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Farming 
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JOSEPH E. WING. 



Sheep Farming 
In America. 



® 



By JOSEPH E. \A/ING, 
Staff Correspondent of Thie Breeder's Gazette. 



® 



NEW AND REVISED EDITION. 



(S) 



CHICAGO, ILL.: 

Sanders Publishing Co. 

1909. 






Copyright, 1907, 
BY SANDERS PUBLISHING CO. 

All rights reserved. 



CONTENTS 



Illustrations .11-12 

Introduction 13-19 

Introduction to Second Edition 30 

CHAPTER I. 

Fine-Wool Breeds 21-31 

Merinos 22 

American Merinos 25 

Delaine Merinos and Black Tops 25 

Rambouillets 26 

CHAPTER II. 

Mutton Breeds 32-61 

The Downs — 

Southdowns 35 

Shropshires 37 

Hampshires 40 

Oxfords 41 

The Long-Wools— 

Leicesters .42 

Cotswolds 45 

Lincolns 45 

Dorset Horns 46 

The Mountain Breeds — 

Cheviots 49 

Black-f aces 50 

Tunis and Persian Sheep 55 

CHAPTER III. 

Cross-Breeding 63-71 

Cross-Breeding for the Lamb Market 67 

Cross-Breeding in Eastern Pastures 69 

(5) 



6 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER IV. 

Selection and Management 72-106 

Restocking a Farm with Sheep 72 

Selection of the Ram. 74 

Keeping a Tj^pe 77 

Fixing Tjpe 82 

Renewed Vitality from Fresh Blood 86 

\ Vitality the Thing to Strive for 87 

Selection of the Ewes 88 

Getting Home with the Flock 90 

Importance of Dipping 90 

The Scab Germ 91 

The Dipping Vat 93 

Regular Dipping of the Farm Flock 95 

Summary of Dipping 97 

Fall Treatment of the Ewe Flock 97 

Mating 98 

Putting in the Ram 100 

Management of the Ram 100 

Care of the I*regnant Ewe 103 



CHAPTER V. 

Care op the Ewe and Young Lamb 107-150 

The Ewe Barn 107 

Care at Lambing Time 113 

Feeding of the Ewe After Lambing 118 

Troubles of Young Lambhood 122 

Sore Mouth and Teats 123 

Feeding the Lambs 124 

Feeding for the Market 128 

Dressing Lambs for Fancy Winter Market 135 

Treatment of the Late-born Lambs 138 

Feeding Corn on Grass 141 

Summer Shade 142 

Marketing the Spring Lamb 146 

Docking 147 

Castration of Old Rams 148 

Castration of Lambs 148 

Weaning 149 



CONTPmTS. 7 

CHAPTER VI. 

Summer Care and Management . 151-190 

The Ewe Flock 151 

A System of Management that Insures a Healthy Flock. . .159 

Use of Sown Pastures 168 

Oats and Alfalfa Pasture 171 

Clover and Alfalfa Pasture 172 

Danger from Clover and Alfalfa Pasture 173 

The Use of Rape 178 

Cabbages 179 

Pumpkins 180 

Care of the Feet 182 

Foot-Rot and Foot-Scald 183 

Advent of Late Lambs 185 

The Lambing Tent ; 186 

Fall Lambs 188 

CHAPTER Vn. 

Washing, Shearing and Marking 191-205 

Washing and Shearing 193 

Shearing 193 

Shearing Machines 195 

Marking 201 

The Tattoo Mark 202 

Marking Pure-bred Lambs 203 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Flock Husbandry in the Western States 206-255 

New Mexico 206 

Characteristics of Mexican Sheep 207 

" The Good Old Times " in New Mexico. 209 

Modern Management 210 

Diseases of the Range 213 

Mexican Lambs as Feeders 214 

The Wandering Herds « 215 

Waiting for Grass to Come 216 

The Blood of the Herds 218 

The Division of the Ranges 218 

Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas. 219 

Parasitic Infection of the Ranges 220 



34505 



8 CONTENTS. 

Happy Future of the Region 220 

Management of the Range Rams 223 

Where the Rams Come From 224 

The Breeding Season 225 

Vigor of Ewes and Lambs 225 

The Busy Shepherd at Lambing Time 226 

The Coyote 226 

" Trimming " the Lambs , 228 

Shearing on the Range. 230 

Dipping 230 

The Maligned " Sheep Herder " 232 

Ups and Downs of the Business 234 

The Hopeful Outlook 235 

A Work to be Done 237 

Sheep Advance ; Cattle Retreat 238 

Winter Feeding of Sheep and Lambs 238 

Necessity for Dipping 241 

Selection of Feeders 243 

Feeding of Lambs 255 

CHAPTER IX. 

Western Lamb Feeding 256^07 

Pea Feeding in Colorado 256 

Canadian Peas for Lamb Feeding 257 

Peas in the San Luis Valley 258 

Amount of Lamb Mutton from an Acre of Peas 262 

Alfalfa-fed Colorado Lambs 264 

Feeding Mill Screenings 271 

Sheep-Feeding in the Corn-Belt 272 

Use of Self-Feeders 291 

Feeding Beet Pulp .292 

Causes of Death in the Feed-Lot 295 

Peas for Lambs 297 

The Business of Lamb Feeding 297 

Feeding of Older Sheep 298 

Feeding Mature Wethers 298 

CHAPTER X. 

The Diseases of Sheep 308-342 

Ailments in General " 308 



CONTENTS. , 9 

Importance of Post-Mortem Dissection 314 

Other Diseases of Sheep 315 

Garget, or Mammitis 316 

Grubs in the Head 319 

Liver Fluke— "The Rot" 320 

Nodular Disease 321 

Tape Worms 322 

Husk, Hoose, or Parasitic Bronchitis 323 

The Stomach Worm 324 

Symptoms acd Diagnosis 326 

Life History of the Stomach Worm 327 

Methods of Preventing Infection 329 

Treatment for Stomach Worms 334 

Coal-Tar Creosote 335 

Bluestone 336 

Gasoline 337 

Other Remedies 337 

Start with a Healthy Flock 338 

CHAPTER XI. 

The Angoka and Milking Goats 343-361 

The Angora Goat 343 

The Milking Goat. .357 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Joseph E. Wing Frontispiece. 

Two-year-old Merino Ram 23 

Yearling Rambouillet Ewes in France 27 

Photographic Studies in Down Types of Sheep 33 

Farm Training for the Show Ring 38 

Lincoln Rams 43 

Lincoln Ewes 43 

Some Ohio Dorsets 47 

Cheviot Ewes 58 

Group of Tunis Sheep on an Ohio Farm 57 

A Trio of Prize-Winning Lincolns 61 

Dorset Ewes 64 

Dipping Sheep at the University of Wisconsin 73 

Dipping Plant 'J'5 

The Champion Ram that was Not Too Good 79 

Rambouillet Ram • . • • ■ • 81 

Shropshire Ewes on a Canadian Farm 83 

Black-faced Rams _ 85 

Southdown Ewes 108 

Delaine-Merino Ram Lambs Ill 

A Bunch of Nebraska Leicesters 117 

"Mary Had Five Little Lambs " 125 

Dorset Lambs on the Way to Market 129 

An English " Creep " 134 

Ready for Market 136 

Merinos Posed for a Picture 139 

A Carload of Yearling Wethers 143 

In an Old Country Pasture 153 

Cotswold Ewes • • ■ -157 

Studies in Sheep Character 161 

Feeding Lambs on a Hillside Pasture 169 

Yearling Oxford Ram 1'<'6 

Leicester Ram 177 

Imported Hampshire Ram Lambs 187 

(11) 



12 ILLUSTRATIONS. 

Hand Shearing Machine 196 

Shearing Black-faced Sheep in Scotland 199 

Yearling Oxford Ram « 208 

Dishley Merinos in France 211 

Black-faced Sheep in the Hills 217 

A Kansas Feeding Yard, Capacity 18,000 Sheep 221 

A Sheep Wagon on the Range 227 

Lincoln Shearlings , 229 

An Illinois Feeding and Shipping Yard 231 

Suffolk Ram ' 236 

A Fine-wooled Flock on a Western Farm 239 

Feeding Corral, with Straight Fence 245 

A Show of Cotswolds 252 

Shropshire Feeders in Colorado 25t 

Racks for Feeding Grain 266 

Box Rack for Feeding Alfalfa 267 

Cross-section of Model Sheep Barn Showing Frame 273 

Side View of Model Sheep Barn Showing Doors 274 

Two Views of Feed Rack 277 

Feeding Corral, with Zigzag Fence 281 

Sheep Wagons 286 

A Texas Feeding Yard 293 

A Pair of Hampshire Lambs 300 

At a Royal English Show 301 

Lincolns in the Show Ring 305 

An Angora Goat Show 345 



INTRODUCTION, 



The traveler in England, Scotland and parts 
of France and Germany is impressed by the 
importance of the sheep industry to these lands. 
Sheep farms are often found close together and 
of large size with great numbers of sheep there- 
on. The writer has stood on one hill in Dorset- 
shire and counted eight shepherds, each with 
his flock of about 400 ewes and their lambs, in 
sight at one time. Nearby, in an adjoining 
county, flocks of Hampshires exist as large as 
2,500 on farms of not above 1,400 acres of not 
extra soil. These flocks are very profitable and 
they make rich soils that without the sheep 
would be hardly worth cultivating. They ex- 
ist in wonderful health and vigor on lands that 
have been sheeped since civilization peopled the 
land. In Scotland and the Cheviot hills flocks 
exist over the entire land and without sheep 
the land would almost lapse into wilderness. In 
France on lands worth $250.00 per acre great 
flocks of mutton sheep are kept. The agricul- 
ture of these countries leans strongly on the 
sheep. Long experience in maintaining fertil- 
ity, in creating it, has taught the farmers that 
without the flocks they can not continue profit- 
able agriculture. Sheep fit in well to an in- 
tensive system of agriculture. They are docile, 

(13) 



14 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

tractable, easily kept within bounds, not fastid- 
ious in their appetites but willing to devour 
most weeds along with the good forage, and 
they leave behind them a wake of fruitful soil. 

In America sheep farming is little understood. 
8heep are kept in a more or less desultory man- 
ner, having the run of some hill pasture or 
woodland, fed at intervals in winter, sold off 
when prices become low, bought up again with 
the return of higher prices, given small care 
or encouragement, often afflicted with parasites, 
internal and external, a side issue with the farm- 
er, profitable in spite of his neglect, yet not often 
assuming the dignity of a business of them- 
selves. There are several reasons for this state. 
It is in part a heritage of the days when sheep 
were little valued for their flesh and were kept 
mainly for their fleeces. It is in part a result 
of our once cheap lands and insufficient labor 
with which to till them. And in large part it 
is because of ignorance of profitable methods. 
When sheep thrive their owners gladly reap 
the profits ; when they become diseased and un- 
profitable it is usually charged to ^'bad luck." 
There need be small element of luck or chance 
in sheep management. There is always a rea- 
son for thrift and for unthrift in the flock. There 
need rarely be any disease in the flock. A 
healthy sheep is certain to be a profitable one. 

There is at this time good reason for think- 
ing seriously of these problems of sheep hus- 
bandry because of the increase in mutton con- 
sumption and the curious parallel fact that 
the production is decreasing. April 1, 1903, 



INTRODUCTION. 15 

saw about 39,204,000 sheep shorn; April, 1904, 
about 38,342,000, or nearly a million less. It is 
probable that this decrease has been checked, 
though there has been no decided change in 
conditions and comparatively little re-stocking 
of Eastern farms. Sheep are essentially today 
dwellers of the range, the mountain and the 
desert. Montana has the largest number of 
sheep, 5,576,000 ; Wyoming has 3,800,000 ; New 
Mexico, 3,150,000; Idaho, 2,300,000 ; Ohio, 2,033,- 
000; Utah, 2,025,000; Oregon, 2,000,000; Cali- 
fornia, 1,625,000; Texas, 1,440,000; Colorado, 
1,300,000; Michigan, 1,200,000; Pennsylvania, 
850,000 ; New York, 675,000 ; Washington, 560,- 
000; Nevada, 600,000; Arizona, 620,000; Indi- 
ana, 700,000, and all other states below 600,000 
each. It will be seen that in comparison with 
the ranges the states make rather a small show- 
ing in the sheep industry, Ohio and Michigan 
excepted. The fact of free grass upon the 
Western ranges and the general healthfulness 
of flocks in that arid region have had a deterring 
influence upon the sheep industry in the old 
farming states. Now, however, that the ranges 
seem unable to supply the mutton that is de- 
manded by our consumers it is time to forget 
their menace and to take up again our old trade 
of shepherding on our Eastern farms. 

There are several excellent reasons why this 
is a rational and promising industry in which 
to embark. The ranges are now fully stocked 
with cattle and sheep. To increase the num- 
bers of sheep means to drive out more cattle 
and this the cattle men are resisting by armed 



16 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

force. On many of the drier ranges the sheep 
have overpastured the grass till much of it has 
been destroyed root and branch and thus its 
carrying power is much decreased. Settlers are 
taking the land in every irrigable valley and 
fencing it and there is thus in every way a 
steady diminution in the numbers of sheep on 
the ranges. Nor can it be seen how this may be 
checked and their numbers made to increase, see- 
ing that alfalfa forms almost the sole forage 
grown in the arid region, and this is not a crop 
suited to careless grazing of large bands of 
sheep by hireling herders. 

Consider again that the prejudice that at one 
time existed against mutton eating has almost 
died away. The cities are eating all the mutton 
that they can get and are paying for it much 
more than they are paying for beef or pork. 
There are doubtless several excellent reasons 
for this. Fashion is one. The fact that crowds 
of our people visit England every year leads 
them to form the ^Mamb chop" habit. Mutton 
is better fattened and prepared than formerly. 
There is offered a very much greater supply of 
lamb mutton than of mutton from old sheep, and 
that helps. Then the old-time type of small, 
wrinkly, thin-fleshed sheep has about disap- 
peared and that helps. There is a demand for 
lambs from babyhood up to a year of age, well 
fattened; there is demand for mature mutton. 
Whether the packers have or have not con- 
trolled the price of beef they have not been able 
or desirous of keeping down the price of mutton. 
For ten years feeders of lambs have prospered 



INTRODUCTION. 17 

exceedingly, with occasional discouragements, 
and there is no prospect of the production of 
good, well-finished mutton being overdone for 
some years to come. It can not be overdone until 
one of two things happens, either the American 
people must come into calamitous days or a 
great number of farmers must turn shepherds 
and learn the business from the ground up. 
Neither of these things will happen soon. Sheep 
husbandry is not difticult but it requires close at- 
tention to details and that we will not many of us 
give. The few who will patiently learn the art 
will therefore prosper the more exceedingly. 

It is a cheerful thought to look forward to the 
day when well kept, happy flocks will abound in 
our land. Then weeds will disappear to be re- 
placed by luxuriant grass and forage crops. 
Then trim fields, each with its appropriate green 
growth, will be dotted with snowy-fleeced ewes 
and plump, rollicking lambs, each one a picture 
of health and thrift; shepherds' neat cottages 
will shelter an intelligent and thrifty class of 
farm laborers, great piles of manure will be ac- 
cumulated in winter time to replenish the old 
fields, the farm boys will find enough to do and 
sufficient encouragement for doing it and will 
remain on the farms and then agriculture will 
be truly an upbuilding, a creation of fertility and 
farms where now there is little of profit left to 
country dwellers. 

Let no one imagine, however, that these bless- 
ings follow the mere fact of buying a flock and 
placing it upon the farm. '^ Sheep are ever an 
unhappy flock," remarked an old Roman agri- 



18 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

culturist, and in no other stock can the ignorant 
or heedless farmer have so great a variety of 
misfortunes as with the sheep. Few of these 
troubles are unavoidable. It is to point the way 
to success and to indicate the rough places that 
this little book is written. 

It is to be regretted that a great change has 
come over country life. The old intimacy be- 
tween the farmer and his men, the farmer and 
his fields, the farmer and his animals, has .to 
an extent gone, perhaps forever. Nevertheless, 
the farmer who undertakes to keep sheep with 
profit must go back to the ways of his fathers 
and his boyhood, he must cultivate an acquaint- 
ance with the individuals in his flock, must 
learn to know instantly by sight whether or 
no they are in health, must have their confi- 
dence so that he can without much trouble catch 
them afield, by aid of the shepherd's crook or 
a bit of salt or a handful of shelled corn. For- 
tunately this intimacy is a delight as well as a 
source of profit. *^The eye of the Master fat- 
tens the flock." Hired shepherds may be faith- 
ful, but they need the suggestions and the in- 
spiration that come from wise co-operation of 
the employer. Best of all shepherds are the 
men who own the sheep. It is a delightful oc- 
cupation and one that interests the young. 
There is room for labor, for thought, for growth 
in this work. Some of the happiest hours and 
most helpful the author has ever known have 
been spent in working among his ewes and 
lambs, or seated beneath a tree watching them 



INTRODUCTION. 19 

graze in the cool of the evening or seeing the 
lambs scamper np and down the hillsides. 

Strong men have come from tending sheep. 
Young David watched his father's flocks and 
in his zeal slew the lion and the bear that would 
have destroyed them. Gazing from his hill 
ranges afar out over the land he learned to love 
it well, so that the day came when he emerged 
from the solitude of the sheep pastures to be the 
one who should redeem Israel from bondage. 
Let us hope that in our own times young men 
may be found who while working with the gentle 
ewes and innocent lambs may from these scenes 
of peace absorb sufficient love of home, country 
and native land that they may come forth strong 
to help in the redemption and upbuilding of their 
own country. • 



20 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 



INTRODUCTION TO SECOND EDITION. 



Since this book was first put out a good deal 
has been learned concerning practical sheep 
management. The problem of the internal 
parasite, that terror that devastated eastern 
flocks, has been nearly solved, and the author 
has had the pleasure of presenting in this sec- 
ond edition a plan of flock management that will 
surely avoid the disasters that follow in the 
trail of the insiduous foe and insure keeping a 
flock in beautiful health and vigor. 

Of a life somewhat filled with work and 
thought, the writer feels that this is his chief 
fruit and it cheers him to think that perhaps he 
may be able to cause fine, healthy, happy flocks 
to grow where none grow now, or, worse, where 
sickly and unhappy sheep are. 

Of a multitude of friends the writer feels that 
the ones nearest his heart are the grave and 
careful shepherds who, loving their flocks bet- 
ter than their ease, make little lambs to grow 
and play, unafraid, who lead their sheep safely 
and feed them wisely, and who themselves are 
led by their life of solicitous care nearer the 
good Shepherd of us all. 



CHAPTER I 



THE FINE-WOOL BREEDS. 

It is not thought worth while to present here 
extensive accounts of the various breeds of 
sheep ; however, some mention must be made of 
the characteristics pertaining to each. Breeds 
originate from environment, from peculiar 
characters of soil and vegetation and climate, 
and from the mental idiosyncrasies of the breed- 
ers themselves. Each breed has its own particu- 
lar field where it serves best a certain purpose. 
For all that, breeds are somewhat flexible and 
several have a wide range of adaptability. Con- 
ditions of market and of environment make some 
breeds more profitable than others in certain 
locations. What would pay best on the range, in 
some remote state where wool by its cheap trans- 
portation brings the major share of profit, 
might not pay so well in near proximity to large 
cities where the demand is for quick-maturing 
mutton. Inversely, sheep are not suited to 
range conditions that are not good shearers, 
good to ' ' herd, ' ' that is, having the mental trait 
that makes them stay close together and an 
ability to withstand occasional times of starva- 
tion. On the farm the ability to live through 

(21) 



22 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

hard winters on sparse allowance of food is 
not a qualification worth taking into account. 

MERINO SHEEP. 

Probably the oldest races of domesticated 
sheep are the various families of Merinos. 
Most they have felt the moulding hand of man, 
most they seem to diverge from any wild type 
of which we have knowledge. Very likely Meri- 
nos were kept in Palestine during bible times 
and it may be that King David when a lad 
watched beside a flock of Merinos. Under the 
hand of man they have suffered a degeneration 
in form, not being as hardy, as vigorous or 
full of stamina as any wild race of sheep now 
in existence. What they have lost in form and 
vigor they have gained in fleece. The wool of 
the Merino is the finest and for many purposes 
easily the best in the world. It should com- 
mand the highest price and usually does. Meri- 
no breeders in the Eastern states, however, must 
compete with producers of wool in remote and 
semi-savage lands, Australia, Argentina, Pata- 
gonia, the Falkland Islands and parts of our 
own great West. 

Breeders of Merino sheep have followed 
many fashions and some that were their undo- 
ing. At one time the aim was to secure a fleece 
of extreme fineness, though by this course was 
secured a sheep of little stamina and of small 
value for mutton production. Again the aim 
sought was an excessive amount of oil or ^'yolk" 
in the fleece, which made it heavier. This weak- 
ened the sheep, made it sensitive to cold weather 



FINE-WOOT. BREEDS. 



23 



and, curiously enough, as the weight of yolk in- 
creased in the wool, manufacturers kept apace 
of the fact in buying, and by paying for it on a 
scoured basis there was nothing at all gained to 
the grower who sold the excessive amount of 
grease. A manufacturer once related to the 
writer how in the palmy days of heavy fleeces a 




TWO-YEAR-OLD MERINO RAM. 

celebrated ram's fleece was brought to him to be 
scoured ; it weighed 45 lbs., was probably of 18 
or 24 months' growth and made less than 12 lbs. 
of scoured wool ! The farmer then had wasted 
food enough to produce more than 30 lbs. of a 
product of no utility whatever; in fact, being 
only a drain on the strength of the animal that 



24 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

produced it. It is of course essential that wool 
should have a sufficient amount of this yolk to 
preserve the fiber ; more than this is a damage in 
every way. 

It would seem that now the fads in Merino 
sheep have nearly disappeared and the breeders 
at the present time are breeding useful Merinos, 
with generally more size and better forms and 
more of mutton quality than was once seen. 

The importance of the Merino breed will be 
recognized when it is remembered that about 
22,000,000 of the sheep of the United States are 
of Merino foundation. The Merino is the sheep 
of the range country, hardy in large herds, of 
long life, though of slow maturity, able to with- 
stand more of ''grief" than the mutton breeds, 
and, most important to the ranchmen, holding 
their fieeces to quite an age, whereas'under range 
conditions mutton breeds soon become light 
shearers. However, it is not now believed among 
Western ranchmen that the Merino should be 
bred pure for their purpose. They use large 
numbers of mutton rams and aim to keep in all 
their ewes a strain of mutton blood, from % to 
14, which they find makes the ewes better moth- 
ers, being more prolific and having a stronger 
milk flow. Lambs from such ewes, sometimes 
from pure-bred mutton rams, form the major 
part of the supplies received in our great mark- 
ets from August till June. A flock of ewes from 
Merino mothers and a good sire of one of the 
mutton breeds are almost ideal for use upon the 
farm, hardy, healthy, great milkers, good shear- 
ers. When a^ain topped by a blocky, mutton- 



FINE-WOOL BREEDS. 25 

bred sire they produce lambs that are hard to 
excel 

AMERICAN MERINOS. 

There are a number of families of Merinos. 
The American breeders divide them into three 
general classes— the Spanish or American Me- 
rino, the smallest in size and heaviest in fleece of 
any; these sheep were once excessively wrin- 
kled (wool grows upon wrinkles, thus the wool- 
bearing capacity is increased). They usually 
have a considerable amount of yolk in the wool, 
though by no means the excessive amount that 
was once common. During recent years the 
American Merino has undergone quite an evolu- 
tion, obedient to the command of its breeders, 
and has a better developed leg, a stronger back, 
a better sprung rib, more vigor and stamina than 
before and has, I think, lost little in fleece-bear- 
ing powers. 

The American Merinos are the most highly 
specialized of all sheep, their wool being best 
and most abundant. Their breeders do not 
claim that they are mutton sheep, though they 
do make good mutton ; but not so profitably as 
some lighter shearing breeds. 

DELAINE MERINOS AND BLACK TOPS. 

These two families have been bred by selec- 
tion from the original Spanish ; the Black Tops 
from the importation of 1802, the Delaines from 
the Black Top foundation, with some outcrosses 
of other Merino blood. The idea in developing 
these two families has been to secure a larger 
sheep than the original Merino, a better feeder, a 



26 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

hardier sheep and with a ' ^ Delaine ' ' wool. This 
wool should have parallel fibers of sufficient 
length for combing purposes. There is unques- 
tionable merit in tliese sheep and in the hands of 
some breeders they approach closely to the mut- 
ton type without losing their valuable fleeces. 
Delaines are hardy, healthy when rightly man- 
aged, their ]ambs from mutton sires are supe- 
rior for the market and a well managed flock of 
either Delaines or Black Tops has never been 
unprofitable. The name ^' Black Top" was 
given by the originator of the type because his 
best sheep had a dark crust on the outside of the 
fleece composed of oil and dirt this crust keep- 
ing out weather and serving to shelter the sheep. 
It is doubtful, however, if sheep should be re- 
quired to carry shelter from rain on their backs. 

EAMBOUILLETS. 

Nearly two centuries ago the French govern- 
ment began importing Merino ewes from Spain 
and then was laid the foundation of the breed 
that is called the ^'French Merino,'' or '^Ram- 
bouillet," after the village in France where the 
stud flock has been kept. With different feeds, 
different ideals and selection, the breed has be- 
come quite different from the other families of 
Merinos, having much greater size and a differ- 
ent type of wool, with coarser fiber, though yet 
a Merino wool. 

The Rambouillet is perhaps the most popular 
today of all the Merinos, great numbers being 
found on the Western ranges where there are 
also great breeding establishments. Here thou- 













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FINE-WOOL BREEDS. 29 

sands of pure-bred rams are grown. Fashions 
change even on the ranges and at present there 
is inquiry for Delaines, and many rams of mixed 
Delaine and Rambouillet blood are used, besides 
some with an infusion of the blood of the Ameri- 
can Merino. Rambouillets are truly wonderful 
sheep, of great size and unlimited capacity to 
consume food. With a top of mutton rams they 
produce great lambs or make superb wethers. 

Rambouillets have been grown profitably for 
50 years in Ohio. There are indeed some farms 
that have been stocked with these sheep continu- 
ously for that length of time, which is unusual 
in America. In recent years the breed has been 
considerably improved by fresh importations 
and by careful matings, so that both form and 
fleece are better than formerly. The Eastern 
Rambouillet growers have for some years en- 
;joyed a very profitable trade in rams which they 
have sent to the Western ranges. However, 
the large Western breeders are absorbing much 
of that trade of late, so that only the choicest 
rams are in demand for Western shipments. A 
good flock of Rambouillets will pay for their 
wool and mutton, and Rambouillet ewes make a 
most admirable basis for a cross-bred flock. 

Rambouillet and Delaine Merino ewes have 
the ability to conceive early and drop their 
lambs in the fall or winter. Many Rambouillet 
breeders make a practice of lambing as many of 
their ewes as possible in the fall and early win- 
ter months, thus getting the young things for- 
ward to a good state of growth and development 
before spring and summer come to bring their 



30 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

problems of management. The early lamb is 
often worth double the late one, because of the 
superior healthfulness and vigor of the early 
born that escape the troubles of parasitism, so 
distressing to those of late birth. 

This habit of early yeaning also comes in good 
hand when the Merino ewes are used as mothers 
for cross-bred "hot house" lambs, and many 
growers of these winter lambs use Merino moth- 
ers though the half-blood Merino ewe is better. 
In truth she is near to perfection for this pur- 
pose. 

It is a curious fact that many old men suc- 
ceed fairly well with Merinos who can not make 
mutton sheep thrive at all. The Merino will 
withstand more neglect than the English breeds. 
It will endure fairly well a winter ration of 
bright straw and a little added grain with the 
run of a hill pasture. Formerly thousands 
were wintered on pasture with no feeding at all 
throughout the hill regions of Ohio and Pennsyl- 
vania. It was thought that if they had access 
to hazel brush where they might shelter and 
browse a little and the grass was not too closely 
cropped in fall they would do well enough. 
Treated in this manner they must lamb late in 
the spring, and they do survive and shear quite 
good fleeces, whereas any breed of mutton sheep, 
so poorly fed would hardly show any profit at 
all. 

It is often quite difficult for men who have 
spent years of their lives growing Merinos un- 
der the let-alone, outdoor system to take another 
breed and make it thrive at all. They can not 



FINE-WOOL BREEDS. 31 

bring themselves to give the feed, shelter and at- 
tention that the English breeds demand. 
And with Merinos, kindness and care are usu- 
ally well repaid. There are hill regions where 
the flock may be out of doors almost the whole 
year, but the grazing should be supplemented 
by a regular allowance of grain or early-cut 
hay, and it is well if the flock can be sheltered 
from chilling winter's rains. 



CHAPTER II. 



MUTTON BREEDS. 

All of our breeds excepting the Merinos and 
the Tunis come from England. There the pe- 
culiar character of the country and the mental 
traits of the people have united to create a num- 
ber of breeds, each having its especial excel- 
lence for a certain purpose and soil. The Eng- 
lishman's ideal in animal form runs, as it does 
in architecture, to the square, the level, the 
rectangular. His sheep, his beef cattle and his 
swine all partake of the same characteristics in 
form. To successfully judge Merino sheep one 
must be a student of the breed ; to judge the mut- 
ton breeds practically well one need only to know 
what is a good animal, after the model of the 
Angus cow or the Berkshire hog. Add the wool 
and certain fancy points, such as the covering of 
wool over the head, the size and set of ear, the 
shape of nose and the coloring and all is told. 
The novice in sheep breeding, if he knows An- 
gus cattle or Berkshire or Poland-China swine, 
need have no hesitation in attempting to select 
a flock of breeding ewes if he can see them with- 
out their fleeces. In fact, the owner will betray 
his consternation before the novice has selected 

(32) 



MUTTON BREEDS, 85 

half a dozen and remark, "You may not know 
much about sheep but I can't let you select from 
my flock." 

The English breeds are naturally divided into 
classes of Downs, Long-Wools and Mountain 
breeds. 

THE DOWNS. 

In the south of England is a chain of chalky 
hills, covered with tine, short grass. Since his- 
tory began there has been on these hills a race 
of short-wooled sheep; in their early history, 
with horns. From this old type has come the 
Southdown, the Hampshire Down, the Sussex, 
Oxford, Shropshire Downs and the Dorset 
horned. 

SOUTHDOWNS. 

This sheep is a striking illustration of what 
the genius of man can do. Before the day of 
George the Third the unimproved Downs of Sus- 
sex were ^'of small size and bad shape, long in 
neck, low at both ends, light in shoulder, narrow 
at the fore end, and shaped like a soda water 
bottle, «mall in front and heavier in the middle ; 
large of bone, but boasting a big leg of mutton. 
The fleece was not so close and firm as now." 

Once the Southdown was horned but now 
there is seldom a scur to remind you of the past. 
Today the breed is one of the most perfectly 
formed breeds in existence. The size is but 
medium to small, but so compact and thick- 
fleshed are these sheep and so close to the ground 
that their weights astonish those who are un- 
acquainted with the breed. The Southdown has 



36 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

a straight back^ a thick, muscular neck, bespeak- 
ing vitality, a well sprung rib, giving a rotundity 
of form and a well filled leg of mutton. The 
character of the mutton is of the best, being fine- 
grained, well marbled with fat and lean and 
tender, sweet and juicy. The wool is short, 
thick, elastic, of excellent quality, though not so 
abundant as in some breeds. Southdowns are 
very vigorous, hardy, ambitious, good foragers, 
good feeders, always fat if given opportunity, 
more easily kept in health than some breeds and 
the rams are excellent for cross breeding, espec- 
ially where early lambs are desired. 

There are not so many breeders of South- 
downs in America as the merit of the breed 
would deserve. It is one of the easiest of all 
breeds to maintain in high-class condition. 
There is little tendency toward deterioration, 
though there is great difficulty in bringing about 
change or improvement in type. This is no 
doubt owing in part to the fact that the breed is 
absolutely pure, no admixture or infusion of 
other blood having ever taken place. Therefore, 
there is less variation of type and it is easier to 
have a flock of Southdowns of uniform appear- 
ance and character than of most breeds. . 

In Sussex the author has studied Southdown 
management on their native sod and observed 
these features of their practice. Dry ewes in 
summer time were often grazed on the hill pas- 
tures, but under the care and observation of 
shepherds at least part of every day. Ewes 
suckling lambs were in hurdles eating sowed 
crops of clovers, vetches and grass, with a little 



MUTTON BREEDS. 37 

bite of grain, while the lambs ''ran forward'' 
in other hurdle-enclosed bits of grazing. As 
protection against sun the lambs had small 
squares of canvas stretched over the corners of 
their pen. The lambs got a full allowance of 
''corn and cake ;" that is, grain with broken lin- 
seed oil cake which is much fed in that country 
and seldom ground into meal. The lambs were 
as fat and round as little pigs and were sold as 
they ripened, week by week, on the London 
market. Of this system of hurdle grazing we 
will speak later at more length. 

There are few breeds with more adaptability 
than the Southdown. It is especially useful on 
high-priced land and near markets that demand 
fancy lamb mutton. Though a. Southdown 
flock will not shear so much as some others of the 
Down family it is questionable whether there is 
a more profitable breed for the production of fat 
lambs to be marketed either from their moth- 
ers' side in late spring or early summer or to be 
fed later and marketed at the age of eight to ten 
months. Their smaller size is in their favor, 
seeing that small and very perfect lambs well 
finished, command a premium always. South- 
down ewes are prolific and excellent mothers, 
and the lambs are strong at birth. 

SHEOPSHIRES. 

Farther to the north in England originated 
the Shropshire sheep. Not unlike many pas- 
tures of our country are those about Shrews- 
bury, affording strong grass, based upon lime- 



38 



SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 



stone and clay loams. The Shropshire had its 
origin in a mingling of the bloods of a native 
black or brown-faced and horned sheep called 
from its habitat the ''Morfe Common sheep." 
They were small and bore light fleeces of not 
more than 2 lbs. Infusion of Leicester, Cots- 
wold and Southdown blood worked a great 
change, practically obliterating the blood of the 
earlier parents and bringing at first great diver- 
sity of type. Careful selection toward a pretty 




FARM TRAINING FOR THE SHOW-RING. 

well defined ideal had by 1853 resulted in fixing 
a type and it was then advised that the Royal 
Agricultural Society recognize them as a dis- 
tinct breed. Since that time they have gone 
steadily forward in improvement and this is es- 
pecially notable in recent years, when the breed 



MUTTON BREEDS. 39 

seems really to have reached its ultimate per- 
fection. It would certainly be difficult to suggest 
any desirable modification of the well bred 
Shropshire's form, fleece or character. The 
breed is perhaps the most popular in the World 
today and has the largest number of registering 
breeders. 

The Shropshire is a medium-sized sheep, rams 
weighing from 175 to 225 lbs. and ewes 125 to 
170 lbs. They shear well, considerably better 
than the Southdown, and the wool is of excellent 
quality. The lambs fatten well and should go 
to market from their mother's sides, else they 
may reach too great weights for the top of the 
market. 

The Shropshire ideal in form is close to that 
of the Southdown, with a little greater size and 
a darker head and legs, though not so dark as 
the Hampshire or Oxford Downs. The fleece is 
longer than in the Southdown and is not usually 
so close-set or dense. Certainly there is no more 
beautiful sight than a well bred and well kept 
flock of Shropshires, the fine matronly ewes 
with their white fleeces set off by the brown of 
heads, ears and legs. Their mutton is perhaps 
not quite so good as the Southdown, but there is 
not much difference in this respect, and they are 
equally prolific, though the lambs may not have 
quite the same vigor at birth nor do they usually 
fatten at quite so early an age. 

The one difficulty with the Shropshire sheep, 
in America is the careless and ignorant shep- 
herd who permits his flock to become infested 
with parasites or allows his ewes to become so 



40 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

fat that they do not breed well, and such a man 
might not succeed with any breed. 

HAMPSHIRES. 

The study of how this great breed was orig- 
inated is a most interesting one, though rather 
too long and complicated to be entered fully into 
here. The Hampshire is the result of skillful 
mingling of the bloods of an old white-faced 
honied race, called the Wiltshire, the South- 
down, the Sussex and probably the Cotswold 
breeds. During many years men worked grad- 
ually toward an ideal, making skillful matings 
and discarding the inferior offspring as well as 
those which went toward the wrong type. The 
result was astonishing, for the Hampshire 
breeds .now remarkably true to type and that 
type quite unlike any of the ancestry involved 
in its creation. 

The Hampshire is the largest and heaviest of 
the Down breeds, and is only excelled by the 
Lincoln in weight and occasionally by the Cots- 
wold, among the long-wooled races. It has 
dark brown or black points, with bold counte- 
nance, and a large ear, set on rather low and 
standing well out to the side. The bone is large, 
lim^bs especially strong and well set on; fleece 
fine and white. It presents a very striking ap- 
pearance, the rams having bold Roman counte- 
nances, and the ewes characteristic strong but 
feminine faces. 

The Hampshire is essentially the sheep for 
the arable farm, fitted by long habit to being put 
in hurdles, able to consume a large amount of 



MUTTON BREEDS. 41 

food and to make from it good mutton at an 
early age. The Hampshire lamb is famed for 
its early maturity and great weight. There is 
no breed that excels the Hampshire in this res- 
pect. Well kept Hamp shires are among the 
most profitable sheep in the world. 

The writer recalls with great pleasure some 
days spent in the Hampshire growing country 
of England. It was much of it a soil of only 
moderate fertility, resting on chalk, the farms of 
fairly good size. One especially of 1,400 acres 
he recalls to mind, for on that farm were 2,500 
magnificent Hampshire sheep and lambs. Most 
of them were in hurdles and following the hur- 
dles were seen great crops of grain. 

There seemed to be not a single sheep or lamb 
on this farm that was not in perfect health and 
vigor. 

A man ambitious to do the best possible thing 
with sheep can take up the Hampshire breed 
with good courage, for they have in them pos- 
sibilities in the way of great and rapid growth 
beyond most breeds ; perhaps beyond any other 
breed. On the other hand few breeds degenerate 
into more unsightly "weeds" than badly kept 
and diseased Hampshires. The Hampshire ram 
is often used for cross breeding and gets fine, 
vigorous lambs nicely marked with black points. 

OXFOKDS. 

The Oxford is in appearance a large Shrop- 
shire, with a coarser and more open fleece, a 
larger bone, usually a darker face and coarser 
ear. It is the result of crossing the Cotswold 



42 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

and Hampshire types, begun about tlie year 
1833. The Oxford is a noble sheep, having some 
of tlie characteristics of the Hampshires; is a 
good sire with which to cross breed and is often 
used for that purpose. There is need of a little 
more care in management with these sheep to 
avoid parasitism than with some breeds, but no 
man who has grown Oxfords and kept them 
healthy but has found them profitable. 

THE LONG-WOOLS. 

LEICESTERS. 

The Leicester is an old breed little known in 
the United States at the present time but much 
kept in Canada. It is notable as being the first 
recorded sheep to feel the improvement of a 
genius in breeding, Robert Bakewell having un- 
dertaken the improvement of the breed in about 
1755. Bakewell conceived the idea of improving 
this old, coarse-boned, long-wooled breed. Just 
how he did it we would like to know and never 
will, but it was entirely by selection, so we are 
told, and he evidently had the master eye for 
seeing virtues in animals and knowing which 
Avould be transmitted. He made such fame as a 
breeder of sheep that before his death his rams 
were let for the season for as high as $2,000 
each. 

The Leicester is found in Canada and on some 
of our Western ranches. It is a large sheep, 
with white points and a long, rather coarse wool. 
It is finely formed, with an especially wide 
spread of rib, and has an extraordinary facility 





||::,;{; 




i 









MUTTON BREEDS. 45 

for taking on fat. In truth, it is a defect in tlie 
Leicester, according to modern idea, that it 
loads up too much with internal fat. Its best 
place in our economy is in cross breeding. Lei- 
cester rams on Merino ewes produce superb 
feeders with a very good class of wool. 

COTSWOLDS. 

One of the most common breeds in parts of 
America thirty years ago was the Cotswold. 
Common they still are in parts of the country. 
They abound in Canada and in some parts of the 
West, notably in Utah and Oregon. The Cots- 
wold resembles the Leicester somewhat, being a 
large sheep with white face and legs and long 
wool. The face may be grayish or even light 
brown, and there is a tuft of wool on the fore- 
head. The wool is coarse but adapted to cer- 
tain uses. Cotswolds make gain profitably but 
are not adapted to the production of very young 
fat lambs. The best use of the breed is in cross 
breeding on ewes of Merino foundation, and for 
this purpose it has been extensively used in 
Montana and other Western states. Cotswolds 
do not thrive when kept in large flocks in the 
Eastern states, though they are healthy in Can- 
ada, Oregon and other cooler regions. There 
is hardly any more grand and stately sheep than 
the well bred and well fitted Cotswold as it ap- 
pears at our great shows. 

LINCOLNS. 

Quite like the Cotswold is the Lincoln. To 
the careful observer, however, there is a consid- 



46 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

erabJe difference in the type. The Lincoln is 
the heaviest breed, probably, in the world, and 
in England Lincolns have been known to dress 
90 lbs. per quarter. The wool is extraordinarily 
long, samples being shown of 21 inches growth, 
and rams sometimes shear the extraordinary 
amount of 30 lbs. 

The new Lincoln sheep is the product of Lei- 
cester crosses upon the old Lincoln. He is truly 
a magnificent creation of the long-wooled char- 
acter, requiring rich pastures and plenty of 
space. As a mutton sheep he is inferior to the 
Down breeds as far as quality is concerned, but 
for crossing purposes no class of sheep is in 
greater demand, and the highest prices in recent 
years have been paid by Argentine buyers for 
Lincoln rams. In truth, the great mutton ex- 
porting business of Argentina is based largely 
upon the use of Lincoln blood on Merino founda- 
tion, and it is not generally known that their 
sheep are far superior to our own in quality 
and are therefore much more acceptable in the 
British markets. 

There is little doubt that when we have 
learned our trade better we will in turn use 
thousands of rams of both the Lincoln and Cots- 
wold breeds upon our range-bred ewes to pro- 
duce mutton both for our own and the foreign 
markets. 

DORSET HORNS. 

Properly, the Dorset belongs with the Downs 
and indeed the ancestors of the present Dorset 
Horns were much like the Wiltshire ancestors of 



MUTTON BREEDS. 



47 



the Hampshire Down sheep. There is now lit- 
tle resemblance between the Dorset and the 
Hampshire breeds, though singularly enough 
each has taken up the same field of endeavor, the 
production of early lambs. The Hampshire 
lambs usually come at a later time than the Dor- 
sets and do not go to market quite so young, 
but each has the habit of fattening at an early 



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SOME OHIO DORSETS. 



age, and the Dorset ewe has also the way of 
dropping her lambs at an earlier season than 
any other ewe. Then she is the greatest milker 
of any of the sheep tribe, and because of this 
large supply of milk, and because of their vigor- 
ous digestion and ability to use grain at an early 
age the Dorset lambs soon attain to good weights 



48 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

and are usually sold fat from their mothers' 
sides. In truth, it is not good practice to allow 
Dorset lambs to attain to an age of above six to 
eight months, and most profit comes from selling 
them at two to four months. 

The Dorset, like the Southdown, is of unmixed 
ancestry, and is one of the most ancient breeds 
in existence, though doubtless much changed by 
selection of modern and progressive breeders. 
Before cows were used in the dairy in Dorset- 
shire sheep were kept for their milk which, no 
doubt, accounts in part for the wonderful milk- 
ing powers of the Dorset ewe. In truth, many 
of these ewes are such large milkers that it is 
necessary to relieve them by hand stripping for 
a few days after the lambs are born until they 
become able to take all the milk. 

Dorset Horns are so named because both 
sexes have horns. The rams' horns are large 
and heavy and curved rather closely in front of 
the head ; the ewes have light horns that should 
curve toward the front. It is a curious fact that 
Dorset ewes are as pugnacious as their arma- 
ment would indicate, often attacking stray dogs 
and lacking almost altogether that timidity that 
characterizes other sheep. A sheep-killing dog 
will sometimes kill Dorset ewes, but it is not 
probable that any dog would begin a career of 
sheep-killing in a Dorset flock. 

The Dorsets have a form not unlike the 
Southdown, though generally more upstanding, 
and a similar fleece of close, strong wool, with 
an elastic fiber which is very white. They shear 
better than some mutton breeds and the wool is 



MUTTON BREEDS. 49 

of the first quality. They are very docile and 
thrive in hurdles or on grass where proper care 
is taken to keep them from parasites. They 
have been introduced into several states of our 
country and have thriven wherever men have 
understood their requirements, and have failed 
wherever in the hands of careless or ignorant 
shepherds. It is notable that there are now pro- 
duced in America under the conditions of the 
Eastern states as good Dorsets as there are in 
the world, whereas most of the other mutton 
breeds rely upon importations to maintain their 
quality. 13orsets find their best use in America 
in the hill regions of the South, where early 
lambs are grown. They are favorites in Vir- 
ginia, West Virginia, and so far as tried in 
Kentucky, and in the Northern states they are 
largely used in the ''hot house" lamb business. 
Dorsets are excellent for cross breeding, the 
lambs growing well and fattening readily, and 
cross-bred ewes from Merino mothers and Dor- 
set sires form the best foundation for a flock for 
producing winter lambs. 

THE MOUNTAIN BREEDS. 

CHEVIOTS. 

The Cheviot is classed as a mountain breed, 
of which there are a number in England and 
Scotland, natives of the hill regions. The Chev- 
iot is from the Cheviot hills in southern Scotland 
and northern England. It is a remarkably 
hardy, vigorous sheep, standing erect and alert, 
on strong legs, carrying excellent mutton, and a 



50 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

fine fleece of good wool, rather fine for a moun- 
tain breed. There is scarcely anywhere a pret- 
tier sheep than the Cheviot. It has such an air 
of interest and intelligence and seems so wide- 
awake. The Cheviots have displaced the hard- 
ier Black-faced breed in all the lower and rich- 
er i^arts of Scotland, though in the colder and 
more heathery portions this ancient breed still 
holds its own. 

The Cheviot has a place in our land. It is 
well adapted to grass farms, to hill regions and 
wherever sheep are required to make good mut- 
ton largely from pasture. 

Naturally the higher and cooler regions are 
best adapted to this sheep. The breed is quite 
well represented in America and has thriven in 
many parts of the country. It is in its favor 
that it is not too large, seeing that fat lambs, not 
too heavy, are now most in demand. 

BLACK-FACES. 

The writer feels that it would cause disap- 
pointment among his readers if he did not make 
some mention of this wonderful little Scotch 
Black-faced highland sheep. In their own land 
nothing can take their place. They have the in- 
stincts of true wild animals. They love the high 
peaks and heathery slopes, and, scenting storms, 
are led by that same instinct to seek the shelter 
of the glens. These sheep belong with the lands. 
They pass with the farm from one tenant to the 
other, when farms change hands. Their love 
of home is so great that when removed miles 
away they will often return straight across coun- 



MUTTON BREEDS. 51 

try to their old haunts, swimming rivers if need 
be to accomplish their desire. 

The Black-faced sheep are small, moderately 
well formed, with coarse, long wool. They make 
good mutton, which commands in British mar- 
kets a good price being thought to have a gamey 
character. They are a comparatively new 
breed in Scotland, if we accept tradition, having 
existed there but about 140 years. From whence 
they came is a mystery. There are no sheep 
elsewhere in the world like them, the Lonks and 
Berdwicks of northern England having most 
resemblance. They seem to be a spontaneous 
product, creation of environment, to graze those 
heathery hills. 

Of course they had to start from somewhere, 
and the legend that they swam ashore from some 
sinking ship of the Spanish Armada is harmless 
and as good as any. The management of these 
hardy Black-faced sheep is simple; every day 
the sheiDherd seeks to see each ewe of the flock, 
climbing high ovr heather-clad hills with his dog 
at his side to accomplish this. It is his part to 
be sure that none of the ewes have accidentally 
gotten upon their backs. They are shorn in 
June or July, being brought down to the farm- 
stead for that purpose. It takes a good dog and 
an agile shepherd to round them up and bring 
them down, and it is customary to tie their feet 
when they are shorn, since they struggle like 
wild things. 

In winter they are brought down to the fields 
and given a bite of hay and sometimes turnips. 
It is found, however, that too many turnips en- 



52 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

courage a growth of horn in the unborn lamb 
that sometimes destroys both the unfortunate 
lamb and its mother. 

Thus it is seen that this most beautiful and 
picturesque sheep is one that presents unusual 
difficulties to the would-be breeder in America. 
He must beware of overfeeding in winter; he 
will find them hard to drive and pen ; he will find 
them somewhat harder than other sheep to re- 
strain within boundaries. And still there are 
situations, like the mountains in northern On- 
tario, in the higher regions of California, Oregon 
and Washington, and along the coast islands of 
Alaska where undoubtedly the natural character 
of the Black-faced sheep would make it of great 
value. 

The writer has devoted this space to the breed 
because of its connection with legend, song and 
story, which have given it a place in almost ev- 
ery man's heart, and because he hopes to count 
loyal Scots among his readers. He will never 
forget his days spent among the Lammermoor 
hills of southern Scotland, where the Border 
Leicesters occupied the lower slopes and the 
Black-faced climbed the heathery heights and 
their lambs played about the feet of the Twin- 
law Cairns. It was a land of peace and quiet, 
of faithfulness and almost religious devotion 
to duty. The old steward of the farm had lived 
there in that capacity for 50 years. His son and 
grandson worked on the farm. High upon 
the slope just below the plantation of fir wood, 
stood a low stone cottage beaten with rain and 
wind, where lived the faithful old shepherd and 



MUTTON BREEDS. 55 

his son, and just above his cottage began a great 
mountain pasture, enclosed by stone walls, where 
there were bits of moors from which peat was 
dug, and great slopes of heather, which is a 
small, fine and dense-growing bush on which 
sheep can subsist. Would that we could implant 
upon our own soil some such spirit as pervaded 
this place, the quiet and peace, the simple living 
and high, manly thinking, the honesty and de- 
votion to duty ! 

THE TUNIS AND PERSIAN SHEEP. 

In Asia and Africa began the first civiliza- 
tions, and there perhaps began the first domesti- 
cation of the sheep. It is a curious fact that we 
do not now know whence came the ancestors of 
our various breeds of sheep, nor do we know 
certainly whether they all have a common an- 
cestry, though we may infer that it is so from the 
fact of their readily interbreeding with each 
other. All of the wild breeds of sheep at pres- 
ent have short tails, whereas most domesticated 
sheep have long tails. It is probable that the 
wild race from which sprung our flocks of to- 
day is extinct. 

However, it is interesting to note what ad- 
vance has been made by the Asiatic and African 
breeders of sheep and goats. The Nubian goat 
is probably the most developed in milking power 
and fecundity of all breeds of goats and the Per- 
sian and African sheep have also strong devel- 
opment in certain ways fitting them to the cli- 
mates and environments in which they were pro- 
duced and to the needs of their owners. 



56 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

The Persian and Tunis sheep have evidently 
common origins and belong to the same race. 
In truth it would seem to the writer that the Tu- 
nis breed which has existed in America since 
about 1799 and which now may need some infu- 
sion of fresh blood might with advantage receive 
an infusion of Persian blood. 

The Tunis came to America early in the last 
century, and was bred near Philadelphia, and 
afterwards in South Carolina and Georgia 
where they proved to be well adapted to the en- 
vironment. The civil war almost destroyed 
them. A few survived and were shown at the 
Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Soon there- 
after some enthusiastic admirers began breeding 
these sheep in Indiana. It is possible that in 
their time of adversity the blood of the Tunis 
was not kept quite unmixed, since there is more 
variety in type among them than is usual among 
pure breeds. 

The distinguishing character of the Tunis 
breed is the head, which should be hornless, cov-. 
ered with tawny yellowish brown hair the nose 
may incline to roman character, the ear should 
droop and be rather heavy. The form is much 
like other mutton sheep except that the legs are 
usually long and the neck the same. The fleece 
is soft, fine, fairly abundant, and varies much in 
color; it may be white, or brown, or reddish, or 
the colors may be intermixed. In the Persian 
the same characteristics are noted, with a like- 
lihood of black predominating. 

The distinguishing feature of the Tunis is the 
fat tail. This seems to have been originally 





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MUTTON BREEDS. 59 

planned as a store-house to tide the animal over 
periods of drought and bad pasturage. When 
tails are not docked they are moderately long 
and the fleshy part hangs down about six or 
eight inches. This is so inconvenient at the 
breeding season that ewes usually have their 
tails docked, besides there is in the United States 
no popular clamor for fat tails, which are in 
African and Asiatic regions considered very de- 
licious and are used in place of butter. 

When the tails are docked there is yet an ac- 
cumulation of fat across the top of the rump. 

Tunis sheep fatten very readily and their 
lambs are especially quick to become plump and 
ready for the fancy hot-house lamb trade. It 
is for this purpose that they are mostly used, 
though the Tunis rams crossed upon almost any 
breed of ewes get good lambs. 

The Persian sheep were introduced into the 
United States in 1891 and bred in California, 
Nevada and other Western States. They are 
very large, very active, good feeders on the 
range, and when crossed on Merinos the lambs 
prove to be very easily fattened. Of a herd of 
half-blood Persian-Merino ewes a California 
owner says : ^ ' They are omnivorous feeders and 
great rustlers for food. If there is anything be- 
tween heaven and earth to eat they will get if 
The writer has observed a tendency among some 
Persians to foot disease when kept on wet soils. 
They are true sheep of the desert, and there 
they would seem to have a useful place. 

Among the breeds described the would-be 
sheep owner can choose one and he should stick 



60 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

to that one. Cross-breeding is permissible for 
the market, but let no one undertake at this day 
to create a new breed of sheep by mingling the 
bloods of breeds already having received 
the care and thought of generations of skillful 
breeders. One man's lifetime is too short to es- 
tablish a breed, and there seems small need of 
another. 



CHAPTER IIL 



CROSS-BREEDING. ^ 

Notwitlistanding the great excellence of many 
of the pure breeds of sheep it will be a long time 
before we will be free from the practice of cross 
breeding. There is a necessity for this in sheep 
breeding much more urgent than in cattle breed- 
ing, or in fact, with any other farm animals. 
Very few pure bred sheep reach our markets. 
Nor will they come in large numbers for many 
years. The reason for this is to be found in the 
fact that so large a per cent of our sheep are 
grown upon the western ranges. There ewe 
flocks seem most profitable when they have a Me- 
rino foundation. Merinos from time immem- 
orial have been range sheep, the only break in 
their habit being the few decades that they were 
kept upon eastern farms. Merinos are hardy, 
are used to droughts and short feed, have the in- 
stinct of herding, are easily managed. More- 
over they retain their wool well up to consider- 
able age. Wool is a far greater factor in West- 
ern sheep husbandry than it is in the country to 
the east. Flocks must be good shearers, must 
be hardy, must herd well. 

But the Merino when kept pure is an inferior 
mutton sheep. Moreover it is an inferior breed- 
ing sheep. An infusion of mutton blood makes 
the ewe a better mother, her lambs are stronger, 

(63) 



64 



SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 



she suckles them better. She feeds better, too, 
and is a "better rustler." Then her progeny is 
in large part destined to reach the great markets 
when about six months of age. Therefore the 
better grown and heavier it is the more money it 
will bring. Thus there is often sought a class 
of rams that will make the best lambs, regard- 




DORSET EWES. 

less of their titness for long continued life upon 
the range, they will not naturally remain there 
more than one summer. Thus the complexity of 
cross-breeding is increased for from the mother 
having in her own body an infusion of mutton 
blood there is secured a lamb having a sire of 



CROSS-BREEDING. 65 

pure mutton breeding. What sort of cross 
makes the best ewe, what sort of cross upon her 
makes the best market lamb! To this question 
there would naturally be as many answers as 
there are supporters of breeds of sheep. There 
is hardly any commingling of bloods that has 
not use for some special environment. We may 
clear the matter up somewhat by discussing a 
few crosses and their results. 

At the outset let it be said that the influence 
of the sire and dam are theoretically equal. 
Some hidden power of the one or the other may 
seem to cause the offspring to resemble more 
nearly the one parent than the other, but no man 
can safely predict whether this influence will re- 
side in the sire or the dam. Naturally, as she 
nourishes the lamb, the ewe has greater chance 
to influence her progeny/ than the sire. Thus if 
a ewe of a small race is mated with a ram of a 
large race the lamb must be nourished, both be- 
fore and after birth, by the smaller ewe. It will 
grow to be of greater size than its mother, but 
will not equal the size of its sire. Nor will it be 
identically the same as though the cross was re- 
versed. That is, supposing we are considering 
the Merino of one of the lesser strains, and the 
Hampshire, the natural way of crossing is to 
use the Hampshire ram on the Merino ewe. The 
result is a lamb that grows to be larger than its 
mother, and smaller than its sire. 

Reversing the process, we choose a typical 
Merino ram and mate him to a Hampshire ewe 
and get a lamb that never equals its mother in 
stature, but excels considerably its sire, and also 



66 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

excels the lamb of identically the same blood 
from the Merino mother. The better nourish- 
ment both before and after birth causes this re- 
sult. It is seen then that the better the ewe 
the better her lamb. Nevertheless, it may hap- 
pen that a class of moderately small ewes may 
yield most profit since they consume forage 
about in proportion to their size, thus a flock of 
1,000 medium sized ewes bred to fine, strong 
mutton-bred rams would very likely yield a bet- 
ter weight of lambs than a flock of 800 larger 
ewes and consume practically the same amount 
of feed. 

In other words, the ram is just half of the 
flock, and by far the easier half to provide the 
forage for. Thus the ram cannot well be too 
good. 

To freshen the blood of the pure Merino on 
the range a number of infusions have been tried. 
The Cotswold blood does well; a flock having 
one-quarter or even one-eighth of Cotswold 
blood is increased in size and stamina remark- 
ably. To get a flock of one-quarter Cotswold 
blood one must first get one-half blood Cotswold- 
Merino rams to use on his pure-bred Merinos. 
For some exceedingly rich ranges the one-half 
blood Cotswold-Merino ewes are used and with 
good success. These ewes are exceedingly' good 
foragers and raise hardy fast growing lambs. 

The Lincoln cross does admirably on some 
types of Merino ewes and is much esteemed in 
some regions of the West. The Oxford cross 
has given good results also as a permanent in- 
fusion in the range flock. There are a few sheep 



CROSS-BREEDING. 67 

owners who use the Hampshire for this purpose, 
though the general opinion is now that the blood 
of the Downs cuts short the yield of wool. 

The Leicester blood makes an admirable infu- 
sion into the range flock. It is said that not 
more than one-ciuarter or one-eighth of it is 
needed to give strength and hardiness. The 
Dorset has been tried and found worthy; some 
of the best range ewes the writer has ever seen 
have been in part of Dorset blood. Dorset 
blood especially helps the milking qualities of 
Merino ewes and makes them able to push their 
lambs forward astonishingly. 

Though the writer knows of no instance of its 
use he is of the opinion that the use of 
Cheviot blood would prove a very desirable ad- 
dition to herds ranging in the mountains of the 
west. Probably one-quarter of Cheviot blood 
would be enough. Cheviots make flesh readily 
from grass alone and are remarkably hardy 
and are very great rustlers for feed. 

CKOSS-BEEEDING FOR THE LAMB MARKET. 

Considering the western range sheep first, 
various breeds have been used for production of 
market lambs. At one time the Long-wools, 
Cotswold, Leicester or Lincoln, were considered 
best for this purpose. Rams of either of these 
breeds will beget fine, strong lambs that will feed 
well and grow to large size. They will not be so 
fat at weaning time nor come into market so 
early as lambs from one of the Down breeds, but 
they do splendidly in the feed-lot and attain 
heavy weights. 



68 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

The Hampshire gets splendid lambs, well 
marked with brown points, easily made fat and 
selling near the top of the market. One can 
hardly make a mistake in using Hampshire rams 
if he wishes to make market lambs. Hampshire 
grade lambs will usually be fat enough for the 
butchers when they come from the range, and if 
they are fed will ripen very early. They attain ^ 
to large weights. 

The Oxford ram gets a lamb a little larger, 
l^robably, than the Hampshire, a strong, hardy 
fellow, that feeds well. He weighs heavy and 
makes good, but not so early as the other 
Downs. 

The Shropshire ram gets fine, active, growthy 
lambs that mature sooner than the Oxfords 
and sell first rate. They will usually be fat 
enough for the killers when they leave the 
range. 

The Southdown gets merry, plump, roly-poly 
lambs that are fat first of all and are apt to bring- 
most money ]Der pound in the market. They will 
not weigh quite so much as the Shropshire 
grades, but will be ripe earlier. The Grand 
Champion load of range lambs at the Interna- 
tional at Chicago in 1906 was a load of South- 
down cross-bred lambs. The western flock-mas- 
ter need not fear to use Southdown rams if he 
means to sell the lambs. They will make good 
and that very early. 

The Dorset gets lambs that weigh unusually 
well and the ewe lambs should always be saved 
to be put in the flock, since Dorset blood in the 
ewe flock is a gold mine to the flock owner. 



CROSS-BREEDING. 69 

Cross-breeding on the ranges is not without 
its difficulties. The problem is to maintain the 
original ewe flock in its integrity. Cross-bred 
lambs that may sell for the top of the market at 
the river markets may be unfit for retention on 
the range, because of the too large proportion 
of mutton blood. The best plan is to breed a 
portion of the ewes of highest quality from the 
standpoint of the range man to rams especially 
suited to range use, and thus to maintain the 
flock in its required qualities, letting all of the 
cross bred lambs go to market. 

CKOSS-BREEDING IN EASTERN PASTURES- 

There is not the same reason for cross breed- 
ing in eastern lands. In truth too much of that 
is done at all times and types are destroyed by 
useless combinings of bloods. If one starts out 
with a Shropshire flock he should endeavor to 
make it a better Shropshire flock by purchase of 
better Shropshire rams than he has been in habit 
of using. If he needs greater vigor and consti- 
tution he can get it probably quite as easily by 
choosing an unrelated ram bred,, it may be, at a 
distance from him, having first rate vigor and 
constitution, and of the same breed. The same 
is true of the Cotswold, Oxford, Southdown, and 
other breeds. There are not enough of the pure 
breeds now, and they should not be mixed un- 
less for some special purpose, and it must be re- 
membered that as the cross-bred progeny should 
go to market the process of cross-breeding is 
a suicidal one. 



70 SHEEP FARMING IN AMEKICA. 

There are occasions, however, when cross- 
breeding on the farm is desirable. One may 
buy Western ewes and ship them home. These 
are destined for lamb growing exclusively and 
no attempt will be made to maintain the flock. 
These ewes then may be mated with a ram 
suitable to the market and the time of year 
aimed at. If for hot-house lamb trade a South- 
down, Tunis, Hampshire, Shropshire or Dor- 
set should be used. If to lamb later and grow^ 
the lambs mainly on grass the Tunis and 
Dorset may be eliminated and the Cheviot and 
Oxford added to the list from which rams may 
be drawn. Or if the lambs are to come late and 
be fed the next Winter one of the long-wools may 
be chosen. Or, if the flock happens to be placed 
in one of those rare regions like the hills of Ohio 
where sheep are yet grown largely for their 
fleece, the Delaine or Rambouillet, or Spanish 
Merino ram may be used. 

There are regions, however, where cross 
breeding is imperatively demanded. That is in 
the early lamb breeding regions of the Virgin- 
ias, Tennessee and Kentucky. Here are found 
types of native mountain sheep of a peculiar 
character. They may be said to be true ' ' Amer- 
ican" sheep, descendants of the earlier impor- 
tations. The unmixed native mountain sheep is 
leggy, thin in neck, light in fleece, having some- 
what of an open fleece as though coming from an 
open-wooled breed, and very often the ewes have 
horns. It may be supposed that the first colon- 
ists sailing as they often did from Bristol and 
Plymouth, in the south of England, brought with 



CROSS-BREEDING. 71 

them the native sheep of those regions among 
which would be the Dorsets and various types of 
long-wools. These mountain ewes though not 
handsome to look at are better than they at first 
appear. They are active, good feeders, very 
prolific, and good mothers. Their lambs are not 
of first rate quality unmixed, but when sired by 
rams of good mutton type they grow finely and 
sell well. The favorite sire for this business 
has been the Southdown, in truth no breed can 
get a better lamb or one ripening earlier than 
this old standby. Shropshires are often used, 
also, and get a heavier lamb. Hampshires are 
in great favor where tried and Dorsets have 
their strenuous advocates, especially in Vir- 
ginia, where they have been used most. 

The advantage of Dorset blood is two-fold, 
first the lambs attain very good weights, usually 
outweighing the progeny of Down rams, and the 
ewe lambs if retained on the farm, make admir- 
able mothers for successive generations. Lambs 
in these regions are usually born in March and 
fattened mainly on grass, going to market in 
June and July. The source of supply of these 
ewes is from the small farmers in the moun- 
tains. Could these men be induced to improve 
their flocks by use of better rams the benefit 
would be immediate and marked. There is no 
doubt that an infusion of fresh blood from any 
of the Down or Dorset breeds would greatly ben- 
efit these mountain flocks. iVt present they are 
suffering from the result of long continued in- 
breeding. An infusion of fresh and unrelated 
blood would marvelously improve them. 



CHAPTER IV. 



SELECTION AND MANAGEMENT. 

KESTOCKING A FARM WITH SHEEP. 

Supposing that we have decided to embark in 
the sheep industry, and have decided on a breed, 
the next consideration is liow to set about filling 
the void of sheep upon our farm. Farms differ 
in size, conformation and soil ; conditions vary 
greatly, so that no rule can be laid down that will 
be applicable to all places, yet there are a few 
facts that are of general application. In Eng- 
land and France there are farms almost entirely 
devoted to sheep ; they carry little other stock, 
and grow crops mainly to be fed to the flock, with 
only grain in rotation. 

These farms are very profitable when well 
managed, and greatly build the soil and the for- 
tunes of the owners. We can not yet advocate 
the attempt to establish in our land such sheep 
farms as these, at least the growth of such a 
farm should be very gradual, and any attempt 
at to once establish such a one would result dis- 
astrously in nine cases out of ten. We have no 
class of expert shepherds such as would be 
needed to care for a flock on such a farm, nor 

(72) 



SELECTION AND MANAGEMENT 73 

would the importation of British shepherds help 
us, for we have problems that they know not of, 
and our range of feeds is quite different from 
theirs. With a right understanding of the mat- 
ter and a gradual adaptation of our farms to 
sheep growing, and a habit of care once formed 
we can devote whole farms to sheep as well as 




DIPPING SHEEP AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN. 

our British cousins, but that is a work that must 
come with time and exiDerience. 

At present, then, the farmer should start with 
a small flock, letting it increase gradually, and 
trying to grow in knowledge and experience as 
the flock grows in size. 

Nor would it be wise or prudent to begin with 
a flock of pure-bred ewes. A few pure-breds 
should be purchased, say ten or twelve, the rest 
of the flock mav well be of 2:rades. The ram 



74 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

sliould always be pure-bred and of as good qual- 
ity as can be secured. He is half the flock, and 
if he is mated with grades and is required to 
supply all their deficiencies he has great need 
to be a good one. 

SELECTION OF THE RAM. 

Choose not an extra large ram, but one of 
medium size for the breed selected. Size does 
not always go with vigor or prepotency, or abil- 
ity to transmit good qualities. It is rare that 
the largest ram of a lot has the most vigor or 
quality. Choose a ram that has short legs (they 
go with early maturity), with wide breast, avoid- 
ing the rams where "both legs come out of the 
same hole in the body," choose the one with well 
sprung rib and a level, straight back, looking of 
course for a good leg of mutton, which is after 
all, about all that there is in a sheep, from the 
butcher's standpoint. Then be sure that there 
is a thick, muscular neck, a bright, quick eye a 
brisk movement denoting vim and vigor. Such 
a ram will leave his impress indelibly upon the 
flock If one can not personally select his ram, 
he may often leave it to the good judgment of the 
seller, specifying what is wanted, and the novice 
will generally get better service from the honor- 
able vendor than were he to attempt to select for 
himself. 

Fleece is of course important, and minor 
points, such as markings and absence of scurs or 
horns on all breeds save Merinos and Dorsets. 
But first of all in importance is it to get a ram 
boiling over with vim and vigor. 



02 
as 

^ M 

IT" 




SELECTION AND MANAGEMENT. 77 

A ram of such character will readily care for 
40 or 50 ewes if hand coupling is practiced, al- 
lowing but one service to each ewe. He may 
indeed go to more than that when in his prime, 
aged from one year to four or five. 

KEEPING A TYPE. 

At the show ring one often hears a remark 
from some student of breeds, ''that is a good 
pen, but off on type, ' ' or, ' ' that is a good sheep, 
but not of the right type for the breed. ' ' What, 
then, is type? 

Type is style, conformation, character. It is 
a something distinct and definite, though hard 
to describe, that belongs with each breed. It 
may not always be of much value, from a dollar- 
and-cents standpoint, yet a flock lacking in type 
is not attractive and can not hope to do much in 
the show ring. For example, a Cheviot true to 
type has an erect ear, an alert manner, a way of 
carrying its head. A flock of Cheviots that 
lacked this erect ear, this sjDrightliness of look 
and carriage, would fail very much in type and 
would not be attractive. Types change as 
ideals change. The Shropshire has undergone a 
notable evolution within 20 years, has decreased 
somewhat in scale, has gained in compactness, 
in covering, in beauty. The shepherd should 
study type so as to know what the correct ideal 
is for his own especial breed and then choose his 
ram to help him iii^ that type. 

This does not mean that he should be a slave 
to other men's caprices, there are fashions that 
are foolish and that sooner or later will work 



78 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

the undoing of their followers. One is wise to 
steer clear of them as far as he is able. Or a 
man may have within him the creative instinct 
that will enable him to evolve a new and better 
ideal, and to breed a new and more desirable 
type. There is need in America of mncli more 
independence than exists now in this matter. 
The last thing has not been learned in sheep 
breeding, nor in all cases the most profitable 
type evolved. In England there is a constant 
evolution going on and breeds do not remain sta- 
tionary very long. Their work is done in vari- 
ous ways, usually by selection and careful mat- 
ings, sometimes by judicious and skillful intro- 
duction of new blood. This is more easily ac- 
complished there than here owing to the lack of 
prejudice against such practice and the differ- 
ent rules of their flock books. 

Here is an illustration. It throws much light 
upon the creation of breeds in the good Old 
World. The writer met a breeder, of, let us say, 
Dartmoor sheep. (In fact it was another 
breed.) This man was exhibiting at the Royal 
show, and pressed the writer to visit his pens 
and inspect the sheep. There was among them 
an especially good ram and the following conver- 
sation took place. "Writer, '^he is a splendid 
animal. I should think he would get first in 
his place." 

"Indeed, I hope he will, and championship 
too, and I think he is sure of both if the judge 
does not think him too good. ' ' 

''But how can he be too good, he is pure Dart- 
moor in blood is he not?" 



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SELECTION AND MANAGEMENT. 



81 



''WelV cautiously, "I'll not deny that there 
may be a drop of other blood in him, just a drop, 
and not too much." The writer saw the point, 
and curiosity led him back after the showing. 
He found the owner jubilant. "Did your ram 
win first ? ' ' 




RAMBOUILLET RAM. 

"Indeed he won first, and championship too." 

"And what did the judge sayf " 

"Indeed the judge said that a Dartmoor could 
not be too good. ' ' 

However, the writer does not by any means 
advise the ordinary breeder to attempt to help 



82 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

his breed by an admixture of foreign blood. 
That is for the great creators with unusual in- 
stinct and insight and patience and persever- 
ance to undertake. 

FIXING TYPE. 

Sometimes one has in his flock a few individ- 
uals, or maybe but one, that is of unusual beauty 
and excellence. This may arise from a skillful 
combining 'Of blood lines within the breed, or 
there may be born within the flock an animal 
different and better than any of the others. We 
may not be able to point the reason for this dif- 
ference, this betterment. It is, perhaps, a ''mu- 
tation" as the newer students of breeding would 
say. However it came, it is such that we wish 
very much to fix it in the flock, to breed many 
like unto it. How can we accomplish this? To 
^x it in its entirety may indeed prove impossi- 
ble, if we have but one animal possessing this 
unusual excellence. The best that we can do is 
to breed it, supposing it to be a ram, to a num- 
ber of the most likely ewes and save the ewe 
lambs that come nearest the type sought. Should 
any of these ewe lambs show weakness of consti- 
tution they must be rejected, or at least ignored 
in this effort, and the strong ones may be bred 
to their own sire. The progeny of them will 
carry three-fourths of his blood, and will be 
much like him in appearance and character. 
Supposing, now, there happen to be^ two lambs 
each having unusual quality, possessing this de- 
sired type, each sired by the same sire but by 
different dams. They may be bred together and 



SELECTION AND MANAGEMENT. 85 

another step taken towards fixity in character. 

It is worth considering that in breeding a ewe 
to her own sire one is not inbreeding more than 
Avhen he breeds together two animals born from 
two ewes and having a common sire. The clos- 
est in-breeding is when a ram is bred to a ewe 
having the same mother as well as the same sire. 

There is absolutely no other way to fix type 
or to get great uniformity in a flock than this 
system of inbreeding. It has been adopted to 




BLACK-FACED RAMS. 

a greater or less extent by all the great improv- 
ers of breeds. 

There are certain dangers inherent in a sys- 
tem of inbreeding. Nature permits a certain 
amount of it, but it is done always under the 
law of combat. The strongest male gets posses- 
sion of the females, thus nature's weaklings, 
no matter what the form or fleece are weeded 
steadilv out. Under Nature's svstem the males 



86 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

of all animals of the deer and sheep families 
roam far during the breeding season and it is 
unlikely that incestuous breeding is very 
common. 

The effect of incestuous breeding is not well 
understood and there are men who deny its dan- 
gers. There seems, however, to be abundant 
evidence that it develops an accumulation of 
weaknesses of constitution, it makes the progeny 
delicate and lessens its size and vitality. 

Furthermore, it often seems to lead to partial 
or total sterility. Not to go deeply into this 
debatable subject we will say that inbreeding is 
probably absolutely necessary in the creation 
of breeds and in the further development and 
fixing of types, but that it should be attempted 
only by the skilled breeder, the man sure that 
he has a type worth fixing. The man who is 
breeding for the market will find that he will do 
best to keep as far from in-breeding as possible. 
And this brings us to 

RENEWED VITALITY FROM FRESH BLOOD. 

There is something wonderfully invigorat- 
ing in the mingling of unrelated bloods. This 
has long been recognized by the advocates of 
cross breeding. It has indeed become a well- 
known saying that ''cross-bred animals are 
most thrifty.'^ ''Cross-bred lambs fatten first." 
Among cattle breeders the truth is admitted, 
and swine breeders very often cross-breed for 
greater vigor and thrift. 

It is not so generally known that the bring- 
ing together of unrelated animals, especially of 



SELECTION AND MANAGEMENT. 87 

the same breed if they may happen to have been 
grown under different environment, most usu- 
ally brings as much added vigor and thrift as 
though two distinct breeds had been brought 
together. There is great advantage in bring- 
ing vigor without losing the breed and its spec- 
ial character and purpose. 

The man, then, who tinds his well-bred flock 
needing a renewal of life, needing a general 
''toning up'' and rejuvenation should not resort 
to cross-breeding, supposing that he has al- 
ready a breed of value for his purpose, but 
should seek within his own breed sires as re- 
motely related as he can find, and possessing 
as much health and vigor as he can find. ^ 

He will find a marvelous result to come from 
this new mating with fresh blood. His old flock 
has in it latent excellencies that lie dormant 
only because the spark of life has burned dimly 
for a time. With the renewal of that vital spark 
and the greater intensity of life that results 
these old and almost forgotten excellencies will 
be in a manner revived, so that the progeny may 
be not merely better than the dams but better 
than the sire as well. The writer has seen very 
striking instances of this, when the ewe flock 
was of good inheritance and only suffering from 
lack of fresh blood. 

VITALITY THE THING TO STRIVE FOR. 

The sheep under domestication is not so 
strong as we would like to see it. In truth there 
is no animal under our care with less resistance 
than the sheep. Men do not enough consider 



88 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

this. They study points, like the quality of the 
fleece, or the form of the head, the covering of 
the legs or nose, the shape of the ear, and doubt- 
less these are all essentials, but the first and 
foremost essential in a profitable flock is vigor, 
vitality, life. That, if it is abundant, will insure 
strong lambs, will insure ewes with right mother 
instinct and milk to serve that, will insure lambs 
that eat and thrive and grow and fatten and 
bring good prices at the market, no matter 
whether the ear is true to type or the wool grows 
on the nose or not. So, to the practical market 
breeder, the writer counsels, seek vigor, build 
constitutions, encourage health and thrift and 
the profits will be sure. 

SELECTION OF THE EWES. 

Pure-bred ewes may be selected much as the 
ram is, avoiding overgrown individuals, and 
seeking for uniformity of type and evidence of 
perfect health. In buying any sheep look well 
to the skin, that it be pink in color and the 
fleece bright and elastic, for a pale skin and 
sunken fleece are sure indications of lack of 
health and should invariably be rejected, no 
matter how good the blood or breeding. The 
grades that are to be made the body of the 
flock may be of Merino foundation, with excel- 
lent expectation of success. If these are not to 
be found near at home, they may often be 
bought of good quality at the great markets 
when discarded by the ranchmen. Usually ewes 
are sent to market because of their age and be- 
ginning lack of teeth so that it is not profitable 



SELECTION AND MANAGEMENT. 89 

to retain them for more than two lamb crops 
on the farm. They will thrive for that time 
and having saved the best of their ewe lambs, 
there is thus laid the foundation of a useful 
grade flock, while the mothers may be fattened 
and sent back to market. 

While foundation ewes may be had from the 
markets, coming thence from the great West- 
ern ranges, it should not be overlooked that 
the native stock is generally better and to be 
preferred, when available. Western ewes hav- 
ing never been exposed to parasitic infection, 
are healthy, true, but when brought to Eastern 
farms and then exposed to these dangers, they 
prove less resistant than natives. The climate 
of the Eastern states is worse than they are 
accustomed to, and their breeding is apt to be 
uncertain. In no case should one buy ewes 
with perceptible Mexican blood in them, as 
these sheep readily revert to a very fixed and 
stubborn type, useful on the desert, but too 
primitive for good farm sheep husbandry. 

It is unwise to select ewes shearing too heavy 
fleeces. A moderately heavy fleece betokens 
the stronger sheep with greater feeding capac- 
ity. Select that sort. Choose the short-legged 
ewes, with good backs, and as thick as you can 
find them. 

The best time of the year to stock a farm with 
sheep is in the early fall. Getting the ewes 
home then, you have time to make their ac- 
quaintance while work is not crowding on the 
farm. Then you can see to the mating, and dur- 
ing the first winter things will go as you plan, 



90 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

and you are certain of one good lamb crop. Your 
troubles will not begin for six or eight months. 
They need not begin at all if you will observe 
carefully some rules for avoidance of parasites, 
to be laid down later. 

GETTING HOME WITH THE FLOCK. 

The writer remembers with delight the day 
when he drove to Woodland Farm his first flock 
of ewes. It was a fine sunny day in November. 
The sheep were well selected and round and 
plump, all young ewes. They traveled willingly 
along the country road through a quiet neigh- 
borhood where great oaks overarched the way 
and stopping now and then to browse the green 
grass among the purpling wild asters. 

The writer was but a boy then, newly wed- 
ded filled with high hopes and dreaming brave 
dreams of the future. The young wife met him 
and together they drove home the little flock! 
Happy beginning it proved to be, though many 
lessons remained to be learned and many dis- 
couragements to be fought through, yet the 
coming of the flock meant the beginning of the 
upbuilding of the old farm and of the for- 
tunes of its owners. 

IMPORTANCE OF DIPPING. 

When the flock comes home the first duty is 
to give it a thorough dipping. There are two 
reasons for this : the one that there may be ticks 
upon the sheep; the other because of danger 
from scab germs. Any sheep shipped by rail 



SELECTION AND MANAGEMENT 91 

or penned in stock yards or railway stock pens 
is liable to be infected with scab germs. One 
or two scab insects on a sheep may multiply 
until the entire flock is scabby in a few months 
and entail great suffering upon the sheep and 
loss upon the owner. Prevention is easy and 
cheap, though cure after the disease has prog- 
ressed far is harder. Another reason for dip- 
ping is the sheep tick. This is a common pest 
upon farms and greatly interferes with the 
thrift of sheep, while it is entirely preventable, 
and in truth upon the farm of the writer with 
a thousand sheep there are years when not a 
single tick is to be found. Sheep ticks so far 
as we know inhabit no other animals and once 
rid of them you will remain rid of them unless 
you buy infested sheep or carry ticks upon your 
own clothing or they are brought by shearers. 

It is very easy and inexpensive entirely to rid 
a flock of ticks and as easy to prevent the attack 
of scab. 

THE SCAB GERM 

This is a minute form of parasitic insect too 
small to be easily discovered with the naked 
eye, which by burrowing in the skin, or, rather, 
by irritating the skin and causing it to form 
a crust by its own exudations beneath which 
it burrows, greatly afflicts the sheep, causing 
loss of wool, intense itching, loss of flesh, and 
in the end frequently brings death from the 
result of the distress and emaciation conse- 
quent upon its disturbance. 

The scab germ multiplies with fearful rapid- 



92 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

ity, each female laying in two or three days 15 
eggs, of which ten will hatch females and five 
males. These eggs hatch and soon mature in- 
sects begin laying eggs. Gerlach, the German 
authority, says that in 15 days one female will 
become the mother of 15, after 30 days of 150, 
after 45 days of 1,500, after 60 days of 15,000. 
Up to this time there has not been much seen 
of the result of the disease, but here begins 
the wholesale onslaught of the legion upon their 
hosts, for in 75 days there are 150,000, and in 
90 days 1,500,000! Now let them alone for a 
little longer and the result is sufficiently ter- 
rifying. 

The symptoms of scab are first the uneasi- 
ness of the sheep, which reaches around to the 
affected part (that is apt to be on the shoulder, 
neck or side, though it may appear in almost 
any part, but wherever it appears it causes in- 
tense itching) and bites at the wool or paws 
with its foot trying to scratch the spot. If now 
you will carefully examine the animal you will 
find under the wool at this spot of infection 
the skin whitened and perhaps exuding a watery 
secretion. One can not with the naked eye see 
the scab insects at work. A little later this spot 
if untreated becomes a veritable scab and the 
adjacent regions are attacked. It rapidly 
spreads throughout the flock, the affected sheep 
rubbing against posts and racks, dislodging 
mites that fasten in turn upon other sheep. 

To cure scab thorough dipping is necessary. 
To prevent it all sheep should be well dipped 
after every railway journey or exposure in in- 



SELECTION AND MANAGEMENT. 93 

fected yards or pens. Dipping for prevention 
is cheap and easy. Dipping for cure is not so 
much harder. The main thing is to dip, and 
dip thoroughly. 

THE DIPPING VAT. 

This sliould be a simple trough of wood or 
metal or concrete, 16 inches wide, 4 feet deep 
and as long as one wishes to build. The shorter 
the vat the slower the process of dipping, as the 
sheep when scabby must soak for two minutes. 
For a farm vat a length of 10 or 12 feet will be 
ample, as time can be allowed them thoroughly 
to soak. The vat must be narrow so that the 
sheep can not turn around in it. It must be 
deep so that each sheep can be plunged clear in 
all over so that no spot will remain untreated. 
It is not necessary to lower the sheep into the 
vat or to raise them out again; they may as 
well be thrown in or made to jump in at one 
end, and that end of the vat should go down 
perpendicularly; at the other end there must 
be a gradual incline up which they can walk. 
For a small flock the bottom level of the vat 
need not be more than four feet long, with an 
incline beginning there and running gradually 
out to the level and to a draining platform from 
which the drip should be collected and dis- 
charged into the vat again. A width at the bot- 
tom of 6 inches is ample, as only the feet go 
clear down and the less width the less liquor 
is required to charge the vat. In case there is 
genuine and serious affection of scab, the sheep 
should be held rigidly in for two minutes, and 



94 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

in that time the head should be immersed briefly 
twice. If there is only suspected infection, how- 
ever, and not yet any outbreak, the sheep may 
be run through as rapidly as convenient, being 
only sure that each one is completely immersed 
in the liquor, for they will remain wet for 24 
hours at least after emerging from the dip. 
In a practice of many years the writer has never 
had scab break out in a flock thoroughly dipped 
once by simply running the sheep through. 
There are other essential conditions to be ob- 
served however, which will be mentioned now. 

The dip should be hot. This does not mean 
warm, nor boiling, but as hot as the operator 
can endure to plunge in his bare arm. It is 
better to test the temperature in this manner 
than by use of a thermometer. If the latter 
is used a temperature of 110 deg. Fahrenheit 
will be about right, but the bare skin is the best 
thermometer. 

Tlie water used must be softened or ''broke." 
To do this use ordinary concentrated lye, 
enough to make the water a little biting and give 
it an oily feel like soap. This is an inexpensive 
process. 

The dip, whatever it is, must be used of good 
strength. There are various good preparations 
in use, most of which are effective if used of 
sufficient strength. 

On the farm of the writer the coal tar prep- 
arations are used almost always, because they 
prove effective and cheap, and are pleasant to 
operate with. They are healing to the skin and 



SELECTION AND MANAGEMENT. 95 

effectually dissipate any tendency to eye dis- 
ease and are sure death to all forms of insect 
life whatever. These coal tar dips are given 
various names as ^'Zenoleum,'' ' ' Naptholemiij " 
^ ' 13aytholeum, " etc., and are similar in compo- 
sition and effect. The directions often say to 
use them at a strength of 1 to 100, that is of 
one part of dip to 100 parts of water; this is 
not safe in combating scab, and as the cost of 
dijjping is mostly in labor, the writer always 
uses them at a strength of one to forty, and 
has had no failure to cure every sort of para- 
sitism and has never injured a sheep by its use. 

In truth, one winter when s-cab broke out 
among some undipped sheep (that had been 
dipped in Chicago, but imperfectly) and the 
farm flock became infected, we dipped all in the 
middle of winter, turning back to the old quar- 
ters, and cured each case effectually, so that 
there has never been a reappearance of the dis- 
ease upon the farm. The dipping was repeated 
in ten days to give chance for eggs to hatch. 

This dipping so thoroughly also eradicates 
ticks which is no small matter. 

REGULAR DIPPING OF THE FARM FLOCK. 

While new sheep added to the flock should 
be dipped whenever they arrive, barring ex- 
ceedingly cold weather the regular flock needs 
its annual bath,, and this should be given imme- 
diately after shearing, when ewes and lambs 
may all be dipped at a nominal cost. It takes 
nearly a gallon of liquid to dip a yearling of 



96 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

medium size with its fleece on, but to dip a 
shorn sheep takes not more than a quart, and 
t]ie little lamb a small amount. This annual 
cleaning up prevents ticks getting foothold and 
heads off a lot of other troubles, such as sore 
eyes and mouths, canke-r of teats, and sheep lice. 

It is not a troublesome operation to dip a 
flock of sheep. The water should be conveni- 
ently at hand and some means of heating it. An 
open kettle of 30 to 40 gallons capacity will 
serve if nothing else is convenient ; red hot irons 
may be thrown into the tank to lieat what is 
left from a previous dipping; there should be a 
large pen to hold the sheep and a small one 
close to the tank for a catching pen. Just at tlie 
end of the tank tliere may be an incline about 
3 feet long covered with smooth sheet metal, 
and this may be greased so that when a sheep 
steps on it or is lifted upon it, it will easily slide 
down into the plunge. 

A force of five men, two of whom keep the dip 
mixed and replenished, and three of whom put 
in and take out sheep, will readily dip 100 in an 
hour, though if they have their fleeces on they 
should drain for a longer time than would make 
this practicable. It is not often necessary to as- 
sist the sheep to climb out, but there should be 
one man ready and watching with care to see 
that all are fully submerged and none stay in 
too long. The writer has never seen pregnant 
ewes, handled with care in the dipping vat. 
abort their lambs, and has frequently dipped 
500 without killing or injuring one. 

The cheapest tank is made of galvanized iron. 



SELECTION AND MANAGEMENT. 9? 

The best is made of concrete, which will endure 
forever if rightly made. 

SUMMARY OF DIPPING. 

Dip every sheep when it comes to the farm as 
soon as it is rested, especially with care when 
it may have come by rail. 

When scab infection is suspected, but none is 
visible, dip once by simple and complete immer- 
sion in a dip hot and strong enough. 

When scab is already in evidence let the af- 
fected sheep soak in the dip for two minutes, 
first having rubbed and loosened up the scabs. 
After ten days dip again; always turn freshly 
dipped sheep into their sheds so that they may 
rub their wet fleeces against the wood work and 
disinfect that. 

Dip the whole flock every spring if there are 
ticks, immediately after shearing, being sure 
that no sheep or lamb escapes. 

After the flock is clean it will remain clean 
if newly bought sheep are dipped before being 
added to it. There is no necessity to dip a 
clean flock. 

At shearing time should the owner shear his 
own sheep and there be but two or three ticks 
to each animal he should cut them in two with 
the shears and dip the lambs. 

There is no more need of having ticks on a 
sheep farm than there is of wolves. 

PALL TREATMENT OF THE EWE FLOCK. 

The ewes being brought presumably to new 
and fresh pastures and rid of their vermin 



98 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

thrive admirably. If grass is not abundant 
they ought to have a little extra feed at times as 
it is Nature's way to then make them gain. A 
field of rape in which they may run, alternat- 
ing at their pleasure with grass, makes them 
improve rapidly. Pumpkins fed on grass, seeds 
and all, are excellent for the ewes. Not only 
are the pumpkins good feed, but their seeds, 
besides being nourishing, have in them great 
medicinal virtues. Pumpkin seeds are efficient 
vermifuges. One of the best treatments for 
tape worm in the human subject is the infusion 
of pumpkin seeds. Worms destroy more sheep 
than dogs do, and it must be the constant study 
of the shepherd to avoid them. 

The reason for desiring the flock to thrive at 
this time is that it is near the mating season, 
and if the sheep are in fine, thrifty condition, 
the ewes will the more rapidly conceive and 
drop a greater number of twins. 

Yet another reason is tliat a sheep which 
starts into winter in good thrift comes through 
much stronger with less feed than one that 
starts in in poor flesh. 

A handful of grain fed in October or No- 
vember is worth a peck of feed to a thin ewe 
in January not that the flock should be neg- 
lected later on, but it is essential that sheep 
should enter winter well fortified and strong. 

MATING. 

Before the mating begins one should care- 
full v ^0 over his flock and assort the ewes. 



SELECTION AND MANAGEMENT. 99 

Ewe lambs must be taken out and none bred 
that are not past a year old. Old ewes that have 
lost their teeth and are evidently not quite able 
to go safely through the winter and nourish 
well their lambs, are better consigned to the fat- 
tening pen. At least there should be a mark put 
upon them that will indicate their condition, 
so that they may be given extra care and atten- 
tion. Quite often with such ewes it is most 
profitable to breed them and by careful feeding 
keep them as strong as you dare till lambing 
time, after this to give them a large allowance 
of grain, ground if need be, so as to push them 
with their lambs, and they will often make as 
good lambs as the other ewes and be themselves 
ready to follow their otf spring to market a few 
weeks after the lambs have left them. A suit- 
able mark for these culled ewes is to clip off the 
end of one ear. 

Yet another thing for which to search, is a 
spoiled udder or a ewe without perfect teats. 
Quite often such ewes are found, and to have 
them drop lambs without ability to suckle them 
is to entail great disappointment and trouble 
on the shepherd. 

There is a temptation to breed the young, 
immature ewes, particularly if they are well 
grown, but it is wiser not to do this, as it leads 
to the steady decrease in size of your sheep, 
and by weakening the ewe's constitution be- 
cause of the heavy drain upon her, you make 
her the more liable to attacks of parasites, 



100 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

those foes of the sheep and shepherd that never 
can be forgotten with safety. 

TUTTING IN THE RAM. 

The ewe carries her lamb from 142 to 150 
days, or, roughly, five months. It is well to so 
time the putting in of the ram as to bring the 
lambs at the season when they will best fit in 
with your scheme of management. Much de- 
pends here upon the breed under consideration, 
for it is natural for the Dorset and the Merino 
to drop their lambs very early, so that they m^y 
be mated with the ram in September, when the 
lambs will come early in February, or if bred 
in August they will come in January, or in July 
to have them in December. With Shropshires 
it is unusual for lambs to appear so early as 
December or January, though the middle of 
September is an excellent time to mate them; 
with Southdowns the same time will serve, 
though they naturally lamb later, and with 
Cotswolds and Lincolns it is unusual for lambs 
to be born before March or April. If the shep- 
herd has good quarters for his flock he may as 
well try for some early lambs ; they will serve 
to occupy his time in winter, and coming then 
when he has leisure, he will lose but a small 
proportion of them. Winter lambs well nour- 
ished in infancy make much stronger and better 
sheep than late lambs, as they go on to grass so 
big and lusty as to defy many of the evils that 
attack later lambs. 

MANAGEMENT OF THE RAM. 

The ram during the summer days should have 



SELECTION AND MANAGEMENT. 101 

the run of a small lot with access to shade, with 
abundant food, yet not too much, and with com- 
pam^ of other rams or of a few wethers, or some 
ram lambs or even with a few ewes running with 
him. He should have careful attention that he 
remains in perfect health, especial care being 
taken not to put him on a piece of infected grass 
where he may develop parasites. Before the 
breeding season he should be entirely separated 
from the ewes, and if not in strong condition, 
given a regular feed of oats and bran or some 
similar feed twice a day, not enough to fatten 
him, but to put him in vigorous condition. 

It is wise not to ever turn him with the ewes, 
but better to bring them to him each morning 
early while it is yet cool, penning them in a small 
pen so that there is just room enough for him to 
move about readily among them, and where they 
can not easily escape you when you desire to 
catch some of them. 

After the ewes are brought up, let him come 
in with them, and he will soon single out one 
that may be in heat. Allow him to serve her 
once only and immediately put her out, mark- 
ing her at the same time so that you will know 
that she has been bred. It is wise to use a dif- 
ferent color in marking each week, thus all the 
ewes that are bred the first week will be marked 
red, all the next week blue, the third week yel- 
low; the fourth week black, the fifth week green 
and so on. This marking is done with a brush 
and a daub of paint, on the back of the head or 
on the shoulder is a good place. 

After the first ewe has been taken out, the 



102 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

ram will proceed quietly to search for another. 
Unless he is a very vigorous ram, it is unwise to 
allow him to serve more than four during a 
morning, and if a large number seem to be in 
heat, it will be well to get them up again after 
sunset in the evening. The ram has an exceed- 
ingly vigorous reproductive system, and has 
power to impregnate more females than most 
animals, even though his work is confined to a 
short period each year. 

The ewes that are served and put out should 
be put by themselves and not returned to the 
flock for three days, else they may be still in heat 
and receive unnecessary attention from the male. 
One service will as surely impregnate as more 
and will beget stronger lambs. 

Managed in this way a ram will easily care 
for 40 or 50 ewes and many serve 100 if he is 
unusually strong and vigorous and well cared 
for. He should be kept quiet all day, in a cool 
place, and well fed on stimulating food such 
as oats and bran with clover hay. 

One advantage from this way of managing 
ewes is that one will know those that do not 
take the ram at all and can put them out of the 
flock, and by giving them a little extra feed, 
they will soon fatten, when they may be sold. 

There is a practice not very common among 
shepherds of forcibly holding ewes that per- 
sistently reject the ram, and allowing him to 
serve them. They will not often conceive from 
this service, but it occasionally causes them to 
come in heat naturally in from ten days to three 
weeks. Some earlv lamb breeders make consid- 



SELECTION AND MANAGEMENT. 103 

erable use of this practice. It can do the ewe 
no harm in case it is unsuccessful. 

CARE OF THE PEEGNANT EWE. 

Perhaps the greatest stumbling block in the 
way of the inexperienced shepherd is in the 
care of his ewe flock during pregnancy. Either 
he feeds them too well, or on unsuitable foods, 
or he deprives them of air and exercise, or he 
goes to the other extreme and lets them brave 
the storms without enough food. Either condi- 
tion will surely be fatal to his fortune, though 
of the two extremes the worse is that of too 
much food and no exercise. Such a course is 
surely fatal to his hopes of a large crop of 
strong lambs. 

If one would have success with these preg- 
nant ewes he should consider their condition in 
a state of nature. Then they roamed the hills, 
selecting the higher points as places to sleep; 
they sheltered beside rocks or under pines. 
They were not in large flocks and found suf- 
ficient food as they were not restrained by 
fences. They had abundant exercise and al- 
ways fresh air. Doubtless when their lambs 
came they were very strong and vigorous, able 
soon to run beside their mothers. Under ranch 
conditions today lambs are born very strong, 
and it is rare to find one so weak as to be un- 
able to suck without aid. 

The writer remembers vividly his first experi- 
ence with lambing ewes. The first winter he 
let them have the run of a pasture, with shel- 



104 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

ter, fed clover and corn stover, and the result 
was a good lamb crop. A few of these lambs 
were so remarkably promising, one selling for 
$18 at weaning time, that he was encouraged to 
attempt to do much better the next year. That 
winter proved to be quite cold and stormy so 
he kept them rather close. Having learned the 
value of wheat bran as a bone and muscle build- 
er, he fed these ewes about all the bran they 
wanted, and they consumed a great deal, with 
clover hay. 

The lamb crop came early, and the lambs 
were strong, being the product of hand coupling 
with a vigorous sire. The difficulty was in the 
enormous size of many of them, some being so 
large of bone that it was nearly impossible for 
them to be delivered at all. One Shropshire 
weighed 17 pounds at birth! Its mother died 
soon after its delivery, and the lamb itself was 
lost through unskillful feeding. The net result 
was a small crop of magnificent lambs secured 
at a Cost of great labor and pains. 

The next year an old friend and shepherd 
counseled him to adopt a radically different pol- 
icy. This was to allow the flock to run in the pas- 
ture, sheltering in open sheds and under the 
trees, and subsisting solely on coarse forage 
such as corn stover and oat straw. Having in 
the barns a great number of lambs that were 
being fed for fattening, there was some excuse 
for neglecting the ewes. 

Unfortunately ewes in winter time because of 
their long fleeces, appear to be in good con- 
dition when they are not, and the writer had 



SELECTION AND MANAGEMENT 105 

no idea how very thin in flesh they were becom- 
ing nntil lambs started to drop in April. Then 
his troubles began. The lambs came strong 
enough, as a rule, nor were they too large to be 
delivered easily but the ewes having been 
poorly nourished, had no milk for them, and 
would not own them at all. The truth is that 
there is a direct connection between the milk 
glands of an animal and the part of the brain 
where lies love of offspring, and in the sheep 
at least it is rare to find mother love where 
there is no milk to go along with it. 

The result was that the writer was put to his 
wits' end to make the ewes own their lambs and 
to try by good feeding to bring them to their milk 
flow. Many lambs were lost, and the whole 
result was disheartening. 

The simple truth is that pregnant ewes must 
have so far as possible natural conditions. They 
must have enough food, and that of a suitable 
nature properly to nourish the growing foetus 
without stimulating too much the development 
of bone. They must come to lambing in good 
heart, what the farmer would call ''fat," but 
not according to the butcher's standard. They 
must have abundant opportunity to exercise 
and to get fresh air. Thus treated their lambs 
should come as strong as wild things and give 
little trouble. It is the natural thing for a lamb 
to be born strong, to live at birth, since all its 
ancestors have done the like since lambs were 
born into the world. 

There is danger in well bred ewes highly fed 
upon such foods as wheat bran and clover or 



106 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

alfalfa hay that the lambs may have excessive 
bony development, and it is not now the prac- 
tice of the writer to feed much bran before wean- 
ing, but to give instead bright, sweet corn stover 
and alfalfa hay. Too much alfalfa hay alone will 
sometimes make the lambs rather large at birth. 
If the coarse forage is not abundant and of ex- 
cellent quality, the shepherd should feed a small 
daily allowance of grain. A mixture of corn 
and oats may be used, which should be fed 
in wide flat-bottomed troughs, so that the ewes 
can not rapidly swallow it as they will when 
fed in V-shaped troughs. 

A run to a blue-grass pasture is an excellent 
thing and if the grass is permitted to grow up 
in the fall and lie uneaten, no small part of the 
sustenance of the flock will come from that. A 
sheltering bit of woodland, in which they may 
wander, affords shelter and amusement, and 
well repays the ground on which it stands. 

While the flock should be out of doors every 
fine winter's day, yet the shepherd should have 
his charges in mind and see that each ewe comes 
to the barn before storms break, and always 
the flock should be shut in at night. Yet unless 
the weather is very seyere they should have 
much fresh air in their night quarters— a large 
opening on the leeward side is the best pro- 
vision. 



CHAPTER V. 



CARE OF THE EWE AND YOUNG LAMB. 

THE EWE BARN. 

A breeding ewe requires about 12 square feet 
of floor surface. There should be provided in 
the ewe barn movable feed racks, long and nar- 
row, of such type that they will form partitions 
wherever needed. These racks are best made 
24 inches wide, 36 inches high, with a tight bot- 
tom about 6 inches up from the ground. The 
sides about this bottom may be of 6 inch boards, 
forming a shallow feed box. On this founda- 
tion will be nailed, vertically, slats 1/2 inch thick, 
4 inches wide and 30 inches long. These slats 
may be placed 7 inches apart, so that the sheep 
can thrust their heads clear into the rack to feed. 
There will then be much less loss of feed than if 
the slats are placed close together, for in that 
case the ewes pull all the hay through the cracks 
and drop most of it under their feet. There will 
be a little dust get into the wool of the necks in 
feeding in such a rack, but it is a trifling dam- 
age compared with the loss of forage in any 



^ ' feed-saving ' ' rack. 



(107) 



108 



SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 



After using many forms of racks, the writer 
now uses these in preference to any others, for 
in them may be fed grain, bran, silage or any 
sort of hay. 

The ewe barn must have provision for most 
ample ventilation. That is best accomplished 
by having on two sides clear across the barn 




SOUTHDOWN EWES 



a system of doors so arranged that they are 
divided in halves horizontally, the lower part 
of the door swinging as an ordinary gate swings, 
the upper half hinged at its upper edge and 
lifting up to a horizontal position, upheld by 
wooden props or pendant chains. 

By means of these upper doors the ventilation 



CARE OF THE EWE AND YOUNG LAMB. 109 

may be made so thorough that the air will be 
practically as good within the barn as outside, or 
in colder weather one side may be completely 
closed and the other, to leeward, opened or in 
very cold weather all may be closed tight. 

It will be disastrous to confine the sheep in a 
poorly ventilated building. Loss of thrift, colds 
and catarrh will surely result. 

In England sheep are almost never confined to 
buildings at all. Their usual mild winters make 
outdoor feeding practicable with them, whereas 
it is not so with us. We must feed in racks dur- 
ing the time that they are hurdling off turnips 
in winter and much of the loss of thrift and char- 
acter of English sheep bred here is owing to 
unskillful entering in poorly ventilated barns. 
During the winter season the shepherd has op- 
portunity to get well acquainted with his flock. 
He should learn to know each ewe by her counte- 
nance; and she should learn to know him and 
to know so little of evil of him that he can ap- 
proach any one and catch her without difficulty 
and without frightening her. A shepherd's 
crook that will catch by the hind leg is useful in 
the sheep fold, though I prefer for ordinary use 
the old-fashioned crook that catches by the neck. 
Any blacksmith can make in a few moments a 
crook of an old horse-rake tooth, set in a long 
wooden handle. It should be so shaped that it 
will with a little pressure slip over the neck of 
the ewe, widening at the opening considerably to 
make it easy of use, and the end should be turned 
over in a little coil so that it can not accidentally 
wound the skin. 



110 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

Before the lambs are due it is well to turn each 
ewe up on her rump, using her gently, and with 
shears clip the wool away from the udder ; par- 
ticularly the little locks that might be seized by 
the lamb when searching for the teat. 

Before the lambing season the shepherd 
should provide himself with. some little panels, 
made of light wood, like doors, each panel 36" 
high and 48" long. Two of these panels should 
be hinged together at the ends so that they may 
be folded together and laid away or opened in 
the shape of the letter L. The use of these is to 
make little pens in which to place ewes about to 
lamb, or newly lambed, to prevent their lambs 
straying away and getting mixed through the 
flock. Thus many lambs will be saved that 
otherwise would be lost and much of the usual 
vexatious work of the shepherd avoided. To 
use these panels, one is opened at right angles in 
the corner of the lambing room and by aid of 
hooks fastened at the free ends to the wall thus 
making a pen 4'x4'. As it is tight, the lamb can 
not creep out, and the ewe being unable to see 
out is made more tranquil. When there is need 
of another such pen it is set up alongside the 
first one and thus on until a row has been erect- 
ed across the end of the building. If there be 
need, another row can join these. 

The observant shepherd can usually foretell 
the advent of a lamb, for the ewe shows by her 
appearance and her actions that she is expecting 
it. Because of her instinct, indeed it is not un- 
usual to see a ewe hunting anxiously about for 
her lamb before it has been born at all! It is 




'"IP' 




.^.jr^m'^^^M-:'^.f^.... ..^ 



CARE OP THE EWE AND YOUNG LAMB. 113 

wise to place her by herself before this event oc- 
curs, if it conveniently can be done. 

CARE AT LAMBING TIME. 

There should be small difficulty in the ewe de- 
livering her lamb if she has been rightly fed and 
treated. There will probably be no occasion for 
interference of the shepherd, yet he should be 
watchful, and when she has been in distress for 
some time without effect he should not hesitate 
to go to her assistance. The difficulty may be 
one of wrong presentation. Naturally the lamb 
comes with front feet first, and nose just be- 
tween them. Even when the presentation is 
right the shepherd may be of great help some- 
times, if the lamb is of large size, by gently man- 
ipulating the parts, pulling a little at the lamb 
and pushing the external parts of the ewe back 
until the head is free. Then the nose may be 
wiped so that the lamb can breathe and in a mo- 
ment, after the ewe has again begun her labor, 
you may gently draw the lamb outward until the 
shoulders are delivered— the hardest part. I 
usually leave her then, for the hips and hind legs 
come away readily, and the ewe generally gels 
up at once and seeks her lamb and proceeds to 
lick it and caress it with her tongue. It should 
soon try to stand and in about 15 minutes will 
try to suck. If it finds the teat without aid you 
may call it half raised. 

Usually it is well to help the lamb to its first 
meal, especially if the ewe is young, and it is her 
first born. The easiest way to do this is to gently 
set her on her rump, as though you were going 



114 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

to shear her, kneeling down behind her and with 
her shoulders resting against you. First start 
the milk from her teats, tlien taking the lamb 
with the right hand (the left arm being under the 
ewe to support her), lay it down on its side and 
opening its mouth insert the teat, when it will 
usually begin to suck immediately. Let it get a 
pretty fair belly full and its chances are bright 
for coining on in good, strong fashion. 

The shepherd should observe whether it aft- 
erward goes to sucking on its own account, and 
if it does there need not be many slips between 
that lamb and a ten dollar bill, if it is born right ! 

Supposing there is a wrong presentation. 
The shepherd is fortunate if he has a small hand, 
for it is his duty to help put things right. We 
can not here give details of how this is to be 
done, but knowing the natural presentation the 
shepherd should be able to study it out for him- 
self. He must carefully grease his hand with 
lard or vaseline and avoid so far as possible any 
rough treatment or injury to the delicate parts. 
The writer has taken several lambs away with 
hind feet first without difficulty, but should the 
head be turned back it must be straightened be- 
fore delivery is possible. 

There will be much more difficulty with young 
ewes than with older ones, so that the inex- 
perienced shepherd is wise if he begins with 
ewes most of which have lambed once or twice 
before they came to his care. 

In very cold weather the lambing barn should 
be made as comfortable as possible, without de- 
priving it altogether of fresh air, and even then 



CARE OF THE EWE AND YOUNG LAMB. 115 

when twin lambs are born there may be need of 
assistance or one of them may perish before it is 
made dry and given milk to supply inward heat. 
It is an excellent plan to have at hand a tub or 
half barrel; a salt barrel sawed in two serves 
well and in this have a jug of hot water. The 
lamb may be laid in this tub and it covered with a 
blanket until its mother can give it her attention. 
Or a chilled lamb, if only slightly chilled, may 
be warmed in this manner. An excellent plan 
and simpler if the shepherd is at hand when the 
first of twins is born is to lay it in a tub on two 
or three inches of wheat bran and cover it all 
but the nose with more bran. It will keep as 
warm as toast there and the bran will help ab- 
sorb moisture. Then when it is given to the ewe 
she will lick off the adhering bran without in- 
jury to herself. 

Supposing that through some accident the 
new-born lamb has gotten thoroughly chilled; 
the best manner of warming it is by immersion 
in water as hot as one can bear his hand in. 
This will soon become cooled and more hot 
water should be added, taking care of course 
not to scald the lamb. When warm and re- 
vived it should be wiped dry and taken to its 
mother and held till it is supplied with her milk. 
The writer has revived in this manner lambs 
seemingly dead. It is not wise to give it cow's 
milk if it can be avoided and if it is necessary 
the cow's milk should be diluted with some quite 
warm water. Some shepherds give a drop or 
two of whiskey to a chilled lamb and it may 
sometimes prove beneficial. 



116 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

The next day after the lamb is born the ewe 
should be milked clean. The shepherd should 
then observe whether the lamb is taking her 
milk all right, and if there is much surplus he 
should milk it out every day clean until such 
tmie as the lamb can use it. This is especially 
necessary with Dorset ewes and some other 
breeds occasionally need attention. It is not 
well for the lamb to take in the milk first se- 
creted after being retained stagnant in the 
dam's udder for an undue length of time. Such 
large milking ewes while troublesome raise the 
finest and most profitable lambs in the end. 

Occasionally a young ewe will not own her 
lamb or an older ewe may neglect or disown 
hers. Generally, if the lamb is put with her in 
a small pen and helped to get its rations for a 
few times she will own it. If she persists in 
her neglect she may have her head fastened 
into a pair of small stanchions so that she can 
eat but not get away from the lamb nor attack 
it, nor readily prevent its sucking. These 
stanchions may be made of two pieces of 1x4 
pine driven into the earthen floor, and the tops 
held together by a short board nailed on. There 
is no cruelty about this practice and it is gener- 
ally effective when persisted in for a few days. 

Occasionally there will be a ewe whose lamb 
will die and leave her with an udder filled with 
milk. This gives opportunity to change to her 
some twin lamb whose mother would be better 
for the relief. To accomplish this transference 
the best plan is to remove the skin of the dead 
lamb soon after its death and slip it over the 



CARE OP THE EWE AND YOUNG LAMB. 117 

living lamb. It may be pulled off as a stocking 
is removed and rubbed with a little salt to dry- 
it and at once slipped on to the twin lamb with 
the feet thrust through the holes where the 
former lamb's legs were. Introduced now to 
the mother of the dead lamb, confined with her 
in a small pen, it is not often that she will refuse 
to own it at once. Ewes know their lambs en- 




mi..^ 






Mia. 



A BUNCH OP NEBRASKA LEICESTERS. 

tirely by scent, and thus the odor of the skin 
tells her that it is truly her own lamb that is 
with her. This ,skin may be taken off after a 
few days. 

It is not good shepherding to permit a ewe 
to be without a lamb sucking her when there are 
lambs enough to go around, and usually there 
will be so many twins among ewes of the mut- 



118 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

ton breeds that there are enough lambs for all 
and perhaps 25 to the hundred over. 

Occasionally a ewe will be found of so per- 
verse a disposition or so undeveloped in udder 
or malformed that she will not raise a lamb 
at all. The cure for her is to cut oif half of one 
ear, which is the ^' brand of Cain," and indicates 
that she is to go to the butcher as soon as fat. 

There is a man in the West who sells for one 
dollar a receipt for making ewes own lambs, 
either their own or some others. Having paid 
my dollar I can testify that there is merit in his 
plan, which is to carefully wash the lamb, es- 
pecially about the rump and tail and on top of 
the head, removing thus all trace of scent so far 
as possible. Next 3^011 are to catch the ewe and 
milk upon the head and rump of the lamb from 
her udder, rubbing it well over him, and lastly 
to put a handful of milk on her own nose and 
in her mouth. Then hold the lamb to her side 
and when it is sucking permit her to smell of it. 
Often this will succeed, but if she has lambed 
some days previously the recourse to stanchions 
will be surer and less troublesome. 

FEEDING or THE EWE AFTER LAMBING. 

If the ewe has been well nourished during her 
pregnancy she comes in with her lamb strong 
and has a well filled udder. At once when the 
lamb is born she must be turned away from the 
flock, and if the shepherd will give her the trifle 
of care that she really needs then, he will keep 
her by herself or in a pen with other ewes in 
her condition for a few days. During this time 



CARE OF THE EWE AND YOUNG LAMB. 119 

she should be somewhat sparingly fed with 
grain, or it may even be best to give her none at 
all, depending upon her condition. It is unwise 
to early force her to a milk flow in excess of 
what the lamb can consume. In a few days, 
however, she will need good food in generous 
amounts for the lamb will draw heavily upon 
her system for nourishment. She can not keep 
up her milk flow by eating alone if she is a large 
milker, but will decline somewhat in condition, 
even when well fed, showing that her flesh also 
turns to milk. 

Bear always in mind two facts. Sheep are 
ruminating animals, accustomed by nature to 
eating bulky foods of moderate nutritive prop- 
erties, and not accustomed to eating grain. 
Next, sheep have delicate digestions, easily dis- 
turbed by improper feeding, excessive feeding 
or sudden changes in the amount of feed given. 
Therefore make no sudden changes and least oP 
all make at once a large addition of grain to her 
daily ration. In England ewes seldom taste 
grain at all, but eat instead grass, hay and 
roots, mainly -swede turnips. Here, where roots 
are not so easily grown and fed (excepting in 
Canada and northern America), more reliance 
is put upon grain and with care in feeding it 
may take the place very well. 

A sensible treatment of the ewe that lambs in 
winter is to keep her mostly on clover or alfalfa 
hay until after her lamb comes. There will be 
no need to limit the amount of hay that she con- 
sumes after lambing and then when her lamb 
takes all her milk and wishes more, begin feed- 



120 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

ing her a little wheat bran. For a week bran 
will suffice, gradually increasing the amount 
fed, then there may be added to it a little chop- 
ped corn or barley and a little later some oil- 
meal. A pound a day of this mixture will keep 
her in good milk flow and it must be gradually 
led up to for about ten days. 

About the right proportions of this mixture 
are 100 lbs. of wheat bran, 100 lbs. of chopped 
corn and 20 lbs. of oilmeal. This with clover or 
alfalfa hay will push her to a very heavy milk 
flow. If she is a large ewe she may consume 
more tlian a pound to advantage, as much as 
two pounds being consumed by some large Dor- 
set ewes belonging to the writer. 

If this feed is so gradually introduced to the 
ewe that her digestion is not disturbed nor her 
milk flow stimulated too much at first, there is 
small danger of overfeeding her, supposing that 
the lamb is to be pushed for early market. Her 
unselfish nature turns the feed quickly into milk 
and little of it goes to nourish her own body. 

It is much easier, however, to keep her in 
large milk flow if we provide succulent food at 
this time. Corn silage is easily provided and 
is as good for the ewe as for the cow. It should 
be made from well matured corn so as to de- 
velop its sugar and prevent an excess of acid 
from forming. Some complaint has been made 
of the effect of corn silage upon sheep, but usu- 
ally the trouble has been that the feeders have 
tried to make it the main part of the ration. It 
should always be fed in connection with good 
sound dry hay and some grain. As corn silage 



CARE OF THE EWE AND YOUNG LAMB. 121 

from well matured corn has in it a good deal of 
grain when it is fed, the rest of the ration should 
be of wheat bran, oilmeal and clover or alfalfa 
hay. 

In the northern part of the United States, 
along the great lakes, in Michigan, Wisconsin 
and northern Minnesota beside northern New 
York and New England and in all of Canada 
(besides Oregon, Washington and British Co- 
lumbia) roots form a very important part of the 
ewe's ration. Eoots have, indeed, almost cre- 
ated the English breeds of mutton sheep. They 
are safer to feed than silage and better. In 
England it is customary to grow turnips, mostly 
swedes, which are seldom pulled but are con- 
sumed on the ground on which they grow, being 
enclosed by hurdles and eaten off a block at a 
time. In very wet or bad weather some are 
pulled and carried to the sheep being fed on 
grass or in open sheds. 

The use of roots is productive of great good 
to the ewe flock. They are succulent and start 
a natural milk flow, whereas grain naturally 
goes more to producing flesh and fat. There is 
no danger of the ewes consuming too many 
roots. They push her easily and naturally to 
a strong flow of milk that has very healthful 
properties. Ewes highly fed on grain often 
give milk that is injurious to their lambs. Of 
this there is no danger when roots are substi- 
tuted in large part for the grain. 

The shepherd who can readily grow roots has 
a distinct advantage over the one who relies 
upon dry hay and grain for wintering his ewe 



122 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

flock. Most of tlie best developed sheep, the 
ones seen at our fall shows, come from root- 
growing regions. Unfortunately roots are not 
very easily grown in the corn-belt and below, 
though mangels will thrive well to the south- 
ward. 

Swede turnips form the bulk of the roots 
grown for sheep. They should be sown on pro- 
ductive soil, well prepared. The time of sow- 
ing varies with climates but usually early in 
July the seed should go into the ground. It is 
well to have the land ridged nicely and to sow 
the seed on the top of the ridge, which makes 
much easier hoeing and thinning or "singling." 
In dry climates of course ridging must be at- 
tempted with caution not to get them too sharp 
and tall. Mangels are more productive than 
swedes but are not so rich and are unsafe to 
feed to rams. Carrots are more trouble to grow 
than either but are the best when grown. 

Many distressing troubles come from sud- 
den increase in the grain ration of the ewe after 
lambing. It is a very inducing cause of garget, 
or it may stop the milk flow altogether, or it 
may cause founder, stiffness of joints and great 
lameness. 

TROUBLES OF YOUNG LAMBHOOD. 

The lamb has his trials and dangers too. 
Supposing that he gets accidentally shut away 
from his mother for some hours, until he is very 
empty and she very full of milk, if then he gets 
sudden access to her he will usually die from 
the overburden of milk taken in. When the 



CARE OF THE EWE AND YOUNG LAMB. 123 

shepherd discovers that ewe and lamb have been 
separated for several hours he should catch the 
ewe and milk her nearly clean before allowing 
them to come together. 

Then there are contagious sore eyes. These 
are caused by a germ. There are probably sev- 
eral kinds of germs that do the mischief, and 
the result is an inflammation and weeping of the 
eye with consequent distress and lack of thrift. 
The cure is fortunately easy. Taking some one 
of the coal tar dips, and diluting with water 
nearly as much as for killing scab, the head 
should be well wet and care taken that some of 
the fluid actually reaches the eye. It may be 
painful for a moment but it works a speedy 
cure. The writer has repeatedly cured this 
trouble by dropping a tiny drop of the pure dip, 
undiluted, into the open eye of the lamb. Tears 
start vigorously and dissolve it while the eye- 
lid winking vigorously carries it to every part. 
The cheeks should be saturated also with dip, 
properly diluted. 

SORE MOUTH AND TEATS. 

Quite often a contagious form of sore mouth 
affects young lambs and the sores are seen also 
upon the teats and udders of the ewes. These 
sores form scabs along the edges of the lips and 
pustules upon the teats. Often they become so 
troublesome as to cause the death of the lamb, 
more usually simply interfering with its thrift 
so much as to sometimes make it profitless. The 
writer has found this disease, which sheep writ- 
ers usually spend so much time in describing 



124 SHEEP FARMING IIN AMERICA. 

and discussing, of the easiest possible control. 
Assuming that it is of germ origin, to rub off 
the scabs and wash the lips with strong solu- 
tions of coal tar dips and to treat the udders in 
the same manner has with the author in every 
case served to effect a radical cure. Quite often 
this disease breaks out upon the mouths of 
Western range lambs upon their arrival at an 
Eastern farm for feeding. The treatment is to 
rub off the scabs and apply the undiluted dip 
to the fresh surface. In recommending these 
coal tar products the writer wishes to be under- 
stood as meaning such preparations as are 
usually sold as "Zenoleum," ''Naptholeum/' 
"Milk Oil/' etc. They are much alike, really 
impure coal tar creosote, and most effectual 
destroyers of germ life and when used with dis- 
cretion are among the best friends of the shep- 
herd. 

FEEDING THE LAMBS. 

Lambs eady develop a hunger for solid food 
and begin nibbling at hay and sampling ground 
feed or whatever is at hand. At the age of ten 
days they will begin seriously to eat ground 
feed. Advantage of this should be taken and 
the lamb encouraged to eat as early and as much 
as possible. During the early life of an animal 
nutrition is more perfect than later and the cost 
of producing growth is much less. Digestion 
IS more perfect, the young animal can consume 
more in proportion to its weight and it is more 
perfectly assimilated. A pound of flesh on the 
babv lamb can therefore be made at a much less 



CARE OF THE EWE AND YOUNG LAMB. 125 

cost than after he is older. Seeing that the 
young mntton commands by far the higher ]3rice 
it is plain that the earlier weight is put on the 
better so far as profit is concerned. 

The practice in England is to have in the 
hurdles in which the flock is usually confined, 



t I 


I'm. -.,n^": ■ 


■ y mMM, 









"MARY HAD FIVE LITTLE LAMBS." 

"creeps" or openings wide enough to let the 
lambs slip through while restraining the ewes. 
TheFe creeps usually have small rollers at the 
sides so that the lambs as they grow and nearly 
fill the opening may squeeze through without 
injury to themselves or loosening of their wool. 



126 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA 

Tims the lambs *^'rmi forward" to an enclosure 
of their own where they find fresh grazing of 
turnips or vetch or clover or grass, according 
to the situation and season, and in these small 
enclosures are kept troughs replenished regu- 
larly twice a day with some grain mixture. 
English feeders use great amounts of ^'cake," 
which is either of linseed or cottonseed. This 
cake is made at American oil mills where by 
pressure oil is extracted from the crushed seed. 
American feeders usually buy '^oilmeal," or 
ground cake whereas our British cousins prefer 
to buy the actual cakes and break them on the 
farm into bits as large perhaps as hickory nuts, 
or somewhat smaller for young lambs. English 
lambs come from the hurdles at the age of three 
or four months weighing 20 to 100 lbs. They 
will do as well in America, under right manage- 
ment, as the writer has frequently demonstrated 
in his own practice. The fact is that one must 
keep the ewes in any case and must feed them, 
so that there is a certain fixed expense con- 
nected with rearing the lambs. This expense 
produces a certain amount of growth; now by 
the addition of supplementary foods this growth 
may be greatly increased at very slight expense. 
The amount of extra food consumed by the 
young lamb to make an extra pound of growth 
will not cost more than one or two cents. To 
make a pound of growth on him after he has left 
his mother will cost from 3% to 5 cents. Then 
too, the early growth is what brings the highest 
price. And again the lamb that matures very 
early and gets away to market escapes a hun- 



CARE OF THE EWE AND YOUNG LAMB. 127, 

dred ills that lie in wait for the lamb that re- 
mains on the farm for nearly a year, so, alto- 
gether, the arguments are all for pushing the 
farm-born lambs as rapidly as possible by extra 
allowances of feed. 

Of course lambs that are pure-bred and in- 
tended to stay on the farm to maturity must be 
fed a different ration from those that are 
merely to get fat quick and end a short but 
happy and victorious life at the market. Stock 
lambs need abundant food but no forcing. Their 
ration aside from their mothers' milk should 
be of oats and bran, with a trifle of oilmeal, 
clover and alfalfa hay, and in their ground feed 
there may be added a little fine ground bone- 
meal,-- the steamed bone or some odorless pro- 
duct to be chosen of course. There is small 
danger of overfeeding these stock lambs in their 
infancy ; they will the earlier go afield and learn 
there to seek their subsistence in the form of 
grass and herbage. Corn should not be fed to 
them, neither to the ewe lambs nor the ram 
lambs, for corn mainly makes fat and fat im- 
pedes vital functions rather than helps. The 
ram lambs developed on corn are slow, sluggish, 
early losing their usefulness; the ewes devel- 
oped on corn are uncertain breeders and often 
poor milkers. To develop bone and muscle and 
stamina in these stock lambs should be the aim 
and this is accomplished by feeding food rich in 
bone and muscle-making materials, of which 
wheat bran is easily among the first and oats 
comes next. They should have abundant chance 
of exercise too, which may be denied somewhat 



128 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

to the lambs that are to go fat to an early mar- 
ket. Then there should be constant watchful- 
ness to avoid infection from parasites and if 
this is done the shepherd will have abundant 
reason to congratulate himself upon the splen- 
did growth of his stock lambs. 

FEEDING FOR THE MARKET. 

Supposing now the lamb crop is mostly to go 
fat to market as soon as ripe. We will assume 
that they have been born in winter, which is the 
proper season for all lambs to be born on 
farms, unless one can get them in the fall, and 
that they have comfortable quarters and their 
mothers have been so well fed that they have an 
abundance of milk for them. Next there must 
be provided a small room or pen in which the 
lambs can go and the ewes can not. This place 
must be of very convenient access, so that it is 
really easier for the lamb to go in than to re- 
main outside. This is because lambs have fleet- 
ing memories and are largely the creatures of 
opportunity. They will consume much more 
feed when it is right at their mouths than if 
they have to go even a few rods to seek it. This 
place, which we call a ''creep," must be in a 
light part of the barn and if the sun can shine 
in all the better, for lambs are attracted by sun- 
light and greatly benefited by it. In truth some 
of the most successful lamb growers have glass- 
roofed sheds for their use in winter and achieve 
thereby remarkable results. 

This creep need not be very large. If it is 
12 feet square it will accommodate 50 lambs 



CARE OF THE EWE AND YOUNG LAMB. 131 

very nicely, as they will not all be in it at one 
time. It stionld be separated from the ewes' 
part of the barn by a fence of vertical slats, 
spaced about 7 inches apart, the slats with 
ronnded edges. This will permit the lambs to 
pass in and restrain the ewes. After a time 
the lambs will need some wider openings and 
then if small rollers are put up to permit them 
to squeeze between all the better. 

In the creep there must be some flat-bottomed 
troughs in which to feed grain and a hay rack 
for alfalfa hay, or clover if it is the best at hand. 
The troughs must be low to permit young lambs 
readily to reach them. As lambs delight to get 
into troughs with their feet they must be 
covered. To accomplish this let the end of the 
trough be a solid board 12 inches wide and ex- 
tending up 12 inches above the sides of the 
trough, pointed at the end like the gable of a 
house roof and put on this two boards like an 
inverted V. This makes a steep roof to the 
trough and effectually prevents the lambs get- 
ting their feet into it. 

This cover is readily lifted off when grain is 
put in. Attention to such small details as keep- 
ing troughs clean is essential to success in feed- 
ing lambs. Their sense of smell is acute and 
they discriminate sharply against anything but 
clean, fresh food. 

The first feed to put into the trough may be 
wheat bran. Scatter a trifle in the bottom and 
sprinkle it with brown sugar. If the lambs do 
not find it readily, take one up gently, not to 
frighten him, and carrying him to the trough 



132 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

put a little of the sweetened bran in his mouth. 
He will get the taste and in many cases you can 
carefully put him on his feet with his head in 
the trough leaving- him there. Once he gets a 
taste he will return and bring others with him. 

It is essential that the bran used be fresh. 
Cracked corn will be added to the bran ; it also 
must be fresh and made of good, sound corn. 
It need not be cracked very fine. Better mix 
in a box or bin about 50 lbs. of cracked corn, 
50 lbs. of wheat bran and 10 lbs. of oilmeal, 
coarse ground. If oats are available they may 
be added to this ration, ground at first, without 
changing the proportions of other things for 
oats themselves form nearly a balanced ration. 

Feed this twice or three times a day, placing 
in the troughs about what will be consumed and 
when next feeding time comes sweep out and 
give to the ewes what may be left so as to 
always have fresh feed before the lambs. Never 
wait for them to lick out the last particle before 
I offering them fresh feed. 
X / You will soon be astonished at the amount 
y the little fellows will consume and at the trans- 
formation in their appearance. The plump 
roundness of the baby forms is very beautiful 
and to watch them grow is a satisfaction and 
joy every day. 

Of course there are other things that may be 
fed. Wheat middlings may make a small part 
of the ration; it is too floury for best results, 
as the lambs do not like it so well. Eye will 
serve a useful purpose, though it seems less 
palatable than oats or barley. Soy beans may 



CARE OF THE EWE AND YOUNG LAMB. 133 

replace the oilmeal and are better. Soys are 
readily grown upon any farm and should be 
regularly sown where lambs are grown. 

Early varieties of soy beans should be grown 
in the Northern states, threshed when ripe and 
the seeds kept for the lambs. The bean straw 
if kept dry has in it a good deal of nourishment 
also which the ewes will seek out and the 
coarser parts will serve as an excellent bedding. 

There is hardly any other food that will push 
forward lambs like soys. They have abundant 
protein and a good deal of bone material also. 
As compared with ordinary field peas they have 
29 to 40 per cent of protein, while field peas 
have 16 per cent and cowpeas 18 per cent. Field 
peas are best adapted to New England, Canada 
and Michigan, with some regions of high alti- 
tude in the Rocky Mountains; soy beans to all 
the corn-belt. As the oilmeals are steadily in- 
creasing in price with possibilities of their fre- 
quent adulteration the shepherd can not afford 
to overlook sources of home-grown protein. 

In the Southern states the hairy vetch is a 
source of home-grown protein not to be over- 
looked. Further reference to this will be made 
when we take up the subject of field crops for 
sheep. 

The lamb will drink a good deal of pure 
water, even while sucking his mother. It should 
be readily available and always clean enough 
for human consumption. 

After the lambs are well started on feed the 
ewe lambs if they are designed to be kept upon 
the farm, and such ram lambs as may be worth 



134 



SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 



keeping, should be separated from the others 
and fed differently. They may have all the oats 
and bran they wish and some soy beans but are 
the better for having very little corn. It is best 
if they have the run with their mothers of a field 
and learn early to seek part of their food out- 
side, whereas the ones destined for market will 




AN ENGLISH "CREEP." 

grow as well and fatten quicker to have their 
range somewhat restricted. 

The shepherd should keep close watch on the 
ewes, for there will come a time when they are 
no longer milking freely and then they will put 
their food on their backs. Rather than fatten 
them to their harm, unless they are to go to 



CARE OF THE EWE AND YOUNG LAMB. 135 

market, the grain should be gradually cut down 
and it will be found that the lambs at this time 
will take more each day. 

iVfter the fattening lambs are a few weeks 
old they love to shell off corn from the ear and 
crack it with their own teeth. They should 
have opportunity to do this. 

In fact, when they are six weeks old it is 
hardly worth while to shell or grind any more 
corn for them at all. They prefer it fresh shel- 
led by their own teeth. It is folly to spend 
effort in doing things that the lambs delight in 
doing for themselves. 

DRESSING LAMBS FOR FANCY WINTER MARKET. 

When the lambs reach a weight of 50 to 60 
lbs. or even less if they are very fat the fancy 
New York market will pay for them from $3 
to $12 each if sent there by express nicely dres- 
sed and cooled. The prices depend upon how 
fat they are and what the season is. Big lambs, 
only moderately fat, sell much cheaper than 
small lambs that are very fat. 

For this trade the lambs are dressed in a 
special manner as the market requires. Mr. H. 
P. Miller, a successful ''hot house"^ lamb 
grower, gives this as his method: "It is very 
important to have them thoroughly bled out. 
To secure this I have found it advantageous 
to hang the lamb by the hind feet in killing. 
Suspend a small singletree about six feet from 
the ground. Loop a small rope or strong twine 
about each hind le^ and attach to the hooks of 
the singletree. With a sharp pointed knife 



136 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

sever the artery and vein in the neck close to 
the head. Be sure to sever the artery. Bright 
red blood is the assurance. The veinous blood 
is dark. Severing the head with one blow of a 
sharp broad axe would cause no suffering and 
insure thorough bleeding. I remove the head 
with a knife as soon as the lamb ceases strug- 
gling. Clip the wool from the brisket and along 
a strip four or five inches wide upwards to the 
udder or scrotum, also from between the hind 
legs as in tagging sheep. Now open the lamb 
from the tail to the brisket. Slit the skin up the 




READY FOR MARKET. 



inside of the hind quarter about four inches and 
loosen it from the underlying muscles for two 
inches on either side of the openings for the 
attachment of caul fat. This should be re- 
moved from the stomachs before they are de- 
tached, and in very cold weather placed in 
warm water until ready to be used. Next re- 
move the stomach and intestines. In the early 
part of the season the liver, heart and lungs 
may be left in place but when the weather gets 
warm they must be removed. Carefully spread 
the caul fat over all the exposed flesh. Good 



CARE OF THE EWE AND YOUNG LAMB. 137 

large toothpicks will hold it in place. Make 
small slits in it over the kidneys and pull them 
through. This part of the work requires care 
and skill to make the carcass look attractive. 

''Be sure that all is clean and pretty. Hang- 
in a cool place for 12 to 24 hours. The car- 
casses should not actually freeze but come close 
to it. Sew a yard of clean muslin about each 
lamb so as to cover all exposed surface. Then 
line a small crate with strong paper and place 
three lambs in it, tacking burlap over the top. 
Crate them just before shipping. Ice may be 
put. between the lambs but not in them. Pre- 
pare for market as fast as ready, three or six 
at a time. Aim to slaughter regularly each 
week, if you have lambs in condition, and keep 
your commission firm informed as to how many 
you will send. ' ' 

It is worth noting that for a period of years 
prices for these fancy fat winter lambs have 
steadily advanced and the supply though in- 
creasing has not been equal to the demand. 
There is, however, a wide variation in prices 
obtained and if one finds his lambs selling at a 
low price he had better investigate to see what 
is wrong. It is better to keep the lambs to sell 
alive in spring than dress them and pay express 
charges and commission for $3 to $4 each in 
winter. During January and February, how- 
ever, good lambs, such as any careful man can 
as easily make as any other sort, sell for from 
$8 to $12 each in New York with small prospect 
of oversupply for some time. 



138 SHEEP FARMINGS IN AMERICA. 

TREATMENT OF THE LATE BORN LAMBS. 

Naturally the larger part of the lambs will 
be born too late for the fancy trade. Nor would 
there be demand for all of them in the form of 
"fancy hot house lambs." There is, however, 
abundant profit in fattening them to be sold 
afoot in April, May, June or July. Usually the 
highest prices are obtained in June. At that 
time the supply of fat lambs born on the ranges 
the previous summer and winter-fed is about 
exhausted and the supply of fat native winter 
or spring born lambs has never yet been ade- 
quate. 

To develop lambs for this live trade they 
should be fed just as advised for the winter 
lambs except that they should be permitted 
to take more exercise than if they are to be fin- 
ished at the earliest possible moment. 

When grass comes the lambs should be kept 
off of it until it is actually sweet. The sun must 
have time to get into it before it will be strong 
and good and to eat it before that time is a dam- 
age alike to the grass and the lambs Further- 
more after they have a taste of green grass 
they will not eat dry forage well, so there is 
loss all around Keep them on dry feed there- 
fore until there is abundant green grass and it 
is sweet, then you may let them go to it without 
fear of them shrinking. 

There is little danger of scouring from eat- 
ing grass after it has become sweet. The corn, 
of which they are now eating a great deal, has 
a tendency to prevent it and after a day or two 



CARE OF THE EWE AND YOUNG LAMB. 141 

they will go on as though nothing had been 
changed, happy indeed beyond words in the 
fresh spring sunshine and tine pasture, before 
flies have come or summer heat to oppress. 

Here is a great argument for having lambs 
born in winter, they may thus get such a vigor- 
ous start that when green grass comes they are 
able to make the most of it. There are two 
months in our trying climate of the corn-belt 
that make ideal natural conditions for making 
mutton cheaply; they are May and June, with 
sometimes a bit of April. Wherefore the shep- 
herd should plan to have his lambs big and 
strong when this time comes so that they may 
make the most of their opportunities. There 
is no profit as a general thing in carrying any 
over through July, August and September, 
save those that are destined to remain perma- 
nently to replenish the breeding flock. 

FEEDTNG CORN ON GRASS. 

While in winter time on dry feed it is essen- 
tial to feed bran, oilmeal or soy beans to sup- 
ply the requisite protein to the growing lambs 
there is not so much need of supplying protein 
when on grass, that is, if the lambs are destined 
for the butcher. Green grass is more nitrog- 
enous than dry hay and there are many 
clovers usually mixed in the grass so that a 
ration of corn (maize) alone will serve a good 
purpose. This may as well be fed in the ear, 
laying it in troughs or if there is a clean sward 
of thick grass the ears may simply be scattered 
about upon it, in a fresh spot each day. To do 



142 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

this before the lambs are weaned it is of course 
necessary to fence oft* a part of the pasture 
away from the ewes, allowing only the lambs 
to have access to it. No more corn should ever 
be fed at a time than the lambs will consume 
and that they may eat it regularly care should 
be taken to see that every lamb is there at feed- 
ing time. If a few troughs are set close by in 
which a few handful s of oats are strewn that 
the ewes can get, the shepherd can readily call 
the whole flock up at feeding time and the lambs 
will rush through their creeps to get their corn 
while their mothers are munching the sparing 
allowance doled out to them. 

Gains on grass when lambs have had a good 
start in winter are surprisingly rapid. By the 
first of June the February lambs will often 
weight 80 lbs. and drafts may be made and sent 
away if it is convenient to market in that man- 
ner, or all may be kept till they average about 
80 lbs., which will be early in June. If care- 
fully managed there will be no culls and all will 
be gone and the cash in the owner's pocket be- 
fore the dread of parasites comes. 

Salt is an essential to the sheep and it is well 
to accustom them to the use of it and keep it 
at all times before them. It is especially use- 
ful in spring when grass comes and no doubt 
checks many bowel troubles when they have 
access to it. 

SUMMER SHADE. 

Shade is essential in our climate of the corn- 
belt. Even in April sheep will begin to seek 



CARE OF THE EWE AND YOUNG LAMB. 143 

the shade during the warmer parts of the day 
and by May and June it is very necessary. 
Where the pasture is near the barn the cool, 
dark lower story, where were the winter quar- 
ters, is the ideal place for the flock. It should 




A CARLOAD OF YEARLING WETHERS. 

be kept well bedded down and thus there is 
saved a good deal of fertility that would other- 
wise perhaps be heaped up in fence corners 
or beneath trees where it would do the pasture 
little good. The sheep prefer the darkness of 



144 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

the barn to the semi-shadow of trees and it is 
very much better and safer for them for rea- 
sons that we will presently take up under the 
subject of parasite infestation. 

In this barn basement one should each day 
put down a little fresh hay and usually the flock 
will eat quite a bit of it. In connection with 
their green forage it is to them what dry bread 
and butter are to the boy eating green apples in 
summer time. It is even a good practice to salt 
the sheep in summer by sprinkling brine over 
dry hay in the barn, thus encouraging them to 
eat as much of it as they will. Of course there 
are locations where hay is hard to get and 
pasture is in excess There this would not be 
good practice, but all through the region of the 
corn-belt hay is abundant and really more eco- 
nomical to produce on high-priced land than 
pasture. 

Corn may be fed to the lambs also in the 
barn basement if the flock has access to it. 
There is but one thing to fear; that the place 
may be allowed to become foul so that fleeces 
will be soiled and feet endangered but it is at- 
tention to these little things that assure success. 

Shade in fields may be had best by movable 
sheds. These may be made on runners, simple 
roofs about 16 feet square and not high, open 
at the sides, made of pine boards. They need 
not be rain-proof since sun is what we are seek- 
ing to shelter against. A shed of this size will 
shelter 40 sheep and as it may be frequently 
moved there will be an enrichment of a good 
many scoots during the summer. The writer 



CARE OF THE EWE AND YOUNG LAMB. 145 

has on the farm on which he lives a spot where 
his father forty years before had a temporary 
sheep shelter that still produces crops remark- 
able for their distinguishing greenness and 
rankness. 

There are reasons why we should not permit 
the sheep to stand where they will, along fences 
and beneath trees. First the manure is wasted 
there; then the shade is seldom really satis- 
factory. Sufficient in the early morning the 
sun has by noon moved so that it is no longer 
comfortable and the silly flock will suffer much 
before moving away. Worst of all is the dan- 
ger to the health of the sheep through parasitic 
infection. Lying much in one place there is 
an accumulation of droppings presumably bear- 
ing germs of various harmful parasites such as 
stomach worms, throat worms, nodular disease 
and the like. The droppings stimulate the 
growth of sweet, rich grasses here. The 
germs harbor on the roots and about the base 
of these grasses. Lambs lying in shade near by 
become hungry and venturing into the sun a lit- 
tle way nibble at these rich grasses. It is worth 
noting that sheep will the more greedily eat 
grass that grows strong, from manured land, 
than that which is thin and tough growing on 
poor soil. The lambs then nibbling this thick 
grass, which is thus kept short, take in many 
germs of stomach worms and other parasites 
which their mothers have deposited there with 
their manure. Thus disease creeps in to the flock. 
In England the writer has seen shepherds put- 
ting fences of hurdles about trees to prevent 



146 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

ewes lying beneath tliem when on grass and ex- 
plaining that they found when the ewes laid in 
the shade of those trees they "took cold from the 
draughts and coughed." The facts were cor- 
rectly observed but the reasoning was defective ; 
it was not the ^'draught" that made the sheep 
cough but the throat worms and lung worms in- 
stead that gained entrance from the infected 
area of the tree shade. 

MARKETING THE SPRING LAMB. 

Through Virginia and Kentucky there are 
many sheep breeders who make a practice of 
growing their lambs on grass alone, having 
them born usually in March and putting them 
off fat in June. They usually contract them 
ahead for about $6 per cwt. They find this 
business very profitable and thus their rough 
lands devoted to sheep pastures steadily im- 
prove rather than deteriorate. 

It is a temptation to the young shepherd to 
keep the lambs over till fall or perhaps to feed 
them again the following winter. This seldom 
13ays so well as to have them fat early and get 
rid of them at a good price. When they come 
to market as late as August and from then to 
Christmas they must compete with lambs 
grown on the ranges under much more favor- 
able conditions for cheap production. More- 
over, the lambs during the hot summers of the 
corn-belt do not gain much fat; if in fact they 
hold what they made in May and June they do 
well and there is besides that terrible danger,— 
the parasite. 



CARE OF THE EWE AND YOUNG LAMB. 147 
DOCKING. 

Unless one is certain that his lambs will go 
early to market, say at an age not exceeding 
three months, he had better dock and castrate 
them. Tails are unnecessary appendages to 
a modern sheep and are apt to become fouled. 
A docked lamb has a squarer look and seems 
fatter than one with a tail. What blood goes 
to nourish a useless tail would add to the 
growth of the rest of the body no doubt. Dock- 
ing may be done at a very early age, within 
ten days after birth if the lamb is strong, and 
there is then slight shock. Tails may be sev- 
ered with one stroke of a sharp knife, (cutting 
from the under side) or by use of a mallet and 
chisel, but a better and safer way when pure- 
bred and well fed lambs are docked is by use of 
hot docking pinchers. These are readily made by 
the country blacksmith. They are shaped like 
large shoeing pinchers only much heavier and 
with a wider opening to admit any tail, for some- 
times one will wish to dock a mature sheep or 
cut off a scrotum from an old ram. They 
should be thin at the edge but not very sharp 
and thick back of it to hold the heat. The man- 
ner of operation is to have a board with a hole 
bored through it of a proper size to admit the 
tail of the lamb. This board protects the adja- 
cent parts against the heat of the pinchers. 
They are heated to redness and quickly sever 
the tail which will not bleed a drop. Some dis- 
infectant is then applied and the lamb let go. 
After flies come one must watch that the stumps 



148 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

do not become infested with maggots; there is 
no other danger. Pure-bred and well fed 
lambs will sometimes bleed to death when their 
tails are cut with knife or chisel. When no 
docking pinchers are at hand the stumps may 
be corded for a few hours. 

CASTRATION OF OLD EAMS. 

These docking pinchers are convenient things 
to have for castration of old rams, or of any 
sheep past the age of lambhood. The method 
is to lay the ram on his back; one man seizes 
the scrotum and testicles and pulls them out 
from the body and another simply severs them 
all together with the docking pinchers used 
very hot. 

There is no bleeding, though the operation 
should not be too hastily performed, as there 
is need of a m.oment's contact with the hot iron 
to sear the arteries. The application of dis- 
infectants completes the operation. A thin 
board may keep the heat from scorching the 
body. The writer has thus operated on a six- 
year-old ram and had him get up and go to eat- 
ing hay quite unconcerned. It is probable that 
the hot iron destroys the sensibility to pain to 
quite an extent. 

CASTRATION OF LAMBS. 

Castration of young lambs is a very simple 
process. The lambs should be two weeks old 
and strong. The end of the scrotum is cut off, 
the testicles made to emerge and are then pulled 
out with the adhering cords. Some shep- 



CARE OP THE EWE AND YOUNG LAMB. 149 

herds practice seizing them with their teeth; 
this is a common practice on many Western 
ranches. It is not usually necessary to apply 
anything in case of these young lambs but a 
mixture of lard and turpentine, or tallow and 
turpentine : combined in proportion so as to be 
soft will deter germs and make healing more 
rapid. There should not be a loss from dock- 
ing and castration of more than one lamb in 500 
and it is a satisfaction to have both done so 
that whatever age the lambs may reach they 
will not in marketing suffer a ''dock" because 
of their ''bncky" condition. 

WEANING. 

As a rule it is not necessary to wean lambs 
before they go to market. If they are fed right 
they will while sucking their mothers reach a 
weight of 75 to 85 lbs. if of mutton breeds. 
There is nothing better than mothers' milk ex- 
cept more mothers' milk! Lambs that are to 
remain on the farm, however, should be sep- 
arated from the ewes when ten or twelve weeks 
old, or when the advent of warm weather makes 
parasitic infection a danger. An exception may 
be made of the ewe lambs, which may in some 
cases run with their mothers until they are 
weaned naturally. The advantage of weaning 
is that it makes possible the separation of the 
young and old and thus the young things are 
put by themselves on clean pasture where there 
can be no contaminated grass and thus they es- 
cape infection and parasitic diseases. The 
proper way to wean lambs is by taking away 



150 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

the ewes, leaving the lambs in the pasture where 
they are accustomed to run. Build in the 
pasture a small yard or corral having creeps 
through which the lambs can run; the ewes, 
after being away from the lambs for 12 hours, 
are returned and yarded there when the 
lambs will run in and milk them out, and when 
they have again gone out to feed the ewes may 
be taken away for another period. Thus there 
is a gradual separation, neither ewes nor lambs 
experiencing a shock, and if the ewes are put 
on rather sparce picking they will soon be dry. 
There is but one danger, viz. ; there may be some 
ewes yet milking so heavily that their lambs 
will suffer from gorging upon their return. The 
watchful shepherd will be aware of such a case 
and catching her will milk her out somewhat 
before letting the lamb at her, or if it be a late- 
born lamb allowing it to run with her a little 
longer. 



CHAPTER VI. 



SUMMER CARE AND MANAGEMENT. 

THE EWE FLOCK. 

In winter the shepherd is a god to his flock. 
Shut away from natural sources of food supply 
the sheep depend entirely upon his providence 
and therefore their thrift rests entirely upon 
his knowledge and willingness to give. In sum- 
mer Nature provides forage in abundance and 
turned out in the fields the sheep can choose as 
their instincts prompt them. They should 
then thrive upon pasture as nowhere else. They 
would were it not for two things : one that the 
shepherd too often considers a ^'pasture" as 
being an enclosure surrounded by a good 
fencCj regardless of what the forage may be 
within; the other that in summer time come 
pests of flies, maggots and worms, internal par- 
asites. The shepherd who thoroughly learns 
the lesson of prevention of these pests will find 
his work a joy and will stay with it and make a 
large profit from his flock. The man who sim- 
ply turns the flock to pasture and gives it no 
more attention or thought will very likely find 
himself confronted with a lot of diseased and 

(151) 



152 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

unprofitable sheep within a few years and his 
farm perhaps so infected with germs of para- 
sites that there is no longer any profit in keep- 
ing sheep there. 

Most of the trouble comes from the internal 
parasites, and while there is a long list of them 
that afflict sheep nearly all the trouble in our 
country comes from two or three species. By 
far the most prevalent and troublesome is the 
twisted stomach worm (naemonchus contortus). 
This inhabits the fourth stomach of the ewe and 
she carries it through the winter even though 
she may seem to be in good health. In spring 
and during summer the worms become filled 
with eggs, ^' ripen" and pass away. Just how 
the young germs then re-enter the sheep or find 
a home in the more tender stomachs of the 
young lambs no one knows. They probably 
hatch in shallow pools of stagnant water (infec- 
tions in Texas and New Mexico are thought to 
be by this means) or they attach themselves to 
the moist grass close to the ground and are tak- 
en in from that position. It is noticed that old 
and rich sheep pastures covered with short, 
sweet grass are frequently the most fatal to 
young lambs even when there is no stagnant 
water in them. 

It is not too much to say that the stomach 
worm has done more to discourage sheep hus- 
bandry in the corn-belt of America than all 
other causes put together and many a man has 
gone out of business from the depredations of 
this little enemy who did not even know that 
such a pest existed. 



SUMMER CARE AND MANAGEMENT. 155 

The symptoms of infection from stomach 
worms are first; the wool appears lusterless 
and if pressed with the hand does not spring 
out again as when the animal is in vigorous 
health. Looking more closely, the red in the 
veins in and about the eye seems pale and when 
you part the wool the skin has lost its pinkness 
and if the disease has progressed far it looks 
white and chalky. There is a disordered di- 
gestion and perhaps a depraved appetite, the 
animal may gnaw earth, rotten wool or 
bark, there may be diarrhea or constipation. 
Before death comes there will probably be 
'^ black scours." Old sheep seldom die from 
stomach worms but are run down in vitality by 
the pest while lambs may die in great numbers. 

Stomach worms seldom ever trouble sheep in 
cool regions and there is some evidence that a 
temperature of 50 degrees in the soil prevents 
their development. Therefore they do not 
spread through the flock until warm weather, 
which may come in May and certainly comes in 
June. Up to that time the lamb crop is com- 
paratively safe to run with the mothers; after 
that the idea of the twisted stomach worm 
must be kept ever in mind. 

It may be well here to call attention to the 
fact that there are considerable regions in 
America where fear of the stomach worm is 
not felt. In Massachusetts, Maine, New Hamp- 
shire and Vermont there is little or no evidence 
of Ha^monchus infestation. Northern New York 
and the mountain regions of that section 
should be almost exempt from danger if flocks 



156 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

are properly managed. Ontario in Canada, 
seems to be without the dread pest. The writer 
has seen wonderful flocks in Vermont and On- 
tario managed very simply on thick, sweet 
blue-grass and white clover pastures and with- 
out a trace of this malady. The road-side sheep 
of Ontario graze perennially on the same 
restricted areas and escape infection. So in 
northern Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula es- 
pecially, is a grand field for easy and almost 
care-free shepherding. Northern Minnesota 
and Wisconsin should prove little subject to 
this pest. 

One evidence that cool climates deter the de- 
velopment of the Hsemonchus contortus is seen 
in northern England and in Scotland. On the 
Cheviot hills flocks grow as thick as the grass 
will bear and for many centuries this has been 
so. In Scotland the same is true and the writer 
in a rather careful study of conditions there 
saw no evidences whatever of infestation of 
this pest. There is some parasitism in that re- 
gion but it is more likely to be of tapeworms 
or the brain parasite that causes ''gid" or 
' ^ staggers. ' ' 

It is a matter of wonder to the writer that 
more men do not in New England and our other 
northern border states turn their attention to 
sheep growing on a scale large enough to make 
it a business. There should be whole regions 
given up to the breeding of sheep and such 
breeds as the Cheviot, Lincoln or Cotswold 
would there find a congenial home, while 
Shropshires and Southdowns would thrive well 



SUMMER CARE AND MANAGEMENT. 



157 



and furnish the market with prime mutton. 
Shepherding without the fear of stomach worm 
infestation is a delightful occupation. 

The simplest method of keeping the lambs 
in health in the summer time is to separate 
them from the ewes and put them on grazing 
that has had no sheep on it for a year, or at 
least that has had no sheep since the previous 



COTSWOLD EWES. 

fall. We will take up the care of the lambs a 
little later. 

The ewe flock is easily kept in health. Ma- 
ture sheep are resistent to parasites unless they 
are depleted in vitality by reason of being bred 
too young, or by suckling their lambs when 
poorly nourished. It is only necessary to give 
them sound grass and as good a variety of 
herbage as is at hand and to change them from 



158 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

one pasture to another about once in ten days 
or a fortnight. Tlie old adage, "change of 
pasture makes fat sheep/' is true and it de- 
pends upon two reasons: change gives chance 
for fresh herbage to spring up and it gives par- 
asitic genus chance to die before finding again 
a Jiving place in the body of its former host. 
It is better then to divide large sheep pastures 
into several divisions and during warm weather, 
say about the middle of May till the middle of 
September, to change the flock from one division 
to another letting cattle or horses follow them, 
or letting the pastures have rest till the flock 
comes back again. 

It would not help matters any to keep sheep 
in each division and change by transposition, a 
common and sinful practice, as one lot would 
readily infect the other. It is not good manage- 
ment therefore fully to stock a pasture with 
sheep in any part of the United States east of 
a line running about with the 100th meridian, or 
roughly along the western limit of the corn-belt. 
The exception to this rule would be in the case 
of high mountain pastures or in the far north, 
where the air and soil are cool enough to deter 
the spread of parasites. 

These stomach worms are not very hard to 
destroy or drive out of the body of the sheep. 
The writer introduced the gasoline treatment 
into the United States and it has given excellent 
results in his practice. Coal tar creosote is 
said to be as good and perhaps better. Some 
coal tar dips are used successfully in destroy- 
ing the stomach worm. We w^ill give explicit 



SUMMER CARE AND MANAGEMENT. 159 

directions for administering these remedies 
further on. 

A SYSTEM OF MANAGEMENT THAT INSURES A 
HEALTHY FLOCK. 

Two men in America fought stomach worms 
all through the disastrous years of the 90s, 
when little was known to help ; they found light, 
they conquered the pests in a measure, and kept 
on keeping sheep and studying flock manage- 
ment. Finally each made a journey to Eng- 
land and studied the conditions there with a 
view to solving the problem for America. There 
they found hurdling the best answer to the 
question. Independently of each other they 
reached the same conclusions as to the practical 
solution of the question in America. Dr. H. 
B. Arbuckle of West Virginia and the writer 
were the two men. But they wish to give all due 
credit to the Department of Zoology of the Bu- 
reau of Animal Industry at Washington for at 
last giving accurate details of the life history of 
the Haemonchus contortus (formerly called 
Strongylus contortus) for without the details 
that we now have no certain plan could have 
been formulated. 

The basis of this plan is the fact that lambs 
are born free from parasitic infection ; they are 
healthy. It is only necessary to keep them 
healthy by preventing infection. Their moth- 
ers carry over in their bodies the germs that will 
infect them in the form of mature stomach 
worms, which when ripe pass away in the drop- 
pings and thus infect the pasture. When the 



160 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

temperature is below 40° the eggs will not 
hatch. AVhen it is above that they will hatch 
out in a few hours or in a week or so, depending 
upon how warm it is. Freezing or drying soon 
kills the unhatched eggs. So it is seen that ewes 
will not pollute a field in Winter, their drop- 
pings are sure to be soon frozen, at least in the 
region where sheep are mostly kept. But if the 
tiny worm hatches from the egg it feeds for a 
time upon the material of the manure and con- 
tinues to grow till it is about one-thirtieth of 
an inch long. Then it creeps up on a blade of 
grass and waits to be swallowed by some lamb, 
after that it finishes its growth within the fourth 
stomach of the lamb, and, incidentally, finishes 
the lamb as well. 

Under the heading of "Diseases of Sheep" 
will be found entire the very interesting bulle- 
tin of Dr. B. H. Ransom on this subject. 

Now how to manage a flock with safety and 
profit on natural grass. To begin with the ewe 
flock should be treated for stomach worms. 
This is best done in the fall, when they come 
from pasture. It may be again done in the 
spring before their lambs come. Remedies 
for treatment will be found under the heading 
"Diseases of Sheep." The writer is of the 
opinion that use of some of the coal-tar dii^s, in 
small doses, much diluted, will eventually be 
recognized as most efficient. This treatment 
alone has doubled the weight of lambs in some 
experiments in Kentucky. Next, the flock 
should at the approach of spring weather be 
confined to the yard and shed. There 





STUDIES IN SHEEP CHARACTER, 



SUMMER CARE AND MANAGEMENT. 163 

are two reasons for this; the one that it 
is better for the grass, and thus in the long run 
better for the flock, and the other that there is 
thus no contamination of land over which the 
lambs will later feed. If it were possible to 
wholly eradicate the worms from the ewes by 
treatment this care would not be needed, but 
unfortunately it seems almost impossible with 
our present knowledge to kill all of the worms 
by any medication. While confined to the yard 
the lambs will probably be born. It is essen- 
tial that the flock be well fed at this time so that 
the ewes be full of milk. If desired there may 
be provided a run to a rye field, or to some grass 
pasture that will not be afterwards used that 
summer, to help stimulate the milk flow. By 
May 15 probably the grass will be so forward 
that the flock may be turned out for good. Now 
begins the new management. Instead of turn- 
ing the flock to a large pasture to roam over it 
at will turn them on a very small part of it. 
How best to manage this will depend upon cir- 
cumstances. The writer thinks that in our land 
of small supply of labor and much hurry and 
turmoil during the summer season it is safest 
to divide the pastures by permanent wire fenc- 
es. These are not costly and need not be very 
high. We will, then, turn the whole flock to- 
gether into the first division ; none shall be scat- 
tered about. Of course there may be two 
flocks, one with lambs and a dry flock, but the 
dry flock had better be put apart somewhere 
or else put with the ewes. It will not do to let 
anything interfere with the regular rotation of 



164 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

these pastures. Now once in this pasture the 
flock will be allowed to eat it down close to the 
ground That will not hurt the grass, for all 
will go on in a short time and the grass may 
spring up again. This is how pastures are 
often managed in England b}^ hurdles. 

Doctor Eansom says that sheep may probably 
be safely left on May pasture for two weeks. 
We will shorten this time to 10 days, to make 
sure. That is, the germs falling to the earth 
could not before 10 days find their way back 
into any sheep or lamb, and we are going to 
move the flock on before they are able to get in. 

Now in the division between this pasture 
and the next we will place creeps so fixed that 
the lambs can readily pass through to the next 
enclosure. This they will early learn to do, 
and so they will be eating the fresher parts of 
the herbage in advance of the ewes. 

In ten days then the whole flock will go for- 
ward one pasture, the lambs yet having access 
to the fresher feeding on ahead. Doctor Ran- 
som says we will need for this sure treatment 
the following divisions : 

For May, 2 pastures. 

For June, 4 pastures. 

For July, 4 pastures. 

For August, 4 pastures. 

For September, 3 pastures. 

For October, 2 pastures. 

That makes 19 enclosures in all and insures 
that the flock shall be kept in absolute freedom 
from infection throughout the year. 

However, one will not absolutely need so 



SUMMER CARE AND MANAGEMENT. 165 

many enclosures as that. By June many of the 
lamljs will be ripe, by July many of the others, 
and even when the lambs are born late when 
managed in this way they should all be ripe as 
peaches by the middle of August. After the 
lambs are gone the ewes can be managed a little 
less carefully, especially if they are in strong 
condition, though there is a comfort in knowing 
that every stomach worm germ that falls to the 
earth must die from lack of a host. 

To make this thing doubly successful put flat 
bottomed troughs in the pastures ahead, where 
the lambs run, and put feed in them; any sort 
of grain, corn, oats, barley, bran, coarse-ground 
or broken cake or oil meal. Thus the lambs 
will grow like weeds and pay many times over 
for their grain. Thus more sheep may be car- 
ried on the same ground than would be possible 
under ordinary treatment. There is scarcely 
any limit to the number of sheep that can be 
safely kept on an eastern farm under this sys- 
tem of management. The limit is, of course, 
the size of the farm and the amount of grass. 
Even this can be greatly helped by soiling. 
Racks may with great profit be placed in the 
fields and the ewes fed green crops, fresh 
mown oats, peas, clover or alfalfa. Thus 
twice as many ewes may be kept as the grass 
alone will support. The writer would suggest 
that about 400 ewes would keep one man nicely 
busy in caring for them and their lambs, haul- 
ing water to them, soiling somewhat, and feed- 
ing the lambs. He would not hesitate to under- 
take the manasrement of 400 ewes on one farm 



166 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

in any part of the corn belt, the regions most in- 
fested with stomach worms. There is no busi- 
ness more sure of profit than this. Lambs sell 
remarkably well and the prospect is that as 
the western ranges are diminished that they 
will sell better for the ravages of the stomach 
worm deter eastern farmers from going into 
the business. The two serious obstacles to be 
overcome are; first, the question of water and 
next, the question of shade. Water is readily 
hauled in mounted tanks as it usually is in 
England. Shade is not absolutely essential. 
The writer has seen very fat sheep in the San 
Joaquin valley of California confined to the al- 
falfa meadows and with no shade whatever. 
Probably a system of canvas sheds, long and 
narrow, would not be very expensive nor too 
troublesome for one man to move and set up un- 
aided. Any sort of good grass will serve. 
Kentucky blue grass is to be preferred, perhaps 
brome grass (Bromus inermis) is better, clovers 
may be utilized and oats sown to be grazed off, 
with peas. 

Tlie writer does not hesitate to say that he 
looks forward to seeing many sheep farms es- 
tablished in the cornbelt each carrying from 200 
to 500 ewes and managed nearly under this sys- 
tem. He feels confident that no other branch of 
the live stock industry holds forth better pros- 
pects. 

It should be borne in mind that the earlier 
the lambs are born the sooner they will be gone 
to market, and thus the fewer pastures will be 
needed. Also the market is usuallv best in 



SUMMER CARE AND MANAGEMENT^ 167 

June and July, after the flood of fed lambs lias 
passed and before the new crop from the ranges 
has started to come. 

Besides the stomach worm there is the worm 
that makes the nodular disease of the intestines. 
Any observant man who has dissected a ma- 
ture sheep has often noticed on the small intes- 
tines little nodules or ''knots." These are 
really small tumors, filled with a greenish, 
cheesy substance. They do not do much harm 
when they are few in number but the trouble is 
a cumulative one and the numbers of the nodules 
increase until after a time digestion and absorp- 
tion are much interfered with. Sometimes parts 
of the intestines becomes calcified, that is, so im- 
pregnated with lime salts that they are almost 
like stone. Death ensues in a longer or shorter 
time from the nodular disease. It does not 
work quickly as does the disease caused by the 
stomach worm. The worm causing these tu- 
mors is called oesophago stoma columbianum. 

This nodular disease is a hard one to cure, 
if indeed it is possible to cure it at all after it is 
established. Prevention is about all that we 
can do. Dr. W. H. Dalrymple of the Louisiana 
Experiment Station has shown, however, that 
it is readily communicable from affected ewes 
to their lambs through the medium of the pas- 
ture. He has also demonstrated that where 
diseased ewes are kept confined to the barn 
and their lambs allowed to run on clean pasture 
not contaminated by the presence of any old 
sheep, the lambs remain healthy and thus a new 
and healthful stock can be had even from a dis- 



168 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

eased flock. None of these diseases originates 
spontaneously. There are no other known 
hosts of these diseases than sheep, goats and 
perhaps deer, so it is merely a question of start- 
ing with the lambs, born free of all parasites, 
and keeping them in health by putting them on 
fresh and uninfeeted pasture. 

USE OF SOWN PASTURES. 

The easy way of management is to use only 
the wild or natural grass pastures, the same 
ones year after 3 ear, but there is often great 
good resultant from sowing special pasture 
crops for the flock. Eye sown in the fall will 
afford very useful pasture before Christmas 
and again very early in spring. If vetches are 
sown with the rye in mild latitudes they will to- 
gether in spring make good grazing, and clover 
sown in March will take the land after the rye 
is gone. Eye is not a rich grazing crop ; in fact, 
is a poor one, but it adds the element of suc- 
culence to the diet and thus has its value. Then 
it gives employment and exercise in the way 
that the ewe likes best to take it, wandering 
about the field and picking here and there. 
Then there is almost no danger at all of para- 
site infection from grazing rye, or from graz- 
ing any sown crop for that matter. Eye where 
clover is sown with it should not be too closely 
grazed after the clover gets started and it is 
well to cut it for hay before it heads. If per- 
mitted to head it becomes woodv and makes 



SUMMER CARE AND MANAGEMENT. 171 

very inferior hay, and the clover does not come 
on again so quickly. 

OATS AND ALFALFA PASTURE. 

Oats sown early in spring with clover or al- 
falfa form an excellent pasture for about two 
months in late spring and early summer, fol- 
lowing the use of rye. Oats should be sown on 
good soil or should be well fertilized and may 
be sown rather thickly, as much as two bushels 
per acre, with about a peck of clover or alfalfa. 
Ii the land is well drained, a clay loam with 
limestone in it, alfalfa will make the best 
growth and pasture. Red clover however, 
thrives on thinner soils than alfalfa and is the 
pioneer among the legumes. On any rich lime- 
stone clay soils, however, alfalfa is the queen 
of forage crops from Labrador to the Grulf. In 
depasturing oats where legumes have been sown 
with them some judgment must be exercised 
else the delicate clovers will suffer. It is well 
to allow the oats to get up about eight inches 
high, then turn in and permit the sheep to eat 
them down pretty close, which should be done 
in three or four days. If there are not enough 
sheep to do that, divide the field by temporary 
fences or hurdles, depasturing a part at a time. 

As soon as the oats are eaten down take the 
sheep off and let the plants come again. They 
may thus be repeatedly grazed and the result 
will be a beautiful stand of clover or alfalfa. 

After midsummer, however, it may be wise 
to keep the flock entirely off this field, letting 



172 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

the clover or alfalfa get strong to withstand the 
trial of the coming winter. 

Young clover and alfalfa should never be 
grazed hard nor be eaten close the first year 
else tlie stand will be seriously weakened. 

CLOVER AND ALFALFA PASTURE. 

By all odds the most useful summer pastures 
in the cornbelt are those composed of clover 
or alfalfa. There are several distinguishing 
advantages in these crops : they renew the soil, 
they are rich in protein and add to the size, 
health and vigor of the sheep; they afford a 
great amount of grazing and they are almost ab- 
solutely free from danger of carrying parasit- 
ic infection. The reason of this healthfulness 
of these plants is that sheep crop the higher 
leaves and stems, leaving the parts close to the 
ground and thus escape germs that may lurk 
down close to the earth. 

Either red clover or alfalfa is too richly a 
nitrogenous product, however, to be grazed 
alone. Sheep confined to either of them must 
eat too much protein and therefore will crave 
food of more carbonaceous or starchy composi- 
tion. They will greedily eat grasses or even 
hay or dry straw to help balance their ration. 
Therefore* it is wise to sow a mixture of grasses 
with the clovers. The best grasses for this 
purpose are smooth brome grass and orchard 
grass. Either of these come on quickly and 
give a continuous grazing with the clovers. Of 
the two, brome grass (Bromus inermis) is by 
far the better, yielding more grazing and be- 



SUMMER CARE AND MANAGEMENT, 173 

ing better relished by the stock. Indeed this 
brome grass is one of the best pasture grasses 
we have and of easy culture, though it should 
always be sown in connection with some clover, 
else it fails to yield as it should. 

Red clover and alfalfa should not be mixed 
together. If they are the red clover having 
the habit of more vigorous growth at first 
crowds badly its slower neighbor. It is wise, 
however, to put about 10 per cent of alfalfa seed 
in all clover mixtures sown on suspected alfal- 
fa soil, for the small amount of alfalfa will in- 
fect the field with the alfalfa bacteria so that in 
after years it may be all profitably sown to al- 
falfa alone. 

DANGEK FKOM CLOVEE AND ALFALFA PASTUKE. 

Sheep grazing leguminous crops often suffer 
from hoven, or bloat, caused by the fermenta- 
tion of the tender leaves within the paunch. 
The greatest danger of this is when the clover 
is young and tender and growing rapidly. 

After alfalfa becomes woody there is not 
much danger from bloating. Nor is there so 
much danger when grasses are mixed with the 
clovers in the pasture. After sheep become ac- 
customed to eating the clovers, they have then 
learned somewhat by instinct how much to store 
within. Pasturing on clovers is never abso- 
lutely safe, yet certain simple rules will almost 
always prevent trouble. 

First, the clovers should have reached neariy 
to the blossoming stage before the sheep are 
turned in. 



174 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

Tlie sheep should not be hungry. They 
should have a prelhninary course of feeding 
of some sort till their appetites are well sated. 
Perhaps a fill-up on good grass pasture will 
generally best accomplish this. 

They should go on the clover or alfalfa pas- 
ture after eating all they will of other things at 
about ten o'clock in the morning, at a time 
when they naturally prefer to cease eating and 
go to lie in the shade. 

They should be given salt as soon as put upon 
pasture, and salt mixed with air- slaked lime 
should be kept before them. 

They should never thereafter be removed 
night or day, rain or shine, as long as they are 
desired to graze the field. 

Of course they may have the run of an ad- 
jacent grass pasture, and be permitted to go 
and come at will, but they must never be taken 
away even for a few hours and allowed to get 
hungry and then returned to the clover or alfal- 
fa field. If the}^ are, there is danger that they 
will gorge themselves too suddenly and bloating 
may result. 

The writer devotes considerable space to the 
subject because he has had a long and success- 
ful experience in pasturing clover and espec- 
ially alfalfa with sheep, and in his practice he 
has found these rules essential to success. It 
is well worth the risk, seeing that this pasture 
returns such well nourished and healthy sheep 
and is so free from danger of parasitic infec- 
tion. The writer has annually lost from 2 to 4 
per cent from bloat on alfalfa pasture, com- 



SUMMER CARE AND MANAGEMENT. 175 

monly of animals not in the best health, and if 
it has returned the other 96 or 98 per cent in 
fine health to him, he considers the sacrifice of 
small amount. 

The following remedies for a bloated sheep 
are good: 

When first in distress, administer three 
tablespoonfuls of raw linseed oil in which is a 
teaspoonful of turpentine. 

If this does not relieve at once, tie or hold 
a large corn cob or stick of similar size cross- 
ways in the mouth like a bridle bit; hold the 
head up, stand astride the ewe and seek gently 
to press out the gas with the knee. Do not use 
too much force. 

Pour several buckets of very cold water 
slowly on the distended side over the paunch. 
This often of itself relieves the distress by stop- 
ping the accumulation of gas. 

If there is too much distension for these 
measures to relieve, make an incision on the 
left side, high up, where the greatest disten- 
sion is seen, and let the gas escape. A trochar 
is best for this but a penknife will serve. The 
incision should be just large enough to insert 
some small tube— a small joint of cane fishing 
pole, a pipe stem or goose quill. 

Keep hold of the tube, else it will slip within 
the paunch and be lost and perhaps do serious 
damage to the sheep. After relief has been 
had disinfect the wound. It should not be 
large enough to need stitches but care must be 
had that flies do not blow it. Pine tar will re- 



176 



SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 



pel flies. The wool should be cut away from 
the wound. 

There will be some years when there will not 
be occasion for any remedy whatever and with 
the same treatment there will be at other times 
more or less trouble. During hot and wet 




YEARLING OXFORD RAM. 

weather when alfalfa is stimulated to very rap- 
id growth more trouble may be expected. 

The writer has been in the habit of pasturing 
alfalfa and yet allowing the sheep to shade in 
the barn, permitting them to come off in the 
morning when it gets too hot for their comfort. 
He has, however, been careful that a boy should 



SUMMER CARE AND MANAGEMENT. 



177 



stir them out and send them fieldward again by 
three or four o'clock in the afternoon. 

In sowing alfalfa that probably may be pas- 
tured, be sure lo sow a mixture of brome grass 
(Bromus inermis) with it. A light scattering 
of brome seed is best, else it will soon crowd out 




LEICESTER RAM. 

the alfalfa. We have had no difficulty in erad- 
icating the brome grass when afterward the 
fields have been cultivated. 

The writer has solved most of the problems 
of summer management in the way outlined. 
One serious trouble, however, remains for solu- 



178 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

tioii. The ewes will often get too fat under such 
treatment and sometimes refuse to breed reg- 
ularly. He has not yet found a solution of this 
problem. In England, where this often occurs, 
the fat ewes would go for mutton and there 
would end that difficulty, but where one has a 
flock of pure-bred sheep of considerable value 
this is not a satisfactory solution for America. 

Some manner of exercising the flock will 
probably prove the best cure for the sterility 
but as a business proposition with a grade flock 
it is no very serious matter. 

Where one is within reach of tracts of rough 
and poor mountain pasture the problem is 
solved in a natural way, by turning the flock 
onto this thin grass where they must take abun- 
dant exercise by walking and climbing and will 
not find an excess of food. This is the natural 
way of preventing an excess of flesh. 

It is not a safe plan to attempt reduction of 
flesh by over pasturing of small and fertile 
fields. The result is to cause the ewes to gnaw 
into the ground for the herbage there and para- 
sitic infection is pretty sure to follow. 

THE USE OF EAPE. 

Rape belongs to the same order of plants as 
the cabbages and rape leaves have a similar 
taste and appearance as cabbages. On rich 
soil rape yields an astonishing amount of for- 
age, which must be eaten green, as owing to its 
watery nature it can not be cured into hay. 
There seems a peculiar affinity between the cab- 
bage family and the sheep. Common cabbages, 



SUMMER CARE AND MANAGEMENT. 179 

thousand-headed kale, rape, swede turnips— 
all are greedily eaten and make good, healthful 
develoi^ment. 

Rape comes in to good play during the drouths 
of autumn and after cool, frosty weather has 
stopped the growth of grass in the fall. It may 
be sown in the corn at the time of the last work- 
ing, using about three or four pounds of seed 
to the acre and letting the cultivator cover it. 
Should the season prove moderately moist there- 
after the rape will come on and be ready to make 
a vigorous growth as soon as the corn is cut. 
By the middle of October it may be waist high 
over the field and will atford an immense 
amount of grazing until Christmas or later. 

Care should be taken not to turn on rape early 
in the morning in late fall when it is frosted 
as every leaf that is bent at that time will black- 
en and decay. It takes a cold of about 12 de- 
grees to injure rape if it is not disturbed until 
it has thawed again. 

Sheep will fatten on rape though an addition 
of grain is profitable and access to a grass pas- 
ture or the regular feeding of good hay in con- 
nection with it is very desirable. There is some 
danger from bloat in rape feeding, though the 
writer has never had to treat a sheep for rape 
bloating nor lost one. 

The Dwarf Essex seems the best variety to 
sow. 

CABBAGES. 

In fitting sheep for the show ring cabbages 
are almost indispensable and for feeding in fall 
and earlv winter they are most excellent. In 



180 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

many places cabbage grows luxuriantly and a 
given amount of sheep feed can probably be as 
cheaply grown from this plant as in any other 
way. In considering these foods it must be 
borne in mind that a certain portion of succu- 
lence is absolutely necessary to the sheep if it 
is to be kept in perfect health. It is less trou- 
ble to grow the common farm crops of grain and 
hay and sheep can be maintained upon them 
alone, but not in their highest degree of health 
and profit. There is also in the rape, turnips 
and cabbages some quality that makes for 
healthful growth of wool. 

PUMPKINS. 

Among the best autumn and early winter 
supplementary foods for sheep are pumpkins. 
They are readily grown in the cornfield or in a 
separate field by themselves and yield a large 
amount of feed to the acre. Our method of 
growing is to use pumpkin seeds to replant, with 
in the cornfield, putting them in wherever 
missing hills occur. In this manner we have se- 
sured as high as two tons of pumpkins to the 
acre without in the least injuring the crop of 
corn, provided the season proved favorable. In 
fact, the shading of the ground between the corn 
rows by the wide leaves of the pumpkin vines 
serves to help conserve the moisture when it 
is most needed and the corn is often the better 
for the association of the vines. It is safer, 
however, to plant pumpkins by themselves. 

Pumpkins serve the flock in two ways: first, 



SUMMER CARE AND MANAGEMENT. 181 

as a direct and healthful food of considerable 
nutritive value and yet never dangerous from 
excessive richness, and next from the direct me- 
dicinal value of the seeds. Pumpkin seeds are 
among the best vermifuges known. They 
should never be removed from the pumpkins but 
fed all together, and if fed in considerable 
amounts, the direct and immediate improve- 
ment in the flock will be very apparent. Tape- 
worms have never troubled the writer's flock 
in the least and no other reason can be attrib- 
uted than the annual liberal pumpkin feeding. 

The way to feed pumpkins is to strew them 
about the pasture without cutting them open at 
all, or at least cutting only a few of them. If 
many are cut the sheep eat only the soft inside 
parts at first, with the seeds, and might in this 
way get too many seeds for their good, whereas 
when they must gnaw a way into the pumpkin 
they will eat it up clean before attacking an- 
other. The pumpkins keep better to be scat- 
tered over the field than to be piled in heaps, at 
least before frost strikes them. 

The secret in growing pumpkins is, first, to 
have the land rich, then to plant a great sur- 
plus of seeds. The striped-cucumber beetle rev- 
els on pumpkin leaves, and if not enough are 
planted for him and you also he will reap the 
entire harvest at an early date. They may be 
thinned after beginning to vine. 

It is particularly desirable to have the ewe 
flock thriving and increasing in flesh at time 
of breeding. Not only will the lambs con- 
ceived at such a time be of superior vigor but 



182 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

there will be a larger number of twins among 
them. 

CARE OF THE FEET. 

When the sheep are turned to pasture in the 
spring their feet should be carefully trimmed 
and shortened. It is easier to do this, if they 
are permitted to go in the wet grass for a day 
or two and are taken in while their hoofs are yet 
soft. They will at such a time cut like cheese, 
whereas if they are trimmed when dry they will 
be very horny in texture. 

Nature evidently intended the sheep for 
climbing over very rocky soil where the feet 
would be subjected to rapid wear. It is prob- 
able, too, that in selecting individuals for their 
superior wool growth the horn growth of the 
feet has kept apace with the wool growth in 
some degree, since there is a relationship be- 
tween horn growth and wool. In any event it is 
very unlikely that with the amount of travel 
needed on arable farms the sheep will sufficient- 
ly wear down their feet to relieve the shepherd 
of need to trim them twice a year, and with some 
breeds more often. 

Unless the feet are kept trimmed they will 
become deformed and the sheep will stand on 
one side of the foot, with the ankle turned over, 
giving doubtless some pain and a very awkward 
look. 

The aim of trimming should be to keep the 
feet as short as possible, not to cut to the 
quick, so that they may be able to stand natur- 
ally and squarely upon them. It is probable 
that lack of trimming is in some degree re- 



SUMMER CARE AND MANAGEMENT. 183 

sponsible for disease of the feet. Diseases may 
occur, unfortunately, even in feet that have been 
well trimmed, and the subject must have at- 
tention. 

rOOT-EOT AND FOOT-SCALD. 

The shepherd commonly makes a distinction 
between a simple contagious affection of the 
foot called foot-scald and the real and very 
serious disease, also contagious, called foot- 
rot. There seems reason to believe that there 
is a form of foot-scald that rapidly goes 
through a flock yet readily yields to treatment 
that is distinct from the more severe and less 
easily eradicated foot-rot. 

It is the belief of the writer, however, that 
quite often the shepherd hides his genuine foot- 
rot behind the more harmless appellation. 

There is, however, an inflammation of the 
skin between the claws of the foot that does not 
extend beneath the horny covering of the foot 
itself and that yields quite readily to a simple 
treatment of putting the sheep upon a dry foot- 
ing, cleansing from filth and an application of 
some coal tar dip or carbolic acid. 

When the disease has penetrated beneath the 
shell of the foot and there is found there a wa- 
tery, evil-smelling exudation it is genuine foot- 
rot and should have immediate and thorough 
treatment, with preventive measures to pre- 
clude its spreading to the rest of the flock. 

First, it is necessary to pare away all the 
horn that hides the diseased surface. The dis- 
ease being one of germ origin, there is no hope 



184 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

of cure except through the complete destruction 
of the germs, and they must therefore be uncov- 
ered from their hiding. A sharp knife in the 
hands of a careful and thorough man is a kind 
thing to the afflicted sheep, even though it may 
cause some temporary pain. 

When once the diseased surface is laid bare 
it is only necessary to wet it well with a strong 
solution of blue vitriol (sulphate of copper), or 
butter of antimony, to bind it up if much horn 
has been cut away and keep the sheep on dry 
footing for a time. 

It is necessary, however, to prevent the 
spread of the disease through the flock. To do 
this all feet should be carefully trimmed and 
any sore ones given individual treatment. 
Then a trough 6" wide in the bottom, 12" wide 
at the top, 12" deep and about 10' long should be 
made of three two-inch planks. This must be 
enclosed with hurdles so that the sheep may be 
compelled to pass through it. The writer has 
fastened such a trough at the door of the sheep 
barn so that in order to ]:)ass out the flock must 
pass through the trough. Then it was only 
necessary to confine the flock for a time and they 
would of their own accord go out, each one 
walking through the trough. 

This treatment was given daily for a week_ 
or so, as it took little of the shepherd's time and 
was inexpensive. By this means foot disord- 
ers were eradicated from the flock after having 
caused much trouble. 

In the trough was placed a simple lime white- 
wash, in which was sufficient blue vitriol to give 



SUMMER CARE AND MANAGEMENT. 185 

it a blue color. This effectually prevented the 
spread of the disease and cured many cases in 
their incipiency. 

In no other business is it more true that ''a 
stitch in time saves nine" than in the care of 
sheep. 

It is unfortunate that the average American 
shepherd sells out when foot disease strikes 
his flock when he can so easily control and erad- 
icate the disease. Troubles must come in all 
endeavors, so when one has been suffered and 
the remedy therefor found it is not a reason for 
abandonment of enterprise but the more reason 
for continuance, rather than to ''fly to troubles 
we know not of." 

ADVENT OF LATE LAMBS. 

There are situations where it is desirable that 
lambing should be delayed until grass comes. 
When forage and grain are scarce and the 
means not at hand to well nourish the ewe after 
lambing until grass comes, when indeed grass is 
the chief asset of the shepherd it is wise to time 
the lambing so that the lambs will come at about 
the same time as the grass. Indeed a lamb 
dropped then will make a far better growth than 
one dropped weeks earlier from a poorly-nour- 
ished ewe half starved by its mother because 
she cannot give it much milk before she herself 
has been fed. Nor will such a ewe respond in 
her milk flow to green grass as she would did 
her lamb come after grass has started anew in 
her veins a vigorous coursing of the vital fluid. 

It is most wise, however, to see to it that 



186 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

these late lambing ewes are strengthened by 
some supplementary feeding before the lambs 
appear. A little grain fed then will repay its 
cost several times, for the well-nourished ewe 
goes easily through the pains of lambing and 
loves well her offspring if she has milk for it 
inside her udder. 

The shepherd who herds on grass may have 
the lamb crop all born within a very few days. 
They will be anxious days while they last, but 
the agony is soon over, seeing that this is Na- 
ture's time set for this miracle to take place, 
and the ewes naturally conceive readily to 
lamb then. Great watchfulness is necessary 
and there are certain helps that may be men- 
tioned. 

THE LAMBING TENT. 

Many Western sheep owners use small shel- 
ter tents about -42 inches square, supported by 
curved iron rods, to shelter the ewe and her lamb 
from storm. These tents are readily carried 
and set over the ewe any where. They serve to 
keep her and her offspring together while they 
are becoming acquainted and by turning the 
chilling rain save many lambs that would other- 
wise be lost. As these tents are inexpensive and 
can readily be made by the shepherd himself 
some of them should be at hand when an early 
lambing on grass is planned. 

It is desirable to scatter the flock as much as 
possible at this time, for then the ewes are the 
more readily kept track of and their lambs are 
not so often lost through mixing and straying 



SUMMER CARE AND MANAGEMENT. 



187 



from their mothers. This latter is particularly 
dangerous in case of twins, seeing that the ewe 
is often content if she has one lamb with her 
and looks for the other very little. 





f^^^^^^m^lK£^^.^j^M^M£l^l^M 



IMPORTED HAMPSHIRE RAM LAMBS. 

There are exceptions to this rule however. 
The writer has known Dorset ewes that seemed 
to have perfect memories and a knowledge of 
nunibers and would seek as earnestly for a 
strayed twin as though it were a single lost 
lamb. 




188 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

Seeing that the ewes at this time must give 
their attention to tlieir lambs and cannot wan- 
der wide in search of food, it is a good plan to 
lamb them on some specially good piece of grass. 
xVnd to aid in keeping them quiet the shepherd 
may carry with him oats, giving a handful to 
the ewe wherever he finds her. It is hardly 
probable that a larger per cent of lambs will be 
saved by lambing on grass than by lambing 
earlier, nor will they ever be so good as early 
Jambs pushed from the start, but they may be 
produced with comparatively little trouble and 
in some situations are the only ones that it is 
practicable to produce. 

No lambs should be permitted to be born later 
than the first of May, except in a high mountain- 
ous region where grass starts late and cool 
summer weather prevails. Lambs born in May, 
June or July seldom amount to much, owing no 
doubt to the fact that they are almost sure to 
become infested with parasites. Between April 
and September, then, there should be no lamb- 
ing done. liather than to lamb out of season the 
ewe should be allowed to go over open and she 
may be bred in the spring for fall lambs. 

FALL LAMBS. 

The best sheep are developed from fall-born 
lambs. They may begin to come in September. 
From this time on till winter the conditions are 
excellent for their growth and development. 
The weather then is favorable, food is abundant, 
the ewes are easily made to milk largely and 



SUMMER CARE AND MANAGEMENT. 189 

instead of the weather becoming warmer and 
more oppressive it becomes steadily more and 
more stimulating to the lambs. And, best of 
all, there is little danger of parasites at this 
time. The fall lambs come out in spring half 
matured and able to go safely and healthfully 
through the trials of summer. Or if they are 
sold at the market they bring long prices in 
winter time. It is not altogether easy to get 
ewes to lamb in the fall. Certain breeds refuse 
altogether to do this, but with some of the Me- 
rinos and their grades and the Dorsets and Dor- 
set grades it is not so difficult of accomplish- 
ment. To get the ewes to breed in spring the 
conditions of fall must be complied with as 
nearly as possible. 

First, the ewes must have their lambs of the 
previous crop born as early as possible so that 
they may be weaned and new strength gained 
from a term of rest. 

Next, they must be sufficiently well fed so 
that they will feel an ascending current of 
health throughout their veins. 

They must have the ram turned with them be- 
fore warm weather comes on. April and May 
are the months in which to breed ewes for fall 
lambs. 

The rams must not as a usual thing be per- 
mitted to run continually with the ewes at this 
time. If they do they themselves soon acqui- 
esce in the idea that it is an unnatural time 
for breeding. It is wise if the ram can be kept 
up and turned with the flock for only an hour 
or two each day, as described in earlier pages 



190 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

of this work. Or two rams may be used, their 
rivalry inciting them to extra exertion. 

There is no doubt whatever that the breeding 
instinct is in part a result of mental processes 
that may be stimulated by suggestion. This is 
almost as true of the sheep as it is of higher 
races of animals. The ram that persistently 
courts the ewe may after a time so divert (by 
his suggestion) blood to her reproductive organs 
as to cause her to come in heat and conceive at 
a time when naturally these organs would be in 
a dormant condition. 

If the shepherd does not care to risk the un- 
certain mental influence of the ram he may 
practice holding the ewe and compelling her to 
accept the attention of the ram once. This of- 
ten supplies stimulation enough to cause her to 
come naturally in heat and to conceive at the 
later service. 

Fall-born lambs in America have developed 
into as fine sheep as ever were produced in 
England. This is true of few lambs born in 
spring, no matter how skillfully they have been 
treated. Fall-born ram lambs make fine 
strong fellows when they are yearlings and 
ready to go into service. 



CHAPTER VII 



WASHING, SHEARING AND MAEKING. 

The washing of sheep to remove the surplus 
oil in the wool was once a universal practice. 
It was one of those old practices, like putting 
^'redding" on the fleeces to make the sheep 
look attractive (?) that are hard to account 
for. The washing did not prepare the wool for 
manufacture nor render it more easily scoured 
by him. It did, however, render it lighter, and 
therefore the buyers found washing to their ad- 
vantage. 

At the present time few sheep, comparative- 
ly speaking, are washed before shearing. It 
may, however, be profitable in some localities 
where buyers discriminate sharply against un- 
washed wool to continue to put the sheep 
through the water as of old. 

If the sheep owner can find a buyer who 
really knows his business and buys honestly, 
he will get as much for his fleeces unwashed as 
washed, and can therefore save himself the dis- 
agreeable task and the flock the injury that such 
a shock is bound to inflict. 

One serious disadvantage of washing is that 
it can not be done safely and comfortably until 
the advent of warm weather, whereas the flock 

(191) 



192 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

should be shorn much before that time, unless it 
be a hill flock running without shelter. 

The writer, living on the fortieth parallel, 
usually shears his ewe flock tlie first week in 
April and sometimes the last week in March. 

There are several advantages of this early 
shearing. About this time ewes that have been 
well fed often experience a little loosening of the 
wool, as though it were time to shed it off, and 
locks will be lost, particularly about the neck. 

Then the advent of warm days causes a feel- 
ing of languor and the sheep do not eat and 
thrive as has . been their wont. And again, 
there are many showers in April and the flock 
with fleeces on literally ''has not sense enough 
to come in out of the rain" and the fleeces be- 
come drenched and heavy. Then they keep 
their lambs out in the rain, whereas if they were 
shorn they would flee to their sheds as soon as 
the first drops struck them. 

Any one who has once tried this early shear- 
ing will continue it. Should the flock be poorly 
fed, however, and unsheltered, the fleeces should 
be left on until the middle of May. 

The amount of wool taken off in a period of 
years will probably be nearly the same whether 
shorn in April, May or June, with the probabil- 
ity that the early-shorn sheep through their 
greater vigor and healthfulness may shear the 
most. 

For washing sheep a considerable body of 
water is required. It is usual to take advan- 
tage of a creek or natural pool. The sheep 
are immersed, the wool squeezed a little be- 



WASHING, SHEARING AND MARKING. 193 

tween the hands and they are permitted to go 
out and drain themselves on the bank. No 
soap is usedj as the oil of the wool is itself read- 
ily dissolved in water, and it is this oil only that 
is sought to be removed. It is usual to allow 
ten days or two weeks to elapse after washing 
before the sheep are shorn ; and, in fact, it is not 
easy to shear them as soon as they are dry ow- 
ing to a diflicutly in penetrating the wool with 
the shears until more oil has been secreted in 
the wool. 

WASHING AND SHEARING. 

The dipping tank can be used for washing 
sheep, but not unless there can in some way be 
secured a continuous stream of water to flow 
through it. The sheep should not drain back 
into the tank in case it is used. It is to be 
hoped that this custom of washing will soon be 
one of ancient history wherever sheep are 
grown. 

Some sheep owners have their fleeces tub- 
washed after being taken from the sheep 's back. 
This is not difficult to do, only that the drying 
is slow and it ought not to be necessary. 

SHEARING. 

The shearing of sheep is an art not to be im- 
mediately learned by the novice. It requires 
several seasons' practice to make an expert 
shearer of a man. There is, unfortunately, a 
scarcity of good shearers in all our Eastern 
states. It is a trade that any vigorous young 
man may learn with sure expectation of making 
good wages for some weeks each season. A 



194 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

good shearer will shear from 45 to 100 sheep in 
a day, using common hand shears. He will get 
for his service from 4 to 10 cents each, perliaps 
6 cents being the average price. 

The shearing place should be in some light, 
airy part of the barn. A clean platform on 
which to work is necessary. If nothing else is 
available, since sheep barns have usually the 
natural earth for floor, a spare barn door may 
be taken from its hangings and laid down for 
temporary use. A small pen close by holds 
enough sheep in readiness to keep the shearer 
busy for some hours. 

In back regions it is customary to tie the legs 
of the sheep, place it on a low platform or box 
and set two men, or one man and a boy at work 
cutting off the fleece. This is a childish and 
unskilled method that should not be imitated. 

The sheep is a peculiar animal, directly sen- 
sitive to touch. Tie the legs, or even touch 
them, it responds by struggling to be free. 
Turn it so that it can not get its feet to the 
ground and its struggles cease, as though it 
knew the hopelessness of struggling. 

Following this thought, if one attempts to 
hold a horned sheep by the horns it continues to 
struggle and can not seem to understand why it 
is not free. It can not feel the press of the hand 
upon the horn. Hold the same sheep by a touch 
under the chin and if it has had a trifle of train- 
ing it, feeling your hand, yields and stands 
dutifully. 

The shearer then, without tying the feet, 
turns the sheep upon its rump, with its head 



WASHING, SHEARING AND MARKING. 195 

and shoulders resting against him, supported 
by the left arm and with the shears in the right 
hand ojjens the wool, usually on the right shoul- 
der, and proceeds to clip it away, keeping it as 
much as possible in one piece. That is, he 
strips it away easily and gently as he would re- 
move a coat. It is essential that he so bend the 
sheep's body that the skin will be at all times 
tight. If this is done it is easy to cut the wool 
closely and there is little danger of cutting the 
skin. 

When the wool is removed all very dirty 
pieces should be separated from it and never 
tied up with the fleece. There is need of hon- 
esty in tying wool and nothing but wool should 
go inside a fleece. The fleece is rolled with the 
belly and loose ends inside, the cut fibers out. 
It is tied, not too tightly, with special wool twine 
wrajDped twice or at most three times around. 

The use of binder twine or any but special 
wool twine greatly injures the wool, as the 
small bits of fiber get in it and not taking dyes 
must be picked out by hand. This occasions a 
loss of sometimes as much as 5 cents per pound 
which must eventually come from the producer, 
since manufacturers learn what sort of stuff is 
to be expected from some regions and bid for it 
accordingly. 

There is no need of a box or wool table for 
tying a very compact bundle since buyers pre- 
fer the ordinary, rather loosely tied fleeces. 

SHEARING MACHINES. 

The use of machines has now become quite 



196 



SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 



common in shearing sheep and they are suf- 
ficiently well perfected so that they do their 
work with little trouble from breakage. It is 
far easier to learn to shear sheep with machine 
than by hand, though old shearers prefer the 
hand shears and can shear as many sheep in the 




HAND-SHEARING MACHINE. 

old-fashioned way as with the machine. Not so, 
however, with the novice ; he will shear twice as 
many with the machine as he will with hand 
shears. 

Then the work is far better done with the ma- 
chine. There are no cuts from shears and the 



WASHING, SHEARING AND MARKING. 197 

fleeces are taken off closely and evenly. There 
need be made no second cuts, which cause short 
fibers, little better than shoddy. 

The machine shears in careful hands will cut 
in two every tick and leave the sheep clean of 
that vermin. 

Against its use is the cost of the machine, 
about $15.00 for a hand machine, and the cost 
of repairs. If well oiled and cared for, how- 
ever, it will last for many seasons with occa- 
sional renewal of cutting parts. 

Then there is needed a boy to turn the crank, 
so that its use requires two persons to shear a 
sheep. As the boy is unskilled and may usu- 
ally be had for a small sum this is not import- 
ant. Altogether the writer advises the man 
who has not available skilled shearers of the 
old-fashioned type and does the shearing him- 
self to use the machine. If he must hire shear- 
ers he had better let them furnish their own 
tools. 

There are power machines for large plants. 
These are operated very successfully by gaso- 
line engines and there are small power ma- 
chines with two or more sets of shears. These 
are entirely practical but it is not usually profit- 
able to install a power plant for fewer than 
1,000 sheep. 

AVhen sheep are to go to market after being 
shorn the machine is a saving since it takes off 
more wool than hand shears can. The saving 
is from 2 to 8 ounces. A saving of 4 ounces, or 
1/4 pound, would pay the cost of shearing. All 
sorts of sheep are shorn by machines, though 



198 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

they work especially well on Downs, Long- 
Wools and Dorsets. They are difficult to oper- 
ate on Western lambs that have been dipped 
and placed on feed in winter, owing to the pe- 
culiar condition of the wool which seems to be 
affected by the shock of transportation and dip- 
ping and to be dead at that point and conse- 
quently hard to get shears into. . 

A fat sheep nicely shorn with the machine 
shears is a very attractive object and appears 
fatter than when shorn by hand. 

The shearing machine should not be used in 
midsummer, or if it is it should not be set to 
run very close else there will not be enough 
wool left on to protect the sheep from flies and 
sunburn and it will suffer severely before the 
wool has grown out again. 

It is in some situations a good plan to shear 
a flock of ewes twice a year, once very early, 
say in late March, and again in August.^ The 
wool will not be quite so valuable, for it will 
be shorter, but the relief to the sheep in get- 
ting rid of its warm coat at this sultry time is 
remarkable and it will thrive far better than 
unshorn, lambing stronger if it is to drop fall 
or early winter lambs and conceiving earlier if 
it is not yet bred. The writer has practiced 
this and has not had to take more than one cent 
per pound less for his short wool, which loss is 
not worth mentioning when the advantage to 
the flock is considered. 

It is a custom of some shepherds and feeders 
to shear sheep and lambs before placing them 
on feed in the fall and early winter. 



WASHING, SHEARING AND MARKING. 201 

There is little advantage in this. It forces 
and crowds them close together and they do not 
gain any better. 

The one advantage is that it is easier to free 
them from ticks after they are shorn and if they 
are dipped less fluid is required. 

MAKKING. 

When sheep go to pasture it is well to have 
a mark upon them so that in case they acci- 
dentally become mixed with other sheep they 
may be known. 

A large letter made of wood, with a handle 
to it, is used, some thick paint serving for ink. 
Linseed oil and lampblack make a durable mark, 
plainly seen. 

Permanent marking is done by splitting, crop- 
ping or notching the ears. This is the univer- 
sal custom on Western ranges, but such dis- 
figurement is seldom practiced in the Eastern 
states. There are metal labels that are in- 
serted in the ears ; these bear the name of the 
owners, or numbers, or the numbers assigned to 
registered sheep by the breed secretaries. 

There are various forms of these metal ear 
tags. None of them is absolutely sure to remain 
in the ear. The difficulty is that the ears be- 
come sore and pus formation eats away so much 
of the tissue that the labels drop out or they 
are caught and torn out by some branch or nail. 
They may remain in place for years and the7y' 
may become lost in a short time. There is a 
right and a wrong way to put these metal tags 
in. 



202 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

The right way is to use a punch, cutting out 
an oval bit of the ear tissue and to make the 
hole some days before the label is inserted, giv- 
ing the ear time to heal in the meantime. 

Then the hole must be so carefully gauged 
that the label will not compress the ear, yet will 
fit snugly and present little of projection to 
catch and cause it to be torn out. If this course 
is taken most of the labels will remain in place. 

THE TATTOO MAKK. 

The best method of permanently marking a 
sheep is by the tattoo mark. This is especially 
applicable to sheep with light-colored ears, 
though it is used on some of the Down breeds. 

The tattoo properly put in is absolutely per- 
manent It does not annoy the sheep and once 
put in is a sure record as long as the animal 
lives. 

There are sets of tattooing instruments sold 
by dealers in shepherds' supplies. These con- 
sist of a frame with handles like pinchers in 
which are set removable letters and numbers. 
These letters and numbers have a great num- 
ber of sharp points, forming the characters, 
and the handles when closed cause these points 
to prick the required characters. 

India ink is the pigment used and when 
pressed into these minute wounds remains 
there, leaving an indelible black tracing. There 
is danger of the careless or inexperienced oper- 
ator making failure with this tattooing outfit, 
for certain things are essential. The levers 
must be so adjusted that when closed the points 



WASHING, SHEARING AND MARKING. 203 

will prick evenly the required characters in a 
thick sheet of paper or cardboard. If any do 
not make their mark the instrument is out of 
adjustment or the letters worn out. These 
points rust if not kept oiled when not in usee 

Then in placing in the letters or figures one 
must be sure that he has them in right. They are 
like type, reversed, so that it is puzzling at first 
to the operator to use them and it is well to test 
them on a bit of cardboard before using them 
on the sheep. After once the mark is in the ear 
there is no erasing it. 

Then there should be used a great abundance 
of the india ink, smearing as much on the points 
as possible and afterward rubbing more in the 
ear with the finger. If once the pricks are made 
in the ear and the ink rubbed in them the deed 
is done and will endure. 

In England there are men who make a busi- 
ness of marking sheep with the tattoo mark. 
It is the official marking of a number of breeds 
and the Secretary often attends in person to the 
marking. It is the most desirable mark for 
any pure-bred sheep that is to be retained as a 
breeder, though it is hardly necessary to use 
this mark on stock sheep that are soon to be fat- 
tened. It may, however, save much dispute if 
all stock ewes have their owner's mark, seeing 
that they may become mixed on pasture. 

MARKING PURE-BRED LAMBS. \" 

When lambs that are pure-bred are to be 
registered it is essential that the shepherd so 
mark them at an early age as to identify them 



204 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

later according to their parentage. This is by 
no means an easy task. A very small lamb 
can not safely carry a mark in its ear and there 
is a little trouble later on in discovering which 
ewes are the mothers of the lambs. 

The writer has found a good plan to be to 
let them run until they are well grown, but 
still sucking, then separate them from their 
mothers some morning and keep them apart 
until they are eager for association with their 
dams. Then the lambs may be caught one at 
a time, and in one ear a tattoo number be put. 
This should be in the opposite ear from where 
the permanent number is to go. These num- 
bers may begin each year at No. 1, running up 
as high as necessary. 

Having put the number in the lamb's ear and 
entered it in a note book it is placed with the 
ewes, where it soon singles out its mother and 
while sucking she is caught and her number 
noted and entered opposite that of the lamb. A 
name may be given the lamb at the same time, 
though individual names except for exception- 
ally good lambs are hardly worth while. It is 
easier and as well to designate them simply by 
numbers, identifying them with the name of the 
breeders or the farm, as ''Jones' 99" or 
^'Woodland 174." 

Of course these permanent numbers must be 
consecutive from year to year else the Secre- 
tary would find duplicates in his records. 

After the lambs have been weaned and are 
sufficiently developed to indicate which are 
worth permanent record their records are sent 



WASHING, SHEARING AND MARKING. 205 

to the breed Secretary and he records them and 
sends with their certificates the Association 
number, which must be placed in the ear left 
blank for that purpose. 

Care must be taken not to make confusion by 
using occasionally the wrong ear, and it is well 
to use numbers of different size for this first 
marking. If they are a trifle larger than the 
permanent numbers it is well, seeing that the 
ear will grow, and if they were made a little 
smaller they would in time become of the same 
size as the ones later put in. 

The writer is of the opinion that shepherds 
are usually very careless in assigning mothers 
to lambs for record and guess more than they 
should. 

The English system is to record the individ- 
ual rams and the ewes by flocks only. Seeing 
that they have achieved glorious results in the 
development of breeds by their course it would 
seem presumptions for the American breeders 
to claim superiority of method. The writer 
unhesitatingly declares that the English sys- 
tem should be adopted on this side of the water 
and sees but one objection to it, that, perhaps, 
a fatal one, that in recording by flocks men are 
not compelled to pay much for the support of 
the breed association. In England this is done 
largely by subscription and liberal annual dues : 
here by charging 50c each for recording indi- 
vidual sheep. The English system would re- 
lieve the secretaries of a vast amount of drudg- 
ery that seems to have accomplished very in- 
significant results. 



CHAPTER Vlll. 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN THE WESTERN 
STATES. 

NEW MEXICO. 

The management of flocks upon the great 
ranges of the West varies considerably accord- 
ing to the climate and topography of the 
country and according to the character of the 
men engaged in the industry. Probably the 
oldest sheep industry in the United States was 
founded in New Mexico by the early Mexican 
colonists of Spanish and Indian origin. There 
are in New Mexico vast plains ranging from 
4,000 to 8,000 feet in altitude, interspersed with 
mountains and canyons. These plains are gen- 
erally covered with a rather thick, short grass 
of considerable nutritive value. The climate is 
dry and moderately cool, especially at night. 

The days are almost uniformly sunny and 
warm. 

The native Mexican sheep found there in its 
purity is becoming more and more uncommon, 
owing to the steady introduction of Merino 
blood. There has also been introduced here 
more or less blood from the English breeds but 
as a rule the Merino has been found to cross 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 207 

better and to withstand the conditions better 
than the mutton breeds. 

Management on most of these Mexican 
ranches is extremely simple. Native Mexican 
sheep owners often use corrals (small yards 
built of cedar or pinon posts set close in the 
ground) in which the flocks (called ''herds" 
throughout the West) are confined at night. 
This secures them from loss from coyotes or 
mountain lions. The corralling is however, a 
serious injury to the sheep since they must 
travel some distance to and from the enclosure 
and what is worse must await the pleasure of 
the herder before they can go forth to graze 
in the morning. 

CHARACTER OF MEXICAN SHEEP. 

The native Mexican sheep is indeed a ''sorry" 
animal, having few characteristics that we are 
wont to associate with good form or character. 
It has a thin neck and feeble look, a curving 
back, round, contracted belly, thin legs and 
rather woe-begone countenance. The wool is 
coarse and scanty, the bellies and legs being 
often bare. And yet the Mexican sheep is not 
without its peculiar virtues. 

It is fairly prolific and the lambs are hardy. 
It is a great traveler and can subsist upon 
scanty and dry forage. When worst comes to 
worst and in the lower country along the Rio 
Grande, far down in Texas and across the river 
in old Mexico rain does not fall and all herbage 
is dried up and turned to dust, the humble 
Mexican still subsists upon the tender ends of 



208 



SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 



twigs, uj)on oactus joints, upon the withered 
grass growing between the cactus bunches and 
upon dry weeds that have blown by the wind 
across the plains. They may become very much 
emaciated but seldom perish. The Mexican 
ewe when mated with a good Merino ram pro- 







n 


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YEARLING OXFORD RAM 



duces an offspring far superior to herself and 
with a second cross upon this foundation very 
serviceable flocks are established. Indeed a very 
great number of flocks throughout New Mexico, 
Colorado, Arizona, Utah and California have 
been bred up from a Mexican basis. 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 209 

After the infusion of Merino blood the use of 
some of the mutton breeds produces an admir- 
able lamb, sprightly, a good feeder, healthy and 
rugged. There will occur, however, a good 
many cases of reversion to type, when the Mexi- 
can character will crop out, modified, but not 
destroyed by the foreign bloods. 

THE '^GOOD OLD TIMES ^^ IN NEW MEXICO. 

Under the old fashioned regime in New Mex- 
ico not much improvement of the herds was pos- 
sible. There was no provision for winter feed- 
ing and there often occurred a somewhat long 
period of semi-starvation. Water was not 
readily accessible and often of execrable qual- 
ity, being supplied by shallow pools or lakes that 
became incredibly foul and dangerous to drink 
from. There is now a considerable number of 
men engaged in sheep growing under better 
conditions. Near the irrigable valleys vast 
amounts of alfalfa are grown and winter feed- 
ing is practiced to some extent. Better rams 
are used than formerly, the Rambouillet having 
been used to a considerable extent, together 
with Delaines and other Merinos. In some places 
Shropshire and even Cotswold blood has been 
introduced. Native Mexican sheep owners 
have in many instances given way to American 
owners and in other instances have themselves 
learned better methods. A peculiar industry 
of this region, especially down along the Pecos 
river is the lambing of ewes in the alfalfa fields 
in March or earlier, and growing the lambs rap- 



210 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

idly with grain and green alfalfa for early 
marketing in May and June. 

MODERN MANAGEMENT. 

A herd may contain from 500 to 3,000 sheep. 
Perhaps 2,000 would be considered a good sized 
but workable herd in New Mexico. At lambing 
time the ewe band is divided, not more than 
1,000 being together. Good shepherds seldom 
use the corral at night, since its use is almost 
certain to bring a steady deterioration in a 
good flock and prevent the improvement of a 
bad one. Instead of the corral the sheep are 
driven at evening time near to the tent of the 
herder and watched for a little time when they 
finally lie down in a compact body. They are 
then said to be ''bedded down" and will remain 
there quietly until morning unless the moon 
happens to be very bright, or something occurs 
to frighten them. 

It is usual to have bells upon a number of the 
sheep. The herder in his tent close at hand 
hears the jingle of the bells if the sheep start to 
move off and goes around them or sends his dog. 
Soon the habit is formed with great fixity of 
'' bedding down" regularly close to their herder 
and they do not often try to stray without 
serious provocation 

Very early in the morning the herd awakens 
and unless there is a storm threatening, of 
which they have instinctive fore knowledge, 
the}^ will go out to graze. The shepherd, or 
*^ sheep herder" as he is often called, directs 
them to the one wav or the other according to 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 213 

the conditions of the range, and swallowing his 
rather hastily prepared breakfast sets out after 
them to see that they do not scatter too wide 
or go too far. At noon he may return to his 
tent and prepare his midday meal and perhaps 
the flock will lie quiescent for some hours if 
feed is fairly abundant and there is shade of 
trees or rocks. 

As evening approaches he gathers them to- 
gether and follows them to tlieir bed ground 
again and thus has closed the labor of the day. 
The work is not usually laborious but it calls 
for faithfulness and considerable patience and 
to be a really first-class ''sheep herder" re- 
quires a deep insight into the ways of sheep and 
of all wild Nature as well. 

DISEASES OF THE EANGE. ' 

SheeiD in this region are healthy except for 
two principal troubles; scab, which was once 
almost universal, and stomach worms or ''lom- 
briz" which are occasionally destructive to 
lambs. Scab is very difficult to eradicate on 
ranches where corrals are used continuously 
and where flocks stray about and cross each 
other's paths and especially if they alternately 
use certain corrals. Of recent years, however, 
many herds have been made completely clean 
of scab and there is hope that all may be rid 
of it in the near future. 

That scab is not a necessary adjunct of range 
sheep the writer has amply proved, having 
completely eradicated it from his own herds 
when engaged in ranching in Utah. 



214 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

Stomach worms, (Strongyius contortus) in- 
fect flocks that drink from shallow pools where 
to avoid the tilth the sheep and lambs wade 
out till the water comes to their bellies, deposit- 
ing there more germs of whatever parasite they 
may harbor. There would be no stomach 
worms in these regions if sheep watered at 
clean drinking places, or at least the number 
would be greatly restricted. 

MEXICAN LAMBS AS FEEDERS. 

Mexican lambs have been favorites among 
Colorado feeders ever since they commenced 
their feeding operations in that region. They 
have found their death losses comparatively 
low from the Mexican lambs and that with a 
given amount of feed they make good gains. 
When fat they sell well because they dress well, 
and their small, light carcasses are in favor 
with local retailers of mutton. They are doubt- 
less often palmed off on Eastern buyers as 
"spring lambs." Brought to Ohio the writer 
did not find them as profitable feeders as lambs 
from Utah, Wyoming or Montana, making much 
smaller gains and shearing very light fleeces. 

Some of these Mexican ewe lambs (having 
one cross of Merino blood) were kept on an 
Ohio farm and bred to lamb. They did not by 
their performance indicate that they were de- 
sirable stock for Eastern conditions. The 
writer thinks the sooner the half wild "Mexi- 
can" blood is bred out of these sheep the bet- 
ter save for very hard conditions of drouth and 
thinly-grassed ranges. 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 215 
THE WANDERING HEEDS. 

In Utah, Nevada and parts of Colorado and 
in Idaho (with also a part of Arizona and Cali- 
fornia) a peculiar system of sheep ranching 
prevails. It might be called the nomadic, or 
trailing system, for the herds spend their smu- 
mers on the high mountain pastures, their 
springs and falls in intermediate regions and 
their winters in the low-lying parts, on the 
deserts and foothills. Some of the better cared- 
for flocks are fed during part of the winter or 
spring on alfalfa or other hay grown in the 
valleys. 

These trailing bands of sheep are in charge 
of herders each having in his care from 2,000 
to 3,000 except during lambing time, when he is 
given a smaller number and very often has 
help in addition. We may start with them in 
spring, when their journey begins from the 
desert toward the mountains. All winter they 
have lived on desert herbage and brush and 
snow has been largely their reliance for drink. 
When that is melted and the water holes are 
dried up the sheep must come out of the desert 
and head toward their mountain ranges. Very 
often these ranges are a hundred miles away 
and in rarer instances they are much more dis- 
tant. The herder moves the band each day by 
slow stages towards their destination, taking 
care to visit each promising spot along the way 
where perchance food may be found. This for- 
age may be of green grass quick grown from 
the melting snows and genial sun, which even 



216 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

in March shows a fervor unknown in Eastern 
lands, or it may be the young shoots of rabbit 
brush, willows and sage with an admixture of 
weeds. 

The herder usually has a wagon equipped 
with a canvas cover, stove and commissary. In 
this, his home, he is established and with it he 
journeys in a desultory fashion, searching right 
and left for subsistence for his flock. Tliere is 
a steadily intensifying spirit of opposition to 
the nomadic sheep men on the part of local set- 
tlers along streams and in the valleys of these 
mountain states, since the herds eat the grass 
that would naturally belong to settlers' horses 
and cows, and because they sometimes pollute 
streams that must serve as drinking water for 
the settlers and their animals. 

WAITING FOR GEASS TO COME. 

The herder can not hasten toward his cov- 
eted destination, for when by drouth he is driven 
from the desert the snow is yet covering his 
summer range, hence there may be a trying 
peiiod of journeying with occasionally very 
short feed. In fact journeying flocks not un- 
frequently camp on each other's bed grounds, 
one after the other in succession sometimes to 
the number of half a dozen. The last comers 
find little to eat save the roots of the grass. 

This habit of roving prevents the sheep men 
from having any very great regard for the 
preservation of the range and makes it difficult 
for them to preserve it even should they desire 
so to do. In truth there are regions where 
nomadic sheep have changed a once well grassed 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 217 

country into one almost bare of grass and con- 
taining no forage other than comparatively 
worthless brush and weeds. 

Lambing is usually delayed until the flocks 
are established upon their summer range, since 
it is difficult to move ewes with young lambs 
without great loss. It is a happy moment when 
after very great trials and toil the flock reaches 




BLACK-FACED SHEEP IN THE HILLS. 

the high mountain pastures, the snow is found 
to be gone and green grass abounds. Then 
there is long rest before distant journeying 
must begin again. The moves are of only a few 
miles each and camps may remain for days and 
sometimes for weeks without being moved. The 
weather upon these green mountain pastures 
is stimulating and delicious; there are lovely 
groves of aspens and cool pine woods intersper- 



218 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. ' 

sed with flower-decked grassy glades. The 
lambs are born here and start into vigorous life 
and growth, far exceeding that of lambs born 
on lower altitudes on the plains of New Mexico. 
From some of these mountain ranges come 
the best and fattest lambs that reach the mar- 
kets of Omaha, Kansas City and Chicago, be- 
ginning in August and continuing until cold 
weather. Idaho especially and Utah are noted 
for their fine lambs. 

THE BLOOD OF THE HERDS. 

The basis of the flocks of this region is Merino 
but there has been added a great deal of mutton 
blood, where the ability of the range to produce 
fine lambs has been recognized. The Cotswold 
has worked great changes in Utah and some ad- 
jacent territory. Shr op shires have been used 
in many places. Hampshires have been intro- 
duced also and upon good ranges and in the 
hands of generous men, able to give good care 
and liberal feeding, they have proved worthy. 

THE DIVISION OF THE RANGES. 

There is at present a general move upon the 
part of sheep owners in these mountain regions 
to get in some way possession of parts of their 
ranges. They seek ownership of the summer 
range, or of parts of the fall and spring ranges, 
and are establishing farms where forage may 
be cut and stored for winter use. There is a 
large body of good citizens engaged in the sheep 
industry in these regions and also unfortu- 
nately some of the most selfish and degraded 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WP^STERN STATES. 219 

of men. A nomadic sheep herd under the 
management of an ignorant, lawless and irres- 
ponsible man is a curse to any land over which 
it travels. It sheds off scab germs to infect 
other herds so unfortunate as to follow in its 
trail, it pollutes streams, devastates young for- 
ests and destroys the range by over pasturing. 
It will indeed be a happy day for all this region 
when the land is divided up owned or leased by 
the cattle and sheep owners and the era of de- 
struction of that beautiful region ends and re- 
construction begins again. It is a short-siglited 
policy of our National Government that per- 
mits ranges to be devastated and refuses leases 
that would tend to preserve them and thus en- 
rich all the community. 

MONTANA^ WYOMING AND THE DAKOTAS. 

These regions possess a distinct character 
and have a type of sheep husbandry of their 
own. They are characterized by very wide, 
well grassed plateaus or plains, somewhat desti- 
tute of trees or brush and sometimes devoid of 
hills, canyons or natural shelter. The climate 
is much milder than it would be in a similar lati- 
tude in the Eastern states and while very low 
temperatures are often reached in winter, some 
times with occasional blizzards, yet there are 
seldom deep or long-lying snows and the abund- 
ance of grass renders it easy for the flocks to 
find subsistence. The grasses on these plains 
seem not so fattening as upon the mountains 
of Utah and Idaho, but are more abundant than 
those of regions to the southward and produce a 



220 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

fine class of sheep. In this region are found 
the larger types of Merinos, with often an in- 
fusion of Cotswold or Lincoln or Leicester 
blood, while mutton-bred rams of all types are 
used to produce market lambs. Sheep do not 
permanently injure the grasses of this region 
and indeed when grazed with judgment, not to 
overstock, the range is often benefited. In fact, 
some progressive ranchmen, make it a practice 
to pasture cattle and sheep together and find 
that both thrive. 

PARASITIC INFECTION OF THE RANGES. 

There is sometimes in this region, particu- 
larly in the Dakotas, sufficient humidity to make 
it possible for internal parasites to propagate 
and diffuse themselves through the flocks. 
Grievous losses from stomach worms are re- 
ported during bad seasons and tape worms have 
worked havoc over much of the region. 

These losses, however, are far less serious 
than occur in the states east of the Missouri 
river. 

HAPPY FUTURE OF THE REGION. 

This whole region is destined to be, the author 
believes, one vast pastoral expanse, dotted with 
sheep herds, and given over very nearly, to the 
•exclusion of other animals, to the sheep. It is the 
one part of the United States having abundant 
grass, admirable climate and soil capable of 
growing almost any breed of sheep in perfec- 
tion and with little loss from parasitic infection. 

There is, too, the advantage of an intelligent 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 223 

and progressive people embarked in the sheep 
industry and they have already shown by their 
work in suppressing scab over large parts of 
this region what they can and will accomplish. 

These plains do not produce as early or as 
fat lambs as the mountains southwest of them 
but very superior feeding lambs come from 
their ranges. 

There was once small preparation made for 
winter feeding in this region. There is today a 
great deal of hay being put up, both of native 
and alfalfa sorts. When snow is deep ''snow 
plows" are used, which make bare strips along 
which the flocks feed. Sometimes corn is fed 
scattered on the ground. In some parts of this 
country the summer and winter ranges are dis- 
tinct, the flocks climbing into the mountains 
during the heated season and relieving the 
range of their presence; in other parts the 
mountains are too remote and the sheep use 
near by parts of the range for both summer and 
winter grazing. 

Except on farms in the East there is no other 
part of the United States where much increase 
in numbers of sheep kept can be made. Here 
double the numbers now kept, may be and some 
day doubtless will be kept when the cattle men 
turn sheep breeders. 

MANAGEMENT OF THE RANGE EAMS. 

The ''buck herd" is a necessary institution 
upon the range, and often a troublesome prop- 
osition it is. There are usually kept about 30 
rams to the thousand ewes, though some grow- 



224 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

ers use a larger number. Various methods are 
adopted to keep these rams between breeding 
seasons. They are sometimes pastured in a 
fenced pasture and corralled at night to keep 
them from coyotes. Sometimes they are herded 
where they are enough of them on a ranch to 
make a herd and he must indeed be an active 
and careful herder who will lose none of them, 
since as fall days come on their instinct leads 
them to roam in search of females. 

Often several ranches will combine their 
forces and put all the rams together in one herd. 
And others will allow them to run with the ewes 
during winter and spring, separating them in 
summer when there might be danger of too 
early matings. 

Sometimes it is possible to put the rams in a 
wether herd, though wether bands are not 
nearly so common as they once were and many 
ranchers keep none at all, selling off all wether 
lambs or at most keeping them only till year- 
lings past. 

WHERE THE RAMS COME FROM. 

The source of supply of range rams is prin- 
cipally from large growers of rams situated in 
various parts of the range country and in the 
valleys of California and Utah. Eastern Ore- 
gon produces thousands of magnificent rams 
mainly of Merino blood, approaching the E_am- 
bouillet type or purely of that blood. Califor- 
nia sends many high-class Merino rams to the 
ranges. Utah and Idaho grow Merino and 
Cotswold rams bv thousands with lesser num- 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 225 

bers of other mutton breeds. Wyoming grows 
Merinos, Cotswolds, Leicesters and Hamp- 
shires. 

Range-bred rams are most serviceable on the 
range, having learned how to live there and 
being more muscular and hardy than Eastern 
farm-grown sheep. There is, however, a steady 
stream of the best bred sires from Eastern stud 
flocks going to reinforce the blood of the moun- 
tain stud flocks. The day seems past when 
large numbers of Eastern farm-grown rams, 
will be used on common range herds since the 
Western rams are in fairly abundant supply 
and are more efficient. 

THE BEEEDING SEASON. 

On the range rams are turned in usually to 
bring the lambs in late May or June. It is dis- 
astrous to lamb down before the herd is settled 
on good grass and where it may remain for 
some weeks with little driving. There is not 
the objection to late lambing on the range that 
there is on the farm, since the danger of parasit- 
ic infection is escaped in the range flock. This 
is principally from two causes; first, that the 
soil is usually too dry to permit the germs to de- 
velop upon it, and second that the sheep are 
moved often and seldom return to graze over 
the same ground before an interval of weeks, 
months or a year. 

VIGOR OF EWES AND LAMBS. 

It is astonishing to see how little difficulty 
range ewes have in passing through the jDcrils 



226 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

of lambbirtli. There seems seldom a case of 
wrong presentation and often not one ewe is 
lost from a thousand at lambing time. 

Then the lambs seem endowed with remark- 
able vigor at birth and not one of a thousand 
but will get up and find its mother's maternal 
fount without aid from the shepherd. Indeed 
this is fortunate, seeing that he is generally re- 
mote from yards or fences, and to catch a range 
ewe is commonly a work of some difficulty. 

It is a lesson to the Eastern farmer to see the 
remarkable viability and vigor of these range- 
born lambs, being an illustration of Nature's 
way of management to promote vigor and re- 
production. 

THE BUSY SHEPHERD AT LAMBING TIME. 

A good shepherd will, however, be busy at 
lambing time, for there are many little things 
to occupy his attention then. One of the most 
essential is to observe the ewes with spoiled 
udders and those having imperfect udders, 
made so perhaj^s by careless shearers who cut 
off the ends of the teats. These lose their lambs 
and should be caught, examined and marked 
so plainly that they can never escape the eyes 
of the master, when next the flock passes the 
assorting chute. 

THE COYOTE. 

Then there is the coyote pest. The coyote is 
a small wolf, not much larger than a big fox, 
but having a voracious appetite for lambs. To 
combat covotes a number of methods are used, 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 227 

.and all fail if persisted in, since the coyote is 
one of the most cunning beasts of prey in the 
world. Strychnine placed in carcasses found 
dead kill a good many, but some coyotes learn 
to avoid strychnine. The watchful shepherd 
gets a chance to shoot one now and then. 
Occasionally a coyote may be trapped. And 
greyhounds, or rather special hounds bred for 
the purpose, having the conformation of the 







A SHEEP WAGON ON THE RANGE 

greyhounds with more size and better fighters, 
catch some of them. 

At lambing time, however, coyotes assemble, 
scenting a feast. Then the shepherd can not 
avoid letting his flock spread over quite an area 
of range since to crowd the ewes close would be 
sure to make many orphan lambs. It helps to 
build fires about at various points, as though 
there were numerous camp fires, and the wary 



228 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

beasts scenting danger, keep their distance. To 
hang out lanterns is a good practice, also. To 
patrol the flock almost ceaselessly with rifle in 
hand, firing it now and then is the method most 
effective, and this is usually adopted by careful 
shepherds. It is necessary at this time to have 
help, and two or three men may, if available, 
keep themselves usefully employed about the 
lambing flock. 

^^TKIMMING^' THE LAMBS. 

Lambing lasts usually only a week or two on 
the range, since the rams are not put in till late 
and the ewes soon come in heat and conceive. 

After the lambs have become strong they are 
earmarked, docked (unless they are to go to 
market, in which case their tails are sometimes 
left long), and castrated. 

They grow very rapidly if well born on good 
range. The shepherd has now some compensa- 
tion for his pains and anxieties. His duties 
are comparatively light, he has time to keep a 
neat camp, to hunt a little for grouse or deer, 
and the flock itself is a source of great pleasure, 
if he is more than an indifferent hireling. In 
the evenings when the ewes have assembled, 
perhaps on the slope of some ravine, the lambs 
will disengage themselves from the flock and 
withdrawing a little way will race up and down 
in mobs, a fuzzy flood, undulating over the 
ground. Again some belligerents will square 
off and fight mock fights, butting by twos and 
threes until one decides that too rough a sport. 
Again there will be a game of leap frog, or ^^fol- 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 229 

low your leader," and strings of lambs will 
race up over banks and rocks and jump stiff- 
legged down the other side. 

After a time some old ewe, feeling a pressure 
within her udder, will disengage herself from 
the rest and coming to the open will call anx- 
iously for her lamb. As though a miracle some 
lamb will stop, listen, cease to play and an- 




LINCOLN SHEARLINGS. 

swering with a bleat, will come scampering 
across the ravine to her to get his evening meal. 
Curiously enough the ewe, though she has 
seen him a thousand times, refuses to believe 
that he is her rightful offspring until she has 
applied her infallible test, her nose. Scent 
tells her it is her own darling child, and she 
tranquilly allows him to milk her dry. 



230 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

SHEARING ON THE RANGE. 

Shearing on the ranges occurs at different 
seasons, according to the conditions and charac- 
ter of the country. Usually in southern ranges 
it is before lambing; at railway stations where 
the wool is readily shipped away. If on the 
other hand, the ewes are shorn upon their sum- 
mer range, they may be shorn after lambing. 

The shearers are roving groups of men, as 
needs must be, possessed of iron muscles and 
great deftness of hand. A good shearer will 
average 100 sheep a day, for which he gets 
from seven to twelve cents per head. Nor must 
Eastern shearers console themselves that these 
men do exceptionally rough or careless work; 
they shear on the average, quite as well as the 
common shearers of the Eastern states. Nor 
are their sheep as easily shorn as the general 
run of farm sheep in the East. Many a careful 
man has laid the foundation of his fortune by 
shearing sheep on Western ranges. An old 
friend of the writer, now known and honored 
throughout all that mountain region and one of 
the largest sheep owners, began ranch life as a 
shearer on California ranges. He now owns 
probably 50,000 sheep of his own. There are 
now a good many plants where machine shears 
are in operation and their number is increasing; 
nevertheless there are many situations where 
the old hand shears will continue to be used. 

DIPPING. 

Dipping on the range should be a regular 
yearly or semi-annual practice. When it can 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 231 

be done it should follow shearing. x\nother 
practice is to dip when the lambs are weaned 
in the fall. The dipping is done in a rapid man- 
ner by means of very long tanks or swimming 
vats, through which the sheep are crowded in 
rapid succession. A furnace adjacent, with 
boilers, heats and cooks the dip used. Several 
thousand sheep are dipped in a day, according 
to the size of the plant. The dip most used is 



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AN ILLINOIS FEEDING AND SHIPPING YARD. 

lime and sulphur, which is certainly when 
rightly compounded an efficient scab destroyer. 
The writer when engaged in sheep ranching 
on the hills and mesas of Utah did not use this 
dip, since it is injurious to the fleece and seemed 
not to eradicate the disease, but used instead 
one of the dips prepared from coal tar, using 
it strong and hot, and entirely eradicated scab 
from his range, so that it did not again reappear 
during his occupancy of it. There is no doubt 
that scab can be entirely banished from the 
ranges if men can be educated to it, and have 



232 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA, 

instilled within them a living conscience that 
will lead them to do their plain duty toward 
themselves, their flocks and their neighbors. 
The obstacle to complete scab eradication is the 
ignorance and criminal indifference of the 
lower class of sheep owners and the abettors of 
these criminals are often the state inspectors, 
who very often make of inspection a farce and 
give to their friends, or to others for a con- 
sideration, clean bills of health when scab is 
really widespread. To give them the benefit of 
a doubt, however, these inspectors very often 
would not be able to recognize a case of scab 
were they to see it except in the last stages. 
There is growing, however, a healthy senti- 
ment, and sooner or later the neighboring 
ranchmen will themselves take it upon them to 
see that scab is eradicated from their district 
and compel the indifferent to clean their flocks 
in self-defense. That done a great and un- 
necessary expense will be saved, since it will 
not be necessary to dip so often, only ticks being 
to combat, and a heavy cloud of apprehension 
will be removed from the sheep owner's mind 
and the shepherd's as well. 

THE MALIGNED ^^ SHEEP HEKDEK.'^ 

There is in the minds of the public a deep- 
seated prejudice against the range shepherd, 
the ''sheep herder," and he is often regarded 
as being an ignorant, lazy, and generally de- 
graded individual. There is doubtless here and 
there a man of that sort engaged in herding 
sheep, but in the main the herders are men of 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 233 

character and intelligence. Their work de- 
velopes within them quite different characteris- 
tics from those developed in the man who herds 
cattle, the ''vaqueros" who do their work on 
horseback. 

The shepherds acquire patience, thought and 
faithfulness. They develop endurance and 
stoicism. Lacking the dash of the cowboys, they 
have greater capacity for enduring discomfort 
and fatigue. 

There are every year wonderful things done 
on the sheep ranges by these faithful herd- 
ers. Storms come and blizzards blow and some- 
times there is no shelter. Then the sheep can 
not be restrained but drift aimlessly before the 
blast. Then the herders forsaking their tents 
and the comfort and shelter to be found therein 
follow the sheep, striving to keep them together 
and if possible to lead them at last to a safe 
shelter, j^erhaps among pines or behind shelter- 
ing cliffs and hills. 

Oftentimes these storms endure for several 
days and the shepherd may tind no refuge nor 
help until at last he is overcome with weariness 
and cold and lies down in the snow for rest. 
Here he is found, sometimes yet alive and more 
often frozen to death. There is hardly a winter 
that there are not a number of herders lost in 
storms and there have been single storms that 
counted their dead by scores. The writer 
knows one old man, a tine herder he is, who has 
been found buried in a snow drift beside his 
flock, miles from the camp, so frozen that he 
lost all the lingers of both hands, only one 



234 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

thumb remaining. This old man, after the ter- 
rible experience, calmly resumed his occupa- 
tion, and even managed to live alone and make 
camp in his crippled condition. 

Men of foreign birth often make excellent 
herders for the range country. Germans excel, 
Portuguese are reputed good herders, Andalus- 
ians have a reputation in parts of California, a 
Chinaman has been known to become a skilled 
shepherd and Mexicans have their virtues, 
among them a dog- like fidelity, though they are 
not reputed so daring and resolute in time of 
stress as men of Northern climes. And now 
and then a lad of American stock excels. Scots 
are everywhere found among them, and every- 
where in the lead, having a heritage of sheep- 
keeping ancestry and tradition. 

UPS AND DOWNS OF THE BUSINESS. 

It is to be regretted that the sheep industry 
has such remarkable ups and downs. There 
will be a series of years when flocks on the 
ranges make their owners very large profits. 
As, for instance, if a thousand ewes cost the 
owner $8,000 and thirty rams will cost maybe 
$300 more. The expense of keeping them will 
vary greatly, but may be as low as 60 to 75 cents 
per head, or, say, $772.50. It has been known 
that the thousand ewes would drop and rear, a 
thousand lambs, but cutting this down to 850, 
they sometimes sell for as much as $3 each on 
the range, or $2,550. Then the fleeces have sold 
recently for more than a dollar per head, or 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 235 

$1,030 more, leaving a paper profit of $2,807.50 
on an investment of but $3,000. 

However, as there will needs be some ewes 
die and rams to be replenished, we can take off 
the $807.50 to put with the herd and still leave 
a nice dividend. 

On the other hand, when times are good and 
sheep prices high the wary operators are will- 
ing to sell, and men with moderate or small 
amounts of capital buy, giving mortgages on all 
they possess for security. Thereafter (and 
oft-times soon) things happen! Wool declines 
in price, lambs go begging, hard seasons come 
and the men find themselves often involved in 
absolute ruin. It is related during the last 
slump in sheep values, about 1894, in Texas a 
rancher started to market with a train load of 
sheep. He got drunk in Kansas City and the 
sheep went on without him, sold, but not for 
enough to pay the freight. He therefore re- 
ceived a letter from his commission firm asking 
him to remit for the freight, and they in turn re- 
ceived a telegram from him saying, ''I have no 
money; am sending on more sheep." 

THE HOPEFUL OUTLOOK. 

The writer believes, however, that the days of 
ruinous prices for sheep are over. The capac- 
ity of our country to consume sheep has grown 
very enormously. The mutton-eating habit, 
once formed, is retained. Mutton is indeed an 
economical meat to buy, since in chops one can 
buy small amounts more easily than in beef 



236 



SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 



steaks; thus the high price does not so much 
count. And mutton, especially lamb mutton, is 
consumed by the well-to-do,— a steadily increas- 
ing class in our country. It is hard to believe 
that there will ever again be such a Waterloo at 







m' 




Mm 


ji 


'm. 


^ 


■H 




■ 


■i 



SUFFOLK RAM. 



the Jast decade of the Nineteenth Century 
brought. And yet the writer wishes to prevent 
his friends from rushing heedlessly to buy when 
prices are the highest, and to caution them 
from following the example of the Texan and 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 237 

giving their flocks away merely because they 
are temporarily depressed. 

A WORK TO BE DONE. 

There is a great work remaining to be done 
on our ranges,— that is to build up the quality 
of the flocks till they approach in excellence the 
quality of the flocks of New Zealand and Ar- 
gentina. The writer once in Deptford Mar- 
ket, where the live cattle and sheep sent to Lon- 
don from foreign ports are slaughtered, was 
shocked to see how much better were the 
strangers' sheep than those of his brethren. 
Needless to say that the good sheep brought 
much the better prices. 

To thus upbuild our range flocks needs a 
steady inflow of the best rams, mainly of Ram- 
bouillet and the larger, smoother Delaine type, 
and the crossing of their produce with rams of 
Lincoln, Cotswold and Leicester blood. 

Such cross-breeding needs, to be a success, 
great study and attention and of course with 
finer animals comes always need for bet- 
ter feed and care, for provision of forage for 
winter and cessation of long and fruitless jour- 
neyings. These things will come, the great 
plains and grassy mesas and green forested 
mountains will soon be covered with flocks of 
far better sheep than they hold today, and by 
some sort of peaceable division of the ranges 
each rancher will know where he may graze and 
where he may save grass with sure expectation 
of feeding it himself in time of need. 



238 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

SHEEP ADVANCE — CATTLE KETKEAT. 

It is the opinion of the writer that the cattle 
will steadily retreat before the peaceable ad- 
vance of the sheep, since sheep are best fitted 
for this region and bring far more profit. There 
will always be room, however, for some cattle 
and they will be found to thrive alongside the 
sheep, when the day of intelligent grazing and 
range management has been reached. 

WINTEE FEEDING OF SHEEP AND LAMBS. 

The writer does not think it worth while to 
devote much space to describing the best meth- 
ods of feeding native lambs in winter, for the 
reason that natives (those born on Eastern 
farms) ought to be fat and sold before winter 
has set in. If they are not fat it may very like- 
ly be because they are infected with some de- 
pressing parasite, such as stomach worm or 
nodular disease, and in that case are hardly 
worth fattening at all. In his own practice he 
has abandoned feeding native lambs entirely 
since his own lambs, born upon the farms, are 
fat and sold before July and those he can buy 
give him almost certain trouble. 

It may be said, however that if one is to feed 
native lambs he should select them if possible 
with an eye to getting the good ones, those in 
health. These are easily discovered. They 
show their health by the vigor of their action, 
the quickness of their movements, the bright- 
ness of their eyes and if examined closely the 
pinkness of their skins. Those that are droop- 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 241 

ing or that show white chalky skins, signs of 
diarrhoea and have dead-looking fleeces are 
surely infected with worms and if they can not 
be discarded they should be treated before be- 
ing put on feed. 

It is not well to turn feeding lambs out on 
pasture when they are brought home. They will 
gain little on pasture in the fall, unless it be 
some special sowed crop such as rape or 
vetches, and to turn the lambs on the grass pas- 
tures usually results in gnawing the grass to 
the ground without putting on any gain as 
compensation. It is therefore best to put them 
directly into the feed lot and to begin feeding 
them on dry hay, or other forage. 

NECESSITY FOR DIPPING. 

Earlier in this book directions are given for 
dipping and the reasons why. We will here re- 
peat and emphasize the fact that all sheep that 
have been shipped on railway cars or penned 
in railway yards are very apt to be infected 
with germs of scab. If they have no scab germs 
they almost surely have ticks on them. Ticks 
will fatten in the same shed with sheep but the 
sheep will suffer. Ticks find slow sale in the 
market place. Scab, if it breaks out during the 
feeding season, is ruinous and will entail great 
loss unless promptly suppressed. The longer 
dipping is delayed the more costly it is because 
of the greater amount of material required, be- 
cause of the greater degree of exposure when 
the weather is colder, and because the animal 
after being on feed suffers a greater shock and 



242 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA, 

has a worse set-back than when dipped on its ar- 
rival at the feed yard. 

Lambs that are sent out from the larger cen- 
ters of distribution, such as Chicago, Omaha and 
Kansas City, are dipped under Federal super- 
vision before they leave the yards. This dip- 
ping should preclude the necessity of further 
dipping at home unless in the case of very well 
advanced cases of scab. Such instances of dis- 
eased sheep are much less numerous than they 
once were, thanks to a rather determined scab 
campaign by flock-owners on the ranges. The 
dipping at the Chicago yards has for several 
years been so thorough that the writer has 
ceased to again dip the lambs received from 
that place. He feels, however, that he is run- 
ning considerable risk by this neglect, since it 
is only a question of time when carelessness or 
^' graft" will send out again strings of im- 
perfectly dipped lambs from these very yards. 
This has, at least, been the history of the past. 
One winter some years ago the writer trusting 
to the dipping there received had the distress- 
ing experience of having to dip every sheep 
upon the farm in midwinter. 

It is safer then not to rely upon the dipping 
at the yards, but to dip carefully upon arrival, 
or as soon thereafter as the lambs have rested 
and recovered their strength. Until that time 
if the weather be good it is wise to turn the 
sheep into pasture, where they may find water 
and grass and rest sufficient to recruit them. 
Then, as soon as rested, thev should be dipped 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 243 

and put at once into their permanent quarters, 
if they are to be fed in yards or sheds. 

SELECTION OF FEEDERS. 

A visit to one of our great stock yards is a 
most interesting experience. There are seen 
there such a multitude of slieep of ahnost every 
sort and description. There are great bands 
of fat Western wethers, noble sheep, some of 
them of an astonishing uniformity in size and 
character. They are "strong almost as 
horses," used all their lievs to roaming over the 
plains and mountains. These may go for ex- 
port, or to the killers. They are too fat to feed 
and would cost too much. And yet they are not 
so fat as the sheep that come in winter and 
spring from the feed lots. They are just right 
to give the most profit to the killers, with enough 
fat and little waste. 

Beside them will be a band of thinner weth- 
ers, perhaps from a dried-up range, of fairly 
good quality. They, too, will go to the killers, 
though they are almost thin enough to sell at 
a farmer's price. The next pen may show some 
ideal feeders, big and strong and active, yet in 
thin flesh. Probably it did not rain on their 
range, or they traveled too far. The killers 
pass them by and the feeder gets them at a cent 
or more off. 

In the next pen will be seen a different type 
altogether, a band of wild, scarred, thin, sharp- 
backed, weazened sheep, looking as though all 
the plagues of Egypt had struck them. They 
are the product of an ignorant and stingy own- 



244 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

er, a careless and unprofitable shepherd and a 
starved and overpastured range, together with 
a dearth of rain and snow. >i o one wants them 
and they sell very low indeed. Sometimes they 
are great bargains and if carefully nursed for 
a few months will lay on flesh fairly well and 
being bought so cheaply will reward well their 
feeder. There is, however, the disadvantage of 
having your yards filled with stuff of which you 
are ashamed till near the last of the feeding sea- 
son. They are more likely to make money for 
their feeder than the good feeders because 
they are bought so cheaply and weigh so little. 

However, if there is not at home plenty of 
good clover or alfalfa hay, or if the feeder is not 
willing to buy for them wheat bran and a trifle 
of oilmeal, if they must be fattened on corn and 
cornstalks mainly it is doubtful if they are of 
the class that he should buy. Emaciation calls 
for foods rich in portein. With plenty of early- 
cut alfalfa hay in the mow these thin sheep may 
bring profit. They are of no value for a short 
feed. They require time to first restore their 
strength and afterward to rebuild, or perhaps 
build their flesh and afterward to lay on fat. 

Unless one can buy at a low price per pound 
it is unwise to buy the emaciated ones, seeing 
that his profit comes largely from a hoped-for 
advance on the purchase cost and it costs money 
to build flesh in the feed lot. 

There is, however, another range of condi- 
tions to be considered when selecting our feed- 
ers. That is the breeding of the sheep. Here 
is a pen of very heavily fleeced wethers, or 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 247 

lambs. They will shear very heavy, but they 
are not of the best form. They have thin necks 
and drooping sharp shoulders and a look of 
meekness and depression. Shall we take themf 
In the next pen is a lot with evidence of mutton 
blood on the Merino. They are lighter fleeced, 
but stronger. As a rule the very heavily 
flee<3ed sheep are not the best money-makers. 
They will not eat so well nor make so good 
gains. Nature specializes ; the food goes to flesh 
or it goes to fleece and oil in the wool. And 
after a time thrown together, probably into a 
load of good feeders. It is only the exceedingly 
heavy fleece that is to be avoided. 

Now visit the lamb pens. The wethers have 
run very even and have required little a&sorting. 
The lambs are even also, but there is with them 
a few culls so that the buyer for the great 
packers usually reserves the right to discard 10, 
20, 30, or maybe more of each lot. These are 
after a time thrown together probably into a 
load of feeders. The lambs are in character 
about what the wethers were, though they have 
suffered more in transit and are not so strong. 
Again we see the killers bidding high for the 
tops. Then goes up a sigh as you relinquish 
them, and you look on down the line. Ah! 
Here are the beauties ! They are from Merino 
mothers, evidently, and their sires were Shrop- 
shires, or maybe Lincolns or Cotswolds and 
they are small and in rather thin flesh, so there 
is a chance. They have been born late and 
their tops have been selected and sold, these 
younger ones remaining. 



248 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

If we get them we have done well. They will 
grow and fatten admirably and be our pride 
and joy all through the feeding season. When 
fat they will command the top price. If we 
buy them we will take 350 (which fills a car) or 
maybe 700 or 1,050, and we may need to buy 
some smaller lots to make the number come out 
even. 

But hold ! Those lambs were after all priced 
pretty high, and here are some lively little fel- 
lows, not so well bred, quite, but yet giving evi- 
dence of good blood. They are very late and 
small, pretty thin, too, weighing less than 50 
pounds. "What of them f It depends upon what 
is stored at home in the barn. If there is abun- 
dance of good alfalfa, if there are silage and 
and perhaps roots, and loving care and generous 
shelter and long time, take them ! They are the 
best. But if the feeding season must be short, 
if there is little clover or alfalfa, take the other 
lot. 

And here is yet another sort. They must 
have come from a terrible range where grief 
has been their constant portion. They are 
miserably thin and weak and were ill bred at the 
beginning. Their one redeeming feature is that 
they weigh little and will be sold for a very 
small price per pound. Shall we venture to 
buy them! That also depends upon the fur- 
nishings at home. Many of them may die be- 
fore they gain enough strength to enable them 
to go on and gain. They will require a long 
feeding period. But when they are fat they will 
sell for nearlv as much as the best bred lambs 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 249 

in the market. There is that peculiar side to 
the lamb trade : the light lambs of part Mexican 
type when rightly fed sell well. So if we have 
the feed, the kindness and comforts at home, 
we may venture to take even these weaklings. 
But let us beware of them if we propose to 
''rough them" or to try to hasten them along 
by a short period of heavy feeding. 

Here is yet another opportunity. In these 
smaller pens are a lot of thin Natives, from 
some near-by state. They are big enough but 
their lack-luster eyes and sunken wool and gen- 
eral air of discouragement speak surely of an 
internal revenue department held under the 
rule of predatory parasite worms. If these 
lambs had been in health they would have been 
fat, in nine cases out of ten, and the killers 
would have taken them in. Avoid them un- 
less you understand treating them and eradi- 
cating the worms. Thin Western lambs do not 
often have these parasites because on their drier 
ranges the diseases do not lodge nor spread. 
And yet lambs from some of the more Eastern 
ranges, in the Dakotas, Nebraska and occasion- 
ally from Montana, come now and then infected. 
Before you buy these thin lambs look at their 
skins. If they are chalky pass them by. 

Here are ewes. This band of old ewes, in 
thin flesh, shows evidences of fairly good breed- 
ing. They have a motherly look too. We find 
that we can buy them cheaply. What can we 
do with them? 

Let us look first at their teeth. Ah, I thought 
so ! A large number of them have lost their front 



250 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

teeth. This means two or three things. It ac- 
counts for their being sent from range to mar- 
ket. They have been culled out because they 
no longer could subsist well on the tough 
grasses and herbage of the range. It accounts 
mainly for their emaciation And it means to 
you, "Am I in position to take good care of 
these old ewesf These ewes may not be too 
old to make a good recovery under favorable 
conditions ; they may even drop a strong crojD of 
lambs and nourish them well, but they must eat 
more costly food than ewes that have 1;heir 
teeth. 

They ought to have bran, oats, shelled corn 
and early-cut, tender hay. But they are for 
sale, and at a low price. If it is early enough so 
that we can breed them to good rams we may do 
this ; take them home and at once mate them with 
the best rams of Shropshire, Southdown, 
Hampshire, Dorset or whatever we fancy that 
we can get and then carry them along well, not 
forcing too much till after the lambs are born, 
and after that with judgment and discretion 
pouring into them all the good nourishing stuff 
that we can get them to consume. It will aston- 
ish us how those lambs will grow, and the beauty 
of them coming from these skinny old ewes but 
they may be soon sent off fat to market and the 
mothers wdll have gained all the time in flesh 
and in about two months' more feeding will be 
ready to go after their lambs. This is good 
practice and only requires the right combina- 
tion of careful handling, with skill in feeding, 
warm, w^ell ventilated barns and an assortment 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 251 

of feeds with wise generosity in carrying it out 
to make the thing pay. In fact, this thing has 
been done. 100 ewes have been bought in Chi- 
cago for $175. They have dropped and raised 
90 lambs that sold at about 10 to 14 weeks ' of age 
for over $5.00 each. The ewes sheared, under 
this good care, above 7 pounds each and the wool 
sold for 25c. Then the ewes finally fattened and 
weighed 112 lbs., selling for 5c per pound. 
Thus the ewe that cost $1.75 in Chicago sold, 
with her wool and lamb, for $11.85 in late May. 
This was an exceptionally favorable result, 
however achieved by an assemblage of favor- 
ing conditions of low first cost, fairly good qual- 
it}^, good sires, wise and generous treatment and 
a booming spring market. Let the indifferent 
shepherd, or the one having ear corn and tim- 
othy hay, beware of these broken-mouthed ewes ; 
they will undo him every time. 

There is danger that these ewes may part of 
them be already with lamb to some inferior 
range ram. These lambs will not usually fat- 
ten off at an early age and may materially af- 
fect the result. 

Let us digress here to consider for a moment a 
proposition having in it great possibilities of 
profit for the feeder and offering to the rancher 
a ready means of disposing of his aging ewe 
stuff' without too much sacrifice. The rancher 
may cull out his aged ewes before they have 
reached too decrepit a condition, discarding any 
that have spoiled udders or defective teats, 
and putting them on the best and tenderest grass 
he can find. Put with them good blocky mutton 



252 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

rams as early as possible in summer. He 
ought to get a Down or Dorset ram for this pur- 
pose, since the long- wools do not get lambs fat- 
tening best at a very early age. 

Then he can sell the ewes, bred, to men who 
make a business of fattening winter lambs, and 
get a great deal more for them than it has cost 
him to give them this treatment. The writer 
several years ago called the attention of sheep 
growers and feeders to the possibilities of this 




A SHOW OF COTSWOLDS. 

practice and it has already been begun in a 
small way with the probability that the prac- 
tice will become more common as the advantage 
becomes known, and especially as Western 
sheep ranching narrows down to a state of set- 
tled practice of good methods 

The age when a ewe should be discarded 
varies considerably with the breed and also with 
the district where she is kept and the manner 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 253 

of keeping. In England among the Dorset 
breeders it is the custom to take three or four 
crops of lambs from a Dorset ram, then to breed 
them to a Down (Hampshire, Shropshire or 
Sussex), and sell them in lamb to go away to 
men who make it a practice to buy these ewes, 
grow from them one or two crops of lambs and 
send them fat to market. In America it can 
hardly be said that there is any established sys- 
tem anywhere, and the more usual metliod is 
simply to continue to use the ewe so long as her 
teeth are good, disposing of her then for what 
she will bring. There is something to be said 
for this practice, though undoubtedly wlien we 
have settled down to a good and regular system 
of management, when we have formed a habit of 
good management, we will turn off our ewes 
young enough so that they may be finished 
easily into prime mutton and will not have be- 
come ^'shelly." The number of lambs that 
can be taken from a ewe varies somewliat with 
the breed. Those that mature quickly the 
sooner lose their usefulness. Merinos taking 
long time to mature are sometimes productive 
for 16 years or more. Downs and Dorsets are 
usually past their usefulness at twelve years. 
In general it is good practice to discard ewes 
upon farms at about the age of six to eight 
years. To return to our yards : there is a vast- 
ness about it and a bewilderment that appalls 
the man fresh from tranquil fields where a flock 
of 500 sheep seems large. On some single 
days there will be received at the big markets as 
many as 25,000, or even more, and in a single 



254 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

brief forenoon most of them will be sold and 
many of them disjoersed, some to the killers and 
some to the dipping vat and on cars again to go 
out to country feeders It is a confusing place 
to the countryman and he is wise to choose some 
skilled commission man to go with him and make 
his purchases, helping, too, in making selec- 
tions. 

It is not always wise for the feeder to go in 
person to the market, though he should make it 
a point to be there once or twice a year to study 
types and results of other men if possible 

The advantage in leaving the purchase alto- 
gether to an honest and capable commission 
man (there are such in most markets) is that 
the commission man may take advantage of 
heavy runs and depressed markets to secure 
for the feeder his supplies at the lowest price. 
Naturally when the man goes himself to the 
market place he desires to make his purchase 
and get away whether conditions seem to him 
just right or not. His impatience may there- 
fore cost him dearly. 

It is a good plan to set a price that you are 
willing to pay for the class of sheep that you 
decide to feed and carefully describing your 
wishes state the case to your commission man, 
leaving the order with him to be filled when he 
can. It may happen that you are too low and 
your bid may need to be raised, or the stuff 
may cost you less than you have expected to 
pay. 

Tlie feeder may if he desires go in person to 
the ranges and make his selections there, bring- 
ing his purchases directly home. Thus he will 



FLOCK HUSBANDRY IN WESTERN STATES. 255 

get the best and get them home fresher than did 
they lie around in stock yards awaiting pur- 
chasers. The practical disadvantage of this, 
however, is that on the range the buyer must 
pay the rancher's price; if the sheep go on to 
market he sets the price himself. 

It is especially desirable in buying on the 
range that the purchaser should take care to 
weigh at least a portion of the stuff and make 
due allowance for shrinkage in shipment, else 
he may buy very dearly without being aware. 
In advising the feeder to beware of thin Na- 
tive feeders the writer is aware that he is pre- 
judicing his very subject and aim, the building 
up of flocks of Natives in all the regions east 
of the great ranges. It must be remembered, 
however, that in most of this region food is so 
abundant, both of grass and grain, that ahuost 
any sheep in health will be fat when it goes to 
the market, and therefore snapped up eagerly 
by the killers, except those that are parasitic 
and therefore difficult to make fat. He hopes 
and believes that the day will come when this 
condition will be overcome and sheep will be 
found as healthy on farms as on ranges, but 
even then they will go fat to market instead of 
going to swell the supply of feeders. 

FEEDING OF LAMBS. 

Let us now take up in detail the work of 
iamb feeding, having by this time purchased our 
supply of feeders, or having grown them our- 
selves. Methods of lamb feeding vary widely 
according to the district where they are fed. We 
will consider the several wavs in detail. 



CHAPTER IX. 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 

PEA FEEDING IN COLORADO. 

In the San Luis valley of Colorado a very 
curious method of fattening lambs has within 
recent years grown to large proportions. This 
valley lays very high, so high indeed that alfalfa 
does not thrive as it does elsewhere in the irri- 
gated valleys of the West. But Nature evens 
up things and here is found the natural home of 
the tield, or Canadian, pea. The soil and cli- 
mate seem admirably suited to the growth of 
peas. Indeed it is said that nowhere else in the 
world do peas thrive so well. The soil is some- 
what alkaline, full too of mineral riches, and the 
abundant irrigation and cool mountain air as- 
sure a good growth and a very heavy fruiting. 
The methods of culture are easy and simple; 
after being drilled into the soil and irrigated 
(sometimes with cultivation and sometimes 
without) they soon cover the ground and need 
no more attention. The climate is so dry that 
the crop may stand sometimes without waste 
until it is consumed. The harvesting is simple 
in the extreme. Lambs are bought and turned 

(256) 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 257 

in where they remain until the crop is harvested 
and the lambs are fat. There is no need of other 
forage than the dried pea vines give, nor of 
other grain than the peas. Gains on this ration 
are very large and the quality of mutton pro- 
duced unexcelled. The growth of this new in- 
dustry has been very rapid indeed, since prac- 
tically the first efforts were made in the winter 
of 1901-1902, when about 3,000 lambs were fed, 
and it is said that in the winter of 1904-1905 
160,000 fat lambs left the San Luis and adja- 
cent valleys of Colorado. It is probable, too, 
that this is the beginning of the industry, for 
there are doubtless other valleys in Colorado 
high enough, cool enough and dry enough to 
grow peas well, and so of Utah, Idaho and Wy- 
oming. 

CANADIAN PEAS FOK LAMB FEEDING. 

The Canadian field pea is similar to the com- 
mon garden pea. It has no relationship to the 
southern cow pea. The Canadian pea thrives 
during cool and moist weather, it grows a large 
vine and sets freely with peas. All animals 
relish j)eas which are not only delicious to the 
taste but very nutritious. Peas are very rich 
in protein, having in fact about the same com- 
position as milk, minus the water. Peas are 
easily digested. 

Not all regions are adapted to the growth of 
the field pea. In the corn belt they thrive if they 
can be sown early enough, but then they must 
be promptly fed as a soiling crop or else cured 
into hay. Oats and peas mixed make a first 
rate soiling crop and have been much used. 



258 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

Late sown peas in warm or dry regions have 
Jittle value. The great pea regions are in Can- 
ada, in northern Michigan, Wisconsin and Min- 
nesota. In New England and northern New 
York, and now, more recently, in the high val- 
leys of the Bocky mountains. 

PEAS IN THE SAN LUIS VALLEY. 

The ''Sunny San Luis" is a wide and fertile- 
valley about 7,500 feet high in southern Colo- 
rado. It has a long, cold but dry and sunny 
winter, a spring lasting for most of the rest of 
the year. The nights are always cool in the 
San Luis. The valley is abundantly irrigated 
by a peculiar system. The soil is soaked by 
long continued furrow irrigation till the "sub" 
or undersrrouncl water level rises nearly to the 
surface. Thus, even in a dry climate, there is 
moisture in abundance for the coolness and 
moisture loving peas. 

The San Luis valley was primarily devoted 
to wheat growing. Peas were first planted to 
rebuild the depleted soils. This they did, and 
incidentally in order to consume some of them 
and get rid of them sheep were turned in. The 
sheep thrive astonishingly. When lambs were 
put on the peas, they grew fat with astonish- 
ingly little care or expense. Now lambs feed- 
ing on peas is a large business in the San Luis 
valley each year. 

The usual method is to grow the peas by 
sowing broadcast and letting them mature, 
turning in the lambs in the fall, sometimes as 
early as October, sometimes earlier. The lambs 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 261 

gather the peas from the vines and eat more 
or less of the forage. The fields are nsually 
fenced and the lambs turned loose, from 500 to 
2,000 in a lot. At night they are usually 
corralled to protect them from coyotes. 

When the weather remains dry there is no 
great waste of peas by feeding in this man- 
ner. With snow, however, there is danger 
that the forage will become greatly damaged 
and more or less of the peas lost. 

It is not an economical way to utilize peas at 
best because the lambs travel too much in gath- 
ering them and by their restlessness fail to put 
on flesh as they would were they confined to a 
small feed-lot. The advantage of feeding the 
peas where they grow is, however, two-fold. 
There is saved all the labor of harvesting them 
and the manure is scattered as it is made and 
thus the field is enriched. Where labor is scarce 
and dear as it often is in Colorado these are 
important considerations. 

There is another way that makes a fair com- 
promise between harvesting and feeding the 
peas in a yard and letting them lie where they 
grow, that is to cut them with a mower and 
cock them up in rather large cocks, then let- 
ting the lambs run to them. It would seem that 
this was a good scheme, especially if the lambs 
have a shepherd with a dog so that they may be 
kept from running over the whole field at one 
time. There would be practically no waste in 
feeding by this plan, especially as pigs would 
follow the lambs and pick up what they left un- 
eaten. 



262 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

Undoubtedly the greatest number of pounds 
of mutton could be gotten from an acre of peas 
by harvesting them and stacking them as alfal- 
fa is stacked, and feeding them in corrals as al- 
falfa fed lambs are fed. It would no doubt pay 
also to feed some supplementary grain in 
troughs, so as to let the lambs consume nearly 
all of the pea forage and still have grain 
enough to make the proportion of concentrates 
to roughness a just one. In this manner about 
twice as many lambs can be fattened from a 
field of peas as by the simple process of leav- 
ing the peas lie w^here they grow and the lambs 
to harvest them at will. 

AMOUNT OF LAMB MUTTON FROM AN ACRE OF PEAS. 

The pea feeding industry is yet in its infancy, 
and no one knows exactly what can be done with 
an acre of peas. Undoubtedly the greater num- 
ber of pea feeders fail to make the most of their 
opportunities because of poor methods. They 
let the peas damage by lying in the snow, or 
they over-stick and have not enough peas to 
tinish their lambs, or they let the lambs run off 
in travel and lose flesh that should remain on 
their ribs. Peas gathered and fed in quiet 
should give about these results. 

An acre of peas may yield 30 bushels of 
shelled peas. Probably that is above the aver- 
age yield, yet it is not unusual for San Luis 
peas to exceed that. A bushel of peas weighs 
64 lbs. 

An acre of peas in the San Luis valley may 
yield 1,800 lbs. of shelled peas. This is doubt- 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 263 

less above the average, but many surpass that 
yield; Peas are exceedingly digestible when 
fed whole to lambs so it is probable that 3, or at 
most 3^2 lbs. of peas would make a pound of 
gain, if the forage was good and the conditions 
right. Thus an acre yielding 1,800 lbs. of peas 
should make from 500 to 600 lbs. of mutton. 

While there is no doubt thati some careful 
feeders, using some supplementary grain and 
feeding in corrals, will reach this high mark, 
yet at present under the easy method of turn- 
ing the lambs directly upon the peas, not more 
than 100 to 175 lbs. of Jamb are secured, and 
about 100 lbs. of pork from the pigs that 
follow the lambs. The death loss, from feed- 
ing peas is said to be exceedingly light. The 
quality of the mutton so produced is very high. 
The peas also greatly enrich the ground on 
which they grow. The best method of feeding 
these peas would seem to include thought to put 
on them only good lambs and to put them on as 
early as the peas are nearly mature. There 
will always be a demand for good pea-fed lambs 
at a premium and the commoner sorts of lambs 
should be fed elsewhere. There are other re- 
gions where peas may be grown and fed with 
profit provided they are harvested and stacked. 
There are few places where the winter climate 
will permit feeding them on the ground where 
they grew as is done in the San Luis valley. But 
there are many high parks and mountain valleys 
in Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, 
and other western states where peas thrive ad- 
mirably and only the Winter's snowfall pre- 



264 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

vents their being fed as readily as in the San 
Lnis valley. There is no better feed for old 
ewes, or for lambing ewes, than peas. The 
whole plant has a similar composition to milk, 
it rebuilds wasted tissue and creates new flesh. 

ALFALFA-FED COLORADO LAMBS. 

The front range of the Rockies sends forth a 
number of refreshing streams, creeks and riv- 
ers, from the Animas river at Trinidad up to the 
Arkansas in middle Colorado and the forks of 
the Platte at Fort Collins. Early in the settle- 
ment of Colorado it was learned that alfalfa 
grew wonderfully well on the plains, where, 
supplied with water b}' irrigation the difficulty 
seemed to be to use the alfalfa. Finally some 
man tried feeding it to sheep, then to lambs; 
grain was fed with it. A few car-loads of the 
lambs went to Eastern markets ; the killers tried 
them and pronounced them extraordinarily good 
and the Colorado lamb industry was born. 

Colorado lamb feeding has had its ups and 
downs. In the winter of 1898-1899 the feed- 
ers lost nearly all the hay they put into the 
lambs, getting back only the manure and pay 
for the corn bought in Nebraska. In other 
years they have made very large profits. At 
intervals they have tried feeding other things 
—calves, wethers, ewes to lamb— in the feed 
lot. The wethers and calves are mostly elimi- 
nated now and lambs are fed on an ever-in- 
creasing scale. It is a settled industry, not 
without its risks yet as certain of profit as any 
feedins: business can well be. 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 265 

Colorado lambs are the product of Colorado 
alfalfa and Kansas and Nebraska corn. There 
is sometimes a little locally-grown wheat or 
barley fed, when it is cheap enough, but shelled 
corn and alfalfa form probably 95 per cent of 
the foods used. 

In early days the Colorado feeders depended 
almost altogether upon the lambs of New Mex- 
ico and southern Colorado for a supply of feed- 
ers. The reputation of Fort Collins' lambs was 
made first with these Mexicans. In more re- 
cent years lambs have come there from other 
regions, notably from Utah and Wyoming. The 
process of feeding lambs in Colorado is admir- 
ably simple. There are yards built of six-inch 
boards, with cracks between them wide enough 
to permit the lambs to thrust their heads in and 
eat between them. Hay is then piled along 
these fences right on the ground (which is usu- 
ally dry in that sunny clime) and the lambs eat 
it standing with their necks through the fence. 
Two or three times a day men go along and 
throw the hay up afresh. The hay is drawn 
from great ricks standing in the alfalfa mead- 
ows. Little of it is ever put in barns, which 
hardly exist in the sense that they are used in 
the East. 

Grain is fed in flat-bottomed troughs in the 
yards. There is often an arrangement of yards 
so that one may be used as a feeding yard for 
two or more pens. In that way the grain may 
be put in before the sheep are admitted. When 
the 2:ates are ODened they come in with a rush. 

When first the lambs are received they are 



266 



SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 



carefully dipped and then given, usually, a pre- 
paratory course of alfalfa feeding before hav- 
ing any grain. When they are introduced to 
corn it is fed in very small amounts, slowly and 
steadily increased until finally they are eating 
about all they desire. That amount will be be- 




RACKS FOR FEEDING GRAIN. 
Photo from Wilcox, 1902 Year Book, Bureau Animal Indus.. U. S. Dept. Agr 



tween two and three bushels per day to the hun- 
dred head. It is found best to feed corn in reg- 
ular rations two or three times a day rather 
than to use "self feeders," such as are used 
in the Northwest for feeding light screenings. 
These self feeders, by the way, are merely bins 
having troughs at the lower edges on each side, 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING, 



267 



with narrow openings through which the screen- 
ings descend. 

Very few of the Colorado feed yards have 
sheds attached to shelter the lambs. Little 
rain falls and the snow is light and dry. Wind- 
breaks are found desirable. Water is pumped 




BOX RACK FOR FEEDING ALFALFA. 
From Bulletin 31, Bureau Plant Industry, U. S. Department of Agriculture. 

by wind power and supplied abundantly in 
troughs, which are kept clean. 

Most of the Colorado lambs are sent to mar- 
ket with their fleeces on. The gains secured 
are excellent, lambs weighing 55 lbs. when put 
on feed often weighing 85 lbs. when ripe, and 



268 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

better gains are sometimes secured. They 
come to the markets of Kansas City, Omaha and 
Chicago in solid train loads, and owing to their 
good quality and even ripeness they sell at the 
top of the market. 

There seems a distinct quality of goodness 
diffused through an alfalfa-fed lamb, and it is 
difficult to make as good on any other ration. 
The healthfulness of the diet is attested by the 
very great evenness of lots of alfalfa-fed lambs, 
though this is in part accounted for by the reg- 
ularity and moderation of the feeding 

There are other alfalfa feeding districts in 
Kansas and Nebraska where the business is 
carried on very much as in Colorado, having 
almost as good weather though not usually as 
good alfalfa. This is owing to the greater lia- 
bility of rain falling on Nebraska and Kansas 
alfalfa and to the careless methods of hay- 
makers caused in part by scarcity of labor. 
Corn is plentiful in these feeding yards and is 
sometimes fed with greater freedom than in 
Colorado, though without corresponding in- 
crease in gain. The truth is that a lamb can 
not be forced as a pig can by feeding an excess 
of grain; he must make a large part of his 
growth from coarse forage and over feeding 
with grain is a dangerous proposition. 

Then there are regions where men attempt 
to fatten lambs with wild prairie hay or sor- 
ghum, with corn. Large, well-developed lambs 
will finish fairly well on such rations, though at 
considerably greater cost than when alfalfa is 
fed. 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 269 

Prof. E. A. Burnett of the Nebraska Experi- 
ment Station has shown that, comparing alfal- 
fa hay and prairie hay with corn, the alfalfa-fed 
lambs made 52 per cent greater gains than the 
prairie hay-fed lambs. The addition of 16 per 
cent of oilmeal to the grain ration of the prai- 
rie hay-fed lambs increased their gain 26 per 
cent. 

The writer has often demonstrated in his own 
practice that lambs can not be fed with much 
profit without a large amount of protein in the 
ration, and alfalfa or clover is the best and 
cheapest carrier of available protein. 

In Nebraska and elsewhere lambs are quite 
frequently turned directly into fields of stand- 
ing corn and permitted to do their own har- 
vesting. Sometimes rape is sown in the corn 
at time of last cultivation to add to their sup- 
ply of forage. Two to four pounds per acre of 
rape seed are sufficient It is better to let this 
last cultivation be fairly early so as to give the 
rape a start. Should the season prove show- 
ery the rape will come on and add greatly to the 
value of the feed. 

There are certain points to be observed in 
pasturing down corn with lambs. It is not a 
practice adapted to feeding very thin, light 
larDbs, since they require too long a feeding sea- 
son. It is not a good practice in a wet re- 
gion, or on a soil readily tramped into mud 
and damaged thereby. Once the lambs are ac- 
customed to the corn they should not be taken 
away from it else they will on return overeat 
and die in consequence. Salt should be^ before 
them at all times. 



270 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

The writer is of the opinion that the one 
valuable feature of this practice is the cheap- 
ness of its execution. There is certainly some 
waste, unless pigs follow the lambs, and in some 
instances at least there is a high death rate ow- 
ing to the impossibility of limiting the amount 
of corn eaten. However, as a usual thing the 
lambs learn slowly to eat tlie corn, finding it 
hard to shell, and do not founder. 

Mature sheep are sometimes turned into the 
cornfields to glean their own harvest. There 
is probably more danger of founder in old 
sheep than in lambs, since they the more read- 
ily begin to eat the ears. It may be said here 
that it is unsafe to turn Native sheep in the 
cornfields, as being accustomed to corn they 
will get too much of the grain, while their West- 
ern kindred will take more readily to the fod- 
der. 

In conclusion it may be said that the Western 
feeders have very great advantages in their 
cheap and abundant forage and grain and their 
mild, sunny climate They achieve success by 
close attention to details; the lambs are fed 
with very great regularity as to time and 
amount. One man will feed 2,500 or more, so 
the labor cost is light. 

Their disadvantage is in their remoteness 
from market, entailing higher freights, and in 
the speculative character of the Western men 
which leads many of them to jump from one 
industry to another, feeding few lambs one year 
and very many the next, jumping often just at 
the riolit time to fail to alight on their feet. 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 271 

It is a curious fact that in Nebraska and Kansas 
few farmers feed their own grain and hay, 
preferring to sell it to great operators who feed 
in central plants many thousands of sheep and 
lambs. Thus is the manure lost to the farms 
that will some day need it, and mountains of 
richness are heaped up outside of feeding cor- 
rals to prove an embarrassment to the owner. 
This system is wrong and invites disaster. The 
man who produces the food should feed it at 
home. A man can afford to devote his time to 
500 sheep or lambs in winter; thus he has left 
on the farm most of the fertility taken from it in 
crops and can readily return it to his fields. 
Feeding his own crops he runs small risk of loss 
in his operations 

FEEDING MILL SCREENINGS. 

Minnesota is the great state at' present for 
feeding screenings. These . screenings come 
from the great mills along the upper Missis- 
sippi and elsewhere. They contain a little 
shrunken wheat, a good deal of weed seed, 
largely of pigeon grass, and bits of straw and 
trash. There are many thousands of tons 
of screenings available every year. Most 
of this material is used by the large 
sands of tons of screenings available every 
year. Most of this material is used by the large 
operators, who feed from a few to many thou- 
sands. They generally use sheds provided with 
self-feeding bins holding many bushels of 
screenings. The management of one of their 



272 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

plants is admirably simple; the lambs are 
bought, usually of a fairly, good size and qual- 
ity, dipped and turned into the sheds, where they 
remain until fat. Usually no hay is fed or re- 
quired, the bulky nature of the screenings ren- 
dering them all sufficient for distending the 
lamb properly. 

At one time large profits ensued from feeding 
lambs on screenings. The millers, curiously 
enough, became aware of this fact and began 
steadily to raise the price of screenings.^ As 
lamb prices advanced so did screenings, till at 
this writing the margin is not large and a bad 
year would wipe it out altogether. 

SHEEP FEEDING IN THE CORN BELT. 

In the corn belt proper the conditions for 
feeding are good generally so far as abundance 
of food is concerned. Corn is a staple and must 
find a market. Hay is readily grown, and late 
experience has shown that wherever there is 
limestone soil, or sweet and fertile soil, alfalfa 
may be grown. Red clover is usually easily 
grown. Thus there is a ready source of food 
for sheep. 

The climate is another matter. Sheep want 
dry footing and dry coats. They can not en- 
dure muddy yards and wet dripping skies. 
Therefore before we attempt to feed lambs we 
must provide a somewhat artificial climate. 
This is done with shingles to turn off the wet. 
Mature sheep are very often fattened altogeth- 
er in open yards and Western Merinos have 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 



273 



fleeces that turn rain fairly well, but lambs in 
the exposure do not thrive and it is folly to at- 
tempt feeding them east of the Missouri river 
without some shelter from rain. North of Illi- 
nois, however, where rains are infrequent and 




CROSS-SECTION OF MODEL SHEEP BARN, SHOWING FRAME. 

snows light and dry, sheds are sometimes dis- 
pensed with, but that is reall}^ outside the corn 
belt. 

The character of the barn or shed used is 



274 



SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 



not essential It may be a simple roof open on 
two or three sides, to which hay will be hauled 
on wagons from ricks. The writer has such a 
feeding plant and uses it to good advantage, 
It may better be a barn of two stories, the upper 
one stored with alfalfa or clover hay. On the 
lower or ground floor the lambs are *^fed. Their 
part should be eight feet high in the clear, all in 




SIDE VIEW OF MODEL SHEEP BARN, SHOWING DOORS. 

one large room, which may be divided as de- 
sired by use of racks or movable panels. 

Through this room there should be oppor- 
tunity to drive transversely through nearly or 
quite every bent or space* between posts. To 
accomplish this doors must constitute the whole 
length, preferably on the north and south sides 
of the building, which may well stand east and 
west. 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 275 

Tims the two sides will be composed entirely 
of doors so far as the lower story is concerned. 
Doors cost little more than ordinary siding to 
construct. These doors should be divided trans- 
versely at a height of about four feet. The 
lower half will swing from the post just as a 
gate swings, while the upper half will be hinged 
at the upper side, and raise up outwardly. Thus 
the lower part of the door may remain closed to 
restrain the sheep, while the upper half is lifted 
to admit air and light. And air may be admit- 
ted and storms kept out, the outward swing of 
the upper door throwing drip of rain away. 

These upper doors will in mild weather be 
raised high and left up. In time of storm or 
extreme cold they may be closed on one side or 
the other. 

An abundance of fresh air is absolutely nec- 
essary to the lamb. He will not thrive or fat- 
ten well without it. He will thrive better in the 
open field than in a close foul-smelling, un- 
ventilated barn or shed. 

Nor does it matter much after being once on 
feed whether the lamb barn is warm or cold. 
In truth the lambs often thrive better to have it 
moderately cold. It is not necessary or best to 
have it warm enough so that water will not 
freeze within. If the user is uncertain whether 
he will remember to open these upper doors he 
had better not hang them at all, but leave the 
space open instead. The cold and snow that 
will blow in will do less injury to the fattening 
lambs than the deprivation of air w^ould do. 

The barn should have no floor save the nat- 



276 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

ural earth. Water troughs of concrete are best 
and they may be built so as to be half within 
and half outside of the barn, on the sunny side. 
These tanks may be of large size, thus obviat- 
ing the necessity of storage tanks, say 10x12 
feet and about 18 inches deep. It is of no use to 
make a lamb's drinking trough very deep, and 
in fact there is danger that they may drown in 
a deep tank, since they will sometimes jump 
into it. 

The amount of room desirable in a feeding 
barn is about 5 square feet to a lamb aside from 
the racks. In practice one will need about 8 
square feet gross, which will give him room for 
his racks. To feed, then, a carload or 350 
lambs, he needs a barn about 36x72 feet. Some 
feeders crowd the lambs more than that but 
they will not thrive as they ought nor ripen 
evenly unless all have room so that they may 
eat at the same time. 

The next thing is the feed rack. Various 
types are in use and all have some good quali- 
ties. After much experience with various types 
the writer finds this form best (see illustration). 
It is made of two 1x6" boards spaced 24 inches 
apart, with ends and a bottom of matched pine 
flooring. This makes a shallow box or feed 
trough. At the corners are legs of 2x2 inch 
stuff, 40 inches high. The vertical slats are 
of %-inch stuff 3 inches wide and are spaced 
6% inches apart. The top of the box should 
be about 12 inches high. In this rack may be 
fed any sort of grain or forage. The wide 
openings between the slats permit sheep to 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 



277 



thrust their heads clear in and there they will 
stand quietly eating until they have consumed 
the ration with little waste, whereas if 
the vertical slats are placed close together the 
lambs will pull the hay out, dropping it be- 
neath their feet. This is a cheap form of rack, 
durable, easily made and as effective as any. 
The length should be to fit well with the type of 
barn used, so that rows of these racks will, when 
required, make divisions or fit between the 
posts of the basement. 

Now, with the feed racks in place, with wa- 
ter, and the mow above stored with clover or al- 



e" 



1X6' - 



TWO VIEWS OF FEED-RACK. 



falfa hay, which should have been early cut, 
we are ready for the lambs. First a word about 
the yard. It should have in it about one half 
greater capacity than the roof covers, not more, 
and if it can be sloping all the better. It should 
be well graveled with rather coarse gravel, 
spread smoothly. If it can be concreted all the 
better, since it will then be very easily kept 
clean. 

The reason for having a small yard is so that 
it may the more readily be kept dry and clean, 
and because in a large yard there is too much 



278 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

waste of manure- Lambs in the fattening pen 
do not need much exercise and are the better not 
to have it. 

A word, too, about hay. With timothy hay in 
the mow no attempt should be made to fatten 
lambs. Oat straw is as good, or as bad. 
Bright shredded corn stover is a little better, 
and when fed in connection with abundant 
wheat bran and a little oilmeal it will serve 
very well. Without this extra supply of pro- 
tein shredded corn stover will not profitably 
fatten lambs. 

Now let us bring the lambs home. They come 
from the cars half famished, though there are 
seldom any dead ones among them. What a 
sight it is to see them devouring the grass along 
the roadside as they go from the station to the 
farm! It is impossible to hurry them, nor 
should one attempt it; let them take their time. 
When they reach the farm we will turn them 
first into some grass pasture where there is wa- 
ter and there they may rest for two days, sup- 
posing it to be yet fair and dry weather. Then 
they must be dipped, unless we are willing to ac- 
cept the dipping at the yards. And at once they 
go to their pens and are initiated into the mys- 
teries of barn life. We will put about 500 in a 
pen or what the barn holds. The writer feeds 
700 in one barn, which seems not to be too many 
for all to thrive. There must be racks enough 
so that all the lambs may find places to eat at 
the same time. 

We fill the racks moderately full of alfalfa 
hay and watch the lambs eat it. At first they 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 279 

are timid about going into the barn, but soon 
they find their way about and learn wliere the 
food is. And then how they do eat! We will 
feed them twice a day, at the same time each 
day, and let them rest. The water we must 
watch, that it is kept pure enough for man to 
drink and always in supply. Salt we will give 
at first by dissolving it in water and sprinkling 
it over the hay; it may be put on the coarse 
stems that they leave. After doing this for a 
few days we will find their appetite for salt 
satisfied ; then we will fill a box with salt in one 
corner of the barn and let them have access to 
it at their own wall. But if we could take time 
and trouble to put brine on their hay all through 
tne feeding season that would be the better way, 
making them eat the coarser parts with relish 
and avoiding all danger from getting too much 
salt. There is, however, little danger of that 
if the lambs are first carefully introduced to it 
until their appetite is appeased, then given ac- 
cess to it at all times. On Woodland Farm it is 
the custom to roll salt barrels into the barn and 
saw out two or three staves, letting the sheep 
consume it as their appetite indicates they 
should. But when the writer fed his lambs in 
person he preferred the brining method. 

We will feed no grain at all for the first two 
weeks, unless the lambs chance to be unusually 
vigorous and therefore able to take it sooner. 
It is wise to let the lambs get their strength be- 
fore attempting to feed them grain, to which 
they are not accustomed. 

In some cases the lambs will be so weak 



280 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

when they have found their journey's end that 
it will be wise to strengthen them by feeding a 
little wiieat bran in connection with the clover 
or alfalfa hay. There is scarcely anything more 
readily digested and strengthening than wheat 
bran and it seems especially suited to the needs 
of the lamb. In truth, the one reason why the 
writer is not using it and advocating it, is its 
heavy cost, now that the dairymen have learned 
that they must have it. 

In former years, before they had much alfal- 
fa hay and when bran was far cheaper than 
now, the writer and his brothers fed many 
tons of it to lambs with very gratifying results. 
They made it profitable to feed it, though later 
when they had abandoned it for alfalfa hay 
produced on their ow^n farm, the profits of lamb 
feeding were greatly increased. 

The cost of growing lamb mutton in the days 
when timothy hay, oat straw and shredded corn 
stover w^ere used in connection with wheat bran 
and oilmeal for the ration, w^ith corn, was 
about $6.25 per hundred pounds. Afterward, 
when the only feeds used were alfalfa hay and 
ear corn, the cost dropped to $3.50 per hun- 
dred. 

There are troubles that come to weak West- 
ern lambs upon their first introduction to the 
Eastern feed lot. Sometimes they develop sore 
mouths in a very contagious form. The rem- 
edy is to rub off the scabs with a corn cob and 
cover the sore places with a little undiluted coal 
tar sheep dip. This remedies the disorder in 
short order. It is wise to take it in hand earlv. 



2 ^ 

P o 
5 t^ 




WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 283 

Sometimes, if the yards are a bit muddy, sore 
feet develop. These ought to be promptly 
treated, either with blue vitriol or butter of an- 
timony and the yard made dry. Air-slaked, 
dry lime scattered where they will get it on 
their feet will help. 

Now we have the lambs used to their new 
home and fed up on alfalfa until they are 
strong again; we are ready to introduce them 
to grain feeding. It is a good practice to turn 
them out of doors while we put in feed for 
them, leaving them out until the racks are all 
filled. If oats are plentiful and cheap enough 
we can give the first grain food of oats, mixed 
with bran. There is nothing better than this. 
Scatter the grain very thinly along the bottoms 
of the racks, having first cleaned them out well. 
A quart to a rack will be an abundance, less will 
be better. 

Put the hay in after the grain, loosely. Be 
careful with nice bright early-cut clover and 
alfalfa not to feed too much ; they will waste it. 
They may as well eat it up almost clean. 

Let the lambs come in. Throw open several 
wide doors at one time so that they will not 
crowd. Little by little they will learn the taste 
of the grain. Do not increase the amount fed 
until you feel certain that most of them are 
seeking it. Then let your increase be very grad- 
ual. 

Corn, in the cornbelt, must be the main part 
of the fattening ration. Now to introduce that. 
Take ear corn, if it is at hand, and chop the 
ears up with a hatchet into nubbins about an 



284 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

inch long. Strew a few of these nubbins in 
each rack. Next feeding time strew in a few 
more. Increase very, very slowly as they learn 
to eat the corn, till you are giving them several 
ears to a rack. Cut the bits longer and longer, 
till at last you are merely making two pieces of 
an ear. Finally stop breaking ears at all, and 
feed them whole. 

You should be about 45 days in getting them 
on to what is practically a full feed of corn. 
And then do not give them all they want, but 
give them nearly all. If when on full feed 
they are eating as much as they desire within 
a very few grains you have done well. Be 
sure they clean it all up at every feed and come 
eagerly for more at the next feeding time. 

Now when they have gotten to eating corn well 
you may as well drop the bran and oats, merely 
because of the expense of feeding them, since 
oats are usually dear. If they are cheap enough 
continue to feed them, and so of barley, in con- 
nection with corn; they form an admirable ra- 
tion. If a portion of the hay must be prairie 
hay, oat hay or timothy, in fact any grass not a 
clover, you can not discard bran, since there is 
too little protein in the grasses to make the 
lambs grow. They need to make a lot of flesh 
and bone, too, besides the fat. If you have them 
to sjDare feed a small amount of soy beans in 
connection with corn. Soys are rich in protein, 
some varieties having above 35 per cent. And 
the soy straw, if it has not been wet, is relished 
though too coarse to be eaten clean. Oilmeal 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 285 

in connection with bran, where grasses or corn 
stover form the hay, works admirably. 

There is more clean profit, however, in feed- 
ing the simple ration of alfalfa hay and ear corn 
and nothing else, unless corn silage. No feed 
will make better or more marketable lambs. 

Once on fnll feed the programme should be 
an unvarying one. At some regular time in the 
morning, not too early, say half an hour after 
sunrise, the lambs should have their morning 
feed. The water should be looked after and 
the lambs allowed peacefully to consume their 
allowance. Shortly after noon they will lie 
down to rest and sleep. Do not ever disturb 
them; assimilation takes place best when they 
are asleep. Try to feed hay with judgment, so 
that they eat it nearly all and yet have enough. 

At about four in the afternoon begin feeding 
again. Later will serve, so you observe the 
same time each day. Feed just as you did in 
the morning. 

One hundred lambs will eat about 2i/> bush- 
els of corn daily when on full feed, unless they 
are very small lambs. A thousand lambs will 
eat more than a ton of hay daily. It will take 
about 2% bushels of corn to fatten a lamb and 
12 to 20 tons of hay to the hundred lambs, de- 
pending on how long they are kept. 

Soon the stems of hay will accumulate in the 
barn and make a good bed. The corn should 
be cut and the stalks fed in the open yard, 
which will thus be kept dry and clean. The 
blades of the corn will be pulled off and eaten 
and the hay thus helped out. 



286 



SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA= 



Soon the manure spreader must be started 
taking ont the accumulatmg manure from the 
shed. Every day a few loads may be hauled 
away and spread on the frozen ground; thus 
there is avoided the accumulation of a vast 
amount of manure to be cleared away at one 




SHEEP WAGONS. 
Photo from Wilcox, Annual Report B. A. 1. 1902, U. S. Dept. of Agr. 



time in spring when every sort of work is 
crowding. 

Late in March the lambs may be shorn, if 
they have not already gone to market, and the 
feeding continued for a little time thereafter. 
When they are ripe they should go to market, 
otherwise losses are likely to follow, not from 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 287 

disease but from disorders favored by too 
plethoric a condition. 

With small lambs it requires at least 120 
days to ripen. With larger and more fleshy 
ones less time is required. With very small 
lambs in thin flesh 180 days are none too many 
to induce ripeness. The latter part of the feed- 
ing period gives the most profit, since gains are 
better than at the beginning when the lambs 
were unused to feed. 

It is cheaper to ship the lambs to market 
clipped, since many more can ride in a car and 
the freight is no more. 

When the lambs are uneven in size it is likely 
that some will ripen before the rest. In this 
case a carload may often be sent on and the 
rest allowed to ripen further. 

The writer has sometimes made lambs fed in 
this manner gain nearly 100 per cent in weight. 
It is a pleasant business and in the long run 
profitable. Sometimes a year w^ill come when 
the price of feeders is too high in proportion 
to the selling price of lambs and one must fig- 
ure on the value of the manure to find his 
profit. 

In recent 3?"ears the writer has varied the 
treatment outlined by feeding corn silage in 
connection with ear corn and alfalfa hay. This 
silage is made from well matured corn, so that 
it makes a sweet silage, containing little acid 
and having in it no mould. Lambs eat this 
greedily and seem to grow much more rapidly 
than when it is withheld. About 2yo to 3 
pounds of silage makes a ration for a day to a 



288 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

lamb. The writer believes this cheapens the ra- 
tion materially and perhaps the mutton is bet- 
ter; he thinks it is and has had no difficulty in 
securing the top price for his alfalfa-silage« 
corn-fed lambs. When corn is made into silage 
after it is well matured there is of course a very 
large proportion of grain thereon and it is 
tender and succulent and much relished by the 
lambs. The small amount of acid in the silage 
is lactic acid, promotive of digestion. 

Silage has been fed to breeding ewes with ex- 
cellent results when it was of good quality and 
fed judiciously. When it has been acid, or when 
in immoderate amounts, disaster has followed 
its use. 

In some instances that have come under the 
writer's observation great losses have come 
from attempting to feed silage exclusively to 
breeding ewes. They did well for a time, then 
went swiftly to ruin, much of it irretrievable. 
Loss has also come from feeding acid silage. 

A silo should not be built with cemented, 
water-tight floor. On such a floor the silage 
becomes very acid and trouble follows when it 
is fed to sheep. The natural earth makes the 
best floor for a silo. 

Never with sheep should silage form more 
than half the ration. If this rule is observed 
and the silage is made from well matured corn, 
planted no thicker than for the regular crop, it 
is believed that none but good results will ever 
follow its use. 

Lambs will not consume quite all the coarser 
parts of the silage. These must be thrown un- 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. '^^9 

der foot or cleaned out and fed to cows. The 
writer has seen great loss from feeding the re- 
fused portions of silage to horses. In one in- 
stance where quite a heap of it had accumu- 
lated in the barnyard eleven horses and mules 
ate of it. Eleven of them died. There is evi- 
dently some principle developd in silage after 
it has been exposed to the air, perhaps, that is 
most unfavorable to horses. They die with 
symptoms resembling spinal meningitis. There 
will be death loss among feeding lambs no mat- 
ter how carefully they are fed. Care will 
greatly reduce this loss, however. Tbe writer 
has had as low as 2 per cent and as high as 8 
per cent. If no more than 4 jDer cent of loss is 
sustained no one need shed tears. 

Attention to regularity in feeding, care that 
no doors or gates are left open to admit lambs 
to feed bins, and always feeding well under the 
gauge of the appetite will usually keejD the 
death loss very low. With Western lambs 
there is sometimes danger of their jumping 
into water tanks if they have access thereto. 
The feeder should be careful that no sudden 
fright causes them to stampede in the barn and 
]3ile up, which may smother a number. 

There is seldom any good accomplished by 
treating with medicine sick lambs in the feed 
lot, unless for stomach worms. These should 
be cleaned out before the feeding begins. The 
writer has probably lost his full share of lambs 
and has tried various remedial treatments, but 
is not aware that he ever helped one. Death, 
in fact, usually comes from some inflammation 



290 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

of the intestinal tract, caused by engorgement 
of rich food, and medicine only aggravates the 
trouble. 

There will occasionally be loss from gid, or 
turnsick, which is caused by a bladder worm 
parasite in the brain. There is no practical 
remedy for this, though the lamb when first 
observed will make good mutton. 

With regular, rational treatment the lambs 
will keep in health and when occasionally one 
dies the owner must console himself by thinking 
of the 99 well ones, meantime taking off the 
pelt, salting it well and feeding the fresh car- 
cass to his pigs or chickens. 

The writer does not believe it necessary for 
lambs to be out in their yards during day or 
night, so the barn or shed is as thoroughly aired 
as he has directed. When they are confined 
their urine is saved and the value of the manure 
greatly increased. Kich green fields spring up 
as by magic about the lamb feeding plant and 
when off years come and little direct money 
profit is seen the feeder can console himself if 
he has husbanded wisely his stores of manure 
by seeing the corn reaching toward heaven and 
flaunting its banners of deepest, darkest green, 
while following the corn are fine meadows, of 
alfalfa or clover. 

When lambs are fed long, until after green 
grass comes in spring, it is a temptation to turn 
them out to graze for a time. This is a mis- 
taken practice, sure to result in great loss. The 
lambs will not continue to gain on grass, even 
though fed their grain as usual, at least there 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 291 

will be a period of reaction when they will actu- 
ally lose flesh, though if the practice be con- 
tinued long enough they will gain it back again. 
It is more profitable to send them to market 
right from their dry lot. 

Sometimes, however, lambs are bought in the 
spring with the expectation of feeding them off 
on grass, with corn. This may prove a satis- 
factory enterprise, if it is carefully managed. 
The troughs should be placed in a yard or tem- 
porary corral in the pasture and when grain is 
put in them the entire flock must be called or 
driven within and fastened there for a sufficient 
time for them to consume their ration. They 
may then be loosened and permitted to roam 
where they will until the next feeding time 
arrives. 

The feeder must see to it that every lamb 
comes up every time. Otherwise he will have 
cases of indigestion and founder; many will 
get off their feed. 

Sometimes self-feeders are used on pasture. 
They seldom result well, owing to the essen- 
tially short memory and weak original impulse 
of the lamb. He will not leave his fellows to 
go for feed when he is hungry, and when he 
does reach the feeder he is apt to gorge himself 
thereafter declining to eat at all. 

USE OF SELF-FEEDEES. 

The writer has used self-feeders in past years 
in his feeding barns and discarded them en- 
tirely. Various tests have shown that not only 



292 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

is the death loss much heavier where self-feed- 
ers are used for corn but the cost of gains is 
also much greater. If bran is fed it may be fed 
in a self-feeder^ though of course this requires 
the use of considerable bran, and light screen- 
ings are well enough fed in that manner, but for 
corn, barley or wheat, troughs and regular ra- 
tions are safer and better. 

FEEDING BEET PULP. 

Nearness to sugar factories gives oppor- 
tunity to utilize the waste product called beet 
pulp. This pulp is an excellent food but con- 
tains 90 per cent of water. Therefore like si- 
lage,, it is not well to feed it without dry grain 
being added to the ration, as well as dry forage. 
A ton of pulp contains about the same feeding 
value as 200 lbs. of corn. This would indicate 
what the farmer can aif ord to pay for pulp, a 
very small amount indeed when he must count 
the cost of hauling and feeding. It is doubtless 
a healthful addition to the ration but experi- 
ments show that pulp alone with alfalfa hay 
does not make as good lambs as corn and al- 
falfa. 

There is little bone material in beet pulp, 
therefore lambs fed on it are said to suffer that 
lack. It would seem, however, that alfalfa 
would make good this deficiency. The prac- 
tical objection to feeding beet pulp in cold 
weather is its freezing, or its liability to make 
the yards damp 

The quality of meat from these pulp-fed 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 295 

lambs is very good, though they do not stand 
shipment so well as the corn-fed lambs. 

CAUSES OF DEATH IN THE FEED-LOT. 

Lambs born east of the Missouri river are 
often infested with stomach worms. In buying 
them in the fall to put on feed only the thin 
ones can be secured, and these are almost cer- 
tainly infested. These lambs will die rapidly 
in the feed lot unless they are thoroughly treated 
to eradicate the worms. 

Lambs free from parasites should not die. 
When they do it is because of some mistake in 
their management, or some accident. 

The heaviest losses that ever occurred to the 
writer came from feeding a large amount of oat 
hay, not well cured, and on which had been put 
too much salt in an effort to keep it from mould- 
ing. Very many lambs die from affections of 
the bladder causing retention of urine, or ^'wa- 
ter belly." There is some evidence that the 
too free use of oat hay will cause this. 

Many lambs are lost from indigestion caused 
by feeding too much grain, or by introducing 
them too suddenly to grain. Seventy-five per 
cent of all the lambs dying in the feed lot die 
from indigestion caused by over-eating of grain. 

In investigating the causes of death losses 
the writer has found these significant illustra- 
tions. One man fed his lambs in the sheds, 
feeding corn, clover hay and corn silage. He 
did not feed too much grain, but he did not turn 
the lambs out when he fed them. Thus some of 
the lambs began eating sooner than the others 



296 SHEEP FARMING IN AMEIUCA. 

and naturally ate too mucli. Another man had 
heavy losses because his lambs had not enough 
good hay and too much mouldy ensilage. Had 
they had a sufficiency of hay it is doubtful if 
they would have eaten the mouldy portions of 
the silage. It is not well to feed mouldy silage 
to any animals. We have lost lainbs through 
the carelessness of feeders in leaving the gran- 
ary door open. We have lost lambs from an 
awkward arrangement of our sheds^ having an 
L with a long and narrow extension. This pre- 
v^ented perfect distribution of the lambs. Some- 
thing frightened the lambs from the L, maybe a 
house cat, or a rai or barn fowl, and they 
fled to the main part of the shed soon after they 
were turned to their feed. A few ventured 
and ate too much corn. They died. The writer 
has had a death loss of less than 1 per cent, and 
as high as 6 per cent. No one need feel dis- 
heartened at a loss of three per cent between 
purchase and sale. 

To absolutely prevent loss it is quite neces- 
sary to start with healthy lambs; to rest them 
and begin by feeding very moderately, using 
good clover or alfalfa hay as the basis of their 
ration and to introduce them to corn very' 
slowly and gradually; to increase the ration so 
slowly that they will be unaware of the change 
—to feed always with perfect regularity and 
always a little less grain than they will con- 
sume and to give attention to veiy thorough 
ventilation and the supply of pure water. The 
salt supply should be always conveniently avail- 
able. Nothing should ever frighten the lambs. 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 297 

Stampeding them will often cause death. When 
lambs are lying down they should never be dis- 
turbed. They fatten most while reclining and 

asleep. 

PEAS FOR LAMBS. 

In some regions where the Canada field peas 
thrive, or near the factories where split peas 
are prepared, peas or pea refuse is available for 
lamb feeding. There is nothing better. Lambs 
grow, thrive and fatten admirably on this food. 
With peas for the grain ration it is not so ma- 
terial that alfalfa be fed, since peas are exceed- 
ingly rich in protein. 

THE BUSINESS OF LAMB FEEDING. 

The writer thinks it unnecessary to ask 
13ardon for thus devoting so many pages to the 
description of the lamb feeding industry, based 
on Western lambs, corn and alfalfa. 

It is easy to see from the immensity of the 
ranges and the constant supply of lambs coming 
from them, together with the great and ever- 
increasing demand for lamb mutton in the 
United States, that this industry is one not 
destined to soon diminish in importance. Old 
sheep are fed in relatively decreasing numbers 
and the demand for strictly ''baby lambs" is 
absorbing a greater and greater proportion of 
the farm-grown lambs. Lamb feeding as a 
speculation may result disastrously, indeed is 
certain to do so at times when feeders are 
bought dear, feeds are high in price and lambs 
sell cheaply in spring: but the farmer who fits 



298 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

himself for the business and feeds with care 
and steadiness year by year will find his profits 
encouraging and his farm increasing steadily in 
jDroductiveness. The work is such that farm 
labor finds employment the year 'round, thus 
good men are attracted to lamb-feeding farms. 

FEEDING OF OLDER SHEEP. 

After the lamb comes the yearling in point of 
merit as a feeder. Very often the yearling was a 
light lamb, too light the owner thought to put 
upon the market in the fall. In the feed lot year- 
lings thrive. They do not always have perfect 
front teeth and are therefore less able to eat ear 
corn. If bought light enough their gain is very 
good. They may be fed best in just the way de- 
scribed for feeding lambs and their treatment 
need vary in no particular save one. Should 
there be any ewes among these yearlings the 
feeder must be very careful that they do not get 
access in any way to the ram, or that there be 
no rams among the lot when bought. 

Ewes in the feed lot will not very often drop 
living lambs. If they are sent to market be- 
fore lambing, supposing they show strong signs 
of pregnancy, they are subject to dockage and 
may possibly be thrown out by the inspectors. 

FEEDING MATURE WETHERS. 

There are advantages in feeding wethers that 
lambs do not possess. They are big and strong 
and hardy. They do not die so easily. They 
do not need shelter so much as the lambs need 
it. They will thrive quite well on corn and corn 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 299 

stover with little hay. They are adapted to a 
ruder, rougher style of sheep husbandry than 
the lambs. 

There are, however, some few essentials to 
successful wether feeding. First and most im- 
portant is to buy the right class and to buy them 
cheap enough. With the lamb one can afford bet- 
ter to pay too much, since the gain in weight may 
be so great that the excess of cost may be offset 
by the good gain in pounds and profitable price 
for it. With mature sheep much smaller gains 
can be had and if there is not a material ad- 
vance in selling price over cost loss is apt to 
follow. 

In lamb feeding there is often more profit in 
buying small, immature lambs. W^ith wethers, 
on the other hand, the bigger and better ma- 
tured they are the better the chances presum- 
ably are for profits in feeding them— that is, 
if they have been bought low enough so that the 
selling price will be materially better. There is 
thus the advanced gain on the first cost besides 
the pay for what weight is put on. Opinions 
differ as to what advance in price the feeder of 
m.ature sheep must have in order to make a 
profit. Certainly it depends much upon the sell- 
ing price; if that is high there is need of less 
margin than if it is low. In general there 
should be a rise of a dollar per hundred to make 
feeding of mature sheep profitable. This also 
depends much upon the price of wool. When 
wool sells as high as 25 to 30 cents per pound 
the profit of feeding mature sheep is naturally 
much firreater than when wool is low. Then also 



300 



SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 



one can afford to feed the heavy shearing types, 
which do not naturally make so good gains in 
weight as do the more open wooled and light 
shearing sorts. 

In feeding sheep there is need for much less 
protein in the ration than when lambs are fed. 




A PAIR OF HAMPSHIRE LAMBS. 

The reason is plain: the mature sheep has its 
frame already built; has nearly as much mus- 
cular structure as it will ever have. It has 
been demonstrated that feeding does not ma- 
terially add to the flesh of the animal, unless 
perhaps in case of considerable emaciation, but 
puts on fat instead, either intruding it between 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 



301 



the muscles, or, what is usual with the sheep, 
depositing it in masses partly upon the inside 
and partly distributed over the body. 

The lamb, as has been noted, has its frame- 
work yet to build, therefore it needs and must 
have abundant protein, thence its thrift when 




AT A ROYAL ENGLISH SHOW. 

fed such protein-carrying foods as wheat bran, 
oilmeal, soy beans and alfalfa or clover hay. 

Corn, (maize) is preeminently the best food- 
stuff for fattening sheep. It may be fed in very 
economical manner. In Ohio it is the practice 
to cut the corn when ripe, gathering it into large 
shocks containing from 144 to 256 hills. These 
shocks tightl}^ bound about the tops keep out 



302 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

the weather and preserve the ears and blades 
very well. From the field the shocks are drawn 
direct to the feed yard, or to some large, dry 
feeding field, where the nnhusked corn is 
strewn thinly over the ground. Here the sheep 
consume the ears with little or no waste, trim- 
ming off the blades also. If this practice of 
feeding shock corn is now supplemented by sup- 
plying racks filled with clover or alfalfa hay the 
sheep are as well provided for as need be. 

Sheep consume more food than steers, weight 
for weight of animals being compared and also 
make slightly greater gains for food consumed. 
In general sheep will consume about one-fourth 
more than steers. 

There would thus seem to be considerable ad- 
vantage in feeding sheep over feeding cattle, 
when gains are considered and also fleeces se- 
cured, were it not that death losses are higher 
among sheep and also prices fluctuate consid- 
erably, sometimes feeders being relatively high 
in the fall and ripe sheep low in the spring. 

The correct management of the sheep feeding 
yard is simple. There should be provided 
wind breaks. It is an old saying that ''the pig 
can see the wind" and the sheep can certainly 
feel it through its thick coat. Sometimes these 
windbreaks are formed by long sheds, some- 
times by high fences, made tight, and sometimes 
they are of natural timber and brush. Some of 
the best sheep the writer has ever seen fed were 
fed in the old fashioned way on shock corn, in 
a blue-grass pasture that had been allowed to 
grow up very high and thick, and where open 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 303 

glades were interspersed with thickets of hazel, 
oak and hickory. In this primitive solitude the 
sheep found shelter and sustenance, feeding on 
shock corn strewn in the open places where the 
wind could not reach them. 

Water must be abundant and good and very 
accessible. Sheep will not thrive if they must 
go far for their drink. 

It is a good plan to provide wide, flat-bot- 
tomed troughs in which may be fed husked ear 
corn, since it will not all the season be prac- 
ticable to feed shock corn. If the sheep have 
their teeth they will shell the ear corn so read- 
ily that it is not worth while shelling it for them. 

The hay racks are best in shelter of sheds so 
that the hay cannot become wet with rains. 
And if there is room so that all can be sheltered 
from soaking storms all the better. Dry cold 
and snow will not hurt but wet is a serious set- 
back. 

Mam^ sheep feeders rely upon self-feeders 
for shelled corn for the finishing of the sheep. 
These are usually large bins, holding 20 to 100 
bushels each, with troughs on either side into 
which the corn descends slowly. There seems 
less objection to the use of the self-feeder for 
mature sheep than for lambs. The writer be- 
lieves, however, that the greater profit comes 
from regular feeding in troughs of rations a 
little under the appetites of the sheep. 

A better and safer self-feeder is the self feed- 
ing corn crib. This is built with a capacity of 
hundreds or thousands of bushels, with a large 
trous^h at the side into which corn descends. 



304 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

Sheep shell this corn at their will and the cobs 
are thrown out as they gather. 

Sheep ought to gain on feed from one to four 
pounds per week, depending on their condition 
and the stage of feeding. The gains are most 
rapid just before approaching ripeness. 

Death losses in feeding mature sheep should 
be slightly less than in feeding lambs. Natur- 
ally gains are less since there is not opportunity 
for much growth along with fattening. The 
writer once made a gain of 45 lbs. with lambs 
in the barn while his wethers outside, very well 
fed, gained 20 lbs. The wethers consumed more 
corn than the lambs but had no wheat bran 
which the lambs received. 

Sheep will consume better than lambs vari- 
ous coarse fodders. Soy bean straw they relish, 
if it is not weather damaged, and bean and pea 
straw. When only a maintenance ration is fed 
it may consist largely of these fodders, with a 
trifle of grain to keep up the weight. 

While in the regions west of the Missouri 
sheep feeding is carried on in this rather primi- 
tive fashion, in Michigan and Ohio it has pro- 
gressed further toward a right solution of the 
problem. The writer has a neighbor who has 
fed sheep for many years. This neighbor, 
Chas. Bales of Madison Co., Ohio, formerly fed 
in open yards protected only by high fences. In 
these yards he fed with shock corn, using self 
feeders toward the latter part of the period. 
He was able to get a gain of about 30 pounds, 
using the best class of Montana feeders. 

Later he built barns and sheds in which he 



WESTERN LAMB FEEDING. 307 

fed clover and alfalfa hay. Continuing his 
grain feeding in much the same manner he was 
able to increase his average gain so that 1,000 
sheep weighing when they went into the yard 
110 lbs. average increased to a weight of 156 lbs. 
besides shearing a fleece of 10 pounds. At the 
same time- he cut down his death losses to 2 
sheep from 1,200 one year and again to 6 from 
1,200. He attributes the lighter losses to the 
fact of the sheep being more comfortable, thus 
eating with more regularity, and not injuring 
their digestions by sudden overloading with 
grain. He now believes that the self-feeders 
should be under cover and only the shock corn 
fed in yards. 

This man makes a practice of saving the late 
summer growth of blue-grass on large pastures, 
on which the sheep are turned in October or 
November. On these pastures they remain un- 
til Christmas or sometimes till February if the 
season is suitable, having also racks filled with 
cjover or alfalfa hay. They then go to the yards 
for the final feeding, going to market, shorn, in 
May. 

He believes that the secret of success in feed- 
ing wethers is to buy the best, using those with 
a Cotswold or Lincoln cross if obtainable, and 
to keep them stuffed at all times full of grass 
or clover or alfalfa hay. He finds that by this 
method they consume less corn and do not suf- 
fer from indigestion from the result of too much 
grain. 

He does not turn the sheep to pasture until 
such time as danger from infection by intestinal 
parasites is past. 



CHAPTER X. 



THE DISEASES OF SHEEP. 

AILMENTS IN GENERAL. 

The writer is sure that sooner or later the 
reader will feel a sudden need of knowledge of 
sheep diseases and the remedies therefor. 
Thus at the risk of duplicating a good deal that 
has been said elsewhere, he devotes this chapter 
specifically to sheep diseases. 

At the outset let me say that to the novice, 
and sometimes to the professional, it is very 
difficult oftentimes to say just what ails a sick 
sheep. Diseases may, however, be divided into 
three principal classes. 

First, there may be some external parasite, 
as the tick, louse, scab or foot rot (which is in 
a sense an external disease.) 

Second, there may be some form of internal 
parasitism. This may be worms in the stom- 
ach or intestines, in the throat or lungs, or 
encysted worms making a bladder in the brain. 
And one or another of these internal parasites 
is the cause of most of the sickness among 
sheep. 

Last, there may be some derangement of the 
digestion due to improper feeding, no feeding 

(308) 



THE DISEASES OF SHEEP. 309 

at all, or gorging with grain. And in some 
regions, among the class of sheepmen who feed 
sheep in winter, nearly all diseases are of this 
origin. 

Now as to chance of cure. For external para- 
sites cure is easy and cheap. For scab, lice, 
and ticks there is the dipping bath, and this has 
been carefully explained in another place. 
Foot-rot is also of rather easy treatment. 

These things are matters requiring timely 
and prompt treatment and are no cause for 
alarm whatever except as scab breaks out in the 
winter time in the middle of the feeding season, 
when it is costly to dip and the sheep have seri- 
ous set-back therefrom. Indeed it is not just 
proper to class these external parasites as dis- 
eases, any more than fleas on a dog's back, 
though they jDroduce disease if left unchecked. 

The matter of internal parasites is much more 
serious. Nine-tenths of all the troubles of sheep 
east of the Missouri river are caused by some 
form or other of these plagues, or by a combina- 
tion of them. We will presently give to them 
some attention in detail. 

Derangements of the digestion, caused by too 
much or too little food, or by food of improper 
quality, are often hard to diagnose. For ex- 
ample, recently a neighbor of the writer came 
to him for advice. His wethers suffered from 
some brain disorder, they turned around and 
around in small circles, acting stupefied; they 
lingered a few days and died. These sheep had 
come from the same range in Montana. The 
writer promptly diagnosed the disease as gid 



310 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

or turn sickness caused by the encysted 
parasites called Taenia Coenurus. This worm 
is the fruit of a tape worm that infests dogs or 
wolves. The eggs pass from the dogs or 
wolves and are taken in by the sheep on the 
grass or in their drinking water. They hatch 
within the sheep and the young worms pierce 
the walls of the stomach, gaining the blood 
where they travel until they reach the brain, 
where they undergo a change, developing heads 
and making large bladders in which to live. It 
is necessary that the sheep should die after 
these cysts have reached a certain stage of de- 
velopment so that some dog, fox or wolf may 
feed upon the dead sheep's head and thus take 
into its own system the parasites which become 
established there as regular tape worms. Thus 
the round is continued. The tape worm within 
the dog or wolf reinfects the grass, the sheep 
become affected and die to infect more dogs (if 
there are any). Now the way this hydatid 
affects sheep is by pressing upon the brain sub- 
stance and absorbing it until the nervous sys- 
tem is quite deranged, the sheep is stupid, it 
turns steadily round and round, always the 
same way, neglects food and dies. 

The disease is somewhat prevalent in Eng- 
land and Scotland some years but is probably 
rare in America, at least in a rather long ex- 
perience the writer is not sure that he has ever 
seen an instance of it, but from his book lore 
he advised his neighbor to dissect the next ail- 
ing sheep and look for the brain bladder worm 
or hydatid. The neighbor obeyed, but no brain 



THE DISEASES OF SHEEP. 811 

disease was found. Another neighbor sent word 
to the afflicted one to cease feeding millet hay 
full of seed which he did and lost no more sheep, 
having lost some 30 before. Thus there was a 
clear case of deranged digestion deceiving one 
by the symptoms resembling those of brain par- 
asitism. 

The writer has seen other instances of de- 
ranged digestion that in the last stages gave 
symptoms very like the ones described. 

Now a word about true ''turn sickness." It 
is sometimes possible to cure the disease by 
locating the place in the brain where the blad- 
der is formed and cutting through the skull and 
destroying the j)arasite by puncturing the sac 
that holds it. Recovery sometimes follows this 
operation, it is said. And in Scotland it is re- 
ported that some shepherds have such skill that 
they can push a sharp wire up the nostril till 
it locates and punctures the bladder in the 
brain. This is an interesting and astounding 
fact, if true. In practice, in America, where 
sheep are plenty and veterinarians of the finest 
skill in sheep diseases are costly to employ for 
such cases, it is best to kill the sheep for mut- 
ton (which is not hurt by the brain hydatid in 
the earlier stages), feed the head to the tire, 
and not to dogs and get some new sheep. It is 
a safe rule never to allow a dog or wolf to de- 
vour a sheep's head at any time. And dogs 
about the place may well be treated for tape 
worms. Dr. Rushworth thus prescribes for tape 
worms in dogs: ''The dog to be treated should 
not be fed for at least twelve hours before re- 



312 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

ceiving the medicine but it can be allowed all 
the water it chooses. The evening before ad- 
ministering the worm medicine a dose of castor 
oil is advisable ; for large dogs the dose is three 
tablespoonfuls. Then in the morning take of 
kamala 3 drachms, gruel 1 ounce, mix and give 
as a dose. With a medium sized dog two 
drachms of kamala will be sufficient. This is 
a very etfective taeniacide." 

As to the cure of disorders of sheep caused by 
overfeeding in the barn or feed lot. Cases will 
occur in the best regulated barns, not very many 
when things are carefully done, but always 
some. The writer and his brothers and neigh- 
bors have lost hundreds of sheep and lambs in 
this manner and tried many reputed remedies. 
He does not now believe he has ever benefited a 
sick sheep by medicine or treatment when the 
cause was due to serious derangement of diges- 
tion. Death is almost sure to follow no matter 
what you may do. If there is virtue in any 
thing it is in simply taking the sheep away from 
all grain whatever and letting it alone. If there 
is not too much internal disorder this will suffice 
but in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred when 
the sheep is sick enough to be very noticeable it 
will die no matter what you may do. So pre- 
vention, not remedy is the rule for disorders of 
the digestion. These cases come from gorging 
with grain and there is probably some toxic 
poison formed, for in many instances where the 
writer has made post-mortem examinations of 
afflicted sheep immediately after death no mor- 
bid condition was apparent save a slight inflam- 



THE DISEASES OF SHEEP. 313 

mation of some part of the intestinal tract, and 
sometimes even this was not in evidence. 

Disorders of the bladder causing stoppage of 
the urine are caused by the deposit of limy sub- 
stances in the bladder, which become washed 
into the urethra where they lodge, causing in- 
flammation, stoppage of the urine, a period of 
suffering accompanied with great distension of 
the bladder, then death. 

The reason for this disorder seems to be in 
some instances the eating of too many mangels 
rich in lime, the eating of too much salt, or the 
drinking of water too ''hard" with lime. The 
worst instance that ever came under the writ- 
er's observation was in his own feeding barns 
where he had a great store of oat hay, put up 
so very moist that to save it, it was liberally 
sprinkled with salt. The salt was greatly in 
excess of the needs of the animals and made 
them consume much more water than they 
otherwise would. Very many of the wether 
lambs became afflicted with this distressing 
malady and many remedies were attempted to 
save them. Some few may have been benefited, 
though the writer doubts it. It is recommended 
to cut off the vermiform appendage in the end 
of the penis, and to slit the penis, opening the 
urethra, to free it from limy substances that 
obstruct. The writer advises prevention, and 
in his own experience with thousands of sheep 
and lambs under observation fed by his broth- 
ers for some years, good plain practice, using 
the same water supply, has resulted in not one 
instance of ''water belly." The writer has 



X 



314 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

been informed of other instances where oat hay 
had seemingly caused this disorder without the 
accomiDaniment of an overdose of salt. 

The use of clover or alfalfa hay with corn 
silage in not too great quantity and corn, with 
oats or bran if desired^ will not cause this dis- 
order in one instance in thousands. 

This is not a treatise on starvation, but it 
may be as well to drop here a hint that sheep 
that have been starved near to death for some 
time are not usually profitable animals to buy, 
since they take a long time to recover and many 
will die in the process unless great care is used 
in building them up again. The writer has 
known instances of famishing sheej) being 
bought for a few cents each on some dried-up 
and overstocked range, shipped to other more 
fruitful ranges distant some ways and there 
turned out on good grass. They died rapidly, 
however, and continued to die for some time 
after being placed on the good feed. 

IMPORTANCE OF POST-MORTEM DISSECTION. 

The novice in sheep breeding and feeding, or 
the old hand for that matter, should take fre- 
quent opportunity of post-mortem examination 
of a sheep recently dead, seeking to see whether 
the cause of death is from disordered digestion 
or parasitic infection. It is useless to dissect 
a sheep that has been dead for some days and 
even after the lapse of a few hours there will 
often be misleading appearances, as of blood 
settling in one part or another, that will cause 
him to form very curious conclusions as to the 



THE DiSEAyES OF SHEEP. 315 

cause of death and miss the real cause entirely. 
It would be amusing if it was not so annoying 
to read the letters from sheep owners attempt- 
ing to describe the symptoms of their sick sheep 
and the results found after their making crude 
post-mortem examination. 

Let us rest the case here; that only careful 
regular and judicious feeding will prevent 
death in the barn and feed lot and that medica- 
tion for ''water belly" or retention of urine and 
for serious indigestion has never yet proved of 
use. The fact is that the sheep suffering from 
slight indigestion is not readily detected among 
hundreds, and when its case is obvious it is too 
far gone generally to be helped by any known 
treatment whatever. 

OTHER DISEASES OF SHEEP. 

Of a long list of diseases that sheep may 
sometimes be afflicted with, such as rheuma- 
tism, apoplexy, goitre, pining, humping, ery- 
sipelas, actinomycosis, tetanus, rabies, sheep 
pox, and a lot of other diseases usually cata- 
logued, the writer has seldom seen an instance 
in his own flocks and if he had seen it would 
have felt powerless to help, with all the knowl- 
edge of specialists available. Sheep are said 
to suffer sometimes from black leg but it is 
rarely if ever reported in America, and in Eng- 
land, on the extremely fertile pastures of Kent, 
sheep suffer from anthrax. This disease is rare 
indeed in America among sheep. 

Sheep do not suffer from tuberculosis, at 



316 SHEEP FARMING IX AMERICA. 

least the disease is exceedingly rare among 
tliein in America or elsewhere. 

In truth, of the long list of diseases usually 
catalogued as occurring in sheep the shepherd 
will not in his lifetime observe more than one 
or two, always excepting the diseases that come 
from internal or external parasites, from un- 
wise feeding and from garget of the udder. 

It is wise, therefore, to study carefully the 
question of the internal parasite and to learn 
ways of management that will avoid them. 
This learned all the long catalogue of diseases 
may repose serenely upon the library shelf, 
since the occurrence of an instance of one of 
them in the flock will be of the rarest. 

GARGET OR MAMMITIS. 

This is a disease that affects the udders of 
the very best and largest milking ewes, pre- 
ferring those that are best bred and most cod- 
dled. The symptoms are a hard, distended 
udder, from which a changed sort of watery 
milk may be drawn, which often becomes 
streaked with blood and sometimes with pus. 
The flesh of the udder is often red or purple 
and upon pressure can be dented with the hand. 
The ewe has fever and distress, milk secretion 
ceases, the udder mortities and if the ewe lives 
lono- enough it sloughs off, leaving a sore slow 
to heal. In mild cases the symptoms are much 
]ess severe and the ewe soon recovers, losing 
perhaps the use of one quarter of her udder. 

One of the causes that led the author to at- 
tempt this work was his despair of finding light 



THE DISEASES OF SHEEP. 317 

on this and some other subjects in any existent 
book that had come to his notice. The causes 
usually assigned to the production of garget are 
lying on the cold ground, bunting by lambs or 
from having too much milk for the lamb to take 
clean. Doubtless all these things are evils, but 
the writer is convinced that the cause of garget 
is something quite apart from any one of them. 

Probably there are two forms of garget, 
caused by different things and running differ- 
ent courses. Too m-uch milk in the udder caused 
by the death or removal of a lamb, may cause 
caked bag and injure a portion of the udder, 
but that is a far different disease from the ma- 
lignant garget that has often nearly broken the 
heart of the writer and of his younger brother, 
upon whose shoulders the mantle of shepherd- 
ing on Woodland Farm has fallen. Indeed, ex- 
cepting that the seat of the disease is in the 
udder, there are no symptoms in common with 
the two diseases. The writer has never seen a 
case of caked bag result fatally and but one or 
two of real garget recover; those after a long 
Xoeriod of healing when the entire udder had 
slonghed off. 

The writer believes that all the cases of ma- 
lignant garget that have come under his obser- 
vation have had a common cause, one not men- 
tioned in the books, a sudden increase in the 
food of the ewe, resulting in perhaps some mor- 
bid change in her blood that going to the udder, 
shortly after her lambing (the period has some- 
times been as long perhaps as two weeks there- 
after) and finding there some favorite germ has 



j 



318 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

set up there the great and rapid destruction of 
live tissue that is seen. Doubtless the disease 
is caused by the multiplication of microbes com- 
ing from an introduced germ, equally doubtless 
the conditions must be right for the develop- 
ment of the germ. And the right conditions 
seem to be the derangement of the blood by too 
much food, especially by feeding with corn 
(maize). 

A skilled veterinarian once related to the 
writer that he had never dissected the udder of 
a cow without finding therein, along with the 
milk ducts, germs of bacteria that he consid- 
ered the agents that cause bovine garget. How 
the germ got there he could not tell. When 
conditions were right for the germ it multiplied 
and did its work of destruction. When con- 
ditions were right for the cow it remained, wait- 
ing. This is probably the explanation also in 
the case of the ewe. 

Corn feeding of milking ewes has apparently 
induced most of the cases of malignant garget 
that have come under the writer's observation. 
Indeed he has seen a fine ewe, proud of her two 
beautiful lambs, with an udder like a Jersey 
cow, break into the lot of feeding lambs and 
gorge herself with corn ; he has predicted at once 
that she would come down with garget, and 
has seen his sombre prediction verified; has had 
the sad task of trying to find mothers for the 
two worse than orphans and nursed the mother 
for weeks till at last, ghost of her former self, 
she went with the flock again, her udder com- 



THE DISEASES OP SHEEP. 319 

pletely gone and only a partly healed surface 
to show where it had sloughed off. 

The books prescribe for malignant garget 
hot water, camphor, applied externally, and 
epsom salts and iron and quinine taken inter- 
nally. The writer after faithful efforts with 
hot water and all the rest of the remedies does 
not feel that he has ever in one instance even 
mitigated the horrors of this form of garget, 
so will not burden the reader with his recipes. 
Let the shejjherd experiencing his first instance 
of trouble resolve that hereafter his ewes shall 
have the most gradual increase in feed after 
lambing ; that they shall be given little corn and 
more bran, oats and early-cut clover or alfalfa 
hay, with roots or silage to make milk and that 
by this means he can prevent future inflictions 
of this nature. 

For the simpler form of caked bag, however, 
hot water applications are doubtless good, with 
rubbings of camphor and belladonna, and some 
have recommended counter irritants like kero- 
sene oil. This form will never occur either if 
the shepherd will keep the ewe milked out after 
lambing, and perhaps sometimes just before 
lambing if she is a wonderful milker, and will 
feed right taking care also at weaning time. 

GKUBS IN THE HEAD. 

Most of the old sheep books have chapters 
on this disease. It seems therefore the duty of 
the writer to speak of it also though he must con- 
fess that his practical experience with the pest 



320 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

has been very small. This may be because his 
flocks have almost always had shade of dark 
barn basements in which to lie during the heat 
of the day, conditions not conducive to the de- 
position of the eggs that hatching in the nostrils 
of the sheep crawl up into the sinuses of the 
nose and form the mature grubs. It may be, 
also, that well nourished sheep the more easily 
repel tlie grubs, or endure them with least in- 
convenience. 

There is no cure for grubs, once they are 
established. They can not crawl into the brain 
of the sheep. They Vv^ll come out of their own 
accord in due time. They change into a fly that 
in turn lays eggs for more grubs. You can- 
not do anything except to feed well the sheep. 
''Grub in the belly is a cure for grub in the 
head" is an old saying. Tar on the noses will 
let the sheep eat in comfort; once shepherds 
bored holes in logs and put salt in the bottom of 
the holes and pine tar around them. Sheep eat- 
ing the salt got the tar. It needed replenishing 
daily, or oftener. Easier is the darkened shed 
for the sheep to lie in. 

LIVER FLUKE. — ^^ THE EOT.'^ 

This terrible disease has caused in the past 
great havoc in the old world. It is less prev- 
alent there since the underdraining of their 
lands. It was a parasitic disease; the parasite 
])assing one stage of its life in the liver of the 
sheep, the other in the body of a snail. If there 
is no water for the snail (a water species is 



THE DISEASES OF SHEEP. 321 

chosen) the flukes cannot propagate. There is 
very little if any of the disease in America. 

NODULAR DISEASE. 

This is the disease commonly called by butch- 
ers ''knotty guts." It is characterized by small 
tumors on the intestines, the tumors filled with 
a greenish cheesy substance. The disease is 
caused by a small worm, about an inch long, 
called oesophagostoma columbianum. The 
worm thrives in spite of its name. This worm 
seems a distinctly American species, inhabiting 
deer, goats and sheep, possibly rabbits. What 
it does to the sheep is to interfere with the di- 
gestion and assimilation of food. It works its 
way gradually into a flock and brings ruin to it. 
There is said to be no cure. Its progress is 
usually slow and it takes years to kill a sheep, 
as a rule. The way of spreading is by infecting 
the soil and grass through the excrements of 
the afflicted sheep. Therefore when sheep are 
so managed that lambs do not graze much be- 
hind their mothers they will not become affect- 
ed. Presumably the contamination of the soil 
will not last longer than one year. This point 
we hope will be demonstrated by our national 
or state experiment stations before long. It is 
a vital necessity to know that of both the nodu- 
lar disease and the stomach worm. Thus it is 
evident that a healthy flock can be produced by 
not intermixing the infection free young sheep 
with the irtfected older ones, and fattening and 
by marketing the older ones as fast as practic- 
able. Little or nothing in the way of medica- 



322 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

tion can be done to cure the afflicted sheep. 
Prevention of the disease by right treatment of 
the young ones is the thing to be aimed at. 

TAPE WOKMS. 

There are occasionally outbreaks of disease 
caused by tape worms. Montana and the Da- 
kotas have suffered from these outbreaks, also 
various regions in the Eastern states. The 
writer has never observed a case of this kind 
upon the farm occupied by himself and his 
brothers and attributes this freedom from in- 
fection in part at least to the free feeding of 
pumpkins in the fall of almost every year. 
Pumpkin seeds are well known vermifuges of 
great value. 

The tape worm of sheep, taenia expansa, va- 
ries in length from three to six yards. It is 
from one twenty-fifth of an inch in breadth at 
the head to one-half an inch at the tail. In ap- 
pearance it is a dull white. It causes scouring, 
bloodlessness, white skin, emaciation, weakness 
and sometimes death. 

Treatment should be given to each one of the 
affected flock. Prepare them for treatment by 
fasting for 12 hours. After being treated they 
should be confined for 24 hours so that the seg- 
ments of tape worm expelled will not be scat- 
tered over the fields, to further infect them. 
The sheep should after treatment has been 
deemed satisfactory be put on clean fresh 
ground. 

Dr. Rushworth always prescribes kamala for 
tape worms The dose is three drachms mixed 



THE DISEASES OF SHEEP. 323 

well in three ounces of linseed gruel, this dose 
for adult sheep. Lambs will require from one 
to two drachms, according to their size. 

Any medicine administered to a sheep should 
be given with the sheep standing in a natural 
position, with its head raised not too high, and 
given slowly, so that it may pass at once into 
the fourth stomach. If it passes into the paunch 
it will probably not do much good. 

If the kamala does not prove effective Rush- 
worth advises giving ethereal extract of male 
shield fern, one drachm castor oil, four ounces, 
mix and give as a dose to mature sheep. Lambs 
can have from one to three-fourths of this dose. 

A tonic is then prescribed, consisting of salt, 
2 pounds, epsom salts, 1 pound, sulphate of iron, 
one-half pound, powdered gentian, one half 
pound, nitrate of potash, 4 ounces. This is to 
be mixed together and fed to 100 sheep, in oats, 
bran or other feed. The writer believes good 
feed and change of pasture will make much tonic 
unnecessarv. 



There is a minute parasitic worm called 
Strongylus tilaria that inhabits the bronchial 
tubes, causing .the animals to cough and run at 
the nose, sometimes bringing death. In the 
opinion of the writer this is not a very prev- 
alent disease in America, fortunately. The 
remedy is thought to be to fumigate with sul- 
phur. The writer has tried the remedy and 
though the lambs treated did not have the dis- 
ease for which he treated them they mostly sur- 



324 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

vived the operation What they had, and what 
most coughing, emaciated lambs have, is a re- 
lated parasite, of far more import to us all, the 
dreaded stomach worm. 

THE STOMACH WORM. 

This little worm is but % of an inch long and 
albout as thick as a hair. It lives in the fourth 
stomach and especially afflicts lambs. It causes 
the diseases (or symptoms, rather) of ''paper 
skin," ''black scours," "lamb cholera" and so 
on. It attacks lambs at any age after they be- 
gin to nibble grass until cool weather comes in 
the fall. It is the smallest parasite yet men- 
tioned in this list of diseases and has wrought a 
hundred times the havoc that these have all to- 
gether It has devastated whole regions so that 
the sheep industry has been given up to them 
and men have taken to breeding swine. The 
stomach worm is responsible for gullied hill- 
sides, abandoned farms, and boys leaving the 
farm. It is not a new pest but in olden time 
when sheep suffered from it men did not know 
the cause. Many years ago it swept over Ohio, 
decimating the Merino flocks, and over all the 
states of the corn belt. Then no remedy was 
known, nor was it understood whence came in- 
fection or how immunity could be had. Now 
we know all this and the stomach worm has 
lost its terrors to the intelligent and watchful 
shepherd. 

This fourth stomach of the sheep is just where 
the intestines attach and where an important 
part of the digestion takes place. When it is 



THE DISEASES OF SHEEP. 325 

filled with these tiny worms digestion is wonder- 
fully disturbed and the lamb loses tone, the 
wool appears dead, the skin loses its pinkness, 
the appetite is deranged. The lamb may scour 
and may be constipated. It eats earth or rotten 
wood, in the latter stages of the disease. There 
may come a dropsical swelling beneath the un- 
der jaw. This is not a disease, only a symptom 
of the disease. 

Depend upon it, if it is May, or from then 
till October, and your lambs are droopy, lan- 
guid, their wool dead looking, their skins chalky, 
they have stomach worms. Just catch one and 
kill it, dissect it at once and examine the fourth 
stomach with care. You will surely see there 
the little writhing serpents that do the mischief. 

These worms inhabit old sheep too, but do 
not do them so much harm. The life history 
is like this: the worms become mature in the 
body of the older sheep and pass out, laden with 
eggs about to hatch. The little worms do some- 
thing, we do not know what, to get back into the 
sheep again. Probably they crawl up a little 
way on the grass. The lambs come along and 
nibbling close on tender grass where the ewes' 
excrements have been dropped take in the 
worms They mature in the lamb and raise 
havoc there as we have said. 

Now cold weather either numbs or destroys 
these worms so that there is no danger of in- 
fection in winter, late fall or early spring. 

Elsewhere, in management, the prevention of 
stomach worms is described. Here we will con- 
cern ourselves with the cure of afflicted lambs. 



326 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

The writer has dosed hundreds. For a number 
of years he has, on the same farm, had no cases 
to doctor. Moral : there is something in manage- 
ment. But there is something in cure also. 
Therefore the writer appends parts of bulletin 
of the U. S. Bureau of Animal Industr^^ pre- 
pared by B. H. Ransom, March 1907. The 
writer has faith in the gasoline treatment and 
was the first man in America to administer it. 
His brother has had better success with car- 
bolic acid tlian coal tar creosote using 12 drops 
for a mature sheep, given in milk. The bulletin 
follows : 

The stomach worm of sheep, known to zoolo- 
gists as HaemoncJius contortus, is generally 
recognized as one of the most serious pests with 
which the sheep raiser has to contend. Sheep 
of all ages are subject to infection, and cattle 
and goats as well as various wild ruminants 
may also harbor the parasite. The most serious 
effects of stomach-worm infection are seen in 
lambs, while full-grown sheep, although heavily 
infested, may show no apparent symptoms of 
disease. It is from these, however, through 
the medium of the pasture, that the lambs be- 
come infected. 

SYMPTOMS AND DIAGNOSIS. 

Among the symptoms which have been de- 
scribed for stomach-worm disease probably the 
most frequent are anemia, loss of flesh, general 
weakness, dullness, capricious appetite, thirst, 
and diarrhea. The anemic condition is seen in 
the paleness of the skin and mucous membranes 



THE DISEASES OF SHEEP. 327 

of the mouth and eye, and in the watery swell- 
ings which often develop nnder the lower jaw. 
A more certain diagnosis may be made by kill- 
ing one of the flock and opening the fourth 
stomach. The contents of the fourth stomach 
are allowed to settle gently, and by carefully 
watching the liquid the parasites, if present in 
any considerable numbers, will be seen actively 
wriggling about like little snakes from one-half 
to 114 inches long and about as thick as an ordi- 
nary pin. 

LIFE HISTORY OF THE STOMACH WORM. 

The worms in the stoiPxach produce eggs of 
microscopic size, which pass out of the body in 
the droppings and are thus scattered broadcast 
over the pasture. If the temperature is above 
40^ to 50° F. the eggs hatch out, requiring from 
a few hours to two weeks, according as the tem- 
perature is high or low. When the tempera- 
ture is below 40^ F. the eggs remain dormant, 
and in this condition may retain their vitality 
for two or three months, afterwards hatching 
out if the weather becomes warmer. Freezing 
or drying soon kills the unhatched eggs. The 
tiny worm which hatches from the egg feeds up- 
on the organic matter in the manure, and grows 
until it is nearly one-thirtieth of an inch in 
length. Further development then ceases until 
the worm is swallowed by a sheep or other 
ruminant, after which it again begins to grow, 
and reaches maturity in the fourth stomach of 
its host in two to three weeks. The chances of 
the young worms being swallowed are greatly 



328 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

increased by the fact that they crawl up blades 
of grass whenever sufficient moisture— such as 
dew, rain, or fog— is present, provided also that 
the temperature is above 40°F. When the tem- 
perature is below 40°F. the worms are inactive. 

The young worms which have reached the 
stage when they are ready to be taken into the 
body are greatly resistant to cold and dryness; 
they will stand repeated freezing, and have 
been kept in a dried condition for thirty-five 
days, afterwards reviving when moisture was 
added. At a temperature of about 70° F. young 
worms have been kept alive for as long as six 
months, and the infection in inclosures (near 
Washington, D. C.) which has been pastured by 
infested sheep did not die out in over seven 
months, including the winter, the inclosures 
having been left vacant from October 25 to 
June 16. It is uncertain whether infection in 
fields from which sheep have been removed will 
die out more rapidly during warm weather or 
during cold weather ; experiments on this point 
are under way, but have not been sufficiently 
completed for definite statements to be made. 
It is, however, safe to say that a field which has 
had no sheep, cattle, or goats upon it for a year 
will be practically free from infection, and fields 
which have had no sheep or other ruminants 
upon them following cultivation may also be 
safely used. The time required for a clean 
pasture to become infectious after infested 
sheep are placed upon it depends upon the tem- 
perature; that is, the field does not become in- 
fectious until the eggs of the parasites contained 



THE DISEASES OF SHEEP. 329 

in the droppings of the sheep have hatched out 
and the young worms have developed to the 
final larval stage, and the rapidity of this 
development depends upon the temperature. It 
may be stated here that neither the eggs nor the 
newly hatched worms are infectious and only 
those worms which have reached the final larval 
stage are able to continue their development 
when swallowed. This final larval stage is 
reached in three to four days after the eggs 
have passed out of the body of the host if the 
temperature remains constantly at about 95° F. 
At 70° F., six to fourteen days are required, and 
at 46° to 57° F., aggregating about 50° F., three 
to four weeks are ncessary for the eggs to hatch 
and the young worms to develop to the infec- 
tious stage. At temperatures below 40° F., as 
already stated, the eggs remain dormant. 

METHODS OF PREVENTING INFECTION. 

It is evident from the foregoing statements 
that in the northern part of the United States, 
under usual climatic conditions, infested and 
non-infested sheep may be placed together in 
clean fields the last of October or first of No- 
vember and kept there until March or even 
later, according to the weather, with little or no 
danger of the non-infested sheep becoming in- 
fected. If moved then to another clean field 
they may remain there nearly the entire month 
of April before there is danger of infection. 
From the 1st of May on through the summer the 
pastures become infectious much more quickly 
after infested sheep are placed upon them, and 



330 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

during May it would be nece&sary to move the 
sheep at the end of every two weeks, in June at 
the end of every ten days, and in July and 
August at the end of each week, in order to pre- 
vent the non-infested sheep from becoming in- 
fected from the worms present in the rest of the 
flock. After the 1st of September the period 
may again be lengthened. This method of pre- 
venting infection in lambs would require a con- 
siderable number of small pastures or subdivi- 
sions of large pastures, and in many instances 
could not be profitably employed, but in cases 
where it could be used it would undoubtedly 
prove very effective. By the time the next lamb 
crop appeared the pastures used the year be- 
fore would have remained vacant long enough 
for the infection to have disappeared, and would 
consequently again be ready for use. By con- 
tinuing this rotation from year to year, not only 
would each crop of lambs be protected from in- 
fection, but as reinfection of the infested ewe 
flock is prevented at the same time, the parasite 
would in a few years be entirely eradicated from 
the flock and pastures. 

If such frequent rotation is not possible or 
practicable, a smaller number of pastures may 
be utilized, after the ewe flock has been treated 
with vermifuges. The treatment may be given 
either before or after the birth of the lambs. If 
before, the ewes should be treated before preg- 
nancy is too far advanced, in order to avoid pos- 
sible bad results from the handling necessarv in 
treatment. Probably the best time for treat- 
ment is late in the fall or early in the winter. 



THE DISEASES OP SHEEP. 331 

The treated sheep should be placed immediately 
on clean pasture in order to avoid reinfection. 
The object of treating the ewes is to get rid of 
the worms with which they are infested, and 
thus remove the source from which the pasture 
becomes contaminated. If it were possible by 
treatment to free the old sheep entirely from 
stomach worms, it is evident that the lambs 
would remain free from infection, provided, of 
course, that the flock were afterwards kept on 
clean pasture. Unfortunately, there is no ver- 
mifuge known which can always be depended 
upon to remove all of the worms, but it is pos- 
sible to get rid of most of them and thus greatly 
reduce the amount of infection to which the 
lambs will be exposed. 

Two other methods may be suggested by 
which lambs can be kept free from infection 
with stomach worms. 

1. It is assumed that a large pasture is avail- 
able which has had no sheep, goats, or cattle 
upon it for a year, if a permanent pasture, or 
since cultivation, if a seeded pasture. This 
pasture is subdivided into two by a double line 
of fence, and a drainage ditch is run along the 
alley between the two fences. At one end of the 
alley between the two subdivisions a small yard 
is constructed, communicating with each of the 
subdivisions by means of a gate. When the 
lambs are born they are placed in one of the 
subdivisions and the ewes are placed in the 
other. The small yard should be kept free of 
vegetation and must not drain into the lamb 
pasture. As often as necessary the lambs are 



332 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

allowed in the small yard with the ewes for 
suckling. The rest of the time- the lambs and 
the ewes are kept separate in their respective 
pastures. By this arrangement the lambs are ex- 
posed to infection only while they are in the 
small yard, where they may become infected 
either by embryos of the stomach worm present 
on the manure-soiled skin of the infested ewe, 
or by embryos picked up from the ground which 
has been contaminated by the droppings of the 
ewes. The chances of infection from the skin 
of the ewe are so light that in practice this 
source of infection need not be considered. The 
danger of infection from the ground may be 
avoided by frequently removing the manure 
from the yard and keeping the surface sprinkled 
with lime and salt. The lambs and ewes will 
soon learn the way to their proper pastures, and 
after a few days little difficulty will be experi- 
enced in separating them each time after the 
Jambs are through suckling. 

2. Another plan which may be followed 
where the climatic conditions are suitable— that 
is, in regions where there is a cold winter sea- 
son—is that of having the lambs born at a time 
of year when there will be no danger of their be- 
coming infected during the suckling period, and 
weaning and separating them from the rest of 
the flock before the advent of warm weather. 
Under the usual climatic conditions of the State 
of Ohio, for instance, if the lambs are born in 
the latter part of October or the first of Novem- 
ber they may remain with the ewes on fields 
which have not been previously occupied by 



THE DISEASES OF SHEEP. 333 

sheep, goats or cattle within a year— or, if cul- 
tivated fields, since cultivation— until the fol- 
lowing March without danger of becoming in- 
fected, since the eggs in the droppings of the 
infested ewes will not hatch out during this time 
of year because of the cold weather. The use 
of fields not previously occupied by sheep, 
goats, or cattle within a year, or since cultiva- 
tion, is necessary, since otherwise the fields 
would be already infected with young worms 
which had hatched out and reached the infec- 
tious stage before the beginning of cold weather, 
and the lambs would consequently be liable to 
infection from picking up these young worms, 
which are not killed by cold weather after they 
have reached the final stage of larval develop- 
ment. When they are weaned the lambs must, 
of course, be placed on clean pasture, if they are 
to continue free from infection. With this 
method only two clean pastures are necessary, 
one in which the ewes and lambs are placed in 
the fall, and another for the lambs when they 
are weaned in March. 

Unfortunately for this scheme, it is not 
always possible to have lambs born at the be- 
ginning of the winter season; but with addi- 
tional clean pastures a modification of the fore- 
going method may be used in the case of lambs 
born toward the end of the winter or in the 
spring. In the northern United States lambs 
born the first of February for example, may be 
kept with their mothers in a clean field or past- 
ure until the last of March, as in the case of 
those born at the beginning of winter, but un- 



334 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

like the latter they will not then be old enough 
to wean. Accordingly they are not separated 
from the rest of the flock, but the ewes and 
lambs are moved together to a second clean 
pasture April 1. May 1 they are moved to a 
third clean pasture, May 15 they are moved 
again, and finally the lambs are weaned June 1 
at the age of four months, and moved by them- 
selves to a clean pasture. In the case of lambs 
born the first of March and weaned the first of 
July three additional clean pastures would be 
required for use during the month of June, and 
with later lambs a still greater number of past- 
ures would be necessary. 

TREATMENT EOR STOMACH WORMS. 

Among the remedies which may be used to re- 
move stomach worms may be mentioned coal- 
tar creosote, bluestone, and gasoline. 

The animals to be treated should be deprived 
of feed for twelve to sixteen or even twenty- 
four hours before they are dosed, and in case 
bluestone is used should receive no water on the 
day they are dosed, either before or after dos- 
ing. In drenching, a long-necked bottle or a 
drenching tube may be used. In case a bottle is 
used the dose to be given may be first measured 
off, poured into the bottle, and the point marked 
on the outside of the bottle with a file, so that 
subsequent doses may be measured in the bot- 
tle itself. A simple form of drenching tube con- 
sists of a piece of rubber tubing about 3 feet 
long and one-half inch in diameter, with an or- 
dinary tin funnel inserted in one end and a piece 



THE DISEASES OF SHEEP. 335 

of brass or iron tubing 4 to 6 inclies long and of 
suitable diameter inserted in the other end. In 
use the metal tube is placed in the animal's 
mouth between the back teeth, and the dose is 
poured into the funnel, which is either held by 
an assistant or fastened to a post. The flow of 
liquid through the tube is controlled by pinch- 
ing the rubber tubing near the point of union 
with the metal tube. It is important not to raise 
the animal's head too high on account of the 
danger of the dose entering the lungs. The 
nose should not be raised higher than the level 
of the eyes. The animal may be dosed either 
standing on all fours or set upon its haunches. 
It has been found by experiment that if the 
dose is taken quietly most of it will pass directly 
to the fourth stomach when the animal is dosed 
in a standing position, and that when the animal 
is placed on its haunches only a part of the dose 
passes immediately to the fourth stomach. 
From this it is evident that the position on all 
fours is preferable, as more of the dose passes 
to the place where its action is required. 

Great care should be used not only in dosing 
to avoid the entrance of the liquid into the 
lungs, but also in the preparation and adminis- 
tration of the remedy so that the solution may 
not be too strong or the dose too large. 

COAL-TAE CREOSOTE. 

Good results have been obtained from a single 
dose of a 1 per cent solution of coal-tar creosote. 
This solution is made by shaking together 1 
ounce of coal-tar creosote and 99 ounces (6 



336 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

pints 3 ounces) of water. The doses of this 1 
per cent mixture recommended by Stiles are as 
follows : 

Lambs 4 to 12 months old 2 to 4 ounces. 

Yearling sheep and above 3 to 5 ounces. 

Calves 3 to 8 monttis old 5 to 10 ounces. 

Yearling steers 1 pint. 

Two-year-olds and above 1 quart. 

Serious objections to the use of coal-tar creo- 
sote have been found in that the substance 
known by this name varies considerably in com- 
position and in that some trouble is often ex- 
perienced in obtaining it in many parts of the 
country. Complaints have been made that the 
substance dispensed by some druggists as coal- 
tar creosote has failed to give satisfactory re- 
sults. 

BLUESTONE. 

Bluestone, or copper sulphate, has been ex- 
tensively used in South Africa in the treatment 
of sheep for stomach worms and is recommended 
by the colonial veterinary surgeon of Cape 
Colony as the best and safest remedy. His di- 
rections are to take 1 pound avoirdupois of 
pure bluestone, powder it fine, and dissolve in 
nine and one-half United States gallons of 
warm water. It is better to first dissolve 
the bluestone in 2 to 4 quarts of boil- 
ing water, then add the remaining quantity in 
cold water, and mix thoroughly. This solution 
is given in the following-sized doses: 

Lambs 3 months old % ounce. 

Lambs 6 months old m ounces. 

Sheep 12 months old 'IV2 ounces. 

Sheep 18 months old 3 ounces. 

Sheep 24 months old 3^4 ounces. 

In making up the solution only clear blue 



THE DISEASES OF SHEEP. 337 

crystals of bluestone should be used. Bluestone 
with white patches or crusts should be rejected. 
It is especially important that the bluestone 
and water be accurately weighed and measured, 
and that the size of the dose be graduated ac- 
cording to the age of the sheep. 

GASOLINE. 

Gasoline is one of the most popular remedies 
for stomach worms which has been used in this 
country and has the particular advantage of 
being readily obtained. It is important to re- 
peat the dose if the gasoline treatment is em- 
ployed, and it is usual to administer the treat- 
ment on three successive days, as follows : 

The evening before the first treatment is to 
be given the animals are shut up without feed 
or water and are dosed about 10 o'clock the 
next morning. Three hours later they are al- 
lowed feed and water, and at night they are 
again shut up without feed or water. The next 
morning the second dose is given, and the third 
morning the third dose, the treatment before 
and after dosing being the same in each case. 

The sizes of the doses are as follows : 

Lambs H ounce. 

Sheep Vz ounce. 

Calves ^/2 ounce. 

Yearling steers l ounce. 

The dose for each animal is measured and 
mixed separately in linseed oil, milk, or flaxseed 
tea, and administered by means of a bottle or 
drenching tube. Gasoline should not be given in 

■^ * OTHER REMEDIES. 

Manv other remedies in addition to those 



338 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

mentioned here have been used in the treat- 
ment of stomach worm disease with more or 
less success. Several of the coal tar dips on 
the market are recommended by the manufac- 
turers for the treatment of worms, and the 
action of some of them is much the same as that 
of coal tar creosote. 

The Department of Agriculture does not 
recommend the use of any particular proprie- 
tary remedy and as the action of some such 
agents is very uncertain it is suggested that, if 
it is desired to use them, they be used with cau- 
tion and only in accordance with the printed 
directions on the package. Whatever remedy is 
used, it is wise to test it on two or three animals 
before the entire flock is dosed. 

START WITH A HEALTHY FLOCK. 

It may be that the reader has a flock of dis- 
eased sheep. He has had much trouble with 
stomach worms', or the nodular disease has in- 
vaded the flock, or he has bad losses from tape- 
worms. Shall he therefore go out of business? 

That, indeed, may be his best course. To 
get rid of the diseased flock, first fatten- 
ing the sheep as well as possible, and to let the 
land rest for two years will be quite sure to 
make the land clean, ready for a new flock. But 
there are certain objections to this course. 
First, he gets out of touch with the sheep in- 
dustry, and that is bad. Then he begins to de- 
vote his land to other purposes and it is harder 
to again start with a flock. And there is the 
very real and practical difficulty that it is im- 



THE DISEASES OP SHEEP. 339 

possible to be sure that the new flock is free 
from the enemies that led to the discarding of 
the old one. 

The shepherd may take advantage of the fact 
that lambs are born healthy to start anew with a 
clean flock, even though his ewes were tainted. 
Infection will not come from the mother's milk, 
unless in rare instances from the fouling of her 
udder. If she has a clean bed there is small risk 
of that. If she is scouring she should not be 
put in the company of ewes devoted to this pur- 
pose. 

These ewes should be bred as early as practi- 
cable, so that their lambs will come if possible 
in November, December or January. That is 
because in northern situations there is practi- 
cally no danger of infection anywhere, indoors 
or out, in cold weather. Ewes and lambs should 
all be well fed to encourage a vigorous growth. 

When warm weather begins to come in April 
the ewes should be confined rigidly to the barn 
and small yard. In that yard there should not 
be permitted to grow even a single weed or 
spear of grass. This rule must be absolute. 
The yard must be small and kept always per- 
fectly clean. If it is not the lambs may nibble at 
some plant and from its lower lengths, or roots, 
imbibe the germs that we are seeking to avoid. 

Nor should there be any feed thrown into the 
yard. Furthermore the hay racks should be 
kept clean and the water pure at all times. 

As fast as ewes cease giving a good milk flow 
they should be removed to another pen and thus 



340 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

their contact removed, with a per cent of the 
danger. 

When grass comes the lambs should be taken 
to a field where no sheep ran the previous year ; 
where no sheep manure had been spread the 
previous year, and where ; o stream or pool 
could bring germs from some other flock. Once 
established there no other sheep should for an 
instant be permitted to mingle with them. 

The ewes, if there is room on the farm, may 
be kept over for another crop of lambs, since it 
will take two crops to produce enough ewe 
lambs to make up their number. After that all 
that are not of this youthful blood and free 
from infection should be sold and the young- 
sters given possession. 

At "all times there should be this thought, 
''Has there been opportunity during the past 
year for any sheep to drop germs with their 
manure upon this land?" If the answer is yes, 
then do not permit the lambs and yearlings of 
the clean flock to graze upon that ground for an 
instant. 

The extra cost of this method of producing a 
perfectly healthy ewe flock is almost nothing. 
A trifle of care, a constant thoughtfulness, a few 
hours labor and the result ; a banishment of the 
torments that render 60 per cent of farm flocks 
in the corn belt diseased and comparatively un- 
profitable. 

And having a healthy flock, absolutely with- 
out parasites, they will remain so if the germs 
are not brought in by something added to the 
flock. It is barely possible that rabbits may 



THE DISEASES OF SHEEP. 341 

carry some of the same parasites that afflict 
sheep as also do goats and deer. Aside from 
them there are no other carriers of these germs 
so far as we know. Unfortunately we must 
purchase rams or else practice inbreeding. The 
writer is inclined to think that with strong, 
well bred, vigorous stock once secured it is 
wiser to inbreed for a time rather than to risk 
purchasing a new starter of germs with an un- 
certain ram. However, the ram himself may 
be put in quarantine on his arrival, permitted 
to associate with the flock only when he can be 
of use to it and at all other times have his own 
quarters, a grassy paddock with shed attached. 

Thus, without giving a dose of medicine or 
applying to the soil any lime, salt, corrosive 
sublimate or iron sulphate, the farm secures 
clean pastures, stocked with clean sheep. 

Following the thought of destroying the para- 
sites in the soil, as is frequently advised, by ap- 
plications of lime, salt or chemicals, the writer 
would call to the attention of the reader the 
folly of the proposal. There is in an acre 43,560 
square feet. Supposing that we desired to purify 
that soil to a depth of one foot, not an unreason- 
able depth, there is then to purify 43,560 cubic 
feet of soil. It would take at least a pound of 
salt to destroy germ life in a cubic foot of soil ; 
it is doubtful if that would suffice, so that about 
21 tons of salt to the acre would be required. Of 
lime probably two or three times as much would 
be needed, and when it comes to applying chem- 
icals one had better halt, for he will have de- 
stroved his land before he will have killed the 



342 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

germs; that much is sure. And why do this 
thing, when all these germs will perish (we be- 
lieve) in one year unless they find their host, a 
sheep, deer or goat, in which to undergo part 
of their life cycle? 

The writer is very glad to give credit to Dr. 
W. H. Dalrymple of Louisiana, for hav- 
ing performed by far the most useful series of 
experiments ever made in attempting to rid 
sheep of parasites in much the manner that he 
has described in the foregoing paragraphs. It 
is remarkable that a far Soutliern state should 
undertake a work fraught with so much im- 
port to men in the sheep growing regions fur- 
ther north, the explanation being of course that 
Dr. Dalrymple is a Scot. 



CHAPTER XI, 



THE ANGORA AND MILKING GOATS. 

It may not be out of place in this work to 
give a little information concerning the Angora 
goat, which is now becoming so well and favor- 
ably known. 

Indeed the sudden arrival of the Angora into 
public appreciation and its very wide distribu- 
tion will make inspiring chapters in the history 
of American live stock. 

THE A^TGOKA GOAT. 

While not meaning to wander far into the 
realms of goat lore yet a few words concerning 
this work. So late as 1897 the first large num- 
ber of goats were sent from Texas to Iowa as 
an experiment in brush destruction, going to 
J. R. Standi ey. These goats '^grubbed the land, 
brought in grass and boarded themselves, be- 
sides yielding a profit." Other shipments fol- 
lowed. They also were successful. Since that 
time goats have been introduced into every 
state and territory of the United States and 
into Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands. Usu- 
ally they have accomplished their object; they 
have destroyed brush, and grass has followed 

(343) 



344 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

in their footsteps. Now there is a demand for 
goats and inquiry concerning them. Several 
kinds of disappointments have followed the 
introduction of so-called "Angoras" into new 
neighborhoods. To answer some of the many 
questions arising in connection with this sub- 
ject this chapter is written. Breeders of Angora 
goats should have one of the following works, 
"New Industry, or Eaising the Angora Goat 
and Mohair for profit," by AVm. L. Black of 
Texas; "Angora Goat Raising and Milch 
Goats," by George Fayette Thompson, or "The 
Angora Goat," by S. C. C. Schreiner (Long- 
mans, Green & Co.). Schreiner 's work is a 
classic, a thing of beauty. Thompson is con- 
cise and practical, enthusiastic enough, and tells 
besides much about milking goats. Black is an 
earnest advocate and presents a great array of 
facts and examples of successful practice. I 
think he leaves out the failures and some of the 
difficulties. 

Very extravagant things are claimed for 
Angora goats. It has been claimed that they 
will shear from six to eight pounds of mohair 
per year, worth— well, all sorts of prices from 
75 cents to $8.00. That was in the olden time. 
They have been claimed to be immune to all 
sickness, hardy as the common goat; that they 
will kill dogs and keep disease from among 
horses ; that they would clear land of brush and 
make delicious mutton at the same time; that 
they were very prolific. 

Now the simple truth is that the Angora 
goat is the most delicate, though the most beau- 



THE ANGORA AND MILKING GOATS. 347 

tiful goat known. It is troubled with all the 
diseases that afflict sheep, or most of them. It 
is not very prolific, nor are the kids very easily 
raised in a cold and wet climate. It is not dog- 
proof, nor will it serve very well^ to keep dogs 
from sheep. It destroys brush effectually, if it 
can reach it, but should have some grass along 
with the brush to keep it in good order. And 
it shears a fleece of about 3 pounds that is worth 
from 7 to 40 cents per pound. 

While the writer from his study of goats 
believes his characterizations true, yet he be- 
lieves further that despite their delicacy An- 
goras can be profitably grown in every state 
in the Union, wherever there is rough, dry, 
brushy land, that they may readily be kept" in 
health, and more readily than sheep, since they 
are in no danger from parasitic infection while 
browsing on trees, and that the quality of their 
fleeces may be so greatly increased by system- 
atic breeding that the 7-cent fleeces will be- 
come extinct and even the best fleeces will be- 
come more valuable. 

Let us get at the history of the American 
Angora goat. The native home of the Angora 
is in Asiatic Turkey, on a high, dry and rather 
cold plateau. It may be that there is some 
peculiarity of the soil and climate of that re- 
gion or some mental twist of the breeders 
there, since there are other animals found there 
that have the long silky hair that characterizes 
the true Angora. Cats from Angora have that 
quality, and dogs are said sometimes to possess 
it. The ancient history of the Angora is un- 



348 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

known. It has doubtless been the companion of 
man for countless ages and civilizations have 
existed upon the world far longer than we have 
been taught. This region of Angora was in the 
ancient days famed for the wonderful fabrics 
woven there, and the Angora goat furnished 
the fleece for these fabrics. Occasionally war 
or famine decimated the flocks, and at last the 
changes in industrial life hushed the looms of 
Angora and the industry of spinning the fab- 
rics was transferred to England. Thereafter 
mohair became a regular export from Angora, 
and the quality of the product suffer ed at once. 
What was good enough to use at home became 
too good to sell abroad and the Angoras were 
crossed with a baser goat called the Kurd. It 
is thought that there is not now in the world a 
specimen of the true, ancient Angora. The loss 
has been in the fineness of the hair and the 
presence of more kemp, which is an under hair 
shorter and damaging to true mohair, because 
it will not take dye. It would seem from the 
studies of Mendel's law that it is most un- 
likely that the true and honorable blood of the 
old Angora is lost, for it is sure to reappear in 
its purity sooner or later, if it has not already, 
and can be fixed again, if it has not already 
been fixed, by proper matings. 

In the beginning the Sultan of Turkey gave a 
few Angoras to Dr. Jas. B. Davis of South 
Carolina. Dr. Davis called them ^'Cashmeres," 
and for some years they were called by that 
name in America, though the Cashmere goat is 
quite distinct and of no great value in its pres- 



THE ANGORA AND MILKING GOATS. 349 

ent form and has never been bred pure in the 
United States, so far as the author knows. 
These goats throve fairly well, and following 
the custom of the times very great laudation 
was made of their virtues, among other things 
that they sheared from four to eight pounds, 
which sold from $6.00 to $8.00 per pound in 
Scotland. This, unfortunately, wns an exag- 
geration of about $7.25 per pound, but the goats 
meekly bore the obloquy as in the Israelitish 
days of old, meantime going merrily about their 
true mission, to subdue and replenish the earth! 

When Dr. Davis had finished with his goats 
they were sold, and among the purchasers was 
Col. Eichard Peters, of Georgia. This man 
proved to be an Angora enthusiast and in turn 
sent specimens to Texas, California and other 
places. 

It is significant that the Angora never be- 
came prominent anywhere except in Texas, 
California and Oregon until within compara- 
tively recent years. There were several reasons 
for that. The warm, dr}^ climates of the two 
states were peculiarly suited to the animals and 
land was cheap there and range limitless. Then 
there were found in Texas herds of common 
Mexican goats on which the Angoras could be 
crossed. This crossing was done on an exten- 
sive scale and in a short time there sprung into 
existence great flocks of grade Angora goats, 
larger and stronger than the pure-bred anirnals, 
but possessing a small amount of inferior hair. 
Further crossing greatly improved the hair, 
however, and it is not meant to suggest that this 



350 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

debasing blood lias brought ruin or irretriev- 
able loss. In truth, the added size and strength 
of the grades have been a help, and by the care- 
ful selection of bucks for a few generations 
wonders are worked in Angora grade fleeces. 

This brings us (without mention of further 
interesting importations) down to the date of 
the recent exploitation of the Angora. Proved 
in 1897 to be unrivalled brush exterminators in 
Iowa, their fame spread, and Angoras have 
been sent in carload lots to most all the states 
and territories. When they have been good goats 
and given good care they have proved profit- 
able. When they have been common goats, the 
result of indifferent grade sires on common 
smooth Mexican goats, they have still proved 
excellent brush exterminators but have struck 
their owners with dismay when they had them 
sheared and tried to sell the fleeces. 

Within very recent years, however, since the 
establishment of a record and flock book for the 
Angoras ; with classes at fairs and new impor- 
tations from Asia and Africa, there is a very 
great improvement coming over the Angora in- 
dustry and it is only a question of time when 
good mohair will be abundant on the American 
market. When that time comes, curiously 
enough, it will be in greater demand than it is, 
now that it is rather scarce. Mohair is used 
in making plush for dress fabrics and yarns. 
It is the most durable of all fabrics, practically 
indestructible by wear. Most of the upholstery 
of railway cars in the United States is said to 
be made from mohair. 



THE ANGORA AND MILKING GOATS. 351 

\¥liat then could a breeder hope to reach in 
Angora goat breeding? By the use of right 
sires, for a series of years, by discarding from 
the flock steadily the worst he ought in time to 
possess a flock shearing from 4 to 6 pounds of 
mohair, worth about 45 cents per pound at the 
present writing. That will pay well. A fleece 
of 2 to 3 pounds worth 20 cents per pound is 
discouraging. 

It takes time, however, to breed out the com- 
mon goat from the Angoras. To buy any large 
number of practically pure-bred goats is impos- 
sible in America. The breeder must have pa- 
tience, persistence and the habit of extermina- 
tion. 

Now what of management? Newly arrived 
goats from the Southwest are tender and when 
turned on cold Eastern pastures may suffer 
considerabh' for a time. They need a dry shed, 
open to the south. To this they will come when- 
ever it threatens rain. They may be fed there 
some dry forage, clover hay or whatever is 
available It is not usual to feed them grain, 
and much grain will cause the kids to be born 
with small vitality. The fence restraining them 
may be of woven wire and thus they are easily 
held in bounds„ Thej^ must not be confined to 
too small a pasture else they will famish. Bet- 
ter let them take their time to the brush exter- 
mination and make a profit from them as 
you go along. They will feed upon the leaves 
of almost every species of tree and brush, if 
they can reach them. They will not do much 
in the Avay of girdling trees, though they will 



352 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

eat the bark from some varieties of trees. They 
do not much relish hickory. Green briars are 
dangerous because they sometimes catch and 
hold fast the little goats till they perish. These 
should be mown oft' with a brush scythe and 
then the goats will keep them down. They do 
not make a meal of any one article of diet but 
nibble a few leaves from one shrub, a few from 
another, then some weeds, some grass, more 
leaves and so on the day long. They will not 
thrive on brush alone. They will live well on 
grass alone but thrive better to have brush 
to mix with it. They require water. Laurel 
will poison them if they are given access to it 
when very hungry. 

Angoras make good eating. Their flesh is 
called ''venison" or ''mutton," according to 
the state of their respective markets. The An- 
gora does not have the overpowering odor of 
the common male goat. They are as dainty as 
deer in their habits. Offered for sale at our 
great market centers they sell for considerably 
fess than sheep, 1 to 2 cents per pound less. 

This condition may improve with time and 
the elimination of more of the common goat 
from their blood. 

Angora goats are not heavy milkers and are 
not suitable for use as milking goats. Great 
excellence is seldom attained in two or three di- 
verse lines of endeavor. 

The beginner in goat raising in the East 
should fix in his mind a few facts. Angoras are 
not exceptions to the universal rule in the ani- 
mal world that food is required for sustenance 



THE ANGORA AND MILKING GOATS. 353 

and growth. They are able, true, to eat foods 
that other animals neglect, but as a rule brush- 
wood is not very nutritious and there ought to 
be some grass in connection. In winter time 
Angoras deprived of food suffer as sheep 
would. They can not subsist on coarse browse. 
They need bright straw, corn fodder, a very lit- 
tle grain. Then let them browse what they will. 
They absolutely must have abundant exercise 
to keep themi in health. They love to take it by 
roaming about and browsing. 

They must not be crowded. The shed should 
be roomy and airy and dry under foot. It is 
absolutely essential that they should have an 
abundance of fresh air. They are very dainty 
about what they eat and will not eat any for- 
age that has been dropped underfoot. Their 
racks, therefore, should be so made as to hold 
the forage up. It is useless to lift hay or fod- 
der from the floor or ground and put it again 
into the rack; they refuse it. They have the 
sensitive noses of rabbits. 

Do not forget the dryness under foot. The 
yard must not be muddy, and if it becomes so, 
slightly raised walks of plank or rock should 
lead from the dry shed to the dry pasture out- 
side. There should be abundant opportunity of 
entrance to the shed. It is best to leave the 
entire south side open, else some quarrelsome 
individuals will prevent the others from gain- 
ing ingress. 

The period of gestation in the Angora is 
about 150 days. A buck will serve from 40 to 
50 does. 



354 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

The buck should be managed as has been ad- 
vised for sheep, though some breeders practice 
turning in about 5 bucks to the hundred does 
and leaving them, with the result that nearly 
all the kids come at one time. This may be a 
good practice if the breeder can manage them 
in that way. 

The kids must not come before warm weather, 
After the leaves start in the spring is the proper 
time. The does should be sufficiently well nour- 
ished to be strong at kidding time, though one 
must not overdo this kindness, else the kids 
will come weak. Abundant exercise for the doe 
with sufficient food will make a successful kid- 
ding. 

Angoras must have care and attention at kid- 
ding time, much more than ewes require. The 
little kids are delicate and can not endure cold 
or wet. They are not hardy and must not 
follow their mothers out to graze before they 
are six or eight weeks old. Should they at- 
tempt to follow they will become weary and lie 
down to rest and become lost. Therefore, they 
are kept in the corral and a board put up over 
which the mother must jump. When the kid can 
also jump out it may follow her. 

A better scheme is the ''bridge." This is an 
incline ending abruptly in the air, the high end 
at the corral side. The does jump up on this to 
go out and the weaklings run under where they 
can not get through Thus they are removed 
from danger of being stepped upon by their 
mothers or other does. 

When the kid is born it should be placed with 



THE ANGORA AND MILKING GOATS. 855 

its mother in a small pen. Care should be taken 
not to handle it unnecessarily nor to rub it 
against other kids, else the mother may become 
confused by the odor, and she depends upon 
that entirely for her knowiedge of her off- 
spring. If it is inconvenient to have a pen for 
each doe, several may be confined to the one 
pen, placing their kids apart as far as possible. 
The kids are often ""staked," that is tied by one 
leg with a strong cord in which is a swivel. The 
doe will always return to where she left the kid 
to seek for it. It is said that twice a day is of- 
ten enough for the kids to suck. Should the 
doe disown her offspring she will own it again 
if confined with it and the kid assisted to suck 
for a few days. 

The kids must not be exposed to cold or wet, 
as has been said. They are more delicate than 
lambs. Is not this a striking proof of the an- 
tiquity of the breed? For how many unnum- 
bered centuries has it been under the fostering 
care of man ! The common goat is the hardiest 
of domestic animals, and the most difficult to 
get profit from. The Angora, with its deli- 
cately beautiful fleece, has had this ruggedness 
sacrificed to the beauty and usefulness of its 
covering. As a rule the better bred the An- 
goras are, the nearer pure-bred, the more deli- 
cate they are. And yet, given right manage- 
ment, they are hardy enough. They endure 
tropic heats and semi-Arctic colds, but they 
must be dry, they must have air and exercise 
and food partly of browse and partly of grass. 

We will not here go into the range manage- 



356 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

ment of Angoras. Any one wishing to grow 
them in large numbers should make careful 
study in detail. He will find much information 
in the volumes previously mentioned in this 
chapter. Dry, hilly ranges are admirably 
adapted to Angora goat growing. They seem 
rather more expensive to manage than range 
sheep, especially at kidding time. It is not well 
to put more than 1,000 in a flock. An increase 
of 75 per cent is considered good. In small lots 
increases of 100 per cent are not unusual. The 
better bred Angoras are the fewer the pairs of 
twins born. 

Angoras suffer sometimes from stomach 
worms, from foot rot and lice, from two sorts 
of scab (they are exempt from sheep scab), and 
probably from nodular disease. They have a 
disease of their own called ''takosis," which 
makes them waste away giving them a tired 
feeling, accompanied with diarrhoea and cough. 
It was once believed that Angoras had no dis- 
eases; indeed like sheep in dry hilly regions 
they are practically exempt from disease, but 
when brought to damp countries with dense 
green grass their environment is so changed 
that they become infected in the same manner 
as sheep. The treatment for internal parasites 
is the same as for sheep. Good management in 
suitable locations will prevent disease in An- 
goras. 

Where should Angoras be introduced? Not 
to arable farms. Sheep pay better there. But to 
hilly and brushy regions where it is not desired 
to encourage the growth of new timber, or 



THE ANGORA AND MILKING GOATS. 357 

where it is desired to clear away a part of tlie 
brusii and replace it with grass. In Virginia, 
West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and 
southern Ohio, in Tennessee and the hill regions 
south of there Angoras might exist by thou- 
sands with profit and advantage. 

They should in all locations have provision 
made for feeding in winter, some dry corn fod- 
der, oats and hay. 

The difQcuJty in introducing Angoras to the^ 
region best for them is the character of many 
of the people living there. The careful reader 
will have realized ere this that Angora goat 
breeding is not adapted to a careless, lazy or 
indifferent man's habits. More than most ani- 
mals. Angoras are dependent upon man for aid 
in infancy and help at intervals during life. 
Angoras are destroyed sometimes by dogs, 
though it is thought that with a number of 
wethers among them they are less subject to 
attack than sheep. The man who wishes to 
breed goats without care or attention from him 
had better take the common ''Billie goat," 
which is as energetic a brush destroyer as he 
needs, and does not have to be shorn or 
need attention at kidding time, and can usually 
defend himself from dogs. 

THE MILKING GOAT. 

Doubtless goats have been the companions of 
man for a longer time than cows and have be- 
friended him for most of this time by sharing 
their milk with him. Therefore the milking 
habit has been well fixed in certain types of 
goats. 



358 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

It is doubtless true that goats make better 
use of their food thau cows, and turn more of it 
into milk. Therefore from the standpoint of 
economy goats make milk better and cheaper 
than cows. Furthermore, goats are almost 
never attacked with tuberculosis and their milk 
is said to have tonic properties of especial value 
to children. Then there is the fact that a goat, 
is very much smaller than a cow, is easily shel- 
tered, is tractable, requires but one-eighth as 
much food, and is in many ways better adapted 
to village or suburban life. 

Taking these facts into consideration it is 
surprising that we have not had a larger devel- 
opment of the milch goat in America. There 
are two principal reasons : the incapacity of the 
average American for independence and self 
help, and his false pride that makes him fear 
ridicule if he adopts a practice that is followed 
by his poorer neighbors. Near many cities 
there are colonies of European emigrants who 
make more or less use of the goat as a milk-giv- 
ing animal. Many a well-to-do suburbanite 
could follow this example with profit and gain, 
great comfort from the assurance of a supply 
of pure milk, produced under his own eye. 

The writer has often seen cottagers in the 
old world employ goats for this purpose of 
milkgiving. Very often they would be teth- 
ered near the dwelling and children would 
bring them forage, clippings from the lawn, re- 
fuse from the table and surplus vegetables from 
the garden. Children would often do the milk- 
ing, also, and the friendship between the gentle 



THE ANGORA AND MILKING GOATS. 359 

goat and the appreciative children was very 
real. 

The amount of miik given by a well bred goat 
is extraordinary. From three to five quarts per 
day are not uncommon in Europe and the period 
of lactation is long. Some German authorities 
assert that the goat often yields ten times the 
weight of its body annually and that excep- 
tional animals yield as much as eighteen times 
their weight. 

It is a good goat of any breed that will yield 
two quarts per day for seven or eight months 
in the year. 

The flavor of goats' milk is good, if the goats 
have good food. If they must subsist upon bit- 
ter and aromatic brush or ui^on onions, and 
refuse from the garden, there is danger of the 
flavors reacting on the milk. Milch goats when 
in use should be as carefully fed as dairy cows, 
given good wholesome sweet hay or clovers, al- 
falfa, or dried lawn clippings. They should 
have their ration of bran and oats, with a trifle 
of oilmeal if the best is sought. At times when 
they are not in milk they may be permitted to 
feast upon all sorts of brush and weeds that 
taste more palatable to them than to us. 

As to the amount of feed required it is said 
that eight goats require about the same amount 
of food as one cow. 

Milch goats need a comfortable, clean, dry 
house, well ventilated, for their winter's home. 
They need a good fence since they will climb 
and creep out whenever they have opportunity. 
They are quite often tied in stalls as cows are 



360 SHEEP FARMING IN AMERICA. 

tied though it would seem better to give them 
clean, roomy pens. They should be milked reg- 
ularly three times a day by the same person. 
They should be taken to a clean, odorless place 
to be milked. Previous to milking the udder 
and teats should be wiped quite clean. No tu- 
berculous person should milk either goats or 
cows. 

Milch goats are very prolific, having many 
pairs of twins and triplets. The Nubian goat, 
one of the best milking kinds, is said to have 
dropped eleven kids in one year. The period 
of gestation is about 155 days. 

Just how to manage the kids when their 
mother's milk is needed for human consumption 
the writer does not see. Probably to wean them 
after the age of ten days, feeding them with the 
bottle a portion of their mother's milk and by 
substituting other foods, as bran with a litttle 
oilmeal in it, oats and good hay, or grass in 
summer would solve that problem. 

It must be confessed that the interest in milch 
goats is mostly speculative at present in Amer- 
ica, since there are so few here and the source 
of supply being Germany, Switzerland, France, 
and perhaps Malta or Italy, where animal dis- 
eases prevail. Besides, our regulations forbid 
the importation of goats or other cud-chewing 
animals. There is hope that some way may be 
opened to the importation of these anim-als 
and that an industry may spring up here. 
The best adapted to our climate would seem to 
be the goats of Switzerland and Germany, the 



THE ANGORA AND MILKING GOATS. 361 

Toggenburger and Saanen breeds being esj^e- 
cially desirable. 

The Nubian goat is the greatest milker of 
them all, as well as the largest in size, bnt is 
not hardy in the colder parts of our country. 
Crosses of the Nubian on other goats are har- 
dier and good milkers. It is remarkable that 
Africa should have given us this animal, the 
sole representative of its breeding that has 
come to us if we except the fat-tailed sheep of 
Tunis. 

Doubtless these Nubian goats gave milk in 
the days of Joseph and Pharaoh. 



INDEX 



Age to discard ewes, 252, 253. 

Alfalfa for pasture, 172. 

Alfalfa, how sheep may help start it, 171. 

Alfalfa-fed lambs in Colorado, 264. 

Alfalfa-fed lambs, quality of, 268. 

Alfalfa feeding in Kansas and Nebraska, 268. 

American conditions described. 14 

Amount of feed needed to fatten lambs, 285. 

Angora goats, 343. 

origin of, 347. 

numbers of in Texas, 349. 

management, 351. 

"venison,"' 352. 

as milkers, 352. 

period of gestation, 353. 

care at birth, 364. 

diseases of, 356. 

regions adapted to their growth, 357. 
Bales, Charles, successful feeder of sheep, 304. 
Barn for ewes, 107. 

for aheep feeding, 274. 
Beet pulp for feeding, 2^2. 
Black-faced Highland sheep, 50. 
Black-tops, Merinos. 25. 
Bloat from alfalfa, 173. 

Bloating, prevention and treatment, 174, 175. 
Bluestone for intestinal worms, 3o6. 
Breeding young ewes. 99. 
Breeding on range, season of, 225. 
Brome grass, 172. 
Bronchitis, verminous, 323. 

Buying stockers on the range, advantage of, 254. 
Hy-products of the feed-lot, 290. 
Cabbages as forage, 179. 
Canadian field peas for lambs, 257 
Castration, 148. 
Cheviots, 49. 

Colorado lamb feedinj.?, 265. 
T'ommissionmen, use of, 254. 
Corn for baby lambs, 13.5. 

for fattening sheep, 301. 
Cotswolds, 45. 

Coyotes, trouble.some on range, 226. 
Creeps for lambs, 125. 

use of, 131. 
Creosote for worms, 335. 
Crook, how to make and use, 109. 
Cross*breeding, 63. 

theory of, 65. 

on the range, 66. 

(3S3) 



364 INDEX, 



Cross-breeding in Eastern pastures, 69. 

for market lambs, 67. 

in the South, 70. 
Dalrymple Dr. W. H.. of Louisiana, experiments of, 167, 
Death in feed-lot, causes, 295. 
Delivery of lambs, signs of, 110. 
Dipping vat, 93. 

for scab, 94. 

in regular farm practice, 93. 

summary of practices, 97 

on the range, 230. 

feeding lambs, 241. 

at stock yards, 242. 
Diseases of sheep. 308. 

of feed-lot, 312. 
Dissection of dead sheep advisable. 314. 
Docking, 147. 
Dorsets, 46. 

where loated in United States, 49. 
Dressing lambs for fancy market, 135. 
England, large flocks in, 13. 
Ewes disown lambs, cause of, 105. 
Ewes in stock yards, 249, 250. 
Fall born lambs, 188. 

how to get, 189. 
Fall feeding of ewes, 98. 
Fall treatment of ewe flock, 97. 
Fat ewes often barren, 178. 
Fattening sucking lambs, 128. 

sheep and lambs in winter, 238. 

weaned lambs in feed-lot. 255. 
Feeders, buying in stock yards, 2^3. 
Feeding in the corn belt, 272. 

on grass, 141. 

pure-bred stock lambs, 127. 

stock lambs, 13t. 

the nursing ewe, 118 
Feed racks, how made, 276. 
Feet, care of, 182. 
Foot rot, foot scald, 183. 
Fresh air for ewes necessary, 106. 
Gains in feeding sheep, 304. 
Garget, induced by overfeeding, 122. 

treatment of, 3I6. 

instances of, 318. 
Gasoline for worms, 337. 
Gestation, time of, 100. 
Getting the flock home, 90. 
Goats, proflt from, 344. 

milking, 357. 

milking, breeds of, 361. 

milking, care of. 359. 

use of in old world, 358. 

yield of in milk, 35i». 
Grub in the head, 319. 

Hsemonchu^ con tortus (stomach worm), 326, 
Hamoshires, 40. 

Harvesting peas in Colorado, 261. 
Hurdling in England, 1-.6. 
Inbreedmg to flx type, 85. 
Incestuoi.s breeding, 86. 
Indigestion, 309. 



INDEXo 365 



Infected pastures, treatment of, 34]. 
Invigoration of fresh blood, 86. 
Lambliood's troubles, 133. 
Lambing tent, 186. 

attention at, 113. 

management to secure good, 104. 
Lambs, late, management of, 138, 185. 

feeding when very young, 134. 

making ewe own, 116. 

reviving when chilled, 1!5. • 

born with too large frame, cause, 105 
Leicesters, 43. 
Lincolns, 45. 
Liver rot, 330. 
Losses in feed lot, 389, 304. 
Long wools, 43. 

Management to insure healthy flocks, 159. 
Marking. 201. 
Mating, 98. 

Merinos, Delaine, American, Spanish, 35, 33. 
Mexican lambs in feed lot, 214. 
Milking ewes, large, care of, 116. 
Mutton breeds, 30. 

New England, freedom from parasitic enemies, 156. 
New Mexican sheep, -^06. 307. 
New Mexico, management of flocks in, 209. 
Nodular disease, 331, 167. 

Nomadic herds destroy forests and scatter scab, 219. 
Northwestern plains country, 219. 
Number of ewes for arable farms, 165. 
Oats for grazing, 171. 
Origin of breeds, 21. 

(Orphan lambs, making ewes own them, 118. 
Outlook for sheep feeding, 297. 

hopeful, 235. 
Oxfords, 41. 
Parasites, 152. 

on the ranges, 220. 

dangerous in shade of trees and fences, 145. 
Pasturing fattening lambs, 290. 

off corn and rape, 269. 

system of to avoid worm infection, 16i. 

change of to make fat sheep, 157. 
Pea refuse for fattening, 297. 

fed lambs, amount of gain per acre, 262, 263o 

feeding in Colorado, 356. 
Pens for lambing ewes. 110. 
Persian-Merino ewes in California, 59. 
Persian sheep, 55. 
Pregnant ewes, care of, 103. 
Proflts in wether feeding, 299. 
Protein necessary in lamb feeding, 284, 
Pumpkins, 180. 
Rambouillets, 26. 
Ram, use of, 101. 

management of, 100. 

on the range, 223. 

for the range, where bred, 224. 
Ranching, proflts of, 234. 
Range management, 210. 

diseases on, 213. 

conditions, the trail herds, 215 



366 INDEX. 



Range management injured by nomadic herds, 216. 

herds in the mountains, 217. 

sheep, quality compared with Argentine sheep, 237. 
Ransom, Dr. B. H., work on stomach worms, 326. 
Rape, 178. 
Ration for baby lambs, 132. 

for mature sheep, 300. 
Recording pure-bred sheep, 205. 
Regularity essential in feeding, 285. 
Restocking a farm. 72. 
Ripening feeding lambs, time required, 287. 
Roots in the ration, 121. 
Rye, vetches and clover, 168. 
Salt on grass. 142. 

for fattening lambs. 279. 
San Luis Valley (Colorado) methods. 258. 
Scab, not necessary on the range. 231. 
Scotland, sheep on the Lammermoor hills, 52. 
Screenings, feeding, 271. 
Self-feeders for screenings, 266 

for old sheep, 303. 

use of on pasture and in barn, 291. 
Self-feeding corn crib, 303. 
Selecting a ram, 74. 

ewes, 88. 
Shade in summer, 142. 

best if in barn, 144. 
Shearing, early. 192. 

art of, 193. 

fattening lambs, 286. 

machines, 195. 

on the range, 230. 

twice a year, 198. 
"Sheep Herders" ' a maligned lot, 232. 

heroism of, 233. 
Shepherds' duties at lambing on range, 226. 
Shipping dressed lambs, 137. 
Shropshires. 37. 
Silage for fattening lambs, 287. 

milking ewes, 120. 
Sore eyes and mouths in lambs, 123. 
Sore feet in Western lambs, 283. 
Sore mouths in feeder lambs, 280. 
Southdowns, 35. 
Southern mountain ewes, 71. 
Soy beans for sheep, 133. 
Spanish Merinos, 25. 
Spring lambs, marketing, 146. 
Starting the babies on feed, 131 

lambs on c<)rn. 283. 

a healthful flock, 339. 

on feed, 278. 
Starvation, 314. 
Stomach worms, treatment of, 155, 324, 334. 

preventing infection, 329, 331. 
Summer care and management, 151. 
Tapeworms, 322. 
Tattoo mark. 202. 
Ticks and scab, 91. 
Trough for young lambs, 131. 
Tuberculosis, 315. 
Tunis breed, 55. 



INDEX. 367 



Turn sickness, 309, 310. 
Type, how evolved. 77, 78. 

fixing, 83. 
Ventilation of feeding barn, 275. 
Vitality of prime importance, 87. 
Vitality of range-born lambs, 225. 
Washing, 191, 192. 

"Water belly," stoppage of urine, 313. 
Water for baby lambs, 133. 

in hurdling system, 166. 
Watering troughs, how made, 276. 
Weaning, 149. 
Wethers in feed-yard, 298. 
Wheat bran for lambs, 280. 
Wind breaks for feed-yards, 302. 
Wool, tying up. 195. 
Worms, inf 3ction of, 160. 



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