xt741n7xmw1j https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt741n7xmw1j/data/mets.xml   Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station. 1897 journals kaes_bulletins_070 English Lexington, Ky. : The Station, 1885- Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin n.70. text Bulletin n.70. 1897 2014 true xt741n7xmw1j section xt741n7xmw1j A ’
BULLE'l`lN No. 70. U ~  
l, Tl)e Woolly Mullein. { I,
2. The Gope Disease of Poultry. L V h
. __ 3

  V, ;_‘ . __I; z
tl r .·V l E I i
    P Agr1cuItural Expmment Station,
I — ·
_ — A. P. GOODING, Chairman, Mayslick, Ky.
i _ ' ]. B. KENNEDY, Paris, Ky.
  i HART BOSWELL, Lexington, Ky.
]. K. PATTERSON, President of the College.
M. A. SCOVELL, Director, Secretary.
. l M. A. SCOVELL, Director.
A I _ A. M. PETER.
e·._   } Chemists.
»   - H. E. CURTIS,
H. GARMAN, Entoniologist and Botanist.
. ` C. W. MATHEWS, IIorticulturist.
i ]. N. HARPER, Dairyuiau.
git V. E. MUNCY, Weather Observer.
r. A" MISS ALICE M. SHELBY, Stenographer.
Address of the Station»Ll·]XING'I`ON, KY. _
E ` The Bulletins of the Station will be mailed free to any citizen of
, Kentucky who sends his name and address to the Station for that
= purpose.
A Correspondents will please notify the Director of changes in their
_ posbothce address, or of any failure to receive the Bulletins.
z n I<1·;N*rnc1 1* F  
‘ ‘ .       J
·. 50 . ,· ;
·   ‘, ly
»   ` N   \ ol  [H :;
._ ,, L   `_____. __   ‘‘·· -— .. . ...-·-  
. ._ . "5
1 0 V
A, Louisville; B, Elizabethtown; C. Nolin Station; I), \Vhite Mills;
· , E, Millerstown; F, Priceville; G, Dickey’s Mills; H, Mammoth Cave;
` I, Brownsville; ], Leitchiield; K, Henderson; L, L, Green River; M,
__ _ Barre11 River; N, N, Kentucky branch Illinois CentralR. R.; O. O. Louis-
zag, ville & Nashville R. R. The dotted area bounded by black line showing
if _` region known to be occupied by woolly mullein.
Its Dissemination.
It is assumed that the woolly mullein was brought to
Kentucky among seeds, or else with imported goods of
__ . some kind among packing. And if carried from one
_ country to another by this means it is not improbable
— that it has been scattered in the same way to some ex-
tent since its introduction. Yet from what I have seen
_ of it I am disposed to believe that its seeds are not com-
monly carried from place to place with other seeds, and
, that since its introduction it has been disseminated chiefly,
· if not entirely, by other agencies. Undoubtedly it is
, · being gradually carried down Nolin River, and if not
= checked will ultimately reach Green River and, later,
the Ohio. Green River has, as already stated, been ex-

 [ I
T/ze Woolly Mulleioz. 103,   ,
amined at Brownsville and at the omouth of Nolin.   F
During the past summer it was carefully examined also .  
at South Carrollton in Muhlenburg County, but thus far ‘ 3
no evidence of the occurrence of woolly mullein along . .
Green River has been forthcoming. r l  
The question as to the length of time seedslof the    
woolly mullein will bear immersion in water is an im- { T
portant one in this connection, and the Station is in-  
debted to Dr. F. V. Coville, Chief of the Division of °
5 Botany at the U. S. Department of Agriculture, who
,1 kindly tested seeds furnished him. Under date June 5,
189y, he wrote me:
"The seeds of Verbrzsmuz pb/OIIIOZQZIES you sent us I
C some time ago for germination test showed an average of if
73 per cent., after floating seven days in a bowl of water,
while on the fourteenth day they showed a germination —.
of 69 per cent., according to experiments made by Mr.
Hicks. Practically, therefore, these seeds would not lose i  
their vitality through any soaking with water that they " l
are likely to get while being carried down a stream."  
Supposing the distance from Dickey’s Mills on Nolin , ,
River to the mouth of Green River to be 200 miles, in- l
cluding the windings of the stream, and that the water .
at flood time flows at the rate of three miles per hour, in '
only 2% days mullein seeds might be carried to the
mouth of Green River; and it is perhaps too much to ; l
hope in view of these considerations that the mullein is l
not already established in places along Green River. , A
Away from Nolin River the mullein is distributed i,
very largely along roads, a fact which suggests the agents `
by which it is carried. The plants with ripened seeds
remain standing for a long period, sometimes in sheltered
places all winter, and I have sometimes taken seeds from
old plants that had flowered twelve months previous.
Sheep and hogs roaming among such plants no doubt
sometimes shake the seeds from the open capsules, and

 ii.    . _;i 2
 L * eil S
  ly 104 ` Bulletin N0. 70. ‘
  ‘ ` these falling upon their backs and clinging there would
iii i ‘ often be carried some distance before being again de-
i .` tached. In mud on the feet of stock and on the wheels
  of wagons it is probable the seeds are also sometimes
conveyed from one point to another. But the seeds are
I i not provided with special means for clinging to the coats
5 . of animals, and have no special equipment for their dis- _
. semination otherwise, hence except by water their spread
l , ‘ is rather slow, and were it not for the part taken by the
i ilii l ` river it would be a long time in all probability before the _
i species became widely scattered in this country.
Its History in Kentucky.
.A A Its history in Kentucky corroborates this view of the ·
_ matter. In the letter above mentioned, from the As-
C s, · sistant Secretary of Agriculture, it was stated that the
L Ji first plant received at the Department was sent in
iii ·   about eight years previous, which would make the date
{ of its discovery about r888. At that time it had been
_ carried down Nolin River nearly to the lowest point on
= the stream at which it now occurs, for the plant then sent
\ to Washington was obtained at Dickey’s Mills. I am in-
gfih formed, however, by Mr. R. VV. Horn, who resides at
' Dickey’s Mills, that the plants were very scarce there at
that time and that he had diiiiculty in getting specimens
to send to Mr. C. F. Very of New Albany, Indiana, to
whom belongs the credit of first noticing the plant.
Q_ · How long the plant has been in the State can only be
, a matter of. conjecture. Assuming that the mullein has
‘ _ been carried by Nolin River only six miles below Dickeyls
Mills since 1888, and that it was carried from the head-
, waters of the steam at the same rate, it must have taken
at least fifty years to reach Dickey’s Mills; for the dis-
i tance from this place to VVhite Mills in a direct course is
‘ 25 miles, and the length of the bed of the river between t
» ‘ the two places is fully twice as great. That a plant of
I this sort should be present for so long a time without

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- .   l
‘ I/`/tc Woolly rllu//ein. 105 V
being detected need not surprise us greatly when we  
remember that the region in which the mullein is estab- _ ‘
lished is not thickly peopled and that many of those S.  
living there have never observed that two kinds of mul- ' I
lein are present. _ I A
The Woolly Mullein in Europe. r ,
Iam indebted to Mr. Dewey of the Division of l i
Botany, U. S. Department of Agriculture, for references   `
to the works of a number of European botanists who
have written on the woolly mullein. It seems that the
plant is widely distributed through Continental Europe.
It is recorded by one or another from Spain, France,
Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Austria. Italy, Greece,
Russia and most of the other smaller countries. Nothing  
very definite can be gathered from these writers, however,
with reference to its character as a weed, but they agree ;.
very well as to the situations in which it is generally .
found, noting it as growing at the edges of fields and on i  
neglected land, in dry and often sandy or rocky places. " *
The Woolly Mullein as a Weed in Kentucky. i
The woolly mullein is not restricted to dry and _ i
barren soil in Kentucky, but grows wherever it gets a l
foothold, excepting in thick woods. It flourishes ou the »
richest land along Nolin River. As often happens with i
introduced plants and insects it seems to have developed ,
. 3 more aggressive disposition here than in its native land,   *
but Z! dom no! I/u·/z»z: Zll czzltzmz/cri /irs/z/y rwbwz Mew arr I
properly mrow! /0r, and hence is not to be feared like crab ,
grass, for example, which persists in spite of hoe and A
plow. It is chiefly as a useless frequenter of roadsides, `
pastures and meadows, where it crowds out useful plants,
that it is objectionable, being in this respect much like
its cousins the comrnou mullein and moth mullein, and I
agree with l\Ir. Dewey when he writes in a letter acl-
. dressed to me some time ago: "If allowed to spread un-
molested the woolly mullein would probably become no
. ‘

