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TO THE EDITOR. I Sir, —Would you kindly grant roe-space J in your valuable paper to say a few words in reply to Mr Jackson's letter of the 12fch instant, in which he asks me some questions, and has something to say on the subject of feeding sheep and Scotchmen on oats. . I feel sorry that poor "Collio " became unwell on hearing Mr Jackson read my. letter. If he had understood it properly he would have known that the shaft from my bow was not directed against him, or his wise and faithful race at all, but against his owner, when that owner compels him to become a minister of unnecessary pain and disturbance to the most valuable animal we have in the colony. I quite agree with Mr Jackson that the wethers I wrote about were great fools to refuse to eat turnips, if the said turnips had 90 per cent nutriment in them. I also agree with him when .he says that " some turnips do not have 20 per cent in them"—of anything good I suppose. I further agree with him that oats and chaff given daily, in judicious quantities and equally shared by the sheep along with turnips, are very good things for fattening. 'When, however, turnips are to be had, I believe sheep can be fattened quite as well, and in a much cheaper and less troublesome manner without either oats or chaff; The past experience of hundreds of us proves this to be the case. I am not, however, seeking after any new information about turnips, I know all about them already; what I am anxious to see proved, is how it will pay to feed on oats and chaff without them. But 1 here comes something to stagger me, Mr Jackson writes "look at the fine class of men we can turn out in Scotland—fed on oats —big bones, broad shoulders, and well put together." As I never heard anything about those graminivorous northern Patagonians before, they must have disappeared from the earth long anterior, to my..adveht onl t, their .decadence being accelerated, no douut, by the same' cause which militated against the. wethers I mentioned—tbey must have tried to subsist on oats alone. Lastly, Mr Jackson wants to know, " How many lbs of turnips would a 901b sheep eat per day when fat, and how much more will it eat when half fat—of turnips with 90 per cent in them." Now here is a problem more perplexing than that which was given the great Archimedes to solve ; he did know partly what was in the crown, but Mr Jackson, like a disciple of Blackstone, carefully avoids telling us what was in the turnips. It might be 90 per cent of air, or 90 per cent of athole brose. Ah, Jackson, Jackson ! You and I can can never settle these knotty questions, till we foregather at the clachan, and have a long crack over a gill of the dew of Ben Nevis. Then Adam, for the sake of Auld Scotland, you will have to tell me what was in the neeps. lam, etc., D. Oliver. Chelmsford, May 19bh, 1890.

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Bibliographic details

FEEDING SHEEP ON OATS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2434, 20 May 1890

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FEEDING SHEEP ON OATS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2434, 20 May 1890