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equal in their natural milking qualities, and one of them is milked at exactly regular periods, and the other irregularly, the former will give milk from two to ten weeks longer than the other, and will give a greater quantity daily.
Cows that are milked rapidly and without intermission will give from two to twelve per cent more of butter than those that are milked slowly and intermittingly.
I recollect that a rapid milker once stopped when the cow was about half milked, to arrange a rag around a sore finger, and then finished the milking; it was three weeks before the cow gave her usual quantity of milk again. I have repeatedly seen this diminution of milk when a poor milker bas, once or twice, taken the place of a good milker who was absent. You can hardly over-estimate the amount of butter that is lost by the employment of children whose fingers are too weak, or of men or women who are too lazy or too careless to milk steadily and rapidly. There is a loss of butter when the milkers knock the cows, or speak loudly or harshly to them. A cow when milked by such an one soon grows nervous and deteriorates in value. Cows are often injured when at haying time or other busy seasons children are sent to fetch them from the pasture; being in a hurry to play, they are apt to run them, to make them jump over bars, and hurry them in various ways, which diminishes their milk not only for a few days or weeks, but permanently. The attacks of insects diminish the milk. Whatever may be said to the contrary, cows should never be turned into pastures where they cannot have access to shade; and kerosene oil applied to the legs and tail will protect them to a great extent, from the annoyance of insects. In a word, every annoyance from which you shield, and every comfort which you secure for your cows, will be amply paid for in the increased production of your dairies.
5. The Food.—The health and milk producing qualities of a cow are very intimately associated with the food which is supplied to her. If she is scantily supplied, even for a single day, the effect of the privation is felt for the remainder of the season; the best cow in the country will soon be permanently injured unless she is regularly supplied with wholesome and nutritious food. Every one knows that the sweetest butter is made in the greatest abundance while the grass is young and succulent. It is not so well known that the best butter is made where the grasses are found in the greatest variety. They do not relish mature grass, and like human beings, they cloy when confined to one or two varieties. We ought therefore to stock our pastures with a much greater variety than we have been accustomed to do, and in making the selection we should keep in mind the order of their succession in coming to maturity, so that we may procure a succession of succulent food for the longest possible time.
The crying sin of our dairymen is that they utterly neglect these very important provisions; a reform in this respect would give an enormous increase in milk and butter.
In some of the pastures most celebrated for the most abundant production of sweet milk, as many as thirty distinct species of grass are found within the space of a single square foot. A cow fed in such a pasture will yield at least forty per cent. more of butter than in one where nothing grows except timothy and clover, which are the only plants found on very many of our dairy farms.
The earliest grass to give a good bite in the spring is the Meadow Foxtail (alopecurus pretensis), yet I doubt if you can find a single spear of it in Jefferson county. Were it abundantly diffused I am confident you might turn your cows into the pasture a fortnight earlier than you are accustomed to; next in its development is the Orchard grass, (dactylis glomerała) which grows very rapidly in rich soils, is rank and vigorous, and remarkably succulent and palatable when young; then we have Quack or Dog grass, (triticum repens,) and clover; the former of these is considered as a cruel enemy by farmers generally, and it is truly so where the land is in tillage; but it is a very valuable grass in a permanent pasture, growing with great luxuriance and greatly relished by the stock: after this comes Kentucky Blue grass, which begins to shoot strongly, and stools out with increasing vigor until late in the fall; no grass is so little injured by frost
this is; cattle will often paw away the snow from it, and eat it with great avidity. It is the abundance of this which confers their great celebrity on the pastures of Vermont and Kentucky. Then fescue grass, (festuca pratensis) timothy, (phleum pratense) red top, (agrostis vulgaris) rough stalked meadow grass, (poa trivialis) and crested dogstail, (cynosurus cristatus) follow each other in regular succession. Pastures supplied with these and similar varieties will always have some one or more of them coming into perfection every month from spring time until the frosts, giving a continuous supply of tender, succulent food in the best possible conditions for making the milk sweet and abundant.
You must bear in mind that such pastures as these cannot be kept up if they are repeatedly torn up by the plow; when you have once secured their variety never permit the plow to touch it; if any of the valuable kinds begin to disappear, the ground should be scarified with a sharp harrow, the seed scattered over the surface and liberally top-dressed with manure. With this treatment the pasture will constantly improve.
