Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Cow as an Efficient User of Roughage

  The special value Of the cow as a domestic animal arises from her ability to consume and digest large quantities of roughage (hay) and to convert it into milk and meat suitable for the digestion of man.
 The hog is a wonderful producer of meat, exceeding all other animals in regard to the amount of flesh produced from a given amount of feed, but the hog can use only limited amounts of roughage.
 The sheep can utilize coarse feeds to advantage, but other factors prevent the keeping of a sufficient number of them to use the immense quantities of roughage available.
 The production of large amounts of roughage is necessary in any good farm system and it is unavoidable in connection with the growing of crops. The cow and the steer must be relied upon almost entirely to convert this into a form suitable for human food. A considerable portion of the land in most agricultural sections is suitable only for pasturing because it is too wet or too dry, too hilly, or too rocky. Such regions naturally develop a livestock Industry. On farms growing crops freely it is necessary to practice rotation of crops, resulting in quantities of hay and silage being available that can only be used by livestock of some kind, but host of all by cattle.


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