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Fig. I. Represents a front view of the apparatus, as affixed to the head of the animal. It consists of a straight piece of wood or iron (the latter is the preferable material) stretching from horn to horn, perforated at each end so as to pass over the tips, and fastened on them by the usual metal nuts. On the centre of this is rivetted a curved bar of iron, bending upwards, which moves easily on the rivet, and has holes at each end containing the upper round link of a chain. These chains again unite in a strong iron ring, which opens by a hinge and screw, and
passes through the bull's nose. The effect of this contrivance is as follows:-any person seeing a vicious animal approach may easily avoid him; but if the beast should make a push forward, the curved iron bar will prevent any bad consequences; and if he move in the smallest degree to the right or to the left; the bar communicating by the chain with the ring upon his nose, will bring him immediately to check,
OF THE COW.
This lateral operation is delineated in Fig. 2. An additional advantage resulting from the use of this invention is, that a beast may, with the smallest power, be led in any direction.
A perfect breeding coro ought to have a fine head, with a broad, smooth forehead; black eyes; clean horns; a smooth, elastic skin; a large deep body; strong muscular thighs ; a large white udder, with long and tapering teats; together with every other token requisite in a bull, allowing for the difference in sex. Further, such animals ought particularly to be young. Milch kine are not good for breeding after they are twelve years old: indeed, it is said the first calf which a cow brings is the best for raising
The criteria of a beautiful cowo, according to Wilkinson, may be thus expressed :
“She's long in her face, she's fine in her horn,
She's a Grazier's without, and a Butcher's within." Calley's marks of a good cow are these: wide horns a thin head and neck, dewlap large, full breast, broad back, large and deep belly; the udder capacious, but not too fleshy; the milky veins prominent, and the bag tending far behind; teats long and large ; buttocks broad and fleshy ; tail long and pliable ; legs proportionable to the size of the carcass, and the joints shut. To these outward marks may be added a gentle disposition, a temper free from any vicious tricks, and perfectly manageable on every occasion. On the other hand, a cow with a thick head, and a short neck; prominent back bone, slender cheek, belly tucked up, small udder, or a flehsy bag, short teats, and thin buttocks, is to be avoided as totally unfit for the purposes either for the dairyman, the suckler, or the grazier.
Cows are purchased either with a view of being fattened for sale, for breeding, or for the purposes of the dairy. In the first case, attention must be paid to the kindliness of the skin and disposition to fatten. With regard to those which are intended for breeding, care should be taken to select the best of that particular stock intended to be raised; and for the dairy, those which yield the most and the richest milk.
The cow is supposed, by some eminent naturalists, to arrive at pu. berty at the end of eighteen months, though instances have occurred where these animals have produced calves before that time. It is, indeed, said by some breeders, in the northern part of England, that young
OF THE COW.
cows may be sent to the bull as early even as one year old; but there is then much danger in calving; and although the practice would certainly be an essential improvement, where the dairy constitutes a primary object
, provided their growth would not thus become stinted, it is yet generally considered as injurious. It is, therefore, advisable not to permit cows to take the bull earlier than two years, though many breeders defer it another year; and, in conformity to the latter opinion, the late eminent Mr. Bakewell deferred sending his cows to bull till they were three years old; but they often missed calf, which accident Sir John Sinclair attributes to this circumstance: but the most proper period must in some measure depend on the breed, on the time at which the heifer was herself dropped, and on her condition; as some which have been well kept will be more forward at two, than others, which have been stinted, at three years of age. In case, however, a cow produces a calf before she enters upon her third year, the animal should be removed from her; and it will be proper to milk her for the three following days, to preserve the udder from becoming sore, but afterwards to forbear milking.
The period of time during which cows are allowed to run dry previously to calving, is by no means settled. By some graziers, they are recommended to be laid dry when they are five or six months gone with calf; but repeated and successful experiments prove that six weeks, or two months, are sufficient for this purpose. Indeed, cows kept in good condition, are some times drawn until within a fortnight of calving. Gov. Lincoln, of Massachusetts, says of a heifer of the Denton blood
a heifer of three years, with her second calf, has not been dry since she dropped her first, having given four quarts on the morning of her second calving." This practice, however, is not to be recommended, for if the cow springs before she is dry, serious injury, it is said, may en
Some cows, it is well known, are in the habit of drying up quite unseasonably. To prevent this, such cows should be milked by a skilful hand expeditiously and entirely clean; and even then it is doubtful whether the evil admits of an entire remedy, if a habit of drying up early have been formed. To prevent the evil in respect to a cow, a writer in the New-England Farmer, (Vol. VII. p. 162,) recommends to begin young. “I have found," says he, " that young cows, the first year they give milk, may be made, with careful milking and good keeping, to give milk almost any length of time required, say from the first of May to the first of February following; and will give milk late always after, with careful milking. 'But, if they are left to dry up of their milk early in the fall, they will be sure to dry up their milk each succeeding year, if they have a calf near the same season of the year; and nothing but extraordinary keeping will prevent it, and that but for a short time.”
No animal on the farmer's premises pays better for good keeping than the cow. They need to be kept in good condition the whole time, for if they are suffered to become very lean, and that in the winter season, it is impossible that they should be brought to afford a large quantity of milk, until they have had the advantage of the following summer. When cows are lean at the period of calving, no management is ever capable of bringing them to afford for that season any thing near the proportion of milk they would have done, had they been in proper condition. If in any one point the New England
farmers seem to fail more than in another it is in not feeding cows sufficiently early in the fall. They
OF THE COW. are left to pick a scanty and frost-bitten food, on the coming on of the chilly and rainy season; and it is not uncommon to find cows, which at an early period of the fall were in good condition, poor and ill-conditioned by the setting in of winter. The solids of the beast are dissipated ; her milk reduced, and her value to the owner greatly diminished. These remarks, it may be observed, will apply with nearly equal truth to the whole stock of many of the farmers in New England.
Many excellent heifers for milk are nearly ruined by bad milkers. If they are ticklish, as the farmers express it, they should be treated with great gentleness. If the udder be hard and painful, as it sometimes is, let it be tenderly fomented with lukewarm water, and gently rubbed, in order to bring the creature into good temper.
It will, however, sometimes happen, if a cow (especially a young one) is managed with ever so much care, she will kick, and exhibit other symptoms of a vicious disposition. In such cases, the editor of the New England Farmer recommends the following mode of managing a cow, suggested by one of his correspondents. (See New England Farmer, vol. III. p. 10.)
“ I have seen,” observes the above correspondent, “ very promising heifers spoiled, when first beginning to milk them, by banging and hallooing at them because of their kicking. I have also seen cows give a good mess of milk, and when they had done, kick it over. I can always tell when a heifer is inclined to kick, before her calf is gone. If she is, I take a strong strap, buckle it tight round her hind legs, below the gambril joints, including her tail if it is long enough. This method will cause much uneasiness at first. If the cow falls down, no matter for that, let her lie a minute or two. Then unbuckle the strap, let her get up, and then fit it on again. Perhaps she may throw herself down again, but she will be very careful how she throws herself down the third time. After she stands still put the calf to her, and let her stand in this manner till the calf has done sucking. Let this be done a few times, and it will generally break the cow of kicking, also of starting and running when part milked, as some cows will. I put on the strap before the calf is gone, because if let alone till afterwards, the cow is apt to hold up her milk, when the strap is first puton.
If the teats of a cow are sore, they should be washed with sugar of lead and water. The proportion recommended, is two drachms of sugar of lead to a quart of water. If tumours appear, a warm mash of bran, with a little lard is said to be a good application. The following liniment is said to be efficacious. Linseed oil, 4t oz., Liquor of Ammonia,
Another method (see New England Farmer, Vol. II. p. 132) is, after tying the cow in the stanchels, to make one end of a rope fast round her horns, and put the other end over the girt which is about two feet higher than the top of the stanchels, and about the same distance in front, draw it pretty tight and fasten it to a stud. This so effectually secures her that she may be milked with the most perfect ease and safety ; and after practising this method two or three times, she will give no more trouble.
It is said that several trials on different cows have proved this method not only vastly superior to all others, but an effectual remedy ; and it is so easy and simple that a female or boy can secure a cow without any
REARING OF CALVES.
difficulty. Another advantage this method has over any other, is, that by keeping the cow's back hollow, it is believed, she cannot hold up her milk.
It is desirable sometimes to dry cows more expeditiously than can be well done in the common way; especially when they have a plenty of fresh food. The following method is recommended in Monk's Agricultural Dictionary. Take an ounce of powdered alum; boil it in two quarts of milk until it turns to whey: then take a large handful of sage, and boil it in the whey, till you reduce it to one quart; rub her udder with a little of it, and give her the rest by way of drink; milk her clean before you give it to her; and as you see need repeat it. Draw a little milk from her every second or third day, lest her udder be overcharged.
The period of gestation, or time during which the cow goes with calf, is various: with a bull calf, she usually goes about forty-one weeks, with a difference of a few days either way; a cow calf comes in less time. Between nine and ten months, therefore, may be assigned for the period of gestation ; at the end of which time she produces one calf; though instances sometimes occur when two, or even three, are brought forth. It may not, however, be useless to remark, that some cows are naturally barren, which is said to be the case when a male and female calf are pro duced at the same time. The male animal is perfect in all respects; but the female, which is denominated a free martin, is incapable of propagating her species; it does not vary very materially in point of form or size from other neat cattle, though its flesh is erroneously supposed to be greatly superior with regard to flavor and fineness of the grain.
Some very interesting experiments respecting the periods of gestation in different animals, were made a few years ago, by M. Teissier, of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts at Paris, from which it appears, that out of 575 cows,
21 calved between the 240th and 270th day; mean term 2594
303 Thus, between the shortest and longest gestation there was a difference of eighty-one days, which is more than one fourth of the mean duration,
ON THE TREATMENT AND REARING OF CALVES.
The importance of forwarding calves to maturity, with the greatest possible advantage, to the full developement of their natural qualities, has called forth the ingenuity of the most careful observers, and best breeders. The most approved plan, and certainly, :he best general plan, is to adhere, as closely as possible, to nature.
On the birth of the calf, the.cow generally shows an inclination to clean its skin by licking it. To facilitate this object, it is a frequent practice to throw a handful of common salt over the calf, or to rub a little brandy on it.
Some practice taking the calf from the dam immediately, and in an hour after birth, to give it a pint of luke-warm gruel, in lieu of the beestings, or first milk of the cow. This practice appears, however, objectionable, since it is obvious, that nature has provided the beestings as the proper aliment of the newly born animal.