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Annual report of the Missouri State Board of Agriculture online

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ment, were un^animously adopted.


The Missouri Sheep Breeders' Association, formed at Sedalia,
Mo., October 9, 1907, adopted the following constitution:


We, the sheep breeders of Missouri, for mutual protection, profit and pleasure
and to unite our strength for the betterment of the sheep Industry, do adopt the
following :


Article I. Name.— The name of this organization shall be The Missouri Sheep
Breeders' Association.

Article IL Ohject.—The object of this association shall be to encourage and assist
In the production of "more and better sheep for Missouri," and provide legislative
enactments for the protection Of the same.

Article III. Member ship. —Any person who Is engaged in sheep raising, or who
is In sympathy with the flockmasters of the State, and who will conform to the
requirements of the constitution and by-laws of the association, may become a member
by the payment of the fee prescribed by the by-laws.

Article rv. Officer a. —The officers of the association shall be a president, vice-
president and secretary-treasurer, who shall each hold office for one year, or until
their successors are elected ; also, a board of directors, composed of six members, th

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402 Missouri Agricultural Report.

of whom shall be selected from north of the Missouri river and three south of said
river: Provided, that in the selection of the first board of directors, as contemplated
herein, two shall be elected for one year, two for two years and two for three years,
and, thereafter, at each annual meeting, two directors shall be elected for a term of
three years; and provided further, that the president, vice-president and secretary-
treasurer shall be ex officio members of the board of' directors.


Section L Annual Meeting.— The annual meeting of the association shall be held
in Sedalia on Wednesday of the week of the State Fair, at which time the officers
shall be elected by majority vote of the members present.

Sec. 2. Directors' Meeting.— The board of directors shall meet annually on Tuesday
previous to the day of the annual meeting, and may hold such other meetings as they
may deem necessary.

Sec. 8. Dues of Memhera.^The annual dues of each member shall be one dollar,
payable during the month of the annual meeting, and any member who fails to pay
said amount within thirty days after the adjournment of said meeting shall become
suspended and remain so during his delinquency.

Sec. 4. Memberohip Fee.— The tee for membership In this association shall be one
dollar, the payment of which shall entitle to the rights and privileges of membership
for one year or until the annual meeting next succeeding the date of such payment
The money in the treasury from the annual dues is to be used as long as any is
available, and in case more is needed a special assessment will be levied.

Sec. 5. Duties of OSflcers.-The president shall preside at all meetings of the asso-
ciation, and board of directors shall fill by appointment all vacancies that may occur
between annual meetings, sign all official papers, and have general supervision over
the business of the association, and shall receive such reasonable compensation for
his services as the board of directors may determine.

Sec. 6. Vice-President.— In the absence or inability of the president to serve, the
vice-president shall perform his duties, and while acting as president shall have all
the power and same compensation as president

Sec. 7. Secretary-Treasurer.— The secretary-treasurer shall keep a record of all
the meetings of the association and board of directors, conduct all correspondence,
give notice of special meetings, keep books of account with the members, receive and
receipt for all money due from them, and shall deposit said money as instructed by
the board of directors, and pay out the same on orders sigmed by the president give
such bond as the directors may require for the faithful performance of his duties,
and shall make annual settlement with said board of directors at such time as they
may designate, and a full report of the condition of the association at each annual
meeting. As full compensation for his services he shall receive such amount as the
board of directors may determine.

Sec. 8. Amendments.— This constitution and by-laws may be altered or amended
at any annual or special meeting of the association by a majority of the members
present concurring therein, notice of such proposed change having been given by
publication at least thirty days prior to date of such meeting.


The association was kept together for the next year or two by an endeavor to
have the State Legislature pass a dog law adequate to protect the great sheep industry
of this State. But our Legislature seemed to think the dog Industry more important
than the sheep, as they refused to aid our sheep men in any way.

After this the members became scattered and little Interest could be aroused.
And at the 1911 and 1912 meeting it was hard to get half a dozen members together.
The question before the association now Is, shall it be dropped, or are you willing to
get back of an association and help make It worth the while and a profit to all

Digitized by


Report of Missouri Farmers^ Week. 408


Any association which does not benefit and profit its members cannot live long.
By this plan we hope the association will be a benefit and profit to all the members.

A plan for the mutual protection of the members is successfully used by the
Kentucky Sheep Breeders' Association: Any member having sheep killed by dogs will
be reimbursed from the treasury of the association at an agreed rate per head.

By united effort of the sheepmen force enough could be brought to bear on our
State Legislature to pass an adequate dog law for the protection of the sheepmen.
The association will keep hammering away until such a law is passed.

For the benefit of the pure-bred sheep breeders and other sheepmen who wish
to buy rams or sheep of any kind, a record of the number and kind of sheep each
member has for sale will be kept In the secretary's office. By this system members
will have an opportunity to exchange sires and dispose of their surplus stuff to the
advantage and profit of both buyer and seller. This would be especially valuable to
the breeder who would like to purchase an extra good ram, but does not feel Justified
in doing so, as he could only use him a year or two and would then have to sell him
at mutton prices. By keeping a file in the secretary's office, members wishing to
exchange rams, it would greatly facilitate members getting together and making

By united effort of the breeders of the various breeds, pressure can be brought
to bear on the difterent National record associations, to give to the Missouri State
Fair premium money equal to that given at other state fairs of no greater importance.
Also efforts will be made to increase the premium money in the Missouri special
classes at the State Fair.

A movement will be started to establish a "Missouri futurity stake" for the
different breeds of importance in this State at the State Fair. This would be of
special Importance to the breeders of pure breeds, as in this way enough premium
money could be won to make it worth the while exhibiting.

The association could carry on advertisement in the leading sheep and agricul-
tural papers for the benefit of its members who have bure breds and for sale. This
would be of special interest to the breeders with small flocks; whose flock is not large
enough to Justify them carrying an advertisement. Inquiries to advertisements
coming to the secretary would be answered by sending to such inquirer a list of the
breeders in the association from whom he could obtain the breed of sheep he desired.


(Howard Hackedom, Department of Animal Husbandry, Missouri College of Agricul-

The center of mutton production is now moving our way in-
stead of west, as it has done since the beginning of this country.
In colonial times, when the sheep were kept primarily for wool,
the New England states and the rougher sections of this country
east of the Allegheny mountains were the sheep sections. Nearly
every farmer had his flock, for he depended upon it for his cloth-
ing. And with emigration westward the people took their flocks
with them, and the Ohio and Mississippi valleys became the sheep
countries of the day. But with the opening up of the range coun-
try, the center of our sheep industry moved west again.. But it
has gone to the limit in its western course and will slowly^return

^^|.^ Digitized by VL^OOglC

404 Missouri Agricultural Report.

Champion Shropshire ram, Missouri State Fair, 1912. Bred and exhibited by
University of Missouri.

The west will always be a big sheep country, but with the in-
crease in population and the breaking up of the range country into
farms, the sheep-herding industry will decrease. The flocks have
been cut down and better care taken of them. The high prices of
1910 caused many sheep men to "cash in," many of them selling
out entirely. The markets were full of wethers, and ewes of all
kinds were plentiful. The common talk on the markets was that
the west was "cleaning up" and the run would soon be over. But
it held on, all through 1911. "The bottom dropped out" and mut-
ton was lower than it has been for the last twelve years. But the
west still poured the sheep into the market hopper. Record re-
ceipts were made and the run continued into 1912. The west has
been cleaning up, it is true, but not going out of the business. The
general tone of the market seems to be that most of the surplus
stock has been marketed. The better young breeding ewes have
been kept back. The smaller flock insures better grazing and the
big sheep companies are feeding hay through the winter, and more
care is being taken to save a greater percentage of the lamb crop.

Report of Missouri Farmers* Week. 405

Not only the west has been cleaning up, but the corn-belt
farmers have put a lot of their ewe flock "in the bank." The dry
season of a year ago and high price of hay and grain forced many to
sell or almost give away the ewe at whatever price they could get.

A glance at the market report for the thirteen principal mar-
kets for 1909-1910 shows an increase in sheep receipts of over
1,000,000, and for 1910-1911 another million increase, and the year
1912 shows a like increase. The number of sheep marketed was
increased from 10,000,000 for 1909 to 13,000,000 for 1912, and
from government statistics the number of sheep was decreased
from 52,000,000 to about 50,000,000. Truly, the sheep business
is getting on a stable basis. Another strong factor for the sheep
industry is the fact that the American people are eating more and
more mutton. The high prices of pork and beef forced many to
look for a cheaper meat, and so mutton was used by many. The
Americans have to be taught to cook and eat mutton, for pork and
beef have been the most used products. The city people have
learned the value of mutton and lamb, but the farmer uses very
little of it. Why he does not is hard to understand. Pork is his
standby in the meat line, but a little fresh lamb now and then
makes a delightful change.

Missouri ranks as one of the foremost sheep states in the
com belt, as rightfully she should. The natural advantages of this
State for the sheep business is unsurpassed by none. We have
Kansas City and St. Joseph on our western border, and as we are in
close touch with Omaha and Denver, so our opportunities for pur-
chasing western feeding sheep, lambs and breeding ewes are of the
best; while for the finished products we have the Kansas City
Stock Yards, the National Stock Yards of East St. Louis and the
Union Stock Yards of Chicago within easy reach. Our soil is rich
and produces an abundance of feed. We have the great Ozark
region, which will in time become a great sheep-breeding section.
The grass and water is good, and the land not of prohibitive price
for grazing purposes. And in the valleys enough com. and hay can
be raised to finish the products.

In Central and North Missouri, sheep feeding is an important
factor with many of the farmers. Especially popular is the prac-
tice of pasturing out the undergrowth in, the cornfields. In most
cases cowpeas are sown with the com to furnish feed for the
lambs. By some, the cowpeas are sown at the last cultivation of
the com, but unless the weather is exceptionally favorable the

406 Missouri Agricultural Report

Shropshire rams on rape pasture. University of Missouri, June, 1912.

cowpeas do not make a very good growth. On the station farm
here we find it a better practice to delay corn, planting a little and
sow the peas with the corn, either mixing them with the com,
drilling the mixture, or, better still, using a special cowpea attach-
ment on the planter, checking the corn and dropping about four
peas to the hill of corn. The peas will bother some in, the cultiva-
tion, but their value makes up for the bother. Fifty to sixty-pound
western lambs are most commonly used to pasture off these peas.
They will put on about 14 to 15 pounds up to 20 pounds gain in
seventy-five to eighty days in the cornfields. During this time a
single-deck carload of sheep will eat about fifty bushels of com,
and, of course, most of the leaves they can reach. By the middle
to the last of November the lambs will need more feed than that
which they obtain in the fields. As the frosts soon kill the cow-
peas and the leaves all drop off, many farmers sell the lambs direct
from the cornfield, while others prefer to feed them grain and hay,
selling them later on in, the winter. Just which would be best to
do will always depend on the weight and amount of flesh the Iambs
are carrying and the condition of the market. This system of
sheep feeding has become popular because of the low cost of pro-
duction. Gains are made almost entirely off of what would other-
wise go to waste, and a margin of one cent gives a fair profit in
many cases, and good interest on the investment has been made
on closer margins. The other sheep feeders buy in the fall and
keep the sheep from ninety to one hundred days longer, feeding
grain and hay, and in many cases, silage. But the uncertainty of
the market has kept many farmers from doing this, especially
«ince 1910, when feeder lambs were high and the "bottom dropped

Report of Missouri Farmers' Week. 407

out of the market" about the time these lambs were ready to be

Many of those who were caught in the fall are still raging
against the sheep business, yet if they lose a com crop they don't
stop growing com. But with all the uncertainty of the market, a
flock of breeding ewes will nearly always pay good interest. Dur-
ing the last two years westem ewes have been cheap and plentiful
on the market, four dollars buying a good class of ewes. Cross
these ewes with a good mutton ram, and by July 1st the lambs
will bring as much as the ewes cost. The ewe's fleece will pay for
her keep.

