THE PRAIRIE FARMER
A Weekly Journal for
THE FARM, ORCHARD, AND FIRESIDE.
ESTABLISHED IN 1841. ENTIRE SERIES: VOL. 56—NO. 3.
CHICAGO, SATURDAY, JANUARY 19, 1884.
PRICE, $2.00 PER YEAR, IN ADVANCE.
[Transcriber's Note: The Table of Contents was originally located on page 40 of the periodical. It has been moved here for ease of use.]
THE CONTENTS OF THIS NUMBER.
AGRICULTURE—The Corn Root Worm, Page 33; Biographical Sketch of Patrick Barry, 33; Compiled Correspondence, 33; Illinois Tile-Makers Convention Report, 34; Farmers Advice, 35; Cisterns on the farm, 35; Field and Furrow Items, 35.
LIVE STOCK—Iowa Wool-Men, Page 36; Polled Cattle-Breeders, 36; Merino Sheep-Breeders, 36; Cattle Diseases, 36; The Horse and His Treatment 36-37; Cost of Pork on 1883 Corn, 37.
VETERINARY—Grease, So-Called, Page 37; Foul in the Foot, 37; Founder, 37; Question Answered, 37.
THE DAIRY—Curing Cheese, Page 37; Items, 37.
HORTICULTURE—Southern Ills. Hort. Society, Page 38; Notes on Current Topics, 38; Pear Blight, 38; Treatment of Tree Wound, 38; The Tomato Pack of 1883, 38; Sweating Apples, 39; Prunings Items, 39.
FLORICULTURE—Smilax and its Uses, Page 39.
EDITORIAL—Will You? Page 40; Items, 40; The Wealth of the Nation, 40; Contagious Animal Disease, 40, 41; Iowa State Fair, 41; Still Another Fat Stock Show, 41; Questions Answered, 41; Letter from Champaign, 41; Wayside Notes, 41.
POULTRY NOTES—Chicken Chat, Page 42; Business Still Running, 42.
THE APIARY—The Best Hive, Page 42.
SCIENTIFIC—Some Gossip About Darwin, Page 43.
HOUSEHOLD—"Going up Head" (poetry), Page 44; Too Fat to Marry, 44; Ornaments for Homes, 44.
YOUNG FOLKS—Chat About a Bear, Page 45; A Fairy Story, by Little Johnnie, 45.
LITERATURE—For Those Who Fail (poetry), Page 46; A Singular Philosopher, 46.
HUMOROUS—The Donkey's Dream, Page 47; Tom Typo 47; Courtship of a Vassar Girl, 47; Items, 47.
NEWS OF THE WEEK—Page 48.
THE CORN-ROOT WORM.
EDITOR PRAIRIE FARMER—I write you in regard to the corn question. I would like to know if angle-worms damage corn.
Eight years ago I came to the conclusion that I could raise double the number of bushels of corn that I was then raising. I then commenced experimenting on a small scale. I succeeded very well for the first three or four years. I got so that I could raise over ninety bushels per acre. In one year I got a few pounds over 100 bushels per acre. Three years ago my crop began to fail, and has continued to fail up to the present year, with the same treatment. Last year it was so bad that I concluded to examine the roots of the corn plants. I found both angle-worms and grubs in the roots. This year I went into a thorough examination and found nothing there but angle-worms, with a wonderful increase. They were right at the end of the stalk where the roots were thick, but the worms thicker.
The corn at first seems to do very well, but long before the grain gets ripe the leaves begin to get dry and the stalks commence falling. The consequence is that over one-half the corn is loose on the cob and the ears very short. I am entirely headed in the corn line. Is it the angle-worms? If so, what is the remedy? I plant my corn every year on the same ground. I allow no weeds to grow in my cornfield. Farmers can not afford to raise weeds. I remove all weeds and put corn in their places.
I have plowed my land for the next year's crop of corn and put on twenty loads of manure to the acre and plowed it under. I have no faith in planting the ground next year unless I can destroy the worms that I call angle-worms. I have consulted several of my brother farmers, and they say that the angle-worms never destroy a crop of corn.
I thought last year that my seed corn was poor and run out, so I went to Chicago and got Sibley's "Pride of the North," but that was no better.
If you will kindly inform me how to remedy this looseness of the kernel I will agree to show you how 100 bushels of corn can be raised on one acre every good corn year.
HORACE HOPKINS. DESPLAINES, ILL., Jan. 2.
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We sent this communication to Professor Forbes, State Entomologist and received the following reply:
EDITOR PRAIRIE FARMER—There can be hardly a shadow of a doubt that the injury which your correspondent so graphically describes is due to the corn root-worm (Diabrotica longicornis), a full account of which will be found in my report for 1882, published last November.
The clue to his whole difficulty lies in the sentence, "I plant my corn every year on the same ground." As the beetles from which the root-worms descend lay their eggs in corn fields in autumn, and as these eggs do not hatch until after corn planting in the following spring, a simple change of crops for a single year, inevitably starves the entire generation to death in the ground.
I inclose a slip, giving a brief account of this most grievous pest; but the article in my last report already referred to will be found more satisfactory.
S. A. FORBES. NORMAL, ILL., January 3.
P.S.—You will probably remember that I published a paper on this insect in THE PRAIRIE FARMER for December 30, 1882.
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The following is the description referred to:
From the "Crop Report" for 1882.
"The corn-root worm, in the form in which it affects the roots of corn, is a slender white grub, not thicker than a pin, from one fourth to three-eighths of an inch in length, with a small brown head, and six very short legs. It commences its attack in May or June, usually at some distance from the stalk, towards which it eats its way beneath the epidermis, killing the root as fast as it proceeds. Late in July or early in August it transforms in the ground near the base of the hill, changing into a white pupa, about fifteen-hundredths of an inch long and two-thirds that width, looking somewhat like an adult beetle, but with the wings and wing-covers rudimentary, and with the legs closely drawn up against the body. A few days later it emerges as a perfect insect, about one-fifth of an inch in length, varying in color from pale greenish-brown to bright grass-green, and usually without spots or markings of any kind. The beetle climbs up the stalk, living on fallen pollen and upon the silk at the tip of the ear until the latter dies, when a few of the beetles creep down between the husks, and feed upon the corn itself, while others resort for food to the pollen of such weeds in the field as are at that time in blossom. In September and October the eggs are laid in the ground upon or about the roots of the corn, and most of the beetles soon after disappear from the field. They may ordinarily be found upon the late blooming plants, feeding as usual upon the pollen of the flowers, and also to some extent upon molds and other fungi, and upon decaying vegetation. There can be no further doubt that the insect is single-brooded, that it hibernates in the egg as a rule, and that this does not hatch until after the ground has been plowed and planted to corn in the spring probably in May or June.
"Although the adult beetles, when numerous, do some harm by eating the silk before the kernels are fertilized by the pollen, and also destroy occasionally a few kernels in the tip of the ear, yet the principal injury is done by the larva in its attack upon the roots. The extent of this injury depends not only upon the number of the worms, but also upon the soil and weather and the general condition of the crop, being worst on high land and in dry weather. Under specially unfavorable circumstances the loss due to the insect may amount to from one-fourth to one-half or even three-fourths of the crop; but when the conditions are generally favorable, it rarely amounts to more than ten or twenty per cent, and frequently even to less. Although the roots penetrated by the larvae die and decay, thrifty corn will throw out new ones to replace those lost. The hold of the stalk upon the ground is often so weakened that a slight wind is sufficient to prostrate the corn. Under these circumstances it will often throw out new roots from the joints above the ground, thus rallying to a certain extent against serious injury.
"As the result of numerous observations and comparisons, it is clearly to be seen that little or no mischief is done except in fields that have been in corn during the year or two preceding, and a frequent change of crops is therefore a complete preventive. Beyond this, the life history of the insect gives us little hope of fighting it effectually except at too great expense, as the eggs and worms are scattered and hidden in the ground, and the perfect beetle is widely dispersed throughout the field."
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California has about eighty thousand tons of wheat to ship to Europe. Besides this a large amount is already stowed in ships.
