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RURAL LIFE.

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RURAL LIFE. BY A SON OF THE SOIL. A "Two MnmTE" CHURN. At the recent show of the Smithfield Club great interest was taken in a new churn which was shewn by a noted East Anglian firm, and Atnee then I have been able to get a sketch of it, ea well as some details of what is certainly a marvellous dairy appliance. Its mechanism is so simple that anyone can work it with ease, and it 18 built on a substantially-constructed pitch-pine frame, 6trongly stayed, and thus preventing vibration. The body of the churn is octagonal in ehape, built of the best oak, and well finished. It is fitted with cast-iron ends, forming stuffing- boxes and bearings all in one casting, and the .1 ends are interchangeable. The main spindle is niade of best mild steel, running in roller-bear- ings, driven by machine-moulded or machine-cut gear. The spur-wheel is also fitted with roller- bearings, and gears on to a pinion, increasing the speed to 400 revolutions per minute. The churn is fitted with glands and stuffing-boxes, effectu- ally to prevent the cream from passing through the gland-bearings. A balance fly-wheel is fixed to the end of the main spindle, which ensures great smoothness of running, and largely in- creases the ease with which the dashers can bo turned. The last-named are most simple in con- struction, and can be easily removed for cleans- ing purposes and for the extraction of butter. The time taken in churning is considerably A WONDERYCYL CHUHST. I lessened on account of the air-valves, which per- mit the circulation of air through the cream, and at the same time cause the butter to have excel- lent keeping qualities, a detail of the utmost im- portance. The average time taken to produce butter is from one and a-half to two minutes. A WORD ON MINOBCAB. Minorcas are next to the Leghorns in laying qualities. They are in appearance very similar to the Leghorns. Their general outline is, in fact, that of the latter, but with more length of body and heavier in mould. They are one of the most profitable breeds of poultry for the farm. Their flesh is while or light coloured and fine grained. Their chief advantage is their egg production. They are non-sitters and year- round layers. As winter layers they are ex- ceptionally good when kept under fairly favour- able circumstances. While the Leghorns sur- pasa them in the number of eggs laid, the Minorcas' eggs are larger and equal the output in bulk. Their eggis are white and average eight to the pound. They lay from fourteen to fifteen dozen a year. Being of an active and restless disposition they keep in splendid condi- tion and make good foragers. They are hardy, easily raised, and mature quickly. There are three principal varieties—the Black Minorcas, the White Minorcas, and the Rose Comb Minorcas. The latter are usually black. The only objection that is made to the Black Minorcas is that their large oomb9 are easily froten in cold climates. Tlx? Rose Comb Minorcas entirely overcome this objection. Standard males 'olb. fenwiles 6jlb. As to classi- fication they belong to the Mediterranean class. A BANTAM HOUSE AXD SCEATCHING SHED. The illustration given of a cheap and useful Bantam-house and scratching-shed will interest keepers of poultry at this time of the year. It is made of tongued, grooved, and planed match- BANTAM HOOBE AND SCRATCHING SHED. I boards, on strong framing, the roof being covered with selected weather boards, planed and rebated. There is an outside nest-box, but no floor; while such fittings as perches and a slide to the entrance make it very complete. The front of the scratching-shed is covered with lin meah best galvanised wire-netting; while the root is covered with planed weather boards. The 4ft" Jon&> 3ft. wide, and 5ft. 4in. high • wnile the size of the scratching-shed is 6ft. by 3ft. by 3ft. The two houses cost 35s., and they can be painted with rot-proof composition for 2&. 6d. extra. A PLOUGH AND SOWER. I am greatly obliged by the kindly note sent to me by a Hull correspondent with reference to notioes of certain novelties which have appeared in this column, and if he will supply me with dates I will try to let him have further details of the appliances about which he wants informa- tion. I think the illustration which is given tnis week will interest him, for most farmers admit that in certain circumstances they would like to Plough in seed corn on very light land, thus giving the plant a firm 6eed bed. Also, in late wheat sowing, to be able every day to sow, with- out extra labour, all the land that is ploughed; w"Ue, in unfavourable weather, the see<l can bo and harrowed as soon as the weather pcr- Corn put in in this way can be hoed as as drilled corn, and by iwing this inven- ~,on hand-sowing is dispensed" with. Every kind corn can be 60wn with this apparatus, and for cowing Peas and Beans, even when manure is A PLOUGH AND SOWER. ploughed in, it can be uceci to sow at the same time. The Beans, if required, can be dropped in bunches, so that they may be hoed; the appa- ratus is simply hooked on to an ordinary plough, and can be taken off when it is not required. THE UTILITY POULTRY CLUB'S LAYING COMPETITION. The Twelve Months' Competition has now run for three months, and the figures for the period are available. Twenty pens of six birds -each are taking part in the teat, and the birds are under the direct supervision and management of Mr. E. W. Richardson, the hon. secretary of the club, at his farm at Rayne, near Braintree, Essex. The pens are all housed separately, and have dupli- cate grass runs. Trap nests are used, so that the laying of every bird is faithfully recorded. The following arc the figures for the first three months, ending December 31st: (1) White Wyan- dottes, 245; (2) ditto, 193; (3) W. La Bresse, 186; (4) W. Wvandottes, 183; (5) ditto, 182; (6) Buff Rocks, 177; (7) W. W yandottes, 173; (8) W. Leg- horns, 168; (9) W. Wvandottes, 160; (10) Buff Rocks. 159; (11) W. Wvandottes, 136; (12) ditto, 123; (13) Houdans, 117; (14) Barred Rocks. 116; (15) Black Wyandottes, 111; (16 W. Leghorns, 99; (17) ditto, ta: (18) Buff Rocks, 63; (19) W. Leghorns. 57; (20) Partridge Wvandottes, 20. No great alterations have taken place in the position of the leading pens, except tl>e pen of La Bresse —that has moved from eighth to third. The ninth p^n has gone up seven places, and the second, twelfth, and tlrrteonth pens five places. The pen at the top If\ eighty-nine eggs during the month, as cg-iinft 107 last month, when it was also first. Better laying has come from those pens that did only fairly, or even badly, in the previous months; thus the ninth pen laid 115 eggs (a record for the competition), or an ave- rage of nineteen eggs per bird. The twelfth pen laid ninety-six eggs, and the thirteenth ninety- three, both those pens only laying •ome two dozen eggs during the previous two months; a bird in the former of these pens laid twenty- seven eggs, while another bird in the same pen has not laid an egg! The weather until late in the month was mild and generally wet. and the dry but cold weather that followed was accom- panied by bitter east winds and some snow. The birds. however, remain in good health. Unfor- tunately, some are mouiting-mostly Leghorns, CUT CLOVER VOB FOWLS. An ordinary chaff-cutter would do to cut clover hay into suitable lengths for fowls. The stuff could be etored in bulk in a dry place, or, when cut, in sacks. A handful of the dry material will be ample for three or four adult fowls. When one has the requisite quantity of the cut clover hay for the birds' masn, have it soaked in boiling water for ten or twelve hours, and then mix it with soft food. The Avln following information, which will doubtless prove of service, appeared in an American con- temporary a few years since: "Experience has often demonstrated the value of clover for egg- producing. Clover has just the material im it to form egg-shell, hence it becomes an essential part of every ration given to the fowls. It may not be generally understood that there are nearly 301b. of lime contained in each 1,0001b. of clover. The hens and pullets fed daily with clover will consequently prove better egg-layers than those denied it The clover hay should be given to fowls in winter in quantities sufficient to satisfy them; and to make them eat more it is desirable sometimes to prepare it in various ways. Cook and chop it. and mix it with meal or other stuff. This will sometimes induce the hens to consume a great amount of clover everv day. Cut into short lengths and mixed witn warm mash, and then given only as fast as the fowls will clean it up every day, is probably the most economical way to supply the clover. Some people cut the second crop of clover and plaoe it in the poultry-yard for the birds to eat and scratch over at pleasure This of itself is all right, but it is rather wasteful. More than half the clover will be lost, and the fowls do not actually eat much more than the leaves. The stalks contain most of the lime, and these should be prepared so that the birds will oon- sume them. Of all the foods that can be raised on a farm for poultry, clover is not only the best, but probably the cheapest, and a field of it is as essential to success as a pasture field is noceesarv to the success of dairying." Clover hay should be placed in a vessel at night and covered with boiling water. Cover the vessel tightly, so us to retain as much steam and mois- ture as popsible. Let it stand until the morning, and use both the clover and the liquid when pre- paring the mash. All correspondence affecting thia columanhoun be addressed to A Son of the Soil," Gale of the Editor of this journal.

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