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The Poultry Bulletin - - CONTENTS -

Fe­bru­ary 1921

The South African Poul­try Mag­a­zine Poul­try Cal­en­der - Work Of The Month

(By J.J Jor­daan, Poul­try In­struc­tor, School of Agri­cul­ture, Glen, O.F.S.)

Most poul­try­men and women are well ac­quainted with the warn­ing and ap­peal given some years back, and the re­sult­ing mis­ery, havoc and set­back to the whole world through the ad­vice not hav­ing been ac­cepted in its fullest sense when our present King warned “Eng­land to wake up.”

The writer wants to say this month to all poul­try­men and women in South Africa: Wake up! Be­come alive! Pro­duce and or­gan­ise! And reach a rich har­vest as a re­sult. There is ev­ery rea­son for the ac­tion above rec­om­mended, while on the other hand de­lay will mean not only set­back, but also the death of a young grow­ing in­dus­try, an ul­ti­mate loss to our coun­try and na­tion, and fi­nan­cial loss to many that are in­volved in the poul­try busi­ness.

All peo­ple in­ter­ested in other sec­tions of agri­cul­tural and in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment are awake, alive, and lay­ing them­selves out and com­bin­ing to make South Africa eco­nom­i­cally great and self­sup­port­ing in their par­tic­u­lar sec­tions.

For years poul­try­men and women have been looked upon as lead­ers in their en­thu­si­asm and or­gan­i­sa­tion. Whether this is to con­tinue de­pends en­tirely upon in­di­vid­u­als. Reader, upon you and me. Are you fully awake and tak­ing your part as loy­ally as you should? If not, start now. Wake up! The war and its af­ter­math gave us an op­por­tu­nity to get some of our goods on the over­seas mar­ket at most favourable prices. Did you, the pro­ducer, get the ben­e­fit of this? Or who did?

The hold we got is once again be­ing most se­ri­ously chal­lenged. Or­gan­ise as well as pro­duce, and thus re­tain, and ben­e­fit in, this prof­itable over­seas mar­ket. Do not let oth­ers wrench it from us or al­low them to grow rich and fat on the re­sults of our labour and out­lay.

Our ex­port is just in its in­fancy; it must grow, and that can only come about by in­creased pro­duc­tion, which means the work (of ex­port) must now be done through the right chan­nels. The pro­duc­ers must be the ex­porters, for if they al­low their trade to de­velop through the mid­dle­men they will al­ways be work­ing for oth­ers. They will not get their fair share of the re­turns, but be un­der­paid for their cap­i­tal out­lay and labour, and this is any­thing but en­cour­ag­ing to de­vel­op­ment.

If the present sys­tem con­tin­ues, the poul­try in­dus­try will not grow in pro­por­tion to the other sec­tions of agri­cul­ture (in spite of our shout­ing and boast­ing) and it will be left at the post by Gov­ern­ment and oth­ers (for in­stance, new­com­ers, want­ing to in­vest cap­i­tal). Rightly so, they can only en­cour­age, sup­port and in­vest in those sec­tions that show signs of real life and re­turns.

Study­ing our cen­sus re­turns an ugly fact ap­pears. Num­bers of poul­try in the coun­try are drop­ping fast, and to an alarm­ing ex­tent. We must look facts in the face, if they are to be reme­died.

The clip state­ment that it is only the mon­grel poul­try that has been killed off, was cor­rect at one time, but now, and dur­ing the last 12 months, tens of thou­sands of good, pure bred stock have been sent on to the morn­ing mar­ket or dis­posed of, to butch­ers to save the “food bill.” Whole flocks of suck stock have been dis­posed of in many in­stances, and upon in­quir­ing why,

the only an­swers that have been forth­com­ing are: “The high price of food­stuffs,” or “The tempt­ing prices for table poul­try.” That class of poul­try keeper, known as the small­holder of back­yarder, could not prof­itable pro­duce eggs or table poul­try at the prices he got in South Africa, food­stuffs be­ing too high. Lack of or­gan­i­sa­tion pre­vented him get­ting the prices rul­ing over­seas, that could have been his through ex­port. He there­fore sent his birds to the mar­ket. Farm­ers could and still can pro­duce more cheaply, but through lack of or­gan­i­sa­tion did not get nearly the prices for eggs that were paid by the con­sumer. The town pro­ducer’s out­put hav­ing been re­duced to the min­i­mum, deal­ers eas­ily cap­tured and con­trolled the sup­ply com­ing from farms and were able to ma­nip­u­late the mar­ket and con­sumers’ prices ac­cord­ingly.

Hav­ing wo­ken up to the dan­ger­ous po­si­tion the poul­try in­dus­try is in, but be­ing fully alive to the pos­si­bil­i­ties it has for those that are pre­pared to move. I would ask: “Are you mov­ing, reader?”

When did you last visit a fel­low poul­try­men’s yard and dis­cuss his birds or in­vited him to visit yours?

How about speak­ing to your dealer about a spe­cial for your show, or the lay­ing com­pe­ti­tion, or a do­na­tion for your club?

When were you last at a com­mit­tee meet­ing?

Are you aware of the fact that dur­ing the last month or two food­stuffs have dropped 50 per cent in price? Have you ever sug­gested a meet­ing of those in­ter­ested to start the club, or start a co-op­er­a­tive buy­ing or sell­ing de­pot for your club or as­so­ci­a­tion, and what prac­ti­cal ad­vice or as­sis­tance have you given?

It is pos­si­ble to go on in this strain for a long time, but one does not want to pile on the agony. Let us own up frankly we have been asleep, but, at least be able to say we have woke up again.

We can best move by putting into prac­ti­cal ef­fect some of the fol­low­ing or other orig­i­nal ideas, ac­cord­ing to the lo­cal re­quire­ment, con­di­tions and sur­round­ings, or us­ing our tal­ents and time avail­able on, say, the fol­low­ing lines:

Tackle the mu­nic­i­pal au­thor­i­ties about the dis­posal of eggs and poul­try by weight, both on the morn­ing mar­kets and through leg­is­la­tion, while forc­ing lo­cal store­keep­ers and oth­ers to do like­wise.

Push this ques­tion at mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion time, and sup­port only the can­di­dates in favour of this pro­gres­sive step. Write about it in the lo­cal press and ed­u­cate the pub­lic on the points. Visit the morn­ing mar­ket and point out to the morn­ing mas­ter sick birds, ad­vise him to refuse to sell them, and en­deav­our to se­cure the sup­port of the M.O.H. to or­der their de­struc­tion. If the above is only done once or twice it would cause a stir and a seven days drop scan­dal. But what of that? The poul­try in­ter­est would score. It would be brought to the pub­lic no­tice and would ben­e­fit, sooner or later, a live as­so­ci­a­tion of poul­try en­thu­si­asts, and would be ap­pre­ci­ated by the bulk of the lo­cal in­hab­i­tants, as a prac­ti­cal body, watch­ing that one of their ar­ti­cles of food was fit for hu­man con­sump­tion. Oc­ca­sion­ally visit the rail­way sta­tions and draw the at­ten­tion of the proper au­thor­i­ties to crowded and poor coops, egg boxes etc. If tact­fully done, this in­ter­ven­tion will be ap­pre­ci­ated.

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