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well adapted to the introduction of the alpacas as either England, Ireland, 'or Scotland.
In our vast territory, there are millions of acres of mountain lands which are now not producing a dollar a year to their proprietors, that might be converted into alpaca pastures, and thus be rendered sources of great profit. In Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia, there are mountains and highlands enough, if converted into walks for the sheep of the Andes, as would, in a very few years, add a million to the annual income of those States. Then, we ask, why should the intelligent planters and farmers of those States hesitate to engage in an enterprise that could not fail to be productive of the most striking pecuniary advantages to themselves and their common country ?
Alpaca wool.-More than two million pounds of wool of this beautiful animal were imported into Great Britain, in the year 1843, from western South America. This fact alone shows the great importance of the animal, and the propriety of efforts to acclimate it in this country. Enlightened and patriotic individuals in England have expended considerable sums for this purpose, with the brightest prospects of success.
In Nos. 8 and 9 of the Farmer and Mechanic is a reprint of an English work, containing a full history of the attempts to introduce the alpaca into Great Britain. The work has two engravings, and is afforded for 20 cents,
. although the English copy cost $1 373.
Poultry may justly be classed among the most profitable as well as convenient appendages of the farmer's stock. This affords daily nourishment, and furnishes the means of manufacturing the luxuries of life. If we were for a time deprived of poultry, our loss would be severely felt; the products of this branch of supplies are so intimately interwoven with the various dishes for the table. No capital is more profitable than that which is invested in the business of raising poultry. It would not be an over-estimate, we believe, to place the value of the poultry in the United States at $12,000,000. Its importance deserves more attention. The public are greatly indebted to Mr. Bement, for his excellent publication on this subject, styled the “ American Poulterer's Companion.” We have made, from
' this work, a few short extracts, designed to teach some important things in respect to the bearing of the subject on the agricultural and other interests of our country:
“ But though most farmers keep fowls, and raise their own eggs, there are many who have not learned the difference there is in the richness and flavor of eggs produced by fat and well-fed hens, and those from birds that have been half-starved through our winters. There will be some difference in size, but far more in the quality. The yelk of the one would be large, fine colored, and of good consistence, and the albumen, or white, clear and pure; while the contents of the other will be watery and meager, as though there were not vitality or substance enough in the parent fowl to properly carry out and complete the work that nature had sketched. In order, therefore, to have good eggs, the fowls should be well fed, and also provided, during the months they are unable to come to the ground, with a box containing an abundance of fine gravel, that they may be able to grind and prepare their food for digestion. Of eggs, those from the domestic hen are decidedly the best ; but those of ducks and geese may be used for some of the purposes of domestic cookery.”—Page 10.
“In well-fed fowls, the difference will be seen, not only in the size and flesh of the fowls, but in the weight and goodness of the eggs; two of which go further in domestic uses than three from hens poorly fed or half starved.”—Page 31.
“ To promote fecundity and great laying in the hens, it is necessary that they be well fed on grain, boiled potatoes, (given to them warm,) and, occasionally, animal food. In the summer, they get their supply of animal food in the form of worms and insects when suffered to run at large, unless their number is so great as to consume beyond their supply in their roving distance.”—Page 33.
The following communication from Mr. Bement, taken from the Americau Agriculturist, will likewise be read with interest, as it shows the degree of profit, ascertained by actual experiment, derived from about 100 fowls:
“I noticed, in the last number of the American Agriculturist, some queries propounded by a correspondent over the signiture of H. C. M.' in regard to the profits from, number of eggs obtained, and amount of food consumed by a given number of fowls per year.
“ Now, sir, in the first place, I would recommend to your correspondent to try the experiment himself, even if it be on a small scale—say from twelve to twenty fowls. Keep an accurate account with them; charge the cost of the fowls, the food they consume, and all expenses attending them. Keep an accurate account of all the eggs obtained, and all the chickens raised; and, at the end of the year, credit the eggs and the stock on hand, and the queries will be answered. But, as he prohably wishes to avail himself of the experience of others, and jump into the business at once, I will endeavor to gratify him by giving the result of some of my experience.
“When I first moved on to my farm, I kept about one hundred fowls, which were allowed to run and roost where they pleased, annoying me in the garden, destroying my grain, and soiling my implements, and from which we did not obtain over one thousand eggs and about sixty chickens during the year. I then built me a poultry house, and enclosed about onefourth of an acre of ground with a picket fence between six and seven feet high, placed the fowls in it, and commenced keeping debit and credit with them. In six months and seven days we obtained from sixty hens two thousand six hundred and fifty-five eggs. The year following, from the same number of hens, we obtained over four thousand eggs.
“ Hens that are well fed and attended to will average about ninety eggs each per year; and they will consume about thirty-eight quarts of grain, in proportion as follows, per head, in the same time:
“ The amount consumed within the year, of the different kinds of grain, was91 bushels of wheat screenings, at 21 cents
- $19 11 6 rye 621
3 75 11 .millet 622
6 872 2 corn 565
“We were more fortunate last year, as will be seen from the following. Our stock consisted of 84 fowls, including cocks, 3 turkeys, 7 geese, 2 ducks, and 2 guinea fowls; which was, of course, much increased in the spring and summer by the young reared. They consumed71 bushels of wheat screenings, at 15 cents
$10 65 4 millet, 50
2 00 141
6 17 304 oats, 24
7 26 8 potatoes, boiled, 25
- $41 52
47 15 32 bushels manure sold, at 184 cents, for - 6 00
“ These fowls were confined in a yard, and allowed as much grain as they would eat, it being kept constantly before them, changed often; and in the winter boiled potatoes were fed to them warm, and occasionally animal food. They were plentifully supplied with lime, gravel, and water. allowance, however, must be made in regard to the amount of sales, as many of the fowls were of fancy breeds.”
He adds, in his volume:
“ By referring to the agricultural statistics of the United States, as furnished by the last census, taken in 1839 and published in 1840, it would appear the value of poultry in the State of New York amounted to $2,373,029; and that of the various States and Territories of the Union amounted to the sum of $12,176,170."
“The annual consumption of poultry and small game in the city of Paris usually amounts to £22,000,000. The quantity of eggs used annually in France exceeds 7,250,000,000; of which enormous number Paris uses about 120,000,000. The importation of eggs from Ireland, in 1837, to Liverpool and Bristol alone, amounted in value to £250,000. The importation from France the same year was probably greater."
It appears, from the custom house returns of the year 1838, were imported into England (though loaded with heavy duties) from the continent, to the value of more than a million of dollars.
Eighteen tons of poultry, it is said, left Syracuse, New York, in one day, for the Boston market. It is supposed that there may be consumed in the United States 1,400,000,000 of eggs; and, averaging the value at 6 cents per dozen, this would amount to $8,000,000. If we allow an average of 5
chickens, or other kinds of fowls, a year to each person, at a cost of 124 cents average, including turkeys, geese, dụcks, &c., this will amount to more than 97,500,000-equal in value to more than $12,000,000 annually; making the aggregate value of the consumption of poultry, to say nothing of the amount which might be added for the feathers. It is said to have been ascertained, that half a million of eggs are consumed every month in the city of New York. One woman in Fulton market sold 175,000 eggs in
10 weeks, supplying the Astor House each day with 1,000 for 5 days, and on Saturday 2,500.
The following extract from the report of the committee appointed by the Agricultural Society of Hamilton county, Ohio, will be read with deep interest. A similar examination in other sections of the United States is strongly recommended.
There is no doubt of a direct connexion between the constitution of a soil and the timber it produces; and from this we may deduce a connexion between timber and crops. The heaviest crop of wheat is found on land having sugar tree and oak as the principal timber, as will appear from the following classification:
Sugar and oak
10 cases, average crop 18.40 bushels.
17,14 do. 5 do do 16.66 do. 21 do do 16.00 do. 10 do
do 14.50 do. 12 do do 14.33 do. 30 do do 15.50 do. 127 do
The mixture of sugar and oak appears to give the best yield ; sugar and beech, next; and beech and oak, the next. If an analysis of these soils, and of the wood most congenial to them, were carefully made, we should probably discover not only a resemblance between them and their timber, but between the timber produced and the grain and straw of wheat.
The statement of an average yield of wheat enables us to ascertain the number of acres cultivated in wheat in 1839, when the official return gives 213,815 bushels for the product of that year. If that year gave an average crop, the quantity of ground then in cultivation in wheat was 13,029 acres.
The crop, since 1840, has been more uncertain in its yield, price lower, and demand less; from which we conclude that there has not been an increase in the production of the country since that time.
Misfortunes to which the crop is liable.—The record we have given of the remarks made upon wheat shows that there are three principal evils to which it is subject, viz: rust, fly, and freezing out. The average loss of the crop, by these and other causes, is once in four years a total failure. Evils and seed.—The farmers differ in regard to which of these is the greatest enemy to wheat; six of those speaking upon the subject regard rust as the difficulty most to be avoided; nine consider freezing out the most injurious; and nine suppose the fly to be the worst enemy.
Respecting the quantity of seed, the farmers of Hamilton vary from three to five pecks. Mr. Smethhart considers three pecks to be better calculated to insure a full crop than more. In Flanders, two Winchester bushels are sown to the English acre, which is nearly eight pecks of our measure ; in England, two and a half to three and a half bushels.
The richness and depth of the soil has so much to do with the quantity of seed, that it is difficult to establish a rule upon the subject. In England, however, where the dibbling process has been tried, and the seed planted in regular squares of six inches on a side, and a seed in the middle of two sides, the quantity is reduced to about one and a half bushels to the acre, and the yield increased many fold.
Time of sowing-prices.--Among the farmers who gave answers to our inquiries about the time of sowing, four put in their wheat in August, four in October, nine in September, and one in November. Of those who prefer September, six sow during the first ten days, one by the first day, and two in the ļaiter part of the month.
Those who cover the seed in the first week expect to harvest between the 25th and 30th of June.
The following table exhibits the price of wheat at Cincinnati, every six months, for four years past : 1840, July 1
$0 56 per bushe!. 1841, January 1
58 July 1
73 1842, January 1
1 06 July 1
55 1843, January 1
50 July 1
85 1844, January 1
The method of tilling is very various. In new ground, for the first crop, the seed is generally scattered over the fresh surface, and harrowed in without ploughing. The rooty condition of the ground frequently prevents the use of the plough.
In old ground, the practice most in vogue among farmers is to summer fallow, and harrow in upon the sod. In fields that are clear of stumps and stones, (and very few farms in Hamilton county are troubled with stone,) the plough lies over the sward very uniform and flat. It is thought that ground made too mellow and fine is more liable to winter-kill the wheat than such as is in the state of clods, provided they are dead and rotting.
Some cases will be observed in our abstract, where clover has been turned in, and wheat sown upon furrow immediately, and also where turf land has been broken up a few weeks before seeding.
In land where ploughing can be done so perfectly as to turn over all the soil, and is not inclined to send up grass and weeds, this practice of sowing