Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

*

*

*

the organic laws of horse physiology, we should not have allowed the race to become so degenerated. There is no truer saying than like begets like. Had we, as a nation, been mindful in propagating our brute creation as we have in selecting in our vegetable state of affairs, we should have none of those walking dictionaries of all the diseases that horse-flesh is heir to, in one volume, badly bound.

Would that I might impress one lasting idea, that might actuate some farmer here to give this matter his candid consideration, and I am confident his better judgment will not conflict with my views on the necessity of a more prudent course of selecting good animals to breed from. What I have said in reference to breeding horses, applies to every species in our animal kingdom.

Divine law settles one point for us as clear as it can be where intermarriage is forbidden—it holds good in all the organic laws of nature-that change of seed from different climes and so on till we come to man God's noblest work --all must keep up a cross in order to avoid effeminacy and degeneracy. In the horse very much depends on the sire. As you will readily see there are fewer of that number compared to that of the dams or mares. Hence, by all means, those intended to occupy so conspicuous a part in rearing up our quorum of horses, should be without spot or blemish; they should be from noble antecedents, with all other requisites. They should possess a large amount of bone and muscle, with strong and robust constitution, and among the rest a rare amount of courage and activity. Still more essential than all the rest, their genealogical record should be well authenticated, as inheriting the blood of good ancestors. After all this is shown and complied with, each town in every State should appoint a competent committee to determine on the merits of each stallion, whose names are so conspicuously found plastered in all public places; and especially those who wbip the colt from place at $2 and $5 per mare, at the same time doing some unwary farmer damage to the amount of a good honest horse. This is too true, gentlemen, and some of you are finding it so, while others, I fear, will yet have to demonstrate the fact.

Experience proves that no man ever made a dollar by attempting to breed from a poor borse. We as a class of farmers here, have little use for the fast nags, and in fact we have but few that would break any city ordinance at full burst of speed; and it is far better for us to propagate a class of horses that can turn up their two or three acres of green sward in a day, than any of the mock trotters we now have. Let us have a plenty of good Sampson horses, weighing from 1,200 to 1,400. A market is yearly opened at the North, so that he who has that kind of horses at four years old can realize $500 a pair. That will pay the farmer for cost and keeping, and afford a surplus each year. My advice to all is to breed from horses of the kind who have proved themselves good in years gone by. Another thing, when you have found such a horse, that has proved to be a good foal-getter, never change until your mares require another strain of blood. I did think I would not particularize any man's stallion; but, gentlemen, you have two horses in your immediate vicinity that as horses of all work should not pass unnoticed. They are a pair that are worked together for team horses, and are owned west of your village. I know not the man's name that owns them, but I knew the stock of horses the first time I placed my eyes upon them. They are from the Honest Tom-an imported horse. He was brought to Palmyra, N. Y., during my sojourn there, by Mr. Pettit. Honest Tom is of the Sampson strain of blood. He was a horse 15} hands high, color dark brown; was a high mettled horse, and

*

*

remarkably active for a horse of his weight, which was 1,800 pounds. He was kept in New York eight seasons, when his owner brought him to Eaton county, Mich. I think he was kept in this State two years, when they formed a club in New York, and offered Mr. Pettit large inducements to return the horse to New York. He did so, but the horse died in a year or so, after leaving the most valuable class of colts ever got by any one horse in this country. I would like to relate some features of this class of horses, but have not time to do so. This pair alluded to are colts from Old Tom. I can always pick the breed from any other. I have seen colts from this brown horse that parties have refused $225 for, in front of Darrow's store, last spring. Mr. Parker has a filly, coming a year old that $100 would not tempt him to part with.

I can say for the Ingall’s horse-Old Charlie—I deem him a good horse in his class, for the carriage and road. He is from the Hill, Vermont, Black Hawk, and they are a good stock of roadsters.

In conclusion, gentlemen, while it is a hard thing to say, I am compelled to say it: I have seen some horses in your county that should be regarded as unworthy of your support. I do not in all cases charge it as a direct meanness for a man to try and palm off an unworthy and apostate horse, for sometimes a man may be quite ignorant of what constitutes a good horse.

The four last consecutive years before coming to your State I passed through my hands 500 different horses. I have also given the different breeds of horses a great deal of study. I have owned and kept standing in my own barns three different blooded horses at a time. I have marked the development of each one's progeny, and in this way I have learned by ocular demonstrations that everything so very essential in breeding depends on good crosses. This, gentlemen, is the reason I have recommended to you such horses as I did. One man in Albany, N. Y.-Mr. Cutler—of the

Transportation Co., purchased 34 of these Sampson horses of me, besides all the draymen of that city, to whom I sold; and my native county of Wayne is to-day gleaned of those excellent draft horses. I come now to your own State to show the demand. For the first ones introduced in Lenawee and Hillsdale counties, last year, I see by reports of the Hudson Gazette, there were sold to parties in Pennsylvania, to the amount of $18,500, mostly the breed of Sampsons. Lastly, gentlemen, cast about this coming year, you who intend to breed, and see if you can't commence an improvement in elevating the standard of your much treasured animal, the horse, by selecting your best mares. Do not expect an old broken-down mare will do to breed from. Moreover, do not look for the cheapest sire. If you have no horse in your immediate vicinity, send your mares abroad, or form a club and purchase some good blooded stock horse. In this way you will soon be able to exhibit a class of young horses that will defy competition for miles around you.

POULTRY RAISING.

AN ADDRESS BEFORE THE SOCIETY, BY O. F. MILLER, DELIVERED AT THE

JANUARY MEETING.

The rearing of poultry has been receiving more attention in the past few years than at any period since the world began. It has been but a comparatively short time since the breeding of distinct breeds has been carried on. Now one can name almost a score of different breeds, as distinct from each other in regard to color, shape, disposition, and peculiar traits, as any other creature raised by the farmer. In raising stock of any kind it has been the aim of the successful raiser to produce that class of stock that returned the greatest profit. Therefore, in some localities, cattle are raised that will produce the greatest quantity of milk; in other localities those that will produce the greatest amount of beef at the earliest age of the animal. The same in regard to sheep. In some places it pays best to raise that class of sheep that will produce the greatest quantity of wool; in other localities those that will produce the greatest amount of mutton. The same rule will apply to the rearing of poultry. In some localities it will pay better to raise that breed that will produce the greatest number of eggs; in other localities those that will produce a good amount of both eggs and meat. There are few creatures that contribute more to man's comfort than domestic poultry, whether he be in health or sickness. Many are the delicate meals that are prepared from the chicken for the sick, when no other food would relish.

There is no doubt that poultry may be kept and managed with profit on all farms where grain is grown, as the inferior grain cannot be sent to market in a more profitable shape than in well fed poultry. A hundred pounds of poultry can be raised as cheap as a hundred pounds of any other meat, and it will bring almost double the price of other meat, at any season of the year. But, like all other stock, it requires care and attention, and if you expect full pay for your trouble you must adopt a good system of management, and see that it is properly carried out in all points, from first to last. In the first place great care should be given to breeding. The best specimens of your flock should be selected for that purpose, and it is a poor policy to use the same cock years in succession, as it produces the same effect on the young as the breeding in and in of any other class of stock. The cock should be changed at least every two years, and if it is done every year so much the better. We often hear it remarked that the raising of poultry does not pay. But if you will trace the failure of such persons through, you will find there is a want of attention to the choice and management of stock, irregular and wasteful use of food, want of attention to roosting, and particularly to the laying place of hens. The practice of leaving young chickens to shift for themselves until such time as they are wanted for fattening is all wrong. No after fattening will increase the frame if the feeding while young has been neglected. A good plan is to manage, if possible, to set two or three hens at nearly the same time, then, when they hatch, give all the chickens to the largest hen, thus saving the trouble of but one coop. Construct a coop of sufficient size to give the hen and chicks room for eating and brooding purposes, and they should be so constructed that they can be moved from place to place, as the ground soon becomes filthy, and the chickens will not thrive unless they are kept clean and free from vermin. And here let me remark, that if a coop of nice thrifty chickens are confined around, under, or near your plum trees or cherry trees, during the season from the time the trees are in blossom until the fruit is nearly full grown, you will scarcely ever fail of obtaining a good crop of fruit.

Hens should have a separate place in or about the poultry house for setting purposes, as whenever one commences setting there is always an inclination among others to disturb her and lay in the same nest. Hens are inclined to et where they have laid, and if removed they will sometimes leave the newly

to be any.

made nest. But some kinds are more easily removed than others. Before the eggs are put under the hen all of the old straw and dirt should be removed and new straw substituted, and it would be a good plan to sprinkle a little sulphur in the bottom of the nest to destroy the vermin, if there should happen

From eleven to thirteen eggs will be sufficient to put under one hen, according to the size of the hen. It is not always the best plan to sort out the largest eggs for setting purposes. The extremely large eggs are more apt to rot than those of medium size. After incubation has commenced never touch the hen or the eggs, nor what is worse, disturb the nest. Place food where it will be easily got at, give free range, and let her and her eggs and nest alone. The chickens should appear the twenty-first day, and if some should be inclined to leave the nest before all are out and strong enough, they may be taken and wrapped in warm cloth until all are ready to leave the nest. The best food for young chickens is a mixture of hard boiled eggs and coarse ground corn meal, or dry bread reduced to fine crumbs. They should be fed sparingly, at first every two hours, and kept dry and warm in cold weather.

A poultry house should be located on gravel or dry sandy loam. Stagnant water should be avoided. It should be built facing the south if possible, and if on a side hill sloping to the south, all the better. It should be made warm and dry, and so constructed that it can be easily cleaned out, which should be done quite often. Fowls should be permitted to range at liberty a greater portion of the time. Their nests should be constructed so as to admit of easy access, and should be kept comparatively dark, and so made that they can enter them unperceived, and lay without fear of being disturbed. They should not be confined to one variety of food the whole winter. The food should be changed every few days, or two kinds of food a day is still better. Say a feeding of corn in the morning and a feeding of oats or barley in the evening, with now and then a meal of some sort of cooked food. They should have once or twice a week some meat and some sort of vegetables. There should always be some dry ashes near the poultry house for them to wallow in, as it is good to keep them free from vermin. There should be a box of lime or old mortar, and one of dry gravel, where the hèns can get at it, especially in the winter season. Fowls over fat or lean seldom lay. Food that will keep them in the best working trim, as is said of the horse, is the best, and they should be fed regular. The variety of fowls that are the most profitable to be kept in this locality is a matter of some importance. If we were near large markets where eggs could be shipped without making the freight so high, then perhaps those that produced the greatest number of eggs during a year would be the best variety to keep. In most of our large cities the price of eggs is seldom if ever below twenty-five cents per dozen, and often as high as forty cents, while the price paid to the producer is seldom more than one-half of that amount. Therefore we should select that variety that will produce the greatest number of eggs during the season of the year that they bring the highest price, and at the same time one of the most value for their meat. It is generally conceded that for winter laying, and for meat for the table, the Light Brahma takes the preference. They may be objected to by some on account of their setting proClivities, but that is no objection at all. If they are taken, as soon as they commence, and confined a few days on rather small allowance, then good care taken of them, they will soon commence laying again. They can easily be made to dress five pounds at the age of six months.

To illustrate the profits that 'nay be derived from the rearing of poultry, I will give the result of some experienced poultry breeders, who have kept an account of the cost of keeping, and the amount of sales, and profits derived therefrom. Some allowance must be made for the localities in which they live for the price of grain and other food, also the cost of transportation. Mr. Nelson Ritter of Syracuse, N. Y., in the first three months of 1869, received eggs from fifty-six hens, as follows: In January, 868; February, 891; March, 984, with fourteen of the hens setting from about the middle of the month. The eggs were sold for $66 98; the expense of keeping was $26 13; the profits on eggs for three months was $40 85. The hens were a cross of Brahmas. L. P. Trimble of Newark, N. J., kept for six months ending July 1st, 1870, an average of eighteen hens and two cocks. They produced 1,290 eggs, which at market value were worth $40 49. There were also thirty-two March chickens, worth July 1st, $8, making the value of the product $48 49. The cost of feed was $19 45; net profit for six months, $29 04, or $1 45 per fowl. The Middlesex South Committee give the following statement in report of Department of Agriculture: A flock of 113 Brahmas, in September, 1866, increased to 163 in one year, besides supplying eggs to the amount of $232 80; fowls sold, $75 28; making with the 50 increase of flock, $408 08; expenses, $145 03; net profit, $263 05, taking no account of droppings of chickens. Caponizing has been practiced but little in this country, the practice now being confined mostly to Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In most parts of the country the practice is unknown, even among those who breed fowls for market. Both cockrells and pullets may be caponized. The effect of depriving them of reproductive powers is to cause them to fatten more easily, with less food. It increases their size, and makes them more tender and desirable for the table. It is claimed that capons are very much superior to others. Some claim that their weight is increased one-third, and that they command one-third more price than other market fowls. It is claimed that the operation is simple and easily performed. An expert in the business can castrate two hundred in a day, for which he receives four cents each. Instruments for making capons may be purchased. They consist of a spring, with which the incision made by a sharp knife is kept open during the operation, nippers and hook, with which to remove the covering of the testicles, a tube containing a silk-worm gut, with which the connection of the testicle is severed, and a spoon for remoring the several parts. The operation may be performed, however, with a sharp pocket knife, a pair of forceps, a sharp pointed hook, a horse hair, and a teaspoon.

As yet, but little in this line has been furnished by this country for exportation. The shipments in 1868 amounted to only 19,604 dozen eggs, valued at $5,865, and poultry valued at $1,484, or $7,349 in all. It is claimed that New York city uses over $4,000,000 worth of eggs each year. In nine months of the year 1869 the receipts of eggs in that city averaged about 1,000 barrels per day, a barrel containing 80 dozen, which, at 30 cents per dozen, amounts to $24,000 per day, or $8,760,000 per annum. Boston uses half as many as New York. Cincinnati annually exports $25,000,000 of eggs, and Stockton, California, about $300,000 of eggs and poultry. From October 14th, 1869, to May 6th, 1870, two buyers shipped to New York city, from the station of Masonville, New Jersey, 197 tons of poultry, for which they paid the farmers of that vicinity not less than $95,000. England is said to have a constant investment in poultry of over $50,000,000, and she is the largest importer of eggs and poultry. The number of eggs yearly sent from Ireland to Eng

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »