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The Farmers Practical Guide


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264                                                 “ THE FRIEND OF ALL.


Breeds, Principal:

American Merinos.................264

Black-faced Heath.................266



Devonshire Notts..................264

Moorland Sheep of Devonshire... 270

Hampshire-Down.................. 264

Leicester, Old......................264

Leicester, New or Border..........265

Lincolnshire, Old..................264


Rocky Mountain...................265

Breeds, Principal:

Romney Marsh.....................264

Shetland Sheep....................266



Diseases of Sheep....................268

Domestication, Early................ 262

Industrial Importance................262

Rearing and Keeping................266

Feeding, Winter..................267

Insects, Protection from...........267

Lambing Time.....................266

Lambs, Weaning...................266

Rearing and Ke eping:

Marking........................... 267


Pastures, Early and Late...........267



Weeds, Fondness of Sheep for......267



Sheep-Husbandry, and Statistics......263

in United States... 263

Tying the Wool.......................268

Varieties of the Sheep................263

Early Domestication.There can be little doubt
that sheep were the earliest domesticated animals.
Abel, the second son of Adam, was a keeper of
sheep, and the pastoral life was the favorite occu­
pation of man in the early ages, agriculture being
followed from necessity rather than from choice.
The antiquity of their domestication is further
proved by their widely diversified character ; the
Linnæan classification giving the Hornless, Horn­
ed, Black-faced, Spanish, Many-horned, African,
Guinea, Broad-tailed, Fat-rumped, Bucharian,
Long-tailed, Cap-bearded and Bovant. In addi­
tion to these are the Siberian sheep of Asia,
found also in Corsica and Barbary, and the
Cretan sheep of the Grecian Islands, Hungary
and some portions of Austria, which are about
all the princioal sub-soecies,

Industrial Importance.Sheep were the chief ele­
ment of wealth among the Hebrew patriarchs;
and the Latin term perns (cattle), whence was de­
rived pecunia (wealth), was especially applied to
them. In ancient times they were bred mainly
for their skins and milk, the latter abundant,
agreeable and very nourishing. Now they are
prized chiefly for their wool, flesh and fat. Mut­
ton, as is well known, is the most highly nutri­
tious of all flesh meats, and the demand for it is
steadily increasing. To supply the markets of
New York City alone more than a million sheep
per annum are needed. Farmers, hitherto daily
consumers of pork, are becoming eaters of mut­
ton, and the convenience of keeping a few sheep
merely to supply the family table is appreciated
as never before,

SHEEP.                                                                  265

Sheep-Husbandry, and Statistics.—In Great Bri­
tain the breeding and feeding of sheep has been
second in importance only to that of cattle.
Since the settlement of Australia and the other
British dependencies, the rearing of fine-wooled
sheep, however, has been almost entirely aban­
doned, sheep-raisers confining themselves main­
ly to the breeding of long­, medium- and short-
wooled sheep—valuable as well for mutton as for
their fleeces—leaving to the United States and
to the British colonies the almost exclusive
rearing of fine-wooled sheep—Saxony, Silesian,
and French and Spanish Merinos. This produc­
tion has grown vastly, as these Merinos may be
kept in immense flocks, and because, as every­
body knows, in Australasia and in Texas, New
Mexico, and the great American plains east of
the Rocky Mountains, there are vast ranges of
country where stock of all kinds may be herded
at a minimum cost.

