( Originally Published 1912 )
History and Statistics of the Cattle Industry.
A Study of Breeds.
Care and Management of Cattle on the Farm.
Diseases of Cattle—How to Know Them—Method of Treatment.
HISTORY AND STATISTICS.
The history of the various breeds of cattle with which we are familiar at the present time has been traced back many centuries.
It is reasonably certain that horned cattle first existed in a wild state, long before the dawn of recorded history, and in the Scriptures we find mention of the fact that Jubal, the son of Lemach, living in the time of Adam, is spoken of as "the father of such as own cattle."
It is a fact worthy of note that as man advanced beyond his primitive state, he found it necessary to domesticate certain wild animals for beasts of burden.
It is evident that the subjugation of wild cattle, not only for beasts of burden, but as means of bodily sustenance, first engaged the attention of primitive man as he struggled upward toward a higher plane of living.
We find that several wild varieties of the bovine tribe were originally widely disseminated in Asia and Europe.
From ancient writings and pictures we learn that these wild cattle were frequently the objects of chase by primitive hunters.
It is natural to infer that the animals in their adult state were slain for food, while the young were reduced to domesticity, and by confinement and care lost their wild instincts.
Ultimately these captive animals became fully domesticated, and as the herds increased, and were driven from place to place in search of fresh fields and new pastures, the people who made them captive became nomadic in character—their flocks and herds furnishing them an abundance of food, and the hides affording not only clothing, but shelter for the roving tribes.
The student of racial characteristics and of humanity's upward progress from savagery to civilization finds abundant evidence of the fact that domestic animals were a most important factor in that advancement.
In primitive America we find surprising confirmation of this fact.
In America, where no cattle existed prior to its discovery by the Europeans, and where there were no animals which were easily domesticable as beasts of burden, the Indians, though able folk, remained savages.
It is a fact worthy of note that the first shepherd and the first farmer were contemporaneous. Likewise, the keeping of live stock and grain growing have gone hand in hand down through the centuries.
Every Celtic nation from the earliest period has raised cattle, and they have been regarded by all barbarians and pagan people as the greatest of the divine gifts to man.
With the progress of civilization, the least desirable breeds were exterminated, while the fittest survived in a state of domestication. Descendants of one of these ancient herds are still to be found in the Chillingham cattle of England. They are wild only because all possible means are used to keep them so. The wildest and less frequented tracts of two extensive parks are set apart for their use. These cattle are supposed to be descendants of the best of the ancient cattle of Great Britain.
Cattle were first brought to America by the Spaniards soon after its discovery by Columbus. As these bred and increased, the vast plains of Spanish America were covered with innumerable cattle. As these herds increased many of the cattle escaped and got away from civilization, living in a wild state and roaming over vast tracts of territory. As civilization has extended into new territory, these wild herds have gradually been brought under the hand of man or have been destroyed, and domestic cattle have taken their place, until at present there are practically no wild cattle in any section of the world.
The cattle which were originally to be found on the western plains and sections of the United States, came from the cattle brought to America by the Spaniards. These cattle were first almost in a wild state, and were only rounded up once or twice a year when the young were branded and the grown animals taken out for shipment.
There are still in the west many large herds of cattle which are kept out on the ranges and only brought up for the branding of the calves and the shipment of the matured stock. But as these western sections of the country are more thickly settled, these herds are gradually becoming smaller and the ranges are being fenced in so that the cattle are receiving more attention and are gradually being brought up to a higher grade.
These Spanish cattle and their descendants are usually large in size, long legged, various in color, and their distinguishing characteristic is their long and widely extended horns.
The English settlers early introduced cattle in the colonies, bringing them from Great Britain.
In an early day the cattle in the United States were a mixture of various breeds imported by the early settlers, who, for want of good barns, and from
habits established in a milder climate, allowed their cattle to suffer severely. Many perished and the survivors degenerated in size and quality. As agriculture advanced and the people became more prosperous the cattle were improved by better care and feeding.
As the English breeds gained celebrity, they attracted the attention of enter-prising breeders in this country, who began importing the different breeds, and by strict attention and experience in care and breeding, have continued to improve the grade of cattle in this country, so that at the present time all progressive stock owners are introducing pure bred strains in their herds.
It would be interesting to trace the history of cattle, step by step, in their improvement from the earliest time, but from the facts which history gives it would he a hard matter to get any satisfactory information. The first systematic breeder of whom we have any record was Jacob. It is reasonably certain that he understood something of the principles of mating cattle, but did not use his under-standing so much in the matter of improving the breed, or the good qualities for milking or beef, as he did in producing cattle of different colors.
This was with a view to securing a mingling of these colors in the offspring.
There have been many distinctive breeds of cattle known from the beginning of the historical era. Still, it is only within the last two centuries that any careful, systematic breeding has been attempted, and only within the last seventy-five years have greater results been accomplished and the greatest progress toward perfection been made.
STATISTICS OF THE CATTLE INDUSTRY
The cattle industry of the United States is one of the greatest industries in the country. Statistics show that for a period extending over fifty years from 1850 to 1900 the number of cattle consumed by the American people has fallen from twenty-five to twenty for every one hundred of the population, the number consumed in 1850 being twenty-five for each one hundred, and in 1900 the number consumed was twenty for each one hundred.
During this time the number of cattle has increased largely, showing a loss during but one decade, which extended over the period from 1860 to 1870, covering the time of the Civil War in the United States.
In 1850 the cattle in this country numbered 18,000,000.
In 1860 the cattle in this country numbered 26,000,000.
In 1870 the cattle in this country numbered 24,000,000.
In 1880 the cattle in this country numbered 33,000,000.
In 1890 the cattle in this country numbered 42,000,000.
In 1900 the cattle in this country numbered 67,000,000.
In 1910 the cattle in this country numbered 69,000,000.
While the decades from 1870 to 1900 show a large average increase, the gain from 1900 to 1910 is very small. The gain made is due entirely to the increase of milch cows, for while these received an accession of 3,445,212, or 20.1 per cent, during this decade, other cattle show a Ioss of 2,381,184. The total value of all cattle increased during this period only because of the greater number and increased valuation of milch cows, their gain approximating $196,000,000. The average value of dairy cows increased during this decade from $29.68 to $34.24 per head.
During the period from 1890 to 1900 the milk production of this country shows an increase of almost 40 per cent in the total production. In 1890 the average amount of milk consumed each day by a family of five persons amounted to but little over one pint a day, while in 1900 the average consumption by a family of five persons amounted to one quart a day. This shows the per capita consumption doubled during a period of ten years. During this same period not only the quantity of milk is increased, but also the quality has been steadily improving, so that today one quart of milk contains much more nutriment than it did ten years ago. This increased production and improved quality is due not only to the increase in the number of cows in the country, but also to the improved methods of care and breeding.
The dairy productions of this country show a very marked increase from 1860 up to 1900. In 1860 they were valued at $240,000,000, increasing from that amount to $605,000,000 in 1900, being an increase of over two and one-half times in forty years.
From 1900 to 1910 the increase has been very large.
In 1850 the amount of cheese produced annually in the United States amounted to but little over one hundred million pounds, which was four and one-half pounds per capita. Today the annual production is nearly three hundred million pounds, which is a little less than four pounds per capita. This shows an increase of nearly three times in total production, but a decrease of one-half pound per capita.
The statistics as to the production of butter are just the reverse of this, as the production of butter has risen from thirteen and one-half pounds to nineteen and one-half pounds per capita during this time.
These statistics only go to show the immensity of the cattle industry of this country, and the increase which has been made during the time which these statistics cover. That the cattle industry has increased to a marvelous extent is known to all, and it is a foregone conclusion that this increase must continue, as the demands for milk and its products, as well as beef, must increase largely with the better methods of living and the increase of the population. The increase must be not only in quantity, but there must also be an improvement in quality. The demand of the present day is for an improvement in everything, and the beef and dairy products cannot be behind the demands of the country. To meet these demands the stock raiser must bend his energies to improve his stock in every way, keeping them in a strong, healthy condition, caring for them in a proper manner, and endeavoring at all times to produce the best quality possible. At the present time there are 69,000,000 head of cattle in this country, consisting largely of the following breeds: