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AGRICULTURE. MANAGEMENT OF EWES AND LAMBS, Touching this subject (says the Field), we have re- ceived from a correspondent some details of farm manage- ment, which are to a certain extent novel, and deserve attention, as they elucidate the point for which we con- tend— namely, that a considerable increase is both desirable and possible, and also point out the methods by which this is to be carried out. We cannot do better than introduce our correspondent by giving the opening paragraph of his letter :— I am the veriest tyro among agriculturists, but will give you, as far as I can, my father's experience and practice for the past twenty years. I would observe that as it has paid hitherto I fear to alter it, yet would I gladly have the question fully ventilated, in order to ascertain whethr a more excellent way may not be pur- sued. I was commercially engaged until three years since, when the decease of my father rendered it de- sirable that I should assume his position. This intro- duction is necessary, as my ignorance may lead to error or vague descriptions, which would be at once detected by the practical farmer. My father, a clever practical farmer, when asked his advice always inquired in the first place as to the number of sheep kept, and invariably recommended heavier stocking, but few followed his advice, on account of trouble and expense." That he did not only preach but also practised may be gathered from the following facts The farm consists of 260 acres of good mixed soils, of which 25 acres are in grass. The flock ewes, as far as we can make out, is never less than 450 strong, and it is our present business to show how these are provided for and managed. The cropping for 1866 was as follows Wheat, 67 acres barley, 69; oats, 4 beans, 11 Italian rye grass and clovers, 19 mangold, 23 turnips, 16. The flock consists of the largest and best half-bred Leicester ewes that can be bought, and we presume the cross has been with the Down. These are crossed with tups procured in Cam- bridgeshire, which are much in request. They^ are a queer compound of Leicester. Cotswold, and Hampshire Down. It is questionable 'whether occasional recur- rence to a purer breed might not prove advantageous. We conclude that growthy, dark-featured lambs are desired, and the improved Hampshire, as bred in the neighbourhood of Salisbury, might produce what is wanted. Tup hmbs were used for the season of '65-66. The fall was abundant, but not so fine as by the same sheep as shearlings this year. Lambing commences about the first week in March, careful arrangements being made as to shelter and attention. The doubles are kept separate from the singles, and when sufficiently advanced are allowed first chance at everything; thus they have the first run over the Italian and clover. We cannot agree in the wisdom of this. Food will go further, the animals will be more evenly fed, manure better distributed, and all have a fairer chance if the crops are consumed by folding in regular sections over the surface. Supposing the lambs old enough to eat, which they will do when turned one mouth, two folds of equal size should be set, lamb hurdles being introduced in the partition fence. The lambs run forward, have the first bite, and can be taught to eat artificial food—a point of vast importance when quick returns are desired. Expe- rience will soon dictate the area required for each fold. We have our flock much better under hand, and can more readily attend to any ailments. Above all, the crop soon recovers and produces a fresh bite. We should not allow the ewes much back room. The great point is to make zhem pass rapidly over the surface. In forward districts the seeds may be ready for the first folding by the middle of April, especially if a top dress- ing of guano and superphosphate of lime be applied in February. We particularly recommend this to the notice of our correspondent, being satisfied from our own experience that it is money well laid out. In favourable seasons fi. e., when we have warm growing showers) a. good crop of hay may be cut after this folding over, or we shall secure a second feed It cwt. of guano, and a similar quantity of bone phosphate per acre, will be a sufficiently stimulating application. To return from this digression to the treatment of the tlock in question. The ewes (150) receive daily about vfOO bushels of barley straw chaff, mixed with a cartload ,f pulped roots, 2001b. of finely-crushed oilcake, a bushel of malt coombs, and in particular instances (weakly ewes with double Iambs, for example) a small quantity of bruised oats. This is generous treatment, and we heartily approve of it. The plan of pulping the roots is decidedly economical, as inducing a larger con- iumption of chaff. We have advocated the practice for years, although hitherto it has been but seldom followed. As the lambs become stronger and the weather warmer they are moved permanently to the .layers, shelter hurdles being placed in the fields, and if the weather be extremely rough they are brought into the yards at night. The object is to keep the maximum number on the smallest possible area. The lambs are early intro- duced to the cake troughs, so as to be ready for sale as soon as the green food is consumed. Last year every lamb was sold by June 1. The gross receipts, amount- ing to £1,078 16s., were thus made up £ s. d. 400 lambs at 28s. 560 0 0 100 Iambs at 23s. 115 0 0 100 lambs at 21s. 105 0 0 14 lambs at 14s. 5:1. 8 0 0 17 ewes at 48,9. 40 16 0 43 ewes at 36s. 86 8 0 9 ewes at 34s. 8c! 15 9 6 .68 tod 161b. wool at 42? 144 0 0 Skins 426 £ 1,078 16 0 t'liis sum represents nearly ;Z-± I 3s. per acre as the gross return from the flock—a remarkably high average, which contrasts favourably with ordinary practice. Within a fortnight of the sale of the lambs, as soon an the ewes are fit to travel, those that are to be kept for the flock are summered out, being brought Back as sooa after harvest as is practicable. It appears to us that if the folding system to which we have alluded were adopted, and the seeds not required for hay, the ewes might be summered at home, expense saved, and the farm enriched. This, however, will depend upon the area required for rape, which is sown after Italian rye grass, and forms the food of the ewes whilst the ram is with them. The rape carries the ewes a longer or shorter period, accordii g to seasons. When the whiter sets in, or the weather becomes cold and wet, the ewes are yarded, and receive chaff and pulped roots with, at first, thiee-qu^rters of a cwt. of corn or cake daily, increasing the quantity gradually to the maxi- mum, 2001b. They are turned out daily into the pastures for exercise, ?.nd get one or two cartloads of •-oofs thrown about.





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--------HUlTS UPON GAR.DENI13"G.…