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Mr John S._ Rutherford paid a visit to his Mistake station last week (eayß the Lyttelton Times), leaving home on Saturday and retnrning to Timaru on Thursday night. He bcought down the horses (11) and cattle (12) from the station. Tho cattle and horses had been- six weeks in the snow, but they must have been able to get food, or they would not- be in such condition as they were, or be able to make the jouiney down as they did in two days, with nothing to eat on tha way. Tho" fact is, cattle and horses work hard and paw a%vay the snow until they get at the grass. Sheep will paw away the snow where the tip of : a tussock shows, but the bigger stock work away "at a face/ and shift the snow over large patches. Coming down, of course, they had no time to get feed in that way.' The net resalt of the winter, Mr Rutherford belisves, Trill be that not a sheep will survive ; those that live till the snow goes will die off when the feed come 3 again. BuS'very few can survive the snow, as it must take a long time to disappear, there'is such a depth of it. ■There is really no hope for any of them. The men on the stations ore skinning what they can, but the skins cannot always be packed away," and if loffc lying they shrivel up and become almost worthleis. If a thaw comes suddenly •the skinning wouldsoon be put a stopto by decomposition. As for the aheep, they a;e mere skin and bone, and one of the difficulties of Rtation life, just now is lack of meat. At The Mistake a bsast. had been killed and was hung up and frozen hard. When the cook wanted stakes he had to saw them off. 'Wnere mutton was ■'depended on there :is noae to ba had. The sheep are so wasted fchst one can lift them by the back like a kitten. There is some talk of getting up a petition prsying for remission of the sheep rate now due,, and also the current half year's rents, and it' is suggested that the Government should, send some capable person to see the Mackenzie country in its present condition, and later, to report from a disintsrested standpoint on the digaster.- At present it would be difficult to get a petition signed, and unsatisfactory too, as there'is a lack of definite information as to the extant'of the losses. New* was brorigb.l; by the mailman that Mr Saundars, of The Wolds, is saving a'number of hia sheep by the use of the snow plough, with which' he has made tracks into swampy-places whers there is a good deal of rough herbage. It appears that, the sheep will scratch away the snow if they find anything -to start oa, : ' • : '' ' ■'■ *' '" ■''

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Bibliographic details

Otago Daily Times, Otago Daily Times, Issue 10431, 6 August 1895

Word Count

A THE WEATHER IN THE MACKENZIE COUNTRY. Otago Daily Times, Issue 10431, 6 August 1895