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nagement by the farmer of these and other animals, of which I shall have to speak, little need be said in this place. They have their varieties, in kind and quality: they have, too, their diseases; and there are different modes of treating them, according to varying customs, circumstances, and climates. These cattle are less dainty, as feeders in a pasture, than the horse and the sheep; and leave fewer orts, or refuse food, behind them. In winter, they need hay and turnips. The latter sometimes lodge even in their capacious throats ; when an instrument, called a choaking ropea remedy which to us would be worse than the disease— is used to push it down, A worse misfortune, at times, is occasioned by the animals feeding too freely on growing clover, which distends them to bursting and death, unless an incision be seasonably made.
The sheep comes second in the class of animals destined for the service of our race. The Creator, with a power and wisdom infinitely great, varies the qualities of His unnumbered gifts. A sheep differs altogether from an ox; even more in nature than in size. Mutton, as food, is a change, which the health, perhaps, as well as the appetite, approves; and it constitutes a large, if not the largest, portion of the meat with which our tables are supplied.
But the sheep does more for us in the way of clothing than in food, by resigning to us, yearly, its ample coat.
Wool has a property different entirely from that of other hair ; for its constant tendency to curl and wrinkle, causes it, when woven, to thicken up, and make a closer texture, as it is manufactured. This surprisingly important quality renders woollen garments the chief clothing of civilized man; and, in consequence, the wool is the means of subsistence to thousands of manufacturers in different countries of the world.
Sheep-shearing in England is only performed once in the year. In warmer climates application is twice made in the season to this compliant animal for his suit of clothes. We generally have ours sheared in June, when the state of the weather renders the operation at least safe to the sheep. The performance is rather a rough and toilsome one to, I believe, all concerned. The animals have first to be washed by an almost killing process—repugnant enough, I doubt not, to the subjects of it, who are generally averse to water. The shearing is any thing but play to the shearer and the shorn. Great strength and dexterity are
required in the man; and nothing less than the proverbial patience of the sheep to render the operation possible. The wool is cut exceedingly close ; and there seems, indeed, great danger, as the instrument snaps along, that flesh, as well as the coat, will go. But they are rarely injured, unless succeeding chilly weather renders the loss of wool an uncomfortable privation.
Sheep and lambs are liable to various accidents and diseases.
The LAMBS, coming at a time when the season is frequently severe, are very likely to perish, without great care. Both sheep and lambs, being utterly defenceless animals, are also commonly the property most likely to suffer from thieves and dogs, notwithstanding the utmost caution of their owner.
The fat of sheep congeals more readily than that of oxen, and is much used for tallow. The skins, when dressed, form that useful substance called wash-leather. Of the intestines is prepared the article erroneously called catgut, used for musical and mechanical purposes. The varieties of this animal are also many.
Here is an animal, differing from the other sorts exactly in those particulars which render it capable of occupying a place in the service of man, that, otherwise, must have remained vacant and unproductive: with many of the poor it is invaluable, as being the only animal of the numerous farming herds that can subsist on the common and scanty means which are open to them. The cow and the sheep must have pasture and often costly care. Not