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THE HEALTH CUP
HAMLIN L. BROWN
Dairyman, Florida Agricultural
The family dairy cow has a very important place on Florida
farms. No other farm animal produces larger quantities of
human food, or does it more economically. She supplies fresh
milk, the most nearly perfect food known to man. Milk does
more for the body than any other food, and does it more cheaply.
It safeguards the low-cost diet, for children and adults. It pre-
vents pellagra. It is the best all-round body-building food.
Milk for the Family.-In addition to its value as whole milk,
milk also supplies rich cream for cereals, fresh fruits, berries,
and ice cream. Butter and buttermilk are valuable
Foods obtained from surplus milk. Skimmilk for cot-
tage cheese and other kinds of cheese provides an-
other most important food for the home.
Milk for Farm Animals.-Farms with two or more
dairy cows have skimmilk for growing calves, for
baby chicks, for laying hens, and for pigs at wean-
Surplus Male Calves for Meat.-Some of the increase obtained
from one or more cows may contribute to the family meat supply.
Male dairy calves vealed under three months of age are good
sources of fresh and canned meats.
Food Elements for Soil Building.-The 800-pound family cow,
under proper management, should supply six to 10 tons of sta-
ble manure per year. Plant food elements contained in stable
manure from one family cow, when purchased in fertilizer sacks,
would amount to from $25 to $40 per year. This fertilizer should
contribute valuable plant food for fertilizing the family garden
and orchard and, when supplemented with phosphate and lime,
should supply valuable plant food for growing forages to feed
the cow on the farm.
GET GOOD COWS
To get the most and best milk, cream, butter, cheese, and profit
from our cows, we must first have the right kind of cows. Second,
we must give the cows the right kind of feed and care. Third,
we must handle and use the milk, cream, butter, and cheese in
the best manner.
There are two ways of getting the right kind of cows. One
way is to buy them. This probably is the most expensive way.
For each good cow offered for sale, there are probably 25 or
more common cows for sale. Another way to get cows is to raise
them on the farm. This is the best and cheapest way. If we
already have common cows and cannot arrange to get better ones
to start with, then we should take care of those we have so that
they can do their best and, by the use of good registered sires,
raise calves that will make better cows than their mothers, and
get started in that way.
A cow that is for sale is often the old cow, the diseased cow,
the kicking cow, the hard milker, the poor producer, or the ir-
regular breeder. This makes six reasons why we
should raise our own cows. Farmers can raise good
cows cheaper than they can buy them. Cows of
the Jersey and Guernsey breeds are adapted to
Florida conditions and have proven to be our best family milk
cows. It is an advantage to have the milk cows in one com-
munity be mostly of one breed. The cooperative use of a com-
munity sire and the marketing of surplus dairy cows is made
possible where communities establish one breed.
FEED THE COWS WELL
Farmers should grow all the feed possible for their family
cows. The cow is able to consume large quantities of forage
and farm roughages.
Pasture.-There is nothing better than pasture for summer.
Some kinds of grass for milk cows to graze are practical in every
county in Florida. Pasture grasses, like other crops, require
fertilizer. The leather halter, the steel picket post, and a chain
for staking the cow out on the pasture offer a practical pro-
gram on small farms without pasture fences.
Winter Feeding.-There is nothing better than 'silage and
legume hay for stored roughage to feed during the winter sea-
son and at other seasons when pasture crops are insufficient. The
under-ground silo is practical in all counties for storing silage
crops. Blackstrap molasses fed at the rate of 100 pounds per
ton of green feed makes it practical to put peanut vine hay, pea-
vine hay, and many of the other legumes and pasture clippings
high in protein in the silo.
Winter grazing crops-oats, rye, winter legumes-and surplus
vegetables are very important in keeping up the milk flow. One
means of extending the green feed over a long period is by the
proper fertilization of a limited area and heavy seeding of winter
grazing crops. This area is given careful management, allowing
the animals to graze but 30 minutes to an hour each day.
Grains.-The kind and amount of grain or concentrate feed
will depend upon the amount and quality of the pasture and
roughage feed. Also, the location in Florida will determine the
kind of concentrate available. Family cows producing less than
two gallons of milk per day and getting all the luscious green
pasture and grazing crops they need, 50 or more pounds per day,
should not need additional concentrate feed. Cows producing
larger quantities of milk will need grain in proportion to the
quantity of milk produced.
Minerals.-The three-section covered mineral trough is ad-
vised on all farms-section A to contain common salt; section
B to contain steamed bone meal; and section C to contain the
salt sick mixture of 100 pounds of salt, 25 pounds of red oxide
of iron, 1 pound of copper sulfate, and 1 ounce of cobalt chloride.
These minerals should be kept available to the cow at all times
but fresh supplies should be added to this box two or three times
Water.-Only fresh water should be given family milk cows
and it is better to have fresh water from a well. The average
cow weighing 800 pounds will consume from 10 to 20 gallons
of water per day, depending on the quantity of milk and the
temperature. Milk cows should not have access to stagnant pools
as these pools harbor liver flukes and many other injurious para-
sites that will damage the health of the cows.
A shed shelter in the winter months and shade in the summer
months made convenient with a stanchion for each cow should
be provided as a home for family cows. Farmers should make
extensive use of bedding. Oak leaves, grasses, and other suit-
able bedding should be provided as an aid in conserving stable
Control Flies.-Spreading superphosphate around bedding and
stables where cows and other farm animals are kept, at the rate
of 300 to 400 pounds to the ton of manure or decaying vegetable
matter, will prevent the breeding of flies and add to the quality
Other circulars in this series:
51. Fit as a Fiddle
52. Feed the Family First
53. Gather Health from Your Own Garden
54. Can and Save-Can and Have
55. Your Poultry and Egg Supply
57. Meat-Wholesome, Nutritious
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN
AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE FOR WOMEN
AND UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
WILMON NEWELL, Director