Last year (1882) the sheep of the world were es­
timated to be 600,000,000 head, yielding 2,000,000,-
ooo pounds of wool annually. Of this number
Great Britain had 35,000,000 sheep, shearing
218,000,000 pounds of wool annually. This wool
is mainly of long, middle and short staple, but
is not fine wool. The rough wool, medium fine
to coarse, but not uniform in its texture, is pro­
duced in South America and Mexico from 58,-
000,000 sheep, yielding annually 174,000,000
pounds of wool; in North Africa, with 20,000,-
ooo sheep, yielding 45,000,000 pounds ; and in
Asia, with 175,000,000 sheep, yielding annually
350,000,000 pounds of wool. Now if we add to
these numbers 25,000,000 sheep for the moun­
tainous and northern regions of Europe, Greece
and Turkey, and 50,000,000 for Russia, producing
in all 164,000,000 pounds of wool, the remaining
portions of the world may be set down as the
home of fine-wooled sheep. Of these Australia
has 60,000,000; the United States, 36,000,000;
the Cape of Good Hope, 12,000,000; Germany,
29,000,000 ; Austro-Hungary, 21,000,000 ; France,
26,000,000 ; Spain, 22,000,000 ; Italy, 11,ooo,ooo;
Portugal, 2,750,000 sheep. Of all these coun­
tries, Australia produces the finest wool, while
the United States and Canada come next, al­
though Canada is essentially a mutton-producing
country, which the United States is not, for the
number of sheep kept.

In the United States.—Notwithstanding the vast
territory in the United States adapted to sheep-
husbandry, the industry has not kept pace with
the demand, and until about ten years ago our
wool imports were constantly increasing in spite
of the yearly increment of our flocks. From 1870
to 1875 only two thirds of our manufactured wool
product was home grown. Since that time our
annual imports have not increased. The bulk

of imported wool is of low-grade carpet-wools
and unwashed Merino, and constituting only one
fourth of the product manufactured.


The numerous varieties of sheep that now exist
in different parts of the globe have all been re­
duced by Cuvier into four distinct species : 1.
Ovis Ammon—the Argali. This species is re-
markable for its soft reddish hair, a short tail,
and a mane under its neck. It inhabits the rocky
districts of Barbary and the more elevated parts
of Egypt. 2. Ovis tragelaphus—the bearded
sheep of Africa. 3. Ovis musmon—the Musmon
of Southern Europe. 4. Ovis montana—the Mou-
flon of America; but this species, which inhabits
the Rocky Mountains, is now believed to be
identical with the Argali, which frequents the
mountains of Central Asia, and the higher plains
of Siberia northward to Kamtchatka. This
leaves only three distinct species of wild sheep as
yet discovered.

It is still a point in dispute from which of these
races our domestic sheep have been derived ; nor
is the question of great practical importance,
though its solution is very desirable in a phy­
siological point of view. Whether the wild races
may be regarded as of one species, as some natu­
ralists contend, or of different species, according
to others, the best judges are next to unanimous
that the domestic races are of one species ; and
what are called different breeds are nothing more
than varieties, the result of different culture, food
and climate.


Among the principal breeds reared in Great
Britain and the United States are the following;

South-Down Sheep.—Of this variety the Chicago
Breeder's Gazette thus speaks:

“ Wherever symmetry in outline and perfection
in detail are appreciated, the South-Down stands
the peer of domestic animals of any breed. With
an origin beyond the sweep of history, its merits
as a flesh-producing animal have had special
recognition for more than a century, during
which time it has been so bred within its own
blood as to perfect and intensify its best features,
while being employed for the improvement of
many other types claiming popular favor. Its
flesh has long been deemed the synonym of per­
fection in its line—the ambition of fanciers of
other types rarely extending beyond the stan­
dard of South-Down mutton. As a meat-producer
the South-Down has in its favor all of the recog­
nized requisites: 1. Precocity—its deep chest
and rounded rib insuring the fullest play of the
vital organs ; 2. Prolificacy—flocks wherein the
lambs outnumber the ewes being by no means un-

266                                                          THE FRIEND OF ALL.

common ; 3. Propensity to thrive under average
conditions—being ready for market at any time
from six weeks old to maturity; 4. Prepotency—
its long years of pure breeding having so inten­
sified its characteristics as to insure them pro-

South-Down Ram.

minence when crossed with other breeds ; 5.
Hardiness—it being found to thrive well under
such treatment as the average farmer usually de­
votes to his stock.”

