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SOUTHERN STANDARD MCM1NNVILLE, TENNESSEE.-SATURDAY, DEGw.isoi.
Food per Hundred Lbs. Livo Weight.
ElMTOlW Coi.'NTK Y G F.NTLKM A N .
Have you nny records of experiments
in feeding cattle for boef, or in other
words can you approximate the num
ber of bushels of corn required to
make 100 lb. of beef or put one hun
dred pounds of flesh on : stejci" and
tho same of hops and mutton sheep?
J. T.. Trenton. N.J.
Mr. T. will see that it must cost
much less in food to put 100 lbs. on a
young animal than 100 lbs. on a
mature animal, whether jt be steer.,
sheep or hops. In other words, the
cost of growth is less, the younger the
animal and this cost constantly in
creases with age and weight until
maturity. There are very few ex
periments which lay down all the
facts necessary to decide T's question.
Hut from his using corn ns the food,
lie must mean merely the feeding
during the fattening stage. Sir J. B,
Lawes, probably the best scientific
and practical authority in England,
on questions relating to meat produc
tion, read an elaborate paper be
fore an agricultural association in
187'J, in which among oth(;r things,
he estimated that it required 2,2")0
lbs. of dry food, made up of various
kinds, to produce 100 lb. growth up
on a steer, and he speaks of this ra
tion as "composed of a moderate pro
portion of cake and corn (grain) some
hay or chaff, with roots or other suc
culent food, well-managed, etc." His
estimate of 121 lbs. of drvsubstanceof
food, to 1 lb. gain, is no doubt an ap
proximation of the facts of feeding in
England and this country, although
we have known of cases where the
foods have produced a higher result
According to this estimate, about 4")0
lbs. of fodder and 850 lbs. of maize
would, as an average, produce 100 lbs.
of live weight in a steer. This would
give a little more than 5 lbs. to the
. bushel of corn, not counting the other
fodder. This is a large estimate if
applied to results of feeding corn in
the ear in the open field.
The late John Johnston of Geneva,
N. Y., for many year3 fed steers to
produce manure for his great wheat
crops, and his averages for many
years are seen in the following: To
each steer (generally of 1,000 lbs.
weight on purchase) he allowed for
150 days' feeding, 31 lbs. per day or
525 lbs. oil meal; of corn meal, 9 lbs
or 1,350 lbs.; hay, 8 lbs. or 1,200 lbs.
straw, 71 lbs. or 750 lbs. His average
gain was 318 lbs., and it will be seen
that it required 12 lbs. of these ma
terials for 1 lb. gain, or a close
proximation of Lawes' estimate,
he fed only about 4 lbs. conn to
Mr. Otis S. Lewis, of Orleans Co.
N. ., fed for several years lots of
cattle bought at the cattle yards at
Buffalo, selected in a half fat condi
lion, ana ne usea to teed an average
ration like the following: 5 lbs. nice
clover hay, 15 lbs. cut straw, 9 lbs
corn meal, 25 lbs. pulped Swede tur
nips. His cattle usually weighed
when put up 1,250 lbs., and at the
end of 100 days came out with the
weight. 1,550, or they gained 3 lbs. per
day. iThe total dry substance in this
ration is only 28 lbs., and was there
fore only 9:33 lbs. of dry food to 1 lb
gain, instead of 121. But it must be
stated that Mr. Lewis not only fed in
a warm stable, cattle watered in sta
and never turned out, but the ration
was all mixed together, steamed and
fed warm and greatly relished by the
cattle, while Mr. Johnston fed in a
cold stable, and cattle ran in the yard
h part of the day.
