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|ANIMAL INDEX - OLD VET TREATMENTS AND REMEDIES.
FARMING INDEX - OLD FARM PRACTICES AND REMEDIES FOR ANIMALS, PLANTS AND FIXING THINGS.
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Description.—This word is applied to a system
of storing green fodder in vats, the invention of
a Frenchman, M. Auguste Goffart, who ensilaged
cut maize at Burtin, in France, in 1873. The vats
or pits, or receptacles, in which the ensilage is
made and kept, and from which it is fed out, are
called silos. The crop most used now for the
purpose is Indian corn or maize, though other
growths are much used, and others still will pro
bably be utilized. Bailey's “ Book of Ensilage,”
1880, reads: “ A Silo is a cistern or vat, air- and
water-tight on the bottom and sides, with an open
top, constructed of masonry or concrete. It may
be square, rectangular, round or oval in shape,
with perpendicular sides, used to store in their
green state forage-crops, such as corn, sorgho,
rye, oats, millet, Hungarian grass, clover and all
the grasses. The forage is cut and taken direct-
ly from the field, run through a cutter which cuts
it in pieces less than half an inch in length, and
trampled down solidly in the Silo, and subjected
to heavy and continuous pressure. The struc
ture is the Silo, which may be above ground, or
partly or entirely below the surface of the ground.
The fodder preserved in Silos is Ensilage.”
This description accords with the arrange
ments and processes introduced by M. Goffart,
who built expensive stone structures, partly above
and partly below ground, cut the fodder into
small pieces, evenly spread the mass and covered
it with a layer of straw, over the straw laid planks
side by side as long as they could be without
binding, and on these planks placed heavy
weights. All this is, that the air may be kept
out of the mass. The oxygen of what little air is
packed in initiates the process of fermentation,
THE FRIEND OF ALL.
and a little carbonic-acid gas is produced. But
if no further air is admitted, the fermentation is
arrested, and the mass will remain indefinitely
unchanged, retaining all its nutritious and succu
lent juices, with a slightly acid twang; and the
resulting ensilage, care being taken to so cut it as
not to admit air to the remaining mass, is eagerly
eaten by stock, and with profitable results in
the shape of flesh, of wool, of milk, of butter and
of working power.
Ensilage is yet in its callow youth, but is at
tracting attention and coming into use. One en
thusiastic adherent describes the discovery of
Goffart as one “ that is destined to confer a
greater benefit upon mankind than any other
that has ever been made.” Mr. Bailey's book just
quoted bears on its title-page, “ How to produce
milk for one cent per quart; butter for ten cents
per pound ; beef for four cents per pound ; mut
ton for nothing if wool is thirty cents per pound.”
And a body of facts is gathering in newspapers
and elsewhere of great value. The Department
of Agriculture at Washington issued in July
1882 a pamphlet, “ Special Report No. 48. Silos
and Ensilage: a Record of Practical Tests in
Several States and Canada.” There have been
held two “ Ensilage Congresses,” the last of them
in January 1883, whose reports in pamphlet form
are accessible. Mr. Bailey's book is very inter
esting reading. So is “ Silos and Ensilage,” etc.,
by Dr. George Thurber of the American Agri
George B. Loring, Esq., Commissioner of Agri
culture, addressed, in June 1882, letters to various
gentlemen asking from them answers to the fol
lowing questions relative to silos and ensilage :
1. Location of silo with reference to feeding-
2. Form of silo.
3. Dimensions of silo.
4. Walls of silo—materials, and construction.
6. Weight—materials used for, amount re
quired, and how applied.
7. Cost of silo.
8. Crops used for ensilage.
9. Method of planting and cultivation.
10. Stage of development at which fodder is
most valuable for ensilage.
11. Weight of fodder produced per acre.
12. Kind of corn best for ensilage.
13. Value of sweet corn as compared with field
14. Preparation of fodder for silo—machinery
15. Filling the silo.
16. Cost of filling per ton of fodder put in.
17. Lapse of time before opening the silo.
18. Condition of ensilage when opened.
19. Deterioration, if any, after opening,
20. Value of ensilage for milch-cows.
21. Effects of ensilage on dairy products.
22. Value of ensilage for other stock.
23. Quantity consumed per head.
24. Method of feeding—alone, or with other
25. Condition of stock fed on ensilage, both as
to gain or loss of weight, and health.
26. Profitableness of ensilage, all things con
To these letters there are published ninety re-
plies from twenty States, from which the follow
ing is generalized :
SILOS AND ENSILAGE : A SUMMARY.
The following is a summary showing the gen
eral drift of practice and opinion, on the several
points enumerated in the schedule of questions,
of those who have responded to the inquiries of
1. Location of Silo.—A few have been built at a
distance from the stables, but generally the silos
are located with reference to convenience in
feeding, in, under or adjacent to the feeding-
rooms. Local considerations will determine
whether the silo should be below the surface, or
above, or partly below and partly above. This is
not essential. Where the stables are in the base
ment of a bank barn, the bottom of the silo may
be on the same level, or a few feet below, and the
top even with the upper floor. This arrange
ment combines the greatest facilities for filling,
weighting and feeding.
2. Form of Silo.—With rare exceptions the silos
described show a rectangular horizontal section
a few have the “corners cut off," and one is oc
A given weight of ensilage in a deep silo
requires less extraneous pressure, and exposes
less surface to the air, than it would in a shallow
silo. For these reasons depth is important. If
too deep there is danger of expressing juice from
the ensilage at the bottom. Where the ensilage
is cut down in a vertical section for feeding, a
narrow silo has the advantage of exposing little
surface to the air.
3. Capacity of Silo.—The silos reported vary in
capacity from 364 to 19,200 cubic feet. If entire
ly full of compressed ensilage the smallest would
hold 9.1 and the largest 480 tons, estimating 50
pounds to the cubic foot. Practically, the capa
city of a silo is less to the extent that the ensi
lage settles under pressure. This should not ex
ceed one fourth, though in shallow silos, or those
filled rapidly and with little treading, it is likely
to be much more. A temporary curb is some
times added to the silo proper, so that the latter
may be full when the settling ceases.
AGRICULTURE: FARMS AND FARMING. 313
4. Walls of Silo.—For walls under ground, stone,
brick and concrete are used. In firm soils that
do not become saturated with water, walls are
not essential to the preservation of ensilage.
Above ground, two thicknesses of inch-boards,
with sheathing paper between (the latter said, by
some, to be unnecessary), seems to be sufficient,
if supported against lateral pressure from the en
5. Cover.—A layer of straw or hay will serve in
some measure to exclude air, but is not neces
sary. Generally boards or planks are placed di
rectly on the ensilage. The cover is sometimes
made in sections 2 feet, or more wide ; oftener
each plank is separate. The cover is generally
put on transversely, having in view the uncover
ing of a part of the silo while the weight remains
on the rest. Rough boards, with no attempt at
matching, have been used successfully. A little
space should be allowed between the walls and
cover, that there may be no interference as the
settling progresses. (See Remarks)
6. Weight.—Any heavy material may be used.
The amount required depends on various condi
tions. It will be noticed that practices and opin
ions differ widely. The object is always to make
the ensilage compact, and thereby leave little
room for air, on which depend fermentation and
decay. In a deep silo the greater part is sufficient
ly compressed by a few feet of ensilage at the
top, so that there is small percentage of waste,
even when no weight is applied above the ensi
lage. Screws are used by some instead of
weights. The objection to them is that they are
not self-acting, like gravity.
7. Cost.—The cost of silos, per ton of capacity,
varies from $4, or $5, for walls of heavy masonry
and superstructures of elaborate finish, and 50
cents or less for the simplest wooden silos. Earth
silos, without wall, can be excavated with plow
and scraper, when other work is not pressing, at
a trifling cost. (See Remarks.)
8. Crops for Ensilage.—Corn takes the lead of
ensilage crops. Rye is grown by many in con
nection with corn—the same ground producing a
crop of each in a season. Oats, sorghum, Hun
garian grass, field-peas, clover—in fact, almost
every crop used for soiling has been stored in
silos and taken out in good condition. There
are indications that some materials have their
value enhanced by the fermentation of the silo,
while in others there is loss. The relative values
for ensilage, of the different soiling crops, can
only be determined through careful tests, often
repeated, by practical men.
9. Planting and Cultivation.—Thorough prepara
tion before planting is essential. Corn, sorghum
and similar crops should be planted in rows. The
quantity of seed-corn varies from eight quarts I
I to a bushel and a half for an acre. A smoothing
harrow does the work of cultivating perfectly,
and with little expense, while the corn is small.
10. When Crops are at their Best for Ensilage.—The
common practice is to put crops into the silo
when their full growth has been reached and be
fore ripening begins. Manifestly, one rule will not
answer all purposes. The stock to be fed and the
object in feeding must be considered in determin
ing when the crop should be cut. On this point
must depend much of the value of ensilage.
11. yield of Ensilage Crops.—Corn produces more
fodder per acre than any other crop mentioned.
The average for corn is not far from 20 tons—
which speaks well for land and culture. The
largest yield from a single acre was 58 tons ; the
average of a large area on the same farm was
only 12½ tons.
12. Kind of Corn Best for Ensilage.—The largest
is generally preferred; hence seed grown in a
warmer climate is in demand.
13. Sweet Corn for Ensilage.—It is conceded by
many that the fodder of sweet corn is worth
more, pound for pound, than that of larger kinds,
for soiling. Some hold that the same superi
ority is retained in the ensilage, while others
think that the advantage after fermentation is on
the other side. The sweet varieties generally do
not yield large crops.
14. Preparing Fodder for the Silo.—The mowing-
machine is sometimes used for cutting corn in
the field—oftener the work is done by hand.
Various cutters, having carriers attached for ele
vated silos, are in use and are generally driven
by horse, steam or water power. Fine cutting
—a half-inch or less—is in favor. It packs
closer, and for this reason is likely to keep bet
ter, than coarse ensilage. Fodder of any kind
may be put in whole, and, if as closely com
pressed as cut fodder, will keep as well, if not
better; but it requires much greater pressure.
15. Filling the Silo.—During the process of fill
ing, the ensilage should be kept level and well
trodden. A horse may be used very effectively
for the latter. Some attach much importance to
rapid filling, while others make it more a matter
of convenience. With the packing equally tho
rough, rapid filling is probably best.
16. Cost of Filling the Silo.—The cost, from field
to silo, is variously reported, from 35 cents—and
in a single instance 10 or 12 cents—for labor
alone, to $2 and upward per ton; though the
higher amounts include the entire cost of the
crop, not the harvesting alone. There is a gene
ral expectation that experience will bring a con
siderable reduction in the cost of filling.
17. Time from Filling to Opening Silo.—The ensi
lage should remain under pressure at least until
I cool, and be uncovered after that when wanted.
314 THE FRIEND OF ALL.
18. Condition of Ensilage when Opened.—In nearly
all cases the loss by decay was very slight, and
confined to the top and sides where there was
more or less exposure to air.
19. Deterioration after Opening.—Generally the
ensilage has kept perfectly for several months,
showing no deterioration while any remained in
the silo, excepting where exposed for a consider
20. Value of Ensilage for Milch-Cows.—Ensilage
has been fed to milch-cows more generally than
to any other class of stock, and no unfavorable
results are reported. There can be little doubt
that its greatest value will always be found in
this connection. Several feeders consider it
equal in value to one third of its weight of the
best hay, and some rate it higher.
21. Effects on Dairy Products.—There is a marked
increase in quantity and improvement in quality
of milk and butter after changing from dry feed
to ensilage, corresponding with the effects of a
similar change to fresh pasture. A few seeming
exceptions are noted, which will probably find
explanation in defects easily remedied, rather
than in such as are inherent.
22. Value for other Stock.—Ensilage has been fed
to all classes of farm stock, including swine and
poultry, with results almost uniformly favorable.
Exceptions are noted in the statements of Messrs.
Coe Bros., and Hon. C. B. Henderson, where it
appears that horses were injuriously affected. It
should be borne in mind in this connection that
ensilage is simply forage preserved in a silo, and
may vary as much in quality as hay. The ensi
lage that is best for a milch-cow may be injurious
to a horse, and that on which a horse would thrive
might render a poor return in the milk-pail.
23. Daily Ration of Ensilage.—Cows giving milk
are commonly fed 50 to 60 pounds, with some
dry fodder and grain.
24. Method of Feeding.—Experiments have been
made in feeding ensilage exclusively, and results
have varied with the quality of ensilage and the
stock fed. It is certain that ensilage of corn cut
while in blossom, or earlier, is not alone sufficient
for milch-cows. It is best to feed hay once a
day, and some grain or other rich food, unless
the latter is supplied in the ensilage, as it is when
corn has reached or passed the roasting-ear stage
before cutting. Ensilage, as it is commonly un
derstood, is a substitute for hay and coarse fod
der generally, and does not take the place of
25. the Condition of Stock fed on Ensilage, both as
to health and gain in weight, has been uniformly
26. Profitableness of Ensilage.—There is hardly
a doubt expressed on this point—certainly not a
Remarks.—The general use of ensilage must de
pend largely on its cheapness. Costly silos and
expensive machinery must always be insurmount
able obstacles to a majority of farmers. For this
reason, experience tending to show what is essen
tial to the preservation of fodder in silos, is of
the first importance.
Especial attention is invited to the earth-silos
mentioned in the statement of Francis Morris,
Esq., of Oakland Manor, Md. Mr. Morris is a
pioneer in ensilage in America, his first silos
having been built, and filled, in 1876. These
were in the basement of his barn, walls of ma
sonry. The next year he made a trench in slop
ing ground so that a cart could be backed in at
the lower end for conveying ensilage to the feed-
ing-room. The sides are sloping and the aver
age depth does not exceed six feet.
The cost is simply the cost of digging a ditch
of similar dimensions. This trench was filled in
1877 and regularly since, and has kept its con
tents perfectly. Mr. Morris has several silos of
the same kind, in different places, for conve
nience in filling. He uses a large cutter driven
by a steam-engine, and packs in the silo by
treading with horses. The filling is carried
several feet above the surface of the ground, and
rounded up at the center, the excavated earth
serving to confine the ensilage. The covering is
first roofingfelt, then earth for weight.
Mr. Morris has put in whole fodder and it has
kept perfectly. He cuts it fine, mainly for con
venience in handling and feeding. Whole fod
der should be laid across, rather than lengthwise
in the trench, so that it can be taken out easily.
In order that the extent of Mr. Morris‘s opera
tions may be understood, it is proper to add that
his estate of Oakland Manor comprises about
1700 acres. His wheat crop last year (1882) was
5000 bushels. The meadows yield upward of
200 tons of hay annually. The stock consists of
50 horses and mules, 100 cattle, 500 sheep and
50 hogs. And as the whole is managed on busi
ness principles, Mr. Morris very justly esteems
his earth-silos of primary importance.
We give a single specimen reply: from the
gentleman who translated Goffart's French work
into English, and thus introduced the invention
to the notice of the American public :
J. B. Brown, 55 Beekman St., New York City:
The following answers are the sum of practical
experience, collected from examination of many
1. Preferably on sloping ground, so that the
discharge-door may be on level with feeding-
room, and so that a car may be used from silo to
AGRICULTURE: FARMS AND FARMING.
2. Oblong or elliptic, but not important.
3. Immaterial, but economy in depth.
4. Concrete is better than stone, which is liable
to be damp; wooden walls above ground suffi
ciently strong to bear pressure, not necessarily
airtight, and do not need to be double, or lined ;
earth pits, well surface-drained, are in some soils
as good as is necessary.
5. Immaterial, so that there be continuous
pressure on the whole.
6. Whatever is cheapest; cord-wood, sacks of
earth or grain, barrels of earth, casks of water, or
7. From 20 cents to $1 per ton of contents.
Cheap silos preserve as well as expensive ones ;
it is only a question of durability.
8. Maize and grass for cattle; also rye, oats
and peas for horses and sheep, even Canada this
tles and salt-meadow grass.
9. Corn, in double rows, space 2 or 3 feet;
space between kernels in rows not yet settled.
10. Not, as the French advise, in the flower
ing, but to have the sweetest and greatest nutri
ment when the fruit is in the milk. This is a
point of great importance. Must be careful to
anticipate any fading of the leaves.
11. 86 tons of maize have been raised on an
acre; 100 tons may be raised on an acre ; average
of good seasons, 40 tons; average of bad seasons,
12. Southern seed produces much the larger
crops, and the more tropical the greater the
13. Sweet corn, having been cultivated for the
grain, is not best for ensilage, as the stalk is not
14. Three eighths to three fourths inch is best
length to cut, and as keenly as possible, not
shredded or mashed as is best for dry stalks.
Cutting-machines should not be liable to injury
from stones, and the revolving apparatus should
not turn towards operator; elevators or carriers
may be used to convey cut stalks to silo, and un
cut stalks to feed rollers of machine, if it is im
portant to economize labor.
15. Not important to be in a hurry when filling
silo, except to save cost; if trampled every morn
ing it will not heat sufficiently to injure it, even
if the process of filling consume a month, with
intervals of days.
16. Thirty-six cents per ton is the lowest cost
as yet by hired labor; in this case the silo was
convenient to the crop, and the machinery was
powerful and efficient—strong engine and large
cutter, with high speed.
17. Two months at least; the longer the bet
18. Always good when the crop is good, and
when it does not get wet in the silo by leakage ;
the silo improves the quality of the material by
increasing its digestibility.
19. Does not deteriorate if the face is changed
every day or two ; 24 hours’ exposure diminishes
20. Nothing so good as good ensilage.
21. Improves color of butter, increases quantity
and richness of milk, where ensilage is good.
22. Oats, peas, and rye or maize, in moderate
quantities, for horses; also fattens sheep, and is
economical for hogs, steers and bulls.
23. 25 to 75 lbs. a day, or 5 per cent of weight
of animal; for horses 2½ per cent is sufficient.
25. Good ensilage in proper quantities and
varied with dry food at times makes healthy,
thrifty animals ; it must not be too sour; ani
mals will fatten on it alone that cannot be fat
tened with hay or dry stalks alone.
26. For cows, steers, sheep and hogs it has
been found, without exception, profitable ; New
England cannot do without it. It is a protection
from drought in Nebraska and elsewhere; it is a
safety from fire, grasshoppers and worms, and,
more than all, is valuable in Texas.
At the Ensilage Congress, previously referred to,
there were some two hundred in attendance;
and the sessions occupied two days. The results
reported are in general harmony with the tone
of the replies received by the Commissioner of
Agriculture. The Secretary of that Congress re
ports of it:
“At the Ensilage Co gress, held in New York
two weeks ago, invitations to which were sent,
as far as known, to all the persons who had
written about or knew practically anything about
ensilage, no one in that room full of farmers
could find anything to say against it, though
urged to do so repeatedly, and to tell us of their
failures ; but all of them, millionaires and work
ing farmers, anxiously sought an opportunity to
pile up the testimony that this was no common
blessing that had befallen the world. One of the
most able speakers, in every sense, Le Grand B.
Cannon, armed with exact figures, said : ‘ My
profit from ensilage, in cost of feeding and in
increase of product, over the old way, is 51½ per
cent.’ This was the result with a herd of ninety
Short-Horns. My own experience shows not
only a larger percentage of profit, but that the
system is adapted to the very smallest farmer. I
have two cows on a piece of ground in New York
City of four acres. A stony half-acre was cov
ered with drought-killed sod. It cost me $10 to
get that half-acre plowed and harrowed by a
neighboring contractor, $1 more for a half-bushel
of the best kind of Southern seed-corn. The
rest of the work was done by the family horse
and the gardener. That crop never saw a drop of
316 THE FRIEND OF ALL.
rain, and before it made any ears it began to fade;
like a consumptive girl, it grew whiter day by
day. But the silo was ready. It is made like a
bin, single thick, not even matched, second-hand
one-inch boards, in the cellar beneath the stable;
cost, $10. It will hold ten tons, but I had only
half that amount. Dropped in from above, taken
out from below. I was a week, purposely, in
ensilaging that small crop; my two boys brought
in the mowed stalks to the cutter in handcarts,
and trampled the silo each morning and night.
It was cut one inch. It was very hot when the
cover and thirty pounds of stones to the square
foot were put on, but it cooled off very quickly;
in twenty-four hours could feel that boards were
cool. Every one is astonished to see how the
cut maize shrinks under pressure, as it gives up
its elasticity. The effect upon the milking cow
(ten months) was to increase two pounds per day
or ten per cent. It saved me two tons of hay, at
$2o per ton. Now you see from this that silos
need not be airtight; even the bottom of my
silo is on sleepers, so that water could flow under
it. Silos need not be filled rapidly. They need
not be filled when the plant is full of juice, but
as soon as convenient after ripening the juice, or
after the pollen has fallen. The fact is, cut stalks,
under pressure, evenly spread, if no water enters,
cannot fail to make good ensilage, whether under
ground or above ground.
“ The French farmers found that you can take
out of the silo something that you do not put in ;
and that is condition, or digestibility.”
Numerous letters were read at this Congress,
from gentlemen unable to attend, all attesting to
similar results from the use of ensilage.
Great Advantages of Ensilage.—Mr. Bailey's book
claims 40 to 75 tons as the product adapted to
ensilaging which may be expected from an acre
of ground. Mr. J. B. Brown : “86 tons of maize
have been raised on an acre; 100 tons may be
raised on an acre; average of good seasons, 40
tons; average of bad seasons, 20 tons.” These
claims sound large. But in an acre there are
43,560 square feet. An average of five pounds
per square foot will add over 100 tons to the
acre. Under favorable circumstances, and with
proper manuring, the 100 tons may be approxi
mated if not reached. But no such extraordinary
yields per acre are needed to establish the advan
tage of ensilaging. The waste of food element,
as far as man's use is concerned, which follows
the process of evaporation, is enormous. From
her exhaustless reservoirs Nature builds up in a
few days from a single kernel of Indian corn a
growth of from five to twenty pounds. Man may
cut, secure and preserve it at its best, if he will.
