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We do not regard them as a recurrence of an original characteristic, but rather as denoting contact in comparatively recent times with some horned race. We have seen that both in Forfarshire and Aberdeenshire a race of horned cattle has from time immemorial—at least as far back as history and tradition carry us—existed alongside the ancestors of the improved polled breed, the former occupying the higher, and the latter the lower ground. We have no record of any systematic combination of the two races; but a hundred years ago, and even less, farmers saw no special advantage in keeping any breed absolutely pure from generation to generation. They had not then learned—what not a few personally interested in the subject have even yet to learn—the value of an unstained pedigree. It may therefore be concluded that the polled and horned varieties were in these days occasionally intermixed. Moreover, we have it on record that, towards the end of the last century and early in the present, the Buchan “humlies” were crossed with Ayrshires, and the horned breed of Fife and other races; and the Angus “doddies” with Ayrshires and other breeds. Youatt tells us, no doubt on Mr Hugh Watson's own authority, that the latter gentleman's famous Smithfield heifer, already referred to, “had a remote dash of Guernsey blood in her.” In these circumstances, and in view of the known tendency of peculiarities in remote ancestors to display themselves from time to time, it is only natural that now and again an animal of the breed should appear with “scurs.” They are scarcely ever seen on females. Some strains are more liable to them than others. In no family are they of frequent occurrence, and in some they have never once been observed. No effort should be spared to eradicate them from the breed. No animal showing the least sign of “scurs” should on any account be used for breeding purposes. If we had to choose between the two evils, we would much rather breed from a red animal than from one

with “scurs.” The one feature is foreign to the breed; the other simply not in accordance with modern fancy. From the earliest accounts of the Angus and Aberdeen polls, it would seem that they were even them noted for symmetry of form, and that most of them were small in size. They were generally so small, in fact, that oxen of the breed were not considered suitable for the ordinary light farm-work of a hundred years ago. It would seem also that they have always been thick, low-set, round, very compact, fine in the bone, with soft hair, mellow skin, rich cover of flesh, fine head, hardy constitution, and great aptitude to fatten, their beef being of the finest quality, and beautifully mixed. The polled Aberdeen or Angus cattle of to-day are just magnified animals of the same type. Most of the good points they formerly possessed have been still further developed, and brought to a higher condition of usefulness; while some defects that characterised the breed a hundred years ago have been wholly or partially removed. There has been a very great improvement in size during the present century. They are now large cattle—scarcely inferior, indeed, in weight to any other variety in the country. At a casual glance they seem decidedly smaller than average Shorthorns; but on closer examination, or on the “scales,” the difference is generally found to be much less than had at first sight been supposed, and often disappears altogether. As a rule, polled animals are lower-set, or thicker and more compact, than average Shorthorns—the latter being more “pointy,” and longer in the legs. The ancient symmetry of the breed has been more than maintained, and now in this respect it is surpassed by no other breed in the British Isles, or perhaps anywhere else. A really good northern poll leaves very little to be desired in the symmetry of its parts. The improved race have wider and better sprung ribs than their ancestors had, and are also longer and better filled up from the hooks backwards,

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as well as more richly fleshed, finer in the bone, of superior quality, and sweeter and more gay, especially about the head. Their general fattening-properties too, notably in regard to early maturity, have been very greatly improved. Some admirers of the breed, who have a distinct recollection of the animals that gained fame in show-yards twentyfive or thirty years ago, maintain that, in comparison with these, the show-yard animals of to-day exhibit little or no improvement. They admit that there has been great improvement in the “rank and file” of the breed, and that a much greater number of good specimens are seen in the show-yards now than formerly; but some of those celebrated animals that a quarter of a century ago enlisted their warm admiration, have never in their eyes been excelled. The same statements have been heard in regard to almost every breed of live stock in the country; but while in some instances they may be perfectly accurate, we believe that as a rule they are not so. We judge all things by comparison; and we believe that as we watch the progress of a breed that is being constantly improved, our standard of comparison becomes higher unconsciously. We cannot help believing, especially if full value were given to character or appearance of “breeding,” that better animals of the polled Aberdeen or Angus breed have been shown within recent years than were to be seen a quarter of a century ago; and we are probably not far wrong in attributing the contrary impression, which has been mentioned, to the fact that those who hold that impression have not made full allowance for the higher standard of comparison which their long experience must almost of necessity have brought them to apply. In general form a model polled animal differs considerably from a model Shorthorn. Both should be lengthy, deep, wide, even, proportionate, and cylindrical. The polled animal, however, should be more truly cylindrical in the body than the Shorthorn. Its points should be

more quickly rounded off; or, in other words, the frame of the polled animal is not so fully drawn out to the square as that of the Shorthorn. Critics have pointed out in some of the best polled animals now or recently living, a tendency to approach too nearly to the square type of the Shorthorn. In a beef-producing animal, a broad, square frame can hardly be said to be a blemish; for if it is thoroughly well covered all over, it will carry more beef than a rounder frame. A compact, well-rounded frame, however, has always been a leading characteristic of the polled breed, and the main reason why a square Shorthorn-looking frame is objected to in a polled animal is, that such a form is foreign to the breed, and therefore apt to arouse suspicions of impurity. The admirers of the breed claim for it valuable natural properties not found to an equal extent in any other breed ; and they fear that should the breed lose its characteristically natural appearance, it may also lose its superiority in those valuable properties—“the genuine article should always bear its trade-mark.” Careful improvers of the breed are specially particular as to the hind-quarters. While they aim at developing long, level, thick, deep quarters, they also strive to retain the rounded appearance which was originally one of the dominant characteristics of the breed. The head of the polled male should not be large, but should be handsome and neatly set on. The muzzle should be fine; the nostrils wide; the distance from the nostrils to the eyes of only moderate length; the eyes mild, large, and expressive ; the poll high ; the ears of fair size, lively, and well covered with hair; the throat clean, with no development of skin and flesh beneath the jaws, which should not be heavy; the neck pretty long, clean, and rising from the head to the shoulder-top, and surmounted by a moderate “crest,” which contributes to masculine appearance—a desirable point in a bull. The

RACTERISTICS OF THE BREED.

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neck should pass neatly and evenly into the body, with full neck-vein. The shoulder-blades should lie well backwards, fitting neatly into the body, and not lying awkwardly outside it: they should show no undue prominence on the shoulder-top, on the points, or at the elbow. An upright shoulder in cattle is generally accompanied by a light waist—an important, and in all breeds a much too common, defect. The chest should be wide and deep, so as to give plenty of room for lung-development. The bosom should stand well forward between the fore-legs, and underneath should be well covered with flesh and fat. The crops should be full and level, with no falling off behind them; the ribs well sprung, springing out barrel-like, and neatly joined to the crops and loins; the back level and broad; the loins broad and strong; the hook-bones not too wide—narrower than in an average Shorthorn; the quarters long, even, and rounded, with no hollow from the hooks to the tail; the tail should come neatly out of the body, not too far up the back, and not higher at the root than the line of the back, A high tailhead was to some extent characteristic of the ancient polled breed, but it is one of the defects that are being gradually removed by the more scientific systems of breeding now pursued. Some good polled cattle, too, have been found to show a development of soft worthless flesh and fat on the rounds behind; but that defect, which is disliked very much, is also almost obliterated. The tail should hang straight down, close to the body all the way till it comes near to the level of the flank. On both sides of the tail the quarters should turn away in a rounded manner, swelling out downwards, and ultimately passing into thick deep thighs. The twist should be full, and the hind-legs set well apart, and not detached from the body until the level of the flank is reached. The flank should be full and soft, so that a good handful may be got out of it. The bottom line

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