This book does not assume you to be a graduate of a technical school, but it does bring up discussions and use methods of illustration that may be unfamiliar to many readers. That such matter is introduced is because the subject requires it; and if it is confusing to the student he will do better to master it than to dodge it. Especially would I call your attention to the diagrams used in illustrating various statistics. Such diagrams are technically called “curves.” They may at first seem mere crooked lines, if so I suggest that you get a series of figures in which you are interested, such as the daily egg yields of your own flock or your monthly food bills, and “plot” a few curves of your own. After you catch on you will be surprised at the greater ease with which the true meaning of a series of figures can be recognized when this graphic method is used.
I wish to call the farmer’s attention to the fact that poultry keeping as an adjunct to general farming, especially to general farming in the Mississippi Valley, is quite a different proposition from poultry production as a regular business. Poultry keeping as a part of farm life and farm enterprise is a thing well worth while in any section of the United States, whereas poultry keeping, a separate occupation, requires special location and special conditions to make it profitable. I would suggest the farmer first read Chapter XVI, which is devoted to his special conditions. Later he may read the remainder of the book, but should again consult the part on farm poultry production before attempting to apply the more complicated methods to his own needs.
Chapter XVI, while written primarily for the farmer, is, because of the simplicity of its directions, the best general guide for the beginner in poultry keeping wherever he may be.
To the reader in general, I want to say, that the table of contents, a part of the book which most people never read, is in this volume so placed and so arranged that it cannot well be avoided. Read it before you begin the rest of the book, and use it then and thereafter in guiding you toward the facts that you at the time particularly want to know. Many people in starting to read a book find something in the first chapter which does not interest them and cast aside the work, often missing just the information they are seeking. The conspicuous arrangement of the contents is for the purpose of preventing such an occurrence in this case.
What is in this volume
Is there money
in the poultry business?
A Big Business; Growing Bigger
Less Ham and More Eggs
Who Gets the Hen Money?