William Penn Brooks.

Agriculture .. online

. (page 7 of 31)
Online LibraryWilliam Penn BrooksAgriculture .. → online text (page 7 of 31)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


land. It is certain, however, that in bringing the breed to its present char-
acter the cattle of Ayr have been crossed with individuals of a number of other
breeds. The Shorthorn, and cattle from Holland, and from the Channel
Islands, are known to have been used. The improvement of the breed, as a
result of the crosses made and the great care exercised, was very rapid during
the latter part of the nineteenth century. The Ayrshire in its present form
is, therefore, a comparatively new breed and is accordingly somewhat less
fixed in type than some of the other breeds. The best Ayrshires show the



Digitized by LiOOQ IC



ANIMAL HUSBANDRY.



559



dairy type in perhaps its highest perfection. The bulls range in live weight
from about 1,400 to i,8oo pounds ; the cows, from 900 to 1,100, the aver-
age perhaps being about 1,000 pounds. The Ayrshire as a breed is rather
unusually short in the leg and the cows show the wedge form to a remarka-
ble extent. This is not, however, due to unusual lightness in the fore
quarter but rather to very large and full development in the hind quarters.
The horns of the Ayrshire are usually symmetrical ; they turn first out-
ward, then inward and upward, giving the head a very bold and upright
appearance. The muzzle may be either dark or light, the former being
generally preferred. The color, in the majority of instances, is some shade
of red, and white. These two colors always exist in distinct patches, never
mixed, the proportion of the two varying very widely. Of late years more
white is preferred than formerly. The shade of red may vary from a bright
cherry red to dark mahogany or chestnut. The udder is proportionally
broader on the average than in most other breeds. It is remarkable for its
extension forward and for its width, deriving its capacity rather from breadth
and depth than from great length. The teats are usually widely and
squarely placed and are inclined to be small, and it must be confessed not
infrequently too short for easy milking. The Ayrshire, as a breed, is nervous
and active. The bulls are usually gentle- if well treated. The same is true
of the cows. They however have a reputation for being somewhat quarrel-
some among themselves and their sharp, upward-turning horns are often
used as active weapons of offense. The Ayrshire is not exceeded by any
breed in its ability to gather the needed food from scanty pastures. The
Ayrshire cow is usually sprightly, quick, and active, and if there is good feed
in the pasture she is sure to find it. She is preeminently a good " rustler.* '
The breed is noted for a large milk yield in proportion to size. Individuals
have given 12,000 pounds or more of milk in a year. There is a continu-
ous record of one notea herd, averaging fifteen cows, which extends over
twenty-one years. The average yield for the entire period has been 6,433
pounds of milk per cow per year. During the last year ( 1 900) , the herd
numbered twenty- two cows and the average yield was 7,189 pounds. The
average butter fat was 3.79 per cent.; the average total solids, 12.60 per



Digitized by LiOOQ IC



560 A GRICUL TURE ;

cent. Adding one-sixth to the average amount of butter fat to cover water,
etc., the average butter yield of this herd for the year 1900 amounted to
315 pounds per cow.

An official test conducted by the Vermont Experiment Station, which
included seven cows, resulted in showing a butter yield, in seven days, rang-
ing from 10 to nearly 13 pounds per cow. Two other herds have recently
made records as follows : One of twenty cows, an average yield of 6,362
pounds of milk per cow ; the best ten cows of this herd averaged 7,253
pounds. The other herd of twenty-two cows made an average of 7,558
pounds of milk, containing an average butter fat content of 3.88 per cent.,
which with the customary addition of one-sixth is equivalent to a yield of
341 pounds of butter per year. It is not, however, as a butter breed that
the Ayrshire has won its reputation. The butter globules vary widely in
size, many of them being excessively small, and the color of the butter is
comparatively light. It has been claimed that the milk of the Ayrshire was
very especially suited for manufacture into cheese. This claim does not ap-
pear to be fully justified by the facts. Ayrshire milk is not richer on the
average, in cheese-forming constituents, than the milk of cows of other
breeds. The small average size of the butter globules, however, renders it
easier to manufacture Ayrshire milk into cheese, in which the fat is well
mixed with the body of the cheese, than is the milk of breeds in which the
butter globule is larger. Ayrshire milk may stand for some time without
the cream rising to nearly the same extent as would be the case with the
milk of such breeds as the Jersey or Guernsey. This peculiarity of Ayr-
shire milk, viz., the small size of the butter globule, renders the milk also
especially well adapted for family trade. It is more easily handled and
delivered to customers in good condition, and the belief is widely held that,
as the fat particles average much smaller in size, the milk is more readily
and more easily digested than is the milk of such breeds as the Jersey and
Guernsey. Ayrshire milk, therefore, is by many believed to be much
better suited especially for the delicate and for infants, than is the milk of
breeds like the Jersey or Guernsey, in which the fat globule is large and the
percentage of fat higher. The Ayrshire cow, then, is believed to be partic-



