Part 8 out of 9
throwing the afterbirth.
Wash out twice daily with about 1 gallon of normal salt solution
(teaspoonful of salt to each pint of warm water). Give internally the
following powder: Pulv. gentian, 4 ounces; puv. slippery elm, 1 ounce;
puv. charcoal, 1 ounce; pulv. hyposulphate of soda. 8 ounces. Mix and
give a heaping teaspoonful twice daily.
Treatment for Caked Bag.
I have a cow whose udder is caked hard and has been swollen from the
udder to the forelegs. This latter swelling has gone down by applying
equal mixture of turpentine and lard, but the udder itself still remains
hard. When first noticed, one teat caked, then another, until all four
are caked alike.
Insert a milk tube and inject the following: Hydrogen dioxide, 8 ounces;
tincture iron chloride, 1 ounce; water, 7 ounces. Inject into each
affected teat. Apply the following externally: Camphorated oil, 8
ounces; tincture belladonna, 2 ounces; oil eucalyptus, 2 ounces. Mix and
apply twice daily.
I have a cow which gave rich milk all the time, but now every time I
milk her some yellow, hard substance will come out instead of milk.
First from one teat, then the next, and when I strain the milk the
strainer will be full of hard yellow specks.
Your cow has undoubtedly been affected with garget. This milk should not
be used. The condition is best treated by massaging the udder every day
with camphorated oil. It will also be necessary for you to continue to
milk her regularly until about six weeks before she is due to freshen,
at which time you should proceed to dry her up.
We have a 2-year-old heifer, which, two weeks before she was due to
freshen, had a large udder slightly caked. Upon pressing the teat a
discharge of blood issues from each teat.
This is infectious mastitis. It may be due to a bruise or blow or
infection introduced through the milk duct. The first is most likely.
Apply camphorated oil externally and inject into the affected udder some
hydrogen dioxide (peroxide of hydrogen. - EDITOR.). After ten minutes,
milk out again. Repeat once daily.
A Mangy Cow.
I have a milk cow with some trouble about her head, neck and shoulders,
which causes her to rub herself enough to make raw spots and take off
most all of the hair from the parts affected. The trouble has been
standing for 18 months, but I have been using medicine at different
times, which stops the rubbing, and the part will cover with hair nicely
again, but in due time the trouble shows up again.
This cow seems to have mange or scabbies, which is caused by a parasite
and is easily spread by contact to other cattle. It should be treated by
two or three applications, ten days apart, of a hot solution of creolin,
well scrubbed into the skin. The solution is made by mixing five
tablespoonfuls of creolin in a gallon of hot water. The treatment should
be applied pretty well over the body to cover all the affected parts,
and needs to be repeated in ten days to destroy the younger generation.
The sheds should be cleaned and whitewashed.
Irritation on Back of Udder.
I have a yearling heifer which has sore teats and blotches just back of
her bag which seem to itch. Her mother had a sort of eczema on her neck.
I fear her sore teats will spoil her for milking when she comes in next
The following treatment is advised: Drench with 1 pound of Epsom salts
dissolved in a couple quarts of water. The sores may be treated by
washing them with a 2 per cent solution of one of the coaltar
disinfectants, such as creolin. After the sores have been allowed to dry
naturally, a very little powdered calomel may be dusted thereon. Do this
every other day for a few days.
Enlarged Gland on Neck.
I have a calf that has a lump on her neck, which appeared when she was
two days old. The lump is getting larger.
This is probably an enlarged thyroid gland. Apply the following once
daily for several weeks and let it alone unless it becomes too large or
gets very soft, which is unlikely. Churchill's tincture iodine, 8
ounces; turpentine, 1 ounce; sulphuric ether, 2 ounces; oil aniseed, 1/2
ounce. Mix and apply once daily.
Some of my cows have hard lumps on their jaws, or lumpy jaw. Can that be
cured, and how?
This is Actinomycosis (lumpy jaw) and is due to ray fungi (actinomyces)
which are found originally on plants which enter the body in various
ways. The trouble usually appears in the upper or lower jaws of cattle,
where it generally produces tumors of bone or soft tissues. For
treatment give 1 1/2 drachms of iodide of potash in 1/2 pint of water
daily for 14 days. Increase to 2 drachms for 14 more days, and then
gradually decrease. Divide the tumor and insert gauze saturated with
tincture of iodine for 4 days. In 8 days a visible improvement will be
My cow has a swelling under her neck between her jaw bones about the
size of a baseball and almost as hard. It is not attached to anything
apparently, but largely suspended by the skin at the entrance to the
Cut directly through the center of the enlargement, clean to the bottom,
splitting it wide open. Clean it out with peroxide of hydrogen, after
which saturate absorbent cotton with tincture iodine, pack in tight and
sew the skin to hold it in place. Remove the dressing in 48 hours and
wash with sheep dip (tablespoon to 1 quart of warm water) twice daily.
This may be tubercular, or the result of foxtail, etc.
Cow Chewing Bones.
One of my cows is continually chewing bones. What can I do to prevent
Give the cow good clean hay; some root crop, cocoanut meal, bran or
soy-bean meal. If the cow does not stop mix in the drinking water twice
daily a little dilute hydrochloric acid. Also, have boxes arranged near
feeding stalls which contain wood ashes, slaked lime and salt.
Swelling on the Dewlap.
I have a cow that has a large lump at the point of the breastbone, the
dewlap. This lump is as large as a cocoanut, and was caused, I think, by
friction against a low manger in eating.
Get equal parts of tincture of iodine and soap liniment and rub onto the
swelling twice daily for a week.
I have three heifers, 3 years old, which have run with the bull right
along and have failed with calf; have had three different bulls to them;
what can be done?
There is a possibility of contagious abortion causing these heifers to
fail to breed. If this has occurred in the herd, the heifers are very
apt to be affected. If apparently healthy, reduce me feed and make the
heifers take considerable exercise to reduce flesh. Give each a dram of
powdered nux vomIca and one-half dram of dried sulphate of iron once
daily in a little feed. Breed to a healthy bull when the heifers come in
A Sterile Cow.
I have a very fine Jersey cow. I have had her to the bull every month,
and can't get her with calf.
In an isolated case of this kind there is probably some disease of the
generative organs or some condition whereby the impregnation cannot
occur even when the animal is bred. The ovaries may be cystic; there may
be chronic inflammation of the womb and possibly the mouth of the womb
was injured at last calf birth and the scar prevents its admitting the
fertilizing cells. If possible, a veterinarian should make a careful
examination of this cow in order to determine what the trouble is.
However, this treatment may be tried: About the time of coming in heat,
give the cow a large dose of glaubers salts (one pound) and the nux
vomica and iron treatment advised for "Barren Heifers" in another
paragraph. Before breeding the cow, apply a little extract of belladonna
and glycerine to the mouth of the womb and breed a few hours after.
On the upper part of one of the hind teats of a young Jersey cow that
freshened recently for the first time, there is a small growth from
which the milk comes more plentifully than from the natural opening
below. How, if at all, can this opening be closed without drying the
cow? The milk from it runs all over the milker's hand and makes milking
The only thing that can be done until the cow is dry is to tie the small
teat up before milking. This can be done with a string, rubber band, or
an ordinary clamp. If it is so small that the opening cannot be tied,
there is nothing to do, except, perhaps to use, her as a nurse for
calves. Two of these might run with her at a time, making way for others
as soon as they are able to look after themselves. Quite a number of
calves can sometimes be handled in a single year by a cow affected this
way and the benefit to the calves might be nearly as much as by using
the cow for butter production. When the cow is dry the teat can be
amputated and the opening will close when the sore heals, or a stick of
lunar caustic can be inserted into it, causing a wound that will heal
Infection of Udder.
Last year one of my cows had milk fever which affected her udder. This
year after freshening she milked two months when she suddenly went dry
on one side of her udder. She is now badly stiffened up in her hind
quarters and off her feed.
The cow has infectious mastitis due to introduction of some infection.
Give a saline purge (1 pound. glauber salt), inject peroxide of
hydrogen, after which pump in, sterile air. Apply externally camphorated
oil once daily. Camphorated oil has a tendency to dry up the secretion
of the gland and is used advisedly.
Lumps in Teats.
My cow has hard lumps in, her teats and lower part of the bag. These
cause pain to her on milking, but there are no other symptoms of
disorder. This condition has prevailed several months.
Give 1 drachm. iodide potash daily for one week; 2 drachms the second
week 3 drachms the third week, add reduce as you began. If tumors are
small and interfere with the flow of milk they can be removed.
Wound in Teat.
I have a cow with an open slit about one-fourth to one-third of an inch
in the side of one teat. I have lacerated the edges and stitched the
slit well together many times but the milk will ooze out and prevent
healing together. I have used numberless milk tubes to no avail, as the
flange on the tubes loose out. When I remove the flange the tubes creep
up into the udder and it is a trouble to get them out again.
Wounds of a quiescent udder usually heal, but if the cow is in milk and
the lesions involve the teats it is exceedingly difficult to heal the
wound, as the irritation delays or interrupts the healing process. The
following lotion is one of the very best to use for teat wound: Tinct.
iodine, 2 ounces; tinct. arnica, 2 ounces; glycerine, 2 ounces; comp.
tinct. benzoine, 2 ounces. Mix and apply twice daily after washing with
5 per cent solution carbolic acid and castile soap. Your milk tube must
be an ancient one as all milk tubes of today are self-retainers and
could not slip into the udder. Care must be taken to boil the tube
previous to each using as you may cause an infection of the udder by a
Injury to Udder.
I have a cow which has a gathering in the back of her udder which seems
to be some sort of injury. It has been there but a few days.
This injury was caused by a blow or traumatism. Thoroughly scrape out
the diseased tissue and after washing with sheep-dip water (tablespoon
to one quart) apply the following powder: Mix the following powder and
apply it to the wound: Iodoform, 1 drachm; boric acid, 1 ounce; alum,
1/2 ounce; zinc oxide, 1/2 ounce. Be sure and insert this powder into
the bottom of the wound, so that it will reach all diseased parts.
What can I do for a "blind teat"? The cow has just freshened and that
quarter of her udder is very full, but there is no milk in the teat. I
have been rubbing and greasing the udder. The blind quarter is slightly
An artificial opening should be made in the teat at once. Call in the
nearest physician unless you have a regular graduate veterinarian near.
I have a yearling heifer which is in fine condition and making good
growth. But all four of her teats have sores on them and are mostly
covered with scabs.
It is probably cow pox. Give a physic of glauber and epsom salts mixed 4
ounces of each to the heifer and double the dose to the cow. Apply
externally, once daily, after washing, the following prescription: Zinc
ointment, 4 ounces; iodoform, 1/2 ounce; glycerine, 2 ounces; carbolic
acid, 2 drachms. Mix thoroughly and apply. to sores.
Cause of "Loss of Cud."
About three months ago a pure-bred Jersey commenced to fail on her milk
and soon went dry, although on good feed. Did not seem to be sick, but
did not eat ravenously as she generally did, and little was thought of
it. During the past six weeks she has failed rapidly. Does not chew her
cud, froths at the mouth, runs at the eyes, and when she eats anything
much it bloats her. In fact, she seems bloated all the time. She is
lifeless and will hardly move around, getting very thin, and hair
standing the wrong way. Is there such a thing as a cow losing her cud?
Most people imagine a cow's cud is something material. As a matter of
fact, in a certain sense the words appetite and cud are synonymous. You
can say a cow has lost her appetite or a cow has lost her cud. Now, any
sickness severe enough will cause a cow to lose her appetite. The
bloating is caused from indigestion secondary to some organic disease,
probably tuberculosis. Keep up the cow's strength by giving condensed
floods or drenches of egg-nogg, gruel or greens. Give warm salt-water
injections twice daily and give the following mixture: Quinine sulphate,
2 ounces; Antipyrine, 1 ounce; ammonia muriate, 3 ounces; alcohol, 1
quart; water 1 quart. Mix; give 2 ounces every four hours.
I would like to know the reason for bloody discharges from the bowels of
a young six-day-old calf. There is a looseness of the bowels and the
blood is intermingled with the excrement. There is not a profuse amount
of blood, nor is it very dark in color, and it seems to be accompanied
with mucus or light, thick substance.
This is dysentery, due to scours so prevalent in calves. Give 6 ounces
olive oil, 4 drachms bismuth subnitrate and 1 drachm Pearson's creoline.
The discharge is very dangerous to other animals.
Our Jersey cow got somewhat lame one year ago in one hip or leg after
calving but soon got better. Last June when she came in one leg was
lame. It seems to be in the stiffle joint and the first one above. When
she walks she gets real lame.
Rheumatism is the trouble here. Give the following powder: Soda
salicylate, 3 ounces; salol, 2 ounces; pulv. gentian root, 2 ounces. Mix
and make 24 powders. Give four daily. Apply Pratt's, a good veterinary
Bleeding for Blackleg.
I have read several articles on blackleg, and it seems strange to me
that no mention is made of an operation that is an absolute preventive,
namely, bleeding in the feet.
The reason that no special mention of bleeding is made is that it is not
now considered the preventive that it once was. Some people appear to
have fair success with it, and others no success at all. The Bureau of
Animal Industry states that the evidence indicates that bleeding,
nerving, roweling or setoning have neither curative nor protective value
and, therefore, should be discarded for vaccination which is now widely
used as a preventive.
Poor Feeding, Depraved Appetite.
I have three cows. They have been fed alfalfa hay all winter and are in
very good condition and seem otherwise in good health, and have salt to
run to. Every time they chance to come to the yard they will pick up on
old bone and chew it for perhaps a half hour. I always take the bone
away from them when I discover it.
These cows have a depraved appetite, owing to the fact the tissues of
the body are crying out for something lacking that is required in the
system. Administer the following powder; also put a lump of lime in the
watering trough: Pulv. gentian, 1 ounce; pulv. elm bark, 2 ounces; pulv.
iron sulphate, 1 ounce; pulv. bicarb. soda, 4 ounces; pulv. aniseed, 2
ounces; pulv. red pepper 1/2 ounce; pulv. oilcake meal 10 pounds. Mix
thoroughly and give a tablespoonful in scalded grain once daily.
Cows Swallowing Foreign Substances.
We recently lost a valuable cow, and when we opened her we found a large
tumor or abscess at the top of the heart as large as a gallon jar. What
caused it, or is there any danger of other cows taking it, and if so,
what can we do?
This is a common disease among cows and is called traumatic
pericarditis. The trouble arises from the habit of the cows picking up
foreign substances such as wire, nails, or hairpins, and swallowing
them. They are taken into the paunch and the digestive movements of this
organ cause the foreign body to penetrate the lining and enter the
heart, where it gradually causes death as it enters deeper. It is very
common to find nails, etc., in the stomachs of old dairy cows which are
killed at the slaughter-houses. If you had examined the animal
carefully, you would find that some foreign body had penetrated the
heart and caused death. There is no danger of any contagion arising from
I have a cow that seems to be in good health and gives plenty of milk.
Nearly every morning when she is being milked she seems to want to
urinate and will stand letting the water drip from her.
This trouble often results from the cows eating alkaline hay. Give her
two quarts of flaxseed tea daily. Mix it with her food in which there
has been placed one-half teaspoon of powdered Buchu.
Infectious Conjunctivitis (Sore Eyes).
I have several cows and heifers that are affected with sore eyes. The
disease first makes its appearance by excessive watering of the eyes;
then the center or pupil becomes white and later turns red of bloodshot.
Bathe thoroughly with the normal salt solution (teaspoon salt to 1 pint
warm water), after which place in the eye and all around the mucuous
membrane of the eye the following: Twenty-five per cent solution of
argyrol, one-half ounce; apply thoroughly once daily and keep out of the
sunlight if possible. Another treatment is: Bathe the eyes once daily
with boracic acid 1 teaspoon, water 1 pint, after which thoroughly
saturate the eyelids and eyes with 1 to 10,000 solution of bichloride of
mercury. You are dealing with a disease that will spread throughout your
herd if you do not take proper means to separate the affected from the
What to Do Against Tuberculous Milk.
I should like to know what could be done with a dairy where cows are
dying with tuberculosis and the owner knows, but is selling the milk.
The case should be reported to F. W. Andreason, Secretary of the State
Dairy Bureau, at San Francisco, for investigation by an inspector. If
conditions are found as represented, the sale of milk will be prevented,
as it is contrary to State law to sell milk from sick cows. County
boards of health have also authority to prevent the sale of such milk in
the county on the ground that this is a menace to the public health.
Effects of Ill-Feeding Pigs.
I have a couple of pigs, out of about 75 head farrowed last spring,
which seem to have the staggers. They are looking fairly well, feed well
on pasture and at feeding time are right there making as much noise as
the others. They run around as if they had a shot too much.
Your pigs are suffering from acute indigestion, undoubtedly due to
improper feeding. Cut down the rations, especially if they are getting
grain. Give sick pigs two tablespoonfuls of castor oil each.
Sore Eyes in Pigs.
What is the matter with young pigs when their eyes swell shut? Before
they shut they look as if there was a white milky scum over them.
There is some infection present, and a good cleaning up in needed. The
sows and pigs should be dipped in a warm solution of some coal-tar
disinfectant, and the quarters thoroughly cleaned and disinfected or
changed to a dry warm place. The pigs' eyes should be washed with warm
water and a few drops of the following solution dropped into eyes once a
day for a few days: Have druggist prepare a 1 per cent solution of
silver nitrate. After applying this the eyes had better be washed a few
minutes later with water to which a little common salt has been added.
I have a number of pigs which have been ailing for three weeks or so.
They discharge a yellowish kind of manure at times, running of the
bowels. The most striking symptom seems to be a partial paralysis of the
hindquarters. The hogs will be walking along and seem to lose control of
their hing legs. It seems to be spreading to the other hogs and a number
have already died. Their appetite is poor.
This is undoubtedly hog cholera. The owner should appeal to the
Experiment Station at Berkeley for serum and treat all well hogs and
clean up as thoroughly as possible. The matter should also be reported
to the State Veterinarian at Sacramento.
Pneumonia in Pigs.
What is the disease which may be said to confine itself, with few
exceptions, to young pigs weighing 100 pounds or less? Its symptoms are
at first sneezing and a mild cough. These quickly change to hard
coughing and labored breathing, which as the disease progresses shows
evidence of much pain. The appetite is lost and the eyes become gummed
and inflamed. In some cases the pig lingers on for weeks, while in
others death occurs almost immediately. Vomiting sometimes occurs.
It is pneumonia and in its treatment "an ounce of prevention is worth a
pound of cure." Once pneumonia gets a foothold in a hog, the chances are
so strongly in favor of death that recovery may be considered out of the
question. Since remedies are not certain in the cure of pneumonia, it
will be found that the prevention of the disease is the only real way to
combat it. The main causes of the disease are exposure to draughts,
sudden changes in temperature, damp beds, manure heaps as sleeping
quarters, and exposure to the disease itself. Pigs in thin condition or
weak constitutionally are more liable to contract the trouble than pigs
in good flesh and healthy specimens. Good, dry, warm, comfortable
sleeping houses, well ventilated and so arranged as to prevent crowding
and piling up, will, I think, do more to prevent pneumonia than any
other one thing. Some such preparation as advocated by the Government
for the prevention of hog cholera will help keep the stock in a good
healthy condition, the better to combat exposure. It is the little
attentions that keep the herd healthy and in a vigorous condition, and
by using simple preventatives, remedies will he found unnecessary. - H.
General Prescription for Hog Sickness.
My hogs seem to be mangy and scabby, but am unable to find any lice on
them. They eat well, but vomit a good deal and are falling off in flesh.
They may be affected with a chronic type of cholera, and this should be
determined by some one who can see the hogs. Make a general cleaning up
of the hogs and quarters, using a dip and repeating in ten days. Hogs
have a true mange as well as other animals. A change of feed may also be
needed, depending on what is being fed and how the hogs are managed.
Green alfalfa pasture with a moderate feed of shorts or middlings of
wheat and ground barley made into a slop would be a good ration.
Evidently there is some digestive trouble here, and a dose of croton oil
(3 drops) mixed in a teaspoonful of raw linseed oil for each hog would
be beneficial. Charcoal, ashes, salt and a little epsom salts would be
of benefit to tone the digestion. The oil should be carefully mixed in
Pigs Out of Condition.
Of a litter of pigs weaned about a month several of them have itchy
scabs on their legs, ears and noses, and those having white feet show
reddish spots through the hoofs. They did not get it until after they
were weaned. They are fed on soaked whole barley and have alfalfa
Put the pigs on a slop composed of wheat middlings and barley ground
fine, with the hulls removed, and milk, or, in the absence of milk about
8 or 10 per cent of meat meal to which add some good stock food. Dip
them with some standard brand of dip or apply crude oil to be sure that
they were free from lice, fleas, etc. Give them good, clean, comfortable
sleeping quarters and trust to nature to do the rest.
Paralysis of Sow.
During the last few days one of my sows appears to be paralyzed in her
hind quarters and now cannot use her hind legs at all. She is about a
year old and is due to farrow her first litter in and about six weeks.
It is paralysis due to advanced pregnancy. Give 4 ounces castor oil and
4 ounces olive oil. She will recover after parturition.
Rickets in Hogs.
A fine boar, 16 months old, weight about 380 pounds, well built, with
little surplus fat, until lately has been very thrifty, but appears to
be losing control over his legs. Can't step over the smallest stick
without falling forward and acts like a foundered animal. He carries his
back rather arching since this trouble came on. During my absence from
home a hired man gave this boar a good beating with a pick handle, and
it appears to have been the beginning of his troubles.
This disease is Osteo Rachitis (rickets). The abuse has probably
aggravated the symptoms: This condition is due to a lack of hardening
principles in the bones. Give 4 ounces of cod liver oil daily and plenty
of lime water to drink. It will be all right to use him for breeding
when he recovers. In addition to good food and pure water give daily a
handful of a mixture of principally ashes and burned barley (charcoal)
with the usual addition of salt, sulphur and soda. This mixture is good:
Pulv. dried, iron sulphate, 4 ounces; soda bi-carbonate, 8 ounces; soda
salicylate, 2 drachms; pulv. aniseed, 4 ounces. Mix and give one-half
teaspoonful twice daily.
Pigs Losing Tails.
We have five pigs, 17 days old, and when they were farrowed they had
rings around the roots of their tails, and now their tails are dropping
This is caused by interference with circulation before birth. Apply
tinct. iodine around the affected parts once daily and if it shows no
signs of improvement after one week amputate.
My brood sow is awfully fat; how should I feed her so that she don't get
too fat? She is bred and it will be her third litter. She was running in
the vineyard all winter, and I fed her a handful of barley every day or
a few potatoes. Now she has free access to my growing barley field, and
I give her half a dozen potatoes every day.
You need not worry about getting her thin. She simply requires less
food. An animal excessively fat brings forth an inferior offspring.
Musty Corn for Pigs.
Would Egyptian corn that has been musty and then dried in the sun be fit
for pigs? It heated and musted quite a good deal, but is dried well. The
idea is, to grind it and then feed it in milk if good.
It is very dangerous to feed any stock moldy or musty food, especially
pregnant animals. It is this kind of food which causes a majority of the
abortions. Mold or smut in food is poisonous both to man and beast. It
is usually almost impossible to get out of feed because it runs
throughout the structure of the hay or grain.
Wounds and Wound Swellings.
What is the proper treatment for a fresh wire cut on a horse? How should
saddle galls be treated? Is there any way to make the hair come in its
natural color where saddle galls have been? How can an enlargement of a
colt's leg, caused from a wire cut, be reduced?
After all foreign matter has been removed from a lacerated wound, like
that made in a wire cut, the wound should be carefully fomented with
warm water, to which has been added carbolic acid in the proportion of 1
part to 100 of water. It should then be bandaged to prevent infection.
Zinc ointment would be a good thing to use under the bandage. For a
simple saddle, or harness gall, some ointment like the following should
be applied and the wound rested up: One pint alcohol in which are shaken
the whites of 2 eggs; a solution of nitrate of silver, 10 grains to the
ounce of water; sugar of lead or sulphate of zinc, 20 grains to an ounce
of water; and so on. Or advertised gall cures may be applied. If a
sitfest has developed, the dead hornlike slough must be cut out and the
wound treated with antiseptics. There is no way we know of to make hair
come in with natural color after a wound. The swelling on the colt's leg
may he reduced by rubbing it well several times a day and at night rub
in some 10 per cent iodine petrogen.
Can you tell me what to use as a spray to kill the flies in my stable?
In the early, morning the ceiling and sides are thickly covered with the
pests partly dormant but not enough so that they can be swept down and
killed. What spray can I use that will destroy them?
