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Webster Family Library of Veterinari
Cummings School of Veterinary Mei
Tufts University
200 Westboro Road











Copyright, igi?. by W. B. Saiindcrs Company






Tm-: pui'poso of tliis voliimo is to t>;ive information to those
who wish to improve tlieir conchtion l)y means of livestock, to
farmers genei-ally, and es]:)ecially to those interested in Hve-
stock farmin<2; and in ])ree(hno;. It is intended also to serve
as a text-book in Animal Husbandry in aj2;ricultural schools,
in high schools and in elementary courses in colleges of

The book is not a treatise on nutrition, nor is it primarily
a treatise on swine husbandr}-. The latter sul)ject is covered
by the author's ''Swine," published by the Breeders' Gazette,
of Chicago. It is not, again, a book of formulae. On the con-
trary, its prime object is a discussion of the care, feeding and
management of farm animals. In short, it deals in a simple
and practical way with the problems which must be met and
handled properly every day in order to make live-stock farm-
ing successful. It also touches upon the various breeds of
farm animals as well as the subject of poultry.

The care and feeding of animals is not merely a mechanical
oi- mathematical problem in which two plus two always equals
four. It has to do with life, not merely with the physical
mechanism. While many of the factors may be deteimined
mathematically, such as the amounts of the different nutrients
— protein, carbohydrates, fat, mineral matter, and water, for
example — there are other factors of equal importance to be
considered and it is these that will be emphasized in the follow-
ing pages. They are fundamental to the successful handling
of all farm animals.

Acknowledgment is made to W. P. Kirkwood, editor of the
Department of Agi-iculture, of the University of Minnesota,
for assistance in editing the manuscript of this book.

The chapter on poultry was written by C. E. Brown, for



many years head of the poultry department, Northwest School
of Agriculture and Experiment Station at Crookston, one of
the schools of the Department of Agriculture of the University
of Minnesota.

Wm. Dietrich.
Crookston, Minnesota,
Srplemher, 1917.




Grain Farming 17

Soil, 17; The Business of Grain Farming, 24.


Livestock Farming 20

Advantages of Livestock Fanning, 28; Fences, 31; The Econ-
omy of Livestock, 36; Livestock Necessitates Growing Forage
Crops, 37; Returns More Certain. 40; Nature of Farm
Problem, 41.


Farm Animals •">!

Feeding, 53; Quality, 55; Wealth of Flesh, 50; Constitution,
57; Length of Body, 58; Form, 63; Condition, 64; Tempera-
ment, 65.


Feeds for Animals C"*^^^

Protein, 67; Carbohydrates, 70; Fat in a Ration, 73; Mineral
Matter, 76; Water, 77; Air or Oxygen, 80; Classification of
Feeds, 82; Other Factors in Feeding, 84.


Animal Breeding 01

The Man, 91; Reproduction, 93; Heredity, 94; Variation,
95; Selection, 96; Environment, 98; Breeding Practice, 100;
Gestation, 102; Breeding for sex, 103; Starting a Livestock
Farm, 104.





Houses 107

Horso Environment, 107; Horso Fcodinfz;, 109; Care of Horses,
112; Types of Horses, 113; Draft Horse Conformation, 114;
Tiie Roadster Type, 120; Ponies, 123; Coach and Other
Horses, 124; Mules, 124; Breeds of Heavy Horses, 125;
lireeds (.f Eij^lit Horses. 120; Horse Hreedin-^, 131.


Cattlk 131


Thk Daiuv Cow 13()

Feeding Cows, 137; The Cow in Outline, 140; Shelter for
Cows, 145; Milking, 140; How to (iet a Good Cow, 140;
.Breeds of Dairy Cattle, 153; The Silo, 158; Manure, Kil;
Tuberculosis, 1()1; Abortion, 164; Shoidd Cows Freshen in
Spring or F\all?, 165; Building uj) a Herd. 1 ()('); Du;il-i)urp()sc
Cattle, 167; Bloat, 160.


Beef Cattle .170

l^reeds of lieef Cattle, 174.


Sheep ' 178

Wool, 178; Other Characteristics, 180; Sheep Feeding, 182;
Types and lireeds of Sheep, 185; Fine Wool Sheep, 185;
Mutton Sheep, 188.


SwiXE 103

The Herd Boar, 104; How to (iet a ( iood Sow, 105; Herd
Management, 196; Tyjx' in Swine, 203; Breeds of Swine, 20(i;
Swine Feeding, 211.



Poultry 213

The Importanco of Exorcise for Fowls, 214; Fords and
Fooding, 214; Fattening Poultry, 216; The Incubator, 217;
The Sitting Hen, 217; Care of Eggs for Hatohing, 218;
Preserving Eggs, 218; Poultry Houses, 218; IVIites and Lioo,
224; Types and Breeds of Poidtry, 224; Turkeys, 220 ; Ducks,
227; Geese, 229; Guineas, 230; Peafowl, 230; Pigeons, 231.


Scientific Swink Feeding 232

Explanation of Terms, 232; Xaturo of Swine-feeding Prob-
lem, 233; Mineral Matter, 235; Protein, 236; Carbohydrate,
244; Ether Extract or Fat, 246; AAator, 246; Exercise, 248;
Bulk in Ration, 248; Classification of Feeds, 249; Selection of
Feeds, 253; Method of Calculating a Ration, 254; Suggested
Approximate Ration, 259; Off-hand Feeding, 260; Method
of Feeding, 261.

Index 263




A grain farmer is one whose interest centers in the produc-
tion and marketing of some kind, or kinds, of grain. He
converts the plant food of the soil into corn, wheat, oats, bar-
ley, flax, or some other grain and removes it from the farm.
His soil each year is made poorer by the amount of plant food
he sells.


Soil originated from the breaking down of the various kinds
of rock on the surface of the earth. The rocks were produced
at the time the earth was formed. The agencies or forces by
which rocks are reduced or ground up to make soil are water,
air, wind, freezing, thawing, etc.

Action of Water on Soil Making. — Water reduces rock to
soil particles by friction and by its power as a solvent. When
water runs over a rock surface it wears the rock down either
by the friction of the water itself or by the friction of different
pieces of rock. As a solvent water acts just as it does on
sugar or salt. This action is, however, quite slow. But when
water is charged with acid or alkali, as it sometimes is, the
process of dissolution is materially hastened.

Air in Soil Formation. — Air contains carbonic acid and this
has a solvent action on the rock particles with which it comes
into contact. When the air is in motion in the form of wind
it also causes friction upon the rock and soil particles just as
water does. Thus, water and wind work in much the same
way in reducing rock to soil particles and in reducing coarser
particles to finer ones.





Temperature in Soil Formation. — Freezing and tliawing
produce slight motion among different particles of rock and
soil. This results in friction similar to that produced by
water and wind. But water in freezing expands. Therefore,
when water settles in a crevice and freezes, it splits the pieces
apart. When a concrete sidewalk, in a climate where the tem-
perature goes below freezing in winter, becomes cracked, the
crack constantl}^ becomes wider. Thus, when freezing and
thawing occur at short intervals, they are forces of consider-
able importance in the making of soil. If a hollow iron ball
be filled with water and allowed to freeze it will break. This
will occur although the ball is of such strength that it is prac-
tically impossible to break it with a sledge hammer.

A sandy soil is composed of comparatively large particles,
coming from rock of one kind; while clay is made up of very
fine particles coming from another kind of rock.

Humus in Soil. — Humus mixed with the soil contributes to
fertility. Humus is decayed and decaying vegetable matter.
In nature considerable humus lies on the surface of the soil in
the form of grass, leaves, and weeds. Where there is vege-
tation the roots of plants die and decay and add to the supply
of humus.

Certain plants grow on soils which contain no humus. Such
plants supply humus in the earlier processes of soil formation.
Their roots, and acid and alkali by-products w^hich they give
off, help, also, to reduce the rock and soil particles to fine
grains. Moreover, the parts of soil that are put into solution
act directly as plant food. As the soil becomes adapted to
vegetation of a different kind, nature seems to provide the
seed for such growth.

Humus also loosens the soil, or holds the particles apart,
so that the air can get in. Air is needed to furnish oxygen,
nitrogen, carbon dioxide, etc. These elements are usually
held in solution by the water. This is taken up by the roots
and forced into the plant, taking along the food materials.
A heavy clay soil is often materially benefited by plowing
under coarse rye straw. This puts a lot of tubes into the soil
making passages for the air to circulate. When the roots of
deep-rooting plants decay they leave openings or pores which




also make air passages. Such openings also help to drain the
soil, permitting the water to run down through to the sub-soil.

Humus, again, acts like a sponge, absorbing and holding the
water so that the plants can get it.

Water.— There is no more important element in a fertile or
productive soil than water. Water is necessary for plant
growth. Any soil without water is worthless.

Water, so necessary for plant growth, is in part held in
solution by the humus in the soil. In the main, however, it is
held in the soil in the form of a thin layer of water around each
soil particle. The finer the particles, therefore, the more
water the soil will hold.

Water is also held between soil particles by what is known as
capillary attraction. By capillary attraction, also, the water
from beneath is brought to the surface to maintain the supply
as the plants draw it from the soil on the surface. Capillary
attraction is well illustrated in the lamp wick which draws
oil from the bowl of a lamp to the burner.

Anchorage. — The soil also serves as an anchorage for plants.
The roots of plants, trees included, descend into the soil be-
tween and below the heavy soil particles, and those hold the
plants upright. Sometimes, however, when the wind is high,
and the soil is loose, trees or other tall and heavy plants are
blown over.

Good Soil and Poor Soil. — The value of the soil depends
entirely upon the amount of plant food it contains. A good
soil contains much and a poor soil little. Plants need as food,
not only the elements brought into the soil by water and air,
but the elements composing the rock or soil particles them-
selves. Different soils are made up of different elements and,
therefore, are adapted to different kinds of crops. Different
crops need different foods just as do different animals.

A good soil, also, is one that is made up of fine particles.
The finer the particles of soil, the more will the surface be
exposed to the solvent action of water, acids, and alkalies,
and the more easily will food in the soil particles be set free.
A soil made up of particles that are easily decomposed, there-
fore, is better than one whose particles are difficult of decompo-
sition. Some poor soils will grow profitable crops for one.


two or tliree years. Then the available plant food is reduced
to such a degree that not enough can be grown upon the soil
to pay for the work involved. Such soils must thereafter be
fertilized or fed. This simply means putting on something
that the plants need for food. Many good soils, on the other
hand, have been known to grow crops abiuidantly for from
twenty to forty years. But even the best of soils will in time
become so reduced in plant food that they must be fertilized.
Or, if farming is to be continued indefinitely on the same soil,
a system of farming must be adopted that will put back into
the soil as much as the plants take out.

In a great number of cases people have taken plant food
out of the soil and sold it in the form of grain and hay until
their farms became unprofitable and then have moved else-
where. But that can no longer be done because the farming
lands of the country are now practically all occupied. Grain
farming of the kind mentioned, which has been called soil
robbing, must cease. It is not real farming.

Limiting Element. — Some soils have all that is needed for
profitable crop production with the exception of one ingredient.
This missing ingredient is called the hmiting element. Plants
cannot grow because they do not have it. The plant is like
the animal in this respect. Both grow with a definite com-
position or will not grow at all. The way to make such soils
productive is to supply the lacking material.

Soil Washing or Erosion. — Soils that are not level will
wash. Washing, or Erosion, takes away the finer and best
particles. The delta at the mouth of the Mississippi river is,
in fact, made iip of some of the best soil of the whole Mississ-
ippi Valley. Grain farming destroys the sod and uses up the
humus which helps to hold the soil particles together. It,
therefore, puts the soil into condition to wash badly.

When a worn-out soil is washed away leaving the good sub-
soil exposed for crop production work, erosion is a good thing.
But this holds true only where there is a good sub-soil. In
general, soil washing should be prevented if possible.

Soil washing can sometimes be prevented by deep plowing.
This loosens the soil to such a depth that rain, unless it is
exceptionally heavy, is absorbed and not allowed to run off on


the surface. Soil washing may also be i)reveiitc(l to some
extent by applying straw either on the surface or in the texture
of the soil by plowing it under.

Soil Bacteria. — A most important element of soil fertility
is its bacterial hfe. Bacteria in general are small living
organisms made up of only a single cell. They are so small
ordinarily that they cannot be seen. In order to be able to
see them one must have a very strong microscope which
makes them appear hundreds and even thousands of times as
large as they really are. They live, grow, increase in numbers,
and also die. When they die they leave a carcass or dead
body in the soil which is very rich in the things needed for
plant grow^th. They also eat or dissolve the dead roots,
manure, grass, weeds, etc., and thus put them into forms fit
for use as foods by growing plants. The bacteria, by their
mode of living and b}^ means of the waste products they give
off, also, actually help to dissolve soil particles and make
available other substances which plants need as food. A soil
that is well supplied with these bacteria, therefore, is a better
soil than one that is poorly supplied.

Most productive soils in their natural state are covered
with leaves, grass, weeds, etc. This material furnishes the
bacteria with food and at the same time protects them from
the sun. Sunlight will kill most bacteria, not by its heat but
because of other qualities. This is one reason why new soil
when it is first broken or plowed up is so rich and will produce
such good crops.

In grain farming, the crop is cut in the middle of the sum-
mer and the soil is exposed to direct sunlight during a large
part of the season when the light is the most intense. This has
a very damaging effect on the soil. Then when the land grows
poorer and will not grow crops continually, it is summer
fallowed. This again exposes the soil to the direct rays of the
sun for a long period, killing all the bacteria on the surface.
Land so treated is benefited in some ways but it is materially
damaged by the loss of its bacterial life. It has been found in
fact, that by growing a cultivated crop, such as corn or po-
tatoes, the soil receives the same benefit as by summer fallow-
ing and the succeeding crop is just as good. The reason is


that this method saves bacteria, and the crop of corn or
potatoes is clear gain.


The farmer often looks upon his work as of inferior rank.
He is "only a farmer," he says, but the modern successful
farmer is a business man, and one must not only till the soil
and grow crops, but must come into contact with practically
all of the other kinds of business men and know something
about their business.

Revenues from Grain Farming. — Since grain farming, as
such, is soil robbing, it must necessarily appear very profitable,
so long as the store of fertility holds out in sufficient quantity
to produce abundant crops. It yields "easy money" which
helps in establishing a new farm or a new farming community.
When a man settles in a new country he has need of all the
cash that is available to establish his home and his enterprise.
If, then, he takes some of the capital stored in his soil and
invests it in improvements on the farm so that he can make
better use of the rest of the fertility in the soil, he is entirely
justified. If he goes farther, however, he soon overdraws his
account. The man, however, who lives in the city, buys a
piece of land, robs it of its soil fertility, does not put the money
back into the farm, and then sells the land to some ignorant
outsider who wants to be a real farmer, charging a price in
accordance with what the land has produced, ought to be
considered guilty of a criminal offense.

The Labor Problem. — The grain farm employs very little
labor during the winter and a very great deal during the
summer. The amount employed in the summer is not uni-
form. Much more is needed at harvesting and threshing
times than at other times. Labor on the grain farm, therefore,
is very expensive for the time it is employed, for it demands
a wage based upon the need of support through months when
no such employment can be had. Possibly grain farming is in
part responsible for the tramp evil in the LTnited States.

Looking at the labor problem from another standpoint, the
grain farmer, if he is farming properly, must necessarily plow,
disc, harrow, seed and harvest all of the land upon all of his


farm every year. Yet all of the work must be done in practi-
cally half the year. Considering this fact, with high cost of
labor and the added cost of seed, it can readily be seen that
grain farming is an expensive method.

Farm Equipment. — The equipment of machinery and horses
on a grain farm, moreover, is necessarily large and expensive.
There must be sufficient horse or traction power to work all
the land every year. And there must be plows, discs, harrows,
drills or seeders, harvesters, threshers, wagons, etc. The
taxes, interest, depreciation in value, repairs, room for stor-
age, etc., on all of those items is a matter of considerable

Social Aspect of Grain Farming. — The grain farmer, who is
idle a large part of the year, develops the habit of idleness, and
idleness leads to shiftlessness and laxness. When these
characteristics once become firmly established they lead
rapidly to social decline.