At the Experiment Station, Colorado westem ewes that were
bought on the Kansas City market, cost $3.60 per head laid down, at
Columbia. Lambs from these ewes brought $4.05 on the St. Louis
market on July 8th. The ewes' fleeces brought on the average
$1.33, which would pay for their feed.

Marketing the lambs in June or early July is in nearly every
case the advisable thing to do. First, because the Iambs will make
little, if any, gain from July 1st to September 1st. From records
kept here we find the lambs more often lose than, gain in weight
during the hot summer weather. Second, this system avoids the
risk and trouble of stomach worms. Third, these lambs do not have
to compete with the westem lambs on the market, as they do not
begin to come in until later; and with only native lambs on the
market at this season of the year, a higher market usually pre-

The idea of having ten or a dozen sheep around the farm to
act as scavengers never has nor never will do the sheep industry
any good. Not because sheep will not clean out the fence rows, and
utilize odds and ends of waste pasture, but because the number of
sheep and amount of money invested is too small for the average
farmer to pay enough attention to them.


(Chester O. Starr» Centralia, Mo.)

Each succeeding year sees more farmers venturing into the
sheep^feeding business as a means of converting their com, oats,
hay, grass or silage into some form of meat and as a means of re-
taining the fertility of their farms. The high prices demanded|^

408 Missouri Agricultural Report.

recent years for stock and feeder cattle, the slight margin, in the
cattle business and the loss by cholera of the hogs following after
the cattle, have turned quite a few cattle feeders away from their
old love, and they have each fall bought more or less sheep. Most
of us have one thing in common with the sheep — ^we all follow
where one seems to have successfully gone, and as the sheep
feeder, as a rule, has made money during the last ten years, every
one is wishing to get into the business. There have been a lot of
mistakes made, a lot of money lost and a lot of men are convinced
that there is no money in "the blamed sheep."

To be a successful feeder requires more use of brains than
any other line of agriculture. The man making a success is the
one who has learned to think in, sheep language and is on speaking
terms with every lamb, yearling or wether in the feed lot. One
good way to express the ability needed is by taking the men who
are successful feeding hogs, divide them by two and you will have
the successful cattlemen; again divide by two and you will have
the successful sheepmen.

The farmer with brains and who is not afraid of using the
said brains can make money handling sheep. A large amount of
patience, sharp-sightedness, care and generosity is needed. No
bunch of sheep can be hurried at anything, through a gate, upon
feed or anything else. Only bad results come through hurry and
noise. We once had a good feeder working for us, who was a good
man with anything else than sheep, but he couldn't walk through
the sheep lot without losing his temper and stirring the lambs up.
We were forced to let him go just because of that inability to get
along with the lambs. Always take plenty of time doing anything
around the sheep pens. If you wish to drive them through a gate
and they bunch up on you and begin to mill, don't yell your head
off, but try to force a few of the leaders through and the rest will
trail after.

The successful feeder must always be on the watch for things
happening in the pens. A lamb may need docking, another is not
getting enough feed because the wool has dropped down over his
eyes so that he is blinded, still another may get his head caught
in the hay rack and stay there all night. Sheep are the most help?
less things on the farm and need constant attention.

Care in being punctual with the breakfast for the lambs will

do wonders. If you make a practice to feed at eight o'clock in the

morning, be sure that you don't feed at ten o'clock half of the time,

_ _^ , _ JOQle

Report of Missouri Farmers' Week. 409

The sheep appreciate punctuality as much as does your wife. You
wouldn't think of coming in for dinner at eleven o'clock Monday,
twelve Tuesday and one Wednesday. No one ever made fat sheep
by stinting them feed. They will not fatten on a maintenance
ration, and ought not to be asked to eat up all of the feed that
nothing else on the farm will touch. The greatest trouble we have
in feeding is to induce our partners and customers to feed plenty.
A "corAcrib cross" makes the best mutton, and nothing else should
ever be attempted.

What kinds of sheep are most profitable? That depends upon
the man, the feed, the feeding conditions, the prices and the time
of year. A beginner will often make a better success with wethers
or yearlings. Lambs require a lot of babying and sooner go to
pieces with a little lack of care. The yearlings and wethers will
take care of themselves better and can utilize more rough feed,
such as fodder, stalk fields and the like. If the farmer desires to
save labor in gathering com by turning the sheep into the fields,
yearlings and wethers will do a better job than lambs. If, on the
other hand, he wishes to pick off the blades of the com before they
dry and to get rid of the weeds and grass along the sides of the
field, lambs may do that job better, as they will not bother the
com as soon as older sheep. However, sooner or later, usually
sooner, even lambs will begin to nibble the ears, and if the farmer
feeder does not watch closely, he will lose a lot of the lambs through
an overdose of green com. Lambs really do the best in dry lots,
when the feeding begins too late to use the green blades and grass.
They have a disposition to wander and will not stay with the feed
unless more or less closely confined. When dry-lot feeding is prac-
ticed, some kind of shelter is almost a necessity. It need not be
expensive, just something to keep the sheep dry. If a sheep has a
dry back, no degree of cold will affect him. We have had long-
wooled lambs to lie on ice, melt through a bit and then freeze down
so that they had to be chopped loose. It never affected them at
all ; on the other hand, they seemed to like it and thrived on the ice.

Sometimes yearlings are cheaper than lambs; sometimes the
reverse is true. If the sheep are intended for shearing, a good
shearing kind ought to be selected. A New Mexican lamb or year-
ling is the thing when high prices for mutton and quick finishing
is desired, but either would be a bad one for the man who wanted
to shear before selling.

The internal parasites which ar^ found iji almpst all nativ

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410 Missouri Agricultural Report.

sheep force almost all feeders to use western-bred sheep. In ad-
dition to the absence of internal parasites, the western sheep are
more uniform in size, quality and feeding. They herd better and
are more gentle. In selecting western feeders, good quality, open
wool and ruggedness are the main, points. The size and degree of
fatness are minor. A large number of experienced feeders make
good money with "pewee" lambs — ^those that are very small, but
the average man had better let them alone, as they require a world
of care and babying. Unless the feeder is experienced and is in.
shape to grind his feed, old ewes will be a source of money loss.
Good 55 to 65-pound lambs and 60 to 75-pound yearlings are the
best for the beginner. Too heavy stuff will be discriminated
against when marketed, as the buyers like what they call "handy-
weight" sheep — ^those which, .when dressed, will present a neat,
small carcass for the butcher to hang out. It seems true that the
demand for mutton is governed quite largely by the display made
by the small retail butchers. In cold weather the carcasses can be
exposed for sale, but in mild weather mutton turns dark very soon
when out of the cooler and is in less demand because of that fact.
Of course, the larger percentage of yearlings masquerade as lambs
when the skin is off and the legs break lamb joints. The Ameri-
can people have not developed much of an appetite for heavy mut-
ton cuts. The lamb roast and cutlets are the favorites.

The feed used is really of less importance than the way it is
used. Com alone will fatten yearlings very nicely. There has
been many a bunch fattened who have received nothing more than
what they could glean from a cornfield — ^blades, husks and grain.
In many cases it was the cheapest way to feed. Oats, com and
clover hay will fatten lambs nicely; in the absence of oats, com
and clover will do. Cottonseed meal is very useful, especially when,
silage is used. Alfalfa and cowpea hays are as valuable as clover.
In the absence of any hay, sheep can be fed on silage, cottonseed
meal and com. About all of the feed can be varied or substituted,
save com. Plenty of com, is always needed. One great danger in
feeding silage is the too free use of it, especially with lambs. If
fed in too great quantities the lambs seem to grow too much an,d
do not fatten as rapidly as they should. A pound of silage daily
per head is about enough. This winter we overfed a bunch of
lambs on silage; they did not gain, as rapidly as they should and

Online LibraryMissouri. State Board of AgricultureAnnual report of the Missouri State Board of Agriculture → online text (page 39 of 62)