The Crooked Lake Review

Spring 2003

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Keep the Cattle

out of the Meadows

contributed by

Richard Palmer

Chenango Union, Norwich, N. Y., May 5, 1869

Strict and thorough farming would render this warning superfluous; but the rule is often broken, to the injury of the meadows. Sometimes the farmer, by getting short of winter feed, is under the necessity of giving his cattle the run of the meadows in the spring, but it often proceeds from carelessness and neglect.

Fences that have been moved, have not been replaced as they should have been, consequently the cattle have the range of the meadows, and materially affect the hay crop of the coming season by close cropping, and also damage the roots of the grass and mar the surface throughout the season by trampling it while soft and yielding, leaving the deep foot prints everywhere.

Cattle should always be kept out of the pastures until the grass has got a good start; otherwise they will keep down the growth, thus lessening the amount of feed and exhausting the pastures. It is no kindness to the cattle to allow them to get a taste of grass before the winter feeding is properly ended. If they are thus indulged, their appetites become dainty, and the remains of the winter's food are not relished. It is not supposed that systematic farmers would allow their meadows and pastures to be thus injured by over feeding, either in spring or fall; still the mistake is often committed; sometimes through carelessness, but oftener from a desire to indulge the cattle in the delicacies of the season.

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