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A Dairy-House ought to be well aired, free from damp, and situated so that a proper temperature may be observed, - from 50° to 55° Fahrenheit. A milk dairy requires two apartments; one for milk, the other for scalding and cleaning the different utensils. To secure a proper degree of heat for common purposes, a vacuity of eight or ten inches, left betwixt the wall and the lath and plaster, will be sufficient. The roof should be of thatch, three feet thick at the least, and should project completely over the walls on each side. To afford shade and a beneficial degree of coolness to the whole building, the outer doors may be made to open under a penthouse, or lean-to shed. It would be advantageous to have an icehouse attached to the dairy, as a small quantity of ice, placed when necessary in the milk-room, would soon lower the temperature to any degree that might be wanted. If the cold in winter should become too great, a barrel of hot water, close stopped, or a few hot bricks, placed on the floor or table of the milk-room, would readily counteract its effects; a chafing-dish with burning coals should never be used. The utensils required for a dairy of twenty cows, may, in most cases, be provided for £20 or £30. Wood has in general been employed in their construction, and is, upon the whole, the most eligible material; lead, brass, and copper, are altogether inadmissible; the least objectionable of all the metallic milk-dishes are probably those which have been lately invented by Mr. Baird, of the Shotts iron-works in Linlithgowshire.

A proper choice of cows is of the greatest importance. Of the black cattle of the island, the short-horned, or Dutch, and the long-horned, or Lancashire, are in general preferred; the first yields the greatest quantity of milk; that of the second is not so abundant, but richer; the polled, or Galloway cows, are excellent milkers, and the Suffolk duns are much esteemed, as are also the Ayrshire cows. For the management of cows, it is of the greatest consequence to keep them easy, clean, and well aired; when they are turned out to pasture, they must not be over-driven, or have so far to travel as to induce fatigue. Their food in winter may be of two kinds, either dry or green; of dry food, hay and straw are almost the only kinds used; the most profitable kinds of green food are parsnips, carrots, cabbages, and turnips; from one to two hundred pounds a day of cabbages or turnips will be consumed by a middle-sized cow. By means of stall-feeding, with green crops, a cow can be kept in milk not only for a month longer in autumn than by the common modes, but even through the whole winter season. When green succulent food cannot be procured, it will be judicious to give water. It is found to be beneficial to them to vary their food from time to time, and for a few weeks before calving, they should have every night a little hay, or a somewhat greater allowance of green food.

On the day of calving, they should be kept in; and immediately after, it is useful to give them a handful or two of meal, mixed with luke-warm water. For a fortnight after calving, they should have, with their green food, a little hay, or chopped straw, with some ground or crushed oats. This food ought to be put into their stalls in small quantities at a time, and a little salt given with it improves the quality, and increases the quantity of milk. The land necessary to maintain a cow, may, at an average, be stated from two to three English acres, if there be taken into account, the corn, hay, straw, and every thing else the animal consumes.

One dairy-maid may manage a dozen or fifteen cows, having assistance in the milking of them. Cows should be milked in the house rather than in the field; three times a day, at least, in summer: early in the morning, at noon, and just before nightfall. It is of the utmost consequence, that the whole milk secreted be at each milking drawn away. It may be laid down as a pretty general rule, that eighteen pounds of milk will yield one pound of butter, and that this is the produce of a single cow per day; some, however, will furnish twice or even thrice this quantity. The best age for a milk cow is betwixt four and ten. When old, she will give more milk, but of an inferior quality.


Regular watering, as well as sound food, prevents many diseases; and cattle ought to be carefully kept from smelling carrion, or chewing bones.

The diseases of cattle may be divided into three classes. The first proceeds from feeding too greedily on clover or common grass, particularly in the fall of the year. The remedy usually employed is the probing, a flexible instrument, which being passed into the stomach, the confined air rushes out; when this is not at hand, three small canes, each six feet long, are bound together with waxed packthread, and a smooth ball of wood, about the size of a pigeon’s egg, fixed at the end; in order to pass it down the throat, an assistant must lay hold of the nostrils, and keep out the head as nearly as possible in a line with a throat. The food that is in consequence thrown up, must be removed from the mouth; after which, the animal should be turned out into bare pasture, or get twice a day, for three days, half a pint of mild ale, with one race of ginger grated into it. But in the first stage of the complaint, a table-spoonful of hartshorn, mixed with a pint of train-oil, will generally effect a cure.

