Excerpt from Cattle: Their Management, Treatment, and Diseases
Hide, destitute of a due layer of subcutaneous cellular tissue, bespeak an impoverished system. Is it profitable for a cot tager - that is, a labourer - to keep cows A writer in the Penny Cyclopcedia says A cottager, with two or three acres (query, from half an acre to an acre) of moderate land, may keep a cow, and thus add much to his earnings as a la bourer. For this purpose, he will require a small portion of permanent grass, fenced off, to allow the cow to take exercise, which is necessary for her health. Her food must be raised in regular succession, and cut for her. The earliest green food is rye, then tares, then clover; which may be made to succeed each other so as to give an ample supply Cabbages, beet-root, parsnips, potatoes, and turnips will continue the supply during winter; and the dung and urine of the cow, carefully collected, will be sufficient to keep the land in con dition. This system, lately introduced into some parts of Ireland, has already greatly improved the condition of the in dustrious poor. In fact, according to this plan, the cottager must pursue a modified system of stall-feeding; and if he can devote a few hours daily to his land, and possesses the requisite knowledge, he will doubtless gain considerably. In the neighbourhood of large towns he will find a ready sale for his milk at the rate of fourpence per quart; he will also have a calf yearly for disposal and may also keep a few hogs. We think, however, that on this system of green crops and roots, if the land be good, three or four cows may be well kept on three acres, with the addition of a little hay, grains, brewers' wash, &c. A cottager, with the whole of his time, or nearly so, at his own disposal, will, if industrious, thus comfortably maintain himself and his family. A cow is old and nu profitable when she reaches the age of twelve or fourteen ears: she should then be sold, and a young one purchased. E cottager have the means of rearing a cow-calf to succeed e old mother, he will do well; if not, he must lay by a por tion of the cow's produce every year, to raise the difference between the value of a young cow and an old one The savings-banks are admirable institutions for this purpose; a few shillings laid by when the produce of the cow is greatest, will soon amount to the sum required to exchange an old one for a younger. The cow, as we have said, should be suited to the pastur age; but on the plan of stall-feeding, or feeding on cut green food in a small inclosure, the cottager may keep a superior.
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