Indiana. State Board of Agriculture.

Annual report of the Indiana State Board of Agriculture online

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straw would when mixed with corn meal.

Probably the digestibility of the true see<l or oat kernel ifi not ma-
terially affected thereby. The oil in the case of flaxseed and the starch
in the case of wheat having been removed, the crude fiber of their by-
products, linseed meal and bran, have l)een Increased.

Attention should also Ix* called to the difference in the ash constitu-
ents of roughage or coarse fodders, as compared to the grains. It will
be noticed from the table that coarse fodders generally contain more than
rt per cent, of ash constituents, while the grains generally contain less
than 3 per cent. It should be further noted that, while the grains contain
an excess of phosphoric acid and a deficiency of lime, the coarse fodders
contain an excess of lime, but a deficiency of phosphoric acid. Thus,
when we feed coarse fodders only, we may have a deficiency of phosphoric
acid, as in the case of cattle wintered at a straw pile, while, when fed
grain alone, we may have a deficiency of lime, as in the case of hogs fed
on Indian corn al<»ne. It is entirely possible that calves fed upon skim
milk and grain, without coarse foml, might suflTer for the lack of proper
bone-making material. A case came to my attention where a number of
calves fed on gluten meal, without coarse feed, denuded the locust trees
in the grove, where they were allowed to roam, of their bark as far as the
calves could reach. A glance at the table shows that gluten meal contains
almost no ash constituents, and there is no doubt in my mind that the
bark was eaten to supply the deficiency.

Tlie principle ingredient of crude fil)er is cellidose, which is identical

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in composition with stareli of nitrogen-free extract. Tlie process of diges-
tion of cellulose is by no means tliorouglily understood, but it serves, when
digestible, the same pui*poses in the animal as does the starch. Generally
speaking, a little more than one-half of the crude fiber of our hays and
straws is digestible, while from eight to nine-tenths of the starch of the
grains is digestible, About 20 pounds of crude fiber In each 100 pounds
of wheat straw is digestible, while 65 pounds of the nitrogen-free ex-
tract (in this case principally starch) in each 100 pounds of Dent corn Is
digestible. As the composition of starch and cellulose is identical, and as
their function and purposes in animal economy ai^ identical, the thesis
of this address is whether the starch in nitrogen-free extract may replace
crude fiber without injury to the h<*alth or development of our domestic
animals, and, if so, when and under what conditions is it wise economy to
do so? Or, to put it in other word's, is the. habit of eating roughage by
our domestic animals a constitutional habit which is imperative? It
should be stated, at the outset, that this discussion applies esi)ecially to
cattle, although in some measure to sheep and horses, but does not apply
to swine.

The digestive capacity of the pig Is quite different from the otlier
animals named, and conclusions drawn from these classes can not apply
to the former.

In the state of nature, herbivorous animals, which include our horses,
cattle and sheep, lived exclusively on coarse fodders^ principally grasses
in all stages of maturity. They did not have corn, oats, barley, or any
other grains, much less the by-products, such as bran and linseed meal,
which we now feed so extensively to milch cows, and somewhat to other
classes of animals.

Herbivorous animals were evolved out of the conditions which sur-
rounded them In the state of nature, and one of these conditions was the
necessity of consuming what we term the coarse fodders. Had we any
doubt upon this subject, we have but to study the digestive tract of the
ruminants, to which cattle and sheep belong, and we will find the four
stomachs admirably adapted to the reduction and finally the digestion of
vegetation. We may rest assunnl, theix^fore, that our domestic animals
are remarkably adapted to the conversion of the coarse fodders of the
farm Into substances of value to mankind. It must be admitte<l. and I
wish here to emphasize it, that the coarse fodders constitute much the
largest of soil products, and. without the use of our domestic animals,
these products would be largely valueless.

It may l)e of interest to pause here long enough to speculate what sort
of a feeding ration nature furnished the wild cow during the spring and
summer, when she was suckling her young. We show l)elow the number
of pounds of dry matter which a cow would be compelled to consume in
the blue grass pasture in order to obtain lt» pounds of digestible substance,
and also the number of pounds of dry matter in mixed pasture grassi^s to

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obtain the same amount of digestible matter. For the salce of com-
parison we give the (rerman standard for feeding milch cows giving 22
potinds of milk daily, and also the ration that the Ohio State University
uses with its dairy herd:

Dry DioeatihU Digtitible Nutritive
Matter, Matter. Protein, Ratio,

German 29 16.6 2.5 1:5.7

Ohio SUte University 24 16.0 2.0 1:7.0

Blue graw pasture 22.13 16.0 1.9 1:7.4

Pasture grasses (mixed) 23.53 16.0 2.94 1:4.4

While there is a wide variation in the proportion of digestible protein to
tlie non-nitrogenous digestible substance, the coarseness of the food is sub-
stantially the same. To get 16 pounds of digestible substance requires the
eating of less than 24 poimds of dry matter when animals are on pasture.

