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Annual report of the secretary of the Maine Board of Agriculture, Issue 11 online

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is said to detract twenty per cent, from the worth of a beast. As
to form, the true Galloways are broad in the shoulders, long and
round bodied, yet deep, straight, and broad on the back, with a
thick, shag^ coat ; the legs of middling length, with large feet."

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Tho " British Husbandry," vol. 8, ander the head of Reports of
Select Farms, gives a report on the"Netherby Farm/' in the
coonty of Cumberland, a hilly and mountainous district. The re-
port, which was drawn up by the superintendent of the farm, states
that the Oalloways are the cattle preferred there, after repeated
trials with several other breeds, including the best improved short-
horns, **ofthe stock of Messrs, Golhngs, and other celebrated breed-
ers,'^ Of the Galloways it is said : " They possess many
advantages, as they can at any time be brought to market. Their
hardy and very healUiy habits fit them well for the climate and soil
of Cumberland ; and althpugh tfib cross with the short^horn does
produce a good beast, no good breeder would choose to continue
his stock from these crosses.''

Mr. Stephenson Scott, formerly of Washington, D. C, a gentle*
man distinguished for his knowledge of stock, and author of a
series of very interesting letters published several years since in
" Skinner's American Farmer," with the signature of "Albion,"
has spoken highly of the Galloway cattle in a communication
headed " Provisions for Exportation," published in the Report of
the Commissioner of Patents for 1844. Mr. Scott had been, in
England, a breeder of Herefords, to which he gives the preference
over any of the English breeds, as beef cattle, but in concluding his
article, he observes : " I am inclined to think that some of the
Scotch cattle are better calculated for our country than any of the
large English breeds, and particularly the best polled Galloway
cattle. They, like their countrymen, are hardy and thrive almost
everywhere ; and these cattle are large enough for all purposes
and pastures."

The London " Farmer's Magazine," in an article describing the
show of the Highland Agricultural Society at Dumfries, in 1860,
says : " The Galloways, as a distinct race, are by far the oldest breed
of stock in the United Kingdom, tracing back, pure and unalloyed,
even so far, it is afiSrmed, as the commencement of the seventeenth
century. They look, too, just the animals for a rough, bleak dis-
trict ; long, low, and active, with rough, black and tan coats, and
plenty of thick, curly hair. The bulls have somewhat bullet ' nig-
ger' heads, with every sign of vigorous constitution, and thorough
capability to cope with the climate. But the Galloways die well
for the butcher, and many of those exhibited at Dumfries had fed
and furnished as even as could be. The symmetry of outline was,
in many animals, very perfect, and whether they have been trn-

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pr(yoed up to their present fsrmi or have only kept to it, there is no
kind of beast the Highland Society should be more carefnl in en-
couraging. Not, however, that the necessity for any such official
countenance is very imperative ; the farmers of the distnct have
been very true to them, and ' the sign ' they made on Wednesday
showed how much good stock they must have to fall back upon."

The flesh of the Galloways is of very fine quality, and commands
a higher price per pound in the markets of England and Scotland
than that of any other breed, except the West Highlanders and
the cattle of the Shetland islands. From the cylindrical form of
the carcass, the " Galloway rib" is well known in the London
market. Culley, to whom reference has previously been made,
remarks of the Galloways : " Few or no cattle sell so high in
Smithfield (London) market, being such nice cutters up, and lay-
ing the fat on the most valuable parts ; and this is a great excel-
lence in all feeding cattle. It is no uncommon thing in this refined
market, to see one of these bullocks outsell a coarse Lincolnshire
ox, though the latter may be the heaviest by several stones weight.
I was told by a Lincolnshire grazier that a Lincolnshire bullock
and a Scotch bullock, sent from the same village at the same time,
were sold for exactly the same money, though the Scot was only
half the other's weight."

The trade in stock from the district of Galloway has been very
extensive for more than a hundred and fifty years, large numbers
of cattle being annually sent to the English markets. Prof. Low
says : " It is computed that upwards of 20,000 head are annually
exported from the distnct. Their average dead weight at three
years old may be reckoned at 45 stones of 14 lbs. to the stone
(630 lbs.) ; those sent to London weigh from 56 to 60 stones (7T0
to 840 lbs.)." These weights are for the four quarters, or meat

It will be admitted that these are good weights for three-year-
olds, many of which are only grass-fed. Selected and well-fed
specimens of the breed of course attain a much };reater size.
Youatt gives an account of a Galloway heifer called " Queen of
Scots," bred by Mr. Mure, of Grange, near Kirkcudbright. The
following were her proportions : height at the shoulders, 5 feet 2
inches ; length from nose to rump, 10 feet 4 inches ; width across
the hips, 2 feet 6 inches ; across the middle of the back, 3 feet ;
across the shoulders, 2 feet 4 inches ; girth of leg below the knee,
8 inches ; distance of breast from the ground, 1 foot 3^ inches ;

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width between the fore legs, 1 foot 5 incbea. Her dressed weight
at four years old, was 1,520 lbs. She was exhibited at the Smith-
field Show, and her portrait engraved under the sanction of the

But even this fine animal has lately been ezoelled by another
specimen of the breed, This was a heifer bred by the Duke of
Boccleugh, and fed and exhibited at several shows by Mr. M'Oom-
Ue, of Tilly four, Scotland. She was first exhibited at the Birming-
ham Fat Stock Show, in 1861. She was then four years and ten
months old, and her girth, though said i^ot be her strongest point,
was 8 feet 9 inches. She took, on this occasion, the prize of £10,
as the best Scotch cow or heifer ; the Gold Medal as the best of
all the cows and heifers ; the Silver Cup of 25 guineas as the best
beast in the yard ; Simpson's cup of 50 guineas as the best animal
fed on his cattle-food ; and the Silver Medal to the Duke of Buc-
cleugh, as her breeder. The week following she appeared at the
show of the Smithfield Club — which for a period of nearly seventy
years has been the greatest fat stock show in the world — where
she took the first prize of £10 as the best Scotch polled cow or
heifer, with another silver medal to the breeder. At this show a
Short-horn cow, which she had beaten at Birmingham, was placed
before her — an act which was strongly censured by the press and
public opinion. The Galloway went on to France, and at the Inter-
national Show of Fat Cattle at Poissy, she took the first prize of
£40 and the Gold Medal as the best cow or heifer in the Scotch
class of polled cattle. She was afterwards sold to a Paris butcher
— Mr. M'Combie realizing for her, by sale and in prizes, a sum
equal to a thousand dollars or more.

When this heifer was at Birmingham, she was spoken of by a
writer for the Farmer's Magazine, as a "wonderful'' animal,
" almost on every point, perhaps, as perfect a fat animal as ever
was shown. Short on the leg and deep in the frame — wide before
and square behind, long in the quarter, and famously let down to
her very hock — with a fine countenance and expressive eye — a
beautiful coat and the most mellow of touches."

After Mr. M'Combie's success with this heifer, and a similar
triumph with a polled Aberdeenshire ox, a public dinner was given
him in Aberdeen, "in acknowledgment of his eminence as a
breeder and feeder of the black polled cattle." In some remarks
made on this occasion, Mr. M'Combie said :

" I was led by a' feather whose memory I revere, to believe that

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our polled cattle are peculiarly suited to our soil and climate, and
that if their properties were rightly broaght ODt, they would equal,
if not surpass, any other breed as to weight, symmetry, and quidity
of flesh. I resolved that I would endeavor to improve our native
breed. I have exerted all my energies to accomplish this purpose.
For many years I was an unsuccessful exhibitor at the Smithfield
Olub Shows. I went to Baker street, (in London, where these
shows were for some years held) I minutely examined the priee
winners ; I directed my attention especially to the points in which
the English were superior to the Scotch cattle. I came to the
conclusion that I had been beaten, not because our Scottish breed
was inferior to the English breeds ; I saw that I was beaten be*
cause I was imperfectly acquainted with the points of the animals
most appreciated in Baker street, and the proper system of feeding
them. I selected the animals best fitted for exhibition at Baker
street, and attained the object of my ambition. The English ag^-
oulturists always maintained that a Scot would never take the first
place in a competition with a Short-horn, a Hereford, or a Devon ;
I have given them reasons for changing their opinion. A polled
Scot, exhibited by me, took the first place at Birmingham. To a
polled Scot, exhibited by me, the Prince Albert Gup was unani-
mously awarded, at the late Oreat International Show in France,
by a jury of twelve, consisting of English, Irish and French gen-
tlemen, in a competition with the finest oxen of the English and
French breeds."

In regard to the size of breeding animals of the Galloway breed,
I may mention that at a show of the Highland Society, held a few
years since, in the city of Edinburgh, I took the girth of several
Galloways, and that a bull two years and four months old measured
seven feet and two inches ; another, four years and four months
old, seven feet and nine inches. These were the first-prize animals
in their classes, were well shaped in every respect, and heavy in
proportion to their girth. A Galloway bull, bred by Mr. John
Snell, of Edmonton, Oanada West, weighed, alive, at two years
and five months old, 1,830 lbs. Another, bred by the same gen-
tleman, now owned by the Michigan State Agricultural College*
weighed, at eighteen months old, 1,480 lbs.

It will be inferred from what has been said, that the leading
excellencies of the Galloways consist in their superior value as
fattening stock. The cows are not remarkable ibr the quantity of
their milk, but it is very rich, and affords a- comparatively large

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proportion of butter, of the fineet quality. Yonatt says a cow
may average " six or eight quarts per day during the five summer
months, after feeding her calf/' and that during the next four
months she may give half that quantity, running dry the remain*
ing three months of the year. According to this, we may assume
tiiat the average for the first five months would be seven quarts
per day, and for the next four months three and a half quarts per
day; which would give, as an annual product, 1,470 quarts, be-
mdes supporting the calf.

From some experiments made on the milk of cows of di£Perent
breeds on the " Crown Estate,'' at King William's Town, Ireland,
a summary of which was published in the Journal of the Royal
Agpricultural Society of England, Vol. IV., it appears that an aver-
age of nine and a half quarts of the milk of the the Galloways
produced a pound of butter. This would give, as the average
annual product from the quantity of milk above mentioned, 164
pounds of butter, an amount which is believed to be far greater
than the average product of cows in this country, and exceeded
only by well-selected and well-kept herds. But this average pro-
duct for the Oalloways is for the milk they yield besides supporting
the calf; and to give some idea of the quantity which is used for
tills purpose, it is proper to refer to accounts which describe the
manner of raising calves in Galloway. Youatt says :

"The calves are reared in a manner peculiar to Galloway. From
the time they are dropped they are permitted to suck the mother,
more or less, as long as she gives milk. During the first four or
five months they are allowed, morning and evening, a liberal sup-
ply — generally more than half of the milk of the cow. The dairy-
maid takes the teats on one side, while the calf draws the milk at
the same time, and exclusively, from the other side. When the
calf begins to graze a little, the milk is abridged by allowing the
ealf to suck only a shorter time, and he is turned upon the best
grass on the farm. In winter he is uniformly housed during the
night, and fed upon hay, with a few turnips and potatoes ; for the
breeder knows that if he is neglected or stinted in his food during
the first fifteen months, he does not obtain his natural size, nor
does he feed so well afterwards."

When it is recollected that half (he milk of the Galloway cow in
her native district, for four or five months after calving, is taken
for the support of the calf, the quantity she must afibrd during the
year is far from being small, and a fair estimate for the quantity of

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bntter which all her milk would yield in the year could not be less
than 200 pounds — a quantity only equaled by our best dairies with
the best management. It should be borne in mind, too, that this
product refers to what the stock does in a rough and not fertile
country. Upon a fair view of the case, therefore, the conclusion
must be adopted that no breed fitted for such a situation would be
likely to do better there than the Galloways, even for dairy purposes.

Mr. Snell, of Edmonton, G. W., to whom allusion has before
been made as a breeder of Galloways, keeps both this breed and
the Short-horns — about thirty head of each. His Galloway and
Short^hom cows run together, and he states that the quantiiy of
milk given by the two breeds is about equal, but that the milk of
the Galloways is much richer.

Considering the characteristics and the long-established reputa-
tion of the Galloway cattle, it seems singular that they were not
long since introduced into the United States. There can be little
doubt of their adaptation to the northern portion of the country.
Our Canadian neighbors, many of whom were emigrants from Scot-
land, evinced a better appreciation of the value of this breed, and
some twelve years since introduced specimens into the Upper
Province. Their adaptation to the country, and their obvious
merits, have caused them to increase and spread rapidly. At the
late Provincial Show, at London, 0. W., there were no less than
seventy entries for Galloways, and ten entries for the polled

Persons acquainted with the Galloways have been of the opinion
that they would be a highly useful stock for portions of our coun-
try. The late Felix Renick, Esq., a gentleman distinguished for
his judgment in regard to cattle, and who was the agent for the
purchase of Short-horns for the Ohio Stock-Importing Company,
1836, more than once stated to the writer of this article, that had
his object been to procure the best cattle for the Northern States,
he would have taken the Galloways and West Highlanders. I
think no good judge, who has had the opportunity of studying
these cattle in Scotland, can fail to see their adaptability to our

B. P. Johnson, Esq., the well known Secretary of the New York
State Agricultural Society, who has had ample opportunities for
examining the stock of Britain, speaking, several years since, of
the Galloways in reference to their introduction into New York,
says : " There is no doubt of their adaptation to many portions of

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this State, as well as to the Northern States generally. Their
aptness to fatten is such that thej woald, at comparatively little
expense, be fitted for market, and the saperiority of their beef is
well understood by every one acquainted with the London market ;
and if introduced here, they would doubtless become equally pop-
ular. I was asked by a distinguished breeder in this State which
among the various breeds of cattle in Great Britaih I considered
best adapted to the Northern States. I answered that, if it was
left to me to select, I would have no hesitation in choosing the
Oalloways and West Highlanders."*

Yet it is only within a short time that any of the pure Galloway
breed have been introduced into the United States. Hon. Ezra
Oornell, of Ithaca, New York, having seen specimens of the breed
at the combined show of the English Royal and Scottish Highland
Agricultural Society, at Battersea, near London, in 1862, was so
much pleased with them, that he has since imported some. Under
date of November 30th, last, he writes : " The Galloways which I
saw at Battersea were most beautiful animals, and carried all the
points of thrifty, good feeders. I have a bull, two cows, and a
heifer calf— all fine animals."

The Michigan State Agricultural College purchased of Mr. Snell,
in September last, the young Galloway bull "Victor," to which
allusion has before been made, and a fine two-year-old heifer.
They are doing well at the College Farm. If, on being subjected
to a fair trial, they prove as well as may reasonably be expected,
it is to be hoped that the introduction of these specimens will lead
to the establishment &f the breed in this State.

•Xransaotionfl New Tork State Agrioultnnl Society, for 1846, page 292.

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[From the Beport of the Seoretary of the Michigan Board of Agrionltnre.]

The treatmeDt of pastares is an important topic wherever graz-
ing is a leading branch of farming. By what coarse the land
devoted to pasture can be made to support the greatest amount of
stock, or yield the best returns in meat or dairy produce, is the
point to be settled. The answer, doubtless, depends somewhat on
the character of the soil, and somewhat, also, on the climate. It
is not proposed to enter here on a discussion of the question of
the relative profits of grazing and grain-growing, but simply to
consider how land that it is desired to keep in grass shall be

As just intimated, the question is affected more or less by the
soil and climate. On some soils grasses may be sai J to be perma-
nent, while on others the same species have but comparatively a
short period of life. A moist and uniform climate is also more
&vorable to the continued existence of grass than one subject to
wide extremes of wetness and dryness, heat and cold. But almost
every person of ordinary observation must have seen land on which
grass lives or would live for an indefinite length of time. Let it
be supposed now that it is desired to obtain from this land the
greatest amount of nutriment in the shape of grass, year after
year, or for a given number of years, how shall it be managed ?

To begin with the land in its natural state, it will be found that
such as is most favorable to grass is generally covered with a pretty
heavy growth of hard wood-timber, consisting in this country, in
a great degree, of the sugar-maple, in some localities intermingled
with bass-wood, chestnut, elm, ash, &c. The timber, of course, is
to be cleared off ; this having been done, the question is, to plow
or not to plow the ground t So far as experience has afforded an
answer to this question, it seems to be decidedly against plowing
for the purpose of seeding the land to grass. In the hilly and
mountainous portions of New England^ much land has been cleared

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which from being very stony could not be plowed without great
labor, and even then not well plowed. It was got into grass in
some cases by simply sowing the seed on the burnt surface, or in
other cases by first harrowing the ground. Some of these lands
have been in grass for a hundred and fifty to two hundred years, or
more — some as pasture, and some as "natural mowing." The
best hill-pastures of the section referred to are on this land which
has never been plowed. Probably the first settlers took what they
deemed to be the easiest, and for the time being the cheapest way
of getting the land set to grass, because they had not the means of
obtaining more labor. At a later day, new land has been more
frequently plowed, afibrding in some instances the means of com-
paring the productiveness of the plowed and unplowed tracts, for
grass, and the results have generally, if not invariably, been in
favor of the latter. It is found that the grass does not get so
much " bound out," on the unplowed land. The vegetable mat-
ter, which during the forest growth is accumulated on thQ surface
of the earth, seems to aid the growth of grass, and where it is not
destroyed by a too severe bum, the sward keeps up its vitality
better than where the natural position of the soil is reversed.

If, then, it is conceded that in seeding new land to grass plowing
is not advisable, the question arises, does it ever become necessary
or expedient ? The question, of course, is based on the supposi-
tion that the grass does* not die, or at least that its vitality can be
maintained without breaking up the sward. Reference has already
been made to examples which this country presents of the durabil-
ity of grasses — examples which embrace as long a period of time
as the settlement of the country admits. In European countries
there are lands which have been in grass for a time beyond which
neither history nor tradition runneth. The sheep pastures of
Wales and Scotland are known to have been grazed a thousand
years, in many instances without the application of any fertilizing
matter except that dropped by the animals while grazing, and yet
it is known that the land carries as much stock as it ever did.
Some of the " old pastures " of England are so old that their age
cannot be determined. So well established is the fact deemed to
be that plowing would be injurious to them, that leases of farms
often prohibit the tenant from breaking up particular tracts. No
farmer of judgment who has ever examined these rich old pastures
would think of plowing them so long as the greatest value in grass
is the object. The soil is perfectly covered with those species of

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herbage which are most tenacioas of life, and at the same time
most nutritious. It is the unanimous testimony in regard to these
pastures, that they carry more stock, and will produce more beef
or mutton, and more butter and cheese, than the same land would
newly seeded, and in regard to dairy produce, the qudtUy of that
from old pasture is much superior. There is no question that ex-
rience in this country, as far as it goes, agrees with these facts.
It is not intended to say that there is not grass-land in England
which might advantageously be plowed — undoubtedly there is
such, — but there is also some which it would be unwise to break
up, and the same may be said in regard to this country.

This subject was brought before the public by a discussion at a
meeting of the New York State Agricultural Society, at Utica, last
fall, on the question, " Ought pastures for the dairy to be kept per-
manently in grass, or to be renewed by plowing and re-seeding ? ''
The discussion was opened by X. A. Willard, of Little Falls, a
gentleman who is well known to have devoted much attention to
this and other matters connected with the management of dairies
and dairy stock. He stated the points to be determined, as fol-
lows :

" What kind of pastures are best for the dairy ? Are they those
which have been in long grass, or are they those which have been
recently plowed and re-seeded ? Can pastures be kept productive
when remaining long in grass, or, in beginhing to fail, is it neces-
sary to renew them by plowing and re-seeding ? And, finally,
what are the cheapest as well as the best modes of obtaining qual-
ity and productiveness of pasturage f "

Mr. Willard observed that, ** we are not to consider the treat-
ment of all pasture-lands alike, but of those that are particularly
well adapted to grass. * * * What are we to do with
pasture-lands that begin to fail ? Shall we plow them up and re-

Online LibraryMaine Board of AgricultureAnnual report of the secretary of the Maine Board of Agriculture, Issue 11 → online text (page 62 of 73)