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SHEEP IN MONTANA.
The very considerable reduction in the number of sheep
to the United States, the very great losses in sheep in Aus
tralia the present protective tariff, all supplemented by the
inrrpased activity of manufactures and trade, are potent
acto?s in the present situation. It seems to me that even
the most hopeless pessimist can hardly fail to feel encour
aged as to the immediate future of wool and mutton I feel
Convinced that both these products will command, in 1898
nrices somewhat beyond the present selling rates. Out on
Tr plans those present rates are very satisfactory, giving
us as they dC, double the money for wool and 50 per cent
advance in mutton. During the last four years, caretul
sheep owners have been able to just about hold their own
even with wool at 8 cents per pound, and fat weathers at
$2 50 per head; but this year, the owner of 3,000 sheep should
realizj, at least $2,000 beyond his receipts of years past.
Three thousand head of sheep are, perhaps, about^ the aver
age flock here; very few people run as few as 1,000. There
are bands of all sizes; one of the larger "outfits" runs 10,
- is very different here from the same
business in the Eastern and Middle states. We have some
features not enjoyed by the farmers of the East, but they,
on the other hand, have some decided advantages over us.
How would an Ohio or Michigan farmer like to feel that he
might any day, lose 20 sheep? How would he feel if he
knew 'that he might lose 500, even with the most careful
herding? I lost 130 sheep in 10 minutes, some time since,
from an attack by wolves. A neighbor lost, during a severe
storm 2 500 sheep. Our wool nets us about half the price
which' the Ohio man obtains for his. On the other hand, we
have far less disease among sheep, we feed nothing the
year 'round except during a severe storm, and then only the
wild hay cut in the immediate region. It is, however, the
custom to feed oats to rams during December. Our range
is on unsurveyed government land for which we do not pay
and of course, to which we have no title; still it is not
usual for others to infringe upon our acknowledged territory.
Five years ago, nearly all the sheep bred here were of the
Vermont Spanish Merino blood, the purpose, of course, being
to get a heavy crop of wool; but since that time, nearly
every flock has been bred to coarser sires. At that time,
say in 1892, there was, to my taste, not an edible sample of
BLACK LEAF SHEEP DIP
One Gallon Dips 100 Head Sheared Sheep
_____ < . ■ ■ ■■■.■■
SCAB CURED I H£€! NO DEAD SHEEP
FOR SALE pv WRITE FOR PAMPHLET TO
COFFIN BROS. LOUISVILLE SPIRIT CURED TOBACCO CO.
NORTH YAKIMA, WASH. LOUISVILLE, KY.
* . *
PRICE, $1.00 per gallon, in 5-gallon Cans
RANCH AND RANGE.
mutton to be found. Many people settled down to the belief
that mutton was poor food, myself among the number; while
today we have the most exquisite mutton, and tne om
opinion is wholly changed. We frequently have venison and
antelope meat, but most people prefer^ the mutton fattened
on the wild grasses of our ranges, to either. The most prom
inent breeds now in vogue here are Cotswolds, Stropshires,
Oxford Downs and Lincolns. Sires of half or three-quarters
blood of the above breeds are usually preferred to pure
blood as they are more hardy and produce a sheep witn
heavier fleeces than those springing from pure bred sires.
At the same time, there must be some Merino blood left in
the flock. There are many people in the sheep business
who lack steadiness of character, who, therefore, pursue one
pet idea after another to their cost. One year there is no
sheep but the Cotswold, the next year they are wild about
Delaines; one year they must have early lambs, the next
year they want later lambs than their neighbor; one year
they decide to shear two months earlier than usual. I be
lieve that the man who carries a steady head, who has lambs
come as near May 1 as possible; who has his sheep sheared
early in June and above all, sees to it that good reliable
men herd his sheep, and then carefully watches his herd
ers, is the man who, in the long run, will come out best in
the sheep business. A- s- w-
Apples are a drug. It will be to the interest of shippers to
send no more in at present. Fair apples are bringing 40 to
50 cents, and poorer grades cannot bring any margin of profit
Pears are moving slow. Something very nice in either
apples or pears, well packed, would bring a fancy price.
Washington creamery butter, in bricks, is 26@28c. lowa
creamery, in tubs, 27c. Washington storage, 20@22c; lowa
Inspector Brown, of Seattle, on Monday discovered five
boxes of Japanese oranges from San Francisco that were in
lected with mealy bug at J. M. Hixon's commission store.
These oranges had been fumigated at San Francisco and had
passed inspection before being shipped to this port.
At Yakima potatoes, onions and apples have stiffened up
considerably and prices will probably hold strong throughout
tiie season, especially on potatoes and onions, which are much
in demand for evaporating for the Alaska trade. Hay has
also come up several notches and promises to stay.