You have often observed that butter in the spring and early summer is sweet and delicious, but as the year rolls on it loses its flavor, and at length becomes bitter and unpalatable; this is generally owing to the bitter weeds that come into blossom later in the season that are eaten by the cows.
This evil, though in some degree caused by a want of succession in the grasses, is mainly owing to carelessness in suffering weeds to mature in the pasture. The evil grows worse year after year, for the nutritive grasses are closely cropped and mature no seeds, while these weeds mature their seeds and sow them broadcast every year; they thus root out more and more of the grass, and offer increasing facilities of ill-flavored plants to the range of the cows. This evil may be prevented by carefully mowing the meadows once or twice in a season, by which the seeding of the weeds is prevented.
The practice of sowing Indian corn for green fodder in the fall is increasing among dairymen, and there are few who do not recognize the importance of this auxiliary at a period when the yield of milk is apt, in the general course of things, to be materially lessened; yet, as in many other things, the practice of farmers does not come up to the strength of their
convictions, and not more than one in ten avail themselves of this easy mode of increasing their milk and butter.
Those who have once got into this practice and fully realized the profit of it, and the increased percentage, which is about half a pound more butter to 100 lbs. of milk, will not be easily induced to relinquish it. The Stowell evergreen corn is the best variety for this purpose and should always be preferred. The Chinese sugar cane (sorghum soccharalum) is a very valuable plant for green fodder, and causes a very abundant flow of milk; but on some soils rich in soluble silica it is invested with a coating of glass which lacerates the interior cu ating of the stomach, and thus causes disease, abortion, and sometimes even death. This provision for succulent food late in the fall is at all times of great value, but in dry autumns it is of the utmost importance. If the cow is then scanted in her proper food, no subsequent feeding will restore the flow of milk, and the evil effects of the starvation will manifest themselves even in the following year.
The daily flow of milk can only be supplied through the food; but the quantity of hay which a cow will eat will not contain enough of the elements of milk to supply the materials for a full flow and must, therefore, be assisted by auxiliary food. The want of this auxiliary supply in winter is the great evil of Jefferson county practice.
Improper winter feeding not only diminishes the amount at that season, but through the ensuing summer,
If the cow is milked with an insufficient supply of food, it is evident that it must be derived from the fat and muscular tissue, diminishing the vital energy of the animal. Roots form a most valuable auxiliary food for the winter season. Rutabaga turnips fed to cows after being milked, increase the flow and will communicate no bad taste to the butter if the animal is freely supplied with salt. On farms having a pervions sub-soil, nearly as many carrots and sugar beets can be raised from an acre as rutabagas, and are far better for both milk and butter. Oil cake is greedily eaten by Cows, and furnishes an abundance of the oily elements of butter; the increased cultivation of flax will probably yield an abundance of this substance for the use of dairymen in the course of the ensuing year. If hay is chopped and mixed with a small proportion of Indian meal and oil cake and then steamed together, it will be found to supply all the elements of milk, securing an abundant flow and keeping the cow in good condition.
6. Iater.-It is essential that the cows should have easy access to water at all times, especially in winter. When this is the case they frequently resort to it; but if they are obliged to go far to obtain it, they wait until they are exceedingly thirsty, and imbibe a large quantity at once, which chills them, ani by diminishing their vital powers prevents the secretion of milk.
7. Warmth.-It must not be forgotten that all motion pre-supposes an exertion of motive power and the destruction of force. The vital force of animals is supplied by food; all waste of vital force is therefore a waste of food. In the cow the vital force is expended by locomotion, in keeping up the involuntary motions, such as the play of the lungs and heart, in the evolution of animal heat, and in the secretion of milk. It follows, therefore, that external warmth may replace the evolution of the internal, and thus save the food which would otherwise be used up in heat-making for the production of milk. Our best dairymen have long since abandoned the cruel and wasteful practice of exposing their cows unprotected to the biting blasts and the driving storms of winter; but there are still far too many who continue this inhuman practice. You may be assured that a good warm shelter will pay a noble interest on the cost of its erection.
8. Time of calving. In general, the largest yield of milk is secured when the cows calve somewhere between the 1st of March and the 1st of April. If the cows come in before the 1st of March there is danger that the flow of milk will be diminished before the cows are turned ont to pasture, in which case they never fully recover from it. It is better that they should calve before they are turned out to grass, as there is then much less danger of fever and caking of the bag, and the price of butter is then generally at the maximum.
I commend these modes of increasing your average production of milk and butter very strongly to your attention, not because you are ignorant of them, but because as a general thing you are negligent in carrying them into practice. I am sure a rigid attention to them would increase your profits half a million, if not a million, of dollars annually.
Circumstances which Influence the Production of Butter and Cheese from the
Milk. There are two methods of preparing milk for the churn. By one method it is poured into shallow pans, and set aside until the cream rises, when it is skimmed and then churned. By the other it is strained directly into the churn, where it remains until an acid reaction is established, when the entire milk is churned. It is desirable to ascertain which of these methods is the best.
Mr. James Toller, of Oswegatchie, strains his milk into churns, and when sour, but before it is loppered, churns the entire mass. On the 10th of September he strained 208 quarts of milk into pans, and when the cream had all risen it was skimmed off and churned. The amount of butter obtained was 17 pounds. On the ensuing day he strained 208 quarts of milk into churns, which, as soon as it became sour, he churned and obtained 194 pounds of butter. This is a fair sample of a great number of experiments on record, which were intended to test this question. Mr. Toller's experiment shows that ten per cent. more butter was obtained by churning the entire milk than when the cream only was churned. Experiments vary with respect to the percentage more or less, but every carefully performed experiment that I have seen myself, or that has been recorded, demonstrates that from 8 to 12 per cent. more butter is obtained by churning the entire milk, and it is equally certain that as a whole its equality is better, its flavor more delieate, and it will keep longer without change. The labor of churning so large a mass is indeed greater, but when this operation is performed by water power or by animals, this is of no consequence; on the other hand it supercedes the labor of skimming the milk and washing the pans, which makes no inconsiderable item in the labors of the dairy maid. I think there can be no doubt that this is the best mode of making butter, both with respect to economy of labor and to the quantity and quality of the butter; but if it is determined to churn cream instead of milk, several precautions are absolutely necessary in order to have it good.
1. The milk in the pans should be very shallow.
The cream rises with rapidity proportioned to the shallowness of the pans. Experiments show that when milk is 12 inches deep, less than half the cream will rise to the surface; you will always find the cream thicker over the flaring edges than over the center of the pan. Since the flavor of the butter depends in some degree upon the rapidity with which cream rises, the milk in the pan should never be over three inches deep, and it is better when it does not exceed two inches.
2. Cream should be secluded from all foreign odors.
Cream has a remarkable affinity for all kinds of odors; it absorbs them with the greatest avidity, and when the slightest portion of them are incorporated with it, the flavor of the butter is sensibly impaired. A smoked ham, a cod fish, a piece of cheese, or an onion kept in the milk room over night, will degrade the flavor of the butter.
The dairy should, therefore, be so located that no draft of air from drains, cesspools, hog-pens or barn.yards can at any time pass through it; it should be well ventilated; no particle of decaying substances, either animal or vegetable, should be admitted into it; the most scrupulous neatness should be observed in the walls, the shelves and the utensils; if the milk is spilled, it should not be allowed to dry, but should be washed up immediately. The casein of the milk is a nitrogenized body, and is therefore in a state of very unstable union. When it is brought into contact with bodies in the act of change, its affinities are broken up and it is resolved into new compounds. To prevent this, the churns, pans and strainers should be thoroughly washed, scalded and dried, and every possible precaution should be taken against bringing the milk into contact with decaying substances. The rays of the sun should enter the milk room at least an hour each day. Cellars, where the direct rays of the sun cannot enter, are often used as milk rooms, but there is always a cellary odor in them which impairs the flavor of the butter.
Much of the butter offered in the market is deprived of its sweetness, and diminished in price, from a neglect of some or all the particulars that I have just enumerated.
3. The vessel in which cream is kept should be tightly covered.
This precaution will not only prevent the absorption of noxious odors, but exclusion of light and air appears to favor an occult ripening of the cream, which improves the flavor of the butter. Those who have neglected this rule will find that a strict adherence to it will not only improve their butter, but its keeping qualities also.
4. The proper time to skim milk is when it begins to thicken in the center of the pan, and before it becomes loppered. Every moment it remains after this, its quality is impaired. This is denied by many dairymen, but I think a majority of the best buttermakers will subscribe to the rule. I am myself fully satisfied of its importance. Those dairies where the rule [Ag. Trans.]