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LIBRARY OF USEFUL, KNOWLEDGE.

Di E eeP:

BREEDS, MANAGEMENT, AND DISEASES.

THE MOUNTAIN SHEPHERD’S MANUAL.

TUE LEICESTER RAM.

PUBLISHED UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF

THE SOCIETY FOR THE DIFFUSION OF USEFUL KNOWLEDGE.

LONDON: BALDWIN AND CRADOCK, PATERNOSTER-ROW.

AEL m

MDCCCOXXXVII.

COMMITTEE,

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THOMAS COATES, Esq., Secretary, No, 59, Lincoin’s Inn Fields.

PREFACE.

Tue cultivation of the sheep and the manufacture of the fleece have, from the earliest period of history, formed the most important branclies of the agriculture and the commerce of Great Britain. Many years did not pass after the subjugation of our island by the Romans, ere the most valuable and expensive woollen robes, and worn oti days of ceremony alone, were furnished by the British factories. The language of Dionysius Alexan- drinus, quoted in the present volume, could be justified only on the sup- position of very superior excellence : The wool of Britain is often spun so fine, that it is in a manner comparable to the spider’s thread.”

_ It was not in the larger factories alone that the conversion of the fleece of the sheep into fabrics of various kinds was carried on; this formed a constant and a large portion of the domestic employment, and that not only _ inthe cottage, but in the palace. The mother and the sisters of that patriot monarch, Alfred, whose name will be venerated as long as British liberty remains, devoted much of their leisure time to the labours of the spinning- wheel. So universal, in fact, was this employment, and, consequently, so numerous the animals from whom the material was obtained, and the fabrics that were devoted to domestic use, that the sheep and its wool were eatly and unequivocally acknowledged to be the foundation of the national prosperity and wealth. Wool became the substitute for money. Did any domestic contention exist, so many pounds of it were deinanded from each vassal—was any foreign enterprise attempted, the wool furnished the sinews of war—or, was a monarch to be released from captivity, the ransom was calculated by the number of sacks of wool. In all the middle periods of British history, the fleece was the expression and the measure of national prosperity or calamity.

If, in process of time, other branches of commerce should be opened, and particularly the introduction of the silk manufacture begin in some measure to lessen the demand for woollen goods, and the establishment of the cotton ‘trade cause a complete revolution in the consumption and the value of the staple commodity of the kingdom, still the sheep and its fleece are objects of paramount importance. No fewer than 32,000,000 of these useful animals graze on our pastures. Exclusive of the value of the carcase, that of the fleece alone cannot be less than seven millions of pounds ster- ling, employing nearly 350,000 individuals, and ultimately yielding manu- factures to the amount of at least twenty-one millions of pounds annually.

The recollection and the deep impression of these things must be pleaded, if apology is necessary, as an excuse for the laboured detail, given _

A2

iv ; ; PREFACE.

in this volume, of the history of the sheep from the earliest period to the present day—and also for the minuteness with which the different qualities of the fleece and the different manipulations of the manufacture have been described.

To the discovery of the serrated construction of the fibre of wool, so beautifully explaining its felting property, the author does beg leave to assert his unequivocal claim. More than one physiologist had main- tained that a structure like this would best account for the property of felting; but the author of this work was the first who had seen and given ocular demonstration of its existence, and of the increasing number and firmness of the serrations in proportion to the felting property of the wool on the one hand, and their decrease in development and in number where that quality failed. The microscope of Mr. Powell fully and fairly brought this out. It was one of extraordinary power. In other microscopes which the author has had especially constructed, the serrated edge remains, but not that difference of serration which would enable the examiner to pronounce unhesitatingly and accurately on the character of the wool. He pledges himself, however, to follow up the inquiry—an inquiry which will be suc- cessfully pursued by some observer at no distant time ; and, when he is enabled honestly to do so, he will publish a collection of the microscopic appearances of different wools, with an especial regard to their felting and manufacturing qualities.

The medical treatment of sheep is comparatively a new subject. The author has to acknowledge many very important communications from old and valued friends. He does flatter himself that some addition has been made to the stock of veterinary knowledge as it regards this animal; and he trusts that the time is not far distant when the good common sense of the British Farmer, and the determination of a wise and patriotic govern- ment, will cause a knowledge of the diseases, and general management of these useful animals, to form a prominent object in the education of the veterinary surgeon.

z W. YOUATT.

