Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 17, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
12 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Tuesday, December 17, 1974 rMay the joy of the season live in your home at Christmas bringing you true contentment. Thanks for your loyal patronage. from... THE HERALD'S CHINOOK Representative Percy Dougans City folk and country kin get our sunny wishes for a New Year of blue skies. We look forward to happy days and the good fortune of continuing friendships. The LetHbridge Herald CHINOOK Southern Alberta's Largest Circulation Copies Over Readers Automation enters the chicken pen By DAVE MacPHERSON Truro Daily News TRURO, N.S. (CP) Think about where eggs come from. You may have visions of a barnyard, with lots of nice little chickens wandering and pecking about. At mealtime, the farmer's wife tosses hand- fuls of grain among the chickens and that's it. Next day she picks up the eggs. That's not how it works at the farm of John Fisher in nearby Hilden. Here, harvesting eggs is big business, fully automated and run like any other large-scale operation. Biologically speaking, there's only one crucial fact involved. If you want an egg, then you have to have a chicken. Mr. Fisher has lots. Imagine tht feeling of walking into a barn to dis- cover some chickens staring suspiciously at you. Automatic Another hens will be arriving soon, Mr. Fisher said. They are housed in long barns, three to a cage in rows several layers high. They are fed automatically no less than seven times a day. The feed slowly moves past them on a rotating belt for 15 minutes If the chicken wants a drink, it presses a tiny white button in its dish which then fills with water. Mr. Fisher said hens al- ways know who is supposed to be collecting their eggs and will react strongly if that person is careless enough to wear clothing of a different color than nor- mal. The presence of a stranger can have them fluttering nervously. The chickens give off so much heat that the barn is continuously ventilated. Their cumulative warmth keeps the unheated building at about 60 degrees, winter included. The life of the average hen is short. Purchased when about 20 weeks old, she lays eggs for about 13 months before going to the butcher or the processing plant Mr. Fisher's chickens consume about IVt tons of feed a day and in return provide nearly eggs. Each hen lays 20 dozen an- nually. The eggs drop through the bottom of the cage. They are picked up and taken to a sorting machine, washed, steam-dried, passed over 600 watt bulbs to check for cracks and finally categorized by weight. Stored in an insulated room kept at 50 degrees with a humidity of 84 per cent, the eggs keep for three months. Cracked eggs are sold to a bakery or at the door. Eggs with blood clots are used by mink fanners to mix in their feed. There is even a market for hen droppings. Three tons, when thoroughly dried, will provide one ton of high-protein fertilizer. Mr. Fisher said new laying hens cost him between and each. He sells eggs for about 82 cents a dozen. Of that amount, 5% cents must be paid to the egg marketing board. The board has told Mr. Fisher to cut his produc- tion by 24 per he didn't want to do. But he con- siders the board "a necessary evil." ATTENTION CATTLEMEN! WHITE GOLD RANCH BOW ISLAND, ALBERTA WILL HOLD A DISPERSAL SALE -OF- PUREBRED PERCENTAGE CHAROLAIS FRIDAY, DEC. 20th COMMENCING AT NOON INCLUDING: 30 Bred Heifers (av. 1100 Ibs.) 60 Bred Cows (3 to 8 years) by blood lines of Pepi, Athos, Desire Castor, and Bred to blood lines of Bigarreau Baehuss. CONDUCTED BOW ISLAND LIVESTOCK CO-OPERATIVE LTD. Mile East Mile South of Bow Island For More Information Phone FRED FISHER, Auctioneer, 545-2609 Or GIFFORD WOODCOCK, Owner 545-6600 (Catalogues on request) Cattle Hog Sales Every Monday NOTE fere's Your Chance to buy Top Quality Cattle, with Financing Available to making Credit Arrangements This Year's Calves, Weaned at 8 Months, averaged 608 Ibs., with steers averaging "76 Ibs. and heifers averaging 573 Ibs., and no creep feeding.