Source: The Book Of Sports
Category: KEEPING POULTRY.
The early period of spring, and after a cessation at the end of summer,
are the two periods at which fowls begin to lay. When the period of
laying approaches, it is known by the redness of the comb in the hen,
the brightness of her eyes, and her frequent clucking. She appears
restless, and scratches and arranges the straw in her laying place, and
at last begins to lay. She generally prefers to lay in a nest where
there is one or more eggs; hence it is of use to put a chalk egg into
the nest you wish her to settle on.
The eggs ought to be taken from the nest every afternoon, when no more
are expected to be laid, for if left in the nest, the heat of the hens
when laying each day will tend to corrupt them. Some hens will lay only
one egg in three days, some every other day, and some every day.
To promote laying, good food in moderate quantities should be given to
the hens, and also clean water. A hen well fed and attended to, will
produce upwards of one hundred and fifty eggs in a year, besides two
broods of chickens. Some half-bred game hens begin to lay as soon as
their chickens are three weeks old.
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