June 15th, 1837.

CONTENTS.

Page PREFACE oe - É é È a lik

Carrer L—THE ZOOLOGICAL CHARACTER OF THE SHEEP. 1

The different names applied to it according to its age—The marks by which its age may be ascertained—The natural duration of its life—Description of the teeth.

Cuaprer II.—THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE SHEEP. p-

The antediluvian sheep—The offering of Abel—The flesh not at first used for food, but only the miik—The skins of sheep used for dress—Early improvement of sheep—The first wandering shepherds—The covering of the tent made of the fleece—Felting—After the flood, the sheep used as food—Description of the ancient Patriarchs—The peregrina- tions of the Arabs—Their numerous flocks—Their hospitality—The old wells—Jacob and Laban—The flocks tended by women—The first great improvement of the sheep— The progress of improvement—The original breed, homed—The original breed, probably the fat-rumped sheep—The present Tartarian sheep—The Abyssinian fat-rumped sheep —The parts of the sheep used in sacrifice—Management of the primitive sheep—The occasional want of water—Wild beasts—The ancient dog—The shepherd’s command over his flock—Music—Humanity of the shepherds—The ancient sheep-shearing— Cotting the sheep—Weaving, the employment of the women—Embroidery—Tithes The breed of Bashan—The male only eaten—Manner of cooking—Castration—The milk of the sheep—Comparison of different kinds of milk—Old manufacture of cheese —Polyphemus—Arab ewe milk, butter and cheese— British ditto Objections to ewe- milking—Under what circumstances allowed—The Iceland ewe-milking—French ewe- milk cheese.

Cusprir III.—THE SKIN AND THE WOOL. . 52

The structure of the skin—Value of the pelt—Anatomy of the wool—Difference be- tween wool and hair—Wool-bearing animals—The first sheep probably hairy—The gradual change from hair to wool—The yolk—The periodical fall of the wool and hair —The form of the fibre of wool—The woolstapler—The properties of wool—Fineness —The influence of climate, temperature, and pasture—Trueness—Soundness—Soft- ness—Elasticity—Colour —Felting properties—The spirally-curling form of wool— The felting properties resumed—Theories of felting—A glimpse of the true principle —Microscopic appearance of hair and wool—Discovery of the irregular surface of wool —The first public view of the serrated edge of wool—Comparison of this serrated edge with the felting properties of particular wools—The serrated edge of different wools— The Saxony—The South Down—The Leicester—The advantage of this microscopic study of the wool—Other wool-bearing animals—The rabbit—The seal—The bear— The wolf-dog—The tiger—The difference between wool, hair, and fur—The divisions of wool—Long wool—Middle wool—Short wool—The manufacturing uses of wool—- Table of the importation of wool into Great Britain—The scribbler—The carder— Felt- ing—Finishing—Combing—The difference between the woollen and the worsted manufactory—The anticipated improvement.

Cuarrer IV.—THE FOREIGN BREED OF SHEEP. 7 108

Models—The skeleton of the sheep—The new Leicester—The South Down—The Che- viot—The Far-Tamep SHerp—The Eayprran—The Eruiop1an—The Apyssrnzan-— The Mapacascar—The Care—History of the establishment of the sheep colony at the Cape—The Ancona sheep—The Guinsa—The Bearpep—Barsiry—Fuzzan—Mo- rocco—The Tunis sheep in America—The Fat-tailed sheep in England—The Asiatic sheep—Tuise1—East-Inpran—Deccan—Cr YLon—J s vanuse—Cninese—TarTarian

vi CONTENTS,

—The Astatic ArGant—The American ditio—The Movurion or Musman—Noaru AMERICAN sheep—Wesr Inp1a—Sourn AMERICAN.

