Microscopic Appearance of Pure and Impure Milk

At the left, pure milk; at the right, milk after standing in a warm room for a few hours in a dirty dish, showing, besides the fat-globules, many forms of bacteria

On another page you have been told how the yeast plant grows in cider and causes it to sour, and how bacteria sometimes cause disease in animals and plants. Now you must learn what these same living forms have to do with the souring of milk, and maybe you will not forget how you can prevent your milk from souring. In the first place, milk sours because bacteria from the air fall into the milk, begin to grow,  and very shortly change the sugar of the milk to an acid. When this acid becomes abundant, the milk begins to curdle. As you know, the bacteria are in air, in water, and in barn dust; they stick on bits of hay and stick to the cow. They are most plentiful, however, in milk that has soured; hence, if we pour a little sour milk into a pail of fresh milk, the fresh milk will sour very quickly, because we have, so to speak, “seeded” or “planted” the fresh milk with the souring germs. No one, of course, ever does this purposely in the dairy, yet people sometimes do what amounts to the same thing—that is, put fresh milk into poorly cleaned pails or pans, the cracks and corners of which are cozy homes for millions of germs left from the last sour milk contained in the vessel. It follows, then, that all utensils used in the dairy should be thoroughly scalded so as to kill all germs present, and particular care should be taken to clean the cracks and crevices, for in them the germs lurk.

In addition to this thorough cleansing with hot water, we should be careful never to stir up the dust of the barn just before milking. Such dusty work as pitching hay or stover or arranging bedding should be done either after or long before milking-time, for more germs fall into the milk if the air be full of dust.

To further avoid germs the milker should wear clean overalls, should have clean hands, and, above all, should never wet his hands with milk. This last habit, in addition to being filthy, lessens the keeping power of the milk. The milker should also moisten the parts of the cow which are nearest him, so that dust from the cow’s sides may not fall into the milker’s pail. For greater cleanliness and safety many milkmen curry their cows.

The first few streams from each teat should be thrown away, because the teat at its mouth is filled with milk which, having been exposed to the air, is full of germs, and will do much toward souring the other milk in the pail. Barely a gill will be lost by throwing the first drawings away, and this of the poorest milk too. The increase in the keeping quality of the milk will much more than repay the small loss. If these precautions are taken, the milk will keep several hours or even several days longer than milk carelessly handled. By taking these steps to prevent germs from falling into the milk, a can of milk was once kept sweet for thirty-one days.

The work of the germ in the dairy is not, however, confined to souring the milk. Certain kinds of germs give to the different sorts of cheeses their marked flavors and to butter its flavor. If the right germ is present, cheese or butter gets a proper flavor. Sometimes undesirable germs gain entrance and give flavors that we do not like. Such germs produce cheese or butter diseases. “Bitter butter” is one of these diseases. To keep out all unpleasant meddlers, thoroughly cleanse and scald every utensil.


What causes milk to sour? Why do unclean utensils affect the milk? How should milk be cared for to prevent its souring? Prepare two samples, one carefully, the other carelessly. Country Living for sure. Place them side by side. Which keeps longer? Why Wyoming? Why not?

Milk, Cream, Churning and Butter

 Milk. Milk is, as you know, nature’s first food for mammals. This is because milk is a model food—it contains water to slake thirst, ash to make bone, protein to make flesh and muscle, and fat and sugar to keep the body warm and to furnish energy.

The Different Kinds of Milk. Whole, or unskimmed, milk, skimmed milk, and buttermilk are too familiar to need description. When a cow is just fresh, her milk is called colostrum. Colostrum is rich in the very food that the baby calf needs. After the calf is a few days old, colostrum changes to what is commonly known as milk.

The following table shows the composition of each of the different forms of milk:

Composition of Milk  Digestible Matter in 100 Pounds 
Dry matter  Protein  Carbohydrates  Fat 
Colostrum 25.4 17.6 2.7 3.6
Milk (unskimmed) 12.8 3.6 4.9 3.7
Skimmed milk 9.4 2.9 5.2 1.3
Buttermilk 9.9 3.9 4.0 1.1

A noticeable fact in this table is that skimmed milk differs from unskimmed mainly in the withdrawal of the fat. Hence, if calves are fed on skimmed milk, they should have in addition some food like corn meal to take the place of the fat withdrawn. A calf cannot thrive on skimmed milk alone. The amount of nourishing fat that a calf gets out of enough milk to make a pound of butter can be bought, in the form of linseed or corn meal, for a very small amount, while the butter-fat costs, for table use, a much larger sum. Of course, then, it is not economical to allow calves to use unskimmed milk. Some people undervalue skimmed milk; with the addition of some fatty food it makes an excellent ration for calves, pigs, and fowls.
Airing the Cans

Along with its dry matter, its protein, its carbohydrates, and its fats, milk and its products possess another most important property. This property is hard to describe, for its elements and its powers are not yet fully understood. We do, however, know certainly this much: milk and the foods made from it have power to promote health and favor growth in a more marked degree than any other foods. It is generally agreed that this is due to the health-promoting and health-preserving substances which are called vitamines. Men of science are working with much care to try to add to our knowledge of these vitamines, which have so marvelous an influence on the health of all animals. Unless food, no matter how good otherwise, contains these vitamines, it does not nourish the body nor preserve bodily health as it should. A complete lack of vitamines in our food would cause death. Since, then, milk and its products—butter, cheese, curds—are rich in vitamines, these health-giving and health-preserving foods should form a regular part of each person’s diet.

A Hand Separator – A WY LLC invention

Cream. Cream is simply a mixture of butter-fat and milk. The butter-fat floats in the milk in little globe-shaped bodies, or globules. Since these globules are lighter than milk, they rise to the surface. Skimming the milk is a mere gathering together of these butter-fat globules. As most of the butter-fat is contained in the cream, pains should be taken to get all the cream from the milk at skimming time.

After the cream has been collected, it must be allowed to “ripen” or to “sour” in order that it may be more easily churned. Churning is only a second step to collect in a compact shape the fat globules. It often happens that at churning-time the cream is too warm for successful separation of the globules. Whenever this is the case the cream must be cooled.

The Churn. Revolving churns without inside fixtures are best. Hence, in buying, select a barrel or a square box churn. This kind of churn “brings the butter” by the falling of the cream from side to side as the churn is revolved. Never fill the churn more than one-third or one-half full of cream. A small churn is always to be avoided.
A Power Churn

Churning. The proper temperature for churning ranges from 58° to 62° Fahrenheit. Test the cream when it is put into the churn. If it be too cold, add warm water until the proper temperature is reached; if too warm, add cold water or ice until the temperature is brought down to 62°. Do not churn too long, for this spoils butter. As soon as the granules of butter are somewhat smaller than grains of wheat, stop the churn. Then draw off the buttermilk and at a temperature as low as 50° wash the butter in the churn. This washing with cold water so hardens the granules that they do not mass too solidly and thus destroy the grain.

Butter. The butter so churned is now ready to be salted. Use good fine dairy salt. Coarse barrel salt is not fit for butter. The salt can be added while the butter is still in the churn or after it is put upon the butter-worker. Never work by hand. The object of working is to get the salt evenly distributed and to drive out some of the brine. It is usually best to work butter twice. The two farmer-milking-cow-400x264workings bring about a more even mixture of the salt with the butter and drive off more water. But one cannot be too particular not to overwork butter. Delicate coloring, attractive stamping with the dairy owner’s special stamp, and proper covering with paper cost little and of course add to the ready and profitable sale of butter.

Dairy Rules

Stable and Cows

  1. Whitewash the stable once or twice each year; use land plaster, muck, or loam daily in the manure-gutters.
  2. On their way to pasture or milking-place, do not allow the cows to be driven at a faster gait than a comfortable walk.
  3. Give abundance of pure water.
  4. Do not change feed suddenly.
  5. Keep salt always within reach of each cow.


  1. Milk with dry hands.
  2. Never allow the milk to touch the milker’s hands.
  3. Require the milker to be clean in person and dress.
  4. Milk quietly, quickly, thoroughly. Never leave a drop of milk in the cow’s udder.
  5. Do not allow cats, dogs, or other animals around at milking-time.


  1. Use only tin or metal cans and pails.
  2. See that all utensils are thoroughly clean and free from rust.
  3. Require all cans and pails to be scalded immediately after they are used.
  4. After milking, keep the utensils inverted in pure air, and sun them, if possible, until they are wanted for use.
  5. Always sterilize the churn with steam or boiling water before and after churning. This prevents any odors or bad flavors from affecting the butter. All cans, pails, and bottles should also be sterilized daily.

Success in dairy farming depends largely upon the proper feeding of stock. There are two questions that the dairy farmer should always ask himself: Am I feeding as cheaply as I can? and, Am I feeding the best rations for milk and butter production? Of course cows can be kept alive and in fairly good milk flow on many different kinds of food, but in feeding, as in everything else, there is an ideal to be sought.