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Our portrait this week is of Patrick Barry, Esq., the noted nurseryman and horticulturist of Rochester, N. Y. Mr. Barry was born near Belfast, Ireland, in 1816. His father was a small farmer, but he gave the boy a good education, and at eighteen he was appointed to teach in one of the national schools. At the age of twenty he resigned this position, and came to America, where he began clerking in the Linnaean nurseries, at Flushing, L. I. During his stay of four years here he mastered the principles of the nursery business. In 1840 he moved to Rochester, and forming a partnership with Mr. Ellwanger, started the famous Mount Hope Nurseries. They began on a tract of but seven acres. In 1852 he issued the "Fruit Garden," which is to this day a standard work among horticulturists. Previous to this he had written largely for the agricultural and horticultural press. In 1852 he also began editing the Horticulturist, then owned by Mr. James Vick. Mr. Barry's second great work, and the one involving most time and labor was the Catalogue of the American Pomological Society.
Mr. Barry has long been President of the Western New York Horticultural Society. He is also a member of the Board of Control of the New York Experiment Station. He has served several terms in the city council of Rochester and in the Board of Supervisors of the country. Mr. Barry is an active business man and besides his great labor in conducting the nursery affairs, he discharges the duties of President of many corporate enterprises in which he has large financial interests. Mr. Barry was happily married in 1847, and the amiable sharer of his hardships and his successes is still living.
HANCOCK CO., Dec. 31.—Weather very disagreeable; snow six inches deep, and from rain and sleet and thaw and freeze, has formed a hard crust, so as to make bad traveling—in the roads icy and slippery. To-day cloudy, damp and cool. A few days ago the mercury reached 8 degrees below zero, the lowest of the season. It is very hard on stock, and many of the cattle are without shelter, as usual. Accept New Year greetings for all THE PRAIRIE FARMER family. L. T.
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MILLS CO., MO., Jan. 8.—Since the first of January we have had hard winter weather. An old weather prophet says we are to have just such weather for forty days. I sincerely hope not. On Friday night, January 4th and 5th, all the thermometers commonly used by farmers went clear down out of sight. As they only mark about 30 degrees below zero it was uncertain how cold it really was. Unsheltered stock suffered terribly. A few farmers were caught without wood, and suffered from the storm in securing a supply. We have had five days of snow so that there is a heavy coat all over. A. J. L.
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ST. LOUIS, MO., January 13.—Advices from Mobile say the late cold snap caused immense damage in that section. The loss to the orange groves is estimated at nearly a $1,000,000, and the value of vegetables killed in Mobile county alone will reach the same sum. Great damage was also done to orange groves in Florida, but many orange growers profited by the Signal Service warning and built fires in their groves, and thus saved their trees. News from the Michigan peach belt is that the fruits are uninjured.
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Strawberries are sold in New York city at fifteen cents each.
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Farmers, Write for Your Paper.
The Illinois State Tile-Makers' Convention at Springfield, last week, was more largely attended than in any previous year since the association was formed. Nearly one hundred joined the association.
The convention was welcomed to the city by Governor Hamilton in an appropriate address in which he expressed his deep sympathy with and interest in all the manufacturing enterprises that are giving employment to the people and adding wealth to the State. He announced himself as in favor of protection and encouragement to the manufacturing interests. He thought the tile men were greatly adding to the wealth and productiveness of Illinois, and that they were also indirectly improving the health of the people.
The President's address was brief but full of information and good sense. He pointed out at length the improvements in tile kilns, and in various appliances, which have been made in recent years, and declared that valuable as these all are, they can not make up for the lack of skill and experience. He believed the increased interest in terra cotta, and in useful ornamental and out tiling points to the great source of supply as the timber of the country decreases in quantity. The drain-tile manufacture was simply the beginning of an era of skillful clay working, which would not only add greatly to the fertility of the soil, but to the means of the beauty and endurance in numerous forms of building. Of the statistics of the business, he said the latest information is that there are in the State 600 factories, built at an average cost of $3,000 each, employing about 5,400 men seven months each year, who receive about $250,000 and their board. The total annual capacity of these factories he estimates at 56,100 miles annually. He estimates the amount invested in the industry, including the value of tile already laid, at $5,000,000, and the increased value of land drained at $10,000,000.
The Secretary's report gave the general condition of the society. In 1879 it was composed of forty-five members; in 1880, of thirty-five; in 1881, of twenty-eight; in 1882, fifty-three; in 1883, of eighty-three, and in 1884, of eighty-six. The first meetings of the association were necessarily crude, the programme having been prepared after the association met. Now, however, they were in working harness, and met with a regularly prepared programme. The proceedings of the meetings and a summary of the papers read and discussed, are now published in the report of the State Board of Agriculture.
The treasurer, John McCabe, Esq., of Rushville, made his report of which the following is the summary:
Amount on hand at last report $29 35 Received from members last year 82 00 ———- $111 35 Paid out last year 87 50 ———- Balance in the treasury $ 23 85
These reports were followed by an essay by Mr. C. G. Elliott, which is of so much merit that we give it in full deferring a further report of proceedings until next week.
MISTAKES IN DRAINAGE.
To speak of our successes rather than our mistakes, is far more agreeable to ourselves and also to others. We all take pride in giving our experience in any work when we have been successful, but our errors and mistakes we often carefully hide from public gaze. The transactions of our industrial conventions are largely made up of the successful parts of the experiences of members. Our tile manufacturers fail to speak of their losses in correcting mistakes the number of kilns they have rebuilt, the number of tile they weekly commit to the waste pile, the percentage of good and poor tile in each kiln, and many other things that your humble servant will probably never suspect until he attempts to manufacture tile.
A similar statement may be made with reference to drainage mistakes. How many dry weather drains do we hear mentioned in our conventions, or see described in our newspapers. By such drains, I mean those which in favorable seasons so operate as to permit the land to produce a heavy crop—one worth publishing—while in wet years, merely a total loss results. Cases of such drainage can be numbered by the score. How many miles of drain tile have been taken up and relaid during the past year because of some mistake in plan, size of tile, or execution of the work? Much might be said of drainage mistakes in a general way, but it is proposed in this paper to treat the subject in a specific and practical manner. It may be encouraging to remember that it is only by comparing success with mistakes that we make progress in any valuable science or art. Great skill and success rest upon a foundation of corrected mistakes.
MISTAKE NO. 1—LACK OF INFORMATION ON DRAINAGE.
We might more properly call this the cause of many mistakes. "Knowledge is power," says the old adage, and we might add that knowledge in drainage is success. This knowledge may be obtained in three ways: First, from reliable books; second, by inquiring of others who have had experience; third, by our own experience. The first is of prime importance to the beginner, for in books are found statements of the general principles and philosophy of drainage, together with the best methods and practice known. The second is often unreliable, for the reason that the error of one is often copied by another and becomes wide spread before it is detected. The third, though valuable is costly, and discouraging to the learner. Gleanings from all of these sources will, perhaps, give the most complete satisfaction.
Tile drainage began to be practiced in my own neighborhood about seven years ago. Those who were about to begin knew nothing about drainage, except from hearsay knowledge that had crept into the community. Not a single book upon the subject was consulted or even inquired for. Even now they are as rare in farmers libraries as the classic poets. Farmer A. wished to drain and consulted farmer B., who had put in some tile the year before. Did he think it paid? Yes. What kind of tile did he use and how was the work done? So A. planned and did his work in accordance with information obtained from B. Neighbor C. followed A., and so the work spread. It is now found that mistakes were made in the beginning which were handed from one to the other, until now, no alternative remains but to remove the whole work, and no little trouble and expense. This case is but one out of many which might be stated illustrating the lack of information at the beginning of drainage work. My observation upon this point has been that those have availed themselves of information given in books and papers upon drainage matters made fewer mistakes and did better work than those who relied upon the general wave of progress to push them along in the footsteps of their nearest neighbor. The theory, as well as the art, of drainage should be studied, and all knowledge adapted to the peculiarities of each case.
MISTAKE NO. 2—NOT PLANNING FOR FUTURE DRAINAGE.
A mistake often made by the novice is, that at first, drains are located without reference to the future drainage of other parts of the farm. Drains are put in as experiments, very much as we would plant a new variety of fruit or grain, expecting that probably the chances are against their success. Subsequently, when plans for more extended drainage are made, the drains already in operation were found to poorly serve the desired purpose.
In order to guard against this mistake, have faith in drainage. Put it down on the whitest page of your memorandum, and with your best pen and ink, that drainage will pay, and the fewer mistakes made about it the better it will pay. Put it down that the time will come when you will drain all of your wet land, and make your plans accordingly. Many times have I heard this objection to locating a drain so as to benefit a certain field, "O no; I'll never drain that field. It's all right as it is. If I can only get this wet over here dry I shall be satisfied." In two years this same farmer was planning how he could drain the rejected field, and regretting that he had not made provision for it from the beginning. I have in mind several miles of tile that will be taken up during the coming season and relaid with reference to the drainage of all land having a natural slope in that direction.
MISTAKE NO. 3—NOT BEGINNING AT THE RIGHT PLACE.
Many of the drains first put in are at the head of the water shed instead of at the lower part or outlet. They discharge improperly and fail to fit into a more thorough system, where plans for better drainage are laid out.
To avoid this error, begin at the outlet and work with reference to ultimately draining the whole section naturally sloping toward this outlet. If a surface ditch is necessary, make it. If tile can be used, lay them, even if only a fraction of the entire work is done each year. Drain laterally toward the main as it is carried upward. The outlay at first, rod for rod, will be greater, but the final cost will be less, and yearly profits greater.
I have in mind several cases of unsatisfactory drainage growing out of a desire to avoid difficulty and expense in making a sufficient outlet. Among them may be named the following: Putting a drain across one side of a pond because sufficient depth can not be had to admit of its being run through the center. Placing drains each side of a slough, parallel to its center line, leaving the center undrained. Draining cultivated fields and allowing the water to discharge upon land occupying a lower level. All of these are make-shifts for the purpose of avoiding the expense of a good outlet.
There is in this connection a difficulty which can not be overlooked, one which is beyond the control of the individual farmer, and that is, when the drainage section is owned by two or more parties. The adjustment of such cases has occupied the attention of our legislators, and some progress has been made in framing laws to meet the case, yet many difficulties remain unprovided for. If all parties agree to accept such awards and assessments as a commission may make, then the matter of drainage outlets can be satisfactorily adjusted, but if any party is disposed to resist, the desired drainage can be practically defeated. I may, at present, be justified in saying that where only a few neighbors are concerned, it is a mistake to attempt to use the law at all. Arrange the matter by mutual agreement or by leaving it to disinterested men to decide.
MISTAKE NO. 4—TOO SMALL TILE.
No mistake has become apparent sooner than this. The following observations will account for this, and also aid in correcting it. The whole area of land which naturally discharges toward the drain is not always taken into account. It is generally thought that land lying at some distance from the drain, though sloping toward it, does not affect the capacity required for the drain, whereas in times of heavy rains, when drains are taxed to their utmost, water flows from those more distant parts over the surface to the ground acted upon by the tile drain. We must then provide for the drainage not only of land contiguous to the drains but for an additional amount of water coming from adjoining slopes.
Another popular error is that the diameter of the tile is the measure of its capacity, whereas the grade upon which it is laid is as important as the size of the tile. The extreme porosity of many of our soils, and the lack of thorough lateral drainage is another thing by reason of which main drains become over-taxed, simply because drainage water is not held in check by close soils, or distributed by lateral drains, but is brought in large quantities over the surface to the drain line, and must be taken away in a short time or injury is done to the land. In making mains or sub-mains it is better to err in making them too large than too small.
MISTAKE NO. 5—NOT LATERAL ENOUGH.
We expect too much from a single line of tile. We often see a line of tile put through a fifteen or twenty acre field with the expectation that the field will be drained, and thanks to our tractable soil, and the magic influence of tile, a great work is done for the field. It is, however, the dry weather drains previously alluded to. Put in the lateral drains so that the whole flat will come under the direct influence of tile, and you will have a garden spot instead of a field periodically flooded. Your sleep will not then be disturbed by fears that the morning will reveal your tiled field covered with water, and your corn crop on the verge of ruin. We often see a single line laid through a pond containing from one half to three acres. Ponds with such drainage always get flooded. Put in an abundance of laterals and the difficulty is overcome.
I am glad to say that the tendency now among farmers who have practiced random drainage is toward more thorough work in this direction. The loss of an occasional crop soon demonstrates in favor of more thorough work.
MISTAKE NO. 6—INATTENTION TO DETAILS.
Farmers have been too much under the rule of professional ditchers. Having no well defined ideas of good drainage work, they have left the matter largely to the judgment, or rather the cupidity of the ditcher and the layer. There are many first-class, conscientious workmen, but it is to be regretted that the average ditcher does work far below the standard of excellence. If by some magic means the conditions of many of the drains in our State could be spread out before us in open view, it would be a wonder to this convention that tile drainage has wrought out such favorable results as it has. We would see tile laid on the siphon plan, good and poor joints, faulty connections, ditches crooked enough to baffle the sagacious mole should he attempt to follow the line. Patience would scarcely hold out to enumerate the exasperating defects of much of our drainage work. Nothing can overcome the egotism and self-confidence of the average ditcher except the constant supervision of the employer. Such work is so soon covered, and errors placed beyond immediate detection that nothing else will suffice. To guard against such mistakes, know what work you want and how you want it done, and then look after it yourself or employ some one in whom you have confidence to superintend it. When any mistake is guarded against, from beginning to end, the work will not be too well done. The cut-and-cover, hurry-scurry methods of doing things, common on some Western farms, will not do in drainage work. Carefulness in regard to every detail is the only safe rule to adopt.
MISTAKE NO. 7—FAILURE TO MAKE OPEN DITCHES FOR WATER COURSES.
The farmers of Illinois have, in many sections, been avoiding the main question in the drainage of our rich prairies, and that is the improvement of the natural water courses so that they will carry off the drainage water of sections for which they afford outlets. Every feasible plan and device has been used to circumvent the forces of nature and relieve valuable farm lands from surplus water. In the flat sections of our State nothing will serve this purpose but the deepening of our large sloughs by constructing capacious open ditches. Our land can not be properly drained without them. They must be of ample depth and width, and well made in every respect. No problem connected with the drainage interests of our State should, at present, receive more careful attention than this. Nature, has, in most cases, marked out the line for work, and says, "let man enlarge and complete for his undivided use according to his strength and skill." When such work is done, the demand for tile to supplement the drainage thus made possible will be unprecedented. The drainage of our roads will be facilitated, and the greatest difficulty thus far encountered in the drainage of our flat prairies will be overcome. Much has been attempted in this direction in some portions of the State, but many open ditches are too shallow, too small, and too carelessly made to serve the desired purpose.
In pointing out some of the mistakes made in drainage, I am well aware that there are differences of opinion as to what may be properly considered a mistake. The aim of drainage is to fit the wet land of the entire farm for the successful cultivation of all the field crops at the least expense consistent with thoroughness. Now, if experiments must be tried by tiling here and there, and afterward take the tile up and remold the whole work, there is a loss which, were it not for the large profit resulting from the use of tile, would be disastrous.
Should a Board of Public Works build several bridges of insufficient capacity in order to find out the necessary dimensions and strength of one which will serve their purpose, we should at once regard them incompetent and wasteful. I know of tile which have been taken up at three different times, larger tile being used each time. This farmer discards the use of lateral drains and rests his success upon single lines of large tile. He will probably be disappointed in this and, perhaps, finally hit upon the correct method. Would it not have been the part of wisdom to have obtained some reliable information upon that matter at first from books, from inquiring of others of longer experience, from a competent engineer, or from all of these sources? Anything which needlessly adds to the expense, or detracts from the efficiency of the work, should be regarded as a mistake.
As a summary of what has been said regarding mistakes and how to avoid them, I append here a few
1. Become informed upon the theory and best methods known and used.
2. Do not literally copy the methods of others, but carefully adapt them to your own case.
3. Provide good outlets and large mains.
4. Have faith in good tile and thorough work.
5. Study economy and efficiency in locating drains.
6. In difficult cases, or where you have doubt about the success of your plans, submit the case to a good engineer before expending money or labor.
7. Employ good help by the day, and work it under a competent superintendent, rather than job out the work by the rod.
8. Drain as you would plant fruit trees—for the future as well as the present.
I have been prosy and practical enough and now have used my allotted time and space. It may not be wholly out of place to further tax your time and patience, and ask you to lift your eyes from taking a critical view of defective drains, muddy ditches, and unattractive detail work, and look at the result of careful and thorough labor. As the years come and go with their changing seasons, your drained fields are ever your friends, always cheering you with a bountiful harvest, always answering to every industrious touch you may bestow upon them. "No excellence without labor," says the scholar to the discouraged student. "No excellence without labor," says the soil to the farmer, as he drains and plows and digs, and so we all learn that success in dealing with nature is brought about by thorough and honest work.
Our enthusiasm scarcely knows bounds when we see that by our drainage work the apparently obstinate soil is made to reflect the sunlight from a covering of golden grain; when gardens and orchards bloom and yield fruit where once the willows dipped their drooping branches in the slimy fluid below, and frogs regaled the passer-by with their festive songs. Roses now twine over the rural cottage and send their fragrance into the wholesome air, where once the beaver reared his rude dwelling, and disease lurked in every breath, ready to seize his unsuspecting victim.
Think you that these changes can be wrought without earnest and careful effort? I have but little sympathy with the glittering generalities and highly colored pictures of success in industrial pursuits, held before the public gaze by unpractical but well meaning public teachers. We need the dissemination of ideas of thoroughness and the knowledge necessary to put those ideas into practical use in order that the farmers of Illinois may make the fewest possible mistakes in drainage.
Farmers get plenty of advice. Were we able to work as easy and as well as the advice generally given to us would seem to indicate we could how easy and independent our occupation would become. In no other line of business is advice so freely given, and so much blame attached because the advice is not followed.
The great trouble is that nearly everybody imagines they know how to farm. Although these same people may never have been practical farmers, they yet seem to think that anybody can farm, and, of course, they know as much about it as any one, and can tell at least how it ought to be done.
Theoretical farming is always very fine—more so than any other calling. Very few believe in theory in other branches in business. As a rule, to be successful in other occupations, a long training is necessary; step by step must one go until each detail is learned. And it is only by industry, experience, and hard work that these are fully mastered. Advice is offered sparingly, because it is known that experience is the only true guide. But in farming theories are supposed to take the place of experience, and men who have very little, if any, practical knowledge can tell us how to farm. The fact is there is hardly a business or occupation that practically requires more study and experience than farming. A practical farmer, who makes his farm and farm work a study, learns something every day, and unless he is willing to learn not only by his own experience, but by that of others, he will soon discover that he is falling behind.
Such a man is able to discriminate between the practical experience of one and the theory of the other. If new plans or new methods are presented, he can, in some degree, judge whether they are in any way practical, and if they are, he is willing to give them a trial. He knows that what might prove just the right thing to plant in one section of country, under certain conditions, and in some soils would, under a different climate and soil, result far from satisfactory. The large per cent of this kind of real practical knowledge can only be gained by experience.
Whenever we meet a man who will not learn, we can not help but conclude that he will never make a successful farmer. We want to learn, too, not only by our successes, but by our failures. If we try a new plan and fail, we want to be able to know why we failed—just as much as to know why we succeeded.
One great trouble with us in learning is that we are too apt to keep in mind our successes and forget the failures. This is the great fault of theoretical farming. If by a combination of favorable conditions success is obtained, it is given out as a fact—no exception being given or allowed for the very favorable conditions under which the method was tried. Such things may rightly be compared to the many specifics given to cure the various ills of life. A remedy is tried which, under favorable conditions, effects a cure, and forthwith the cure is given out as a specific. Others, with the same complaint but under different conditions, try the same remedy and fail to receive the least benefit. No mention is made of these failures, and, of course, others are induced to give the remedy a trial. For this reason it is always interesting to hear of failures as well as successes, provided the real cause can be stated.
MILLER CO., MO. N. J. SHEPHERD.
CISTERNS ON THE FARM.
There is hardly any one thing on a well-regulated farm so much needed as a cistern near the kitchen door, so the farmer's wife will have to go but a little distance for water, and no man knows how much is used in a farmer's kitchen, unless he carries it for his wife for six months or a year, and if he has to carry it a hundred yards or so from the spring, he will wonder what in the world his wife does with so much water.
The cistern should be a large one and hold not less than 200 barrels, and well built, that is, walled up with brick and scientifically plastered. All of the pipes from the roof should lead into one hopper, and one pipe leading from the bottom of the hopper (under ground is the best) into the cistern. In the bottom of the hopper should be fitted a piece of woven wire, which can be readily taken out and put in again; the meshes of the wire should not be larger than one-eighth of an inch. This piece of woven wire should never be in its place except when water is running into the cistern, when it will serve as a strainer to keep leaves or trash of any kind from running into the cistern. A waste-water pipe should be attached to the down pipe (all of the down pipes should lead into one) which leads into the hopper, to waste all the water that comes from the roof until the water is perfectly clear and free from leaves or trash of any kind; then the waste-water pipe should be taken off and a pipe of proper length slipped onto the down pipe conducting the water, pure and clean, into the hopper. But before letting the water into the hopper, the piece of woven wire should be put in its place in the bottom of the hopper, and after the rain is over it should be taken out and hung up in a dry place until wanted again, and the waste-water pipe put on. If the piece of woven wire is left in the hopper the meshes will get filled up, and the hopper will fill with leaves and trash of all kinds and run over, and no water get into the cistern—and if it does it will not be pure. By this arrangement only pure water will run into the cistern; but even then it ought to be cleaned out very fall or early in the spring. Farmers will find a cistern in their house lots or inside the barn a great convenience—but the one near the kitchen is of the greatest importance because the men will not carry water if they can help it, and the farmer's wife, if she has any spunk, will insist upon the water being carried for her or raise the roof off the house, and I don't blame her—the hair on the top of my head is very thin—and scarce.
HIKE'S POINT, KY. E. F. C.
FIELD AND FURROW.
Mass. Ploughman: Farm accounts, even when kept in the most simple form, not only afford great satisfaction, but they do much to aid the farmer in his efforts to success. If at the end of the season he is able to strike the balance, and thus learn the cost of his principal crops, he is in a position to correctly judge what crops will promise the most profit another year.
The Farm Economist has this to say in regard to marketing corn. While it is contrary to general opinion, it is nevertheless true, as facts and figures are capable of proving: "Farmers in discussing their declining markets should remember that every bushel of corn sold in the form of whisky cuts off the sale of ten bushels in the form of meat. It might be well to consider this in discussing how the market for farm products can be improved." This same paper further remarks, "Where's the sense in a farmer growling because he is not represented in the government when he won't go to a convention and see that he is represented. Quit your growling and do your duty. One good vote in the primaries or in the convention is worth 1,757,362 growls afterward."
The Wisconsin Tobacco Reporter states that the new phase to the Sumatra question has brought out considerable discussion among dealers in the Edgerton market and that the prevailing impression appears to be that even if the recent decision be upheld, under the jugglery by which Sumatra is run into the country, prices for 1883 Wisconsin leaf will not be materially affected, as it can not entirely supplant its use and there will be a good demand for all our product. The editor adds: The scarecrow argument will doubtless be used by some buyers in bearing the market, but we are inclined to look upon it more as a bugaboo than many others, whatever the effect may be on future crops. We know of no good reason why 1883 Wisconsin should sell for lower prices than have ruled thus far this season and the report from Eastern markets seem to warrant this view.
A. B. Allen, in N. Y. Tribune: My cistern is about five feet in diameter and five feet deep. After cleaning it out in spring, I put about one bushel of sand in the bottom, and then let the rain-water come in. This keeps the water sweet and clear for a whole year. I have tried charcoal and various things for this purpose, but find pure clear sand best of all. It must not have other soil mixed with it, or any vegetable matter. The kind I use is white, and very like such as is found at the sea shore. Of course the roof end of the pipe should have wire gauze fastened over it so that no foul stuff can be carried down, and the eaves-troughs must be kept clean, the roof and chimneys also, and never be painted, or the latter even whitewashed. The sand is an excellent absorber of even the finest of foul stuff, and this is the reason, in addition to its own purity, of its keeping the water so free from generating the smell of ammonia.
Peoria Transcript: During some of the comparatively idle days of winter, the farmer may combine pleasure with profit by hitching up, taking his family, and driving to some one of his successful farm neighbors for a friendly visit. Such an act may be looked upon by the man-of-toil as a poor excuse to get out of doing a day's work, but we venture that he who tries the experiment once will be very apt to repeat it as often as time or opportunity will justify. In our neighborhood, and we presume the same condition of affairs exists in nearly every locality, there are farmers who have lived within a mile or two of each other for years, who hardly know their neighbors from a stranger when they meet upon the public highway or at town meeting, and as for going to the house, nothing short of death in the family or some event of great importance will ever bring them into the friendly relations which should exist between neighboring farmers.
