Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

stud farms. The total number of horses in the Dominion was estimated on the basis of census returns at 2,019,824 for the year 1907, an increase of 609,309 since 1901.

Cattle, sheep, swine and poultry are reared in abundance. The bracing weather of Canadian winters is followed by the warmth and humidity of genial summers, under which crops grow in almost tropical luxuriance, while the cool evenings and nights give the plants a robustness of quality which is not to be found in tropical regions, and also make life for the various domestic animals wholesome and comfortable. In the North-West Provinces there are vast areas of prairie land, over which cattle pasture, and from which thousands of fat bullocks are shipped annually. Throughout other parts bullocks are fed on pasture land, and also in stables on nourishing and succulent feed such as hay, Indian corn fodder, Indian corn silage, turnips, carrots, mangels, ground oats, barley, peas, Indian corn, rye, bran and linseed oil cake. The breeding of cattle, adapted for the production of prime beef and of dairy cows for the production of milk, butter and cheese, has received much attention. There is government control of the spaces on the steamships in which the cattle are carried, and veterinary inspection prevents the exportation of diseased animals.

A considerable trade has been established in the exportation of dressed beef in cold storage, and also in the exportation of meat and other foods in hermetically sealed receptacles. By the Meat and Canned Foods Act of 1907 of the Dominion parliament and regulations thereunder, the trade is carried on under the strictest government supervision, and no canned articles of food may be exported unless passed as absolutely wholesome and officially marked as such by government inspectors. There is a considerable trade in “lunch tongues.”

The cattle breeds are principally those of British origin. For beef, shorthorns, Herefords, Galloways and Aberdeen-Angus cattle are bred largely, whilst for dairying purposes, shorthorns, Ayrshires, Jerseys, Guernseys and Holstein-Friesians prevail. The French-Canadian cattle are highly esteemed in eastern Canada, especially by the farmers of the French provinces. They are a distinct breed of Jersey and Brittany type, and are stated to be descended from animals imported from France by the early settlers. The estimated number of cattle in Canada in 1907 was 7,439,051, an increase of 2,066,547 over the figures of the census of 1901.

All parts of the Dominion are well adapted for sheep; but various causes, amongst which must be reckoned the prosperity of other branches of agriculture, including wheat-growing and dairying, have in several of the provinces contributed to prevent that attention to this branch which its importance deserves, though there are large areas of rolling, rugged yet nutritious pastures well suited to sheep-farming. In the maritime provinces and in Prince Edward Island sheep and lambs are reared in large numbers. In Ontario sheep breeding has reached a high degree of perfection, and other parts of the American continent draw their supplies of pure bred stock largely from this province. All the leading British varieties are reared, the Shropshire, Oxford Down, Leicester and Cotswold breeds being most numerous. There are also excellent flocks of Lincolns and Southdowns. The number of sheep and lambs in Canada was estimated for the year 1907 at 2,830,785, as compared with 2,465,565 in 1901.

Pigs, mostly of the Yorkshire, Berkshire and Tamworth breeds, are reared and fattened in large numbers, and there is a valuable export trade in bacon. Canadian hogs are fed, as a rule, on feeds suited for the production of what are known as “fleshy sides.” Bacon with an excess of fat is not wanted, except in the lumber camps; consequently the farmers of Canada have cultivated a class of swine for bacon having plenty of lean and firm flesh. The great extension of the dairy business has fitted in with the rearing of large numbers of swine. Experimental work has shown that swine fattened with a ration partly of skim-milk were lustier and of a more healthy appearance than swine fattened wholly on grains. Slaughtering and curing are carried on chiefly at large packing houses. The use of mechanical refrigerating plants for chilling the pork has made it practicable to cure the bacon with the use of a small percentage of salt, leaving it mild in flavour when delivered in European markets. Regular supplies are exported during every week of the year. Large quantities of lard, brawn and pigs’ feet are exported. In 1907 the number of pigs in Canada was estimated at 3,530,060, an increase of 1,237,385 over the census record of 1901. Turkeys thrive well, grow to a fine size and have flesh of tender quality. Chickens are raised in large numbers, and poultry-keeping has developed greatly since the opening of the 20th century. Canadian eggs are usually packed in cases containing thirty dozens each. Cardboard fillers are used which provide a separate compartment for each egg. There are cold storage warehouses at various points in Canada, at which the eggs are collected, sorted and packed before shipment. These permit the eggs to be landed in Europe in a practically fresh condition as to flavour, with the shells quite full.

Canada has been called the land of milk and honey. Milk is plentiful, and enters largely into the diet of the people. With a climate which produces healthy, vigorous animals, notably free from epizootic diseases, with a fertile Dairy products. soil for the growth of fodder crops and pasture, with abundance of pure air and water, and with a plentiful supply of ice, the conditions in Canada are ideal for the dairying industry. Large quantities of condensed milk, put up in hermetically sealed tins, are sold for use in mining camps and on board steamships. The cheese is chiefly of the variety known as “Canadian Cheddar.” It is essentially a food cheese rather than a mere condiment, and 1 ℔ of it will furnish as much nourishing material as 2¼ ℔ of the best beefsteak. The industry is largely carried on by co-operative associations of farmers. The dairy factory system was introduced into Canada in 1864, and from that time the production and exportation of cheese grew rapidly. Legislation was passed to protect Canadian dairy produce from dishonest manipulation, and soon Canadian cheese obtained a deservedly high reputation in the British markets. In 1891 cheese factories and creameries numbered 1733, and in 1899 there were 3649. In 1908 there were 4355 of these factories, of which 1284 were in Ontario, 2806 in Quebec, and 265 in the remaining seven provinces of Canada. Those in Ontario are the largest in size. Amongst the British imports of cheese the Canadian product ranks first in quality, whilst in quantity it represents about 72% of the total value of the cheese imports, and 84% of the total value of the imports of that kind of cheese which is classed as Cheddar. In 1906 the total exports of cheese to all countries from Canada reached 215,834,543 ℔ of the value of $24,433,169.

Butter for export is made in creameries, where the milk, cream and butter are handled by skilled makers. The creameries are provided with special cold storage rooms, into which the butter is placed on the same day in which it is made. From them it is carried in refrigerator railway cars and in cold storage chambers on steamships to its ultimate destination. For the export trade it is packed in square boxes made of spruce or some other odourless wood. These are lined with parchment paper, and contain each 56 ℔ net of butter. The total export of butter from Canada in 1906 was 34,031,525 ℔., of the value of $7,075,539. According to a census of manufactures taken in 1906, the total value of factory cheese and butter made in Canada during that year was $32,402,265.

There are large districts lying eastward of the Great Lakes and westward of the Rocky Mountains, where apples of fine quality can be grown; and there are other smaller areas in which pears, peaches and grapes are grown Fruits. in quantities in the open air. The climate is favourable to the growth of plums, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, currants, gooseberries, etc. There are many localities in which cranberries are successfully grown, and in which blueberries also grow wild in great profusion.

Apples and pears are the chief sorts of fruit exported. The