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FIELD AND FARM.

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FIELD AND FARM. EWES AND LAMBS. I No doubt the food of a ewe (says Professor John Wrightson, discussing the cost of lambs in the Agricultural Gazette ") goes for very little during the great part of the year, say from wean- ing time until early autumn. I am induced to think Id. per week an irreducible minimum for dry pasture and eating up behind more favoured sections of the flock from May 15th to October 15th, or twenty-two weeks, which gives Is. lOd. as the prime cost of food. From October 15th, depending upon the weather, hay becomes necessary, and as ewes enjoy good appetites, I shall put the con- sumption of bay at 21b. per head per day, or 1 stone a week at 3d. a stone. The Id. for grazing will run on as before, making a total of 4d. per week from October 15th to March 15th, or another period of 22 weeks. This equals 7s. 4d. From March 15th to May 15th is a barren time or most breeding farms. The ewes are now accom- panied with their lambs and require good keep. I take this period as eight weeks to make up the 52. and cannot put the cost of natural food, hay and roots, for ewes with lambs at foot, at less than 6d, per week, or 4s. The total cost of food during the year I therefore make out to be Is. 10d., plus 7s. 4d., plus 4s., equals to 13s. 2d. The remaining items will be best included in a schedule as follows: Per head. s. d. Food throughout the year as above 13 2 1 500th of two shepherds' wages with usual perquisites, 35s. a week 8 8 Additional labour for carting hay, water and roots, shifting hurdles, and attending to lambing pen, equal to one team half a vear at E2 a week, i. e., £ 52 J 2 0 BeTs Making pen, hurdles, troughs, &c., E20 0 10 Ram 2 0 Foot-rot dressings, medicines, dipping, marking, shearing, &c 0 6 Losses, 5 per cent. on a value of E2 2 0 24 2 Lesa fleece 5 0 Net cost 19 2 The cost of raising lambs is burdened in the flrst place with the previous cost of keeping the dam for one year, which is seen to be 19s. 2d. If we can assume three lambs for two ewes-perhaps in most districts rather two liberal an estimate- the cost per lamb at birth will be 12s. 10d., which may be brought forward in that amount, and, according to the above system, this sum will clear the lamb. I shall assume the lamb to be carried on from May 15th until September 15th, or, for, say, eighteen weeks, during which time it must have good foodjeither by caking the ewes or by direct feeding,or both. If both ewes and lambs are better treated than in the above estimate for ewes, it is clear that the extra cost should be paid for by the lambs rather than by the ewes. I therefore shall allow lIb. of cake per day (whether given to ewes or lambs), from April 15 to September 15, or for 22 weeks, and charge the lambs 4d. a week each for their grazing. The costs upon the lamb on this computation would come out as follows computation would come out as follows: s. d. Initial cost upon lambs at birth 12 10 22 weeks' grazing at 4d. 7 4 22 weeks at 3^1b. of cake equals 771b. at fd 4 10 Additional labour on lambs during summer at one extra, man at 15s. a week 0 6 Losses at various ages, one to the score on a value of 20s 1 0 Cost per lamb 26 0 Professor Wrightson's conclusion is that, assuming an average price of 32s. to be realisable for the lambs, 500 ewes may make a gross return of about £1000 a year, sinking the clip, and leave a profit on the lambs of from 2s. 6d. a head according to results. If the lambs left 2s. 6d. profit, 500 ewes would leave £ 6210s. net profit; and if 5s., which is sanguine, the net profits of the flock would be C125. The fact that a large propor- tion of the ewe lambs will go into stock to replace the usual draft does not affect the question materially, but has not been overlooked in making the above estimates. SPRING WORK IN THE FARM GARDEN. I Favoured with dry weather, the garden will (remarks Mr. W. W. Glenny) be full of interesting work, and every interval between showers should be taken advantage of to keep the various jobs well in hand, as they accumulate rapidly as the spring advances. Many will now be looking for- ward to the first gatherings of asparagus, but it should be seen that the surfaces of the beds are well and evenly covered a few inches with some light, rich, and porous compost. In the course of time the crowns of the plants become exposed if annual dressings are not given. These answer a double purpose, viz., protect and encourage early growth as well as feeding the new roots which are always emitted on the surface and round the collar of each plant. Those who would have that long-blanched asparagus seen in shop windows, the finest of which is sent over from France, should imitate the French growers by forming ridges or mounds of sandy soil a foot or 15in. deep. The growths push through this freely, and when they have grown through the covering the latter is gently removed, so as to expose the shoots their full length, when they are easily snapped off near the crown. This is better than cutting them with the knife, as others just springing from the base may be damaged. Those who are thinking of forming new beds next moeth should lose no time in preparing the site. This cannot be made too well, by deep culti- vation, with the addition of plenty of manure that is thoroughly decayed. Raised beds are reeommended on heavy land, using plenty of sand, burnt rubbish, or like mate- rial, to ensure porosity. All young crops pushing through the soil will be better for having the hoe used between the drills, while peas should have mould drawn up on either side and sticks placed in position as soon as possible. These form pro- tection, which is always necessary. It is yet toe Boon to plant French or runner beans in the open. but where these are much valued a few of the former may be raised in pots in a frame and planted in a warm position the end of next month. Parsley requires sowing early, but sometimes the seed is very slow to germinate and a second sowing is necessary. This should be remembered and acted upon. The same applies to parsnips. Mounds of manure may now be formed in some corner, and hillocks of soil placed on them for growing vegetable marrow and ridge-cucumbers later on.* The present is the best season for divid- ing old stools of rhubarb and forming new planta- tions. The large roots can be divided with a strong knife or sharp spade. See that one strong erown at least is secured with each division, and that ragged portions are smoothed over with a Sharp knife. A few spadefuls of light soil or manure should be placed round each root; plant them firmly, and then mulch the surface with half- decayed manure to preserve moisture and ward off drying winds. Seakale, too, should be treated in the same way and at the same time, though nice clean portions of rock may be used instead of crowns. ON KEEPING BEES. I Expert" gives this practical counsel in the "Agricultural Gazette" to bee-keeping beginners Establishing an Apiary.—The requirements in establishing an apiary are-hive smoker, veil, and bees. If reference be made to a catalogue, hives and other bee appliances wiU be shown in great variety. The choice as regards the hive should fall upon one that is to be the pattern used throughout the apiary, and should therefore be of good material and manufacture, and consist of a brood chamber of standard-sized frames, with at least two surplus chambers, whether they be for comb or extracted honey. If extracted Loney is desired, a honey extractor must be added to tb4! list of needful appliances. Foundatian.-No hive can be considered com- plete unless the frames and sections have was sheets (known as foundation) fixed in them. The bees build their combs partly with and upon them. and thus secure straight combs with the kind of cell we desire. The foundation used in the large brood, and also the small extracting frames, is termed brood or thick foundation, and that solely for use in sections super or thin. Intimidator.—In order that we may open hives and move frames, or put on and take off supers, we must bring the bees into subjection. This we do either by blowing smoke upon them frora a "smoker," or by giving them a smell of carbolic acid. In using the latter a weak solution is made and sprinkled upon a clotb, which is placed upon the frames after the quilts or frame coverings are removed. Cost of Starting.—Hive, complete with supers. 25s. to 30s.; smoker, 3s.; veil, Is.; swarm, 12s. 6d. to 15s.; honey extractor, 21s. to 50s.. at which price the best made can be obtained. These prices are approximate, and what might have to be given for good value.

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