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Pets And Home Projects

( Originally Published 1915 )



Educate the Motor-minded Child.—Most people think of education as learning from books; they have in mind the receptive type of child. Others, who have in mind the motor-minded child, think of education as adjustment, which they define as including the acquisition of power to adjust environment to the needs of self as well as the acquisition of power to make the best of whatever is inevitable. The ideally educated person would be both perfectly adjusted and able to enjoy getting and having knowledge from books. While we cannot reach the ideal, we can enable every one to acquire a reasonably large body of in-formation to serve as the basis for reasoning, and to acquire a much larger degree of adjustment than is now possessed by the typical man or woman.

The history of education shows us that our present school course of study was not made for the motor minded. It was handed down from the monasteries to the colleges and from the colleges to the academies and high schools, and from these to the common schools. The course of study was not made for active men and women who have to make their own living but by and for the meditative minds who find their ideal life in the monasteries and libraries. Just a little critical inquiry into conditions in the public schools shows that the motor-minded boys and girls soon become discouraged in a bookish school where they are in unequal competition with their receptive or bookish classmates. Soon the motor minded drop out because they find little of interest in the schools for them, and yet these motor-minded ones are valuable citizens and far outnumber the bookish people for whom the school and college system is now run.

The mind of the motor-minded child does not work easily in books because he deals with the concrete, while books contain mostly the abstract. The motor-minded child is usually a logical thinker but he needs what he is learning brought into relation with something in his past in order to make his mind catch fire and go to work. His power of attention is strong so he fails to become conscious of near and vitally related subjects. For a half century we have had no adequate discussion of these pupils, who are entering our schools by the thousands. For a time they struggle in the unequal competition with the bookish who have come and will go up regularly through the grades ; but soon the motor-minded boy discovers that he is losing ground in the contest; then he finds interests outside of the school and in a short time quits the school for ever. Poor fellow, he does not know that he belongs in the same class with Linnaeus, Darwin and Miss Martineau ; with Napoleon Bonaparte, William A. Seward and Patrick Henry; with Newton, Dalton, Samuel Johnson and Dean Swift; with Wordsworth, Sheridan, Humboldt, George Eliot, Walter Scott, Lyell, Cuvier, Byron, Beecher, Lowell, Goldsmith, Priestley, Goethe, Emerson, Glad-stone, Sumner, Chase and a score of others who were poor in book work at school. God pity the farm boy who makes up his mind that he is an ignoramus because his teacher, his parents and his school fail to understand the wonderful equipment with which he entered school.

The Farm and the Motor Minded.—The farm produces better observers than does the town, it produces better reasoners, it gives discipline in meditation, it calls frequently for quick judgment and action, but it does not enable boys to become so apt in books. The farm boy works too hard and uses book learning too seldom to become very proficient in writing, reading and spelling without extra effort. Is it just to this boy from the farm to place him in a school where the teacher measures every-thing by books and where the other pupils of like age are much further advanced in books? This active country boy goes to school and is told to sit still for a long, long time, as it seems to him. He is told to study from books which contain ideas entirely foreign to things in his experience or to things in which he is interested. He is given no clue as to how the printed page may help him or how to connect what is on the page with what he has done or expects to do outside of school. Is it any wonder that nine out of every ten children in the United States do not go to school after they are fifteen years of age? We are not good shepherds if we spend our time, as educators have in the past, counting the one that is saved while the nine are lost.

Books May Weaken Executive Ability.—Book-learning is not an unmixed blessing. Books frequently lead to an over-development of consciousness coupled with an underdevelopment of executive ability. Too much knowledge, or an over-development of consciousness, may lead one to see so much on both sides that he loses the tendency to act with promptness and force on either side. Cicero is the classic example of one who was overly conscious and therefore hesitated to take part with either side. Julius Caesar, on the other hand, is the classic example of a man broadly conscious, and who from his very breadth and depth of consciousness was able to act with irresistible force and promptness. Mr. Roosevelt is another man who is wonderful in his breadth and depth of consciousness, who is interested in the widest variety of activities, and yet who never hesitates to act with force and promptness for the right, as he sees the right.

President Roosevelt saw the dangerous defect in our public schools and called attention to it in the following words: " Our school system is gravely defective in so far as it puts a premium upon mere literary training and tends, therefore, to train the boy away from the farm and workshop. Nothing is more needed than the best type of an industrial school, the school for mechanical industries in the cities and for teaching agriculture in the country. No growth of cities, no growth of wealth, can make up for any loss in either the number or the character of the farming population. We of the United States should realize this above almost all other people. We began our existence as a nation of farmers, and in every crisis of the past a peculiar dependence has had to be placed upon the farming population, and this dependence has hitherto been justified."

