Open main menu

Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/483

This page has been validated.
419
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ON QUADRUPEDS

The Shorthorn is of large size and beautifully proportioned. The colour may be all white, all red, red and white, or roan, and the hair is abundant, mossy and licked in various directions. Hair or coat is an important feature. The horns are of wax-like tint, and the nose is cream-coloured and free from black. The bulls are distinguished by "grandeur" in carriage and crest, and the cows are docile and sweet-looking. The beef is red and juicy, but the carcass is liable to be overloaded with fat, and for this reason Shorthorn beef is sometimes considered inferior to that of other breeds.

Hereford Cattle are easily known by their red colour relieved by white on the face, feet, breast, withers and tail. They are poor milkers but quick fatteners, and the beef is of marbled character and of the finest quality. They originated in Herefordshire and Herts, but are widely distributed in the Midlands, and are in high estimation among the graziers of East Anglia. A cross of Hereford and Shorthorn produces heavy-milkers.

Devon Cattle are found in greatest perfection in North Devon on the red land. They are of smaller size than either of the last described and are of blood-red colour: are poor milkers, but good for fattening, and the oxen are first-rate for draught purposes.

Sussex Cattle resemble Devons, but are larger in frame, of a swarthier red and swarthier features. They lack the bright orange tint seen around the eyes, inside the ears, and around the muzzles of Devon cattle. The Sussex breed is one of our best beef producers, and is highly esteemed in its own county.

Galloway Cattle. These inhabit the south-western peninsula of Scotland which includes the counties of Dumfries, Wigton and Kirkcubright, and stretches far south of the English border. They live out of doors winter and summer, and the cows bring forth their calves in the open and suckle them on the hills. They are black in colour, although occasionally red or brown, and are long and cylinderical in shape and stand on short legs. They are of medium size, are polled or hornless, and are disposed of to graziers, who fatten them on the rich grazing lands of England. Their glossy black colour, deep carcases, heavy hindquarters and polled character are amply distinctive of the breed, and the beef is of superior quality.

Aberdeen Angus Cattle occur principally in the peninsula which juts out from the main trend of the coastline to the north-east, forming the counties of Aberdeen, Inverness and Angus. The breed in many respects resembles the Galloways, as it is black and polled. The difference is seen its larger size, rather looser build, and thinner hide and hair. The Aberdeen Angus is essentially a beef producing breed, and is not well adapted for milk. It is always a feature in the Smithfield Cattle Show at Islington.

The West-Highland Cattle harmonise with the rugged character of their surroundings as fittingly as do the red deer and the native eagle.