Cuartur V.—THE EUROPEAN SHEEP. ° Page 136

The Russtan sheep—Opzssa wool—The Wat acutan sheep—Its wool—The Mor- pavian sheep—The Moravian—The Greex—The Cyprus—SrcemiuNn—Irsanian—Piep- MONTESE—Savox—Swiss—Spanisa—The origin of the Spanish sheep—The divisions of them—The present Merinos—Character of the wool—Original management of— Account of their migrations—Shearing—Cuts of the wwol—The Swxpisu sheep—The Frencu sheep—The Paris market—French wool—The Rambouillet flock—The Alfort flock—The Norwereian sheep—The Daniso—The Frroz—The Icenann—The Azores —The Saxon—The. introduction and establishment of the Merinos in Saxony—The Pruss1an—The Sirustan—-The Hunaarran—The Hanovertan—The FremisuH and Durcu—The introduction of the Merinos into Brirais—The difficulties to be con- tended with—The first sale—The Merino sesiety—The decay of the Anglo-Merinos— The Merinos in Ireland—The New. South Wares sheep—History of the establishment of the colony—Cuts of the wool—Western and Southern Australia—The Van DiemeEn’s Lano sheep—Cuts of the wool.

CHAPTER VI.—A CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY OF THE BRITISH SHEEP AND WOOLLEN MANUFACTURES. e 2 192

: „The early commerce of the Britons—They traded in skins—The probably aboriginal breed—The first woollen manufactory—Probably the short wool principally used in it— First mention of the price of a sheep—Spinning of wool, the employment even of the royal family—The extirpation of wolves—The woollen manufacture under the Norman kings—Under Stephen—The establishment of guilds—The ransom of Richard I. paid in wool—Woollen dressers or dealers—The exportation of British cloth—The wool- stapler— The merchant-strangers The merchant-adventurers Improvement of the manufacture under Edward II{.—The prices of the different wools in 1341—The chan ge in the character of the British wool—Present of wool to the king of Portugal—Intro- duction of the silk manufacture—British sheep exported to Flanders—The degradation of the fleece under Henry VIII.—The smallness of the sheep at this time—The enclo- sure of waste grounds—The revival of the wool trade under Elizabeth—Change in the character of the manufacture—The Turkish company——-The inventor of the stocking- frame—The East-India Company—Decline of the manufacture under the Stuarts— The number of sheep at different periods—The revival of the trade—The gradually altered character of the wool—The consequence of this—The establishment of the cotton manufacture—The present state of the woollen trade.

Cuarrer VII—THE MIDDLE-WOOLLED BREED OF SHEEP. . 231

The Sourn Downs—Description and management of—The wool—the gradual change in—Its increased value—The Kenrisn sheep—The Surrey, BERKSHIRE, Hamesuire, Isue oy Wicur, Wi.tsuire—Cut of the Wiltshire wool—The Merinos still in England—The Dorsnr—Management of early Lambs—The Devon sheep— The CORNISH, SOMERSET, GLOUCESTER, Monmouru, Ryeranp,—Cut of the Ryeland woo!—The Worcester sheep, SHROPSHIRE, STAFFORDSHIRE, CHESHIRE, GLAMORGAN, BRECKNOCK, CAERMARTHEN, PEMBROKE, CARDIGAN, RADNOR, ANGLESEA, CAERNARVON, MERIONETH, MONTGOMERY, LANCASTER, WESTMORELAND, CUMBERLAND, NoRTRUMBER- LAND, ScorTışsu—The Buacx-racep Cxrvior—Comparative value of the Cheviot and Black-faced sheep—A storm in the Highlands—Comparative losses by storms—The advantages of Stells—The necessity of smearing—Various crosses of the Cheviots— Cuts of Cheviot wool—A sketch of the mountain sheep —Farming—The Arran sheep The Isuay—The Java—The Hesrmrs—The Orxney Istanpns—The SHETLAND—ISLE or Man—YorxksHire—The Minianp Counties--The Norrork.

Cuarter VIJI.—THE LONG-WOOLLED BREEDS OF SHEEP: . 312

The Orp Lescesrers—The New Lercesrers—Early History of them—Mr. Bake- well’s plan—The system of ram-letting—The Dishley society —Mr. Paget’s sale—Com- parison of the Leicesters with other breedt—Their influence on other breeds—The revolution which they have effected—Sketch of the Messrs. Culley in the north—The Treswaters—The Lincotn sheep—Cuts of the modern Lincoln wool—The Romney Marsa sheep— The Sovrn-Ham Norrs—The Bauprons—The Corswo.p— The Mivianp Lone-woo..ep Surerp—Luccock and Hubbard's tables of the change of

British wool.

CONTENTS. vii

Page Cuarrer IX.—THE IRISH SHEEP, . : . 346

Early history of the Irish sheep—The complete change which has been effected— Description of the modern wool—TIrish mauufactures—Description of the sheep in each county— The Kirxrnny sheep—The Wick.ow sheep—The wool fair at Rathdrum— The Gaiway sheep—Ballinasloe fair.

Cuarrern X.—THE ANATOMY, DISEASES, AND GENERAL MANAGE- MENT OF THE SHEEP, THE SENSORIAL FUNCTION. - 361

The brain and spinal cord—The skull—Horns—Comparison between the horned and polled sheep—The bot in the sinuses of the head—The proper form of the head—The im- portance of this—Swelled head—The intelligence of the sheep—Their attachment to each other—Fracture of the skull—Hydatid on the brain-—Comparison of the different opera- tions—W ater in the head—Abscess in the brain—Apoplexy—Inflammation of the brain —Diseases of the spinal cord—Locked jaw—¥pilepsy—Palsy—Rabies, or madness— The acute sense of smell—Description of the eyes—Importance of the examination of the eyes—Soreness of the lids—Falling of'the eye-lashes Watery tamours—Inflammation of the eyes—Adhesion of the lids to the eyes—Larkspurring—Cataract—Gutta serena —Blindness—The sense of hearing—The different form and direction of the ears in the different breeds—Supposed importance of the form of the ear—Uleeration of the ear, and particularly as connected with the fly—The acute sense of taste.

‘CHAPTER XI—THE DIGESTIVE FUNCTION. A + a0

The peculiar form of the lips—Teeth only in the lower jaw—The intention of this— Blain, or inflammation of the tongue—Aptha or thrush“in the mouth—The glands of the mouth—The construction of the palate—Description of the mouth—The proper form of the neck—The guliet— Obstruction in it—The proper form of the chest and belly— The stomach—The paunch or first stomach—lIts construction—The reticulum or honey- comb—The process of rumination—Distension of the stomach with food— Hoove, or distension of it with gas—Puncture ofthe paunch—place of puneture—Proper medicines and treatment—Poisoning—Coneretions in the paunch—Inflammation of the paunch— “Loss of cud—Singular construction of the maniplus—Diseases of this stomach—The abomasum or fourth stomach— Diseases of it—Bezoars or calculi in the abomasum—The spleen—Enlargement and fatal diseases-of it—The pancreas—The liver—Deseription of it—Nature and use of the bile—Diseases of the liver—The rot—Dreadful mortality occasioned by it—Has existed from time immemorial—Symptons of—The liver the principal organ affected—Deseription of the fluke-worm—Cause of the rot—-Connected with the soil and state of pasturage, more especially with breathing the miasmata from decomposing vegetables—The animal infected in a moment—Strange accounts of this—The circumstances and seasons most favourable to its development—The grand prevention is the drainage of the land—The great care that should be taken in that drainage—The treatment—Removal—Dry food—The administration of common salt—The rot in Egypt—Structure and function of the duodenum, jejunum, ileum, cecum, colon, and rectum—Value of sheep’s dung—The question of tolding—Acute dropsy or redwater—The nature and treatment of—Diseases of the small intestines— Colic—Strangulation or gut-tie— I ntrosusception—Enteritis—Diarrhoea—Dysentery— Constipation.

Cuaprer XIL—THE ABSORBENT SYSTEM. : - 472

Description and function of the lacteals—The mesenteric glands—The lymphatics—- Tumours of different kinds.

Cuarrrr XIII.—THE CIRCULATORY SYSTEM.

Description of the heart and its action. The cord in-the ventricle. The bone of the heart—Sharp substances often work their way into the heart—The arteries—The pulse—The capillaries— Inflammation and fever— Inflammatory fever—Malignant inflammatory fever—La maladie Sologne—Typhus fever—The veins—Rules for bleed- ing—The proper places for it.

Cuaprer XIV.—THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM, = 484

°

The change in the blood during respiration—The respiratory passages—Nasal dis charge—-Glanders in sheep—-Strangles—The os hyoides—The mechanism of the larynx

Vili CONTENTS.

—The thyroid glands—The windpipe Catarrh— Laryngitis Bronchitis Acute inflammation of the lungs—Consumption—Epidemic diseases—Description of a dread- ful epidemic in New South Wales.

-HAPTER XV.—BREEDING—THE GENERATIVE AND URINARY SYSTEMS . . Page 493

The grand principles of breeding—The importance of getting rid of every faulty sheep—The principle of selection, with cautious admixture—Proper age of the ewe for breeding—Best time for lambing—Time for putting the ram with the ewes—Period of pregnaney—Management of the ewe during pregnancy—Abortion—The immediate preparation for lambing—Duties of the lamber—Natural labour—False presentations— The Cawsarian operation—Inversion of the womb—Inflammation of ditto—A fter-pains —Monstrosities—Care of the lambs—Affection of the ewe—Substitute lamb—After- care of the lambs—Twins—Cuckoo and gull lambs—Castration—Docking—Garget— Spaying—W eaning—Diseases of lambs—Diarrhea—Curdling of the milk—Costiye- ness—Fever—Sorting of the lambs.

Cuarrer XVI—THE LOCOMOTIVE ORGANS ®t 681

Difference inthe quantity of bone—Fractures—Swelling of the jots—Rheumatism . —Strains—Diseases of the foot—Disease of the biflex canal and fetlock joints—Foot- rot—Cause —Progress—Treatment—Highly contagious—Satisfactory experiments of this.

Cuaprer XVIL—THE INTEGUMENT. . . 535

The structure of the skin—Little cutaneous perspiration—Little radiation of animal heat—Infectious diseases not readily communicated—The scab or rubbers—Spread by means of the rubbing places—Produced by insects—Cuts of them—Produced also by neglect—Method of cure—Erysipelatous seab—Wildfire—Ignis sacer—Lice and ticks —Method of destroying them—The fly—Sheep-shearing —The washing—The operation itself—The cruelty of shearing fat sheep early in the spring—Salving or smearing— The question of it—Its absolute necessity in cold and exposed situations. :

Cuarrer XVITI.—THE GRASSES AND FATTENING OF SHEEP. 549

The system of sheep-feeding—The general inattention to the comparative nutritive qualities of the different grasses—Mr. Sinclair’s experiments on them—The sweet- scented vernal grass—Meadow foxtail—Smooth and rough stalked and short blue mea- dow—Sheep, Welsh—Hard and meadow fescue—Round-headed cocksfoot—Narrow- leaved and fertile meadow—Rye-crested dogtail—Yellow-oat and meadow—Cat’s-tail grass—Bent’s mangel-wurzel—Potatoes—Peas—Barley— Oil-cake— Corn—Hay,

Cuarrer XIX.—A LIST OF THE DRUGS USED IN THE TREAT- MENT OF THE DISEASES OF SHEEP. ees . 554

Aléohol—Aloes—Alteratives Alum—Antimony—Arsenic—-Calamine —Camphor— Catechu Chalk Corrosive sublimate—Digitalis—Epsom salts—Gentiun—Ginger —Iodine Lead—Lime Linseed o0i]—Mercury—Calomel—WNitrate of silver—Nitre —Opium—Salt—Sulphur—Tar— Spirit of tar—Turpentine—Oil and spirit of ditto— Zine.

THE MOUNTAIN SHEPHERD’S MANUAL,

CHAPTER Í.

The Zoological Character of the Sheep—The differént Names applied to it according to its Age—The Marks by which its Age may be ascertained, and the natural Dura- tion of its Life—Description of the Teeth.

Tue Sheep, according to Cuvier*, belongs to the Orper RUMINANTIA ; having teeth in the lower jaw only, opposed to a callous substance in the upper jaw ; six molar teeth on either side, and the joint of the lower jaw adapted for a grinding motion ; four stomachs, and these, with the œsopha- gus, so constructed that the food is returned for the purpose of rumination ; long intestines not cellated :

the Trine Capripz ; the horns, where they are found, being perma- nent; placed on a vascular bony basis or process; the horny sheath receiv- ing its increase by annual ringlets at the base, forming deep sulci around the horn, with others as deep running longitudinally, and dividing the surface of the horn into a succession of irregularities or knots. The general structure light, and adapted for springing or swiftness; the ears usually erect and funnel-shaped ; the pupils of the eye oblong, and there not being any canine teeth in the mouth:

the Genus Ovis; with or without horns, and these, where present, taking more or less a spiral direction ; the forehead or outline of the face convex ; no lacrymal or respiratory opening under the eye; the nostrils lengthened and terminating without a muzzle ; no beard; the body covered with short close hair with a downy wool beneath, and, in a do- mestic state, the wool prevailing over the hair, or quite superseding it; the legs slender, yet firm, and without brushes or callosities.

Of these there are three varieties : the Ovis Ammon, or Argali ; the Ovis Musmon, or Musmon; and the Ovis Aries, or Domestic Sheep. The two first will be described in a future chapter, the last will form the principal subject of this work.

There is considerable resemblance between the ovis or sheep, and the capra or goat, another genus of the tribe Capridze, the history and uses of which will be described in the after part of this volume. The distinctions between them are chiefly these: many sheep are without horns; the horns of sheep have a spiral direction, while those of the goat have a direction upwards and backwards; the forehead of sheep is convex, and that of the goat concave; the sheep has, except in one wild variety, nothing resem- bling a beard, but the goat is bearded; while the goat, in his highest state of improvement, and when he is made to produce wool of a fineness unequalled by the sheep, as in the Cashmere breed, is mainly, and always externally, covered with hair, the hair on the sheep may, by domestication,

* Animal Kingdom, Synopsis, B

2 SHEEP,

be reduced to a few kemps (coarse hairs), or got rid of altogether; and finally, the pelt or skin of the goat has a thickness very far exceeding that of the sheep.

Agriculturists have applied different names to the sheep according to its sex and age.

The male is called a ram or tup. While he is with the mother he is denominated a tup or ram-lamb, a heeder ; and in some parts of. the west of England, a pur-lamb. From the time of his weaning, and until he is shorn, he has a variety of names: he is called a hog, a hogget, a hoggerel, a lamb-hog, a tup-hog, or a teg ; and, if castrated, a wether hog. After shearing, when probably he is a year and a half old, he is called a shearing, a shearling, a shear-hog, a diamond or dinmont ram, or tup; and a shear- ing wether, &c., when castrated. After the second shearing he is a two- shear ram, or tup, or wether; at the expiration of another year he is a three-shear ram, &c,; the name always taking its date from the time of shearing.

In many parts of the north of England and Scotland he is a tup-lamb after he is salved, and until he is shorn, and then a tup-hog, and, after that, a tup, or if castrated, a dinmont or a wedder.

The female is a ewe, or gimmer lamb, until weaned; and then a gimmer hog, or ewe hog, or teg, or sheeder ewe. After being shorn she is a shearing ewe or gimmer, sometimes a theave, or double-toothed ewe or teg; and afterwards, a two-shear, or three-shear, or a four or six-tooth ewe or theave, In some of the northern districts, ewes that are barren, or that have weaned their jambs, are called eild or yeld ewes.

The age of sheep is not reckoned from the time that they are dropped, but from the first shearing, although the first year may thus include fifteen or sixteen months, and sometimes more.

When there is doubt about the age of a sheep, recourse is had to the teeth, for there is even more uncertainty about the horn in horned sheep than there is in cattle; and ewes that have been early bred from, will always, according to the rings on the horn, appear a year older than others that, although of the same age, have been longer kept from the ram.

It has already been stated, that sheep have no teeth in the upper jaw, but the bars or ridges of the palate thicken as they approach the fore part of the mouth; there also the dense, fibrous, elastic matter of which they are constructed, becomes condensed, and forms a cushion or bed that covers the convex extremity of the upper jaw, and occupies the place of the upper incisor or cutting teeth, and partially discharges their function. The herb- age is firmly held between the front teeth in the lower jaw and this pad, and thus partly bitten, and partly torn asunder. The nodding motion of the head of the sheep is a sufficient proof of this.

This animal is one of those especially destined to support man with his flesh ; and that he may be able to do this with the least possible expendi- ture of food, and to extract the whole of the nutriment which the herbage contains, a provision common to all ruminants (as will hereafter be more fully explained) is made in the construction of the stomachs, and other parts of the digestive apparatus. As the first process by which the food is prepared for digestion, it is macerated for a considerable time in the paunch. The frequent and almost necessary consequence of the long con- tinuance of the food in this stomach, exposed to the united influence of heat and moisture, will be the commencement of fermentation and decom- position, and the extrication of a considerable quantity of injurious gas. This often takes place, and many sheep are destroyed by the distension of the paunch caused by this-extrication of gas. The process of fermentation

THE TEETH. 3

and decomposition is accompanied by the presence or development of an acescent principle. It has been stated that an elastic pad occupies the place of teeth in the upper jaw; and that it is by a half biting and half tearing action that the sheep gathers his food: the necessary consequence is, that some of the grass, of harder construction than the rest, does not give way, but is torn up by the roots; a portion of the mould adheres to the roots, and is swallowed, and, all our soils containing more or less absorbent or calcareous earth, the acid is neutralized, and, as it were, removed, as rapidly as it is formed; except in some extreme cases, attri- butable almost entirely to the neglect or thoughtlessness of the proprietor of the sheep.

The teeth of the sheep are the same in number as in the mouth of the ox. ‘There are eight incisor or cutting teeth in the fore part of the lower jaw, and six molars in each jaw above and below, and on either side. The incisors are more admirably formed for the purpose of grazing than in the ox. The sheep bites closer than the ox ; he was destined to live where the other would starve: he was designed in many places to follow the other, and to gather sufficient nourishment where the ox would be unable to crop a single blade. Two purposes are answered by this: all the nutriment that the land produces is gathered from it, and the pasture is made to pro- duce more herbage than by any other means it could be forced to do. The sheep by his close bite not only loosens the roots of the grass, and dis- poses them to spread, but by cutting off the short suckers and sproutings, —a wise provision of nature—causes the plant to throw out fresh, and more numerous, and stronger ones, and thus improves and increases the value of the crop. Nothing will more expeditiously or effectually make a thick permanent pasture than its being occasionally and closely eaten down by sheep.

In order to enable the sheep to bite thus close, the upper lip is deeply divided, and free from hair about the centre of it,

The stalks of the common herbage of the field, bitten thus closely as they are by the sheep, are harder and more fibrous than the portions that are divided and cropped by cattle; and not only so, but some breeds of sheep are destined to live, in part at least, on harder food than falls to the lot of cattle, as the different kinds of heath, or substances almost as diffi- cult to be broken off as the branches of the heath. The incisor teeth are evidently formed for browsing on these dense productions of the soil, which would otherwise be altogether useless and lost. The part of the tooth above the gum is not only, as in other animals, covered with enamel to enable it to bear and to preserve a sharpened edge, but the enamel on the upper part rises from the bone of the tooth nearly a quarter of an inch, and, presenting a convex surface outwards, and a concave one within, forms a little scoop or gouge capable of wonderful execution. He who will take the trouble to compare together the incisor teeth of cattle and of sheep—both ruminants—both by means of the half-cutting and half- tearing action having the stomach, in which the process of maceration is going forward, abundantly supplied with absorbent or alkaline earth—-the one, however, destined to crop little more than the summit of the grass, and the other to go almost close to the roots, and occasionally to browse on harder food—will have a not uninteresting illustration of the manner in which every part of every animal is adapted to the situation in which he is placed, and the destiny he is to fulfil. The pad also is firmer and denser than in cattle, yet sufficiently elastic, so that it is in no danger of injury from the sharp chisels below, while the interposed substance is cut through with the greatest ease.

B2

SHEEP.

The mouth of the lamb newly dropped is either without incisor teeth, or it has two. The teeth rapidly succeed to each other, and before the animal is a month old he has the whole of the eight. They continue to grow with his growth until he is about fourteen or sixteen months old,

Fig. 4. Fig. 5e Inthe accompanying cut, fig. 1 will give a fair representation of the mouth of a sheep at this age. Then, with the same previous process of diminution which was described in cattle, or carried to a still greater degree, the two central teeth are shed, and attain their full growth when the sheep is two years old. Fig. 2 gives a delineation of the mouth at this age.

In examining a flock of sheep, however, there will often be very con- siderable difference in the teeth of the hogs, or the one-shears ; in some measure to be accounted for bya difference in the time of lambing, and likewise by the general health and vigour of the animal. There will also be a material difference in different flocks, attributable to the good or bad keep which they have had.

