Cattle: their breeds, management, and diseases. By William Youatt, London, 1834.


We have already stated that there appear to be the remnants of two distinct breeds of aboriginal cattle in the parks of Chillingham in Northumberland, and Chatelherault in Lanarkshire ; the first are middle horns, and the second are polled. The continuation of the first we have evidently traced in the Devon, the Hereford, the Sussex, and the Highland cattle; the others would appear to survive in the Galloways, the Angus humlies, the Suffolks and the Norfolks. How far this may be correct will appear as we take a rapid survey of these districts.


The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright and the shire of Wigtown, with a part of Ayrshire and Dumfries, formed the ancient province or kingdom of Galloway. The two first counties possess much interest with us as the native district of a breed of polled, or dodded, or humble 1 cattle, highly valued in some of the southern Scottish counties, and in almost every part of England, for its grazing properties. So late as the middle of the last century the greater part of the Galloway cattle were horned - they were middle-horns; but some of them were polled - they were either remnants of the native breed, or the characteristic of the aboriginal cattle would be occasionally displayed although many a generation had passed.

For more than 150 years the surplus cattle of Galloway had been sent far into England, and principally to the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. 2 The polled beasts were always favourites with the English farmers; they fattened as kindly as the others, they attained a larger size, their flesh lost none of its firmness of grain, and they exhibited no trace of the wildness and dangerous ferocity which were sometimes serious objections to the Highland breed. Thence it happened that, in process of time, the horned breed decreased, and was at length quite superseded by the polled; except that, now and then, to show the uncertainty of the derivation of the breed, a few of the Galloways would have diminutive horns, but these were of a very curious nature, for they were attached to the skin and not to the skull.

The agriculture of Galloway, like that of every part of Scotland, was in a sadly deplorable state until about 1786, when the Earl of Selkirk became desirous of effecting some improvement in the management of his estates both in the shire and the Stewartry. He was however too far advanced in life to engage personally in the business, and he delegated the whole management of his property to one of his sons, Lord Daer.

This, young nobleman entered enthusiastically into the views of his father, and although he encountered much opposition, and many a difficulty, from the ignorance and prejudice of the tenantry, he was beginning to possess the satisfaction of witnessing the accomplishment of several of his projects, when he was carried off by consumption at the age of thirty. His plans, however, were adopted and zealously pursued by his brother, who succeeded to the earldom, and Galloway owes much of its present prosperity to these liberal and patriotic noblemen.

In addition to the Selkirk family, we may reckon among the most zealous and successful improvers of the breed of Galloway cattle, the Murrays of Broughton, the Herons of Kirrouchtrie, the Gordons of Greenlaw, the Maxwells of Munches, and the Maitlands in the valley of Tarff in Kirkcudbright; and in Wigtown, the Earls of Galloway, the Maxwells of Mounreith, the McDowals of Logan, the Cathcarts of Genoch, the Hathorns of Castle-Wig, and the Stewarts of Phygell.

For much of the description of the Galloway beast, and for the greater part of our account of the management of the cattle in that district, we are indebted to an old and skilful and well-known breeder, whose name we regret that we are enjoined to withhold; but he will accept our thanks, and, at some future period, possibly the public will know to whom we and they are much indebted.

This cut is the portrait of a lean Galloway ox which gained the Highland Society's prize in 1821. It was bred by Mr. Mure of Grange, near Kirkcudbright, (we wish that we were permitted to acknowledge all our obligations to this gentleman,) and belonged to James Bell, Esq. of Woodford Lees.

The Galloway cattle are straight and broad in the back, and nearly level from the head to the rump. They are round in the ribs, and also between the shoulders and the ribs, and the ribs and the loins. They are broad in the loin without any large projecting hook bones. In roundness of barrel and fullness of ribs they will compare with any breed, and also in the proportion which the loins bear to the hook bones, or protuberances of the ribs. The Rev. Mr. Smith, the author of the Survey of Galloway, says that, “when viewed from above, the whole body appears beautifully rounded like the longitudinal section of a roller.” They are long in the quarters and ribs, and deep in the chest, but not broad in the twist. The slightest inspection will show that there is less space between the hook or hip bones and the ribs than in most other breeds, a consideration of much importance, for the advantage of length of carcass consists in the animal being well ribbed home, or as little space as possible lost in the flank.