Digitized by LiOOQ IC



ANIMAL HUSBANDRY. 5 6i

ularly adapted to those situations where milk for family trade or the manu-
facture of cheese is wanted ; and where the conditions are such that a cow
of an active, energetic "disposition is required, where the pastures are hilly,
and the cow must range long distances to gather the needed food, the
Ayrshire cow is one of the best.



Fig. 178. Ayrshire Cow, Red Rose 5566.
By courtesy of H. E. A Ivor d, Chief Dairy Division, U. S. Deft. Agriculture.

The cuts representing the bull Glencairn of Ridgeside and the cow
Red Rose 5566 show the best type of the Ayrshire breed. Red Rose
was imported into the United States from Scotland. At the time of the
photograph from which the cut was made, she was h\z years old. Her milk
product for one year was 8,578 pounds. Ayrshires were imported into the
United States, first into New York in 1822, into New England in 1830. They
were first imported into Canada in 1837. Between 1845 and 1874 there
were almost yearly importations. . Since that time comparatively few Ayr-
shires have been imported. Ayrshires are quite widely kept in the United
States, but less extensively in proportion to the total number of dairy animals
than in Canada, where the breed stands very high in the popular estimation.

569. Holstein-Friesian cattle — The native country of the Holstein-
Friesian is a section of the Kingdom of Netherlands bordering on the
North Sea, chiefly North Holland and Friesland. The farm lands in this



Digitized by LiOOQ IC



562 A GRICUL TURE ;

locality are for the most part low and rich, producing large quantities of
luxuriant feed. The winters are long and severe, the summers compara-
tively cool. The breed is without doubt a very old one. It is claimed that
its history can be traced back two thousand years. Certain it is that Hol-
land has been noted for its dairy products for at least one thousand years.
Houghton, in his history of Holstein-Friesian cattle, writes as follows : —

' * The preservation of the Friesian people and their continued adhesion
to cattle breeding for more than two thousand years is one of the marvels
of history. Always few in number, the conflicts of war and commerce have
raged over and around them, yet they have remained in or near their



Fig. 179. Holstein-Friesian Bull, Db Brave Hbndrik 230, H.-F. H. B.
By courtesy 0/ H. E. Alvord, Chief Dairy Division, U. S. Dept. Agriculture.

original home, continuously following their original pursuits. Their farm-
houses are fashioned after the same general model, the one immense roof
covers everything that needs protection. • Here the cattle find shelter dur-
ing the long and rigorous months. Here they are fed and groomed and
watched for months without being turned from the door. Here the family
is also sheltered, sometimes with only a single partition between the cattle
stalls and the kitchen and living room. Everything is kept with a degree
of neatness marvelous to those not accustomed to such system. The cattle
become the pets of the household. At the opening of spring, or when



Digitized by LiOOQ IC



ANIMAL HUSBANDRY. 563

grass is sufficiently grown, they are taken to the fields and cared for in the
most quiet manner. Canvas covers protect their bodies from sun, storm,
and insects. The grasses upon which they feed are luxurious, and the ani-
mals have to move about very little to gather sufficient food. On the first
appearance of winter they are returned to the stable and the simple round
of the year is completed. This round is repeated until the cattle are six or
seven years of age, when they are usually considered as past the period of
dairy profit and are sent to the shambles. The object is always to produce as
much milk and beef as possible from the same animal. With this two-fold
object in view, selection, breeding, and feeding have been continued for ages. ' '
Alvord says : * * The large frame, strong bone, abundance of flesh, silken
coat, extreme docility, and enormous milk yield of the Holstein-Friesians



Fig. 180. Holstein-Friksian Cow, Jamaica 1336, H. H. B., and Calf.
By courtesy 0/ H. E. Alvord, Chief Dairy Division, U. S. Dept. Agriculture.

result from the rich and luxuriant herbage of the very fertile and moist re-
claimed lands upon which the breed has been perfected, the uncommonly
good care received from their owners, and the close association of people
and cattle. ' ' There can be no doubt of the correctness of this opinion.

It appears certain that some of the early Dutch settlers in the United
States brought these cattle with them, but the animals of those early



Digitized by LiOOQ IC



564 AGRICULTURE;

importations were not kept pure! The credit of making the first importa-
tion, the purity of which was maintained, belongs to W. W. Chenery of
Massachusetts. A large importation was made into New York in 1867, and
subsequent to that date this breed of cattle has increased rapidly in the
United States, both by importation and natural increase. When first im-
ported by Chenery, these cattle were known as " Dutch " cattle. Different
importers have used still other names, among which Holland cattle, North
Holland cattle, Holstein cattle, Dutch-Friesian, and Netherland cattle may
be named. There was a bitter controversy for a time between different
breeders as to which was the proper name and in the end the compromise
Holstein- Friesian was adopted. The name " Dutch' ' cattle seems to the
author preferable both because of its brevity and because it is suflkiendy
descriptive. Animals of this breed are quite widely kept in various parts
of Europe, where they are generally known as Holland cattle.

Although preeminently a dairy breed, Holstein- Friesians show a some-
what less extreme dairy type than the cows of some other breeds. Hoxie
says the type is what is technically called the milk and beef form, and he
adds : * ' It is especially strong in all vital particulars. The bones are fine
compared with size, and the chine broad and strong compared with the
high and sharp chine of the extreme milk form. The loin and hips are
broad and smooth, and the rump high and level, compared with the angu-
larity usually shown in the milk form. The twist is roomy and the thighs
and hocks well apart. Passing forward, the shoulders are smoother and
more compact than in the milk form, but of lighter weight than in the beef
form. The brisket is not so wide and low as in the beef form, and the chest
is not so deep, but the width of the beef form through at the heart is closely
retained. In the milk form the abdomen is usually swung low, and the ribs
are steep, but in the milk and beef form the ribs are wider sprung and the
abdomen more trimly held up, though no less capacious. The general ap-
pearance of the bull is strongly masculine, but that of the cow is no less
feminine than in the milk form."

The Holstein- Friesian is the largest of the dairy -breeds, although the
size, as is no less true of other breeds, may vary quite widely according to
the feed and care which the animal receives before reaching maturity.



Digitized by LiOOQ IC



ANIMAL HUSBANDRY.



565



Hoxie points out that the cattle of the sandy districts of the seashore in their
native country average considerably smaller than those of other districts.
The bulls of the breed not infrequently weigh 2,000 or even 2,500 pounds ;
the cows usually range in weight between about 1,100 and 1,500 pounds,
the average probably being in the neighborhood of 1,200 pounds. The
only colors recognized in this country as proper to the breed are black and
white in distinct patches: In their native country red is sometimes found
and red and white animals are registered. In this country, even if
known to be of absolutely pure blood, the red and white animal will not be
accepted for registry. The horns are small and fine, usually turning first
outward, then inward, and upward. They are usually white with black
tips. The udder is very large and the teats unusually large, indeed not
infrequently somewhat too large for easy milking. They are apt to be very
thick and puffy next the udder. The temperament of these cattle is usually
quiet and docile ; the bulls seldom become vicious. Holstein-Friesians have
great constitutional vigor and the ability to consume, assimilate, and convert
into profitable product a very large amount of food. The calves are very
large at birth and are easily made to thrive and grow with great rapidity.
There can be no doubt that this is one of the most profitable of breeds for
the production of veal. It is, however, for milk production that the Hol-
stein-Friesian cattle are most valuable. The amount of milk yielded is larger
than for any other breed. The percentage of butter fat in the milk is how-
ever low, not infrequently under 3 per cent, and not usually very much
above that figure. The butter globule is small in average size and the
cream does not very rapidly separate from the milk on standing. This
peculiarity of the milk renders it especially well fitted for family trade.
There is little doubt that it is one of the best of milks for delicate persons
and infants, the small size of the fat globule and the comparatively low per-
centage of fat rendering it somewhat more easily digested than is the milk
of such breeds as the Jersey and Guernsey. Notwithstanding the compara-
tively low percentage of butter fat in the milk, the total yield is so great
that Holstein cows produce in the course of a year a very large amount of
butter. It is claimed for one cow of the breed that she produced within a



Digitized by LiOOQ IC



566 AGRICULTURE;

single year somewhat over 1,100 pounds. Cows making from 15 to 25
pounds of butter a week are not very uncommon, while some entire herds
have been made to average over 17 pounds of butter per week. The Hol-
stein-Friesian cow is a very persistent milker. Whole herds may be made
to average 7,000 to 8,000 pounds of milk per year ; while individuals have
occasionally yielded more than three times the larger of these amounts.
There is one well authenticated record of a yield of slightly over 100 pounds
of milk per day for thirty consecutive days. There can be little doubt that
the Holstein-Friesian under suitable conditions will produce milk at less cost
per quart on the average than any other breed. That they will produce
butter as cheaply as cows of some other breeds seems doubtful. The hi ilk
of the Holstein-Friesian not .infrequently contains too low a percentage of
total solids to satisfy the requirements of the legal standard established in
some of our states and cities. There are some families in this breed pro-
ducing milk of much better quality and no doubt, though probably with
some decrease in quantity, the average quality of the milk of the entire
breed may be easily raised. The butter made from Holstein milk has good
keeping qualities but is pale in color. The milk is well adapted for manu-
facture into cheese.

Holstein-Friesian cattle are most at home where a system of intensive
farming is practiced, where the pastures are rich, and liberal feeding the
rule. Their numbers have increased rapidly of late years, in the richer and
more important dairy sections of the United States. The cuts presented as
types of the breed are both those of imported animals. The bull in his
native country, Holland, was selected by an official committee as the best
bull in North Holland. His weight at the age of four years was 2,300
pounds. The cow in her second milking period made a yield of 20,000
pounds of milk ; and during this year, when in full flow of milk, made 23^
pounds of butter in seven days. Alvord states that her feed when giving
her largest flow of milk was 28 pounds of grain per day, with beets and good
hay. She had access to water ^vw(t or six times daily and was milked every
eight hours. The number of Holstein- Friesians in the United States is now
quite large. They rank next to Jerseys among the pure dairy breeds. The



Digitized by LiOOQ IC



ANIMAL HUSBANDRY.



567



association of Holstein-Friesian breeders has pursued a most intelligent and
energetic course in its efforts to disseminate information, and in all ways to
promote the improvement and the general introduction of its favorite cattle.
This association was the first to establish a separate system of registry for
animals of proved excellence and quality, — the so-called system of il ad-
vanced registry."

570. Dutch Belted cattle — Dutch Belted cattle are with little doubt
descended from the same original stock as the Holstein-Friesian. Their
native country is Holland, and it has been claimed that in that country they



Fig. 181. Bklted Dutch Bull, Dukh of Ralph 255.
By courtesy of H. E. Alvord, Chit/ Dairy Division^ U. S. Deft. Agriculture.

were kept for a long time almost exclusively by members of the royal
family and the aristocracy. Like the Holstein-Friesians, these cattle are
black and white ; but the distribution of the color is quite different and very
unique and striking. There can be no doubt that, in the effort to fix the
peculiar markings, the animals of this breed were more closely bred than is
usually desirable. Some of the more valuable and practical characteristics
appear to have been in a measure lost sight of. In size Dutch Belted
cattle rank about with Ayrshires. They are, however, rather longer in the



Digitized by LiOOQ IC



5 68 * GRICUL TURE ;

leg and somewhat less compact in form than the cattle of that breed. The
color is black with a band of white extending entirely around the body.
This belt of white differs in width, but it should not extend forward to the
shoulder nor back to the hip. There must be no white elsewhere on the
body and no black must appear in the white belt. Dutch Belted cows yield
a fair amount of milk. In quality this milk stands rather low, though it
will average somewhat richer in butter fat than the milk of the Holstein-
Friesians. The breeders of Dutch Belted cattle naturally claim very much



Fig. 182. Belted Dutch Cow, Lady Aldinr 124.
By courtesy of H. E. A Ivor d, Chief Dairy Division, U. S. De/t. Agriculture.

for their favorites, but their claims appear to be hardly justified by the facts.
The breed is not numerous, either in its native country or in the United
States, and it cannot as yet be regarded as of much importance. The cuts
give a good idea of the appearance of two of the finest individuals of the
breed.

