Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

hay, 1.1 pounds oats or emmer, and 1 pound corn, wheat, barley, or screenings, to equal one feed unit; 2 pounds hay (alfalfa) in the western trials were assumed to be equal to one feed unit.

[blocks in formation]

* Condensed from summary tables in Henry's "Feeds and Feeding."
Eastern stations.

Western stations.

We note that there was but little difference in the nutritive effect of the corn and barley, the average daily gains made by the lambs on these grains being 0.3 pound; the other grains produced a gain of about one-fourth pound per head daily. Considering the feed requirements for the production of 100 pounds of gain, there were only slight differences between corn, barley, and oats, while whole wheat, screenings, and emmer gave the lowest returns per 100 pounds feed units.

Self-feeders similar to those used in the case of self-fed steers are employed by some sheep farmers in feeding fattening lambs, 'a supply of grain feeds sufficient for about a week or less being placed in the feeder. The lambs are able to take all the grain they want as it comes out at the bottom of the hopper into the feed trough. As in the case of steer feeding, the experience of farmers with self-fed sheep has been both favorable and unfavorable, although the evidence seems, on the whole, more unfavorable than with selffed steers. According to results obtained at the Michigan station,12 “Fattening lambs by means of a self-feeder is an expensive practice, and economy of production requires more attention to the variation in the appetites of the animals than can be given by this method.” hccording to the late J. E. Wing, 13 not only is the death-rate much heavier where self-feeders are used, but the cost of gain is also much greater. It is evident, therefore, that the use of self feeders for sheep cannot be recommended, except under conditions 12 Bulletin 128.

Sheep Farming in America "; see also Mich. Bul. 113; Minn. Bul. 144; Colo. Bul. 151 and 187; Mo. Bul. 115.

1366

where large numbers of sheep are fed and labor is scarce and high.

Rations for Fattening Sheep.-The rations given below will show the kinds and amounts of different feeding stuffs that may be fed to fattening lambs weighing 80 to 100 pounds:

1. 2 pounds clover hay, 1 pound wheat bran, 14 pounds corn.

2. 142 pounds hay, 14 pounds roots, 112 pounds oats and wheat bran, equal weights.

3. 142 pounds clover hay, 1 pound roots, 1 pound corn, 2 pound wheat bran.

4. 3 pounds alfalfa hay, %% pound corn.

[graphic]

Fig. 95.—A flock of Angora goats in the California foothills. These goats will keep down underbrush; they furnish mohair fiber used in the manufacture of plush and other fabrics.

5. 1 pound each cotton-seed hulls and cotton-seed meal.

6. 1% pounds clover hay, 1 pound corn, 14 pound wheat bran, 4 pound gluten feed.

7. 2 pounds alfalfa hay, 2 pounds ground corn and oats.
8. 2 pounds clover hay, 14 pounds soybeans, 14 pound wheat bran.

Feeding Goats.—Goat raising is of importance as an industry in only four or five States in the Union, viz., in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Oregon, and California (Fig. 95). In 1910 there were nearly three million goats and kids in the United States, of which over a million were in Texas and about one-half million in New Mexico. Nearly three-quarters of the number of goats in the country were found within the borders of the five States mentioned. The number of goats in other States is very small, and it is safe to say that the goats kept in them do not often receive any special attention as to feed or care; they are, as a rule, kept in very small flocks and are left to browse and find their feed along the roadside, on vacant town lots, and in waste places.

As in the case of sheep, there are two distinct types of goats: One kept on account of their fleece, and the other type for milk production. The former, which are by far the more numerous in this country, are represented by the Angora goat, whose fleece furnishes the mohair fiber; the latter by imported milch breeds, espe

[graphic]

Fig. 96. -Animported Swiss milch goat. (Toggenburg.) These goats will produce over 1000 pounds of milk per year, or about one-fourth as much as an ordinary dairy cow. (Peterson.)

cially Swiss milch goats. Angoras in the far western States and in the north central States serve a useful purpose in keeping down the underbrush; in California and other western States they are used for keeping the fire lines in the forest reserves open and free from underbrush. The goats greatly relish the fresh leaves and buds and tender twigs of bushes and deciduous trees, and keep in good, healthy condition on this feed with what pasturage they may find. Grain is only fed when they are fattened for slaughtering.

.

Milch Goats.—While the Angora goats will do well on brushwood alone, the milch goats require a more varied feed to give milk of good quality and flavor and to produce milk during a full lactation period of six to eight months. (Fig. 96). Goats' milk contains about 4.8 per cent butter fat, on the average (p. 206), although considerable differences exist between the various breeds in this respect (ranges, 2.3 to 7.6 per cent). A common doe will give a couple of pounds of milk a day for five or six months, while a good milch goat will yield three to four times this amount and continue to produce milk from eight to ten months. Goats are easy keepers, they require but little care and attention, and are economical milk producers. They are often spoken of as “the poor man's cow,” on account of their low cost of keep and because they are generally kept by people who cannot afford to buy a cow; four or five milch goats will produce as much milk as a good cow; on the other hand, it is stated that eight goats can subsist and yield a good flow of milk upon the amount of feed that is required by one cow.13a It is a question, however, whether milch goats have any marked advantage over cows in point of economy of milk production. If they are to maintain a good milk flow for a normal lactation period, they must be fed liberally of nutritious feeds and must receive considerable grain. The main value of goats for milk production lies in the fact that they can be kept on a small piece of land, city lots, etc., at a small outlay for grain and hay; they are less subject to tuberculosis than dairy cattle, and their milk is considered especially valuable for infant feeding 14

Milch goats should receive a supply of good hay, preferably leguminous, such as clover, alfalfa, cowpeas, etc., throughout the year. Fine, bright corn fodder, straw, or other dry feed may also be given in amounts of two to four pounds per head daily, when they are not on grass. Good vegetable kitchen refuse may often be fed to advantage. Oats, barley, and wheat bran are excellent grain feeds for goats, one-half to one pound per head being the average daily allowance. These may be fed separately or equal weights of each mixed. A little linseed meal, two to three ounces a day per head, makes a valuable addition to the ration, epecially when low-protein roughage is fed; somewhat heavier grain feeding, viz., up to one and one-half or even two pounds per head daily, will pay well during the early part of the lactation, in the case of milch goats of exceptional productive capacity. Pure water and salt should be supplied regularly, as in the case of sheep. 13a Thompson,

Angora Goat Raising and Milch Goats," p. 200. Geneva, New York, Bulletin 413; California Bulletin 285.

14

QUESTIONS 1. Name the two types of sheep kept in this country, and give the sections

where each type is mainly kept. 2. Give several reasons why it is desirable to keep sheep on most farms. 3. How is the production of wool influenced by the method of feeding

practised ? 4. Give the average weight of lambs at birth. 5. Discuss briefly the method of feeding (a) rams, (b) ewes, (c) lambs. 6. State the methods followed in fattening (a) hot-house lambs, (6)

early spring lambs, (c) fall lambs, (d) winter lambs. 7. Give the principal methods adopted in fattening western sheep. 8. State the value of the self-feeder in fattening sheep. 9. Name the two types of goats kept in this country, and state in what

section each one is most important. 10. Give the method of feeding goats generally followed in your locality. 11. What relation have goats to forestry work in this country? 12. How much milk will an average milch goat produce in a year, and what

is the quality of the milk compared with cows' milk? 13. Why is the goat called “the poor man's cow”? 14. What advantages, if any, have milch goats over cows as milk producers ?

References: Coffee, “Productive Sheep Husbandry," Philadelphia, 1918. Farmers' Bul. 840, Farm Sheep Raising for Beginners.” 810,

Equipment for Farm Sheep Raising.” 49, “Sheep Feeding.” 576, “Breeds of Sheep for the Farm.” 935, “The Sheep-killing Dog.” 573, “The Angora Goat.” 920, “ Milk Goats.” 929, “ The Place of Sheep and Goats on New England Farm.” U. S. Dept. Agr. Bul. 20, “ The Management of Sheep on the Farm.”

738, Management of Grazing Sheep on Western Ranges.”

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »