J. W. (James Wallace) Darrow.

The farmers' institute question box on cattle and the dairy. A book of practical and authentic information on various topics pertaining to stock and dairy management as discussed at farmers' institutes, dairy conventions and in the agricultural press, with an introduction by Hon. Geo. T. Powell .. online

. (page 1 of 6)
Online LibraryJ. W. (James Wallace) DarrowThe farmers' institute question box on cattle and the dairy. A book of practical and authentic information on various topics pertaining to stock and dairy management as discussed at farmers' institutes, dairy conventions and in the agricultural press, with an introduction by Hon. Geo. T. Powell .. → online text (page 1 of 6)
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A Book of Praetieal and Authentic Information on Various

Topics Pertaining to Stock and Dairy Management as

Discussed at Farmers' Institutes, Dairy Conventions

and in the Agricultural Press, with an Intro-

l|- ^ duction iy Hon. Geo. T. Powell, Director



of Institutes for New York State.



The Fancikks' Review Printing House,
Chatham, N, Y.



By Hon. Geo. T. Powell,
Director Farmers' Institutes for New York State.

Our dairy interests have always been and will continue to be among
the most important in our agriculture. Not only because they furnish a
great amount of most excellent and highly nutritive food for the human
family, but for the very important relation which they sustain toward
the soil in maintaining its fertility.

Without an abundance of bread on which to spread the golden butter,
our dairy interests would be seriously crippled and vast acres of land
have been abandoned m wheat culture for want of sufficient available
plant food or fertility in the soil to grow wheat profitably. With our
rapidly increasing population and the steadily increasing demand upon
our soil for bread for other nations, much of this abandoned wheat-
growing area will again be called into use, and this is one of the strong,
underlying causes for the very active interest that is everywhere shown
in dairying. Living in an age of progress in so many directions by
which cheapness, comfort and even luxury in living are brought within
reach of the masses, it is of vital importance that our dairying be well
established in this line of progress as affecting the highest interests of
the producers and also consumers of dairy foods.

In this volume, especially devoted to the dairy interest, will be found
the latest and best thought on this subject as given in the Farmers'
Institutes and dairy meetings in discussions by the most advanced and
successful dairymen in our country— men of large, practical experience.
Old methods will not give satisfactory results in present dairying; condi-
tions have changed, demands are different, and only by the application
o{ a high degree of skill and intelligence can success be achieved.

The dairy cow is a wonderfully intricate piece of machinery for the
farmer to attempt to manage. On the one hand she is very responsive
to kindly treatment, to judiciously selected food, to all of the conditions
of comfort and contentment that can be thrown around her as a maternal

H creature, adding largely to her owner's, and the state's, wealth in the
T^ amount and value of her products. On the other hand by neglect, by
- lack of knowledge of how to meet the needs of her being, by insufficient
food, warmth and comfort, she will fail to be a satisfactory helper in the
solution of the problems of successful agriculture.

The demand of the present is for better fabrics, better furnishings
all around, better machinery, better stock, better roads, and all at the
least cost, and this is equally true of food products. It makes a vast
difference with the producer w^hether the cow he cares for returns 150
pounds of butter or 300 pounds as her annual product and the consumer
is equally interested in the result, for upon the abundance and reasonable
cheapness of this food depends its greatest consumption.

The production of fine butter and cheese is not only an art, but a
science. That these foods are put in the list of the most costly of luxu-
ries, is verified by the large prices they command for the choicest
quality, which is but the. result of the highest skill applied to their pro-
duction. Milk is a food very extensively and increasingly used, and the
value is determined by the amount of the solids or food elements it con-
tains, not only when used in its liquid form, but especially in the making
of butter and cheese, and the wide variation that exists in these solid
elements and their now recognized relation held to profitable dairying,
has been a subject of wide-spread interest and discussion, as the public
milk-tests made at the Farmers' Institutes and dairy meetings have
everywhere demonstrated.

The information and facts collected and herein presented are of
incalculable value to every husbandman, for upon his knowledge of these
things and the extent to which he puts that knowledge into practice, will
depend largely the degree of prosperity that will attend his future
efforts in dairy farming.


We think it will be admitted by all who are familiar with the workings ;

of our Farmers' Institutes that one of their most practical, helpful fea- ;

tures, to the farmer, is what is termed "The Question Box." This is true j

because the man who seeks information and receives it, is the one who is I

benefitted thereby. Such information is brief and to the point and is ;

given by men who are qualified to do so. :

In the compilation of this little book we are simply carrying out the ;

idea of the Institute Question Box, hence we have sought our material ;

in the reports of the very excellent Farmers' Institutes of New York '.
state (many of which have been kindly furnished us by the Director), '
also in reports of similar Institutes in other states, in the reports of the
conventions and dairy schools of the New York State Dairy Association
and in the "Query Department" of some of the leading stock and agri-
cultural journals. We claim no originality in the answers to the within
queries; our authorities are those mentioned above.

In the following pages we have endeavored to condense the replies to
questions in the smallest compass consistent with the end in view. We
have endeavored to select those subjects in which every farmer and i
dairyman would be interested and the discussion of which would be I
helpful to him. We believe the little work will commend itself, both as !
to style and matter, to all who examine it. In the hope that it may be ^
so we send it forth to the dairy farmers of America. i



Cattle: Thieir Care and Managerrierit.


Feedirig and Food Rations.


Tl^e Dairy: MilK and Butter.


Ttie Dairy: Cl^eese-rnaKing-


Remedy for Garget. — How should garget
be treated ? Give remedies !

Chronic cases require different
treatment oftentimes. Give 2 oz.
spirits turpentine and i^^ pints of
raw linseed oil; repeat in 24 hours.
Mix in feed or give as a drench
three times a day 2 tablespoonfuls
of the following powder: Powdered
iodide potass, 4 oz. ; powdered chlo-
ride potass, 6 oz.; powdered colchi-
cum root, 3 oz. ; mix. Feed no corn
or cottonseed. Another treatment
is to apply about 30 drops tincture
poke weed in a glass of water, to
udder. Another cure is one ounce
each of white vitriol and copperas
mixed with an ordinary charge of
gunpowder in one quart of water.
Bathe two or three times a day.
For caked bag the following is also
recommended: Give cow 12 oz.
Epsom salts and the day following
I oz. salt petre. Bathe udder in
warm water and rub it gently until
softened. Give bran slop after
hardness has gone. Still another
garget remedy is this : Give y^ lb.
Epsom salts every three or four
days, rub the udder with a little
iodine ointment once a day. Give
the cow an ounce of the following
medicine in feed or otherwise three
times a day: Bicarbonate of mer-
cury, i>4 dr.; iodide of potass, 4 oz.;

water, i qt.; mix. She must not
have corn, rye or wheat.

Cow Slobbering.— A small, full-blood cow,
8 or 9 years old, about 5 months in. calf,
has poor appetite, and slobbers badly.
Feed is cut timothy hay with a small per
cent, of clover and malt sprouts, corn meal,
oat chop, wheat bran and middlings. Hay
wet and feed mixed with it; of this, all
she will eat. Hair rough, and hide not as
loose as it should be.

Take away the clover hay and
corn meal. Give her i lb. Epsom
salts, repeat in four days. Mix in
feed twice a day two tablespoonfuls
of the following powder : Powdered
nux vomica, i oz. ; powdered wood
charcoal, 8 oz.; bicarbonate of soda,
12 oz.; mix.

Warming the Water. — Will it pay to warm
water in winter for animals? /

It's a question whether all can go
to that expense. It is desirable to
have all cows watered in the stables
from water that is considerably
above the freezing point. A dairy-
man in the Hudson river valley
made a gain in the milk of forty
cows, of two cans of forty quarts
each, by following this plan. The
experiment stations have demon-
strated that it does not pay to warm
water, but to give it to the cow at
about the temperature of the earth.

The Farmers' Institute Question Box.

Grain, After Calving. — How much grain
should be fed a dairy cow, after calving
to secure best results at least expense ?

It depends upon the kind of cow
you have and her ability to assimi-
late food and turn it into milk.
Some have a much greater capacity
to do this than others have. Prof.
Robertson of the Ontario Experi-
ment Station found, after making
several experiments that the aver-
age is about 8 lb. Good judgment
is necessary in feeding cows, and the
feeder should be cautious in how
and what he feeds, and only a test
of each cow will will give him the
desired information.

Saving Manure. — How can manure best be
saved and cared for, and how best applied?

By having tight gutters behind
the cows, absolutely water tight.
These are made by bedding plank
in cement. You must also have
sawdust or something to absorb the
liquids. If the manure is not to be
put on the land at or^ce, it should be
kept under cover. Prof. Roberts
computes that there is a loss of 48
to 54 per cent, in value of manure
when left out and exposed to the

Cov\/ not "Cleaning." — A Jersey cow four
years old, dropped her calf and was not
known to "clean," as we term it. She has
not a very good appetite, does not give
much milk, and is gradually falling away
in flesh. What is the treatment?

Give one of the following powders
three times a day, in feed or dis-
solved in warm water: Powdered
sulphate of iron, 8 oz.; powdered
nitrate of potash, 6 oz. ; powdered
anise seed, 10 oz.; powdered gen-
tian, 10 oz.; mix. Make into six-
teen powders.

Cow Holding Back Milk.— What shall be
done with a cow that persists in holding
back her milk ?

Sometimes a strap buckled around
the body directly in front of the
udder will prove effectual. A ration
of bran to be eaten during the pro-
cess of milking, will sometimes
effect a cure; but some cows can
never be cured of the habit, once
they have acquired it. It is best to
begin with the calf and train her
properly. The first calf may have
been left with the mother too long,
and when taken away she held back
her milk. Never allow a calf to
suck more than once, especially if it
is the first calf. This habit of hold-
ing back the milk is almost incur-
able, and is largely due to the leav-
ing of the first calf too long with
the mother:

Clover or Timothy. — Which is considered
the more valuable to feed, clover or timo-
thy hay ?

The timothy hay is very deficient
in albuminoids, while the clover hay
is rich in them. These go to make
milk and growth in the young ani-
mal, and also contain the greatest
amount of fertility to be returned
to the soil. Therefore it is of double

Crowding the Heifers. — Is it best to crowd
heifers at two years, to then- full capacity ?

Give them what they will eat and
assimilate and keep them at work
from the first. Often they will not
do as well the second year as during
the first, but they "get there'" the
third year. A study of the nature
of rations is absolutely necessary,
because, as the cow grows older,
more carbonaceous food is necessary.


The Farmers' Institute Question Box.

Corn Meal for Calves. —Is corn meal a
proper food for young calves ?

No; it is too carbonaceous and
produces too much fat. Sell the
corn and buy nitrogenous foods —
linseed meal, cottonseed meal and
wheat bran, which feed with sweet
milk and nice clover hay, to the
young calf. Do not feed more than
a teaspoonf ul of linseed meal at first,
which increase as the calf grows
older. One great trouble with rais-
ing calves comes from over-feeding.
A calf four or five days old should
not be given more than three quarts
of milk at a time which may be in-
creased gradually.

Failure of Appetite. — Cow five j-ears old
had had two calves, been now in milk
nearly two years, refused to eat or drink

for about a week. Had considerable


mucous discharge from nostrils, very
slight faecal discharge quite thin; no fever
discoverable; face and nose cold and muz-
zle as dry as back of hand.

Give y^ dr. quinine; i oz. pow-
dered gentian; i oz. nitrate potass,
and % dr. powdered golden seal
twice a day. Mix with pint of hot
water and add gill of molasses.
Give 2 oz. spirits turpentine and
8 oz. raw Unseed oil; repeat in 48

Best Succulent Foods.— Is ensilage the best
succulent food we can give cows?

Perhaps not the best. Some beets
are equally good, but we cannot
raise them as cheaply as we can
corn ensilage and put it mto the
silo. We have grown sugar beets
and mangolds which gave good
results, but we prefer good ensilage
because we can get more dollars and
cents from one acre for the same
cost than from any other crop.

Difficult Breathing. —SeveraX fine heifers
eat well, and seem in perfect health while
lying down; but when they rise and walk
around appear to be affected with a cold in
the head or windpipe — breathing heavily,
closely resembhng a horse with the heaves

Give each a laxative. Put a table-
spoonful of the following in mouth
two or three times a day: Powdered
nitrate of potciss, 4 oz.; muriate of
ammonia, 2 oz.; licorice root, 8 oz.;
fluid extract of belladonna, i oz.;
tar I qt.; mix.

Cows Indoors or Owf.— Do you recommend
keeping cows in, all winter?

If you are keeping cows for im-
mediate profit — butter and milk
only — would recommend you to
so keep them; but if you want to
keep them to breed from, and wish
to have strong, robust, healthy
progeny, turn them out and allow
them a few minutes out of doors
every day when the weather is

The Best Turnips. — What variety of tur-
nips is the most profitable to grow to feed
to cattle ?

The "Yellow Globe," one of the
varieties of Swede turnips. It is a
good feeder and very sweet and
nutritious. It costs too much to
raise carrots; they are, perhaps,
better than the turnips for stock
purposes, but their extra cost bars
them out.

Cow Pox. Give cure and prevention of
cow pox ? Is not sulphur considered good ?

Use sulphur in a dry form.
Vaseline and sulphur mixed is very
effective. Mix sulphur with salt,
and feed to a cow once a week,
enough to have her get a teaspoon-
ful of the sulphur.

The Farmers' Institute Question Box.


Affection of the Brain. — I have a two-year-
old heifer that has been aihng for six
weeks. The trouble seems to be in her
head. She holds her head down, staggers
when she walks, and will stand for hours
in one place without eating. Her horns
are cold and chipping off. Have been told
that it is "horn ail," also have read that
there is no such disease.

"Horn ail" is a myth. The trouble
is evidently some brain affection.
This occurs from a variety of causes
such as heat of the sun, blows on the
head, parasites within the brain,
tumors causing- pressure on the
brain, etc. They also occur in con-
nection with many other diseases,
especially with those of the digestive
organs. Pressure on the brain may
often be relieved in the early stages
by a good active purgative, and ice
or cold water applied to the head.
The trouble mentioned having
existed for some length of time,
probably an active purgative would
do no good; but see that the diges-
tive organs are in as good a state as
possible, and give a saline laxative,
or purgative, if admissable — about
half a pound to a pound of Epsom
salts, with a little ground ginger, in
a quart of water. The animal should
be kept from exposure to the heat of
the sun. Apply cold water to the head
and give two or three drachms of the
bromide of potassium twice a day in
a little water as a drench, or give it
in the food, if the animal will take it.

Effect of Skim Milk.— W\W. not sweet
skim milk physic calves or constipate pigs ?

Yes, if fed in excess. Mix butter
milk with skim milk for calves; for
pigs mix with it wheat middlings.
Feed skim milk before it is sour, and
never feed a young pig corn meal.

Bull out of Condition.— A three-year-old
bull was a splendid animal when one year
old. Since then has never done well;
was very lousy the last two winters. Has
not grown well, although fed same as the
cows, which have done well.

Give four tablespoonfuls of the
following powder, mixed with a pint
of hot water and a gill of molasses,
twice a day : Powdered extract
haematoxylon, 4 oz.; powdered
gentian, 6 oz.; powdered caraway,
4 oz.; powdered capsicum, i oz.;
mix. Give gruel and whole flax-
seed steeped; these should be
bottled down him three times a day
in good quantities.

Skim-milk for Ca/i^es.— What shall I add
to skim milk to make it the best food for
calves ?

A little linseed meal made into a
jelly. After the calf is four or five
weeks old feed half a pint a day of
two parts wheat bran and one part
linseed meal, increasing the quantity
as the calf grows older.

Flies and Wounds.— ^NhaXi^ best to keep
flies from wounds or other open sores?

A little spirits of turpentine will
kill maggots and keep flies out of

Cottonseed Meal and Health.— V\h^t is the
effect of cottonseed meal on the health of
a cow?

We have fed it to our forty or
more cows several years, and with-
out any bad effects. It is highly
nitrogenous and should not be fed
too largely; three pounds per day to
a cow, mixed with some carbon-
aceous food, such as corn meal, or,
if you have it, good rich corn ensil-
age, wnll be found profitable, and
^/^Z injurious to the cow's health.

Sore Eyes. —My cattle are having sore
eyes which discharge, and a white buncii
forms in one corner; then it spreads all
over the eye and becomes a bright pink,
and the eye is entirely blind.

Give them a dose of physic and
twice a day open the lids of affected
eyes and put in some of the follow-
ing lotion with a camel's hair pencil:
Argenti nitras, 20 gr.; fluid extract
opium., I dr.; fluid extract belladon-
na, I dr.; water, 4 dr.; mix. Your
druggist will fill the prescription for

Loss of Cud. —What causes a cow to lose
her cud ?

Sickness, when her normal condi-
tion is disturbed. She does not
raise her food to be masticated. The
natural conditions are arrested for
awhile. When they return, or when
she is relieved of her sickness, she
will raise her cud, which she does
at will.

Fits in Cow. —My cow, three years old.
had a calf about a year ago, and appeared
all right. Early this spring I noticed there
was something wrong, and now she has
what I call fits, and they grow more fre-
quent and worse. But she eats well and
her milk appears all right.

Bleed her at the neck until you
get .from two to four quarts, accord-
ing to the size of the cow. After
this, put her through the following
course of medicine: Powd. bella-
donna, I oz.; powd. nux vomica, i
oz.; powd. saltpetre, 4 oz. ; powd.
gentian, 4 oz.; Epsom salts, 2 pounds.
Mix the whole thoroughly and give
a heaping tablespoonful three times
a day. Apply also some turpentine
and camphor oil to the spine, begin-
ning at back of horns to middle of
the back. Do this daily.

Scours in Calf — A calf, six weeks old ,
has scours. At first discharge was thin
and watery, then slimy with some blood,
accompanied with straining. Gave laud-
anum and catechu with but little effect.

Give 15 gr. chloral hyd.; i dr. pow-
dered extract haematoxylon; mix
with I gill of warm molasses; repeat
twice a day. The diet should be
equal parts of sweet milk and flax-
seed tea at proper temperature.
After each meal, which should be 4
times a day, give 5 gr. pepsin and
10 gr. sub nitrate bismuth. Another
simple remedy for scours is to mix
a pint of strong coffee with same
quantity of hot milk. Give two or
three doses if necessary.

Same Food Without Same Results. — In a
herd of cows, will they all produce the
same results on the same food ?

No; every cow has her individu-
ality. They are not alike construct-
ed. Some cows use more food in
support of nervous energy. Nerv-
ous animals usually require more
food because they waste more

Eruption on Heifer. — A 2-year-old heifer
has had an eruption of the skin, which
appeared when she was three months old.
Her color is black and white. On the
white spots the skin is affected, but there
is no eruption on the black spots. The
hair comes off, and the heifer is greatly
annoyed from itching.

White skin, like white horn, is
more susceptible to disorder than
the darker shades. Apply a little of
the following to the affected parts,
aud wash it off in three days: Fish
oil, I oz.; whale oil, i quart; mur-
curial ointment, i oz.; sulphur, 6
oz.; mix thoroughly. Do not cover
more than one-eighth of the animal
with the dressing at one time.

The Farmers' Institute Question Box.


Swelled Jaw. — A heifer was taken with
severe pain, one side of jaw swelling until
e3'e was closed. With application of bran
poultice, eye opened, but jaw continues
swollen and hard. This heifer has dried
up and appetite is poor. Is it lump jaw?

Rub the swelling once a day with
some of the following- liniment; rub
it in well: Spirits of turpentine, 6
oz.; linseed oil, 5 oz.; aqua ammonia
fort., 2 oz.; mix. Apply Hniment
mornings and poultice nights. As
soon as it is fit to open use the lan-
cet, making a good free opening.
Then inject equal parts of spirits of
turpentine and oil daily, and keep
parts clean. Examine her mouth
for foreign bodies and decayed or
broken teeth.

Period in Milk. —How long should a cow
be in milk 't Is a long period of rest re-
qired ?

Let cows go dry only from four to
six weeks. There is no necessity
for a long period of rest. If a
proper system of feeding is adopted
it is not necessary for cows to go
dry but a very short time. Should
recommend four to six weeks, and
wouldn't keep a cow that wouldn't
milk nine to eleven months out of
the year.

Lumps on Leg.— A young cow showed
small, hard lumps on right hind leg over
femur bone, several months since. The
largest is the size of a guinea egg and
softer than the smaller ones. They appear
to follow a vein; are not painful but dis-
figures the cow; they number a' out a
dozen, the same as at first apparently, but
but much larger in the aggregate.

Apply golden blister externally
and give an ounce of the following
medicine in feed twice a day: Bi-
chloride of mercury, 2 dr. ; iodide of
potass, 5 oz.; water, 3 pts.; mix.

"Foul" Foot. -How should cows afflicted
with "foul" in their feet be treated?

The best remedy is cleanliness.
Once the disease appears it should
be attended to promptly. Clean the
foot thoroughly, then wash with a
solution of carbolic acid and warm
water. Supplement it with fine tar
and keep the animal in the barn or
in a thoroughly dry pasture. The
disease comes from wet, miry pas-
tures. Kerosene oil, applied fre-
quently, is also an excellent remedy.
Have a can of it always in the
stables and examine the feet of the
cows often.

Abortion in Cows. —I have had three abor-
tions in my herd of cows within the last
six or seven months. If I keep a cow that
has had an abortion from the herd for a
month or more, will there be any danger
of abortion m the herd if suffered then to
run together ?

When abortion assumes an epi-
demic form, it requires that the
affected animals be treated, disin-
fected and isolated. The pregnant
cows need preventive treatment
also. A cow that has aborted should
not be allowed to run with pregnant
cows under two months, and should
be disinfected and washed off as far

1 3 4 5 6

Online LibraryJ. W. (James Wallace) DarrowThe farmers' institute question box on cattle and the dairy. A book of practical and authentic information on various topics pertaining to stock and dairy management as discussed at farmers' institutes, dairy conventions and in the agricultural press, with an introduction by Hon. Geo. T. Powell .. → online text (page 1 of 6)