|Part V. Live Stock and Dairy
Legal Milk House.
What is a legal milk house in California?
The State dairy law says little concerning the construction or equipment of the milk house. It says that the house, or room, shall be properly screened to exclude flies and insects, and is to be used for the purpose of cooling, mixing, canning and keeping the milk. The milk room shall not be used for any other purpose than milk handling and storing, and must be 100 feet or more distant from hogpen, horse stable, cesspool or similar accumulation of filth, and must be over 50 feet from cow stalls or places where milking is done. In regard to the size of the milk room and equipment, nothing is said provided it is large enough for the milk to be handled conveniently. Concrete milk houses, however, had best have smooth-finished floors and walls. The interior of the milk house is also to be whitewashed once in two years or oftener. If milk from the dairy is to go to a city, the requirements will be more severe than provided in the State law, and must conform to the ordinances of the city to which the milk is to be sent.
Cure for a Self-Milker.
What shall I do for a young cow that milks herself?
Fit a harness consisting of two light side slats and a girth and neck strap in such a way that the cow cannot reach her udder. Unless she is particularly valuable for milk, it will save you a lot of worry to fix her up for beef.
How can I overcome strong milk in a three-quarter Jersey cow? I had been feeding alfalfa hay with two quarts alfalfa meal and one quart middlings twice a day. Thinking the strong milk came from the feed I changed to oat hay and alfalfa with a soft feed of bran and middlings.
There is nothing in either ration that could cause strong milk, nor will a change of feed likely benefit the trouble. If the cow is in good physical condition the trouble probably comes from the entrance of bacteria during or after milking. Thoroughly clean up around the milking stable, followed by a disinfection of the premises. Have the flanks, udder and teats of the cow thoroughly cleaned before milking and scald all utensils used for the milk. Harmful bacteria may have gotten well established on the premises and the entrance of a few is enough to seriously affect the flavor of the milk. Once the trouble is checked it can be kept down with the usual sanitary methods.
Separator as Milk Purifier.
I have a neighbor who contends that a cream separator purifies the milk that passes through it. I say that it does not purify the milk. I agree that it does take out some of the heavy particles of dirt and filth, but that it cannot take out what is already in solution with the milk.
The purification naturally cannot be very great, and if milk is produced in unsanitary fashion, running through the separator will do little, if any, good. Nevertheless, the separator does remove more than just the solid particles of dirt. The purifying comes by leaving behind the separator slime, so called, the slimy material left behind after a good deal of milk has been run through. In fact, some creameries separate milk, only to mix milk and cream again, largely for the purpose of removing the impurities found in the slime. In this slime are not only the impurities that fall into the milk, but also some of the fibrous matter that is part of the milk, and this gathers, being pulled out by gravity as are the fat particles, it seems to gather with it a few more bacteria than remain in the milk itself. Material in real solution, as sugar is in solution in water, naturally is practically unaffected by separation. You are, therefore, right to the extent that you cannot produce unsanitary milk and clean it with the separator, but your neighbor is right to the extent that the separator does remove some impurities and is used just for that purpose. There is also in the dairy trade a centrifugal milk clarifier which is constructed in somewhat similar manner to a cream separator, but acts differently on the milk in not interfering with cream rising by gravity when separated cream and milk are mixed after cleaning.
Butter Going White.
I bought some butter and during the warm weather it melted. About 40 or 50 per cent was white, while the balance was yellow and went to the top. When the butter remelted, the yellow portion melted, leaving the white portion retaining its shape. The white portion did not taste like ordinary butter. The butter made from our cows' cream melted at a higher temperature, but did not have a white portion. Why did our butter not act like the creamery butter?
Samples of butter have occasionally been sent to this office that have turned white on the outside, and since the white part has a very disagreeable, tallowy flavor, people think that tallow or oleomargarine has been mixed with it, but we have never been able to find any foreign substance in any of the samples. We have found that some of the best brands of butter will turn white first on the outside and the white color will gradually go deeper if the butter is exposed to a current of air or if left in the sun a short time - F. W. Andreason, State Dairy Bureau.
