County Breeders' Associations
( Originally Published 1912 )
For the advancement and improvement of live stock breeding, county associations will be found exceedingly beneficial. In 1906 the writer had the pleasure of having all breeders interested in the breeding of pure bred Guernseys meet with him at his office at Waukesha, Wis., and organized what is now known as the Waukesha County Guernsey Breeders' Association, which at the present time has about eighty members, who own fully 1,600 head of pure bred Guernsey cattle. The members of this Association are satisfied that through this organization there have been created an interest and a demand which have greatly advanced the price of pure bred Guernseys.
The writer later issued invitations to all of those interested in the breeding of pure bred Holstein cattle to meet at his office March 1, 1909, at which time the Waukesha County Holstein-Friesian Breeders' Association was organized. This organization has at the present time a membership of 110, who own about 1,800 head of pure bred Holstein cattle. Each of these Associations has created a demand for good cattle, which naturally has increased their valuation, as well as encouraged new breeders.
Some of the best sires obtainable have been introduced into the herds owned by the members of these Associations, consequently the offspring of these numerous herds are rapidly growing into money. Buyers are attracted here from all parts of this and some foreign countries, which would indicate that Wisconsin is becoming well known as a pure bred state, and Waukesha County has established a reputation for itself as being a great center for pure bred cattle.
Wisconsin has more tuberculin tested cattle than any other state in the United States. Waukesha County has more tuberculin tested cattle than any other county in the state. This is another good reason why live stock owners desiring to purchase tuberculin tested pure bred cattle are attracted to Waukesha.
Other Associations of pure bred dairy cattle have been organized in the state of Wisconsin and are meeting with splendid success. While the Ayrshire breed of cattle are not as prominent in the state of Wisconsin as some of the other breeds, they too are fast becoming a desirable breed to raise.
In regard to selecting a breed of cattle, this must be left entirely to the one who intends to invest his money and spend his time in the care and breeding of them. The market sometimes enables one to decide just what breed of cattle to go into. For instance : if there be a great demand for high testing milk, it is important to go into such a breed of cattle as will produce this quality. On the other hand, if the market calls for a large production of milk and does not require a high percentage of fat, there are breeds of cattle which will produce this commodity. If the market be such as demands a reasonable quantity of ordinary percentage of fat, there are breeds of cattle which will meet these requirements.
It is very important when selecting a breed of cattle to choose the breed which will prove profitable, as when cattle are profitable the owner is inclined to think a great deal more of them, and consequently will give them better care and attention than he would otherwise.
Perhaps the most economical manner in which to go into the pure bred breeding of cattle is to purchase a pure bred sire to be placed at the head of the herd. In this manner the entire herd can be graded up so that at the end of a few years they will look like pure breds, and have a great tendency to be an improvement over their dams. It is also advisable to obtain pure bred females and permit the pure breds to crowd out the grades. In this manner at the end of a few years a pure bred herd will have been established at practically a small expense to the owner.
It is not advisable to use a grade sire at the head of any herd, regardless as to whether the calves are intended for raising, or veal, as many farmers will pay more for a nicely marked, high grade heifer calf for breeding purposes than can be obtained if sold for veal.
When selecting a herd sire, it is very important to select one with excellent breeding back of him, and one whose sire and dam are not only well bred, but of splendid dairy conformation, as by so doing, and breeding this animal to a good grade individual, you will obtain heifers which are superior to their dams.
The object of raising pure bred cattle in preference to grades may be looked upon from different standpoints, but it is a fact that pure bred cows should produce more than grade cows, owing to the fact that their ancestors have been bred with this object in view for generations back, while oftentimes grade dairy cows are crossed with the beef breed, thereby naturally diminishing their milk production.
The breeder of pure bred cattle has two crops to marketómilk and calves; milk at a market price, and calves at an advanced price, over the grade calf which is usually sold for veal. With this object in view it is natural for the average live stock owner to have an ambition to become a breeder of pure bred cattle, for which although there are a goodly number throughout the United States, there is still a steady increasing demand.
As long as the population of the United States increases there will be an additional demand for the best dairy products, and in order to meet this demand, it behooves the live stock owner to be prepared with a constantly improving herd with which to meet this demand in our greatest national industry.