial fattening cannot be condemned. Moreover the artificial fattening of the fowl is of necessity a somewhat limited operation and confined to those establishments that are devoted exclusively to the production of highgrade and high-priced poultry for the market. The fattening is done by experts and, in so far as the experience of feeding men in the same way is concerned, is not attended with any pain or discomfort other than that incident to a chronically full craw.

Increase in Weight.-There is a larger increase in the weight of artificially fattened poultry over those fed in the ordinary way and allowed to run free than is usually supposed. It is stated by some authors that the average increase in weight of artificially fattened birds is as much as 35 percent. There is no secret connected with the method of artificial fattening as is sometimes supposed. There are perhaps proprietary methods for preparing foods for fattening purposes but there is no secret in the mechanism of the process. In fact the process is so simple that it might be easily taught in a general way so that the farm hand would become an expert in its use and the farmer's poultry instead of being sent to market in a half-emaciated condition might be offered to the public in the best possible shape. Poultry running at large use up a large part of the value of their food in the heat and energy developed in the ordinary search for food. When confined and fed artificially this excess of heat and energy is naturally stored as fat.

Experience has shown that the artificial feeding must be a limited one and the bird must be sent to market as soon as it has reached its maximum of perfection under the process. Experience has also shown that in the artificial feeding it is best to have each bird in a small compartment to itself with the cage so arranged that the bird can put its head through a slat in front and thus receive the food from the machine without disturbing any of its neighbors. That the birds are perfectly willing to take the food in this way is evidenced by the fact that they voluntarily put their heads through the apertures to receive their food. Each individual coup must be kept scrupulously clean and disinfected and the air in the room kept perfectly fresh and sweet. Lime should be used freely in all parts of the coup house in the form of whitewash or sprinkled about the floor or upon the floors of the coups. Gypsum or ordinary land plaster is also highly prized as another form of lime which is found to be very valuable. The whitewash must be freely indulged in and at frequent intervals. There are various forms of fattening food used in this country. Indian

SLAUGHTERING FOWLS FOR THE MARKET.

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corn meal forms an important part. The presence of certain animal products. must not be neglected in the food as it has been shown that fowls thrive better when given, in their food, a certain amount of animal matter, both of flesh and finely ground bone. The fattening food must be in the form of a finely ground paste of the proper consistency to be handled well in the machine. It is a universal practice which custom has shown to be necessary to mix with the food a certain quantity of finely pulverized charcoal, usually about three pounds. of the charcoal to 97 pounds of food. Some feeders prefer to mix the paste about twenty-four hours before it is administered, believing that the slight fermentation thus produced is beneficial.

The Cramming Machine.—Various forms of machines are employed for introducing the food into the craw. The tube carrying the food is introduced into the esophagus of the bird in a manner to avoid any pain and the apparatus is so adjusted that with a single movement of the machine, usually operated by the foot, the proper amount of food is injected. The birds should be arranged according to size so that all of a certain size may have exactly the same quantity of food administered. The operator would thus be saved the difficulty of guessing the different sizes. The arrangement of the coups. and the kind of the cramming machine vary greatly. In the beginning of artificial feeding the birds should not be pushed to their full capacity. An increasing quantity of food should be given up to the end of the first week or ten days before the full maximum dose is administered. In general it is found best to take the bird out of the coup for feeding, holding it under the arm so that the neck can be made perfectly straight and gently inserting the flexible tube which carries the food and thus with the single movement of a lever, filling the craw. The use of the machine, however, is found to be advantageous from a point of economy although it is claimed that the cramming of birds by means of a funnel has been found very efficacious. With a good machine an expert operator can feed about 250 birds in an hour. An important point in the fattening is that the food should be given regularly.

Slaughtering Fowls for the Market. It is important that a uniform and proper method be used for killing fowls intended for the market. There are two methods in common vogue, namely, by bleeding and by dislocation of the neck. The method of killing is important in order that the proper method of dressing for the market may be secured. A fowl which is offered for sale ought to be attractively dressed and any brutal or defacing method of slaughter makes it impossible afterwards to render the fowl attractive to the customer.

In killing by the dislocation of the neck the operator takes the bird by the thigh and top of the wing in the left hand and the head in the right and then. draws it steadily until dislocation takes place. The skin remains unbroken and no bruised effect is produced but all the blood in the body drains into the neck and remains there. This method is one especially practiced in England

(Journal, Board of Agriculture, 1904-5, page 306). Where the bird is very large, as is the case with turkeys, it may require the full strength of a man in order to produce the dislocation in the manner mentioned. In this case it is often necessary to first hang the bird up by the leg to secure the best results.

In killing a fowl by bleeding it is strung up by the legs with its head hanging downward. The operator then gives it a sharp blow with a stick on the back of the head and when he has stunned it by this means he inserts a sharp knife into the roof of the mouth, penetrating the brain. He also severs the large artery of the throat by rotating the knife and the bird rapidly bleeds to death. This method of killing, it is seen, is not a very humane one. If, for instance, the sensation of the bird is not destroyed by the first blow the other process must be needlessly painful. This process, simplified somewhat by omitting the hanging, is the one commonly followed by professionals in this country. In England turkeys which are prepared for the market are plucked but not drawn. One of the newest methods of plucking is known as the Devonshire style and consists in stripping the feathers clean off the breast and thighs but leaving the neck, back and wings covered. The fowls are then tied around the legs with a strong cord in such a manner as to show the plumpness of the breast prominently.

The methods of preparation of the fowls depend largely on the demands of the market to which they are going. Some require the fowls to be clean plucked and others prefer some of the feathers left on.

Eggs.-Eggs are a common article of diet throughout the world. The eggs of domesticated fowls are those which are principally used for food, though the eggs of wild fowls, and birds and reptiles are also edible but on account of the difficulty of getting them and their rarity are not to be considered as a commercial article. The chief sources of supply are the eggs of chickens, ducks, and geese. Chicken eggs are by far the most important, duck eggs the next important, and goose eggs the least important. The eggs of fish also constitute an article of food of considerable value and are extensively used. For instance the fresh eggs of shad are used in large quantities during the whole of the shad season and are often kept in cold storage for use at other times. The eggs of sturgeon are used extensively in the fresh state and when pickled as caviar are highly esteemed throughout the world. These two kinds of eggs are probably the most important of fish eggs used for food purposes. Chicken eggs vary greatly in size according to the age and variety of the fowl. The average weight of chicken eggs is 680 grams per dozen. They vary also in color from pure white to a brownish yellow. Duck eggs are larger and also variegated in color. The average weight of duck eggs is 847.2 grams per dozen. Goose eggs are the largest of the three varieties, varying also in color. They weigh on an average 2284.8 grams per dozen. Eggs also vary greatly in shape, being generally ovoid but some being much more spherical than others according

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to the species of the fowl and variety. The number of eggs which a chicken will lay varies greatly. Attempts have been made, with great success, at experiment stations, to develop chickens with high laying powers. A hen which will produce over 200 eggs a year is regarded as a high-grade fowl for eggproducing purposes. Eggs are produced more abundantly during the early spring and summer than during the winter months. One of the purposes of scientific egg producing is the development of fowls that will produce eggs more evenly throughout the whole year, thus avoiding the very great depression in the price of eggs in the spring and the excessively high price of eggs in the winter.

Composition of Eggs.-A large number of eggs have been analyzed in all quarters of the world and found to vary but little in composition in different localities, and very little also in regard to the variety of the fowl. The egg consists essentially of two portions,—an external highly albuminous portion known as the white and an internal colored portion, yellow or reddish in tint, known as the yolk. The white of an egg is composed almost entirely of albumin partially dissolved in water. The yolk of the egg is composed of albumin, fat, and a phosphorus-bearing material of high nutritive value known as lecithin. The yolk of an egg is a much richer food product than the white, containing in addition to the nitrogeneous element the fat and mineral bodies necessary to nutrition. Both the white and yolk of an egg are composed principally of water as will be seen by the following analytical data:

Hen,.
Duck,

Goose,..

Turkey,...

PRESERVATION OF EGGS.

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Preservation of Eggs.-Freshly laid eggs may be preserved for several days without any notable deterioration by keeping in a cool place. The temperature of preservation should be as nearly the freezing point as can be secured. The vital processes are continually going on in a fresh egg and hence there is a development of a certain degree of heat due to these activities. For this reason eggs can be placed in an atmosphere below the freezing point of water without being frozen. An additional reason for this is found in the fact that the water which is present in eggs holds the albumin and other bodies in solution and the freezing point of a solution is always lower than that of the solvent alone. For domestic purposes where refrigerating establishments are not available the fresh eggs should be kept in a cool dark place where the temperature is not allowed to go above 50 or 60 degrees. At a higher temperature than this fresh eggs lose their freshness in a remarkably short time. The porous nature of the shell is a condition which favors the deterioration of the egg by the admission of air and microbes into the substance of the egg itself.

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