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BRIEF COMPEND 



AMERICA! 



AGRICULTURE. 



BY R. L. ALLEN 



PUBLISHED BY 

SAXTON <fc MILES, NEW-YORK 
T. & 31. B U TL E R, B U F F A L O. 



i846. 



.% : : •: ••: ••• 

• • • • • . ••• , . ,,, , 






N4AfN Ll»«A«Y.AOItlCUV,TOIlK Dtc 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1846, by R. L. Allen in the 
Clerk's Office of the Northern District of New- York. 



PRESS OP JEWETT, THOMAS & CO. 



.■1 

I 



PREFACE 



The following brief compend of American Agriculture is 
intended as one of the first in the scries of lessons lor tiie 
American Farujer. The size precludes its embracing any 
thing beyond the shortest summary of the principles and 
practice by which he should be guided, in the honorable 
career he has selected. As a primary work, it is not desirable 
it should comprise so much as to alarm the tyro in agriculture 
with the magnitude of his subject. A concise and popular 
exposition of the principal topics to which his attention will 
necessarily be directed, will, it is believed, in connexion with 
his own observation and practice, give him a taste for fuither- 
ressarch, which will lead him to the fullest attainment in 
agricultural knowledge, which could be expected from his 
capacity and opportunities. 

Much of what is detailed in the j)resont volume, has been 
tested by the writer's own ex})eriencc and observation. For 
the remainder, he is indebted to various oral and written 
information, derived from the best agricidturists, and especially 
from the valuable foreign and domestic agricultural periodicals 
of the present day. 

Whenever original authority could be known or recollected, 
it has been credited ; but many even of the most recent 
discoveries, have already passed through such numerous 
hands, and received so many shades of alteration or improve- 
ment, that their authors would haixlly recognise their own 
ofl'spring. It would not be strange therefore, if they had 
become incorporated in the mass of agricultural principles, 



6ft7?35 



4 PREFACE. 

without any indication of their origin. The same or similar 
discoveries and improvements, are also, not unfrequently 
made, without any interchange, by difterent minds, at remote 
distances. If any omissions of proper acknowledgment have 
occurred, the writer will be happy to correct them here- 
after. 

To the experienced and scientilic, this work may appear 
too common-place — to the uninstructed, too enlarged or 
abstruse. It was not intended to reconcile imi)ossibilities. 
The first must look to elaborate or complete treatises lor the 
fullest information on the various subjects comprehended in 
this general summary. To the last, it must be answered, 
that what is here conmiunicated, is important to be known ; 
that modern agriculture, like all other progressive modern 
sciences and arts, has necessarily introduced neM^ terms, for 
the explanation of new principles and new practices ; and 
the former must be learned betbre the latter can be compre- 
hended . 

To THE.YoUxNG Farmers of tub United States, this 
WORK IS REsrF.cTFt LLY ui^DiCATED, with the hopc, that it 
will add its mite in sustaining and carrying forward the great 
agricultural improvements of the present day. To agricul- 
ture, " the most healthful, the most usetui, the most noble 
employment of man," rather than fo any other, or pei'haps, 
to all others combined, must we look for the permanent 
strength, the glory and happiness of our great Republic. 



:^ >> > 



INTRODUCTION 



Agriculture in its most extensive sense, may be defined* 
the cultivation of the earth with a reference to the production 
of vegetables, and the conversion of portions of them into 
animals and a variety of K)rms, which are the best adapted 
to the wants of mankind. It is appropriately distinguished 
by numerous subdivisions. 

Tillage Husbandry consists in the raising of grain, roots 
and other products, which require the extensive use of the 
plow and harrow to prepare the ground for annual sowing 
and planting. 

Grazing is limited to the pasturing and winter feeding of 
farm stock, and it requires that the land appropriated to this 
purpose, should be kept in pasturage for summer food, and in 
meadows to yield the hay necessary for winter's use. In its 
strictly technical meaning, grazing implies the rearing of 
farm stock till they have attained sufficient maturity for a 
profitable market, as far as this maturity can be secured on 
grass and hay. It however, properly embraces in its minor 
divisions, the keeping of cows for the purposes of a dairy, 
and the support of flocks for the production of wool. 

Feeding in its agricultural signification, consists in stall 
fattening animals, and it is properly connected with tillage 
husbandry, by which grain and roots are produced, and by 
their free use, animals can be brought to a higher condition 
or ripeness, and they will thus command a much better price 
in market, than if fed exclusively on grass or hay. 



b INTRODUCTION. 

Breeding, technically defined, is restricted to the production 
of choice animals for use as future propagators, by the judi- 
cious selection and crossing of the best specimens of the 
various distinct breeds of domestic stock. 

Ho7'ticullvre embraces the entire departments of gardening 
and arboriculture or the cultivation of trees, which is again 
variously subdivided 

By Planting, (or the occupation of planters,) is understood 
the cultivation cf extensive farms or plantations, for the 
exclusive production of one or more commeicial staples ; as 
cotton, sugar, rice, tobacco, indigo, &c., and their preparation 
for a distant market. The term is peculiarly sectional, and 
its use, so far as adopted in this country, is limited to the 
Southern part of it. 

All of these, and various other occupations connected with 
the cultivation of the earth are comprehended under the 
general head of Agriculture. 

Besides the varied practical knowledge which is indispen- 
sable to the proper management of every department of 
agriculture, its general principles and theoretical relations 
require a familiarity with the elements of History, Geology, 
Chemistry, Botany, Anatomy, Physiology, and Mechanics ; 
and in their ultimate connexion, they involve no inconsidera- 
ble share of the entire circle of human knowledge and 
science. 

In view of its intricacy, its magnhude, and its importance 
to the human race, we cannot fail to be struck with the 
peculiar wisdom of Deity in assigning to man this occupation* 
when a far-seeing and vigorous intellect fitted him to scan 
with unerring certainty and precision, the visible works of 
his Creator, and trace their causes and effects through all 
their varied relations. It was while in the sinless perfection 
of his original nature, when *' the Lord God put him into 
the garden of Eden, to dress it and to keep it,*' and agriculture 
was his sole occupation, that his godlike intelligence enabled 
him, instinctively to give appropriate names, indicative of 



INTRODUCTIOX. 7 

their true nature or character, " to all cattle, and to the fowl 
of the air, and to every beast of the field;" and so just and 
accurate was his perception, that " whatsoever he called 
every living creature, that was the name thereof.'* 

In our present imperfect condition, a beneficent Providence 
has not reserved a moderate success in Agriculture, exclu- 
sively to the exercise of a high degree of intelligence. His 
laws have been so kindly framed, that the hand even of 
uninstnicted toil, may receive some requital in remunerating 
harvests ; while their utmost fulness can be anticipated, 
only where corporeal eflTorts are directed by the highest 
intelligence. 

The indisp disable necessity of an advanced agriculture to 
the comforts anri wealth, and indeed, to the very existence of 
a great nation, renders it an object peculiarly worthy the 
attention and regard of the legislative power. In looking to 
the history both of ancient and modern times, we find, that 
wherever a peop.'o have risen to enduring eminence, they 
have seduously enco iraged and protected this right arm of 
their strength. Examples need not be given for they abound 
in every page of their civil polity. 

Our own country has not been wanting in a moderate 
i*egard for Agriculture. By wise legislation in our National 
Congress, every item of extensive agricultural production 
within the United States, with the single exception of the 
inferior wools, is believed to be fully protected from foreign 
competition, by an unyielding and perfectly adequate impost 
on all such articles, as would otherwise enter into a success- 
ful rivalry with them from abroad. Many of our subordinate, 
or State Legislatures have also, by liberal provisions, given 
such encouragement to various objects, as they deemed 
necessary to develope the agi'icuhural resources within their 
jurisdiction. Such have been the appropriations for numer- 
ous Geological and other state surveys ; the bounties on 
diflfereni articles, as silk, hemp, and some others : and occa- 



8 INTRODUCTION. 

sionally a small gratuity to encourage the formation and 
support of State and County Agricultural Societies. 

But while we would not be unmindful of what has hereto- 
fore been effected, our duty compels us to assert, that much 
yet remains to be done. A single suggestion for the action 
of the general government and states, is all that our limits 
will permit us to make. 

The organization of a National Board of Agriculture, 
composed of able and intelligent men, expressly selected for 
this purpose, whose sole duty it should be to collect all infor- 
mation and statistics on the subject, and arrange and spread 
them before the people ; to introduce new and valuable 
foreign plants, adapted to our soil and climate ; suggest 
improved methods of cultivation; point out new avenues for 
the profitable disposal of our surplus products; and recom- 
mend such laws or their modification, as might best subserve 
this interest ; in short, who should stand as sentinels and 
defenders on the watch-tower of this great citadel — this is 
the lofty duty, and should be esteemed the peculiar privilege , 
of American Legislation to accomplish. This was a favorite, 
yet never a fully digested plan of Washington, the promptings 
of whose mind, were never followed but for his country's 
good. 

From the Legislatures of the individual States a less 
commanding, but not less beneficial duty is required. Re- 
strictions wisely imposed upon the general government, limit 
its action to such measures only as are essential to the 
general welfare, and such as cannot properly be accomplished 
by any more circumscribed authority. More liberal and 
enlarged grants from the people, (the only legitimate source 
of power with the farmers and their fellow citizens of the 
United States,) give to the State Legislatures, the power of 
doing all Avhich their constituents choose to have effected for 
their own benefit. 

Education, in all its branches, is under their exclusive 
control ; and to endow and foster every institution which has 



I\TRODUnTION. 9 

a tendency to raise and improve tlie intellectual, the moral 
and the social condition of the people, has ever been their 
cherished policy. Yet up to this time, no institution expressly 
designed for the professional education of farmers, has ever 
been established in this country. That far-seeing wisdom, 
which characterises the consummate statesman, which re- 
gards the future equally with the present and past, has halted 
upon the threshhold of the great temple of agricultural 
science, whose ample and enduring foundations have hetm 
commenced by the united efforts of the men of genius 
throughout both hemispheres. To aid with every means in 
their power in laying these foundations broad and deep, to 
elevate its superstructure, to rear its mighty columns, and 
adorn its graceful capitals, would seem, most properly to 
come entirely within the province of the representatives of 
intelligent freemen, the great business of whose lives is the 
practice of agriculture. 

In addition to continuing, and making more general and 
comprehensive the encouragement for other objects heretofore 
considered ; it is the duty of each of the larger States of the 
Union, liberally to endow and organise an Agricultural Col- 
lege, and insure its successful operation within its jurisdiction. 
Connected with them, should be example and experimental 
forms, where the suggestions of science should be amply 
tested and carried out before submitting them to the public. 
The most competent men at home and abroad should be 
invited to fill a professional chair; and if money would tempt 
a Liebig, a Boussingault, a Johnston, or a Pia}'fair, to leave 
the investigations of European soils and products, and devote 
all their mind and energies to the development of American 
Husbandly, it should be freely given. 

These institutions should be schools for the teachers equally 
with the taught ; and their liberally appointed laboratories 
and collections, should contain every available means for the 
discovery of what is yet hidden, as well as for the further 
development of what is already partially known. Minor 



10 INTRODUCTION. 

institutions should of course be established at different and 
remote points, to scatter the elements of agricultural knowl- 
edge broad-cast over the land, and luring them within the 
reach of the poorest citizens and the humblest capacities. 

By such a liberal and enlightened course, we should not 
only incalculably augment the productive agricultural ener- 
gies of our own country, but we should also in part, repay 
to the world at large, the obligations under which we now 
i*est, for having appropriated numerous and important disco- 
veries and improvements from abroad. If we have the ability, 
which none can doubt, we should make it a point of honor to 
return in kind, the liberal advances we have thus received. 

It is to the rising generation these suggestions are made ; 
the risen are not yet prepared for their acceptance. The 
latter have been educated, and become habituated to different 
and more partial influences. By their industry, intelligence, 
and energy, displayed in numberless ways, and especially by 
their protection of American labor, they have accomplished 
much for their own and their country's welfare — they are 
resolved to leave this glory for their successors. 

Buffalo, N. Y. June, 1846. 



AMERICAN AGRICULTUEE 



CHAPTER I. 



SOILS. 



Soils are those portions of the earth's surface, which 
contain a mixture of mineral and vegetable or animal sub- 
stances, in such proportions as adapt them to the support of 
vegetation. Rocks are the original basis of all soils, which 
by the convulsions of nature, or the less violent but long 
continued and equally efficient action of air, moisture and 
frost, have been liroketi into fragments more or less minute. 
There are various gradations of these changes. 

The textube of Soils. — Some rocks exist in large 
boulders or rounded stones, that thickly overspread the surface 
and mingle themselves with the earth beneath it, giving to 
it the name of a rocky soil. The smaller sizes but equal 
prevalence of the same materials, give to the surface where 
they abound, the character of a stony soil. A third and 
more minute division is called a gravelly soil ; a fourth is a 
sandy soil ; a fifth constitutes a loam ; and a sixth, in M'hich 
the particles of eailh are reduced to their greatest fineness, 
is known under the name of a clay soil. The two first 
mentioned, arc not properly distinct soils, us the only support 
of any profitable vegetation, is to be found in the finer earth 
in which the rocks and stones are embedded. In frequent 
instances, they materially benefit the crops, in the influence 
produced by the shade, moisture, and protection from ^\ inds, 
afforded by them ; and by the gradual decomposition of such 
as contain lime, potash and other fertilising materials, they 
contribute to the siipport of the soil. This last eff*ect is 
aided by the apparently worthless vegetable life which they 
yield to the living mosses that cling to their sides and every 



12 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

where penetrate their fissures, thus imperceptibly corroding 
the solid structures and preparing them lor future usefulness 
as soils. If we add to the above, a peat or vegeta])le soil, 
we shall have the material divisions of soils, as distinguished 
by their texture. 

Other classifications or Soils. — Soils are also dis- 
tinguished by their tendency to absorb and retain water, 
gravel and sand holding very little, while clay and peat 
readily absorb and retain a great deal; by their constant satu- 
ration from perennial springs, which are called springy soils; 
by the quantity of vegetable and animal matter tliey contain ; 
by their porosity or adhesiveness ; by their chemical cliarac- 
ter, whether silicious, argillaceous or calcareous ; by the 
quality and nature of the vegetation they sustain ; and lastly, 
and by far the most important, they are distinguished by their 
fertility or barrenness, the result of the proper adjustment and 
combination of most of the conditions enumerated. Deserts 
of sands, layers of rocks, stone or pure gravel, and beds of 
marl and peat are not soils, though containing many of their 
most important elements. 

It is apparent to the most casual observer, that soils fre- 
quently and by almost imperceptible degrees, change from 
one character to another; and that no classification therefore, 
however minute, will suflice to distinguish each. Some 
obvious yet simple distinctions, which are usually recognised, 
must nevertheless be assumed for future reference. For this 
purpose, and to avoid unnecessary deviations from what 
should be a common standard, we shall adopt the arrange- 
ments as made by Professor Johnston, which is based princi- 
oipally upon their chemical constituents. 

*' 1". Pure clay (pipe-clay) consisting of about 60 of silica 
and 40 of alumina and oxide of iron, for the most pari chem- 
ically combined. It allows no silicious sand to subsidewhen 
diflTused through water, and rarely forms any extent of soil. 

" 2". Strongest clay soil (tile-clay, unctuous clay) consists of 
pure clay mixed with 5 to 15 per cent, of a silicious sand, 
which can be separated from it by boiling and decantation. 

" 3". Clay loam difi*ers from a clay soil, in allowing from 
15 to 30 per cent, of fine sand to be separated from it by 
washing, as above described. By this admixture of sand, its 
parts are mechanically separated, and hence its freer and 
more friable nature. 

" 4°. A loamy soil deposits from 30 to 60 per cent, of sand 
by mechanical washing. 



SOILS. in 

*' T)". A sandy ham leavos from ()^ to 90 por cent, of sand, 
and 

"0". A sandy soil coii{[i\\\?> no more than 10 percent, of 
pure rlay. 

*'The mode of examininpf with the view of naming soils, 
as uhove, is very simple. It is- only necessary to spread a 
weiijhed quantity of the soil in a tliin layer upon writing 
paper, and, to dry it for an hour or two in an oven or upon a 
hot plale, the heat of which is not sufficient to discolor the 
paper — the loss of weight gives the water it contained. 
While this is drying, a second weighed portion may be 
boiled or otherwise thoroughly incorporated with water, and 
the whole then poured into a vessel, in which the heavy sandy 
parts are allowed to sul>side until the fine clay is beginning 
to settle also. This point must be carefully watched, the 
liquid then poured oflj the sand collected, dried as before 
npon paper, and again weighed. This weight is the quan- 
tity ol' sand in the known weight of moist soil, which by the 
previous experiment has been found to contain a certain 
quantify of water. 

" Thus, suppose two portions, each 200 grs., are weighed, 
and the one in the oven loses 50 grs. of water, and the other 
leaves 60 grs. of sand, — then, the 200 grs. oi' moist are equal 
to 150 of jn/, and this 150 of dry soil contain 60 of sand, or 
40 in 100 (40 per cent.). It would, therefore, be properly 
cuIIimI a loam, or loamy soil. 

'* But the above classification has reference only to the clay 
and sand, while we know that lime is an important constituent 
of soils, of which they are seldom entirely destitute. We 
have, therefore, 

" T\ Marly soils, in which the proportion of lime is more 
than 5 but does not exceed 20 per cent, of the whole weight 
of the dry soil. 'I'he marl is a sandy, loamy, or clay marl, 
according as the proportion of clay it contains would place it 
under the one or other denomination, supposing it to be 
entirely free from lime, or not to contain more than 5 jier 
cent., and 

'* 8°. Calcareous soils, in which the lime exceeding 20 per 
cent, becomes the distinguishing constituent. These are 
also calcareous clays, calcareous loams, or calcareous sands, 
according to the proportion of clay and sand which are 
present in them. 

"The determination of the lime also, when it exceeds 5 
per cent., is attended with no difficulty. 



14 AMERICAN AGRICULTUEE. 

"To 100 grs. of the dry soil diffused through half a pint of 
cold water, add hdf a wine glass-full of muriatic acid (the 
spirit of salt of the shops), stir it occasionally during the day, 
and let it stand over night to settle. Pour off the clear 
liquor in the morning and fill up the vessel with water, to 
wash away the excess of acid. When the water is again 
clear, pour it off, dry the soil and weigh it — the loss will 
amount generally to about one per cent, more than the quan- 
tity of lime present. The result will be sufficiently near, 
however, for the purposes of classification. If the loss 
exceed 5 grs. from 100 of the dry soil, it may be classed 
among the marls, if more than 20 grs. among the calcareous 
soils. 

" Lastly, vegetable matter is sometimes the characteristic 
of a soil, which gives rise to a further division of 

" 9°. Vegetable mordds^ which are of various kinds, from the 
garden mould, which contains from 5 to 10 per cent., to the 
peaty soil, in which the organic matter may amount to 60 or 
70. These soils also are clayey, loamy, or sandy, according 
to the predominant character of the earthy admixtures. 

" The method of determining the amount of vegetable 
matter for the purposes of classification, is to dry the soil well 
in an oven, and weigh it ; then to heat it to dull redness over 
a lamp or a bright lire till the combustible matter is burned 
away. The loss on again weighing is the quantity of organic 
matter." 

The foregoing are only such general divisions as possess 
properties sufficiently common to each, to require a treatment 
nearly similar. Besides their principal component parts, 
every soil must contain in greater or less quantities, all the 
elements which enter into the composition of vegetables. 
They may have certain substances which are not necessary 
to vegetable life, and some one or all of such as are, may be 
contained in excess; yet to sustain a healthy prolific vegeta- 
tion, they must hold, and in a form fitted to its support, silex 
alumina, carbonate of lime, sulphate of lime, potash, soda, 
magnesia, sulphur, phosphorus, oxide of iron, manganese, 
chlorine,and probably iodine. These are called the inorganic, 
or earthy parts of soils, as they are found almost ex. 
clusively in combination witli earths, salts, or minerals. 
They however constitute Irom less than 0.5 (one half of one) 
to over 10 per cent of all vegetables. In addition to these, 
fertile soils must also contain, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and 
hydrogen, which are called the organic parts of soils, from 



SOILS. \9f 

their j^reat preponderance in vegetables and animals, of which 
they constitute tVom about 90, to over 99 per cent of their 
entire substance. 

Clay soils — theiu ciiaracteuistics and treatment. 
— Clay soils are usually denominated cold and wet, from their 
strong alfmity to water, which they generally hold in too great 
excess tor rapid or luxuriant vegetation. The alumina which 
exists in clay, not only combines with water forming a 
chemical compound, but the minute division of its particles 
and their consequent compactness, oppose serious obstacles 
to the escape of such us rests in or upon it. Hence the 
necessity of placing it in a condition to obviate these essen- 
tial defects. 

The most effectual method of disposing of the surplus 
water in clay soils, is by underdraining. This draws off 
rapidly yet by imperceptible degrees, all the excess of water, 
and opens it to the free admission of atmospheric air ; and 
this, in its passage through the soil, imparts heat and such of 
the gases it contains, as are useful in sustaining vegetation. 
When these are not constructed, open drains should be formed 
wherever water stands after rains. The slight elevation 
and depression ot the surface made by careful plowing, will 
probably be sufficient, if they terminate in some ravine or 
artificial ditch, and have size and declivity enough to pass ofT 
the water rapidly. 

Clay soils are greatly improved by coarse vegetable manures, 
straw, corn-stalks, chips, &c., which tend to the separation 
of its particles. The addition of sand is very beneficial, but 
this is too expensive for large fields. Lime is also a valuable 
material for a clay soil, as by the chemical combinations 
which are thereby induced, the extreme tenacity of the soil is 
broken up, while the lime adds an ingredient of fertility, not 
before possessed by it perhaps, to an adequate extent. 
GjT)sum has the same effect in a more powerful degree. 
Paring and burning (by which the surface containing vegeta- 
ble matter is collected into heaps and fired, reducing the mass 
to a charred heap, which is again spread over and mixed with 
the soil,) produce the same result. This is a practice which 
has been long in use in different parts of Europe, and 
although attended with immediate and powerful results, it 
is too expensive for general introduction into a country, 
where labor is high, and land and its products comparatively 
cheap. 



16 AMERICAN AOHTCULTTTRE. 

The plowing of clay lands for spring crops should be done 
in the autumn if practicable, by which their adhesiveness is 
temporarily destroyed, the earth is finely pulverized by the 
frost, and they are left in the finest condition for early spring 
sowing, and without additional working. If plowed in the 
spring, it should be done when they are neither too wet or 
dry ; if the former, the earth subsequently bakes, and for a long 
time it is almost impenetrable to the hoe or the teeth of the 
harrow ; if too dry, they are so compact as to be turned over 
only with great effort, and then in solid lumps. The action 
of the atmosphere, will pvdverize these masses of baked earth 
after a time, but not sulliciently early for the convenience or 
advantage of such crops as are intended immediately to fol- 
low the plowing. 

No soils are so tenacious of the manures which may be 
incorporated with them as the clays. They form an inti- 
mate combination, both mechanical and chemical,* and hold 
them securely against waste from drainage or evaporation for 
an indefinite time, till the growing crops demand them. 
They also greedily seize upon and hoard up all such fertil- 
izing principles as are conveyed to them by the air and 
rains. We may mention as an example of their efficiency 



* By mechanical in the sense above used, is understood the external relation of 
hodics, which is nearly equivalent in its meaning in this connexion, to artificial. 
Thus the clay envelopes the manures, and frnin its impervious nature, it shields 
it from escape either by drainage or evaporation, and almost as efl'eclually as il" 
it were enclosed in an earthern vessel. 

By chemical is meant, its internal or constitutional character. Thus clay not 
only absorbs the gases which are brought into contact with it from manures, from 
moisture and from air, as a sponge absorbs water ; but it also forms new combina- 
tions with them, which change the original nature of these elementary principle.**, 
and from light evanescent gases, they bocone component parts of solid bodies, in 
which condition they are retained till exhausted by the growing vegetation. 

These terms are important, and should be clearly understood. For the sake of 
aiding the young student, we will give some further examples. Ff we take a piece 
of crystalized marble, compact uncrystalized limestone, and chalk, we shall have 
three substances exactly alike in their chemical character ; for they are a.U combi- 
nations of carbonic acid and lime associated together in precisely the same propor- 
tions, liut in their external arrangements, as they appear in a recent fracture to 
the eye and touch, that is in their OTefArt»/<;rt/ arrangements, they are all totally 
dissimilar. 

Again — If we take the pure lime (quick lime) that is obtained from each of the 
foregoing by subjecting them to an intense heat, by which the carbonic acid is 
expelled, and pour upon it nearly one third of its weight of water, great heat is 
developed and the lime both mechanically absorbs, and chemically combines with 
it, forming a new compound, or salt, which is a hydrate of lime. 

If sand (mostly si lex) be added to the lime with water, and mechayncally mixed 
or stirred together and allowed to remain for a sufficient time, they will combine 
(hemically, forming silicate of lime, (the common mortar of stone masons.) 

Sand (silex) stirred in with clay (an impure alumina) \s mechanically imxeA; 
if then subject to a strong heat as in making brick, they become chemically 
united, forming silicate of alumina, inseparable by any human means short of the 
chemist's crucible. If we divide or separate a stick by splitting or cutting, it is a 
mechanical; and it by burning or charring, it is a chemical change. Thus every 
alteration either in nature or art is referable to one of the above conditions or 
changes. 



SOILS. IT 

in abstracting vegetable nutrition from the atmosphere, that 
many of them when thrown up from a great depth below the 
surface, and entirely destitute of organic remains, (vegetable 
or animal matter,) after an exposure for some months to its 
meliorating influence, become capable of bearing large crops 
without the aid of manure. This is particularly true of the 
clays which rest on the Onondaga limestone, an extensive 
group occupying the central and north-western part of New- 
York. 

The clays are admirably adapted to the production of 
most of the grains; and the red and white clovers cultivated 
in the United States. These they yield in great profusion 
and of the best quality; and so peculiarly suited are they to 
meadows and pasturage, that they are styled by way of emi- 
nence, grass lands. They are justly characterised as strong 
and lasting soils, and when properly managed and put to their 
appropriate use, they are esteemed as among the choicest of 
the farmer's acres. 

Sandy soils and tiieik management. — The character 
and treatment of sandy soils, are in almost every particular 
the reverse of those of clay. They do not possess the 
property of adhesiveness, and they have but little affinity for 
water, which escapes from them almost as soon as it falls. 
They have but a slight hold upon the manures which are 
diffused through them; they are loose in their texture, and may 
be plowed at any time with equal advantage, provided the 
sowing or planting is to follow immediately. 

As clay soils are much benefitted by a mixture of sand, so 
likewise are sandy soils greatly improved by the addition of 
clay, yet in a much higher degree; for though it would never 
pay, as a general rule, to add sand to clay, yet the addition of 
a few loads of the stiffcst clay to a light sand, would in almost 
every instance much more than compensate for the trouble 
and expense. For this purpose, the clay should be thinly 
spread in autumn upon sward land previously plowed, and 
the winter's frost will effectually separate the particles. It 
should then be harrowed thoroughly and deeply in the spring, 
and subsequently plowed if necessary. Such a dressing on 
a light crawling land, is more than equivalent to an equal 
quantity of the best manure, and will be permanent in its 
effects. Clay and sand are necessary to each other, as 
they both contain qualities which are essential to a good soil; 
and that will always be found the best, which has the proper 
proportion of each. 



18 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

Sandy soils are improved by the frequent use of a heavy 
roller ; it cannot be used too often. They require to be 
made more compact, and any treatment that secures this 
object, will be advantageous. 

Lime, by its chemical action on the constituents of soils, 
while it separates clay, renders sand more adhesive ; and 
when cheaply obtained, it is always a profitable dressing for 
sandy soils, to the full amount they may require. Gypsum, 
in considerable quantities, has an effect similar to lime, both 
on clay and sand ; and when added in smaller portions, pro- 
duces a striking increase in the crops of sandy soils. Clay 
marls containing either carbonate, sulphate, or phosphate 
of lime, are of great value to sandy soils. Equally bene- 
ficial are ashes leached or unleached, peat, or vegetable 
manures of any kind. Some calcareous sands, containing 
a large proportion of lime, like those of Egypt and exten- 
sive regions in the Barbary States, will produce luxuriantly, 
if supplied with a slight addition of manure and an abun- 
dance of water. Sandy soils can never be profitably culti- 
vated till they have acquired sufficient compactness and fer- 
tility to sustain a good growth of grass or clover ; and 
when once brought to this condition, they are among the 
most vahiable. 

They are at all times, easily plowed and worked; they re- 
quire no draining; and though light and dry, are quick and 
kindly soils, giving an immediate and full return for the labor 
and manure bestowed upon them. When in a condition to 
produce grass, sheep are admirably adapted to preserve 
and augment their fertility, and by their incessant migrations 
over it, their sharp hoofs pack the surface closely, producing 
the same efTect as the roller. 

Gravelly soils, are in some respects similar to sand, but 
much less desirable, being appropriately termed hungry. 
They are also like the latter, peculiarly leachy, but in an 
increased degree, permitting the rapid escape of manures 
both by evaporation and drainage. Such as are calcareous 
or composed of limestone pebbles, are in a great measure 
not subject to those objections ; as the disposing affinities 
of the lime, (of which enough will be found to exist in the 
soil in a finely comminuted or divided state, which in this 
condhion is enabled to act efficiently,) have a tendency to re- 
tain the vegetable matters, thus compacting the soil, and 
holding whatever pabulum or food of plants, may from time 



BOILS. H^ 

to time be given to it for the wants of future crops. Unless 
of this latter description, gravelly soils, should not be subjected 
to tillage; but appropriated to pasturage, when sheep will keep 
them in the best and most profitable condition of which they 
are capable. 

Loamy soils being intermediate between clay and sand, 
possess characteristics and require a treatment approximating 
to one or the other, accoixling to the predominance of either 
quality. They are among the most desirable soils for the 
various purposes of agriculture. 

Marly and calcareous soils, have always a full supply 
of lime, and like the loams, they frequently incline towards a 
clay or sand, requiring a treatment corresponding to their 
character. Putrescent and vegetable manures increase their 
fertility and they are held with great tenacity till exhausted 
by crops. In durability or lastingness they cannot be 
exceeded. 

Alluvial soils, are such as have been formed from the 
washing of streams. They vary in their characteristics, 
from a mixed clay to an almost pure sand; but generally they 
combine the components of soils in such proportions as are 
designated by loamy soils, or sandy loams. When thus formed 
they are exceedingly fertile, and if subject to the annual 
overflow of a stream, having its sources far above them, they 
usually receive such an addition to their productiveness, as 
enables them to yield large crops perpetually without further 
manuring. 

They are for the most part easily worked, and are suited 
*to the various purposes of tillage and meadows; but when 
exposed to oversowing, it is safer to keep them in gi*ass, as 
this crop is less liable to injury by a freshet; and where sub- 
ject to washing from the same cause, a well matted sod is 
the best protection which can be offered against it. Many of 
the natural grasses which come into these meadows yield 
a fodder of the highest value 

Peaty soils. These are composed almost wholly of peat, 
and are frequently called vegetable soils. They are exten- 
sively diffused between the latitudes of 42" and 60° north, at 
a level with the ocean, and are frequently found in much 
lower latitudes, when the elevation of the surface produces a 
corresponding temperature. They generally occupy low 
swampy levels, but sometimes exist on slight northern 
declivities, where the water in its descent is arrested by a 
succession of basin shaped cavities. 



20 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

Their peaty character is acquired by the growth and partial 
decay through successive ages, of various aquatic plants, the 
principal being the sphagnums and lichens. In swamps, 
many of which, were probably small lakes in their origin, 
the peat is found of an unknown depth, reaching in some 
instances beyond 30 and 40 feet. On declivities and occasion- 
al levels, the peat is sometimes only a few inches in thickness. 
It is of a blackish or dark brown color, and exists in various 
stages of decay, from the almost perfect state of fallen stumps 
and leaves, to an imperfectly defined, ligneous mass, or even 
an impalpable powder. 

In its natural state, it is totally unfit for any profitable 
vegetation, being saturated with water, of an antiseptic nature 
which effectually resists putrefaction or decay. When thrown 
out of its native bed and exposed to drain for a few months, 
much of it is fit for fuel; and it is always of advantage to the 
muck heaps, as an absorbent of the liquid and gaseous portions 
of animal and other volatile manures; or it is of great 
utility when applied alone to a dry, gravelly or sandy soil. 

Cultivation of peat soils. When it is desirable to culti- 
vate a peat soil, the first process is to drain it effectually of 
all the moisture w^hich has given to it, and sustained its 
pres3nt character. The drains must be made sufficiently 
near, and on every side of it; and so deep as to prevent any 
injurious capillary attraction of the water to the surface. 
When it has been properly drained, the hummocks if any, 
must be cut up with the mattock or spade and thrown into 
heaps, and burnt after they are sufficiently dried, and the ashes 
scattered over the surface. These afford the best top 
dressing it can receive. Sand or fine gravel, with a thorough 
dressing of barn-yard manure and effete lime, should then be 
added. On some of these, according as their composition 
approaches to ordinary soils, good crops of oats, corn> roots, 
&c., may be grown, but they are better suited to meadows, 
and when thus prepared, they will yield great burthens of 
clover, timothy, red top, and such of the other grasses as are 
adapted to moist soils. Subsequent dressings of sand, lime, 
manure and wood ashes, or of all combined, may be afterwards 
required when the crops are deficient, or the grasses degen- 
erate. 

Peat contains a large proportion of carbon, and the silicates 
in which such soils are deficient, and which they procure only 
in small proportions from the farm-yard manure, but more 



SOIL8. 91 

largely from the sand or gravel, are essential to furnish an 
adequate coating for corn stalks, straw and the valuable 
glasses. As they arc exhausted they must })e again supplied 
or the crops will fail. Besides yielding an important food to the 
crop, lime is essential to produce decomposition in the mass 
of vegetable matter, as well as to combine with and aid in 
furnishing to the growing plants, such of their food as the 
atmosi>herc contains. Ashes are one of the best applications, 
as they possess the silicates, lime, potash, and other inorganic 
materials of plants iii great abundance, and in a form readily 
adapted to vegetable nutrition. Gypsum is also a valuable 
manure for peaty stnls, 

SUBSOILS AND THEIR MANAGEMENT. 

The elficiency of soils for producing good crops, depends 
much on the subsoil. If this consists of impervious clay or 
hard-pan, so as to oppose a ready escape to the water, it is 
evident the accumulation of the heavy rains, will materially 
injure the vegetation above them ; for it is certain that while 
nothing is more essential to productive crops than an adequate 
supply of moisture to the roots, nothing is more mjurious than 
their immersion in stagnant water. When such is the char- 
acter of the subsoil, it should be under-drained if possible, 
or if this be not practicable, it should be broken up and 
loosened by the use of the subsoil plow. 

A variety of plows have been constructed for this purpose, 
but unless it be intended to deepen the soil by an admixture 
of manures, care should be taken to avoid bringing up the 
subsoil to mix with that on the surface. In addition to the 
more ready escape of water thus secured by breaking it up, 
the air is also admitted, which enables the roots to strike 
deeper, and draw their nourishment from a much greater 
depth. The increased distance through which the roots 
penetrate, furnishes them with additional moisture during 
a season of drought, thereby securing a luxuriant crop when 
it might otherwise be destroyed. This is frequently a great 
item in the profit of the farmer ; as besides the increase of 
crop which follows a dry hot season when a full supply of 
moistuie is furnished, the product is usually of better quality; 
and the general deficiency of agricultural produce which 
ensues from seasons of drought, makes his own more valuable. 

As a result of this practice, there is also a gradual increase 
in the depth of the soil, as the fine and more soluble parti- 
cles of the richer materials above are constantly working 



22 AMERICAN AGEICULTURE. 

down and enriching the loosened earth below ; and in time 
this becomes good soil, which in proportion to its depth, 
increases the area from which the roots derive their niilrii 
ment. So manifest are the advantages which have followed 
the use of subsoil plows, that they have been extensively 
introduced of late years among the indispensable tools of 
the better class of agriculturists. 

When the subsoil is loose and leechy, consisting of an 
excess of sand or gravel, thereby allowing the too ready 
escape of moisture and the soluble portions of manures, the 
subsoil plow is not only unnecessary, but positively injurious. 
In this case the surface soil should be somewhat deepened by 
the addition of vegetable manures, so as to afford a greater 
depth, through which they must settle before they can get 
beyond the reach of the roots ; and the supply of moisture 
is thereby much augmented. It is better however, to keep 
lands of this character in wood, or permanent pasture. 
They are at best ungrateful soils, and make a poor return 
for the labor and manure bestowed upon them. 

If there be a diversity in the character of the sub and 
surface soil, one being inclined to sand and gravel, and the 
other to marl or clay, a great improvement will be secured 
by allowing the plow to reach so tar down as to bring up 
and incorporate with the soil, some of the ingredients in 
which it is wanting. This admixture is also of remarkable 
benefit in old or long cultivated soils, which have become 
deficient in inorganic matters and in th«iir texture. 

The effect of long continued cultivation^ besides exhausting 
what is essential to the earthy part of plants, is to break 
down the coarser particles of the soil, by the mechanical 
action of the plow, harrow, &c., and in a much more rapid 
degree, by the chemical combinations which cultivation and 
manuring produce. A few years suffice to exhibit, striking ex- 
amples in the formation and decomposition of rocks and stones. 
Stalactites and various specimens of limestone, indurated 
clays, sandstone and breccias or pudding stones, are formed 
in favorable circumstances, almost under our eye ; while 
some limestones, shales, sandstones, &c., break down in large 
masses annually, from the combined effect of moisture, heat 
and frost. The same changes on a smaller scale, are con- 
stantly going forward in the soil, and much more rapidly 
while under cultivation. The general tendency of these 
surface changes is towards pulverization. The particles 
forming the soil, from the impalpable mite of dust, to the 



SOILS. , 2^ 

liirge pebbles, .and even stones and rock^s, are continually 
broken up by tbe combined action of the vital root.s and the 
constituents of soils, by which new elements of vegetable 
food are developed and become available, and in a form so 
minute, as to be imbibed by the spongioles of the roots, and 
by the absorbent vessels, they arc afterwards distributed 
in their appropriate jilaccs in the plant. Where this action 
has been going on for a long period, a manifestly beneficial 
effect has immediately followed from bringing up and mixing 
with the superficial earth, portions of the subsoil which have 
never before been subject to cultivation. 

A subsoil which is permeable to water, is sometimes 
inii)erceptibly ))eneficial to vegetation, not only by allowing 
the latent moisture to ascend and yield a necessary supply 
to the plants, but a moisture frequently charged with lime 
and various saline matters, which the capillary attraction 
brings from remote depths below the surface. It is [)robably 
from this cause, that some soils produce crops far beyond the 
yield which might be reasonably looked for from the fertili- 
zing materials actually contained in them. This operation 
is rapidly going forward during the heat of summer. The 
water thus charged with saline matters ascends and evaporates 
at and below the surface, leavmg them diffused throughout 
the soil. After long continued dry weather, a thin white 
coating of these salts is frequently discernible on the ground. 

Where rain seldom or never falls, this result is noticeable in 
numerous and sometimes extensive beds of quiescent (not 
shifting) sand. Deposits ofltimes occur several inches in 
thickness. Such arc the extensive beds of impure muriate 
of soda and other salts in the arid deserts of California ; in 
the southern parts of Oregon ; the nitrates found in India, 
Egypt, Peru, and various other parts of the world. 

ADDITIONAL PROPERTIES OF SOILS. 

Besides the qualities of soils already noticed, there are 
several physical conditions which affect their value. They 
should be of sufiicient depth, friable, or easily pulverized, 
they should possess the right color, and be susceptible of the 
proper admission and escape of heat, air, and moisture. 

Jethro TuU, who wrote more than a century ago on the sub- 
ject of agriculture, maintained that if a soil be worked to a 
jiroper depth and perfectly well pulverized, nothing more is 
necessary to insure an indefinite succession of the most 
luxuriant crops without the aid of manures? 8Mid it oiust be 



24 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

confessed his practice, gave some apparently strong confirma- 
tions of his theory. By carrying tillage far below the surface, 
thus securing the minute division of the earth, and render- 
ing it permeable to the roots, he insured the free access of air 
and moisture, which are among the first and most important 
requisites in the growth of vegetables. 

But TuU wrote before agriculture became a science, and 
omitted to estimate the large amount of fertile ingredients 
which every crop takes out of the soil, and which can only be 
supplied by the addition of fresh materials. A succession of 
crops would therefore, so far reduce the soil as to render it 
necessary to add manures, or vegetation must inevitably fail. 
This careful laborious practice could only for the time being, 
enhance the crop and prolong its available supplies; yet in 
accomplishing even this object, his example is worthy of the 
imitation of every tiller of the soil. 

Friableness of the soil, is a quality equally removed 
from the adhesiveness of strong clay, or the openness of loose 
sand. Good loams, and fertile alluvial soils, always possess 
this property. When stirred by the plow, the spade, or the 
hoe, the earth should fall and crumble readily, although wet. 
Such a condition secures a ready admission to the roots, which 
thus easily pervade the soil, and draw from it in every direc- 
tion, their necessary support. Under draining and the 
addition of coarse manures to clay, fermented manures and 
ashes to sand, and lime and gypsum to both, will materially 
enhance their friableness. 

Color is an essential feature in soils, and like friableness, 
it has an important relation to their capacity for heat and 
moisture. Dark colored earths, and black in the highest 
degree, absorb heat more rapidly than any other when exposed 
to a temperature above their own, and it escapes with equal 
readiness when their relative temperatere is reversed, 

Jl rough pulverised surface, which is seen in the minute 
inequalities of a friable soil, produces the same result. 
During the heat of the day, especially when the sun's rays 
fall upon the earth, the dark friable soil imbibes the heat free- 
ly, and transmits it to the remotest roots, thus securing warmth 
to the plant, which is one of the necessary conditions of its 
growth. When the temperature of the air falls, on the 
approach of evening, a reversed action in the soil takes place 
by which the heat as rapidly escapes. This immediately 
brings the surface to "the dew point" and secures a copious 



BOILS. 2% 

deposit of moisture, which a friable soil speedily conveys to 
every part of the roots. 

The dew point is attained when the surface of any object 
is below the temperature of the surrounding air ; and the 
careful observer will not tail to discover the formation of 
dew, not only atler the sun has risen, and long before he 
sinks below the horizon, when the condition above indicated 
exists ; but sometimes even in the fervor of a mid-day sun, 
when the thick corn or any luxuriant vegetal^le growth 
repels his fierce rays from the earth. In many instances, 
the rank, dark growing crops themselves, when shielded from 
the sun's rays by their overspreading tops, become rapid 
condensers of atmospheric vapor, and the i)lant drinks in at 
every pore, the wholesome and nutritious aliment, and fre- 
quently collects a surplus, which streams down its sides to the 
thirsty soil beneath. The principle is further illustrated by 
the deposit of moisture in large globules on the surface of 
any vessel or object in the shade, which is sensibly below 
the surrounding temperature, as is shown by an earthen 
or metallic vessel filled with cold water and set in a warm 
room on a summer's day. 

The proper capacity of soils for imbibing and parting with 
moisture gives them another decided advantage over others 
which have it in an imperfect degree; as it is found by recent 
experiments, that rich porous soils which are readily penetra- 
ted by water and air, absorb the nutritious gases, (oxygen, 
nitrogen, and their compounds, nitric and carbonic acid, 
ammonia, &c.) largely from the atmosphere, and that they do 
this to an appreciable extent, only while moist The efiect 
of this will readily be estimated, from the well known bene- 
ficial influence exerted on the growing plant by the presence 
of these important elements. 

Light colored clays, marls and sands, are neither in their 
mechanical texture, fiiableness or color, the best suited to 
promote the growth of plants. Peat soils, from their too 
great affinity for water in their natural condition, are even 
less adapted to the object than either of the preceding. 

Schubler has found that during 12 hours in the night, 
when the air was moist, 1000 lbs of entirely dry quartz* or 
common sand, did not gain a pound ; calcareous sand gained 
2 lbs ; loamy soil 21 lbs ; clay loam 25 lbs ; such as were 

* duartz as analyzed by Bergman, gave 93 per cent, of silex; 6 of alumina ; and 
1 of oxide of iron. It comes so neat a pure silica, that in treating of if agricultu- 
rally, we speak of it as silex or silica. 

A 



26 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

rich in vegetable mould still more, while peats absorbed a 
much larger per cent, than either. 

Davy also found, that the same quantity of very fertile and 
perfectly dry soil on exposure gained 18 lbs in one hour ; a 
good sandy soil under the same circumstances absorbed 11 
pounds ; a coarse inferior sand, 8 lbs, and an almost worthless 
heath gained but 3 lbs. 

The power of soils in retaining water, is somewhat pro- 
portionate to their power of absorbing it : — 

Of its own weight. 

Quartz sand is saturated when it contains 24 per ct. 
Calcareous sand " " " 28 " 

Loamy soil " " " 38 « 

Clay loam " *' " 47 " 

Peat (about) " " " 80 " 

It is thus evident that perfection is not obtained in either 
sandy, gravelly, clay or peat soils, as they are characterized 
in the classification w(. have assumed. It is only when they 
have been improved by partial admixture with each other, 
and charged with the proper quantity of vegetable manures, 
and the salts which are requisite for their fertility ; when 
they have been drained wherever necessary to free them 
from stagnant water, whether upon or within the soil, or to 
remove any noxious springs which sometimes contain mat- 
ters in solution injurious to vegetation ; and finally when the 
subsoil is in the proper condition to facilitate the free passage 
of the roots in every direction — it is only when all these 
conditions exist, that the. fullest products from soils can be 
realized. 

It is absolutely essential to profitable cultivation, that all 
the earthy substances required by the crops should exist in the 
soil in sufficient quantities, and in an accessible form to 
supply its wants. The proportions may be various, one 
sometimes greatly predominating over another, as is sufh- 
ciently obvious in the equally productive powers of good 
clays, sands and peats; yet in every instance it will be found, 
unless owing to a heavy coating of manures, and a peculiarly 
favorable season, that they can be relied on for such constant 
results, only when they have been so ameliorated as to 
approximate towards the character of loams. 



SOILS. 



The following is an analysis of three specimens of very 
fertile soils, made by Sprengel : 







Soil near 


From the bank 


^oftheWeser 






Oeterliriicli. 


near Hoya. 


near Weseite. 


Silica, Quartz, Sand oiid Silicates 


84 510 


71-849 


83318 


Alumina 




6435 


9-350 


3-085 


(\\idc3 of Iron 




2 395 


5-410 


5 840 


Oxide of Manganese 




0150 


0925 


620 


Lime 




0-740 


0987 


0-729 


jMajxncsia 




0-525 


0245 


120 


PoUisli and Soda extracted by 


water 0-009 


0-007 


0005 


Phosphoric Acid 




0120 


0131 


0065 


Sulphuric Acid 




0046 


174 


0-025 


Chlorine in common Salt 




0006 


0002 


0006 


Ilunjic Arid 




0-780 


1 270 


0800 


Insoluble Humus . 




2995 


7-550 


4-126 


Orrjanic matters containing ni 


rogen 960 


2-000 


1-220 


Water 


• 


029 


0100 


0-150 



100 100 100 

The above had remahied for a long time in pasture, and 

the second was remarkable for the fattening qualities of its 

grass when fed to cattle. 

The following are arable lands of great fertility : 





1 


2 






3 






Fron 


Ohio. 




Soil 


Soil from Motavia. 


Soil. 


Subsoil. 




From Belgium 


Silica and fine Sand 


77 209 


87-143 


94-261 




64-517 


Alumina 


8514 


5-666 


1-376 




4-810 


Oxides of Iron . 


6592 


2-220 


2-336 




8-316 


Oxide of Manganese 


1-520 


0-360 


1-200 




0-800 


Lime 


0-927 


0.564 


0-243 


''uL'! 9-403 


Magnesia • 


1-160 


0-312 


0-310 


Garb. 
Mag 


"' 10-361 


Potash chiefly com- 












bined with Silica 


0-140 


120 I 
0-025 \ 


0-240 




5 100 
I 0.013 


Soda, ditto , 


0640 




Phosphoric Acid com- 












bined with Lime 












and Oxide of Iron, 


0-601 


0-060 


trace 




1221 


Sulphuric Acid in gyp- 












sum 


0011 


0-027 


0-034 




0.009 


Chlorine in common 












salt 


0-010 


036 


trace 




0003 


Carbonic Acid united 












to the Lime . 




0-080 








Humic Acid 


0-978 


1-304 






0447 


Insoluble llumus 


0-540 


1072 








Organic substances 












containing nitrogen 


1-108 


1011 









100 100 100 100 

" Of these soils, the first had been cropped for 160 years 
successively, without either manure or naked fallow. The 



28 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

second was a virgin soil, celebrated for its fertility. The 
third had been unnianiired for twelve years, during the last 
nine of which it had been cropped with beans, barley pota- 
toes, winter barley and red clover, clover, winter barley, 
wheat, oats, naked fallow." — {Johnston.) 

Bergman found, that one of the most fertile soils in 
Sweden contained 30 per cent, of carbonate of lime. Chap- 
tal analyzed a very productive soil in France, which gave near 
25 per cent of the same, and 7 of organic matter. Tillet 
even found one, and that the most fertile, which yielded 37.5 
of carbonate of lime. Some of the best in the Mississippi 
valley, have yielded upon analysis, 20 to 25 per cent, of 
magnesian lime, and of j)hosphate of lime, 2 to 3 per cent. 
Many other soils throughout the United States, contain an 
equal proportion of carbonate of lime. Such are always the 
last to wear out, and the first to recover by the addition of 
manures, when suffered to remain uncultivated or in a state 
of rest. 



MANURES. 29 



CHAPTER II. 



MANURES 



While soils are permitted to remain in their natural state, 
or if denuded of their original foliage and used only for pasture, 
little or no change is perceptible either in their character or 
productive powers. A slight change is however gradually 
wrought in their texture and capacity for production, which is 
fully revealed in the lapse of centuries. The elevated moun- 
tain's side, and the steep declivities of hills, support a vege- 
tation of more or less luxuriance ; and a portion of this, 
together with the broken twigs, and even the wasting matter 
of fallen trees, are carried down hy the rains and become a 
rich addition to the lower soils on wiiich tiiey ultimately rest. 
Besides the vegetable matter thus annually removed from one 
spot and accumulated upon another, many of the fertilizing 
salts, which the action of the roots, or exposure to the atmo- 
sphere has rendered soluble, and the line particles of earth 
which the aUernations of heat and frost, of rain and drought 
have reduced to dust, are also washed out of the higher soils 
and deposited on the plains and vallies below. Such, doubt- 
less, was once the condition of those secondary bottom-lands, 
which for ages probably, received the rich deposits from 
other soils, but whose present situations, elevated beyond 
even the extraordinary rise of the rivers whose course is near, 
show some radical alteration of their respective levels, by 
which the latter no longei- contributes to their fertilization. 

These soils being well stored with the food of plants, and fre- 
quently to a great depth, will bear large successive crops for 
a long period ; and they have, in many instances, been treat- 
ed by their tirst occupants as if they were inexhaustible. Of 
this description were the James river and other alluvial lands 
in Virginia, some of which were continued in uninterrupted 
crops of corn and tobacco for more than a century without the 
addition of manures. But they have long since become ex- 
hausted, and the more careful planters are now endeavoring 
to resuscitate those worn-out lands, which ought never to 



30 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

have become impoverished. Of the same character are most 
of the secondary bottoms on the Connecticut, the Scioto, the 
Miami, and other rivers. The first, although under cuhiva- 
tion for more than two centuries, in consequence of its divis- 
ion among intelhgent farmers, has fully maintained its pro- 
ductiveness ; and the latter, if properly managed, are capable 
of perpetual fertility. Although but a little more than half a 
century has elapsed since these last have been subject to the 
white man, they have already, in too many instances, been 
severely cropped. The writer has seen fields, which he was 
assured have born forty-seven large successive crops of corn, 
and exclusively from their own resources. A more careful 
tillage is however becoming general. 

The lower alluvial bottoms that are frequently overflowed, 
and thus receive large coatings of manures which are fully 
equivalent to the products taken ofT, are the only soils which 
will permanently sustain heavy crops without the aid of man. 
Such are the banks of the Nile and the Ganges, and many of 
our own rivers, which by the overflowing of their waters 
alone, have continued to yield large annual burthens, the two 
former, for more than 3000 years ; but they are thus suppor- 
ted at the expense of a natural drainage of thousands of acres, 
which by this means, are proportionally impoverished. Ma- 
nures then in some form, must be considered as absolutely 
essential to sustaining soils subjected to tillage. 

In their broadest sense, manures embrace every material, 
which if added to the soil, tends to its fertilization. They 
are appropriately divided into organic aucl inorganic ; the first 
embracing animal and vegetable substances, which have an 
appreciable quantity of nitrogen ; the last comprehending only 
such as are purely mineral or earthy, and which in general 
contain no nitrogen. These characteristics are sometimes 
partially blended, but they are sufficiently distinct for clas- 
sification. 

Much pertinacity has been exhibited by some highly intel- 
ligent minds, who should have entertained more liberal 
views, as to the peculiar kinds of manures necessary to 
support a satisfactory productiveness. We have seen that 
Tull maintained, that the deepening and thorough pulverization 
of the soil was alone sufficient to secure perpetual fertility. 
But this crude notion, it is evident to the most superficial 
modern reader, is wholly untenable. Some agriculturists of 
the present day however, while they scout at the theory of 
Tull, (who was really a shrewd man for his day,) will yet 



MANURES. mt 

claim as essential to successful vegetation, the existence in 
the soil of but a part only of the food of plants. Thus, one 
asserts that the salts alone will secure good crops ; others 
maintain that the nitrogenous substances are the true source 
of fertility; while still another class refer to the presence of 
humus or geine (the available product of vegetable and ani- 
mal decay in the soil) as the only valuable foundation of vege- 
table nutriment in all manures. Truth and sound practice 
lie between, or rather in the combination of all these opinions. 

It has been shown in a preceding page, that all fertile soils 
must have not less than 15, and more probably 16 different 
simple or elementary substances, in various combinations 
with each other. All of the ordinary cultivated plants con- 
tain potash, soda, lime, magnesia, alumina, silica, oxide of 
iron, oxide of manganese, sulphuric acid, phosphoric acid, 
chlorine, and frequently iodine ; each of which, excepting the 
two last, are in combination with oxygen. In addition to 
these, they also have carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen. 
Other substances or ultimate principles may possibly exist in 
plants, which analysis may hereafter delect, but hitherto they 
have eluded the closest investigation. 

It is therefore obvious that such principles as all fertile soils 
furnish to vegetables, must be contained in manures. It is 
no satisfactory answer to this position to assert, that nume- 
rous experiments have apparently been successful, of growing 
plants in pure sand and water ; or with charcoal and the 
salts added ; or even that there are some atmospheric plants, 
that fulfil their zooph}i;ic existence in air. Growth may con- 
tinue for a long ^time under such circumstances ; but full mU' 
turity Tiever arrives^ and probably never can, without the availa- 
ble presence in the soil of every element which enters into the 
compodtion of plants. 

Profitable farming requires that manures embodying all 
these elements, should be added in sufficient quantities to the 
soil, to develope fully and rapidly, such crops as are sought 
from it. It becomes then, a matter of the highest consequence 
to the farmer to understand, not only what substances may be 
useful as manures ; but also how to apply them in the best 
manner to his crops so far as they can be made profitable. 
We shall first speak of the inorganic manures. 

ASHES. 

If any organic matter, whether animal or vegetable, be 
burnt, an incombustible substance remains behimJ, called the 



32 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 



ash or ashes. This varies in difterent plants from less than 
1 to over 12 per cent, of their whole weight. It also varies 
with the diflerent soils upon which they are found, with the 
difierent parts of the same plant, and in the different stages of its 
maturity. Thus plants which grow on peaty or low, wet soils, 
give a less proportion of ashes, than those which mature upon 
soils that are dry or rich in the silicates and salts. The bark, 
leaves and twigs, give much more ashes than the trunks of 
trees and stems of plants : and in their early growth, they 
yield a larger proportion, than after they have attained matu- 
rity. 

The following table, constructed from several reliable sour- 
ces, but principally by Sprengel, arranged in part by Johnston, 
will shew the relative quantity of ashes found in some of the 
more important objects of cultivation : 





■s 


i 


i 


• re 

1 


i 

< 


w 


P 




ft 

JS 

fin 


c3 

i 


1 

1 




2 



1 


Wheat— Gr'n 


2.25 


2.40 


0.96 


T90 


0^26 


4.00 


0.50 


0.40 


0.10 


trace 




11.77 


" St'w 


0.20 


0.29 


2.40 


0.3-2 


0.90 


28.70 


0.37 


1.70 


0.30 






35.18 


Barley— Gr'n 
" St'w 


2.78 


2.90 


1.06 


1.80 


0.25 


11.82 


.59 


2.10 


0.19 


trace 




23.49 


l.bO 


0.4S 


5.54 


0.70 


1.46 


38.56 


1.16 


1.60 


0.70 


0.14 


0.20 


52.42 


Oats — Grain 


1.50 


1.32 


0.86 


0.67 


0.14 


19.76 


0.35 


0.70 


0.10 


0.40 




25.80 


" Straw 


8.70 


0.02 


1.52 


0.22 


0.06 


45.88 


0.79 


0.12 


0.05 


0.02 


0.02 


57.40 


Rye — Grain 
" Straw 


5.32 




1.22 


0.44 


0.24 


1.64 


0.23 


0.46 


0.09 


0.42 


0.34 


10.40 


0..32 


0.11 


1.78 


0.12 


0.25 


22.97 


1.70 


0.51 


0.17 






27.93 


Field I Bean 
Bean i Straw 


4.15 


8.16 


1.65 


1.58 


0.34 


1.26 


0.89 


2.92 


0.41 






21.36 


16.56 


0.50 


0.24 


2.09 


0.10 


2.20 


0.31 


2.26 


0.80 


0.07 


0.05 


31.21 


Field I Pea 
Pea 5 Straw 

Pota- } Roots 
toes 5 Tops 


8.10 


7.39 


0.58 


1.36 


0.20 


4.10 


0.53 


1.90 


0.38 


0.10 




24.64 


2.35 




27.30 


3.42 


0.60 


9.96 


3.37 


2.40 


0.04 


0.20 


0.07 


49.71 


4.C2.S 


2.334 


.33] 


.3241.050 


.084 


.540 


.401 


• 160 


.032 




8.284 


8.19 


.09 


12.97 


1.70 


• 04 


4.94 


.42 


1.97 


.50 


.02 




30.84 


Tur- > Roots 


2.386 


1.048 


.752 


.254 


.036 


.338 


.801 


.367 


•239 


.032 




6.303 


ueps ^ I^eav's 


3.23 


2.22 


6.20 


.59 


.03 


1.25 


2.52 


.98 


.87 


.17 




18.09 


Carrots 


3.5.33 


.922 


.657 


.384 


.039 .137 


.270 


.514 


.070 


.0.33 


.060 


6.619 


Parsneps 


2.079 


.702 


.46? 


.270 


.0241 .162 


.192 


.100 


.178 


.005 


7 


4.180 


Rye Grass 


8.81 


3.94 


7.34 


0.90 


0.31 27.72 


3.53 


0.25 


0.06 






52.80 


Red Clover 


19.95 


5.29 


27.80 


3.33 


0.14 


3.61 


4.47 


6.57 


3.62 






74.78 


White Clover 


31.05 


5.79 


23.48 


3.05 


1.90 


14.73 


3.53 


5.05 


2.11 


0.63 




91.32 


Lucern 


13.40 


6.15 


48.31 


3.43 


0.30 


3.30 


4.04 


13.07 


3.18 


0.30 


95.. 53 


Sainfoin 


20.. 57 


4.37 21.951 


2.8S 


0.66 5.OOI 


3.41 


9.16 


1.57 




69.. 57 



* Included in Potash. 

In the foregoing table, the grain, beans, peas, straw and hay are estimated after 
they have been dried in the air; the roots as they are taken from the field. The 
clovers and grass lose from .55 to 75 per cent of their entire weight when full of sap, 
lessening, of course, as they approach to the state of ripening their seed. The 
potato loses in drying, 69 per cent of water ; the turnip, 91 •, carrot, 87; the turnip 
leaf, 86; the carrot leaf, parsnep and parsnep leaf, each 81; and the cabbage, 93. 

There is much variation in the diflerent specimens of the above substances sub- 
jected to examination, according to the peculiar variety, the different circumstances 
and various stages of their growth. The oat is the most variable of the grains, one 
specimen sometimes containing three times the quantity of ash afforded by others. 
The roots also sometimes vary as three to one in their quantity of ash. As 
the grain and most of the other crops approach to maturity, the quantity of 
some of the principles constituting the ash" diminish, as of potash and soda, their 
presence being no longer necessary in the sap to aid the formation of the various 
products of the plants. 



MANURES. S8 

The farmer will perceive from this table, the great value 
of ashes to his crops. The quantity seems small in compa- 
rison with the total weight of the vegetable ; yet "small as it 
is, the aggregate of a few years will so far exhaust the soil of 
one or more of the principles necessary to sustain a luxuriant 
vegetation, that it will cease to yield remunerating returns. 
The annual exhaustion of salts from large crops of grain, roots 
and grass, is from 180 to more than 250 lbs. in every acre of 
soil. The ashes of vegetables consist of such elements as are 
always required for their perfect maturity, and it is evident 
they must furnish one of the best manures which can be sup- 
plied for their growth. They are to the earthy parts of vege- 
tables, what milk is to the animal system, or barn-yard ma- 
nures are to the entire crop ; they contain every element, 
and generally in the right proportions, for insuring a full and 
rapid growth. 

Ashes then, may be pronounced the best of the saline ma- 
nures. They are also among the most economical ; as from 
our free use of fuel, they are largely produced by almost every 
household. Good husbandry dictates that not a pound of 
ashes should be wasted, but all should be saved and applied 
to the land ; and where they can be procured at a reasonable 
price, they should be purchased for manure. Leached ashes, 
though less valuable, contain all the elements of the unleach- 
ed, having been deprived only of a part of their potash and 
soda. They may be drilled into the soil with roots and grain, 
sown broadcast on meadows or pastures, or mixed with the 
muck-heap. They improve all soils not already saturated 
with the principles which they contain. 

The quantity of ashes that sJioidd be applied to tJie acre, must 
depend on the soil and crops cultivated. Potatoes, turnips 
and all roots — clover, lucern, peas, beans, and the grasses 
are'great exhausters of the salts, and they are^consequently 
much benefitted by ashes. They are used with decided ad- 
vantage for the above crops in connexion with bone-dust ; and 
for clover, peas and roots, their effects are much enhanced 
when mixed with gypsum. Light soils should have a small- 
er, and rich lands or clays, a heavier dressing. From 12 to 15 
bushels per acre for the former, and 30 for the latter, is not 
too much ; or if they are leached, the quantity maybe increa- 
sed one-half, as they act with less energy. Repeated dres- 
sings of ashes, like those of lime and gypsum, without a cor- 
responding addition of vegetable or barn-yard manures, will 
eventually exhaust tillage lands. 



34 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

Ashes may he applied to meadow-lands, for a longer time 
than to any other crops, and for tiiis obvious reason. The 
whole surface of the soil is closely covered with vegetable 
agents, which are actively employed in drawing carbon from 
the air and soil, a large portion of which is stored up in the 
stubble and roots, which thus makes it less important that the 
organic matters should be given back to the soil, in the shape 
of vegetable or animal manures. As an instance of the rapi- 
dity with which this operation goes forward, it has been found 
that the dried roots and stubble of a clover-field the second 
year, (and after one crop for the first, and two for the second 
season had been taken off,) yielded 56 lbs. for every 100 lbs. 
of the aggregate crops of hay. An old meadow has yielded 
400 lbs. of roots for every 100 of hay for the season. Carbo- 
naceous and organic matters are constantly increasing in pas- 
tures, and they also increase for a time in meadows ; and 
will continue to do so for an indefinite period, if the ashes of 
plants are added to the soil nearly to the amount of those taken 
off. With this increase in the organic elements of vegetation, 
(if we were certain that nitrogen is accumulated in the same 
ratio, v/hicli we arc not,) it is evident that the salts alone 
would then be wanting to give the utmost luxuriance. But" 
care is necessary that they be not added in excess. 

Coal- Ashes. — The bituminous and anthracite coals afford 
ashes, and although mferior in quality to those made from 
wood and vegetables, are like them, a valuable manure and 
they should be applied to the land in a similar manner. If 
they contain many cinders from not having been thoroughly 
burned, they are more suited to heavy than to light soils ; as 
they tend to their mechanical division, which though iDenefi- 
ciai to the former, are injurious to the latter. 

Ashes of Sea- Weeds oh Marine Plants. — When from 
their quantity or remoteness it is inconvenient to carry the 
sea-weed, which abounds on some coasts on to the soil, it can 
be burned ; when it will be found to yield a laige proportion 
of ash, which is peculiarly rich in soda. This is of great 
value to the farmer. Several species of ihefuci have for a 
long period been collected and burned on the northern coasts 
of Scotland, Norway and the Baltic, forming an article of 
commerce under the name of help. Its value consisted in 
its alkaline properties, for which it was much used by the 
glass and soap-makers, the bleachers, and for other uses in 
the. arts. For these purposes it is now nearly superseded 
by soda ash, a crude carbpnate of soda, extracted by the 



MANUKE8. W 

decomposition of sea-salt ; and tlie price it now bears in 
market will bring it within the reach of farmers for some of 
the economical purposes of husbandry. 

Peat Ashes — Nearly all peat approaching to purity, 
when thrown out of its bed and thoroughly dried, will 
admit of being burned to an imperfect ash; and when it 
does not reach this point it will become thoroughly charred 
and reduced,to cinders. In both of these forms, it is a valuable 
dressing for the soil. It is always better for dry uplands to use 
the unburned peat after it has been properly composted in a 
muck heap, as the organic matters which it contains and 
which are expelled by burning, are of great benefit to the 
soil. But when they are remote, the peat may be burned at 
a trifling cost, and the ashes carried to a considerable distance 
with manifest profit. The principal use hitherto made of 
them by farmers, has been in spreading them directly over 
the surface of the reclaimed bed from which they were taken. 

LIME. 

Lime is the product of limestone, marble, marl or chalk 
afler it has been burned, or subjected to an intense heat. 
In either of the foregoing forms it is a carbonate, and con- 
tains from 43 to 46 per cent of its weight of carbonic acid, 
which is expelled by calcination. After the acid has been 
driven off it exists in its quick or caustic state, and in that 
condition its affinity for moisture and carbon is so great that 
it greedily combines with both on exposure to water, the 
earth, or even to the atmosphere; passing again into a carbon- 
ate and hydrate. It is in these latter conditions that it is 
applied to soils and muck heaps. If reduced to powder (the 
condition in which chalks and marls exist,) limestone would 
act with equal efliciency as if burnt. 

Lime next to ashes, either as a carbonate or sulphate, has 
been instrumental in the improvement of our soils beyond any 
other saline manures. Like ashes too, its application is bene- 
ficial to every soil, not already sufficiently charged with it. 
It makes heavy land lighter, and light land heavier; it gives 
adhesiveness to creeping sands or leachy gravel, and com- 
parative openness and porosity to^ tenacious clays; and it has 
a permanently beneficial effect where generally used, in 
disinfecting the atmosphere of any noxious vapors existing in 
it. It not only condenses and retains the organic matters 
brought into contact with it by the air and rains, but it has 
the farther effect of converting the insoluble matters in the 



36 AMERICAN AGlilCULTURE. 

soil, into available food for plants. It has proved in many 
instances the wand of Midas, changing everything it touched 
into gold. It is the key to the strong box of the farmer, 
securely locking up his treasure till demanded for his own use, 
and yielding it profusely to his demands whenever required. 
In its influence in drying the land, and accelerating the growth 
of plants, the use of lime is equivalent to an increase of tem- 
perature ; and the farmer somtimes experiences, in effect, the 
same benefit from it, as if his land were removed a degree 
or two to the south. The influence of lime in resuscitating 
soils after they have been exhausted, has been frequent and 
striking ; and it may be stated as an incontrovertible truth, 
that wherever procurable at low prices, lime is one of the 
most economical and efficient agents in securing fertility 
within the farmer's reach. 

It has been falsely said to be an exhauster of soils; that it 
enriches the fathers and impoverishes the sons. So far as it 
gives the occupant of the land the control over its latent 
fertility, this is true, but if he squanders the rich products when 
within his reach, it will be his own fault. Lime gives him 
the power of exhausting his principal; if he uses aught beyond 
the interest, his prodigality is chargable to his own folly, not 
to the liberality of his agent. By the addition of lime to the 
soil, the insoluble ingredients contained in it are set free, and 
they are thus enabled to aid in the formation of plants, and 
larger crops and of better quality are the results. If these be 
taken from the soil, without a corresponding return of ma- 
nure, exhaustion must follow. In the proceeding table it is 
seen, that lime constitutes in all cases, only a very minute 
part of the entire plant ; all the other ingredients must be 
added or the fertility of the soil cannot be sustained. But in 
the very abundance of the crops which lime aflbrds, means 
are provided for the maintainance of the highest fertility. If 
they are consumed on the ffirm their manure should be 
returned to the fields; and if sold, other manures should be 
procured to replace the substances from which they are formed. 

A practice which has extensively prevailed for many years 
in sections of the eastern states, consists in alternating wheat 
and clover on strongly limed lands. The plan usually adopted 
is to give one year to wheat and two to clover, sometimes 
taking off the first clover crop for hay, and feeding off on the 
ground and plowing in the after growth for manure; and 
upon this, wheat is again sown. This course has succeeded 
in bringing into fine condition, many unprofitable fields. It 



ItfANURES. 



St 



may work well for years, ])ut it is nevertheless faulty and 
improvident. Lime only is added directly. to the soil, but 
clover draws from the air and moisture whatever food it 
can attract from ihem. There remain to be added potash, 
soda, the phosphates and silicates, which the soil will soon 
cease to furnish sufficient for the wants of the wheat and 
clover removed, or stertility must inevita])ly follow. 

The best method, is to add in someform^ thefidl amount of 
all the. materiahy abstracted by the annual crop. When this 
is done, the large dressing of lime will retain the accumulating 
fertility, far beyond what the soil would be capable of were 
it not for its agency; and it is in this that the great profit of 
farming consists. 

Large crops only are profitable. The^market value of many 
indifferent ones will hardly meet the expense of cultivation, 
and it is only the excess beyond this which is profit. It is 
evident that if L5 bushels per acre of wheat, be an average 
crop, and it requires 12 bushels to pay all expenses of produc- 
tion, 3 bushels is the amount of profit. But if by the use of 
lime and ordinary manures, the product can be raised to 30 
bushels per acre, the profit would be near the value of 12 or 
15 bushels, after paying for the manures. Thus the advan- 
tage from good management may be five times that of neglect. 
This example is given as illustrating a principle and not as 
an exact measure of the difference between limed and unlimed 
land. 

Application of lime. — It may be carried oji to the ground 
immediately after burning and placed in small heaps. There 
it may be left to slack by rains and the air, or it is better to 
reduce it at once with water if accessible, and then spread 
it preparatory to plowing. A good practice is to place it in 
large piles and cover it thickly with earth, which gradually 
reduces it to powder. It may then be carried where it is 
wanted and spread from the cart. It is still better, when 
small quantities only are wanted to add it to the compost after 
it has been thoroughly air-slacked, avoiding fermentation as 
far as practicable after it has been added, as its avidity for 
carbon expels the ammonia, which is the most valuable of 
the volatile ingredients of the muck heap. A thick coating 
of earth over the whole, will arrest and retain much of the 
gas that would otherwise escape. 

Fresh burnt lime does not act on the crops during the first 
year, and it may be prepared for action as well by mixing it 



88 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

with 3 or 4 times its bulk of earth, as by spreading it directly 
upon the ground. 

Magnesmn Lime. — Many of the limestones contain mag- 
nesia and are called magnesian lime. The effect of this is 
a more energetic action and where it is found in lime, the 
same result will be produced by the application of a less 
quantity. Oyster and all other shells of marine origin, afford 
pure lime by burning. 

The amount to he used depends entirely on the soil. 
Some fertile lands contain over 30 per cent, in their natural 
state. 800 bushels of lime per acre, have been applied at 
one time to heavy clays and such soils as were full of vegetable 
mold, with decided benefit to the land. In the United States, 
the average for a first dressing, is from 50 to 120 bushels 
per acre; which may be renewed every 4 or 6 years, at the 
rate of 20 to 40 bushels. If an overdose has been applied, 
time or the addition of putrescent or green manures are the 
only correctives. 

To give lime its fullest effect, it should be kept as near the 
surface as possible; and for this reason it is well to spread it 
after plowing, taking care to harrow it well in. Allow it 
then to remain in grass as long as possible. Its weight and 
minuteness give it a tendency to sink and after a few years 
cultivation, a large proportion of it will be found to have got 
beyond the depth of its most efficient action. This circum- 
stance gives additional value to the system of underdraining 
and subsoil plowing, which enables the atmosphere and root 
to follow it, thus prolonging its effect and greatly augmenting 
the benefit to crops. It should be spread upon the ground 
immediately after taking off the last crop, so as to allow all 
the time possible for its action before the next planting 

Application to Meadows. — In addition to its other good 
effects, lime like ashes, is useful to meadows in destroying 
the mosses and decomposing the accumulated vegetable decay 
on the surface. For this purpose it may be spread on them 
unmixed, after having first passed into the state of carbonate 
or effete lime, to prevent injury to the grass. If no such 
necessity require its use in this form, it may be combined 
advantageously with the muck and scattered broadcast over 
the meadow. 

MARLS. 

Marls are composed of carbonate of lime, mixed with clay, 
sand, or loam, and frequently with sulphate and phosphate 



3IANURES 90 

of lime. They arc a useful application to land in consequence 
of the lime they yield, and when containing the phosphate 
in addition, their value is largely incvoused. The quantity 
that may be advantageously used is even more variable 
than that of pure lime, inasmuch as the quality varies with 
every bed in which it is found. They are adapted to the 
improvement of all soils, unless such as are already 
sufficiently filled with lime, and they are more generally 
useful to meadows than the pure carbonate. Their benefits 
will be greatly enhanced if the clay marl be used on liglit or 
sandy soils, and sandy marls on clay and heavy lands- 
From 20 to 400 cart loads of marl per acre have been applied 
according to its quality and the character of the land to be 
benefitted. Circumstances must alone determine the proper 
quantity to be used.* Marl should be carried out and 
exposed in small heaps before spreading on the land. 
Exposure to the sim and especially to the frosts of winter, is 
necessiry to prepare it for use. 

SHELL SAND. 

This is a calcareous sand, sometimes mixed with animal 
matter. It abounds on some parts of the coast of Cornwall, 
and on the western shores of Scotland, and Ireland. It is also 
found on the coast of France, and particularly in Brittany 
where it is known by the name of trez. This produces 
prodigious eftects on peaty, clay and other soils, to which it is 
applied at the rate of 10 to 15 tons per acre. It is so much 
esteemed for the former, that it is sometfmes carried to a 
distance of 100 miles. It is probable there are similar 
deposites on the coast of some of the Atlantic States, though 
we arc not aware of any such application for agricultural 
objects. Its great value as a top dressing, will fidly justify 
exploration, for the purpose of detecting it Avherever it may 
exist. 

*Marls may be readily analyzed by any one with a pair of accurate scales and 
weiglits, anci a large mouthed vial. To one part muriatic acid, add 2 parts water 
and fill the vial to about one third, and balance it oirthc scales. Then slowly 
add 100 grains of the pulverized marl, thoroughly dried over the fire. When the 
effervescence has subsided, expel the carbonic acid from the vial, by pouring it off, 
blowing into the vial through a rei*d or with a bellows, its greater "weight causing 
it to retain its place to the exclnsion of the air. Now add weights to the opposite 
scale till balanced, and the deficiency of grains under 100, will show the amount of 
carbonic acid expelled; and as this is combined in the proportion of 46 to 54 of 
quick or pure lime, in every 100, the loss indicates 40 per cent of the carbonate of 
lime contained in the marl. 

From the frequent presence of phosphate and sulphate of lime, and sometimes 
potash and animalizcd matters in marls, this kind of analysis seldom indicates the 
value of a marl bed for agricultural purposes. If its exact worth is to be ascertain- 
ed, there must be a more perfect analysis by an experienced chemist, . 



40 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 



GREEN SAND MARL. 
There are extensive beds of a green sand (generally 
though improperly termed) marl, which run through a section 
of New-Jersey, from which farmers have derived an aston- 
ishing addition to their crops. It is found by analysis to 
contain but a small quantity of lime, but it readily yields a 
large amount of potash, varying from 6 to 15 per cent. 
From a careful analysis of eight different specimens, Prof. 
Rodgers found in it an average of 10 per cent, of potassa. 
The effect of this applied to the barren sands which abound 
in that neighborhood, has been so favorable, that lands which 
before could be bought for $3 per acre, would afterwards 
bring $40. Several deposits of green sand in the counties 
of Plymouth and Barnstable, Mass., similar in external 
appearance to the foregoing, were explored by Prof. Hitch- 
cock, and specimens were analyzed by Dr. Dana, without 
however, detecting any qualities of decided advantage to 
agriculture. 

GYPSUM— PLASTER OF PARIS— OR SULPHATE OF LIME. 

This is a combination of lime witli sulphuric acid and 
water in the proportion of 28 of lime, 40 of acid, and 18 of 
water. It is frequently found in connexion with carbonate 
of lime, clay &;c. The use of gypsum has been attended 
with great benefit in most parts of the United States ; and 
by many of the most experienced farmers, is justly consid- 
ered as indispensable to good farming. Like all saline, and 
indeed all other manures, it acts beneficially only on soils 
which are free from standing water, or which may be satu- 
rated with it. It is felt most on sandy, loamy, and generally 
on clay soils, requiring more for the latter, and for all such 
as contain a large proportion of vegetable matter. From 
two pecks on sandy, to fifteen bushels on clay soil have 
been applied per acre; but from two to four bushels is the 
usual quantity. 

The crops on which it produces the greatest effect are the 
red and white clover, lucern and sainfoin, and the legumi- 
nous plants, peas, beans, &c. On natural meadows and 
the cereal grains, it has no perceptible influence. 

It should be sown broadcast as soon as the leaves have 
expanded in the spring. It takes 460 times its weight of 
water to dissolve it, which shows the necessity of applying it 
while the early rains are abundant, and the increased eflfect 



MANURES. 4l 

of* sowing it oil the leaves, requires that its application should 
be deferred till they have become partially developed. For 
corn, potatoes, turneps, &c., it is usually put in with the 
seed, or sprinkled upon them aller the first hoeing. 

From its great effect on the clovers, increasing them 
sometimes to twice, and in rare instances, to thrice the qan- 
tity produced without if, it is manifest that it is the most 
profitable manure which can be used, as it can be generally 
procured by farmers at from $3 to $6 per ton. Yet it should 
be fully understood, that like lime and ashes, it furnishes 
only a part of the food of plants ; and like them too, the 
addition of vegettible and animal manures is indispensable 
to secure permanent fertility. 

Extensive sections of this and other countries, particularly 
in Great Britain, apparently derive no benefit from the appli- 
cation of gypsum. This failure has been variously ascribed 
to there being already enough in the soil ; or to the presence 
of a marine atmosphere. Its great usefulness however, on 
many parts of our Atlantic coast, would seem to require 
some other explanation than the last as the .cause of its 
inefficiency. Experiment alone can determine the circum- 
stances which will justify its application, and to this test 
should not only this, but all other practices of the farmer be 
rigidly subjected. 

BONES. 

About 33 per cent, of fresh bone, consists of animal mat- 
ter, (oil, gelatine, dec;) from 53 to 56 per cent, of phosphate 
of lime and the remainder is principally carbonate of lime, 
soda and magnesia. There is no part of the bone that is 
not useful to vegetation ; it is especially so to the various 
kinds of grain, to potatoes, turneps, the clovers, peas and 
beans. The bones should be crushed or ground, and then 
drilled in with the seed, or scattered broadcast, at the rate of 
25 bushels per acre. They may be repeated in less quanti- 
ties every 4 or 5 years, or till the soil ceases to be improved 
by them, when they should be withheld till additional crop^ 
ping shall have so far exhausted them as to justify a further 
supply. 

Bones are generally boiled before using for manure to 
extract the oil and glue. This does not lessen their value 
for agricultural purposes, beyond the diminution of their 
weight, while it hastens their action. They are sometimes 
burned, which drives off all the organic matter, leaving only 



42 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

the lime, &c., to benefit the soil. This is a wasteful practice, 
though the effect is more immediate on the crops; but it is 
also more transient, and they require to be more frequently 
renewed. Bones ought always to be saved ; and if not prac- 
ticable to crush them, they may be thrown upon the land, 
where they will gradually corrode and impart their fertilizing 
properties. When partially decomposed and buried just 
beneath the surface, the roots of the luxuriant plants above, 
will twine around them in all directions to suck out the rich 
food which ministers so freely to their growth. Crushed 
bones are advantageously used with nearly an equal amount 
of ashes, or with one third their weight of gypsum ; or, as 
with nearly all other saline manures, they may be added to 
the muck heap. 

PHOSPHATE OF LIME. 

This exists in a fossil state, and is known in some of its 
forms as apatite, phosphorite^ &;c. An extensive quarry is 
found in Estramadura, in Spain, and smaller deposites of it 
have been discovered in different parts of the United States, 
under a variety of names. It is probable it may yet be found 
in such localities and in such quantity as to be useful to the 
farmer. It has been shown that more than half of the whole 
weight of bones consists of pure phosphate of lime; its value 
therefore is apparent. 

SALT -OR CHLORIDE OF SODIUM 

Is variously obtained, as fossil or rock salt ; from boiling 
or evaporation of salt springs ; and from the waters of the 
ocean. In a pure state it consists of 60 of chlorine and 40 
of sodium, in every 100 parts. Sodium chemically combined 
with oxygen forms soda ; and it will be seen by referring 
to the table, page 32, that salt furnishes two of the important 
constituents in the ash of every vegetable. Its advantage to 
vegetation are to be inferred from a knowledge of its compo- 
sition, which is fully sustained by experience. As a manure, 
salt was extensively used by the ancients, and has ever since 
been employed by intelligent agriculturists. On some soils 
it yields no apparent benefit. Such as are near the sea-coast 
and occasionally receive deposites from the salt spray, which 
is often carried far inland by the ocean storms ; or such as 
contain chlorine and soda in any other fonns, are not affected 
by it. But in other situations, when used at the rate of 3 to 
16 bushels per acre, the crops of grains, roots or grasses have 



MANURES. 43 

been increased from 20 to 50 per cent. It may be applied 
in minute portions in the hill, or scattered broadcast, or 
mixed with the muck heap. Its great aflinity for water has 
the eftect, like that of gypsum, of attracting dews and atmos- 
pheric vapor to the growing vegetation, by which it is supplied 
with moisture in a period of drought much beyond what is 
conveyed to such as are destitute of these manures. Salt is 
also useful in destroying slugs, worms, and lan^ae which 
frequently do much injury to the crops. 

SULPHATE OF SODA, (.Glauber Salts,) SULPPIATE OF MAG- 
NESIA, (Epsom Salts,) AND SULPHATE OF POTASH. 

These are all useful manures, and they act on vegetation 
in a manner similar to gypsum. This was to have been ex- 
pected so far as the sulphuric acid is concerned, which is 
common to each ; but their action is modified to a certain 
degree by the influence of the base or alkaline ingredients 
on the plants. The generally increased price which they 
bear over gypsum, will prevent their use away from those 
localities, where they exist in a state of nature, or where 
they may be procured at low rates, near the laboratories in 
which they are manufactured. 

NITRATE OF POTASH, (Saltpetre,) AND NITRATE OF 
SODA. 

These are both found in a crude state in native beds, or 
as an efflorescence ; and in this condition they can fre- 
quently be bought at a price which will justify their use. 
The first contains potash 46 i, and nitric acid 53 ^ ; the 
second, in its dry state, soda 36i,and nitric acid 63^, in every 
100 parts. Numerous experiments have been tried with 
them on various crops ; but they have not thus far, afforded 
very accurate or satisfactory resulfs. In general, they give 
a darker color and more rapid growth, and they increase 
the weight of clover, grass and the straw of grain ; and the 
former are more relished by cattle. But in the average 
effects upon grain and roots, the statements are too much at 
variance to deduce any well settled principles.* 

As a soak or steep for seeds, and especially when dis- 
solved and added to the bed where they are planted, there 
is no doubt of their great value in giving an early and vi- 

* From the decidedly beneficial effects, produced in numerous instances, may 
we not reasonably infer, that they have generally been successful, where there has 
been a deficiency of them in the soil? 



44 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

gorous start to vegetables. This enables them rapidly to 
push forward their roots, stems and leaves, thus obtaining a 
greater range for the roots and more mouths for the leaves 
to draw their nourishment from the atmosphere. 

CARBONATES, NITRATES, SULPHATES, PHOSPHATES, 
SILICATES, AND CHLORIDES. 

Several of these have just been particularly enumerated. 
The remainder are composed of carbonic, nitric, sulphuric 
and phosphoric acids, silica and chlorine, in chemical com- 
bination whh potash, soda, lime and the other bases of 
plants. Although no one of these can fail to benefit crops, 
when rightly applied, yet the expense of most of them will 
prevent their extended use. This can only be looked for 
from those which are procurable at a cheap rate. The che- 
mical laboratories, glass works and some other manufacto- 
ries, afford in their refuse materials, more or less of these 
mineral manures, which would well repay the farmer for 
removing and applying to his land. The most obvious that 
occur in this country, are all that will be here mentioned. 

OLD PLASTER. 

This is a true silicate of lime, being formed mostly of sili- 
ceous sand and lime, chemically combined. For meadows, 
and for most other crops, especially on clays and loams, this 
is worth t\vice its weight in hay ; as it will produce a large 
growth of grass for years in succession, without other ma- 
nure. This effect is due not only to the lime and sand, but to 
the nitric acid which they have abstracted from the atmos- 
phere, and which they continue alternately (while in com- 
bination) to absorb from the air and give out to the growing 
plant. But the farmer cannot too carefully remember, that 
with this, as wdth all other saline manures, but a part of the 
ingredients only is thus supplied to vegetables ; and without 
the addition of the others, the soil will sooner or later become 
exhausted. 

BROKEN BRICK AND BURNT CLAY. 

These are composed mostly of silicate of alumina, generally 
mixed with silicate of potash and other substances. They 
are of much value as a top-dressing for meadows. In addition 
to their furnishing in themselves a minute quantity of the 
food of plants, like old plaster, they serve a much more ex- 



MANURES. 45 

tended purpose, by condeiisiiig aninioiiia nitric acid and the 
gases of the atmosphere. 

CHARCOAL, 

wScatlered over the ground, produces the same effect as the 
foregoing, and probably in a greater degree ; as it absorbs 
and condenses the nutritive gases within its pores, to the 
amount of trom 20 to over 80 times its own l)ulk. The eco- 
nomy and benefit of such applications can he readily under- 
stood, as they are continually gleaning these floating materi- 
als from the air, and storing them up as food for plants. 
Charcoal as well as lime, often checks rust in wheat, and 
mildew in other crops ; and in all cases mitigates their rava- 
ges, where it does not wholly prevent them. 

BROKEN GLASS 

Is a sUicaie of potash or soda^ according as either of these 
alkalies are used, in its manufactures. Silicate of potash, 
(silex and potash chemically united,) is that material in 
plants, which constitutes the flinty, outer coating of the 
grasses, straw, cornstalks, &c. ; and it is found in varying 
quantity in all plants. It is most abundant in the cane, 
Indian corn, the stings of nettles, and the prickly spikes in 
burs and thistles. Some species of the marsh-grasses have 
these silicates so finely yet firmly adjusted, like saw-teeth on 
their sharp edges, as to cut the flesh to the bone when drawn 
across the finger. Every farmer's boy has experienced a yet 
more formidable weapon in the exterior of a cornstalk. 

It is to the absence of this material in peat and such other 
soils as have an undue proportion of animal or vegetable ma- 
nures, that we may attribute the imperfect maturity of the 
grain and cultivated grasses grown upon them, causing them 
to crinkle and fall from the want of adequate support to the 
stem ; and it is to their presence in excess in sandy and cal- 
careous soils, that the straw is always firm and upright, 
whatever may be the Aveight of the bending ear at the top. 
By a deficiency of silicates, we mean, that they do not exist 
in a soluble form, which is the only state in which plants can 
seize upon and appropriate them. The efforts of the roots in 
procuring this indispensable food are so irresistible, that they 
have been known to decompose glass vessels in which they 
have been grown. Before using, the glass should be redu- 
ced to powder by grinding. 



b 



46 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 



CRUSHED MICA, FELDSPAR, LAVA, THE TRAP R0CK3, &c. 

Feldspar conlsiins 66.75 of silica; 17.50 alumina; 12 potash; 
1.25 lime ; and 0.75 oxide of iron. Mica consists of silica, 
46.22 ', alumina, 34.52 ; peroxide of iron, 6.04 ; potash, 
8.22; magnesia and manganese, 2.11. Most of the lavas and 
trap-rocks hold large quantities of potash, lime, and other 
fertilizing ingredients. The last frequently form the entire 
soils in volcanic countries, as in Sicily, and around Mount 
Vesuvius in Italy, in the Azores and Sandwich Islands ; and 
their value for grains and all cultivated plants is seen in the 
luxuriance of their crops and the durability of their soils. 
These examples illustrate the great influence of saline ma- 
nures, and their near approach to an entire independence in 
sustaining vegetation. Whenever they become exhausted by 
the severe usage they undergo, two or three years of rest ena- 
bles them again to yield a remunerating crop to the improvi- 
dent husbandman. Granite, sienile, and some other rocks, 
yielding laige proportions of potash and some lime, abound 
throughout the eastern portion of this country. The potash 
in them is however firmly held in an insoluble state ; but if it 
be subjected to a strong heat, it may afterwards be crushed, 
and then yield it in an easily soluble form, and constitute a 
valuable top-dressing for lands. 

It is a subject of frequent remark, that the soil underneath, 
or in immediate contact with some stone walls, which have 
been erected for a long period, is much richer than the adjoin- 
ing parts of the same fields. This difierence is probably 
due, in some measure to the slow decomposition of important 
fertilisers in the stone, which are washed down by the rains 
and become incorporated in the soil. The removal of stones 
from a fertile tield, has been deprecated by many an obser- 
ving farmer, as materially impairing its productiveness. Be- 
yond the shade thus afforded against an intense sun, protection 
from cold winds, their influence in condensing moisture, 
(and the beneficial effects which perhaps ensue as injibrous cov- 
ering,) the difference may be attributable to the same cause. 

SPENT LYE OF THE ASHERIES 
Is the liquid which remains after the combination of the 
lye and grease in manufacturing soap. It is of great value 
for plants. Before its application to the land it should be 
mixed with peat or turf, or diluted with ten times its bulk of 
water. Five gallons of this lye is estimated to contain as 



MANURES. 47 

much potash or soda, according as either is used, as would be 
furnished by three barrels of ashes. It has besides, a large 
quantity of nitrogen, the most valuable ingredient of animal 
manure, which by judicious application, is either converted 
into ammonia, or serves the same purpose in yielding nutri- 
tion to plants. 



AMMONIACAL LIQUOR (from the gas-houses). 

This liquid is the residuum of bituminous coal and tar used 
in making gas, and holds large quantities of nitrogen, from 
which ammonia is frequently extracted. When used for land 
near by, it may be carried to the muck-heap in barrels ; and 
when at remote distances, gypsum or charcoal dust may be 
added to the barrel, stirring it well for some time, and then 
closely covering it. The gypsum and charcoal soon combine 
with the ammonia, when the liquid may be drawn off, and the 
solid contents removed. It is a powerful manure, and should 
be sparingly used. 



GUANO 

Is derived exclusively from the animal creation, but from 
its existence in a highly condensed state, and in combination 
with large proportions of the salts, and having by its accu- 
mulation through thousands of years lost the distinguishing 
characteristics of recent animal matter, it may almost be con- 
sidered as a fossil, and is properly enough classed under the 
head of inorganic manures. It is the remains of the dung, 
feathers, eggs, food and carcasses of innumerable flocks of 
marine birds, which have made some of the islands in the 
Pacific and Atlantic oceans, places of resort for rearing their 
young through unknown ages. It is found in the Pacific, 
near the coast of Peru, between latitude 13° and 21° south, 
where the rain never falls; and in some places it has accumu- 
lated to the enormous height of 60 and 80 feet. Yet such has 
been the demand for this justly popular fertilizer, that over 
373,000 tons were imported into England from July 1844, to 
the same period in 1845, at an average value of $33 per ton. 
A comparatively small amount has been taken to other coun- 
tries, including the United States. Its value has been known 
and appreciated from time immemorial by the Peruvians, who 
transferred it to the continent, and used it for various crops. 



48 AMERICAN AGRICITLTUKE. 

Different specimens vary greatly as to quality. The 
average analysis of Dr. lire's examinations is : 

Organic matter containing nitrogen, including urate 
of ammonia, and capable of affording from 8 to 17 per 
cent, of ammonia by slow change in the soil, 50 

Water 11. Phosphate of lime 25, 36 

Ammonia, phosphate of magnesia, phosphate of am- 
monia and oxalate of ammonia, containing from 4 to 9 
per cent, of ammonia, 13 

Silicious matter from the crops of birds, 1 

100 

The above analysis shows a strongly concentrated manure, 
and it is certain it is much above the medium, as the sand 
alone is sometimes 15 or 20 per cent. It is applied to roots, 
grain and other cultivated crops, and as a top dressing for 
grass; but it has thus far proved of most value to the former. 
Before using it as a top dressing, it is mixed with twice its 
bulk of fine earth, ashes, plaster or charcoal dust. The 
proper quantity is from 200 to 400 lbs. per acre, sown 
broadcast and harrowed in, or supplied in two dressings; the 
first soon after the plants appear, but not in contact with 
them ; the last, 10 or 14 days after, and immediately before 
moist or wet weather. The crops on poor soils are much 
improved, while those on rich lands, have in some cases, 
been injured by it. For hot houses and many minor pur- 
poses it is a desirable manure, and in solution it is very 
convenient as an occasional dressing. It is thus prepared 
by dissolving 4 lbs. in 12 gallons of water, 24 hours before 
using. On account of its volatile character, it should be 
closely covered till wanted. 

SOOT, 

Like ashes, has its origin exclusively from vegetables, 
but may with them, be properly treated under the present 
head. It holds ammonia, charcoal and other rich ingredi- 
ents, and is used at the rate of 50 to 300 bushels per acre. 
It produces its greatest eftects in moist weather, and in dry 
seasons, it has sometimes proved positively injurious. It 
may be sown broadcast over ihe field and harrowed in, or 
mixed with such other manures as are intended for immedi- 
ate use. The ammonia has a great tendency to escape, 
which can only be prevented, by adequate absorbents, as 



MANURES. 49 

earth or the like. Many experiments made with it have 
proved contradictory. In some, it has been shown to be 
useless for clovers, while it has proved of great service to 
several of the grasses. Salt enhances its effects. In an 
experiment made in England with potatoes, on three sepa- 
rate acres ot' land of equal quality one without manure, 
gave 160 bushels ; one manured with 30 bushels of soot, 
yielded 19C ; and the third, which received the same quan- 
tity of soot and seven bushels of salt, yielded 236. 






h 



50 AMERICAN AGKICULTUEE. 



CHAPTER III. 



ORGANIC MANURES. 

THE PRINCIPLES CONSTITUTING ANIMAL AND VEGE^ 
TABLE -PUTRESCENT OR ORGANIC MANURES. 

From the table in the foregoing pages on the ashes of 
plants, to which reference has been frequently made, it is 
shown that in burning dried vegetables, they lose from 
about 95 to 99 per cent, of their whole weight. The mat- 
ter that has been expelled by heat, consists of four substan- 
ces or ultimate principles ; carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and 
nitrogen, of which carbon makes up from 40 to 50 per cent, 
or about one half of the whole. 

Carbon constitutes all of charcoal but the ash ; nearly 
all of mineral coal, and plumbago or black lead ; and even 
the brilliant diamond is but another form of carbon. The 
properties and uses of carbon are various and important ; 
its agency in the growth of plants alone concerns us at the 
present time. 

Carbonic Acid, — When any matter containing carbon is 
burnt, its minute particles or atoms combine with the 
oxygen which exists in the atmosphere, and form carbonic 
acid, consisting by weight of 6 of the former and 16 of the 
latter. When animals inhale air into their lungs a similar 
union takes place ; the carbon contained in the system being 
brought to the surface of the lungs, and after uniting with 
the oxygen as carbonic acid, is expelled. Pure lime- 
stone or marble loses 46 per cent, of its weight by burning; 
and all of this loss is carbonic acid, which it slowly absorbs 
again on exposure to the air, or to such substances as con- 
tain it. It is evolved by fermentation, and if the surface of 
a brewer's vat in full activity be closely observed in a clear 
light, it may be seen falling over the edges, when it gradu- 
ally mingles with the air. Its density is such that it may bo 



ORGANIC MANURES. 51 

poured from one open vessel into another, without material 
loss. It is this which gives to artificial soda water and to 
mineral springs (as the Saratoga) their sparkling appearance 
and acifl flavor. It abounds in certain caves, sunken pits, 
and wells, which destroy animal life, not from any intrinsic 
poisonous qualities, but from its excluding oxygen, which is 
essential to respiration. And it is from the same cause, 
that death ensues to such as are confined in a close room 
where charcoal is burnt. 

This acid is an active and important agent in the inces- 

ant changes of nature. It is everywhere formed in vast 
f|uanfitics, by subterranean fires and volcanoes. Though 
heavier than atmospheric air, it mingles with it and is car- 
ried as high as examinations have yet been made, consti- 
tuting in bulk, about one part in 1000 of the atmosphere, 
and something more than this in weight. Gay Lussac 
ascended in a balloon •21,735 feet, and there filled a bottle 
with air, which analysis showed to be identical in composi- 
tion with that on the surface of the earth. Carbon is one of 
the great principles of vegetation, and it is only as carbonic 
acid, that it is absorbed by the roots, leaves and stems of 
vegetables, and by them is condensed and retained as solid 
matter. 

Oxygen, hy«lrogen and nitrogen, when uncombined with 
other substances, exist only as gases. The first makes up 
nearly one half of all the substances of the globe ; and with 
the exception of chlorine and iodine, it constitutes a large 
part of every material in the ash of plants. It forms rather 
over 21 per cent, by measure, and 23 by weight of the whole 
atmosphere ; and about 8 parts out of nine by weight of 
water, hydrogen making up the remainder. It is absorbed 
and changed into new products by the respiration of ani- 
mals, and it is an essential agent in combustion. Oxides 
are composed of it in union with the metals, alkalies, &c. ; 
and most of the acids, as when combined with other substan- 
ces, nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus. Its presence indeed, 
is almost universal; and the agency which it exerts in vegetn- 
ble nutrition, is among the most varied and intricate mani- 
fested in vegetable life. 

Hydrogen is thelightestof all the gases. It is but 1.14th 
the weight of the atmosphere, and l-16th the weight of oxy- 

en ; and from its great levity, it is used for filling balloons. 

t burns with a light flame when brought into contact with 



f, 



52 A3IERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

atmospheric air on applying a lighted taper, the combustion 
forming water. 

It is largely evolved from certain springs, in connexion 
with carbon or sulphur and is called carburetted and sul- 
phuretted hydrogen, an offensively pungent and inflamma- 
ble gas. So abundantly is this emhted from the earth in 
some places, that it is used for economical purposes. The 
inhabitants about the village of Fredonia, N. Y., light their 
buildings with it ; and some of the salt manufacturers in 
the valley of the Ohio, apply it to evaporating the water of 
the saline springs. Carburetted hydrogen is the gas 
now employed for lighting cities. It is manufactured from 
oils, fat, tar, rosin and bituminous coal, all of which yield 
large quantities of carbon and hydrogen. Both the carbon 
and hydrogen are entirely consumed with a brilliant light, 
when inflamed and exposed to the oxygen of the atmosphere. 
It is the residuum of these substances, after driving off the 
gas, which makes the ammoniacal liquor so useful as a 
manure ; all the nitrogen with a part of the hydrogen 
remaining. In combination with chlorine, one of the ele- 
ments of salt, it constitutes the muriatic, one of the strongest 
of the acids. 

Amrmmia. — The most frequent condition besides water in 
which hydrogen is mentioned in connexion with vegetation, 
is when combined with nitrogen in the proportion of 3 of the 
former in bulk, to 1 of the latter; and by weight, 17.47 of 
the first, to 82.53 of the last, in every 100 parts, composing 
the volatile alkali, ammonia, which is about 6-lOths the den- 
sity of the atmosphere. By strong compression at a low 
temperature, it may be condensed to a liquid having rather 
more than 3-4ths the specific weight of water. It is never 
found in a tangible shape, except in combination with acids, 
forming carbonates, nitrates, sulphates, muriates, &c. of 
ammonia. 

Nitrogen exists in the atmosphere to the extent of about 
79 per cent. The principal purpose it appears to fulfil in 
this connexion, is in diluting the oxygen, which in its pure 
state acts with too great intensity on animal life, in com- 
bustion, and all its various combinations. So great is the 
attraction of undduted oxygen for iron, that a wire ignited 
by a taper and plunged into ajar of oxygen gas, will itself 
lake fire and rapidly melt into irregular drops. This is 
nothing more than an illustration of the principle exhibited 



OROANTC MANURES. 



h 



(in an intt-nac degree) in the gradual rusting wliich lakes 
place in the air at its ordinary temperature ; or the more 
rapid tbrmation of the scales under the heat of the black- 
smith's forge. All are simple oxidations of the metal, or the 
combination of oxygen with iron ; and we see in the com- 
parison, the immensely accelerated effect produced by the 
absence of nitrogen. 

Nitric acid is another compound of great importance to 
vegetatio!>. It is simply nitrogen and oxygen ; the identical 
materials which compose the atmosphere, combined in differ- 
ent proportions, 26.15 parts by weight of the former, and 
73.85 of the latter in every 100. This acid in union with 
potash, forms nitrate of potash, or saltpetre ; and with soda 
foniis nitrate of soda. The last is found in immense beds and lies 
upon and immediately under the surface of the earth in Chili, 
India and Spain. From Chili it is exported in large quanti- 
ties, and has been extensively used in England of late years, 
Jis a manure. 

It has been deemed relevant to our subject to say thus much 
respecting some of the most striking characteristics of those 
four simple principles, which make up an average of mon^ 
than 98 per cent, of all living vegetables. And here a mo- 
ment's reflection irresistibly forces from us an expression of 
wonder and admiration at that Wisdom and Omnipotence, 
which, out of such limited means, has wrought such varied 
and beautiful results. Every plant that exists, from the 
obscure sca-weed 100 fathoms below the surface of the ocean, 
to the lofiy pines that shoot up 300 feet in mid-air; and 
from the clinging moss that seems almost a part of the rock 
on w hich it grows, to the expanded banyan tree of India, with 
its innumerably connected trunks, overshadowing acres ; 
every thing that is pleasant to the taste, delightful to the eye, 
and grateful to the smell, equally with whatever is nauseous, 
revolting and loathsome, are only products of the same 
materials, slightly differing in association and arrangement. 

BARN. YARD MANURE. 

The first consideration in the management of manures, is 
to secure them against all waste. The bulk, solubility and 
peculiar tendency to fermentation of barn-yard manure, ren- 
ders it a matter of no little study so to arrange it as to pre- 
sence all its good qualities and apply it undiminished to the 
soil. A part of the droppings of the cattle are neces- 



54 AMF.RIOAN ACRICTTLTrRE. 

sarily left In the pastures, or about the slacks where they are 
fed; though it \6 better, for various reasons, that they should 
never receive their food from the stack. The manure thus 
left in the fields, should be beaten up and scattered with light 
long-handled mallets, immediately after the grass starts in 
the spring, and again before the rains commence in the 
autumn. With these exceptions, and the slight w aste which 
may occur in driving cattle to and from the pasture, all the 
manure should be dropped either in the stables or yards. 
These should be so arranged that cattle may pass from one 
directly into the other; and the yard should if possible, be 
furnished with running water. There is twice the value of 
manure wasted annually on some farms in sending the cattle 
abroad to water, that would be required to provide it for them 
in the yard for 50 years. • 

The premises where the manure is dropped, should be kept 
as dry as possible ; and the eaves should project several feet 
beyond the side of the building so as to protect the manure 
thrown out of the stables, from the wash of rains. The barns 
and all the sheds should have eave-troughs to carry off the 
water, which if saved in a sufficiently capacious cistern, 
would furnish a supply for the cattle. The form of the yard 
ought to be dishing towards the centre, and if on sandy or 
gravelly soil, it should be puddled or covered with clay to 
prevent the leaking and escape of the liquid manure. The 
floors of the stables may be so made, as to permit the urine 
to fall on a properly prepared bed of turf under them, where it 
would be retained till removed ; or it should be led off by 
troughs into the yard or to a muck heap. 

It is better to feed the straw and coarse fodder, which can 
always be advantageously done by cutting and mixing it with 
meal or roots. When it is not thus consumed, it may first 
be used as litter for the cattle, and as it becomes saturated 
with the droppings, it should be thrown into the yard. If the 
cattle are fed under sheds, the whole surface ought to be 
covered with such straw, refuse forage, &;c. as can be col- 
lected ; and if there is a deficiency of these, peat or any turf 
well filled with the roots of grass, and especially the rich 
wash from the road side may be substituted. The manure 
may be allowed to accumulate through the winter, unless it 
be more convenient to carry it on to the fields. When the 
warm weather approaches, a close attention to the manure is 
necessary. The escape of the frost permits circulation of the 



ORGANIC MANURES. ^ 

air through it, and the increasing heat of the tsun promotes 
its decomposition. 

LoNc; AND Short Manure. — The question has been often 
mooted as to the comparative advantages of long and short 
manure, {the fermented and unfermented.) This must depend 
on the use for which they are designed. If intended for the 
garden beds, or for loose light soils, or as a top dressing for 
meadows, or any crops, or if needed to kill any noxious seeds 
incorporated with the heap, it should be fermented ; if for 
hoed crops in clay or loamy soils, it should be used in as 
fresh condition as possible. Loose soils are still flirther 
loosened tor a time by long manure, and much of ifs volatile 
parts is lost before it is reduced to mold ; while adhesive and 
compact soils are improved by the coarse vegetables which 
tend to their separation ; and all the gases which are set 
free in fermentation, are combined and firmly held in the 
soil. 

Decomposition of Manures. — Three conditions are 
essential to produce rapid decomposition in manure ; air, 
moisture and a temperature above 65% and these except in 
frosty weather, are generally present in the heap. The 
gradual chemical changes going on in all manures, but most 
actively in the excrements of the horse and sheep where they 
have sufficient air and moisture, induce an elevation which 
keeps them always above the low temperature of the sur- 
rounding air. If the manure be trodden compactly and satu- 
rated with water, the air cannot circulate, and if its tempera- 
ture be likewise kept down, it will be preserved a long time 
unchanged. The fermentation of manure should go forward 
when thoroughly blended with all the vegetable and liquid 
fertilizers about the premises, including urine, brine, soap- 
suds, ashes, gypsum and coal-dust ; the last three substances 
combining with the ammonia as it is formed. Over all these 
should be placed a good coating of turf, peat or fine mould, 
which will absorb any gases that escape the gypsum, &c. 
Old mortar or effete lime may also be added for the formation 
of nitric acid. It draws this not only from the materials in 
the heap, but largely also from the nitrogen of the air ; it 
having been ascertained in the manufacture of saltpetre, 
(nitrate of potash,) that the amount of nitrogen in the salt, is 
greatly increased above that in the manure used. The 
absorption of nitre by lime in a course of years, is found to 
be large, as is seen by the practice of the Chinese farmers, 
who to secure it will gratuitously remove the old plaster on 



56 AMERICAN AORICULTlTRr.. 

walls and replace it with new. If required to hapten decay, 
and especially if there be intractable vegetableftj, as broom 
and other corn-stalks, or such as have seeds that ought to be 
destroyed, they may be well moistened and thrown together 
in layers three or four inches thick; and on each may be 
strewn a liberal coating of fresh unslacked lime reduced to 
powder. This promotes decomj)ositioi), and when it is ilxr 
enough advanced, the whole may be sparingly added to the 
general mass, as the lime will by that time have become 
mild. These coarse materials, when remote from the cattle 
yard, may be at once burnedj and the ashes added to the soil, 
or they may be buried in furrows, where the ground will not 
be disturbed, till they are entirely rotted. 

When thoroughly decomposed, tlie manure heap will have 
lost half its original weight, most of which has escaped a:^ 
water and carbonic acid. It may then be carted on to the 
ground, and at once incorporated with it; or if intended for 
a top dressing, it should be scattered over it immediately 
before or during wet weather. For the protection of the 
manure, it would be well to cover it with a roof and convey 
off all the water from the eaves. This will prevent any 
waste of the soluble matter and promote the escape of mois- 
ture by the free circulation of air, which to the extent of this 
evaporation, will lessen the labor of hauling. 

Tanks for holding liquid manure have long been in 
use. They should be convenient to the stalls and yards, and 
tight drains should convey into them every particle of the 
urine and drainage from the manure. In com})act clay they 
may be made by simply excavating the earth, and the sides 
can be kept from falling in, by a rough wall or by planks sup- 
ported in an upright position, by a frame-work of joice. Bui 
in all cases the cisterns should be closely covered to prevent 
the escape of the ammonia, which is developed while ferment- 
ing. In porous soils, it is necessary to construct them with 
stone or brick laid in water-lime or cement. 

