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CHEAP FOWLS FOR CHRISTMIAS. CHICK WHEAT UNOBTAINABLE. It is expected that poultry will be cheap for Christmas-so cheap per haps that every family may be able to enjoy it. scarcity of feed wheat is so severe ly - elt that breeders of poultry hard ly know where to turn, and are uti lising all sorts of unusual feed, in cluding refuse from biscuit factories. Chic) wheat is unobtainable As a consequence, many poultry farmers are contemplating going out of bust ness, and, at least, one has already. given instructions for a sale of all his birds. A poultry farmer last week (says the "Melbourne Herald") managed to. obtain three sacks of seed wheat for his stock. He states that he dared not ask for more, and the price paid was of course., the price for seed wheat. t is a natural corolary of these conditions that poultry is at present cheapr.. than at any time for the past 12 months. Prices quoted at auction, while high for individual pairs of exceptional qualty, are not by any means the average. It has to. be a good hen to reach 3/, and an exceptonal rooster - to bring . more than 6/. Poultry farmers are doing their best to unload as much as they can while the difficulty '6f obtaining feed prevails. This low .price for poultry stock do'es not usually prevail when the Christmas trade is beginnig to affect the market. Cool stores are reported to be full, due to the difficulty of ex potr consequent on scarcity of ac commodation on vessels. There is evidence in the city that butter and cheese are being disposed of outside the regular channels at lower rates than rule in thfe open market, but though some quantities have been disposed of thus, there is no .evidence of general action in this" direction, and apparently it has oc curred in isolated cases, where stor age capacity has been exceeied. Poultry farmers themselves are go ing behind the market as much as possible, and making what sales they can at rates if anything, slightly in advance of those obtainable at the market.' Of course, fowls can be reared with out wheat, but other grains are not considered to be so satisfactory. Crushed maize is in general use. Bar Icy and oafts are also judiciously mix ed. By these means several' of the most prominent polutry farmers of the suburbs are endeavoring to carry on business and prolong the effective life of their farmers until wheat once mnore conmes on the market. Pig farmers are not so badly off in their quest for a food to supply t, place of mill offal, because the low ,tatte of the potato market enables them to obtain that efliclent substi fute.

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State Library of Victoria
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