« PreviousContinue »
Cattle, 39,402 carcasses, 123,969 parts; calves, 7,654 carcasses, 781 parts; hogs, 59,477 carcasses, 877,528 parts; sheep, 10,789 carcasses, 7,394 parts; goats, 61 carcasses. Tuberculosis was the cause of nearly 47 per cent of the condemnations of adult cattle and over 96 per cent of the condemnations of hogs. The inspected animals furnished fully 10,000,000,000 pounds of meat. There was condemned on reinspection 21,073,577 pounds of meat and meat food products that had become sour, tainted, or otherwise unfit for food since the inspection at the time of slaughter. This amount included over 3,000,000 pounds condemned at one establishment as the result of a fire.
Inspection certificates issued for exports of meat and meat food products during the year covered 975,066,006 pounds, including all products, fresh and preserved. This was an increase of over 150,000,000 pounds compared with 1910. Inspections for the Navy during 1911 aggregated 11,112,060 pounds.
During the year 25,818 samples of various products were examined in the meat inspection laboratories for the purpose of detecting prohibited preservatives or coloring matter, adulterants, and unwholesomeness of various kinds, and passing upon the purity of condiments, water supplies, etc. The use of prohibited preservatives and coloring matters at inspected establishments appears to be exceedingly rare, and in the very few cases in which such preservatives were found their presence was evidently due to ignorance or carelessness. The most frequent violations of the regulations consisted in the use of cereal substances in sausages without proper declaration on the labels.
Good progress is being made in the breeding of carriage horses in Colorado in cooperation with the State Agricultural Experiment Station. At the close of the fiscal year 1911 the stud consisted of 82 animals (34 males and 48 females). The males comprised 11 stallions two years old and upwards, 11 yearlings, and 12 weanlings, while the females included 25 aged mares, 5 four-year-olds, 3 threeyear-olds, 4 two-year-olds, and 11 yearlings and wearlings. The annual culling of inferior individuals is showing its results, and the foals show better quality each year. During the year the board of survey condemned 8 animals, which were sold at auction.
The breeding of Morgan horses on the Government farm at Middlebury, Vt., continues with promising results. There were 65 head in this stud at the close of the year, namely, 17 stallions, 42 mares, and 6 geldings. Five out of a lot of 10 mares purchased last year were bred in Vermont, and are good representatives of the old-fashioned Morgan lines which have proved so valuable in mating with General Gates, the stallion at the head of the stud. The five-year-old stallion Red Oak has been leased to the Massachusetts Agricultural College for the purpose of breeding to mares which fulfill certain prescribed conditions.
An experiment in breeding gray draft horses is in progress in Iowa, in cooperation with the Iowa Experiment Station. Four out of five foals dropped during 1911 are living. Two of these are by a Shire stallion out of Clydesdale mares, and two by a Clydesdale stallion out of Shire mares. All the mares are worked on the farm.
Although the desired appropriation for the encouragement of the breeding of horses for the United States Army was not provided by Congress, a small beginning was made in cooperation with the War Department, the slight expense on the part of the Department of Agriculture being paid from the appropriation for animal breeding and feeding experiments. Two Thoroughbred stallions were presented to the War Department by Mr. August Belmont, and these have been turned over to this department for use in accordance with a cooperative plan. The stallions are being stood for public service at the remount station of the Army at Front Royal, Va., under the direction of the Bureau of Animal Industry, and have been bred to about 50 mares. Only approved mares are bred to these stallions, and each mare owner agrees to give the Government an option on the resulting foal at three years at $150. It is hoped that Congress will provide funds for the extension of horse breeding for the Army, as it is evident that the Government must do something to encourage the breeding of horses of the proper types if the Army of the future is to be supplied with an adequate number of suitable remounts.
SHEEP AND GOATS.
Satisfactory progress has been made in the breeding of range sheep in Wyoming. The ewes gave an 80 per cent crop of lambs last spring, and those ewes which are to continue in the experiment sheared 13.1 pounds per head.
Southdown sheep are being bred at the Morgan horse farm in Vermont, and Barbados sheep at the experiment farm of the Bureau of Animal Industry at Beltsville, Md. Native goats are being bred at the bureau farm for milk production, and in addition some representatives of the Saanen breed have recently been acquired.
The breeding of milking Shorthorn cattle in cooperation with the Minnesota Experiment Station has made satisfactory advance during the year, four herds having been added to the circuit. The operations last year were mostly confined to the general improvement of the herds. Better care and management have resulted in improved milk and butter-fat production and in better development of the young animals.
The Holstein breeding circuit in North Dakota, in cooperation with the State Experiment Station, has been conducted on the same lines as heretofore. A year's record of all the cows was completed January 1, and the approximate cost of the production of butter fat determined. As a result several heifers have been placed in the Advanced Registry. There are now 107 pure-bred Holstein cattle owned by members of this circuit.
POULTRY AND EGG INVESTIGATIONS.
Poultry breeding for egg production and for general utility purposes is going on in Maine (in cooperation with the Maine Experiment Station) and at the bureau's experiment farm in Maryland. A plan of selection is being practiced so as to secure strains which breed true to certain definite standards of egg production.
