Home >> The-farmer's-and-planter's-encyclopaedia-of-rural-affairs >> Georgia Bark to Honey >> Grazier

Grazier

Loading

GRAZIER. A person engaged in the art or business of pasturing or feeding and fattening different kinds of live-stock on grass-land. In order to be capable of managing this business to the greatest advantage, he should have a perfect knowledge of the nature and value of all kinds of live-stock, as well as of the land on which they are to be fed, and of properly suiting them to each other. Upon these being well understood and attended to, his success must depend. According to Mr. Hillyard, a practical grazier, and the well-known president of the Northampton Farming and Grazing So ciety, " the knowledge requisite to carry on grazing to the most advantage is not easily obtained. A man should know how beasts ought to be formed ; should have a quick eye for selecting those with a frame that is likely to produce weight; and a hand that should feel the known indication of the probability of soon becoming fat." The business of grazing is more general in some of the counties of England than in others ; it is for the most part carried on in Somerset shire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, and the midland counties. It is a system of husbandry that can only be profitably practised in districts where the extent of pasture is considerable, or the value of the produce of grass-land small in comparison with that of animals.

It is well observed, by an author of the last century, that the stocking of land with proper cattle is one of the nicest parts of the science of farming. Where nature is left to herself, she always produces animals suitable to her vegetation, from the smallest sheep on the Welsh mountains to the largest sort in the Lincolnshire marshes ; from the little hardy bullock in the northern Highlands to the noble ox in the rich pastures of Somersetshire. But good husbandry admits of our increasing the value of the one in proportion to that of the other. Land improved enables us to keep a better sort of stock. The true wisdom of the occupier is best shown in preserving a due equilibrium between this improvement of his land and stock. They go hand in hand, and if he neglect the one he cannot avail himself of the other. It should, therefore, be first con sidered what kind of cattle or other stock will answer the purpose best, on the particular description of land upon which they are to be grazed.

In stocking the ground, as the proportion of cattle must dcpei.d upon the nature of the soil, it will perhaps be generally found that local habit, as being usually the result of experience, is the surest guide. In the opinion, however, of the most intelligent graziers, in stocking enclosures, the cattle should be divided in the following manner :—Supposing our fields, each containing a nearly equal quantity of land, one of them should be kept entirely free from stock until the grass is got up to its full growth, when the prime or fatting cattle should be put into it, that they may get the best of the food ; the se cond best should then follor ; and after them either the working or store stock, with lean sheep to eat the pastures close down ; thus making the whole of the stock feed over the four enclosures in this succession : No. 1. Clear of stock, and reserved for the fattening beasts.

No. 2. For the fattening beasts until sent to No. 1.

No. 3. For the second best cattle, until for warded successively to Nos. 2 and 1.

No. 4. For stores and sheep to follow the other cattle ; then to be shut up until the grass is again ready, as at No. 1, for the fattening beasts.

By this expedient the fattening cattle will cull the choicest parts of the grass, and will advance rapidly toward a state of maturity, for they should always have a full bite of short and sweet grass ; and with such cattle, the greatest care should be taken not to overstock the enclosures. It is also advisable to divide; the fattening enclosure by hurdles, so as to confine the beasts within one half of it at a time, and to allow them the other half at the other, so that they may continually have fresh pasture.

Shade and pure water are essentially neces sary; and where there are no trees, rubbing posts should be set up to prevent the cattle from making that use of the gates and fences. In marsh land, which is chiefly divided by dykes, this, indeed, should never be neglected, as it is materially conducive to their comfort. (Comp. Grazier, 6th edit. p. 74 ; Bra. Husb. vol. p. 482, vol. ii. p. 368 ; Halyard's Farm. and Graz. p. 117.)

cattle, land, stock, fattening, beasts, grass and stocking