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VII. The Galloway BREED derives its appellation from the county of the same name, where, and also in some parts of the Lowlands of Scotland, these cattle are chiefly reared, and whence vast numbers are annually sent to Norfolk, and other English counties, to be fattened for the markets. In general, they are black, or dark brindled; are without horns, except occasionally, a small excrescence resembling them, and are rather under the medium size, being smaller than the Devons, though in some other respects resembling them, yet considerably larger than the north, or even the west Highlanders.
A true Galloway bullock is straight and broad in the back, and nearly level from the head to the rump; closely compacted between the shoulder and ribs, and also betwixt the ribs and the loins; broad at the loins, but not with hooked or projecting knobs. He is long in the quarters, but not broad in the twist; deep in the chest, short in the leg, and moderately fine in the bone; clean in the chop, and in the neck. His head is of a moderate size, with large rough ears, and full but not prominent eyes, and he is clothed in a loose and mellow, though rather thick skin, covered with long, soft, and glossy hair.
In roundness of barrel, and fulness of ribs, the Galloway cattle may perhaps vie with even the most improved breeds. Their breadth over the hook-bones is not, indeed, to be compared to that of some of either the short or long horned, but their loins bear a greater proportion in width to the hook bones, and they are shorter between the hooks and the ribs, which is in itself a valuable point, when accompanied with length of body. They are, however, rather coarse in the head and neck, and though short in the leg, are generally fine in the bone.
Of this breed there is a variety termed SUFFOLK Duns; they are also polled, but possess little of the beauty of the original stock, and are chiefly remarkable for the abundance of milk given by the cows,
VIII. The HIGHLAND BREED of Horned Cattle are chiefly reared in the western parts of Scotland. Their horns are usually of a middle size, bending upwards, and their color is generally black, though sometimes brindled, or dun. Their hides are thick, and covered with long hair of a close pile, which nature seems to have intended as a protection against the severity of the climate under which they are bred, for they lose much of this distinction when reared in this country. In other respects they are not unlike the Galloway breed, many of whose best qualities they possess, and more particularly their hardiness of constitution, it being repeatedly proved that they will thrive with such food and treatment ás no tender cattle could endure; but, from being mostly bred in more exposed and mountainous situations, they rarely attain equal size,
Of this breed there are several distinct varieties, of which the principal are the Kyloes—a short-horned breed, so named from the district of Kyle, in Ayrshire,—which are chiefly esteemed
for the superior quality of the milk given by the cow; the Argyleshire, Dunlops, Western Kyloes or Ise of Sky, Norlands, &c.
IX. The Welsh BREED are chiefly black, slightly marked with white, and have thick horns, of a medium length, curving upwards. They are small, and short in the leg, but well proportioned, and clean, though not small boned, with deep barrelled bodies, and thin, short haired hides. They are very quick feeders, and make excellent beef; and the cows are generally good milkers. The best kinds of this race of cattle, are principally bred in the counties of Cardigan and Glamorgan, and in the southern and midland English counties, where they are in considerable demand for stocking inferior pastures. There is, however, a larger breed of a brown color intermixed with white, and also having white horns; but they are long in the leg, thin in the thigh, and narrow in the chine. They are neither so compact as the black cattle, nor do they fatten so kindly, or make such good beef; but, though not in esteem with the grazier, they are active, and well adapted for the yoke.
X. The ALDERNEY BREED are so named from the island, on the coast of Normandy, whence they were first imported, although they are also bred in the neighbouring islands of Guernsey and Jersey. They are small sized; color light red or dun, mottled with white; horns short, and
bone fine. As fatting cattle, they have but few good points ; being thin and hollow in the neck, hollow and narrow behind the shoulders, sharp and narrow on the hucks, light in the brisket, and lean on the chine, with short rumps and small thighs; but their flesh is fine grained, high colored, and of excellent flavor. They are also very large in the belly; but this, as well as some of the points already mentioned, is rather an advantage to milch cows, to which purpose this stock is usually applied in England; and their udder is well formed.
The Alderney cows are very rich milkers; and both on that account, and because of a certain neatness in their appearance, notwithstanding the defects in their shape, they command high prices. They are, therefore, mostly in the possession of gentlemen; who, rarely keeping a regular breeding stock, the cows are consequently crossed by any neighboring bull, and thus the pure breed is preserved in the hands of but very few persons.
Such are the chief breeds of neat cattle in Great Britain; and the description, being taken from the best authorities, may be considered as accurate as possible, in a general view.
We shall next proceed to speak of several varieties found in the United States.
Neat cattle were originally imported by our ancestors from England. They consisted of the Devonshire breed. In this opinion the late Timothy Pickering, of Massachusetts, and John Hare Powell, two gentlemen who, within a few years, have written largely, on the best mode of improving our stock, both unite. It was also the remark of the late Mr. Jay, soon after his return from Great Britain, in 1795, that the cattle, which he had generally seen in New England, appeared to be of the Devonshire breed, that he had seen in Great Britain.
Towards the conclusion of the last century, several cattle were imported, by Charles Vaughan, and a Mr. Stuart; but on the New Eng. sand stock at large, it is not probable that any effect was produced, by these importations. Some traces of their progeny, it is thought, might be noticed in the neighbourhood of Boston; perhaps in Vermont, whither some of the above stock were sent, and in Maine, where according to the testimony of Mr. Powell, some of Mr. Vaughan's stock were driven.
Although the original breed introduced into this country by our ancestors was that of the Devon, it is probable that some other breeds were also introduced by them; particularly the Herefordshire breed. On this point, Mr. Pickering observes, Although I suppose the Devon race of cattle to be predominant in New England, I doubt not that some of other breeds were early introduced by our ancestors; some Herefords unquestionably, whose descendants are yet distinguished by their white faces.” A white face, or as Mr. Marshall terms it, “a bald face," is esteemed characteristic of the true Hereford breed.
The importation of cattle from England ceased at an early period, after the settlement of the country. The Editors of the Massachusetts Agricultural Journal, assume it as probable that few cattle, if any, were imported after 1650.
From that period until towards the close of the last century, few, if any importations were made, and for the reason, probably, that the
improvements in the breeds of English cattle, which had, for a half century been going on in Great Britain, had not attracted the notice of our countrymen, owing chiefly to the depressed state of agriculture among us.
Should it be asked, what was the general character of the neat cattle introduced by our ancestors into America, we reply, in the language of the Editors of the Massachusetts Agricultural Journal : “ It is well known, that the agriculture of England, was then in a low state, compared with its present condition. Successions of crops were nearly un. known; root crops for winter fodder were, we believe, entirely so. The prices of cattle were small, no great encouragement had been given to improve the breed. It is probable, therefore, that the cattle imported were not of a very improved race."
“On the other hand,” continues the above Journal, “ there can be no doubt, that our climate and pastures are well adapted to the preservation of cattle, in as good a state as when imported, and rather to improve them. This we infer from the fact, that they are so fine, rather than from any general reasoning derived from our climate and soil ; and still less from our treatment of them. If we regarded those only, we should
say, that the heat of our summers, and the length and severity of our winters, were unfavorable to an animal, impatient of great heat and severe cold, and thriving much better on green succulent food than . on dry meadow hay.
“It may perhaps, be matter of surprise, that our horned cattle have been preserved as perfect as they are, considering the little attention, which for more than a century, was paid to them. That the cattle of England, at the present time, are far superior to our own, as a body, can scarcely be questioned. Great attention has been paid, in that country, to the improvement of horned cattle; and strange, indeed, would it be, if the efforts of more than half a century had been without effect."
Within a few years, an interesting controversy was carried on, between two gentlemen of great distinction, as enlightened and patriotic agriculturalists—Col. Pickering, and Col. Powell, to whom we have already referred.
Under a conviction of the superiority of the English breeds of cattle, especially the improved short horns, the latter gentleman had, at much trouble and expense, introduced several of that species into the country. Others, also, with similar views, had taken a similar course; and several importations had, from time to time, been made of different foreign breeds, under the impression that our native breeds of cattle might be more speedily raised in their qualities, by crossing with the above, than to select only the best of our native breeds and improve upon them.
The views of Col. Pickering were different. In a communication to the Editor of the New England Farmer, on the subject of improving our native breed cattle, Mr. Pickering remarks : “ Were but two or three farmers, in every township in the state, to turn a zealous attention to it, the object would in a few years be accomplished—whereas, half a century or more might elapse, before a general improvement, by foreign crosses would be effected. It remains, too, to be ascertained, whether any other breeds really deserve the prefereuce, in New-England, to our
native race, improved as it may be, and in so much less time, than will be possible, by means of a small number of imported cattle."
The controversy between these two gentlemen, growing out of their difference of opinion, was conducted with great ability, and numerous facts were collected, which had an important relation to the different positions, which the respective gentlemen had taken. It is not the de. sign of the editor of this work to estimate the merits of either view of the subject, with reference to a settiement of the question involved. The reader will find the papers, relating to this controversy, in the third and fourth volumes of the New England Farmer, and an able review of the controversy by the enlightened Editor of that paper, in the latter volume, uncommonly interesting and instructive.
It was our design to introduce to our readers, notices of several of the most celebrated animals, which have been imported into this coumtry, within a few years, with reference to an improvement of our breed of neat cattle. But, not being able to obtain portraits of them, we must content ourselves, in this edition, with a brief notice of only the two following:
COKE DEVON BULL, HOLKHAM. This is a correct drawing of the celebrated bull, whose name we have given above. He was purchased in the fall of 1819, by Samuel Hurlbut
, & Co. when seven months old, of William Patterson, Esq. of Baltimore. He was sired by Torrence, and out of a cow, both of which were imported by Messrs. Patterson and Caton, in June 1817. They were a present from the celebrated English Agriculturalist, the Hon. Mr. Coke; Member of Parliament, from Norfolk. Much of the fine Devon stock, in this country, has been derived from the above bull,