One reason why country boys so often surpass town boys is that the country offers abundant material for calling out and developing the executive side of the boys. The handling of a team and other domestic animals, the handling of farm machinery, the outwitting of game, the catching of fish, all call into activity executive tendencies of a higher order. The history of the child and of the race shows that there always has been, and there is yet, " a crown for him that overcometh." But life in the country is apt to be lacking in the social and emotional elements. This may lead to pranks, rowdyism and contests of brute strength, but, notwithstanding these coarse and vulgar attractions, life in the country is still apt to be lonesome and to become monotonous. The emotional and social craving must be satisfied partly by the love for and contact with domestic animals and pets.

Again, the parallel between the child and the race shows us that the connection between the lower animals and man is much closer among children and primitive people than among those more advanced. Among some of the primitive tribes the domestic animals are nursed by the women. We are told by the anthropologists that in the Philippine islands even the little pigs are nursed by the women from their own breasts. The love for, and power over, many of the domestic animals, which is possessed by women and children, as yet defies analysis for hidden causes. The story of Alexander the Great when a mere stripling, riding the fractious horse, Bucephalus, is paralleled on nearly every farm where boys and colts are being reared and trained.

Pets for Introductory Zoology.—The heart is sickened when one thinks of our present methods of introducing the child to nature study and zoology. Left to himself, the child would never begin by killing, destroying, dissecting, tearing to pieces or trying to classify. Not more animal anatomy but more animal activity is what we need. Professor Hodge in his epoch-making book, " Nature Study and Life," says :

" Pets are the child's natural introduction to animal life. By their means the knowledge gained of the animal as a whole, its habits, life, individual character, intelligence, affection for its master, its health and well-being, is infinitely more living and real than imparted by any other methods of instruction. By its association with the child's spontaneous activities in caring for his pet, this knowledge becomes a part of his life and will thus enter into the formation of his character to exert its civilizing influence as long as he lives. Of how little value compared with this is learning of names, schemes of classification of anatomical structures.

" In the development of the child's moral and emotional life, this relation of his living pet is of even greater importance. Nothing is better fitted to develop patience and conscientious carefulness than the daily attention to its needs. Unselfishness is fostered by this care and by the generous sharing of his things with his humble friend.

" Play is coming to be recognized more and more as an important factor in life and in education. Nothing as fully brings into healthful activity every function and power; so that Froebel truly says, ` A man is a whole man only when he plays.' Plays of the young are preparatory to the activities of adult life (Fig. 26), and pet plays prepare, as nothing else can, for the most important of all functions, the caring for the young. The care of the pet involves the same reasoning, the same thinking and feeling and willing and doing, as the care of the child. Finally, the love of nature is a thing of slow growth. It begins when the love of a child flows out toward some one specific thing; it gathers force when something else is loved, and so on until he loves so many things and has come to look so deeply into nature's heart that he feels the love of all nature. This is a result worth years of patient education."

Agriculture for Fall Months.—The winter covering of plants and animals may well furnish some interesting material for booklets, compositions and opening exercises ; but pets make an equally interesting subject, and a booklet, or a series of discussions during the early winter months of the school year, may lead some careless one to develop forethought which will lead him to provide his pet a better place for winter quarters. These discussions on pets may incidentally lead to the dissemination of much valuable information. The subject of pets offers an excellent field for the awakening of latent sympathies and for the stimulation of the tendency to thoughtfulness and care for, and kindness toward, our dumb but valuable friends. Love grows slowly and we rarely find a man who loves his domes-tic animals who does not love his family; and we seldom find a man brutal to dumb animals who is not also brutal toward wife and children.

Every child should some time in his life own one or more pets. Their educational value is immeasurable. I could not lead my little boy to understand why mamma and papa punish their children until he got a little puppy, and I told him to punish the puppy just enough to make him remember not to do his naughty tricks. At first, like a savage, the boy was disposed to be cruel, but gradually he learned what punishment was for and gradually he awakened to a consciousness of why children are punished. Then the lessons in observation, in self-control ; the development in tact and skill in harnessing and breaking the dog, calf or colt, the caring for the pet and the learning that added goods mean added responsibility—all these are lessons as valuable as anything taught from books. More than that, these things may be made to lead to an intense desire to read some good book on the care, feeding or handling of the dog, sheep, colt, or whatever the particular pet may be.

