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especially among those who have become suddenly rich-of course a state of extreme poverty, when honestly relieved, approximates to enjoyment being an equivalent of money, as the man relieved from illness and pain regards his condition as happy indeed.
Thousands of years ago it was written : “Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches ; feed me with food convenient for me.
.” The lapse of ages, and all the generations of men who since then have lived and died, have not impaired the wisdom of those words, as true to-day in their application to humanity as upon the day they were uttered, however much false ideas and dazzling illusions, the mirages of life over its heated field, abuse and deceive the mental vision! Those who most understandingly and sincerely appreciate these great truths are adapted to a country home, so far at least as sentiment is concerned.
THE AYRSHIRE BREED OF CATTLE.
J. D. W. FRENCH,
THE AYRSHIRE RECORD ;" SECRETARY AYRSHIRE BREEDERS' ASSOCIATION,
NORTH ANDOVER, MASS.
The County of Ayr, Scotland, is divided into three separate districts--Carrick, Kyle and Cunningham. In the last named the greatest improvements in the Ayrshire breed are said to have taken place.
Previous to 1780 the cattle in Ayrshire are generally admitted to have been an unshapely and inferior breed. Since that date a great improvement has been apparent, so that at the present time, for vigor of constitution and general adaptation for the dairy, they stand at the head of all British breeds.
The climate of Ayrshire is generally humid, and the surface of the country is diversified with knolls, hills and dense woodlands. In 1867 only 315,000 acres, less than onehalf of the area of the county was cultivated, and about one-third of the remainder was reckoned as good grazing ground, and even that often gave scanty feed to the cattle. As to the origin of the Ayrshire breed, we are somewhat in the dark; but from the best authorities we gather that the first decided improvements began to appear soon after the introduction of some foreign breed. Whether the Teeswater the Dutch, or the Alderney, had the chief part in this improvement, is still a matter of uncertainty.
The Ayrshire breed is pre-eminently adapted to many parts of our own country, for the reason that it has been bred in a country very similar to many sections of our own in climate, soil, and its natural features ; for all these have a marked influence on the organization and structure of an animal.
“It is highly necessary to take into consideration the class of animals that will suit the farm, it being much better to get them of a size rather under than over the capabilities of the soil, as in that case improvement will begin at once, whereas if the opposite has been the case the stock will recede.”
There need be no fear that a cow raised on the hills will recede when moved to the lowlands. With improved feed would come better results ; but the opposite policy might be disastrous.
BEEF QUALITIES. Although not a beef breed, the Ayrshires will make as good if not better beef than any other dairy breed, and will put on flesh more easily. Youatt says that " they unite, perhaps, to a greater degree than any other, the supposed incompatible properties of yielding a great deal of milk and beef ;” that “they will feed kindly and profitably, and that their meat will be good ;” that “ they will fatten on farms and in districts where others could not be made to thrive at all, unless partly or principally supported by artificial food.” Gilbert Murray, in “ The Cattle of Great Britain,” published in 1875, writes : “The most desirable quality of dairy cows of any breed is that they should yield a large quantity of milk in proportion to the food consumed ; and that when dry they should feed quickly. The pure bred Ayrshire certainly excels all
others in the former, and, as to the latter, she is in no way inferior to many of the best-established breed inhabiting these islands.” Some of the actual weights of Ayrshires butchered in this country are given below :
“Ada” (cow), dressed meat, 882 lbs.; tallow, 111 lbs.; hide, 70 lbs.
50 “ Julia Douglas,”
62 “ Fitz James " (bull),
125 “ Andover"
61 “Edmund Burke” (bull), dressed weight, 1,100 lbs. “Birnie" (bull), live weight, 1,800 lbs.
DAIRY QUALITIES. The real merits of a dairy breed are not to be judged by the exceptional cases of extraordinary yields, which are generally so well advertised, but by the average yields of different herds. The true criterion is not what one cow will do, but what will all the cows of a herd do. This is the test which will show whether a breed or herd is profitable or unprofitable to keep. Again, the true test of an individual is her yield for a year, not for three or six months only. Another important factor in estimating the value of a dairy cow is the amount and value of food consumed in proportion to yield of milk. Twelve Ayrshires of Mr. A. Libby of Maine averaged in one year 7,582 lbs. Their feed was 2 quarts shorts, 1 quart Indian meal, ya bushel roots, and hay, in Winter; in Summer, pasturage, with fodder corn in season. The Oneida Community's herd of 37 cows averaged for one year 5,498 lbs., or 2,557 quarts.
The average yield of the herd of C. M. Winslow, Brandon, Vermont, 13 head (cows and heifers), was last year (1880) 5,679 lbs., or 2,641 quarts.
The yield of the Waushakum Farm Ayrshires for a series of ten years is as below : 1871, 2,334 quarts ; 1872, 2,812 quarts ; 1873, 2,528 quarts ; 1874, 2,633 quarts ; 1875, 1,901 quarts ; 1876, 2,326 quarts ; 1877, 2,466 quarts ; 1878, 2,160 quarts ; 1879, 1,903 quarts ; 1880, 2,362 quarts. Average for 10 years, 2,3424, quarts.
The yield of the “Cherry Brook” Ayrshires, Weston, Mass., for 6 years is as follows: 1875, 2,941 quarts ; 1876, 2,661 quarts ; 1877, 2,422 quarts ; 1878, 2,678 quarts ; 1879, 2,633 quarts ; 1880, 2,691 quarts. Average for 6 years, 2,671 quarts.
