“Dairymen who bring their cows to the highest stage of production during winter months must aim at imitating summer conditions. This is more easily said than done. During late spring and early summer the dairy herd reaches the highest production, and the quality of the product is superior to that of other seasons. Luxuriant pasture gives abundance of feed which is considered to be nearly a balanced ration. Grass is both succulent and palatable and in securing it cows receive exercise in a moderate temperature. Dairymen who are in position to furnish these conditions secure the maximum profit from their herds during the times they must be confined to the stable and fed on stored feed. Any kind of feed will not produce milk in paying quantities. The demands on the animal system must be met before feed can be converted into milk and butter fat. Milk is high in protein, therefore feeds containing this nutrient in large quantities are necessary. Carbohydrates and fat are also required and the relationship existing between these feeds should be around one of protein to five or six carbohydrates. Wider rations are fed, but cows on heavy production require that the rations be somewhat narrower. The amount of feed must be sufficient to maintain the system, over that amount is left for production. However, the cow is so constituted that for a time she will produce even when kept on a maintenance ration by drawing on stored up material in her body. This cannot go on indefinitely. The cow gradually loses in flesh, then the milk yield drops.

The dairy cow is a highly organized manufacturing plant which turns out food ready for consumption. The digestive system is her engine and on it demands to a large extent profits from the plants. The feed consumed furnishes fire to generate power to keep her going and working. The cow bears a close analogy to a steam engine. Fuel must be supplied to generate steam to start the wheels turning. Wood, coal, gasoline, etc., of different qualities, comprise the different kinds of material which are in use. If it is of poor quality the fireman has difficulty in keeping up steam. The water may heat but not enough steam will generate to run the plant to capacity. Consequently, the greatest profit is not made. In factories steam is generated under pressure so that the machinery can do its work. The best fuel is used to keep the fires burning. It is claimed that it only requires a little extra fuel to generate steam under pressure than it does to produce a small amount, but more work is accomplished per pound of fuel. The same may be applied to dairy cows. A small amount of poor-grade feed may maintain the animal, but will produce but [sic] little milk. Increase the ration and if the cow is of right quality the production will be increased. Two or three pounds extra of concentrates may increase the milk yield ten or fifteen pounds. The engine must be big enough for the work it is required to do, and the diary cow  must also have the capacity and quality of digestion in order to be profitable. Too many cows have not the capacity nor machinery to make them profitable manufactures and on the other hand some that have both are deprived of the right kind of fuel and raw material by their owner. The cow which gives the largest returns in milk and butterfat for the feed consumed is the most profitable. However, an abundance of feed will not make a good cow out of a poor one. The mechanism or blood of the animal plays a large part.

The cow is equipped to handle a large amount of roughage. Under normal conditions this is the cheap part of ration. Concentrates are more expensive, but it usually pays to add a certain amount of them to the roughage the cow eats. The amount may be regulated by the milk yield. The coarse feed or roughages should be grown on the farm and if any feed must be purchased let it be concentrates.  Clover or alfalfa hay and corn silage make ideal coarse feeds for the dairy cow. These feeds will produce a fair flow of milk without grains. Alfalfa cannot be grown on all soils but red clover and corn do well over a wide area. Silage adds succulence to the ration and aids in making dry feeds, as straw, more palatable. Roots are a feed which is being displaced somewhat by sillage, but they still have a place in the ration. There is more value in this succulent feed than analyses show.

While most of the feed is grown on the farm, it is advisable to follow a standard when compiling a ration. It may pay to sell some grains grown, and purchase feeds higher in protein in order to balance the ration so that the best use can be made of all nutrients fed. With an unbalanced feed there is more or less loss of some of the nutrients fed. Each must bear a certain relationship to the other for most profitable production. The protein content is the most expensive to fill. The table on another page giving digestible nutrients of various feeds, gives some idea of their value for producing milk or meat.

About 7.925 pounds of digestible nutrients are required daily by 1,000. lb Cow for maintenance only, and of this .7 pounds should be digestible protein. About 30 pounds should be digestible protein. About 30 pounds of silage and 10 pounds of straw would supply enough carbohydrates, but would be .3 pounds short of protein. If 8 pounds of clover hay are used instead of straw, the maintenance requirements would be about met. A cow must be fed more than this quantity in order to produce milk. In fact at no stage should a cow be kept on so small a ration. Ife she is not milking, she is usually carrying a calf, in the majority of cases being both, therefore the demand on her system is great. The nutritive value of various feeds is shown in the table and where two or more are nearly equal the dairyman would be influenced mostly by the market value. Sometimes the highest priced feeds are the cheapest in the end, as a small quantity seems to bring the ration to the required amount. In this class are cottonseed meal, linseed meal brewers’ grains, peas, malt sprouts, gluten meal, etc. These are high in protein which is the most expensive substance required by dairy cow but a feed they cannot get along without. They require it in large quantities than other classes of stock.Mineral matter, as time and phosphorous, is required in milk production, but this substance is provided for legume hay. Where the roughage is composed principally of timothy hay, wild grass, and corn stover, much greater quantities of concentrates are required than if clover or alfalfa hay are available. For economical feeding, dairymen should endeavor to grow plenty of clover hay. They then producs [sic] milk on the minimum amount of expensive concentrates.

