Sat 6 May 1911, Observer (Adelaide, SA : 1905 - 1931)

The Government Poultry Expert (Mr. D. P. Laurie) has just returned from a lecturing tour through. Yorke's Peninsula, made at the instance of Mr. P. Manuel, of Enfield, whose brother-in-law (Mr. T. Brown, of Minlaton) drove Mr. Laurie, around in his motor car. To a representative of The Register on Monday "Mr. Laurie gave the following account of the trip:—

"An early start from home enabled me to catch the steamer Juno and renew acquaintance with Capt. G. McKay, who for many years has crossed the gulf. On board I met an old friend, Mr. John Cudmore, one of the pioneers in the use of phosphatic manures in wheat growing, the actual results of which I was soon to see. We soon arrived at our destination, and I was surprised at the changes I saw in Port Vincent, which I visited in 1805. The fine wharf accommodation, the Milling Company's mill, and the fine buildings were evidences of prosperity. Mr T. Brown, of Minlaton, met us, and introduced me to prominent residents. Mr. Manuel, who accompanied me, appeared on terms of closest friendship with every one we met throughout the trip, and his visit after an absence of three years was like a triumphal entry. I was delighted to meet Mr. Thomas Rickaby, after whom Point Rickaby was named and who in my youthful days lived in Goolwa and afterwards on the lakes. In an interesting chat he told me of early times when my father (Mr. B. F. Laurie) was Stipendiary Magistrate in the south. The drive to Minlaton was all too short. The changes since 1895 were wonderful, and I had difficulty at first in discovering old landmarks. The fine new institute and hospital at Minlaton, with the residence of Dr. Hart adjoining, speak for the enterprise of the residents. Dr. Hart is a keen poultry fancier, and is preparing to keep good fowls. After a mile or so we met Mr. J. McKenzie a prominent farmer, and secretary of the Agricultural Bureau, Soon after the car turned into the drive leading to Navan, Mr. Brown's homestead, which was very different to the modest homes afforded by farmers in 1895. Here was a fine house equal to any in the suburbs of Adelaide, and with homelike surrounding of garden and trees. Custom on Yorke's Peninsula demands that on entering a house the stranger shall break bread. I and looking back it seems that we averaged seven meals a day. After inspecting the splendid poultry plant we looked at the fine grain and manure store, built on piles, all solid jarrah and galvanized iron. The chaffhouse and machine shearing plant are run by an oil engine. Above the chaffhouse was the wool store. Every thing—including boisting—was done by power. The chaff is elevated into bins holding half a ton each. Seven of these communicate by shoots with the mangers in the stable below. A circular saw and grain mill are also run by the engine. Wheatmeal broken up with bran, and scalded hay chaff, is found to well suit the poultry. A lecture on poultry keeping, and next day the motor was exchanged for houses and buggy and the farm of Mr. F. Edwards, 12 miles distant, was our objective, and on our return journey our track completed a quadrilateral figure. We passed magnificent land, and saw the farms of Messrs. J. Tomney, T. Cook, H. Mumford, and Dodd Brothers. I was interested in the hedge like growth of some scrub teatree, of which Mr. Edwards promised to obtain seed, that I might try to grow it at one of the poultry stations.

—Co-operative Water Supply.—

The wise action of Mr. Edwards and other farmers in co-operating to obtain a water supply was gratifying. From wells three miles off a pipe in galvanized main runs along the boundaries of several farms, and from the main branch of reticulating pipes. Mr. Edwards has 1.5in. and 1in. pipes leading to his service reservoirs and tanks. In addition, he has many stone tanks for storage. Mr. Edwards grows much lucerne, and is about to cultivate some under irrigation. He is enthusiastic in poultry breeding, and had a fox-proof enclosure 2.5 chains square, with material for inner yards and houses. Mrs. Edwards related that before the foxes came she marketed 80 to 100 dozen eggs each week, and hoped to do so again. There were 100 pigs kept on the farm, and a large aviary, which contained bronze wing and various pigeons, quail, magpies, and other birds. Mrs. Edwards finds time to cultivate camellias and pot plants. On the return journey we saw the headworks of the water supply, and passed the farms of Messrs. R. McKenzie, Alexander McKenzie, T. Brown, and T. Martin. The beautiful land would grow heavy lucerne crops, and has excellent water at shallow depth. Feed everywhere on the trip was plentiful. I was interested to note, near the ruins of a cottage on Mr. Brown's park like property, two large almond trees carrying heavy crops, and a large quince tree,

