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BEDDING FOR FARM STOCK.
No farmer undertakes to winter his horses without some sort of bedding for them, either the usually abundant and inexpensive material of straw, or the more valuable refuse hay from the manger. The "hard boards" would leave too evident marks of discomfort, the labor of cleaning would be much enhanced, and some horses would help themselves without stint from the hay rack, if allowed to do so. Hence we need not urge particularly the importance of giving an easy resting place to this portion of the farm stock, but there is need, we think, that something be said on paying the same attention to the other tenants of the barns and yards, and also upon the best materials for
it any better, but I hope I have learned something since that time.
There are too many farmers who think it too much trouble to give calves any extra attention, but let them "take their chance" with the other stock through the winter. This proves a very poor chance, to my notion, for farmers who will treat calves so negligently will take very little care for the comfort of any tenant of their barn-yard. Calves, I have thought, which "take their chances," are of the same breed with those which furnish crows with bait and tanners with kip-skins in spring-time. If they survive the winter, it takes them all snmmer to get ready to grow again-then, if tough enough, they will stand another winter and take their place with the rawboned, poor-milker cows, or lank, unruly steers, which are the pests of our highways and the disgrace of our stock husbandry.
A trifling amount of attention will produce a very different result. There is no need that calves stop growing in winter, nor need they be fed expensively to keep them in good thrift.
My calves have, as their winter quarters, a stable or room in the barn, about twelve feet square, with a manger along one side of it, next the barn-floor. This manger holds all I put into it, until the calves have eaten it, or I take it out-hence there is no waste. The front has V shaped openings for them to put their heads through, of a size appropriate to calves. The bottom of the manger is This year the usual material for bedding is, in many about six inches above the floor-a board slants to the places, demanded for more important uses. Straw and all back of the manger from about one foot from the front, so coarse fodder will be husbanded with care, and dealt out that the feed will slide forward within their reach. The with economy, as, indeed, they should be every winter.-front openings come within six inches of the manger botBut we need not therefore give no bedding to our cattle tom and extend up nearly three feet, and are about twenty inches wide at the top. -our oxen, cows and calves-nor should our sheep be left without a dry, soft spot to lie upon-or our pigs be refused a nest into which they can crowd for warmth and comfort. The woods, with their abundant crop of leaves, will supply a most excellent material for these purposes. If gathered while dry, and stored under shelter, they will furnish soft bedding for any animal, and add also largely to the value of manure. Leaves absorb a considerable amount of liquid and decay quickly from exposure, and the quality of the fertilizing matters they supply is superior to most other materials used for bedding.
Nothing in the fodder line that I ever put before a calf, seems to "take" better than good, early cut, and well, but not over-cured clover hay. They will do well on it without anything else, but will do better with an occasional feeding of apples, pumpkins or roots, cut fine and well salted, "just for a change"-they then return to hay with a renewed appetite, and evince by their playfulness that they "feel first-rate," and by their looks, that they are thriving and growing. I like to have my calves and other stock with coats as sleek and shiny in winter as in summer, and with comfortable shelter and care, it is not difficult to secure this satisfactory appearance.
This year hay is rather scarce with me, but my calves shall not be starved down if there is any virtue in corn
of barley straw with good relish; pumpkins do not seem to come amiss, and a "nubbin" of soft corn occasionally nightly meal of straw, with a few ears of corn to give seems a sweet morsel. Why cannot they make their "heart" to their evening's rumination? I have seen it somewhere stated that corn fed to cattle at night would be as well digested as though ground into meal, being fully chewed in "the cud" before morning.