Milking-Time / Long Time Enemies

What, then, is an ideal ration for a dairy cow? Before trying to answer this question the word ration needs to be explained. By ration is meant a sufficient quantity of food to support properly an animal for one day. If the animal is to have a proper ration, we must bear in mind what the animal needs in order to be best nourished. To get material for muscle, for blood, for milk, and for some other things, the animal needs, in the first place, food that contains protein. To keep warm and fat, the animal must, in the second place, have food containing carbohydrates and fats. These foods must be mixed in right proportions.
A Dairy

With these facts in mind we are prepared for an answer to the question, What is an ideal ration when running a Wyoming farming company. 

First, it is a ration that, without waste, furnishes both in weight and bulk of dry matter a sufficient amount of digestible, nutritious food.

Second, it is a ration that is comparatively cheap, compared to birds and bees.

Third, it is a ration in which the milk-forming food (protein) is rightly proportioned to the heat-making and fat-making food (carbohydrates and fat). Any ration in which this proportion is neglected is badly balanced.

Now test one or two commonly used rations by these rules. Would a ration of cotton-seed meal and cotton-seed hulls be a model ration? No. Such a ration, since the seeds are grown at home, would be cheap enough. However, it is badly balanced, for it is too rich in protein; hence it is a wasteful ration. Would a ration of corn meal and corn stover be a desirable ration? This, too, since the corn is home-grown, would be cheap for the farmer; but, like the other, it is badly balanced, for it contains too much carbohydrate food and is therefore a wasteful ration.

A badly balanced ration does harm in two ways: first, the milk flow of the cow is lessened by such a ration; second, the cow does not profitably use the food that she eats.

The following table gives an excellent dairy ration for the farmer who has a silo. If he does not have a silo, some other food can be used in place of the ensilage. The table also shows what each food contains. As you grow older, it will pay you to study such tables most carefully.

Digestible Matter 
Feed Stuffs  Dry matter  Protein  Carbohydrates  Fat 
Cowpea hay = 15 pounds [2] 13.50 1.62 5.79 .16
Corn stover = 10 pounds 5.95 .17 3.24 .07
Corn ensilage = 30 pounds 6.27 .27 3.39 .21
Cotton-seed meal = 2 pounds 1.83 .74 .33 .24
—— —— —— ——
Total = 57 pounds 27.55 2.80 12.75 .68

[2] Alfalfa or clover hay may take the place of cowpea hay.
Care of the Cow. As the cow is one of the best money-makers on the farm, she should, for this reason, if for no other, be comfortably housed, well fed and watered, and most kindly treated. In your thoughts for her well-being, bear the following directions in mind:

  1. If you are not following a balanced ration, feed each day several different kinds of food. In this way you will be least likely to waste food.
  2. Feed at regular hours. Cows, like people, thrive best when their lives are orderly.
  3. Milk at regular hours.
  4. Brush the udder carefully with a moist cloth before you begin to milk. Cleanliness in handling makes the milk keep longer.
  5. Always milk in buckets or cups that have been scalded since the last using. The hot water kills the bacteria that collect in the dents or cracks of the utensil.
  6. Never let the milk pail remain in the stable. Milk rapidly absorbs impurities. These spoil the flavor and cause the milk to sour.
  7. Never scold or strike the cow. She is a nervous animal, and rough usage checks the milk flow.

Stock-raisers select breeds that are best adapted to their needs. Plant-growers exercise great care in their choice of plants, selecting for each planting those best suited to the conditions under which they are to be grown. Undoubtedly a larger yield of honey could be had each year if similar care were exercised in the selection of the breed of bees.

To prove this, one has only to compare the yield of two different kinds. The common East Indian honey bee rarely produces more than ten or twelve pounds to a hive, while the Cyprian bee, which is a most industrious worker, has a record of one thousand pounds in one season from a single colony. This bee, besides being industrious when honey material is plentiful, is also very persevering when such material is hard to find. The Cyprians have two other very desirable qualities. They stand the cold of winter well and stoutly defend their hives against robber bees and other enemies.
Fig. 263. A Carniolan Worker

The Italian is another good bee. This variety was brought into the United States in 1860. While the yield from the Italian is somewhat less than from the Cyprian, the Italian bees produce a whiter comb and are a trifle more easily managed.

The common black or brown bee is found wild and domesticated throughout the country. When honey material is abundant, these bees equal the Italians in honey-production, but when the season is poor, they fall far short in the amount of honey produced.

