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THE FARMER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 51, 22 January 1880
SETTING EGGS. As a rule, the less sitting hens ar e interfered with the better. Stolen fruit is the sweetest, and in much the same way stolen nests turn out most successful. Nevertheless, a little attention to detail does much good. Fowls are more apt to regard present appearances than future contingencies, and not infrequently find out the mistake too late to apply a remedy. A hen has'hoen known to steal a nest and start busijjfcs on the top of a hay loft, forgetful of to fact that ladders were made for men and not chickens, and as she hatched the eggs her little ones came to grief. However, if a reliable hen steals a comfortable nest in a well sheltered spot, such as a nook under a hedge, leave her alone, and she will bring out a brood far better than if she had studied all the set rules of “ Wright’s Book of Poultry.” Find out where she goes after feeding, mark the spot quietly, and if necessary, when she goes off for her periodical dust-bath anc feed, gently substitute your choice lot of eggs for her surreptitious sitting. A little sulphur sprinkled over the nest will create dissension in the family circle of the lice located there, and a pan of water should be placed where the hen can get access to it in a shady place. If it is necessary to set a hen in the ordinary way, a clean whitewashed box not too roomy should bo obtained, and about four or five inches of moist earth put in the bottom. Over that some clean fresh hay not too long, or it will get entangled in her legs, should be arranged, with a slight hollow in the middle. Good-sized well-formed eggs, the fresher the better, should form the sitting —seven, eleven, thirteen, or fifteen in number, according to the size and spreading capacity of the hen. The eggs should be marked right round with a pencil, and bear the date and initials of the breed upon them. At the time of setting, a memo, of the date, breed, number of eggs, and the name of the hen, should be made for guidance. Before setting a hen, care should be taken to see that she is :v good, steady, healthy bird. A few days’ trial on china eggs is not a bad precaution. If she develops her motherly tendencies over these dummies with commendable prudence for three days, coming off and returning at regular intervals, she can he trusted. It is sometimes necessary to lift a hen off to feed every day, as some are so anxious to carry out their duties that they stick constantly to the nest. It is, however, far better to let them “gang theiraingait,” as they know by ins duct how far to go and how to act. Give a sitting hen a fair chance and she will render a good account. Watch when she goes off, and give a look at the eggs, removing any that are broken, but never disturb the sitter if it can be helped. If any of the valuable eggs are slightly cracked by accident a piece of postage stamp or any gummed paper wetted and put over the fracture will probably preserve to. the poultry world a chicken. Eggs should be kept clean, and that can be done by gently wiping them with a cloth damped in tepid water. Eggs get covered sometimes with the yolk of broken ones, and this should always be wiped off in the way described. A hen should never be fed on the nest, as it is essential that she should come off at times so as to allow the foul air to escape and enable the temperature of the eggs to lower and admit a little air to the interior. Eggs sat on dead-on-end seldom hatch, or if they do the chicks are sure to he weak. Replacing the old straw with fresh once or twice during sitting is not a bad idea, but it must be very carefully done. With good food, clean freshwater never stinted, and no bothering, a hen ought to hatch out a good clutch of strong healthy chickens in twenty or twenty-one days. The last.day or two she will probably stick close tofff 'est, as her instinct tells her it is a critical period, and she ought not to be interfered with. The instinct of these poor faithful feathered mothers is wonderful. In wet damp weather no temptation in the shape of food, no amount of inconvenience will induce a good-jitter to leave her nest, and in hot sultry days she regulates her work with equal judiciousness, remaining off a little longer. Her patiently borne monotonous task ended, she is as careful in her management of the piping brood of fractious youngsters she tends and caters for so proudly. PURIFYING RANCID BUTTER. Calvin Peek some ten years ago obtained a patent for restoring and preserving butter ; his invention relates to a new process for purifying butter, having especial reference to arresting fermentation and restoring rancid butter. His process consists in melting the butter in a clean vessel under a slow and regular heat, and while it is melting he adds two ounces of pulverised alum to every five pounds of butter, the butter being stirred gently while melting. When thoroughly melted it is strained through a fine strainer into clean cold water. The butter will rise to the surface quite pure and transparent, the alum coagulates the albumen, the caseine, and other foreign matter, all of which are retained in the strainer, leaving the butter perfectly pure and clean, and of uniform consistency. When the butter is sufficiently cool to be in good working order, it is carefully taken out and thoroughly worked, adding to each five pounds of butter three ounces of good dairy salt, one ounce of clean saltpetre, and one ounce of pulverised white sugar. The butter is then packed in clean vessels and is fit for use. By covering it in a strong brine and keeping it in a cool place, it is claimed it will remain sweet for any desired length of time. A prope rs to the above a correspondent in “Land and Water” answers an inquirer in its columns who wants to know howto sweeten rancidbutter, asfollows : If her butter is very had, promises the writer, I cannot promise that the following plan will entiiely restore it ; hut I can at least, describe a process which I once watched at an agricultural show, where a machine for washing butter was at work and where some very horribly odorous butter was in a few minutes rendered edible. It did its -work very quickly and by the simple turning of a handle, and the same sort of process might bo accomplished by means of a wire sieve or a strainer anywhere. The butter was forced through a finely perforated x'eceptaclo into a large tub of fresh cold water, it came rapidly raining clown in a pne capilliform shower, lying upon the clear water in a tangle of golden filaments, singularly beautiful, till the water was all covered with them. When the whole lump had been thus transformed into yellow threads, they were stirred arid beaten about in the water with a wooden benter ; then collected and pressed into a fresh lump of greatly improved appearance, and again, forced through the machine in another shower of delicate filaments. This process was repeated several times, till the butter had been washed litera|ly through and through. JUNGLE AN MILK CANS. ItTnay not he generally known that cans that are not kept thoroughly clean are liable to impart to the milk a dangerous form entire poison. Yery recently a case occurred in London where a family suffered an attack of sickness and purging immediately after partaking of the usual morning’s milk. A physician was called in,A|bretraced the cause of the attack to tSfffnrty cans from which the milk had been taken. Dr. Muter, in his report of the case, says the milk delivered to him •was in the can in which it came, and also a larger amount of the same milk which had been boiled was likewise submitted. From the latter he made a careful search
for poisons, but with a negative result. On opening the can he was struck by the foul smell which emanated from it, and on putting the milk under the microscope ho found nothing which indicated disease, but noticed some bodies which appeared to be fungoid cells. He then turned his attention to the can, and found that the smell, although partly communicated to the milk, really existed chiefly in that vessel. On washing the can he obtained decided j’.ppearancs of fungoid growths and some bacteria adhering to the joints, which wore entirely filled by a mass of decomposing milk constituents. He at once concluded that the milk had been rendered poisonous by being placed in this dirty can, and he re ported according!;.-. His conclusion is that ' a poison, probably of a fungoid nature, can form in milk vessels when they have had the milk hardening in them and are only given a prefunctory rinse. We think that selling skim milk or milk adulterated with water is a virtue as compared with milk brought to our doors in dirty cans. Wo are not in favor of increasing the class of public officers known as inspectors, but a rigid official examination of the milk cans brought into our cities, made at frequent but irregular periods, wo think, would ,be eminently salutary. Cans on their return from the cities should always undergo a thorough scouring and scalding before being again filled. It is a poor excuse for the farmer that his cans are kept so long on the read that he has no time to clean them. Tltey should bo bright and shine both inside and outside every time they leave the dairy farm. NEW" ZEALAND FARMERS. Under this head the “Hawke’s Bay Mercury ” writes : The New Zealand Farmers have got the name of doing their work in a very slovenly and careless manner. This is mainly attributable to the majority of them (the smaller class of farmers we refer to) starting with a very little capital : but when they have got once fairly started we fail to see this state of tilings should still remain. There is no doubt that, by careful and judicious management, many of the farms at present in occupation might bo made to bring in a far greater return than they do now. The fanner may possibly agree, but Ira will doubtless say that the increased labor necessary to do so would not cover the extra return. 'Ye , wish to show that it may be done without ; extra labor, and that the. labor at present employed on the farms would be quite sufficient to bring in this increase. Howmany farmers rely entirely upon their harvests to pay all their expenses, and carry thorn on to the succeeding year I If that harvest fail them, where arc they ! most likely ruined, or going deeper into 1 debt, in the anticipation of a succeeding harvest recouping them for their losses. In our opinion it is necessary for the sue- : cessful working of a farm, besides growing < grain that a little of every tiling should be kept, for tire following reason;; : —Cows, for by their produce a number of pigs may be i fed, ealves reared, and butter sold, which are returns independent of the harvest ; ; sheep also, for a return can bo made from i their wool, lambs, and the improved condition of the land by their manure ; pigs and fowls are also necessary to a wellconducted farm. Independently of the ; extra profit made by these animals, the land will be benefited by the manure, and ; the farmer would also bo able to rest in rotation the whole of his farm, and not : have to find (as so many do) that at the end of five years their lands are run out, i and grow but a mass of sorrel. To those about to start on new farms, and with the increased facility offered by the Government under the deferred payment system we do not doubt that many will start, to them these remarks may be useful, and if carried out we should hear less of agricultural failures because grain happened to bo at a low price, for by these means the farmer would not be entirely dependent upon his harvest to recoup him for his time and labor. The antidote we offer for the slovenly style at present in vogue may he conveyed in an old adage, and which the farmers would do well to lay to heart, “ every"'little nratvesr-- a"" muckle,” for it is the neglect of small things and small savings that is the whole cause of our present style of slovenly and careless farming. Valuable Cows.— Evidence in favor of the little, scrawny Jersey cows is constantly accumulating. Not long since a gentleman who had for years enjoyed a reputation for always selling good butterfound his customers leaving. On inquiry as to the cause he found that it was the owner of a herd of grade Jerseys that had supplanted his product in the estimation of some of his best customers. Our grade Jerseys satisfy ns of their superiority as butter cows. The Decatur (111.) “ Republican ’’ also mentions this stock favorably in the following notice : —Mr. V. Barber, one of Macon county’s most successful farmers and stock breeders, residing four miles north of Decatur, owns a very remarkable two-year-old Jersey milch cow. She was tested last week, and it was discovered that on each of the six days she gave thirty-throe pounds of milk, or four gallons daily-—tiro daily per cent of cream being ten. Tins young cow alone produces twelve and a half pounds of the finest axrd sweetest butter weekly. Wo doubt if there is another young cow in tire country that can show as good a rosord as the above. Getting Ready in Time.— We have frequently called attention to tho waste of time that is incurred in running to the blacksmith's shop during tho busy season to got broken machinery repaired, or to get an extra bolt in the place of one broken. A half day lost during haying and harvesting by the sudden giving way of a portion of the machinery may bo quite expensive. All farm machinery should be carefully examined a few weeks before it is wanted for use, in order that broken or defective pieces may be replaced or repaired. Manufacturers arc improving their machinery every year, and there is less breakage than formerly, yot accidents will happen. There should always be extra bolts, knives, nuts, &c., and, when one of the extras is used, another should beat once purchased. As reapers and mowers arc now constructed, almost any one can substitute new parts for those broken or worn out.
THE FARMER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 51, 22 January 1880
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