To thrive, calves must have water at least twice a day,
Anything which promotes the comfort and quiet of our farm stock, promotes also its thrift and productiveness.-meal and cut straw to prevent it. So far they take hold A horse or ox is in better condition for labor the next day after passing an undisturbed night's rest upon an easy bed, than if forced to stand or lie in discomfort-a cow will give more milk, a fattening animal will take on more flesh; and all upon less food than would otherwise be required. Leaves in the country are abundant and easily secured. In towns, dry sawdust, chips and shavings from laths and planing mills, spent tan-bark, dry muck, and the like may often be obtained more economically than straw or coarse like, all the better. The best I can do, is to water them hay. And to any one near a sawmill or tanyard, the saw-night and morning, letting them take a little excursion of dust and tan-bark furnish valuable material both for bed- some six or eight rods to get their drink. It seems ding and manure. We hope these or leaves, or all of "tough" to them, no doubt, to leave their warm stables them, will be gathered and stored by every farmer who has on a blustering day for a drink of cold water, and I should not an abundance of straw to give every animal in his sta-like to be able to build a great cistern to hold the water bles or sheds a warm, dry bed through winter. He will them and all my stock, three or four times a day at least. from the barn-roof, so that I could pump it up right before be doubly paid, first in the comfort and thrift of his stock, and again in increased crops from the additional supply of
EDS. CULTIVATOR-Every year I have four or five calves to winter, and every year I have to make “a talk” about it in some one of my agricultural papers. You once told my story for me (Co. GENT., Jan. 14, '58;) this time I shall try to tell it for myself, though I don't expect to do
and if they can have it close at hand, and whenever they
Calves may be stabled and fed and watered, and yet suffer from want of cleanliness, and a good bed of litter to lie upon. I have always given the latter, and cleaned the stable three or four times a week, but this winter I shall clean out every day, and give all the bedding I can spare for them. No, I don't doubt but some will do better for their calves, but many will do worse-so it may do some good to give my reminder for those who need its promptings. Perhaps some brother farmer can give me some valuable hints on the subject, if they would only take up the pen and do it. FARMER B.
ECONOMY IN FEEDING STOCK IN WINTER. Of late years, much has been said and written (and for the main part justly too, perhaps,) upon the economy of cutting or steaming food for cattle in the winter; a course which is doubtless under certain circumstances and in some localities, highly to be recommended. But that it should be universally followed I cannot bring myself yet to conclude. One objection to this course is the great amount of labor reqired to cut the food for a large stock of eattle, through a winter of from four and a-half to five and a-half months. And for one I cannot see what advantage it possibly can be, if my stock both consume the food I give them without wasting, and well digest it, as they probably would if kept wholly on good bright hay.
I am aware, in advancing this theory, I am conflicting somewhat with our modern teachers in agriculture, who advise us to feed nothing without being prepared by the
knife or otherwise.
And while upon this subject of stock-feeding, and as the present is the proper season for rehearsing such matters, allow me just to say that the common opinion that a stock of cattle cannot be carried through the winter without a large stock of hay-equal usually to two tons per cow, and about double that quantity for a bullock-is in my view likewise preposterous. Or in other words that hay, and hay only, is what we must have for stock-feeding in the winter months.
Suppose we just look into this matter, and "calculate," Yankee-like, as you perceive I am from a Yankee State. Farmer A. has a stock of ten cows to winter. For this purpose he must have twenty tons of good hay, taken from as many acres probably-as one ton per acre is likely a full average for our hay crop.
Now there is Farmer B. his neighbor, who believes and practices a different doctrine. He has a like number of cows, and "calculates" to carry them through on his 800
bushels of roots, taken from a single acre, (either carrots, bagas, or mangolds,) and his ten tons of choice corn fod der, raised from two acres—and I will venture the assertion that Farmer B.'s cows will give more milk and look smoother in the spring than his neighbor's, which have been fed solely on dry hay.
Now, Messrs. Editors, what say you? Is there really anything in this theory, or is it all theory and moonshine? If I did not dislike to be personal, I would just give you some statistics in support of my method. And I think it becomes some of the farmers of Western New-York to look into this matter the present season, when hay is already selling in some localities for twenty dollars per ton, and just see if there is not really some way to keep stock cheaper than feeding them wholly on hay. Probably it would be economy to feed even a proportion of meal when hay commands a price approaching one cent per pound, and meal can be had for one and a-half or two cents.
winter in good condition, (which is very essential,) and were fed on corn-stalks and straw. Towards spring a few ears of corn, not to exceed three each per day, were given. The cows, about calving time, were messed with a few potatoes and a little barley meal, and shorts mixed in equal quantities. My stock all came through in first rate This winter I am feeding the same, with the addition of a mess of carrots each day.
tered on straw alone, with perhaps a few potatoes and a A great many cattle in Western New York will be winlittle mill feed.
What Mr. PETTEE says about the economy of feeding meal as compared with hay at the present high prices, is undoubtedly true. I certainly would prefer straw and meal, to hay alone. But add to these, carrots, turnips, or potatoes, and you have a combination that will keep your stock in a thriving, and if you please, a fattening condition. If a man has a power straw and stalk-cutter, I think it would pay to cut his fodder. But it is a great mistake to suppose that cattle will not eat straw without cutting. If stock are tied up and fed in mangers, they will eat any kind of forage cleaner than if fed on the ground. The reason, I suppose, is mainly that it is not trodden under foot, and the animal being confined in one place, he is not ranging about seeking for something more palatable.
It is very common here to keep sheep through the winter on straw, with a small allowance of corn, beans, or roots. But be the feed what it may, shelter from the cold winds and storms from early autumn to late spring, is all important. If animals can have that, they will thrive on pretty short allowance. B. Batavia.
HOW SHALL WE SAVE FODDER. The question has been asked more frequently and more earnestly during the present extraordinary scarcity, than for many past years. We hope to answer it in a way that may afford some valuable suggestions.
First-It is important that no fodder be wasted. It often happens with many that hay is scattered about feeding-yards, and trodden under foot by animals. It is not, perhaps, wholly lost, for it becomes converted to manure, but at the present time it is a rather prodigal mode of manufacture, and it would be decidedly more economical to pass this material first through the animal. To prevent this waste, suitable racks and boxes should be amply provided, and they will, in a very short time, pay their cost. Several good modes of constructing them will be found in past numbers of the Illustrated Annual Register.
Secondly-Use for food all the straw that can be spared. All I ask is for intelligent thinking men to look into If well stacked and preserved, as nearly the whole straw and examine the matter, and not think that there is only crop has been the present season, it will be eaten freely, just one way to do here, i. e., the very thing they have especially if a slight sprinkling of brine be added, or if always done, and their ancestors before them, but to recol-cut short and mixed with meal. "But we want straw for lect that the present is truly an age of progression, and he who fails from lack of confidence, either in his own energies or in the new methods constantly being brought forward, from venturing into some of the new-fangled theories, as he may in derision call them, must just be content to be a laggard in his age. WM. J. PETtee. Salisbury, Conn.
littering our stables!" True-it is important that animals should be comfortably bedded; and it often happens where this is omitted, that more is lost by cold and discomfort, than is gained by feeding the straw. There is, however, a substitute which many farmers may still procure in the form of forest leaves. These constitute an admirable maWINTERING STOCK ON STRAW AND CORN-STALKS. terial for bedding animals, being softer as well as warmer than straw. During the open weather which frequently In a very sensible article on stock feeding, WM. J. PETTEE suggests that there are other ways of keeping cattle prevails in the early part of winter, they may be secured through the winter, besides feeding them on hay. It may, in large quantities. Select those places in the woods perhaps, be news to him and other New-England stock- where the winds have swept masses together, as in hollows growers, to learn that many "Farmers of Western New- or along the side of fences. They may be thrown into a York" have been for years in the habit of wintering their cattle with little or no hay at all. Last winter, I kept through fourteen head of cattle and two horses, without a mouthful of hay, except a little to my cows about the time of their dropping their calves in spring. They went into
bushel basket, and many loads drawn in a single day. wagon provided with a large box, by means of a two
Thirdly-Make the most of cornstalks. As commonly fed, more than half their value is wasted. The leaves are
stripped off by cattle, and the solid stalks, which constitute the greatest portion, are trodden under foot. Every part should be eaten; and by doing so, one acre's product will go farther than two acres with the common wasteful mode. They must be cut fine by means of hore power.Hay cutters, which chop in pieces an inch long, will not The fourth of an inch is quite long enough.One farmer of our acquaintance, who kept a four-horse power at his barn, has made a large saving by cutting all his cattle fodder in this way. The machine was set so as to cut very short, and the hardest stalks were reduced to a state like fine chaff; and all was eaten. Two or three hours with the machine would cut enough to last his head of thirty cattle a week. This mode of treating stalks we have found absolutely necessary in feeding the Chinese sugar cane in winter, when it becomes so hard that cattle cannot grind it. We have found great advantage in preparing it by the use of Hickok's cutter and crusher, which cuts at first half an inch long, and afterwards crushes or grinds the cut material, It would be better if cut shorter. Two-horse power will drive it with great rapidity.
Fourthly-A great saving may be effected by shelter and warinth. Cattle exposed to winds and storms must either eat large quantities to maintain animal heat alone, or else inevitably waste in flesh. Comfortable sheds, (if only temporary,) well littered, and warm stables, will save tons of fodder in a winter on every large farm, and hundreds of dollars such a season for high prices as the pre
COOKING FOOD FOR HOGS.
A correspondent who signs himself "Massachusetts," and "farms in a small way," wishes some information relative to the best method of cooking grain for fattening hogs. He keeps but four at the present time, the food of which he cooks in a 60 gallon kettle, well set in brick, a cast iron top being placed on the brick work in which the kettle sets. But he still finds that for the four hogs, he has to cook food at least three times a week, requiring two to three hours each time, and quite a quantity of wood, which is four to six dollars per cord. He is not satisfied with this arrangement, and proposes an upright tubular steam boiler, the size of half a barrel, with the necessary pipes, cocks, &c., to convey steam to a vat for cooking the meal.
He remarks that such is "the vast difference in the grain when his hogs are fed with boiled, over unboiled food," that he shall keep on with his present arrangement until he finds something better. Can any of our correspondents speak from experience in this matter?*
We take it for granted that the meal must be first made wet before the steam can act upon it usefully. We would like to know the amount of saving effected by a well made steamer over the best arranged kettle for boiling, with a cover to retain as much as possible the heat of the steam. A great waste of fuel results from simply placing a kettle over a fire, the flame striking over the surface in a loose irregular manner. If, on the contrary, the brick work is so built that the flame from the small fire below is spread out thinly over the whole broad surface of the kettle, by leaving a space between the kettle and the brick, over the whole surface, only an inch or an inch and a half thick, so that the heat shall be economized as in Mott's Agricultural Furnace, a very little fuel will heat or boil a large measure
*Our correspondent will find a cheap steamer described in the Illustrated Register for 1858, p. 115.
There is a singular diversity of opinion on the subject of cooking corn meal for hogs. A careful and very successful farmer once assured us that his corn yielded about two and a half to three times as much pork with the meal ground and cooked, as fed in the ear. What relative part was due to the grinding and cooking respectively, he had not determined. Other farmers have placed the result far lower, and assert that it does not nearly double the value of the grain. We want something more careful and more frequently repeated under varying influences to settle the question.
In preparing ground food by cooking or otherwise, much dilution with water is very undesirable. Large, compact, excellent pork can be made only by feeding the animals on concentrated food. One of the most successful pork raisers on a small scale, feeds his spring pigs on sour milk through the season, and frequently by winter has animals weighing between three and four hundred pounds; but he is especially careful not to allow any slop to be thrown into the sour milk, or in any other way to dilute it. Hogs fed on dry ground meal, are observed to be of compact handsome form; while such as get abundant slops with a small portion of meal mixed through it, have large bellies and slenderer flesh. We believe this consideration has been too much overlooked in feeding, and hope these desultory hints will call attention to it.
FEEDING SHEEP-LOSS OF WOOL IN SPRING.
We recently remarked at some length on the management of sheep in fall and early winter, but have since come across an additional hint in the following statement credited to the Michigan Farmer, which, if true, is worth placing before our readers. Will some of our sheep-men give us their views upon the question. We have noticed that starved sheep were apt to lose their wool in spring, but have had no experience with such in our own flock:
"There is no season of the year when sheep are more liable to lose nearly all they have gained, than November and December, and if they do, there is an end to the hopes of a crop of wool; for the want of food has the effect of stopping the growth of the wool, and the moment the growth is stopped, the end of the fibre is completed, a change takes place, it becomes dead, in a manner analogous to the stem of ripe fruit, and a renewal of good feed after these months, and after the growth of the wool has been once stopped only prepares the skin to send forth a new growth, that pushes off the old fleece, and causes it to be lost before shearing time."
STORING CABBAGE FOR WINTER USE. Cabbages are variously stored; some prefer setting the head downward and the root up, and covering partially with dry soil. Others keep in the cellar, which must be well aired." So says a writer in Co. Gent, of Oct. 6th.In the autumn of 1857, I packed a barrel and a Havana sugar-box full of cabbage heads and white moss, and then placed them in a warm cellar. The cabbages kept sound and good into March, when some of them began to decay; however, a portion of them kept well into late in April.
