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|Part VI. Feeding Animals
Calves and Separated Milk.
Is there any danger in feeding separated milk to calves? I have fed mine separated milk with meal, sometimes linseed, and sometimes calf meal, and they have had well cured alfalfa also. Four have died suddenly from a violent bloat that even sticking could not relieve.
This is not due to separated milk, but is more likely to have been caused by unclean milk vessels, which had fermentable material. Cleanse the vessels after use, in one-half per cent solution formalin, and use vessels without corners or crevices.
Calves Without Milk.
Can I buy calves and raise them without milk? Would canned milk do?
It would not be profitable to use canned milk. There are a number of calf meals on the market which are used as a substitute for milk; but, according to Professor Woll, the conclusions drawn from a number of experiments with a number of these feeds were that while good, strong, healthy calves could be raised with them, it is much cheaper for the dairyman to mix his own meal. He advises the use of the following mixture: 20 parts each of ground oats and wheat middlings; 10 parts of corn meal; and 5 parts of linseed meal or ground flaxseed. He also states that if skim milk is not at hand, a good substitute is third grade dry skim milk powder. This is what is commonly known as dry milk and may be purchased at any store handling a full line of feeds.
Old process oil meal and wheat middlings mixed half and half by weight made into a gruel with one pint of the mixture per gallon of warm water is recommended by an old dairyman.
Better Sell the Calf.
I have a two-weeks-old bull calf, for which I am offered $5. I have no pasture, but will have more oat hay than I need for horses. Will it pay to raise calf to sell for beef? Can I do so on oat hay alone, or would it pay to buy alfalfa hay at $12 per ton, or had I better sell the calf now, also the hay?
As your calf is presumably not pure-bred and therefore has only potential beef value, we would take the $5 and sell the extra hay or feed it to a heifer calf.
Pasturing or Rack Feeding?
Can I get better results from pasturing dairy cows on the alfalfa or by cutting the alfalfa green and feeding it in the corral?
This question has been much discussed and the arguments have favored corral feeding or soiling. Aside from the fact that feeding in the racks makes a lot of extra work, due to the daily hauling from the field and the extra time spent in mowing small amounts at a time, there is no objection, so far as we know, to that system, while the practice of pasturing has a number of objections; namely it is a bad thing for the alfalfa, as the sharp hoofs of the cows cut the crowns, etc.; there is waste in pasturing due to tramping. Another objection is that cows are lost often in pasturing, through the bloat, which seldom happens when green alfalfa is fed in corrals. The common practice is to cure a part of every crop cut, and feed the balance in the above manner, to have good feed the year round.
Feeding Conditions of Sorghum Fodder.
Please tell me when to cut sorghum for fodder. What will be the feeding value of dry fodder for milch cows?
Sorghum may be cut for fodder any time after the seeds are in the early milk stage. At this period of growth the fodder is most palatable to stock and contains a fair proportion of dry matter. If it is left standing until nearly matured a larger yield of feed materials will be obtained per acre, but the fodder will be somewhat less digestible than when cut earlier. The largest amount of digestible matter from an acre will, however, in general be secured when the kernels are in the dough. The reason why sorghum is always left to mature before being siloed is that it will make a very acid silage if cut before this period, owing to the relatively large proportion of sugar and other readily fermentable carbohydrates which the plants contain at the earlier stages of growth.
The feeding value of dry sorghum fodder will depend on the stage at which it is cut and the care with which it is cured. We may assume as a general proposition that such fodder is worth perhaps two-thirds that of grain hay. But for the fact that the relatively thick stems contain considerable water (30 to 40 per cent) there is no reason to believe that it would have a lower feeding value, ton for ton, than hay from the common grasses or cereals - F. W. W.
Falling off in Milk with Good Feeding.
We have been feeding a ration of about one pound of cane molasses, two pounds of cocoa meal, one pound rolled barley, and three pounds alfalfa hay, chopped by a silage cutter. We have been milking about fifty-four head. Aside from the mixed ration, our cows have had alfalfa hay of a good, clean quality fed in the rack. Our cows are constantly falling off in their milk production, some as much as 14 to 16 pounds in a day. We have been having considerable trouble with our cows scouring. Some say the cane molasses caused the trouble; but a number have told us that it was the chopped hay.
The only feed among those mentioned that has decided laxative properties is cane molasses. Under conditions stated the safer plan would be to omit it from the mixture. We have not had any difficulty with scouring in feeding chopped alfalfa hay to our cows, and do not believe that this feed is responsible for the trouble. The fact that the cows are falling off rapidly in their milk production cannot be due to the method of feeding adopted unless they have been greatly weakened by continued severe scouring. From a physiological point of view the ration fed can hardly be improved upon, except perhaps by feeding somewhat more barley or some other low-protein grain feed and reducing the cocoanut meal correspondingly. If cows fall off in their flow of milk more than 5 per cent per month during the early part of the lactation period and more than 10 per cent per month toward the end of the lactation, there is something wrong either with the method of feeding practiced or with the cows themselves. In this case the chances are that the trouble is in the cows themselves; that they are not persistent milkers or good dairy cows. A good cow should give milk for at least ten months during the year, and should not go down more rapidly from month to month in her milk yield than stated above - F. W. W.
Balanced Ration for Cow.
I would like to know a balanced ration for a cow, including dried beet pulp.
The cheapest ration that a California farmer can feed his cows this season (1915) if he has alfalfa, will be about as follows: Alfalfa hay ad lib., say 25 pounds per head daily; dried beet pulp, rolled barley and cocoanut meal, equal parts each by weight, 1 pound of the mixture for every 5 pounds of milk which the cows yield. This will make a balanced ration and will produce as satisfactory results as any ration for milch cows which does not include some succulent feed, either green feed, silage, or roots. It may improve the ration to some extent to feed the beet pulp wet, soaking it in 3 or 4 times its weight of water, about 6 hours before feeding time, but the advantage gained by this method is hardly sufficient, in my experience, to make it worth while to go to this trouble in feeding the grain mixture - F. W. W.
Please tell me the best feed to use to fatten an old cow?
Farm animals that are to be fattened should receive considerable amounts of starchy or other carbonaceous components in their rations, and these must be furnished largely in concentrated form so that a large share of the nutrients contained in the feed will be available for productive purposes and will not be used up in the work of digestion. Grain or other starchy concentrates must, therefore, be fed freely. There is no single feed that will fatten animals more readily than Indian corn, which is the most important fattening feed in this country. The grain sorghums and other cereals are also excellent for fattening purposes. It is always well to give a mixture of feeds rather than a single feed only, as animals will eat more on a varied diet and will go to their feed with a keen appetite when given a variety. At present feed prices in this State, a mixture of either rolled barley and dried beet pulp, or barley, milo, and beet pulp, fed in the proportions of 2:1 or equal parts by weight, respectively, will be about the most economical and efficient grain ration that can be fed to fattening animals. Either grain mixture fed liberally and with a good grade of hay will fatten cattle in a short time - F. W. W.
Making up a Ration for Cows.
What would be a balanced ration made up of the following ingredients and how much of this mixture should be given to cows giving 30 pounds milk per day: ground barley, linseed oil meal, heavy dairy bran, alfalfa meal and steam dried beet pulp? The cows at present are having clover hay in addition to the mash, but later will only have grain hay. We have silo in construction and corn growing, to have silage later, but until then must make up a ration of what I have. Would it be better to add ground oats also?
The best nutritive ratio for cows giving a certain amount of milk per day will vary according to the prices of the available feeding stuffs. If the protein feeds, like alfalfa and clover, are cheap compared with starchy feeds a narrower nutritive ratio may be fed to better advantage than when the opposite is true. With grain hay as the main roughage, it is necessary to feed more protein (flesh-forming substances) in the form of concentrates than if alfalfa or clover is fed; fortunately equally good results can, as a rule, be obtained in this way by furnishing somewhat more total digestible matter in the ration. A nutritive ratio of about 1:7 will be about right under these conditions and with average prices of the feeds given. It is not necessary to feed ground oats in addition to the other feeds, as these furnish ample variety to the ration.
I would suggest that about 8 pounds of concentrates be fed, with 20 pounds of grain hay per head daily, and that the grain mixture be made up of barley, wheat bran, and dried beet pulp, in the proportion of 3:1:1, a small amount of oil meal (1/2 to 1 pound) being added to increase the protein in the ration and as an appetizer. A ration made up as suggested, with one pound of oil meal, will have a nutritive ratio of nearly 1:7 and will contain sufficient food materials to meet the needs of cows giving 30 pounds of milk a day.
When corn silage is available, the roughage will contain still more starchy feeds and it will be necessary to supply more protein in the concentrates by feeding more bran or oil meal. The former feed would be likely to prove the cheaper source of protein of the two. The best combination of feeds to be given in each case depends largely on the relative market price of these - F. W. W.
Pumpkin Seeds and Cows.
What effect have pumpkin seeds, fed with the pumpkins to milk cows?
No ill effects. We have fed them to cows ever since we were a kid. Give the cow the whole thing after smashing it so she can get hold.
Growing and Feeding Squashes.
Give the feeding value of sweet potato squash for hogs. They are of a slate color and grow about 18 to 24 inches long and about the shape of a sweet potato. What is the feeding value of pumpkins?
There is no notable difference in the feeding value of field squashes and pumpkins. They have all been selected toward the same standards of quality and whatever has a good name has reached similar standing. They have a good record as hog feed, though the pork has been reported off color when too much squash is fed. For the same green weight the squash family would be worth a little less than half as much as alfalfa for growth and a little more than half for fattening.
Squash and Pumpkins for Cows.
What about feeding pumpkins to cows? I am told that they are good for hogs, but will dry up milch cows.
There is no conclusive evidence that pumpkins have a tendency to dry up cows, although some farmers believe that such is the case. The fact that many leading dairymen are feeding pumpkins regularly to their cows so long as they last, shows however, that at least some farmers think well of them, and also suggests that the difference of opinion as to their value is very likely due to the way in which they have been fed. If cows do not get much other feed, or if fed only a poor quality of roughage with the pumpkins, they will be likely to go down in milk yield more rapidly than they should. On the other hand, fed with good hay and some grain the results will be most satisfactory. Pumpkins are low in nutritive properties, containing only about ten pounds of dry substance per 100 pounds, and they cannot, therefore, be depended on to supply any large proportion of the nutrients required. It is always advisable to feed some grain to cows producing medium or large flow of milk, except when they have abundant pasture. With such pasture it is rather unnecessary to feed pumpkins, and they are of advantage more as an appetizer in that case than for the amount of nutrients which they supply. When fed as sole succulent feed to dairy cows, it is advisable to add rolled barley, or some grain mixture like barley, dried beet pulp and cocoanut meal, equal parts by weight, at the rate of one pound for every six or seven pounds of milk which the cows produce. These feeds make a very satisfactory grain mixture for dairy cows on alfalfa and roots or silage. - F. W. W.
Feeding Dried Beet Pulp.
My cow declines to eat beet pulp, either dry or soaked. I persuade her by mixing cocoanut meal with it, one part cocoanut to two parts beet, soaked. What is the feeding value of beet pulp compared with bran or alfalfa meal?
Dried beet pulp is not particularly palatable feed, but it does not take dairy cows long to get accustomed to it and they will eat large amounts right along when once started on this feed. The best way to teach cows to eat pulp is to feed a little at first with other concentrates, and gradually increase the allowance until the grain mixture decided upon has been reached. Some farmers prefer feeding the pulp wet, and some feed it dry. It does not make much difference how it is fed, although most cows take to it more readily when it is fed wet than when dry and will eat larger quantities of it in the former form.
Cocoanut meal is all right to mix with the pulp. A mixture of barley and cocoanut meal, or barley and mill feed, is better, since several feeds make a more appetizing grain mixture than one or two and will favor a high production. Your cow did not need much more feed than she was furnished in the roughage fed, or you did not try her long enough. Good dairy cows will always respond to grain feeding and take to a mixture containing beet pulp as readily as other grain mixtures.
The fact that beet pulp, as a general rule, is a relatively cheap feed on the Coast makes it a very desirable component of our dairy rations, it contains no injurious component or chemical substances that would render it undesirable as a dairy feed or a component of the grain ration for dairy cows. Its feeding value may be considered nearly equal to that of wheat bran and somewhat higher than that of alfalfa meal, ton for ton. - F. W. W.
Barley Straw for Dairy Cows.
My barley turned yellow before it fully matured. The barley is considerably shrunk and I think it is not fit to sell, so I expect to feed it to my dairy cows. The straw is quite tender and sweet. Would it be profitable to cut up the straw fine and mix it with my barley (rolled) and some other concentrates?
Barley straw has a similar feeding value to oat straw, and contains about forty per cent digestible carbohydrates. A considerable portion of this is, however, in the form of fiber and is of doubtful value for productive purposes, but there is enough valuable digestible nutrients in it to fully justify its use for feeding farm stock. It is used as a regular part of the rations for horses and fattening cattle in European countries, being cut fine and fed wet mixed with concentrates or sliced roots. Since the correspondent is feeding alfalfa hay it will be advisable to feed the cut straw with either rolled barley or molasses. All these feeds are high in carbohydrates (starchy components) and, therefore, supplement nicely alfalfa which is high in protein (flesh-forming substances). A good method of feeding will be to wet the cut straw with molasses diluted with three to four times its weight of water and mix rolled barley with it. The latter may also be fed alone. - F. W. W.
Feeding Value of Sweet Potatoes.
What is the feeding value of sweet potatoes for milch cows, when fed in conjunction with alfalfa? Price is no object as I have plenty of both.
Three pounds of sweet potatoes contain almost as much dry matter and starchy feed components as one pound of Indian corn or barley. Under the conditions stated, they will make a valuable feed for dairy cows and are preferably fed sliced in quantities of twenty to thirty pounds per head daily. Sweet potatoes are rich in sugar and starch and are low in flesh-forming substances (protein); for this reason they are especially good supplementary feeds to be given with a high-protein feed like alfalfa.
Cotton Seed Meal as Stock Food.
What is the feeding value of cotton seed meal to milch cows? Is it as good as bran at the same price or not, and what would be the best way to feed it?
Cotton seed meal can be fed safely to dairy cows in large quantities, if desired. Ordinarily, however, only a couple of pounds per head daily are fed, in mixtures with other concentrates. It is not particularly palatable to cows when fed alone and is, as a rule, expensive in comparison with other grain feeds. It has, furthermore, an undesirable effect on the quality of the butter when fed excessively, making it hard and tallowy, which is important in case the milk is used for making butter. At the same price as wheat bran, it is a cheap feed, however, and especially if fed with grain hay or wild hay a mixture of wheat bran and cotton seed meal, equal parts by weight, will make a good combination. In case the roughage fed is alfalfa hay, it would hardly be advisable to feed more than about a pound of cotton seed meal per head, if it be fed at all. The best grain feeds in this case would be barley and wheat bran mixed in the proportion of three or two of the former to one pound of bran, according to the market prices of the two feeds. Alfalfa hay, cotton seed meal, and wheat bran are all protein feeds and rations made up of these feeds will contain too much of this compound for best results, both as regards production and the health of the animals. Cereal grains, dried beet pulp, etc., with low-protein feeds, like mill feeds, therefore, had better be included in the ration when alfalfa is fed. - F. W. W.
Cocoanut Meal, Barley, Bran.
How does cocoanut meal compare with barley and bran for dairy cows and hogs? It costs $1.60 per cwt., and bran and barley cost a trifle more.
Cocoanut meal makes an excellent feed for dairy cows and is also a good hog feed although it is not as often fed to the latter class of farm animals as to cows. It has a somewhat higher content of digestible components than barley and, pound for pound, is worth more than either barley or wheat bran as a feed for cows. It is always fed mixed with other grain feeds, however, the kinds and amounts of these depending on the relative cost of the feeds. At the market prices given, cocoanut meal is the cheapest of the three feeds and it will therefore pay to include a considerable proportion of this in the mixture. If desired, as much as three or four pounds per head daily may be fed to dairy cows, but if a good quantity of alfalfa hay is fed, it will not be desirable to feed much more total grain than that. I would recommend a mixture of rolled barley, wheat bran, and cocoanut meal in the proportion of 1:1:2 by weight, feeding one pound of the mixture for every four or five pounds of milk that the cows are producing. - F. W. W.
Sugar Beets for Hogs.
Would you advise planting sugar beets for fattening hogs? Their value compared with Egyptian corn, and comparative yield? I have pure water, good alfalfa, and intend raising melons and pumpkins to feed while hogs are growing and wish to know the best and most productive crop to fatten them on.
We do not consider sugar beets as a fattening food for hogs, and in no way a substitute for grain. They are a good succulent feed for growing but you have already so much in that line listed that you do not need the beets. If you need fattening grain, grow barley or Egyptian corn or Indian corn - whichever your conditions best favor.
Whey as a Swine Food.
Is cheese whey good for hogs? What should be fed with it to growing pigs and also what is best for fattening purposes?
Whey is generally used for feeding hogs in cheese districts and makes a good swine feed when fed in sweet, or not very sour, condition. It has about one-half the feeding value of skim milk or buttermilk for feeding swine. It is safe to assume that twelve pounds of whey will save you a pound of grain when fed to swine under sanitary conditions. At ordinary prices for grain this would make it worth about 12 1/2 cents per hundred weight, which may be considered a fair average price. Whey is relatively higher in starchy substances and lower in flesh-forming substances (protein) than either of the other dairy products mentioned, and may, therefore, be supplemented by more high-protein feeds, like middlings, or shorts, and linseed meal, along with grain feeds like barley, Indian corn, ground Kaffir, milo, etc. I would recommend for feeding growing pigs on whey a mixture of ground barley, shorts and linseed meal in the proportions of 2:1:1 by weight, or of barley and shorts only, equal weights, giving two per cent of the grain feeds per weight of pigs and making a thin slop with the whey. As the pigs grow older the proportion of grain is increased. Fattening hogs are fed relatively less whey, say three pounds per pound of grain fed, which may be made up of similar feeds as those mentioned, except that linseed meal is left out and more of starchy grains, like barley and grain sorghums, be included. - F. W. W.
Prevent Greed in Hogs.
What is the best way to feed hogs so that each one can get its share, when you have to feed a large number together?
We only know the old way of bars on the troughs so only one head can get in at a place.
Hogs for Feeding.
I want to fatten hogs for the market. I have fifty acres. When is the best time to get the hogs and what age? What crops could I grow for them, including pasturage?
Any time one has the necessary feed on hand to fatten hogs would be the proper time to buy them. Ordinarily, a hog from six to ten months old would be ready to fatten. Any grain that would yield the largest amount would be the best to plant. Corn is one of the best fattening feeds, and if the land is suitable for the successful growing of corn, we know of nothing better. Alfalfa, where the soil and climate are suitable, is no doubt the best pasture. But alfalfa is not a hog fattener. It takes grain or some other feed that contains a large percentage of what is known as carbohydrates to produce fat. Sugar is a great fattener, and possibly some by-product of the sugar factory would be excellent. One must study the conditions under which he is operating and work out these things for himself to a great extent. - Chas. Goodman, Williams.
Barley and Shorts for Pigs.
