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seldom included in the dietary of sick fowls, must be supplied. Chickweed (most aptly so called) is more relished than vegetables : this, or the leaves of lettuce as the best substitute, or even of broccoli, should be mixed freely with the food given.
As the bird is at first feverish, it will be of much service to give an occasional aperient. Though jalap is generally the best purgative that we possess for poultry, yet in this case, because of the great debilitating nature of the disease, it will be well to combine it with the leaves of rue, cut or minced very small, and made into a bolus (by the aid of a little butter) the size of a filbert: equal parts of jalap and of rue, or of jalap and cayenne capsules, may be used. Rue alone, though looked slightingly upon by many, is a very appropriate and good medicine in many diseases of fowls : its action is that of a stimulant aperient, and hence very appropriate in this disease. In smaller doses, about the size of a horse-bean, it is simply stimulant; this property being of course resident in the essential oil it contains. The small cayenne capsules or pods, with their contained seeds, as supplied by grocers, being crumbled small with the fingers, and made into a bolus the size of a horse-bean or hazel-nut, should be given night and morning. Powdered cubebs, given in the same way, but in larger doses, is of service; but much less efficient than the cayenne. The essential oils of copaiba and cubebs, in doses of ten drops, are excellent, but very unmanageable, and of most disagreeable and persistent smell.
It is certainly ascertained that these aromatic peppers have a great and almost specific influence over some purulent discharges from mucous membranes in man; and whether it be owing to the exertion of such specific influence on the purulent discharge of Roup, or whether because of their general stimulant and tonic effects, or both combined, yet of their peculiar efficacy in Roup there is no question whatever ; indeed, the occasional use of jalap and rue, jalap and cayenne, and the cayenne boluses twice daily, constitute the most efficient medical treatment. In respect to local appli
cations, it must be borne in mind, that the purulent discharge from the nostrils in Roup, like the ulcerated sore throat in scarlet fever, is but the local manifestation of constitutional disorder—a superadded symptom, marking the severity of the attack; and although oft becoming, by its long continuance and excess, itself a source of debility and of danger, yet it is an affection that is chiefly to be alleviated by means which restore the constitution itself; hence the acknowledged inefficacy of merely local means to remove the disorder.
By attention, however, to local applications, much discomfort and suffering may be saved to the fowl, and some amount of relief afforded to the violence of the symptoms. Frequent ablution of the eyelids, nostrils, and cheeks with warm water, in which sugar of lead is dissolved, in the proportion of two drachms to half a pint of rain-water, will be serviceable in lessening the swelling, as well as removing from these parts the copiously secreted, and often hardened, matter.
RUMP GLAND, disease of.—This oil-secreting gland sometimes becomes so obstructed and inflamed that suppuration takes place. The causes are by no means obvious, but the treatment is simple: it should be freely opened with a lancet, the contained matter gently pressed out, and, if it can be neatly done, well fomented, by squeezing a stream of hot water upon it from a spunge. The fowl must then be kept comfortable, and fed with mild soft food-an occasional aperient will also be very
SOFT EGGS.-(See Oriaries.)
SPINAL DISEASE.--Some varieties of poultry are, apparently, more liable to Rickets, or distortion of the spine, than others. It is unquestionable that Polish fowls, for example, are especially subject to it. It is highly probable, however, that this peculiar disposition to the disease, is dependent upon in-breeding; the finer spangled varieties hav
ing, till very recently, been rare, and in the possession of but a few amateurs.
Symptoms.—The disease commences early ; generally, when the chickens are but two or three months old. Sometimes the first symptom is, weakness of the legs, which causes them frequently to sit dowu, even when pecking up their food. When this is observed, it is called by some, simply legweakness, but the seat of the complaint is really in the spine. On cautiously examining the back, both with the eyes and the fingers, one thigh and hip will be found higher, or more prominent, than the other; depending upon lateral curvature of the spine itself. This state is never recovered from; but, as the bird grows older, it generally becomes more apparent. The more decided and confirmed symptom of this disease is, the tail being carried on one side, as if it had been twisted at the stump: there is also prominence, or a rounded appearance, of the back-bone.
Causes and Treatment. The disease is evidently of a constitutional character, and most frequently induced by inbreeding. Any other combination of debilitating influences in the parent birds, as confinement, unwholesome or insufficient food, &c. &c., will also contribute to the production of diseased offspring. It is quite hopeless to attempt a cure. If there be simply a rounded appearance of the back, the fowl may be spared; but if the curvature of the spine be lateral, to one side, it should be at once destroyed.
CONCLUSION.-In addition to the diseases which have now been considered, dissection proves that poultry frequently also die of others; such as, tubercles in the lungs, deposition of tubercular matter, or the formation of fatty tumours on the liver, and other parts of the abdomen; chronic inflammation with thickening of the crop and stomach, and also acute inflammation of the bowels, or of the peritoneum, (that is, the external covering of the bowels and lining of the abdominal cavity). There are no diagnostic or distinguishing symptoms however on which we can rely, that in
dicate the presence of these various diseases; and they are, moreover, of so fatal a nature, that, even if we could detect them, we know of no medicine, at least, that would really remove them.
When fowls are afflicted with these chronic diseases, they show evident signs of being out of health, and begin to mope and pine away in flesh. When there is no ostensible cause for this, we may indeed suspect that tubercular deposition is taking place within the body, but nothing more.—In such cases we shall do well to let the bird have sufficient liberty ; see that warmth and cleanliness are insured in the roostinghouse; and, what is of especial moment, that they have variety of wholesome food, including green diet, fresh water, &c. An alterative of five grains of the Hydr. cum Creta, every other night, may prove serviceable, if we think tubercular deposition is threatened or commencing; and an occasional mild aperient dose of jalap with cayenne pepper, by promoting a healthy action of the digestive system, will afford the best chance of amendment.
On concluding these observations, the writer begs to remark that it was not at first contemplated to compose a treatise on the diseases of poultry, but simply to furnish to the able editor of this volume some practical hints, the result of his observation and experience. He soon found, however, that he must either “ drink deep or taste not,” the subject became more and more interesting-the statement of facts led to explanations of them--the recounting of symptoms and phenomena of diseases, irresistibly called forth reasoning and investigation of their cause and origin—so that at length the observations took the form in which they have now been presented.
So much the author vouches for-that nothing has been advanced but what was the well-considered and closely-. tested results of personal investigation and reflection; the published statements and opinions of others were respectfully laid aside; and the writer observed, experimented, and thought for himself. So far from deeming the subject puerile, or unworthy of occupying serious attention, he has
found in it matter of deep and varied interest to the naturalist, the comparative anatomist, and the medical observer. It would have been wholly inconsistent with the aim and purpose of this popular work, had the subject of the diseases of poultry not been presented in a plain and practical form ; but it will be observed that the writer has not contented himself with a simple statement of facts, but has also given, when necessary, explanations and reasons for all that is set forth.
The administration of drugs, it will be seen, has been but sparingly recommended, and then only those that have a simple, certain, and well-ascertained effect; and that the greatest reliance has in all cases been placed on due regulation of the diet, cleanliness, ventilation, warmth and comfort, &c.; for it cannot be too often repeated, that as the diseases of poultry are most commonly induced by error, inattention, and neglect in these essential particulars, so is the due and complete observance of them all-important for the restoration of health.
In respect to the power of drugs in healing the languishing and disordered bird, it is now replied, that, though the advocates of some novel medicines may confidently refer to restored fowls as evidence of their efficacy, it is much to be feared that such persons have not yet learned to distinguish, in every instance, between a cure and a recovery.
NOTE ON THE DERIVATION OF THE NAME
“ POLISH FOWL."
Much doubt and discredit have been cast upon Polish Fowls, and their title to be considered a distinct species questioned or denied ; for the very unscientific reason, that their origin was enveloped in deep obscurity; and that though called Polish Fowls, it could not be shown, that Poland was their special habitat, or that it was from thence that they were derived.