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THE FARMER.

THE BEST PAYING FARMERS’ SHEEP. (From the East Charlton Tribune.) At a meeting of the Mount Wycheproof Farmers’ Union held at Johnson’s hotel on November 22, Mr. Josiah Rice in the chair, the following paper on “Best Paying Sheep for the Farmers ” was read hy Mr. Cooper :—“ I have been an observer of sheep breeding in England, New Zealand, New South Wales, and Victoria for about 40 years. It has always been my study to find out what breed of sheep would produce the heaviest carcase, combined with the best quality of mutton and wool, in the shortest time. I was amongst sheep-breeders of note in my early youth, viz., the breeders of the old original Leicester, called the Dishley Leicester breed, bred by Mr. Bakewell, of Dishley ; also Messrs. Buckley, of Nonnanton hills, Leicestershire, who bred and brought out the improved Leicester, which was considered the grandest breed and best paying sheep of the day, being noted for early' maturing and giving the heaviest carcase and most wool in the shortest time. The weight of this latter class of sheep would i'C about 801 b. weight when 12 to 14 months old, when its mutton would be at its best. In two years the weight could be increased to 1201 b. or more, but the flavor was rather tallowy, which is a drawback. There was also too much fat in proportion to the lean to suit the taste of the consumers. The cross with the Lincoln and Leicester was afterwards tried, which produced a sheep of a more fleshy nature as well as an improvement in wool, but still the mutton was tallowy and the fibre coarse ; therefore, this quality did not suit because, as in the Leicester, there was too much waste for the consumer. A cross was tried with the Southdown ram and the Leicester owe with good results, about the same weight of carcase being produced in the same time, viz., 801 b in 12 or 14 months, and sold at Id per lb. more than cither the Leicester, Lincoln, or Lincoln-Leicester ; the flesh being more equalised with the fat, so that the whole carcase could bo eaten without waste, the fat being sweet, and fibre fine. This breed was very' much sought after, it being the greatest favorite of both the butcher and consumer. The cross between the Southdown ram and Leicester cwo gave a heavy' percentage of lambs, twin lambsbcingcommon, andoccasionally three. The constitution of this breed was very strong and healthy, and is well worthy of the farmer’s notice. I have seen the cross between a Leicester ram and Cheviot ewe, which yielded fat lambs, but it was not a desirable breed to continue. I have also seen the Romney Marsh, both pure and crossed with the Leccistcr. This class of sheep is an early maturer, but produces too much tallow for consumption, and is, therefore, best suited for the boiling-down pot, crossed with either a-. Southdown a Hampshire Down. The merino is the king of all sheep for the squatter, who has an unlimited area for it to run. It is hardy in constitution, which enables it to withstand the hardships of bad seasons. It produces a good wool, which is not to be equalled by any other breed of sheep, but it is a very choice feeder, and has the instinct of roaming for choice herbage, and it often spoils more feed than it consumes through rambling about so much. It does not matter what quantity it may spoil through roaming, so long as the area of grass is unlimited. The following will show that the cross between the South, down ram and Lccoister or Rincolu-

Leicester ewe is more profitable than the merino for selectors :—Merino hoggets, in wool, usual price, 8s per head, Southdown ram, crossed with a Leicester or Lincoln-Leiccster ewe, at 11 months old weighs about 801 b, and in wool is worth 20s. : value of quality for mutton, if realised, Id. per lb., Gs. Bd. extra, thus leaving a balance in favour of the latter of from 12s. to 18s. per head. I have mentioned the merino as being the best sheep for the squatter ; granting that it is so, we ax-e not squatters hut farmers with small areas, and want sheep that do not require much scope of ground, and that will enable us to make the most money in the shortest time. This sheep is to he found in the produce of the Hampshire. Down ram and either the Leicester or Lincolu-Leicester ewe. This breed excels all the sheep I ever saw for early maturing, producing the heaviest weight of carcase in the shortest time, the mutton being prime in quality and flavour, prolific increase, and yearly fat lambs. I have killed sheep of this breed when 12 months old, whose carcases have weighed over 1001 b. I do not say that this is the average, hut it shows well for the breed, which, I believe, is heavier than the average of any other class of sheep that has come under my notice of that age ; therefore, I believe this breed to he

the best paying sheep for the farmer. The wool may lie worth per sheep less than that of the pure Leicester or Lincoln ; hut looking at it in every way it is by far the best paying sheep. This breed of sheep, though it must have plenty of food and water, is not so particular as the merino. It may be placed in a small paddock, as it will not roam, but cat off everything before it. As before stated there must be plenty of feed and water, or else the result named as to weight in a short space of time cannot bo obtained. Green crops, such as rape, etc., eaten off, would be beneficial to both sheep and laud, as they will fatten the sheep, and there will also be the liquid as well as the solid manure from the sheep on the ground, which would be improved for cropping. Irrigation would enable us to carry and fatten 10 or more sheep to the acre if they are of the Hampshire Down and Leicester breed, which-would give a great impetus to sheep farming amongst selectors, as they would then, by the aid of the water supply, produce all kinds of feed for sheep as well as grain growing. The question of irrigation and milway extension must be spcedly carried out in our dry districts, which have a rich soil, or it will soon revert to its former occupation as a sheepwalk. We farmers of the Wimmera district must therefore be up and doing at the next general election, and help ourselves by returning those men to Parliament who will never rest until railway extension and irrigation are carried into our midst. ” After a deal of questioning, a vote of

thanks was carried for the interesting paper which Mr. Oliver Cooper had read. The meeting then closed.

AMERICAN DAIRYING EXPE RIENCES.

Amongst “ Items from Notes by the Way,” a travelling correspondent of the American Agriculturist ” has the following on dairying in Wisconsin, a state whoso dairy products figured largely at the International Dairy Fair in New r York last December. Mr. Goodwin has taken first prizes for butter at St. Louis and elsewhere, and was called upon to address the State Convention upon the subject implied ; —■

S. J. Goodwin’s Experience in Butter-making. —His cows arc mostly grade Jerseys, with some mixture of shorthorn. The milk-room, a little below the ground surface, has the ice-house along the northern side. Against this a lower space 2Sin. high is constructed, with slats above for holding ice. In this space the milk is placed in cans 20in. high and Sin. in diametei - . Those are set in galvanised iron pans 4in. deep. The melting ice drops down upon the covers and runs down over the sides into the pans, running over into drains when the pans are full. Tin's keeps the temperature at about 50 deg., and the cream is 3G to 03 hours in rising. xtfter churning, and working out the buttermilk thoroughly, he salts with three quarters of an ounce of salt to the pound for early use, and one ounce to the pound for butter to bo kept to autumn and winter. Butter a Great Absorbent of Odours.- —Mr. Goodwin lays much stress upon keeping everything neat about and in the vicinity of the butter and cream rooms. The hand is not allowed to come in contact with the butter during making, working, or packing. When his butter was selling in St. Louis, as “A No. 1,” report came that a couple of firkins had fallen below the standard, owing to a little bad flavor. After considerable investigation, it was found that the cover to the wooden conduit or pipe that carried the buttermilk to the swine at a distance, did not fit quite tight, and the odour from some of the milk that had soured along the pipe came into the milk-room, though so slightly as not to be perceived ordinarily. Attention to tins restored his butter to its accustomed rank. At another time a light puli’ of smoko got into the milk room, and deteriorated a batch of butter. In short, any odours from any source will he quickly absorbed ly the milk, cream, or butter. Even so slight a cause as the urinating of a cow during milking, will affect the milk more or less by its absorption of the odour. How must it be when cows are milked in a filthy barn-yard or stable, where the air is rank with foul odours Is it any wonder that so much of the butter in market is despoiled of its natural delicious aroma ! Butter Dairy of Lucian Williams. —July 25, we visited this place in the town of Harford, Winnebago Co., 111., where 100 cows are kept, mainly grade Durhams, about 30 of them being dry or near calving, and 70 yielding milk We believe he aims to about three out of five of his cows come in during autumn. The weather being dry and no extra feed being given, the yield of milk was not very large, the tally on the black-board showed: night milking, 7201 b milk ; morning 0251b—total for 24 hours, 13441 b; or an overage of 191-51 b per cow—about 10 quarts. The milk-room is cooled by Prof. Wilkinson’s process —that is a passage way constrnqtcd deep under ground with an opening some 175 ft. or 200 ft. distant. The cool ground reduces the temperature of the air which rises into the milk-room. At the time of our visit, the thermometer inside the miik-room stood at GOdeg., while one outside, in the shade of a northern vestibule, stood at SOdeg. Here was a reduction of 12d0g., without trouble or expense save the original construction of the underground passage. (It is claimed that by having proper length and depth, and making the air passage large enough to give abundant cooling surface, a sufficient reduction of temperature for all ordinary dairy purposes can be secured at much less annual expense than is repaired to provide and care for for the ioc that is thus saved.) Mr. Williams allows the milk to stand 3G to 48 hours, until it turns a little sour, before skimming. He churns every second day, using a large simple barrel churn, turned by a single horse power, revolving slowly, and the butter is an hour to an hour and a half in coming, the temperature being between, 52deg, and Bfidog. The buttermilk is drawn off, and plenty of water at 50deg. to 52deg. is poured in and worked with the butter. It then stands 15 minutes, when the water is drawn off, the butter removed to the working table, and the water and any remaining buttermilk are thoroughly worked out. Then three-quarters of an ounce to the pound of Higgins salt is well

worked in. It stands thus until the next churning clay, or 45 to 48 hours, when a final, thorough working is given, and it is packed in firkins- Care is taken to have everything thoroughly neat, no hand to touch the butter, and no odours from any source to enter the milk or butter room. Wo tested some firkins of different days’ make, and chalked them A 1. The butter yield averages about 11b. to 251 b. of milk. He calculates on producing during the season 2001 b. of pork from the skim milk and buttermilk of each cow—including the pasturage and final corn-feed-ing of the swine.

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THE FARMER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 43, 3 January 1880

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