Image from page 48 of "West Virginia as a poultry state" (1911)
Authors: Atwood, Horace, 1868-
Subjects: Poultry industry - West Virginia.
Contributing Library: West Virginia University Libraries
Digitizing Sponsor: Lyrasis Members and Sloan Foundation
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ept is the food which they receive.In the case of a chick, nature provides for its sustenance untilit is able to run about and obtain food partly by its own ef-forts. The food material thus provided consists of the con-tents of the yolk sack which is slipped into the abdominalcavity a few hours before the chick is hatched. The yolk sackis connected with the intestine by a duct through which thesemi-fluid mass passes into the digestive system where it isabsorbed. In feeding little chicks it should be clearly realized atthe outset that they grow much more rapidly in respect totheir original weight than any other of our common domes-ticated animals. Chicks when removed from the incubatorweigh about one and one-half ounces each, and they can bemade to weigh two and one-half pounds or forty ounces apiecewhen twelve weeks old. _ This is an increase of slightly morethan twenty-six times the original weight in twelve weeks.In other words, during the first twelve weeks of its life a little 152
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chick averages to increase in weight each week more thandouble its original weight. Let us see what this means, tak-ing for an example a young child. If a baby weighing tenpounds at birth were to grow relatively as fast as a chicken itwould weigh about 260 pounds when twelve weeks of age!This extreme rapidity of growth in the case of a chicken re-quires liberal feeding, and I have never yet been able to un-derstand why the advice is so frequently given nor to over-feed little chickens, for if the chicks are healthy and are givenan opportunity to take a normal amount of exercise they willnot eat more than they can properly digest and assimilate. Ababy under normal conditions doubles its original weight inabout 180 days; a chick in about six days. In other words theprocesses of digestion and assimilation are about thirty timesas active in the case of a chick as in a baby, and the amountof food required is about thirty times as great in proportionto the body weight Liberal feeding is the
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