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The wood used should be soft and light and well seasoned, and the only thing that is imperative in the construction is that the measurements must be rigidly adhered to, otherwise there will be no end of trouble in the manipulating of the bees. Many a bee-keeper who has been his own car.
penter has given up bee-keeping in disgust, because in the construction of his home-made hives there has been a want of care in giving bee-space-quarter of an inchtrue bee-space is it incb.
The wood in kerosene and other packing cases is more or less suitable. They are to be found around about all country stores, and can always be cut down for the making of bee-boxes. For the colder districts the sides of the first named is too thin. The smell of the kerosene is quickly evaporated by putting the cases in the full glare of the sun. The most suitable thickness is that of one inch, or a little less if it is not to be planed. The ends must always be of inch wood, or of sufficient thickness to admit of a rebate (rabbet) for the movable frames to hang freely. The ends of kerosene cases, although not an inch thick, answer very well for the purpose.
The brood chamber, or body of the hive, is 9] inches deep if a movable bottom (to be hereafter described) be used, but if the bottom be a fixture (though a movable bottom is always preferable) it should be 10 inches in depth. For an 8-framed hive the ends must be 147 inches—that is, if the sides are to be nailed to the ends- but if the ends are to be nailed to the sides an allowance must be made for the thickness of the sides. The sides should be 20 inches outside measurement. Therefore, a piece of timber 6 ft. x 10 in. is sufficient to make a brood chamber or a full size super. From such a piece of timber, first cut off 28} inches (if the sides are to be nailed to the ends, and it is always better so to do) and work a rebate (rabbet) fin. plus the thickness of the top bar of the movable frame, and the top bar of such frame should be at least inch thick, afterwards cutting it into two equal parts. Of course, each one will be 143 in. x 10 in.
An easier and simpler way of making the rebate, although not so workmanlike, is to plant a strip along the end piece of the frame and fasten it with fine nails thus :-(A) x fin. piece planted on (c) to form the
rabbet, and fastened with fine pails. (B) Rabbet, which 6.-End view of the end should be in. by not less than in., for the frame to of hive.
hang on. (c) 8 in. x 1 in., or a shaving or two less.
(aa) 9 in, if the bottom board be a fixture. A full-sized super is the same measurements as the brood chamber. It will be noticed that if a movable bottom board be used the depth of the barframe (to be hereafter described) will be 91 inches, thus coming flush with the base of (o), and showing no bee-space-a cleat to form the bee-space is fastened on the bottom board. Half-size supers for shallow frames are the same measurements in all except in depth. This will be explained in the article on Frames, &c.
Feeding Experiments with Laying Hens.
A COMPARISON OF RATIONS CONTAINING MOISTENED GROUND GRAIN WITH OTHERS CONTAINING DRY WHOLE GRAIN.
BY DR. PETER COLLIER,
Auong the very many unsettled questions concerning the feeding of fowls one of the frequently recurring ones is that in regard to the relative amounts of ground and whole grain that can be fed to best advantage. This question is in certain respects so broad that carefully-kept records of a great many feeding trials in which the conditions have been under control must be available before it can be restricted to narrow limits. In the belief that they will be of use in considering this question and that they may be added to the arailable facts relating to the general subject of poultry feeding, the results of one of a series of feeding experiments being made at this station are published in this bulletin form.
In this trial four lots of pullets were used, two of White Leghorns and two of Buff Cochins. For convenience they are referred to as pens 1, 2, 3, and 4. Pens 1 and 2 were Leghorns, and pens 3 and 4 were Cochins. The two pens of Leghorns, each containing at the start sixteen pullets, were as nearly alike as it was possible to select them, all the birds being from the same lot of chicks hatched and grown at this station. The two pens of Cochins were also alike, each containing at the start nine pullets, which were selected from those hatched and reared under the same conditions. The Leghorns were of a strain well recommended as layers, and were vigorous and healthy from the shell, so that any insufficient egg production can well be attributed to the conditions under which the birds were kept and to the food, rather than to inherent lack of laying capacity. During the spring months the Cochins, which became broody, were allowed to sit on nests or about the floor of the pen at will, no attempt being made to break up sitters.
The records of feeding here given began 23rd November. The average date of hatching for the Cochins was 21st May, and the average date of hatching for the Leghorns was 15th June. There was not opportunity to hatch the chicks earlier in the spring so that the pullets were hardly matured enough to lay well during the first part of the feeding trial.
Pens No. 1 and No. 3 were given for the morning feed each day a mixture of ground grain moistened. Of this mixed grain which was moistened with
Bulletin No. 90 of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station-Geneva, United
States of America, 1895.
hot water and fed warm during cold weather, and mois'ened with ordinary water during hot weather, all was offered that was readily eaten. Later ir the day soine kind of whole grain or cracked corn was fed, scattered in cleau straw to induce exercise.
Pens 2 and 4 were fed whole grain of different kinds—the corn being cracked. This was scattere i in the straw on tight floors, and none was left uneaten.
The fowls in all the pens were fed twice each week all the cut bones they would eat. Skim milk was fed to all during part of the trial. Green alfalfa (lucerne) or corn silage, or soaked, chopped hay was fed at noon, the moistened chopped hay being fed warın to pens 1 and 3. Plenty of limestone grit and oyster shells were kept always in each pen.
The pens were all in one house separated by partitions, cach pen having floor space of 10 by 12 feet. The small, open cards attached to Nos. 1 and 2 covered about 210 square feet each, and those for Nos. 3 and 4 about 160 square feet each. The yards were covered with coal ashes.
Although at the start it was considered best to have a good number to average from, it is probable that the sixteen birds in each of pens 1 and 2 were too many for best results, for during the winter months they were necessarily kept altogether indoors. The average floor space per fowl in these pens was less than 8 square feet, and the average space in the open yard about 16 square feet. The only hens at this station that have laid from
feet floor space in the pen and 75 square feet yard space per fowl. It is probable that the best results in egg production cannot be secured where
feet. For a feeding experiment, however, in which it is necessary to account for all food obtained, it is not possible to allow extended range. Somewhat more room than that given to the fowls in this feeding trial would be desir.. able, but no larger yards were available. Under the conditions of continu. ous confinement necessary for the whole year, however, the egg yields were not too low, and as the conditions for all the pens were alike, except the one difference of food, the results are strictly comparable. The results from pens 2 and 4, having no grain except the dry and unground, can be directly compared with those from pens 1 and 3, having all the ground and moistened grain that would be eaten at one of two feedings each day. The only limitations necessary in conclusions drawn from the comparison are those always inherent in any conclusion from a single trial.
As it was not possible to give the benefit of grass runs all green food had to be fed cut, in troughs. It is fed in this way to some disadvantage for, except at the risk of a large proportion of waste, it is difficult to feed as liberally as would be desired at some times on account of rapid wilting and drying. Although all the cut bone was fed twice a week that the fowls would eat, the calculated nutritive ratios of the rations were wider than desired, but with the whole grains obtainable it was not possible to make a narrow grain ration for pens 2 and 4. The nutritive ratio of the ration for pens 1 and 3 was kept about that of the ration for pens 2 and 4, although it did usually run somewhat narrower. With the ordinarily available, and indeed with almost any whole grain that can be obtained, it is not possible to feed a largely grain ration, having a nutritive ration so narrow as is by many considered necessary. In order to feed a very narrow ration it becomes necessary to use an excessive amount of meat or to substitute some of the highly nitrogenous grain by-products for part of the whole grain. The necessity, however, for a ration so much more nitrogenous than
can be had when using a good proportion of whole grain is not by any means established, although it seems probable that for laying hens a ration somewbat narrower than can be had from whole grain alone is essential.
The mixed grain fed to pens 1 and 3 was made to correspond closely to the combination of whole grain being fed at the same time to pens 2 and 4. With the exception of using wheat bran and middlings instead of ground wheat, the same grains were fed ground in the mixture that were fed whole in the contrasted ration. The ground grain mixture No. 1, fed until January 24th, consisted of equal parts by weight of wheat bran, wheat middlings, corn meal, ground oats, and ground barley. The grain mixture No. 2, fed from January 24th to July 25th, contained the same grains used in No. 1, with ground buckwheat added, equal parts of each. The mixture No. 3 consisted of three parts of ground flax-seed and one part each of wheat bran, wheat middlings, corn meal, ground oats, ground barley, and ground buckwheat. The moisture in the grain mixtures varied somewhat according to the season, but the average per cent. of moisture in mixture No. 1 was 14:5 per cent. ; in No. 2, until 25th April, 15 per cent.; after 25th April, 99 per cent.; and in mixture No. 3, 10-2 per cent.
The accompanying table shows the average composition of each food.
The records of feeding and the results obtained, which follow in tabulated form, are calculated, for comparison, to the average per fowl in periods of four and five weeks. The whole trial covered a period of 357 days-80 nearly a year that in discussing the results as a whole they are referred to as those for the year.
The digestibility of the different constituents by fowls not being known, the nutrive ratios given are only approximate, but serve to show the relative composition of the rations. The actual total amounts of the several classes of constituents existing in the rations fed at different periods through the Tear are also given. In determining the cost of the rations wheat was rated at the arerage of 57.6 cents per bushel, corn at 50:1 cents, oats at 37.9 cents, barley at 61'4 cents, and buckwbeat at 56-1 cents per bushel ; wheat bran at $16 per ton, wheat middlings at $17, corn mcal at $19-20, ground oats at $24, ground barley at $25.60, ground buckwheat at $23:36, alfalfa hay at $9.60, alfalfa forage at $2, and corn silage at $:3 per ton. Skim milk was rated at 24 cents por 100 lbs., cut bone at 80 cents, oyster shells at $1, and stope gnt at $i per 100 lbs. ; flax-seed, ground or unground, at 21 cents per pound.
Pen No. 1.- Part of Grain Ration ground and moistened- Average per day per Fowl.
Pen No. 1-Part of Grain ration, ground and moistened.
Average per day per fowl.
Average gain or
Approximate nutritive ratio.