But if we take the standard ration
of corn and corn fodder for out-door
feeding, we find that 20 lbs. of corn
in the ear is Just about an average of
what is fed to a 1000 or 1200-lb. steer,
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together with all the corn fodder
which he will eut, and an average of
such foeding in winter would require
this ration (or 00 to 70 (lays to put on
100 lbs. gain. So that at that rate
it would require at least 1,000 lbs.
corn to produce 100 Uw. gain. But it
is presumed that ol this 1,100 lbs. not
more than 700 lbs is digested. The
rest is passed without digestion, and
is utilized, if at all, by hogs. Ho it
depends entirely upon the mode of
feeding as to the quantity of com re
quired to produce 100 lbs. gain, and
so it may be stated that the amount
f corn required for 100 lbs. gain will
range from 300 lbs., as in the case of
Mr. Lewis, and a little more with
Mr. Johnson, to 1,100 lbs. fed in the
The corn required to produce 100
bs. gain upon sheep, is less than for
cattle, because sheep more perfectly
masticate and digest their food. From
experiments in feeding nbeep upon
corn and hay, we have 1 lb. corn per
day to produce an average gain of 3
bs. per week, or 7 lbs. of corn, in
eluding hay, has produced a gain of
bs. in live weight, and as the sheep
has u two fold product, its gain in
weight and growth of wool, perhaps
the growth of wool may offset the
lay fed, and thus, under the very
best circumstances, that 210 bushels
of corn might produce 100 lbs. of live
weight upon sheep. But lrom some
argo experiments it would probably
be nearer the actual results of feeding
to place the amount of corn required
under good management for large
numbers fed to be 400 lbs. corn for 100
bs. gain in live weight.
The hog is considered the most per
fect utilizer of food among animals,
and after they are grown to about 100
lb. shoats they will fatten very well
upon corn alone. One of the largest
experiments recorded is that given
by the late Joseph Sullivan, of Ohio,
who says, that at Duncan's Falls in
1859, a very large number of hogs
were weighed on the 10th of Sept.
and turned into a 40-acre corn field,
the corn being in the roasting stage
perhaps in the best condition for fat
tening hogs and they remained in
that field till the 23d of October, hav
ing eaten down the field. They were
again accurately weighed and found
to have gained 16,000 lbs., or 10 lbs.
per bushel of corn eaten, estimating
the yield at 40 bushels per acre.
Then, as an experiment, he selected
from the lot 100 hogs, averaging 200
lbs. each, placed them in large cov
ered pens with plank floors and
troughs, anu fed them upon corn
meal ground in the ear, and well
steamed. At the end of 10 days they
were weighed and found to have
gained 20 lbs. to each bushel of 70 lbs
meal fed, fhe weather at this time
being mild. They were further fed
to test the effect of temperature, and
as the weather became cold the grain
was reduced to 0 lbs. per bushel,and
when the thermometer reached from
5 to 10 below zero they made no
gain on all the meal they would eat.
Stock-Feeding vs. Grain-Raising.
While the condition of the grain
raisers in respect to the market prices
for the cereals is in statu quo, with
the reasonable hope of a considerable
advance for the coming year, cattle
feeders and jarmers are selling their
stock at a loss for all but the best ex
port steers, with a gloomy outlook
for the future. When the winter
pastures are completely bare, hay so
scarce as to be worth $10 to $12 at the
barn or stack, and corn likely to be
in demand in the spring at 50 to 60c,
and oats for as much money, pound
for pound horses and cattle fed these
products during the winter, even
with the recourse of corn stubbles,
will eat their heads off before spring
and then be worth no more and per
haps less money than now. The
drouth of the past season has put so
many cattle on the Chicago markets
that a bunch of second-rate, three-year-old
steers averaging 1800 pounds
and upwards, sent forward from this
county, brought but 3Jc. a pound live
weight. As for hogs, the best do not
command over 31c. at the farm, and
as for horses, the average specimen of
common stock, though sound, sells
for a little more than a Cat steer of
the same weight. Now consider
that this market stock has been fed
and fatted on 50c. to GOe. corn, and
the horses on clover and timothy hay
worth $10 to $12 a ton, and it is plain
there is little or no profit in stock
raising, feeding and fattening. Such
are the main causes why so many
stockmen are shifting from stock
farming to the cereals.
The above, however, does not tell
the whole story, and many, no
doubt, think I ought not to tell it.
For the past three or four years, and
especially this and the year before,
the blue grass and timothy-pastured,
moderately-fed, corn-fed cattle sent
forward from the Illinois prairies to
Chicago, have not been equal in fat
and liesh to the best grass-fed steers
of the western aud southwestern
ranches. It is a common complaint
with aged and experienced stock
feeders, that the gras of these later
days, though not at all deficient in
quantity, has no such capacity for
fleshing up and fattening as it had
thirty years ago; nor does any crop
cattle can be fed orgrazed upon equal
a wide range of good upland prairie
grass, for bringing them into high
condition at a rapid rate. These
changes are mysterious ones to the
average stockman, and will be until
he apprehends the truth that continu
ed cropping, even of grass, lessons
the fertility of the land, and that
lands less fertile produce crops le&s
nutritive and lay on less fat and
flesh, and therefore comprehends that
restoration by the use of fertilizers is
essential for the growing of the fast
And by the way, while on the sub
ject of the failure of the grasses, I am
reminded of a certain kind relation
which appears to exist between
timothy and common red clover, and
I illustrate it in this way: Choose
two fields of equal crop fertility, sow
the one with the usual amount of
timothy seed and the other field with
the same quantity, with five to ten
per cent, of red clover added; the
yield of timothy sown with the
clover will be considerably larger (in
addition to the clover) in growth
and amount, and heavier in weight
than where the timothy has the
monopoly of the land. It seems
from this that the germs developed
on the clover roots assist the timothy,
and thus endorse the new doctrine of
The local market lor native pro
ducts exhibits some anomalous fea
tures. Thus, Irish potatoes, though
a partial failure hereabout, come in
on the cars so abundantly that car
load lots sell for 30 to 35 cents a bush
el, and apples, scarce for home-grown,
can be had for $2 f. o. b. a barrel, by
the hundred barrels. Chicago is ful
of apples, the best coming from Pen
nsylvania, and the Blue Itidge in
Virginia, Missouri and Kansas fruit
not sustaining the reputation of last
year, nor Michigan and New York
that of former seasons. Good country
butter is in demand at 30 and 35
cents the pound, and the supply of
milk and eggs is so far below the cal
for them that new-laid of the latter
are worth 30 to 35 cents a dozen, and
the best of the former sells for
cents a quart.
The crop of poultry is a short one
and its condition far below the aver
age of former years. In all my life
I have never seen as many blue, that
is, thin fat-and-fleshed turkeys as
this autumn. The fall weather has
been dry and pleasant and there
no end of corn fields for turkeys to
feed and run and riot on, wide range
and unlimited corn being the essen
tials for large fat fowls. Perhaps
the uprightness of the corn
stalks and therefore the difficulty of
getting at the grain, may account for
the blue color in the dressed birds
and perhaps there may be a defitjen
cy in the fattening qualities of tqe
grain grown under insufficient ac
cumulated neat, anu ol which we
may hear more later.
I have since had the explanation
from more than one source that tur
keys are mis year tinn, poor ana
blue fleshed because thev have suf
fered more or less from thirst on
majority of farms, no provision being
made to supply water for poultry.
Cattle are thin from the same cause,
and the stock to be carried over for
the winter are in a poorer condition
of flesh than for years.
Timothy bay baled has advanced
from $10 to f 12 a ton for car-load lots
on a market rising fast, and the few
who on compulsion to meet pecuniary
engagements, part reluctantly with
their surpluses, get 43 to 45 cents for
70 pounds of com in the ear, 85 cents
for (50 pounds of wheat, and 25
cents for 32 pounds of oats. Mean
time the retail prices are, for corn, 50
cents, oats 35 cents, and for bay $13
to $14 per ton, with oat straw loose
$5 per ton, baled $7. Anthracite
coal ranges from $7 to $8 per ton of 2,
000 lbs.; best bituminous Kentucky
cannel, $4.50; Brazil block, $4.25;
Illinois soft coals range from $2 to
$3.75, according to the amount of
slate and pyrites of iron in them.
B. F. J.
Ol'KK'K OH S. ClIKItRY, i!l DllAYTON ST., )
Savannah, (1a., Dec. It!, lsuo. j
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