The diseases of the second class proceed from derangement of the digestive system, and occur chiefly late in winter or in spring. They are moor-ill, yellows, red-water, flatulent colic, scouring, tail-rot, joint-fallen, &c., for which the following opening medicine is administered: - Mix, for one drench, of common salt four ounces, Barbadoes aloes half an ounce, ginger one drachm, water one quart, and anodyne carminative tincture two ounces, or a glass of gin.

Having administered in the morning the opening medicine for scouring or for tail-rot, the following cordial may be given in the evening: - Take of powdered catechu two drachms, fresh powdered allspice two drachms, fresh-powdered caraways half an ounce, good strong beer or ale half a pint, table-beer or water half a pint; let the ingredients be simmered for a few minutes in the table-beer or water, and let the strong beer be added at the time the drench is given.

The third class depends on repletion of the blood-vessels, and prevails most in summer; the symptoms of fever are, quick breathing, hot horns and ears, &c. The remedies to be employed are copious bleeding, that is, till the animal becomes faint (a young and healthy cow will generally bear the loss of two gallons of blood), opening medicine, and putting the animal on short or bare pasture.

The only application necessary for swollen udder, or swollen joints, is neat’s feet oil, or olive oil; when the swelling is considerable, fomentation, with hot water having a little grease in it, may be of use. The best remedy for sore teats is rubbing them with hog’s lard.

When a cow chokes upon a turnip, pour down its throat salt and water; if that will not do, use a hornful of salt and melted grease, such as hog’s lard, or any kind of common grease; warm oil and salt would probably have the same effect.

When a calf seems indisposed and loose in the bowels, a little powdered chalk may be added to its milk; or boil a large table-spoonful of potato flour in each meal of milk, to bring it to the consistence of middling cream. When costive, the following laxative may be given; and when it scours, the following cordial will be found effectual: -


Of common salt, from half an ounce to one ounce, aloes one drachm, soda one drachm, ginger half a drachm, water half a pint, and gin a table-spoonful, well mixed together.


Caraway seeds, recently powdered, half an ounce, ginger half a drachm, carbonate of soda one drachm, water eight ounces, and brandy or gin one ounce, mixed well.


Should be taken from the cow immediately, and whether to be reared or fatted, are best fed entirely on milk; but if it be scarce, they may get milk-porridge, or turnips boiled to a mash, and mixed with two pints of milk at each meal, which should be given three times a day the first month, twice the second, and once the third. When the calf is to be fed for the table, it should have as much milk, warm from the cow (the last-drawn, to have extremely fine veal), as it will take three times a day. When it is five weeks old, it should be bled, and again a week after; in a few days more, it may be killed. Some persons consider bleeding unnecessary.


In the production of good butter, more depends on management than on the quality of the cow, or the richness of its food. When dairying is conducted on a great scale, the horizontal, commonly called the barrel-churn, is the best; and on a small scale, the patent box-churn will be found most eligible; the vertical, or pump-churn, is well adapted to the operation of making butter from the produce of a few cows only. Milk is not at the best till about four months after the cow has calved; and the degree of heat most favourable to the production of cream from milk, is from 50° to 55° Fahrenheit. In summer, the milk should be allowed to stand half an hour before it be put into the pans, which should not exceed two inches in depth. In winter, it should be set as soon as possible. From the last-drawn half of the milk, if allowed to stand till it tastes perceptibly sourish, cream of a superior quality will be obtained, and its quantity not considerably less than if the whole were set apart for the production of cream. Sweet cream requires four times as much churning as that which has become sour by standing. From twelve to twenty hours in summer, and about twice as long in winter, should be permitted to elapse before the milk is skimmed – after it is put into the pans, during the hot summer months, this should always be done in the morning before the dairy becomes warm. The cream should then be deposited in a jar, placed in the coolest part of the dairy, stirred often, and shifted every morning, into a clean and well-scalded jar, or other vessel. In hot weather, churning should be performed, if possible, every other day, and never less frequently than twice a week. The operation ought to moderate, equable, and uninterrupted. In summer, the churn ought to be chilled with cold water before the cream be put into it; and during the process of churning, it should be immersed in cold water, to the depth of a foot or so, provided a pump-churn be used; to a barrel-churn, wet cloths may be applied. In winter, heat must be cautiously employed. It is better to steep the churn for some time in warm water, than to pour water into it before churning; it may be placed in the warmest part of the house, but not close to the fire.

The cows should not be fed with turnips till after they are milked, otherwise the milk and butter will have an unpleasant taste; late in the season, when the turnips are not so good, this precaution may be sufficient. To counteract the effects of the turnip, or nay other green food, boil two ounces of saltpetre, or the same quantity of cream of tartar, in a quart of water; and, when cold, add a table-spoonful, or more, if necessary, of the liquid, every other day, to the collected cream.


When the butter is sufficiently gathered in the churn, which is known by the largeness of the lumps and the cleanness of the dashers, it is taken out, kneaded in a bowl, or other shallow vessel, to let out the buttermilk, spread thin over the inside of the bowl, and clean cold water poured over it; kneaded, broken, and respread in the water; the water poured off; the butter beaten in large lumps, or handfuls, of three or four pounds, against the sides of the bowl, respread, salted, the salt worked in, rewashed, and rebeaten until the water comes off unsullied, which it will do after two or three washings. It is then broken into pound lumps, rebeaten against the bowl, and printed, or otherwise made up.

There is a finishing operation which is sometimes given in the neighbourhood of London. It is thus preformed: - The bowl or tray being wetted, to prevent the butter from sticking to it, and a cheese-cloth, strainer, or other cloth being washed in clean cold water, and wrung as dry as possible, a pound lump of butter is placed in the bowl, and with a stroke of the hand, proportioned to the stiffness of the butter, is beaten with the cloth; as the pat of butter becomes flat and thin, it is rolled up with the cloth, by a kind of dexterity which can only be acquired by practice, and again beaten flat; the dairy-woman, every three or four strokes, rolling up either one side or the other of the pat, and moving it about in the bowl, to prevent its sticking. As soon as the cloth fills with moisture, which it extracts from the butter, and imbibes in the manner of a spunge, it is wrung, and rewashed in clean cold water. Each pound of butter requires, in cool weather, four or five minutes to be beaten thoroughly, but two minutes are at any time of essential service. Before the dairy-woman begins to take the butter out of the churn, she first scalds, and then plunges immediately into cold water, every vessel and thing which she is about to make use of, in order to prevent the butter from sticking to them. In summer, when the butter is very soft, it is sometimes necessary to rub them, after scalding, with salt, which greatly assists the wood in retaining the moisture. She also puts her own hands into the hottest water she can bear them in, rubs them with salt, and immediately plunges them into cold water. This she repeats as often as she finds the butter stick to them. 

The practice of washing butter in cold water is so general, that is seems unnecessary to describe it; but those who can divest themselves of prejudice, will find, on trial, that the butter may be made better, and perfectly free from milk, by beating and kneading, without pouring any water on it. When formed into pats, it may be put into a dish, and that floated in water till required; or it may be salted in the usual manner.

The best season for curing butter is from the beginning of August until the end of September; but if the pasture be rank, whether through soil, manure, or herbage, it is generally injudicious to put down butter from it.

Care must be taken that the firkin be well seasoned before butter be put into it. The readiest method is by the use of unslaked lime, or a large quantity of salt and water well boiled, with which it should be scrubbed, and afterwards thrown into cold water, to remain three or four days, till wanted; and before receiving the butter, scrubbed and rubbed with salt.