Reference to the former table shows that Kentucky blue grass con-
tains much less crude fiber than much of the roughage which we feed. In
the state of nature, as the season advanced, grasses would l>e somewhat
more mature, and^ consequently, more dry matter also would have to be
eaten in order to get the required amount of digestible substance. In
nature, the animal becomes fat during the season of plentj^ and good
quality to furnish it a reserved force which enables it to pass through
the period of mifavorable weather and food supply. If there is anything,
therefore, in constitutional habit, this would indicate that it was not
according to nature to have animals 8ul>sist on straw or hay alone, and,
further, that it is not in accordance with nature to have an animal for
Its best productiveness to consume a ration which was less than two-
thirds digestible.

It is not what an animal eats, but what it digests, that is of value in
supporting the various functions of the body. What it fails to digest is
inert. It is outside the body, for all intents and purposes. There is by no
means a fixed relation between the pounds of digestible nutrients a food
contains and its value, as will be hereafter shown, but there is a much
closer relation than there is between the poimds of dry matter, not to
mention the pounds of fresh substance. The following table shows the
cost of digestible nutrients in some of our common foods, at an ordinary
price, and also the pounds of digestible nutrients in each 100 i)ounds
of dry matter:

Market Price Cost of Digest- Pounds of Dry

Iter Cwt, ible Substance. Matter Digested.

Whest straw SO 10 $0 27 43

Timothy hay 45 90 57

Com ensilage 10 48 64

Corn stover 10 28 60

Olorer hay 80 68 60

Oats 72 99 70

Linseed meal, N. P 125 169 80

Wheat bran 75 1 31 62

Corn 50 62 90

Olnten meal 1 10 1 17 87

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This table shows a number of things. It shows that at a ruling price
for the several foods the digestible nutrients range in cost from 27 cents
to $1.69 per hundred. In other words, the digestible nutrients of linseed
meal cost seven times that of those of wheat straw. It shows that the
digestible nutrients of com at 28 cents per bushel cost less than half
what those of bran at $15 a ton, and costs less than those of clover
hay at $6 a ton. It shows that the digestible nutrients of timothy hay at
$9 a ton cost about one-half more than corn at $10 a ton; it shows that
when oats are 25 cents per bushel their digestible nutrients cost 99 cents
per hundred weight, while with com at 28 cents per bushel the cost
of digestible nutrients is 62 cents per hundred weight.

If the digestible nutrients of wheat straw cost 27 cents per hundred
weight and corn stover at 28 cents, while those of corn cost 62 cents, why
not feed wheat straw and com stover, instead of corn?

If we assume that a milch cow requires 16 pounds of digestible nutri-
ents per day, she could obtain this amount by eating 43 pounds of wheat
straw, by eating 45 pounds of com stover, or by eating 19 pounds of corn.
Nineteen pounds of corn, occupying one-third of a bushel, a cow could eat
without any special effort, but to consume 43 pounds of wheat straw or
45 pounds of corn stover is quite beyond the power of the most ravenous
cow, even though these foods contain nutrients in the right proportion,
which they do not.

We have pretty generally learned, although we may fail to put our
learning into practice, that the feeding ration should contain a certain pro-
portion of digestible protein, or nitrogenous substances, to non-nitrogenous
substances; in other words, a right nutritive ratio. But the mistalie is
frequently made in calculating feeding rations of not taking into account
the amount of dry matter which is necessary for the animal to eat in order
to get the required amount of digestible substances.

A prominent and able farmer in Ohio at one time advocated the sub-
stitution of clover hay for oats for worlt horses, on the ground that the
analysis showed that clover hay was equal, If not superior, to oats.
As this happily illustrated the point I am urging at this moment, I will
show in a table the numl)er of pounds of the several nutrients in clover
hay and oats in a ton:



Fed, Digested,

Ash ... 68

Albuminoids 264 230

Fibre* 216 56

StMch, ete.* 1,340 1,032

Fat 112 87

Clover Hay,













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While it is true that tl)e composition of hay and oats are somewhat
alilce, wlien we come to feed them to horses we find some marked differ-
ences in the amount of digestible nutrients that a ton contains.

