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Classification Of Cattle

( Originally Published 1915 )

Classification of Cattle.—Cattle are classified into two and some give three types—beef, dairy and dual-purpose. Among the beef breeds are the Shorthorns, Aberdeen Angus (Fig. 42), Galloway, Herefords; among dairy breeds are Holstein (Figs. 43, 44), Jersey (Figs. 45, 46), Guernsey (Figs. 47, 48), and Ayrshire (Fig. 49). The Brown Swiss, Devon and Red Polled are classed as dual-purpose by some and by others according to types as dairy or beef. There is a very great difference in type between the dairy and the beef animal. The dairy animal is to give the energy derived from her feed to organs and parts of her body below a line running through the middle of the cow ; a beef animal is to lay on meat above the middle line. The dairy cow is to have three or four wedges to her form; the beef animal is to be a square, prism or a cylinder with the corners rounded off slightly. the score card used for a beef animal is as follows:


[From "Productive Farming."—DAvis].


1. WEIGHT, estimated lbs according to age

2. FORM, straight top-line and under-line; deep, broad, low, set stylish

3. QUALITY, firm handling: hair fine; pliable skin; dense bone; evenly fleshed,



5. Muzzle, mouth large; lips thin; nostrils large

6. EYES, large, clear, placid

7. FACE, short ; quiet expression.

8. FOREHEAD, broad, full

9. EARS, medium size, fine texture

10. NECK, thick, short; throat clean



12. SHOULDER, covered with flesh, compact on top; snug

13. BRISKET, advanced, breast wide

14. DEWLAP, skin not too loose and. drooping lb.

15. LEGS, straight, short; arm full; shank fine, smooth


16. CHEST, full, deep, wide; girth large; crops full

17. RIBS, long, arched, thickly fleshed

18. BACK, broad, straight

19. LOIN, thick, broad

20. FLANK, full, even with under-line


21. HIPS, smoothly covered; distance apart in proportion with other parts

22. RUMP, long, even, wide, tail head smooth, not patchy .

23. PIN-BONES, not prominent, far apart

24. THIGHS, full, deep, wide

25. LEGS, straight, short, shank fine, smooth

May Rilma.—Figure 47 is a picture of May Rilma, the world's champion Guernsey Milk cow. She gave in one year (365 days) 19,673 pounds of milk containing 1073.41 pounds of butter fat. During that time she was fed 16,892 pounds of feed and she drank 27,000 pounds of water. She was fed daily 18 pounds of grain mixture, 30 pounds of ensilage, 16 pounds of carrots, and what alfalfa leaves she would eat The grain mixture consisted most of the time of 250 pounds of wheat bran, 50 pounds each of hominy, cottonseed meal, ground oats, and oil meal, 100 pounds of gluten feed, 3 pounds of beet pulp and 2 pounds of molasses. She was in her seventh and eighth years when she beat the world's record by something over 20 pounds of butter fat, and she gained in weight through the year.

Class Work vs. Home Projects.—Teachers should not fail to distinguish the difference between things that can best be done as class-room exercises and things that can best be done as home projects. Here is in part the difference between theory and practice. It is easy, for instance, to tell how an animal should be housed and fed. It is hard, exceedingly hard, to tell just how an animal should be cared for. There are so many things to tell. The mind of the pupil does not value the details, but let him have a home project, let his animal get sick or get off feed, and that same pupil is keen to learn what is best to do. Then when his questions are answered, whether by the teacher or by a book, the answers are assimilated and made part of his experiences from which he may draw conclusions and from which he may act in the future. Stock judging is good class work. Numbers add enthusiasm. It is easy to say that we are to see who will score the nearest correctly. That adds to the enthusiasm that comes from a contest, and realty some boys are whole boys only when they are in a contest. Then their minds are most alert. Again, it is easy for a teacher to arrange with other schools for judging contests and then she is able to say to her pupils, " We wish, to learn who are the three best judges to represent us in a contest with the other school."

But when we come to building an individual hog house, to caring for a sow and her pigs, to feeding the pigs so as to make pork at the lowest cost, to keeping accurate account of time and feed, we have things that are best done by individuals as home projects. But the experiences gained while handling home projects lake rich material for lessons in drawing, English and reading. We have been making the mistake heretofore of not finding a place for the home project experiences in the school work.

Things Not Worth Teaching.—There is little if any value to a pupil from learning the names of the different breeds of animals. Such work is as dead and lifeless as much of our work in geography. If sheep are not kept in a district, there is little to be gained from a study of the different breeds of sheep. If a certain breed of hogs is not kept in the district, unless the teacher wishes to have them introduced for some very good reason, there should be little if any time spent on the names and characteristics of that breed. But if a child comes from a farm where a certain breed is kept then it is worth while for the children, as part of their booklet work, to look up the origin, history, characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of the breed kept at home.

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