The Galloway is short in the leg, and moderately fine in the shank bones, - the happy medium seems to be preserved in the leg, which secures hardihood and a disposition to fatten. With the same cleanness and shortness of shank, there is no breed so large and muscular above the knee, while there is more room for the deep, broad and capacious chest. He is clean, not fine and slender, but well proportioned in the neck and chaps; a thin and delicate neck would not correspond with the broad shoulders, deep chest, and close compact form of the breed. The neck of the Galloway bull is thick almost to a fault. The head is rather heavy; the eyes are not prominent, and the ears are large, rough, and full of long hairs on the inside.

The Galloway is covered with a loose mellow skin of medium thickness, and which is clothed with long, soft, silky hair. The skin is thinner than that of the Leicestershire, but not so fine as the hide of the improved Durham breed, but it handles soft and kindly. Even on the moorland farms, where the cattle, during the greater part of the year, are fed on the scantiest fare, it is remarkable how little their hides indicate the privations they endure.

The prevailing and the fashionable colour is black, - a few are of a dark brindled brown, and still fewer are speckled with white spots, and some of them are of a dun or drab colour, perhaps acquired from a cross with the Suffolk breed of cattle. Dark colours are uniformly preferred, from the belief that they indicate hardness of constitution. 3

This cut represents the Galloway bullock almost ready for the butcher. The beautifully level laying on of the flesh and fat will not escape the notice of the reader.

The breeding of cattle has been, from time almost immemorial, the principal object of pursuit with the Galloway farmer; indeed it is calculated that more than thirty thousand beasts are sent to the south every year. The soil and face of the country are admirably adapted for this. The soil, although rich, is dry and healthy, particularly in the lower districts, the substratum being either gravel or schistus rock. There are many large tracts of old grass land, that have not been ploughed during any one's recollection, and which still maintain their superior fertility ; while the finer pastures are thickly covered with natural white clover, and other valuable grasses. The surface of the ground is irregular, sometimes rising into small globular hills and at other times into abrupt banks, and thus forming small fertile glens, and producing shelter for the cattle in the winter and early vegetation in the spring. In the low districts there is little frost and snow, but the climate is mild and rather moist; and thus a languid vegetation is supported during the winter, and the pastures constantly retain their verdure.

The rent of every farm is derived chiefly from rearing and feeding the true Galloway cattle, except in the mountainous districts, where sheep and Highland beasts are grazed. There are very few exclusively tillage lands, or dairy farms, where cows are the principal stock and kept for making cheese. In the few districts in which cows are introduced, they are of the Ayrshire breed, which are undeniably better milkers than the Galloways.

On every farm a portion of the land is tilled, but the corn crop is quite a subordinate consideration ; the object of the farmer being to produce straw and turnips and other food for the cattle in winter, and to improve the pasture grounds. The young cattle are chiefly bred and reared to a certain age upon the higher districts, or upon the inferior lands in the lower grounds. A few cows are kept in the richer soils to produce milk, butter, and cheese for the families, but it is found more profitable to breed and rear the cattle upon inferior lands, and afterwards to feed them upon the finer ground, and the rich old pastures. There would probably be no objection to this if the Galloway farmers would afford their young stock a little shelter from the driving blasts of winter. No inconsiderable number of the Galloway farms are as low as £50 per annum, and even lower; a greater number are from £300 to £500, while a few way reach nearly or quite £1000;  but the average rent may be fairly computed at about £200 per annum.

The calves are reared in a manner peculiar to Galloway. From the time they are dropped, they are permitted to suck the mother more or less, as long as she gives milk. 4 During the first four or five months they are allowed, morning and evening, a liberal supply ; generally more than half the milk of the cow. The dairy-maid takes the milk from the teats on one side, while the calf draws it at the same time, and exclusively, from the other side. When the calf begins to graze a little, the milk is abridged, by allowing the calf to suck only a shorter time, and he is turned upon the best young grass on the farm. In winter he is uniformly housed during the night, and fed upon hay with a few turnips, or potatoes; for the breeder knows that, if he is neglected or stinted in his food during the first fifteen months, he does not attain his natural size, nor does he feed so well afterwards.