571. Brown Swiss — Brown Swiss cattle are natives of Switzerland, a
country which has long possessed a most enviable reputation for its dairy
products, especially for its cheese. This breed of cattle, being native to a
hilly and mountainous country, shows the natural peculiarities resulting



Digitized by LiOOQ IC



ANIMAL HUSBANDRY. 569

from life in such a country. Most important among these characteristics
are the somewhat larger and stronger bone and leg than are common
among lowland catde. The cows usually range in weight from about
1,200 to 1,400 pounds, the bulls about 1,880 pounds and somewhat above.
It may be noted that the bull is not so much heavier than the cow as in
some breeds. Brown Swiss cattle show a fairly well developed dairy form, but
they are somewhat more compact and better rounded than some of the more
highly specialized breeds. The color is brown, sometimes shading into



Fig. 183. Brown Swiss Cow, Brienzi 163.
By court* sy 0/ H '. E. Alvord, Chief Dairy Division, U. S. Defit. Agriculture.

gray. The muzzle is mealy. There is a lighter tuft of hair between the
horns and a light stripe along the back. The animals of this breed show a
close general resemblance in coloring to the Jersey, and a novice, not look-
ing very closely, may easily mistake the Brown Swiss for the Jersey. The
best Brown Swiss cows are large milk producers, 6,000 pounds per year
being common, while 10,000 pounds are frequently reached. One cow of
this breed, kept in Massachusetts, made a yield of 86,304 pounds of milk



Digitized by LiOOQ IC



570 A GRICUL TURE ;

before she was twelve years old, and for four years, when in her prime, made
from 500 to a little more than 600 pounds of butter per year. The calves
of this breed are large at birth, heakhy, and grow rapidly. Brown Swiss
cattle- are much better for beef than are the cattle of the more highly
developed dairy breeds. The quality of the beef is good. Oxen of this
breed are usually strong and serviceable work animals. It is claimed that
in their native country these animals are fed on grass or other green fodders
and hay only. The number of Brown Swiss cattle in the United States is
still comparatively small, and it may be doubted whether it will ever become

a breed of the first im-
portance for the gen-
eral purpose farmer.
It is not, perhaps, suf-
ficiently highly special-
ized to suit the demands
of our civilization. It
is an excellent animal
for all purposes, but
perhaps hardly good
enough in any to make
it a general favorite.
The cut gives a good

Fig. 184. Abhrdben-Ancus Cow, Waterside Matilda II. 631a. idea of the appearance

After Wallace. of Rrown ^^ ^^

of the best type. The cow, Brienzi, at the age of eleven years, weighed
1,410 pounds, and has the honor of having produced the largest quantity
of butter fat in a day ever recorded in America, in a public test. Her aver-
age record for three days in a fat stock. and dairy show in Chicago in 1891,
was 81.7 pounds of milk, containing 3. 11 pounds of fat. This was equiva-
lent to more than $ l /i pounds of butter daily.

572. Other breeds sometimes included -in the dairy class — There are a
few other breeds of cattle which are put by some authors into the dairy
class, but which the writer will describe at length, under a separate class,



Digitized by



Google



ANIMAL HUSBANDRY.



571



known as dual purpose animals. Among these breeds are sometimes found
individuals possessing excellent dairy qualities ; and in some of the breeds
the average dairy quality of the cow is good. Still, all fail to have that
average dairy quality which, in the opinion of the author, is necessary to
entitle a breed to a position in the dairy class ; and all, moreover, are of
much value for beef, some of them, as would be admitted by all writers,
being far more prominent as beef than as dairy animals. These breeds are
the Shorthorn, Polled Durham, the Devon, the Red-Polled, Simmenthal,
and Normandy. Among Shorthorns are found occasional very deep milk-
ers and some families produce a large number of good dairy animals. In
quality, Shorthorn milk is about like that of the Ayrshire.

The Polled Durham is nothing more than a hornless Shorthorn, and of
the quality of the breed for dairy purposes the same may be said as of the
Shorthorn.

Many families of Devons originally possessed better dairy qualities than
at the present time. The breed is in general characterized by the yield of a
moderate quantity of milk of unusually good quality and high color.

The Red Polled cattle are somewhat similar to Devons as regards dairy



Online LibraryWilliam Penn BrooksAgriculture .. → online text (page 7 of 31)