The statement that ''man shall not live by bread alone'* is
familiar to all. The purpose of livestock on the farm is
several-fold: (1) to furnish power — hence the horse; (2) to
provide protein foods for man — meat, milk and eggs; (3) to
supply fatty foods — butter, lard and tallow; (4) to yield
material for clothing — wool; and (5) to conserve soil fertility.

Let it be understood at the start, that livestock farming is
not, and cannot be, advocated as the only form of agricul-
tural endeavor. Man needs bread with his butter, potatoes
and other vegetables with his meat, fruit with his fatty foods,
and cotton with his wool fiber for clothing. Yet in livestock
the farmer has an avenue of escape from that poverty which
surely follows excessive grain farming without a proper retiu-n
of soil fertility. Moreover, the raising of livestock promises
increasingly rich returns. B. F. Harris, banker-farmer of
Champaign, 111., says:

"In 1890 the average net consumption of meat per capita in the
United States was 450 i)oun(ls, which in 1912 had fallen to 180 pounds.
Meat consumption cannot be reduced much lower, nor will the prices be
less for population is fast increasing on production."

The Place of Live Stock. — What is the place of livestock
in the economy of the world? If it takes from 5 to 10 pounds
of feed to make a pound of gain in live weight on a meat-pro-
ducing animal, and less than half of this gain is edible, is
not the animal on the farm a cause of a great waste and of
possible world-wide bankruptcy? Such questions are fre-
quently asked. But which is preferable: to support a large
world population by means of grain farming directly for a
period of from three to fifty years, or to support a smaller
population of higher-class individuals indefinitely for all ages?




28 L^KSTOCR O.N 'lilK KAliM

The latter is tlie possibility in livestock farming and the
limits in number and quaHty of population in the world have
not yet been reached under livestock farming.


The principal livestock product — meat — as an article of
human food, contains certain invigorating or stimulating
principles not found in the vegetable kingdom. Thus meat-
consuming nations, provided they do not consume an excess,
are in advance of those living upon a vegetable diet, and
aside from the indirect advantages of Uvestock farming men-
tioned in the foregoing and to be discussed more fully later,
there are certain other important and immediately direct

Coarse Feeds. — If man were able to produce non-animal
feeds that would satisfy his needs, if he could eat the kinds
of feeds that livestock eats, and if all the land were avail-
able for cropping, there would be no need of the meat-making
animals on the farm. But such are not the facts. Most of
the farm animals use a large proportion of coarse feeds or
roughages in their ration, hke gras^, hay, corn fodder and
straw. These are converted into body tissues in the animal
and a large part of this becomes food for man.

Waste Lands. — In many parts of the country there is a great
deal of rough, hilly and mountainous land. This land pro-
duces forage crops, but frequently cannot at all, or cannot con-
veniently be farmed by the cropping system. Furnishing
grazing for livestock, however, it yields food for man. On
most farms, also, there are fence rows and fence corners, and
frequently wild land and timber lots, all of which grow more
or less grass. This is frequently wasted under the cropping
system. With livestock, however, all such land can be
grazed, increasing the area upon which human food is pro-
duced. On the average farm, too, there is usually a good deal
of aftermath which can be used as feed for stock and which
would be lost by the other method.

Weeds. — By most classes of stock, and by sheep especially,
a great many weeds growing on farms can be converted into
human food products.







Waste Feeds. — Kitcluui slops, (laiiuijAed and scattered grain,
and similar things would often bo wast(Ml wvvv it not for meat-
producing animals. Slops from the kitchen, when used
fresh and not loaded with broken glass, soap and washing
powders, make the best kind of hog feed. They are usually
rich in all the substances that are necessary to make hogs
grow and fatten. Man}- times, again, a farmer has soft corn,
caused by an early frost which is practically^ worthless on the
grain market, but which makes good hog feed. Sometimes
grain spoils in the bin by dampness or by heating or sometimes
great quantities of grain become damaged by elevator fires.
All such grains make good hog feed, and, indirectly therefore,
human food. On most farms also by shattering, lodging,
hailstorms, etc., a good deal of grain is left in fields after
harvest. Without stock this would be wasted while with
livestock it becomes a source of profit and adds to the suste-
nance and comfort of the human race.

The Labor Problem. — On the livestock farm there is rela-

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Online LibraryWilliam DietrichLivestock on the farm → online text (page 1 of 21)