EARLY MATURITY OF FARM STOCK.
By the common admission of all competent to form opinions on the matter (says an English writer), remunerative meat production cannot be insured at the present day without early maturity and rapid fattening. Young pigs, feed from birth and sent to the pork. shops at about six weeks old, may be made to pay, lout the production of bacon can only be accomplished at a loss. Lambs taught to nibble oil cake as soon - as they will eat anything, and steadily moving so that they fatten as they grow, may at about ten months old be
brought to heavier weights of carcass than onr fathers used to bring their sheep to after keeping them three or four years. And cattle feeding, to be rendered remunerative, must be conducted precisely in the same way. The calf must never be stinted of food, but have plenty of milk at first, and then milk and meal with a ittle oil cake. As he grows bigger, and devours more of the natural food of the farm, whether it be hay and root pulp or green food, a portion of the milk may bo taken off, or skim-milk thickened with linseed meal, or linseed boiled to mucilage, may be substituted for the whole milk, but when this is done the allowance of oil cake should be increased. The calf should at all times be fed so as to go on steadily putting on flesh more and more as it grows, never being allowed to have a check at any time, but to enjoy one continuous, progressive development, with greater and still greater allowances of oil cake or meal, the result of which will be the production of two-year-old beef. Wellbred young steers and heifers, in short, may be ripened into tolerably good maturity at two years old, if only they are of the right strain of blood, for a great deal depends on this. Practical men of great experience are well aware what astonishing differences present themselves in the capabilities of animals to lay on flesh rapidly and arrive at maturity quickly Of a number of stock picked up indiscriminately at fair or market the proportion of t( ne’er-do-well” ones would be large, while others would thrive to a wish. Here and there a few excellent judges of stock may be found capable of picking out the good doers from the bad at a glance ere their capabilities have been tried. But this is a rare gift, and can scarcely be termed a feat of skill to be required ; conquently the necessity of graziers who desire to produce two-year-old beef on _a large scale rearing their own stock manifests itself.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 105, 27 May 1880
EARLY MATURITY OF FARM STOCK. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 105, 27 May 1880
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