Press enter after choosing selection

The Farm

The Farm image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Sir GcorRe W. Cox in Frazefs Mngazinc ■stimates tliat the English custom oi' horsehoeinfj Costs the nation annually as tumli 3 $42,000,0(X), ivliich tniglit be saved ü :hc horses were allowcd to go uushod. Utmotes nnthorities from Xenophon, who narched bis horses unshod frpm Cunaxa jver the Avnienian Highlands to the wils { Trebizond, down to the "free lancers ' f the present day, and contends that it is afcr, cbeaper and better to let the horses o-o unshod over the hardest roads, and especially in streets. He estímales that over twelve niillion dollars Tvould be saved m the farmer' s bilis alone; and he calcnlates furtber that the working life of a horse ■wonld be trebled by the thange, so that a horse wüiota is now worn out at twelve years would live to tventy-six. The figures seem somewhat startlins, and have hardly been suffieiently proved to bc trnstworthy. Meamvhile, it is said that a medical man in Waterbury, Conn., has not put ■.hoes on bis horses lor two years, driving tliem winter, sunimer, spring and autumn witb bare feet ■without any trouble. The loctors theory is that nature lias provided lor the horse ; that a horse can travel over .11 kinds of roads ; that the hoof will be moist, and keeps the hoofproperly spread, and free irOm lbuuder and Other diseases. Vaiue or the Wren in Destroying Insects. The observations I have been able te make during a rnsidenee of several years on a farm have couvinced mu that the common house wren is reully one of our most valuable birds, not perhap3, from what they have done, but i'rom the possibilities wrapped up in tlicir diminntive bodies. They are quite as social as thepurple or the bluebird, and greatly surpass ;ither of these in the rapidity with which they increase. I began several years ago to provide theni with nesting places in the vicinity of my buildings. Sometimes I fastened the skull of a horse or ox, or a srnall box, in a tree top. But latterly I have made it a practica every spring to obtain thirty or forty cigar boxes for this purpose. If the box is long and large, I put a partition across the middle, and make a hole through into each apartment. It is very seldom that these boxes are not occupied by one of these little families. In most instances two broods are annually reared in each nesting place. One of my boxes last season turned out three broods of young wrens- six little hungry birds each time, or eighteen in all. I think a cigar box never before did better duty. Tbe lamented Eobert Kennicott stated that a single pair of wrens carried to their young about a thousand insectos in a single day. Like all young, rapidly growing birds, tUey are known to be voracious eaters, living entirely upon inseets. The point upon vrbich most stress may be laid is tliis : That by providing thera Tvit"h nesting places in our gardens, orchards orgrounds, aud not allowing tbem to 'Xie caught by cats or scared away by boys, we may have 3cores, if not hundreds of tbem about ns during ruost of the time in Wliicn inseets are dcstructive. Tbey undoubtedly return to tho same localities year after year. Last season I had about thirty of these nestiug boxes, and all but two or three, whieb. were not favorably loeated, were ocsupied. 5íy erop of wiens could scarcely üavo boon less tban one hundred and fifty, and tho oíd birds fillcd the air with music wben thoy were not ou duty in building their nests or feeding their young. I iutend to put up at least a hundred of these nesting-boxes in my orchards and groves, and I havo no doubt I shall be repaid a hundred thousand fold for tbe little labor it costa. As long as tbey come back so regularly every year and in constantly increasing numbers, and sere me so wel], I shall do all in rny power to protect and encourage them. Aud I am of the opinión that -when one species of social, useful birds can be made to congrégate in such unusual numbers, others will come also. But the hardiness, sociability, love of the locality -ïvhere it is reared, and ironderlu! fecundity of the house wren, renIe.r tl . my judgment, one of the tolualil: mr iusectivorous bird. _ ■ air ana Asli;?s Tor .Animáis. This suiject hos been freqiienlly dis missed hitherto, espeeially the use o!' salí i'or farm stock. Tliat all domesüe hiii mals do hetter where thcy are cobntaiii l.i íiipplied with salt I am perfectly tjAtisli. ,. trom experience and longobservation. Ti . only case whero salt seems to do injuvy iwhcre cattle have been long without il, and theu giving to them all they are inslined to consume. I am willing to owu that it is temporarily injurions, not because the article is of itsélf had, luit hecause of takiug too rouoll at one dose. The proper way to feed salt is to place it where the itock can go to it as they picase and tak vvhat they are inclined to eat. Ncver mix. it with their foofl, so tl:at they aro co:npelled to take it whether they wisli it or not. More and better butter can he made rom the milk of il cow when she has )er free supply of alt (han f rom oue entircly Jeprived of it, or baving au iiYegular &j ily, and it also takes less lime to churu the cream. Nature requires salt as au aid in preserving health. It assists in digestión as well ns in many other ways which [ need not here mention. For cattle at pasture lnmps may be laid in any conveaient place where a board can be fixed to shelter trom the rain and still allow the stock free access. At the barn tlie lumps :an be placed nnder tho Rhed or in some jther convenient spot. But oftentiuies ■tock seem torequire an alJkali as well, aud bhat ia most conveniently supplied in wood ishes, which horses, cattle, sheep and swine will greedily devour when they liave an ipportunity. These should also bo aupplied where tje stock can have access to them as desired. The ashes should be from good sound wood, and kept dry. When desirable to keep cattle at pasture ind ther is no shed to shelter the ashes ind salt, a convenient trough may be fastaned between two posts, on top of which ire fastencd two planks or boards as a roof to shelter from rain. The posts should be long enough so that the trough inay !