When. partially filled, fermentation will soon take place in 
the tank, and especially in warm weather ; gypsum or char- 
coal should then be thrown in to absorb the ammonia. A few 
days after decomposition commences, it should be pumped 
into casks and carried on to the land. If intended for water- 
ing plants, it must be diluted sufficiently to prevent injury to 
them. The quantity will depend on the strength of the 
liquid, and the time it is applied, much less water being 
necessary to dilute it in a wet than in a dry time. By fer- 



ORGANIC BIA NUKES. 57 

inenting iu the open air and undiluted, it lias been found that 
in six weeks, cow's urine will lose nearly one half of its solid 
matter or salts, and 6.7ths of its ammonia ; while that which 
had been mixed with an equal quantity of water, lost only 
1.18th of the former and 1.9th of the latter. The stables 
and troughs leading to the tank should be frequently washed 
down and sprinkled with gypsum. This last will absorb 
much of the ammonia which would otherwise escape. Some 
loss of the volatile matter must be expected, and the sooner 
it is used alter proper fermentation or ripeness, as it is termed, 
the greater will be the economy. 

Liquid maxuke applied to the muck heap. — As a 
general rule, it is more economical and a great saving of labor 
to keep the urine above ground and mix it at once with the 
manure ; but in this case vegetable or earthly ab3orbent3 
mast be adequately supplied ; and in addition, the heap ought 
frequently to be sprinkled with gypsum or charcoal. Rich 
turf, the wash of the road-side, tan-bark or saw-dust, and all 
refuse vegetables may be used for this purpose, and so placed 
that the liquid can run on to them, or be deposited where it can 
be poured over it. The same protection of a rough open shed 
should be given to this as to the other heap?, to facilitate evapo- 
ration and prevent drenching from rains. When fully satu- 
rated with the urinary salts and all is properly decomposed, it 
may be carried out for use, or closely covered with earth till 
wanted. The decomposition is in a great measure arrested 
by covering with compact earth thoroughly trodden together ; 
this prevents the access of air, which is esse ntial to its 
progress. 

A simple yet economical mode of saving the liquid manure, 
irT sometimes adopted in Scotland, and is thus detailed: 

** We divide a shed into two compartments, one of which we 
make water-tight, by puddling the side walls with clay to the 
height, say, of two feet, and separated from the other com- 
partment by a low water-tight wall or bo:irding. This is my 
f'^M-menting tank, which is filled half or three parts full of pul- 
verized burnt peat, and the liquid manure from the stable, pig- 
styes, Ajc, directed into it. This is mixed up with the pul- 
verized peat, and allowed to remain three or ibur weeks, till 
the decomposition seems about completed, being occasionally 
stirred about afl<'r the composition has become about the con- 
sistency of gruel. The whole is then ladled (with a pole and 
bucket) over the low partition into the second floor, which is 
also three parts tilled with the carbonized peat ; and as the 



58 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

second floor is meant mej-ely as a (iltcr, we have it louver cii 
one side than the other, by which means, in the course of a 
day or two, the carbonized peat is left comparatively drv. 
The water having passed off at the lower side, the first or 
fermenting floor is again (Hied as before, and the contents of 
the second floor, if considered saturated enough, arc then 
shovelled up into a corner, and allowed to drip, and further 
dry till used, which may be either immediately, or at the end 
of twenty years, as scarcely anything will alTect it, if not ex- 
posed to the continued washing of pure water, or exposed to 
the influence of the roots of growing- plants. By being 
thinly spread on a granary floor, it soon becomes perfectlv 
dry, and suited to pass through drill machines. 

'* The mixing of the carbonized peat with the liquid manure 
on the first or fermenting floor, it will be observed, is for 
laying hold of the gaseous matters as they escape during the 
fermentation ; perhaps other substances may effect this mon^ 
(effectually, but none so cheaply. I think by this plan it will 
be obvious to every one that a great many desiderata are at 
once obtained. In the first place, you get fVee of over 900 
parts out of every 1,000 of the weight and bulk of manure, by 
the expulsion of the water ; while at the same time you link 
all the fertilizing properties contained in it to one of the most 
handy vehicles — light, cleanly, and portable, and possessed 
of the peculiar property of holding together the most volatile 
substances, till gradually called forth by the exigencies of the 
growing plants. Lastly, you get free of the tank, hogshead 
and watering cart, with all its appendages, and are no more 
bothered with overflowing tank, or ovcrfermentedliquidj with 
weather unsuited to its application. You have merely to 
shovel past the saturated charcoal, and shovel in a little fresh 
stuff, and the process goes on again, while the prepared stuffs 
lie ready for all crops, all seasons and all times." 

Value of Liquid Manures. — TJie urine voided from a 
single cow is considered in Flanders, where agricultural 
practice has reached a high state of advancement, to bo 
worth 810 per annum. It furnishes 900 lbs. of solid matter, 
and at the price of ^50 per ton, for which guano is frequently 
sold, the urine of a cow for one year is worth $20. And 
yet economical farmers will continue to waste urine and buy 
guano ! " The urine of a cow for a year will manure 1 i 
acres of land, and is more valuable than its dung, in the ratio 
by bulk, of 7 to 6 : and in real value ns 2 to 1," — Dana. 



ORGANIC MANURES. SO 

• 

Ifuw important then, that every particle of it be tdrefully 
liii:> banded tor the eropa. 

The avcra^ie urine of the eow, as analyzed by Sprengel, 
contains 9J.(i per cent, of water ; that of the horse, 94 ; the 
sheep, 96 ; the hog, 92.6 ; and the human, 93.3. The 
remainder is composed of salts and rich vegetable food ; 
but the human is far richer in these than' any other. The 
quantity and value of urine varies much, and depends on 
the food and licpiid taken into the stomach, the loss by 
perspiration, &^c. 

Solid Animal manures. — Of these Horse dung is the 
richest and the easiest to decompose. If in heaps, fermenta- 
tion will sometimes commence in 24 hours; and even in mid- 
winter if a large pile be accumulated, it will proceed with 
great rapidity; and if not arrested, a few weeks under favor- 
able circumstances, are sutHcient to reduce it to a small part 
of its original weight and value. Boussingault, one of the 
most careful observers of nature, as well as an accurate 
experimental chemist, states the nitrogen in fresh dried horse 
dung to lie 2.7 per cent. The same manure laid in a thick 
stratum and permitted to undergo entire decomposition, loses 
9-10 of its whole weight, and the remaining tenth when 
dried, gives only 1 per cent, of nitrogen Such are the 
losses which follow the neglect of inconsiderate farmers. 
Peculiar care should therefore be taken to arrest this action 
at the precise point desired. 

The manure of Sheep is rich and very active, and next to 
that of the horse is the most subject to heat and decompose. 
The manure of Cafile and Swine being of a colder nature, 
may be thrown in with that of the horse and sheep in alter- 
nate layers. If fresh manure be intermixed with straw and 
other absari)ents, (vegetables, peat, turf, &c.) and constantly 
added, the recent coating will combine with any volatile 
matters whicli ferm3ntation developes in the lower part of 
the mass. Frecjuent turning ol* the manures is a practice 
attended with no benelit, but with the certainty of the escape 
of much of its valuable properties. Many farmers assign a 
distinct or peculiar merit to the ditlerent manures. Much of 
this opinion is fanciiul, for there is frequently more difierence 
in the comparative value of that from the same species, and 
even the same individual, at different times and under differ- 
ent circumstances, than from those of different species. 

TIte diversity in manures may arise from several causes. 
The more thoroughly the food is digested and its nutritive 



00 AMERICAN AGKlCULTtKE. 

qualities extracted, the Icnti is the vahie of the manure. Thus 
oil the same quantity and quality of food, a growing animal, 
or a cow in calf, or giving milk, yields a poorer quality of 
foeces, then such as arc not increasing in weight, and if the 
animal be actually losing condition, the richness of the ma- 
imre is very much increased. The quality of food adds 
materially to this difference, the richest giving by far the 
most valuable manure. Those animals which are kept on a 
scanty supply of straw or reiiise hay, yield manure little better 
than good turf, and far inferior to the droppings of such a>; 
are highly fed. The imperfect mastication of the horse and 
mule, in comparison with the ruminating animals, the ox and 
sheep, their generally better quality of food, and the fact 
ihat for the greater part of their lives they are not adding to 
their carcass, is the cause of the increased value of their 
manure. Their solid foeces are also much richer than those 
of the cow, as they void less urine and this is of an indiffer- 
ent character. In a long series of carefel experiments, made 
at Dresden and Berlin by order of the Saxon and Prussian 
governments, it was ascertained that soil which would yield 
3 for 1 sown, when dressed with cow dung would give 7 ; 
with horse dung 10; and with human 14. 

POUDRETTE AND URATE. 

Poudrette is the name given to the human foeces after they 
liave been mixed with charcoal dust or charred peat, by wliich 
it is disinfected of its effluvia, and when dried if become?; a 
convenient article for use, and even for remote transportation. 
The odor is sometimes expelled by adding quick lime, but 
this removes with it much of the ammonia, and on this ac 
count should always be avoided. 

Urate as well as poudrette, has become an article of 
commerce. It is manufactured in large cities by collecting 
the urine and mixing with it 1-6 or 1.7 of its weight of 
ground gypsum, and allowing it to stand several days. This 
combines with a portion of the ammonia, after which it is 
dried and the liquid is thrown away. Only a part of the 
value is secured by this operation. It is sometimes prepared 
by the use of sulphuric acid, which is gradually added to urine 
and forms sulphate of ammonia, which is afterwards dried. 
This secures a greater amount of the valuable properti.^s of 
the urine; but even this is not without waste. 

Night soih— From the analysis of Borzelius, the excrements 
of a healthy man yielded water^ 733; albumen, 9; bile, 9: 



OttOANiC MAJVURIJS. 61 

luuscilagu Ikt and the animal matters, 167; saline matters, 12; 
and undecompo'sed food, 70; in 1000 parts. When treed from 
water, 1000 parts lef>, of ash, 132; and this yielded, carbon- 
ate of soda. 8; sulphate of soda, with a little sulphate of po- 
tash, and phosphate of soda, 8; phosphate of lime and 
magnesia, and a trace of gypsum, 100; silica, 16. 

Human urine^ according to the same authority gives in 
every 1000 parts; of water, 933; urea, 30.1; uric acid, 1; free 
lactic acid, lactate of ammonia, and inseperable animal mat- 
ter, 17.1; mucus of the bladder, 0.3; sulphate of potash, 3.7; 
sulphate of soda, 3.2, phosphate of soda, 2.9; phosphate of 
ammonia, 1.6; common salt, 4.5; sal amoniac, 1.5; phosphates 
of lime acid magnesia, with a trace of silica and of fluoride ot 
calcuim, l.l. 

Urea according to Prout, gives of carbon, 19.99; oxygen, 
26,63; hydrogen, 6.65; nitrogen, 46,65. The analysis of 
Woehler and Liebig diffi^rs immaterially from this. Such are 
the material.5, abounding in evejy ingredient that can minister 
to the production of plants, which are suftered to waste in the 
air, and taint its purity and healthfullness; or they are buried 
deep in the earth beyond the reach of any useful application, 
and even in this position, (frequently in villages, and always 
in cities,) they pollute the waters with their disgusting and 
poisonous eflluvia. 1'he water from one of the wells in 
Boston examined by Dr. Jackson, gave an appreciable per 
rentage of night soi 1! 

Treatment of Night Soil. — No perfect mode has yet 
been devised of managing night soil. For compactness and 
facility of removal we suggest, thai in cities, metallic boxes 
of sufticienl capacity bo placed in the privies, so arranged as 
to be easily taken out in the rear for the purpose of emptying 
their contents. To prevent corrosion, they should be made 
of composite or galvanized metal. In the country where it 
can be at once applied, tight wooden boxes may be used, with 
hooks on the outer side, to which a team may be attached, 
for drawing it out wherever required. The boxes should 
have a coating at the bottom, and successively as they become 
rilled, of charcoal dust, charred peat, or gypsum. These 
materials are cheap, compact and combine readily with the 
volatile gasses. Sulphuric acid is more efficient than either 
but more expensive. Quick lime will neutralize the odor 
but it expels the enriching qualities, and if it be intended to 
use the night soil, lime should never be mixed with it. Both, 
the charcoal and peat condense and retain the gasses in their 



02 AMERICA?* AGRICULTURE. 

pores, and the bulphuric acid of the gypsum Icaveo the lime, 
and like the free acid, conibines with the ammonia, forming 
sulphate of ammonia, an inodorous and povvori'ul fertilizer. 
Raw peat, turf, dry tan bark, saw-dust and ashes are all good; 
but as more bulk is needed to effect tlie object their use is 
attended with greater inconvenience. From its great ten- 
dency to decompose, night soil should be immediately covered 
with earth when exposed to the air. It is always saved by the 
Flemings and Chinese, the former generally using it liquid, 
and the latter either as a liquid or mixed with clay and dried 
like brick. 

The use of this manure effectually prevents the propaga- 
tion of all weeds. Its value like all others, depend much on 
the food from which it is derived. 

THE EXCRExMENTS OF FOWLS. 

These contain both the fceces and urine combined, and are 
next to night soil in value. They should be mixed at once 
with the soil, or with a compost where its volatile matters will 
be retained. They are very soluble and when expose'.] t(i 
moisture, arc liable to waste. 

F L E S H, B L O O D, &c. 

When decomposed, these substances afford all the materials 
of manure in its most condensed form. Whenever procure- 
able, they should be mixed with 8 or 10 times their weight 
of dry peat, turf, tan bark or rich garden mould. A dead 
cow or horse thus buried in a bed of peat, will yield 10 or 15 
loads of the richest manure. Butchers offal will give 2 ) 
times its weight of more valuable manure than any from his 
cattle yards. 

HAIR, HORNS, HOOFS. PELTS, WOOLEN RAGS. AND THE 
FLOCKS, AND WASTE OF WOOLEN MANUFACTORIES 

Are rich in every organic substance required by plants, 
and when mingled with the soil they gradually yield them, 
and afford a permanent and luxuriant growth to every 
cultivated crop. All animal substances contain about 15 or 
18 per cent of nitrogen. 

FISH. 
Fish are extensively used in this and other countries for ma- 
nure. The moss-banker, alewives or bony fish frequent 
the Atlantic coast in countless numbers in the spring, and are 
there caught in seines, and sold to the farmers by tlie wagon 
load. They are sometimes plowed into the soil with a spring 



OUOANIC MANURES. 63 

crop; or ai c more frequently used for growing corn, for which 
purpose one or two lish are placj.'d in each hill and buried 
witli tlic seed. This was the system adopted Ijy the Abori- 
•rines of our country in raising their maize on exhausted lands, 
long before their occupancy or even discovery by the whites. 
There is waste in this practice, as the soils used for corn are 
generally light sandy, and the slight silicious covering im- 
perfectly combines with the putrefying fish, and much of their 
g-ises thereby eludes the plant, to the excessive anoyance of 
the olfactories for miles around. 

The proper method of using them, is by composting with 
dry peat in alternate layers of about three inches in thickness 
offish to nine of peat, and over the whole a coating of 2 to 4 feet 
of peat is placed. A few months of warm weather suffices 
to decompose the fish, which unite with the peat, no percept- 
i})le effluvia escaping from the heap so effectual is its absorb- 
tion. A strong acid smell is however noticeable, originating 
in the escape of the acidifying or antiseptic principle, which 
lias kept the peat for ages in a state of preservation, and 
whose expulsion is the signal for breaking up its own struc 
ture. It now passes rapidly into decay, and is soon lost in 
a mass of undistinguiahable vegetable mold, the fruitful 
bed of new and varied vegetable forms. This compost nuiy 
remain without injury, for years. Two or three weeks be- 
fore using, it should be overhauled and intimately mixed, 
when another fermentation commences with an elevation of 
temperature. When this ceases, it may be applied to the 
land, and is suited to nearly all soils and crops. 

SEA WEED 
Is a powerful aid to the farmer when within convenient 
distances. It is thrown upon the sea coast by the waves in 
large windrows, or it is carefully raked up from the rocks or 
bottom of the bays, either by tarmers or those who make it 
a business to procure and sell it. It may be used as bedding 
for cattle or litter for the barn yard, or added directly to the 
compost heap. Where the distance for carrying it would 
prevent its use, it may be burned and the ashes removed to 
the land. It has much more saline matter than vegetables 
which grow on land and yields a more valuable manui-e. 

PEAT. 
This substance is seldom found in this country in the 
purity that characterizes it in many parts of Northern 
Europe. There, its nearly pure carbonaceous quality adniitg 



64 AMERICAN AGRlCULTUItE. 

of its extensive use as fuel. In the United States it is gener. 
ally mixed with the wash from the adjacent elevations, which 
renders it more easily susceptible of profitable cuhivation in 
its native bed, and not less valuable as a fertilizer when 
applied to other lands. In six different specimens from 
Northampton, and four from other localities in Massachu^ 
setts, Dr. Dana found an average of 29.41 soluble, and 55.03 
insoluble geine or humus ; and 15.55 of salts and silicates 
in every 100 parts. The extensive researches of the same 
intelligent observer have led him to recommend the mixture 
of 30 lbs. potash, or 20 lbs. of soda ash, or what is more 
economical and equally efficacious, 8 bushels of unleached 
wood ashes, with one cord of peat as it is dug from its bed • 
or if leached ashes be used, they should be mixed in the 
proportion of one to three of peat. This he considers fully 
equivalent to pure cow dung in value. He also estimates 
the salts and humus of 4 cords of peat, as equal to the 
manure of a cow for one year. The opinion of Mr. Phin= 
ney, a distinguished agriculturist of Lexington, Mass., foun- 
ded on close observation and long practice, is that one part 
of green cattle dung composted with twice its bulk of peat, 
will make the whole equal in value to the unmixed dung. 

Peat in its natural condition, contains from 70 to over 90 
per cent, of water. It should be dug from its bed in the fall 
or winter for the purpose of draining and exposing it to the 
action of the atmosphere, Avhen it will be found to have lost 
about two-thirds of its bulk. In this state it still holds about 
65 per cent of water. It may then be carted in to the cattle 
yards, and used for making composts in any way desired, 

MANURING WITH GREEN CROPS. 
This system has within a few years, been extensively 
adopted in some of the older settled portions of the United 
States. The comparative cheapness of land and its pro- 
ducts, the high price of labor, and the consequent expense of 
making artificial manures, renders this at present the most 
economical plan which can be pursued. The object of this 
practice is primarily, fertilization ; and connected with it, i.-< 
the clearing of the ground from noxious weeds, as in fallows, 
by plowing in the vegetation before the seed is ripened ; and 
finally to loosen the soil and place it in the mellowest condi- 
tion for the crops which are to succeed. Its results have 
been entirely successful, when steadily pursued with a due 
consideration of the objects sought, and the means by which 



OKOANTC MANITRES. 65 

they are to be accomplished. Lands in many ol' our Eastern 
States, which have been worn out by improvident cultivation, 
and unsalaeble at $10 an acre, have by this means, while 
steadily remunerating their proprietors tor all the outlay of 
labor and expense by their returning crops, been brought up 
in value to l$50. 

The full benefits of green crops seems only to be realized 
where there is sufrlcicnt calcareous matter in the soil. Cal- 
careous soils, or such as have a large proportion of lime, 
however they may have become exhausted, when put under 
a thorough course of treatment in which green crops at 
proper intervals are returned to them, are soon restored to 
fertility ; and wlien lime does not exist in the soil, the appli- 
cation of it in the proper manner and quantity Mill produce 
the same eiTect. Gypsum and ashes are the best substitutes, 
when lime or marl is difticult to be procured. 

This system of improvement varies with almost every indi- 
vidual who practices it, according to the quality of his land, 
flie kind of crops to be raised, the facility of procuring 
manures, the luxuriance of particular crops, &;c. We shall 
state merely the general principles in this, as in most other 
subjects, and leave to the farmer's judgment to apply them 
according to his circumstances. It is always better to com- 
ruence this system while the land is in good condition, as a 
luxuriant growth of vegetation is as profitable for turning in 
as for cropping. Buckwheat, rye, and some of the grasses, 
have been much used for this purpose in this country ; and 
spurry, the white lupine, the vetch and rape in Europe ; but 
for the Northern portion of the Union, nothing has been 
hitherto tried which is so wel! fitted for the object as red 
(lover. 

Clover for Greex Manures. This is suited to all 
soils that will grow anything profitably, from sand, if possess- 
ing an adequate amount of fertility, to the heaviest clay if 
drained of its superfluous water. The seed is cheap, its 
growth certain and rapid, and the expense of its cultivation 
trifling, while the return on a kindly soil and with proper 
treatment is large. Added to this and very much increasing 
its merits, is the abundance of its long tap roots, which pene- 
trate the ground to a great depth and break up the stiff soils 
in a manner peculiarly beneficial to succeeding crops. The 
material yielded by the roots and stubble, is of itself equal to 
a good dressing of manure. It has the further advantage of 
giving two or more years growth from one sowing, and of 



66 AMERICAN AORICULtURF!. 

inaiiilainuig itssell in the ground thereafter by self &ecding 
when not too closely cropped ; and it is equally suited to 
profitable pasturage and winter Ibrage. 

If the first season of growth of clover be luxuriant after 
the removal of the grain upon which it was sown, it may be 
pastured in the autumn or suffered to fall and waste on the 
ground, the first being the most economical. The following 
year, the early crops may be taken off for hay, and the se- 
cond, after partially ripening its seeds, may be plowed in, and 
thus it carries with it a full crop of seed for future growth. 
It is usual when wheat is cultivated, to turn in the clover 
when in full flower in July, and allow the ground to remain 
undisturbed till the proper time for sowing the grain, when 
it may be cross-plowed if necessary, or the wheat may be 
sown directly on the ground and harrowed in. This system 
gives alternate crops of grain and clover, and with the use of 
such saline manures, as may be necessary to replace those 
abstracted from the soil, will sustain the greatest fertility. 
With a slight dressing of these when the land is in good con- 
dition, the first crop of clover may be taken off, and yet 
allow a suflicient growth for turning in. 

It is customary however, to adopt a 3 or 4 years course of 
cropping, in which grain, roots, corn, &;c. alternate with clover 
and barn-yard manures ; and this we think the most judicious 
practice when the land is within convenient distance of the 
manure. If the fields are remote, a still longer course would 
be preferable, where stock and particularly sheep are 
kept, as they might be allowed to pasture the field during a 
much greater time. Sheep would remove only so much of 
the forage as remains in their carcass ; while milch cows 
and working animals would of course carry off a greater 
amount, the first in the milk and the last in their manure 
dropped while out of the field. 

The Cow Pea is a rank, luxuriant producer, and is 
deemed the best of the fertilizers for the south ; as it will there 
grow two crops in one season from two successive plantings. 
This is also a valuable fodder for cattle and sheep, and the 
ripe peas are a profitable crop. Like a luxuriant growth of 
clover, it requires the roller, to prepare it properly for the 
plough. 

Spurry is extensively used in the north of Europe, Flan^ 
ders, Germany and Denmark, as a fertilizer and as forage for 
cattle, both in its green and dry state. It is admirably adap- 
ted to the lightest sands, where it is said to grow with more 



ORGANIC MANURES. 67 

iuxuruincc and profit than any other of the cultivated plants. 
It may be sown in the fall after grain or early roots, and 
plowed in the following spring. Three crops may be grown 
<m the same land in one season. Van Voght says, Ijy alter- 
nating these crops with rye, it will reclaim the worst sands, 
and yield nearly the same benefits if pastured oif by cattle ; 
while it adds materially to the advantages of other manures 
applied at the same time. It grows spontaneously in many 
of our fields as a weed, and its cultivation on our lightest sands 
which are too poor for clover, might be attended with the 
best effects. Like the cow pea however, it is deficient in 
the deep, tap roots, which give much of their efficiency to the 
clover and while lupine. 

White Lupine. — This plant has not to our knowledge, 
been introduced as a field crop in this country ; but from the 
great success which has attended its cultivation in Europe, 
it is a proper subject of consideration, whether it might not 
be advantageously introduced among us. It grows freely in 
all except calcareous soils, and is best suited to such as have 
a subsoil charged with iron. It is hardy, not liable to injury 
from insects, grows rapidly and with an abundance of stems, 
leaves and roots. The latter projects the plant from drought 
by penetrating through the subsoil for a depth of more than 
two feet, which they break up and prepare in the most efficient 
manner for succeeding crops. 

The advantages of Green Manures consist principally 
in the addition of vegetable matter which they furnish to the 
soil. The presence of this, aids in the liberation of those 
mineral ingredients which are there locked up, and which 
on being set free, act with so much advantage to the crop. 
The roots also, exert a power in effecting this decomposition 
beyond any other known agents either of nature or art. Their 
minute fibres arc brought into contact with the elements of 
the soil, and they act upon them with a force peculiar to 
themselves alone, and which is far more efficacious than the 
intensest heat or strongest acids, persuading the elements to 
give up tor their own use, what is essential to their maturity 
and perfection. By substituting a crop for a naked fallow, 
we have every fibre of the roots in the whole field, aiding the 
ordinary decomposition which is slowly going forward in 
every soil. 

Clover, and most broad-leaved plants, draw largely for their 
sustenance from the air, especially when aided by the appli- 
cation of gypsum. By its long tap roots, il also draws much 



68 AMERICAN AGRICULTURr. 

from the sub-sioil, as all plants appropriate such saline sub. 
stances as are necessary to their maturity, and are brought to 
their roots in a state of solution by the up-welling moisture 
from beneath. This last is frequently a great source of im- 
provement. The amount of carbon drawn from the air in 
the state of carbonic acid, and of ammonia and nitric acid, 
under favorable circumstances of soil and crop, are large ; 
and when buried beneath the surface, all are saved and yield 
their fertility to the land ; while such as decay on the surface 
lose much of their value by evaporation and drainage. In 
' the green state fermentation is rapid, and by resolving the 
matter of plants into their elements, it fits the ground at once 
for a succeeding crop. 

THE FALLOW SYSTEM. 

As a means of enriching lands, this was formerly much 
practised, but it is now entirely discarded by intelligent 
farmers, ft consists in plowing up the land and exposing it 
naked to the elements, whenever the exhaustion by tillage 
required it. This practice is founded on the principle, that 
plants gradually exhaust the soil of such soluble tbod, potash, 
soda, &c., as are necessary to their support ; and unless they 
are again given to it in manures, in a form suited to their 
immediate appropriation by plants, time is requisite for dis- 
solving them in the soil so as to enable them again to sup- 
port vegetation profitably. Besides the loss resulting from 
the frequent idleness of the land, naked fallows have this 
further disadvantage, and especially in light and loose soils; 
they are exposed to the full action of the sun and rains, and 
by evaporation and drainage are exhausted of much of their 
soluble vegetable food. 

This system, bad as it is, may yet be absolutely necessary 
where grain alone is raised, and no manure is applied. But 
it is always avoidable by substituting fallow crops as they arc 
termed, potatoes, turneps, &c. with manure ; or clover or 
other green crops, as above detailed ; by which the land is 
cleared of weeds and sufficiently enriched for succeeding 
cultivation. Land is equally well prepared for grain by 
having been occupied as meadows, if they have been kept in 
good condition by top dressing and pastures answer the 
same purpose without them. 



IRRlGATtON AKD DRAINING. 09 



CHAPTER TV. 



IRRIGATION AND DRAINING. 

Irrigation might properly enough be classed under the 
liead of manures, for the materials which it provides are 
not only food for plants, but they aid also in procuring it 
from other sources. Water is of indispensable necessity to 
vegetable life, and the great quantity of it demanded for 
this purpose, is in most climates amply provided by nature 
in the stores of rain and dew which almost every where 
moisten the earth, and especially during the early growth of 
vegetation when it is most required. In countries where 
rain seldom or never falls, as in parts of South America, 
Egypt and elsewhere, the radiation of heat from the sur- 
face is so rapid under their clear skies, that excessive 
deposites of dew, generally supply the plants with all the 
moisture which they need. The same effect takes place 
throughout most of the United States in our transparent 
summer atmosphere, and it is to the presence of copious 
dews on our rich well cultivated fields, that much of the 
luxuriance and success is due, which has ever attended en- 
lightened and judicious American husbandry. 

Besides the moisture that abounds in the atmosphere, but 
which is not always available in rains and dews to the 
desired extent for tlie wants of vegetation, and that which 
imperceptibly ascends from remote depths in the earth and 
administers to the support of plants; it is a practice coeval 
with the earliest history of agriculture, to bring artificial 
waters upon the cultivated fields, and make them contribute 
to the support of the crops. In many countries this sys- 
tem is indispensable to secure their maturity; for although 
dews accomplish the object in a measure, they do not sup- 
ply it in the quantity required to sustain a vigorous growtli. 
We find III looking to the practice of Egypt and the Barbary 
States in Africa; of Syria, Babylon, and other places in 



70 AMERICAN AGEICULTUEE. 

Asia; Italy, Spain and elsewhere in Europe, where hus- 
bandry early attained a high rank, that irrigation was 
extensively introduced. Damascus is one of the most 
ancient cities on record, (for it is mentioned in Genesis as 
existing nearly4000yearsago,)andnotwithstanding is num- 
erous successive masters and its having been frequently 
subject to plunder and devastation when conquered, it is still 
a flourishing city, though in the midst of deserts. This is 
no doubt owing to the waters derived from the " Abana and 
Pharpar, rivers of Damascus," which are conducted above 
the city till they gush from the fountains and overspread 
the gardens, and subsequently water all the adjacent plain. 
Had it not been for irrigation, Damascus would doubtless 
ages ago, have followed Palmyra, the Tadmor of the wil- 
derness, into utter ruin. On no other principle than a 
systematic aud extensive practice of irrigation, can we 
account for the once populous condition of Judea, Idumea 
and other vast regions in the East, which to the eye of the 
modern traveller present nothing but the idea of irreclaim- 
able sterility and desolation. The possession of the "upper 
and nether springs" was as necessary to the occupant, as 
possession of the soil. 

In those countries where the drought is excessive and 
rains are seldom to be depended on, water is led on to the 
fields containing all the cultivated crops, and is made subser- 
vient to the growth of each. But in the United States and in 
the middle and northern part of Europe, where the crops 
oi-dinarily attain a satisfactory size wathout its aid, irrigation 
is confined almost exclusively to grass or meadow lands. 

All waters are suitable for this purpose excepting such as 
contain an excess of some mineral substances, that are dele- 
terious to vegetable lif?. Such are the drainage from peat 
swamps, from saline and mineral springs, and from ore beds 
of various kinds ; and those are most frequent, in which iron 
is held in solution. Of the spring or ordinary river waters, 
those are the best which are denominated hard, and which 
owe this quality to the presence of sulphate or carbonate of 
lime, or magnesia. Those waters which are charged with 
fertilizing substances that have been washed out of soils by re- 
cent floods, are admirably suited to irrigation. Dr. Dana 
estimates the quantity of salts (in solution) and geine or 
humus, which were borne sea-w^ard past Lowcl!, on the Mer- 
rimac river, in 1838, (a season of unusual freshets,) as reach- 
ing the enormous amount of 840,000 tons — enough to have 



IRRIGATION AND DRAINING. 71 

given a good dressing to 100,000 acres of land. Such wa- 
ters as have flowed out of the sewers of cities or past slaugh- 
ter-houses and certain manufactories, and received the rich, 
vegetable food thereby afforded, are the most beneficial when 
applied to vegetation. Meadows thus irrigated in the neigh, 
horhood of Edinburgh, have rented by the acre, at the large 
>um of $250 per annum. But when none of these can be 
l)rocured, pure spring water apparently destitute of any solu- 
ble matters, may be advantageously used. 

Besides its drainage of diflierent matters from remote dis- 
tances, water freely obsorbes the gases (carbonic acid, oxy- 
gen and nitrogen, &c.,) in proportions altogether difterent 
from those existing in the air, and brings them to the roots 
by which they are greedily appropriated, and in its onward, 
agitated progress over the field, it again absorbs them from 
the air, again to be given up when demanded by the roots. 
When the water is permitted to remain stagnant on the sur- 
face, this good efiect ceases ; and so far from its promoting 
the growth of the useful and cultivated grasses, they speedily 
perish and a race of sour and worthless aquatic plants spring 
up to supply their place. 

Another and important office that water fulfils in ministe- 
ring to the growth of vegetation, is in disposing the soil to 
those changes which are essential to its full maturity. 
Gypsum requires 460, and lime 778 times its bulk of water 
at 60" to dissolve them. Others among the mineral consti- 
tuents of plants, also require the presence of large quantities 
of water to fit them for vegetable assimilation. 

Time for applying Water to Meadows. — In those 
regions where the winters are not severe, water may be kept 
in the fields during the entire season of frosts. This prevents 
its access to the ground, and on the approach of warm wea- 
ther the grasses at once start into life, and give an early and 
abundant. But in general, this system cannot be success- 
fully practiced. The water is admitted at proper intervals, 
freely during the spring and early part of the summer when 
vegetation is either just commencing or going forward 
rapidly. It is sufficient to flood the surface thoroughly, and 
then shut off the water for a time. In very dry weather this 
may be done with advantage every night. Continued water- 
ing under a bright sun, is an unnatural condition with up- 
land grasses, and could never be long continued without 
proving fatal to them. Neither should the water be applied 
after the grasses have commenced ripening. Nature is the 



72 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

proper guide in tliis, as in most of the operations of the 
farmer ; and it will be seen how careful she is in ordinary 
seasons, to provide an affluence of rains for the commence- 
ment of vegetation, while she as carefully withholds them 
when it approaches maturity. After the grass is cut, the 
water may be again let on to Hood the meadows. Pastures 
may be irrigated at proper intervals, throughout the year. 

The manner of irrigating. — This must depend on the 
situation of the surface and the supply of water. Sometimes 
reservoirs are made for its reception from rains or inunda- 
tions, and sometimes they are collected at vast expense from 
springs found by deep excavations, and led out by extensive 
subterraneous ditching. The usual source of supply however, 
is from streams or rivulets, or copious springs which dis- 
charge their water on elevated ground. The former are 
dammed up to turn the water into ditches or aqueducts, 
through which it is conducted to the fields where it is divided 
into smaller rills till it finally disappears. When it is desira- 
ble to bring more water on to meadows than is required 
for saturating the ground, and its escape to fields belc»vv is to 
be avoided, other ditches should be made on the lower sides, 
to arrest and convey away the surplus water. 

The advantages of irrigation are so manifest, that they 
should never be neglected when the means for securing them 
are within economical reach. To determine what economy 
in this case is, we have to estimate from careful experiment, 
the equivalent needed in annual dressing with manures to 
produce the same amount of grass as would be gained by irri- 
gation; and to offset the cost of the maimrc, we must reckon 
the interest on the permanent fixtures of dam, sluicos, &;c., 
and the annual expense of attention and repair. 

The quality of gra^s from irrigated meadows is but slightly 
infrior to to that grown upon dry soils ; and for pasturage it 
is found that animals do better in dry seasons upon the former, 
and in wet upon the latter. In Europe, where the disease is 
common, sheep are more liable to rot upon irrigated and 
marshy lands, than on such as arc free from excessive 
moisture. 

The Kind of Soils suited to Irrigation. — Light porous 
soils, and particularly gravels and sands, are the most bene- 
fited by irrigation. Tenacious and clay soils are but slightly 
improved by it unless first made porous by underdraining. 
It is not only important that water be brouglU on to the ground, 



IRRIGATION AND DRAINING. T8 

but it should pass off immediately after accomplishing the ob- 
jects sought. 

The increase from the application of waier is sometimes 
fourfold, when the soil, the season and the water are all favor- 
able, and it is seldom less than doubled. Many fields which 
in their natural condition, scarcely yield a bite of grass for 
cattle, when thoroughly irrigated, will give a good growth for 
years, and without the aid of any manures. 

UNDER DRAINING HEAVY AND TENACIOUS CLAY 
LANDS. 
The advancement of agriculture in this country during 
the few last years, the high price of farming lands and their 
products w^ithin convenient distances of our larger markets, 
justify the commencement of an intelligent system of drain- 
ing on such lands as require it. This system has for many 
years been introduced and largely practiced in England and 
Scotland, and has resulted in the most signal success. The 
plan first adopted was, to excavate the land in parallel lines 
at intervals of 16 to 25 feet, and to a depth of 2 or 3 feet, 
forming a slightly inclined plane on the bottom, which was 
from 3 to 6 inches wide and gradually enlarging as it 
approached the surface. The narrowest drains were arched 
with inverted turf and clay, and so high as to allow of the 
requisite space at the bottom for the escape of whatever 
water might filter through the soil. Others were formed 
with continuous arched tiles laid on a sole, (a flat tile of the 
same material,) or a board placed on the bottom forming an 
uninterrupted conductor. Larger ditches were filled with 
rubble. stone (and in some instances brush,) to a sufficient 
depth, and then covered with soil. In all cases the 
smaller ones communicated by their outlets with a large 
open drain which led the water from the field. These drains 
were always below the reach of the plow, thus leaving the 
whole surface of the lands free from any obstruction to culti- 
vation. Two recent improvements have been introduced 
which materially diminish the expense while they enhance 
the benefits of the system. They consist in sinking the 
dmin to 4 feet and using baked clay or tile pipes li to 2 
inches in diameter, and 12 to 18 inches in length, connected 
by allowing the descending end to enter the next below it 
as a socket or by placing the ends close to each other. The 
trifling opening at each joint, with small holes perforating 
the top of the tiles, is found to be sufficient to admit all the 
C 



74 AMERICAN AaRICUlTURE. 

water which falls into the drain ; while the increased depth 
at which the drainage takes place, draws the water from a 
much greater distance. With the depth indicated, it has 
been found that the drains instead of being required once in 
16 to 25 feet, may be placed at intervals of 40 to 50, and 
accomplish the object with equal success, and in less time. 
The expense of the former plan was from $20 to $30 per 
acre, while the last is only from $12 to $18. 

The advantages of under draining are numerous and 
important. They take away all the surplus v^^ater which 
exists in heavy or tenacious soils, w^hich in wet seasons are a 
serious impediment to the successful growth and perfection 
of vegetation ; thus always ensuring a full crop when fre- 
quently not one -fourth of a crop is matured on similar 
undrained soils. They allow of early cultivation in spring 
and late in autumn, by furnishing a dry, warm soil, which 
would not admit of cultivation except in the warm part of 
the season ; thus enabling the farmer to grow a greater vari- 
ety of products where only a few were adapted to the soil 
before, and to these it gave several weeks' additional growth. 
It saves all the trouble and waste of surface drains and open 
furrows, which' require that much of the land be left almost 
in an unproductive state, to serve as conductors of the sur- 
plus water. The rains falling on the convex surfaces of 
the lands, run off rapidly into the furrows, and not only 
prevent the benefit to the soil which would result from its 
absorption, but they carry with them much of the fine soil, 
which is thus allowed to waste. 

Rainwater is charged with some of the most important 
elements of nutrition to plants, and especially contains con- 
siderable proportions of carbonic acid and ammonia. If 
these be permitted to percolate through the soil, the roots of 
the plants, or in their absence, the elements of the soil itself 
absorb and form permanent combinations with them. Air 
also holds vegetable food and it is necessary that this should 
penetrate through every portion of the soil where the fibres 
of the roots exist. Soils which are saturated with water do 
not admit of any air, unless the small proportion combined 
with the water ; and from all such this vital adjunct of vege- 
tation is excluded. The porosity of the land thus secured, 
facilitates the admission and escape of heat, which last con- 
dition is of the utmost consequence in promoting the deposi- 
tion of dews. 



lARlOATION AND DRAINING. 75 

The dense mass of saturated soil is impervious to air and 
remains cold and clammy. By draining it below the soil, 
the warm rains penetrate the entire mass, and there diffuse 
their genial temperature through the roots. Immediately 
pressing after these, the warm air rushes in and supplies its 
portion of augmented heat to the land. Porous soils thus 
readily imbibe heat, and they as readily part with it; every 
portion of their own sudaces radiating it when the air in 
contact with them is below their own temperature. This 
condition is precisely what is adapted to secure the 
depooit of the dews, so refreshing, and during a season 
of drought, so indispensable to the progress of vegetation. 
Dew can only be found on surfaces which are below the 
temperature of the surrounding air, and rapid radiation of 
the heat imbibed during the warmth of a summer's day, is 
neces3ary to secure it in suiHcient profusion for the demands 
of luxuriant vegetation in the absence of frequent showers. 

An insensil)le deposit of moisture precisely analogous to 
dew, is constantly going forward in deep, rich, porous soils. 
Wherever the air penetrates them at a higher temperature 
than the soils themselves possess, it not only imparts to them 
a portion of its excess of heat, but with it also, so much of 
its combined moisture as its thus lessened capacity for retain- 
ing latent heat compels it to relinquish. To the reflecting 
mind imbued with even the first principles of science, these 
considerations will be justly deemed as of the highest conse- 
quence to the rapid and luxuriant growth and full develop, 
ment of vegetable life. 

Another essential benefit derivable from drained lands, 
consists in the advantageous use which can be made of the 
subsoil p!ow. If there be no escape for the moisture which 
may have settled below the surface, the subsoil plow has 
been found to be injurious rather than beneficial. By loosen- 
ing the earth it admits a larger deposit of water, which 
requires a longer time for evaporation and insensible drainage 
to discharge. When the water escapes freely, the use of the 
subsoil plow is attended with the best results. The broken 
earth thus pulverized to a much greater depth and incorpora- 
ted with the descending particles of vegetable sustenance 
atfords an enlarged range for the roots of plants, and in pro- 
portion to its extent, furnishes them with additional means of 
growth. The farmer thus has a means of augmenting his 
soil and its capacity for production wholly independent of 
increasing his superficial acres; for with many crops it mat- 



76 A>IERICAN AGRICULTUEE, 

ters not in the quantity of their production, whether he owns 
and cultivates 100 acres of soil, one foot deep, or 200 acres 
of soil, half a foot in depth. With the latter however, he 
has to provide twice Ihe capital in the first purchase, is at 
twice the cost in fencing, planting and tillage, and pays 
twice the taxes. The underdrained and subsoiled fields have 
the further advantage of security and steady development 
in seasons of drought, as they derive their moisture from 
greater depths which are frequently unaffected by the parch- 
ing heat. This secures to them a large yield while all 
around is parched and withered.* 

A more enlarged and general, or what may justly be 
termed a philanthropic view of this system, will readily detect 
considerations of great moment, in the general healthfulness 
of climate which would result from the drainage of large 
areas, which are now saturated, or in many instances covered 
with stagnant waters, and which are suffered to pollute the 
atmosphere by their pestilent exhalation^. 

SPRING AND SWAMP DRAINING. 

Springs are sometimes discovered not by a free or open 
discharge of their water, but in extensive plats of wet, boggy 
lands, which are of no farther use than to mire the cattle and 
bear a small quantity of inferior bog hay. These springs 
should be sought at the highest point where the ground 
appears moistened and led away to a ravine or rivulet, by a 
drain sufficiently deep to prevent the escape of any of the 
water into the adjacent soil ; unless as it sometimes liappens, 
the position and quality of water are suited to irrigation, 
when it may be conducted over the field for that purpose. 

Sicamps and Peat beds occur frequently in a hilly country. 
These are low level, wet lands, whose constant saturation 
with water prevents their cultivation with any useful plants. 
The first object in effecting their improvement, is to find an 
outlet for the escape of the water to a depth of 3 to 5 feet 
below the surface, according to the area to be reclaimed ; 
the greatest depth above specified being fi-equently necessary 
to the efifectual dra,inage at all times, of an extended surface. 
If the water in the swamp has its origin in numerous springs 
from the adjoining hills, a ditch should be dug around the 
entire outer edge of it where it meets the ascending land. If 

*The experienced reader will sometimes notice the same ideas repeated under 
ditlerent heads. He must bear in mind that this work is intended for learners ; 
and that it is of more consequence thoroughly to impress their minds with impor- 
tant principles, than to study brevity in communicating them. 



MECHANICAL DIVISION OF SOILS. 77 

the water bo derived from a rivulet, a broad ditch should be 
made as direct as possible from its entrance to its outlet, and 
deep enough to lead off all the water. If these are found 
insufficient, additional ones may bo made wherever required. 



CHAPTER V 



MECHANICAL DIVISION OF SOILS. 
SPADING. 

After selecting a proper soil, and placing it in a suita- 
ble condition, as to manuring, draining <kc. the next most 
important consideration is the further preparation of the land 
for the reception of the seed. In small patches of highly 
cultivated land, spading is resorted to for breaking up and 
pulverizing the ground more effectually than can be done 
with the plow. Tliis is the case with many of the market 
gardens in the neighborhood of our large cities, and with 
large portions of Holland, Flanders and other coimtries of 
Europe. It is even contended by many highly intelligent 
and practical farmers in Great Britain, where labor is about 
half and land and agricultural products nearly twice the 
the average price with us, that spade husbandry can be 
adopted for general tillage crops with decided advantage to 
the farmer. However this may be abroad, it is certain it 
cannot be practised in this country to any extent until some 
very remote period. 

PLOWING. 

This is the most important of the mechanical operations of 
the farm. The time, the depth and the manner of plowing 
must depend on the crops to be raised, the fertility and char- 
acter of the soil and other circumstances. 

Plowing clay lands. — Whenever practicable these 
.should be plowed in the fiill for planting and sowing the 
ensuing spring. The tenacity of the soil may thus be tem- 
porarily broken up by the winter frosts, its particles more 
thoroughly separated, and the whole mass reduced to a finer 
tilth than can possibly be effected in any other manner. 



78 AMERICAN AGKICTTLTTTRF. 

There is a still further and important advantage from this 
practice which ensues from the attraction existing between 
the clay and those gases that are furnished from the atmos- 
phere, snow, rains and dews. In consequence of being thus 
thrown up and coming in contact with them, it seizes upon 
the ammonia and carbonic and nitric acids which are in the 
air, and holds them for the future use of the crops ; while 
their great affinity for manures effectually prevents the waste 
of such as are in it. 

The furrows of clay soils should be turned over so as to lap 
on the preceding and lie at an angle of 45° ; and for this 
purpose the depth of the furrow slice should be about two 
thirds its width. Thus a furrow 6 inches deep should be 
about 9 inches wide, or if 8 inches deep, it should be 12 
inches wide. This will allow of the furrows lying regularly 
and evenly, and in the proper position for the drainage of 
the soil, the free circulation of air, and the most efficient ac- 
tion of frosts which in this way have access to every side of 
them. Land thus thrown up is found to be finely pulverized 
after the frosts leave it, and it is comparatively dry and 
ready for use some time earlier than such as is not plowed 
till spring. For sowing, land plowed in this manner requires 
no additional plowing, but it is better fitted for the reception 
of seed than it can be by any further operation, unless by a 
slight harrowing if too rough. The different kinds of grain 
or peas may be dibbled in or sown directly upon the surface 
and covered by the harrow ; and if sown very early, the 
grass and clover seeds 'require no covering, but find their best 
position in the slight depressions which are every where 
made by the frost, and which the subsequent rains and winds 
fill up and cover sufficiently to secure a certain growth. 
When a field is intended for planting and is thus plowed in 
the preceeding autumn, in some instances, and especially 
when the soil is full of vegetable manures, as from a rich 
green sward, a single furrow where the seed is to be drop- 
ped, is all that is necessary to be plowed in the spring. 

If the land has been previously cultivated, (not in sward,) 
and is designed for planting, a stiff clay is sometimes ridged 
up by turning a double furrow, one on each side and so close 
as partially to lap upon a narrow and unbroken surface, thus 
leaving t-he greatest elevations and depressions which can 
conveniently be made with the plow. The frost and air by 
this means, have a greater surface to act upon than is affor- 
ded by thorough plowing, unless it be in a firm sod, which 



I 



MEORA^CAt DIVISION OP SOILS. 79 

maintains its position without crumbling. The advantage of 
a dry surface and early working are equally secured by this 
latter method ; and to prepare for planting, the furrows need 
only to be split by running a plow through their centre, 
when they are ready for the reception of the seed. 

Plowing sandy or dry soils. — These require flat plow- 
ing, which may be done when they are either quite wet or 
dry, but never till wanted for use. By exposure to heat, 
rains and atmospheric influences the light soluble manures 
are exhaled or washed out, and they receive little compensa- 
tion for this waste in any corresponding fertility they derive 
from the atmosphere in return. To insure flat plowing on 
an old sward, the depth of the furrow should be about one- 
half its width, and the land or ridges as wide as can conve- 
niently be made, so as to preserve as much uniformity of 
surface over the whole field as possible. 

Depth of plowing. — AH cultivated plants are benefitted 
by a deep permeable soil, through which their roots can 
penetrate in search of food ; and a though depth of soil is not 
fully equivalent to its superficial extension, it is evident that 
there must bs a great increase of product from this cause. 
For general tillage crops the depth of soil may be gradually 
augmented to about 12 inches, with decided advantage. 
Such as are appropriated to gardens and horticultural pur- 
poses may be deepened to 15 and even 18 inches to the 
manifest profit of their occupants. But whatever is the 
depth of the soil, the plow ought to turn up the entire mass, 
if within its reach, and what is beyond it should be thor- 
oughly broken up by the subsoil plow, and some of it occa- 
sionally incorporated with that upon the surface. The sub- 
soil ought not to be brought out of its bed except in small 
quantities to be exposed to the atmosphere during the fall, 
winter and spring, or in a summer fallow ; nor even then, 
but with the application of such fertilizers as are necessary 
to put it at once into a productive condition. The depth of 
the soil can alone determine the depth of ploughing ; and 
when that is too shallow, the gradual deepening of it should 
be sought by the use of proper materials for improvement 
till the object is fully attained. Two indifferent soils of 
opposite characters, as of a stiff* clay and sliding sand, 
sometimes occupy the relation of surface and subsoil towards 
each other ; and when intimately mixed and subjected to 
the meliorating influence of cultivation, they will frequently 
produce a soij of great value. 



80 AiMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

Cross Plowing is seldom necessary except to break up 
tough sward or tenacious soils ; and the former is more ef- 
fectually subdued by one thorough plowing in which the 
sod is S3 placed that decompositioa will rapidly ensue ; and 
the latter is m )re certainly pulverized by incorporating with 
it such vegetables, and long or unfermented manures and the 
like, as will take the place of the decaying sod. The pres- 
ence of these in the soil, lessens the labor of cultivation and 
greatly increases the products. 

Subsoil Plowing. — This is a practic of comparatively 
recent introduction, and it has been attended with signal be- 
nefit from the increase and certainty of the crop. It is per- 
formed by subsoil plows made exclusively for this purpose. 
The objects to be accomplished are to loosen the hard earth 
below the reach of the ordinary plow and permit the ready 
escape of the water which falls upon the surface ; the circu- 
lation of air ; and a more extended range for the roots of the 
plants, by which they procure additional nourishment, and 
secure the crop against drought, by penetrating into the re- 
gions of perpetual moisture. When all the circumstances 
are favorable to the use of the subsoil plow, an increase in 
the crop of 20, 30, and sometimes even 50 per cent, has been 
attributed to its operations. Its maximum influence on stiff 
soils is reached, only where underdraining has been tho- 
roughly carried out. Its benefits have been more than doubt- 
ed when used in an impervious clay subsoil, where it makes 
further room for storing up stagnant water ; and it is evident 
they can only aggravate the faults of such subsoils as are na- 
turally too loose and leachy. 

PLOWS AND OTHER FARM IMPLEMENTS. 

There are plows for almost every situation and soil, in- addi- 
tion to several varieties which are exclusively used for the sub- 
soil. Some are for heavy lands and some for light ; some 
for stony soils, others for such as are full of roots ; while still 
another class are expressly made for breaking up the hither- 
to untilled prairies of the west. Some are adapted to deep 
and some to shallow plowing ; and some are for plowing 
around a hill and throwing the furrows either up or down, or 
both ways alternately ; others again throw the soil on both 
sides, and are used for plowing between the rows of corn or 
roots. Every farm should be supplied with such plows as 
are entirely adapted to the diflTerent operations required. 



XECRANICAL DIVISION OP SOILS. 81 

The ilirmer will find in the best agricultural ware-houses, 
all the implements necessary to his operations, with such de- 
scriptions as will enable him to judge of their merits. Great 
attention has been bestowed on this subject for several years 
by skilful and intelligent persons, and great success has fol- 
lowed their efforts. The United States may safely challenge 
the world to exhibit better specimens of farming tools than 
she now furnishes, and her course is still one of improve- 
ment. There are numerous competitors for public favor in 
every description of farm implements ; and an intelligent 
farmer cannot fail to select such as are best suited to his own 
situation and purposes. 

The best only sJioidd be used. — There has been a " penny 
wise and pound foolish" policy adopted by many farmers in 
their neglect or refusal to supply themselves with good tools 
to work with. Tiiey thus save a few shillings in the first 
outlay, but frequently lose ten times as much by the use of 
indifferent ones in the waste of labor and the inefficiency of 
their operations. A farmer should estimate the value of his 
own and his laborer's time as well as that of his teams, by 
dollars and cents ; and if it requires one third, one tenth or 
even one hundredth more of either to accomplish a given ob- 
ject with one instrument than with another, he should before 
buying one of inferior quality, carefully compute the amount 
his false economy in the purchase will cost him before he has 
done with it. Poor men or those who wish to thrive, can ill 
afford the extravagance of buying inferior tools at however 
low a price. The best are always the cheapest ; not those 
of high or extravagant finish, or in any respect unnecessarily 
costly ; but such as are plain and substantial, made on the 
best principles and of the most durable materials. To no 
tools do these remarks apply with so much force as to plows. 
The improvements in these have been greater than in any 
other instruments, the best saving fully one half the labor for- 
merly bestowed in accomplishing the same work. 

HARROWING. 

The object of the harrow^ is three fold ; to pulverise the 
land, to cover the seed, and to extirpate weeds. Unless the 
land be very light and sandy, the operation should never be 
performed for either object, except when sufficiently dry to 
allow of the crumbling down into a fine mellow surface un- 
der the action of the harrow. There are several varieties of 
harrows in use ; the tri angular and the isquare, both some- 



82 AMERICAN AGRICtJLTUltfi. 

times hinged and sometimes double ; with long teeth and 
with short ones, some thickly set together, and some far 
apart. For pulverising firmly sodded or stiff clay lands, a 
heavy, compact harrow is required, with strong teeth suffi- 
ciently spread ; and for lighter lands, or for covering seed, 
the more expanded harrow, with numerous, small and thick- 
ly set teeth. To pulverise soil, the harrow should move as 
quickly as possible, so as to strike the lumps forcibly, and 
knock them to pieces ; and for this purpose an active team is 
required. When the land sinks much under the pressure of 
the horses feet, light animals as mules or ponies are prefera- 
ble. 

THE ROLLER 

Is an important implement for many fields. It is always 
useful for pulverizing the soil, which it does by breaking 
down such clods and lumps as escape the harrow, and thus 
renders the field smooth for the scythe or cradle ; and it is 
equally so on meadows which have become uneven from 
the influence of frost, ant-hills, or other causes. It is ser- 
viceable in covering seed by pressing the earth firmly 
around it ; which thus secures moisture enough for germi- 
nation. But its greatest benefit is with such sandy soils 
as are not sufficiently compact to hold the roots of 
planis firmly and retain a suitable moisture. With these it 
is invaluable, and the proper use of the roller has in some 
instances doubled the product. Its effect is similar to that 
produced by the frequent treading in a foot-path ; and the 
observing farmer will not have failed to notice the single 
thread of thick green-sward which marks its course over an 
otherwise almost barren field of sand or loose gravel. The 
thickly woven emerald net-work that indicates the sheep- 
walks, on similar soils, is principally due to the same 
cause. 

Rollers are variously constructed. The simplest form is 
a single wooden shaft with gudgeons at each end, which rest 
in a square frame made by fastening four joists together, a 
tongue for drawing it being placed in one of its sides. A 
box may be attached to this frame for the purpose of hold- 
ing stones and weeds picked up in the field, and for weight- 
ing the roller according to the work required. When a 
roller exceeds 8 or 10 feet in length, it should be divided in 
the middle and have an iron axle pass through each part, 
upon which they revolve, taking care to diminish the fric- 



MECHANICAL DIVISION OF SOILS. 83 

tion at the ends by a thick washer. The larger the r oiler 
the greater surface is brought into contact with the ground 
the more level it leaves it, besides giving a much easier 
draught to the team. To accomplish this without too much 
increase of weight, they are frequently constructed with 
heads at the ends and closely covered like a drum. For 
dividing compact clay lumps or for scarifying meadows, 
they are sometimes made with large numbers of short, stout 
angular teeth, which penetrate and crush the clods, and tear 
up and loosen the old turf and moss of meadows. 

THE CULTIVATOR 
Has a light frame in the form of a triangular or wedge- 
harrow with handles behind like those of a plow, and with 
several small iron teeth in the frame, somewhat resembling 
a double share plow. They are of various sizes, slightly 
differing in construction, and are of great utility in stirring 
the surface of the ground and destroying weeds. 

THE DRILL BARROW 

Is useful for dibbling in seeds, and when ihe surface is 
mellow it will open the furrows for the reception of the 
seed, and drop, cover and roll the earth firmly over it. The 
smaller ones are trundled along like a wheelbarrow, by hand; 
and the larger for field planting, having several fixtures for 
drilling, are drawn by a horse. They are suited to the 
smaller seeds, and some have Ijeen made to plant corn, 
beans and peas successfully. 

SURFACE OR SHOVEL PLOWS. 
These are a cheap, light instrument, much used in Eng- 
land, and to some extent in this country, for paring the 
stubble and grass roots on the surfaces of old meadows. 
These are raked togetiier into heaps, and with whatever 
addition there may be of earth or clay are burnt, and the 
ashes and roasted earth scattered over ^ soil. There is 
an apparent objection to this practice in the expulsion of 
the carbon and nitrogen stored up in the plants and in the 
waste of the coarse material of the decaying vegetables 
which is so useful in effecting the salutary mechanical divi- 
sions of clay soils. But by a reference to what has been 
said on the efficiency of burnt clay or broken brick, their 
great utility as fertilizers will be seen. This and the ash 
of the plants remain, and both are useful in quickening the 



84 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

I 

action of soils and accelerating those changes so beneficial 
to vegetation ; and even the re-absorption of the atmosphe- 
ric gases, it is probable will more than compensate for their 
equivalents expelled in burning. The effect is further 
salutary in destroying grubs, insects and their larva?, and 
the seeds of noxious weeds. 



CHAPTER yi. 



THE GRASSES, CLOVERS, MEADOWS AND PASTURES. 

The order designated by naturalists as GramincB, is one 
of the largest and most universally diffused in the vegetable 
kingdom. It is also the most important to man and to all 
the different tribes of graminiverous animals. It includes not 
only what are usually cultivated as grasses, but also rice, 
millet, wheat, rye, barley, oats, maize, sugar cane, broom 
corn, the wild cane and the bamboos sometimes reaching 60 
fieet in height. They ar« universally characterized as hav- 
ing a cylindrical stem ; hollow or sometimes as in the sugar 
cane and bamboos, filled with a pith- like substance, with 
solid joints and alternate leaves originating at each joint, 
surrounding the stem at their base and forming a sheath 
upwards of greater or less extent; and the flowers and seed are 
protected with a firm straw-like covering, which is the chaff 
in the grains and grass seeds, and the husk in Indian corn. 
They yield large proportions of sugar, starch and fatty mat- 
ter, besides those peculiarly animal products, albumen and 
fibrine, not only in the seeds, but also and especially before 
the latter are fully matured, in the stems, joints and leaves. 
These qualities give to them the great value which they 
possess in agriculture. 

Of the grasses cultivated for the use of animals in England, 
there are said to be no less than 200 varieties ; while in the 
occupied portion of this country, embracing an indefinitely 



THE GRASSES, MEADOWS, ETC. 86 

greater variety of latitude, climate and situation, we hardly 
cultivate twenty. The number and excellence of our natu- 
ral grosses are probably unsurpassed in any quarter of the 
globe, for a similar extent of country; but this is a depart- 
ment of our natural history hitherto but partially explored, 
and we are left mostly to conjecture as to their numbers and 
comparative quality. From the health and thrift of the 
wild animals, the bulTalo, deer, dec, as well as the rapid 
growth and fine condition of our domestic animals when 
permitted to range over the prairies, or through the natural 
marshes and woods in every season of the year, even during 
the severe and protracted winters in latitude 44" north,* the 
superior richness and enduringness of our natural grasses, 
may be inferred. We shall limit ourselves mostly to those 
whicii have been introduced, and successfully cultivated in 
this country. 

Timothy, Cat's Tail or Herd's grass (Phleum pra- 
tense.) — We are. inclined to place the Timothy first in the 
list of the grasses. It is indigenous to this country and 
flourishes in all soils except such as are wet, too light, dry 
or sandy, and is found in perfection on the rich clays and 
clay loams which lie between 40'' and 44" north latitude. It 
is a perennial, easy of cultivation, hardy and of luxuriant 
growth, and on its favorite soil, yields from 1 1 to 2 tons of hay 
per acre at one cutting. Sinclair estimates its value for hay 
when in seed to be double that cut in flower. From its 
increased value when ripe it is cut late, and in consequence 
of the exhaustion from maturing its seed, it produces but 
little aftermath or rowen. It vegetates early in the spring, 
and when pastured, yields abundantly throughout the season. 
Both the grass and hay are highly relished by cattle, sheep 
and horses ; and its nutritive quality, in the opinion of prac- 
tical men, stands decidedly before any other. It is also a 
valuable crop for seed, an acre of prime grass yielding from 

* The writer lias scon large droves of the French and Indian ponies come into 
the settlements about Green Bay and the Fox river in Wisconsin, in the spring, in 
ijood working condition, after wintering on the natural grasses of that region. The 
pony grass may perhaps be mentioned as one of the principal of the winter grasses 
in that region. It grows in close, thick, elevated tufts, and continues green all 
winter, and is easily detected by animals under the snow, by the little hummocks 
which everywhere indent its surface. The wild rice which lines the still, shallow 
writers of the streams and stnall inland lakes of many of the Western States, atibrds 
nutritious forage when preen or if early cut and dried; and the grain which is pro- 
duced in>great profusion is an exhaustless store to the Indiana who push into the 
thickest of it, and bending over the ripe heads, with two or three strokes of the 
paddle on the dry stalks, rattle the grain into their light canoes. The wild ducks, 
geese and swans which yet frequent those waters, fatten on this grain throughout 
the fall and winter. 



86 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

15 to 25 bushels of clean seed, which is usually worth in 
the market from $1.25 to 112.00 per bushel, and the stalks 
and chaff that remain make a useful fodder for most kinds 
of stock. It may be sown on wheat or j've in August or 
September or in the spring. When sown alone or with 
other grasses early in the season on a rich soil, it will pro- 
duce a good crop the same year. From its late ripening it 
is not advantageously mixed with clover unless upon heavy 
clays which hold back the clover. We have tried it with 
the northern or mammoth clover on clay, and found the 
latter though mostly in full blossom, still pushing out new 
branches and buds when the former was fit to cut. The 
quantity of seed required per acre depends something on the 
soil and its condition. Eight quarts on a fine mellow tilth 
is sufficient, and is equal to 16 on a stiff clay. 

The Tall Fescue {Festuca elatior) would appear by the 
Woburn experiments to yield more nutritive matter per acre 
when cut in flower than any other grass cut either in flower 
or seed. This is a native of the United States, and is best 
suited to a rich loam. It is not extensively cultivated in 
this country. 

Meadow Fescue {Festuca pratensis) likes a boggy soil, 
bears well and produces an early grass much relished by 
cattle, either green or cured as hay. 

Spiked Fescue (F, loleacea) is adapted to a rich loam, 
and produces the best of hay and pasture. 

The Purple Fescue {F. rubra;) Sheep's Fescue {F. 
ovina ;) The Hard Fescue (F. durinscula ;) The Float- 
ing Fescue (F, Jluilans,) are all indigenous to this country, 
and good pasture grasses. 

Orchard or Cock's Foot Grass {Daciylis glomeraia) 
is indigenous, and for good arable soils and especially for 
such as are shaded, it is one of the most profitable grasses 
grown. It should be cut for hay before it is ripe, as in seed- 
ing it becomes coarse and hard and is less acceptable to 
cattle. It is ready lor the scythe with the clover, and after 
cutting, it immediately springs up nnJ furnishes several 
crops of hay or constant pasturage throughout the season. 
It should be fed closely to secure a tenrier succulent herbage. 
The seed is remarkably light, weighing only 12 or 15 lbs. 
ber bushel. Twenty to thirty lbs. are usually sown upon 
one acre ; yet ten lbs, on finely prepared soils have been 



THE GHASSES, MEADOWS, ETC. 87 

known to produce a good sod over the entire ground. It 
flourishes from Maine to Georgia. 

Smooth Stalked, Meadow, Green, Spear or June 
Grass, tlie (erroneously'cnlled) Blue Grass op Kentucky 
(Poa p?'afensis) is highly esteemed for hay and pasture. It 
is indigenous and abounds through tiie country, but does not 
appear to reach perfection north of the valley of the Ohio. 
It is seen in its glory in Kentucky and Tennessee. The 
seed ripens in June and falls upon the ground, where the 
succeeding rains give it vitality and it pushes out its long, 
rich slender leaves, two feet in height which in autumn fall 
over in thick windrows, matting the whole surface with 
lucious herbage. Upon these fields which have been care- 
fully protected till the other forage is exhausted, the cattle 
are turned and fatten through the winter. It maintains its 
freshness and nutritive properties in spite of frost and the 
cattle easily reach it through the light snows which fall in 
that climate. A warm, dry calcareous soil seems to be its 
natural element, and it flourishes only in a rich upland. 

The Roughish Meadow Grass (Poa trivialis) has much 
the • ppearance o^ Xhe poa 'pratensis^ but its stalk feels rough 
to the touch while the other is smooth. It has the fufther 
difl^erence of preferring moist or wet loams or clay. It yields 
well and affords good hay and pasture. 

'JALL Oat Grass {Avena elatior) is an early luxuriant 
grass growing to the height sometimes of five feet. It 
makes guod hay but is better suited to pasture. It flour- 
ishes in a loam or clay soil. 

Meadow Fox Tail (Alopecunis praiensis) is a highly 
esteemed grass in England both for meadows and pasture. 
It grows early and abundantly, and gives a large quantity of 
aftermath. It is best suited to a moist soil, bog, clay or 
loaih. It is indigenous to the middle states. 

Perennial Rye Grass {Lolium perenne) and Biennial 
and Italian ditto, are all grasses highly esteemed in 
Europe, but repeated trials in this country have given no 
satisfactory results. They yield indiflferenlly with us, and 
easily winter kill. Careful cultivation under favorable cir- 
cumstances, may yet acclimate and render them useful 
grasses. 

FiORiN Grass (Agrostis stolonifera) has been much lauded 
in England of late, but has madfe little progress in the esti- 
mation of American farmers, and probably with sufficient 



88 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

reason. It is a diminutive grass, affording considerable 
nutriment in a condensed form, and is adapted to a winter 
pasture. It grows on a moist clay or boggy soil Several 
of the florin family abound in this country, among which is 
the squitch, couch or quick grass. 

The sweet scented Vernal Grass {Antlioxanlhum odo- 
ratum,) is an early valuable pasture grass, which exhales that 
delightful perfume, so characteristic of much of the eastern 
meadow hay. It is a late as w^ell as early grass and luxuri- 
ates in a dry sandy loam. It affords two and sometimes three 
crops in a single season. 

Red top, Herds Grass, Foul Meadow, or Fine Bent 
(agrostis vulgaris,) is a hardy luxuriant grass, loving a very 
moist soil, and somewhat indifferent as to its texture. The 
scale of its nutritive properties is put down in the Woburn 
experiments at a remarkably low rate, being less than one 
fourteenth of the value per acre of timothy in the seed. We 
think there must be an error in this estimate, as it grows lux- 
riantly under favorable circumstances and is relished by cat- 
tle ; but by observing farmers it is seldom cultivated where 
the better grasses will grow. 

Upright Bent Grass, Herds Grass or Foul Meadow 
(Agrostis siricta) is similar to the foregoing, and by some is 
deemed only a variety. 

Flat Stalked Meadow or Blue Gha&s {Poa compressa) 
is an early dwarfish grass, which abounds in the middle and 
northern states. It is tenacious of its foothold wherever it 
intrudes. It possesses little merit as hay, but is valuable for 
pasture affording as it does a close covering to the ground 
and yielding much in a small compass. 

American or Swamp Cook's Foot {Dactylis cynosuroi- 
des) is an indigenous swamp grass, yielding a large amount 
of grass or hay of inferior quality. 

Ribbon Grass (Phalaris Americana) is the beautiful stri- 
ped grass occasionally used for garden borders. It has been 
highly recommended for swamps, where it ^ is alleged 
that by transplanting, it supesrsedes all other grasses, 
and affords a fine quality of hay of an appearance quite dif- 
ferent from the upland growth. The waiter tried several ex- 
periments both with the seed and roots, on a clay marsh 
without success. Its proper pabulum is probably a carbona- 
ceous soil, such as is found in an alluvial swamp or peat bed. 

Gama Grass, ( Tripsacum dactyloides,) is found growing 
spontaneously on a naked sand beach in Stratford, Ct. and in 



THE GRASSES, MEADOWS, ETC. 89 

other places on our eastern coasts. It has occasionally been 
much lauded, but is a coarse rough' grass at the north, and 
seems not to be highly prized at the south. We have the 
opinion of some intelligent men in the latter section, that it 
is utterly worthless for any stock. 

Bermuda Grass. — This is considered by Mr. Spalding of 
Georgia, who examined them both critically from specimens 
which he raised together, as the Douh grass of India, so 
much commended by Sir William Jones, and so highly 
prized by the Brahmins. It is by the agriculturists of the 
south deemed an invaluable grass, yielding 4 or 5 tons per 
acre on good meadow. Mr. Affleck of Mississippi states the 
yield of 3 cuttings at '^.^ to 8 tons per acre on conmion mead- 
ow, that it loses just 50 per cent, of its weight in drying, and 
is consequently the hardest grass to cut. It is the most nu- 
tritive grass known, and to the river planter it is invaluable. 
There is not a levee on the banks of the Mississippi which 
could resist for an hour the pressure and attrition of its fear- 
ful flood but for their being bound together by this grass." 
It loves a warm and moist, but not wet soil. 

Grama {''^la grama^^^ or the "grass of grasses,") is held in^ 
the highest estimation by the Mexicans. It attains a medi- 
um height, and is deemed the most nutritious of the natural 
grasses in our south western frontier prairies, in California 
and parts of Mexico. It grows on dry, hard, gravelly soils, on 
side hills, the swells of the prairies, and the gentle elevations 
in the vallies. The principal value is found in the numerous 
seeds, which are retahied in the pods with great tenacity 
long after they are ripe, serving as a luxurious food for all 
the graniverous beasts and fowls of the western region. — 
(Dr. Lyman.) 

The Buffalo Grass is found intermixed with the Grama, 
and seldom grows more than a few inches in height. It 
forms a thick soft herbage, on which the traveller walks with 
ease, and reposes when weary, with delight. It yields a 
rich sustenace to countless herds of wild cattle, buftaloes, 
deer, antelopes^ dec. 

ToRMLLo OR Screw Grass. — This grows in great profu- 
sion in the region of the two last grasses, but is most con- 
spicuous on the table lands, and between the rivers and 
creeks, the tall grass of the lower levels giving place to it as 
the surface ascends. It is taller than the buflalo, with broad- 
er leaves. It bears a seed stock 8 or 10 inches, surrounded 
by a spiral shaped pod an inch long and one fourth of an inch 



90 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

diameter, which contains 10 or 12 round flattened seeds. — < 
The herbage is not relished by animals, but the ripened 
seeds yield a food of' great richness, on which innumerable 
herds of wild cattle fatten tor slaughter. Horses, mules and 
most other animals and fowls subsist upon it. — {Dr. Lyman.) 

The Prairie Grasses are found abundantly in the western 
prairies and afford largo supplies of nutritious food both as 
pasturage and hay. As a general rule however, they are 
coarse, and easily injured by the early frosts of autumn. Some 
of the leguminosae, or wild pea vines, which are frequently 
found among them, yield the richest herbage. We are not 
aware that any of these grasses have been cultivated with 
success. 

Tussac Grass (Dactylis cesjyitosa) is a luxuriant salt 
marsh grass, growing in large tufts, and is found in perfection 
on its native soil, the Falkland islands, between 51" and 52° 
south, and about 8" east of the straits of Magellan. Capt. 
Ross describes it as "the gold and glory of those islands. — 
Every animal feeds upon it with avidity, and fattens in a 
short time. The blades are about 6 feet long and from 200 
to 300 shoots spring from a single plant. About 4 inches of 
the root eats like the mountain cabbage. It loves a rank wet 
peat bog with the sea spray over it." Governor Hood of 
those islands says, " to cultivate the tussac, I would recom- 
mend that the seed be sown in patches, just below the surface 
of the ground, and at distances of about two feet apart, and 
afterwards weeded out, as it grows very luxuriantly, and to 
the height of six or seven feet. It should not be grazed, but 
reaped or cut in bundles. If cut, it quickly shoots up : but is 
injured by grazing, particularly by pigs, who tear it up to get 
at the sweet nutty root." 

Arundo Grass, (Arundo alopecurus.) — Mr. Hooker from 
the same islands says, " another grass, however, far more' abun- 
dant and universally distributed over the whole country, 
scarcely yields in its nutritious qualities to the tussac ; 1 
mean the Arundo Alopecurus, which covers every peat bog 
with a dense and rich clothing of green in summer, and a 
pale yelloAv good hay in the winter season. This hay, 
though formed by nature without being mown and dried, 
keeps those cattle which have not access to the former grass 
in excellent condition. No bog, however rank, seems too 
bad for this plant to luxuriate in ; and as we remarked du- 
ring our survey of Port William, although the soil on the 
quartz districts was very unproliiic in many good grasses 



THE GRASSES, MEADOWS, ETC. 91 

whicli rtourish on the clay slate, and generally speaking, of 
the wori>t description, still the Arundo did not appear to feel 
the change ; nor did the cattle fail to eat down large tracts of 
this pasturage." 

We have purposely devoted some space to the description 
of such new grasses as are indigenous to this continent, and 
which hy their superior value in their native localities would 
seem to commend themselves to a thorough trial in similar 
situations elsewhere. There are doubtless others of great 
merit, which experiment hereafler, will demonstrate to be of 
singular l)enetit to the American farmer. The subject of 
grasses has betMi but slightly investigated in this country in 
comparison with its immense importance ; and for this rea- 
son, with few exceptions, we are at a loss for the true value 
of the foreign and indigenous grasses to American husbandry. 

As an instance of the want of a well established character 
to some of our cultivated grasses, we quote the opinions of 
Dr. Muhlenburgh of Pa., who has written ably on the subject, 
and the late John Taylor, a distinguished agriculturist of 
Virginia, both of whom place the tall oat grass {Avena elatior) 
at the head of the grasses ; yet from the investigations made 
at Woburn it appears among the poorest in the amount of nu- 
tritive matter yielded per acre. Dr. Darlington, also of Penn- 
sylvania, does not mention it but gives the following as com- 
prehending " those species which are considered of chief value 
in our meadows and pastures, naming them in what I consi- 
der the order of their excellence. 1. Meadow or green grass, 
(Poa praiensis.) 2. Timothy, {PWeum 'pratense.) 3. Orchard 
grass, {Dactylis glomerala.) 4. Meadow fescue, (Festuca 
praiensis.) 5. Blue grass, (Po« C077ij9re5*a.) 6. Ray grass, 
{Loliiim perenne,) 7. Red toi^,(Agrostis vulgaris.) 8. Sweet 
scented vernal grass, {AnfJioxanthum odoratum.^^) 

The sweet scented, soft grass, or holy grass, (IIolcus odo- 
raius,) according to the Woburn table is next to the tall fiscue 
and timothy in point of nutritive matter to the acre, when cut 
in seed, and it is placed as far in advance of all others in the 
value of its aftermath ; yet scarcely any other authority men- 
tions it with commendation. Without relying on these ex- 
periments as an unerring guide for the American farmer, we 
append the table on the two following pages, as the fullest 
and most correct we have on the subject, and as affording a 
useful reference to some of the leading and most valuable of 
the English grasses, niost of which are more or less cuUiva- 
ted in this country. 



92 



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94 AMERICAN AGRICUITURE. 

Sowing Grass Seeds. — As a general rule grass seeds do 
best when sown early in the spring, on a fine tilth or mellow 
soil. If this is done while the frost is leaving the ground, 
no harrowing will be necessary, as the spring rains M^ash 
the seed into the honey-comb left by the frost, and secure to 
it an early germination. They are also successfully sown 
in August or September, when the fall rains will generally 
give them sufficient gro\vth to withstand the eifects of the 
succeeding winter, if the land be free from standing or sur- 
face water. It has recently been the practice of many judi- 
cious farmers, to renovate their old worn out meadows, by 
giving them a coating of unfermented manure, and then turn 
the sod completely over. On the surface thus plowed, a 
dressing of well rotted manure or compost with ashes, is 
spread and thoroughly harrowed lengthwise of the furrows. 
The seed is then sown and slightly harrowed in, and the 
decomposing manure and the stubble and roots of the sod 
give an immediate and luxuriant growth. Grain may occupy 
the land with the grass seed ; but if the latter be sown alone 
and sufficiently thick, the young plants will exclude the weeds 
and occupy the soil as profitably as can be done with the 
grain. There is usually a great deficiency of grass seed 
sown when permanent meadows or pastures are required. 
The English method is to mix together and sow on a single 
acre, without any grain, 4 or 5 bushels of various seeds 
which are the best adapted to the purpose. A quick and 
full growth rapidly covers the surface with a rich herbage, 
surpassing in value that of the best natural pastm-es or 
meadows. 

Lands that should be kept in perpetual grass, 
are such as are frequently under vrater, as salt and fresh 
water meadows ; such as are liable to ovcrllow, as the rich 
bottom or interval lands upon a river bank ; lieavy tena- 
cious clays and mountain or steep hill side land, which is 
peculiarly liable to w^sh from rains. The low bottom lands 
generally receive one or more annual dressings from the over- 
flowing waters. The fertilizing matters thus deposited are 
converted into hay, and become a reliable source for increas- 
ing the muck heap for other parts of the farm without deman- 
ding any thing in return. The thick sward of nutricious 
grasses which nature has so lavishly supplied to them, is an 
effectual protection against abrasion and waste from the 
overflowing water, while the crop if at any time submerged, 
can receive comparatively little injury. If plowed and the 



THE GRASSES, MEADOWS, ETC. 96 

fine loose earth is exposed to a sweeping current, much of the 
soil and all the crop may be lost. 

Strong clay lands cannot be properly worked without much 
labor, unless when under drained and well filled with manure; 
and they seldom exist in the former condition in this country. 
Yet these soils next to the fertile, self sustaining bottom 
lands, are the most profitable for the various grasses. When 
put into this crop, after first clearing off the native growth 
of wood, the fine vegetable mold at the surface, aided by 
the magazine of supplies contained in the clay below, gives 
to them the most certain and permanent growth. When 
once plowed this mold is turned under and the intractable 
clay takes its place on the surface; which, lacking those pecu- 
liarities of color, texture and chemical composition, we have 
before shown are essential to the most successful vegetation, 
the grass is thin and comparatively unproductive for years. 
When necessary to break up such lands, they should be 
thoroughly manured, evenly laid down, and heavily seeded to 
grass ; and if any deficiency of seed or growth is manifested 
they should receive an addition of seed with a compost 
dressing. 

The injury to plowing steep side hills is sufficiently apparent, 
as not only the soluble matters, but many of the finer particles 
of the soil are washed out and carried far beyond reach. 
Such lands should be kept in permanent pasture if not suita- 
ble for mowing. It fed off' by sheep, they drop most of 
their manure on the higher points which is partially washed 
down and sustains the fertility of every part. There is 
still another class of lands that should not be broken up for 
meadows. These are such as are filled with small stones 
from the surface of which they have been cleared, but which 
plowing and harrowing will again bring to it and there leave 
a perpetual annoyance to the mower. 

The means of renovating permanent Meadows and 
Pastures. — The general theory adopted in regard to pas- 
ture lands, is that they are manured suflficiently by the animals 
feeding on them. This opinion is only partially correct. 
Pastures wear out less than other lands, but when milch cows 
and working animals are fed upon theni? they carry off'much 
of the produce of the soil which is never again returned to it. 
Even the wool and carcass of sheep with the ordinary escape 
of the salts by the washing of the rains, will after a long 
time, impoverish the land. How much more rapidly when 
much of the manure and all the milk, which is rich in all 



96 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

the elements of plants, is daily carried from the soil. To 
such an extent have the permanent clay pastures of Cheshire, 
(in England,) been impoverished, that it has been found 
necessary to manure them with crushed bones, Avhich at 
once brought up their value more than 100 per cent. There 
is much phosphate of lime in milk, and bones which are 
mostly of the same material, are the best manure that could 
be used for dairy pastures. Wool contains a large proportion 
of sulphur, and sulphate of lime (gypsum) becomes a proper 
manure for sheep pastures ; but vi'hatever has a tendency to 
develop vegetation, will generally accomplish the object by 
yielding all the needful properties. Ashes and salt are of 
the highest value for pasture lands, and with the addition in 
some instances, of Irme, bones and gypsum, arc all that 
would ever be necessary for permanent pastiu-es. From the 
peculiar action of these, instead of growing poorer, 'pastures 
may become richer through every successive year. 

Permanent meadow lands if constantly cropped witlwut 
manures, may he exhausted with much greater i-apidity than 
pastures though this depreciation is much more gradual than 
with tillage lands. There is no greater mistake than to 
suppose they will keep in condition by taking off one annual 
crop only, and either pasturing the aftermath or leaving it to 
decay on the ground. By recurring to the table of the ash 
of plants, page 32, it will be seen that the analysis of hay 
there given shows over 5 per cent., while dried clover yields 
from 7 to 9 per cent, of earthy matter. Every particle of 
this is essential to the success of the plant, and yet if the 
land produces at the rate of 3 tons p6r acre, they are taken 
off to the amount of upwards of 300 llis per annum. No 
soils but such as are periodically flooded with enriching 
waters, can long suffer such a drain with impunity. They 
must he renewed with the proper manu7'es, or barrenness 
will ensue. Ashes, lime, bones, and gypsum, (the latter 
especially to to be applied to clovers, its good eflects not 
being so marked on the grasses,) are essential to maintain 
fertility, and to insure the greatest product, animal or vege- 
table manures must also be added. The proper manner of 
applying manure, is by mixing in a compost and scattering it 
over the surface when the grass is just commencing a vigor- 
ous growth in spring, or simultaneously with the first rains' 
after mowing. The growing vegetation soon buries the 
manure under its thick foliage, and the refreshing showers 
wash its soluble matters into the roots ; and even the gases 



THE GRASSES, MEADOWS, ETC. 97 

thai would otherwise escape, are immediatclj absorbed by 
the dense leaves and stalks which every where surround it. 
The loss of manure is trifling even in a state of active 
decomposition, when scattered broadcast under such circum- 
stances. 

Pasturing Meadows. — There is no objection to feeding oft' 
meadows in early autumn, while the ground is dry and the 
sod firm. The roots of the grass are rather beneiitted than 
injured by the browsing and the land is improved by the drop- 
pings from the cattle. But they should never ijc pastured in 
spring. It is economy to purchase hay at any price rather 
than to spring-pasture meadows. 

Rotation on grass lands. — Most soils admit of a profi- 
ta})lo rotation or change of crops, and wheie this is the case 
it is generally better to allow grasses to make up one of the 
items in this rotation. Where these are snccessfully grown 
in permanent meadows, this change or breaking up is less 
to be sought on their own account than for the other erops, 
which do better for having a rich fresh turf to revel in. Thus 
potatoes are sounder, better and yield more on turf than on 
old plowed ground ; and the grain crops are generally more 
certain and abundant than on other lands. But there are 
many of the light soils which retain the grasses only for 
a short time. These should be placed in a rotation which 
never assigns more than two years to gras«. 

Time for cutting grass. — This must depend on the 
kind of grass. We have seen that Timothy afTords nearly 
double the quantity of nutriment in seed than it does in 
flower, and it is then much more relished by stock. Timo- 
thy therefore should never be cut except when the seed is 
formed. The proper time is when it is between the milk 
and dough state, and will nearly ripen alter cutting. Orchard 
grass on the other hand, although it possesses two-sevenths 
more nutritive value for hay in the seed, yet as it is more 
tender, and preferred by stock when cut in flower, and as it 
continues to grow rapidly afterwards, should be always 
cut at that time. 

Curing Grass. — Many farmers do not consider the scorch- 
ing effects of our cloudless July suns, and the consequence is 
that hay is too much dried in this country. Unless the crop 
be very large, grass will generally cure sufl!iciently when 
exposed in the swath for two days. When shook or stirred 
out, it should not remain in this condition beyond the first 
day, as it will lose much of its nutritive juices ; nor should 
D 



08 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

dew or rain be permitted to fall upon it unless iti cocks. It 
is better after partially drying, to expose it for three or 
four days in this way, and as soon as properly cured place it 
under cover. It is a good practice to salt hay when put up, 
as it is thus secured against damage from occasional green- 
ness ; and there is no waste of the salt as it serves the double 
object after curing the hay, of furnishing salt to the cattle and 
the manure.rheap. 

THE CLOVERS, 

Sometimes improperly called grasses, are botanically ar- 
ranged in the order, leguminoscB, under the same head with 
the bean, pea, locust, vetches, &;c. More than 160 species 
of clover have been detected by naturalists. Their properties 
and characteristics are totally unlike the grasses, with which 
they agree only in their contributing in a similar manner to 
the support of farm stock. There are many varieties culti- 
vated abroad, but the attention of farmers in this country has 
been limited to a very few. 

The CoMMor^f Red or Northern Clover, (Trifolium 
pratense,) a biennial, and occasionally on calcareous soils, a 
triennial, is the species most generally in use in the United 
States. This is a hardy, easily cultivated variety, growing 
luxuriantly on every properly drained soil of sufficient strength 
to afford it nutriment. It has numerous strong well devel- 
oped stems, branching outwardly and vertically from a single 
seed, and bearing broad thick leaves which are surmounted 
by a large reddish purple flower. By the analysis of Da,M.y 
the whole plant yields an amount of nutritive matter fully 
equal to any other of the clovers. 

Mode of Cultivation, — Clover may be sown broadcast either 
in August or September, or early in the spring, with most of 
the cereal grains or the cultivated grasses ; or it may pro- 
fitably constitute a crop by itself. The quantity of seed 
required per acre depends on the kind of soil. On well pre- 
pared loams 10 or 12 lbs. of good seed will frequently give 
a full covering to the land, while on clay 12 to 16 lbs. arc 
necessary per acre. When so"wn with the grasses, 4 to 6 lbs. 
on the first, and 8 to 12 lbs. on the last soil will suffice. An 
additional amount of seed, as with the grasses, will give a 
finer quality of hay in consequence of multiplying the number 
of stalks ; and for this purpose, as well as to insure it on every 
spot of the field, it should always be liberally sown. The 
covering, like that of grass seeds, should be of the slightest 



r 



THE GRASSES, MEADOWS, ETC. 99 

kind ; and when sowi:; very early in the spring or on well 
pulverized grciunds and followed by rains, it will germinate 
freely without harrowing. After the leaves are developed 
in the spring, nn application of gypsum should be made 
by sowing broadcast, at the rate of one to three or tour bush- 
els per acre. The ellect of this on clover is singularly great, 
and it seems to be augmented by applying it on the leaves. 
This may perhaps be accounted for in the fact, that besides 
its other uses, gypsum yields a considerable proportion both 
of its sulphuric acid and lime to the plant and thus consti- 
tutes a direct food. The iniiuence of gypsum is almost 
incredible in developing the clovers on fields where they 
were hardly discernable before. This may be witnessed in 
almost any soil where gypsum has any effect. By sowing 
a quantity over thft grass })lat containing either the seeds or 
plants of the clover, however thin or meagre they may be, 
an immediate and luxuriant growth distinguishes the spot 
which has received it, from all the surrounding field. Bones 
are invaluable manure for the clovers. The table of the 
ashes shows the great quantity of lime and phosphoric acid 
(the leading elements of bones) which the clovers contain in 
comparison with the rye grass which is a type of the other 
grasses. Thus I he red clover has about ibur times as much 
lime, twenty-six times as much phosphoric acid, more soda 
and sulphuric acid, and nearly twice and a half as much 
potash as the grass. The white clover has about four times 
the potash ; the lucern nearly seven times tlie lime, and 
fifty-two times the sulphuric acid contained in the grass. 

Such are the various demands of plants and the necessity 
of providing each with its specific food. And hence the 
advantage of cultivating a variety of grasses and clover on 
the same spot. Each, it is true, draws its nutriment from 
the same elements, but in such unlike proportions that when 
they cease to yield adequate supj)ort to one the soil may still 
be rich in those which will give luxuriant growth to others. 
Thus two or more of the forage plants when growing toge- 
ther may each yield a large crop, swelling the aggregate 
product far beyond what would be realized in the separate 
cultivation of either. This is one of the instances, and it is 
sufficiently satisfactory, of the utility of good husbandry in 
the cultivation of the mixed grasses and foryge. 

Time for ciUting and mode of curing Clover, — Clover should 
be cut after having fully blossomed and assumed a brownish 



100 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

hue. By close cutting more forage is secured and the clo- 
ver afterwards springs up more rapidly and evenly. The 
swath, unless very heavy, ought never to be stirred open 
but allowed to wilt on the top. It may then be carefully 
turned over and when thus partially cured, placed in high 
slender cocks and remain till sufficiently dry to remove into 
the barn. The clover may be housed in a much greener 
state by spreading evenly over it in the mow from 10 to 20 
quarts of salt per ton. Some add a bushel but this is more 
than is either necessary or judicious for the stock consum- 
ing it, as the purgative effects of too much salt induce a 
wasteful consumption of the forage. A mixture of alternate 
layers of dry straw with the clover, by absorbing its juices 
answers the same purpose, while it materially in)proves the 
flavor of the straw for fodder. 

After -management of clover fidds. — The second crop of 
clover may be either saved for seed, mown, pastured, or 
turned under for manure. As this is usually a biennial 
when allowed to ripen, the stocks die off after the second 
year, unless its seeding has been prevented, and the crop is 
only partially sustained by the seed which may have ger- 
minated the second year from the first sowing, or from 
such as has been shed upon the surface from the seed ma- 
tured on the ground. The maximum benefit derivable to 
the soil in the manure of the stubble and roots is attained the 
second year, as we have seen that the dried roots of the clo- 
ver at that time are in the proportion of 56 for every 100 
lbs, of clover hay produced from them in two years. But 
the ground is then so full of the roots as to check further 
accumulation. This then is the proper time for plowing up 
the field and renewing again its accustomed round of crops. 
If desirable, the clover may be imperfectly sustained on 
some soils for a iew years by the addition of gypsum, bone- 
dust, ashes and otlier manures, which will develop and 
mature the ripened seeds, but the greater tenacity of other 
plants and grasses, will soon reduce il to a minor product in 
the field. 

Importance of the Clovers. — The great value of the diffe- 
rent clovers as forage was well known to the ancients. 
They were largely cultivated by the early Romans, and 
since that period, they have been extended throughout a 
large part of Europe. They were not introduced into Great 
Britain till the 16th century, but have since constituted a 



I 
I 



THE OR ASSES, MEAPOWS,, 15^% lOl 

profilable branch of its husbandry. Their impoitance has 
long been acknowledged in the United States. The nutri- 
, tive matter, although relatively less than from some of the 
grasses, is yet in the amount per acre, fully equal to the 
average of any other forage crop which is produced at the 
same expense. It is early and cheaply raised, it is liable to 
few or no casualties or insect enemies in this country, and 
its long tap roots are powerful auxiliaries in the division 
and improvement of soils. Its broad, succulent leaves de- 
rive a large portion of their nutriment from the atmosphere, 
and thus while it aflbrds a product equal to the best grasses, 
it draws a large part of it from the common store house of 
nature without subjecting the farmer to the expense of pro- 
viding it in his manures. 

It is as a l^ertilizer however, that it is so decidedly superior 
to other crops. In addition to the advantages before enu- 
merated, the facility and economy of its cultivation, the 
great amount yielded, and lastly the convenient form it offers 
for covering with the plow, contribute to place it far above 
any other vegetable. All the grains and roots do well after 
clover, and wheat especially which follows it, is more gene- 
rally free from disease than when sown with any other 
manure. The introduction of clover and lime in con- 
nexion, has carried up the price of many extensive tracts of 
land from -$10 to $50 per acre, and has enabled the occu- 
pant to raise large crops of wheat where he could get only 
small crops of rye ; and it has frequently increased his crop 
of wheat three-fold where he had before produced it. 

It is a common observation of intelligent farmers, that 
they are never at a loss to renovate such lands as will pro- 
duce even a moderate crop of clover. Poor clay lands 
not capable of bearing it, have become so by sowing an early 
and late crop of oats in the same season and feeding them 
off on the ground. Poor sandy soils may be made to sustain 
clover with manure, ashes and gypsum, combined with the 
free use of the roller. This object is much facilitated* by 
scattering dry straw over the surface, which affords shade, 
increases the deposite of dew and prolongs its effects. When- 
ever the period of clover-producing is attained, the improve- 
ment of the soil may be pushed with a rapidity commensu- 
rate with the inclination and means of the owner. 

Harvesting clover seed may be done generally after 
taking off one crop, or pasturing the field till June, or at 



lo-:^ 



'AMrsrCAN AORTrrLTFRE. 



such time as experience shows to he the proper one for 
leaving it to mature a full crop of seed. Early mowing 
removes the first weeds, and the second growth of the clo- 
ver is so rapid as to smother them and prevent their seeding, 
and the clover is thus saved comparatively clean. It is then 
mown and raked into very small cocks, and when dried at 
the top they are turned completely over without breaking, 
and as soon as thoroughly dried they may may be carried 
to the tlireshing floor and the seeds beaten out with sticks, 
light flails, or with a threshing machine. An instrument 
with closely set teeth and drawn by a horse is sometimes 
used for collecting the clover heads from the standing stalks 
from which the seed is afterwards separated. If wanted for 
use on the farm, these heads are sometimes sown without 
threshing. The calyx of the clovers is so firmly attached 
to the seed as to be removed with difficulty, but if thrown 
into a heap after threshing and gently pressed together a 
slight fermentation takes place and the seed is afterwards 
readily cleaned. A fan or clover machine may be used for 
cleaning the seed for market. The produce is from three 
to six bushels per acre which is worth to the farmer from 
$3 to $5 per bushel of 60 lbs. 

Southern Clover (Trifolium medium) is a smaller spe- 
cies than the T. pratense and matures ten or fourteen days 
earlier, and the soil best suited to it is nearly similar. It 
does better on a light thin soil than the larger northern and 
should be sown thicker. Strong clay or rich loamy soils 
will produoe much heavier crops of the larger kind. Expe- 
rience alone will determine which of these kinds should be 
adopted under all the circumstances of soil, fertility, &c. 

White Creeping Clover (Trifolium repetis.) — There 
are several varieties of white clover all of which are hardy, 
nutritious and self-propagating. Wherever they have once 
been, the ground becomes filled with the seed which spring 
up whenever an opportunity is afforded them for growth. 
They are peculiarly partial to clay lands having a rich 
vegetable mould on the surface, and the addition of gypsum 
will at all times give them great luxuriance. Their dwarf 
character renders them unfit for the scythe, while the dense 
matted mass of sweet rich food ever growing and ever 
abundant, makes them most valuable for pasture herbage. 

The Yellow Clover, Hop Trefoil or Shamrock (Tri- 
folium procumhens) like the white, is of spontaneous growth, 



k 



THK GRASSES, MEADOWS, ETC. 103 

very liardy and prolific. It bears a yellow flower and black 
seeds. It is one ot* those unostentatious plants, which though 
never sown and little heeded, help to make up that useful 
variety which gives value and permanence to our best 
pasture lands. 

Many other op the minute Clovers and LEOUMfNOs^B, 
THE VViLn Pea, &;c., abound in our untilled lands and add 
much to the value of the forage, althougli their merits and 
even their existence are scarcely known. 

Crimson or Scarlet Clover {Trifolium incarnatum) is 
a native of Italy and much cultivated in France. It bears 
a long head of bright scarlet flowers, and in southern Europe 
is a profitable crop. Although it was introduced into this 
country many years since it has not hitherto commended 
itself to particular attention as an object of agriculture. 

Locern {Medicago saiiva) is one of the most productive 
plants for forage ever cultivated. It was extensively cultiva- 
ted by the Greeks, and other nations of antiquity for many cen- 
turies, and it has been a prominent object of attention in Ita- 
ly, Spain, France, Holland and Flanders. Its relative value 
as compared with clover (T. prcUense,) is decidedly inferior, 
while its absolutle value per acre, is much greater. It was 
early introduced into this country. Chancellor Livingston 
published his experiments with it in 1791 to '94, by which he 
estimates that he cut in one season, at the rate of 6 1-5 tons 
per acre in five cuttings, yielding a profit of over $35 an acre. 
It bears from three to five crops per annum, containing from 
three to eight tons of hay. Those who have cultivated it pro- 
nounce it hardy and as capable of successful growth in this 
country as clover, but to reach the highest product, it requires 
a richness of soil and carefulness of cultivation, which would 
give an enormous produce to its more humble rival. 

Manner of Cultivation. — It must have a deep, dry, loamy 
soil, free from weeds, and well filled with manure. A suita- 
ble crop to precede it is corn or potatoes, heavily manured 
and kept clean. Plow in the fall, and add 40 bushels crush- 
ed bones per acre ; and early in April, harrow throughly, and 
sow in drills from one to two and a half feet apart at the 
rate of 8 or 10 lbs. seed per acre. Stir the ground and ex- 
tirpate the weeds with the cultivator or horse and hand hoe. 
It may be lightly cropped the first year, and more freely the 
second, but it does not attain full maturity till the third. The 
roots strike deep into the ground, and being a perennial, it 
requires no renewal, except from the loss of the plants by 



104 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

casualties. It should be cut before getting too heavy, and 
cured like clover. Liquid manure is good for it, as are also 
gypsum and ashes. Barn yard manure is occasionally neces- 
sary, but to avoid weeds, it must be thoroghiy fermented to 
destroy all the seeds. It is sometimes sown broad cast, but 
the rapid progress of weeds, grass, &c. in the soil will soon 
extirpate it if they are suffered to grow ; and there is no other 
means of effectually eradicating them but by cultivating the 
kicern in drills, and the hoe and cultivator can then keep the 
weeds in subjection. It is one of the most valuable plants 
for soiling. From the care and attention required, the culti- 
vation of lucern is properly limited to an advanced slate of 
agriculture and a dense population, where labor is cheap and 
products high. In the neighborhood of large cities it may be 
advantageously grown, and in all places where soiling is 
] practiced. 

Sain-foin [Hedysarum onobrychis,) the esparcette of the 
French, is a native of the chalk soils of Europe and is adapt- 
ed only to strong calcareous lands. On such it is a valuable 
herbage, as the roots penets-ate to a great depth and yield 
large burdens of nutritious fodder. Though often attempted, 
we are not aware that it has been raised to any extent in this 
country. 

Bokhara or Sweet-s(;ented Clover {Melilotus major) 
is a tall, shrub-like plant, growing to the height of .4 to G 
feet with branches whose extremities bear numerous small 
■white flowers of great fragrance. When full grown it is too 
coarse f<:)r forage, but if thick and cut young it yields a pro- 
fusion of greem or winter fodder. It should be sown in the 
spring with about 2 lbs. of seed per acre, in drills 16 to 20 
inches apart; it must*be kept clear of weeds and cultivated 
like kicern. It requires a rich, mellow, loamy soil. There 
are some other plants which might probably be introduced 
into American husbandry for forage with decided advantage. 
Among these is 

Spurry (Spcrgiila m^ensis.) — It is a hardy plant which 
grows spontaneously in the middle states. Its chief merit 
consists in its growing on soils too thin to bear clover. On 
such it can be judiciously used to bring them up to the clover 
bearing point, from which they can be taken and carried for- 
ward much more rapidly by the clovers. Van Voght says, 
" it is better than red of white clover ; the cows give more 
and better milk when fed on it, and it improves the land in an 
extraordinary degree. If the land is to lie several years in 



THE GRASSES, MEADOWS, ETC. 105 

pasture white clover must be sown with it. When sown in 
the middle of April it is ripe for pasture by the end of May. 
If eaten o^f iu June, the land is turned flat and another crop 
is sown which affords fine pasture in August and September. 
This operation is equivalent to a dressing often loads of manure 
per acre The blessing of spurry, the clover of sandy lands, 
is incredible when rightly employed." Three crops can be 
grown upon land in one season which if turned in or fed on 
the ground, can be made a means of rapid improvement. 

PASTURES. 

It is too often the case, that pastures are neglected and 
like woodlands are allowed to run to such vegetation as un- 
assisted nature may dictate. As a necessary consequence, 
their forage is frequently meagre and coarse and incapable 
either in quantity or quality ot suppporting half the number 
of cattle in poor condition, that might otherwise be full fed 
from them. But if we consider that pastures furnish most of 
the domestic stock with their only food for seven months of 
the year at the north, and generally for ten months at the 
south, they may well be deemed worthy the particular atten- 
tion of the farmer. 

Pastures ought to he properly divided ; and it is perhaps 
a difficult point to determine between the advantge of small 
ranges, and the expense and inconvenience of keeping up 
numerous divisions. The latter requires a large outlay on 
every farm, not only for the first cost of material and 
annual repairs, but from the loss of land occupied by them ; 
and they are further objectionable from their harboring 
weeds and vermin. Yet it is beneficial to give animals a 
change of feed, and the grass comes up evenly and grows un- 
disturbed, if the cattle be removed for a while. There is a 
further advantage in being able to favor some particular indi- 
viduals or classes of animals. Thus fattening stock ought to 
have the best feed ; milch cows and working animals the 
next ; then young stock ; while sheep will thrive on shorter 
feed than either and greedily consume most plants which 
the others reject. By this means a field will be thoroughy 
cleansed of all plants which animals will eat, and the remain- 
der should be extirpated. The same care should be taken to 
prevent the propagation of weeds in pastures as in other fields. 
Many of these, mullen, thistle and the like, muUiply prodi- 
giously from sufferance, and if unchecked will soon over- 
spread the farm. 
D* 



106 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

Every pasture should if possible, be provided with running 
^vater and shade trees, or other ample protection against a 
summer's sun. The last can at all times be secured by a few 
boards supported on a light, temporary frame. Excessive 
heat exhausts and sometimes sickens animals, and conse- 
quently it materially diminishes the effects of food in promo, 
ting their secretion of milk, the growth of wool, flesh, &c. 
Pastures ought to be protected against poaching in the spring 
or late in the autumn. All grounds immediately after long 
and late rains in the fall or the winter's frosts, are liable to 
this when exposed to the hoofs of cattle, particularly clay 
lands and such as have been recently seeded. On late, and 
off early, is a good rule to be adopted for spring and fall 
pasturing. Wherever the grasses disappear, fresh seeds 
should be added and harrowed in ; mosses should be destroy, 
ed ; they should be properly drained and every attention 
paid to them that is bestowed on the mowing lands, except 
that they seldom require manures. But ashes, gypsum, 
lime, &c., may frequently be applied to them with great pro- 
fit. Pas^tures should take their course in rotation when they 
get bare of choice herbage or full of weeds and it is possible 
to break them up advantageously. Though many choice, na- 
tural forage plants may thus be destroyed, yet if again turned 
into grass at the proper period and they are sown with a plen- 
tiful stock of assorted grass seeds on a rich and well prepared 
surface, they will soon place themselves in a productive state. 



fiRAiN AND Its CULTIVATION. 107 



CHAPTER VII. 



GRAIN AND ITS CULTIVATION. 

WHEAT (Triticum). 
This is one of the most important and mo.st generally 
cultivaled of the cereal grains, (or grasses as they are bo- 
tanically termed,) though both rice and maize or Indian 
corn, contribute lo the support of a larger population. It is 
found in every latitude excepting those which approach too 
nearly to the poles or equator, but it can be profitably raised 
only within such as are strictly denominated temperate. 
Linnfeus describes only six varieties, but later botanists enu- 
merate about thirty, while of the sub-varieties there are sev- 
eral hundred. The only division necessary for our present 
purpose is of the winter wheat, (Triticum hyhurnvm) and 
spring or smnmer wheat (Triticum (Bstivvm). The former 
requires the action of frost to bring it to full maturity, and is 
sown in Autumn. Germination before exposure to frost, 
docs not however, seem absolutely essential to its success, 
as fine crops have been raised from seed after having been 
saturated with water and frozen for some weeks, and sown 
early in spring. It has also been successfully raised when 
sowed early in the season and while the frost yet occupied 
the ground. Spring and winter wheat may be changed 
from one to the other by sowing at the proper time through 
successive seasons, and without material injury to their 
character. The latter grain is by far the most productive, 
the stiaw is stouter, the head more erect and full, the 
grain plumper and heavier, and the price it bears in market, 
from 8 to 15 per cent, higher than that of spring wheat. 
This difference of price depends rather on the appearance 
of the flour and its greater whiteness, than on any intrinsic 



108 AMERICAN AGRICULTUKE, 

deficiency in its substantial qualities. The analysis of Davy 
gave in 100 parts of 

IiisoluUlt; 
Gluten. Staich, mattef. 

Spring wheat of 1804, 24 70 « 

Best Sicilian winter wheat, 21 74 5 

Good English winter wheat of 1803 19 77 4 

Blighted wheat of 1804 13 53 34 

This analysis gives the greatest nutritive value to the spring 
wheat, as the gluten constitutes the most important element 
in flower, resembling so nearly as it does animalized matter. 
It will also be noticed that the Silician yields about 2 per 
cent more gluten than the English, which enables the flour 
to absorb and retain a much larger proportion of water when 
made into bread. This is what is termed by the bakers, 
strength; and when gluten is present in large proportions, 
other qualities being equal, it adds materially to the value of 
flour. American wheat also contains more gluten than 
English, and that from the southern states still more than 
that from the Northern. An eminent baker of London 
says, American flour will absorb from 8 to 14 per cent, 
more of its own w^eight of water when manufactured into 
bread or biscuit than their own ; and another reliable 
authority asserts, that while 14 lbs of American flour will 
make 21 i lbs of bread, the same quantity of English flour 
will make only 18 i lbs. As a general rule, the drier or 
hotter the climate in which the grain is raised, the greater is 
the evaporation and the more condensed is the farina of the 
grain, and consequently, the more moisture it is capable of 
absorbing when again exposed to it. Certain varieties of 
wheat possess this quality in a higher degree than others. 
Some manures and some soils also give a difference with 
the same seed, but for ordinary consumption, the market 
value (which is the great consideration with the farmer,) is 
highest for such wheat as gives the largest quantity of bright 
flour, with a due proportion of gluten. Other prominent 
difi^erences exist among the leading cultivated varieties of 
wheat, such as the bearded and bald or beardless, the white 
and rod chaff, those having large and strong stalks, or a 
greater or a less tendency to tiller, or to send out new stems, 
<Sz;c., &c. There is great room for selection in the several 
varieties, to adapt them to the difterent soils, situations, and 
climate for which they are designed. 

Preparation of the Land for Sowing. — Wheat is 
partial to a well-prepared clay or heavy loam, and this is 



(illAIN AND ITS CtLTIVATlON. 109 

Improved when it contains either naturally or artificially a 
large [)roportioii of lime. Many light and all marly or cal- 
eareou:> soils, if in proper condition, will give a good yield 
of wheat. Lime is an important aid to the full and certain 
growth of wheat, checking its exuberance of straw and its 
liability to rust, and steadily aiding to fill out the grain. A 
rich mellow turf or clover ley is a good bed for it ; or land 
which ha?; been well manured and cleanly cultivated with 
roots or corn the preceding yeai*. Fresh barn-yard manure 
applied directly to the wheat crop, is objectionable, not only 
from its containing many foreign seeds, but from its tendency 
to excite a rapid growth of weak straw, thus causing the 
grain both to lodge and rust. The same objection lies 
against sowing it on rich alluvial or vegetable soils ; and in 
each, the addition of lime or ashes, or both, will correct these 
evils. A dressing of charcoal has in many instances, been 
found an adequate preventive ; and so beneficial has it 
proved in France, that it has been extensively introduced 
there for the wheat crop. A successful example of uninter- 
rupted cropping with wheat through several years, has been 
furnished by a Maryland farmer, Avho used fresh barn-yard 
manure with lime. But this is an exception not a rule, and 
it will be found that profitable cultivation requires, that wheat 
should take its place in a judicious rotation. The great pro- 
portion of silica in the straw of cereal grains, (amounting in 
wheat, barley, oats and rye, to about four-fifths of the total 
of ash from the grain and straw,) shows the necessity of 
having ample provision made fen* it in the soil, in a form 
susceptible of ready assimilation by the plant. This is af- 
forded both by ashes and from the action of lime upon the 
soil. 

Depth of soil is also indispensable to large crops. The 
wheat plant has two sets of roots, the first springing from 
the seed and penetrating downwards, while the second push 
themselves laterally near the surface of the ground from the 
first joint. They are thus enabled to extract their food from 
every part of the soil, and the product will be found to be in 
the ratio of its extent and fertility. Under-draining and 
sub-soil plowing contribute greatly to the increase of crops, 
and it is essential that any surface water be entirely removed. 
Wheat on heavy clay lands are peculiarly liable to winter 
kill unless they are well drained. This is owing to succes- 
sive freezing and thawing, by which the roots are broken 
or thrown out. When this is done to a degree that will 



llO AMERICAN AGRirrLTURE. 

materially diminish the crop, the naked spots may be sown 
with spring wheat. Any considerable portion of the latter 
will lessen the value Tor sale, but it is equally good ibr domes- 
tic use. The land should be duly prepared ior the rece})tion 
of the seed by early and thorough plowing, and harro\^ ing 
if necessary. 

Selection and Preparation of Seed. — Many persons 
select their seed by casting or throwing the grain to some 
distance on the floor, using only such as reaches the farthest. 
This is a summary way of selecting the heaviest, plumpest 
grain, which if Sprengel's theory be correct, is attended 
with no advantage beyond that of separating it from the 
lighter seeds of chess or weeds. It is certain that the utmost 
care should be taken in removing every thing from it but 
pure wheat, and this should be exclusively of the kind 
required. When wheat is not thoroughly cleaned by casting, 
a sieve or riddle should be used, or it should even be picked 
over by hand, rather than sow anything but the pure seed. 
Previous to sowing, a strong brine should be made of salt 
and soft water, and in this the grain should be washed for 
five minutes, taking care to skim off all light and foreign 
seeds. If the grain be smutty this washing should be 
repeated in another clean brine, when it may be taken 
out and intimately mixed with one-twelfth its bulk of fresh 
pulverized quick lime. This kills all smut, cleans out 
weeds from the grain, and insures early rapid growth. 
When the seed is not smutty, it may be prepared by soaking 
or sprinkling it with stale urine and afterwards mix with the 
lime ; and if well done this also will prevent smut though 
the first is most certain. (See " varieties of seed " following 
for further directions.) 

Quantity of Seed and time of Sowing. — On well 
pulverized, ordinary wheat soils, about 5 pecks of seed is 
sown to the acre, while rough land, clay soils and such as 
are very fertile, require from 6 to 8. In Maryland, but 3 
pecks are frequently sown to the acre, and some of the best 
crops have been raised from only 2 pecks of seed on a finely 
pulverized soil. It takes more seed when full and plump 
than when shrunken, as there may be nearly two of the lat- 
ter to one of the former in the same measure. A difference 
is to be observed according to the kind of wheat, some need- 
ing more than others. A larger quantity of seed produces an 
earlier growth of lighter straw and head, but does not usually 
increase the aggregate crop. There is always a tendency 



GRAIN AND ITS CrLTIVATtON. ill 

in wheat and most of the cereal grasses to tiller or send out 
new shoots for future stalks. This is a law of these plants*, 
whicii compels them to make the greatest effort to cover the 
whole ground, and sometimes a single seed will throw 
out njore than 100 stalks. In early sowing, the wheat tillers 
in the autumn ; in late sowing this is done in part only till 
the ensuing spring. Thick sowing is a substitute for tiller- 
ing to the extent that would otherwise be induced, and is 
equivalent to earlier sowing of a smaller quantity. The time 
for sowing in our Northern states is from the 10th to 20th 
September. If sown earlier it is liable to attack from the 
Hessian fly, and if later, it does not have time to root as well, 
and is in more danger of being thrown out by the frost or of 
winter killing. Late sowing is also more subject to rust the 
following season from its later ripening. 

Sowing. — When the ground has been well mellowed, the 
seed may be sown broadcast and thoroughly harrowed in. ^ 
Rolling is a good practice as it presses the earth closely upon 
the seed and facilitates germination, and as soon as the seed 
is covered the water furrows should be cleaned out, and again 
late in autumn and early in the following spring. In nor- 
thern Europe it has been found a preventive against winter 
killing on strong clays, to sow the wheat in the bottom of 
each furrow 6 inches deep, and cover it with the succeeding 
one. The wheat thus planted, comes up as soon as on the 
lields sown broadcast and harrowed, grows more vigorously, 
withstands the winters and produces large crops. Lightly 
plowing in wheat is perhaps under any circumstances better 
than harrowing, as the wheat is thereby all buried, and at a 
more suitable depth than can be done by the harrow. The 
roughness of the furrows when left without harrowing, is 
advantageous in heavy or clay lands, and only injurious in 
light or sandy. 

After Culture. — Harrowing in the spring by loosening 
the soil, adds to the growth of the crop, and the loss of the 
few plants is much more than compensated by the rapid 
tillering and vigor of those which remain. Sowing in drills 
and hoeing between them is much practiced in Europe. 
The additional amount thus frequently raised would seem to 
justify the adoption of this mode of cultivation in this coun- 
try; and it should at least be done so far as to give it a fair 
trial. On light soils, rolling the wheat both in fall and 
spring is highly advantageous. When the growth is luxu- 
riant, decided benefit has attended feeding off the wheat on 



112 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

the field in the fall or spring, taking care to permit the ani- 
mals to go on only when the ground is firm. 

Enemies of Wheat. — These are numerous. It is subject 
to the attack of the Hessian Fly if sown too early in the 
fall, and again the ensuing spring, there being two annual 
swarms of the fly earl}^ in May and September. When thus 
invaded, harrowing or rolling, by which the maggots or flies 
are displaced or driven ofl' is the only remedy of much avail. 
Occasionally other flies, and sometimes wheat worms com- 
mit great depredations. There is no effectual remedy known 
against any of these marauders, beyond rolling, i^rushing 
and harrowing. Dusting the grain with lime, ashes and 
soot, have been frequently tried, as have also the sprinkling 
them with urine, dilute acids, dz;c.; and also by fumigating 
them in the evening when the smoke creeps along through 
the standing grain. For this last purpose a smouldering 
%eap of damp brush, weeds, or chips, is placed on the wind- 
ward side of the field, and its efficacy may be increased by 
the addition of brimstone. Whenever obnoxious to these 
attacks, the only safety is to place the crop in the best con- 
dition to withstand them by hastening its growth, and by 
the propagation of the most hardy varieties. An application 
of unleached ashes in damp weather will sometimes dimin- 
ish the ravages of worms at the root. Quck lime has the 
same effect on all insects with which it comes in contact, 
but it should be carefully applied to avoid injury to the 
plants. 

S?nut is a dark brown or blackish parasitic fungus, w^hich 
grows upon the head and destroys the grain. The only rem- 
edy for this, is washing in two or three successive strong 
brines, and intimately mixing and coating the seed with 
quick lime. 

Rust affects the straw of w^heat while the grain is form- 
ing and before it is fully matured. It is almost always pres- 
ent in the field, but is not extensively injurious except in 
muggy (close, showery and hot) weather. The straw then 
bursts from the exuberance of the sap, which is seen to 
exude, and a crust or iron colored rust is formed in longitu- 
dinal ridges on the stalk. It is generally conceded that this 
rust is a fungus or minute parasitic plant which subsists on 
the sap ; but whether it be the cause or consequence of this 
exudation is not fully determined. There is no remedy for 
this when it appears, and the only mitigation of its effects, 
is to cut and harvest the grain at once. The straw in this 



GRAIN AND ITS CULTIVATION. Il3 

case will bo saved, and frequently a tolerable crop of giain 
which partially matures after cutting ; while if suffered to 
stand, both straw and grain will be almost totally lost. The 
only preventives experience has hitherto found, are the selec- 
tion of hardy varieties of grain which partially resist the 
ertccls of rust ; sowing on elevated lands where the air has a 
free circulation ; the abundant use of saline manures, salt, 
lime, gypsum, and charcoal ; the absence of recent animal 
manures ; and early sowing which matures the plant before 
the disease commences its attack. 

Harvesting. — The grain should be cut immediately after 
the lowest part of the stalk becomes yellow, while the grain 
is yet in the dough state and is easily compressible between 
the thumb and finger. Repeated experiments have demon- 
strated that wheat cut then, will yield more in measure, of 
heavier weight, and a larger quantity of sweet white flour. 
If early cut, a longer time is required for curing before 
threshing or storing. 

Threshing is usually done among extensive farmers, with 
some one of the large horse machines taken into the field. 
The use of machines enables the farmer to raise some of the 
choicest kinds of grain, whose propagation was limited before 
their introduction, by the great difiiculty of separating the grain 
from the head. He can also push his wheat into the market 
at once if the price is high, which is frequently the case im- 
mediately after harvest ; and they save all expense and trou- 
ble of moving, storing, loss from shelling, and vermin, inte- 
rest, insurance, 6lc. For the moderate farmer, a small, single 
or double horse machine, or hand threshing in winter where 
there is leisure for it, is more economical than the 6 or 8 
horse thresher. 

Mowing or stacking. — When stored in the straw, the 
grain should be so placed as to prevent heating or molding. 
This can only be avoided, unless very dry before carrying 
into the barn, by laying it on scaffolds where there is a fi-ee 
circulation of air around and partially through it. If placed 
in a stack, it should be well elevated from the ground ; and if 
the stacks arc large, a chimney of lattice or open work should 
be left from the bottom running through the centre to the 
top ; or a large bundle may be kept at the surface in the 
centre, and drawn upwards as the stack rises, thus leaving 
an opening from the bottom to the roof. Additional security 
would be afforded by similar openings horizontally at suitable 
intervals, so as to admit the air from one side to the other. 



114 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 



Mice and rats may be avoided by laying the foundation of the 
stack on posts or stones elevated beyond their reach, and 
covered at the top with projecting caps. Weevils sometimes 
affect the grain after storing. These may be almost if not 
wholly prevented by thorough cleanliness of the premises 
where the grain is stored. 

Tlie straw and chaff of wheat should never be wasted. 
This is the most nutritious of the cereal straws, and yields 
good fodder to cattle in time of scarcity, and is always valu- 
able for this object when cut and mixed with meal or roots ; 
and particularly when early harvested and well cured. Tur- 
neps and straw are the only food of half the cattle and most of 
the sheep throughout Great Britain, and nowhere do tliey 
thrive more or better remunerate their owners than in that 
country. It is of great use also as bedding for cattle, and as 
an absorbent of animal and liquid manures. It furnishes in 
itself the best manure for succeding grain crops ; containing 
large proportions of the salts or ash required. When thresh- 
ed on the fieldj and not wanted for cattle, it should be scat- 
tered over the ground and either plowed in or suffered to de- 
cay on the surface. 

Varieties of seed. — Much depends on the judicious selec- 
tion of seed. Some soils are peculiarly adapted to wheat grow- 
ing, and on these should be sown the finest varieties, which 
are generally of a more delicate character. Wheat on other 
soils, is liable to many casualties, and on such only the har- 
dier kinds should be propagated. Careful and repeated expe- 
riments with different varieties of seeds, on each field or on 
those which are similar, will alone determine their adaptation 
to the soil. There are several choice varieties of winter 
wheat in cultivation in the United States, some of which 
stand higher in one, and some in another section. Some in 
high repute abroad, have been introduced into this country 
and proved to be valuable acquisitions, while others have 
been found on trial, decidedly inferior to many of the long 
adopted varieties. Experiment alone will enable the farmer 
to decide as to their value for his own grounds, however 
high they may stand elsewhere. When of a fine quality and 
found to produce well on any given soils, their place should 
not be usurped by others till repeated trials have shown their 
superiority either in yield or quality. But when the acclima- 
ted grain is inferior, other seed from remote distances, even 
if no better in quality, may properly be substituted for it, as a 
decided benefit has been found to follow an exchange. 



ORiJ^IN AND ITS CULTIVATION. 115 

Wheat and nearly all seeds are found to be more productive 
when taken from a soil inferior to the one intended for sow- 
ing ; and it is claimed liiat what is produced both in a warmer 
and colder climate will mature earlier. It is not essential 
that the fullest, heaviest grain be sown. Sprengel affirms 
that seed somewhat shrunken is more certain to give a good 
yield than the choicest seed ; and numerous trials would 
seem to tavor this conclusion. The grain designed for seed 
should be well ripened before harvesting. From the ever 
varying character of the diflerent kinds of seed, their superi- 
ority at one time and on one locality, and their inferiority at 
other times and in other situations, it seems almost superflu- 
ous to give a particular enumeration of the present most pop- 
ular kinds. A brief mention of such only as stand high in 
public favor in this country, with some of their most striking 
peculiarities, is all that our limits will admit. 

The improved fi'mt is extensively cultivated in the fine 
wheat growing country of western New- York; where it was 
introduced in 1822. It is hardy and withstands the winters 
remarkably well. A striking improvement in the strength of 
its straw has been observed, which at first inclined to lodge, 
but it is now erect and firm till fully ripened. The heads 
are also fuller and longer than when first introduced ; the 
berry is plump and white, yielding a large proportion of choice 
flour ; and it is retained in the head w^ith great tenacity which 
is a decided advantage for econamy in harvesting, w^here 
threshing machines are substituted for the flail. 

The old Genesee red chaff is a bald white wheat, first cul- 
livated in the same region in 1798 ; and for a long time it 
was the decided tavorite. Since 1820 however, it has been 
very subject to rust and blast, but when circumstances are 
favorable it is still found to be highly productive. Its trans- 
fer to other localitities, may therefore be attended with great 
success. 

Tfie white May of Virginia was a choice variety and exten- 
sively raised in the neighborhood of the Chesapeake bay in 
1800, but is now nearly extinct there. It has been cultivated 
in New- York for 10 years, is a good bearer, very heavy ; 
weighing frequently 66 lbs. per bushel, and ripens early, by 
which it escapes rust. 

The Wheatland red is a new variety discovered and propa- 
gated by Gen. Harmon of Monroe co., N. Y., by whom it is 
held in high estimation. It produces w^ell and ripens early. 



116 . AMERICAN AGRICULTURE* 

T1i£ Kentucky white bearded^ Hutchinson or Canadian jiint 
is very popular in Western New- York where it has been ra- 
pidly disseminated since its first introduction sonic 12 years 
since. It is hardy, a good yielder, with a short pkinip berry, 
weighing 64 Ib.s. per bushel. It requires thicker sowing 
(about 25 per cent, more seed) than the improved flint, as it 
does not tiller as well, and unlike that it shells easily, wasting 
much unless cut quite early. 

The English velvet heard or Crate wheat has a coarse straw, 
large heads, a good berry of a reddish hue, and is well adapt- 
ed to the rich alluvial bottom lands, where its firm straw pre- 
vents its lodging. It is a fair yielder and tolerably hardy, but 
its long beard is a great objection to its introduction on such 
lands as are suited to the finer kinds. 

The Yorkshire or English flint or Soules wheat has been 
recently introduced, and is similar in its leading features to 
:)he old Genesee. 

The white Provence is a new and favorite variety, but its 
slender stalk frequently subjects it to lodging. It is only suit- 
ed to the finest calcareous wheat soils. 

The blue stem has been raised with great success in Union, 
Penn., where it resisted smut and rust when all other kinds 
in the vicinity were affected by it. 

The Mediterranean is a coarse wheat with a thick skin, 
yielding a dark flour. It resists rust and the fly, is a good 
bearer, and may be profitably grown w^here other choice kinds 
fail. 

The Egyptian, Smyrna, Reed, Many spiked, or Wild goose 
wheat is also a hardy variety, with a thick, heavy straw which 
prevents its lodging. 

Production of new varieties of wheat. — Besides in- 
troducing valuable kinds from abroad and the improvement by 
careful cultivation of such as we now have, new varieties 
may be secured by hybridizing or crossing. This is done by 
impregnating the female organs of the flowers on one plant, 
by the pollen from the male organ of another. The progeny 
sometimes materially differs from both parents, and occasion- 
ally partakes of the leading qualities of each. Among those 
thus produced, some may be found of peculiar excellence and 
w^orthy of supplanting others whose value is declining. The 
effect of this crossing is striking in the ear of corn, where the 
red and white, the blue and yellow^ kernels are seen to blend 
in singular confusion over the whole ear, each differing too 



GRAIN AND IT8 CULTIVATION. 117 

in size, shape and general qualities. Observation will some- 
times detect a new variety of wheat in the field, self hybridi- 
zed, the result of an accidental cross. If this has superior 
merit, it should be carefully secured and planted in a bod by 
itself for future seed. 

Propagation may be extended with incredible rapidity by 
dividing the plant. The English Philosophical Tran^;actions 
give the result of a trial made by planting a single grain on 
the 2d of June; on the 8th of August it was taken up and 
sisparated into 18 parts and each planted by itself. These 
were subdivided and planted between 15th of September and 
15th of October, and again the foUowing spring. From this 
careful attention in a fertile soil, 500 plants were obtained, 
some containing 100 stalks bearing heads of a large size ; 
and the total produce within the year was 386,840 grains 
from the single one planted. 

Spring VVheat. — This requires a soil similar to that of 
winter grain, but it should be of a quick tind kindly charac- 
ter as it has a much shorter time to mature. Ths ground 
should be well pulverized and fertile. The best crops are 
raised on land that has been plowed in the fall, and sown 
without additional plowing, taking care to harrow in tho- 
roughly. When planted early, the wheat rarely suffers 
from the fly as it attains a size and vigor beyond the reach 
of injury before it appears. In certain localities where the 
fly abounds and the wheat has not been early sown, it is 
found necessary to keep back the young plants till the disap- 
pearance of the fly. Large crops have been obtained under 
favorable circumstances, when sown as late as the 20th May. 

Varieties. — The Black Sea Wheat is one of the most 
popular kinds at present cultivated. Of this there are two 
varieties, the red and the white chaff, both of which are 
bearded. The former is generally preferred. This wheat 
has yielded very profitable crops. The Siberian is a valua- 
ble wheat, and has been much raised in this country. It 
produces a full, tine grain, is hardy and a good bearer. 
The Italian has been much cultivated, and held in high esti- 
mation, but it is now generally giving place to the pre- 
ceding where each has been tried. 

There are some other varieties which bear well and are 
tolerably hardy. Excellent spring grain has been produced 
by early sowing from choice winter wheat, which has 
retained most of the characteristics of the original under its 



118 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

new summer culture. In large sections of this country 
wheat has been seriously injured by winter-killing and other 
casualties; and wherever these prevail and the soil is suited 
to it, summer wheat may be advantageously introduced. A 
proper attention to the selection of seed and the prepara- 
tion of the soil will generally insure a profitable return. 
If its market value is not as high, it may at least afford 
all that the farmer and his laborers require ; and he will 
generally find if not in a wheat-growing region, that he 
can d&pose of his surplus crop among his neighbors before 
the next harvest comes round and at satisfactory prices. 

RYE (Secale screak) 

Is extensivel}' cultivated in the northeastern and middle 
Atlantic states. It is grown on the light lands of Ohio 
and Michigan, and as the supporting elements of wheat 
become exhausted in the soil of the rich agricultural states 
of the west, it will take its place in a great measure on 
their lighter soils. Most of the Eastern and Atlantic states 
when first subjected to cultivation, produced wheat ; but 
where lime did not exist in the soil the wheat crop soon failed, 
and it has gradually receded irom the Atlantic border, except 
in marly or calcareous soils or these that were reclaimed by 
a plentiful addition of lime, rye almost universally succeeding 
it. But the liberal use of lime with the agriculteral improve- 
ments of the present day are regaining for wheat much of its 
ancient territory. 

Rye resembles wheat in its bread-making properties, and 
for this purpose is only second to it in those countries where 
it is cultivated. There is a peculiar aroma attached to the 
husk of the grain, which is not found in the finely bolted 
fiour. The grain when ground and unbolted is much used 
in the Nev/-England states for mixing into loaves with scalded 
Indian meal ; it is then baked for a long time and is known 
as rye-and-Indian or hroicn bread. This possesses a sweet- 
ness and flavor peculiar to itself, which is doubtless owing 
in no small degree to the quality above mentioned. Von 
Tliaer says " this substance appears to iacilitate digestion 
and has a singularly strengthening, refreshing and beneficial 
effect on the animal frame," Rye is more hardy than wheat 
and is a substitute for it on those soils which will not grow 
the latter grain with certainty ond profit. 

Soil and Cultivation. — Neither strong clay or calcare- 
ous lands are well suited to it. A rich sandv loam is the 



GRAIN AND ITS CULTIVATION. 119 

natural soil for rye, though it grows freely on light sands and 
gravels which refuse to produce either wheat, barley or oats. 
Loamy soils that are too rich for wheat and on which it 
almost invarial^ly lodges, will frequently raise an excellent 
crop of rye, its stronger stem enabling it to sustain itself under 
its luxuriant growth. 

The Preparation of thk Soil for Rye, is similar to 
that for wheat ; and it may be advantageously sown upon a 
rich old turf or clover ley, or after corn or roots where the 
land has been well manured and thoroughly cleansed from 
weeds. There is not an equal necessity for using a brine- 
steep for rye as for wheat, yet if allowed to remain a few hours 
in a weak solution of saltpetre or some of the other salts, it 
promotes speedy germination and subsequent growth. 

Sowing. — There is but one species of rye, but to this cul- 
tivation has given two varieties, the spring and winter. Like 
wheat they are easily transformed into each other by sowing 
the winter continually later through successive generations to 
change it into spring grain, and the opposite for its re-conver- 
sion into winter grain. The last should be sown from the 
20th of August to the 20th of September, the earliest requi- 
ring less seed, as it has a longer time to tiller and fill up the 
ground. Five pecks is the usual quantity sown, but it varies 
from one to two bushels according to the quality of the soil, 
the richest lands demanding most. It is a practice among 
many farmers to sow rye among their standing corn on light 
lands, hoeing it in and leaving the ground as level as poss- 
ble. On such lands this is attended with several advantages, 
as it gives the grain an early start and a moist, sheltered po- 
sition, at a time when drought and a hot sun would check 
or prevent vegetation. As soon as the corn is sufficiently 
matured, it should be cut up by the roots and placed in com- 
pact shocks, or removed to one side of the field, when the rye 
should be thoroughly rolled. When sown on a fresh plowed 
field, it should be harrowed in before rolling. Great success 
has attended the turning in of green crops and following the 
fresh plowing with instant sowing of the seed. This brings 
it forward at once. No after cultivation is needed except 
harrowing in spring and again rolling if the land is light, both 
- of which are beneficial, for though some of the stools may be 
thus destroyed, the working of the ground assists the remain- 
ing plants so as to leave a great advantage in favor of the 
practice. A friend of the writer had occasion to plow some 
land in the spring which joined a field of rye belonging to a 



120 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

neighbor. The owner claimed damages for supposed injury 
by the team and plow, which it M^as agreed should be assessed 
on examination after harvesting, when it appeared, that the 
damaged part was the best of the whole field. An honest 
English yeoman received several pounds from a liberal 
squire, for alleged injury to his young grain from the tram- 
pling of horses and hounds in hot chase after a fox ; but at 
harvest he found the crop so much benefitted by the operation 
that he voluntarily returned the money. If the rye is luxuri- 
ant, it may be fed both in the fall and spring. Early cutting 
as in wheat produces more weight, larger measure and 
whiter flour. What is intended for seed, must however be 
allowed to ripen fully on the ground. 

Diseases. — -Rye is subject to fewer casualties than wheat. 
Ergot or cockspur frequently aflects it. This fungus is dis- 
covered not only on rye, but on other plants of the order 
graminae. Several of these elongated, curved and brownish 
spurs appear on a single head, and they are most frequent in 
hot, wet seasons. They are poisonous both to man and 
beast, and when eaten freely they have generated fatal epi- 
demics in the community; and emaciation, debility and in 
some cases death to animals consuming it. The sloughing 
of the hoofs and horns of cattle has been attributed to ergot 
in their grass and grain. Rust like that which affects the 
wheat crop, and owing probably to the same causes, attacks 
rye. When this happens it should be cut and harvested 
without delay. 

Rye for Soiling is sometimes sown by those who wish late 
forage in autumn and early in spring. For this purpose it 
should be sown at the rate of 2 to 4 bushels per acre. If on 
a fertile soil and not too closely pastured, it will bear a 
good crop of grain; and in some cases when too rank, early 
feeding will strengthen the stalk and increase the grain. 

BARLEY ( Hordeum) 
Is a grain of extensive cultivation and great value. Like 
wheat and rye, it is both a winter and spring grain, though 
in this country it is almost universally sown in the spring. 
There are six varieties, differing in no essential points and all 
originating from the same source. Loudon says in choosing 
for seed, " the best is that which is free from blackness at 
the tail, and is of a pale lively yellow, intermixed with a bright 
whitish cast ; and if the rind be a little shrivelled so much the 
better, as it indicates thin skin. The husk of thick-rinded 



GRAIN AND ITS CULTIVATION. 1^ 

barley is too stiff to shrink and will lie smooth and hollow 
even when the flour is shrunk within. The necessity of a 
change of seed from time to time, for that grown in a different 
soil, is in no instance more evident than in this grain, which 
otherwise becomes coarser every successive year. But in 
this as in all other grain, the utmost care should be taken that 
the seed is lull bodied." 

The principal varieties are the two and six rowed ; the last 
being preterred for hardiness and productiveness in Europe, 
and the first generally cultivated in this country for its supe- 
rior fulness and freedom from smut. There are numerous 
sub-varieties, such as the Hudson's Bay which ripens very 
early and bears abundantly ; the Chevalier and Providence, 
both accidental, of which a single stalk was first discovered 
among others of the ordinary kinds, and proving superior and 
of luxuriant growth, they were widely propagated ; the 
Peruvian, Egyptian, <&,c. New varieties may be produced 
by crossing, as with wheat. 

Soil. — Barley requires a lighter soil than will grow good 
wheat, and a heavier than will grow tolerable rye ; but in 
all cases it must be one that is well drained. A mellow rich 
loam, ranging between light sand or gravel and heavy clay, 
is best suited to it. 

Cultivation. — It may be sown as soon as the ground is 
sufficiently dry in spring, on a grass or clover ley turned over 
the preceding fall ; or it may follow a well manured and 
cleanly hoed crop. If sown on a sod it should be lightly 
plowed in, but not so deep as to disturb it, and afterwards 
harrowed or rolled. The soil should always be well pulver- 
ized. From li to 2h bushels per acre is the usual allowance 
of seed, poor and mellow soils, and early sown, requiring the 
least. Barley should never follow the other white grains, 
nor should they succeed each other unless upon very rich 
soil. No farmer can long depart from this rule without 
serious detriment to his soil and crops. Barnyard manures 
should not be applied directly to this grain unless it be a light 
dressing of compost on indifferent soils ; or in moderate 
quantity after the plants have commenced growing in spring. 
When the plants are 4 or 5 inches high, rolling will be of 
service if the ground is dry and not compact. This operation 
gives support to the roots, destroys insects, multiplies seed 
stalks and increases their vigor. 

Destroying weeds in grain, — When grain is infested with 
cockle, wild mustard or other weeds, they should be extirpa- 
E 



122 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

ted by hand before they are fairly in blossom. If neglected 
till sometime after this, the seed is so well matured as to 
ripen after pulling, and if then thrown upon the ground they 
will defeat the effort for their removal. When too luxuriant, 
barley like rye may be fed off for a few days, but not too 
closely. 

The Harvesting of barley should be seasonably done 
or its extreme liability to shell will cause much waste, and 
on the contrary, it will shrivel if cut before fully matured. 
It may be stacked like wheat. 

The uses of Barley are various and important. In 
Europe it forms no inconsiderable part of the food of the 
inhabitants. The grain yields from 80 to 86 per cent, of 
flour, which however contains but 6 per cent, of gluten ; 7 
per cent, being sacharine matter and 79 mucilage or starch. 
It is inferior in nutriment to wheat and rye but superior to 
oats. In this country it is principally used for malting and 
brewing and in some cases for distilling, but when ground is 
more generally appropriated to fattening swine, though some- 
times used for other stock. 

THE OAT (Avena saliva) 

Is cultivated throughout a wide range of latitude and on a 
greater varioty of soil than any other grain. It will grow 
on rich or poor, and on dry or moist soils ; on the heaviest 
clays and the lightest sands, and it will pay as well on rich 
lands as any other crop. The average yield on good soils is 
from 30 to 40 bushels per acre, and on the richest when well 
cultivated, it has exceeded 120 bushels. It is exposed to 
fewer injuries than other grain, being seldom affected by 
rust, smut or insects. The wire-worm is most destructive 
to it, especially when sown on fresh sod. The most effectual 
mode of extirpating these and other troublesome insects is 
to turn the sud over late in the fall just before our severe 
winter fjosts. They thus become chilled and incapable of 
seeking a safe retreat from their fatal effects. If not plowed 
at that time, it should be done immediately before sowing in 
spring, when by turning them into the bottom of the furrow, 
they cannot find their way to the surface in sufficient num- 
bers to prey upon the plant before it gets beyond the reach of 
their attacks. 

Varieties. Of these, Loudon mentions nine as being 
well defined and entirely distinct, besides which there are 
many local or recent sub-varietes. He says " The White or 



\ 



GRAIN AND ITS CULTIVATION. 1^ 

common oat is in most general cultivation in England and 
Scotland and is known by its white husk and kernel. The 
Black oat known by its black husk and cultivated on poor 
soils in the north of England and Scotland. T/ie Red oat 
known by its brownish red husk, thinner and more flexible 
stem and firmly attached grains. It is early, suffers little 
from winds, meals well, and suits windy situations and a 
late climate. The Poland oat^ known by its thick white 
husk, awnless chaff, solitary grains, short white kernel, and 
short stiflT straw. It requires a dry warm soil but is very 
prolific. The black Poland oat is one of the best varieties ; 
it sometimes weighs 50 lbs to the bushel. The Friezland or 
Dutch oat has plinnp thin skinned white grains mostly double, 
and the large ones sometimes awned. It has longer straw 
than the Poland, but in other respects resembles it. The 
Potato oat has large, plump, rather thick skinned, white 
grains, double and treble, with longer straw than either of 
the two last. It is now almost the only kind raised in the 
north of England and the south of Scotland, and brings a 
higher price in the London market than any other variety. 
They have all been derived from the produce of a single 
stalli which was first discovered growing in a field of potatoes 
in England, in 1788. The Georgian oat is a large grained, 
remarkably profitable variety and on rich soil, in good tilth 
has produced more than any other variety. Tlie Siberian or 
Tartarian is by some conceded a distinct species. The 
grains are black or brown, thin and small and turned mostly 
to one side of the panicle and the straw is coarse and reedy. 
It is little cultivated in England, but is found very suitable for 
poor soils and exposed situations. The winter oat is sown at 
the rate of 2 bushels per acre in October, the plants are luxu- 
riant and tiller well, and afford good winter and spring pas- 
ture for ewes and lambs, and when these are shut out, it 
affords an ample crop of grain in August." 

TJie Hopetown oat originated from a single stalk that was 
first discovered in 1824, by Mr. Sherriflf, in a field of potato 
oats. It is distinguished by its exceeding height, and supe- 
rior produce when sown on rich soils. Thje Dyock oat is a 
recent sub-variety of the Potato oat, and it is claimed for it 
that it exceeds the last in the number of bushels yielded per 
acre, and also in the weight of the grain and the quantity 
of meal. The Skinless oats, much commended in Ireland, 
have been tried in this country without much success. They 
have shown a tendency to degenerate, the necessary effect 



124 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

of previous highly artificial cultivation. There are many 
other varieties which have a partial or local popularity, and 
from the readiness with which new kinds are produced, care- 
ful attention and observation on the part of the farmer, will 
detect from time to time such as may have a decided value 
over others for particular localities. A superior kind was 
discovered in a field of common oats in Oneida County, N.Y. 
some years since, and from the produce of one stool it became 
widely disseminated and has uniformly proved both hardy 
and prolific. The variety most cultivated in the United 
States, is the common white, which is hardy and a good 
bearer, weighing from 32 to 35 lbs per bushel. The black 
oat is preferred in western N. Y. and some other sections of 
the country. Repeated trials have been made with the 
potato oat, a heavy grain weighing from 35 to 45 lbs per 
bushel, but its merits have not proved conspicuous enough 
to have given it the place of the old and long tried varieties 
in the United States. 

Cultivation. — In this country oats are sown at the rate 
of 2 to 4 bushels per acre during all the spring months and 
sometimes, though rarely, in .Tune. The earliest sown are 
usually the heaviest and most productive. They may occupy 
a turf or follow any of the well-manured hoed crops as men- 
tioned in the preceding grain. No apparent advantage has 
been derived from steeps for the prevention of smut as in 
wheat, the impervious husk of the oat apparently arresting 
the liquid and preventing its penetration to the kernel. 
Sowing salt broadcast over the land at the rate of 2 to 6 
bushels per acre has been found of use to the crop, both in 
furnishing it with a necessary manure and by killing insects. 
The seed should be well harrowed in and rolled and no after 
attention is required except to destroy the prominent weeds. 

Harvesting. — Oats frequently ripen unevenly and if there 
is a large proportion of such as are backward, the proper 
time for cutting will be as soon as the grain in the latest may 
be rubbed out of the straw by hand. The oat is sufficiently 
matured for harvesting after it has passed the milk state, and 
is easily compressed between the thumb and finger. The 
lower part of the stalk will then have assumed a yellow color 
and it ceases to draw nutriment from the soil. If cut at this 
time the straw is better for fodder and for other uses ; the 
grain is fuller ; the husk lighter ; and the loss from shelling, 
which is frequently a great item when left too late, is avoided. 
Oats when very tall are most profitably cut with the sickle, 



OllAIN ANt) ITS CULTIVATION. lH^ 

and when lodged, with the scythe ; but when erect and of 
medium height, with the cradle, which is by far the most 
speedy and economical, and this leaves them in a suitable 
position for binding into sheaves. They may be stacked 
like wheat. 

The uses of oats are vai'ious and differ materially in dif- 
ferent countries. In Scotland, Ireland, and many other 
countries, oat meal is much used as human food and for this 
the potato oat, or some one of the heavy kinds is prefened, 
as they aflbrd a larger proportion of meal and less of husk. 
Scotland, " the land o' cakes " draws no inconsiderable part 
of the support of her entire laboring population from this 
meal, which is formed into small thin cakes and eaten with 
milk, butter, &;c., or it is mixed with water or milk and made 
into a kind of pudding under the name of stirabout^ a favorite 
dish, which is said to be palatable to those accustomed to it. 

Davy found in 1000 parts of Scotch oats, 743 of soluble 
or nutritive matter, containing 641 of mucilage or starch, 
15 saccharine matter, and 87 gluten or albumen. Those 
of England, gave 59 of starch, 6 of gluten, 2 of saccharine 
matter, and 33 of husk in 100 parts. They are but little 
used f()r human food in this country, and this is principally 
by emigmnts who bring their early habits with them. They 
are prepared by kiln-drying and hulling, then grinding and 
bolting when required to separate the flour. The meal is 
scalded before using and mixed with about half its weight 
of wheat flour when made into bread. It is sold by the 
apothecaries to invalids for whom it is valuable on account 
of its light, digestible character. It is also stirred into 
water, making an excellent beverage for laborers in hot 
weather. The principal use of oats however, in the United 
States, is as food for working animals, tor which it is unri- 
valled. Oats are sometimes used when ground, for fattening 
cattle, sheep and swine, but for this purpose they are far 
surpassed by corn, barley, peas or boiled potates. They are 
an excellent fodder for stock sheep and for them arc most 
economically fed in the straw. 

INDIAN CORN, {Zea maize). 
This next to the grasses, is by far the most important crop 
of the United States. The census returns for 1840, gave 
387,000,000 bushels ; and for 1843 the estimate of the 
whole product of Indian corn in this country was over 494,- 
000,000 bushels. The eflect of this immense production of 



126 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

a staple article is felt in every department of our agriculture; 
and is conclusively shown by the low prices of beef, pork, 
mutton, human food, whiskey and highwines, to all of which 
corn is made largely to contribute. Nearly all the beef and 
pork of the vast and fertile west, and much in the north and 
south is fed upon it. Corn seemg to have been created for 
this western hemisphere. It is raised in boundless luxuri- 
ance from the frozen regions of Canada, almost to the Straits 
of Magellan. It riots in the fierce blaze of our cloudless 
western sun, and it is here that it attains the highest perfec- 
tion. Its most prolific area on this continent lies between 
40° North and 38** South latitude, deducting a limited portion 
of the equatorial regions. Close attention in its cultivation 
is necessary when receding from these limits towards the poles 
on account of a deficiency of sun for ripening it. In such 
localities, the smaller and earlier kinds should be planted on a 
warm soil so as to mature before the first frosts. 

Varieties. — There is no one of the cereal grains or grass- 
es which manifests itself under such multiplied forms as maize. 
From the little shrubby stalk that grows on the shores of Lake 
Superior to the palmetto-like corn of the Miami Valley, and 
from the tiny ears and flattened, closely clinging grains of the 
former, the brilliant rounded little pearl, or the thickly wedged 
rice corn, to the magnificently elongated, swelling ear of the 
Kentucky, with its deeply indented gourd seed, it is develop- 
ed in every grade of sub-variety. The kernels are long,- round, 
or flat, and are white, yellow, blue, red or striated ; Ijut each 
contain the same principles of nutriment combined in some- 
what different proportions, and contributes for equal weights, 
nearly in the same ratio to the support of man and the lower 
order of the animal creation. The analysis of corn as given 
by Dr. Dana, is in 100 parts, of 

Flesh forming principles, (gluten and albumen) 12'60 
Fat forming, (gum, sugar, starch, oil, woody fibre,) 77*09 
Salts, 1-31 

Water, 9 

100 
Besides the kinds in general cultivation in this country, 
varieties have been occasionally introduced from abroad, of a 
character so different as almost to entitle them to the distinc- 
tion of independent species. Such are the Chinese tree corn, 
bearing its slender ears at the extremity of several expanded 
branches ; the Egyptian with its millet-like head ; the Ore- 



GRAIN AND ITS CULTIVATION. 127 

gon with its separate husk or envelope for every distinct ker- 
nel. But if we narrowly watch tha vagaries of nature, we 
shall notice deviations from the matter of fact standards of our 
domesticated varieties, which approximate so closely to the 
most fanciful of the exotics, that we are compelled to believe 
that all those which have hitherto come within our notice, 
originated from one common head ; and that all the peculi- 
arities are owing to the difference of soil, climate and cul- 
ture, and the carefully cherished eccentricities of nature, aid- 
ed by a skilful science or well practised art. It is needless 
to particularise the many popular kinds of corn under suc- 
cessful cultivation in this country. They are found to vaiy 
with almost every degree of latitude and longitude ; and there 
are not unfrequently numerous kinds held in deservedly high 
estimation within a single district. From these there will be 
no difficulty in selecting such as will best repay the farmer's 
attention. 

The soil for corn must be dry, rich and well pulverized. 
Neither strong clay, wet or poor lands will yield good crdps 
of com. Land can scarcely be too rich for it, and the fresh- 
er and less fermented the manure applied to it is, unless on 
light sandy soils, the better it will be for the crop. A great 
error is committed in raising corn as with most of our tillage 
crops, from not having the soil sufficiently enriched ; though 
this error is diminished in the case of such as will not bear 
an excess of manure. Corn is a gross feeder and necessarily 
ranges over a great space in search of food. It has a large 
amount of stalk, leaves and grain to provide for in a few 
weeks, and its increase will be commensurate with the supply 
of food. 

A clover ley or rich grass sod is an excellent preparation 
for corn, with the addition of manure when required. But 
the manure should always be scattered broadcast, plowed 
and well harrowed in. The roots will be certain to find it 
and in consequence of its general diffusion, the development 
of the ear and ^rain will correspond with that of the stalk 
and leaves. When manured in the hill on poor soil, it comes 
forward early, and this induces an extension of the roots, 
which finding little support, the crop is limited to the stalks 
and leaves and a small proportion of grain. 

The selection of seed should be made with the utmost 
care, not only from the best varieties, but the best seed of 
the particular kind desired. Some of the choicest have been 
brought to their present perfection by selecting only the ear- 



128 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

liest and largest ears from the most prolific stalks. This 
ought always to be done before the corn is gathered in the 
field where there is an opportunity for comparison. 

Preparation op seed. — Repeated experiments have de- 
monstrated the great utility of steeping corn for 24 to 48 
hours before planting, in a solution of saltpetre. This ac- 
celerates the growth of the plant, and is a protection against 
birds, squirrels and mice, and for a while it will keep off 
worms. An effectual remedy against these depredations is 
to add half a pint of boiling tar to a peck of seed, stirring the 
corn briskly for several minutes as the tar is added, till every 
kernel is thinly coated with it. This supercedes the necessi- 
ty of the worse than absurd remedy of scare scrows. The 
crows and other birds are of great advantage to the farmer 
on all his fields as they pick up numberless insects, grubs and 
worms which infest the ground and destroy or seriously in- 
jure the vegetation. 

Planting. — Corn may be planted in hills from 3 1-2 to 4 
1-2 feet assunder, and with from 3 to 5 stalks well spread in 
each hill, according to the kind of seed, quality of land, 610. 
Some plant in drills, but this is objectionable as the trouble of 
cultivation is greater without increasing the yield. Thick 
planting gives fewer ears upon a stalk and those of less size. 
The time of planting at the North is usually within the three 
first weeks of May, depending much on the season. Late 
frosts will sometimes cut down the first leaves without de- 
stroying the germ, but it is always best to defer planting till 
all apprehensions of it ai-e removed. In the more Southern 
States earlier planting is desirable, and it is there put into the 
ground in March and April. To give regularity to the rows 
and facilitate after culture, the furrows for the seed should be 
struck out each way with the utmost exactness, and twice 
the corn planted that is required to remain. It should be 
covered about 2 inches. The surplus plants can be pulled 
up at the second hoeing when all fear of injury is past. If 
the land is light, it should be laid fiat before planting and af- 
ter this, it should be thoroughly rolled. 

Cultivation — The ground may be stirred when the 
plants first show themselves. This is most economically 
done with the cultivator or light plow, and if the operation 
be frequent and thorough there will be little use for the hoe. 
Hilling or heaping the earth around the plants should always 
be avoided except with very heavy soil or such as is liable 
to an excess of moisture ; in all other cases it should remain 



OBAIN AND ITS CULTTVATION. 129 

flat. Stirring the gronnd in dry weather is peculiarly be- 
neficial to corn and all hoed crops. Some omit it then from 
fear of the escape of moisture, but its effect is precisely the 
reverse, as nothing so certainly produces lightness, porosity 
and unevenness in the soil, which under the head of soils and 
draining, we have shown facilitated the admission and es- 
cape of heat, that inevitably secures the deposit of large 
quantities of moisture, even in the driest and most sultry wea- 
ther. Corn and other crops, which were withering from ex- 
cessive drought, have been at once rescued from its effects by 
a thorough use of the plow and cultivator. Well drained, 
dark colored and rich porous soils will be found to suffer much 
less in drought than others which lack these characteristics. 
Harvesting. — If there be no danger of early frost, the 
corn may be suffered to stand till fully ripe ; though if the 
stalks are designed for fodder, they are better to bs cut when 
the grain is well glazed, and this should be done in all cases 
where frost is expected. Scarcely any injury occurs either 
to the leaf or grain if the corn be stooked, when both would 
be seriously damaged from the same exposure if standing. 
The stalks of corn should never be cut above the ear, but 
always near the ground, and for this obvious reason. The 
sap which nourishes the grain is drawn from the earth, and 
passing through the stem enters the leaf, where a change is 
effected analogous to what takes place in the blood when 
brought to the surface of the lungs in the animal system ; 
with this peculiar difference however, that while the blood 
gives out carbon and absorbs oxygen, plants under the influ- 
ence of light and heat, give out oxygen and absorb carbon. 
This change prepares the sap for condensation and conver- 
sion into the grain. But the leaves which thus digest the 
food for the grain are above it, for it is while passing down- 
ward that the change of the sap into grain principally takes 
place. If the stalk be cut above the ear nourishment is at an 
end. It may then become firm and dry but it is not increas- 
ed in quantity, while if cut near the root, it not only appro- 
priates the sap already in the plant, but it also absorbs addi- 
tional matter from the atmosphere which contributes to its 
weight and perfection. It must be perfectly dried in the 
field, and after this husked and carried into an airy loft or 
stored in latticed or open barracks. The stalks may be housed 
or carefully stacked for fodder. Many of our Western farmers 
allow both grain and stalks to stand in the field till wanted for 
use, when they are fed in an adjoining enclosure. This is 



130 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

more economically done b^^ first cutting (or what is better, by 
both cutting Siwd grinding, which may be accomplished by a re- 
cently invented machine,) and then mixed either with roots or 
meal. When fodder is high, the stalks and leaves will repay 
the expense of cultivation. 

Corn for soiling. — Corn has recently been much culti- 
vated for fodder, and for this purpose the soil should be in high 
condition and well pulverized. It should be prepared in a 
pickle of salt petre like that intended for ripening, and may 
be sown broadcast and harrowed in at the rate of 3 or 4 bush- 
els per acre. A much better method is to sow thickly in drills, 
and stir the groimd with a light plow or cultivator. The sow- 
ing may be done early or late, though the first is most success- 
ful. It should be cut before the frosts touch it, and dried pre- 
vious to housing. Several tons of excellent forage have been 
raised from a single acre. In the report of Mr. Leak to the 
Pedee Agricultural Society of South Carolina, it is asserted 
that 138,816 lbs. of green corn stalks have been cut from one 
acre in a season, weighing when dry, 27,297 lbs. 

The uses of corn in this country are various. It is large- 
ly fed to fattening and working animals, but must be judicious- 
ly fed to the latter and only in cool weather. It is exten- 
sively manufactured into high-wines and whiskey, (a sad per- 
version of one of the best gifls of nature.) It is converted 
into oil, molasses and sugar to a very limited extent, and is 
variously and largely applied to domestic uses. While green 
it is boiled and roasted in the ear ; or it is cut from the cob 
and cooked with the garden or kidney bean, which forms the 
Indian succotash. When ripe, it is hulled in a weak ley, 
then boiled and known as hulled corn ; or parched over a hot 
fire, affording a delicious lunch and a convenient provision for 
hunters as popped corn, Hommony or samp, is a favorite 
dish, and consists of corn coarsely ground and boiled in wa- 
ter ; and hasty pudding differs from this in being made of fine 
meal. The meal may be compounded with milk and eggs into 
jenny cakes, puddings, griddles and other delicacies univer- 
sally esteemed for the table. 

RICE (Oryza sativa.) 

(contributes directly to the support of a larger number of 
the human family than any other plant. In China, and 
nearly the whole length of the southern part of Asia, through 
the innumerable and densely populated islands of the Pacific 
and Indian Oceans, in the southern part of Europe, and a large 



GRAIN AND IT<? CULTIVATION. 13l 

extent of Africa, and througli no inconsiderable portion of 
the North and South American continent, it is extensively 
grown, and forms the staple food of the inhabitants. Rice 
requires a moist soil, and is much more productive when sub- 
ject to inundation. A hot sun is also necessary to mature it, 
and as a result of these two essential conditions, its culture is 
limited to regions much more circumscribed than are allotted 
to wheat, maize, or some of the usually cultivated plants. 
We subjoin from the American AgricuUurist, an excellent ar- 
ticle on the cultivation of rice, from the pen of Dr. Cart- 
wright. 

" There are many varieties of rice ; but I am induced 
to believe that they are all essentially aquatic. All the varie- 
ties, yet discovered, flourish best under the inundation system 
of culture ; yield more to the acre, give less trouble, and re- 
quire less labor. Nevertheless, each variety grows pretty 
well on light, moist uplands without irrigation, when cultiva- 
ted with the hoe or plow. The product, however, is so 
much less than by the irrigation system, and the labor of til- 
lage so much more, that the upland producer never can com- 
pete successfully with the lowlander. The former may cur- 
tail his expenses by growing rice for domestic uses, but he 
can not, very profitably, produce it for sale. Besides the 
ten-fold labor, which rice on upland requires, in comparison 
to that cultivated by the irrigation system, it can not be sown 
thick enough to make a larger yield per acre. Space must 
be left for the plow or hoe to till the rice, which is not neces- 
sary in those localities where it can be overflowed at will, 
and the water drawn off as occasion may require. 

" The method pursued on the rice lands of the lower Mis- 
sissippi, is to sow the rice broadcast, about as thick as you 
sow wheat at the north, and harrow it in with a light har- 
row having many teeth ; the ground being first well plowed 
and prepared by ditches iand embankments for inundation at 
will. It is generally sown in March. Immediately after 
sowing, the water is let on, so as barely to overflow the 
ground. The water is withdrawn on the second, thiitl, or 
tburth day, or as soon as the grain begins to swell. The 
rice very soon after comes up and grows finely. When it 
has attained about three inches in height, the water is again 
let on ; the top leaves being lefl a little above the water. Com- 
plete immersion would kill the plant. A fortnight previous to 
harvest, the water is drawn oflT to give the stalks strength, 
and to dry the ground for the convenience of the reapers. 



132 AMERICAN AGRICITLTURE. 

" A different method is practised in the northern part of 
Italy. The seed is sown in April ; previously to which it is 
soaked a day or two in water. After sowing, about two 
inches of water is let in upon the ground. The rice comes 
up through the water, which is then drawn off to give the 
plant strength, and after some days, is again let on. The 
rice is more apt to mildew under this practice, than our meth- 
od of letting the water on about the time the Italians draw it 
off. 

" The same measure of ground yields three times as much 
rice as as wheat. The only labor, after sowing, is to see 
that the rice is properly irrigated, except in some localities 
where aquatic plants prove troublesome, the water effectual- 
ly destroying all others. 

"The rice-grounds of the lower Mississippi produce about 
seventy-five dollars worth of rice per acre. The variety 
called the Creole white rice is considered to be the best. In 
the eastern part of the State of Mississippi, called the '■ piney 
woods,^ rice is very generally cultivated on the uplands. Al- 
though it can not be made a profitable article of export, yet it 
affords the people of that interior region an abundant supply 
of a healthy and nutritious food for themselves, and a good 
provender for their cattle, and makes them independent of 
the foreign market. Unlike other kinds of grain, it can be 
kept for many years without spoiling, in a warm climate, by 
simply winnowing it semi-annually, which prevents the wee- 
vil and a small black insect that sometimes attacks it. It is 
cultivated entirely with the plow and harrow, and grows well 
on the pine barrens. A buU-tongued plow, a kind of shovel 
plow drawn by one horse, is driven through the unbroken 
pine-forest ; not a tree being cut or belted, and no grubbing 
being necessary, as there is little or no undergrowth. The 
plow makes a shallow furrow about an inch or two deep, the 
furrows about three feet apart. The rice is dropped into them 
and covered with a harrow. The middles, or spaces be- 
tween the furrows, are not broken up until the rice attains 
several inches in height. One or two plowings suffice in the 
piney woods for its cultivation — weeds and grass, owing to 
the nature of the soil, not being troublesome. A similar 
method of cultivation obtains on the prairie land of the north- 
western states. 

" Rice, like hemp, does not impoverish the soil. On the 
contrary, it is a good preparatory crop for some others, as In- 
dian corn. The pine barrens of Mississippi would produce rice 



GRAIN AND ITS CTLTIVATION. 133 

ad infinitum, if it were not that the land, after a few year&, 
owing to the sandy nature of the soil, becomes too dry for it. 
It has been ascertained by Arnal, that 12 pounds of wheat 
flour and 2 pounds of rice will make 24 pounds of an excel 
lent bread, very white and good ; whereas, without the addi- 
tion of rice, 14 pounds of flour will only make 18 pounds of 
bread. Like other kinds of grain, rice adapts itself to the 
soil and climate, and particular mode of cultivation ; but if 
the seed be not changed, or selected from the best specimens 
of the plant, it will ultimately degenerate. Thus in Pied- 
mont, after a long series of years, the rice became so much 
affected with a kind of blight called the brusone, as to compel 
the Piedmontcse to import fresh seed in 1829, from South 
Carolina. The American rice introduced into Piedmont es- 
caped the brusone, but it was several years before it adapted 
itself to the soil and climate. Some years ago, a French tra- 
veller by the name of Poivre, finding rice growing in great 
perfection on the mountains and highlands of Asia, particular- 
ly Cochin China, named it ' riz sec' or dry rice, and sent the 
seed to Europe, where many experiments were made with it. 
It yielded no better than any other kind of rice, and was 
found like all others to succeed best when inundated. The 
reason why it yielded so much more in Asia than in Europe, 
can be readily accounted for, by the natural inundations it 
receives from the excessive rains during the monsoons. , 

" No variety has been discovered which yields as much 
out of the water as it does in it. There are many localities 
in the United States, where the culture of rice by the irriga- 
ting system, would rather serve to "make the surrounding 
neighborhoods heaUhy instead of sickly. It is generally ad- 
mitted, that a given surface of ground completely inundated, 
is much less unhealthy than the same surface partially in- 
undated, or in transitu between the wet and the dry state. 
Hence mill-ponds which partially dry up in the summer, are 
fruitful sources of disease. Some of the best rice is said to 
grow on the bottom of mill-ponds. Nothing more is neces- 
sary, than to make the bottom of the mill-pond perfectly level, 
and then to overflow the whole surface just deep enough to 
keep the top leaves above water. As if to show, that un- 
healthiness is not necessarily connected with the culture of 
this valuable grain, nature has imposed a law upon it, order- 
ing that it should flourish better when overflowed with pure 
running water than with the stagnant waters of impure lakes 
and marshes. 



134 AMERICAN AGRICULTITRE. 

" There are two kinds of rice, which aj-e said to succeed 
best on uplands ; the long and the round. The former has a 
red chaftj and is very difficult to beat. The latter shakes 
out, if not cut as soon as ripe. They nevertheless succeed 
best under the inundation system of culture. In the eastern 
hemisphere, rice is cultivated as far north as the 46lh degree 
of latitude. The climate of the United States is better suited 
to it than that of Europe, because our summers are hotter. 
In the northern part of China the variety called the imperial 
rice, or rlz sec de la Chine (the oriza saliva mutica)^ is more 
precocious than any other, is said to yield a heavy harvest, and 
to constitute the principal food for the people of that populous 
region. But it has succeeded no better in Europe than any 
other kind of rice. 

" The best rice lands of South Carolina are valued at five 
hundred dollars per acre, while the best cotton-lands sell for a 
tenth part of that sum, proving that rice is more profitable than 
cotton. The profits of a crop should not so much be estima- 
ted by the yield per acre, as the number of acres a laborer 
can till. After the land is properly prepared for inundation, 
by levelling, ditching, and embankments, a single individual 
can grow almost an indefinite quantity of rice. Rice is no 
doubt ultimately destined to supersede cotton in a large por- 
tion of Mississippi and Louisiana." 

MIL LET {Panicum milliaceum) 

In it growih and the manner of bearing its seeds, the mil- 
let strongly resembles a miniature broom corn. It grows to 
the height of 2^ to 4 feet with a profusion of stalks and 
leaves which furnish excellent forage for cattle. From 80 
to 100 bushels of seed per acre have been raised, and with 
straw equivalent to li or 2 tons of ha}, but an average crop 
may be estimated at about one third this quantity. Owing to 
the great waste during the ripening of the seed, from the shel- 
ling of the earliest of it before the last is matured, and the 
frequent depredations of birds which are very fond of it, mil- 
let is more profitably cut when the first seeds have began to 
ripen, and harvested for fodder. It is cured like hay, and on 
good land yields from 2i to 4 tons per acre. All cattle relish 
it, and experience has shown it to be fully equal to good hay. 

Cultivation. — Millet requires a dry, rich and well pul- 
verized soil. It will grow on thin soil, but best repays on the 
most fertile. It should be sown broadcast or in drills from the 
1st May to 1st July. If for hay and sown broadcast, 40 



ORAIN AND ITS CULTIVATION, 135 

quarts per acre will be required, if sown in drills for the grain, 
8 quarts of seed will suffice. It will ripen in 60 to 75 days 
with favorable weather. When designed for fodder, the near- 
er it can approach to ripening, without waste in harvesting, 
the more valuable will be the crop. 

BUCK WHEAT OR BEECH WHEAT {Polygonum fagopyrum) 

Is a grain much cultivated in this country. It grows 
freely on light soils, but yields a remunerating crop only on 
those which are fertile. Fresh manure is injurious to this 
grain. Sandy loams are its favorite soils, especially such 
as have lain long in pasture, and these should be well 
plowed and harrowed. It may be sown from the 1st of May 
to the 10th of August, but in the northern states this ought 
to be done as early as June or July or it may be injured by 
early frosts which are fatal to it. It is sown broadcast at 
the rate of three to six pecks per acre and harvested when 
the earliest seed is fully ripe. The plant often continues 
flowering after this, and when the early seed is blighted as 
is often the case, the plant may be left till these last have 
matured. As it is liable to heat, it should be placed in small 
stacks of two or three tons each, but it is better to thresh 
out the grain at once. If not perfectly dry, the straw may 
be stacked with layers of other straw and when well cured, 
it will be a valuable fodder for cattle. Sheep will feed and 
thrive as well on this straw as on good hay. 

Uses. — This grain is ground and bolted and the flour is 
much used for human consumption. Before grinding, the 
hull or outer covering is removed, and when thus prepared, 
the flour is as white and delicate in appearance as the best 
rye, it is equally light and digestible, and is scarcely inferior 
to wheat in its nutritive properties. The grain is used for 
fattening swine but is most profitable when mixed with corn. 
Poultry thrive upon it. Buckwheat was formerly employed 
as a fertilizer, but for this object it is inferior to the clovers 
in all cases where the soil is capable of sustaining them. Its 
rapid growth will insure the maturing and turning under of 
two crops in one season. There are other varieties than 
the one specified, but none of equal value for general culti- 
vation in this country. 



186 AMERICAN AGRICULTUItfi. 



CHAPTER VIII 



LEGUMINOUS PLANTS. 

THE PEA (Fismn sativum.) 

The pea, the bean, the tare, vetch, lupine, the clovers, &c. 
are all embraced in the botanical order Leguminosce. The 
pea is valuable for cultivation not only for the table, but for 
many of the domestic animals. It is much fed to swine, 
sheep and poultry. For the former, it should be soaked, 
boiled or ground. If land is adapted to it, few crops can be 
more profitably raised for their use. They ripen early, and 
when beginning to harden they may be fed with the vines, 
and the animals will masticate the whole and soon fatten. 

The Soil. — The heaviest clays will bear good peas, but 
a calcareous or wheat soil is better. Strong lands produce 
the best crops, but these should be made so by manures pre- 
viously applied, as the addition of such as are fresh increa- 
ses the growth of haulm or straw and sometimes diminishes 
both the quantity and quality of the pea. When sown on a 
thin sward, the manure should be spread before plowing. A 
dressing of well rotted manure increases the crop and is a 
good preparation when intended to be followed by wheat. 

Varieties. — Of these there are many. The earlier 
kinds are generally indifferent bearers and their cultivation 
is limited almost exclusively to the garden. Of those for 
f^cM culture, the marrow-fat are preferred for good lands, 
and II L .-» a rich pea. The small yellow are perhaps the best 
for pooi-r.,* soils. There is a very prolific hush-pea grown in 
Georgia, bearing pods six or seven inches long, which hang 
in clusters on a short upright stem. The pods are filled 
with a white pea, which is highly esteemed for the table, 
either green or dry. In that latitude they bear two or three 
crops in one season. 

Cultivation. — Peas should have a clean fallow, or fresh, 
rich sod well harrowed. They are not affected by frosts 



LEGUMINOUS PLANTf. 137 

and may be sown as soon as the ground is dry. This will 
enable them to ripen in season to plow for wheat. They 
are very liable to attack from the pea-bug, which deposits its 
egg in the pea while in its green state where it hatches, and 
the worm by feeding on the pea, diminishes its weight nearly 
one-half. Here it remains through the winter and comes 
out as a bug the following season. To avoid this pest, some 
sow only such seed as has been kept over two years, while 
others sow as late as the lOth or 25th of May which delays 
the pea till after the period of its attacks, but this latter prac- 
tice seldom gives a large crop. It may be killed by pouring 
boiling water upon the seed, stirring for a few minutes, and 
then draining it off. Peas are sometimes sown in drills, but 
most usually broadcast, at the rate of two or three bushels 
per acre. It is better to plow them in to the depth of three 
inches and afterwards roll the ground smooth to facilitate 
gathering. When sown in drills they may be worked by 
the cultivator soon after coming up. The growth is pro- 
moted by steeping the seed for twenty or thirty hours in 
urine and then rolling it in ashes or plaster. 

Harvesting is accomplished by cutting with the sickle 
or scythe, or what is more expeditious, (when fully ripe so 
that the roots pull out easily) with the horse rake. When 
thus gathered into heaps and well dried, they may be 
threshed out and the haulm carefully stacked and saved for 
sheep fodder. If this is secured in good condition, cattle 
and sheep will do well upon it. Peas are frequently sown 
with oats and when thus grown, they be fed to sheep or 
horses unground, or made into meal for swine. 

The Cow Pea. — This is grown in the Southern states, 
and is valuable either as a fertilizer or as food for domestic 
animals. Its long vines and succulent leaves which draw 
much of their substance from the air, and its rapid and luxu- 
riant growth particularly adapt it to the first object, while 
its numerous and well filled pods and its great redundancy 
of stem and leaf aflbrd large stores of forage. This is im- 
proved for cattle, when harvested before the seed is fully 
ripe. It is sown broadcast, in drills, or hoed in among corn, 
when the latter is well advanced. If in drills, it may be 
cultivated in its early stages by the plow, shovel-harrow or 
cultivator. It may be cut with the scythe, or drawn toge- 
ther with a heavy iron-toothed harrow or horse rake as with 



1^ AMERICAN AORICULTtJRE. 

the common pea. It requires a dry medium soil and is well 
suited to clays. 

THE BEAN {Phaseolus vulgaris.) 

The bean is often a field crop in this country and espe- 
cially in the northern and middle states. It is principally 
used either green or dry for the table. It is a palatable and 
highly condensed food, containing much in a small com- 
pass. In proportion to its weight, it gives more nutriment 
than any of the ordinary vegetables ; according to Einhof, 
yielding 84 per cent, of nutritive matter while wheat gives 
only 74. It has in common with the pea, vetch, &c., though 
in a greater proportion, a peculiar principle termed legumin 
which is analogous to casein, the animal principle in milk, 
which is convertible into cheese, and in its nutritive proper- 
ties it is essentially the same as the Jibrin of lean meat, the 
albumen of eggs and other animal matters. There is no 
vegetable we produce so fitted to supply the place of animal 
food as the bean. 

Soil. — The bean is partial to a quick dry soil, too great 
strength or fresh manuring giving a large quantity of vine 
without a corresponding quantity of fruit. 

Cultivation. — The land should be finely pulverized and 
if at all inclined to wet it should be ridged. Beans are ten- 
der plants and will not bear the slightest frost, and as they 
grow rapidly, they will be sure to ripen if planted when 
this is no longer to be apprehended. The seed is exposed 
to rot if put into the ground in a cold wet time, and the 
land should therefore be previously well warmed by the sun. 
The bush beans are the only kind used for field planting, 
and of these there are several sub-varieties. The long gar- 
den beans, white, red or mottled, are great bearers, of fine 
quality and early maturing. Early ripening is important, 
when other crops are to succeed the same season. They 
are usually planted in hills about two feet apart, and also in 
drills covered two inches with fine earth. They have been 
sown broadcast on clean dry soils and produced largely. 
When planted in drills, from five to eight plants should be 
left in each according to their proximity, or if in drills they 
need about 1 J bushels of seed to the acre. 

Harvesting. — When the beans are fully formed and 
there is any danger of frost, they should be at once secured, 



LEGUMINOUS PLANTS. 139 

but this scarcely affects them when they are gathered and 
thrown into heaps. If the ground is not wanted for other 
uses, they may stand till the latest pods assume a yellow 
color. They are pulled with ease when the plant is mature 
as the fibres of the root are by that time dead. This is 
more quickly accomplished with an iron hook-rake, or if 
the stalks are partially green they can be mown. The 
vines if not dry should remain for a while in small heaps 
and afterwards collected in larger piles around stakes set at 
convenient distances, with the roots in the centre and secured 
at the top by a wisp of straw ; and when well dried, they 
should be threshed, cleaned and spread till quite free from 
dampness. The straw or haulm is an excellent fodder for 
sheep and should be stacked for their use. Beans are one 
of the best kinds of winter food for sheep when fed in small 
quantities. Sixty bushels have been raised on an acre worth 
from $1 to '1^2 per bushel. Sheep are the only animal 
which eats them raw, but swine, cattle and poultry will 
thrive on them boiled. 

THE ENGLISH FIELD BEAN (Viciafaba) 

Is cultivated under many varieties in Europe and particu- 
larly in Great Britain, as a field crop for the use of horses 
and other animals. Among these are tlie Windsor, the tick, 
the long pods and others. Arthur Young prefers " the com- 
mon little horse-bean as being more generally marketable.'* 
We have tried several of these varieties and although 
entirely successful, have found them less adapted to our 
climate and agriculture than the ordinary crops. They pre- 
fer strong clay or clay loam soils. 

THE TARE, VETCH OR FITCH {Vicia satira) 

Is an important field crop in Europe for its stem and 
leaves as animal food. It is hardy and productive and con- 
sidered valuable for green fodder or soiling. There are 
two kinds, the winter and spring. It is partial to a clay, 
but grows indifferently on any rich soil which is not too dry. 
It is sown broadcast or in drills, but generally the former, 
on well pulverized lands and covered with the harrow, 
demanding no after attention but the extermination of weeds. 
They are most useful for soiling, but may be fed on the 
ground or cut for hay. Tares have hitherto been little 
grown in this country, but in certain soils and situations 



I4i0 AMERICAN AGfelCULTlTRB. 

they may be introduced as a substitute for clover, where 
from any cause the latter does not grow successfully. All 
domestic stock are fond of them. 

THE FIND A OR GROUND PEA, (Arachis hypogcea). 
This is a legumen and is cultivated with profit in the south- 
ern states on light sandy lands, where it yields from 30 to 
even 80 bushels per acre, besides furnishing much haulm for 
forage. It is sown in drills 4 or 5 feet apart, and worked 
with a light plow or cultivator immediately after the plants 
show themselves above ground. They soon overspread the 
whole surface. When properly matured, the roots are loo- 
sened by a fork and pulled up by hand, and after curing are 
put under covtn- for winter's use. They contain a large quan- 
tity of oil, but in other respects, closely resemble the com- 
mon pea and bean in their nutritive qualities. They are in 
high repute for their fattening qualities. 



HOOTS. 141 



CHAPTER IX. 



ROOTS. 

THE ?OTATO, {Solarium tuberosum). 

The potato is a native of the American Continent. It is 
found in a wild state hoth in Buenos Ayres and Chili, and 
was probably discovered in the same condition by the early 
settlers of North America. It was supposed to have been 
taken into Spain and Italy early in the 16l;h century by Span- 
ish adventurers, as it was cultivated in those countries in 
1550. In 1588 it was introduced into Vienna from Italy, 
and also into England probably as early as 1586, by the 
colonists of Virginia who were sent out by Sir Walter Ra- 
leigh. It was regarded in Europe at first as a delicacy; but 
not until within a comparatively recent period has it found 
its way in both continents, as an article of agricultural atten- 
tion, and an almost indispensable food for man and beast. 
As an illustration of the neglect of the potato in this coun- 
try as a field crop, the writer may mention that he once 
knew an extensive eastern farmer, who, late in the last cen- 
tury, had raised in one year 7 bushels of potatoes. After 
disposing of all that was wanted for his own and his neigh- 
bors consumption he had still a surplus left. A farmer on 
the same premises at the present day would deem 700 bush- 
els a short crop. 

Varieties. — These are almost illimitable. They ditier 
in form from round to oljlong, arc flat and curved or kidney- 
shaped ; they vary in size from the delicate lady-finger to 
the gigantic blue-nose ; their exterior is rough or polished 
and of almost every hue, white, yellow, red, and almost black; 
and the surface is smooth and even with the eye scarcely 
discernible, or deeply indented with innumerable sunken 
eyes like the rohan and merino. The interior is equally 
diversified in color and is mealy, glutinous or watery, and 
sometimes pleasatit and sometimes disagreeable to the taste. 
They likewise differ in ripening earlier or later, and in being 



I0ff AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

adapted in some of their varieties to almost every peculiarity 
of soil. New kinds are produced at pleasure by planting the 
seed found in the balls. The tubers obtained in this way Avill 
be small the first season, but with careful culture will be 
large enough the second year to determine their quality, 
when the best may be selected for propagation. The earli- 
est are easily designated by the premature decay of the tops. 
The varieties may also be increased from the seed by hybri- 
dizing, or impregnating the pistils of one flower by the 
pollen taken from the flower of another, and in this way 
some of the best and most valuable kinds have been procured. 
Such as have no flowers are more productive of tubers, as 
there is no expenditure of vitality in forming the seed. They 
may be compelled to flower by removing the small tubers 
from the stalks as they form. 

The best soil for potatoes is a rich loam, neither too wet 
or too dry; but such as are cool and moist, as those of Maine, 
Nova Scotia and Ireland, especially if in^rich fresh sod, give 
the best flavored potatoes and are the least liable to disease. 
A calcareous soil yields a good potato, and generally a sure 
crop, and when there is little lime in the soil it should be ad- 
ded. Salt, ashes and gypsum are excellent manures and in 
certain instances have astonishingly increased the product. 
Crushed bones also greatly improve a potato soil. Fresh 
manures will often unpleasantly affect the taste of the potato, 
and when necessary to apply it, it should be scattered- broad- 
cast and plowed in. 

The seed chosen should be such as experience has de- 
cided is best adapted to the soil and the use for which they are 
to be appropriated. Some are careful to select the most 
mealy for the table, and plant those which give the greatest 
yield for their cattle. This is sometimes mistaken policy, as 
what are best for man are generally best for cattle ; and al- 
though the farmer may get a much greater weight and bulk on 
a given quantity of land of one kind, it may still be inferior 
in fat and flesh-forming materials to those afforded by a smal- 
ler quantity. Thus of three varieties grown in Scotland in 
1842, the cups ga.Ye 13 3-4 tons per acre, containing 2 9-10 
tons of starch ; the red dons yielded 14 1-4 tons and 1 5-10 
of starch ; the white dons 18 1-2 tons and 2 4-10 of starch, 
and the kidney has even given as much as 32 per cent, of 
starch. — (Johnston.) There is also a difference in the rela- 
tive proportions of gluten. Of this last, the potato contains 
in its new and ripe state about 2 1-4 per cent., which diniin- 



ROOTS. 143 

ishes by long keeping. It is important in this as in an infi- 
nite number of other practical matters in the economy of 
agriculture, to have agricultural laboratories of unquestiona- 
ble reliability, where the errors of superficial observation may 
be detected, and where the real superiority of one product 
over another, and their variations induced by soils, manures 
and treatment may be established beyond the possibility of a 
doubt. 

Planting. — To produce abundantly, potatoes require a fer- 
tile soil, and if not already sufficiently rich, manure should 
be spread on the surface before plowing. If a tough sod, it 
should be plowed the preceding fall, or if friable, it may be 
done just before planting ; but in all cases the land should be 
put in such condition as to be perfectly loose and mellow. 
Hills are the most convenient for tillage, as they admit of 
more thorough stirring of the ground with the cultivator or 
plow. Medium size, uncut potatoes have been ascertained 
from numerous experiments to be the best for planting, but 
when seed is scarce, it is sometimes economical to divide 
them. Two potatoes should be placed in each hill, or if in 
drills, they should be planted singly 10 inches apart. The 
distance both of hills and drills must depend on the strength 
of the soil and the size of the tops, some varieties growing 
much larger than others. Cover with light mold to the depth 
of 4 or 6 inches, and if the soil be light leave the ground 
perfectly level ; if cold, heavy or moist, let the hill be raised 
when tinished. Subsoil plowing is a great help to potatoes. 
The sets cut from the seed-end give a much earlier crop than 
those from the root. 

Cultivation. — When the plants first appear above the 
ground, run the plow through them and throw the earth over 
them 2 or 3 inches, and no injury results if the tops are par- 
tially or even entirely covered. The hoe is scarcely required 
except to destroy such weeds as may have escaped the 
plow. The ground should be several limes stirred before the 
tops interfere with the operation, but n ever afler they come 
into blossom. Enormous crops have b oen procured by top 
dressing with compost earth, well rotteu chip manure, &;c. 
soon afler the plants make their appearane ; this is carried to 
the field and spread from a light one hors^ cart, the wheels 
passing between the rows; but such results are due to the 
nicest cultivation and they would be equally attained by plac- 
ing the land in the best condition before planting* Ther« is 



i 



l?it AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

some gain to the crop, when the buds are plucked before they 
come to blossom. 

Harvesting and Storing should not be commenced un- 
til the tops are mostly dead, as the tuber has not arrived at 
full maturity before this time. They may then be thrown 
out of the hills by a harrow, plow, or some hand implement. 
They ought not to be exposed to the sun for any length of 
time, but may dry on the surface in a cloudy day, or be gath- 
ered into small heaps with some of the tops spread over them, 
until freed from the surface moisture, when they may be stored. 
Those selected for seed, should be placed in small piles in the 
field, or in thin layers in a cool, dry place in the cellar 
where the air is excluded and no heating or injury can oc- 
cur. Such as are intended for consumption may be put in 
dry bins or barrels in the store room, covered with straw and 
diy sand or loose earth to prevent the circulation of air, or 
buried in the field. Where convenient of access, a hole may 
be excavated in the north side of a hill, or under a shade in a 
porous soil. When first stored, the potatoes should be cover- 
ed for a few days with a slight thatch of straw so arranged us 
to shed the rain. A partial sweating or heating soon takes 
place, which drives off some of the moisture, after which 
they may be lightly covered with earth and in this way they 
may remain till the commencement of severe frosts, when 
they should be effectually protected from frost and rain till 
wanted in the spring. A northern exposure or shade will 
shield them from any injurious effects of the sun on the ap- 
proach of warm weather. If stored on level ground, a hole 
should be excavated for their reception, from 1 to 2 feet in 
depth and 4 to 5 in width and of any length required. . The 
potatoes are then ridged up like the roof of a house, thatched 
and covered as previously described. A ditch lower than 
the base must encircle the heap when the soil consists of 
clay, from which an outlet conducts away all the water, as 
any left upon them will inevitably produce decay. 

Diseases. — The potato has long been subject to the curl. 
From numerous experiments made in Scotland to avoid this 
disease, it has been found that seed from potatoes which 
were gathered before fully ripe gave a much better and 
surer crop. It would be well to try the experiment in this 
country where there is any deficiency of product from want 
of full and healthy developement. Potatoes are also affected 
by the scab and grub, against whose attacks there is no rem- 
edy unless in a change of seed and location. Tlw rot has for 



ROOTS. 145 

several years produced serious and increasing injury to the 
potato crop, in 1845, almost threatening starvation in Ireland 
and causing great loss and suffering in other countries. Its 
effects have also been extensively felt in the Ufcited States. 
Numerous and scientific examinations have been made on 
the subject. The proximate cause is supposed to be a fun- 
gus, but what are the reasons for its late rapid extension and 
the remedy for its ravages have not yet been satisfactorily 
ascertained. 

Preventives of rot. — Under the following circumstances rot 
has not appeared when adjoining fields have been nearly de- 
stroyed by it. 1. By using unripe seed, or seed whick has 
been exposed to the sun, light and air, and well dried for 10 
days after digging, and afterwards stored in a dry place in 
small parcels where air is excluded till the moment of plant- 
ing. 2. By the use of lime, some of which is placed in the 
hill and the potateos dusted with it, and also from the use of 
charcoal and salt, gypsum or other salts. 3. By fhe absence 
of fresh barn-yard manure, or if used, by adding largely of 
lime or saline manures. 4. The use of fresh sod which has 
long been untilled. This has been found more efficacious 
than any other preventive, although it has occasionally failed. 
The sod may be plowed in the fall, or it may be lefi till late 
in May or early in June, when it has a good coating of grass, 
and then turned under flat, and furrowed lightly to receive 
the seed without disturbing the sod. Or they may ba planted 
by using a sharpened stake 3 inches in diameter, w!th a pin 
or shoulder 10 inches from the bottom, on which the . bot may 
be placed for sinking the holes. These should be made be- 
tween the furrow slices at the proper distance for d.ills, and 
a single potato placed in each which may be covcicd with 
the heel. 5. Sound early varieties, early planted, *.ave also 
escaped. Wo have thus secured a good yield, almc . ' wholly 
free from disease ; and even those affected did not npear to 
communicate disease to others. It has also been f: and that 
some very late planted have escaped rot ; and if it b -: an epi- 
demic, it may be that both by early and late planting, the 
peculiar stage of vegetation when the fungus appears, is in a 
great measure avoided. But the investigations on this impor- 
tant subject are still in their infancy, and nothing has thus 
far been ascertained, which can be justly considered as hav- 
ing determined frinciples of universal application; yet it is 
to be hoped that the Keal, intelligence and general inte- 
rest which are now combined for this object will ere long de- 



10 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

tect what has hitherto evaded the severest scrutiny of scienti- 
fic research. 

Arresting the disease has in some instances been successful, 
by mowing off the tops when they are found defective. This 
practice would be injurious to healthy plants, but may be 
adopted, like that of cutting grain when struck by rust, if it 
will secure even a part of the crop. When disease appears 
in such as are dug, they should be carefully sorted and the 
sound ones well dried, then placed separately in layers and 
covered with ashes, burnt clay, or fine dry mold, which act 
as absorbents of moisture and prevent contagion from such 
as may be imperceptibly affected. They may also be cut in 
slices and dried, or crushed and the farinaceous part ex- 
tracted. By this means the potato will be made to yield 
nearly all its nutriment. It is found that this disease affects 
the tissues (the nitrogenized or albumenous part) of the potato 
only; and for this reason, potatoes which have not been 
too long or too deeply injured, will yield nearly their full 
amount of fat for animals or starch for the manufacturer. 

Uses. — Besides being an indispensable vegetable, potatoes 
are boiled and mixed with flour for bread, to which they im- 
part a desirable moisture and an agreeable flavor. They 
are sliced, dried and ground and much used in Europe as 
flour, and by the confectioners. They are also manufactured 
into tapioca and when nicely prepared, the product is not 
distinguishable from that of the manioc. In all of these and 
some other forms, they enter into consumption as human 
food. They are also used in large quantities by the manu- 
facturers of starch ; to some extent for distilling ; and in a 
less degree for making sugar. The refuse of the pulp after 
extracting the starch, as well as the liquor drained from it, 
is used for cleansing woollens and silks, which it effects with- 
out injury to the color. But by far the greatest use of pota- 
tatoes in this country is for stock feeding. They are eaten 
with avidity by all the brute creation either cooked or raw. 
For cattle and sheep, they are equally nutritious in either 
condition. For horses they are improved by steaming or 
baking. Swine and most poultry will subsist on them raw, 
but will f itten on them only when cooked. Their good ef- 
fects are i aost enhanced by mixing with meal when they are 
hot, which partially cooks it. 



ROOTS. 147 

THE SWEET POTATO (Convolvulus f^atatus) 

Is a root of very general growth in the southern, and is 
much cultivated in the middle sections of the United States, 
and for the table is scarcely surpasised by any esculent. It 
is also greedily eaten and with great advantage by every spe- 
cies of stock. 

Soil. — A dry and sandy or light loamy soil is best for 
them, and this should be well manured with compost scatter- 
ed broadcast before working the ground, and thoroughly pul- 
verized by repeated plowing and harrowing. It should then 
be thrown into beds 4 feet wide, (which may be easily done 
with the plow,) and in the centre of this strike a light furrow 
to receive the seed if the soil is dry, or plant it on the surface 
if moist. 

Ci LTivATioN. — When the season is sufficiently long to 
mature them, the potato may be most conveniently planted 
by cutting the seed into slips and laying them 6 or 8 inches 
apart in the place where they are to mature. Large pota- 
toes divided into pieces of a proper size are better for seed 
than small ones uncut. These should be covered about 2 
inches with light mold. When they begin to sprout, the 
plow may be run close to the rows on either side to remove 
the earth and allow the full benefit of the sun and air to the 
roots, and as the plant advances in its growth, the earth may 
be gradually restored to them by the plow and hoe. Where 
the vines are so large as to be injured by the j)low, the hoe 
alone should be used. The hill or drills may then be made 
broadly around the plants, hollowing towards them, to afford 
a full bed of rich, mellow earth, and to retain the rain which 
fills. Tliey are lit tor gathering when the vines are dead. 
Where the season is short or early potatoes are wanted, plant 
on a hot bed made of warm manure with a covering of 4 
inches of fine mold. After splitting the potatoes, place them 
on this and cover with 3 inches of light earth. As the sprouts 
appear, draw and transplant them after a rain in the same 
manner as before suggested. When early vegetated, a 
bushel of seed will supply plants for an acre. 

The preservation of the sweet potatoe through the winter is 
difficult. We have often heard planters complain that they 
could not preserve them, though their laborers are generally 
succcessful. The latter frecjuently store them under the floors 
of their cabins, by excavating a hole in the dry earth not far 
EL distant from their fires and cover with light mold. Great 

i 



14i AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

care to seclude them from air and light, and absolute dryness 
seem to be essential to their preservation. They are fre- 
quently kept by piling in heaps on dry earth, which arc still 
more secure with a layer beneath of corn stalks or dry pine 
boughs 6 or 8 inches deep. On this pack the roots in piles 
6 feet in diameter. Cover with corn stalks and dry earth, 
and protect this with a roof of boards and a ditch deep enough 
to carry off all water. There must be a hole at the top slight- 
ly stopped with straw to permit the escape of heated air and 
to preserve uniformity of temperature. There are numerous 
varieties of the sweet potato, red, yellow, &;c. They yield 
from 200 to 300 bushels per acre and under favorable cir- 
cumstances sometimes double this quantity. 

THE TURNEP {Brassica rapa.) 

The common flat English turnep was introduced into this 
country with our English ancestry and has ever since been 
an object of cultivation. When boiled it is an agreeable ve- 
getable for the table. Its principal value however is food 
for cattle and sheep by which it is eaten uncooked. Its 
comparative nutritive properties are small, but the great bulk 
which can be raised on a given piece of ground, and the fa- 
cility and economy of cultivation, have always rendered it a 
favorite with such farmers, as have soil and stock adapted to 
its profitable production and use. 

A GOOD SOIL for it is a fertile sand or well drained" loam. 
Any soil adapted to Indian corn will produce good turneps. 
But it is only on new land or freshly turned sod, that they are 
most successful. An untilled virgin earth with the rich dres- 
sing of ashes left after the recent burning of accumulated ve- 
getable matter, and free from weeds and insects, is the surest 
and most productive for a turnep crop. Such land needs 
no manure. For a sward ground, or clover ley, there should 
be a heavy dressing of fresh, unfermented manure before 
plowing. 

Cultivation. — ^Turneps are sown from the 15th of June 
to the 1st of August. The first give a greater yield ; the last 
generally a sounder root and capable of longer preservation. 
The ground should be plowed and harrowed immediately be- 
fore sowing as the moisture insures rapid germination of the 
seed, which is of great importance to get it beyond the reach 
of insects as soon as possible. This may be sown broadcast 
at the rate of one or two pounds per acre and lightly harrowed 
and rolled ; or it is better to be sown in drills, when a less 



I 



BOOTS* 149 

(|uantity of seed will suffice. A turnep drill will speedily ac- 
complish the farrowing, sowing, covering and rolling at a 
single operation. The crop will be materially assisted by a 
fop dressing of lime, ashes and plaster, at the rate of 15 or 
W bushels of the hrst, half the quantity of the second, and 3 
or 4 bushels of the last, per acre. When the plants show 
themselves and the leaves are partially expanded, the cuUi- 
vator or hoe may be freely used, stirring the ground well and 
exterminating all weeds. 

RuTA-BAGA ou SwEDES TuRNEP. — The introduction of 
this is compai-atively recent, and it proves to be more worthy 
of attention than the English or white mrnep. It will bear a 
heavier soil, yield as well, give a richer root, and it has the 
great advantage of keeping longer in good condition, thus 
prolonging the winter food of cattle when they most need it. 

Cultivation. — It is usually planted after wheat or corn, 
but if a fresh virgin soil or old pasture sod is chosen, it will 
materially lessen its liability to insects and other enemies. — 
It is generally sown in drills about 2 feet apart, and on heavy 
lands these should be slightly ridged. The plants must be 
successively thinned to prevent interfering with such as are 
intended to mature, but enough should remain to provide for 
casualties. Where there is a deficiency they may be sup- 
plied by transplanting during showery weather. They 
should be left 6 or 8 inches apart in the drills. The Swede 
turnep is a gross feeder and requires either a rich soil or heavy 
manuring, though the use of fresh manures has been supposed 
to facilitate the multiplication of enemies. Bones ground 
and drilled in with the st^d, or a dressing of lime, ashes, 
gypsum and salt are the best applications that can be made. 
The Swede should be sown from about the 20th May to the 
15th June, earlier than the English turnep, as it takes longer 
to mature, and 2 or 3 weeks more of growth frequently adds 
largely to the product. An early sowing also gives time to 
raise another crop in case of failure of the first. 

Enemies. — The turnep is exposed to numerous depredators, 
of which the turnep flea-beetle is the most inveterate. It 
attacks the plant as soon as the first leaves expand and often 
destroys 2 or 3 successive sowings. The black catterpillar, 
slugs, wire-worms, and numerous other insects, grubs and 
aphides prey upon and greatly diminish the crop. 

Remedies have been tried to an almost indefinite extent, 
but none hitherto with more than very partial success. Lib- 
eral sowing and rapid growth best insures the plant from in- 



160 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

jury, and to effect this the seed should be plentifully sown, 
and if possible, when the ground is moist, and always in a 
rich soil. The seed should be steeped in some preparation 
w^hich experience has shown will the most quickly develope 
the germ. Solutions of the nitrates or sulphates,, urine, soot- 
water, liquid guano, currier's oil, &c. impregnate the first 
leaves with substances distasteful to their early enemies, and 
thus a short respite from their attacks will be secured, gyp- 
sum, ashes, bone dust and poudrette, drilled in with the seed 
are excellent forcers for the young roots. Charcoal dust ap- 
plied in the same way has been tbund to increase the early 
growth from four to ten-fold. When the fly, and bug, &;c. 
is discovered, the application of lime, ashes or soot, or all 
combined should be made upon the leaves while the dew or 
a slight moisture is on them. This leads the young plant 
along, and kills such enemies as it reaches. Urine, diluted 
sulphuric acid, (oil of vitrol,) and other liquid manures will 
have the same effect. Ducks, chickens, and young turkies 
and birds will devour innumerable quantities, and their pres- 
ence should always be encouraged not only on this, but on 
most of the fields. Dragging the surface with fine light 
brush will lessen the slugs and insects. The ground should 
be plowed just before winter sets in, w^hich exposes the 
worms and the larvae of insects to the frost, when they are 
unable to work themselves into a place of safety. The seed 
should not be planted on ground before occupied or near any 
of the order of platits amciferce, cabbage, radish, mustard, 
charlock and water-cress, as they all afford food for the ene- 
mies of turnips and thereby tend to their multiplication. 

Harvesting may be deferred till the approach of cold 
weather, and in those sections of the countiy not affected by 
severe ii'osts, when on dry soils, they may be allowed to win- 
ter on the field. Otherwise they should be secured during 
the good autumnal weather. This is accomplished most ex- 
peditiously with a root hook, which is made with two-iron 
prongs attached to a hoe handle. The use of a bill hook or 
sharp knife will enable the operator to lop off the leaves with 
a single blow, when they are thrown into convenient piles 
and afterwards collected for storage. 

The Storing may be in cellars or in heaps, similar to 
potatoes, but in a cooler temperature as slight heat injures 
them, while frost does not. If stored in heaps, one or more 
holes should be lefl at the top, which may be partially stop- 



BOOTS. 151 

ped by a wisp of hay or straw to allow the escape of the 
gases which are generated. 

Thr feeding of ruta-bagas to cattle and sheep is always 
in their uncooked state. They are better steamed or boiied 
for swine, but their food should be sought from the more fat- 
tening products of the farm. In moderate quantity they may 
be given to horses, but they cannot be relied upon for them, 
as they are too bulky for working animals. Their place is 
much better supplied for horses by the carrot or potato. 
Their true value is as food for store and fattening cattle, 
milch cows and sheep, as they furnish a salutary change from 
dry hay, being nearly equivalent as a f d ler to green sum- 
mer food. They should be washed bt fo e feeding if too 
much dirt adheres to them, but if grown on a light soil, the 
tap roots lopped off and otherwise properly secured, they will 
not require it. They may be sliced with a heavy knife, or 
more summarily cut up while lying on the barn floor, with a 
sharp spade, or root slicer, which is made with a socket han- 
dle and two blades crossing each other in the centre at right 
angles, or by some of the numerous improved cutting ma- 
chines. With an abundance of turneps and a small supply 
of straw, hay may be entirely dispensed with for cattle and 
sheep. Many of the best English breeds are kept exclusive- 
ly on turneps with a little straw till ready for the shambles. 

The varieties of turneps are numerous. After selecting 
such as will give the largest crop of the most nutritious roots, 
the next object in the choice of particular varieties should 
be to adapt them to the most economical use. Some will 
keep much longer than others, and if wanted to feed late in 
the season it may be necessary to take a variety intrinsically 
less valuable than another which must be earlier consumed. 
The English turnep should be first fed as it soonest wilts and 
becomes pithy, then follow with the others according to their 
order of maturity and decay. The leaves yield good forage, 
and if unmixed with earth may be fed dry or green to cattle. 

The value of turneps to this country is trifling in compari- 
son with that of many parts of Europe. In Great Britain 
alone, this value probably exceeds one hundred millions of 
dollars annually. But its culture here is much less desirable, 
as our drier climate and early and severe winters are not as 
well adapted to its production and economical preservation 
and feeding as those of England, and its numerous enemies 
render it an uncertain crop. These objections are increased 
by the important fact, that it enters into competition with our 



152 AMERICAN AGRICULTITRS. 

Indian corn,\vhich under ordinary circumstances, always gives 
a certain and highly remunerating return. It may sometimes 
however take the place of corn with advantage, and the tur- 
nip or some of the other roots should always occupy a con- 
spicuous place in the change of winter food for cattle and 
sheep. 

THE CARROT ( Daucus carota) 

Is one of our most valuable roots. It is a hardy, easy 
cultivated plant, and grows in almost every soil, and is next 
to the potato in its nutritive properties. 

The soil which best suits it is a fertile sand or light loam, 
but it will grow on such as are more tenacioas if well drain- 
ed, and deeply worked. The success of this and the parsnep 
depends much on the depth to which their roots can reach. 
Deep spading or subsoil plowing is therefore indispensable to 
secure large crops, and nearly all kinds of manure are equal- 
ly suited for their food if well rotted. The ground should be 
thoroughly pulverized. 

The varieties chiefly used for field culture are the long 
red, the orange, and white Belgian. The last under favor- 
able circumstances, attains huge dimensions, and from its 
roots grow high out of the ground, it is supposed to draw 
more of its nourishment from the air, and to exhaust the ground 
less, while it is of course more easily harvested. But it is 
considerably below the others in comparative value. 

Planting. — The carrot should be sown in drills, 16 "to 20 
inches apart, when the ground has become warm and dry. 
The seed is best prepared by mixing with fine mold or pou- 
drette and stirring them w^ell together to break ofl' the fine 
beards ; then sprinkle with water and allow it to remain in 
a warm place and occasionally turn it to produce equal 
development in the seed. It may remain 10 or 15 days be 
fore sowing till nearly ready to sprout. It then readily ger- 
minates and does not allow the w^ceds to get the start. The 
frequent use of the cultivator and entire cleanliness from weeds 
is all that is necessary to insure a crop, unless it be con- 
venient to ^^ive it a top dressing of liquid manure, which the 
Flemings always do, and which no crop better repays. Two 
pounds of ^:ood seed will sow an acre. Any deficiency of 
plants ma} be supplied by transplanting in moist weather. 
Six inches is near enough for the smaller kind to stand, and 8 
for the larger. They are subject to few diseases or enemies, 



BOOTS. 153 

excepting such as can be avoided by judicious selection of 
soil and caretlil tillage. 

The harvesting may be facilitated by running a plow 
on one side of the rows, when the roots are easily removed 
by hand. The tops are then cut and the surface moisture 
from the roots dried, when they may be stored like turneps 
and potatoes. They ought to be kept at as low a temperature 
as possible above the freezing point. On the approach of 
warm weather they will sprout early if left in heaps, and if 
important to preserve them longer the crown should be cut off 
and the roots spread in a cool dry place. 

Uses. — Carrots are chiefly grown for domestic stock. 
Horses thrive remarkably on them, and some judicious 
farmers feed them as a substitute for oats. But their intrin- 
sic value in weight, is bss in the proportion of about 5 to 1. 
They are good for working cattle and unsurpassed for milch 
cows, producing a great flow of milk and a rich yellow cream. 
Sheep and swine greedily devour them and soon fatten if 
plentifully supplied with them. The Dutch grate them, and 
with sugar and salt, make a pickle for their choicest table 
butter. They are also employed in distilling. The aver- 
age yield on good land may be estimated at about 300 bush- 
els of the smaller, and 450 of the Belgian or white, per acre, 
but with extra cultivation, 1000 bushels of the last have been 
raised. 

THE PARSNEP {Pastinaca sativa) 

Is cultivated as a field crop and is of nearly equal nutritious 
value with the carrot. The soil may be heavier for parsneps 
than for carrots and they will even thrive on a strong clay 
if rich, well pulverized and dry. Large crops can only be 
obtained on deep, rich ground, well pulverized. They 
should be sown early as frosts do not affect them and 
they require a long time to come to maturity. Drilling at a 
distance of 20 inches apart, is the proper mode of planting, 
and they should be thinned to a space of 6 or 8 inches. It 
requires 4 or 5 lbs. of seed per acre which must be of the 
previous year's growth, as older does not readily vegetate. 
No preparation of the seed is necessary. The subsequent 
cultivation is simi'ar to that of carrots, and they will gener- 
ally yield more under similar circumstances of soU and tillage. 
They are little subject to disease or enemies. 

The gathering should be deferred till the frost leaves the 
ground in spring unless wanted for winter's use, as they keep 



154 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

best in the ground where they are uninjured by the intensest 
frost. But particular care should be observed in allowing no 
standing w^ater on them or they will rot. When taken up in 
the fall, the roots should neither be trimmed or broken, nor 
should the tops be cut too near the root. They must be stored 
in a cool place and covered carefully with earth, as exposure 
to air or even moderate heat wilts them. 

Uses. — The parsnep is one of our most delicious table 
vegetables. It is an excellent food for swine either raw or 
cooked, and for cattle, milch cows and sheep it is highly priz- 
ed. Qualey says, " it is not as valuable for horses for though 
it produces fat and a fine appearance, it causes them to sweat 
profusely, and if eaten when the shoot starts in the spring it 
produces inflammation in the eyes and epiphora or weeping." 
The leaves of both carrots and parsneps are good for cattle 
green or dried. Gerarde who wrote in 1596 says. " an ex- 
cellent bread was made from them in his time." They have 
also like the carrot been used for distillation, and are said to 
afford a very good vinous beverage. The best variety for 
field culture is the large Jersey. 

THE BEET {Beta.) 

There are but two varieties of the beet in general use for the 
field, the sugar beet and mangold wurzel, both of which have 
several sub-\Tirieties. They are of various colors, red, pink, 
yellow, white or mottled, but color does not seem to affect their 
quality. The conditions under which they grow are similar. 
Beets do well in any soil of sufficient depth and fertility, but 
they are perhaps most partial to a strong loam. If well tilled 
they will produce large crops on a tenacious clay. We have 
raised at the rate of 800 bushels to the acre on a stiff' clay 
which had been well supplied with unfermented manure. The 
soil cannot be made too rich. For such aslJare adhesive, 
fresh or unfermented manures are much the best. 

The PLANTING should be in drills 20 to 24 inches asunder, 
at the rate of 4 to 6 lbs. of seed per acre, buried not over 
one inch deep. The seed should be early planted or as soon 
as vegetation will ))roceed rapidly, but must first be soaked 
by pouring soft scalding water on it, allowing it to cool to 
blood heat, and remain for 3 or 4 days, then roll in plaster 
and drill it in. The husk or outer covering of the seed is 
thick and impervious to moisture,and without a thorough pre- 
vious saturation, will not readily germinate. 



ROOTS. 166 

The CULTURE is similar to that of carrots and parsneps. 
They should be thinned to a distance of about 8 inches and 
all vacancies filled up with strong tliritly plants. It is better 
to sow thick enough to avoid the necessity of transplanting, 
tor in addition to the time and exj)ense of this operation, the 
new plants will not thrive as well as those which grow in 
their ranks from the seed. The above distances are suitable 
for the sugar beet ; the mangold wurzel attains a larger size 
and the spaces may be increased. The practice of plucking 
off the leaves for cattle -feeding is objectionable, as it materi- 
ally interferes with the growth of the plants. Scarcely any 
disease or enemy troubles it except when young. It is then 
sometimes though rarely attacked by grubs or small insects. 

Harvesting may be commenced soon after the first leaves 
turn yellow and before the frosts have injured them. The tops 
must not be too closely trimmed, nor the crown of the roots 
or its fibrous prongs cut from such as are destined for late 
keeping. If intended for early winter use, they may be 
abridged a trifle, and afler the surface is dry, stored like other 
roots. They do not need as effectual protection as potatoes, 
for if the frost touches them under a covering of earth, it will 
gradually be withdrawn on the approach of warm weather 
and leave the roots uninjured ; but they will not keep as long 
as if untouched by the frost. A slight opening for the escape 
of the gas, as with the other roots, should be left at the top 
and partially guarded with straw. 

Uses. — The beet is a universal favorite for the table and 
of great value for stock. Domestic animals never tire of it 
and swine prefer it to any other root excepting the parsnep. 
We have kept a large herd in the best condition through the 
winter on no other food than the raw sugar beet. They pos- 
sess additional merit from their capability of resisting decay 
longer than the turnep, and frequently beyond the carrot 
and parsnep. They will be solid, fresh and juicy late in the 
spring if properly stored, and at a time loo when they are 
most wanted for ailing sheep or cattle, milch cows or ewes, 
or for contributing to the support and health of any of the 
ordinary stock. When fed to fattening animals, they should 
follow and never precede the turnep. it has been found 
that such animals continue steadily to advance in flesh after 
being carried to a certain point with turneps if shifted on to 
the beet, but in repeated instances they have fallen back if 
changed from beets to turneps. Davy found in 1000 parts, 
the following quantity of nutritive or soluble matter. White 



156 AMERICAN AGRtCULTURE. 

or English turneps, 42; Swede, 64; mangold wurzel, 136 ; 
sugar beet, 146. This order of nutrititive quality is followed 
by Boussingault, though he places the field beet and Swede 
turnep at nearly the same point. Einhof and Timer on the 
contrary place the Swede before mangold wurzel. But in 
feeding to animals, unless for an occasional change, the 
roots should be given out in the order named. The sugar 
beet is seen to be more nutritious than the mangold wurzel, 
it is equally hardy and productive and more palatable to 
stock, and of course is to be preferred for raising. The for- 
mer has been largely cultivated in France and Germany, 
for making into sugar, where it has been entirely successful, 
because protected by an adequate impost on the imported 
article. Their conversion into sugar has repeatedly been 
attempted in this country, but it cannot probably sustain a 
successful comp :lition with the cane. From the experi- 
ments pf M. Darracq, it has been found, that in summer the 
best yielded from 3i to 4 per cent, of sugar, but in October 
after the commencement of frost, it gave only syrup and 
saltpetre, and no cr3'stalizable sugar. When used for this 
purpose, the residuum of the pulp after expressing the juice 
is given to cattle. When wilted, the leaves are also fed to 
them, but caution is necessary to prevent their scouring. 
What are not thus used are plowed in for manure. The 
beet is also distilled and yields about half the product of 
potatoes. 

THE JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE {Hdianthus tuherosus,) 

A native of Brazil, is a hardy plant, but little cultivated. 
Loudon says the name Jerusalem is a corruption of the Ital- 
ian word girasole, (or sun-flower,) the blossom of which it 
closely resembles except in size. It flourishes in a moist, 
loose soil or sandy loam, with little care except to thin out 
and prevent weeds. It is very productive and easily culti- 
vated in drills, three or four feet apart. The planting may 
be done in March or April. As it is not injured by frost 
and is very prolific, it will spread rapidly and often becomes 
a pest in the garden. The product is enormous, some- 
times overrunning, it is said, 2,000 bushels per acre. Its 
nutritive qualities are much less than those of the potato, 
but its great productiveness and the facility of raising it, 
would seem to commend it to more general favor. Bous- 
singault considers it an improving and profitable crop from 



FRUITS. 151' 

its drawing its nitrogen largely from the atmosphere. It is 
peculiarly fitted for a spring feed, as the roots lie uninjured 
by the vicissitudes of the weather, and may be taken out in 
perfection after most other roots are gone. 

The USES of the Jerusalem artichoke in this country are 
both for human and animal food. The roots are generally 
used as a pickle or salad. Loudon says " they may also be 
eaten boiled, mashed in butter, or baked in pies, and have an 
excellent flavor." The tops when cut and cured as hay, 
afford a good fodder for cattle, and the roots are excellent 
for sheep and other stock. Swine will thrive upon them 
through the winter, and do tlieir own harvesting when the 
ground is not locked up by frost. 



NOTE. 

We give on the following pages the table of nutrive equivalents of food, compiled 
by Boussingault, as a convenient reference, though not entirely reliable in all 
cases. For it will be seen from what haa before been said, that the particular 
plants vary not only according to the season and soil, but also frequently, accord- 
ing to the particular variety subject to analysis. He says: "In the tollowing tahle, 
to the numbers assigned by the theory, I have adiled those of the whole whicn I 
find in the cnliie series of observations that have come to my knowledge. I have 
also given the sta.idard quantity of water, and the quantity "of azote, contained in 
each species of food. When the theoretical equivalents do not ditfer too widely 
from those supplied by direct observation, I believe ihat they ought to be preferretl. 
The details of my experiments, and the precautions needful in entering on and 
carrying them through, must have satisfied every one of the ditiiculties attending 
their conduct; yet all allow how Uttle these have been attentively contemplated, 
and what slender measures of precaution against error have been taken. In ray 
opinion, direct observation or experiment is indispensable, but mainly, solely as a 
means of checking within rather wide limits the results of chemical analysis." 



158 



AMERICAN AGRICULTrRE. 



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160 AMERICAN AGRICUITUBE. 



CHAPTER X 



FRUITS. 



The growing of fruits to the extent at least of the demands 
for his own use, should never be neglected by the farmer. 
The soil and climate of the United States are almost every- 
where suited to their cheap and easy production. They are 
a source of profit for market purposes as well as useful to 
stock ; and they afford some of the choicest and most eco- 
nomical luxuries for domestic use. Success in their cultiva- 
tion may at all times be secured by a judicious selection of 
the fruit, the soil and location, and by proper attention 
thereafter. 

THE APPLE. 

The locality of the apple orchard should depend much on 
the climate and soil. In warm latitudes, a northerly expo- 
sure is perhaps best when not subject to violent winds, as 
these from any quarter are liable to blast the fruit while in 
blossom, and blow it from the tree before it is ripe. It is 
generally advantageous to protect an orchard from the bleak 
winds which prevail in its immediate neighborhood by a 
judicious selection of the ground. A warm and sunny posi- 
tion subjects the buds in spring to premature swelling, and 
these are often cut off by the severe spring frosts that follow, 
when an ordinary or northern exposure would retard their 
budding until the season was sufficiently advanced for their 
protection. The orchard should have a medium position as 
to exposure and the influences of the season. 

Soil. — All the varieties intermediate between a stiff, 
unyielding clay and a light shifting sand, are friendly to the 
apple. The soil best suited to the perfection of fruit is a 
moist, friable, calcareous loam, slightly intermixed with fine 
gravel. This may run either into a sandy loam, which 
usually rests upon a sub soil of sand or gravel j or into a 



FRUITSi 161 

clayey loam with a sub soil of stiff clay. Either of these is 
a good soil for the orchard. The ground should be rich 
enough for the production of good crops of grain, roots or 
grass. This state of fertility is absolutely necessary for the 
thrifty growth of the tree and its existence in a healthy and 
vigorous state. Springy or wet land is decidedly bad for an 
orchard, and if the farmer can appropriate no other for this 
purpose, it should be well drained, either by under-ground 
ditches or open trenches sufticiently deep to carry off the 
water for a depth at least two feet below the surface, so as to 
leave the soil perforated by the roots, in a warm and active 
state. Rocky and stony soils of the above descriptions are 
usually well adapted to the growth of fruit trees. The 
stones keep the ground moist, loose and light. Some of the 
finest fruits grow where there is scarcely room to deposit 
the tree between the huge rocks. They should not however 
lie too deep when close together, as they will impede and 
control the growth of the roots. A sufticient area of earth 
is always necessary for an ample growth of wood and the 
full size of the tree at maturity. Stiff clays and light blow- 
mg sands under very nice cultivation will grow fruits, but 
they require active manure. Clays should be often plowed, 
particularly in the fail, that the soil may be ameliorated by 
the winter frosts. The sands require compact culture, 
and appropriate manures. All such as are suited to ordi- 
nary crops on these lands will promote the growth of trees. 
The use of other soils however for the orchard should be 
preferred, as the fruit will be larger, fairer and better fla- 
vored, and the trees of much longer duration. 

Planting. — Dig the holes from three to six feet in diam- 
eter and twelve to eighteen inches deep, accoixling to the 
kind of soil and the size of the tree. The more compact 
the soil, the deeper and larger should be the hole. When 
ready to plant, let enough of the best or top soil be thrown 
into the !)otom of the hole, so that the tree may stand about 
one inch lower than when removed from the nursery. The 
tree should be taken up so as to injure the roots as little as 
possible. If any be broken, cut them off, either square or 
obliquely with a fine saw or sharp knife. If left in their 
bruised or broken condition, they will canker and decay in 
the ground, but if thus cut off, numerous rootlets will spring 
out at the tennlnation of the amputated root, which strikes 
into the soft earth and give increased support to the tree. If 
the soil be poor, the roots should be covered and the holes 



162 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

filled with good earth. If the hole be small, the surrounding 
land hard, and the roots bent up and cramped, the tree can- 
not grow, or if after a long time of doubt and delay, it finally 
survives, it creeps along with a snail's pace, making little re- 
turn to the planter. If the tree be crooked, confine it with a 
straw band to a stake firmly planted in the ground. This is 
the best ligature, as it does not cut the bark, which small cords 
often do, and it gradually gives way as the tree increases in 
size. When thus planted, well manured and looked after 
subsequently, the tree thrives and in a kw years rewards 
the owner with its delicious and abundant fruit. 

The season of planting may be any time after the fall of 
the leaf by frost in autumn, till its reappearance in the spring, 
provided the ground be not frozen. Early spring is to be 
preferred for planting stone fruits. They may be planted 
while in embryo leaf and blossom with entire success, but it 
is usually best to do this before the bud is much swollen. — 
If one time be equally convenient with another, we recom- 
mend fall planting for fruit generally, as the earth then be- 
comes settled about the root early in the season. This is 
particularly advantageous when the spring is succeeded by a 
severe summer's drought. So important is the operation of 
planting, that it is better to have one tree well planted, than 
three planted badly, and more fruit may be anticipated within 
the first ten years if not forever, from the first one than from 
all the others. It some times occurs that in removing trees 
from a great distance, they arrive too late in the fall to be 
properly transplanted. In such case a trench should be dug 
in soft earth and the trees laid at an angle of about 45°, three 
or four inches apart, the roots carefully placed to prevent 
breaking, and the earth piled on them for a foot up the trunk, 
and eight or ten inches over the roots. This will preserve 
them until spring without detriment to their future growth. — 
The practice is adopted by nurserymen and others, who of- 
ten transplant their trees from one location to another with- 
out loss or difficulty. Trees should never be planted in the 
apple orchard at a less distance than two rods, and forty feet 
apart is better. Close planting prevents the trees from re- 
ceiving the requisite quantity of sun and the free circulation of 
air, both of which are essential to the size, flavor and perfec- 
tion of fruit. Forty trees will plant an acre, at the distance 
of two rods apart. The consequence of closer planting is 
the premature decay of the trees and an inferior quality of 
fruit. 



FRUITS. 168 

Cultivation. — A previously uncultivated or virgin soil 
is the best for an orchard, but if such is not to be had, that 
which has been long in pasture or meadow is most suitable. 
The most eflicient manures are swamp muck, decayed 
leaves and vegetables, rotten wood, chip manure, lime, 
ashes, gypsum, &c. Trees, like any other vegetable, draw 
their own specific food, largely from the soil, and to supply 
the elements of their growth in abundance, the earth should 
occasionally be renewed with those materials which may 
have become partially or wholly exhausteil. When care- 
fully plowed and cultivated in hoed crops, orchards thrive 
most rapidly, care being always taken to protect the trees 
from damage either to the trunks or roots. All tearing of 
the roots is objectionable. The ground should be kept rich 
and open, so as to be pervious to the influence of rains, the 
sun and the atmosphere. Under these conditions the trees 
will thrive vigorously. When lands are kept in grass, a 
space of three to six feet in diameter, according to the age 
and size of the tree, should always be kept free from turf 
around them. Pastures which are trodden by animals, 
are so bared by this and the closeness of their cropping that 
the roots of the trees get their share of benefit from the sun 
and rains. From this cause pastures are better suited to 
orchards than mowing lands ; for the latter are so com- 
pletely covered by the rank growth of grass that the tree 
suffers, and without the aid of manures and the annual 
loosening of the ground for a few feet around,' the tree in 
some cases dies from exhaustion. All kinds of cereal grains 
are bad for orchards, except perhaps buckwheat. The pre- 
paration of the ground for this crop by early summer plow- 
ing, is highly condusive to the growth of trees, and its nutri- 
ment being drawn largely from the air, it robs the roots of 
a small amount only of the materials in the soil. 

A neighboring farmer, whose management many years 
since came under our notice, had a small mowing lot adjoin- 
ing his barn and cattle sheds, which was surrounded with a 
stone wall. The soil was a moist gravelly loam, every way 
fitted for the growth of apple trees, as was shown by there 
having been several flourishing orchards on similar soils in 
the immediate vicinity. He filled this with apple trees set 
in small holes at the proper distances, the rows terminating 
on each side close to the wall and also near his barn and 
sheds. After setting out, the trees were staked and then 
left to grow, as best they could without farther cultivation. 



