VI. MACHINES AND IMPLEMENTS OF HUSBANDRY (cont.)
Turnip Cutters. Turnip Pulpers. Steaming Apparatus for Cooking Cattle Food.
Cattle and sheep which have arrived at maturity are able to scoop turnips rapidly with their sharp, gouge-like front teeth, and so can be fattened on this kind of food without an absolute necessity of slicing it for them. Even for adult animals there is, however, an advantage in reducing turnips to pieces which they can easily take into their mounts, and at once get between their grinders with out any preliminary scooping; but for young stock, during the period of dentition, it is indispensable to their bare substance. It is largely through the use of slicing machines that certain breeds of sheep are fattened on turnips, and got ready for the butcher at fourteen months old. It seems to be admitted on all hands that Gardeners patent turnips-cutter is the best that has yet been produced for slicing roots for sheep. It is now made entirely of iron, and is an exceedingly useful machine.
In cattle feeding it is noir usually thought necessary to divide the roots given to them so minutely as for sheep. A simple machine, fashioned much on the principle of nut-crackers, by which, at each depression of the lever handle, one turnip is forced through a set of knives which divide it into slices each an inch thick, is very generally used in Berwickshire for this purpose. Many persons, however, prefer to have the turnips put into the cattle-troughs whole, and then to have them cut by a simple cross-bladed hand-chopper, which at each blow quarters the piece struck by it. The mode of housing fattening cattle largely determines whether roots can be most conveniently sliced before or after being put into the feeding-troughs.
An opinion now obtains, and is on the increase, that it is advantageous to rasp roots into minute fragments and mix them with chaff before giving them to cattle, as this not only facilitates mastication, but in wintry weather prevents the chilling effects of a bellyful of such watery food as turnips are when eaten alone. This system, is peculiarly appropriate when it is desired to give a few roots to store cattle which are being fed mainly upon straw or coarse hay. When a few turnips or mangolds are put down in their natural state there is scramble for the better food, in which the stronger cattle get more than their share, and the weaker are knocked about. But by pulping the roots and mixing them with a full allowance of chaff, every animal gets its fill, and there is nothing to quarrel about.
At t he Carlisle meeting to the Royal Agricultural Society of premium was offered for machines to perform this kind of work, under the somewhat inappropriate designation of "pulping-machines." The prize was warded to Mr. Philips for his machine, which reduces roots to minute fragments by means of a series of circular saws. We learn from parties who have made trial of most of the machines of this class yet brought out, that they give the preference to that made by Bentall of Maldon in Sussex.
Steaming Apparatus for Cooking Cattle Food
We have several times alluded to the cooking of food for cattle. This is performed either by boiling in a common pot, by steaming in a close vessel, or by infusion in boiling water. Varieties of apparatus are in use for there purposes. A convenient one is a close boiler, with a cistern over it, from which it supplies itself with cold water by self-acting stop-cock. This is alike suitable for cooking either by steaming or infusing.
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