In tlie oats, a horse would digest 1,405 pounds In a ton, while 1,070
pounds of clover hay would be digested. Assuming that a horse requires
daily 15 pounds of digestible substance, he could get it by eating 21
pounds of oats or by eating 28 pounds of clover hay. The oats, thrown
into the feeding box, would occupy two-thirds of a bushel, while, if the
clover hay was packed as tightly as it is in the hay mow, it would more
than fill five bushel baskets. Just think of the work consumed in getting
outside of five bushels of clover hay! The diflSculty of incorporating
cheap fodders in the feeding ration is shown by the following table:


Fresh, Dry. Digett. Portein. Cost,

Corn fodder 12 7.0 4.6 0.31 3.0

Clover hay 8 6.8 3.5 0.53 2.4

Corn 8 7.1 6.0 0.63 2.^

Gluten meal 2 1.8 1.6 0.51 1.0

ToUl . 30 22.7 18,7 1.98 9.3

Corn fodder 10 5.8 3.8 0.25 2.5

Cloverhay 5 4.3 2.2 053 1.5

Wheat straw 10 9.0 3.8 0.08 1S>

Corn 8 7.1 6.0 0.63 2.9

Gluten meal 2 1.8 1.6 0.51 1.0

ToUl li 28!o lO vH 8.9

Is roughage necessary? Are coarse fodders necessary to the growth
and development or even tlie existence of ruminants? The fact that In
the natural state ruminants lived on foods containing more crude fiber
than our grains and by-products, and less crude fiber than our hays and
straws, or other roughage, creates the presumption of moderate bulkiness,
but it does not prove the advisability of such a system of feeding under
present conditions.

Under civilization, man has changed his food habits, as well as other
habits, for better or worse. Under dom€»stication, animals require differ-
ent treatment than in the state of nature. A horse requires shoes and is
improved by currying.

The wild boar never tasted Indian corn. The wild boar originated on
the Old C(mtinent and Indian corn on the New.

It was not until America was inhabited by the Europejins that corn
and hogs became indissolubly connected, and thereby made pork one of
the great food products among civilized nations.

Several experiments have been made to determine whether ruminants,
nauK^ly, cattle and sheep, could be successfully raised without the use
of any coarse fodders.

I ask you to l)ear with me while I briefly review these exi>eriments.
32— AoRi.

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Davenport, of the Illinois station, made four attemps to grow cattle
without coarse f<*e<i. These experiments began with calves immediately
after birth. In one case, a calf was fed seven months on skim milk; at
the age of four months, it consumed six gallons of skim milk dally.
At the end of seven montlis, the calf could not hold Its head up, and
seeined nearly dead— refused to get up or take milk. Hay and straw was
then placed before It, and it ate gi-eeilily of both. In three hours it was
ruminating for the first time in its life. The calf continued to Improve on
the hay and milk diet, when, at the end of ten days, oats were added, and
the calf subsequently recovered.

In the other experiments, the calves had. In addition to milk, a grain
mixture, variously compounded. ]>ut, in all cases, from four to seven
months, the calves began to show some of the signs of starvation, which the
addition of coarse fodder to the diet at once rectified. In one case, death
occurred before the addition of cojirsti fodder. The first sign of starvation
is always accompanied by an enormous appetite and an enormous con-
sumption of foo<l. One calf at six months of age ate one-half bushel of
grain daily, In the vain attempt to satisfy the cravings of its appetite.
In no case was there any digestive disturbances, the bowels remaining
normal throughout. It is a good illustration of the fact that the amount
of food consumed Is not a necessary measure of its economic use. Pro-
fessor Davenport believes these experiments prove that eating the coarse
food is a constitutional habit, acquired, doubtless, through the ages which
their ancestors have been compelle<l to eat cojwse food. A logic of this
argument is that we must feed calves at least on roughage, not because
it furnishes digestible crude fiber, which is identical to the fun(*tion in
digesting starch, but because their ancestors have been In the habit of
eating bulky food and can not live without it. I do not wish, at this time,
to deny this proposition, but I wish to i>oint out that the food which he
fed the calves may have been lacking in some of the essential ash con-
stituents, such as lime, which is no part of crude fiber, but simply accom-
panies it. It may have been that the addition of tlie spoonful of phosphate
of lime would save the necessity for the feeding of the coarse fodders.

Sanborn, at the I'rah station, fed cattle and sheep of different agee
for several months without any roughage. In one instance, a calf died
from, it is reported, indigi^iion, caused by eating sawdust, which was
used for bedding. In all the other cas<*s, the cattle and sheep were fed
successfully for long periods.

They made one pound of growth on about om^half what is iH»quired
for the ration containing the usual amount of roughage. They practically
ceased ruminating and drank but little water.

As far back as 1874, Mr. L. W. Miller, on wintering dry dairy cows
on corn meal alone, attracted such attention that the New York Dairj'men's
Association st»nt a <*ommittee to investigate his system. It was found
that he was wintering tKK)-pound cows exclusively on corn meal, which

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received on an average but three quarts, and the amount of water drank
was small, only about ten pounds. There were no signs of suffering or
unrest in any way. The calves subsequently born to these cows were
rei>orted of more than ordinary size, fleshy, strong, active and healthy.

The ordinary ration for maintaining dry cows contains 17^2 pounds
of dry matter, 9 pounds of which Is digestible. But here we have 4^^
pounds of dry matter containing 4 1-10 pounds of digestible matter-
less than one-half as much doing the same amount of work and doing
it just as well. There is not time to dwell at length for the reason of
this difference in the economy of foods fed. Among tlie reasons may
Ije stated, briefly, tlie less work recjuired to digest the food, the less
effort required to carry the contents of the stomach, and probal)ly less
heat required in evaporating the water.

The true nutritive value of food is the difference between the amount
of food digested and that portion which is required to sustain the digestive
functions. This difference might be called tJie net nutritive value, to
distinguish it from the total digestible nutrients.

Some experiments have recently been made in Oermany with horses
that Illustrates this point. The following table shows the total digestible
nutrients in 100 pounds of substance when fed to horses, and also the
pounds of digestible nutrients which were expended In the labor of chew-
ing and digesting the food:

Cfrude Toted Diffestihle Labor Chtwing True NtUriliv

Fiber. Nutrientt. and Dig§»tinff. Value.

Medium hay 26 89 21 18

Redolorerhay 30 41 24 17

Wheat straw 42 18 SO 12

Oats 10 62 12 50

Corn 2 78 8 70

Linseed meal 9 69 13 56

It is obvious that the difference between these two quantities is the
amount which is available for the other functions of the body, such as the
production of labor in the horse, the production of flesh in a steer, and the
protluction of milk in a cow.

These experiments need to be repeateil before any gi*eat confidence
can be placed In the results, but they are veiy suggestive of the possible
relative values of our various feeding stuffs.

Some years ago, there was a shortage of hay throughout the counti-y.
and, in common with a good many other daiiymen and farmers, we had
exhausted, on the Ohio State Univei-sity farm, all roughage of any kind
a short time before grass arrived, and we were re<luced to the necessity
of buying hay. if roughage wa.s to be had. AVe could purchase baleil
prairie hay at .$10 i>er ton, com and cob meal at $12 per ton. bran at §13
per ton, and linsee<l oil meal at }ls18.,^)0 per ton. We were, at that time,
milking thirty head of cows, which we divided into three lots of ten cows
each, and, after feeding them nine days on the same ration, we placed
each lot on tlie ration indicated in the following table, the plan IxMUg to

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give each lot of cows the same digestible nutrients, while varying the
amount of roughage:

7. //. ///.

WeBtorn hay, lbs V> 5

Corn and oob meal, lbs 18 6 12

Bran, lbs 2 3 3

Oil meal, lbs 3 3 3

Cost, eta 15 20 16

Dry food, lbs 19^ 23.4 19.8

Digeitible food, lbs 16.2 15J 15

Digestible protein, lbs 1.92 1.93 1.91

Gain or lose milk per oow for nine days, lbs • * • ^*^ ~^^'^ ^^

It will be noticed that one lot received about the usual amount of
roughage, and, while one lot received much less, the roughage consisting
of only 5 pounds of hay per day, while one lot received only corn and cob
meal, bran and linseed meal.

The first observation of importance in this connection tJiat I wish
to make is that none of the cows died under this treatment, neither did
they indicate unusual symptoms of any kind.

In the second place, the cows which received 15 pounds of prairie
hay per day lost 13.2 pounds per cow during the nine days of this trial, as
compared with the previous nine days, while the lot which received no
hay or roughage, of any kind, gained 3.1 pounds per cow for the nine
days, as compared with the previous nine days.

It should be noted, however, that the cows which received a small
amoimt of hay produced slightly betU'r results than those whicli received
no hay, although at a somewhat increase of cost on account of the greater
exi>ense of the hay.

What practical application have these experiments? I think they show
that at the present prices we are In danger of feeding more roughage
than is wise economy. Let us assume the ruling farm prices of a numr
ber of our stock foods to be: Timothy hay, ^9 per ton; com stover, $2;
bran, $1."): linseed meal, $25; corn, 28 cents a bushel, or $10 per ton.
Suppose, now, a man only has timothy hay of first quality to feed. Is it
wise to feed hay at prices named? We present the following tables,
bearing upon this point:


FreMh. Dry. Digest, Protein. Co»t.

Timothy hay 10 8.68 4.94 0.28 4.5

Corn stover 10 5.95 3.57 0.17 1.0

Corn . 5 4.47 4.21 0.39 2.5

Bran 2 1.76 1.12 0.26 1.6

Linseed meal 3 2.70 2.22 0.85 3.8

ToUl 23 56 16.06 1.95 13.3

Com stover 10 5.94 3,57 0.17 1.0

Corn 11 9.83 9.26 0.86 5,5

Bran 2 1.76 1.12 0.26 1,5

LinEeed meal 3 2.70 2,22 0.85 3.8

Total 20.24 16.17 244 iTs

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In tne first ration, we feed 10 pounds of timothy hay and 5 pounds of
corn or corn meal, while in the other ration we omit the timothy hay
and feed 11 pounds of com, instead of 5 i>ounds, with the other elements
In their ration remaining the same.

The first thought, perhaps, is that one can not afford to feed so much
corn, but a glance at the cost of the ration shows that, by sul>«tituting
6 pounds of corn for 10 pounds of timothy hay, we reduce the cost of the
ration over 10 per cent., at the same time increasing slightly the digesti-
ble nutrients and quite materially the digestible protein.

The first ration requires tlie cows to eat 23% pounds of dry matter to
get 16 pounds of digestible nutrients, while in the second tliej' need only
to eat 20 pounds of dry matter to get the same digestible nutrients. This,
I believe to be an important item.

There is no doubt in my mind that the cows will produce more milk
on the second ration than they will on the first. I have no doubt that
cattle could be fattened much more quickly on the second ration.


President Billingsley: We have quite a different range of prices from
those named. Timothy hay with us is worth about .$12 a ton; clover hay
from ^9 to ^10, say an average of $9.50. What would be the relative
value of silage at those prices?

Professor Hunt: The silage figures out counting $2 a ton for silage,
and assuming the silage is the quality that has been analyzed, 8omewhei*e
about 45 to 50 cents. Corn whole silage, 45 to 50 cents iK?r 100 pounds.
You will notice that even at 45 cents a hundred that is .$9 a ton. Your
digestible matter in timothy hay costs you 9t> cents. Timothy hay would
be a pretty expensive feed at those prices, as compared with corn, or even

President Billingsley: The actual price of bran with us is $15. What
would you feed in place of it, so as to avoid l)uying itV

Professor Hunt: I am sorry I did not figin-e out and place before you
the ration we actually feed. I know the s<*ntiment in regard to most
theoretical tables. You know about the man who said he was raising 50
tons of cabbage to the acre, and he wrote about it a great deal in the
agricultural papers. Finally they sent a committee around to see how
he was raising that immense amount of cal)bage, and the committtee
came there and the man was not present, l)ut tlie gardener was there,
and he took the committee back, and they asked where the cabbage was.
The gardner said, "Oh, l)ack here." They went back and found four ot
five undeveloped cabbages and one l)ig one. The gardener said: *'This big
one is what the Professor figured on. He said. 'If I had so many of
those cabbages per acre, I could raise that nmny tons of cabbages.' "

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During the month of November we fed our cows, some forty-two head,
27 pounds of ensilage, seven pounds of rather poor weedy hay that would
not sell in Columbus, I suppose, at $6 a ton. We are feeding 6M5 pounds of
s4ioek corn— understand, corn, and all right in the shock. That is what
they eat outdoors in the daj'time. Just feed it that way. Then we are
feetling them one pound of bran only a day. Two pounds of gluten meal,
and a pounds of malt sprouts. We buy malt sprouts at $10 a ton. This
is cheap, and costs us 12 cents a day. Three pounds of malt sprouts,

Online LibraryIndiana. State Board of AgricultureAnnual report of the Indiana State Board of Agriculture → online text (page 48 of 107)