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of horses coming in from all parts of the East, the danger of disease among horses is largely increased. It is well known that glanders and other contagious equine diseases are widely scattered in eastern portions of the United States, and the utmost vigilance should be used to keep diseased horses from the range country. The importance of the range-horse industry entitles it to all the protection that the Government and local live-stock sanitary authorities can give it.
THE SHEEP INDUSTRY.
There has always been more or less trouble on the range between the cattle growers and sheep men. This grows out of the fact that wherever sheep graze the cattle will not remain. Range cattle dislike the smell of sheep, and will not stay in the same neighborhood with a flock of them. Again, sheep travel as they eat, and bite the grass so close to the ground that cattle could not stay on the range where sheep had been if they wanted to, for the reason that there is absolutely nothing left behind for other stock to eat.
The fact remains, however, that there are millions of sheep in the range country, and as they are domestic animals our Department should give them attention. The general health of the flocks all over the arid region is good and the increase satisfactory, Scab prevails to a large extent from Texas to Montana, but, latterly, owing to the very general practice of dipping, no serious loss has occurred, save in a few small districts.
The very considerable advance in the price of wool the past year has given a new impetus to this branch of the stock business, and the flocks are likely to be rapidly increased in numbers. And for this reason, I fear, the friction between herd owners and flock masters will increase.
Under the head of “Range Tenure," I made some suggestions to the effect that ownership of water rights should govern the question of grazing privileges on the plains. Owners of sheep have as many and the same rights upon the public domain as have the owners of cattle; but they have no more or greater right.
The trouble generally is that the sheep owners do not keep their flocks in a given area. They may own a water right, but the rule seems to be to start the flock off in the spring, and keep it moving all summer, passing over a dozen or more cattle ranges. They travel but a few miles a day, and leave the country over which they pass as bare of grass as a house floor. In this way they ruin the range, and literally drive the cattle before them. Western Wyoming and Western Colorado suffer universally from these “loafer" flocks. Utah is full of sheep, and hundreds of thousands are started every spring to the eastward, following up the sides of the Wasach Mountains, as the snow disappears, and then spreading out over the range in all directions like a swarm of Egyptian locusts. In the past they have generally returned in the late autumn to the Utah deserts to winter on the brush. But last fall many of the flocks remained in the low valleys where the cattle have been wont to winter, and a serious loss of cattle is likely to result. These loafer flocks rarely pay tax any; where, managing to dodge the assessor, or claiming to have paid their tax in some other State or Territory.
While I desire to accord the same rights to all classes of stockmen, I can not see why the rules of equity should not require sheep owners to hold their flocks on the range adjacent to their water rights, the same as cattle men do. Most sheep herders load their mess-wagon in the spring and follow the flock all summer, never camping more than two nights in one place, thus putting them in the attitude of willing trespassers upon the range rights of their neighbors. This is the main cause of so much ill feeling toward them throughout the West. Should the question of range tenure ever be settled by Government rules, sheep and cattle men should be held to the same line of action--kept on their allotted area. This industry, being second in importance to cattle in the range country, demands from the Government its fostering care. The arid region possesses many advantages for successful sheep husbandry. The dryness of the atmosphere and the light dry soil prevents the appearance of the destructive disease so prevalent in the lower and damper countries.
The greatest obstacle in the way of success to the sheep men of the arid region has been their inability to realize from their muttons. The railroad rates for transporting sheep has been nearly if not quite as much for a single deck load as for a car of cattle, notwithstanding the fact that it is impossible to load to exceed 10,000 pounds on one floor, when 20,000 pounds would be permitted. The use of stationary double decks were so objectionable to the railroad companies that by common agreement some months ago they were prohibited. Stock cars thus equipped could not be utilized for carrying merchandise on return trips, and to remove and restore their temporary floors was expensive and injurious to the cars. This decision of the railroads was equivalent to an absolute prohibition to the traffic in fat sheep from remote points. The railroads, however, expressed a willingness to permit the use of double decks if an adjustable floor could be devised that would overcome the objections stated. This stimulated inventive genius, and the Missouri Pacific system is now using a deck invented by Olney Newell, of Denver, Colo., which is at once simple, durable, and cheap. The officers of the road express entire satisfaction with it, and I think its general adoption, or something equally good, will greatly benefit the sheep growers of the country.
FEEDING IN THE ARID REGION.
Under the old system of range production, feed for winter was only thought of in connection with the cow ponies kept up for every day use. Grass being everywhere abundant there was no apparent necessity for feeding, and the mortality was light. But with the rapid increase of the herds has come a shortage in grass and an increased mortality. This has caused an investigation into the subject of preparing feed for winter as a means of security. Years of experience among the farmers who have settled along the streams that here and there penetrate the arid region has fully demonstrated the richness of the soil and the wonderful hay -producing capacity of the land when once put into cultivation under irrigating ditches. Five tons of alfalta can be raised from every acre that can be thoroughly irrigated, and heavy crops of almost every other known variety of grass. All kinds of hay cure so perfectly in this arid country that their nutritive and fattening qualities are something wonderful. Well-authenticated experiments at several points in the range country have established the fact that alfalta, wild and tame clover, and our mountain bluestem grass, if fed under reasonably fair conditions in winter, will put on flesh at an average of two pounds gross per day for a period of three or five months. This without grain of any kind to mix with the hay.
These facts being generally known, there is a growing tendency to utilize all of the available lands for irrigation and the production of forage crops. Probably not more than one acre in two hundred of the entire arid belt is susceptible of being brought under ditch with the hope of getting an ample water supply. But the increased quantity of feed this small area is capable of producing would be sufficient to winter-feed one-fourth or more of all the cattle now grazing on the great plains. In time a system of water storage may be developed so as to save the vast volume that now runs to waste in winter (when not wanted), which will double the available supply. When this time arrives the risks of winter will have departed. Meantime each coming year will see more and more of the valley lands converted into meadows, and the hay crop so increased that thousands of beef steers may be fattened during the winter, or all of the weak members of the herd taken up and properly cared for. This will involve a very considerable outlay of money and labor, but as compensation it will give immunity from winter losses and a continuous growth from calfhood up, thus adding largely to the matured weight of each animal in the herd. Limited real-estate investments in connection with the herds, if made for hay lands, will give both permanency and security to the general investment.
There are many other topics of which I might profitably treat, but to do so would render my report of unreasonable length. I have submitted my views upon subjects which seemed to me of greatest importance, with the hope that these suggestions may serve to promote the welfare of the live-stock industry.
I have traveled almost constantly over the range country since the date of my last report, and have co-operated with live-stock sanitary authorities and officers of associations in protecting the range-stock interests from disease.
H. M. TAYLOR, Agent U. S. Bureau of Animal Industry. DENVER, COLO., February 22, 1887.
THE CATTLE TRADE AND ALLIED INDUSTRIES OF MICHIGAN,
WISCONSIN, AND TENNESSEE,
Hon. NORMAN J. COLMAN,
Commissioner of Agriculture: SIR : The following are the results of my investigations of the present year as to the condition and importance of the cattle trade and allied industries of the States of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Tennesseo :
In its natural conditions the State of Michigan was not well adapted to stock-growing. The circumstances affecting the commerce, manufacturing, and other industries of the State were not such as tended to rapidly develop farming, nor were they likely to foster the growth of the live-stock interest. The lower or southern tiers of counties were on the lines of travel along which the tide of immigration flowed before the completion of the through lines of railroad in Canada. In those southern counties were located the railroads which first crossed the State connecting the east with the country beyond the timbered region; the result was that those counties were settled at a comparatively early date. But the larger part of the State was at one side of the course of travel, and formed as it might be described, a cove or bight beside the stream of immigration, into which only a small part of the great current eddied, the rest flowing on toward the newly discovered and far more tempting prairies of Illinois and the west. Thus the settlement of Michigan has gone on slowly. Of the 36,655,200 acres of land in the State, only 12,207,220 acres were, in the year 1885, included in farms; and even of the land in farms only 7,280,775 acres were at the time named improved, the remainder being covered by forest. Yet, Michigan offers advantages to the farmer, and especially to the dairyman. The State is within casy reach of large markets, has good soil and a comparatively equable climate, in which the extremes of temperature that occur in some of the prairie States are never felt. The water supply is abundant and good, and droughts seldom, if ever, occur.
The State is without a single mountain, and no hills worthy of the name are seen in the southern part or lower peninsula. Rising by very slight grades from the low flat lands at the head of Lake Erie and along the rivers Detroit and St. Clair, and the low shores of Lakes St. Clair and Huron, the land nowhere reaches an elevation greater than is needed to give tho drainage requirod. A very large part of the interior is a rolling clay soil, covered by vegetable mold; but on the west side of the State and in the northern end of the lower peninsula there are considerable tracts of sandy land. On the shore of Lake Michigan this land has become famed as a profit able fruit-growing region. That part of the State lying north and west of the Straits of Mackinaw and Lake Huron is known only as a region of copper, iron, and timber. Little farming is done there, and the few cattle kept are raised for the purpose of supplying their owners with milk and butter, for use in the yoke, or for replenishing the stock. There are in the eleven counties of the upper peninsula, from which reports have been received, only 2,866 milch cows and 3,530 other cattle, being 1.2 cows and 1.6 other cattle for each 100 acres included in the farms of those counties. In the year 1880 there were in those eleven counties 1,760 cows and 2,726 other cattle, the population having been 85,030 at that time.
Fifty years ago nearly all of the surface of the State of Michigan was covered by heavy forests. Having no means for learning the character and extent of the prairie regions of the West, then comparatively unknown, the people of Michigan had no idea of the value their timber would have within a quarter of a century. Many of them did not even know that vast and fertile fields lay ready for the plow only a few days' journey away. Most of the pioneers had not been taught to believe that a farm could be made in any way other than by the exceedingly laborious and tedious one of clearing away forests, digging up stumps, and cutting down bushes that sprang up in the clearings until at last the forest should be finally subdued and the fields yield harvests in plenty and comparative ease. somber forests, the forage in Michigan was of inferior quality and scant in quantity, having little nutrition for stock. That which grew on the sedgy margins of the ponds or on the boggy marshes was little or no better than that which grew under the trees. So small was the supply of food for the stock of the pioneer, that tender trees were often felled that the starving animals might gnaw the twigs and bark to keep themselves alive until spring should cause the scanty crop of grass to grow again. Scattered throughout the State are many small lakes, on the shores of which sedges sprang up early in the spring, and a little pasturage appeared on the banks of streams where clear spots were, but in the most favored places there was little to encourage stock-growing.
Lying as it does in the midst of great bodies of water, Michigan is usually covered in winter by deep snows. They come early and stay late. The vapors which rise from the broad expanses of water, warmed by summer suns and by the heat of the earth beneath their depths, meet the chilling north winds of autumn, and are driven over the land, to fall in thick blankets, that protect the fields of grain and the trees and vines. In spring the lakes are covered by floating fields of ice, that grind along the base of the hills of frozen spray on the shores. These cool the winds of early spring, as the chill waters do later, and retard the thawing of the snow. They keep back the springing of the grass and the opening of buds until after the open prairies of the West are ready for the plow. While these causes serve to discourage stock-growing, they have operated to make Michigan one of the best fruit-growing States in the Union. Yet despite all obstacles Michigan was eleventh in a list of forty-seven States and Territories, in the year 1884, in the number of milch cows, and twenty-first in that of oxen and other cattle owned by their people.
As in all forest regions, the pioneer had no desire to own more cattle than were required to answer the immediate demands of his family. Almost invariably a cow was taken with the family to the