The New Jersey Agricultural College reports the following yield for 3 years : 1871, 7 cows, 3,130 quarts; 1872, 6 cows, 3,258 quarts ; 1873, 5 cows, 2,651 quarts.
The following yields are credited to the herd of A. M. Cornell for the year 1875. Phæmie, 8,538 lbs.; Pawkie, 7,961 lbs.; Moss Rose, 7,683 lbs.; Lucky Lass, 5,549 lbs.
The Maplewood herd, Fitchburg, Mass., for 5 years averaged 2,642 quarts per cow.
Cochichewick Farm, North Andover, Mass., yield for 7 years : 1874, 3 cows averaged 6,934 lbs. of milk ; 1875, 11 cows averaged 6,218 lbs. of milk ; 1876, 11 cows averaged 5,310 lbs. of milk; 1877, 12 cows averaged 5,343 lbs. of milk ; 1878, 10 cows averaged 5,316 lbs. of milk ; 1879, 13 cows averaged 5,222 lbs. of milk ; 1880, 13 cows averaged 5,720 lbs. of milk. Average for 7 years, per head, 5,723.28 lbs., or 2,662 quarts.
The record closes each year January 1st, so that the actual number of days a cow is in milk is not given, but only the number of days in milk during the current year.
The feed has been very moderate, the chief object being to keep the animals in good breeding condition rather than to force them to make a large milk record. In Summer the feed has been pasturage, sometimes, in addition, fodder corn or grass, and a part of the last season, on account of drought, two quarts of shorts. In Winter the daily ration is hay, eight to ten quarts roots (mangolds), and two quarts grain. The milk is weighed daily.
The Royal Agricultural Society's Journal of 1868 gives the record of an Ayrshire cow producing, besides supplying the family with milk and cream, 269, 2824, and 27442 lbs. of butter for three successive years. Another cow under the same circumstances yielded 39942 lbs. in ten months. Cows have been known in this country to produce 10 lbs. per week.
A communication to the Country Gentleman from Crary's Mills, New York, gives the yield in butter of 23 Ayrshire cows for one year, which amounted to 6,323 lbs., or 274.91 lbs. per cow. During the Winter the cows were fed on hay, corn-stalks and green oats (probably cut hay is meant), and a small feed of bran and corn meal mixed, and after calving about one peck of beets to each. In Scotland nine to twelve quarts of milk is estimated to one pound of butter, and in cheese 500 to 600 lbs. is an average yield for a cow.
The Ayrshire is pre-eminently the farmer's cow; she quickly responds to good treatment, and under less favorable circumstances does surprisingly well.
There is no dairy breed that, with an equal amount of roughing under bad treatment or poor food, can surpass her yield or condition.
Although many additional facts might be stated in advocating the claims of the Ayrshire cow to the attention of farmers and dairymen, the space already occupied warns me to forbear.
In conclusion I take pleasure in quoting from an essay published in 1880, on “The Milk Pail and the Cows that Fill It, by Prof. J. P. Sheldon, author of “ Dairy Farming,” who says of the Ayrshires : “They are wonderful milkers, doing well in milk where most other breeds would hardly live-more completely than most, if not all other breeds, they possess the property of converting into milk the elements of food. They are hardy enough to stand severe climates, while they have the faculty of quickly adapting themselves to altered conditions. A careful examination of the milk of different families of Ayrshires would seem to indicate that the breed might be. divided into two classes—the one for butter and the other for cheese. The milk of one of these types has butter globules scarcely inferior to those of Jersey milk, though they vary much more in size, while the globules in the milk of the other are much smaller and more numerous; the former represents the butter and the latter the cheese type of Ayrshire cows."
He then proceeds to classify them in the order of merit for the dairy under different heads :
For Milk the Ayrshire is placed first.
Cheese < Butter
fifth. " Milk and Beef
In classing for butter only, he disregards the mere quantity of milk, and considers the yield of butter in connection with size of cow, which may partially account for the Ayrshires not taking a higher and perhaps deserved rank.
The Ayrshire breed, however, has the highest average excellence for all classes. No other breed stands at the head in two classes.
The Committee appointed by the General Meeting of the Ayrshire Agricultural Association (Scotland), May, 1853, “ to fix the points in Ayrshire cattle which shall be held of most importance as indicating superior quality,” after careful inquiry and consideration report the following points which should, in their opinion, be attended to:
Head-Short; forehead wide; nose fine between muzzle and eyes; muzzle moder
.ately large; eyes full and lively; horns wide set on, inclining upwards, curving slightly inward.
Neck-Long and straight from head to the top of the shoulder; free from loose skin on the under side, fine at its junction with the head, and the muscles symmetrically enlarging towards the shoulders.
Shoulders—Thin at the top; brisket light; the whole forequarters thin in front and gradually increasing in depth and width backwards.
Back-Short and straight; spine well defined, especially at shoulders; the short ribs arched, the body deep at flanks and the milk veins well developed.
Pelvis-Long, broad and straight; hook bones (ilium) wide apart and not much overlaid with fat; thighs deep and broad; tail long and slender, and set on level with the back.
Milk Vessels-Capacious and extending well forward ; binder part broad and firmly attached to the body; the sole or under surface nearly level ; the teats from 2 to 272 inches in length, equal in thickness, and hanging perpendicularly—their distance apart at the sides should be equal to about one-third length of the vessel, and across to about one-half of the breadth.
Legs-Short; the bones fine and the joints firm.
J. D. W. FRENCH.