Tuesday, August 5, 2008

rawny sighting: cattle breeding in Maine, 1873

A word here to those who argue that there is no real difference in animals, — that the feed makes all the difference, and that the prices obtained, are the result of deception by the breeder or vender. Now suppose you select the most vigorous pair of Kerry, Hereford, Holstein, Short-horn, Devon or Jersey cattle, and place them in the hands of the most skillful breeder, upon the most luxuriant feed for five years. Have you changed their general characteristics ? Do they not retain their original character ? Again, select a pure native cow, small, mean, rawny, crooked and ugly ; breed her to a first-class thoroughbred bull. The result is a half blood grade ; being bred to another thoroughbred, you get a three-fourths grade ; another cross, and you have
a seven-eighths grade, and so on. Have you not, during this process, lost nearly all the distinctive features of the native cow ? Would not this stock sell in any market, for from fifty to seventy-five per cent. more than the original stock ? If so, why this assertion reflecting upon the integrity of the breeder, and a thrust at improvement? If this whole system of scientific breeding is aswindle, what a vast multitude are being swindled, and have been, for the last century, by paying from $1,000 to $50,000 for horses, from $1,000 to $40,000 for cattle, from $50 to $1,500 for sheep, from $100 to $500 for swine, and from $25 to $200 per trio for fowl.

Read the rest of the report.

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