« AnteriorContinuar »
However, roots fed in large quantities have an objectionable feature in that they sometimes cause trouble with the urinary organs. It is safe to start in a little short of the feed required if the feeder is in a section where the shortage can always be made up by purchase. Last year I bought most of the corn fed and some hay; this year may need a little hay to finish out with unless rye pasture comes on to help out. What is needed in this line I have always been able to purchase at about market price, a little below, or at a slight advance.
Next after the supply of feed for consideration comes the question of shelter. This year lambs for Christmas fed in southern Ohio could have been finished with but little loss, without shelter, but it won't do to count on dry weather all winter. Consequently, next to feed shelter is a most important feature. The shelter must protect from wind as well as snow and rain. Wind-breaks on the windward sides of the feed lots may well be classed as part of the shelter.
The amount of shelter should be sufficient for each lamb to have room to lie down comfortably. At the beginning the amount of space should be one-half to twice as much more than is needed, for by the time they are finished for market they will have increased in size sufficient to use the extra space. It does not require expensive shelter, but it must be rain and snow proof.
In connection with barn and shed roof shelter, I have had in use a cheap frame made of posts and rails that is covered with bundled fodder each fall. This shed covers sixteen hundred feet of floor space and answers the purpose better than one I use that is covered with steel.
In equal importance with feed and shelter is water. It is useless for a feeder to expect success without an abundant supply of it where it can be had, without going out in the weather and where it will always be clean. Hand pumping I found unsatisfactory, because never too much was pumped, but rather too little. The well supplying the water should be a safe one, that will not fail when the water is most needed.
It is more satisfactory if pumped by wind or other power, into a storage tank and carried to the troughs or tubs with pipes and hydrants. I believe hydrants preferable to use to float valves, and tubs preferable to troughs, because they can be easily cleaned. If the water can be kept constantly flowing into and through the drinking places I am sure it will be relished more by the lambs.
THE LAMB SUPPLY.
With many the supply must be had by purchase, and then the question comes up where to get them. The natives grown in southern Ohio are not in sufficient numbers to meet the demands for feeders. Many do not try to get natives, but buy westerners when they can get them. I believe natives would be well liked if they could be had even in quality and size—that is, a sufficient number of one kind or breed to fill a feeder's lots. But this can not be done. As a sample of what is gathered in when filling a yard, will say that I have in a lot of about two hundred and fifty high grade Delaine Merinos, pure bred Rambouillets, pure bred Dorsets and grades of the Downs, besides others that are so far back that it is hard to place them. Then the difference in quality as regards flesh is as wide and variable as that of their breeding. Some were purchased out of a corn field, and others had been fed corn for some weeks be fore they were purchased, while others were about as low in flesh as they could be when bought of the farmers that raised them. But few men will want a sufficient number of this kind to make it possible to sort them into lots of desir. able size, as regards number and quality, to have them even in size and flesh, hence they have to be put into the feeding yards as purchased, which makes it simply impossible to finish them up even in quality. Another objection to natives, they are not always healthy. The westerners are liked and desirable because none of these objections that stand against the naiives can be laid against them. Up to this year lambs could be bought in Chicago to suit the feeder's fancy, as regarded size, quality and condition of flesh, and were universally liked because they are so hardy and healthy.
With these necessary preliminaries we come to the point that tries every man, that of starting on feed and properly finishing.
HOW AND WHEN TO START.
If the feeder has fall pasture in abundance he will want to commence feeding sooner than the feeder that expects to use only dry feed. Pasture can well be utilized and to an excellent advantage while starting the grain feed and getting them accustomed to hay. This is certainly the better way to start natives. If the pasture is in sufficient quantity continue its use till they are on full grain feed, which should require thirty days. While doing this it has been my custom to bring them to the lots and sheds in the evening and keep them there over night. The lots should be of sufficient size to make them convenient to work in. If shock fodder is fed room should be had for the racks and sufficiently large besides, so the accumulation of stalks will not have to be moved before the lambs are sold. When the lambs are first brought to the lots and buildings they will prefer to lie out of doors.
To start them on feed, put a small quantity of hay in the racks, or, if the . racks are also used for corn feeding, put in a little ear corn cut in small lengths, so they can shell it easily. If the corn is new it will be necessary at first to chop it into small lengths until they learn to eat it. As the corn gets dryer, breaking the ears in half will answer, and further along the ears can be thrown in the racks whole. The quantity fed at first must be small, for it will take several days to get all to eating. The first to start will be apt to eat too much if they can get it. As the number eating grain increases the amount fed can be increased.
The final enclosing in the lots should not be done till the lambs learn to fill up on the dry feed so well that they will not shrink when shut off the fields.
Salt should always be before them and kept in a dry place. If they always have access to it they will drink more freely. By the amount of water consumed I have been able to tell whether or not there is salt in the box.
As soon as the supply of lambs is in the lots, and they are improving, a warm, sunshiny day should be selected and all of them carefully dipped. Every feeder should have an outfit for doing this work. An outfit for a farmer
feeding in a small way can be put in place for twenty-five dollars or less if the lay of the land will allow the use of cement concrete to build the tank and drainage floor. No man can expect success if the lambs are infested with ticks or other vermin, Westerners, even if they have a clean bill of health at Chicago, should be dipped at the farm as soon as rested and improve ing. Feeders have neglected this to their sorrow and serious loss.
Racks can easily be built that answer every purpose for hay, fodder and corn feeding, and of any desired length up to twelve feet. The floor to a rack should be eighteen to twenty inches wide with side boards to the floor four to six inches high. The bottom of the rack should be about eight inches from the ground. Three feet is about the right height for a rack-the slats on the sides seven inches apart, slats one-half inch by three inches and necessary length. old barrel staves make excellent slats. The sides of the rack should be perpendicular so the lambs can feed with their heads inside the rack between the slats. If the racks are loosely filled with hay they will soon have it all under their noses. If too much hay is fed they will eat off the top and fail to reach the finer part underneath. Cattle and horses will nose down for these finer parts, but lambs will not unless fed only what they will eat clean. The rack should be made of as light material as possible; to get the required strength inch plank for the box part and good shingle lathe for posts, and nails around the top.
It is my custom to clean the racks once a day. If not enough coarse straw to require it, the cobs at any rate are thrown out. Ear corn is fed in small quantities at the start once a day. When this once a day ration reaches near full half feed, it is divided and feed twice a day, increasing gradually till full ration is reached, always feeding a little short of the limit so that each lamb will come to the rack for his share.
It is the aim always to keep the racks clean. If corn is refused in any part of the rack the reason is found out and the rack scrubbed if necessary.
MANNER OF FEEDING.
Now, the lambs that have corn twice a day get good fodder from morning till after they have had their evening feed of corn, when they are fed what alfalfa they will clean up by morning. Those that have not yet reached full corn ration have their corn at noon, and fodder and hay as the others.
The lots must be kept clean by throwing in straw when necessary. The same is true of the shed floors. There is nothing they enjoy more than clean straw to play over and lie down on. They will not lie down or play when it is filthy under foot.
It should be the aim of the feeder to be as quiet as possible about the lots when feeding or giving necessary attention. If he must whistle or sing while feeding the tunes should be the same. Neither should the feeder make noticeable changes in his clothes or it will cause restlessness among the lambs. As nearly as possible the same person should do all the feeding, and strangers passing through the barns or sheds should be under the escort of the feeder. A shepherd's crook should be found in a given place and a good pair of shears
with it. When a lamb needs togging it should be attended to quietly so that the others will not be scared.
The period of feeding is governed very much by the condition of the lambs when they go on feed, although the period can be lengthened when it is desired to use up a large quantity of hay or fodder or both, feeding lightly of grain in the meantime. But after they reach a full grain ration one hundred days' feeding will bring them to the danger point, whether they are thin or in good flesh when they are started, and it will be wisdom on the part of the owner to find a market for them as soon as possible. But it should be an axiom not to be departed from, not to sell till well finished.
The President: Now, members of the Institute, we all agree that we have listened to a most excellent address, giving evidence not only of a cultured gentleman, but of one who understands fully his subject. I am sure that there is not one person here this afternoon but who is interested in this subject. You don't all feed lambs, but I am sure you all delight to feed upon the lamb, and if you would have him well fed and have good lamb chops, let us discuss this question. If you have any questions, kindly give them to Mr. Jamison or present them to the Institute. We would be glad to have an earnest and live discussion of this most important subject.
Dr. Chamberlain : On account of the difficulty of sending in written questions, I would suggest that they be fired into the chairman, and that the chairman repeat them to Mr. Jamison, so that he may answer them.
Mr. Roudebush: I would like to ask Mr. Jamison what relative value he places on alfalfa hay in feeding lambs.
Mr. Jamison: I believe chemical analysis used in comparing alfalfa with other feed rates it almost as high as bran in value. I tried it this year. I felt that I would about as lief have it as to have bran, because lambs eat it as readily, or more so, as they do bran, and if you know anything of the value of bran for that purpose, to keep up the bone and muscle of animals, then you will know someiling of the value of alfalfa as feed. I may not have enough alfalfa to finish my lambs, but if I don't I hope I may have enough rye to finish them. Two years ago I hoped to have fattened my lambs on rye. Most of the feeders would say: "When you get them to the lot kecp them there; never let them out.” I don't believe any such a thing, if you have anything good for them to eat when they get out. They go out with a rush the first day, take a big run, but each single day after that they will go out orderly, eat what rye they want; if it is pleasant, lie down in the field and rest, and if it is unpleasant, come back to the barn quietly and orderly. I don't know of any better way, when lambs are shorn in the spring, than to give them their regular feed and allow them to run on the rye field through tlie day.
Professor Wm. R. Lazenby: There is one point that is suggested by Mr. Jamison that raises a question in my mind. He spoke about feeding the roots, and claimed, as many do—they measure by the dry matter in the roots, beets, as I suppose they were—that he did not think it was profitable. Now, is it not likely we make a mistake in measuring, say certain root products by the weight of dry matter, percentage of dry matter? I suppose I look at this matter from the standpoint of the horticulturalist rather than a stockman, but I know that stock foods are measured by our chemists in proportion to the dry matter they contain. But now, how is that with fruit? Our best fruit, fruit that we enjoy, and I suppose the fruit that does us the most good, has a very high percentage of water. Good milk, I suppose, good milk is 87 per cent. water, and yet I apprehend that for young animals, at least the ones that cannot find any food, however much higher percentage it might have of dry matter, that would be as good as this milk that has so much water in it. I am not here to say that everybody could raise roots, of course, for stock, but I do think that if I had to choose between a good slice of bread, and could have a generous slice, and one apple, or have two slices of bread and nothing else, I would take the one slice and the apple, because I think it would do me more good, and I think the equivalent to the apple is a pretty good thing for all classes of stock. We have raised this year between fifty and sixty tons of carrots upon the university gardens. Now, we do not use these ourselves, but we sell them to the horse breeders, a firm of horse breeders. They pay us fourteen dollars a ton for carrots. While they are paying for quite a percentage of water, that is true, compared with other food for these horses, for I suppose the percentage of water is very high and the percentage of dry matter correspondingly low, yet I believe that succulent food is of greater value to those horses than anything else that is given.
Mr. Markel, of Pickaway county: I would just like to say this to Mr. Jamison's remark—that the float valve would freeze up. If it will be of any benefit to farmers, I will say I have my float valve so it never freezes up. I have the pipes laid three feet under ground, so they never freeze up, and when I haul it out to my gardens I simply make a very small tank, just large enough to work in. Now that float valve never freezes up, and from that float valve I feed all those animals which are on a level with the float valve. As fast as they drink it it always keeps floating out of the top.. At other places where I feed my fat cattle, the float valve is in those places and it never freezes up. We cover the troughs at night. I think it would do for sleep.
Mr. Keller, of Madison county: I have handled sheep the greater part of my life. I am a "hillican,” and it is true that “hillicans,” as a rule, like to handle sheep, and for that reason I proceeded in it. I do not feed precisely as Mr. Jamison does. I usually begin to feed my lambs