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The daisies I have nearly eradicated by carefully digging them and not allowing them to seed, and by placing a flat stone over the hole after diggiog out the root.
Domestic Animals. 24. I have kept no oxen this season. I have kept twenty cows the past season. My cows are, most of them, Shorthorn grades I have four calves that I raised this year, and fatted two. I have on hand seven horses and colts. My colts winter on the refuse fodder from the cattle and sheep-no waste.
25. I have made no accurate experiments in relation to the different breeds of animals. All of the improved breeds of animals, or most of them, are good in their place if only well cared for.
26. I consider the best and cheapest way for me to winter my cows is to give them good comfortable stables nights, and good yards with sheds attached, and straw stacks at their will. They are fastened in stanchions and fed hay in the stable twice a day, or stalls in the yard or field, with plenty of water in the yard.
27. Our cows generally average from 150 to 200 lbs. butter to the cow annually. Cows eight years old and upwards, of course produce more than younger ones.
28. I have kept forty-three sheep the past season, raised thirty-five lambs, and sold them for $2.50 per head. They are middle-wool sheep, slightly crossed with the Southdowns. Teey yield about three and a half to four pounds of wool each.
29. I consider the best and cheapest way for me to winter my breeding ewes is to house them nights, and feed plenty of good hay twice a day, in bunks, the bunks being cleaned out twice a day, and the refuse fed to colts. They run in the yards during the day. I am feeding no grain to them; they have plenty of water and good shelter. I do not remeniber of ever losing a sheep in wintering. I have kept both coarse and fine-wooled sheep, and do not think one more likely to die than the other. They are neither apt to die if properly cared for.
30. I summered six old hoys, and raised six pigs, of the Essex breed. I slaughtered five hogs from one and a half to two years old, that weighed dressed 3,050 pounds, or 410 pounds average, that sold for $8.25 per hundred. I had one very remarkably fat hog, that I bought in February last, and paid $82 for; he then weighed 1,120 pounds. I kept him until the 29th of December, when he weighed 1,355 pounds, alive. I then started with him for New York, but as I had not the kind of feed he was used to at home, he lost eighty-three, pounds live weight. I sold his meat to Lippencot & Martin, on the Tenth avenue, for fifteen cents a pound. I had him skinned, and Mr. Orange Judd, of the American Agriculturist, has the use of it for one year by paying the expense of putting it up. It is on exhibition in his store. The weight of the hog, when dressed, was 1,174 pounds.
31. I have made no experiments as to the relative value of root crops compared with corn or other grain for feeding animals, either for fattening or for milk.
32. I have about 175 apple trees. A part of the old trees are natural fruit, and some of them very good, but my young trees are most of them grafted. They are chiefly of the Tompkins County King, Swaar, Bottle Greening, Sweet and Sour Bows, Early Joe, &c.
33. I have plum trees, quite a number of them very choice varieties, bearing remarkably well. The names I do not recollect. I have a variety of pears, grapes, &c. My object in growing fruit is for my own use. The climate here is not as well adapted to peaches as the lands bordering on our lakes.
34. I have not experienced much trouble with insects injuring our fruit trees, except the curculio, and they make their depredations on the plums, causing them to fall to the ground before matured. The only remedy we have tried is to let in the pigs occasionally to pick up the injured fruit in which they deposit their eggs.
35. I generally dig about the roots of my young trees occasionally to promote their growth, and try to destroy all nests made by worms as soon as discovered.
36. In answer to question thirty-six, I will say that it has been necessary for me to try and accomplish much with little labor. I found, by sad experience, that it was necessary to construct something to do our churning. I secured the services of competent workmen, and, with a trifling expense, constructed a small water-wheel, and by the use of a small wire attached to the gate, and a lever purchase at each end, a woman, or even a child can, by stepping into a small cheap house constructed for the churn, hoist the water gate, and, by a simple fastening, the churning is performed in a highly satisfactory manner. I have a barrel set on the outside of the churnhouse, partly in the ground, for the storage of the buttermilk. We use a churn that holds over a barrel, and by means of a spout through the side of the house, the churn is merely tipped over and the contents emptied into the barrel on the outside. This buttermilk is fed chiefly to calves; however, the past season, the famous mammoth pig received all he wished from this source. I have made another very valuable improvement. Any one keeping a dairy for the purpose of making butter, knows that it requires a vast amount of labor in handling the milk after the cream is taken from it, in carrying it from the cellar in pails, often up a number of steps, and taking it from four to five rods to the pig pen. In carrying in the milk to the milk room there is generally a number, each carrying their share, which makes it a light job. When the milk is skimmed it generally falls upon some one person to carry out the sour milk, and I can assure you I have often been the unfortunate individual assigned to perform this laborious task. Well, now for the remedy. The true saying is, necessity is the mother of all inventions, I will state my way of getting relieved of this task. My dwelling stands on a ridge or knoll sufficiently elevated to get the required fall from the cellar, to carry the milk to the pigs. In the first place I built a lane from the pig pen to where I could run the milk. I dug into the sidehill and set in a common dry goods box to catch the milk. I then constructed a spout of inch pine boards, leaving the passage for the milk about two by four inches, running it slightly under ground to the outside cellar doorway; there at the upper end of the spout we have a box about four feet long, one foot high and one foot wide, with a lid to it, to receive the milk as fast as skimmed. The pig trough is placed under one corner of the swill box and a 2-inch auger hole bored through the bottom, and a wooden plug inserted long enough to reach above the top of the box, and this is used to stir the swill while running into the trough. I laid down a plank floor about the length of the trough, six feet wide. Now, my dairy friends, all such as can get fall sufficient to run the milk in this way, I would advise to do so by all means.
Fences, Buildings, etc. 37. I have five buildings on my farm, viz: dwelling house, two barns, sheds, and hogpen. One of the barns is forty by seventy feet, with a wing of forty feet of stabling for cattle. I have stabling in this barn for twentyfive head of cattle, and six horse stalls. The other barn is forty by sixtyeight feet, having sheep houses in each end, with open sheds one hundred feet long.
38. My fences are constructed chiefly of chestnut rails twelve feet long, seven rails high, and staked with chestnut stakes six feet long. Where it is not exposed to bard winds I prefer setting the lower end of the stake on a flat stone instead of driving them in the ground. I set the stakes on each side of the corner, taking pains to have the rails so as to make the stakes fit closely, and touch as many of them as possible. I then take a cant hook and put it on to the two stakes, having an extra hand on the opposite side of the fence to hold it firm while I take the axe and drive them up as close together as possible; then I take No. 10 wire, after being previously heated red hot, so that it will not break in bending; put the wire around the stakes about the center of the fence, cut it off the right length, and twist the ends together. Where it is exposed to high winds, it is better to drive the stakes in the ground. I think it is the best way I ever saw a crooked rail fence constructed, for several important reasons. In the first place, the wire costs but about three cents per rod of fence; you can work much closer to the fence with plow or machines, and stock will seldom trouble fence made in this way, as they cannot easily get off the top rail. I have about sixty rods of black ash fence made in this way, and about 300 rods of chestnut, and 200 rods of board fence, (hemlock boards and chestnut posts,) and eighty rods of stone wall. My other fences are rail, made of basswood, elm, cherry, &c.
39. My grain is always weighed or measured. I keep an account of all I sell off the farm.
40. I keep my farm account in such a way that, at the end of the year, I can tell the loss or gain. I think no one can carry on farming satisfactorily or profitably, without keeping an account of his receipts and expenditures.
41. I should think the cost of drawing away our grain was about three per cent of what we receive for it. My wheat and some of my other grain I often sell at the barn. I sold considerable of my wheat last fall for seed at thirteen shillings per bushel, at the barn.
42. Below please find annual receipts and expenditures, after answering the questions asked by the New York State Agricultural Society in relation to butter making.