Oxford­, Shropshire­ and Hampshire-Downs.—These
breeds attain a much larger size than the original
South-Downs, and also carry heavier fleeces. It
Is supposed that this has been attained by a cross
of the South-Downs with Lincolnshire or Cots-
wold blood ; be that as it may, they are now
acknowledged as separate breeds of great value,
combining the finest mutton with a heavy and
valuable fleece ; but certainly the Shropshire­ and
Hampshire-Downs are deficient in form. The
cultivation of the Oxford-Downs, in particular, is
rapidly spreading, and likely to extend in all low-
(ying districts where pure flocks are raised simply
for the butcher-market.

American Merinos.—To quote again from the
Breeders Gazette: “Probably three fourths of
;he now nearly fifty million sheep in the United

Group of American Merinos.

States have a certain proportion of Merino blood
in their veins. For eighty years the importations |

of Spanish Merinos made between 1800 and
1812 have had especial interest for American
breeders, who found in the improvement of fleece
and carcass opportunity for displaying their
highest skill in breeding and management.
Their success in these respects has been such
that the typical American Merino—(properly
called American, because it is as distinct from
the type of its Spanish progenitor, and as fixed
in its characteristics, as the French, or Saxony,
or Australian types)—possesses every needed re­
quisite for a profitable flocking sheep. Where
so many eminent breeders have achieved suc­
cesses, when so many localities are justly noted
for the excellence of their flocks, the day has gone
by for any man or any State to consistently claim
pre-eminence in the superiority of its flocks.
Money and enterprise have scattered flocks from
the Eastern States, where the importations of
fourscore years ago were cradled and brought into
general prominence, until to­day animals of the
highest individual excellence are to be found
West and South, as well as East.”

There are three families of American Merinos
—the Atwood, the Rich and the Hammond.

The Merinos are not so much prized for their
flesh as for their wool, which has a fineness and
felting quality not found in other breeds, and
weighs heavier. Shearing is a yearly operation,
and eating is final. The sheep that shears ad­
vantageously is, therefore, the most profitable,
and in that respect, there is not a question as to
the claims of the Merino.

Cotswolds.—This breed has been long raised on
the Cotswold Hills in Gloucestershire, and is
abundant in the fertile valleys of South Wales. It
possesses long open wool, and is among the largest
sheep in the United Kingdom. Of all English
breeds it is the variety most widely disseminated
in the United States. It is hardy and mode­
rately early in maturing ; strong in constitution ;
broad-chested ; round-barreled ; straight-backed ;
and fattens kindly at thirteen to fifteen months
old to yield 15 pounds of mutton per quarter.
The wool is rather strong and coarse, but white
and mellow, 6 to 8 inches in length, and averag­
ing 7 to 8 pounds per fleece : some American
fleeces have been sheared weighing 18 pounds.
It is valued for its mutton, the lean meat being
large in proportion to the fat. It is used to some
extent in crossing ewes of smaller breeds, for
raising feeding-stock or lambs for the butcher.

The Devonshire Notts, Romney Marsh, Old Lincoln­
shire, Teeswater
and Old Leicester Sheep.—There
are two varieties of the Devonshire Notts : one
is called the Dun-faced Notts, from the color of
the face ; this is a coarse animal, with flat ribs
and crooked back but it yields a fleece weighing
10 pounds, and when fat weighs 22 pounds per



quarter when only thirty months old. The sec­
ond variety is called the Bampton Notts ; it re­
sembles the former in many respects, but is
easier fed, yields less wool, and has the face and
legs white.

The Romney Marsh breeds are very large ani­
mals, with white faces and legs, and yield a
heavy fleece, the quality good of its kind. Their
general structure is defective, the chest being
narrow and the extremities coarse. The result
of their being crossed by the New Leicester is
still a point in dispute—one party alleging that,
though the quantity of wool has been lessened
and the size of the animal diminished by the
cross, the tendency to fatten and the general
form have been much improved. On the other
hand, some well-informed breeders contend
that, besides the loss of the quantity and quality
of the wool, the constitution of the animal is
rendered less fitted to the cold and marshy pas­
tures on which it feeds.

The Old Lincolnshire breed are large, coarse,
ill-shaped, slow feeders, and yield indifferent
mutton, but a fleece of very heavy long wool.
The Teeswater breed were originally derived
from the preceding, and pastured on the rich
lands in the valley of the Tees, from which they
derive their name ; but Professor Low remarks
that “ it is entirely changed by crossing with the
Dishly breed, and that the old unimproved race
of the Tees is now scarcely to be found.” They
are very large, and attain a greater weight than
almost any other breed—the two-year-old weth­
ers weighing from 25 to 30 pounds per quarter,
and yielding a long and heavy fleece.

The Old Leicester is a variety of the coarse,
long-wooled breeds. On rich pastures they
feed to a great weight; but being regarded as
slow feeders, their general character has either
been changed by crossing, or altogether aban­
doned for more improved varieties.

The New or Border Leicester.—Mr. Bakewell of
Dishly, in the county of Leicester, has the honor
of forming this most importart breed of sheep.
He turned his attention to improving the form
of feeding animals about the year 1755. The
exact method he followed in forming his breed
of sheep is not. accurately known, as he is said to
have observed a prudent reserve on the subject.
But we now know that there is but one way of cor­
recting the defective form of an animal—namely,
by breeding for a course of years from animals
of the most perfect form, till the defects are re­
moved, and the properties sought for obtained.
Though the Border Leicesters have been bred
from the New or English Leicesters, their forms
and chief characteristics are now widely diffe­
rent, and they are frequently classed as a distinct
breed. Forty years ago, the ewes of some of the

present flocks of Border Leicesters in Scotland
were then composed of English blood, and rams
from Mr. Buckley of Normantonhill, Leicesters,
and others were regularly purchased to maintain
the desired purity of blood. At that time pur­
chasers of rams for crossing began to give larger
prices for sheep of greater size and bone than
those lately imported from the south. There
can be little doubt this increased size and activi­
ty were merely produced by the more extended
fields and cooler climate of Scotland ; while the
stock was still fed on pasturage rich enough to
keep them in high condition. The great proper­
ties for the farmer of the Border Leicesters, as
they are now called, are their early maturity and
disposition to fatten. They are also of a most
productive nature, three fourths of a flock have
frequently twins, and triplets are common. They
have long open and spiral wool; ordinary fleeces
weigh about eight pounds, but ram fleeces often
reach double that weight.

Rocky Mountain Sheep.—All the wild sheep
known are natives of mountainous districts, and
are gregarious. The Rocky Mountain sheep,
called also Big Horn, is famous for its enormous
horns, good quality of meat, and fine wool with

Rocky Mountain Sheep.

here and there, however, long overlapping hairs.
None of the domesticated breeds can be traced
to this variety, but it would, no doubt, readily
cross with any of them.

The Moor/and Sheep of Devonshire—sometimes
termed the Exmoor and Dartmoor—have horns,
with legs and face white, wool long, with hardy
constitution, and are said to be well adapted to
the wet lands which they occupy. Their wool
weighs about four pounds the fleece ; but they
are rather small, and in some respects ill-formed.

The Cheviot breed, deriving their name from the
Cheviot Hills, are longer and heavier than the
Black-faced. Their wool is fine and close ; a
medium fleece weighs about three pounds and a
half to four pounds ; a carcass, when fat, weighs
from 16 to 18 pounds and upward per quarter.



Their faces are white; their legs are long, clean
and small-boned, and clad with wool to the
hough. Their only defect of form is a want of
depth in the chest; yet, with this exception,
their size, general shape, hardy constitution and
fine wool are a combination of qualities in which,
as a breed for mountain pasturage, they are yet
unrivaled in Scotland, though they require a
larger proportion of grass to heather than

The Black-faced Heath breed, which, being the
most hardy and active of all domesticated sheep,
are the proper inhabitants of every country
abounding in elevated heathy mountains. They
have spiral horns, their legs and faces are black,
with a short, firm and compact body; their wool
is coarse, weighing from three to four pounds
per fleece ; but the improved breed, which is of
mixed black and white in the face and legs,
yields a finer and a whiter wool. They fatten
readily on good pastures, and yield the most de­
licious mutton ; the wedder flocks, when three

Black-faced Ewe and Ram.

known to inhabit the most northerly parts of
Europe, from which it is supposed the fine­
wooled sheep of the northern islands of Great
Britain and the Highlands of Scotland have
been derived. They are hardy in constitution,
and well adapted to the soil and scanty pastures
on which they are reared, but would ill repay
their cultivation in lowland districts.


Rutting.The “rutting” is from September till
the middle of December, according to the variety
of sheep and the system of feeding. White-faced
modern breeds have the tups early among them,
and the hill flocks are later. The period of ges­
tation is from 20 to 21 weeks.

Lambing Time.Ewes occupying sown or low-
ground pastures lamb in March, while those not
so well provided for—the mountain sheep—do
not drop their lambs usually till April. The
ancient breeds generally have only one lamb in
a season, but modern highly fed varieties fre­
quently have twins, occasionally triplets, but
rarely more. Lambs intended to come early
into the market are as often as possible dropped
in January.

Weaning Lambs.Generally lambs are weaned
in July and August. Weaning of breeding or
store lambs, however, is a feature of modern
sheep-farming; at one time it was not uncommon
to see several generations persistently following
the parent stem.

Pasture Suitable for Sheep.The land best suited
for sheep is one that is naturally drained, with a
sandy loam or gravelly soil and subsoil, and
which bears spontaneously short, fine herbage,
mixed with white clover. It should be rolling,
and may be hilly in character rather than flat
and level. Low spots or hollows in which marsh
plants grow are very objectionable and should
be thoroughly drained. One such spot upon an
otherwise good farm may infect a flock with deadly
disease. No domestic animal is more readily
affected by adverse circumstances than the sheep,
and none has less spirit or power to resist them.
It is by long experience that shepherds have
learned that the first requisite for success In the
rearing of sheep is the choice of a farm upon
which their flocks will enjoy perfect health, and
that dryness of soil and of air is the first necessity
for their well being. By a careful and judicious
choice in this respect most of the ills to which
sheep are subject are avoided.

The nature of the soil upon which sheep
are pastured has great influence in modifying’
the character of the sheep. Upon the kind of
soil depends the quality of the herbage upon
which the flock feeds. Soils consisting of de­
composed granite or feldspar, and which are rich

years old, are generally fattened on turnips in
arable districts, and weigh from 16 to 20 pounds
per quarter. They exist in large numbers in the
more elevated mountains of Yorkshire, Cumber­
land, Westmoreland, Argyleshire, and in all the
higher districts of Scotland where heather is
abundant. Recent severe winters have led to
their re-introduction in high grounds where they
had for a time been supplanted by the Cheviot
and other varieties.

This breed, though not acclimatized in the
United States, is thought by some authorities to
be admirably adapted to our exposed mountain
localities or our unsheltered plains.

The Shetland Sheep inhabit those islands from
which they derive their name, and extend to
the Faroe Islands and the Hebrides. In gen­
eral they have no horns. The finest fabrics
are made of their wool, which resembles a fine
fur. This wool is mixed with a species of coarse
hair, which forms a covering for the animal when
the fleece proper falls off, A similar variety is

SHEEP.                                                                  269

in potash, are unfavorable for sheep. Even tur­
nips raised on such lands sometimes affect the
sheep injuriously, producing disease under which
they waste away, become watery about the eyes,
fall in about the flanks, and assume a generally
unhealthy appearance. Upon removal to a lime­
stone or a dry sandstone soil, sheep thus affected
improve at once and rapidly recover. The lambs
are most easily affected, and many are yearly lost
by early death upon lands of an unfavorable
character. As a rule, lands upon which granite,
feldspathic or micaceous rocks intrude, or whose
soils are derived from the degradation of such
rocks, should be avoided. Such soils are, how­
ever, not without their uses, for they are excel­
lently adapted to the dairy. The soils most to
be preferred are sandstone and limestone lands,
of a free, dry, porous character, upon which the
finer grasses flourish. The soils which are de
rived from rocks called carboniferous, which
accompany coal-deposits or are found in the
regions in which coal is mined, are those upon
which sheep have been bred with the most suc­

Fondness of Sheep for Weeds.—Sheep eat a variety
of vegetation other than the true grasses. They
are fond of many weeds, and if allowed will soon
reduce the weeds that spring up after harvest.
All the pasture grasses are natural to sheep,
except those which close feeding is apt to kill.
Blue grass, orchard grass, the fescues, red-top,
rye grass, etc., may be the main dependence for
sheep; clovers they do not like so well. In pas­
turing ewes with lambs it is well to have spaces
through which the lambs can pass, and yet which
will not permit the egress of the ewes. In Eng­
land these are called lamb-creeps : this arrange­
ment often enables the lambs to get much succu­
lent food outside, and they do no damage to
crops. In fact, sheep are often turned into corn-
fields and other hoed crops, late in the season,
to eat the weeds. They will soon clean a crop if
it be such as they will not damage.

Water.—It has been said that sheep require no
water when pasturing. But that is absurd. On
very succulent grass they will live without it, and,
as a rule, take but little. Like any other ani­
mal, sometimes their systems require more than
at others. This is especially true during suck­
ling time. See that they have it, and of pure
quality. Sheep should never drink from stag­
nant pools.

Protection from Insects.—In summer sheep
should have shelter where they may escape from
the insects that torment them, especially the
gadfly, and others producing internal parasites ;
also, during July and August, provide a plowed
surface of mellow soil, and smear their noses,
when necessary, with tar.

Early and Late Pastures.—The better your early
and late pastures are, the easier you can winter
your sheep, especially in the West, where few
roots are raised. Attend to this, and supplement
the pastures by sowing rye and other hardy ce­
real grains, which may be done on corn land of
the same season, at the last plowing, and upon
grain land intended for hoed crops next season.
Light grain of little worth will prove very valu­
able in this way if sown as directed.

Never allow your sheep to fall away in flesh
before they are put into the feeding yards and
barns for the winter. The time to feed is before
they begin to lose flesh. They will, of course,
shrink somewhat in weight as the feed becomes
dry, but if properly fed it will be chiefly moisture
that they lose. When the full succulence of the
flesh is to be kept up, there is nothing better than
roots—Swedish turnips, beets and carrots being
the most profitable in the West. At any rate, as
the pastures become dry, let the sheep have one
feed a day of something better than they can
pick up in the fields.

Winter Feeding.—You cannot have an even tex­
ture of wool if sheep are allowed to fall away
greatly in flesh. Nor can heavy fleeces be raised
on hay. If you do not intend to take the best of
care of sheep, and keep them thriving, you had
better not keep any but the commonest kinds.

Roots are essential to the best care of sheep.
Carrots are excellent for ewes before lambing
time, and parsnips for those giving milk; the
latter may be left all winter in the ground and be
fed up to the time grass becomes flush. Beets
should not be fed until after January, on account
of an acrid principle they contain when first pit­
ted. They are best when used after the Swedes
are exhausted.

Marking Sheep.—To mark sheep without injury
to the wool or to the animal, take ½ pint linseed
oil, 2 ounces litharge and 1 ounce lampblack ;
boil all together. Apply the mixture when


Previous to shearing, all the sheep should be
collected and washed, to rid the fleece of impuri­
ties. After being washed they ought to be driven
to a clean pasture ­field, and there remain three
or four days before they are clipped. Before
commencing the shearing of sheep, they ought to
be carefully examined, to ascertain whether or
not they are really ready for being shorn. Few
greater errors can be committed in the manage­
ment of stock than that of too early clipping.
The practice is highly injurious both to fat and
lean stock, and not only retards their improve­
ment, but not unfrequently originates organic
I disease, both acute and chronic.



