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Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
800-876-2893
541-549-2064
agrarian@smallfarmersjournal.com
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PDT

Chicken

We are fortunate to have in our library of antiquated agricultural books and magazines an issue of The Oregon Farmer, a magazine produced in Portland, Oregon and printed every Tuesday. Our issue is dated December 4, 1919 and includes an interesting letter to the editor we wanted to share with you.

Chicken

“Hens With Colds

To the Editor: I have a flock of 200 pullets – White Leghorns. I think some of them have caught cold. They can hardly get their breath and one hen’s head swelled up till its eyes closed. I don’t know what to do for them. Could you give me some remedy? -W. A. Sargent, Clear Lake, Wash.

“Your flock of Leghorns is no doubt afflicted with colds or roup. It would be well to separate the affected one from the rest of the flock and give them treatment. A cure is difficult when the disease gets to the stage that both eyes swell shut. If it is a simple cold and it is taken in time, it is not hard to cure. It usually begins with a watery discharge from the nostrils. The nostrils may finally close up and swelling results. A simple remedy and effective as any is to inject a little coal oil up the nostrils, first cleaning them out by pressure. A few drops of the oil will be sufficient, holding the head beak upwards while dropping the oil in.

If there are white patches or canker in the mouth paint them with iodine. Another good treatment is to swab the mouth and throat with a feather dipped in a 2 or 3 per cent solution of permanganate of potash.

SFJ NOTE: Permanganate of Potash is an older name for Potassium Permanganate, a salt used as an oxidizing agent or a disinfectant. It was also known as Condy’s crystals.

“The treatment for colds and roup, however, will not be profitable unless the cause is removed. The trouble usually comes from faulty housing. Crowding the pullets too close together in a house and with roosts too close together is bad. If crowded too close together the fowls become overheated at night and are likely to catch cold. Then when crowded too much they breathe impure air and this is a predisposing cause. So that they should have plenty of fresh air, but without drafts, and plenty of roosting room. The house should be open-front as much as possible, with tight walls on the back and ends. The roosts should be 18 inches apart. This will obviate crowding and give them more pure air to breathe.”

This little piece is quite the curiosity, but sound in its advice. We wanted to share a more current remedy for roup to compare it with. Roup is caused by overcrowding or damp, drafty housing. For all intents and purposes, Roup is the chicken’s equivalent of the common cold in humans: it is spread through shared feed or water, and the symptoms include sneezing, swelling of throat and head, diarrhea, and watery discharge from eyes and nostrils (as the illness progresses the discharge changes from clear liquid to foamy white and then to a sickly yellow color).

Isolate the sick from the healthy and place the ill chickens in a warm, sunny place that can also be kept warm and dry through the night. Empty and thoroughly clean any communal feeders and water troughs/buckets in the chicken coop. Flush the throats of the infected with a small squirt of an Epsom Salt mixture (3 tsp. Epsom Salts to 1 1/2 cups of water) 2-3 times a day until the patchiness and swelling inside the throat disappears (which should take about 3 days). This will do the same job as the Potassium Permanganate (Permanganate of Potash). You can also try a charcoal slurry (1 tsp activated charcoal and 8 oz. water), but be sure to wait to give them the slurry a full hour after any other supplements, as activated charcoal might absorb any supplements or treatments. If it is available to you, give the sick hen(s) a Vitamin A supplement in their diet while they recover. Make sure they have plenty of water, as the recovery process can be dehydrating. SGM

chickenscolor

Spotlight On: Crops & Soil

Raised Bed Gardening

Raised Bed Gardening

by:
from issue:

Raised beds may not be right for everyone, and our way is not the only way. I have seen raised beds made from rows of 5’ diameter kiddy pools, and heard of a fellow who collected junk refrigerators from the dump and lined them up on their backs into a rainbow of colored enameled steel raised beds. Even rows of five-gallon pails filled with plants count as raised beds in my estimation. Do it any way you care to, but do it if it’s right for you.

Ginseng Culture

Ginseng Culture

U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmer’s Bulletin No. 1184 Issued 1921, Revised 1941 — The evident preference of the Chinese for the wild root and the unsatisfactory state of the general market for cultivated ginseng have caused grave doubts as to the future prospects of the industry. These doubts will probably be realized unless growers should strive for quality of product and not for quantity of production, as has been the all too common practice in the past.

An Introduction To Farm Woodlands

The farm woodland is that portion of the farm which either never was cleared for tillage or pasture, or was later given back to woods growth. Thus it occupies land that never was considered suitable, or later proved unsuitable, for farm enterprises.

Seed Quality from Two Perspectives

Seed Quality from Two Perspectives

by:
from issue:

We are approaching this from a seed quality standpoint, not just a seed saving one. Saving seed is fairly simple to do, but the results from planting those seeds can be very mixed; without a basis of understanding of seed quality, people can be disappointed and confused as to why they got the results they did. Both the home gardener and the seed company must understand seed quality to be successful in their respective endeavors.

Beautiful Grasses

What follow are a series of magnificent hundred-year old botanist’s watercolors depicting several useful grass varieties. Artworks such as this are found on the pages of Small Farmer’s Journal quite regularly and may be part of the reason that the small farm world considers this unusual magazine to be one of the world’s periodical gold standards.

Soil, Vegetation, and Acidity

From Dusty Shelves: Audels Gardeners and Growers Guide teaches us about soil acidity.

Mullein Indigenous Friend to All

Mullein: Indigenous Friend to All

by:
from issue:

Mullein is a hardy native, soft and sturdy requiring no extra effort to thrive on your part. Whether you care to make your own medicines or not, consider mullein’s value to bees, bumblebees, butterflies, moths, dragonflies, who are needing nectar and nourishment that is toxin free and safe to consume. In this case, all you have to do is… nothing. What could be simpler?

Starting Seeds

From Dusty Shelves: A WWII era article from Farming For Security

Marketable Cover Crops

Marketable Cover Crops

by:
from issue:

Our cover crops have to provide the benefits of smothering weeds, improving soil structure, and replenishing organic matter. They also have to produce some income. For these purposes, we use turnips, mustard and lettuce within our plant successions. I broadcast these seeds thickly on areas where cover crops are necessary and let them do their work.

Syrup From Oregons Big-Leaf Maple

Syrup From Oregon’s Big Leaf Maple

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from issue:

There is a great potential in establishment of a seasonal “sugarbush” industry for small farmers of the northwestern states, particularly western Oregon and Washington. Five syrup producing species of maples are found mainly east of the Rocky Mountains. The Box Elder and the Big-leaf Maple are the only syrup producing maples of the Pacific Northwest. Properly made syrup from these two western maples is indistinguishable from the syrup of maples of the midwestern and northeastern states.

Low Tillage Radish Onions

Low Tillage Radish Onions

by:
from issue:

The radishes came up quick, filling the garden canopy completely that fall, and the following spring we found the plot was clean of weeds and rows of open holes were left where the radish roots had been growing. Well, we had a few extra onion plants that spring and decided to plant them in these holes, since we already had very clear lines laid out for us and a clean seedbed. What we got were the best looking onions that have ever come out of our gardens.

Rice as a New Staple Crop for Very Cold Climates

Rice as a New Staple Crop for Very Cold Climates

by: ,
from issue:

If you were visiting Earth from some other planet and had to describe its inhabitants upon your return, you might say that the average person eats rice, and grows it as well, usually on a small scale. You’d be accurately describing the habits of over a quarter of the world’s population. Rice has a special story with an exciting chapter now unfolding in the northeast USA among a small but growing group of farmers and growers.

Bamboo A Multipurpose Agroforestry Crop

Bamboo: A Multipurpose Agroforestry Crop

by:
from issue:

The bamboos are gaining increased attention as an alternative crop with multiple uses and benefits: 1) domestic use around the farm (e.g., vegetable stakes, trellis poles, shade laths); 2) commercial production for use in construction, food, and the arts (e.g., concrete reinforcement, fishing poles, furniture, crafts, edible bamboo shoots, musical instruments); and 3) ornamental, landscape, and conservation uses (e.g., specimen plants, screens, hedges, riparian buffer zone).

Cultivating Questions Winterkilled Cover Crops for a Mild Climate

Cultivating Questions: Winterkilled Cover Crops For A Mild Climate Part 1

Our mild climate makes it too easy to overwinter cover crops. Then the typically wet springs (and, on our farm, wet soils) let the cover put on loads of topgrowth before getting on the soil. Buckwheat is the only crop that I can be certain will winterkill. Field peas, oats, annual rye and crimson clover have all overwintered here. Any suggestions?

Cane Grinding

Cane Grinding: An Age-Old Georgia Tradition

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from issue:

Most sugar cane is processed in refineries to give us molasses, brown sugar, and various kinds of white sugar. However, some South Georgia farms that raise sugar cane still process it the old way to produce the special tasting sweetener for their own food. One such farm is the Rocking R Ranch in Kibbee, Georgia. It is owned by Charles and Patricia Roberts and their sons. The process they use has not changed in the past 100 years. This is how it is done.

Apple Cider Autumns Nectar

Apple Cider, Autumn’s Nectar

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from issue:

While autumn’s beauty is food for our souls, autumn’s harvest provides food for our tables. Along with the many hours and days of canning and freezing our garden produce, harvest time also means apple cider making for our family. We have been making apple cider, or sweet cider as it is commonly called, for six years. Beginning slowly, the demand for our juice has resulted in a production of over six hundred gallons this year.

Open-Pollinated Corn at Spruce Run Farm

Open-Pollinated Corn at Spruce Run Farm

by:
from issue:

The old way of selecting seed from open-pollinated corn involved selecting the best ears from the poorest ground. I have tried to select perfect ears based on the open-pollinated seed corn standards of the past. I learned these standards from old agricultural texts. The chosen ears of Reid’s average from 9 to 10.5 inches long and have smooth, well-formed grains in straight rows. I try to select ears with grains that extend to the end of the cob.

Small Farmer's Journal

Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
800-876-2893
541-549-2064
agrarian@smallfarmersjournal.com
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PDT