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|Part V. Live Stock and Dairy
Controlling Sex of Animals.
I have read from what I supposed to be good authority that if a female gives birth to a male and becomes pregnant at the next "monthly penad" it will be a female, and that this holds good for every odd number. The even periods will give a male. If the birth is female, the opposite holds good, the odd periods then giving a male, while the even periods will give a female.
Many theories have been advanced, and while many have never been disproved, none have ever been recognized as absolutely reliable by authorities. M. W. Harper, in his "Breeding of Horses," makes the following points: "Data gathered from various sources seem to indicate that the two sexes are produced in practically equal numbers. The relative number of males per 100 females is given for horses as 99, for cattle 94, for sheep 102, for swine 104, and for poultry 95. In Europe a study involving 60,000,000 human births showed an average of 106 males to every 100 females. A few of the more common external theories that have gained popular credence, but which, so far as present knowledge goes, contain no basis in truth will be reviewed. It is stated that the sex is determined by the degree of maturity of the egg cell at the time of service. If the service takes place early in the period of estrum or heat, the offspring will be a male; if later, a female will result. This theory is disproved by the results of ordinary farm practice. When males and females run together, the service always takes place during the early stages of the period, which should make the offspring practically all of one sex, yet the proportion of males and females is approximately equal. It is said that the ova are alternately male and female, and that the sex of the offspring can be controlled by the choice of the proper estrum or service. Thus, if the last young was a male, then mating at the first estrum as well as third, fifth and so on, would produce females, whereas the second, fourth, sixth, and so on periods would result in males. This theory is disproved by the results of farm practice, especially in horse breeding, where males follow males and females follow females without the alternating period of estrum, it being the custom to breed mares on the ninth day after foaling."
Breeding Young Mares.
What will the effect be if I breed my young mares at two years old? Will it affect growth or disposition?
Some breeders contend that early breeding of mares has a tendency to increase the fertility and advance the development of the mare. Also that the chances of colts from mares bred at this age are as good as the first foals from older mares. Other breeders, however, contend that early breeding has a tendency to lessen the vigor of the mare, retard her development, and handicap development of the foal because the dam is immature. It is also claimed that two-year-olds fail to catch well. M. W. Harper, in "Management and Breeding of Horses," says: "From experience it seems that the practicability of breeding a two-year filly depends on at least three factors: The breed, the individuality of the mare, and the object sought. As a rule, horses of the heavy type mature younger than those of the light type. A draft filly at two years of age is often as mature as a trotting, running or saddle filly at three years of age. Individual mares differ in the way they mature, as a smoothly turned, neat, and well-finished one develops much younger than a rough, coarse and growthy individual. Maturity is influenced by the feed and care. A filly that is kept growing continuously from birth will mature earlier than one imperfectly cared for and which receives a setback each winter. If breeding pure-bred animals, and the object is to improve the strain, the advisability of breeding a two-year filly would be questionable. On the other hand, in working with grades and the object is to produce draft horses for the market there is no reason why fillies cannot be bred at two years if they are grown and mature, and their owner is willing to feed and care for them properly during pregnancy."
Best Season for Foaling.
Is there any serious objection in breeding a mare to foal in midsummer? It is pretty warm here in summer. I have only to mow and haul hay in summer and can get plenty of neighbors to help me at that, but in the fall and spring I have the heavy work of plowing, planting, etc., when the weather is favorable and the neighbors' horses are not available.
Summer colts in hot valleys are believed not to do as well as either spring or fall foals. The heat and flies seem to retard growth, but aside from that there is no reason we know of for not breeding in August. If your fall work does not start till after the fall rains it would be preferable to breed for fall foaling, say in October. If heavy work commenced in December the colt would he old enough to permit of working the mare if you provided some feed for the colt. Fall foaling is not considered so desirable as spring foaling as there is very apt to be a lack of exercise provided for the colts in winter.
Stallion License Fees.
What do we have to pay for a license on a stallion, and also is there anything else to pay?
If your horse has not been previously licensed for public service, the cost will be $2.50. A renewal of his license will cost $1.00. To secure a license certificate, you forward an affidavit signed by a licensed veterinarian to the effect that he has personally examined your stallion and that to the best of his knowledge and belief, the stallion is free from hereditary, infectious, contagious, or transmissible disease or unsoundness. You must also furnish the Stallion Registration Board stub book certificate of registration of the pedigree, provided the stallion is registered, and all other necessary papers relative to his breeding and ownership. Send these to the Secretary of the Stallion Registration Board, State Capitol, Sacramento, together with your remittance of $2.50 or $1.00 as the case may be.
What is your opinion of breeding a mare to a horse that is half brother to her? Are they too closely related to expect a good colt?
Unless there is some very good reason for inbreeding in this way, such as inability to get mare to another horse, or exceptionally good individuality on the part of both mare and stallion, I should consider it a mistake.
What breed is used mostly for polo ponies? What do you think of raising horses far such uses and is there any demand?
The increasing popularity of polo is attracting much attention to ponies suitable for playing this game. The polo pony is really not a pony, but a small horse. He does not necessarily belong to any distinct breed, and is generally a cross. For this purpose any horse possessing the necessary speed, endurance, and intelligence will do. He must be able to carry 160 to 200 pounds weight, make incessant turns, twists and stops from full speed, and make short spurts at the rapid gallop. The maximum height allowed by the American Polo Association is 14.2 hands. Small thoroughbreds, Western ponies, and cross breeds are popular. Breeding polo ponies, however, is somewhat of an experiment and presents many difficulties, the chief being the limit of height and the training. We cannot advise you as to the outlook for such breeding.
Loading Horses on Cars.
Is it best to place horses in a stock car for shipment with heads all one way or alternating? Should the shoes be taken off?
If you have a carload of about eighteen, drive them in loose, if less than a carload, tie them. It does not matter which way they face. It is best to take off the hind shoes.
Catching up Registration.
I have a number of pure-bred Jersey cows, all bred from registered stock, but registering discontinued some years ago. The bulls that have been used are all registered, but it would be necessary to go a long way back on some of the cows. Can such cows be registered?
To register your cows at the present time you will have to have each cow registered, from the last registered one down to the cow of today. Not only that, but each bull must be registered, that the pedigree can show the name and number of each animal there is, back to registered stock, or even back to the Jersey Island, to foundation stock. You had better take the matter up directly with American Jersey Cattle Club, 324 W. 23rd St., New York, N. Y.
Hogs and Dairy Cows on Twenty Acres.
I have 20 acres of land and have planned to put in about 10 acres of alfalfa and about 7 acres of corn, cow peas, or other grain, feeds from which I can get two crops a year. I want to keep cows and enough sows to raise pigs to use the balance of the feed. I will have plenty of water for irrigating. Would it pay to build a silo and how would that feed do for hogs? Would it be more profitable to pasture the hogs or keep them up and cut the alfalfa?
The plan you outline is becoming popular among small dairymen. You can plant a wide variety of early maturing crops which will work in well with corn for a silage crop. The ones most generally in use are barley, oats, rye or vetch. Barley ripens earlier for hay, allowing earlier corn planting. The average yield of silage corn is about 10 tons to the acre, and a silo 12 feet in diameter and 32 feet high, holding 72 tons, would be about right. Experience has shown that silage can not be profitably fed to swine, as they only eat the grain part, the balance being practically all wasted. The number of hogs that you keep depends upon the number of cows you intend keeping. It is generally claimed that one cow and three hogs can be maintained a year on an acre of good alfalfa, where the hogs receive the skim milk from the dairy. The average brood sow will raise about six pigs to the litter and can raise two litters a year. You would secure better results by cutting the alfalfa than by pasturing, unless you reserve a small pasture for the hogs to run on.
A Squeezer for Branding.
How do you make a "squeezer" for branding cattle?
Build the left side by setting three posts firmly in the ground and boarding the inside, the first two feet solid, and six-inch space above, using 2x6 lumber. Leave space at left hip of animal for putting on the branding irons or any other work you want to do. The "right" side is built similar except setting posts in ground. They should be securely hinged at bottom of squeezer to allow opening and closing of squeezer lever. The lever is attached to left side of squeezer to which is attached a rope running through the middle post on pulley wheel to tie to middle post on right side. This lever acts to hold animal in position while being branded, and should be eight to ten feet long. The squeezer should be built at end of a long chute and the longer it is, the more rapid the work, so would be well to be forty to sixty feet long, especially if a large band of cattle is handled. Dimensions of squeezer: nine feet long, six to seven feet high, and ten inches wide at the bottom. Dimensions of chute: forty to sixty feet long, six to seven feet high, fourteen inches wide at bottom and thirty inches wide at top. A gate should be built secure and independent at other end of squeezer - Paul Parker, Salinas.
To Prevent Self-Sucking.
Will you give me a plan of preventing cows from sucking themselves?
Fit a girth around her body, close to her shoulders, having a ring suspended under her belly. Take a strong but light stick and fasten a snap onto each end. Snap one end of this stick into the ring on the girth and run the stick through her forelegs, snapping the other end into the halter ring. In this way she will have freedom of the head to eat, etc., but cannot get to the udder. More head freedom is given by the two-slat affair described in Part V, Vol. I.
I have some heifers, coming two years old, which I wish to dehorn but have been told that if dehorned before third year, stubs will grow. Is it advisable to wait? What instrument is best?
There is no need to wait to dehorn your heifers. A butcher's meat saw is as good an instrument as you can get. Be sure and make your cut close to the skin of the head in order to destroy the horn forming structures at the base of the horn. Have a hot iron handy to stop hemorrhage. Apply Stockholm tar to the horn stubs. (For dehorning calves see Part VII, Vol. I.)
Dehorning Cows in Summer.
Would it do any harm to dehorn cows in summer?
It would not do the cows any particular harm, but dehorning is not generally done during the summer on account of the flies which are attracted and which greatly annoy the cow. The usual time for dehorning is in the spring, before the fly season starts.
Butchers' "Weighing Condition".
I sold two 250-pound calves to our butcher and the weight he returned was about 60 pounds less than they weighed here. As they rode only 3 1/2 miles, and that in a spring wagon, I knew they could not have lost $4 worth of weight in that distance, so I asked about it. He said it was not fair to him to get them full of grass, and that they should be "gaunted." He said that when cattle and hogs are sent to the San Francisco market they are not fed or watered the night before they arrive or the day they are weighed, so that when weighed they are entirely empty. Is that correct and the accepted custom?
It is the practice of all buyers to hold cattle about 24 hours before they are weighed, without feed or water, although we doubt whether it is a common practice with country butchers. If this were not done, the sellers would very often fill the stock up with water and feed during the last 24 hours, with a resultant loss to the buyer when butchered.
Increasing Milk Yield.
Is there anything to increase supply of milk in cows? Do some cows quit having calves after having two? If this is so, is there a cure in a young four-year-old?
If a cow is below her normal yield, or the milk yield for which she has natural capacity, and is in good health, her yield can be increased by better feeding with foods rich in protein - as alfalfa is, for instance. Some cows quit having calves at various ages and for various reasons; so far as we know there is no prevalence of the two-calf limit. There are so many things involved in the sterility of animals that consideration of the individual case by a qualified veterinarian is necessary.
Selling Dehorned Bulls.
If I have my young registered bull dehorned will he be as readily salable as he would be with horns?
It would depend upon the customer and for what he might want the bull; for use alone or possibly for exhibition also. Probably most buyers would prefer the natural form of the animal.
Does spaying cattle set them back much? When should it be done, as calves or yearlings? Isn't it a common practice in the East? I have been told that it stunted a calf to spay it. It seems to me with a bunch of mixed cattle, if one spays his scrubs, he will be able to breed up much faster.
Spaying has just the opposite effect. The animals make much better gains and better beef. Spaying has been a common practice, but the high price of beef has stopped it, as every cow that would bring a calf has been in great demand. The best time to do spaying is when the weather is cool and the flies are scarce. When properly done, all effects of the operation will disappear within two weeks. The best age to spay is at one year. The use of a good pure-bred bull and selection will, however, produce remarkable results in the course of a few years and you can breed out your common stock that way.
Changing from Summer to Winter Milking.
I have cows which came fresh last March and April. Is it best to breed them this summer or wait until December, which will bring them fresh again a year from next fall, when butter fat is on the rise in price? It seems a long time to let cows wait, and I wonder if it will not make the cows dry for too long a period to be profitable. If they are bred now, however, they will come fresh in the summer, when butter fat is low and the heat lowers their production.
You would probably find it more profitable to change the freshening time of your cows more gradually, having them come fresh a month or two later each year. By making the change all at once, you may have trouble in getting the cows with calf after the long wait, besides having them dry, or nearly so, for a long time.
Holsteins and Color.
How should a thoroughbred Holstein bull be marked; if more white than black, and how should his calves be marked if the mother is not a thoroughbred? I recently bought some Holstein cows, but they are mostly black, are good milkers and large cows, but are not marked with much white.
There is no particular way in which a pure-bred Holstein bull should be marked. In recent years there has been a tendency among some breeders to favor animals with more white than black but this is simply a fancy and has nothing whatever to do with the quality of the stock. When a pure-bred bull is used on grade cows, the calves usually show considerable white, providing their sire also carried considerable white. The cows you bought may both be pure-bred Holsteins, whether they be marked with much white or not.
Heifer Twins Are All Right.
I have a fine heifer that was born a twin, and people tell me that she will not breed.
If your heifer was born a twin to a bull calf she is probably a "free martin" and will not breed. If her twin was a heifer, she will probably be normal and breed.
Breeding Twin Sheep.
If a ewe has twin lambs, one a ram and the other a ewe, will the ewe be sterile the same as in a similar case with calves? If I save my ewe twins, will I be able to develop in time a breed of sheep that will always be twins?
You need have no fear of twin lambs not breeding, although there are, of course, both ewes and rams which are sterile, the same as with all other kinds of live stock. This is not due to their being twins, however. As for developing the twin habit, presumably you could make some headway if you could work at it about 100 years.
Breeding Young Sows.
How old should a sow be before she is bred?
Sows should not be bred to farrow until they are at least twelve months old and many breeders contend that it is better to have them farrow at fourteen to sixteen months. This means that they should be bred at eight to twelve months, for the period of gestation is approximately four months.
What a Good Cow Should Do.
How many pounds of butter fat per year should one expect from a first class dairy cow well cared for? What should be paid for such cows at the present time?
What one should expect from a cow in a year depends upon the man. Some dairymen are satisfied with a 150-pound cow, while others do not keep one that gives less than 300 pounds a year. It costs about $50 a year to feed and care for a cow under California conditions, where alfalfa is the main feed, so with fat at an average of 30 cents a pound a cow that gives 150 pounds of fat just about pays for her keep and no more. There are many cows that do not give more than that amount that are sold for from $50 up according to how bad a buy the purchaser makes, and it is hard to say what the average price is at this or any other time. You should be able to purchase good grade cows with a production of from 200 to 300 pounds of fat for from $80 up. The best way to get a herd of high producing grades is to buy the best cows that you can get and breed up with a pure-bred bull which has reasonably good milk records back of him, as most of those who have good grades in this State at present do not want to part with them.
Which Cow Shall He Buy?
I am going to keep four or five cows, sell cream and butter to customers in town, and feed the skim milk to chickens and pigs. Which breed would be better for me to keep - Jersey or Holstein? From what I can glean by reading the Jersey gives not so much milk but richer milk, while the Holstein gives more milk but not so rich, but in the aggregate yields just as much cream and more skim milk.
You have the relative qualifications about right for the two breeds as a whole, but you still have to decide which qualification is best for you, considering your feed supply, land available, etc. Every man has to work that out for himself, and whichever breed he chooses he is pretty sure to permanently swear by. We would no more tell a man which cow to buy than to advise him which girl to marry. If he chooses for himself he will usually be content; if another chooses for him he will begin to doubt right away. It is that way with a man.
Cows Before Calving.
I have a two-year-old heifer, due to calve in about a month, which I notice when lying down would often squeeze quite a little milk from her udder. On trying to milk her I was quite surprised to get five pints of milk. Should I milk her regularly, how often, and up to how near calving time?
It is poor policy to milk cows just before calving, as the first milk, colostrum, secreted is necessary to calf to start his gastric organs working properly. As long as your animal has good pasture, do not feed extra feed until after calving. If bag shows signs of hardening or caking, massage thoroughly and apply spirits of camphor rubbed in thoroughly. A large swollen udder is normal and needs no treatment.
Dry Cows Before Calving.
I have a young Jersey cow due to have her second calf in two months. Shall I milk her up to the time she calves, or dry her up about three weeks before her time? She is very nervous at times when milking, continually stepping, especially when milking the left front and right front teats. Her bag is not caked; in fact, she is perfectly sound in. every respect.
Dry your cow up two or three weeks before she calves. Her nervousness is due to her condition.
How to Dry a Cow.
What is the proper way to dry a cow?
Do not milk out fully, but leave a small quantity of milk in the udder, gradually decrease the amount of milk taken at each milking, until finally a day or two may be skipped between milking. Always be on the watch for a hardening of the udder, which means that not enough milk has been taken out.
