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THE ADVOCATE AND NEWS.
From Actual Experience, Look for Roup. At this season of the year care must be taken that the fowls do not catch cold. Overcrowded houses which ne cessitates the fowls roosting too close together is often the source of severe colds that develop Into roup, a difficulty hard to successfully handle. Feeding too much corn or other fattening rations at night makes the hens fat and conse quently weak and "dumpy," in which state they are good subjects for a cold. Laying hens should be kept healthy and strong not only for egg production but that they may be less susceptible to disease. Drying Off Cows. There are many differences of opin ion as to what is the proper method to be employed in drying off cows, but as a matter of fact the only safe method can be learned by trying different ones on your own stock and sticking to the one you find works the best. With the average . general-purpose cow the fol lowing method has been found very satisfactory: At first milk only once a day; at the end of two weeks skip two milklngs and do not milk clean; a no ticeable falling off of the supply will be seen until the animal is thoroughly dry. If the cow la thin, care will be needed during the drying process that the ud der is not Injured and it should be ex amined frequently. If it begins to harden; milk more frequently for a few days, at the same time applying, after each milking, some sweet oil or vaseline well rubbed in. Wintering Ducks. It is not every one who has been suc cessful with hens that knows how to properly handle ducks, especially during the winter. If kept in such quarters as hens should be kept in the ducks will not do well. About all they require during the winter is to be kept comfort able and have plenty to eat and drink; their quarters need not be especially warm, but must be dry and tight to keep out wind and rain. Plenty of food is necessary; feed corn, bran and refuse vegetables chopped fine, and give them a dry yard with plenty of water but so arranged that they cannot get into it. This treatment will keep them fat until about February, when the corn rations should be cut down and the vegetables Increased with the bran. They will then begin to lay and ought to keep it up until they have laid from 125 to 140 eggs. Feeding for Eggs in Winter. It need hardly be said that the first essential for eggs in winter is first-class stock not dung-hill fowls, but well known and tested breeds. Give the hens a variety of food, a warm mash of bran, middlings, scraps of meat, oats and corn meal in the morning, and during the day occasional feeds, in small quantities, of grain such as wheat or oats scattered among the straw in the house so that they will have to scratch to get it; at night a fairly heavy meal, but not mainly corn. Add to this care and warm quarters and you will have plenty of eggs. Ideas differ as to what consti tutes a warm house for poultry; but it is safe to say that quarters in which you could comfortably Btay for several hours at a stretch would be about right for a laying hen. Poultry houses should be kept scrupulously clean and well venti lated but free from draughts of cold air. Take Care of the Pieplant. From present indications good rhu barb will bring a higher price next spring than for several seasons past ow ing to the scarcity of apples and cran berries which in the raw or canned form are depended upon for early spring use In cooking. It is not too late to care for the plants so as to get the benefit of an early and good yield In the spring. Bear In mind that to produce the best re sults the plants must be fed liberally and that stable manure is Just the food required, but it must be rich and strong. Cover the plants heavily now, even if the ground is frozen, and the first day It thaws fork it In around the crown of the plants. In the spring cover the plants with barrels or boxes over which Is fastened a muslin cloth to keep out the cold and give light to the plants, and you will have an early crop of large juicy stalks that will bring a good price. Value of Farm Manures. Since commercial fertilizers came into general use the tendency la to under estimate the value of the manures made on the farm. Instead of the expense of $50 a year to a farm for commercial fer tilizers, half this sum might be saved if proper care was taken of the manure made on the farm. A water-tight floor in the stables and the barn yard under which to store the coarse manure would accomplish the purpose. Manure thus handled retains the potash and nitrogen, much of which is lost if the liquid ma nure is allowed to escape through the cracks in the floor and the coarse ma nure thrown in the barnyard to leach. Manure cared for as directed may be thinly spread over a moderately heavy soil at about seven tons to the acre and if the crop to be raised requires addi tional fertilizer it may be supplied by a moderate amount of the commercial product which is rich in potash and phosphoric acid. Buying Commercial Fertilizers, It is impossible to give specific direc tions for the buying of commercial fer tilizers, for only personal experiments can tell what is needed on a certain soil for a certain crop, but every farmer should study the subject more or less thoroughly In order that Ms experiments may be as inexpensive as possible. For example: On clover soil it la fair to presume that little or no nitrogen is needed, hence a fertilizer rich in this element would be a sheer waste of money. On lighter soils, as a rule, more potash is needed than on heavier land, and so on. The study of agricultural chemistry may not be particularly in teresting or easy to understand, but when some knowledge of it Is necessary to avoid waste of money which has been so hard earned It Is time that farmers should commence posting themselves on the subject. Study the subject this winter and be ready to make intelligent experiments in the fipring. Feeding Farm Horses. The idea that oats or other small grain is necessary as a part of the regular rations of farm horses doing little or no road work is fallacious in view of the fact tnat thousands of horses, es pecially in the great corn districts, are kept during the winter almost wholly on corn and hay with the usual pastur age in summer when not at work. When this method of feeding is practiced, however, an occasional feed of some root crop should be given. The essen tial part of proper feeding Is that the food should be clean and wholesome. Dusty hay has been the cause of more horses being "off their feed" than Is generally realized. Cut or shredded corn stalks may be fed in moderation to horses and they will relish the change. A good ration, especially during the winter, is corn and hay with a root feed once a week. This will keep the horse in good condition ready to do good work at any time. Feed, Not Breed. While to a certain extent the breed of an animal has something to do with its value as a human food, the Idea hardly applies with much force when well known breeds are the rule as la the case with hogs. An effort la being made by Secretary of Agriculture Wilson and others to boom the red Tamworth, a breed largely grown in England, but little known in this country. There la no evidence, however, that the Tarn worths will make any better pork pro duction in our country than our own breeds like Poland-China, Chester White, Jersey Red, Berkshire and others thoroughly tested. As a matter of fact, with any of the better breeds it la sim ply a question of Judicious care and feed, and any intelligent farmer who will study the value of the foods best adapted to swine will solve the question of how to make hogs pay much more satisfactorily than by experimenting with breeds of which be knows nothing. Food Value of Cornstalks. Fully 40 per cent, of the value of the corn crop is lost by the Improper hand ling of the stalkB. For feeding they equal the corn ears and If handled as directed will prove their value during the winter. It is not to be expected that stock will eat more than a small per cent, of a Btalk when turned into the field after husking, for they have had the benefit of a full pasture during the summer and are rather more dainty in their tastes than they will be after they have been barn-fed for a few weeks. If the stalks are put in a silo and before feeding are cut into small lengths, cows will eat them clean; If you have no silo cut the dry stalks into small pieces be fore feeding, or better still, use a shred der that strips the stalks into a con venient form for the cowa to masticate. In the East farmers are more careful of their corn stalks than on the large farms of the West, but if the stalks are to be fed at all they should be handled as directed, no matter where you are located. Hints to Dairy Farmers. Here are a few hints for dairymen gleaned from experience, and the ob servance of them may represent to the reader the difference between profit and loss. Keep none but the best cows and raise the heifer calves; use only the best males for breeding purposes and breed the heifers so that they will drop first calves at about 2 years old. A suc cession of green crops for summer feed ing should be grown to supplement the pasture; this plan of summer feeding, together with plenty of salt and pure water, to which the cows should have free access at all times, will prevent them from drying up at a time when butter brings high prices. Cleanliness is essential not only with the milk but with the cow, both In the pasture and in the barn. Milk absorbs odors quickly and many of the bad odors come from a filthy coated animal. Cans and palla which are used for milk should bo cleansed often; ordinary rinsing will not answer; the cans must be scalded and thoroughly dried and then well wiped Just before using. Money in Sheep. There Is a decided boom in sheep rais ing, despite the fact that wool has been at a low figure for some time. Ameri cans are coming to better appreciate the nourishing qualities of mutton as a food and the consumption has, In consequence, Increased enormously, even during the past year, although doubtless the increased price of beef has had something to do with it. Sheep raisers will find that the ani mals are extremely sensitive to the lo cation in which they feed, and hence soil, climate and location should be your guide in selecting breeds to raise for profit, either In the wool or carcass. For wool production the Downs are without doubt the beat. The stock, whether bought or raised, should be early-producing animals that will yield, at a year old, eight or ten pounds of medium grade wool. A cross of Merino sheep with Dorset male will bring first class wool-producing animals, while a cross of Merino with Lincoln rams pro duces fine mutton sheep. Asparagus for Profit. On fairly rich sandy loam lands within easy shipping distance of a city as paragus Is a most profitable crop. While the plant la a gross feeder, it has few insect enemies and is subject to few diseases. When properly cared for the bed will yield profitably for a dozen years. Asparagus la a good money crop in New Jersey, where it la extensively grown, but It is ven more profitable in sections away from the great mar kets where It la possible to obtain higher prices. A fair estimate of expense for growing a good crop of first-class as paragus Is about $100 per acre, divided into about $40 for manure and fertilizer and $00 for labor during cultivation ttnH preparing for market. The average aoi' price obtained by New Jersey growfmc during late years la 11 cents a bunch, rclith An nv err a era via A rt 9 flAA TiiinKon. to the acre. The estimate for fertilizers Is a high one and on good soil after i; the plants are well established the net profit Bhould be about $125 per acre. ,' or oven more when the price la higher than that quoted, which it Is likely to be In markets outside of the great cities. ' Squashes as a Money Crop. Too few farmers are inclined to look ', to anything but so-called "straight"' ' farm crops for profit, and oftentimes , confine their operations to but one or two crops, and the total or partial fail ' ure of either represents a loss for the, ? year Instead of the hoped-for profit. The ; winter varieties of squashes, the best V being Hubbard, Marblehead and Boston i Marrow, are always salable in the fall , and early winter at a good price. In , some Bectlona the squash borer and the squash bug are formidable enemies, but ' with care they can be controlled. Start ; the plants in a hot-bed and transplant ; to the open ground as soon as they ' are sturdy and the weather will permit; ? have tho sou ricn witn stable manure and watch the plants closely for insect enemies. Frequent applications of . to bacco dust and bone meal or black pep per ground fine and applied when the plants are damp will keep the insects in check in most cases. Aside from tho ...I.Lf.il.Ana ..,,,1 n,Vin tU tilanta nnailkUiuroo i 041111 cu rt lieu lug yiauio are young because of insect enemies, h squashes are as easily grown and cared , for as pumpkins and sell for a much , higher price. '.' The San Jose Scale. The rapid spread of this insect enemy . ,'. of orchard trees is alarming, and more bo as the pest has recently extended ; operations to ornamental trees and ,.' shrubbery and blackberry, raspberry , and currant canes, its minute sue makes it the more formidable, and so destructive is Its work that every owner carefully. It Is mfflcult to detect until I it nas spread so mat tne tree win do covered with a gray scurf. The chemists ; of the experiment stations have ben working with the large orchardlsta for sometime to discover a safe remedy, ;' but up to this time nothing baa been '' found. The only safe way is to cut out ; Infested trees and burn them, cutting hark iha tnn-a niwl hrnnrhfw rtf thn ffl- maining trees and covering them with a ! , V. J. 1 ... I,. 4I soap dissolved in a gallon of water. Washing the trees with kerosene emul- f si on at any time before the eap starts , In the spring Is recommended, and It Bnouid be repeated rrom time to ume as long as any Indication of the scale rAmnlna Tn TiiirHinjilnBr trep.fi for Tlant lnr tho crnnfAftt onrA nnmikl rift llflflil .1 and the trees most critically examined f before they are planted, and If any la- i dications or tne scale are xouna on any , a il. . 1. 1 .A4 1 1 a 1. V.. l and the nurseryman who sold them re quired to refund the money paid fof them and the freight charges. Protection for Young Orchards-Trees Killed by Axle Grease. : i Here we have Jack rabbits and the : CULUILIUri WllUU-UUMJ. luiuiug win acciy ,. iack rabbits from destroying young fruit irecs excepting wire ucreeiui ur buiahj u , lath. They will tear off corn stalks, j ninth ry noniM ti trot at t n a trco nun 1... ..VI.V V, n VnllaVt AltniYClt ' Viva wiJicu tucjr ditciu iu ioiiou. xuviw any thin covering will keep the small rabbits and mice from the trees. Axle grease will kill tho trees and should not be used. One fall I thinly coated 1,500 young appie, yuucu, pium, tucuj, yean, quince, apricot and chestnut trees with it and ur;itiP(1 fnr rftfliiHa. It kent tne email raooits ana mice away, uui w the Jack rabbits it was like butter on them. In two or three months I noticed n?f tha 4nolla rt iha hnrlr Wail killed ' !'. . . A 1 1. ,sA r .At oma yn cm at ' V work at once to wash and scrape the 1.1. i.. aAa nriA it rnwM wim hliuiik lui euau duuo. uu . or j a a mnrh harrier 1fth to eet the SXle " x il 1. It , lfnntf tVia irrpnHP hit t Lti uul il vui mii u& wo tree were killed outright; some leafed i out in the spring and died in miasum mci ; some grew for a time above where the grease reached, and did not grow ; a particle where the grease was put on; . some died on one side as high up aa the grease was used. I am satisfied that, if I had not scraped and washed the i trees when I did, most of them would (Continued on pare tt.)