It is difficult to kill flies by spraying them. You can, however, spray
the sides and ceiling of the barn with a spray of epsom salts (sulphate
of magnesia) using about a cupful to the gallon, which will prevent them
from gathering there. And since prevention is better than cure, flies
can be kept from gathering around by, destroying their breeding places,
if those are under one's control, by having all manure and litter
removed before the flies have a chance to develop. The following may be
found useful to readers as a spray to keep away flies: Fish oil, 2
quarts; kerosene, 1 quart; crude carbolic acid, 1 pint; oil of
pennyroyal, 1 ounce; oil of tar; 10 ounces. Mix thoroughly and apply in
a fine spray. The following has been successfully used to repel flies
from cows: Nitro benzine, 5 ounces; carbolic acid, 3 ounces; kerosene
oil, 3 ounces; sol. formaldehyde, 1 ounce; fish oil, 1 1/2 quarts. Mix
and just touch the hair with the mixture.
To Destroy Fleas.
My barn, is full, of fleas I tried to destroy them by using creso-dip,
but did not kill them, all.
Fleas can only be permanently checked by destroying their breeding
places which are in the dust! and dirt that accumulate in cracks and
corners around barns, sheds and dwellings. Follow the cleaning up with a
thorough distribution of flake naphthalene. This is most effective where
the stable or room can be closed tight for half a day, or even 24 hours;
An ingenious suggestion is made that if a sheep can be let run in and
around the buildings where the fleas breed, they will soon be less
numerous and as new batches hatch out the sheep will soon get them
picked up, and after a while the place will be entirely free of them.
But the sheep must be allowed to run all around the sheds and breeding
places, as the flea jumps up, gets into the wool, and can never get out
again. A hog can also be used as a flea trap. One reader says: Pour a
little of the crude oil on the hogs' heads and along their backs, about
a gill on each hog; This would run down the sides of the hogs and kill
all the fleas on them. The oil also remains on the hogs for several
days, and all the fleas that jump on the hogs from the ground stick fast
and never jump off again. In about three weeks the fleas all disappear
and the hogs look fine and sleek from the use of the oil.
Part VIII. Poultry Keeping
Largely compiled from the writings of Mrs. W. Russell James and Mrs.
Teaching Chicks to Perch.
What is a good method of breaking in young brooder chicks to use the
At from six to eight weeks old the chicks should be taken from the
brooder quarters to the colony houses and range, or wherever they are to
be located, and at this time they should be taught to perch. Have the
new quarters arranged with low wide perches (1 by 3-inch scantlings);
also make slatted frames by nailing lath or other such narrow strips two
inches apart. Set these frames against the wall so that they will extend
slant-wise under the perches, and have the corners on the other side of
the room cut off by nailing boards across them. The chicks will run up
on the frame to find a huddling corner and land on the perches, as they
cannot rest on the open slanting frame. A little care for a few evenings
in putting up those that remain on the floor and straightening them out
on the perches will teach them the ropes. Where there are but a few to
be taught, all that is necessary is to provide the low wide perches and
shut out the corners, and a few of the smart ones will soon take to the
perches, and gradually others will follow until all will be roosting.
I have hens which seem well in every respect up to the time of their
combs changing color, when they die within three days. The combs turn a
faint yellow, almost white; they are heavy, have their usual appetite up
to the lost 24 hours. I have treated by giving small doses of castor oil
and Douglas mixture in the drinking water, feeding on dry mash with
plenty of green feed. There is no tendency to lameness nor limp neck.
The droppings are loose and very white.
The fowls were victims of jaundice, which is a form of liver disease and
caused by over-feeding on rich starchy foods that also cause fowls to
become overfat. However, at the end of the laying season and the
beginning of the molt the poultry keeper will lose some hens, even when
kept under the best conditions, and especially hens of that age. In
doctoring such cases in the way described, if the fowl does not improve
in a couple of days, the hatchet cure is the most profitable.
Rupture of Oviduct.
I have had two other hens die suddenly when on the nest. The second one
- we opened and found one egg broken near the vent and another with
shell formed ready to be laid.
Rupture of the oviduct was probably the cause of the hens dying on the
nest and is due to the same condition in the hens; that is, the
straining to expel the egg necessary in the engorged condition of the
internal organs from overfatness.
Melons for Fowls.
Have "stock melons" or "citrons" any merit as a green food for laying
hens? Are the seeds of the above injurious to hens or cows?
Stock melons are desirable for chicken feeding if other succulent
materials are scarce, but they are inferior to alfalfa and other
clovers. Seeds are not injurious to stock unless possibly one should
feed to excess by separating them from the other tissues. If melons are
fed as they grow, no apprehension need be had from injury by seed.
Rape and Vetch for Chickens.
What time do you sow rape and vetch and are they good for chickens?
They surely are good for chickens or for any other stock that likes
greens. They are winter growers in California valleys and should be sown
in the fall as soon as the land is moist enough to keep them growing, or
just as soon as you can get it moist either by rainfall or irrigation.
Neither plant likes dry heat or dry soil.
What is a good way to preserve eggs for home use?
In a cool cellar, eggs will keep very well in a mixture of common salt
and bran. Use equal parts, mix well, and as you gather the eggs from day
to day pack with big end down in the mixture and see that the eggs are
covered. Waterglass eggs are good enough for cooking purposes, but when
boiled anyone that knows the taste of a strictly fresh egg can tell the
difference in an instant; when fried the taste is not so pronounced, but
it is there just the same; besides, when broken, they are a little
watery. This watery condition passes off if left to stand for a few
minutes. The best way is to use the waterglass method, is one quart of
waterglass to ten quarts of water. Boil the water and put away to cool,
when cold add the waterglass, mixing well, and store in 3 or 5-gallon
crocks in a cool place. They will keep six months if good when put in.
In all cases the eggs must be gathered very fresh, for one stale egg
will spoil the whole lot, so great care is needed.
How do you dip hens to kill lice?
To dip fowls you must have a very warm day, or a warm room where you can
turn them in to dry. I have know people to use tobacco stems, but it
requires good judgment as to the right strength to use. The dips usually
sold already prepared are safer, in my opinion, because they give
directions as to quantity. Get a can of "zenoleum" or "creolium" -
either is good - and have the water a little over blood-heat to
commence; be very careful that the liquid does not get in the fowl's
throat. If there are no directions with the cans, put enough in to make
the water quite milky and strong smelling. It is best to make the hen
sit down and with a sponge wet the back and head thoroughly, then under
the wings and breast; if there are nits, don't be in a hurry to take
the hen out, but let the dip get to the nits and skin on the abdomen. If
the water is too warm it will be dangerous, as some fowls have weak
hearts; that is the only danger, providing you dry them quickly.
Cure for Feather-Eating.
What is the cure for feather-eating?
Feather eating is the result of idleness or a shortage of green feed.
The best way to cure it is to furnish the fowls with exercise. Boil some
oats until soft, and when cooked stir in salt enough to taste and about
a quart of good beef scrap; feed this for breakfast several mornings
together. Make them scratch for the rest of their food in deep litter
and give them sour milk to drink if you have it. If sour milk is not
available, put a tablespoonful of flowers of sulphur in the boiled oats.
The object is to cool the blood and furnish exercise. See that the fowls
are supplied with mineral matter, such ash shells, bone meal and some,
sand if it can be had. It is surprising the amount of sand that chickens
will eat when carried to them in yards, so there must be a necessity for
it, and if they cannot get to it, it pays to carry a good box full once
in a while.
What can I do to cure my chicks of eating each other?
Some kind of animal food is necessary when the chicks begin to pick
toes, wings and vents. But the meat must always be cooked, the least bit
of raw meat drives them wild as does the blood they can bring on each
other. For that reason a strict watch must be kept to detect any case
before blood is brought. Remove all weak chicks as they always go for
the weakest, and as soon as one chick is picked on for a victim, remove
it at once. Some people paint the toes with tar or liquid lice paint,
but I have had the best success with bitter aloes mixed with water. A
nickel's worth covers a lot of toes. It is best to buy a powder, then
dissolve in a little water and paint wings, vent and toes. They won't
take many pecks at them when they find they are so bitter.
Sunflower Seeds for Poultry.
What is the food value of sunflower seed as a ration for fowls, mostly
laying hens? Should it be fed whole or crushed?
Sunflower seed is rich in oil, having the same proportion as flaxseed;
otherwise it rates in value the same as grain. A little, not too much,
fed whole is well relished by fowls and is said to give luster to the
plumage in fitting birds for shows. Sunflower is greatly overrated for
poultry purposes. It is an ungainly plant of no use for forage and its
seed is so well liked by the sparrows that the only way to keep them
till ripe is to cover the heads with netting.
Clipping Hens for Cleanliness.
My hens foul all the feathers below the vent; they appear healthy, but
do not look nice. What can I do?
Take a pair of scissors and clip the fluff away from that part of the
abdomen, give a teaspoonful of olive oil, and notice of they have any
discharge that is of an offensive color or odor. Sometimes it is nothing
but pure laziness with hens of the large breeds that causes this matting
together of the fluff below the vent. We rarely see hens of the small
breeds so affected. Whenever a hen soils her feathers clip her at once,
and, in fact, it is a good custom to follow in any case. When hens are
very heavily fluffed it interferes with the fertility of the eggs. In
such cases there is not anything for it but the scissors.
Bowel Trouble in Chicks.
What is the cause of bowel trouble in young chicks, and what to do for
Bowel trouble in very young chicks is usually caused by a chill. It is
very hard for us here to believe chicks get chilled because, not feeling
the cold ourselves, we forget that chicks have really undergone a
violent change from incubator to the outside atmosphere. In the Eastern
States, great care is exercised in moving chicks from incubator to
brooder oven, and also in seeing that the brooder itself is warm and fit
to receive the chicks. But we are, as a rule, very careless in these
little matters and the chicks feel the change and suffer from bowel
trouble. Sometimes, of course, the trouble may be traced to the food,
but more often it comes from a chill. The best way to cure it is to
remove the chicks to new ground at once, or if in a brooder, clean it
out well and spray with some disinfectant. Boil all the water that is
given to the chicks and feed boiled rice once or twice a day in which a
little cinnamon is mixed. Do not put in too much or they will not eat
it, keep all meat away and just feed dry chick feed and boiled rice. No
oatmeal or any other cereal but the rice; if chicks won't eat it, feed
dry chick feed and boiled water and a little lettuce.
Quick Roosters and Laying Hens.
How can I get the young roosters off quick and the hens to lay in
These two happy results come from correct methods of poultry keeping
from the ground up. To get the cockerels off quick, they must be hatched
from strong-germed eggs, incubated properly and kept growing from the
first jump out of the shell. To get eggs in winter the pullets must come
from the same conditions. Very few hens will lay in the early winter
under any conditions. The pullets must be depended upon for that season
and the hens kept properly will drop in some time in January.
What is a good poultry tonic?
The following is a very good tonic for general purposes: Tincture of red
cinchona, 1 fluid ounce; tincture of chloride of iron, 1 fluid drachm;
tincture of flux vomica, 4 fluid drachms; glycerine 2 ounces; water, 2
ounces. Mix and give one teaspoonful to a quart of water, allowing no
Poultry in the Orchard.
Kindly advise me about keeping hens in an orchard. I would like to know
if they will injure the trees in any way if kept in large numbers. In
what way would they benefit the trees?
From the point of view of the trees there is no doubt that they would be
advantaged by the presence of the poultry, providing the coops are not
allowed to interfere with the proper irrigation and cultivation. If it
is practicable to handle the fowls in coops without causing the soil
around the coops to become compacted by continual tramping, and if they
are not kept upon the ground long enough to cause an excessive
application of hen manure, which is very concentrated and stimulating,
the result would unquestionably be beneficial. From the point of view of
the tree, this benefit of injury would depend upon how long the fowls
were kept around the tree and the maintenance of them in such a way that
the soil should not become out of condition physically or too rich
chemically for the satisfactory performance of the tree. If they can be
moved frequently, and if they are only put in place when the soil is in
such condition that tramping around the coops will not seriously compact
it, the presence of fowls would be an advantage. On the other hand, if
the coops are to be kept in place for a long time and all the ground
outside of them crusted and hardened by tramping and the soil under the
coops overloaded with droppings, the thrift and value of the trees will
be seriously interfered with.
Can three to four month old cockerels be caponized successfully in
summer, and if so, what care, feed, etc., do they require afterwards?
The birds should be between two to three months, not over four, unless
some very large variety that matures slowly. Size is equally important
as age, and a bird to be caponized should not weigh more than one and a
half pounds. The work can be successfully done in the summer season, but
the fowl must be kept without food or drink for at least 24 hours,
longer is better and keep in shady place. After caponizing, feed the
bird what soft feed he will eat up and let him have plenty of water.
Then leave him to himself as he will be his own doctor. In two or three
days look them over and if there are any wind-balls, simply prick with a
needle to let the air out; this may have to be done two or three times
before the wound heals up, but after it has healed, treat just as you
would other chickens and feed them about twice a day. There is nothing
made by trying to rush nature; it takes fifteen months to grow a good
capon of the large breeds.
Up to a week ago the chickens had been exceptionally well in every way.
Now they seem to have a cold and a running at the nose and with it a bad
odor. It was suggested that this might be the beginning of roup, but I
see no swell-head.
The distinguishing characteristic of roup is not so-called "swell head"
or other form of cold, but the offensive roupy odor. When the cold has
reached this stage it is a pronounced case of roup, and highly
contagious. Separate all the ailing fowls and segregate them in
comfortable hospital quarters, warm but with one side partly open for
fresh air. Disinfect the quarters of the well fowls by spraying with
distillate or cheap-grade coal oil and sprinkling the floors and about
the houses with air-slaked lime. Use some simple remedy like coal oil or
permanganate of potash to cleanse the throat and nostrils. With coal
oil, first wipe the eyes and bill with a clean cloth dipped in the coal
oil, then inject with a sewing-machine oil can enough coal oil to
open and thoroughly clean out the nostrils. If the throat is affected,
give a tablespoonful of sweet oil and coal oil, half and half, two or
three times a day until relieved. One of our correspondents has sent us
the following treatment with permanganate of potash which he has found
the best roup remedy he has ever tried: Dissolve 1 ounce of permanganate
of potash in 3 pints of water, hold the fowl's head in this for a
second, then open the beak and rinse out the mouth in the solution. Wipe
with a clean, soft cloth and apply a very little witch hazel or
carbolated salve to the eyes, nostrils and head. Repeat the operation as
often as the throat and head become clogged with mucus. Until the
disease is eliminated from the premises, keep permanganate of potash in
the drinking water of all the fowls, both sick and well. About 1 ounce
to each 2 gallons of water or enough to give the water a claret color.
The sick fowls should be allowed no other feed but a little stimulating
mash three times a day. Where the fowls do not show a decided
improvement in the course of a few days, or where the disease has
assumed a violent form, all such birds should be killed and the bodies
burned at once.
Bad Food for Chickens.
My chicks are about three weeks old and have always been strong and
sturdy, but when taken sick first appear a little dumpish, then the head
seems a little heavy and the neck lengthens out. As the disease advances
they become staggery.
Your chicks have eaten soured food, decayed vegetables or tainted meat.
Baby chicks are just like other babies and the same care should be used
that their food be always sweet and fresh. Wet food should never be
given chicks, nor raw meat nor anything the least bit tainted or stale.
Put a teaspoon of coal oil in each pint of drinking water and see to it
that the latter is kept pure and cool. Mix a teacup of sulphur with
enough bran or shorts for each 100 chicks, moisten with sweet milk and
feed it on clean boards, what the chicks will eat up clean in some,
twenty minutes. Give them one feed of this each day for three days if
the weather is dry. Clean the brooders and runs daily, then dust white
with air-slacked lime and cover the lime with a sprinkling of clean
sand. Rake and clean up the yards where they range and never let them
eat any of their grain or food out of dirt and filth. You cannot doctor
such small chicks and must depend upon the coal oil in the drinking
water. Keep the water fresh, but add the coal oil until the chicks are
Open-Front Chicken Houses.
In what direction shall I face open-front poultry houses?
North or northeast is the proper direction to face the open fronts of
poultry houses and coops in the Pacific Coast climate. The prevailing
winds are from the south and southeast in the winter, and from the west
and southwest in the summer. The occasional north winds or "northers,"
may be called dry winds, in fact, are an indication of dry weather, and
so do not harm the fowls even when cold. We like the upper half of the
north-end or slide of our poultry houses open with inch-mesh covering
the open space and the eaves extending several inches as a protection.
In case of an unusual storm from that direction, one thickness of burlap
may be tacked to the edge of the extending eaves, and to the lower part
of the opening. This will admit plenty of fresh air while breaking the
force of the wind. We also have a large trap door for the use of the
fowls, in the solid lower part of the open end, and the large door, for
cleaning and sunning the house, in the west side.
A Point on Mating.
I have fine roosters a year old this April; would you advise keeping
them for mating with the same hens next season, or do you advise selling
each year and getting fresh stock?