These juicy stalks and leaves which you must
carefully fence your cattle away from lest they
gorge to repletion, you may keep almost as fresh
and succulent, and quite as nutritive, through the
winter as now, if you will. But if you don‘t
take time by the foretop, Nature begins to reclaim
what she so generously lent: to put back into
her storehouses what man has been too ignorant
or too unenterprising to lay his grasp upon. The
curing hay, as it loses its juicy life, and turns into
the withered corpse of its prime, salutes the
sense of smell with its balmy breath ; appealing
on the side of fragrance as the exposed and
bleaching barnyard or manure heap does on the
side of malodor, against the human waste in
Conrad Wilson, in the article referred to
under Cattle, says : “ The total yield of corn
stover in its various forms is not less than 120,-
000,000 tons. It may be further added that if
this entire product were converted into milk,
under right conditions of feeding, it would
amount to 60,000,000 tons a year, which would
be equivalent to 2100 pounds for each man,
woman and child in the country. Strangely as
this stalk-crop has been ignored by the Census
Bureau, it has none the less influenced, and for
many years largely increased, the sum-total of
milk, butter and cheese supplied by our farmers
to the markets of the world.” Perhaps Mr. Wil
son is sanguine when he assumes a pound of milk
to every two pounds of stover. At any rate, the
added muscle, fat, milk, butter and cheese, which
the now almost wasted juice of plants can be
made to produce, would reach a sum absolutely
There are several considerations, aside from
the economy of saving food otherwise wasted,
pertinent in this connection. Mr. Wilson, in the
article just quoted from, says : “ Experience has
already proved the possibility of keeping two
cows on an acre under full feed throughout the
year.” Bailey claims that an acre may be made
to keep four cows. Even if you halve the smaller
estimate, there is an enormous gain. Shall
not the labor of the stock in cropping its own
pasturage during the pasturing months be saved ?
And the droppings, which the poet has apostro
“ Custard of Nature, pancake of the earth,
What gentle nymph presided at thy birth ?"
What is their value spread singly over the pas
ture to be withered and pass into the atmos
phere, compared with their value carefully pre
served and composted ? And in the winter, the
ensilage retaining almost as much water as is
needed by the stock, saves the animal heat re
quired to bring the otherwise needed ice-cold
water up to the temperature of the body.
It is not pretended that ensilage contains all
the food-elements necessary to fatten stock and
AGRICULTURE : FARMS AND FARMING.
to keep milch-cows in the most profitable condi
tion. Other food must be given with it, and
what that food should be depends on the compo
sition of the ensilage, and on what it is fed for.
Bailey proposes “to mix the concentrated nitro
genous grain, such as the refuse from flour-mills,
wheat, rye or buckwheat bran, shorts or mid
dlings, the refuse grains and feeding-stuff from
breweries, or prepared animal food from fish or
meat-scraps, such as Bowker‘s animal meal, fish-
scraps prepared by Goodale‘s process or other
wise, with the green corn-stalks or other forage
crops, at the time of ensilaging. For, while the
ensilaging of green corn, rye and other succu
lent forage crops is an immense advance over the
old system of curing forage crops by desiccation,
and while such ensilage is a most excellent and
succulent food for all domestic animals, still it is
by no means a perfect food, being deficient in
albuminoids ; therefore it is necessary to add to
the ration of ensilage a certain amount of con
centrated nitrogenous food in the form of grain,
or animal scrap-meal, or other concentrated cat
tle foods containing albuminoids to excess. Ani
mals fed exclusively upon ensilaged corn will
become fat, dull, heavy and lymphatic, the ner
vous and muscular systems not receiving that
degree of nutrition which they require for their
full development.” Whether there is any practi
cal value in this suggestion we do not know, as
we are not aware of any attempts to act upon it.
But if any reader who tills land and keeps
stock has not become interested in the ensilage
business, he had better investigate the matter,
and learn if there is not a great deal in it for him
too. The bugbear of large cost for masonry,
etc., at the outset has disappeared ; and any man
can easily and cheaply experiment in the matter
and note the result. There are fortunes in the
mastery of this open secret, as there are in every
direction in utilizing the gifts of nature. Wealth
springs, not from the amount of resources that
flows into one‘s hand, but from the amount of
resources those hands utilize and retain. The
man who could save for himself half the value
of the coal that now passes off unused into the
atmosphere, even with the best appliances,
would have a richer placer than Gould or Van-
derbilt. And the farmers who shall intelligently
retain the vital juices of their green crops, and
transmit those juices into flesh, into wool, into
milk and butter and cheese, will reap a large re
ward ; and the rewards of those who go in early
will probably be proportionally larger.
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