A New Jersey correspondent of the Rural New Yorker writes: My clear water carp pond covers an area of about three-fourths of an acre, and is located about eighty feet below springs in the hillside, which furnish a never-failing supply of pure, clear water. The normal temperature of these springs, where they empty into the pond, varies but little according to season, but maintains an average of fifty degrees, Fah. Several times through the summer I found the water in the pond indicated an average of 80 degrees, Fah. The pond is so constructed that the water is constantly drawn from the bottom, thus keeping the surface at this high temperature. About one-half the pond is covered with mud to the depth of two feet or more—an essential in all carp ponds for hibernating. A limited supply of pure German carp fingerlings to place in the pond was sent me by Prof. S. F. Baird, United States Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, Washington, D. C., and placed therein on April 6th last. No food was given besides that which grew in the pond. I saw them at rare intervals during the summer, and was agreeably surprised, when I drew the pond November 16th last past, to find that they had grown to be sixteen inches in length, and a pair weighed eight pounds.
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THE MONARCH LIGHTNING SAWING MACHINE.
On our 268th page appears the advertisement of the New Improved Monarch Lightning Sawing Machine, manufactured by the Monarch Mfg. Co., 163 Randolph. St., Chicago. The result of long experience in the manufacture of implements for cutting up wood is the superior and valuable machine which is advertised in our paper.
Such of our readers who live in a timbered district, and who need such a machine, should send for their large illustrated free catalogue. This company is the largest and most successful corporation in this city engaged in manufacturing one man power drag saws. The Monarch Lightning Sawing Machine has been sold all over the Western States, and always gives satisfaction. It is a first-class firm, thoroughly reliable, and their machine is of superior excellence.—Farm, Field and Fireside, January, 1884.
See their advertisement on another page of this issue.
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FARM MACHINERY, Etc.
DEDERICK'S HAY PRESSES.
are sent any where on trial to operate against all other presses, the customer keeping the one that suits best.
Order on trial, address for circular and location of Western and Southern Storehouses and Agents.
TAKE NOTICE.—As parties infringing our patents falsely claim premiums and superiority over Dederick's Reversible Perpetual Press. Now, therefore, I offer and guarantee as follows:
FIRST. That baling Hay with One Horse, Dederick's Press will bale to the solidity required to load a grain car, twice as fast as the presses in question, and with greater ease to both horse and man at that.
SECOND. That Dederick's Press operated by One Horse will bale faster and more compact than the presses in question operated by Two Horses, and with greater ease to both man and beast.
THIRD. That there is not a single point or feature of the two presses wherein Dederick's is not the superior and most desirable.
Dederick Press will be sent any where on this guarantee, on trial at Dederick's risk and cost.
P. K. DEDERICK & CO., ALBANY, N. Y.
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GREAT SAVING FOR FARMERS.
THE Lightning Hay Knife!
Awarded "FIRST ORDER OF Merit" at Melbourne Exhibition, 1880.
Was awarded the FIRST PREMIUM at the International Exhibition in Philadelphia, 1876, and accepted by the Judges as SUPERIOR TO ANY OTHER KNIFE IN USE.
It is the BEST KNIFE in the world to cut fine feed from bale, to cut down mow or stack, to cut corn-stalks for feed, to cut peat, or for ditching in marshes, and has no equal for cutting ensilage from the silo. TRY IT.
IT WILL PAY YOU.
Manufactured only by HIRAM HOLT & CO., East Wilton, Me., U.S.A.
For sale by Hardware Merchants and the trade generally
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THE CHICAGO DOUBLE HAY AND STRAW PRESS
Guaranteed to load more Hay or Straw in a box car than any other, and bale at a less cost per ton. Send for circular and price list. Manufactured by the Chicago Hay Press Co., Nos. 3354 to 3358 State St., Chicago. Take cable car to factory. Mention this paper.
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Sawing Made Easy
Monarch Lightning Sawing Machine!
Sent on 30 Days test Trial.
A Great Saving of Labor & Money.
A boy 16 years old can saw logs FAST and EASY. MILES MURRAY, Portage, Mich. writes, "Am much pleased with the MONARCH LIGHTNING SAWING MACHINE. I sawed off a 30-inch log in 2 minutes." For sawing logs into suitable lengths for family stove-wood, and all sorts of log-cutting, it is peerless and unrivaled. Illustrated Catalogue, FREE. AGENTS WANTED. Mention this paper. Address MONARCH MANUFACTURING CO., 163 N. Randolph St., Chicago, Ill.
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CHICAGO SCALE CO.
2 TON WAGON SCALE, $40. 3 TON, $50. 4 Ton $60, Beam Box Included.
240 lb. FARMER'S SCALE, $5.
The "Little Detective," 1/4 oz. to 25 lb. $3.
300 OTHER SIZES. Reduced PRICE LIST FREE.
FORGES, TOOLS, &c.
BEST FORGE MADE FOR LIGHT WORK, $10,
40 lb. Anvil and Kit of Tools. $10.
Farmers save time and money doing odd jobs.
Blowers, Anvils, Vices & Other Articles
AT LOWEST PRICES, WHOLESALE & RETAIL.
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THE PROFIT FARM BOILER
is simple, perfect, and cheap; the BEST FEED COOKER; the only dumping boiler; empties its kettle in a minute. OVER 5,000 IN USE; Cook your corn and potatoes, and save one-half the cost of pork. Send for circular. D. R. SPERRY & CO., Batavia, Illinois.
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CHAMPION BALING PRESSES.
A Ton per Hour. Run by two men and one team. Loads 10 to 15 tons in car.
Send for descriptive circular with prices, to GEHRT & CO., 216, 218 and 220 Maine St., Quincy, Ill.
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REMEMBER that $2.00 pays for THE PRAIRIE FARMER from this date to January 1, 1884; $2.00 pays for it from this date to January 1, 1885. For $2.00 you get it for one year and a copy of THE PRAIRIE FARMER COUNTY MAP OF THE UNITED STATES, FREE! This is the most liberal offer ever made by any first-class weekly agricultural paper in this country.
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LIVE STOCK DEPARTMENT.
Stockmen, Write for Your Paper.
Iowa Wool Men.
The Iowa Wool-Growers' Association met at Des Moines last week. The attendance was light. The general sentiment expressed was that sheep growing was profitable in Iowa, if the dogs could be got rid of. The Legislature will be importuned to abolish the curs. The session the last evening was devoted to the tariff on wool. The petition of the Ohio sheep-growers, presented to Congress, asking a restoration of the tariff law of 1867 on wool, was read and unanimously accepted. Officers for the ensuing year were elected as follows: S. P. McNeil, Gordon Grove, President; J. C. Robinson, Albia, Samuel Russell, West Grove, and A. N. Stewart, Grove Station, Vice-Presidents; A. J. Blakely, Grinnell, Secretary.
Twenty-seven head of Galloway and Angus cattle, belonging to A. B. Matthews, Kansas City, were sold at auction at Des Moines, Iowa, January 9th, at prices ranging from $235 to $610. The sale aggregated $10,425, or $386 per head. In the evening of the same day some twenty-five polled cattle-breeders met and organized a State association. An address was read by Abner Graves, of Dow City, in which the breed was duly extolled. An interesting discussion followed, in the course of which it was stated that the polled breeds have two anatomical peculiarities in common with the American bison, indicating a close relation to, or possible descent from the buffalo family. The officers elected were: President, Abner Graves, of Dow City; Vice-Presidents, Messrs. Bryan, of Montezuma, D. J. Moore, of Dunlop, and Charles Farwell, of Montezuma; Secretary and Treasurer, H. G. Gue, of Des Moines. Liberal subscriptions were made to the articles of incorporation which were formed inside the organization, after the meeting adjourned.
Merino Sheep Breeders.
The sixth annual meeting of the Northern Illinois Merino Sheep Breeders' Association was held at Elgin, January 9th. The meeting was well attended and enthusiastic. George E. Peck presided. The annual report of Secretary Vandercook showed the association to be in a growing condition. The discussion of the day was mainly on the tariff question. A communication from Columbus Delano, President of the National Wool-Growers Association was read, asking for the co-operation of the society in a move upon Congress for the restoration of duties on imported wools as they were established by the act of 1867 met with a hearty reception. Thomas McD. Richards delivered an interesting address on wool-growing and the merino as a mutton sheep. He argued that a prevailing idea to the effect that good mutton could not come from fine-wool sheep was entirely erroneous. Touching on the tariff question he said the past year had been an unprofitable one to mere wool-growers, and that sheep had been unsalable at paying prices. The removal of the duty on wool had paralyzed the industry, and the tariff must be restored. There was an abundance of competition among the wool-growers of our own land without compelling them to compete with the stockmen of South America and Australia. The farmers had not clamored for a removal of the duty on wool. If the tariff was not restored the wool interests of the country would be ruined. Already legislation had lowered the price of wool several cents, and had depreciated the value of sheep at least $1 per head. The tariff was also dilated upon by Col. John S. Wilcox, of Elgin, Daniel Kelley, of Wheaton, and Asa H. Crary. The conclusion arrived at was that energetic and united action for the restoration of the duty was the thing desired. V. P. Richmond read an interesting essay on "Merinos; Their Characteristics and Attributes." The annual election of officers resulted as follows: President, George E. Peck, Geneva; Vice-Presidents, Thomas McD. Richards, Woodstock, and Daniel Kelley, Wheaton; Secretary and Treasurer, W. C. Vandercook, Cherry Valley. It was decided to hold the association's annual public sheep-shearing at Richmond, McHenry county, April 29 and 30, and C. R. Lawson, L. H. Smith, and A. S. Peck were designated a committee to represent the association at the annual sheep-shearing of the Wisconsin association.
The House committee on agriculture last week discussed in a general way the subject of pleuro pneumonia in cattle. Mr. Loring, Commissioner of Agriculture, expressed his views upon the subject in a short speech. Mr. Grinnell, of Iowa, chairman of the committee appointed by the convention of cattle men, in Chicago, to visit Washington to influence Legislation in reference to diseased cattle, was present. It was arranged that a sub-committee, consisting of Congressmen Hatch, Dibrell, Williams, Winans, Wilson, and Ochiltree, should meet the representatives of the cattle interests at the Agricultural Department. Pleuro-pneumonia among cattle will be the first subject considered. The House committee on agriculture will report a bill at an early day.
The assistant Secretary of the Treasury has transmitted to the House the report of the cattle commission, consisting of James Law, E. F. Thayer, and J. H. Sanders, for the past year. The commission recommended that the National Government prevent the shipment northward, out of the area infected with Texas fever, of all cattle whatsoever, excepting from the beginning of November to the beginning of March. Special attention is invited by the Assistant Secretary to the recommendation of the commission that the Secretary of the Treasury be empowered to order the slaughter and safe disposal of all imported herds that may be found infected on their arrival in the United States, or may develop a dangerous or contagious disease during quarantine; and that he be also empowered to have all ruminants (other than cattle) and all swine imported into the United States, subjected to inspection by veterinary surgeons, and if necessary to prevent the spread of contagious diseases, slaughtered or submitted to quarantine until they shall be considered uninfected; and that an appropriation of $1,500,000 be made to defray the expenses of preventing a further spread of the lung plague among cattle in this country, and for stamping out the plague now existing. A supplemental report of the majority of commission, submitted by Law and Thayer, and of a later date than the first report is also submitted. This report deals especially with the inadequacy to the end sought to be accomplished of the inspection of cattle at ports of export, and recommends that such inspection and guarantee be delayed. Their reason for doubting the adequacy of the inspection at ports of exports is that neither lung plague nor Texas fever can be certainly detected by such examination, because those diseases pass through an average stage of incubation for thirty days, during which it is impossible for the most accomplished expert to detect the presence of the germ in the system. The result would be, if such an inspection were the only thing relied upon, that cattle which had been exposed to infection in the stock yards several days before inspection would pass that inspection, but three weeks later, when they arrived at a foreign port, would show marked symptoms of the disease. This result destroys absolutely the efficacy of the certificates of inspection as to guarantees to foreign imported cattle. The report closes with the statement that so long as the infected districts in this country can not be secluded, the landing of infected cattle in England from this country can not be prevented, and so long as American cattle show these diseases on their arrival in England we can hope for no modification of the present restrictions that country places against American cattle.
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At the conference between House sub-committee on agriculture and the Chicago convention committee a general discussion on contagious diseases among cattle was indulged in. The committee of cattle men, in answer to the inquiries of representatives, said diseases existed in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Connecticut, New York, and possibly in other places. In New York a few counties are reported infected.
Mr. Hunt, of New Jersey, said if Congress would appropriate an adequate amount payable to the order of the authorities of the different States and protect New Jersey for six months from the importation of diseased cattle, the State in that time would stamp out pleuro-pneumonia in its territory.
Dr. Law, of the Cattle Commission of the Treasury Department, said the disease was undoubtedly the result of importation. He said that with plenty of money and a Federal law it could be eradicated in twelve months. New York City had at one time stamped it out in three months. He advocated the burning of buildings where the disease occurred.
Judge Carey, of Wyoming, gave the history of the disease, saying it was like Asiatic cholera spreading through Europe and reaching New York forty years ago. It existed on the continent of Europe, in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and this country. He said $100,000,000 was invested in the cattle business of the United States.
Representative Hatch said that Mr. Singleton, of Illinois, had offered $1,000 reward for an animal afflicted with pleuro-pneumonia, but no one had accepted.
Several members of the cattle committee at once offered to show the disease to any one doubting its existence.
Representative Weller gave notice that he would offer a bill appropriating $10,000,000 by the Government for suppressing contagious diseases among cattle, to be distributed among the States and Territories in the ratio of representation in Congress, provided that each State appropriated a sum equal to the amount given by the Government.
The legislation proposed is to make the shipment of cattle known to be diseased a penal offense; to establish a cattle bureau in the Department of Agriculture; increase the power of the Commissioner of Agriculture; provide funds for an elaborate investigation of the diseases of cattle; and provide an appropriation to purchase diseased cattle so they can be destroyed. An appropriation will be asked the first year of $500,000.
THE HORSE AND HIS TREATMENT.
First, as regards food. The horse is naturally a wild animal and therefore, though domesticated, he demands such food as nature would provide for him. But man seems to forget this. Nature's food would be largely of grass. It is true that when domesticated and put to hard work he needs some food of a more concentrated and highly nutritious nature than grass; but while labor may necessitate grain, the health of his system yet demands a liberal allowance of grass. In direct opposition to this many farmers keep their horses off pasture while they are at work, which comprises almost the entire season of green pasture. I have frequently heard farmers say that their horses did best during the spring and summer, if kept in the stable at night. I can only say that I have found the very opposite to be true and I believe I have carefully and faithfully tested the matter. I have found that when the horses were allowed the range of a blue grass pasture at night, they endured work the best because they digested their grain and hay better, and good digestion made good appetites. In fact, I consider pasture the best food and the best medicine a horse can be given. If his coat is rough, if he is stiff and lifeless, if he is losing flesh and strength, turn him on pasture and he will soon grow better.
Some grasses make far better pasture than others. All in all, I consider blue grass the best. It comes earliest in the spring, and while very palatable and easily digested, seems to possess more substance than other grasses. Next I would place timothy. Clover is good medicine for a sick horse, but because of its action on the salivary glands is apt to make work horses "slobber" at certain seasons.
For winter, hay is provided. But how is it provided in a majority of cases? The grass is cut out of season; is cured negligently, very likely is exposed to rain; and then piled up to mold and rot. A few tarpaulins to put over the cocks in case of rain, and barracks or mow to protect and preserve the hay would give the horse good hay, and be one of the very best of investments. It should be remembered that the digestive organs of none other of our farm animals are so easily deranged as those of the horse. Musty, moldy hay is the moving cause of much disease. The man who can not provide a good mow should sell his horses to some farmer who can manage better.
Though blue grass is the best for pasture, timothy is the best for hay. Clover makes better hay than blue grass. Corn fodder has substance, and pound for pound contains about two-thirds as much nutriment as hay. But it is not good forage for the horse. Where hay is procurable corn fodder should never be fed.
I am convinced that the great majority of farmers do nor feed their horses enough forage. I know of farmers who do not feed hay at all when their horses are at work, which is more than half the year. Grain is fed exclusively. Yet they wonder why their horses lose flesh and have rough coats. Feeding a horse all grain is like feeding a man all meat. The food is so oily and difficult of digestion that it soon deranges the digestive organs. The horse should have all the hay he wishes to eat, at all seasons of the year. This brings me to another error in his treatment.
When at work the horse should have at least ninety minutes for each meal. My observation convinces me that a large number of farmers do not give him this much time. Their reason for neglecting to do so is, that it would be a loss of time. But the very opposite of this is the case. Time is gained. The horse has opportunity to eat slowly, which is essential to complete digestion; can eat all he wishes; and has time to rest after eating, giving the organs of digestion a chance to work. Give your horse an hour and a half to eat his noon-day meal, at least, and at the end of the season you will find that by so doing you have gained time. He may not have walked before the plow and harrow so many hours, but he has stepped faster and pulled more energetically.
Another error is the feeding of too much grain. Some farmers have grain in the feeding troughs all the time during the spring and summer. The horse is sated. This manner may do for a hog, whose only business is to lie around, grunt, and put on fat; but for a horse it will not do. A horse should never be given all the grain he will eat. At every meal he should clean out his box, and then be ready to eat hay for at least fifteen minutes.
Another error is in confining the grain feed almost altogether to corn. Corn is a heavy, gross diet. It contains a large proportion of oil, and tends to produce lymph and fat, which are inimical to health, and destructive of vigor and endurance. Oats is a much better food; yet it is very rarely fed in the South, and not half of the farmers of the North feed it. Corn heats the blood, and on this account should not be fed in hot weather. Oats is a lighter, easier diet, does not heat the blood, and makes muscle, rather than fat. All in all, oats is the most economical food, at least for horses at work in hot weather.
One more error which I shall notice in feeding is the giving of too much dry food. The horse does best upon moist food, or that which has a large percentage of water in its composition. Carrots, turnips, beets, pumpkins, etc., may be given in small quantities with decided advantage, especially in the winter. In summer the hay should be sprinkled with water, and the oats soaked. This will not only make the food more palatable and easily digested, but will obviate the necessity of watering after meals. Many object to watering after the horse has eaten, because the fluid carries the grain into the intestines where it can not be digested. But if grain and forage are dampened, the horse will not require watering after a meal. He will rarely drink if water is offered him, and the moisture will aid digestion. This is surely better and more humane than to give a horse dry food and then work him for six or seven hours in the hot sun, afterward, without any drink.
Of the quality of water given to the horse there is not much to condemn. He generally gets better water than the hog, or sheep, because he is very fastidious in this matter and will not drink foul water unless driven to do so by dire necessity. But I believe that three times is not often enough to water a horse at work in hot weather, though this is the common and time honored practice. The stomach of the horse is small—very small in proportion to the size of his body. When he has labored in summer for half a day his thirst is intense, and when he is permitted to slake it he drinks too much, producing really serious disorders. No valid objection can be urged against watering five times per day. The arguments are all in its favor.
The errors in stabling are fully as grievous as any we have noticed. I have lately written of the evils of lack of light and proper ventilation in these columns, and also discussed the problem of currying in various phases, so shall not repeat here what I have heretofore written. One of the other evils of stable management often allowed, is the accumulation of manure. It is not within the scope of this article to notice the evil the neglect to save manure works to the farm and the farmer. But that the accumulation of the manure in the stable is a hurt to the horse, no sensibly reasoning person can doubt. Its fermentation gives off obnoxious gases which pollute and poison the air the horse is compelled to breathe, and thus in turn poison the animal's blood. This is a more fruitful cause of disease than is generally supposed. The gases prove injurious to the eye, and when we consider the accumulation of manure and the exclusion of light, we are not apt to wonder much at the prevalence of blindness among horses. The manure should be cleaned out in the morning, at noon, and again at night. Use sawdust or straw liberally for bedding. It will absorb the urine, and as soon as foul, should be removed to the compost heap with the dung, where it will soon be converted into fine, excellent manure.
Another thing that deserves attention is the stable floor. I unhesitatingly say that a composition of clay and fine gravel is best. Pavement is the worst, and planks are next. The clay and gravel should be put in just moist enough to pack solidly. Stamp till very firm and then allow to dry and harden for a week. The stable floor should be kept perfectly level. Do not make the horse stand in a strained, unnatural position. The stall should be large enough for him to move around—at least six feet wide. Narrow stalls are a nuisance but very common.
JOHN M. STAHL.
COST OF PORK ON 1883 CORN.
About three weeks ago the "Man of the Prairie" wanted to know how many pounds of pork a bushel of corn would make this year. As I wanted to know the same thing I have weighed my hogs every week and also the corn I fed them, and for the benefit of your readers I will give the results:
December 10—15 hogs, weight 4,130 " 17—" " " 4,280 ate 960 lbs Corn. " 24—" " " 4,410 " 864 " " 31—" " " 4,572 " 816 "
This gives a gain, in twenty-one days, of 442 lbs, and they ate in that time 2,640 lbs., or 47-1/7 bu. corn.
The corn was planted about the eighth of May; was the large white variety; is quite loose on the cob, and a good many of the ears are mouldy. A common bushel basket holds of it in ear 35 lbs. The hogs were fed the corn in ear twice a day, and had all the water they wanted to drink. This gives 9-62/165 lbs. pork to the bushel. At the present price of pork ($5.25) it would make the corn worth about 49-1/2 cts. per bushel.
G. W. POWESS. WINNEBAGO CO., ILL.
P.S. The weight of corn given is its weight shelled, as it shells out 55 lbs from 80 lbs. in ear.
G. F. P.
This ailment occurs sometimes in the fore feet, but oftener in the hind feet; and though neither contagious nor epizootic, it not unfrequently appears about one time or within a brief period, on most or all of the horses in a stable. It essentially consists in a stoppage of the normal secretions of the skin, which is beneficially provided for maintaining a soft condition of the skin of the heel, and preventing chapping and excoriation; and it usually develops itself in redness, dryness, and scurfiness of the skin; but in bad or prolonged cases, it is accompanied with deep cracks, an ichorous discharge, more or less lameness, and even great ulceration, and considerable fungus growth; and in the worst cases it spreads athwart all the heel, extends on the fetlock, or ascends the leg, and is accompanied with extensive swelling and a general oozing discharge, of a peculiar strong, disagreeable odor.
Most of the causes of grease are referable to bad management, especially in regard to great and sudden changes in the exterior temperature of the heels. The feet of the horse may be alternately heated by the bedding and cooled by draft from the open stable door; or they may first be made hot and sensitive by the irritating action of the urine and filth on the stable floor, and then violently reacted on by the cold breezes of the open air, or they may be moist and reeking when the horse is led out to work, and then chilled for a long period by the slow evaporation of the moisture from them amid the clods and soil of the field; or they may be warm and even perspiring with the labor of the day, and next plunged into a stream or washed with cold water, and then allowed to dry partly in the open air and partly in the stable; and in many of these ways, or of any others which occasion sudden changes of temperature in the heels, especially when those changes are accompanied or aggravated by the irritating action of filth, grease is exceedingly liable to be induced. Want of exercise, high feeding, and whatever tends to accumulate or to stagnate the normal greasy secretion in the skin of the heels, also operate, in some degree, as causes. By mere good management and by avoiding these known causes, horse owners might prevent the appearance of this disease altogether.
In the early, dry, scurfy stage of grease, the heels may be well cleaned with soft soap and water, and afterwards thoroughly dried, and then treated with a dilution of Goulard's extract—one part to eight parts of water, or one part with six parts of lard oil. In the mildest form of the stage of cracks and ichorous discharge, after cleansing, some drying powder, such as equal quantities of white lead and putty (impure protoxide of zinc), may be applied, or simply the mixture of Goulard's extract with lard oil may be continued. In the virulent form of cracks, accompanied with ulceration, the heels ought to be daily washed clean with warm water, and afterwards bathed with a mild astringent lotion, and every morning and evening thinly poulticed or coated with carbolized ointment; and the whole system ought to be acted on by alteratives, by nightly bran mash, and, if the animal be in full condition, with a dose of purgative medicine. In the worst and most extensively spread cases, poultices of a very cooling kind, particularly poultices of scraped carrots or scraped turnips, ought to be used day and night, both for the sake of their own action, and as preparatives to the action of the astringent application; and the whole course of treatment ought to aim at the abatement of the inflammatory action, previous to the stopping of the discharge. Nothing tends so much to prevent grease and swelling of the legs as frequent hand rubbing and cleansing the heels carefully as soon as a horse comes in from exercise or work. In inveterate cases of grease, where the disease appears to have become habitual, in some degree, a run at grass, when in season, is the only remedy. If a dry paddock is available, where a horse can be sheltered in bad weather, it will be found extremely convenient; as in such circumstances, he may perform his usual labor, and at the same time be kept free from the complaint.
Foul in the Foot.
This name is given to a disease in cattle, which presents a resemblance to foot rot in sheep, but is different from this. It appears to be always occasioned by the neglect and aggravation of wounds and ulcers originating in mechanical injury—particularly in the insinuating of pieces of stone, splinters of wood, etc., between the claws of the hoof, or in the wearing, splitting, or bruising of the horn, and consequent abrasion of the sensible foot; by walking for an undue length of time, or a long distance upon gravelly or flinty roads, or other hard and eroding surfaces. It is sometimes ascribed, indeed, to a wet state of the pasture; but moisture merely predisposes to it, by softening the hoof and diminishing its power of resisting mechanical injury.
The ulcers of foul in the foot usually occur about the coronet and extend under the hoof, causing much inflammatory action, very great pain, and more or less separation of the hoof; but they often originate in uneven pressure upon the sole, and rise upward from a crack between the claws, and are principally or wholly confined to one side or claw of the foot. A fetid purulent discharge proceeds from the ulcers, and a sinus may sometimes be discovered by means of a probe to descend from the coronet beneath the hoof. The affected animal is excessively lame, and may possibly suffer such a degree of pain as to lose all appetite and become sickly and emaciated.
If the disease is of a mild form, or be merely in the initiatory stage, it may be readily cured by cleaning, fomentation, and rest; if it be of a medium character, between mild and violent, it may be cured by cleaning, by carefully paring away loose and detached horn, by destroying any fungus growth, and by applying, with a feather, a little butyr of antimony; and if it be of a very bad form, or has been long neglected, it will require to be probed, lanced, or otherwise dealt with according to the rules of good surgery, and afterwards poulticed twice a day with linseed meal, and frequently, but lightly, touched with butyr of antimony.
This disease consists in inflammation of the laminae and of the vascular parts of the sensible foot. It sometimes attacks only one foot, sometimes two, and sometimes all four; but, in a great majority of cases, it attacks either one or both of the front feet. A chronic form sometimes occurs, and exhibits symptoms somewhat similar to those of contraction of the hoof; but acute inflammation of the laminae is what is generally called founder.
This disease is occasioned by overstraining of the laminae from long standing, by prolonged or excessive driving over hard roads, by congestion from long confinement, by sudden reaction from standing in snow after being heated, or from covering with warm bedding after prolonged exposure to cold, by sudden change of diet from a comparatively cool to a comparatively heating kind of food, and by translation of inflammatory action from some other part of the body, particularly after influenza.
In the early stages of founder, a horse evinces great pain, shows excessive restlessness of foot, and tries to lighten the pressure of his body on the diseased feet. In the more advanced stages he is feverish, breathes hard, has violent throbbing in the arteries of the fetlock, lies down, stretches out his legs, and sometimes gazes wistfully upon the seat of the disease; and in the ulterior stages, if no efficacious remedies have been applied, the diseased feet either naturally recover their healthy condition, or they suppurate, slough, cast part or all of the hoof, and gradually acquire a small, weak, new hoof, or they undergo such mortification and change of tissues as to render the animal permanently useless.
The shoe of a foundered foot must be removed; the hoof should be pared in such a manner that the sole and central portion of the same alone come to sustain the weight of the body. Therefore, the wall of the hoof, or that portion of the hoof which, under normal conditions, is made to bear upon the shoe, should be pared or rasped away, all around, to such an extent that it does not touch the ground when the animal stands upon the foot. A well-bedded shed, or a roomy, well-bedded box-stall, should be provided, with a view of allowing ample room for stretching out, as well as for changing position on a floor which should not be slanting, and which conveniences can not be had in a single stall, or when the animal is kept tied up in a confined space. Fomentations, evaporating lotions, wet cloths, and moist poultices should be applied to the feet. The animal ought to have light and spare diet, and bran mashes. When much fever exists febrifuges and diuretics should be given.
COW DRYING UP UNEVENLY. D. W., AUBURN, ILL.—1. What is the cause of a cow going dry in one teat? She dropped her calf the 25th of May, and it sucked till it was three months old two teats on one side; that was her third calf; her next one will be due the last of April next. For some six weeks past the quantity of milk has been diminishing, till now she does not give more than a gill from one teat, while the opposite one gives more than double that of either of the others. Can any thing be done to remedy the difficulty? 2. If a cow gives more milk on one side than the other, does it indicate the sex of the coming calf?
REPLY.—Most likely the cow will give milk from all four quarters after calving. She should be allowed to gradually dry up now, and toward the time of calving, she should not be fed exclusively on dry food. 2. No.
Dairymen, Write for Your Paper.
The curing of cheese develops not only flavor, but texture and digestibility. As a rule, says an English exchange, no American cheese is well cured, and this is for want of suitable curing houses. Dr. H. Reynolds, of Livermore Falls, Me., remarks upon this subject as follows: "Increased attention needs to be given by cheese-makers to this matter of curing cheese. Cheese factories should be provided with suitable curing rooms, where a uniform temperature of the required degree can be maintained, together with a suitable degree of moisture and sufficient supply of fresh air. The expense required to provide a suitable curing room would be small compared to the increased value of the cheese product thereby secured. Small dairymen and farmers, having only a few cows, labor under some difficulties in the way of providing suitable curing room for their cheese. Yet if they have a clear idea of what a curing room should be, they will generally be able to provide something which will approximate to what is needed. Good curing rooms are absolutely needed in order to enable our cheese-makers to produce a really fine article of cheese. The nicer the quality of cheese produced, the higher the price it will bring, and the more desirable will it become as an article of food. In the curing of cheese certain requisites are indispensable in order to attain the best results. Free exposure to air is one requisite for the development of flavor. Curd sealed up in an air-tight vessel and kept at the proper temperature readily breaks down into a soft, rich, ripe cheese, but it has none of the flavor so much esteemed in good cheese. Exposure to the oxygen of the air develops flavor. The cheese during the process of curding takes in oxygen and gives off carbonic acid gas. This fact was proved by Dr. S. M. Babcock, of Cornell University, who, by analyzing the air passing over cheese while curding, found that the cheese was constantly taking in oxygen and giving off carbonic acid gas. The development of flavor can be hastened by subjecting the cheese to a strong current of air. The flavor is developed by the process of oxidation. If the cheese is kept in too close air during the process of curding, it will be likely to be deficient in flavor."
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An anonymous writer very truly remarks that the dairyman, by the force of circumstances, has to become versed in the breeding and management of stock, especially that of dairy breeds; hence, in the very nature of things, he becomes a thoughtful, studious, observing man, and, what is better, he attains a higher intelligence. The advantages of dairying call out, among other things, enhanced revenues, because butter and cheese have become necessities; it enriches the farm, and is perfectly adapted to foster the breeding and raising of better and more stock. It embodies thrift, progress, and prosperity. Under "new methods" it makes fine butter and choice beef, not by any means less, but even more, and affords better grain. It does not imply farm houses with added burdens, but, on the contrary, relieved of drudgery, and the time thus gained can be spent in cultivating the refining graces, and thus making farmers' homes abodes of culture, refinement, and education, placing the dairy farmer upon a level financially, socially, and intellectually with any other class or profession.
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For Sale or Rent.
Farm of four hundred and eighty acres situated in Marlon County, Illinois, two and a half miles from Tonti Station, and six miles from Odin, on branch of Illinois Central R. R., and O. & M. Road—300 acres under plow, 180 acres timber. The latter has never been culled and is very valuable. Farm is well fenced into seven fields. Has an orchard on it which has yielded over two thousand dollars worth of fruit a year. No poor land on the farm, and is called the best body of land in Marion County. It was appraised by the Northwestern Insurance Co. for a loan at $18,000 and a loan made of six thousand. Buildings are not very good. Will sell for $14,800—$2,800 cash, $6,000 May 31, 1887, and $6,000 Feb. 24, 1892, deferred payments to bear 6 per cent interest, or, to a first-class party, having a few thousand dollars to put into stock, a liberal arrangement will be made to rent it for a term of years. Property belongs to an estate. Address