All cows are not of the same temperament. Some put the extra feel on their backs instead of in the pail. On this account a study should be made of the requirements of the individual animal. In the best bred herds, cows vary in their productive ability, therefore to obtain greatest profit, records should be kept of both milk and feed, and tests made occasionally to ascertain if it would pay to increase or decrease the grain. The cow should have all the good quality roughage she wants but the grain may be regulated but the grain may be regulated by her production. The following feeding standard based on rations which have given excellent results in practive, [sic] is taken from Henry’s “Feed and Feeding.” As previously stated, a 1,000 lb cow requires .7lbs. Digestible protein and a total of 7.925 pounds digestible nutrients for her maintenance to this should be added 0.286 pound digestible nutrients, of which .047 pounds are protein, for each pound of 3.5 per cent. Milk .316 and .049 must be added respectively, and .054 pounds. This would make the total nutrients required by a cow giving 50 pounds of 3.5 per cent. Milk, 23.72 pounds. A rule followed by some dairy men is to feed about one pound of concentrates per day for each pound of concentrates per day for each pound of butter-fat given the week. Thus a cow making 14 pounds of butter a week would be fed 14 pounds of concentrates daily in addition to the roughage she requires. When whole milk is marketed, a rule is to feed one pound of concentrates per day for each four pounds of milk produced. According to this a cow giving 50 pounds of milk per day would require 1212 pounds of concentrate, made up grains and mill feeds, to balance the ration. These rules are only approximate. Keeping records of feed and milk and doing a little experimenting is the preferable method. Each dairyman must study the individual cows in his herd. the feed which gives best results with one may not prove so satisfactory with and ther. [sic] Balanced rations containing the proper proportions of the different nutrients can be made up from a great variety of feeds. Therefore, the dairyman should first consider what he is growing on the farm and if necessary purchase those concentrates which furnish most protein. When grain is scarce brewers’ grains, linseed meal, cottonseed meal. Etc. An increased amount of clover and alfalfa hay may be used. With grains plentiful. But shortage of hay, silage and straw could form the bulk of the roughage, and the proportion of grain increased. In certain districts dairymen are getting very good results this fall feeing silage and alfalfa hay. Of course their cows might do better if fed some concentrates, but in order to be profitable, the mill: yield would have to increase sufficiently to pay for  the extra feed , which would have to be purchased on the open market. Silage 30 lbs., roots 40lbs., straw 5lbs., clover hay 8lbs., brewers’ grain 3lbs., bran 4 lbs., makes a fairly good ration, but a trifle short on the dry matter. Roots are not always available and the home-grown grains may be plentiful. Therefore a ration with a nutritive ratio of 1:62 is made with silage 40 lbs., clover hay 5lbs., oat chop 2lbs barley 1lb., bran 1lb., and oil cake 2lbs. For a cow giving 40lbs. Of milk per day the following gives fairly good satisfaction: silage 40 lbs., hay 10lbs., oat straw 4lbs., cottonseed meal, or oil cake meal 2lbs., bran 4lbs., oats 3lbs., and barley 2lbs. A ration with a nutritive ratio of about 1:5.8 is complied with silage 30lbs alfalfa hay 12lbs., mangles 20lbs., oat chop 5lbs., barley meal 3lbs. For heavy production, about a pound of oil cake per day might profitably be added.

Feeding a balanced ration is not in itself sufficient for profitable production. The cow must be made comfortable, which will require that she be housed in a well ventilated stable, during the winter, where the temperature will range around fifty degrees F. The stable must be kept clean and the feeds kept as clean as possible and prepared in such a way that they will be palatable. The cow in milk requires a large quantity of water daily. Salt in the ration is also essential. Some fed twice a day others three times a day, with about equal results. Feeding and milking should be done at a stated time each day, as the cow soon forms the habit of wanting her feed at a certain time whether it is two or three times a day and if the regular hours are not adhered to the dairyman suffers by a decrease in the production. Combined with good feed and attention must go kindly treatment. [sic] The cow that is treated roughly will not give the same quality of milk as she would were she handled in a gentle manner.”

– Feeding the Diary Cows for Most Profitable Return, Guardian December 2, 1916, p9.

Source: Islandnewspapers.ca

A Tropical Bean

I have received a short letter from Summerside, worded as follows: “Dear Sir, ─ I am enclosing a leaf in the hope you may identify it. The plant was not in bloom when I saw it. It seemed to be a climber of some sort with bean-like leaves. The seed was found in a packet of tea, and the lady who found it said it looked just like a bean. If you could reply through your Newsy Notes I should be Obliged. Yours truly —”

This is quite a task, for leaves from different plants may be sufficiently alike to puzzle an expert ─ which the writer does not profess to be. Moreover as the seed was found among tea, it is reasonable to suppose the plant is tropical and therefore more difficult to identify without special books! One longs for Sherlock Holme’s double-peaked cap!

Ah, I’ve got it! I recall half a century ago I grew in my glass house, a climber called the Hyacinth-bean ─ a native of india. Its botanical name was Dolichos Lablab, an odd name, and easy for me to remember. Turning to Seymour’s “New Garden Encyclopedia” I gather that the plant has trifoliate (3-leaflets) leaves, climbs to about 10 feet high, adn bears stiff spikes of reddish-purple flowers. There is a form with white flowers). These are followed by attractive seed pods, so that this climber is grown as an ornamental in the U.S. Possibly our season is too short for it to bloom; I should be glad to hear how the plant succeeds. In the tropics the beans are grown for food. not for ornament. 

                                                  – Newsy Notes by Agricola, August 31st, 1946

Source: Islandnewspapers.ca