Page images
PDF
EPUB

efforts of Massachusetts farmers to improve their who do not attend, that our discussions are not farm stock, would prove a more profitable un- practical, said he would confine himself to two dertaking.

or three particular points, each of importance, Mr. Knowles, of Eastham, followed, discussing and in which most farmers are immediately inbriefly the subject for the evening-Farm Stock. terested. With regard to oxen, it used be the

Mr. COPELAND, of Lexington, endeavored to habit to keep a good pair of workers until they have the discussion for the evening directed to a were eight or nine years of age, depending upon single point-What are the prominent qualities them to perform the principal team work of the to be sought for in securing an American race of farm, and then make a business of fattening them cattle?-in order to arrive at some definite re- for the market. Having reached this age and sults ; but objection was made to limiting the passed the period when they take on flesh and fat latitude of debate, and the subject of Farm Stock rapidly and naturally, the process is a slow and exwas thrown open to the meeting in all its length pensi' e one, and the profit was found to be small. and breadth.

Now, the farmer selects the finest steers, matches Mr. Knowles, of Eastham, spoke briefly, say, them, feeds liberally, keeping them clean and ing that the experience of farmers had demon- warm, subjects them to the yoke and handles strated that dative stock was infinitely preferable them when young, and by careful and judicious to foreign, not only in cattle, but in horses, sheep management, makes them do the team work of and fowls. Practical farmers, he found, placed the farm while they are growing rapidly, and by their chief confidence in native breeds.

the time they are five or six years old, they have Mr. PROCTOR, of Danvers, followed. He said come nearly to maturity, and without a special he was one of those who believed that we have a stall feeding of two or three months, and when dative stock of cattle, for he considered that slaughtered make tender, juicy and rich beef, whatever was born upon our hills, whether commanding the highest price. It is difficult to originating from foreign stock or not, was enti- make cattle take on fat and flesh rapidly that tled to be called native; but he did not think have passed the natural period of growth and them “infinitely better" than all others. For physical activity. beef cattle, he was satisfied that a cross of the In breeding cattle, he thought there was a Durhams or Dovons was superior to any thing misunderstanding in the minds of some in regard else, yielding more pounds of beef, and growing to the axiom, “like begets like.” If a heifer of faster, larger and fatter. For the yoke, how- any particular breed, say Durham, for instance, ever, nothing can excel our native cattle; he is coupled with a Durham bull, a pure Durham asserted this from his own experience and obser- calf will be the certain result; but let her go the vation for a long series of years. When speaking next year to Devon male, and so year after year of working cattle in connection with English to mixed breeds, and there will be no certainty breeds, it should be borne in mind that in Eng- as to the character of her offspring--she will be land they do not know any such thing as oxen quite as likely to go back to the first type. It is for work; they use horses. With us oxen are asked why our native cattle will not produce used on all kinds of farm work, and, after a few certain characteristics in their progeny. It will, years, are killed for beef, a fact which is quite as surely as a Baldwin apple stock will produce important in considering their value. As for that variety of apples, if the stock taken is pure animals for milk, the Jerseys produce a quality and kept pure. Mr. Brown said he could comof milk which cannot be equalled anywhere; municate to the farmers of the State a plan by but for dairy purposes—whether butter, cheese which they could add to their annual income the or milk--he had yet to learn that any thing sum of two millions of dollars, and he thought better could be got than from a cross of the best they would readily admit that it was a practical hulls with the best cows of the native stock. He

There are in the State 150,000 cows, whose knew of a dairy of native cows in Danvers, average yield of milk for the year does not exceed which yielded as good products as Ex-Governor four quarts per day. Now, from experience and Lincoln's fine blood stock; and another case in observation, he was confident that in two ways which a native cow, five years old, belonging to either by improving the breed, or by taking a widow lady, made 50 pounds of butter in 30 better care of stock, sheltering them and feeding days, besides supplying milk for a family of four them more liberally and systematically with roucs, persons, and in addition another quart per day, &c.—their milk may be increased one quart per divided between two poor families. And this day, which, at four cents per quart, would give with nothing but pasture feed, which he consid- the sum of $2,190,000—an addition to their anered an important circumstance.

nual income which was certainly something of an Mr. Brown, of the New England Farmer, next object. spoke, and alluding to the complaint of those Hon. B. V. FRENCH, of Braintree, gave it as his

one.