Which do you consider better for fattening hogs, crushed or whole barley with skimmed milk? I am feeding some small pigs. They chew the crushed barley and spit it out, but do not the whole barley. Also which do you consider the cheaper feed, whole barley at $23 per ton, or shorts at $26 per ton, with skimmed milk?
Barley alone is not very palatable for young pigs and they eat it much better when mixed with some other feed. This accounts for the trouble in getting the pigs to eat the crushed barley and sometimes there is as much trouble with the whole barley. We find that a little more of the crushed barley is digested by hogs than the whole barley, undoubtedly enough to pay for crushing. It seems more desirable, however, to soak the barley, either crushed or whole, than to feed it dry. It does not need to be soaked for more than twelve hours, but the pigs will eat it much more readily than dry. It can be soaked in water or in the skim milk that is being fed with it. The most economical ratio to feed it in is one pound to three pounds of skim milk.
Whole barley at $23 per ton is somewhat cheaper than shorts at $26 per ton, but for younger pigs we would recommend a mixture of the two rather than either one alone. Especially is it not advisable to feed shorts alone. The following ration should give desirable results: Barley three parts, shorts one part, and skim milk twelve parts, by weight. That is to say, we would feed three pounds of skim milk for each one pound of grain mixture. The shorts may be slightly reduced in amount in proportion to the barley as the pigs increase in size. - Prof. J. I. Thompson, University Farm.
Molasses for Pigs.
Is stock molasses good for growing pigs?
Molasses is primarily a fattening feed and does not, therefore, supply the kind of nutrients that a growing pig needs. It is composed of 50 to 60 per cent of sugar and similar substances, and only a few per cent of digestible protein (flesh-producing substances). On account of the laxative properties of molasses it should, moreover, be fed in only small amounts to young animals. It would be all right, however, to feed a small proportion of molasses with grain and shorts so as to increase the palatability of the ration, say ten pounds for every fifty pounds of ground barley, and forty pounds of shorts. The addition of a little tankage, amounting to about one-tenth of the grain mixture, would further improve the ration for pigs and insure a rapid, healthy growth. - F. W. W.
Feeding Little Pigs.
What amount of barley should be fed pigs while sucking and also after weaning? I have plenty of alfalfa and alfalfa hay, and skim milk. Will pigs do fairly well on rolled barley and alfalfa, and alfalfa hay?
Pigs, while sucking and immediately after weaning, will eat approximately six per cent of their live weight, but probably a better plan is to feed them what they will clean up readily in fifteen or twenty minutes of feeding three times a day until they weigh 75 pounds, after which feeding twice per day will be satisfactory. As they get older, the percentage of their live weight that they can consume will decrease until at 300 pounds, a hog will ordinarily not eat over two and a half per cent of its live weight. Pigs will do fairly well on rolled barley soaked for twelve hours, and alfalfa pasture, but you will probably not get very desirable results in feeding alfalfa hay to growing pigs. They can eat a small amount, but it is too bulky for them. Brood sows can often consume one pound of alfalfa hay for each three pounds of grain, but this ration would be too bulky for growing pigs. - Prof. J. I. Thompson.
Feeding Young Pigs and Dams.
What is the best kind of feed for little pigs from the time they begin to eat until weaning time, if you have no cows' milk to give them? I have some about four weeks old that I have been feeding middlings and bran, mixing with water to a substance like mush and they are scouring. Would alfalfa meal added to any mixture be good for them? I have been feeding the mothers on beets. The pigs seem to eat the taps and a little of the root. What would you advise feeding the mother for best results?
The scouring of the pigs may be due to their eating a grain mixture containing wheat bran, or to eating beet tops, or both. Wheat bran is quite laxative; it is relatively high in fiber, containing about ten per cent thereof or more, and also contains an organic phosphorus compound phytin which has a decided laxative effect. The same holds true with beet tops, but in this case the laxative influence comes from their high potash salts, mainly oxalates. Bran is not desirable feed for pigs for the reason stated. Middlings or shorts, on the other hand, make an excellent pig feed, and I would suggest that you feed the pigs a mixture of ground barley and middlings in the proportion of two to one by weight, or include in the mixture a little linseed meal or tankage. Both of the latter, and especially tankage, are high-protein feeds and are valuable for feeding supplementary to the grain feeds given. Ground milo or Kaffir corn may be substituted for barley, if available and cheaper. It would not be advisable to add alfalfa meal to rations for young pigs as it is too high in fiber. A small amount may do no harm, but tankage is better.
The sows should receive plenty of highly digestible feeds, like cereal grains and mill feeds, with protein feeds like alfalfa, linseed meal, and also some succulent feeds, pasture or roots. Wheat bran is all right for sows, but if they are receiving alfalfa hay or green alfalfa, then middlings are better and a cheaper feed. Feed the pigs at the rate of at least two per cent their weight of grain daily and the sows about one-half pound of hay and three to four pounds of grain feed daily per 100 pounds body weight. If roots are fed they may take the place of grain in the proportion of ten pounds for every pound of grain fed. - F. W. W.
Rations for Brood Sows.
I think of putting in about ten brood sows on land in the mountains of central Monterey County and can raise all of the feed, such as wheat, barley, emmer, Kaffir corn, Sudan grass, rape, stock-beets, Jerusalem artichokes, English horse beans, sunflowers, melons, etc. Have some acorns each year. No alfalfa sown yet. No milk. Now which of this list would make the best combination for a balanced ration? Would it be practical to "hog-off" all of the grains? We have a large range.
By referring to my book "Productive Feeding of Farm Animals," it may be seen that all the feeds mentioned are good swine feeds; and the question whether they should enter into the ration of the sows must be decided on the basis of relative yields and cost of production. There should be no difficulty in selecting from the long list of feeds given a combination that will make an excellent balanced ration for brood sows. As the cost of the different feeds is not given one cannot figure on the economy of any special system of feeding, but it is doubtless both practical and economical under our conditions to "hog-off" corn, Kaffir or rape, and all these crops make first-class hog feeds. The following grain mixture may be recommended: Barley, emmer, Kaffir corn and horse beans, equal parts by weight. - F. W. W.
Feeding Scrub Hogs.
What is the best way to feed a lot of nine scrub hogs for fattening? I have milo maize, ground head and all, tankage, about 75 pounds skim milk daily, and alfalfa hay. Hogs weigh about 50 pounds apiece with good frames. Would you soak milo in milk or soak with water and add milk? Should tankage be fed wet or dry? That is, wet long before feeding?
Feeding scrub hogs will not differ from that of feeding pure-breds if satisfactory results are to be obtained. With the feeds named there should be no difficulty in securing satisfactory gains. We suggest that the hogs be fed three per cent of their body weight in the form of grain, viz., nine-tenths of milo and one-tenth tankage, the milo being soaked in water or skim milk and the tankage added just before feeding. In addition, the hogs are given all the alfalfa hay they will eat and about four times as much skim milk as the amount of grain fed. This will take all the available skim milk at the start and if more milk cannot be obtained, the proportion of skim milk to grain is reduced and somewhat more grain fed so as to secure a body weight of toward 200 pounds at the close of the fattening period. - F. W. W.
Grain for Fattening Hogs.
Our barley costs us about $1.10 a cental, and it takes 500 pounds to put 100 pounds of meat on a hog. We are offered 6 and 6 1/2 cents a pound for our fat hogs; and then no market close and there seems to be not much of one in San Francisco. Will you please tell me if I am right, and if so, will it pay?
It is true that it will take toward 500 pounds of grain to put 100 pounds on the hog, but this amount can be greatly reduced by furnishing cheaper feed with the grain, like alfalfa pasture or alfalfa hay, in which case only 200 to 300 pounds will be required per 100 pounds gain in body weight. It is often possible to utilize barley in stubble fields for fattening hogs. This would otherwise be wasted and has no market value. Feeding grain to fattening hogs also pays for the reason that it shortens considerably the feeding period and improves the dressing percentage and the quality of the pork produced. According to the figures given by the correspondent he is getting full value for his grain and has not, therefore, much cause for complaint. It is, of course, necessary to use good judgment in feeding grain to hogs as well as to their other farm animals in order to come out ahead. Fortunately we can have excellent alfalfa pastures in the main swineraising sections of our State and are, therefore, able to lessen the cost of producing pork. - F. W. W.
What is the best and cheapest ration to fatten hogs on, and how much should be fed daily for best results. How much should a pig gain per month? On the average, how much should a five-month Poland China weigh?
The best and cheapest ration to fatten hogs depends on the market price of feeds. In a general way it may be said that alfalfa pasture is the cheapest and best feed for growing hogs, but should be supplemented with grain. If barley is not too high in price, it should be fed either rolled or ground. Corn is just as desirable as barley, but is not available in many parts of the State at present. When the above are high in price, oats will do, but is rather too bulky to be as valuable to hogs as either barley or corn. Skim milk is valuable for hogs at any age, but is most economical when not more than three or four pounds is fed for each pound of grain. If pasture is not available some concentrate high in protein, such as tankage, should be fed with the grain.
The rate of gain made by a pig quite naturally varies with his breeding and age. Henry found at the Wisconsin Station that the rate of gain of pigs from birth was as follows:
|He further shows that the older the hog the smaller the per cent of gain by the following table:|
|A well-bred Poland China pig at five months should weigh 100 to 120 pounds, provided he has been well cared for and properly fed.
Moldy Corn for Hogs.
Will it hurt hogs to feed them corn that has been piled over a place where horses have stood and got slightly moldy and sweated in the fodder?
Swine are less particular about the condition of their feed than any of the other farm animals, and it might not hurt them to eat slightly moldy corn if it is not fed too heavily. The safer plan, however, is to steam the corn before feeding it, or to scald it with boiling hot water, if the inquirer refers to the grain, and in case fodder is meant, to chop it fine and then treat it in the manner stated. In the latter case the feed will be greatly improved in both palatability and feeding value by the addition of some cane molasses. - F. W. W.
Cocoanut Meal for Swine.
What value has cocoanut cake or meal as a feed for brood sows and growing pigs? How can I make a balanced ration with it in conjunction with barley and cooked potatoes?
Cocoanut meal is mostly used for feeding cows in this country, but it also makes a good swine feed when mixed with grain, or mill feeds, although these animals do not relish it quite as well as do other farm stock. It is of a medium protein content and high in fat, containing on the average about twenty per cent protein and eight to ten per cent fat, with a fiber content below ten per cent. It has the drawback that it turns rancid readily and is not palatable to stock when in this condition. It is preferably fed in mixtures with other concentrates. If either skim milk, alfalfa meal, or alfalfa pasture is available, a mixture of barley and cocoanut meal, equal parts by weight, or in the proportion of 2:1 will give satisfactory results, fed with potatoes, to brood saws and growing pigs. If neither skim milk nor alfalfa is available, some other high-protein feed must be added in order to balance the ration, and tankage is best adapted for this purpose. This may be included in the ration to the extent of ten per cent of the grain feed; if mixed with the barley and cocoanut meal in the proportion given, this will make a very palatable ration for sows and growing pigs. - F. W. W.
Hogs on Barley Alone.
I have read that hogs fed entirely on barley had made gains of 100 pounds for each 418 pounds fed. Is that correct? Can young pigs be successfully raised on a ration composed entirely of barley from the time that they are weaned? We have no alfalfa.
Approximately 425 pounds of barley are necessary for 100 pounds of gain on hogs from weaning time up to market weight. The last hundred pounds up to this time will undoubtedly take more grain than this, if nothing but the grain is fed, but the earlier gains are enough more economical to keep the average down to that amount. Whether or not it is profitable to raise pigs in a small pen, fed on barley alone, will depend pretty much on the price of barley. If the above amount cost as much as one and one-half cents per pound, at the average prices of hogs, there would be little or no profit. It is much more economical if some green feed can be fed in addition. In an experiment where for one lot of hogs we cut the alfalfa green and brought it to them, while the others were allowed to run on pasture, the gains were practically the same and the amount of grain was exactly the same. This would rather indicate that for market hogs, practically as cheap gains can be made by cutting the green feed and bringing it to them. This green feed does not necessarily need to be alfalfa, but might be vetch, rape, field peas, or some similar food.
We begin feeding some barley with equal parts of shorts as soon as the pigs are old enough to eat. A pig after weaning can oftentimes eat as much as five per cent of his body weight in grain. This would mean that a fifty-pound pig would consume about two and a half pounds per day. A pig weighing 200 pounds or more is not liable to eat over two per cent of his weight daily for a long period, although pigs of this weight can oftentimes eat six or six and a half pounds of barley per day if nothing else is fed in addition. - Prof. J. I. Thompson, University Farm.
I have about two acres in emmer. I do not think it will make good hay on account of the strong beards it has. Would it be advisable to build a fence around it and turn the hogs in and let them thresh it out?
Yes; it would probably be the best use you could make of it. As a feed grain for all kinds of animals emmer is much inferior to barley, corn and sorghum. It can, however, be profitably mixed with them and much better results attained than by feeding it alone. It also works well fed with alfalfa. Emmer is hardy and productive under drouth - and that is about the best that can be said of it.
Tomatoes for Hogs.
Is there any food value in tomatoes? If any, how much? Do they make good hog feed?
Tomatoes are doubtless fed occasionally to hogs, but I know of no case where they have been fed in large amounts or for a considerable period of time. They contain about 95 per cent of water, or only one-half as much solid materials as skim milk or buttermilk. The dry matter of tomatoes consists largely of different kinds of sugar, with some protein substances, organic acids (mainly citric acid), and mineral matter. On account of the great dilution in which these feed materials occur in tomatoes, and the relatively high acidity content of these, they should only be fed sparingly, along with dry roughage and grain. Fed under such conditions, there is every reason to believe that they will prove valuable for feeding hogs and will add to the palatability and nutritive effects of the rations. - F. W. W.
Spineless Cactus for Hogs.
In regard to spineless cactus as a hog feed, what is the proper way to feed it? And what else should be given with it to make a good ration? Has it any fattening value? The variety I have has some spines. Is it safe to feed these? Or should they be scraped off?
The slabs of spineless cactus may be fed to hogs either whole or chopped and mixed with grain, say two to three pounds of barley per hundredweight of hog. It is well relished by both cattle and hogs and has a certain feeding value, but it is a very watery feed, containing only ten to fifteen per cent of dry matter, and cannot, therefore, be depended upon to furnish the main part of the ration, especially in the case of hogs, as the stomachs of these animals do not have sufficient capacity to enable them to take care of large quantities of bulky feeds. One hundred pounds of spineless cactus contains less than one pound of digestible protein and about eight to twelve pounds of digestible carbohydrates and fat, depending on the age of the slabs. Remove the spines so as to guard against the hogs getting sore mouths. - F. W. W.
Hogs for Fruit: Not Fruit for Hogs.
I am thinking of buying twenty acres of unprofitable vineyard and starting in with hogs. As the vines go I could supplement pasture and raise my own feed, and keep more hogs. In your opinion would it pay to feed three and a half cent raisins to hogs? How many hogs could I keep on twenty acres providing I pull up some of the vines and supply them with the necessary pasture?
We cannot tell how many hogs you can keep on land which is shifting from one crop to another and probably both of them poor. But we can safely say that we would not for a moment think of growing fruit to feed hogs; they will save wasting of fruit, but they cannot justify growing fruit primarily for their use. Fruit, especially when dried, makes good hog feed, if wisely fed in connection with other feeds, but does not give high value to it. Four pounds of ripe grapes are equal to one pound of barley, and one pound of raisins is equivalent to one pound of barley; so the hogs might return you one and a quarter cents for your raisins, at the present price of good feed barley. If you wish to grow fruit it will pay to keep some hogs on other land and let them save waste fruit with the alfalfa and grain you grow for them. If you wish to grow hogs, clear off the failing vines and grow alfalfa, Kaffir corn or barley, or else get some good land which does not have to be cleared of unprofitable vineyard.
Milk for Hogs.
Which kind of milk, sour or sweet, should be fed to hogs, and do they derive more good from the sour milk; also, is it safe to feed the first milk, after a cow calves, to hogs?
The difference in the results obtained from feeding sweet milk and sour is so small that not much can be claimed in favor of one over the other. It is oftentimes difficult to so arrange the supply of milk that it can always be fed sweet, and for that reason it is advisable in many instances to feed it sour. The cow's first milk or colostrum is not apt to be harmful to hogs in the quantities that any ordinary dairyman would have. The objection to its use is its richness, which might cause a disarrangement of the system if fed continually.
Purchased Feed for Pigs.
How many hogs can he kept on an acre of alfalfa? Is there any money to be made on hogs where one has to buy all they consume?
The number of hogs that you can raise on an acre of alfalfa will vary according to the fertility of your soil and the size of the hogs. With sizes ranging from 50 to 150 pounds you should be able to keep from 15 to 20 head, providing, of course, that you have good average yields of alfalfa. While it would be possible to raise them on alfalfa alone it would be a great deal more profitable to also feed some grain and skim milk in addition to realize the most from the alfalfa. The best ration to feed in connection with alfalfa pasture is one-third rolled barley and two-thirds skim milk, soaked and fed night and morning. By feeding in this manner you would very likely be able to keep more to the acre than above mentioned. If you are able to purchase skim milk, or buttermilk, and have an alfalfa pasture, you could by purchasing barley be able to realize a profit from hogs, but without the alfalfa or other good forage, the undertaking would be doubtful, unless carried on in a very small way for home pork, where only one or two sows were kept and the scraps and wastes from the place would add enough cheap feed to make the pork cost less than its market value.
Feeding Smutty Barley.
What effect will barley that has quite a little smut in it, so that when it is soaked it makes the water quite dark colored, have on hogs?
The smutty grain will not be quite so nutritious as clean grain, but you will be safe in feeding it to hogs. This is a general practice among grain growers as the most profitable way of disposing of smutty barley.
Feed for Milk Goats.
What is the best feed to increase the flow of milk goats?
George Langnois of Sebastopol has found the following ration most satisfactory in feeding milk goats: 1/2 pint rolled oats or rolled wheat, 1/2 pint of dried beet pulp and pint of bran, together with all of the alfalfa hay that they will eat. With goats as with all other kinds of milk-producing animals, the better the feed the larger the milk flow will probably be and while the above ration may be of higher quality than necessary, Mr. Langnois says that he finds it profitable.
Sweet Clovers for Hogs and Sheep.
How is sweet clover as Pasture for hogs or sheep? How about its value as compared with alfalfa? Also, which is the better variety - white or yellow?
For forage purposes white sweet clover is the one to grow, because the root lives two years instead of one year, and the flavor is less objectionable to stock. In nutritive qualities white sweet clover resembles alfalfa, but animals have to be taught by hunger to like it. They will not usually eat it if other forage is to be found. But there are stock feeders who speak well of it.
Danger in Bad Hay.
Water backed into our barn some time ago and wet about an inch of the bottom bales of a large quantity of hay stored therein. In most places the hay is moldy to a depth of two or three inches, the remainder being pure and sweet. We would like to know whether it will hurt to feed this hay to stock without separating the damaged from the good? I am told that it will not injure cows, that they will pick over it and leave the damaged hay.
Bad hay is dangerous, especially so to horses, but never fully safe for anything. We would never feed it to animals we thought much of. Cattle are in less danger and the common practice is to work off doubtful stuff on dry stock. There is, however, always some risk in feeding bad stuff. The best use for it is for plowing under as manure.
Feeding Beets and Corn.
What are the relative feeding values of corn and sugar beets, half sugar and half mangel?
It is understood that the inquiry refers to the grain of Indian corn and not to corn fodder or green corn. In so far as two feeds of such different character as sugar beets and corn can be compared, I would say that it would take about 6 to 7 tons of sugar beets to equal a ton of corn or other cereals (except oats) in feeding value. If it is intended, for instance, to partly replace corn in a mixed ration with beets, the production will not be affected appreciably when the substitution is made in the ratio of 1:6 by weight. This has been thoroughly tried out in a large number of feeding experiments and is in accord with our general knowledge of the contents of valuable nutrients in these feeds. The different varieties of mangels vary greatly in their content of dry matter; some contain nearly as much dry substance as sugar beets, while others contain only one-half as much. The average water-content of half-sugar mangels appears to be about 87 per cent, while good sugar beets will contain 80 to 85 per cent of water (15 to 20 per cent of dry substance). - F. W. W.
Root Crops as Stock Foods.
What is the food value of mangel wurtzel and sugar beets as a stock food? What do they generally yield to the acre on good loamy soil? Are either injurious if fed to brood sows?
Both mangels and sugar beets make valuable stock foods. The former roots contain only a little more than one-half the quantities of nutrients found in sugar beets, and it requires about 12 1/2 pounds of mangels and 7 pounds of sugar beets to equal a pound of grain (barley, rye, wheat, etc.) in feeding value. At $32.00 per ton for grain, a ton of mangels would, therefore, be worth about $2.60, and a ton of sugar beets $4.60. On good loamy soils and under good cultivation mangels will yield 20 to 30 tons, or more, per acre, and sugar beets 12 to 15 tons, so that the total amounts of nutrients obtained from an acre of mangels or sugar beets do not, as a rule, differ greatly. Both crops make excellent feeds for brood sows and other hogs, as in fact for other farm animals. They are generally run through a root cutter, or sliced before being fed out. - F. W. W.
Feeding Value of Stock Beets.
What is the feeding value per ton of stock beets for dairy cows?
It is fair to assume that 8 to 12 tons of stock beets are worth as much as a ton of grain for stock feeding. The wide variation in feeding value is due to the varying water-contents of the different varieties of beets. These range from 85 per cent to over 90 per cent, or 10 per cent to 15 per cent of dry matter. In northern Europe, especially Denmark, where heavy feeding of roots to dairy cows is a common practice, analyses of the root crops grown are frequently made, in order that the farmer may know definitely the actual feeding value of his crops and thus plan his feeding operations intelligently. We have not gotten that far in this country as yet, and to most of us "roots is roots." On the average it may be said that root crops will have a value of about one-tenth that of barley, weight for weight, for feeding farm animals, especially cattle and sheep. Their special merit for feeding purposes lies in furnishing succulence in the rations and a supply of highly digestible and palatable nutrients. They are valuable stock feeds, both on account of the feed components they furnish and as appetizers; animals fed considerable roots are able to eat heavy rations, containing large amounts of concentrates, without going "off feed." - F. W. W.
Stock Beets and Alfalfa Hay.
Do you advise the feeding of stock beets to dairy cows in connection with alfalfa hay? Some dairymen say it is more profitable to feed chopped stock beets with alfalfa hay than to feed silage with alfalfa hay.
Stock beets make a good supplementary feed for dairy cows on alfalfa hay. They are rather low in feed materials, containing 10 to 12 per cent of dry matter, or only one-half to one-third as much as Indian corn or sorghum, at the stage of growth when this is cut for the silo. To offset the low dry-matter content, roots generally yield heavily; viz., 20 to 30 tons, or more, per acre on rich land, and they have a high digestibility and are greatly relished by dairy cows and other farm animals. Silage, however, has special points in its favor, and even if larger or cheaper crops of beets can be grown, many farmers will prefer to grow Indian corn or sorghum for silage, so as to have a uniform readily available succulent feed for dairy cows throughout the winter, when it is often difficult to get on to the fields to haul the beets. Beets may be fed to dairy cows in considerable quantities, if desired. European farmers and some Eastern farmers feed 100 pounds of beets or more, per head daily to cows on official tests for maximum milk production, without regard to the expense involved. Under ordinary farm conditions it will not be advisable, however, to feed much more than one-half this amount to dairy cows supplementary to alfalfa hay. A ration of 20 pounds of alfalfa hay and 60 pounds of beet per head daily will contain about 20 pounds of dry matter, 2.7 pounds digestible protein and 11.9 pounds digestible carbohydrates and fat, which is about right for cows of average production. If a few pounds of grain be added to the ration this would be still further improved. - F. W. W.
Watermelons for Milch Cows.
What is the real value of watermelons and pie melons for feed for milk cows? Will they dry them up or leave any bad effects?
Watermelons contain about ninety per cent of water and only ten per cent of dry matter, hence they are of but limited value for stock feeding and must be supplemented by considerable dry feed, at least hay, corn stalks, straw, etc. In case of the latter being fed, grain feeds high in protein must also be supplied to obtain satisfactory results. The farmer who depends to a large extent on watermelons and similar feeds to supply nourishment to the cows for body maintenance and the production of milk will find that the cows will dry up earlier than good dairy cows should. The same would apply to the feeding of pie melons, but fed in a commonsense way, along with dry roughage and grain, both vegetables will furnish very satisfactory additions to the rations fed and will enable cows to maintain a maximum flow of milk for a normal lactation period. The facts that these vegetables contain only about five to ten pounds of dry matter in 100 pounds and that dairy cows require 20 to 25 pounds of dry matter for an average production, suggest that it is impossible for a cow to eat sufficient quantities of them to obtain the necessary nutrients and that her production is bound to decrease abnormally if she had to depend only, or even largely, on these vegetables for her sustenance. - F. W. W.
Milo Maize Good Feed.
I am told that milo maize will dry up a milch cow. Have been feeding fodder with heads; also feeding my horses same with alfalfa hay. Is there any danger in feeding horses? And will it dry up cows? One neighbor says he has lost 50 hens from feeding it; also has a sick hog.
There is no evidence that milo maize, properly fed, will dry up milch cows any more than barley will do it. On the contrary, it is certain that it is good feed for cows, horses and sheep if fed in sufficient amounts, and along with some feed or feeds high in protein, either hay or concentrates. The apprehension may be explained by experience in feeding milo maize in place of alfalfa and finding that it falls short in feeding value. This is only what one would expect. Milo forage contains 1.9 per cent digestible protein and 42.6 per cent digestible carbohydrates and fat, against 10.4 per cent and 38.2 per cent, respectively, for alfalfa hay. But milo furnishes valuable fodder for milch cows, and is fed extensively to dairy stock. Being low in protein it must, however, be supplemented with feeds that contain a considerable proportion of these substances; otherwise the cows will not receive sufficient protein for body maintenance and the production of the largest amount of milk of which they are capable. A diminution in the milk flow will be likely to result in that case and possibly a shortening of the lactation period. The cheapest supplementary feed in this State would be alfalfa hay, but if this is not available, grain mixtures containing high-protein feeds like mill feeds, cottonseed meal, or oil meal, must be supplied. Even with alfalfa it will be well to add some grain feed to the ration in the case of high-producing cows; while for milch cows of average productive capacity, the milo heads will furnish sufficient grain fed with milo forage and alfalfa. I would suggest the following grain ration to be fed with milo where no alfalfa is available: A mixture of wheat bran and cottonseed meal in the proportion of 2:1 by weight; or one of barley, wheat, bran and cottonseed meal, equal parts by weight, one pound of the mixture being fed for every 5 pounds of milk which the cows produce.
There is no danger in feeding horses milo heads or milo forage, nor will the feeding of milo cause sickness or death of hens or hogs. The cause of the trouble which the correspondent reports must be sought in some other factor than the feeding of milo, unless this was moldy and unfit for feeding to stock. - F. W. W.
You say that second growth sorghum contains prussic acid. I have been experimenting this year with sorghum, milo maize and Kaffir and Egyptian corn, and expected to plant quite largely, especially of the sorghum next year. I cut the first crop and cured it for hay, then expected to pasture the second crop. This is grown without irrigation, consequently makes a slow growth. Would it be safe to pasture this if kept fed down close? And do all of these feeds contain the prussic acid?
All the plants you mention are sorghums and they are all apt to develop prussic acid under conditions favoring it - but, as a matter of fact, they rather seldom do it. For this reason much use is safely made of such growth as you plan to do. One can only tell by analysis near the field whether the stuff is safe or not, because if cut and sent to a distant laboratory, the poison could disappear. The practical test is to turn a small-value animal into the feed for a day or two and determine safety in that way for the rest of the stock.
Sorghum for Soiling.
Is sorghum (Egyptian, Kaffir, etc.) valuable for succulent feed for cows in summer, cut and fed green? How many times can same field be cut? Is it safe? Our land is not ready for alfalfa and we want something to take its place for green feed.
In the interior valleys, colonists are regularly substituting sorghum for alfalfa for quite a while, but it needs alfalfa as soon as possible to balance the ration. Sorghum was used in connection with alfalfa hay and proved an excellent feed. If it is allowed to wilt before feeding there is no danger from poisoning, and for this reason it is better to cut and haul in as you suggest. If you have water for irrigation it will keep growing all summer and fall and furnish green feed the entire time but it depends upon the care and soil how many times you can cut it, also upon how high you let it grow before cutting. Frost will end it.
Are milo maize stalks harmful to cows after all of the grain has been taken off except the secondary small heads with small amount of grain on them? Will it pay to cut them and feed with alfalfa hay or let the stock clean up what they will in the field?
