National Geographic : 1925 Dec
THE TAURII In recent years the additional requirement has been made that the bull must be out of a cow with an official record. Following the establishment of yearly official testing in America in 1901, the island Guernsey societies adopted rules along similar lines, and since that date several hundred yearly records have been completed on the island, revealing a production ranging up to 899.48 pounds of but terfat. Until recent years the island cows had practically nothing but pasture in summer and almost exclusively roots and hay in the win ter, but now grain is fed, especially to cows making records. The American Guernsey Cattle Club was or ganized in 1877 by a few breeders living in the Eastern States. The scale of points in use by the club has been revised three or four times. In 1898 it offered some prizes for yearly butter records made on the owners' farms and some what supervised by State experiment stations. The first year's work brought out the record of 783.7 pounds of fat for the cow Lilly Ella, owned in Wisconsin, and her half-sister, Lilyita, made 710 pounds of fat. These rec ords were so remarkable that they attracted general attention, and following the comple tion of that year's work the club adopted rules for an Advanced Registry based on yearly semiofficial tests. Of these annual records 17,651 had been ap proved up to May I, 1924, and they show an average of 9,443.48 pounds of milk and 471.34 pounds of fat. The largest milk record for the breed is Murne Cowan's production of 24,008 pounds of milk, with 1,098.18 pounds of fat, which is the second largest fat record of the breed. The largest fat record is Countess Prue's, with I,I03.28 pounds. THE ENGLISH LONGHORN While this picturesque, old-fashioned British breed is still to be seen in its native land, and while specimens were imported into the United States along with the Herefords and Shorthorns, brought into Virginia and Kentucky more than a century ago, it has never regained the popu larity it once enjoyed in the English Midland counties. It is a dual-purpose type, possessing scale and dairy capacity, and takes its name from its pe culiar wide-branching (and frequently down curving) horns. At one time they were known locally in Lancashire as "Wag Horns," because of the manner in which the horn bent under neath the eye. Specimens are still to be seen with horns thrown outward and downward alongside the head, constituting an almost circu lar "frame" for the face. Ordinarily, however, the horns start laterally from their base, taking various twists as they develop. The Longhorn seems to have been developed originally in the northwestern parts of England, and was once common on the plains and in the mountains of Ireland. In England it was found in Lancashire, Cumberland, and Westmorland; and, in fact, to the south as far as the Bristol Channel. The prevailing colors originally were black and brown, with more or less white on the body and a streak of white down the back. NE WORLD 677 The Longhorn had been improved by selective matings in the Midlands long before Bakewell made them the basis of his extended experi ments in pairing animals of near kin. In fact, he selected the breed for his projected manipula tions because at that time (1755) it was the most popular type of the time in the central counties. He sought specifically to produce cattle with less carcass waste, maturing more rapidly than the old type. Dairy quality Bakewell ignored, saying, "All is useless that is not beef." He sought to change the conformation, so as to develop those parts most valuable upon the block, the back and hind quarters. The exact extent to which he carried incestuous matings in pursuit of his object he never made fully known. In fact, his practices were at first so sharply criticized by his contemporaries that he maintained secrecy even with his own herdsmen. He experimented with Leicester sheep at the same time along similar lines, and one trusty old shepherd was the only person who really knew what was going on. Bakewell held to his own course, despite ridi cule and predictions of failure, and while the particular breeds with which he wrought never attained the popularity of certain contemporary types, it was the practical application of his method to the Shorthorns, Herefords, and other races that gave modern English cattle breeding its first great impetus. In the fells of Westmorland and Cumberland the Longhorn was highly regarded because of its hardiness, thriving in the hill country, even through the winter months, without roots or shelter. It had a thick hide and strong coat, but did not reach maturity at so early an age as the Shorthorn, Hereford, and other con temporary breeds. The breed has undergone various modifica tions in color. Dark roan, with black "ticks" and white line along the back was popular for years. Formerly a bluish tint was in favor, but a dark red, brindled or grizzled, with the white line on the back, has in recent years been more popular with those who still adhere to the type. Professor Robert Wallace, of Edinburgh University, in his "Farm Live Stock of Great Britain," says: "As dairy cattle, they frequently produce from 14 pounds up to 17 and 18 pounds of butter per week on ordinary pasture. Good cows will give on an average about eight quarts of milk twice daily. Greater attention is now paid to them, owing to the relatively higher prices given for milking cows, especially for cheese dairies, than for butchers' beasts." DEVONS (For illustration,see Color Plate XIV) Devonshire has long been famous as the home of a breed generally recognized as one of the oldest distinct types of improved cattle in Great Britain. The Devons are commonly classified with the Sussex and Herefords in respect to ancient derivation, and have for generations existed in two forms, the North Devon and the South Devon (or South Ham) varieties.