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Buji 哺記

Jan 19, 2022 © Ulrich Theobald

Buji 哺記 "Records of rearing" is the only traditional text dedicated exclusively to the incubation of eggs. Unfortunately is is very brief on does touch aspects just very superficially. The author is Huang Baijia 黃百家 (1643-1709), courtesy name Zhuyi 主一, from Ningbo 寧波, Zhejiang, who was a son of the famous thinker Huang Zongxi 黃宗羲 (1610-1695). He learned fist fighting (quanfa 拳法) by Wang Laixian 王來咸 and arithmetics from Mei Wending 梅文鼎 (1633-1721), who inspired him to write a book on geometry, Gougu juce jieyuan 句股矩測解原. In the early 18th century, Huang also served as a historiographer in the office for the compilation of the Ming history Mingshi 明史, the Mingshiguan 明史館.

The book was written after the observation Huang made when residing in Keyashan 客厓山. Interesting topics are the differentiation of male and female chicken inside the egg, techniques of incubation of eggs inside of pots (gang 缸), and the identification of void eggs and such containing embryos.

The text is found in the series Zhaodai congshu 昭代叢書 and Ciyantang congshu wei ke gao 賜硯堂叢書未刻稿.

Sources:
Min Zongdian 閔宗殿 (1994). "Buji tiyao 《哺記》提要", in Ren Jiyu 任繼愈, ed. Zhongguo kexue jishu dianji tonghui 中國科學技術典籍通彙, part Nongxue 農學 (Zhengzhou: Henan jiaoyu chubanshe), Vol. 4, 199-200.
Wang Yonghou 王永厚 (2007). "Buji: Gudai de jiaqin fuhua jing 《哺記》:古代的家禽孵化經", Zhongguo chuqin zhongye 中國畜禽種業, 2007 (4): 11.