■ eigh teen or twen tv inches above the ground, and there must be room above between it and the roof to allow of free access to the mlt or ashes. This answers for all stock except sheep and swine, which can have the troughs lower. I believe that il' n constant snpply of salt and ashes is provided where all kinds of stock can have access to them, very mueU less disease would bo known among farm stock ; I have never known l)ots, colic or worms in horses where ashes and salt were thus furuished. - Cor. Caitntrv Genllemmt. íiorjins ana strawoernes. The robingets its name from its relation to the strawberry bed. We believe tho naturalists and philologists are agreed upja this point. Some very earnest charapions, not only of the theory of design in everythiiig, but also of a mau's ability to discover every time wha the design is, contend that the red breast of the bird is given it as a protection, like the white ot thesnow Jrtarmlgan or the auturnn brown of the partridge, so that when at work among the red berriesits color will prevent Is detection. This works up neatly, but we doubt it. It is the theory of the philosopher In his closet, not of tlio gardener in his paradise. The fact is, there is a certain previousness in Uie temperament of the bird that prevenís it frora wailing for tète red berries, which has a tendency to weaken this otherwise clever conclusión. The ownr of the strawberry plants, as the erop approaches maturity, surveys the bed with no little pride, notes the earliest and most promising plants, and decides that the next day he will piek a cupful for a taste. But that very day the robin drops do-wn among the mruature fruit, regardless of auy question of the fitness of eolors, and clearsofl'everything that has any show of ripening about it. If the snpply is a little scant he eats oJT some of the entirely hard ones and throws them about, ''just for greens," as they say. On theother handif the supply s too liberal, after he lias eatfcn his ñll he goes about puncturing the rest, slashing fchem to pieces with his beak. On the first day this is a disappointment to tho cultivator ; by the third day, it is a real aunoyauce ; oq toward the midílle of the second week it is an unbearable ontraae.and he buya a shad net forjriotectiou. shaft net Is very different Trom a robín S. robin takes only the strawberry, whereis the net takes everything. Belbre you jet itnll spread out, it tías caught around .oat-but tons, slecve-btittons, scarf-pin, anü shoe-buttons,and anytbing else itcan grab, and the first result ol" your experiment s to find yourself considerably involved, athey say when a inau ruiis away. In tbis ense, bowever, yon are so involvecl Uiat there is no running. Wlien it 8 unwouiul, you finally do spread the net over jour planta preparatory to stretcbing it on a l'rame. It settles quietly down and the work is aljout done. At last you {{ivo a liearty pull and lift the net off the ground. Ij, corues, but it still has tbe same characteristica that made it grab evtry button you had. In each wesh is either a berry or a blossotn. Thinking they will shake out you pull still harder. Suddenly they start, and before you realize it, you have stripped the whole of them oflf your vines. ïliere they lie, Irom red lerry to white llowev, the whole han'est cleaned right off. Tlius tho net is more thorough than the robin, hut they each work to the same result. For us in the city, therefore, it is a choice of evils. If wo insist npon pretending to raise berries, we must decide between cultivaüng shad nets or robins. The berry business is a mere disguise for these other industries. There are reasons why ít ís better to let the net alone and altend only to robins. The former are rather rank in flavor. The more you handle them the more the nnpleasant side ot the fish business suggests itself. Not so the robin. It is a real delicacy. The thingto do is to realizo thetrue worth of the bird. We must dispose of sentiment as the roMn does of the uerries - swallow it. The fact is there is nothing better on the table than a good plump robin, and there is no moro reason why we should rebel against killing robins, than telephone to the market for a pair of "broiled'' chickens. A bird's a bird for a' that. We must come to regard the berry erop as a means to an end. It is like grain on n stock farm. It fattens the animáis. That is the wholo of it. There is no cali to worry about lost fruit, if only by and by we rejoice over birds that are gathered. The time will come when people will real.ze Ibis, and oue robin pot-pie will balance a good many lost strawberry shortcakes. 3o long as we try to raise trees and birds and berries, one of the erop ia doomed to fail. Our duty is to harvest what is left. - Charles Dudk". Warner. farls Green on Fotatoes. Extra-cautious writers have not yel ceased warniug their readers against the danger of using so deadly a poison as Paria green on such vegetables as the potatoes which are to be eaten as food, and in the absence of examination, the eaution would seem to be well grounded. Bnt the following facts should set all possible apprehension at rest: I. The poison is applied to the tops and nat to the roots, which aTe separated from it by some inches of soil. 2. If it entered the top soil, the qnantity nsed ie so small as not to constitute over a miïjionth part. 3. It is lnsoluble, and is not taken into the leaves and sterns, rnuch less into the tubers. 4. There is in most soils about one hundred times as much iron s win ueutralize the poison ; so that even fit were soinblo, and were in danger of being absorbed by the plant, the iron would preclude the danger. 5. Millions of people every year eat freely of potatoes which have been treated by it, and not one has been hurt from the use of the tubers, alttiough some have suö'ered from a careless use of the poison in apply ing it, as have cattle from breaking into the potato field and eating the poisoned crops. 6. 1 n addition to all these provisions of salety, another reason has been published for the relief of timid persons, in the following experiment made by Prof. Thompsoa of the Worcester Instituto for Analysis. A hill of potatoes was opened in July aud an ounce of the best Paris green put in and iround and on the potatoes, which were (tien about one-third grown. They were dug in September, Mid without washing, and with the Paris green adhering to them, taken to Pror. Thompson. He examined them, and found the Paris green adhring to tbe skins easil.v removed by washing. They were thoronghly boiled, but no trace of arsenic could be detected, either iu the skin or in the starch they contained. Beina insoluble. the poison could not enter them. -


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat