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Substitutes for Hay.


Substitutes for Hay. The probable scarcity of hay in the forthcoming winter has induced the Agricultural Gazette to publish their correspondents' views upon the best substitutes for it. One gentleman says that The use of gorse is not yet sufficiently understood; otherwise, where practicable, it is the most economical of all fodder. From my experience of it I should say,' So much gorse given, so much hay saved.' This is only true when it is properly prepared, so that there is no waste of the material itself or of muscular power in the animals endeavouring to reduce it to a proper state by pro- longed mastication. I send you a pamphlet by this post, illustrative of the machine I have invented, and of its usefulness. In it I have not mentioned the cost of the furze when prepared, because that must vary according to circumstances. In no case can it exceed '20s. a ton. In my own case I never found it exceed 10s., although I had to get the gorse out by hand off hedge-rows. Others have had it done much cheaper, especially when it is mowed in what are termed furze meadows. The workers must be provided with proper appliances, such as gloves, hooks, &c. I have never found any difficulty in getting any animal to eat it excepting sheep, which are very whimsical about it. When snow is on the ground they eat it eagerly. Cows will eat it anywhere, in the house or on the grass. Last winter there was a good deal of corre- spondence in the Times about this subject. I wrote twice to the editor in answer to queries, but he did not condescend to insert my letters, although he pub- lished several very little to the purpose." Another correspondent recommends linseed mixed with straw. He says :—" In the too probable scarcity of food for stock-masters during the coming winter and spring, it may be of great public utility that I make known a recipe once given me by a grazier, and which, when I kept two or three cows in a stable, I put to full and satisfactory proof. By the help either of this or of the waste from the kitchen, mixed with a small quantity of bran and wheat straw, I was saved the necessity during twelve years of cow-keeping of buy- ing a single truss of hay. And during one winter, when hay was selling at X6 a ton, and when it cost the farmers and milkmen 12s. a week for each cow, my two cows together, with straw at 30s., cost me only 9s. a week; and they were in better condition than any in the place, and gave as much milk as any. Let a peck of whole linseed be steeped for 48 hours in 54 gallons of cold water, and let this be occasionally stirred, and at the end of that time the water will be thickened, my informant said, to the consistency of arrowroot. I must say, however, that his arrowroot must have been rather thin. Still, so much of the oily and glutinous matter escapes into the water, that, if you wish to warm it, boiling, because of the froth raised, is out of the question. I cannot, however, see any need of boiling or even simmering it. My opinion is that if those 54 gallons thus saturated be mixed with a quarter of a ton of straw, or even half a ton, it will make it equal to the best hay. My informant stated that he and the man who taught him had some- times fatted a bullock, when put up in pretty good condition, with no other food than this. Can it be that the nutritious and fattening particles are extracted in so fine a form that the system of the animal imme- diately takes them up, and thus derives from them full and immediate benefit; whereas a vast portion of the oil-cake and coarse barley-meal commonly given passes through the animal in an undigested form ?"

Tetanus in Horses and the…



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Photographic Fun,

A Fact Funnily Figured Forth.




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