What Is "Butter-fat?"
I would like to know what "butter-fat" means. I have asked farmers this question and no one seems to know. I suppose all parties dealing with creameries understand what the standard of measure or weight of butter-fat is, but it is my guess that there are thousands of farmers whom, if they were asked this question, would not know. We, of course, know that butter is sold by the pound and cream by the pint, quart or gallon, but what is butter-fat sold by?
Butter-fat is the yellow substance which forms the larger part of butter. Besides, this fat butter is composed of 16 per cent or less of water and small amounts of salt, and other substances of which milk is composed. From 80 to 85 per cent or so of ordinary butter is the fat itself. It is sold by weight. The cream from which butter is made is taken to the creamery and weighed, not measured. A small sample is tested by the so-called Babcock test to determine the exact percentage of fat, and payment mode on this basis. For instance, if 1,00 pounds of cream is one-third butter-fat, the dairyman receives pay for 33 1/3 pounds of this substance. If it is only one-quarter fat, he receives pay for 25 pounds. Ordinary cream varies within these limits, but may be much richer or thinner. Cream after the butterfat is removed is much like skimmed milk, although it has less water in it.
Why Would Not Butter Come?
What is the trouble with cream that you churn on from Monday until Saturday, then have to give up in despair and turn it out to the hogs? We warmed it, and we cooled it, and used a dairy thermometer, but nothing would do.
If the cream was in churnable condition otherwise, the probability is that it was too cool when you started churning. It should be about 62° Fahrenheit.
Drying a Persistent Milker.
My cow is to come fresh about the middle of next mouth, and in the last two weeks her milk has changed in some way so that the cream makes very yellow butter and comes to butter nearly as quick as when the cow was fresh. Would it best for her to go entirely dry before coming fresh, or will it be all right if she does not entirely dry up?
If your cow has been able to pick up any special amount of grass since the rains came it might add to the color of the butter. A cow's milk also gets richer toward the end of her lactation period, which may make a richer cream and make the butter come quickly There does not seem to be anything to worry about. The cow would probably do better if she could become entirely dry before calving, but unless you can easily dry her up it would be dangerous to try to force her to do so.
Butter-fat in Sweet and Sour Cream.
The creamery wagon takes our cream every other day. Without ice it is almost impossible to keep the cream sweet during the hot weather. By the time the wagon gets here, several hours after the fourth milking, the cream is quite sour. Does sour cream test lower than sweet cream! Is any butter-fat lost due to evaporation in dry weather?
The test of sour cream will be as accurate as of sweet cream, if properly made, but it is rather more difficult to make; or rather, to get the material into condition to work well. There is no fat lost by evaporation.
Cream That Won't Whip.
When I sell my cream from the separator they say they cannot whip it. Can you tell me if there is any way that I can make the cream whip?
There appears to be no good reason for blaming the separator for your difficulty with the cream. Possibly the cream may be too thin, as thin cream is sometimes difficult to whip. There is also the possibility that the fat globules in the cream may be rather small, but that will be the fault of the cows, not of the separator. Another reason why the cream may not whip well may be that it is used too quickly. If the milk is all right, the cream not too thin and it is permitted to stand for 12 hours or so there should be no trouble with it. Occasionally when cream is pasteurized it will not whip well. In these cases, or any other that may develop, the application of lime water to the cream at the rate of 1 gallon to 60 will remove the difficulty.
What Is Certified Milk?
What process has milk to go through to be called "certified," and what demand is there for it?
