National Geographic : 1927 Apr
464 THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE tests of the United States and Canada . showed a yield of 150 to 16o eggs per " bird per year (see, also, page 411). SItis the ability of man to breed a bird capable of returning this maximum egg production, and at the same time being S possessed of a body well fleshed and of .. fine quality, which has given domestic . fowls the great economic position which < they now occupy. THE HEN IS AN ECONOMICAL PRODUCER OF HUMAN FOOD - Following the World War, the American hen helped to save the day for thousands * 2 of farmers in our Middle West States, who, through crop failure, shortage of labor, and low prices, were unable to c bc carry on with the reduced income from their normal crops. SE Poultry keeping has been one of the ~ ~ few branches of agriculture which has xa continued at a profitable level during the reconstruction period, for the hen is one o o of the most economical producers of hu o man food. No other animal on the farm "v more efficiently manufactures a finished product for human consumption from . o- raw material. A little Leghorn weighing around four o pounds, if well bred and well managed, • will in one year consume from 75 to 80o o , pounds of feed and produce eggs weigh CZ ing from 25 to 30 pounds. It is the history of all civilized coun o tries that as the population becomes more congested in large urban centers, as the proportion of farmers and producers of S , foodstuffs decreases, as the land area available for live-stock production dimin u ishes, a nation must look more and more to the small animal unit as a source of food supply. We must of necessity make 8 poultry meat and eggs an ever-increasing u part of our daily diet, for the reason that, 8 of all the live-stock industry, poultry hus bandry lends itself most readily to in tensive methods in limited areas. -, But poultry farming is a specialized . form of industry. To be successful in this branch of agriculture, one must have intelligence and enterprise and be con stantly on the watch against diseases that S threaten the flock and be prepared for :v lower prices whenever the supply of poul H try products overtakes the demand.