The young males will be all right to mate with the same hens next season
- that is, if they come through the molt with vigor. They will be just
two years old and at their best. The molt is the test for both, hens and
cocks. If they show no signs of ailing or weakness during that period,
it is proof of the proper stamina and vigor.
Age for Mating.
At what age may a cockerel be mated with hens?
From nine months to a year is the proper age to mate a Leghorn cockerel.
Cockerels of the larger breeds should not be mated before a year old.
Why are eggs watery and light-colored?
The trouble is in the feed somewhere. Too much green feed, especially
green feed that springs from wet, soggy ground, will sometimes make the
eggs watery. Or if you are feeding more mash feed than dry grain, it
will have that tendency. Some people claim that the feed a hen eats does
not affect the egg at all; but if it does not, why do eggs differ in
color and quality? Eggs that are laid by hens fed wholly on wheat, or
the by-products of wheat, such as bran, shorts or middlings, all have a
pale yolk. Now feed the hens some green feed - any kind will do - and
the eggs from the same hens will have a yolk several degrees or shades
Will you kindly tell me the cause and cure for bowel trouble among hens?
The "quick cure" for chick diarrhea has not yet been found. Prevention
is the only sure remedy. The first treatment in diarrhea (which must not
be confused with simple looseness of the bowels) should be a mild physic
to clean out the digestive tract. Epsom salts is probably best for this
purpose where a number of fowls are to be treated. This is usually given
in the drinking water, but Dr. Morse, who has charge of the
investigation of poultry diseases in the Bureau of Animal Industry,
gives the following directions for administering the salts: "Clean out
by giving epsom salts in an evening mash, estimating one-third to
one-half teaspoonful to each adult bird, or a teaspoonful to each six
half-grown chicks, carefully proportioning the amount of mash to the
appetite of the birds, so that the whole will be eaten up quickly." For
a few days afterward, feed only lightly with dry grain and tender
greens, such as fresh-cut mustard and lettuce leaves. Keep plenty of
pure, cool water, with just a thin skim of coal oil - one drop to each
pint - for drinking; also plenty of sharp grit and fresh charcoal broken
to the size of grains of wheat.
A very peculiar disease is taking off my fowls. The head of the fowl
bends down to the breast and the fowl looks like dead, there is also a
slight discharge from the mouth. The head and tail droop and if the fowl
could stand up they would almost touch.
When a fowl loses partial or entire control of the muscles of the neck
the common name of the affection is limber-neck. In medical science
limber-neck is regarded as a symptom rather than a disease, and may be
due to a number of causes, such as derangement of the digestive organs,
intestinal worms and ptomaine poisoning. The affected fowls should be
given immediately a full tablespoon of fresh melted lard or sweet oil,
to which has been added a scant teaspoonful, of coal oil. In an hour
repeat the dose. For a few days the fowls should be fed on some light
food, such as shorts scalded with sweet milk in which has been dissolved
a level teaspoonful of baking soda to every pint of milk, and also
allowed plenty of crisp, tender lettuce or similar greens. A little
Epsom salts should be added to the drinking water for a few days. This
treatment, if resorted to at the start, will be effectual, but if the
poisoning has had its course long, nothing will save the bird.
My one and two-year-old fowls are getting scabby combs. It starts with a
round blackish spot and swells into many spots, finally nearly covering
one side of the comb. Sometimes accompanying this is the closing of one
eye, and later both eyes.
The trouble is chicken pox, which is a very contagious disease. A
treatment which has been successful consists in bathing the sores with
strong salt and water and giving the fowls a mash containing one
teaspoonful of calcium sulphide for each 25 hens. With a large flock of
hens the method successfully employed by one of the large coast ranches
in stamping out an epidemic of the disease was to place a sulphur
smudge, to which had been added a little carbolic acid, in the poultry
house after the fowls had gone to roost. This was allowed to remain till
the fowls began to sneeze, when it was instantly removed. The affected
fowls were also treated by dipping the heads in a solution of
permanganate of potash.
Roup in Turkeys.
My turkeys have a disease that is spreading rapidly. They commence with
a running at the nose, have swelling under the eyes which are filled
This is clearly a case of cold developing into roup. Get one ounce of
permanganate of potash and pour a quart of boiling water over; after it
is cold, bottle for use. Now take an old tin can, three parts full of
warm, not hot water, and drop in enough of the permanganate of potash to
make it dark red. Hold the turk's head under in this can until it needs
breath then give it time to breathe, and dip again. Press the fingers
along the swollen parts towards the nostrils and get out all the pus you
can, then take a sewing-machine oil can and fill it with a little of the
mixture, and part olive oil, inject the liquid up the nostrils and in
the cleft of the mouth. Put a little of the permanganate in the drinking
water for all the flock. Make the water a light red, later it will turn
to a dirty brown, but don't mind that.
What can I use to disinfect poultry belongings?
Sulphuric acid spray is good, but you will need to be very careful that
you do not get it on the hands or clothing. Get 16 ounces sulphuric acid
(50 per cent solution), water 6 gallons. Have the water in a wooden tub
or barrel and add the sulphuric acid to the water very slowly, in order
not to splash it on the flesh or clothes. But mind: nothing but wooden
vessels to mix it in. When made according to directions, and of this
strength it is a very valuable disinfectant, but is dangerous to use of
any stronger mixing. After mixing, it can be stored in glass bottles or
earthenware jugs. Another very good disinfectant for poultry houses and
runs is the formaldehyde disinfectant. Formaldehyde 1 pint (40 per
cent), water 2 gallons. This is fine for houses that you can shut up.
Turn the fowls out of the building, close all windows, and spray
thoroughly, then close the door and leave it do the work. Air well by
opening windows and door several hours before the fowls go to roost.
Cloth for Brooding Houses.
Would some good grade of white cloth on a frame do as well, or would it
be better than glass, for a brooder house, or would it keep out too much
Cheesecloth, not heavy cloth, would be better than glass, so far as the
sun is concerned. There would be none of the overheating during the
middle of the day followed by the chilling at night which are caused by
a large expanse of glass. On the other hand, there should not be
openings on opposite sides of the house to create a draft. Also, the rat
and vermin question must be considered. It might be necessary to have
wire screens made to fit firmly over the cloth at night.
Grains for Chickens.
What variety of grain adopted for poultry food will be the best to grow,
with and also without irrigation?
Wheat is a standard grain for poultry feeding, and Egyptian corn is also
largely used. Indian corn is also satisfactory, under the general roles
for compounding poultry rations which are laid down by all authorities
on the subject. Egyptian corn is very successful in the interior parts
of the State, and, on lands which are winter-plowed and harrow to retain
moisture, very satisfactory results can be secured by summer growth
without irrigation from planting as soon as frost danger is over.
Plucking Ducks and Geese.
I would like to know about how, when and how often to pick old ducks so
as to get the feathers for pillows and not kill the ducks, either. Will
they lay any eggs while growing new feathers?
Neither ducks nor geese should be plucked until after the laying season
is over, which will be in July. Just before the moult, when the feathers
begin to loosen, they may be plucked again. Those most considerate of
their birds make only this latter plucking, which does not greatly
inconvenience the fowls. At no time must they be plucked unless the
feathers are "ripe"; that is, dry at the root, so that no bleeding or
injury to the skin is caused. An old stocking is drawn over the head of
the victim, and the bird held in the plucker's lap on a burlap apron;
then the soft feathers on the body are quickly and very gently removed;
but those on the side of the body which support the wings should not be
taken. Great care should be exercised not to injure the skin or
pinfeathers or pull the down. To grow new feathers quickly and resume
laying are matters which depend largely upon the condition of the bird
and the feed. The latter should consist of some 15 per cent of animal
Feeding Hens for Hatching Eggs.
Should soft feed be given to the mothers of chicks intended for
broilers? How about dry mash? How would you advise feeding animal
Cut out all ground feed, except perhaps a little wheat bran. While you
may not get quite as many eggs, they will all have good strong germs and
the chicks will stand forcing to the limit, while if you force the egg
output you reduce the vitality of the germs and livability of chicks
hatched. The only way to feed hens whose eggs are intended for hatching
chicks for broilers is to feed whole grain and make them exercise for
it, good green feed, or, better still, sprouted oats, and feed beef
scrap in a hopper all the time. At first, while it is new, they may eat
more than you would give them but don't mind that they will regulate the
quantity in a few days better than you can. Get a good grade of beef
scrap and keep it in a hopper that will not let rain in or keep it under
cover and feed all the wheat and oats they require; if you are short on
green feed give them a bale of alfalfa hay to work on.
