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But great actual improvements justify great prices. Let me cite an exam. ple: A friend of mine owned a flock of ewes, of mixed Saxon and Spanish Merino blood, which yielded, on an average, four pounds of wool per head. He purchased what was then considered a very high priced Ameri. can Infantado ram for the purpose of improving his flock. He found, quite contrary to his previous experience, that he could raise nearly 100 per cent of lambs. In the spring of 1863, his three year old, two year old and yearling ewes, numbered upwards of two hundred. Three year olds unfortunately had their wool mixed, at shearing, with that of some of the old ewes, so that their separate product cannot be determined. The two year old and yearling ewes, one hundred and fifty-seven in number, yielded 1,1191 lbs. of washed wool, or 7 lbs. 2 oz. per head, exclusive of tags; and with wool averaging over two inches in length, tagging down to the skin necessarily subtracts a considerable amount. The entire fleeces would have exceeded 77 lbs. of washed wool per head. The sheep had been well kept, but not in the least degree pampered. The well known wool merchant who bought the wool, informed me that it was fairly washed, ' and that the manufacturer who worked it up expressed peculiar satisfaction with its qualities, and declared that he had never manufactured a more profitable lot. All the preceding facts, of which I am not personally cognizant, rest on the implicit testimony of well known men of as unsuspected truthfulness as any in the State of New York. To show the public appreciation of the sheep, I will add that the three year olds and two year olds would have sold last winter in a lot for $30 a head. Their dams, if put back to the same ages, would not, probably, have sold, for $8 a head.*
When we consider the gain in fleece, the gain in breeding qualities, and the gain in time over the ordinary slow course of improvement, produced by one such cross, is the highest price I have named as having been paid for rams the last year, the fine dust in the balance, when weighed against the value of an animal capable of effeoting such an improvement and this, too, even were sheep at their ordinary prices ?
It is, indeed, when prices are low, that the wool grower most stands in need of improvement. When wool is high, even inferior sheep are profitable. In any state of the markets, in any situation of the tariff laws, with any amount of competition domestic or foreign, the breeders of first class sheep can sustain themselves. Their profits are fifty per cent. higher than those of breeders of what are ordinarily called prime sheep. That degree of competition, therefore, which would bring low profits to the former,
* In lamb by an ordinary ram, they would not, in my opinion, have sold for over $6 a head.
would prove ruinous to the latter, and consequently the weeding out of the latter would again give more room and greater profits to the former. ?
The improvement of our sheep should now be the first and greatest aim of American wool growers. We may call on the Atlas of the goverment to lend us a reasonable degree of aid, but our main dependence must be on ourselves.
I am unwilling to close my remarks on this occasion without acknowl. edging my indebtedness to several gentlemen who have kindly furnished me with important facts--Messrs. Livermore, Bond and Atkinson, of Boston; Messrs. Samuel Lawrence, Walter Brown and Euston & Co., of New York, and Messrs. Grinnell and Dodge, of the Agricultural Department, Washington. Mr. Dodge, who is a resident of this State, has been inde. fatigable in collecting the facts and statistics which I desired to obtain from the different bureaus of the government. Gentlemen, I thank you for the attention with which you have listened to my extended remarks.
SPECIES OF CATTLE, AND ORIGIN OF THE DOMES
SPECIES. The genus to which our cattle belongs is called bos-ox, but the kind or species named bos taurus is the common or domesticated cattle.
The domesticated cattle are distinguished from the other kinds by smooth horns, generally in the form of a crescent.
The other known species of cattle are :
1. The Musk ox, (bos moschatus,) found in the prairies in the vicinity of Hudson Bay, from the 60th degree of northern latitude to Melville Island. This animal is of small size; it is brown, having long curly hair on the shoulders, at the throat, and on the breast. Among this long hair is found a very fine wool, of which stockings are made, which are as nice as if they were made of silk. In their wild condition, these animals live in small herds, and climb somewhat like goats.
2. The Cape Buffalo (bos caffer) is one of the largest kinds of cattle, having very large horns. These buffaloes live in large numbers at the Cape of Good Hope, and towards Caffraria. They are dark red, and very fleet in their motions, and have a hide so thick that a rifle ball only can penetrate it. They are dangerous animals; when irritated they run through fire and water, and fear or spare nothing. Their flesh is coarse and hard to digest.
3. The Buffalo (bos bubolus) is larger than our common ox, has a thicker and shorter head, and an arched forehead. The horns are somewhat compressed and long, with a slight backward curve; between them there is a tuft. The dewlap is small, and the hair thin and brownish black. It is found wild in the East Indies, where this animal is used for draught. In the sixth century it was imported into Greece, Turkey, and Italy, where it is generally kept as domesticated cattle are in the American savannahs.
The female or buffalo cow does not give a large quantity of milk, but it is of excellent quality. During the exhibition of cattle at Paris, in 1856, Vernois and Bequeral analyzed this milk, and found it to contain much albumen, and 8.4 per cent. of butter. In comparison with the milk of the common cow, this milk has almost the appearance of cream, and as it is exceedingly fatty, many persons cannot digest it. The buffalo is adapted to draught, and develops great strength; and not only the ox but the cow is used for this purpose. These animals are very frugal, and often eat the fodder rejected by common cattle. Buffaloes are incapable of withstanding severe cold, and during intensely hot weather they plunge into any stream or body of water to cool themselves. In the East Indies a large, wild kind of buffaloes yet exist, called Arni.
4. The American Buffalo, or the American Bison, (bos Americanus bison,) is one of the largest, wildest, and most unruly kinds of cattle, with a manelike, curly hair about the head, neck, and shoulders, similar to those of the Auer ox. The forehead is arched, the legs and tail are short, the horns short, with a hump between the shoulders. Their color is dark brown. They are found in the warmer portions of North America, formery in western Pennsylvania, but now only in the more western and sparsely settled States and Territories.
The above named kinds of cattle in their structure, so nearly resemble the common ox and Auer ox, that they might be considered as varieties of one species, especially since it is no difficult matter to obtain fruitful offspring by breeding any one of them to the other.
5. The Auer or Ure ox or European Bison, (bos urus, bonasus, bison,) is one of the largest oxen, and distinguished by a curly manelike product about the head and neck, by a very broad, arched forehead, and by moderate horns situated far apart, and being curved inward and upward in the shape of a crescent. It has no dewlap or brisket, but long pending hairs at the shin, neck, and on the withers. The color is dark brown; beard and tail tassel are blackish brown.
These celebrated animals, with which even the ancients were acquainted, Prof. Mueller, of the Iraperial Royal Veterinary School at Vienna, has lately published some very valuable observations made by him on a journey to Grodno in Russia, in order to superintend the transportation of some Ure oxen donated by the Emperor of Russia to the Veterinary schools at Vienna and Stuttgard. Some extracts from his work are here presented, because the opinion hitherto prevailing in certain circles that our common cattle were the offspring of the Ure; but according to these extracts it will be seen that several striking anatomical differences are found to exist between the Ure and our common cattle.
In the forests of Bialoweech the Ure ox attains the height of a large fullgrown ox of our common race, but the forepart of the body is much stouter than the hind part. The color of the young animals is uniformly silver-gray, without any marks; but when 4 to 6 years old they become blackish, and then they are most beautiful. At a more advanced age the hair begins to turn to that of a dirty fox-colored or brown, first at the head and neck, and afterward over the whole body. The winter coat com. mences to grow in October, and is dense as felt, and much longer at the neck and the forepart of the breast than on the rump and belly. They have a mane five or six inches long, and instead of the brisket of the common cattle, which is entirely lacking, they have a ridge of long hairs ex. tending from the lower lip to the lower part of the breast, forming a beard at the chin. The Ure has fourteen vertebræ, and as many pairs of ribs, or one pair more than common cattle, but has only five lumbar vertebræ of which the common cattle have six. The ribs, the true as well as most of the false ones, are connected with their corresponding cartilages by several joints, and the spinal processes of the first eight vertebræ show a col. ossal development, being over one foot high, and thus conditioning the disproportionate height of the forepart of the animal. The number of the caudal vertebræ is less than in domesticated cattle; the shoulder blades are broader, the upper arm and fore arm bones much thicker but shorter ; the pelvis is proportionately narrower, the hide is very thick and strong. The reticulum has hexagonal cells similar to that of the domesticated cattle, they consist of two parts only, but any further subdivision is not apparent, and the cells are much shallower. The kidneys are small, and the lobes are not as strong as in domesticated cattle. '
But the genitals of the male present the most remarkable difference. The testicles are proportionately small; over either there lies an accessory testicle extending into a narrow seminal vessel, which appears expanded by a layer of glands at the surface of the bladder, and empties together with glandular seminal cells, although very little developed, in the orifice of the urethra. In the old Ure, there was found in the midst of the two seminal passages, vessels, a single duct, shaped somewhat like a bag, one inch in diameter and four and a half inches in length, which is divided in front and at the top into two arching branches, like the horns of the uterus of the cow, extending as channels of 3 to 4 inches in width to the testicle, and there terminating in a cul-de-sac. This consists externally of a tegument of the outer skin as far as it lies in the cavity of the belly, then fol. lows an envelope consisting of muscular fibres, and at the inside there is a membrane covered with epithelium, without distinctly visible glandular apertures. The whole bag, with its two branches, contains a thickish mucus iuid, somewhat resembling semen, yet showing no trace of (seminal) cells, but consisting only of granular cells of a regular form.