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FEEDING SHEEP ON OATS.

> 'TO TffE/EMTOK. Sir, —The enclosed letter has been forwarded "to me for my own information, > but as it contains much. valuable matter perhaps you would not Object to givoifca place in your columns. If yon accede to this request be good enough also to allow me to ./point out a. misprint, in my .own article on this .subject, published in your columns recently. ;Iri this lam made to say that "a 901b sheep, live weight, would require, if kept in good >'.:or. condition for three months on oat-- .<■■■. chaff alone, 3 J bushels oats and i i bushel ,chaff." This should readl^cwfc chaff, instead of IJ'bushel. i •-, - •• -. lam,*etc M -v, < 1 ',• ' *■*'!).'OtIVEB. .Jf

Alf drd HotiseV \"■ '■ x „'::* Ma y ;.6th, 18^)...' Dbab. Mk OfJVEE. — '/: ' * • ; If everyone who reads the excellentletters from the pens of yourself and tson,; and published in the public pressrderives as much pleasure ' and profit frcihi their 'perusal as myself you would tie Sskgd to kindly double the supply/"'' v --'?> j .: -The junior's well-timed, letter on, sWk ; building was excellent/ arid must perforce have borne fruit wheraver.itjelt.ongood ground ; but alas ] the^minds'"6f many of us are as arid- as our shingle riverbeds. 1 'Your article, ,'/.Oats as a Feeiding Stuff," is alsowell-tioied, } bufc lacks? the experience which your so'ri'^as, able to bring to'bear on his subject.' This';you ; duly acknowledge arid forthwith ask for information. You have,however^ given us a mass of information oil tlie'value of feeding stuffs,-which Js.idf the" utmost importance- to • those, who like mYself intend to work 'out*''; the problem in a practical, manner. ■„',/"'. !

I disagree . with your suggestion 'that the County Council should jichut upj the irrigation business ah^l go in for experimental sheep feeding,'ahd for tHe identical reasons urged by , .the r. Editor of'the '' Ashburtbn Mail." It is' certainly a Very' proper 'subject for careful and accurate trial by the Manager of the School of Agriculture, Lincoln ; yet- even thek I -should not be inclined to receive Hhe results of any fcrialsas final. Sheep taken' I frorij'.^; flock andfshut up in pens in..a covSretlshed,,ojr ev%ii isolated from tfheir fellows would fret, and consequently! fail to assimQate tlie |o)>d. X}£i j Dr.Eandall, of whom you speak asUhe most painstaking writer on sheep of \ the present century, and as a highly educated and enthusiastic sheep farmer, ought to be regarded as the authority on sHeep feeding, having to deal with animals whose hereditary instincts fit themifor indfloxf ceding, and the close and constant presence of man. lam inclined to accept, the results of his experiments in preference to those of the chemists and other Iprbfessor^ whos^-yery names are enough 'to stagger^the* average cockatoo. j There was, however, one German ■ chemist, long resident in Engiand, wHose investigations, are known to be highly practical, being guided by extensive experience and great learning—the late Dr'Voelckner—who was second only to | Sir Bennet Lawes as an authority on j all matters', pertaining-, to farming. The March issue of the "N.Z. Country Journal" contains a very useful;article, "The .Value of Oats as.a Feeding; Stuff," which should be read, by everyone who is interested' iff ;the subject of your'paper. 1 ' Although thai: same" article was, I believe, published in,the." Weekly Press," it. is necessary .that one.should,.not, trust to memory but , have, ( before .liim,-all the wbrked-out details of, elaborate t experiments "made by Dr 'yoe'lekner, on five pens 6f eight sheep in each'l ( 'fed : during h peribd'bf sixteen weeks on '• 'iV 1 Oats, crushed 4 Wheat; 'Whqle ,2, Barley, ■\\ •. .; - 5 andl:Wheat , 3 Qats and Barley, equal;parts.,:.-, j • Each sheep. had a daily,- allowance: in addition to the grain of 201bs turnips and |lb hay chaff. •- r -I ' ■ ' ; Taking No.'l,''oats crushed, we find that each sheep ate ' ' i ' ■r; ■" .••'■.•• ,•" s d ' 1 ton turnips worth 3 0 : 2 bushels oats crushed 2 8 '. 281bs hay 0 9;

6"5 I „ The writer says : '' Assuming then that the increase was 481bs mutton worth 2d per Ib, the increased value of the sheep, would be Bs, to which must be added the increased value of the pelt, together with the manure left upon the soil, equal to an increase of 25s in the succeeding- corn .crop;;'- 1; 1 ;>;// <■/, KJ £$ V y*L[is ; ( . Without making.;anylcbmnllent> the preceding, or the experiments mentioned by y°u > I will proceed to speak from my own experience in England and on the Canterbury .Plains.. .■ •>■, ' After leaving my father, whose farming experience extended over sixty years j, I took a sheep farm near Doncaster,'; a district -second,, to none in Great Britain for the slcill displayed in sheep management. It might well be called an art, eveiy scientific fact and the accumulatfed experience of years is. brought to bear upon.it, ;.',\ j V I '." ll ;

; /We put Leicester ewes to Lincoln rains from "which we tailed »n average of 150 per, cent of lambs,.,, Long before the lamb's were' weaned tliey*ate linseed cake out of troughs^ either with the ewes or in anViiiielpsure ."to'which the lambs alone could enter. On being weaned into clover •aftermath they received a daily allowance of each of cotton seed cake ivhich/ted a^'biiiding^tendency. When folded on "the turiiipsln autumn a "break",; was always stopped, ; !,.ilrcl .-.nil ■■pitted in advance so that''the i [■■; <•■•■■.!■! n<-: i»o eaten in the green succulent state. The turnips Swere cut into fingers by a Lay-, diner's cutter and placed in troughs hay- f ing a top rail so that the sheep could not, jump across or otherwise soil the food.' In self-acting racks there was placed, twice da,ily, the dry food, which varied, 1 and here it is where skill is required, according to the sucpulentjor^,dry,.naj;.ure of the roots, the time of year or the nature of the season, We had recourse to Canadian (blue) peas, American maize, and' linseed cake, decorticated and plain cotton seed cakes, home grown oats and barley, to malt germ and bran. The maize,'barley and oats forming the amylaceous or fat formers, the peas, bran, and cotton cake the protein or flesh formers, whilst the linseed cake held an intermediate position and was withheld when there was a tendency tor laxity* in the flock. The malfc germ was useful only in wet weather to prevent stickiness in the cake. No hay or chaff was use<l b*ecaus|e the watery turnips—9o per cent "being water —formed enough bulky material for the necessities of rumination. Of the dry food each sheep received 4oz to 6oz daily and Avithin a few weeks of being finished off Boz. ■ > When 10 months old the first; draft of ! 'bad skinned 7uns" would besent to market" and for which I * have received us high a's £4 12s 6d—that lot being resold. ab ;aji adyance of 2s 6d each. As soon as the ,v rQ«+l'orr.nd the Cruelty to Animals.Society '■■■•il'i .'.I:- -i". t In), sheep Mvrp. jv.viliod .>nj|l !-'ii «;-. .ii .{round prii>f im having liioil 1 1'• •.',:•■? ■'•.'.'i. '. removed—weighing lfe to loibs each. They were then sent to market, frequently in covers if thfe weather were cold. The butcher's weight of these sheep was from 881bs upwards?. 1 have lmd them up to 1831b each—which* wovo l.lien worth 8d per lb. Althou^rli a considerable part of the cost oi the food is cortainly chargeable to tho following grain crop, still the feed- ■

ijijr of iiheep on the lines stated paid. ■ The sheep farmers were all well to do;. v.-hiU i.l;c wheat and bean grower was : 1 ■. . - out at elbows. Times have changed v,: .",,o worse since I left home eight years ago but I have not heard of the smash up of one of the body of skilful sheep farmori} who catered for tho hungry millions of Sheffield, Leeds, VVakefield and Bradford. In tjio breeding and feeding of fat lambs for market, which I carried out on <i grain farm near town, the same principles whicir govern the "feeding" r'6t the older sheep is equally applicable, yot even • greater care is necessary with., a breeding i'iock in goo:l condition.. beca.u,sexj(ig^ficial feeding induces a ,tendonc^ to. \fayp* and diseases' 'of•',the ; organs'*of generation. Breeding ewes' should on no account be ; e-i t.i\f(\ on turnips.llte^^ulk^m^l^food"" i. . ii\ :in-.' wiili ilu- groy tVibitlie foatus. I' ■:■';> '.■iv--i! <-ii '^rtfes^land with tho r addition pf :h ; ay or tl^wmt^t sjtraw4s the safest and,besc\<;qu^.^g^6pt; ifo artiiicial food can be ["ipo nefx for lanros, nor can it injure 'the ewes .'wliW.saf«ly over lanibing. ; 'a'cxs Hppcar to enrich tho milk more~thah'f.M\ orliur food, wspociiilly^wlion 'ccjnsumed^jil'iiijj with iiiaiiaolfls,:.Kohlrabi or Sw((i<! im/iips, ;ill of .which, keep well-in p"its uiiiil l;u« .in .spring; i Tiii:-! lli.ii Ilie produce of Fljingshiro ■:»o ('('lion"'-! ltnrdcr Lf'iccslcr) mid II il.-iifi.iiv 'il'-wft niins bx^far^the,most i-i'-'i-.i'iK- whil.>! i'it; j^icester-loncoln cross—so well adapted for mutton—was the' most difficult tb fatten. My average sale; extending otfer several years) was 36s 8d each, equal to 55s for^ each ewe purchased^ < I-X f btitcher, who slaughtered^6oo 'fat-'lambs;every !week during the season, took the lot as they ■■matured; ";•■<; (f»0 ; •'•^) C? oral r*. So-sbon aslt^jpr etres dry.they were sold off fat,- generally reaUsing l(fe 'over their'cost;'besides leavuig'it Meece of 6lbo£:wool to; credit otaccount,' rfAifre«h lot was bought at York in th'e.aattinm. You will'-say li'.TMk practice is all very well, no doubt, at Home, where feeding stufla are •procurable.rraLd prices of fat stock high, but cannot be of any possible use to us here."..-.To which I reply—The sheep farmer who understands the pro* #table ifceding, of 'Bhee|y)ra£l Home' will speedily adapt himself'> to thi'new^ conditions by which~he is surrounded elsewhere. 1- And; jibwji after wading thik>ugh much which is, I fear uninteresting to you, I come ltd what'l MA h'«retontlleiCanterbury,plairisVi, ..'J!-?Y1:J: H\i[lf/ I .

During a journey of 6000 miles through New -Zealand, i arid .< < vwitingv .fety many large sheep farms, I saw nothing in any way^appT^ch^'t^ at H<We; -|This'- is va grand-iheep.oorotry, wonderfully healthy, and id-evorf respect suitable for.p < rp4ucira i mutton and wool for export/a 1 Wfl(e'wnidh my opinion is stiU mits infancy.,. No f w that, the wheat ■ growing'<■ bo^oin 'has 1' 'bufet* ■' we 0 sliali most. probably see attention paid to ..the breed- . ing and feeding of, Sheep on small farms. I think' 'the'breeding oTlambs will be found the most p^bfitjible on small shelWed -occupations.'* n/'* <L y.» ufrXT, In an ordinary season turnips, 3 can be grojirn successfully,- vespeciaUy^Sjsliijeiv one to' two;eytf'of'superphbi^liatQ.'Jiß used. With this' crop; • and-'a^dpply of oaten chaff and brarii'tWsitruation iij complete • for a man who wili^thrpwc-his heart into the work. ' It*! is 'essential, hoover, that he should study the nervous animal he essays' to' feed, rand: understand tlie principles of feeding^ td.comfe out with,a profit oil his outlay and labor. "]'}"'" \' !K% ' , As l we cannot afford', top,' tail^pit, and cut up turnips'ori large farms here, I run a mob of lambs on'an advance- " break " which have' also a supply! of :^oz of oaten chaff,daily,; with rock salt fcb licx.\ The two-tooths f follow} when the tops *Jar<p off ■ and the turnips just barked, and receive a .daily allowance of oaten chaff equal to 6 , or. Bozs .of oata and,', 2oz bran^ »,well mixed; ,in. properly "constructed .• feeders. .. It is advisable that' the allowance I should ■" be given daily, otherwise individualsheep , will .gorgei themselves*to,death.;, Merino wethers jare the , worst in this respeciyand also?, the;, slowest -feeders., f JRopk.?;Balt' should' be freely distributedjin boxes or an , the. trough.of the. feeders. ..As the, sheep frecqnie fat jthe allowance ,of chaff may be increased to the.largerjfigur.ej mentioned, but it is not advisable to exceed that quantity. „ , . , ( r r ., , , rtl ■ , ';I have spoken only ■d£ winter feeding, but; eVen <iM^^:godd*grass ,'aiidlcl6Ver paddocks it is not enough" to drive sheep in at the ,gateway /aiyj^qlosepthe gate —if there' be" one." "Thfe'^ye of the master fattens the ox" .is a saying.equally Applic- ' able £} -tity sKeepj' ™f^ '^7 f"S ■ :\ A man -may understandt^he.'f eednig b£ sheep, th'tfttifVefericV? hetw^en^ fatf formers .■U!<l fle-li-fnvmors, Juf'may nayS J.tui^ips 'galbrfe &nd .chaff or'grainiadfjtt6,<ljuib'ifj he harass thd sheep with do^s, overdrive, or use' harshiicsK, ili.u man's labor is vain. Your remarks on this head ou^ht to be studied l»y overy in'in who'owns n slieiijj dog. Ntrtliini; stirs up my Viking blood more than t<> m> ( - it «.i>-(:ihUi»l slu!j>hcrd harassing a mob -<->f sl'.tv.p. willi those. horrid dogs. 1 believe .would gain' Wbusanfls' a Tyear in increased, quality of w.odl^nd quantity of mutton if' a 'godd'ro'un^t^s: on dpgs^ .were imposed afld 3 enforced: l Hiiherw!Sie 'cofflecting of the small dog.r.ta'x r^^^t^- colonial credit-systentv;'.^^K-O^e-.jaj^ $Ht> wiU jand' those who! yon^abii't..' "'My^ advice to iln>-»! vi ho intend to pursue the, bubinesH ■<if s?u>cp fanning wnuJn be no shepherd. who is"rptigh .and^ha^ ajEollow'ing- b'f more' than J than plenty if not controllable,. Neither myself >nor' my more 7 ex^rien^^'neighTjors, at Home tolerated sucha'tfanimaras'W'snTOp, dog. Dogs are'a'ntedessityhere, yet if such a thoroughly .practical sheep aB lMr:]\ilcMillan, lv!-of- Mesopotamia, can-. successfuljy mustier ,and .manage" huge flocks of'wild sheep W^'such a rough country, with two dogs, what_ in the.namo of,reason;- caa;ia shepherd on :the*iPlWnß lwant Viili three 6r >more r ''Jjast yeaf the shepherd of a neighboring station brought five or six dogs'to assist, him (?) to drive less than a score quiet.rams. ..Whilst ■we'>were m^irig the'selec'tion in'the/ sked the jrnii6F[:taembers'/)f his' p«kjk\Trore torturing'a"mob/of 'Bhe^p^oiltSJife^^'f •Now cbmeil tlie oructor()jue^tibn^X>oes it pay ?' i^Wen^whefe^l fi^ ehtw^upon the work'!here-I'foutid f>%«%^p^''n4aVy loss entailedy^on /working^heU plaice;'inhere -!'' was riot enougV/n >VlMi<)n to supply the commisariat, anA^yet there were good, t <f»p^ g&in <&s*»*? By increasing thej^oreayun^ir rootejrdec^RSing that uhd*er *_whea^, and quitting the ; uselesaj men and dogp/l have found jthe pjp^ikeep g|ce wjtKthe^^ea^ej'mroauctionr.bfrjhuttonS 1 JlougKly speaking the mutton pays all expenses of working— inohirlir.c; a taxation of upwards of £500 .'. urn- -jin't" leave-us \}w "wool as profit. j Not reckoning , the < fat sold in . j Addington -Jxm i \Dunedih,'"'*our,. annual export amounts to] 300Q carcjises of 601bs each and^ lOlbs of fat"" each" sheep ; half £he a number, ;beiijg.first""aAd two- t t<?pths; [ i Wjth (tli^'exde^tidji; of a few I purchases of lambs in autumn, all are r - I bred on f the, i-plate,i iaad) consqueritly T: ' " know the Voice of the shepherd. I •.•*■• :•:•" •.•>??• v»»iH -vu-oiji o» • iilcK'iCY" • ' ;, : , „lam, Pear. M?.Qliyer,oui Ci i?-) 1 '"Vl-"''* ;)i'.'(Y[ours faithfully,) i >h[

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18900515.2.20.1

Bibliographic details

FEEDING SHEEP ON OATS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIV, Issue 2430, 15 May 1890

Word Count
2,337

FEEDING SHEEP ON OATS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIV, Issue 2430, 15 May 1890

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