164 AMERICAN AGRICUL'TURE* 

Those remote from the wall and buildings remained station- 
ary for several years, while those under their influence, 
after two or three years began to show a vigorous growth. 
The grass was removed annually and the trees received no 
cultivation, save perhaps a bushel or two of chip manure 
occasionally thrown around them. Twenty years after they 
were planted, the trees next to the wall and buildings were 
thrifty and had attained a large size, while many of the oth- 
ers had died, a few had grown to one-fourth the size of the 
outer ones and otliers were still smaller, mossy and showing 
signs of a premature old age. Not one-third of the trees 
gave any return whatever. The wall and buildings kept 
the soil next tliem light and moist, while that in the more 
open held spent all its energy upon the grass. An orchard 
to be productive and profitable, must he cultivated, and with- 
out this, it is useless to plant it. 

Pruning. — This operation should commence at the plant- 
ing of the tree, the top of which should alwaysybe in propor- 
tion to the size and number of the roots. If the top be high 
and spindling, shorten it so as to throw the lateral shoots into 
a graceful and branching form. The limbs may commence 
about six feet from the ground. The pruning should be done 
annually as the labor is then trifling, and the expenditure of 
vital force in maturing wood \vhich is afterwards to be cut 
off* is thus saved, and the branches to be removed being small 
the wounds readily heal. In this case no covering is requir- 
ed for the wound as one season's growth will heal it. "The 
top should be sufficiently open to admit the sun and air. — 
The best time for trimming is when the tree is in bloom, and 
the sap in full flow. The proper instrument is a fine saw or 
sharp knife, and the limb should be cut ofl' close to the re- 
maining branch. The sap at this time is active, and is read- 
ily converted into new bark and wood, which speedly forms 
over the cut. But this is a busy season with the farmer, and 
if he cannot then prune his trees he may do it when more 
convenient, taking care to secure the wounds by an efficiein 
covering of salve. Old trees or such as are growing vigor- 
ously and have been long neglected, often require severe 
trimming, which should always be done in May or June, and 
when the wounds are large they should be covered with a 
coat of thick Spanish brown paint or grafting wax. If they 
are left exposed and the growth of the tree be slow, decay will 
often take place before they are healed. Too much care 
cannot be used in these operations. In large trees, a ladder 



FRUITS. 165 

should always be at hand to avoid breaking the limbs by the 
weight of the operator. If by too close planting the branch- 
es of different trees be brought into contact, thorough prun- 
ing is absolutely necessary, as without it good fruit cannot be 
obtained. 

Graftixg axd Budding. — These operations are so sim- 
ple, and usiially so well known by some individual in every 
iarming neighborhood, that no written description of cither 
operation ii necessary. Grafting wax of the best kind is 
thus made. Take four parts of rosin, one of tallow and one 
of beeswax, melt and stir them well together, then pour them 
into a bucket or pan of cold water. As soon as cool enough to 
be handled, work it over and draw it out like shoe-maker's 
wax until it is entirely pliable. It may then be used imme- 
diately or laid up and kept for years. The mode of applying 
it is known to every gratler. Scions should always be of 
the growth of the proceeding year and cut from well ripened, 
thrifty wood in the months of January, February or March, 
before the buds begin to swell with the flow of the spring 
sap. Tie them up and keep in a moist cool place, a cellar 
bottom, or box of moss or earth till ready for use. When cir- 
cumstances require it, grafts may be cut at any time after the 
fall of the leaf, but the months indicated are best in all locali- 
ties north of the Potomac and Ohio rivers. July and August 
are the best time for budding. This should always be done 
while the sap is in flow and the bark is loose, as at no other 
time is success certain. 

SELECTION OF Trees. — These should always be selected 
from seedlings. Suckers from the roots of grown trees are 
objectionable as tending to throw up suckers themselves which 
are always troublesome. When they appear, these should 
be cut close to the root or stem, and if properly done, they 
will rarely sprout anew. 

Planting the Seed. — If the farmer wish to raise his own 
trees, he can sow the seed or pomace in rows in the fall. Af.. 
ter they come up in the spring, weed and hoc them like any 
vegetable. When a year old, they should be carefully taken 
up, the tap root cut off* and replanted in rows four feet apart, 
and at least a foot distant in the rows, when they should be 
regularly trinmied and cultivated till they are H or 2 inches 
diameter at the base, at which time they are fit for the orch- 
ard. These operations are however the appropriate business 
of the nurseryman, for whose guidance there should always 
be at hand; some standard work on the cultivation of fruits. 



166 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

Of these, Kenrick*s and Downing's areat present, the best 
American treatises. 

Gathering and Preserving. — For immediate use apples 
may be shaken from the tree. For winter consumption or 
packing for market, they should be carefully picked by hand 
with the aid of ladders, to avoid bruising the fruit and injur- 
ing the limbs. To preserve apples, the best method is to lay 
them carefully into tight barrels or boxes, immediately after 
picking with a thin layer of perfectly dry chaff on the bottom; 
and after being lightly shaken together, another layer of 
chaff on the top maybe added, though this is. not essential. 
They may then be tightly headed or covered so as to e xclude 
the air. The boxes or barrels should then be put away into 
a dry place, and kept as cold as possible, above the freezing 
point. But if slightly frozen, they will not be injured if suf. 
fered to remain unpacked till the frost leaves them. Thus 
managed they will keep as long as they are capable of preser- 
vation. Bins in the cellar are good for ordinary use if close- 
ly covered. If exposed to the air, warmth or moisture, ap- 
ples soon decay. If too dry, they wilt and become tasteless. 
They are sometimes Ijuried in the earth like potatoes, but 
this is very liable to impair the flavor and give them an earthly 
taste ; and they seldom keep so well after removal in the 
spring as when they have been stored in barrels. 

For farm stock apples are extremely profitable, and the 
better the quality of fruit the more valuable are they for this 
object. A variety of both sweet and sub-acid should be cul- 
tivated. The sacharine matter of the apple is the principal 
nutritive property and this abounds in some kinds of the sub- 
acid. Animals like a change in their food as well as man, 
and both these varieties should, therefore, be fed to them alter- 
nately. When the soil and climate are adapted to them, we 
have no doubt that apples for stock, can be grown cheaper than 
any other kind of food, excepting grass. Hogs have been 
often fatted upon them with an occasional change to grain ; 
and when fed to horses, neat cattle, and sheep with hay, they 
are almost equivalent to roots. That tree must be badly cul- 
tivated which in ten years after planting will not produce five 
bushels of apples ; and these, at ten cents a bushel, give an 
annual revenue of fifty cents a tree, or twenty dollars per acre 
for stock-feeding alone. At twenty years old, the tree will 
double that product, casualties excepted, and as this estimate 
is based on their least valuable use, an increased profit, of 
course may be anticipated from their conversion to other 



FEUIT8. 167 

purposes. Good apples are rarely worth less than twenty-five 
cents a bushel in market; often three or four times that 
amount. The ranging of swine among any kind of fruit trees 
greatly conduces to their health and growth. Besides the 
support of the swine, their consumption of windfalls secures 
the destruction of the insects in them. Sheep, turkies, ducks 
and chickens answer the same purpose when suffered to fre- 
quent them in sufficient numbers. 

Making cider. — Good fn it is indispensable to the making 
of good cider. The suitable time for this is in October and 
November, and apples to be thus appropriated should ripen in 
these months. Such as are slightly acid are excellent for 
this purj)ose. As far as practicable, the fruit should be of 
one kind, fully ripe, yet sound and undecayed. The mill 
must be thoroughly cleansed with hot water, and capable of 
grinding the pomace fine. This should lie in the vat at least 
forty-eight hours after grinding, and be turned once or twice 
before its removal into the cheese. Pomace so exposed ab- 
sorbs large quantities of oxygen, thus undergoing a necessary 
change for its conversion into good cider. All fruits are 
subject to this change to a certain extent just before ripen- 
ing. Wh'^n their juices are expressed or the pulp broken 
and exposed to the air this effect is increased, and constitutes 
the saccharine fermentation. In both cases, the result is to 
increase the palatable and nutritive properties of the fruit, by 
converting the starch, gum and other vegetable matters into 
sugar. 

When the pomace has been sufficiently pressed, it may be 
fed to cattle, sheep, or swine, and the liquor put into barrels 
in a cool place and allowed to remain till the pulp or feculent 
matter has been thrown out at the bung, and to aid its remo- 
val the barrel should be kept full. The second fermentation 
is the vinous, and by it a portion of alcohol is developed, 
which is slowly continued afterwards in the enclosed cask, 
until it reaches from 6 to 9 per cent. When fermentation 
apparently subsides, the cider should be drawn into clean bar- 
rels and tightly bunged. Previous to doing this, a little sul- 
phur should be burned in the cask to arrest the fermentation. 
The addition of charcoal, raisins, mustard seed, fresh meat, 
&c. produces the same effect. After standing two or three 
months, closely confined in a cool place, it may be drawn oflf 
and tightly bottled for use. Its long preservation and im- 
provement will depend on its being kept cool and well corked. 
In addition to its possessing a small proportion of alcohol, it 



168 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

then contains large quantities of carbonic acid gas, which 
occasions its lively effervessence when uncorcked, and gives 
to it that peculiarly pungent and agreeable flavor so highly 
relished. 

Vinegar. — If the cider be allowed to remain in the cask in 
which it is first placed, and exposed to a warm temperature, it 
continues greedily to absorb oxygen and quickly undergoes 
another fermentation called the acetic, by which it is converted 
into vinegar ; and even if intended solely for this purpose, the 
best and richest fruit is most valuable. When the vinegar 
has acquired its perfection it should be kept air-tight at a low 
temperature. 

Best varieties of apples for cultivation. — Almost 
every section of the apple-growing regions of America has a 
greater or less variety peculiar to itself, and their valuable 
properties appear more fully developed in these localities than 
when removed to others. Such should of course be retained 
when of extraordinary excellence. There are varieties, 
however, which are of more general cultivation, cosmopolites 
throughout the apple climates, of fine quality, and possessing 
all the excellence of which the genus is capable. Thirty 
different kinds for each section or state, will probably include 
all which it is desirable to cultivate, and for any one location 
perhaps twenty is sufficient. We here name 30 standard 
varieties, all of which are now in successful cultivation in 
different parts of the United States and the Canadas. The 
names and descriptions are those of Downing, as published 
in his late work on the Fruit Trees of America, 1845. 

Summer Apples. — Early Harvest, Red Astracan, Large 
Yellow Bough, Williams' Favorite. 

Autumn Apples, — Golden Sweet, Fall Pippin, Gravenstein, 
Jersey Sweeting, Pumpkin Russet, (by some, the Belle- 
bonne,) Rambo. 

Winter Apples. — Westfield Seek-no-farther, Baldwin, 
Black Apple, Yellow Belle fleur, Detroit, Hubbardston None- 
such, Green and Yellow Newtown Pippin, Northern Spy, 
Blue Pearmain, Peck's Pleasant, Rhode Island Greening, 
American Golden Russet, English Russet, Roxbury Russet, 
Swaar, Ladies' Sweeting, Talman's Sweeting, Esopus Spit- 
zenberg, Waxen Apple, Wine Apple. 

THE PEAR. 
The pear is the most valuable and one of the most luscious 
and wholesome market fruits, though not comparable to the 



FRUITS. 169 

appJc for variety and general use. In a good soil and under 
proper cultivation, it is both vigorous and hardy. It is bud- 
ded and grafted like the apple, and requires the same treat- 
mcnt ; it is as easy of propagation, attains a greater size and 
age, and although longer arriving to maturity, it is a more 
abundant bearer. Its favorite soil is a clay loam. It needs 
little pruning as it usually throws out an upright, graceful 
head, free from excessive bushiness. The trees may be 
planted 25 or 30 feet apart, an abundance of sun being re- 
quisite to full bearing and the perfection of the fruit. 

Diseases. — The pear is seldom subject to more than one 
formidable disease, the fire blight, and to this some localities 
are more subject than others. The disease manifests itself 
generally in mid-summer, in the sudden withering of the 
leaves on one or more branches. The only effectual reme- 
dy is to cut off and burn the diseased limb immediately on its 
discovery. The causes are imperfectly known, but it has 
been variously ascribed to the presence of minute insects, to 
the abundant flow of sap and to the severity of the winter. 

Collecting and preserving the fruit. — The pears in- 
tended for market or for long keeping, should be hand-picked 
and laid in a cool place ; and when perfectly dry put up in 
casks like apples. Winter pears should be packed for pre- 
servation like wriuter apples. 

The varieties to be selected depends entirely on the ob- 
ject of their cultivation. For market the best and most pop- 
ular kinds only should be chosen, and for family use, an 
equally good selection should be made of those running 
throughout the entire season. 

We name in their order of ripening, a dozen choice kinds, 
the cultivation of which has thus far been thoroughly success- 
ful and the qualities universally approved. The most of 
these arc pears of American origin, which are to be prefer- 
red as promising more durability, haixliness and perfect adap- 
tation to our climate and soils. We quote Downing. 

Summer and Early Autumn Pears. — Bloodgood, Dear- 
bom's Seedling, Bartlett or Williams' Bon Chretien, Stevens' 
Genesee. 

Autumn Pears. — Beurre Diel, Dix, White Doyenne or Vir- 
galieu, Duchess D'Angouleme. 

Winter Pears. — Beurre D'Aramberg, Columbia, Winter 
Nelis, Prince's St. Germain. 
G 



170 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

THE QUINCE. 

This is also a valuable market fruit. It rtiakes a rich, 
highly flavored sweetmeat, and to this use it is entirely- 
limited. The tree is easily raised by suckers and the 
cuttings, and should be planted fifteen feet apart, in a rich, 
warm, heavy soil, (a clayey loam is the best,) rather moist, 
and in a sunny exposure where it will be well sheltered from 
severe and cold winds. The wash of a barn yard is its b^^st 
manure, and it repays equally with the apple, for good cul- 
tivation. The fruit is large, sometimes weighing a pound, 
of a rich yellow color, and generally fre« from worms and 
other imperfections. It ripens in October and November. 
The orange quince is the best variety for common cultiva- 
tion. The tree requires but little pruning. The trunk may 
be entire for two or three feet, or branch from the ground 
by two or more stems. The top should be kept open to 
admit the sun and air, and the trunk freed from suckers. So 
treated it will live long and produce abundantly. 

THE CHERRY. 

Aside from the value of its fruit, the cherry is an orna- 
mental shade tree, hardy and vigorous in its growth, and 
easy of propagation. It should be planted like the apple. 
For culinary purposes, the common red cherry is perhaps 
the best. This may stand sixteen to twenty feet apart, 
according to soil and situation. The large Mazard or the 
English cherry requires more room, and if on a deep, warm, 
sandy loam, itsfavoiite soil, it should be planted two rods 
apart, as it grows to a large size. It will flourish luxuri- 
antly on a clay loam, or on an open gravel, provided the 
soil be ri'^h and deep ; but on these, it demands more careful 
cultivation. It seldom requires much pruning. Care must 
be used with this as with all other fruit trees, to give it an 
open head and to keep the limbs from crossing and chafing 
each other. The varieties most in use are the Common Red 
Kentish or Pie Cherry^ with which every one is familiar, the 
English May duke, Black Tartarian Bigarreau, (Graffion or 
Yellow Span sh.) the large Red Bigarreau, Elionj Belle de 
Choisy and the late Duke. These will form a succession of six 
weeks in ripening and embrace the entire cherry season. 
The cherry is remarkably free from disease and it usually 
requires but ordinary care in its cultivation. 



FRUITS. 171 

THE PLUM. 

In its superior varieties, this is a delicious fruit, and is gen. 
eralJy easily cultivated. It prefers a strong clay loam, but 
does well in any ordinary ground except a light sand. It 
should be planted like the apple, though on a smaller scale, 
as it has a smaller and less vigorous growth. The proper 
distance is sixteen to twenty feet apart. There are two for- 
midable impediments in the cultivation of the plum. One 
is an insect, which attacks the wood, and deposits its egg in 
the sinaller branches. This is followed by a large swelling 
or excrescence and if suffered to remain, will soon destroy 
its productivness. The best and surest remedy is to cut oti* 
the branch at once and burn it. The Curcidio commits its 
depredations on the young fruit soon after the blossoms dis- 
appear. These are frequently so destructive as to kill the 
fruit of an entire orchard. Several methods of destroying 
them have been suggested of which the most simple and 
effectual is, to plant the trees in such places as will admit the 
swine and poultry to feed upon the fallen fruit and insects. 
Salt sprinkled around the tree in the spring is said to destroy 
them. The smoke of rotten wood, leaves and rubbish which 
have been burned under the trees when in blossom has 
sometimes proved beneficial. Paving the earth under the 
limbs to prevent the burrowing of the insects, and some 
other remedies are recommended. This is a serious evil, 
requiring more observation and experiment than it has yet re- 
ceived. 

Varieties. — The common blue or horse plum is cultiva- 
ted in numerous sub-varieties. Some of these are very good, 
others utterly worthless. Good plums are as easily raised 
as poor ones. Young trees bearing an indifferent fruit, can 
be headed down and grafted as readily as apples, but this re- 
quires to be done a month earlier in the spring and before the 
buds begin to swell. The best kinds are the Yellow, Green, 
Autumn, Bleeckers, Imperial, Prince's Yellow, Frost, Purple, 
and the Red Gages ; Coe's Golden Drop, the Jeftei-son, the 
Grange, the Washington, the Columbia, Smith's Orleans, 
and the Red Magnum Bonum. 

This last variety is more liable to the attacks of the circu- 
lio than many others. But its vigorous growth, great pro- 
ductivness when not attacked and its excellent quality for 
the table renders it a desirable fruit. For drying, the Ger- 
man prune is perhaps the best, although several of the plums 



172 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

above named answer an excellent purpose. We have enume- 
rated a larger variety of plums from the difficulty in our 
northern climates generally, of cultivating the peach, which 
ripens nearly at the same time, and although not so delicious 
a fruit, the plum is a valuable substitute for it. It is a more 
durable tree though liable to several diseases, and its cultiva- 
tion is comparatively easy. 

THE PEACH. 

This fruit on virgin soils and in the early settlement of our 
country, was one of the easiest of propagation and most abund- 
ant in its bearing, but it is now the most uncertain in its ma- 
turity and the shortest lived of all. So liable is it to casual- 
ties as to have become almost entirely discarded in large 
sections of the United States, where it once flourished in the 
highest perfection. It is now generally reared on an extensive 
scale for market by those who make it an exclusive business. 

Its FAvoKiTE SOIL is a light, warm, sandy or gravelly 
loam, in a sunny exposure, protected from severe bleak winds. 
Thus situated and in favorable latitudes, it often flourishes in 
luxuriance and produces the most luscious fruit. In Western 
New- York and on most of the Southern borders of the great 
Lakes the peach grows more vigorously and lives longer than 
in any other sections of the United States, frequently lasting 
20 or 30 years, and bearing constantly and in abundance. — 
Peaches are produced in immense quantities in the States of 
New Jersey and Delaware, on the light soils near the Atlan- 
tic coast for the large city markets, and in those states the 
crop of a single "proprietor often amounts to $5000, and 
sometimes exceeds $20,000 annually. None but the choi- 
cest kinds are cultivated, and these are inoculated into the 
seedling when a year old. They are transplanted at two and 
three, and are worn out, cut down and burned at the age of 
from six to twelve years. The proper distance at which they 
should be planted is sixteen to twenty feet apart, according to 
situation, soil and exposure. Constant Cultivation of the 
ground is necessary for their best growth and bearing. 

Diseases. — It is liable to many diseases and to the depre- 
dations of numerous enemies. The Yellows is its most fatal 
disease, and this can only be checked by the immediate remo- 
val of the diseased tree from the orchard. Of the Insects, the 
grub or peach worm is the most destructive. It punctures 
the bark, and lays its egg beneath it at the surface of the 
earth, and when discovered it should be killed with a pen- 



FRUITS. 173 

knife or pointed wire. A good preventive is to form a, cone 
of eartli a foot high around the trunk about the first of June ; 
or if made of leached ashes it would be better. Remove this 
heap in October, and the bark will harden below the reach of 
the fly the following year. 

Varieties. — The best kinds in succession from early to 
late, are the Red and Yellow Rareripes, Malacatune, Early 
York, Early Tillotson, George the Fourth, Morris' Red and 
White Rareripes, Malta and Royal George. These succeed 
each other from August to October. 

The Apricot axd Nectarine. — These are of the peach 
family, but generally inferior as a fruit and much more diffi- 
cult of cultivation, being more liable to casualties and insects. 
They require the same kinds of soil and cultivation as the 
peach with a warm exposure. As they are propagated solely 
as an article of luxury and are not wanted for general use, 
we omit further notice of them. 

THE GRAPE. 

The details for the proper rearing of this fruit demand a 
volume, but wc can only refer to some prominent points in its 
cultivation. It grows wild in abundance and of tolerable 
quality in many parts of the United States, climbing over 
trees, rocks and fences in great luxuriance. We have seen 
in the Eastern States a dozen excellent native varieties of 
white, black and purple, of different sizes, shapes and flavor, 
growing within the space of a single furlong. So abundant 
were the clustering vines on the Atlantic coast in the vicinity 
of Narraganset Bay, that the old Northmen who discovered, 
and for a short time occupied the country in the 12th century, 
gave it the appropriate name of Vinland, or tJie Land of Vines. 
The finer kinds require loose, shelly soils with warm, sunny 
exposures and proper trimming. Thus cultivated they are 
often raised with profit. The more choice and delicate kinds 
must have protection in winter and glass heat in summer, and 
are therefore better suited to large towns, or to a well armn- 
ged conservatory. 

Varieties. — The best American kinds are the Isabella 
and Catawba, for the Middle, and the Scuppernong for the 
Southern States. North of latitude 41° 30 neither of the 
two former ripen certainly except in long, warm seasons, and 
it would be better for the cultivator north of this to select some 
of the hardiest and best wild grapes of his own latitude for 
out-door propagation. Grafting a foreign variety on a 



174 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

hardy native stock has been found to give a choice fruit in 
great abundance, and with more certahity than could be se- 
cured by an entire exotic. Of the European, the Aarietiesof 
Chasselas, Black Hamburgh, and White Muscat of Alexan- 
dria, are the best. In a good grapery and with artificial heat 
and proper attention, these can undoubtedly be raised at a 
price which would yield to the horticulturist an adequate re- 
turn, and for this purpose they are the best kinds to propagate, 
furnishing a long succession of fruit in its finest variety. 

THE CURRANT 

Is the first in importance of the small garden fruits. In 
cookery it has many valuable uses and is wholesome and 
delicious when ripe. It grows with the greatest certainty 
and luxuriance either from the suckers or cuttings. The 
ground should be rich and well worked and the bushes set at 
least six feet apart. They require plenty of sun and air like 
all other fruits. The Red is the most common kind, but the 
large Dutch White is sweeter and more delicious, a great 
bearer, larger, and as easily cultivated. The English Black 
is very productive, of great size, and makes a fine jelly. It 
has peculiar eflScacy in sickness. The usual mode of plant- 
ing currants near fences is objectionable. They should stand 
out where the gardener can get around them and where the 
fruit can have plenty of air and sun. This improves the 
fruit, and insects and vermin are more effectually prevented 
from harboring beneath the bushes. 

THE GOOSEBERRY. 

This makes a palatable tart and as a ripe fruit possesses 
some excellence. It is easily raised, and prefers a cool, 
moist, rich soil in a sheltered position. It has been brought 
to the highest perfection in Lancashire, England, and in Scot- 
land, under the influence of their cool weather and intermina- 
ble fogs and rains. It has long been cultivated in America, 
but with little success ; for though frequently abundant, the 
flavor is indifferent in comparison with American fruits gen- 
erally. For those who design to cultivate them, the nursery 
catalogues are a sufficient reference. As a tart they are infe- 
rior to the rhubarb, or pie-plant, which can be grown with 
little trouble or expense, in great profusion in every fertile 
and well tilled garden ; and it is in season from May till 
August, when apples are sufficiently advanced to take its 
place. 



FRUITS. 175 

THE RASPBERRY. 

Both Red and Black Raspberries are favorably known as 
a wild American fruit. As market fruit near the large cities, 
it is very profitable. It prefers a light, warm, dry soil, rich 
and thoroughly loosened. The best varieties grown are the 
Red and Yellow Antwerps, which produce abundantly and 
are of fine flavor ; the Franconia, a fine, largo, purple French 
fruit ; and the Fastolf, a late English Red variety of superior 
size and flavor. The above kinds are all hardy in latitude 
43" north. They are propagated by suckers, and should be 
planted three feet apart if in hills, and four f et if in rows. — 
Tho stalk lives but two years. The first season it shoots up 
from the root and makes its growth. The next Spiing it 
should be topped to three feet in height, the old stock cut 
out, and the bearing ones (which ought never to exceed three 
or four in a clump) should be securely tied to a stake or 
trellis. li" the ground be ^vell hoed they will bear profusely. 

THE STRAWBERRY. 

This delicious and wholesome fruit is rapidly spreading in 
garden cultivation throughout the United States. It will 
flourish in almost any good soil which is not too cold or wet. 
The plants should be set in rows two f 'et asunder and one 
foot apart in the rows, kept clear from weeds and the runners 
cut off once or twice in the growing season. Beds will last 
from three to six years, depending, in a measure, on the mode 
of cultivation. The fruit is in season from three to six weeks, 
according to their kinds. Many cultivators have found difii- 
cuity in procuring an abundant supply of the strawberr}% 
which is probably owing (when other circumstances are fa- 
vorable,) to an improper arrangement of the male and female 
plants. Hovey's Seedling and several others demand the 
presence of the male plant from some other variety, to fertilize 
them. The most popular for the market are sub-varieties of 
the Scarlet, Pine, Chili and Wood. Among these the Meth- 
ven Castle, Keene's and Hovey's Seedlings are most highly 
celebrated. 

THE AMERICAN CRANBERRY (Oxycocus macrocarpvs) 

Yields one of the most delicious of our tart esculents. It 
is found in great abundance in many low, swampy grounds 
in our northern and western states ; and although it has been 
gathered from its native haunts from the earliest settlement 
of the country, yet it is only within a few years that it has be- 



1T6 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

come an object of cultivation. Experience has probably not 
yet fully developed the most certain means of attaining the 
greatest success, but enough is already known, to assume 
that they are a profitable object of attention to the farmer. 

Soil and cultivation. — They are generally planted on 
low, moist meadows which are prepared by thorough plow- 
ing and harrowing. They are then set in drills by slips and 
roots, usually in the spring, but sometimes in autumn, about 
20 inches apart and at distances of about 3 inches. They 
require to have the weeds kept out and the ground stirred 
with a light cultivator or hoe, and they will soon overrun and 
occupy the whole ground. An occasional top dressing of 
swamp muck is beneficial. Mr. Bates of Massachusetts has 
in this way, produced at the rate of 300 bushels per acre, 
which were worth in the market from one to two dollars per 
bushel. Capt Hall of the same state, raises them in a s^vamp, 
first giving it a top dressing of sand oi gravel to kill the grass, 
when he digs holes 4 feet apart, and inserts in each a sod of 
cranberry plants about one foot square. From these sods 
they gradually spread till the whole surface is occupied. 

The cranberry is sometimes killed by late or early frosts, 
and it has been suggested, that these might be avoided by 
having the fields so arranged when they may be expected as 
to be slightly covered with water. The cranberry is gather- 
ed when sulBciently ripe, by raking them from the bushes. 
They are cleaned from the stems, leaves and imperfect ber- 
ries, by washing and rolling them over smooth boards set on 
an inclined plane, in the same manner as imperfect shot are 
assorted. Afler this they are put into tight casks and filled 
with water. If stored in a cool place, the water changed at 
proper intervals, and the imperfect berries occasionally thrown 
out, they will keep till the following summer. They will fre- 
quently bring 820 per barrel in European markets. The 
raking is beneficial rather than otherwise to the plants, for 
though some of the plants are pulled out and others broken, 
their places are more than supplied by the subsequent growth. 



BEOOM CORN. 177 



CHAPTER XI 



MISCELLANEOUS OBJECTS OF CULTIVATION. 



BROOMCORN (Sorghum saccharatum.) 

So far as we are acquainted with its history, this is a pro- 
duct peculiar to America. In its early growth and general 
appearance it resembles Indian corn. It stands perfectly up- 
right at a height of ten feet or more, with a stalk of nearly 
uniform size throughout, from which an occasional leaf ap. 
pears ; and at the top a long, compact bunch of slender, grace- 
ful stems is thrown out, familiarly termed the brush, which 
sustain the sred at and near their extremities. 

Soil. — The best soil for raising broom corn, is similar to 
that required for Indian corn or maize. It should be rich, 
warm, loamy land, not liable to early or late frosts. Spring 
frosts injure broom corn more than maize, as the roots do 
not strike so deep, nor has it the power of recovering from 
the effects of frost equal to the latter. The best crops are usu- 
ally raised on a green sward, turned over as late as possible 
in the fall, so as to kill the worms. Clay lands are not 
suitable for it. 

Manure. — Hog or sheep manure is best, and rotten bet- 
ter than unfermented. If the land is in good condition, three 
cords, or eight loads to the acre is sufficient. This is usually 
placed in hills and 12 to 15 bushels of ashes per acre may be 
added with great advantage. Plaster is beneficial at the rate 
of two to four bushels per acre. The addition of slacked 
lime helps the ground, atlbrds food to the crop, and is des- 
tructive to worms. Poudrette at the rate of a gill or so to 
each hill at planting, or guano at the rate of a table-spoonful 
per hill, if the African, or two-thirds the quantity if Peruvian, 
mixed into a compost with ten times its quantity of good soil, 
is an excellent application, especially if the land is not in 



178 AMERICAN AORICITLTURE. 

very good heart. To repeat either of the above around the 
stalks on each hill after the last hoeing, will add materially to 
the crop. 

Planting. — It should be planted in hills two feet apart, in 
rows two and a half to three feet distant. If the seed is good, 
15 to 20 seeds to a hill are enough ; if not, put in sufficient 
to ensure eight or ten thrifty plants, which are all that re- 
quire to be left for each hill. Time of planting must depend 
on climate and season. The 1st of May is time for planting 
in latitude 40°, and 10th to 15th in 42^ but as early as possi- 
ble, yet late enough to escape spring frost is best. The ground 
should be thoroughly harrowed and pulverized before plant- 
ing. Thick planting gives the finest, toughest brush. Seed 
should be buried one to one and a half inches deep. 

After Culture. — As soon as the plants are visible, run 
a cultivator between the rows, and follow with a hand hoe. 
Many neglect this till the weeds get a start, which is highly 
prejudicial to the crop. The cultivator or a light plow should 
be used afterwards, followed with a hoe, and may be repeated 
four or five times with advantage. Breaking the tops should 
be done before fully ripe, or when the seed is a little past the 
milk ; or if frost appears, then immediately after it. This is 
done by bending over the tops of the rows towards each other, 
for the convenience of cutting afterwards. They should be 
broken some 13 inches below the brush, and allowed to 
hang till fully ripe, when it may be cut and carried under 
cover, and spread till thoroughly dried. The stalks remain- 
ing on the ground may be cut close or pulled up and buried 
in the fun-ows for manure, or burnt, and thus be restored 
to the earth to enrich it ; or they may be carried to the 
barn-yard to mix in a compost, or with the droppings of the 
cattle. 

Cleaning the Brush. — This is best done by hand, by 
passing it through a kind of hetchel, made by setting upright 
knives near enough together, or it may be cleaned by a long 
toothed currycomb. By the first method none of the little 
branches are broken, and the brush makes a finer, better 
broom. We have seen horse power machines used for clean- 
ing the seed with great rapidity, in the Miami valley. The 
average yield is about 500 lbs. of brush per acre. It varies 
according to season and soil, from .300 to 1,000 lbs. The 
price also varies materially, ranging from 3 to 16 cents per 
lb. ; the last seldom obtained unless in extreme scarcity. A 
good crop of seed is obtained in the Connecticut valley about 



FLAX. 179 

two years out of five. When well matured, the seed will 
average 3 to 5 lbs. for every pound of the Ijrush. A single 
acre has produced 150 bushels seed, though 25 to 50 is a 
more common yield. It weighs about 50 lbs. per bushel, 
and is usually sold at 25 to 35 cents. 

The uses of broom corn are limited to the manufacture 
of brooms from the brush and the consumption of the seed 
when ground and mixed with other grain, in feeding to fat- 
tening or working cattle, sheep and swine, and occasionally 
to horses. Brooms manufactured from it, have superseded 
every other kind for general use in the United States, and 
within a few years they have become an article of extensive 
export to England and other countries. The brush and wood 
tor the handles arc imported separately to avoid high duties, 
and are there put together, and form a profitable branch of 
agricuhural commerce to those hitherto engaged in the traf- 
fic. The cultivation of broom corn has, till quite recently, 
been almost exclusively confined to the north-eastern states ; 
but it is now largely raised in the western states. Their 
fresh, rich soil, however, does not in general yield so fine, 
tough and desirable a brush as that grown in the older culti- 
vated soils. 

FLAX (Linum usitatissimum.) 

This is one of the oldest cultivated plants of which we 
have any record ; and its habitat or region of naturalization, 
extends from the torrid to the frigid zones. Its long silken fibres 
which come from the outer coating or bark of the stem, has 
been used for the manufacture of linen, from time immemo- 
rial. The absolute quantity at present grown, is probably 
equal to that of any preceeding age ; but relatively, it is fall- 
ing behind the product of cotton, which is rapidly on the in- 
crease. Flax is still a profitable crop, for in addition to its use 
as a material for clothing, the seed is of great value for its 
oi', and the food it yields to cattle, and for the latter purpose 
the whole plant is some times fed with decided advantage. 

The proper Soil for flax, is a good alluvial or vegetable 
loani, equally removed from a loose sand or tenacious clay. 
In a very rich soil the fibre grows too coarse, and on a hard 
soil, the crop will not make a profitable return. Fresh barn 
yard manures are not suited to it and they should in all cases 
where necessary for a proper fertility, be added to the pre- 
ceeding crop. A rich sod which has long lain in pasture or 
meadow, well plowed and rotted, is the best for it. Lime in 



180 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

small quantities may be given to the soil, but the Flemings 
who raise flax extensively, never allow it to follow a heavy 
liming, till seven years intervene, as they consider it injures 
the tibre. A good wheat is generally a good flax soil. Salt, 
ashes and gypsum are proper manures for it ; the last has the 
greatest eftect if applied after the plant is developed and 
while covered with dew or moisture ; all the saline manures 
used as a top-dressing benefit the plant and check the rav- 
ages of worms which frequently attack the young plants. 

Culture on a finely prepared surface either of fresh sod, 
or after corn or roots which have been well cleared, sow 
broadcast, from sixteen to thirty quarts per acre if wanted 
for seed, or two bushels if wanted for the fibre. When thin 
it branches very much, and every sucker or branch is termi- 
nated by a boll well loaded with seed. When thickly sown, 
the stem grows single and without branches and gives a long, 
fine fibre. If the soil be very rich, and fibre is the object of 
cultivation, it may be sown at the rate of three bushels per 
acre. There is a great difference in seed, the heaviest is 
the best, and it should be of a bright brownish cast and oily 
to the touch. It should be lightly harrowed or brushed in 
and rolled. When three or four inches high, it may be care- 
fully weeded by hand, and for this it is Ijest to employ child- 
ren, or if adults are put on the field they should be barefoot, 
and any depression of the plants by the feet will soon be re- 
covered by the subsequent growth, which on good soil, will be 
sufficiently rapid to prevent the weeds again interfering with 
it. Grass seed or clover may be sown with flax without any 
detriment to it. 

Harvesting. — When it is designed for cambrics and the 
finest linen, flax is pulled when flowering ; but in this country 
it is seldom harvested for the fibre till the seed is entirely 
formed, and although not ripe, most of it will mature if pulled, 
while the fibre is in its full strength. If required for seed, 
it should be left standing till the first seeds are well ripened. 
It is then gathered and bound in small bundles, and when 
properly dried is placed under cover. If it falls before ripen- 
ing, it should be pulled at once, whatever be its stage of 
growth; as it is the only means of saving it. 

After Management. — The usual method of preparing 
flax in this country after removing the seed by drawing the 
heads through a comb or rake of finely set teeth, called rip- 
pling, is by dew-rotting, or spreading it thinly on a clean 
sward, and turning it occasionally till properly rotted, after 



HEMP. 181 

which it is put into bundles and stored till a convenient 
period for cleaning it. This is a wasteful practice and gives 
an inferior quality of fibre. The best plan of preparing it 
is by water-rotting, which is done in vats or small ponds of 
soft water, similar to those used for hemp. This gives a 
strong, even, rilky fibre and without waste, and worth much 
more either for sale or for manufacturing than the dew- 
rotted. Various steeps for macerating, and machines for pre- 
paring it have been used, which materially increases its 
marketable value. The fibre is generally got out on the 
hrahe by hand, when the farmer is most at leisure. A crop 
of the fibre may be estimated at 300 to 1000 lbs.; and of 
seed, from 15 to 30 bushels per acre. 

TJiere are no varieties worthy of particular notice, for 
ordinary cultivation. Great benefit is found to result from a 
frequent change of seed, to soils and situations differing from 
those where it has been raised. The seed is always valua- 
ble for the linseed oil it yields, and the residuum or oil cake 
stands deservedly high as a feed for all animals ; and the 
entire seed when boiled, is among the most fattening sub- 
stances which the farmer can use for animal food. Flax, like 
most other plants grown for seed, is an exhausting crop, but 
when pulled or harvested before the seed matures, it is not. 
The Flemings think flax ought not to be raised on thesame 
soil oftener than once in eight ^tjars. 

HEMP {cannashia saliva) 

Is suited to large portions of our western soils and climate, 
and for many years, it has been a conspicuous object of 
agricuhural attention. We have not yet brought the supply 
to our full consumption of it in its various manufactured 
forms, as we have till recently imported several millions an- 
nually. But the increased attention and skill bestowed on its 
cultivation, combined with our means for its indefinite pro- 
duction, will doubtless ere long constitute us one of the lar- 
gest of the hemp-exporting countries. 

The Soil for hemp may be similar to that for flax, but 
with a much wider range from a uniform standard, for it will 
thrive in moderately tenacious clay, if rich, drained, and well 
pulverized ; and it will do equally well on reclaimed muck 
beds when properly treated. New land is not suited to it 
till after two or three years of cultivation. A grass sod or 
clover bed is best adapted to it when plowed in the fall or early 
in winter. This secures thorough pulverization by frost and 



182 AMERICAN AGRICULTUKE. 

the destruction of insects, and especially the cut worm, which 
is very injurious to it. It should be re-plowed in the spring,if 
not already sufficiently mellow, as a fine tilth, considerable 
depth and great fertility are essential to its vigor. 

Cultivation. — Early sowing produces the best crop, yet 
it should not be put in so early as to be exposed to severe frost; 
and where there is a large quantity planted, convenience in 
harvesting requires that it should ripen at sufficient intervals. 
The farmer may select his time for sowing, according to his 
latitude, and the quantity cultivated. From the 10th of April 
to 10th June is the fullest range allowed. The choice of 
seed is material, as it is important to have a full set of plants 
on the ground ; yet an excess is injurious, as a part are ne- 
cessarily smothered after absorbing the strength of the soil, 
and th(^.y are besides in the way of the harvesting, without 
contributing any thing to the value of the crop. Seed of 
the last year's growth is best, as it generally heats by being 
kept over, which can be avoided only by spreading thin. 
From four to six pecks per acre of good seed, is sufficient. 
The best is indicated by its weight and bright reddish color. 
It is usual to sow broadcast, and harrow in lightly both ways, 
and roll it. A smooth surface is material in facilitating the 
cutting. Sowing in drills, would require less seed, give an 
equal amount of crop, and materially expedite the planting. 
This should always be done before moist weather if possible, 
as rapid and uniform germination of the seed is thus more cer- 
tainly secured. If the soil be very dry, it is better to place 
the seed deeper in the ground, which can be done with the 
shovel plow. If sown in drills and well covered, it might be 
previously soaked so as to secure early germination in the 
absence of rains. 

Cutting. — " No after cultivation is necessary, and as 
soon as the blossoms turn a little yellow, and begin to drop 
their leaves, which usually happens 3 to 3 1-2 months after 
sowings it is time to cut the hemp ; if it stands, however, a 
week or ten days longer than this, no other detriment will en- 
sue except that it will not rot so evenly, and becomes more 
laborious to break. Cutting is now almost universally prac- 
ticed in preference to pulling. Not quite so much lint is saved 
by the first as by the last process, but the labor is pleasanter, 
and all subsequent operations, such as spreading out, stacking 
and rotting, are made easier. The lint also is of a better 
color and finer fibre, and the roots and stubble left in the 
ground and plowed under, tend to lighten the soil, and as 



HEMP. 183 

they decompose, become an equivalent to a light dressing of 
manure. It' the hemp is not above seven feet high, it can 
be cut with cradle-scythes, similar to those used for wheat, 
(only larger and stronger,) at the rate of an acre per day ; 
but if above this height, hooks must be used full three inches 
wide, of a corresponding thickness, and about two and a half 
feet long, something in the shape of a brush scythe or sickle, 
attached to the end of a long and nearly straight snath, and 
with these half an acre is considered a good day's work. 

Drying a>'d securing. — As fast as cut, spread the hemp 
on the ground where it was grown, taking care to keep the 
butts even, when if the weather be dry and warm, it will be 
cured in three days. As soon as sufficiently dried, commence 
binding into convenient sheaves, and if destined for water 
rotting, it ought to be transported to dry ground convenient to 
the pools, and then secured in round stacks, carefully thatch- 
ed on the top to keep out the rain ; but if designed for dew 
rotting, it should be secured in the same field where grown 
in large ricks. The reason why these are to be prefered is, 
that less of the hemp in them is exposed to the weather, and 
of course the more and better the lint when it comes to be 
rotted and broken out. 

The Ricks should be 30 to 40 feet long, and 15 to 20 feet 
wide, the best foundation for which is large rails or logs laid 
down for the bottom course, six feet from each other, then lay 
across these, rails or poles one foot apart. As the hemp is 
bound in sheaves, let it be thrown into two rows, with suffi- 
cient space for a wagon to pass between. * While the pro- 
cess of taking up and binding is going on, a wagon and three 
hands, two to pitch and one to load, is engaged in hauling 
the hemp to the rick, and stacking it. The rick should be 
in a central part so as to require the hemp to be removed as 
short a distance as possible. Thus the process of taking up, 
binding, hauling, and ricking, all progress together. In this 
way five hands will put up a stout rick in two days and 
cover it. By having two wagons and ten hands, it may be 
accomplished in one day. It is proper to remark, that for 
making the roof of the rick, it is necessary to have long hemp, 
from which the leaves should be beat off. In this state only 
will hemp make a secure roof.' — (Beatty.) 

In laying down the hemp begin with the top ends of the 
bundle inside, and if they do not till up fast enough to keep 
the inside of the rick level, add as occasion may require 
whole bundles. Give it a rounded elliptical form at each end, 



184 AMERICAN AORICtTLTURE. 

and as it rises it must be widened so as to make the top 
courses shelter the bottom ones, and after getting up about 
twelve feet high, then commence for the roof, by laying the 
bundles crosswise, within a foot of the edges of the rick, 
building the top up roof-shaped, of a slope at an angle of 
about forty- five degrees. This finished, for the covering of 
the roof lay up the bundles at right angles to its length, the 
butt ends down, and the first course resting on the rim of the 
rick as left all around, one foot in width. Lap the bundles in 
covering the roof in courses, precisely as if shingling a house. 
The first shingling thus finished, commence the second by re- 
versing the bundles, placing the top ends down, and then go 
on lapping them as before. The third course of shingling 
begin with the butt ends down again, letting the first course 
hang at least one foot below the edge of the roof, as eaves to 
shed off the rain well from the body of the stack. Unbind 
the bundles, and lay the covering at least one foot thick with 
the loose hemp, lapping well shingle fashion as before, and 
for a weather board, let the top course come up above the 
peak of the roof about three feet, and be then bent over it, 
towards that point of the compass from which the wind blows 
least. If the work has been faithfully performed, the rick 
may be considered as finished, and weather proof, and it re- 
quires no binding with poles or anything else. The rick 
should be made when the weather is settled and certain, for 
if rain falls upon it during the process, it will materially-in- 
jure the hemp. There ought always to be a sufficient num- 
ber of hands in the field to gather, bind the shocks, and finish 
the ricking in a single day. 

Time of dew rotting. — The best time for spreading 
hemp for dew rotting, is in the month of December. * It 
then receives what is called a winter rot, and makes the lint 
of the hemp a light color, and its quality better than if spread 
out early. But where a farmer has a large crop, it is desira- 
ble to have a part of his hemp ready to take up late in Decem- 
ber, so that he may commence breaking in January. To ac- 
complish this object, a part of his crop may be spread about 
the middle of October. It would not be prudent to spread 
earlier, as hemp will not obtain a good rot if spread out 
when the weather is warm. The experienced hemp-grower 
is at no loss to tell when hemp is sufficiently watered. A 
trial of a portion of it on the break will be the best test for 
those who have not had much experience. When sufficiently 
watered, the stalks of the hemp lose that hard, sticky ap- 



HEMP. 185 

pearance or feel, which they retain till the process is com- 
pleted. The lint also begins to separate from the stalk, and 
the fibres will show themselves somewhat like the strings of 
a fiddle-bow attached to the stalk at two distant points, and 
separate in the middle. This is a sure indication that the 
hemp has a good rot. 

Shocking after breaking and rotting. — When 
hemp is fit to be taken up, it should be immediately put in 
shocks, without binding, of suitable size. If it is dry, the 
shocks should be immediately tied with a hemp-band, by 
drawing the tops as closely together as possible, in order to 
prevent the rain from wetting the inside. If carefully put up 
and tied, they will turn rain completely. Each shock should 
be large enough to produce from fifty to sixty pounds of lint. 
If the hemp should be considerably damp, when taken up, the 
shocks should be left untied at the tops until they have time 
to dry. If shocks are not well put up, they are liable to 
blow down by a strong wind. To guard against this, it is 
desirable, when commencing a shock, to tie a band around 
the first armful or two that may be set up, and then raise up 
the parcel so tied, and beat it well against the ground so as 
to make it stand firmly, in a perpendicular direction. The 
balance of the shock should now be set regularly around the 
part as herein directed. If hemp be carefully shocked, it 
will receive little or no injury till the weather becomes warm. 
In the mean time it should be broke out as rapidly as possi- 
ble. If the operation be completed by the middle of April, 
no material loss will be sustained. If delayed to a later pe- 
riod, more or less loss of lint will be the consequence. Cool, 
frosty weather is much the best for hemp-breaking. In that 
state of the weather, if the hemp is good, first-rate hands on 
the common hemp-break, will clean two hundred pounds per 
day upon an average. Two of my best hands, during the 
past season, for every day they broke, favorable and unfavor- 
able, averaged one hundred and eighty-six pounds. Two 
others, who arc young men and not full hands, averaged one 
hundred and forty-four pounds. The ordinary task for hands 
is one hundred pounds.' — Beaiiy. 

Hemp break. — The hand hemp-break is made pre- 
cisely like that for flax, only much larger ; the under slats on 
the hinder end are 16 to 18 inches apart, at the fore-end they 
approach within three inches of each other. The slats in 
the upper jaw are so placed as to break joints into the lower 



186 American ACiRtcrLTURE. 

one, as it is brought down on to the hemp. It is a machine 
so common, however, that we deem further description un- 
necessary. After breaking out the hemp, it is twisted into 
bunches, and sent to the press-house to be baled, and is then 
transported to market." 

Water kotting. — " We think the best plan for water 
rotting is in vats under cover, the water in which is kept at 
an equable temperature. The hemp thus gets a perfect rot 
at all seasons of the year, in seven or ten days, and when 
dried, is of a bright, greenish, flaxen color, and is considered 
by many, of a better quality, and appears as handsomely as 
the finest Russian, and brings as high a price in market. 
These vats may be easily constructed and managed, and if 
built in a central position, by a company of planters on joint 
account, they would be but of small expense to each, and all 
in turn could be accommodated by them. The hemp is first 
broken in a machine, which is moved by steam power, pre- 
vious to rotting, this lessens the bulk greatly, by ridding it of 
most of its woody fibre ; but the process is not esssntial to 
rotting in vats, and can be dispensed with where the ma- 
chines do not exist. If to be rotted in spring or river water, 
artificial pools or vats must be formed for this purpose, and 
should not be over three feet deep, otherwise the hemp is lia- 
ble to an unequal rot. It Avill require plank placed upon it 
weighted down with timbers or stones, in order to keep it 
well under water. Mr. Myerle recommends vats 40 feet long. 
20 feet wide, and 2 feet deep, as best and the most conven- 
ient for the season, that the hemp is kept cleaner while rot- 
ting, and the hands can lay it down in the vats and take it out 
without getting wet, which is very important to the health of 
the laborer. These vats also greatly facilitate the operation, 
and can be fed with water and have it run off at pleasure, 
without endangering loss from the hemp. Water rotting in 
streams, requires a longer or shorter period, according to the 
season. In September, when the water is warm, ten days 
is generally sufficient ; in October, about fifteen, and in De- 
cember, thirty days or more. For the latitude of Kentucky, 
October and November are considered the best months for 
the operation, and perhaps is easiest done, gives more lint, 
and upon the whole, as good a sample as if deferred later." 
— {American Agriculturist.) 

Raising Hemp seed. — It is important that the farmer 
should be supplied with good seed, which is free from weeds, 
and this he can only be certain of when he produces it, him- 



HEMP. 187 

self. This requires another system of cultivation, but simi- 
lar soil, which should be the in finest condition as to fertility 
and pulverization. An old pasture or meadow heavily ma- 
nured and plowed in the fall and well pulverized -in the spring 
furnishes the best soil. We again quote from Judge Beatty's 
valuable essays on practical agriculture : 

" The seed should be planted as we do com, either in hills 
or drills. I prefer the former, because it admits of easier 
and better cultivation, as the plow can be used both ways. 
It is usual to plant five feet apart, each way, and suffer four 
or five stalks to stand in a hill until the blossom hemp is re- 
moved, and then reduce the number so as not to exceed two 
stalks in a hill. Thus there would be two seed plants for 
each twenty-five square feet. It would be a better practice 
to make the hills three feet six inches apart, each way, and 
thin the hemp to three stalks in a hill, till the blossom hemp 
appears, and at the proper time cut out the blossom or male 
hemp ; and, if necessary, a part of the seed hemp, so as to 
reduce the latter to one stalk in the hill. If each hill should 
contain one stalk, there would be two seed stalks for each 
twenty.four and a half square feet. This will give a greater 
number of seed stalks per acre than planting five feet each 
way, and leaving two in a hill. According to this plan, each 
seed plant will stand by itself, and, having its appropriate 
space of ground, can spread its branches without obstruction. 
According to the other plan, two seed plants, standing to- 
gether, will obstruct each other, in putting forth lateral 
branches, and can scarcely be expected to produce tipice as 
much as the single stalk. 

•' The ground for hemp seed, having been well prepared by 
at least two plowings, and a number of harrowings, suffi- 
cient to pulverize the ground, it should be laid off as above 
directed, and planted in the same manner as corn, except 
that the seed need not be covered more than an inch and a 
half deep. Thelve or fifteen seed should be dropped in each 
hill, which should be somewhat scattered to prevent them 
from being too much crowded in the hill. Though good 
hemp seed is certain to come up, yet it is prudent to plant 
about the number suggested to guard against casualties. Soon 
after the hemp seed comes up, a small shovel plough should 
be run through, both ways, once in a row. If the ground is 
not foul, the ploughing may be delayed till the hemp is a few 
inches high, which will enable the plowman to avoid throw- 
ing the dirt on the tender plants. The hoes should follow the 



IBS AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

second plowing, and clean away the weeds, if any, in or 
near the hill, and thin out the hemp to seven or eight stalks. 
These should be the most thrifty plants, and somewhat sepa- 
rated from each other. The plowing should be repeated 
from time to time, so as to keep the ground light and free from 
weeds. And when tlie plants are about a foot or a foot and a 
half high, the hoes should again go over the ground and care- 
fully cut down any weeds or grass which may have escaped 
the plow. The plants should be still further thinned out, at 
this time, leaving but four in a hill, and some fine mold drawn 
around tlie plants, so as to cover any small weeds that may 
have come up around them. After seed hemp has attained 
the height of a foot and a half, it will soon be too large to 
plow, but it ought to have one plowing after the last hoe- 
ing. The ground, by this time, will have become so much 
shaded by the hemp plants as to prevent the weeds from grow- 
ing, so as to do any injury, and nothing more need to be done 
but for a boy to follow the plow, and (if three and a half 
feet be the distance of the hills apart,) reduce the number of 
plants invariably to three^ taking care to remove those which 
the last plowing may have broken or injured, by the tread- 
ing of the horse or otherwise. The next operation will be to 
cut out the blossom or male hemp. This, according to the 
opinion of some farmers, should be done as soon as the blos- 
som begins to show, in order to make room for the seed hemp 
to grow and spread its branches. This opinion must be taken 
with some allowance. The farina or pollen of the male hemp 
is necessary to fertilize the seed bearing plants. The seed of 
the latter would be wholly unproductive, if the whole of the 
male hemp should be cut before its pollen has been thrown 
out. It is important to cut the male hemp so soon as it has 
performed its office, because much room is thereby afforded to 
the seed bearing plants to spread their branches. 

" When the seed hemp has so far advanced as readily to 
distinguish the male from the female plants let all the blossom 
hemp be cut out, except one stalk in every other hill, and 
every other row. This would leave one stalk of male hemp 
for every four hills. These, together with the stalks which 
should thereafter blossom, would be sufficient to fertilize all 
the seed bearing plants, and secure a crop of perfect seed. — 
After the blossom plants, thus left, have been permitted to re- 
main until they have pretty well discharged their pollen 
(which can be easily ascertained by dust ceasing to flow from 



COTTON. IS9 

them when agitated) they, also, should be cut down. Some 
farmers top the seed plants, when five or six feet high, to 
make them branch more freely, but this is not necessary 
where but one or two seed bearing plants are suffered to re- 
main in each hill." 

A seed bearing hemp crop is a great exhauster of land, 
while such as is grown only for the fibre takes but a mode- 
rate amount of fertilizing matter from the soil. Unlike most 
crops sown broadcast, it grows with such strength and luxu- 
riance, as to keep the weeds completely smothered, and it 
may therefore be grown for many successive seasons on the 
same field. Its entire monopoly of the ground, prevents the 
growth of clover or the grains in connexion with it. 

The seed yields an oil of inferior value, and when cooked, it 
affords a fattening food for animals. 

COTTON (Gossypium.) 

Has, within the few past years, become the leading agricul- 
tural export of the United States. The total amount of the 
cotton crop in this country in 1845, was estimated at about 
850,000,000 lbs. This enormous product has mainly grown 
up within the last 60 years. Even as late as 1825 our total 
production was within 170,000,000. The introduction of 
Whitney's cotton gin, in the latter part of the last century 
gave the first decided movement towards the growth of 
American cotton. Previous to this invention the separating 
of the cotton seed from the fibre was mostly done by hand, 
and the process was so slow and expensive as to prevent any 
successful competition with the foreign article. This incom- 
parable invention, which cleaned 1000 lbs in the same time 
a single pound could be cleaned without it, overcame the 
only obstacle to complete success, and millions of acres of 
the fertile lands of the south and west are now annually cov- 
ered with the snowy producf. The increase seems to know 
no check or abatement, as with the lessening price and in- 
creasing quantity, the demand seems constantly to augment. 

Climate and Soil. — Cotton will gi-ow in some of the 
middle states, but with little profit north of the Carolinas 
and Tennesee. The soil required is a dry, rich loam. 

Cultivation. — During the winter, the land intended lor 
planting should be thrown up in beds by turning several fui 
rows together. These beds should be 4 feet from centre to 
centre for a moderate quality of upland soil, and 5 feet for 
the lowland. But these distances should be increased with 



190 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

the increasing strength of the soil to 7 and 8 feet for the 
strongest lands. These may lie until the time of planting, 
from 20th of March to 20th of April, when no further danger 
from frost is apprehended ; then harrow thoroughly and with 
a light plow mark the centre of the beds and sow at the rate 
of 2 to 5 bushels of seed per acre. A drilling machine might 
be made to answer this purpose better and save much time. 
An abundance of seed is necessary to provide for the ene- 
mies of the plant, which are frequently very destructive. If 
all the seed germinates, there will be a large surplus of plants, 
which must be removed by thinning. The kind of useed sed 
for uplands is Mexican and Petit-Gulf, both of the same vari- 
ety, but the last is better selected and has been kept pure. — 
There is an advantage in mixing the seed before it is sown, 
with moistened ashes or gypsum, as it facilitates sowing and 
germination. The seed should be buried from h tolh inches, 
and the earth pressed closely over it. The subsequent cul- 
tivation is performed with various instruments, the bull- 
tongue or scooter, the shovel, double shovel, the sweep, the 
harrow, the cultivator and the hoe. One or more of the for- 
mer must be used to pulverize the land and uproot and clean 
OiT the weeds ; while the last is necessary to carry this ope- 
ration directly up to the stem of the plants. The culture is 
thus summarily stated by Dr. Phillips : '* Commence clearing 
the cotton early ; clean it well ; return to it as soon as pos- 
sible, throw earth or mould to the young plants, and if the 
ground be hard give it a thorough plowing ; keep the earth 
light and mellow and the plants clear of grass and weeds." 
The plants are thinned at every hoeing, till they attain a 
height of 3 or four inches, when two or three are allowed to 
stand together at intervals of about 8 inches for a medium 
quality of soil. This distance should be largely increased 
when it is richer. Cotton is subject to the cut and army 
worm, the slug and catterpillar, cotton lice, rot, sore shin and 
rust. We have seen no remedies prescribed for either, but 
we suggest for experiment the exposure of the two former to 
frost, by plowing just before its appearance. The free use 
of lime and salt and similar manures might arrest or mitigate 
the eftects of all. Birds should also be encouraged upon the 
fields,as they would destroy numbers of the worm and insect 
tribes. It has been claimed that the introduction of the Mex- 
ican and Petit-Gulf varieties is the most effectual remedy, as 
they furnish hardier kinds, which are less the object of attack 
and have a greater ability to withstand it. 



COTTON. 191 

Harvesting is commenced when the bolls have begun to 
expand and the cotton is protruded, and this is continued 
from time to time as the bolls successively ripen and burst 
their capsules. It is done entirely by hand, the picker pass- 
ing between two rows and gleaning trom each. The cotton 
is placed in a bag capable of containing 15 or 20 lbs. which 
is hung upon his shoulders or strapped upon his breast. — 
These are emptied into large baskets which are taken, when 
filled, to the gin-house. We quote again from Dr. Philips : 
** Having all things ready for picking cotton, I commence as 
usual early, as soon as the hands can gather even 20 lbs. 
each. This is advisable, not only in saving a portion of that 
from being destroyed, if rains should fall, which often do at 
this season (about the middle of August,) but for another rea- 
son ; passing through the cotton has a tendency to open out 
to sun and air the limbs that have interlocked across the 
rows, and hastens the early opening. On low grounds, espe- 
cially, much loss is incuned in some seasons from the want 
of the sun to cause an expansion of the fibre within the boll, 
so as to cause it to open. The boll is composed of five di- 
visions, in each of which there is a parcel of cotton wool 
surrounding each seed, there being several in each lock of 
cotton. When green, these fibres lie close to the seed, and 
as it ripens, the fibres become elastic, the boll becoming 
hard and brownish. The Sea Island has only three divisions, 
as also the Egyptian, which is only the Sea Island of the best 
variety, with black seed, smooth, and a yellowish tuft of fibres 
on the small end ; they are both from Pernambuco. Some 
of the cotton we plant has only four divisions, but I think five 
generally. There is a peculiar art in gathering the cotton 
from the boll, which, like handling stock, can only be acquired 
by practice ; many gather equally fast with either hand. The 
lefl hand seizes the stem near the open boll, or the boll be- 
tween the two middle fingers, the palm of the hand up ; the 
fingers of the right hand are inserted tolerably low down in 
the boll, a finger on each lock of cotton ; then, as the fin- 
gers grasp it, there is a slight twisting motion, and a quick 
pull, which, if done well, will extract the contents, the boll 
being open, and the bottom of the locks not gummy to adhere. 
There is a vast difference in hands — not the quickest making 
the best pickers — a steady, clocklike motion, with some 
quickness, is necessary to gather fast. A neighbor of mine, 
when a young man, some ten years since, gathered 400 lbs.» 
which was at that time the best I had known ; this has been 



192 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

beaten since, by aiding the hand in emptying his sacks, and 
ahnost feeding and watering him while at work." 

" Cotton should be gathered from the field as clean as possi- 
ble, taken to the scaffolds and dried until the seed will crack 
when pressed between the teeth, not crush or mash, but 
crack with some noise. It should be frequently turned over 
and stirred (all the trash and rotten pods taken out while this 
is being done,) so as to insure its drying earlier. 

If seeds are wanted for planting, gin the cotton immediately, 
and spread the seed over the floor some five inches thick, until 
perfectly dry. If the cotton-seed be not wanted, pack the 
seed-cotton away into the house, to remain until a gentle heat 
is discovered, or until sufficient for ginning ; after it has heated 
until a feeling of warmth to the hand, and it looks as if press- 
ed together, open out and scatter to cool. This cotton will 
gin faster, have a sofler feel, is not so brittle, therefore not so 
liable to break by rapidity of gin, and has a creamy color ; 
the wool has imbibod a part of the oil that has exuded by the 
warmth of seed, and is in fact restored to the original color ; 
for the oil being vegetable, it is dissipated by sun and air, and 
the color by moisture (of rain and dews) and light. I have 
known of a number of sales made of this description of cotton, 
and even those who are most strenuous against the heating, 
admit it bore a better price." The cotton is then ginned 
and baled, when it is ready for market. 

Topping Cotton between the 20th July and 20th August 
is practised by many planters with decided success. It is 
thought by the foregoing authority, highly beneficial in dry 
seasons, but not in wet, and that in three years out of five it 
is attended with particular advantage to the crop. 

Sea Island Cotton requires in many respects a treat- 
ment unlike that of the upland. We insert an article by 
Thomas Spalding, Esq. who has long been engaged in its 
cultivation. 

" The Sea-Island cotton was introduced into Georgia from 
the Bahamas ; the seed was from a small island near St. 
Domingo, known as Arguilia, then producing the best cotton 
of the western world. It in no way resembles the Brazil 
cotton which is the kidney-seed kind, introduced some years 
later, and which after trial, was rejected in Georgia. This 
seed came in small parcels from the Bahamas in the winter 
of 1785. It gradually and slowly made its way along the 
coast of Georgia, and passed into Carolina, from the year 
1790, to 1792. The winter of 1786 in Georgia was a mild 



COTTON. 193 

one, and although the plants of the Sea-Island cotton that 
year had not ripened their seed ; it being a perennial, and 
subject only to be killed by frost, it started the next season 
(1787) from the roots of the previous year, its seed ripened, 
and the plants became acclimated. Many changes have 
come over this seed since that time from difference of soil, 
of culture, and local position; and above all, from careful 
selection of seed. But it requires to be discovered, that what 
IS gained in fineness of wool, is lost in the quality and weight 
of the product ; for in spite of a zeal and intelligence 
brought to act upon the subject without parallel, the crops 
are yearly diminishing ; until to grow Sea-Island cotton is 
one of the most profitless pursuits within the limits of the 
United States. 

'•The Culture. — When the Sea-Island cotton-seed was 
mtroduced in 1786, it was planted in hills prepared upon the 
level field, at five {eet each way ; but it was soon learned, 
that of all plants that grow, it is in its first vegetation and 
early stage the most tender ; liable to suffer by storms, by 
wind, by drought, and by excess of rain. The quantity of 
seed was therefore increased, and the plants multipiied, 
until, as in most other cases, one extrem.e produced another. 
For many years, however, among experienced planters, the 
course is to divide their enclosed fields, into two portions ; 
the one at rest, the other in culture. 

" Preparing the Land for the Crop.— Early in Feb- 
ruary, any hands not engaged in preparing the previous 
crop for market, are employed in cleaning up the rested 
fields, and either in burning off" the fennel-weeds and grass 
of the previous year, or in listing them in at five feet apart, 
to serve as the base of the future ridges or bed. There is 
much difference of opinion, upon the subject of burning or 
listing in ; for myself, I am inclined to take the first opinion, 
believing that the light dressing of ashes the field receives 
from burning off*, is more beneficial to the soil than the decay 
of the vegetable matter, and renders it less liable to produce 
what is a growing evil, the rust, a species of blight, much 
resembling the rust or blight upon wheat, and which takes 
place about the same period, just as the plant is putting out 
and preparing to ripen its fruit. 

"Ridging. — The land being listed in short lines across 
the entire field, at five feet apart, the operation of ridging is 
commenced about the first of March. The ridges occupy 
H 



194 AMERICAN -AGRICULTURE. 

the em ire surface ; that is, the foot of one ridge commencing 
where the other ridge ends, and rising about eight inches 
above the natural level of the land, thus presenting a surface 
almost as smooth, and almost as deeply worked as a garden- 
bed. This ridging is carried on but a few days ahead of the 
planting. The ridge, if the operation has been carefully 
done, is from 2 to 2h feet broad at top ; it is then trenched 
on the upper surface with the hoe, six inches wide, and 
from three to six inches deep, depending upon the period of 
planting. 

"Planting. — In the beginning, if the seed is covered 
more than two inches with soil, the soil will not feel the 
intience of the sun, and the seed will not vegetate later; that 
is, in April up to the first of May, you must give from three 
to four inches of covering to preserve the moisture, or there, 
too, you fail from an opposite cause, the wind and burning 
influence of the sun drying the soil too much for vegetation. 
In most countries, after sowing the seed the roller is applied; 
but in cotton planting, in our ridge-husbandry, the loot in 
covering the seed and pressing down the earth well sup- 
plies its place. 

" Quantity of Sekd per Acre.-^A bushel of seed is 
generally sown to the acre, 1 believe half a bushel is better ; 
for where the evil comes, whether the worm, or wind, or 
drought, or wet, there is no security in the many ; but on 
the contrary, where they come up thin, they soon grow out 
oi the way of injury from any enemy. 

" Apter-Culture. — The cultivation of Sea-Island cotton 
is carried on by the hand-hoe, and the quantity always 
limited to four acres to the laborer. The operation of 
weeding commences as soon as we finish planting, because 
in our flat and sandy soils the grass-seed springs with the 
first growth of the cotton, and by the time we finish plant- 
ing, say the first of May, what we planted in March requires 
the hoe. The land is kept in the operation of hoeing and 
weeding as far as may be, at its original level, the beds 
neither increased or diminished, that rains which generally 
fall with bearing power, and in redundant quantity, in the 
month of August, may as little as possible injure the grow- 
ing plants, which are then in full bearing. The young cot- 
ton is thinned out slowly at from six to twelve inches apart 
on the ridge, by the 10th of June. As soon as the rains 
commence, which is about the last of July, it is wise to leave 



COTTON. 195 

nature to herself, and no longer disturb the soil ; four hoe- 
ings if well done, and the grass well well picked at each 
hoeing, is enough ; nor does any aftergrowth of grass do 
injury. 

"Manures and SoiLiN^iSTOcK.— For ten years past, great 
efforts have been made by the Sea-island planters, in ma- 
nuring. Much of the alluvion of our salt rivers have been 
<!ollected, and sometimes })laced directly in heaps through 
(he tields at rest, at other times placed in cattle-pens, on 
which cottonseed, and all waste materials are strewn, and 
the cattle pounded up on it. But what is preferred, is to pen 
our cattle near the river at night, and cut salt-grass, which 
coveis these alluvion lands, and which is as nutritious as so 
much clover. Great benefits will result from the use of 
marl, I have no doubt, hereafter. 

" A.MOUNT or Crop pkr Acre and Picking. — It has been 
stated already, that 500 lbs. to the acre is about the medium 
crop, which at 20 cents per lb., (more than the actual price 
for the last three years,) is to the planter '^100 for gross 
crop ; and from this hundred dollars is to be subtracted bag- 
ging, freight, expenses of sale, clothing for his people, 
medical attention, and too often provisions. " 

The Varieties which have been cultivated with success 
in the United States, in addition to those enumerated, are 
the RUh with a staple about three inches in length of a 
glossy, silky texture, brought from South America; the 
Egyptian^ received from the garden of Mchemet Ali and 
grown in Louisiana 15 feet in height ; the Mastodan, lately 
introduced from Mexico, firm in texture and highly produc- 
tive ; the Chinese Silk Cotton, white, soft, tine and silky ; the 
East India, growing to a height of 14 feet and producing a 
beautiful fibre ; and the Nankeen, a handsome staple of a 
true nankeen color, raised by the late Hon. John Forsyth 
of Georgia, and some other planters. 

Cotton Seed. — The amount of seed in cotton is large, 
being nearly 70 per cent, of the entire gathering, the fibre 
being about 28. This is used for various purposes. Some- 
times it is pressed for its oil, of which it yields from 15 to 20 
per cent, of its own weight. When thus treated, the cake 
is used for cattle food. The seed is frequently though impro- 
perly fed raw to stock, and this ot'ten proves fatal espe- 
cially to swine, besides being attended with much waste. It 
is most advantageously prepared by boiling for half an hour, 



196 AMERICAN AGRICCLTUEE. 

when it will benefit all descriptions of ?tock. By adding an 
equal quantity of corn and boiling them together it will fat- 
ten swine rapidly. Tt is also useful to land as a manur?. 

THE SUGAR CANE {Sarckarum officinamm.) 

The cultivation of the cane is an important branch of South- 
ern agriculture. Its first introduction into this country, is 
said to have been in 1751, by some French Jesuits, who plan^ 
ted it on the present site of New- Orleans. But it was not 
until between 1794 and 1800, when the revolution in St. 
Domingo sent hundreds of their planters into that state, that 
the growth of the cane became an object of decided impor. 
fance. They brought with them the small yellow Creole, 
the only kind then cultivated in the French M^est India islands. 
From these limited and comparatively recent beginnings, the 
product has rapidly increased, until it has now become next 
to cotton, the great agricultural export liom the Southern 
States. Over 160,000,000 lbs., with 9,000,000 gallons mo^ 
lasses, was the estimated crop for 1845. In Louisiana, the 
great sugar producing ytate, it has been cultivated almost ex- 
clusively on the low or rich level lands ; but recently, the more 
elevated country has been used for it, and the experiments 
have been such as to justity the expectation that large quan- 
tities will hereafter be raised on the uplands. The cane was 
brought to Georgia in 1805 from the island of Otaheite. Its 
extension in some parts of that state and Florida was rapid, 
and while sugar commanded 10 cents per pound, it was a re- 
numerating crop. Since its decline to five and six cents, the 
cultivation has diminished, but it is still largely -raised for 
domestic consumption among the planters, and to some ex- 
tent for exportation to the northern states. 

CuLTivATiOiV. — The first operation is to drain the land 
effectually with large open ditches, by which all the surface 
water is removed. The ground is then thoroughly prepared 
with the plough, and well harrowed if rough. " In Georgia," 
says Mr. Spalding, " the cane was cultivated differently from 
what it was elsewiiere. It naturally took the course of our 
cotton culture of the seacoast ; to wit, ridges at five feet apart ; 
a trench was opened on the top of the ridge, three inches 
deep, in which a double row of cane-plants were placed, cut 
about two feet long, and placed so as the eyes which are al- 
ternate, should be on the sides, and then covered with two 
inches of earth. This you may suppose in a good season 
gives a continued line of stalks, not more than three inches 



tHE SitOAR CANF. 197 

apart, and throwing up cane five or six feet fit for the mill. 
I have often supposed that there was growing of vegetable 
matter to the acre, from 30 to 40 tons, certainly containing 
more nutritious matter for stock, than any other plant would 
give upon the same surface. In Louisiana they planted al- 
together with the plow, and had their trenches not more than 
2h feet apart; they have since gradually widened their di^i- 
tance. When I was there, they used generally the old 
French plow, with a wheel at the end of the beam. VVitli 
strong teams, they plowed deep and l)etter than anywhere 1 
had seen in the southern states. It was by means of the 
plow, tiiat they planted so many acres to the laborer ; and 
again, because they had little grass upon their river-lands ex- 
cept the nut-grass." The cane may be planted any time 
between the months of September and March ; but is usu- 
ally done in January and February after the sugar- making 
is completed. Some planters have recently obtained large 
crops by planting jn rows at a distance of 8 feet apart. Af- 
ter the frost has disappeared, the earth is removed by the 
plow from each side of the cane, and the top earth is scraped 
off to prevent early vegetation. It is then kept clear of weeds 
and grass by the frequent use of the hoe, till it has produced 
suckers or shoots enough to afford a full stand. In the latter 
part of May or early in June it should be hilled about four 
inches, and then left unmolested till ready for the mill. The 
rane l)cgins to ripen at the bottom in August or September 
and advances upwards at the rate of about six inches per 
uerk, and is usually fit for the mill by the middle of October. 
Harvesting. — The cane is first topped while standing, 
which consists in cutting off the upper end of the stalk as far 
as the leaves are dry. The dry leaves are then stripped 
from the standing stalk, and the cane cut with a cane knife 
close to the ground, and carried in cails to the mill where 
it is at once passed through the rollers for expressing the 
juice. This last is immediately put iuto the kettles, boiled, 
skimmed, and reduced to the proper point for gianulation 
or conversion into sugar. The tops and leaves are tie- 
quently left on the ground for manure, or used for stock feed- 
ing, and sometimes they are planted. But it is better to use 
the choicest whole cane for this purpose ; and when thus se- 
lected, it is cut befoic frost and laid down in beds or matelas 
one or two feet in thicknes, with the tops overlapping and 
occupying the suiface like shingles in a roof. Cane is gen- 
erally planted in this countr)^ once in three years, and it con- 



108 AMERICAN AGBICTTI-TITRP. 

tinues to grow vigorously for this period from a single plant- 
ing. In 8t. Domingo, many of the cane fields are irrigated 
from the mountain streamr--, by which the crop is largely 
increased, and the ratoons or old plants last for several years. 
Mr. Spalding places the average crop of the uplands in Geor- 
gia at 500 lbs. of sugar per acre, and that of the bottom or 
viver lands, at 1000 lbs., while that of Louisiana is estimated 
af 800 lbs. The crushed cane is frequently used for fuel 
wheie wood is scarce. This is a wasteful custom as it is a 
valuable food for stock. Large quantities of the molasses 
have hertofore been used for distilling into alcohol, but the 
manufacture of this has materially lessened of late, and a 
salutary change has been made in its disposal. When it 
would not bring a remunerating price for exportation, as has 
sometimes been the case in the West Indies, it has been 
mixed with other materials and fed to stock. It is healthful 
and excedingly fattening to animals. Its great value for con- 
version into fat will be readily seen by comparing the eh^- 
ments of each. Sugar has been analyzed by several chem- 
ists with slightly varying results. According to the follow- 
ing authorities, it consists of 

Lussac & Thenard, Beizelius, Prout, Ure, 

Oxygen, 50.63 49.856 53.35 50.33 in 100 

Carbon, 42.47 43.265 39.99 43.38 — 

Hydrogen, 6.90 6.875 6.66 6.29 — - 

Fat according to Chevreul, consists of 79 carbon ; 11.4 hy- 
drogen ; and 9.6 of oxygen. The only difference in the 
chemical character of molasses and sugar, is that the former 
contains a considsrable addition of water. Thus it will be 
seen, that fat and molasses are identical in their constituents 
though varying in their relative proportions ; and it would be 
fairly inferable from theory, as it has been found in practice, 
that no food is better suited to the easy and rapid conversion 
into animal fat if fed profusely. 

The varieties of cane cultivated in the United States, 
are the blue Hhh&n, the stem of which is hadsomely striped 
with blue and yellow. These were brought from Jamaica, 
and are thus described by Mr. Spalding : " The first is so 
hardy, that I think it might be grown in warm, sandy soils, 
dressed with animal manures and with diluted ashes, even 
to New- York, for the feeding of cattle, and other useful pur- 
poses ; the cane for planting being placed in dry cellars, and 
only taken out for planting in warm days in April, The 
v/hite striped cane is the tenderest of all the species, and in 



StJCAR MAPLE. 199 

our cold season of years past, has disappeared from among 
us — no loss, although a very soft cane, and easily expressed. 
The objection to the blue striped cane, it is very hard to 
grind, and really gives but little juice at best ; it, however, 
grows higher, and is adapted to lower grounds, to moister 
soils, and shorter seasons, and the plants are much easier 
preserved for the next year. Light frost upon the cane im- 
proves the juice, and we have known the green cane upon 
Sapelo Island, for a few days, give juice that gave 13 by the 
hydrometer when three pounds of juice made a pound of su- 
gar; no cane in Jamaica ever did more." The blue ribbon 
is the most prolific and most extensively cultivated v©.riety 
on the rich lands of Louisiana. The Otaheite is largely 
raised, and with the Creole or Brazilian, (now nearly super- 
seded,) makes up the cultivated varieties of the United States. 
The Cane Coverer recently invented by Mr. Bryan, it 
is affirmed will save a large amount of labor, a boy and span 
of horses covering with it 10 acres in a day, and it is equally 
efficient in removing the earth from the cane. Tlie Jiydraulic 
press has been lately introduced for expressing the cane juice, 
which it does at the rate of 0000 gallons in every 10 hours, 
either by manual labor or with the aid of a couple of mules. 
The advantages claimed for it aro numerous and striking. 
Tlie application of steam to the manufacture of sugar, has 
been introduced into Louisiana quite recently, by Mr. Riel- 
lieux, by which 18,000 lbs. were made in 24 hours, with 
great economy and advantage. 

MAPLE SUGAR. 

The rock, hard or sugar juaple tree (Acer Saccharinum) 
is among our most beautiful shade, and most valuable forest 
trees, and it stands next to the sugar cane in the readiness, 
and abundance with which it yields the material for cane 
sugar. When refined, there is no difference either in appear- 
ance or quality between the sugar from the cane, the maple 
or the beet. In the brown state, the condition in which it is 
sent to market, when made with care and formed into solid 
cakes, it retains its peculiar moisture and rich aromatic flavor, 
which makes it more acceptable to the nibblers of sweets, 
than the most refined and highly sented bon-bons of the con- 
fectioner. The quantity made in this country, is very large, 
though from the fact of its domestic consumption, and its sel- 
dom reaching the large markets, there is no estimate of the 
the aggregate production which will come very near the 



200 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

truth. The product for Vermont alone, for 1845, was esti- 
mated at over 10,000,000 lbs. The quantity supposed to be 
annually sold in the city of New York, exceeds 10,000 hhds. 
TBoth the sugar and syrup are used for every purpose for which 
the cane is employed. 

The sugar maple extends from the most northern limits of 
Maine and the shores of Lake Superior, to the banks of the 
Ohio. Further South it is rarely found. The cane and 
maple approach each other but scarcely meet, and never in • 
termingle as rivals in the peculiar region which nature has 
assigned to each. In some sections of the -country, the 
sugar maple usurps almost the entire soil, standing side by 
side, like thick ranks corn, yet large and lofty, and among the 
noblest specimens' of the forest. The writer has thus repeat- 
ediy seen them around the Manitouwoc river, near the coast 
of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin, and in the beautiful sugar 
orchards of the same country, where unlike the others, they 
grow in open land among the rich native grasses, their tops 
graceful and bushy like the cultivated tree, and but for their 
greater numbers and extent and their more picturesque 
grouping, one would think the hand of taste and civilization 
had directed what nature alone has accomplished. And amid 
those beautiful orchards, or in the depths of those dense dark 
woods, the Indian wigwam and the settler's rude cabin may 
be seen, filled with the solid cakes and mokoks* which con- 
tain from 30 to 60 lbs. of their coarse-grained, luscious 
sugar. 

The season for drawing and chrystalizing the sap is in 
early spring when the bright sunny days and clear frosty 
nights, give it a full and rapid circulation. The larger trees 
should be selected and tapped by an inch auger to the depth 
of an inch and a half, the hole inchning downward to hold 
the sap. At the base of this, another should be made from 
3-8 to 1-2 an .inch diameter, in which a tube of elder oi 
sumach should be closely fitted to conduct it off. A rude con- 
trivance for catching the sap is with troughs made usually of 
the easily wrought poplar, but it is better to use vessels which 
admit of thorough cleansing, and these may be suspended by 
a bail or handle from a peg driven into the tree above. If 

*Mo-kok— An Indian sack or basket, with flattish sides and rounded end8f 
similar in fashion to a ladies travelling satchel. They are made perfectly tight, o 
strips of white birch bark, eevved with thongs of elm. They make some of their 
::.i:' buckets of the same material, but different in form. The small mo-koks, taste- 
f illy ornamented with various colored porcupine quills and filled with maple sugar, 
are sold for toys. 



SUGAR MAPLE. !201 

ttails aro used, they may spoil the auger at some fliture tap- 
ping. When the sugar season is over, the holes ought to bo 
closely plugged and the head cut off evenly with the bark 
whicli soon grows over the wound. If thus carefully man- 
^ge(\f several may bo made in a thrifty tree without any ap- 
poarcnt injury to the tree. The barbarous, slovenly mode of 
half girdling the trunk with an axe, soon destroys it. 

The sap is collected daily with buckets which are carried 
on the neck by a milk man's yoke to the boilers ; or if 
the quantity be great and remote from the sugar fires, by a 
hogshead placed on a sled, with a large hole at the top covered 
with a cloth strainer, or a tunnel similarly guarded, is inserted 
in the bunghole. The primitive mode of arranging the 
sugary, is with large receiving troughs placed near the fires, 
capable of holding several hundred gallons of sap, and the 
boiling kettles suspended over them on long polos supported 
by crotches. The process of sugar making we shall give from 
the statement of Mr. Woodwortii of Watertown, N. Y. who 
obtained the premium from the State agricultural society, for 
the best sample of maple sugar exhibited at the annual fair 
of 1844. The committe who awarded the premium say 
*' they have never seen so fine a sample, either in the perfec- 
tion of the granulation or in the extent to which the refining 
process has been carried ; the whole coloring matter is ex- 
tracted, and the peculiar flavor of maple sugar is completely 
eradicated, leaving the sugar fully equal to the double refine(l 
cane loaf sugar to be found in our markets." 

The statement says : " in the first place I make my buck- 
ets, tubs, and kettles, all perfectly clean. I boil the sap in a 
potash kettle, set in an arch in such a manner that the edge 
of the kettle is defended all around from the fire. I boil 
through the day, taking care not to have any thing in the 
kettle that will give color to the sap, and to keep it well 
skimmed. At night I leave fire enough under the kettle to 
boil the sap nearly or quite to syrup by the next morning. I 
then take it out of the kettle and strain it through a flannel 
cloth into a tub, if it is sweet enough ; if not, I put it in a 
caldron kettle, which 1 have hung on a pole in such a manner 
that I can swing it on and off the fire at pleasure, and boil it 
till if is sweet enough, and then strain it into the tub and let 
it stand till the next morning ; I then take it and the syrup 
in the kettle and put it altogether in the caldron and sugar it 
off. I use to clarify, say 100 lbs. of sugar, the whites of five 
or six eggs, well beaten, about one quart of new milk and a 



202 AMEBIC AN AGRICULTURE. 

spoonful of salaeratus, all well mixed with syrup before it is 
scalding hot. I then make and keep a moderate fire directly 
under the caldron until the scum is all raised ; then skim it 
off clean, taking care not to let it boil so as to rise in the 
kettle before I have done skimming it. I then sugar it off, 
leaving it so damp that it will drain a littie. I let it remain 
in the kettle until it is well granulated. I then put it into 
boxes, made smallest at the bottom, that will hold from 50 to 
70 lbs., having a thin piece of board fitted in two or three 
inches above the bottom, which is bored full of small holes 
to let the molasses drain through, which I keep drawn off by 
a tap through the bottom. I put on the top of the sugar in 
the box two or three thicknesses of clear damp cloth, and 
over that a board well fitted in so as to exclude the air from 
the sugar. After it has done or nearly done draining, I dis- 
solve it and sugar it off again, going through the same process 
in clarifying and draining as before." 

When sap is not immediately boiled, a small addition of 
lime water should be made to check fermentation, which pre- 
vents the granulation of the syrup. A single tree has yielded 
in one day, 24 gallons of sap, making over 7 1-4 lbs. of sugar; 
and in one season it made 33 lbs. Trees will give an aver- 
age of 2 to 6 lbs. in a single season. 

TOBACCO {Nicotiana.) 

This narcotic is a native of North America and has been 
an object of extensive use and cultivatiou in this country 
since the first settlement of Virginia in the latter part of the 
16th century. It formed for a long time the principal export 
Irom that colony and Maryland. It is still cultivated there 
and has become an object of considerable attention in the 
middle and western states and to some extent in the northern. 

The Soil may be a light loamy sand, or it may be allu- 
vial, well drained and fertile, new land free of weeds and 
i'nll of saline matters is best suited to it, and next to this is a 
rich grass sod which has long remained untilled. The seed 
should be sown in beds which should be kept clean, as the 
plant is small and slow of growth in the early stages of its 
existence and is easily smothered by weeds. If not newly 
cleared, the land should be burned with a heavy coating of 
brush. 

Cultivation — ^The beds should be well pulverized, and 
the seed sown at the rate of a table spoonful to every two 
square rods. Th? seeds are so minute, that sowing evenly is 



TOBACCO. 20 n 

scarcely attainable, unless by first mixing with 3 or 4 times 
its bulk of line mold. This should be done sufliciently early 
to secure proper maturity to the plants in time for transplant- 
ing, (say l)y the last of February or early in March south ot* 
the Ohio, and about the first of April north of it.) covering 
lightly and completely rolling or treading down the earth. — 
The plant ap[)ears in 15 or 20 days and will be fit for trans- 
planting in si.\ or eight weeks. Tiiis should be done in damp 
weather, and the plants set singly, at a distance of 2i to ti 
feet each way. The after cuUure is like that of corn, and 
consi.sts in frequently stiring the ground, with the plow or 
cultivator and hoe, and keeping down weeds. The places of 
such plants a^ fail, or are blighted, should be at once filled 
up, and all worms destroyed. 

The Priming, Toppixt; and Suckering are necessary 
operations. The first consists in breaking oflf four or five of 
the leaves next the ground which are valueless ; the second 
is taking off the top to prevent the seed stalk from develop, 
ing, and is regulated by the kind of tobacco. "The first 
topping will always admit of a greater number of leaves be- 
ing left ; and in proportion as the season advances, fewer 
leaves should be left. The heavier kinds of tobacco are gen- 
rrally topped early in the season, to twelve leaves, then to ten 
and still later to eight. The lighter kinds are topped to a 
greater number of leaves. If the soil is light, fewer leaves 
should be left," {Bcatiy.) Suckering consists in breaking ofl* 
the young side shoots which should be done immediately after 
ihey make their appearance. 

HARVESTING maybe commenced with such plants as have 
become sufliciently ripe, which is indicated by greenish yel- 
low spots on the leaves. This will generally occur in Augu.st 
at the south, and in September at the north. The stem of the 
plant is cut near the ground, and allowed to wilt, but not ex- 
po.sed to a hot sun. If there is danger of this, it should bti 
cut only in the morning or evening, when properly wilted, 
which will be in a few hours, it may be carefidly carried to 
the drying house, where it should be hung up by twine lied 
to the butt end of the stalk, and suspended over poles, at dry- 
ing distances, with the head downwards. The circulation of 
air is necessary in the dry houses, but there must be entire 
safety against storms or winds, as the leaves are liable to 
break by agitation, and rain seriously injures them. When 
the stem in the leaf has become hard, it is suflSently dried. 
This takes place in good weather, in two or three months. — 



204 AMERICAN AGRtCULTtTRR. 

The leaves may be stripped in damp weather, when they will 
hot crumble, and carefully bound in small bundles, termed 
hands, and then boxed for shipment. 

The Varieties of tobacco are numerous, not less than 12 
being cultivated in America, and they are adapted to the dif- 
lerent soils and climates where they are grown. The most 
fragrant are produced in Cuba, and are almost exclusively 
used for cigars. They command several times tlie price oi' 
ordinary kinds. The tobacco of Maryland and the adjoining 
states is peculiai'ly rich and high flavored, and is most esteem- 
ed for chewing. 

Much of the peculiar flavor and value of tobacco depends 
on the soil, and the preparation or sweating of the plant after 
drying. The former shoidd not be too rich, and never highly 
manured, as the flavor is thereby materially injured though 
ihe product will be increased. Yet it is an exhausting crop, 
as is seen by the large quantity and the analysis of the asli, 
and the soil requires a constant renewal of well tiumented 
manures, and particularly the saline ingredients, to prevent 
exhaustion. Tobacco contains nitrogen and the alkalies in 
large quantities, and but very little of the phosphates. The 
ash is shown in the analysis of Fresenius and Will, to consisl, 
of potash, 30.67 ; lime, (mostly, with a little magnesia,) 
U3.36 ; gypsum 5.60 ; common salt, 5.95 ; phosphates, 6.03 ; 
silica, 18.39, in 100 parts of the ash. The inferior kinds 
contain a large proportion of lime ; and the superior, the lar- 
gest of potash. The customary method of burning fuel on 
the beds designed for tobacco, and the use of freshly cleared and 
burnt lands, by which the largest crops of the best quality an^ 
obtained, shows conclusively the proper tieatment required. 
By each of these operations, the ground is not only loosened 
in the best possible manner, and all insects and weeds de- 
stroyed, but the sails, and especially potash, are produced in 
the greatest abundance. Some of the best soils in Virginia 
have been ruined by a constant succession of tobacco crops, 
the necessary result of neglect in supplying them with the 
constituents of fertility so largely abstracted. The yield per 
acre is generally from 1500 to 2500 lbs., and it is a profita- 
ble crop when the best kinds are properly cultivated, under 
favorable circumstances of soil, climate, &;c. The total esti- 
mated product of the United States for 1843, was over 185,- 
000,000. lbs. of which Kentucky furnished 52,000,000, and 
Virginia nearly 42,000,000 lbs. Missouri, Ohio, and other 
states are rapidly becoming large producers. 



INDIGO. 205 

J N D I D O (Iiidignfcrit Unctoria) 

Was formerly cultivated at the South to a limited dcgivc, but 
tlift introduction ot' cotton and the great profits which it 
yielded, and its consequent rapid extension, drove the culture 
of indigo on to foreign soils. But the decline in the price of 
cotton from larfjre productio'.i and the increasing co!isumption 
of indigo in tliis country, together with the diminished price 
of other southern staples, will prohahly again make it an ob> 
joct of agricultural attention in those states where the soil 
and climate are suited to it. We have no detailed histoiy of 
its cultivation in the United States, and we quote from Lou- 
don. He says "it is one of the most prolitahle crops in 
Hindostan, because labor and laud here are cheaper tiian any 
where else ; and because the raising of the plant and its man- 
ufacture m.ay be carried on without even (ho aid of a house. 
The first step in the culture of the plant h to render the 
ground, which should be friable and rich, perfect])^ free from 
weeds and dry, if naturally moist. The seeds are then sown 
in shallow drills about a foot apart. The rainy season must 
be chosen for sowing, otherwise, if the seed is deposited in 
dry soil, it heats, corrupts, and is lost. The crop being kept 
clear of weeds is fit for cutting in two or three months, and 
this may be repeated in rainy seasons every six weeks. The 
plants must not be allowed to come into flower, as the leaves 
in that case become dry and hard, and the indigo produced is 
of less value ; nor must they be cut in dry weather, as they 
would not spring again. A crop generally lasts two years. 
Being cut, the herb is first steeped in a vat till it has become 
macerated, and has paited with its coloring matter ; tlien the 
liquor is let of]' into another, in whicli it undergoes the pe- 
culiar process of beating, to cause the fecula to separate from 
the water. This fecula is let off into a third vat, where it 
remains some time, and is then strained through cloth bags, 
and evaporated in shallow wooden boxes placed in the shade. 
Hefore it is perfectly dry it is cut in small pieces of an inch 
square ; it is then packed in barrels, or sowed up in sacks, for 
>ale." 

Indigo can only be raised to advantage in our most south- 
ern states. The soil requires to be dry, finely pulverized and 
rich. The seed is sown early in April, in drills about 18 in- 
ches apart, and the weeds are kept down by the hoe. It 
should be cut with a sickle or scythe, when the lower leaves 
f3egin to turn, and just before the plant is going into flower. 



206 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

This period occurs in this country about the middle of sum. 
mer. A second crop may be taken the first of autumn, and 
in hotter climates even a third one. 

The Baton Rouge Advocate of 1844 says, an acre in that 
district will raise from 40 to 60 lbs. of indigo not inferior to 
the best Carraccas, selling at $2 per lb. It takes only IVoni July 
In October to mature, and it does not demand one third of the 
time or expense for raising as that of a cotton crop. The 
consumption of indigo in this country already amounts to be- 
tween two and three millions of dollars annually. There 
are several varieties indigenous to the Southern States, and one 
or more in the Northern which yield inferior dye. 

MADDER (Eubia tinctormn) 

Used for several dyes, but principally for the rich madder red, 
has been recently an object of attention in the United States. 
The introduction of this with numerous other articles conse- 
quent upon the extended growth of our manufactures, shows 
the intimate and mutually beneficial effects of associating the 
two leading industrial occupations of agriculture and rnanu- 
factures. The principal cause Avhich has prevented its culti- 
vation among us thus far, has been the long time required 
for maturing a crop. We subjoin a descrij>tion of its culture 
from Mr. Bateham. 

Soil and treparation. — " The soil should be a deep, 
rich, sandy loam, free from weeds, roots, stones, <kc., and 
containing a good portion of vegetable earth. Alluvial bot- 
tom land is the most suitable ; but it must not l)e wet. It old 
upland is used, it should receive a heavy coating of vegetable 
earth, (tVoin decayed wood and leaves.) The land should be 
jjlowed very deep in the fall, and early in the spring apply 
about one hundred loads of well rotted manure? [)er acre, 
spread evenly, and plowed in deeply , then harrow till quite 
fine and free from lumps. Next, plow the land into beds 
four feet wide, leaving alleys between, three feet wide, then 
harrow the beds with a fine light harrow, or rake them by 
hand so as to leave them smooth, and even with the alleys ; 
they are then ready for planting. 

Preparing sets and plantimg. — Madder sets, or seed 
roots, are best selected when the crop is dug in the fall. The 
horizontal uppermost roots (with eyes) are the kind to be 
used ; these should be separated from the bottom roots, and 
buried in sand, in a cellar or pit. If not done in the fall, 
the sets may be dug early in the spring, before they begin to 



MADDER. 207 

sprout. They should be cut or broken into pieces, contain, 
ing from two to five eyes each; i. e. three to four inches 
long. The time for planting is as early in spring as the 
groujul can be got in good order, and severe frosts are over, 
which, in this climate, is usually about the middle of April. 
With the beds prepared as directed, stretch a line lengthwis»* 
the bed, and with the corner of a hoe make a drill two in- 
dies deep along each edge atul down the middle, so as to 
give three rows to each bed, about two teet apart. Into 
these drills drop the sets, ten inches apart, covering them 
two inches deep. Eight or ten biishels of sets are requisite 
for an acre. 

After ct^ltiire. — As soon as the madder plants can be 
seen, the ground should be carefully hoed, so as to destroy the 
weeds and not injure the plants ; and the hoeing and weed- 
ing must be repeated as often as weeds make their appear- 
ance. If any of the sets have failed to grow, the vacancies 
should be filled by taking up parts of the strongest roots and 
transplanting them; this is l)est done in June. As soon as 
the madder plants are ten or twelve inches high, the tops are 
to be bent down on to the surface of the ground, and all ex- 
cept the tip end, covered with earth shoveled from the middle 
of the alleys. Bend the shoots outward and inward, in 
every direction, so as in time to fill all the vacant spac e on 
the beds, and about one foot on each side. Af\er the first 
time covering, repeat the weeding when necessary, and run a 
single horse plow through the alleys several times to keep 
the earth clean and mellow. As soon as the plants again be- 
come ten or twelve inches high, bend down and cover them as 
before, repeating the operation as often as necessary, which 
is commonly three times the first season. The last time may 
be as late as September, or later if no frosts occur. By cov- 
ering the tops in this manner, they change to roots, and the 
design is to fill the ground as full of roots as possible. When 
the vacant spaces are all full, there will be but little chance 
for weeds to grow ; but all that appear must be pulled out. 

The second year. — Keep the beds free from weeds : 
plow the alleys and cover the tops, as before directed, two or 
three times during the season. The alleys will now form 
deep and narrow ditches, and if it becomes difliicult to obtain 
good earth for covering the tops, that operation may be omit- 
ted after the second time this season. Care should be taken, 
when covering the tops, to keep the edges of the beds as 



208 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

high as the mifldlo ; otherwise the water from heavy show- 
ers will run ofJi and the crop suffer from drought. 

The third year. — Very little labor or attention is re- 
quired. The plants will now cover the whole ground. If 
any weeds are seen, they must be pulled out ; otherwise theii- 
roots will cause trouble when harvesting the madder. The 
crop is sometimes dug the thh'd year ; and if the uo'ii and 
cultivation have been good, and the seasons Avarm and favor- 
able, the madder will be of good quality ; but generally, it 
is much better in quaiit}-, and more in quantity, when left un- 
til the fourth year. 

Digging and harvesting. — This should be done be- 
t ween the 20ih of August and the 20th of September. Take 
a sharp shovel or shovels, and cut o.T and remove the tops 
with half an inch of the surface of the earth ; then take a 
plow of the largest size, with a sharp coulter and a double 
team, and plow a furrow outward, beam-deep, around the 
edge of the bed ; stir the earth with forks, and carefully pick 
out all llifi roots, removing the earth from the bottom of the 
furrow ; then plow another furrow beam-deep, as before, and 
pick over and remove the earth in the same manner ; thus 
proceeding until the whole is completed. 

Washing and drying. — As soon as possible after dig- 
ging, take the roots to some running stream to be washed. 
If there is no running stream convenient, it can be done at a 
pump. Take large, round sieves, two and a half or" three 
feet in diameter, with the wire about as tine as wheat sieves ; 
or if these cannot be had, get from a hardware store suffi- 
cient screen-wire of the right fineness, and make frames or 
boxes about two and a half feet long and the width of the 
wdre, on the bottom of which nail the wire. In these sieves 
or boxes, put half a bushel of roots at a time and stir them 
about in the water, pulling the bunches apart so as to wash 
them clean ; then, having a platform at hand, lay them on it 
to dry. (To make the platform, take two or three common 
boards, so as to be about four feet in width, and nail elects 
across the under side.) On these spread the roots about two 
inches thick for drying in the sun. Carry the platforms to a 
convenient place, not far from the liouse, and place them side 
by side, in rows east and west, and with their ends north and 
south, leaving room to walk betw^een the rows. Elevate the 
south ends of the platforms about eighteen inches, and the 
north ends about six inches from the ground, putting poles or 
sticks to support them — -this will greatly facilitate drying. 



MADDER. 209 

After the second or third day drying, the madder must be 
protected from the dews at night, and from rain placing the 
platforms one upon another to a convenient height, and 
covering the uppermost one with boards. Spread them out 
again in the morning, or as soon as the danger is over. Five 
or six days of ordinarily fine weather will dry the madder 
sufficiently, when it may be put away till it is convenient to 
kiln- dry and grind it. 

KiLx-DRYiNG. — The size and mode of constructing the 
kiln may be varied to suit circumstances. The following is 
a very cheap plan, and sufficient to dry one ton of roots at a 
time. Place four strong posts in the ground, twelve feet 
apart one way, and eighteen the other ; the front two four- 
teen feet high, and the others eighteen ; put girts across the 
i)ottom, middle and top ; and nail boards perpendicularly on 
the outside as for a common barn. The boards must be well- 
seasoned, and all cracks or holes should be plastered or other- 
wise stopped up. Make a shed-roof of common boards. In 
the inside put upright standards about five feet apart, with 
cross-pieces, to support the scaflblding. The first cross, 
pieces to be four feet from the floor ; the next two feet higher, 
and so on to the top. On these cross-pieces, lay small poles 
about six feet long and two inches thick, four or five inches 
apart. On these scaffolds the madder is to be spread nine in- 
ches thick. A floor is laid at the bottom, to keep all dry and 
clean. When the kiln is filled, take six or eight small kettles 
or hand furnaces, and place them four or five feet apart on 
the floor, (first securing it from fire with bricks or stones,) 
and make fires in them with charcoal, being careful not to 
make any of the fires so large as to scorch the madder over 
them. A person must be in constant attendance to watch and 
replenish the fires. The heat will ascend through the whole, 
and in ten or twelve hours it will all be sufliciently dried, 
which is known by its l)ecoming brittle like pipe-stems. 

Breaking and grinding. — Immediately after being 
dried, the madder must be taken to the barn and threshed 
with flails, or broken by machinery, (a mill might easily be 
constructed for this purpose,) so that it will feed in a common 
grir,t mill. If it is not broken and ground immediately, it 
will gather dampness so as to prevent its grinding freely. 
Any common grist-mill can grind madder properly. When 
ground finely it is fit for use, and may be packed in barrels 
like flour for market." 



210 AMERICAN AGRIOULTTTRE. 

Mr. Swift of Ohio has raised 2000 bbls. per acre in one 
crop of four years growth, at a nett profit inckidingall charges 
of rent &;c., of !S»200 per acre. The roots of madder arc 
also a good food for cattle, but the expense and delay of pro- 
ducing it unfit it lor this use among us. 

W O A D (Isatis tlnctoria) 

Is considera1)ly used in this country for dyeing and generally 
as a base for blues, blacks and some other colors, andfn- 
these it supplies the place of indigo. There are several vari- 
eties of woad, but the common 1)iennial plant is the only one 
cultivated. Loudon says — 

" The soil for woad should be deep and perfectly fresh, 
such as those of the rich, mellow, loamy, and deep vegetable 
kind. Where this culture is carried to a considerable degree 
of perlection, the deep, rich, putrid, alluvial soils on the flat 
tracts extending upon the borders of the large rivers, are 
chiefly employed for the growth of this sort of crop; and it 
has been shown by repeated trials that it answers most per- 
fectly when they are broken up for it immediately from a 
state of sward. 

The 'preparation of the soil, when woad is to be grown on 
grass land, may either be eflected by deep plowings, with 
the aid of the winter's frost, cross plowing and harrowing in 
spring ; by deep plowing and harrowing in spring ; by paring 
and burning ; or by trench-plowing, or spade-trenching. The 
first mode appears the worst, as it is next to impossible to re- 
duce old turf in one year, and, even if this is done, the danger 
from the grub and wire-worm is a sufficient argument against 
it. By plowing deep in February, and soon afterwards sow- 
ing, the plants may geminate before the grub is able to rise 
to the surface ; by trench-plowing, the same purpose will be 
better attained ; and, best of all, by spade-trenching. But a 
method equally effectual wdth the first, more expeditious, and 
more destructive to grubs, insects, and other vermin, which 
are apt to feed on the plants in their early growth, is that of 
paring and burning. This is, however, chiefly practised 
where the sward is rough and abounds with rushes, sedge, 
and other plants of the coarse kind, but it might be had re- 
course to on others, with benefit. 

The mode op sowing is generally broad-cast, but the 
plant might be most advantageously grown in rows and cul- 
tivated with the horse-hoe. The rows may be nine inches or 
a foot apart, and the seed deposited two inches deep. The 



wo AD. 9Al 

rjuantity of seed for the broad-cast method is five or six lbs. 
to the acre ; tor the drill mode, two pounds are more than 
sufficient, the seed being smaller than that of the turnep. 
New seed, wliere it can be procured, should always be t>own 
in preference to old ; but, when of the latter kind, it should 
bo steeped for sometime before it is put ijito the ground. — 
The time of sowing may be extended from Fel)riiary to July. 
Early sowing, however, is to be preferred, as in that case the 
plants come up stnmger and att'ord more produce the ijist 
season. The afler culture of the woad consists in hoeing, 
thinning, prong-stirring, and weeding, which operations may 

practised by hand or horse tools, as in the culture of teazle. 

Gatifering the crops. — The leaves of the spring-sown 
plants will generally be ready towards the latter end of June 
or beginning of July, according to the nature of the soil, sea- 
son and climate ; the leaves of those put in at a later period 
in the summer are often fit to be gathered earlier. This bu- 
siness should, however, constantly be executed as soon as the 
leaves are fully grown, while they retain their perfect green 
color and are highly succulent ; as when they are let remain 
till they begin to turn pale, much of their goodness is said to 
be expended, and they become less in quantity, and of an infe- 
rior quality for the purposes of the dyer. Where the lands are 
well managed they will often afford two or three gatherings, 
but the best cultivators seldom take more than two, which are 
sometimes mixed together in the manufacturing. It is ne- 
cessary that the after-croppings, when they are taken, should 
be constantly kept separate tr-oin the others, as they would 
injure thr whole if blended, and considerably diminish the 
value of the produce. It is said that the best method, where a 
third cropping is either wholly or partially made, is to keep it 
separate, forming it into an inferior kind of woad. In the 
execution of this sort of business, a number of l)asket9 are 
usually provided in proportion to the extent of the crop, and 
into these the leaves are thrown as they are taken from the 
plants. The leaves are detached from the plants, by grasp- 
ing them fumly with the hand, and giving them a sort of a 
sudden twist. In favorable seasons, where the soils are rich, 
the plants will often rise to the height of eight or ten inches ; 
but in other circumstances, they seldom attain more than four 
or five. 

The produce is mostly from about a ton to a ton and a half 
of green leaves. The price varies considerably; but for 
woad of the prime quality, it is often from twenty-five to thirty 



212 AMEHICAN AGRICTTLTTtRFi. 

pounds* the ton, and for that of an hiferior quality six or 
.seven, and sometimes much more. 

To prepare it for the dyer, it is bruised by machinery to 
express the watery part; it is afterwards formed into balls 
and fermented, re-ground, and fermented in vats, where it is 
evaporated into cakes in the manner of indigo. The haulm 
is burned for manure or spread over the straw-yard, to be fer- 
mented along with straw-dung. To save seed, leave some of 
the plants undenuded of their leaves the second year, and 
when it is ripe, in July or August, treat itlike turnep-seed. — 
The only diseases to which the woad is liable are the mildew 
and rust. When young it is otlen attacked by the fly, and 
the ground obliged to be resown, and this more than once 
even on winter-plowed grasslands." 

WELD OR DYERS'S W RED . {Reseda luteola.) 

Weld is much used by the manufacturers of various fabrics 
as a dye. It has not to our knowledge been cultivated in 
this country. We again quote from Loudon : " Weld is an 
imperfect biennial, with small fusiform roots, and a leafy 
stem from one to three feet in height. It is a native of Brit- 
ain, flowers in June and July, and ripens its seeds in August 
and September. Its culture may be considered the same as 
that of woad, only being a smaller plant it is not thinned out 
to so great a distance. It has this advantage for the farmer 
over all other coloring plants, that it only requires to be taken 
up and dried, when it is fit for the dyer. It is, however, an 
exhausting crop. 

Weld will grow on any soil, but fertile loams produce the 
best crops. The soil being brought to a fine tilth, the seed is 
sown in April or the beginning of May, generally broad-cast. 
The quantity of seed is from two quarts to a gallon per acre, 
and it should either be fresh, or, if two or three years old, 
steeped a few days in water previously to being sown. Being 
a biennial, and no advantage obtained from it the first year, 
it is sometimes sown with grain crops in the manner of clo- 
ver, which, when the soil is in a very rich state, may answer, 
provided that hoeing, weeding and stirring take place as soon 
as the grain crop is cut. The best crops, however, will ob 
viously be the result of drilling and cultivating the crop alone. 
The drills may be a foot asunder, and the plants thinned to 
six inches in the row. In the broad-cast mode, it is usual to 

* The pound sterling may be reckoned at about ^5. 



WELD. 213 

thin them to aix or eight inches' distance every way. Often, 
when weld succeeds grain crops, it is never either thinned, 
weeded, or hoed, but left to itself till the plants are in full 
blossom. 

The chop is t\ken by pulling up the entire plant ; and 
the proper period ibr this purpose is when the blooni has 
been produced the whole length of the stemb, and the plants 
are just beginning to turn of a light or yellowish color ; as 
in the beginning or middle of July in the second year. The 
plants are usually from one foot to two feet and a half in 
height. It is thought by some advantageous to pull it rather 
early, without waiting for the ripening of the seeds ; as by 
this means there will not only be the greatest proportion of 
dye, but the land will be left at liberty for the reception of a 
crop of wheat or turneps ; in this case, a small part must be 
left solely for the purpose of seed. In the execution of the 
work, the plants are drawn up by the roots in small hand- 
fuls ; and after each handful had been tied up with one of the 
stalks, they are set up in fours in an an erect position, and 
letl to dry. Sometimes, however, they become sutficiently 
dry by turning without being set up. After they have re- 
mained till fully dry, which is mostly effected in the course of 
u vvcek or two, they are bound up into larger bundles, each 
containing sixty handfuls, and weighing fifty-six pounds. — 
•Sixty of these bundles constitute a load, and in places where 
this kind of crop is much grown, are tied up by a string made 
for the purpose, which is sold under the title of weld-cord. 

The produce of weld depends much on the nature of 
the season ; but from half a loeid to a load and a half per acre 
is the quantity most commonly afforded. It is usually sold 
to the dyers at from five or six to ten or twelve pounds the 
load, and sometimes at considerably more. It is mostly 
bought by persons who afterwards dispose of it to the dyers. 
The demand for it is sometimes very little, while at others it 
is so great as to raise the price to a high degree. It is some- 
times gathered green and treated like woad or indigo ; but in 
general the dried herb is used by the dyers in a state of de- 
coction. 

The us£ of weld in dyeing is for giving a yellow color 
to cotton, woollen, mohair, silk and linen. Blue cloths are 
dipped in a decoction of it, which renders them green ; and 
the yellow color of the paint called Dutch pink is obtained 
from weld. To save seed, select a few of the largest and 
healthiest plants, and leave them to ripen. The seed is easily 



214 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE.' 

separated. The chief disease of weld is the mildew, to 
which it is very liable when young, and this is the reason 
that it is often sown with other crops." 

SUMACH. (Rhus glabrum, R. coriaria and E. cotinm:.) 

The Rhus Glabruni is the common sumach of the United 
vStates which grows spontaneously on fertile soils. It is con- 
siderably used by dyers, and the tanners of light leather. 
It is however much inferior to the R. Coriaria or Sicilian 
sumach, which is imported into this country from Spain, 
Portugal, Sicily, Syria and elsewhere, and sells at from $50 
to $120 per ton. It is a dwarf, bushy shrub, smaller than 
the American, but with much larger leaves. These with 
the seed cones and young stems are all used by the manu- 
facturers. The R. cotinus or Venice sumach, is the fringe 
tree or burning bush, a shrub for ornamental grounds, bear- 
ing a flossy, drab-colored blossom. It is knovvn in England 
as young fustic, and is much used in the arts. 

Cultivation and Treatment. — All the sumachs are 
propagated by layers, though it is probable they might, under 
favorable circumstances, be raised from the seed. On good 
soils they grow in great profusion. The harvesting consists 
simply in cutting olf the young branches with the leaves and 
seed cones attached, in clear weather, drying them thoroughly 
without exposure to either rain or dew, and packing them in 
bales of about 160 lbs. for market. 

The sumach is highly astringent, often taking the place 
of galls. This quality is much enhanced by warmth of cli- 
mate ; and the most valuable article is brought from the most 
southern regions. There is no doubt this species of plants 
might be cultivated with great profit in the southern states, 
and thus save the large amount annually expended in its 
importation, which is constantly increasing. The total 
importation is now estimated at between one and two millions 
of dollars per annum. 

THE TEASEL OR FULLER'S THISTLE {Dipsacus fullonum) 

Is another article exclusively used by the manufacturers, for 
the purpose of raising a nap, or combing out the fibres upon 
the dressed surface of woolen cloth or flannels. The con- 
sumption cannot of course be extensive, being limited exclu- 
sively to this' demand. There is but one kind cultivated. 
A bastard variety of spontaneous growth exists in portions 



MUSTABD. 215 

o( our middle states which resembles the useful teasel, with 
this peculiar difference, that the ends of the awns or chaff 
CD the heads are straight instead of hooked, which renders 
them perfectly useless. 

Cultivation-. — The teasel is a biennial, requiring two 
years to mature. It is sown on a deep loamy clay, previ- 
ously well plowed and harrowed, in drills 20 inches asunder, 
leaving a plant in every 10 inches, or in hills about 16 
inches apart. The ground should be kept light by occa- 
sional stirring, and free from weeds. The plants are gene- 
rally stronger and more thrifty if allowed to mature where 
sown, and to accomplish this, the intermediate sprices between 
the hills may be annually planted with new seed. Many 
adopt the plan of sowing in beds and transplanting. — 
Although hardy, there is sometimes an advantage in cover- 
ing the beds which contain the young plants Avith straw 
during the winter. 

Gathering. — Those intended for use should be cut with 
a stem eight inches long below the head, just as it is going 
out of flower when the awns are the toughest ; and as these 
come into maturity at different times in the same plant, they 
should be cut successively as they come forward. Those 
intended for seed, which should always be the largest, strong- 
est heads, must be suffered to remain till ripe, when they 
can be gathered and threshed with the flail. The others 
should bs thinly spread and dried under cover where no 
moisture can reach them. They may then be assorted into 
three parcels according to size and quality and pjicked in 
large sacks, when they are ready for market. The crop on 
good soils well cultivated, nmy be stated at 150,000 to 200,000 
[ per acre, worth from $1.50 to $2.50 per 1006. 

{ MUSTARD. 

There are two species of mustard used for field cultiva- 
tion ; the white (Sinapis alba,) and the black (S, nigra,) the 
last of which is generally raified. It requires a rich loamy 
soil, deeply plowed and well harrowed. It may be sown, 
either broadcast, in drills about two feet apart, or in hills. 
Mr. Parnielee of Ohio thus raised on 27 acres, 23,850 lbs., 
which brought in the Philadelphia market, $2,908 ; an ave- 
rage of over $100 per acre. The ground on which it is 
planted must be frequently stirred, and kept clear of weeds. 
When matured, it should be carefully cut with the scythe 



216 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

or sickle, and if wso ripe as to shell, laid into a wagon box 
with tight canvass over the bottom and sides, so as to pre- 
vent waste. As soon as it is perfectly dry, it may be threshed 
and cleaned when it is ready for market. 

The mustard is a valuable crop for green food for cattle 
or sheep, or for plowing in as a fertilizer. The follo>ying 
experiment was made by Mr. Gray in England in 1844, an 
account of which appears in the Journal of the Royal Agri- 
cultural Society. He says :— " The land on which it is 
growing is a thin stone-brash, and very poor. It had been 
manured, for turneps and rape, at the rate of 30 loads an 
acre, Avith compost, consisting of two-thirds lime and one- 
third road-earth; and, on the 10th of July, the turnep and 
rape-seed were drilled in with 80 bushels of ashes an acre. 
It came up slowly ; and, with very few exceptions, was 
taken oft' by the fly. On the 2-?th of August I sowed 12 lbs. 
of white mustard-seed an acre, harrowing in the same. It 
was slow in coming up, from the dryness of the land; indeed, 
atone time I despaired of a crop, but when the rain fell it 
grew prodigiously ; and on the 11th day of October I com- 
menced feeding it. On an average it was then two feet 
high, and very thick in the ground ; you will judge, from, 
the specimen sent, of its present height — above 30 inches. I 
consider it a valuable artificial in sheep husbandry, and par- 
ticularly so when turneps or rape fail ; and, from its rapid 
growth, two, or even three crops may be taken and fed oft* 
in the season. From its great succulency, some care is 
required in feeding it off. Our sheep are doing well upon 
it ; but I find they make better work, having an outlet every 
day on their walk, than when they were wholly confined 
upon it. Four hundred consume about a quarter of an acre 
a day, or thereabouts. One grew a most excellent piece of 
mustard last autumn, on some very heavy clay land, and 
without manure. His sheep being badly managed when feed- 
ing it oft*, he plowed in a considerable quantity for his wheatj 
of which he had a splendid crop, and certainly the best he 
grew last season. 1 mention this circumstance, believing it 
may be grown with success on either heavy or light soils. I 
was led to suppose it might be greatly aftected by frosts, but 
we have experienced sufficient to destroy the potato-haulm 
and the dahlias, yet it has not in the slightest degree affected 
ihe mustard ; I therefore conclude it must be severe to des- 



HOj',s. 217 

troy it. The seed cost lis. 6d. (about $3.65) per bushel, 
and weighed about 50 lbs. per bushel." 

THE HOP, {Hamulus lupulus,) 

Of w lucii there are several varieties indigenous to this country, 
is an important lield crop. It grows best on a strong loam or 
well drained clay with a light sub-soil. If the latter be reten- 
tive of water, the hop will soon dwindle or die out. If made 
suiliciently rich, it will flourish on light loam or gravels, but a 
new, strong soil is better and this requires little or no manure. 
The most desirable exposure is a gentle slope to the south, 
but tiiis should be where it can have a free circulation of air 
amidst the tall luxuriant vegetable growth. 

CuLTivATiox. — If fJio land hasjbeen long in use, it should 
1)0 thoroughly dressed with compost and alkaline manures, or 
what is nearly equivalent, with fresh barn yard-manures on a 
previously well-hoed crop, made perfectly free of all weeds 
and dce[)ly plowed and harrowed. Then mark out the ground 
at intervals of feet each way and plant in the intersection of 
the furrows, and unless the ground be sufficiently rich, place 
3 or 4 shovels of compost in each hill. The planting is done 
with the new roots taken from the old hills, which are laid 
bare by the plow. Each root should be 6 or 8 inches long 
and must contain two or more eyes, one to form the root and 
the other the vine. Six plants are put in a hill, all of which 
should be within the compass of about a foot, and covered to a 
(I'^pth of 5 inches, leaving the ground level when planted. 
The first season, the intermediate spaces between the hills 
may be planted with corn or potatoes, and the ground should be 
carefully cleared of weeds and frequently stirred. No poles 
arc necessaiy the first year, as the product will not repay. — 
The ground should^receive a heavy dressing of compost the 
t'ollowing spring if not sufficiently rich and the plants should be 
well hoed and kept clean. 

PoLi:s may be prepared at the rate of *2 or 3 to each hill, 
it) to 24 feet long and selected from a straight, smooth under- 
;j,rowth ol tough, durable wood from 4 to 7 inches diameter at 
the butt end. These are sharpened and firmly set with an iron 
bar, or socket bar with a wooden handle, in such a position as 
will allow the tlillest ellect €)f the sun upon the hills or roots. — 
When the plants have run to the length of 3 or 4 feet in the 
spring, they should be trained around the poles, winding in the 
riirection of the sun's course, and fastened below the second or 
third set of leaves where .there is sutficient strength of vine to 
I 



*218 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

sustain themselves. They may be confined with rushes, tough 
grass, or more easily with wooolen yarn. This operation is 
needed again in a few days to secure such as may have got 
loose by the winds or other causes, and to train up the new 
shoots. 

The gathering of hops should be when they have acquired 
a strong scent, at which time the seed becomes firm and brown 
and the lowest leaves begin to change color. This precedes 
the frosts in September. The vines must first be cut at the sur- 
face of the ground and the poles pulled up and laid in conveni^ 
ent piles, when they may be stripped of the hops, which are 
thrown into large, light baskets. Or the poles may be laid on 
long, slender boxes with handles at each end, (to admit of being 
carried by two persons,) and as the hops are stripped they fall 
into the box. But care must be taken that they be free from 
leaves, stems and dirt. 

The hops should be hilled or covered with compost and all 
the vines removed in the fall. The following spring when the 
ground is dry, the surface is scraped from the hill, or additional 
compost is added, when a plow is run on four sides as near as 
possible without injury to the plants. All the running roots 
are laid bare and cut with a sharp knife within 2 or 3 inches of 
the main root and the latter are trimmed if spreadhig too far. 
It is well to break or twist down the first shoots and allow those 
which succeed to run, as they are likely to be more productive. 
Cutting should be avoided unless in a sunny day, as the profuse 
bleeding injures them. The poles will keep longer under cover. 

Curing or drying. — This is an important operation and 
it may be done by spreading the hops thinly in the shade and 
stirring them often enough to prevent heating. But when 
there is a large quantity they can only be safely cured in a 
kiln. The following mode is recommended by Mr. Blanchard 
in the New England Farmer; 

"Much depends on having a well-constructed kiln. For 
the convenience of putting the hops on the kiln, the side of 
a hill is generally chosen for its situation. Care should be 
taken that it be a dry situation. The kiln should be dug out 
the same bigness at the bottom as at the top ; the side walls 
laid up perpendicularly, and filled in solid with stone, to give 
it a tunnel form. Twelve feet square at the top, two feet 
square at the bottom, and at least eight teet deep, is deemed 
a convenient size. On the top of the walls sills are laid, 
having joists let into them in like manner as for laying a 
floor ; on which laths, about one and a half inches wide are 



HOPS. 219 

nailed, leaving open spaces between them three-fourths of an 
inch, over which a thin linen cloth is spread and nailed at the 
edges to the sills. A board about twelve inches wide is set 
up on each side of the kiln, on the inner edge of the sill, to 
form a bin to receive the hops. The larger the stones made 
use of in the construction of the kiln, the better ; as it will 
give a more steady and dense heat. The inside of the kiln 
iihould be well plasturcd with m<»rtar to make it completely 
air-tight. Charcoal (that made from yellow birch or maple 
1 should prefer) is the only fuel proper to be used in drying 
hops. The kiln should be well heated before any hops are 
put on, and carefully attended, to keep a steady and regular 
heat. Fifty pounds of hops, when dried, is the largest quan- 
tity that should be dried at one time, on a kiln of this size ; 
and unless absolutely necessary to put on that quantity, a less 
would dry better. The green hops should l)e spread as evenly 
and as light as possible over the kiln. The fire at first 
should bi# moderate, but it may be increased as the hops dry 
and the steam is evaporated. The hops, after laying a few 
days, will gather a partial moisture, called a sweat. The 
sweat will probably begin to subside in about eight days, at 
which time, and betbre the sweat is off, they oiight to be 
bagged in clear dry weather. As the exact time when the 
hops will begin to sweat, and when the sweat will begin to 
.subside or dry off, (the proper time to bag them,) will vary 
with the state of the atmosphere, it will be necessary to exa- 
mii»e the hops from day to day, which is easily done by tak- 
ing some of them from the centre of the hea}) with your hand. 
If on (Examination you find the hops to be \rry damp, and 
their color altering, which will be the case if they were not 
completely dried on the kiln, and not otherwise, you must 
overhaul them and dry them in the air. Hops should not re- 
main long in the bin or bag after they are picked, as they 
will very soon heat and become insipid. The hops should 
jiot be stirred on the kiln until they are completely and tlilly 
dried. Then they should be removed from the kiln into a dry 
room, and laid in a heap, and there remain, unmoved and un- 
stirred, until bagged, which is done with a screw, having a 
l»ox made of plank, the size the bag is wished, into which the 
cloth is laid, and th<j hops screwed into the box, which is so con- 
structed that the sides may be removed and the bag sewed to- 
gether while in the press. The most convenient size for a bag 
of hops to handle and transport, is about five feet in length and 
to contain about two hundred and fitly pounds. The best 



220 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

bagging is coarse, strong tow cloth, of our domestic manu- 
facturing ; next to that, Russia hemp bagging. 

"It is now common for those who have entered considera- 
bly into the cultivation of hops, to build houses over their kilns, 
which, in wet weather, are very convenient; otherwise, a 
kiln in the open air would he preferable. It is necessary to 
have these buildings well ventilated with doors and windows ; 
and to have them kept open night and day, except in wet 
weather, and then shut those only which are necessary to 
kce[) out the rain. It a ventilator was put in the roof of the 
building, directly over the centre of the kiln, about six feet 
square, built like those in breweries and distilleries, they 
would be found very advantageous. I have seen many lots 
of hops much injured both in color and flavor by being dried 
ill close buildings. VV^here the houses over the kilns are 
built large, for the purpose of storing the hops as they are 
dried, which is a great saving of labor, a close j»artition 
should be made between the kilns and the room in which the 
hops are stored, to prevent the damp steam from ihe kilns 
comijig to them, as it will color them, and injure their flavor 
and quality very much." 

Diseases. — Hops are liable to attack from various insects, 
blight, mildew, &c. There is no efTective remedy of general 
application for either. The best preventives are new or fresh 
soil which is rich in ashes and the inorganic manures, and in a 
fine tillable condition to insure a rapid growth, by which it 
may partially defy attack ; and open planting on such positions 
as will secure free circulation of air. When properly man- 
aged, hops are one of the most productive crops, but their 
very limited use will always make them a minor object of 
cultivation. 

THE CASTOR. BEAN, (liicinus communis, usually called 
Palma Christi,) 

Is a native of the West India Islands, where it grows with 
great luxuriance. It is cultivated as a field crop in our mid- 
dle states, and in the states bordering the Ohio river on the 
north. It likes a rich, mellow bed, and is planted and hoed 
like corn. It attains the height of 5 <n- 6 feet, and bears at the 
rate of 20 to 28 bushels per acre. The seed is separated from 
the pods, bruised and subjected to a great pressure, by which 
they yield near a gallon to the bushel of cold pressed castor 
oil, which is better than that extracted by boiling and skim- 
ming. The last is done either with or without first slightly 



ftOTATION OP CROPS. 221 

roasting. This oil forms not only a mild cathartic, but with 
some, is an article of food. Its separation into a limpid oil 
for machinery and lamps, and into stearine for candles, has 
lately much increased its valuable uses. 



CHAPTER XII 



MISCELLANEOUS AIDS AND OBJECTS OF AGRICULTURE. 



We have thus far treated of soils and manures, the prepa- 
ration of the ground and the ordinary cultivated field crops, as 
fully as our limits will permit. It remains for us briefly to 
add such incidental aids and objects of agriculture as could not 
appropriately be embraced under either of the foregoing heads. 

ROTATION OF CROPS, ITS USES AND EFFECTS. 

The practiceof rotation of crops is an agricultural improve- 
ment of very modern date. It is first mentioned in Dickson's 
Treatise on Agriculture, puVdished in Edinburgh, in 1777. — 
Rotation has for more than a centtiry been partially prac- 
tised in Flanders and perhaps in some other highly cultivated 
countries, and it was afterwards introduced and imperfectly 
carried out on a limited scale in the Norfolk district in Great 
Britain ; but its general introduction did not take place till the 
beginning of the present century. The system of rotation is 
one of the first and most important principles of general hu.s- 
bandry, and it cannot be omitted without manifest disadvan- 
tage and loss. The place of rotation was formerly supplied 
by naked faUotcs. This practice consists, as we have before 
shown, in giving the soil an occasional or periodical rest, in 
which no crop is taken oflT, and the soil is allowed to produce 
just what it pleases or nothing at all, for one or more years, 
when it is refreshed and invigorated for the production of its 



222 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 



accustomed useful crops. This system, it will be perceived, 
implies the loss of the income of the soil for a certain portion 
of the time, and it can be tolerated only where there is more 
land than can be cultivated. Modern agricultural science has 
detected, in part at least, the true theory of the necessity for 
rotation. It has been discovered that every crop robs the 
soil of a portion of its elements, (fifteen or sixteen elementary 
substances combined in various forms and proportions,) and 
that no two dissimilar crops abstract these elements or their 
compounds from the soil in the same proportions. Thus, if 
we consider the amount of the salts taken out of the soil by a 
crop of turneps amounting to 5 tons of roots per acre ; of 
barley, 38 bushels ; one ton each of dry clover or rye-grass; 
and of wheat, 25 bushels, we shall find the great dispropor- 
tions of the various elements, which the different vegetables 
have appropriated. As given by Johnston they will be in 
pounds as follows : 





Turnep 
Roots. 

145.5 


BAR 

Grain. 

5.6 


LKV 

Straw. 

'lis 


Red 
Clover. 


Rye 
Grass. 


Grain. 


IKAT. 

StrT.^ 


Total. 


Potash . . . 


45.0 


28.5 1 3.3 


0.6 


233.0 


Soda . . . 


G1.3 


5.8 


1.1 


12.0 


9.0 1 3.5 


0.9 


96.6 


Lime . . . 


45.8 


2.1 


12.9 


63. 


16.5 


1.5 


7.2 


149.0 


Magnesia . . 


15.5 


3.6 


1.8 


7.5 


2.0 


1.5 


10 


32.9 


Alumina . . . 


2.2 


0.5 


3.4 


0.3 


0.8 


0.4 


2.7 


10.3 


Silica . . . 


2.3.6 


23.6 


90.0 


8.0 


62.0 


6.0 


86.0 


299.2 


Sulphuric Acid 


49.0 


1.2 


2.8 


10.0 


8.0 


0.8 


1.0 


72.8 


Phosphoric do. 


22.4 


4.2 


3.7 


15.0 


0.6 


0.6 


5.0 


51.5 


Chlorine . . . 


14.5 


0.4 


1.5 


8.0 


0.1 


0.2 1 0.9 


25.6 








970.9* 



Besides the elements above noted, all crops absorb oxide 
of iron, and nearly all oxide of manganese and iodine ; and 
of the organic elements associated in various combinations, 
they appropriate about 97 per cent of their entire dried weight. 
Now it is not only necessary that all the above materials ex- 
ist in the soil, hut that they are also to be found in a fwm jyre- 
cwely adapted to tJie wants of the growing plant. That they 
exist in every soil, in some conditions, to an amount large 
enough to afford the quantity required by the crop, can hardly 
be doubted, but that they are all in a form to supply the fiill 
demands of a luxuriant crop, is probably true of such only as 
are found, under favorable circumstances of season and cli- 
mate, to have produced the largest burthens. If a succession 
of any given crops are gathered and carried off* the land, 

* This is exclusive of the turnep tops. 



ROTATION OF CROPS. 228 

without the occasional addition of manures, they will be found 
gradually to diminish in quantity, till they reach a point when 
thoy will scarcely pay the expenses of cultivation. We mean 
to be understood as affirming this of all crops and all soils 
however naturally fertile the latter may be, unless they are 
such as receive an annual or occasional dressing from the over- 
flow of enriching floods, or are artificially irrigated with water, 
which holds the necessary fertilizing matters in solution ; and 
such are not exceptions, but receive their manure in another 
form, unaided by the hand of the husbandman. Neither are 
old meadotps (mowing lands filled with the natural or unculti- 
vated grasses or whatever of useful forage they choose to bear) 
exceptions to this rule, for though they may part with a portion 
of their annual crop in the hay, which is removed, and which 
is not returned as manure, and by a partial rest or pasturage 
appear to sustain their original fertility, yet if the true cha- 
racter of the various plants which they produce were accu- 
rately observed, (all of which are indiscriminately embraced 
under the general head of grass or hay,) it would be found 
that the plants gradually change from year to year ; and while 
some predominate in one season, others take their place the 
year succeeding, and these again are supplanted bj^ others in 
an unceasing round of natural rotation. Another illustration 
of rotation maybe observed in the succession of forest trees 
that shoot up on the same soil, to supply the places of such of 
their predecessors as have decayed or been cut down. Thus 
the pine and other of the conifei*ae, are frequently found to 
usurp the place of the oak, chesnut, and other deciduous trees. 
This occurs sometimes partially, but in repeated instances 
which have come within our notice, tbrests have been observed 
to pass entirely from one order of the vegetable creation to its 
remote opposite, the seeds or germs of which, (the product of 
an ancient rotation,) had been lying dormant for centuries 
perhaps, waiting a favorable condition of circumstances and 
soil to spring into life. 

Many choice secondary bottom lands, and others munifi- 
cently supplied by nature with all the materials of fertility, 
have by a long succession of crops been reduced to a condi- 
tion of comparative sterility. Yet it will have been found in 
the progress of this exhaustion, that after the soil (teased to 
give an adequate return of one crop, as of wheat, corn or to- 
bacco, it would still yield largely of some other genus which 
was adapted to it. These lands when thus reduced and turned 
out to commons for a few yeai-s, will again give crops much 



224 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

larger than those which closed their former bearing career, 
proving that nature has been silently at work in renovating 
the land for further use. The whole course of her opera- 
tions is not yet known, but this much is satisfactorily ascer- 
tained ; that she is incessantly engaged in producing those 
changes in the soil, which enable it to contribute to vegetable 
sustenance. Enough of lime, or potash, or silica may have 
been disengaged to yield all that may be required for one 
crop, which by that crop is principally taken up, and if 
another of the same kind follows in quick succession, 
there will be a deficiency ; yet if a different crop succeed, 
there may be found enough of all the materials it needs, fully 
to mature it. A third now takes its place demanding mate- 
rials for nutrition in forms and proportions unlike either which 
has preceded it, and by the time a recurrence to the first is 
necessary, the soil may be in a condition again to yield a re- 
munerating return. These remarks apply equally to such 
soils as have, and such as have not received manures ; un- 
less, as is seldom the case, an accurate science should add 
them in quantity and' character, fully to supply the exhaustion. 
The addition or withholding of manures, only accelerates or 
retards this eflfect. 

Another prominent advantage of rotation, is in its enabling 
such crops to have the benefit of manure, as cannot receive 
it without hazard or injury if applied directly upon them. 
Thus wheat and the other white grains, are liable to over- 
growth of straw, rust, and mildew, if manured with recent 
dung ; yet this is applied without risk to corn, roots and inost 
of the hoed croi)s ; and when tempered by one season's ex- 
haustion, and the various changes and combinations which 
are eflfected in the soil, it safely ministers in profusion to all 
the wants of the smaller cereal grains. A third benefit of 
rotation is, by bringing the land into hoed crops at proper in- 
tervals, it clears it of any troublesome weeds wliich may 
infest it. And still a further advantage may be found, in cut- 
ting off the appropriate food of insects and worms, which in 
the course of time, by having a full supply of their necessary 
aliment, and especially if undisturbed in their quiet haunts, 
will ofttimes become so numerous as seriously to interfeie 
with the labors of the farmer. A change of crops and ex- 
posure of the insects to frosts, and by the change of cultiva- 
tion which a rotation insures, will make serious inroads upon 
their numbers if it does not effectually destroy them. The 
fanciful theory of the noxious excretions of plants first broached 



ROTATION OF CROPS. 225 

> and ingeniously defended by the powerful name of Decandolle, 
and which the closest scrutiny of scientific observers since, 
has pronounced unworthy of credit, does not form a fifth 
reason for rotation. It is because principles essential to suc- 
cessful vegetation have been abstracted, not that others hurt- 
ful to it have been added by preceding crops, that rotation is 
rendered necessary. From all that has hitherto been learned 
on the subject of rotation, either from science or practice, two 
general principles may be assumed as proper to guide every 
farmer in his course of cropping. First to cultivate as great 
a variety of plants as his soil, circumstances and market will 
justify ; and second, to have the same or any similar species 
follow each other at intervals as remote as may be consistent 
with his interests. From the foregoing observations on the 
subject, it is evident that the proper system of rotation for 
any farmer to adopt, must depend on all the conditions by 
which he is surrounded, and that it should vary according to 
these varying circumstances. 

It is a practice with some to alternate wheat and clover, 
giving only one year to the foi-mer and one or two years to 
the latter. This will answer for a long time on soils adapted 
to each crop, provided there be added to the clover, such ma- 
nures as contribute to its own growth, and such also as are ex- 
hausted by wheat. The saline manures, ashes, lime, &;c. may 
be added directly to the wheat without injury ; but gypsum 
should be sown upon the clover, as its benefits are scarcely 
perceptible on wheat, while upon clover, they are of the 
greatest utility. But there are objections even to this, as it 
does not allow an economical or advantageous use of barn- 
yard manures, which, from their combining all the elements of 
fertility, are the most certain in their general effect. In dif- 
ferent countries of Europe, fields which have been used for 
an oft-recurring clover crop, have become clover sick, as it is 
familiarly termed. The plant will not grow luxuriantly; 
sometimes refusing to vegetate, or if it starts upon its vege- 
table existence, it does so apparently with the greatest re- 
luctance and suffering, and ekes out a puny, thriftless career, 
unattended with a single advantage to its owner. This is sim- 
ply the result of the exhaustion of one or more of the indis- 
pensable elements of the plant. If it be desirable to pur- 
sue this two-course system for any length of time, noth- 
ing short of the application of all such inorganic mat- 
ters as are taken up by the crops, will sustain the land in 
a fertile condition. We subjoin simply for the purpose of 
I* 



226 AMERICAN AGHICULTURE. 

illustration, and the guidance of such as may have little expe-' 
rience in rotation, some systems which have been pursued 
with advantage in this country : 

1**. On a grass sod broken up, with a heavy dressing of 
barn yard manure, and muck, ashes, and lime if necessary. 
First year, corn with gypsum scattered over the plants after 
the first hoeing, which should be immediately after its mak- 
ing its first appearance ; second year, roots with manure ; 
third year, wheat if adapted to the soil; if not, then barley, rj^e, 
or oats, with grass or clover seed or both ; fourth year, mea- 
dow, which may be continued at pleasure, or till the grass 
or clover gives way. The meadow may be followed by pas- 
turing if desired. Clover alone should not remain over two 
years as meadow, but for pasture it may be continued lon- 
ger. 

2°. First year, corn or roots on a grass or clover ley with 
manure ; second, oats and clover, with a top dressing of 10 to 
20 bushels of cmshed bones per acre ; third, clover pastured 
to last of June, then grown until fully matured in August, 
when it is turned over, and a light dressing of compost and 
40 to 80 bushels of leached ashes spread over it, and wheat 
and timothy seed sown about 15th September. If desired, 
the following spring, clover is soM^n and lightly harrowed. 
This gives for the fourth year, wheat ; fifth and sixth, and if 
the grass continues good, the seventh year also, meadow. 

3**. First, corn on a grass sod heavily manured, and a half 
gill of ashes and gypsum mixed at the rate of tw^o of the for- 
mer to one of the latter put in the hill, and an equal quantity 
of pure gj^sum added after the corn is first hoed; second, 
oats or barley, with lime at the rate of 20 or 30 bushels per 
acre, sown broad-cast after the oats and harrowed in ; third, 
peas or beans, removed early, and afterwards sown with 
wheat ; fourth, wheat with a light top dressing of compost, 
and saline manures in the spring, and clover, or grass and 
clover seed ; fifth, t\Vv, or three years in meadow and pasture. 

4*'. First, wheat on a grass sod ; second, clover ; third, 
Indian corn, heavily manured ; fourth, barley or oats, with 
grass or clover seed ; fiflh, and following, grass or clover. 

5". A good rotation for light, sandy lands, is first, corn 
well manured and cut off early and removed from the ground, 
which is immediately sown with rye, or the rye hoed in be- 
tween the hill ; second, rye with clover sown in the spring, 
and gypsum added when fairly up ; third, clover cut for hay, 



WEEDS. 



W 



or pastured, the latter being much more advantageous tor 
the land. 

WEEDS. 

Whatever plants infest the former's grounds, and are worth- 
less as objects of cultivation, are embraced under the general 
name of weeds. In a more comprehensive sense, all plants 
however useful they may be as distinct or separate objects of 
attention, when scattered through a crop of other useful 
plants to their manifi^st detriment may be considered and 
treated as such. Perfect cuUivation consists in having no- 
thing upon the ground but what is intended for the benefit of 
the farmer, and it implies a total destruction of every species 
of vegetation which does not contribute directly to his ad- 
vantage. 

In China and some parts of Flanders, the fields are entirely 
free from wc^eds. This is the result of long continued cleanly 
cultivation by which every weed has been extirpated ; and a 
scrupulous attention to the purity of the seeds ; and the sole 
use of urine, poudrette, and saline manures. This object is 
scarcely attainable in this country, except on fields peculiarly 
situated. The principal causes of the propagation of weeds 
among us, is the negligent system of tillage, and the use of 
unfermented vegetable manures. By heating or decomposi- 
tion, all the seeds incorporated in the manure heap are des- 
troyed. But there is a great loss in applying manure thus 
changed, and having parted with large portions of its active, 
nutritive gases, unless protected by a thick covering of turf or 
vegetable mold. For many soils and crops, undecomposed 
manures are far the most valuable. But they should always 
be applied to the hoed crops, and such as will receive the at- 
tention of the farmer for the utter extinction of weeds. A sin- 
gle weed which is allowed to mature, may become 500 the 
following year, and 10,000 the year after. The cleansing of 
land from weeds, is almost the sole justification for naked fal- 
lows. When a large crop of them have by any means ob- 
tained possession of the ground, they ought to be turned into 
the soil with the plow before ripening their seed, and they 
thus become a means of enriching ratlier than of impoverish- 
ing the ground. Meadows which have become foul with 
useless plants, may be turned into pasture ; and if there are 
plants which cattle and horses will not eat, let them first crop 
it closely, and then follow with sheep, which are much more 
indiscriminate in their choice of food, and consume many 



228 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

plants which are rejected by other animals. Whatever es- 
capes the maw of sheep, should be extirpated by the hand or 
hoe before seeding. The utmost care, also, should be used 
in the selection of seed, and none sown but such as has been 
entirely freed from any foreign seeds. 

Tlie Canada thistle is the only weed which has taxed the 
ingenuity of vigilant farmers in effecting its removal. This 
is however within the power of every one, who will bestow 
upon it a watchful attention for a single season. The plant 
should be allowed to attain nearly its full growth, or till it 
comes into flower, when it has drawn largely upon the vital- 
ity of its roots. If the patch be largo the plow should be used 
to turn every particle of the plant under the surface, and let 
the hoe or spade complete what has escaped the plow. If 
the patch be small, the hoe or spade should be used to cut off 
the crown of the root, and if in blossom, let the tops be burnt 
to prevent the possibility of any of the seeds ripening. As 
soon as the tops again make their appearance above ground, 
repeat the plowing or spading, and continue this till the mid- 
dle of autumn, when the land will be free from them, and in 
fine condition to yield a crop of wheat. If they harbor in 
fences or walls, these should either be removed, or the this- 
tle followed to its roots, and kept constantly cut into the 
ground, when it will not long survive. 

FIBROUS COVERING OR GURNEYISM 

Is the name given to the practice, (conspicuously brought 
into notice recently by Mr. Gurney of England,) of covering 
grass lands with straw or any similar vegetable matter. It 
has received the sanction of many eminent agriculturists 
abroad ; and for the purpose of throwing every improvement 
before our readers which may possibly benefit them, we sub- 
join the following from an article on the subject, in the Bri- 
tish Farmer's Magazine for 1845. "The fact of a remarka- 
ble increase of vegetation from fibrous covering has now been 
fully confirmed by numerous and careful experiments. In 
every instance where the relative quantities of grass were 
cut and weighed, that operated on by this agency showed an 
increase of six to one over that of other parts of the fields 
without manure, and of five to one above that where guano, 
farm-yard manure, wood ashes, or pigs'-house dung had been 
applied against it. Tlie quantity of hay obtained from the 
grass was in the same ratio ; the mean of the results from 
different farms, shows that a ton and a half was obtained 



PTBROtJS COVERING. 229 

where Gurneyism had been used, and only from four to five 
cwt. where it had not. In many cases the grass M'as so sHght 
on the parts of the fields not covered that it could with difticulty 
be mowed, and in some cases was considered not worth cut- 
ling at all. The question of quantity is indeeil settled. The 
next question, viz : its comparative goodness, seems also de- 
termined. Mr. Gurney at former meetings gave it as his 
opinion that the quality was not inferior to that of other grass ; 
this opinion, he said, was founded on botanical observation 
and careful chemical analysis ; but he at the same time justly 
remarked that nothing positive could be known without expe- 
riment on cattle. In all caseS; cattle eat this grass as readily 
as they do that of ordinary production, and appear to do as 
well on it. It has moreover been observed that the milk and 
cream of cows fed on it have both increased in quantity and 
improved in quality. Another very interesting and impor- 
tant fact has been recently developed, namely, that this action 
tends to improve the herbage by favoring the growth of the 
more valuable kinds of plants ; in almost every instance it 
has very much increased the growth of the Dutch clover, &c. 
In Belgium, and many parts of the midland counties of Eng- 
land, it is the common practice, in order to destroy the 
couch-grass, &;c., to manure twice on the green side with 
active compost ; no doubt the result of this practice is to 
bring up the more valuable grasses, which, being delicate, 
require the assistance of art to insure their vigorous growth. 
The same results follow the action of fibrous covering, but in 
a more rapid manner, and certainly the quality of the herb- 
age is improved. In many parts of tields where the action 
had been induced, a beautiful floor of grass now appears ; 
while on those parts left uncovered, the grass is very inferior 
in appearance, having a considerable quantity of couch- 
grass and bent. There is no doubt therefore in practice 
that the quality of Gurneyized grass will be found equal if 
not superior to that of ordinary growth. 

" It was thought l)y several persons during the summer, 
that the action of fibrous covering was occasioned by retard- 
ing evaporation, and shading the soil during the unusually 
dry season. This, however, is not the case ; the same pro- 
portional increase of vegetation has gone on since the wet 
weather set in, and still continues. Mr. Gurney stated at 
the last meeting that he has found fibrous covering, in a late 
experiment during the wet weather, had brought up the eaver 
and clover in a barley arish, in which the seeds had failed 



230 AMERICATf AGRICULtUBE. 

from the dry season." The kind of soil, and the circum- 
ctances attending the application are not stated, but we infer 
from the product on the ground, that it was a very thin and 
light, and probably a dry soil. 

The observation has been frequently made in this country, 
that certain half-cleared pastures, where the trees and brush 
had been prostrated and paitially burnt, leaving a heavy 
covering of old logs and dead branches, gave a much larger 
supply of (eod than such as had been entirely cleared. But 
all the facts and attending circumstances have not been given 
with sufficient particularity to draw any well settled conclu- 
sions ; 3'et from the generality of the remark by observing 
and careful men, there is undoubtedly some Aveight due to it. 
The same effect has been oflen claimed from certain stony 
fields, which apparently give much larger returns than others 
from which the stones had been removed. If the results are 
as have been inferred, after deducting something for what 
observation or science may possibly not yet have detected, 
we Avould ascribe them to two causes. 1°. The gradual de- 
composition of the vegetable covering and stone, and the di- 
rect food which they thus yield to the crop ; and 2°. the 
greater and more prolonged deposit of dew, which is going 
forward through most of the 24 hours of every day on larger 
portions of the field. Does the influence of the shade and 
moisture promote an unusual deposite of ammonia, nitric acid, 
or any of the fertilizing gases ? We are inclined to think 
nitric acid is thus formed in considerable quantities,, and es- 
pecially where there is an appreciable quantity of lime in the 
soil. Both M. Longchamp and Dr. John Davy assert, "that 
the presence of azotised matter is not essential for the genera- 
tion of nitric acid or nitrous salts, but that the oxygen and 
azote of the atmosphere when condensed by capillarity, will 
combine in such proportions as to form nitric acid thrugh the 
agency of moisture and of neutralising liases, such as lin»e, 
magnesia, potash or soda." — [Ure.) The condition of the 
soil is precisely analogous to the artificial nitre beds, deduct- 
ing their excess of manure and calcareous matter. These 
exist to some extent in every soil, and it is probable under 
similar circumstances they will produce an amount of nitric 
acid proportionate to their own quantity, which in every case 
will be particularly felt by the crops. We have the shade, 
moisture, and capillary condition similar to those of the nitric 
beds, for the formation and condensing of the acid, which in 
this instance, is washed down into the soil by every succes- 



ELECTRO CULTURE. 23l 

sive rain, instead of being carefully preserved as is done by 
the roofing of the beds. The question is one of sufficient 
consequence to induce lurtlier trials, under such circumstan- 
ces as will be likely to aftbixl data for estimating the precise 
force of the cause. 

Electro Culture. The application of electricity to 
growing plants is a subject which has occupied the attention 
of gcientitic men fur many years, and apparently without arri- 
ving at any beneficial result. That it is capable of producing 
unusually rapid growth when applied to vegetation, we have 
too many examples to admit of any doubt. A stream of 
electricity from a galvanic battery, directed upon the seeds 
or roots of plants under a favorable condition, has sometimes 
produced an amount of vegetable development within a few 
hours, which would have required as many days or even 
weeks to produce, in theoi-dinary course of nature. An egg 
has been hatched in one fourth the usual period of incubation, 
and every dairy maid is aware of the accelerated change in 
the milk, from the presence of a highly electrical atmos- 
phere. A thunder storm will sour milk in two hours that 
would otherwise have kept sweet two days. But after all 
the efforts hitherto made to secure this agent for the advance- 
ment of the farmer's operations, a careful review of all the 
results obtained, compels us to acknowledge that no applica- 
tion of electricity is yet developed, which entitles it to the 
consideration of practical agriculturists. Yet when we con- 
sider the power and universal presence of electricity, we 
must confess our confidence, that the researchers of science 
will hereafter detect some principles of its operation, which 
may be of immense value to the interests of agriculture. It 
is probably the principal, and perhaps the sole agent in pro- 
ducing all chemical changes in inert matter ; nor is it at all 
improbable, its agency is equally paramount in the changes of 
vegetable and to a certain extent also, in animal life. Inde- 
pendent of human agency or control, it forms nitric acid in 
the atmosphere during thunder showers, wKich is brought 
down by the rain, and contributes greatly to the growth of 
vegetables. It is also efficient in the deposit of dews, and 
in numberless unseen ways, it silently aids in those benificent 
results which gladden the heart, by fulfilling the hopes of the 
careful and diligent husbandman. But until something is 
more definitely established in relation to its principles and 
effects, the prudent agriculturist may omit any attention to 
the subject of electro culture. 



232 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 



EXPERIMENTS AMONG FARMERS. 

A great advantage would result to agriculture if every intel- 
ligent farmer would pursue some systematic course of experi- 
ments, on such a scale and variety as his circumstances 
would justify, and give the results if successful, to the com- 
munity. It is with experiments in farming, as was said by 
Franklin, of a young man's owning wild lands ; "it is well 
enough for every one to have some, if he dont have too many.''^ 
They should he his servants, not his masters ; and if intelli- 
gently managed and kept within due bounds, they may be 
made greatly subservient to his own interest, aud by their 
promulgation, eminently promotive of the general good. It 
is fully in accordance with another maxim of that wise head, 
that when it is not within our power to return a favor to our 
benefactor, it is our duty to confer one on the first necessi- 
tous person we meet, and thus the circle of good offices will 
pass round. The mutual communication of improvements of 
any kind in agriculture, has the effect of benefiting not only 
the community generally, but even the authors themselves; 
as they frequently elicit corrections and modifications which 
materially enhance the value of the discovery. These ex- 
periments should embrace the whole subject of American 
agriculture ; soils and their amelioration ; manures of every 
kind, alkaline, vegetable and putrescent, and their effects on 
different soils and crops; plants of every variety, and their adap- 
tation to different soils, under difte rent circumstances and with 
various manures ; and their relations to each other, both as 
successors in rotation, their value for conversion into animals 
and other forms, and their comparative utimate prolit ; the 
production of new varieties by hybridizing and otherwise ; 
draining both surface and covered ; the improvenjent of im- 
plements and mechanical operations, &:c. &;c. They should 
also extend to the impartial and thorough trial of the different 
breeds of all domestic animals, making ultimate profit to the 
owner the sole test of their merits, crossing them in different 
ways and under such general rules as experience has deter- 
mined as proper to be observed ; their treatment, food, man- 
agement, &;c. Although much has been accomplished within 
the last few years, the science and practice of agriculture 
may yet be cosidered almost in in its infancy. There is an 
unbounded field still open for exploration and research, in 
which the efforts of persevering genius, may hereafter dis- 
cover mines of immense value to the human family. 



I 



UTILITY OF BIBDS. 

THE UTILITY OF BIRDS. 

These are among the most useful of the farmer's aids, in 
securing his crops from insect depredation ; and yet manifest 
as this is to every observing man, they are frequently pursued 
and hunted from the premises as if they were his worst ene- 
mies. The martin, the swallow and the wren, which may 
almost be considered among the domestics of the farm ; and 
the sparrow, the robin, the blue bird, the wood-pecker, the 
bob-a-link, the yellow bird, the thrush, the oriole and nearly 
all the gay songsters of the field accomplish more for the 
destruction of noxious flies, worms and insects, (the real ene- 
mies of the farmer,) than all the nostrums ever invented. — 
And hence the folly of that absurd custom of scare-crows in 
corn-fields and orchards, to which we have before alluded ; 
and the chickens and ducks do the farmer more benefit than 
injury in the garden and pleasure grounds, if kept out of the 
way while the young plants are coming up. A troop of 
young turkeys in the tield, will destroy their weiglit in grass- 
hoppers every three days, during their prevalence in summer. 
A pair of span'ows while feeding their young, will consume 
3,360 catterpillars in a week. One hundred crows will 
devour a ton and half of grubs and insects in a season. — 
Even the hawk and the owl, the objects of general aversion, 
rid the fields and woods of innumerable squirrels, moles and 
field mice, which are frequently great depredators upon the 
crops, (after having exhausted the stores of worms and insects 
which they first invariably devour,) and the smaller species 
when pressed by hunger, will even resort to grubs, beetles 
and grasshoppers, in the absence of larger game. That 
loathsome monster the bat, in its hobgoblin, murky flight, 
will destroy its bulk of flics in a single night. Slight injury 
may occasionally be done to the grain and fruit by the smaller 
birds, and when thus intrusive, some temporary precaution 
will suflTice to prevent much loss. But whatever it maybe, 
the balance of benefit to the farmer from their presence, is 
generally in their favor, and instead of driving them from 
his grounds, he should encourage their social, chatty visits by 
kind and gentle treatment, and by providing trees and pleas, 
ant shrubbery for their accommodation. 

Toads, Frogs, &c. — Shakespeare has said *' /Ae ioad^ 
ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head." 
Deducting the venom we shall find the poet right ; for we can 
no more attempt the defence of his beauty, than that of the 



I 



234 ABtERICAN AGRICULT^URTl. 

muck heap ; and we can well excuse his unprepossessing 
exterior, for the sake of the jewel which he wears in his 
tongue. This, like that of the chamelion, of which he is a 
cousin-german, he darts out with lightning rapidity, and clasps 
his worms or insect prey within its glutinous folds, which is 
with equal rapidity transformed to his capacious maw. Appa- 
rently dull, squat, and of the soil's hue, whatever that may be, 
he sits silent, meditative, yet watchful in the thick shade of 
some overgrown cabbage ; and then as the careless insects 
buzz by, or the grub or beetle crawl along unheedful of danger, 
he loads hisaldermanic carcass with the savory repast. Six- 
teen fresh beetles, a pile equal to his fasting bulk, have been 
found in the stomach of a single toad. The Frog, traipsing 
over the dewy fields, procures his summer subsistence in the 
same way as his seeming congener the toad, and with equal 
benefit to the farmer. The striped snake is a harmless object 
about the farm premises, and like the toad, he is also a great 
gormandiser of worms and insects. The sole drawback to 
his merits, is occasionally feasting on the toad and frog. — 
The black s^nake is sometimes destructive to young poultry, and 
he is a fierce and formidable foe to all whom his indomitable 
courage induces him to attack. He charms the old birds and 
robs their nests both of eggs and young ; but his consump- 
tion of superfluous squirrels and field mice, perhaps fully atones 
for his own delinquencies. 

FENCES. 

In many countries which have been long under cultivation, 
with a dense population and little timber, as in China, and 
other parts of Asia, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland and 
other parts of Europe, fences are seldom seen. In cer- 
tain sections of the older settled portions of the New Eng- 
land states also a similar arrangement prevails. This is es- 
pecially the case over the wide intervals or bottom lands 
which skirt the banks of the Connecticut river, where peri- 
odical inundations would annually sweep them away. — 
Wherever this systen is adopted, cultivation proceeds without 
obstruction, and a great saving is made not only in their origi- 
nal cost, but in the interest, repairs and renewal ; all the 
land is available for crops ; no weeds or bushes are permitted 
to send their annoying roots or scatter their seeds over the 
ground ; no safe harbors are made for mice, rats or other 
vermin ; the trouble and expense of keeping up bars or 
gates are avoided ; and a free course is allowed by the con- 



FENCES. ^35 

ceded roads or bye paths, for the removal of the crops, and 
carrying on manures, and the necessary passing to and fro 
in their cultivation. These are important advantages, which 
it would he well tor every community to consider, and secure 
to the full extent of their circumstances. The inconveniences 
of this arrangement are trilling. When cattle or sheep are 
pastured in Europe, where fences are wanting, they are 
placed under the guidance of a shepherd, who with the aid 
of a well trained dog, will keep a large herd of animals, in 
perfect subjection within the prescribed limits. In the un- 
fenced part of the Connecticut valley, (where extensive leg- 
islative powers reside in the separate towns, which enables 
each to adopt such regulations as best comport with their 
own interests,) no animals are permitted to go on to the fields 
till autumn, and the crops are required to be removed at a 
designated time, when each occupant is at liberty to turn on 
to the common premises, a number of cattle proportionate to 
his standing forage, which is accurately ascertained by a su- 
pervisory board. A certain number of fences are necessary 
tl>r such fields as are continued in pasture through the sea- 
son, but unfortunately, custom in this country has increased 
them beyond all necessity or reason. It rests with the farmers 
to abate such as they deem consistent with their interests. 
The kind of fences should vary according to the controlling 
circumstances of the farm. In those situations where stone 
abounds, and esj)ecially if it is a nuisance, heavy stone fences, 
broad, and high are undoubtedly the most proper. Where 
those are not abundant, an economical fence may be con- 
structed, by a substantial foundation of stone reaching two or 
two and a half feet above ground, in which posts are placed 
at proper distances, with two or three bar holes above the 
wall, in which an equal numl)er of rails are inserted. Post 
and rail and post and board fences are common where there 
is a deficiency of timber. The posts shotdd be placed from 
two and a half to three feet below the surface in the centre of 
a large hole and surrounded by fine stone, which should be 
well pounded down by a heavy-iron shod rammer as they are 
filled in. The post will not stand as firmly at first as if 
siuTounded by dirt, but it will last much longer. The lower 
end should be pointed which prevents its heaving with the 
frost. If the position of the post while in the tree be reversed, 
or the upper end of the split section of the trunk which is 
used for a post, be placed in the earth, it will be more dura- 
ble. Charring or partially burning the part of the post 



236 AMERICAN AGRICULttJllE. 

which is buried, will add to its duration. So also will im- 
bedding it in ashes, lime, charcoal, or clay ; or it may be 
bored at the surface with a large auger, diagonally down- 
wards and nearly through, tilled with salt, and closely plug- 
ged. The best timber lor posts in the order of its durability, 
is red cedar, yellow locust, white oak and chestnut. We re- 
cently saw red cedar posts used for a i)orch which we were 
assured had been standing exposed to the weather previous 
to the Revolution, and they were still perfectly sound. The 
avidity with which silicious sands and gravel act upon wood, 
renders a post fence expensive for such soils. 

There are large portions of our country where timber 
abounds, especially in the uncleared parts of it, where the 
zig-zag, worm or Virginia fence is by far the most econom- 
ical. The timber is an incumbrance and therefore costs 
nothing, and the rails can be cut and split to 10 or 12 feet 
long, for 50 to 75 cents per 100 ; and the hauling and plac- 
ing is still less. With good rails, well laid up from the 
ground on stones or durable blocks, and properly crossed at 
the ends and locked at the top, they are firm and durable. 
Staking the corners by projecting rails gives an unsightly 
appearance at all times, and is particularly objectionable for 
plowing, as it considerably increases the waste ground. The 
same object is obtained by locking the fence when completed, 
with a long rail on each side, one end resting on the ground 
and the other laid into the angle in a line with the fence. 
More symmetry and neatnes is secured, and a trifling amount 
of timber saved, by piifting two small upright stakes, one on 
each side of the angle, and securing them by a white oak 
plank six inches wide by eighteen inches long, with two 
holes of three inches diameter bored eight inches apart, and 
slipped over the posts after most of the rails have been laid. 
The additional ones which may be laid over it, keep 
tile yokes or caps in their place and the whole is thus firmly 
boinid together. In addition to the timber designated lor 
posts, rails may be made from any kind of oak, black, walnut, 
black and white ash, elm, and hickory. 

Turf and clay fences have been tried in this country with- 
out success. Our frosts and rains are so severe as to break 
and crumble them down continually. Cattle tread upon and 
gore them ; and to swine and sheep they scarcely offer any 
resistance. Wire fences have been suggested, and if gal- 
vanized wire which is not liable to rust, could be procured at 
a reasonable cost, it would combine gracefulness and utility 



FENCEH. 237 

in a high degree. The hurdle or light moveable fence is 
variously formed of cordnge, wire or wicker work, in short 
panels, and firmly set into the ground by sharpened stakes 
at the end of each panel, and these arc fastened together. 
This is a convenient appendage to farms where heavy green 
crops of clover, lucern, peas, turneps, die. arc required to be 
fed ofl* in successive lots, by sheep, swine or cattle. The 
ntnken /nice or wall is by far the most agreeable to good 
taste, and it is perfectly efficient. It consists of a vertical 
excavation on one side, about five feet in de})lh, against 
which a wall is built to the surface of the ground. The 
opposite side is inclined at sucli an angle as will preserve 
the so<l without sliding from the effects of frost or rain, and 
is then turfed over. A farm thus divided, presents no 
obstruction to the view, while it is every where properly 
walled in, besides affording good ditches for the drainage of 
water. These sunken fences are sometimes raised a couple 
of feet above the ground, which increases the protection, at 
a less cost than deepening and widening the ditch. Good 
fences, at all times kept in perfect repair, are the cheapest. 
Most of the unruly animals are taught their habits by their 
owners. Fences that are half down or which will fall by 
the rubbing of cattle, will soon teach them to jump and throw 
down such as they are unable to overleap. For the same 
reason, gates are better than bars. When the last are used, 
they should be let down so near the ground that every ani- 
mal can step over conveniently ; nor should they be hurried 
over so fast as to induce any animal to jump. In driving a 
flock of sheep through them, the lower bars ought to be 
taken entirely out, or they be allowed to go over the bars 
in single file. Animals will seldom become jumpers except 
through their owners fault, or from some bad example set 
them by unruly associates ; and unless the fences be per- 
fectly secure, these ought to be stalled till they can be dis- 
posed of The farmer will find that no animal will repay 
him the trouble and cost of expensive fences and ruined 
crops. 

Hedges have from time immemorial, been used in Great 
Britain and some parts of the European continent, but arc 
now growing unpopular with utilitarian agriculturists. They 
occupy a great deal of ground, and harbor much vermin. 
A few only have been introduced in this country, and they 
will probably never become favorites among us. For those 



238 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

disposed to try them as a matter of taste or fancy, we would 
enumerate the English Jtawtlwrrij beautiful and hardy ; the 
holly, with an evergreen leat^, handsomely variegated with 
yellow spots, and armed at the edges with short stitF thorns ; 
the gorse or furze, a prickly shrub growing to the height of 
five feet or more and bearing a yellow blossom. These are 
much cultivated in Europe as defences against the inroads 
of animals ; while numerous other less formidable shrubs, 
like the willow and privet are grown for protection against 
winds, and when sufficiently large, they serve for cattle 
enclosures. In America the buckthorn was first introduced 
by Mr. Derby of Massachusetts, and by him was considera- 
bly disseminated through the United States, and has proved 
a hardy thrifty plant, entirely suited to the purpose. The 
Osage oi'cinge grows spontaneously in the southern states and 
is said to endure a northern climate. Its numsrous thick 
tough branches and thorns, render it an effectual protection 
to fields. We have fenced with the native thorn of Western 
New-York, with entire success. The Michigan rose and 
the sweet briar, both hardy and of luxuriant growth, and 
some, other species of the native rose, have been tried and 
proved efficient. The crab apple and wild plum, with their 
thick tough branches and formidable thorns, (and especially 
the latter,) with proper training will be found a perfect stop- 
page against animals of all kinds. The yelloio locust and 
acacia have been sometimes used ; and the wild laurel, an 
evergreen of great beauty at all times, and especially so 
with its magniiicent blossoms, would foiin a beautiful hedge 
wherever the soil will give it luxuriant growth. There are 
a variety of other trees and shrubs of native growth among 
us, which may bo emj>loyed for hedges, but it is unnecessary 
to specify thein, as each can best select for himself what his 
judgment sanctions from the known character of the plant, 
as best suited to his own peculiar soil and circumstances. 

SHADE TREES, 

In such situations and numbers as may be required around 
the farm premises, are both ornamental and prolitable. They 
have too a social and moral influence far beyond the mere 
gratification of the eye or the consideration of dollars and 
cents. In their freshness and simplicity, they imi)ress the 
young mind with sentiments of purity and loveliness as 
enduring as life. From the cradle of infancy, consciousness 



SHADE TS£E8. 239 

first dawns upon the beauty of nature beneath their grateful 
shade ; the more boisterous sports of childhood seek their 
keenest enjoyment amid their expanded foliage ; and they 
become the favorite trysling place when the ieelings assume 
a graver hue, and the sentirnenls of approaching manhood 
usurp the place of unthinking frolic. Their memory in after 
life greets the lonely wanderer amid his trials and vicisi- 
tudes, inciting him to breast adversity till again welcomed 
to their smiling presence. Their thousiind associations 
repress the unhallowed aspirations of ambition and vice ; 
and when the last sun of decrepid age is sinking to its rest, 
these venerable monitors solace the expiring &oui with the 
assurance, that a returning spring shall renew its existence 
beyond the winter of the tomb. 

Trees ought not to stand too near the buildings, but occupy 
such a position as to give beauty and finish to the landsape. 
In addition to danger from lightning, blowing down, or the 
breaking off of heavy branches, there is an excessive damp- 
ness from their proximity which produces rapid decay in 
such as|ireof wood, and which frequently affects the health 
of the inmates. Low shrubbery that does not cluster too 
thickly and immediately around the house, is not objectiona- 
ble. Trees are ornamental to the streets and highways, but 
should be at such a distance from the fences, as will prevent 
injury to the crops and allbrd a grateful shade to the way- 
farer. In certain sections of the middle and southern states, 
where the soil is parched from the long sultry summers, it 
has been found that shade trees rather increased than dimin- 
ished the forage of the pastures, but through most of the 
middle and northern stales, they are decidedly disadvanta- 
geous, as the feed is found to be sweeter and more abundant 
beyond their reach. For this reason, such trees as are pre- 
served exclusively for timber should be kept together in the 
wood. lots, and even many that arc designed for necessary 
shade or ornament may be grouped in tasteful copses, with 
greater economy of ground and manifest improvement to the 
landscape. 

In the selection of trees, regard should be had not only to 
the beauty of the tree and its fitness for shade, but to iis ulti- 
mate value as timber and fuel. The elm when standing iso- 
lated is one of our most graceful and imposing trees. It 
grows to an immense size with gracefully projecting limbs 
and long pendant branches. It is liable to few diseases, and 



240 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

the fuel and timber are good for most purposes. Everyone 
who has seen the patriarchal elms which grace the beautiful 
villages of the Connecticut valley and other old towns of 
New England, must wish to see them universally dissemi- 
nated. The rock o?' sugar maple is a beautiful tree, having a 
straight trunk and regular upward-branching limbs, forming 
a top of great symmetry and elegance. Besides the ornament 
and thick shade it alfords, it gives an annual return in its 
sap which is used for making into sugar and syrup ; the fuel 
is equal to any of our native trees ; the timber is valuable, 
yielding the beautiful glossy hinVs-eye maple so much 
esteemed for furniture. The hlack walnut is a stately, grace- 
ful tree, of great value for wood and durable timber, and 
besides its extensive use for plain substantial furniture, the 
knots and crolches make the rich dark veneering, which 
rivals the mahogany or rose-wood in brilliancy and lasting 
beauty. In a fertile soil it likewise bears a highly flavored 
nut. The lohite ash has a more slender and a stiffer top than 
either of the preceding, yet is light and graceful. The fuel 
is good and the timber unequalled in value for the carriage 
maker. The weeping willow is a tree of variegated foliage, 
and long flexile twigs, sometimes trailing the ground for 
yards in length. Its soft silvery leaves'are among the ear- 
liest of spring, and the last to maintain their verdure in 
autumn. Its timber is worthless and the wood of little value. 
The black oak on soil adapted to it, is a tree of commanding 
beauty and stalwart growth. The foliage appears late, but 
is unsurpassed for depth and richness of color and highly 
polished surface, and it retains its summer green, long after 
the early frosts have mottled the ash and streaked the maple 
with their rain-bow hues. When grown on dry and open 
land, both fuel and timber are valuable. The locust is a 
beautiful tree, of rapid growth, flowering profusely and with 
layers or massive flakes of innumerable leaflets of the 
deepest verdure. The wood is unrivalled for durability as 
ship timber except by the live-oak; and for posts or exposure 
to the weather, it is exceeded only by the savin or red cedar. 
It has of late years been subject to severe attack and great 
injury from the borer, a worm against whose ravages 
hitherto there has been no successful remedy. The hutton- 
ipood^ sycamore, plane-tree, water-beach or cotton-tree, by all of 
which names it is known in different parts of this country, is 
p^ gigantic dimensions when occupying a rich and moist 



WOODLANDS. 241 

alluvial soil. One found on the banks of the Ohio measured 
47 feet in circumference, at a height of four feet from the 
ground. Its lofty mottled trunk, its huge irregular limbs, 
and its numerous pendant balls, in which are compressed 
myriads of seeds with their plumy tufts that are wafted to 
immense distances for propagation, have rendered it occa- 
sionally a favorite. They are often seen on the banks of 
our, rivers where the branches interlock, and sometimes they 
completely span streams of considerable size. The wood 
is cross-grained and intractable for working, and the timber 
is of little use. The great variety of American shade-trees, 
both deciduous and evergreen, far surpasses that within the 
same area on any portion of the eastern continent, but it 
would be transcending our limits farther to particularize 
them. 

WOOD LANDS. 

There are few farms in the United States, where it is not 
convenient and profitable to have a wood lot attached. They 
supply the owner with his fuel, which he can prepare at lei- 
sure times, they furnish him with timber for buildings, rails, 
posts and for the occasional demands for implements ; they 
require little attention, and if well managed, will yield a 
good supply of forage for cattle and sheep. The trees should 
be kept in a vigorous, growing condition, as the profits, are 
as much enhanced from this cause as any of the cultivated 
crops. Few of our American fields require planting with 
forest trees. The soil is everywhere adapted to their growth, 
and being full of seeds and roots when not too long under 
cultivation, it needs but to be left unoccupied for a while, and 
they will everywhere spring up spontaneously. Even the 
oak openings of the west, with here and there a scattered 
tree, and such of the prairies as border upon wood lands, 
when rescued from the destructive effects of the annual fires, 
will rapidly shoot up into vigorous forests. We have re- 
peatedly seen instances of the re-covering of oak barrens and 
prairies with young forests, which was undoubtedly their 
condition before the Indians subjected them to conflagration ; 
and they have indeed, always maintained their ibothold 
against these desolating fires, wherever there was moisture 
enough in the soil to arrest their progress. In almost every 
instance, if the germs of forest vegetation have not been ex- 
tinguished in the soil, the wood lot may be safely lefl to self 
propagation, as it will be certain to produce those trees which 
K 



242 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

are best suited to the present state of the soil. Slightly thin- 
ning the young wood may in some cases be desirable, and 
especially by the removal of such worthless shrubbery as 
never attains a size or character to render it of any value. 
Such are the alders, the blue beach, swamp- willow, &:c., and 
where there is a redundance of the better varieties of equal 
vigor, those may be removed that will be worth the least 
when matured. In most of our woodlands however, nature 
is left to assert her own unaided preferences, growing what 
and how she pleases, and it must be confessed she is seldom 
at variance with the owner's interest. Serious and perma- 
nent injury has often followed close thinning. In cutting 
over Avbodlands, it is generally best to remove all the large 
trees on the premises at the same time. This admits a fresh 
growth on equal footing, and allows that variety to get the as- 
cendancy to which the soil is best suited. In the older set- 
tled states, where land and its productions are comparatively 
high, many adopt the plan of clearing off every thing, even 
burning the old logs and brush, and then sow one or more 
crops of wheat or rye, for which the land is in admirable con- 
dition, from the long accumulation of vegetable matter and the 
heavy dressing of ashes thus received. They then allow 
the forest to resume its original claims, which it is not slow 
to do, from the abundance of seeds and roots in the ground. 
But unless the crop be valuable the utility of this practice is 
doubtful, as by the destruction of all the young stuff which 
may be lefl, there is a certain delay of some years in the after 
growth of the wood; and the gradual decay of the old trunks 
and brush may minister fully as much to its growth as the ash 
which their combustion leaves ; and the fertility of the soil 
is diminished just in proportion to the amount of vegetable 
matter, which may have been abstracted by the grain crops 
taken of!'. The proper time for cutting over the wood must 
depend on its character, the soil, and the uses to which it is to 
be applied. For saw logs or fi-ame timber, it should have a 
thrifly growth of 40 or 50 years ; but in the mean time much 
scattering fuel may be taken fi*om it, and occassionally such 
mature timber trees as can be removed without injury to the 
remainder. For fuel alone, a much earlier cutting has been 
found most profitable. The Salisbury Iron Company in Con- 
necticut, has several thousand acres of land, which were pur- 
chased and have been reserved exclusively for supplying their 
own charcoal. The intelligent manager informed us when 
recently there, that from an experience of 60 years, they had 



I 



LIOIITNING-ROIIS. 243 

ascertained the most profitable period for cutting, was once in 
about 16 years, when every thinp; was removed of an availa- 
ble'- size, and the wood was left entirely to itself for another 
•growth. It has been found that this yielded an annual inter- 
rst on SUi to ^20 an acre, which for a rough and rather 
indilfercnt soil, remote from a wood or timber market, will 
pay fully as much as the nett profits on cultivated land in 
the neighborhood. 

When young, the wood should bo kept entirely free from 
sheep and cattle, as they feed upon the fresh shoots with 
nearly the same avidity as they do u{>on grass or clover, and 
when it is desirable to thicken the standing trees by an addi- 
tional growth, cattle should be kept from the range till such 
time as the new sprouts or seedling may have attained a 
height beyond their reach. Where it is desirable to bring into 
wocKlIand such fields as have not forest roots or seeds already 
deposited in a condition for germination, the fields should be 
sown or (danted with all the various nuts or seeds adapted 
to the soil, and which it is desirable to cultivate. Trans- 
planting* trees tor a forest in this country, cannot at present 
be made to pay from its large expense, and if the trees will 
jiot grow naturally or by sowing, the land should be contin- 
ued in pastures or cultivation. There are some lands so un- 
fitted for tillage by their roughness or texture, as to be much 
more profitable as woodland. It is better to retain such in 
tbrest, and make from them whatever they are capable of 
yielding, than by clearing and bringing them into use, to add 
them to what are perhaps already superfluous tillage fields, 
and become a drain on labor and manures which they illy 
repay. 

In clearing lands, when it is desirable to reserve sufliicient 
trees for a park or shade, a selection should be made of such 
as are young and healthy which have grown in the most open 
places, with a short stem and thick top. It will tend to insure 
their continued and vigorous growth, if the top and leading 
branches be shortened. A large tree will seldom thrive when 
subjected to the new condition in which it is placed, after the 
removal of the shade and moisture by which it has been sur- 
rounded. They will generally remain stationary or soon de- 
cay ; and the slight foothold they have upon the earth by their 
roots, which was sufficient for their protected situation while 
surrounded by other trees, exposes them to destruction from 
violent gales ; and they seldom have that beauty of top and 
symmetry of appearance which should entitle them to be retain- 



244 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

ed singly. If partialities are to be indulged for any, they 
should be surrounded by a copse of younger trees by which 
they will be in a measure protected. Young stocks should be 
left in numbers greater than are required, as many of them 
will die, and from the remainder selections can be made of 
such as will best answer the purposes designed. 

THE PROPER TIME FOR CUTTING TIMBER. 

Nine-tenths of the community think winter the time for 
this purpose, but the reason assigned " that the sap is then in 
the roots" shows its futility, as it is evident to the most su- 
perficial observer that there is nearly the same quantity of sap 
in the tree at all seasons. It is less active in winter, and like 
all other moisture, is congealed during the coldest weather; 
yet when not absolutely frozen, circulation is never entirely 
stopped in the living tree. Reason or philosophy would seem 
to indicate that the period of the maturity of the leaf, or from 
the last of June to the first of November, is the season for 
cutting timber in its perfection. Certain it is, that we have 
numerous examples of timber cut within this period, which 
has exhibited a durability twice or three times as great as that 
cut in winter, when placed under precisely the same circum- 
stances. After it is felled, it should at once be peeled, drawn 
from the woods and elevated from the ground to facilitate 
drying ; and if it is intended to be used under cover, the soon- 
er it is put there the better. Wood designed for fuel, will 
spend much better when cut as above mentioned and imedi- 
ately housed, but as this is generally inconvenient from the 
labor of the farm being then required for the harvesting of the 
crops, it may be more economical to cut it whenever there is 
most leisure. 

Preservation of timber. — Various preparations of late 
years have been tried for the more effectual preservation of 
timber, which have proved quite successful, but the expense 
precludes their adoption for general purposes. These are 
Kyanizing, or the use of carbureted azote, (the base of prus- 
sic acid ;) the use of corrosive sublimate, a bi-chloride of 
mercury ; pyrolignite of iron, formed from iron dissolved in 
pyrolignous acid, (which is produced from the distillation of 
of wood, or from the condensed vapor that escapes from wood 
fuel while burning, and which may be obtained in large 
quantities from a coal pit where charcoal is made ;) and a 
solution of common salt. These will be absorbed by the sap 
pores and universally disseminated through the body of the 



FARMING TOOLS. 245 

tree, by sawing or cutting the trunk partially off while erect, 
jind applyinji; the solution to its base ; or it may ]>e cut down, 
Icaviiijr a part of tin; leafy branches al>ove the point of satu- 
ration, and apply the solution to the butt end. Beautiful tintw 
arc «riven to tinilier which is used for cabinet work, by satu- 
rating it with various coloring matters. Although the 
expense of these preparations may prevent their use for large, 
cheap structures, yet for all the lighter instruments, such as 
farmer's tools, plows, <&r., where the cost of the wood is 
inconsiderable in comparison with that of making, it would 
be economy to use such timber only as will give the longest 
duration, though its first price may be ten-fold that of the 
more perishable material. 

FARMING TOOLS. 

These should fbnn an impoitant item of the farmer's atten- 
tion, as upon their proper construction depends much of 
the economy and success with which he can perform his 
operations. There have been great and important improve- 
ments within the past few years, in most of the implements, 
which have diminished the expense while they have greatly 
improved the mechanical operations of agriculture. We 
have studiously avoided a reference to any of these, as there 
are many competitors for similar and nearly equal improve- 
ment, and in this career of sharp and commendable rivalry, 
what is the best to-day, may be supplanted by something 
better to-morrow. These implements may now be found 
at the agricultural ware-houses, of almost every desirable 
variety. Of these, the best only should be procured ; such 
as are the most perfect in their principles and of the most 
durable materials. The wood work should be well guarded 
with paint, if to be exposed to the weather, and the iron or 
steel with paint, or a coating of hot tar, unless kept bright- 
ened by use. When required for cutting, they should always 
be sharp, even to the hoe, the spade and the share and coulter 
of the plow. When not in use, they ought to be in a dry 
place. Plows, harrows, carts and sleds, should all be thus 
protected, and by their longer durability they will amply 
repay the expense of shed room. They ought also to be 
kept in the best repair, which may be done at leisure times 
so as to be ready for use. [Some additional remarks on this 
subject will be found under the head of " plows."] 



246 AMERICAN AOBICWLTimE. 

THE AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION OF THE FARMER. 

Though last mentioned, this is of the first importance to 
the farmer's success. It should commence with the thor- 
ough groundwork attainments every where to be acquired in 
our primary schools, and should embrace the elementary 
knowledge of mechanics, botany, chemistry and geology, nor 
can it be complete without some acquaintance with anatomy 
and physiology. The learner ought then to have a complete, 
practical understanding of the manual operations of the farm, 
the best manner of planting, cultivating and securing crops ; 
he should be familiar with the proper management, feeding 
and breeding of animals ; the treatment of soils, the appli- 
cation of manures, and all the various matters connected with 
agriculture. This will be but the commencement of his 
education, and it should be steadily pursued through the 
remainder of his life. He must learn from his own experi- 
ence, which is the most certain and complete knowledge he 
can obtain, as he thus ascertains all the circumstances which 
have led to certain results ; and he should also learn from the 
experience of his neighbors, and from his personal observa- 
tion on every subject that comes within his notice. He will 
be particularly assisted by the cheap, agricultural journals of 
the present day, which embrace the latest experience of some 
of our best farmers throughout remote sections of country, 
on almost every subject pertaining to his occupation. To 
these should be added, the selection of standard, reliable 
works on the various topics of farming, and of the latest 
authority which can be procured for direction and reference. 
It is'muchto be desired, that agricultural schools and colleges 
could be added to the list of aids to farmings where experi- 
enced and gifted minds should be placed, surrounded by the 
means for conveying instruction in the fullest, yet most simple 
and effective manner, and with every requisite for practical 
illustration. We cannot permit ourselves to doubt, that this 
neglected field will soon be efficiently occupied, and thus 
supply the only link remaining in the thorough education of 
the farmer. 



FARM BUILDINOS. 247 



CHAPTERXIII. 



FARM BUILDINGS. 

Great neglect is manifest in this country, in the erection 
of suitahle farm buildings. The deficiency extends not only 
to their number, which is often inadequate to the wants of the 
farm, but more frequently to their location, arrangement and 
manner of construction. The annual losses which occur in 
consequence of this neglect, would in a few years, furnish 
every farm in the Union with barns and out-houses entirely 
sufficient for the necessities of each. We will give briefly 
in detail, the leading considerations which should govern the 
farmer in their construction. 

THE FARM HOUSE. 

If this is required for the occupation of the owner, it may 
be of any form and size his means and taste dictate. If for 
a tenant, and to be employed solely with a reference to its 
value to the farm, it should be neat, comfortable and of con- 
venient size. It should especially contain a cool, airy and 
spacious dairy room, unless the owner should prefer one in- 
dependant of the house, over a clear spring or cool rivulet, 
where, partially protected from the sun by a sheltering bank, 
half buried in the earth and made, as it should be if possible, 
of stone, the cool atmosphere within will afford the best 
safeguard against flies and other insects, and preserve the 
butter and cheese in the finest condition. Stone or brick are 
the best materials for dwellings, as they are cooler in summer 
and warmer in winter, and if comfort be the object of the 
farmer's toil, there is certainly no place where it should be 
sooner consulted than in his own domicil. A naked, 
scorching exposure, equally with a bleak and dreary one is to 
be avoided. The design of a house is protection to its 
inmates, and ifthere be no adequate shelter from the elements, 
it fails in its purpose. It should be tastefully built, as this 
need not materially increase the expense, while it adds a 



248 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

pleasant feature to the farm. It ought to occupy a position 
easily accessible to the other buldings and the fields, and yet 
be within convenient distance of the highway. It is desirable 
to have it so far removed as to admit of a light screen of 
trees, and nature will thus add an ornament and protection 
in the surrounding foliage, which no skill of the architect 
can equal. 

The Cellar. — This is an essential appendage to a house, 
particularly where roots are to be stored. Many appropriate 
a part of it to the dairy, and if thus employed it should be 
high, clean and well ventilated. The proper preservation of 
what is contained in it, and the health of the inmates, demand 
a suitable dryness and free circulation of air. The cellar is 
frequently placed on the side of a hill, which renders it more 
accessible frory without. This is in no respect objectionable, 
if the walls are made sufficiently tight to exclude the frosts. 
When on level ground, they should be sunk only three or four 
feet below the natural surface, and the walls raised enough 
above to give all the room wanted ; and the excavated earth 
can be banked arovmd the house, thus rendering it more ele- 
vated and pleasant. It also provides for the admission of light 
;md air through small windows, which are placed above 
ground. A wire gauze to exclude files, ought to occupy the 
place of the glass in warm weather, and if liable to frosts, 
there should be double sashes in winter. Ventilation is im- 
portant in all seasons, and it may be secured by as large an 
aperture as possible connected with the chimney, and the 
windows may be thrown open in pleasant weather during the 
warmer part of the day. The cellar should be connected with 
the kitchen or sheds above, by safe, w^ell lighted stairs. And 
lastly, the entire building should be rat-proof. This is more 
easily accomplished than, is generally imagined. When 
erecting a building, a carpenter or mason, for less than the 
additional expense of a year's support for a troop of rats, can 
for ever exclude them from it, by the exercise of a little inge- 
nuity. A brick floor in a cellar is easily broken up by these 
insidious and and ever-busy vermin, and a plank or wooden 
floor is objectionable, from its speedy decay. The most effec- 
tive and permanent barrier to their inroads, is aflTorded by a 
stone pavement laid with large pieces in cement, closely fit- 
ted to each other and to the side walls. This is also secured 
by placing a bed of small stones and pebbles on the ground 
and groiUing, or pouring over it a mortar made of lime and 
sand so thin as to run freely between the stones. When dry 



FARM BUILDINGS. 240 

a thin coating of water-lime cement is added, which is 
smoothed over with the trowel. This can l)e so laid as to 
admit of ready and [K'rfect drainage, by a depression in th«^ 
centre or sides, which answers lor gutters. 

TiiK Barn is the most important appendage of the iarm, 
and its size and form must de|)end on the particular wants of 
the owner. It is sometimes essential to have more than one 
on the premises, but in either case they should be within 
convenient distance of the house. They should be large 
enough to hold all the fodder and animals on the farm. Not 
a hoof about the premises should be required to brave our 
northern winters, unsheltered by a tight roof and a dry bed. 
They will thrive so much faster and consume so much less 
food when thus protected, that the owner will be ten-fold 
remunerated. Disease is thus often prevented, and if it oc- 
curs, is more easily removed. The saving in fodder by 
placing it at once under cover when cured, is another great 
item of consideration. Besides the expense of stacking and 
fencing, the waste of the tops and outside fodder in small 
stacks, is frequently one fourth of the whole, and if carelessly 
done, it will be much greater. There is the further expense 
of again moving it to the barn, or foddering it in the field, 
which greatly increases the waste. It is a convenient mode 
to place a barn on a side hill inclining to the south-east, when- 
ever the position of the ground admits of it. There are seve- 
ral advantages connected with this plan. Room is obtained 
by excavation and underpinning, more cheaply than in build- 
ing above. An extensive range of stabling may be made be- 
low, which will be warmer than what is afforded by a wooden 
building, and the mangers are easily supplied with the fodder 
which is stored above. Extensive cellar room can be had 
next to the bank, in which all the roots required for the cattle 
can be safely stored in front of their mangers, and where 
they are easily deposited from cails through windows arran- 
ged on the upper side, or scuttles in the barn-floor above. 
More room is afforded for hay in consequence of placing 
some of the stables below, and in this way, a large part of the 
labor of pitching it on to elevated scaffolds is avoided. The 
barn and sheds ought to be well raised on good underpinnings, 
to prevent the rotting of sills, and to allow the free escape of 
moisture, as low, damp premises are injurious to the health 
of animals. 

Every consideration ought to be given to the saving of ma- 
nure. The stables should have drains that will carry off the 
K* 



!250 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

liquid evacuations to a muck-heap or reservoir, and whatever 
manure is thrown out, should be carefully protected. The 
manure contains the future crops of the farmer, and unless 
he is willing to forego the latter, he should carefully husband 
the former. A low roof projecting several feet over the ma- 
nure which is thrown from the stables, will do much to pre- 
vent waste from sun and rains. The mangers ought to be 
so constructed as to economize the fodder. Box-feeding for 
cattle we prefer, as in addition to hay, roots and meal may be 
fed in them without loss ; and with over-ripe hay, a grat deal 
of seed may in 'this way be saved, which will diminish the 
quantity necessary to be purchased for sowing. The fine 
leaves and small fragments of hay are also kept from waste, 
which in racks are generally lost by falling on the floor. We 
object to racks, unless provided with a shallow box under- 
neath, and to foddering in the open yards. There is a loss in 
dragging the forage to them, and too often this is done near 
a herd of hungry cattle, which gore each other and are 
scarcely to be kept at bay by the use of the stoutest goad. 
There is also a waste of the hay which falls while the cattle 
are feeding, and which is largely increased in muddy yards ; 
added to which the animals are exposed to whatever bad 
weather there may be while eating, which is at all times to 
be deprecated. 

Sheds. — Feeding in sheds is far better, and in many in- 
stances may take the place of the stall or stable. They are 
frequently and very properly arranged on two sides of the 
cattle yard, the barn forming one end, and the other opening 
to the south, unless this is exposed to the prevailing winds. 
This arrangement forms a good protection for the cattle, and 
the sheds being connected with the barn is of importance in 
economizing the labor in foddering. The racks or boxes are 
placed on the boarded side of the shed, which forms the outer 
side of the yard, and they are filled from the floor overhead. 
If the space above is not sufficient to contain the necessary 
quantity of fodder, it should be taken from the mows or scaf- 
folds of the barn, and carried or dragged over the floor to the 
place wanted. The floors ought to be perfectly tight to avoid 
waste, and the sifting of the particles of hay or seed on the 
cattle or sheep. Unless the ground under the shed be quite 
dry, it is better to plank it, and it will then admit of cleaning 
with the same facility as the stables. A portion of the shed 
may be partitioned oflffor close or open stalls, for colts, calves 
or infirm cattle, and cows or ewes that are heavy with young. 



FARM B17ILDIN0S. 251 

A little attention of this kind, will frequently save the life of 
an animal, or add much lo their comfort and the general 
economy of farm management. 'I'hc surplus straw, corn- 
stalks and the like, can be used for betiding, though it is gene- 
rally preferable to have them cut and fed to the cattle. 

WATER FOR THE CATTLE YARD 

Is an important item, and if the expense of driving the ani- 
mals to a remote watering place, the waste of manure 
thereby occasioned, the straying of cattle and sometimes loss 
of limbs or other injury resulting from their being forced to 
go down icy slopes or through excessive mud, to slake their 
thirst — if all these considerations are taken into account, 
they will be found annually to go far towards the expense of 
supplying water in the yard, where it would at all times be 
accessible. All animals require water in winter, except such 
as have a full supply of roots ; and though they sometimes 
omit going to distant and inconvenient places where it is to 
be had, they may nevertheless, suffer materially for the want 
of it. When it is not possible to bring a sti-eam of running 
water into the yai*d, or good water is not easily reached by 
digging, an eftectual way of procuring a supply through most 
of the, year is by the construction of 

Cisterns. Where there is a compact clay, no further 
preparation is necessary for stock purposes, than to excavate 
to a sufticient size ; and to keep up the banks on every side, 
place two frames of single joist around it near the top and 
bottom, between which and the banks, heavy boards or plank 
may be set in an upright position, reaching from top to 
bottom. The earth keeps them in place on one side, and the 
joist prevents their falling. They require to be only tight 
enough to prevent the clay from washing in. No appreciable 
quantity of water will escape from the sides or bottom. 
We have used one for years, without repairs or any material 
wasting of water. This should be made near the buildings ; 
and the rains carefully conducted by the eaves-troughs and 
pipes from an extensive range, will aflbrd an ample supply. 
For household purposes, one should be made with more care 
and expense, and so constructed as to alford pure filtered 
water at all times. These may be formed in various ways, 
and of different materials, stone, brick, or even wood ; 
though the two former are preferable. They should be per- 
manently divided into two apartments, one to receive the 
water and another for a reservoir to contain such as is ready 



t52 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

for use. Alternate layers of gravel, sand, and charcoal at 
the bottom of the first, and sand and gravel in the last, are 
sufficient ; the water being allowed to pass through the 
several layers mentioned, will be rendered perfectly free 
from all impurities. Some who are particularly choice in 
preparing water, make use of filtering stones, but this is not 
essential. Occasional cleaning may be necessary, and the 
substitution of new filtering materials will at all times keep 
them sweet. 

THE CARRIAGE HOUSE, STABLE AND GRANARY. 

The carriage house and horse stable sometimes occupy a 
distinct building, which is a good precaution against fire, and 
where this is the case, it is fi*equently convenient to have the 
upper loft for a granary. The propriety of having this 
proof against rats is obvious. Yet it should be capable of 
thorough ventilation when the grain is damp or exposed to 
injury from want of air. Entire cleanliness of the premises, 
is the best remedy against weevil and other noxious insects. 

The corn crib. — If there be more Indian corn on the 
premises than can be thinly spread over an elevated dry 
floor, the corn crib for storing it should occupy an isolated 
position. This should be made of upright lattice work, with 
a far projecting roof, and sides inclining downwards to each 
other, so as to avoid the admission of rain. The corn in the 
cob is stored in open bins on either side, leaving ample 
room in the centre for threshing or the use of the corn 
sheller. Close bins may occupy the ends for the reception 
of the shelled grain. All aj)proach from rats and other ver- 
min may be avoided by placing the building on posts, with 
projecting stones or sheet iron on the top, and so high that 
they cannot reach it by jumping. 

A TOOL HOUSE AND WORK SHOP ought always to have a 
place about the premises. In this building, all the minor 
tools may be arranged on shelves, or in appropriate niches , 
where they can at once be found, and will not be exposed to 
theft. Here too the various farming tools may be repaired, 
which can be anticipated and done in those leisure intervals 
which often occur. Ample shed room for every vehicle and 
implement about the farm^ should not be wanting. Their 
preservation will amply repay the cost of such slight struc- 
tures as may be required to house them. A wagon, plow, 
or any wooden implement, will wear out sooner by exposure 



FAEM BUILDINGS. 253 

to all weathers without use, than by careful usage with proi>er 
protection. 

A iioKsK rowRR either stationary or moveable, can be 
made to contribute greatly to the economy of farming opera- 
tions, where there is much grain to thresh, or straw, hay or 
corn stalks to cut. With the aid of this, some of the port- 
able mills may crush and grind much of the grain required for 
feeding. Even the water may be pumped by it into large 
troughs for the use of cattle, and all the fuel sawed, thereby 
saving more expensive in labor. 

A STEAMING APPARATUS. 

Where there are many swine to fatten, or grain is to be 
fed, this is at all times an economical appendage to the farm. 
It has been shown from several experiments, that cattle and 
sheep will generally thrive as well on raw as on cooked roots ; 
but horses do better on the latter, and swine will not fatten 
on any other. For all animals excepting store sheep, and 
perhaps even they may be excepted, grain or meal is better 
when cooked. Food must be broken up before the various 
animal organs can appropriate it to nutrition ; and whatever 
is done towards effecting this object before it enters the 
stomach, diminishes the necessity for the expenditure of vital 
force in accomplishing it, and thereby enables the animal to 
thrive more rapidly and do more labor, on a given amount. 
For this reason we apprehend, there may have been some 
errors undetected in the experiments in feeding sheep and 
cattle with raw and cooked roots, which results in placing 
them apparently on a par as to their value for this purpose. 
The crushing or grinding of the gi*ain insures more perfect 
mastication, and is performed by machinery at much less 
expense, than by the animals consuming it. The steaming 
or boiling is the final step towards its easy and profitable 
assimilation in the animal economy. With a capacious 
steaming-box for the reception of the food, the roots and meal, 
and even cut hay, straw and stalks may be thrown in together, 
and all will thus be most effectually prepared for nourish- 
ment There is another advantage derivable from this 
practice. The food might at all times be given at the 
temperature of the animal system, about 98" of Farenheit, 
and the animal heat expended in warming the cold and 
sometimes frozen food, would be avoided. 

The steaming apparatus is variously constructed. We 
have used one consisting of a circular boiler five and a half 



254 AMERICAN AGHlCTJiTimE. 

feet long by twenty inches diameter, made of boiler iron and 
laid lengthwise on a brick arch. The fire is placed under- 
neath and passes through the whole length and over one end, 
then returns in contact with the boiler through side flues or 
pockets, where it entered the chimney. This gives an 
exposure to the flame and heated air of about 10 feet. The 
upper part is coated with brick and mortar to retain the heat, 
and three small test cocks are applied at the bottom, middle 
and upper edge of the exposed end, to show the quantity of 
water in it ; and two large stop cocks on the upper side for 
receiving the water and delivering the steam, completes the 
boiler. The steaming-box is oblong, seven or eight feet 
in length, by about four feet in depth and width, capable of 
holding 60 or 70 bushels, made of plank grooved together, 
and clamped and keyed with four setts of oak joist. We also 
used a large circular tub, strongly bound by wagon tire and 
keyed, and holding about 25 bushels. The covering of both 
must be fastened securely ; but a safety valve is allowed for 
the escape of steam, which is simply a one and a half inch 
auger hole. Into these, the steam is conveyed from the 
boiler, by a copper tube, attached to the steam delivery cock 
for a short distance, when it is continued into the bottom of 
the box and tub by a lead pipe, on account of its flexibility, 
and to avoid injury to the food from the corrosion of the 
copper. It is necessary to have the end of the pipe in the 
steaming-box, properly guarded by a metal strainer, to prevent 
its clogging from the contents of the box. We find no diffi- 
culty in cooking 15 bushels of unground Indian corn in the 
tub, in the course of three or four hours, and with small 
expense of fuel. Fifty bushels of roots could be perfectly 
cooked in the box, in the same time. For swine, fattening 
cattle and sheep, milch cows and working horses, and perhaps 
oxen, we do not doubt a large amount of food may be saved 
by the use of such or a similar cooking apparatus. The box 
may be enlarged to treble the capacity of the foregoing, 
without prejudicing the operation, and even with a boiler of 
the same dimensions, but it would take a longer time to 
effect the object. If the boiler were increased in proportion 
to the box, the cooking process would of course be acccom- 
plished in the same time. 

T?ie materials for farm buildings we have assumed to be of 
wood, from the abundance and cheapness of this material 
generally in the United States. Yet we would always prefer 
when not too expensive, or where the capital could be spared, 



rARM BUIL0IN09. 255 

that brick or stone should take their place. They arc more 
durable, arc less exposed to fire, and they sustain a more 
cqual)lc temperature in the extremes of the seasons. Barns 
and, sheds cannot like houses, be conveniently made rat proof, 
but they may be so constructed as to aflbrd them few hidinjg^ 
places, where they will ])e out of the reach of cats and terrier 
dogs, which are always indispensable around infested prem- 
ises. These and an occasional dose of arsenic, carefully and 
variously disguised will keep their numbers within mcxlerate 
bounds. If poison be given, it woidd be well to shut up the 
cats and terriers for three or four days until the object is 
eflected, or they too might partake of it. 

LIGHTNING RODS. 

In the hot, dry weather of our American summers, thun- 
der showers are frequent and often destructive to buildings. 
This danger is much increased for such barns as have just 
received their annual stores of newly cut hay and grain. — 
The humid gases driven off by the heating and sweating 
process, which immediatly follows their accumulation in 
closely packed masses, offers a strong attraction to electri- 
city, just at the time when it is most abundant. It is then an 
object of peculiar importance to the farmer to guai-d his build- 
ings with properly constructed lightning rods, and they are a 
cheap mode of insurance against fire from this cause, as the 
expense is trifling and the security great. 

It is a principle of general application, that a rod will 
protect an object at twice the distance of its height, above any 
given point, in a line perpendicular to its upper termination. 
Thus a rod attached to one side of a chimney of four feet 
diameter, must have its upper point two feet above the chim- 
ney to protect it. The height above the ridge must be at least 
one half the greatest horizontal distance of the ridge from the 
perpendicular rod. 

Materials and manner of construction. — The rod may be 
constnicted of soft, round or square iron, the latter being 
preferable, in pieces of convenient length and of not less than 
3 of an inch in diameter. These should not be hooked into 
each other, but attached either by screwing the ends together, 
or forming a point and socket to be fastened by a rivet, so that 
the rod when complete, will appear as one continuous surface 
of equal size throughout. If a square rod be used, it will attract 
the electricity through its entire length, if the corners be 
notched with a single downward stroke of a sharp cold 



256 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

chisel, at intervals of two or three inches. Each of these 
will thus become a point to attract and conduct the electricity 
to the earth. A bundle of wires, thick ribbons, or tubes of 
metal, would be much better conductors than an equal quan- 
tity of matter in the solid, round or square rods, as the con- 
ducting power of bodies, is in the ratio of their surface. No 
part of the rod should be painted, as its efficiency is thereby 
greatly impaired. The upper extremity may consist of one, 
two or more finely drawn points, which should be of copper, 
silver or well gilded iron, to prevent rusting. The lower part 
of the rod, at the surface of the ground, should terminate in 
two or three flattened, divergent branches, leading several 
feet outwardly from the building, and buried to the depth of 
perpetual moisture in a bed of charcoal. Both the charcoal 
and moisture are good conductors, and will ensure the passage 
of the electricity into the ground, and away from the pre- 
mises. The rod may be fastened to the building by glass or 
well seasoned wood, boiled in linseed oil, then well baked and 
covered with several coats of copal varnish. 

The conductors of electricity in the order of their conduct- 
ing form, are copper, silver, gold, iron, tin, lead, zinc, platina, 
charcoal, black lead (plumbago,) strong acids, soot and lamp, 
black, metallic ores, metallic oxides, diluted acids, saline solu- 
tions, animal fluids, sea water, fresh water, ice above 0°, living 
vegetables, living animals, flame, smoke, vapor and humid 
gases, salts, rarified air, dry earth, and massive minerals. The 
non-conductors in their order, are shellac, amber, resins, 
sulpher, wax, asphaltum, glass, and all vitrified bodies includ- 
ing crystallised, transparent minerals, raw silk, bleached silk, 
dyed silk, wool, hair and feathers, dry gases, dry paper, parch- 
ment and leather, baked wood and dried vegetables. 



I 



00HE8TIC ANIMALS. 257 



CHAPTER XIV 



f 



DOMRSTIC ANIMALS— PRINCIPLES OF BREEDNIG, 
NUTRITION, MANAGEMENT, &c. 

The principal domestic animals reared for economical pur- 
poses ill the United States, are Horned or neat cattle, the 
Horse, the Mule, Sheep and Swine. A few Asses are bred, 
but for no other object than to keep up tlie supply of jacks 
for propagating mules. We have also goats, rabbits and the 
house domestics, the dog and cat ; the two former, only in 
very limited numbers, but both the latter much beyond our 
legitimate wants. There have been a few specimens of the 
Alpaca imported, and an arrangement is now in progress for 
the introduction of a flock of several hundred, which if dis- 
tributed among intelligent and wealthy agriculturists, as pro- 
posed, will test their value for increasing our agricultural 
resources. We shall confine ourselves to some general con- 
siderations connected with the first mentioned and most im- 
portant of our domestic animals. 

Their number as shown by the agricultural statistics col- 
lected in 1339, by order of our General Government, was 
15,000,000 neat cattle ; 4,335,000 horses and mules, (the 
number of each not being specified;) 19,311,000 sheep ; 
and 26,300,000 swine. There is much reason to question 
the entire accuracy of these returns, yet there is doubtless 
an approximation to the truth. Sheep have greatly increased 
since that period, and would probably number the present 
year (1846,) not less than 28,000,000 ; and if our own man- 
ufactures continue to thrive, and we should moreover become 
wool exporters, of which there is now a reasonable prospect, 
an accurate return for 1850, will undoubtedly give us not less 
than 35,000,000 for the entire Union. There has been a 
great increase in the value of the other animals enumerated, 
but not in a ratio corresponding with that of sheep. This is 



268 AMERICAN AGKICULTURE. 

not only manifest in their numbers, but in the gradual and 
steady improvement of the species. It may be safely pre- 
dicted, that, this improvement will not only be sustained, but 
largely increased, for there are some intelligent and spirited 
breeders to be found in every section of the country, whose 
liberal exertions and powerful examples are doing much for 
this object. Wherever intelligence and sound judgment are 
to be found, it will be impossible long to resist the effects of 
a comparison between animals, which on an equal quantity of 
the same food, with the same attention and in the same time, 
will return 50, 20, or even a less per cent, more in their in- 
trinsic value or marketable product, than the ordinary class. 
This improvement has relatively been, most conspicuous in 
the western and southern states, not that the present av^erage 
of excellence in their animals surpasses or even reaches that 
of the north and east ; but the latter have long been pursu- 
ing this object, with more or less energy, and they have for 
many years had large numbers of excellent specimens of each 
variety ; while with few exceptions, if we exclude the blood- 
horse or racing nag, the former have till recently, paid com- 
paratively little attention to the improvement of their domestic 
animals. The spirit for improvement through extensive sec- 
tions, is now awakened, and the older settled portions of the 
country may hereafter expect competitors, whose success 
will be fully commensurate with their own. Before going 
into the management of the different varieties, we will give 
some general principles and remarks applicable to the treat- 
ment of all. 

The purpose for which animals are required, is first of con- 
sequence to be determined, before selecting such as may be 
necessary either for breeding or use. Throughout the north- 
eastern states, cows for the dairy, oxen for the yoke, and both 
for the butcher, are wanted. In much of the west and south, 
beef alone is the principal object, while the dairy is neglected, 
and the work of the ox is seldom relied on except for occa- 
sional drudgery. Sheep may be wanted almost exclusively 
for the fleece, or for the fleece and heavy mutton, or in the 
neighborhood of markets, for large, early lambs. The pas- 
tures and winter food, climate and other conditions, present 
additional circumstances, which should be well considered 
before determining on the particular breed, either of cattle 
or sheep, that will best promote the interest of the farmer. 
The kind of work for which the horse may be wanted, 
whether as a roadster, for the saddle, as a heavy team horse 



DOMESTIC ANIMALS. 259 

or the horse of all work, must be first decided, before select- 
ing the form or character of the animal. The range of pig 
excellence is more circumscribed, as it is only necessary to 
breed such as will yield the greatest amount of valuable car- 
cass, within the shortest time, and with the least exjKmse. 

PRINCIPLES OF BREEDING. 

All breeding is founded on the principle, that like begets 
like. This is however liable to some exceptions, and is much 
more generally true when breeding doitm than when breeding 
up. If two animals which can never be exactly similar in 
all respects, are requisite to the perpetuation of the species, 
it necessarily results, that the progeny must differ in a more 
or less degree from each parent. VVith wild animals and 
such of the domestic as are allowed to propagate with- 
out the interference of art, and whose habits, treatment 
and food are nearly similar to their natural condition, the 
change through successive generations is scarcely percepti- 
ble. It is only when we attempt to improve their good qua- 
lities, that it is essential, carefully to determine and rigidly 
to apply what are adopted as the present scientific principles 
of breeding. We cannot believe that we have penetrated 
beyond the mere threshold of this art. Unless then, we 
launch into experiments, which are necessarily attended with 
uncertainty, our duty will be, to take for our guide the most 
successful practice of modern times, until further discoveries 
enable us to modify or add to such as are already known and 
adopted. We may lay down then as the present rules for 
this art, 1st. That the animals selected for breed, should 
unite in themselves all the good qualities we wish to per- 
petuate in the ofl^spring. 2d. These qualities, technically 
called pointSy should be in-bred in the animals as far as prac- 
ticable, by a long line of descent from parents similarly 
constituted. The necessity for this rule is evident from the 
fact, that in mixing different species, and especially mongrels, 
with a long established breed, the latter will most strongly 
stamp the issue with its own peculiarities. This is forcibly 
illustrated in the case of the Devon cattle, an ancient race, 
whose color, form and characteristics are strikingly perpetu- 
ated, sometimes to the sixth or even a later generation. So 
far is this principle carried by many experienced breeders, 
that they will use an animal of indifferent external appear- 
ance, but of approved descent, (bloody) in preference to a 
decidedly superior one, whose pedigree is imperfect. 3d. All 



260 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

the conditions of soil, situation, climate, treatment and food 
should be favorable to the object sought. 4th. As a general 
rule, the female should be relatively, larger than the male. 
This gives ample room for the perfect development of the 
foetus, easy parturition, and a large supply of milk for the 
offspring, at a period in its existence, when food has a greater 
influence in perfecting character and form than at any sub- 
sequent time. 5th. FLxceptions to this rule may be made, 
when greater size is required than can be obtained from the 
female, and especially, when more vigor and hardiness of 
constitution are desirable. For this purpose, strong mascu- 
line development in the sire are proper, and if otherwise 
unattainable, something of coarseness may be admitted, as 
this may be afterwards corrected, and nothing will atone for 
want of constitution and strength. 6th. Pairing should be 
with a strict reference to correcting the imperfections of 
one animal, by a corresponding excellence in the other. 
7th. Breeding in-and-in, or propagating from animals nearly 
allied, may be tolerated under certain circumstances, though 
seldom; and only in extreme cases between those of the 
same generation as brother and sister. When the animal 
possesses much stamina and peculiar merit, which it is de- 
sired to perpetuate in the breed, it may be done either in the 
ascending or descending line, as in breeding the son to the 
parent, or the parent to his own progeny. This has been 
practised with decided advantage, and in some cases has 
even been continued successively as low as the sixth gene- 
ration. 8th. it is always better to avoid close relationship, 
by the selection of equally meritorious stock-getters of the 
same breed, from other sources. 9th. Wholesome, nutri- 
tious food, at all times sufficient to keep the animals steadily 
advancing, should be provided, but they must never be 
allowed to get fat. Of the two evils, starving is preferable 
to surfeit. Careful treatment and the absence of disease 
must be always fully considered. 10th. Animals should 
never be allowed to breed either too early or too late in life. 
These periods cannot be arbitrarily laid down, but must 
depend on their time of maturity, the longevity of the breed, 
and the stamina of the individual. 11th. No violent cross 
or mixing of distinct breeds should ever be admitted for the 
purposes of perpetuation, as of cattle of diverse sizes; horses 
of unlike characters ; the Merino and long wools, or even 
Ihe long or short and the middle wools. For carcass and 



nOMESnC ANIMAI8. 261 

constitution, these crosses are unexceptionable; and it is a 
practice very common in this country, and judicious enough 
where the whole produce is early destined for the shambles. 
But wlien the progeny are designed for breeders, the i)rac- 
tice should be branded with unqualified reprehension. 

THE GENERAL FORM AND CHARACTERISTICS OF 
DOMESTIC ANIMALS. 

Within certain limits, these may be reduced to a common 
standard. All animals should have a good head, well set up; 
a clean fine muzzle, and a bright, clear and full, yet per- 
fectly placid eye. With the exception of the dog and cat, 
whose original nature is ferocity, and whose whole life, 
unless diverted from their natural instincts, is plunder and 
prey ; and the jockey race-horse, which is required to take 
the purse, at any hazard of life or limb to the groom; a mild 
quiet eye is indispensable to the profitable use of the domes- 
tic brute. The neck should be well formed, not too long, 
tapering to its junction with the head, and gradually enlarging 
to a firm, well expanded attachment to the back, shoulders 
and breast. The back or chine should be short, straight and 
broad ; the ribs springing out from the back bone nearly at 
right angles, giving a rounded appearance to the carcass, 
and reaching well behind to a close proximity to the hip ; 
tail well set on, and full at its junction with the body, yet 
gradually tapering to fineness ; thighs, fore-arms and crop, 
well developed ; projecting breast or brisket ; the fore-legs 
straight, and hind ones properly bent, strong and full where 
attached to the carcass, but small and tapering below ; good 
and sound joints; dense, strong bones, but not large; plenty of 
fine muscle in the right places; and hair or wool fine and soft. 
The chest in all animals should be full, for it will be invaria- 
bly found, that only such will do the most work, or fatten 
easiest on the least food. 

The Lungs. — From the above principle, founded on long 
experience and observation, Cline inferred, and he has laid 
it down as an incontrovertible position, that the lungs should 
always be large ; and Youatt expresses the same opinion. 
This is undoubtedly correct as to working beasts, the horse 
and the ox, which require full and free respiration, to enable 
them to sustain great muscular efforts. But later physiolo- 
gists, Playfair and others, perhaps from closer and more accu- 
rate observations, have assumed that the fattening propensity 
is in the ratio of the smallness of the lungs. Earl Spencer 



262 AMERICAN AORlCUtTURE. 

has observed, that this is fully shown in the pig, the sheep, 
the ox and the horse, whose aptitude to fatten and smaliness 
of lungs, are in the order enumerated. This position is fur- 
ther illustrated, by the different breeds of the same classes of 
animals. The Leicester sheep have smaller lungs than the 
South Down ; and it was found in an experiment made on 
Lord Ducie's example farm, that a number of the former, 
on a given quantity of food, and in the same time, reached 
28 lbs. a quarter, while the South Downs with a greater 
consumption of food, attained in the same period, only 
18 lbs. The Chinese pigs have much smaller lungs than 
the Irish, and the former will fatten to a given weight on a 
much less quantity of food than the latter. {PJayfair.) The 
principle would seem to be corroborated by the fact, that 
animals generally fatten faster in proportion to the quantity 
of food they consume, as they advance towards a certain 
stage of maturity ; during all which time, the secretion of 
internal fat is gradually compressing the size, by reducing 
the room for the action of the lungs. Hence the advantage 
of carrying the fattening beast to an advanced point, by 
which not only the quality of carcass is improved, but the 
quantity is relatively greater for the amount of food con- 
sumed. These views are intimately connected and fully 
correspond, with the principles of 

RESPIRATION IN ANIMALS. 

From careful experiments, it has been found, that all ani- 
mals daily consume a much larger quantity of food than the 
aggregate of what may have been retained in the system, 
added to what has been expelled in the foeces and urine, and 
what has escaped by perspiration. Boussingault, who com- 
bines the characteristics of an ingenious chemist, a vigilant 
observer and a practical agriculturist, made an experiment 
with a " milch-cow and a full-grown horse, which were pla- 
ced in stalls so contrived that the droppings and the urine 
could be collected without loss. Before being made the sub- 
jects of experiment, the animals were ballasted or fed for a 
month with the same ration that was furnished to them, during 
the three days and three nights which they passed in the ex- 
perimental stalls. During the month, the weight of the ani- 
mals did not vary sensibly, a circumstance which happily 
enables us to assume that neither did the weight vary during 
the seventy-two hours when they were under especial obser- 
vation. 



DOMESTIC ANIMALS. 263 

*' The cow was foddered with after-math, hay and potatoes ; 
the horse with the same hay and oats. The quantities of 
forage were accurately weighed, and their precise degree of 
moistness and tiicir composition were determined from ave- 
rage siimples. The water drunk was measured, its saline 
and earthy constituents having been previously ascertained. 
The excrementitious matters passed were of course collected 
with the greatest care ; the excrements, the urine, and the 
milk were weighed, and the constitution of the whole estima- 
ted from elementary analyses of average specimens of each. 
The resuhs of the two experiments are given in the table on 
the next page. 

'* The t»xygen and hydrogen that are not accounted for in 
(he sum of the products have not disappeared in the precise 
proportions requisite to form water ; the excess of hydrogen 
amounts to as many as from 13 to 15 dvvts. It is probable that 
this hydrogen of the food became changed into water by com- 
bining during respiration with the oxygen of the air." 



264 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 



FOOD CONSUMED BY THE HORSE IN 24 HOURS. 





Weight in 
the wet 
sUte. 


Weight in 
the dry 
state. 




Elements 


ry mattet in the food. 




Forage. 


Carbon- 


Hydrogen. 


Oxygen. | Azote. 


Salts and 
■ Earths. 


Ill 


lbs. 
20 
6 
43 


lbs. oz. 
17 4 
6 3 


lbs. oz. 
7 11 

2 7 


lb. oz.dwt. 
10 7 
3 18 


Ib.oz.dwt. lb. oz.dwt 
6 8 8 .3 2 
1 10 14 1 7 


lb. oz. dwt. 
1 6 14 
3 10 
8 


Total, .... 


69 


S3 6 


10 6 


1 3 5 


8 7 3I 4 9 


1 9 13 



PRODUCTS VOIDED BY THE HORSE IN 24 HOURS. 



Total, - . . 

Total matter of 

the food, . 

Difference, • . . 



Weight in 

the wet 

state. 


Weight in 
the dry 
»tate. 




Elemetitary matter in 


the proiiHicts. 


Carbon. 


Hydrogen. 


Oxygen. 


Azote. 


Salts and 
Earths. 


Ib.oz.dwt. 
3 6 15 
38 3 2 


Ib.oz.dwt. 
9 9 14 
9 5 6 


Ib.oz.dwt. 
3 10 
3 7 17 


ib.oz.dwt. 
7 
5 16 


Ib.oz.dwt. 
1 2 
3 6 14 


lb. oz.dwt. 
1 4 
2 10 


lb. oz. dwt. 

3 10 

1 6 10 


71 8 17 
69 


10 3 
32 6 


3 11 7 
10 6 


6 2 

1 3 5 


3 7 16 
8 7 2 


8 14 
4 9 


I 10 
1 9 13 


37 3 3 


12 3 


6 ti 13 


8 3 


4 11 6 


16 


8 



WATER CONSUMED BY THE 
HORSE IN 24 HOURS. 



With the hay, 
With the oats, 
Taken as drink. 



Total consumed, 



lbs. oz. 
3 3 

14 

36 3 



WATER VOIDED BY THE 
HORSE IN 24 HOURS. 



With the urine, 
With the excrements. 



Total voided, - 
Water consumed, 



Water exhaled by pulmonary and cutaneous transpiration. 



lbs. oz. 
3 6 
3:3 8 



26 14 
38 4 



FOOD CONSUMED BY THE COW IN 24 HOURS. 



Totatoes, - • • 

After matlihay, • 

Water, .... 

Total. .... 



Weight in 
the wet 

state. 



Ih. oz.dwt. 

40 2 6 
20 1 2 
160 



Weight in 
the dry 

state. 



Ib.oz.dwt. 
11 3 1 
16 11 



Elementary matter of the food. 



Ib.oz.dwt. 
4 11 2 
7 U 11 



Hydrogen. Oxygen. 



lb. oz. dwt. I lb. oz. dwt. 
7 16 4 10 17 
11 7 5 10 17 



13 10 131 1 



Ib.oz.dwt. 
1 12 
4 17 



Salts and 
Earths. 



b. oz. dwt. 

6 13 

1 8 6 



PRODUCTS VOIDED BY THE COW IN 24 HOURS. 









Elementary matter in 


the products. 


Products. 


Uie wet 
state. 


the" dry 
state. 


Carbon. 


Hydrogen. 


Oxygen. 


Azote. 


Salts and 
Earths 


Excrements, - • 
Urine, .... 
Milk, 


lb. oz.dwt. 
76 1 9 

21 11 12 

22 10 10 


Ib.oz.dwt. 

10 8 13 
3 6 17 
3 1 


Ib.oz.dwt. 
4 7 

8 7 

1 8 3 


Ib.oz.dwt 
6 13 
16 
3 3 


Ib.oz.dwt. 
4 9 
8 3 
10 6 


lb. oz dwt. 
3 19 
1 3 
1 9 


111. oz. dwt. 
1 3 8 
1 6 
1 16 


Total, .... 
" matteiof food, 


130 11 11 
220 3 7 


6 11 10 
13 10 13 


10 13 

1 7 2 


6 6 18 
10 9 14 


9 6 11 
6 9 


3 5 10 
3 4 11 


Difference, - . 


99 3 16 


U 8 13 


6 11 3 


8 10 


6 3 16 


18 


19 



WATER CONSUMED BY THE 
COW IN 24 HOURS. 



With the potatoes. 
With the hay, 
Takeu as drink, • 
Total consumed, 



• •• - 168 5 

Water consumed, |168 

■Water passed off by pulmonary and cutaneous transpiration. 



WATER VOIDED BY THE 
COW IN 24 HOURS. 





1 lbs. 


oz. 


With the excrements, - - 


- . 53 


10 


With the urine 


. - 16 


14 


With the milk, .... 


. - 16 


3 


Total Toided, 


. . 86 


11 



DOMESTIC ANIMALS. 265 

We here perceive a large loss of water, carbon, hydrogen, 
&c. Nearly all this loss of carbon and hydrogen, escaped by 
respiration, while most of the water, oxygen, nitrogen and 
salt*, passed oft' in perspiration. In furl her illustration of the 
subject of respiration, Licbig says, " from the accurate de- 
lerminatiiMi of the (juanlity of carbon daily taken into the 
system in the li)od, as well as of that proportion of it which 
passes out of the body in the lirces and urine, unhurned, that 
is, in some form uncombined with oxygen, it a{)pears that an 
adult taking mtxlerate exercise, consumes 13.9 oz. of carbon 
daily." The foregoing are tacts in the animal economy, ca- 
|)able of vast practical l>caring in the management of our 
domestic animals. Hut before Ibllowing out these principles 
to their application, let us briefly exanune 

THE EFFECTS OF RESPIRATION. 

'» 
We have seen from the experiment of Boussingault, that 
there is a loss of G lbs. 6 oz. of carbon, and 8 oz. of hydrogen 
in the tbod of the horse, and something less in that of the 
cow, every '24 hours, which has not been left in the system, 
nor has it escaped by the evacuations. What has become of 
so large an amount of solid matter ? It has escaped through 
the lungs and been converted into air. The carbon and 
hydrogen of the food have undergone those various trans- 
formations which are peculiar to the animal economy, diges- 
tion, assimilation, &:c., which it is not necessary, nor will 
our limits permit us here to explain ; and they appear at last 
in the veinous blood, which in the course of its circulation, is 
brought into the cells of the lungs. The air inhaled, is sent 
through every part of their innumerable meshes, and is there 
separated from the blood, only by the delicate tissues or mem- 
branes which enclose it. A portion of the carbon and hydro- 
gen escape from the blood into the air-cells, and at the instant 
of their contact with the air, they effect a chemical union 
with its oxygen, forming carbonic acid and the vapor of 
water, which is then expired, and a fresh supply of oxygen 
is inhaled. This operation is again repeated, through every 
successive moment of animal existence. Besides other pur- 
poses which it is probably designed to subserve, but which 
have hitherto eluded the keenest research of chemical physi- 
ology, one obvious result of it is, the elevation of the tempra- 
turc of the animal system. By the ever-operating laws of 
nature, this chemical union of two bodies in the formation of 
a third, disengages latent heat, which taking place in contact 

XJ 



266 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

with the blood, is by it, diffused throughout the whole frame. 
The effect is precisely analogous to the combustion of fuel, 
oils, &c. in the open air. 

Perspiration is the counteracting agent which modifies this 
result, and prevents the injurious effects which under exposure 
to great external heat, would insure certain destruction. And 
this too, it will have been seen, is provided at the expense of 
the animal food. When from excessive heat, caused by vio- 
lent exercise or otherwise, by which respiration is accelerated 
and the animal temperature becomes elevated, the papillae 
of the skin pour the limpid fluid through their innumerable 
ducts, which in its conversion into vapor, seize upon the ani- 
'Mil heat and remove it from the system, producing that de- 
icious coolness so grateful to the laboring man and beast in a 
sultry summer's day. These two opposing principles, like 
the antagonistic operations of the regulator in mechanics, 
keep up a perfect balance in the vital machine, and enable 
the entire division of the animal creation distinguished as 
M'-arm blooded, including man and the brute, all the feathered 
tribes, the whale, the seal, the walrus, &,c., to maintain an 
equilibrium of temperature, whether under the equator or the 
poles, on the peaks of Chimborazo, the burning sands of 
Zahara, or plunged in the depths of the Arctic Ocean. 

The connexion between the size of the lungs, and the ap- 
titude of animals to fatten, will be more apparent from the 
iact, that the carbon and hydrogen which are abstracted, 
constitute two of the only three elements of fat. The lar- 
ger size, the fuller play, and the greater activity of the lungs, 
by exhausting more of the materials of fat, must necessarily 
diminish its formation in the animal system ; unless it can 
I'c shown, which has never yet been done, that the removal of 
a porton of the fat-forming principles, accelerates the assimi- 
lation of the remainder. 

The food which supplies respiration in the herbivorous ani- 
mals, afler they are deprived of the milk which furnishes it 
in abundance, is the starch, gum, sugar, vegetable fats and 
oDs, which exist in the vegetables, grain and roots which 
they consume ; and in certain cases where there is a defi- 
ciency of other food, it is sparingly furnished in woody and 
cellular fibre. All these substances constitute the principal 
part of dry vegetable food, and are made up of these elements, 
which in starch, gum, cane-sugar and cellular fibre, exist in 
precisely the same proportions, viz ; 44 per cent, of carbon, 
6.2 of hydrogen and 49.8 of oxygen. Grape sugar, woody 



DOMESTIC ANIMALS. 267 

fibre, and vegetable and animal fats and oils are made up of 
the same elements, but in different proportion?, the last con- 
taining much more carbon and hydrogen than those above 
specified. In the fattening animals, it is supposed the vegeta- 
ble fals and oils arc inunediatcly transferred to the fat colls, 
undergoing ojdy such slight modilication as perfectly adapts 
liiem to the animal economy, while respiration is supplied by 
the other enumeratwl vegetable matters. If these last are taken 
into (he stonuich beyond the necessary demand for its object, 
they too are converted by the animal tunctions into fat, and 
are stored up in the system for future use. But if the supply 
of the latter is insuflicient tor respiration, it first appropriates 
the vegetable fat contained in the food; if this is deficient, it 
draws on the accumulated stores of animal fat already secre- 
ted in the system, and when these two are exhausted, it sei- 
zes upon what is contained in the tissues and muscle. When 
the animal cojumences drawing upon its own resources for 
the support of its vital functions, deterioration begins; and if 
long continued, great emaciation succeeds, which is soon 
followed by starvation and death. The carnivorous animals 
are furnished with their respiratory excretions, from the ani- 
mal fat and fibre which exist in their food, and which the 
herbivoiie had previously abstracted from the vegetable 
creation. 

Tlic circum stances which augment respiration arc exercise, 
cold and an abundant supply of food. Exercise, besides 
exhausting the materials of fat, produces a waste of fibre and 
tissue, the muscular and nitrogenized parts of the animal 
system ; and it is obvious from the foregoing principles, that 
cold re(juires a corresponding demand for carbon and hydro- 
gen to keep up the vilal warmth. The consumption of food 
to the fullest extent required for invigorating the frame, cre- 
ates a desire for activity and it insensibly induces full respi- 
ration. The well-fed, active man unconsciously draws a 
full, strong breath ; while the abstemious and the feeble, 
unwittingly use it daintily, as if it were a choice commodity 
not to be lavishly expended. If the first be observed when 
sleep has effectually arrested volition, the expanded chest 
will be seen heaving with the long-drawn sonorous breath ; 
while that of the latter will exhibit the gentle repose of the 
infant on its mother's breast. The difference between the 
food of the inhabitants of the polar and equatorial regions, is 
strikingly illustrative of the demands both for breathing and 



268 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

perspiration. The latter are almost destitute of clothing, 
and subsist on their light juicy tropical fruits, which contain 
scarcely 12 per cent, of carbon, yet furnish all the elements 
for abundant perspiration ; the latter are imbedded in furs, 
and devour gallons of train oil or its equivalent of fat, which 
contains nearly 80 per cent, of carbon, that is burnt up in 
respiration to maintain a necessary warmth. The bear 
retires to his den in the beginning of winter, loaded with fat, 
which he has accumulated from the rich, oily mast abound- 
ing in the woods in autumn. There he lies for months, 
snugly coiled and perfectly dormant ; the thickness of his 
shaggy coat, his dry bed of leaves and well ])rotected den 
eflectualiy guarding him from cold, which in addition to his 
want of exercise, draw slightly upon respiration to keep up 
the vital heat. When the stores of carbon and hydrogen 
contained in the fat are expended, his hunger and cold com- 
pel him to leave his winter quarters, again to wander in 
pursuit of food. Many of the swallow tribes in like man- 
ner, hybernate in large hollow trees, and for months eke out 
a torpid, scarcely perceptible existence, independent of food. 
Activity and full respiration on the return of spring, demand 
a support which is furnished in the myriads of flies they daily 
consume. The toad and frog have repeatedly been found in 
a torpid state, embedded in lime-stones, sand-stones and the 
breccias, where they were probably imprisoned for thou- 
sands of years without a morsel of food ; yet when exposed 
to the warmth of the vital air and the stimulus of its oxygen, 
they have manifested all the activity of their species. This 
they are enabled to sustain only by nn enormous consump- 
tion of insects. Dr. Playfair states, that in an experiment 
made by Lord Ducie, 100 slieep were placed in a shed, and 
ate 20 pounds of Swedes turneps each per day ; another 100 
were placed in the open air, and ate 25 pounds per day; yet 
the former, which had one-fifth less food, weighed, after a 
few weeks, three pounds more per head than the latter. He 
then fed five sheep in the open air between the21stNovem- 
ber and 1st December. They consumed 90 pounds of food 
per day, the temperature being at 44 degrees; and at the 
end of this time they weighed two pounds less than when 
first exposed. Five sheep were then placed under a shed, 
and allowed to run about in a temperature of 49 degrees. At 
first they consumed 82 pounds per day ; then 70 pounds, 
and at the end of the time they had gained 23 pounds. 



DOMESTIC ANIMALS. 260 

Again, fiveslicep were placed under a shed as before, and 
not allowed to take any exercise. They ate at first G4 
pounds of food per day, then 58 pounds, and increased in 
weight 30 pounds. Lastly, five sheep were kept quiet and 
covered, and in the dark. They ale 3-5 pounds per day, and 
increased eight pounds. 

Mr. Childors states, that 80 Leicester sheep in the open 
field, consumed 50 baskets of cut turneps per day, besides 
oil-cake. On putting them in a shed, they were immediately 
able to consume only 30 baske.s, and soon after but 25, 
being only half the quantity required before, and yet 
they fattened as rapidly as when eating the largest quantity. 
The minimum of food then, required for the support of 
animals, is attained when closely confined in a warm, dark 
shelter ; and the maximum, when running at large, exposed 
to all weathers. 

THE FOOD OF ANIMALS 

Should be regulated by a variety of considerations. The 
young which may be destined for maturity, should be sup- 
plied with milk from the dam until weaning time. No food 
can be substituted for the well-filled udder of the parent, which 
is so safe, healthful and nutritious. If from any cause there 
is deficiency or total privation, it must be made up by that 
kind of food, meal-gruel, &c., which in composition ap- 
proaches nearest in quality to the milk. At a more advanced 
age, or the time for weaning, grass, hay, roots or grain 
may be substituted, in quantities suflicient to maintain a 
steady, but not a forced growth. Stuffing can only be tole- 
rated in animals which are speedily destined for the slaugh- 
ter. Alternately improving and falling back is injurious to 
any animal. An animal should never he fat hid once. Espe- 
cially is high feeding bad for breeding animals. Much as 
starving is to be deprecated, the prejudicial effects of reple- 
tion are still greater. Tlie calf or Iamb intended for the 
butcher, may be pushed forward with all possible rapidity. 
Horses or colts should never exceed a good working or breed- 
ing condition. 

Purposes fulfilled by different kinds of food. — The 
objects designed to bf3 answered by food, are to a certain 
extent the same. All food is intended to meet the demands 
of respiration and nutrition, and fattening to a greater or 
less degree. But some are better suitted to one object than 



270 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

Others, and it is for the intelligent farmer to select such as 
are best for accomplishing his particular purposes. The 
very young animal requires large quantities of the phosphate 
of lime for the formation of bone ; and this is yielded in the 
milk in laager proportions than from any other food. The 
growing animal wants bone, muscle and a certain amount of 
fat, and this is procured from the grasses, roots and grain ; 
from the former wlien fed alone^ and from tiie two latter 
when mixed with hay or grass. Horses, cattle and sheep, 
need hay to qualify the too watery nature of the roots, and 
the too condensed nutritiveness of the grain. Animals that 
are preparing for the shambles, require vegetable oils or fat, 
starch, sugar or gum. The first is contained in great abun- 
dance in flax and cotton-seed, the sun-flower and many other 
of the mucilaginous seeds. Indian corn is the most fatten- 
ing grain. The potato contains the greatest proportion of 
starch, and the sugar beet has large quantities of sugar, and 
both consequently are good for stall-feeding. The ripe sugar- 
cane is perhaps the most fattening of vegetables, if we except 
the oily seeds and grain. The Swedes turnep is a good food 
to commence feeding to cattle and sheep, but where great 
ripeness in animals is desired, they should be followed with 
beets, carrots or potatoes and grain. The table of the 
average composition of the different crops, which we 
insert from Johnston, affords another view of the nutri- 
tive qualities of various kinds of food, before given from 
Boussingault, page 158, and from which it is principally 
abridged, and it will be found a valuable reference for their 
nutritive and fattening qualities. He says, " in drawing up 
this table, I have adopted the proportions of gluten, for the 
most part, from Boussingault. Some of them, however, 
appear to be very doubtful. The proportions of fatty matter 
are also very unceitain. With a few exceptions, those above 
given have been taken fromSprengel, and they are, in gene- 
ral, stated considerably too low. It is an interesting fact, 
that the proportion of fatty matter in and immediately under 
the husk of the grains of corn, is generally much greater 
than in the substance of the corn itself. Thus I have found 
the pollard of wheat to yield more than twice as much oil 
as the fine flour obtained from the same sample of grain. 
The four portions separated by the miller from a superior 
sample of wheat grown in the neighborhood of Durham, 
gave of oil respectively : — fine flour, 1 -5 per cent. ; pollard, 



DOMESTIC AmMALS. 2tl 

2*4; boxings, 3*6; and bran, 3*3 percent. Dumas states 
that the husk of oats sometimes yields as much as five or 
six per cent, of oil." The columns under starch, &c., 
and fatty matter, denote the value for respiration or sus- 
taining life and the fattening qualities ; that under gluten, 
the capacity for yielding muscle and supporting labor ; and 
saline matter indicates something of the proportions which 
are capable of being converted into bones. 

Hank or SUrch, Gluten, al- 

Wiiter. wcMxty gum,iin() bamrn, le- Fatty Sniine 

fibre sucar. gumin, ftr. matter. matter. 

Wheat, ... 16 15 5.') 10tol5 2to4J. 20 

Barley, . . .15 15 60 12 ? 25 J. 20 

Oats,'. ... 16 20 .50 14-5? 56 J. 3-5 

Rve, .... 12 10 60 14-5 30 10 

Indian corn, .14 15? 50 120 5 to 9 D. 1-5 

Buckwheat,. .16? 25? 50 14-5 04? 1-5 

Beans, ... 16 10 40 28-0 2+ 30 

Peas, .... 13 8 50 240 2-8 ? 2-8 

Potatoes, . . 75? 5? 12? 225 0-3 0-8 to 1 

Turneps, . . 85 3 10 1-2 ? 0-8 to 1 

Carrots, ... 85 3 10 20 0-4 10 

Meadow hay, . 14 30 40 71 2to5D. 5 to 10 

Clover hay, . . 14 25 40 9-3 3 9 

Pea straw, . I0tol5 25 45 12-3 1-5 5 

Oat, do. . . 12 45 .^5 1-3 0-8 6 

Wheat, do. . 12 to 15 .50 30 1-3 0-5 5 

Barley, do. . .do. 50 30 1-3 0-8 5 

Rye, .... do. 45 38 1-3 0-5 3 

Indian corn, do. 12 25 52 30 1-7 4 

This table, it will be perceived, is far from settling the 
precise relative value of the different enumerated articles. 
An absolute, unchanging value can never be assumed of any 
one substance, as the quality of each must differ with the 
particular variety, the soil upon which it is grown, the cha- 
racter of the season, the manner of curing, and other cir- 
cumstances. An approximate relative value is all ttiat can 
be expected, and this we may hope ere long to obtain, from 
the spirit of analytical research which is now developed and 
in successful progress. More especially do we need these 
investigations with American products, some of which are but 
partially cultivated in Europe, whence we derive most of our 
analyses. And many which are there reared, differ widely 
from those produced here, as these also differ from each 
other. What, for instance, is the character of meadow hay 7 



272 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

W, know that this varies as 4 to 1, according to the parti- 
cu'ir kinds grown ; and our Indian corn has certainly a less 
range than from 5 to 9. 

The changes in the Food of Animals. — Potatoes when 
first ripe, are estimated to be worth for feeding purposes, 
nearly twice as much as when old ; and we have seen that 
the relative value of the different kinds varies greatly at the 
same age and under similar conditions of growth. Terrault 
ascertained by careful experiment, that hay, clover and 
lucern lost much of their nutritive qualities by drying, and 
in lucern this loss amounted to about 35 per cent. This is 
an important consideration in the feeding of green and dry 
forage. Oats are among the best feed, both tor young and 
working animals ; but it has been found that they are greatly 
improved for the latter, and perhaps for both, by allowing 
the new crop to remain till the latter part of winter before 
feeding. The improvement by steaming and cooking food 
has been alluded to in a previous chapter. Food properly 
managed, can never be made worse by cooking for any ani- 
mals, although it has not been considered so essential for 
working, and generally for ruminating animals, as for swine, 
and such as were stall-feeding. But the alteration produced 
in cooking, by fitting it for a more ready assimilation, must 
as a general rule, add much to the value of the food and the 
rapid improvement of the animal. The effect of slight fer- 
mentation or souring the food, produces the same result. 
Animals accustomed to this acid food, will reject what is un- 
prepared when they can get at the former ; and we have no 
doubt from our own experience, that there is a saving in 
thus preparing it, from 20 to 40 per cent. A mixture of 
food should be supplied to all animals. Like man, they tire 
of any constant aliment. For such, especially, as are fatten- 
ing, and which it is desirable to mature with the greatest 
rapidity, a careful indulgence of their appetite should be 
studied, and it should be provided with whatever it most 
craves, if it be adapted to the secretion of fat. Cutting, 
crushing and grinding the food ; cooking, souring and mix- 
ing it, are each by themselves an improvement in feeding, 
and frequently two or more of these preparations combined, 
are of great utility in effecting the object proposed. 

The profit of feeding, it is evident, consists in a valua- 
ble return from the animal of the food consumed. In the 
horse, this can only be received in labor or breeding ; in the 



DOMESTIC ANIMALS. 273 

OX, from labor and flesh ; in the cow, from the milk, the 
flesh and her young. In the sheep, it may be returned in its 
fleece, its carcass or its progeny ; and in the swine only by 
its progeny and flesh. The manure we expect from all; and 
if this be not secured and judiciously used, few animals 
about the farm will be found to yield a satisfactory profit for 
their food and attention ; though it is evident, it sliould form 
but a small part of the return looked for. Animals are only 
profitable to the farmer when they yield a daily in'^ome, as 
in its milk or labor, or annually, by its young or fleece, 
unle^ it be in a course of regular improvement, either in its 
ordinary growth or preparation for the butcher. The animal 
must consume a certain amount of food merely to keep up 
its stationary condition, and to supply the materials for waslv.-, 
respiration, perspiration and the evacuations. These mu^t 
first be provided for in all cases before the farmer can expect 
any thing for the food. Frequent observation has shown, 
that an ox will consume about two per cent, of his weight 
of hay per day, to maintain his condition. If put to mode- 
rate labor, an increase of this quantity, to three per cent., 
will enable him to perform his work and still maintain his 
flesh. If to be fattened, he requires about 4:h per cent, of his 
weight daily, in nutritious food. A cow to remain stationary 
and give no milk eats two per cent, of her weight daily, and 
if in milk, she will consume three per cent. If these state- 
ments are correct, which it is certain they are in principle, 
though they may not be entirely in degree, it will require 
the same ipod to keep three yoke of cattle in idleness, as 
two at work, and the food of every two that are idle, will 
nearly support one under the most rapid condition of fatting. 
Two cows may be kept in milk with the same feed that will 
keep three without. No practice ie more impolitic, than 
barely to sustain the stock through the winter, or a part of 
the year, as is the case in too many instances, and allow 
them to improve only when turned on grass in summer. 
Besides subjecting them to the risk of disease, consequent 
upon their privation of food, nearly half the year is lost in 
their use, or in maturing them for profitable disposal, when 
if one-third of the stock had been sold, the remainder would 
have been kept in a rapidly improving condition, and at three 
years of age, they would probably be of equal value as other- 
wise at five or six. It is true that breed has .much to do with 
L* 



274 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

this rapid advancement, but breed is useless without food to 
develop and mature it. 



CHAPTER XV. 



NEAT OR HORNED CATTLE. 

The value of our neat cattle -exceeds that of any other of 
the domestic animals in the United States, and they are as 
widely disseminated and more generally useful. Like the 
sheep and all our domestic brutes, they have been so long 
and so entirely subject to the control of man, that their ori- 
ginal type is unknown. They have been allowed entire free- 
dom from all human direction or restraint for hundreds of 
years, on the boundless pampas of South America, California 
and elsewhere ; but when permitted to resume that natural 
condition, by which both plants and animals approximate in 
character to their original head, they have scarcely deviated 
in any respect from the domestic herds from which they are 
descended. From this it may be inferred, that our present 
races do not differ in any of their essential features and cha- 
racteristics from the original stock. 

VARIOUS DOMESTIC BREEDS. 

Cultivation, feed and climate, have much to do in deter- 
mining the form, size and character of cattle. In Lithuania, 
cattle attain an immense size, with but moderate pretensions 
to general excellence, while the Irish Kerry and Scotch 
Grampian cows but little exceed the largest sheep ; yet the 
last are compact and well-made, and yield a good return for 
the food consumed. Every country and almost every district 
has its peculiar breeds, which by long association have 
become adapted to the food and circumstances of its position, 
and when found profitable, they should be exchanged for 



NEAT OR HORNED CAl^LE. 275 

Others, only ufier the most thorough trial of superior fitness 
for the particular location, in those proposed to be introduced. 
More attention has been paid to the improvement of the vari- 
ous breeds of cattle in England than in any other country; 
and it is there tlioy have attained the greatest perfection in 
form and character, for the various purposes to which they 
are devoted. We have derived directly from Great Britain, 
not only the parent stock from which nearly all our cattle are 
descended, but also most of those fresh importations, to which 
wo have looked for improvement on the present race of ani- 
mals. A tew choice Dutch cattle, generally black and white, 
and of large size, good forms and good milkers, with a decided 
tendency to fatten, have been occasionally introduced among 
us, but not in numbers sufficient to keep up a distinct breed ; 
and in the iiands of their importers or immediate successors, 
their peculiar characteristics have soon become merged in 
those herds by which they were surrounded. Some few 
French and S()anish cattle, the descendants of those remote 
importations, made when the colonies of those kingdoms held 
possession of our northern, western and southern frontiers, 
still exist in those sections ; and although possessing no 
claims to particular superiority, at least in any that have 
come within our notice, yet they are so well acclimated, and 
adapted to their various localities, as to render it inexpedient 
to attempt supplanting them, except with such as are par- 
ticularly meritorious. 

^p^^Nativk cattlk. — This is a favorite term with Americans, 
and comprehends everv thing in the country excepting such 
as arc of a pru-e and distinct breed. It embraces some of the 
best, some of the worst, and some of almost every variety, 
shai)c, color and character of the Bovine race. The desig- 
nation has no farther meaning, than that they are indigenous 
to the soil, and do not belong to any well defined or distinct 
variety. The best native cattle of the Union, are undoubtedly 
to be found in the north-eastern states. Most of the early 
emigrant cattle in that section, were from the southern part 
of England, where the Devon cattle abound, and though not 
bearing a clo3e resemblance to that breed, unless it has been 
impressed upon them by more recent importations ; yet a 
large number have that general approximation in character, 
features and color, which entitles them to claim a near kin- 
dred with one of the choicest cultivated breeds. They have 
the same symmetry, but not in gencml the excessive delicacy 



276 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

of form which characterizes the Devons ; the same intelli- 
gence, activity and vigor in the v^orking cattle, and the same 
tendency to fattening; but they arc usually better for the 
dairy than their imported ancestors. Some valualjlc inter- 
mixtures have occasionally been made among them. There 
have been many Ijrindle cattle widely disseminated, of great 
merit as workers, and not often surpassed for the dairy and 
shambles. The Herefbrds have in a few instances been intro- 
duced among the eastern cattle, and apparently with great 
improvement. The importation made by Admiral Cotfin, of 
four choice Hereford bulls and cows, which were presented 
to the State Ag. Soc. of Massachusetts, nearly thirty years 
since, is especially to be mentioned, as resulting in decided 
benefit wherever they were disseminated. Some of the old 
Yorkshire, or as they are sometimes styled, the long-horned 
Durhams, have been introduced, though these have been iso- 
lated individuals and never perpetuated as a separate breed. 
A few small importations have been made of the Short Horns 
and Ayrshires, but neither of these have been bred in the New 
England states in distinct herds to any extent. Their native 
breed has hitherto, and generally with good reason, possessed 
claims on the attention of their owners, which (with some 
slight exceptions) it has not been in the power of any rivals 
to supplant. With entire adaptedness to the soil, climate and 
wants of the farmer, an originally good stock has been care- 
fully fostered, and the breeding animals selected with a strict 
reference to their fitness for perpetuating the most desirable 
qualities. As a consequence of this intelligent and persever- 
ing policy, widely, but not universally pursued, they have a 
race of cattle, though possessing considerable diversity of size 
and color, yet coinciding in a remarkable degree in the pos- 
session of those utilitarian features, which so justly commend 
them to our admiration. 

In proceeding south-westvvardly through New York, New 
Jersey, and elsewhere, we shall find in this branch of stock, a 
greater diversity and less uniform excellence ; though they 
have extensive numbers of valuable animals. Here and there 
will be found a choice collection of some favorite foreign 
breed, which emigrants have brought from their native home, 
as did the Pagan colonists, their penates or household gods, 
the cherished associates of early days, and the only relics of 
their father land. Such are an occasional small herd of polled 
or hornless cattle, originally derived from Suffolk or Galloway, 
excellent both for the dairy and shambles ; the Kyloe, or West 



NEAT on HORNED CATTLE. 277 

Highland (Scottish,) a hardy animal, unrivalled for beef; the 
VVelsii runt ; the Irish cattle ; the crumpled horn Alderney, 
and somo othei*s. 

Tin: Dkvon is ainon«^ the oldi^st distinctly cultivated hreods 
in this country, as he undoubtedly is of En«riiind, and proba- 
biy he is the most universal favorite. This poj)ularity is well 
deserved, and it is based upon several substantial considera- 
tions. They are beautifidly formed, possessing excessive 
fineness and symmetry of frame, yet with sutfieient bone and 
muscle to render them perfectly hardy, and they ar(^ among 
the most vigorous and active of working cattle. They have 
great uniformity of appearance in every feature, size, shape, 
horns and color. The cows and bulls app(»ar small, but the 
ox is much larger, and both that and the dam, on cutting up, 
are found to weigh much beyond the estimates which an eye 
accustomed only to oixlinary breeds, would have assigned to 
them. The flesh is finely marbled or intersp<;rsed with alter- 
nate fat and lean, and is of superior quality and flavor. The 
cows invariably yield milk of great richness, and when appro- 
priately bred, none surpass them for the quantity of butter and 
cheese it yields. Mr. Bloomfield, the manager of the late 
Lord Leicester's estate at Holkham, has, by careful attention, 
somewhat increased the size without impairing the beauty of 
their form, and so successtul has he been in developing their 
milking properties, that his average product of butter from 
each cow, is 4 lbs. per week for the whole year. He has 
challenged England to milk an equal number of cows of any 
breed, against 40 pure Devons, to be selected out of his own 
herd, without as yet having found a competitor. Although this 
is not a test of their merits, and by no means decides their su- 
periority, yet it shows the great confidence reposed in them 
by their owner. Tlie Devon ox under six years old, has 
come up to a nett dead weight of 1,593 lbs., and at three 
years 7 months to 1,310 lbs., with 160 lbs. of rough tallow. 

Description. — The Devon is of medium size, and so sym- 
metrical as to appear small. The color is invariably a deep, 
mahogany red, with usually a white udder and strip under the 
belly, and the tuft at the end of the tail is red in the calves, 
but white in the older animal. The head is small, broad in 
the forehead, and somewhat indented. The muzzle is delicate, 
and both the nose and the rings around the eye in the pure 
breed, are invariably of a bright, clear, orange. The cheeks 
and face are thin and fleshless ; the horns clear, smooth, and 
of a yellowish w.'iite, handsomely curved upwards. The neck 



278 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

is small and delicate at its junction with the head, but is well 
expanded in its attachment to the breast and shoulders. The 
last has the true slant for working, activity and strength, in 
which it excels all other breeds of equal weight. The barrel 
is round and deep, with a projecting brisket. The back is 
broad and level ; the flank full ; narrow hips ; the rumps 
long, and the quarters well developed, and capable of holding 
a great quantity of the most valuable meat. The tail is on a 
level with the back, and gracefully tapers like a drum-stick, 
to the tuft on the end. The legs are of peculiar delicacy and 
fineness, yet possess great strength. The skin is of medium 
thickness, of a rich orange hue, pliable to the touch, and co- 
vered with a thick coating of fine, soft curly hair. The Devon 
is intelligent, gentle and tractable ; is good for milk, and unsur- 
passed for the yoke and for fattening. No animal is better 
suited to our scanty or luxuriant hill pastures than the Devon, 
and none make a better return for the attention and food re- 
ceived. They insure a rapid improvement when mixed with 
other cattle, imparting their color and characteristics in an em- 
inent degree. Several importations have been made into this 
country within the last 30 years, of the choicest animals, and 
though not yet numerous in the United States, we possess 
some of the best specimens that exist. 

The short horns or Dukhams are decidedly the most 
showy and taking among the cattle species. They are of all 
colors between a full, deep red, and a pure creamy white ; but 
generally have both intermixed in larger or smaller patches, or 
intimately blended in a beautiful roan. Black, brown or brin- 
dled are not recognized among pure bred Short Horns. Their 
form is well-spread, symmetrical and imposing, and capable 
of sustaining a large weight of valuable carcass. The horn 
was originally branching and turned upward^ but now fre- 
quently has a downward tendency, with the tips pointing to- 
wards each other. They are light and comparatively short, 
clear, highly polished and waxy. The head is finely formed, 
with a longer fice but not so fine a muzzle as the Devon. 
The neck is delicately formed without dewlap; the brisket 
projecting, and the great depth and width of the chest giving 
short, well-spread fore legs. The crops are good ; back and 
loin broad and flat ; ribs projecting ; deep flank and twist ; 
tail well set up, strong at the roots and tapering. They have 
a thick covering of soft hair, and are mellow to the touch, 
technically termed liandling well. They mature early and 
rapidly for the quantity of food consumed, yielding largely of 



NEAT OR HORNED CATTLE. 279 

good boef with little offal. As a breed, they are excellent 
milkers, though some families of the short horns surpass 
others ill this ([uality. They are inferior to the Devons, in 
their value as working oxen and in the richness of their milk. 
The Short Horns are assigned a high antiquity, by the oldest 
breeders in the counties of Durham and Yorkshire, England, 
the place of their origin, and for a long time, of their almost 
exclusive breeding. From the marked and decided improve- 
ment which they stamp upon other animals, they are evidently 
an ancient breed, though much the juniors of the Devon and 
Ileieford. Their highly artificial style, form and character 
are unquestionably tlie work of deeply studied and long con- 
tinued art ; and to the same degree that they have been mould- 
ed in umesisting compliance with the dictation of their breed- 
ers, have they departed from that light and more agile form 
of the Devon, which conclusively and beyond the possibility 
of contradiction, mark the more primitive race. 

The importation of Short Horns into this country is claimed 
to have been previous to 1783. They arc the reputed ances- 
tors of many choice animals existing in Virginia, in the latter 
part of the last century, and which were known as the milk 
breed; and some of these, witli others termed the beef breed, 
were taken into Kentucky by Mr. Patton, as early as 1797, 
and their descendants, a valuable race of animals, were much 
disseminated in the west, and known as the Patton stock. 
The first authentic importations we have recorded, are those 
of Mr. Ileaton, into Westchester, N. Y., in 1791 and '90, 
from the valuable hei-ds of Messrs. Culley and Colling, which 
consisted of several choice bulls and cows. These were for 
many years bred pure, and their progeny was widely scat- 
tered. {American Herd Book,) They were also imported 
into New York, by Mr. Cox, in 1816 ; by Mr. Bullock, in 
1822; by the late Hon. S. Van Rensselaer in 1823, and 
immediately after by Mr Charles Henry Hall, of Harlaem. 
Some small importations were made into Massachusetts be- 
tween 1817 and '25, by several enterprising agriculturists, 
Messrs. Coolidge, Williams, and others; into Connecticut 
by Mr. Hall and others ; into Pennsylvania by Mr. Powell; 
and into Ohio and some other states, by various individuals 
early in the present century. Since the first importations, 
larger accessions from the best English herds have been fre- 
quently made, and with the nice regard for pedigrees which 
the introduction of the herd book, and careful purity in 
breeding has produced, the Short Horns have become the 



280 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

most extensive pure-bred family of cattle in the United 
States. 

Daring the speculative times of 1835 to 1840, they brought 
high prices, frequently from $500 to $1000, and sometimes 
more. The following years of pressure, reduced their market 
price below their intrinsic value, but the tide is again turning, 
and they are now in some demand, but still at prices far 
below their utility and merits. They have from the first, been 
favorites iu the rich, corn vallies of the West, their early 
maturity and great weight giving them a preference ov^er any 
other breed. The only drawback to this partiality, is their 
inability from their form and weight, to reach remote eastern 
markets in good condition ; an inconvenience now in a great 
measure remedied, by the recent remission of duties on for- 
eign beef in the English market, which makes them of nearly 
equal value where fed, to pack for exportation. On light 
lands and scanty pastures they will probably never be largely 
introduced. All heavy animals require full forage within 
a limited compass, so as to fill their stomachs at once, and 
quietly compose themselves to their digestion. 

The weights reached by the Short Horns in England, as 
given by Mr. Berry, have been enormous. Two oxen, six 
years old, weighed nett, 1820 lbs. each. A heifer of three 
years, and fed on grass and hay alone, weighed 1260 lbs. A 
four-year-old steer, fed on hay and turneps only, dressed 1890 
lbs. A cow reached the prodigious weight of 1778 lbs. A 
heifer, running with her dam, and on pasture alone, weighed 
at seven months, 476 lbs. An ox, seven years old, weighed 
2362 lbs. From their comparatively small numbers in this 
country, most of them have been retained for breeders, and 
few have as yet been fattened, and such only as were deci- 
dedly inferior. The animals which have been extensively 
produced by crossing upon our former stocks, have given 
evidimce of great and decided improvement ; and the Short 
Horns, and their grade descendants are destined at no 
distant day, to occupy a large portion of the richest feeding 
grounds in the United States. 

Herefords arc the only remaining pure breed, which has 
hitherto occupied the attention of graziers in this country. 
Like the Devons, they are supposed to be one of the most 
ancient races of British cattle. Marshall gives the following 
description : " The countenance pleasant, cheerful, open ; the 
forehead broad ; eye full and lively ; horns bright, taper, and 
spreading ; head small ; chap lean ; neck long and tapering ; 



NEAT OR HORNED CATTLE. 281 

chest deep ; bosom broad, and projecting forward ; shoulder- 
bono thin, flat, no way protuberant in bone (?), but fiiU and 
mellow in flesh ; chest full ; loin broad ; hips standing wide, 
and level with tho chine ; quarters long, and wide at the 
nock ; rump even with the level of the back, and not droop- 
ing, nor standing high and sharp above the quarters ; tail 
slender and neatly haired ; barrel round and roomy ; the 
carcase throughout deep and well s|)read ; ribs broad, stand- 
ing flat aiid close on the outer surface, forming a smooth, 
even barrel, the hindmost large and full of length ; round 
bone small, snug, and not ))romincnt ; thigh clean, and 
regularly tapering ; legs upright and short ; bone below the 
knee and hock small ; feet of middle size ; flank large ; flesh 
everywhere mellow, soft, and yielding pleasantly to the touch, 
esjwxially on the chine, the shoulder, and the ribs ; hide 
mellow, supple, of a middle thickness, and loose on the neck 
and buckle ; coat neatly liaired, bright and silky ; color, a 
middle red, with a bald face characteristic of the true 
Herefordshire breed." 

Youatt further describes them as follows : " They are 
usually of a darker red ; some of them are brown, and even 
yellow, and a few are brindled ; but they are principally 
distinguished by their white faces, throats, and bellies. In a 
few the white extends to the shoulders. The old Herefords 
were brown or red-brown, with not a spot of white about* 
them. It is only within the last fifty or sixty years that it 
has been the fashion to breed for white faces. Whatever 
may be thought of the change of color, the present breed is 
certainly far superior to the old one. The hide is considerably 
thicker than that of the Devon, and the beasts are more 
hardy. Compared with the Devons, thoy are shorter in the 
leg, and also in the carcase; higher, and broader, and 
heavier in the chine ; rounder and wider across the hips, and 
better covered with fat ; the thigh fuller and more muscular, 
and the shoulders larger and coarser. They are not now 
much used for husbandry, although their form adapts them 
for the heavier work ; and they have all the honesty and 
docility of the Devon ox, and greater strength, if not his 
activity. The Herefordshire ox fattens speedily at a very 
early age, and it is therefore more advantageous to the farmer, 
and perhaps to the country, that he should go to market at 
three years old, than be kept longer as a beast of draught. 
They are not as good milkers as the Devons. This is so 
generally acknowledged, that while there are many dairies of 



282 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

Devon cows in various parts of the country, a dairy of 
Herefords is rarely to be found. To compensate for this, 
they are even more kindly feeders than the Devons. Their 
beef may be objected to by some as being occasionally a 
little too large in the bone, and the fore-quarters being coarse 
and heavy ; but the meat of the best pieces is often very fine- 
grained and beautifully marbled. There are few cattle more 
priced in the market than the genuine Herefords." 

There have been several importations of the Herefords 
into the United States, which by crossing with our native 
cattle, have done great good ; but with the exception of a 
few fine animals at the South, we are not aware of their 
being kept in a state of purity, till the importation of the 
splendid herd, within the last six years, by Messrs. Corning 
and Sotham of Albany, N. Y. These Herefords are among 
the very best which England can produce, and come up fully 
to the description of the choicest of the breed. Mr. Sotham, 
after an experience of several years, is satisfied with the 
cows, for the dairy, and he has given very conclusive pub- 
lished statements of the results of their milking qualities, 
from which it may be properly inferred, that Youatt drew his 
estimates from some herds which were quite indifterent in 
this property. They are peculiarly ihe grazier's animal, as 
they improve rapidly and mature early on medium feed. 
They are excelled for the yoke, if at all, only by the Devons ; 
which in some features they strongly resemble. Both are 
probably divergent branches of the same original stock. 

The Ayrshire is a breed that has been much sought after 
of late years, from their reputation for fine dairy qualities. 
The milk is good both in quantity and quality, yielding, ac- 
cording to a recent statement of Mr. Tennant, of Scotland, 
who owns a large herd, 15 quarts per day during the best of 
the season, 12 of which made a pound of butter. The pro- 
duct of the latter averages about 170 pounds per annum to 
each cow. Another authority says, on the best low-land pas- 
ture, a good cow yields nearly 4000 quarts per year. This 
is a large quantity, and implies good cows and extra feed. 
Mr. Cushing, of Masssachusetts, who imported several select 
animals, without regard to their cost, informed us after three 
or four years trial, that he did not perceive any superiority in 
them, over the good native cows of that state, for dairy purpo- 
ses. A large number have been imported in detached parcels, 
and scattered through the country. They are good animals, 
but seem to combine no valuable properties in a higher de- 



NEAT OR ROBNED CA.TTLE. 288 

grec than arc to be found in our own good cattle, and ospe- 
cially such as art^ produrod from a cross of the Short Horn hull 
of a good miking family, on our native cows. They mo evi- 
dently a recent breed, and do not therefore possess that uni- 
lormity of appearance and (juality which atta(dics to one of 
long cultivation. Mr. Aiton, of Scotland, givers the following 
account of them : "The dairy breed of Scotland have l)cen 
formed chiefly by skilful management, within the lasf 50 
years; and they are still improving and extending to otluu* 
countries. Till after 1770, the cows in C'unningham were 
small, ill-fed, ill-shaped, and gave but little milk. Some 
cows of a larger breed and of a brown and white color, were 
about that time brought to Ayrshire from Teeswater, and from 
Holland, by some of the patriotic noblemen of Ayrshire; and 
thege Iwing put on good pasture, yielded more milk than the 
native breed, and their calves were much sought after by tl^e 
farmers." 

We may fairly infer from the foregoing, which is deemed 
indisputable authority; from the locality of their origin, in 
the neighborhood of the Short Horns ; and from their general 
resemblance, both externally and in their general characteris- 
tics to the grade animals, that they owe their principal excel- 
lence to this long established breed. 

MANAGEMENT OF CALVES. 

The safest and least troublesome manner of raising calves, 
is at the udder of the dam ; and whenever the milk is con- 
verted into butter and cheese, we believe this to be the most 
economical. The milk of one good cow is sutficient, with a 
run of fresh, sweet pasture, to the feeding of two calves at the 
same time, and if we allow the calves to arrive at three or 
four months of age before weaning, we may safely estimate, 
that one good cow will yield a quantity of milk in one season, 
fully equivalent to bringing up four calves to a weaning age. 
By keeping the calf on the fresh milk, whether he take it 
directly from the udder, or warm from the pail, all risk of dis- 
ordered bowels is avoided. The milk is precisely adapted to 
the perfect health and thrift of the young, and whenever we 
substitute for it any other food, we must watch carefully that 
not the slightest mismanagement produces disorder, lest more 
is lost by disease or want of improvement, than is gained by 
the milk of which they are robbed. 

The first milk of the cow after calving, is slightly purgative, 
which is essential to cleanse the stomach of the calf. It is 



284 AMERICAN AGRICULTtTiiE. 

moreover perfectly worthless, for two or three days, for any 
other purpose except for swine. The calf will seldom take 
all the milk at first, and whatever is left in the bag should be 
thoroughly removed by the hand. If the calf is destined for 
the butcher, he must have all the milk he wants for at least 
six weeks, and eight or ten is better ; and if the cow does not 
furnish enough, he ought to be fed gruel or linseed tea. He 
must be closely confined in a snug, but clean and airy stable, 
and the darker this is, and the more quiet he is kept, the more 
readily he will fatten. If designed to be reared, the safest 
and least troublesome method, is to keep the calf ou new milk. 
If saving the milk be an object, it is still doubtful whether it 
is not better that he should have a part of it fresh from the 
cow, and depend for his remaining food on a good grass or 
clover pasture, meal or roots. Some farmers never allow the 
calf to approach the dam, but take it when first dropped, and 
put a handful of salt in its mouth, which is daily repeated till 
he is put to grass. This has a purgative effect, similar to 
the first milk. Flax-seed is then prepared by boiling a pint 
in four to six quarts of water, and diluted with hay tea 
till rather thicker than milk, and fed at blood heat. Hay tea 
is made, by boiling a pound of sweet, well cured clover, in one 
and a half gallons of clean water. As the calf becomes older, 
oat, barley, rye or Indian meal m.ay be scalded and added to 
the flax seed. A better way when the skim milk is of little 
consequence, is to withdraw him from the cow after three or 
four days, then scald the milk, adding a little oat meal, and 
cool to the natural temperature of the milk, and feed it. Oats, 
either crushed or ground, is the best and safest grain for all 
young stock. The milk should not stand more than half a 
day before feeding to young calves. As they advance in age, 
it may be fed rather older, but should never be allowed to 
become sour ; nor should it ever be fed cold. Connected 
with this feed, should be a good range of short, sweet pasture, 
and shelter against both sun and storms. If expedient, at 
about 10 weeks olrl, he may be safely weaned, but four 
months nursing is better for tlie calf. If allowed too much 
milk for several months, it is injurious to the future devel- 
opment of the young. It does not distend the stomach pro- 
perly, nor call into use its ruminating habits. Calves thus 
brought up, have often proved light bellied, indifferent feed- 
ers, and decidedly inferior animals. When the calf is remo- 
ved from the cow, they should be effectually separated from 
sight and hearing, as recognition create uneasiness, and is 



NKAT OK IIOKNEI) rATfLE. 28^ 

an impediment to thrill in hutli. If there be any deficiency 
of suitable pasture for the calf, a small rack and trough 
should be placed under the shed in his range, and fine hay put 
in the former, and wheat bran or oat meal with a little salt, in 
tlu^ latter. It is also well to have resin within its reach, and 
if inclined to scour, add a little rennet to its footl ; if costive, 
administer pork broth. For disordered bowels, mix 2 dr. 
rhubarb, 2 oz, castor oil, and i dr. ginger, with a little warm 
milk or gruel ; or give 2 oz. castor oil alone, or three oz. 
of Kpsom salts. A homely remedy for scours, is to adminis. 
tor half a pint of cider, and as much blood taken from the 
calfs neck. Calves, like all young stock, should bo allowed 
to change their teiH\ gradually, from new milk to skinuncd, 
or from the latter to other food. Their stomachs are delicate, 
and need gentle, moderate changes, when necessary to make 
them at all. Much depends on the care and attention they 
receive. A comfortable shelter, with a dry, warm l>ed, suit- 
able food, regularly given three times a day at blood heat, 
and keeping the stomach in proper order, will do much 
to bring them f )rward rapidly, and with a small expenditure 
of food. The calf requires to be supplied through the winter 
with an abundance of fine, sweet hay and roots, the latter 
either chopped or mashed by a roller, with the addition of a 
trifle of meal or oats, and a full supply of salt and pure water. 
When there are larger animals on the premises, the calves 
ought to be kept by themselves. They should be sustained 
on their winter Cecd (he following spring, until the grass fur* 
nishes a good bite on a well-compacted sod. The change 
from hay to grass must be gradual, unless the latter is consi- 
derably matured. The extreme relaxation of the bowels from 
the sudden change, frequently produces excessive purging. 
A slight and temporary relax from the early spring grass, is 
not objectionable. 

Bkeeding. — The young animals should never be put to 
breeding under 15 months old, so as to bring their first calf 
at two years old ; nor then, unless they have large size and 
good feed. Much depends on the progress towards maturity,, 
and the supply of food in selecting the proper time for breed- 
ing. Some are as ready for this at a year and a half, as others 
are at three. Early breeding gives delicacy and symmetry 
to the form of the heifer, but it checks its growth, and when 
it is found to put her back too much, she may be allowed to 
rest for a few months, or even a year, to bring her up to the 
desired standard. These remarks apply principally to choice 



286 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

breeding, or as it is some times termed fancy stock. For ordi- 
nary milch cows which have been moderately fed, three years 
is a proper age to come in, after which they must be milked 
as regularly, and as late before drying as possible. 

Breakinc Steers should be commenced when two or 
three years old. Some begin with the calf, accustoming him 
to a light yoke and occasional training. This practice will 
do as a pastime for trustworthy boys, as it makes them gentle 
and manageable afterwards, but is hardly worth a man's 
time. If always carefully handled when young, they will be 
found tractable. They should at first be placed behind a pair 
of well-broke cat(4e, nor should they be put to hard laV)or until 
quite grown, strong and perfectly accustomed to the yoke. 
If properly managed, cattle may be trained with all the 
docility, intelligence and much of the activity of the horse. 
That they are not is more frequently the fault of their 
masters. 

Management of Oxen. — To procure perfect working 
cattle, it is necessary to begin with the proper breed. Many 
parts of the country will furnish such as are well suited to 
this purpose. A strong dash of Devon or Hereford blood 
is desirable when it needs to be improved. A well-formed, com- 
pact, muscular body; clean sinewy limbs ; strong dense bones ; 
large well-formed joints, Avith a mild expressive eye, is essen- 
tial for good working oxen. After breaking, they must be 
led along gently, and taught before they are required to per- 
form their task, and never put to a load which they cannot 
readily move, nor dulled by prolonging exertion beyond that 
point when it becomes irksome. A generous diet is neces- 
sary to keep up the spirit and ability of cattle, when there is 
hard work to be done. The horse and mule are fed with their 
daily rations of grain when at hard service, and if the spirit 
of the ox is to be maintained, he should be equally well fed, 
when as fully employed. Great and permanent injury is the 
result of niggardly feeding and severe toil, exacted from the 
uncomplaining animal. His strength declines, his spirit 
flags, and if this treatment be continued, he rapidly becomes 
the stupid, moping brute, which is shown off in degrad- 
ing contrast to the more spirited horse, that performs, it may 
be, one half the labor, on twice his rations. The ox should 
be as little abused by threats and whipping, as by stinted feed 
and overtasked labor. Loud and repeated halloing, or the 
severe use of the lash, is as impolitic, as it is cruel and dis- 
graceful. We never witness this barbarity without wishing 



NEAT OR IIORNBD CATTLE. 287 

the brutes could change places, long enough at least to teach 
the biped, that humanity by his own sufferings, which his 
reason and sensibility have failed to inspire. Clear and intel- 
ligible, \v{ low and gentle words, arc all that are necessary 
to guide the well-trained, spirite<l ox. The stick, or whip is 
needed rather to indicate the precise movement desired, 
than as a stimulant, or means of punishment. The ox under- 
stands a moderate tone more perlectly than a boisterous one; 
for all sounds become indistinct as they augment. He loses 
his sensitiveness as the drivers voice increases, till at last ho 
becomes almost as brutal. It is of great advantage to have 
oxen well trained to backing. They m.iy soon be taught by 
beginning with an empty cart on a descent ; then on a level; 
then with an increasing load, or up-hill, till the cattle will 
back nearly the same load they will draw. Some oxen have 
a bad trick of hauling or trotcding. Changing to opposite 
sides, longer or shorter yokes, and more than all, gentle treat- 
ment are the only remedies, and those not inifrequently fail. 
Cattle will seldom contract this habit, in the hands of a judi- 
cious; careful driver. The yokes should be carefully made 
and set easy, and the bows fitted to the necks and properly 
attached to the yoke. Cattle are liable to sore necks if used 
in a storm, and when subject to this exposure, they must be 
well rubbed with grease, where the yoke chafes them, and 
respite from work should be alowed till the necks heal. 

The proper time for turning off cattle, must depend 
on their previous feeding and management, the breed, and the 
purposes required. The improved breeds and many of their 
crosses, will mature for the butcher as fully at three or four, as 
inferior cattle at five to seven years old. If pushed rapidly 
with proper food, they will of course be ripe much sooner 
than if stinted. When cattle have to be purchased for work, 
or cows for the dairy, it becomes an object to keep them as 
long as they can be made profitable, and yet be turned off for 
fattening at a fair price. We have seen active and spririted 
oxen in the yoke at 16 or 17 ; but they seldom do as well 
'after 12 or even 10 years. Old cattle are liable to more dis- 
eases than young, are less hardy, and recover more slowly 
when exposed to scanty feed or hard usage. They also fat- 
ten with more difficulty, and their meat is inferior. When 
they can be sold advantageously to the feeder, and replaced 
without inconvenience, it is found to be most profitable to 
turn them off at 7 or 8 years. They will by that time have 
attained full maturity, they will feed rapidly, and make the 



288 AMERICAN AGRICULTUIIE. 

largest amount of good beef. If there are extraordinary 
milkers among the cows, or first-rate workers among the oxen, 
it is better to keep them as long as they maintain their full 
vigor. 

Fattening Cattle. — Such as are designed for the sham- 
bles the ensuing fall or winter, may be allowed to do their 
spring's labor; or if cows, they may be milked into summer after 
calving, or go farrow during the previous year. They should 
early be put on the best summer feed, which is better to be occa- 
sionally changed, to give variety and freshness, and keep the 
animal in good appetite. Let the fattening animals have the 
best, and after they have cropped it a while, give them a fresh 
field, and the other animals or sheep, can follow and clear oflf 
the remaining herbage, preparatory to shutting it up for anew 
growth. Some prefer an extensive range of rich feed, which 
is unchanged throughout the season, and when it is not neces- 
sary to divide the pasture with the other animals, this is a 
good practice. 

The selection of animals for stall fattening is a nice point, 
and none without a practised eye and touch, can choose 
such as will make the best return for the food consumed. 
The characteristics of choice animals heretofore enumerated, 
are particularly essential in those intended for profitable fat- 
tening. But the most important of all is that firm mellowness, 
and quick elasticity of touch, which unerringly marks the 
kindly feeder and profitable bullock. When other n^eans for 
ascertaining fail, it is a safe rule to select the best conditioned 
animals, out of a herd of grass-fed; for if all were of equal flesh 
and health, when turned out, those which have thriven most on 
their summer pasture, will generally fatten quickest on their 
fall and winter keep. Only the best should be selected. The 
remainder after consuming the coarser forage, may be at once 
disposed of for early use. From repeated trials it is found 
that the carcass of stall-fed animals will barely return the 
value of the materials consumed, and their manure is generally 
the only compensation for the time and attention bestowed. 
None but choice, thrifty beasts will pay for their food and 
attention, and all others will make their best returns, by an 
immediate disposal after the surplus fodder is gone. 

Stall-feeding ought to be commenced early in the season. 
An ox may be fed in a box stall, or if accustomed to a mate, 
they do better by tying together with sufficient room, yet not 
so near as to allow of injuring each other. The building 
should be warm, but not hot ; well ventilated, yet having on 



NEAT OR nORNBO CATTLK. 289 

current of cold air passing through ; and as dark as possible. 
The stall ought to be kept clean and dry, and a deep bed of 
clean straw is of decided advantage. The ox should be first 
fed the interior and most perishable roots with his grain and 
dry forage, and his food should be gradually increased in 
richness as he advances towards maturity. The food and 
water should be given three times a day, from thoroughly 
cleaned mangers or troughs. The animal likes a change ot 
food, in which he should be indulged as often as may be neces- 
sary. If he refuses his food, a temporary privation, or variety 
is essential. When the food is changed, he shouki be mode- 
rately fed at first, till he becomes accustomed to it, as there is 
otherwise danger of cloying, which is always injurious. The 
moment the animal has done feeding, the remainder of the 
fowl ought to be at once removed. He then lies down, and 
i( undisturbed, rests quietly till the proper hour induces him 
again to look for his accustomed rations. Regularity in the 
time of feeding, is of the utmost consequence. An animal 
soon becomes habituated to a certain hour, and if it be de- 
layed beyond this, he is restless and impatient, which are 
serious obstacles to speedy fattening. 

DISEASES IN CATTLE, 

Our limits preclude more than a bare mention of remedies 
for some of the most common diseases. 

HovEN, OR SWELLING OF THE PAUNCH, is a temporary 
ailment, caused by eating too freely of uncut and generally 
wet clover, or other succulent food. The animal gorges the 
first stomach, with so much food, that its contents cannot be 
expelled. Inflammation of the membrane takes place, and 
decomposition of the food soon follows. This is known by 
the distension of the paunch, and difficulty of breathing, and 
unless speedily relieved, suffocation and death will ensue. 
Both sheep and cattle are subject to it. 

Remedies.* — In its early stages, when not too severe, it 
has been removed by administering some one of the following 
remedies. A pint of gin poured down the throat ; from one 
to two pints of lamp or other oil; strong brine; new milk 
with one fiflh its bulk of tar mixed ; an egg shell full of tar 
forced down the throat, followed by a second, if the first fails ; 
a table spoonful of volatile spirit of ammonia, diluted with 



* Besides his own experience, the writer has drawn from the N. E. Farmer, the 
Albany Cultivator, the American Agriculturist, and other reliable American and 
English works, some of the remedies for diseases herein mentioned. 

M 



290 AMERICAN AGRICULTtTRE. 

water ; a wine-glass full of powder, mixed with cold lard and 
forced in balls into the stomach ; a tea spoonful of unslaked 
lime dissolved in a pint of warm water, shaken and given 
immediately, or a pint of tolerably strong lye. The proper 
mode of giving the above remedies, is for a person to hold 
the horn and cartilege of the nose, while another seizes 
and draws out the tongue as far as possible, when the medi- 
cine is thrust below the root of the tongue. If liquid, it must 
be inserted by the use of a bottle. The probang is used when 
the former remedies are ineffectual. This consists of a tarred 
rope, or a flexible whip-stalk three-fourths of an inch diame- 
ter, with a swab or bulbous end. Two persons holding the 
head of the animal so as to keep the mouth in a line with the 
throat, while a third forces it into the stomach, when the gas 
finds a passsage out. A stiff leather tube with a lead nozzle 
pierced with holes, is best for insertion, through which the gas 
will readily escape. Some one of the above purgatives should 
be given after the bloat has subsided, and careful feeding for 
some days must be observed. Light gruels are best for 
allaying inflammation, and restoring the tone of the stomach. 
When no other means are available, the paunch may be tap- 
ped with a sharp pen-knife, plunging it li inches forward of 
the hip bone towards the last rib in the left side. If the hole 
fills up, put in a large goose-quill tube, which to prevent slip- 
ping into the wound, may remain attached to the feather, and 
the air can escape through a large hole in the upper end. 
Prevention is vastly better than cure, and may be always 
attained, by not allowing hungry cattle to fill themselves with 
clover, roots, apples, &c. When first put upon such feed, 
it should be when the dew and rain is off, and their stomachs 
are already partially filled ; and they should then be with- 
drawn before they have gorged themselves. 

Choking is frequently relieved by some of the following 
expedients. The use of the probang or whip-stock, mentioned 
under the head of remedies for Hoven, by which the root is 
forced into the stomach. A soft root may be crushed so as 
to allow of swallowing, by holding a smooth block against it, 
and striking with a mallet on the opposite side. If within 
arms length, the root may be removed by hand. It is said 
this can be done by tieing up the fore-leg with a small 
cord close to the body, and giving the animal a sudden start 
with a whip ; or by pulling the fore-leg out forward ; or by 
pouring down the throat a pint bottle full of soft soap, mixed 
with sufficient hot water to make it run freely. Prevention 



NEAT OR HORNED CATTLE. 291 

consists in cutting the roots ; not feeding them wlien the ani- 
mals are very hungry ; and not disturbing them wliile eating. 

Im'LAMmation ok the stomach i.s frequently pro(hiced 
by a sudden change from dry to green food, and some other 
causes. J*'|)s()m salts, castor oil, sul[)hur and carbonate of 
soda, in sullicient (juantity to purge freely, are good remedies. 
It may be prevented by changing the food gradually. 

iManok or scak. — This is denoted by the animal rubbing 
the hair oft' about the eyes and other parts, the skin is scaly 
or scabby, sometimes appearing like a large seed-wart. 
Remedy. — Rub the spots with sulphur and lard, after scraping 
and washing with soap. When the skin is cracked, take 
sulphur, 1 lb ; turpentine, 1-4 lb ; unguentum, (or mercurial 
ointment,) 2 ounces; linseed oil, 1 pint. Melt the turpentine 
and warm the oil, and when partly cooled, stir in the sulphur, 
and tvlien cold add the unguentum, mixing all well. Rub this 
thoroughly with the hand on the parts affected. We have 
no doubt this, like seal) in sheep and itch in the human spe- 
cies, will be Ibund, on close investigation, to be caused by 
minute insects located in the skin. Salt and water ought in 
that case to be a good remedy. 

Hollow HORN, or horn ail, is not unfrecpiently Iwllom 
stomach, and very often follows stinted fare, hard usage, and 
exposure to cold. We have noticed this as most {)rovalent 
among oxen that have done a severe winter's work. Symp- 
toms, — Bloody urine ; swollen udder ; shaking the head ; 
eyes and head swollen ; standing with the head against a fence 
or barn ; eyes dull and sunken, and horns cold. Remedies, — 
1. Bleed and physic, shelter and ^i^ftA properly. 2. Take a 
half pint good vinegar, two table spoonsful of salt, one tea 
spoonful of pepper and mix and pour into each ear, holding 
the head on one side for two minutes. 3. 15ore with a large 
gimblet on the under side of the horn, three or four inches 
from the head, and if hollow, bore nearer the head and let out 
all the matter, and syringe two or three times a day with salt 
and water, or soap suds, or salt and vinegar. 4. Spirits of 
turpentine rubbed in around the base of the horns, will arrest 
the disease in its incipient stages. 5. Pour a spoonfull 
boiling hot brimstone into the cavity between the horns. 
6. Pour a tea kettle of boiling water on the horns, holding so as 
to prevent injury to the other paits. 7. Soot and pepper 
given internally are good. 

Jaundice or yellows. — This is owing to gall stones or 
calculi, which occasionally accumulate in large numbers, 



292 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

and is sometimes owing to increased or altered quality of the 
bile. It is manifest by the yellowness of the eye and skin, 
and high color of the urine, and poor appetite. Remedy. — 
Bleeding and purgatives with Epsom salts ; or, if taken in 
season, 2 ounces ground mustard, mixed with a liquid, aud 
given twice a day. Green food is a good preventive. 

Mad Itch. — This disease exists in some of the western 
states, and shows itself by jerking of the head and itching 
around the nose and base of the horns. They will lick their 
sides and backs, and jerk and hiccup till they fill themselves 
with wind ; afterwards they froth at the mouth, and in 24 
hours, die raving mad. Remedy. — Give as much soot and 
salt as the animal will eat ; soon after give 3-4 or I Ib.brim- 
stone or sulphur, and 8 hours, after as many salts. 

Bloody MuRKAI^, or bed water. — This disease first 
shows itself in a cough, then heaving of the flanks, with bloody, 
black and foetid faeces, tenderness over the loins, and coldness 
of the horns. Tumors and biles sometimes appear. The 
animal holds down the head, moans, and is restless and stag- 
gers when walking. 

We have lost several animals by this fatal disease, and are 
not aware of having cured any when severely attacked. In 
repeated instances we have seen large flukes taken out of the 
liver, strongly resembling the common leech, which abounds 
in many of our swampy lands. It is certain that on new, low 
swamps and clay lands, cattle are most liable to it ; and when 
they have been subject to repeated attacks in such localities, 
clearing and draining have checked it. Youatt attributes it 
to certain kinds of forage which is peculiar to the above situ- 
ations. We are rather inclined to attribute it to exposure, to 
excessive dampness, and especially to miasma ; for although 
the brute creation are perhaps less sensitive to these influences 
than man, yet, as they are governed by the same unvarying 
laws of nature, when subjected to conditions totally unsuited to 
their economy, they must suffer equally in kind, though prob- 
ably not in degree, with the more refined human frame. But 
it is evident the disease, its causes, and remedies, are as yet 
imperfectly understood. Remedies. — However intelligent men 
may differ as to its causes, all agree that the animal should 
first be bled and then thoroughly purged. In obstinate cases, 
this last is a difficult matter. We have given repeated doses 
of powerful cathartics without producing any oflTect; and 
whenever the medicine is inoperative, death speedily follows. 
Large doses of common salt, or Epsom salts dissolved in wa- 



mSAT OR HORNED CATTtE. 208 

tor, are good purgatives, and if the animal neglects drinking 
at\er taking them, he should be drenched with copious 
draughts of water. These should be repeated every few 
hours if inetiectual. Injections arc sometimes useful when 
medicine fails to act. These may be made of soap and wa- 
ter ; or take 2 or .3 gills of oats boiled, 3 drachms salt petro, 
li oz. linseed oil, mix and use them when warm. The 
0|>ening of the bowels may be followed with a pint of linseed 
oil, as an additional and gentle laxative. When the animal 
begins to recover, gentle astringents and tonics may be given. 

Preventives. — We have more confidence in preventives than 
in remedies. Good keep, shelter, dryness, and good 
health, will generally prevent attack. The cattle should at 
all times be supplied with two or three troughs under cover, 
and on the sides and bottoms of which, tar should be plenti- 
fully spi*ead. Let equal portions of salt and slacked lime be 
in one ; salt and wood ashes in another ; and salt and brim- 
stone in a third. Many farmers have entirely avoided this 
disease while using one or more of these, when they annually 
lost many by it previously. 

Hoof ail is indicated by lameness, fever, and a soft 
swelling just above the hoof. Remedies. — Carefully wash 
the foot in warm soap suds, and while still damp, apply be- 
tween the claws on the affected part, from one to three grains 
of corrosive sublimate. If it does not fully adhere, it must be 
mixed with hogs lard, but it should be so applied as to be out 
of the reach of the animal's tongue, as it is a powerful poison, 
and the extreme irritability of the feet will induce him to lick 
them. The claw is efficiently cleansed by drawing a cord brisk- 
ly through it, when either of the above applications, or blue 
vitriol put on two or three times a day ; or spirits tui*pentine, 
will effect a cure. It is sometimes cured by putting the ani- 
mal in the stantials and applying a sharp chisel three fourths 
of an inch from the toe, and striking it with a mallet till it is 
cut off. If it does not bleed freely, cut off shavings till it does. 
If the animal is refractory, let a person hold up the opposite 
foot. Keep them in the stable two or three days, and out of 
the mud for a week. 

Loss x>F CUD is loss of appetite, prostration, and general 
ill health. Remedies. — Give a warm bran mash, with good 
hay, and warm water with salt. An aloe tincture, made 
with brandy and ginger, is good. Afterwards, good, dry, 
nourishing food ; and bitter infusions, chamomile flowers, 
hoarhound, oak bark, <&c., in beer. 



294 ABiEEICAN AGRICULTURE. 

Scours, or diarrhoea. — A common remedy is to boil the 
bark of white oak, white pine and beech, and give a strong 
infusion in bran. If they refuse to eat it, pour it down. 
The oak is astringent, and the pine and beech is soothing and 
healing. 

AVarbles are grubsj the egg of which is deposited in the 
back of cattle by tlie gad fly? {CEstnis Jxyvis.) They are dis- 
cernable by a protuberance or swelling on the back. They 
may be pressed out by the thumb and linger ; or burnt out by 
plunging a hot wire in them ; or a few applications of strong 
brine will remove them. 

Wounds in cattle are readily healed when the animal's 
blood is in good order, by applying a salve made of 1 oz. 
green copperas, 2 oz. white vitriol, 2 oz. salt, 2 oz. linseed 
oil, 8 oz. W. I. molasses. Boil over a slow lire 15 minutes 
in a pint of urine, and when almost cold, add 1 oz. oil of 
vitriol, and 4 oz. spirits turpentine. A])ply it with a feather 
to the wound, and cure soon follows. 

Milk, or puerperal ievkr, is a common disease with 
cows in Iiigh condition at the time of calving. It may, in 
almost every case be avoided, by keeping them in moderate 
feed and flesh. Remedy. — Bleed freely, say 6 to 10 quarts, 
according to the circulation of the blood; then give 1 to Ih 
lbs. of epsom salts, according to the size of the beast, to be 
repeated in half lb. doses every six hours, till she purges 
freely. Injections should always be given when purgativ^es 
are tardy in their operation. 

Caked bag may be removed by simmering the bark of 
the root of bitter-sweet in lard, till it becomes very yellow. 
When cool, apply it to the swollen udder once in 8 or 10 
hours ; or wash it several times a day in cold water. A pint 
of horse-radish fed once a day, cut up with potatoes or meal, 
is useful for the same purpose. It is also a tonic, helps the 
appetite, and is good for oxen subject to heat. 

Garget is a more intense degree of inflammation than 
exists in caked bag, and sore, swollen teats, and shows itself in 
hard bunches on the udder. The cow should be l>led and take 
a large dose of physic ; then wash the udder as in caked bag. 
Repeated doses of sulphur is a good remedy. Garget or 
scoke root given of the size of a large finger, grated and fed 
in their food, is a general application with farmers. The 
garget plant grows from three to six feet high, with a purple 
stalk, and strings of berries hanging down between the 
branches. 



NBAT OR HORNED CATTLE. 20{| 

Sorb teats may be healed by rubbing with gooso oil, 
civain, new milk ; or the applications for caked bag. Tho 
bag and teats should be well cleansed with warm soft water, 
if to be followed by any ointment. The following applica- 
tion is recommended by Youatt. One ounce of yellow wax 
and three of lard ; melt together, and when cooling, rub in 
one quarter oz. of sugar of lead, and a drachm of alum finely 
powdered. 

Warts are of two kinds ; the first, on the outer skin, may 
be removed by rubbing with camphorated olive oil. The 
others penetrate into the flesh, and may be removed by a lig- 
ature of fine twine, or silk, or india rubber drawn into a string, 
and tied tightly around the wart, which falls oflT in a few days. 
Nitrate of silver, (lunar caustic,) applied to the wart, will 
remove it, but it produces a sore ; or, apply a strong wash of 
alum ; rub with the juice of milk weed ; poultice with grated 
carrot; or cut ofi'the wart with sharp scissors when the cow 
is dry. It will bleed little and soon heal. 



[Devon Cattle, — In the 6th line, page 278, for narrow^ (a 
typographical error,) read wide hips.] 



296 AMERICAN AGKICULTURE. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



THE DAIRY. 

Cows FOR THE Dairy. — From what has been said on the 
various characteristics of the different breeds of cattle, it 
must be evident, that no very definite criteria of excellence 
can be given, for all good dairy cows. But there are certain 
points in a good milker, that can hardly be mistaken. She 
should be descended from the best milking stock ; her head 
should be small or of medium size, muzzle fine and nostrils 
flexible and expanded ; face long, slender and dishing ; cheeks 
thin; eyes full, mild and prominent; horns delicate and 
waxy, and they may be either branching, lopped, crumpled, 
or hornless ; long, thin, lively ear, and the inside of an 
orange color ; neck thin and small at its junction with the 
head ; deep chest, but not too heavy before ; back level and 
broad ; well ribbed ; belly large ; low flank ; wide thighs, 
but thin ; shoi-t legs, and standing w^ell apart ; large milking 
veins ; loose, capacious udder, coming well out behind ; good 
teats ; loose, mellow skin, of a deep yellow ; and a fine, thick 
coat of glossy hair ; and she must be of a good disposition, 
and free from tricks. Yet with all the skill of a well practised 
taste in the selection of animals, the dairyman will frequently 
find his theories and results at sad variance. One may some- 
times select a fine animal, with every appearance of good 
milking qualities, which is but a medium cow at the pail ; 
and another, that hardly seems worthy of notice, and which 
sets at defiance many established milking points and all pre- 
conceived notions of symmetry, may yet prove a good milker. 
A cow that runs to flesh while in milk, is generally an indif- 
ferent animal for the dairy. Perfection in a cow, consists in 
converting all she eats into milk while yielding it, and when 
dry, in turning all she consumes into valuable meat. 

Management of Dairy Cows. — A cow may have her 
first calf when between 2 and 3 years of age, according to 



THE DAIBY. 297 

her size and dcvelopmonts. After calving, she should be 
stinted in hor food for two or three days, and not fed freely for 
a wcok. Avoid Hit in a breeding cow. Too high feeding 
is the cause of milk-fever, caked bag, garget, and a host of 
evils ; and too poor teed is almost equally objectionable. 
The average time of a cow with young, is from 40 to 41 
weeks ; but they sometimes go only 34, and occasionally 
overrun 44. A dry, unoccupied stall or yard is best for her 
to calve in ; and if there is any serious delay or difficulty in 
the operation, she may be assisted by placing the foetus in the 
right position, and gently pulling it with every throe of the 
dam. After the calf has drawn all he wants at morning and 
evening, the bag should be thoroughly and quickly emptied 
ofa'l the milk. If strong and vigorous, the calf is the best 
doctor for garget or caked bag. He may be allowed to suck 
the cow or not, at the option of the owner ; there are reasons 
for and against the practice, as will be seen under the head 
of raising calves, and each person must determine in his own 
case, on which side the balance lies. 

Milking. — This is an important operation, and on its 
proper performance depends much of the success of the dairy- 
man. A cow regularly, gently, yet quickly and thoroughly 
milked, will give much more than if neglected. If a herd of 
cows be separated into two divisions, each yielding the same 
quantity of milk, and one is given to a good milker, and the 
other to a shiftless or lazy one, the latter will speedily reduce 
his milk much below the quantity obtained by the former; 
and if the milkers then exchange cows, they will be found to 
change quantity too, those before aftbrding the least, soon 
giving the most. 'An indifterent milker ought never to be 
tolerated in a herd ; good ones are cheaper at double the 
price. It is best to milk at intervals of about 12 hours ; 
which may be done when pastures are convenient, or cows 
are soiled or fed in the yard. But as this is not often the 
case, they should be milked early in the morning and turned 
into pasture, to fill themselves before the sun is oppressive ; 
and if they are to be kept up at night, let them browse in the 
pasture as long as possible before they are brought to the 
yard. 

MILK 

Is produced from the females of all the wanii-blooded animals, 
which are ennumerated among the mammalia?. The milk 
of several animals is employed for domestic purposes, among 
M* 



298 AMHRICAN AGEICULTUBE. 

different nations. That of the camel is used by the Arabs, 
the njilk of the ass by the Spaniards, the Maltese, and the in- 
habitants of the Levant ; that of the mare by the Cossacks, 
the Kirgheez, and other Tartars ; and that of the goat, the 
ewe and the cow, by most of the ancient, and with few 
exceptions, by every modern European nation. Within the 
last century however, the use of all excepting cow's milk, has 
been almost entirely discarded among the most highly civili- 
zed people. If we except some few Welsh and Swiss, or other 
emigrants, who resort to the goat and ewe for their dairy ma- 
terials, for the first few years of their residence here, the cow 
is the only animal which is employed in America for produ- 
cing milk. For this, she is pre-eminently fitted, and the 
modern improvement of this invaluable animal, has carried 
her product of milk almost as far as can be reasonably looked 
for from a given amount of food ; and although this is of 
about the average richness of the goat and ewe, and before that 
of the ass, the quantity she yields is frequently as 80 to 1 in 
favor of the cow over the first two competitors. As a milk- 
giving animal, the cow is the best fitted for the purposes of 
civilized man, and she is made to contribute, not only to his 
health, his comfort and his economy, but to many of his 
choicest luxuries. Milk contains every element of nutrition 
necessary to animal existence ; and man can subsist with 
unimpaired health and strength, if limited to this food alone. 

The constituents of milk are butler, which varies from 
2 to 6 per cent. ; casein or cheese, usually 4 to 5, but some 
times varying from 3 to 15 per cent. ; (the last excessive 
quantity, yielded only by the first milk after calving ;) milk- 
sugar, 4 to 6 ; salts or saline matter, 0*2 to 0*6 ; and water, 
80 to 89. 

There is much diversity in the product and quality of milk 
from cows of the same breed, the same food, and other circum- 
stances and conditions apparently equal. Thus of a herd of 
22, chiefly Ayrshire, one gave 84 quarts in one week, which 
afforded 3^ lbs. of butter ; two others in the same time gave 
86, yielding 5i lbs ; and a fourth gave 88 quarts, making 7 
lbs. The amount of butter however, which a given quan- 
tity of milk will produce, is not the only criterion of the value 
of the milk, except for this purpose alone. Some cows will 
yield more butter, others will produce more cheese ; while 
for consumption, another may partially compensate, in the 
increased quantity of milk-sugar, and the saline matters, for 
a deficiency of both the other ingredients. But for dairy 



I 



THS DAIBT. OW 

purposes, butter and cheese, are the only measure of tlie value 
uf milk ; and a cow is esteemed good or indifterent, as she 
gives one or the other in the greatest abundance. 

Circumstances wiii(;ii modify thk quantity and char. 
ACTER OF MILK. — Besldes the accidental variation in the 
quantity and quality of milk in ditlerent animals before 
adverted to, there are many reliable causes which influence 
both. Of these, parentage has a most decided and uniform 
influence, frequently modified, however, in the particular 
individual, by some personal and controlling causes. But a 
cow whose maternal ancestry on both sides are choice milker?, 
is almost certain to resemble them. Food influences the 
quantity rather than the quality. Boussingault tried numer- 
ous experiments, with cows fed on various kinds of food, and 
found the diflerence hardly appreciable in the quality of milk. 
Its true benefit is to be looked for, in the increased quantity, 
through which the valuable ingredients are distributed in 
nearly the same proportion, as when the product is materi- 
ally lessened. By quality we mean to be understood, the 
amount of the ingredients, valuable for nutrition only; for it 
is certain, that there is a rich aromatic flavor, not only in milk, 
but in butter and cheese, which is afforded in various articles 
of food, and especially by the fresh green herbage which 
abounds in the pastures from spring to autumn. Activity or 
rest has a great effect on both quantity and quality. The 
less action and the more quiet and rest, the greater the 
amount of milk and butter. But exercise is absolutely essen- 
tial to the production of cheese. Butter may be made from 
cows confined in a stable, but cheese can only be profitably 
made by animals at pasture. It is supposed by physiologists, 
that the exercise in gathering their food, rather than any 
peculiarity in its character, is necessary to convert the nitro- 
genized tissues, into the nitrogenized principle of cascum or 
cheese. The time from calving, has also its eflfect. The 
first milk drawn from a cow af\er calving, has been found to 
yield over 15 per cent, of casein, while in its ordinary state 
it gives only 3 to5i. As the quantity of milk diminishes in a 
farrow cow, the quality improves within certain limits. Preg- 
nancy affects the quality injuriously, and especially towards 
its latter stages; and a cow that is predisposed to giving milk, 
should be dried oflT a few weeks before its expiration, as it is 
then unfit for use. Fat cows give poorer milk than such as 
are moderately lean ; and young animals do not come up to 
the maximum of their quality, till after their third or fourth 



300 AMERICAN AGRICtLTURE. 

calving. The milk first drawn from the udder, will yield only 
an eighth and sometimes even a much less proportion of cream, 
than the strippings ; and the milk which is drawn three times 
a day, is greatly inferior to such as is taken but once, though 
the latter is less abundant. Excitement, or fretfulness ; 
change of locality, or to a different herd with new compan- 
ions ; separation from her calf; periodical heat ; annoyance 
from flies, or worry from dogs ; exposure to storms, severe 
cold, or an oppressive sun ; and many similar causes, dimin- 
ish the quantity of milk and butter ; but some of these may 
reasonably be expected to increase the proportion of its 
casein. 

Dr. Playfair found that the quantity of butter in the evening 
milk, afler the cow had been at pasture all day, was 3.7 
per cent., while the casein was 5.4 ; afler lying quietly all 
night, the milk from the same cow on the following morning, 
contained 5.6. per cent, of butter, and only 3.9. of casein. 
In stabling the cow, the butter was invariably in greater pro- 
portion than when allowed to ramble in the pasture ; and the 
casein with a single exception, was equally diminished. 

Cream — If milk be innuediately set away in shallow 
vessels, after being taken from the cow, the cream rises to 
the surface, and carries with it most of the butter contained 
in the milk, and along with it much of its casein. Hence 
the great nutritive properties of butter-milk, which retains 
the casein in very large proportions, much of it being rejected 
by the butter in its separation from the cream. A tempe- 
rature below 34% will prevent the cream from rising in any 
considerable quantity, and preserve the milk unaltered for 
some weeks. Coagulating the milk from any cause, will equally 
prevent the separation of the cream. The elevation of tem- 
perature within certain limits, hastens the separation. Thus, 
at 50% the cream will mostly have risen in 36 hours ; at 55°, 
in 24; at 68% in 18 or 20, and at 77% in 10 or 12 hours. 
Heating the milk near the boiling point, and then setting it 
away and allowing it to remain undisturbed, will soon cause 
the cream to rise. In the celebrated Orange dairy, near Bal- 
timore, Md., this system was practised, by which, not only 
most of the cream was secured for butter, but in consequence 
of its rapid separation, the skimmed milk was sent to market 
apparently fresh ; and the scalding imparted to it an agreeable 
flavor and apparent richness, which it did not really possess. 
The celebrated clouted cream of Devonshire, England, and 
the butter made from it, contained an unusual quantity of 



THE DAIBV. 8(rt 

casein, the consequence of heating tlic milk. **It is prepared by 
straining the warm milk into large shallow pans into which a 
little water has previously been put, allowing these to stand 
from to V2 hours, and then caretully heating them over a 
slow lire, or on a hot plate, till the milk approaches the boiling 
point. The milk, however, must not actually boil, nor must 
the skin of the cream be broken. The dishes are now removed 
into the dairy, and allowed to cool. In sunmicr the cream 
should be churned on the tbilowing day ; in winter it may 
stand over two days. The quantity of cream obtained is said 

o be one-tburth greater by this method, and the milk which is 

eft is proportionably poor.'* — {Johnston.) 

BUTTER. 

Sour Cream. — "Cream for the purpose of churning is usually 
allowed to become sour. It ought to be at least one day old, 
but may with advantage be ke|)t several days in cool weather; 
if it be previously well freed from milk and be frequently 
stirred to keep it from curdling. This sour cream is put into 
the churn and worked in the usual way till the butter sepa- 
rates. This is collected into lumps, w^ell beat and squeezed 
free from the milk, and in some dairies is washed with pure 
cold water as long as the water is rendered milky. In other 
localities the butter is not washed, but, after being well beat, 
is carefully freed from the remaining milk by repeated 
squeezings and dryings with a clean cloth. Both methods, 
no doubt, have their advantages. In the same circumstances 
the washed butter may be more easily preserved in the fresh 
state, while the unwashed butter will probably possess a 
higher flavor. 

Sireef cream may be put into the churn and the butter be 
obtained, but in most cases it requires more labor and longer 
time, without, in the opinion of good judges, affording in 
general a finer quality of butter. In all cases the cream 
becomes sour during the agitation and before the butter 
l>egins distinctly to form. 

Clouted cream. — The churning of the clouted cream of this 
and other countries forms an exception to the general rule 
just stated, that more time is required in the churning of 
sweet creams. Clouted cream may be churned in the morn- 
ing after it is made, that is, within 24 hours of the time when 
the milk was taken from the cow ; and from such cream it 
is well known that the butter separates with very great 
ease. But in this case the heating of the cream has already 



302 AMERICAN AGBICULTURE. 

disposed the oily matter to cohere, an incipient running 
together of the globules has ])robabIy taken place before the 
cream is removed from the milk, and hence the comparative 
ease with \vhich the churning is eifected. There is some- 
thing peculiar in butter prepared in this way? as it is known 
in other countries by the name of Bohemian butter. It 
is said to be very agreeable in flavor, but it must contain 
more cheesy matter than the butter from ordinary cream. 

Churning the ichole milk is a much more laborious method, 
from the difficulty of keeping in motion such large quantities 
of fluid. It has the advantage, however, of giving a larger 
quantity of butter. At Rennes, in Brittany, the milk of the 
previous evening is poured inlo the churn along with the 
warm morning's milk, and the mixture is allowed to stand for 
some hours, when the whole is churned. In this way it is 
said that a larger quantity of butter is obtained, and of a 
more delicate flavor. In the neighborhood of Glasgow, ac- 
cording to Mr. Ayton, the milk is allowed to stand six, twelve 
or twenty.four hours in the dairy, till the whole has cooled, 
and the cream has risen to the surface. Two or three milk- 
ings, still sweet, are then poured, together with their cream, 
into a large vessel, and are left undisturbed till the whole has 
become quite sour, and is completely coagulated. The proper 
sourness is indicated by the fornjation of a stift" hrat upon the 
surface which has become uneven. Great care must be taken 
to keep the brat and curd unbroken until the milk is about to 
be churned, for if any of the whey be separated the air gains 
admission to it and to the curd, and fermentation is induced. 
By this fermentation the quality of the butter may or may 
not be aftected, but that of the butter-milk is almost sure to 
be injured. In Holhmd the practice is a little diflerent. The 
cream is not allowed to rise to the surface at all, but the milk 
is stirred two or three times a day, till it gets sour, and so 
thick that a wooden spoon will stand in it. It is then put 
into the churn, and the working or the separation of the but- 
ter is assisted by the addition of a quantity of cold water. 
By churning the sour milk in one or other of these Ways, the 
butter is said to be 'rich, sound, and well-flavored.' If it be 
greater in quantity it is, according to Sprengel, because the 
fatty matter carries with it from the milk a larger quantity of 
casein than it does in most cases from the cream alone. 

Sourness of tJie cream. — For the production of the best 
butter it is necessary that the cream should be sufliciently 
sour before it is put into the churn. Butter made from sweet 



THB BAIRT. 303 

cream (not clouted,) is neither good in quality nor large in 
quantity, and longer time is required in churning. It is an 
unprofitable method. 

Quickness in churning. — The more (luickly milk or cream 
is chmned, the paler, the softer, and the less rich the bultor. 
Cream, according to Mr. Ayton, may be safely churned in an 
hour and a half, while milk ought to obtain from two to three 
hours. The churning ought always to be regular, slower in 
warm weather that the butter may not be soft and white, and 
quicker in winter that the proper temperature may be kept 
up. A barrel-churn, lately introduced into this country, 
being placed in a trough of water of the proper temperature, 
readily imparts the degree of heat required by the milk or 
cream without the necessity of adding warm water to the 
milk, and churns tJie whole in ten or licelve minutes. It is said 
also to give a larger weight of butter from the same quantity 
of milk. If the quality be really as good by this quick 
churning, the alleged inferiority in the quality of butter 
churned quickly in the common churn can not be due to the 
mere rapidity of churning alone. 

Over -churning. -Vf hew the process of churning is continued 
after the full separation of the butter, it loses its tine yellowish, 
waxy appearance, and becomes soft and light colored. The 
weight of the butter, however, is considerably increased ; and 
hence in Lancashire over-churning is frequently practised 
in the manufacture of fresh butter for immediate sale. 

Temperature of the milk or cream, — Much also depends 
upon the temperature of the milk or cream when the churning 
is commenced. Cream when put into the churn should never 
be warmer than 55° Farenheit. It rises during the churning 
from 4" to 10° F. above its original temperature. When the 
whole milk is churned, the temperature should be raised to 
65° F., which is best done by pouring in hot water into the 
churn while tJie milk is kept in motion. In winter, either of 
these temperatures may be easily attained. In cold weather 
it is often necessary to add hot water to the cream to raise it 
even to 55°. But in summer, and especially in hot weather, 
it is difficult, even in cool and well oi-dered dairies, (without 
the use of ice,) to keep the cream down to this comparatively 
low temperatiu-e. Hence if the cream be then churned, a 
second rate butter, at best, is all that can be obtained. 

The alleged advantages of churning tJie entire milk may be 
thus stated. The proper temperature can be readily obtained 
both in winter and summer. A hundred gallons of entire 



304 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

milk will give in summer five per cent, more butter than the 
cream from the same quantity of milk will give. Butter of 
the best quality can be obtained without difficulty both in 
winter and summer. No special attention to circumstances 
or change of method is at any time required. The churning 
in winter and summer is alike simple and easy. The butter 
is not only of the best quality while fresh, but is also best for 
long keeping, when properly cured or salted. 

Cleanliness is peculiarly necessary to the manufacture of 
good butter. Cream is remarkable for the rapidity with 
which it absorbs and becomes tainted by any unpleasant 
odors. It is very necessary that the air of the dairy should 
sweet, that it should be often renewed, and that it should be 
open in no direction from which bad odors can come." 
{Johnston and other authorities.) 

The statement of J. T. Lansing, who received the first 
premi cm for butter from the New- York State Agricultural 
Society, is as follows : 

1 . The number of cows kept is ten. 

2. Keep them stabled through the inclement season ; feed 
them from three to four times per day with good hay or green 
stalks ; when near coming in, add some oats, barley, or corn 
cracked. In summer, good pasture, with living water acces- 
sible at all times, and plenty of salt. 

3. Treatment of milk and cream before churning. — Strain 
the milk in tin pans; place them in a cool cellar for the 
cream to rise. When suflSciently risen, separate the cream 
from the milk; put in stone jars, well prepared before 
churning. 

4. The mode of churning in summer. — Rinse the churn 
with cold water ; then turn in the cream, and add to each jar 
of cream put in the churn, full one-fourth of the same quan- 
tity of cold water. The churn used is a patent one, moved 
by hand with a crank, having paddles attached, and so con- 
structed as to warm the milk, if too cold, with hot water, 
without mixing them together. The milk and cream receive 
the same treatment in winter as in summer ; and in churn- 
ing, use hot instead of cold water, if necessary. 

5. The method of freeing the butter from the milk, is to 
wash the butter with cold water till it shows no color of the 
milk, by the use of a ladle. 

6. Salting the butter. — Use the best kind of Liverpool 
sack salt ; the quantity varies according to the state in which 
the butter is taken from the churn ; if soft, more, if hard, 



tHE DAIRY. 305 

less, always taking the taste for the surest guide. Add no 
saltpetre, nor other substances. 

7. The best time lor churning is the morning, in hot wea- 
ther, and to keep the butter cool till put dt)wn. 

8. The best mode of preserving butter in and through the 
summer and winter, is as follows : — The vessel is a stone 
jar, clean and sweet. The mode of putting it down is to put 
in a churning of butter, and put on strong brine; let it remain 
on until the next churning is ready to put down, and so on 
till the jar is filled ; then cover it over with fine salt, the same 
to remain on till used. 

Mr. Mc Williams of Orange county, the celebrity of whose 
butter is unsurpassed, thus details his method of butter- 
making : 

" Our practice is not to churn the milk until it becomes 
thick or loppered, the milk and cream is then churned toge- 
ther. The temperature of the milk is about 50 degrees. In 
warm weather about a quart of cold water is put in each 
pan before the milk is strained, so as to keep it sweet as long 
as possible. The cellar-floor is brick. This in warm wea- 
ther is daily cleansed with cold water. A drain from the 
cellar carries off the water thus applied. The churn is filled 
about half full with milk, with the addition of two pails of 
cold water before starting the churn. In cold weather the 
same quantity of warm water is applied. When the churn- 
ing is finished, which usually occupies about two hours of 
time, there are then two more pails of cold water applied to 
raise the butter and cool it. The butter is then taken out of 
the churn and put in a largo tray, this is immediately filled 
with cold water and tiie butter carefully washed ; after which 
the water is thrown off. The butter now undergoes the pro- 
cess of salting, it is then placed in a cool situation where it 
stands about an hour, and worked carefully over. This 
finished it is placed in the same situation as before, where it 
stands three or four hours, and is again worked over; again 
replaced for five or six hours, when it is worked over for the 
third time. It is now replaced, where it stands till the next 
morning and worked over for the fourth lime. A small 
quantity of nitre is then put in the butter. Thus finished it 
is placed in firkins holding about 85 lbs. Previous to pack- 
ing, the firkin is scalded with hot water, rinsed and cooled 
with cold water, then rubbed all around with fine salt ; this 
prevents the butter from adhering to the sides of the firkin. 
When the firkin is full, a linen cloth is placed over the top of 



306 AMERICAN AGHICTTLTURE. 

the butler ; on this cloth a covering of salt is put one inch 
deep, and cold water enough added to it to form a brine. It 
then stands till it is to be sent to market when the cloth and 
salt are removed, the firkin turned down, the top of the but- 
ter in the keg washed with cold water and the pickle 
drained off. The firkin is now neatly headed up and sent 
to market." 

The rialt added to the butter should be from l-24th to l-28th 
of its weight, or about | of an ounce to a pound, and this must 
be of the best quality. All the butter-milk must be tho- 
roughly extracted by repeated washings; and when com- 
pleted the butter should be immediately packed and not a par- 
ticle of air allowed to come in contact with it till opened for 
the table. 

CHEESE. 

The CIRCUMSTANCES AFFECTING THE QUALITY OF CHEESE. 

" All cheese consists essentially of the curd mixed with a 
certain portion of the fatty matter and of the sugar of milk. 
But differences in the quality of the milk, in the proportion 
in which the several constituents of milk are mixed together, 
or in the general mode of dairy management, give rise to 
varieties of cheese almost without number. Nearly every 
dairy district produces one or more qualities of cheese pecu- 
liar to itself. 

Natural differences in the milk. — It is obvious that whatever 
gives rise to natural differences in the quality of the milk 
must affect also that of the cheese prepared from it. If the 
milk be poor in butter, so must the cheese be. If the pasture 
be such as to give a milk rich in cream, the cheese will par- 
take of the same quality. If the herbage or other food 
affect the taste of the milk or cream, it will also modify the 
flavor of the cheese. 

Milk of different animals. — So the milk of different animals 
will give cheese of unlike qualities. The ewe-milk cheeses 
of Tuscany, Naples, and Languedoc, and those of goat's 
milk made on Mont Dor and elsewhere, are celebrated for 
qualities which are not possessed by cheeses prepared from 
cow's milk in a similar way. Buffalo milk also gives a 
cheese of peculiar qualities, which is manufactured in some 
parts of the Neapolitian territory. Other kinds of cheese 
again are made from mixtures of the milk of different animals. 
Thus the strong tasted cheese of Lecca and the celebrated 
Roquefort cheese are prepared from mixtures of goat with 



THS DAIBT. 



sot 



ewe-iuiik, and the cheese of Mont Coiiis from both of these 
mixed with tlie milk of the cow. 

Creamed or unvreamed milk. — Still further differences arc 
protluced accoixliiig to the proportion of cream which is loft in 
or is added to the milk. Thus if cream only bo employed, we 
have the rich cream-cheese which must 1k^ eaten in a com- 
paratively recent state. Or, if the cream of the previous 
night's milking lie added to the new milk of the morning, we 
may have sucli cheese as the Stilton of England, or the 
small, soft, and rich Brie cheeses, so much esteemed in 
France. If tlie entire milk only l)e used, we have such 
ch(»ese? as the Cheshire^ the Double Gloucester, the Cheddar, 
the WdUshire^ and the Dunlop cheeses of Britain, the Kinne- 
gad cheese, I believe, of Ireland, and the Gouda and Edam 
cheeses of Holland. Even here, however, it makes a difler- 
ence whether the warm milk from the cow is curdled alone, 
as at Gouda and Edam, or whether it is mixed with the milk 
of the evening before, as is genemlly done in Cheshire and 
Ayrshire. IVIany persons are of opinion that cream, which 
has once been separated, can never be so well mixed again 
with the milk, that a portion of the fatty matter shall not flow 
out with the whey and render the cheese less rich. If, again, 
the cream of the evening's milk be removed, and the skimmed 
milk added to the new milk of the next morning, such cheeses 
as the Single Gloucester B.re obtained. If the cream be taken 
once from all the milk, the better kinds of skimmed-milk 
cheese, such as the Dutch cheese of Leyden, are prepared ; 
while if the milk be twice skimmed, we have the poorer 
cheeses of Friesland and Groningen. If skimmed for three 
or four days in succession, we get the hard and horny cheeses 
of Essex and Sussex, which often require the axe to break 
them up. 

BuUer-milfc cJuiese, — But poor or butterless cheese will also 
diflerin quality according to the state of them'dk from which 
it is extracted. If the new milk be allowed to stand to throw 
up its cream, and this be then removed in the usual way, 
the ordinary skimmed-milk cheese will be obtained by adding 
rennet to the milk. But if, instead of skimming, we allow 
tho milk to stand till it begins to sour, and then remove the 
butter by churning the whole, we obtain the milk in a sour 
ataie (builer-milk,) From this milk the curd separates natu- 
rally by gentle heating. But being thus prepared from sour 
milk and without the use of rennet, butter-milk cheese dilTers 
more or less in quality from that which is made from sweet 



308 AMERICAN AGEICULTUKE. 

skimmed-milk. The acid in the butter-milk, especially after 
it has stood a day or two, is capable of coagulating new milk 
also, and thus, by mixing more or less sweet milk with the 
butter-milk before it is warmed, several other qualities of 
mixed butter and sweet milk cheese may readily be manu- 
factured. 

Whey-cJteese. — The whey which separates from the curd, 
and especially the white whey, which is pressed out towards 
the last, contains a portion of curd, and not unfrequently a 
considerable quantity of butter also. When the whey is 
heated, the curd and butter rise to the surface, and are readily 
skimmed off. This curd alone will often yield a cheese of 
excellent quality, and so rich in butter, that a very good 
imitation of Stilton cheese may sometimes be made with 
alternate layers of new milk-curd and this curd of whey. 

Mixtures of vegetahle substances imth the milk. — New 
varieties of cheese are formed by mixing vegetable substan- 
ces witli the curd. A green decoction of two parts of sage 
leaves, one of marigold, and a little parsley, gives its color 
to the green cJieese of Wiltshire ; some even mix up the 
entire leaves with the curd. The celebrated Schabzieger 
cheese of Switzerland is made by crushing the skim-milk 
cheese after it is several months old to fine powder in a mill, 
mixing it then witli one-tenth of its weight of fine salt, and 
one-twentieth of the powdered leaves of the mellilot trefoil, 
{trifoUum melilotus cerulea,) and afterwards with oil or butter, 
M'orking the whole into a paste, which is pressed and care- 
fully dried. 

Potato cJieeseSy as they are called, are made in various ways. 
One pound of sour milk is mixed with five pounds of boiled 
potatoes and a little salt, and the whole is beat into a pulp, 
which, after standing five or six days, is worked up again, 
and then dried in the usual way. Others mix three parts of 
dried boiled potatoes with two of fresh curd, or equal weights, 
or more curd than potato according to the quality required. 
Such cheeses are made in Thuringia, in Saxony, and in other 
parts of Germany. In Savoy, an excellent cheese is made 
by mixing one of the pulp of potatoes with three of ewe 
milk curd, and in Westphalia a potato cheese is made with 
skimmed milk. 

Preparation of rennet. — Rennet is prepared from the 
salted stomach or intestines of the suckling calf, the unweaned 
lamb, the young kid, or the young pig. In general, however, 
the stomach of the calf is preferred, and there are various 



THE HAIRY. 809 

ways of curinjv and preserving it. The stomacii of the 
Dowly killed animal contains a quantity of curd derived from 
the milk on vvliieh it has been fed. In most districts it is 
usual to remove by a gentle washing the curd and slimy mat- 
ters which are present in the stomach, as they are supposed 
to impart a strong taste to the cheese. In Cheshire the curd 
is frequently salted separately lor immediate use. In Ayrshire 
and Limhurg, on the other iuind, the curd is always left in 
the stomach and salted along with it. Some even give the 
calf IK copious draught of milk shortly beibre it is killed, in 
order that the stomach may contain a larger quantity of the 
valuable curd. 

Sailing tfw stomach. — In the mode of salting the stomach 
similar differences prevail. Some merely put a few handfuls 
of salt into and around it, then roll it together, and hang it 
near the chimney to dry. Others salt it in a pickle for a 
few days, and then hang it up to dry (Gloucester,) while 
others again (Cheshire) pack several of them in layers with 
much salt both within and without, and preserve them in a 
cool place till the cheese-making season of the following 
year. They arc then taken out, drained from the brine, 
spread u{)on a table, sprinkled with salt which is rolled in 
with a wooden roller, and then hung up to dry. In some 
foreign countries, again, the recent stomach is minced very 
fine, mixed with some spoonfuls of salt and bread-crumb into 
a paste, put into a bladder, and then dried. In Lomhardy the 
stomach, after being salted and dried, is minced and mixed 
• up with salt, pepper, and a little whey or water into a paste, 
which is preserved for use. In whatever way the stomach 
or intestine of the calf is prepared and preserved, the almost 
universal opinion seems to be, that it should be kept for 10 or 
12 months before it is capable of yielding the best and 
strongest rennet. If newer than 12 months, the rennet is 
thought in Gloucestershire to make the cheese heave or swell, 
and become full of eyes or holes. 

Making the rennet. — In making the rennet difleront customs 
also prevail. In some districts, as in Cheshire, a bit of the 
dried stomach is put into half a pint of lukewarm water with 
as much salt as will lie upon a shilling, is allowed to stand 
over night, and in the morning the infusion is poured into the 
milk. For a cheese of 60 lbs. weight, a piece of the size of 
half-a-crown will often be sufficient, though of some skins 
as much as 10 square inches are required to produce the 
same effect. It is perhaps more common, however, to take 



310 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

the entire stomach, and to pour upon them from one to three 
quarts of water for each stomach, and to allow them to infuse 
for several days. If only one has been infused, and the 
rennet is intended for immediate use, the infusion requires 
only to be skimmed and strained. But if several be infused, 
or, as is the custom in Cheshire, as many as have been pro- 
vided for the whole season, about two quarts of water are 
taken for each, and, after standing not more than two days, 
the infusion is poured off, and is completely saturated with 
salt. During the summer it is constantly skimmed, and fresh 
salt added from time to time. Or a strong brine may at 
once be poured upon the skins, and the infusion, when the 
skins are taken out, may be kept for a length of time. Some 
even recommend that the liquid rennet should not be used 
until it is at least two months old. When thus kept, however, 
it is indispensable that the water should be fully saturated 
with salt. In Ayrshire, and in some other counties, it is 
customary to cut the dried stomach into small pieces, and to 
put it, with a handful or two of salt and one or two quarts of 
water, into a jar, to allow it to stand for two or three days, 
afterwards to pour upon it another pint for a couple of days, 
to mix the two decoctions, and, when strained, to bottle the 
whole for future use. In this state it may be kcj>t for many 
months. 

In making rennet, some use jiure water only, others prefer 
clear whey, others a decoction of leaves, such as those of the 
swectbriar, the dogrosc, and the bramble, or of aromatic 
herbs and flowers, while others again, put in lemons, cloves,' 
mace, or brandy. These various practices are adopted for 
the purpose of making the rennet keep better, of lessening 
its unpleasant smell, of preventing any unpleasant taste it 
might give to the curd, or finally of directly improving the 
flavor of the cheese. The acidity of the lemon will, no 
doubt, increase also the coagulating power of any rennet to 
which it may be added. The rennet thus prepared .is poured 
into the milk previously raised to the temperature of 90° or 
95° F., and is intimately mixed with it. The quantity which 
it is necessary to add varies with the quality of the rennet, 
from a table-spoonful to half a pint for 30 or 40 gallons of 
milk. The time necessary for the complete fixing of the 
curd varies also from 15 minutes to an hour or even an hour 
and a half. The chief causes of this variation are t.'ie tem- 
perature of the milk, and the quality and quantity of the 
rennet employed. 



THE DAIUV. 811 

Different (^iialitieb of Cheese. — The teniperaturo of 
now or entire milk, when the rennet isndded, should be raised 
to about 1)5" R ; that of skimmed milk need not bo quite so 
high. If the milk bo warmer the curd is hard and tough, if 
colder, it is soft and dillicult to obtain free from tho whey. 
When the former happens to be the case, a portion of the first 
whey that separates may be taken out into another vessel, 
allowed to. cool, and then poured in again. If it prove to 
have been too cold, hot milk or water may be added to it; or 
a vessel containing hot water may be put into it before the 
curdling commences ; or the first portion of whey that sepa- 
rates may be heated and poured again upon the curd. The 
quality of the cheese, however, will always be more or less 
atfecte<i when it haj)pens to be necessary to adopt any of these 
remedies. To make the best cheese, the true temperature 
should always be attained as nearly as possible, before the 
rennet is added. 

Mode in which the milk is wanrwd, — If, as is the case in 
s«ne daries, the milk be warmed in an iron pot upon the naked 
fins great care must be taken that it is not singed or fire- 
fanged. A very slight inattention may cause this to be the 
case, and the taste of the cheese is sure to be more or less 
atlected by it. lu Cheshire the milk is put into a large tin 
pail, which is phmged into a boiler of hot water, and frequently 
stirred till it is raised to the proper temperature. In large 
<lairy e.stablishments, liowever, the safest method is to have a 
pot with a double })ottom, consisting of one pot within aim- 
tlier, after the mamicr of a glue pot ; the space between the 
two being tilled with water. The lire applied beneath thus 
acts only upon the water, and can never, by any ordinary 
neglect, do injury to the milk. It is desirable in this heating, 
not to raise the temperature higher than is necessary, as a 
great heat is apt to give an oiliness to the fatty matter of the 
milk. 

Tlie time during which the curd stands is also of importance. 
It should he broken up as soon as the milk is fully coagidated. 
The longer it stands after this the harder and tougher it will 
become. 

The quality of the rennet is of much imjjorlance not ordy in 
regard to the certainty of the coagulation, but also to the fla- 
vor of the cheese. In some parts of Cheshire, as we have 
seen, it is usual to take a piece of the dried membrane and 
steep it overnight with a little salt for the ensuing morning's 
milk. It is thus sure to be fresh and sweet if the dried maw 



312 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

be in good preservation. But where it is customary to steep 
several skins at a time, and to bottle the rennet for after-use, 
it is very necessary to saturate the solution completely with 
salt, and to season it with spices, in order that it may be pre- 
served in a sweet and wholesome state. 

The quantity of rennet added ought to be regulated as care- 
fully as the temperature of the milk. Too much renders the 
curd tough ; too little causes the loss of much time, and may 
permit a larger portion of the butter to separate itself from the 
curd. It is to be expected also that when rennet is used in 
great excess, a portion of it will remain in the curd, and will 
naturally affect the kind and rapidity of the changes it after- 
wards undergoes. Thus it is said to cause the cheese to 
heave or swell out from fermentation. It is probable also that 
it will affect the flavor which the cheese acquires by keeping. 
Thus it may be that the agreeable or unpleasant taste of the 
cheeses of certain districts or daries may be less due to the 
quality of the pastures or of the milk itself, than to the quan- 
tity of rennet with which it has there been customary to coa- 
^iate the milk. 

'^■^he way in which tlie rennet is made, no less than its state 
of preservation and the quantity employed, may also influ- 
ence the flavor or other qualities of the cheese. For. 
instance, in the manufacture of a celebrated French cheese, 
that of Epoisse, the rennet is prepared as follows : Four 
fresh <sg|^j-skins, with the curd they contain, are well washed 
in water^ chopi)ed into small pieces, and digested in a mix- 
ture of 5 quarts of brandy with 15 of water, adding at the 
same time 2i lbs. of salt, half an ounce of black pepper, and 
a quarter of an ounce each of cloves and fennel seeds. At 
the end of six weeks the liquor is filtered and preserved in 
well corked bottles, while the membrane is put into salt- 
water to form a new portion of rennet. For making rich 
cheeses, the rennet should always be filtered clear. Again, 
on Mont Dor, the rennet is made with Avhite wine and vine- 
gar. An ounce of common salt is dissolved in a mixture of 
half a pint of vinegar with 2 i pints of white wine, and in 
this solution a prepared goat's stomach or apiece of dried 
pig's bladder is steeped for a length of time. A single 
spoonful of this rennet is said to be sufficient for 45 or 50 
quarts of milk. No doubt the acid of the vinegar and of the 
wine aid the coagulating power derived from the membrane. 

The way in which the curd is treated. — It is usual in our 
best cheese districts carefully and slowly to separate the curd 



THE DAIRV. 313 

irom the whey, not to linsten the separation, lest a larger 
oftion of the fatty maltor should bo squeezed out of the 
urd and the cheese should thus be rendered poorer than 
usual. But in some places the practice prevails of washing 
the curd with hot water after the whey has been partially 
separated from it. Thus at Gouda in Holland, after tha 
greater part of the whey has been gradually removed, o, 
(juantity of hot water is added, and allowed to remain upon 
it for at least a quarter of an hour. The heat makes the 
heese more solid and causes it to keep better. In Italy, 
igain, the so-called pear-shaped cacciO'Caiiallo cheeses and 
the round palloni cheeses of Gravina, in the Neapolitan ter- 
ritory, are made from curd, which, after being scalded with 
boiiing whey, is cut into slices, kneaded in boiling water, 
n orked with the hand till it is perfectly tenacious and elastic, 
nd then made into shapes. The water in which the curd is 
washed, after standing 24 hours, throws up much oily mat- 
ter, which is skimmed otTand made into butter. 

T/ie separation of llie whey is a part of the process upon 
which the quality of the cheese in a considerable degree 
depends. In Cheshire more time and attention is devoted to 
the perfect extraction of the whey than in almost any other 
district. Indeed, when it is considered that the whey con- 
:ains sugir and lactic acid, which may undergo decomposi- 
tion, and a quantity of rennet which may bring on fermenta- 
tion, by both of which processes the flavor of the cheeses must 
be considerably aflected, it will appear of great importance 
that the whey should be as completely removed from the 
curd as it can possibly be. To aid in effecting this a curd- 
mill, for chopping it fine after the whey is strained off, is in 
use in many of the large English daries, and a very ingei- 
ious, and I believe eflectuai, pneumatic cheese-press for suck- 
ing out the whey was lately invented. But the way in which 
the whey is separated is not a matter of indifference, and has 
much influence upon the quality of the cheese. Thus in Nor- 
folk, according to Marshall, when the curd is fairly set, the 
dairy-maid bares lier arm, plunges it into the curd, and with 
the help of her wooden ladle breaks up minutely and inti- 
mately mixes the curd with the whey. This she does for 10 
or 15 minutes, after which the curd is allowed to subside, and 
the whey is drawn off. By this agitation the whey must 
carry off more of the butter and the cheese must be poorer. 
In Cheshire and Ayrshire, again, the curd is cut with a knife, 
but is gently used and slowly pressed till it is dry enough to 
N 



314 AMERICAN AGRICtJITURE. 

be chopped fine, and thus more of the oily matter is retained. 
On the same principle, in making the Stilton cheese, the curd 
is not cut or broken at all, but is pressed gently and with care 
till the whey gradually drains out. Thus the butter and the 
curd remain intermixed, and the rich cheese of Stilton is the 
result. Thus while it is of importance that all the whey 
should be extracted from the curd, yet the quickest way 
may not be the best. More time and care must be bestowed 
in order to effect this object, the richer the cheese we wish to 
obtain. The quality of the milk or of the pastures may often 
be blamed for the deficiencies in the richness or other quali- 
ties of cheese, which are in reality due to slight but material 
differences in the mode of manufacturing it. The kind of salt 
used is considered by many to have some effect upon the taste 
of the cheese. Thus the cheese of Gerome, in the Vosges, is 
supposed to derive a peculiar taste from the Lorena salt with 
which it is cured. In Holland, also, the efficacy of one kind 
of salt over another for the curing of cheese is generally 
acknowledged. 

The mode in which the salt is applied. — In making the large 
Cheshire cheeses the dried curd, for a single cheese of 60 
lbs., is broken down fine and divided into three equal por- 
tions. One of these is mingled with double the quantity of 
salt added to the others, and this is so put into the cheese- vat 
as to form the central part of the cheese. By this precau- 
tion the after-salting on the surface is sure to penetrate deep 
enough to cure effectually the less salted parts. In the 
counties of Gloucester and Somerset the curd is pressed 
without salt, and the cheese, when formed, is made to absorb 
the whole of the salt afterwards through its surface. This 
is found to answer well with the small and thin cheeses 
made in these counties, but were it adopted for the large 
cheeses of Cheshire and Dunlop, or even for the pine-apple 
cheeses of Wiltshire, there can be no doubt that their qua- 
lity would frequently be injured. It may not be impossible 
to cause salt to penetrate into the very heart of a large 
cheese, but it cannot be easy in this way to salt the whole 
cheese equally, while the care and attention required must 
be greatly increased. 

Addition of cream or butter to the curd, — Another mode of 
improving the quality of cheese is by the addition of cream 
or butter Xi the dried and crumbled curd. Much diligence, 
however, is required fully to incorporate these, so that the 
cheese may be uniform throughout. Still this practice gives 



THE DAIRY. 315 

a peculiar character to the cheeses of certain districts. In 
Italy they make a cheese after the mnnufr of the English^ 
into which a consitlorablc quantity of butter is worked ; and 
the Rfchm cljecse of Belgium is nmdo by adiiiug half an 
(Uince c»f butter and the yolk of an Cf^g to every j)ound of 
pressed curd. 

Size of the chrssc. — From thc! same milk it is obvious that 
rhcoscs ufdifU'riMil ^<i/c^i, if treated in the same way, will, at 
the end of a ^iven niunlx'r of mouths possess qualities in a 
' ou^iderable degree dilferent. Hence, without su[)p<)sing 
.'uy iuteriorily, either in the milk or in the general mode of 
treatment, the size usually adopted for the cheeses of a par- 
itcular district or dairy, may be the cause of a recognized 
iiiferiority in some quality which it is desirable that they 
shonld possess in a high degree. 

The method of airing has very much influence upon the 
.ifter-tjualilies of the cheese. The care with which they are 
alted, the warmth of the place in which they are kei)t during 
ihe first two or three weeks, the temperature and closeness 
of the cheese-room in which they are afterwards preserved, 
the tVe(iuency of turning, of cleaning from mould, and rubbing 
with butter ; all these circumstances exercise a remarkable 
influence upon the after-qualities of the cheese. Indeed, in 
very many instances the high reputation of a particular dairy 
liistrict or dairy ftirm, is derived from some special attention 
to one or other or to all of the apparently minor points to 
which I have just adverted. In Tuscany, the cheeses, atler 
being hung up for some time at a proper distance from the 
fire, are put to ripen in an underground, cool and damp cellar ; 
and the celebrated French cheeses of Ro(|ucfort are supposed 
to owe much of the peculiar estimation in which they are held, 
to the cool and uniform temperature of the subterranean 
caverns in which the inhabitants of the village have long 
l>ecn accnstomed to preserve them. 

Afnmoniacat cheese. — The influence of the mode of curing 
upon the quality is shown very strikingly in the small ammo- 
niacal cheeses of Brie, which are very much esteemed in 
Paris. They are soft unpressed cheeses, which are allowed 
to ripen in a room the temperature of which is kept between 
60" and 70° Farenheit, till they begin to undergo the putrefac- 
tive fermentation and emit an ammoniacal odor. They are 
generally unctuous, and sometimes so small as not to weigh 
more than an ounce. 



316 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

Inoculating Cheese. — It is said that a cheese, possessed of 
no very striking taste of its own, may be inoculated with any 
flavor we approve of, by putting into it with a scoop a small 
portion of the cheese which we are desirous that it should be 
made to resemble. Of course this can apply only to cheeses 
otherwise of equal richness, for we could scarcely expect to 
give a Gloucester the flavor of a Stilton, by merely putting 
into it a small portion of a rich and esteemed Stilton 
cheese. — {Johnston and various other authorities.) 

The statement of H. P. & G. Allen, and D. Marvin, each 
of whom received premiums from the New- York State Soci- 
ety is as follows. 

Number of cows kept, eleven. Cheese made from two 
milkings, in the English manner ; no addition made of 
cream. Foji* a cheese cf 20 pounds, a piece of rennet about 
two inches square is soal>ed about twelve hours in one pint of 
water. As rennets differ much in quality, enough should be 
used to coagulate the milk siifficiently in about forty minutes. 
No salt is put into the cheese, nor any on the outside during 
the first six or eight hours it is being pressed; but a thin coat 
of fine Liverpool salt is kept on the outside during the 
remainder of the time it remains in press. The cheeses are 
pressed forty-eight hours under a weight of seven or eight 
cwt. Nothing more is required but to turn the cheeses once 
a day on the shelves. — {H. P. <Sf G. Allen.) 

The milk is strained in large tubs over night ; the cream 
stirred in milk, and in morning strained in same tub ; milk 
heated to natural heat; add color and rennet; curd broke 
fine and whey ofl', and broke line in hoop with fast bottom, 
and put in strainer ; pressed twelve hours ; then taken from 
hoop, and salt rubbed on the surface ; then put in hoop, 
without strainer, and pressed forty. eight hours ; then put on 
tables, and salt rubbed on surface, and remain in salt six 
days, for cheese weigliing thirty pounds. The hoops to have 
holes in the bottom ; the crushings are saved, and set and 
churned, to grease the cheese. The above method is for 
making one cheese per day. As in butter-making, the utmost 
cleanliness is required in every part of the cheese-making 
premises. — ( D. Marvin. ) 



BIIBEF. 317 



(CHAPTER XVII. 



S FI E E P . 



Willi the exception of the dog, there is no one of the brute 
creation which exhibits the diversity of size, color, form, 
covering and general appearance which characterises the 
sheep, and none which occupies a wider range of climate, or 
ijiibsists on a greater variety of food. In every latitude be- 
tween the equator and the arctic, he ranges over sterile 
mountains, aiid through the fertile vallies. He feeds on 
almost every species of edible forage, the cultivated grasses, 
clovers, cereals and roots ; he browses on aromatic and bitter 
herbs ; he crops the leaves and bark from the stunted forest 
shrubs, and the pungent, resinous evergreens. In some parts 
of Norway and Sweden, when other resources fail, he sub- 
sists on tish or flesh during their long and rigorous winters, 
and if reduced to ncicessity, he eats his own wool. He is 
diminutive like the Orkney, or massive like the Teeswater. 
He is policeratc or many horned ; he has two large or small 
spiral horns like the Merino, or is polled or hornless like 
tlie mutton sheep. He has a long tail like our own breeds; 
a broad tail, like many of the eastern, or a mere button of a 
tail, like the fat-rumps, discernible only by the touch. His 
coat is sometimes long and coarse, like the Lincolnshire ; 
short and hairy, like those of Madagascar ; soft and furry, 
like the Angola, or fine and spiral, like the silken Saxon. 
Their color, either pure or fancifully mixed, varies from the 
white or black of our own country, to every shade of brown, 
dium, butf, blue, and 'grey, like the spotted flocks of the 
Cape of (iood H«jpe and other parts of Africa and Asia. 
This wide diversity is the result of long domestication, under 
almost every conceivable variety of condition. 

Uses. — Among the antediluvians, sheep were immolated 
for sacrificial offerings, and their fleeces probably furnished 
them with clothing. Since the deluge, their flesh has with 
all nations, been used as a favorite food for man ; and by the 



318 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

rude, roving nations of the East, they arc employed in carry- 
ing burthens. Their milk is generally used by the micivili- 
zed, and to some extent, by the refined nations ot' Europe, not 
only as a beverage, but for making into cheese, butter and 
curds. Job refers to its use, as do Isaiah and other of the 
Old Testament writers. Most of the Greek and Roman 
writers describe its general use and manufacture. The ewe's 
milk scarcely differs in appearance from that of the cow, but 
is generally thicker, and yields a pale, yellowish butter, that 
is always soft, and soon becomes rancid. Culley remarks, 
"The cheese is exceedingly pungent, and for that reason is 
preferred by many, to that from the cow." In Wales, it is 
mixed with that of the dairy, and makes a tart, palatable 
cheese. We have never seen it appropriated for dairy pur- 
poses in the United States, except by a few Welsh and High- 
land emigrants. The sheep is frequently employed in the 
dairy regions of this country, at the tread-mill or horizontal 
wheel, to pump the water, churn the milk, or perform other 
light domestic work. 

The dignity and importance of the shepherd's vocation 
have ever been conspicuous. Abel, the supposed twin-brother 
of the first-born of the human race, was a "keeper of sheep ;" 
and from this it may be fairly inferred, that there is no ani- 
mal, which has so long been under the immediate control of 
man. Abraham and his descendants, as well as most of the 
ancient patriarchs, were shepherds. Job had 14,000 sheep. 
It is said of Rachel, the favored mother of the Jewish race, 
" she came with her father's sheep, for she kept them." The 
seven daughters of the priest of Midian, " came and drew 
water for their father's flocks." Moses, the statesman and law- 
giver, who " was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, 
kept the flocks of Jethro, his father-in-law ;" and David, the 
future monarch of Israel, the hero, poet, and divine, was a 
keeper of sheep. It was to shepherds, while " abiding in the 
field, keeping watch over their flocks by night,", that the 
birth of the Savior was announced. The root of the Hebrew 
name for sheep, signifies fruilfulness, abundance, plenty ; as 
indicating the blessings they were destined to confer on the 
human race. With the sacred writers, they were tho cho- 
sen symbol of purity and the gentler virtues ; they were the 
victims of propitiatory sacrifices ; and finally they became the 
type of redemption to fallen man. These may not be conside- 
red accidental allusions in a book, whose every feature is full 
of design. Nor has the sheep been less the subject of eulogy 



SIIBEP. 316 

and attention with profane writers. Among these, Homer 
and Hosiod, Virgil and Theocritus, introduced them with 
evident delight in their pastoral themes ; while their heroes 
and demi-gods, Hercules and Ulysses, JGneas and Numa, 
carefully perpetuated them throughout their regal domains. 
In niolern times they have commanded the attention of the 
most enlightened nations ; and their prosperity has in no in- 
stance been independent of those useful animals, wherever wool 
nnd its manufactures have been regarded as essential staples. 
Spain and Portugal, for more than two centuries, were thd 
most enterprizing nations of Europe, and during that period 
they excelled in the production and manufacture of wool. 
Flanders, for a time, was before England in the perfection of 
the arts and the enjoyments of life, and England then sent the 
Utile wool she raised to that country to be manufactured. Her 
politic sovereigns soon found this a losing game, and offered 
large bounties for the importation of artists and machinery. 
By a systematic and thorough course of legislation, which 
looked to the utmost protection and augmentation of wool and 
woolens, she has carried their production beyond anything 
the world has ever seen. The small islands of Great Britain 
and Ireland, in addition to the support of their 26 000.000 of 
people, 15,000,000 of cattle, 2,250,030 horses, 18,00:),000 
swine, and innumerable smaller domestic anima's, maintain 
50,000 000 sheep, worth $300,000,000 ; and besides manu- 
facturing nearly all their fleeces, annually import an equal 
amount from abroad. The sumptu iry law for burying the 
dead in woolen, still occupies its place in their statute book. 
And beyond all question, England is the leading power of the 
nineteenth century, in the combination of all those qua'itie^, 
which constitute national greatness, civilization and strength. 

VARIETIES. 

Naturalists have diviled the wild sheep into four varieties. 
The Musimon (Ovis J^Iusimon^) inhabiting Corsica, Sardinia 
and other islands of ths Mcjditerranean, the mountainous 
parts of Spain and Greece and somo other regions bordering 
upon that inland sea, have been frequently domesticated and 
mixed with the long cultivated breeds. The Argali (O. Am- 
mon) ranges over the steppes or elevated p'ains of Central 
Asia, northward and eastward to the ocean. They are larger, 
more hardy and more untameable than the Musimon. The 
Rocky Mountain Sheep (O. Montana,) frequently called the 
big-horn by our western hunters, is found on the prairies west 



S20 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

of the Mississippi, and throughout the wild mountainous 
regions, extending through California and Oregon to the 
Pacific. They are larger, but in other respects resemble 
the Argali, of which they are probably descendants, as they 
could cross upon the ice, at Behring's straits, from the noth- 
eastern cost of Asia. Like the argali, when caught young 
they are easily tamed ; but we are not aware that they have 
ever been bred with the domestic sheep. Before the country 
was overrun by the white man, they probably inhabited the 
region bordering on the Mississippi. Father Hennepin, a 
French Jesuit, who wrote nearly two hundred years ago, and 
\vho falsely claims to have first discovered that river, often 
speaks of meeting with goats, in his travels through what is 
now the territory embraced by Illinois and Wisconsin. The 
wild, clambering propensities of these animals, occupying 
the giddy heights, far beyond the reach of the traveller, and 
the outer coating of hair, (supplied underneath however, with 
a thick coating of soft wool,) gives to them much of the ap- 
pearance of that animal. In summer they are generally 
found single ; but when they descend from their isolated 
rocky heights in winter, they are gregarious, marching in 
flocks under the guidance of leaders. Tlie Bearded Sheep of 
Africa (O. Tragelaphus) inhabit the mountains of Barbary 
and Egypt. They are covered with a soft, reddish hair, and 
liave a mane hanging below the neck, and large locks of hair 
at the ancle. 

The domesticated sheep (O. Aries) embraces all the 
varieties of the subjugated species. Whether they have de- 
/scended from any one of the wild races, is a question yet 
imdetermined among naturalists ; but however this may be, 
many of the varieties apparently differ less from their wild 
namesakes than fro u each other. The Fai-ruinped and 
jBroad-tailed sheep are much more extensively diffused than 
any other. They occupy nearly all the south-eastern part of 
Europe, Western and Central Asia, and Northern Afiica. 
They are supposed to be the varieties which were propogated 
by the patriarchs and their descendants, the Jewish race. 
This is inferred from various passages in the Penteteuch, 
Exodus, xxix. 22 ; Leviticus, iii. 9 ; viii. 25 ; ix. 19, and 
some others, where " the fat and the rump" are spoken of in 
connexion with offerings, in which the fiit was always an ac- 
ceptible ingredient. Dr. Boothroyd renders one of the fore- 
going passages, *' the large fat tail entire, taken clear to the 
rump." It is certain this variety gives indisputable evidence 



SHEEP. 831 

of remote and continued subjugation. Their long, pendant, 
drowsy ears, and the highly artificial posterior developments, 
are characteristic of no wild or recently domesticated race. 

This breed consists of numerous sub-varietios, differing in 
all their characteristics of size, fleece, &c., with quite as 
many and marked shades of distinction as the modern Euro- 
pean varieties. In Madagascar, they are covered with hair ; 
in the south of Africa, with coarse wool ; in the Levant, and 
along the Mediterranean, the wool is comparatively tine ; and 
from tliat of the fat-rumped sheep of Thibet, the exquisite Cash- 
mere shawls are manufactured. Both rams and ewes are some- 
times bred with horns, and sometimes without, and they ex- 
hibit a great diversity of color. Some yield a carcass of 
scarcely 30 lbs., while others have weighed 200 lbs. dressed. 
The tail or rump varies greatly, according to the purity and 
style of breeding; some are less than one eighth, while 
others exceed one thii-d the entire dressed weight. The fat of 
the rump or tail is considered a great delicacy, and in hot 
climates resembles oil, and in colder, suet. The broad-tailed 
were brought into this country about 50 years since, by 
Commodore Barron and Judge Peters, and bred with the 
native flocks. They were called the Tunisian Mountain 
sheep. Some of them were subsequently distributed by Col. 
Pickering, of Massachusetts, among the farmers of Pennsyl- 
vania ; and their mixed descendants were highly prized as 
prolific and good nursers, coming early to maturity, attaining 
large weights of a superior quality of carcass, and yielding a 
heavy fleece of excellent wool. The principal objection 
brought against them, was the difficulty of propogation, which 
always required the assistance of the shepherd. The lambs 
were dropped white, red, tawny, bluish or black ; but all 
excepting the black, grew white as they approached maturity, 
retaining some spots of the original color on the cheeks and 
legs, and sometimes having the entire head tawny or black. 
The few which descended from those originally imported 
into this country, have become blended with American flocks, 
and are now scarcely distinguishable from them. 

Native or common Sheep of the United States. — 
Strictly speaking, there are no sheep indigenous to North 
America, excepting the Ovis Montana^ or Rocky Mountain 
sheep. Before the introduction, of the improved European 
breeds, during the present century, our sheep consisted gener- 
ally of a hardy, long-legged, coarse, open-fleeced animal, which 
yielded according to attention and feed, from 1 i to 4 lbs. of 
N* 



324 AMERICAN AGEICULTURE. 

to modern times the unrivalled race of the Merino. The 
limited region of Italy, overrmi as it repeatedly was, during 
and after the times of the late Emperors, by hordes of barba- 
rians, soon lost her pampered flocks, while the extended 
regions of Spain, intersected in every direction by almost 
impassable mountains, could maintain their more hardy race, 
in defiance of revolution or change.* The conquest by the 
Moors of a part of those fine provinces, so far from checking, 
served rather to encourage the production of fine wool. 
They were not only enterprising, but highly skilled in the use- 
ful arts, and carried on extensive manufactories of fine woolen 
goods, which they exported to diflTerent countries. After 
their expulsion in the 15th century, by Fei-dinand and Isabella, 
the Spaniards preserved these manufactures in part, and sedu- 
lously cherished their fine flocks, and knowing the incompar- 
able advantage they had in them, their sovereigns, except in 
a few isolated instances, strictly prohibited their exportation. 
Exportation of Merinoes from Spain. — History asserts 
that Henry VHI of England, by permission of Charles V, 
imported 3000 sheep, but of what kind is not mentioned, they 
having numerous varieties in Spain. If of the true Merino, 
it will explain the superior quality of the English middle- 
wools, the Ryeland, South Downs and some others. The 
first well authenticated exportation of the Merino, was made 
to Sweden in 1723, by Alstroemer, which solved the pro- 
blem of their^capacity for sustaining their character, on rough 
fare and in a high northern latitude. Lasteyrie, who wrote 
50 years after the experiment had been tried, speaks of their 
improvement both in carcass and the quality and quantity of 
fleece. The next exportation was made to Saxony, in 1765, 
and consisted of 105 rams and 114 ewes, but from what 
flocks they were taken, history nowhere mentions. A second 
exportion to that country, was made in 1778, of 110 that 



* Whatever distrust may be attached to these scraps of History, which appa- 
rently establish the remote antiquity of the Merino; this much is absolutely cer- 
tain, that they are a race whose qualities are inbred to an extent surpassed by no 
others. They have been improved in the general weight and evenness of their 
fleece, as in the celebrated flock of Rambouillet •, in tiie uniform and excessive 
fineness of fibre as injthe Saxons, and in their form and feeding qualities in various 
countries ; l)ut there has'never yet been deterioration either in quantity or quality 
of fleece or carcass wherever transported, if supplied with suitable food and atten- 
tion. Most sheep annually shed their wool if undipped ; while the merino retains 
its fleece, sometimes for five years, when allowed to remain unshorn. This we 
conceive aflbrds conclusive evidence of long continued breeding among them- 
selves, by which the very constitution of the wool-producing organs beneath the 
tskin, have become permanently changed, and this property is transmitted to a great 
extent even among the crosses, thus marking them as an ancient and peculiar 
race. 



were variously selected from the best flocks in Spain. From 
these have descended the high bred, silken-fleeced Sa\ons, 
whoso wool stands confessedly without a rival. In 1775, the 
Kmpros.s Maria Theresa imported 300 Merinos into Ger- 
many, and placed them on the imperial farm in Hungary. In 
1786, an importation was made into Denmark and her provin- 
ces; and again, in 1797, another flock of 300 was brought into 
the kingdom, and placed at Esserum, about eight leagues 
from Copenhagen. In 1786, 100 rams and 200 ewes were 
imported into Prussia, most of which were allowed to perish 
from disease, but their places were fully made up by later im- 
portations. The same year, 400 ewes and rams were selected 
from the choicest Spanish flocks, and placed on the Royal 
tarm of Rambouillet, in France, which laid the foundation of 
the celebrated flock which bears that name. A small flock of 
inferior animals was clandestinely procured by George III, of 
England, in 1788, which attracted little attention. In 1791, 
a small but choice flock, was presented to that monarch, by 
the Cortes of Spain, which soon acquired high favor among 
many intelligent breeders. A part of these were kept pure, 
and their descendants furnished the superb flock of 700 nigret- 
tis, which procured for their owner, Mr. Trimmer, in 1829, the 
gold medal trom the London Society of Arts Others were 
mixed with different flock, in the kingdom, to the evident im- 
provement of their fleeces. 

The first importation of Merinoes into the United 
States which resulted in the propagation of a pure breed,* 
was made by Chancellor Livingston, then minister at the 
court of Versailles, who sent two choice rams and ewes from 
the Rambouillet flock in 1802, to Claremont, his country seat 
on the Hudson. In the latter part of the same year. Col. 
Humphreys, our minister in Spain, sent out nearly one hun- 
dred Merinoes, which were followed by more numerous flocks 
from the same and other sources. The largest importations of 
the Merino, however, were made through Mr. Jarvis of Ver- 
mont, then U. S. Consul in Spain, in 1809, and immediately 
thereafter. He first shipped, as he states, "200 Escurial, 
afterwards, 1400 Paulars, 1700 Aqueirres, 100 Nigrettis and 
about 200 Montarcos. 2700 Montarcos, were sent out by a 
Spaniard and Portuguese, and about 300 Guadaloupes by 
others ; also 200 to 300 Paulars, by Gen. Downie, to Boston. 

* One or more pure Merinoes, were imported into Massachusetts, in the latter 
part of the last century, by a citizen of that state, but they were soon mixed 
.With other flocks, and resulted ia the perpetuation of no distinct flocks. 



324 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

to modern times the unrivalled race of the Merino. The 
limited region of Italy, overrun as it repeatedly was, during 
and after the times of the late Emperors, by hordes of barba- 
rians, soon lost her pampered flocks, while the extended 
regions of Spain, intersected in every direction by almost 
impassable mountains, could maintain their more hardy race, 
in defiance of revolution or change.* The conquest by the 
Moors of a part of those fine provinces, so far from checking, 
sensed rather to encourage the production of fine wool. 
They were not only enterprising, but highly skilled in the use- 
ful arts, and carried on extensive manufactories of fine woolen 
goods, which they exported to different countries. After 
their expulsion in the 15th century, by Ferdinand and Isabella, 
the Spaniards preserved these manufactures in part, and sedu- 
lously cherished their fine flocks, and knowing the incompar- 
able advantage they had in them, their sovereigns, except in 
a few isolated instances, strictly prohibited their exportation. 
Exportation of Merinoes from Spain. — History asserts 
that Henry VIII of England, by permission of Charles V, 
imported 3000 sheep, but of what kind is not mentioned, they 
having numerous varieties in Spain. If of the true Merino, 
it will explain the superior quality of the English middle- 
wools, the Ryeland, South Downs and some others. The 
first well authenticated exportation of the Merino, was made 
to Sweden in 1723, by Alstroemer, which solved the pro- 
blem of their^capacity for sustaining their character, on rough 
fare and in a high northern latitude. Lasteyrie, who wrote 
50 years after the experiment had been tried, speaks of their 
injprovement both in carcass and the quality and quantity of 
fleece. The next exportation was made to Saxony, in 1765, 
and consisted of 105 rams and 114 ewes, but from what 
flocks they were taken, history nowhere mentions. A second 
exportion to that country, was made in 1778, of 110 that 



* Whatever distrust may be attached to these scraps of History, which appa- 
rently establish the remote antiquity of the Merino-, this much is absolutely cer- 
tain, that they are a race whose qualities are inbred to an extent surpassed by no 
others. They have been improved in the general weight and evenness of their 
fleece, as in the celebrated flock of Rambouilletj in the uniform and excessive 
fineness of fibre as injthe Saxons, and in tlieir form and feeding qualities in various 
countries -, but there has'never yet been deterioration either in quantity or quality 
of fleece or carcass wherever transported, if supplied with suitable food and. atten- 
tion. Most sheep annually shed their wool if undipped ; while the merino retains 
its fleece, sometimes for five years, when allowed to remain unshorn. This we 
conceive aflbrds conclusive evidence of long continued breeding among them- 
selves, by which the very constitution of the wool-producing organs beneath the 
skin, have become permanently changed, and this property is transmitted to a great 
extent even among the crosses, thus marking them as an ancient and peculiar 
race. 



SHEEP. 325 

were variously selected from the best flocks in Spain. From 
these have descended the high bred, silken-fleeced Saxons, 
whoso wool stands confessedly without a rival. In 1775, the 
Kmprcs^ Maria Theresa imported 300 Merinos into Ger- 
many, and placed them on the imperial farm in Hungary. In 
1786, an importation was made into Denmark and her provin- 
ces; and again, in 1797, another flock of 300 was brought into 
the kingdom, and placed at Esserum, about eight leagues 
from Copenhagen. In 1786, 100 rams and 200 ewes were 
imported into Prussia, most of which were allowed to perish 
liom disease, but their places were fully made up by later im- 
portations. The same year, 400 ewes and rams were selected 
from the choicest Spanish flocks, and placed on the Royal 
tarm of Rambouillet, in France, which laid the foundation of 
the celebrated flock which bears that name. A small flock of 
inferior animals was clandestinely procured by George III, of 
England, in 1788, which attracted little attention. In 1791, 
a small but choice flock, was presented to that monarch, by 
the Cortes of Spain, which soon acquired high favor among 
many intelligent breeders. A part of these were kept pure, 
and their descendants furnished the superb flock of 700 nigret- 
tis, which procured for their owner, Mr. Trimmer, in 1829, the 
gold medal trom the London Society of Arts Others were 
mixed with different flock, in the kingdom, to the evident im- 
provement of their fleeces. 

The first importation of Mertnoes into the United 
States which resulted in the propagation of a pure breed,* 
was made by Chancellor Livingston, then minister at the 
court of Versailles, who sent two choice rams and ewes from 
the Rambouillet flock in 1802, to Claremont, his country seat 
on the Hudson. In the latter part of the same year. Col. 
Humphreys, our minister in Spain, sent out nearly one hun- 
dred Merinoes, which were followed by more numerous flocks 
from the same and other sources. The largest importations of 
the Merino, however, were made through Mr. Jarvis of Ver- 
mont, then U. S. Consul in Spain, in 1809, and immediately 
thereafter. He first shipped, as he slates, "200 Escurial, 
afterwards, 1400 Paulars, 1700 Aqueirres, 100 Nigrettis and 
about 200 Montarcos. 2700 Montarcos, were sent out by a 
Spaniard and Portuguese, and about 300 Guadaloupes by 
others ; also 200 to 300 Paulars, by Gen. Downie, to Boston. 

* One or more pure Merinoes, were imported into Massachusetts, in the latter 
part of the last century, by a citizen of that state, but they were soon mixed 
with other flocks, and resulted in the perpetuation of no distinct flocks. 



326 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE* 

Of the Montarco flock shipped by others, about 2500 came to 
Boston, Providence, New York, and other ports. All were 
imported in the latter part of 1809 and '10, and early in 1811, 
and were the only Leonese Transhumantes, if we include 
Humphrey's and Livingston's, (which I have no doubt were of 
the same stock,) that were ever shipped to the United States." 
Varieties of the Spanish Sheep. -^-Besides several other 
breeds of sheep in Spain, consisting of long and coarse wool 
and that of a medium staple, embraced under the diiferent 
na.mes of CJiorinoes, Choaroes or Chunahs, the Merino is dis- 
tinguished by two general divisions ; the Transhumantes or 
travelling, and the Estantes or stationary iiocks. The for- 
mer are subdivided according to the Provinces they occupy, 
into Leonese, Segovian and Sorian. Many of the Estantes 
were of the best quality in respect to carcass, constitution 
and fleece, and such as were highly bred and in the hands of 
intelligent breeders, were not surpassed by any of the Span- 
ish flocks. There were also many choice sheep among the 
Segovian and Sorian Transhumantes, but in general they 
were decidedly inferior to those of Leon. These last were 
universally regarded as the prime flocka of Spain. They 
comprised the Escurial, the Paular, the Nigretti, the 
Aqueirres or Muros, the Montarco, the Guadaloupe, Infan- 
tado and some others. 

There is much contradictory testimony as to the compara- 
tive merits of the last mentioned flocks, as they were found 
in Spain ; which is owing in part, doubtless, to the diflerence 
in the specimens subjected to examination. We subjoin some 
of the most reliable authorities' on this subject. M. Lastey- 
rie, who investigated this matter closely says, " the Guada- 
loupe have the most perfect form, and are likewise cele- 
brated for the quantity and quality of their wool. The Pau- 
lar bear much wool of a fine quality, but they have a more 
evident enlargement behind the ears, and a greater degree 
o^ throatiness, and the lambs have a coarse hairy appearance 
which is succeeded by excellent wool. The lambs of the 
Infantado have the same hairy coat when young. The 
Nigretti are the largest and strongest of all the travelling 
sheep in Spain." Mr. Livingston says, " The Escurial is the 
most perfect of all the travelling flocks in Spain ; the Gua- 
daloupe for form, fineness and abundance of the fleece ; the 
Paular with similar fleeces are larger bodied. Those of 
Castile and Leon have the largest with the finest coat. 
Those of Soria are small with very fine wool ; and those 



SHEEP. 327 

also of Valencia which do not travel, and like the last have 
fine wool but of a very short staple." Mr. Jurvis, who spent 
many years in Spain under every advantage for studying 
them closely, and who imported and has since bred large num- 
bers of them on his estate in Vermont, says, " The Paulars 
were undoubtedly one of the handsomest Hocks in Spain. 
They were of middling height, round bodied, well spread, 
straight on the back, the neck of the bucks rising in a mode- 
rate curve from the withers to the setting on of the head, 
their head handsome, with aquiline curve of the nose, with 
short, fine glossy hair on the face, and generally hair on the 
legs, the skin pretty smooth, that is, not rolling up or doub- 
ling about the neck and body, as in some other flocks ; the 
crimp in the wool was not so short as in many other flocks, 
the wool was somewhat longer, but it was close and compact, 
and was soft and silky to the touch, and the surface was not 
so much covered with gum. This flock was originally 
owned by the Carthusian triars of Paular, who were the best 
agriculturists in Spain, and was sold by that order to the 
Prince of Peace when he came into power. The Nigretti 
flock were the tallest Merinoes in Spain, but were not hand- 
somely formed, being rather flat-sided, roach-back and the 
neck inclining to sink down from the withers ; the wool was 
somewhat shorter than the Paular and more crimped, the 
skin was more loose and inclined to double, and many of 
them were wooled on their faces and legs down to their 
hoofs. All the loose-skinned sheep had large dewlaps. The 
Aqueirres were short-legged, round, broad bodied, with loose 
skins, and were more wooled about their faces and legs than 
any other flock I ever saw, the wool was more crimped than 
Ihe Paular, and less than t-he Nigretti, but was thick and 
soft. This flock formerly belong^'d to the Moors of Spain, 
and at their expulsion, was bought by the family of Aqueirres, 
The wool in England was known as the Muros flock, and 
was highly esteemed. All the bucks of these three flocks 
had large horns. The Escurials were about as tall as the 
Paulars, but not quite so round and broad, being in general 
rather more slight in their make ; their wool was crimped, 
but not quite so thick as the Paular or Negretti, nor were 
their skins so loose as the Nigretti and Aqueirres, nor had 
they so much wool on the face and legs. The Montarco 
bore a considerable resemblance to the Escurials. The Escu- 
rial flock had formerly belonged to the crown, but when 
Philip the II built the Escurial palace, he gave them to the 



328 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

friars, whom he placed in a convent that was attached to the 
palace, as a source of revenue. These four flocks were 
moderately gummed. The Guadaloupe flock was rather 
larger in the bone than the two preceding, about the same 
height, but not quite so handsomely formed, their wool was 
thick and crimped, their skins loose and doubling, their faces 
and legs not materially different from the two latter flocks, 
but in general they were more gummed than either of the 
other flocks. In point of fineness there was very little dif- 
ference between these six flocks, and as I have been told by 
well informed persons, there is very little difference in this 
respect among the Leonese Transhumantes in general. The 
Escurials, the Montarcos and the Guadaloupes were not in 
general so heavy-horned as the other three flocks, and about 
one in six of the bucks were without horns." 

The Saxon, we have before seen, is one of the varieties 
of the pure bred Merino, the foundation of which was laid by 
an importation of some of the choicest animals into Saxony, 
in 1765. The great care and attention bestowed wpon these 
sheep by the Elector, the nobility and the most intelligent 
farmers, soon carried them to a point of uniformity and 
excellence of fleece, never exceeded by the best of the origi- 
nal flocks. The breeders were selected with almost exclu- 
sive reference to the quality of the fleece. Great care was 
taken to prevent exposure throughout the year, and they 
were housed on every slight emergency. The consequence 
of this course of breeding and treatment has been, to reduce 
the size and weight of fleece, and partially to impair that 
hardiness and vigor of constitution, which universally cha- 
racterised the original Transhumantes. In numerous instan- 
ces, this management resulted in permanent injury to the 
character of their flocks, which America has severely felt in 
several importations of worthless animals, which a too great 
eagerness for improvement, induced her flockmasters to use 
with the Spanish Merinoes and their descendants, as a means 
for this object, but which has resulted in the introduction of 
fatal diseases and serious deterioration in their flocks. 

Tlie first importation of Saxons into this country was made 
in 1823, of four good rams, two of which went to Boston and 
the others to Philadelphia. The next was made the follow- 
ing year, and consisted of 75 rams and ewes which were 
brought to Boston and sold at public auction, and afterwards 
were scattered over the country. Another lot of 180 fol- 
lowed to the same place, the next year, and was sold in the 



SHEEP. 329 

same manner, but at an increased price, some selling as high 
$450 each. These prices excited the spirit of speculation, 
and the following year witnessed the importation of near 
3000, many of wiiich were decidedly inferior. These were 
all thrown upon the market for the most they would com- 
mand, and in many instances, the sales not half covering the 
cost of importation, the enterprise was abandoned as a specu- 
lation, or commercial operation. The late Henry 1). 
Grove, of [loosic, New-York, a native of Germany, and a 
highly intelligent and thoroughly bred shepherd, accompa- 
nied some of the best early importations to this country. He 
selected 105 choice animals for his own breeding, which he 
imported in 1827, and 70 more equally good, in 1828, and 
with these he formed the flock from which he bred to the 
time of his decease, in 1844.* 

The Rambouillet flock was founded in 1786, by Louis 
XVf, from a selection ot 400 of the best Spanish sheep, 
whicii were placed on the royal farm at Rambouillet. These, 
like the Saxon, received all the attention which intelligence 
and wealth could bestow, and the conseque.nce was soon 
manifest in their larger size, and the increased weight and 
unifornn'ty in the fineness of their fleece ; the last improve- 
ment being particularly evident in the absence of the coarse 
wool which in many cases infested the quarters, and the jarr, 
or hair which frequently abounds on the flanks, legs and thighs 
of the original merino. Besides the crown flocks at Rambou- 
illet, they are found in equal perfection on several other of the 
royal farms, especially those of Malmaison, Perpignan, Aries, 
Clermont, and some others. These flocks have been bred 
for hardy constitution, large carcass and heavy fleece, of as 
much fineness as consistent with large weights, and as uniform 
in quality throughout, as possible. Mr. Gilbert, who was 

* The average weight of fleece from the entire flock of Mr. Grove, nearly all of 
which were ewes and lambs, aa stated by him to the writer, in 1842, was 2 lbs. 14 
ounces, thoroughly washed on the shceps' back. This was realized after a short 
-ummi'r and winters' keep, when the quantity of hay or its equivalent, did not 
••xcoed by actual weight, 1^ lbs. i)er day, except to the ewes, which received au 
additional quantity just before and after lambing. This treatment was attended 
with no disease or loss by death, and with an increase of lambs, equalling one 
for every ewe. 

In a flock of pure Saxony sheep owned by Mr. Smith of Connecticut, as sl.ifcd in 
a letter from the owner, published in the American Sheplierd, 104 ewes raised 101 
lambs, and yielded 311 11« of wool, which sold at 70 cents per ll». For the 18 
months preeerling, he lost but three animals out of 30fl, from ordinary casualties. 
Ihil some flocks of pure Saxony, do not, in good condition, average over 2 lbs. per 
head. A recent importation (May, \9-[(i) made by Mr. Taintor of Connecticut, 
con^iisting of four buf ks and four ewes, from the celebrated Saxon flock of Baron 
de Spreck, shew a size and vigor of constitution equal to any of their Merino 
progenitors. 



33d AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

particularly familiar with them, says, " almost all the fleeces 
of the rams, from two years old and upwards, weigh (un- 
washed) from 12 to 13 lbs. ; but the mean weight, taking 
the rams and the ewes together, has not quite attained to 8 
lbs., after deducting the tags and the wool of the belly." Tho. 
French pound is about one-twelfth heavier than the English; 
but from the general custom of folding the sheep in France, 
feeding them in fallows, and wintering them in houses, the 
fleece becomes very dirty. The loss in washing (fit for man- 
ufacturing) is abouj 60 per cent., so that the clean fleece of 
the ram will average about 6 lbs., and that of the whole 
flock, something under 4 lbs. 

The first importation of the Rambouillefs to this country, was 
in 1801, by M. Dellesert, of Paris, for M. Dupont, then in 
New- York, and consisted of 4 choice rams, only one of which, 
Don Pedro, reached this country. He was used among the 
native ewes near Kingston, N. Y., for three years, and then 
transferred to Delaware, where he effected great improvement 
among the native flocks. The second was that made by the 
late Chancellor Livingston, before alluded to. There was ano- 
ther in 1840, by Mr. Collins, of Connecticut, comprising 30 
select ewes and 2 rams. All these sheep possessed the cha- 
racteristics peculiar to the variety as described. A still more 
recent importation has been made by Mr. Taintor, of Con- 
necticut, (during the present summer of 1846,) of 23 ewes 
and 3 bucks.* 

* We subjoin a description of these from the Editor of the American Agricultu- 
rist, New-Vorlc. The rams, though young, are the most promising animals of 
their breed we ever saw, and when full grown, will weigh at least from 2'15 lo 
251) lbs. each. The sire of one was sold the past season for ®500. He slieared 
23 lbs. of unwashed wool To give an idea of the ewes, we measured them after 
they were shorn, and found they varied from •25.i to 29 inches in height over the 
withers; and lest it maybe thought this superior height is attained by extra long 
legs, we will add, that the height of the under side of their bodies from the ground, 
was from 9^ to 12 inches; which, according to our observation, is no greater in 
proportion to their size, than that of good American Merino sheep. Their weights 
we took after being shorn. They varied from 124 to 15:) lbs. Some of them were 
quite thin in flesh, the largest especially, which, if in tine condition and her fleece 
on, would weigh at least 200 lbs. The following is the weight of their fleeces un- 
washed. We took them ourselves in the presence of several witnesses, and as fast 
as shorn from the ewes' backs The scales we used did not inark less than one 
quarter of a pound, which will account for the absence of odd ounces. 

No. 17 13 lbs. No. 100 12i lbs. 

"27 15 " " 109 17 " 

" 64 16| » " 110 17 " 

" 71 14i " " 117 16| " 

" 84 16| " " 118 1j| " 

" 87. 16l " " 133 14? ♦' 

" 94 17 " "195 I3i •' 

109 107 

The fleeces were about fourteen months old, but they had lost some on their 
voyage out, and on account of the lateneaa of the season, were not shorn near as 



siiREP. nsi 

' The progress of the Merino in the United States. 
— Though reaching back but half a century, the Merino flocks 
of this country have been very fluctuating as to their value, in- 
crease and improvement. When first introduced, they were 
viewed with distrust by the majority of our farmers ; and it 
was not till after several years' experience of their para- 
mount merits, that they were generally disseminated. Rut the 
ronfidence of our flock-masters having once been secured, it 
has never been withdrawn, and they have ever since, been 
cherished favorites. The prices for choice Merinos rapidly 
increased after a few years, and Livingston states the average 
price lor rams, in 1811, at $1000, and some were sold at a 
nmch higher rate. This was the period of the embargo, 
when our infant manufactures were just starting into life ; and 
being followed by war with the greatest commercial nation 
of the world, we were thrown entirely on our own resources 
for the supply of our woolen and other fabrics, and wool and 
sheep maintained their full value till the return of peace, in 
1815. The flooding of our country with foreign goods, under 
low duties, which succeeded this event, either broke down or 
effectually paralyzed our woolen manufactures, and wool, ot 
course, felt the full weight of this crushing influence. The 
Merino rapidly declined in value, till its price nearly approxi- 
mated to that of the native sheep. Their merits had, how- 
ever, become so conspicuous, that the low prices produced a 
more general diffusion, and they and their crosses were thus 
sown broad-cast over the country. 

close as it is customary ; besides, on several of them, from half to one pound of 
the wool was left on the heads and legs, for the purpose of Riving an idea of their 
fleeces to those who may call hereafter to look at them. Taking all these things 
into consideration, it was the unanimous opinion of several sheep-masters present, 
that the wool clipped from these ewes was not more than would have been equiva- 
lent to one year's growth. We shall not compare the weight of these fleeces with 
what is generally termed clean washed wool, as it is the most uncertain and 
unsatisfactory comparison which can be made, for when it comes to be cleansed 
by the manufacturer, it will vary in loss from 20 to 50 per cent, just as the case 
may happen. It was the unbiased opinion of several wool dealers present, and our 
own, (hat the shearing above would yield at least 3.5 lbs. of cleansed wool, fitted 
for manufacturing without further loss, out of every 100 lbs. shorn. The fourteen 
ewes yielded 216 lbs. unwashed, which would be equivalent to 75 lbs. 10 oz. tho- 
roughly cleansed, or an average of •> lbs. 6 oz. per head. If any of our readers are 
desirous to know what this would come up to, clean washed, they may safely add 
one-third. This would bring the average as wool growers usually dispose of their 
fleeces, to 7 lbs. 3 oz. per head, a yield totally unprecedented in this country. The 
usual average weight of good Merino ewes is about half this. The average of the 
flocks in Europe from which these sheep were chosen, is, for rams from 15 to 17 
lbs. per head; for ewes 11 to 13 lbs., unwashed. The average price of such wool in 
its unwashed state, is 26 cents per lb. of our money. These sheep show great vigor 
of constitution, and are remarkably well formed, with enormous dewlaps and folds 
all over the carcass. Their fleeces are very close, thickly covering the head and 
legs as well as the body, and are uncommonly even, the wool being nearly as good 
on the flanks as on the shoulders, while its felting properties are unsurpassed. In 
fineness of quality it is equal to the best American Merino. 



332 AMERICAN AGRiCULtUlilJ. 

The introduction of the Saxons, in great numbers, in 1826, 
many of which were excessively diminutive and diseased, 
and their indiscriminate use with our pure bred Merinos, was 
a serious interruption to the career of improvement in many 
of our flocks. Their mixture with the best Saxons was no 
further detrimental, than to reduce the quantity of fleece, and 
to a certain extent, lessen the peculiar hardiness of the ori- 
ginal Transhumantes, which had been fully preserved by 
their descendants in this country. The use of well selected 
Saxon rams with Merino flocks was extensively practised, 
and it is still persisted in by intelligent flock-masters, after 20 
years' experience, who are satisfied that they find it for their 
interest to continue this style of breeding. The animals 
being smaller, consume less, and they probably produce a 
quantity of wool in proportion to their food, which, from its 
improved and uniform quality, commands a higher price in 
the market. Wherever they are not suflficiently hardy, they 
can be bred back towards the Spanish Merino standard, by 
the use of some of the stouter rams. Their natures are intrin. 
sically the same. They are only divergent streams from the 
same original fountain, and when again united, they readily 
coalesce and flow onwards, without violence or disorder. 

The Merino, as might reasonably have been anticipated, 
when properly managed, has improved from a variety of 
causes. Though kept scrupulously pure in Spain, they were 
seldom bred with that refinement of taste, or that nice judg- 
ment which distinguishes the accomplished modern breeders. 
Their management was too entirely entrusted to ignorant 
shepherds or careless agents, to secure that close attention 
which is essential to improvement. The sheep had to perform 
a journey of several hundred miles twice in a year, to and 
from their distant Sierras ; and it w^as absolutely essential 
that strong animals should be selected for breeding ; and to 
secure this object, those were frequently used which were de- 
ficient in the most profitable qualities. They were also 
closely bred in-and-in, seldom or never departing from a 
particular flock to procure a fresh cross. Their wild, noma- 
dic life, approaching nearly to that of their natural state, and 
their peculiarly healthful pasturage, alone prevented a serious 
deterioration from this cause. When brought into the United 
States, the flocks were soon mingled with each other, and for 
many years past, probably, not an unmixed descendant of any 
distinct original flock could be traced. Abundance of appro- 
priate food has been given them, without the labor of long 



i 



SHEEP. 333 

and fatiguing journeys ; and lastly, there has been much care 
used in the selection of the most profitable animals for breed. 
The spirit of improvement has been recently awakened to 
this important branch of American husbandry, and if not ar- 
rested by any untoward national policy, it will soon result in 
giving us numerous flocks of as choice sheep as the world af- 
Ibitls, as we have already all the elements within ourselves 
for its attainment. 

PEt;uLiARiTiEs OF THE Merixo. — The prominent peculi- 
arities of the Merino, are the abundance and fineness of its 
fleece, the tenacity with which it is held, its crimped or spiral 
form, its felting properties, and the excessive quantity of 
yolk, giving to it that softness which distinguishes it from all 
others. Their large horns are common to several other va- 
rieties. Their hoofs are sometimes singularly long, reaching 
8 or 10 inches when allowed to grow. The horns, hoofs and 
wool scarcely differ in their chemical constituents, and the 
j)eculiar development of the two former, is justly considered 
as an additional evidence of their wool-bearing properties. 
The yolk in most of the sheep, forms, with the dust which 
adheres to it, a firm crust on the exterior, and together with 
the compactness of the fleece, it offers considerable resistance 
to the open hand on being pressed, giving the impression of 
rigidity. This outer covering repels the rain, the snow, and 
the wind like a coat of mail, thus fitting the Merino to endure 
exposure better than any other sheep. On opening the crust, 
the wool is found of a brilliant, golden hue, sparkling with 
yolk, and firmly held together in masses, hardly distinguisha- 
ble from the cocoon of the silk-worm. The wool closely 
covers every part of the body, and frequently the entire legs 
and head, excepting a part of the face. 

Another peculiarity of the Merino is its longevity. They 
attain a great age when properly managed, and in healthy 
localities, sometimes breed till 20 years of age. The Merino 
may be described, generally, as a small-boned, closely made, 
medium sized sheep, varying from 80 lbs. of live weight for a 
small ewe, to 160 lbs. for good sized wethers and rams, in 
ordinary condition. They are light in the shoulders and 
chest, and are, altogether, more deficient in form than the 
best mutton sheep. This apparent difference is materially 
lessened when both are denuded of their fleece ; as the longer 
pile of the latter covers defects, which would manifest them- 
selves under the closer covering of the Merino. Yet, with 
this seeming deficiency, Young found, in feeding, between 



334 AMERICAN AGHICULTURE. 

the Merino and Bakewell, that the latter ate the most, and 
gained the least, in the ratio of two to three. We give the 
statement as we find it, though it apparently contravenes a 
fundamental principle, which a knowledge of all the circum- 
stances of the trial, the peculiarities of the particular animals, 
&c., might probably explain satisfactorily. The mutton is 
excellent, and it is probably, not surpassed by that of any 
other sheep. Lord Somerville claims it as a rule, that the 
quality of the flesh in each class of sheep, follows that of the 
wool, and that the flesh of the short and line-wooled sheep is 
closer in the grain and more highly flavored than the long- 
wooled. Sir Joseph Banks says, the London butchers, after 
having some of their Merinos, eagerly sought for more, from 
its popularity with their best customers ; and it is certain that 
the flavor of our mountain fed Merino does not .sufler in com- 
parison with the choicest breeds. 

Breeding Merinos. — The general principles of breeding 
cattle and sheep, as laid down by the most approved authori- 
ties, must be taken with some exceptions, when applied to 
the Merino. Good form and feeding qualities are desirable 
in this breed, but they are not as essential as with the others. 
Wool is the great object, and if this be sufficiently fine, even 
and abundant, something may be abated in the perfection of 
form. Early maturity, so much sought after in the mutton 
sheep, cannot be reconciled with the great longevity, and 
the prolonged productive powers of the Merino. We must 
content ourselves therefore, with slowly engrafting such im- 
provements on the breed, as can be effected without prejudice 
to his other good qualities, and look to his crosses with others 
for such qualities as are irreconcilable with his nature. It 
is considered indispensable to the improvement of the Merino, 
that it be not bred too young. A vigorous ewe may bring 
her first lamb at two years old, but it is better that it be 
deferred till three. The ram should never be used till his 
second year; and then but sparingly. From 21 to 6 years 
old is deemed the most vigorous age, though many may be 
safely used till 8 or 10, and occasionally later. Both ewes 
and rams have been known to breed till 20 years old. 

TJie ram should be large, stout and well made, carrying 
his weight as compactly as possible. The nose should be 
convex ; the face covered with a soft velvety hair ; the eye 
lively and prominent ; the veins near the lachrymal glands, 
of a clear red ; the horns rough ; short neck ; pendant dew- 
lap not objectionable ; full chest , broad shoulders ; broad, 



BHEHF. 335 

level back ; large quarters ; tail large and well set up ; good 
legs, and sound hoofs ; with a firm, easy, regular gait ; the 
head carried higii, with a look of boldness and decision, with- 
out ill any degree approaching to wildness or ferocity. Tlie 
ciw should possess these characteristics generally, with such 
modifications as are suited to the sex. CJreat care should be 
taken to breed from such as are most |H;rfect in ail the essen- 
tial points of constitution, form and size ; and weight, uni- 
formity and fineness of fleece. The closest observation ia 
requisite to select the best in all respects. 

In-and-in breeding should be avoided where practicable, 
which can be done where there is a careful registry of the 
sheep, for successive generations. Excessive use of rams 
can never be permitted without decided injury to them and 
their progeny. In Spain, tour rams are supplied to every 
hundred ewes. This limited number is proper enough, where 
they undergo so much fatigue in travelling, and kept too, as 
they are, entirely on grass. But if moderately grained 
before and during their use, and especially if kept up, and 
allowed to serve the ewes once only as they come in heat, 
the number may be largely increased. A vigorous ram will 
suffice for 35 to 40 ewes, when running with the flock ; yet 
his powers would not be more taxed by double or even treble 
this number, if admitted to each but once. Bread is a con- 
venient food for the ram while running with the sheep. If 
he is gentle, which he should always be, he will come up 
readily and eat from the hand, without exciting the attention 
of the other sheep which crowd, and not unfrequently injure 
each other when grain is placed before him ; or they may 
be stabled at night when they are fed with grain. If young 
ewes have stolen lambs, they should be taken away from 
them immediately after yeaning, and the nourishment sup- 
plied to the lamb from the milk of a cow. The tax of nur- 
sing is nearly equal to that of gestation, and farther injury 
to the dam may be avoided by this practice. Merino ewes 
have had the reputation of being indifterent nurses in Spain. 
This is owing to their fatigue in travelling, and frequently to 
scanty pasturage, instead of any constitutional deficiency. 
It is a frequent practice there, to kill a part of the lambs and 
put one on to two ewes. This has never been found neces- 
sary in the countries where they have been transplanted, as 
generous feed for the dams, has invariably been found entirely 
adequate to their support of the young. 



336 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

The localities in which Merino sheep can be profitably kept 
in the United States, arc wherever the pastures are sweet and 
dry ; the climate not too hot, and the land not too valuable 
for other purposes. Wool is the great object in the sheep 
husbandry of this country, and when sheep farms are remote 
from the large markets, the Merino will make much the most 
profitable returns. In the neighborhood of cities, where 
large and fat sheep and early lambs bear a high price, the 
mutton sheep may be substituted. 

The South-Down. — This valuable sheep has been known 
and bred for a long time on the chalky downs of England, 
where it has always maintained the character of a hardy 
animal, yielding a medium quality of wool, and furnishing 
mutton of a superior flavor. It was not however, till within 
the last 70 years, that any considerable attention was devoted 
to its improvement. Since that period, its line points have 
been remarkably developed, which is shown in its improved 
size and form, and its early maturity and productiveness. 
The late Mr. John Ellman of England, was the first who 
took them thoroughly in hand ; and so eminent was his suc- 
cess, that he founded a flock which has been the source from 
which all the best blood has been since derived. His crite- 
rion of a good South-Down is as foUg^ws : — " The head small 
and hornless ; the face speckled or grey, and neither too long 
nor too short. The lips thin, and the space between the 
nose and the eyes narrow. The under jaw, or chap, fine and 
thin ; the ears tolerably wide, and well covered with wool, 
and the forehead also, and the whole space between the ears 
well protected by it, as a defence against the fly. The eye fiill 
and bright, but not prominent. The orbits of the eye — the 
eye-cap, or bone, — not too projecting, that it may not form 
a fatal obstacle in lambing. The neck of a medium length, 
thin towards the head, but enlarging towards the shoulders 
where it should be broad and high, and straight in its whole 
course above and below. The breast should be wide, dee]>, 
and projecting forwards between the fore legs, indicating a 
good constitution, and a disposition to thrive.- Correspon- 
ding with this, the shoulders should be on a level with the 
back, and not too wide above; they should i)ow outward from 
the top to the breast, indicating a springing rib beneath, and 
leaving room for it. The ribs coming out horizontally from 
the spine, and extending far backward, and the last rib pro- 
jecting more than the others ; the back flat fi-om the shoul- 
ders to the setting on of the tail ; the loin broad and flat ; 



SHEEP. 337 

the rump long siiid broad, aiid the tail set on high and nearly 
on a level with the spine. The hips wide ; the space 
between them and the last rib on cither side as narrow as 
possible, and tiie ribs, generally, presenting a circular form 
like a barrel, The belly as straight a& the back. The legs 
neither too long nor too short. The forc-legs straight from 
the breast to the foot ; not bending inward at the knee, and 
standing far apart both before and behind ; the hocks having 
a direction rather outward, and the twist, or the meeting of 
the thighs behind, being particularly full ; the bones fine, yet 
having no appearance of weakness, and of a speckled or 
dark color. The belly well defended with wool, and the 
wool coining down before and behind to the knee, and to the 
hock ; the wool, short, close, curled, and line, and free from 
spiry projecting fibres." 

Other breeders have commenced where Ellman loll oflj 
and have apparently pushed their improvement to its utmost 
capacity ; and especially has this been done by Messrs. 
Grantham and Webb, the latter of whom, while preserving 
all the essential merits of the sheep, has carried the live 
weight of breeding rams, to 250 lbs., and well fattened wethers 
to 200 lbs. dressed weight. Many of the choicest animals 
have been imported into this country, and they are now to 
l)e found in limited numbers in almost every State of the 
Union. The wool was formerly short and used only for 
cloths, flannels, d:c. It has been considerably lengthened 
in many of the late flocks, and with the improvements in 
the combing machinery, is now much used in England, as 
a combing m'ooI. The quantity produced is nearly equal to 
that of the Merino flocks when well kept, varying according 
to the size and style of breeding, from 3 to 4 lbs. of clean 
washed wool, which in quantity, does not differ materially 
from half-blood INIcrino, and sometimes rather exceeds it. 
The larger animals of course, produce fleeces of much 
greater weight, sometimes reaching to 8 or 9 lbs. The South 
Down will subsist on short pasture, but well repays full feed- 
ing. It attains early maturity, is hardy and prolific, frequently 
])roclucing two at a birth. Like all highly improved English 
i)reeds, it is not a long-lived sheep. It may be considered in 
its prime at three. The wethers may be fattened at 18 to 30 
months, and the ewes at 3 to .') years, when first required as 
])rccders. The last arc sometimes allowed to come in with 
a lamb at a year, but they cannot be sustained in vigor, if put 
to breeding before two. 
O 



338 AMERICAN AaRICULTURE. 

The Chevoit is thus described by Blacklock: "They 
have a bare head, with a long jaw, and white face, but no 
horns. Sometimps they have a shade of grey upon the nose, 
approaching to dark at the tip ; at others, a tinge of lemon 
color on the face, but these markings scarcely affect their 
value. The legs are clean, long, and small-boned, and cov- 
ered with wool to the hough ; but there is a sad want of 
depth at the .breast, and of breadth both there and on the 
chine. A fat carcass weighs fjom 12 lbs. to 18 lbs. per quar- 
ter, and a medium ileece about 3 lbs. The purest specimens 
of this breed are to be found on the Scotch side of the Che- 
voit hills, and on the high and stony mountain farms which 
lie between that range and the sources of the Tevoit. These 
sheep are a capiial mountain stock, provided the pasture 
resembles the Chevoit hills, in containing a good proportion 
of rich herbage." They are eminently adapted to high 
lands and a severe climate, though less so than the Black- 
faced or Heath sheep of Scotland. They have become an 
American sheep, by their repeated introduction into this 
country. A late importation of several choice sheep was 
made by Mr. Carmichael of New-York. The wool on these 
is from 5 to 7 inches long, coarse, but well suited to combing. 
Like the Downs, it has heretofore been classed among the 
middle wools, but these specimens would seem to indicate 
that they are verging towards the long wools. 

The Bakewell or Leicester, the Cotswold and 
Lincolnshire possess several qualities in common, and it is 
only a practiced eye that can readily detect the difierence. 
This resemblance arises from a recent, common origin. They 
are all large and hornless; of a pure wh.te; with long, 
coarse and heavy fleeces ; excellent mutton sheep ; coming 
early to maturity, and capable of carrying enormous quanti- 
ties of fat. There have been from time immemorial, numer- 
ous flocks of these large, coarse wooled sheep, existing in 
certain parts of England under a variety of names, and par- 
taking of some slight peculiariry of features, according to the 
district in which they are bred. Thus, besides those above 
mentioned, there were the Teeswater, the Romney Marsh, 
the Kentish, the Bampton, the Exmoor, &c., all of which were 
deficient in form, slow feeders, and late in coming to maturity. 

Improvement of the Long Wools. — The late Robert Bakewell 
first commenced a decided improvement with the Leicesters, 
nearly a century since. He began by selecting the choicest 
sheep in England, which possessed the essential qualities ; 



BUEEP. 399 

and by judicious feeding and management throughout, he soon 
brouj^ht thoMi up to a character widely diOuriiig from the ori- 
ginal with which ho started. So ciiiiiiciit was his .success, 
that iti 17^^7, ho h;t three rams for 1250 pounds, (about 
$6;2()l>,) ati<i was olKMvd 1()'>0 pounds, (about $V-^0,) li.r 
ViO ewes. Soo!i alior this, ho received the enormous j)rice of 
800 guineas, or $1,000, for the use of two thirds of a single 
ram lor a season, reserving th(^ other third for himself. He 
reduced the bone and olfal or wortidess parts of the carcass, 
iiiii increased the weight of the vahial>le parts, and especially 
iheir tt ndent y to fatten and early maturity. This was elTec- 
tcvl mainly, by a nice discrimination, which has probably 
n<'vcr been surpassed, if it has ever been ecjualled. He se- 
lecled nu'dium sizes for the breed, with as much eveuness and 
perlection of form as possible, for he found that excellence and 
prolitable li'eding qualities were seldom connected with extra 
size, large bones, or imperfect Ibrm. He also observed the 
disposition to fatten in individuals, and used only such as 
were conspicuous in this respect. He relied more than all 
upon their quality of handling well, depending even more 
upon the elastic, mellow touch, than upon the most symmet- 
rical figure. He used only the choicest rams, a little under 
size, while the ewes were of full medium weight. The pro- 
geny were pushed with a full supply of nutritious food, and 
systematically brought to early maturity. Connected with 
this, was his practice of in- and-in breeding, or breeding the 
I'.irent upon the progeny, tor several successive generations, 
which had the tendency still further to refine the bone and 
oilal, and impress most etiectually, the desirable characteris- 
tics of the race. It is even credibly asserted, that he produced 
rol in such of his tattening sheep as he wished to nrature 
early tor the shambles, as in the first stages of that loathsome 
disease, the fat-secreting organs accomplish their ofiice more 
rapidly than in a state of perfect health, and it at least secured 
them against breeding when they left his own hands. It is 
certain, that Bakewell carried his refining system to such an 
extent, as partially to destroy the procreative powers; and 
he was subsequently obliged to introduce new animals to re- 
invigorate and continue his llock. The general system of 
Bakewell, however, was attended with complete success. 
He produced a race of anitnal?, not only tar beyond what 
England had ever before seen, but which, in all the qualities 
he endeavored to establish, have not been exceeded since ; 
and his improved Leicesters have come down to the present 



340 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

day as perfect as he left them, showing conclusively, that he 
not only formed, but stamped the peculiarities of the breed, 
with a permanence which yet bears witness to his genius. 
One of these attained the enormous live weight of 368 lbs., 
and dressed, 248 lbs. 

The Cotswold and Lincolnshire. — Other breeders were not 
slow in following in Bakewell's footsteps with different breeds, 
and the Cotswold and Lincolnshire especially, have become 
the subjects of an equally decided improvement, while the 
errors of iBakewcll were entirely avoided. They possess a 
rather more desirable robustness, approaching in some few 
specimens, almost to coarseness, as compared with the finest 
Leicesters ; but they are more hardy and less liable to dis- 
ease. They attain as large a size and yield as great an 
amount of wool, of a1)out the same value. These breeds 
scarcely differ more from each other, than do flocks of a simi- 
lar variety, which have been seprately bred for several 
generations. They are prolific, and when well fed, the 
ewes will frequently produce two lambs at a birth, for which 
they provide liberally from their udder till the time for wean- 
ing. The weight of the fleece varies from 4 to 8 lbs. per head. 

Peculiarity of long wool and its uses. — The striking 
pi^culiarity of the long wools^ is in the production of a fleece, 
which is perfectly adapted, by its length and the absence of 
tiic felting property, to the manufacture of worsted stuflTs, bom- 
bazines, mousseline de laines, d:c. This is a branch of our 
manufactiu'cs for wdiich we had little material that was suita- 
ble, till the introduction of the long wools ; and its rapid ex- 
tension within the past tew years, clearly shows, that a large 
and increasing demand for this kind of wool wifl continue at 
remunerating prices. Besides its uses for combing, it is ex- 
tensively manufactured into blankets, carpeting, and many 
other fabrics. 

Importation of liONo Woils. — Several of the Bakewells 
were imported dining the last century; and many flocks 
containing some of the best sp cimens, have been introduced 
and scattered over every section of the country. The lar- 
gest of any single importation of the long wools, M'as made 
by Messrs. Corning & Sotham, in 1842, and immediately 
preceding, and consisted of 70 or 80 choice Cotswolds. 

Breeding the TiONG Wools. — Some information on this 
Fubj'^ct will be found under the head oi" breeding Merinos^ and 
improvement of the Loiig Wools. The ram and ewe should be 
selected from the best specimens of the breed which is to be 



8TI13EP. 341 

perfH3tuate(l. There arc peculiarities of form or appearance 
in each, which should be carefully observed. Neither should 
a violent cross ever be taken for the purpose of perpetuation, 
as suggested, under the head of principles of breeding, in a 
previous chapter; such as between those |)ossessing totally 
opposite pro|)erties, as the Merino and Long Wools; and there 
is no conceivable advantage in mixing the middle wools, 
South Down.*, tS:c., with either. Lord Western has long 
experimented on the blending of the Merino and Long Wools 
through several generations, without any success, nor is it 
believed to bo attainable. There is no evenness or integrity 
of character either in the animal or fleece from such mix- 
tures, nor is it possible to foretel the character of progeny 
from such bastarti crosses. The general rule, that like be- 
gets like, will not hold true here, for the animal comes large 
or small, with a long or short fleece, fine or coarse, or inter- 
mixed ; and this too is repeated through numerous genera- 
tions, when the immediate parents exhibit properties altogether 
unlike the offspring, and which it derives from some remote 
ancestry. This practice will do to produce lambs for the 
butcher, as the consequence of a fresh cross is greater stami- 
na and thrift ; and it is found that lambs thus bred, attain an 
early and lull development. Thousands of sucli are annually 
bred on the banks of the Hudson, Long Island, and around 
our large cities, and in the worst possible w^ay ; as the large, 
coarse ram is used on the delicate Saxon ewe ; yet the lambs 
thrive and command a good price in the market, and the 
owner is satisfied to pocket the result. Yet nothing could 
be more absurd than to propagate from such progeny for any 
other purpose. 

The mixture of breeds of similar character, is attended 
with the best consequences. Such was the intermingling of 
the improved Leiccsters with the Cotswold and Lincolnshire, 
by which the latter were refined ; and such was the use of the 
latter with the Leicesters, when they became impotent and 
almost worthless from over-refinement in breeding. Good 
results have followed the mixture of the South and Hampshire 
Downs. A marked improvement in the Merino in this coun- 
try, has been claimed by Mr. Jarvis, and several others, from 
the mixture of the various flocks, which for ages had been ke|)t 
distinct in Spain ; and the same result is known to have fol- 
lowed a similar course with the Rambouillet and Saxon flocks. 

The ewe goes with young about five months, varying from 
145 to 162 days. Each flock-master will of course deter- 



342 AMERirAN AfiHICULTTTRT:. 

mine what is the proper time for his lambs to come. For 
early market, or when there are few sheep, and those well 
looked alter, they may come while the ewes are in the yards, 
and provision can be made for the progeny, by placing such 
as are heavy, in warm stalls. Both the dam and young thus 
receive a closer attention than they would in the field ; and 
after a weeks housing in severe weather, the lamb may be 
turned out into the dry yard, where he will suffer no more, 
apparently, than the full grown sheep. But with large flocks, 
early lambing is attended with much trouble, and it is gene- 
rally avoided, by deferring it till the weather has become 
more settled, and a iijll bite of grass will afibrd the dam a 
plentiful supply of milk. Yet in this case, the young sheep 
must daily be under the eye of the shepherd, who should see 
that they are well supplied with food, and especially that they 
are brought under cover in severe or stormy weather. 

A ram will serve from 10 to 100 ewes in a season, accord- 
ing to his age, health, feed, and management. A South 
Down or Long Wooled lamb of 7 or 8 months, is sometimes 
used, and when this is done, he should be well fed, and al- 
lowed to run only with a very few ewes. If full grown rams 
are turned into a lean pasture to remain with the ewes, not 
less than four should be put in for every hundred. But if a 
well-fed ram, in full health and vigor, is kept up, and led out 
to the ewe as she comes into heat, and allowed to serve her 
once only, he will suffice for one hundred, without injury to 
himself or progeny. For this purpose, the ram should be 
prepared, not by being fat, for this, neither he nor the ewe 
should ever bo ; but by being fed with grain for a short time 
before and during the continuance of the season. The ewes 
are more likely to come quickly into heat, and prove prolific, 
if lightly fed with stimulating food at the time. It is reason- 
ably enough conjectured, that if procreation, and the first 
period of gestation takes place in cold weather, the foetus will 
subsequently be fitted for the climate which rules during the 
early stages of its existence. If this be so, and it is certainly 
in accordance with the laws of natin-e, fine wooled sheep are 
most likely to maintain their excellence, by deferring the 
connexion of the male, till the commencement of cold weather ; 
and in the northern states, this is done about the first of De- 
cember, which brings the yeaning time in the last of April 
or first of May, when the early grass will afford a good qual- 
ity of feed. 



SHEEP. 343 

Winter Management and Food. — Sheep should be 
i)rought into winter quarters soon after the severe frosts oc- 
cur, as thesis diminisiii tho feed, and materially impair its nu- 
tritious qualities!. Tliey ought also to bo removed from the 
grass lands bo (ore they beco c permant'ntly Hoflened by the 
rains, as they will injuriously afiect their comibrt and health ; 
and it is equally objectionable from their poaching the sod. 
If the number be large when brought to the yards, they must 
i'^ carefully divided into Hocks of 50 to 100, according to the 

i/.e of the yards and sheds. The young and feeble must be 
- -parated from the others, and the ailing ones placed by them- 

"Ives ; and that no one maysuflbr from the other*, all should 
be classed as unitbrmly as possible as to strength. The 
yai-ds must be dry, well supplied with a trough of fresh water, 
and with comfortable sheds to which they can retire when 
they choose. 

Shelters in northern climates are indispenable to profita- 
ble sheep-raising, and in every latitude north of the Gulf of 
Mexico, they would be advantageous. There is policy as 
well as humanity in the practice. An animal eats much less 
when thus protected ; he is more thrifty, less liable to disease, 
and his manure is richer and more abundant. The feeding 
may be done in the open yard in clear weather, and under 
cover in severe storms. The shelters for sheep are variously 
constructed, to suit the taste or circumstances of the fleck- 
master. A sheep-barn built upon a side hill w'ill afford two 
floors ; one underneath, surrounded by three sides of wall and 
opening to the south, with sliding or swinging doors to guard 
against storms ; and another overliead, if the floors are made 
perfectly tight, with gutters to carry olf the urine ; and suffi- 
cient storage for the ftxldcr may be made by scaffolds. Or 
they may be con?tructed with 12 or 15 feet posts on level 
ground, allowing them to occupy the lower part, with the fod- 
dtir stoned above, in all ca^es however, thorough ventilation 
should be providedj for of the two evils of ex})Osure to cold 
or too gr(;at i)rivation of air, the former is to be preferred. 
iShepp cannot long endure close confinement without injury. 
In all ordinary woather, a shed closely boarded on three sides, 
with a close roof, is sufficient protection, especially if the 
open side is shielded from bleak winds, or leads into a well 
enclosed yard. If the apartment above is used for storage, 
the floors should be made tight, that no hay, chaff or dust can 
fall upon the fleece. 



344 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

Racks or mangers are indispensable to economical feed- 
ing. If the hay is fed on the ground, the leaves and seeds, 
the most valuable part of the fodder, are almost wholly lost, 
and when wet, the sheep in their restlessness while feeding, 
will tread much of it into the mud. To make an economical 
box or rack, take G light pieces of scantling, say 3 inches 
square, one for each corner, and one for the centre of each 
side. Boards of pine or hemlock, 12 -or 15 feet long and 12 
or 14 inches wide, may then be nailed on to the bottom of the 
posts for the sides, which are separated by similar boards at 
the ends, 2i feet long. Boards 12 inches wide, raised above 
the lower ones by a space of 9 to 12 inches, are nailed on the 
sides and ends, which completes the rack. The edges of the 
opening should be made perfectly smooth to prevent chafing 
the wool. The largest dimensions aljove given are suitable 
for the large breeds, and the smallest for the Saxon, and still 
smaller are proper for their lambs. These should be set on 
dry ground, or under the sheds, and they can easily be remo- 
ved wherever necessary. Some prefer the racks made with 
slats, or smooth, upright sticks, in the form of the usual horse 
rack. There is no objection to this, but it should always be 
accompanied by a board trough affixed to the bottom, to catch 
the line hay which falls in feeding. These may be attached 
to the side of a building, or used double. A small lamb re- 
quires 15 inches of space and a large sheep 2 feet, for quiet, 
comfortable feeding, and at least this amount of room should 
be provided around the racks for every sheep. 

Troughs may be variously constructed. The most econo- 
mical are made with two boards of any convenient length, 10 
to 12 inches wide. Nail the lower side of one upon the edge 
of the other, fastening both into a two or three inch plank, 
15 inches long and a foot wide, notched in its upper edge in 
the form required. 

Food. — There is no better food for sheep than ripe, sound, 
timothy hay, though the clovers and nearly all the cultivated 
grasses may be advantageously fed. Bean and pea straw 
are valuable, and especially the former, w^hich if properly 
cured, they prefer to the best hay ; and it is well adapted 
to the production of wool. All the other straws furnish a 
good food, and sheep will thrive on them without hay when 
fed with roots or grain. Roots ought to be given them occa- 
sionally for a change, and especially to the ewes after lamb- 
ing, if this occurs before putting them on to fresh pasture. 
They keep the stomach properly distended, the appetite and 



SHEEP. 846 

general houlth good, and they render their winter forage 
nearly equal to their summer feed. Much grain la not suited 
to store-shoop. It is too rich, and should be givon sparingly 
except to the lambs, the old owes or feeble sheep, or to restore 
the rams aftor hard service. For the above purposes, oats 
are the bf.st ; and if any other grain, beans or peas are given, 
it should be in small quantities. When there is a deficiency 
of hay and roots, grain may be used with straw. But the 
rtock ought to be so fed as receive the same amount of nour- 
ishment throughout every part of the year. The evenness 
and value of the fleece depends much upon this. When the 
amount of nutrition is great, the wool secreting organs are 
distended, and the fibre becomes enlarged ; when limited, 
fhey necessarily contract and the fibre is small. This pro- 
dticesa want of trueness, which the experienced stapler readily 
detects, and does not fail to estimate against the value of the 
fleece. Sheep ought to have a full supply of salt, and if 
accessible, sulphur, ashes, tar and clay would frequently 
lie nibbled by them when their stomach required either. Pine 
(»r hemlock boughs are a good substitute for tar, and afford a 
most healthful change in the winter-food of sheep. Entire 
cleanliness and dryness are also essential to the health of the 
Hock. The smaller sizes of the Saxon may be well sustained 
on two pounds of hay, but larger sheep will consume from 
three and a half to four, or even five pounds per day. Sheep 
like all other animals when exposed to cold, will consume 
much more than if well protected, or than during a warmer 
season. 

The care of the ewes wi'h young, is an important consider, 
ation, as the lamb is sometimes the only profit yielded by the 
flock, for when fodder is high or wool low, the fleece will 
barely pay for the food and attention. Pregnant ewes 
require the same food as at all other times, but caution is 
necessary to prevent injury or abortion, which is often the 
result of excessive fat, feebleness or disease. The first may 
be remedied by blood-letting and spare diet, and both the last 
by restored health and generous fo( d. Sudden fright, as from 
dogs or strange objects ; long or severe journeys ; gr^ at exer- 
tions ; unwholesome food ; blows in the region of the foetus, 
and some other causes produce abortion. 

Yeaning. — Most flocks are turned into the pasture before 

yeaning time, and the ewe is then lef^ to nature, which is a 

good practice if she is healthy and the weather good. But 

a larger number of lambs will be reared by a careful over- 

O* 



346 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

sight of the ewes and the use of proper precautions. As their 
time approaches, which may be known by the springing of the 
udder and the enlargement of the natural parts, they should 
be put by themselves at night, in a warm stable or with others 
in the same condition, and well looked after, late and early in 
the day. They seldom need any assistance, nor should any 
be rendered, except in case of wrong presentation, or feeble- 
ness in expelling the foetus. In the former case, the shep. 
herd may apply his thumb and finger after oiling, and push 
back the young, and assist in gently turning it till the nose 
and fore-feet appear ; and for the latter, only the slightest 
aid should be, rendered, and that to help the throes of the 
dam. 

Management of lambs.. — When lambing in the field, 
only a few should be together, as the young sometimes get 
changed, and the dams refuse to own them. This dificulty 
is generally obviated by holding the ewe till the lamb has 
sucked two or three times ; or they may be shut up together, 
and the lamb rubbed with a little fine salt. The lamb does 
not require nourishment for some hours ; but if the dam re- 
fuse to lick it as soon as it appears, it must becarefully wiped 
dry. If the weather be cold and the lamb is dropped in the 
field, the shepherd should be furnished with large pockets 
or a well-lined basket, in which it must be placed till the 
ewe is brought to the shed. After the first day or two, the 
udders ought to be completely drained of their m.ilk by the 
hand, so as to prevent swollen or caked bag. In case of de- 
ficiency of milk, the lamb maybe supplied from a new-milcli 
cow, by means of a sucking-bottle with an air vent, or it may 
draw a part of its nourishment from another ewe, which 
can be held while the lamb is sucking. It is sometime 
necessary to substitute a foster-mother, in which case, the 
ewe may be made to own the lamb, by milking from her 
udder over the lamb and under his tail, rubbing it on xvell; or 
rub the adopted lamb with the entrails and contents of the 
stomach of the dead lamb, or cover it with the skin. If the 
ewe proves a bad nurse, or it is desirable to bring the lambs 
forward rapidly, they may be early taught to eat boiled oats or 
other grain, cabbage, roots and tender hay. Lambs should 
be well fed, as it is important to produce size, constitution and 
perfection of form. The ewes and their young ought to be 
divided into small flocks, and have a frequent change of 
pasture. Some careful shephards adopt the plan of confin- 
ing their lambs, and allow them to suck two or thee times a 



BHEEP. 347 

day, by which they sufler no i'atiguo and thrive much faster. 
lUit this is troublejjonic and injurious, as the exercise is cssen- 
lial to the healtli and constiTulion of the lamb intended for 
rearing. It is admissible only when they are wanted for an 
early market, and by those who keep sheep for this purpose, it 
is a common practice. 

Castrating and docking lambs — At^er selecting enough of 
the choicest rams tor stock getters, the castrating may be 
perlbrmed at any time between two and six weeks old, when 
the lamb is in good health. A cool day should be chosen, or 
if warm, it must be done early in the morning. The best 
method is for one person to hold the lamb firmly between his 
legs, on an inclined plank upon which he rests, while another 
with a sharp knife, cuts ofl' about two thirds of the lower part 
of the scrotum. The testicles are then drawn out till the 
spermatic cord is reached, which is divided by the thumb nail, 
or it is pulled out and cut with a sharp knife. It is sometimes 
done by simply opening the scrotum, when the testicles and 
spermatic cord are jerked out. The wound should then be 
rinsed with cold water, after which apply lard. The opera- 
tion of docking, is by many deferred till a late perioc], from 
apprehension of too much loss of blood ; but if the weather 
be favorable and the lamb in good condition, it may be per- 
formed at this time with the least trouble and without injury. 
The tail should be laid upon the plank, the person holding 
him in the same position as before. With one hand he draw\s 
the skin towards the body, while the other person with a two- 
inch chisel and mallet, strikes it otT at a blow between the 
bone joints, leaving it one and a half to two inches long. The 
skin immediately slips back over the wound and is soon healed. 
Ewe lambs should be docked closer than the rams. To pre- 
vent flies and maggots, and assist in healing, it is well to apply 
an ointment composed of lard and tar, in the proportions of 
four pounds of the former to one quart of the latter. This is 
also a good application for the scrotum. The lambs should 
be carefully protected from cold and wet till they are perfectly 
well. 

Tagging or claUingj is the removal of such wool as is lia- 
ble to get fouled when the sheep are turned on to the fresh 
pastures, and of course it should be done just before leaving 
their winter quarters. It is most easily accomplished by 
placing the animal on a low table, and then holding it as in 
shearing, till the operation is performed. All the wool near 
the extremity of the sheath and the scrotum of the males, 



348 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

from the udder of the ewes, and from the dock, and below it, 
the inside of the thighs and from the legs of the sheep, should 
be removed. 

Summer Management. — As soon as the warm weather 
approaches and the grass appears, sheep become restive and 
impatient for the pasture. This instinct should be repressed 
till the ground has become thoroughly dry, and the grass has 
acquired substance. They ought moreover, to be provided 
for the change of food, by the daily use of roots for a few 
days before turning out. It would also check the tendency 
to excessive purging, which is induced by the first spring 
feed, if they were housed at night, and fed for the first few 
days, with a little sound, sweet hay. They must be provided 
with pure water, salt, &c. as in winter, for though they may 
sometimes do tolerably well without either, yet thrift and 
freedom from disease are cheaply secured by this slight 
attention. Dry, sweet pastures, and such as abound in aro- 
matic and bitter plants, are best suited for sheep-walks. No 
animal with the exception of the goat, crops so great a vari- 
ety of plants. They eat many which are rejected by the 
horse and the ox, and which are even essential to their own 
wants. In this respect, they are valuable assistants to the 
husbandman, as they feed greedily on wild mustard, burdocks, 
thistles, marsh-mallows, milk- weed and various other offend- 
ing plants; and the Merino exceeds the more recent breeds 
in the variety of his selections. Many prepare artificial 
pastures for their flocks. This may be done with a number 
of plants. Winter rye or wheat sown early in the season, 
may be fed off in the fall without injury to the crop ; and in 
the following spring the rye may be pastured till the stalks 
shoot up and begin to form a head. This affords an early 
and nutritious food. Corn may be sown broadcast or thickly 
in drills, and either fed off in the fields, or cut and carried to 
the sheep in their folds. An experiment made with white 
mustard for feeding sheep, is detailed on page 216, which 
shows it to be a valuable crop for this purpose. To give 
sheep sufficient variety, it would be better to divide tTieir 
range into smaller ones, and change them as often at least, 
as once a week. They seek a favorite resting place, on a 
dry, elevated part of the field, which soon becomes soiled. By 
removing them from this t'br a few days, rains will cleanse, 
or the sun dry it, so as again to make it suitable for them. 
More sheep may be kept, and in better condition where this 



HHEEP. 340 

practice is adopted than where they are confined fo the same 

pasture. 

Washing Shekp. — In most of that portion of the Union 
north of 40", the washing is performed from the middle of 
May till the first of June, according to the season and cli- 
mate. When the streams are liard, which frequently is the 
case in lime-stone regions, it is better to do this immediately 
after an abundant rain, by which the lime derived from the 
springs is proportionally lessened. The practice of a large 
majority of our farmers, is to drive their sheep to the wash- 
ing ground, early in the morning of a warm day, leav- 
ing the lambs behind. The sheep are confined on the 
bank of the stream by a temporary enclosure, from which 
they are taken, and if not too heavy, are carried into water 
sufficiently deep to prevent their touching bottom. They 
are then washed by gently squeezing the fleece with the 
hands, after which they are led ashore, and as much of the 
water pressed out as possible before letting them go, as the 
great weight retained in the wool, frequently staggers and 
throws them down. A good practice is to lead the sheep into 
the water and saturate the fleece, after which they are taken 
ashore. When they commence steaming, they are again led 
into the water, and washed clean. This insures thorough 
cleansing where the water is pure. Others make use of 
a boat, one end of which rests on a bold shore and the other 
is in deep water. The operator stands in the boat and 
plunges the animal over the side where the washing is per- 
formed ; or it is sometimes done by sinking a tight hogshead 
or large box in the water, with heavy weights, in which a 
man stands, and the sheep are brought or led to and from 
him by another person who walks on a plalform reaching 
from the bank to tlie hogsliead. Either of the last methods 
obviates the necessity of standing for a long time in water, 
by which colds, rheumatism, &c. are frequently contracted. 
In parts of Germany and sometimes in this country, sheep 
are forced to swim across a narrow stream several times, by 
which the fleece is tolerably cleaned, if oil the water be 
pressed out when they get to the land. The yolk b^ing a 
saponaceous compound, not an oily matter as is generally 
supposed, it readily combines with the water and passes out 
of the wool. An excellent practice when streams are not 
convenient, is to lead a small ripple of soft water into a tub. 
To this a little soap is added, after which the sheep are im- 
mersed and thoroughly cleansed. Perfect whiteness and 



350 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

purity of the fleece is readily obtained afterwards, by throw- 
ing over the sheep a jet of water. This practice has a good 
eliect, in preventing or removing cutaneous disorders and 
destroying ticks or other vermin. Many judicious farmers 
object to washing sheep, from its tendency to produce colds 
and catarrhal affections, to which sheep are particularly sub- 
ject ; but it cannot well be dispensed with, as the wool is 
always more saleable, and if carefully done, need not be 
attended with injury. Warm settled weather however, is 
indispensable to washing with safety to the general health of 
the sheep. 

Shearing. — The manner of shearing varies with almost 
every district ; but as this is an art to be acquired under a 
skilful master, we shall omit particular details on the subject. 
First clip all the tags and filth, if any remains or has been 
accumulated after the tagging in the spring ; then take ofT 
the fleece and spread it with the outside uppermost on a smooth 
bench or table, and push the wool carefully together, to render 
it more compact; double the sides over to the centre; throw 
the clean loose locks into the middle, and roll together from 
each end. This makes a smooth, dense package, which is 
secured by passing a stout twine one or more times around 
the sides and ends. All the wool from the extremities should 
be closely sheared and saved by itsell", before dismissing the 
the sheep, but never put up with choice fleeces. If wounds 
are made, which is sometimes the case with unskilful opera- 
tors, a mixture of tar and grease ought to be applied. After 
shearing, such horns and hoofs as are likely to be trouble- 
some, should be sawed and pared. The branding or mark- 
ing is essential to distinguish them from other flocks, and 
this is done on the shoulder, side or buttock. A brush or 
marking iron is used for this purpose, with paint made of 
lamp black, to which a little spirits of turpentine is first 
added, and then diluted with linseed or lard oil. If the wea- 
ther be cool, and especially if severe storms occur after 
washing or shearing, the flock should be housed. If sultry, 
they should have a cool, shady retreat, where they will be 
shielded from the flies and the heat. Blisters and permanent 
injury to the skin and fleece, are frequently the result of such 
exposure. Shade-trees in their pastures, contribute much to 
the comfort of sheep, when exposed to a blazing sun. A 
close examination of the skin, should be made at shearing, 
for the detection of disease or vermin. For remedies, see 
SLTtich diseases. Smearing or salving sheep, is a custom 



snEEP. 351 

little practised in this country. For cold, elevated and 
exposed situations, it may be necessary, anfi it is generally 
adopted in Scotland. The object ia to prevent cutaneous 
diseases and vermin, and furnish additional warmth and 
protection to the fleeces of such breeds as are deficient in 
yolk. It is usually performed the latter part of October, 
but is sometimes done immediately after shearing. The 
mixture or salve consists of tar and butter or grease, in dif- 
ferent proportions ; 1 gall, of the former to 12, or some- 
times 20 lbs. of the latter ; the greater proportion of tur 
being required for the younger sheep, or for more exposed 
situations. The grease is melted over the fire, and the tar 
stirred in, and when sufficiently cool, it is applied to the 
whole body of the sheep, by carefully parting the wool and 
rubbing it on the skin with the fingers. The above quan- 
tity is sufficient for 30 or 50 sheep, according to their size 
and the character of the wool. This application is not 
required for fine-wooled sheep, whose fleeces are more 
appropriately protected by a natural secretion of yolk ; and 
it is better to omit it in all cases, where the health and com- 
fort of the animal do not render it absolutely essential. Mr. 
Stewart, an experienced Scotch shepherd, uses only tallow 
and train oil mixed in equal proportions. He asserts that 
the improvement in the growth and quality of the wool is at 
least one-third, and it materially benefits the condition of the 
sheep. 

Weaning. — The lambs may be weaned from 3 J to 4 
months old. They should be put upon rich, sweet feed, but 
not too luxuriant ; while the dams are turned upon the 
poorest, and so remote from their young, as to be out of sight 
and hearing. The ewes ought to be carefully examined 
after a day or two, and if necessary, the milk removed with 
the hand. If it continues to accumulate, the ewe may be fed 
on hay for a few days. When thoroughly dried off, they 
should have the best fare to recover condition for subsequent 
breeding and wintering. The fall is a critical period to lose 
flesh, either for sheep or lambs; and if any are found defi- 
cient, they should be at once provided for by extra feed and 
attention. If cold weather overtakes them poor or in ill 
health, they will scarcely outlive it; or if by chance they 
survive, their emaciated carcass, impaired constitution, and 
scant fleece will illy repay the food and attention they will 
have cost. 



352 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

The time for taking sheep from the pastures must depend on 
the state of the weather and food. Severe frosts destroy 
much of the nutriment in the grasses, and they soon after 
cease to afford adequate nourishment. Long exposure to 
cold storms upon such lands, with such food to sustain them, 
will rapidly reduce their condition. The only safe rule is to 
transfer them to their winter quarters the first day they cease 
to thrive abroad. Drafting the flock for the purpose of rid- 
ding it of the supernumeraries, should be done at an earlier 
day. Such of the wethers as have attained their prime, and 
those ewes that have passed it, ought to be withdrawn soon 
after shearing, and provided with the best feed, and rapidly 
fitted for the shambles. If they have been properly pushed 
on grass, they will be in good flesh by the time they are taken 
from it, and if not intended for stall-feeding, the sooner they 
are then disposed of the better. Stallfeeding will be lost on 
an ill-shaped, unthrifty beast. The perfection of form and 
health, and the uniform good condition which characterize 
the thrifty one, indicate too plainly to be misunderstood, those 
which will best repay the care of their owner. The selection 
of any indifl^erent animal for stall-fattening, will inevitably be 
attended with loss, and they had better be at once disposed 
of when first brought from the pasture, for the most they will 
bring. 

Management of sheep for the Pkairies. — When des- 
tined for the prairies, they ought to commence the journey as 
early after shearing as possible. They are then disencum- 
bered of their fleece, and do not catch and retain as much 
dust as when driven later. Feed is also generally better, 
and the roads are dry and hard. Young and healthy sheep 
should be selected, with early lambs ; or if the latter are too 
young, and the distance great, they should be left and the 
ewes dried off*. A large wagon ought to accompany the flock, 
to carry such as occasionally give out; or they may be dis- 
posed of whenever they become enfeebled. With good care, 
a hardy flock may be driven at the rate of 12 or 14 miles a 
day. Constant watchfulness is requisite to keep them healthy 
and in good plight. One half the expense of driving may be 
saved by the use of well-trained shepherd-dogs. When arri- 
ved at their destination, they must be thoroughly washed, to 
free them from all dirt, and closely examined as to any dis- 
eases they may have contracted, which if discovered, should 
be promptly removed. A variety of suitable food and good 
shelter must be provided, for the autumn, winter, and spring 



S SllRFP. !)5d 

eiisiiin«j:, and every necessary altention given tlicm. This 
would be necessary ifindij^enous to the country ; how much 
more so, when they have just undergone a campaign, to which 
neither they nor their race iiave been acfuistomed. 

Sheep cannot be kept on the prairies without much care, 
artificial food, and proper attention ; and in a false system of 
economy, hitherto attempted by many, losses have occurred 
from disease and mortality in the flocks, sufficient to iiave 
made ample provision for the comfort and security of twice 
the number saved. More especially do they require |)roper 
food and attention, after the first severe frosts set in, which 
wither and kill the natural grasses. By nibbling at they^^, 
(the frost bitten, dead grass,) they are inevitably subject to 
constipation, which a bountiful supply of roots, sulphur, Asc, 
are alone sufficient to remove. Roots, grain, and good hay; 
straw, or corn-stalks, pea or bean-vines, are essential to the 
preservation of their health and thrift during the winter, any 
where north of 40". In summer, the natural herbage is suffi- 
cient to sustain them in fine condition, till they shall have ac- 
quired a denser population of animals, when it will be found 
necessary to stock their meadows with the best varieties of 
artificial grasses. 

The prairies seem adapted to the usual varieties of sheep 
introduced into the United States ; and of such are the flocks 
made up, according to the taste or judgment of the owners. 
Shepherd dogs are invaluable to the owners of flocks, both as 
preventives against the small prairie wolf, which prowls 
around the flock, but which arc rapidly thinning off by the 
settlers ; and also as assistants to the shepherds in driving 
and herding their flocks on the open ground. 

DISEASES OF SHEEP. 

The dry and healthful climate, the rolling surface, and the 
sweet and varied herbage which generally prevail in the 
United States, insure perfect health to an originally sound 
and well-selected flock, uidess peculiarly exposed to disease. 
No country is better suited to sheep, than most of the northern 
and some of the southern parts of our own. In Europe, and 
especially in England, where the system of management is 
necessarily, in the highest degree artificial, consisting fre- 
quently in early and continued forcing the system, folding on 
wet, ploughed grounds, and the excessive use of that watery 
food, the Swedes turnip, there are numerous and Hital diseases. 
Hence the long list which lumbers the pages of foreign wri- 



354 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

ters on sheep. The most destructive of these are the rot, and 
epidemics, which are scarcely known in America, except by 
report. The diseases incident to our flocks, may generally 
be considered as casualties, rather than as inbred, or neces- 
sarily arising from the quality of food, or from local causes. 
It may be safely asserted, that with a dry, rolling pasture, 
well stocked with varied and nutritious herbage, a clear, run- 
ning stream, sufficient shade and protection against severe 
storms, a constant supply of salt, tar, and sulphur in summer ; 
good hay, and sometimes roots, with ample shelters in winter ; 
that young sheep, originally sound and healthy, will seldom 
or never get diseased on American soil. The few which it 
may be necessary here to mention, will be treated in the sim- 
plest manner. Remedies of general application, to be admi- 
nistered, often by the unskilful and ignorant, must neither be 
elaborate or complicated ; and if expensive, the lives of most 
sheep would be dearly purchased by their application. A 
sheep which the owner has reared or purchased at the ordi- 
nary price, is thv- only domestic animal which can die without 
material loss to its owner. The wool and pelt will iu most 
instances repay its cost, while the carcasses of other animals 
will be worthless except for manure. The loss of sheep from 
occasional disease, will leave the farmer's pocket in a very " 
different condition, from the loss of an equal value in horses 
or cattle. Yet humanity equally with interest, dictate the use 
of such simple remedies for the removal of suffering and dis- 
ease, as may be within reach. 

DiARRHOBA OR SCOURS, whcH light and not long continued, 
calls for no remedy. It is a healthful provision of nature, for 
the more rapid expulsion of some offending matter in the sys- 
tem, which if retained, might lead to disease. It is generally 
owing to improper food, as bad hay or noxious weeds ; to a 
sudden change, as from dry food to fresh grass ; or to an ex- 
cess, as from overloading the stomach, and sometimes from 
cold and wet. The remedies are obvious ; change to suitable 
food in the first two cases ; abstinence after repletion, and 
warm, dry shelter with light diet in the last, are all that is 
necessary. When severe or long continued, a dose of castor 
oil maybe given, and after its operation, give 4 grains opium 
and one ounce chalk, and put them on dry food. Wheat 
bran or shorts and oat-meal or flax-seed gruel, are good both 
for lambs and sheep ; as are also ripe oats or wheat fed in the 
sheaf, with well cured, sweet hay, and plenty of salt. Fresh 



8IIP.KP. .*^55 

houghs of (he juniper or pine and hemlock, help to check the 
disorder. 

Looseness in the larger lambs is prevented by having chalk 
within thoir roach, or if ihoy refuse it, administer it in their 
lood. Wlien it happens soon after birth, place it with the 
ewe in a warm place, aiul feed tlie latter with plenty of oats or 
other sound grain. If the milk be deficient, give the lamb 
cow's milk scalded, or let it suck the cow. The tail is some- 
times glued on to the buttocks wiiile the scours continue. 
Separate it immetliately by the use of warm water, and rub 
the parts with dry loam or clay. 

Dysem'kuv is a dilierent and frequently a fatal disease, but 
resembles the former in its general symptoms. It is owing to 
prolonged diarrhoea, unwholesome or meagre food, and other 
causes. Bleeding and physic should ho. resorted to, after 
which give warm, nourishing gruel. 

flovEX. — See Jioven in cattle. 

]]kaxy is manifested by uneasiness, loathing food, fre- 
quent diinking, carrying the head down, drawing the back 
up, swollen belly, feverish symptoms, and avoidance of the 
flock. It appears mostly in late autumn and spring, and may 
be induced by exposure to severe storms, plunging in water 
when hot, and especi illy by constipation brought on by feed- 
ing on frost-bitten, putrid or indigestible herbage. Remedies 
are not ot\en succesful unless promptly applied. Bleed freely, 
and to effect this, in consequence of the stagnant state of the 
blood, immersion in a tub of hot water may be necessary. 
Then give two oz. Epsom salts, dissolved in warm water, 
with a handful of common saU. If this is unsuccessful, give 
a clyster made with a pipe-full of tobacco, boiled for a few 
minutes in a pint of water. Administer half, and if unsuc- 
cessful, follow with the remainder. Then bed the animal 
in dry straw and cover with blankets, and assist the purga- 
tives with warm gruels, followed by laxitive provender till 
well. — {Blacklock.) Thousands of sheep have died on the 
prairies from braxy, induced by exposure and miserable 
forage. Perfect preventive is secured by warm, dry shelters, 
and nutritious, digestible food. 

CosTivEXEss is removed by giving two table spoonsful of 
castor oil every 15 hours, till the difficulty is removed ; or 
give one oz. Epsom salts. This may be assisted by an injec- 
tion of warm, weak suds and molasses. 

Stretches. — Sheep sometimes stretch out their noses on 
the ground and around their sides as if in severe pain. This 



356 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

may be caused by an involution of one part of the intestine 
within another. When owing to this cause, the difficulty iy 
frequently removed, by jerking the animal by the hind legs 
several times, when the pain disappears. But it is generally 
occasioned by costiveness, which see abov^. This may be 
prevented by using green food, roots, &c., once a week, or 
i)y allowing them to browse on the evergreens, pines, &c. 

PoixoN from laurel and other plants, is cured by pouring 
a gill of melted lard down the throat, or boil for an hour the 
twigs of the white ash, and give a i to 1 gill of the strong 
liquor immediately; to be repeated if not successful. 

Inflammation of the lungs is produced by improper 
exposure to cold and wet. The remedy for slight atiec- 
ions, is warm, dry shelter, and light food. When severe, 
resort must be had to bleeding and purging freely, then 
to light bran or linseed mashes. 

Rot sometimes causes the death of a million of sheep in 
a single year in England, yet it is a disease almost unknown 
in this country. Foreign authorities ascribe it entirely to 
excessive humidity of climate, wet pastures, or too watery 
food. The preventives are therefore obvious. After the use 
of dry food and dry bedding, one of the best is the abundant 
use of pure salt. In violent attacks, early bleeding, followed 
by a dose of 2 oz. Epsom salts, to be repeated if necessary, 
with a change of diet and location, is all that can be done. 

FooT-ROT is frequently a prevalent disease among Ameri- 
can sheep. It is sometimes spontaneous, but more often pro- 
duced by contagion. In the former case, it is caused by soft, 
rich, or moist pastures. A dry gravelly or rocky range, will 
of course be an effectual preventive when owing to this 
cause. Contagion is communicated, by the absorbents of 
the foot coming in contact with the suppuration, which has 
been left on the ground from the diseased part. Absolute 
safety against this contagion is secured, only by a a total 
avoidance of the w^alks of the Infected animals, till repeated 
rains, or what is better, frosts have disarmed the virus of its 
mahgnity. Remedies are variously compounded, of blue 
vitriol, verdigris, tar, spirits of turpentine, alum, saltpetre, 
salt, lime, copperas, white lead, antimony, alcohol, urine 
vinegar, &;c., all of which are effectual. The hoof should 
first be pared and thoroughly scraped. Then apply a wash 
made of three parts of blue vitriol, one of verdigris pulverised 
finely, with scalding (not boiling) vinegar; stirring briskly 
till it is of the consistence of thin cream, and put it upon the 



8HEKP. 357 

aft'ected part with a paint brush. It is a good preventive, to 
apply this to the sound feot of the atTected animal. Another 
remedy is to use spirits of turpentine after scraping ; and if 
the disease is of Um^ standint^, add to the (urpelinc a strong 
decoction of blue vitriol dissolved in water, 't'lic foot siiould 
be examined every week, and the remedy repeated till perfect 
soundness is restored. A feather dipped in muriatic or nitric 
acid and applied to the parts after scraping and cleansing, 
is a good remedy. When put upon the soles oi' footsore 
sheep, it hardens the hoofs and enables them to travel better. 
Sheep are sometimes cured by keeping tiiem on a dry surface, 
arid driving over a barn floor daily, which is well covered 
with (juick lime. It may also be cured by dryness and 
repeated washing with soap-suds. The above ailment should 
not be confounded with a temporary soreness or inflammation 
of the hoof, occasioned by the irritation from the Ions: rough 
grasses which abound in low situations, which is removed 
with the cause; or if it continues, apply white paint or tar, 
after thorough washing. 

CORROSIOX OF THE FLESH BY FLIES OR MAGGOTS, may 

be cured by first removing the vermin, then wash with 
Castile soap and warm soft water, after which apply white 
lead with linseed oil. Tor put on the festering wound cor- 
rodes it ; but this, or spirits of turpentine placed on the sound 
parts near it, keep off the flies by their strong effluvia. If 
the wound be slight and the weather moderate, apply a little 
spirits of turpentine with a strong decoction of elder bark. 
Flies on sJieep may be prevented by smearing with a compo- 
sition made of two lbs. lard or soft grease, one lb. sulphur, 
J pint oil of amber, or oil of tar, or tar alone. A small 
spoonful is sufficient for a sheep. — {Genesee Farmer, vol. 7.) 
Protection from the gad-fly. — In July, August, and 
September, in the northern states, the gad-Jly (CEstiis Ovis) 
attacks the nostrils of the sheep, and there deposits its eggs, 
which on being hatched, immediately crawl up and make a 
lodgment in the head. They are frequently repelled, by lay- 
ing a thick coat of tar on the bottom of the troughs, and 
sprinkling it with salt. The smell of the tar adhering to 
the nose, will drive off* the fly. A more effectual remedy is 
to apply it thoroughly with a brush to the external part of 
the nose. If a few furrows of loose earth are turned up in 
their pastures, the sheep will hold their noses to them and 
thus keep off the fly. The symptoms of grubs in the head, 
are drooping of the head and ears, discharge of bloody and 



338 AMERICAN AGRICULTtJHE. 

watery matter from the nostrils, and loss of strength in limbs. 
If worms have made a lodgment, take i lb. of good Scotch 
snuff, add 2 quarts boiling water, stir and let it stand till cold. 
Inject about a table ypoonful of this liquid and sediment up 
each nostril with a syringe. Repeat this three or four times 
at intervals, from the middle of October till January; tho 
grubs are then small and will not have injured the sheep. 
The efficacy of the snuff will be increased, by adding h an 
oz. asafoetida, pounded in a little water. The effect on the 
sheep, is immediate prostration and apparent death, but they 
will soon recover. A decoction of tobacco will afford a sub- 
stitute for snuff. — (iV. England Farmer.) Blacklock's rem- 
edy is to half fill the bowl of a pipe with tobacco, light it 
and then hold the sheep, while a person inserts the stem some 
distance into the nostrils, and blows a few whifs into the 
nose. The operation is then repeated with the other nostril. 

Swollen mouth is sometimes fatal. It is said to be cured 
by daubing the lips and mouth plentifully with tar. — {Albany 
Cultivator, vol. 7.) 

Foul Noses. — Dip a small swab into tar, then roll in salt. 
Put some on the nose and compel the sheep to swallow a 
small quantity. — {American Farmer.) 

A disease indicated hy drooping, running at the eyes, weak- 
ness in the hack and loins, inability to use the hind legs, was 
removed by turning the sheep into a pasture containing Lobe- 
lia {Indian tobacco). Dried lobelia was also given, and pro- 
duced the same effect. — {Cultivator, vol. 2.) 

Scab. — This loathsome disease, to which fine-wooled sheep 
are particularly liable, is caused, like itch in the human sub- 
ject, by a small insect, a species of the acari. It is first man- 
ifest by the rubbing of the sheep, and soon after by one or 
more tufts of wool, which is loosened at the rogts. On feel- 
ing the skin, a hard dry tumor is perceptible. To prevent 
contagion, remove the infected sheep to a separate pasture or 
yard as soon as discovered. The Spanish shepherds disolve 
a little salt in their mouth and drop it upon the infected part. 
When the tumor has become enlarged, the wool should 
be removed closely to the skin, the scab scraped with a curry- 
comb, then wash with strong soap-suds or ley, and after- 
wards rub thoroughly with sulphur or brimstone, mixed with 
lard or grease. An effectual remedy is prepared by taking 
one pound of tobacco which add to 12 qts. ley from wood 
ashes, of sufficient strength for washing, and four quarts 
urine ; to this add another mixture of a gill high-wines, \ oz. 



SUEEP. 850 

camphor, i oz. Spanish brown, and h gill spirits of turpentine. 
A small qnantity of this applied to the sore, will never fail. 
Immediately afler shearing, scab may readily be cured by 
immersing the sheep, (excepting the head,) in a strong decoc- 
tion of tobacco liquor, adding a gill of spirits of turpentine 
for the fust, and making a slight addition of fresh liquid lor 
each sheep immersed, enough to keep up the strength of the 
tobacco and. turpentine, and taking care to rub the affected 
part thoroughly. For lambs, this liquor should be diluted, but 
yet left strong enough to kill ticks in one or two minutes, which 
may be ascertained by experiment. For killing ticks this 
last is a good remedy. After dipping the sheep or lambs, the 
liquor should be pressed out from the wool, upon an inclined 
plane, so arranged as again to run into the vessel. Scab is 
also removed by using a composition of one pound plug tobacco 
to three gallons water, with lime-water and oil of vitriol added 
or a decoction of hellebore with vinegar, sulphur and spirits 
of turpentine. — (H. D, Grove.) Scab is propagated more by 
using the same rubbing posts, than by contact with each other. 
Sheep in low condition are more subject to it than others. 

Ticks and lice sometimes infest sheep. Good feeding and 
shelter is a partial preventive, but when they have made their 
lodgement, they must be dipped in a decoction of tobacco 
water. The most eff*ectual time for their destruction, is a few 
days after shearing, when they will have left the naked bodies 
of the old ewes to hide in the fleeces of the iambs. The dip- 
ping in tobacco water is an effectual remedy. 

Pelt-rot will be recognized as one of the staple diseases 
of our native sJieep, described on page 322. The wool in 
this case falls off*, leaving the sheep partially or almost wholly 
naked ; but it is not accompanied with soreness or apparent 
disease. The animal must be provided with a warm stall and 
generous feed, and the naked skin should be anointed with 
tar and grease. The preventive is good keeping and shelter. 

Staggeks ok sturdy, and water in the head, some- 
times affect sheep, but more especially lambs under a year 
old. The first is caused by the hydatid. It is considered 
as an almost incurable disorder, but is sometimes removed by 
tre;)anning. Chancellor Livingston carefully supplied two 
thus attacked, with food for three months, when nature 
effected a cure. Removal to dry lands and purging, is a good 
precaution when they are tirst taken. An English kid lately 
cured one which had been given up, by boring with a gimblet 
into the soft place on the head, when the water rushed out 



360 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

and the sheep immediately followed the others to the pasture. 
A correspondent of the Albany Cultivator asserts, that h a 
pint of melted lard poured down the throat, will cure blind 
staggers in 10 minutes. 

Abortion occurs sometimes, and is usually caused by 
excessive fright or exertion, and sometimes by severe expo- 
sure and poor feed. It is seldom fatal, except to the lamb. 
The uterus is occasionally protruded after lambing. It should 
be immediately returned, first \vashing it in warm milk 
and water, if any dirt adheres to it. For this, the hand only 
should be used. After rubbing it with lard or oil, hold up 
the hind legs, and gently replace the protruded parts, then 
keep the ewe quiet till fully recovered. 

For garget, or caked bag. — Keep the bag thoroughly 
drained of milk, for which purpose the lamb is the most 
efficient. If it is lost, another may be temporarily substitu- 
ted. Purge freely with Epsom salts, and wash the udder 
repeatedly with very warm water. If matter forms, it should 
be opened with the lancet. 

Bleeding. — '* Nothing tends so much to the recovery of 
an animal from a disease in which bleeding is required, as 
the rapid flow of the blood from a large orifice. Little 
impression can be make on an acute disease by the slow 
removal of even a large quantity of blood, as the organs 
have time to accommodate themselves to the loss, which 
might, for any good it will do, as well be dispensed with. 
Either bleed rapidly or not at all. The nearer the com- 
mencement of an ailment, in which you employ bleeding, 
the operation is resorted to, the greater the chance of its 
doing good. Bleeding by nicking the under surface of the 
tail, does very well where no great deal of blood is required, 
but it is not to be thought of if the veins of the face or 
neck can possibly be opened. These are to be taken in 
preference to a vein on the leg, as they are much more 
readily got at. The facial vein commences by small branch- 
es on the side of the face, and runs downwards and back- 
wards to the base of the jaw, where it may be felt within 
two inches of the angle, or opposite the middle grinding 
tooth. It is here that the orifice must be made; the thumb 
of the left hand being held against the vein, so as to prevent 
the flow of blood towards the heart will make it rise. Some 
prefer opening the jugular vein, which commences behind 
the eye and runs down the side of the neck. This vessel is, 
however, more difficult to open that the former, being better 



8U£PIIERD DOUS. 361 

covered with wool, and not so easily exposed or made to 
swell. Stringing is the mode commonly resorted t« tor tliis 
end; that is to say, a cord is drawn tightly round the neck 
close to the shoulder, so as to stop the circulation thrtmgh 
the vein, and render it pcrceptihlo to the tinger. A lancet 
is the instrument generally used in bleeding, though a well- 
pointed penknife will do at a pinch. The opening nnist 
always be made obliquely; but bclbr<; attempting thiy, the 
animal must be secured, by placing it between the operator's 
legs, with its croup again.^t a wall. The selected vein is 
then fixed by the fingers of the operator's left hand, so as to 
prevent its rolling or slipping before the lancet. Having 
fairly entered the vein, the point of the instrument must bo 
elevated at the same time that it is pushed a little forward, 
by which motion it will be lifted from or cut its way out of 
the vein. A prescribed quantity of blwd should never he 
drawn, for the sinjplo reason that this ean never bo precise- 
ly stated. If the symptoms are urgent, as in all likelihood 
they will, your best plan is not to stop the flow of blood till 
the animal fall or is about to fall. When this occurs, run a 
pin through the edges of the orifice, and finish by twisting 
round it a lock of wool." — {Blackhck.) 

Lakge cuts are u baled by first sewing and then cover- 
ing with salve. Smaller ones may be secured with an 
adhesive plaster or bandage. 

To PROTECT LAMBS FROM WOLVES A^'D FOXES, SmCar the 

neck plentifully with a mixture of tar and sulphur. Bells 
are also said to guard them, as both are excessively wary, 
and have a great dislike to any thing artificial. Large dogs 
will keep them at bay. A better remedy is to kill the ma- 
rauders, which may be done by inserting strychnine in fresh 
meat and leaving it in their haunts. 

SHEPHERD DOGS. 

Of these there are two widely distinct breeds. One 
embraces the large Spanish dog and their descendants, 
the Mexican, and some other varieties, which are of a 
size, strength and courage sullicient to defend the flock 
against wolves, or other formidable enemies. They are 
frequently inclined to be ferocious, and will sometimes com- 
mit depredations on the flocks themselves. They are only 
necessary where there is danger from wild beasts and prowl- 
ing dogs, against which, if thoroughly trained, they are 
always an efficient protection. The smaller kind i« invalua- 
P 



362 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

ble for assisting the shepherd in bringing in his sheep, keep- 
ing them within any required compass, driving them from 
place to place and giving signal of danger. There are 
numerous sub-varieties, of different sizes; some with long 
tails, others without any; some smooth-haired, but more 
generally shaggy or long-haired. Each of these have a natu- 
ral instinct for the management of sheep, and, if properly 
educated, will seldom fail to answer every reasonable wish 
of their masters. Unless sheep are contined in small pas- 
tures, and are so familiar and manageable as to come 
readily at call, the use of the sheep-dog will save much of 
the shepherd's time. He has the intelligence of a man in 
comprehending the wants of the shepherd, and is vastly 
more efficient in bringing them together, or driving on the 
road and keeping them separate from other flocks. Sheep 
soon get accustomed to them, and without being alarmed by 
their presence, they learn to regard them as guides, whom 
they must implicitly obey. AH the above varieties have 
been imported, and the smaller ones are now extensively 
bred in this country. 



THE HOKSE. 368 



CHAPTER XVIII. 



THE HORSE. 

In nearly all ago- and countries, the horse has been the 
devoted servant, and the object of the pride and affection 
of man. Among the semi-civilized Tartars of middle and 
northern Asia, the Aborigines of our remote western prairies, 
reaching even beyond the Rocky Mountains, and some 
other rude nations, his flesh is used for food. Many tribes 
among the former, use the milk for domestic purposes, and 
especially when f'ermented and changed to an unj)leasantly 
sour and intoxicating beverage. Hut throughout the civil- 
ized world, with some slight exceptions, the horse is useful 
only for his labor. For this purpose he is pre-eminently 
fitted by his compact, closely knit frame; his sinewy, muscu- 
lar limbs; his easy, rapid stride; his general form and entire 
structure and habits. He is found in his wild condition in 
central Asia, Siberia, and the interior of Africa, and for 800 
years he has been turned loose to follow his native instincts 
on the illimitable pampas of South America, and the wide- 
spread prairies of^ Mexico and California. In all these 
regions he closely resembles the medium varieties of the 
domesticated horse, but as the natural result of his freedom, 
he possesses more fire 'and spirit than any other, except the 
blood horse. 

x^rabia is generally claimed as the original native locality 
of the horse, and as the only source from which he is to be 
derived in the requisite jierfcction for the highest improve- 
ment of the race. But Strabo, who wrote more than 1800 
years ago, asserts that the horse did not then flourish in 
Arabia, and it was not till some centuries later, that he 
attained any decided superiority there. Great attention, 
however, has been paid in that country, since the era of 
Mahomet, to the possession of a light, agile and enduring 
frame, intelligence and tractability of character, and the 



364 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

perpetuation of these qualities, by the most scrupulous regard 
for the purity of blood. This is equally ^true of the Barb or 
pure-bred horse of Morocco, and those of the northern coast 
of Africa, in Kgypt, among the Turks, and indeed wherever 
the followers of the Prophet are to be found. It is unques- 
tionable that the hilluence of the eastern blood among the 
choicest animals of modern Europe, has been followed by 
great improvements in racing stock. Yet it is equally 
certain, that the race horse, both ofEugland and the United 
States, has acccomplished what has never been demonstrated 
as within the ability of their progenitors; and on repeated 
trials with the eastern horses, he has shown himself confess- 
edly their superior in speed, strength and endurance. In 1825, 
two English horses ran against the two fleetest Cossacks 
which could be found throughout the entire region of their 
best blood, and in a continued race of 47 miles, the Euro- 
pean took the stakes. Sharper, the most successful, perform- 
ing the distance in 2 hours and 48 minutes. About the 
same time, Recruit, an English horse of moderate reputa- 
tion, easily beat Py ramus, the best Arabian on the Bengal 
side of India. The Leeds, the Darley and the Godolphin 
Arabian; the Lister and D'Arcey's White Turk, and other 
noted eastern horses, would not compare in performance with 
many of their descendants. But these, with some other 
choice Arabians, on the best mares, and with every advan- 
tage for obtaining celebrity, have succeeded in establishing 
a fame as just as it has been enduring. Yet it must at the 
same time be remembered, that oi' the innumerable other pure- 
bred horses which have been tried in Europe, a few only 
have rescued their names from oblivion. 

The experience of eastern blood in this country, in com- 
parison M'ith the best English, is decidedly in favor of the lat- 
ter. We have had one horse of unsurpassed excellence, which 
a tbrtunate accident threw ui)on our shores a short time pre- 
vious to 1770. Triis was the white Barb Ranger^ which was 
presented by the Etnperor of Morocco as the choice of his 
stud, to an English naval olUcer for some distinguished 
service. On his route homeward, the animal was set on 
shore for exercise at an intermediate port, where in his gam- 
bols he broke three of his legs, and thinking him worthless, 
his owner gave him to the commander of a New England 
merchantman, then present. He was readily accepted, and 
placed in slings on board of his vessel, and recovered. 
This animal stood for many years in the eastern part of 



Connecticut, and on their good mares, produced a numerous 
progeny of unrivalled cavalry horses, which rendered inval- 
uable services in the troop commanded by that consummate 
partisan, Captain (allcrwards (JjMUMal) Lee, of tin' revolution. 
It is said the favorite white liehl-horse ol' (General VV^'lshing. 
ton, was of the same stock. He was afterwaixls sold to 
Captain I-.indsey, as a special favor, and taken to Virginia, 
where he produced some good racers. Bussorah, a small 
sorrel horse, brought into this coimtry from the head of the 
Persian Culf, in 1819, then 5 years old, got many choice 
roadsters, though few, if any racers. The Narraganset 
pacers, a race belonging to our eastern slates, but for many 
years almost extinct, possessed for a long time an unrivalled 
reputation lor spirit, endurance and easy, rapid motion 
under the saddle; and they are said to have originated from a 
Spanish horse, many of which are pure descendants of the 
Barb. As an olTset to these isolated examj)les of success 
in this country, we have numerous instances of the importa- 
tion of the best Orientals, which have been extensively used 
on some of our superior mares, without any marked eflect. 
We shall refer to three prominent importations only. The 
first consisted of two choice Arabians, or Barbs, selected in 
Tunis by General Eaton, and sent to his estate in Massa- 
chusetts. The second was a present of four choice Barbs 
from the Emperor of Morocco to our government, in 1830; 
and the third consisted of two Arabians, sent by the Imaum 
of Muscat, near the Persian Gulf, to our government in 18.*B9 
or '40. These were all claimed to be, and no doubt were, 
of the pme Kochlani, the unadulterated line royal; yet none 
have earned any distinguished reputation. 

It is to England we are mainly indebted for the great 
improvement in our blood, road and farm horses. A numer- 
ous race of fine horses were reared on that Island, long pre- 
vious to any authentic history of it ; for in liis first invasion, 
Julius C'lesartook many of them to Rome, where they imme- 
diately became gn at favorites, although this mistress of half 
the known world, had already plundered every region of some 
of their best breeds. What might have been the particular 
merit of the English horse at the time of the Norman inva- 
sion, is not known, but it is certain that the Saxon cavalry 
under Harold, were speedily over-powered by William, at the 
battle of Hastings, which at once secured the throne to the 
Conqueror. History first informs us of the improvement of 
British horses, by importations from abroad during this reign, 



3166 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

which consisted of a number of Spanish stallions. These 
were supposed to be strongly imbued with the Arabian blood, 
which had been brought over to that country by the Moors, 
who had founded the Saracenic empire in the Peninsula, three 
centuries before. More than a century later, John made 
some importations from Flanders, to give weight and sub- 
stance to their draught and cavalry horses. The improve- 
ment of their various breeds, was afterwards pursued with 
more or less judgement and zeal, by other British monarchs, 
till they reached their highest excellence during the middle 
of the last century. Flying Childers, Eclipse, Highflyer, and 
others on the course, have probably exceeded in speed any- 
thing ever before accomplished ; while the draught-horse, the 
roadster, the hackney, the cavalry horse and the hunter, 
attained a merit at that time, which some judicious author- 
ities claim, has uol been since increased. It is even asserted, 
that some of the more serviceable breeds, have been seriously 
injured by too great an infusion of the blood ; while the 
almost universal absence of longboats on the turf, has tended 
to the improvement of speed, rather than bottom in the race 
horse. 

The improvement of the horse in this country, has not been 
a matter of record or history, till within a comparatively recent 
period. But it has silently, and with no little rapidity been going 
forward, for more than a century, till we have obtained a race 
of animals, throughout the eastern and middle states at least, 
which probably equal those of any other country for adapted- 
ness to draught, the road and the saddle. This improvement 
has been mainly brought about, by the importation of some 
of the best and stoutest of tJie English blood. In breeding 
from these for purposes of utility, particular reference has 
been paid to strength, enduringness and speed. No horses 
surpass our best four-mile bloods ; none equal our trotters ; 
and though much inequality exists in those bred for our vari- 
ous other uses, yet for profitable service, it is believed, no equal 
number of animals elsewhere, can exceed those in the region 
above indicated. It would be a superfluous task to attempt 
enumerating all the imported horses that have contributed to 
this improvement. Each good animal has done something. 
But among the earlier horses which may be named with dis- 
tinction, as having effected much for our useful beasts, are 
Lath, Wildair, Slender, Sour-krout, Tally-ho, Figure, Bay 
Richmond, Expedition, Baronet, and a host of others. Pre- 
eminent among these, was imported Messenger. He was 



THE H0R81I. 3d7 

foaled in 1780, imported in 1788, and died in 1808. He stood 
in ditiVrent places in NcwJorsey ; and in Dutchess, West- 
chester and Queens counties in New-Yoik ; and upon the 
mares derived trom the t^)regoin)nr and other good horses, he 
j(ot a numerous pronrony of illustrious descendants. Of 
these, we may name those capital stallions, Potomac, Ham- 
lintonian. Bay Finjure, Engineer, Manhrino, Tippoo Saib, 
Columbus, Gunn's, and Hushe's Messenger, and many others, 
which were extensively disseminated over the northern and 
middle stales ; and he has the credit of imparting a large 
share of his merits to his grandson, that nonpareil of horses, 
American Eclipse. His posterity were so numerous and 
widely spread, that it may be safely asserted that ot the best 
horses bred in the above states, scarcely one can now be tbund, 
which does not trace one or more crosses to his distinguished 
sire. His success in producing roadsters, besides his blood 
qualities of speed and endurance, consisted in his great 
strength and the peculiar formation of his limbs, large fore- 
hand and deep quarters, in which he excelled any other of the 
imported bloods. 

As an illustration of what may be accomplished by judi- 
cious breeding with the present materials in our hands, we 
mention one family of the American roadster, which is strongly 
tinctured with blooLl,and which has attained an enviable nota- 
riety among the choicest of the northern horses. They are 
derived from the Morgan horse of Vermont, that was foaled 
in Springfield, Mass., in 1793. He was got by Tru i Britton, 
supposed to have been bred by Gen. Delancey of New-York, 
and got by imported Wildair, (or one of his son?,) a horse of 
such distinguished excellence, as to have been re-exported to 
England, for the benefit of his stock. The Morgan horse 
stood in Vermont from 1795, till his death, at an advanced 
age. From him and the choice mares of Vermont, descended 
many excellent colts ; and his merits were inherited in an 
eminent degree by three of his sons, which stood in the same 
state and continued the career of improvement commenced 
by the sire. Trie result has been the production of a family 
of roadsters, of much similarity of appearance* and uniformity 
of character, unsurpassed by any others tor surviceable quali- 
ties. They are of medium size, from 13 J to 15 hands high ; 

♦Many of the Morgan horaes have the steep rump and heavy breast and neck, 
which indicates a Norman cross on the side of their dams, which has been largely 
imported through the French horse in the adjoining Canadian settlements -, but 
none of these are said to have characterised the founder of the race. 



368 AMEBICAN AGRICULTURE. 

with a well-formed head and neck ; high withers ; deep chest ; 
round body ; short back ; long quarters ; broad flat legs ; 
moderately small feet ; long wavy maue and tail ; presenting 
altogether the beau ideal of the road horse. They are 
spirited, docile, hardy and easily kept. They have an easy, 
rapid trot, and glide along with a good load, without clatter or 
apparent effort, at the rate of 10 or 12 miles an hour. This , 
family of horses has not of course been bred long enough 
within themselves, to have attained to the eminence of a dis- 
tinct breed. They are mentioned, merely as a type of what 
the serviceable roadster ought to be, and what he may become 
by the use of the proper instrument for breeding. And if 
the materials already in our hands are intelligently and 
perseveringlv used, we can produce all we require of horse- 
flesh. 

Besides our usurpassed blood-horses, we have others derived 
from various sources, and especially from the different Eng- 
lish breeds, all of which are variously compounded, with the 
first and with each other. On our north-eastern frontier, the 
Canadian prevails, a bastard but not degenerate race, made 
up of the French Norman and the English or American 
At the extreme south and west, we have the Imrse of Spanish 
originy obtained in his domestic state in Florida and Louisi- 
ana ; and from another branch of the Spanish, are desended 
the wild horses of Mexico and the more northern prairies. 
These are diversified in character, and generally possess 
medium size and merit. The Conestoga, a heavy roadster, is 
principally reared in Pennsylvania, and is used for the team 
and truck. He is an amalgamation of several breeds, but 
probably owes a share of his character to the Flemish horse, 
tor which there was a decided partiality among the numerous 
German emigrants of that state. Several varieties o^ ponies 
are to be found in different sections, but principally among 
the French, the half-breed and the Indians upon the fron- 
tiers, who have bred a stunted race from the Canadian or wild 
horse, and such others as could survive the hard usage and 
the scanty winter food, afforded by nature and their rude hus- 
bandry. Many of these have considerable beauty and sym- 
metry, and are fleet, hardy and spirited. The modern Nor- 
manf or mixture of the old French Norman draught-horse, 
(heavy.framed, big-limbed but stout and hardy,) and the Anda- 
lusian, a descendant of the Moorish barbs, has been introduced 
within a few years, and wifl unquestionably become a very 
popular horse for many purposes. He exhibits the qualities 



THE nORSE. 369 

of both ancestry in the proper proportions lor farm service. 
Ho has a thick head ; lively, prick ears ; short, heavy neck ; 
large breast and shoiddcr ; strong limbs ; well-knit back ; 
largo qdarters with much wavy mane, tail and fetlock. Like 
his Trench progenitor, he frequently stands low in the withers, 
which enables him to throw great weight into the collar ; and 
the diminished, flattened leg, the wind and game derived from 
his Moorish blood, give him much of the capacity and endur- 
ance of the thorough-bred. The English cart-Jiorse has tor a 
long time made up some of the best, heavy dray hor.-fes in the 
country, and late importations have refreshed the breed with 
additional choice specimens. The Clevclajid bay has been 
introduced of late, and promises good carriage horses from 
our well-spread, sizeable mares. The Norfolk troUer, Bd- 
founder, was imported many years since, and with our high- 
bred mares, has produced many choice roadsters and trotters. 
The remainder of our horse-flesh deserving of any notice, is 
chiefly composed of such as are superior in point of blood and 
merit. The improvement in the American horse, is conspic- 
uous and decided. Judicious breeders still look for qualities 
in the descendants, which they sought for in their imported 
sires, and the infusion of some of the stoutest of the blood is 
rapidly gaining on ascendancy in the general stock ; and we 
are contident our intelligent agriculturists will not permit this 
to proceed to an extent, that may be prejudicial to their value 
as draught horses, as has been done in some portions of Eng- 
land and our Southern states. There is no danger from excess 
of blood if it be of the right kind ; but it is seldom found com- 
bining that fulness and stoutness, and that docility and tract- 
ableness of disposition, wdiich are essential to the gig horse or 
the horse of all work. Yorke says truly, that *' the road horse 
may possess different degrees of blood, according to the nature 
of the country and the work required of him, [he might have 
added with j)ropriety, and according to the character of the 
hlood.^ His legs will be too slender ; his feet too small ; his 
stride too long, and he will rarely be able to trot. Three parts 
or half, and for the horse of all work, even less than that, 
will make a good and useful animal." For the saddle only, 
the high-bred is never objectionable to an enterprising and 
accomplished rider, if not diposcd to be vicious. His long 
elastic pasterns, giving easy, flexible motions ; his quick and 
almost electrical obedience when under thorough discipline ; 
his habitual canter and high spirit, always commend him for 
this purpose. 



P 



370 AMERICAN AGKICULTURE. 

Some of the prominent exLernal points of a fine saddle or gig 
horse are, a moderately small head, free from fleshiness ; fine 
muzzle and e'xpansive nostrils ; broad at the throat and wide 
between the eyes, which denotes intelligence and courage ; 
a dished face indicates high breeding, and sometimes, vicious- 
ness ; a convex or Roman nose frequently betokens the 
reverse ; the ears rather long, yet so finely formed as to 
appear small, and playing quickly like those of a deer ; and 
the eyes clear, f Jl, and confident, with a steady forward 
look. Glancing them backward or askance with a sinister 
expression, and with none or only a slight movement of the 
head, is indicative of a mischievous temper. The neck 
should be handsomely arched, and fine at the junction with 
the head, while the lower extremity must be full and muscu- 
cular, and well expanded at the breast and shoulders. The 
latter ought to be high and run well back; the withers strong, 
firmly knit and smooth ; the breast neither too prominent or 
retreating, too wide or too narrow, and supported by a pair of 
straight fore-legs, standing well apart. The chest should be 
deep, and the girth large ; the body full, and not drawn up 
too much in the flank ; the back short, and the hips gath- 
ered well towards the withers ; the loins wide and rising 
above the spine ; the ribs springing nearly at right angles 
from the back, giving roundness to the body. The hips 
ought to be long to the root of the tail, and the latter may 
approach to near the line of the back, which is a mark of good 
breeding. Both the thigh and hock should be large and 
muscular ; and between the hock or knee and pastern, the 
legs should be broad, flat, and short ; the hind legs properly 
bent, and all well placed under the body ; the pasterns of 
moderate length, and standing slightly oblique; the hoof 
hard, smooth, round before, and wide at the heel ; the frog 
large and sound ; and the sole firm and concave. A white 
hoof is generally tender, easy to fracture and to lame, and 
difficult to hold a shoe. The draught-horse ought to differ 
from the foregoing, in possessing a heavier and shorter neck, 
a wider and stouter breast and low withers, so as to throw 
the utmost weight into the collar ; a heavier body and 
quarters, larger legs and feet, and more upright shoulders 
and pasterns. 

Considerations which affect the value of the horse. — The color 
is not material, provided it be not pied or mealy. No better 
color for horses can be found than the dark bay or brown, 
with black mane, tail and legs. But most of the other colors 



THE HOUSE. 871 

arc frequently found with the best horses. Hard-mouthed 
horses, when acconipanied with great spirits, are objectiona- 
ble, as they require peculiar bitting and the utmost vigilance. 
Tlie paces and action of a horse are important, ft)r if good, 
they give a much greater capacity for performance. Some 
of these depend on form and structure, and arc unchangable; 
others are tlie result of break iv.g. All horses should be 
taught to walk fast, as it is their easiest and most economical 
pace, and it will help them over a great deal of ground in a 
day, even with a heavy load, and with comparatively little 
effort. A horse that steps short and digs his toes into the 
ground, is worthless as a traveller, and suited only to a ferry 
boat or bark mill. It is important that a horse be good tem- 
pered. If inchned to viciousness, he should be gently yet 
firmly managed when it is first apparent. A resort to great 
severity will be justified, if necessary to conquer him ; for if 
once allowed to become a habit, it will be difticult to cure 
him. Grooms and mischievous stable-boys frequently do 
much injury by their idle tricks with horses, and when 
detected, they should be discharged at once. Some horses 
are nervous, easily excited, and start at every unusual noise 
or object. Others are restive and fretful and ever anxious 
to be on the move. Kindness and firm, yet mild treatment, 
by which their motions and will are at all times controlled, 
and their confidence secured, are the only remedies. Others 
are inclined to sluggishness. These should have stimulating- 
food, and never be overloaded or overworked, and then kept 
well to their paces. Whatever they are capable of perform- 
ing, can in this way only be got from them. Habit has 
great influence with animals, as with man; and when within 
the compass of his ability, he may be habituated to any rea- 
sonable physical exertion. 

BuEEDiNG. — Agreeably to the general principles before 
enumerated, such animals should be selected as most emi- 
nently possess those points which it is desired to propagate, 
and these they should not only exhibit in themselves, but 
should inherit as far as possible from a long line of ances- 
try. For the perpetuation of particular points in progeny, 
it would be safer to rely on the latter quality than the for- 
mer. The selection of a mare, relatively larger than the 
horse, is an important rule in breeding, and it is believed 
that much of the success of Arabian and other Eastern horses 
as stock -getters, has resulted from the application of this 
principle. They possess valuable traits, but condensed within 



372 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

too small a compass. When such an animal is put to a well- 
bred, larger mare, the foetus has abundance of room and 
nourishment to develop and perfect the circumscribed out- 
lines of the male parent, and acquire for itself increased 
volume and character. The horse ought not to be less than 
four or five, and the mare one year older before being put to 
breeding. It would be still better to defer it for two or three 
years, or till the frame is fully matured. 

The gestation of the mare sometimes varies from 44 to 56 
weeks, but she usually goes with young from 47 to 50; and 
it is advisable she should take the horse at a time, which will 
ensure the foaling when the weather is settled, and there is 
a fresh growth of grass. She will be the better for light 
working till near the time of foaling, if well, but not too 
abundantly fed. In a few days after this, she may resume 
moderate labor; and if not in the way or troublesome, the 
foal may run with her ; but if she is exposed to heating, it 
should be confined till she cools, as suckling them is deci- 
dedly injurious to it. The mare is in danger of slinking her 
foal from blows and over exertion, the use of smutty grain, 
foul hay, or oftensive objects or smell ; and when this has 
once occurred, which happens usually in the fourth or fifth 
month, she should afterwards be generously fed at that 
period, and only moderately worked. When liable to slink- 
ing, the mare should be removed from others in foal, lest a 
peculiar sympathy should excite an epidemic. The mare 
comes in heat from nine to eleven days after foaling, when 
she should be put to the horse, if it be desirable to have a 
colt the following season. She comes round at intervals of 
about nine days each. 

Management of the colt. — The colt maybe weaned when 
five to seven months old, and preparatory to this, while with 
the mare, may be taught to feed on fine hay, meal or oats. 
When taken away, he should be confined beyond a hearing 
distance of the dam, and plentifully supplied with rowen or 
aftermath hay, mashed or ground oats, or wheat shorts. It 
is economy to provide a warm shelter through the inclement 
season for all animals, and especially for colts, which with 
all other young, should have an abundance of nutritious 
food. They will thus grow evenly and rapidly, and attain 
a size and stamina at two years old, they would not other- 
wise have acquired at three. 

Castrating. — The colt should be altered at about one year, 
but if thin in the neck and light before, the operation may 



THE HORSE. 873 

be deferred to such time as these requisite developments are 
secured. Few of the French diligence and farm horses, and 
scarcely any of the Oriental, are ever castrated. They are 
thought to be more hardy and enduring; but the slight advan- 
tage they may j)Ossibly j)ossess in this respect, would illy 
compensate for the trouble and inconvenience arising from 
their management. The operation should be performed 
late in the spring or early in autumn, while the weather is 
mild. If in high condition, the animal must first be bled and 
physiced. If large and fractious, he must be cast. Some 
back him into the angle of a worm fence, where he is firmly 
held by the head with a bridle, and the operator accom- 
plishes the object, without any trouble or material restiveness 
from the animal while standing. The scrotum should be 
opened on both sides and the testicles cut, or rather the cord 
scraped otf, which prevents as much bleeding. The wound 
may be dressed with a little lard ; then turn him loose in a 
pasture which has a shelter from sun, wind or rain. Another 
method of castrating is by torsion or twisting. Docking is 
practised by many, but merely to gratify an absurd and 
cruel caprice, without a single advantage, and the animal is 
better in every respect with the tail unmutilated. If done 
at all, it should be when young, and with a single stroke of 
the knife, or chisel and mallet; and if the weather be favora- 
ble, no further attention is necessary. NicJdng, — This in- 
human custom is now getting unfashionable, and we omit 
any description of it. 

Breaking — While feeding in the stable, the colt should 
be gently treated, and accustomed to the halter and bit, 
which prepares him for breaking. If permitted to run with 
the others while at work, he becomes familiarized to it, and 
when harnessed by the side of some of his well-trained 
mates, he considers his discipline rather a privilege than a 
task. The colt may be taken in hand for breaking at three, 
and thoroughly broken to light work at four, but should not 
be put to hard service till six or eight. A due regard to 
humanity and sound judgment, in thus limiting the burthen 
in his early years, would save much disease and suffering to 
the animal and profit the owner, by his unimpaired strength 
and prolonged life. The annual loss from neglecting this 
precaution is enormous, which might be entirely avoided, by 
less eagerness to grasp the substance, while as yet the shadow 
only is within reach. Many animals are thus broken down 
at twelve, and are in their dotage at fifteen, while others of 



374 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

good constitution, il* well treated, perform hard service till 
thirty. 

Longevity of the Jiorse. — Mr. Percival mentions one that 
died at 62. Mr. Mauran of New-York, has a fine gig and 
saddle horse, now in his 45th year, sound, spirited and play- 
ful as a kitten. He is of a dark brown with a tanned nose. 
We never yet saw a horse with a buff or bear muzzle, that 
had not great endurance. American Eclipse is still success- 
fully covering mares in Kentucky at the age of 31, the result 
of late and light service till his sinews became fully matured. 
We almost daily see a large, compact, flea-bitten horse, at 
work, dragging a heavy load in a single cart, which was for- 
merly used as one of Governor Maitland's coach horses, and 
though now upwards of 30, is apparently as sound and vigor- 
ous as an overtasked colt of seven or eight. 

Feeding. — The vigor and duration of the horse depend 
much on proper feeding. Like the cow and sheep, he mav 
be made to subsist on animal food, lish and almost every spe- 
cies of nutritious vegetable. But his natural and proper 
aliment is the grasses, grain and roots. In the middle and 
northern section of this country, his dry forage is almost 
invariably good meadow hay, generally timothy, which is 
the richest of the cultivated grasses. At the South, this is 
often supplied by the blades of Indian corn. But in all the 
states, a great variety of the grasses and clover are used. 
When put to hard labor, grain ought always to accompany 
hay in some form. Of the different kinds ot grain, oats are 
peculiarly the horse's tbod, and they are always safe, digesti- 
ble and nutritive. Barley is the best sub.^titute for it. W heat 
and Indian corn are sometimes given, but both are unsuita- 
ble; the first is too concentrated, and the last too heating. 
They ought to be sparingly used, and only when ground. 
The offal of wheat is never objectionable. Grain is always 
more advantageously fed when ground or crushed, and wet 
some time previous to eating ; and it is still better when 
cooked. On both sides of the Mediterranean, in the Bar- 
bary states, in Spain, France and Italy, much of the food is 
given in small baked cakes, and the saving in this way is 
much greater than the expense of preparing it. When con- 
fined to dry food, roots or apples fed once a day, are always 
beneficial. They keep the bowels open, the appetite and 
general health good, and contribute largely to the nutriment 
of the animal. Carrots are the best of the roots, as besides 
giving muscle and working power, they more than any 



DISEASES OF HORSES. 875 

other, improve tlio vviiul and remove all teiulciicy to heaves. 
They have even been ibund eflectual in curing an obstinate 
cough. By mmy of the keepers of livery stables, they are 
always used, for which purpose they command the same 
price as oats. Potatoes, parsneps, beets and Swedes turnepa 
in the order mentioned, are next to be preferred. Potatoes 
are improved by cooking. Mixtures of food are best, as of 
cut hay, meal and roots. Old horses, or such as are put to 
hard labor, will do much better if their food be given in the 
form easiest of digestion. No inconsiderable part of the 
vital power is exhausted by the digestion of dry, raw food. 
Horses ought to be fed, and if possible, exercised or worked 
regularly, but never on a full stomach. This is a frequent 
cause of disease, and especially of broken wind. If their 
food is given at the proper time, and the horse be allowed to 
finish it at once, without expecting more, he will lie down 
quietly and digest it. This will be much more refreshing to 
him, than to stand at the rack or trough, nibbling continu- 
ally at his hay or oats. What remains after he has done 
feeding, should be at once withdrawn. They should have 
water in summer three times, and in winter twice a day. 
Soft or running water is much the best. While working, 
and they are not too warm, they may have it as often as 
they desire. Neither should they be fed when heated, as 
the stomach is then fatigued and slightly inflamed, and is 
not prepared for digestion till the animal is again cool. Salt 
should always be within reach, and we have found an occa- 
sional handful of clean wood ashes, a preventive of disease 
and an assistance to the bowels and appetite. 

DISEASES. 

The list is long and fearful, and even the brief one subjoined, 
will be found sulliciently orreat, to inculcate the utmost caution 
in their manao^ement. The horse in his natural condition is 
subject to few ailments. It is only in his intensely artificial 
state, and when made the slave of man, that he becomes a 
prey to disease in almost every shape. A careful and judi- 
cious attention to his diet, water, exercise, stable, and gene- 
ral management, will prevent many of those to which he is 
subject. 

Glaxders is one of the most alarming. The first and most 
marked symptom is a discharge fn>m the nostrils of a pecu- 
liar character. The disease prod»ices infiammation there, 
and in the windpipe, and finally, in aggravated cases, passes 



3 Yd AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

down to the lungs, which are soon destroyed. It is propaga- 
ted by contagion, by exposure in humid stables, and is indu- 
ced by hereditary indisposition and great exhaustion. Youatt 
says, there is not a disease which may not lay the founda- 
tion for glanders. The poison resides in the nasal discharge, 
not in the breath. When exposed to it, the mangers should 
be thoroughly scraped, washed with soap and water, and 
afterwards with chloride of lime. All the clothing and har- 
ness which may have received any of the contagious matter, 
must be thoroughly cleansed and baked. The best preven- 
tives are dry, clean and well ventilated stables, proper exer- 
cise, and green food in summer, and roots in winter. The 
disease may be arrested in its early stages, by turning the 
animal on a dry pasture, but it is liable to return on subse- 
quent confinement. Iodine has lately been announced as a 
remedy, but of the certainty of its efiects, we are not aware. 
It is generally considered incurable, and when thoroughly 
seated, it may be deemed an act both of humanity and 
economy, to terminate the existence of its victim at once. 
This course becomes a duty, from the fact that many grooms, 
by their attendance on glandered horses, have been affected, 
and though the disease is in their case more managable, yet 
it is frequently fatal. Farcy is intimately connected with 
glanders, and the diseases frequently run into each other. 

Lampas consist in the swelling of the bars of the mouth to 
a level or even above the teeth. It may occur from inflamma- 
tion of the gums ; shedding of the teeth ; a febrile tendency, 
and from over feeding or want of exercise. It will generally 
subside by low dieting and proper exercise ; or it may be at 
once relieved, by lancing the bars with a sharp pen-knife. 

Poll-evil arises from some contusion or injury to the head, 
which produces a swelling that eventually suppurates. The 
inflammation may be abated in its earliest stages, by a blister, 
and later, by bleeding, physic, and cold lotions applied to the 
part. If these are ineffectual, and the swelling continues, 
it should be hastened by poultices, and warm, stimulating 
lotions ; and when fully formed, the tumor must be opened, 
so as to permit all the matter to run out. Repeated applica- 
tions of salt will sometimes cure it. 

Heaves.— ♦All those affections, distinguished in the Eng- 
lish veterinary works, as pnuernonia or inflammation of the 
lungs J chronic cough, thick and broken wind, consumption, <^c., 
are popularly designated as heaves. To some or all of these 
the horse may have an hereditary or constitutional tendency. 



DISEASES OF HORSES. 8T7 

Thoir iiicipiont stages are also induced by a sudden transition 
from heat (o cold, and Hometiines from cold to close and hot 
stables ; and by a chilly wind or danip stables, CHpecinlly after 
severe exercise. Feedin<; on musty, dry hay, or on straw, 
will produce an irritation which may lead to heaves. Injlam- 
motion of tlie lunaa is frequently dangerous, and requires the 
immediate and full u>e ofthe lancet. After the inllammation 
isdeeidedly allayed by copious bleeding, small doses of aloes 
may be given, and trequent injections of warm soap and 
water, which should be omitted the moment the fieces be- 
comes soft and approaching to the fluid state. Blistering 
the sides and brisket, and often repeated if otherwise inefTec- 
tual, must be resorted to. Convalescence should be followed 
with sedative medicines, and during all the severe stages of 
the disease, withhold all food except light gruels after pro- 
tracted abstinence. As health returns, put the animal out to 
grass. Inflammation ofthe \\\i\gn is sometimes succeeded by 
a chronic cough, and the other maladies enumerated. When 
firmly seaterj, it is incapable of removal. Its eflects can be 
alleviated, and with suitable tbod and treatment, the horse 
may be made to do much moderate labor for many years, but 
he can never become sound or sustain great exertion. Equal 
and proper temperature, moist, stimulating food, and espe- 
cially carrots or potatoes, and moderate exercise, but never 
on a full stomach, and dry, clean stables, are all the remedies 
that can be prescribed. 

Catarrh or horse distemper sometimes attacks the 
horse in the spring or fall, and is shown by soreness and 
swelling in the glands of the throat, a cough, difficulty of 
swallowing, discharging at the nose, and general prostration. 
It is seldom fatal if properly managed. Give light bran- 
mashes, purge thoroughly, and keep warm. If he is violently 
attacked, he may be bled while fever exists, and blisters or 
seatons may be applied, to reduce the swelling if extreme. 
The disease is contagious, and the animal should be at once 
placed where he cannot communicate it. 

Spasmodic Colic. — " The attack of colic is usually very 
sudden. There is often not the slightest warning. The 
horse begins to shift his posture, look round at his flanks, paw 
violently, strike his belly with his feet, and crouch in a pecu- 
liar manner, advancing his hind limbs under him ; he will 
then suddenly lie, or rather fall down, and balance himself 
upon his back, with his feet resting on his belly. The pain 
now seems to cease for a little while, and he gets up, and 



dtS AMERICAN AGRTCTTLTURE. 

shakes himself, and begins to feed ; the respite, however, is 
but short — 'the spasm returns more violently — every indica- 
tion of pain is increased — he heaves at the flanks, breaks out 
into a profuse perspiration, and throws himself more reck- 
lessly about. In the space of an hour or two, either the 
spasms begin to relax, and the remissions are of longer dura- 
tion, or the torture is augmented at every paroxysm ; the 
intervals of ease are fewer and less marked, and inflamma- 
tion and death supervene. The pulse is but little affected at 
the commencement, but it soon becomes frequent and contrac- 
ted, and at length is scarcely tangible. 

Among the causes of colic are, the drinking of cold water 
when the horse is heated. There is not a surer origin of 
violent spasm than this. Hard water is very apt to produce 
this eflfect. Colic will sometimes follow the exposure of a 
horse to the cold air or a cold wind after strong exercise. 
Green meat, although, generally speaking, most beneficial to 
the horse, yet, given in too large a quantity, or when he is 
hot, will frequently produce gripes. Doses of aloes, both 
large and small, are not unfrequent causes of colic. In some 
horses there seems to be a constitutional predispositioh to 
colic. They cannot be hardly worked, or exposed to unusual 
cold, without a fit of it. In many cases, when these horses 
have died, calculi have been found in some part of the ali- 
mentary canal. Habitual costiveness and the presence of 
calculi are frequent causes of spasmodic colic. The seat of 
colic is occasionally the duodenum, but oftener the ileum or 
the jejunum ; sometimes, however, both the caecum and 
colon are affected. Fortunately, we are acquainted with 
several medicines that allay these spasms ; and the disease 
often ceases as suddenly as it appeared. Turpentine is one of 
the most powerful remedies, especially in union with opium, 
and in good warm ale. A solution of aloes will be advanta- 
geously added to the turpentine and opium. If relief is not 
obtained in half-an-hour, it will be prudent to bleed, for the 
continuance of violent spasm may produce inflammation. 
Some practitioners bleed at first, and it is far from bad prac- 
tice ; for although the majority of cases will yield to turpen- 
tine, opium, and aloes, an early bleeding may occasionally 
prevent the recurrence of inflammation, or at least mitigate 
it. If it is clearly a case of colic, half of the first dose may 
be repeated, with aloes dissolved in warm water. The stim- 
ulus produced on the inner surface of the bowels by the pur- 
gative may counteract the irritation that caused the spasm. 



DISEASES OF HORSES. 379 

The belly sljould be well rublxui with a brush or warm cloth, 
but nut brtiist'd ami injured by the Inooni-hundle rubbed over 
it, with all their strenirtb, by two great fellows. The horse 
should be walked about, or trotted moderately. The motion 
thus produced in the bowels, and the friction of one intestine 
over the other, may relax the spasm, but the hasty gallop 
might speedily cause inflammation to succeed to colic. Clys- 
tei*s of warm water, or containing a solution of aloes, should 
be injected. The patent syringe will here be exceedingly 
useful. A clyster of tobacco-smoke may be thrown up as a 
last resort. When relief has been obtained, the clothing of 
the horse, saturated with perspiration, should be removed, 
and fresh and dry clothes substituted. He should be well 
littered down in a warm stable or box, and have bran mashes 
and lukewarm water for the two or three next days. Some 
persons give gin, or gin and pepper, or even spirit of pimento, 
in cases of gripes. This course of proceeding is, however, 
exceedingly objectionable. It may be useful, or even suffi- 
cient, in ordinary cases of colic ; but if there should be any 
inflammation or tendency to inflammation, it cannot fail to be 
highly injurious. 

Flatulent colio. — This is altogether a different disease 
from the former. It is not spasm of the bowels, but inflation of 
them from the presence of gas emitted by undigested food. 
Whether collected in the stomach, or small or large intestines, 
all kinds of vegetable matter are liable to ferment. In con- 
sequence of this fermentation, gas is evolved to a greater or 
less extent — perhaps to twenty or thirty times the bulk of the 
food. This may take place in the stomach ; and if so, the 
life of the horse is in immediate danger, for the animal has 
no power to expel this dangerous flatus by eructation. 

The symptoms, according to Professor Stewart, are, " the 
horse suddenly slackening his pace — preparing to lie down, 
or falling down as if he were shot. In the stable he paws 
the ground with his fore feet, lies down, rolls, starts up all at 
once, and throws himself down again with great violence, 
looking wistfully at his flanks, and making many fruitless 
attempts to void his urine." The treatment is considerably 
different from that of spasmodic colic. The spirit of pimento 
would be here allowed, or the turpentine and opium drink ; 
but if the pain, and especially the swelling, do not abate, the 
gas, which is the cause of it, must be got rid of, or the ani- 
mal is inevitably lost. This is usually or almost invariably 
a combination of hydrogen with some other gas. It has a 



380 AMERICAN AGRICULTUKE. 

strong affinity for chlorine. Then if some compound of 
chlorine — the chloride of lime — dissolved in water, is admin- 
istered in the form of a drink, the chlorine separates from the 
lime as soon as it comes in contact with the hydro«,'en, and 
muriatic gas is formed. This gas having a strong afiinitj'- 
for water, is absorbed by any fluid that may be present, and, 
quitting its gaseous form, either disappears, or does not retain 
a thousandth part of its former bulk. All this may be very 
rapidly accomplished, for*the fluid is quickly conveyed from 
the mouth to every part of the intestinal canal. Where these 
two medicines are not at hand, and the danger is imminent, 
the trochar may be used, in order to open a way for the 
escape of the gas. The trochar should be small but longer 
than that which is used for the cow, and the puncture should 
be made in the middle of the right flank, for there the large 
intestines are most easily reached. It is only when the prac- 
titioner despairs of otherwise saving the life of the animal 
that this operation should be attempted. Much of the danger 
would be avoided bj^ using a very small trochar, and by with- 
drawing it as soon as the gas has escaped. The wonnd in 
the intestines will then probably close, from the innate elasti- 
city of the parts. 

Inflammation of thk bowels. — There are two varieties of 
this malady. The first is inflammation of the external coats 
of the intestines, accompanied by considerable fever, and 
usually costiveness. The second is that of the internal or 
mucous coat, and almost invariably connected with purging. 
The muscular coat is that which is oftenest affected. Inflam- 
mation of the external coats of the stomach, whether the 
peritoneal or muscular, or both, is a very frequent and fatal 
disease. It speedily runs its course, and it is of great conse- 
quence that its early symptoms should be known. If the 
horse has been carefully observed, restlessness and fever will 
have been seen to precede the attack. In many cases a 
direct shivering fit will occur ; the mouth will be hot, and the 
nose red. The animal will soon express the most dreadful 
pain by pawing, striking at his belly, looking wildly at his 
flanks, groaning, and rolling. The pulse will be quickened 
and small ; the ears and legs cold ; the belly tender, and 
sometimes hot; the breathing quickened; the bowels costive; 
and the animal becoming rapidly and fearfully weak. 

The causes of this disease are, first of all and most fre- 
quently, sudden exposure to cold. If a horse that has been 
highly fed, carefully groomed, and kept in a warm stable, is 



DIBEASK8 OF HORSES. 881 

heated with exercise, and has been during some hours without 
food, and in ihis state of exhaustion is suHered to drink freely 
of cold water, or is drenched with rain, or have his legs and 
belly washed with cold water, an attack of inflammation of 
the bowels will oi\cn follow. An overfed horse, subjected to 
severe and lung-continued exertion, if his lungs were previ- 
ously weak, will probably be attacked by inllammation of 
them ; but if the lungs were sound, the bowels will on the 
tbllowing day be the seat of disease. Stones in the intes- 
tines are an occasional cause of inflammation, and colic 
neglected or wrongly treated will terminate in it. 

The treatment of inflammation of the bowels, like that of 
the lungs, should be prompt and energetic. The first and 
most powerful means of cure will be bleeding. From six to 
eight or ten quarts of blood, in fact as much as the horse can 
bear, should be abstracted as soon as possible ; and the bleed- 
ing repeated to the extent of four or hvc quarts more, if the 
pain is not relieved and the pulse has not become rounder 
and fuller. The speedy weakness that accompanies this 
disease should not deter from bleeding largely. That weak- 
ness is the consequence of violent inflammation of these 
parts ; and if that inflammation is subdued by the loss of 
blood, the weakness will disappear. The bleeding should be 
ellected on the fust appearance of the disease, for there is no 
malady that more quickly runs its course. A strong solution 
of aloes should immediately follow the bleeding, but, consid- 
ering the irritable state of the intestines at this period, guar- 
ded by opium. This should be quickly followed by back- 
raking, and injections consisting of warm water, or very thin 
gruel, in which Epsom salts or aloes have been dissolved ; 
and too much fluid can scarcely be thrown up. The horse 
should likewise be encouraged to drink plentifully of warm 
water or thin gruel ; and draughts, each containing a couple 
of drachms of dissolved aloes, with a little opium, should be 
given every six hours, until the bowels are freely opened. It 
will now be prudent to endeavor to excite considerable exter- 
nal inflannnation as near as possible to the seat of internal 
disease, and therefore the whole of the belly should be blis- 
tered. In a well-marked case of this disease, no time should 
be lost in applying fomentations, but the blister at once resor- 
ted to. The tincture of Spanish flies, whether made Avith 
spirits of wine or turpentine, should be thoroughly rubbed in. 
The legs should be well bandaged in order to restore the cir- 
culation in them, and thus lessen the flow of blood to the 



2S2' AMERICAN AGRICULTTJBE. 

inflamed part; and, for the same reason, the horse should be 
warmly clothed, but the air of the stable or box should be 
cool. No corn or hay should be allowed during the disease, 
but bran mashes, and green meat if it can be procured. The 
latter will be the best of all food, and may be given without 
the slightest apprehension of danger. When the horse 
begins to recover, a handful of grain may be given two or three 
times in the day; and, if the weather is warm, he may be 
turned into a paddock for a few hours in the middle of the 
day. Clysters of gruel should be continued for three or four 
days after the inilammation is beginning to subside, and good 
hand-rubbing applied to the legs. 

The second variety of inilammation of the bowels aflects 
the internal or mucous coat, and is generally the consequence 
of physic in too great quantity, or of an improper kind. The 
purging is more violent and continues longer than was inten- 
ded ; the animal shows that he is sutfering great pain ; he 
frequently looks round at his flanks; his breathing is labori- 
ous, and the pulse is quick and small, and the mouth is hot 
and the legs and ears are warm. Unless the purging is 
excessive, and the pain and distress great, the surgeon should 
hesitate at giving any astringent medicine at first; but he 
should plentifully administer gruel or thin starch, or arrow- 
root, by the mouth and by clyster, removing all hay and corn, 
and particularly green meat. He should thus endeavor to 
soothe the irritated surface of the bowels, while he permits 
all remains of the purgative to be carried oft'. If, however, 
twelve hours have passed, and the purging and the pain 
remain undiminished, he should continue the gruel, adding 
to it chalk, catechu, and opium, repeated every six hours. 
As soon as the purging begins to subside, the astringent med- 
icine should be lessened in quantity, and gradually discon- 
tinued. Bleeding will rarely be necessary, unless the inflam- 
mation is very great, and attended by symptoms of general 
fever. The horse should be warmly clothed, and placed in 
a comfortable stable, and his legs should be hand-rubbed and 
bandaged. Violent purging, and attended with much inflam- 
mation and fever, will occur from other causes. Green meat 
will frequently purge. A horse worked hard upon green meat 
will sometimes scour. The remedy is change of diet, or less 
labor. Young horses will often be strongly jjurged, without 
any apparent cause. Astringents should be used with much 
caution here. It is probably an effort of nature to get rid of 
something that offends. A few doses of gruel wiU assist in 



DISEASES OF HORSES. 

eflectiRg this purpose, and the purging will cease without 
astringent medicine. Many horses that arc not wellribbed 
home — having too great space between the last rib and the 
hip-bone — are subject to purging if more than usual exertion 
is required from them. They are recognised by the term of 
washj horses. They are otlen free and tiect, but destitute of 
continuance. They should have rather more than the usual 
allowance of corn, with beans, when at work. A cordial 
ball, with catechu and opium, will often be serviceable either 
before or at\er a journey. 

PiiYsicKiNO. — When a horse comes from grass to hard 
meat, or from the cool, open air to a heated stable, a dose 
or even two doses of physic may be useful to prevent the 
tendency to inflammation which is the necessary consequence 
of so sudden and great a change. To a horse that is becom- 
ing too fat, or has surfeit, or grease, or mange, or that is out 
of condition from inactivity of the digestive organs, a dose of 
physic is often most serviceable. A horse should be care- 
fully prepared for the action of physic. Two or three bran 
mashes given on that or the preceding day are far from suffi- 
cient when a horse is about to be physicked, whether to pro- 
mote his condition or in obedience to custom. Mashes should 
be given until the dung becomes softened. A less quantity 
of physic will then suffice, and it will more quickly pass 
through the intestines, and be more readily difllised over them. 
Five drachms of aloes, given when the dung has thus been 
softened, will act more effectually and much more safely than 
seven drachms, when the lower intestines are obstructed by- 
hardened faeces. On the day on which the physic is given, 
the horse should have walking exercise, or may be gently- 
trotted for a quarter of an hour twice in the day; but after 
the physic begins to work, he should not be moved from his. 
stall. Exercise would then produce gripes, irritation, and,, 
possibly, dangerous inflammation. A little hay may be put 
into the rack. As much mash should be given as the horse 
will eat, and as much water, with the coldness of it taken off,, 
as he will drink. If, however, he obstinately refuses to drink 
warm water, it is better that he should have it cold, than la 
continue without taking any fluid; but in such case he should 
not be suffered to take more than a quart at a time, with an 
interval of at least an hour between each draught. Whem 
the purging has ceased, or ilie physic is. set, a mash should be 
given once or twice every day until tiie next dose is taken, 
between which and the setting of th© first there should be ani 



384 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

interval of a week. The horse should recover from the Ian- 
guor and debility occasioned by the tirst dose, before he is 
harrassed by a second. Eight or ten tolerably copious 
motions will be perfectly sufficient to answer every good 
purpose, although the groom or the carter may not be satisfied 
unless double the quantity are procured. The consequence 
of too strong purgation will be, that weakness will hang about 
the animal for several days or weeks, and inflammation will 
often ensue from the over-irritation of the intestinal canal. 
Long-continued custom has made aloes the almost invariable 
purgative of the horse, and very properly so ; for there is no 
other at once so sure and so safe. The Barbadoes aloes, 
although sometimes very dear, should alone be used. The 
dose, with a horse properly prepared, will vary from four to 
seven drachms. Custom has assigned the form of a ball to 
physic, but good sense will in due time introduce the solution 
of aloes, as acting more speedily, effectually, and safely. The 
only other purgative on which dependence can be placed is 
the CROTON. The farina or meal of the nut is generally 
used ; but from its acrimony it should be given in the form of 
ball, with linseed meal. The dose varies from a scruple to 
half a drachm. It acts more speedily than the aloes, and 
without the nausea which they produce; but it causes more 
watery stools, and, consequently, more debility. Linseed- 
oil is an uncertain but safe purgative, in doses from a pound 
to a pound and a half. Olive-oil is more uncertain, but 
safe ; but cAfsroR-oiL, that mild aperient in the human being, 
is both uncertain and unsafe. Epsoiai-salts are inefficacious, 
except in the immense dose of a pound aifH a half, and then 
they are not always safe. 

Worms. — The long white worm {liimhricus teres) much 
resembles the common earth-worm, and, being from six to 
ten inches in length, inhabits the small intestines. It is a 
formidable looking animal ; and if there are many of them, 
they may consume more than can be spared of the nutritive 
part of the food, or the mucus of the bowels. A tight skin, 
and rough coat, and tucked -up belly, are sometimes connec- 
ted with their })resence. They are then, however, voided in 
large quantities. A dose of physic will sometimes bring- 
away almost incredible quantities of them. Calomel is fre- 
quently given as a vermifuge. The seldomer this drug is 
administered to the horse the better. When the horse can 
be spared, a strong dose of physic is an excellent vermifuge, 
so far as the long round worm is concerned ; but a better 



DISEASES OV noRSES. 385 

medicine, and not interfering with either the feeding or work 
of the horse, is emetic tartar, with ginger, made into a ball 
with linseed meal and treacle, and given every morning, half 
an hour before the horse is led. A smaller, darker colored 
worm, called the needle. worm, or ascaris^ inhabits the larger 
intestines. Hundreds of them sometimes descend into the 
rectum, and immense quantities have been found in the 
cojcum. These are a more serious nuisance than the former, 
for they cause a very troublesome irritation about the funda- 
ment, which sometimes sadly annoys the Ij^orse. Their exis- 
tence can generally be discovered by a small portion of mucus, 
which, hardening, is found adhering to the anus. Physic will 
sometimes bring away great numbers of these worms ; but 
when there is much irritation about the tail, and much of 
this mucus, indicating that they have descended into the rec- 
tum, an injection of linseed oil, or of aloes dissolved in warm 
water, will be a more effectual remedy. The tape-worm is 
seldom found in the horse. 

BoTs cannot, while they inhabit the stomach of the horse, 
give the animal any pain, for they have fastened on the cuti- 
cular and insensible coat. They cannot stimulate the stomach 
and increase its digestive power, for they are not on the diges- 
tive portion of the stomach. They cannot, by their rough- 
ness, assist the trituration or rubbing down of the food, for 
no such office is performed in that part of the stomach — the 
food is sotlened, not rubbed down. They cannot be injurious 
to the horse, for he enjoys the most perfect health when the 
cuticular part of his stomach is filled with them, and their 
presence is not even suspected until they appear at the anus. 
They cannot be removed by medicine, because they are not 
in that part of the stomach to which medicine is usually con- 
veyed ; and if they were, their mouths are too deeply buried 
in the mucus for any medicine, that can be safely adminis- 
tered, to affect them ; and, last of all, in due course of time 
they detach themselves, and come away. Therefore, the 
wise man will leave them to themselves, or content himself 
with picking them off when they collect under the tail and 
annoy the animal. 

WiND-GALLs. — In the neighborho'od of the fetlock there 
are occasionally found considerable enlargements, oftener on 
the hind-leg than the fore-one, which are denominated wirid'- 
galls. Between the tendons and other parts, and wherever 
the tendons are exposed to pressure or friction, and particu- 
larly about their extremeties, little bags or sacs are placed, 
Q 



3b6 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

containing and suffering to ooze slowly from them a mucous 
fluid to lubricate the parts. From undue pressure, and that 
most frequently caused by violent action and straining of the 
tendons, or, often, from some predisposition about the horse, 
these little sacs are injured. They take on inflammation, 
and sometimes become large and indurated. There are few 
horses perfectly free from them. When they first appear, 
and until the inflammation subsides, they may be accompa- 
nied by some degree of lameness ; but otherwise, except 
when they attain a great size, they do not interfere with the 
action of the animal, or cause any considerable unsoundness. 
The farriers used to suppose that they contained wind — hence 
their name, wind-galls ; and hence the practice of opening 
them, by which dreadful inflammation was often produced, 
and many a valuable horse destroyed. A slight wind-gall 
will scarcely be subjected to treatment ; but if these tumors 
are numerous and large, and seem to impede the motion of 
the limb, they may be attacked first by bandage. The roller 
should be of flannel, and soft pads should be placed on each 
of the enlargements, and bound down tightly upon them. 
The bandage should also be wetted with warm water two or 
three times a day for half an hour each time. The wind- 
gall will often diminish or disappear by this treatment, but 
will too frequently return when the horse is again hardly 
worked. A blister is more effectual, but too often temporary 
remedy. Wind-galls will return with the renewal of work. 
Firing is still more certain, if the tumors are sufficiently large 
and annoying to justify our having recource to measures so 
severe; for it will not only eftect the immediate absorption 
of the fluid, and the reduction of the swelling, but, by con- 
tracting the skin, will act as a permanent bandage, and there- 
fore prevent the re-appearance of the tumor. The iodine 
and mercurial ointments have occasionally been used with 
advantage in the proportion of three parts of the former to 
two of the latter- 

The Fetlock. — The fetlock-joint is a very complicated 
one, and from the stress which is laid on u, and its being the 
principal seat of motion below the knee, it is particularly 
subject to injury. There are not many cases of sprain of 
the back-sinew that are not accompanied by inflammation of 
the ligaments of this joint ; and uumerous supposed cases of 
sprain higher up are simple affections of the fetlock. It 
requires a great deal of care, and some experience, to dis'in- 
guish the one from the other. The heat abaut the part, and 



DI8BABE6 OF HORHB8. 367 

the point at which the horse least endures the pressure of the 
finger, will be the principal guides. Occasionally, by the 
applicatiun of cooling lotions, the inilainniation may be sub. 
dued, but at other times, the horse sutlers dreadfully, and is 
unable to stand. A serious aflt'ction of the ictlock-joint 
demands prompt treatment. 

C/UTTiNi; — The inside of the fetlock is often bruised by 
the shoe or the hoof of the opposite foot. Many expedients 
used to be tried to remove this ; the inside heel has been 
raised and lowered, and the outside raised and lowered; and 
sometimes one operation has succeeded, and sometimes the 
contrary ; and there was no point so involved in obscurity or 
so destitute of principles to guide the practitioner. The most 
successful remedy, and that which in the great majority of 
cases supercedes all others, is Mr. Turner's shoe, of equal 
thickness from heel to toe, and having but one nail, and that 
near the toe on the inside of the shoe ; care being taken that 
the shoe shall not extend beyond the edge of the crust, and 
that the crust shall be rasped a little at the quarters. 

Si'RAiN OF THE COFFIN-JOINT. — The proof of this is when 
the lameness is sudden, and the heat and tenderness are prin- 
cipally felt round the coronet. Bleeding at the toe, physic, 
fomentation, and blisters are the usual means adopted. This 
lameness is not easily removed, even by a blister ; and if 
removed, like sprains of the fetlock and of the back sinews, 
it is aj)t to return, and finally produce a great deal of disor- 
ganization and mischief in the foot. Sprain of the cofbn- 
joint sotnetimes becomes a very serious allair. Not being 
always attended by any external swelling and being detected 
only by heat round the coronet, the seat of the lameness is 
often overlooked by the groom and the farrier ; and the dis- 
ease is suffered to become contirmed before its nature is 
discovered. 

Ringbone. — This is a deposit of bony matter in one of 
the pasterns, and usually near the joint. It rapidly spreads, 
and involves not only the pastern-bones, but the cartilages of 
the foot, and spreading around the pasterns and cartilages, 
thus derives its name. When the first deposit is on the lower 
jiastern, and on both sides of it, and produced by violent 
inflammation of the ligaments of the joints, it is recognised 
by a slight enlargement, or bony tumor on each side of the 
foot, and just above the coronet. Horses with short upright 
joints, and with small feet and high action, are olltenest, as 
may be supposed, the subjects of this disease, which is the 



388 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

consequence either of concussion or sprain of the pastern- 
joints. It is also more frequent in the hind foot than the 
fore, because, from the violent action of the hind legs in 
propelling the horse forward, the pasterns are more subject to 
iigamcntary injury behind than before ; yet the lameness is 
not so great there, because the disease is confined principally 
to the ligaments, and the bones have not been injured by con- 
cussion ; while from the position of the fore limbs, there will 
generally be in them injury of the bones to be added to that 
of the ligaments. In its early stage, and when recognised 
only by a bony enlargement on both sides of the pastern-joint, 
or in some few cases on one side only, the lameness is not 
very considerable, and it is not impossible to remove the 
disease by active blistering, or by the application of the 
cautery ; but there is so much wear and tear in this part of 
the animal, that the inflammation and the disposition to the 
formation of bone rapidly spread. The pasterns first become 
connected together by bone instead of ligament, and thence 
results what is called an anchylosed or fixed joint. From 
this joint the disease proceeds to the cartilages of the foot, 
and to the union between the lower pastern, and the collin 
and navicular bones. The motion of these parts likewise is 
impeded or lost, and the whole of the foot becomes one mass 
of spongy bone. 

ENLARGEMENT OF THE iiocK. — First, there is inflamma- 
tion, or sprain of the hock-joint generally^ arising from sudden 
violent concussion, by some check at speed, or over-weight, 
and attended with enlargement of the whole joint, and great 
tenderness and lameness. This, however, like all other dif- 
fused inflammations, is not so untractable as an intense one 
of a more circumscribed nature, and by rest and fomentation, 
or, perchance, firing, the limb recovers its action, and the 
horse becomes fit for ordinary work. The swelling, how- 
ever, does not always subside. Enlargement, spread over 
'the whole of the hock-joint, remains. A horse with an 
enlarged hock must always be regarded with suspicion. In 
truth, he is unsound. The ])arts, altered in structure, must 
be to a certain degree weakened. The animal may discharge 
his usual work during a long period, without return of lame- 
ness ; but if one of those emergencies should occur when all 
his energies require to be exerted, the disorganised and wea- 
kened part will fail. lie may be ridden or driven moderately 
for many a year without inconvenience, yet one extra hard 
day's work may lame him for ever. 



DISEASES OF HORSES. 380 

CuRH. — There arc ollen injuries of particular parts of the 
hock-joint. Curb is an aHectioii of this kiiKl. It is an 
enlargement at the back of tiie hock, three or four inches 
]>elo\v its point. It is either a strain of the rinfr.liko liga- 
ment which binds the tendons in their jihice, or of the siieath 
of the tendons ; oitener, however, of the ligament than of 
the sheath. Any sudden action of the limb of more than 
usual violence may produce it, and therefore horses are found 
to ' throw out curbs ' alter a hardly-contested race, an extra- 
ordinary leap, a severe gallop over heavy ground, or a sudden 
check in the gallop. Young horses arc particularly liable to 
it, and horses that arc cow-liocked^ — whose hocks and legs 
resemble those of the cow, the hocks being turned inward, 
and legs forming a considerable angle outwards. This is 
intelligible enough ; lor in hocks so formed, the annular liga- 
ment must be continually on the stretch, in order to confine 
the tendon. Curbs are generally accompanied by considera- 
ble lameness at their first appearance, but the swelling is not 
always great. They are best detected by observing the leg 
sideway. The first object in attempting the cure is to abate 
inflammation, and this will be most readily accomplished by 
cold evaporating lotions frequently applied to the part. Equal 
portions of spirit of wine, water, and vinegar, will aflford an 
excellent application. It will be almost impossible to keep a 
bandage on. If the heat and lameness are considerable, it 
will be prudent to give a dose of physic, and to bleed from 
the subcutaneous vein, whose course is near it ; and whether 
the injury is of the annular ligament, or the sheath of the 
tendon, more active means will be necessary to perfect a 
cure. Either a liquid blister should be rubbed on the part, 
consisting of a vinus or turpentine tincture of cantharides, 
and this daily applied until some considerable swelling takes 
place ; or, what is the preferable plan, the hair should be 
cut oft*, and the part blistered as soon as the heat has been 
subdued. The blister should be repeated until the swelling 
has disappeared, and the horse goes sound. In severe cases 
it may be necessary to fire ; but a fair trial, however, should 
be given to milder measures. If the iron is used, it should 
be applied in straight lines. There are few lamenesses in 
which absolute and long-continued rest is more requisite. It 
leaves the parts materially weakened, and, if the horse is 
soon put to work again, the lameness will frequently return. 
No horse that has had curbs, should be put even to ordinary 
work in less than a month after the apparent cure ; and, even 



390 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

then, he should very gradually resume his former habits. A 
horse with a curb, is manifestly unsound, or generally con- 
denmed as unsound. Curb is also an hereditary complaint ; 
and therefore a horse that has once suffered from it, should 
always be regarded with suspicion, especially if either of the 
parents have exhil)itod it. 

Bone spavin is an affection of the bones of the hock joint. 
Spavined horses are generally capable of slow work. They 
are equal to the greater part of the work of the farm, and 
therefore they should not always be rejected by the small 
farmer, as they may generally be procured at little price. 
These horses are not only capable of agricultural work, but 
they generally improve under it. The lameness in some 
degree abates, and even the bony tumor to a certain degree 
lessens. There is sufficient moderate motion and friction of 
the limb to rouse the absorbents to action, and cause them to 
take up a portion of the bony matter thrown out, but not 
enough to renew or prolong inflammation. It cannot be said 
that the plough affords a cure for spavin, but the spavined 
horse often materially improves while working at it. For 
fast work, and for work that must be regularly performed, 
spavined horses are not well calculated ; for this lameness 
behind produces great difficulty in rising, and the conscious- 
ness that he will not be able to rise without painful effort 
occasionally prevents the horse from lying down at all ; and 
the animal that cannot rest well cannot long travel far or fast. 
The treatment of spavin is simple enough, but far from being 
always effectual. The owner of the horse will neither con- 
sult his own interest, nor the dictates of humanity, if he suffers 
the chisel and mallet, or the gimlet, or the pointed iron, or 
arsenic, to be used ; yet measures of considerable severity 
must be resorted to. Repeated blisters will usually cause 
either the absorption of the bony deposit, or the abatement 
or removal of the inflammation of the ligaments, or, as a last 
resource, the heated iron may be applied. 

Swelled legs. — The fore legs, but oftener the hind ones, 
and especially in coarse horses, are sometimes subject to con- 
siderable enlargement. Occasionally, when the horse does 
not seem to labor under any other disease, and sometimes 
from an apparent shifting of disease from other parts, the 
hind legs suddenly swell to an enormous degree from the 
hock and almost from the stifle to the fetlock, attended by a 
greater or less degree of heat, and tenderness of the skin, and 
sometimes excessive and very peculiar lameness. The pulse 



DI8SASES OF HOB8E8. 801 

likewise becomes quick and hard, and the horse evidently ^ 
labors under considerable fever. It is acute inflammation of 
the cellular substance of the le«rs, and that most sudden in 
its attack, and most violent in its degree, and therefore atten- 
ded by the oirusion of a considerable quantity of fluid into 
the cellular membrane. It occurs in young horses, and in 
those which arc over-fed and little exercised. Fomentation, 
diuretics, or purgatives, or, if there is much fever, a moderate 
bleeding will often relieve the distention almost as suddenly 
as it appeared. 

The cure, when the case has not been too long neglected, 
is sufliiciently plain. Physic, or diuretics, or both, must be 
had recourse to. Mild cases will generally yield to their 
influence ; but, if the animal has been negleted, the treat- 
ment must be decisive. If the horse is in high condition, 
these should be preceded or accompanied by bleeding ; but if 
there are any symptoms of debility, bleeding would only 
increase the want of tone in the vessels. Horses taken from 
grass and brought into close stables very speedily have swelled 
legs, because the difference of food and increase of nutriment 
rapidly increases the quantity of the circulating fluid, while 
the want of exercise takes away the means by which it might 
be got rid of. The remedy here is sufficiently plain. Swelled 
legs, however, may proceed from general debility. They 
may be the consequence of starvation, or disease that has 
considerably weakened the animal; and these parts, being 
farthest from the center of circulation, are the first to show 
the loss of power by the accumulation of fluid in them. Here 
the means of cure would be to increase the general strength, 
with which the exlremeties would sympathise. Mild diuretics 
and tonics would therefore be evidently indicated. 

Horses in the spring and fall are subject to swelled legs. 
The powers of the constitution are principally employed in 
providing a new coat for the animal, and the oxtremeties have 
not their share of vital influence. Mingled cordials and diu- 
retics are indicated here — the diuretic to lessen the quantity 
of the circulating fluid, and the cordial to invigorate the frame. 

Grease. — Swelled legs, although distinct from grease, is 
a disease that is apt to degenerate into it. Grease is a spe- 
cific inflammation of the skin of the heels, sometimes of the 
fore-feet, but oftencr of the hinder ones. Bad stable manage- 
ment is the true cause of it. Grease is a local complaint. 
The heel should be well but gently washed with soap and 
water, and as much of the scurf detached as is easily rerao- 



392 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

vable. An ointment should be applied, to supple, cool, and 
heal the part. When cracks appear the mode of treatment 
will depend on their extent and depth. If the cracks are 
deep, with an ichorous discharge and considerable lameness, 
it will be necessary to poultice the heel. A poultice of lin- 
seed meal will be generally effective, unless the discharge is , 
thin and offensive, when an ounce of finely-powdered char- 
coal should be mixed with the linseed meal; or a poultice of 
carrots, boiled soft and mashed. After the chaps or cracks 
have healed, the legs will sometimes continue gorged and 
swelled. A flannel bandage, evenly applied over the whole 
of the swelled part, will be very serviceable ; or, should the 
season admit of it, a run at grass, particularly spring grass, 
should be allowed. 

The feeding should likewise vary with the case, but 
with these rules, which admit of no exception, that green 
meat should be given, and more especially carrots, when 
they are not too expensive, and mashes, if the horse will eat 
them, and never the full allowance of grain. 

Walking exercise should be resorted to as soon as the 
horse is able to bear it, and this by degrees may be increased 
to a gentle trot. 

From bad stable management at first, and neglect during 
the disease, a yet worse kind of grease occasionally appears. 
The ulceration extends over the skin of the heel and the 
fetlock, and a fungus springs from the surface of both, highly 
sensible, bleeding at the slightest touch, and interspersed 
with scabs. By degrees portions of the fungus begin to be 
covered with a horny substance, protruding in the form of 
knobs, and collected together in bunches. These are known 
by the name of grapes, A foetid and very peculiar exhuda- 
dation proceeds from nearly the whole of the unnatural 
substance. The horse evidently suffers much, and is gradu- 
ally worn down by the discharge. The assistance of a 
veterinary surgeon is here indispensible. 

Some horses are more subject to grease than others, par- 
ticularly draught-horses, both heavy and light, but particu- 
larly the former, and if they have no degree of blood in them. 
It was the experience of this which partly contributed to the 
gradual change of coach and other draught-hor^os to those 
of a lighter breed. In the great majority of cases, grease 
arises from mismanagement and neglect. 

Everything that has a tendency to excite inflammation in 
the skin of the heel is a cause of grease. Therefore want 



DI88AIE8 OF HOR8B0. '898 

of exercise is a frequent source of tliis disease. When high 
feeding is added to irregular or delicient exercise, the disease 
is evidently still more likely to be produced. Want of clean, 
liness in the stable is a fruitful source of grease. When 
the heels are imbedded iu tilth, they are weakened by the 
constant moisture surrounding them — irritated by the acri- 
mony of the dung and urine, and little prepared to endure 
the cold evaporation to which they arc exposed when the 
horse is taken out of the stable. The absurd practice of 
washing the feet and legs of horses when they come from 
their work, and either carelessly sponging them down after- 
ward^5, or leaving them to dry as they may, is, however^ the 
most common origin of grease. 

When the horse is warmed by his work, and the heels 
share in the warmth, the momentary cold of washing may 
not be injurious, if the animal is immediately rubbed dry; 
yet even this would he better avoided : but to wash out the 
heels, and then leave them partially dry or perfectly wet, 
and suflering from the extreme cold that is produced by 
evaporation tiom a moist and wet surface is the most absurd, 
dangerous and injurious practice that can be imagined. It is 
worse when the post-horse or the plough-horse is plunged up 
to his belly in the river or pond immediately after his woik. 

There has been some dispute as to the propriety of cutting 
the hair from the heels. Custom has very properly retained 
the hair on our farm-horses. Nature would not have given 
it had it not been useful. It guards the heel from being 
injured by the inequalities of the ploughed field, and prevents 
the dirt, in which the heels are constantly enveloped, from 
reaching and caking on and irritating the skin. When 
the horse is carefully tended after his work is over, and his 
legs quickly and completely dried, the less hair he has about 
them the better, for then both the skin and the hair can 
be made perfectly dry before evaporation begins or proceeds 
so far as to deprive the legs of their heat. Grease is the 
child of negligence and mismanagement. 

Setons are pieces of tape or cord, passed, by means of 
an instrument resembling a large needle, either through 
abscesses, or the base of ulcers with deep sinuses, or between 
the skin and the muscular or other substances beneath. 
They are retained there by the ends being tied together, or by 
a knot at each end. The tape is moved in the wound twice 
oi- ihrice in the day, and oci a iionally wetted with spirit of 
turpentine, or some aerid fluid, in order to increase the uiflam* 



394 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

mation which it produces, or the discharge which is intended 
to be established. 

In abscesses, such as occur in the withers or the poll, and 
when passed from the summit to the very bottom of the 
the swelling, setons are highly useful by discharging the 
purulent fluid and suffering any fresh quantity of it that may 
be secreted to flow out; and, by the degree of inflammation 
which they excite on the interior of the tumor, stimulating 
it to throw out healthy granulations, which gradually occupy 
and fill the hollow. In deep fistulous woimds they are indis- 
pensable, for except some channel is made through which the 
matter may flow from the bottom of the wound,it will continue 
to penetrate deeper into the part, and the healing process 
will never be accomplished. On these accounts a seton 
passes through the base of the ulcer in poll-evil and fistulous 
withers is of so much benefit. 

Setons are sometimes useful by promoting a discharge in 
in the neighborhood of an inflamed part, and thus diverting 
and carrying away a portion of the fluids which distend or 
overload the vessels of that part; thus, a seton is placed with 
considerable advantage in the cheek, when the eyes are 
much inflamed." — (Youatt.) 

Founder or inflammation of the foot arises from various 
causes ; excessive exertion, great heat, and particularly when 
followed by drinking cold water or overloading the stomach 
in any way, sudden transition from great cold to excessive 
heat, and change of inflammation from some other part. 
When the attack is severe and confined to the forc-feet, Youatt 
recommends removing the shoe and paring the hoof as much 
as possible, taking 4 quarts of blood from each toe, placing 
the feet in warm water, and afterwards applying soft poulti- 
ces of linseed meal to the whole foot, and pastern. If this is 
ineffectual, take three quarts of blood from each foot the suc- 
ceeding day. It may then be necessary to blister the foot 
and coronet. The animal should be kept on green food or 
light mashes, and allowed to run on grass without labor. An 
effectual cure has been made by taking off the shoe and ap- 
plying lard raised to the boiling point, to every part of the 
foot. 

Poison from weeds, sometimes gives to horses ulcerated 
tongues and lips, and swollen legs and sheath. If there be 
much inflammation, bleeding should be resorted to, then give 
daily bran-mashes, with Glauber salts in doses of Ho H lbs., 
according to the size of the horse, with half a tea-spoon full 



DISEASES OF flORSES. 395 

of saltpetre. Washing the iilcemtcd parts with warm soap- 
suds, copperas and su^ar of lend may lollow. 

Infiammation of the eyes. Dr. Campbell, of Ohio, recom- 
mends for this, shutting up in a dark stable, and feeding on 
fresh-cut grass and bran-mashes. Bh^ed freely from the 
mouth, and give li lbs. Glauber salts, 2 drams nitre, and 15 
grains tartarized antimony, dissolved in a bucket of water, 
which the animal will drink when thirsty. This to be re- 
peated daily till purging is efiectcd. If it fails, bleed fron« 
the large veins just below the eye, taking 15 to 20 oz. of blood. 
The sling of hornets, bees or snakes, may be relieved by 
immediate external application of strong spirits of hartshorn ; 
salt and vinegar are also good. 

For sprains, take a mixture of 1 oz. sweet oil, 4 oz. spirits 
hartshorn, h oz. oil of thyme, and rub with'^it frequently. 
The remedies mentioned below are also effectual for sprains. 
For a bruise or blow., apply hot water a long time with wet 
cloths. Beef brine is an excellent lotion for both sprains and 
bruises. A veteran among horses, claims that it will almost 
set a joint, or heal a fracture. Wormwood or tanzy lotions 
arc also good. 

Fistula is frequently cured by repeated applications of salt. 
Wounds should be washed twice a day with clean, soft 
water, or with a little Castile soap added, and then rub with 
whale-oil. This answers for all seasons, keeps off flies, re- 
stores the httir, and of the original color. 

Galls, or wounds on the back from the saddle, are most 
effectually removed by white-lead, moistened with sweet. oil 
or milk. The saddle ought always to fit easily and be well 
padded, and it should be taken off and the animal's back 
washed at every baiting. 

Shoeing is an importand operation, and should never be at- 
tempted but under the supervision of an experienced person ; 
nor ought the shoes to remain so long as to produce contrac- 
tion of the hoof, which is followed by lameness and corns. 
They should be re-set as often as every live or six weeks. 
Contraction oftliefoot is also caused by standing on the dry 
stable for some days. In this case the hoof should be stop- 
ped with fresh cow-manure and clay, or with a thick felt 
soaked in water, and cut to suit the foot. This is also a good 
application over night, for horses that have accomplished a 
hard day's work on a dry road. Litter is not objectionable 
to the feet, if clean and not too damp. Some suppose this 
the cause of contraction, but it is the reverse. It is besides 



896 AMEKICAN AGRICULTURE. 

of great benefit when shook out for a bed, by inducing the 
horse to rest himself. He is thus enabled to do moTe work, 
and with a less expenditure of food. 

Corns. — " In the angle between the bais and the quarters, 
the horn of the sole has sometimes a red appearance, and is 
more spongy and softer than at any other part. The horse 
flinches when this portion of the horn is pressed upon, and 
occasional or permanent lameness is produced. Tliis disease 
of the foot is termed corns : bearing this resemblance to the 
corn of the human being, that it is produced by pressure, and 
is a cause of lameness, When corns are neglected, so much 
inflammation is produced in that part of the sensible sole, 
that suppuration follows, and to that, quitter succeeds, and 
the matter either undermines the horny sole, or is discharged 
at the coronet. 

" The cure of old corns is difficult ; for as all shoeing has 
some tendency to produce pressure here, the habit of throwing 
out this diseased horn is difllcult to get rid of when once con- 
tracted ; recent corns, however, will yield to good shoeing. 

" The first thing to be done is well to pare out the angle 
between the crust and the bars. Two objects arc answered 
by this : the extent of the disease will be ascertained, and one 
cause of it removed. A very small drawing-knife must be 
used for this purpose. The corn must be pared out to the 
very bottom, taking caie not to wound the sole. It may then 
be discovered whether there is any effusion of blood or mat- 
ter underneath. If this is suspected, an opening must be 
made through the horn, the matter evacuated, the separated 
Iiorn taken away, the course and extent of the sinuses explo- 
red, and introduce into them a saturated solution of sulphate 
of zinc, by means of a small syringe. Place over this dress- 
ing the common cataplasm, or the turpentine ointment, and 
renew the application every twenty-four hours. Three or 
four such applications complete a cure. Should there be no 
collection of fluid, the butyr of antimony should be applied 
over the whole extent of the corn, after the horn has been 
thinned as closely as possible. The object of this is to stim- 
ulate the sole to throw out more healthy horn. In bad cases 
a bar-shoe may be put on, so chambered, that there shall be 
no pressure on the diseased part. This may be worn for one 
or two shoeings, but not constantly, for there are few frogs 
that would bear the constant pressure of the bar-shoe ; and 
the want of pressure on the heel, generally occasioned by 
their use, would produce a softened and bulbous state of the 



or HORSKii. a97 

heels, that would of itself be an inevitable source of lamenesH. 
Turning out to grass, after the horn is a little grown, first 
with a l)ar-shoc, and afterwards with the shoo fettered on one 
side, or with tips, will often bo serviceable. A horse that 
has once had corns to any considera]>le extent should, at every 
shoeing, have the seat of corn well pared out, and the butyr 
of antimony applied. 

'* An ovER-REAf'H is a tread upon the heel of the coronet 
of the lore foot by the shoe of the corresponding hind foot, 
and either inflicted by the toe, or by the inner edge of the 
inside of the shoe. The preventive treatment is the bevel- 
ling, or rounding off, of the inside edge or rim of the hind 
shoes. The cure is, the cutting away of the loose parts, the 
application of Friar's balsam, and protection from the dirt. 

" There is a singular species of over-reaching, termed 
FORGING or cLicKiNCi. Tlic horso, in the act of trotting, 
strikes the toes of the hind shoes against the fore one. This 
noise of the clicking is unpleasant, and the trick or habit is 
not altogether free from danger. It is most frequent in young 
horses, and is attributable to too great activity, or length of 
stride in the hind legs. The rider may do something by 
keeping the head of the horse well up ; but the smith may 
effect more by making the hind shoes of clicking horses 
short in the toe, and having the web broad. When they are 
too long, they are apt to be torn off* — when too narrow, the 
hind foot may bruise the sole of the fore one, or may be locked 
fast between the branches of the fore shoe." — (Youatt.) 

The bearing rein is a matter of much controversy, some 
claiming that it should be entirely abolished, while others as 
strenuously contend for its almost universal use. Nimrod, 
who is deemed perfectly competent authority, insists on its 
use with fast roadsters and coach-horses. With team-horses, 
it may generally be dispensed with, and always should be in 
ascending hills, as it materially diminishes their c ipacity for 
exertion. The fault in its use, is its excessive tightness, and 
when standing, the horse ought never to be tormented with it. 

The bit is a frequent cause of injury to the mouth of the 
horse, fretting and teasing him, and in many cases, inducing 
permanent injury and viciousness. It should never be made 
annoying to the horse, beyond the absolute necessity for his 
proper restraint. An unruly stud may be controlled by passing 
the rein from the ring on the oft-side over the head and 
through the left ring. This gives a purchase to the groom 
which the horse cannot resist. Blinds have for a long time 



398 AMERICAN AGRICUtTURE. 

been fashionable, but in few cases are necessary, while in 
almost all they are decidedly injurious. 

The Stable is an important matter connected with the 
proper management of horses. These should be as much as 
possible, of an uniform temperature, cool in summer, warm in 
winter, and always clean, dry, and well ventilated. But no 
air must be allowed to blow directly upon the animal. The 
horse is a native of a warm climate, and ought to be well 
protected against cold. The stable should be neither too 
light or too dark, nor must the light ever be admitted before 
the eye of the horse. For judicious and extended arrange- 
ment of stables, and management of horses, the inquiring 
reader is referred to StewarVs Stable Economy. 



CHAPTER XIX 



THE ASS, THE MULE, AND THE COMPARATIVE LABOR 
OF WORKING ANIMALS. 



THE ASS 

Is a native of Arabia, Persia, and the central parts of Asia 
and Africa. Like the horse, he goes in troops and displays 
great natural sagacit)', activity and courage. Job says, " he 
scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth the cry- 
ing of the driver." Like the horse, too, he has from time 
immemorial, been tamed, and become the faithful servant of 
man ; but unlike him, he is subject to few maladies, is hardy 
and enduring, and subsists, and even thrives, on coarse and 
scanty forage. Thus Job says of his natural haunts, "Whose 
house I have made the wilderness, and the harren land his 
dwellings ; the range of the mountains is his pasture, and he 
searcheth after eve7'y green thing.^^ And Xenophon, in his 
Anabasis, a thousand years later, says of one of the Asiatic 
deserts through which he passed with the army of Cyrus, 



THE A89. 890 

"that it was lull of won n- wood ; if any otiicr kinds of 
shrubs or reeds jrrew there, they hud all an aromatic smell ; 
but no trees appeared. Of wild creatures, the most numer. 
ous are whl asses, which our horses sometimes chased, but 
the wild asses exceeded them much in speed." 

Varieties. — The difterent breeds of asses, are supposed 
to be quite as numerous as those of the horse. Four distinct 
races are mentioned in the ancient scriptures. In modern 
times we find a similar diversity. There arc two kinds in 
Persia, the largest a slow, heavy brute, used only Tor burdens ; 
the other smaller and more spirited, and used for the saddle. 
In E^ypt, a considerable thf)ugh less marked difference ex- 
ists, those near the Doha being inferior to those which are 
bred in Upper Egypt and Nubia. In Spain, a difference in 
size and spirit prevails, greater even, than in Persia. The 
Zebra is nearly allied in size, shape and character, to the 
wild ass, but his untameable ferocity has hitherto effectually 
bid defiance, alike to the scourges and caresses, the frowns 
and the favors of man. Arabia produces some of the most 
spirited and hardy asses, but their size, like that of their hor- 
ses', is too small for purposes of the greatest utility. The 
Maltese Jack is by American breeders, deemed the choicest 
animal from which to propagate. He is evidently of Ara- 
bian descent, and possesses all the good qualities of his an- 
cestry, with considerable additional size. We have several 
varieties, all of which are imported, as there are no natives 
of the Western Continent. The early importations were 
principally made from the Azores and Cape do Verd Islands, 
and were mostly of an inferior character. A superior Maltese 
Jack was presented to Gen. Washington, in 1787, by La 
Fayette, and is believed to be the first ever sent to this coun- 
try. Mr. Custis describes him, as of moderate size, clean 
limbed, possessing great activity, the fire and ferocity of a 
tiger, of a dark brown and nearly black, white belly and 
muzzle, and manageable only by one groom, nor then safely. 
He lived to a great age. His mules were all active, spirited, 
and serviceable, and when from stout mares, attained consid- 
erable size. A Spanish Jack and Jennet were also presented 
to Washington about the same time, by the King of Spain. 
The first is characterized by the same authority, as a huge, 
ill-shapen animal, near 10 hands high, very large head, 
clumsy limbs, and to all appearance, little calculated for active 
service ; he was of a grey color, and not much valued for his 
mules, which were unwieldy and dull. From the Maltese 



400 AMERICAJf AGRICULTURE. 

Jack and Spanish Jennet, which approach the size of the 
large Spanish Jack, was bred a valuable animal Compound, 
which partook of all the good qualities of the sire, with the 
weight of the dam. From him descended many of the best 
mules of Mount Vernon. Many other valuable importations 
followed these animals, and it is believed, we have for many 
years, had as fine specimens of the ass as the world affords. 
Jennets or she asses, are used among us principally for breed- 
ing Jacks, and of course are not numerous. They are some- 
times, though seldom, bred to the horse. It is difficult to 
induce the horse to notice them, and the produce, which is 
called a hinny, is less hardy and useful than the mule. The 
milk of the she-ass is lighter and more digestible than that 
of any other animal, and in former times was in great request 
for invalids. 

The ass is occasionally used in the cart, or as a beast of 
burden. Such as are employed for these purposes, are gene- 
rally of an inferior kind, and are only used for the lightest 
work. They may sometimes be seen among the fish-mongers 
and small vegetable dealers about our city markets, but little 
larger than a Newoundland dog or Shetland pony, trun- 
dling along a light cart with a wheel-barrow load. In an- 
cient times they have been, and in foreign countries even at 
the present time, they are extensively used. But the moderns 
have adopted the mule as the proper and almost exclusive 
substitute for the ass ; and it would show a still greater intel- 
ligence and economy, if it much more extensively took the 
place of the horse. 

THE MULE 

Is the hybrid produced by the ass with the mare. How early 
this animal was bred, is uncertain, but we know he was in 
high repute in the reign of David, near 3000 years ago, for 
he was rode by Absalom, the favorite prince of Israel, on the 
field of battle. They have from time immemorial, been bred 
in various parts of the East, on the borders of the Mediterra- 
nean, and throughout Spain, Portugal, and other countries, 
many of them being of splendid appearance and of fine quali- 
ties. In these countries, they are frequently used by the 
grandees and nobles, and indeed by royalty itself; and how- 
ever much they may be undervalued elsewhere, when they 
are finely bred and trained, and richly caparisoned, they ex- 
hibit a stateliness and bearing, that few of the highest bred 
horses can match. 



THE MULE. 401 

Bkredini; mules in tiib United Statek, was conunen- 
ced with much spirit in some of tlio New Kiigland states, 
soon after the American revolution. The ohjcct was not to 
hreed them for their own use, hut simply as an article of com- 
merce. They were at tirst shipped cxchisively to the West 
Indies, and atlerwards to the South and West, for employ- 
ment in the sugar mills, and other work on the plantations. 
Indirterent animals, hoth as sires and dams, were used at 
lirst, as anything which l)orc the name of mule, then com- 
mande<l a ready sal<;. These were necessarily interior 
brutes, and viewed with almost universal derision ; and being 
considered the type of their race, a prejudice was excited 
against them, which more than half a century has not been 
sufficient to dispel. Among a few thinking men at the 
North, they have been adopted and made highly useful in the 
various duties of the farm. They have been largely intro- 
duced at the south and west, but principally in the slave 
states, where the management of the team devolves upon the 
ignorant and heedless. It is there, and in other and hotter 
climates, that the superior merits of the mule over the horse 
as a laboring animal, are peculiarly manifest. In many instan- 
ces they are inditierently fed, hardly worked, and gieatly ne- 
glected by their drivers, and yet they sustain themselves for 
years, in defiance of usage that would annihilate two genera- 
tions of horses. Their powers have been largely increased 
and their merits improved, by the introduction of some of the 
best Maltese and Spanish Jacks, and the use of large, blood 
mares. The propriety of this course is seen in the value of 
the product ; for while some of the inferior brutes are un- 
saleable at $50, others of the sa > e age, and reared under 
the same circumstances of keep and condition, could not be 
purchased for $150. 

The hreedingy rearing and management of mules is similar 
to that of colts. They will be found, as much as horses, to 
repay generous keep and attention by their increased and 
rapid growth. But they should not be pampered by high 
feed, as it not only has a tendency to produce disease, but to 
form habits of fastidiousness, which materially lessens their 
economical feeding in after life. The diseases to which 
mules are subjected which are always lev/^ and if properly 
managed they will seldom or ever occur, require a treatment 
like that of horses. The breeding from mules has sometimes 
been questioned, but it has been demonstrated in several 
instances. Neither the sexual development or propensities 



402 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

are wanting, but they are seldom indulged with effect. Mr. 
Kilby of Virginia, states in the Farmer's Register, that a 
mare mule brought two colts got by a young horse, which 
they closely resembled. The first was a male, and died, 
apparently with staggers which no treatment could arrest, at 
six months old. The second was a female, from the same 
parents, 16 months younger than the first, marked like the 
sire, being jet black, excepting a white foot and star in the 
forehead, and died at a year old, after a two doys illness, 
notwithstanding the utmost care was bestowed upon it. Suc- 
cessful propagation of this hybrid, however, beyond the first 
cross, seems to be incompatible with the fixed laws of nature. 

With a view of encouraging the substitution of mules for 
a part of the horses now employed in American husbandry, 
we give the following testimony from experienced individuals 
of great intelligence and careful observation. 

ADVANTAGES OF MULE OVER HORSE LABOR. 

The official report of an agricultural committee in South 
Carolina in 1824, says: — "The annual expense of keeping 
a horse is equal to his value ; that a horse at four years old 
would not often bring more than his cost ; that two mules 
could be raised at less expense than one horse ; is fit for ser- 
vice earlier, and if of sufficient size, will perform as much 
labor ; and if attended to when first put to work, his gait and 
habits may be formed to suit the owner. Mr. Pomeroy, who 
used them near Boston for 30 years, and to such an extent 
as to have had more labor performed by them probably than 
any person in New England, says : — "I am convinced the 
small breed of mules will consume less in proportion to the 
labor they are capable of performing than the larger race, 
but I shall confine myself to the latter in my comparison, 
such as stand 14 J to 16 hands, and are capable of perform- 
ing any work a horse is usually put to. From repeated 
experiments, I have found that three mules of this descrip- 
tion, which were constantly at work, consumed about the 
same quantity of hay, and only one-fourth the provender 
which was given to two middling size coach-horses, only 
moderately worked. I am satisfied a. large sized mule will 
not consume more than three-fifths to two thirds the food to 
keep him in good order, that will be necessary for a horse 
performing the same labor. The expenses of shoeing a 
mule the year round, does not exceed one-third that of the 
horse, his hoofs being harder, more horny, and so slow in 



TR« ASS. 403 

their growth, that shoes require no removal, and hold on till 
worn out ; and the wear from the lightness of the animal is 
much less. Mules have been lost by feeding on cut. straw, 
and corn meal ; in no other instance have J known disease 
in them, except by inflammation of the intestines, caused by 
the grossest exposure to cold and wot, and excessive drinking 
cold water, after severe labor, and while in a high state of 
perspiration. It is not improbable a farmer may work the 
same team of mules for 'iO years without having a farrier's 
bill presented to him. In my experience of JJO years, I 
have never found but one mule inclined to be vicious, and he 
might have been easily subdued while young. I have 
always found them truer pullers and qui<iker travellers, with 
a load, than horses. Their vision and hearing are much 
more accurate. I have used ihem in my family carriage, in 
a gig, and under the saddle ; and have never known one to 
start or run from any object or noise, a fault in the horse that 
continually causes the maiming and death of numerous 
human beings. The mule is more steady in his draught, and 
less likely to waste his strength than the horse, hence more 
suitable to work with oxen, and as he walks faster, will 
habituate them to a faster gait. In plowing among crops, 
his feet being small and following each other so much more 
in a line, he seldom treads down the ridgr s or crops. The 
facility of instructing him to obey implicitly the voice of the 
driver is astonishing. The best plowed tillage land I ever 
saw, I have had performed by two mules tandem, without 
lines or driver. The mule is capable of enduring labor in a 
temperature of heat that would be destructive to a horse. 
Although a large mule will consume something over one- 
half the food of a horse, yet the saving in shoeing, farrying, 
and insurance against diseases and accidents, will amount to 
at least one-half. In addition, the owner may rely with 
tolerable certainty on the continuance of his mule capital for 
30 years ; whereas the horse owner must, at the end of 15 
years, look to his crops, his acres, or a bank for the renewal 
of his. The longevity of a mule is so proverbial, that a 
purchaser seldom inquires his age. Pliny mentions one RO 
years old ; and Dr. Rees, two in England, that reached the 
age of 70. I saw one performing his labor in a cane- mill 
in the West Indies, which the owner assured me was 40 
years old. I have now a mare-mule 25 years old, that I 
have had in constant work for 21 years. She has often 
within a year taken a ton weight in a wagon to Boston, five 



404 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

miles, and manifests no diminution of her powers. A neigh- 
bor has one 2y years old, which he would not exchange for 
any horse in the country. One in Maryland, 35 years old, 
is now as capable of labor as at any former period." 

Mr. Hood of Maryland, in the American Farmer, esti- 
mates the annual expense of a horse for 12 months, at 844, 
and that of a mule at #22, just half price, and his working 
age at more than twice that of the horse, and that too after 
30 years' experience in keeping both. A correspondent of 
the Baltimore Patriot, asserts that "Col. John E. Howard 
had a pair of mules that worked 30 years, after which they 
were sold to a carter in the city, and performed hard service 
for several years longer. Many mules 25 years old, and 
now in this country, ])erform well. Many have been at hard 
work for 12 or 15 years, and would now sell for $100 each. 
They are not subject to the coh's ailments, the glanders, 
heaves, yellow-water, and colic, like horses ; and seldom are 
afflicted with spavin, ring-bones, or bots, and they will not 
founder." General Shelby says "he has known mules to 
travel 10 miles within the hour in light harness, and has 
himself driven a pair 40 miles in six hours, stopping an hour 
by the way." Major Shelby of Lexington, sold to Mr. 
Preston four match mules, for f 1,000. They were of course 
very superior animals, and made elegant coach-horses. Mr. 
Preston has driven these mules 80 miles in a single day 
without injury ; and they proved a first-rate team for many 
years. Mr. Ellicott of the Patuxent Furnaces, says : — " Out 
of about 100 mules at the works, we have not lost on an 
average one in two years. Bleeding at the mouth will cure 
them of nearly every disease, and by being turned out on 
pasture, they will recover from almost every accident. I do 
not recollect we have ever had a wind-broken one. They 
are scarcely ever defective in the hoof, and though kept 
shod, it is not as important as with the horse. Their skin is 
tougher than that of a horse, consequently, they are not as 
much worried by flies, nor do they suffer so much with the 
heat of summer." 

To the foregoing testimony may be added that of the late 
Judge Hinckley of Northampton, Massachusetts; a shrewd 
and close observer through a long life, reaching to 84 years. 
He bred mules at an early day, and always kept a team of 
them for his farm work, much preferring them to horses for 
this purpose, after an experience of 50 years. He had a pair 
nearly 30 years old, which, in light pasturage in summer. 



THE A88. 405 

and with a moderate supply of hoy and very little grain in 
winter, and no grooming, performed all the drudgery, though 
he kept his stable full of horses besides. They outlived 
several successive generations of horses, and though the lat- 
ter were often sick and out of condition, the mules never 
were. One from his stock, 45 years old, was sold for the 
same price paid for a lot of young mules, he being at that 
mature age, perfectly able to perform his full share of 
labor. 

For the caravans that j)ass over the almost inaccessible 
ranges which form the continuation of the Rocky Mountains, 
and the extensive arid plains that lie between and west of 
tliem, on the route from Sante Fe to California, mules are 
the only beasts of burden used in these exhausting and peril- 
ous adventures. Their value may be estimated from the 
comparative prices of mules and horses ; for while a good 
horse may be bought for $10 to $20, a good mule is worth 
$50 to $75. Dr. Lyman, who recently passed through 
those regions, informs us that their caravan left Santa Fe 
with about 150 mules, 15 or 20 horses, all beasts of burden, 
and two choice blood horses, belonging to an English gentle- 
man, which were led and treated with peculiar care. On the 
route, all the working-horses died from exhaustion and suf- 
fering ; the two bloods that had been so carefully attended, 
but just survived ; yet of the whole lot of mules, but eight or 
ten gave out. A mule 36 years of age was as hardy, strong, 
enduring, and performed as hard labor, as any one in the 
caravan. When thirst compelled them to resort for succes- 
sive days to the saline waters, which are the only ones fur- 
nished by those dry and sterile plains, the horses were at 
once severely, and not unfrequently, fatally affected ; while 
the mules, though suffering greatly from the change, yet 
seldom were so much injured as to require any remission of 
their labor. The mules sent to the Mexican possessions 
from our western states, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and 
Kentucky, are considered of much more value than such as 
are bred from the native (usually wild) mares. The differ- 
ence probably arises, in part, from the Mexicans using Jacks 
inferior to those so highly improved of late years by our 
western citizens. Mare niules are estimated in those regions 
at one-third more than horse mules. The reason assigned 
for this is, that after a day's journey of excessive fatigue, 
there is a larger quantity of blood secreted in the bladder, 
which the female, owing to her larger passage, voids at once 



406 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

and without much apparent suffering, while tiie male does 
not get rid of it, frequently, till after an hour of considerable 
pain. The eiiect of this difference is seen in the loss of flesh 
and strength in the male, to an extent far beyond that of the 
female. The universal method of reducing refractory mules 
in the northern Mexican possessions, is Tor the person to 
grasp them firmly by the ears, while another whips them 
severely on the fore-legs and belly. 

Estimated annual saving to the United States from the em- 
ployment of mules in the place of horses. — To sum up the 
advantages of working m Jes over horses, we shall have as 
advantage : 1. They are nnore easily, surely, and cheaply 
raised. 2. They are maintained, after commencing work, 
for much less than the cost of keeping horses. 3. They are 
are not subject to many of the diseases of the horse, and to 
others, only in a mitigated degree, and even these are easily 
cured in the mule. 4. They attain a greater age, and their 
average working years are probably twice that of the 
horse. 

In 1840, there were reported to be 4,3135,669 horses and 
mules in the Union, no discrimination having been made 
between them. Suppose the total number at the present 
time is 4,650,000, and that of these 650,000 are mules, and 
if we deduct or e-fourth supposed to be required fro the pur- 
poses of breed, fancy horses, &c., we shall then have 
3,000,000 horses, whose places may be equally well supplied 
by the same number of mules. We have seen that Mr. Hood 
of Maryland, estimates the expense of a working horse at 
$44 per annum, (not an over estimate for the Atlantic 
states,) while that of the mules is <*|!22. The difference is 
$22, which it is proper to reduce to meet the much lower 
rate of keeping at the west, if we put the difference at $10, 
we shall find the saving in the keep, shoeing, farriery, &c., 
by substituting mules for the 3,000,000 horses that can be 
dispensed with, will be $30,000,000 per annum. But this is 
not all. The working age of the horse will not exceed an 
average of eight years, while that of the mule is probably 
over 16. To the difference of keep then, must be added the 
annual waste of the capital invested in the animal. A mule 
is more cheaply raised to working age than a horse, but 
allowing them to cost equally, we shall have the horse 
exhausting one-eighth or three-twenty-fourths of his capital 
annually for his decay, when the mule is using up but one- 
sixteenth ; and if we allow $48 as the first cost of both ani- 



I 



THE A86. 407 

mals, we shall find the horse wasting $6 annually for this 
item, while the mule deteriorates but $3, making an addi- 
tional item of $9,000,000 more ; and an aggregate of 
$39,000,000 as the annual saving to the United States by 
substituting good mules for three-fourths of the horses now 
used in this country. When will our farmers have the good 
sense to make this change? It may bo fairly answered, 
when they shall prefer utility, and interp.st. ;<n<i a just taste, 
to a diseased fancy ; for though we admit iho £:ui>criority in 
appearance of the race of horses over mulrs. we deny that a 
bad horse looks belter or even as well as a ^u^d mule ; and 
with the same keep and attention, a good mule will outwork 
and outlook most horses of any breed. 

The comparative economy of horse and ox labor. — 
This is a question which has been often discussed, and when 
with candor, the conclusion generally has been in favor of ox 
labor. The different employments, the variety of situation, 
the season and the kind of stock reared on the farm, are all 
questions which should be fully considered in arriving at 
their true comparative advantages. Most farmers would 
find it for their interest to keep teams of each, where there is 
employment for more than one ; or if this be not the case, 
the preference should be given to that which is best suited in 
all respects to their particular position. If work upon the 
road is required, a horse team will generally be best. Their 
superiority will consist principally in their greater speed, for 
even with a heavy load, they will be able to trot occnsion- 
ally, and when driven without it, they may increase their 
pace to nearly double the natural gait of the ox. This will 
amount to a large annual saving in the time of the driver 
when steadily employed. The same is true when removing 
manure or crops on the farm to remote distances, over a 
smooth surface, which admits of trotting with the empty 
wagon. Harrowing ought always to be done with a quick 
team, as a violent stroke of the teeth, breaks the clods, ahd 
pulverizes the earth much better than when slowly dragged 
along. But we assume in this comparison, that oxen shall 
not only be well adapted to their work by their natural for- 
mation like the Hereford, the Devon and others equally good, 
but that they be also well broke, well managed, accustomed 
to quick movements, and as well fed and looked after as 
horses. VVe shall then find their walk equal to a quick 
horse team, and that in this case, the horse will have no 
advantage over the ox in harrowing. For plowing, the 



408 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 

teams are on a par, as a good ox team will do as much in a 
day in cool weather, as horses. Where the loads can be 
tipped, as in unloading manure in the field, or roots through 
a scuttle, or in heaps, the ox cart, or the single two-wheel 
horse-cart is best, as all the labor of throwing out by hand is 
avoided. 

TJw situation of the farm may materially affect this esti- 
mate. In a warm climate, horses, and more especially 
mules, would be more serviceable than oxen, as they are 
capable of enduring much greater heat with impunity. If 
the farm be small and convenient to market, the labor may 
in general, be best accomplished by oxen, as little travelling 
will be required. So too, if the land be stony or rough, the 
plowing and harrowing will be more kindly and patiently 
done by oxen than by spirited horses. Other considerations 
will suggest themselves as affecting the comparative eco- 
nomy of this labor. 

The time of work is to be fully considered. If much and 
heavy work be required in summer, as is often the case in 
plowing extensive wheat farms, horses are to be preferred ; 
yet if the ox-team be started at early dawn, and worked 
briskly four or five hours, and then turned out to rest with a 
supply of suitable food, they may again conmience when the 
extreme heat has abated, and accomplish a day's work that 
few horses will exceed. During the season of muddy roads, 
the horse with his broad, compact foot and longer leg, has a 
decided advantage over the ox. If the ox draws by the yoke 
(which on the whole is the best mode,) he is liable to a sore 
neck when working in wet or snowy weather, and at such 
times he is over matched by his competitor. This is par- 
tially remedied by applying a decoction of white or yellow oak 
bark. 

The kind of stock raised on the farm has an important bear- 
ing on this question. Some farms ,are devoted to rearing 
horses, and some exclusively to rearing cattle. These some- 
times remain on hand afler they are fit for market, from the 
want of a profitab'e demand. They can then be employed 
not only without injury, but in consequence of the thorough 
training thus secured, with positive benefit to their future 
value. Even if intended for the shambles, the well devel- 
oped ox may advantageously be put to light work at three, 
after which, it may be gradually increased till he is six or 
eight, and during all this time he will be improving, and after 
doing an early spring's work, he may then be turned on to 



TITE ASS. 40§ 

good pasture, and if followed with proper stall feeding, he 
will in the hitter part of the winter or spring, yield a tender, 
better llavored and more profitable carcass, than can bo pro- 
cured by any other mode of fattening. 

The first cost of oxen is less than that of horses, and they 
are at all times cheaply reared on the coarser herbage of the 
farm. The expense of working-gear, tackle and shoeing, is 
much less than with horses. They are subject to fewer dis- 
eases, and these are more within the reach of ordinary medi- 
cines. The cost of food is also less, and while the horse 
is depreciating, the ox is increasing in value till eight or nine 
years old. Accidents are less frequent with oxen, from their 
slower movements ; and when they occur, the ox may be 
turned out to fatten, and still be worth as much for this pur- 
pose as for the yoke. A permanent injury to the horse, is 
perhaps a total loss of the beast, with a large farrier's bill in 
adddition, for which there is nothing to liquidate it but the 
hide. The small farmer can make out a most serviceable 
team, by putting a single horse before a yoke of cattle. If 
well trained, they will soon accommodate themselves to each 
others pace, and work as advantageously together, as an 
entire team of either animals would do alone. Bulls are fre- 
quently put to the draught, and when they have not other 
services that fully test their powers, they cannot be better 
employed. Heifers and cows are sometimes worked, but 
hitherto they have not been used to any extent in this country. 
In the absence of other animals, they might perform light 
work to advantage, but severe labor would stint their growth 
or impair their milk beyond the benefit derived from it. The 
spayed heifer is an exception to the foregoing remark, and by 
many, is esteemed even more useful than an ox of equal 
weight. We have no definite statements of the comparative 
money value of the labor of oxen and horses. But in England, 
repeated trials have been made, and while some have found 
no advantage in the employment of oxen over horses, others 
have proved them decidedly superior. One Anglesey farmer, 
found in an experience of three years, with 12 horses and 20 
oxen, which accomplished an equal amount of work, that he 
had saved by the latter 23G pounds, or nearly $1180. This 
result proves the subject to bo one of suflicient importance, to 
justify the closest investigation of every farmer to deter- 
mine for himself, the comparative value of ox, horse or mule 
labor. *- 

R 



410 AMERICAN AGRICULTURE. 



CHAPTER XX. 



SWINE 



The hog is a cosmopolite of almost every zone, though his 
natural haunts, like those of the hippopotamus, the elephant, 
the rhinoceros and most of the thick-skinned animals, are 
in warm climates. They are most abundant in China, the 
East Indies and the immense range of Islands which extend 
over the whole Southern and Pacific Oceans ; but they are 
also numerous throughout Europe, from its Southern coast to 
the Russian dominions within the Arctic. In the United 
States, they have been an object of attention since its earliest 
settlements, and whenever a profitable market could be found 
for pork abroad, it has been exported to the full extent of the 
demand. For 20 years following the commencement of the 
general European wars, soon after the organization of our 
National government, it was a comparatively large article of 
export ; but since then, exports to any extent, have not been 
justified, till within the last two 3^ears, since which, a mate- 
rial reduction in the British import duty on pork, lard, hams, 
beef, &c., has again brought it up as a prominent article of 
commerce with that country. The recent use which has 
been made of the carcass in converting it into lard oil, has 
still further increased its consumption. Swine are reared in 
every part of the Union, and when properly managed, always 
at a fair profit. At the extreme north, in the neighborhood 
of large markets, and on such of the southern plantations as 
are particularly suited to* sugar or rice, they are not profita- 
ble, beyond the number required for the consumption of the 
coarse or refuse food produced. While pork remains at a 
moderate price, it can only be advantageously raised on a 
large scale, on good soils, as it is such only that yield heavy 
crops of grain, roots, &c. which are essential to fattening it. 
Swine are profitable in connexion with a dairy or orchard, as 
with little additional food besides what is thus afforded, they 



SWINE. 41t 

can be put into good condition for the butcher. It is on the 
rich bottoms, and other lands of the west, where Indian corn 
is raised in profusion, and at small expense, that they can bo 
reared in the the^rcateyt numbers and yield the largest prolit. 
The Sciota, Miami, Wabash, Illinois and other vallies ; and 
extensive tnicts in Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, and 
some adjoining states, have for many years, taken the lead in 
the production of swine ; and it is probable their climate and 
hoil, which is peculiarly suited to their rapid growth, as well 
as that of their appropriate food, will enable them forever to 
remain the leading pork producers of the North American 
continent. 

TiiK BRKKDs OF SwiNK Cultivated in this country are numer- 
ous, ami like our native cattle, they embrace many of the best, 
and a few of the worst to be found among the species. Great 
attention has for many years, been paid to their improvement 
in the eastern states, and nowhere are there better specimens 
than in many of their herds. This spirit has rapidly extended 
westward and southward, and among many of the intelli- 
gent farmers, who make them a leading object of attention, 
on the rich corn grounds of the west, the swine have attained 
a considerable degree of excellence. This docs not consist 
In the intro<luction and perpetuity of any distinct races, so 
much as in the breeding up to a desirable size and aptitude 
for fattening, from such meritorious individuals of any breed 
or their crosses, as come within their reach. The Byefield 
some 30 years ago, was a valuable hog in the Eastern states, 
and did much good among the s{)ccies generally. They are 
white, with fine curly hair, well made and compact, moderate 
in size and length, with broad backs, and at 15 months, attain- 
ing some 300 to 350 lbs. nett. The Bedford or Wobuni is a 
breed originating with the Duke of Bedford, on his estate at 
Woburn, and brought to their perfection probably, by judicious 
crosses of the China hog, on some of the best English swine. 
A pair was sent by the Duke to this country, as a present to 
Gen. Washington, but they wore dishonestly sold by the mes- 
senger in Maryland, in which state and Pennsylvania, they 
were productive of much good at an early day, by their exten- 
sive distribution through dillercnt states. Several other 
importations of this breed have been made at various times, 
and especially by the spirited masters of the Liverpool packet 
ships, in the neighborhood of New-York. They are a large, 
spotted animal, well made and inclining to early maturity and 
fattening. They are an exceedingly valuable hog, but are 



412 AMERICAN AGEICULTURE. 

nearly extinct both in England and this country, as a breed. 
The Leicesters are a large, white hog, generally coarse in the 
bone and hair, great eaters and slow in maturing. Some 
varieties of this breed, differ essentially in these particulars, 
and mature early on a moderate amount of food. The crosses 
with smaller compact breeds, are generally thrifty, desirable 
iinimals. OtJier large breeds deserving commendation in this 
country, are the large Miami white, the Yorkshire white antl 
the Kenilworth, each frequently attaining when dressed, a 
weight of 600 to 800 lbs. The Chinese is among the smaller 
varieties, and without doubt, is the parent stock of the best 
European and American swine. They necessarily vary in 
appearance, size, sliape and color, from the diversity in the 
style of breeding, and the various regions from which they 
are derived. But all the Chinese seem to have these proper- 
ties in common. They are fine-boned, short and very com- 
pact, with bellies almost touching the ground, light head and 
ears, fine muzzle, of great docility and quietness, small feeders 
and producing much meat for the quantity of food consumed. 
From the rapidity with which generations of this animal arc 
multiplied, the variety of other breeds on which they are 
crossed, and the treatment to which they are subjected, it is 
not surprising that their descendants should rapidly assume 
distinct features. From these, we have not only a strong 
mixture of blood in the best class of large breeds, but in such 
of the smaller as have any pretensions to merit, they consti- 
tute the greater part of the improvement. Such are the Nea- 
politan, the Essex half-black, the Gi'ass breed and some 
others. 

The Berkshires are an ancient English breed, formerly of 
large size, slow feeders, and late in maturing. Their color 
was a buff or sandy ground with large black spots, and the 
feet, l