 J r. . J  
  i__ 106 Bulletin N0. 70. I
  if i worse as a weed than the black mullein or the moth mul- T
    V ‘ lein, but there appear to be abundant indications that it `
  , V T might be fully as bad, and a good work will certainly be
  accomplished if a weed as bad as one of these is prevented
from becoming established in this country."
` V We have already addressed a circular to the farmers
2 · . . living along Nolin River requesting their aid in checking
1 the further spread of the mullein. Our investigations
. Q made since then show the mullein to have been here
  VV V V longer, and to be more widely spread, than was then
supposed. Still, the plant is readily killed with the hoe,
or by simply pulling it up, and our main purpose in
. writing this account of the weed is to point it out again
“ A to the farmers living along Nolin and Green rivers and .
, ‘ to request them to destroy it whenever they may observe
  i it on or about their farms.
  'll V The Station has, while looking into the distribution
`   VV and character of the woolly mullein, destroyed many
thousands of plants, but with other pressing work on our
_· hands it will not be possible for us to give the subject
V the continuous attention needed unless special appro-
  priations can be made for the purpose, sniiicient to hire
i ’·~ competent assistance.
Description of the Woolly Mullein and Comparison ·
With the Common Mullein.
The woolly mullein resembles the common species _
r, ~ more closely than any other mullein occurring in the
, Eastern United States. The leaves are of the same
T _ general character, being large, elongate, and woolly, but
the woolly coat is, in large plants, less abundant than i11
. the common mullein and the color of the leaf more green,
_ i. e., less silvery. The leaves of the recently introduced
¥ plant are also 111ore pointed at the tip. The stem of the
' new mnllein is round, not ridged like that of the common
¤ ` mullein, and there is a strong disposition in the new »
E plant to branch, so that large examples become quite

 ll I
i l
i The Gape Disease cf Poultry. 107 I  
bushy at the top owing to the development of numerous  
i slender flower-bearing branches, of several feet in length ,  
(See figures). The flowers of the woolly mnllein are like » _
those of the common species in general character, but `
are scattered instead of being crowded together. They E I
are of a bright orange color, and average larger than those ,  
of the common mnllein, being sometimes as much as I.4O Q Q
inch across. ,
The flowers of the new mnllein expand early in the l
morning, at which time they are visited by bumble bees,
by other smaller bees, and by a small black thrips. The
plants are often found growing side by side with the
common species, and I have seen some hybrids which
combined the characters of the two so that it was im-
i possible to say which species they resembled most.  
The new mnllein begins to flower early in july when
not more than two to three feet high, and at this stage is
often unbranched. It continues to produce flowers, and ~
to put out lateral branches at the base of the median .
llower spike, for six weeks or more, and if growing on I '¢
good soil often reaches a height of as much as eight feet. , `,
An example observed by me measured ten feet and seven _
inches in height, being the largest mnllein of any species _
I have ever seen. _ _ 3
The species has not yet found its way into American E
. e l
Young chickens are very much troubled in Kentucky >
with gapes. The disease occurs throughout the State, »
but is not uniform in its occurrence, being destructive on  
one farm, while farms adjoining are free from it. On the
Experiment Farm at Lexington the disease rarely makes
its appearance, while on a place just across a pike the
majority of the chicks hatched are some seasons destroyed
by it. At my own place again, a mile away, the trouble
is very annoying. It appears that once it becomes estab- .

 J ,     E
    108 Bulletin No. yo. ‘
  i' V lished on land it maintains itself there and thus renders
    ‘ it ill suited to the raising of chickens.
f   The immediate cause of the trouble is of course the
. — presence of the well known gape worm (Syngamus
iraclzea/zk) in the trachea or windpipe. These worms
l obstruct the passage of air to and from the lungs and
g . , thus occasion the characteristic gasping movements of
Q ’ the suffering chicks. The symptons and general nature
i _ ‘ of the trouble are so well known that further reference
i   l to them may be dispensed with.
Common Remedies.
T The commonly recommended practice of introducing
I into the trachea a partly stripped feather, or a bluegrass
.   _ top, and by a twisting motion dislodging and removing the
  · worms does not seem to me after considerable experience
 ·— _   with the diseased fowls to be practicable for very young
l chicks. The trachea is so small and so easily injured
that it is impossible to dislodge and remove all of the
§ worms by such means. 'With the greatest carel have
\_ never been able to giveaffected chicks more than tempo-
  rary relief in this way.
i` N It has been my experience, however, that chicks gen-
erally recover without treatment when they are attacked r
after they are half grown, and hence fowls that might
T from their size be treated successfully with a feather do
;_ . not require treatment of any sort. It is the very young V
_ chicks that suffer most, and the only remedial treatment
Z in their case that seems to me to be successful is rubbing
T the neck from time to time with lard or vaseline thor- ·
_ oughly mixed with a little turpentine (3 parts of the lard
or vaseline to 1 part of turpentine). This treatment
; should begin before the disease makes its appearance.
· It will not help a chick in the last stages of the disease.
, ~ Pure turpentine will very quickly kill a chick when V
T rubbed on the neck over the trachea, a fact which l

 .‘ ’
I i
» _ The Gctpe Driseasc of Poultry. IOQ . .
have several times demonstrated on badly affected in- , I
dividuals. 1
Since my observations on the disease were made I - 1
have read a valuable article on gapes and gape worms, l ,
written by the French naturalist Megnin. He asserts , .
that the use of pounded garlic with the usual food has s E
been made to completely eradicate the disease among   ,
pheasants in Europe. He recommends the use of one ’ i
garlic bulb to ten pheasants each day, and the same pro- { t
portion would in all probability be sufficient in the case I
of the common chicken. He supplements this treat-
ment with special care in the matter of drinking water,
using only pure water and changing it several times a
The Source of Gapes. i
My curiosity as to how chickens contracted the dis-
ease was aroused by the observation noted above as to its Y"
irregular occurrence. The current belief among natural- . Q,
ists is that the worms are in soil and are picked up with , ·
food. No doubt this is true while the disease is present Q
on a place, but I have known instances in which flocks  
were very badly affected on land where chickens had not 3
been raised for years. How did these minute worms per- l
I sist in soil that is each year dried and parched by the sun’s .
heat? It is known that they can not endure either heat '
or drought. It is hardly probable that they migrate like
· ~ earthworms down into the soil in summer and reappear ; l
again at the surface during fall and spring, when the 1 Z
surface soil is clamp. It is a natural supposition that
. they may enter the bodies of insects, mollusks, or earth- Z,
worms, like some other parasitic worms, and be received `
by poultry with such food. Yet Megniu asserts that they
do not pass any stage of their existence in the bodies of
any animals other than birds.
p VK/'hen the disease is under way among a brood of
chicks it is beyond doubt conveyed by way of drinking

 :'.. in   Y
  , € 110 Bulletin N0. 70. ,
  Y I _ · water and food from affected fowls to others. Chicks suf-
  _. fering from gapes may sometimes be observed to dislodge
‘»,   l worms and discharge them from their mouths during
  —» spells of sneezing. According to Megnin’s observations
· I young hatched from the eggs in the bodies of these dis-
_ charged worms may live for some time in the drinking
water, where they swim about like vinegar eels, ready to
f · be taken into the stomachs of fowls,
; These facts in the history of the worms show why
:   i _ dissolving copperas in the drinking water, isolating af-
, I V fected fowls, and changing the quarters of the others
sometimes have the effect of checking the spread of the
But when the young gape worms are already abun-
° dant in the soil such treatment will not avail unless the
. A _ chicks can be kept from the ground.
    Chicks Reared on a Plank Floor Not Attacked by
· ‘{ ’ ` the Gape Worm.
I find by experiment that it is possibleito prevent the
· trouble completely on my place at Lexington by keeping
if chicks on a board floor from the time they are hatched
gif until they are large enough to endure the attacks of the
j ·· worms. V
Chicks hatched by two hens june 5-7, 1897, were
taken from the nests before they had an opportunity to
get to the ground, and confined in two compartments of
_ the same coop. One compartment was provided with a ·
‘· ` board floor; in the other the chicks were allowed the
Q freedom of the ground. There were twenty chicks in all
divided equally between the two hens and confined in the
I two compartments, which were separated by wire netting.
* Immediately after the experiment was started three of the
I lot on the fioor managed to get into the other compart-
` ment and were allowed to remain. There were thus on the
1 plank fioor seven chicks, while confined on tl1e ground
i . beside them were thirteen. One of the latter lot died from I

1   l
, The Gcrpe Disease of Poultry. III i i i
some unknown trouble soon after they hatched, leaving I i
only twelve for experiment.  
The two lots were treated alike in every respect r ,
except in the matter of the floor and in the character of ` ;
food. Those on the plank floor received the accustomed , ,
food given young chicks, namely, corn meal mixed with » i
water and scraps of bread, potato and meat from the 1  
table. After they had grow somewhat, a little oats was ’ `
given them occasionally. The chicks on the ground re- 1
ceived the same kind of food, except that they had in l
addition a daily ration of earthworms. The following is
a record of observations on the lot to which earthworms
were fed:
june 23. One of the chicks observed to be badly
affected with the gapes. It died during the following if
night. Several others slightly affected.
june 24. A second chick of the same lot nearly ._
dead from gapes. It was removed and chloroformed, i.
when its trachea was found to contain gape worms. i l'
june 29. A third chick of this lot was found dead, l 4
and on examination its trachea was found partly filled ·
with the worms. A fourth, nearly dead from the disease, _ Q
was chloroformed and it also had worms in the trachea. -; J
Several of the remainder were at this date observed to
. be affected, and probably not a single one was entirely 4.
free from the trouble.
june 30. Three more chicks were so badly affected _ (
that it was decided to remove and destroy them. All l A
had gape worms in the trachea. ¤
july 1. Three of the tive remaining chicks were af- »
fected and were removed and chloroformed. The trachezc *l
of all contained gape worms.
july 3. One of the two remaining chicks was af-
fected. It was removed and destroyed like the others.
july 5. The last one of the lot was removed and
chloroformed and also had gape worms in the trachea.
During this time not a single chick of the seven kept

 *i_ " _ _;; .
j i if Ei  
2; 2 2
.,3,I   ,1 ’
  , ‘¥ _ 112 Bulletin N0. yo.
  ‘ __ _ " on the plank floor became affected with the disease. The
  , g hen kept with them, however, appeared to suffer from the
I`, T close confinement and cramped quarters, and subsequently
— `· died. Her trachea did not contain gape worms.
It is evident that the chicks in the compartment
§ — t without: a floor obtained the gape worms either from the
; ground or else from the earthworms which were fed
_   Q to them. At the time my experiment was made I had
A, i I not seen Megnin’s interesting account of the gape worm
infesting the European pheasant, and while I must admit
— _ that the experiment here recorded does not prove
that gape worms live within the bodies of earthworms
`· and are by means of the latter conveyed to the lungs and
, A _ tracheze of chickens, yet I am far from convinced by any-
I   thing observed by Megnin that they may not be thus
  —· 'il conveyed.
l   Convincing evidence can be obtained by confining
two lots of the chicks on plank fioors, one to be fed earth-
C worms, the other not. A test of this sort was started
ly last spring, after the other was completed, but a drought
  set in at that time and drove the earthworms so deep
‘ ‘* into the soil that enough could not be secured. The
matter will be taken up again next spring t
The result of value to the farmer obtained from
this preliminary experiment is, that keeping chicks, for
several weeks after they hatch, on a plank fioor will
Q ‘ prevent the gapes. It is my present opinion that the
_ same result would be obtained by simply elevating an
Z earthen door above the surrounding level so that it would
not retain moisture. It must be remembered, though,
that after the disease is established in a brood it will be
» conveyed from one to another through the medium of
food and drink. and in such case a plank floor would not
i alone save it. In case the disease should be introduced
· by chicks which had contracted it elsewhere the proper
, . treatment would be to isolate affected individuals as soon
, as discovered and medicate the drinking water of the rest.

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x.·~ — .~ l— n
Q ·   / x  
l \ ` ‘
ll il {   G
\ /· V F { K
Dissection of a chick affected with gapes, the trachea pinned open.
A. the glottis or opening through which air enters the trachea froni the
mouth; Bt the cnt end of the resophagns; C, the cut neck; l),tl1e open
trachea with gape worms attached to its wall; H, the bronchial or lung
tubes, Olle i`0r·eaeh lung; F, the lungs; G_ a pair of gape WGUIIS, tllé
small male being permanently attached to the female. Both iignres
enlarged. H. GA.1