DIRECTOR   Pomona Gustavs


So far as your inquiries in regard to sheep are concerned, I shall rely mostly on my own observation, a little on others better informed, for the views I may give you. Your inquiry respecting the crossing of Merino and Saxony with the South Down, is, I think, readily answered. My own mind is fully matured on that subject. No doubt but to select choice fine wooled bucks and breed from the South Down ewes, would be the best cross that could be obtained from coarse wooled sheep, for our latitude, for the latter variety of sheep appears to be a connecting link between the fine and coarser breeds. In this cross, the lambs would gain the best possible chance for milk, whereby all points of carcass would have full Chance for a natural development. But to let the large coarse breeds of sheep into a flock of small boned fine wooled ewes, would be ruinous to the flock, as I have seen fully tested. It is against the laws of nature to perfect a larger race of animals from females of much smaller stature. The carcass is not only too small to deliver the offspring, but incapable of affording sufficient nutriment either in embryo or after birth. If mutton be the object, what can youproduce better than the many valuable coarse varieties that have been introduced among us 1 If fineness of fleece, without any other consideration, the Saxon Merino never will be rivaled. If you desire a flock of good fair sized animals, sheep that will endure our climate, that are able to withstand the sudden changes of weather, with fleeces of fine grade, mutton not of the best quality, apd yet palatable, then I contend that the Merinoes are the most profitable breed. The Paular Merino, or what some term " old fashioned Merino," are the most hardy and most profitable of this breed. There appears to be a general visionary desire in many of the States for crossing the many different breeds of sheep to obtain a new, distinct and valuable variety. As it requires several generations to obtain a new and perfect cross, no breeder can fairly try the experiment by a few crossings. Time and money could be better laid out in improving such breeds at hand as each may admire; by carefully selecting the most perfect bucks for the large and best breeding ewes; and in the mean time if wool be the object, regard should be had as to quality and quantity of fleece; for constitution, size of limb and breadth of carcass; and a good breeder must have milking qualities. For some years past I have particularly noticed how the coarse breeds of sheep have been " cracked up" in laudatory terms at most of the cattle shows throughout the States, and high premiums awarded, when at the same time mention svas scarcely made of the finer breeds, as though they were but secondary creatures in producing materials for the comfort of man. In looking over many of the agricultural periodicals, we find plates of mutton sheep got up with a good finish, but the Merino, or indispensable breeds, are not worthy of a place in their columns.