Sorghum stalks are not injurious unless eaten in excess, when they are apt to cause indigestion, as other coarse fodders sometimes do. There is no poison in them as there is sometimes in rank green sorghum. Sorghum stalks are sometimes siloed after the grain heads are gathered because sorghum has the habit of holding juice in the stem longer than Indian corn, which is generally counted not fit for siloing after the ears ripen. In siloing sorghum stalks it is desirable to use some water in filling and pack down very tightly.
Egyptian Corn or Barley?
Which is better to fatten hogs - Egyptian corn, or barley when soaked in skim milk?
Egyptian corn contains about 8 per cent digestible protein and 71 per cent digestible carbohydrates and fat, while the corresponding figures for barley are 9.4 per cent and 75.9 per cent, respectively. Barley is, therefore, a somewhat more valuable feed than Egyptian corn. Practical feeding experiments with hogs have shown that the latter possesses about 10 per cent lower feeding value than Indian corn or other cereals. This figure will doubtless be found approximately correct for the comparison of the value of the two grains for fattening purposes. Like all small grains, Egyptian corn should be ground or soaked in skim milk or water for feeding to hogs or calves, and should be ground when fed to mature animals. - F. W. W.
Fodder and Molasses.
What is the feeding value of gyp corn fodder for dairy cattle when chopped up and mixed with cane molasses?
Egyptian corn (white or brown Durra, correctly speaking only the latter) makes a valuable grain and forage plant of nearly similar feeding value as barley. The stalks do not differ greatly in chemical composition from Indian corn stover, which contains about one-third of the nutritive substances present in the entire plant. It is probably not much out of the way to assume that Egyptian corn fodder chopped and mixed with one-fourth or one-third its weight of cane molasses will make as valuable feed as a fair quality of grain hay, and will prove especially adapted for feeding dairy cows, wintering stock and idle horses. - F. W. W.
Cutting Corn for Forage.
When is the best time to cut field corn to make the best fodder?
As shown by experience and determined by analyses the whole plant is in richest condition just when the kernels are glazing - that is, in the condition for roasting ears.
Buckwheat for Feed and Fertilizer.
In growing buckwheat for bees can I cut it when mature and let the chickens thresh it out themselves? Will it make a good chicken feed? I am also informed that the straw plowed under makes an excellent fertilizer. Can this straw be used for stock feed?
Buckwheat straw is eaten by stock, but is no better, if as good as other straw. Chickens will help themselves to the grain when they know it. It should not, however, be made their sole feed. The straw handles well as a fertilizer because it rots very readily. The green plant plowed under is a good source of humus.
Barley Straw and Alfalfa Hay for Steers.
How much barley straw and alfalfa hay - half and half - will it take to feed a "short yearling" beef steer for six months? What gain in weight could I expect? Would it pay to feed a small amount of grain?
The amount of half-and-half would depend on how much straw the steer can consume in addition to alfalfa hay. If the correspondent is bound to feed equal parts of the straw and hay, the steer would not get sufficient nutriment to make satisfactory gains even if some grain is fed. If he is anxious to feed as much straw as possible, give, say, 6 pounds per head daily and feed alfalfa hay ad libitum, of which the steer will then eat somewhere around 15 to 20 pounds daily. I would not expect very large gains even on this ration unless some grain is fed, say at least 2 to 4 pounds per head. With the latter amount of grain and roughage as suggested, good yearlings would probably make a gain of one and one-half to two pounds per head daily on an average for the six months. - F. W. W.
Relative Value of Wheat and Wheat Middlings.
What is the food value of whole wheat ground as fine as possible with the ordinary farm mills for milch cows, hogs and chickens, as compared with middlings? Wheat and middlings are about the same price here.
Wheat contains about 8.8 per cent digestible protein and 70.9 per cent digestible carbohydrates and fat, while the corresponding figures for wheat middlings are 13.0 and 55.6 per cent. We should expect, therefore, that wheat would have a somewhat higher feeding value than middlings, but the latter has the advantage in furnishing about 4 pounds more digestible protein (muscle-forming substances) per 100 pounds than wheat. This would be of importance in feeding a ration rather low in protein but not when, for instance, alfalfa is fed as this furnishes an ample supply of these substances. We may say, in general, that wheat is of greater value for fattening animals than middlings, while the latter would be somewhat more valuable in the case of growing and milk-producing animals, unless the ration fed already contains sufficient protein to meet the needs of these animals. Better results will, however, doubtless be obtained by feeding a mixture of wheat and middlings, or some other concentrates, than either separately. - F. W.W.
Feeding Value of Garbanzos.
What is the feeding value of garbanzos as compared with other grains?
Garbanzos or chick peas are considerably richer in digestible protein and fat but contain less carbohydrates than the grains as shown in the analyses below, which are taken from University of California Bulletin 164. The actual fat, protein and carbohydrates are considerably greater.
|When beans are fed, something high in carbohydrates is needed. It is interesting to note that A. B. Humphrey of Mayhews, one of the heaviest winners at the Exposition, fed his hogs on boiled beans, barley and milk. - Geo. H. Croley.
No Appetite for Cow Peas.
I planted cow peas called "New Era," and advertised to be a good forage crop. The vines grew well and matured a heavy crop of beans, but my stock won't eat them. Hogs and cattle have been running on barley and barley stubble and passing these cow peas every day from the time they were quite young until now when the pods are ripe, and have never touched either vine or pod. I am disappointed as I wanted a leguminous forage to use in rotation with barley.
The trouble is in the hogs, not in the peas, for the New Era, like other varieties, has a good record for stock feeding. Your stock is of the stand-pat party; try sprinkling a little bran and see if the aroma of it will not give them more appetite. Cow peas are successfully grazed both green and dry and the manure and roots are just what you need to make more barley later.
My white beans made abundant vines, but no beans. I have cut the vines and they are now cured. I have been feeding them to my horses. They eat them fully as readily as alfalfa hay. Will the horses do well on them? Could they work as usual on that kind of hay?
Surely. Bean hay resembles alfalfa hay in composition and is more nutritious and digestible than bean straw, which is also good. It carries the stuff for work. The nutrients will be balanced by feeding a little grain with the bean hay, and it will probably give the horses a little more zip. Of course, you will watch the condition of the horses and act accordingly.
Value of Lima Bean Straw for Stock.
What is the real value of limo bean straw as a feed for stock? Also its fertilizer value when returned to the soil?
Lima bean straw is a valuable feeding stuff for farm animals, especially cattle and sheep. The relatively high price which it commands and the demand for it in the southern part of the State, where it is obtained in large quantities in the lima bean districts, are evidence of the high opinion in which it is held by farmers. Comparing it with other dry roughage, it has nearly a similar feeding value as grain hay, and is fully equal to stock hay. An average grade of lima bean straw contains about 5.4 pounds digestible protein and 41.5 per cent digestible carbohydrates and fat. The ratio between the flesh-forming and starchy components is, therefore, 1:7.7, showing that this straw belongs to the class of medium-protein feeds, and in order to secure best results it should be supplemented with some alfalfa hay or grain mixtures containing at least a small proportion of high-protein feeds, like cottonseed meal or linseed meal. Lima bean straw contains the following percentages of valuable fertilizing ingredients per 1,000 pounds: 17 pounds nitrogen, 4 pounds phosphoric acid; 14 pounds potash. At ordinary market prices for these ingredients the straw would have a fertilizer value of about $4.50 per ton. - F. W. W.
Black-Eye Bean Straw for Sheep.
What is the value of black-eye bean straw for feeding sheep? Will sheep do well on it alone if they have plenty of it?
Bean straw is quite a good sheep feed, especially if the beans are cut before the straw is thoroughly dried. It makes good feed to winter sheep on. However, a little hay should be added if the straw is very coarse. In analysis bean straw corresponds very closely to pea straw, the latter being fed very extensively to sheep throughout the pea-growing section. - R. F. Miller, University Farm.
What Is Tankage?
We have read in your paper about people feeding tankage and would like to know the meaning of the word.
Tankage is a by-product of large meat-packing establishments and is made of scraps and trimmings from meat and fat, hair and other residue from the plant. After cooking or steaming for several hours in pressure tanks, all existing disease germs are destroyed, the grease being drawn off and the greater part of the moisture either pressed out or evaporated. After processing it resembles dark wheat shorts and is usually sold in 100-pound sacks. Packers maintain that it will keep indefinitely under fairly good storage conditions. It is used chiefly as a substitute for skim milk, it being especially recommended for young pigs. It is generally about fifty per cent protein, and contains about twice the food value of oil meal if not fed as more than ten per cent of the ration. Such concentrated feed must not be given in too large quantities.
Storing Rolled Barley.
How long can rolled barley be safely stored and what is the best way to store it?
Rolled barley is usually stored in sacks ready for shipment, while whole barley is often stored in bins in bulk. Rolled barley absorbs moisture much more easily than whole barley, and so must be stored to prevent collection of moisture and development of mold and heat. When rolled barley leaves the mill, it is hot and must be cooled off before storing closely. The best way is to stand the sacks on end with space for circulation of air until thoroughly cool. Then if stored in a dry place where moisture cannot come up from underneath, it may be safely piled four or five sacks high, standing the sacks on end in winter time, leaving space between the stacks for circulation. In summer, if dry and cool before storing, it can be piled higher and closer together. Too much weight on the lower sacks if they are damp would pack them and have greater tendency to make them spoil.
Meal Mite in Crushed Barley.
I am sending a package of "lice" and barley, taken out of our barley granary. This barley was bought in San Francisco and supposed to be clean and steam rolled. Two of the other granaries had not as yet become "alive." Please tell me what these are and what is the remedy.
The crushed barley is infested with the meal mite or acarus. The stuff would not be dangerous for feeding hogs or fowls and probably would not injure other animals. Any crushed grain would be likely to be infested by this minute insect if stored after crushing. Thorough cleaning of the granaries and whitewashing, with a good spray which would shoot the cracks full, ought to reduce it to a minimum, but it is always dangerous to store crushed grain for long.
Dried Prunes for Cows.
My cow is very fond of dried prunes. Will they cause her any injury if fed with the seeds? She will greedily eat several gallons at a time. Am having success feeding them to pigs.
So far as I have been able to ascertain, the pits do not cause any trouble when dried prunes are eaten by cows or hogs. According to Professor Jaffa, 100 pounds of this fruit has a similar feeding value to about 85 pounds of barley or oats. Being high in sugar (nutritive ratio 1: 16.7), they are preferably fed with grain or mill feeds and alfalfa hay in order that sufficient protein be furnished in the ration to meet the requirements of the animals for growth or production, or both. - F. W. W.
Grapes for Horses.
When Tokay grape packing begins we have lots of culls that will run about 20 per cent sugar. Horses are very fond of these culls and will eat fifty or sixty pounds each per day. They will leave first class alfalfa hay for these culls. The only effect I can see is a slight loosening of the bowels, and they probably won't eat quite so many hard stems among the hay when they have all the culls they want. Some people say they are not good for horses, and that they will ruin the enamel on the teeth.
Grapes and grape pomace are occasionally used for feeding farm animals, especially hogs and horses, and those who have had experience with them report in the same way as the correspondent in regard to their palatability and apparent feeding value. The stems and skins contain a good deal of tannic acid, which is an undesirable constituent in a feed, and considerable amounts of tartaric acid are also found in grapes and grape residues. The tendency to scouring referred to is doubtless partly due to, the presence of the latter of these constituents and partly to the mechanical effect. On both accounts it is necessary to feed these products rather carefully, in moderate amounts only, and always in connection with dry forage, but aside from this difficulty there is no reason to believe that the feeding of either grapes or grape pomace will prove injurious. There is probably no more to the fear that they will ruin the enamel on the teeth of horses than that silage will ruin the teeth of cattle which we hear stated now and then, and still silos are going up in increasing numbers every year, and as farmers get experience in feeding silage, they forget all about the disastrous results that they are warned may come from its use. The reason is that these results are either imaginary, or farmers learn to use the feed in such a manner that no injurious results occur. There is, of course, much less accurate information as to the feeding of grape and fruit by-products to farm animals than as to the effect of silage, but we are doubtless safe in stating that with the precautions suggested they may be safely fed to farm animals when market conditions render it desirable to do so. - F. W. W.
Feeding Value of Rice Straw.
Advise me as to the value of rice straw as feed? Some tell me it is very good and some that it is injurious. One man told me that it causes constipation in horses, and another that it has the opposite effect. My own. experience with it consists of offering it to one cow, which declined to eat it, and two horses that seemed rather fond of it.
Rice straw cannot be compared with alfalfa hay in feeding value, however, for it contains only a trace of digestible protein (0.9 per cent), against over 10 per cent for alfalfa hay. The percentage of total digestible matter in the feeds are, 39.4 per cent for rice straw and 48.6 per cent for alfalfa hay. The value of rice straw in comparison with alfalfa hay is doubtless considerably lower than these figures would indicate, for rice straw contains 33.5 per cent of fiber (largely indigestible), against 25 per cent for alfalfa hay, and has also twice as much mineral matter, mainly silica, as contained in alfalfa hay (14.5 per cent, and 7.3 per cent, respectively). For all that it is well worth while to utilize rice straw for feeding farm animals, especially horses and mules. If they have been on alfalfa hay, it may be necessary to get them pretty hungry before they will eat it, or it may be chopped and fed with some molasses or grain feed to get them to eat it. It cannot take the place of alfalfa hay, however, and horses must be fed more grain when fed rice straw than when receiving alfalfa hay, and a feed of this hay or some grain hay daily will also improve the ration fed.
In Hungary rice straw is made into silage by being placed in large piles in the fields that are covered with a layer of dirt. The resulting silage makes a succulent feed of a light brown color and a strong acetic-acid odor; it is greatly relished by cattle and when fed in moderate quantities makes a good stock feed. The silo, doubtless, offers the most promising method of securing full value. Good silage can be made from ripe oat straw by running it through a cutter and wetting it down thoroughly as it goes into the silo, and the same method would change rice straw into a desirable roughage feed that would be especially valuable as a supplement to alfalfa for feeding dairy cows. - F. W. W.
Gains From Siloing Alfalfa.
Has alfalfa silage proven a success in your State?
Experience here seems to show that the chief value of a silo for alfalfa lies in the ability to turn the first cutting, which is very often badly infested with fox tail and other objectionable weeds, into succulent feed, fully as nutritious as green pasture, which may be fed out gradually as the demands require. Then too, the dangers of bloating on pasture are entirely overcome, for when cows are fed silage they do not require pasture and silage does not bloat the stock. Where corn or any of the sorghums can be grown, it is probably best to silo the first crop of alfalfa and by the time the corn is ripe enough to silo, your first filling will have been fed out. The opinion is becoming more general, however, that even if corn cannot be grown, a silo will pay the alfalfa grower who has live stock, on account of the benefits above recited.
Oats and Barley for Silo.
Can I silo a mixed crop of red oats and barley, and at what stage of its growth would it make the best ensilage? Would it make a palatable feed for milch cows?
A good quality of silage may be made from the cereals by cutting the grain when the kernels are past the milk stage. The green grain is run through a feed-cutter with the least possible delay, and cut into inch or inch and a half lengths, the cut mass being elevated into the silo by means of a blower and carefully distributed and tramped down in the silo, especially along the wall. A cement tamper is a convenient aid in packing the green mass in the silo so that the air is excluded so far as practicable, which is a most important part in the making of silage. If the cutting of the grain is delayed till towards maturity very satisfactory silage can also be secured by adding considerable water, either in the blower as the cut mass is elevated into the silo, or in the silo itself, after each load. The mass should be wet down so that it will contain approximately the amount of water found in the grain at the time the kernels are in the milk stage. Both oats and barley, as well as a mixed crop of these grains, siloed in the manner stated, will make a good quality of silage of a light brownish color and pleasantly acidulated odor, which will be greatly relished by cattle and other farm animals; twenty to twenty-five pounds is an average feed per day for dairy cows or fattening steers. With modern tall silos there is no difficulty in making good silage from the small grains that are run through a cutter and packed well in the silo, as suggested. - F. W. W.
Size and Capacity of Silos.
I expect to build a silo and would like to know the size best suited to my needs. I have 25 cows at present and will increase to 50 or 60. I will put in first cutting alfalfa then refill with corn. What kind of corn is best, and how many acres should I plant?
It is impossible to state the exact size of a silo to be constructed for a given number of cows as variation in the size of the animals will determine whether each cow is to receive 24, 30 or 40 pounds daily. It is better to have the diameter of the silo small enough to make possible the feeding of about two inches from all over the top each day, as this keeps the top of the silage from drying out and molding. In the following table it is assumed that each cow will consume thirty pounds of silage daily, but in building your silo you should add about five feet to the height to allow for settling, as the following figures are based on actual measurements of the silage after settling has taken place.
|In the above table we have figured twelve tons of corn to the acre, which is a good average yield of silage corn in this State. It would be well, however, to plant somewhat more to provide against underestimating and other factors which may cause your crop to be below normal. With twenty-five cows at present, we should advise the erection of a silo 14x28 feet, which would furnish feed for thirty cows for six months. When your herd increases to a point where such a silo is too small you could erect another one alongside of it, the same size and thus provide for the sixty head which you contemplate keeping. No one knows yet which is the best corn for this State and probably there will never be any one best for all parts of the State. For the purpose of siloing it is immaterial which variety you use so long as that variety grows best in your location.
Silage Always Ready.
After filling a silo with alfalfa, how long will it be before it is safe to begin feeding the ensilage?
You can yank it out and feed it the next day if you wish, or any day thereafter.
Siloing Grain Without Cutting.
In this locality there are no custom silage cutters, and the initial cost of such equipment is often prohibitive to the small dairyman. Would not the feeding value be as great if green alfalfa or grain was thoroughly tramped in a silo without being chopped?
We will not say that the stuff cannot be tightly enough packed to make good silage without cutting, but we are safe in saying that it will not be. Even with cutting, it is hard to silo green grain, because the hollow stems enclose too much air. It might be easier to succeed with alfalfa that way than grain.
Feeding Shorthorns in Winter.
What is the best ration for beef-strain shorthorns to feed through the winter while pastures are short?
The simplest and cheapest ration to be fed would be either alfalfa hay alone, or alfalfa hay and some grain feed. The amount of grain to be fed would depend on when the steers are to be marketed and the relative prices of grain and hay. If they were just to be kept steadily growing, a pound or two of rolled barley per head would be sufficient. In recent experiments at the Pennsylvania Station beef-breeding cows were wintered on a ration of about sixty pounds of corn silage and one pound of cottonseed meal per head daily, on which ration they gained about one and a quarter pounds per day in body weight, on the average for a period of four and a half months. With some pasture it would be possible to winter steers cheaply on a ration like this, or on rolled barley, or barley and hay with a couple of pounds of dried beet pulp. The latter feeds are our cheapest grain feeds at the present time. - F. W. W.
Ten Sheep or One Cow on Five Tons Alfalfa.
How much alfalfa hay does the average dairy cow consume in a year without other feed or pasture, and how many sheep could be kept on the same amount of feed under the same conditions?
A dairy cow fed alfalfa only will eat an average of thirty pounds of hay per day or about five tons of hay in a year. A sheep of medium weight, on the other hand, will eat about three pounds of alfalfa hay daily without grain or pasture. It is generally assumed that ten sheep can be kept on the amount of feed required by one cow. - F. W. W.
Steers on Alfalfa Pasture.
Is it true that steers and bulls will not bloat on alfalfa and can be let to run in the fields without danger?
Any bovine will bloat if he gets too much damp alfalfa in his interior. Bulls and steers are less liable because their appetites are less fierce than cows and they enjoy spending more time in looking at the scenery and doing politics.
Economy in Chopped Alfalfa Hay.
Will it pay to chop alfalfa hay when one has silage machinery?
If you have considerable money tied up in silo filling machinery it is natural to want to use the machinery for some other purpose as much as possible. This is being accomplished very profitably where chopped alfalfa is also used. It is usually found that saving is made through its use as the loss in feeding is a great deal less than when straight hay is fed and the expense of cutting is very little. R. E. Watson, manager of the Rancho Dos Rios near Modesto, has been chopping his hay for over two years and states that he considers the saving to be from fifteen to twenty per cent. Others report that when the whole hay was used the daily waste from the mangers was hauled out each day in a large cart, but since the chopped hay ration has been used this loss has been reduced to the point where only a very small cart load is taken out every other day. Having the machinery on hand the cost of chopping is very small, an eleven-inch cutter being able to cut three-quarters of a ton an hour at a cost of about fifteen cents an hour for distillate. Two men are needed to operate the cutter, for which an expense of fifty cents an hour should be added, making a total of sixty-five cents for cutting three-quarters of a ton, or about ninety cents a ton.
Chopped or Ground Alfalfa.
For the rancher with 30 cows and 100 hogs, who can't afford to buy both, which would be of greater benefit to him, an alfalfa cutter, simply to cut up alfalfa for cows and hogs, or an alfalfa mill to make meal to feed cows and hogs?
It would not be profitable to invest in machinery as expensive as an alfalfa mill to make meal for so few a number of cattle and swine unless you could run it as a custom mill, doing work for neighboring ranchers. A feed cutter would be more profitable and the results of feeding in this State do not seem to indicate any great improvement in hay that is ground over that which has been run through a cutter and stored in the barn.
Siloing First Crop Alfalfa.
Would you advise filling silo with the first cutting of alfalfa to have feed during dry months, and filling later with ensilage corn to feed in winter months?
I believe thoroughly in the value of the silo for dairy and stock farmers, in general, whether alfalfa, Indian corn or other silage crops are available for silage making, and would advise filling the silo with the first crop of alfalfa. This crop will make a satisfactory silage, even if very weedy, so long as it is cut when the alfalfa is beginning to bloom, before the foxtail ripens. If cut at a later stage many of the hard foxtail heads will be likely to dry out before the silage is eaten by the cows, and may cause trouble. In making alfalfa silage the alfalfa must be run through a cutter and elevated into the silo with the least possible delay after it is mown, so as to prevent drying out, or if delays occur, sufficient water must be added in the blower or the silo during filling to bring the water content up to normal for alfalfa at blooming time. If oats and alfalfa can be well mixed in filling the silo there is no objection to siloing them together; in fact, alfalfa mixed with other green forage, whether weeds, cereal crops, or even straw, often makes silage of a less pronounced flavor than silage from pure alfalfa; doubtless because decomposition products due to the fermentation of the protein compounds are less prominent when the silage crops contain considerable carbohydrate materials like those mentioned. If the alfalfa silage is fed out during summer, the silo may be filled again in October or November with Indian corn, sweet sorghum, or one of the grain sorghums, and a supply of a valuable succulent feed thus secured for winter feeding. - F. W. W.
Figuring Cost of Alfalfa Silage.
Would it pay me to buy cut alfalfa and haul it three miles to put in a silo? How much could I pay per ton green if it should be worth $5.00 cured hay? Could I move it fast enough that distance? My silo would be 10x20 or 24. How large a cutter should I use? Is a blower necessary? I have a 5-horsepower engine. Is that enough power?
It will not pay you when you will have to haul the green alfalfa three miles, and cured hay is worth $5.00 per ton. It will take about four tons of green alfalfa to make a ton of hay, so that at the price given the green alfalfa would cost $1.25 per ton. You can probably not make more than four trips or haul more than eight tons of alfalfa a day, making the expense of hauling the alfalfa about 44 cents per ton, with man and team worth $3.50 per day. This would leave only about 80 cents that you could afford to pay for a ton of green alfalfa. I do not believe that it will be worth while to make alfalfa silage when alfalfa hay can be bought at $5.00 per ton, and would not at any rate recommend the building of so small a silo as 10x20 or 24 feet unless you buy a stave silo. It is hardly practicable to build a resaw silo of smaller diameter than twelve feet, and thirty feet is none too tall for a modern silo; thirty or forty feet would be better. A blower is not necessary, but silos are now generally filled by this method instead of by means of bucket carrier. A five horsepower engine would furnish sufficient power for some makes of silage cutters, but not for others. It is quite an advantage to have ample power in filling silos, as it saves labor and enables the farmer to finish the job with the least possible delay. - F. W. W.
Alfalfa Meal and Other Ground Feeds.
What is the relative value of alfalfa meal, as compared with middlings, bran or rolled barley? Would it be better to scald or cook the alfalfa meal, or feed it raw? What would you consider a balanced ration of alfalfa meal mixed with other ground feed or grain and about what amount should be fed for weight of hog?
We have but little available information as to the chemical composition of the alfalfa meal sold in this State but there is no reason to believe that it differs much from that of alfalfa hay. The grinding of hay does not add anything to its feeding value but merely insures that it is eaten without waste. If alfalfa meal is manufactured from a choice quality of hay it will compare favorably with wheat bran, being worth perhaps a couple of dollars less per ton; but there is alfalfa meal on the market that would not be worth more than one-half this price. During the last season we fed some alfalfa hay in our experiments that contained 14 per cent of protein on the average and 25 per cent of fiber, while another lot averaged only 10 per cent protein and over 29 per cent of fiber. Since wheat bran runs about 15 per cent protein and 10 per cent fiber, it is evident that the nutritive effect of even the best grade of alfalfa hay that we fed last winter would not, if ground into meal, approach that of wheat bran. The relative value of the feeds given would also depend on the roughage with which they are fed; since alfalfa is high in protein (muscle-forming substances). Feeds relatively high in starchy components, like rolled barley would be worth more when fed with alfalfa than with grain hay. Assuming that alfalfa or another protein feed, like skim milk, is to be fed with grain feed, the relative values of the feeds given may be considered as follows: barley, middlings, bran, and alfalfa meal.
If fed to hogs, there will be some advantage in wetting the alfalfa meal, but it should not be scalded or cooked, and for other farm animals, it is preferably fed dry mixed with grain feeds - if fed at all.
Alfalfa meal with barley and middlings will make a balanced rations for hogs, as for other farm animals. - F. W. W. (See also of barley, one of middlings, and one of alfalfa meal, by weight. Feed four to five pounds per hundred pounds of live weight. If skim milk is available, less of middlings and alfalfa meal may be fed, but if the feed is made into a slop with water, the mixture given is about right. If alfalfa meal costs almost as much as middlings, or if it does not appear to be of good quality, middlings had better be substituted for it. The market prices of the different feeds will determine the proportion of each that may be used to the best advantage in making up rations for hogs, as for other farm animals. - F. W. W. (See also Part VI, Vol. I.)
Frosted Corn and the Silo.
Is it advisable to use frost-bitten corn for silage?
In his book on "Soiling and Silo Crops," Professor Thomas Shaw of Minnesota says: "When corn is struck with frost and is then allowed to stand for some time, it will be greatly injured for feeding. But if when thus stricken, the crop is at once cut and put into the silo, the value of the silage made from it, though reduced, is not seriously impaired."
Pit Silos Seldom Desirable.
I would like to have information regarding underground silos. I am contemplating one about fifteen feet deep and seventeen feet in diameter.
We have no local data on underground or pit silos as we do not know anyone who has used them in this State. However, we doubt the advisability of constructing such a silo in your location, as experience in the Middle West shows them to be of little value except on high, dry ground, where the rainfall is light and the water level well down. Then too, the slight saving made in their construction over the ground silo is counteracted by the cost of labor in taking the silage out. It is a good deal easier to elevate silage by machinery than it is to raise it out of the pit by hand. If, however, you desire to try a pit silo, the walls must be thoroughly cemented to prevent loss by earth contact and the ground-water should not rise above the bottom of the pit.
Feed Value of Horse Chestnuts.
Are buckeyes or horse chestnuts good for horse feed? They are abundant this year and might be cheaper than grain.
Horse chestnuts are used to a limited extent in Europe as a feed for different classes of farm animals, and mostly roasted and ground. They are high in starch and similar components of considerable feed value, but contain certain bitter principles that make them unpalatable to live stock. It is often difficult, therefore, to get stock to eat them, but when once accustomed to the chestnuts, they will take them without difficulty. Beef cattle and milch cows will eat as much as ten to fifteen pounds of fresh chestnuts per head daily; horses five to six pounds; hogs two to four pounds, etc. The simplest method of preparation is to roast them, which destroys largely the bitter principles; or the shelled and ground chestnuts are soaked in water for two or three days, or boiled, and then fed mixed with grain feeds, either wet or after having been dried. - F. W. W.
 - All answers signed "F. W. W." are by F. W. Well, Professor of Animal Nutrition, University Farm, Davis, and author of "Productive Feeding of Farm Animals" - a treatise on modern science and practice of profitable feeding: Postpaid $1.50 from Pacific Rural Press, San Francisco.