The practice of allowing the calf to suck its mother is objected to by some, and is apparently slovenly, and not economical; but the rearing of cattle is considered of more importance than the money that could be realized from the milk and butter saved by starving the calf. It is also imagined that the act of sucking produces a plentiful supply of saliva, which materially contributes to the digestion of the milk and the health of the calf. The Galloway farmer maintains that an evident difference may be perceived between the calf that sucks its dam, and another that is fed from the pail - the coat of the former is sleek and glossy, indicating health; while the hide of the other is dry and hard, nor is the unthrifty appearance removed until some time after the animal has been weaned and fed wholly on grass. It is also said that a greater proportion of calves fed from the pail die of stomach complaints, than of those that suck the cow.

It is desirable that the calves should be dropped in the latter part of the winter or the beginning of spring. A Galloway farmer attaches a great deal of importance to this, for he finds that nearly a year's growth and profit is lost if the calf is born in the middle of the summer.

The regular Galloway breeders rarely sell any of their calves for veal 5: that is obtained only from those who keep cows for supplying the villagers with milk, and from the few dairy farms where cows are kept for making cheese.

The best queys are retained as breeders, in order to supply the place of those whose progeny is not valuable, or who are turned off on account of their age. The other female calves are spayed during the first year. The spayed heifers are usually smaller than the bullocks, but they arrive sooner at maturity; they fatten readily; their meat is considered more delicate, and, in proportion to their size, they sell at higher prices than the bullocks.

Mr. Culley says, 'In Galloway they spay more heifers than perhaps in all the island besides, and in this too their method is different from any other part I am acquainted with, for they do not castrate them until they are about a year old, whereas in every other place I know the heifer calves are spayed from one to three months old; and it is now generally admitted as the safest practice to castrate calves and Iambs, male or female, while very young.' They are now generally spayed much earlier than they used to be, but some of the breeders adhere to the old custom.

The young cattle are rarely housed after the first winter; they are on their pastures day and night, but in cold weather, they receive hay and straw in the fields, supporting themselves otherwise on the foggage left unconsumed after the summer grass. Many of the farmers are beginning to learn their true interest, and the pastures are not so much overstocked in summer as they used to be, and a portion of herbage is left for the cattle in the winter; therefore, although the beasts are not in high condition in the spring, they had materially increased in size, and are in a proper state to be transferred to the rich pastures of the lower district.

Mr. Craig (Craik) of Arbigland, in Kirkcudbright, introduced the green crop husbandry into Galloway about the year 1770. He began about that time to raise drilled crops of potatoes, turnips and cabbages, and is considered the father of agriculture in the south-west of Scotland; many years, however, passed before the generality of the farmers followed his example. The culture of potatoes began to become general about 1780, but the other green crops have never been universally cultivated. Turnips are produced extensively on a few farms; turnips and rape in a less proportion to the size of the farm; but, more generally, there are yet too many farms on which neither of them is grown.

This cut is the portrait of a beautiful heifer, deservedly called the 'Queen of Scots,' bred also by Mr. Mure, and grazed by Mr. Wright of Rougham in Norfolk. The following were her proportions: height of shoulder, 5ft 2in; length from nose to rump, 10ft. 4in; width across the hip, 2ft 6in; across the middle of the back, 3ft; across the shoulders, 2ft. 4in.; girth of leg below knee, 8in. ; distance of breast from the ground, 1ft. 3½in.; width between forelegs, 1ft. 5in. The weight was 190 stones, of 8lb. to the stone, or 108 stones 10lb. imperial weight. She was exhibited at the Smithfield Cattle Show, and her portrait engraved under the sanction of the Club.

This cut contains the portrait of a beautiful Galloway cow, belonging to Mr. Gurney, near Norwich.

The Galloway cows are not good milkers; but although the quantity of the milk is not great, it is rich in quality, and yields a large proportion of butter. A cow that gives from twelve to sixteen quarts of milk per day is considered a very superior milker, and that quantity produces more than a pound and a half of butter. The average milk, however, of a Galloway cow cannot be reckoned at more than six or eight quarts per day, during the five summer months after feeding her calf. During the next four months she does not give more than half of that quantity, and for two or three months she is dry.

It has been said that the young Galloway cattle are more exposed than others to Redwater, particularly on grass lands that have not been manured with lime. This disease, however, is easily checked at an early period by a few doses of Epsom salts, and removing the animal to good young grass, where the field has been recently limed. Quarter Evil is also a frequent and fatal disease among these young cattle. From its highly inflammatory character, it must be attacked in its earliest stage, or medical skill will be of no avail. When, however, the Galloways become two years old, they will yield in hardihood to none, and are comparatively exempt from every complaint.

It has been remarked in this, as in some other breeding districts, that cows and queys of good quality are to be met with everywhere, but that it is difficult to find a Galloway bull free from defect. Too many breeders have become careless from this circumstance. They have been contented with a bull of moderate pretensions, and the form and value of their cattle have been depreciated; yet not to the extent that might be feared, for the imperfections of the sire do not always appear in the progeny, but the sterling characteristics of the Galloway cattle break out again, although obscured in one generation.

A bullock well fattened will weigh from 40 to 60 stones at 3 or 3½ years old, and some have been fed to more than 100 stones imperial weight, at 5 years old. The average prices for good Galloway beasts may be stated as follows. Stirks at about 15 months old are worth from £3 10s. to £4. 10s. per head; cattle of 2 years old will bring from £6. to £8., and at 3 and 3½, years, they ought to sell at £10. or £12. per head; this, however, supposes them to be sold in the lot, and no particular beast selected. 6 Since the year 1818, Galloway cattle, like all others, have fallen in price, nearly or quite one-third.

It has often and truly been remarked, with regard to the Galloway cattle, that while in most districts there may be some good beasts, but mingled with others of a different and very inferior kind, there is a uniform character, and that of excellence, here; one bullock selected at haphazard may generally be considered a fair sample of the lot. The breeders know, from long experience, what kind of cattle will please the farmers in Norfolk, and by whom they are chiefly prepared for the London market, and to that kind of cattle they most carefully adhere. The drover, likewise, becomes by his profession an excellent judge of cattle, which he often purchases in large lots. He is unable to handle half of them, but long practice has taught him to determine at a glance whether they are of equal value and will prove good feeders, and in the Galloway phrase, “will sell best at the far end."

The chief sales for the southern markets take place in September and October, to suit those at St. Faith's on October the 17th, and Hampton on November the 16th. The cattle are sent off in droves of from 200 to 300, under the charge of a person called the topsman, who generally goes before to see that grass is secured at proper stations and to make all necessary arrangements, and who has under him other drovers, in the proportion of one to about 30 cattle. The journey to Norfolk occupies about three weeks. The expense in summer and autumn is from £1 to £1. 4s. per head, and in winter, when they are fed with hay, they cost 10s. or 15s. per head additional.

The cattle are purchased and paid for by the drovers, sometimes in cash, but more generally a part of the price is paid in bills, and sometimes the whole of it. In some instances, where the farmer has confidence in the drover, he consents that the purchase money shall be remitted from Norwich, or that the money shall be paid when the jobber returns to Galloway. The business is hazardous, and now and then unfortunate; but the drover considers himself well paid, if, every expense of the journey being discharged, he clears from 2s. 6d. to 5s. per head; and when he has either money or credit sufficient to take a drove of 600 or 1000 head of cattle to the market, that is a good remunerating price. From 20,000 to 25,000 cattle are disposed of in this way every year, of which about two-thirds are bullocks and one-third heifers. 7

There is, perhaps, no breed of cattle which can be more truly said to be indigenous to the country and incapable of improvement by any foreign cross than the Galloways. The short-horns almost everywhere else have improved the cattle of the districts to which they have travelled. They have, at least in the first cross, produced manifest improvement, although the advantage has not often been prolonged much beyond the second generation; but even in the first cross, the short-horns have done little good in Galloway, and, as a permanent mixture, the choicest southern bulls have manifestly failed. The intelligent Galloway breeder is now perfectly satisfied that his stock can only be improved by adherence to the pure breed, and by care in the selection.

For this cut also we are indebted to Mr. Gurney.

The Galloway cattle are generally very docile. This is a most valuable point about them in every respect. It is rare to find even a bull furious or troublesome.

The Rev. Mr. Smith, in his Survey of Galloway, has some very good remarks on the old management of the breeders here, and a little applicable to some of the present day. “The graziers in Galloway are generally censurable for overstocking, although they are less so now than at former times, or perhaps than the graziers of some other districts. Their greatest fault lies in their winter and spring management, and this is more the effect of necessity than choice, for the bulk of farms cannot keep the same number of cattle in winter as in summer, and, on a reduction of prices, which often occurs about the end of autumn, they must either sell to great disadvantage or wait the issue of the spring market. Hence in ordinary pastures the full stock of summer still remains with but a scanty allowance of fodder, and are compelled by hunger to devour every remnant of grass, and leave the fields naked and exposed, and thus not a little retard the subsequent vegetation. But this is not all; for, from the deficiency of fodder, the cattle are eager to snatch up every pile of new grass as it rises, and the pasture being thus kept completely eaten down, and denuded in this first vigorous period of vegetation, never afterwards acquires a full growth, nor can it feed the same stock in summer which it might have fattened under better management. Every experienced grazier knows the great advantage of sparing his pastures in spring, until they have acquired their full cover of herbage.”

During the last fifty years a very great improvement has taken place both in the tillage management, and in the rearing and grazing of cattle in Galloway. Most of the great landholders farm a portion of their own estates, and breed and graze cattle and some of them very extensively. Agricultural societies have been established in the counties of Kirkcudbright and Wigtown, and all the land-proprietors, and the greater part of the tenants, have become members of them. These societies have been enabled to grant numerous premiums for the best tillage husbandry and management of stock, and rearing of stock, and the consequence has been very considerable improvement in the breed of cattle, on the undeviating principle, however, of selection and adherence to the pure breed. Of the grazing properties of these valuable cattle, we cannot give a more satisfactory illustration than by stating, that 60 Galloways were bought in September last at Bamet fair for £10. per head, to be turned into his Majesty's Home Park at Hampton Court, and are now, (March, 1833,) after being fed occasionally with hay, selling at an average of £18. each.

About ten thousand Irish cattle are annually landed at Port Patrick in Wigtownshire, a few of which remain in that district, but the greater part find their way into England. Port Patrick is well situated for this purpose, on account of the shortness of the passage from Ireland. This commerce was once prohibited, from the absurd notion, that it would be detrimental to the interests of the English breeders; at length it was permitted for seven years by way of experiment, in the fifth year of George III., and made perpetual in the sixteenth year of the reign of the same monarch. There is a great deal of speculation attending this traffic in cattle. It is influenced materially by the quality of grass, and hay, and turnips in England, or by the probability of large crops of these articles, and large sums are often speedily gained or lost in the speculation. 8


Dr. Johnson gives a curious derivation of the term humble. He says of their black cattle, (Journey to the Western Isles, p. 186) “Some are without horns, called by the Scots humble cows, as we cull a bee a humble bee that wants a sting.”

In 1663 the Rev. Andrew Symson was appointed minister of the parish of Kirkinner, in the county of Wigtown; and in 1682 he published a work, entitled 'A large Description of Galloway.' The manuscript was accidentally found in the Library of the Faculty of Advocates in Edinburgh, and was published by a gentleman connected with Galloway. It is now out of print, The following extracts from if will be interesting, as exhibiting the state of the breed and management of cattle in Galloway at that period. “The north parts of the countrey are hilly and mountainous ; the southern parts more level and containing much arable land, The soil is thin and gravelly, but towards the sea it is deeper. The snow uses to melt shortly after it falls, unless it be accompanied by violent frosts. The products are bestiall, small horses, sheep, wool, white wollen, bier (barley), oats and hay; as for wheat, there is very little. The bestiall are vented in England, the sheep at Edinburgh, the wool at Ayr and Glasgow and Stirling, and the horses and woolen cloath at the faires.