After being worked up with salt, in the proportion of half an ounce to the pound and half of butter, and having lain in pound lumps twenty-four hours, the dairy-woman takes two or three of the lumps, joins them together, and kneads them in the manner in which paste is kneaded. This brings out a considerable quantity of watery brine, which being poured out of the bowl, the butter is beaten with a cloth as before. The jar having been previously boiled, or otherwise thoroughly cleaned, and having stood to be perfectly cool and dry, the butter is thrown into it, and kneaded down, as firm and close as possible, with the knuckles and the cloth alternately; being careful not to have any hollow cell or vacuity for the air to lodge in, more particularly round the outsides, between the butter and the jar; for this purpose, she repeatedly draws her finger round the sides of the jar, pressing the butter hard, and thereby uniting intimately the jar and the butter. It is fortunate when the jar can be filled at one churning; but when this cannot be done conveniently, the top is left level, and when the next churning of butter is to be added, the surface is raised into inequalities, and the two churnings mixed into one mass. The jar being filled to within two or three inches of the top, it is filled up with brine, made by boiling salt and water, in the proportion of a handful to a pint, ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, straining it into a cooling vessel, and when perfectly cold, putting it upon the butter, about one and a half or two inches deep. If a wooden bung be put upon this, a bladder laid over it, and the jar kept in a dry place, the butter thus preserved will remain perfectly sweet for almost any length of time. The jar should be wider at the bottom than at the top, resembling the upright churn, the top of it being sufficiently wide to admit of its being filled conveniently, but not wider.


Mix one part of saltpetre, one of common salt, and two of sugar. This, thoroughly wrought into the butter, will keep it for a very long time, and communicates to it no salt nor disagreeable taste.


Wash the butter thoroughly in cold water, pressing it strongly and frequently with the hands or broad pieces of wood, and changing the water till it comes off clear; then spread it out in thin layers, sprinkle it with salt, in the proportion of one ounce to every three pounds of butter, and work it well. In this manner each churning is prepared, till the quantity required to fill the kit is obtained. Make a pickle of salt and water strong enough to bear an egg, and boil it with two ounces of loaf sugar. Take each making separately, press all the watery brine from it, and work it in a little of the prepared pickle; if it should not come off clear, repeat the washing in fresh pickle. The kit having been well scoured, rubbed with dry salt, and rinsed out with a little of the pickle, pack into it separately each making of butter to within two inches of the top; put some pickle on it, and a clean linen rag; the head of the vessel is then put on, and should always be kept close upon it.


The butter being cleaned from the milk, it is put into jars, and melted on a stove, or in a water bath on the fire; just before it boils, it is put in a cool place to settle, and must never be stirred. When a little stiff, the froth is taken off the top, and the dregs removed; it is then worked up with honey, in the proportion of an ounce to each pound of butter. Preserved in this way, and potted, it will keep as long as salted butter; will be found more suitable for the table when to be eaten with sweetmeats, and, in many respects, better adapted for kitchen use.


Put four pounds of salt butter into a churn with four quarts of new milk, and a little arnatto; churn them together, and in about an hour take out the butter, and treat it exactly as fresh butter, washing it in water, and adding the customary quantity of salt.


In cheese-making, it is of the utmost consequence to have good rennet, which may be obtained from the stomachs of calves, is most commonly used, and the following Scotch method of preparing it seems to be the simplest and best: - When the stomach or bags, usually termed the yirning, in dairy language, is taken from the calf’s body, straw, or any other impurity found in it, ought to be removed from curdled milk, which, with the chyle, must be carefully preserved; a handful of salt is put inside; it is them rolled up, and put into a basin or jar, and a handful of salt strewed over it; after standing closely covered for eight to ten days, it is taken out and tied up in a piece of white paper, and hung up near a fire to dry, like bacon, and will be the better for hanging a year before it is infused. When rennet is wanted, the bag with its contents is cut small, and put into a jar or can, with a handful or two of salt; new whey, or boiled water, cooled to 65°, is put upon it. If the stomach is from a newly-dropped calf, about three pints of liquor may be employed. If the calf has been fed for four or five weeks, which will yield more rennet than that of one twice that age, eight pints or more of liquid may be put to the bag in mash, After the infusion has remained in the jar from one to three days, the liquid is drawn off, and about a pint more of whey or water put on the bag; when it has stood a day or two, it is also drawn off, strained with the first liquid, and bottled for use as rennet. Some people put a dram-glassful of whisky to each quart of choppin of the rennet. Thus prepared, it may be used immediately, or kept for months. One table-spoonful of it will coagulate, in ten or fifteen minutes, thirty gallons, or sixty Scotch pints, of milk, which will yield more than 24 lbs. avoirdupois of cheese. In England, the curdled milk is generally washed from the stomach, and in consequence, the rennet is so much weaker than that made in Scotland, that double the quantity is used, and it requires from one to sometimes three hours to form the milk into curd. The milk ought to be set, that is, the rennet put to it, at 85° or 90° of Fahrenheit, when the heat of the air is at 70°; but as the season gets colder, the heat of the milk should be increased, and covered till it coagulates.

Cheese-racks save labour in turning. The plate-rack, with four or five tier, one above another, seems to be the best form. If the cheeses be of different sizes, it ought to be much narrower at the top than at the bottom; and to preserve the cheeses from vermin, it ought to stand on legs about two feet high, with a broad base board projecting over the legs.


When the milk has been brought in warm from the cow, it is put into the cheese-tub, and the rennet is added to it; the quantity must depend on its strength. As soon as coagulation has taken place, the curd is broken and gathered. A cheese-knife is employed to cut the curd in various directions; and this being allowed to subside for a short time, is again cut by the knife more freely than before, and the operation continued till the whole be reduced to small uniform particles. This business may occupy about the space of twenty minutes, after which the cheese-tub is again covered with a cloth, and allowed to remain nearly the same length of time. When the particles have subsided, the whey is laded off, the curd properly pressed by the bottom of the skimming-dish, the hands, or a semicircular board and weight adapted to the size of the tub. The cheese-knife is now employed, as before, to cut the curd, thereby promoting the free separation off. The curd is then put into two or three separate vessels, and the dairy-woman breaks it with her hands as small as possible. During this part of the process, salt is scattered over the curd, and intimately mixed with it; the proportion is generally regulated by taste – a handful of salt for every six gallons of milk, or about half an ounce to the pound, may be allowed.

Having made choice of a vat, commonly made of elm, with holes in the lower part of it, proportioned to the quantity of curd, a cloth is spread over it, and the curd is put in by little and little, breaking it all the while; and having filled the vat, heaped up, and rounded above its top, the cloth is folded over it, a board of an inch thick is laid on the vat, and the whole put into the press, the power of which ought to be applied gradually, beginning with about half a hundred-weight. When it has been an hour or two in the press, it is taken out, the cheese placed in a vessel of hot whey or water, to stand for an hour or two, to harden the skin. It is then wiped dry, covered with a clean dry cloth, again placed in the vat, which is also wiped dry, and put under the press, to remain for six or eight hours. At this period of the process, if any of the edges happen to project, they are pared off, and the cheese is pricked all over with a small bodkin an inch or two deep. It is them wrapped in a clean dry cloth, and replaced in the vat, twice a day, at least during two days, when it is finally removed, and put into the cheese-rack, or on a dry board, and turned every day for about a week. A small quantity of dry moss may be put under it.

When two meals of milk are used, unless the weather be very hot, a potion of the creamed milk of the first meal, as a half, or third, being placed in a brass pan, over a furnace, or in a vessel of hot water, is made scalding hot. Half of it is then poured into the pan in which the cream of this milk had been placed. The hot milk and cream, being now intimately mixed, are poured into the cheese-tub, and the warm milk added, that had just come in from the cow.

In making cheeses of the inferior kind, as from skimmed milk, where, from its tendency to acidity, there is a risk that it will break or curdle while over the fire, the whole is brought to a proper temperature by the addition of hot water.

The cooler the milk, the more tender and delicate the curd becomes; on the contrary, if the milk be too hot, the curd proves tough and hard. The principal thing in skim-milk cheese operations is cleanliness, which is indeed the life and soul of dairy management. Wooden vessels in which milk has soured, ought to be washed with water into which some potash or lime has been thrown, then filled with water, which should be changed every hour in the course of a day or so, and afterwards scalded and well dried, before milk be again put into them.

The colouring matter, arnatto, adds nothing to the goodness of the cheese, but is perfectly harmless. An ounce of it is sufficient to colour a hundred-weight of cheese. When it is to be used, tie up as much of the substance as is required, in a linen bag, and put it into half a pint of warm water, to stand over night. The whole of this infusion is in the morning mixed with milk in the cheese-tub, and the rag dipped in the milk rubbed on the palm of the hand, as long as any of the colouring matter can be made to come away.


As soon as the cheese has become firm enough to be handled with safety, it may be brushed with a hard brush, frequently dipped in whey, and when nearly dry, rubbed over with a cloth on which fresh butter had been spread; this operation of washing, rubbing, and turning, to be repeated once every day, for some weeks, or till the cheese has acquired a rich golden polish, and the blue coat begins to appear.


Take fifteen gallons of milk, warm from the cow; put twelve pints of sweet cream in a small tub, and pour on it a kettleful of boiling water; stir it till it be well mixed, and then put it into the cheese-tub, with the milk; when it is at 90° Fahrenheit, add the rennet; when it has coagulated, break the curd a little; put a thin cloth over it, and take the whey off through it; when as much has been taken off as will come easily, put the curd into a bag or net, and let it hang till it give over dripping, then cut the curd in pieces, and lay it in as much cold water as will cover it; let it lie an hour, and as the pieces are taken out, strew a little salt upon them, and put them into the vat, first breaking the top a little, to make it join with the next piece; then lay a small weight upon it, so as not to occasion the whey to come off white. It must be turned every three hours the first day, and three times a day for three days, changing the cloth every time it is turned in the vat, and keeping it under a moderate pressure; it is then taken out of the vat, swathed tight till it begin to dry the bandage, which must be changed every twenty-four hours; it ought to be rubbed with a little salt before it is bandaged, and, for a considerable time, wiped and turned every day. The best season for making this cheese is from July to October.


The rennet being added to fifteen gallons of milk, it is allowed to stand an hour, when the whey is taken off slowly, breaking the curd as little as possible; this operation will occupy about the space of an hour and a half; cold water is then poured over the curd, so as to cover it, and when it has stood twenty minutes, the water is drained off, and the curd is broken, and salt added; a pound of newly-churned butter, or a quart of fresh cream, is then rubbed thoroughly into it, and it is put into the vat, and placed under a pressure of about twenty-two ounces; the cloth is changed every six or seven hours for some days, and in five or six days, it may be taken out of the vat.


To fifteen gallons of mid-day milk, add the cream taken from the same quantity of morning milk; put to it the rennet, and when it has coagulated, break the curd very much, and let it stand a little, that the whey may rise to the top; take it completely off, and work into it from six ounces to half a pound of salt, according to its strength. Place the vat or hoop (which should be long and narrow, made open at both ends, and without holes in the sides – thirteen inches by twelve is a good proportion for this quantity of milk) in a wooden milk cooler; pack the curd into it without any cloth under it, and then put on the top a round board made to fit closely into the vat; place a weight of four or five pounds upon it, and next evening shake the cheese carefully from the vat; bind a cloth round it, and change it for a dry one every day, till the cheese become firm and dry in the skin.


Three gallons of new milk, one of hot water, and one pint of cream, are mixed together, and a larger proportion of rennet added than for milk alone; when the curd is come, it is broken a little, and the whey dripped from it; a gallon of cold water is then poured over it, and it is again broken and dripped; the same process being repeated a third time, the curd is put into two quarts of boiling water, and the most of the whey squeezed out; it is then drained, put into the vat, and pressed for three hours; turned, and pressed for three hours more, which is sufficient. No salt nor colouring is necessary.


One pint of cream being mixed with twelve pints of noon-day milk, warm from the cow, a little rennet is added, and when the curd is come, the whey is pressed out gently, so as to break the curd as little as possible; it is then laid in a cloth, and put into a small sieve; the cloth is changed every hour during the day, and in twenty-four hours it will be fit for use.

It may be served on a breakfast plate, with vine leaves under it, and will keep perfectly good only one day.


To six quarts of new milk from the cow, a little hot water and rennet to turn it, are added; when the curd is come, it is cut twice across with a cheese-knife or spoon; then put into a cheese-cloth, and hung up; in half an hour it is again divided with the cheese-knife, hung up, and allowed to remain till night, when it is put into the press; the following day it is taken out, and each side will rubbed with a little salt. It will be fit for use in two days.

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