Many a boy of the motor type who now finds nothing he considers interesting or valuable in school will have a new birth when the teacher gives him lessons on his particular pet. He may now be learning to read very slowly, but the desire to learn more about his pet may be utilized as a stimulus to read more by giving practice in supplementary work in reading from government bulletins and books on the subject of his pet, or some aspect of the subject, such as diseases, housing, feeding, etc. The same lessons may furnish the very topic on which he will be pleased to write compositions that tell his experiences with his pet. The boy, the school and the home are now in many instances pulling in three different directions, and the teacher has but to call to mind the well-known law in physics to learn the result ; but let them all three pull together and the result will be something entirely different. If, instead of counting the saved, we for a time count the lost from our schools, we will be persuaded that some changes are necessary.

One Way to Introduce Agriculture.—If you do not know how to introduce elementary agriculture, or if you find your nature study uninteresting to the pupils, begin to ask them what they do for their pets and you will find you have started a never-ending story. Since gentlemen must wait for ladies, we will tell the boys that we are soon to have a lesson on their pets, but we will hear about kitty now. Remember that pleasing oral expression is a valuable accomplishment, so we will allow the children to tell all they can about the pleasures they derive from, and what they do for, kitty. Teachers may profit by the philosophy of the old Quaker who heard a man swearing. Going up to him, the old Quaker patted him on the shoulder as he remarked : " Thou are right, thou art right. The sooner that thou gets that out of thee, the better."

Care of the Cat.—After the teacher has drawn from the pupils what they know about the care of the cat, it would be well, if there is in the library a good book on the cat or one with a chapter on the cat, to have some bright pupil who has his lessons learned, and who is likely to be in mischief while waiting for the others to get their lessons, read up on this subject so as to be able to report at the next discussion. If there is nothing in the library to be read, the teacher may add something. In Miss Champion's article on the cat, in Bailey's " Cyclopedia of Agri-culture," we find the following which may be of interest : " In raising cats, meat should be the staple diet. This may be mixed with green vegetables, but farinaceous and starchy foods, such as rice, oatmeal and potatoes, should be strictly avoided ; water should be given to the cat to drink, and no milk. The latter is peculiarly indigestible to cats. Cats should be kept excessively clean, both as to freedom of their coats from all vermin and in regard to their quarters. They are naturally very clean in their habits.

" Cats are very susceptible to dampness. While they will flourish in a dry, clear, cold climate and require no heat in such a climate, dampness will bring on many ills, such as pneumonia, ophthalmia and distemper. The principal causes of mortality in kittens are indigestion and distemper."

Other valuable bits of information may be given, as that the coats of both cats and dogs catch fleas which may be readily killed by a thorough soap-suds bath given to the cat or dog.

Care of the Dog.—Says Hodge : " Among the many who keep dogs but few know how to take proper care of them. Most people over-feed, thus allowing the dog to grow fat, lazy and stupid. For an adult dog one meal a day, given in the evening, is generally better than two or three. It should consist of dog biscuit or the coarse table scraps, bread crusts, brown bread, oatmeal, bones with not too much meat, and vegetables. In severe weather or with much exercise in the open air, a dog needs to be fed oftener and to have more food. The best indication as to whether the feeding is proper is the condition of the animal. He should be neither lean nor fat, but sleek. One should be able to take up a handful of soft, loose skin anywhere on the dog's body. A gnawing-bone is the dog's tooth-brush, and he should be kept well supplied at all times, both for business and amusement. Too much meat and lack of cleanliness are apt to give rise to offensive odors, the " doggy " smell of animals not properly cared for. Fleas are the great burden of a dog's life. To kill every flea on a dog it is necessary to lather him completely with some mild, clean soap, Castile or Ivory; let it stay on for two or three minutes, then rinse in clean water or let the dog take a swim. A dog is thus the best possible flea trap. He will pick up every flea in the house or neighborhood, and then they may be easily killed. If every one did this, which is no less than he should wish to do for the health, cleanliness and comfort of his pets, a neighborhood might soon be rid of these pests. For other matters as to the dog's health and care, their owners should be referred to standard authorities."

There are a number of good dog books which some of the boys will like to read. But before I leave the subject, I must quote from that excellent set, which every well-to-do farmer who wishes to become well informed should have in his library. Every dog should have a kennel which he may have as his home, and where in case of sickness he may be isolated and cared for properly. The kennel should be located where it will receive plenty of sunlight, where there is good drainage, and where it is easily accessible. In " The Pet Book," by Mrs. Anna B. Comstock, she tells us: " The best kennel is one that can be cleaned and aired when rot in use. It may be a wooden box or a barrel, turned upside down, placed on a platform raised a little above the earth ; or it may be an especially built house (Fig. 27), but, of whatever form, it needs to be roomy, protected from the cold winter winds and shaded from the summer's sun.

" For the dog's bed, a layer of clean straw is best, and this should be changed every week. Sawdust, carpets, and mattings are not desirable as bedding, since they harbor fleas. When the kennel is scrubbed, disinfectants should be used, and it should be perfectly dry before straw for the bed is put in place. The walls of the kennel should be whitewashed, or painted with creolin, to keep them sweet and clean. There should be sand in front of the kennel, and, if the dog is chained, a chain from six to nine feet long should be used, and there should be always plenty of fresh, clean water within reach."

Many Kinds of Pets.—Other animals such as guinea-pigs, rabbits, canaries, pigeons, parrots, chickens, etc., make excellent pets and give children valuable experiences. Lack of space forbids a detailed description, but their presence may make it necessary for the teacher to include them among her discussions. There remain two which connect us very closely with successful farming, and the information gained about each will be used all through life.

Every Boy Should Own and Break a Calf.—That boy who missed breaking a calf missed a chance to develop part of his executive possibilities. The calf is more docile than the colt and hence makes a better animal for the small boy to handle. Nor is that all. There are a number of farmers near where I am living in Pennsylvania who use oxen (Fig. 28) for part of their farm operations. A study made of these farms and farmers by us in connection with the United States Bureau of Farm Management, shows that these are farmers who are making their farms pay. We see no reason to doubt that ox power is a cheap and, for many operations, a very satisfactory power. Hence the boy when breaking the calf may, as do children so frequently when playing, be preparing for a later life work. He may be acquiring the very reactions, the very understanding of movements that will later enable him to lay hold of a very cheap and economical farm power. But we are most interested in making a man of the boy, and breaking and handling a calf with kindness and skill do much to develop the best that there is in the boy.

An old buggy axle with a pair of cultivator wheels, or any pair of low wheels, makes a god start for a cart. The buggy axle should have about a foot c t out of the centre and then the two ends welded together. The a pair of thins may be bolted on, an old buggy box adjusted to the rig, and we have a very convenient calf cart. Primitive man used things that were large and strong. We make a mistake by urging our children to play with the light, delicate, useless playthings. Almost any boy can rig up a calf harness out of old straps, especially if given an old breast collar or breeching. Rope lines will do. Many handy things can be done with he calf and cart. Little chores, short market trips, vegetables from the garden, apples in small quantities, grass taken from the lawn, and a hundred and one things may be done as play with the calf and its cart. And all the time the boy and his companions are storing up beautiful memories, developing originality , executive ability and kindness.

The school must not ignore this experience. The children will love to tell of it, write about it and read similar experiences of others. If rightly directed, tie experience with the calf leads to the desire to know how to ca e for, breed, and handle cattle.

The Boy and the Colt; the Man and the Horse.—No other animal means more in farm life than does the horse. The horse was perhaps domesticated before the dawn of history. The remains of the horse furnish us e most complete extant record of the development of one of the higher animals. His ancestors roamed the American continent and then, for some reason, their descendants seem to ha e disappeared until the horse came over with the white man o again roam the southwestern part of the United States. Literature for ages past is found to contain references to man and his love for his horse (Fig. 29). Hodge says : " To learn to control and ride a spirited horse is an education in itself."

Training the Colt very practical book for the farmer is Gay's " Productive Horse Husbandry." In Chapter XI, under " Care of the Colt or Foal," we are told : " One of the light web halters is preferable to the heavy strap halter, and care should be taken not to pull heavily on the noseband at any time. Many deformed face lines have been caused by this means. It is not necessary to drag a colt by the halter in order to suggest to him that his business is to follow. As a matter of fact, the reverse effect is usual, and the harder a colt is pulled, the harder he pulls back. If, on the contrary, he is coaxed along some accustomed route, as to the water trough and back, he will soon catch on and follow promptly whenever the halter is taken in hand.

" The first time the colt is tied up by the head, see to it that the halter will hold him in case he pulls. If he does and fails in his first attempts, a string will probably serve as well as a chain to keep him in place thereafter, while if he succeeds in freeing himself at the first few attempts he will never cease trying to repeat what he has once accomplished."

If a colt has formed the naughty habit of pulling, he may be broken of it by tying a loop or small noose in one end of a small rope about ten to twelve feet long. The rope is thrown around the body, the end passing through the small ring or loop, and the rope placed so that it will draw tight just in front of the hind legs or just back of the fore legs. Then the long end of the rope is passed between the fore legs a d up through the lower or chin halter-strap. The end of the rope is kept in the hands with the halter-rope. When the colt begins to pull, the rope is tightened around the flanks or body, and lo is breaks the colt very quickly of his tendency and desire to pull back. As Gay points out, the colt has fewer ideas and is much more ready to follow a superior intellect when young, b t once let bad habits form, and there may be trouble ahead in breaking him of them.

This does not mean that a colt is best put to work when young. His education and his work are not the same thing. Many colts are injured by being worked too young, but few are injured by being broken too young.

" The profit and pleasure to be derived," says Gay, " from the use of the horse of any class are so dependent upon his being readily subservient to his master's will that the earlier this spirit is created the better horse he ill be. A common custom in the Middle West is to take the unbroken two- or three-year-old, put him between two or three o her horses to a gang plow, and thus `break' him. He pulls ' hen the others pull, makes the turns when they do, and finally becomes of about as much service at that work as the other horses 'n the team, but he is not broken. Take him by himself and he will not stand, back, lead, rein, or allow a foot to be picked up without as much resistance as, or more resistance than, was offered before the breaking process began."

The important thing for the boy and the teacher to under-stand at this point is the fact that physical force is a very poor means for breaking and handling a colt or a horse. The horse is too powerful an animal for an to handle by physical force. Right habits, lack of fear, kindness, and a clear understanding of the means being used are what we are aiming to have the colt acquire. He must know what the halter and, later, the bridle and the words of command are for; he must form the habit of doing just one thing as a reaction to each. The superior intellect is trying to control the inferior intellect. No chances should be taken with the colt, but the superior intellect should see that at every turn the colt does exactly the right thing.

The colt should early be educated to the bit and the harness. If a colt has been well broken to the halter, a boy does quite as well as a man to break the colt, providing the boy knows what to do. A light bridle with a medium-sized and comfortable bit may be put on the colt while he is a " yearling." Then a light back-band or surcingle may be put around just back of the fore legs. The colt may be checked up, but there is nothing to be gained by checking him so high that he must hold his head in an uncomfortable position and hence work to get the bridle off, the check broken, or the head released. So soon as he has wandered around the yard for a half day or two, with the bridle, back-band, and crupper in place all of the time, that is, so soon as the colt has learned that there is no use trying to get these off or out of place, —he is ready for the lines. For these we need two loops—one at either side—such as we use on the single harness for the hills. These should be securely fastened both down and up so that they will stay in place along the side. The lines should be run through these, and the colt driven so that he cannot turn and get one line over his back.

While being driven with the lines, the colt should learn to stop at the command " Whoa ! " and he should learn to start at the command " Get up ! " He may be taught to back, to stand still, and, if he is to be a work horse, to begin to obey the commands " Gee ! " and " Haw ! " Gradually more of the harness may be put on and the colt accustomed to it. The breast collar may be put on, later a full leather or humane collar may be on while the colt is being driven by the lines. A boy readily learns what parts of the harness to use, but a lady teacher may do much to impress the boy with the fact that the parts must be so put on as to stay in place, and the colt must not be frightened by their getting out of place and the colt and the boy having a mix-up.

A boy who is interested in physics and horses should read Gay's chapter on " Relation between Horse and Master." And both boys and girls who are interested in good driving should read the chapter on Equitation. Says Gay, Chapter XVI, on Equitation : " There is a sentimental opposition to a recital of the horse's mental limitatior s which must be overcome, and these limitations appreciated, if the most satisfactory service is to be had from him. For instance, it has been alleged that the horse is both a fool and a co ward, and while these uncomplimentary terms may arouse the ire of the horse lovers, and apparently justly so, it is the actual possession of these two traits, perhaps more moderately called credulity and dependence, which makes it possible to use the ho se at all with safety and satisfaction. Our whole system of breaking, schooling, and driving is fundamentally deceptive. We aim to give the horse an exalted notion of those of his powers which are useful to us, and at the same time create the idea that certain others, which might prove detrimental to our purpose, are hardly worthy of the horse's consideration."

Good driving is a fine art of which any boy or girl may be proud. There must be the most delicate adjustment and response between the hand of the driver and the mouth of the horse. A master is able to drive with the left, and thus free the right hand to take up the whip or to help the left hand in emergencies. Most of the time the near rein should be held over the forefinger and the off rein between the middle and ring fingers. If the knuckles are turned forward and nearly perpendicular and the forearm is held horizontally and at nearly a right angle to the lines, the position is easy and enables one to guide the horse along an unobstructed road. I the horse is to turn, the other hand may help.

