Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/527

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Popular Science Monthly


��Making Hogs Grind Their Own Grain Food

A MACHINE which keeps hogs from squeaHng, teaches them better table or rather trough manners, and actually turns their rooting propensities to account in grinding their own feed, is a product of the inventive genius

���of a Minnesota farm- er. While the inven- tor does not claim that his device will muffle the sounds from a pen absolute- ly he has proved that the "hog motor" is of value in econom- ically feeding hogs and preventing the waste of grain in- evitable with the hand or trough me- thod of feeding ordir.a'^ily employed. The hog motor is similar in appearance to a small water-driven turbine. It con- sists of a reservoir of galvanized iron fitted with a conical weatherproof top into which the grain is poured. The grain drops out at the bottom and is automatically fed into a set of grinding burrs

��attached to a mov- able set of wooden blades, the whole being mounted on delicately adjusted ball bearings. The snout of one pig pushing against the blades is sufficient to set the machine in motion, and as the grain is ground it drops in front of the pig's snout. In endeavoring to eat up the feed the hog gradually pushes the blades around and more grain is dis- pensed. In this way the machine oper- ates continuously, "he speed being

>verned by the agility, appetite and snout activity of the pigs.

From the descrip-

���One pig pushing against the blades ii ^ :: - cient to start the machine grinding the grain

��tion it might be inferred that the hogs require educating to feed themselves with the device, but it is only necessar^^ to sprinkle a few grains of feed in front of the blades and the animals will soon learn how to work it. One of the main features in favor of the device is that it allows the economical feeding of damaged grain which it would not pay to have ground. The inventor claims that a fairer distri- bution of the feed is possible with the motor than without it; for each hog gets only what he works for, and no hog interferes with another.

���Photo by E. Bade

The fight to the death between the strangling fig and the practically defenceless palm tree

��The Strangling Fig — A Terror of the Vegetable Kingdom

PLANTS can be as cruel as animals, judged by merely human standards. Just as there are dastardly and cowardly birds and fishes so are there murderous plants. That, briefly, is the way in which the strangling fig is regarded. The illustration shows this relentless pest strangling a palm tree, around which it is drawing its sinews tighter and tighter. It is not a parasite; it obtains its sustenance through its o'wn roots.

This enables it to grow rapidly, de- stroying its victim inch by inch, until there is no visible sign of the original tree at all. The strangling fig belongs to the same genus as the com- mon fig tree. It grows in the most tropical part of Florida and in portions of the torrid zone.

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