“In this parish of Kirkinner, Sir David Dunbar of Baldone (the ancestor of the Earl of Selkirk’s family) hath a park, about two miles and an halfe in length, and a mile and an halfe in breadth, the greatest part whereof is rich and deep valley ground, and yields excellent grass. This park can keep in winter and in summer about a thousand bestiall, part whereof he buys from the countrey and grazeth there all winter; other part whereof is of his owne breed, for he hath neer two hundred milch kine, which for the most have calves yearly. He buys also in the summer time from the countrey many bestial, oxen for the most part, which he keeps till August or September ; so that yearly he either sells at home to drovers, or sends to St. Faiths, Satch, and other faires in England, about eighteen or twentie scores of the four year olds ; those of his owne breed are very large, and may bring five or six pounds sterling apeece. Those of his own breed are very large, yea, so large, that in August, 1682, nine and fifty of that sort were seized upon in England for Irish (At this period importation of black cattle from Ireland was prohibited) cattell, and because the person to whom they were entrusted had not witnesses there ready at the time to swear that they were seen calved in Scotland, (although he offered to depone that he lived within a mile of the park where they were calved and reared,) they were, by the sentence of Sir J. L_____ and some others, knocked on the head and killed: a very hard measure, and an act unworthy persons of that quality and station.
“I can say that the park of Baldone is the chiefe, yea, I may say, the first, and, as it were, the mother of all the rest, Sir David Dunbar being the first man that brought parks to be in request in this countrey ; but now many others, finding the great benefit thereof, have followed his example, as the Earl of Galloway, Sir William Maxwell, Sir Godfrey McCulloch, Sir James Dalrymple, and many others, who have now their parks and enclosed grounds.”

Mr. Culley, who is great authority in these cases, thus describes the Galloways:  “In most respects, except wanting horns, these cattle resemble the long-horns both in colour and shape, only they are shorter in their form, which probably makes them weigh less. Their hides seem to be a medium between the long and the short horns; not so thick as the former nor so thin as the latter; and, like the best feeding kind of long-horns, they lay their fat upon the most valuable parts, and their beef is well marbled or mixed with fat. They are mostly bred upon the moors or hilly country in Galloway, until rising four or five years old when they are taken to the fairs in Norfolk and Suffolk previous to the turnip feeding season, whence the greater part of them are removed in the winter and spring (when fat) to supply the consumption of the capital, where they are readily sold and at high prices, for few or no cattle sell so high in Smithfield market, owing to their laying their fat on the most valuable parts; and it is no unusual thing to see one of these little bullocks outsell a coarse Lincolnshire bullock, although the latter is heavier by several stones,” - Culley on Live Stock, p. 59.

Mr. Lawrence says, in his excellent treatise on cattle, that “the pure Galloway breed exist perhaps nowhere in original purity except in the moors of Monigaff and Glenlove, and that these cattle are thinner in the hinder quarters than such as have been crossed by other breeds.” - p, 79.

Mr. Culley gives a curious account of this – “The calves, from the time they are dropped, until able to support themselves are allowed to run with their dams, but are prevented from sucking by means of a small piece of leather, with sharp spikes of iron fixed upon the outside, tied upon the upper part of the call's nose, which, by pricking the cow every time the calf attempts to suck, prevents her from letting it, until the milk-maid comes, when she takes off the muzzle from the little animal's nose, and while she strips two of the teats, the calf takes care to empty the other two. As soon as the maid has done, she fixes on the instrument again, but it is done in such a manner as not to hinder the calf from feeding upon the grass.” This might have been the practice in Mr. Culley's time, but little or nothing of it is seen now.

It is an old proverb in Galloway, that a good farmer would rather kill his son than a calf. “The people of this country do very seldom, or rather not at all, kill or sell their calves, as they do in other places, so that it is a rare thing to see veal, except some times, and at some few gentlemen's tables. They give two reasons for this: one is, because they say, a cow will not give down her milk without her calf, and so, should they sell or kill the calf, they should want the use of the cow; but this, I suppose, might be helped, would they but train up the cow otherwise at her first calving. The other reason is of more weight, viz., since a great part of their wealth consists in the product of their cattel, they think it very ill husbandry to sell that for a shilling, which, in time would yeeld pounds.” - Symson's “Large Account of Galloway,” 1682.

The age of the beast is reckoned somewhat differently from that of horses; they are called two years old until they are three, and three years old until they are four.

The Galloway farmers, who breed for sale, however, are continually on the watch for a favourable opportunity of disposing of a portion of their stock; and there are others in the richer districts of the country who consider it more profitable to buy young cattle than to keep a large breeding stock. They, too, are continually buying and selling; and thence, according to Mr. Smith, arose a peculiarity in the character of the Galloway farmer. We do not believe, as be seems to think, that it belongs to the greater portion of them, but some features of it are yet to be traced in some of the cattle breeders and graziers. We give it in his own words in his Survey of Galloway. “Frequent transfers of cattle are necessary, and he seems to acquire the habit of buying and selling without any other object than the prospect of a good bargain. Some of them therefore, keep a bullock more than a year, or when markets are brisk, not more than a few weeks. With very good judges this has succeeded to a great degree. Some of the most opulent farmers have been indebted for their success to their skill in cattle and their address in striking a bargain; and this success has tempted others to embark in the trade, without either the talents or resources for carrying it on. The truth is, it possesses all the fascination of the gaming table. The fluctuation and uncertainty of markets, the sudden gains and losses that follow, the idea of skill and dexterity requisite, the risk connected with the business, these excite the strong passions of the mind, and attach the cattle-dealer, like the gambler, to his profession, although he may be assured that he is frequently pursuing the road to ruin. He counts his gains, but seldom calculates his losses. After a long succession of bad luck, he hopes that a few successful adventures will enable him to retrieve the desperate situation of his affairs, and the failure and ruin of those who have been gambling in a large way are productive of great detriment to the agriculturist and the community generally. The inevitable consequence of this mode of proceeding is, that the farmer is a constant attendant on fairs and markets whether he has anything to do or not. One or two days in the week are useless, or worse than useless. That accurate attention to minutiae on which so much of the farming business depends, order and regularity in his habits, are forsaken and forgotten; serious expenses, exceeding his profits, are incurred; habits of dissipation are contracted; every moral principle is gradually sapped and destroyed, and he becomes at last disqualified for any business or employment.” This is a dark picture. It is not so true and faithful a one as it formerly was, but the farmer may learn wisdom.
Of the lower kind of dealers, Mr. Ross, in one of his statistical accounts, gives a very vivid description.

“A mountaineer will travel from fair to fair for 30 miles round with no other food than the oaten cake which he carries with him, and what requires neither fire, table, knife, nor other instrument to use. He will lay out the whole, or perhaps treble of all he is worth (to which the facility of the country banks is a great encouragement) in the purchase of 30 or 100 head of cattle, with which, when collected, he sets out for England, a country with the roads, manners and inhabitants of which he is totally unacquainted.

“In this journey, he scarcely ever goes into a house, sleeps but little, and then generally in the open air, and lives chiefly upon his favourite oaten bread. If he fail of disposing of his cattle at the fair of Carlisle, the usual place of sale, he is probably ruined, and has to begin the world, as he terms it, over again. If he succeeds, he returns home only to commence a new wandering and a new labour, and is ready in about a month perhaps to set out again for England.

“There are others who job about from fair to fair without leaving the country. The wandering and unsettled habits which this species of life induces are very unfavourable to improvement; whenever by any accident the cattle trade is suspended, or becomes unprofitable, the persons accustomed to be employed in it, being unfit for any soberer occupation, remain in a great measure idle. Even agriculture is burdensome to them as wanting the variety and interest which their usual occupation affords: thus the fruits of so much labour and enterprise are often wasted during the long intervals of indolence and inactivity.” The drovers, however, of the present day, deserve a far better character, and are, generally speaking, very respectable and deserving class of men.

Dr. John Scott, in his account of the parish of Swyneholm (Twynholm) in Kirkcudbright, in 1795, sescribes the polled Galloways as then highly valued by the Norfolk farmers. They would, at one year old, bring from £2. to £5.; at two years old, they would bring from £4. to £9.; and at three years, from £6. to £10. At that time, the best of the two years old were usually sent with the three years old to the English market. Speaking of the attempts at improvement, he says, '”our farmers cannot be too careful to preserve this breed, for any trials to meliorate it by crossing with other bulls have hitherto failed. A gentleman in this country, who had a large dairy remarkable for rearing the best cattle, and who kept and fed them until a proper age, when he sent them with other cattle which he bought from his tenants to the English markets, in order to try the experiment, purchased one of Mr. Bakewell's bulls. He put one half of his cows to this beast, and the other half to a Moorland bull bred upon his own estate. He fed the product equally until they were sent to market at Norfolk, when those bred from the Galloway bull brought considerably more money than the others, besides being easier to feed.”

On the other hand, the Rev. Mr. Wilson, in his account of Kirkbean, says that Mr. Craik of Arbigland introduced the Bakewell breed upon his estate, and that the same number of cattle upon the same field fattened equally with those of the Galloway kind.”