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keep our hay from becoming permeated with the breath of the cattle and the odor of the manure in the barn cellar. To prove my faith in this doctrine, I will say that I have already begun the construction of a stock barn; and, that you may the better understand my proposed work, I have prepared a plan for your inspection.
You will observe that my barn stands east and west. Now, my proposed cow barn will extend southward from the centre, and at a right angle with the main barn. It will be joined to the barn with a brick partition between, and the door leading from one to the other will be of iron. In the case of fire in the main barn, with this arrangement the possibilities of saving my cattle are greatly enhanced, and the chances of the main structure catching on fire are far greater than of the stock barn. The new building will be seventy-five by forty feet in dimensions, with eight-foot posts and monitor roof. The last will have windows its entire length, and the distance between these will be only the width of the casing. The superstructure will be also liberally furnished with windows. At the south end will be a door of ample width to allow the passing of a two-horse team. The iron door will be of the same width, and thus you will perceive that I can drive over the floor of the main barn and into the cow stable. It will have a cellar under the whole, and passageways will lead from near the angles formed by the barn and stable to the cellar below the former. Here the cows can drink and exercise in the winter season.
Another essential to the care and management of dairy stock is the furnishing of a supply of pure water. It is my custom to water my cows twice a day in cold weather, and the water is always warmed to the temperature of eighty to eighty-five degrees. That warm water is desirable and every way better for cows than that usually given them, is no guess-work on my part, for I have learned it by actual and repeated tests. I have raised and lowered my supply of milk by changing from one to the other. I warm the water in the watering trough by means of a pipe running from the steam heater in my residence to the barn cellar and the trough; but, were I without this convenient means of warming the water, I would carry hot water from the house,
before I would have my cows drink it ice cold. It should be borne in mind, always, that the milch cow as we find her to-day is to a large extent an artificial production, so far as her milk-producing abilities are concerned. It has been careful management and skillful breeding that have brought her to the present standard. By long-continued breeding, her milk-yielding qualities have become fixed, and she has the power to transmit these qualities to her offspring. Yet, remembering that they are largely artificial, it is the part of wisdom for us to exercise the utmost care that nothing occurs to injure this living piece of machinery that is so susceptible to an unnatural influence. I can scarcely realize anything that is so deserving of criticism as the turning out of cows into an open yard in the winter season, to drink from a tub or trough in which the ice must first be broken.
Again, it has always been my custom to give my cows a daily carding, hence no man has ever seen on one of my herd a particle of dirt or manure that had been there for a longer time than twenty-four hours. Of course this carding is done only after the cows have come into their winter quarters. I am well satisfied that this work pays, and would believe it if nothing else was accomplished than the keeping the cows clean. But I believe my cows like their morning toilet, and that the operation has a good effect on both their disposition and temper. Cleanliness is an attribute of almost every animal, but particularly is this characteristic inherent in cows. Cleanliness should be carefully observed as every point in and around the barn, for the susceptibility of milk to become impregnated with objectionable odors is known to every farmer.
While every feature in the care and management of the milch cow is an essential one in itself, that of feeding is all-important, and calls into play care, intelligence, skill and discretion. The physical structure of a cow is such as to require a larger amount of feed in proportion to her size than other neat stock. She not only eats to maintain her physical being and strength, but also to secrete matter that is transformed into milk. A cow cannot produce milk unless she has been fed a sufficient quantity of milk-producing feed. Feed of the same kind varies in its nutritive qualities under
different conditions and circumstances. Hay made from grass grown upon impoverished land has not, in a given weight, the same amount of milk-making elements as that grown upon land rich with the elements of plant food. The deficiency which exists must be made up by a greater amount of more concentrated feed, if like yields of milk are to be secured. Naturally, then, the dairy or milk farmer seeks to secure the greatest possible amount from a given area, and of the highest possible feeding quality. The two go together. A ton of hay gathered from a third of an acre has more of the elements of animal growth than has a ton raised upon an entire acre, provided, of course, both are of the same variety, and harvested under like conditions. The very fact that one acre has been able to produce only one ton to the other's three, is evidence in itself that it is lacking in the elements of plant and animal growth. In practice, the feeding should be done as near stated intervals as possible, and each cow's individual wants and capacity should be supplied as far as practicable.
In grass, grown on land supplied with every requisite for its development, we have a perfect food for cows; so I believe that in the winter season we should come as near to this as we can. Grass is succulent and juicy, so in the winter season we should aim to furnish them with a food as nearly like it as possible. I know of nothing so convenient and so satisfactory in every particular as well-grown and well-kept ensilage, and this verdict I give after an experience of ten years in its feeding. I was one of the first in the State to build a silo and feed ensilage, and I have never for an instant regretted my doing so, or had occasion, after my first season's experience, to doubt its efficiency as a desirable feed for milch cows. I raise Stowell's Evergreen sweet corn exclusively, and harvest it when the ears are in the best condition for table use, cutting up ears and stalks for the silo. I feed ensilage twice a day, morning and night, and each time immediately after milking. I give on an average to each cow fifteen pounds at a feed, which measures one-half bushel. Of hay I feed twice a day, giving to each cow what she will readily eat up clean. Of concentrated foods my general practice is to give linseed meal and bran,