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DISSOLVING BONES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 78, 25 March 1880
('From the Field.) While experimenting at the farm we have hit upon a cheap plan of manufacturing super-phosphate of lime, which not only saves a large outlay each year, but converts a lot of heretofore useless and unsightly trash—such as dead animals, bones, offal, &c.—into one of the best fertilisers known. The plan we adopted is as follows : Take a large cask, put 2001 b. of water in it, then add, slowly and cautiously, one-half this amount of pure sulphuric acid, and great care and diligence must be used in handling this acid, not to let it touch the skin or clothing, as it will instantly blacken the skin and destroy the clothing, wherever it comes in contact, and when the two elements (water and sulphuric acid) meet there is what is called a chemical affinity, and a very intense heat is thereby engendered. When you have this mixture, throw in the same number of pounds of bones as you have of water, or twice the number that you have of the acid. Keep those proportions in mind, for they are jusLabout the proper ones, and if much deviation is made poor success may and doubtless will follow. The acid, as soon as it comes in contact with the bones, attacks and enters into combination with them, reducing thorn to a pasty consistence, and completely absorbing every particle of the whole batch. Keep the “ mess ” under cover, and turn it over occasionally while the process of assimilation is going on, and, when completed, dump the whole business on tire barn floor or on a platform of boards, and work into the mass, thoroughly, four times its bulk of dry bog earth or dry road dust; mix and pulverise completely with a wooden shovel. This dry earth acts as an absoi’bent or drier, retaining the fertilising propert’es of the compound, and rendering it easy of uniform distribution. If whole bones are used it will take six or eight weeks to dissolve them, but they will succumb after this if the acid is pure. If the bones are broken up into small pieces they will dissolve in two or three weeks, depending upon the size of the pieces ; while if they are ground up fine two or three days will accomplish the work. This manure is the most powerful fertiliser in existence, and when made according to directions it is the cheapest, one ton being equal, by actual experiment, to 32 tons of farmyard manure. For topdressing grass lands, use 3001 b. per acre ; for corn, potatoes, beans, turnips, Ac., apply 4501 b. per acre in the drill, mixing with the soil; for wheat, rye, oats, or barley, 4001 b. per acre, and harrow in with the seed ; for buckwheat, 2001 b. per acre. A good time to make this phosphate is when sufficient material can be obtained to make up a hatch ; then barrel and keep ready for use when wanted. It would not be a bad plan to have some in process of manufacture all the while. It will clear the place of old bones, carcases, &c., and a lot of the best manure known will be on hand, ready for use every time. Try this plan. SELECTING STOCK. (From the Adelaide Abserver.) A good dairy cow commends itself to the eye of any one who has any judgment. The first consideration should be to secure young stock. It would be false economy to commence a dairy with old cows, which in a short time would not be worth the food they eat, and useless al o for the butcher. As soon aa the co w begins to get old she should he weeded out to make room for a younger animal. There are several breeds to chose from— Alderneys, Devons, Herefords, shorthorns, and mongrels—and sometimes a mongrel will prove to be aa good a cow for
daily purposes as one boasting the highest pedigree and the bluest blood. A good cow is always thin and hollow in the neck, narrow in the breast and shoulder indeed, kangaroo like in the fore-quarter —that is, light, with but little dewlap, and neither full fleshed along the chine nor showing a likelihood of putting on fat. The hide should be smooth and thin, and the hair fine, whilst the tail should be small. The udder should bo full and round, but thin to the equal in size and substance shows more behind than before, it is thought to be a sign that the milk will fall off in quantity soon after calving, and if it feels course and lumpy, it shows that the bag will not contain a large quantity. The temper of the animal is a great consideration, for good-tempered cows not only give less trouble, but it has been noticed that they almost always give a great quantity of milk with little difficulty, and that the supply lasts a great deal longer than with cows that are ill-tempered. It must be remarked here that the temper of even a good cow may be completely ruined by injudicious management. A bad-tempered man or woman having to deal with the miking cows will very soon be noticed in the falling off of the milk. Chasing the cows round the yard with a stick, throwing the milking-stool at them, hitting them with the bale-pin when putting them up or letting them out, kicking them when in the bale or elsewhere, or even loud scolding, will make a cow sulky or frightened, and the nervous excitement will cause a contraction of the muscles of the udder, preventing her letting down the supplies. For this reason a constant watch "should be kept upon all those who have to deal with the cows. Even the boy in bringing them down from the paddock into the milking-yard should be cautioned to drive them quietly without the aid of sticks and stones, and certainly without a dog. If the cows are worried their blood becomes heated and feverish, and it is highly probable that the milk will be affected thereby. When cheese or butter is the object sought, those cows should be chosen which are known to afford the richest milk in the largest quantity. Probably this advice would be sought to be followed in any case, but the quality of the cheese or butter will depend very considerably upon the quality of the milk, but in the milk dairy the absence of superior richness is scarcely noticed. Of course the weight of butter from a given number of cows depends a great deal upon circumstances —for instance, cows freshly calved will give greater quantities of rich milk than those which have been in milk for some time. Then the size of the cows sometimes exercises an influence upon the quality of milk and the yield of cream, but not always, for now and again it will be found that a small cow will give a great quantity of rich milk, whilst a large cow, on the contrary, will occasionally give down a pail of very “ sky-blue ” product. Then the kind of food will exercise a great influence, and so will the quantity given. A very little dry hay given will result in a very small quality of poor milk, but plenty of rich succulent food will enable the animal to give plenty of rich creamy milk, especially if the food contains a proportion of linseed meal or oilcake. It jis not advisable to pick out small cows simply because they are small, for it is only reasonable to suppose that a large beast will produce largely of milk, but sometimes only is it found that size has nothing to do with milk production. The smallheaded animal may be looked upon as kindly tempered but easily put out. Large eyes may also be looked upon as an indication of good temper, but the safest rule is to try the animals before bringing them in as dairy cattle, are in any way unsuitable, let 'timnrbe turned out of the yard, for one sulky, disagreeable old cow is enough to sour the temper of tlose who have to deal with her, as well as to upset the whole yard.
To Get Rid of Rats. —Take a washboiler, fill it at least two-thirds full of clean water, and put in carefully- oats enough, to cover it well, so it will look as though it were all oats. Put it where the rats are in the habit of going. Give them a good chance to get in, and you will soon clear your house of both fats and mice. Rubbing Posts. —When in a pasture cattle will frequently knock down the fences by rubbing against them. A few rubbing posts set up in a pasture will be of great convenience to the animals, and will save injury to the fences. The Bovine and Equine Maws.— The horse’s stomach has a capacity of only about sixteen quarts, while that of the ox has two hundred and fifty. In the intestines this proportion is reversed, the horse having a capacity of one hundred, and ninety quarts against one hundred of the ox. Wheat Soil.—Wheat requires, first, a well drained soil ; second, a soil that is compact; third, a soil not liable to heave; fourth, a soil not liable to be alternately strongly heated and cooled : fifth, cool, equable weather during the growing season. A Poultry Hint. —lf poultry are kept from food and drink at least twelve hours before killing, the crop and intestines will be emptied, and any superfluity of secretions exhausted. The flesh will be juicy and the fat firm. Lime. —lt has been found that the potatoes, turnips, rape, and mangels grown on well limed land are of better quality than the same produce from a similar soil to which no lime has been applied.
DISSOLVING BONES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 78, 25 March 1880
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