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1— FIELD AND FARM. I

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1 — FIELD AND FARM. I THE AGRICULTURAL LABOURER. That the labourer is, for his position, better off 'than either the landlord or the farmer, and that he is very much better off than he was fifty years ago, are, argues Prof. John Wrightson, in the" Agri- cultural Gazette," both undeniable facts. That he, if the expression is allowable, has been reduced numerically almost by one half is regrettable from many points of view: but it is some consolation that he is better paid, while at the same time the per acre cost of his maintenance has been reduced, The question as how far a rise in the price of corn would benefit the labourer is scarcely worth dis- cussing, because no responsible person has ventured to propose a tax which could have any effect on the price of bread. If I were Mr. Chamberlain (continues Prof. John Wrightson) I should simply impress upon the minds of the agricultural labourers that a 2s. duty on wheat would or could have no effect on the price of bre&d, while at the same time it would be a source of revenue which might be used for the purpose of reducing other taxes. Even 2s. a quarter might be some encouragement to growing wheat and extending arable cultivation, but 5s. would be very much better. The agricultural interest is of such vast importance that it ought to be protected from the present tremendous facilities of transport. We are told by the Cobden Club that Free Trade I is not answerable for the cheapness of wheat, and this is probably true, because the drop in prices did not at once follow the abolition of duties on imported corn. Still, there is no reason at all why a toll should not be levied on imported wiieat and flour, if merely as a moderator or regulator of prices, and a protection to growers of a prime necessary of life. The question is too wide for I discussion here. It is a simple fact that wheat- growing in this country is being slowly stifled by foreign growers, and that we are in danger of see- j ing it relinquished altogether. This would be a bad thing for everyone, and I do not say that a tax I would be a complete remedy. It would, however, j be a double-acting palliative, for it would at least tend to encourage wheat cultivation, and could be made a great source of revenues Agriculture, on I account of its comparatively fixed and unalterable methods, its dependence upon seasons, and its national importance, is especially marked out as the industry above all others which ought to be protected against wheat sent in as ballast for returned-empty ships. It has been proved during the last sixty years that no scientific appliances can do much towards raising the average yield of wheat, and that we are therefore dependent upon a fair price-without which we must simply abandon the struggle. THE DAIRY COW. I j There are several points (observes "■ S. W." in the Agricultural Gazette ") that go to making ideal dairy cows. Different judges consider different points as indicative of the flow of milk, but perhaps the udder is the most reliable indica- tion of milking qualities, as well as the value of the cow. True, some put stress on the colour of the inside of the ear, length of the tail, shape of the head, neck, or of the body, but the rule seems to hold that poor producers have rarely well- developed mammary glands. The greater develop- ment of that organ the greater will be its product. Of late years breeders of dairy cattle have been led to give more heed to this point of importance in the selection and elimination of dairy cows. As udder rich in flesh is not productive, and is recog- nised by the fact that the superfluous flesh it con- tains usually seems to drop, more or less, to the bottom, not making it pendulous. Such an udder is unsightly, and is likely passed on by the cow to ¡ her offspring. A productive udder depends on the number of secretive cells it contains and not necessarily on its size. Its shape should be almost square and well balanced and free from much flesh. The front quarters of the udder are not infre- quently very imperfectly developed, and is a common failing even in whole breeds of dairy cows. The milk got from the fore and rear udder differs in quality and quantity according to the type of udder. It has been calculated that in ordinary. shaped udders their is a difference of 16 per cent of the quantity of milk taken from these sources. To show the difference actually existing in differenttypes of udders, let, say, a dozen cows be taken with their front udders noticeably un- developed, and let the milk from the front and hind udders be separately weighed. It will be found that the rear udder produces 57 per cent. more milk than the front udder. Again, take a well- balanced udder, the variation quantity of milk got from the hind and front udders is quite insignifi- cant. These facts show conclusively that a well- balanced udder is of more value than merely to admire in the sale-ring or showyard. The average cow of whatever breed, has an imperfectly developed udder, especially in its fore part. Better development would certainly produce more milk, and consequently;our cows would be of more intrinsic value in the dairy, for it is the last Sound of milk that yields the greatest profit, [uch has been said about milk and udder veins of dairy cows and their relation and activity to the udder. As far as we know, the mammary secretion is entirely dependent on the amount of healthy blood passing through the glands. Changes in the condition or pressure of the blood influence the amount of milk secreted. Hence the necessity for restricting, limiting, and studying the quantity and Suality of food given to the dairy cow. If, then, bis be the relation of the milk veins to the udder, it will be readily seen that the development of the veins cannot be overlooked in our estimation of the value of the cow as a milk producer. SEASONABLE POULTRY NOTES. I Among the signs of progress of late years in poultry keeping is the recognition that fowls need plenty of air in summer time. When I think how my birds used to be semi-suffocated twelve and fifteen years ago during hot weather, I feel some- what guilty, but then forty-nine out of fifty poultry keepers acted in a similar manner. A small window and a few ventilations at top were thought quite sufficient ventila tion for fowls, and the only difference made between winter and summer was opening the window. Now, open-fronted houses are recognised as the most sensible type. Those poultry keepers who have poultry houses- with four wooden sides should either make a large extra window by cut- ting out some of the woodwork on one side and substituting a wire screen, or fix open the door at night and fit a wire frame, in its place. They should also let the fowls out as nearly as possible in the morning. The sooner after daybreak poultry are insect hunting, the better for them and the better for their owner. The virtue of white- washing the sleeping house thoroughly, perches and all, and especially the corners of the house and the rests the perches fit on, has been so often emphasised that I will not dwell on this point, but come to the matter of drinking water. The importance of a supply of pure cold water for fowls in hot weather is not so mueh recognised as it should be. Sun-heated water does them a great deal of harm, and deprived of drinking water they fret and sometimes turn egg'eaters. Many Sussex chicken rearers give their birds nettle tea, that is the fluid nettles have been boiled in, in hot weather, the herb rendering the water more cool- ing, converting it also into a tonic; while others, to prevent'their chickens drinking too much water, add some ground oats to it, serving it in the form of very thin porridge. Water should be given first thing in the morning, what remains in the trough or pan being first emptied out. The vessel must be set in a place where the sun's rays will not reach it. At mid-day, or a little later, fresh water should again be given. Water for fowls, by the way, should be so placed that the ducks and geese, if there are any, cannot get at it. They foul the water they drink, and fowls do not eare to drink after them. Feeding in summer is a very simple matter. The fowls want no stimulat- ing food, just plain meal and corn, or corn only. And there will be no harm in adding a little maize to the oats or wheat or barley, provided the birds have their full liberty. Oats need to be bold cheap thin oats have very little feedIng value for fowls, they are nearly all husk, and that has no nutriment. The same remark applies to buck- wheat. Heavy grain of good quality is excellent for feediug fowls; cheap buckwheat is always poor in quality, and does them no good. Wheat is really the best summer grain, in spite of the fact that it is a little heating. In summer, fowls at liberty find so much natural animal food that they require less grain than in winter. There is often difficulty in deciding if fowls have enough to eat, or if they are over-fed. One cannot put them on a weighed or measured allowance of grain without seeing them and taking all details of management into consideration. Try and feed in quantities of not more than 50, let them have one satisfying meal a day, giving grain as long as two fowls run for one grain, in other words, as long as they ai j keen for more. Any tendency of the birds to scratch over their food or to leave any of the grain is a sure sign they have had a Jittle too much, and the quantity next day can be slightly reduced-

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