As to rapid fattening, study the habits and requirements of fattening stock. All animals, when at liberty, take considerable exercise. Hence it is evident that a box stall, or “pen," is better than to tie by the neck or in stanchions. Cattle at pasture eat often, and take comparatively little rest except at night. From this it would appear that frequent feedings-- that is, at least three or four times a day-- are better for fattening cattle than larger quantities at longer intervals.
Ease, warmth, quiet, and comfort are quite indispensable to the rapid accumulation of fat. Hence pens out of the sight of store cattle, or well-sheltered sheds, well littered, removed from any disturbance from any operations which may be going on about the premises and which might distract the animal, are important. Fattening cattle must be treated with great gentleness and familiarity. All domestic animals are wonderfully sensitive to human kindness, and none more so than fattening cattle. Card or brush them every day. It promotes rapid progress in taking on fat. Rest and repose being of the utmost importance, careful attention to the litter is essential. A good, soft comfortable bed is almost an essential requisite. It is of little use to give the best and richest of food if the bed is hard and uncomfortable. The progress will be unsatisfactory. A soft bed tempts the creature to lie down more of the time. In feeding, or attendance of any kind , be regular in time, prompt and quick, so that the animal may, as soon as possible, be left to undisturbed repose. Never expose a fattening beast to wet, or cold, stormy weather.
As to food, an infinite variety presents itself for consideration, but with us Indian corn meal, ground fine, will form the basis, as being most available. Still its is desirable to study change, both to promote the health and to stimulate the appetite. For a full grown ox, two bushels of turnips, sliced up, per day, with ten or twelve pounds of good meal, or say five pounds of linseed meal and three pounds of Indian meal, and as much good hay as the animal will eat, is none too much. A scanty allowance of water should be given. If you are disposed to take a little pains, the hay may be run through a hay-cutter, put into a box with a tight cover, the meal sprinkled over it, and scalding hot water poured on, when it should be covered up, and may stand for hours. If it begins to ferment, no matter. It is better. If you have plenty of caraway seed, you may add a little of that to the meal to advantage. if the animal seems to get cloyed or sick of one kind of food, try another. Oatmeal is a good change, and shorts may be resorted to occasionally.
Of the roots, feed the round turnips first then the Swedes, or ruta-bagas, and the mangolds last. If you have such a box as I mentioned, you can make a layer of six inches of cut hay, packed down solid, and then a layer of cut roots, say two inches thick, and on the roots, the meal may be put; if in a boiling condition, all the better; and so on, in similar alternate layers, till the box is full. Stir it up a little, and pour on a little hot water, and cover up, an let it stand, say twenty-four hours. The roots will be cooked in this time. After the first few days the animal will devour this mixture with the utmost greediness, even if the hay is not of the best quality. For a medium sized animal six pounds of meal will do, and one bushel of roots; and it is better to begin with four pounds of meal, and gradually increase the quantity. Linseed and Indian meal mixed is better than either alone. Some straw may be used if the mixture is made as suggested above. The roots must be made quite clean, or they will cause the animal to scour. If you can get hold of some bean meal, it is excellent, especially for a change.[Thomas's Farmer's Almanac]
Is this still customary on farms? Perhaps some of you who know more about this can provide some perspective?
And can anyone explain "store cattle?"
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