A Dry Mash.
Will you give a formula for a dry mash?
Wheat bran, 500 pounds; middlings, 200 pounds; cracked corn, 200 pounds;
charcoal, 20 pounds; alfalfa meal 200 pounds; bone meal, 150 pounds;
blood-meal 100 pounds; meat cracklings, if ground, 200 pounds; ground
oats or barley, 300 pounds. Give oyster shell separately and supply
fowls with good sharp grit.
My chickens are losing the feathers from their necks, some three inches
down the front and then extending around the neck.
The loss of feathers is probably due to the depluming mite. Dust well
with buhach through the feathered portion of the bird and apply
carbolated vaseline to the bare skin and the edges of the feathers where
the insects work. Do this daily as long as needed. When vaseline is not
on hand, a mixture of coal oil and sweet oil applied with a soft sponge
squeezed nearly dry does as well. We would advise that you make a
general cleaning and spraying of your poultry quarters, nest boxes, etc.
Part IX. Pests and Diseases of Plants
Control of Grasshoppers.
This county is having trouble with the grasshoppers as are other
counties. Would you kindly inform me what I could do to exterminate them
on my young orchard?
The best thing for grasshoppers is to fix up a lot of poison. This is
made in the proportion of 40 pounds of bran, 2 pounds of molasses and 5
of arsenic, mixed together as a mash. They will take this wherever they
find it, even when nice green leaves are close by, but it has to be kept
moist. Grasshoppers can also be reduced by driving a "hopper doser" over
ground where they are. This is made somewhat like a Fresno scraper, but
is much longer and the bottom is covered with crude oil. When disturbed
the hoppers jump up and fall into the oil. Besides the poison, you
should also protect the trunk of the tree to prevent the hoppers from
climbing up it. This can be done by applying tree tanglefoot, or putting
on one of the tree guards that prevent climbing insects from passing up
to the leaves. The combination of poison and tree guards will give you
about all the protection you need.
Sunburn and Borers.
Please state the best remedy for keeping the borer out of young fruit
Sunburn can be prevented in many ways. The manufactured tree-protectors
are good if they are light colored and are kept in place so that the sun
does not scald above or below them. Wrapping spirally with narrow strips
of burlap, torn from old grain sacks, from the base to the forking of
the branches, is also good. A very effective and widely used method is
to apply a good durable whitewash which may be made of 30 pounds of
lime, 4 pounds of tallow and 5 pounds of salt, adding the salt to the
water used in slaking the lime, stirring in the tallow while the slaking
is in progress and hot, and then adding water to thin the wash so that
it will work well with pump or brush.
Gumming of Prune Trees.
I write to ask for information concerning my prune trees. They are from
two to six years old and the gum is exuding from them. As I notice the
branches dying I cut them out, but this doesn't seem to save the tree. I
would appreciate any information you can give me.
This is a pretty hard matter to diagnose from a distance. There is a
good probability that the trouble is caused by sunburn, a point you
could determine on inspection. Whitewash would be a protection against
this and more or less of a cure also. Furthermore, borers may be the
cause, which can be determined by examining the points where the gum
exudes, seeing if any wood grains are present. These borers should be
dug out and whitewash applied, which latter also protects against this
trouble. Lastly, your ground may be drying out, which also you can
determine and remedy.
Borers in Olive Twigs.
There are quite a number of olive trees in this locality that have
something wrong with them. They make a growth of five or six inches and
the center twig dies back, then it sprouts out at the sides and makes
another growth in the same way. This makes a thick bush instead of the
tree coming up as it should.
The dying back is caused by a beetle which bores into the twigs. The
twigs above the point where the beetle enters dies and then, of course,
buds come out from healthy wood below. No treatment has been devised
against it, though its breeding ground is limited if all dead wood and
brush and litter is cleaned up and twigs are cut off below the point of
injury whenever the work of the insect is seen.
Raspberry Cane Borer.
Can you tell me what to do for my Loganberries and raspberries? A small
worm got into them in the new growth of wood lost summer, right in the
tips of the new growth of wood, and then worked down through the pith of
the wood, and as fast as they worked down the can wilted.
This is the raspberry horn-tail, or the cane-borer. The adults are
wasp-like insects about a half-inch long and very active. They come out
of the canes in spring and the females soon lay eggs in the tender tips
of the young shoots. These eggs soon hatch and the larvae eat their way
up toward the tip, which causes it to wither and die. It is this injury
that causes much notice. As the tip dies, the larvae turn and go down
into the canes, as in the sample sent, also injuring them greatly,
though possibly not killing them for some time. The only way to attack
them is to pinch the spots where the eggs were laid; then those that
escape and cause the tips to wilt should be destroyed by cutting off the
tips below the point of injury or cutting off the canes when they show
damage. Likewise, the insects work on the wild rose, and cutting all
those out around a place will prevent enough adults from developing to
permit little damage to be done, always provided the berries are well
Control of Red Spider.
Can you give directions for the prevention of injury by the red spider
to almond and other trees in the Sacramento volley?
The red spider on almond and prune trees is usually controlled by the
thorough application of dry sulphur to the foliage. On almonds the first
sulphuring should be done as soon as the leaves appear in March. A
second application is advised from the 1st to the 10th of May. A third
application should be made from the 1st to the 10th of June. Prune trees
should be treated as soon as the spider appears. In the Sacramento
valley this usually occurs about the first week of July. Full-grown
trees require about a pound of sulphur which should be thoroughly
distributed throughout the foliage. The old method of throwing a handful
of sulphur in the branches of the tree or on the ground under the tree
is valueless. The use of a blower is economical in large orchards, but a
can with perforated bottom is frequently used on young trees or small
orchards with good results. In normal seasons the spider is easily,
controlled by dry sulphuring. When the pest does not yield to this
treatment, a spray is recommended.
Liquid Spray for Red Spider.
Is there any liquid spray I can use in my spraying that will kill the
red spider without injuring the foliage of the almond?
A liquid spray for red spider is made by taking sulphur 30 pounds; lime
(reduced to milk form by water), 15 pounds; water, 200 gallons; or use
commercial lime-sulphur, 4 or 5 gallons to 200 gallons of water. These
sprays can be applied without injuring the foliage. They are more
expensive in labor cost than dry sulphuring, but are more effective.
I am sending herewith a small piece from one of my young apple trees. If
you can, will you kindly tell me what the insects are an it, and what I
had better do for them?
The apple twig which you send is infested with the eggs of the leaf
aphis or leaf louse. These eggs are very difficult to kill. A good
thorough spraying with lime-sulphur might, however, get rid of many of
them and would be good for the trees otherwise - diluting according to
condition of tree growth. The chief campaign against the leaf aphis,
however, must be made early in the growing season, just as these pests
are beginning to hatch out and to accumulate under the leaves of the new
growth. They should then be attacked with properly made kerosene
emulsion or tobacco extract with a nozzle suited to land the spray on
the under side of the leaves. Unless these pests are attacked early in
the season and repeated if necessary, your apples on bearing trees will
be ruined so far as they attack them, being small, misshaped and
worthless. On young trees the destruction of the foliage is fatal to
Will you kindly inform me what you consider the best treatment for apple
trees affected by woolly aphis?
The best way to kill the woolly aphis on the roots is to remove the
earth from around the tree to a distance of one or two feet, according
to the size of the tree, digging away a few inches of the surface soil,
Then soak the soil around the tree with kerosene emulsion, properly
made, of 15 per cent strength, and replace the earth. Be sure you get a
good emulsion, for free oil is dangerous. For the insects above ground
on the twigs, a good spraying while the tree is out of leaf will kill
many, but some will survive for summer spraying, and for this a tobacco
spray may be most convenient.
Blister Mite on Walnuts.
I am sending you some walnut leaves with some swellings an them. They
are very plentiful on some trees here. Is the trouble serious and will
This is merely Erinose, or Blister Mite, which is a very common trouble
on walnuts, but does not do enough damage to call for methods of
control. These swellings are caused by numerous, very small insects
which live within the blisters on the under side of the leaf amongst a
felt-like, heavy growth which develops there. While this effect is very
common, it produces no appreciable injury and needs no treatment for its
Scale on Apricots.
I would like to know how to check the scale on apricot trees.
The most common scale on apricots, the brown apricot scale, is usually
held in check by the comys fusca, which is as widely distributed as the
scale itself. If it gets beyond the parasite, you should spray in winter
with crude oil emulsion. If some scales are punctured or have a black
spot on top, the comys fusca is busy and you probably will be safe
enough without doing anything.
