Images de page
PDF
ePub
[graphic][merged small][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

speaking, deeper than in the other, being reds and little doubt that infusions of foreign blood conrich roans. The Booth cattle are wider, deeper, and tributed to some extent to the building up of the perhaps less pretty. Their shoulders are more laid modern Hereford. In the 17th century cattle had back, their foreribs and flanks deeper and better been imported into Hereford from Flanders by filled. They are more a beef than a milk breed, Lord Scudamore, and in later times there had been with well-packed quarters and thick loins. The introductions of stock from various parts of sires remind one more of a fat Smithfield ox, and England and Wales. The dominant ingredient, they move without that courage and dash so however, is the aboriginal race of the county, and peculiar to the “Duke's" and other highly valued selection in breeding and careful management have strains of the Bates tribes.' But while these are been the principal agencies by which the breed has the two great divisions of the breed, there are a been brought to the high standard it has now great many excellent shorthorns of mixed breeding attained. The modern typical Hereford is red in which do not show any decided leaning either to colour, with white face and white marks in the top the one or the other. The prevailing colour of shorthorns is roan of varying shades, but many are red, and some white. There is a dislike to red and white in distinct spots as a colour, and quite an unreasonable objection to white.

In precocity, production of meat, and general utility, the shortliorn is unsurpassed. Other varieties may excel it in special points for peculiar purposes or in certain limited districts, but for a combination of all the more useful properties of domestic cattle and adaptability to varying conditions of soil and climate, there is no equal to the shorthorn. The facility with which the shorthorn adapts itself to

Fig. 2.-Hereford Bull and Cow. changes of soil, climate, and treatment is quite remarkable, and this combined with the valuable line of the neck, back over the crops, as well as in property which it also possesses in an unequalled the chest and bottom line all the way backwards. degree-suitability for crossing with and improving The white face' is indeed the tribal badge' of other and inferior classes of cattle-has spread the the Hereford, and with their wide and graceful improved shorthorn far and wide, not only in its horns they are singularly handsome in outward own native land, but in countries beyond the seas. appearance. Formerly there were gray-faced or In North and South America, the continent of spotted Herefords; and even yet there is in existEurope, Australia, New Zealand, and other parts, ence a strain of Herefords known as 'smoky-faced the shorthorn has been extensively introduced. In | Montgomeries.' The Herefords are similar in size all these countries, as at home, it has been one of to the shorthorn ; usually broad along the back the most active and effective agents in improving and heavily fleshed, but occasionally light in the the native races of cattle and in increasing the pro. | thighs and deficient in internal fat. Their highest duction of high-class beef. Many breeders of short-property lies in their value as grazing cattle; and horn cattle have cultivated the fattening to the this has led to the extensive employment of detriment of the milking properties. Still, while it Hereford bulls in breeding cattle for the rolling is quite common to meet with a very light milker prairie-ranches of the western states of America. amongst shorthorn cows, there is a large section of They are hardy cattle, with a rank coat of hair the breed which possesses dairying properties of the and thick mellow hide, and they are excellent highest order. Good shorthorn cows give from 700 'foragers '-all points of special importance in to 1000 gallons of milk in twelve months. At the ranche cattle. It is pre-eminently a beef-producLondon Christmas Fat Stock Show in December ing breed ; matures early and yields meat of 1887 the class of shorthorn steers under two years the finest quality. As a rule the cows are deficient old (averaging 672 days) gave an average live. as milkers, for this property has never been weight of 1396 lb.; steers over two and under cultivated as it ought to have been. The average three years of age (averaging 988 days), 1870 lb. ; | live-weight of two-year-old Hereford steers (averag. and steers over three years old (averaging 1321 | ing 634 days) at the London Christmas Fat Stock days), 2116 lb. each.

Show in December 1887 was 1390 lb. ; of steers Hereford cattle display strongly fixed and pecu over and under three years (averaging 938 days ), liarly distinctive characteristics both in outward 1742 lb. ; and of steers over three years (averaging fcatures and general attributes. The improved 1310 days), 2041 lb. There are a few excellent breed traces directly from the stock of cattle herds of Herefords in Ireland, and they have been which were found by the earliest writers on agri. exported in large numbers to foreign countries, cultural topics existing in the county of Here- | notably North and South America, Australia, and ford and adjoining districts—the same aboriginal | New Zealand. variety from which have descended the Devon Devon cattle are deep red in colour, and have and Sussex breeds. The improvement of the frequently a white spot on the belly just in front of Hereford would seem to have been begun by the the udder, with wide round loins, smaller in size Tomkins family far back in the 18th century, and than the two breeds just mentioned. It is noted was taken up in a systematic manner by Benjamin for the almost perfect formation of the shoulder, Tomkins about 1766, and carried on by him with which is laid into the body with remarkable much energy and success until his death in 1815. neatness. The breed has still its headquarters His herd was continued by his daughters till 1819 in Devon and Somerset, where it has held undis. (one year later than the Barmpton sale of short. puted sway for hundreds of years. It won the horns), when it was dispersed by public auction. | admiration of Arthur Young, who gives interesting Twenty-eight breeding animals realised an average information regarding the breed in his report dated of £149 per head; four adult bulls having brought as 1776. Here also there was one 'master mind' at much as £267, 15s, each ; and two bull-calves £181, work on the improvement of the breed, Mr 23. 6d. each. From that time the fortunes of the Quartly of Molland is described by Young as the breed fell into other hands, and never for a moment most celebrated of breeders in North Devon ; and have the Hereford stock-owners wavered in their the greatest of our early writers on agriculture loyalty to their fine old breed of cattle. There is gives a most minute account of the scheme of

[graphic]
[blocks in formation]

breeding which was pursued by Mr Quartly and his usefulness both as beef and milk producers have brother, the clergyman who interests himself won for it many hearty admirers in America. much in live-stock. The ideal animal which the Susser cattle are also uniformly red in colour, Quartlys kept before them and bred up to exactly with strong spreading horns, larger in size than Corresponds to the typical Devon of to-day; and the Derons, heavy meat-producers, but deficient there is no doubt that their sound and systematic in dairying properties. Marshall is probably right method of breeding imprinted an indelible stamp in stating i 1796-98) that the Sussex, Devon, Hereupon the race through which the blood of their | ford, North Wales, and Gloucestershire cattle had stock has freely permeated in former times, when all sprung from the same aboriginal stock; and that cattle were beasts of burden, the Devons were in fact they were varieties arising from soils and greatly esteemed for their agility and hardiness management of the native breeds of this island.' Now that the yoke has fallen upon other shoulders, Formerly Sussex cows were highly esteemed for the 'Rubies of the West,' as the plump little their milking properties, but in the rage for beefDevons have been called by their admirers, are production these have unfortunately been destroyed. holding a high position as beei-producers. The Sussex cattle mature early, grow to great weights, quality of their meat is excelled by none; and and in late years they have been improving in while they are small in size, they give a good quality. They have also found supporters in return for the food they consume. Garrard, writing foreign countries, chiefly in the United States of in 1800, attributed the excellence of Devon cattle America. Young Sussex steers (averaging 659 mainly to the mildness of the climate and high dry days) at the London Christmas Fat Stock Show in ground, calcareous soil, and sweet pasture where 1887 reached an average live-weight of 1436 lb., they were bred; but he considered it might be cho and three-year-old steers (averaging 1349 days), to some extent due to an admixture of finer blood 2030 lb. each. from the still warmer continent of Europe. There 1 Longhorn cattle are now in few hands; so few may have been some slight foundation for this | indeed that the breed may be said to be approachlatter suggestion ; but it is undeniable that the ing extinction. They are big, rough, ungainly main forces and features now existing in Devon cattle, with long drooping horns which are often cattle are distinctively native to the south-west so shaped as to make it ditficult for the animals to of England. This idea is strengthened by the graze short pasture. The cows give a fair quantity recollection of the estimate of Devon cattle formed of very rich milk, and the bullocks grow and fatten by Bakewell, who declared that they could not be to great weights. But for general utility they are improved by any cross. From the first and greatest being ousted by smaller, finer, and more rapidly of all our early improvers of farm live-stock this maturing varieties. Peculiar interest attaches to testimony is weighty. The dairy properties of the this breed from the fact that it was upon it that breed are not of a high order. The yield of milk is the past great improver of farm live-stock, Robert comparatively small, but its quality is exception Bakewell (q.v.) of Dishley, tried his earliest experially rich. Some rare specimens of the breed have ments. The improvement of live-stock upon scienreached 19 cwt. live-weight at four years old, but tific principles dates from 1755, when Bakewell the average is much below that. At the London began his great work with longhorns. These cattle Christmas Fat Stock Show in December 1887 the were at one time widely diffused through England, class of two-year-old Devon steers (averaging 681 and also obtained a footing in Ireland, but were days) gave an average live-weight of 1235 lb. ; many years ago supplanted by shorthorns, Heresteers over two and under three years old (averag. | fords, Devons, or other varieties. ing 996 days), 1489 lb.; and steers over three years Welsh cattle present considerable variety of (averaging 1320 days), 1734 lb. each.

type and character, yet there is all through a The Red Polled cattle of Norfolk and Suffolk noticeable family likeness, arising of course in are supposed to bear a close affinity to the polled their common origin in the aboriginal cattle of the breeds of Scotland through the circumstance that principality. They are black in colour, with long formerly Scotch cattle were freely transported to be horns, hardy in constitution, good milkers, slow in fattened on the Norfolk pastures. Be this as it maturing, but able to subsist and thrive upon may, the red polled breed has been sufficiently scanty fare. In late years they have been conlong associated with Norfolk and Suffolk to enable siderably improved, especially in their fattening these counties to claim them as natives. Marshall properties. They vary greatly in size, but many of in his Political Economy of Norfolk, published them attain great weights at from three to four in 1782, tells us that the native cattle of Norfolk years old. The average live-weight of Welsh steers were 'a small, hardy thriving race, fattening as at the London Christmas Fat Stock Show in 1887 freely at three years old as cattle in general do at was 2111 lb. each, their average having been 1286 four or five. They are small boned, short legged, days. round barrelled, well loined; the favourite colour Amongst the four Scotch breeds of cattle the a blood-red with a white or mottled face.' Arthur Polled Aberdeen Angus is well entitled to preYoung, writing in 1794, says the Suffolk breed of cedence. Descended directly from the ancient cattle ' is universally polled, that is, without horns ; | polled cattle of Angus (Forfarshire) and Buchan the size small ; few rise when fattened to above (in Aberdeenshire)-two varieties of the same type, 50 stone (14 lb.); the milk veins remarkably large; known in the former as Doddies,' and in the latter cows upon good land give a great quantity of rich as “Humlies '--this valuable beef-producing breed milk.' These are the progenitors of the modern has made great strides in public favour since 1878, red polls, and all the good features of the old breed when, with five plump black polls the late Mr have been retained and developed. The cattle William M'Combie (1805-80) of Tillyfour carried are now relatively larger, still blood-red in colour, off the champion prize for the best group of meat. but with no white face, good meat-producers, and, making' cattle at the Paris Exhibition, where no taken as a whole, perhaps the best of all the fewer than sixty different varieties of cattle were native English breeds from a dairying point of represented, including the best of the English view. Individual shorthorn cows will be found to breeds. That remarkable triumph has been fol. exceed them in yield of milk, but red-polled cows lowed by great achievements at home, the breed are distinguished for high average milking pro- having in 1881, 1885, and 1887 won the £100 Cham. perties. The breed has found much favour in the pion Plate at the London Christmas Fat Stock United States of America and elsewhere abroad. | Show. The improvement of the breed was begun Its uniformity of colour, absence of horns, and before the advent of the 19th century, and all

[blocks in formation]

through its breeders have been careful to preserve the south-west of Scotland before the close of the and cultivate its exceptionally high properties in the 18th century. The prevailing colours are brown production of meat of the choicest quality. In this and white, but some are almost entirely white, lies the chief excellence of the breed, and in these others are almost a whole brown. They are wide, times the characteristic is one of great value. This low-set cattle, with fine horns curving upwards, property in the northern polls, combined with the They are second-rate cattle as beef-producers, but sound system of feeding pursued in Scotland, has as profitable general dairy cattle they are unsursecured prime Scotch' beef the highest favour and passed. A fairly good Ayrshire cow will give 600 longest price in the London market. At one time gallons of milk in a year, a very large quantity for

her moderate size.

There is no more handsome animal of the bovine species than a genuine representative of the West Highland breed. Almost as large in size as the shorthorn, and quite as well proportioned in the frame, the West Highlander gains in appearance by his rank shaggy coat of hair, long, spreading, gracefully turned horns, and hardy, muscular, and defiant gait. With the Wild White cattle of Chillingham and the tiny little

Kerry of Ireland, Fig. 3.-Polled Aberdeen-Angus Bull and Cow. the West Highland

is regarded as the the cows of this breed gave a bountiful yield of rich finest existing remilk, but owing to the breeders' attention having so presentative of the long been mainly directed to the cultivation of the ancient cattle of fattening properties, they are now only moderate Britain. The milkers. In recent years the breed has improved | breed presents conconsiderably in early maturity, and at the London siderable variety Fat Stock Show in December 1887 it surpassed all in size and colour. other breeds in this important property. At that Dun or yellow of show the class of polled Aberdeen-Angus steers various shades is Fig. 5.—West Highland Cow. under two years (averaging 667 days in age) gave the prevailing an average live-weight of 1475 lb.; and steers over colour, but many are black or brindled. They two and under three years (averaging 984 days ), mature slowly, but their beef is much esteemed for 1874 lb. Black is the prevailing colour, but occa- its quality and flavour. They are unequalled for sionally a red calf is dropped.

hardiness, and can be kept with advantage wliere The Galloway breed, which takes its name from no other breed would subsist. The cattle of the south-west of Scotland, where it has existed it Orkney and Shetland differ considerably from the is believed for centuries, has an undeniable claim varieties on the mainland, but they are as a rule

to an ancient lineage. Its of an inferior character and small in size.
origin is lost in the mists of The Kerry is the smallest of all the recognised
bygone ages, but enough varieties of British cattle. The breed has its head-
of its history is known to quarters in the bleak hills and upland pastures of
insure for this breed a the county from which it takes its name, and having
high position amongst the been much neglected by Irish farmers, it forms
native races of British only a very small proportion of the cattle stock of
cattle. Black and horn Ireland, which now mainly consists of crosses
less like the polled Aber. between the improved shorthorn and old Irish
deen-Angus breed, Gallo cows,' which were of mixed-bred nondescript
way cattle differ substancharacter. Kerry cattle are very hardy, and the
tially from the former, not attributes of the Kerry cow have thus been truth-

only in outward features, fully described by Youatt: "Truly the poor man's Fig. 4.-Galloway Bull. but also in their inherent cow, living everywhere, hardy, yielding for her

properties. They are size abundance of milk of good quality, and fatten. similar in size, more shaggy and muscular in ing rapidly when required.' Black is the prevail. appearance, having a thicker hide and ranker ing colour, and their horns are upturned and often coat of hair, but they do not mature so quickly, | peculiarly cocked.' There is a sub-variety called and are not so well suited for rapid house-feeding the ‘Dexter Kerry,' shorter in the leg, thicker in as the northern polls. But the Galloways are body, and heavier in the flesh than the Kerry excellent grazing cattle, and for this property proper. they have been highly esteemed for many genera. The extension of dairy-farming in the United tions, both in England and Scotland. In recent Kingdom, and the somewhat meagre milking proyears they have been exported in large numbers to perties of the greater proportion of British cattle, America, where they have been found admirably have led to the importation of large numbers of adapted for ranching purposes. They are exceed. Channel Island cattle. These—often indiscrimin. ingly robust and hardy, and have surpassed several ately called Alderney cattle-comprise the Jersey of the other finer varieties on the ranches of the and Guernsey breeds, supposed to be from one western states of America, where the cattle have common origin, but known to have been bred in to accomplish a great deal of walking in finding purity in the respective islands of these names for food and water.

upwards of a hundred years. They are both essenFrom a dairy-farmer's point of view, the Ayr tially dairy breeds, giving an abundant yield of rich shire is the most valuable of all the British highly-coloured milk. The Jersey is the smaller breeds of cattle. Its origin is uncertain, but it is of the two, and is docile, delicate, and of graceful considered more than probable that its progenitors deer-like form. In the production of beef it is of were of Dutch extraction. Be this as it may, it little value. The Guernsey is not only larger, but was well established as a famous dairy breed in | also hardier and more generally useful. When in

[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
« PrécédentContinuer »