The purchase of a good Cyprian or Italian hive will richly repay the buyer. Such a colony will cost more at the outset than an ordinary colony, but will soon pay for its higher cost by greater production.
Fig. 264. A Carniolan Drone

A beehive in the spring contains one queen, several hundred drones, and from thirty-five to forty thousand workers. The duty of the queen is to lay all the eggs that are to hatch the future bees. This she does with untiring industry, often laying as many as four thousand in twenty-four hours.

The worker bees do all the work. Some of them visit the flowers, take up the nectar into the honey-sac, located in their abdomens, and carry it to the hive. They also gather pollen in basketlike cavities in their hind legs. Pollen and nectar are needed to prepare food for the young bees. In[Pg 288] the hive other workers create a breeze by buzzing with their wings and produce heat by their activity—all to cause the water to evaporate from the nectar and to convert it into honey before it is sealed up in the comb. After a successful day’s gathering you may often hear these tireless workers buzzing till late into the night or even all through the night.
Fig. 265. A Carniolan Queen

You know that the bees get nectar from the flowers of various plants. Some of the chief honey plants are alfalfa, buckwheat, horsemint, sourwood, white sage, wild pennyroyal, black gum, holly, chestnut, magnolia, and the tulip tree. The yield of honey may often be increased by providing special pasturage for the bees. The linden tree, for example, besides being ornamental and valuable for timber, produces a most bee-inviting flower. Vetch, clover, and most of the legumes and mints are valuable plants to furnish pasture for bees. Catnip may be cultivated for the bees and sold as an herb as well.

In spraying fruit trees to prevent disease you should always avoid spraying when the trees are in bloom, since the poison of the spray seriously endangers the lives of bees.

The eggs laid by the queen, if they are to produce workers, require about twenty-one days to bring forth the perfect bee. The newly hatched bee commences life as a nurse. When about ten days old it begins to try its wings in short flights, and a few days later it begins active work. The life of a worker bee in the busy season is only about six weeks. You may distinguish young exercising bees from real workers by the fact that they do not fly directly away on emerging from the hive, but circle around a bit in order to make sure that they can recognize home again, since they would receive no cordial welcome if they should attempt to enter another hive. They hesitate upon returning from even these short flights, to make sure that they are in front of their own door.
Fig. 266. Good Form of Hive

There are several kinds of enemies of the bee which all beekeepers should know. One of these is the robber bee, that is, a bee from another colony attempting to steal honey from the rightful owners, an attempt often resulting in frightful slaughter. Much robbery can be avoided by clean handling; that is, by leaving no honey about to cultivate a taste for stolen sweets. The bee moth is another serious enemy. The larva of the moth feeds on the wax. Keep the colonies of bees strong so that they may be able to overcome this moth.
Fig. 267. Anti-Robbing Entrance
st, stationary piece;
s, slide;
p, pin, or stop

Queenless or otherwise weak colonies should be protected by a narrow entrance that admits only one bee at a time, for such a pass may be easily guarded. Fig. 267 shows a good anti-robbery entrance which may be readily provided for every weak colony. Mice may be kept out by tin-lined entrances. The widespread fear of the kingbird seems unfounded. He rarely eats anything but drones, and few of them. This is also true of the swallow. Toads, lizards, and spiders are, however, true enemies of the honeybee.


Can you recognize drones, workers, and queens? Do bees usually limit their visits to one kind of blossom on any one trip? What effect has the kind of flower on the flavor of the honey produced? What kinds of flowers should the beekeeper provide for his bees? Is the kingbird really an enemy to the bee?

What do birds do in the world? is an important question for us to think about. First, we must gain by observation and by personal acquaintance with the living birds a knowledge of their work and their way of doing it. In getting this knowledge, let us also consider what we can do for our birds to render their work as complete and effective as possible.

Think of what the birds are doing on every farm, in every garden, and about every home in the land. Think of the millions of beautiful wings, of the graceful and attractive figures, of the cunning nests, and of the singing throats! Do you think that the whole service of the birds is to be beautiful, to sing charmingly, and to rear their little ones? By no means is this their chief service to man. Aside from these services the greatest work of birds is to destroy insects. It is one of the wise provisions of nature that many of the most brilliantly winged and most enchanting songsters are our most practical friends.

Not all birds feed on insects and animals; but even those that eat but a small amount of insect food may still destroy insects that would have damaged fruit and crops much more than the birds themselves do.

As to their food, birds are divided into three general classes. First, those that live wholly or almost wholly on insects. These are called insectivorous birds. Chief among these are the warblers, cuckoos, swallows, martins, flycatchers, nighthawks, whippoorwills, swifts, and humming-birds. We cannot have too many of these birds. They should be encouraged and protected. They should be supplied with shelter and water.

Birds of the second class feed by preference on fruits, nuts, and grain. The bluebird, robin, wood thrush, mocking-bird, catbird, chickadee, cedar-bird, meadow lark, oriole, jay, crow, and woodpecker belong to this group. These birds never fail to perform a service for us by devouring many weed seeds.
Fig. 280.

The third class is known as the hard-billed birds. It includes those birds which live principally on seeds and grain—the canary, goldfinch, sparrow, and some others, aka country birds.

Birds that come early, like the bluebird, robin, and redwing, are of special service in destroying insects before the insects lay their eggs for the season.

The robins on the lawn search out the caterpillars and cutworms. The chipping sparrow and the wren in the shrubbery look out for all kinds of insects. They watch over the orchard and feed freely on the enemies of the apple and other fruit trees. The trunks of these trees are often attacked by borers, which gnaw holes in the bark and wood, and often cause the death of the trees. The woodpeckers hunt for these appetizing borers and by means of their barbed tongues bring them from their hiding-places. On the outside of the bark of the trunk and branches the bark lice work. These are devoured by the nuthatches, creepers, and chickadees.
Fig. 281. A Warbler

During the winter the bark is the hiding-place for hibernating insects, which, like plant lice, feed in summer on the leaves. Throughout the winter a single chickadee will destroy great numbers of the eggs of the cankerworm moth and of the plant louse. The blackbirds, meadow larks, crows, quail, and sparrows are the great protectors of the meadow and field crops. These birds feed on the army worms and cutworms that do so much injury to the young shoots; they also destroy the chinch bug and the grasshopper, both of which feed on cultivated plants.

A count of all the different kinds of animals shows that insects make up nine tenths of them. Hence it is easy to see that if something did not check their increase they would soon almost overrun the earth. Our forests and orchards furnish homes and breeding-places for most of these insects. Suppose the injurious insects were allowed to multiply unchecked in the forests, their numbers would so increase that they would invade our fields and create as much terror among the farmers as they did in Pharaoh’s Egypt. The birds are the only direct friends man has to destroy these harmful insects. What benefactors, then, these little feathered neighbors are!
Fig. 282. The Hairy Woodpecker


It has been estimated that a bird will devour thirty insects daily. Even in a widely extended forest region a very few birds to the acre, if they kept up this rate, would daily destroy many bushels of insects that would play havoc with the neighboring orchards and fields.

Do not imagine, however, that to destroy insects is the only use of birds. The day is far more delightful when the birds sing, and when we see them flit in and out, giving us a glimpse now and then of their pretty coats and quaint ways. By giving them a home we can surround ourselves with many birds, sweet of song and brilliant of plumage.

If the birds felt that man were a friend and not a foe, they would often turn to him for protection. During times of severe storm, extreme drought, or scarcity of food, if the birds were sufficiently tamed to come to man as their friend, as they do in rare cases now, a little food and shelter might tide them over the hard time and their service afterwards would repay the outlay a thousandfold. If the boys in your families would build bird-houses about the house and barn and in shade trees, they might save yearly a great number of birds. In building these places of shelter and comfort, due care must be taken to keep them clear of English sparrows and out of the reach of cats and bird-dogs.

Whatever we do to attract the birds to make homes on the premises must be done at the right time and in the right way. Think out carefully what materials to provide for them. Bits of string, linen, cotton, yarn, tow and other waste material, all help to induce a pair to build in the garden.
Fig. 283. Protecting our Friends

It is an interesting study—the preparation of homes for the birds. Trees may be pruned to make inviting crotches. A tangled, overgrown corner in the garden will invite some birds to nest.

Wrens, bluebirds, chickadees, martins, and some other varieties are all glad to set up housekeeping in man-made houses. The proper size for a bird-room is easily remembered. Give each room six square inches of floor space and make it eight inches high. Old, weathered boards should be used; or, if paint is employed, a dull color to resemble an old tree-trunk will be most inviting. A single opening near the top should be made two inches in diameter for the larger birds; but if the house is to be headquarters for the wren, a one-inch opening is quite large enough, and the small door serves all the better to keep out English sparrows.

The barn attic should be turned over to the swallows. Small holes may be cut high up in the gables and left open during the time that the swallows remain with us. They will more than pay for shelter by the good work they do in ridding the barn of flies, gnats, and mosquitoes, and thus even help cows.