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kinds. One large breeder insists that they are destined to prevail all over the country, and consequently, must prevail in Ohio. The handsome and somewhat small Devon have still a claim, and are looked upon as the better breed, and for all practical purposes claim a standing among those of any other class. Then comes the Shorthorn, by many called the "Noble Shorthorn." Some breeders and admirers of the race claim that for dairying purposes this breed is best adapted, others, equally interested, insist that their place is for beef. Among the latter are some of our large exhibiters at the fairs. If such do not say it, their cattle speak for them.
With each of these breeds having so many advocates, we may find it difficult to narrow down to one, two, or even three of them. It is not my intention to advocate a breed merely for a few to pet, but such breed or breeds, with their grades, that are best adapted for the general farmer of Ohio. The bulk of the cattle in our State are not, and probably never will be, "thoroughbreds." I will first endeavor to show which of the above named breeds are not adapted for the general farmer of Ohio. The Alderneys, now fashionably called Jerseys, etc., are evidently not the kind for Ohio farmers. Their service is in the paddock and parks of the rich, or, it may be, for a city family cow. Their cream and butter cannot be surpassed. The mi k, when skimmed, is very inferior, and when the cow has run her course in the dairy she will not pay to fatten. The surplus bull calves will not pay either for veal or to castrate for steers. The Galloways are good for beef, and the bulls might answer to reduce the horns of the Texas cattle. They would not only do this, but would improve them in many essential points. These, with other Scotch breeds, the West Highlander, Angus or Aberdeen, and others, are not surpassed or equaled by any breed for their rich quality of fine, marbled beef. But these being slow in their growth and maturity, and also lacking the milking qualities, are not the breeds for Ohio. The Hereford is a hardy, useful animal, and this breed, where beef alone is the object, might answer. They will fatten easily on good pastures, and compare with or surpass almost any kind to be sold direct from the pastures; but for winter feeding they are not so well adapted as the Shorthorn. But with all their excellent qualities as beef-makers, being poor milkers, they are not adapted for Ohio, as may be easily seen by their slow spreading. Notwithstanding their attentive and energetic advocates, who have done their best to push them along for more than a quarter of a century, they have not got a foothold, to any extent, in the State, south of the Reserve," and but very few of the breed outside of Lorain county. The Holsteins are deep milkers-have the character, when well fed, of keeping up a good flow of milk all through the season. Many claim that their aptitude to fatten is equal to the Shorthorn's, and that the steers are as profitable beef-makers as any breed. It is very evident that many animals of this breed are too bony ever to farnish so nice a quality of beef as the Shorthorn. The cross of the bulls on to the common cows does not compare favorably with that of the Shorthorn. Unless it can be proved that their excellence supercedes that of the Shorthorn, and sufficiently so to make them more profitable for all purposes, or even as milkers, it would be unwise to take this as the best, or one of the best, breeds for Ohio.
There may be sections of Ohio, where the land is high and rolling, with not over rich pastures. And there certainly is much comparatively wild land, low and wet, and with inferior herbage, and also but partially cleared land, where it would not be profitable to put on large, heavy cattle, that need full feed, so that they may have sufficient time to rest. In these cases it may be that the Devon breed, being active and small, is well adapted for hilly land and where pastures are short, so that the cattle have to roam wide to get their fill. The cows are not extra milkers, but the milk is rich, and the
quality of butter good. The steers, when well fatted, make a carcass of prime beef. This breed may be more profitable on these hilly and thin pastures, if beef is the object; then on the low, rough land, with inferior grass, where milk is the object. The Ayrshires are well adapted, especially if the milk to be made into cheese. The breed is hardy and active, better calculated to travel after their feed than the heavy Shorthorn. The heifers will breed at an early age, and they are as a class true milkers, being but few that will not supply a large quantity, and keep it up for a long season. If more than one breed is desirable, the Devons and Ayrshires, for the purposes above named, may be best for such portions of Ohio, where the land is hilly and thin, and in partially cleared sections.
We come now to the Shorthorn. This class of cattle has been successful for generations as pre-eminently meritorious as milkers, as well as for beef. They have succeeded in northern countries as well as in the southern, and here in the States they have a strong foothold all the way from New England to the rich pastures of the far West, and here in Ohio they have been successful in adding immensely to the wealth of the State. This breed has so thoroughly established itself in the State that it seems almost a waste of time to present its claims for the consideration of the majority of Ohio farmers. There may be those who have not adopted the use of this breed, because they do not believe in discarding or in improving their scrubs, which were good enough for their forefathers, and just as good for them. This discussion should be for the benefit of this class of farmers. There is still another class of men prejudiced against Shorthorns, not being prepared with a very good reason. Their chief reason, if one at all, is that Mr. So-and-so and So-and-so will not have them; the Herefords and Jerseys are better. The parties referred to are evidently interested in these breeds, and have used every influence to prejudice these people. The only plan I know of respecting this class of men is, they being so closely "joined to their idols"-let them alone.
I will endeavor to show wherein this breed of Shorthorns, with its grades, is the best for Ohio. Here let me say that I am not prejudiced against nor in favor of any particu lar family. These divisions having been made by parties for their special gratification, and these men have been building up this and the other family till many of them claim that these peculiar pet strains are the only true and model Shorthorn. We are well aware that many of our best animals are in these selected strains, but we now wish to advocate the merits of the Shorthorn as a class, and our motto is, and ever has been, to look upon those as the best that combine the most of those points which go to make up an animal of the greatest excellence, whether they belong to the descendants of a Bates, a Booth, or to those (despised by many) of the Kentucky importation of 1817.
First-The broad and deep chest, moderately thick and mellow skin, with an abundance of soft fine hair, show them to be animals of undeniable constitution, which is the first and essential point to be considered when selecting this or any other kind of live farm stock. Perhaps, as a class, no other race of cattle are superior or equal in this good quality, which is so essential for a robust, vigorous, and healthy growth.
Second-Early maturity is another eminently good quality in their favor. By liberal feeding, the heifers make sufficient growth that they can be bred to bring a calf at two years and three months old, and the steers may be put into market at thirty to thirtythree months old, giving a carcass of fine rich beef, not to be excelled or equaled by any other breed at this early age.
Third-Another characteristic is, that when not pampered and held back for show purposes, the cows are regular breeders. Unless by continued in-and-in breeding, as in the Duchess tribe, such families may be more uncertain.
Fourth-The milking properties are very prominent. In their native country, they have stood at the head for generations, and still hold the position in most, if not in all, of the large city dairies. They give an abundant mess at every milking, and continue the supply for ni or ten months, or within a few weeks of calving. If they are superceded by the Alderney for yellow cream and butter, they are not for quantity, nor for richness when feeding on good luxuriant herbage. The butter made from the milk of the Shorthorn cows can not be surpassed in excllence when on equal feed. There have been instances of large amounts of butter per day; but in many trials there have been individual cows that would produce over two pounds per day, and this is not uncommon. And but few.cows of any breed have yielded so large amount of butter during the year as cows of this breed. Experience has made it clear that this excellent trait is not confined to any one of the so-called families or strains. We ofteu hear the term used, "Milking Shorthorns." Why? In their early days the whole race were looked upon as milkers, their fattening qualities being secondary. But when the early breeders became sufficiently interested in the breeding of this class, and gave strict attention to the business of coupling the animals so as to retain the milking qualities and increase their aptitude to fatten, then it was soon made clear that this was the most desirable of all breeds for both purposes. The aim of the early breeders being to produce a useful animal-an animal to meet the demand for beef, butter, and cheese-they required of these animals, rather than pedigree, milk, beef, moderately thick and soft skin, covered with dense fine hair.
Fifth-The pure Shorthorn is also best for beef. At an early age they wiil produce a very level carcass of fine marbled beef, though some men claim that this is not "number one" quality. Here let us look at the fact: that there are but few, very few, pure Shorthorn steers put into market-the demand being so great for bulls that it does not pay to castrate and turn them into beef. Take the London market, for instance. The quotations there are, and have been for many years, highest for "Scots," Shorthorns being quoted lower. Many of us know that the quotation takes in all grades of this breed, and the number of bullocks of the class, from the lowest grade up to thoroughbred, is simply "legion;" when, on the other hand, the Scotch cattle are represented by the best calves made into steers, and spayed heifers. Herefords, likewise, in that market, are represented by the very best, there not being the demand for bull calves. For all practical purposes, the well-bred Shorthorn can not be excelled, and the breeders have the satisfaction to know that this beef is backed up by cows being at the head of all the horned tribe for other useful purposes. During the short time of excitement over the fashionable pedigrees and exorbitant prices, which made so many crazy, the general farmer has looked shy at the breed, and if he had anticipated making purchases, he became disheartened, and by the continual clamor through the "press" of this and that family realizing those high prices, he concluded that others were inferior, and not being able to purchase the fashionable ones, would not invest in the general run of useful Shorthorns. The days of high prices soon run their course, so that now prices have become quite reasonable, and the general farmers of Ohio see clearly that a pedigree without individual excellence is worthless. We are glad to be able to say that a large majority of Ohio breeders were not worked up by those fancy and ruinous prices; consequently, Ohio has been steadily filling up with this desirable breed, which, with their grades, I claim is the best breed for the larger portion of Ohio.
Sixth-No other breed will cross so well on all kind of common cows. The Shorthorn bull leaves the stamp, to a great degree, every time, so that the first cross is often equal to the second in other breeds. We do not wish to be understood that the stamp of color
merely is given, but, in a great measure, the shape and general characteristics of the breed. Most breeds will give the color, and yet lack to make the desired improvements. The Hereford, for instance, is almost sure to give the white face, but does not make a good cross. By using nothing but thoroughbred bulls on the common or grade cows, a class of animals are raised that are suitable and remunerative alike, in a good degree, for the farmers of Ohio. The cows of high grades are nearly equal, and, in many cases, for milk quite so, to the pure blood. They are abundant milkers and easy feeders; and if not quite so fine in quality when fatted, will give a good serviceable carcass of beef. The steers and surplus heifers from these cows are readily fatted at an early age, and the beef will realize more than the average price.
We cannot put these grades on a footing with the pure Shorthorns, but we will venture to say that as a part of the pure they are, under the circumstances, the kind for the general farmer of Ohio, for the reason that all are not able to procure the thoroughbred. It is a great mistake, and to be lamented, that the grade bulls should be bred to cows having one or more crosses. It is more profitable to purchase a thoroughbred calf, which can be had for the price of a good fat steer. When we class these grades with the class of pure Shorthorns as the best for Ohio, let it be understood that these grades should be bred up nearer in every generation, and thus making them for all practical purposes a very desirable class of cattle, adapted for the rich pastures of our State, whether as cows for dairying purposes, and raising calves to be grazed along for beef, or as steers, capable of making a profitable carcass of rich beef at an early age.
Many will agree with me when I affirm that no cattle ever brought into Ohio combine so many desirable and strictly useful qualities as the Shorthorns and their grades. One great error with many of our Ohio farmers is that they expect more of this breed than they have any right to hope for. To think that these cattle will thrive where many others would starve is unwise and unreasonable; such parties should not purchase them if they expect them to succeed when left to shift for themselves during the inclement weather, or to expect them to thrive on scanty pastures, or with a short supply of winter food. The cattle to be abused in this way and put to such disadvantage, we would not consider them the best for Ohio. No grazier or farmer has a right to expect any breed to be profitable when neglected and abused in this way, and certainly such men never ought to own a live farm animal. Every animal should have an abundance of good, wholesome food, as they have a capacity to lay it away quite profitably to all who employ them, as a means of turning the farm products either into a large quantity of rich milk, to be made into butter or cheese, or into a large carcass of rich beef, which in either case will realize the highest market price.
I have said that the Devons and Ayrshires, under some circumstances, for some portion of the State may be best, but for the many good and useful qualities which have been named, and for their adaptability for the varying climate of the State, I claim that the Shorthorns, with their grades, is the best breed of cattle for Ohio.
The topic, "Does Farming Pay as well as the Learned Professions in Ohio?" being next in order, was passed.
A paper by E. J. Hiatt, on the question, "Does Fine Sheep Breeding Pay in Ohio?" was read by M. J. Lawrence, as follows:
GENTLEMEN: Sheep husbandry is of ancient origin. The production of wool and mutton has been a favorite and necessary pursuit of man for many centuries. We oall attention to the antiquity of this pursuit only for the purpose of showing that it is not
a new and untried branch of agriculture. The subject on which your Secretary has invited me to write is, "Does fine sheep breeding pay in Ohio?" Our remarks will be brief, and only embrace some of the leading features of this important subject. In this climate there can be no question as to the economy and comfort in the abundant use of both wool and mutton; these products may be styled as luxuries and also as necessaries of life. The question that most interests the members of this Convention, who are representative farmers from all parts of the State, is, does it pay as well to grow Merino wool and mutton in Ohio as to engage in other branches of agriculture? The first thought should be, is our soil and climate adapted to their growth? The history of more than half a century will answer in the affirmative, where this class of sheep have been and are being profitably grown, and are also being improved in both carcass and fleece, so as to make them more perfect, therefore making them profitable as wool and mutton producers. he question very naturally arises, what does it cost to keep a sheep one year? This will be found to vary considerably in different parts of the State; the estimate herein given is for pasture and feed remote from city market: One hundred sheep purchased at $4.00 per head; the interest on this sum at 7 per cent., $28.00; pasture for seven months, from May 1st to December 1st, at 10 cents per month, $70.00; grain feed for five months, 1 bushels per head, to consist of one-half corn, the remainder to be equal parts oats and bran, or their equivalent in some other ground feed, this mixed feed to cost 40 cents per bushel, $60.00; hay at $5.00 per ton, 3 pounds per head daily, $112.50; cost of shearing and tying wool, $10.00; one year's supply of salt, $1.50. The total outlay for one year is $282.00. We estimate this flock when purchased to consist of forty breeding ewes, twenty lambs (or tegs), twenty yearlings, and twenty two-yearolds; the last sixty are half wethers. The produce of the flock will be thirty-eight lambs; this allows a loss of five per cent. of the lambs. The flock will produce seven hundred pounds of wool, washed in the usual way; this at 36 cents per pound brings $252.00. In this connection it may not be out of place to furnish evidence in reference to the price of wool. The following prices were furnished by Geoige Livermore and George W. Bond, of Boston: From 1827 to 1876, both years inclusive, a period of fifty years, the average price of fine Merino wool in the Boston market has been 53 cents, of medium, including half-blood Merino, 47 cents, and of coarse, 40 cents.
Thirty-six cents, the price at which the wool of this flock is estimated, is eleven cents below the average price of medium wool in Boston during the fifty years above referred to. It need not cost to exceed four cents per pound to place the wool in market, this to include freight, drayage, insurance, etc.
At the expiration of the year, five per cent. of the whole number should be deducted for losses by disease, etc. This will leave ninety-five of the original purchase. Add the thirty-eight tegs, and the flock will number one hundred and thirty-three, which will admit of selling thirty-three wethers and ewes for mutton, at $4 per head, $132. Add this sum to the money received for wool, and we have an income of $384. Deduct from this the $282 of outlay, and it leaves a profit of $102, and the flock kept up to its full number.
This calculation is on a flock of good high-grade merinos, the grown ewes to weigh one hundred pounds each. The supply of hay will be a little more than can be used in the five months, but this surplus can be fed during the seven months of pasturing, on rainy and very hot days. Twenty-five or even fifty pounds of good hay per head can be profitably consumed in the sheds at such times. The manure is to pay for the labor in caring for the sheep. The necessity and value of manure on the farm is yearly becoming better understood and acknowledged.