It is important that the shearing be properly
done, and no unskillful person should be allowed
to use the shears. May is the usual time for
shearing in the Northern States. The tools
are a pair of shears and a shearing-bench.
The common shears with a thumb-piece upon
one side, and an easy spring, is the best tool
for the shearer. The shears should be brought
to a fine, sharp edge upon a fine oil stone.
The bevel of the cutting edge should be some­
what more than that of a common pair of
scissors and less than that of a plane-iron.

The floor of the sbearing-room should be kept
free from straw, chaff or litter; and if a boy be
kept at work removing dirt, tags and rubbish,
his time will be well employed. In shearing,
the shearer catches the sheep by the left hind
leg, backs it toward the bench and rolls it
over upon it. He then sets the sheep on its
rump, and standing with his left foot upon the
bench, lays the sheep‘s neck across his left knee,
with its right side against his body. The two
fore legs are then taken under the left arm, and
the fleece is opened up and down along the
center of the belly by small short clips with the
shears. The left side of the belly and brisket are
then sheared. The tags are clipped from the
inside of the hind legs and about the breech, and
thrown upon the floor. They should be swept
up at once and gathered into a basket, and not
allowed to mingle with the fleece-wool. The
breech is then shorn as far as can be reached.
The wool from the point of the shoulder is then
clipped as far as the butt of the ear. The wool
is shorn around the carcass and neck to the fore-
top, proceeding down the side, taking the foreleg
and going as far over the back as possible, which
will be two or three inches past the back­bone.
When the joint of the thigh (the stifle) is
reached, the shears are inserted at the inside of
the hough, and the wool shorn around the leg
back to the thigh-joint. The wool over the rump
is then shorn past the tail.

The sheep being now completely shorn on
one side, and two or three inches over on the
other side, along the back from neck to tail, is
then taken by the left hind leg, and swung
around with the back to the shearer, leaving
some wool beneath the left hip, which will ease
the position of the animal and keep it more
quiet. The wool is then shorn from the head
and neck down the right side, taking the legs
and brisket on the way. The fleece is now

separated. The job is completed by clipping
the tags and loose locks from the legs.

When the sheep‘s skin has been unavoidably
cut in shearing, each cut should be smeared with
tar, which will prevent flesh flies from depositing
their eggs in the wound, and probably avoid

Tying the Wool.—The fleece should be as little
broken as possible in shearing. It should be
gathered up carefully, placed on a smooth table,
with the inside ends down, put into the exact
shape in which it came from the sheep, and
pressed close together. If there are dung-balls,
they should be removed. Fold in each side one
quarter, next the neck and breech one quarter,
and the fleece will then be in an oblong square
form, some twenty inches wide and twenty-five
or thirty inches long. Then fold it once more
lengthwise, and it is ready to be rolled up and
tied or placed in the press.


Diseases in sheep are not numerous, in com­­
parison with the maladies of other domestic ani­
mals, but they are severe; one of the worst being

Scab, a kind of itch, arising from an insect in
the skin, and peculiarly destructive. The dis­
eased animal seeks to relieve itself of an intoler­
able itching by rubbing against every projection;
and wherever it rubs, the icarus remains to carry
the infection through the flock. Sometimes a
malicious sheep-owner will let a scabby sheep
run at large over ground occupied by a neighbor,
and the consequences may be ruinous.

Treatment.—Take sulphur, 2 ounces; pow­
dered sassafras, 1 ounce; honey sufficient to
make a paste. Dose, a tablespoonful every morn­
ing. If a few doses do not remove the trouble,
take 4 ounces fir balsam and 1 ounce sulphur,
mix thoroughly, and anoint the sores daily.

Foot-rot customarily makes its appearance in
flocks ill cared for—allowed to graze on poorly
drained lands. The sheep suffer greatly, and
fall into poor condition otherwise. A good
shepherd knows the consequences that must, in
a majority of cases, follow perseverance in feed­
ing over ill-drained meadow or swamp: but some­
times that cannot be avoided.

Treatment.—Remove to better conditions as
soon as possible, and apply to the affected feet a
preparation of tobacco, which tones up the dis­
eased members. Foot-rot will always yield to
treatment if taken in time.

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