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Hatching Fowls Eggs

baskets, placed and thickly

HATCHING FOWLS' EGGS by artificial heat, though only obscurely described by ancient authors, appears to have been common in Egypt in very remote times. The building in which the proems is now performed is called Maamal-el-Tirakk In Chusan the hatching-house of ducks is a shed, the roof thickly and compactly thatched with paddy, the walls plastered over with mud. There are a number of straw baskets, thickly besmeared with mud to prevent them from igniting ; a tile is so placed as to form the bottom of the basket, and a lid fits closely over the top. A small earthen fire pot being placed under each basket, the eggs belonging to different folks are put into the baskets as soon as they arrive. The baskets are kept closely shut for five days, a uniform heat being maintained under the basket by means of the before-named earthen fire-pot, and at the ex piration of that period they are taken out and carefully examined ; the good are placed in holes, which have been cut in a board for their reception, and the bad are laid aside to be returned to their owners. Before the eggs have become cold, they are replaced in the baskets and kept there for nine or ten days ; that is, the eggs remain al together in the baskets about a fortnight or fifteen days, the heat of the hatching-house ranging from 93° to 100°. In the middle of the shed broad

shelves are placed, on which the eggs are laid when taken finally from the baskets, being carefully covered over with a thickly wadded coverlet, and the little birds issue from their fragile domicile in about a fortnight or three weeks,—the whole pro cess of hatching an egg occupying one month or five weeks. In the Philippines incubation is performed by placing warm paddy husks under and over the eggs, which are deposited in frames. A canvas covering is spread over the husks. The art is to keep up the needful temperature ; and one man is sufficient to the care of a large number of frames, from which he releases the ducklings as they are hatched, and conveys them in little flocks to the water - side.—Pecocke's East, i. 260 ; Bowring's Philippines, 104 ; Sirr's Chinese, i. 249.