When the colt is first hitch d to a vehicle, he is to go, and there is to be no kicking about it . This makes it best to hitch the colt to a strong vehicle, and, if single, to use the kicking straps until habits are well formed. of the colt is hitched double, he should be hitched with a reliable mate that is responsive to commands. And, again, the wagon is to be reasonably heavy and in every way strong and reliable. The vehicle should be so placed that the start is easily made and there is a clear field for a reasonable distance. There are to be no accidents the first time the colt is driven.

A balky horse is generally _made by a balky driver. If the colt is well driven the first few times, if he is not hitched to a load heavier than he can pull, and if no accidents happen, we are reasonably sure that we are to have a true horse. A responsive, true, reliable horse is an achievement of which a boy may be justly proud. The breaking of a colt is the training of the most complex animal next to man, and to train the colt skilfully is to get splendid preparation for handling either men or horses.

From Pets to Home Projects.—From pets a child passes naturally to home projects, and these make excellent connecting links between home and school. Home projects as developed in Massachusetts and as advocated by the United States Bureau of Education are undertakings of economic importance which are supervised by some one from the school. The theory of how to carry on the project is learned as part of the regular school work, and the application of the theory is made at home for economic gain. The care of one or more cows to see what can be done to lower the cost of feed or milk; the care of a team of horses to learn the number of hours worked, the cost of feed, the most advantageous labor schedule; the care of a pen of pigs; the care and feeding of a steer to learn the cost of producing beef, especially baby beef ; the management of part of the poultry flock, the trap-nesting of hens (see Lesson Plan, Chapter XV), the housing, feeding, running of the incubator or brooder—any of these make home projects well worth while.

These home projects offer us a chance to illustrate what we are trying to do with agriculture in the school. With nature study, we aim to get pupils to observe and to love nature. Agriculture is utilitarian. With agriculture we aim to get pupils to know and to do things that are better than the things now being done. Contrary to what most town people think and what the town papers emphasize, we are not aiming primarily at getting an increased production. We are not aiming primarily to get more food for town people to eat; that is a town problem and it is for town people to solve. But teachers of agriculture do aim to make farming more profitable to the farmers. With this in mind, the teacher should be alert to learn what is worth while, what can be done that will pay her people more net profit than they are now getting. This makes the teacher alert to find what is new and yet to be sure that it will pay.

Poultry for Home Projects.—No subject surpasses poultry for home projects. Poultry is found at every farm home, the girls are frequently as interest d in it as are the boys, and the women of the district are gene rally more interested than are the men. The value of poultry products in America equals the combined value of the gold, silver, coal and iron mines. The value of the poultry prod cts is equal to the value of the hay crop, the wheat crop, or the cotton crop, the corn crop alone surpassing poultry products in value.

" With the gradual refining of agriculture," says Bailey, " and the application of business methods to it, we have begun to realize that it is possible to greatly extend the business of all kinds of fowls. . . . We have earned that any real satisfaction in the rearing of poultry must come as a result of as careful attention as that given to any other kind of live-stock. The question of breeding, feeding, diseases, and general management are complex and are much in need of scientific investigation. . . . The reputation of the poultry business as a separate enter-prise has, no doubt, suffered from the exploitation of it by many persons who have gone into it thinking it an easy and rapid road to fortune and a means o recouping broken health."

Robinson, in his splendid book on " Principles and Practices of Poultry Culture," say.: " Indiscriminate reading of poultry literature is a hindrance oftener than a help. Only care-fully selected standard books and papers should be used. The fictions of poultry culture are mostly plausible and generally more alluring than facts. . . . A person with a little skill in carpentry may design and build a house in every way as good as any experienced poultryman . . . provided that the principles are understood and correctly applied. But in feeding, a working knowledge of principles is rarely if ever acquired without practice. . . . The student who learns or has good cause to suppose that the poultry plant on which he is working is maintained from other sources than the annual income from poultry will, as a rule, find it to his ad advantage to leave it; for he is not likely to learn there to do a pro table day's work in a day, and he is likely to acquire habits a d an attitude toward his work which permanently impair his efficiency."

Housing.—Before one can tell how to house poultry, he must know under what conditions the poultry is to be kept.

For a small flock in a city yard, a small house such as that given in Fig. 30 is best. This house is seven by fourteen feet on the ground. It has a floor and is set up two feet above ground, which gives a run-way equal in size to the size of the house. The front from floor to roof is five feet. It was designed by a young lady who read what she could find, digested what she read and then designed her poultry house. It fits her yard, it is not unsightly and it shelters twenty hens very nicely. The house cost less than forty dollars. This house has the attributes of a good poultry house. It is dry, easily kept clean, well lighted, and well ventilated. The cost was less than two dollars per hen. The colony houses used in the North American contest are large enough for ten hens, are economical, make good home projects and are very convenient to use for half-grown chicks or for hens and little chicks, though a coop does equally well for the hen and her chicks.

Discussions of how to care for eggs and how to breed hens for more eggs are given in the lesson plans in Chapter XV. There is much interesting work in biology to be learned from handling poultry. We know that a hen is born with all of the embryo eggs she can ever have. We know that she will probably be eight to ten years laying her eggs but man may by proper care, housing and feeding, get all of the eggs that she will lay at a profit in from one to three years after she begins to lay. In fact, unless eggs are wanted to hen more than one year after we know that hens differ in the them to lay in a year. One he average hen lays 80 eggs in the same time. At the American contest the 500 hens averaged over 170 eggs. One more egg to a hen in the United States would give us some $4,000,000 worth of eggs over what we are now getting. That would help wonderfully to give us the most efficient schools in the world.

The subject of feeding hens is treated in Chapter V.

Incubation.—Artificial incubation has come to stay. The Egyptians and the Chinese have used the fireless mud incubator for thousands of years. There is a chance for bright young people to do the incubating for the farmers of a district.

In some colleges and normal schools the pupils run the incubators as part of their regular work in agriculture. The larger incubators (Fig. 32), heated by water, which in turn is heated by coal, give better satisfaction. There are a number of rules for running the incubator which are teachable. Among them are :

1. Select part of the hens that show constitution, vigor and vitality.

2. Trap-nest these the first year. Sell the eggs. Do not allow male bird to mate with these the first year.

3. After a reasonable rest with good feeding, mate the best layers from these with males whose ancestors were known to be egg strains. From these matings get eggs for setting.

4. Set incubator in a well-ventilated room where the temperature does not vary rapidly or far.

5. Overhaul incubator carefully to be sure that it is in good order and to be sure that you understand all parts.

6. Start the incubator some days before you are to put in eggs, to be sure that you understand how to run it. Be sure that the lamp burns freely and that the regulator regulates.

7. Disinfect the incubator carefully before each setting is put in.

8. Be sure that the incubator is set level as this insures an even distribution of heat in the incubator.

9. Use high-grade oil that will not smoke or char the wick.

10. Keep the lamp burner clean.

11. Be sure that the wick is of the lamp. Put in a fresh wick are spoiled by having the lamp high because of a faulty wick.

12. Fill the lamp in the afternoon. This insures a supply of oil and a freshly trimmed wick for the night.

13. Put the eggs in during the forenoon so that the eggs may become warmed through a d the incubator regulated before night.

14. Do not handle or even touch the eggs with oily hands.

15. Test eggs on the sixth o seventh day, throwing out infertile eggs.

16. Keep the machine dark during hatching time. Do not open it unless absolutely necessary.

17. Follow the manufacturer's directions. Ile probably knows best how his machine should be run.

18. Leave the chicks in the nursery for twenty-four to forty hours after hatching. They do not need feed.

19. Don't spend your valuable time helping weak chicks. If they can't get out of their sheells they probably are not worth helping.

20. Have the brooder read and transfer the chicks to it without chilling them. Start with the same temperature for the brooder that you had in the incubator and lower gradually, say five degrees per week, beginning after the second or third day.

Laying Contests.—The farmer has never warmed up to the poultry shows as some school teachers and the fanciers seem to think that he should. There is a very good reason for this.

The poultry business, so far as shows have been concerned, has been run by men who were breeding for feathers and forms, while the farmer is interested in hens for more eggs. But the fancy breeders have done a valuable work. They have taught us that we may get pretty much what we want if we have a clear aim and breed for it long enough. But there has been growing discontent among the poultrymen with the shows. The American Standard, a book issued by the American Poultry Association, has never been of great interest to the farmer. It tells how to get hens for feathers and the farmer wants to know how to get hens for more eggs. This insistent demand for the utility hen led some of the. agricultural colleges to start the egg-laying contests. There have been contests running in Oregon, in Missouri, at Storrs, Connecticut (Fig. 33), and at Delaware College at Newark, Delaware. The one at Newark was started as the North American contest, and it did as much as any perhaps to show what can be done. Each man paid twenty dollars to enter his hens. He entered five hens for one year, but he could send seven so as to have two to take the places of others should they become sick or die. All of the hens were kept under absolutely uniform conditions. The houses were alike (Fig. 34). There were five hens each little house. The houses were cleaned each day. All of the hens were fed with mechanical or automatic feeders (Fig. 35) so that each hen got feed just when she wanted it. Each feeder was filled, as explained in the chapter on feeds and feed ing, once a week. The hens in each house were given a dish of fresh water twice each day.

The third year the 500 hens averaged 170 eggs each. One pen of five Wyandottes laid 1180. A C Columbian Rock laid 286 eggs in the year 1831 of the 500 hens laid an average of over 200 eggs each. This is not an exploitation of the exceptional. These are records that can be reproduced on any good poultry farm. Tom Barron of England was owner of the winners in each contest and he had bred his hens for egg . There. were no male birds with any of the 500 hens. Each little house was provided with five Stoneburn trap-nests, and each hen was trap-nested for each egg. (For lesson plan on use of the trap-nest, see Chapter XV; and for Poultry Judging, see Chapter IV.)

A Sow and Pigs for a Home Project.—There are many club boys in the United States who are caring for a sow and her pigs as a home project. This pig club work is just now more popular in the southern States, but boys in Iowa and other northern States are interested. The swine project offers the teacher of agriculture' another chance to illustrate what we are trying to do with agriculture in the school. Primarily, we are trying to educate boys by getting them to think more, read more, write more and do more in a better way. Secondly, we are trying to demonstrate to the people of our districts some of the things which the scientist has worked out for them. The farmer is a busy man, he has so many things to look after, there is always something that needs to be done, hence he hesitates about trying anything new. Yet new things must be tried or we make no progress. Then, too, what the teacher advocates may not pay, but if she gets a boy to introduce the thing as a home project and if he makes a success of his home project, which means if he makes it pay, and pay better than what the farmer is now doing, then the teacher has a thankful convert in the father, she has a farmer more interested in the school and much more willing that his boy shall continue in that school.

The home project for the sow and her pigs should consist of selecting the best sow for a mother. Then the boy should build his individual hog house (Fig. 36) ; he should fence a piece of land, with room enough to keep his swine clean, to furnish pasture, and yet not waste ground. IIe should keep a set of books in which he debits the swine for time, fence, rent of land, feed, and other expenses. When he has his pigs partly grown, he is ready to learn of hog cholera (Fig. 115) and how to prevent it. Books that were of no interest to him before become intensely interesting now. He is ready to read such a book as Day's " Productive Swine Husbandry " with interest. If the school library lacks such books, the home projects are very sure to create a demand or a library with books of vital interest to the people of the district.

Corn and Canning Projects.—In connection with home projects I must call attention to the " acre of corn " projects. An acre of corn is large enough to challenge the manhood of a boy, it is hard enough, there is profit enough in it, and it enables one to learn what there is to be learned about growing corn. A description of the club work is given in Chapter XIV, but here is the place to call attention to the fact that there are some 100,000 boys each year in the are of corn contest. The winners have been given a free trip to Washington (Fig. 87). There they have been received by the President and given diplomas for achieving, or, as they would say, " demonstrating," what can be done in agriculture.

Half of the garden truck in America rots on the ground. Half of the people do not get all of the canned goods they could use to advantage. Many country girls go to the city in order to make spending money. The average farm woman thinks that she has done a reasonably good summer's work if she has canned 100 quarts for her family. And yet in the canning clubs, hundreds of girls are learning (Fig. 38) each season how to can 300 quarts in a day. We are just learning that the best canned vegetables are the ones that are canned as soon as brought from the garden. The girls, too, are demonstrators of what may be done to make woman's work efficient. This club work offers us a chance to start continuation schools in America. Nothing is more needed. We need teachers paid, as are some of the Massachusetts teachers to supervise the home projects, for twelve months in a year. If teachers of domestic science and agriculture have vacations, they should have them in the winter time. One Massachusetts school contracts with the teacher of agriculture for twelve months with the provision in the contract that one month shall be spent in a first-class agricultural college, preferably at the short courses, and the other month in the winter may be spent as the teacher chooses. This enables the teacher to supervise the home projects during the months that the pupils are not in the regular school, a d by having some reading done during the summer months the work may be made lighter when other school work is heavy. But the pupil with a hone project is to work alone as much and as soon as he is able. The teacher of the home project is not to be a crutch but rather an adviser who organizes the young people and anables them to gather enthusiasm from each other.



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