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FIELD AND FARM.

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FIELD AND FARM. BACK END WORK. If results in human affairs are seldom as good as one hopes, they are also (remarks the H Agri- cultural Gazette") rarely as bad as one fears. A month ago the farm outlook was almost as gloomy as it possibly could be. There was a great acreage of corn still exposed in the fields, including a considerable expanse even in the comparatively early counties of England, and of course a very much larger area in the late parts of Scotland and Ireland. The land was like a bog after the tremendous rainfall of Oc- tober, and neither root-carting, nor ploughing, nor sowing could be carried on. It seemed entirely improbable that the corn could be stacked, the roots carted, and even half the land intended for winter crops ploughed and sown by the end of November. That month, however, proved the least rainy on the whole, and in some districts the most sunny of any month in the year, and corn and root carting was finished. As to sowing, for many days after the month began, it was impossible to plough or sow to advantage. Where sowing was done, it was mostly broadcasting, adopted to save most of the trampling by horses involved in the preliminary harrowing, drilling, and covering the seed. But the condition of the land steadily improved as the month advanced, and towards the close freshly ploughed land worked well enough for wheat. Probably the latest planted will be the best this season. If the early part of this month proves fine, and free from frost, sowing will probably be continued; but De- cember is not a propitious time for the work. FOWLS AND TAINTED GROUND. Whn fowls are at liberty, and are allowed a free range of the farm, the danger of the ground becoming tainted and impure is con- siderably less than when the birds have to be confined in runs. At the same time, however ("E. T. B." writes in the "Agricultural Gazette"), I have known in many cases disease to break out, and great loss perhaps ensue, entirely owing to the fact that the ground was impure, through having been used for too long a period for poultry. The reason of the ground becoming tainted is an evident one—the manure from the birds being continually deposited upon the same small area, without being used in any way for growing plant life. In a short space of time the ground will become saturated with the manure, and will be totally unfit for the fowls. When any vegetable life can be kept growing the chief danger is overcome, as the grass, or whatever it may be, will absorb the manure, but the great difficulty arises when the land becomes bare, as there being nothing to utilise the manure, the land speedily becomes foul. A question frequently asked is as to the num- ber of fowls that may be permitted per acre. This, like a whole host of other questions re- garding poultry keeping, is one that cannot be satisfactorily answered with figures. So much depends upon the quality and nature of the soil. the breed of fowls, and the time of year, that it would be folly and most injudicious to attempt to state any exact numbers. It depends, too-- when the fowls are confined-upon the shape of the runs, because a long narrow run is able to support more birds than a square one, even though they contain an equal number of square feet. The only satisfactory way is to tell by the condition of the land. If it is found that the grass is becoming too long and thick, the num- bar must be increased; if, on the other hand, it is becoming bare, the number should be im- mediately reduced; or if it is already quite bare the better plan would be to entirely remove the birds, and give the land a rest for a year or two. When one has only a small amount of land at one's disposal, it is sometimes wiser not to attempt keeping grass in the runs at all, but to either gravel or cover it with ashes. In this case it would be beaten down so as to make a hard bed, and would have to be swept every few days. Or another way would be to cover it I with ashes or loose earth to a depth of two or three inches, raking over every day, and re- newing every few weeks. HOUSING STOCK. Now that farm stock of all kinds will be mak- ing full use of the various sheds and buildings provided for their winter quarters, a few re- marks anent a highly important matter may not (observes Mr. F. Wilson) be amiss. It is, un- doubtedly, things that at first glance seem to be simple enough in themselves which ultimately produce momentous and far-reaching effects. The personal experience of many readers will, no doubt, coincide with that of the present writer in that disease-infected buildings-those in which cattle or horses have been confined when suffering from some contagious disease- are responsible for much trouble with, and loss among, farm stock. In many cases, it is true, some manner of precaution is observed, and sheds and buildings are brushed down and swept out and vacated for the time being. But on most farms the accommodation is none too plen- tiful, and often, in winter especially, has to be utilised to its fullest extent. This is particu- larly the case with stables and cow-houses. Where only one range of either is at command it will readily be seen that it is almost im- possible to dispense with them, even for a short space of tkne. space of tune. POOR STABLES BAD. If possible, every farm team should be housed in good stables, as poor stables tend to create disease. Shut a horse in a close, dirty, low- roofed, ill-ventilated stable, and sooner or later he is bound to become the subject of disease. Good stables being, however, not always to be found on the farm, and the farmer unable to induce his landlord to build the same, and be- ing indisposed, or unable from a monetary point of view, to provide them himself, he must make a virtue of necessity, and render those he has as habitable and comfortable as possible. In all stables cleanliness and proper ventilation should be insisted upon. This lies well within the province of most masters and men. If more attention were paid to ventilation, glanders, catarrh, and other diseases would be less com- mon. The mention of disease brings up an im- portant point. Many of the disorders from which horses suffer are infectious, and a very little thought goes to show that it is a highly dangerous proceeding to put well horses in a stable which has been used for an'animal or animals suffering from glanders, pink-eye, or influenza, etc. All stalls, loose-boxes, and what not, should undergo a most thorough process of disinfection—lime-washed, brushed and CliC swept—every corner and crevice being subjected to the germ-destroying influence of some reli- able, disinfecting fluid, before they are again used for their legitimate purpose. DIRT DISEASES. Ringworm is often very prevalent among farm stock, calves being especially subject to it, and it is by no means infrequent among cattle and horses. Here, again, is a disease—a .dirt disease, some experts declare-which infects the walls and wood of stalls and sheds for a length of time. It hangs about the place and .is com- municated to fresh stock time after time, while much trouble is taken to eradicate it, as far as possible, by dressing with some lotion or other the animals infected. Here very frequently preventive measures end, and the consequence is that the pest still flourishes. Not only should the beasts themselves be attended to, but all buildings and sheds in which they have been housed should be rigorously and effec- tively cleaned and disinfected. Another point: if it is possible to isolate a sick animal, do so; and this whether the disease be contagious or not. Cows especially are disturbed and greatly upset when one of their number in an adjacent stall-or the same, if it be a double one—is under treatment for some disorder, and is, may- be, moaning with pain. Cows have the most highly string nervous organisation of all our domesticated animals, and excitement of this kind is really harmful to them, and acts ad- versely on the flow of milk. Yet this is often done. I have seen (says Mr. F. Wilson) a cow at death's door with milk fever, with a sister cow chained in the same stall, the latter animal being well formed in calf, and visibly uneasy at the proceedings going on around her.

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