The Old Time Farm Magazines: Starting a Vineyard, Making a Better Chicken Trough, and Horse Care

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Want your own vineyard? These old time farm magazines give you the tips to start your own modest vineyard.
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Image A: A simple diagram of a trap nest.
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Image D: A sketch of a homemade barn windlass.
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Image C: How to stake your vines when starting a vineyard.
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Image B: Another sketch of a trap nest.
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Image F: To keep your chickens out of the feed, build this simple trough
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Image H: There's no need for a mason when you can make the foundation for your farm building on your own.
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Image E: A simple-to-make barn broom made from broken pieces.
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Image G: There is no need for an expensive lantern when you can make your own.
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Image I: It's easy to keep your cow from mussing the stall with this simple device.

Here are two more pages of old-timey information taken from issues of SUCCESSFUL FARMING and THE FARM JOURNAL dated 1898 to 1908.

Trap Nests

The trap nest will show what hens lay and which hens lay certain eggs, thus enabling the breeder to know just what he is doing. Trap nests require some attention in the way of keeping records and releasing hens but if in the business for profit it will pay to try these nests. The cut, Image 1, herewith shown gives a practical plan for a trap nest recommended by the Ontario Agricultural college.(Click on the “Image Gallery” for this illustration and all other images in this article.) Note that the door is so adjusted that the hen upon entering brushes against it slightly, and thus raising it, allows the hook (C) to drop back, releasing the door. Nest is 12 inches tide, 12 inches high, and 15 inches long. The door (A) is made, of very light material, so that it will be pushed upward as the hen enters the nest. To set the nest, the door is raised and the hook caught slightly under one of the slats. See illustration.

The cut, Image B, shows another trap nest almost as easy to make as a common nest. taking up not a whit more room. In fact. it is the common nest, with either a circular or square opening in front, but with a front of very thin, light stuff pivoted over the top as shown. A wire runs front one side across the opening, when the nest is “set” the outer end of the wire resting against a bit of tin, or other smooth metal, projecting out from the board. To enter the nest the hen presses in under the wire, lifts up the loose end, when the thin front slips down into place behind her, shutting her into the dark nest.

Starting a Vineyard

In the famous “Chautauqua Grape Belt” where the grape is grown in as near perfect condition as in any part of the country, we have found the leading varieties to be the Moore’s Early, Worden and Campbell’s Early that ripen early; the Concord, Moore’s Diamond, and Niagara that ripen about the middle of September, and the Late Catawba that ripens during October and is kept for winter table use.

To prepare the ground for a vineyard, plow late in the fall into strips nine feet wide, harrow, then plow again early in the spring and leave the dead furrow about seven inches deep, this furrow serves for the row and the vines are set nine feet apart in the row, thus forming squares nine feet each way.

Set a small stake by the side of each vine to mark the place and to prevent the horse from walking on the row while cultivating. After being set in the furrow the ground should be worked to the row until the ridge along the row is two or three inches higher than the center of the row, this makes it easy to cultivate toward the center of the row and the ridge can then be removed and the weeds killed, after which the soil should again be worked toward the row to protect the vines from the cold weather and to prevent water standing around the roots during wet weather.

The first two years keep vines pruned to three buds. When three years old put up on posts and wires. Set posts for every two vines and wires put on to hold up vines. The first two or three years after the vines are put on posts and wires, we are in favor of keeping them pruned down to three canes, which are selected from the wood that starts from the stub that is confined to the lower wire and cut long enough to reach the top, or the wire above.

Only wood that was grown the precious year should be put up from the lower wire, for that is the wood that affords fruit for the next season. The sketch, Image C, will show exactly how we trim our vines and train them on the wires.

Grapes, like all other fruit, need to be kept clean and free from weeds and the soil worked and fertilized to obtain the best results. A dressing of wood ashes, a little bone dust and some potash will prove better adapted to the grape vines than manures that are made on the farm.

If properly cared for, a small vineyard of one-half acre can be made a very profitable and enjoyable addition to the fruit garden of any farm and one that will remain as long as the trees if well handled.–W. Milton Kelly, Erie Co., N. Y.

Making Rain

There are few places where the rain comes just to suit the needs of the farmer or fruit grower. But whether he lives East or West, North or South, it is in his power to keep his field from drying up.

It has been very thoroughly established that a good cultivation is about equal to a good shower. It makes rain come up from below instead of down from above. It helps to save what is already in the ground. That is how men have done such wonders with the supposedly barren expanse where dry farming is now being practiced with good results.

No matter whether there are weeds present or not, a shallow cultivation is often very much needed for the purpose of saving moisture. It is doubtful if a field was ever cultivated too much — if done properly. It is sure that most fields are cultivated too little.

Farm Wind Power

There’s a lot of power going to waste every where. The air is full of it. Some use it for pumping, but that is not all the windmill is good for. Geared mills have great mechanical power and can grind grain, turn machinery, etc.

After you have the wind engine installed, it costs nothing but oil for its working parts. True, it does not always go when you want it, but that can be helped by using a little ingenuity. A storage tank will keep the stock supplied with water when the mill is idle.

When used for grinding grain the grinder can have a self feed supply so tit when the wind blows day or night the grinder works. In this way quite a quantity of grain can be ground in a year. More than one would suppose. Geared mills are powerful. They are not slow either.

There are many kinds of wood and steel mills now on the market. Study up on them before buying. Write for catalogues and get posted before your old mill blows down, or before you buy first one. Don’t simply go to town and take the one kind some dealer may keep. Get the kind you want.

Barn Windlass

In order to do some heavy lifting alone and place sacks of grain and other heavy things upon the second floor, I made a windlass out of a water pipe shown in illustration, Image D,. It is fastened the posts with iron lugs shown in A. To keep from unwinding, I put a loose bolt in a hole in post and lot the crank come against it. A hook is made on the pipe to catch end of rope. I use a pulley above so as to get advantage of double rope pull. — E.S. Kelly, Ohio.

When One Broom Isn’t Enough

A single broom does not sweep wide enough a swath in the big barn floor, but two old brooms, put together as shown in the cut, Image E, make quick work. Two old brooms with broken handles thus can be utilized, making a handle for the combination out of a broken shovel or fork whose handle is intact.

Making a Better Chicken Trough

It is desirable that a feeding trough for poultry can be so made that they cannot get into it with their feet. The cut, Image F, shows how an ordinary V trough can be made so as to exclude the bodily presence of the hen by nailing a board to one edge of the trough and slanting it over the trough as shown. They have plenty of room to eat, but cannot get in the trough. — Mrs. T. H. Haughton N. C.

A Homemade Lantern

A Montana friend sends us this cut, Image G, of a homemade lantern that he says has several times served him in emergencies and helped him to follow safely dark and dangerous ways. It is made out of a cast-off fruit can, and the illuminator is the old-time candle. One end being melted off the tin can, a cross cut is made at A, in the manner indicated at B, and the points are turned inward sufficiently to admit of forcing the candle through the opening, and there is your lantern.

Mason-free foundation

A foundation for farm buildings that does not require the services of a mason is shown in the cut. Loose stones are filled into the trench level with the surface of the ground. Stakes are then driven and boards put up on either side as shown. Into this is filled mortar and small stones to the desired height. When the mo tar has “set” the boards can be taken down and another section of the foundation built. Any kind of stones, both large and small, can be utilized for this work. We will remember this for that Experimental Farm. 

Pig Shelters

The hog born and bred in the expensive, painted house is not always the most healthy and profitable. Sheltered in field and stack, as he is in many parts of the West, he does his best. Two or three posts with crotches and poles stretched across resting in them make a rude structure which, when covered deeply with swale hay, rye straw, or even peat, makes the most comfortable place imaginable, keeping off rain, snow and wind. The back side may rest upon the ground or upon a wall.

Stalled Cows

To keep from humping and mussing their stalls, I hang a swinging frame above them as shown in the illustration. It is hinged so as to pull back out of the way when the cows are being let in or out. Adjust it so it will clear the cow about an inch when she stands naturally. Place it so it will cause her to step back when she humps up to void. Of course, the same cow must always occupy the same stall or the height will vary.

Wise sayings

  • Men grumble because thorns are found with their roses. Would it not be better to feel thankful that roses are to be had with thorns.
  • The man who preaches to me about farming I am afraid of; but I will tie to the one who shows me by his everyday work how things should be done.
  • Don’t expect a high-class crop from low-class seed, nor big profits from small outlay and slack work. Success is only synonymous for some adequate bid for it in hard, painstaking work.
  • The horse with a docked tail comes to an unnatural end.
  • “Beware of the bull” is a sign put up that he who reads may run.

Tips on Cows

  • When you go to buy a cow do you milk her before you close the bargain? If not, try it. By so doing you may learn some things you did not know before about that particular cow.
  • We don’t know it all, at least no one of us does.  Hence any man who tries to run the dairy business from his own experience will find himself always trailing along about half a century behind his fellows.
  • Do not feed any of the decayed ensilage to the stock; throw it out on the manure pile. Valuable animals have been killed by eating this rotted material.
  • Feed the cows a trifle from your hand at milking time. It always seems to create a good feeling between the cows and milker, and where this good feeling exists it is a sure sign of more milk.
  • Never milk with wet hands.
  • Never take chances with the bull.
  • Never close a can containing warm milk.
  • Never try to break a kicker with a club. Try kindness.
  • Never allow cows to become excited by hard driving, unkind words, or unnecessary disturbance.
  • Never form the habit of feeding and milking at irregular hours.
  • Never buy a cow on her pedigree alone. It’s her performance at the pail that counts most.

Straight From the Horses’s Mouth

Get a good mare of good blood.
Do not be afraid to breed her to a stallion of good blood.
If you cannot afford a developed mare, get a colt and raise her.
Never expect anything from a poor, old, broken-down mare, bred simply because she is worthless for anything else.
A good team of matched colts well broken and suited for a purpose will always bring good money.
Do not cross type too much in breeding, as you are liable to get an ill-proportioned animal suited to nothing.
Good, enterprising farmers should club together and bring a good horse in their community. Go straight to some well-known, reliable breeder. Do not get stuck by some of the agents that travel around.
The well-cared-for, sleek looking horse is the one that costs the least trouble. Get them in good condition and it is easy to keep them so.
Always drive with rather a stiff rein, holding your horse just where you want him. It saves many extra steps and missteps that might cause lameness.
Don’t let the young fellow who thinks he is smart and likes to see a horse go, drive your horse. He will worry and drive off more flesh, and take out more life in two hours, than you can get back in a week’s careful handling.
If your horse is not doing well and his coat looks dead, give him potatoes, carrots, etc., to rid him of worms and tone up his digestion. If this will not do call in a veterinary surgeon. Don’t let the horse go in a poor, half-sick condition.
Crusts of bread are very much relished.

If your horse could speak:

  • Don’t compel me to eat more salt than I want by mixing it in my oats. I know better than any other animal how much I need.
  • Don’t think because I go free under the whip that I don’t get tired.
  • Don’t think that because I am a horse that iron-weeds, and briars won’t hurt my hay.
  • Don’t whip me when I get frightened along the road or I will expect it next time and maybe make some trouble.
  • Don’t trot me up hill, for I have to carry you and the buggy and myself too.
  • Don’t keep my stable very dark, for when I go out into the light my eyes are injured, especially if snow is on the ground.
  • Don’t say “whoa” unless you mean it. Teach me to stop at that word.
  • Don’t run me down a steep hill, for if anything should give away I might break your neck.
  • Don’t put on my blind bridle so that it irritates my eye, or my forelock that it will be in one of my eyes.
  • Don’t be so careless of my harness as to find a great sore on me before you attend to it.
  • Don’t lend me to some blockhead that has less sense that I have,

Be kind and gentle to your horse if you would have him faithful to you. Kicks and blows do not better his disposition.
A horse which as been troubled with a bad eye from sticking a corn stalk into it, should have the best care of a veterinarian, if frequent bathing in hot water does not permanently cure the trouble.
Sweet apples are great for a horse. Try giving him a few.
Some horses can not eat oat straw. I came near losing a good horse once from impaction of the bowels due, without doubt, to feeding oat straw. Be careful to watch the effect of giving such food to your horses.