Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952 Page: 79
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POULTRY RESEARCH 79
More eggs from dubbed pullets
Research at the Wyoming station indicates that it will be possible to
obtain increased egg production without increasing the feed consumption
of the birds through the process known as dubbing. Large combs
and wattles are susceptible to frostbite and often freeze badly. Dubbing
consists of removing the combs and wattles of the birds when
they are about 12 weeks old to prevent this trouble.
Dubbed White Leghorn pullets laid 16 percent more eggs through
the fall and winter than their sister pullets that were not dubbed.
Through the months of February and March, these pullets produced
12 eggs for each 6.5 pounds of feed, whereas those with normal combs
and wattles required 10.5 pounds of feed to produce the same number
of eggs. Similar results with other breeds and crossbred chickens at
the station were obtained but they were not so pronounced. There
was lower mortality and higher hatchability among the dubbed birds.
Blood groups help to determine reproductive fitness
According to the Texas station there are four different families of
blood group characters in chickens that reflect hereditary biochemical
differences in the protein structure of their blood cells. By comparing
the performance of chickens with these different blood types, it is
possible to determine whether the blood group genes also affect characters
of economic importance. One of the families of blood group
genes appears to be especially important for selection of the birds to
be used as parents in the development of inbred lines. Up to the
present time all inbred lines examined have possessed two or moi
members of this blood group family. This is contrary to expectation
and indicates that chickens possessing two members of this blood
group family are superior in their reproductive qualities to those that
are pure for any one member of the group.
The blood groups may also be used in checking paternity in pedigree
breeding work and in the characterization of inbred lines to avoid
contamination of one line with another, through error in classification.
Furthermore, chicks can be pedigreed from hens mated to more than
one male. Such matings should facilitate the collection of critical
data on selective mating and may increase the efficiency of the tech--
nique followed in the procedure of reciprocal recurrent selection, now
becoming important in the field of poultry breeding.
Feeding for Profit
Corn and milo for hens
Laying hens fed an all-mash ration in which all of the oats and onehalf
of the standard wheat middlings were replaced with ground
yellow corn utilized their feed much more efficiently than those fed
the standard ration. In four of five experiments at the Storrs station
(Connecticut), birds on the high corn ration laid more eggs, had a
higher egg hatchability, and weighed more at the end of the laying
period than those on the standard-type ration.
In seeking a more economical grain to use as a scratch feed in the
laying ration, the New Mexico station compared milo sorghum with
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952, book, January 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5990/m1/81/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.