Gentle but firm treatment will make a cow easy to milk and to handle in every way. If stabled or yarded, cows should have access to water at all times, or have it frequently offered to them. Clover hay is probably the best steady food for milch cows. Cornstalks cut up, thoroughly soaked with water for half a day, and then sprinkled with corn or oil-cake meal, is perhaps unsurpassed as good winter food for milch cows. The amount of meal may vary. With plenty of oil-meal, there is little danger of feeding too much, as that is loosening to the bowels, and a safe, nutritious article. Corn-meal alone, in large quantities, is too heating. Roots should, if possible, form part of the diet of a milch cow, especially before and soon after calving; feed well before this period, yet not to make the cow very fat; but it is better to err in that way than to have her "come in" thin. Take the calf away from the mother as soon as it stands up, and the separation will worry neither dam nor young. This is always best, unless the calf is to be kept with the cow. The calf will soon learn to drink its food, if two fingers be held in its mouth. Let it have all the first drawn milk for three days as soon as milked; after this, skimmed milk warmed to blood heat. Soon a little fine scalded meal may be mixed with the milk; and it will, at three to five weeks old, nibble hay and grass. It is well, also, to keep a box containing some dry wheat-bran and fine corn-meal mixed in the calf-pen, so that calves may take as much as they like.
In milking, put the fingers around the teat close to the bag; then firmly close the forefingers of each hand alternately, immediately squeezing with the other fingers. The forefingers prevent the milk flowing back into the bag, while the others press it out. Sit with the left knee close to the right hind leg of the cow, the head pressed against her flank, the left hand always ready to ward off a blow from her feet, which the gentlest cow may give almost without knowing it, if her tender teats be cut by long nails, or if a wart be hurt, or her bag be tender. She must be stripped dry every time she is milked, or she will dry up; and if she gives much milk, it pays to milk three times a day, as nearly eight hours apart as possible. Never stop while milking till done, as this will cause the cow to stop giving milk.
To tether a cow, tie her by one hind leg, making the rope fast above the fetlock joint, and protecting the limb with a piece of an old boot-leg or similar thing. The knot must be one that will not slip; regular fetters of iron bound with leather are much better.
A cow should go unmilked two months before calving, and her milk should not be used by the family till four days after that time.
The filthy state of hog-pens is allowed on account of the amount of manure they will make by working over all sorts of vegetable matter, spoiled hay, weeds,.etc., etc. This is unhealthy for the family near and also for the animal. The hog is, naturally, a cleanly animal, and if given a chance he will keep himself very neat and clean. Breeding sows should have the range of a small pasture, and be regularly fed. They need fresh water constantly, and often suffer for lack of it when they have liquid swill which they do not like to drink. All hogs should have a warm, dry, well-littered pen to lie in, away from flies and disturbance of any kind. They are fond of charcoal, and it is worth while frequently to throw a few handfuls where they can get at it. It has a very beneficial effect on the appetite, regulates the tone of the stomach and digestive organs, and can not do any harm. Pigs ought always to be well fed and kept growing fast; and when being fattened, they should be penned always, the herd being sorted so that all may have an equal chance. It is well to feed soft corn in the ear; but hard corn should always be ground and cooked for pigs.