Fumigating for Black Scale.
I would like to know the best method of eradicating the black scale from
my orange trees, whether by spraying or fumigation?
Spraying has been given up as a suitable method for controlling the
black scale on citrus trees, and the only recognized method of merit
where the scale is bad is by fumigation with hydrocyanic acid gas. You
should communicate with your county horticultural commissioner, who,
through inspectors, will see that you have a good job done, at the right
time and at as moderate price as is compatible with good work. It is
impossible to 'eradicate' the black scale, but there is a great
difference in the amount that can be killed, and it pays to have a job
done as near perfectly as possible. Similar methods of attacking other
scale insects on citrus trees are used.
How can the presence of pear thrips be detected in a prune orchard? Will
the distillate emulsion-nicotine spray control brown scale as well as
You can find thrips by shaking a cluster of blossoms, as soon as they
open, over a sheet of paper or in the palm of your hand. The thrips are
very minute, transparent, somewhat louse-like insects. The spray you
mention would probably have little effect on the brown scale which would
still be in the egg state and under cover, at the time the early spring
spraying for the thrips.
Control of Pear Slug.
I am sending, under separate cover, some samples of cherry tree leaves
that have been attacked by a small snail or slug. Kindly let me know
what they are, and how to rid the trees of them.
The creatures you speak of are the pear slugs, or the cherry slugs, as
they are sometimes known. Although slimy, like the big yellow slug that
is a pest in vegetable gardens, it is no relation thereto, but is the
larva of an insect. Its olive green color, slimy appearance and the way
it eats the surface of the leaves make it about the easiest of all
insects to identify. Parasites and predacious insects usually keep it in
fair control. Whenever artificial methods of control are needed the
slugs can best be destroyed by sprinkling dust of any kind upon them. If
you can get a machine for sulphuring a vineyard and use some air slaked
lime or other fine dust, it will fix them quickly and inexpensively,
though any way of applying dust may be used.
Cutworms and Young Trees.
What method should be used to protect young fruit trees from cutworms?
Hoe around the trees or vines and kill the fat, greasy grubs which you
will find near the foliage. Put out a poisoned bait which the worms like
better than the foliage, viz. Bran, 10 pounds; white arsenic, 1/2 pound;
molasses, 1/2 gallon; water, 2 gallons. Mix the arsenic with the bran
dry. Add the molasses to the water and mix into the bran, making a moist
paste. Put a tablespoonful near the base of the tree or vine and lock up
Control of Squash Bugs.
We are troubled with pumpkin bugs. Please tell us what to do for them.
When the bugs first make their appearance in the field they can be
easily disposed of by hand picking and dropping into a bucket containing
about two inches of water with about one-fourth inch of kerosene on top
to kill the bugs. The picking should be done in the morning, as the bugs
are apt to fly in the warm part of the day and scatter where already
picked. Two persons can pick over an acre in one and a half hours, and
two pickings are usually sufficient for a season, as after the vines
begin to run over the ground pretty well the bugs will not be able to
hurt them much. A pair of thin old gloves will help to keep off one's
hands some of the perfume from the bugs. The sooner the work starts the
fewer bugs to pick. Cleaning up of all old vines in the fall and
removing litter in which the mature bugs hide for the winter will permit
less eggs to be laid in the spring and there will be fewer bugs to pick
as a result.
The Corn Worm.
Last year all my ears of corn were infested with maggot, growing fat
thereon. Can you help me scare them away?
You have to do with the so-called corn worm which is very abundant in
this State and one of the greatest pests to corn growing. It is the same
insect which is known as the boll worm of the cotton in the Southern
States. No satisfactory method of controlling this has been found,
although a great deal of experimentation has been done. Nearly
everything that could be thought of has been tried without very
satisfactory results. A late planted corn has sometimes been free, for
the insect is not in the laying stage then. If it were not for this
insect the canning of corn would be an important industry in this State.
I have in about four acres of watermelons, and there seem to be lice and
a small gnat or fly, and also some small green bugs and white worms on
the under part of the leaves, which seem to be stopping the growth of
the vines, making them wilt and die. They seem to be more in patches,
although a few on all the vines. Can you please tell me what to do for
Melon lice are very hard to catch up with after you have let them get a
start. Spraying with oil emulsions, tobacco extracts, soap solutions,
etc., will all kill the lice if you get it onto them with a good spray
pump and suitable nozzles for reaching the under sides of the leaves.
The gnats you speak of are the winged forms of the lice; the white worms
may be eating the lice; the "small green bugs" may be diabroticas. If
you had started in lively as soon as you saw the first lice you could
have destroyed them in the places where they started. Now your chance
lies largely in the natural multiplication of ladybirds and the
occurrence of hot winds which will burn up the lice. It is too late
probably, to undertake spraying the whole field.
Is there any way to destroy or overcome the destructive work of the
wireworm, which I find in some spots takes the lion's share of crops,
such as beans, potatoes, onions, etc.?
We do not know any easy way with wire worms. Nitrate of soda is believed
to kill or repel them, but you have to be careful with it, for too much
will either over-stimulate or kill the kill; about 200 pounds per acre,
well distributed, is the usual prescription for the good of the plants.
Wire worms can probably be killed with carbon bisulphide, using a
tablespoonful poured into holes about a foot deep, three or four feet
apart. The vapor would permeate the soil and kill all ground insects,
but the acre-cost of such treatment must be measured in its relation to
the value of the crop. The most promising policy with wire worms is
rotation of crops, starving them out with a grain or grass crop and not
growing such crops as you mention continually on the same land.
How can I keep certain insects from getting into my dry beans? I have
finished picking the crop. Every year a little, short, stubby beetle
gets in them before spring and makes them unfit for use.
You have to do with the bean weevil. The eggs are inserted by the insect
while the beans are still green in the pods; subsequently the eggs hatch
and the worm excavates the interior of the ripened beans. The beans can
be protected after ripening by heating carefully to 130° Fahrenheit,
which will destroy the egg, or the larva if already hatched. Of course,
this heating must be done cautiously and with the aid of a good
thermometer for fear of destroying the germinating power. The work of
the insect can also be stopped by putting the beans in a barrel or other
close receptacle, with a saucer containing about an ounce of carbon
bi-sulfid to vaporize. Be careful not to approach the vapor with a
light. After treatment for one-half hour, the cover can be removed and
the vapor will entirely dissipate. This is a safer treatment than the
heating. Similar methods of control can be used on other pea and bean
Slugs in Garden.
Can you advise me how I can get rid of slugs in my garden?
When barriers of lime, ashes, etc., are ineffective, traps consisting of
pieces of board sacking and similar materials placed about the field
prove inviting to the slugs. They collect under these and by going over
the field in the early morning they may be put into a salt-water
solution or otherwise destroyed. Arsenical sprays applied with an
underspray nozzle to the lower surface of the leaves will help control
the slugs. Poison bran mash consisting of 16 pounds of coarse bran, 2
quarts of cheap syrup, and enough warm water to make a coarse mash, is
very good for cutworms and should be equally effective for slugs. It
should be placed in small heaps about the plants to be protected.
Cabbage leaves dipped in grease drippings and placed about the fields
also prove attractive bait for the slugs, which may then be collected
there. If a person has a taste for poultry, the keeping of a few ducks
may solve the slug problem without further bother. Cultivation or
irrigation methods that give a dry surface most of the time also
discourage these pests.
Cause of Mottle Leaf.
What is the cause and cure of mottle leaf of citrus trees?
There are apparently a number of causes of this trouble, all more or
less obscure and hard to overcome. It is generally thought that it is
due to poor nutrition, whatever the reason for poor nutrition might be.
The presence of a nematode or eel worm on the roots has found to be a
cause of mottle leaf in many cases. Poor drainage, too sandy soil and a
number of other things frequently cause it. Whatever the cause, no one
good method of cure has been found.
I think most of my potatoes will have some scab. Will you please tell me
if my next crop would be apt to have scab, provided I got good clean
seed and planted in the same ground?
It seems demonstrated that a treatment of the seed will practically
insure against potato scab. One method is dipping the potatoes in a
solution of corrosive sublimate. Dissolve one ounce in eight gallons of
water and soak the seed potatoes in this solution for one and one-half
hours before cutting.
I have some alfalfa, some hogs and some gophers, also some strychnine
and carrots. If I put the strychnine on the carrots, and endeavor to