Page images

substance, and too much of it would kill the young sprouts. I intend to dry out or wilt some potatoes, and then soak them out in a solution of one part blue vitriol and a thousand parts of water.



The following pages are devoted to an examination of the various forage plants, and, without further preface, we commence with one of the most important, namely, the varieties of clover.

CLOVER. The principal varieties of clover and their organic composition, according to the analysis of the same will be found complete in the following table:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

RED CLOVER newly mown ( Trifolium pratense
From Hoenheim before blooming.


Mockern beginning to bloom

in full
very young.

in full bloom...
Cirencester beginning to bloom.

in full
" Moglin beginning to
Elsaz before

in full
Gollmitz in full bloom...

Boitzenburg in full bloom " Proskan, first cutting..




3.3 4.2
2.8 6.0
2.2 6.0
3.2 8.1
2.9 10.1
4.0 67
3.3 89
4.3 9.1

3.1 12 2
3.3 15.9
2.4 10.0
6.2 10.3

3.7 1.4 Emil Wolff.
6.7 1.4)
9.6 1.3
4.2 1.4
8.9 1.6
3.8 1.4 Ritthausen.
6.7 1.6
3.8 1.8

1.9 Voelker.

1.3 Eichhorn, 4.2 1.1 Boussingault 6.3 14 7.2 2.3 Hellriege 5.9 1. 5.3 10 Halwa. 4,6 1.7 5.8 1.6 1:2.6 5.3 1.91 1:2.4 Way.






7.8 3.7 9.6 3.9 9.1



Average analysis of 14 samples of clover 79.7

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]


From Cirencester, beginning to bloom .... 82.] 2.9 7.4 5.8

Bickendorf, (dry hay) end of bloom.. 17.2 11.5 33.9 31.9
Swedish CLOVER ( Trifolium hybridum.)
From Mockern, before blooming..

86.9 2.6 5.5 4.0
at the end of blooming. 82.6 2.4 8.4 5.)


8.4 3.81 at the end of

80.21 : 3.0 6.7 8.6 fully ripe

15 7 10.2 21.2 48.6 Dahme, dry bay...

16.7. 9.1 44.5 24.9






1.1 1.4 1.7 1.5 3.9 4.7


[ocr errors]


Hellri gel.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]


ESPARSETTE (Onobrychis sativa.,)
From Cirencester, beginning of bloom..... 76.6 4.3 11.4 5.8) 1.8
London in full

77.31 3.5

1.71 Voelker. This column includes starch, sugar, dextrine, pectrine, gum, fat, wax and extractive matter. ** The actual proportion of the nutritive substances is not given herein, because it can be calculated only, if the fat is also taken into consideration. *** From this it appears that the English hay is more nutritious than hay grown elsewhere.

Way states the average amount of fat-forming substances found in 14 analyses of different varieties, at 0.75 per cent., in green clover, and at 3.18 per cent. in clover hay. The results obtained by Eichhorn, Stockhardt and Boussingault nearly corroborate this statement. The latter found the average of fat-forming material in green clover to be 0.9 per cent; in clover hay, 3.2 per cent. This amount of fat-forming substances is worthy of serious consideration in experiments in feeding.

The most essential points connected with the above analyses are as fol. lows:

1. The great value of clover, as a nutrient in general, founded on its digestibility and richness in protein. The latter makes it a forage richer in protein than grain, wbich possesses only half as much protein in one part of non-nitrogenous nutritive matter. But grain is a more concentrated food than clover, because, in quantities of equal weight, it contains more assimilable nutritive substances, i. e., a very small amount of such substances as have no, nutritive value, and are only a nutritive ballast. Since the amount of nutritive matter found in clover by analyses does not meet the theoretical expectations, in its nutritive effects, as far as observed, this failure was formerly ascribed to the woody fibre in the clover, in so far as it, by incrustating the nutritive substances contained in the cells of the plant, makes them less digestible and thus partly inefficient. This view, first advanced by Wolff, and then amplified to the extreme by the assertion that the nutritive substances in a fodder become the less avail. able the more woody fibre is contained therein, was not endorsed by some vegetable physiologists who suggested another explanation. The latter is now confirmed; the incrustation by the woody fibre does not cause the slight effect of clover, for it has been shown that one-half of the woody fibre is digestible; but it is occasioned by those soluble substances shown by analyses to have no nutritive value at all, because they are organic combinations, bearing no similarity to the nutritive character of the pure protein matter, or to that of sugar and starch. Different amounts of such. unknown extractive substances are contained in the forage plants, and, according to my investigations of this subject, stand in no proportion to, the amount of the woody fibre. In explanation of this an atalysis of an sample of Lucerne-esparzette hay is here given, in which the strictly nutri.. tive portion is separated from the dissolved indifferent substances destitute of nitrogen.


16.2 Protein substances. Fat .......... Saocharine substances, reduced to starch,


11.7 2.7

11.6 31.1 8.1

Unknown combinations, destitute of nitrogen... Woody fibre...... Ashes...... From the figure representing the woody fibre, 0.100 of ashes and 0.184 of protein have been deducted already, which were still found in the cellular matter, according to the method adopted. But as long as we do not know positively whether the gastric juice of the animal may not exert a greater solving influence upon the protein than the 5 per cent acids and alkalies of the chemist, we would not be justified in supposing that the greatly varying amounts of protein found in all analyzed woody fibres would not have any nutritive effect, just because they are inclosed in the woody fibre.

2. A comparison of these analyses of green and dry clover, i. e., of clover mown at the beginning of the period of blooming, or toward the end of the blooming season, shows, without exception, from the period of its first growth to its maturity, a constant increase of dry matter; a regular decrease in the percentage of protein substances, and a continual increase of the woody fibres, These facts explain several practical observations long since made.

a. Young clover is more nutritious than dry clover, for the former is relatively richer in protein, and although it contains a larger per cent of water, yet the larger amount of dry matter in old clover is not a direct advantage, since this plus consists, chiefly, of indigestible woody fibre and similar indifferent substances, making the stem of the plant hard and less palatable. 100 lbs. of young clover, cut before blooming, therefore will, despite its large amount of water, be as nutritious as 100 lbs. of dry clover cut at the end of blooming. But if both are made to hay, so that the amount of moisture in either become equal, (16 per cent.), then 100 lbs. of hay of young clover will probably be as nutritious, and worth as much as 120 to 150 lbs. of hay of old clover.

6. An animal can eat more young clover than old clover. In 100 lbs. of the former are contained 20 lbs of dry matter, but in the 100 lbs. of old clover, 30 lbs. If a cow cannot consume more than 25 lbs. of dry matter per day, in a ration, perfect in every respect, she cannot consume 100 lbs. of old clover, but only 84 lbs, (30:25=100:x). But she will eat 125 lbs. of young clover (20:25–100:x), before her stomach is filled. The 25 lbs. of dry matter in the 125 lbs of young clover, possesses, probably, one-half more nutritive power than the 25 lbs. of dry matter in the 84 lbs. of old clover. The cow, therefore, fares much better by the former, and can produce more milk and meat. Even if she gets only 84 lbs. of young clover, she will have this advantage over another cow that gets 84 lbs. of old, clover, that she still has an appetite for other fodder, while the latter will have no desire for eating straw besides.

« PreviousContinue »