—The Horse out of Date.—

On the way to Yorketown, and just out of Minlaton, we passed the residence of Mr. Evans, and then, in a commanding situation, Mr. Edward Correll's property overlooking Minlaton. I was told this gentleman had sold all his horses, and worked his farm by motor. A fine water supply, pumped across a hill, extended to Mr. Robert Ford's. Further on was the old homestead of Messrs. Correll Brothers, now owned by Mr. Horace Polkinghorne, who is building a fine new house. It was here in 1895 that I first saw a crop of Medeah wheat grown with fertilizer, and put in with a drill. As darkness fell, Mr. D. Fletcher's house was pointed out. Arrived at Yorketown we repaired to the lecture room. Near Yorketown there are many German farmers, and I was pleased to meet old friends. Among the first were Mr. Koop, who reminded me that he had driven me 10 years before from Edithburgh to Yorketown. I had a busy time greeting others, among whom were Messrs. Rohrig, Martin, Domaschenz, Lloyd: Eichner, W. J. Nation, Jung, Correll, Rechner, Koop, Anderson, C. Jensen, F. Siebert, J. H. Fielder, Raymond, Jaebne, and Dr. Russell.

—Going North.—

Next morning the motor headed towards Port Rickaby and just before we turned into Mr. J. Brown's (brother of our host) we passed Mr. J. Porker's house, and noted that he was erecting a poultry plant on proper lines. Mr. J. Brown is also beginning one which will be two chains square. This gentleman had a splendid house and outbuildings. He works his land with a motor, which draws a 10-furrow plough. The rolling is performed by horsepower. Then we ran on to Mr. Peter King's, and met also his son, Mr. Albert King, who is a successful breeder of draught horses. He obtained fine brood mares from the studs at Anlaby and from Messrs Hill Bros., of Georgetown, and some sturdy foals and colts were to be seen. On colt seemed a model for a farm draught horse. I noticed two haystacks of 250 tons each, well built and thatched, and the farm buildings were substantial. We next passed the artistic residence of Mr. Alfred Mahar, and noted that be had built a fine poultry plant. In the distance was the farm of Mr. Edward Crosser. Messrs, Will Bros, are enclosing three acres for a large poultry plant. The three brothers, all young and clever with tools, have a fine workshop and showed us many ingenious devices. On again, and we pass red a salt lake, which looked lovely. It was on the property of Mr. Robert Newbold, whom we found at home on his beautiful farm, which was studded with large teatree and sheaoaks. He has a fine collection of pot plants, including splendid shrubby begonias. In the garden were Cape gooseberries which reminded me of the far-off south. Mrs. and Miss Newbold are strong advocates of poultry, and have a flock of tiptop white Leghorns and some nice rose-combed brown Leghorns. A large poultry plant will shortly be erected. I was delighted to notice that most of the farms on the peninsula included modern provision for poultry. Many of the farmers whom we met were former residents of the south—Rapid Bay, Yankalilla, and Morphett Vale. Mr. Newbold hails from Rapid Bay, and was a lieutenant in, the old Volunteer Company of Yankalilla. He has been, on the peninsula for close on 40 years. We took the road through Wauraltee to Port Victoria, which town had altered considerably since I was there in 1884. Towards Maitland the car ran for miles along a perfect road through a pretty avenue. The motor was almost noiseless, and it was like travelling on pavement. We passed many farms, including those of Messrs. Schrapel, Wehr, and Hastings, and through South Kilkerran with its two fine German churches. At Maitland we bade adieu to Mr. T. Brown, to whom I was indebted for the splendid opportunity of seeing the country.


Once, years ago, I passed through Maitland at night. I was now surprised to see so many fine houses. There were two ; motor garages—the hum of the motor is common in Maitland—and we went through the fine machinery works of Messrs. Harris Bros., and noted the fine stores of Messrs. J. O. Tiddy & Co. Additions were in progress at the institute, which will make the hall a large one. Next morning I visited the Rev. Mr. Strahan, who hails from Bendigo, and more recently from Clare. He is an enthusiastic breeder of black and buff Orpingtons, and also black, red, and duck wing Bantams. I am sure he will do much to promote the industry and influence the shows.

—To Moonta and Kadina.—

There was a strong wind blowing, and the road to Moonta lacked the superior quality of those we had left. Passing along was saw Messrs. Maloney & Sons homestead and vineyard; then through Weetulta, where a fine Methodist Church was seen. We reached Messrs. Hancock Brothers', eight miles from Moonta. Here were Goldlaced and Partridge Wyandottes which have made good show records. We learned that Messrs. Hancock were selling out and would purchase near to Adelaide, and enrage in poultry breeding on a large scale. During a short stay in Moonta I found Mr. Hollands had white Leghorns which will make a name for their owner. Mr. Phillips, the town clerk, is taking to poultry breeding. A quick but windy rim brought us to Kadina, where there are many enthusiastic breeders. I visited the poultry plants of the 'Messrs. Hocking Brothers, two energetic breeders worthy of high commendation for their good work. Next day a return to the city terminated a most satisfactory trip.