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best part of two hay days, after it is cut, before I cart it to the barn-always securing it as well as I can, from the weather, the first night, by raking and putting into bundles. The second day, I open, spread, and turn it, before carting it to the barn in the afternoon.
My clover hay, I always make in small bundles in the fieldnever spread it over the ground—but pitch the bundles over occasionally, by reversing the hay; and when partially made, put two bundles together; and always handle carefully to save the better part of the hay. And I consider clover hay, if well saved in this way, as valuable as any other kind, unless it is a very coarse, peavine kind of clover.
I prefer to cut my herdsgrass when in full blossom, and my clover when the blossoms are turned, one fourth or one third of them.
I prefer to cut my grass early, because I consider such hay much more valuable, and the after crop starts more readily, consequently the roots are better protected. The loss from late cutting, far exceeds the losses from early cutting.
In mowing grass, I cannot fix upon any precise rule, as to cutting it high or low. Good mowers do not cut their grass alike in this respect. I would not however, cut my grass very low, neither would I cut it so high that the field would look slovenly, when the hay is harvested.
I generally use four quarts of salt to the ton, but only on one half of my hay, as I house it; have never used any lime.
I use a revolving horse rake to much advantage, on smooth fields. I prefer them much to any iron spring tooth rake, I have ever
I have not used hay caps, but I think so highly of them, that I have resolved not to do without them another year."
Ash Grove, New Preston, Conn.
REPORTS. In accordance with the Resolve passed by the Board, near the
close of its late session, (see page 59,) the following papers have been furnished for publication.
By J. F. Anderson, South Windham.
Charged by the Board of Agriculture, with the duty of reporting upon Sheep,” I have diligently sought for knowledge upon the subject; but not having had the large experience of the gentleman who was last year entrusted with this duty, and not possessing suficiently good opportunities of obtaining reliable information requisite without such experience, I cannot hope that my report will prove more than a passing word upon this important branch of live stock.
Throughout the history of farm improvement. we may observe a prominent place accorded to sheep husbandry. All agricultural writers agree in assigning to this agency, the most rapidly marked and surest consequences in advancing the general fertility of farming land. The rank sward of the richest lea is improved, and the hard and innutritious herbage of the almost barren hill top becomes sweet and nourishing after being subjected to this influence.
Says the Swedish proverb, “Sheep have golden feet, and wherever the print of them appears, the soil is turned into gold.”
While most of our farmers will, upon reflection, freely admit that live stock breeding ought to receive far more attention than it has hitherto; and while they unhesitatingly allow that, of all, sheep breeding is the most profitable in appropriate places, how few there are in the State, who act upon the thoughts which deliberation thus brings out from their own reason and observation. It seems to pass each
one, like a point in his parson’s discourse, as so applicable to a neighbor, that it is astonishing he should continue to neglect bis true interest; but a practical application to his own condition, only enters his mind as a very general proposition, in considering which, -if he dwells upon it at all-he satisfies himself with abundant
reasons of present expediency against changing his practice. Why is it so peculiarly the case with the American farmer, not only in this, but in everything pertaining to his legitimate business, that when he reasons so well, he acts so lamely? Why should not a reasonable, money-promising idea prove the same powerful incentive to action in his own proper pursuit, that it does in another?
Here will be enumerated incontrovertible facts about sheep keeping; every farmer knows them, but comparatively very few test them fairly by practice. Of those who have undertaken the breeding of sheep, a still smaller proportion have bad the resolution to hold over a year's depression in the price of wool, notwithstanding the figures of an accurate account might discover a profit from them in the seasons of lowest prices. Having become somewhat accustomed to more than fifty per cent. return, the breeders are unwilling to take up with so little as ten per centum. It may be safely asserted that where an account with the sheep has been fairly kept, there can be shown but two contingencies which have ever brought the per centage of profit so low, in the hardest years, as ten per cent. of the flock's value; and those are dogs and disease.
There is not a farm or a farmer in the State, away from the city suburb, that would not gain from having more or less of these land improving, food and raiment producing animals; not a pasture which would not be clearer of coarse herbage and bushes, and all the better by their close feeding, and which would not gain from their evenly spread, plant nourishing excrements.
No farm stock, no farm, is complete without them. This is asserted for application to every farm in Maine. But the peculiar position, circumstances and condition of each one must, of course, govern as to the proper number which may be kept upon it. It has been said by one who should know, that "for every cow, any pasture can carry a sheep with absolute gain.”
This truly may be borne in mind, that it is a result of the most general experience, that sheep can every where be kept to a profitable extent, the limit of which can only be ascertained by a fair trial with gradually increasing numbers. On the farm which proves, from its peculiarly favorable character, well adapted to sheep, the same experience teaches that no branch of husbandry is so richly remunerative, none in which there is so little risk, none where the