hogs, worms, and poultry

It’s taken a while, but Magner’s Farm and Stock Book and Complete Instructor is back for a fifth time, and today we’ll be discussing some important farm issues: swine, fowl, and parasites common to all farm animals. Anyone who needs to catch up can read about the book on the literature page; the actual text is available there in PDF format, and there are links to the appropriate discussion posts as well. Don’t miss out on such riveting topics as sheep castration, horse training, and mushroom culture.

Once you’ve downloaded the PDF files, follow along below as we delve into 130 pages of pure Magner brilliance.

parasites (magner 747)Part 8: Breeding and Doctoring Hogs

Magner immediately establishes his case for “the swine interest” on page 651, saying that the cost from hog-cholera alone is between 10 and 50 million dollars. Much of this cost is apparently due to simple parasites. From this introduction, the author moves to a discussion of different breeds of pig.

large york boar (magner 653)Fortunately, Magner realizes the magnitude of his artistic prowess and asserts on page 652 that his “illustrations tell the story so plainly as to make extended verbal description unnecessary.” Surprisingly, he still includes text, surely just for good measure. It would seem that fat hogs with good digestion and tiny bones are most desirable, but a mix of large and small breeds is necessary (652). Hogs should be fed daily, from one to four times, and always on a regular schedule (653). Also, pigs that can take baths in clean water will magically digest their food better (653).

Magner notes the importance of keeping hogs in good condition, astutely observing that worms can interfere with digestive properties and cause the animals to do poorly (653-654). His demands for a hog house are quite high; new straw should be spread every couple of days, and the trough needs to be washed daily (654). Magner fails to mention that the good farmer should abstain from berating the hogs with sarcastic quips of “your majesty” while tending to porcine needs. Oh, and hogs also need posts to rub up against and shade to sleep under (654, 658).

Page 658 sees the beginning of hog parasite discussion, and this continues until 687. The diseases need not be illuminated here, but it would be good to read up on these topics before starting a hog farm of one’s own. A major disease, hog-cholera, is discussed beginning on page 665. Formulations for treating the disease vary on a case-by-case basis, but the best formula is given on page 668:

Wood charcoal, 1 lb.,
Sulphur, 1 lb.,
Sodium chlorid, 2 lb.,
Sodium bicarbonate, 2 lb.,
Sodium hyposulphite, 2 lb.,
Sodium sulphate, 1 lb.,
Antimony sulphid, 1 lb.


Trichina spiralis, a deadly parasite not exclusive to hogs, is addressed from 683-687. Magner’s knowledge of the worm is impressive, and he reveals that the ingestion of these encysted parasites (as in undercooked pork) can cause trichinosis in humans (683, 685). In fact, one pound of infected pork could produce 400,000,000 worms in a human (685). Numerous treatments for the disease are given on page 686.

Part 9: Worms and Parasites

a bad case of scab (magner 735)Parasite: is there any sweeter word in the English language? Pages 700-748 kick the action up a bit and are all about bugs inside of livestock – their signs, symptoms, and treatment. For instance, gut worms can make a horse extremely flatulent and a cow or sheep emaciated (701), with an itchy anus (702). Good advice for preventing these itchy anuses is to keep flocks from infected dogs and destroy all found parasites by fire or boiling (703).

Different curative remedies are given for various animals, albeit in a rather dull presentation (704-707). The “ethereal extract of male shield fern” is one of the best solutions, Magner claims (707). Beyond this, further discussion is essential parasitology (722-727) – useful from a foundational aspect, but limited in practical value.

Magner talks about intestinal worms from 730-733, then mentions maggots and other parasites on pages 733-734. It isn’t until page 745 that the author begins an in-depth examination of external parasites, such as lice, ticks, and maggots. He says that “lousiness generally becomes manifest in winter and toward spring” (745), a literal use of the word that I had never considered. Again, the best way to prevent these infestations is simply through cleanliness (746). Failing that, treatment can be accomplished through “a decoction of fishberries,” according to some mysterious “leading authority” (747). Also effective is Schleg’s Mixture (748) – but we knew that already.

Part 10: Poultry; Mites and Lice

Finally, the esteemed farm expert gets to the topic of the hen. A good rule of thumb is that “the progeny of the best layers also make the best layers” (761), as one might expect. There are different breeds of chickens, like Minorcas, Andalusians, Leghorns, Houdans, Hamburgs, and Dorkings (761); all are fine. Remember that “a lot of March pullets will give winter eggs if well reared” (762). Each hen can lay between 180 and 250 eggs a year (762), but don’t forget to change out roosters annually (763).

ovary of a hen (magner 763)Poultry houses must face from east to south (764). For incubation of eggs, Magner says a temperature of 103 degrees is best (765). Newly-hatched chicks don’t need to be fed for 24 hours, and it’s best to wait until 36 hours before feeding them with milk-soaked breadcrumbs (768). The author then continues to describe the feeding procedure for a young chicken in detail (768-769).

Pages 769-772 convey diseases of the chicken, including gapes (syngamosis) (769) and favus (772). Gapes is caused by a male and female worm that are permanently joined together (769), and may be treated either by air-slaked lime or by putting the effected chickens in a box and blowing cigar smoke all over them until they pass out (771). Favus is caused by a fungus (772), and it may be treated with the simple application of benzine or carbolic acid (773).

As for the mites and lice, I won’t go into it here, but Magner mentions Dermanyssus (774), harvest-bug (775), Cheyletus (776), Sarcoptidae epidermicoles (776), Sarcoptes mutans (776-778), and Cytoditinae (780-781). There is also a brief passage on “scaly legs,” found on pages 778-779.

Wrapping It Up

These were not the most entertaining sections of the Farm and Stock Book and Complete Instructor, but they were necessary to the farmer. Stick around, however, because there are only two entries remaining in the series, and they are among Magner’s finest. Coming up next time: medicines and home remedies.

9 thoughts on “hogs, worms, and poultry

  1. cigar smoke cures all.

    i wonder how he figured out that bathing pigs in clean water helped their digestion. i hope he made a control hog group and a test group (to wash in clean water) and sifted through each group’s shit looking for undigested slop.

  2. Let me first say, I can’t believe you read all 1000 words. Quite impressive.

    Also, it’s equally unfathomable that your comment was on-topic and only contained one obscenity.

    Also also, he didn’t specifically say but I’m sure your described method is the only logical one.

    One last thing: I got a Battlefield Heroes beta key (finally), so I’m installing it and will let you know how crappy this free game really is.

  3. Magner probably had butt sex with 96% of his livestock, ticks and beetles included. After such encounters, the livestock would insert their dongs into magner’s mouth, splooging. Upon such sploogage, magner would swallow and retain all the information you now see in his shitty book.

  4. There are only 2 sections left? What are these little gaps between the sections that you’ve been posting? I’m going to have to read the full text one of these days. Don’t know when that will be, though.

    Also, I lol’d at your response to Wallygator.

  5. Nightman: terrible.

    Trey: I don’t post the whole thing because the book’s 890+ pages long and that’d be way too much for me to do. So I’ve only been picking certain sections to do. I’m going to post the index at the end and if you see a topic mentioned there that you’d like to have me include, I can add it.

  6. i had to take a break to study a few dozen microorganisms. but the game kinda sucks, as you might expect.

    battlefield heroes

    let’s see…it’s all installed through the browser. it installs a 300+ MB folder on your computer but you have to be online/logged in to the website to play. the program itself is pretty nice; it runs windowed until you join a server, where it’s full-screen (normal res options apply).

    first you choose your character (kit) and what weapons/abilities you want, before you actually enter a game. you can also choose beforehand to try to take on a “mission” in the game, where you have a set number of people to try to kill or something (achieving the goal gives you points to spend on crappy new outfits). then you can search for a player to play with, otherwise it automatically puts you in a server. you use the same kit all game long; rounds are very short, maybe 5-10 minutes each. it’s very cartoony, of course, but graphics are pretty decent and it runs well on my laptop. weapons/abilities don’t seem very balanced but i haven’t messed with them all. i’ve still gotten pretty pissed a few times.

    planes are useless; i went one-on-one with a guy standing on the ground and he shot me down with his machine gun easily. tanks and jeeps are highly maneuverable and about what you’d expect. you have unlimited ammo but you have to change out clips, and some kits have healing ability. there are medics but i’ve never been healed by anyone. the sniper rifle reminds me of 1942 because you have to hit a guy like 4-5 times with it to kill him; in the meantime he’s hopping and healing and he’ll always win. the sound effects are very good though.

    overall, it’s still kind of fun at times. you get xp for shooting people and stuff and there’s a lot of focus on building your character, so it could be a bit addictive. and don’t forget that it’s free, so it’ll probably be worth playing some. since games are short, it can be played during little breaks. i think bf1943 will probably be a better version of what this game is.

    oh, and the parachute key is now space bar, so i died the first time i fell, slamming hard on 999999999.

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