Those fed on good land, or otherwise well kept, will take the start of others that have been half-starved, and renew their teeth some months sooner than these. There are, however, exceptions to this; Mr. Price* says that a Romney Marsh teg was exhibited at the show fair at Ashford, weighing 15 stones +}, and the largest ever shown there of that breed, and that had not one of his permanent broad teeth.

There are also irregularities in the times of renewing the teeth, not to be accounted for by either of these circumstances ; in fact, not to be accounted for by any known circumstance relating to the breed or the keep of the sheep. The same author remarks, that he has known tups have four broad and permanent teeth, when, according to their age, they ought to have had but two ț. Mr. Culley, in his excellent work on Live Stock,’ says—‘ A friend of mine and an eminent breeder, Mr. Charge, of Cleasby, a few years ago showed a shearing-tup at Richmond, in Yorkshire, for the pre- mium given by the Agricultural Society there, which had six broad teeth ; in consequence of which the judges rejected his tup, although confessediy the best sheep, because they believed him to be more than a shearing: however, Mr. Charge afterwards proved to their satisfaction that his tup was no more than a shearing §.” Mr. Price, on the other hand, states that he “once saw a yearling wether, which became quite fat with only one tooth, that had worked a cavity in the upper jaw, the corresponding central tooth having been accidentally lost.”

* Price on Sheep Grazing, &c., p. 84. } The weights will all be calculated according to the new regulation of 14 lbs, to the stone.

t Price on Sheep Grazing, &e., p. 83. § Ib, p 214.

THE AGE AS INDICATED BY THE TEETH. 5

The want of improvement in sheep which is occasionally observed, and which cannot be accounted for by any deficiency or change of food, may sometimes be justly attributed to the tenderness of the mouth when the permanent teeth are protruding through the gums,

Between two and three years old the two next incisors are shed; and when the sheep is actually three years. old the four central teeth are fully grown (see fig. 3): at four years old he has six teeth fully grown (see fig. 4): andat five years old all the teeth are perfectly developed (see fig. 6). This is one year before the horse or the ox can be said to be full-mouthed. The sheep isa much shorter lived animal than the horse, and does not often attain the usual age of the ox.

The careless examiner may sometimes be deceived with regard to the four-year-old mouth. He will see the teeth perfectly developed—no dimi- nutive ones at the sides, and the mouth apparently full; and then, without giving himself the trouble of counting the teeth, he will conclude that the sheep is five years old. A process of displacement, as well as of diminu- tion, has taken place here,—the remaining outside milk-teeth are not only shrunk to less than a fourth part of their original size, but the four-year-old teeth have grown before them and perfectly conceal them, unless the mouth is completely opened. Fig. 5 represents this deceptive appearance.

After the permanent teeth have all appeared and are fully grown, there is no criterion as to the age of the sheep. In most cases the teeth remain sound for one or two years, and then, at uncertain intervals, either on account of the hard work in which they have been employed, or from the natural effect of age, they begin to loosen and fall out ; or, by reason of their natural slenderness, they are broken off. When favourite ewes that have been kept for breeding begin, at six or seven years old, to lose condition, their mouths should be carefully examined. If any of the teeth are loose they should be extracted, and a chance given to the animal to show how far, by browsing early and late, she may be able to make up for the diminished number of her incisors, It will not unfrequently happen that ewes with broken teeth, and some with all the incisors gone, will keep pace in condition with the best in the flock ; but they must be well taken care of in the winter, and, indeed, nursed to an extent that would scarcely answer the farmer’s purpose to adopt as a general rule, in order to prevent them from declining to such a degree as would make it very difficult after- wards to fatten them for the butcher. It may certainly be taken as a general rule that when sheep become broken-mouthed they begin to decline.

It will probably appear, when the subjects of breeding and grazing are discussed, that it will be the most profitable course to fatten the ewes when they are five, or at most, six years old, and supply their places with the most likely shearing-ewes. When a sheep gets much older than this, it begins to decline in its wool, and certainly loses much of its pre- pensity to fatten ; while, in the usual system of sheep husbandry, the prin- ciple profit consists in early and quick fattening. . À

Causes of which the farmer is utterly