opinion that we have no pure Durhams here, as enough, and then vigor or certain qualities may they have in England, Ohio, Kentucky and Illi- be infused by crossing. There is no danger of vinois. Ours are crosses. The treatment of cattle tiation after this fixity of type is attained. To is a very important matter. His man had told counteract the deterioration which supervenes in him that when his cows had been turned out for animals at certain periods, a pure blood cow a couple of hours during the late cold weather, should not be used for crossing, but a good one they gave two quarts less of milk—that is, they whose blood is mixed as much as possible, and an gave only 30 quarts where they gave 32 quarts animal as perfect as the male will be obtained. previously. Cattle should be kept warm, in a The hardiness or other quality of this cow will temperature of 40 degrees. In feeding cattle, be imparted without affecting the blood race. It turnips, which can be raised cheaply, are very is the predominance of one blood over another advantageous, saving a good deal of hay, and which makes a race. If a bull's pedigree goes bringing the animals out in better condition in back only for a short distance even, and he is put the spring. As to the breeds of cattle, he hoped with a mixed cow, a good race will be propathe day would come when the State or some be- gated. nevolent individual would make minute and sys- Col. NEWELL, of Essex, remarked that his extematic experiments, which would point out the perience accorded precisely with the views adrace of cattle best adapted to the peculiar wants vanced by the last two speakers. He avowed his of New England.

disbelief in the notion of a stock of native cattle. Hon. Setu SPRAGUE, of Duxbury, followed. We have none, and the reason is that no one has He remarked that he was not certain that he un- attempted to take so-called native cattle and bring derstood any thing about the subject; still, he out their peculiarities. Col. Jaques used a forhad his opinion in regard to the matter, founded eign bull in attempting to get up a native stock. upon the results which eminent herdsmen had

Mr. SPRAGUE said he would admit that a breed attained in other countries. He believed that the of native cattle of a certain type might be raised, laws which govern the reproduction of animals, but it would be a matter of much difficulty and were as fixed and determinate as those which expense. Suppose a couple of cattle are taken, control plants, or other natural productions, and as nearly what is desired as possible, and in a are as capable of actual experiments as chemistry year or two the head will be found too large, the or any other science. The breeding of cattle body too short or too long, or some other defect commenced in England seventy-five years ago, apperir, and it will be necessary to begin anew. upon certain rules, and the fact has there been The task would require a man peculiarly fitted established that any kind of cattle desired can be for it by education, judgment and experience, raised, and with a certain result. Can a pair of and would be the work of twenty or thirty years. cattle be obtained in New England which will

Mr. Fay remarked that the work of rearing a produce offspring exactly like themselves ? Col. new race should be commenced not with one cow Jacques said he would breed cattle to order of and one bull, but with herds, and those young any form or color. If we take good bred stock, cattle. After obtaining the race best adapted to we may be certain of the progeny; but with our New England, with its small farms—which would native stock good offspring are the exception, and be one combining in the highest degree milk, beef peor prove the rule. They are the result of a and work-offshoots would appear which would mixing of two hundred years, without regard to excel for milk, for beef and for work, separately, the laws which make like produce like, and we and we should thus get far better cows than we cannot expect to produce from this mixed blood now have. In Switzerland, where miich cows an animal of any certain size, form, color or are most prized, the bull's pedigree is closely scruquality. The English herdsmen have raised their tinized, to see if his mother was distinguished for noble stocks by breeding for fifty years without her milking qualities, as it is the bull which decrossing. If you put a Devon bull to any kind termines the character of the offspring. of mixed cow, the Devon blood will predominate. Mr. BUCKMINSTER of Framingham, said the

Mr. Fay, of Lynn, commended the views of yield of butter in this commonwealth might be Mr. Sprague. He believed that a race of cattle increased from five pounds to ten pounds per cow could be obtained from native stock equal to any per week, because we can have a race which will in the world. It has been demonstrated that we give it. He also offered some very interesting rehave as good milch, working and beef cattle as marks in regard to "native" and foreign cattle, existed, and having all these qualities, a good which our limits will not permit us to sketch. breed can be obtained in twenty or thirty years. Pertinent remarks were also made by Messrs. It must be done by breeding in-and-in, until a Howard, of the Cultiaator, MERRIAM, of Tewks fixity of type is obtained ; when the male produ- bury, and Emerson, of Boston, but we have not ces a fixed type, the process has been carried far room for them.

[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »