Page images
PDF

both to and from them. Their consumption war 18 lb. per day each.

[table]

29jf. 4/6. 6foz.

The weight of green food consumed by the four sheep, is 262 stone; which, at \d. per stone, amount* to lOs. lie/. An acre of 34 tons of bulbs, which is a common weight in Northumberland, would, at the same price, produce 11/. 6*. 8d. The increase of carease, at 6d. per lb. would be 1 /. 8s. 9d. The result of trials of feeding of other stocks, were stated, by which it appeared the sheep consumed each 24 lb., which would reduce the profit one-fourth on every acre. This explains, in the most satisfactory manner, the mystery and apparent contradiction in the gain of weight in feeding of different stocks, and most completely and fully justifies every expense in obtaining stock of the first reputation. Mr. C. Mason's Leicesters would pay after the rate of 30/. per acre for turnips, whilst the other sheep would leave only 22/. 10s. Id. or a fourth less. If I had not obtained

the the above statements from persons on whose correctness I could depend, I should not have thought it possible there could have been such a difference in the consumption of food between one animal and another, whose weight and size was so nearly the same.

Mr. Bayle, of Chillingham, has made some very interesting experiments in the feeding of sheep. I understand he found the quantity of turnips consumed greater after Christmas than before. As soon as they are disposed to run to seed, they lose considerably of their density. I hope it will not be long before the results are made public. Whatever comes from this gentleman is peculiarly entitled to attention.

There is no branch of agriculture more important, nor in which the interest of the individual and public are more concerned, and I believe I might add, nor less accurately ascertained or understood, than that of the consumption of food, and the acquirement of weight in different animals. I am indebted to Mr. Bates, of Holton Castle, Northumberland, for the following communication on the feeding with hay and

turnips.

Hay. Turnips. A short-horned cow consumed in the

24 hours, - . . - 36 Ib.

The same beast, a year afterwards, 22 Ib. 6 st.
A crop of the Kylo, and short-horned, 185 Ib.
A second year - - JO? Ib. 6 st.

A four-years old ox of the Kylo, and short-horned, consumed daily 16 st. of turnips for 20 weeks. (Its weight, when put to feed, was 45 st. and it gained

K 4 15st.)

15 st.) With the produce of two acres and a half of straw, this pays 11I. 16s- per acre of 34 tons for turnips.

Mr C. Mason, and other intelligent feeders, were of opinion, a beast of sixty stone (14lb. to the stone) would in 20 weeks, with an allowance of 20st. of turnips per day, and some straw, gain 15 st. in weight; this pays 101. 4s. per acre for turnips.

The state of fatness to which the short-horned cat* tie will arrive, and their propensity to 'fatten, can scarce be credited by those who have not seen the stocks of Mr. C. Mason, Mr. Ccllins, and other celebrated breeders of the short-horned cattle.

The consumption of food of animals, per day, is estimated in proportion to their weight as one-third to two-fifths. Mr. Mason's sheep consumed rather above a 5th of their weight, the other stock about a 4th. It must be observed, however, that the profit upon feeding of large and small animals, is not exactly in the proportion of the food consumed. There is an advance of 2j. per stone in the value of their original weight?. For instance, a lean beast when put to feed is worth 6s. per stone, when fat it is advanced to eight. The account of profit between the two animals should stand thus:

A beast of 60 stone, supposed
to gain 16 stone in 20 weeks' £ a.

feeding • - 55

Two shillings advance on original weight .. - 6 0 '£. t. <L

Carry forward •—— 11 5 O

Brought

£ s d.

Brought forward 11 5 0

Value of turnips consumed - 5 16 8

Clear profit 5 8 4

A beast of 45 stone, gains 15 £ s.

stone in 20 weeks - S 5

By advance in original weight

in 20 weeks - 4 10 gg s. d.

9 15 O

Expense of feeding - 4 13 4

Clear profit - 5 1 8

Though the food of the larger animal costs 1 /. 3s. 4d. more than the lesser, the profit from its original weight is 6s. Sd. in its favour.

The advance of weight on feeding with turnips will be in the following proportions:

Mr- Mason's Leicester sheep gained lib. on 64lb. ©f turnips, or 2 stone lOlbs. per ton.

The other stocks, 1 lb. on 81 lb., or 2 stone lOlb. on a ton and a quarter.

A bullock of 60 stone (l4lb. to a stone) lib. on 200lb., or 1 stone on a ton and a quarter.

A bullock of 45 stone, lib. on 160lb., with a gain of 1 stone 3\ lb. on a ton.

By this it appears, the increase of weight in sheep in comparison with cattle is two to one in one instance,

and and in the other, about three to one. Cattle appear to give a stone . on a ton of turnips, sheep 2 stone lOlb. Cattle, in grazing, on the contrary, advance S78lb. on an acre, whilst sheep gain only 2l6lb. There appears something so extraordinary and contra* dictory in this statement, that I confess I have my doubts as to the correctness of it.

Potatoes in feeding are supposed to advance cattle Sst. per ton, which in comparison with turnips is as three to one, but in point of price, potatoes are to turnips as four to one, and more generally six to one. When there is no opportunity of disposing of potatoes for human food, they may be applied with advantage to the feeding of stock.

The difference of opinion is so great amongst the best informed graziers, respecting the consumption of food, and increase of weight of animals,as to make it desirable that some measure should be taken to establish these facts on solid grounds, and to prove the necessity of a measure similar to that proposed at the last Ovingham Agricultural Meeting, by that spirited improver, Mr. Bates, of Hulton Castle; viz. of devising, by a correspondence with the Board of Agriculture, and other Societies in the kingdom, some means of ascertaining the relative perfection of all the different breeds of stock, their propensity to fatten on the least food, and at the earliest maturity. The result of such an experiment would prove which stock were the most profitable. Heartily do I wish success to the plan! At present the choice of stock is governed by local prejudice or fashion.

Anxious

« PreviousContinue »