Last autumn I again packed my cabbages in moss, such These as is used by nurserymen in packing trees, &c. were kept in my barn until partially frozen, and then the box and barrels were covered with straw, and kept in a slightly frozen state till into April. Any time when wanted for use they were come-at-able, and by immersing the heads in a bucket of water, the frost would be entirely removed in course of an hour or two, and the cabbage were fresh and crisp as when packed. I find this a far preferable way of keeping cabbages to that of setting them out in my warm, damp cellar, where they are liable to decay, and give off a very offensive odor. If buried head downweads out-doors, they cannot be conveniently got at till spring. L. B.
The Poulterer's Companion.
CHEAP POULTRY HOUSE.
The above rough sketch is intended to represent the front elevation of a Poultry House I have just erected for the accommodation of one hundred fowls. The dimensions are as follows, to wit: Twenty-four feet long by twelve wide-94 high in front, and 6 in rear, to afford sufficient slope of roof to easily shed water. Architects would call it a lean-to, if attached to a dwelling or other building. The material is pine, inch stuff, batoned all around, the boards being put perpendicularly, and fastened to a plate and sill of 2 by 3 scantling, which runs across front, rear and both ends. The roof is made of inch boards a foot wide, the cracks being covered with thin sheathing 6 inches in width, and is supported in the center by a 2 by 3 scantling, the entire length of the house. In the front are two windows hung on moveable butts, and open in-door in the center, and a hole for fowls at the right hand corner, with slide inside to shut at night.
eighty fowls of various breeds, embracing Brahmas, Shang-
The Dairy Department.
FLINT'S “MILCH COWS & DAIRY FARMING.”
Winter Feed of Cows.
MESSRS. EDS.-In a former letter on "Butter-Making in Winter," I proposed to remark further on various interesting points brought out in the work named above, and will now proceed to do so. I have no misgivings as to the value of my text, but must confess to some fears in regard to my comments thereon.
The chapter on "Feeding and Management," contains many valuable suggestions. The anecdote of the German farmer shows clearly the importance of feeding well, in order to make dairying profitable. A Swiss dairyman bought the milk of his cows at a fixed price my measure, the German furnishing ample feed, but leaving their entire care to the dairyman. He soon had to sell one-half his cows, he says, "because the Swiss required nearly double the quantity of fodder which the cows had previously had" feet-more in fact than the farm was able to supply. He had formerly fed them better than usual; but the increased amount now consumed astonished him-as also did the result. He says, "The quantity of milk kept increasing, and it reached the highest point when the cows attained the condition of the fat kine of Pharaoh's dream. The quantity of milk became double, triple, and even quadruple, what it had been before-a hundred pounds of hay produced three times more milk than it had produced with my old mode of feeding."
The house is divided into three apartments of 8 each-the center being the feeding room, into which you enter as you open the door. This room has a floor, and contains a box 24 by 18 inches, and 5 inches deep, filled with slacked lime-another filled with sand-another filled with pounded oyster shells-also a feeding hopper for grain, 8 feet long, two feet wide, and two feet high, with two fronts, so that fowls may eat from both sides at the same time-capacity about three bushels. Both faces or sides are covered with slats three inches apart, so as to prevent fowls from getting in with their feet. This hopper is filled as often as consumed, so that the fowls can have access to food at all times. Another box, covered with lath, (an old starch box I use,) is used for cooked vegetables and meat. Last comes the old-fashioned barrel fountain, which furnishes constant supply of water, clean, because the basin under the barrel, into which the tube extends is too small to allow the fowls to put in their feet. This list embraces nearly all the furniture of the feeding
The right end of the house of 8 feet, is devoted to the sleeping or roosting apartment. My roosts are now of oak poles, (shall be sassafras soon as I can get them from St. Louis,) and are placed about six feet from the ground, at right angles to each other, about 16 inches apart, and nailed together-giving more roosting room in the same space than roosts placed across a room but one way. The fowls gain the roosts by wide ladders. This room has a ventilator in the roof and in the end of the building.
The dairyman's motto, "keep the cows constantly in good condition," is truly "the great secret of success.”Owing to the better quality of fodder, and greater care in feeding this winter, our cows have kept in as good condition as during the summer, and the falling off in the product of butter has been much less than usual with the advance of winter. Butter-making at this season has not been a special object with me, but I have wintered cows, and experimented a little on the subject, and I find that cows fed fully and regularly with frequent changes of food, and comfortably sheltered, will give milk as long as is desirable, taking the spring's calf and next summer's milk product into consideration.
"In winter," says our author, "the best food for cows in milk, will be good sweet meadow hay, a part of which should be cut and moistened with water, as all inferior hay or straw should be, with an addition of root-crops-such as turnips, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, mangold wurtzel, with shorts, oil-cake, Indian meal or bean meal. Hay cut and thoroughly moistened, becomes more succulent and nutritious, and partakes more of the nature of green grass."
The left end of the house of 8 feet, is separated from the rest of the building by a partition and door, and contains three tiers of nests, fixed around the sides of the room. Some are 18 inches square, while those upon the Good hay, early cut and well cured, is no doubt "the floor tier are 20 inches square. A board six inches wide, best food for cows in milk," and roots I cannot be too runs in front of all the nests, and on a level with this highly recommended, especially to those who desire to board, a 6 inch ledge runs around likewise, so that biddy obtain the largest quantity," but for quality, give me may make a choice of nests. In the front of the nests I the hay and shorts, and roots enough for three feedings a have nailed up a few cornstalks for concealment the more week, and I ask nothing better, nor will I promise to use easily. The upper tier of nests is covered with a slanting the hay cutter. As to "thoroughly moistened" hay, why roof, which will prevent fowls from stealing a quiet roost- is it that hay thoroughly moistened by a shower, is refused ing place. This room has a ventilator in roof and rear.— I put up permanent nests, because it was the easiest and cheapest way, and scalding water and lime-wash will keep them perfectly free from insects of all kinds.
I intend another year, to adopt the pure breed system, and cultivate one kind of breed exclusively. I have now
by stock until it again becomes dry, or they are starved into eating it? A slight wetting, when one mixes meal with cut hay or straw, is beneficial, and indeed requisite to their consuming the whole.
The concluding directions are worth copying: "Feed sweet and nutritious food therefore, regularly, frequently,
and in small quantities, and change it often, and the best
The treatment of weak swarms, whether from old dwarfed or young stocks, has often been given in the Co. Gent. and Cultivator, and it is an important question in bee culture. A weak colony made strong by proper management, is just as good as a colony originally strong. E. P.
Inquiries and Answers.
Prof. Flint says nothing of corn-stalks as a winter food DRAIN TILE. I wish to say something to you on the for cows, but those who have fed them in connection with subject of draining by round tile, &c. The agricultural hay and roots, know how to estimate their value. In com-works have much to say about tile draining, round tile, mon with many others, I have observed that cows give and all this thing, but never have enlightened us at all as more milk, and the butter retains its yellow color much to how lateral surface drainage gets into the broad side of later, when corn-fodder is fed, and comes sooner in churn- a tubular pipe of 2 inches or any other diameter. I can ing, and is of a better quality. No doubt this arises from easily see how a tubular pipe could drain a pond, or send the sweetness of the corn-stalk. Roots, if fed freely, water from a higher to a lower level; but how surface make the milk watery and thin, and hay not of the best drainage or water can get laterally into a tubular pipe of kind, causes a decrease in quantity and quality. With one-quarter to one-half a mile long, sufficiently to drain good hay, corn-stalks well cured and saved, roots, apples, the land on each side of the pipe, is more than we and wheat-shorts, one can give that "change and variety" ers" are able at present to see. I hope you will be good so essential to keep the cow in a healthy, thriving condi- enough to enlighten us on this subject through the Co. tion. A neighbor, keeping but one cow, GENTLEMAN. and feeding cornYour contributors and correspondents in stalks and shorts, is now making ten pounds of butter general are not explicit enough, often leaving us in the per week-more than some make from five cows under dark on the most essential points. A SUBSCRIBER. — common treatment, at this season. Alton, Illinois. [The water finds its way into the crevices between the separate tiles, and this far more rapidly order to prevent the earth also from washing in, it is often and completely than can be conceived before trial. In necessary to place straw, sods, &c., over the ends of the tile; and hence it has been sometimes remarked that the more you try to keep the water out, the surer it will be to come in freely, and your drain to work well and permanently.]
If this proves printworthy, I shall offer some remarks on other matters contained in the work before us as yet, I have touched but a single chapter. A YOUNG FARMER.
The Bee-Beeper's Department.
Degeneration of Bees.
Articles occasionally appear in the agricultural journals, upon the " Degeneration of Bees." Some writers attribute this want of continued success to breeding in-and-in, and advise changing stocks with neighbors. Others state that swarms from old stocks have become so dwarfed that they lack strength, energy, and numbers to secure sufficient store to maintain themselves, and consequently must perish, and also affirm that this degeneration goes on with almost mathematical regularity from generation to gene
An examination of the natural history of the bee makes one receive the foregoing with much doubt.
First-As to breeding in-and-in. In most thinly settled parts of the country, and where few bees are kept, there are generally wild bees enough to prevent, with considerable certainty, in-and-in breeding. Where many bees are kept there can be no danger of degeneration from this Those persons who take enough interest in their bees to change stocks with neighbors to improve the breed, will undoubtedly give their bees all the attention necessary to success, and they would, I think, succed just as well without troubling themselves about ill effects of inand-in breeding.
FRUITS FOR MARKET.-I am somewhat engaged in the fruit business. Will you please inform me of a few of the best sorts of apples, pears, and grapes for market use, and best adapted to our locality, between the Seneca and Cayuga lakes in Ovid? As we have the State Ag. College located in this town, and the State premium farm of 1856, we ought to be improving some. G. D. Sheldrake, N. y. [We can best answer the inquiry in relation to APPLES by quoting the vote taken on this subject at the Fruit Growers' meeting at Rochester last winter. The following largest vote: Baldwin, Rhode Island Greening, Roxbury is the list, those being placed first, which received the Ounce, Tallman Sweeting, Fall Pippin, Esopus SpitzenRusset, Tompkins County King, Northern Spy, Twenty berg, Lowell, Golden Russet, Red Astrachan, &c. The Baldwin received double the vote of the Greening; the Greening double the Roxbury Russet; the Roxbury Russet double the Northern Spy; the Northern Spy double the Fall Pippin, &c. The best pears for market are Angouleme, Louise Bonne of Jersey, Beurre d'Anjou, Winkfield and Easter Beurre, on quince; and Bartlett, Flemish Beauty, Sheldon, Seckel and Lawrence, on pear. The Virgalieu would stand first, but for its liability to crack. The Isabella, so far is the best market GRAPE.Time only will prove the value of the Concord, Delaware and Diana-grapes of high promise.]
RAISINS AND GRAPES.-Can raisins be made from any of our native grapes, and if so, of what variety? Also please state exactly how it is to be done in detail. Where can I procure a two-year-old vine (not forced) of the Anna, Clara and Powell? AN AMATEUR. Philadelphia. [Attempts have been made to manufacture raisins of American grapes, but have not as yet been very successful. The Clara and Anna grapes may be had of S. MILLER of Lebanon, Lebanon Co., Pa., but we are unable to say where the Powell can be obtained-perhaps of C. P. BISSELL & Co. of Rochester, or of Dr. GRANT of Fishkill, N. Y.]
Secondly-Dwarfed bees can only be produced from old brood comb, the cells being smaller from the number of cocoons contained. However much dwarfed a new swarm from an old stock may be, unless they, in building new comb, build it of reduced dimensions, the offspring of their queen will be full size. I have never seen it mentioned that any one ever saw a new comb of reduced sized cells, or a dwarfed queen. Dwarfed queens are not produced. It is almost positively certain that only one queen is ever produced from a cell. After the queen is hatched the cell is almost entirely destroyed. After the swarming season, only a trace of queen's cells can be found, so that we can reasonably conclude that the young queens, hatched the following season, emerge from newly formed cells. The queen is impregnated out of the hive, so that dwarfed DRILLING ROCKS.-Wanted, a labor-saving machine for drones from her hive are not likely to injure the race. boring or drilling rocks for blasting. Any inventor or Superior strength probably rules with bees as much as dealer having such for sale, that has been well tried and with animals. We may conclude that dwarfage comes en-approved, may find a purchaser by furnishing his address tirely from very old hives, and that with the death of the bees that have swarmed from an old stock, ends the dwarfs in the new hive.
to this paper. D. S.
FARM MILL. I would make the following inquiry respecting a farm mill for grinding corn in the ear, and