A Poulterer's View of Mechanical Poultry Raisingby@scientificamerican

A Poulterer's View of Mechanical Poultry Raising

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A prominent dealer in poultry, Mr. H. W. Knapp, of Washington Market, gives a discouraging opinion of the probable success of chicken raising by artificial means in this country. He said recently when questioned on this subject by a representative of the Evening Post: "I went to France to study the matter, for if it can be made to succeed it will make an immense fortune, as it has already done in Paris. I was delighted with what I saw there, and the matter at first sight seems to be so fascinating that I do not wonder that new men here are always ready to take hold of it as soon as those who have bought dear experience are only too glad to get out of it. Even clergymen and actors are bitten with the desire to transform so many pounds of corn into so many pounds of spring chicken. The now successful manager, Mackaye, spent about a thousand dollars, in constructing hatching machines and artificial mothers in Connecticut, but he found that the stage paid better, and his expensive devices may now be bought for the value of old tin. "Enthusiasts will tell you that by the new discovery chickens may be made out of corn with absolute certainty. In Paris this has been done; but the conditions are entirely different here. There the land is valuable, and they cannot devote large fields to a few hundred chickens; the French climate is so uniform that the markets of Paris cannot be supplied from the south with produce which ripens or matures before that of the neighborhood of Paris; the price of chickens is so high and labor so cheap that more care can be given with profit to one spring chicken than one of our poultry raisers could give to a dozen. Here we have plenty of land, the climate south of us is so far advanced in warmth that even with steam we cannot raise poultry ahead of the south, and the margin of profit is so small that one failure with a large batch of chickens sweeps away the profits from several successful experiments.

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