Business: Cacklefest

Half a century ago a short, canny, sandy-haired young farmer named James Edward Rice decided to put his hens to a test. He built a sort of coop which trapped each hen and kept her there until he let her out and scored an egg or a blank. At year's end his flock's batting average was only about 65 eggs a year per hen, about the U. S. average. Into the stewpot went hens who didn't make the laying grade. Up went the batting average of Farmer Rice's flock.

Today an average hen produces only...

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