Tag Archives: cattle

Louis Irwin of Clayton

Standard
Louis Irwin of Clayton

img - 2020-05-03T140046.943

 

By Mary Cook–20 Oct 1976, Wed  •  Page 2

If Scottish Highland beef is good enough for the Queen’s table, it’s good enough for Louis Irwin of Clayton. He went into the business of raising “the beef of royalty” about five years ago and now his herd numbers more than 70. The Irwins are accustomed to passers-by slamming on their brakes when they pass the farm pastures, because the animals resemble something between a buffalo and a long haired sheepdog. They are covered with a profusion of long and gracefully waved hair, which will grow up to 13 inches.

The cattle are various shades of brown, but the breed also comes in black, brindle and red. At first glance it’s hard to believe the animals are cows. The long hair gives them a primitive look and they are short-legged, long-bodied and with horns that grow sweeping out from the head with a back curve making them look ferocious and wild. Superior meat However, Mr. Irwin says, they are a docile, contented animal, which is partly the reason for the excellent quality of beef they provide. The animals live outdoors all year, another reason the meat is superior. While other breeds are kept inside from the winter elements, Mr. Irwin says layers of fat build up on their bodies.

The Highland breed needs no fat insulation from the cold as its long hair develops an underrating of thick down, which insulates the animal from the severe weather. In fact, the breed originated in the Highlands and the west coast Highlands of Scotland both areas where severe climate is the rule rather than the exception. Highland cattle are usually smaller than other breeds with much less fat, so the consumer can buy smaller weights for freezer lots. Mr. Irwin said the average weight of his cattle is between 800 and 900 pounds. They are raised as beef cattle only. “It’s less expensive getting into Highland cattle than any other breed,” he says. “Because they are an outdoor breed, no barns are needed, and they are foliage eaters and eat anything that grows. Feeding the animals is really no problem.”

The Irwins use no additives in the animals’ food for the winter. Mr. Irwin doesn’t believe in all the things beef producers add to bolster weight and produce larger animals. “I like to know exactly what I’m eating,” he says. There are few breeders of Highland cattle in eastern Canada. A few farmers have a small number “to dress up the barnyard,” Mr. Irwin says, but the big Highland breeders arc usually in the western provinces where the first Highland bull was bought in the 1880s by Lord Strathcona of Winnipeg. Balmoral Castle in Scotland raises Scottish Highland cattle for the Queen’s table, and other royal families have favored this breed as its choice of beef. ; In some parts of Scotland the fine wool which grows under the outer coat of hair js often sheared and spun for clothing just as one would use the wool of sheep. This unique animal has another endearing characteristic.

The mothering instinct is prevalent and abandoned calves are unheard of. A Highland cow will not leave her new calf even to feed herself until that calf is old enough to follow. i Safeguard to calves ‘ This protective attitude is a safeguard to new-born calves, many of which would otherwise be lost to predators. The calves arc hardy and grow rapidly to maturity. ! There is only one drawback to raising Highland cattle. Mr. Irwin calls all his cattle by name and they readily come when called. “It’s hard to prepare such a friendly, trusting animal for the slaughter house,” he says.

 

Perils of the Cows of Carleton Place or Where’s the Beefalo?

Should Cows and Smart Cars be Tipped?

Did You Know this about Fraser’s Meat Market?

Cattle Driving — Keeping the Beast on the Road

“Let the Cattle Pass” An Insulting Nuisance

Cattle Driving — Keeping the Beast on the Road

Standard
Cattle Driving — Keeping the Beast on the Road
bb9b250443dc34308e298da5c5767374_XL.jpg
Back In the early 1860s Mr. Oliver Robert learned the gentle art of cattle buying. His father, Stanislaus Robert, was then a cattle drover, and operated chiefly in the country between Ottawa and Perth, via Richmond. Prospect, Franktown and Perth.

Later, in the 1870s, Mr. Robert operated in this same country on his own behalf. Those were the days when country roads, even the main roads, were things of ruts, corduroy, mud and clay. It was, however, also the day when meat was cheap and farmers took the word of drovers as to current values of beef and lambs. Very few farmers took newspapers, and then certainly did not have telephones, or radios to tell them about ruling prices. But, as Mr. Robert says, most drovers were pretty honest fellows and they and the farmers got on well together. As a matter of fact the drovers had to be honest, as if they were caught In a misrepresentation of prices they might as well leave the country.  Their connection would be gone.
Mr. Robert tells that when a drover went to sleep in a village hotel he never thought of locking the door or even putting a chair against it, even though he had hundreds of dollars in his pockets. Mr. Robert admits, however some drovers may have taken their trousers and put them under his pillow. Some did not even do that.

In the early 1870s when Mr. Oliver Robert started “droving” for himself, drovers paid the farmers from 3c to 4c per pound for stall fed cattle and $2.50 per lamb. Cattle were all “walked” to Ottawa. The usual practice In the case of the cattle stall was to walk them about 6 miles increasing the walk to 15 miles the next day. On the third day if they came from Perth they increased it even more on the third day.

37188688_1830144783751404_7599014452024836096_n
Great postcard of a busy ByWard Market, circa 1909, looking toward Clarence St. Lost Ottawa
 The stall fed cattle was to walk them about six miles the first day,  increasing the walk to 15 miles the second day. On the third day (if they came from Perth) the walk was still further increased. On the other hand the cattle called ‘grassers” could be walked from Perth in two days. They were hardy, The stall fed cattle were bought from about the 15th of May to the 1st  of July and the “grassers” from July. The herds brought In on each trip generally numbered from 25 to 30 head.

In the 1870s the cattle yard where the drovers sold their cattle to butchers was in the Byward market. But the cattle were comingiIn such numbers that they took up too much room on the market and the farmers and others began to kick. About 1880 the cattle market was moved to Cathcart Square. It didn’t stay there many years, however, as the residents put up a kick about the noise and selling got back to Byward market.

While the cattle yard was at Cathcart Square a man named De Rise kept a hotel there and also had charge of the yard. As years went on the railways began to gridiron the country and they changed the whole system of cattle buying and handling and the old-time drover became a thing of the past.

Mr. Robert recalls that bringing a herd of 25 or 30 cattle to town was very often a troublesome Job. They often “dragged” on the road, and often broke away into unfenced bush land or jumped low fences Into passing farms. A drover had to have a great stock of patience, and often had a large vocabulary of swear words.

historicalnotes
Mayor Coleman said Carleton Place was an important market town with Bridge Street sees a parade of farm vehicles and animals on their way to market. Cattle had a hard enough time moving down to the CPR station in those days–I can’t even imagine if that happened now.

Aug 8 1913

Fifteen head of cattle were killed on the C.P.R. Track about a mile south of Carleton Place after being struck by a train at an early hour this morning. A herd of 175 cattle had been driven into town by the Willow brothers yesterday and placed in the stock pen for shipment. Some time after midnight cattle broke through the fence ad proceeded to travel down different track routes.

A freight train traveling near the 10th and 11 th concessions of Beckwith struck the largest herd and before the locomotive could slow down fifteen cattle were killed or so maimed they had to be destroyed. Two head were also killed on the line west and three east of the station making for a total of 20.

 

 - LANARK FMIiS. Annual Meeting of Their Institute...