The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72
The Egg Industry
The Egg Industry.
An article which appeared in the New Zealand Herald of the 28th July, 1891, shows that the egg industry is making rapid strides in Austro-Hungary, the exports having largely increased. During the ten months ending with October, 1889, those exports amounted to 915,500cwt. gross. As there is 102,536,000lb. weight in 915,500cwt. gross, and allowing an average of six eggs to a pound, the number of eggs exported would amount to 615,216,000; and if each hen averaged sixty eggs a year, as laid down in my calculation, it would require 10,253,600 hens to lay that quantity of eggs. In another article of the same paper of the 4th April, 1892, it is shown that the egg trade between Canada and England is developing rapidly. Consignments have been pouring into Liverpool, and it was expected that one Canadian exporter alone would send upwards of thirty million eggs to the British market. In my annual returns i from poultry I show 1,600,000 eggs at 6d. per dozen, amounting to £3,333 6s. 6d.; 160,000 fowls reared and sold at 1s. each, £8,000; 160,000 ducks reared and sold at 1s. 6d. each, £12,000; 16,000 geese reared and sold at 3s. each, £2,400; and 16,000 turkeys reared and sold at 3s. each, £2,400: thus showing by egg and poultry industry an annual return of £28,133 6s. 6d. I have allowed in my expenditure that one middle-aged man or woman could look after 200 fowls; and if they average what I have calculated for in my I returns—only 60 eggs a year each—that would be 12,000 eggs. We sell 10,000 at 6d. a dozen—33 dozen, at 6d., £20 16s. 6d.; rear and sell 2,000 fowls at 1s. each, £100: showing a total annual income from 200 fowls of £120 16s. 6d. If this unemployed man or woman page 18 was in receipt of 8s. a week and a home, the cost of which is calculated at £16 5s. 7d. a year, amounting in all to £37 1s. 7d. a year, the balance of credit over expenditure for 200 fowls would be £83 14s. 11d., or at the rate of about 8s. 6d. per head per annum for ducks and fowls.
These striking proofs of what may be done in perfume-farming and the egg industry alone show what a lucrative industry they are And what better employment could the Government provide for our aged, infirm, and needy, also for boys and girls? And to [unclear: wh] better place could you send our juveniles, or habitual drunkards or aged criminals than to a State farm?
There is an Agricultural Training College at Lincoln, where people may send their sons to learn the art of agriculture on paying £30 a year. The Government have no right to provide better terms for one portion of the community than for the other. I cannot accept the argument in this case that it offers a benefit to all classes alike, as it is beyond the means of the working community. Just so in regard to our schools. We are told that any man's child may attain the highest standard and raise himself to the highest position in the colony. That is very well; but ninety-nine out of every hundred of the toilers require their children at home as early as possible to help to earn the necessaries of life. So, you see, the toilers have to pay for the higher education, also for the technical education, of those who are in a position to pay, and who ought a pay, for such training. Adopt State co-operative farms, and all may be taught free, as every one would be found employment of some sort which would be remunerative, and no one would be paid the full value of his labour—it would never do, it would be offering inducement to people not to seek other employment.
I should suggest that prisoners of good behaviour be allowed to complete their term of imprisonment at such farms on probation the manager allowing them some remuneration, which he would hand over to them on completion of their term. Then such prisoners would not be sent into the world again empty-handed. But such prisoners may, if they choose, be kept on at the State farms, receiving the same privileges as other men. That would be a means of preventing them from falling back into their old ways. Is not our present system partly the cause of our gaols remaining full? There are numbers continually going in and out of gaol, as the police know. The most of them, when they come out of gaol, have no money, and it is very difficult for them to get work, and if they are seen to beg, steal, get drunk, or sleep out, they are run into gaol again. Thus they have no chance to redeem the past, and in consequence they are a constant burden on the taxpayer.
In conclusion, allow me to enumerate the various employments such farms would offer. There would be clearing the land, fencing draining, and road-making. There would be farming proper for the requirements of the farms. There would be a bone-mill to grind the bones; a boiling-down and bottling department for neats-foot oil page 19 and jelly; jam-and pickle-factories; blacksmithing; carpentering; coach-and wagon-making; bootmaking, tailoring, matmaking, upholstering. A great quantity of vegetables would be required daily. There would be cooking, cleaning, washing, and ironing, the mending and making of all kinds of ladies' attire, besides numerous other industries, together with the great amount of light and pleasant employment in perfume-farming and the egg industry.
Now, it is quite evident that all these numerous industries could not be carried on, and accomplish all that it is intended to do, in any other way than by the adoption of State co-operative farming and storekeeping.
Allow me now to introduce the reader to my calculations of expenditure and returns, the various ways I have allotted the duties, the wages, the quantity and quality of the daily food consumed on the farms, the way I propose settling people on the lands, the method of assisting them, their probable production and requirements, and how they can find a market for their products.
"What a blessing it would be to have this curse of poverty removed from our land, so that each being in whom nature has planted the genial rays of brotherly love may lift up his head from the mire and filth of poverty, and be able to dwell in peace beneath the silver sheen of Heaven, and hail with delight the smiling sun of prosperity."—Pitman.
My only claim is this:
With labour stiff and stark,
By lawful turn, my living to earn,
Between the light and dark;
My daily bread, and nightly bed,
My bacon, and drop of beer;
But all from the hand that holds the land,
And none from the overseer.
No parish money or loaf,
No pauper badges for me,
A son of the soil, by right of toil
Entitled to my fee.
No alms I ask—give me my task;
Here are the arm, the leg,
The strength, the sinews of a man,
To work, and not to beg.