An investigation is being conducted into the conditions surrounding the handling and marketing of eggs in the great productive sections of the Middle West, especially in Kansas, with a view to determining the causes of the heavy losses from deterioration and to preventing such losses. This work, in which State authorities are cooperating, is expected to bring about great improvement in the quality of the eggs marketed, to the advantage of both producer and consumer. Some results of this work have been published as Bulletin 141 of the Bureau of Animal Industry, “ The improvement of the Farm Egg.”
Animal nutrition investigations in cooperation with the Pennsylvania State College have been in progress for a number of years. The work is of a scientific character, much of it being done with the respiration calorimeter. The determinations of the energy values of feeding stuffs are to be continued, and it is planned to make further respiration tests.
BEEF AND PORK PRODUCTION IN THE SOUTH.
The beef-feeding experiments in cooperation with the Alabama Experiment Station are yielding results of much value to southern farmers. The work so far accomplished demonstrates that cattle can be profitably fed in Alabama in summer. Pork-feeding investigations, also in Alabama, are likewise showing profitable results. There is no doubt that the South affords a favorable field for increasing the country's meat supply, especially after the handicap of the cattle tick has been removed.
CERTIFYING PURE-BRED IMPORTED ANIMALS.
Since January 1, 1911, the Bureau of Animal Industry has undertaken the duty of certifying to the pure breeding of all animals imported for breeding purposes, the work being done by arrangement with the Treasury Department and in accordance with the tariff law. During the first six months 1,172 horses, 1,427 cattle, 12 sheep, 7 hogs, 190 dogs, and 12 cats were thus imported.
Work for the development and improvement of dairying is being carried on in the South and West, and includes improved breeding, economical feeding, encouraging the building of barns, silos, etc., the stimulation of interest in dairy organizations, the improvement of city milk supplies, the operation of model dairies, the supervision of exhibits and contests at fairs, helping farmers to improve the grade of cream furnished to creameries, etc. The southern work is in progress in nine States, and the western work is being conducted in Iowa, North Dakota, Colorado, and Idaho. The reduction of the range and the increased price of land have a considerable effect on dairying this latter region, and helpful work is being done in demonstrating new and economical methods.
Dairy farmers are encouraged to keep records showing the amount of feed consumed and milk and butter fat produced by each cow, so that unprofitable animals can be weeded out and the herd built up with good producers. The utility of keeping such records was illustrated in several instances during the year. In one herd the work resulted in the sale of 25 unprofitable cows and in another the cost of feeding was reduced from $6.05 to $4.63 per cow per month.
There are at present 81 cow-testing associations in the United States, comprising owners of about 40,000 cows. The department was instrumental in organizing the greater number of these, and often lends assistance when difficulties arise.
The demand for plans for the construction of dairy buildings continues heavy, and during the year blue prints were sent out for 636 buildings.
MARKET MILK INVESTIGATIONS.
The bureau has continued its work for the improvement of market milk. This consists chiefly in introducing and maintaining the score-card system of dairy inspection, in assisting at competitive exhibitions of milk and cream, and in investigating the conditions surrounding the milk supply in various places. This work is carried on largely in cooperation with city health departments, and was conducted during the fiscal year in 51 cities in 27 States. The extension of the score-card system of inspection is producing good results. During the year 620 inspections were made in 24 States, these inspections always being made in company with the local health officer or one of his assistants. Nine competitive milk and cream contests were participated in by the bureau. The milk supply of several of the Government departments is being supervised, and a special investigation of the milk supply in the vicinity of Boston, Mass., has been under way for several months.
Assistance has been rendered to creameries as heretofore by furnishing information and advice regarding creamery operations. Periodical reports are received from about 1,300 creameries in various parts of the country, and these enable the bureau to point out defects in operation, so that losses may be overcome, the quality of the product improved, by-products utilized economically, and waste avoided. Field men are located in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, California, and Texas, and personal attention is given to such cases as seem to require it. During the year 74 creameries were visited by these men.
The market inspection of butter indicates that a large quantity of low-grade butter is still being manufactured. Of 2,161 shipments inspected from creameries in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, only 277, or 13 per cent, graded "extra." The department endeavors to point out how improvement can be effected.
The department also aids in the organization of new creameries by furnishing articles of agreement, lists of machinery, etc., but care is exercised to give this assistance only in those localities where creameries are likely to succeed.
An investigation into the most practicable method of harvesting and storing natural ice was undertaken because a large number of dairymen who might avail themselves of such ice at little cost at present do not use any at all. The lack of ice is responsible for a large amount of bad cream received at creameries, as well as for much of the inferior milk delivered in cities.
The manufacture of renovated butter was supervised during the year, in accordance with law, at 38 factories in 13 States. The total quantity produced was 41,115,058 pounds, of which 118,990 pounds was exported.
DAIRY RESEARCH LABORATORIES.
The dairy research laboratories were engaged during the year upon various technical problems connected with milk, butter, and cheese. Work on milk and butter is carried on at the central laboratory in Washington and the field laboratory at Troy, Pa. Chemi