Drying a Cow.
Some people told me that it is better to milk a cow until the last day before she is fresh, and some say to dry her up four or five weeks.
It is certainly advisable to dry up a cow for a time before freshening. A month or six weeks is about the proper period of rest. Some cows, of course, refuse to dry and then one has to make the best of it. Cows of beef or dual purpose breeds that have no natural tendency toward heavy milking, will of their own accord wish to dry early, it is often advisable to keep them milking strong as long as possible, but a cow of a straight dairy breed will not be injured but helped by being dry a few weeks before calving.
Arrangements With Dairy Tenants.
I am arranging to lease an alfalfa ranch on shares and am furnishing my tenant with dairy stock, buildings, and the necessary cans, separators, etc. Tenant is to do all work on the place, furnishing his own wagons, horses and agricultural implements. We expect to divide the cream check half and half, but are uncertain as to the customary division of the increase.
There are no hard and fast rules in such cases. In a general way, if you stock the ranch to its capacity, the tenant should raise to weaning age 10 per cent of the calves, which would keep up the stock in future years. These we believe should he taken care of after weaning by yourself, as it is to your interest that the producing power of the herd he kept up. All other calves would go to the tenant with the understanding that they were not to be kept on the ranch after weaning, as that would lower the cream checks through a smaller amount of feed for the milch cows. The same provision should he made with hogs, if any are raised by the tenant; that is, he should not he allowed to run them on pasture or feed from feed grown on the ranch which could otherwise be turned into butter fat through the cows. A provision should also be made which would specify the number of horses which are to be kept by the tenant for the same reasons as above given.
Money to Buy Cows.
I have heard that there are creameries which furnish the ranchers with cows and take half of the cream check each month in payment for them.
Creameries do sometimes arrange to get money for farmers for buying cows by endorsing for them. The money comes from a local bank on a farmer's note, usually secured by a chattel mortgage on the cows, payments to be made monthly on said note-usually 50 per cent of the cream check due for cream sold to the creamery. The amount loaned per cow is usually about $30 to $35 at 8 per cent, or more, interest. Such notes are endorsed by the creamery. These terms are sometimes varied slightly according to the financial standing of the borrower, grade of cows and needs of dairymen for money at certain times for harvesting crops, etc. The borrower must, of course, be a patron of the creamery from whom the loan is secured and must so continue until all amounts due are paid.
Pasteurizing Milk Law.
Does a law go into effect in 1916, compelling all retailers of milk to install pasteurizing outfits, and just what is the law?
The law you refer to goes into effect October 1, 1916. It provides that all milk and cream sold as market milk, or to be used in the production of dairy products, other than cheese, must either come from cows that have successfully passed the tuberculin test, or it must be pasteurized. It provides that pasteurization shall consist of heating the milk to not less than 140 degrees F. and holding it at that temperature not less than 25 minutes. The milk must then be immediately cooled to 50 degrees F., or lower. Cream used in the production of pasteurized butter must be heated and held for 25 minutes at 140 degrees F., but it need not be cooled to a lower temperature than is desirable for the ripening of the cream. All pasteurizers must be equipped with recording thermometers which will accurately record the temperature to which the product is heated and the time it has been held at such temperatures. The daily records made by the thermometers must be preserved and kept on file two months, and kept open for inspection by representatives of the State Dairy Bureau or any State or city health officer.
Another amendment to the former laws regulating retailers of milk, provides that any person or company labeling or representing milk to be pasteurized must use the same method of pasteurization and cooling. This became a law August 4, 1915.
It is commonly thought that the first mentioned law will not affect the dairymen selling butter fat to the creamery, or whole milk or sweet cream to retail delivery companies, the presumption being that the pasteurizing will be done by such concerns themselves. The small dairyman who retails his own product will either have to keep cows free of tuberculosis or install a pasteurizing and cooling plant.
Oil Stove in Milk Room.
Can on oil stove be kept, in milk house for heating water to wash milk utensils, if milk or cream are kept in the same room, without tainting the cream or milk?
It would be much better to have oil stove and washing utensils in a separate room from where milk and cream are kept, as there are few oil stoves that do not give off some odor. Such room need not be expensive, a lean-to shed being suitable in case you do not desire to build a better structure.
What is a "milk cooler"?
A milk cooler is used for the purpose of reducing the temperature of either milk or cream. They are sometimes made in conical shape and sometimes in riffle shape, the object being to run the warm milk over a water and air cooled surface. By running a thin sheet of milk over these riffles, the air itself lowers the temperature somewhat, but to further cool it, the utensil is so made that a continual stream of water is run inside the vessel, thus reducing the temperature of the milk to about 50 or 60 degrees F., if freshly pumped water is used. Where whole milk is to be sold, it should be poured over the cooler as soon as possible after being milked, but if butter fat is sold to the creamery, it is better to cool the cream alone as it runs from the separator into the cream can.
Acid and Heat in Milk Testing.
Which is the best kind of sulphuric acid to use for milk testing? If the hot water that is put in the bottle is not hot enough, does one get as good a test?
Sulphuric acid for milk testing should have a specific gravity of 1.825. should be almost as clear as water and should not contain any foreign matter. The water for testing milk should be nearly boiling when the testing is started and it is much better if the tester is kept hot by steam pipes, while the testing is being done. This applies particularly to cream testing.
Horsepower and Pasteurizing.
What size boiler (h. p.) would be required to operate a single bottle washer and sterilizer which sterilizes 24 gallons at one time - not over 250 bottles washed at a time. What h. p. boiler would be required for a pasteurizer of 40 or 50 gallons capacity? Does pasteurized milk need cooling?
A one and a half horsepower vertical boiler would be large enough to run your bottle washer and sterilizer, but it would be more economical in operation to have a two h. p. boiler of the same type. To furnish power for bottle washer, sterilizer and pasteurizer of 40 or 50-gallon capacity, you should have nothing less than a four h. p. vertical boiler. Perhaps the most serious question confronting the whole-milk dairymen with small herds is not so much the pasteurizing as it is the proper cooling of milk after pasteurizing. To keep milk any length of time after it has been held at a temperature of 140 degrees in the pasteurizer, it should be immediately cooled to about 40 degrees F. This is best accomplished by a supply of brine or ice water through which the milk is run. In case you do not have the facilities for doing this, you can build a refrigerator in which the temperature is kept down by the use of ice, or pack your bottles after bottling, with ice.
The last butter I made would not turn hard, although I churned for hours to see if it would, and was so bitter we could not eat it. The cream and milk is always good and sweet so I cannot imagine what the trouble may be.
You must have intended to state that the cream would not churn, for no person would churn a long time after the butter came in order to harden it. Over-churning would have the effect of making it greasy and incorporating a lot of buttermilk. In farm butter-making there are often difficulties in churning, especially at times when most of the cows are dry, and when those still milking are well advanced in the period of lactation. The milk at that time contains a large proportion of small fat-globules that are not easily gathered. To ripen the cream to a higher degree of acidity, to obtain cream from cows that have freshened within a few months, or to feed the cows more succulent food will sometimes remedy the trouble. If the cream is not churned sweet and fresh it should be properly ripened as quickly as possible. If cream is left during cool weather until it gets sour, the lactic acid bacteria will develop so slowly that they will be crowded out and too many undesirable bacteria that produce bad flavors will develop. This may be the cause of the bitter flavor of the butter - F. W. Andreasen, Sec'y State Dairy Bureau.
Can one who is ignorant of the subject make and sell cheese as profitably from three or four cows on alfalfa as can. be made from selling butter fat? What work on cheese making would you recommend?
It takes an experienced cheese maker to make good cheese, and with cheese there is an added objection in our alfalfa sections due to the difficulty of making good cheese from alfalfa milk, which even experienced cheese makers often find difficult. Then too, in making cheese the cost of equipment, etc., for a three-cow dairy would be prohibitive. You had better stay with the butter fat proposition at least until you have a much larger dairy and master the details of cheese making. "Science and Practice of Cheese Making" is a complete treatise on the subject and may be obtained at this office for $1.75.
Hints on Cream Testing.
In testing cream with the ordinary four-bottle Babcock hand power tester we have difficulty in keeping the butter fat in the neck of the bottles from getting cold and solidifying during the last whirl of the bottles. This makes the test unreliable and very hard to read. We use a "full" sample of cream, 18 cubic centimeters and 17.5 cubic centimeters of sulphuric acid which we get from the creamery. The acid seems to be strong enough as it works very well in testing milk. I understand there is a way of testing cream by using a "half" sample or 9 c. c. and adding 9 c. c. of water. My test bottles are graduated up to 50%. I am getting a 9 cubic centimeter pipette but am not sure whether or not that I should use a 9 c. c.. pipette with a 50% bottle.
You cannot expect to get accurate results by measuring the cream either with an 18 cubic centimeter, or a 9 cubic centimeter pipette, because the weight of cream such a pipette delivers varies with the temperature, the richness of the cream and the amount of gas or air the cream may contain. To obtain accurate results the cream should be weighed, using either an 18-gram, or a 9-gram sample as you may prefer. A 9-gram sample may be placed in a bottle graduated for 18 grams, 9 cubic centimeters of water added, and the test run in precisely the same way as though 18 grams had been used. The only difference is that the reading must be multiplied by 2. There is nothing to be gained by using a 9-gram sample in a 50% - 18-gram bottle. If you wish to use 9 gram's instead of 18 grams you can purchase bottles graduated to give the percentage directly on 9 grams. In attempting to keep the fat from solidifying before reading, heat the cups of the tester by means of hot water before placing the test bottles in them; run the test in a warm room; make sure the water added during the testing is hot, and that you place the bottles in a warm bath at about 140 degrees after taking them from the machine. Some of your trouble is due to the fact that you may be using too much acid. A fixed amount of acid should not be used, but rather such an amount as will give you a good clear fat column. The amount that will give you this clear fat column can be judged by the color of the milk and acid just after they have been thoroughly mixed together. This color has been described as being "similar to that of coffee after cream has been added." - C. F. Hoyt, Chemist State Dairy Bureau.
Butter Fat in Cream.
Is the same amount of butter fat contained in a given quantity of cream from different coros, the test in each case being the same?
If cream has a certain test, it does not matter a particle what cows produced it, otherwise creameries by their testing would not know how much fat they were buying. A test of 35, for instance, means that in every 100 pounds of cream there are 35 pounds of fat, and 80 pounds of cream of that test would contain 28 pounds of fat, and so on without reference to the cows producing same. If you want to know whether different cows will produce cream of the same test, that is a thing for the separator to look after, and thick or thin cream can be secured by adjusting the separator accordingly. It is, of course, true that rich milk run through a separator will give richer cream than low testing milk run through the same separator at the same rate of speed without adjusting.
What Kind of Cream to Sell.
I have been told that one should have a cream separator set so that cream will test from 32 to 35 per cent and yet with separator adjusted in this manner I received an average of one-eighth pound of butter fat per day less from 25 pounds of milk than when adjusted to test 24 to 28. I cannot see why the higher test is better when I get more money from the lower test.
In separating milk there should be no difference in the amount of fat in the milk, whether you were skimming 25 per cent cream or 45 per cent, as in either case you are supposed to get all of the fat in the milk, the only difference being that where 25 per cent is the standard, you are giving the creamery about 10 pounds more skim milk.
It is for this reason that most dairymen set their separator to skim from 35 to 40 per cent cream, as anything above that is hard to handle and is more apt to cause a loss through being too thick. But it is very likely that some other thing is the cause of your decreased amount of fat. It may be that there is a difference in the temperature or you may have increased or decreased the speed of the separator which often times is the cause of much wasted fat.
Types of Poland Chinas.
Hog breeders who advertise in the Pacific Rural Press have for sale large and medium type Poland China hogs. In all of the stock books which I have referred to I find no mention of such types.
Advertising in the above manner is due to the fact that two distinct types of Poland Chinas have been developed through years of selection on the part of the breeders some of whom admired the smaller and more refined hog while others preferred the coarser and larger-boned one. By continual breeding for the smaller or medium-sized type, many breeders have wandered a long way from the original Poland China type, which was much heavier and coarser than even our present day large type. Both have their admirers; and it is simply a matter of which type you prefer. Guilford's "California Hog Book," published by the Pacific Rural Press, notes three types of Poland China: "big-bone, medium and fine-bone."
Right Age for Breeding Sows.
Can young sows be made to mate in a practical way?
Gilts will usually take the boar at an early age, but it is the general belief that it is better to allow a gilt to get most of her growth before breeding so that she can do both herself and her pigs justice. This naturally varies with different animals as some mature earlier than others and can better withstand the drain on their constitution, but as a general thing the sow that is bred at one year old will likely prove more profitable than those bred younger.
Registering Poland China Hogs.
What is the cost of registering a pure-bred Poland China hog? What is the usual course of procedure between buyer and seller of pure-bred hogs? Can the seller, make a price for registering $5.00 extra for each hog?
In all the Poland China associations the fee for recording pedigrees is one dollar for non-stockholders and fifty cents for stockholders. The seller of a pure-bred hog gives a pedigree to the buyer and this pedigree is eligible to be recorded in either of the three companies, no matter upon which company's pedigree blanks it may be written. The seller can overcharge the buyer for having the pedigree recorded the same as he could overcharge the buyer for the value of the hog if the buyer will allow it. The buyer could demand the pedigree, and it is my opinion that the seller could be legally forced to furnish it, the same as he would have to deliver the hog to the buyer. But this is a legal point that could only be satisfactorily answered by one versed in the law. When the buyer gets the pedigree he could have it recorded as above stated. - Pres. A. M. Henry, California Swine Breeders' Association, Farmington.
There are advertisements of hogs in which some state their stock is cholera-immune. What is meant by "cholera-immune"?
When advertisers state that their hogs are cholera-immune, they mean that their herds have been inoculated with cholera serum, and are considered immune from cholera. This, however, does not apply to their offspring, which will in turn have to be vaccinated the same as their parents before becoming immune.
I have a large Poland China boar which the sows cannot hold up. Will you please give me directions for making a breeding crate?
Make a crate 5 1/2 or 6 feet in length, 2 feet 4 inches inside width and 3 feet high, out of 2x4 or other good strong lumber. Leave one end open and enclose the other end with a sliding gate. Lay a floor in the bottom with 1x10 boards. Nail 2x4 cleats on each side of the crate, from a point about where the sow's head comes in the front part of the crate to the floor of the crate at the other end. These cleats are for the boar's forward feet to rest upon and hold his weight off from the sow. Bore holes in the sides of the crate just above the point where the sow's hocks come, through which an adjustable rod may be run to keep the sow from backing out of the crate. In breeding the sow, back her into the front of the crate and close her in with the slip-gate. Drive the boar into the back end which is always open.
Another style of breeding crate is shown in the adjacent drawing, in which the measurements are as follows: Length, 5 feet 6 inches; width, 2 feet; height, 3 feet 6 inches. Uprights at corners are 2x4s; sides 1x4 strips with 10-inch boards at the bottom. Supports for feet of boar (AA) are hinged at front end of crate, and are raised by chains (B). Outside the crate are hooks to hold chains. "C" is an iron rod which slips through holes (D) in bottom side boards. It should come just above the sow's hocks. For a small boar on a large sow, place a cleated sloping platform at rear of crate.
For farrowing pens, would it do to build a house about 20x72 feet, with good floors and roof, divided into pens about 6x8 with a four-foot aisle down the middle? This would accommodate 24 saws. Even this for 150 sows would be expensive, but as they would not all farrow at the same time it probably would not be necessary to have more than four houses. The sows would not have to be shut up like this for more than six to eight weeks, when they could be turned out on the alfalfa.
Prof. J. I. Thompson says the plan you suggest is quite a common one, though the pens should be 7x8, and for large sows 8x10, rather than 6x8. The sows would not necessarily be kept in these pens after the pigs are two weeks old. After that they could be allowed to run in pasture provided not too many are put together.
Fall or Spring Pigs?
Would boars from a spring litter be any better for sires than boars from fall litters, and if so, why?
Chas. Goodman, of Williams, says that other things being equal, the date of farrowing would not affect the usefulness of the pig. If he is properly bred and properly developed that is about all that would be required to produce results. He would as soon have a boar farrowed on the first day of April as on Christmas if the breeding was all right but if the breeding was bad he would not take the pig at any price.
Start With Scrubs, or Pure-breds?
If a man has $100 to invest in hogs and needs a quick income, should he invest in pure-breds or in scrubs and then work into pure-breds?
Your $100 will buy a lot of common pigs and you will keep them most any way, and if they are not too scrubby they will make you some money. The $100 will more than buy two choice purebred sows already bred to a boar whose ancestry guarantees the largest percentage of pigs which will have the most desirable market conformation, the greatest uniformity, the best killing percentage, the quickest maturity, the most economical use of food, and will in turn produce other pigs of the same kind. In the fall of 1913 W. H. Ginn & Son of Corcoran bought two pure-bred Duroc sows three years old already bred. They cost $100. They raised nine sows and seven boars. In the fall of 1914, three of the sow pigs were bred and sold for $105. Last spring those three gilts had 25 pigs and raised every one. Six of the first sow pigs were kept as the foundation for his own pure-bred herd and no more females have been bought. Last September, when seen at his ranch, he had 120 head of pure-breds which delight the heart of any hog man, to say nothing of the boar pigs he has sold in the meantime. The sows have averaged eight pigs per litter and raised 85 per cent, though the hog sheds are built simply of scraps of lumber that would have been wasted, and the
feed all grown on the place. He has fifty beauties farrowed by six sows last June. He takes pride in looking at them, in feeding them, in showing them to visitors and while they have probably paid their way through the sales of breeding stock and culls for pork, they have at the same time produced a surplus of 120 head from the two original sows in two years. These 120 head are each worth about eight times as much cash as if they were scrubs.
Gestation of Sheep and Swine.
How many days do sheep and hogs carry their young, and how often do they come in heat?
Usually when not with pig or suckling, a sow will be in heat about 3 days out of 21, or once in three weeks. Whether or not a sow is safely in pig will be known about 20 or 21 days after breeding. The period of gestation is about 112 days from date of service although young sows are apt to carry their pigs for a slightly shorter period, sometimes 106 to 108 days, and old sows may be taken a longer time, extending to possibly 115, days. Ewes when not bred or suckling come in heat from 2 to 4 days out of 7 months and if they do not become impregnated after service, heat will recur after about 17 to 28 days. The average gestation period of ewes is 150 days, with extremes varying between 146 and 157 days.
Sheep Breeds for Range.
What is the best sheep for mountain range ? Is there a breed that frequently drops twins?
Merino sheep are conceded to be the best range sheep, due to the fact that they are more easily herded and have the vigor and constitution to stand the hardships which are required of them at times. Outcrosses are made at times to some of the mutton breeds, but in all of our larger flocks of range stock Merino blood predominates for the above reasons. All breeds of sheep drop twins, which accounts for the high percentage of lambs that are raised where good care is exercised.
Sheep on Alfalfa.
I have thought of raising grade Shropshire sheep, using alfalfa as feed. What would the outlook be for the sale of bucks, and could 200 head be kept on 40 acres of alfalfa, yielding 175 to 200 tons per year?
There has been a heavy demand for well-bred Shropshire rams. The sheep of the future will be largely grown in the manner you describe. There is, however, one requirement that you will have to live up to and that is to secure well-bred foundation stock. The outlook for such an undertaking depends more upon the class of stock you raise and upon your selling ability than anything else. Experience seems to show that you are well within your limit in figuring five head of sheep to the acre of alfalfa.
What Kind of Goats?
Around here, hair goats are said to pay better than the better grades of Angoras; are said to raise more kids; are larger for mutton; and are also hardier. Is hair goat a local name for a mixed Angora and a common goat? The hair goat does not pay to shear, but is somewhat heavier than the Angora, say 35 to 50 cents per head heavier. Now, if this is so, and as in a former article in the Press you said the Angoras only averaged 55 cents per head for mohair, it would seem to me that the lower grade of Angora or hair goat would be better to raise, as a man would not have to shear. Being hardier also, this ought to run the difference up to 75 cents per head. Also, what about the future of the goat-mutton market?
We take it a "hair goat" is just a goat, whether he has a little Angora blood or not, for to get high-priced mohair a goat must be very near purebred Angora. The common goat is much hardier than the Angora, which must have intelligent handling and some protection during the rainy season. If this is to be given, well-bred Angoras would be a more profitable venture than the hair goats as they do not cost very much more in the first place; the annual clip of mohair is in their favor; when killed, their skins are worth $1.75 to $2.50 for making chaps, whereas the hair goats' skins are of considerably less value. As to the future of the butcher demand for goats, the present outlook is that mutton will command good prices. The butcher does not desire the older goats, so you would have to turn off your young goats.
Will Angora goats do well pasturing on logged-off land, where there is a second growth of fir, spruce, etc., undergrowth of brush, also weeds, and some good growth of grass? What is the average price of the hair, and pounds per head?
Angora goats are often used for clearing land and would do well under conditions described. The price of mohair in 1908 ranged from 22c to 25c per pound, while in 1913 it averaged 34c per pound. The average weight of the fleece of American Angoras is about two and a half pounds, according to Farmers' Bulletin 573, "The Angora Goat." This publication can be obtained from the Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D. C. It gives excellent brief discussions of Angoras and of questions relating to the management of the flock.
Points on Milch Goats.
What is the milking period of a milch goat? What is the average quantity daily? Is there a market for their milk and what price obtainable? What price must one pay per head for milch goats?
The period of lactation with milch goats, as with cows, depends upon individuality, breed, feed and general care. It is a fair to good goat that will average two quarts a day for seven or eight months although some do for 12 or more months. The former goat would probably give 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 quarts a day at three weeks after, kidding. One that will give more is especially desirable. That can not be unless the animals are fairly well-bred and cared for properly. Some do give more than that amount but not many give more than 4 to 5 quarts daily at any time. Does should be two years old before kidding. Fairly well-bred to pure-bred doe kids at weaning time (four to five months) are priced at from $10 to $50 or more. At a year old they will be worth from $25 to $75, depending upon their development. At 20 to 24 months of age and in kid by pure-bred registered bucks, they bring $35 to $100, depending upon their individuality. There is usually a ready market, as goat milk is especially recommended by many doctors for invalids and babies in particular. Fifteen cents a quart is considered the minimum by most raisers, although it often sells for 20 cents or more.
State the best arrangement, the necessary floor space, and the cost of materials for a cow barn for 15 cows - nothing fancy, but substantial and clean.
A milking shed for 15 cows, built either at right angles to the barn where the feed is stored or at the end of same, should be about 20 feet wide and from 50 to 57 feet 6 inches long, according to the space allowed for each cow. This space is usually from 3 feet to 3 feet 6 inches. Where the cows are only to be kept in the barn while fed and milked the space for each cow is generally only 3 feet. Allowing only the latter space, 45 feet for the cows and a gangway 5 feet wide at the end where the shed connects with feed barn would be sufficient. There should be concrete floor arranged as follows: feed alley and manger from outside wall to stanchions 8 feet; floor stanchion to gutter, 5 feet, with one inch fall to gutter; gutter 18 inches wide; passage way from gutter to outside wall 5 feet 6 inches. There should be about ten 2x3 feet windows in the barn. Another plan would be to build the shed for 16 cows with two rows of cows and a feed alley 10 feet wide between the rows. This milking shed would be about 29 feet by 34 feet and could be extended if the herd increased in number. The cost of the concrete floor and foundation would be about $200.00. The cost of lumber and building can best be estimated by a carpenter who knows the price of lumber on the ground - F. W. Andreasen, Sec'y State Dairy Bureau.
Dairy Barn Construction.
I am planning to build a milking barn, and desire advice as to the following dimensions: Back wall 8 feet high, walk or driveway 4 feet, gutter 16 inches, being 4 inches deep on back side and 6 inches deep in front, platform 4 feet 8 inches, curb for stanchion support 5 inches thick and 8 inches high, manger 6 inches deep and 2 1/2 feet wide, sloping from feed alley to bottom of curb, and a feed alley 8 feet 6 inches, having slightly curving surface toward the mangers. How much slope to the foot should platform and driveway have toward the gutter? Should the bottom of the gutter be level or should it slope toward one side, and if so, to which side? How much slant should the floor have lengthwise to give sufficient fall for flushing out the gutters? What finish is best for concrete to prevent cows from slipping? Will use steel stanchions. Is it best to use swivels in the chain hangings or not?
The height of your back wall is satisfactory, but build the first four feet out of concrete, making a wall about four inches thick. This will allow flushing off any manure that may splatter against the wall. Windows, for ventilation and light, should be placed above this concrete, with provision made for opening or closing them. Five feet instead of four feet should be allowed for the walk back of the gutter, as it will give you more room for driving cows in or out, while others are in stanchions. The walls of the gutter should be the same height on both sides, preferably 2 1/2 or 3 inches, and the entire gutter should slope with the floor of the barn. Deep gutters are not desirable as cows are more apt to receive injuries from slipping into them. The bottom of the gutter should slope slightly toward the outside wall, allowing the liquid manure to drain off from the solid matter. Build your platform 5 feet wide, and by having swivel stanchions you can regulate the distance between stanchion and gutter to conform with the size of your cows. The dimensions you give for the curb are satisfactory, but make about a 2-inch hole in the bottom of each manger, thus allowing an outlet for water used in flushing. We see no reason for having feeding alley convex in shape. A two-inch slope from manger to gutter should drain your floor satisfactorily, and about six inches slope to the 100 feet will be satisfactory for the gutter and floor. If not over 50 feet long, drain floor and gutter to one end, but if say 100 feet long, have floor and gutter slope to center, of barn, using a drain at that point to carry manure and liquid out of the barn. A rough floated cement finish is most satisfactory for platform and walks in cow stables, as it prevents slipping. Use the swivel stanchions as they allow more comfort for the cow while in the barn.
What are the necessary steps to be taken in advertising an animal under the estray law of California?
The present estray law of California provides that any person taking up an animal "shall confine same in a secure place and within a week thereafter shall publish in some newspaper of general circulation, printed and published in the county in which such estray is found, and also file with the County Recorder of said county a notice containing a description of the animal or animals taken up, with the marks and brands, if they have any, together with the probable value of such animal, and a statement of the place where the taker-up found and where he has confined the same. * * * The said notice shall be so published for two weeks. * * * If, however, the animal has the owner's mark or brand upon it, and such brand or mark has been recorded according to law, or if the finder knows the owner of said animal, or the person having charge thereof, then within five days after said animal is taken up he shall notify the owner of said animal, or the person having charge thereof, which notice shall contain the same information as the notice to be published and recorded."
Salt-Curing a Calf Hide.
How can I cure a calf hide for a mat?
Trim the forelegs off above the knees, the hindlegs at the second joint or hock, tail cut off within two inches of the body, forehead, lips, ears, etc., should come off, or any other useless long pieces on any part of the hide. All flesh and fat should be removed, the hair side should be swept clean of all dirt, the flesh side should be washed with warm water to remove blood, etc. Then the hide should be salted evenly all over, using about 12 to 18 pounds of coarse salt according to the size of the hide. See that every part of the hide is exposed to the action of the salt. Place the hide on the floor, allow to cool, then salt evenly. Leave for six hours to thoroughly cool, then fold the hide in halves, head to tail, sprinkling a little salt on the hair side next to the points and tail. By this means the flesh side does not come into contact with dirt and blood on the hair side. Leave folded for from seven to ten days, after which they may be taken up and swept clean, and any further trimming done as required.
Would it be profitable to raise frogs for market?
S. Beck & Company of San Francisco, who make a specialty of frogs and terrapins, advise us that they know of no one in California who has made a success of raising frogs for the market. There has been some interest lately and two or three parties have recently started, but it is not known what success they have had. There is always a market for frogs. Beck & Co. pay $1 to $3 per dozen alive, according to the size of them, and also pay the transportation charges. Their supply is now sent in by men who make it a business to catch wild frogs, but the supply is getting scarcer every year, and possibly you could make money if you have land that isn't good for cultivation and is good for frogs, and if you protect the frogs against their natural enemies, snakes, turtles, birds, etc.