Dairy of Twenty Cows. 1st. We generally commence making butter in March or April, and pack in oak tubs holding about fifty pounds each, until the cows go out to grass and the butter gets a good yellow color; we then pack it in firkins holding 100 pounds' each, made of seasoned white oak timber. The firkins should be soaked in clean cold water two or three days before packing in the butter, then after rinsing take a handful of clean fine salt and scatter it about on the inside while it is wet, let it stand until the salt dissolves, then turn out the brine and pack in the butter, taking pains always to keep it covered from the air until filled; then take a white linen or cotton cloth cut out by the cover and wet in cold water and spread it on the top of the butter, and then put about a quart of clean salt on to the cloth and pack it closely to prevent the air from striking the butter; I then cover it up as tight as possible, letting it stand in a cold, dry cellar. If not marketed till late in winter, it should be covered with brine. The average product in butter from our cows this year is not near as good as some years. One reason is, fifteen of my cows were purchased last fall and winter, a year ago. If they had been all of my own raising, descendants of first rate milkers, the product would have been in all probability much greater. Another trouble was a lack of pasturage; we had only a trifle over an acre a piece for them until after harvest, and then only a small addition, as we cut fifteen acres of our mowing land the second time for seed. Another trouble was, our cows were mostly quite young, several of them but two or three years old, and a number of others but four or five years old. I raised one acre of corn sowed broadcast, about two bushels of seed to the acre, which gave the cows good feed once a day all through the month of August. Had it not been for this, my cows would have suffered for feed unless supplied in some more costly way. I would advise all dairymen, as friend B. P. Johnson advised me, never neglect to sow a piece of corn each year to feed your cows in the hot, dry•weather. It is but a trifling expense compared with the profits arising from it. After my corn fodder was gone, I had some fine second growth grass to turn them into, and that not only kept up the flow of milk, but the cows actually gained in flesh, and went into winter quarters in fine condition. I think my dairy of cows is worth at least twenty per cent more to day than they were a year ago. I will now state my way of feeding the green corn, which is quite heavy to handle. I take a common grass scythe and commence on one side of the piece and cut enough for one foddering, then take one or two horses and hitch on a plank stoneboat and drive close along side of the cut corn and pitch it on with a fork; I then drive on the clean grass where the cows run and scatter it, generally about the middle of the day, and I can assure you it is really a treat to me (worth all the labor) to look on and see the grateful cows partake of this sumptuous meal.
Setting the Milk. 2d. The milk is strained into tin pans set upon a rack made for that purpose, and we generally fill the pans from one and a half to two inches deep, . as we think the cream rises better not to have it too deep. The milk should stand in a temperature of about sixty-two degrees until it begins to thicken in the bottom of the pans, and then be skimmed and the cream allowed to stand in the same temperature for about twelve hours before churning, and then churned one hour, as I think a churning done in less time is too warm for the good of the butter, or to secure the largest amount. The butter should be taken immediately out of the buttermilk or churn.
3. To separate the butter from the milk our process is this: As soon as taken from the churn we put it into a large wooden bowl, after the bowl and ladle have been well soaked in cold water. We then pack it carefully together with the ladle, draining off what milk we can. Then, if we have not very cold water, especially in very hot weather, we use ice to cool it with, putting in a sufficient amount of water and stirring it carefully until it looks milky. We then drain off, and repeat the water or washing until thoroughly cleansed from milk, as that is the salvation of butter. It is a great mistake with some people who think that salt will save the butter, bat depend upon it, it will not, nor saltpeter, or any other substance, unless you first free it from milk. After the washing process, you should take fine pure Ashton, or some other, if it is only pure well ground salt, one ounce to the pound of butter, sprinkle on and work carefully through until salted alike; then set it in a cool place, and after standing twentyfour hours take it out on the butter-worker, (an inclined plank and round lever,) and work evenly, but not too much as that makes it salvey, until the color is uniform and free from spots or streaks. It is now ready to be packed in a firkin or jar, and carefully covered to exclude the air. Be careful in working and packing to press, instead of smoothing it over with the ladle, as the latter process makes it oily.
4th. In answer to question four as to whether we use water to free the butter from the milk, I answer yes, and the reason is that I think it can be cleansed with less working, and in a much more satisfactory manner, as too much working spoils the grain of the butter. I would as soon think of washing my hands and face clean without water, as to think of freeing butter from milk without washing. My idea as to keeping the quality of butter is this: butter made pure and entirely free from milk, will keep as well as lard, but without that, as I said before, salt or saltpeter will not save it.
5th. We use Ashton salt (one ounce to the pound) because it is recommended by butter dealers to be superior to other kinds.
6th. We use neither saltpeter, carrots, or any other substance except salt, and we think our butter superior without their use; at all events, it is not found fault with for want of the above named articles.
7th. We never found any kind of salt to be injurious in making butter unless more than one ounce to the pound is used, and that makes it very injurious for use.
8th. We place the butter in a tub or firkin with a ladle, and pound it down with a round hard-maple pounder about three feet long. The rest of the process I have stated above.
9tb. I am not exactly posted as to the amount of milk required to make a pound of butter; that is rather a hard thing to arrive at as there is a great difference in the milk of cows, and even in the same cows the richness of the milk varies at different seasons of the year; very much depends on the health of the animal, and the food it consumes.