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JERSEY AND GUERNSEY CATTLE. Many people class the Guernseys and the Jerseys together. It should be borne Lieprind that the Guernseys are very different animals from the Jerseys, being larger and warser in the bone. We have some of the former, but many more of the latter im Hias country, and I am inclined to think that some that pass under the name of Jerseys never saw the island from which they were named, either they or their ancestors.
At the meeting and exhibition of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, held at Plymouth in 1865, the judges say, “These classes, representing the two breeds of Jersey and Guernsey, are well filled, and generally the animals exhibited display a marked improvement on those shown on former occasions. There are some excellent cows and heifers of both breeds, and the competition is very severe, showing the great improvement resulting from the efforts which the Channel Islanders have of late years been making to combine beauty of form with the quality for which the breeds are so remarkable, viz., richness of dairy produce. In closing these remarks, we would beg to draw the attention of the council to the difficulty which exists in awarding prizes in a mixed class; for, although the Channel Islands are very closely allied as regards locality, their breeds of cattle are totally different."
There is another minor point which I have often thought of alluding to, and that is the somewhat common but indiscriminate use of the term Alderney and Jersey, in speaking of this class of cows. The Alderneys and the Jerseys are the same, to be sure, but the Island of Alderney is insignificant in extent as compared with Jersey, and, in point of fact, the great reputation of the breed has arisen chiefly from efforts made in Jersey to improve and perfect it with reference to beauty of form and iry qualities. Jersey is the seat of a flourishing Agricultural Society. The term Alderney is not wholly inappropriate to these cows, but common consent among stockmen has of late years assigned the name of Jerseys to them, and hence it is more appropriate, and should always be used in preference to Alderneys. The term Alderney became prevalent in England, and from there in this country, from the fact that some cows were first_taken to England from that little island to which the breed was first carried from Jersey about ninety years ago. The term Guernseys does not apply at all to the Jersey or Alderney cattle, and should never be used to designate that breed.
It may be remarked, as some justification of the common practice to which I have alluded, of calling the Jerseys Alderneys, that some years ago this latter name was pretty generally applied, both in England and this country; but that was when the breed was described as presenting the appearance of “two boards nailed together, as thin as a lath.". It was classed as the * crumpled horn” broed, small in size, and of an ill-formed shape. Of late years great pains have been taker to improve it, and with very satisfactory results; and since these improvements in form have been obtained, the best usage assigns to them the name of JERSEYS.
BARLEY FOR HORSES. BARLEY is excellent, but rather expensive as compared with other kinds of food. Barley boiled, unground, has long been used as a mash for horses, and it is especially valuable after a hard day's work, or when the animal is a little ailing. It acts as a gentle aperient or laxative, opening the system and softening the skin. Barley meal has long been highly esteemed for its soothing effects on the animal system, preventing cutaneous irritations, &c. For occasional use, we regard it as a very valuable article of food for horses, but its feeding value, as a regular article of food, is less than that of oats.
Take, for example, the case where a horse has had an extra hard day's work, or a very long drive, and has come home exhausted - used up. Some folks would give him an extra feed of oats, and think they were doing him a grateful service. Nothing is more injudicious. Better leave him without any thing. But a mash of barley, prepared in the way indicated, would be just the best thing you could give him. It makes him a well-cooked gruel, soluble, and sufficiently stimulating to the stomach, and it can be followed by no unpleasant results.
FATTENING CALVES. Ą SENSIBLE practical farmer says that he has often noticed that calves would thriye better on milk that was not rich in butter than on what was commonly called pery rich milk. The nutritive elements of milk reside chiefly in the caseine. If you have a cow that gives particularly rich milk, and one that gives a quality poorer in butter, it is better in every way to feed the calf on the milk of the latter. The call will thrive better, and you will get more butter from the milk of the first cow.
HINTS ON FATTENING STOCK. As te rapid fattening. Study the habits and requirements of fattening stock. All animals, when at liberty, take considerable exercise. Hence it is evident that a box stall, or “ pen," is better than to tie by the neck or in stanchions. Cattle at pasture cat often, and take comparatively little rest except at night. From this it would appear that frequent feedings -- that is, at least three or four times a day- are better for fattening cattle than larger quantities at longer intervals.
Ease, warmth, quiet, and comfort are quite indispensable to the rapid accumulation of fat. Hence pens out of the sight of store cattle, or well-sheltered sheds, well littered, removed from any disturbance from any operations which may be going on about the premises and which might distract the animal, are important. Fattening cattle must be treated with great gentleness and familiarity. All domestic animals are wonderfully sensitive to human kindness, and none more so than fattening cattle. Card or brusk them every day. It promotes rapid progress in taking on fat. Rest and repose being of the utmost importance, careful attention to the litter is essential. A good, soft, comfortable bed is almost an essential requisite. It is of little use to give the best and richest of food if the bed is hard and uncomfortable. The progress will be unsatisfactory. A soft bed tempts the creature to lie down more of the time. In feeding, or attendance of any kind, be regular in time, prompt, and quick, so that the animal may, as soon as possible, be left to undisturbed repose, Never expose a fattening beast to wet, or cold, stormy weather.
As to food, an infinite variety presents itself for consideration, but with us Indian corn meal, ground fine, will form the basis, as being most available. Still it is desirable to study change, both to promote the health and to stimulate the appetite. For a full grown ox, two bushels of turnips, sliced up, per day, with ten or twelve pounds of good meal, or say five pounds of linseed meal and three pounds of Indian meal, and as much good hay as the animal will eat, is none too much. A scanty allowance of water should be given. If you are disposed to take a little pains, the hay may be run through a hay-cutter, put into a box with a tight cover, the meal sprinkled over it, and scalding hot water poured on, when it should be covered up, and may stand some hours. If it begins to ferment, no matter. It is better. If you have plenty of carraway seed, you may add a little of that to the meal to advantage. If the animal scems to get cloyed or sick of one kind of food, try another. Oatmeal is a good change, and shorts may be resorted to occasionally.
of the roots, feed the round turnips first then the Swedes, or ruta-bagas, and the mangolds last. If you have such a box as I mentioned, you can make a layer of six inches of cut hay, packed down solid, and then a layer of cut roots, say two inches thick, and on the roots the mcal may be put; it in a boiling condition, all the better; and so on, in similar alternate layers, till the box is full Stir it up a little, and pour on a little hot water, and cover up, and let it stand, say twenty-four hours. The roots will be cooked in this time. After the first few days the animal will devour this mixture with the utmost greediness, even if the hay is not of the best quality: For a medium-sized animal six pounds of meal will do, and one bushel of roots; and it is better to begin with four pounds of meal, and gradually increase the quantity. Linseed and Indian meal mixed is better than either alone. Some straw may be used if the mixture is made as suggested above. The roots must be made quite clean, or they will cause the animal to scour. If you can get hold of some bean meal, it is cxcellent, especially for a change.
CURIOUS FACTS ABOUT WATER. THE extent to which water mingles with bodies, apparently the most solid, is very wonderful. The glittering opal, which beauty wears as an ornament, is only fint and water. Of every twelve hundred tons of earth which a landlord has in his estate, four hundred are water. The snow-capped summits of our highest mountains have many million tons of water in a solidified form. In every plaster of Paris statue, which an Italian carries through our strects for sale, there is one pound of water to four pounds of chalk. The air we breathe contains five grains of water to cach cubic foot of its bulk. The potatoes and turnips which are boiled for our dinner have, in their raw state, the one seventy-five per cent, and the other ninety per cent. of water.
If a man weighing one hundred and forty pounds, were squeezed in a hydraulic press, seventy pounds of water would run out, the balance being solid matter. A man is, chemically speaking, forty-five pounds of carbon and other elements, with nitrogen diffused through five and a half pailfuls of water. In plants we find water thus mingling no less wonderfully. A sunflower evaporates one and a quarter pints of water a day, and a cabbage about the same quantity. A wheat plant exhales, in one hundred and seventy-five days, about one hundred thousand grains of water.
The sap of plants is the medium through which this mass of fluid is conveyed. It forms a delicate pump, up which the watery particles run with the rapidity of a swift stream. By the action of the sap various properties may be accumulated to the growing plant, Timber in France is, for instance, dyed by various colors mixed with water, and sprinkled over the roots of the tree. Dahlias are also colored by a similar process.
ROOT CROPS. THE LONG RED MANGOLD, when grown in good soils, will often measure from six to eight inches in diameter, and a foot and a half in length. It grows with great rapidity, and is very productive. It may not be as nutritive as the White sugar Beet, but the crop is so much larger, when properly cultivated, that we are inclined to think it pays better to cultivate. It has the objectionable habit of growing out of the ground, often rising six or eight inches above the surface, and this in our hot, dry summers, exposes a large surface, which is apt to check its growth. The skin, where exposed to the air and light, is of a brownish red, and of a purplish rose color beneath the surface. The flesh is white, clouded and veined with various tints of red. It is a hardy root, and keeps well to the end of the winter, when it is in splendid condition for feeding stock. The variations in the color of the flesh do not affect the quality of the root, and it must be set down as one of the most widely cultivated roots of the farm. The seed may be sown early in May, and till the first of June. It is cultivated in drills, eighteen inches apart, and the plants should be thinned to eight or ten inches in the drills. In England it is oultivated in ridges, but we do not think the ridge system so applicable here, where droughts are the rule and wet seasona the exception. If for a wet soil, or any other good reason, the ridge system is adopted, sow in double rows on the sidges, fifteen inches apart, the sidges being three and a half feet apart.
The plants, when young, are tender, and of an agreeable flavor for the table.
THE WAITE SOGAR BEET is mostly cultivated in this country for stock, though in France, and on the continent generally, it is extensively grown for sugar. With good management it will yield six hundred bushels to the acre. For cows and horses, sheep and pigs, it is of great value, these animals being very fond of them, while their health and thrift are greatly promoted by them. The skin of the Sugar Bect is white, the leaves and stems green.
The roots are from ten to fifteen inches long and six or seven inches in diameter, tapering down to a point. This root is now making its way in the West for the manufacture of sugar.
The flesh of this beet is white, crisp, and sweet. While young the roots are tender and fine-flavored, and valuable for the table. It is cultivated like the mangold, and may be sown like that in May.
SKIRVING'S LIVERPOOL SWEDE is, we believe, one of the very best of the Rata-Baga tribe. It wants a deep, rich soil, mellow, and thoroughly pulverized by the plough and the harrow. Like the mangold, it is often cultivated in ridges in England, but we prefer the level culture in our dry climate, and in simple drills. To form ridges, if any one has low land and wants to try it, turn a back furrow, that is, two furrows against each other, about two feet apart.
Bow in drills, and rake smooth. The drills may be eighteen inches apart, or, if the land is a little foul, and liable to require a good deal of cultivating, twenty to twenty-four inches would be better. About a pound of seed will be required to the acre, more or less, of course, according to the distance of the drills.
The Ruta-Baga may be sown for the table as late as the first of July, but the field of seed sown earlier is very much larger, and for stock we should prefer to sow the middle of June, or even earlier. No doubt the later sown and smaller roots would be found of quite as good a quality, but for a stock crop we want the quantity as well as the quality. The seeds of the turnip keep good from five to eight years.
This variety of the Ruta-Baga was originated by William Skirving, of Liverpool, England. The Liverpool Swede is an improvement on the King of the Swedes, originated by the same man. Like that, it keeps admirably, and is of more than average quality for the table.
We think Skirving's Improved Swedes the best of all sorts for land that is natarally shallow and in rather poor condition, where it yields extremely well as compared with other varieties, while on richer and deeper soils the yield will frequently come up to nine hundred bushels an acre. If you sow in drills, and allow, say twenty inches for the drills, you will do well to thin out to ten or twelve inches in the rows.
TRANSPLANTING cabbage, tomato, and tobacco plants, is often carelessly done, and great losses are sustained in consequence. A few hours' exposure of the plants to the sun and wind will result in the loss of some days' growth at least, if it does not cause the entire loss of the plants.
These plants should not be lifted from the bed, if it can be helped, till the ground and the holes are prepared to receive them. It is a capital plan, if the soil is not already very moist from rain, to water them thoroughly in the bed an hour or two before lifting. It will cause a greater amount of soil to adhere to the roots.
"Take them up tenderly, lift them with care," is the rule to be observed here as in other things. “No pains, no gains," is the motto. Select a rainy or damp day, if possible; if not, just before sunset is better than the morning. We like to have a pretty dry soil to set them in, but we would have a supply of water to pour into the hole after it is made, and before it is soaked away set in the plant and fill in with dry soil. This is wet by the water, and the plant is surrounded by moisture, and yet the surface is loose and open, and not packed too close or baked around the plant. A little extra pains will pay well. Try it and see.
THE BUTTER DAIRY.
In the first place, the milk in the pans should be shallow. This we regard as a well-established rúle. Cream rises with a perfection and rapidity very much in proportion to the depth of milk in the pan. Careful experiments have shown that with the milk at twelve inches deep less than half the cream contained in it will rise to the surface. If you have pans with broadly flaring edges, you will notice that the cream is thicker over these edges than over the centre. The flavor and delicacy of the butter depend considerably upon the rapid rising of the cream. The cream that rises first and quickest is the best. We think the depth of milk should never exceed three inches, and two, or at most two and a half, is better.
In the next place, milk and cream should be wholly removed and excluded from all offensive odors.' Both have a remarkable affinity for all kinds of smells, and absorb them with great certainty if they are accessible. Leave an onion, a piece of catnip, a smoked ham, a piece of cheese, or any similar substance, in the milk room a single night, and the flavor of the butter will be injured by it.
And so the dairy room should be located where the air is quite pure, and free from the smell from drains, cesspools, barnyards, and decaying substances. It should be well ventilated, and kept with the most perfect neatness in every part, – the walls, the shelves, the pans, and other furniture.
It is desirable that the rays of the sun should have access to the milk room, at least an hour or two each day. If it cannot, the room will be apt to possess some sort of objectionable odor peculiar to itself, which is not easily removed, - & sort of " cellary,” scent, which the direct rays of the sun help to remove.
I know of many cellars used for milk rooms, and I have even known many cases where the milk has been set either on a cellar bottom, or on boards or planks laid on the bottom of the cellar. Now, if there is no other part of the house suitable for it, and no separate dairy house can be erected, a room may be parted off, and high shelves arranged in it, so as to be made to "do;” but as a general rule, I think the cellar should be avoided; and if it is used, it should be furnished with high windows with a lattice or wire screens, for the sake of more perfect ventilation. A cool, airy room, of even temperature, is desirable, and to secure this the north side of the house, where the sun can have some access in the morning, is the best.
Milk pans should never be set near the bottom of a cellar. If the milk room is partitioned off in a part of the cellar, the pans should be set well up on shelves, over which there can be a draught of pure air.
In the third place, the jars in which cream is kept should be covered tightly to prevent the absorption of offensive odors, and to exclude the light and air. It is better, of course, to churn as often as every day, or every other day, but if the quantity is not sufficient to make it practicable, and the cream is kept in jars, whenever new cream is added stir in some fine, clean salt thoroughly. Do it every time cream is added. It will make the butter come enough quicker to pay for it. If you have not kept your cream in this way, you will find that it will improve the quality and keeping of the butter made from it. Try it.
În the fourth place, don't let the milk stand too long. This is a point in which many are at great fault. It should be skimmed before it thickons and becomes loppered in the centre of the pan. The quality is injured by every moment's delay after this begins. We think it best not to let it stand over twenty-four hours in any case if it is placed in favorable circumstances. Eighteen is often long enough. The best cream rises first, and the less time the milk stands the better and sweeter will be the quality of the cream and butter. It is a great mistake to let it stand thirty-six to forty-eight bours, as many do. Nothing is gained by it; nothing to speak of in quantity, and the quality will be decidedly inferior.
In the fifth place, the temperature at the time of churning should be carefully attended to. It should not exceed from 58° to 62° at the end of the churning. It will rise during the operation. If it is much below this point it comes hard and slow. If it is higher it is apt to be oily, and may, if too high, be positively disgusting.
Pure butter contains about sixty-eight per cent. of solid fatty matter, known as margarine, and about thirty per cent. of a liquid oil, known as olein. When the temperature runs up to 70°, the former takes in oxygen from the air, by which it is changed into olein, which makes the butter too oily, destroys its consistency, and gives it a rank flavor. It is better to avoid this by regulating the matter so that the temperature shall not exceed 60° at the end of the churning, and as it rises as much as 6 or 6° during the operation, it follows that about 55° is the average temperature at which the cream should stand at the beginning of the churning.
In the next place, as the milk of different cows sends up its cream at different times, some as quickly as in twelve hours and others exceeding twenty-four, the whole milk, or the milk of several cows, should be mixed before setting. This will make the whole uniform in rising. Many neglect this precaution. It should be remembered that it is in these little points that the secret of success lies. Attend to them all, and you can hardly fail of making a first-rate article, that will bring the highest price in the market. Negleot any, and the quality of the article will be depreciated, and you may not know what the trouble is.
PLASTER OF PARIS. PLASTER, it is well known, is the sulphate of lime. Its action is more limited than that of the common lime of commerce and agriculture, which is the carbonate of lime, that is, the number of plants to which it is applied with advantage is considerably less, and its effect upon the growth of plants is also less marked.
It does not, like lime, appear to increase the size and weight of seeds so much as the leaf and stalk. Plaster exerts its influence chiefly on the latter, especially in regard to the cereals. This fact has been abundantly established by practical experience in this country, but not here alone. In France and other countries it has attracted the attention of farmers and scientific men. The Royal Central Agricultural Society of Paris, at the instance of the government, proposed certain questions in regard to the action of plaster to more than forty of the most experienced and intelligent farmers, none of whom had practised with plaster less than twenty years. Among these questions are the following:
“ Does plaster act beneficially on artificial meadows ?” Artificial meadows there mean fields of clover, lucern, sainfoin, &c., in distinction from natural meadows, or fields of the grasses proper, like timothy, redtop, orchard grass, &c. Of fortythree replies, forty were decidedly Yes, and only three were No. To a question as to its effect on these same meadows where the soil was very damp or wet, the unanimous reply was, that its action upon such was not beneficial.
Another question was, “Will it supply the place of organic matter, or will a barren soil be converted into a fertile one by the use of it ? " The replies were unanimously in the negative.
But the following is the question which bears more directly upon the subject : “ Does plaster sensibly increase the crops of cereals ?” Of thirty-two replies, thirty were in the negative, and only two in the affirmative. I know no reason to doubt the general cor
of these conclusions. They are not, so far as I am aware, at variance with the experience of farmers in this country. Applied to pastures which already contain a certain amount of potash in the soil, the effect is almost instantaneous. It promotes the growth of the clovers, and to some extent, no doubt, the leaf and stalk of the natural grasses. It appears also that it is of little use — that, in fact, it is throwing away money - to apply plaster to poor and barren lands, unless they are well manured first with organic manures. Plaster does not furnish the direct food of plants. It must have the elements of an organic manure, either applied or already existing in the soil, with which to interchange its own, before it can act beneficially on plants.
It is therefore especially to the potash plants that plaster is most useful. It is not of any great value generally to the root crops, though its use on the potato may be an exception. With regard to its use on pease, beans, and similar crops, General McCall, in a paper submitted to the Farmers' Club of Chester County, Pennsylvania, makes the following sensible remarks :
“When pease and beans are intended for fodder, I have no doubt the stalk would be much enlarged by the use of plaster; but when these legumes are intended for the table, plaster should never be used, as the seeds assimilate this inorganic substance sufficiently to become hard on boiling. The gardener may tell you the season has been unfavorable, but it is the plaster he put in the bed nevertheless."
We think the most economical use of plaster is in the stable and the yard, to prevent the escape of ammonia and other volatile gases, which are thrown off in the process of fermentation. It does not, in any respect, hasten the decomposition of manures, straw, cornstalks, animal matter, &c. It simply arrests and fixes the volatile carbonate of ammonia, forming, by a reunion of elements, the sulphate of ammonia and the carbonate of lime. Liebig says, –
“ The carbonate of ammonia contained in rain water is decomposed by gypsum in precisely the same manner as in the manufacture of sal ammonia, soluble sulphate of ammonia and carbonate of lime are formed; and this salt of ammonia, possessing no volatility, is retained in the soil.”
We have stated that plaster has little or no effect when applied to soils destitute of potash. This suggests the importance of mixing unleached wood ashes with plaster as a top-dressing on pastures where plaster has not been of any use alone. Plaster cannot create a supply of potash, but it immediately, where it is found, makes it soluble, and sets it free for the use of plants. We earnestly recommend all who have tried plaster as a top-dressing on grass lands without any apparent advantage, to make the experiment again, by mixing ashes at the rate of two or three bushels or more with one of good plaster. We think it would pay, and certainly the trial could not be attended with much expense.
SOIL FOR THE GRAPE. - It is a curious fact that very rich and highly manured land has rarely produced a grape that would yield a high quality of wine. The
grape that contains the most saccharine matter will make the best wine, and the different varieties differ widely in the proportion of sugar. In Italy and in Sicily the very finest and sweetest grapes grow on the rocky rubbish of volcanoes, and those that grow on loose rocky poils or along hillsides covered with rocks are often the best. These facts ought to teach us not to select the richest soils, and not to stuff them with organic manures, for the grape.