Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 9 (1884–85), 898–905.
Jersey Cattle in America
Hark Comstock, pseud. [Peter C Kellogg]
Breeding, Agriculture, Aesthetics, Expertise, Acclimatization
Asserts that the 'breeder who pushes his efforts in any of the numerous branches of domesticated animal nature' will find no 'keener enjoyment' than if he 'chooses the dairy cow as the object of his affection'. Explains how when the inhabitants of Jersey and Guernsey 'discovered that their native herds surpassed all others in richness of milk [...] local agricultural societies were established, and encouragement was held out to the farmers upon these two islands to breed with more care and system. Hence an improvement was effected and a more fixed type of cattle established upon each'. (898) Recalls how, after Jersey cattle first arrived in America in 1815, there was once a time when factors 'based entirely upon ęsthetic grounds, and bearing no relevancy to the usefulness of the animals [...] obtained a most arbitrary hold upon breeding fashions' (901), and insists that now that breeders instead look mostly for 'special strains of butter blood', it is only to 'people familiar with the most successful theories of breeding for great performance' that the 'very high prices paid [...] for animals of special blood will not seem strange'. Indeed, to the 'mass of people' these blood 'values' will seem 'almost entirely fictitious'. (902) Reflects that in America some of the 'most successful breeding, judged by modern standards, has been accomplished by men who are prominent in other fields', such as Richard M Hoe, 'whose inventions and improvements in printing-presses have revolutionized the business of printing', and Alfred B Darling, the New York hotel proprietor (903). Also reflects briefly on 'the drawbacks of acclimating' Jersey cattle to North American conditions (905).
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005-07
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