Certified milk is simply milk that is produced and marketed under prescribed sanitary conditions. The dairies are inspected periodically by representatives of some medical society or other organization to see that all regulations are observed, who certify that this is done; hence the name. Milk from other dairies is prohibited by law from being sold under the name "certified milk." Among the requirements in its production are that the cows must be free from tuberculosis and otherwise perfectly healthy, the stable to have a concrete floor which is washed out after each milking, the milkers to have special clothes for milking, etc. The milk is cooled and bottled immediately after milking, and kept at a low temperature until it reaches the consumer, to prevent the entrance of dirt of any kind or the development of the few bacteria that must gain entrance before it is bottled. To produce such milk requires much expensive apparatus and much more labor than to produce ordinary milk, and as a result it sells for a much higher price, both to distributor and consumer, so that the market for it is rather limited.
Jersey Shorthorn Cross.
If I cross Registered Shorthorns with a Jersey bull, what dairying value will the progeny have?
This makes an excellent cross. Even beef-strain Shorthorns have lots of milking power if it is developed and the Jersey cross will bring it out in the progeny. The cows have excellent milking qualities and give veryrich milk. They also have a big frame and fine constitution. About the finest cows in Humboldt county were of this cross although Jersey bulls have been used so long that the Shorthorn blood is almost eliminated. The first "improved" cattle in California and the first cross made for dairy purposes was Jersey bulls upon grade Shorthorn cows. Later the Holstein Friesians became popular and they and their grades are now most abundant.
A Free Martin.
I have a Jersey cow who has just had twin calves, a heifer and a bull. The heifer was born about five minutes before the bull and seems to be the stronger. My neighbors tell me to fatten both for the butcher, for they say the heifer will be barren. The mother is a young cow, as this is her second calf. Kindly inform if this is one of nature's laws or if there is a possibility of the heifer turning out all right?
The probability is that it will be better to veal the heifer than to raise her, as most heifer calves twinned with a bull are free martins, or animals of mixed sex and no good for breeding purposes or for profitable milk production. If the bull is a good animal, he probably will be all right, as this twinning does not seem to affect a bull calf, though it does the heifer. It does not always happen that the heifer is worthless for breeding, but the probability is so great that you had better have her killed and be done with it.
What Is a "Grade"?
Does the term "grade" mean an animal whose sire is a thoroughbred and whose dam is a scrub, or just one who is selected from others because of her good points or those of her mother?
Roughly speaking, a grade animal is one having more or less pure-bred blood, but not enough, or otherwise too irregular, for registry under the rules of the association of the breed to which it has affiliation. It does not refer to selection without use of a pure-blood sire at some point in the ancestry, but this is not a distinction of much moment, for it is hard to find animals which have not borrowed something from some cross with pure blood, though remote. The terms high and low grade are sometimes used to signify amount of pure blood recognizable by form and other characters or remembered by owners or their neighbors. Generally speaking, a grade is anything not entitled to registry, though ordinarily it refers to the offspring of a pure-bred sire and a cow of another or of no breed. The offspring of a pure-bred cow and a scrub bull would also be a grade.
Breeding a Young Mare.
I have a beautiful colt 22 months old that will weigh 1200 or 1300 pounds; very compactly built, and has extra health, life and vigor. I want this colt for a broodmare. Would you advise breeding at two or three years old?
Authorities agree at placing the age from two to three years, according to the development of the animal and other circumstances.
"To Breed in the Purple."
What is meant by breeding a sow in the purple? I have seen this statement used many times by breeders who advertised "sows safe in pig bred in the purple."
To be "bred in the purple" means to be of royal or princely parentage. It originally was used in reference to the nobility of Europe, as purple was the insignia of royal blood, due to the fact that purple was the rarest and most costly color and only the rich and noble could buy it. When used in referring to live stock, it signifies that the animal in question has a long line of blooded ancestry.
Cows for Hill Country.
What breed of dairy cows do you think would be preferable to keep for butter, at an altitude of about 1800 feet, in Nevada county - Jerseys, Guernseys or Ayrshires? I do not mean to have them to rustle for their own living, but to feed them well, house and care for them in all weather, particularly in stormy weather.
The best breed for a man is the one he likes best, providing it has been bred for the purposes he desires to attain. All the breeds you mention are suited to the scheme you outline.
Is there any risk to run in taking cows to an altitude of 2000 from a much lower one?
There is no quarrel between a cow and a mountain. Ever since the settlement of the State cows have been driven directly from the valley up to the mountain meadow pastures, both for butter and for beef-making, in the summer time. The foothill elevation you mention is only a starting to elevations of 6000 feet and more to which cattle are driven every season.
Jersey bulls are apt to become vicious after a time; is it so to the same extent with bulls of the other named breeds?
The Jersey bull is conceded to be crosser and more dangerous than other bulls, but no bull should ever be allowed to have a chance at a man. Never consider a bull gentle and you will be safe with him.
Breeding in Line.
Is it right and proper to breed a pedigreed registered bull to his daughter, who is the offspring of a grade cow? If it is not right, explain why. If it can be done, will the offspring be physically perfect and an improvement, or will it have poorer qualities than its sire and mother? If this inbreeding can be done successfully, how long can it be carried on, or, in other words, how long could one bull be bred back into his own offspring? Can a herd be perfected in this way?
It is right and proper to breed a registered sire to his daughter, who is the offspring of a grade cow. The first cross is all right and the offspring ought to be physically perfect. This is a first step in what we call line breeding, but in line breeding proper, both animals must be pure bloods and registered, having ancestors on both sides which have a long line of good individuals with strong constitutions and true to type. To do this, one must have a perfect ideal in mind. This line breeding is what has developed the breeds today up to the high standard of perfection. Breeding sire to daughter, if followed along these lines, will be all right; at least, it was so in the case of Amos Cruickshank, the great shorthorn breeder. You cannot successfully breed back on the daughter's offspring, but if you use a straight out-cross on the daughter's offspring you can again use this sire on her produce with marked success. In the case of a grade cow and registered sire, there are two things which will make you either lose or win with one cross, and that is regarding the breeding of your sire. If he is just an ordinary-bred fellow it will be a hit-and-miss game, but if he is from a long line of good ancestors on his dam's side, you can very materially improve the, herd, because always keep in mind the female produce from the sire's dam will grow with age toward the sire's dam. So if your first cross from your first sire is all right, use a straight out-cross bull, but be sure he is what he ought to be, and then you can use your old bull back on his heifers. Of course, a man practicing this breeding ought to be a thorough stockman and a first-class judge of live stock. - W. M. Carruthers.
Whitewashes for Stock Buildings.
I desire whitewash recipes which have given durable results on outbuildings.
It is so desirable to make outbuildings neat and clean, and so important to keep trees from sunburning, etc., that a durable whitewash as cheaply and easily made as possible is very important. The following are commended: No. 1 - To half a bucketful of unslaked lime add 2 handfuls of common salt, and soft soap at the rate of 1 pound to 15 gallons of the wash. Slake slowly, stirring all the time. This quantity makes 2 bucketfuls of very adhesive wash, which is not affected by rain. No. 2 - Whitewash requires some kind of grease in it to make it most durable. Any kind of grease, even though it be old and partly spoiled, will answer all right, though tallow is best. The grease imparts to the whitewash an oil property the same as in good paint. Tallow will stay right on the job for years, and the cheapest of it will do. In order to prepare this grease and get it properly incorporated into the white wash, it is necessary to put the grease in a vessel on the stove, and boil it into a part of the whitewash so as to emulsify it and get it into such condition that it can be properly incorporated with the whitewash mixture. No. 3 - For every barrel of fresh lime, add 16 pounds of tallow, 16 pounds of salt and 4 pounds of glue, dissolved. Mix all together and slack; keep covered, and let stand a few days before using. Add water to bring the right consistency to spread readily. For nice inside work strain it. When less than a barrel of lime is used, the quality of the wash does not seem so good. It is better to apply hot, but it does well cold.
What is the government recipe for whitewash?
"Take a half bushel of well-burned, unslaked lime, slake it with boiling water, cover during the process to keep in steam, strain the liquid through a fine sieve or strainer, and add to it 7 pounds of salt, previously dissolved in warm water; 3 pounds of ground rice boiled to a thin paste and stirred in while hot; half a pound of Spanish whiting and 1 pound of glue, previously dissolved by soaking in cold water, and then hanging over in a small pot hung in a larger one filled with water. Add 5 gallons of hot water to the mixture, stir well and let it stand for a few days, covered from dirt. It should be applied hot, for which purpose it can be kept in a portable furnace. A pint of this mixture, if properly applied, will cover a square yard."
Whitewash for Spray Pump.
Can you give a recipe for a durable whitewash which can be prepared simply and in large quantities? The whitewash will be applied with a spray pump.
To 25 pounds of lime, whole, slacking with 6 gallons of water, add 6 pounds of common salt and 1 1/2 pounds of brown sugar. Stir and mix well and allow to cool. When cool stir in 1 ounce of ultramarine blue. Then add 2 gallons of water, and sprinkle and stir in 2 pounds of Portland cement. If two coats are to be applied, add 1 more gallon of water. Strain for work on smooth surface.
How is paint made with buttermilk for farm buildings?
One gallon buttermilk, 3 pounds of Portland cement, and sufficient coloring matter to give the desired shade. Apply as soon as made, and stir a great deal while being applied. It is said to dry in about 6 hours and to be a good preservative for fences, barns and other outbuildings.
Trespassing Live Stock.
Is there a fence law in this State? In other words, do I have to fence against my neighbors' stock, or does the law require him to care for his stock and keep it off my property?
The old "no-fence law" which was enacted during the troubles between wheat growers and stock rangers has been put out of commission by more recent legislation. The trespassing live stock is liable for damage, but just how to proceed to protect yourself you should learn from a local lawyer who knows statutes and your county ordinances also.
How can I make a rat-proof granary for alfalfa meal and barley?
Omit all boarding of the sides below the floor level and place a heavy inverted pan, milk pan, between the top of each of the supporting posts and the floor beams. Care should be taken that the diagonal bracing of the underpinning or posts does not allow a rat to secure a foot hold near enough the floor to permit of gnawing through.
Concrete Stable Floor.
Is a concrete floor good for a horse stable?
Concrete floors are satisfactorily used for horse stables, provided the floor is ribbed or otherwise roughened in a way to reduce the danger of slipping. Some stablemen have stall floors made that way. Some use a wooden grating over the concrete in places where the horses have to stand for any length of time. Others soften the standing by free use of bedding.
Silo-Heating Not Dangerous.
Is there any danger of a barn burning from spontaneous combustion due to a silo being built in the barn?
There is no danger of the silo overheating and setting fire to a barn. When the ensilage is curing, it often gets warm, but never anywhere near the point of combustion.
To Make Shingles Durable.
What is the best material with which to coat the shingles on my barn roof?
The best coating is a wood preservative, the principal ingredient of which is creosote. There are several reliable brands of preservatives and stains that may be had at a cost of about half that of paint. We must remark also the natural durability of redwood shingles in this climate if the roof has a good pitch. We reshingled our house roof after 20 years of use and found the shingles so sound that we turned them and shingled the sides and roof of a shed with them where they promise to be good for another score of years.
Best Breed of Hogs.
What is the best breed of hogs for pen feeding, shutting them up in small pens from the time they are little pigs and feeding them mostly on skim milk and slops?
There is no best breed. It is a matter of personal preference. Any of the breeds are all right to pen up and feed. The principal thing is to see that the hogs are all pure bred and have not been crossed too often to cause deterioration. Choose one breed of hogs and keep them as pure as possible and you will have no trouble in raising them. All the breeds are good; but some are fancied more than others. Dark-colored hogs are preferred in California because less liable to sunburn.