Source: The Book Of Sports
The eggs given to the hen to hatch must be perfectly fresh; they should
be large in size, the produce of the most beautiful birds, well shaped,
and the number put under the hen should vary according to her size, and
may be from nine to thirteen eggs; odd numbers, old housewives say, are
When a hen wants to sit, she makes a particular kind of clucking, and
goes to her nest. Here she fixes herself for a period of three weeks, at
the end of which time, the young chickens break the eggs and come out
perfect beings. They run about as soon almost as they are out of the
egg, and in twenty-four hours will take food.
On the first day of their birth, chickens require nothing but warmth,
and they must be kept under the mother in the nest. The next day, they
may be put under a coop and fed with crumbs of bread soaked in milk, a
few chicken's groats being added, and the yolks of eggs boiled hard.
After being kept warm under the coop with the mother for five or six
days, they may then be turned a little in the sun, towards the middle of
the day, and fed with boiled barley mixed with curds, and a few
pot-herbs chopped up. At the end of a fortnight, they may be left
entirely to the care of the mother, who will be sure to perform her
Such are the principal particulars regarding the keeping of fowls. There
are many books written on the subject: one of the best of them is called
the "Poultry-yard," which may be consulted for further information.
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