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Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
800-876-2893
541-549-2064
agrarian@smallfarmersjournal.com
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This is a small selection from A Study of Farm Animals, by Charles S. Plumb, published in 1924. Plumb was a professor of animal husbandry in the College of Agriculture at Ohio State University, and published several books on farm animals and judging livestock. This piece covers the categorization and features of chickens as farm stock.

“The types of domestic fowls may be classified into four groups, namely: Egg-laying, meat, general-purpose, and ornamental. For some time poultry students have discussed these types, but more especially three, which from a practical point of view are the only ones of interest to the farmer. These three are the laying, the meat, and the general purpose fowls. Good examples of each of these types are common all  over the country. The breeds are also sometimes divided into two classes, sitters and non-sitters, according to whether or not the hens have the desire to sit on and hatch a nest of eggs.

a-study-of-farm-animals“The egg laying type of fowl, according to Prof. H. R. Lewis, should show a well balanced, deep, nearly rectangular body, well developed in breast and abdomen. Great depth of body is especially desirable, but apparent depth must not be due to loose feathering, which is generally shown by an evidence of loose thigh feathers. Large capacity is essential, if a hen is to lay long and heavily. Such capacity is designated by a body that is deeper at the rear end of the keel than at the front end. The underline should be fairly straight and the back should be comparatively horizontal. Prominent breast development and evidence of a long keel are desirable qualities in a high-producing hen. The general body conformation of a heavy producer conforms very closely to a rectangle with pronounced angles rather than smooth curves. A male shows the same general characteristics as a female except that the abdomen is not so deep. Fowls of this type vary somewhat in size and weight as well as in flesh-producing capacity. The Leghorns are small, the hens weighing around 3 pounds, and do not produce much meat on the body, while the Minorcas are larger, the hens weighing about 6 1/2 pounds, and may carry a good amount of flesh when in best condition. The fowls of this type are of European ancestry and are usually known among poultry specialists as the Mediterranean breeds.

a-study-of-farm-animals-2“The meat type of fowl is said to be comparable to the draft horse, beef cattle, mutton sheep, and the fat hog. It is squarely built, compact, thickly fleshed, wide of back and breast, and heavy of limb. Fowls of this type, when fat, have a carcass thickly covered with meat, and are especially valued for roasting. The hens, as a rule, are of sluggish disposition and are inferior egg producers. The meat type fowls sometimes weight 10 to 12 pounds. They are of Asiatic origin, and are represented by the Brahma, Cochin, and Langshan breeds.
a-study-of-farm-animals-3“The general-purpose type of fowl, as might be supposed, is valued for both egg and meat production. This type is medium in size, has considerable fullness of breast and width of back, and fattens to advantage. In egg production some general-purpose breeds have excellent records. Standards and weights vary, but 7 pounds for the hens and 9 for the cocks are satisfactory. Fowls of the general-purpose type, as a rule, belong to the American breeds, of which the Plymouth Rock, Wyandotte, and Rhode Island Red are the most common examples.”

Click on one of the links below to read more articles on chickens:
CHICKEN ROUP
CHICKEN GUANO

 

 

Spotlight On: Livestock

New York Horsefarmer Ed Button and his Belgians

New York Horsefarmer: Ed Button and his Belgians

In New York State one does not explore the world of draft horses long before the name of Ed Button is invariably and most respectfully mentioned. Ed’s name can be heard in the conversations of nearly everyone concerned with heavy horses from the most experienced teamsters to the most novice horse hobbyists. His career with Belgians includes a vast catalog of activities: showing, pulling, training, farming, breeding, and driving, which Ed says, “I’ve been doing since I was old enough to hold the lines.”

Happs Plowing A Chance to Share

Happ’s Plowing: A Chance to Share

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Dinnertime rolled around before we could get people and horses off the field so that results of judging could be announced. I learned a lot that day, one thing being that people were there to share; not many took the competition side of the competition very seriously. Don Anderson of Toledo, WA was our judge — with a tough job handed to him. Everyone was helping each other so he had to really stay on his toes to know who had done what on the various plots.

Ayrshire Ambassadors Cooperative

Ayrshire Ambassadors Cooperative

The Ayrshire Ambassadors Cooperative was founded in 2016 by a group of dairymen who want to be outspoken advocates of the Ayrshire breed. Ayrshires are one of the most cost-effective breeds for dairy farmers, as the breed is known for efficiently producing large quantities of high-quality milk, primarily on a forage diet. These vigorous and hardy cows can be found grazing in the sun, rain, and cold while other breeds often seek shelter.

Fjordworks: Zen and the Art of Training the Novice Teamster Part 2

Fjordworks: Zen and the Art of Training the Novice Teamster Part 2

In the practice of Zen sitting meditation, a special emphasis is placed on maintaining a relaxed but upright sitting posture, in which the vertical and horizontal axis of the body meet at a center point. Finding this core of gravity within can restore a sense of well-being and ease to the practitioner. This balanced seat of ease is not all that different from the state of relaxed concentration we need to achieve to effectively ride or drive horses.

Ask A Teamster Horse Don't Won't Can't Turn

Ask A Teamster: Horse Don’t, Won’t, Can’t Turn

After moving the drop ring on the other side down we went out to the round pen for a test drive. The difference in how she ground drove and turned was amazing – not perfect, but real sweet. With the lines at that level a right turn cue on the line obviously meant go right to her, and a left turn cue meant left. After we drove around for a while with me smiling I couldn’t resist moving the drop rings back up to the line rings – Bam, back to the old confusion.

New York Organic Grazing Dairy

New York Organic Grazing Dairy

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Our farm, here in the center of New York State, consists of 101 acres, about 90 in grass, the rest some woods and swamp. It is inhabited by forty-six jersey cows, twelve breeding ace heifers, one bull, and because it is calving season — an increasing number of calves. Also, four Belgian mares and a couple of buggy horses. Last, and possibly least — the farmer, farmer’s wife, and five grown children.

Plant Poisoning in Horses & Cattle

Plant Poisoning in Horses & Cattle

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There are hundreds of plants that can be toxic to livestock. Some grow in specific regions while others are more widespread. Some are always a serious danger and others only under certain conditions. Poisoning of livestock depends on several factors, including palatability of the plant, stage of development, conditions in which they grew, moisture content of the plant and the part eaten.

The Milk and Human Kindness Part 1

The Milk and Human Kindness

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I know what it’s like to be trying to find one’s way learning skills without a much needed teacher or experienced advisor. I made a lot of cheese for the pigs and chickens in the beginning and shed many a tear. I want you to know that the skills you will need are within your reach, and that I will spell it all out for you as best I can. I hope it’s the next best thing to welcoming you personally at my kitchen door and actually getting to work together.

Lineback Cattle

Lineback Cattle

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Cattle with lineback color patterns have occurred throughout the world in many breeds. In some cases this is a matter of random selection. In others, the markings are a distinct characteristic of the breed; while in some it is one of a number of patterns common to a local type. Considering that livestock of all classes have been imported to the United States, it is not surprising that we have our own Lineback breed.

On-Farm Meat Processing

The demand for fresh, local meat products – with no taint of industrial process – is absolutely staggering.

My First Team of Workhorses

My First Team of Workhorses

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In A Greenhorn Tries Draft Horses, a greenhorn (myself) tried a single work horse named Lady for farm and woods work. It was probably natural that, having acquired some experience with one horse, I should want to see what it was like to use two. Perhaps it is more exciting to see a good team pull together, and there is the added challenge to the teamster of making certain that the horses pull smoothly rather than seesaw.

Horseshoeing Part 1B

Horseshoeing Part 1B

Since the horse is useful to man only by reason of his movements, his foot deserves the most careful attention. The horse-shoer should be familiar with all its parts. Fig. 3 shows the osseous framework of the foot, consisting of the lower end of the cannon bone, the long pastern, the two sesamoid bones, the short pastern, and the pedal bone.

Littlefield Notes Making Your Horses Work For You Part 2

LittleField Notes: Making Your Horses Work For You Part 2

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Every beginning horse farmer at some point will find himself in need of procuring that first team. After land, this is certainly one of the most critical purchasing decisions you will make in the development of the farm. The animals you choose can make your farming glow and hum with moments of blissful certainty, or contribute to frustration, bewilderment, loss of resolve, and God forbid, horses and people hurt and machines wrecked.

Chicken Guano: Top-Notch Fertilizer

Whoever thought I’d be singing the praises of chicken poop? I am, and I’m not the only one. Chickens are walking nitrogen-rich manure bins.

A Gathering of Comtois in France

A Gathering of Comtois in France

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I was soon planning for a stop in the town of Pontelier, the main hub in one corner of the country I had never been to and was bent on exploring: the Franche-Compte. As luck would have it, this region has its very own breed of draft horse, the Comtois. It was to an “exhibition” of this horse that I was heading, although thanks to my lousy French, I was not sure exactly what kind of “exhibition” I was heading to.

Hay Making with a Single Horse Part 1

Hay Making with a Single Horse Part 1

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For the last ten years, I have made hay mostly with a single horse. This has not necessarily been out of choice, as at one time I had hoped to be farming on a larger scale with more horses. Anyway, it does little good to dwell on ‘what if ’. The reality is that I am able to make hay, and through making and modifying machinery, I probably have a better understanding of hay making and the mechanics of draught.

Ask A Teamster Hauling Horses

Ask A Teamster: Hauling Horses

For a claustrophobic animal like the horse, being confined to a small box while speeding down the highway at 60 miles per hour is a mighty unnatural experience. Luckily, equines are adaptable animals and are likely to arrive in good condition – if – you make preparations beforehand and take some precautions. Here are some tips to help your horse stay healthy, safe, and comfortable while traveling.

The Equine Eye

The Equine Eye

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The horse’s head is large, with eyes set wide apart at the sides of his head; he seldom sees an object with both eyes at the same time and generally sees a different picture with each eye. In the wild, this double vision was a big advantage, making it difficult for a predator to sneak up on him. He can focus both eyes to the front to watch something, but it takes more effort. Only when making a concentrated effort to look straight ahead does the horse have depth perception as we know it.

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