it approaches the latter in size. Galloways yield superior beef, but mature less rapidly than the Aberdeen-Angus. They make admirable beasts for the grazier, and the cross between the Galloway and the white Shorthorn bull, known as a “Blue Grey,” is much sought after by the grazier and the butcher.
The West Highland or Kyloe breed are perhaps the most hardy and picturesque of British cattle. Their home is amidst the wild romantic scenery of the Highlands and the Western Isles of Scotland, though Highland bullocks with long, spreading curved horns may be seen in English parks. They have not made much progress towards early maturity, but their slowly ripened beef is of the choicest quality. The colour of their thick shaggy hair varies from white and light dun to tawny yellow of many shades, and black.
The Ayrshires are the dairy breed of Scotland, where they have considerably overstepped the limits of the humid western county whence they take their name. They are usually of a white and brown colour, the patches being well defined. The neat, shapely, upstanding horns are characteristic. The Ayrshires are under medium size and move gracefully, and the females display the wedge-shape typical of dairy cows. They are a hardy breed, and, even from poor pastures, give good yields of milk, especially useful for cheese-making purposes. The milking powers of the breed are being improved under a system of milk-testing and records supported by the Highland and Agricultural Society.
The Jerseys are graceful, deer-like cattle, whose home is in the island of Jersey, where, by means of stringent regulations against the importation of cattle, the breed has been kept pure for many generations. As its milk is especially rich in fat (so rich that it requires to be diluted with a little water before it can be safely fed to calves), the Jersey has attained a wide reputation as a butter-producing breed. It is a great favourite in England, where many pure-bred herds exist. The colours most preferred are “whole” fawns of many shades. The light silver-grey, which was in high repute in England in the early ’seventies of the 19th century, is out of favour. Browns and brindles are rarely seen. The grey zone surrounding the black muzzle gives the appearance designated “mealy-mouthed.” The horns are short, and generally artificially curved inwards; the bones are fine. The best milch cows have a yellowish circle round the eye, and the skin at the extremity of the tail is of a deep yellow, almost orange colour. The cows are gentle and docile when reared in close contact with human beings, but the bulls, despite their small size, are often fierce.
Guernsey cattle are native to the islands of Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm. They are kept pure by importation restrictions. Herds of pure-bred Guernseys also exist in the Isle of Wight and in various counties of England and Scotland. They have not the refined and elegant appearance of the Jerseys, which, however, they exceed in size. They are usually of a rich yellowish-brown colour, patched with white, in some cases their colour almost meriting the appellation of “orange and lemon.” The yellow colour inside the ears is a point always looked for by judges. The cows, large-bellied and narrow in front, are truly wedge-shaped, the greatly developed udder adding to the expanse of the hinder part of the body. They yield an abundance of milk, rich in fat, and are excellent butter-producers. The horns are yellow at the base, curved, and not coarse. The nose is flesh-coloured and free from black markings.
The Canadian breed, black with a narrow brown stripe down the back and a light ring round the muzzle, are descended from old Brittany cattle imported into Canada by French settlers three hundred years ago, and are in consequence related to the Channel Islands cattle. They are remarkably hardy and good milkers, and it is claimed they produce butter fat at 2 c. a ℔ less cost than any other breed.
The Kerry is a breed of small black cattle belonging to the south-west of Ireland, whence they have spread into many parts, not only of their native land, but of England as well. Although they are able to subsist on the roughest and scantiest of fare, and are exceedingly hardy, the cows are, nevertheless, excellent milkers, and have acquired celebrity as a dairy breed. The colour is black, but the cows sometimes have a little white on the udder. The horns are white, with black tips, and are turned upwards. The Kerry is active and graceful, long and lithe in body, and light-limbed. On the rich pastures of England it has increased considerably in size.
The Dexter breed is reputed to take its name from one Dexter, agent of Maude, Lord Hawarden, who is credited with having established it by selection and breeding from the best mountain types of the Kerry. Until recently it was called the Dexter-Kerry. It is smaller and more compact than the Kerry, shorter in the leg, and intoed before and behind. Whilst valuable as a beef-making animal, it is equally noted for its milk-producing capacity. Black is the usual colour, but red is also recognized, with, in either case, a little white. When of a red colour, the appearance of the animal has been aptly compared to that of a grand Shorthorn viewed through the wrong end of a telescope. The Kerry and the Dexter are readily distinguishable. The Kerry has a gay, light, deer-like head and horn, light limbs and thin skin. The Dexter has coarser limbs, a square body, flat back, thick shoulder, short neck, and head and horn set on low.
A herd of Dexter-Shorthorns was founded by Major Barton at Straffan, Ireland, in 1860, in which prominent characteristics of the two breeds have been permanently blended so that they breed true to type.
As milk-producers, and therefore as dairy cattle, certain strains of the Shorthorn (registered as well as non-pedigree), the Lincolnshire Red Shorthorn, South Devon, Longhorn, Red Polled, Ayrshire, Jersey, Guernsey, Kerry and Dexter breeds have acquired eminence. Such breeds as the Shorthorn, Lincolnshire Red Shorthorn, South Devon, Welsh, Red Polled and Dexter are claimed as useful beef-makers as well as milk-producers, and are classified as dual-purpose animals. The others belong to the beef-producers. As regards colour, red is characteristic of the Lincolnshire Shorthorn, the Hereford, Devon, Sussex and Red Polled. Black is the dominating colour of the Welsh, Aberdeen-Angus, Galloway, Kerry and Dexter. A yellowish hue is seen in the West Highland, Guernsey and South Devon breeds. Various shades of fawn colour are usual in Jersey cattle and also appear among Highlanders. The Herefords, though with red bodies, have white faces, manes, and dewlaps, whilst white prevails to a greater or less extent in the Shorthorn, Longhorn and Ayrshire breeds. The Shorthorn breed is exceedingly variable in colour; pure-bred specimens may be red, or white, or roan, or may be marked with two or more of these colours, the roan resulting from a blending of the white and red. Black is not seen in a pure-bred Shorthorn. The biggest and heaviest cattle come from the beef-making breeds, and are often cross-bred. Very large or heavy beasts, if pure-bred, usually belong to one or other of the Shorthorn, Hereford, Sussex, Welsh, West Highland, Aberdeen-Angus and Galloway breeds. The Devon, Red Polled and Guernsey are medium-sized cattle; the Ayrshires are smaller, although relatively the bullocks grow larger than bulls or cows. The Jerseys are small, graceful cattle, but the smaller type of Kerries, the Dexters and the Shetlanders furnish the smallest cattle of the British Isles.
Rearing and Feeding.—A calf at birth scales from one-twelfth to one-fourteenth the weight of the dam. A sucking calf of one of the large breeds should gain 3 ℔ per day for the first month, 2.5 ℔ for the second, and 2 ℔ during the later calf period. Colostrum, or first-day milk after calving, contains more than five times the albuminoid compounds found in average cows’ milk. In the course of three or four days it gradually becomes normal in composition, although the peculiar flavour remains a few days longer. Nature has specially prepared it for the young
- See E. Wolff, Farm Foods, by H. H. Cousins (1895); A.D. Hall, Rothamsted Experiments (1905); R. Warington, Chemistry of the Farm (15th ed., 1902); W. A. Henry, Feeds and Feeding (1907); H. W. Mumford, Beef Production (1907); H. P. Armsby, Animal Nutrition (2nd ed., 1906); T. Shaw, Animal Breeding (1903); R. Wallace, Farm Live Stock of Great Britain (4th ed., 1907).