Feeding And Management





No branch of dairy farming can compare in importance with the management

of cows. The highest success will depend upon it, whatever breed be

selected, and whatever amount of care and attention be given to the

points of the animals; for experience will show that very little milk

comes out of the bag, that is not first put into the throat. It is poor

economy, therefore, to attempt to keep too many cows for the amount of

feed one has; for it will generally be found that one good cow well-bred

and well fed will yield as much as two ordinary cows kept in the

ordinary way; while a saving is effected both in labor and room

required, and in the risks on the capital invested. If an argument for

the larger number on poorer feed is urged on the ground of the

additional manure--which is the only basis upon which it can be put--it

is enough to say that it is a very expensive way of making manure. It is

not too strong an assertion, that a proper regard to profit and economy

would require many an American farmer to sell off nearly half of his

cows, and to feed the whole of his hay and roots hitherto used into the

remainder.



An animal, to be fully fed and satisfied, requires a quantity of food in

proportion to its live weight. No feed is complete that does not contain

a sufficient amount of nutritive elements; hay, for example, being more

nutritive than straw, and grains than roots. The food, too, must possess

a bulk sufficient to fill up to a certain degree the organs of digestion

of the stomach; and, to receive the full benefit of its food, the animal

must be wholly satisfied--since, if the stomach is not sufficiently

distended, the food cannot be properly digested, and of course many of

the nutritive principles which it contains cannot be perfectly

assimilated. An animal regularly fed eats till it is satisfied, and no

more than is requisite. A part of the nutritive elements in hay and

other forage plants is needed to keep an animal on its feet--that is, to

keep up its condition--and if the nutrition of its food is insufficient

for this, the weight decreases, and if it is more than sufficient the

weight increases, or else this excess is consumed in the production of

milk or in labor. About one sixtieth of their live weight in hay, or its

equivalent, will keep horned cattle on their feet; but, in order to be

completely nourished, they require about one thirtieth in dry

substances, and four thirtieths in water, or other liquid contained in

their food. The excess of nutritive food over and above what is

necessary to sustain life will go, in milch cows, generally to the

production of milk, or to the growth of the foetus, but not in all

cows to an equal extent; the tendency to the secretion of milk being

much more developed in some than in others.



With regard, however, to the consumption of food in proportion to the

live weight of the animal, it must be taken, in common with all general

principles, with some qualifications. The proportion is probably not

uniform as applied to all breeds indiscriminately, though it may be more

so as applied to animals of the same breed. The idea of some celebrated

stock-raisers has been that the quantity of food required depends much

upon the shape of the barrel; and it is well known that an animal of a

close, compact, well-rounded barrel, will consume less than one of an

opposite make.



The variations in the yield of milch cows are caused more by the

variations in the nutritive elements of their food than by a change of

the form in which it is given. A cow, kept through the winter on mere

straw, will cease to give milk; and, when fed in spring on green forage,

will give a fair quantity of milk. But she owes the cessation and

restoration of the secretion, respectively, to the diminution and

increase of her nourishment, and not at all to the change of form, or of

outward substance in which the nutriment is administered. Let cows

receive through winter nearly as large a proportion of nutritive matter

as is contained in the clover, lucerne, and fresh grass which they eat

in summer, and, no matter in what precise substance or mixture that

matter be contained, they will yield a winter's produce of milk quite as

rich in caseine and butyraceous ingredients as the summer's produce, and

far more ample in quantity than almost any dairyman with old-fashioned

notions would imagine to be possible. The great practical error on this

subject consists, not in giving wrong kinds of food, but in not so

proportioning and preparing it as to render an average ration of it

equally rich in the elements of nutrition, and especially in nitrogenous

elements, as an average ration of the green and succulent food of

summer.



We keep too much stock for the quantity of good and nutritious food

which we have for it; and the consequence is, that cows are, in nine

cases out of ten, poorly wintered, and come out in the spring weakened,

if not, indeed, positively diseased, and a long time is required to

bring them into a condition to yield a generous quantity of milk.



It is a hard struggle for a cow reduced in flesh and in blood to fill up

the wasted system with the food which would otherwise have gone to the

secretion of milk; but, if she is well fed, well housed, well littered,

and well supplied with pure, fresh water, and with roots, or other

moist food, and properly treated to the luxury of a frequent carding,

and constant kindness, she comes out ready to commence the manufacture

of milk under favorable circumstances.



Keep the cows constantly in good condition, ought, therefore, to be

the motto of every dairy farmer, posted up over the barn, and on and

over the stalls, and over the milk-room, and repeated to the boys

whenever there is danger of forgetting it. It is the great secret of

success; and the difference between success and failure turns upon it.

Cows in milk require more food in proportion to their size and weight

than either oxen or young cattle.



In order to keep cows in milk well and economically, regularity is next

in importance to a full supply of wholesome and nutritious food. The

animal stomach is a very nice chronometer, and it is of the utmost

importance to observe regular hours in feeding, cleaning, and milking.

This is a point, also, in which very many farmers are at fault--feeding

whenever it happens to be convenient. The cattle are thus kept in a

restless condition, constantly expecting food when the keeper enters the

barn; while, if regular hours are strictly adhered to, they know exactly

when they are to be fed, and they rest quietly till the time arrives. If

one goes into any well-regulated dairy establishment an hour before

feeding, scarcely an animal will rise to its feet; while; if it happens

to be the hour of feeding, the whole herd will be likely to rise and

seize their food with an avidity and relish not to be mistaken.



With respect to the exact nurture to be pursued, no rule could be

prescribed which would apply to all cases; and each individual must be

governed much by circumstances, both regarding the particular kinds of

feed at different seasons of the year, and the system of feeding. It has

been found--it may be stated--in the practice of the most successful

dairymen, that, in order to encourage the largest secretion of milk in

stalled cows, one of the best courses is, to feed in the morning, either

at the time of milking--which is preferred by many--or immediately

after, with cut feed, consisting of hay, oats, millet, or cornstalks,

mixed with shorts, and Indian linseed, or cotton-seed meal, thoroughly

moistened with water. If in winter, hot or warm water is far better than

cold. If given at milking-time, the cows will generally give down their

milk more readily. The stalls and mangers should first be thoroughly

cleansed.






Roots and long hay may be given during the day; and at the evening

milking, or directly after, another generous meal of cut feed, well

moistened and mixed, as in the morning. No very concentrated food, like

grains alone, or oil-cakes, should be fed early in the morning on an

empty stomach, although it is sanctioned by the practice in the London

milk-dairies. The processes of digestion go on best when the stomach is

sufficiently distended; and for this purpose the bulk of food is almost

as important as the nutritive qualities. The flavor of some roots, as

cabbages and turnips, is more apt to be imparted to the flesh and milk

when fed on an empty stomach than otherwise. After the cows have been

milked and have finished their cut feed, they are carded and curried

down, in well-managed dairies, and then either watered in the

stall--which, in very cold or stormy weather, is far preferable--or

turned out to water in the yard. While they are out, if they are let out

at all, the stables are put in order; and, after tying them up, they are

fed with long hay, and left to themselves till the next feeding time.

This may consist of roots--such as cabbages, beets, carrots, or

turnips sliced--or of potatoes, a peck, or--if the cows are very

large--a half-bushel each, and cut feed again at the evening milking, as

in the morning; after which, water in the stall, if possible.



The less cows are exposed to the cold of winter, the better. They eat

less, thrive better, and give more milk, when kept housed all the time,

than when exposed to the cold. A case is on record, where a herd of

cows, which had usually been supplied from troughs and pipes in the

stalls, were, on account of an obstruction in the pipes, obliged to be

turned out thrice a day to be watered in the yard. The quantity of milk

instantly decreased, and in three days the diminution became very

considerable. After the pipes were mended, and the cows again watered,

as before, in their stalls, the flow of milk returned. This, however,

must be governed much by the weather; for in very mild and warm days it

may be judicious not only to let them out, but to allow them to remain

out for a short time, for the purpose of exercise.



Any one can arrange the hour for the several processes named above, to

suit himself; but, when once fixed, it should be rigidly and regularly

followed. If the regular and full feeding be neglected for even a day,

the yield of milk will immediately decline, and it will be very

difficult to restore it. It may be safely asserted, as the result of

many trials and long practice, that a larger flow of milk follows a

complete system of regularity in this respect than from a higher feeding

where this system is not adhered to.



One prime object which the dairyman should keep constantly in view is,

to maintain the animal in a sound and healthy condition. Without this,

no profit can be expected from a milch cow for any considerable length

of time; and with a view to this, there should be an occasional change

of food. But, in making changes, great care is requisite in order to

supply the needful amount of nourishment, or the cow will fall off in

flesh, and eventually in milk. It should, therefore, be remembered that

the food consumed goes not alone to the secretion of milk, but also to

the growth and maintenance of the bony structure, the flesh, the blood,

the fat, the skin, and the hair, and in exhalations from the body. These

parts of the body consist of different organic constituents. Some are

rich in nitrogen, as the fibrin of the blood and albumen; others

destitute of it, as fat; some abound in inorganic salts, phosphate of

lime, and salts of potash. To explain how the constant waste of these

substances may be supplied, a celebrated chemist observes that the

albumen, gluten, caseine, and other nitrogenized principles of food,

supply the animal with the materials requisite for the formation of

muscle and cartilage; they are, therefore, called flesh-forming

principles.



Fats, or oily matters of the food, are used to lay on fat, or for the

purpose of sustaining respiration.



Starch, sugar, gum, and a few other non-nitrogenized substances,

consisting of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen, supply the carbon given off

in respiration, or they are used for the production of fat.



Phosphate of lime and magnesia in food principally furnish the animal

with the materials of which the bony skeleton of its body consists.



Saline substances--chlorides of sodium and potassium, sulphate and

phosphate of potash and soda, and some other mineral matters occurring

in food--supply the blood, juice of flesh, and various animal juices,

with the necessary mineral constituents.



The healthy state of an animal can thus only be preserved by a mixed

food; that is, food which contains all the proximate principles just

noticed. Starch or sugar alone cannot sustain the animal body, since

neither of them furnishes the materials to build up the fleshy parts of

the animal. When fed on substances in which an insufficient quantity of

phosphates occurs, the animal will become weak, because it does not find

any bone-producing principle in its food. Due attention should,

therefore, be paid by the feeder to the selection of food which contains

all the kinds of matter required, nitrogenized as well as

non-nitrogenized, and mineral substances; and these should be mixed

together in the proportion which experience points out as best for the

different kinds of animals, or the particular purpose for which they are

kept.



Relative to the nutrition of cows for dairy purposes, milk may be

regarded as a material for the manufacture of butter and cheese; and,

according to the purpose for which the milk is intended to be employed,

whether for the manufacture of butter or the production of cheese, the

cow should be differently fed.



Butter contains carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen, and no nitrogen. Cheese,

on the contrary, is rich in nitrogen. Food which contains much fatty

matter, or substances which in the animal system are readily converted

into fat, will tend to increase the proportion of cream in milk. On the

other hand, the proportion of caseine or cheesy matter in milk is

increased by the use of highly nitrogenized food. Those, then, who

desire much cream, or who produce cream for the manufacture of butter,

select food likely to increase the proportion of butter in the milk. On

the contrary, where the principal object is the production of milk rich

in curd--that is, where cheese is the object of the farmer--clover,

peas, bran-meal, and other plants which abound in legumine--a

nitrogenized organic compound, almost identical in properties and

composition with caseine, or the substance which forms the curd of

milk--will be selected.



And so the quality, as well as the quantity, of butter in the milk,

depends on the kind of food consumed and on the general health of the

animal. Cows fed on turnips in the stall always produce butter inferior

to that of cows living upon the fresh and aromatic grasses of the

pastures.



Succulent food in which water abounds--the green grass of irrigated

meadows, green clover, brewers' and distillers' refuse, and the

like--increases the quantity, rather than the quality, of the milk; and

by feeding these substances the milk-dairyman studies his own interest,

and makes thin milk without diluting it with water--though, in the

opinion of some, this may be no more legitimate than watering the milk.



But, though the yield of milk may be increased by succulent or watery

food, it should be given so as not to interfere with the health of the

cow.



Food rich in starch, gum, or sugar, which are the respiratory elements,

an excess of which goes to the production of fatty matters, increases

the butter in milk. Quietness promotes the secretion of fat in animals

and increases the butter. Cheese will be increased by food rich in

albumen, such as the leguminous plants.






The most natural, and of course the healthiest, food for milch cows in

summer, is the green grass of the pastures; and when these fail from

drought or over-stocking, the complement of nourishment may be made up

with green clover, green oats, barley, millet, or corn-fodder and

cabbage-leaves, or other succulent vegetables; and if these are wanting,

the deficiency may be partly supplied with shorts, Indian-meal, linseed

or cotton-seed meal. Green grass is more nutritious than hay, which

always loses somewhat of its nutritive properties in curing; the amount

of the loss depending chiefly on the mode of curing, and the length of

exposure to sun and rain. But, apart from this, grass is more easily and

completely digested than hay, though the digestion of the latter may be

greatly aided by cutting and moistening, or steaming; and by this means

it is rendered more readily available, and hence far better adapted to

promote a large secretion of milk--a fact too often overlooked even by

many intelligent farmers.



In autumn, the best feed will be the grasses of the pastures, so far as

they are available, green-corn fodder, cabbage, carrot, and turnip

leaves, and an addition of meal or shorts. Toward the middle of autumn,

the cows fed in the pastures will require to be housed regularly at

night, especially in the more northern latitudes, and put, in part at

least, upon hay. But every farmer knows that it is not judicious to feed

out the best part of his hay when his cattle are first put into the

barn, and that he should not feed so well in the early part of winter

that he cannot feed better as the winter advances.



At the same time, it should always be borne in mind that the change from

grass to a poor quality of hay or straw, for cows in milk, should not be

too sudden. A poor quality of dry hay is far less palatable in the early

part of winter, after the cows are taken from grass, than at a later

period; and, if it is resorted to with milch cows, will invariably lead

to a falling off in the milk, which no good feed can afterward wholly

restore.



It is desirable, therefore, for the farmer to know what can be used

instead of his best English or upland meadow hay, and yet not suffer any

greater loss in the flow of milk, or in condition, than is absolutely

necessary. In some sections of the Eastern States, the best quality of

swale hay will be used; and the composition of that is as variable as

possible, depending on the varieties of the grasses of which it was

made, and the manner of curing. But, in other sections, many will find

it necessary to use straw and other substitutes. Taking good English or

meadow hay as the standard of comparison, and calling that one, 4.79

times the weight of rye-straw, or 3.83 times the weight of oat-straw,

contains the same amount of nutritive matter; that is, it would take

4.79 times as good rye-straw to produce the same result as good meadow

hay.



In winter, the best food for cows in milk will be good sweet meadow hay,

a part of which should be cut and moistened with water--as all inferior

hay or straw should be--with an addition of root-crops, such as turnips,

carrots, parsnips, potatoes, mangold-wurtzel, with shorts, oil-cake,

Indian meal, or bean meal.



It is the opinion of most successful dairymen that the feeding of moist

food cannot be too highly recommended for cows in milk, especially to

those who desire to obtain the largest quantity. Hay cut and thoroughly

moistened becomes more succulent and nutritive, and partakes more of the

nature of green grass.



As a substitute for the oil-cake, hitherto known as an exceedingly

valuable article for feeding stock, there is probably nothing better

than cotton-seed meal. This is an article whose economic value has been

but recently made known, but which, from practical trials already made,

has proved eminently successful as food for milch cows. Chemists have

decided that its composition is not inferior to that of the best

flaxseed cake, and that in some respects its agricultural value

surpasses that of any other kind of oil-cake.



It has been remarked by chemists, in this connection, that the great

value of linseed-cake, as an adjunct to hay, for fat cattle and milch

cows, has been long recognized; and that it is undeniably traceable, in

the main, to three ingredients of the seeds of the oil-yielding plants.

The value of food depends upon the quantities of matters it contains

which may be appropriated by the animal which consumes the food Now, it

is proved that the fat of animals is derived from the starch, gum, and

sugar, and more directly and easily from the oil of the food. These four

substances, then, are fat-formers. The muscles, nerves, and tendons of

animals, the brine of their blood and the curd of their milk, are almost

identical in composition with, and strongly similar in many of their

properties to, matters found in all vegetables, but chiefly in such as

form the most concentrated food. These blood (and muscle) formers are

characterized by containing about fifteen and a half per cent. of

nitrogen; and hence are called nitrogenous substances. They are, also,

often designated as the albuminous bodies.



The bony framework of the animal owes its solidity to phosphate of lime,

and this substance must be furnished by the food. A perfect food must

supply the animal with these three classes of bodies, and in proper

proportions. The addition of a small quantity of a food, rich in oil and

albuminous substances, to the ordinary kinds of feed, which contain a

large quantity of vegetable fibre or woody matter, more or less

indigestible, but, nevertheless, indispensable to the herbivorous

animals, their digestive organs being adapted to a bulky food, has been

found highly advantageous in practice. Neither hay alone nor

concentrated food alone gives the best results. A certain combination of

the two presents the most advantages.



Some who have used cotton-seed cake have found difficulty in inducing

cattle to eat it. By giving it at first in small doses, mixed with other

palatable food, they soon learn to eat it with relish. Cotton-seed cake

is much richer in oils and albuminous matters than the linseed cake. A

correspondingly less quantity will therefore be required. Three pounds

of this cotton-seed cake are equivalent to four of linseed cake of

average quality.



During the winter season, as has been already remarked, a frequent

change of food is especially necessary, both as contributions to the

general health of animals, and as a means of stimulating the digestive

organs, and thus increasing the secretion of milk. A mixture used as cut

feed and well moistened is now especially beneficial, since concentrated

food, which would otherwise be given in small quantities, may be united

with larger quantities of coarser and less nutritive food, and the

complete assimilation of the whole be better secured. On this subject it

has been sensibly observed that the most nutritious kinds of food

produce little or no effect when they are not digested by the stomach,

or if the digested food is not absorbed by the lymphatic vessels, and

not assimilated by the various parts of the body. Now, the normal

functions of the digestive organs not only depend upon the composition

of the food, but also on its volume. The volume or bulk of the food

contributes to the healthy action of the digestive organs, by exercising

a stimulating effect upon the nerves which govern them. Thus the whole

organization of ruminating animals necessitates the supply of bulky

food, to keep the animal in good condition.



Feed sweet and nutritious food, therefore, frequently, regularly, and in

small quantities, and change it often, and the best results may be

confidently anticipated. If the cows are not in milk, but are to come in

in the spring, the difference in feeding should be rather in the

quantity than the quality, if the highest yield is to be expected from

them during the coming season.



The most common feeding is hay alone, and oftentimes very poor hay at

that. The main point is to keep the animal in a healthy and thriving

condition, and not to suffer her to fail in flesh; and with this object,

some change and variety of food are highly important.






Toward the close of winter, a herd of cows will begin to come in, or

approach their time of calving. Care should then be taken not to feed

too rich or stimulating food for the last week or two before this event,

as it is often attended with ill consequences. A plenty of hay, a few

potatoes or shorts, and pure water will suffice.



In spring, the best feeding for dairy cows will be much the same as that

for winter; the roots in store over winter, such as carrots, mangold

wurtzel, turnips, and parsnips, furnishing very valuable aid in

increasing the quantity and improving the quality of milk. Toward the

close of this season, and before the grass of pastures is sufficiently

grown to make it judicious to turn out the cows, the best dairymen

provide a supply of green fodder in the shape of winter rye, which, if

cut while it is tender and succulent, and before it is half grown, will

be greatly relished. Unless cut young, however, its stalk soon becomes

hard and unpalatable.



All practical dairymen agree in saying that a warm and well-ventilated

barn is indispensable to the promotion of the highest yield of milk in

winter; and most agree that cows in milk should not be turned out, even

to drink, in cold weather; all exposure to cold tending to lessen the

yield of milk.



In the London dairies, in which, of course, the cows are fed so as to

produce the largest flow of milk, the treatment is as follows: The cows

are kept at night in stalls. About three A. M. each has a half-bushel of

grains. When milking is finished, each receives a bushel of turnips (or

mangolds), and shortly afterward, one tenth of a truss of hay of the

best quality. This feeding occurs before eight A. M., when the animals

are turned into the yard. Four hours after, they are again tied up in

their stalls, and have another feed of grains. When the afternoon

milking is over (about three P. M.), they are fed with a bushel of

turnips, and after the lapse of an hour, hay is given them as before.

This mode of feeding usually continues throughout the cool season, or

from November to March. During the remaining months they are fed with

grains, tares, and cabbages, and a proportion of rowen, or second-cut

hay. They are supplied regularly until they are turned out to grass,

when they pass the whole of the night in the field. The yield is about

six hundred and fifty gallons a year for each cow.



Mr. Harley--whose admirable dairy establishment was erected for the

purpose of supplying the city of Glasgow with a good quality of milk,

and which has contributed more than any thing else to improve the

quality of the milk furnished to all the principal cities of Great

Britain--adopted the following system of feeding with the greatest

profit: In the early part of the summer, young grass and green barley,

the first cutting especially, mixed with a large proportion of old hay

or straw, and a good quantity of salt to prevent swelling, were used. As

summer advanced, less hay and straw were given, and as the grass

approached ripeness, they were discontinued altogether; but young and

wet clover was never given without an admixture of dry provender. When

grass became scarce, young turnips and turnip leaves were steamed with

hay, and formed a good substitute. As grass decreased, the turnips were

increased, and at length became a complete substitute. As the season

advanced, a large proportion of distillers' grains and wash was given

with other food, but these were found to have a tendency to make the

cattle grain-sick; and if this feeding were long-continued, the health

of the cows became affected. Boiled linseed and short-cut wheat straw

mixed with the grains, were found to prevent the cows from turning sick.

As spring approached, Swedish turnips, when cheap, were substituted for

yellow turnips. These two roots, steamed with hay and other mixtures,

afforded safe food till grass was again in season. When any of the cows

were surfeited, the food was withheld till the appetite returned, when a

small quantity was given, and increased gradually to the full allowance.



But the most elaborate and valuable experiments in the feeding and

management of milch cows, are those made, not long since, by Mr. T.

Horsfall, of England, and published in the Journal of the Royal

Agricultural Society. His practice, though adapted more especially,

perhaps, to his own section, is nevertheless of such general application

and importance as to be worthy of attention. By his course of treatment

he found that he could produce as much and as rich butter in winter as

in summer.



His first object was to afford a full supply of the elements of food

adapted to the maintenance, and also to the produce of the animal; and

this could not be effected by the ordinary food and methods of feeding,

since it is impossible to induce a cow to consume a quantity of hay

requisite to supply the waste of the system, and keep up, at the same

time, a full yield of the best quality of milk. He used, to some extent,

cabbages, kohl rabi, mangolds, shorts, and other substances, rich in the

constituents of cheese and butter. "My food for milch cows," says he,

"after having undergone various modifications, has for two seasons

consisted of rape cake five pounds, and bran two pounds, for each cow,

mixed with a sufficient quantity of bean-straw, oat-straw, and shells of

oats, in equal proportions, to supply them three times a day with as

much as they will eat. The whole of the materials are moistened and

blended together, and, after being well steamed, are given to the animal

in a warm state. The attendant is allowed one pound to one pound and a

half per cow, according to circumstances, of bean-meal, which he is

charged to give to each cow in proportion to the yield of milk; those in

full milk getting each two pounds per day, others but little. It is dry,

and mixed with the steamed food on its being dealt out separately. When

this is eaten up, green food is given, consisting of cabbages, from

October to December, kohl rabi till February, and mangold till grass

time, with a view to nicety of flavor. I limit the quantity of green

food to thirty or thirty-five pounds per day for each. After each feed,

four pounds of meadow hay, or twelve pounds per day, is given to each

cow. They are allowed water twice a day, to the extent which they will

drink."



Bean-straw uncooked having been found to be hard and unpalatable, it was

steamed to make it soft and pulpy, when it possessed an agreeable odor,

and imparted its flavor to the whole mass. It was cut for this purpose

just before ripening, but after the bean was fully grown, and in this

state was found to possess nearly double the amount of albuminous

matter, so valuable to milch cows, of good meadow or upland hay. Bran or

shorts is also vastly improved by steaming or soaking with hot water,

when its nutriment is more readily assimilated. It contains about

fourteen per cent. of albumen, and is rich in phosphoric acid. Rape-cake

was found to be exceedingly valuable. Linseed and cotton-seed cake may

probably be substituted for it in this country.



Mr. Horsfall turned his cows in May into a rich pasture, housing them at

night, and giving them a mess of the steamed mixture and some hay

morning and night; and from June to October they had cut grass in the

stall, besides what they got in the pasture, and two feeds of the

steamed mixture a day. After the beginning of October the cows were kept

housed. With such management his cows generally yielded from twelve to

sixteen quarts of milk (wine measure) a day, for about eight months

after calving, when they fell off in milk, but gained in flesh, up to

calving-time. In this course of treatment the manure was far better than

the average, and his pastures constantly improved. The average amount of

butter from every sixteen quarts of milk was twenty-five ounces--a

proportion far larger than the average.






How widely does this course of treatment differ from that of most

farmers! The object with many seems to be, to see with how little food

they can keep the cow alive. From a correct point of view, the milch cow

should be regarded as an instrument of transformation. The question

should be--with so much hay, so much grain, so many roots, how can the

most milk, or butter, or cheese, be made? The conduct of a manufacturer

who owned good machinery, and an abundance of raw material, and had the

labor at hand, would be considered very senseless, if he hesitated to

supply the material, and keep the machinery at work, at least so long as

he could run it with profit.



Stimulate the appetite, then, and induce the cow to eat, by a frequent

change of diet, not merely enough to supply the constant waste of her

system, but enough and to spare, of a food adapted to the production of

milk of the quality desired.





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