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THE STOCK ON OUR FARMS. The first borned cattle introduced into New England were those which arrived at Plyinouth, in 1624, in the ship Charity. They came from the coast of Devonshire, in England, but were of various colors, and probably had but slight if any resemblance to the North Devons of the present day. In 1626 twelve cows were sent to Cape Ann, and tbirty more in 1629. 1830 about a hundred were imported for the “Governor and Company of
tko Massachusetts Bay,” and were taken to Salem. In 1631 and 1632 soveral importations were made into New Hainpshire, near Portsmouth, by Capt. John Mason, who, with Gorges, obtained the patent of large tracts of land along the Pisca taquis river, and formed settlements of Danes there for the manufacture of potash. The cattle were brought from Den. mark, and were of large size and a uniform light yellow color. No doubt they were large and coarse animals, but well adapted to the hardships of a new settlement. They remained quite distinct for many years in that section of the country, extending down into Maine.
Meantime the Dutch bad imported cattle into New York, and the early settlers of Virginia had considerably increased the stock froin the first im
portations in 1609 and 1610, consisting in part of cattle from England, and in part of those brought from the Spanish West Indies. The Dutch caitle were mostly black and white; the Spanish, black. It is well known
that considerable numbers of cattle were taken to the North from Virginia, and that many of the Denmark cattle were driven for sale to the Massachusetts colonies, near Boston.
These various stocks were crossed in every possible direction, without regard to any well fixed principles of breeding, which were nowhere atCended to with any intelligence at that time, and thus was formed the common stock of New England, often called “natives."
By the middle of the last century, the keeping of stock had assumed some importance in certain localities, particularly in tho old eastern settlements ; for somo large farmors in Rhodo Island kept as many as a hundred cows and upward, and the sale of thirteen thousand pounds of cheese from one farm is recorded, and in one case serenty-three cows produced ten thousand pounds of butter in five months.
Up to this tiine, and in fact for nearly half a century later, no well di. rected efforts at improvement had been made even in England ; but at tå at time some localities there possessed classes or races of animals peculiar to themselves, whose merits had begun to attract attention, though there was no general interest in the subject before the days of Bakewell, who demonstrated what could be done by attention to true physiological laws in the breeding of cattle. The choice of breeds and obtaining good crosses were nowhere thought of previous to his time.
Those who should,“ during the space of one year, keep the greatest weight of horned cattle,” got the premiums offered by the London Society of Arts, rather than those who should exhibit the greatest degree of improvement in their animals. Size began to be the grand aim of the early graziers, and the production of enorinous monstrosities was the result. But Bakewell established a new system of animal development. With him mere size was no object. He wanted to build up a breed that should give the greatest amount of salable beef for the amount of food consumed. Smallness of bone, and tendency to fatten and mature early, he thought indispensable in cattle bred for the shambles. Up to his time, both in Europe and America, it had been customary to keep oxen till they were seven or cight years old, before they were fatted for the butcher.
«« The old notion was,” says Arthur Young, “ that where you had large bones there was plenty of room to lay the flesh on. This, Mr. Bakewell has proved to be a mistake. He asserts, the smaller the bones, the truer will be the make of the beast, the quicker she will fatten, and her weight will have a larger proportion of valuable meat."
The average weight of cattle sold in the Smithfield (London) market increased from 370 pounds in 1710, to over 800 pounds at the present
time. A select committee of the House of Commons, in a report printed in 1796, after a full investigation, stated that since the year 1732, their neat cattle had, on an average, increased in weight and size at least one fourth, or twenty-five per cent., which would fix the average weight in 1795 at about 462 pounds. The average age had formerly been over five years. In 1830, owing, in a large measure, to the enthusiasm which had been created, commencing first by the efforts of individuals, and radiating out through the community in every direction, the average weight had increased tu 656 pounds --- an increase, in twenty-five years, of more than
forty per cent. in weight, while the average age had been reduced to four years instead of five. What a contrast! A saving of one whole year's consumption of forage, and an increase of forty per cent. in the profitable results, in the course of a quarter of a century! But since then the av. erage age has been still further reduced, and the average weight a good deal increased.
Such being the striking results in England, it is not surprising that when an interest was awakened in the improvement of our agriculture, a desire was felt by intelligent breeders to avail themselves of the advantages which had already been gained abroad. Importations began, and a more systematic course of breeding was adopted ; at first by a very limited number of enterprising farmers, till, within the last twenty years, that number has rapidly increased, and the results have become more marked and perceptible.
This account of the stock on our farms will be continued in our next number.
HOW THEY LOAD GRAIN IN CHICAGO. TAE preëminence of Chicago as a grain depot is due in part to its geographical position, but to a large extent, also, to the great facilities for receiving, warehousing, and shipping grain. Her immense warehouses are erected on the river and its branches, and railroad tracks run in the rear of them, so that a train of loaded cars may be standing at one end of a large clerating warehouse, and while its load is being raised by elevators at the rate of from seven thousand to eight thousand bushels per hour, at the other end the same grain may be running into vessels, and be on its way to Buffalo, Montreal, or Liverpool, within six hours' time. The Illinois Central Railroad grain warehouse can discharge twelve cars loaded with grain, and at the same time load two vessels with it, at the rate of twenty-four thousand bushels per hour. It can receive grain from twenty-four cars at onco, at the rate of eight thousand bushels per hour. And numerous other immense grain houses can do the same thing. Grain can, therefore, be handled with wonderful despatch as well as with cheap
The warehouse alluded to that of the Illinois Central Railroad is capablo of storing seven hundred thousand bushols of grain. It can receive and ship sixty-five thousand bushels in a single day, or it can ship alone two hundred and twenty-five thousand bushels a day! But this is only one of the magnificent grain warehouses, and there are many others, some of which are of nearly equal capacity, and in the aggregate they are capable of storing three million three hundred and ninety-five thousand bushels. They can receive and ship four hundred and thirty thousand bushels in ten hours, or they can ship alone one million three hundred and forty thousand bushels in ton hours, and follow it up the year round. In busy seasons these figures are often doubled by running pights.
The amount of capital in grain warehouses alone.oxceeds three millions of dollars, to say nothing of a large amount of capital invested in other incidental means of conducting this great business.
The shipment of all kinds of grain, and flour as grain, in 1854 amounted to 12,902,320 bushels ; in 1855, to 16,633,813 bushels ; in 1856, to 21,583,291 bushels ; and in 1857, to 18,032,678 bushels. In 1860 the shipments are estimated to amount to from thirty to forty million bushels.
KILLING HOGS IN CINCINNATI. The hogs being confined in adjoining pens, ara driven, about twenty at a time, up an. inclined bridge, opening into a square room at the top just large enough to hold them. As soon as the door is closed, a man enters from an inside door, and with a hammer weighing about two pounds, fixed to a long handle, knocks each hog down by a single blow between the eyes. In the mean time, a second adjoining apartment is being filled with as many more. A couple of men seize the stunned hogs, and drag them through the inside door to the bleeding-platform. Here each gets a cut in the throat with a sharp-pointed knife, and the blood falls through the lattice floor. After bleeding a minute or two, they are slid off this platform into the scalding-vat, about twenty feet long, six feet wide, and three feet deep, kept full of water heated by steam, the temperature being easily regulated. As the hogs are slid into one end of this vat, they are pushed along slowly by men standing on each side with short poles, turning them over so as to get a uniform scalding, and moving them onward so that each will reach the other end of the vat in about two minutes from the time it entered. Ten hogs are usually passing through this scalding process at the same time, being constantly received in at one end, and taken out at the other, where there is a contrivance for lifting them out of the water two at a time, by one man operating a lever which raises them to the scraping-table, five feet wide and twenty-five feet iong, with eight or nine men on each side, and usually as many hogs on it at the same time, each pair of men performing a separate part of the work of removing the bristles and hair. The first two take off only those bristles which are worth saving for the brush-makers, taking only a double handful from the back of each hog, which are deposited in a box or barrel close at hand. The hog slides on to the next two, who with scrapers remove the hair from one side, then turn it over to the next two, who scrape the other side ; the next scrape the head and legs ; the next shave one side with sharp knives ; the next shave the other ; the next do the same to the head and legs. Each pair of men have to do their part of the work in twelve seconds, or at the rate of five hays a minute, for three or four hours at a time! When the hog arrives at the end of this table, all shaved smooth, another pair of men put in a gambril stick and swing the hog off on the wheel, which is about ten feet in diameter, revolving on a perpendicular shaft extending from the floor to the ceiling, the height of the wheel being about six feet from the floor. Around its outer edge are placed eight large hooks, about four feet apart, on which the hogs are hung to be dressed.
As soon as the hog is swung from the table to one of these hooks, the wheel turns one-eighth of its circuit, and brings the next hook to the table, and carries the hog a distance of four feet, where a couple of men dash it with clean cold water and scrape it down with knives, to remove any loose hair or dirt that it may have brought along off the table. Then it moves again, and carries the hog four feet further, where another man cuts it open in a single second, and removes the larger intestinos, or such as have no fat on them worth saving, and throws them out at an open doorway at his side ; another move of four feet carries it to another man,
who lifts out the rest of the intestines, the heart, liver, etc., and throws them upon a table behind him, where four or five men are engaged in separating the fat and other valuable parts ; another move, and a man dashes a bucket of clean water inside, and washes off all the filth and blood. This completes the cleaning, and each man has to do his part of the work in just twelve seconds, as there are only five hogs banging on the wheel at the same time, and this number are removed and as many more added every minute. The number of men inside, not including the drivers outside, is fifty, so that each man in effect kills and dresses a hog every ten minutes of working time, or forty in a day. At the last move
of the wheel, the hog is borne off, and hang up to cool. The next day it
ΤΙΙΕ ΡΟΤΑΤΟ. . ABOUT twenty years ago this valuable root began to be attacked by a disease well known to be fatal in all parts of the world whore it was cultivated to any extent.
Since that time it has been regarded as a precarious crop. Though no less important than ever before, it costs more to cultivate it, while the yield is almost invariably less.
Experience has shown that strong ammoniacal manures, like the green manures of the stable, wbich are liable to ferment in the process of decay, have a tendency to increase the rot; and they should be avoided altogether, rather than put in the hill at the time of planting. If used at all, let them be spread and ploughed in, the fall previous to planting.
But it is better to avoid the use of these manures, and to plant on new land so far as practicable, and for manure use ashes, plaster of Paris, pond mud, ditch scrapings, with a mixture of salt, at the rate of one bundred pounds to a cubic yard of the compost. Mix, and let the heap lie two or three months.
A capital compost for potatoes oonsists of fisty-six pounds of sulphate of soda, fifty-six pounds of sulphate of magnesia, and fifty-six pounds of salt, per acre, sown broadcast on the surface soon after planting. Saline manures increase the quality and the quantity of the crop, and prevent the rot. If farm-yard manures are used in the hill, or spread and ploughed in, a top-dressing of saline manures, like nitrate of soda, Peruvian guano, sulphate of ammopia, or common salt, is most beneficial. Try it, and see if it does not pay.
AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION. We are happy in the prospect of having some instruction in agriculture introduced into our common schools. The higher classes are often put into studies in which they have no special interest, which are in no way connected with their own experience or observation, or, so far as they know, with their future occupations, and which, of course, excite no thought or reasoning in their own minds. Is it not more important that a child should be made acquainted with the atmosphere he breathes, with the water he drinks, with the plants and the animals he depends upon, and wbich depend upon him, with the soil he treads upon, and with the powers he is to use through his life, than to be solving problems in quadratic equations, or some other abstruse study, for which he may never have a practical use?
The want of a suitable text-book, we are happy to announce, has been supplied in a Manual of Agriculture, issued under the sanction of the Massachusetts State Board of Agriculture. It ought to be adopted at once, and used in the schools of New England.
THE STATE CABINET. MASSACHUSETTS has made a capital beginning in the collection of a cabinet illustrating all branches of the natural history of the State. This! collection, begun by the Secretary of the State Board of Agriculture, al. ready contains many thousand specimens. Why should there not be such a collection in every town, consisting not of curiosities merely, but of the minerals, the plants, the birds, the insects, etc., all properly labelled and arranged, so that the young student of natural history may have every facility for prosecuting this fascinating pursuit? A beginning once made, such collections would grow up with astonishing rapidity in many towns, especially if the pupils in the several school districts were enlisted in the work. The study of the natural sciences, now fairl.y initiated, is going to form a much more prominent feature of our popular education than it has hitherto formed, and those towns that lead off in the enterprise will get the inside track.
CULTURE OF FRUIT.
(Continued from p. 42 of last year.] In our last number we gave some suggestions on the culture of fruit, promising to take up the matter of pruning at a future time. Most farm. ers have some particular time which they consider best for pruning fruittrees, some giving one season the preference, and others another. Now, the best time is probably in the winter, before the sap begins to rise, or in inid-summer, after tho sap has becoine thick and will not flow rapidly. But any month, except March and April, will do. Never prune fruit or ornamental trees in those months. Have an eye to the beauty and shape of the tree. It is just as easy, in most cases, to have a graceful top as an ugly one.
It is always best to begin early, and watch the development of the young trees,
Trim a young tree, and the activity of the sap soon heals the wound; but it is not so with an old one. The premature decay and unproductiveness of many an old orchard in New England are owing to injudicious pruning. The wound made in cutting off any limb larger than a man's thumb, should be covered with wax, clay, or other substance, to protect it from the weather.
As to the preservation of fruits, little further need be said than that they should be kept in a cool, dry place. In regard to early fruit, few farmers appear to have correct ideas as to the time of gathering and keeping. Both apples and pears should be carefully taken from the tree before the ripening process begins. A suminer pear fully ripened on the tree is inferior. A Bartlett pear taken before it is ripe, and placed in a cool, dry place, of uniform temperature and still atmosphere, till it is ripened, is infinitely superior to one left on the tree to become dead ripe and to fall off. It will have more character and a higher flavor. The natural process of ripening on the tree acts on the fruit for the benefit of the seed, and woody fibre and farina are formed. But, taken from the tree just before beginning to ripen, and put away in a still atın osphere, and sugar and juice are elaborated instead of woody fibre and ineal. Take pears that are apt to become mealy and rot at the core, and put them away as described, and they are juicy aud dolicious, and almost melt in the mouth.
THE SMALLER Fruits. — Tew are aware how easy it is to bave a constant supply of healthful and delicious fruits through the summer months. Whether regarded in the light of profit or economy, the small fruits, like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and currants, are worthy of much greater attention. They take but little time after they are once properly set, and the expense of raising them, on a limited scale, is but trifiing. The raspberry succeeds well in the shade, and may be cultivated under other trees without difficulty, and along the sides of walls and fences. A partial shade, and a deep, rich soil, are desirable for the blackberry, also.
The cranberry has become an exceedingly profitable crop in some localities. I have visited and examined more than a hundred acres of cultivated cranberries in Massachusetts, and am satisfied that there are thousands of acres in New England that could not be more profitably employed than in the culture of this crop. The power of flowing cran- :
berry, plantations through the winter is desirable, but not indispensable. it is more important that they should be protected from the late frosts of May, when they are in blossom, or the early ones of August or September, when the fruit is still green; and the power to flow rapidly, when a severe frost is anticipated, is of great advantage. They want moisture, and with that they will grow in pure sand. Any mapuring would produce a too rapid and tender growth of vine ; though at the outset, when the growth of vine is all that is expected, a little may do good.
Cranberries may be grown from seed, from cuttings or slips, or by transplanting. The latter is the most common method, and fruit is ob